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You call this day a Jubilee, in every year, to rejoice before the Lord, and return thanks for the blessings of Freedom. Remember the command given by him to the Jews, in the like case. When they caused the trumpet of the jubilee to sound, “they were to loose the bands of wickedness, to proclaim Liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof; not to oppress one another, but to fear the Lord and do his statutes, and keep his judgments;” and then they had the gracious promise, “that the land should yield her fruit, and they should eat their fill, and dwell therein in safety.” Certain it is that the neglect of God's mercies, and counteracting the gracious purposes of his providence, are offences grievous in his sight. Certain it is, that national sins are the causes of national misery, and that the corruption of the members leads to a dissolution of the whole body. Where are now the nations and empires of ancient renown? Where is the Jewish nation, which is more immediately addressed in our text? Where the Assyrian, the Macedonian, the Grecian, the Roman, once so celebrated among mankind, at whose veice the surrounding nations trembled? Alas! are they not fallen— fallen—fallen!—sunk into that abyss of shame and misery, where the ghosts of departed empires stalk about in sad lamentation of their former glory! Their dessolation and ruin followed their departure from the path of virtue and honour; and, of what they once were, only the impersect memorial remains! Be wise, then, be instructed, ye rising American
States! Let it be your glorious contention which of WOL. II. R r
you should stand foremost in making liberal provisions for the advancement and support of Freedom and Virtue; without which, neither the ordinances of Religion, nor the Laws can be duly administered; nor the civil duties of life fulfilled; nor the manners of a people improved; nor their happiness for any length of time secured. But by wise establishments for the instruction of youth, the advancement of the Arts and Sciences, the encouragement of industry, and the maintenance of Religion and Morality—this shall become a great and happy land! Transported at the thought, I am borne forward to days of distant renown! In my expanded view, these United States rise, in all their ripened glory, before me. I look, through, and beyond, every yet peopled region of the New World, and behold period still brightening upon period. Where one continuous depth of gloomy wilderness now shuts out even the beams of day, I see new States and Empires, new seats of Wisdom and Knowledge, new Religious domes, spreading around”. In places now untrod by any but savage beasts, or men as savage as they, I hear the voice of happy labor, and behold towery cities growing into the skies! Lo! in this happy picture, I behold the native Indian exulting in the works of Peace and Civilization! His bloody hatchet he buries deep underground, and his murderous knife, he turns into a Pruning Hook, to lop the tender vine and teach the luxuriant shoot to grow. No more does he form to himself a heaven after death, (according to the poet) in company with his faithful dog, behind the cloud-topt hill, to enjoy solitary quiet, far from the haunts of faithless men; but, better instructed by Christianity, he views his everlasting inheritance, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Instead of recounting to his offspring, round the blazing fire, the bloody exploits of their ancestors, and wars of savage death, shewing barbarous exultation over every deed of woe; methinks I hear him pouring forth his eulogies of praise to the memory of those who were the instruments of Heaven, in raising his tribes from darkness to light; in giving them freedom and civilization; and converting them from violence and blood, to meekness and love! Amongst those who shall be celebrated as the instruments of this great work, I hear the names of every good citizen and Christian, who is a friend to mankind, and to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and especially, methinks, I hear your names, ye illustrious Patriots! who, having asserted your own and your country’s rights, cheerfully join in every laudable endeavour for conveying those rights to posterity, and bringing “ the utmost ends of the earth to see the Salvation of our God.” Hasten, O Almighty Father, hasten this blessed period of thy Son’s Kingdom, which we believe, shall come; and the praise and glory shall be to thy name, forever and ever! Amen.
* The general sentiments in this concluding address were published in a poem by the author near fifty years ago, and have been occasionally introduced into former public addresses by him, but have not before been published at large, or in the present form.
SERMONS ON PUBLIC OCCASIONS, CONTINUED.
THE For EG or N G s ERM on s, rn This volum E, BEING chre FLY oN PUBLIC occAs Ions, civ IL AND MILITARY ; Th E FollowING ARE DEN ONI INATED PART 11. BEcAU's E, BEING PREACH
ED ON PUBLIC occ As Ions Eccl. Esi Ast IcAL, THEY could NOT BE PROPERI.Y CLASSED AMONG THE FOR MER.
CONCERNING THE CONVERSION
THE HEATHEN AMERICANS,
AND THE FINAL PR op AcATION of CHRISTIANITY AND THE scIENCEs. To Th E ENDS OF THE EARTH.
First Preached before a voluntary Convention of the Episcopal Clergy of Pennsylvania, and places adjacent, in Christ
Church, Philadelphia, May 2, 1760; and published at their joint request.
TO THE MOST REVEREND, HIS GRACE,
PREs 1 DENT;
AND TO ALL THE HONOURABLE AND VENERABLE MEMBERS OF THE socikTY, FoR PRoPAGATING THK cospel IN FoREIGN PARTS.
My Lords AND GENT LEM kN,
Af TER the many excellent Sermons that have been preached and published by the members of your body, on the propagation of Christ's religion through the untutored parts of the earth; the present publication may be thought to argue some degree of presumption. And this consideration, added to the difficulty of saying any thing new or interesting, on a subject so fully handled by many of the brightest ornaments of our church, would have deterred the Author from letting this Discourse appear in print; if, on the other hand, he had not been encouraged therein, by the express desire of his brethren who heard it, and the hopes that his situation in America may have enabled him to place some particular points in a light, perhaps, somewhat new. It may be thought a very needless labour to attempt a proof– That the interests of Christianity will be advanced, by promoting the interests of Science; which is the design of the next following Sermon, as a second part from this text. But it hath been the Author's misfortune, in his endeavours for the latter, to meet with men, who, seeming to consider the advancement of knowledge and free inquiry as unfriendly to their dark system, have set themselves up, with rage truly illiberal, to stifle the infant Sciences here. For this reason, the Author thought he could not do a better service than by endeavouring to shew them at large, that they were, in effect, waging war, not only with every thing elegant and useful in life, but even with the extension of our common Christianity, the prosperity of our country,