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sons fit to be nominated and appointed to the different Orders of the Ministry; but the approving and receiving such persons to any particular Cure, Duty or Parish, when so nominated, appointed, set apart, consecrated and ordained, is in the people who are. to support them, and to receive the benefit of their
Ministry IV. Ecclesiastical State Conventions, or Synods of this
Church, shall consist of the Clergy and one LayDelegate or Representative from each Vestry or Parish, or a majority of the same; and shall be held annually or oftener, at convenient times, to be appoint. ed by themselves; but Fundamental Rules, once duly made, shall not be altered, unless two thirds of the Members duly assembled, shall agree therein.
PREACHED IN CHRIST-CHURCH, PHILADELPHIA, ON FRIDAY,
OCTOBER 7th, 1785,
BEFORE the General Convention of the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the States of New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and South-Carolina. On occasion of the first introduction of the Liturgy and Public Service of the said Church, as altered and recommended to future use, by the Convention.
Wednesday evening, October 5th, 1785. ORDERED, THAT the Rev. Dr. SMITH be requested to prepare and preach a Sermon, suited to the solemn occasion of the present Convention, on Friday next; and that the Convention attend the same, and the Service of the Church, as proposed for future use, be then read for the first time.
Friday, October 7th. RESOLVED, THAT the thanks of this Convention be given to the Rev. Dr. Smith for his Sermon this day preached before themy and that he be requested to publish the same.
AN EXTRACT FROM THE JOURNAL,
DAVID GRIFFITH, SECRETARY.
LUKE, Chap. XIV, ver. 23. And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways
and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
In the parable, of which these words are a part, the unspeakable happiness of the kingdom of God, as begun in the hearts of believers in this world, and to be consummated in the world to come, is represented under the figure of a great Feast, or Supper, to which multitudes were bidden; and the excuses, which they offer for not coming, strongly describe the various obstructions which the Gospel would meet with in its reception among men; from the time of its first promulgation, to that blessed period when the dispersed among the highways and hedges of remotest nations shall hear its Divine call, and “ all the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ !"
To this last universal invitation, or call, our text clearly points; as, in the verses connected with it, we may find a reference to the various preceding calls and dispensations in the gospel economy. Thus, at the 17th verse, when the Master of the House " sent
“ his servant at supper time to say to those who “ were [before] bidden, come, for all things are now
ready;" we may understand the sending of John the Baptist to give the Jews, who were before bid. den, a particular notice to prepare themselves, [by the baptism of repentance] for the immediate reception of the Messiah, and the coming of his kingdom, which was to be speedily preached and first offered unto them! And again, in the sending out a second time to tell them “ the supper was ready and to bid " them come in,” we are led to consider the special offers of this kingdom, which were made to them by the apostles and seventy disciples; while the excuses which they make (“ one having bought a piece of
ground, another five yoke of oxen, and another
having married a wife,”) strongly describe that love of the world and of the things it contains, which had got such fast hold of them, as to leave no room for the spirit of the Gospel, or the words of its messengers to work upon them. Still farther, in the progress of the parable, when the “ Master of the house, being “angry” (at the excuses made by the Jews) rejects them, as unworthy of his heavenly feast because of their carnal and hard hearts, and commands his servant to“ go out quickly" (lest the supper should be lost) “ into the streets and lanes of the city and to
bring in the poor and the maimed, the halt and the “blind;" we may consider the further extension of Christ's commission to his Apostles after his resurrection, to preach to the dispersed Jews as well as the Gentiles in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and in all Judea, &c.
But room being still left at this great Feast, the Lord of the table, who is all benevolence and mercy, being desirous that his whole house should be filled, delivers, in the last place, the truly comfortable and glorious commission in the text
“ Go out into the highways and hedges, and “ compel them to come in, that my house may be 66 filled.”_
Go, my servants, since the Jews, through the hardness and carnality of their hearts, have rejected the repeated invitations which I have given them; since the disperst of their nation and the neighbouring Gentiles are not sufficient to fill my whole house, nor to answer my everlasting purposes of love to mankind, in sending them a Saviour and publishing to them the means of Salvation and Glory—“Go out, therefore, into the highways and hedges*”—Go ye into all the world, and preach the everlasting Gospel to every human creature, without respect of persons, kindreds or tongues. Publish to all nations the joyful tidings of Salvation, “ teaching them and
baptizing them, in the name of the Father, and of “ the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Place before them, in the strongest and most affecting manner, my free overtures of love and grace. Describe to them, in the most fervent and rapturous manner, that divine Feast of joy, that everlasting Supper of blessedness which I have made ready for true believers in my kingdom of glory. Be earnest and zealous in this great work! Take no refusal from them; but by
St. Mat. xxviii. 19, St. Mark, xvi. 16.