Ministry, and Polity of the Church, in the General Theological Seminary
of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States.
PRINTED AT THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL PRESS.
New-York, November 21, 1831.
RT. REV. AND DEAR SIR,
THE deep interest excited by the consecration of the first Mission Church established in this city by the members of our Communion, and the desire to enable many who were not present at the solemnities to participate in the satisfaction derived from the appropriate discourse then delivered by you, induce us to request a copy of it for publication.
We are, Rt. Rev. and Dear Sir,
With great respect, your friends,
JONATHAN M. WAINWRIGHT.
J. F. SCHROEDER,
JAMES M. PENDLETON,
RT. REV. BENJAMIN T. ONDERDONK, D. D.
"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever. The judgments of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold; yes, than much fine gold; sweeter, also, than honey, and the honey-comb. Moreover, by them is thy servant warned; and in keeping of them there is great reward."
IF in such strains, the monarch of Israel could celebrate the excellence of the divine law, how much more due is his sublime eulogium to its enlargement and perfection under the Gospel! Besides the wise, good, and salutary precepts, statutes, and judgments, of which David sang, we have those given to the world by the HOLY SPIRIT through his son, and successor on the throne, and through a long series of illustrious prophets; and those which a greater than all the prophets and teachers of Israel, a Divine Instructer, came down from heaven to impart to our race. Our eyes have seen, and our ears have heard, whom many prophets and righteous men desired to see and hear, the LORD'S Christ, who came into the world to redeem, instruct, and save it. By him, and the inspired evangelists and apostles whom he delegated for the purpose, the law and the prophets were fulfilled, and the stamp of perfection set to the revealed word of GOD.
Contemplating this illustrious personage in his Office, (not chief, indeed, but great and important,) of a Divine Instructer, we may apply to the system of religious and moral duty which he has prescribed and enforced, the beautiful and comprehensive language of the text--"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony [3/4] of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever. The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb. Moreover, by them is thy servant warned; and in keeping of them there is great reward."
This passage, my brethren, presents a succession of highly interesting and useful heads of reflection. And interesting and useful at all times, I trust that the idea of special adaptation, which has led to the choice of them as a part of the improvement of this joyous occasion, meets a favorable response in the minds of all who hear me. "The law of the LORD"--that comprehensive system of human duty which would control the heart by right principles, holy affections, correct dispositions, and chastened and well regulated passions and tempers, and from the fountain thus purified would give to the life that course which most ministers to the dignity and happiness of an intelligent being, and which, directed ever toward the great CENTRE of all perfection and felicity, diffuses around it the blest influences of piety and virtue--that law of the LORD is the only source, and the only security, of our individual, social, and civil welfare. Efforts to diffuse the knowledge, and interest men in the practice of it, leave far behind all measures of a merely philosophical and political nature, in the prospect of success in the true amelioration of the human state. On a highly important and peculiarly promising department of those efforts, we are this day entering. With my whole heart I bid joy to the reverend brethren, and the respected lay-members of our Communion, with whom it has been my happiness to be associated in the concerns of the infant institution, which now brings, as its first fruits, this holy [4/5] house for an offering of gratitude to Him in whose service they have enlisted, and in whose name setting up their banners, they have resolved to go on, consecrating their best efforts to the help of the LORD against the mighty forces which the world, the flesh, and the devil, infidelity, heresy, and irreligion, are arraying around us, to oppose the triumphs of his grace. The New-York Protestant Episcopal City Mission Society, numbers not yet two months within the period of its existence; and see, Christian friends, what it has done. Suspect it not of rashness, or want of wise forethought and calculation, in embarking in so great an enterprise as that which is this day consummated. It had the counsels of the prudent, the forethought of the cautious, and the decided, approbation and warm encouragement of--I speak it not in a bad sense--the worldly wise. Thus tempered and sanctioned, the most ardent zeal in the cause which piety could raise, and the strongest disposition for godly enterprise, which devotion could excite, might safely be indulged; and the warm greetings which we daily receive, on this our undertaking from fellow members of our Communion, and from Christian friends of every name, and the favorable eye which is cast upon it by the whole community, are additional strong and grateful assurances that we have done right, and have not miscalculated the public sentiment and feeling on the subject. For these things our hearts are raised in gratitude to GOD, who hath hitherto helped us; and over the holy altar which we have now set up, and in humble reliance on his direction, aid, and blessing, we will pledge ourselves to each other and to him, to go on and not be weary in the good work for which a great door and effectual is constantly opening wider and still wider before us.
