MY BRETHREN OF THE CLERGY:
DURING the seventeen years which have elapsed since my consecration to the Episcopal Office in this Diocese, I have addressed to you but two formal Charges. The twenty-seventh Canon of the General Convention recommends that this duty be performed "at least once in three years." But in the addresses which I have statedly delivered to you, at our annual Conventions, I have been accustomed to embrace all those topics which might otherwise have been made the subjects of regular Charges; and have thus fulfilled substantially, as I trust, the requirement of the Canon. The present exigencies of the Church seem to demand, on this occasion, a more emphatic appeal to you; and I gladly avail myself of the more impressive form of a Charge, in the hope of securing your more special attention.
In taking the most cursory survey of the present condition of our Church; and especially if we extend our view to the unnumbered millions who have not yet embraced the Christian faith, our minds are spontaneously directed to the affecting exclamation of our Saviour:--"The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."
 The Annual Addresses delivered by our Bishops to their respective Conventions, constitute the most authentic data for estimating the condition and prospects of our Church. If we examine these documents, we shall find the most pervading sentiments of regret and discouragement to arise from the want of an adequate number of Clergy to supply the existing parishes, and to build up new ones where circumstances call for the effort. Perhaps few Dioceses in our country are better supplied with Clergy than Connecticut; and yet, by a survey, taken in June last, twenty-one parishes were found to be entirely destitute of clerical services and superintendence. Several of these vacancies have since been supplied, but I shall still have to exhibit to the Convention a lamentable deficiency, at the present time.
The wants of the new Dioceses at the West are still more pressing, and the calls for additional Clergy more urgent. Indeed I believe I may say of all our Bishops, that, in the fulfilment of their high duties, the subject which gives them the most solicitude, is the obtaining a number of Clergy anywise adequate to the wants of their Dioceses. One hundred additional ministers would probably be not more than sufficient to fill existing vacancies.
The committees of our Board of Missions feel this want still more sorely. This is especially the case with that committee which is charged with the interests of the Church in the wide-spread region of the West. It is not the want of pecuniary means, but the want of duly qualified Missionaries, which prevents them from responding to the many fruitless calls which are made upon them. Were one hundred such Missionaries now at their disposal, [4/5] they might find situations of usefulness for them all; and I doubt not the Church would cheerfully contribute the necessary means for their support.
The great West is often the theme of conversation, in reference to its extent, its population, its wealth, its resources, and the pecuniary speculations of which it has been the theatre; but its moral and religious aspect presents a still more interesting scene for the contemplation of the Christian philanthropist. Here is a country extending from the Alleghanies to the Rocky Mountains, and from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico; and embracing one of the most fertile regions of our globe. Into this country, a tide of emigration is rushing, with an impetuosity that baffles all calculation. Within the memory of many of those who hear me, this region was regarded only as a vast wilderness, inhabited by wild beasts, and by a few tribes of wandering savages. Forty-five years ago, the only considerable portion of this country inhabited by civilized men, was a little district along the margin of the Mississippi; and the whole region contained a population of not more than 150,000 souls. At the present day, it exhibits the appearance of a vast Empire, and contains near six millions of inhabitants. In the short period of fifteen years to come, it will probably contain more than twelve millions; which will then be a majority of the whole population of the United States. Children now present, may live to see this region embrace one of the most populous, wealthy, and powerful Empires in Christendom.
