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world at large, are still either in the ignorance, superstition, and misery of sin, or under the equally pernicious influence of a mere empty profession of religion ; facts, these, with which the minds of all true Christians ought to be deeply affected, and which ought to induce them to use still greater exertions for the full conversion of the whole human race, especially of those within our immediate reach in the Island in which we live.”
My brethren, there is something inexpressibly grand in the associations which fill the mind in such a place as this, and on such an occasion as the present. We have often heard from philosophers and poets of an emotion of sublimity, which peculiar scenes and circumstances are calculated to inspire in the mind. I do not for a moment question the existence of such an emotion among the feelings of humanity, but I am well persuaded that it is when we look upon the moral condition of mankind, that we witness those scenes which are preeminently adapted to awaken this emotion. It is when we look upon the wilderness of ignorance, superstition, and misery, extending as it does over more than three fourths of the globe: as we listen to that thunder-clap complaint of millions, “No man cared for my soul;" it is when we direct the eye of sympathy towards those degraded and miserable beings who fill the prophetic valley; a valley almost co-extensive with humanity :“ Full of bones, and lo, they are very dry;" that our sympathies are racked to excruciating endurance. We are now called upon, sir, by the terms of this resolution, to gauge, if possible, the ignorance, the superstition, and the misery of the far greater part of the human race. Let us make the attempt. We must glance then, upon the moral condition of the various objects in this extensive panorama, as they pass in review before us.
The first object that attracts attention is America, that mighty and farfamed continent. In all its features it is interesting. As a continent it forms the largest continuous track of land on the globe-extending from the Polar regions in the north to Cape Horn in the South, a distance of 9000 miles. Its facilities for inland navigation are the wonder of the world, and the Amazon, one of its largest rivers, runs over a space which is equal to an eighth part of the earth's circumference. It is as singular in its zoology, as in its geography, and has an animal population, of which, to a great extent, there is a want of corresponding types in other parts of the globe. As to its political character, it might better be contrasted than compared with the Old World. It is the land of Republics. In the other regions of the earth you can hardly find a republic-here, the difficulty is, to find a monarchy. But, sir, I cannot forget, that on this occasion we have to do with man not in his social, so much as in his moral character. What then is the moral condition of America ? Look at the United States, which may be regarded as a most favourable sample of the condition of the other parts of this hemisphere. Here, then, the observant traveller, would find no traces of Mohammed, as in Arabia-none of the refined blandishments of a philosophic Paganism, as in China and Hindostan-none of the strong-holds of despotism, as in Europe and Asia; but here, would be seen the reign of Roman Antichristthe wide-spread influence of what has been absurdly designated “ Rational Christianity,”-the scepticism of the Jew, and the brutality of the mandealer. True, here would be found the tree of Liberty and the fruits of Piety, but the growth of the one is stunted, and the fruits of the other are blighted, by the enactments of the great Republic for the perpetuation of slavery.
It is to give us a false view of America, to divide the twenty-six states into thirteen for, and thirteen against slavery. It is true there are thirteen states in which slavery actually exists, and thirteen in which it does not exist, but still the broad and the black stamp of slavery rests upon the union at large, inasmuch as the States in their confederate character, have legalized this system of violence, which at this moment presses upon America as a mortal incubus, from which her statesmen and her religion must soon deliver her,
or it will hurl her from the eminence she occupies in the councils of the world.
Let it be told throughout the civilized world! let it go forth, far as the vocables of the English language are known, that America, free enlightened America, while she plumes herself upon having abolished the slave trade, is retaining three million of her black and coloured population in a state of slavery—that upon America rests the foul blot of cruelty and injustice, in exacting services from a people to whom she refuses the protection of her laws-and of closing against the negro the doors of the white man's chapel ; thus depriving him at once of the rights of man and of the privileges of religion—struggling hard to make him poor and degraded in this life and miserable during all eternity.
Let us now direct our attention, across the great Atlantic to Africa; and O, sir, what scenes of ignorance and barbarism blacken on the view. . The recollections we have of the past glory of this unhappy country, only deepen the sad impression produced by her present miseries. It cannot be denied that in ancient history her glory is almost unparalled! The arts, the sciences, the empire of Egypt, the commercial greatness, the fleets and the armies of Carthage, that ancient power which, on the waters of the Mediterranean, and in the centre of Italy, for many years disputed with Rome the sovereignty of the seas and the empire of the world--the glory of Egypt, the glory of Carthage, was the glory of Africa. The footsteps of civilization may be traced from Egypt, through Palestine and Greece, to every part of the now civilized world. But what is the state of Egypt now? Why, sir, that country that once saw the hand of God stretched out in the deliverance of the captive Israelites that country whose idolatry was overthrown, as one of the last triumphs of Christianity in the Roman empire, is now enveloped in all the shades of Islamism; and in Cairo, there assemble annually 30,000 pilgrims, who proceed from thence on a pilgrimage of fifty days to the tomb of the prophet. That sceptre, which in better days was swayed by the Ptolemies and the Pharoahs of that famous country, is now found in the hands of Mohammed Ali, in whose pretensions we have this strange anomaly, that while he declares himself, in the true terms of despotism, lord of the soil in his dominions, says he has an instinctive abhorrence of the Slave Trade ; but, however, this true friend of liberty is so much the victim of superstition, that since this abominable traffic is tolerated in the Koran, and vindicated by the Ulemas, he cannot in any way attempt to destroy it, except by imposing a heavy tax upon the sale of slaves captured in his own dominions. The States of Barbary, once enlightened by those Satellites of the Church, Tertullian, Lactantius, Cyprian, and Augustine, are now enduring all the horrors of a moral eclipse. And as for the other States of Africa, from the bight of Benin and the coast of Guinea, to the Lybian desert and Dongola, nothing can be seen but the traces of barbarism in the neglect of the soil, in the sale of slaves, and in the struggle for territory. Except at Sierra Leone, the Cape, and Ashantee, you could hardly find a solitary light, which shines, however feebly, amid this gloom of ignorance, of crime, and of death.
We now pass from Africa, by the Isthmus of Suez, into Asia. And what a crowd of interesting reminiscences fill the mind as we look upon this portion of the globe.--It was here that the human race was first planted, and its air was perfumed by the odours, and its surface bedecked with the beauties, of Eden. Here patriarchs wandered, prophets taught, priests ministered at the altar, and apostles planted the seven churches; but ah! how has the mighty fallen, how has the glory departed; and what can you find in Asia besides a scene of wide-extended desolation ? If you look upon Arabia, Persia, and Notolia, you find the false prophet enjoying undisputed sovereignty ; in Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Chaldea, and Assyria, he divides empire with Roman Antichrist, 'reserving, however, in most cases, to himself the largest share. Throughout all Tartary you mourn over a deep-rooted super stition, which imposes the yoke of slavery on the intellect. In China, that wide extended empire, which with various changes of dynasty has existed for between two and three thousand years, you may find a few persons, the votaries of Jesuitical missionaries who have received Roman Catholicism in lieu of Christianity, and more than three hundred millions who have embraced the absurdities of Budhism as the true religion. In Hindostan, a country three times as large as both France and Austria, and containing about double their population, you are told, that with the exception of five millions of Mohammedans, two millions of Roman Catholics, and sixty thousand Christians, all her teeming population bow down in the worship of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, the triad of principal Hindu gods ; a superstition whose doctrines are as revolting to reason, as its practices are to humanity.
