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gifts, will be brought into action, that every part of our territory, far from being overlooked, will be trodden by the feet of them that publish peace; while we shall send to every country visited by our ships a not less numerous host, burning with a holy desire to proclaim Christ and his salvation, where his name has never yet been known.
But, Sir, I have detained this assembly too long, perhaps, while arguing from acknowledged principles of human conduct, and appealing to the common sense of mankind. It would be easy to show, that the general principles of Scripture lead us to the same conclusion. “He that watereth shall be watered also himself," is as applicable to communities, as to individuals. Our own observation, indeed, whether we look at Great Britain or America, proves that we do not misunderstand, or misapply, the divine declaration.
In reference to the subject before us, there are two considerations, each of which is absolutely decisive: one the example of Christ and his apostles, the other the express command of the ascending Savior.
The personal preaching of Christ did not reach, indeed, beyond the limits occupied by the "lost sheep of the house of Israel." But in the differeut parts of these limits, he labored with intense and unremitted assiduity. He did not stay in one place till all were competently instructed in the Gospels much less till all were brought to accept the offers of salvation. Proclaiming as a herald, the great truths of the Gospel, he hastened from city to city; as if desirous that there should be some equality in spiritual privileges, and that no place, within the compass of his personal ministration, should be left unvisited. So it was with the Apostles. After delivering their message, as ambassadors of Christ, in one city, they travelled on to another, and another, till they actually visited a large part of the inhabited world. Had they pursued the course, recommended by the objector, they would never have left Palestine, and might have labored and died at Jerusalem, unless driven away by 'persecution; and then they might have discharged their ministry and spent their lives in a small part of Asia Minor. So might it have been in every succeeding age; and, if the same plau had been porsued, the Britons of the present day, like their ancestors 2000 years ago, might now be a band of ferocious barbarians, ranging through their forests, and offering human sacrifices to malignant demons.
The command of Christ to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature, is of universal obligation. It has been binding on all ministers, and on all Christians who can send ministers, from the day when it was delivered to the present hour; nor will it cease to be binding till there shall be an end of preaching the Gospel at the final consummation. I shall not be understood to say, that it is the duty of every mivister to offer himself as a missionary to the heathen; but it is his duty, while he njay himself preach to a stated audience in a Christian country, to promote by his countenance, his exhortacion, and his prayers, all attempts to disseminate the seeds of eternal life in every climate, and among all people. The very design of the Gospel is to bless all mankind; a design, which will only be carried into effect, when Christians shall practically acknowledge its benevolence, by strenuously laboring to promote its accomplishment.
To what a state of hopeless despondency would the objector leave the pagan world! The work of evangelizing the heathen cannot be commenced, according to his scheme, ill all the parts of nations nominally Christian are adequately supplied with Christian instruction. If past experience is to decide, thousands of years must elapse, and the majority of the human race still remain ignorant of the Gospel. But, according to the scheme which is sanctioned by reason and Scripture, the process of renovating the world may be rapid, and comparatively easy. Imagine the missionary stations to be increased to ten times their present number, and that there should be at each station such a display of divine grace, as we have lately read of, in the history of the mission to the Society islands.lu such a case, how glorious a light would be observed in thousands of places now shrouded in midnight-That Light, which came into the world to lighten the Geruiles, would then indeed be seen; and the mild radiance of his beams would penetrate the darkness of ages. When the Christian traveller shall be able to pass through the heart of Africa, from the great desert to the cape, or from the mouth of the Nile to the shore opposite Madagascar; when he shall be able to traverse central Asia, and visit the stands of sea; and at convenient distances Tiget with missionary stations and infant churches, what wonder if his simple narrative should be received with a shout of joy and exultation throughout Christeadoin, which would prove that there was in existence an ardor of feeling and an energy of piety not now to be found.
This is the way in which the work will advance toward its later stages. Converted pagans will re-act upon the Christian churches, by whose agency the Gospel was sent to them; not by sending back missionaries, but by exhibiting, in the most convincing manner, the blessed fruits of Christianity, and thus infusing new life and vigor into the hearts of all the people of God.
It will not be unreasonable or unkind to ask of those, who object to sending the Gospel abroad, whether they have exerted all the urgency which their own plea supposes to be necessary, and which the case certainly requires, in behalf of the destitute in our own country. Let it be referred to the decision of their own consciences; and at that tribunal they cannot stand acquitted, unless they make great sacrifices, and strive importunately in prayer, for a cause which they not only pronounce important, but of such pressing claims, that it shuts the eye to the miseries of the heathen world, and, for a long time to come, excludes the greater part of mankind from hearing the sound of the Guspel. It is not hazardous to affirm, that the Christian, who has actively participated in the labor and expense of sending missionaries to our new settlements;-who has lamented the unhappy state of all, who enjoy not the regular ministration of the Gospel;- will be the last to hesitate, as to the duty of sending this inestimable blessing to the beathew. Look among the earliest, the most laborious, and the most earnest friends of inissions to the destitute in Christian countries, and you will find them the most ready to make sacrifices for the support of missions abroad. Further, among the most generous contributors to the funds for evangelizing pagans, you will find missionaries to our new settlements; who, from the small stipend allowed them for their severe labors, strive to save something to be sent for the relief of the perishing heathen. The magnitude of their donations, in some instances, would astonisit this audience, were it proper to describe the circumstances of the donors. The reason, however, of this liberality is not difficult to be assigned. The man, that had sighed over the wants of his brethren scattered in the wilderness, who yet have very coosiderable means of becoming acquainted with the Gospel, would of course weep over the wretched condition of millions, partakers of the same flesh and blood, and destined to a future unalterable siate, to whose dark minds a single ray of divine light never yet penetraced, but who are heid in the most abject slavery to every kind of delusion, superstition, aod device of Saian.
But perhaps I ought to apologize for occupying so much of your attention. It seemed desirable, lowever, that there should be no apparent shrinking from an objection, which is at least plausible to the minds of soine, who would be iar from condemning all missionary exertion.
The day, of objections is fast declining; and the day of religious enterprise and combined zeal will succeed it, till at last the Sun of Righteousness will cheer and illumine this benighted world with his heavenly radiauce. Then will the value of the first attempts to establish the Gospel in pagau lands be justly appreciated. Then will that obvious truth be felt, that without a commencement ihere could be no progress; that without progress there could be no consummation; that unless the tree of life were planted with much toil, it would never shelter the nations with its branches, nor regale them with its fruit; that, in short, without the activity and perseverance of Christians, the gloomy reign of error and sin would exiead through interminable ages, if the world should be preserved so long. Then will it be seen, who are the true benefactors of mankind. The time will assuredly come, when the name of Morrison will be pronounced throughout the populous domains of China with a veneration and an enthusiasın, which we can now but faintly conceive; when the largest asscciated population on the globe will look back upon his labors, not as those of an obscure missionary, but rather as the efforts of an illustrious stranger, who, from the most disinteresele motives, importunately knocked at the gates of that vast empire, and sought oniy for the privilege of proclaiming to its erring inhabitants, that Christ died in redeem them, and that his blood cleanseth from all sin. The time will come, when the labors of Carey and his brethren will be traced with delightful recol. lections, by multitudes who will inhabit the countries from the extremity of Sans
to the mountains of Tartary, and from the Chinese sea to the Mediterranean. And to the child, who sits down to his evening chapter and repeats his erening hymn, it will be said, while one venerable name and another is mentioned, These good men brought us the Bible, and made us acquainted with salvation. To them, under God, are you indebted for your Sabbaths, your hymns, and your prayers, for the knowledge that Christ is your Redeemer, and God your Father and your Friend. Though their feet never came within many hundred miles of our habitation, and their eyes did not witness these happy scenes, yet the system of operations which they begun has filled Asia with Bibles and preachers, with churches founded on Apostles and Prophets, and temples dedicated to Jehovah. Nor will the missionaries, who left the shores of our country then be forgotten. It will be remembered as honorable to them and to our country, that when the door seemed shut against them, and most men would have supposed all done which could be done, they pleased for the privilege of preaching Christ to the poor deluded idolaters, with all the earnestness, which a mother would employ in pleacing for the life of her tender babe.
We are not permitted to engage in the most honorable office, in which mortals are employed; that of personally conveying the knowledge of salvation to unevangelized portions of the globe. But, thanks to the goodness of our heavenly l'ather, we are not altogether excluded from every part of the benevolent labor. Helpers we may be in executing a design, which employs the ministration of angels, and originated in the unsearchable depths of infinite love. Though we cannot with our own lips proclaim the glad tidings of great joy to all people, we may do much to send forth those who can. Are we duly sensible of this privilege? If so, we shall make a vigorous use of it, and great numbers of pagans, in this age and the ages to come, will experience the benefit of our activity.
Here we are, my Christian friends, met to confer on a subject which might well occupy, as it has indeed often occupied, the solicitude of the heavenly inhabitants; of the angels who never sinned, and the spirits of the just made perfect. 'The salvation of a single soul is an object worthy of the concentrated attention, and the earnest desire of the intelligent universe. What shall we say, then, of the conversion of an empire; of the renovation of a world; of the permanent triumph of truth over error, so expressly foretold in the oracles of God. How great should be our admiration and gratitude, that we are permitted to take any part in a work, compared with which the creation of this material earth would not deserve to be remembered. This permission is given us. Shall we neglect it? Shall we abuse it? While in the pursuit of the vain and perishable objects around us, shall we forget, that the soul is immortal; that it is exposed to ruin; and that life, short life, is the time when its destiny must be fixed. Shall we engage in the blessed work, with a cold, timid, hesitating, unfeeling heart? and devote to it one fiftieth part of the time, labor, and property, which we give to the gratification of our worldly feelings? Or shall we consider it to be the great end of life that we may become subservient to the cause of Christ; especially in promoting the universal diffusion of his Gospel? Let conscience decide, and let the heart and hand obey.
The period will soon arrive, Sir, when we shall view these considerations in a juster light, than we are accustomed to do here. When the glories and the terrors of the future world are disclosed to our view, we shall not doubt the value of the soul, or the duty of efforts to save it. But I will not attempt to describe the astonishment, which will burst upon the mind of him, who first learns the great duties of the present life, after he shall have entered upon a future state, Let us look at a scene more easily presented to our imaginations, and in which none of us knows how soon he may be personally interested. I refer to a sick chamber and a dying bed. Let us suppose, that each one of us hears the awful summons in the possession of his reason, and is enabled to look the great enemy in the face with steadiness. When the memory surveys a life now drawing to its close, how will conscience regard the cause of missions. Will it then give any one of us comfort to say, “The spiritual wants of a perishing world, were pressed upon my attention, but I never examined them. I had some doubts about the plans proposed, and so excused myself from doing any thing. I even damped the ardor of more generous spirits, and hung as a dead weight upon a good cause. Much have I wasted upon myself; nothing have I done for the permanent good of others. Miserable stupidity. I now see my folly; but my opportunities are gone forever."
Bot let us rather contemplate a different prospect. Happy will it be for us, if each is able to say. “Though few and feeble my efforts, compared with the merits of the cause, yet they have been numerous, and sincere, and have formed a prominent part of my plans and movements. The property, which God has given me, the time and talents which he has committed to me, have been actively consecrated to his service. Through my instrumentality, not only have destitute families in my own country been furnished with the Bible, but it has been distributed in different languages and remote continents and islands. By my cheerful offerings have the heralds of the Gospel been increased, and many immortal beings, whom I could never expect to see on earth, have heard the Gospel from their lips. From the heart of the converted Cherokee, already have acceptable sacrifices ascended to God, in the name of his Son. The work will advance. The Gentiles will receive the truth. The world will be evangelized.” I only ask, Mr. President, whether such a scene, though in the chamber of death, does not furnish a resemblance of heaven?
The Rev. Mr. Jenks next addressed the meeting as follows:
I must be permitted to felicitate myself, Mr. President, and to congratulate this audience, that we are met at the commencement of the year, and in such a place as this, on a subject and occasion so important and interesting, as the present. It is an auspicious beginning of a year, which is, doubtless, to advance still further the triumphs of the Redeemer, and to display in its course the effects of His costly purchase.
The Treasurer of the Board of Commissioners has given, Sir, a recital of its operations since its formation, which has been, on many accounts, peculiarly satisfactory and animating. And I do not speak to invalidate any of his positions, or to attempt an impression on the audience of their weight and value. I trust that the members of this Society have considered the importance of the enterprise in which they are embarked; and that the daughters of Zion, whom I re. joice at length to behold in an assembly like this, listening to the glad news of the rising glories and rapid expansion of the kingdom of Christ, have not been unconcerned and unreflecting spectators of the scenes of this eventful period.
But there is, Mr. President, one view of the subject, which, to my own mind at least, seems calculated to place the efforts of this and other similar Branch Societies in a light of no common brilliancy, and to array them with peculiar consequence. I allude to the grand moral principle of REACTION. On this subject permit me to hazard a few remarks.
