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tion of tracts. "From various reports of societies, similar to our own, we read detailed accounts of individuals, families, and neighbourhoods, where these little messengers of scriptual truth have been instrumental in producing the happiest results. Besides, we have for our encouragement the example of former times: when the reformation, that eventful period in the history of the church, first began, and during its progress, the means employed to effect that astonishing change in the moral and religious state of the world, were very similar to those now used by tract societies. The word of God, which had been hid for ages from the eyes of the people, was distributed in separate parcels, that all might read it, and a vast variety of short scriptural and impressive tracts was published and widely circulated. Several of these compositions yet remain as proofs of the activity of those to whom we are indebted for our religious privileges, and as an example for us to imitate."
Three hundred and thirteen copies of the Book of Common Prayer have been distributed during the past year. It was expected that the society which has devoted its attention exclusively to this object, would have been enabled to comply with the most extensive demands relative to this invaluable book; but the purchase of a set of stereotype plates of an octavo size, and the issuing of a large edition, which was executed with great accuracy, and in a peculiarly neat manner, have debarred that institution, for the present, from exercising the liberality for which they will doubtless hereafter be celebrated, and by which they will place it in the power of your trustees to devote a greater portion of their income than they have ever yet done to missionary purposes.
From the treasurer's accounts it appears that, including the sale of four hundred dollars United States six per cent. stock, and the balance of the former account, there have been received, during the last year, three thousand and twenty one dollars and fifty-eight cents. The ordinary expenses of the society during the same
time amounted to one thousand six hundred and forty-six dollars thirtyfive cents. There have been loaned to the Common Prayer Book Society nine hundred dollars; and the balance on hand on the twenty-second of December was four hundred and seventyfive dollars twenty-three cents.
The trustees take this opportunity of gratefully acknowledging a dona tion of one hundred dollars from the congregation of St. James's Church, Lancaster-and, while they tender their acknowledgments to this congregation, they take the liberty of reminding other churches in the diocess that similar donations would be very thankfully received. As the society, which has hitherto been almost exclusively supported by the Episcopalians of the city, extends its charity throughout the state, it may reasonably expect the patronage of all our brethren within that limit.
In concluding their report, the trustees feel themselves authorized to call not only upon every member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, but upon every friend of religion, to aid them in the important concerns in which they are engaged. The most interesting spheres of usefulness are daily opening before them. The cry is heard from every quarter of the diocess, "Come and help us." We have raised hopes and exalted expectations. Shall these be realized? or, by withdrawing your subscriptions, will you suffer them to be blasted? We are under engagements to a considerable amount. There are many stations to which duty bids us to send missionaries. Fully convinced that the cause we are engaged in is the cause of the Redeemer, and recollecting the immense importance of immortal souls, we earnestly and affectionately solicit an increase of patronage. We have already accomplished much; but a vast deal remains to be done. There are thousands of our fellow worshippers in this state, who, from the peculiarity of their situation, are debarred from the inestimable privileges of our holy faith: and there are tens of thousands within the bounds of this diocess who in reality belong to no denomination,
to whom the gospel is very seldom if ever preached. Shall we not then exert ourselves to the extent of our abilities? Can we with safe consciences relax our vigour, when the whole Christian world appears to be engaged with sacred ardour in extending the glad tidings of salvation, even to the remotest corners of the globe? We have the promise that they who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever; and we have the assurance of the Redeemer himself, that it is more blessed to give than to receive. May we henceforth be supremely devoted to the sacred cause of glorifying our heavenly Father, and promoting the eternal interests of our fellow beings! And may our labours be crowned with abundant success!
By order of the Board.
FOR THE CHRISTIAN JOURNAL.
Abstract of the Proceedings of the 35th Convention of the Diocess of Pennsylvania, held in St. James's Church, Philadelphia, on the 4th and 5th Days of May, 1819.
THERE were present, as members of the Convention, the Right Rev. the Bishop of the Diocess, thirteen Presbyters, six Deacons, and Lay Delegates from twenty Churches. Two Presbyters of other Diocesses attended, by invitation, the sittings of the *Convention.
Trinity Church, Easton, and Christ Church, Leacock township, Lancaster county, having produced the requisite evidence of being duly incorporated, were received into union with the Convention.
The Rev. George Boyd was elected Secretary.
The Convention, having thus become duly organized, adjourned, a greeably to its rules, until the second day, when divine service was performed by the Rev. Charles M. Dupuy, Rector of St. Luke's Church, Germantown; a sermon preached by the Rev. Levi Bull, Rector of St. Gabriel's, Berk's county; St. Mary's, Chester county; and Bangor Church, VOL. III.
Churchtown; and an ordination held by the Bishop, at which Mr. Charles G. Snowden was admitted to the holy order of Deacons.
In compliance with the 45th canon of the General Convention, the Right Rev. Bishop White delivered the fol lowing address.
My Brethren, the Clergy and the Lay Deputies of this Convention,
On the last day of May, in the preceding year, in Norristown, I ordained to the holy office of Priests, Thomas P. May, Rector of St. John's Church in that place; and to the holy office of Deacons, Thomas Breintnall, then of this city, but since removed to the Rectory of Zion Church, in the city of New-York. On the 12th of June, I ordained to the holy office of Priests, Frederick Dalcho, of the then vacant diocess of South-Carolina. On the 24th of July, I ordained to the holy office of Deacons, William Westerman,, who is since settled in the diocess of Maryland. On the 10th of January, I ordained to the same office Joseph Spencer and John Rodney; of whom the former is Master of the Episcopal Grammar School in this city; and the latter is Rector of Trinity Church in Easton, yesterday recog nized by this Convention. My last ordination was on the 12th of March, of Bird Wilson and William S. Wilson; the former of whom had for many years filled the honourable station of presiding Judge of the Third District of this State; and the latter, being of South-Carolina, but having finished his studies in this city, was ordained under letters dismissory of his dioce
The candidates for the ministry, admitted since my last address, are Joseph Jacquet, John Johns, Peter Vanpelt, and Prince Sanders, a coloured man,
The Rev. Levi Bull has returned to his former station in this diocess and there have left it the Rev. Richard Hall, to succeed Mr. Bull in Wilmington; and the Rev. Samuel H. Turner, under an appointment to a Professorship in the Theological School, to be begun about this time in the city of
New-York. The Rev. Samuel Phinney has also left this state, by a removal to the diocess of New-York. The Society for the Advancement of Christianity have encouraged the Rev. Elijah G. Plumb, late of Connecticut, to enter on missionary duty in Northumberland, with a view to a permanent settlement in that town; but whether the object will be accomplished, it remains to future circumstances to determine. Under the encouragement of the same society, the Rev. Samuel C. Brinckle has undertaken the pastoral charge of St. David's, Radnor, and the Rev. Manning B. Roche began his ministry in Wilkesbarre, having the prospect of raising a congregation in that place; but has been obliged by the state of his health to leave it, and has returned to his native State of Delaware, but officiates sometimes to the congregation in New London, under the encouragement of the same Society.
On the 8th day of last October, the Rev. Dr. Nathanael Bowen was consecrated by four Bishops assembled in this city, for the Diocess of S. Carolina; and on the 10th day of February, by the same number of Bishops, was consecrated the Rev. Philander Chase, for the Diocess of Ohio: whereby there have been carried into effect the measures adopted by four successive General Conventions, for the extending of the Episcopacy to the states westward of the Alleghany mountains.
On the 7th of June, I consecrated to the service of Almighty God, a Church lately erected in Leacock township, Lancaster county, called Christ Church, and acknowledged yesterday by this Convention. And on the 10th of August, I consecrated St. Luke's Church, in Germantown.
As the Society for the Advancement of Christianity, the Missionary Society, and the Prayer Book Society, print their respective Journals, there is no need of a particular account of their proceedings on this occasion: which, however, does not dispense with my expression of a wish for the extension of the patronage which they so richly merit. That the Fund for the support of Widows of
Clergymen has not drawn a greater number of clerical contributors, must be owing to the circumstance, that the advantage to be derived from it has not been enough considered.
