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a stedfast faith, with a lively hope, and with an earnest desire, for his sovereign order to lay down our flesh in its native earth; and to enter, disincumbered of all the burthens of mortality ; and completely delivered and purified, from the power and pollution of sin, under which we now groan, into the full and everlasting “joy of our Lord.”
Then will the course of our pilgrimage, through this vale of tears, close in peace; and “having fought the good fight, and finished the work,” which our Lord has appointed to be accomplished by us, on earth and having thus approved ourselves“ faithful” in his cause and service, “ unto death, we shall receive the crown of immortal life, which he hath promised, and which he will give to all who believe in, and obey him, and who love his appearing.” And then, in his heavenly kingdom, “ washed from our sins in his blood, who
himself for us ; and advanced us to the dignity of kings and priests unto God and his father,” we shall mourn no more for the awful desolations of death, or under any of the lamentable effects of sin ; but shall find “all tears wiped away from our eyes," by the kind hand of our gracious God and Redeemer ; and “beholding his face in righteousness, and satisfied with his likeness, we shall triumph in his praise, and in that fulness of joy which is in his presence,” through all the ages of a blessed eternity !
“ Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God and our Saviour, be honor and glory, for ever and ever." AMEN!
You are now invested with the office of a minister of Christ. In a solemn manner you are ordained and set apart to those eminently important labours, in which persons bearing this sacred character are called to serve the great and blessed God in the gospel of his Son.
The services upon which you have thus entered, and to which you are now, by most peculiar obligations, bound to devote your talents and your life, are in their nature the most honorable, in their design the most benevolent, and in their consequences the most interesting, of all the employments, in which you could possibly be engaged on earth. For to you is committed that divine ministry of reconciliation, by which you are constituted an ambassador for Christ, for the purposes of proclaiming to your fellow-men and fellow-sinners, “ that God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and of persuading them as in Christ's stead, to be reconciled to God.” And under Christ “the great shepherd and bishop of souls,” you are commissioned to be a pastor in his church, and intrusted with the care of guiding and conducting a portion of his dock in the way of knowledge, faith, holiness and peace, to that everlasting rest which remaineth for them in his heavenly kingdom.
* Published with Dr. Mc Calla's Sermon, delivered on the occasion, at the time of its delivery.
Surely, according to the emphatical observation of the Apostle Paul; “ If any man desire the office of a bishop or pastor, he desireth a good work.”
The various duties of this excellent office, and the several parts of this eminently good work have been, we doubt not, the subjects of your own frequent serious reflections, attentive studies, and earnest prayers ; in the view and hope of your becoming furnished with those human qualifications, and that divine sufficiency, which are requisite to make you “ an able minister of the New Testament, not of the letter but of the spirit." But though you may have heretofore well known and considered all that shall be now suggested on these important subjects; yet on the present solemn occasion, it may be useful in the way of a special charge, (the delivering of which has been devolved upon me) to recall to your remembrance, some of those things which must be the objects of primary attention with you, if you would, through grace, approve yourself a good and faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the sacred ministerial work to which you are now ordained.
Whoever would raise a firm and durable structure, must be careful to lay a solid and good foundation. The minister who would rationally hope to preach
Christ and his gospel with any considerable good effect to others, must have been himself divinely enlightened and led to know and receive the Lord Jesus Christ, as his own Saviour ; and must bave found the gospel, accompanied with the agency of the Spirit of grace, made “ the power of God to his own salvation.” Connected with this experimental, saving knowledge of the Redeemer, and of the truth and grace of his gospel, strong intellectual powers, cultivated by a liberal education, are certainly of great importance to a christian miuister; and through a sanctifying blessing, may be eminently subservient to his reputation and usefulness. But destitute of this experience, which is essential to the being of a christian, no natural abilities, nor acquired accomplishments, however valuable and ornamental in themselves, can warrant his taking the ministerial office upon him, or authorize him to hope for acceptance with God, or much success in the labours of it, among his fellow-men.
Allow me, however, to remind you, that whatever be the degree of this experience to which you have already attained ; still as a christian consulting your own establishment and comfort, and especially as a minister of Christ, called to be a stated teacher and helper of others, in the concerns of their salvation, it becomes you to be careful, that you may “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of your Lord and Savionr Jesus Christ.” In this way you will find your calling and election made more comfortably sure to your own sonl; and with your increasing knowledge of Christ, and experience of his grace, you will feel the love of Christ constraining you with a more tender compassion, affec. tionate desire, and fervent zeal, to labour that you may