Brethren, there is a sublimity in this onward march of population and power, which cannot fail to arrest our [5/6] minds, and dispose us to reflection. What are the future prospects, and what is to be the destiny of this gigantic nation? What will be the religious, the moral, the intellectual state of this mighty population, thus suddenly congregated together in a new world? A regard for the temporal welfare of these increasing millions, would induce us to wish to see them in the possession of all the advantages of enlightened knowledge, and Christian morals. A sympathy in their eternal weal, should dispose us to wish to see them blessed with the consolations and the restraints of religion, and with the salutary ministrations of the Gospel. Indeed this is a matter in which the welfare of our common country, and of posterity, as well as the happiness of immortal souls is concerned. From the manner in which the new regions of the West are settled, it is unreasonable to expect that competent provision should yet be made for the support of religious and literary institutions. The emigrants do not go out, like the Pilgrim Fathers of New England, accompanied by their pastors and schoolmasters. Most of them are hardy adventurers, who carry with them only their families, and a bold spirit of enterprise and industry; and the first avails of their labour must be applied in payment for the lands on which they settle. The sparseness of population, and the want of sufficient means, must for a long time retard the establishment of seminaries of learning; and the same causes must produce a destitution of the institutions of religion. Now, in such a country, although the first settlers carry with them the intelligence and virtue of the older States, there must soon be, in the rising generation, a mighty mass of uneducated mind; of mind deriving its [6/7] image and impress from almost every nation of the world; mind liable to be swayed by prejudice, controlled by fanaticism, or led astray by the frenzy of political ambition: but, at the same time, capable of being enlightened by knowledge, and improved and blessed by all the means of sanctification and salvation. It is a question of transcend-ant interest, whether this mass of mind shall be directed to evil or to good 1 Whether it shall be so nurtured and matured as to add virtue, and strength, and stability to our free institutions; or whether a mighty power of ignorance, and infidelity, and violence shall grow up in these wide regions, which, at no distant day, may bring confusion into our national councils, and break up the strong foundations of our national constitution? The problem is of simple solution. Its result depends mainly on the question, whether this country shall be blessed with an enlightened and pious ministry? With such a ministry, its prospects are bright and auspicious; without it, they are gloomy and fearful. This is the efficacious instrument, ordained by heaven, for restraining the destructive passions of men, and for promoting all those liberal and humane institutions which render society estimable, and life desirable. Such is the unvarying testimony of the world's history. If we search through Christendom for that portion of country in which the rights of man are best understood and enjoyed, where salutary laws prevail, where knowledge is generally diffused through the community, where industry and enterprise repose securely on the fruits of their labour, where science and the liberal arts are cultivated and honored, and where religion sheds its hallowed influence over all the enjoyments of life, and looks forward to a happy [7/8] immortality, we shall find that portion of country well supplied with an enlightened, pious, and faithful ministry; and nowhere else--nowhere else, can these blessings be found and enjoyed. Brethren, what an ample field does our Western world present for the salutary influences of such a ministry! How few are the labourers who have entered on the wide domain! How important that many should be found and sent! "Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest."
It has, heretofore, been a question of no small interest in our Church, whether we ought to engage at all in the support of foreign missions, while there are so many vacant parishes in our older dioceses, and while there are such extensive regions in our Western country, inhabited by our own brethren, destitute of the ministry and ordinances of religion, and mainly dependent on us for aid? At our last General Convention, the Church decided this question. She decided that the field was but one--"the world." While she admitted the pressing and paramount claims of the destitute portions of oar own country, she declared that her members had not fully discharged their duty till they had done something towards sending the blessings of the Gospel to the miserable heathen. She refused to set limits to that commandment of the Saviour, which requires us to "preach the Gospel to every creature." Brethren, the Church decided right. Notwithstanding the paucity of our Clergy, they are more abundant now than they were in the time of the Apostles, and primitive Evangelists; and yet, these holy men did not think it right to confine their labours to the cities of Jerusalem, [8/9] Corinth, and Antioch; but freely exposed themselves to "perils by land, and perils by water," to carry the light and the blessings of the Gospel to the heathen of other lands. Doubtless there were many unbelievers and sinners, in the cities they left behind them, as well as many weak Christians, still to be "built up in their most holy faith." This must always be the case, till that period comes, when "all shall know the Lord, from the least unto the greatest," and when "the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters do the sea." But till that day arrives, the injunction of the Saviour is as imperative on us as it was on the first Apostles: "Go yc into all the earth, and preach the Gospel to every creature." Alas, brethren, to how small a portion of mankind is the Gospel yet known! Five hundred millions of the human race, for whom the Saviour died, are even now "perishing for lack of knowledge!" The degradation, the ignorance, and the guilt of these miserable heathen are no less obvi-vious now, than they were near eighteen hundred years ago, when their character was so strikingly delineated by St. Paul; and their condition is no less deserving of our sympathy. When we take a survey of the countries they inhabit, spectacles of idolatry, of superstition, and of suffering, every where meet the eye, and shock the soul. We may see thousands of miserable pilgrims, hurrying to the worship of a wooden Juggernaut; crushing each other to death in the crowd, or throwing themselves before the bloody wheels of the idol, and leaving their bones to bleach on the desolated fields. "On the rivers which flow through their countries, we may see the carcasses of self-murdered fanatics, of aged parents murdered by their children, and of [9/10] infants murdered by their parents, floating down to the ocean to glut the monsters of the deep. We may see the smoke ascending from the funeral-pile which consumes the living widow with the dead body of her husband, and leaves their hapless children doubly orphans."
