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Divine Agency Necessary to the Propogation of Christianity: A Sermon

Author(s): Duncanson, Andrew

Text

DIVINE AGENCY;
A
SERMON.
DIVINE AGENCY
NECESSARY TO THE
PROPAGATION OF CHRISTIANITY.
A
SERMON
PREACHED IN
CAMPBELL-STREET MEETING-HOUSE, GLASGOW
ON MAY 17th,
BEFORE THE FRIENDS OF THE
LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
BY THE REVEREND
ANDREW DUNCANSON
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL AT AIRDRIE.
To which is added,
AN APPENDIX,
SELECTED FROM THE
EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE,
For JUNE, &C.
GLASGOW:
PRINTED BY DAVID NIVEN,
AND SOLD BY HIM, AND BRASH & REID, GLASGOW;J. OGLE,
EDINBURGH; A. ROSS, YOUNGEST, MERCHANT, ABERDEEN;
E. LESLIE, DUNDEE; G CALDWELL, PAISLEY;
W. WATSON, GREENOCK, &C.
1796.
(PRICE SIXPENCE.)
4
A
SERMON.
ISAIAH li. 9.
AWAKE, AWAKE, PUT ON STRENGTH, O ARM OF THE
LORD; AWAKE, AS IN THE ANCIENT DAYS, IN THE
GENERATIONS OF OLD.
WHEN we hear this familiar and fervent
addreſs, from the mouth of Iſaiah, a man of
unclean lips, and who dwelt among a people
of unclean lips, we are immediately led to
confider the reaſon of his importunity, and the
occafion on which the prayer was uttered.
Upon reading the hiſtory of thoſe kings, under
whoſe reign Iſaiah propheſied, we perceive,
that the glory of the Jewiſh nation was much
tarniſhed. By the ravages which the kings of
Aſſyria made on the kingdoms of Iſrael and
Judah, and the frequent incurlions which theſe;
kings made on each others territories, the Jews
were almoſt rooted out from being a nation.
Their ſituation was deplorable ; and they had
no proſpect of any recovery. The beauty of
the Lord's houſe was defaced, and much of
its riches given away, as prefents, to the plunderers
of the nation. Their armies were much
reduced, and the importance of the nation, in
the eyes of the world, was entirely ſunk. The
faithful of the land, could not behold this,
without deep regret. They law the Iſraelites
extirpated, and their habitations poſſeſſed by
foreigners. That Judah would long ſurvive,
they had no expectations: The Aſſyrians were
making rapid progreſs, and Hezekiah had already
ſubmitted to their tyranny. From what
quarter is Judah to expect relief? Her own
ſtrength, and pecuniary refources, afforded no
hope, and to truſt in treacherous allies, was
only taking a more effectual method to complete
her ruin. Iſaiah perceived, that all human
aid was vain. Painfully affected with
the diſtreſeſſing circumſtances into which the
people were brought ; affected with the more
calamitous events, which the aſpect: of affairs
foreboded ; diſclaiming all truſt in the arm of
fleſh, and deeply intereſted in the honour and
happineſs of the nation, he pours out, in the
moſt fervent manner, this prayer unto God,
" Awake, awake, put on ſtrength, O arm of
" the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in
" the generations of old."
God had given over interpoſing in Iſrael 's
behalf. To ſpeak with reverence, he was at
reſt, and unconcerned for the people of Judea.
He had done much for them; but, it now appeared,
as if he was reſolved to do no more.
Iſaiah was not inattentive, that the aid of the
divine arm was ſuſpended; he calls on God to
ariſe, to exert his power, and again interpoſe
for Iſrael, as he had done in former times.
" Awake, O arm of the LORD: Art thou not
" it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the
" Dragon ? Art thou not it, which hath dried
" the ſea, the waters of the great deep, that
" bath made the depths of the ſea a way for
" the ranſomed to paſs over?"
Having given you theſe remarks, illuſtrative
of Iſaiah's prayer, and the reaſon of his
importunity, I hope I ſhall be indulged, in accommodating
it to another fubject, and laying
it before you, as a ſuitable prayer unto God,
in behalf of the benighted Heathens. That
the ſituation of theſe people, has, at length,
called forth the attention and ſympathy of
Chriſtians, in theſe lands, is to you well
known. That the fcheme of fending the
gofpel to the Heathen, is ripe for execution,
is a circumflance that mull fill every heart
with joy, and add vigour to every arm engaged
in the attempt. But, my friends, there
is a particular circumſtance, to which, at this
time, I would call your attention, viz. That
divine aid is neceſſary to ſucceed the attempt.
