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BY THE REV. DAVID L. PERRY,
PASTOR OF THE CHURCH IN SHAROX, coxx.
The voice of providence announces the accomplishment of prophecy. “Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off. The Lord will be terrible unto his enemies) for he will famish all the gods of the earth, and men shall worship him, every one in his place, even all the isles of the heathen.”
The period has arrived. “The isles wait for his law. Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the islands."
It is our happiness to witness the fulfilment of these prophecies commenced. It is yours, beloved Brethren, to become the hopeful instruments of their accomplishment. You have long contemplated the condition of the heathen, and in secret, devoted yourselves to their cause. You have heard the call of Owhyhee and its adjacent islands, Come over and help us." Their cries have reached your hearts. T'he voice of Providence is distinctly heard, “Get ye down, and go with them, nothing doubting.”
This work is of God, and we dare not forbid it. We dare not withhold our children, our substance, or refuse to separate you to the work whereunto the Lord bath called you.
The interesting period has arrived. You have now, dear Brethren, at the request of those, under whose immediate
direction you are to regulate your future labors, been sep. arated and ordained to the work of Evangelists to the Sandwich Islands, by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, and with prayer.
We do, therefore, in the name, and in the presence of the Great Head of the Church, who shall judge the quick and the dead, at his appearing, now solemnly charge you with the faithful execution of the high and awful commission with which you are this day entrusted.
The particular field of your labors is pointed out; but it is yet in the hand of the enemy; and like the children of Joseph, you must drive him out before you can take the possession,
Of the company of pilgrims who attend you, it is expected a church will be organized. You will carry with you this little Vine. You are to plant it in a heathen land. Labor to guard it against the blast that withereth, the worm that consumeth, and the foxes that spoil the vine. If, under God, this Church should be committed to your special charge, you will take the oversight, not by constraint, but with a ready mind. It will contain, we believe, the little leaven, wbich will leavey the whole lump.
Take heed unto yourselves, and unto the Churches over which the Holy Ghost may place you. "Feed the flock of God. In all things study to shew yourselves approved; workmen that need not to be ashamed. In doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you."
It will be your main object to promote the instruction, the conversion, and the edification of the Heathen. In this work, while you repose with entire dependence on God, · for success, you will not fail to exert every faculty of your understanding, and every benevolent emotion of your lieart. Meditate upon the duties of your office and give yourselves wholly to them, that your profiting may appear unto all.
Devote a suitable portion of your labors to the instruction of the young. These, in every country, offer the most successful field for exertion, and sustain the surest lopes of future blessings.
You will gathez and organize Churches, if God in his grace, shall be pleased to prepare materials within the sphere of your labors. Be not hasty in forming your opinion of the spiritual attainments of the heathen; and do not suddenly receive them to the communion of the Church. One apostate may do more injury than hundreds who are without. Be satisfied as to their doctrinal and experimental knowledge of the Gospel before you commit to them the means of wounding the cause.
Administer baptism to the proper subjects, and admit to the Lord's Supper only such as give evidence of faith in Christ.
If, in the providence of God, you are called to commit this ministry to others, “the same commit thou to faithful men.” We charge you to “lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partakers of other men's sins.” In planting the standard of the cross in heathen lands, you will seek to enlist such, and only such, as are qualified by the spirit of God to defend it.,
It is now too late brethren, to be allured by the fairy dreams which deceived the first essays to christianize the Islands of Polynesia. You know that temptations and trials of no ordinary magnitude await you. The Missionary, as well as the Christian, must be fitted for his work by passing through the furnace. If the great Head of the Church intends to own your labors, He will try your faith. It is worthy of fearful remembrance that in all the great missionary undertakings, the outset has been attended with some such trials. While, therefore, you sow the seed with tears, and labors, and watchings, be not discouraged, though you wait long for the harvest. Should no good fruit immediately appear, you will remember the mission to Otaheite, and the long deferred, though glorious success. “Let patience have her perfect work." Prepare your minds to meet the ignorance, the stupidity, and the opposition, as well as the superstition and yice of those to whom you are sent.
You are soon, in the name of God, to set up the banners of the Cross upon the fortress of the enemy, and proclaim Jesus Christ to those whose native depravity, is fortified by the most obstinate prejudice, and seared by the most stupid and senseless idolatry. The adversary will not give up his strong hold without a desperate resistance.
But remember your weapons are not carnal, but mighty through God. Let your preaching be, not in the wisdom of men, but in demonstration of the Spirit and with power, Interineddle not with any thing foreign to the interests of Zion, which will prejudice the truth. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Cultivate an habitual and ardent desire for the salvation of the heathen. Let the world be crucified to you, and you to the world. Let no ambitious design, no desire of worldly distinction from the missionary office, be found among the motives of your heart. And count not even your own life dear, if so be that you may testify the Gospel of the grace of God.
Keep your hearts with diligence and maintain the power of religion by your daily walk. He, who would guide others, must himself be acquainted with the way, He, who would administer the consolations of the Gospel, must himself have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
But time would fail to recount all the duties and the doctrines, which it is incumbent on you to do and teach. This holy Book contains your commission. This have we receive ed of the Lord, and this do we commit unto you. Biod it upon your heart. Let it be your director and your comfort-a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.
To a people of a strange language, you will be called, for many years, to preach even more by your benevolence, meekness, fortitude, patience, and holy deportment, than by your precepts. These speak a language which every rational being can understand. Even heathen will judge
men by their fruits. “All your external conduct will be regarded by them as parts of your religion.” They will be influenced by your instructions no farther than they perceive them to influence yourselves.
Remember, dear brethren, the sad downfall of Lewis, of Broomhall and of Veason. "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed Jest he fall.”
The ordinary aids and consolations of ministers in Gos. pel lands will be denied to you. The advice and Christian faithfulness of your brethren you cannot enjoy. You must therefore draw your support immediately from the infinite fountain, and be eminently men of prayer. In that moral wilderness you must gather your manna daily or perish.
But let none of these things move you. “They that be with you are more than they that be with them.” The consolations and encouragements prepared for you, if you continue faithful, are abundant, rich, and cheering. You do not go out under untried circumstances. A cloud of witnesses have already explored the dark places of the earth which are full of the habitations of cruelty," and have encountered the dangers. You will avail yourselves of their experience.
You may be assured of an interest in the prayers of many. But above all stay your trembling hearts upon covenanted faithfulness, and live upon the promises of God. You have put your band to the plough; you cannot look back. You have forsaken parents and friends, and the elegances of civilized life, to labor and wear out in far distant and benighted lands.
We have now consecrated you to God and to the heathen. You are, henceforth, dead to the world, dead to the refinements of civilized society, and the endearments of social tics in the bosom of your native land. Our eyes are shortly to behold you no more! But our prayers and our hearts go with you. Be faithful unto death and may the blessing of many ready to perish be your reward, and the crown of your rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus. Amen.