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without meaning? - Surely such a conclusion would be as much opposed to reason as to piety. May we not rather consider it as a precious omen, that the great work which it contemplates is happily drawing near, and will, before long, be gloriously realized P And to me, it appears worthy of special notice, that there are so many indications that the English language, the language of those parts of the world which are most favored with Gospel light, will probably, ere long, become the prevailing language of the whole world. The extensive and rapid progress of this language on the American continent; in all the British possessions and dependencies in the Eastern world; in the continent of New Holland; in many of the Islands of the Sea; and, in short, in every part of the earth where American or British missionaries are permitted to lift up their voice for Christ, is truly one of the most striking and interesting spectacles now passing before the contemplative mind. If the time should ever again recur, when the “whole earth shall be of one language and one speech,” the English, I am persuaded, is more likely to be that language than any other. And may we not consider its gradual and remarkable extension as one of the means by which the “earth is to be filled with the glory of the Lord P”

While we contemplate some of those prominent features in the aspect of the present day, which seem to portend an unexampled spread of the Gospel;-we ought not to overlook some shades in the picture which certainly wear a very different appearance. Infidelity and heresy were, probably, never more busy in circulating their virulent poison, than at the present hour. Principles at war with all social stability and order, were, perhaps, never more widely extended in civilized society: and in both the civil and religious community, the ebullitions of morbid excitement have never been more threatening in their appearance. That there is a great battle yet to be fought with these opposing powers, no reflecting mind can for a moment doubt. How violent or long continued the conflict may be, I presume not to calculate. But let no man's heart fail him on account of these approaching struggles. A little before the advent of the Messiah, it was said, I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill my house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. And, in like manner, may we not hope that all the corruption in principle, and all the morbid feverishness in practice, which exhibit so revolting an aspect at the present time, may result, like many a process in the natural world, in which the animal body is renovated and strengthened by the consequences of a subdued fever; and in which the gradual and complete subsidence of feculent matter is hastened even by the violent agitation of an impure fluid P. It is no new thing either for infidelity or fanaticism to surnish an antidote to its own poison, by disclosing the malignity of its virus, in the deadliness of its effects; and thus creating an extensive and permanent loathing of those moral potions which allure but to destroy. Many are “running to and fro; ” but my hope is, that “knowledge will be thereby increased; ” and that the present febrile state of the social body, will soon terminate, under the control of Him who is able to bring good out of evil,-in more firm and established moral health ; and in more widely extended, and better directed efforts than ever, for promoting the universal reign of knowledge, religion, and happiness among men. It remains that we III. Inquire, WHAT is our PRESENT DUTY IN RELATION To THE PROMISE BEFoRE Us? And here, 1. Undoubtedly, our first duty is to believe the promise. This is the very least that can be demanded. Unbelief “makes God a liar;” poisons the very fountain of Christian confidence; cuts the nerves of all spiritual exertion; and tends to discouragement and despondency. To what purpose has Jehovah promised, if even his own people will not hear and believe P. We may say now, I fear, to the great majority of those who bear the Christian name, as the Master himself said to the desponding disciples on their way to Emmaus—O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken / Ah, my friends, the lack of faith is the great, crying sin, not of an ungodly world only, but eminently of Christians. It is the littleness of our faith which makes us dwarfs in spiritual stature; cowards in conflict and in enterprise; narrow-minded in our views and plans of duty; and niggards in sacrifice and in contribution to the cause of Christ. Yes, it is the sin and the misery even of the sincere disciples of Christ, that the promises of God have so little daily influence on their practical habits. Christians ! be afraid of unbelief; be ashamed of unbelief; only believe, and act as if you believed ; and you shall see the salvation of God. 2. Another duty incumbent upon us in relation to this promise, is to labor and pray without ceasing for its accomplishment. They are undoubtedly guilty of an unwise and criminal perversion of God’s word, who infer, because he has promised a specific and rich blessing, and will certainly bring it to pass, that therefore they may repose in a state of entire inaction and unconcern respecting the event. There is no piety, my friends, in that confidence which neglects prayer, and which does not add to prayer diligent effort to attain that for which it prays. Show me thy jaith by thy works, is a maxim equally of reason and revelation. God’s kingdom is a kingdom of means. He never did, and probably never will, convey the light of the Gospel to any people, by direct miracle; but by the agency of man. He “will be inquired of,” he declares, by us—to accomplish even that which he hath promised, and which he fully intends to bring about. And although he is able to effect all his purposes of mercy and salvation without the instrumentality of man's labors, yet he condescends in all cases to employ them. And is it not a mercy that he does require and employ them f Does not every reflecting man perceive that it is a wise and benign arrangement of Providence which renders constant activity of body and mind indispensable to the highest physical, intellectual, and moral enjoyment P And can any one doubt that it is an equally wise and merciful arrangement which makes it our duty to pray, and exert ourselves without ceasing to promote the reign of salvation throughout the world? Not only is it certain that the great King of Zion has commanded us to send the Gospel to every creature : not only is it manifest that we may properly estimate our Christian character by the degree in which we take an active interest in the conversion of the world ; but it is equally plain, that every fervent prayer we offer, and every sincere effort we make for hastening this great consummation, has a tendency to benefit our own souls, as well as the souls of others; to increase our faith; to inflame our love ; to enlarge our vision; in a word, to make us more like Christ, and to impart a richer preparation for the holy joys of his presence. In short, we may say of him who is much employed in fervent prayer, and in diligent labor and sacrifice for the conversion of the world to God, that he is twice blessed; blessed as a benefactor of his fellow men, and as the receiver of a blessing, by the very act of conferring benefits on others. 3. A third duty, in relation to the promise in our text, is, that in laboring for the spread of the gospel, no adverse occurrence, however painful, ought ever to discourage us, or at all to weaken either our confidence, or our efforts. What could be more discouraging than the state of the visible church when the promise before us was given P. Yet the promise itself really prohibited all despondency. If, indeed, we had any thing short of Jehovah's promise to rely upon, when difficulties or disappointments arose, we might despond. But with that promise, we may meet the most distressing difficulties without fear. What though some of our fondest hopes and plans are frustrated P What though some of those instruments on which the highest confidence was placed, unexpectedly fail? What though the lamented Evarts, and Cornelius, and Wisner, follow each other in quick succession, to their eternal reward, and leave us to mourn over the sore bereavement of the missionary cause : What though one beloved brother and sister after another falls, in the flower of life, and on the fields whitening to the harvest? What though even the hand of

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