Page images

peace and prosperity of the church. "A to so low an ebb, as the church at Newton, plea,” he observes," had been set up, that and bids fair, under the smiles of Providence, a few years ago, when the church was re- and the care and exertions of its pastor, to paired, the privilege of occasionally inviting become one among the large and respectable the ministers of one or two other religious churches in the diocese." societies to officiate in it, had been granted June 24. The bishop visited St George's to those who contributed to its repairs; and, church, Pennsneck. This church was placed under this plea, the exercise of the privilege under the pastoral care of Mr. Cadle, the had not only been claimed, bụt in some cases, seventh November, 1820, previous to actually carried into effect, regardless of the which, it had, with a small.exception, been proper authority of the church. As, how- vacant nearly thirty-five years. It now conever, no record of such stipulation existed ; sists of thirty families, has a neat brick edias it had never before been heard of, by some, fice for publick worship, nearly new, a conwho took an active part in the repairs of the siderable fund also, and is increasing both in church; and as such grant, if inadvertently numbers and piety. made, was contrary to the canons of the pro- July 1. The bishop visited $t. Mary's testant episcopal church, and could not there- church, Colestown, near Burlington, and fore be binding; the officers of the church, preached to a numerous, respectable, and as guardians of its rights, could not but re- attentive congregation. “This church," he ject such plea, and maintain the exclusive says, “though vacant, with some esceptions, authority of episcopalians to the edifice, for many years, has, in common with the That not only have its rights, therefore, been other vacant congregations, been occasionally preserved inviolate, but its interests do not served by missionaries and the clergymen of appear to have suffered; and it is, he con- the neighbouring churches. In consequence cludes, a matter of satisfaction to report, of which, it has not only been preserved to that its services are constantly attended by our communion; but has suffered litlle or a respectable congregation."

no diminution. The day is not far d; tant, On Sunday, the twenty-eighth of January, I hope, when, with the divine blessing, it 1821, the bishop visited St. Peter's church, will enjoy the stated administration of the Spotswood. And he repeated his visit the word and sacraments.” Facts of this kind twenty-sixth of May following. 66 The are worth volumes to show the importance church at Spotswood, always small, and un- of making exertions for the support of misable of itself to support a minister, has, from sionaries in destitute parishes. this circumstance, and other causes, rather The last church which the bishop visited, declined than advanced. It is, however, not previous to the convention, was St. Michael's very different from its former condition. The church, Trenton. This congregation, " till ancient building, in which the forefathers of within the last seven or eight years, quite the present congregation worshipped God, is small, has become one of the most respecta. now put into excellent repair; and the day, ble in the diocese, as to nun!)ers, order, and I trust, is not very distant, when it will be attention to divine service." The number supplied, in part, with a minister.

of families is now about seventy-five, and the Ti I visited op Whitsunday (the tenth of number of communicants fifty-five. It has a June) the congregation of Christ church, at Sunday school, consisting of nearly two hunNewton, in Sussex ; preached twice, and dred pupils, who are managed and taught administered the sacrament of the Lord's with much regularity and order. The report supper. This congregation, almost lost to of the rector states, “ that it is in contein. our communion, has, within a few months, plation to erect a building in the vicinity of revived ; and is comparatively flourishing, the church, for the more commodious ar. The reverend Mr. Dunn, their minister, re- rangement and instruction of the school; and sides in Newton, and officiates two Sundays that subscriptions have already been obtained out of four. The people are attentive, and to an amount almost sufficient to defray the there is every prospect that its re-establish- expense of it; it further states, that it is but ment will be permanent.

justice to remark, that the pleasing improve“From Newton, in company with Mr. ment, abovementioned, has been etfected Dunn, I visited St. James's church, Know). chiefly through the exertions and perseveton. Here I preached, and, assisted by Mr. rance of a small number of ladies in the con Dunn, who is the minister of this church also, gregation, to whom much gratitude is due." I administered the communion. St. James's

(To be coutinued in our nexi.) church, though long vacant, was not reduced

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.

titudinarians, who have stripped Christianity of almost everything which distinguishes it from deism, talk with

so much gravity of doctrines as being We bear much of the imperfection sectarian, which are, and have been, of language, and it is indeed to be la- from the earliest times, considered as mented that it should sometimes prove catholick doctrines, and are received as so inadequate to the full expression of such by all who call themselves Clirisour ideas; but much greater inconve. tians, except a handful, comparatively nience is frequently occasioned by the speaking, of persons who are engaged abuse of language, often from igno- with a zeal, which would do credit to rance and inadvertence, but some- a better cause, in endeavouring to intimes from a wilful perversion of terms. volve the plainest and most fundamenAmong other words which are used at tal doctrines of our religion in doubt the present day in a very loose and and perplexity. Thus we have lately invidious sense, are the terms sect and heard some hymns condemned as being sectarian, as expressive of theological sectarian, because they inculcated the distinctions. Thus we hear of sects catholick doctrines of the atonement of Christians, and sectarian doctrines. and divinity of our Saviour, “ the life But the Christian world may be con- and blood," to use the words of a residered as a body or society, holding spectable English divine, “ of the certain doctrines, or agreeing in some Christian system,” What an abuse of common profession of faith, which language must he be guilty of, who can serves as a bond of union. Those de- find fault with a performance for a quanominations of believers, who differ in lity, the very reverse of that, by which certain articles of faith from this great it is characterized. body of Christians, who have at all With gentlemen of the modern times and in all places, held such ar- school, however, every thing, we sup. ticles as of primary importance, may pose, which does not coincide with properly enough be termed sectarians; their liberal, or to speak more plainly, because by ihese errours of belief levelling views, is to be branded with they cut themselves off from the gene- the name of sectarian, although so far ral communion of the Christian world. from being liable to that reproach, it This idea is frequently lost sight of, may be one of those grand features of and it would be amusing, were not the Christianity, which no age or country, subject of too serious a nature to ad- that has embraced the religion of Christ, mit of levity, to hear our modern la. has failed to recognize. We cannot 6


