Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

sustain herself, and purify the nation, but she must stretch out her arms, and make the whole world feel the strong embrace of her benevolence.

There are Christians enough now in the United States—if they will only throw aside every carnal weapon, and take the whole armor of God, and go forth in their strength—to subvert all the ancient foundations of error; and pull down all the strong holds of sin; and erect the standard of the cross over every demolished temple of idolatry; and pour the light of life into every dark habitation of cruelty, in the whole world.

"These weapons of our holy war,
Of what almighty force they are!"

The world does not know it yet:-the church does not fully understand it. The omniscience of God's word, the omnipotence of God's truth, only need be fully appreciated, to show that the church has resources, which render the evangelizing the world a reasonable enterprise.

III. THE VIEWS WHICH HAVE BEEN TAKEN OF OUR SUBJECT, SHOW HOW UNFOUNDED ARE THE SUSPICIONS AND JEALOUSIES WHICH ARE ENTERTAINED OF THE MISSIONARY CAUSE, AND HOW UNWARRANTABLE IS THE OPPOSITION MADE TO IT.

They who are engaged in this cause, declare in presence of their Maker, and before the world, that they renounce all the use of carnal weapons: that they acknowledge the lawfulness of no measures, but such as

Christ and his apostles approved. A single sentence expresses their means and measures—they speak the truth in love. They, indeed, feel horror at opposition made to the pure and benevolent religion of the gospel; but they are entirely willing—nay, earnestly desirous, that the use of any means or methods of extending its influence, different from those appointed in the Bible, may be denounced and exposed. And the more clearly, the better. For they wish only to know what God teaches, and to do what God commands.

That perfect religious liberty, too, which is secured to Christians of this country, is regarded by them as all-important, nay, necessary to the success of their enterprise. The full and free use of their weapons requires it: deprived of it, indeed, they could not put forth half their strength. Indeed, should revivals of religion proceed as they lately have done; and the church go forward as she has gone; it is a thousand times more probable, that the enemies of religion will endeavor to lay restraints on conscience, than that her friends in this country will seek an alliance with the ruling powers. And truly the indications are already such, as may well rouse up Christian jealousy. Let the church be awake, and watchful of the liberty with which God has blessed her. Many already show that they want nothing but power, to break up every plan of religious benevolence which Christians have formed, and scatter their resources to the winds of heaven. But, brethren, stand fast, and fear not. The God of benevolence is with us—the Lord of hosts is our refuge, and our weap

ons are of everlasting strength. We will hope by well-doing to put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, and allay all evil suspicion of our designs. But should opposition increase, sooner will we part with all that we hold dear in life, and with life itself, than relinquish the privilege of labouring without hindrance, in our Lord's vineyard; of pursuing our efforts to glorify God, and bless mankind, in the way pointed out in the Bible.

Opposition is altogether unreasonable. Express its true character, and it amounts to this:-You shall not, if you can be prevented, carry the truths of the gospel to the heathen. You shall not turn them from their base and foul idolatry to the living God. You shall not convert them from their impure and bloody rites, to the pure and spiritual worship of the Holy One. Their licentiousness, their dark fanaticism, their human sacrifices, and all their hopelessness shall continue. The morality, the doctrine, the hope of the gospel shall not be made known to them. They shall never hear the voice of mercy, nor see the light of life. But the unabated curse shall rest on them, and they shall wither and die under it forever.” Redeemer of men! why should the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against thee, the Lord's Anointed? What spirit possesses the enemies of thy cause--the cause of truth; of love; of heaven?

But let us pause a moment, to look at the subject a little more minutely. See one of our villages—not that one, where an infidel lawyer and physician have stationed themselves, to live on the vices, and (the

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

proper fruits of vice, the diseases of their fellow-men;
where gambling, and the tricks of gamblers, are made
to supply the place of knowledge and industry; and
where ardent spirit brings in its legion of devils to
possess and to destroy. Alas! the faithful missionary
is needed there, as much as in the islands of the sea!
But turn from this odious place, to that, where the
people, appreciating the value of religion, have chosen
for themselves, a pious, learned, and faithful minister,
to teach them and their children the doctrine of Christ
and the way to heaven; where grandsires, just on the
verge of heaven, repeat old Simeon's song, and then
look on children, and on children's children, follow-
ing in the same path to the Mount Zion above;
where fathers hold forth the word of life by a holy
example, before their families; and mothers enforce
the lesson by all the sweetness of female piety; where
the young are strong to do good, and find their pleas-
ures in the fulfilment of their duty; and where lisp-
ing infancy is taught to sing hosannas to the Son of
David. 0, what a scene of loveliness! Here are the
charities of domestic, and the kindness of social life.
Here
peace

descends like the dew of Hermon: and . love, like the holy oil, which consecrated God's high priest, diffuses its blessedness through the whole society. Here are heard the inspiring notes of hope, and the higher strains of heavenly joy–Nor need we wonder; for heaven is here begun on earth. Now contrast this scene, with the ignorance, the tyranny, the licentiousness, the cruelty, the debasement, the brutality of heathenism!—Well; it is the object of the missionary enterprise, to shed light into all those

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

dark habitations of cruelty; to pour through those sinks of sin the purifying waters of salvation; to awaken love in the hearts of the cruel, and hope in the bosoms of the wretched; and to give the bread of life to the perishing, and salvation to the lost. And must this work of love, in this land of light have to encounter the fierce and steady opposition of determined enemies!-Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!

But the work must be done and it will be done. God has said it. The church has heard bis voice; and is girding on her armor of heavenly proof; and is going forth in the name and the spirit of her Redeemer; and the Lord goes before her. Every mountain shall be levelled, and every valley shall be exalted; the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God: and all kindreds and tribes of men on earth, and the ransomed in heaven, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty elders, and the cherubim and seraphim, that stand in presence of the divine glory, in strains,

ow

ve: boly

orce

nere

Cas

ISP a of the

life. and

“Loud as from numbers without number, sweet
As from blest voices uttering joy,"

d's ole

shall celebrate the everlasting triumphs of Truth and Love.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »