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to the ministerial character. These, until I am admitted to the more elevated order of the priesthood and enter more immediately into the sacred connexion now contemplated, I deem it improper for me to discuss.
The youthful heart palpitates with anxious alarm, on approaching the discharge of these solemn offices. Conscious of his numerous imperfections he shrinks before the magnitude of the momentous undertaking
· The faithful servant of the Lord, anxious to give to every one, his portion of meat in due season, will often find himself in doubt respecting the most effectual way of accomplishing this desirable end. Let not then your expectations be too highly raised. Consider that he who now cometh among you is but a man, subject to the same imperfections as others of his sinful race ; destitute of the blessing of heaven, he will be but as sounding brass and a tinking cymbal. Your fervent and united prayers to God for his directing aid are of infinite importance ; Paul may plant and Apollos water, but God only can give the increase.
If unitedly we aim at the cultivation of harmony and love, we may look for the constant blessing of Heaven. Then will minister and people have abundant reason to rejoice in beholding this section of our Apostolic Church flourish as the garden of God. Then may we look forward to those scenes of unutterable delight in the Church triumphant on high ; where the pure flames of heavenly love pervade every bosom; where the benign radiance of the eternal godhead beams with ceaseless lustre.
To aid you in your Christian course, and accompany you in your walks to the abodes of eternal bliss, I trust will ever be my earnest desire ; for I am determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.
I venture to believe that you are sensible, many and great difficulties are attached to the office I have engaged to discharge. This I humbly trust will induce you to co-operate with me in every measure for the advancement of Christianity, and the promotion of the interests of our Holy Church. This too, I presume will induce you to offer your unfeigned prayers to God, that he will at all times afford me the aid of his Holy Spirit.
Little advantage can be expected from the labours of a minister of Christ, while there is a want of harmonious intercourse among the people with whom he is placed. Let then the pure and exalted affection of evangelical love dwell in every bosom. This is the mark by which we are to be distinguished as the children of God; for every one that loveth is born of God and knowcih God, for God is love,
EXTRACT FROM MR. BUTLER'S SERMON, PREACHED AT THE INDUCTION OF THE REV. FREDERICK VAN HORY
INTO THE CHURCH AT BALLTOWN.
This Sermon, tho' sometime since published, has lately fallen into our hands. For soundness of Christian doctrine, and that spirit of piety which should char. acterise every Sermon, it is worthy of perusał by all serious Christians; and that our readers may judge for themselves, a.copious extract is given.
EDITOR. AS the ministerial trust is from God, it is very apparent that in the exercise of it nothing should induce them to depart from his directions; no worldly consideration should cause them to betray their sacred trust: and yet they have many temptations to do so. This gospel that we are authorised to preach, in its doctrines humbles the pride of man, and counteracts the strong propensities of his nature. We cannot therefore expect that it will be well received by all to whom we preach it; and must consequently expect sometimes to meet with opposition and ill treatment in the faithful discharge of our duty. Stubborn and obstinate sinners will not be pleased with a contradiction of their inclinations and vices. But we must remember that we are not to speak as pleasing men, but God, who trieth our hearts. An itch in preachers for pleasing men, instead of pleasing God, has been a fruitful sonrce of error among christians. Unless a minister has fortitude and virtue sufficient to endure the enmity and ill will that a faithful discharge of his duty may raise against him, he is but poorly qualified for his office; an itch for popularity will induce him to gratify his vanity at the expence of his conscience.
At present, my reverend brethren, we are greatly exposed to temptation to deviate from our duty, both on the account of the unpopularity of some of the essential doctrines of our holy religion, and the too general opposition to our authority as ministers of Christ.Although the sober and pious among the Laity will gladly listen to the former, and endeavour to support us in the judicious exercise of the latter; yet it becomes us to remember that the children of this world are not only wiser in their generation than the children of light, but are sometimes more numerous and powerful. This may show us the necessity of supporting each other in the discharge of our duty, both as instructors and governors in the church of Christ. A want of fidelity to each other will betray us to the scorn of the world; introduce anarchy into the Church, and constitute us not only trai. tors to each other, but to our Lord and master. We can be servi. ceable to the world no longer than while we have the esteem of ity and faithfulness to the cause in which we are engaged can alone gain that esteem. To deviate either in doctrine or practice, from the system we have obligated ourselves to support, betrays either a want of principle, or a cowardice that will render us despised by those enemies who might otherwise fear, although they hated us.He who gains popularity by such deviation, is only hoverer to the enemies of the sacred order; they feed him in this way, that others may be caught in the snare. The whole tribe of infidels offer
such an one their incense with the same sentiments and feelings, that the priests and elders of the Jews offered Judas the thirty pieces of silver-that he may betray his master; and when that is effected, they are just as willing that he should go away and hang himselfMr. Nelson says, and I think very truly, “ that the best way for the clergy to preserve that honour and respect which is due to their char acter, is by discharging the duties of their lofession with great zeal and conscience; by behaving themselves with gravity and sobriety, with.meekness and charity, the solid ornaments of their holy function, and the surest method to raise themselves above the reproaches of a malicious world; for true value and esteem is not to be acquired by the little arts of address and insinuation; much less by flattery, and complying with men in their follies; but by steadiness and resolution in the performance of their duties, joined with all that charity and gentleness of behaviour which is consistent with being true to their obligations." It is of the highest importance that we who are placed as watchmen over others walk circumspectly ourselves, that we live that life of purity and holiness we prescribe to the rest of mankind. Let us not be ashamed of real religion, of pi. ety towards God, and of that habitual devotion, without which it can never be possessed. Let us suspect that the too general coldness and indifference we find in our congregations, is owing in some meas. uré, to ourselves. Have we not with the dross thrown away some pure gold? In guarding against the errors of enthusiasm, and the rigid preciseness of puritanism, have we not crred on the other hand, and while we have exposed the danger of relying too much upon the feelings and impulses of the mind in the concerns of religion, not sufficiently attended to that real and heartfelt sorrow for sin, which alone can qualify us for its forgiveness, or guard us in thought from its infection ? Have we with sufficient earnestness and energy pressed upon our people the necessity of a lively, active faith in Christ; of habitual devotion ; of love to God, and that sanctification of spirit, without which we can never relish the heavenly felicity? We doubtles all of us believe these things; but they ought frequently to be inculcated upon the people ; and the surest way to guard them from the common errors of fanaticism, is to teach these doctrines in their native purity and simplicity. Indeed if we can make our people understand the doctrines of Christianity, as they are set forth in the offices of the Church, there will be little danger of conscientious defection.
I do not recollect amongst all the conscientious apostates from the Church, that I have ever seen one who thoroughly comprehended its doctrines. But it is much more difficult to show them the truth, and bring them back after they have embraced error, fallen off, and become prejudiced against the Church, than to instruct and continue them in it before this has happened. So that it becomes us to declare the whole counsel of God; to explain and inculcate all the doctrines and duties of Christianity, and keepnothing back through the fear of men.
To God we have to account for the use we make of the gospel with which he has entrusted us; and how long he will continue us in the exercise of this trust we know not. The present occasion reminds us of the solemn moment when our labours must cease ; when these lips that now hold forth the words of eternal life, shall be closed in the silence of death ; and these hands which administer to others the bread of life, shall themselves moulder into dust. The loss of our worthy brotler, who lately stood here, and occupied this sacred place, not only calls forth our tears of sorrow, but admonishes us to double our diligence in the service of our heavenly master.Never was there more need, than at present, of zeal and diligence among the Clergy. The great pillars of Christian piety and virtue are endangered by the cant of a liberality of sentiment, that makes no distinction between things sacred and profane ; between truth and falsehood; between him who serveth God, and him who serveth him not. And as this rage is violent, the clergy must not expect, while they guard the sacred mounds raised to secure the treasure with which they are entrusted, that they shall meet with no wounds upon their post. Their situation at this time is critical and dangerous; for they are the appointed administrators of the government of the Church and the guardians of its faith. But under all our difficulties in the execution of our office, we have this consolation, that Christ hath promised to be ever with us, and assures us, incommon with other Christians, that if we are faithful unto death, weshall receive a crown of life.