Such is heathenism! Such is the condition of five hundred millions of human beings, who know nothing of the blessed hopes which the Gospel reveals, or of the duties which it enjoins! We know that there is no hope of their renovation from this degradation and misery, but through the benign influence of the Christian religion. We know that "there is no other name given under heaven among men, whereby they must be saved, than that of Jesus of Nazareth." "But how shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest."
I know it has sometimes been said, that God will convert the heathen, in his own time, without our aid. It is certain that the Almighty can do this. He who rules in the armies of heaven, can certainly do his pleasure among the inhabitants of the earth. He can raise up missionaries from the very stones, to preach his Gospel. He can send his ravens to feed them, or he can rain down manna from heaven for their support. In like manner he can preserve our life and our health, without our care, and make the harvest to grow, though we sow not the seed. But this affects not our duty; and the solemn mandates [10/11] will still remain--"Preach the Gospel to every creature;" "As ye would that men should do unto you, even so do to them." These divine commands solve every doubt, and sweep away every difficulty. Their import and binding force have been solemnly admitted by our Church, and she has publicly acknowledged her obligation to assist, according to her ability, in communicating the light and the blessings of the Gospel to "the nations that are sitting in darkness and the shadow of death."
Brethren; the prospect of this mighty field of labour--a field on which it is our duty to enter--a labour from which we may not shrink--is indeed appalling; especially when we consider the destitution of the Church in our own country. Still it is necessary that we form a just estimate of what is yet to be done for the dissemination of the Gospel, that we fully understand the duty which God requires of us in this matter, and that we be properly impressed with the utter inadequacy of our present means to supply the wants of the Church, and satisfy the claims of the millions who are "perishing for the lack of knowledge."
From data which cannot be questioned, it has been estimated that, in our own country, there are almost four thousand parishes now destitute of settled pastors; that, allowing one minister to a thousand souls, six thousand additional clergy are needed to supply the country, at the present time; and that an increase of five hundred annually, will be required, to supply the increase of population, and the vacancies caused by death. Upon the same calculation, five hundred thousand clergymen would be required to supply the world! How small a portion of [11/12] these numbers can be supplied by the Church to which we belong! It has been further estimated, from authentic data, that notwithstanding the great efforts of other religious denominations to augment the number of their ministry, through the instrumentality of education societies, the increase is still far short of the progressive increase of population; that to send a supply to our western settlements, equal to that enjoyed by the Atlantic States, would require nearly double the number of the present ministry; and that nearly twice the present annual supply would be required to satisfy the increasing annual demand. Alas, where are the missionaries for the five hundred millions of heathen!
Brethren, these are startling calculations. Yet I fear their results are not to be controverted. In the view of these considerations, what is the duty of our Church T How is she to increase the number of her Clergy, in any way proportioned to the demands upon her? These are vital questions, which it behoves her seriously to ponder, quickly to decide, and vigorously to act upon.
I have sometimes been told by intelligent laymen, when pressing this subject upon their attention, that we have no cause of uneasiness--that a supply will always keep pace with the demand. This proposition may be true in political economy; for there, the idea of a demand is always connected with the prospect of pecuniary remuneration. The case is otherwise when privations and sacrifices are required. Fortunately for the purity of the Gospel Ministry, in our country, it holds out few pecuniary allurements to induce men to enter on its sacred functions. Though it requires an expensive education, and a long period of [12/13] laborious preparatory study, the pecuniary compensation of a clergyman is barely adequate to his humble support. The mechanic, who learns his profession at little cost, is better paid, and has greater opportunity of laying up in store an adequate provision for his family. There is, therefore, no pecuniary inducement to call forth a supply proportioned to the demand. But, in this case, the maxim of political economy must be in fact reversed. We must procure a supply, in order to create a demand. It will not do to wait till the parish is organized, the church built, and the clergyman's salary provided. In the ordinary course of affairs, these things would never be done. The presence, the zeal, and the influence of the clergyman are required to effect these arrangements. The first evangelists were not instructed to wait till the way should be thus prepared for them, and they called forth to enter on their ministry. They were to "Go forth into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature."
