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The success already given to this work, under each society, is amply sufficient to demonstrate the possibility of accomplishing the whole when it shall please God pour out his Spirit. The missionaries have in great numbers practically exhibited the spirit and genius d Christianity, in the midst of those heathens who hat before seen little but its dishonour by the lives of worldly and dissipated Europeans.
The different missionary societies have acquired much valuable experience respecting the difficulties o this work, and the most proper instruments to be employed. Christians of different denominations that have taken a part in this work, have had a growing esteem and affection for each other, that has very perceptibly united those that love the same Saviour and his cause much more to each other.
In addition to this, it can be now truly asserted that many thousands of the heathen in different parts of the world, in Western and Southern Africa, in India, in the South Sea Isles, in the West Indies, and in America, have already been by these efforts converted to Christianity, and great numbers have died in the Lord. The whole work of the conversion of the world, on the large scale, notwithstanding some disappointments, continues year by year to advance and increase, and all the efforts, prayers, and charity which have yet been expended in this cause are already amply repaid, and more than repaid.
But the most cheering sign of all is, that in the midst of the great increase of external exertion, God's servants on the one hand feel and acknowledge that the church of Christ is by no means yet duly roused to the importance and magnitude of the work, and to that enlarged spirit of prayer and exertion to which we are called:
d on the other, have been disposed by his grace ore generally to renounce all dependence on outward eparation, or on any power, save the power of the oly Spirit. And, though there be yet but little of a eneral spirit of supplication through the Christian urch, who can count the increased number of fervent rayers now offered up by individuals, or the thousands f little societies that meet weekly, monthly, or quarterly, o pray for the coming of Christ's kingdom? From whom does this spirit of prayer come? Can it possibly e offered up in vain? Shall it not be still more enlarged? O may the sacred flame of Christian intercession spread, and grow, and increase, till all that make mention of the Lord keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isa. lxii, 6, 7.
A minute survey of the unchristian world, Jewish, Mahomedan, and Pagan; or of the Christian world, Greek, Roman, or Reformed, would shew us much indeed, to move our sympathy, and to mourn over; but, much to sustain sanguine hope, and excite to zealous exertion. In every profession of religion there is a general excitement and movement, that must issue in great results; perhaps in arduous conflicts, before the day of final triumph.
Thus, if you look at the means by which divine knowledge is to be diffused, and all difficulties removed, those very means are in extensive operation; the Gospel is preached to a vastly increased and increasing extent, and the spirit of prayer is enlarged for the subverting of Satan's dominion by the abundant effusion of the Holy Spirit. It is a high honour, Christian reader, to have been born in such a day, if we do but discern and rise to our privileges and discharge our duties. The present
are evidently peculiar times. Let us, as God opens the way, throw our talents, our time, and our whole ener gies into them.
We cannot close the subject, then, without referring to those DUTIES TO WHICH WE ARE NOW CALLED, both individually and nationally.
AS INDIVIDUALS, may it be our serious coucer each to know and obey the truth for himself. Littl will it profit us that the world shall hereafter be con verted, if we, in the mean while, fall short of so great! salvation. We shall enter at length on this subject in the following chapter. But the remarkable character of the present day, seems especially to call Christians to decision of character. It is not a time to halt between the church and the world.
It is not a time
delay and put off this great concern. Let us join our selves heartily and decidedly to the Lord and his people. Bear now the reproach of his cross. His religion is not yet above shame and contempt from man. Now then we may prove our fidelity-now we may manifest our love to him--now is the time for probation. He is coming in his providence to punish his enemies, and to bless his people. He will discriminate between those who serve him, and those who serve him not. Let us then take a decided part, and be firm and bold in the cause of God. Never strive to join together both the world and the church, as if, by some happy dexterity, you could secure the favour and good of both. It never will, it never can answer. Come out, and be separate, as, when you appear before your Saviour, you will wish you had. Confess him, and own him, and he will own you in the great day of his appearing.
As a NATION, how important is the present situation, and means, and circumstances of Britain! Elevated
beyond every other country for this purpose, what an Opportunity has England, the storehouse of all that is excellent, the spiritual granary of the world, the moral Pharos holding forth the word of life to all nations, what a vast advantage has England at this moment to bless mankind! She is called to a higher office than the deliverance of Europe from the ambition of an earthly usurper who laid it low. She is called to help in delivering the whole human race from the more dangerous and destructive tyranny of Satan, a worse adversary, and from the more ruinous and galling bondage of idolatry and heathen superstition. O that there were but given to us from above something of that courage, and effort, and largeuess of contribution, which marked our struggle with our earthly enemy! and O that our hearts were but animated with as extended, but a more pure and holy zeal against this more malignant foe, this infinitely more tremendous, because in its consequences more ruinous and more enduring evil! What Christian heart does not long for this! What Christian patriot can breathe a higher wish for a beloved country! Then would Britain, in a nobler sense than 8 she has ever yet been, be a benefactor to the world ; then would her name be enrolled in the annals of all nations as blessed; and then would she wear a brighter crown of glory, through all succeeding ages, than ever she has yet attained.
The Lord enable us all to discern the signs of the times; to devote ourselves to his cause; to give first ourselves to him, and then our talents, our time, our influence, and our substance, freely and liberally, to diffuse his Gospel among all nations. Let us share the sacrifices, and the labour, and we shall assuredly
partake in the final triumph, and all the Saviour's per fect and eternal glory.
The author has given a Chronological Chart with this chapter, as calculated to promote an interest in the subject of which it treats. The chart is taken from Dr. Hugh Pearson's Historic View of the Progress the Gospel, with alterations and additions.
The Danger of neglecting Divine Truth.
T is the common opinion of men of worldly minds, that it is entirely optional with them, whether they heat the word, or not; that they may do just as they please, and no evil will result from neglecting to hear. As far as regards human punishment, this may be very true; but there is a far more serious evil than any human punishment whatever, connected with this neglect.
We have all a living and palpable evidence of this Look at that race of men who are a proverb and bye-word among all nations, and have, for hundreds of years, been only oppressed and spoiled evermore. they were prosperous; once it could be said of them, Happy art thou, O Israel! who is like unto thee? and what is the reason of the change? they despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. In reading the prophecies of the Old Testament, and