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we sow in hope, and in general the Lord is gracious. But, in spiritual things, we have an absolute promise, that he will prosper our en. deavours, and that " to him that soweth in righteousness shall be a sure reward." There shall be a sure reward both of grace and glory. “ He will come and rain righteousness upon us.” Every man that is acquainted with himself, and has a just view of the Divine law, knows that he has need of righteousness to justify him before God, and fit him for heaven. He sees that he has no such righteousness of his own, and that the Lord only can rain it upon him. Such is the case with us all. Do we then feel that we need something to justify us? We must seek it of him, who will clothe the humble believer with the garments of salvation, and cover him with the unspotted robe of the Redeemer's righteousness. He will pardon all our sins through the Saviour's merits, and accept us in the beloved. He will impute to our souls the righteousness of his Son, and accept it on our behalf. We must not only be stripped of our filthy garments of sin, which is to be done by the Redeemer's sufferings ; but, lest we should be found naked, we must be clothed with the justifying robe, which is to be done by his all-perfect righteousness. His sufferings and righteousness both together constitute bis merits; and by these merits we are to be pardoned and justified. But all this will still be insufficient, unless our souls are purified, and fitted for the joys of heaven. Do we then feel, that we need an inward righteousness, to make us meet for the inheritance of the saints? We must apply to the same gracious Redeemer, who has promised this blessing to his people. "A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. And I will take away your stony heart, and give you a heart of Aesh; and ye shall keep my commandments, and be my people, and I will be your God.” And he will not give us these blessings in small measure; but “ will rain down righteousness," in copious showers, upon us. He will give us “an abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness,” sufficient to supply all our wants, to strengthen us against all temptations, and sustain us under all our trials, to carry us victoriously through the Christian warfare, and bring us in triumph to the kingdom of glory. Let us then be encouraged with the prospect of success. None ever “ sought him in vain ;' if we seek him in time, he will come and rain righteousness upon us.
Let us apply the subject to ourselves.
We should lose no time, my friends, in breaking up the fallow ground of the heart. This is the first work to be done ; and, while it is neglected, nothing else can be done, to any benefit or advantage. We need not be told, how necessary it is, in husbandry, to break up the ground before sowing the seed; and a little acquaintance with the hardness and sinfulness of the human heart, by nature, will show the necessity of breaking up and cultivating the soul, in the same thorough and vigorous manner. Though we hold forth the word of life from week to week, and take diligent pains to sow the sacred seed ; yet we have the grief to see, that it falls upon the surface, and never takes
any root in the heart. And the reason is, because the fallow ground has not been broken up. The soil is overrun and bound down with worldly affections, so that the seed makes no impression. And so it will continue, till the law is opened in all its spirituality, and applied in its awful sanctions. The soil must be broken ; the feelings must be harrowed up with a sense of sin ; the conscience must be convicted of its guilt, and the soul must be humbled for its transgressions, before there can be any room for planting and cultivating the Christian graces. Let us then diligently study the Divine law; see how sinful we have been, and what a great work must be done before we can be true Christians. Let us try ourselves by the unerring rule of God's commandments. Let us bring our actions, words, and thoughts to that perfect standard of holiness, and see how greatly we fall short, and bow grievously we have sinned. And as our minds are darkened by sin, so that we cannot see our sinfulness in all its aggravated colours, let us pray God to open our eyes, to move our hearts, and stir up our feelings by the influence of his Spirit. As we cannot take a single step in the great work, any farther than we are aided by Divine grace, let us entreat the Father of mercies to break up the fallow ground, and make it productive of heavenly fruits. O let us prostrate ourselves at the throne of grace. There let us use the most earnest importunity. There let us pour forth our prayers, our tears, our most devout supplications, with the most determined resolution never to give over our entreaties, till the Lord come and rain righteousness upon us. If we take this course, and pursue it, we shall finally prevail ; he will smile upon us, and bless us ; he will grant us the riches of his grace here, and the fulness of joy hereafter.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE GOSPEL ADVOCATE.
Died, in Charleston, South Carolina, on the 18th February, 1823, the venerable and extensively beloved Mrs. Mary C. Gregory.
At her interment, one of the clergy addressed the mourners as follows:
It is not usual, and in general it is unadvisable, to make funeral addresses. It is not probable that I shall ever deem it proper, at any burials hereafter, to add any thing to that excellent service which our Church has provided. But the present occasion is, in many respects, a singular one, and I trust I may be indulged in the expression of my feelings, by a few remarks.
Our dear deceased friend had not for some years worshipped in this church. She had found a seat in St. Paul's, more convenient under her increasing infirmities, and, having been a great benefactor to that church, she felt a natural solicitude in every thing connected with it. But for the greater part of her life, she was a member of this flock, and we would be pained to think that she had removed
from it for any other considerations than those wbich have been mentioned. She was an honour and a blessing, not to any particular flock, but to the Christian church, indeed I may say to the commu. nity in general. Where shall we find another so holy, so disinterested, so bountiful, and yet so humble ? She lived not to herself. She lived to God, and for charity. For some time she has been unable to go up to the courts of the Lord. But I doubt not she was in the Spirit on the Lord's day. Absent in body, her mind, her heart, was with her God, and his people assembled to praise his holy name, and to promote the concerns of the immortal soul. Few persons valued more highly than she did the privileges of the Lord's house and table. So long as health would permit, she was a constant attendant, and how deeply she entered into the duties of the holy place let those attest who have witnessed her deportment, and have listened to the still, small, and yet fervent voice of her prayers and praises. Solicitous that the high privileges of the sanctuary might be enjoyed by all, she was the generous patron of several churches; contributing to their erection, their improvement, and the maintenance of their clergy. To St. Paul's church in particular, in this city, she appears to have been never weary in well doing. That the poor might have the gospel preached to them was an object near her heart; and for the special accommodation which they enjoy in one of our churches to her are they principally indebted. To the clergy, she was a sincere, a considerate, and constant friend. Many of them have been cheered by her affectionate attentions. Some of them have been partakers of her bounty, and all of them, I doubt not, have been blessed by her prayers. She was a well-informed Christian. It was delightful to listen to her pious conversation, in which the sacred text was naturally interwoven; and her powers seemed to take a bigher flight, when her mind turned to the efforts now prosecuted, with so much zeal, for the conversion of the nations.
Eminently did this excellent lady exhibit her faith by her works. No object of publick utility, no endeavour to propagate religion, no design for the benefit of the poor, in short, no poor individual, was ever brought to ber notice without exciting her most lively sympathy. No,almshouse, no hospital in our city, was ever more visited by those who needed assistance, than was her residence. Perhaps no poor person ever lived any length of time among us, without hearing of Mrs. Gregory. To her, the good and the cold-hearted habitually referred the applicant. She never turned a listless ear to the complaints of her fellow sinners. Are you sick, houseless, hungry? I will provide for you, and your family. Are you able to labour ? I will endeavour to find employment for you. Have you children ? Send them to school, and I will pay for their education. Are you too infirm to serve yourself? My servant shall belong to you, only treat her kindly. These are facts. O that God would put it into the hearts of the many wealthy ladies in our city to emulate this bright example ! Ah what will become of those poor now! May her mantle fall upon some one equally competent to the noble undertaking. Such characters are not only valuable, they are necessary. We have faith that divine Providence, who has greatly afflicted our city, by this event, will, and he alone can, raise up another such instrument of beneficence. In this wicked world, the cause of piety and charity needs, constantly needs, such helpers. How desolate would be the scene around us, without some such lights ! How common the fate of Sodom and Go. morrah, if there were not such persons to intercede with God!
I know that this is not the place for praising mortals. Death, which reminds man of bis sinfulness, which brings him to the dust, is not a suitable occasion for commendation. But the scriptures record it of John that “ he was a just man and a holy ;' and we have therefore a safe example in speaking of the good works of the departed Christian, not to honour the dead, but to benefit the living. In a world where piety and charity and meekness are so rare ; where inotives to resist the power of temptation, and to exalt the character, are con. stantly needed ; where men are so much more influenced by example than by precept, it would be improper to suffer such occasions as the present for instruction, for correction, for incitement to righteousness, to pass by unimproved. Our friend, “ being dead, yet speaketh.” She calls us to prepare to meet tbat God before whom she now stands; to rely on that Saviour in whom she trusted, and by whom we have good hope she has been pardoned, sanctified, and presented to the Father; to remember that “no man livetb to himself;" that the time of the longest life is short enough for the great business we have to do ; for preparing for an eternity of happiness ; for escaping endless suffering, the sure penalty of impenitence and unbelief; for knowing our God and Saviour, by cultivating his religion in our hearts, and communica. ting it, according to our means, to others; and finally for doing good to our fellow men, even as he has been good to us, and according to his instruction, “ In as much as ye did it to the least of these my breth. ren, ye did it unto me." It was not known, until two hours since, that the deceased would be interred in the cemetery of this church ; and thus, my brethren, I have been able to offer you only a few desultory remarks, on this very interesting occasion. But I was unwilling that such a character should descend to the tomb, without some special evi. dence of our sensibility ; that such an opportunity of improvement should be suffered to pass wbolly neglected. Think of the loss to our city, to the poor, to the Christian church, and pray that it may be sanctified to you, and that God would, in his mercy, fill up this chasm in the wall of piety and virtue. Examine your own hearts. Let this worthy lady, not in vain, remind us all of our deficiencies. O may we“ be followers of them, who, through faith and patience, have inherited the promises.” Look through the gift, to the Giver, through the instrument, to the divine Agent. Adore the goodness, and the grace, which has raised up, for mankind, the pious and the benevolent, in whose lives we should always trace the power and the mercy of their Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.
Mourners, sincere, deep, and, I fear, destined to be long sufferers, by this event, what shall I say to you. The Lord gave this true, this generous friend. The same Lord ever liveth. Look to him for comfort and support, and a supply of all things needful, for the body and the soul. Let it be the language of your hearts, “ The Lord gave, and be hath taken away.”
“Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Our friend is happy, and shall we think of our loss, more than of her gain ? She hath passed to the grave full of years, and of well-merited honour ; honoured by the tears of the widow, and the fatherless, and the church.
«« The Lord gave, and he hath taken away; and blessed be the name of the Lord.”
The annual convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the state of Massachusetts was held in St. Paul's church, Boston, on the 18th of June, 1823, at wbich were present, fourteen clergy men and twenty lay delegates, the representatives of ten parishes. Great Barrington, Lanesborough and Lenox, Greenfield, Ashfield, Montague and Springfield, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Quincy, Taunton, Cambridge, and Trinity church, Boston, were not represented. The Bishop have ing taken the chair, the Rev. Benjamin C. Cutler was elected Secretary, and Matthew S. Parker, Esq. Treasurer of the convention. The standing committee were chosen by nomination, and the Rev. Drs. Gardiner and Jarvis, the Rev. Isaac Boyle, George Brinley, S. Codman, and T. Clark, Esqrs. who served the last year were re-appointed.
On motion, Resolved, That the Secretary be a committee to examine if any unfinished business of the last convention remained to be acted on at the present ; and that the thanks of the convention be returned to the Rev. Mr. Boyle, for his sermon, and that he be requested to furnish a copy of the same, for insertion in the Gospel Advocate.
On motion of Dudley A. Tyng, Esq. seconded by the Rev. Dr. Jarvis, a committee of five gentlemen of the laity, consisting of Gardiner Green, Esq. the Hon. James Lloyd, Dr. Warren, Thomas L. Winthrop, Esq. and George Sullivan, Esq., was appointed to consider the expediency, and if expedient, the best means of instituting a fund for the relief of the widows and children of clergymen, and to report thereon at the next convention.
The following gentlemen were appointed delegates to the general convention :-Rev. Dr. Gardiner, Rev. Dr. Jarvis, Rev. Mr. Boyle, Rev. Mr. Strong, John Odin, Esq., Gardiner Green, Esq., Dudley A. Tyng, Esq., Ralph French, Esq.
The clergy having been called upon for their parocbial reports, agreeably to the 45th canon, presented the same, of which the following is an abstract.