[ocr errors]

but protest against such a gross and perish in this criminal omission : and disengenuous perversion of terms, nor perish ye will, without all peradvencan we refrain from cautioning our rea- ture, if ye thus keep at a distance from ders against it. It certainly requires God by a constant neglect of him, and no common degree of assurance for hardening your hearts against him : persons who are so obviously exposed for the Holy Ghost expressly testifies, themselves to the charge of entertain- that “such as are far from God shall ing sectarian views, which separate perish;" Psal. Ixxiii. 27.; and there. them from a vast majority of the Chris- upon concludes, that “it is good to tian world, to bring charges of this na- draw near unto God." ver. 28. And ture against those, who are so far from the holy scriptures throughout, which being justiy liable 10 censure on that assure us, on the one hand, that, “if account, that the very facts, which pro- 'we seek God, he will be found of us,' voke their animadversion, prove that do as positively declare, on the other it is unmerited.


hand, that, “if we forsake God, he will cast us off for ever."

This is most unquestionably appli

cable to every prayerless person, and The necessary duty of family prayer, will, I hope, awaken every one, into

and the deplorable condition of whose hands this admonition shall fall, praperless families considered. In to a conscientious observance of daily a letter from a minister to his pa- prayer, through the grace of almighty risbioners. From the first volume God in our Lord Jesus Christ. of religious tracts of the society for But my present design is, to press promoting Christian knowledge. the daily exercise of prayer in families,

without wbich no family can begin or The neglect of daily prayer is a de. end any day as they ought; because fault of that high nature, and dismal they neglect that morning and evening consequence, that my desire of your sacrifice, which God requires at their salsation constrains me, my dear bre. hands; and so they incur his displea. thren, to try something out of the com- sure, when they might enjoy his blessmon way of my pastoral care, in writ. ing. ing this letter to you, to endeavour to St. Paul delivers our Master's will 'reciaim you from it: For to live with- to us, as to this point, in these words : out prayer, is to live as “ without God “ Put on the whole armour of God, in the world;" as if we were sufficient praying always with all prayer and to preserve and provide for ourselves supplication in the Spirit.” Eph. vi. in all our concerns, and despised help 18.; which requires our constant perfrom above; and as is we thought our- formance of all kinds of prayer, in selves so perfectly void of sin, that we their season, in a spiritual manner. needed noi God's grace or mercy. So that if we are wanting in the reaWhich is a very high degree both of sonable or due observance of secret impiety and insolence, enough to make prayer in our closets, or of publick any one tremble thai considers it, ex- prayer in the congregation, or of pricepi it be the senseless aiheist, if there vate prayer in our families, our Chrisbe any such monster in the world. tian arınour is not complete, and we I have


often shown you both the lie open, in that respect, to the arrows sin and danger of this inexcusable neg- and batteries of our spiritual enemies, lect, in my sermons; and now come who seek all advantages against us: to leave ibis standing testimony of my yea, and we thereby provoke God to care for your souls at your houses, that deliver us up into their hands, foras. I

may stand clear of your blood, if ye much as we do not crave his aid, which


is the only suficient protection from house ; nay, those that came out of our them. The words of the prophet Je- own bowels, and were not only a part remiah are very dreadful. Jer. x. 25. of our family, but of ourselves.' Con: “ Pour out thy fury upon the heathen sider this eifectually, I beseech you, that know thee not, and upon the la. my brethren, whilst it may be prevent. milies that call not upon thy name.' cu; for whosoever has the seese and This is spoken indeed of the idolatrous bowels of a man, nust think such a heathen ; but Christian families, who case intolerable, if he does inuceu liehave not so much knowledge or sense lieve it. of God's infinite perfections, as 10 con- Á Christian family is a society of strain them to call upon his name by persons that own the same God and daily prayer, may read tbat text with Saviour, are obliged by the same relitrembling hearts, since they degenerate gious vows and rules, are agreed in the into the sinful stupidity of the heatheus same worship, encompassed with the as to this; and if they contract the same infirmities, sensible of ille same woful guilt, they will be obnoxious to wants, and liable to the same dangers; the dreadful punishment. Yea, since so that they are all equally concerned Christians sin against clearer light, to unite their hearts and lips in the stricter vows, and more abundant mer- same petitions to their heavenly Father, cies than the heathens, they must ex. and to solicit his mercy by the compect a greater condemnation.

bived strength of their faith and prayAnd here it is fit to be considered ers; especially considering that our by all governours of families, with due blessed Saviour has made peculiar proregard and application, that those sins mises of his gracious presence,

" where which we might have prevented in our two or three are me! together in liis families, by our religious government name.” Matt. xviii. of them, will be most justly imputable How tben can a pious niaster and to us before the judgment seat of our mistress of a family remain unconcernLord. For in this we hide the talented in the loss of such daily opportuniof power and authority which our Lord ties of glorifying God, and of receiving gave us, in a napkin, which ought to benefits suitable to their common nehave been employed in his service, cessities; of all which they wilfully and for the good of those he had com deprive themselves and families, whilst mitted to our care. And surely, the they neglect to pray together. cries and accusations of persons so near

The faithful servants of God are dis10 us as those of our families, will tinguished by their pious household pierce us with a peculiar sharpness in government, both in the old and new the day in which we must appear to- testament. Abraham and Joshua, Cor. gether before God, to give account for nelius and Aquila, stand renowned all that we have done in the body. upon record for the piety of their house

The remark of the most reverend holds, and will remain so to the end archbishop Tillotson is very apposite of the world. And surely, if the faith to this case, and very awful and awaken- and zeal of a good householder be duly

“ It ought,” says he, " to make vigorous and steadfast, he cannot but us tremble, to think with what bitter- delight to call the little assembly of his ness and rage our children and servants family together to worship their infiwill fly in our faces in the judgment of nitely good and gracious God, in whose the last day, for having been the cause hands their breath is, and from whom of their eternal ruin, for want of due cometh their salvation. And such as care, on our part, to prevent it. In have experienced the satisfaction and that day,” continues be, “next to God benefit of so doing, will never omit the and our consciences, our most terrible seasons that are proper for this useful accusers will be those of our own and delightful practice.


It is piety and devotion that princi- religion in daily prayer: there ought pally distinguishes a family of Chris- also to be frequent reading of God's

a tians from a hut of heathens, Others holy word in a serious and attentive eat, and drink, and converse together; manner, with the use of some plain, but Christians worship, and praise, and approved exposition of it, for the beneserve God together, through the me- fit of the more ignorant, when time diation of his Son Jesus Christ.

best admits of it. There ought, likeAnd God blesses such devout fami- wise, to be an industrious recolleclies with peculiar blessings. These tion of sermons, in which they may are the proper means to promote reli- mutually assist each other. They ought gion and virtue in the several members to praise God in psalms and hymns of the family ; and thus they will come together, where they are capable of to make conscience of their relative performing it with decency and conanıl social duties. The just sense of venience. The children and servants religion will make children respectful ought to be duly catechised. There and obedient to parents, for the Lord's ought to be a peculiar regard to the sake, and will constrain servants to be Lord's day, in which the master of the diligent, faithful, and submissive, to family is required, by the express law

, , their masters on earth, for the fear of of God, to look to all within his gates, their Master in heaven. And for the whetber domesticks or strangers, as in same reason will the superiours in such the fourth commandment. And there a family be kind, affable, and gentle, ought to be a just discouragement of towards their inferiours; and thus will vice, and countenance of virtue. the whole family become peaceable, These things are of the greatest im. loving, and contented; for the spirit of portance ; for hereby many a person supplication introduces the spirit of may be brought to a serious sense of wisdom, holiness, and peace. And religion, even in the defect of more withal, they take the true measures to publick ministrations; and may thuş have their lawful undertakings and out- also be preserved from the most flagrant ward enjoyments both blessed and contagion of publick debaucheries, and sanctified.

under the most violent rage of pụblick Thus will a religious family appear persecution. And hereby may many honourable to all men, especially to all a good minister be trained up for the virtuous and pious people, who cannot service of the church of God, as we but rejoice to behold their pious order, find in the case of Timothy, mentioned and their Christian fellowship and de- by St. Paul, 2 Tim. i. 5. and iii. 15. portment, and will, with admiration, where the private instructions of a pious call them blessed, and affirm, that God mother and grandmother, served to is among them of a truth.

bring up a very good bishop for the But, on the contrary, wbere the gov- church of Christ. ernment of a family is not given to Yea, there cannot be a more effecGod by piety and devotion, it falls of tual means taken to make a nation vircourse to the devil, according to the tuous and prosperous, than by intromeasure of its impiety ; wbich will be ducing Christian discipline and devoapt to advance apace, from the want of tion into families. Could we bring this a serious acknowledgment of God, and to prevail universally among us, in a ,

, devout application to him; and thus serious and becoming manner, it would will such a family be

happily introduce that blessed change lute, and to abound in vice, discord, which has been long desired, and with and disorder, and to be exposed to great cost, pains, and peril, endeavourmany troubles and calamities.

ed by many pious persons among us ; But I would not here be understood I mean, a national reformation, which to sum up the whole matter of family is the greatest of earthly blessings.


to grow disso:

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »