« PreviousContinue »
ever success we may increase our knowledge of Scripture, that alone is insufficient. We must not think we have done with a passage as soon as we have understood it. If we had understood it instantly, our principal work was to come yet; and they are strangely wrong, who apply so closely to study difficult places, that they forget to make due reflections on the plain. The Word of God was written to give us not merely a speculative apprehension, but an experimental sense' and feeling of holy things, comfortable or terrifying, as our spiritual state requires. Too many, alas, have no conception of this efficacy in Scripture: and no wonder, for they have never seriously endeavoured to have any. But let them try in earnest, and they will infallibly succeed, if they use proper means. We read of some, what will be true of all in the same condition, that the Word did not profit them, not being mixed with faith. God indeed can operate according to his own pleasure: but, humanly speaking, persons will not be influenced by what they disbelieve; and not much by what they believe but faintly. Nay, should they labour to make the strongest impressions on their own souls, without applying to him, whose giftsaving faith is, their efforts would be vain. But let any one jointly strive and pray for a deep conviction, that the Bible is the appointed instrument of his religious proficiency: then let him read it, not as performing a task, he knows not why, from which he had rather be excused; not to outshine others in readiness of quotation, or plausibility of interpreting, or oppositions of science falsely so called; not to furnish himself with weapons for debate and controversy, much less for uncharitableness and abuse; but to amend his inward state towards God: that, as the excellent Collect in our Liturgy directs, by patience in well doing, and comfort in virtuous suffering, which we learn of his holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life. Let him accordingly stop on fit occasions and think: What consolation doth this passage administer to me?
What acknowledgments to heaven doth this declaration require from me? What fear for myself doth this threatening call for? What duty doth this precept or pattern point out to me? Of what sin doth it convince me? Against what dangers doth it warn me? Is my character and behaviour suitable to this command or exhortation, this de scription or good example? or do I see myself here, under another's name, reproved, condemned, stigmatized ? Have I acquired that sense of my own sinfulness and weakness, of God's holiness and justice, of my need of the merits of Christ, and the grace of the Divine Spirit, which the whole tenor of Scripture inculcates, or am I still inclined to stand or fall by my own righteousness? Faithful pains, taken for some time in such home questions, without forcing unnatural uses out of any text, but only dwelling on those that fairly present themselves, will make us experience a Divine virtue in the sacred writings, piercing first and healing afterwards; which, provided we are not satisfied with being piously moved at the time, and then relapsing into what we were before, but continue the inquiry steadily, and carry on every feeling into practice, will assuredly transform us into what we ought to be. Possibly, indeed, we may not all at once or very soon receive a sensible benefit. But surely we have no title to be impatient under the hands of our heavenly Physician; perfect recovery will be at length the certain consequence of his treatment of us; and every single ingredient in the great remedy, his holy Word, and every direction for the use of it, will contribute its share to our cure. Let us, therefore, conscientiously observe all his commands, each in its due place, and let us intreat his blessing on our humble endeavours, that, receiving the seed of the Word into a good and honest heart, we may "bring forth fruit with patience." Abp. Secker.
From the Christian Observer for April,1819.
STATISTICS OF EUROPE.
THE present population of Europe amounts to 177,221,600 persons, scat
tered over 154,450 geographical square miles. This population, considered in an orthographic point of view, comprehends 53,195,000 Tuetonians, or Germans, 60,586,400 descendants of the Romans, 45,120,000 Sclavonians, 8,718,000 Caledonians, 3,499,500 Tartars and Bulgarians, 3,070,000 Margarians, 2,022,000 Greeks, 1,760, 000 Cimmerians, 622,000 Basques, 813,000 Guistes, 204,000 Arnauts, 131,600 Armenians, 88,000 Maltese, &c. There are 1,179,500 Jews, 3,607, 500 Mahometans, and 172,132,500 Christians, of whom there are 98,229, 000 Catholics, and 41,808,800 Protestants. Europe is now divided politically into 78 sovereign states, nominally independent. Their aggregate forces in peace, are 1,600,000, and on the war establishment, 3,600,000.Their maritime forces consist of 400 ships of the line, 88 ships of 50 guns, 348 frigates, and 1563 vessels of an inferior class.
FOR THE CHRISTIAN JOURNAL.
Abstract of the Proceedings of the Annual Convention of the Diocess of Maryland, held in St. Paul's Church, Baltimore, on the 9th, 10th, and 11th Days of June, 1819. THE Convention was composed of the Right Rev. Bishop KEMP, thirtytwo Presbyters, seven Deacons, and Lay Delegates from 42 parishes.
The Convention was opened by morning service performed by the Rev. Jehu C. Clay, of St. John's parish, Washington county, an appropriate discourse by the Rev. Ralph Williston, of Trinity, Prince George's, and the administration of the holy communion by the Bishop.
The Rev. Henry L. Davis, D. D. was chosen Secretary, and the Rev. Wm. E, Wyatt, assistant Secretary. Agreeably to the 45th canon of the General Convention, the Bishop delivered the following Address. My Rev. Brethren of the Clergy,
and Gentlemen of the Laity, I am happy to meet you again, on this occasion; and before you enter upon your deliberations, I must beg
leave to state to you what I have done, and what has passed under my view, during the last year.
On the 24th of May, 1818, immediately after the convention, I admitted the Rev. Mr. Wheaton and the Rev. Mr. Keith, to the holy order of Priests, and Mr. Lowe and Mr. Gilliss, to the holy order of Deacons. I also licensed Mr. William Armstrong, student of divinity, lately from the diocess of Pennsylvania, as a reader.
I received on the 3d of June, from the standing committee, testimonials in favour of Mr. Ethan Allen and Mr. Charles C. Austin, as candidates for holy orders, and admitted them accordingly.
June 24 I visited Trinity Church, in Upper Marlborough, Prince George's county, and confirmed twenty-seven persons. On the day following, I held a confirmation in the Chapel of St. Paul's, where seventeen persons were admitted to that holy ordinance; and in the parish church, next day, forty-five more were confirmed.
I then proceeded to Akakik, a chapel of St. John's parish, in Prince George's county, where I confirmed thirty-five persons.
On the 28th of June I consecrated to the service of Almighty God, a very neat new stone church in Port-Tobacco, by the name of Christ Church, and at the same time, confirmed sixtyfour persons.
I next visited William and Mary parish, in Charles county, and confirmed twenty-four members.
In St. Paul's Church, in the city of Baltimore, on the 20th day of September, 1818, I ordained the Rev. Mr. Samuel C. Stratton a Priest.
On the 8th of October, in the city of Philadelphia, I assisted at the consecration of the Right Rev. Dr. Bowen, Bishop of South-Carolina.
On the 11th of October I visited
St. Thomas' parish, in Baltimore county. That parish had then been some considerable time without a minister, and of course no preparation was made for confirmation. Still five persons came forward to that holy ordinance.
On the 15th of October I visited All-Hallows parish, in Anne-Arundel
county, and held a confirmation; but inasmuch as this holy ordinance had been performed a little time before, there were only five confirmed.
On the day following I preached at St. James's, and proceeded on into Calvert county. Both the parishes in that county were then vacant, but I am happy to say that they are now supplied with ministers. Sixteen persons were confirmed in both parishes. The Rev. Mr. Joseph Lanston, who had officiated as a minister among the Methodists, was admitted to the holy order of Deacons, on the 21st of October, agreeably to the provisions of the seventeenth canon of the General Convention.
On the 29th of October I visited Havre-de-Grace parish, and held a confirmation. But inasmuch as there had been a confirmation a little time before, only nine were confirmed. On the next day I preached in Spesutiæ Church, St. George's parish, in Harford county, and confirmed also nine. I consecrated to the service of Almighty God, on the 13th of November, a very neat new stone church, by the name of St. John's Church, in St. Thomas's parish, Baltimore county. On the 20th of November I visited St. Michael's parish, in Talbot county; but as that parish had been long vacant, and the Rev. Mr. Hubbard had but just arrived to take charge of it, I found it considerably deranged, and no persons prepared for confirmation. On the 21st 1 preached at Easton, and on the day following at the parish church of St. Peter, where I confirmed twelve
On the 23d I visited Great Choptank parish, in Dorchester county, but there were none prepared for confirmmation, as there had been a confirmation in that church not long ago. The next day I preached in the parish church of Dorchester parish, and confirmed six persons.
