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creatures, which reflections often wear an air of impiety to God, and injustice to men.
The progress of navigation and geography, which enable so many persons to circumnavigate the globe and visit all countries, tends much to the development of the philanthropic spirit, which our text suggests. The hideous and distorted pictures formerly drawn of the rest of the nations, either by ignorance or artifice, as well as the representations of savage innocence, have, in all cases proved untrue, and human nature is found much the same in every land. It is depraved, and vicious, and degraded by superstition; but it is improvable by the diffusion of knowledge, by human kindness, and can be renewed by the grace of God. The objection of a frigid infidelity, that some tribes of men are sunk so low, that they cannot be raised, and that some are so invincibly attached to their idols, and their superstitions, and their vicious usages, that they can never be changed, has no foundation in truth. Esquimaux and Hottentots, New Hollanders and Otaheiteans, Negroes and Sandwich Islanders, Tartars and Hindoos, and Chinese, have all of them yielded to the kindness of men, the grace of the Saviour, and the mercy of God; and have been changed, and civilized, and sanctified, and glorified.
The great point yet to be gained is, to induce the Christian Churches to use somewhat proportionate means to communicate spiritual benefits to the rest of their brethren of mankind.
None will dispute the doctrine which we have laid at the foundation of this discourse, viz. the kindredship of all mankind; but many will argue that Christians should pretty much confine their attention to their own country, i. e. to those of their brethren of mankind, who live under the same civil government.
But does Christianity sanction or inculcate this sentiment?
Before the call of Abraham, i. e. during the first two thousand years of the world's existence, there was no distinction made in Heaven's dispensations amongst the nations of the earth. And the separation of one small
country from the rest of the world, was a temporary arrangement made by divine Providence to preserve truth in the earth till Messiah should come. Around the Jews a partition wall was set up, but Jesus broke it down. Was God the God of the Jews only? or was he not also the God of the Gentiles? Is Jesus the Saviour of the Jews only? or the Saviour of men only, who live under some one civil Government? Is he not declared to be given as the Saviour of the world; and is it not promised that all nations shall serve him? I enter not this day into the disputes of theologians, concerning what they call general and particular redemption; for it is not necessary to my argument, since they all agree that the redemption which is in Jesus, extends to some of all nations, peoples, and languages.
And as the design of this salvation is not confined to any one country, so the command of Zion's king to his people is, not to confine their notification of his redeeming work to any one country, but to go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to every human creature. I am aware that the pagan notions of patriotism are commonly received in our land, and are warmly advocated by a spirit of selfish aggrandizement; and that infidels have charged the religion of Jesus with not inculcating the virtue of patriotism. I acknowledge the charge to be true; I believe it does not inculcate the commonly received notion of patriotism. And although wise and good men think otherwise, and perhaps sneer at the expression, I do believe, that the religion of Jesus, properly understood, makes men citizens of the world. It calls upon them not to confine their attention, or their benevolent efforts, only to persons who live under the same civil government with themselves; but to extend their attention, and their care, and their benevolent concern to all human beings whom their Creator has made of the same blood as themselves; who occupy, as well as themselves, a part of their heavenly Father's wide domain; who, as well as themselves, live under his government, and if living under one and the same government, impose duties on men, shall Christians reject the government of God, and deny the duties owing to their fellow subjects in his
Infinite Wisdom considers good, and that is not always prosperity. Inspired and Holy Writ has recorded, that sometimes, (perhaps oftener than we imagine,) it is good to be afflicted. Chastisement indicates parental care and an ardent affection, and therefore we should not consider afflictions as positive and unmixed evil-if heavenly glory be at the end of all these graciously afflictive dispensations, how happy the result! Oh, what an exhilirating view of the matter did Paul take, when oppressed and afflicted, persecuted, and scorned, imprisoned and scourged, and hungry and thirsty; and in cold and nakedness, ill-fed and illclothed-in the midst of all these, he said, "Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for us a far more and exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" these afflictions are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Truly so! A moment and eternity! earthly suffering and heavenly bliss! Man's wrath and God's love!-Who would ever think of drawing a comparison? Oh thou afflicted, discomforted, poor, and friendless; or aged and destitute Christian, lift up thy head and rejoice in God thy Saviour. And thou, man of God, who art rich and increased in goods, but whose mind is elevated above these things, in themselves perishable and fleeting, bless God who has taught thee not to trust in uncertain riches, but in himself; and who has led thee to adopt the ejaculation of the royal Psalmist, in the closing lines of that ode, which has been the subject of our dis
"O Jehovah, God of Hosts,
Happy is the man who trusteth in thee."
He is indeed happy, and happiness is no where else to be found.
Now, my hearers, these views of life and of death, of time and of eternity, and of the gracious character of God, our Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer, are those that are exhibited in the courts of God's house; and do they not justify the exclamation of king David-"How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts?" There are some young persons in this country, exposed to the attacks of a
pretended science and philosophism, which set themselves in opposition to the religion of Jesus; but where in the tents of infidel philosophy, or in the temples of paganism, or in the mosques of mahomedanism, are to be found such sublime truths concerning God, such accurate statements concerning what man is; such gracious revelations of divine mercy; and such glorious hopes to them that walk uprightly, as are exhibited in thy lovely tabernacles, O Jehovah, God of Hosts!
But it is not privilege alone that is to be learned in Christian churches; the Lord said to Moses concerning the first tabernacle, "There will I meet with thee, and commune with thee of all things which I have given thee in commandment to the children of Israel." Christians, who should not forsake the assembling of themselves together, are to come together not only for prayer and praise, but also to hear what God the Lord will speak from his word in matters of duty, as well as in matters of privilege, and to exhort one another to love and to good works. Our attachment to the Saviour must be manifested by obedience to all his commandments. The Christian life, like that of our blessed Lord, should be a life of active benevolence, going about doing good. Not a life of monastic, selfish, and unsocial seclusion, which the folly of the human mind has every where suggested, as well in Pagan as in Christian lands. Oh no!-Apostolic, (which is the true primitive) Christianity, knows nothing of inactive, antisocial, selfish contemplation. Of the Holy Bible, nine tenths are made up of precepts and exhortations concerning man's duty to God, and to his fellow creatures. I trust, that on this occasion, whatever is right and expedient will be done: and to goad a willing mind, is not the practice that a generous. nature approves.*
Remarks on another occasion.
And there is one duty of which it becomes me to put you in mind, viz. that of assisting, as God shall give ability, to
* A collection for the chapel was to be made.
rear tabernacles dedicated to Jehovah, throughout the whole earth. To excite your gratitude, I have already alluded to the temples dedicated, by deluded votaries, to dumb idols, or to apostate demons, in various parts of the world; but gratitude to God and to the former benefactors of our race, whom Heaven employed to originate spiritual blessings in our native land, is not to be confined to mere feeling. Although, even if it were, I fear we seldom feel enough on this subject. However, it is not enough to feel grateful or to express thankfulness; gratitude should rouse us to exertion, for the purpose of establishing tabernacles to Jehovah in all lands; that all nations, and peoples, and languages, may also exult in those lovely edifices, where mercy and salvation are revealed to the children of men. There is no possible good work at all comparable to the originating, amongst any tribe of men, a Christian Church. Alas, that there should be so often a spirit of cavil, and censorious criticism, in reference to those who have gone before us in good works of this kind; because, forsooth, it has been discovered that the operators were not perfect, that frailty and imperfection attended them and their efforts! Did a right spirit prevail amongst Christians, it would subdue or annihilate the spirit of censorious cavil, and lead to an emulation and imitation of those who first erected tabernacles to Jehovah in these lands, the beneficial effects of which have so far exceeded all calculation. Oh, what would Christian Missionaries in some parts of the world not do, or suffer, to witness a hundredth part of the Christian temples which adorn this land, rising up in the regions in which they labour. But next to Heaven's aid, they require the constant and energetic co-operation of the churches at home, and it is incumbent on those who rejoice from Sabbath to Sabbath, in the enjoyment of the unspeakable privileges of God's house, and the loveliness of his sanctuary, to co-operate assiduously to convey similar bliss to all mankind. And when Christians arrive at the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, that better and infinitely more perfect tabernacle, if they can look back and review the occurrences of earth, what can possibly yield