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"us free, and not suffer ourselves to be in"tangled again .with the yoke of bondage." Let us show our sincerity in using this petition,, by resisting all attempts to remove the candlestick from among ourselves: let us bless God for the religious privileges we enjoy, and not suffer them to be violently wrested out of our hands, under any pretence whatever: let us not even expose them to the smallest danger, but guard them as the most valuable part of our property; and especially, let us be careful so to improve them, that we may never provoke God himself to deprive us of them. —In the
Ajh and last place,. Let us extend our re*gards to those dark and miserable corners of the earth, which are full of the habitations of cruelty and wickedness.
Let us not only pray, that the gospel may be sent to them; but let us do what we can .to make our prayers effectual, by embracing every opportunity which the providence of God affords us, of conveying to the :his inestimable bleffing. It is our honour and happiness to have a Society for .propagating Christian Knowledge erected
among among us by royal letters patent, (and countenanced by an annual donation from his Majesty of L. iooo Sterling), whose business it is to attend to this very thing- The progress they have already made, is at once a convincing proof of their fidelity, and a manifest token of the/ divine favour and acceptance: hitherto, indeed, their pious endeavours have been mostly laid out in the remote and barbarous parts' of our own na.^ tive land, though they have not been wholly confined to these. They have been enabled to employ some missionaries abroad; of whose success among the Indians^ especially of late, they have received such agreeable accounts* as gives the delightful prospect of a large accession to the kingdom ot our Redeemer. The fields are already growing white in those parts, and promise a rich and plentiful harvest, were more labourers employed to gather it.
Here then is an opportunity, which God, in his Providence, affords us of obtaining the answer of our own prayer. By this Society, he demands a proof of our sincerity, and, as it were, offers us the honour to become come fellow-workers, with himself, in gaining new subjects to his Son. Let us with thankfulness embrace the offer, and contribute as liberal an assistance as we can, for carrying on this glorious design.
You must; all be sensible, that your substance cannot be employed to a better purpose, nor indeed laid out in a way more truly advantageous to yourselves. This is charity to the fouls of men, and, in the noblest fense, .** lending to the Lord," (Prov. xix. 17.), who will not fail to repay with usury.
This is a certain way of laying '* up for '' yourselves treasures in heaven, where there "is no corrupting moth nor rust, and where ** thieves cannot break through to steal." "What is thus devoted to the immediate service of the Redeemer, can never be lost to the giver, but shall descend in showers of blessings upon his own head. "The liberal "foul shall be made fat, and he who water"eth mall be watered also himself," (Prov. xi. 25.).
Such liberality will afford us, in the mean time, a most refined and delicate pleasure; an enjoyment not confined to a day, but which lives and improves by reflection: and then it shall be amply recompensed at the resurrection of the just, (Dan. xii. 3.), " When "they that are wise shall Ihine as the bright*' ness of the firmament, and they that turn *' many unt6 righteousness, as the stars for "ever and ever."
Yea, this will bring down the blesting of God upon our land; the vigorous prosecu-*. tion of this noble design will be a better defence to us than the most potent fleets or numerous armies, as it will engage the Lord of Hosts on our side, " who will be a wall ** of fire about U6, and the glory in the midst *' of us."
But I hope I need not multiply arguments to persuade you to so reasonable a duty: the glory of the Redeemer, the salvation of precious and immortal fouls, our own present and eternal interest, all unite their force in exciting us to it. Let us then, whilst we pray " Thy kingdom come," do every thing in our sphere that may contribute to promote it; and then shall we triumph in eternal glory, when the body of Christ shall be completed. Amem
Psalm li. 18.
Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of'Jerusalem.
THERE is an advice becoming the wit dom of Solomon (in Keel. \t 2.), " Be P. not rash with thy mouth, and let not "thine heart be hasty to utter any thing V before God: for God is in heaven, and ** thou upon earth: therefore let thy words "be few." To pray to the Most High God is a very solemn thing, even when we view him as seated on a throne of mercy. He is always present with us, whether we think of him or not: but when we pray, we, by our own deed, place ourselves in his fight, and solicit his attention. And is not this a yery solemn and awful thought? We speak t» one who looks immediately into the j heart,