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easily solved. Providence however removes every difficulty. The Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions extends its fostering hand. The friends of the school are animated and "in the name of their God" proceed to "set up their banners." All eyes are turned upon Obookiah, as eminently qualified to carry back the news of a Savior to his benighted countrymen. But God has better things in store for him, and we trust for them. He is not permitted to return. He however speaks from the grave to the American church in just such a voice as was needed to rouse her energies. A mission is soon projected on a more extensive plan than had before been contemplated. Neither means nor instruments are wanting. When the question is asked, "Whom shall we send," the answer that had been waiting for utter- * ance upon many a tongue is, Here are we, send us. Numbers are ready to go.
We are met this day to witness a renewal of their solemn engagements; to see some of them consecrated to the work of the ministry, in the islands, and to "bid them God speed" in their great undertaking. In the mean time, the hearts of thousands who cannot be bodily present are with us, while their prayers are ascending to heaven, and their hands are diligently employed in behalf of the mission. Such is the ardor of Christian feeling on this subject, that could the offerings of the church all be conveyed to the ship, I am persuaded there would "not be room enough to receive them."
Add to all this the friendly character of the Sandwich islanders; the progress which they have begun to make in civilization; their ardent desire for further instruction; their high regard for European settlers; the mildness of their climate, the fertility of their soil and other favorable circumstances;— and can it be questioned, that the aspects of Providence towards the present mission are peculiarly auspicious? The Sandwich Islands are a part of that goodly heritage, which the church ought long since to have claimed in the name of her King; and while she lingered, some of the benighted islanders themaelves, as if impatient of her delay, come over to America, and earnestly invite her to take immediate possession. The church is roused frontier slumbers by this singular call in a strange language; preparations for the cnterprize are in great forwardness, and as the cloudy pillar is now manifestly rising from the tabernacle, and these our beloved friends are preparing to follow where it leads, mcthinks I hear them say, "We are journeying to the place, of which the Lord said, I will give it you: come thou with us and we will do thee good, for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel."
My first address, in view of this subject, will be to the candidates for ordination.
My Dear Brethrejt, You have often, I doubt not, surveyed with aching hearts, those wide and populous regions of the promised land, which remain yet to be possessed. You have wondered, perhaps, how they could have been left by the church, for so many centuries, in the hands of pagans and infidels. You have felt a desire to be employed as soldiers of the cross, in the holy war, which is to be waged against the powers of darkness, where Christ has not yet been named. In obedience, as you believe, to a divine call, you have offered yourselves for the missionary service and have been accepted by the American Board. Designated by them to the Sandwich Islands, you are now to be consecrated by "prayer, and the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery."
We had, indeed, expected, that another would have taken the lead in this new and important enterprize. It was in his heart to go; and his Master accepted the desire, without subjecting him to the hardships of the service. He has received his discharge; "he rests from his labors and his works follow him." But never, till "the sea shall give up the dead that are in it," will it be known, how much he loved and prayed for the heathen. Our hearts, desire and prayer to God for you, dear Brethren, is, that the mantle of our ascended Samuel* may fall upon you.
Bright is the sun that shines upon this day. Animating are the prospects of your mission. Propitious, as we would fondly hope, are the gales, which are waiting to waft you to the field of your future labors. You will go forth, the first commissioned heralds of salvation, to those isles of the gentiles, followed by the prayers of the church, and carrying with you many tokens of her love to the heathen. I can fancy that I see them, hastening down to the shore to welcome you as friends, and as the bearers of those "glad tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people;" that I behold them gathered around you by hundreds, and listening with silent amazement,
* Tin Ute lamented Bey. S. J. Mills.
while you talk to them of the babe of Bethlehem:— that I see them casting away their idols and exclaiming with one voice, Your God shall be our God, your Savior shall be our Savior. The news of your arrival spread from district to district and from island to island. Wherever you go, you are selected as messengers of salvation from that far land, where Obookiah became and "died a Christian. Your heart6 are encouraged, your hands are strengthened, while the seals of your ministry multiply around you, and accents of praise to the Redeemer, are heard, in the school and in the church; in the poor man's cabin; in the hall of the Chief, and in the palace of the King.
But ah! my dear brethren, this after all may, perhaps, be no more than a bright and lovely vision. It is not every morning without clouds, that gives us a fair day. Nothing like certainty can be written upon human hopes and prospects. All that now appears so promising may be turned into bitter disappointments. Satan is not yet bound, and he will not yield the empire of the Sandwich islands without a struggle. He will instigate his emmissaries to oppose all your benevolent plans and efforts;—and how far he may be permitted to prevail. for a season, we know not. The Owhyheans may meet you with dark and lowering suspicion, and tunr away from your instructions with contempt. After years of labor and peril and sufferings, you may find yourselves constrained to exclaim, "Who hath believed our report, and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
You will find much occasion for watchfulness and prayer in the beginning of this enter prize, lest the ycry smiles of Providence which brighten your path, should throw you off your guard, weaken your sense of dependence upon God, and thus defeat the object of your mission. Should the winds and the waves all be propitious; should increasing hope animate every countenance as you approach the scene of your future operations, and should something whisper, these must be sure indications of immediate success and of a speedy conquest;—think of the Duff-— when she first visited the Society Islands. Think of the cloud which soon darkened the bright prospects of the missionaries there, and hung for so many years over all their perilous labors. Think of the persecutions which they endured; of the ground stained with missionary blood, and then bring home the case of those afflicted brethren, to your own little company. The promise, "Lo / am with you alway" does not of course exempt you from disappointments and sufferings. You may be persecuted even unto death,—you will be opposed by the powers of darkness. Prepare yourselves therefore, for whatever may await you. "Endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ." "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life." Let the words of your divine leader comfort your hearts in every conflict, "He that overcometh, shall sit down with me in my throne, even as I have overcome, and am set down with my Father in his throne."