It is on the arm of God, that the whole fuccefs
of the buſineſs depends. — Money may be collected
in ſuch abundance, that, like the contributions
for the tabernacle, there may be
far more than enough. Miſſionaries may be
found in ſuch numbers, that, like Gideon's army,
hundreds of them may not be needed ;
but all this, without divine influence, is plowing
the rock, and beating the air. " Paul may
"plant, and Apollos water, but God giveth
"the increafe." Your hopes of ſucceſs, are
not to be built on the extent of your pecuniary
ſupply—the number or wiſdom of the
miſſionaries—nor the favourable character of
the people to whom they are ſent; but on
the bleſſng of God, and his agency in your
behalf.
It is unneceſſary for me, to give you any
hiſtorical account, of the different miſſionary
ſocieties that are already formed; the circular
addreſſes, which have been diſperſed by each
of them, will give you information : Was the
ſubject new, or had you been prevented from
acquiring information otherwiſe, I would have
told you, by what means, this laudable undertaking
has advanced fo far; but ſuch is unneceſſary.
To all the different ſocieties in the
kingdom, inſtituted for the purpoſe of ſending
the goſpel to the Heathen, we with ſucceſs;
but it is in behoof of the London Miſſionary
Society, that we are this evening convened.
None are by any means to ſuppoſe, that there
are any intentions of oppoſition, to the pious
and benevolent exertions of the inhabitants of
this city; for, force who are desirous to contribute
their aſſiſtance to the ſociety in London,
are regular ſubſcribers to the fociety in Glaſgow;
and all the friends of the former, are, I
believe, zealous well-wiſhers to the ſucceſs of
the latter. But they conſider the former as deſerving
of their particular notice. By the zeal,
and early exertion of the members of that ſociety,
others have been ſtirred up to jealouſy.
By them much enquiry has been made, and
much fatigue endured, in preparing, and carrying
the ſcheme into effect; to them we are
indebted for much information, and much
comfortable religious inſtruction. Though,
then, we lend our aid to other ſocieties, and
exert ourſelves, as we are able, to promote
their ſucceſs; we ſhall not, I hope, be cenſured
in our partiality to that one, from which we
have derived ſo many advantages. I hope, I
ſhall be excuſed for this digreſſion from the
ſubject, in the entry of the diſcourſe.
What I have chiefly in view, in accommodating
the text to the ſubject of our prefent
exercife, is to perfuade you, that divine agency
is neceſſary, in carrying on this work, and
crowning it with ſucceſs; and that it is every
Chriſtian's duty, to intercede with God in its
behalf: I ſhall arrange the ſubject under the
following general obſervations.
I. The aid of divine power, is neceſſary to
the propagation of Chriſtianity.
II. Fervent prayer unto God, is one neceſſary
mean, to promote the propagation
of Chriſtianity. " Awake, awake,
put on ſtrength, O arm of the LORD."
III. God's powerful interpoſitions in behalf
of his people, in times paſt, are encouragements
to us, that he will yet diſplay
his power, and plead his own cauſe.
"Awake, as in the ancient days, in the
" generations of old."
IV. The deplorable condition of our fellow'
men, calls for our more fervent prayer
in their behalf. " Awake, awake, put
" on ſtrength, O arm of the LORD."
I proceed to illuſtrate theſe obſervations, in
the order they have now been expreffed.
I. The aid of divine power, is neceffary to
the propagation of Chriſtianity.
I. The nature of the work itſelf requires it.
It is a ſpiritual work, a combat " with prin"cipalities
and powers, with the rulers of the
"darkneſs of this world, and with ſpiritual
wickednefs in high places." For man to
contend with an arm of fleſh is a near matched
conflict, but to engage with the powers of
darkneſs, to unhinge their government, or
demoliſh their altars, are beyond human wiſdom
and ſtrength to achieve. The arm of the
LORD is alone ſufficient for the work ; that
arm, which has all the invisible world under
its controul; that arm which limits, or reſtrains
all the operations of the powers of darkneſs.
Before thefe numerous hoſts, weak man would
ſtand trembling and diſmayed, like the army
of lſrael before the camp of the Philiſtines ;
the god of this world, like Goliah, will defy
all the armies you can ſend againſt him and his
hoſt; but let our New Teſtament David make
bare his arm for war, exert his ſtrength and
ſkill, the champion of the infernal bands will
be ſlain, his ſubjects yield the conteſt, while
your miſſionaries, like the followers of David,
will take the ſpoil, ſhout, and rejoice in their
triumph, over the legions of darkneſs.
What wiſdom, or power, but that which is
of God, can diſpoſſeſs Satan of his authority
in the human heart? Human wiſdom has not
yet gained ſo far upon the civilized part of
mankind, as perſuade any of them, to renounce
the devil, the world, and the fleſh;
and, among Heathens, where Satan's ſway is
unlimited, who would boaſt of any degree of
ſucceſs without divine aid? When the apoſtles
went forth to convert the world to Chriſtianity,
and began to work miracles to confirm their
million, the people of Jeruſalem, were filled
with wonder, and amazement, when they ſaw
a man who had been lame from his mother's
womb, walking, and praiſing God: " Ye men
"of Iſrael," ſays Peter, " why marvel ye at
"this, or why look ye ſo earneſtly on us, as
"though we by our own power, and holineſs,
"had made this man to walk? The God of
"Abraham, of Iſaac, and of Jacob ; the God
"of our fathers hath glorified his Son Jeſus;
"and his name, through faith in his name,
"hath made this man ſtrong, whom ye ſee and
"know." Thus, is the power of God to be
made known in the converſion of the world to
Chriſtianity. It is a work as far beyond man's
power to accompliſh, as it is for him to call
light out of darkneſs, or compreſs the univerſe
within the compaſs of a ſpan. Divine wiſdom
is neceſſary to diſconcert Satan's devices : divine
power is neceſſary to counteract his influence.
Never was there ſuch a formidable
combination againſt the kingdom of darkneſs,
ſince the few fiſhermen of Galilee went forth
againſt it, under the banner of the croſs, than
what has lately been formed in theſe lands;
but the combinations of men cannot diſlodge
Satan of his poſſeſſions: the arm of the LORD
is alone competent for the work. But when
the attempts of men are accompanied with
divine aid, the potentates of darkneſs will flee
before them, the power of the dragon will be
broken, and fall like Dagon before the ark of
the living God.
2. The effects to be produced by the propagation
of Chriſtianity require divine aid. Men
are not only to be inſtructed in the peculiar
doctrines of revelation, but renewed in the
ſpirit of their minds, and to this, divine power
alone is competent.
To inſtruct the ignorant in the doctrines of
revelation, is, no doubt, to do them an eſſential
ſervice ; but the ſole object, for which we
would ſeek to ſend the goſpel to the Heathen,
is not gained. The dead muſt be made alive.
Darkneſs be made light. The unholy
muſt become pure. For this great object, our
weak means are inadequate; creating power
muſt again put forth his ſtrength, and raiſe a
new creation to himſelf, out of the rubbiſh of
a ruined race of mortals. " I will create in you
"a clean heart, and renew a right ſpirit within
"you." God is able of the ſtones to raiſe
up children to Abraham, and it requires the
ſame power, to revive the dead in treſpaſſes and
ſins.
'What avails the labour of the huſbandman, or
the liberality with which he throws the grain into
the ſurrow,without the bleſſing of the heavens
above? The ſeed may die, but without the influence
of the ſun, and the refreſhing droppings
of the clouds, it will not revive ; neither will
the labours of our miſſionaries among the Heathen
be productive of any fruit — without the
concurring aid of divine power. " Neither is
" he that planteth any thing, neither is he that
" watereth, but God that giveth the increafe."
Awake, awake, O arm of the LORD, raiſe
up a feed to ferve thee, to the lateſt poſterity,
and when the people are gathered together,
and the kingdoms to ſerve the Lord, this
ſhall be upon record, that the arm of the
Lord hath done this.
You behold at the pool, which was by the
ſheep-market at Jeruſalem, a number " of im"potent
folk, of blind, halt, and withered,
"waiting for the moving of the water ;" you
are inſtructed, that unleſs the angel of the
Lord deſcend and trouble the pool, they cannot
be healed of their diſeaſes ; conſider this,
as illuſtrative of the ſubject before us, and,
that without the bleſſing of heaven, without
powerful influences from above, notwithſtanding
all the means you uſe, the Heathen will
ſtill remain " poor, and miserable, wretched,
blind, and naked, without God, and without
hope in the world."
3. The aid of divine power is neceſſary to
the propagation of Chriſtianity, for men are
naturally unwilling to change their religion.
There are few attachments more ſtrong, than
that, which, at an early period of life, we form
for a particular profeſſion of religion. Here
the force of education goes very far, and
where prejudices have been early formed, and
of long continuance, it is difficult to root them
out. But this you will ſay, need not be the
caſe with the Heathen, and they may be eaſily
perfuaded, to abandon a ſyſtem of worſhip,
that is falſe and idolatrous. To this I would
anſwer; That, as they have been taught nothing
elſe, and always taught to confider their
mode of worſhip as proper, they have annexed
to it the fame claims to divine authority, in
their ſenſe of the phraſe, that we do to our
religion that is from above; conſequently, their
unwillingneſs to give it up, will be ſtrong, in
proportion to the prejudices they have formed
in its favour, and the veneration they have paid
to its authority and inſtitutions. For the Heathens
to change their gods, or abandon the
mode of their religious worfhip, is repreſented
by God himſelf, as a thing ſtrange, and unexpected,
or rather, what without his power
never took place ; for, when he reproves his
people for idolatry, he calls upon them to attend
to the conduct of all the nations from Eaſt to
Weſt, and they will not find a ſingle inſtance
of any nation changing their gods, except themfelves.
" Paſs over to the iſles of Chittim and
"ſee, ſend unto Kedar and conſider diligently,
and ſee if there be ſuch a thing; hath a na"tion
changed their gods, which are yet no
gods, but my people have changed their
" glory for that which loth not profit."
Beſides, thoſe Heathens with whom we have
inter course, entertain ſuch ſtrong prejudices
againſt Chriſtianity, that, with many of them,
the very mention of it irritates their enmity and
revenge. Thoſe profeſſors of Chriftianity, who
have viſited Heathen lands, have been guilty
of ſuch cruelty and injuſtice, that the people
have imagined, that their wickedneſs was peculiar
to their ſyſtem of worſhip. It would
require the moſt extenfive piety and prudence,
to perſuade them to the contrary, and much
more, to influence them, to embrace the fame
profeſſion of religion.*
By the gloomy, the mercileſs diſpoſitions of the Spaniſh
conquerors of South America, the very name of Spaniard belightening
influences of the Spirit are ſufficient
to turn them from darkneſs to light, and from
the power of Satan unto God. Nothing but the
power of God could perſuade even Saul, who
was acquainted with the ſcriptures, to become
a Chriflian. What then is to be expected of
thofe, who have been always habituated to a
falfe mode of worſhip, and are total ſtrangers
to the God that made them?
Though we are not to expect the ſame
miraculous atteſtations to the labours of our
miſſionaries, that attended the miniſtry of the
apoſtles, we are not to expect ſucceſs by them,
without atteſtations of the ſame nature, and
came an object of execration to the helpleſs victims of their
inſatiable fury One of the chiefs of the iſland of Cuba, named
Hatway, who had, by uncommon reſolution, defended the liberties
of his country, having been overcome, and taken priſoner,
was condemned to he burned alive As the unhappy
prince, in conſequence of the doom thus cruelly and unjuſtly
awarded againft him, advanced to the fatal ſtake at which he
was to expire, a miſſionary exhorted him to embrace Chriſtianity,
and aſſured him, that, by this change of his religion, he
would be admitted into paradiſe. " In this paradiſe, of which
you ſo much boaſt., are there any Spaniards?" demanded the
chief. " Doubtleſs there are," replied the miſſionary: " None
however, but good ones can enter it." " Worthleſs are the
beſt of them," returned Hatway: " On no account will I
agree to go into a place where I ſhall be in danger of meeting
with an individual of the Spaniſh race No more then of
your religion !—Let me die !"
tendency. The Spirit of God muſt work,
and " call down imaginations, and every high
" thing that exalteth itfelf againft the know"
ledge of God ;" and unlefs this be the cafe,
our preaching is vain, and their hearing is alſo
vain. If the mere perſuaſion of man is unable
to influence ſome profeſſed friends to
Chriſtianity, to renounce the devil, the world,
and the fleſh, it muſt be much more difficult
to affect thoſe, who are total ſtrangers to the
covenants of promiſe. All the means that
are uſed, are, without divine aid, as unfit for
the purpoſe, as the means which Joſhua uſed,
for battering down the walls of Jericho. Would
any have expected, that any great exploit was
to be done, by the blowing of the trumpets of
rams horns? This, the ſole mean uſed for the
beſieging of the city, might, to the engarriſoned
inhabitants, appear an unmeaning Ceremony,
or an object of ridicule ; but, when they had
encompaſſed the city ſeven times, on the ſeventh
day, at the founding of the trumpets of
rams horns, the wails of the city fell flat to
the ground. This was an inſtance of divine
power attending means, that were, of themſelves,
inſufficient for the work. Such aid we
muſt look for, ſuch aid we muſt earneſtly
expect, if we deſire that ſucceſs attend our
miffion to the Heathen. Will theſe people
open their cities, or temples, to ſtrangers ?
Will they allow their religion to be reproached,
or their altars profaned, by the introduction of
a new mode of worſhip? No, they will refill
the attempt, and they will ſucceed in refilling
it, unleſs the arm of God controul them, and
lead them captive to Chriſt. But let the great
trumpet be blown, and at his word, which nothing
can reſiſt, like the walls of Jericho, when
the prieſts founded, their ſtrong holds of idolatry
will tumble down, at the founding of the
prieſts under our New Teſtament Jofhua.
"Then it ſhall come to pads, that ten men
"ſhall take hold out of all languages of the
"nations, even ſhall take hold of the ſkirt of
"him that is a Jew," a worſhipper of the true
God, "ſaying, we will go with you, for we
have heard that God is with you."
4. The Chriſtian religion is oppoſite to the
corrupted taſte and opinions of men, and divine
aid is neceſſary, to render efficacious the
inſtructions, which men receive, to embrace it.
Take a view of mankind, in theſe lands,
where the goſpel has long been enjoyed, and
you will find many totally void of religion,
and ridiculing its inſtitutions. Even among
thoſe who profefs to reſpectreligion, you will
find many, who, in their hearts, object againſt
ſome of the moſt falutary inſtructions of the
word of God. They conceive, that in ſome
things it is calculated to prevent the happineſs
of man, and were ſome of the reftraints which
it lays upon them removed, revelation would
be more acceptable, and the Chriſtian religion
more palatable to the talk of mankind at large.
From what ariſes either the open contempt
which men ſhew to religion, or the inward
diſcontent which ſome of its profeſſed friends
entertain againſt it, but from its direct oppofition
to their corrupted taſte and opinion ? It
bridles every unruly luſt. It checks and reproves
every perverſe diſpofition. It reprobates
every vicious practice. Like its great Author,
it is holy, juſt, and good; but men are carnal;
ſenſual, deviliſh. Allow them the gratification
of every unhallowed deſire; allow them every
indulgence in opinion and in practice; allow
them to roll ſin as a ſweet morſel under their
tongue, and againſt your ſyſtem of religion no
charge of ſeverity will be produced; but publiſh
the whole counſel of God, and they reply
"Lord, we know, that thou art an hard man,
reaping where thou haſt not fown, and ga"thering,
where thou haſt not ſtrawed." Now,
if this be the caſe with many who admit this
revelation to be from God, and the Chriſtian
religion to be from heaven, what oppoſition
is to be expected from thoſe who are total
ſtrangers to the true God, and to the only
rule of faith and manners? Shall it be expected,
that they who are given up to every cruelty
and vice, and to work all uncleannefs with
greedineſs, will embrace a religion which
ſtrikes directly againſt the whole of their practice,
and natural propenſities, that have never
been curbed by any law? Their taſte and opinions
are not only in favour of idolatry, but
of vices which diſgrace humanity and religion;
thefe have been confirmed by habit, and general
practice; and ſhall it be expected, that they
who are thus inured to vice, will, through the
mere perſuaſions of men, learn to do well? Is it
not natural to ſuppoſe, that, till they experience
greater pleaſure in religion than they receive
from the practice of fin, that they will fill
continue in their courfe of wickedneſs? Man
cannot confer this enjoyment, neither can he
effectually perſuade others to believe, that the
pleafures of religion ſurpaſs all others: In this
work, the help of God is neceſſary, for in his
hands are the hearts of all men: " Awake,
"awake, put on ſtrength, O arm of the
"LORD"
When the Chriſtian religion is fo oppoſite to
the corrupted taſte and opinions of men; and
when the Heathens are inclined to follow, without
reſtraint, the indulgence of every wickedneſs,
and, no doubt, to refill with firmnefs
every attempt that is made to reclaim them,
divine aid is neceſſarv, to render ſucceſsful our
endeavours to enlighten them. Under divine
aid, the ſtout-hearted, and far from righteouſneſs,
the ſimple, the fool, and the ſcorner, will
yield to the meſſengers of the Moll High; they
will bow before the living God, and ſay, " Be"hold
we come unto thee, for thou art the
"Lord our God."
5. The aid of divine power is neceſſary to
the propagation of Chriſtianity; for, agreeable
to the views of men, the preaching of Chriſt
crucified is not calculated to gain followers.
This doctrine was to the Jews a ſtumbling
block, and to the Greeks fooliſhneſs ; if by
theſe two nations it was treated with contempt,
the only two nations under heaven who could
then be expected, either from their religious
inſtitutions, or their learning, to underſtand
the ſcriptures; what is to be expected of thoſe
whole minds are ſtill totally blinded by the god
of this world? Can you expect, that men will
become the followers of him who was crucified
in ignominy and diſgrace? Will men content
to put themſelves under the government
of one who was put to death ſo many hundred
years ago? To this, the perſuaſions of
men cannot influence them ; but, JEHOVAH
tells us how they will ſubmit, " Not by might,
nor by power, but by my Spirit, faith the
"LORD."
The death of Chriſt had ſo ſhaken the faith
of the diſciples themſelves, that they doubted
of his accompliſhing the redemption of Iſrael.
"We truſted, that it had been he who ſhould
"have redeemed Iſrael; and beſides all this, to
"day is the third day ſince theſe things were
"done." If to theſe men the death of their
Maſter was an unfavourable circumſtance, what
can be expected of thoſe who were never prepared
for the Chriſtian diſpenſation, either by
prophecy, or the nature of their religious inſtitutions
? The preaching of Chriſt crucified,
inſtead of commanding their belief, or gainng
eſteem., will inflame their jealouſy, and
increaſe their doubts; and, as miracles are not
to be expected, even the producing of the
facred oracles will create ſuſpicions of their
authenticity. What then is to be done? Will
the work fail? Or will the miſſionaries have no
powerful atteſtation to the truth, that Chriſt
crucified is the power and the wiſdom of God?
Under divine aid, the work will not fail; and,
we hope, the miſſionaries will have credentials of
their million, in the hearts of the people, " writ"ten
not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living
"God." Without divine influence, the humble
doctrine of Chriſt crucified, will be treated
with contempt; but attended with divine influence,
that doctrine, which is the ſubſtance and
glory of Chriſtianity, " will make the dumb to
"ſing, and the lame man to leap as an hart."
Turn your eyes to the land of Midian, there
you behold Jethro's ſhepherd, with his crook
in his hand, repairing to Egypt, to combat the
hoſt of Pharaoh, and ſet a nation of priſoners
free. To a man ignorant on whole commiſlion
he went, the ſcheme was ridiculous and abſurd.
But that fame crook made the whole
Egyptian nation to tremble; collected round it
a vaſt people, at the head of whom the ſon of
Amram marched out of the kingdom, bearing
before them the inſtrument and enſign of their
triumph. In him you behold a figure of your
miſſionaries, ſent to ſubdue the world unto
Chriſt. Their perfons and their meſſage may
be treated with contempt, by the wife, and by
the great, as unfit inſtruments to reſcue the
Heathen world from darkneſs; but under the
banner of God, they will make the man of
fin to tremble, put the dragon and his hoſt to
defiance. " One ſhall chaſe a thouſand, and
"two put ten thouſand to flight." You behold
Jeſus himſelf ridiculed, and his croſs made
an object of contempt; men did not ſee in the
humbled Jeſus the glory and honour neceſſarily
attached to his character; they confidered
him, when carrying his croſs to Calvary, as a
miſerable malefactor, bearing, to the place of
execution, the inſtruments of death ; but JEHOVAH,
and the elect of God, beheld the
Captain of ſalvation aſcending an eminence,
to erect the ſtandard of his kingdom. " Ho"ſanna
to the Son of David: bleſſed is he that
"cometh in the name of the Lord, Hoſanna
"in the higheſt."
I now proceed to obſerve,
II. That fervent prayer unto God, is one
neceſſary mean to promote the propagation of
Chriſtianity.
The prophet prays earneffly, that God would
arife for the help of his people, and recover
them from the power of their enemies :
"Awake, awake, put on ſtrength, O arm of
"the LORD:" The work was of leſs importance,
and attended with lefs difficulty, than
is the converſion of the world to Chriſtianity ;
much more, in the preſent caſe, is fervent prayer
unto God neceſſary. To go forth in the cauſe
of God, againſt millions of oppoſers from
earth and hell, without ſeeking divine counſel
and direction, is preſumption in the extreme.
Violent oppoſition is expected from the powers
of darkneſs, and the paſſions of men; fafety
and ſucceſs are ſecured only by God, and to
him our applications ought to be frequent, fervent,
and sincere. If the work is of God, he
will pour into every heart, engaged in it, the
ſpirit of grace and ſupplication; but if it be of
man, it will come to nought.
"Acknowledge him in all thy ways, and he
"will direct thy ſteps." Behold Amalek contending
with Iſrael in Rephidim; thoſe uncircumciſed
people ſhall ſurely ſoon be diſcomfited
before the people of the Lord — No — Iſrael was
in danger of being put to the worſe; but Moſes
prayed till the going down of the ſun, and
Amalek was diſcomfited. Like Aaron and Hur,
with Moſes on Horeb, we muſt, if we would
ſucceed, ſtrengthen one anothers hands in fervent
prayer unto God. " O God, how long
"ſhall the adverfary reproach, than the enemy
"blaſpheme thy name for ever? Have reſpect
"unto the covenant, for the dark places of the
"earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.
"Ariſe, O God, plead thine own cauſe.
"Awake, awake, O arm of the LORD; awake,
"as in the ancient days, in the generations of
"old."
The means that have already been uſed have
met with ſucceſs far beyond expectation. Much
money has been collected. — A considerable
number of miſſionaries have preſented themſelves,
and every thing is now ready for carrying
the plan into execution.*
The London fociety is already provided with 3o million--
arks, and their funds amount to more than £10,000.
But have our
applications to God kept pace with our other
exertions? Alas, if we have conſidered all probable
human means fufficient, our labour is in
vain; we fpend our ftrength for nought, and
our money for that which profiteth not. Having
ſo many promifes and predictions, reſpecting
the converſion of the Gentiles, which are plain

inſtructions to our duty, who, that is concerned
for the glory of God, and the happineſs
of men, will reſtrain prayer ? "My
"bowels, my bowels, I am pained at my very
"heart, my heart maketh a noiſe in me, I can"not
hold my peace."
We flatter ourfelves the work is of God
from the comfortable effects it has already produced.
The hearts of men are enlarged in
praying for its ſucceſs. It is an obſervation
that has often been made, That when God intends
to bellow a bleſſing, he enlarges the
heart to pray for it. That a ſpirit of prayer,
for the converſion of the Heathen, is now
poured out, is well known to you all. How
beautiful are the fruits of true benevolence,
when allowed to grow unhurt by human artifice,
or unſkilful culture? -- mankind are cemented
— the worſhippers in different temples
join in one ſociety; and with one heart, and
one mind, bow before the God of heaven, mutually
intereſted in this moſt important work.—
Auſpicious dawn of a more illumined period of
peace and brotherly love.— Let the example
affect your hearts ; -- let it be a token to you
for good, that you are encouraged to pray for
ſucceſs to the miſſionary ſocieties. Ye have
heard that Chriſtians of different denominations
frequently meet for prayer in the metropolis
of the neighbouring kingdom. Ye
have heard what concord prevails, and what
pleaſure their devotional exercifes afford them.
— But you have an example of the fame kind
before your eyes, which ought to ſtir you up
to fervent prayer in behalf of the Heathen
who arc vet in darkneſs, and dwelling in the
region of the ſhadow of death. You ſee in
this city miniſters and private Chriſtians of
different denominations, uniting in prayer
and fupplication for the divine bleſſing, to attend
this laudable attempt. You ſee theſe
men intereſted in the cauſe of God; men who
have not learned their divinity, merely in the
ſchools of their ſectaries, but at the feet of
Jefus of Nazareth, breathing love to one another,
compaſſion and kindneſs to their fellow--
men. The benevolence of the goſpel expands
their ſouls — they are not merely attached to the
ſociety to which they belong—their hearts now
encompaſs the globe, and with the molt glowing
and ardent defire for the ſalvation of men, they
raiſe their voices in fupplication and prayer
to thethrone of God. This is one neceſſary
mean to the propagatian of Chriſtianity
Awake, awake, put on ſtrength, O arm of the
" LORD."
III. God's powerful interpoſitions in behalf
of his people, in times paſt, are encouragements
to us, that he will yet diſplay his power,
and plead his own cauſe. " Awake, as in
"the ancient days, in the generations of old."
Behold Iſrael in the moil wretched circumfiances
in Egypt; depreſſed and ſuffering under
the moſt cruel tyranny; incapable of a ſucceſsful
revolt from the power of their oppreſſors.—
Is all hope concerning them cut off? — Are
they doomed to perpetual wretchednefs and
ſlavery ? No — God has appointed its hounds
that they cannot paſs. — He has limited the
period of their ſorrow. — The time draws nigh
for their deliverance. — The heavens ſmile on
the land of Goſhen; and in the deſert of Midian,
by the mount of Horeb, the proclamation
of their releaſe is publiſhed. " I have ſurely
"ſeen the affliction of my people, I have
"heard their cry, I know their ſorrows, and
"am come down to deliver them." With a
ſtrong hand, and a ſtretched out arm, he delivered
them ; he diſplayed his great power,
and reigned over all them who fought to lead
them captive.
