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DELIVERED AT THE ORDINATION
REV. DANIEL L. CARROLL,
LITCHFIELD, CONN. OCTOBER 3, 1827.
By Benj. F. Stanton, A. M.
Pastor of the Church of Christ in Bethlem,
PUBLISHED AT THE REQUEST OF TRE SOCIETY'S COMMITTES.
PRINTED BY S. S. SMITH, LITCRFIELD.
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT, SS. Be it remembered, That on the fifth day of November in the fifty-second year of the Independence of the United States of America, Stephen S. Smith of said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Proprietor in the words following, to wit:
“The Apostolic commission. A Sermon delivered at the ordination of Rev. Das"IEL L. CARROLL, Litchfield, Conn. October 3, 1827. By Bexy. F. STANTON, A. M. “ Pastor of the Church of Christ in Bethlem."
In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An act for the " encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to " the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned."And also to the act, entitled, "An act supplementary to an act, entitledAn act for “the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and booke,
to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,' "and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching " historical and other prints."
CHA'S A. INGERSOLL,
Clerk of the District of Connecticut. A true copy of Record, examinod and sealed by me,
CHA'S A. INGERSOLL, Clerk.
MATTHEW, . 1-10. And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these ; the first, Simon, whe is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alpheus, and Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as je go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven 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, oor brass, in your purses; nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, aor yet staves; for the workman is worthy of his meat.
A more suitable theme, from which instructions may be drawn that are appropriate to the present occasion, it is thought, can hardly be found in the whole compass of the Inspired Volume, than that which is furnished in the text and the parallel passages of the other Evangelists, and which leads us directly to the source from whence all ministerial authority, under the New Testament Dispensation, has been derived. The importance of the ministry of reconciliation to the temporal and eternal interests of our apostate race, was familiarly known to Him in whom were hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and hence, in the exercise of a compassion as boundless as his wisdom, He was pleased du
ring his manifestation in the flesh, to provide for the future necessities of the church, by setting apart, with special solemnities, a particular order of men, whose sole business should be, to negotiate between God and their fellow-sinners on the momentous concerns of salvation. To us, who live at this remote distance from the period when the Apostolic commission was given, it may be difficult to trace the various links in the long chain of ministerial succession that runs from that, through the intervening ages of darkness, to the present time ;—but for our difficulties a satisfactory solution may be found in the pledge with which its Divine Author accompanied the institution of a Gospel ministry ;-lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world;-a pledge, it will readily be perceived, which could not be redeemed, unless the church should be favoured with a regularly authorized succession of spiritual guides from the days of the Apostles to the consummation of all things.
In reply to the exclusive pretensions which some make to the only Apostolic ministry, and who assume to have derived their claims to pre-eminence, in regular descent, from the Apostles through the Pontiffs of Rome, we would barely remark in this place, that the chain of succession on which they rely, agreeably to the assertions of ecclesiastical historians, appears, for once at least, to have been broken by the unhappy introduction of a female to the papal chair; a fact which, in our apprehension, presents an objection to the pretensions in question as formidable as any with whieh we are acquainted that has yet been alleged to invalidate the ministerial claims of most other denominations of Protestant
christians. That ministry, it would seem,-and this is undeniably the history of the one with which the ecclesiastical Association here convened claims the honour of being connected-must be as strongly entitled as any to the confidence and respect of mankind, to whose labours the Great Head of the church has, for ages, seen fit to affix the signet of his approbation, by accompanying them with the special communications of his grace, and rendering them the efficacious means of turning multitudes from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, who, by their exemplary deportment, have adorned the doctrine of God their Saviour, and have terminated their earthly career in the enjoyment of a hope full of immortality and of life.
By the statements which the Evangelists have exhibited of the circumstances attending the commission which our Lord gave to the Apostles, we are naturally led to a consideration of the following particulars--their number, together with the reason of the appellation bestowed on them, and their separation into companies——the call which they received, and their formal consecration to the sacred office—the character which they sustained as religious teachers--the field of labour which they were to occupy--the duties which they were to perform-and the compensation to which they were entitled.
On each of these particulars, it is our design to enlarge in this discourse.
I. We begin by observing, that the number of the Apostles is stated to have consisted of twelve, which corresponds with the several tribes into which the na tion of Israel was divided,--a circumstance which has led respectable commentators to conclude, that