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Then, as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven; and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud; that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater"-So the blessed dew of charity, so becoming to a Christian's feelings, incline your hearts to listen to our claim. That so the sacred springs of Sion may fertilize a barren land; and helpless ignorance be refreshed, and saved, in the waters of everlasting life!
True religion is hourly proving how justly Isaiah wrote; "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void; but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Give, then, cheerfully in this good cause; that by a Religious education, we may preserve to these poor children, all that is valuable to man; all that is acceptable to God: Christian Faith, and Hope, and Charity, throughout their happy, and their useful, lives.
Let their innocence plead for its preservation; their poverty claim your protection; their gratitude record your benevolence;
when their praise and thanks arise before the Mercy-seat of God.
Note. This Sermon drew upon the Preacher most violent, and false, accusations, in a Libel, written by a Romish Jesuit Priest; and published, in consequence of its being delivered for the Worthing National Schools, on Sunday, 10th of October, 1830: when the Congregation made a liberal collection for the Schools; and the Committee expressed their opinion of his Discourse in the most gratifying terms. This Priest of the Church of Rome had attacked a former Sermon of the Author; "the Protestant Church alone faithful in reading the Word of God." The Protestant Clergy, it is to be hoped; will, like the Author, never acknowledge the right of any Romish Peer, Prelate, or Priest; to silence the just accusations of History against that false, and Idolatrous Church.
PSALM XXVII. 4.
ONE THING HAVE I DESIRED OF THE LORD, WHICH I WILL REQUIRE; EVEN THAT I MAY DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, TO BEHOLD THE FAIR BEAUTY OF THE LORD, AND TO VISIT HIS TEMPLE.
SUCH was the desire of the pious King of Israel, who preferred the happiness of serving the Lord of Hosts, to all the pomps, and glories, of his own earthly throne. For David knew that the one was transitory, however honourable to rule over the chosen people of God; but that the other was eternal.
For not only the Christian, but the Jewish, religion teaches that the righteous shall shine as the stars in the firmament of heaven: and
that he who serves God faithfully in this life, shall dwellin His presence, and joyfully serve; gratefully, and eternally, worship Him in a better,
With the same consolatory knowledge, the same animating hopes, derived from the same source of heavenly wisdom in the Holy Scriptures; do the Christian Ministry wish to become the lawfully appointed servants of the Most High.
And happy is it for them, happy is it for you, our Christian brethren; that the Lord our Saviour left authority with His own personally instructed Disciples, to transmit a regular succession of his Priests, throughout all future Ages of the World.
It has long been a custom among those who have good reason for it in their own fears of exposure of their impostures, and pretences; to decry any plea of our lawful authority, as Pastors, and Teachers, in the Church of Christ. And a great many of our own weaker brethren, well wishers to our Established Church; are too ready to unite in attempting to silence, in this place, the just and righteous claims of her Ministry.
But that very opposition only more plainly shews the necessity of such discourses, occasionally, as the present Text naturally suggested on the day of Pentecost; when the Holy Ghost descended from heaven upon the first Ministers of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And no hopes of earthly wealth, or influence; no persuasions of designing adversaries, or feeble-spirited followers of our blessed Establishment; should ever silencc these well meant arguments in her support: assailed as our Church is on all sides, and in all places, by her enemies at this very time.
Firm conviction of her truth, and purity, called forth the first services of your Christian fellow-servants of a righteous Lord, a merciful Redeemer. Once taking upon them so sacred, so affecting, so honourable a charge, as the Christian Ministry; be that their first Duty in this life; their sole foundation, through the only merits of Christ Jesus, for hoping to enjoy the everlasting happiness of the life to come.
"One thing have I desired of the Lord, which I will require; even that I may dwell