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of his pastoral charge. The necessity created by disingenuous treatment is his only apology for committing his explanations to the press; and he trusts that by all good and honorable men it will be thought sufficient.
J. M. MASON. Philadelphia, 9th June, 1810.
EXCEPTING some slight verbal corections; the addition, in a few instances, of a sentence or part of a sentence, not varying the argument, nor altering the meaning; and the insertion of a paragraph which happened to be omitted in the delivery, the ensuing speech is printed exactly as it was spoken.
DR. MASON'S SPEECH,
Associate Reformed Presbytery of New York,
Thursday Evening, May 24th, 1810.
Rev. JAMES Mathews, Moderator.
Ruling Elders. GEORGE LINDSAY, DERICK AMERMAN, PETER R. SPRAINGER.
Dr. Mason called up the papers which he presented to the Presbytery on the 17th instant, at Newburgh; which were read, as follows, viz:
“ To the Moderator and Members of the Associate
Reformed Presbytery of New York, to meet at Newburgh, on Wednesday the 16th day of May instant. « REVEREND BRETHREN :-Serious reflection, often repeated, and, for a considerable time past the memory
habitual; accompanied also, if I do not entirely mistake, with scrupulous caution and fervent prayer against an improper bias, has convinced me that my longer continuance in my present congregational charge, will be favorable neither to my own peace, nor to my people's benefit, nor to the general interests of our church.
“ Not that I have ought to accuse my people of. Their fidelity to their engagements; their kindness to myself; their respectful attention to my ministry; their public spirit; their orderly deportment, ever since my settlement among them, have endeared them to my heart, and shall forever sweeten
relation to them. “ But I find, by experience, that parochial cares, to which my own judgment not less than my ordination vows, attaches high importance, are incompatible with the work which the Head of the Church has been pleased to assign to me; and, accordingly, I do not so much as pretend to perform the duties resulting from them.
"I see the congregation suffering for want of an efficient pastoral inspection; and I anticipate, with alarm, the consequences of this evil, unless preventive measures be adopted speedily.
“I have used, without success, the only means in my power to avoid the step which I am now forced to take.
“My congregation are fully apprised of my intention, and my reasons; as will appear from the document herewith presented. The decisive expressions there used are to be interpreted simply of my resolution to pursue my present application ; and not as interfering, in any degree, with the submission which I owe to the authority of the Lord's house.
“I am forbidden by every Christian principle, and by every honorable sentiment, to retain a station of which I cannot fulfil the duties. I am equally forbidden to sacrifice the greater trust to the less; and as faithfulness to both cannot coexist, I have only the afflicting alternative of praying the Reverend Presbytery to release me from my pastoral connection.”
“ J. M. Mason. “ New-York, 8th May, 1810."
“ To the Members of the First Associate Reformed
Church in the City of New-York. “Christian BretHREN: I have requested your attendance this evening, in order to lay before you
the result of my reflections upon a subject which has long been a source of painful uneasiness to my mind.
“ It is now nearly seventeen years since it pleased God to call me to the ministry of reconciliation,
and to assign me to this congregation as the immediate scene of my labors. The flower of my days has been spent with you.
The course of my services has been marked with much imperfection and many failures; but marked also, as I humbly hope, by some degree of acceptance with God, and usefulness to man, Being the sole pastor of the congregation, I was bound to perform all the duties of that responsible office in so far as I was really able. For several
For several years after my settlement among you, the state of my health, as you well remember, forbad, almost altogether, iny discharge of those important functions, which are comprehended under the general term of Parochial duty. When this impediment was removed, others were created by trusts and employments so extensive in their nature, and so imperious in their obligation, as to demand my first care, and to consume the leisure which I should otherwise have enjoyed. Thus year after year has glided by, duties of high moment to your welfare have been unfulfilled, and the prospect of their being fulfilled by me, is more distant than ever.
“ Perceiving, as I do, their absolute necessity to your prosperity; knowing that the omission of them gradually weakens the bond of affection which should closely unite a pastor and his people; estranges the mind of individual members from the sense of their common interest in each other ;