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torth their missionaries, would not call you to this arduous and self-denying work, did they not believe both the commission and the promise, given to the first Christian missionaries, are still in force.
Were we not encouraged by this promise, and were not our confidence placed here, we should have no hope you would ever enlighten, or convert a single pagan. To send you away from all the endearments and privileges of your homes, from your circles of beloved friends, from the bosom of these churches, and from the altars of these sanctuaries, to sustain the privations and hardships of a missionary life, we should think a wanton sacrifice. We would dismiss you to other labors, and call home our missionaries now in the field, and abandon the enterprise, as well, as the hope, of ever evangelising the world.
But the commission and the promise are unrepealed, and remain in all their force. Yes, dear brethren, for your encouragement, as well as ours, the promise has been fulfilled, and fulfilled in the sense, in which we understand it. Not only to the primitive disciples was this promise executed, but it has as really been fulfilled since the ascension of the Saviour, and the close of the Jewish dispensation, as before. It has been fulfilled in our day. Jesus Christ has been with the missionaries sent from the American churches, and has granted them the guidance and support and grace implied in the promise. They have been qualified by his Spirit, sustained in great afflictions by his loving kindness, succeeded in their labors by his grace, and supported and consoled in a dying hour by his presence and smiles. Some indeed
have been cut down long before they had accomplished all, that it was in their heart to do. The beloved Warren, Newell, Nichols, Richards, Mosely, Parsons, Frost, and Fisk, all of precious memory, have been summoned away in the midst of their toils; and we doubt not, are now rejoicing before the throne in the fruit and reward of their sacrifices. They found the sure fulfilment of this precious promise even to the end; they died in the triumphs of faith; and it would be worth making all their sacrifices, and enduring all their toils, to die in the same joyful and triumphant manner.
But the mention of Fisk, that beloved missionary of high qualifications, so generally known and esteemed in our churches, so tenderly associated with all that is useful, and elevating, and endearing in the cause of missions, seems to cast a gloom over the horizon; for a bright star has early set in the eastern hemisphere. God grant that the brightness, with which it set, may cast abroad a clearer light, and accomplish more good, than the revolutions of many
That dying missionary could say, confiding in the precious promise of Jesus Christ, "To be where thou art, to see thee as thou art, to be made like thee, the last sinful motion forever past, that's Heaven."
You may go forth, beloved brethren, trusting in the promise of the same Saviour, who furnished him with such eminent qualifications, and was with him to the end. One of your number, at least, is expected to go directly to the same interesting field of labor. As he follows the footsteps of this much lamented
missionary, and sees the traces of his benevolence, and piety, and usefulness, may he imbibe much of his spirit, and live, and labor like him, only many, many more years.
Go forth, dear brethren, trusting confidently in the precious promise of the Lord of missions. Go forth in his name,-from pure, ardent love to him, and to the souls for whom he died, and he will go with you. Labor and pray among the heathen in the exercise of this spirit, and he will be with you. He will aid you in making still higher intellectual and spiritual attainments; he will support you under trials, succor you in temptation, sustain you amidst all your arduous labors, and crown them with ultimate success. Always remember that he will be present; and always secure his gracious pres
He can do as much for you, as though his bodily presence went with you. And would
feel encouraged, were he visibly present with you, as with his disciples, when he tabernacled in flesh, that you might seek his wisdom to illumine your minds, his counsel to guide your way, his mercy to support you,
his grace to give you success, and his power to defend and protect you? You may as really have his presence to do all this, as did his disciples, when he sojourned with them on the earth.
You may repair to him as frequently and freely, you may ask as much, and expect as much, and receive as much, as though he should go forth in his bodily presence with you, from this day till the hour of your death. Let this be your encouragement, your hope, your confidence at all times.
And to you also, my beloved brother,* who are devoted to the same great and glorious enterprise of evangelising all nations, but in a different sphere, this promise of our Lord Jesus affords animating encouragement. To you, in connexion with your respected associates, the churches look with high expectation; and upon you, and them, they have devolved vast responsibilities and mighty cares. the presence and grace of the Saviour, therefore, you must be sustained, or you will sink into discouragement, and an early grave. But upon this assurance, you, no less than he who spends his days in distant, benighted climes, may confidently rest; and resting upon it, may find support and joy amid all your painful toils. Then keep near to the Saviour; lean on his bosom, and confide in his faithfulness, and you need not fear.
Finally, dearly beloved brethren, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, maintain constant and intimate communion with him; labor only to do his will; tread in his footsteps; seek the conversion of the heathen, that he may see the travail of his soul and be satisfied;—and you will be able to bear witness, as you ascend upward from the ashes of this world, as you stand at his tribunal, and as you sit on a throne of glory, that he has fulfilled to you his promise, Lo, I
ALWAY, EVEN TO THE END OF THE
AM WITH YOU
* It may be proper here to say, that Mr. Anderson, to whom this was addressed, is the Assistant Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions.