« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
ever, in the bottomless abyss! My God! what an event is the redemption of a single soul! O the infinite mercy that redeemed such countless millions ! O the boundless compassion of Christ; the ocean without a bottom or a shore! O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, which are disclosed in this unfathomable plan of grace!
Where are infatuated infidels now ? Bring up hither all their bands to behold their glorious agent, and the glorious interest which they oppose. Julian, Celsus, and Porphyry, what now think you of Christ ? Voltaire, Hume, Gibbon, and Bolingbroke, where are now those tongues which blasphemed the anointed Messiah? Let our subject burst like ten thousand thunders upon those, who in rejecting the Mediator, resist all the designs of God, who would destroy the only interest of the universe; who are fatally contending with all the energies of Omnipotence!
Oh that I had a voice to reach the hearts of impeni. tent sinners of every class. Knew ye the infinite glories of our Messiah, the darling of Heaven, the wonder of angels, the august agent of the universe ; knew ye your ruin and necessities; knew ye the tenderness of Him who wept because you would sin ; who, to save your wretched souls, sweat drops of blood, and expired on the rugged irons ; you would not thus idly pass by his reeking cross, you would not thus refuse him reverence, and coldly cast away the benefits of his dying love.
In applying this subject, I would summon, were I able, all the kingdoms on earth, to arise in one mass, to urge forward the cause of the Redeemer. Assemble, ye people, from the four quarters of the globe ; awake ye nations from your sleeping pillow; combine in this grand object of your existence ; this common interest of the world. Ye kindreds and tribes, why are ye searching for happiness out of this kingdom, and overlooking the cause of Christ, as though he had no right to hold an interest on earth! Know ye that no man is licensed to set up another interest on this ground, which is sacred to the Redeemer? What have you to do in this world, if you will not serve the Lord's Anointed ? If you will not submit to his dominion, and join to advance his cause, go, go to some other world--this world was made for Christ. But whither can you go from his presence ? All worlds are under his dominion. Ah! then return, and let your bosoms swell with the noble desire to be fellow-workers with the inhabitants of other worlds, in serving this glorious kingdom.
Continuation of Dr. Griffin's Missionary Sermon.--1805.
LET me never fall into the hands of the man, who, while he refuses to aid the missionary efforts of his brethren, coolly says, that he submits the fate of the Heathen to God. Do you call this submission ? Put it to the test : does it preserve you equally composed by the bed of your dying child? While the pressure of private afflictions can torture your soul, call not the apathy with which you view nations sinking into hopeless ruin! call it not submission, nor bring the government of God to sanction a temper as cruel as it is common. Will the government of God convert the Heathen without the means of grace? What nation was ever so converted ? It is contrary to the established method of divine grace, How shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher ? No. Missionaries must go among them; and they must be supported. They cannot support themselves; they cannot derive support from the Heathen ; nor can they expect to be fed by ravens! Who then shall sustain the expense, if not the Christian world ? And what portion of the Christian world, rather than the American churches ? And what district of these churches rather than that in which we are assembled? And what individuals rather than ourselves? Heaven has given us the means; we are living in prosperity, on the very lands from which the Heathen have been ejected; from the recesses of whose wildernesses a moving cry is heard, “When it is well with you, think of poor Indians." This is not ideal; we have received such messages, written with their tears.
No, we will not shift this honourable burden upon others; we would sooner contend for it is as a privilege.
