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The following is a copy of the Address
“ We are assembled to commemorate no deeds of wo, to give origin to no column, which, as it rises to the clouds, shall tell of tears, of groans, and slaughter. We are laying the foundation of a triumphal arch, it is true, but on that arch are to be inscribed the victories of Jesus. Yes, here, as we hope, shall a temple rest, which, as it stands amid the lapse of time, shall echo on that glorious Gospel So God loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the end, that whosoever believeth in him, might not perish, but have everlasting life.' The meek, the mild, the merciful religion of our Immanuel, here shall have a home. Within these walls, ascending to our view, shall many come, from the din of a careless world, to listen to the warnings of the sacred page; the influences of the Spirit shall here, as we trust, descend, to convince them they are sinners : the cross of atoning Calvary shall here, we believe, be revealed, to publish forgiveness; and the prayer of acceptable devotion shall here, as we hope, be offered, through a Redeemer's merit.
“ And is not this a deed of gratulation ? We are disposed to rejoice when health pervades our city, and smiling contentment sits within our peaceful dwellings; and shall we not, fellow-citizens, rejoice, when another is adding to our tabernacles of piety? Oh! methinks there are bright ones hovering round, who contemplate this scene with transport. They, from their bowers of rest, came heralding the new-born Saviour; they, o'er the spot of his sepulchre, waved their silvery wings; there is joy among their hosts at the repentance of a single soul, and, think you, this event is by them unnoticed ? Here, when the Redeemer was revealed-here waved a heathen forest : here, for the lapse of long, long centuries, here was the home of spiritual night: no Bible shone to dissipate the gloom ; no day-star rose to tell of heavenly hope ; from the cradle to the grave,
the untutored native went, without a preacher: but now the bloom, foretold by the prophet, is flourishing; the sweet stillness of the holy morn beholds our multitudes crowding their numerous sanctuaries, to pay their homage to the Babe of Bethlehem. And, think you, that angels do not rejoice, as, in this congregating hour, we lay our cornerstone ? Oh, yes—those celestial visitants will here wait, and here watch, and here minister. They will abide unseen, within these rising walls, to catch the first notices of the renewing spirit, and fleetly bear the tidings to the hosts above, of another, and another, and another penitent. And shall not we be glad ? Is there a soul here present, without one taint of sin ? Let him, if he choose, withhold his voice of joy. Is there a creature of the dust who has never tasted sorrow? He may, if he please, refuse to join the angels. Is there a mortal here who has made an agreement with death ? He too, may call home his accents from our song of gladness. But all who feel as sinners ought, must raise an hallelujah for another Bethel.
“ Tell me, what is it speaks the improvement of a city? What constitutes it brightest ornament? What proclaims to the passing stranger, an advance in all that is desirable ? Surely not a crowded mart, for there may reign unrighteousness ;-not the elegance of private dwellings, for there may rest luxury ; nor yet battlements proud' towering to the sky. We go among the ruins of Athens, and we gather up her glories, and we read her monuments, and we wonder at their beauty. But of what do they tell ? Of Venus and of Bacchus. We are overwhelmed by the magnificence of Babylon, as it shines on our view from the historic page ; we are astonished at the grandeur of Ror as we spell out her storied columns; but are they not heralds of superstition and of blood ? The true record of a city's greatness, is the array of her temples of devotion, where the name of Jesus is repeated, and the lessons of Jesus are read, and the praise of Jesus is echoed, and to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, ascends the clouds of incense. There is the fountain of justice-thence go forth the streams of piety. A mild light beams from those altars, to shine through all the surrounding habitations. There are the young trained to holiness. There are the aged counselled to faith. There are children and children's children, Yes, fathers and mothers, there shall our children, and our children's children, follow our footsteps, and occupy our places, when we shall be dwelling with the clods of the valley. There shall they learn the precepts we have learned, and there shall they be fitted to join us in our rest. Rather let the traveller from the shores of Europe, when he comes to scan our character, return to tell of our places of prayer, than our palaces of luxury. The former are a nation's bulwark, the latter a nation's ruin.
“A word, and I have done. The influences of the Spirit, and they alone, can make this work redound to the Re. deemer's glory. The influences of the Spirit are given to fervent prayer. We ask you, then, one and all, to continue to present your supplications, that the priests who here, from time to time, shall minister, may be clothed with salvation; and the people who here, from time to time, shall worship, may be adorned with righteousness, and that, in the great final day, when the records of this temple are unrolled before the judgment-seat, it may appear that very many have found it none other than the house of God, and the gate of Heaven.'
The Editor of the Philadelphia Recorder, in noticing the consecration of the Church, observes
“ The rapidity with which this structure has been carried up, is remarkable. The corner-stone was laid in September last. Nine months ago, the stone which forms part of the fabric, was unquarried—the bricks were unburnt-the
wool, out of which the lining of the pews has been made, was on the back of the sheep.”
From the Report of Bishop White to the Convention of 1824, we learn that, on the 31st May, 1823, he “ crated to the service of Almighty God, St. Andrew's Church, in the city of Philadelphia, and preached on that occasion.”
I also add the following, which was found among the papers of 1823
“ My Dear Brother Allen :-As the prime mover, and, under the blessing of God, I may say the builder of my Church, I know none other so fit to take charge during my absence. The lecture on Tuesday evening next, at 8 o'clock, I hope you will not fail to see supplied : you can either give notice that it will be regularly continued, or put it off for a fortnight.”- “ Send a line to Hudson, should any thing important occur. " I remain your friend and brother,
G. T. BEDELL."
A second Church was set in motion. My brother succeeded in establishing as a missionary station, Francisville, in the vicinity of the city. The Rev. Norman Nash was the Missionary. In order to support this mission, my brother organized a special Female Missionary Society : it was chiefly composed of the members of his Bible-class. The plan of this society was to support the Missionary; and all money raised, over and above his support, was to be applied to the erection of a church at the station. By the blessing of God, the society was so prospered as to persevere in their work until the church was completed, and delivered
up into the hands of a Vestry. It was finished off with benches and not pews: thus it was peculiarly designed for the accommodation of the poor.
Mr. Nash continued faithful to the mission till the Church was organized and a more important field was presented.
The building was consecrated in June, 1824, by the Right Rev. William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania. At the conclusion of the exercises, my brother addressed the people.
A portion of the profits of my brother's Sermons on the Trinity was also given to the above object. An individual having disposed of a number of copies, gave him the money ; he received it, and then returned one-half the amount to the person, with the request to give it to St. Matthew's Church in that person's name. This little inci. dent shows that in every way he was labouring to do good, and also that he was not so anxious to be known in the work.
Besides his other publications, he very much promoted the publication of a small religious paper, entitled the " Church Record.” It appears that the object of this publication was the promotion of the cause of the Church and Missions; and the immediate profits of the work to be devoted to missionary purposes. The editorial duties of this paper ostensively devolved upon a few of the clergy of Philadelphia, but it is manifest that my brother was prominent in the active duties.
He wrote to me
“ September 18th, 1822. « Dear Thomas :—It would have given me great pleasure to have visited you and witnessed your consecration,” (a new church in my parish)" but my duties were too numerous, and really from the formidable array presented in your list of expected clergymen, it needed not my presence. Some other time my visit may do much more good. And now I congratulate you, and hope you may have the joy of