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The first of these duties, that of labouring in our own persons to acquire the true wisdom of which the prophet is speaking, is a duty of such obvious necessity in itself, and so strongly enforced in many passages of Scripture, that, with a Christian audience, few arguments are required to demonstrate its absolute necessity. We cannot come to Christ without believing in His name. not believe on Him without knowing Him. We cannot know Him as He is, and as He should be known, without appreciating highly the dignity of His nature, the wisdom of His laws, and all which He has done and suffered for us. And, though an outward confession of these illustrious truths is by no means inconsistent with much general inattention to the doctrines and duties of religion, yet they are greatly mistaken who expect to be able either to know God satisfactorily, or to believe in Him sincerely, or, truly and heartily and practically, to love Him with that degree of affection which He demands from us, without a diligent and frequent study of His works and His attributes as described in the sacred volume; without a frequent approach to Him and converse with Him through the channels of prayer and meditation; and without a diligent use of those appointed means of grace which chiefly have power to kindle in the heart those affections to which, and to which only, the God of love and wisdom is accustomed to reveal Himself as a Creator, a Redeemer, and a Sanctifier. " He that hath my commandments and keepeth them,

tends this distinction is undoubtedly founded in reason and Scripture. To preach, in ordinary cases, the private Christian can pretend no more authority than for administering the Sacraments; and both the one and the other are the appropriate functions of those men only and their successors, on whom this burden was laid and to whom this authority was given when the Lord, after His resurrection, led forth His Apostles as far as Bethany, and when, breathing on them, “ He said unto them, “receive ye the Holy Ghost;" “ as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."

But that would be a very confined and inadequate notion indeed of the duty to which I refer, which should apprehend it to be exclusively and sufficiently fulfilled by the mere work (however diligently performed) of oral preaching and administration of Baptism and the Eucharist, or which should keep out of sight the innumerable and most efficacious instruments of prayer, of example, of authority, of private remonstrance, of public education, of succours afforded to the temporal wants of the preachers, and their poorer disciples, and of

ways of helping in the Lord's great battle, which are strictly within the province of those who themselves may not preach the Gospel, and without which the labours of the most indefatigable preacher would avail but little to the extension and furtherance of God's kingdom. And when

the many

many other

* St. John, xx. 22. 21.


we consider how distant are those lands which yet remain to be brought from the wildness of pagan error to the pale of the Christian; how vast is that multitude which, even while nominally within that pale, is still in the shadow of death, and in need of being enlightened and evangelized; when we consider how narrow, in comparison with the numbers which seek admission, are the buildings appropriated to our labours, and how seldom it is in the course of the year that, amid the cares and concerns of the world, those labours can procure an audience; we are compelled, by every motive of duty to ourselves as well as of charity to our brethren, to charge those who have already attained to that good light, to give diligence lest others be deprived of the means of access to it, and to invite them, by a wise and bountiful exertion of the talents allotted them, to help us in bringing home to the tents of the Indian and the cottages of the poor, that knowledge of Christ which is the great power of God unto salvation; and to hold up,

like Aaron and Hur, the overwearied hands of Moses, lest through their neglect the people of the Lord be discomfited before their spiritual enemies.

This, then, is the task to which we call you ; this the task in which we pray you to be fellowlabourers with ourselves ; a task no less plainly enjoined inScripture,than it is obviously deducible from the dictates of our strongest natural wants and our most amiable natural feelings. If we are forbidden to see our neighbour suffer hunger, disease, or

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nakedness, without, to the best of our power, en. deavouring to relieve his sufferings; if it be a crime to suffer our enemy's beast of burthen to fall beneath its load without rendering it our assistance; of what punishment must he be worthy who looks on with dry eyes and without an effort to abate the evil, on millions stretched out in deadly darkness of idolatry and superstition; on millions more surrounded with light, yet, by some strange fatality, continuing to work the works of darkness; on millions as yet incapable of good or evil, whose happiness or misery, both in this world and the world to come, must depend on the sort of education which is given them; and on millions who, having begun well, are falling back into the snares of Satan, from which a timely and well-directed warning might yet have the power of extricating them?

Of the various benevolent institutions by which, in different ways and by different applications of the same Christian and benevolent spirit, this mass of moral evil has been already assailed and diminished, whether by the maintenance of missionaries in foreign lands, or the organization of schools at home, or by an increased circulation of that blessed volume which is the fountain and the end of whatever we have preached or whatever ye have believed, it is unnecessary for me to speak in terms of praise, and it would be unchristian and unholy, even while pleading for a different society, to say any thing in the spirit of rivalry. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge envies none of

these, but from her earliest institution it has been her endeavour to attain the objects of all; and while she was the first institution which called the attention of Christian Europe to the spiritual state of India, on whose soil she only, for more than a century, with scanty means but with love unabated, continued and continues to labour; she has supplied with a liberal hand the schools of Great Britain and Ireland with the necessary elementary books of instruction; and has circulated during the last year, either gratuitously or at very reduced prices, above ninety thousand copies of the Bible or the New Testament. These, however, are not the only nor the distinguishing circumstances in her constitution to which I am desirous of calling your notice. Blessed as these are, and necessary means of blessedness, yet can neither the employment of missionaries abroad, nor the education of youth, nor the dissemination of the Scriptures at home, be, any of them or altogether, considered as sufficient to meet the

growing necessities and growing dangers of the Messiah's Church and kingdom. It is not enough to bear His banner through distant seas, and declare in the ends of the earth the glory of our God, when our own streets are clogged with vice, and our ears assailed at home with the accents of infidelity and blasphemy. It is not enough to give our children betimes the necessary, but easily abused power of reading and writing, unless we, at the same time, render their tender minds familiar with those

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