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of the heathen is proposed, There is a Lion in the way. And were it so, this would not diminish the propriety, nor would even failure mar the glory of the attempt.
The interposition of the Son of God in behalf of sinners, is the highest act of benevolence that the universe ever saw. Redemption by the cross-how admirable, how passing admiration. Creation assumes fresh love, liness, and the Creator shines in brighter glories wherever it is published. What then must be the glory of its publishers ? What their glory who contribute to its publication ?
God, from his throne, beholds not a nobler character on his footstool, than the fervid missionary, the man, who, inspired with zeal, and burning with love, bids adieu to his friends, abandons his comfort and his home, braves the perils of the deep, encounters hunger, and thirst, and nakedness, and persevering through dangers and deaths, proclaims the Saviour to those who know him not.
Yes! venerable messengers of salvation, who preach Christ in desarts, and publish glad tidings on the islands of distant seas, we admire your zeal; we emulate your virtue, and by contributing to the object in which you are engaged, would become partakers in your glory ; and partakers we shall be if we truly aspire to it.-In the es. timation of Heaven our services are appreciated, not by the good we accomplish, but by the sincerity, the strength, and constancy of our exertions.
Cease, then Christians, to object; act worthy of yourselves, and remember, that they that be wise, shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many unto righteousness, as the stars, for ever and ever.
Convinced of your duty, do you ask how, situated at a distance, as you are, you can contribute to the alleviation of pagan misery? How?
By your prayers.-God hath promised that the Gentiles shall be gathered in. He is hastening to accomplish what he hath promised, and yet for this will He be inquired of by the house of Israel. Wherefore, ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Yerusalem a praise in the earth.
By your property.-To Christianize the heathen, as well as to succour your destitute brethren on the frontiers, missionaries must be sent to them; these missionaries will be the channels of
your kindness. But missionaries cannot be maintained by prayers ; you must give of your property : without this, your prayers will be unavailing. Curst be that charity, which says to the hungry, be ye fed ; to the naked, be ye clothed, and to pagans, be ye saved, and relieves them not.
Continuation of Dr. Noti's Missionary Sermon, delivered
at Philadelphia, May, 1806. YOUR love to Jesus, your concern for souls, is now to be tested by your contributions for their relief.
The Saviour could easily furnish means for this, from his own resources. He could command the Heavens to supply the ainbassadors of his grace with bread, and the flinty rock to furnish them with water. But, it is more blessed to give than to receive. This the Saviour knows, and having, in the profusion of his goodness, loaded you with treasure, he condescends to ask, and to receive from you a part of that treasure; and this he does, not that He needs it, but that you may have an opportunity of likening yourselves to God, by the imitation of his sublime munificence, who delights in doing good, and whose tender mercies are over all his works.
In this light I place the subject. And now, O my God, what more shall I say? Can the unfeeling heart of man contemplate miseries the most extreme, and not be moved ? From the hill of Zion, beaming with light, and smiling with life, let me direct your view to the vale of darkness, and the shadow of death.
Yonder are the Pagans. Friends of humanity, O that I could describe to you! cold, naked, famished, friendless, roaming the desart, burning with revenge, and thirsting for blood.
Yonder are the Pagans. Friends of Immanuel, O that I could describe them to you, assembled on the ground of enchantment, practising the delusions of witchcraft, insulting the heavens by the sacrifice of dogs, and paying their impious adorations at the shrines of devils!
From these profane devotions the hoary warrior retires. His steps totter with age, he reaches the threshold of his hut, and sinks beneath infirmities, on-the cold earth, his bed of death! No sympathizing friend partakes in his misery, no filial hand is stretched out for his relief. The wife of his youth has forsaken him-his daughters are carried captive-his sons have been slain in battle. Exhausted with sufferings, and weary of life, he turns his eye upon
grave. But the grave to him is dark and silent. Not a whisper of comfort is heard from its caverns, or a beam of light glitters on its gloom. Here the curtain drops, time ceases, eternity begins mighty God, how awful is the scene which follows! But I dare not attempt to lift the vail that covers it.
A moment since, and his immortal soul was within the reach of prayer: now its destiny is fixed ; and just, Eternal Sovereign ! are thy decisions. From that bourn, beyond which, submission is our duty, turn again to the living world, where your prayers and exertions may be availing
Is there a father in this assembly, who, high in the hopes of Heaven, brings his infant offspring to these altars, and places them, by faith, in the arms of Jesus? I plead in behalf of fathers who have never heard of Heaven, and whose offspring have no Saviour.