Personal religion is all-important to each one of us. And to each of us the salvation of relatives, friends, associates and country men is, or should be, an object of primary magnitude and concern. Yet, the remark of one Heathen poet having already been quoted, I may allude to the well known and applauded sentiment of another, "I am a man, and deem nothing relating to men uninteresting to myself.” And what do we more than others, if we salute or regard our own brethren only? We have a wider range of feeling, than that which is bounded by the little circle of our immediate associates. The religion of the Gospel is diffusive. And if prayer is to be made for all men, then doubtless the correspondent exertions for their welfare must, as the Providence of God affords opportunity, be exhibited, as a test of the sincerity of our petitions.
But I waive even this considerations. It is a principle of Bible ethics, that the merciful man doeth good to his own soul that the liberal soul shall be made fat, and that he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
Where then, in fact, do we find religion most vigorous and Aourishing? May I not appeal to the state of our own country and its numerous churches, for the truth of the observation, that as benevolent exertion for others marks the character of professed Christians, their Christianity assumes a livelier, more attractive, and lovelier form?
"Delight intense is taken by rebound,
Reverberated pleasures fire the soul." I must say, Mr. President, that when I have witnessed, and it often has been my lot to witness the cordial though inconsiderable efforts made by children to aid one object in particular of the American Board, the education of heathcu roti
from its earliest stages; and when I have read the items of their little sacrifices; I have thought that no happier plan could be devised to train up our children to fill the stations, which may be assigned them in the coming period of the enlargement and glory of the Church.
Nor does the effect appear only in children. Our mothers and sisters feel it. Their sympathy in the toils and privations, in the joys and sorrows, fears and hopes of our missionaries abroad, leads them often to the throne of Grace, prompts the theme of domestic and social intercourse, renders the heart susceptible of the best impressions, and hence advances the interests of piety and active virtue. Our missionaries go on errands, which have often employed the messengers of light, and members of the heavenly host. Angels would delight in their employment still. And is not the contemplation of their devotion to the best of causes calculated to warm with kindred feelings the hearts of those they leave behind-who are deeply interested for them, and are laboring in the same cause by their alms and their prayers? Nor only so. Is it not calculated to form characters of a similar stamp-to inspire many of the rising race with a similarly benevolent and enterprising Christian spirit?
It has given me, Sir, peculiar satisfaction to find a coalition of interests growing among us-benevolent plans of various aspect and importance uniting their rays into one splendid light, and bearing on the state of man with animating effulgence. I allude specially to the statements lately made before the Massachuseits Peace Society-proposing to the contemplation of the friends of their species the vast benefits, which might result to mankind from turning into the salutary stream of Christian, benevolence those fountains of wealth, which have been for so many ages pouring their tribute into the torrents of war and every desolating vice. i flatter myself we are arrived at the period, when, on cool calculation, it is found, and by sober and honorable men acknowledged, that every branch of righteousness tends to exalt a nation, and that true Christianity in all its duties involves, as well the highest interests of states and empires, as the present and eternal welfare of the individual believer.
What but this impression, Mr. President, has been the cause, under a holy Providence, of the rapid and extensive influence of Bible Societies. Has it not been found that benevolence to others, and especially in their highest concerns, is the fruitful germ of personal benefit? And has not the icy selfishness of the human heart, and all its frost-work of indolence and indifference been seen to melt in the bright shining of the Sun of Righteousness.
Do we then seek for motives to prompt us? Here they may be met in abundance on the objector's own territories, and within his own enclosures. But may it please God to endue us in all our efforts with a simple love to him, who gave not earthly treasure-but his precious life for our souls! This will sufficiently excite us to every exertion and sacrifice which may be needful to introduce and extend the blessings of his kingdom.
For the Panoplist.
REVIVAL OF RELIGION IN DUNSTABLE, MS.
NARRATIVES of religious revivals are not only refreshing to saints, but also 'awakening to sinners. They contribute to the glory of God and the advancement of his cause. Under this impression, the church of Christ in Dunstable Mass., would relate, with humility and thankfulness, what the Lord has done for them.
On May 12, 1757, this church was formed, principally of those who had been members of other churches, and on the 8th of June following, the Rev. Josiah Goodhue was ordained Pastor. During his ministry, which ended in his dismission, Sept. 28, 1774, about 65 were added to the church, by profession, and by recommendation from sister churches. The church remained destitute of a Pastor, until the Rev. Joshua Heywood was ordained June 5, 1799. 'But in this period, there were two seasons of some special attention; the first in 1787; the other in 1794. In this last revival 11 nade profession of their faith in Christ, and united with the church. While destitute of a Pastor, there was preaching