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more entirely visionary than the hope of success, were it dependent on us, or on all the means we can employ. But regarding those means as only a part of the provision made by Heaven for the world's deliverance from slavery and ruin, aud that with them there is combined, by promise, an influence of omnipotent energy, which nothing can effectually resist; we go forth to the conquest of the nations, influenced by the remembrance of victories already won; and by the confident expectation of a final and universal triumph.
Sustained by these considerations, tell us not that we are worms of the dust, that our weapons are wielded by mortal feebleness, and that the array against us is most appalling ;-tell us not of the strength of man's enmity to God, and of the inveteracy of all his habits of ungodliness ;-tell us not of the increase of that inveteracy, by the idolatries and abominations of the world;tell us not of the hold which the prince of the power of darkness has over his unhappy subjects and slaves. All these things we know and feel. But stronger is He that is with us, than all who can be against
The treasure is indeed in earthen vessels ; but it is, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of men. The weapons of our warfare are mighty through God; though they are not carnal weapons: and therefore, in the hands of the Spirit of God they cannot be employed in vain. The influence which encourages to draw the bow, which barbs the arrow and speeds its flight; directs with unerring certainty its aim, and can bring
all the enemies of God and of his Christ under subjection. What God can do, he has promised that he will do; so that nothing is wanting but the contribution of our zeal and of our prayers, to a glorious victory over all the powers of evil and of darkness.
Let the church of God then, be faithful to the deposit which has been entrusted to it. To his people he has given charge of his holy oracles, and in charge to proclaim their truths through all the world. He has committed to them the interests of his glory, and of the salvation of men. He has confided to them the honour of being his remembrancers, to put him in mind of his own. promises, and of his covenant obligations; and while he has reserved to himself the exercise and application of that healing power, which effectually worketh the counsel of his own will, he has given to his church the key which unlocks the sacred storehouse, by promising to dispense its treasures in answer to faith and prayer.
“ The world is all before us,” and the command to go in and possess it, is sounding in our ears. Already the pioneers of the sacred army are at work in every land, and the precursors of the heralds of the cross are operating in every country. The signs of the times are all favourable to our efforts and our wishes. Already God has blessed our endeavours beyond our expectations, and he is waiting " till our faith shall be increased, that he may enlarge us according to his rule abundantly.” It is for us then to determine
whether the work shall go on and extend, or retrograde and diminish ;-whether by the contribution of our prayers, our labours, and our property, it shall be carried forward in a manner worthy of the cause, and of the name we profess; or whether, by withholding them, we shall at once deprive ourselves of the reward of turning many to righteousness, and retard the progress of the Redeemer's glory.
I conclude with the words of an eloquent writer, whose sentiments on this subject I most cordially and fully adopt:
6. There was a greater disproportion between the resources of the first Christians, and their success in changing the moral condition of the Roman Empire, than there is between the means which Christians now possess, and the universal conversion of the world. Nothing is wanting but the will, and the energy, and the intelligence, which would enable them to keep the same great object ever in view, and to choose the path that would most certainly lead to it. Society, independently of human volition, is preparing itself for a great transition. The many wheels of its intricate mechanism are beginning to revolve, and a complicated movement, continually accelerated by fresh impulses, is bearing along the world from its wintry and torpid position, and bringing it under the influence of serener heavens, and an awakening spring. All the genial powers of nature will be unlocked, and the better feelings that have long slumbered in
the breast of man will be roused to life. Trué benevolence will come in the train of genuine Christianity; and mankind, in promoting the welfare of each other, will find that happiness which has so long escaped them. Evil, though it can never be entirely eradicated from human nature on this side of death, will yet be repressed in all its manifestations, as soon as it presents itself, and the thoughts and endeavours of all, will tend to heal the inevitable ills, which flesh is heir to. Then will be the harvest of the moral world, and the seed of noble. thoughts and deeds that once seemed lost, shall suddenly shoot forth, and ripen to maturity, and the success of wrong, even in this world, shall seem brief, compared with the long ages that shall
the efforts of wisdom and virtue."
* Douglas's Advancement of Society, pp. 355, 356.- See Note (GG).