Thus I have endeavoured, in as brief a manner as possible, to sketch out the leading features of the religion we profess; and to suggest in plainness and simplicity of speech, the duties of clergymen. I fatter myself thus far that I have spoken in conformity with the spirit of my text; and I must now beg of the laity, more especially the members of this congregation, to listen a few moments to the same plainness of speech towards themselves. You see, my brethren, that I have admonished clergymen, and yours amongst the rest, to faithfulness in the discharge of their clerical duties. To them I have recommended neither any worldly policy, nor advised them to accommodate themselves to the various religious absurdities which spring up around them; but to preach with boldness the plain truths of the gospel, and endure like good soldiers of Jesus Christ, the dangers and difficulties to which they may be thereby exposed. Permit me now, therefore, to recommend to you the same fidelity in the service of our common Lord; for we are all members of the same body, and have received our respective talcnts; to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. This grace is given to us not only for our own private use and advantage, but that we may exercise it to the edification of the Church ; and is given in such a manner, and in such degrees, as is not only consistent with the good order of the Church, but constitutes that subordination and government, which are necessary to its very existence. “ To the clergy, as such, one measure is given, and to the laity another. The ecclesiastical measure is given for the preservation of the Church, for the exercise of discipline," the preaching of the word, and the administration of the sacraments." The clergy are therefore to be submitted to in the exercise of it, not because they are personally better than other men, but because their office is a gift of Christ; it is on this account that private Christians are directed to submit themselves to them that have the rule over them, and watch for their souls. We must remember that God is the God of order, and has from the beginning appointed divers orders in the Church, and has directed private Christians not only to be subject to them that have the rule over them, but to esteem them very highly in love for their works' sake ; which disposition will prompt you to obey all their lawful injunctions; to assemble with them at the stated times of devotion ; to encourage them in their labours; to support them in the due exercise of their authority; to be tender of their reputation ; and to be forward in administering to their necessities. This is the treatment that is due from the laity to the clergy, and without which it is impossible for them to be good and pious Christians.
- With each other you ought to live in harmony and love, doing as you would be done by, looking with compassion on the failings and infirmities of your brethren, and using every probable mean of reforming them. You should warn them that are unruly ; com. fort the feeble minded; support the weak, and be patient toward all men. None should render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all menBe ye followers of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ hath loved us, remembering that he hath given this rule as the surest test of our discipleship, and has directed those who love him to keep his commandments. In this way you may grow up into him in all things which is the head even Christ. But this we know, and this therefore we onght to tell you, that the unruly and disobedient have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let therefore no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. To teach you the necessity of abstaining from evil, and to help you in the acquisition of pure and holy sentiments and affections, Christ hath instituted his ministry. And we are happy this day to congratulate you on the joyful occasion of your having again appointed over you, by the authority of our blessed Lord, another servant of his, to help you forward in so good a work. And it becomes you most heartily to bless God that he hath been thus gracious to you; with greatful hearts to receive this domestic of your heavenly master, and listen with eagerness to those tidings of peace with which he is charged. He comes to you in a manner that entitles him to your confidence; he is placed over you by Christ's authority; he holds fast the form of sound words, that ancient and venerable faith once delivered to the saints; and has given the Bishop and clergy of the diocese every reason to believe, should it please God, that he will be a faithful labourer in this part of the vineyard of Christ.
Encourage him therefore I beseech you, by bringing forth those fruits of righteousness for which his labours are bestowed. When he unfolds to you the doctrifles and duties of Coristianity, take heed how