With hearts thus impressed, my beloved fellow-members of this Society, let us now join our Christian friends, whom we rejoice to welcome to our holy house, in drawing from [5/6] the text reflections on the excellence, the benefits, and the obligations, of that law of the LORD, whose precepts and sanctions will, we trust, for ages, go forth from this place to do their blessed work in promoting the temporal, spiritual, and eternal welfare of our race.
"The law of the LORD is perfect."
This can be predicated of nothing human. Some deficiency, and something that were better otherwise, appear in every thing of man's device. Even in the very best human laws, the impossibility of meeting every case, enforcing every point of duty, and guarding effectually against every sort and degree of evil, shows their imperfection.
Not so with the law of the LORD. At all times, in all places, and under all circumstances, it is applicable and sufficient. No one can be so situated as that it will not reach his particular case. There is not a duty to GOD, calculated to insure the salutary practical influence of the reverence, fear, and love of him, which it does not enjoin. There is not a virtue that can adorn the human character, or is connected with human happiness, which it does not enforce. There is no departure from strict religious and moral purity and propriety, in thought, word, or action, which it does not forbid.
Thus perfect in its requisitions, the law of the LORD is not less so in its sanctions. It holds up ETERNITY to view--its happiness--the joy of heaven--to the obedient; and its misery--the torments of hell--to the disobedient and refractory.
Nor only in its requisitions and sanctions, but also in the means of ability to conform to it, which it reveals, appears the perfection of the divine law.
Addressed to man in his weak and depraved nature, it shows how he can obey it. It reveals the gracious promise of divine aid, and the mode in which that aid is to be sought [6/7] and cherished. In prayer, holy reading, and meditation, and the services and ordinances of the Church, it exhibits means, which, applied with faith, humility, and sincerity, have promise of the directing, aiding, and sanctifying grace of GOD, for gradually removing the corruption, and strengthening the weakness, of our nature; that thus the path of virtue and religion may be pursued, and man be faithful in the service of his Maker.
And that this fidelity in the law of the LORD, though necessarily very imperfect, owing to that frailty of our nature which can never, in this world, be wholly overcome, may still be attended with the cheering hope of its acceptableness to him, it reveals the mediation of the Eternal Son, purchasing pardon on repentance, and providing a perfectly meritorious intercession in behalf of those who trust in it, with a lively operative faith.
"The law of the LORD is perfect;" and its perfection in its requisitions, its sanctions, and the means of ability to obey it, and the procuring cause of acceptance, which it points out, fits it for the great and eternally momentous work of "converting the soul."
Truly melancholy and humiliating is the view which observation and experience give us of the human soul. Biassed by unholy prejudices, corrupted by unholy passions and inclinations, and defiled and enervated by iniquity, it presents conclusive evidence of depravity and guilt.
In this natural state of his heart, unable to cleanse himself from the guilt, and rescue himself from the dominion, and the eternal consequences of sin, man, impetuously pursuing a course of iniquity here, is hurried on in the sure and certain road to endless misery hereafter. This his lost estate excites the compassion of his GOD. He gives a law which can convert the soul. Full and pure in its requisitions, it reveals the course of religious and moral duty in which man is to walk, resisting the blind guidance of his [7/8] depraved nature. Awful in its sanctions, it urges every motive that can command assent, and engage the most wiling, devoted, and earnest attention. It directs to efficient means for strengthening human weakness, and resisting human depravity; and discloses the great mediation through which humble, sincere, and faithful endeavors will be accepted and rewarded. Thus it makes every provision for the conversion of the soul--its release from the degrading bondage of sin here, and deliverance from its awful punishment hereafter.
Therefore he is inexcusable who continues in an unconverted state. If it was left to himself to convert his soul, he might well give up the undertaking, and sink in despair. But he has the offer of divine aid. The perfect law of the LORD is propounded to every man, and preventing grace, conferring ability to choose it for his guidance, and to enter on the observance of it, given to every man to profit withal. This improved, the means of continually directing and aiding grace are appointed for all. Faithful application to these, and improvement of the grace with which they are blessed, has promise of the conversion and sanctification of the soul.
Let us, then, brethren, seriously ask ourselves--for it is an eternally momentous question--whether the law of the LORD has had its converting influence on our hearts; if it has made us love him and his service above all things, and seek the testimony of a good conscience, and an humble sense of divine approbation, before all earthly gratifications; if it has humbled our pride, subdued our vanity, restrained our passions, moderated our desires for earthly pleasures and earthly good, and sanctified our affections and dispositions; if it has produced cheerful resignation under all the dispensations of Providence, and a main anxiety to have them over-ruled to our spiritual and eternal welfare; if it has made us willing to bear, to suffer, and to lose, all things, [8/9] that we may win CHRIST; if it has warmed our hearts, and enlisted our choicest affections, in that characteristic and all-controlling principle of the Christian life, evangelical faith; and if it has animated our chief care and exertions to please GOD, and promote the sanctification and salvation of our souls. If not, the promises of the law are not yet ours, and never will be, unless we repent and amend; we are not yet delivered, and unless we seek that blessing without delay, there is awful danger that we never shall be delivered, from exposure to the wrath to come.
This first mentioned characteristic of the law of GOD, its perfection, is the most general one presented to us in the text, and indeed, comprehends the others, and is illustrated and manifested by them.
"The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple."
We are here called to notice the seal which GOD has set to the truth of his holy law, or system of religion.
This "testimony of the LORD" is to be found in the internal and external evidences of divine origin which the scriptures possess. Their purity, sufficiency, consistency with the nature of GOD and man, and infinite superiority to every system originating in human wisdom, mark "the testimony of the LORD" to their divine origin; and bring sound reason directly to the conclusion, that a miracle must have been wrought on the human mind, before it could devise a system of religion and morals so infinitely surpassing all its other efforts.
To these internal evidences, the law of the LORD adds a reference to extraneous testimony. It .refers to the facts, as strongly established as any historical narrations, that there were such persons as CHRIST and his apostles; that they wrought miracles; that they preached doctrines strange and unwelcome to the world; that they suffered [9/10] persecution and death for asserting facts in which it was impossible for them to be deceived or mistaken; that the religion which they preached encountered along and violent opposition, fomented by the passions and prejudices of the community at large, and sustained by all, the means which power, wealth, and influence, could command; and yet that that religion finally bore down all this opposition, without any other ordinary aid than its moral and spiritual strength.
These are some of the principal external, which, added to the internal evidences of the Gospel, speak "the testimony of the LORD" in its favor. And this testimony "is sure"--strong and convincing to every reasonable mind, and built on evidence, the rejection of which would undermine the whole fabric of human knowledge. It is testimony level to the comprehension of every candid and ingenuous inquirer, and thus justly entitled to the character of "making wise the simple."
But the sure testimony of the LORD is also traced in evidence more immediately interesting to individuals--in the happy experience of a Christian.
When a peace which the world can neither give nor take away; when pious resignation under trials and afflictions; when humble consciousness of the pardon of sin, and of restoration to the divine favor, taking place of the alarm and self-abasement of true repentance; when a holy superiority to the world, its smiles and frowns, its pleasures, its profits, and its ills; when a lively faith, imparting deep interest in spiritual and eternal concerns, and exalted pleasure in the discharge of religious duty; when supreme love to GOD and man, and holy hope, and joyful anticipation of future blessedness--when these affections, dispositions, and emotions, take possession of the soul, sanctify, animate, and cheer it; then the pious Christian has the testimony in himself, the testimony of the LORD, sure and satisfying, that he [10/11] is gracious, and has a favor unto his people. And this testimony is the strongest, as it is then the most needed, when, in the hour of death, the soul rises superior to nature's dread of dissolution, and as the body yields to the awful sentence which consigns it to the dust, is upheld by a hope full of immortality.
"The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart."
The perfect rectitude of the divine law--its freedom from every thing calculated to lead astray from the path of purity, peace, and happiness--is one of its peculiar characteristics. Not a single allowance does it sanction to which the most fastidious can reasonably object. Not a single precept does it inculcate, which is not amply guarded against abuse. The nearest inspection will prove it to be perfectly right, and such as sound reason, considering the nature of GOD and men, and having a regard for his glory, and their dignity and welfare, will entirely approve. And this superior excellence appears more manifest from comparison with whatever has been, or whatever can be, brought into competition with it. Let human systems--and here I mean not those which are formed with a previous knowledge of the excellent things of GOD's law, or under the prevailing influence of Christianity, but those only fair and honest samples of human systems, which have been formed in times when the Gospel was, and places where it still is, unknown--let, I say, human systems be brought into comparison with the religion and morality of the Gospel; and the perfect rectitude of the latter will appear the more conspicuous from the striking contrast.
And possessed of this perfect rectitude, the law of the LORD rejoices the heart of him who follows it. He knows that he is pursuing a path never deviating into error or danger, but leading right onward, through ways of virtue, [11/12] and piety, and of consolation, peace, and joy, to the favor of GOD and his everlasting presence. Surely, then, he will go on his way rejoicing. Pleasures here, which the world can neither give nor take away, cheer and encourage him as he proceeds. Pleasures forevermore, at GOD's right hand, lie at the termination of his journey, and impart all the delights of sure and certain hope.
Nor is this rejoicing of his heart destroyed, although it may, at times, be suspended, and even, for a while, displaced, by the sad influence which sin never ceases to exert over every probationer in this mortal life. He knows in whose grace, he has to trust, and that that, met with a contrite, humble, and faithful heart, is sufficient for him--for the pardon of his sins, for his renewal unto repentance, for the increase of his spiritual strength, for his acceptance through the great atonement, and for his being kept by the power of GOD unto salvation. Still, therefore, clinging with lively faith to the sinner's hope, he goes on his way rejoicing, and the sense of his remaining sinfulness and frailty, only renders him more anxious, and more in earnest, for that better inheritance where sin shall be done away.
Nor do any dark clouds of affliction which may arise, nor any trials of patience and fortitude to which he may be exposed, destroy his confidence that GOD is still his faithful preserver, guide, and friend; that in the ways of his laws, and the works of his commandments, pleasantness and peace will still abound, and an eternal weight of glory yet be attained; and that the very chastisements of his hand, duly received and improved, will, through the kind overruling of his providence and grace, be conducive to future eternal welfare. His soul, therefore, will not be cast down, nor disquieted within him. Hope in GOD, and humble devotion to his service, will still, in all events, and under all circumstances, rejoice his heart.
 "The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes."
As in the natural world, the power of vision is useful and pleasant in its exercise, in proportion to the purity of the medium through which objects are presented, so in the moral and spiritual world, the purity of the divine law enlightens the eyes of the soul to discern the path of duty. It unfolds the graces and virtues which adorn and exalt the human character, and contribute to human happiness; and draws beams of pure and heavenly light from the resplendent attributes, and the perfect character, of the great Supreme. Its illumination shows us every thing conducive to holiness and true happiness here and hereafter. It reveals more important and delightful truths, and guides us to more perfect and interesting knowledge, than all the light afforded by human science. The infinite perfections of the triune GOD, the divine mediation through which the favor of that GOD is to be obtained, the conditions of the salvation thus purchased, the source and means of ability to perform them, and the eternal reward which awaits them, are subjects of indescribable grandeur, and infinite moment, in which the law of the LORD only can enlighten the mind. And the practical knowledge of these points can be our only security, from the degradation and misery of sin; and can alone give full experience of the dignity, purity, and happiness, of virtue, and religion; and deliver us from the everlasting wretchedness, and exalt us to the everlasting glories and joys, of futurity.
"The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever."
That "fear of the LORD," which, founded on a just sense of his attributes, leads to the true service of him, "is clean"--is holy--unmixed with hypocrisy and deceit. As the fear of one who is not a hard and cruel master, it is pure from base and servile, and from ungrateful and selfish [13/14] motives. Cherished by the truly faithful, and manifested in their profound reverence of his nature, affectionate awe of his justice and power, and holy care to avoid offending him, the imperfection still attaching either to itself or its practical influence, will be overlooked, through the mercy of the atonement, and it will be accepted, as if possessed of meritorious purity and efficacy.