In my own parish church I confirm ed thirty persons on the 20th of December.
On the 30th of December I consecrated a new church in George-Town, in the District of Columbia, by the name of Christ Church.
On the 24th of January, 1819, I ordained Mr. John Keetch a deacon, and in consequence of a testimonial from the standing committee, I placed Mr. Spencer Wall on the list of candidates for orders.
I assisted at the consecration of the Right Rev. Mr. Chase, Bishop of Ohio, in the city of Philadelphia, on the 11th day of February.
March 7th, 1819, I ordained Mr. Ethan Allen a deacon.
On the 4th of April I held a confirmation in Trinity Church, in the city of Baltimore, when sixty-three persons were confirmed.
On the 4th of May I visited Zion church, in Frederick county, and confirmed 11 persons. And on the following day I also confirmed 35, at St. Peter's, in Montgomery county.
On the 7th of May I preached at Prince George's Church, in Montgomery county, but as the parish is vacant, and no preparation had been made, there were none confirmed. Still on the following day four persons were confirmed at Rockville.
I consecrated a new church, by the name of St. Bartholomew's, in Montgomery county, on the 8th of May, and also confirmed thirty persons.
Thus ended my Episcopal services for this year.
From these minutes, it appears, that I have, during the last year, visited twenty-four churches, in all of which I have preached, and sometimes administered the Lord's Supper-I bave held twenty confirmations, at which 411 have received that holy ordinance -I have consecrated four new churches-I have received three young gentlemen as candidates for orders-I have ordained five deacons, and three priests; and also assisted at the consecration of two Bishops.
Since the last Convention our Rev. and beloved brother, Mr. Duncan, has been called from his ministry here on earth, and we confidently trust, that when the Divine Head of the Christian Church shall return to judgment, he will be admitted into the Church of the first born in Heaven.
The Rev. Mr. Enoch M. Lowe has removed from this diocess to the dio
cess of Virginia, to whom I gave a canonical letter of dismission.
The Rev. Mr. Horrell, and the Rev. Mr. Bausman, from the diocess of Virginia, have settled in this diocess, the former in St. James's parish, Anne Arundel, the latter in Christ Church, Calvert.
The Rev. Mr. Jackson, who had travelled through the western country as a missionary, during last year, settled in St. Thomas's parish, in Baltimore county.
The Rev. Mr. Westerman, who was ordained by Bishop White, is now minister of St. Mark's, in Frederick county; and the Rev. Mr. Bowden, who was ordained in the diocess of New-York, has lately settled in Trinity parish, Charles county.
The Rev. Mr. Hubbard, from the diocess of Connecticut, has been chosen Rector of St. Michael's, in Talbot county.
The Rev. Mr. Johnson has moved from St. James's, Baltimore, to AllSaints, Calvert county; and the Rev. Mr. Keetch, who was ordained in this diocess, has succeeded Mr. Johnson in St. James.
The Rev. Mr. Gilliss, who was ordained here, has settled in QueenAnne parish, Prince George's county.
There are now in this diocess four candidates for orders. But there are few things in which I find more difficulty, than to direct the studies of young men preparing for the ministry. There is a great want of uniformity in their education, and although the Church prescribes books, and specifies the subjects of their different examinations, still I find they imbibe peculiarities, and prepossessions, not favourable to the unity and harmony of the Church. Having witnessed evils of great magnitude growing out of this irregular mode of instruction, I have endeavoured to superintend the examinations as much as I could, and to direct the studies of the candidates. And when their residence has necessarily been too far distant, I have placed them under the direction of clergymen of known soundness in the faith, and of amiable and pious characters. This however evinces more and more,
the necessity of promoting the plan of our Theological Seminary.
Although the society for the Advancement of Christianity has been embarrassed in its proceedings, by the pressure of the times, still we hope to be able, at no very distant day, to bring it into activity, and to render it very useful.
