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to read without a human teacher. In the highest reign of miracles and inspiration, prophets and apostles must carry to men the word and ordinances of God, or no salvation was accomplished. You may take your opinions from yourself if you will; I will take mine from the word of God. And what does that teach ? " The Scripture saith,—Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed ? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard ? and how shall they hear without a preacher ? and how shall they preach except they be sent ?"* If this does not absolutely prove that no adult heathen can be saved, it proves at least that no salvation can come to him in the known and ordinary way. Every imagination then that the heathen will come in of themselves if let alone, is a bewildering fancy.
My fourth argument is drawn from the sacrifices of the missionaries themselves and the debt of gratitude which we owe them. To see these interesting youth, with the spirit of martyrs, offering themselves to die under an Indian or an African sun; for the love of Christ tearing themselves from parents and brothers, and sisters, to see them no more; taking an eternal leave of the scenes and companions of their youth; abandoning their native shore and their native tongue, to bear the tidings of a precious Saviour to distant nations; to see delicate young females, who have been dandled in the lap of parental tenderness, with a heroism which nothing but Christian principles could support, tearing themselves for the last time from the arms of trembling mothers and speechless sisters, to encounter the dangers of the seas, and the still greater dangers of a torrid clime, in order to support their husbands by their smiles and prayers in a foreign land, among sooty Pagans; this is a scene which makes selfishness blush and hang its
ead; which shames all the ordinary piety that is couched in ease at home trembling at self-denials. I beseech you to follow these precious youth with your prayers and your tenderest concern. They have gone in the service of our Father's family. They sacrifice all for us. Shall we not follow them with the interest of brothers and sisters through the groves of India and the forests of America ? and when we hear of their trials, their dangers, their escapes, their successes, shall we not feel as though we were receiving accounts from our near kindred ? When they tell us of the triumphs of Hindoo converts, or send to our
Rom. I. 11-15,
ears the young hosannas of Syrian or Sandwich children, shall we not mingle our souls with theirs and join in the joy as though they were bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh? Yes, dear missionaries, we will remember you and all the sacrifices you have made till these hearts shall cease to beat. God Almighty go with you and keep you in the hollow of his hand till we meet you in heaven.
Sometimes, in restrained and modest terms, these beloved men hint to us their wants. I fear they do not tell all. I fear they may yet suffer in a foreign land for want of a little more of that wealth which is heaped up in America. Much has indeed been given; and I thank you and the American churches in the name of all the poor pagans of the wilderness. I thank you in the name of those blessed men who have forsaken all for Christ. When they lay their heads down far from mother and sister, your charity will spread their couch and cover them from the cold; your charity will furnish their table and refresh them when they are weary. I wish I could present to your view a thousand pagan children clothed in the garments which you have furnished, and learning to utter the praises of God out of the books which you have given. But many of you, I trust, will have greater joy at last. You will see them clad in brighter robes; you will see them touch the golden harp and hear them say, But for your instrumentality we had not come to this. Then, I know, your reward will be full.
I can only say, if you have any thing more to spare we shall gladly receive it. And what you give will cheer the interesting wanderer on the plains of Ceylon and the shores of Owhyhee, who has left all for Christ, and whose sacrifices and prayers I hope will prove the salvation of our children.
My fifth argument is, that foreign missions are likely to prove the most glorious means of grace to us at home. While you are feeling for pagan souls and sending your sons to them, I firmly believe that your prayers and bounty will return into your own bosom. Such confidence I have in God, for I hare heard him say, “ He that watereth shall be watered also himself." I believe that while you are anxious to raise heathen nations from death, you will be enabled to shake off your grave clothes yourselves; that while you are seeking to draw forth Indian children from their sepulchres, and present them alive to their rejoicing parents, your own children will start into life by your side; that while the love of distant nations glows in our hearts, it will melt us all down into love to each other, and burn up all our jealousies and strifes. Some of these effects I seem already to discern. God grant that they may increase, until the joy of America shall respond to that of Asia, and in one burst of praise rise united to heaven. May your charities return into your own bosorn and that of your children for days and years, and an eternity to come.
My sixth argument is, that all the wealth of the world was given to Christ as a recompense for redeeming our souls; and shall the ingratitude of man withhold from him his hire? It will not always be thus. The time will come when “ Holiness to the Lord'' shall be written on all the possessions of men, on the very “bells of the horses;" and when the pots in the Lord's house," (those used for culinary purposes in the families of the priests,) shall, in point of holiness, be like the bowls before the altar," which received the blood of the vic. tims until it was sprinkled; and when “every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be Holiness unto the Lord of hosts."* The common vessels used to dress our food, instead of being regarded as instruments of luxury or display, like our Bibles and Psalm Books, shall be all for God. Men will write Holiness to the Lord on every dollar and on every foot of ground. They will no longer labour to hoard, but to do good.
That will be such a generation as has not yet appeared. A few scattered individuals have approached towards this character, but the mass of mankind in every age have held their property as their own, and not as a sacred deposite. With multitudes the thought of giving to God never entered their minds. Go to them for their proportion to support the Gospel at home, and they will turn you away or deal out a paltry pittance that makes you ashamed. Go to them in behalf of the heathen, and they have nothing to spare. Though their poorer neighbours are giving by handfuls, they have nothing to spare. They are so in debt for new lands and tenements, that they cannot give a cent to save a world from death. It is not more evident that Lucifer himself has a separate interest from Christ than that these men have. Wrapt up in themselves, they mean that the universe shall take care of itself. It is not for them to go abroad to inquire how it fares with other na
Zech. xiv. 20, 21.
tions; their business is at home. In their own little sordid selves they lie buried, and not a meaner object is to be seen in the universe of God.
There is another class, including by far the greater part of the better sort, who are willing to give to Christ something like one or two per cent. of their income, but hold the rest with an unyielding grasp. It will be otherwise in that coming day. I say not what they will give, for God has not fixed the limit for obvious reasons. In the first place, the wants of men in different countries and ages call for different degrees of charity. In the second place, had God prescribed the exact amount, the contribution would have been no more an index to the heart than the payment of any other tax. As by this part of human conduct he specially intended to draw forth the dispositions of men, he left the proportion to be fixed by themselves, after giving them some general intimations of his will. The only intimations of the kind were contained in the Hebrew law; and even there he left much to the spontaneous motion of the heart. Enough, however, was fixed to serve as a general guide to the conscience. In the first place they were to des vote the first-fruits of their fields and of their flocks : in the second place, they were to give to the Levites a tenth of all the products of both : in the third place, they were to consume another tenth in charity feasts with the Levites and the poor: in the fourth place, they were to suffer many expensive sacrifices, some fixed by law, and others voluntary. These four items cannot be reckoned at less than three tenths of their income. In the fifth place, the many contributions des manded for the poor, (some fixed by law and others voluntary,) together with all that was required for hospitality, are moderately estimated at another tenth. Indeed, under the pressure of all these laws, a conscientious and liberal Hebrew would hardly get through the year without parting with one half of his income. This page God wrote and hung out of heaven and retired, leaving men to follow their own judgment and inclination to the end of the world. In the day when Holiness to the Lord shall be written on all the possessions of men, this page will be read and better understood. Then a law which has slept through so many selfish ages will be revived again, and holy men will feel it a privilege to give something like four tenths or one half of their income to God. And then they will look back on the contracted ages gone by, with much the same surprise as that with which we review the slave-trade or the superstitions of the tenth century.
And all these increased contributions will be wanted. A little calculation would surprise you here. The single work of furnishing the people of the United States with Bibles for a century to come, almost exceeds belief. If we increase in numbers as we have done, before this century runs out more than six millions of Bibles must be annually issued to supply our own population. To raise up ministers, too, for the unnurnbered thousands that will inhabit these states, will require perhaps a still greater tax. And among other cares poor forsaken Africa must not be neglected. Her crime of having a sable skin must not exclude her from the kingdom of heaven. Great will be the expense of training up her sons to serve at her altars: and this charge must fall chiefly on America. Here, as in no other civilized nation on earth, materials may be selected from a million and a half of her race. Nor are Bibles and ministers all. Expensive missions, for a great many years to come, must be supported in every part of the pagan and Mahometan world. And this expense must chiefly fall on Christians at home. Missionaries cannot be fed by ravens, nor will the heathen themselves support them. All the disposable wealth of Christendom will be put in requisition. Those hundreds of thousands which are now rusting in the coffers of the rich must be brought forth. Those mighty sums which support wars and theatres must be consecrated to God. No longer must wealth enough sleep in a single commercial city to convert a nation. No longer must any Ananias and Sapphira keep back a part of what they have professedly devoted to the Lord. Let all professors of religion hear this.
Already this reviving spirit of liberality has begun to appear. Princely fortunes have been given by some; thousands and tens of thousands by others. The poor labourer has divided with God his hard-earned gains. Women have given up their ornaments. Children have thrust forward their little hands to drop their all into the missionary box. The world are fast waking up to the conviction that the silver and the gold are the Lord's.
My seventh argument is, that these exertions are necessary to bring to Christ the seed and the kingdom, the victory and the triumph, promised him as his reward. This world belongs to Christ. No other being has a right to erect an interest on this ground. And yet, aster the lapse of eighteen centuries, two thirds of the earth remain in pågan