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blessed for ever! Amen. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;-being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness: full of envy, debate, murder, deceit, malignity: whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful." What a picture!! Who can contemplate it without horror! Yet such is the state of society-such the aspect of the moral world-such are the crimes that deform, and pollute, and torment, the human race under the reign of Paganism, which, wherever it exists, converts earth into the vestibule of hell, a den of wild beasts, a range of malignant demons,-which educates men for fiends amidst the worst of excesses of depravity, and tortures its victims in this world preparatory to their execution in the next. Who that pretends to carry in his bosom the heart of a man,-much more who that professes to have the spirit of a Christian, which is the mind of Christ,-but must mourn in bitterness of soul over this frightful wilderness, and long to bring these habitations of cruelty under the reign of love?
Let it be recollected, that whenever the religion of Jesus Christ is felt in its proper influence; whenever it changes the heart, and sanctifies the life;-it does not merely turn men away from dumb idols, but causes them also to deny ungodliness and
worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present evil world. It does not merely lead to a change of names, a substitution of one set of religious rites for another; but while it removes all that is impious in idolatry, it displaces all that is odious and abominable in vice. It presents the first table of the law, and says, “Thou shall love God with all thy soul;" and then holds up the second, and commands us to love our neighbours as ourselves. Wherever the Gospel of Christ is permitted to govern society, it banishes all that can afflict, and introduces whatever can comfort, the human race. All the crimes and the curses of society flee before it, while all the blessings of earth follow in its train: it not only brings learning, and arts, and sciences, with all that can adorn the mind and embellish life, but, as its chief benefit, it establishes the reign of charity. This it has done to a considerable extent in many places already; and even its enemies have acknowledged it. And he that would see what religion can do, has done, and will yet do, in exalting benevolence on the ruins of cruelty, and in establishing the reign of mercy,-let him contemplate, as he may do, through the medium of missionary reports, the once wild and savage Esquimaux, converted into peaceful, harmless, and benevolent followers of the meek and lowly Jesus; or the once murderous Otaheitans, who revelled in the blood of human sacrifices, and slaughtered without remorse their own children, now exhibiting a character remarkable for its clemency and gentleness; or the once marauding
tribes of South Africa, casting away their poisoned arrows, and their assagays, and exhibiting a moral transformation as great and striking, as if the lions, that prowled around their tents, were changed by miracles into lambs. And are these the triumphs of that religion, of which the many branches, and the multiplied duties, are summed up in that one wordLOVE?
Friends of humanity! by all the love you bear to God or man, I conjure you to labour to the uttermost in extending the religion you profess. Estimate, if you can, the deep guilt of neglecting the cause of Christian missions. None of you have done what you could have done, or what you ought to do, in this most sacred, most important cause. I ask, what proportion of your property ought to be put in requisition for promoting the universal reign of charity? Is a tenth, or a fifth, or a third, enough for that cause, the object of which is to teach all men that dwell on the earth to love God supremely, and each other as themselves?—enough to be given for the purpose of cementing the whole human family together in a union of affection?enough to give to a cause, which, when it is completely victorious, and completely victorious it will be, will banish pride, and malice, and envy, and revenge, from the abodes of man? How can you live in splendour-how can you enjoy your luxuries -how can you dwell with delight upon your accumulating hoards of wealth,-while all this is wanting to extend the influence of religion?-Alas! alas! because you have so little of it in your own soul.
Christian benevolence, were it felt in its full force, would lead to self-denial, to economy, to simple habits, to personal sacrifices, in order that you may have more to spare for the great object of Christian
But in addition to your property, and your influence, give to the cause of missions your private, sincere, fervent, believing, and constant prayers. It is only by the power of the Divine, Omnipotent Spirit, that the kingdom of Christ can be established in this selfish world. Read the chapter which we have considered,-compare with it the present state of mankind,—and then say if aught but the same power which called the chaos out of nothing, and raised this fair and beautiful world out of chaos, can effect a transformation so astonishing and sublime as would be effected, if this region of dark and vengeful passions were converted into an abode of holy, and mild, and benevolent affections. Beseech Jehovah daily, that he would arise and plead his own cause; for surely love must be eminently the cause of him who is infinite in goodness, and delighteth in mercy. Give him no rest till, in answer to believing and earnest prayer, he shall say,
Behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth : and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.—And it shall come to pass,