Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

daughter, should, at this moment, be transformed into a disciple of that religion, imbibing its sentiments and feelings, to spend the remainder of temporal existence in such society, in such habits, and in such worship? Our next appeal shall be made to the Christian. The religious instructions, communicated to your children, is such, as you first received from the sacred Scriptures. They are taught, that God is a spirit, and that he requires a spiritual and rational service. The morality, in which they are imbued, is the morality of Jesus Christ. When they go to the place of divine worship, it is, that these sentiments may be confirmed, and wrought into the character. Suppose now, that this sanctuary were instantly converted into an Indian pagoda, that all Christian sentiments and feelings were erased from the intellects and the hearts of your children, —that the transformation had become general in this place, and throughout the nation,-that a misshapen, hideous image of enormous size were brought forth on massy wheels, as an object of worship, that thousands, nay, hundreds of thousands of our countrymen, and, among them, your nearest connexions, were rending the air with loud vociferations, or listening, with eager attention, to songs of unhallowed import, or seeking death in the midst of idolatrous uproar;-what would you give, or rather, what would you withhold, were it in your D

w power, by any sacrifice, to restore your friends, to restore your country from the effects of so dreadful a revolution ? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . On this subject let us hear the language of one of our own missionaries :* “when we stand at the distance of fifteen thousand miles, and look at six hundred million of heathens, in Asia in one mass, only a general and comparatively faint impression is made on the mind. But standing, as necnow do in the midst of the heathen, and seeing them groping in thick darkness, bewildered in the mazes of the most absurd and shocking fictions, that the depraved mind of man could invent, wedded to their idols, and enslaved to vice;—when we see, as we sometimes have seen, a hundred thousand of our fellow creatures at once dancing and shouting around the bloody car of Juggernaut, and prostrating themselves before that: hateful demon;– when we actually behold all the nameless ingredients, which go to make up that mass of corruption, guilt, and shame, comprised in idolatry;-O it is enough to awaken in the heart, that can feel for the wretchedness of fallen man, every emotion of pity, indignation, grief, and burning zeal?” . . . . . . . . . * In view of the subject, no person, who believes, that Jesus Christ was a teacher, sent from GoD, can deny the condition of the heathen to be such, as imperiously to demand the interposition of the

- - • * * Rev. SAMUEL New ELL. . . . . . . .

Christian world. Without agitating the question, whether some individuals may not be sanctified by the Spirit, who are precluded from all acquaintance with revealed religion, it must be obvious, that the souls of the heathen are in the greatest possible danger. This proposition, Without holiness no man can see the Lord, believers in Christianity cannot call in question. On this principle, are the morals and worship of the heathen such, as that good hopes of their salvation can be rationally entertained? Are they among the pure in heart, who shall see God? I ask for no decision, but such, as fairly results from reason, and the sacred Scripture. True, indeed, it is, that God is impartial, and that all just allowances will be made, in the day of judgment, for that part of pagan ignorance, which is inevitable, and for that, which, though not absolutely inevitable, could be avoided only by extraordinary efforts of integrity and reason. True, indeed, it is, that Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, will incur a more severe punishment, than Sodom and Gomorrha. But is it not true, either, that Sodom and Gomorrha will go unpunished, or that their punishment will be but of moderate severity. But, to prove the duty of enlightening the heathen, there is another argument, more summary and more conclusive. GoD sent his Son into the world in character of a missionary. In the same character Jesus Christ sent forth his disciples, Go into all the world, said he, and preach the Gospel unto every creature. Since, that time, the nature of Christianty has not altered for the worse; nor has the character of paganism changed for the better. We have now, my hearers, at considerable length, made knowns, the cause, in behalf, of which, we solicityour coioperation, your prayers, and charity. If we do nothing for the heathén, they will de much against us; they will bring against us this heavy accusation before the Lord, that, with competent knowledges, of their ignorance, and misery, we neglected...those means, which were fairly at our command, forturning them from darkness to light, and from the pover of Satan to GoDio - io o To activity and promptness in this work we are urged by the events of divine Providenced At the next anniversary of this Board, some of us, may have no partin its labours, nor any interest in the things, that are done under the sun. An illustrious member of our institution, distinguished not less by the splendour, versatility, and comprehensiveness of his talents, than for the extent of his erudition, and the warmth of his piety, has been borne away, as no ordinary spoil, by the king of terrors. I shall not attempt to display the greatness of that loss, which, by the death of Dr. Dwight, has been occasioned to the interests of good learning, correct morals, benevolent institutions, and evangelical religion. Of the value of the Gospel, as it stands connected with the glory of God and the salvation of sinners, he has now, without question, conceptions, more just, enlarged, astonishing, and glorious, than ever employed his vigorous imagination, in the most favoured moments of his earthly existence. In these elevated conceptions let us strive to participate, by contemplating that combination of wisdom, justice, and grace, which is rendered so prominent and conspicuous in the Gospel of our Saviour. And let us see, not only that the ardour of our zeal, but the purity of our intentions, correspond with the magnitude and sublimity of the object, to which we profess attachment. No efforts concerning the Gospel, no external actions, let us be reminded, are certain evidence of the piety of those, from whom they proceed. While we are assured, that, as many, as have sinned nithout lan', shall perish without lan), it is equally true, and, to us, of more personal concernment, that they, niho have sinned in the lan, shall be judged by the lan', in the day, nhen God will judge the secrets of all men by Jesus Christ.

« AnteriorContinuar »