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dred thousand British drunkards, who are living around her, and within the sound of her voice ; and of the far greater number, who are fast preparing, through the deceitful and mighty influence of strong drink, to plunge themselves into the same condition of sin and wretchedness.

If we view intemperance as a form of idolatry, shall we not be justly chargeable, with the most grievous practical inconsistency, if, while regardless of those, who, at home, are under its destructive influence, we are found exhausting our energies and resources, in attempting to accomplish the conversion of the heathen in distant lands ?*

He that is not with me,” said Christ," is against me.” If there be any meaning in these words, they seem to imply, that, not to be found in a state of opposition to the causes of human guilt and suffering, is to be ranged on the side of iniquity, and to be accessory in the production of evil. To do nothing in a good cause, in which we are capable of doing anything, is to hide our Lord's talent in the earth, and to become subject to the

* The writer is far from wishing that a single farthing should be abstracted from the Missionary cause ; or that a single labourer should be withdrawn from the Missionary field. He is only anxious that the Church, at home, may be more zealous, and self-denying, in order that the church, abroad, may be more rapidly extended.

condemnation of the unfaithful, and unprofitable servant. A negative character can have no place among the true followers of One, who went about, continually doing good ; and who has made the imitation of his own example a test of true discipleship—an indispensable condition of enjoying his favour, and everlasting life.*

Owing indeed, to our limited powers, and opportunities for usefulness, we are incapable of, personally, engaging in every enterprise, by which the happiness of the world may be promoted; and are equally incapable of accomplishing more than a very limited amount of good, when most actively and benevolently employed; but no sooner is a new sphere of labour opened to the Christian, in which he may either advance the glory of God, or the welfare of man, than he is bound by the most solemn and weighty obligations, at once, to take possession of it, believing that his efforts, therein, will “ not be in vain in the Lord.”+

It was thus, the fathers of our Missionary and Bible Societies acted. ey did not make the conduct of their predecessors their rule of action. They did not search the Scriptures for arguments,

* Matt. xxv. 41-46.

of “To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James iv. 17.

by which they might excuse themselves, for remaining indifferent to the claims of a perishing world. They did not plead, that as they had received no direct precepts upon the subject, the establishment of such Societies was no part of Christian duty or obligation. They saw that multitudes, around them, were in the darkness of spiritual death ; and they also saw, that the Christian church possessed the means of convey. ing, to some, the light of life. This was sufficient to produce such an awakening sense of responsibility, as prevented them from being any longer at ease in Zion; and which, at length, has caused them to be numbered amongst the most devoted, and honoured benefactors of the human race.

In the alarming extent of our national intemperance—in the deep-rooted, and fondly-cherished customs which have produced it-in the tremendous amount of injury it is continually inflicting, on all our domestic, commercial, and political relationships--and, especially, in the fact, that, while it is, yearly, destroying the souls and bodies of forty thousands of our countrymen, it is mainly helping to keep millions more in a state of ignorance, infidelity, and sin, surely there is enough to awaken every Christian professor, to serious reflection, and to convince us, that if there be a cause which has a claim on our benevolence and zeal, it is that, which aims at nothing short of the annihilation of the evil.

For the guilt and misery which intemperance produces, there is, happily, an immediate, and efficient remedy. This evil is the unnatural fruit of a tree, which may be not merely hewn down, but entirely eradicated. It is the effect of a cause which is capable of being removed, and, on this account, a fearful responsibility rests upon the Christian church.* Let her, then, at once, begin to act consistently with her character ; and by her well-directed, and self-denying efforts to put away both the practice and causes of intemperance, let her demonstrate, that she is indeed composed of “a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

In the language of a justly popular writer, “ the Christian church should be the nursery and school of all practical excellence; capable of supplying the world with the noblest specimens of wisdom and virtue, for filling offices of utility and trust. Like a city set upon a hill, it should be conspicuous from afar—that all might know

* The cause of drunkenness is the drinking of intoxicating liquor, as a beverage; the remedy for the evil is Total Abstinence from such liquor ; and for proof that this remedy is as practicable, as it is efficient, see appendix, M.

where to look for “ whatsoever things are honest, lovely, and of good report." "Not only is Christianity compatible with the discharge of civil or social duties, it will not absolve us from themwill not allow us to be idle spectators on the great theatre of life. Destroying every selfish passion, it teaches us to consider ourselves as parts of a great community, and consecrates every talent to the public good.”*

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SUBJECT, IT NEXT BECOMES THE DUTY OF THE CHURCH, TO FREE HERSELF FROM THE IN

FLUENCE OF THIS IDOLATRY.

To be anxious that others may be led forward in the path of truth and holiness, is, without doubt, an important part of Christian obligation; but when there is an appearance of such anxiety, without a corresponding desire on behalf of our own spiritual improvement, we bring our pretensions into suspicion, and afford just ground for the conclusion, that our zeal is not produced by the love of God and man, but by some feeling of mere selfishness, or other equally unworthy motive,

* Christian Citizen, pp. 4, 5.

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