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mise, worm Jacob thrashes the mountains, and beats them small as chaff. It is the way of the Holy One of Israel to order his servants on difficult duty, without showing them immediately how they are to succeed. Reserving to himself the manner and the praise of their victory, he lays upon them a necessity of trusting his faithfulness; and they never did and never shall trust it in vain.
But why do I speak of difficulties? The most formidable ones which must be encountered in a mission to the heathen, have been overcome, and are daily overcome, by the firmness and intrepidity of carnal men. They can visit the savage tribes, can cross their rivers, climb their mountains, traverse their forests; can learn their language, conform to their manners, acquire their confidence; can patiently submit to hunger and cold, fatigue and peril :-For what? To decorate earthly science, or to collect the dust of lucre or the vapors of fame. They pretend to no divine command; they think of no divine support. Yet we, who talk familiarly of both, turn pale at the mention of those obstacles which they continually surmount. Whence this resoluteness on the one side, and this timidity on the other! The uncourtly truth is, that the men of the world are in earnest, and we are not. And what must they, what can they, conclude from our supineness ? Either that our religion is false, or that we do not believe it. How long ere this reproach be wiped away? Duty urges, misery implores, thousands of precious souls are the depending stake, and not a moment is to be lost. In the work before us, in the immortal work of evangelizing the heathen, let us rouse each latent energy, and brave opposition like good soldiers of Jesus Christ. And certainly the encouragement is as great as the call is pressing. As far as man, with the lights of prophecy, can judge, the time is not very distant, when God shall arise, and have
those places which Roman arts and arms had never been able to reach.*
This general assertion might be amplified in an interesting detail, and might receive additional force from the sanctions of modern history. But either would protract, to an immoderate length, a note already too long. We may, however, ask, why the gospel should be unequal to the effects which it formerly produced, and of which its friends made their just and unanswerable boast? Let us fairly risk the experiment, whether the cross of Christ has lost its influence on barbarian minds. Instead of waiting till civilization fit our Indian neighbors for the gospel, let us try whether the gospel will not be the most successful means of civilizing them. The grace of the Lord Jesus will do what philosophy and the arts will never dotame the wild heart: and there is no doubt of a corresponding al. teration in the conduct. One Christian institution alone, the holy sabbath, will go farther to civilize them in a year, than all human expedients in a century. Driven continually before an extending frontier; their manners debauched by the commerce of unprincipled whites; their numbers diminishing by war and by vice; the only alternative which seems to be offered them is, conversion or exter. mination.
* Inaccessa Romanis loca. Id. ib. A number of testimonies to the same facts are collected in that learned work of Grotius, De veritate Religionis Christiance.
mercy upon Zion. What mean these dire convulsions ? this crash of kingdoms? these torrents of blood ? He who can here discover only the shock of human interests, or the madness of human passions, hath not penetrated beyond secondary and instrumental agencies. From the eminence of scriptural prediction, a humble believer overlooks the mole-hill of worldly politics, and descries the moving power, and the necessary effect, of the machinery of Providence. To him it is evident that Jehovah shakes the nations, and is shaking them, that the desire of all nations may
And hence his faith derives an establishment, and his hope an elevation, which earth is as unable to destroy as to create. Impending calamity, then, should stimulate, and not dishearten, the disciples of Jesus. The walls of Jerusalem are commonly built in troublous times. Nor hath the career of the gospel been ever more ample and brilliant, than in the days which were memorable for distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and looking after those things which were coming upon the earth. In these circumstances of disaster and dismay, the people of God are charged to look up, and lift up
, their heads, because their redemption draweth nigh, and the Son of man is coming with great power and glory. If these are, in any degree, the signs of the times, then now is the time for the armies of Israel to gird every man his sword on his thigh, and follow David, his king, to conquest and glory.
If from the sphere of politics we turn to that of religion, we shall behold events which ought to convert every doubt into proof, and every wish into a vow. While the spirit of discord rages in the world, the spirit of union and of love descends upon the church. Beyond the waters of the Atlantic, our brethren in the faith and patience of Jesus rejoice in his most benignant influences. Astonishing spectacle! The spell of party is broken, the antipathies of the cradle expire, the strife of ages ceases, and a sweeter harmony of heart and of measures, among Christians of different name, is produced in an hour, than has been granted to the intreaties, the labors, the prayers, of the best of men, for centuries together!
Do you demand the cause of this gracious unanimity? It is the doing of the Lord. Its object? It is the extension of the Mediator's kingdom. Its fruits? They are, already, embassies of peace to the heathen. Great is the company who have gone forth, with primitive zeal, to publish the word of life. The probability is that Christ crucified, that Christ whom our souls love, is, at this moment, preached to the barbarians of the southern seas; and that an evangelical mission is on its way to the interior of Africa! Ye servants of the most high God, who show unto the Gentiles the way of salvation, all hail! May the Breaker go up before you; even Jehovah on the
; head of you; may he cheer you with his presence, fill you with his Spirit, clothe you with his blessing! And what more auspicious omen can we, my brethren, desire? When the work is actually begun, when it has received the most unequivocal tokens of divine approbation, shallwe still linger, and tempt the Lord by asking any further signs ? To him who is not blind, the finger of his providence points; to him who is not deaf, the voice of his providence calls. Incitement of a more imperious kind would encroach on the province of miracle.
If to these encouragements we add the promise of our Master in heaven, reluctance will be cut off from her last retreat. He hath said, that he will be with his people in their attempts to teach the nations. If, on a design so truly Christian, we go in his name, and in his strength, we have a right to expect his aid; nor is it possible that he should abandon us, or put us to shame. He hath bound himself, by the oath of his covenant, to beat down opposition before those who, obedient to his authority, constrained by his love, and confiding in his truth, enter upon arduous duty; and the glory of his crown is staked on the