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object which they contemplate? Can any man de ceive himself with the idea, that he longs for the salvation of the heathen, and prays acceptably for that object, while he is unwilling to put his hands to the work of missions, and while perhaps he cheapens the labours of those who do?

Where indeed is the great law of benevolence, which binds us to regard the interests of our fellow men no less than our own; and their spiritual and immortal interests certainly as well as their temporal. I he is chargeable with the want of Christian charity who "seeth his brother have need of this world's goods, and shutteth up the bowels of his compassion from him;" what shall be said of one, who can look upon the perishing heathen, lying under a load of guilt, and hastening, without the knowledge or benefit of a Saviour, to the retributions of eternity. and yet feel no generous sentiment glowing in his bosom; no desire to carry the precious light of saivation to their benighted land?



True, it may be said; but then it must not be forgotten, that though the call for our benevolence is great, yet the field for our active labours is limited. We must not desert our own churches to carry the gospel to heathen lands: We must not neglect our own flesh and blood, the people in our new and scattered settlements, for the sake of transporting missionaries to distant shores; where, before any reasonable hopes of success can be entertained, new languages must be acquired, long and inveterate habits overcome."

We are not backward, my brethren, to admit, that the call for domestic missions is loud and solemn. There are thousands in our frontier settlements, as well as in the more interior parts of our country, whose case demands our sympathy and exertion; not to mention the unhappy and degraded people of colour in the


lion of souls, and the numerous and wretched tribes of Indians upon our borders. To all these it is our duty 'to turn our attention, and to feel towards them that compassion which Jesus felt for the multitudes in Judea, who were as sheep scattered abroad having no shepherd. But is this the whole of our duty? May we not, and ought we not, to engage in foreign missions also, and send the gospel to the benighted regions of Asia and Africa, and to the Islands of the southern ocean? As to our own people, though destitute, they are not absolutely without the word of life, and the means of salvation. They enjoy a kind of twilight, by means of the scattered beams of the Sun of righte ousness, which still fall upon them. But with the heathen it is total darkness. There is no day spring from on high to visit them; no feeble ray from any distant star to shine upon their dwellings. An awful night of gloom and terrour surrounds them. Satan, the prince of darkness, holds there a wide and dreadful reign. Thousands and tens of thousands are yearly offered up as polluted and bloody victims upon his altars, while millions added to millions are enslaved by the false religions and cruel rites of this destroyer of souls. Behold! from the southern shores of India and Africa to the northern boundaries of Tartary-from the eastern to the western limits of Asia and what will you see, but one vast assemblage of ignorance and superstition, casting a thick and portentous darkness over these widely extended regions! With the exception of a small portion of Christians, making less perhaps than one fiftieth part of the whole, all, all are without hope, and without God in the world. What a vast multitude of souls crowding their way, generation after generation, down to the abodes of despair!




Besides, have we not apostolic example for the course we recommend? Did the first ministers of Jesus wait till they had converted all their own countrymen, before they ventured abroad among the heathen? and when they went to one nation, did they confine their labours to them, till all were brought to the obedience of faith? Did they not rather go from city to city, and from one nation and kingdom to another, till they had planted the gospel in every pact of the known world? This was St. Paul's plan, most certainly. And why should not this course be thought reasonable. An earnest desire to send the gospel abroad will kindle a purer and more ardent zeal for its propagation at home. "Religion is that kind of commodity, that the more you impart of it to others, the more you have left behind." Nor is this difficult to comprehend. The zeal, awakened by so glowing an object as a foreign mission, cannot fail to diffuse itself through many hearts, and be re produced in the concern which it excites for the promotion of religion generally. It presents an interest, which is vast: it forms characters in a high degree dignified and engaging.*

I appeal to the noble and apostolic spirit of those who have gone from our shores to carry the gos


pel to India, and whose recent communications sufficiently evince that neither their zeal nor their firmness have been diminished, by the many trials they have endured. I appeal to the memoirs of one who breatheds out her life on a distant shore, in the very morning of her days, and upon the threshold of her mission. She did not regret that she had left all for Christ, and that she had testified her love to the heathen rather by what she desired, than by what she was permitted to accomplish. Her life and death, strongly marked as they were by sentiments of the most exalted piety, will excite more Christian feeling, and be productive of more devout and ardent prayer for the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom, than the lives and deaths of a hundred ordinary Christians. Besides all this, a foreign mission has a powerful tendency to narrow the differences and destroy the little jealousies, which exist among Christians, while it enables them to act with union and vigour in one great cause.

What has been the fuct among those Christians, who have embarked in foreign missions, both in Europe and America? Have they not been the friends of domestic missions also? So far as the knowledge of the speaker has extended, the more liberally they have communicated to the wants of the heathen the more generous have been their contributions, and the more zealous their labours, to promote religion in their own land. The truth is, those men who are for sending the gospel to the miserable inhabitants of Asia and Africa, at almost any hazard and expense, think a great deal of religion. It is to them "the power of God unto salvation." They regard it as the riches of the world, and their own eternal inheritance. They partake of the spirit of the primitive disciples, who sold their worldly possessions, that they might the

more effectually communicate to the wants of the necessitous, and help forward the rising cause of Christianity.

Can it be a matter of doubt, in these circumstances, whether we ought to cast in our lot with them, and do what in us lies, to spread the knowledge of Christ among the benighted nations? I see not how we can forbear, without being chargeable with the blood of the poor heathen who shall perish through our neglect. They are suffering an awful famine, not of bread nor of water, but of the word of the living God; and if we will neither compassionate nor relieve them, how can we avoid the guilt of their blood? A thorough conviction of this fact would lay hold of the strongest principles of action, and carry us resolutely and steadily forward in the great work which we have begun.

III. I remark further, that the apostle engaged in the design of propagating the gospel among the heathen, not merely from a sense of duty, acting under the command of Jesus Christ his rightful Lord and sovereign, but as an unspeakable honour and privilege. "Unto me who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ." He felt himself exalted by the office, which he sustained as a preacher among the heathen, his pre-eminent talents and gifts notwithstanding. It never entered his heart that his uncommon powers of mind, and his extensive acquaintance with human science, placed him beyond the humble occupation of a missionary to the pagans. This is the more remarkable, when you look at the circumstances under which his ministry was exercised. What was his ministry, brethren! Not like that which falls to many of the ambassadors of peace in later times, where every desire is anticipated-where

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