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ANY individual who has felt the value of his
own soul, and been made to participate in the blessings of salvation, will require no additional argument to induce him to take a lively interest in whatever is likely to promote the eternal welfare of others. Knowing the terrors of the Lord, he will endeavour to persuade men :" and, constrained by the love of Christ, he will prove that difficulties and opposition will rather stimulate his energy than paralyze his exertions. In the present day, every thing that can excite and invigorate all genuine Philanthropists, or those who feel deeply concerned on account of the moral degradation of human nature, is presented in the cheering prospect increasing before them of the renovation of the WORLD, by the diffusion of the Gospel of Christ.
Among the numerous improvements in the science of modern charity, the Author of this Work regards as of the very first importance the increased concern which is evidently prevailing for the moral and religious advancement of our country. As we are called a Christian nation, it should be the concern of every believer in Divine Revelation that we may soon become a NATION of CHRISTIANS. And as God accomplishes his gracious purposes by means, both in their nature and number, suitably proportioned to his designs; we, in the belief of this, should deem ourselves summoned to combine our influence with the exertions of the myriads who are actually engaged in promoting the glory of the Redeemer, and the eternal welfare of souls.
The facts adduced in this volume have not been collected to gratify curiosity, or to obtain pecuniary help for public institutions, but to illustrate the power and riches of Divine grace, to shew the transforming influence of the Gospel, to warn the
young against some of the evils
which may assail them, to point out the existing and essential difference between conversion and
conviction, to encourage those who are employed by the Great Head of the Church in preaching the word of life to persevere in their “work of faith and labour of love," and especially to urge on the attention of those who have in any degree felt the power of religion, the importance of a copious effusion of Divine influence on the barren soil of the moral wilderness, in order to its appearing as the garden of the Lord.
It may possibly be supposed that the subject of the following pages stood in connexion with the respectable and important Society to which they are inscribed : such, however, was not the case. At the same time the writer has no doubt that in spirit he was one with it, and that he sincerely rejoiced in all its successful and useful designs.
The name of the HOME MISSIONARY Soci
ETY is placed at the head of this volume with a view, if possible, to draw the attention of the Christian public more fully to that valuable institution, which it is feared) is still too little regarded. The Author, after much reflection, fearlessly declares it as his settled conviction that very
much more than has yet been accomplished might, and should promptly be done for its funds. No Society that at present adorns and elevates the character of our beloved country is more important, and none exists better calculated to be extensively and lastingly beneficial.
That Britain may soon become “a holy nation, a peculiar people," and consequently be still more abundantly “ zealous of good works," and that this publication may, in some humble measure, conduce to so desirable an end, is the ardent prayer and hope of