FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL IN FOREIGN PARTS,
HALIFAX, February 27, 1832.
At a Special Meeting of the Church Wardens, Vestry and Parishioners of St. Paul's, held at the Vestry Room this day,
Resolved unanimously, that the Rector and Churchwardens wait on the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, to request that His Lordship will be pleased to furnish them with a copy of the Sermon preached by Him, on Sunday the 19th February 1832, at St. Paul's Church; that one thousand copies of the same may be printed at the expence of the Parish, and sold; and the proceeds appropriated in aid of the Funds of the INCORPORATED SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL IN FOREIGN PARTS.
IN presenting the following SERMON to the Churchwardens, Vestry and Parishioners of St. Paul's, in compliance with their desire, the author gladly improves the opportunity for offering an assurance of his most affectionate regard.
This feeling towards them was first formed in his childhood. It was encouraged by the anxious labours of his early ministry. It was animated and increased during many happy years, when he was united to them by the endearing connection which binds the Christian Pastor to his flock. And now, when he is still permitted to watch over them, as a portion of his more extended charge, the same feeling prompts unceasing desires for their spiritual and temporal welfare, and daily prayers at the throne of Grace, for blessings from Heaven, upon the objects of his early, and undiminished esteem and affection.
THIS Psalm, which the Church has twice introduced into her services, is described as a Prayer for the enlargement of God's kingdom, to the joy of the people, and the increase of God's blessings. The observations which have been made upon it, by a Commentator of distinguished piety and eloquence, are well calculated to animate the feelings, which we would desire to cherish, whenever we advert to the preservation of the Gospel and its holy influence among ourselves, or to the extension of its blessings to all others. And these observations are so appropriate to the [5/6] subjects, to which I would earnestly desire to draw the deepest attention of all who are now before me, that I do not scruple to repeat them, although they may be familiar to some who are assembled in this place.
"In this evangelical hymn," as the pious Bishop Horne observes, "the Israelitish church is introduced, as partly praying for, and partly foretelling the advent of Christ, and the conversion of the nations, with the joy and gladness consequent thereupon. The Christian Church now uses and will continue to use the Psalm, with propriety, until the fullness of the Gentiles shall be come in, the conversion of the Jews effected, and Christ shall appear the second time, finally to accomplish the salvation of His chosen."
In the first verse, "the Israelitish church by the mouth of the Prophet, expresseth her ardent desire after Messiah's advent, that God would be merciful unto her, as He had promised; that by so doing he would bless her with the blessings of pardon and peace: of grace and glory; and, in one word, that he would cause his face to shine upon her, or shew her the Light of His Countenance, by the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, making her to behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; reviving her with the glad tidings of the Gospel, and enlightening her with the light of salvation."--"Nor was she studious," as the same author observes immediately upon the words of the text,--"Nor was she studious, as her degenerate children have since been, to confine the favour of Heaven within her own pale. If she had a good wish for herself, she had one likewise for others; and therefore prayed that the Way to life eternal might be known, not in Jewry alone, but [6/7] over all the Earth; and that the virtues of that salutary medicine, which was able to restore health and vigour to the diseased and languishing spirits of men, might be published among all nations."
The words before us, thus explained, will not be thought inappropriate in an address, which is designed, if God should be pleased to bless it, to excite your affectionate gratitude for the benefits which have been conferred, as on other extensive portions of the world, so also on this Colony by the labors of a venerable Society, who in their efforts for the Propagation of the Gospel, have been anxiously desirous to make the way of God known upon earth, and His saving health among all nations. And if this gratitude be duly excited, it will not be difficult to animate your desires to partake of their labour of liberality and love; nor will your most serious consideration be refused to the peculiar calls which are made upon us at the present time, to co-operate, to the full extent of our ability, in their holy objects; whether we regard the necessities of the Society, or the alarming condition of the world, and especially of that portion of it, in which we are most deeply interested. And Whatsoever your hand findeth to do, do it with your might, in a matter so deeply important to the dearest interests of all around you, as well as of yourselves, your children, and your children's children. Do it with all your might, as a christian duty, in humble faith and love; and the blessing of the Lord our God will surely rest upon it.
