Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

themselves as candidates for the kingdom of God, and are coming as near as may be, to the line of demarkation between the two kingdoms, hoping, as it would seem, that some extraneous impulse may force them over that line, and they shall live.

And there is another class of ungodly men, who are bracing themselves against any means that may promise their awakening. They fear they shall have to become Christians. They dare not trust themselves where any extra means are used. Thus do we seem to see evident indications that this is the age of mercy, long predicted; and if the Christian does not devote himself entirely to the Lord, just when he sees the evident signs of his coming, what will move him? There can be before the mind, but one absorbing interest, that must interest all the energies of the soul. How much afraid, should we then be, if we do not feel for this interest, if we are not ready to bring forward every energy we can summon to the help of the Lord against the mighty. The call is so loud, the field so wide, the reward so glorious, how can any one be idle? As the patriot will plunge in among his country's foes in a favored hour, and sell his life as dear as may be, in doing the foe some signal damage, so must every child of God be willing to carry with him into the field, where he would win souls, the dearest and the entire interests of his heart, his all. If he die in the conflict, or be made poor, or suffer reproach, no matter, if Jesus be honored and souls redeemed. He will have his reward, and his Master the honor. There must be a better Church, or the kingdom of this world can never be given to our Lord according to the promise, by the means specified.

Christ will employ his people in re-possessing himself of the kingdoms he died to redeem. The work befits their relationship to Christ is the very work which the hope of heaven has qualified them to do; the work most friendly to their sanctification, and for which the Savior will love to reward them—a work that God will not do without his people.

The Lord Jesus, then, must have a Church that will obey him; and he will have, as the latter day glory draws nigh, a Church prepared to live for him, and labor for him, and die for him. There can be no doubt but such will be the character of the Millenial Church. And if any now in the visible kingdom, cannot wake their hearts to this tone of Christian enterprize, they had better die, and commit their interests to another to occupy for the Lord till he come. He manifests himself resolved to have a laborious Church, that through their agency he may push his conquests till

the world is redeemed. And when he has such a Church, the conquest would be easy. As the holy Martyn aroused all Persia, and led a nation of the deceived and destroyed to inquire after the "Man of God," so in every part of the Church, will men arise who will restore her dormant energies, and pour upon her slumbers a note of holy remonstrance that shall quicken every heart that ever beat with spiritual life, and the Church shall slumber no more till her Lord has come. Amen, even so, come Lord Jesus, come quickly.

And now, beloved in the Lord, a poor sinner addresses this plea to you, who hopes and will try to pray that God may use it in rendering you a better Christian than you ever have been. You see the broad ground I have taken. I consider you and all that you have, as the Lord's. I have supposed you willing, soon as you know your duty, to do it, and have endeavored to make you acquainted with it. You will show yourself to be a true disciple of your Master, by giving yourself to him-your mind and body. Your power to speak, and reason, and write; and in all the ways wherein you can, you will do him honor. You will give him your influence, your money, your children, and all your house-you will pray for Zion, and weep for her, and toil for her, and live and die for her. You will try to begin the Millenium in your own house, and first of all in your closet; and will never rest while there is an ungodly soul within the reach of your influence, and then you will not rest while there is one in the world. You will not be satisfied with being what you have been, and doing what you have done. You acknowledge that you have never been enough like Christ, and will try and keep trying, till you die to be more like him. Soon as you have read this address, you will fall on your knees and pray that God will bless it to your soul, and then that he will bless it to others. You will renew your covenant with God, and give him all that you have, and all that you are; all that you never have before given heart may even now grudge to give him. till you die, you will ever make it your business to save a perishing world? If such is now the purpose of your heart, why not write your name at the bottom of such a resolve, and just consider it the covenant you now make with God, and place it where you can see it every day! And whenever you pray over this covenant, pray for all those who have signed it as you have; that you and they may be Millenial Christians, and honor your Master in efforts to save a lost and ruined world.

him, and all that your From this time onward


Ir has sometimes been suggested, by the unbelieving heart, that the Church is too small to put forth the mighty influence, and exert the control that God requires of it.-" Ye are the salt of the earth." But when we have summed up the kingdoms, and nations, and tongues, and people to be settled, and seen the smallness of the Church that is to constitute the salt. When we raise the number of the former to eight, or nine, or ten millions, and dwindle away the count of the other, till it drops to a few hundred thousands, and seems almost to terminate in nothing, it would seem as if God had lain upon this little Church a work such as the taskmasters of Egypt laid upon the little handful of Israelites, when bid to make the bricks that built their mighty pyramids without straw. Must, then, this little Church send out the Bible that must civilize, and the ministry, and the ordinances, and the institutions, that must render obedient, and believing, and dutiful, this mass of total and unqualified moral death? Here unbelief cannot refrain its dissent. Why did God give that little band a fatigue duty, so beyond its powers and its prowess? The answer of faith is, There is Church enough.