The Prayer Book and Homily Society have advanced the objects of their association with zeal, and to the full extent of their means.
The Female Tract Episcopal Society have published and distributed, during last year, a large number of valuable tracts, calculated to illustrate the principles of our Church, and to promote piety, good conduct, and happiness among the poor. The managers of this society, with a zeal highly praiseworthy, have sought out objects for their distinguished charity, and in the hands of these objects they have placed little books to comfort them amidst the afilictions of this life, and point out to them the path to heaven.
The Sunday Schools also attached to the Episcopal Churches in this city, conduct their business with great zeal and regularity, and are greatly instrumental in training up the children of the poor in the principles and practice of religion.
I submit to the consideration of this convention, whether it would not be advisable to modify the fifth canon of the diocess of Maryland, so that, in some cases, a residence of three years in the United States, before the ordination of foreigners, might not be dispensed with. I merely offer this as a suggestion, being by no means satisfied that it would be advantageous to the Church.
There is something in the character of the laity of Maryland highly favoura ble to religious impressions; and there is so much genuine kindness, that a clergyman finds easy access to families, when he may insensibly, but securely fix the principles of religion, by conversation, by example, and by religious books and tracts. And this is a part of clerical duty, which I must enjoin you to be constant in performing both in season and out of season.
There is, at the same time, such a state of manners, that although a clergyman may be as pious as a Christian can be, yet his piety must not assume rudeness or unseemly peculiarities. Although his zeal may be as ardent as that of St. Paul, that zeal must be according to godliness. We must expose prevailing errors, but we must do it with the authority of stewards of the mysteries of God. We must attack reigning vices; but we must do it as those who watch for the souls of their people. We must suppress dissipated and corrupting amusements; but all this must arise from a temper and manner, that indicate the most ardent desire for the temporal and eternal happiness of our flocks. Any symptoms of self-conceit, and spiritual pride, or a wish for personal distinctions, will ever be disgusting among a people of such a character as we have to deal with. Associations of the clergy in their different parishes and districts, will never fail to be productive of happy consequences, if they be carried on in the true spirit of christianity. They excite zeal among the laity; they pro duce new religious impressions, and warm religious affections; they bring the clergy together, and unite them more and more; they rejoice in one another's success, and they sympathize with one another's distresses. And thus they give to our glorious cause, all the advantages of unity and vigour of exertion.
But on these occasions, should pride show his deformed aspect; should party views, or party distinctions, creep in; should the laity discern that there is any object in view but the advancement of piety and the salvation of men, this will not only bring such associa
tions into contempt, but, ifI may judge from what has passed in this diocess for thirty years back, it will soon expose the authors and the promoters of such things to merited scorn and reproach. There are two things more, my Rev. Brethren, to which I must direct your attention in a particular manner. The first is catechetical instruction. The second, the suppression of those vices that are fostered in an unusual degree, at the little stores, spread in dreadful abundance, all over our country.
We need never expect a succession of well principled and pious members, unless we begin with them at an early period of life. I would therefore suggest to you the propriety of fixing convenient stations, in different parts of your parishes, for the purpose of catechising the children. And on these occasions you may so blend your instructions with practical admonitions, and devout exercises, that they will become, with a divine blessing, greatly useful in the cause of religion.
In some parts of this state, there are a multitude of little stores, where the labouring people meet, particularly on Saturdays, and engage in every kind of vice-Drinking, swearing, fighting, and gaming, prevail at these places to a degree disgraceful to a Christian country. To make any impression upon persons who frequent these places, will require great prudence; but by calm and affectionate admonitions, by pointing out the ruin, temporal and eternal, to which such sins inevitably lead, if the sinner die without repentance; and by every other step that pruderce, and a regard to the souls of these people may suggest, much may be done. And if all the labour, and all the exertions of clergymen, be accompanied by an humble dependance upon God, and ardent prayers for the assistance of the Holy Spirit, they need never fear, but the Divine Head of the Christian Church will acknowledge them as faithful Stewards, and reward them with a crown of glory.
Gentlemen of the Laity,
I have been highly gratified to find a disposition to support the clergy in a more comfortable style gaining ground