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the Budha temples, and fall prostrate before the cross-legged image of woolly-headed Budha; and subscribe largely for the support of the priests, the repair of the temples, the making of new gods, and the cleaning and ornamenting of old ones. And his Tartar majesty of China frequently confers new titles and honours on the gods of the land. Oh how absurd! Man creates and dignifies the gods that he worships! Alas! my brethren, how long shall the millions of eastern Asia continue to inherit lies, vanities, and things wherein there is no profit? When shall they come from the ends of the earth, as the prophet speaks, and acknowledge their folly, and abandon their idols! I would remark finally, in this part of my discourse, that the priests of China do not instruct the people either in the principles of morality, or the rites of their religion, either in private or in public; and there is no social worship, nor any day of rest, on which to assemble at the temples. Some regard is paid to the new and full moon, after the manner of the Jews; but in China there is no Sabbath. The priests in companies worship the idols morning and evening, and recite prayers to them, and chant incantations, and light up candles, and burn incense. They are also employed to recite prayers for the sick, and say masses for the dead; and some of them, belonging to the sect of Laou-keun, attend funerals. In families, in shops, and in boats, where people live, any person that may have leisure, old man or boy, a mother or her daughters, light the matches of incense morning and evening, and place them before the idol, after having made three bows, holding the matches ignited in their hands, joined and held up before the face. Women are discouraged by the Moralists of China from going to the temples, and are told to worship their parents at home, for they are the best gods. When children, or a husband, or a parent, is sick, and death is apprehended, they depute persons to go round to the various idol temples, to intercede with all the gods and goddesses for them; and sometimes devote their children, if they should recover, to the service of the gods, and consequently to perpetual celibacy, as probably Jephthah did his daughter. Others dedicate to the Budha

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temples a fish or a fowl, or a swine, and afford the means of sustenance till the creature shall die a natural death; it being thought highly meritorious not to destroy animal life.

These, and many other things that I might state to you, all shew the lamentable ignorance of that ancient, populous, civilized, and worldly-wise nation, concerning God and true religion.

Yet the Chinese, like all the philosophists and moralists of antichristian caste, go about to establish their own righteousness, and think their virtues will counterbalance their vices. This, indeed, is a feature in which all false religions, and all corruptions of the true religion agree, Impious, rebellious man, all round the world, labours to justify, or to excuse his impiety and rebellion; and not only so, but to put in a claim to merit, on account of his virtues, or of the hardships he has endured, under the government of the ruling powers in nature. I remember the vain boast of an old rich Chinese, who was a notorious liar and debauchee all his life, that on account of his good deeds, some pecuniary charities, the gods must take care of him.

Oh how different is the gospel of Christ from all the self-righteous machinations of philosophers and superstition! and oh, my brethren, what a revolution takes place in the human mind, when it renounces its own imaginary righteousness, and receives with gratitude the righteousness which is of God by faith in Jesus Christ! And this necessary revolution or conversion, not general education; not science, proudly so called; not civilization-can ever effect. But Bible education, revealed religion, the gospel of Jesus Christ, accompanied by the influences of the Holy Spirit, can effect it. And to communicate this gospel; and to pray for these influences, constitute one of the highest duties of every human creature reconciled to God.

But although there be in man a self-righteous, self-justifying spirit, the very endeavour to justify himself shews that there are inward misgivings, and a consciousness of sin and guilt, and some apprehensions and fears. The numerous superstitions whether frivolous or cruel, that pre

vail in the heathen world reveal the existence of the same conviction.

The passing observer in distant lands, who witnesses the laughing countenances of the young and thoughtless, often pronounces the people happy; and men disaffected to Christian Missions thence argue that such efforts are totally uncalled for But the human heart under convictions of sin, does not usually reveal its anxieties to the giddy throng in busy active life: in yonder lands, as well as in our own, in the season of distress, of sickness, and of approaching or anticipated death, conscience often does its duty strictly, and in a way that alarms the sinner. Hence the rich give of their wealth, and the poor devote their children to idol temples: and the priests are hired to recite prayers and incantations to the dumb idols; and the repetition of masses for the souls of the dead, is procured by surviving relatives. And wardrobes of rich clothing are consumed by fire to be passed into Hades for the use of the deceased there. Even the proud atheistical disciples of Confucius, who in the time of prosperity laugh at the idea of a future state of existence, often have recourse to the very superstitions they despised, to buoy up their sinking spirits, when the king of terrors makes his approach.

