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that his goodness leads them to repentance, and who do not obey his truth, but obey unrighteousness. Great then is the spiritual ignorance, and very
imminent is the danger of a vast proportion of the inhabi. tants of London : the chief metropolis of Christendom.
THE ISSUE TO BE EXPECTED,
What an awful mine of danger spread under the whole moral surface of London, do such investigations disclose
The danger to the King, and Lords, and Commons, by the barrels of gunpowder, laid by the agents of Popery, in the days of James I. under the House of Parliament, and our deliverance from that danger, have been nationally acknowledged ever since. But here is a far more tremendous magazine of evil, filled with more destructive gunpowder spread, not by the agents of Popery, but by an entire neglect of the Gospel, and by our worldliness, our selfishness, and our indifference, not under the house of Parliament, but under the whole metropolis : yes, under the whole extent of our chief population, in all our greatly increased towns and cities through the land. And if we consider her peculiar mercies, spiritual privileges, and advantages, never was England in more danger. Infidelity is a more open enemy to Christ than Popery. In the worst days of Popery, Christ was acknowledged, however hypocritically, and provision was made for religious worship of the population. Our oldest towns, and the city of London itself, in its oldest part, are nearly adequately provided with churches. It is modern worldliness and secularity that has wholly separated the largest mass of the inhabitants of this land from Christ, and spread under the whole apparent prosperity of the kingdom, the most tremendous of all means for a fearful explosion. How soon could God kindle the whole inflammable mass, and involve the empire in rapid and irretrievable destruction !
Surely more attention from the whole body of the Church of Christ should be directed against this wide spread destitution of Christianity in a Christian land. Surely our united strength should be more combined against so fearful, and by Christians universally acknowledged an evil. Let not our unhappy divisions hinder such blessed efforts. *
* With the knowledge of this state of the population in the metropolis, I dare not refuse to aid the London City Mission Society, composed of all classes of Christians. Looking at the spirit in which it has already laboured, and at what it has really done, trusting that it will keep strictly to its present constitution, and hoping also that it will more exclusively direct its attention to parts in which there is neither adequate zeal nor ability to meet the destitution : I both thank God for its past labours, and cheerfully aid it as one important temporary means of lessening and helping to remove the tremendous danger of more than 1,000,000
But, London is too faithful an index of our country, and of nominal Christians in all lands.
Indeed if such is the state of Christians, in the metropolis of our own favoured land ; what must be
baptized infidels in our Metropolis, neglecting wholly the worship of Almighty God.
It should ever be borne in mind by us, how much more precious and influential are spiritual graces than mere outward effort. The energy of lively faith, ardent love, and unquenchable zeal in a patient and persevering, in a large and personal, in a constant, loving, and unflinching testimony of the vital truths of godliness, by living witnesses, applying them to the hearts and consciences of the ignorant, is vastly more requisite than any external buildings, needful as on other grounds they may be. And as God only raises up such witnesses, our chief attention should be paid to his means for attaining them, especially prayer; and to the employing of them in his service.
And yet further, if neither he that planteth is any thing, neither he that watereth much more than building Churches is required, for the prosperity of religion amongst us.
And important as are funds in the way to success, yet more important, both for calling forth requisite further funds and means, and for obtaining with them a full blessing, is lively faith, giving that full confidence in God's promises to us, and in his approval of every work of faith and love, which leads us to the expenditure, far beyond what the prudence of this world warrants, of all present means entrusted us, for accomplishing great religious objects. Thus Francke built his Orphan House at Halle. In every thing, even while he is preparing the largest means for permanent good, the Christian lives and prospers by faith. Thus the great Missionary Societies of our day have prospered.
The formation of a “Church Extension Fund' by the valuable exertions of that noble and large hearted Christian, A. Gordon, Esq. investing the patronage in approved Trustees, is a most important measure. The Scripture Reader's Society is another blessed Society in connection with our Church.
OF CHRISTENDOM AT LARGE ? Look at the Roman churches every where. While God has his faithful servants among them (Rev. xviii. 4.) their general state is summed up in one scriptural sentence, the mystery of iniquity. Look at the Greek and Eastern churches ; notwithstanding all God's judgments, their general state, with some blessed exceptions, is altogether dead, and awfully far from the faith and practice of the Gospel.
The Lutheran and reformed churches on the continent have also, to a vast extent, the mere form of godliness without the power.
The following extracts from a work entitled “German Protestantism,' by the Rev. E. H. Dewar, Chaplain to the British residents at Hamburgh, are truly affecting, as descriptive of the apostacy of the continental Protestants. I cannot agree with the author in assigning it to the cause which he does—but the facts are very instructive.
'In Hamburgh and its suburbs there are five parish churches, and two smaller localities, which since the great fire have supplied the place of the three destroyed. The congregations attending all the services at all these, never, I am told, except on one or two of the great festivals, amount to ten thousand in number, so that the remainder of the enormous population, amounting to one hundred and fifty thousand, pay no manner of worship to their God. So rapidly has the population increased, that whereas in the year 1826, the number of births was four thousand, in 1842 it amounted to five thousand ; and yet in the latter year the number of communicants was ten thousand less than in the former. One parish with more than forty thousand inhabitants, has but a single church ; and there has never been a complaint made, that there is a want of church accommodation ; there has never been a wish expressed, that more room should be provided for those who might thereby be induced to assemble for public worship. The parish in which I reside, numbers fifteen thousand souls, and in the only place of worship which it contains, there is but one service on each Lord's day, performed by a single clergyman. And Hamburgh in these matters does not furnish a low standard, when compared with the rest of Germany. As philosophy has been less cultivated, so does religion seem to flourish more than in most of the other populous cities. Geneva, the seat and centre of Calvinism, the fountainhead, from which the pure and living waters of our Scottish Zion flow, the earthly source, the pattern, the Rome of our Presbyterian doctrine and practice, has fallen lower from her own original doctrines and practice, than ever Rome fell. Rome has still superstition : Geneva has not even that semblance of religion. In the head church of the original seat of Calvinism, in a city of of twenty-five thousand souls, at the only service on