When your Bishop laments that there is not a more rapid increase of the fund for the maintenance of a future Bishop, it must be owing to his be ing so situated, as to be especially sensible of the importance of severing the Episcopal duties from the Parochial.
Besides Confirmations at sundry times in the churches within the city, and twice in St. John's Church in the Northern Liberties, I confirmed and preached, on the last day of May, at St. John's, Norristown; on the 13th of April, at All-Saints, Pequestan; on the 8th of June, at St. Thomas's, Lancaster county; on the 27th of September, in St. Luke's, Germantown; and on the 28th of March, again in the same church. The amount of persons confirmed is 182.
The constantly accumulating evidence of the utility of Sunday Schools, will justify my again recommending them to the patronage of our Church throughout the Diocess. Having on many occasions personally recommended the connecting of them with parochial instruction in the distinctive principles of our communion, I embrace the opportunity of recording the reason of my opinion in that particu-lar. It is, that so far as my experience extends, solicitation to the contrary course is always with the expectation of a surrendery of those principles; and that on disappointment as to this object, it is always succeeded by a decline of Christian charity; and, not seldom, by the excitement of unchristian passion.
In proportion as your Bishop advances in years, he feels gratification in noticing an increase in the ministry, of those whom he judges competent to sustain its respectability and its usefulness. He has always been of opinion, that for the extension of our communion, nothing is wanting but a requisite number of ministers of real piety, and of sufficiency of intellectual ac quirement. Without the former qualification they are dead weights on our
communion; or rather, they serve as beacons, cautioning against the supposed contagion of our principles. With out the latter, especially at a time when the thirst of knowledge is generally on the increase, they cannot but be occasionally in circumstances, in which they must surrender one or another truth of Christianity, and even the system itself, from the want of ability to defend them.
That from deficiency in each of these points, our Church has suffered in sundry instances, is notorious. On this account, there may be recommended as well to the laity as to the clergy of the diocess, the patronizing of the Theological School lately instituted. It now solicits that patronage which we hope it will hereafter command, by reputation attached to an education known to have been received under its professors.
The parochial reports of the Clergy, made to the Bishop, and entered on the Journals, agreeably to the 45th canon, furnish the following aggregate: Baptisms, adults
children 192469 not specified 213
The following gentlemen were elected the Standing Committee for the ensuing year:-Rev. Frederick Beasley, D. D. Rev. James Abercrombie, D. D. Rev. James Wiltbank, Rev. Jackson Kemper, Rev. George Boyd, William Tilghman, Richard Dale, Thomas M'Euen, P. F. Glentworth, Charles Wheeler.
The following gentlemen were chosen Delegates to the General Convention:-Rev. Frederick Beasley, D. D. Rev. Jackson Kemper, Rev. Thomas P. May, Rev. George Boyd, William Meredith, Thomas M'Euen, Samuel Sitgreaves, Levi Pauling.
The Rev. Frederick Beasley, D. D. the Rev. George Boyd, and Mr. Richard Dale, were appointed a committee to prepare a report on the state of the Church in this diocess, to be laid before the next General Convention.
On motion resolved, that the thanks of the Convention be presented to the Rev. Levi Bull, for the sermon which he preached before it.
From the report of the Treasurer of the Episcopal Fund, it appears that the collections in aid of that fund dur ing the past year, have amounted to $30 11;* and that the whole increase of the fund in that period has been $312 88.
From the report of the Treasurer of the Convention, it appears that the contributions of the several parishes towards defraying the expenses of the Convention, have amounted, during the last year, to $ 160 00.
FOR THE CHRISTIAN JOURNAL.
On the Use of the 109th Psalm. On the 22d day of the month, at Evening Prayer, one of the stated Psalms is the 109th. The use of it
is unpleasant to many, and offensive to some very good Christians, on account of imprecations with which it remarks, with the view of removing abounds. It is proposed to offer a few the objections they may feel.