Disgusted with the superstitions and Antichrist of Asia, let us seek in Europe the most verdant scenes of this all but universal wilderness. But alas ! how much of Europe is yet " covered with thorns and briars ;” and how true it is, that though in Europe the darkness be not so thick and palpable as in Africa and Asia, yet it prevails even there in awful blackness. Were you, sir, to make a tour through Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Bohemia, what would you see, but the cathedrals, the monasteries, and the Inquisitorial tribunals, which Roman Catholicism erected during her undisputed supremacy in Europe, and which still remain the monuments of a corrupted religion, which for the last seven hundred years has done more to perpetuate the ignorance of mankind to strengthen the iron arm of despotism, and to extend infidelity, than all other causes put together. You witness in Switzerland, Ireland, and Germany, a fierce contest going on between the reformed and unreformed faith, whilst Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Prussia, Holland, and Great Britain, are the only countries in Europe where the true faith is professed by the nation at large. In the extensive regions of European Russia, you have to mourn over the corruptions of the Greek Church, whilst in the metropolis of Turkey, a place so rich in classic associations, of which Constantine once boasted that it, the new capital of the East, was never profaned by the worship of idols, you would find the Turks divided in their suffrages, between the impostor of Mecca and the patriarch of Constantinople. But any sketch of the moral condition of Europe would be essentially defective that did not include a reference to the Socinian heresy and nominal Christianity which prevails to a considerable extent in every European country—the neology of Germany, and the various forms of infidelity which are found every where, from the Papal states themselves up to France, with whose name infidelity has long been associated. What an awful, what a lamentable picture! How ignorance, superstition, and misery, are mingled together in the actual state of the vast majority of mankind.
But, sir, your Missionary Societies, in accordance with the spirit of this resolution, contemplate the conversion—the renovation of the whole. And they do this with their eyes fixed upon all the difficulties they can possibly encounter. Never did the sceptic, who opposed Missions on the ground of their utopian character, more accurately estimate the effect to be produced—the change to be effected, than Missionaries and Missionary Societies. Their minds are deeply impressed with the almost invulnerable character of a longestablished and deeply-rooted superstition : they know how unchanging are the manners and customs of Eastern nations, and they know, too, how dex. terously the priest can appeal to the feelings and fears of the worshipper, by referring to the longevity of error. No one has ever walked more frequently round, or measured more accurately, the dimensions of the colossal structures of Chinese and Hindu superstition, than the Christian Missionary; and though he knows that the difficulties in the way of the triumphs of truth wear all the appearance of impossibilities, yet his faith is strengthened by the conviction that,
“ Things impossible to men
Are possible to God;" and he finds this truth illustrated in all the history of Christianity. Yes, from the time when the fishermen of Galilee watched over the infancy, up to the time when Constantine paid homage to the maturity of the new religion, Christianity triumphed by the power of the Holy Ghost: from that memorable time, when she entered the Temple of Serapis, and demolished the Juggernaut of the Egyptians, amid the threats of a wily priest, who said, that if any one should ever dare to touch the idol that stood in the midst of the Temple, with arms stretched to either side, the heavens would return to their primeval chaos, and the earth be consumed in one general conflagration : up to the time when the power of the Cæsars vanished before the rising stars of the Gothic kings, Christianity was indebted solely to Divine influence for that moral supremacy which she enjoyed over the minds of men, both in the Eastern and Western empire. When, sir, at the Reformation, Luther attacked the ignorance and superstition of the age, by what did he triumph ? It might be true, as was said of him by a celebrated cardinal of those times, “ that Friar Martin had a fine genius:" it is true also that his fine genius had the Vulgate version of the Bible as an instrument by which he attacked the ignorance and vice of the age. But what was Luther and the Vulgate against all the darkness which then prevailed throughout Christendom, and that incalculable power which belonged to a church bolstered up by all the vassal thrones of Europe? They were as nothing! But yet the Reformation was begun, and to the transactions of that period we are indebted for the Christian light and liberty which we now enjoy. How, then, is it to be accounted for ? Simply, sir, on this principle: “Paul planteth, Apollos watereth, and God giveth the increase.”
Conversion itself, wherever it takes place, on the burning sands of India, . or in the frozen regions of Greenland, in the new principles to which it gives birth, and the new feelings which it excites, is an event that can be accounted for on no other grounds besides that of the employment of a supernatural influence. And this moral influence, and these moral changes, form standing miracles in the Church.
