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SF. MARK, Chap. VI. ver. 34.
And Jesus, when He came out, saw much people, and was
moved with compassion toward them; because they were
of our Saviour's life, as recorded by St. Mark, in the text, is very important, and suitable to the occasion of this Sermon; as it leads our meditations to the original institution and autho. rity of a Gospel-ministry.
It is noticed more at large by some of the other evangelists—St. Matthew says,* “ But when he saw the multitude, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He, unto his disciples, the Harvest truly is plenteous, but the Labourers are few. Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the Harvest, that He will send forth labourers into his harvest."
We see, then, that St. Mark, in our text, declares that our blessed Saviour, in consequence of the compassion wherewith he was moved towards this multitude, who were as sheep without a shepherd;
began, in person, to teach them many things, essential to their instruction, conversion and salvation-but St. Matthew* declares further, that our Saviour, besides his becoming their first Preacher and Teacher Him. self, looks anxiously forward and points out to them, a more permanent provision and establishment, by means of a standing order of Preachers and Labourers in his vineyard, with whom he promised to be present unto the end of the world-St. Luke, also, in his account of this passage of our Saviour's life, tells us that when (in consequence of this promise) He sent out, at once, seventy disciples, to work miracles and to preach among this destitute multitude, two and two before His face, in every city, and place, whither He himself would come; He warns those Preachers and Missionaries of the difficulties and troubles which they must expect to struggle with in the faithful discharge of their missions. ways,” says
says He: “Behold I send you forth as “ Lambs among Wolves!” But be ye not dismayed! “Go ye first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel;t " and as ye go, Prcach, saying the kingdom of hea“ ven is at hand. Heal the Sick, cleanse the Lepers, * raise the Dead, cast out Devils; freely ye have “received, freely give; provide neither gold nor “ silver nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your “ journey, neither two coats, nor shoes, nor yet “ staves; for the workman is worthy of his meat. “ Be wise as serpents, but harmless as doves; but
beware of men, for they will deliver you up to the
“ Go your
“ councils, and they will scourge you in their syna
gogues, and ye shall be brought before Governors " and Kings for my sake, for a testimony against " them and the Gentiles; but when they deliver you
up, take no thought how or what you shall speak, “ for it shall be given you in that same hour, and ye “ shall speak; for it is not ye that speak, but the
Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.— Fear “not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill " the Soul; but rather fear Him who is able to de
stroy both Body and Soul, in Hell. Are not two
sparrows sold for a Farthing, and one of them shall “ not fall to the ground without your Father-The
very hairs of your head are all numbered-Fear ye not, therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows-For whosoever will confess me before
men, him will I confess also before my Father which " is in heaven; but whosoever shall deny me before “men, him will I also deny before my Father which " is in heaven"
The seed of my Father's kingdom which is committed to you to sow in this world, is but a small seed" It is like to a grain of mustard-seed, which a
man took and sowed in his field, (which indeed is " the least of all seeds); but when it is grown, it is “ the greatest among Herbs, and becometh a Tree; “ so that the Birds of the Air come and lodge in the 1: Branches thereof."* In like manner (as if he had said)—“ The Gospel Seed, when sown and nursed by you, and watered from on high by the dews of
• See and compare St. Matthew, Chap. 13 and 24-St. Mark, Chap. 4St. Luke, Chap. 13—Isaiah, Chap. 59, and Chap. 60, &c.
heavenly love and grace shall become a great tree, towering above the cedars of Lebanon, and extending its boughs to the ends of the earth; while men of all Nations and all Languages, shall come and lodge in Spiritual Joy under the branches thereofFor, before the End comes, this Gospel shall be preached in all the world and to all men. They shall fear the name of the Lord from the west and his glory from the rising Sun; and the abundance of the isles, or sea, shall be converted to it, and the forces of the Gentiles shall come to its shadow.”
Animated by these divine promises and prospects, the Bishops and Clergy of our Church, consi. dering that part of the great and divine trust, (which was committed by Christ to his Apostles, his Disciples, and their Successors,) had devolved upon them, as preachers of His blessed Gospel; and consequently that it was their duty in gratitude to the great Head of the Church, for His mercies to themselves, to labour earnestly-first, to succour and strengthen the fainting brethren of their own communion, who are in danger of being “ destroyed for lack of knowledge;" and secondiy, as far as in their power, to propagate the heavenly influence of Christianity among their neighbours, who sit in darkness and the shadow of death; I say, upon these considerations, the Bishops and Clergy of our Church, with the full approbation and consent of the Lay Members, formed the plan and resolution, of establishing and supporting, some Itinerant, or Missionary Clergy to preach the Gospel to the dispersed inhabitants of their communion, on the wide frontiers of the
United States; and as occasion might offer, to our Indian neighbours. The management of this bene. volent plan, and the communication of it, by an address to the members of our Church, throughout the union, was entrusted to a special committee residing in the city of Philadelphia, as set forth in the preface to this Sermon, stating the nature and design of the charity, to which your aid is now solicited; and I trust that I am absolved from the necessity of observing to such a humane and enlightened Christian audience, as I now address, that our Church contemplates no Proselytism, no Monopoly in the propagation of Gospel-Knowledge, for the sake of power or filthy Lucre, which, in this work can have no room; but that we are led with a ready mind, and an eye to the recompense above, being, according to St. Paul, affectionately desirous of the happiness of our distressed fellow-Citizens and Christian Brethren inhabiting a wide frontier, and of our Heathen and untutored neighbours; “ wishing to impart to them, not the Gospel of Christ only, but also our own souls, considering them as brethren and of one flesh, dear unto us!”
It is indeed but a small part, a Mite cast into the treasury of God, that individual Christian denominations of Churches, or their particular congregations, struggling for the support of their own Zion, can contribute to this great work; without the sanction and aid of society and government at large. And such sanction and aid, I am bold to say, and hope it may be said without offence, the general government, and every particular government, within the confede