Is there a mother in this assembly, blessed by the affection of her husband, and solaced by the smiles of her daughters? I plead in behalf of mothers whose husbands are tyrants, and whose daughters are slaves.
Could I believe, that, dead to the stranger's sufferings, you needed kindred objects to awaken your sympathy, and open your hearts to charity, I would here direct your attention to the frontier settlements, and beseech you by the strength of parental affection, by the tenderness of fraternal love, though deaf to our entreaties for the Pagans, at least to hear us in behalf of Christians, of your children, your brethren, your kindred, with whom you once took sweet counsel, and walked to the house of God in company; but who, now removed far from the pleasant habitations of Zion, without a temple, and without
an altar, wander in the deserts of Hermon, and pour out their complaints on the hill of Mizar. How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts. My soul longeth, yea even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
But I will not believe that you are dead to the stranger's sufferings. I blend, therefore, the interests of Pagans with the interests of your kindred. I add together their miseries, and by the vastness of the amount, implore your assistance.
In advocating such a cause, the cause of humanity, the cause of Immanuel, you will pardon my importunity. What am I saying? Would to God, I were capable of being as importunate as the cause I advocate demands.
O that I could infuse into my words, the ardour which I feel; but I cannot. Ah, ye wretched aliens from the commonwealth of Israel ; ye strangers from the covenants of promise, who have no hope, and are without God in the world, my heart melts within me at the recollection of your danger, and my mind fills with motives to charity, too big for utterance.
Brethren, have you sufficiently considered the duration of eternity? Have you duly appreciated the value of the soul? If not, pause! In the name of God, I adjure you, pause, and reflect on both, before you bring your offerings to the altar. The narrow isthmus which intervenes between you and the world of spirits, is already sinking! Presently death will have swallowed it up for ever! Let your thoughts carry you beyond it; lose yourselves in the immensity of those ages which have no end. Ages which the soul inherits, and during which its powers increase, its capacity of happiness and misery expands, and expands, and expands, till (overwhelming thought) it is capable of enjoying the joys, or of suffering the miseries of a WORLD.
Such souls those probationers possess, in whose behalf I now address you. To that eternity with which your minds are filled, they are hastening. Before they lanch into it, look up to Heaven, and see the preparations grace is making, and the glory to which grace is waiting to receive them; the crown of life--the presence of God, in
which there is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore.
Before they lanch into it, look down to hell, and see the punishment with which justice threatens them; take one deep and solemn view of that fire, which is never quenched, and of that worm, in the midst of it, which never dies! Ah me, what a spectacle of wo! venting unavailing cries to a devouring flame, and pouring out vain complaints to an unpitying dungeon; which, when the sufferer asks, How long ? echoes back ETERNITY! Ages heaped on ages intervene ; again the sufferer asks, How long ? and again is echoed back, ETERNITY!
Before they lanch into it, go to Calvary, approach the cross, listen to the groans, and fill your minds with the idea of the great Immanuel agonizing on it. Then estimate the value of those souls by the grandeur of the victim slain for their redemption, and having made the estimation, and before you leave the cross, say, will you suffer them to perish through neglect.
Perhaps, by our charities this evening, we shall reclaim some profligate--perhaps we may convert one Pagan; and should we one, (my heart burns within me while I make the supposition) who among us will begrudge the pittance he has given? Let me indulge the thought-a convert made by the charities of this evening-no matter whether an Albion, an Ethiopian, or an Indian--no matter from what ancestry descended, in what rites instructed, or by what principles of vice corrupted ; and tell me, O believer, what will your emotions be, when entering the world of spirits, and opening your eyes on the redeemed of all nations, you shall see among them, one soul whom your charity hath saved? What will your emotions be, when that soul, first of all, shall fly to your embrace, and welcome your arrival ? What, when conducting you to the throne of Eternal Majesty, and in the presence of that Divinity which sits upon it, he shall say, "To this man, under thee, great Immanuel, am I indebted for this crown of life, which glitters on my head, and this palm of victory, which blossoms in my hand.” Moment of unutterable ecstacy! Angels, could angels covet, might emulate your bliss, and sigh to become partakers in it.