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have beard even the name of Christianity. If there are millions of heathen to be converted; there must be thousands of missionaries engaged in the work. There must be tens of thousands of schools, for the instruction of children. There must be numerous companies of native teachers, prepared to encounter the peculiar prejudices of their countrymen. There must be schools of the prophets, missionary colleges, to furnish the minds of those who are to give instruction to others.
All these measures require the aid of pecuniary means. Missionaries cannot go to the isles of the sea, and the tribes of the wilderness, without expense. And here, after all, is to be found the check, which, at the present day, is put upon missionary exertions. The fields are white unto the harvest. The reapers stand ready to enter upon their labors: but the means of their subsistence are withheld. The missionaries, at their several stations, are urgent in their requests, that their hands may be strengthened, by an increase of their numbers. All that prevents. an immediate compliance with their intreaties, is the want of adequate funds. The providence of God is loudly calling upon us, for the establishment of missions, in regions which have not yet been visited. There are many who are waiting for an opportunity to devote themselves to this service. But the pecuniary aid is not furnished. The streams of the public bounty, must flow more copiously than they have hitherto done, before the requisite supplies will be obtained.
The present missionary efforts, it is to be hoped, are only the commencement of a system of operations, which is to be vastly more extended and efficient. We are not to look principally at the good which may be done, at the insulated stations; in Bombay, Ceylon, and Owhyhee. But these ought to be considered as preparatory establishments, which are to be greatly multiplied, and which, in connexion with the measures of other denominations, and of other Christian countries, are ultimately to be brought to bear, with united and powerful influence, upon the whole heathen world.
Among the great combination of means, for sustaining and advancing the missionary cause, the most important place is to be assigned to prayer. Without this, all our measures will be inefficacious. After the application of the highest human skill and effort, the blessing must come from God. This will be bestowed, in answer to prayer. It is prayer which opens the hearts of the people, to pour their gifts into the treasury of the Lord. It is prayer which conducts in safety the messenger of salvation, as he crosses the perilous deep. It is prayer which preserves him from the destroying pestilence. It is prayer which gives him audience before princes, and access to the hearts of the heathen. It is prayer that bursts, the gates of brass, and brings liberty to the captives; that demolishes the fabrics of superstition, which in the progress of ages, have grown up to the heavens.
6. The missionary cause is great, in the rewards which it bestows, on all who are engaged in promoting it. “The blessing of him who is ready to perish shall come upon them. They that turn many to righteousness, shall shine as the stars, forever and ever.”
Would you invigorate the principle of grace in your own souls, call into exercise the benevolence which earnestly seeks the salvation of others. Would you wish for the full assurance of hope, that you are heirs of the kingdom of God, let your heart, your life, your property, be devoted to the interests of that kingdom. Are you anxious that your families should be partakers of the divine mercy? Consider that she who soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully. The righteous sheweth mercy and giveth. He shall be in everlasting remembrance. His seed shall be blessed in the earth.”
Are you waiting upon God, and beseeching him that the showers of his grace may descend upon the region around you? While you call upon your Christian friends, “to go up to the house of the Lord, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem;" forget not the heathen, who are hastening to the world of retribution, while they are strangers to the hopes and consolations of the Gospel. Our prayers and our bounty for them, will be rewarded, by a revival of the power of religion among ourselves. When have the windows of heaven been more frequently opened, to pour us out the blessing, than since our exertions to send to other lands, the privileges which we have so long and so abundantly enjoyed? And are we to expect a continuance of this the richest of all the bounties of heaven on our country, if we are regardless of the spiritual interests of every other portion of the globe?
But is not the prospect of the good which is to be brought to the heathen, by missionary efforts, of itself an abundant reward, for all the sacrifices, which we may be called upon to make in their behalf? Are we not compensated, for the portion of time and money which we apply to this object, by learning that the devoted widow is rescued from the funeral pile? that the mother is restrained from abandoning her infant to the tide of the Ganges or the Indus? that the worshippers of Juggernaut, instead of gathering the vultures to his festival, have left him to stand motionless in his temple? that the western savage has exchanged his war-song for the praises of Jehovah? that the cruel African has dropped his murderous knife, and is sitting at the feet of the man of God, who teaches peace and good will to men that the islanders of the Pacific, instead of sacrificing their children, on the altars of devils, are rearing temples for the worship of him who made heaven, and earth; and are at this moment enjoying a brighter and more unviolated Sabbath, than the descendants of the pilgrims of New England?
Is it not enough, that the Mahommedan, the Jew, and the Pagan; the Hindoo, the Cherokee, and the Greenlander, have all been “made to drink into one spirit; and with the ransomed of the Lord, will soon come to Mount Zion, with songs and everlasting joy on their heads?” Will your sacrifices for the salvation of the heathen appear great, when you have done with the toils of life, and are admitted to the heavenly rest; and when you find, that one and another is coming, from the East and the West, from the North and
the South, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of the redeemed? when, as the ages of your blessedness roll on, the tidings brought to you from the earth will be, that other generations are following their fathers, in the way towards heaven? when “mention shall be made there of Babylon, and Philistia, and Tyre, and Ethiopia; and the Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man, and that man was born there?” and when you shall unite with “the multitudes which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, in ascribing blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, unto him that sitteth on the throne, and to
the Lamb?" : II. In considering the second branch of our text,
it remains to be observed, that a work so great, so sublime in its object, so essential to the salvation of our race, must not be suspended. It must be carried forward, with increased activity, with more abundant contribution of means, and a far wider extension of its operations. What has been the consequence of the suspension of the missionary labors commenced by the Apostles? Century after century bas rolled away, and the darkness upon many of the nations, has continued as deep as it was then. And if there should be no greater efforts for their deliverance, than have been hitherto made; they would remain in darkness, till the voice of the archangel should call them to the judgment. All that has yet been attempted, for the conversion of the heathen, is as nothing, in comparison with what ought to be done, and what must be done, before the work will be accomplished. The battle