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If, however, after your moft ferious and confcientious endeavours, you are not able to find fatisfactory evidence, 'that
Is not this view of things a loud call to the friends of the Gospel to ufe every poffible means to promote the spread of it among the nations? If any man love not the LORD JESUS CHRIST, let him be accurfed, is the language of infpiration. Are we in no danger then from that fpirit of flumber which overfpreads our minds? Ought not every man, who has any concern for his own future happinefs, to lend an helping hand to promote the falvation of the many millions of fouls, who now fit in darkness, and in the region and fhadow of death! The Moravians, above all other people upon earth, have herein the greateft merit. That fmall, and, in fome refpects, obfcure Sect, have done more to spread the honour of the REDEEMER'S name among barbarous nations, than all the Proteftants in Christendem. Thefe worthy people begun their miffions in the year 1732, and have now, in different parts of the world, and thote feveral of them the most unpropitious, no less than 26 Settlements. In thefe Settlements near 140 Millionaries are employed in fuperintending about 23,000 converts from the Heathens !
A Swedish million was undertaken to the Sufqueanah river in America, in the year 1697, by three perfons, but with little fuccefs.
The King of Denmark fent out two perfons in the year 1705 to Tranquebar on the coast of Coromandel, which miffion has been continued to the prefent time with confiderable advantage to the caule of CHRIST in that part of the world.
The Society for propagating the Gospel in foreign parts, and that for promoting Chriftian Knowledge in the Highlands and Iflands of Scotland, were both begun about the year 1701, and have both been extremely ufeful in fpreading the knowledge of the REDEEMER's name. America is particularly indebted to thefe twɔ Societies.
The Society for promoting Chriftian Knowledge was begun in the year 1698, and has been carried forward with confidcrable spirit for near one whole century. At present they have fix Millionaries in the Eaft Indies, and one in the islands of Scilly. From thefe Miffionaries fome very pleafing accounts have been published in the feveral annual reports. The efforts of this honourable Society have been very confiderable also in the ditribution of Bibles and other religious books of various deferiptions. The Bibles fent out the last three years averaged 5,2 28 each year, the New Testaments and Pjaiters 9,333, Common Prapers 9,738, other bound books 12,562, and (mall Tracts 69,754. A charity of a moft extenfive, valuable, and important nature! But, a principal object with this Society, is the education of poor children. And in this as well as in the diftribution of books, they excel any thing that ever was in the world. Let their annual meeting at St. PAUL'S bear witness. See the Reports for an account of their extraordinary exertions in the propagation of religious knowledge.
The Baptifts in this country have lately fent out two perfons to the Eaft Indies, but the fruit of their labours does not yet appear to be confiderable. The miffion is in its infancy. We are informed by them,
that CHRIST came from GOD; you must allow at leaft, with ROUSSEAU, he was an extraordinary man; one of the
that the Europeans in that country are very generally in a flate of Infidelity This confirms what has been faid by the natives in bruken English: *Chriftian religion-Devil religion! Chriftion much drunk-Chriftian "much do wrong, much beat, much abule others."-The natives are apt t tay in making their bargains- What, doft thou think me a Chriftian, that I would go about to deceive thee? "It is a fad fight. tays one of the firit o aries, "to behold a drunken Chriftian, and a fober Indian; a temperate Indian, and a Chriftian given up to his appetite; an Indian that is juft and fquare in his dealing, a Chriftian not fo. O what a fad thing it is for Chriftians, to come fiert of Indians, even in moralities! to come fhort of thofe, "who them elves eive, to come fhort of heaven!"
Confiderable effects alfo may be expected to arife from the two Settlements on the coaits of Africa and New Holland. The expectation will appear rational, it we compare America two or three centuries ago, with what i is at the prafent period.
The Methodist con cion, under the direction of the Rev. Dr. COKE, has been confiderably fuccefsful in winning fouls to CHRIST in the Weft Indies. In the year 1794, they had upwards of a dozen Preachers employed in the different iflands, and near 8,000 Blacks in fociety, bend 5 others of different defcriptions *.