But, will not a regard for the spiritual welfare of mankind, and a consideration of those future rewards which are reserved for those "who turn many to righteousness," present motives of sufficient cogency to fill the ranks of our ministry with men, qualified by their learning, their talents, and their piety, for the sacred office? Melancholy experience has answered this question in the negative. It has demonstrated how small a portion of our intelligent and educated youth are susceptible to these motives, and controlled by these considerations. The truth is, two great and absorbing passions engross the educated mind of our population;--the love of money, and the love of distinction. These passions are fostered by [13/14] opportunities of indulgence and gratification peculiar to our country. From the stimulants they imbibe, they acquire an intensity and an energy which are known in no other portions of the globe. The alluring acquisitions of wealth, and the eager pursuits of ambition, throw all the gentler occupations of life into obscurity and neglect. Under the influence of these powerful temptations, and the force of this example, it is found that but few of our young men of affluence, education, and intelligence, are disposed to submit to the self-denying avocation of a Minister of the Cross.
The question, then, again recurs, how is our Church to be supplied with a number of Clergy, in any way proportioned to the just demands upon her? As a preliminary condition, she must be thoroughly and feelingly sensible of her wants. I fear that this is not yet fully the case; for I do not witness sufficient solicitude to seek the appropriate remedies. A consciousness of our true situation has indeed become widely diffused, and is still spreading, and acquiring stronger and stronger influence. For this result we are indebted, mainly, to that missionary spirit which has been kindled, and is every where glowing up in our Church. Our Missionary Society, which is springing into such rapid and vigorous growth under the influence of this spirit, finds its operations immediately checked and arrested by the want of duly qualified missionaries. These cannot be obtained at all, without occasioning painful privations in the older dioceses; nor even then, in numbers any way adequate to the wants of our western country; to say nothing of the calls for foreign missionaries. Thus are we brought to realize our lamentable destitution of clergymen. [14/15] It is probable that we should never have learned this fact in any other way. Without any great solicitude, clergymen would have been found to supply such organized parishes as were able to afford them a competent support; and in this way the Church might have dragged on a feeble existence, till it should finally have become extinct through apathy, or overrun and trodden down by the sweeping zeal of other religious denominations.
Under these circumstances, some have supposed that the course of the Church is erroneous; that she should relinquish her missionary operations, and devote all her energies to the most efficacious measures for obtaining clergymen. But the truth is, both objects should be vigorously pursued. They are intimately allied, and mutually encourage and support each other. The one should be done, and the other should not be left undone.
What, then, are the most efficacious measures to which the Church can resort, for obtaining a supply of clergymen commensurate with her wants? I have already adverted to the impracticability of obtaining this supply from the wealthy and educated youth of our communion; partly on account of the few worldly inducements which the profession affords, and partly because of the adverse allurements of wealth and ambition, to which they are peculiarly exposed. But one other resource remains:--young men must be sought in that grade of society which is less exposed to these temptations; and they must be trained and educated for the altars of our Church, by the liberality of her members. This is the point, brethren, to which I have wished to bring your attention. It is the point to which I would wish to conduct the attention of [15/16] every member of our communion; on which I would concentrate his judgment; in which I would enlist his feelings. EDUCATION SOCIETIES, then, judiciously organized, and discreetly conducted, constitute the machinery by which alone the desired end can be accomplished.
This is no new discovery. The machinery has been put in operation by other denominations of Christians, with results which may well arrest our attention. Indeed a large portion of those who, in our own communion, have been admitted to Holy Orders, within the last ten years, have been taken from this rank in society, and have been aided in their education by local associations, or by individual benefactions. The Church Scholarship Society, founded by this Convention, has proved a most salutary institution. Though it has hitherto attracted but little attention, and has received only a very partial patronage, it has already aided 38 young men in the attainment of their education; 11 of whom are now in Orders. At the present time it has 9 beneficiaries. But the subject has not yet engaged the general attention of the Church. It has not yet been sufficiently considered, understood, and felt; nor has any general and united action been called forth in its behalf. At the last triennial Convention, the subject of a General Education Society was indeed brought forward, and favourably received; but so near the close of the session, that no definitive action could be had on it. May we not hope, that before the next General Convention, the subject will be so considered, and so appreciated, as to call forth the zealous and united energies of the Church?
On this subject, brethren, we may take a salutary lesson [16/17] from the operations of the "American Education Society." That Society has been established about twenty years, and has been steadily advancing in prosperity and efficiency. It has its branches in almost every State of the Union; through the medium of which, its funds are raised, and its beneficiaries selected. Since its commencement, it has aided about 2,500 young men in obtaining their education. Of these, about 800 are in the exercise of the ministry--about 50 of whom have gone forth as missionaries to heathen lands. During the past year, the Society has aided 1,040 beneficiaries, viz: 223 in 17 Theological Seminaries; 507 in 35 Colleges; and 319 in 107 Academies. Its receipts have amounted to $63,227. Its total receipts, since its establishment, have been $579,144. Within the last five years, its receipts have been greater than during the fifteen years which preceded them; and its beneficiaries have increased in a still greater ratio. It now sends, annually, into the ministry more than one hundred of its beneficiaries. With these great results, it is probable, as is frequently intimated, that some low-minded and incompetent persons have been introduced into the ministry. This may have been more especially the case in the early operations of the Society. But such evils are attendant on any system, and can only be avoided by great prudence and circumspection. Certain it is, that in our country, there is nothing in want of wealth to occasion poverty of talents, or degradation of character. Under our free institutions, we have no hereditary Helots. There are no privileged orders, and no distinctions of caste, to destroy self-respect, and inspire ignoble ideas. By means of education, and the refinements which accompany it, [17/18] men of real talents and worth, in all professions, are constantly raised from the lowest ranks in society to the highest. Happily, indeed, we have no other criterion of elevation--unless it be that of wealth, the poorest of all possible tests.
That such a Society is suited to the circumstances of our Church, and necessary to supply its wants, there can be no reasonable doubt. Modified it may be, in some particulars, but long experience has tested the efficacy of its general organization. Indeed, I should deem the operations of such a system peculiarly in consonance with the organization of our Church. Like the legislation of our General Convention, and the operation of our Missionary and Sunday School systems, it would serve to unite more closely the several dioceses, and give union, strength, and efficiency to all her efforts for the advancement of a primitive and pure Christianity.
But, brethren, in considering the most efficacious means of increasing the Ministry of our Church, I have to call your attention to a subject not less important than the establishment of Education Societies. I mean the education of our youth under auspices favourable to the Church.
This subject has not yet been considered by Episcopalians with the attention which it merits. It has not been discussed with sufficient interest, nor have we yet learned that instruction which past experience might afford. It is only within a very few years, that any of the literary institutions of our country have been under the particular direction of Episcopalians. On the contrary, the whole course of literary education, from the primary school upwards, has been administered by instructors, who, [18/19] whatever may have been their qualifications, or private worth, could have had no possible motive or interest in advancing the prosperity of our Church, or in directing the attention of our youth to the work of the ministry at her altars. On this subject, it may be well for us to contrast the condition of the Congregational Churches of New England with our own destitution. Here, we see no want of ministers to fill the vacant parishes. We see troops of supernumeraries issuing forth as missionaries; some to overspread the plains, and villages, and cities of the West, and some to occupy the islands of the sea, or to penetrate to the darkest corners of the earth. We see, also, numerous agents going forth, full of zeal themselves, and agitating and exciting the population of our country to the support of their religious enterprises. To what causes can we ascribe this plenitude of clerical efficiency, but to the instrumentality of Education Societies, and the potent influence of nine Congregational Colleges, nurturing fifteen hundred students within their halls? Could these Churches have exhibited such results, if their colleges had been under a different ecclesiastical influence? The supposition would be utterly absurd.
