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SERMON XXIII.

FIRST PREACHED SEPTEMBER 17, 1792, IN TRINITY-CHURCH,

NEW-YORK; BEFORE the General Convention of the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the United States of America :

AT THE CONSECRATION OF

THOMAS JOHN CLAGGET, D. D. As Bishop elect, for the said Church, in the State of Maryland. PREACHED ALSO, IN SUBSTANCE, AT THE FOLLOWING CON

SECRATIONS, ViZ....of
ROBERT Smith, D. D. for South Carolina, Sept. 13, 1795.
AND EDWARD BASS, D. D. for Massachusetts, and New-Hamp-

shire, May, 1787.
Both the last in Christ-Church, Philadelphia.

Extract from the Journals of the General Convention, of the

Bishops, Clergy, and Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the United Stated of America, held at New York, viz,

Monday, September 17, 1792. “ In the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies; Resolved, una"nimously, that the Thanks of this House be given to the Rev. “ Dr. Smith, for his Sermon, delivered this day in Trinity“ Church, at the Consecration of Bishop Clagget; and that he “ be requested to furnish a Copy of the same for Publication.

“ In the House of Bishops. Wednesday, September 19th, “ 1792. The House received a Message from the House of “ Clerical and Lay-Deputies; Requesting the Concurrence of “ this House, in a Resolve of Thanks to the Rev. Dr. Smith, “ for his Sermon delivered before them, on occasion of the Con. " secration of Bishop Clagget, and that he be requested to “ furnish a Copy of the same for Publication."

" Resolved, That this House do concur in the same."

SERMON XXIII.

2 TIMOTHY, Chap. IV, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who

shall judge the Quick and the Dead, at his Appearing, and his Kingdom-Preach the Word : Be instant in Season, out of Season; Reprove, Rebuke, Exhort with all Long

Suffering and Doctrine. For the Time will come, when they will not endure sound

Doctrine; but, after their own Lusts, shall they Heap to themselves Teachers, having Itching Ears. And they shall turn away their Ears from the Truth, and shall be turned

unto Fables. But Watch thou in all things; Endure Afflictions; Do the work of

an Evangelist ; Make full Proof of thy Ministry.

Right Reverend Fathers, Reverend Brethren, and Re

spected Fellow Citizens, here assembled!

WHILE, in one point of view, I consider the Nature of the Holy Solemnity and Work, upon which we are about to enter, and feel, as I do, the Weight of the Part assigned to Me, on the occasion; (namely to delineate, and give in Charge to the Brother now to be consecrated, the important Duties of a Bishop, or Chief Pastor, in the Church of Christ) I might well be deterred in looking forward to my task! But, in another point of glorious view, I am encouraged to proceed, when I consider that I have

an Apostle, even St. Paul, the Prince of Apostles, as my leader and guide. For his second Epistle to Timothy, from which my text is taken, is nothing else but a Solemn Charge, and one of the first recorded in the Annals of Christianity-applying, at all times, and under all circumstances, to every Preacher of the Gospel, of every rank and denomination Ministers, Pastors, Elders, Bishops,--by whatsoever name they may wish to be called!

Thus guided and supported, I rise with some degree of Confidence; animated, rather than deterred, by the Venerable, but Indulgent, Presence of my Clerical Brethren, and Fathers; likewise by the joy. ful attendance, the exulting expectations, of the LayMembers of our own Church, on an occasion so long desired, so devoutly prayed for by them, as the present; together with the appearance of such a crouded Audience, of various other denominations of professing Christians; drawn together, many no doubt for Instruction; others, perhaps, from Curiosity, to wit. ness a new scene in America; namely, the First Consecration of a Bishop for a Protestant Church by an authority within itself acknowledged to be valid, and sufficient to relieve it from any future Necessity of sending its Young Candidates for the ministry, across a Vast Ocean for receiving Holy Orders.

Therefore, thus guided and supported in my part of the duty, I rise (as I said before) not only with some degree of Confidence, but even with full Hopes, from the long experienced Candour and Indulgence of my Brethren in the Ministry, that where I may fall short of their Expectations, it will be ascribed

to the true Cause-Want of Ability,--rather than Want of Zeal, or earnest endeavours to do better, were it in my power.

To proceed, then, my first Address should be to you, my Venerable Brother, elected for the Office of a Bishop. A long Acquaintance and a happy Intercourse with you, in the Exchange of good Offices for the support of our Church, and for strengthening the hands of our Brethren in the ministry, during my residence of eight or nine years, in the state of Maryland*; as well as other good considerations, render it unnecessary for me to say much on this

part

of

my subject.

Of what concerns the duties of a Bishop, or a Chief Pastor, St. Paul's Epistles to Timothy and Titus, have been always considered, as the true primitive uncorrupted Depositary ; nay, indeed, the lu. minous source of Instruction, to all Preachers of the Gospel, at all times and under all circumstances, as already suggested.

My Paraphrase, however, will be chiefly confined as I said before, to his second Epistle to Timothy, from which our text is taken, and which was written under peculiar circumstances, near the close of his life; when he was a Prisoner, and in Bonds at Romecalled in question for the Faith of Christ, before the cruel Nero; at a Time, too, when he saw Persecutions springing up from without, and Divisions, Heresies and Corruptions, from within the Church; and lastly, at a Time when he saw and believed that

See before, Sermon XX.

his own departure, or dissolution from the Body, was near at hand; and, therefore, he directs this last and parting Charge, as a Legacy of Spiritual Instruction, to Timothy, in the fulness of Love and Zeal for his future Prosperity and Success in the Propagation of the sound Doctrine of the Cross of Christ!

Considering Timothy, as one in whose Character and Conduct he was deeply interested; calling him his Beloved Son in the Gospel, of tried and unfeigned Faith; of whom, without Ceasing, he had Remembrance in his Prayers, night and day; he charges him “to stir up the Gift of God, which was in him, by the putting on of [his] an Apostle's hands.” The charge runs as follows

Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, according to the Promise of Life, which is in Christ Jesus:

“ To Timothy, my dearly beloved son; wishing him Grace, Mercy and Peace, from God the Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord,” &c.

After this interesting Exordium, St. Paul proceeds through the three first Chapters of this Epistle, exhorting and pressing Timothy, by all the Ties and Duties of a Son to a Father, “ to be strong in the Grace that is in Christ Jesus, and to commit the things which he had heard from Him, among many Witnesses, to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also; and to be ready to endure Hardships, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ; because no man that warreth, should entangle himself with the affairs of this life, if he would please Him, who hath chosen him to be a Soldier-Consider what I say, and the

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