It may well be matter of surprise, but it is nevertheless a fact, that although we are indebted to this Society, under god, for the very existence of our National Church [7/8] in this portion of the world, their history and their labours are but little known among us. Many of our own communion are scarcely informed that such a Society exist, and but few are aware of the extent and importance of their benevolent exertions on our behalf: of the time, and money, and labour, and prayer, that they devote to a preservation of the knowledge of God in this portion of the earth. But it has happily been found in the parent country, and we cannot doubt that it will be so among ourselves, that as an acquaintance with the Society and their objects has been made more intimate, the desire to cooperate with them has been increased; and the more those, who are best acquainted with them, dwell upon the benefits and blessings they diffuse, the more desirous they are to share largely in the delight of contributing, by all possible means, to their prosperity and usefulness--I may therefore hope for your indulgence, while endeavouring to press their history and labours upon your notice and regard.
Their origin will carry us back to the close of the seventeenth century--It was an age of licentiousness and profligacy.--Would to God that no similar charge could be justly brought against the present time. To check these crying evils, several associations were formed in a truly christian spirit, for the reformation of morals, and for religious improvement. From these Associations the valuable SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL whose general object is well expressed by the title, took their rise.
It is interesting to revert to the circumstances under which these ancient Church associations were first formed. [8/9] Of late, we know, Societies have been much encouraged by the spirit of the age, and are easily created and supported for any attractive or even plausible object. It was not so with these at their outset. They were solely the offspring of genuine Christian Charity. Their work was carried on with such lowliness of mind, and with such entire dependence upon the heavenly blessing, that no effort was made to attract the notice, and win the applause of the world. The silent and almost secret promptings of religious benevolence were the only sources of their earthly assistance. But their hearts and their prayers were raised to HIM, whose heavenly blessing was so extended to their labours, that their grain of mustard seed, thus sown in faith, has become a goodly tree, whose branches already extend to the four quarters of the Globe, dispensing the blessing of Heavenly hope and joy to those who sit under its shade with thankful hearts, and gratefully imbibe the healing dews that distil from its leaves.
It is however worthy of remark that humble as these Societies were in their origin, and silent as their first labours were, much more is fairly attributable to their influence, than appears to have been effected by their immediate agency. They first led the way, and exhibited the mode of doing good; and thus, by their example, prompted others to works of benevolence like their own. It should be recollected that they were liberal dispensers of the Word of God, and widely circulated the sacred Scriptures, at home and abroad, for nearly a century before any other Society engaged in this holy work. They were likewise the first to follow the prisoner to his cell, [9/10] and while endeavouring, in various ways, to improve the general management of the prison, they were early engaged in attempts to amend the life, and console the sorrows of the offender by the holy instruction and heavenly comforts of religion. In like manner their attention was directed, from the beginning, to the Alms-house and the Hospital, and it is greatly owing, under the Divine favor, to their first exertions for the purpose, that the regular worship of Almighty God, accordingly to the beautifully spiritual services of the Church, has been generally introduced into the Asylums for the unfortunate and afflicted, as well as into those which receive the more unhappy victims of criminal offence. They were the first to provide systematically for the instruction of the poor, and to their early movements for this great object, much of what is commendable in the present anxiety for universal education may be traced, as well as the origin of those numerous Charity Schools, upon more solid foundation, which so prominently adorn and bless the long favoured land of our forefathers.