But we need not contend ; it is ample enough to satisfy the desires of all. The expense of Christianizing only the savages on our borders will be great; but to extend effectual aid to all the benighted tribes on the American continent, to the numerous islands, to the vast regions of Asia and Africa, would demand the resources of Christendom. Every man is under bonds to God to bear his full proportion of this expense. For whom, but for the Redeemer, was your wealth created ? Thus saith the Lord, Your silver and your gold is mine. The flocks of Kedar, and the gold of Sheba, were created to bring tribute to his church. Should we sordidly close our hands against him, he can, with infinite ease, extort a hundred fold, by sending a blast into our fields, a disease into our families, or a fire into our dwellings. It is a maxim that admits of general application, Whosoever will save his life shall lose it ; but whosoever will lose his life for Christ's sake, the same shall save it. The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. He fiat hath pity upon the poor, lendeth to the Lord; and that which he hath given, will he pay him again. By one shower of rain, by one restraint upon the winds that would sink your ship, by one breeze sent to fan from your door the pestilential vapour, he can repay you. And he can bestow the blessings of eternity on you and your children. The best security for remu. neration is offered. He tenders you his blessing, to reward your charity. And now, are you Christians ? The trial is to be made. The everlasting fates of men turn upon the existence of a temper to prefer the blessing of God to Mammon. To the merciful he will show himself merciful; but whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
I have nothing to spare, is the plea of sordid reluctance. But, a far different sentiment will be formed amidst the scenes of the last day. Men now persuade themselves, that they have nothing to spare, till they can support a certain style of luxury, and have provided for the establishment of children. But, in the awful hour, when you and I, and all the Pagan nations, shall be called from our graves, to stand before the bar of Christ, what comparison will these objects bear to the salvation
of a single soul ? Eternal Mercy ! let not the blood of Heathen millions, in that hour, be found in our skirts. Standing, as I now do, in sight of a dissolving universe, beholding the dead arise, the world in flames, the Heavens fleeing away, all nations convulsed with terror, or wrapped in the vision of the Lamb, I pronounce the conversion of a single Pagan, of more value than all the wealth that ever Omnipotence produced. On such an awful subject, it becomes me to speak with caution ; but I solemnly aver, that were there but one Heathen in the world, and he in the remotest corner of Asia, if no greater duty confined us at home, it would be worth the pains for all the people in America to embark together, to carry the Gospel to him. Place your soul in his soul's stead; or rather, consent for a moment to change condition with the savages on our borders. Were you posting on to the judgment of the great day, in the darkness and pollution of Pagan Idolatry, and werć they living in wealth in this very district of the Church, how hard would it seem for your neighbours to neglect your misery? When you should open your eyes in the eternal world, and discover the ruin in which they had suffered you to remain, how would you reproach them, that they did not even sell all their possessions, if no other means woré sufficient, to send the Gospel to you. My Mesh trembles at the prospect! But they shall not reproach us. It shall be known in Heaven, that we could pity our brethren. We will send them all the relief in our power, and will enjoy the luxury of reflecting what happiness we may entail on generations yet unborn, if we can only ef. fect the conversion of a single tribe.
Extract from a Sermon on public vices, by Rev. SAMUEL
S. SMITH, D. D.L. L. D.
A VERY fatal step in the progress of vice, is seen in the wapt of shame, and contempt of public opinion. , The common interests, and therefore the common sen. timents of mankind, will ever be connected with the great principles of virtue and good morals. These sentiments
furnish the most powerful motives to order, decency, and propriety of conduct; and form, perhaps, the strongest, as well as the most delicate ties, that connect society together. Laws may be called its chains--principles and opinions are its silken cords. Each, singly, may possess small force; but, infinitely multiplied and interwoven, they become stronger than chains. Nature hath subjected us tọ the sentiments of one another ; and every modest and ingenuous mind will profoundly respect the opinion of the public. Sinners, who are not yet abandoned, study to conceal their crimes from public view, and to find for them the protection of obscurity and retirement. Therefore they are called the works of darkness, not only because they lead down to the blackness of darkness for ever, bụt because they seek for themselves the deepest shades to cover them from the eye of the world. In the clouds of night, riot and debauchery endeavour to hide their enormities—then theft and robbery come forth from their lurking places-malice and envy shoot their arrows in the dark--then lust spreads a vail over its shameful and impure mysteries. In the twilight, saith Solomon, in the evening, in the black of dark night, the bait is laid by loose pleasure for the upwary youth, “He gyeth after her straight way, as the ox to the slaughter, or, as a fool
to he correction of the stocks, till a dart strike through - his liver as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth
that it is for his life.”* As long as the sinner continues to seek concealment for his crimes, it is a proof of some remaining modesty of mind that is still capable of reformation. But when vice stalks abroad with an unblushing fące when intemperance staggers and vociferates in the streets--when fraud and injustice can come forth with the countenance of integrity, and ill-gotten wealth is considered as a substitute for honour, and for conscience when lust seeks no vail for its orgies, and the most crim, inal connections are avowed without shame, the last fences of piety and virtue are broken down, and the mind is, prepared to go to any extreme to which appetite may impel or opportunity invite.
Does the want of shame, it may be asked, mark a high