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out of the range of the light of the Gospel.--out of the range of the divine truths, which distinguish the contents of the Bible, and upon which the religion of the Bible is based, and which constitute the whole materials of its superstructure---in precise proportion as they are uninformed of the facts and doctrines of the religion of Jesus, they are involved in all that darkness which consists in ignorance, and depravity, and wretchedness, and crime. Where is man---shrouded in the deepest, darkest intellectual, political, and moral midnight? Where there is least of the gospel known. Where does his whole soul bask in the brightest radiations of Heaven's own light, and dis. play, most eminently, the noble, godlike capacities with which it is endowed, the dignity of its nature, and its glorious destination? Where the Gospel is the ruling sun in his firmament.
The best picture which the heathen world ever presented, was that of ancient Greece and Rome, and it is a picture ofttimes referred to with pride, by those who wish to underrate the Gospel. The citizens of these great commonwealths of antiquity have been celebrated to the highest acme of their merits for their wisdom and attainments. Their names have been clothed in lustre---their manners have been painted in fascination---and the achievments of their warriors, and and philosophers, and statesman, and poets, and orators, and artists, have been exhibited invested in the most imposing grandeur and celebrity. But even there, “what ridiculous fancies were entertained and spread abroad respecting the Deity, respecting human obligation towards the Deity, respecting the nature of the Spirit and man's immortality beyond the grave!" How multitudinous were their gods! What a compound of perfections and imperfections, of greatness and meanness, were the aitributes of their Jupiter, their supreme divinity, their Maximus optimus! And what must have been the de pravity of those, who conld worship a Mercury, notorious for his theft of Apoilo's quiver, a Venus and a Bacchus, distinguished for their intemperance and debauchery, and of thousands of gods of a similar description! Their vices had their tutelary deities as well as their vir
There was a god for every thing, and any thing answered for a god. The result was precisely what would be expected from such a state of affairs. And if we should enter into the enclosures of their domestic and social circles---if we should portray the general character and conduct of their best men --if we should exhibit to you Greece and Rome, in its true and entire picture---alas! alas! would be your involuntary exclamation.
But if we turn aside from this most favored spot in the world of heathenism, and take the aspect of Gentile lands entire--- what a picture! how dark! how deplorable! how wretched? Not less, perhaps, than 500,000,000 of the human family are in all the midnight obscuration of that ignorance and superstition, which are the parent of degradation and misery for the present, and ruin for eternity. Over all the continent of Asia, and Africa, and over a great part of America, and over the countless islands of the Southern and Eastern oceans, what is the condition of those, who have never yet seen the light of the Gospel? Look at the altars, reeking with the blood of immolated human victims--- look at the deities to appease whose supposed wratlı such immolations are made---look at the poor devotees of idol worship
as they mangle their own persons, and endure self-inflicted tortures, that agonize all the sensibilities of their nature---look at the mother drowning her babe, at the fathec slaughtering his son, at the widow burning upon the funeral pile of a deceased husband, at children burying their own grey-headed and age-tottering, parents alive, at thousands crushed beneath the ponderous wheels of the Jugernaut as voluntary sacrifices to the hideous idol of the car--look at their abominable rites and ceremonies, their character, their life, their hopes, their destiny. See the savage gleam in their eye.--their wild, unihinking, unmeaning, brutalized physiognomy--their brow all livid with the fell purposes of a desperate heart---their cheek reddened with the fever of barbarous excitemen?.--their whole person bearing the impress of the darkness under which they have been brought up, and of their consequent degradation. Theft, lying, cruelty, oppression, want of natural affec:ion, lasciviousness, wars, and bloodshed---every thing which constitutes a violation of the moral law, and brings disorder and misery into human society have here their patrons. "And at the same time, there is no conviction of sin, no feeling of shame; guilt has no sting, and turpitude is not infamous. Oh! how frightful would be the picture drawn from life.”
