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peace and prosperity of the church. "A plea," he observes, "had been set up, that a few years ago, when the church was repaired, the privilege of occasionally inviting the ministers of one or two other religious societies to officiate in it, had been granted to those who contributed to its repairs; and, under this plea, the exercise of the privilege had not only been claimed, but in some cases, actually carried into effect, regardless of the proper authority of the church. As, however, no record of such stipulation existed; as it had never before been heard of, by some, who took an active part in the repairs of the church; and as such grant, if inadvertently made, was contrary to the canons of the protestant episcopal church, and could not there fore be binding; the officers of the church, as guardians of its rights, could not but reject such plea, and maintain the exclusive authority of episcopalians to the edifice, That not only have its rights, therefore, been preserved inviolate, but its interests do not appear to have suffered; and it is, he concludes, a matter of satisfaction to report, that its services are constantly attended by a respectable congregation."

On Sunday, the twenty-eighth of January, 1891, the bishop visited St. Peter's church, Spotswood. And he repeated his visit the twenty-sixth of May following. "The church at Spotswood, always small, and unable of itself to support a minister, has, from this circumstance, and other causes, rather declined than advanced. It is, however, not very different from its former condition. The ancient building, in which the forefathers of the present congregation worshipped God, is now put into excellent repair; and the day, I trust, is not very distant, when it will be supplied, in part, with a minister.

"I visited on Whitsunday (the tenth of June) the congregation of Christ church, at Newton, in Sussex; preached twice, and administered the sacrament of the Lord's supper. This congregation, almost lost to our communion, has, within a few months, revived; and is comparatively flourishing, The reverend Mr. Dunn, their minister, resides in Newton, and officiates two Sundays out of four. The people are attentive, and there is every prospect that its re-establishment will be permanent.

"From Newton, in company with Mr. Dunn, I visited St. James's church, Knowlton. Here I preached, and, assisted by Mr. Dunn, who is the minister of this church also, I administered the communion. St. James's church, though long vacant, was not reduced

to so low an ebb, as the church at Newton, and bids fair, under the smiles of Providence, and the care and exertions of its pastor, to become one among the large and respectable churches in the diocese."

June 24. The bishop visited St George's church, Pennsneck. This church was placed under the pastoral care of Mr. Cadle, the seventh of November, 1820, previous to which, it had, with a small exception, been vacant nearly thirty-five years. It now consists of thirty families, has a neat brick edifice for publick worship, nearly new, a considerable fund also, and is increasing both in numbers and piety.

July 1. The bishop visited St. Mary's church, Colestown, near Burlington, and preached to a numerous, respectable, and attentive congregation. "This church," he says, "though vacant, with some exceptions, for many years, has, in common with the other vacant congregations, been occasionally served by missionaries and the clergymen of the neighbouring churches. In consequence of which, it has not only been preserved to our communion; but has suffered little or no diminution. The day is not far de tant, I hope, when, with the divine blessing, it will enjoy the stated administration of the word and sacraments." Facts of this kind are worth volumes to show the importance of making exertions for the support of missionaries in destitute parishes.

The last church which the bishop visited, previous to the convention, was St. Michael's church, Trenton. This congregation, "till within the last seven or eight years, quite small, has become one of the most respectable in the diocese, as to numbers, order, and attention to divine service." The number of families is now about seventy-five, and the number of communicants fifty-five. It has a Sunday school, consisting of nearly two hundred pupils, who are managed and taught with much regularity and order. The report of the rector states, "that it is in contemplation to erect a building in the vicinity of the church, for the more commodious arrangement and instruction of the school; and that subscriptions have already been obtained to an amount almost sufficient to defray the expense of it; it further states, that it is but justice to remark, that the pleasing improve ment, abovementioned, has been effected chiefly through the exertions and perseverance of a small number of ladies in the congregation, to whom much gratitude is due." (To be continued in our next.)


The extracts from Klopstock's Messiah will be continued in our next. Lines in memory of a friend will appear soon.



"Knowing that I am set for the defence of the Gospel." Phil. i. 17.

No. 14.]


[No. 2. Vol. II.

For the Gospel Advocate,





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of language, and it is indeed to be lamented that it should sometimes prove so inadequate to the full expression of our ideas; but much greater inconvenience is frequently occasioned by the abuse of language, often from ignorance and inadvertence, but sometimes from a wilful perversion of terms. Among other words which are used at the present day in a very loose and invidious sense, are the terms sect and sectarian, as expressive of theological distinctions. Thus we hear of sects of Christians, and sectarian doctrines. But the Christian world may be considered as a body or society, holding certain doctrines, or agreeing in some common profession of faith, which serves as a bond of union. Those denominations of believers, who differ in certain articles of faith from this great body of Christians, who have at all times and in all places, held such articles as of primary importance, may properly enough be termed sectarians; because by these errours of belief they cut themselves off from the general communion of the Christian world. This idea is frequently lost sight of, and it would be amusing, were not the subject of too serious a nature to admit of levity, to hear our modern la 6


