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sight of the desired land; there can therefore be no excuse for deferring a preparation for death. Heaven has not promised to ward off death till man chooses to be ready; the compassionate Saviour does not hold out any such hopes. The stroke of death cannot be delayed; but, habitual preparation for it, and a heart set on heaven, makes death's stroke harmless. If we reach our heavenly Father's HOME, and attain to a happy resurrection, it matters not whether our mortal remains be interred in Britain or in China.
As an apology for this brief Exhortation, or Discourse, on such a subject, it may be right to state, that the Congregation consisted only of four grown persons; and it is here inserted as a simple "Memorial.”
PREACHED IN THE HOUSE OF THE RESIDENT, LIEUT. COL. FARQUHAR, SINGAPORE, APRIL 5, 1823.
[After the death of the late indefatigable Missionary, the Rev. Dr. Milne, in June 1822, Dr. Morrison, having completed his Chinese Dictionary, resolved on a visit to the Anglo-Chinese College at Malacca, and repaired thither in the Spring of
Having revised and put to press the then unprinted portions of the Chinese Version of the Sacred Scriptures, he visited Singapore, the newly occupied settlement, at the eastern end of the Straits of Malacca, and was most hospitably received by the Resident Authorities, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and Lieut. Col. Farquhar. At this flourishing settlement there now reside, under the British Government, about 4,000 Chinese, 5,000 Malays, and 4,000 Bugis, Arabs, Hindoos, &c.
On the top of Government Hill, which overlooks the roads, Sir Stamford lived, in a temporary bungalow, at one end of which he kindly accommodated Dr. Morrison with a room, whilst arranging the projected union of the Anglo-Chinese College with a Malayan College, to be founded by Sir Stamford. In that deal-board and mat-covered apartment, on Saturday, the 4th of April, 1823, the following Discourse was composed; and next day, after reading prayers, was delivered to the Europeans of the settlement, in Col. Farquhar the Resident's house, on the sea beach, amidst a heavy shower of rain, which beat so heavily and loudly on the Malayan covered tent, as to nearly drown the sound of the speaker's voice.
Since that period, we are happy to hear that a pious clergyman, son of the late General Burn, has been appointed Chaplain to Government at Singapore.]
A SPIRIT OF LOVE ESSENTIAL TO HUMAN
MARK XII. 30, 31.
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."
"Do you not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, nor the power of God?" was the answer which our Saviour gave to some Jewish sceptics, who denied that there was any resurrection, in which denial the sect also included a denial of the existence of separate spirits. The reasoning from Scripture, which accompanied this remark, put to silence the cavilling opponent; and at the same time it seemed to confirm the belief of a bye-stander, who was listening to the conversation. He was a scribe; i. e. a man skilled in the doctrines and the precepts of the Mosaic law. Perceiving that Jesus had answered the sceptical Sadducee well, he too put a question, not with a good design, but, as St. Matthew says, "to tempt," or to try him; thereby discovering a spirit not unfrequently found amongst pretended enquirers, who ask questions, artfully framed, in order to puzzle, and darken, and confound distinctions between truth and error; not with any design of eliciting what is favourable to piety and virtue.
The question put by the Pharisee, otherwise called a scribe and a lawyer, was this—“Which is the first commandment of all?" or, as St. Matthew expresses it, "Which is the great commandment in the law?" Had this question been put to ancient or to modern philosophers, or were it now put to us, as individuals, it is not likely that any would
have given, or that any would now give, the same answer that Jesus gave. I venture to form this conjecture, because I do not perceive that a breach of the first and great commandment, viz. a want of love to God, has been often viewed as any serious offence. Were man to originate a decalogue, I think his first and great commandment would be the injunction of some relative duty between fellow-creatures, instead of that duty which man owes to his Creator. Happily we have the answer given by Him, who came down from heaven, and which we are assured is sanctioned there. Jesus answered the Pharisee by a quotation from Moses : "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord," and "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." (Deut. iv. 4, 5.) And Jesus added, "This is the first commandment; and the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Here the first and great commandment is founded on the simple truth, that there is one Sovereign Lord of the universe; and the inference is, that all rational creatures should love him. And the second commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself," is founded on the same principle. Since there is one Sovereign Lord, creatures cannot in truth affirm that they are in duty bound to serve different lords, allegiance to whom requires them to oppose each other. The reasoning is conclusive when put thus-Seeing there is one God and Father of all men, therefore all men should love each other, for all are Brethren.
In considering this first and great commandment, we must review the perfections and character of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as displayed in the works of creation, providence, and redemption, and as described in the Book of Divine Revelation. The natural perfections of the Deity, his incomprehensible power and wisdom, his omniscience and other attributes, challenge the esteem, admiration, and adoration of all his creatures. How wonderful, and utterly beyond the comprehension of the human mind, is that power which created the universe; which formed and arranged all the parts even of inanimate matter;
which created the sun, the moon, and the stars; which established the order and harmony that exists in all their motions, and which filled our world, the sea, and the dry land with such multifarious forms of animated being, and placed as lord over all here on earth, endued with a rational soul, his creature man. But the Divine Being does not stand only in the seemingly distant relation of Creator, he comes nearer to us as our Moral Governor, our King, and our God; and we owe the loyal affection of dutiful subjects, to HIм under whose benign government and in whose kingdom we live.
And our God must also be contemplated in the character of our Saviour or Deliverer. When mankind fell under the curse, and became subject to the awful penalty of the violated law, "He (as the Prophet expresses it) saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; and his own arm brought salvation. Other creatures in the Great God's vast empire sinned, and were justly subjected to everlasting punishment; then the Divine Deliverer did not take on him the nature of angels, but the nature of man in the posterity of Abraham."-Behold the mystery! "God manifest in human nature," to deliver guilty man!" Herein is love," saith St. John, "not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and gave his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
And now, to all the penitent and obedient of the human family, the Deity is revealed as their Father and their Friend: they are his children, for whom he has prepared an everlasting inheritance, to which he will guide them in safety, and that at no distant period, by his Holy Spirit.
This God (the incomprehensibly great, and infinitely just, merciful, and condescending God) is he whom the first and greatest commandment requires us to love.
The word love, in this connexion, means all those dutiful affections of the mind, which the various relations in which the Deity stands to us require; as, for example, esteem and admiration, reverence, obedience, submission, humility, acknowledgment of our dependence, resignation, gratitude, good-will, ardent attachment or devotedness. The whole