In all these early works of real Christian love, the members of our Society had a distinguished share. But it was soon found to be expedient to give a respectable and permanent character to some of the charitable undertakings of that day, as more extensive assistance became necessary; and accordingly a Royal Charter was solicited and obtained. Much of the first labour of these pious men had been devoted to the infant Colonies on this side of the Ocean, and the Charter incorporated them as THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL IN FOREIGN PARTS. This description necessarily confined the exertions [10/11] of the Chartered body to objects beyond the Seas. It is not easy to ascertain whether this limitation was accidental, or intentional; but it necessarily divided the association into two Societies, as the objects at Home, as well as those in Foreign Parts, required the zealous labors and continued care of those benevolent individuals, who had devoted themselves to these works of piety. A division of labor, which had now become very extensive, was found to be convenient, and the same distinguished individuals were the chief supporters of both Societies, as is happily the case at the present day. The general objects of both continue as they were from the beginning, the same--the Glory of God, and the good of their fellow creatures, and these objects they endeavoured to promote, in all humility of mind, by the spread of the Gospel, and the increased influence of the religion of the Son of God upon the hearts and lives of all--by making His way known upon earth; His saving health among all nations.
We may now attend them, in the early visits of their pious regard, to the extensive continent which we inhabit.
Much of their first labor and bounty here were directed to those portions of this Western world, then Colonies of England, which now form the United States of America. Their early records shew that this labour and this bounty were richly blessed by the favour of that God for Whose glory they were offered. The separation of those Colonies from the British Empire, necessarily terminated the Society's immediate connection with the Church which they had planted there, and nurished for more than half a century: but the good seed was so happily sown, and so richly blest by the dews of Heaven, that a plenteous harvest [11/12] has followed. From one end of those extensive States to the other, the benefits derived through the instrumentality of the Society are still cherished in grateful and affectionate recollection. It is every where thankfully acknowledged that, under the blessing of God, it is owing to the benevolent exertions and the pious care of the SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL, that a Protestant Episcopal Church has its present existence there, and happily flourishes.
The present Colonies in America were but little known at the time of the Society's first labours. The greater part of them were then under a foreign Government; but their bounty was extended to Newfoundland, an ancient possession of the British Crown, early in the last Century, for they had Missionaries there in the year 1723. we find a Schoolmaster was supported by them at Annapolis, in this Province, so early as the year 1729, although there were but a very few English families residing in the place at the time; and from that day to the present it has continued to partake of the Society's increasing bounty. At the first settlement of this town more than eighty years ago, when the spot on which we are now assembled, was covered with the native forest, a Missionary and a Schoolmaster were provided by their care. At that time the Society entered into an engagement with the Government [12/13] to supply Missionaries and schoolmasters, as Settlements should be formed in this Province, then poor and needy, and the Government engaged to assist in this good work, and especially by allotments of land to aid in the support of those Missionaries and Schoolmasters. And it was owing to the prudent foresight of the Society at that time, that even the little provision which has been made by grants of glebes and forest lands, was then secure. The society have faithfully fulfilled their engagement, to the extent of their ability, from that early period of our Provincial history; thousands have been indebted to them for the instruction and religious principles they have acquired through those teachers who have been employed and supported by the Society; and, doubtless, many are ready to give a full and willing testimony to these fruits of their benevolence.
The field, though small at first, has been continually increasing. The Revolution in America added much to the population of these Colonies, and the Missionaries and Schoolmasters were proportionally increased, as the funds of the Society would permit. Without this aid, dark indeed would have been the spiritual prospect of many a settlement in our forests. Many a child would have been without Baptism, and would have grown up untaught in the best of all knowledge, the knowledge of God and of His Christ, the knowledge of Redemption and Salvation. In this dark and dreary spiritual wilderness the light of [13/14] life would have been unseen. The message of peace from the voice of the Minister of the Gospel would have been unheard. No Spires would have mingled with the Trees of the wood, nor would the public worship of God to which they now invite, have been known in these solitary places. No servant of the Most High would have been at hand, to administer the bread of life, and the cup of Salvation. The Marriage would have been without the blessing which is now pronounced upon it, in the Name of that God who ordained it for mutual society, help and comfort, in prosperity and adversity. And who can tell the anguish that would be added to the pains of sickness; the bitterness of woe that would increase the sorrows of the unconsoled mourner, and the terrors that would crowd around the unvisited bed of the departing; if, no commissioned herald were at hand, to proclaim that exceeding weight of glory, at whose contemplation every present suffering is accounted light; to soothe the bitterest sorrows, by the chartered promises of Heavenly mercy; which bind up the broken hearted, and comfort those who mourn; and to point the closing eye to an incorruptable inheritance, and shed hope and peace and joy, the blessed fruits of heavenly faith, around the bed of the dying? Do not regard this, my brethren, as an ideal picture. Unhappily there are many places in these Colonies, where notwithstanding all that the Society have done, and are doing, the severest of these privations are now endured, and lamented with heartfelt sorrow: and many a spot, where now they are happily unknown, would have felt their pressure, in its fullest force, but for the blessing of God upon the pious care of the Society.
 But notwithstanding all that this benevolent Body have endeavoured to effect on our behalf, the whole provision they were enabled to afford for the ministry of the Gospel among us was so limited, and the discouragements were so great, that for many years it was found impossible to supply even the few Missions that were opened, with suitable Missionaries. It often happened that the families of the Missionaries were left entirely destitute, when God was pleased to call away the laborers from their work to their reward. The Society therefore, about twenty years ago, put forth their strength, and by a large increase of members and benefactions, and by successful appeals to the Government and to the public, succeeding in raising their Missionaries above the pressure of want, while employed in their service; secured such as were worn out in it, from distress at the close of life; and what was most gratifying to those, whose feelings were best entitled to regard, they secured a small, but comparatively comfortable support to the widows of such as die in their service; and assistance for the education of their children, when they are likely to become well qualified for the Missionary duties. Many individuals, in different parts of the Province are now enjoying the comfort of these benevolent and judicious provisions; and their happiest effect is exhibited in the value of those exemplary Missionaries, who have thus been assisted in their education, and are already eminently adorning their profession, by successful labours in the Ministry, and zealous devotion to the service of their Heavenly Master. There is no longer any difficulty in finding willing candidates for Ordination. The Society have also extended their assistance to the building of new [15/16] Churches, in various places, and indeed throughout the Province, there are few Churches which have not thus partaken of their liberality and encouragement.
Surely my Brethren the facts which have been thus briefly detailed, are sufficient to support the claim upon your gratitude, which is now preferred by the venerable and benevolent SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL IN FOREIGN PARTS.
But great as have been the advantages and blessings which they have been so eminently instrumental in conferring upon the Members of the Church, let it not be thought that the benefits have been confined exclusively to those of our own Communion. Respect and influence have thus been secured for religion in generals, and the advantages conferred upon Society by an increase to this respect, and influence have been shared, although perhaps unconsciously, by all among us, who profess a faith in the revealed religion of the Son of God. The mildness and moderation of the principles of that Church which has thus been supported, and the solemnity and sobriety of her scriptural and spiritual services, which have thus been made known, have had a tendency, it may be hoped, to check the wildness of enthusiasm, and to brighten the gloom of superstition, which may always be expected to prevail, in some degree, among the uninformed. And doubtless there are many among us, of all denominations, who can bear their testimony to the becoming and charitable regard for the conscientious opinions of others, who profess a faith in the Redeemer of the world, which without any compromise of principle, has been continually [16/17] cherished by the servants of the Society, with Christian courtesy, and Christian sympathy. Many of those before me must well remember the several occasions upon which the respectable Congregation of the Church of Scotland in this Town, when left without a Minister, invited our Clergy and our Services, to their house of Worship, for a very considerable period; when the invitations were as readily accepted by the Missionaries of the Society, as they were addressed to them, in a spirit of Christian love. For several years our service was performed for them, and their sick were visited and instructed, and their mourners were comforted, as our own, by the Clergy of the Church. The Schools whose support has been assisted by the Society, have been open alike to all, of every denomination. The children of several Jews have been instructed in them; and there is not a section of the Province, where some Dissenters may not be found, whose education has been entirely supplied by these Schools. Perhaps the Ministers of other denominations may, in some measure be indebted for a part, even of their scanty income, to the standard which has been formed, in the moderate provision for our Clergy, by the benevolence of the Society. Of this fact we may all be assured, that the more extensively real benefit is diffused by the exertions of the Society's servants, the more effectually the pious objects of that Society will be attained. And here it is but justice to add that many most respectable Dissenters, have readily acknowledged the general benefits which have been conferred upon the Country by the support of the Established Church, and have been anxious [17/18] even as her own members, to uphold her influence, by their liberal assistance.
