« ForrigeFortsett »
superstition of the multitude—against the interest, in15 fiuence, and craft of their priesthood—against the ridicule of wits, the reasoning of sages, the policy of cabinets, and the prowess of armies—against the axe, the cross, and the stake, she extended her conquests from Jordan to the Thames. She gathered her laurels alike 20 upon the snows of Scythia, the green fields of Europe, and the sands of Africa. The altars of impiety crumbled before her march—the glimmer of the schools disappeared in her light—Power felt his arm wither at her glance; and, in a short time, she who went, forlorn and Q5 insulted, from the hill of Calvary to the tomb of Joseph, ascended the Imperial throne, and waved her banner over the palace of the Caesars. Her victories were not less benign than decisive. They were victories over all that pollutes, degrades, and ruins man; in behalf of all 30 that purifies, exalts, and saves him. They subdued his
understanding to truth, his habits to rectitude, his heart ,
to happiness. The disregard which some of old affected to whatever goes by the name of evil; the insensibility of others 35 who yield up their souls to the power of fatalism; and the artificial gaiety which has, occasionally, played the comedian about the dying bed of “ philosophy, falsely so called,” are outrages upon decency and nature. Death destroys both action and enjoyment—mocks at 40 wisdom, strength, and beauty—disarranges our plans-— robs us of our treasures—desolates our bosoms—breaks our heart-strings—blasts our hope. Death extinguishes the glow of kindness—abolishes the most tender relations of man—severs him from all that he knows and 45 loves—subjects him to an ordeal which thousands of millions have passed, but none can explain; and which will be as new to the last who gives up the ghost, as it was to murdered Abel—flings him, in fine, without any avail from the experience of others, into a state of un50 tried being. N o wonder that nature trembles before it. Reason justifies the fear. Religion never makes light of it: and he who does, instgad of ranking with heroes, can hardly deserve to rank with a brute. What have unbelievers to gild their evening hour, to 55 bind up theirfiching head, to soothe their laboring heart? What living hope descends from heaven to
smile on the sinking features, whisper peace to the retiring spirit, and announce to the sad surrounding relatives that all is well? There is none! Astonishment, dismay, melancholy boding, are the “portion of their cup.” Sit down, ye unhappy, in the dosolation of grief. Consolation heard the voice of your weeping: she hastened to your door, but started back affrighted; her commission extends not to your house of mourning; ye have no hope!
Recall the example of Mrs. Graham. Here was a. woman—a widow—a stranger in a strange land—without fortune—with no friends but such as her letters of introduction and her worth should acquire—and with a family of daughters dependent upon her for their subsistence. Surely if any one has 'a clear title of immunity from the obligation to carry her cares beyond the domestic circle, it is this widow; it is this stranger. Yet within a few years this stranger, this widow, with no means but her excellent sense, her benevolent heart, and her persevering will to do good, awakens the charities of a populous city, and gives to them an impulse, a direction, and an efficacy, unknown before! What might not be done by men; by men of talent, of standing, of wealth, of leisure? How speedily, under their well-directed beneficence, might a whole country change its physical, intellectual, and moral aspect; and assume, comparatively speaking, the face of another Eden—a second garden of God? \Vhy then do they not difi‘use, thus extensively, the seeds of knowledge, of virtue, and of bliss? I ask not for their pretenses; they are as old as the lust of lucre; and are refuted by the example which we have been contemplating—I ask for the true reason, for the inspiring principle, of their conduct. It is this—let them look to it when God shall call them to account for the abuse of their time, their talents, their station, their “ unrighteoiis inammon.”——It is this: They believe not “the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” They labor
That venerable mother in Israel, who has exchanged
' the service of God on earth for his service in heaven,
has left a legacy to her sisters—she has left the example of her faith and patience; she has left her prayers; she has left the monument of her Christian deeds: and by these she “being dead yet speaketh.” Matrons! has she left her mantle also? Are there none among you to hear her voice from the tomb, “'Go and do thou likewise?” None whom affluence permits, endowments qualify, and piety prompts, to aim at her distinction by treading in her steps? DIaidens! Are there none among you, who would wish to-array yourselves hereafter in the honours of this “virtuous woman?” Your hearts have dismissed their-wonted warmth and gene
' rosity, if they do not throb as the reverend vision rises
before you—then prepare yourselves now, by seeking
the transcendent excellence of Christian character, and
the victorious power of Christian hope. The former hears the image of God; the latter is as imperishable as his throne. We fasten our eyes with more real respect, and more heart-felt approbation upon the moral majesty
' displayed in “ walking as Christ also walked,” than up
on all the pomps of the monarch, or decorations of the military hero. More touching to the sense, and more grateful to high heaven, is the soft melancholy with which we look after our departed friendLand the tear which embalms her memory, than the thundering plaudits which rend the air with the name of a conqueror. She has obtained a triumph over that Foe who shall break the arm of valour, and strike of? the crown of kings.
