The Spirit to be Poured out upon Servants: A Sermon / by Paul Trapier.
The Spirit to be Poured out upon Servants: A SERMON. PREACHED IN SEVERAL OF THE Protestant Episcopal Churches in Charleston, IN NOV. [and] DEC. 1849. BY PAUL TRAPIER, Minister of Calvary Church. CHARLESTON, S.C. PRINTED BY MILLER [and] BROWNE, No. 5 Broad-stree. 1850.
The Spirit to be Poured out upon Servants, A SERMON. Preached in several of the Protestant Episcopal Churches in Charleston, in November and December 1849, by PAUL TRAPIER, Minister of Calvary Church. JOEL II. 29. "And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids, in those days, will I pour out my Spirit." BY servants and handmaids here are meant, the class of people we are in the habit of calling by those names, our men-servants and women- servants, born in our houses, or bought with our money, and to be handed down with our other property to those who may come after us.- And we must admit that there is interesting mention of them here ; as you may see by looking at the previous verse, where the selflsarne things are said of "your sons and your daughters, your old men and your young men," all of whom are placed by the Lord .Iehovah on an equal footing of spiritual privilege with the humbler inmates of your households. Nor may we be at a loss to determine the date of "those days" of which Joel speaks. For in this we are not left to any " private inter- pretation ;" inasmuch as, besides the import throughout the prophetic writings ofthis and similar modes of expression, " the latter days," and " afterwards" denoting the times of the Gospel, we have for this meaning of them, in this place, the word of " holy men,-" who themselves " spake' as they were _moved by the Holy Ghost," and have assured us that the .- outpouring of the Spirit here promised was to be, and did begin to be,- in the days ofthe new dispensation. Thus St. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, accounting for the won- drous effusion then v of spiritual influence, cites the prophecy before, us, and says " this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel ;" thus teaching us that it received, on that day and in that event, its first fulfilment. Next, lest any should suppose that it was spoken only of a miracu- lous and sudden outpouring, orthat the' Jews alone were to be its recipients, we find that St. Paul tothe Romans, in a-passage where he affirms that there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, and where he is speaking too of inward graces, gives in proof ofthe_ equal participation of all alike in _those`graces, a subsequent verse of this prophecy. And to the Corinthians more expressly, " whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, we have aIl," declares, "been made to drink into one spirit," even as "by one
2 spirit we are all baptized into one body ;" there being, as he tells the Galatians, " neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free," even as there is in this respect oi' spiritual privilege, " neither male nor female ;" the Gospel of the Lord Jesus sanctioning, indeed, and secu- ring grades in society and distinctions of civil condition as sacredly as of sex, yet diffusing its hallowing influences through all alike, and leavening the whole community with an ingredient, which is efficient with the lowest as with the highest, because designed and adapted no less flair the ignorant than for the learned; for the rude than fbr the refined; forthe slave than for the free. On this warrant then of ancient prophecy thu's explained and applied by inspired men, I may safely plead with you, brethren, once again, in behalf' of servants, and may confidently expect that, as the Lord Him- self has deemed them not beneath His notice, but has moved His prophet so long ago to pledge to them His favor, so will you be ready to become fellow-workers with Him in carrying to its right results the efforts now making for their good. Happily I need not stay, at this stage of' our progress, to argue with you questions which have been often discussed here and elsewhere, and which within the last few weeks, after having been before our fel- low-citizens for more than four months, were settled without a dissent- ing voice in one of those primary assemblies, which among us are looked to for expressions of "the will of the people." We rejoice that, after mature deliberation and consultation, that will has, in this instance, been found to accord with "the will of`God." And while we gratefully acknowledge the good services of those human agents, who were moved by Him to give thus a right direction to public opinion, we must ascribe to His Spirit working in the hearts of'men,the change in the minds of many, and the result, which now leaves us free to go on in the way, wherein the Lord Him'self,We verily believe, would have us go, in giving " the Gospel in the Church" to servants. In our endeavors then so to do, we cou-nt upon fit that the brethren of our own "household of' faith," the Episcopalians of our several congregations in this city, will henceforth with one heart, and with one soul,wish us "God speed." ’Tis not now, dear "friends, that any of you can be harboring doubts and fears and misgivings about the con- sistency of this our work with the temporal well-being of our commu- nity; for some of the discreetest men among us,[asterix]alive to the public weal, and every way competent to see to its preservation, have awar- ded to our scheme the :need of unqualified approval, and have even bestowed upon it an appellation, of which We scarce can hope it will ever be entirely worthy. Neither may you, as Christians, look only to the " conservative" [asterix]The " Committee of Fifty," appointed at trpublic meeting of the ‘citizens of Charles- ton, say in their Report, " it is evi ent that Ca vary Church is erected for a lawful pur- pose; that the safeguards against disorder and unlawful combination 1n that Church are much greater tha.n the jealousy ofthe law has hitherto imposed; and that, so far from a bad example, it may be deserving of attention, as o model for others engaged in the sagne laudable work." This 'Report was unanimously adopted at a subseqnent public meeting; and is to be printed with other documents from the same'Comm1ttee, for the use of the citizens.
3 tendencies of this and of kindred efforts in behalf' of servants. For we should, indeedfbe falling inlinitely beneath our aim, were we to have in view only the more faithful discharge of their duties to you their earthly owners; and true though it certainly is, that every word we lay to them must tend to make them more submissive and obe- dient, more orderly and honest, more active and diligent, and sober and trust-worthy, you will agree that we shall have labored to little - purpose, and intrudcd this subject of Calvary Church, though with your Rector’s consent, yet improperly upon you from this holy place, and on this sacred day, unless we have hopes of accomplishing 'much more for servants than aught of merely temporal good. Yes, you know that, as it was for nothing less than the saving of their souls that this movement first was made, so would not our Church in (Ion- vention have given it countenance repeated] y, unless that sinners might thus be converted, brands plucked from the burning, and a people zealous of good works be prepared lin' the Lord. Clearly then, in this movement ofour Church in behalf of servants, we may not look only to arrangements, however unexceptionable. (_)ur lhilding may besvith seats, distinguished requisitely by their position, their elevation, and sundry other unequivocal designations-with doors of entrance, affording olpportunity for avoiding undue proximity. The teaching there may he rom none but approved persons-nor may any be allowed to receive it without consent of owners. Nor may pasto- ral attentions be extended to any others. Nor may any be admitted to sacred ordinances, unless on testimonials of worthiness. These and such like counsels and pledges of' prudence may be adhered to .scrupulously by those who are in charge, and there may ensue a "form of godliness," creditable in the eyes of our fhllow-citizens, and shew- -_ ing itself in exemplariness of outward demeanor. And were this all, would be much. The elfect of such a change would be felt by many a household in the increase of the comfort of its inmates. But, ere we. can rest as in the attainment of our object, much more, you will agree, must have been brought about. These outward chun- ges we must be able to ascribe to something inward. N or can,we repose, with any degree of confidence, in the probable permanence of any reformation in the habits of servants, any more than of white per- sons, unless it sprin from arcnewed nature, and bc the genuine growth ofa heart, warmed by the sun ofrightconsncss, fertilized by the dew of heaven, and’thet‘el’bre " bringing fhrth fruit 'unto holiness." Now, ` such increase, of course, we all know, can be from no planting or wa- tering, though it 'were of apostolic men; and hence the value to us of this promise in our text to servants and to handmaids. Yes, brethren, it is because we have this promise and only therefore, that we venture on this work. It is because we'are sure that these people, however sensual by nature and tlebased habitually, are yet not meyond thc reach of spiritual influences, but being objects, no less than we, nf mercy through Christ, may like us be "washed and sanctified and justified in the name ofthe Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit ofour God,"--yea ! and made too to "sit together in heavenly places" with the most eminent of our race. Hence it is that we ask also your interest in this work and would
4 lead you to look for good from it ultimately, not a whit less than from missions, to the most refined, I will hot say ofthe heathen, but of Christian communities,-yea! fbr benefit to our city as great, and affecting each of you at least as intimately. as if from the organizing of another congregation of white persons in the midst of us. Nor are we in the least afraid of extravagance in the expression ofa. hope, and an expectation, that at some future day, the tone ofpiety among our ser- vants will be, though not perhaps as enlightened, yet as fervent, as among their owners, and their conduct not less consistently in keeping with their professions. Not through any human energy working such wonders among them. Not through the efficacy with them of any ecclesiastical organization Not because ofany peculiarsusceptibility of theirs to religious emotions. Certainly not because of any dis- tinguishing advantages in their social position. No, indeed, brethren, we may admit that in all these and other respects, .those who would do them good must meet with singular difliculties. But nevertheless, we see no reason why we may not look forward to our servants being good Christians, advanced Christians,-imbued as deeply and perva- ded as thoroughly with holy influences, and bringing forth in thlir lives and conversation as abundantly as any others, " the fruits of the Spirit"-expressly because, here we have the 'promise of the Lord Himself,-" also, upon the servants and upon the handmaids, in those days will I pour out my Spirit." Not "now, indeed, as in the day of Pentecost, in miraculous effusions ;-nor all ofa sudden;-neither in dreams or visions. Nay l the vain fancies of such things, in our day, are among the chief hindrances in the way of these people. One of the first labors ofthose who would do them good must be to disabuse them of all such idle notions; to dispel from their minds the delusions i ofempty superstition; to destroy their reliance upon sights and sounds " and mere " frames and feelings," and sudden impulses; and to bring them to sober and scriptural tests of conversion, and evidences of true piety ; and therefore to teach them that the Spirit is now poured out, not all at once, nor perceptibly, but is to be sought for and ex- pected in the use of appointed means, and will be received, we know not how, nor when, and is _to be known by His effects in the gradual renewing of the whole soul to holy dispositions and a holy life; not, in- deed, by virtue any means, though of Divine appointment, and used ,though for years,-but through the invvorking of God the Holy Ghost, blessing those means effectual-ly to none others than devout, and lowly, and penitent, and believing recipients. In short, let but the same means be used, and in the same spirit by your servants as by yourselves, and we see not why we may not look for the same results of genuine con- version and consequent holiness; not instantly, nor ever thoroughly, but in due season and proportion ;--till in a course of years, not in our day, perhaps, nor with this generation, but ultimately, there be found among this class of' people in our community,servants as worthy as was Abraham 's steward of' entire confidence, as pure and pious as Joseph, as obedient as those ofthe Centurion, as profitable and 'deser- vedly as beloved as Gnesimus. Only grant that the Gospel is indeed "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth," and you will not wonder that in this endeavor now to bring it homo to the
5 minds and hearts of servants, we are counting upon good, equal to the highest of the hopes that can spring from the promise of Him, who " is loving unto every man," who " does for us exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think," and ,who will not fail to pour out His Spirit upon our servants to the saving of their souls, to the promotion of His glory, and to the _joy ofall the good. Do any ask then, why this subject has been brought before you now for the fourth time, in half as many years, by the some individual, and he with no claim pastorally upon you? Every Christian heart, 1 am confident. will answer for me; because, as the work is Spiritual, we would enlist in it the sympathies, especially of every spiritual person. We would bespeak for our feeble efforts, and in behalf of our infant congregation, the prayers and good offices of the pious, especially in our own household ot' faith. Yes, brethren beloved, we entreat your prayers, particularly fhr the outpouring ot' the Spirit promised of' God. We beseech you to remember us in your private devotions ; and when in Church you intercede for " the continual dew of His blessing upon the " other" clergy, and " upon the congregations committed to their charge," we would fain hope your thoughts will turn also to us. For our claim upon you, we like to think, is somewhat peculiar-not as of a." selfisubsisting sister congregation, separate in organization, but as of a domestic and dependant people, owing our ecclesiastical existence to the common council of our Church in this diocese, and to he indebted for our continued life to the confidence and support of our brethren of the Parish Churches. We grow, or we decrease,--we become vigo- rous, or vvelanguisb;-1 may almost say that under God, we live or we die, according as you and others like you, give us, or withdraw from us, your countenance and aid. Earnestly, therefore, do we desire to secure for ourselves a place in your hearts, a firm hold upon your judgmentsfa. zealous co-operation with us in those ways, in which we may legitimately look for you to help us. Chiefly by your prayers. Let them be fervent, and they will be effectual-agree to ask, and it will _be done for us of f‘ our Father, who is in heaven." In answer to your united, and repeated, and believing prayers, He will give His Holy Spirit to th_e Minister, and to the people, in whose behalf I am pleading; and that Spirit will "cause the deaf' to hear the words of the Book, and the eyes of the blind to see out of obscurity, and out of darkness, and the meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord," and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel," and the man-servant and the hand-maid shall feast together upon Spiritualfhod, and grow up to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; till they with you, and with your children, become " partakers of the inheritance of the saints in lightf’ and exult fbrever in the true charity which moved you to care 'ibr their souls, and to open to them the doors of the lowly sanctuary, where they might be trained fbr heaven. Thither, then, we ask you, brethren, to send, not those who are now under other pastoral carer-no l we would not have a single one remg. ved from any of our other congregations. Gladly would we induce you to fill lirst every vacant seat for servants in our other city Churches ; sure, as we are, that even then there would be only too many without a. place to worship in. These are the ones for whom we are provi-
6 ding. We put in a word for these. And if' there be among your servants any, who go no where to Church, we offer you our own services for them. We would receive them under our pastoral care ;_ would teach them in ourSunday school; would preach to them ontopics, and in a style, adapted to them; would prepare them with your approval for bap- tism, Conlirmation and the Communion; and, in short, would be to them, as nearly as circumstances may permit, what your pastors are to you ;--visiting them, (not without your express consent,) at their houses, in sickness, and when they are at leisure. Further, we desire to bein communication with you about them, receiving from you not only certificates of character, but intimations about their behavior from titne to time, and keeping up, in short, such concert of action with you as may best enable us to exert over them a. wholesome spiritual influence, and promote their well-being and well- doing,.at home as in Church; in the week, no less than on Sunday; and in their every day behavior, .quite as much as in theirreligious profession : that thus we may, through the Spirit working with us, and- through yout‘ affectionate confidence, be inst|‘umental in results, which may be felt for good in every household, whose domestics are entrusted to our spiritual supervision. Yet again,-as the brief hour that we can have them with us in the Sunday school precludes the possibility of their committing much to memory then, and must be spent chiefly in conveying truth to their minds, and in endeavoring to impress it upon their hearts, I venture to express a hope that owners will aid us in the week, by taking pains to " teach them orally the Creed,the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and such other approved formularies as we may hear them recite on Sunday. Younger members of families, we are sure, and those not burdened with housekeeping, will find a devout satisfaction in giving up, though it be but an hour a day, to so charitable a work. 'Lastly; Itouch with diffidence on a topic, which, though our sub- ject, we have said, is spiritual, may not be passed by. And yet I know not why I should, hesitate, as your own good sense must tell you that what I am about to say is unavoidable, and your kind feelings (ifl have succeeded in any degree in awakening them,) will anticipate my allu- sion, and hasten to relieve whatever embarrassment there may be in an appeal for pecunia.ry aid. The truth is, we have anticipated our receipts about $1,200--not extravagantly, as the almost Quaker plainness ofour building bears witness,-not presumptuously, if there be faith in the promises of God, and reliance upon the expressed ap- ' proval ofour brethren. Our debt has been incurred in the discharge of duty, and increased by the action of others in suggesting alterations which involve additional expense. And therefore we confess to no fault in the acknowledgment of inability to pay for our building with- out farther contributions from you. We are not ashamed, fbr we are not begging-we are but laying our case, before those for whose sakes, and not for our own, we have given ourselves to this work. And for your own sakes, we say, and tht' your servants’ sakes--yea, brethren, for the sake of Him, who " took upon Him the form of a servant," and who "though He was rich, yet for your sakes became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich," we rely upon it, that you will
7 not leave us to struggle with a burden, which, though by lifting each pa finger you may take off from us, will else hang heavily upon a congregation, whose members, ofcourse, are, from their position in soci- ety, neither expected nor able to remove it by their own efforts. We will gratefully receive whatever any of you ma.y please to send, either to me, to your own Pastors, or to any one of the Committee, who are in charge of Calvary Church. Brethren, farewell! Though my ministrations are to be henceforth chiefly to those to whom this address would be scarcely intelligible, let me cherish the hope that I shall carry with me the good wishes and the generous confidence of all, to whom the soul is precious; and that in your prayers you will reserve a place for the mission, which, I scruple not to say, should be second to none in the hearts of the pious of our city and of our Church, and the fruits of which (if bles- sed by Him who has promised to pour out His Spirit upon His ser- vants a.nd His hand-maids,) will be to His glory "at His appearing, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, to whom be honor and power everlasting." Amen.
- The Spirit to be Poured out upon Servants: A Sermon / by Paul Trapier.
- Trapier, Paul, 1806-1872
- This sermon, preached in several of the Protestant Episcopal Churches in Charleston, in November and December 1849, was authored by Paul Trapier, Minister of Calvary Church. The speech charges the members of the congregation with living a life of mission in sharing the gospel with those enslaved to their care.
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