Is there no redemption for these poor, degraded people? Is there no prospect of their rescue from the dark night of the soul, which has settled around them? What does the Spirit of Revelation declare on this subject? It represents, in one instance, God the Father as saying to God the Son, “it is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a liglit to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” (Is. 49. 6.) For a long time, the Jewish dispensation was the only dispensation of divine mercy to man. Then Christ the Son raised up the tribes of Jacob and restored the preserved of Israel. His work, his service as Savior, was then contined exclusively, with some rare exceptions, to the nat. ural descendants of Abraham, to the inhabitants of Judea. The spirit represenıs the work, or service, in which he was then engaged, as a light thing in comparison with the great work which awaited him under the Gospel dispensation. And what is that great work or service, which, it is here promised, he will perform under the Gospel dispensation? He is to become "a light to the Gentiles, that he be God's salvation unto the end of the earth"...that is, by his
may he is to illuminate the heathen.” This work is not yet dor
Gospel promise is not yet realized. But here is the hope of th
nie. God's Chr
. Gentiles... is promised by God himself, to be given for a li he may be God's salvation, nor to one or two conti
sht to them, that few additional islands of the sea
.dents only, or to a Pr
but unto the
verge of their massive and impenetrable darkness---but to be to them
Here is the hope of the Gentiles. Wherever Gentile darkness yet prevails, there is the promise of God to his Son yet to be realized, there is Christ to be sent as a light, not to throw his radiations upon unyielding darkness, but to penetrate, and dissipate, and save --he is to be sent as a light unto salvation. Millions of our fellow-creatures have not yet heard of Christ. Christ has never been given to them as a light unto salvation. There are many interesting and very important Missionary stations in heathen lands, and there, by the blessing of God, the Gospel has sometimes blazed brightly, and extended its saving radiations over a wide area of heathen territory, and many a poor and perishing sinner has been rescued from under the dominion of heathen education and influence, and transplanted into the kingdom of Heaven---there Christ has been given for a light, that he might be God's salvation to many a sin-ruined soul. But still, the Gentiles, the great mass of the heathen have not yet been visited with that light unto salvation. This remains to be accomplished. The poor, benighted heathen who are still groping their dark way in the region and shadow of death, and where habitations are habitations of cruelty, are yet to be visited by the Gospel.--they are yet to see a great light, the light of the Sun of Righteousness; they are yet to contemplate the cross; they are yet to behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world: they are yet to look upon the Savior of sinners, to acknowledge his dominion in their hearts, and to rejoice in his salvation. But the task, delightful, glorious task is ours to send the Gos. pel, this light unto salvation, to the Gentiles unto the ends of the earth. Are we doing our duty in this matter? Why is the Gospel not, even now, universally promulgated and embraced? Have christians prayed and labored in this work as they should do. “Go, preach the Gospel to every creature,” is the duty of the humblest, as well as the most gifted believer in Jesus. If we cannot carry the Gospel to the Gentiles in person, we may contribute of our temporal means, that it may be carried by others. If we have no means of this description, we have prayers. But prayers and means should be united. If the church were only properly aroused and active on this subject, by the accompanying power of the Holy Spirit this work would
Shall echo thine all-glorious name;
And every lip thy praise proclaim.
The banner of the cross unfurled,
The Savior of a ransom'd world."
W. T: F.
THE PHILADELPHIA RIOTS,
Presentment of the Grand Jury, instructed to inquire into
the origin and cause of the recent gross violation of law in Philadelphia. The result of their inquest is the following conclusions:
First.--That the origin of these riots may be attributed to the very imperfect manner in which the laws have been executed by the constituted authorities of the city and county of Philadelphia for several years past, and more especially in the District of Kensington, crime having met with little rebuke and scarcely any punishment. Emboldened by this impunity, the abandoned and vicious have been encouraged to hold the law in contempt.
Second. To the efforts of the community to exclude the Bible from our Public Schools. The Jury are of opinion that these efforts, in some measure, gave rise to the formation of a new party, which called and held public meetings in the. District of Kensington, in the peaceful exercise of the sacred rights and privileges guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution and Laws of our State and Country. These meetings were rudely disturbed and fired upon by a band of lawless, irresponsible men, some of whom had resided in our country only for a short period. This outrage causing the death of a number of our unoffending citizens, led to immediate retaliation, and was followed up by subsequent acts of aggression, in violation and open
defiance of all law. The right of all mankind to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and that of peaceably assembling for the expression of their opinions upon public affairs, is of the highest importance, and should be fully protected. It is a fact worthy of particular notice, that the most destructive ri-. ots at various periods for some years past, have originated in an unjust and grossly unreasonable disposition to suppress these rights, justly deemed of the greatest magnitude by the founders of our liberties.
The jury are compelled to the conclusion, tnat if the Police Magistrate of the District of Kensington, and the Sheriff of the city and county of Philadelphia, had been more energetic and efficient, many lives might have been spared, and much valuable property saved from destruction. It may be that these officers will be able hereafter to show that they have done all that it was possible for them, under the circumstances, to perform but judging as the jury necessarily must, from the ex-parte proof before them, they are of opinion that the conduct of these officers should receive a full, fair and legal investigation, by the appropriate tribunals of the country.
In further pursuance of their duty, the Jury have presented to the Court various individuals, as connected with offences springing out of these scenes of tumult and bloodshed. It is hoped that prompt action in regard to these presentments, will secure to the offenders their merited punishment.