It endureth for ever--is a perpetually controlling principle in this life, and will be one of the motives inspiring the humble and grateful services of the Church triumphant.
"The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether."
The statutes and ordinances whereby that probation is exercised, through which we are to pass to the bar of our Almighty Judge, "are true and righteous altogether," comporting with the nature of both GOD and man, illustrating his infinite justice and mercy, and placing us in the most advantageous situation which our depravity and moral agency will admit. And if we evince not here, by sincerely and faithfully complying with them, that they are duly estimated, and thoroughly adopted, as the rule and measure of our character and conduct; when we are called to be tried by them, the full view of their excellence will bring dreadful conviction how true and righteous is the judgment that will consign us to the indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, which will be the penalty of the neglected and violated law of our just and holy GOD.
"More to be desired are they"--this "perfect law," these "right statutes," this "pure commandment," and these "true and righteous judgments"--"more to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb."
This is the sentence of true wisdom. What good can all [14/15] the riches and delights of this world afford, save in connexion with the faithful service of the LORD? A dream of pleasure, often but a short respite from the keenest disappointment, in this life; and in the next, the awful reality of the punishment of means neglected, and of blessings ungratefully received, and wickedly abused. The most abundant profits, and the sweetest pleasures, in this world, must soon, very soon, be left for ever. The service of GOD, to which all earthly good may and should be rendered instrumental, ministers the purest happiness here, and extending its blessed influences beyond time, secures eternal welfare. Surely, then, nothing can compare with it in the degree of desire with which it should affect the mind, or in the diligent, faithful, and unwearied application to it, in which that desire should be manifested.
"Moreover, by them is thy servant warned."
Be this, my brethren, our language of humble compliance, sincere devotion, and faithful endeavor. Very serious and pointed are the warnings with which the law of the LORD is replete. Seek we unalloyed happiness, and real and permanent enjoyment? It warns us that they are not to be had in this world. Confirming the melancholy evidence of daily experience and observation, it cautions us to beware how we trust too fully, or with too much confidence, in any of those sources of enjoyment which health, wealth, pleasure, or even the tenderest and best of our earthly affections, open to us; but which, not unfrequently with awful suddenness, and when least expected, are closed for ever. But still it tells us that there are durable and unmixed pleasures, and that there is fulness and perfection of joy, which may yet be ours. It points to their abode in the presence of GOD, and at his right hand in heaven; and warns us that there, and there only, they can be found.
Still, however, there is real enjoyment to be had, even in [15/16] this changing and uncertain world. If we would find it, the law of the LORD warns us to seek it only in that moderate and chastened pursuit of worldly pleasures, profits, and honors, which retains a perpetual recollection of their transitoriness and insufficiency, their worthlessness, as objects of the supreme regard and attachment of intelligent and immortal beings, and their danger if allowed to supersede a care for spiritual and eternal things, and which, therefore, removes from them the sting so often bound up with earthly joys. It warns us, too, that the purest and most satisfying pleasures, even in this life, flow from the devout and benevolent affections which exalt our nature, confer the most elevated happiness, exercise the noblest feelings of the heart, and open to it those strong and sufficient consolations, which, even in the midst of disappointment, grief, and privation, light up pure and holy joy.
If, however, we perversely go on in the wayward and sinful indulgences of our corrupt nature, the law of the LORD gives dreadful warning of our danger. It tells of the everlasting wretchedness which is the just condemnation of the wicked; and would impress upon us the alarming truth, confirmed by daily mournful observation, that very suddenly and unexpectedly, the dread event which we have often seen remove from our view the young, the healthy, and the gay, may place us for ever beyond all possibility of fleeing from this tremendous wrath to come.
If, alarmed by such considerations, or influenced by a merely decent respect for religion, we make profession of it, and embrace its form, without being fully swayed by its purifying and life-giving power--that power which exerts a sovereign control over all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind, and successfully keeps down the interfering influence of the world, the flesh, and the devil; the law of the LORD warns us that this will not do, but that unless we change this formal, for a vital and all-controlling religion, [16/17] we have not that religion to which the promises are made, or in which we can hope to escape the terrors of GOD's pure and righteous law. O, then, brethren, let us give up ourselves to be warned, and warned effectually, by the laws of the LORD. Then may we humbly and surely hope to experience the blessed truth, that "in keeping of them there is great reward."
