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go on with it, expressing a sort of regret that it fell not to their share to make a sacrifice of their lives in attempting the propagation of their religion. “O my God, I am ashamed, and blush to lift up my
face to thee, my God!" It were but a Christian, a grateful, and an equal return, and who can tell what prosperity might be the recompense, if our trading companies and factories would set apart a more considerable part of their gains for this work, and would prosecute it more vigorously. The proposal which Gordon has made at the end of his “Geography,” that all persons of property would appropriate a small part of their wealth to this purpose, should be more attentively considered. What has been done by the Dutch missionaries at Ceylon, and what is doing by the Danish missionaries at Malabar, one would imagine sufficient to excite us to imitate them.
If men of zeal for evangelizing and illuminating a miserable world, would learn the languages of some nations which are yet unevangelized, and wait on the providence of heaven to direct them to some apostolical undertakings, and to bless them therein, who can tell what might be done! We know what Ruffinus relates concerning the conversion of the Iberians, and what Socrates mentions concerning the things done by Frumentius and Aedesius in the in
On this subject there are two things worthy of remark,
1. It is the opinion of some Seers, that until the temple be cleansed, there will be no general ap
pearance of the nations to worship in it. And the truth is there will be danger until then, that many persons, active in societies for the propagation of religion may be more intent on propagating their own little forms, fancies, and interests, than the more weighty matters of the gospel. Yea, it will be well if they be not, unawares, imposed upon, to injure the cause of Christianity where it is well established, while places in the neighbourhood wholly unevangelized may lie neglected. Let us therefore do what we can towards the reformation of the Church, in order to its enlargement.
2. It is probable that the Holy Spirit will be again bestowed on the Church for its enlargement, in operations similar to those by which, in the first ages, Christianity was planted. The Holy Spirit who has withdrawn from the apostate Church will come and abide with us, and render this world like a “watered garden.”
His irresistible influences will cause whole “nations to be born in a day.” He will not only convert, but unite his people. By him, God will “ dwell with men.” Would not our
heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit” if he were more earnestly entreated of him !
II. It is lamentable to observe the ignorance and wickedness yet remaining, even in many parts of the British dominions: in Wales, in the Highlands, and in Ireland. Are the Gouges all dead? There are pretended shepherds in the world, who will never be able to answer before the Son of God, for their laying so little to heart the deplorable circumstances of so many people whom they might, if they were
not scandalously negligent, bring to be more acquainted with the only Saviour. And there might be more done, that some of the American colonies may no longer be such Cimmerian ones.
III. Why is no more done for the poor Greeks, Armenians, Muscovites, and other Christians, who have little preaching, and no printing among them? If we were to send them Bibles, Psalters, and other books of piety in their own language, they would be noble presents, and God only knows how useful
IV. Poor sailors, and poor soldiers call for our pity. They meet with great troubles, and yet their manners seldom discover any very good effects of their trials. What shall be done to make them a better set of men? Besides more books of piety distributed among them, other methods must be devised. “ An ass falls, and the first who comes lifts him up: a soul is on the brink of ruin, and not a hand is stretched out.” Let Austin awaken us.
V. The Tradesman's library should be more enriched. We have seen “ Husbandry Spiritualized;" the employment of the “ Shepherd Spiritualized;" “ Navigation Spiritualized;" and the “ Weaver," also furnished with agreeable meditations:-to spread the nets of salvation for men in the way sonal callings, and to convey pious thoughts in the terms and branches of their daily business, is a real service to the interests of piety. A book also that shall be an “ Onomatologia Monitoria," a membrancer from names,” and shall advise people how to make their names become the monitors of
of their per
their duty, might be of much use to the christened world. And a book which shall be “ The Angel of Bethesda,” giving instructions in what manner to improve in piety, by the several maladies with which any may be afflicted; and at the same time informing them of the most experimental, natural, and specific remedies for their disorders, might be very useful to mankind.
VI. Universities which shall have more Collegia Pietatis in them, like those of the excellent Franckius in the Lower Saxony. O that such institutions were more numerous ! Seminaries in which the scholars may have a most polite education, but not be sent forth with recommendations for the evangelical ministry, till upon a strict examination it be found that their souls are fired with the fear of God, the love of Christ, a zeal to do good, and a resolution to bear poverty, reproach, and all sorts of temptations, in the service of our holy religion. Such characters would be the wonders of the world; and what wonders might they do in the world!
Let Charity Schools also “ increase and multiply." Charity schools which may provide subjects for the great Saviour, blessings for the next generation. Charity schools, not perverted to the ill purpose of introducing a defective Christianity.
VII. It is the part of wisdom to observe and pursue those things which, so far as we understand by the books of the sacred Prophecy, are to be the works of our day. When the time had arrived that Antichrist should enter his last “ half-time," one poor monk proved a main instrument of wresting
from him half his empire. Thus to fall in with the designs of Divine Providence, is the way to be wonderfully prospered and honoured.
One feeble man thus seizing the opportunity may do wonders.
The works of our day I take to be as follows:
1. The revival of Primitive Christianity; to study and restore every thing of the primitive character. The apostacy is going off.
The time for cleansing the temple comes on. More EDWARDS would be vast blessings, when the primitive doctrines of Christianity are corrupted.
2. The persuading of the European powers to shake off the chains of popery.
Let this argument be used: there is no popish nation but would, by embracing the Protestant religion, not only introduce itself into a glorious liberty, but also would double its wealth immediately. It is strange that this has not been more attended to. Sirs, let it be prosecuted with more demonstration. A certain writer has shown, that the abolition of popery in England, is worth at least eight millions sterling to the nation annually. Let this argument, arising from interest, be tried with other nations.
3. The formation and quickening of the people who are to be “ The stone cut out of the mountain." In this, as in some other things, “ None of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
God will do his own work in his own time and in his own way; and Austin says, “ It is advisable to withhold part of what I meant to say, because of men's incapacity to receive it.”