We know from heaven that man is guilty; and we know from universal experience that there are periods of life when he feels himself wretched; therefore he requires mercy to pardon, and grace to help, and that mercy and grace, the knowledge of Christ alone can convey. For Messiah was anointed to preach good tidings to the meek; he was sent to bind up the broken hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that were bound. The knowledge of Christ is necessary; and the knowledge of Christ is fitted to relieve the wants, and to remove the miseries of man.

In the third place, then, these two questions arise, What are the means to be employed? And who are the persons, on whom the obligation rests, to communicate this knowledge to mankind.

That means are to be employed, I am now taking for

granted, in which I am justified by your assembling together this morning, although there have, and still are some persons who think that a miraculous dispensation of divine Providence is necessary, and therefore will take place before the conversion of the remaining unchristianized nations shall be effected. Archbishop Tillotson said—that without some such miraculous gift as that of tongues, there is little or no probability of the conversion of infidel nations,-because of the great difficulty of gaining languages so different from our own. If means should be attempted by private persons, the undertaking would (he thought) meet with such insuperable obstacles, that it must, in all likelihood, at last fall to the ground. Still he says that he would not discourage any from using their best endeavours to propagate our religion among infidels, and he deems it not improbable that God would extraordinarily countenance such an attempt,-as heaven did the first publication of the gospel. Miraculous aid, the Archbishop argues, is necessary, and therefore probable. "I think it still very credible," says he, "that if persons of sincere minds did go to preach the pure Christian religion to infidel nations, that God would still enable such persons to work miracles, without which there would be little or no probability of success."

And notwithstanding this discouraging view of the subject, Tillotson adds, "I do strongly hope that there still remains a great harvest among the Gentiles, and that before the end of all things, the light of the gospel shall be displayed in a glorious manner; not only in those vast empires of Tartary and China, and Japan and Indostan, and other great kingdoms of the east, but in the large and dark regions of the new discovered world; for that solemn promise which God made to his Son, Ask of me, and I will give the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession;' seems to be very far from being yet accomplished: and since this is like to be the work of some ages, the time perhaps is not far off when it shall BEGIN. I anticipate not the personal reign of Christ on earth; but the prevalency of the pure Christian religion a thousand years; and since blindness has in part happened



to the Jews, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in,”. the pious Prelate expresses a hope, that the receiving of Israel again into favour, will be life from the dead, or a kind of resurrection to the remainder of the Gentile world. And he closes thus, "Let us pray that the knowledge of the Lord may fill the earth, as the waters cover the sea; and that his ways may be known upon earth, and his saving health among all nations." (10 Vol. p. 4454 and 4527.)

It is delightful to see the mind of this great man anticipating the glories of Messiah's universal reign, although we differ from him as to the necessity and probability of miraculous powers being again conferred; at least we are persuaded it is not the duty of Christian churches to stand still, and only pray; but to join to prayer the diligent use of appropriate means to fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord. For as Tillotson said, "It is no small reproach to the Protestant religion, that, to our unwearied endeavours to promote the interest of trade in foreign parts, there hath not been joined a like zeal and industry for the propagating the Christian religion." When means are assiduously and perseveringly employed, then may the churches look up to heaven for divine aid; "For as the wisdom of God is not wont to do that which is superfluous, so neither to be wanting in that which is necessary."

Now the thing wanted is to fill the earth with a certain knowledge; a knowledge which is supremely excellent, and it follows that the languages of mankind must be known, in order to effect this end. Without language you cannot teach orally; without language you cannot communicate divine knowledge to the reading part of mankind by the press. And it appears questionable up to this very hour, whether attention enough has been paid by the friends of Missions, to the acquisition of the living languages of Pagan nations. What general encouragement is there given in this country to the cultivation of those languages to which Missionary Societies desire to send the gospel? What facilities have been provided to prepare intended Missionaries to different parts of the world, with a knowledge of the languages of the people they were to instruct?

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