titudinarians, who have stripped Christianity of almost every thing which distinguishes it from deism, talk with so much gravity of doctrines as being sectarian, which are, and have been,

from the earliest times, considered as catholick doctrines, and are received as such by all who call themselves Christians, except a handful, comparatively speaking, of persons who are engaged with a zeal, which would do credit to a better cause, in endeavouring to involve the plainest and most fundamental doctrines of our religion in doubt and perplexity. Thus we have lately heard some hymns condemned as being sectarian, because they inculcated the catholick doctrines of the atonement and divinity of our Saviour, "the life and blood," to use the words of a respectable English divine," of the Christian system." What an abuse of language must he be guilty of, who can find fault with a performance for a quality, the very reverse of that, by which it is characterized.

With gentlemen of the modern school, however, every thing, we suppose, which does not coincide with their liberal, or to speak more plainly, levelling views, is to be branded with the name of sectarian, although so far from being liable to that reproach, it may be one of those grand features of Christianity, which no age or country, that has embraced the religion of Christ, has failed to recognize. We cannot

but protest against such a gross and disengenuous perversion of terms, nor can we refrain from cautioning our readers against it. It certainly requires no common degree of assurance for persons who are so obviously exposed themselves to the charge of entertaining sectarian views, which separate them from a vast majority of the Christian world, to bring charges of this nature against those, who are so far from being justly liable to censure on that account. that the very facts, which provoke their auimadversion, prove that it is unmerited.


The necessary duty of family prayer, and the deplorable condition of prayerless families considered. In a letter from a minister to his parishioners. From the first volume of religious tracts of the society for promoting Christian knowledge.

perish in this criminal omission: and perish ye will, without all peradventure, if ye thus keep at a distance from God by a constant neglect of him, and hardening your hearts against him: for the Holy Ghost expressly testifies, that "such as are far from God shall perish;" Psal. lxxiii. 27.; and thereupon concludes, that "it is good to draw near unto God." ver. 28. And the holy scriptures throughout, which assure us, on the one hand, that, "if we seek God, he will be found of us,' do as positively declare, on the other band, that, "if we forsake God, he will cast us off for ever."

This is most unquestionably applicable to every prayerless person, and will, I hope, awaken every one, into whose hands this admonition shall fall, to a conscientious observance of daily prayer, through the grace of almighty God in our Lord Jesus Christ.

But my present design is, to press the daily exercise of prayer in families, without which no family can begin or end any day as they ought; because they neglect that morning and evening sacrifice, which God requires at their hands; and so they incur his displeasure, when they might enjoy his bless

THE neglect of daily prayer is a de-
fault of that high nature, and dismal
consequence, that my desire of your
salvation constrains me, my dear bre-
thren, to try something out of the com-
mon way of my pastoral care, in writing.
ing this letter to you, to endeavour to
reclaim you from it: For to live with-
out prayer, is to live as "without God
in the world;" as if we were sufficient
to preserve and provide for ourselves
in all our concerns, and despised help
from above; and as if we thought our-
selves so perfectly void of sin, that we
needed not God's grace or mercy.
Which is a very high degree both of
impiety and insolence, enough to make
any one tremble that considers it, ex-
cept it be the senseless atheist, if there
be any such monster in the world.

I have very often shown you both the sin and danger of this inexcusable neglect, in my sermons; and now come to leave this standing testimony of my care for your souls at your houses, that I may stand clear of your blood, if ye

St. Paul delivers our Master's will to us, as to this point, in these words: "Put on the whole armour of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." Eph. vi. 18.; which requires our constant performance of all kinds of prayer, in their season, in a spiritual manner. So that if we are wanting in the reasonable or due observance of secret prayer in our closets, or of publick prayer in the congregation, or of private prayer in our families, our Christian armour is not complete, and we lie open, in that respect, to the arrows and batteries of our spiritual enemies, who seek all advantages against us: yea, and we thereby provoke God to deliver us up into their hands, forasmuch as we do not crave his aid, which

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is the only sufficient protection from them. The words of the prophet Jeremiah are very dreadful. Jer. x. 25. Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not upon thy name." This is spoken indeed of the idolatrous heathen; but Christian families, who have not so much knowledge or sense of God's infinite perfections, as to conetrain them to call upon his name by daily prayer, may read that text with trembling hearts, since they degenerate into the sinful stupidity of the heathens as to this; and if they contract the woful guilt, they will be obnoxious to the dreadful punishment. Yea, since Christians sin against clearer light, stricter vows, and more abundant mercies than the heathens, they must expect a greater condemnation.

And here it is fit to be considered by all governours of families, with due regard and application, that those sins which we might have prevented in our families, by our religious government of them, will be most justly imputable to us before the judgment seat of our Lord. For in this we hide the talent of power and authority which our Lord gave us, in a napkin, which ought to have been employed in his service, and for the good of those he had com mitted to our care. And surely, the cries and accusations of persons so near to us as those of our families, will pierce us with a peculiar sharpness in the day in which we must appear together before God, to give account for all that we have done in the body.