Our kind and merciful GOD does not bid us serve him for nought. In all situations, and under all circumstances, a great reward attends fidelity to him. The temporal blessings of his providence are doubly conducive to the happiness of his humble and faithful people. Joys the most grateful to a virtuous mind flow from the exercise of the noble spirit of generosity, kindness, and benevolence, which is invariably connected with the genuine influence of religion. In sorrow and in trial, GOD's perfect law soothes, cheers, and animates, with the purest consolation, and the most efficient support. In every circumstance of life, peace with GOD, with the world, and with his own soul, is the blessed privilege of the faithful and the obedient. The various acts and exercises of communion with GOD, the diligent and attentive study of his law, and devout meditation on its sublime and holy principles and precepts, impart to the character an elevation above the world, and a foretaste of the perfect happiness of heaven. And when the departing spirit of the righteous is cheered in the loss of all earthly hopes and joys, is calm amid the dread visitations of the king of terrors, and enters the world unknown under the animating influence of a hope full of immortality, most truly can it attest, that "in keeping of them there is great reward."
And blessed indeed will be their experience of the same truth, who, admitted to the salvation purchased by the atonement in which they cherished a true and living faith, and the conditions of the blessings of which they, through grace, [17/18] faithfully performed, will enjoy for ever the immediate presence of their GOD, and Saviour, and for ever be partakers of the happiness of heaven.
Brethren, shall we share with them this blest experience? It is for us to decide, and the decision must be made without delay. The law of the LORD is before us, in all its perfection. Grace is offered to enable us to keep it. The merit of the Saviour is provided to remedy the imperfection and demerit of our services, and secure for them, if faithful and sincere, divine acceptance and reward. The time for us to avail ourselves of these privileges is rapidly passing off. And let us remember, if we partake not in their experience, who, in heaven, will know assuredly that in keeping the law of the LORD there is great reward; there will be but one other everlasting state--the state of those who will sink under the avenging curse of that GOD, to whose righteous laws they refuse full, faithful, and devoted obedience.
Such, my brethren, in its full and varied influence, is that law of the LORD, to diffuse the knowledge and practice of which this holy temple has now been solemnly set apart. Conformably to ancient and godly usage, it becomes also a monument to the memory of the inspired men, who, as "the Holy Evangelists," GOD's honored agents for giving to the world the record of his Son, have, with the other penmen of the New Testament, unfolded that law in all its comprehensive fulness, and all its celestial purity. Thus full and thus pure, as the law of faith, of that living faith of the Gospel whence only true piety and morality can flow, the law of the LORD is here to be explained, its motives urged, its sanctions unfolded, and all the strong inducements to compliance with it, which heaven and hell can furnish, brought forward, for the benefit of all sorts and conditions of men. The doors of the Mission-Church are thrown widely open. All that will come may come. No [18/19] money and no price will be demanded of them. Free-will offerings, indeed, they will have constant opportunities of making; but no privileges will be suspended upon them. And by the pious operations of this Society, in its various departments, and especially by the services reasonably to be expected from the known fidelity, devotion, and disinterestedness of the appointed Missionary, efforts will not cease to be made to search out proper objects of this heavenly charity, and even, in the constraining love of CHRIST, to compel them to come in, and be benefited by its blessed influences.
But, brethren. of the congregation, what has now been done in this best of causes, looks to the friends of religion and virtue, of CHRIST and his Church, of social order and civil welfare, and of the temporal, spiritual, and eternal good of man, for substantial evidence that it is approved, and substantial encouragement for the increase, and still wider diffusion, of its benefits. The course of duty, in what we have done, appeared clearly before us. We heard and saw, that the judicious, the pious, the philanthropic, were with us. Raising the eye of faith, we humbly hoped that our GOD and Saviour smiled upon the enterprise, and that the Divine Sanctifier waited to bless it with the abundance of his grace. Could we then hesitate, for one moment, in believing, in knowing, that our hands would be strengthened by our fellow Christians, and those means of making good our engagements, and of still extending our usefulness, for which we depend on the liberality of the community, be freely afforded? Brethren, give now your answer, in the fear of GOD.