But you will be desirous to be informed why our congregations are now called upon, for the first time, to assist with all their help in bearing the burthens of the Society. It is not because they are less aided by the contributions of the benevolent, than they were in former times. Happily these contributions are greater than were ever known before. It is not because the Society are less active and zealous than they were in the years that have passed--Never was their labour greater, nor their zeal more quickened than at the present time. But an immense field has been opened before them, and daily extended for many years. The natural increase of population in these Colonies, and the additions to it by Emigration, have been so great, that all the funds of the Society would have been exhausted, if suitable provision had been made for the additional spiritual instruction which was required. The Missionaries have been increased tenfold within our own memory, and are still insufficient. But a field still more extensive has presented itself to the notice of the Society, in our vast possessions in the East--There Millions, yea many Millions of our fellow creatures still sit in darkness that can only be dispelled by the light of the Gospel. The way of God is still unknown to these children of Pagan Superstition. His saving health has never yet been carried to these Nations. The Society could not but desire and endeavour, with holy zeal, to be the heralds of glad tidings to the inhabitants of this moral and religious wilderness. The attempt they have nobly made, but their whole resources are so unequal to an undertaken of such [18/19] magnitude, that they would not have been justified in entering upon so vast a scene, especially when they were fully occupied, and even beyond their means, in this Western Hemisphere, if they had not entertained an hope of more ample assistance from the Government of that extensive empire, than has yet been afforded to them.
The calls thus made upon the Society, have been so urgent, and their assistance has been consequently so extended on every side, that their means, though enlarged, are wholly inadequate to their undertakings. The splendid gifts and munificent bequests which have been made to them, have supplied a funded property to a large amount. But of this no less than £70,000 have been consumed by their increased expenditure in the last seven years; and the expences of the last year along have exceeded their income by no less a sum than £10,000--To add to their embarrassment they have received notice that the very considerable portion of their income, which for many years has been supplied by the Government, and has always been reckoned as a part of their permanent resources must be immediately diminished, and entirely withheld after the next two years, as it is thought that these Colonies have increased so much in population and resources, that the support of the Church should now devolve upon their inhabitants. It would ill become me, and especially in this place, to venture any observation upon the wisdom of this opinion, or the policy of the measure which has resulted from it. But what ever be the soundness of the one or the expediency of the other, it cannot be denied that the members of the Church among us, relying too much perhaps upon the assistance of [19/20] others, have done too little for themselves. I will not however, and I can not doubt their inclination, with a glad and willing mind, now when the necessity for exertion in so great a cause, has come upon them, to meet it in such a Christian spirit, and with such zealous regard, as will be commensurate with every demand upon them. They will I trust, consider it, not an hardship, but a privilege to be called upon, and enabled to contribute nobly to the most important object that has ever yet solicited their help in this place. Let me implore You my Brethren, not to regard this as a common appeal to you benevolence upon some ordinary occasion. The interests of the Church in these Colonies, which are dearer to you than any earthly considerations, depend so much upon the success of this present appeal, that I cannot but anxiously hope it will be regarded as deserving at least a tenfold measure of your usual bounty. The members of this congregation may be regarded as set upon an hill. Many will look to their example as a guide for themselves. Nor will any thing be more likely to animate the Society to increased zeal in contending against their present difficulties, and in labouring to assist your future wants, than the exercise of a noble liberality on your part, in the full spirit of the Gospel. Do not be satisfied with giving, in such a cause, that which you can spare, without the slightest sacrifice. Rather resolve with holy David, that you will not offer unto the Lord your God of that which doth cost you nothing; and count it a happy opportunity, which is now afforded you, for contributing to the cause of God, from the richest of your substance.
 Such should be your feelings, beloved Brethren, at all times, when called upon for so great an object, and when no external circumstances press the claim upon you, with more than ordinary force. But as we have regarded the necessities which have given rise to this special call at the present time, so let us turn our attention to the peculiar circumstances which now surround us. Who that is called by the name of his Redeemer, does not acknowledge that the long enjoyment of blessings, and the threats of approaching judgments are designed by Heavenly wisdom and mercy, to draw him more closely to the God of Salvation? What Christian does not know and feel that he can only draw nigh to God by exercises of faith, and penitence, and prayer, and charity, the well beloved of Heaven? And what charity is so ennobled as that which would contribute to making known the way of God to all around us, by helping to prove a free course of the Gospel, and extending the blessings of its saving health?
Hasten then, Brethren thus to draw nigh to God--individually, and as forming a part of the British Nation; for as the necessities we have considered, must appear to all of you great and pressing--so never was a time more distinguished than the present is, by the most urgent circumstances that can force such a claim upon the feelings and the heart. Who is not aware of the extraordinary condition of the whole Christian world--restless and agitated in every part, like the waves of the troubled ocean. The nations of the Earth are all disturbed like the mighty waters, when thrown into confusion by the storm. Every month brings intelligence of some new desolation by the spreading tempest. The mind is appalled at the [21/22] fearful changes, which have been witnessed within the memory of most of us, and contemplates, with dismay, the destruction and misery that have been spread upon the world. Amid the vast ruins that surrounded her, the wreck of Thrones and Altars, and disruption of all the Charities of life, our beloved Country, the land of our forefathers, the resting place of mercy and of piety, the abode of plenty and the scene of peace, has long been shielded by the Almighty's wing, and seemed to be preserved, almost in solitary safety, by the unmerited mercy of the Most High. But her happiness now appears as if preparing for its flight from her shores. That favoured land, so long the Asylum for all the wretched of a suffering world, is now disfigured by the daily increasing wretchedness of thousands of her own children. She too seems convulsed in every part--the bands of civil Society seem loosened. The pestilence has been permitted to taint her pure atmosphere, and a moral corruption, more deadly than that pestilence, is eating deeply into her heart, and destroying the noblest principles, by which she has been distinguished. Discontent, and disunion, and tumult are spreading throughout her borders, and the most daring offenders against all the laws of God and Man are now confidently looking, from day to day, for events which are to aid them in their awful course, and enable them to perpetrate every enormity in full security from punishment. Let those appalling facts stimulate our most anxious efforts, by every humiliation of the heart, and by every labor of Christian love, in the fullness of Christian faith, to plead at the throne of Grace, for mercy to ourselves and to our Country: Let them fix our [22/23] determination, by the blessing of God, to be eminently distinguished in the noble work which now solicits the most earnest co-operation of our hearts and hands. Let them impress upon our minds the insignificance of all earthly possessions, while expended only on earthly objects; and the value that may be affixed to them, if blest in their application to these objects, which will be held in everlasting remembrance, when the fleeting concerns of this transitory world shall all pass away, and be remembered no more.
But my Christian brethren, let it be forever borne in your recollection, that the great, the only object of the work of Charity to which you are now invited, is to be instrumental, however humbly, in making the way of God effectually known, and followed by ourselves and all around us; and to assist, feebly and slowly as it may be, in carrying a knowledge of the saving health, which has been revealed from Heaven, to the remotest corners of the Earth. Such recollections will animate our courage, and fan the flame of Charity while we lend our little aid to that great work of God, which the sure word of prophecy declares shall be accomplished, though all the powers of darkness should be leagued against it--for the Earth SHALL be filled in God's good time, with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the Sea. But all that we endeavour to do must be attempted in the full spirit of that Gospel, which is thus to overspread the earth with its holy and its heavenly influence. And therefore while we afford our poor help, and give from our substance according to the fullest measure of our ability, the offering [23/24] must be made, not as unto man, but unto God. It must be attended by the fervent supplications of faith, for that heavenly blessing, which is essential to the value of the largest contributions of the wealthy, and can sanctify the humblest tribute of the poor; the widow's mite; the cup of water; or the whispered prayer; and can extend to these a value and a virtue that were never yet possessed by any unhallowed gift, however large in its amount.
We will revert once more to the Psalm which contains the Text. You have already been told that it is described as a prayer for the enlargement of God's kingdom to the joy of the people, and the increase of God's blessings. The joy of the people of God, and an increase of blessing must ever attend the enlargement of His kingdom. You have been urged to holy efforts for such enlargement, and be assured the joy and the blessing will succeed, as certainly as the effect follows its cause.
There was a very interesting period in the history of the favored people of Jehovah, when they were filled with more than ordinary joy in exercising the happy privilege of contributing to the ultimate enlargement of God's kingdom, by a ready offering of the chief of their substance for the erection of the temple at Jerusalem. You, my Brethren, have now been invited to exertions, which will help to raise a spiritual temple to the same living God, by providing means and encouragement for the worship of the heart in many an humble, many a faithful follower of the Lamb of God. Happy, transcendently happy will it be, if the inspired words of the Psalmist on that joyful occasion can be cordially adopted by every one of us, [24/25] upon this, which we may esteem an occasion equally joyful, for the exercise of love to God, and benevolence to man, in the purest spirit of piety and prayer.
I will conclude with the animated words of David, when he blessed the Lord before all the congregation, and may God impress them deeply, in their fullest and most holy meaning, upon every heart.
Blessed be Thou Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.
Thine O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the Heaven, and in the Earth, is Thine: This is the kingdom O Lord; and Thou art exalted as Head above all.
Both riches and honor come of Thee; and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is honor and might; and in Thine hand it is tomake great, and to give strength unto all.
Now therefore our God, we thank thee, and praise Thy glorious name.
But who am I, and what is my people that we should be able to offer so willingly, after this sort? For all t hings come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee.
For we are strangers before Thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there are none abiding.
O Lord our God! all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house, for Thine holy name, cometh of Thine hand, and is all Thine own.
I know also my God, that Thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now I have seen with joy, Thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto Thee.
IT is thought proper to add to the information contained in the foregoing Sermon, that in the Diocese of Nova Scotia alone, which includes New-Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and the Bermudas, THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL, support seventy six Missionaries, and assist in the support of one hundred and twenty-six Catechists, Schoolmasters and Schoolmistresses. They have also founded eighteen Scholarships for Divinity Students in the Universities at Windsor and Fredericton, and twelve Exhibitions at the Collegiate School at Windsor, to prepare for the Scholarships.
The pensions to aged and infirm Missionaries, and to the widows of such Missionaries as die in the service of the Society, have already been named. In all cases of particular distress, arising from protracted illness, or severe casualty, as loss by fire, or shipwreck, the Society have promptly assisted the suffering Missionary, and sometimes, under particular circumstances, at considerable expence. They have also founded many valuable Mission Libraries, and continue to supply the Missionaries, when necessary, with Bibles, Prayer Books, and other approved [26/27] Books and Tracts, for distribution among the poor, as was the custom in the infancy of these Colonies.
It has long been the usage of the Society also, whenever a Missionary is willing to encounter the fatigues and privations, which attend a visit to remote settlements, many of which are far distant from any Mission Station, to defray the expences of such charitable visits, and supply Books for distribution, at the discretion of the Missionary. It will not therefore be thought surprising that the whole expenditure, occasioned by such extended and various charity, as the Society continually dispense, should have risen to a large amount, and compelled them to seek for more assistance, than they have hitherto solicited.