I cannot now go into a full illustration of the influence of education in moulding the religious sentiments of youth. Let it be borne in mind, that during the period of his preparatory and collegiate instruction, a young man's religious principles, and the choice of his profession, are generally fixed for life. Let it be borne in mind, that the instructor is an authoritative expounder in all matters of science, and that, when he has the address to secure the confidence of his pupils, his religious sentiments will have almost the [19/20] same weight as his instructions in learning. Let it be borne in mind, that the mode of worship which prevails in a seminary of learning, with the religious sentiments on which the devotions are based, exercise an influence which steals upon the student when he is least aware of it, and at a time when he is most susceptible to religious impressions. Let the influence of literary associates--the influence of public sentiment, be borne in mind; especially as this influence is exerted by the zealous beneficiaries, and candidates for the ministry, which abound in most of our colleges; and especially let it be borne in mind, that the student is subjected to an influence more powerful than all I have named--I mean the influence of Revivals. These excitements have become a part of the religious machinery of almost all the Christian denominations in our country, and they are promoted with peculiar zeal in their seminaries of learning. Of their efficacy in promoting personal piety, and in advancing the cause of true religion, I have not now to speak; but I would direct your attention to the resistless influence which the conductors of them exercise over the religious sentiments of their converts. Brethren, when we consider the combined force of all these influences, and reflect that our Church has been constantly exposed to them, and had to struggle against them, from the first moment of her gaining a footing in this country, we shall cease to wonder at the paucity of our ministry. We shall rather wonder that the Church has any existence at all!
The only remedy for these disadvantages, is to pursue the course which all other Christian denominations have pursued--educate our youth in seminaries friendly to our [20/21] religious principles. In avowing this sentiment, I do not feel myself justly liable to the imputation of narrow or sectarian views. In every literary institution where any religious influence is exercised--and it ought to be exercised in all--it must be mainly that of some particular denomination of Christians. That this is the case in every well-ordered college in our country, and particularly in New England, can neither be concealed nor denied. I speak not of any open, proselyting influence, for that would defeat itself; but of that silent and indirect, but pervading and powerful influence of public sentiment and example, which is inseparable from every such institution. I advocate, therefore, nothing more than the common privilege, which has long been exercised by the other religious denominations in our country.
In this view of the subject, brethren, we may congratulate ourselves on the wisdom and forecaste of those measures which led to the establishment of Washington College, in this Diocese. The institution has been so far endowed, by the public liberality, as to be secure in its permanency, though not beyond the need of further benefactions. The College edifices are substantial and convenient. The Library, including that of the Rev. Dr. JARVIS, which is deposited for the use of the College, is the most select in our country; and second in magnitude only to that of Harvard University. The Philosophical and Chemical apparatus, and the Cabinet of Minerals, are sufficient for the illustration of those sciences. Thus possessing all the necessary means of instruction, and conducted by an able and learned Faculty, I may confidently commend it to the general patronage of the [21/22] members of the Church. Other kindred institutions require and deserve a like fostering care. Even primary schools and academies are not without their religious influence. They, as well as our colleges, are the nurseries of our Theological seminaries. The instrumentality of all must be sought in promoting the general prosperity of the Church; and especially in obtaining clergymen to minister at her altars.
But, brethren, while I would direct your attention to the instrumentality of Education Societies, and of Literary Institutions, as the only way of increasing the ministry of our Church, in a degree at all adequate to her wants, there are other auxiliary means, which are not to be overlooked nor neglected.
Christian parents may do much towards directing the inclinations of their sons to the ministry of the sanctuary. They can dedicate them to God, in their infancy, and rear them up "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." They can be instant in prayer for the renovation of their hearts, and they can lead their minds, and direct their studies to this holy end. Were there more pious Hannahs in the Church, there would be more youthful Samuels consecrated to the service of the Temple. The father of Hannibal was able to inspire his son with an undying hatred to the Romans, when he was only nine years old. Cannot the Christian father be equally successful in filling the heart of his son with a prevailing love for the souls of men, and for the service of the altar?
The Ministers of Christ may do much towards filling up the thin and scattered ranks of their order. They can seek through their Sunday Schools and their Parishes, [22/23] for youth of promising talents, to whom, in the morning of their days, the renewing influences of divine grace have been imparted. They can lay before them the destitutions of the Church, and the spiritual wants of the world; and if they find any who feel themselves moved of God to labour in his vineyard, they can direct their studies, and facilitate their preparation for the work.
But above all, the prayers of the whole Church should be put forth, for the enlargement of her borders, for the increase of her zeal, and for the multiplication of her Ministers. When we consider, brethren, how few are our numbers, in proportion to the work before us; when we look around on our Church, on our country, and on the world, and every where behold the fields "white for the harvest;" when we see how "plenteous" is that harvest, and how "few" the labourers, we should all unite in humble and fervent prayer to "the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest."