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conduct our undertaking either with vigour or success. The arguments which address themselves to your liberality are of the most interesting and solemn kind. As the friends of vital religion, you cannot be supposed either to forget, or to disregard, the importance of the christian ministry, to yourselves, to your families, to your country, and to the church of God. But we wish you to be distinctly apprized, that without prompt and vigorous measures to add to the number of our pious and faithful ministers, the best interests of our church, in all human probability, must deplorably languish. Many congregations, now large and promising, must fall into decay and dissolution; and thousands of immortal souls, now crying for help, must be left to perish for lack of knowledge. Ye who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity! in contemplating such an awful alternative, is not your tenderest compassion excited, your holy emulation roused, your zeal inflamed, and your love to the Redeemer's kingdom called into lively and beneficent action? To be unaffected with such melancholy prospects, would betray an insensibility of which you cannot be suspected. To repose in sloth when there is so much to be done, is unworthy of those who consider themselves as not their own, but bought with a price, and bound to glorify God in their bodies and spirits, which are his.
In this benevolent undertaking, we entertain no doubt that our sister presbyteries will cordially and zealously co-operate with us. The call for exertion is so loud and solemn, that it is beginning to be heard by all our judicatories, and, we hope will speedily produce a "general movement" of the presbyterian church in the United States. And, if it should please the great Head of the church to smile upon our united efforts, by opening the hearts of christians to devise liberal things; by strengthening our hands in the arduous enterprise; and by crowning our endeavours with success, what happy result may we not anticipate? May we not hope, that the exertions now commenced will form a new and glorious era in the history of our church; that the humble beginning now contemplated will prove the means of sending hundreds, and even thousands of pastors to hungering and thirsting souls, and that generations yet unborn will have reason to rise up and call you blessed?
TO PIOUS YOUNG MEN.
We feel an earnest desire to call your attention to this important object. You are now just entering on the stage of action, and have arrived at an age when you must shortly choose some profession for life. You have often looked around you, with an
anxiety inseparable from piety, and have inquired how you could best employ the powers which God created, the rational souls which Christ redeemed, to the honour of your Father and Saviour? You have but one life to live, and how shall that life be spent most to the glory of God and the happiness of men? These questions, which have often arisen amidst your pious meditations, must, in a little time, be decided. The object of this address is to suggest some considerations which may assist you in forming the great decision.
Has it ever occurred to you, that it may perhaps be the will of God to employ you in the ministry of his Son? Is this a new thought? Yet let it not be dismissed as too extravagant to deserve attention. Place it distinctly before your minds, and examine it on every side. The church needs, more than she needs any thing except larger supplies of the divine Spirit, many evangelical and apostolic men added to the number of her present clergy. If those men are found, they must be found among youth of your spirit. Only such as you, can supply materials for future ministers, such as the interest of the church requires, such as her necessities pressingly demand. For want of such ministers, immortal souls are perishing, in our land by thousands, in our world by millions. Let the thought interest and affect your hearts, that the blessed Saviour, who requires your service, has passed by other youth and set his love on you. By distinguishing grace he has separated you from your former companions; and, while they are left in sin and exposed to endiess ruin, he has given you a title to the inheritance of the saints in light; and all this, that you might possess the spirit necessary to qualify you for the gospel ministry. Why have you been thus distinguished and qualified? Is it not that you might devote yourselves to this sacred work? And what hinders you from sharing this glory? You possess the first and most essential qualification; and provisions are now about to be made, we hope on an extensive scale, for carrying you through a course of academical and theological studies. There is a fair prospect, that such of you as possess respectable natural talents, may become ministers, and useful ministers, if you are disposed to embrace the opportunity. Let this question then engage your deep and solemn consideration; to what other pursuit do so many and so sacred motives solicit you? Standing, as you now do, on the point of choosing a profession, whom will you set up for your example? Can a better be found than the Lord Jesus Christ? That august personage passed the period of human life on this earth, and took a part in the active scenes of
men. And to what profession did he devote himself? To that of preaching the everlasting gospel to perishing men. Supported by the unequivocal declaration of such an example, may we not confidently pronounce, that human life can be spent in no manner so desirable, so noble, so godlike, as in the labours of the gospel ministry? We are aware, that our Saviour is not to be held up as an example, in this respect, to all men, since it is obvious, that all cannot sustain the pastoral office; but we are firmly persuaded, that while such an example shows the superior importance of the gospel ministry, it ought, under the present necessities of the church, to have a binding influence upon young men who possess piety and talents, and other qualifications for the sacred work.
In what other way can the powers of the soul be so directly applied to promote the glory of God, and the best interests of men? The gospel ministry is the principal mean appointed by heaven to advance the truest happiness of men on earth, and their glory beyond the grave. Those who conduct the interests, and decide the fate of nations, have it, indeed, in their power to confer important benefits on the world. Those whose professional business it is to defend the property and lives of men; those who fill the seats of justice; those who practise the healing art; all claim our respect and gratitude. But in no employment can men render such essential and eminent service to the human race, as in a course of ministerial labours, appointed by God to pluck immortal spirits as brands from everlasting burnings, to prepare them for the happiness of heaven, and to promote that grand cause for which the world was made, for which the world was redeemed, for which the world is preserved and governed. Could any one of you be the instrument of saving a single soul, he would achieve infinitely more than by subserving the convenience of men in the mechanic arts; by settling any questions relating to temporal estates; or by conquering and governing nations. Could any one of you be favoured with as much usefulness to the church as falls to the lot of many faithful ministers, he might enjoy the thought of having been the instrument of rescuing hundreds from eternal wo, and raising them to everlasting joys. Casting the eye down the ages of eternity, what an incalculable amount of happiness will he have been the means of producing! Transport yourselves for a moment to the solemnities of the final judgment. Behold a band of blessed spirits, redeemed from death by your instrumentality, shouting salvation, and taking in the prospect of immortal joy, who otherwise would have been crying to rocks and to moun
tains to cover them: behold them coming to embrace you, to pour their thanks into your bosom, and to bend with you, adoring, at the throne of God! What are now the emotions of your souls? Would the glitter of wealth, or the glory of empires have filled you with joy like this? In the light of the final judgment, the importance of all other employments is lost in comparison with the gospel ministry, as time is swallowed up in eternity.
Consider further, that this blessed work will furnish you with the best means of your own sanctification and spiritual enjoyment. Engaged, ardently and affectionately, in this, every day will bring you the delights of a holy sabbath; and, in the room of other toils, the labour of your life will be in those studies which open the wonders of God to the mind, and in those pleasing exercises which other christians are thankful for being permitted to enjoy one day in seven. Such a manner of life cannot fail to advance your present peace, and to give a brighter lustre to your immortal crown; a crown in which every soul, redeemed from death by your means, shall constitute a new and splendid jewel. A hundred ages hence, you will bless God for having increased the glory of your eternity, by putting you into the ministry of his Son. Grand and delightful is that promise, They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.
Urged by all these motives, come, we affectionately invite you to come, and take part with us in the ministry of the grace of God. The example of Christ invites you to come; the tears of bereaved churches, who can find none to break unto them the bread of life, plead with you to come; the miseries of wandering souls, who find none to lead them to heaven, press you to come. Come then, and take part with us in the labours and rewards of the ministry of reconciliation!
We conclude, with a short address
TO PIOUS PARENTS.
Who among you have any sons to devote to Christ for the service of his sanctuary? Who among you have any young Samuels, the children of prayer, whom you have lent unto the Lord with ardent desires, that as long as they live they may be the Lord's? Can you better dispose of them than by training them up for the gospel ministry, to bear the vessels of Him to whose service you have solemnly consecrated them in baptism? Would it not fill you with sublime joy to know that you had brought children into the world to be the instruments of large accessions to the assembly of the redeemed, to the everlasting kingdom of Messiah? When a numerous company of celestial spirits should hail you as
the blessed parents of the beloved instruments of their salvation, would you not feel greater joy than you would have done in beholding your sons seated on earthly thrones, encircled with the wreaths of fame? If you love your pious sons, give them to the church, and increase their everlasting happiness.. If you love your Saviour, whose bowels yearned and bled for you, from your own bowels give him ministers; give to his service those whom he died to redeem, to sooth and comfort your parental hearts. If each of you can give a pious minister to the church, the whole church will have reason to thank God for your existence, and you yourselves may bless him for ever that you have not lived in vain. Brethren, farewell. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits! Amen.
Signed by order of the Presbytery,
MATTHEW LA RUE PERRINE, Moderator.
Orange-Dale, Oct. 2, 1805.
The committee who superintend the magazine cannot permit this article to go to the public, without expressing their earnest hope that it will attract the most serious attention of the religious public; and even felicitating themselves that, through the medium of the magazine, they are able to send it to every part of the presbyterian church. Most of the presbyteries under the care of the general assembly have a stated meeting in the spring. It is respectfully suggested, that opportunity will then be given to adopt measures, similar to those which, it appears, are going into operation in the presbytery of New-York. And if, at the next meeting of the assembly, it shall be found that the presbyteries generally have felt the same spirit, and taken the like steps with those exhibited in the foregoing address, there is little risk in affirming, that it will be an event which will promise more real benefit to the presbyterian interest, and we trust also to the church of Christ, than any which has taken place in our country for many years.
OF ANGELS. No. I.
THIS world is not detached, but stands connected with the world of spirits, where, according to scripture, we have both friends and enemies, who are ever on the watch to do us a kindness or a mischief. Holy angels are our friends: fallen angels or devils are our enemies. Permit me, christians, in this number, to introduce your friends to your acquaintance, and to satisfy inquiVOL. II.