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found to engage in the service. Our Evangelical Society virtually embraces the same object of those commonly called missionary societies, as necessary and subservient thereto. Whatever funds are raised, unless proper preachers can be obtained, they cannot be rendered useful. That a competent degree of literary acquirements is necessary and indispensable in those who engage in ministerial labours, none will deny who have the importance of the work on their minds. The patronage of those who love God and the souls of men is earnestly solicited. We hope you will not withhold that pecuniary aid which the urgency of the case requires.
"I stand here this day, my friends and brethren, to plead for thousands of poor perishing, dying fellowmortals, who need the bread of life; whose cries and distresses call for compassion, beyond the groaning Israelites. Who, that knows the love of God and the terrors of eternal death, but longs to run to their relief? Satan, the potent and imperious prince of darkness, has long since issued his cruel and bloody edict against the church of God, to destroy and exterminate it from the earth.
"We stand this day to plead the cause of that Jesus who sits upon the holy hill of Zion, with pardon in his hands, and whose delight is with the sons of men; and who is now calling for your assistance. We plead the promises and predictions of God's word, that may encourage your hope and trust. Be not afraid or the haughty mandate of the prince of darkness, for it shall be made to subserve the interest of Christ's kingdom. God requires exertions as much as he did for the preservation of Moses, or the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt. It is sacrificing the cause of God and the immortal souls of 'men to withhold. Is there not an impropriety in our bearing the name of Christians, unless the love of Christ constrains us? Is it not an important trait in the characters of the godly, that they took joyfully the spoiling of their goods? That they suffered the loss of all things, that they might win Christ and
eave their souls? What illustrious examples of benevolence do we find in the word of God; especially in the blessed Saviour of the world!' That, though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, that we, through his poverty, might be rich.' Can there be a more delightful employment this side heaven than to wrest souls from the jaws of death and hell, and to send the blessed news of salvation to a perishing world?
"To promote the felicity of the universe is the happiness of the redeemed in glory; and this spirit among Christians is heaven begun on earth. If your hearts do not glow with holy affection towards perishing sinners, by which you are disposed to do something for their relief, you have reason to fear and tremble that you have no inheritance among the saints in light.
"The design of our institution is far from being new: God's people have in all ages, in a measure, drunk into the same spirit. That angel of a man, Dr. Doddridge, in describing objects of Christian benevolence and liberality, observes: 'I would particularly recommend to you the very important and noble charity of assisting young persons of genius and piety with what is necessary to support the expense of their education for the ministry, in a proper course of grammatical or academical studies.'* Consider that you are God's stewards, and that all your property belongs to him, and you are to use it in his service. That he can easily make up, if he sees fit, what your liberality imparts: and if you 'cast your bread upon the waters, you shall find it after many days,' Eccles. xi., 1. If we withhold shall we not rob God, and incur his righteous displeasure? who will soon call us to give an account of our stewardships! Remember the maxim of the wise man, 'There is that scattered), and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than meet, but it tendeth to poverty,' Prov. xi., 24. Since this spirit of liberality has shone so conspicuously in many parts of the Christian world, I think we have had manifest tokens of Divine
* Rl«e and Progreu of Religion.
approbation. God has poured out his spirit in such copious effusions as to make it obvious that it is 'an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.' Let us not be weary in well-doing, for we shall yet reap a more plentiful harvest if we faint not.
"If we delight in giving, God will delight in rewarding. 'Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse—and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it,' Mai. iii., 10. We may make a profession of religion—tell much of our regard for God; but words, as one observes, are cheap things, and are by no means the test of our sincerity. How many of this character are to be found; who, when objects of charity are presented, that call for a pittance of their store, like the young miser in the gospel, go away sorrowful, having large possessions.
"My Christian friends and brethren, you will be far from pleading exemption from duty by having recourse to the reasonings of a licentious world, 'that if God has determined all things, our endeavours are unnecessary;' this, I trust, has been sufficiently reprobated in the foregoing discourse, as betraying an unbelief of the doctrine by which you profess to be influenced, and that you are governed by carnal principles. Consider that you are the only ones that will heartily engage in this cause; 'For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem,' Isa. ii., 3.
"Perhaps the conversion of every soul is the effect of the church's travail and exertions. Are there not thousands at the present day that are casting in their mites; and in this way sending a morsel of the bread of life to starving, perishing souls? Surely it is a rich and valuable treasury, that will refund an infinite and eternal reward to all true adventurers. What if, by distinguishing yourselves by withholding, you should not be admitted to their society hereafter, nor taste of the rewards of the righteous?
"The institution for which I am now pleading cannot fail of attracting your attention, if we only consider the extensive nature of the object. It is that by which we may do good after we are dead. It is but a moment that we have in the present life to stretch out the benevolent hand to the distressed, or to pluck them from devouring flames. To act with reference to this life only, is too contracted for a soul that has been Enlarged. With what beauty and elegance is this sentiment illustrated by the Apostle Peter, in his second epistle, 1 ch. 15 ver.-—' Moreover, I will endeavour that you may be able, after my decease, to have these things always in remembrance,' It will be a tree of righteousness that will spring up over your grave, diffusing divine fragrance—bringing forth fruit till time shall be no more. Will it not afford unspeakable delight, should we ever arrive in the fields of immortal bliss, to meet with thousands, who, through our instrumentality, were saved from endless perdition 1 What admiring thoughts of Divine mercy and condescension would it excite, that God should make use of such poor despicable instruments for the salvation of souls! God will deign to take notice of it, and declare it before the assembled universe; and bestow an eternal reward of grace, even for giving a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple. They who shall be instrumental of turning many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever. The blessing of many that were ready to perish shall come upon you; and thousands yet unborn may give glory to God.
"How many now among us are reaping the blessed effects of the pious exertions of God's people while on earth. The vigilance of Moses, oh, how amply rewarded! The faith and care of his parents will never be forgotten through ceaseless ages.
"The institution before us looks forward to heathen nations; and we may be among the number of those who shall introduce the glorious days of the MESSIAH, when 'the earth shall be full of the knowledge pf God,' Should w.e refuse to comply with the present call of Divine providence, and withhold our hand from contributing, will not those who are perishing for lack of provisions rise up in judgment and condemn us at the bar of Christ? The reproof of a Hottentot, as lately related in a missionary publication, cannot but give feelings to a Christian. Upon becoming acquainted with salvation, she thus exclaims: 'What a pity, what a sin it is, that you Europeans, who have for so many years enjoyed in great abundance the heavenly bread, should keep it all to yourselves, and not spare one little crumb to the million of poor heathen!' Adding, 'You may depend upon it, you should not have the less for yourselves by giving some to them; but the Lord Jesus would bless you and give you the more.' She also observed that, 'Could we but conceive fully of the miserable situation of the Hottentots, we would certainly feel more compassion.'
"Ye that are strangers to God, remember, that it is more blessed to give than to receive. We wish you to put in with us—we wish you the reward of the liberal. It is true, that unless love to God and the souls of men direct you, your services, however great, will be but vain oblations, and displeasing to the Most High, though your interest devoted may be the occasion of the salvation of thousands yet unborn. It will be so with the professors of religion, if the glory of God is not their object—they will lose their reward. There is as much propriety in calling on the wicked to engage in this duty as in any other. You are under obligations to repent, to love God, and to express it in all those ways he has appointed and commanded.
"Could we persuade young men and young women, instead of spending time and property in carnal dissipation, to turn their attention to the object before us, of what service might they be to the interest of Zion while on the earth! The people of God, your pious parents, yea, God himself, would pronounce you Oreatly Beloved! Would it not aiford consolation in death, to reflect, that the time, talents, and property given you by your Creator, instead of their being con'*'