Her power is not to be computed by her numbers. All her con"One shall chase a thousand,

flicts are secured by that promise, and two put ten thousand to flight." Hence her song may be, in the midst of the battle, "The Lord of hosts is with us, the mighty God of Jacob is our refuge."

It has always been easy for the Lord to save by many or by few, and it is only unbelief that has ever been afraid. When Gideon's thirty thousand were marshalled on the field of conflict, and the captain of the Lord's host reviewed them, his answer was, "They are too many." When he had reduced them down to three hundred, and they must meet the hosts of Midian, then he permitted them to escape their assault, and the victory was easy. If Gideon had gone up to battle with his thirty thousand, it might have been doubted whether the Lord of hosts was with them, and the victory might have been ascribed to some god of the hills, or to some superior skill in tactics, that Israel must have learned in Egypt, or in the wilderness.

"Ye are the light of the world; " but must the whole mass of Egyptian darkness, that broods upon the fields of the apostacy be illuminated by the little rush-light that was lit up two thousand years ago on Moriah, and has not shot out its light even yet over more than two or three of the nations? And this little Church, it seems, must reflect this little rush-light over all the nations, or the darkness that broods upon them becomes the blackness of darkness for ever. So inquires unbelief; but faith answers, There is light enough. Heaven will spread its broad reflector over this rush-light, and it will shine unto all the nations, and will travel on from the rising morning to the west, and be reflected from the river to the ends of the earth. When Luther rose in Germany, who could have believed that his little fly-light would scorch out the Pope, and burn on till it should dazzle into blindness the whole gang of Cardinals that propped his ghostly empire. And this Church, through the multiplying moral reflectors that God has provided, the power of letters, the invention of printing, and the influence of the press, will throw this light in broad and lucid sheets over all the nations, till their salvation shall go forth like a lamp that burneth. Soon as the Church shall be properly organized, and shall know her strength, and shall have counted up her resources, she will find that her strength and resources are sufficient for the enterprise, and the worst work will be done.

And then we must never forget that the Church needs but few leaders, and that few are employed to draw out all her strength. If there be fewer, still she would have no less strength. If they were more numerous, some, who are now conspicuous, would be thrown into the background; and some that are last would be first; but the Church would be no stronger.-There is just Church enough. And, besides, the Church can display more strength as soon as her interest shall require that display. She can fill up the ranks of her ministry as soon as her Leader shall give the command. There are men enough educated already, and can be called in from other fields as soon as the Lord shall have need of them; and we can educate many thousands more at the Lord's bidding, in a very few years, and pour upon the Church, and upon the world, a host of laborers to reap the whitening harvest. All this can be done in time to have the millennium open during the present century; so that the seven thousandth year of the world shall be its Sabbath, and the kingdoms of this world then become the kingdoms of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And, moreover, the Church can so increase her energies as to

quadruple her strength in a few weeks. Let God pour out his Spirit upon her sons and her daughters, and produce a revival in every field of her labor! and we see in a moment how her armor shall brighten, and her resources multiply beyond all human computation. And all this can be as soon as the Church is ready to use her strength. When the walls of Jericho must fall, there will not be wanting army enough to begirt her accursed territory. Our fears about the number of the sacramental host are all ill-timed. There will be more when more are wanted. When the Church shall wish to spread out the wings of her host, till they shall begirt the world, a little one shall become a thousand, and a strong one a great nation. When Elisha was pent up in Jothan, and the hosts of Syria spread over all the hills, and covered, with their horses and their chariots, the whole territory of idolatry, and unbelief, cried out, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?" Faith could easily climb the hills and see them all glaring, with the horses and chariots of fire. And the prophet was as safe as if heaven's Chieftain had sent his whole life-guard to protect the man of God. Well might he sing, as he let the blinded Syrian into Samaria,— The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels. And well add, by way of chorus-The Lord is among them.


If there is any one principle to which the formation of my character has been chiefly indebted, it is this motto of a distinguised naval commander. Nobody ever waited for Lord Nelson. He made it an invariable rule to be present at any appointment, and to be ready for every enterprise, at least fifteen minutes before the time, and to wait rather impatiently the arrival of the moment allotted for action. When the hour had fully come, and the delay of others rendered it inexpedient to proceed, he looked upon his own obligation as cancelled, withdrew immediately from the place of rendezvous, and no inducement could ever prevail upon him to return.

The lesson inculcated by this motto, is to be in time for every duty. It should be the standard principle of every man, who has any regard to those with whom he acts, to be truly punctual to all his 50


« AnteriorContinuar »