The remark of the most reverend archbishop Tillotson is very apposite to this case, and very awful and awakening: "It ought," says he, "to make us tremble, to think with what bitterness and rage our children and servants will fly in our faces in the judgment of the last day, for having been the cause of their eternal ruin, for want of due care, on our part, to prevent it. In that day," continues he, "next to God and our consciences, our most terrible accusers will be those of our own

house; nay, those that came out of our own bowels, and were not only a part of our family, but of ourselves." Consider this effectually, I beseech you, my brethren, whilst it may be preventca; for whosoever has the sepse and bowels of a man, must think such a case intolerable, if he does inoced believe it.

A Christian family is a society of persons that own the same God and Saviour, are obliged by the same religious vows and rules, are agreed in the same worship, encompassed with the same infirmities, sensible of the same wants, and liable to the same dangers ; so that they are all equally concerned to unite their hearts and lips in the same petitions to their heavenly Father, and to solicit his mercy by the combined strength of their faith and prayers; especially considering that our blessed Saviour has made peculiar promises of his gracious presence, "where two or three are met together in his name." Matt. xviii.

How then can a pious master and mistress of a family remain unconcerned in the loss of such daily opportunities of glorifying God, and of receiving benefits suitable to their common necessities; of all which they wilfully deprive themselves and families, whilst they neglect to pray together.

The faithful servants of God are distinguished by their pious household government, both in the old and new testament. Abraham and Joshua, Cornelius and Aquila, stand renowned upon record for the piety of their households, and will remain so to the end of the world. And surely, if the faith and zeal of a good householder be duly vigorous and steadfast, he cannot but delight to call the little assembly of his family together to worship their infinitely good and gracious God, in whose hands their breath is, and from whom cometh their salvation. And such as have experienced the satisfaction and benefit of so doing, will never omit the seasons that are proper for this useful and delightful practice.

It is piety and devotion that principally distinguishes a family of Christians from a but of heathens. Others eat, and drink, and converse together; but Christians worship, and praise, and serve God together, through the mediation of his Son Jesus Christ.

And God blesses such devout families with peculiar blessings. These are the proper means to promote religion and virtue in the several members of the family; and thus they will come to make conscience of their relative and social duties. The just sense of religion will make children respectful and obedient to parents, for the Lord's sake, and will constrain servants to be diligent, faithful, and submissive, to their masters on earth, for the fear of their Master in heaven. And for the same reason will the superiours in such a family be kind, affable, and gentle, towards their inferiours; and thus will the whole family become peaceable, loving, and contented; for the spirit of supplication introduces the spirit of wisdom, holiness, and peace. And withal, they take the true measures to have their lawful undertakings and outward enjoyments both blessed and sanctified.

Thus will a religious family appear honourable to all men, especially to all virtuous and pious people, who cannot but rejoice to behold their pious order, and their Christian fellowship and deportment, and will, with admiration, call them blessed, and affirm, that God is among them of a truth.

But, on the contrary, where the government of a family is not given to God by piety and devotion, it falls of course to the devil, according to the measure of its impiety; which will be apt to advance apace, from the want of a serious acknowledgment of God, and devout application to him; and thus will such a family be apt to grow disso lute, and to abound in vice, discord, and disorder, and to be exposed to many troubles and calamities.

But I would not here be understood to sum up the whole matter of family

religion in daily prayer: there ought also to be frequent reading of God's holy word in a serious and attentive manner, with the use of some plain, approved exposition of it, for the benefit of the more ignorant, when time best admits of it. There ought, likewise, to be an industrious recollection of sermons, in which they may mutually assist each other. They ought to praise God in psalms and hymns together, where they are capable of performing it with decency and convenience. The children and servants ought to be duly catechised. There ought to be a peculiar regard to the Lord's day, in which the master of the family is required, by the express law of God, to look to all within his gates, whether domesticks or strangers, as in the fourth commandment. And there ought to be a just discouragement of vice, and countenance of virtue.

These things are of the greatest importance; for hereby many a person may be brought to a serious sense of religion, even in the defect of more publick ministrations; and may thus also be preserved from the most flagrant contagion of publick debaucheries, and under the most violent rage of publick persecution. And hereby may many a good minister be trained up for the service of the church of God, as we find in the case of Timothy, mentioned by St. Paul, 2 Tim. i. 5. and iii. 15. where the private instructions of a pious mother and grandmother, served to bring up a very good bishop for the church of Christ.

Yea, there cannot be a more effectual means taken to make a nation virtuous and prosperous, than by introducing Christian discipline and devotion into families. Could we bring this to prevail universally among us, in a serious and becoming manner, it would happily introduce that blessed change which has been long desired, and with great cost, pains, and peril, endeavoured by many pious persons among us; I mean, a national reformation, which is the greatest of earthly blessings.

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