The heart-breaking necessities of a world ought to rouse us from our selfish stupor. To say nothing of the multitudes who are swarming the way to death in the most favoured regions; to say nothing of whole nations in the Romish and Greek Churches, who, though
they bear the Christian name, are apparently living without God in the world; to say nothing of hundreds of thousands of nominal Christians, scattered through Asia and Africa, who scarcely retain any thing of Christianity but the name; to say nothing of three millions of Jews; it is a distressing truth.that more than two thirds of the population of the globe are still buried under Pagan or Mahornetan darkness, and are as abominany wicked as sin can make them.
While I am speaking they are bursting forth to meet their doom. It certainly has become the duty of every person in a Gospel land to rack his invention, to devise means, and to strain the last nerve of his strength, to
. rescue those perishing nations, as he would to deliver
his family from a burning house. 0 if we loved those heathen as we do our children! but we ought to love them as we love ourselves. Heretofore we knew not how it was possible to reach them; but now a way is opened by which we may operate upon them, with as much ease as though they lived at our door. If we
. drop a dollar into the American Bible Society, it will
45 hamlet in America.
turn to a Bible, and find its way to India, and will travel while we sleep. If we deposit another, it will become a Bible and make its way to South America, without postage or risk. Thus God has opened a door by which we may pour upon the heathen the blessings of the Gospel as fast as we please, and need not be bounded by any other limit than our ability and inclination. One Bible will shed upon a benighted family a light which will radiate through a neighbourhood, and descend from gene— ration to generation. And who is too poor to give a Bible? It has been computed by those who have passed through our country, to search out its wants, that no less than five hundred thousand Bibles are wanted in the United States, to furnish each family with one, that each man may have a Bible to lie upon his dying pillow. Do we hear this, and shall we sleep? There ought to be two Bible Societies, one of males and the other of females, formed in every town, and village, and And into one of these every person but actual paupers ought to come. Every hand in Christendom, but those which are stretched out for alms, ought to give one Bible a year, till the wants of a
world are supplied. It is a tax which the God of hea
50 ven has laid upon the whole population of Christian countries. Let the labouring poor work an hour longer each day, and retnnch some unnecessary expenses, and they need not be excluded from this glorious work of regenerating a world. But the cofl'ers of the rich—
55 What has sealed the cofl'ers of the rich? that they should roll in luxury and pave the way to their theatres with gold, when six or seven hundred millions of sinners are without a Bible! There is superfluous wealth enough in a few of our cities and larger towns
60 to convey the Gospel in a short time to every family on earth. God Almighty open their hearts that they may pour out their treasures by hundreds and by thousands, till the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
65 My brethren, let us no longer live to ourselves. Let us arise and put our hands to the great work in which the nations are now moving. Wondrous things are taking place in the four quarters of the globe. The world is waking up after a long sleep, and is teeming with
70 projects and efforts to extend the empire of truth and happiness. This is the day of which the prophets sung. Let us not sleep while all others are rousing themselves to action. Let every soul come up to the help of the Lord. Let not one be left behind. He that has abso
75 luter nothing to give, let him pra . Let no one be idle. This is a great day and the 0rd requires every hand in the work.
It can no longer be made a question whether the elevation of the African race is a part of the new order of things. The providence of God has declared it. The Almighty Deliverer is already on his march to relieve
5 the woes of Africa. Her resurrection is already stamped with the broad seal of heaven. Let all the nations behold the sign, and bow to the mandate of God.
Ethiopia, shall stretch out her hands to God. Let