And while our minds are thus filled with past and passing events, none of which could possibly have taken place by the operation of merely natural causes, how is it possible that we should look with despair upon the future and regard the conversion of a world as hopeless? What is there that God cannot effect? What is there that Omnipotence cannot achieve? But it may be asked for there is nothing too frivolous for a sceptical interrogation what can you have to do with the universal triumphs of the Redeemer, whose avowed object is the evangelization of Jamaica ? We answer, Much every way. In the evangelization of Jamaica, we are as much concerned, in the com. munication of the Gospel to the world, as the bricklayer who works perpetually at the angles of a building, while others attend to the other parts, is concerned in the erection of the whole. Jamaica is a small part of the globe; it contains but a small proportion of its population, and it belongs to that Archipelago where commercial cupidity has so long made haste to be rich ; but still it is a highly-important and deeply-interesting part of the globe. It has been most beautifully said, " that if you cast a stone over London Bridge into the Thames, it will raise the ocean all the world over.” That sentiment admits of a striking application to the present case-it teaches that local causes have sometimes remote effects. It is so, and, sir, you cannot advance the cause of Missions in this island, and not advance the destinies of Africa, America, and the world.*
* The whole of this speech would nearly fill the Missionary Notice.-We purpose giving the remainder in the next month's Magazine. We have given as much space as we can spare.
To Mr. Eckett, - Dear Sir, In reporting on the affairs of this Mis arrangement will prove a blessing to the sion Í have not any thing of a particu- crew, deprived as they are of spending larly striking character to communicate; the Sabbath in port. it is, however, gratifying to state that. Though not in immediate connection all things considered, matters are in a with the subject of this communication, favourable condition. During the early I may here answer a question which part of the quarter there was a more several friends have asked in regard to than ordinary influx of British shipping, the influence which the late awful con. chiefly colliers, into the port; and thus flagration has exercised upon the inhabia special opportunity was presented, of tants of this city. It would appear that endeavouring to benefit our fellow-coun. the authorities have, to some extent, trymen. I am happy to say, that the been seriously impressed; they apefforts made were graciously owned of pointed a day of fasting and humiliation, God. Our congregations on shore, for on which occasion the churches were the time, were crowded, and at the ser- filled to overflowing ; externally, indeed, vices held on board-ship there was an the observance was all that could have overflowing attendance; but, what is of been wished, but I much fear that it infinitely more importance, the presence was merely the exhibition of the form and power of the Spirit were eminently of godliness without the power. The vouchsafed. I can confidently say that laws and regulations too, in respect of seasons of greater spiritual refreshment the Sabbath, have been renewed, and I never attended ; such also was the some slight improvement in this particutestimony of many who worshipped lar has taken place. During the afterwith us on these occasions. The duty noon and evening of the day, however, of Tract distribution was attended to as its desecration is general and awful; usual; and for several weeks success. sin and folly, in ten thousand forms, are ively, 'upwards of four hundred of those triumphant. To show the animus that interesting publications were circulated yet exists on the part of “the powers each week. Since my last, two or three that be,” in reference to vital religion, cases of the restoration of backsliders I may state, that a young man, a memhave occured; these were seamen, form- ber of Mr. Oncken's (Baptist) church, erly in connection with some branch of has been banished from the territories the Methodist family, but who, forget- of Hamburgh for twelve months; his ing their allegiance to God, had griev- crime being that of distributing religiously wandered from him, destroying ous tracts in one of the most abandoned their peace, and bringing their souls and profligate places upon earth, viz. into bondage. Led by Divine Provi. “ Hamburg Berg.” The people are dence, they attended our ministry, when lost; there are no scriptural, evangelical their hearts were again impressed with ministrations; blindness hath happened the truth; and, influenced by the Holy unto the entire population ; priests and Spirit, were induced once more to seek · people are alike; the blind leading the reconciliation through the blood of the blind, both fall into the ditch! Can it atonement. They came to the Class- be otherwise, while the doctrines of meeting, where they were encouraged Universalism on the one hand, and those to hold on their way, and earnestly di- of Rationalism on the other, are regurected to the adoption of those methods larly taught ? Certainly not. May God, of spiritual safety so fully stated in in his mercy, speedily interfere in behalf God's word. May they never again of this dark part of the earth. give way to the tempter ! Through the kindness of Capt. Knocker I have now
I am, dear Sir, the pleasure of officiating on alternate
Yours truly, Tuesday evenings, on board the Tiger,
W. H. WALKER. Hull steamer; and it is hoped that this Aug. 1842.