The Myfionary Society in London have taken up the deplorable fituation of the Harben nations with great fpirit; and prefent profpects are very promifing. How far it may pleafe the great HEAD of the church to fucceed their endeavours it. behalf of the Heathen, remains yet to be proved t. But be this as it may, the perfons concerned fhall not lofe their reward. The attempt is honourable. Every believer in CHRIST JESUS fhould throw his mite into one or other of these treasuries of heaven. More noble still, however, is he, who, laying afide all party prejudices, and narrow plans of human policy, contributes, according to his ability, to every fcheme fet on foot for the falvation of his fellowcreatures, and the advancement of the REDEEMER's kingdom. I cannat conceive how any man, who profeffes to believe in the name of CHRIST, can be at reat in his fpirit, without making fome effort to advance the honour of his name. It is a black mark upon him. Woe unto them that are at eaje in Zion-that put far away the evil day-that lie upon beds of ivory, that stretch themselves upon their couches, that eat the lambs out
* See the prefent ftate of this miffion on a former page.
It is a matter of great thankfulness, that after a voyage of more than 50,000 miles, accomplished in 21 months, Captain WILSON is returned without the leaft material lots or injury to the fhip DurF, in which he took out to the South Sea Islands about 30 Miffionaries. When they arrived at Otabeite, they were received by the natives with reverence and delight. They had not one fick perfon on board; and now that they are returned, the crew of the thip is in better health than when they firit embarked from England. All this hath Gon wrought, in antwer to prayer!
the first characters that ever appeared upon earth *. then that you blafpheme not his name; treat his cause and intereft in the world with refpect; walk according to the best light you have; be virtuous in your own way, and do all you can-not to make converts to Infidelity(because when men commence Infidels, they ufually become immoral) but to lead your fellow-men into the paths of piety and virtue, under fome denomination or other. If, indeed, you can fairly, by found argument, and folid evidence, explode the divine authority of the Gospel, we are fo far from being afraid of confequences, that we call upon you to do itt. Try then what you can do. Exert all
of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the fall-that chant to the jound of the viol-that drink wine in bowls-but they are not grieved for the affiction of JOSEPH.
Thanks be to GOD, that though a fpirit of Infidelity is rapidly spreading itself through the old rotten churches of Europe, yet there is a fire kindled in the hearts of thousands that shall never be extinguished, till all the ends of the earth have feen the falvation of our GOD. A missionary spirit is beginning to fhew itself, all through England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, and America, which fhall finally diffuse itself through every nation under heaven.
Why do not our Unbelieving countrymen form focieties, and fend out miffionaries to convert the nations to pure Deifm? If they are in earneft, and if they confider their principles as the only true and important ones, they certainly ought fo to do, or else they fall under divine condemnation.
* Most of the French philofophers, thofe dabblers in science, allow that JESUS CHRIST was one of the greatest geniuses, and moft extraordinary man that ever appeared upon earth. Others deny his very exif
+ Atheists and Unbelievers have more or lefs abounded in every age of the world. In NOAH's time, the whole human race was gone aftray. In the days of DAVID, the fool faid in his heart, There is no GOD. Scoffers too appeared in the age of the Apoftles, walking after their own lufts, and faying, Where is the promise of his coming? I remember fomewhere reading too a ftory of a man in the last century, who was as great an enthufiaft against the Bible as THOMAS PAINE himself. This clever fellow, either to display his wit, or his fanaticism, proceeded in the following truly curious manner:
In the year 1649, as a Mr. FAWCETT was preaching in his church at Walton upon Thames, towards the clofe of the afternoon, fix foldiers entered the church. One of them had lantern in one hand, with a candle burning in it: In the other hand were four candles not lighted. When Mr. FAWCETT had gone through the fervice of the day, and dif
your talents. Call forth every latent power of the mind. Bring out your stores of ancient and modern lore, Butno ridicule! no laughter! no fneers! The occafion is too great and serious. Come forward, rather, in all the dignity of good fenfe, in all the majefty of confcious integrity, in all the zeal which the love of truth infpires, furnished with languages, knowledge, experience, oblervation, and either honourably overthrow the cause of the Gospel, which we affuredly deem the cause of truth; or, like JENYNS and PRINGLE, openly acknowledge that you are convinced and conquered. This would be manly.
miffed the congregation, this man called to the people to stay a little, for he had a meffage to them from GOD. Not being permitted to afcend the pulpit, or to addrefs the people any farther in the church, he went into the yard, where the congregation collected around him. He told them he had had a vision, and had received a command from God to deliver his will unto them; and which they must receive upon pain of damnation. It confited, he faid, of five lights.
1. That the fabbath was abolished, as unneceffary and ceremonialAnd here, faid the man, I fhould have put out my first light; but the wind is fo high I cannot kindle it.
2. Tythes are abolished, as Jewish, and a great burden to the faints of GOD, and a difcouragement of industry and tillage.-And here 1 should have put out my fecond light, &c.
3. Minifters are abolished, as antichriftian, and of no farther use, now that CHRIST himself descends into the hearts of his faints, and his SPIRIT enlightens them with revelations and inspirations.--And here I fhould have put out my third light, &c.
4. Magiftrates are abolished, as useless, now that CHRIST himself is in purity of Spirit come among us, and has erected the kingdom of the faints upon earth. Befides they are tyrants and oppreflors of the liberty of the faints and tie them to laws and ordinances, mere human invention. -And here I should have put out my fourth light, &c.
5. Then, putting his hand in his pocket, and pulling out a little Bible, he thewed it open to the people, saying, "Here is a book you "have all in great veneration, confifting of two parts, the Old and New "Teftament. I must tell you, it is abolished, It contains beggariy "rudiments, milk for babes: but now CHRIST is in glory amongit us,
and imparts a fuller measure of his SPIRIT to his faints than this can "afford; and therefore I am commanded to burn it before your faces.” -So, taking the candle out of the lantern, he fet fire to the leaves; and then, putting out the candle, he cried-" And here my fifth light is "extinguished."
This is not the only madman whom we have known to burn his Bible. There are many fuch now within 40 miles of this place. One I have heard of, who, to be more witty than his fagacious brethren, roasted his Bible before a flow fire!
would be acting in a manner worthy the character of Lovers of truth. And on fuch men the GOD of truth himfelf would look down from heaven well pleafed.
I have already called your attention, GENTLEMEN, to a variety of characters from among the moderns, fome good, others bad, fome believers, others unbelievers. would with you, however, to take the Bible into your own hands, and read it carefully and coolly over, as a book of common hiftory only, without any regard to its divine original; and then endeavour to form an impartial judgment what courfe you ought to take, and what the event of your prefent conduct will be. To bring the matter to a fhort and eafy iffue, turn to the thirty-feventh psalm, read it seriously over half a dozen times, and confider well its contents. Do not be rafh, foolish, headtrong, and reject this, and the other Sacred Records, without either rhyme or reafon; but be cool, deliberate, fober, well-advised, and determine to chufe the fide of prudence, difcretion, and fafety. Let the feveral historical characters recorded in the Old and New Testament be taken into your moft careful confideration, and judge calmly of their comparative refpe&ability, and with whom you should like beft to die. Whether had you rather wish to die and have your portion in eternity with CAIN, BALAAM, and PHARAOH; with KORAH, DATHAN, and ABIRAM; with SAUL, ABSALOM, and AHITOPHEL; with HEROD, JUDAS, PILATE, and all fuch like characters; or you would chufe to die and have your portion in eternity with ABEL, NOAH, and Lor; with ABRAHAM, ISAAC, JACOB, and JOSEPH; with MOSES, AARON, JOSHUA, and SAMUEL; with DAVID, ASA, JEHOSHAPHAT, HEZEKIAH, and JOSIAH; with ISAIAH, JEREMIAH, EZEKIEL, and DANIEL; with JOHN the Baptift, JESUS Christ, the twelve Apostles, the feventy Difciples, and all the other excellent men, whofe names are recorded with approbation in the Jewish and Chriftian code? Can you hefitate one moment which fide you would wish to take? Confider the matter well, and make your election.
But if you do already fee reafon to believe in the SoN of God; or if at any future period you fhould find caufe