In the first place, no good Churchman will deny that much deference is due to the primitive practice of the Catholic Church, and the prescriptions of that portion of it to which we belong.
Now, in the strong and various evidence that we have of the use of the Book of Psalms in the worshipping assemblies of primitive Christians, there is not the least intimation of any one or more of them being statedly omitted. The custom was undoubtedly derived from the Jewish Church, under the sanction of our Saviour and his Apostles. That the 109th Psalm, in particular, was not there omitted, may be gathered from the phrase, "To the chief musician" which stands before it; and which was probably a special direction to have it set to music for the use of the congregation. The Church of England, agreeably to
• The reason why so small a sum has been added to the Episcopal Fund the last year, was, that no collections had been taken in the churches in the city.
primitive practice, has prescribed the use of the whole Psalter, without leaving to the minister's discretion the omission of a single Psalm. And although the Church in the United States has allowed the use of Selections in place of the Psalms for the day, yet it would be a very unfair con struction of this license to suppose it to have arisen from the idea of any of the Psalms being improper for the use of a congregation; for then a selection of what she deemed proper Psalms would have been made entirely to supersede others. The Selections are allowed to be used even instead of the proper Psalms for the great festivals. Surely no one will suppose that the Church deems them improper.
In one of the early Conventions which preceded the final organization of our Church, a Prayer Book was proposed, and ordered to be published, in which the whole Psalter is cut down to brief selections, and the 109th Psalm is entirely omitted. In the renunciation of this book, by formally ratifying that now in use, in which the whole Psalter is prescribed, the Church fully evinced her sense in this particular.
I would now respectfully ask my brethren whether, in omitting any thing that is thus recommended, upon the principle of its being improper, we are not, in a degree, wanting in Christian humility, by thinking ourselves wiser than the Church.
But the parport of the Psalm is very generally misunderstood. David is thought to utter anathemas against his enemies; and all who use the Psalm are thought to do the same, to the entire sacrifice of the Christian spirit.
In this, as in many other Psalms, David speaks in a prophetic character, and probably in the person of Messiah. St. Peter, Acts i. 20, applies a part of the 7th verse (as it stands in the Prayer Book) as a prophecy of Judas Iscariot. Indeed, the Psalm, in general, is a prediction of the punishment of him and the other enemies of Christ, and should be used as such. When on Good-Friday we recite the pathetic and appropriate strains of the 22d
Psalm, who thinks of using them in his own name, and not as predictions remarkably fulfilled in the sufferings and death then commemorated! The like might be said of several other Psalms.
The best commentators agree that the future instead of the imperative form should be used in the denunciations of the 109th Psalm: thas his days shall be few, and not "let his days be few"-it shall be unto him as the cloak, and not "let it be unto him as the cloak," &c.
Thus considered, this Psalm may be most profitably used. In the first 4 and last verses (according to the Prayer Book version) there is a very just description of the suffering and persecuted state of Messiah in the days of his flesh. This should be read with every feeling of devotion and gratitude for the extent of the mercy which was thus exercised in our behalf; and with deepest humility and penitence for sins which required atonement at such a price. The remainder of the Psalm is occupied in illustrating the heinous guilt and awful punishment of those who neglect so great salvation, and are the enemies of Christ. This should beget in us a perfect dread of sin, seeing the iniquity of its character, and the condemnation it justly merits. The Christian should be excited to greatest circumspection, lest, by unfaithfulness, he incur the tremendous curse denounced against Judas; like whom, by honouring him with his lips, while his heart is far from him, he, too, may betray his Master with a kiss.
These hasty remarks may throw light also on some other Psalms and portions of Psalms which are similarly misunderstood. I will only crave the indulgence of my brethren for one inquiry. If we statedly omit the use of these Psalms, do we not sanction and encourage the misunderstanding of them? Ought we not rather to use them as they occur, and, from time to time, explain to our people in what sense they should be taken?
The excellent Family Bible now publishing by the Messrs. Swords, will be an invaluable companion to