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Christ's Kingdom, if we must associate, in any degree, with men of all denominations. But, surely, there is an error in this judgment. We seek the aid of all descriptions of men in defending our country against the enemy. We love to see men of all descriptions shewing their allegiance to the King. Was it ever said to a poor man, “You are not qualified to shew your allegiance to the King? You must not cast your mite into the treasury of your King.” My Brethren, let every man, who opposes these Institutions, examine his own heart whether he be true in his allegiance to “the King of kings."
For myself, I hail the present unanimity of hitherto discordant bands, as a great event in the Church; and as marking a grand character of Christ's promised kingdom; when “the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them," Isaiah xi, 6. I consider the extension and unity of the Bible Society as the best pledge of the continuance of the Divine mercy to this land; and I doubt not, the time will come when the nation will reckon that Society a greater honor to her, as a Christian People, than any other institution of which she can boast.
We shall now conclude this discourse with stating to you the cause why so few comparatively co-operate in these sacred designs. Many, it is probable, are ignorant of their existence: some may be supposed, without any culpable motives, to question their expediency: but the greater part, it is feared, are restrained by a state of mind, which we cannot sufficiently condemn and deplore. It is not because they do not believe in Christianity, generally; but because they are strangers to Christ's spiritual religion. They have seen the light
of civilization, but they have not seen the “Light of Life;" and this is the great and important distinction on which the happiness of the soul depends. This was the great distinction in the time of the Apostle Paul; for even in the day of his ministration, the Gospel was hid from some. “If our Gospel be Hid,” saith he, “it is hid to them that are lost.” 2 Cor. iv, 3. If then the light was hid from some when he preached, with a divine energy, and with the demonstration of miracles, shall we wonder that it is hid from some in our day?
There is nothing, my Brethren, worth living for, of equal importance with the diffusion of this light. We must all meet again at a future day, in a larger Assembly than the present, when we shall behold HIM who hath said, “I am the Light of the world.” Let every one of us, then, “BEAR WITNESS to the light;" by contributing, according to his ability, to its extension throughout the world: If the Christian Revelation be from God, to give that Revelation to the heathen world is the first duty of a Christian nation. If there be a majority of our nation who do not acknowledge this duty, the case is not different from what it ever hath been. When the Apostle Paul went forth to evangelize the world, men accounted him to be “beside himself.” Now we have stronger encouragement to attempt the conversion of the heathen world at this day, than the Apostle had, in the first age; for we have seen that their conversion is PRACTICABLE, We only meditate to do that a second time which hath been once done already. And we know that the same Divine Spirit which was with him, “will abide in the world for ever.” Men were not converted then merely, by the sight of a miracle: but by the
Grace of God. And the same Grace is promised to us. :
But there is another consideration. Do we not hear the command of Christ? “Go ye and teach all nations.” If we are sure that this is Christ who speaketh to us, let us not "confer with flesh and blood.” If there be any man who is swayed by the opinion of the multitude, he “is not worthy” of Christ. “He that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, saith our Lord, is not worthy of me: and he that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." No man can follow Christ in the sense here intended, who cannot follow the example of Enoch and Noah and believe God and not man. Let us therefore press forward in faith, and “serve God in our generation," contented to do a little, where much cannot be done. Some of the disciples of our Lord whom he addressed as “the Light of the World,” left the world very shortly afterwards:* but, like John the Baptist, whose race was also short, they shone as “burning lights” during their appointed season. So let us shine,
Yet a little while and “the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him; and before him shall be gathered all nations." Then shall the adversaries of the truth be abashed and confounded, when they shall hear him say to “the Redeemed out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation," (some of whom they had said could never believe in Christ) COME, YE BLESSED! Then shall they strike their breasts and say, “Destroyers of our own souls! we could not believe the word of God. But our doom is just. We believed Satan and promoted his designs, and labored for his glory: and we opposed the
*Stephen and James.
work of God, and obstructed the Gospel of Christ, and ruined the souls of men. Our condemnation is just; and now we must go with the “Prince of Darkness” whom we served upon earth: and now we must hear the terrible sentence, “Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels,” ? Matt. XXV, 41.
My Brethren, “Heaven and Earth shall pass away; but the words of Christ shall not pass away,” Matt. xxiv, 35.
Let us then, with true affection for the souls of our brethren, earnestly supplicate a merciful God who willeth not the death of a sinner, that he would send forth his Light and his Truth to convert their hearts and enlighten their understandings, in this their day of life and hope; that so they may unite with his people, in endeavoring to do his will on earth, as it is in heaven; “teaching all nations to observe all things whatsoever Christ hath commanded us,” Matt. xxviii, 20.
And now, with one voice, and with true faith let us ascribe to God the FATHER who loved us before the world was: and to God the Son who redeemed us by his blood; and to God the Holy Ghost, who hath sanctified us and "made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” all blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, for ever and ever. Amen.