Turn your eyes to the wilderneſs and the
ſolitary place, you behold millions of your
fellow-mortals in the moll wretched fervitude
to the devil, the world, and the fleſh; incapable
of caſting off the yoke, or of burſting the
bands of their confinement afunder. Behold
the aſpect of Providence towards thoſe darkened
nations; is it not favourable and kind? —
Hear the voice of Providence; is it not uttering
the ſame language? " I have ſeen, I have ſeen
"the affliction of my people, and am come
"down to deliver them. The wilderneſs and
"the ſolitary place ſhall be glad, the deſert ſhall
"rejoice and bloſſom as the roſe ; in the wil"derneſs
ſhall waters break out, and ſtreams in
"the deſert; the parched ground ſhall become
"a pool, and the dry land ſprings of water."
Say to them, " Ariſe, ſhine, for thy light is
come, and the glory of the Lord is riſen
upon thee:" Go to this ſpiritual Egypt,
proclaim, and fay, " I AM hath ſent me unto
you." Gather the people from every corner
of the land, and conduct them ſafely through
this wilderneſs to the land of promiſe.
To bring into view the many diſplays of
divine power in behalf of Iſrael, their number
and greatneſs exceed our knowledge and calculation;
but they are all encouraging unto us,
that he will yet ariſe and plead his own
cauſe.
Behold his operations among the Heathen
in the days of the apoſtles; by their unwearied
labours, Chriſtianity was ſpread over a confiderable
part of the world: Their ſound reached
to the world's end ; and, " God bare them
"witneſs with ſigns, and wonders, and with
"divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghoſt."
Such a teſtimony to our miſſion among the
Heathen we do not expect; but when God
has ſo powerfully favoured the cauſe in times
paſt, we are encouraged to hope, that his arm
will put on ſtrength, as in ancient days, that
he will yet ariſe and plead his own cauſe. We
go forth, in this cauſe, in the name of the
living God, the Lord of hoſts; and let what
be has already done ſtimulate us to perfevere
in our exertions, till he make his name a praife
in the earth. How unlikely was it, that Ifrael
would have been reftored to the pleafant land, or
again have worſhipped the Lord, in his holy
mount at Jerufalem ? How unlikely, that they
would ever have repaired the ancient city, or
rebuilt a temple to the Lord ? But " ſtronger
was he that was for them, than all they that
were againſt them." Go, Pays he, to
gai, and encourage Zerubbabel, Joſhua, and all
the people to work, " for I am with you, ſaith
"the Lord of hoſts." This, with other powerfill
interpofitions, encourage us to hope, that
he will awake, as in ancient days, and come to
our help, in fending the gofpel of falvation to the
Gentiles. Ye, my friends, are called to build
a temple to the Lord in a foreign land; be
rong and work. The ſilver and the gold are
his; from the treaures of the benevolent ye
will have a rich ſupply. The hearts of all
men are in his hand ; he can furniſh you
with miſſionaries to bear his name among
the Gentiles.
IV. The deplorable condition of our fellowmen
calls for our more ſervent prayers in their
behalf. " Awake, awake, put on ſtrength, 0
"arm of the LORD."
The prophet, affected with the condition of
his people, with great earneſtneſs of mind, repeats
his prayer : " Awake, awake, put on
"ſtrength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in
"the ancient days, in the generations of old."-
"For Zion's fake I will not reſt, and for Jeru"ſalem's
fake I will not hold my peace, until
"the righteouſneſs thereof go forth as bright"neſs,
and the ſalvation thereof like a lamp
"that burneth."
The Heathen are repreſented as ſitting in
darkneſs, and dwelling in the region of the ſhadow
of death; and if we are ſuſceptible of the
feelings of humanity, we muſt exert ourſelves
for their relief. Ye are ignorant of their
wretchedneſs, for ye have never known that
Rate to which, through a lapſe of ages, they
have been reduced. — Your lines have fallen in
pleaſant places — By you the voice of ſalvation
is heard — The day has dawned, and the glory
of the Lord ariſen upon you. But turn your
eyes to thoſe regions of darkneſs, you fee
millions of precious ſouls totally ignorant of
the true God, aliens from the commonwealth
of Iſrael, and ſtrangers to the covenants of promiſe
— Ignorant of the God that made them,
and of the worſhip that is due to him. Idolatry
is all the divine ſervice they are acquainted
with, and vice, which that idolatry patroniſes,
is all the happineſs they purfue. Can you enjoy
the benefits of redemption; can you exerciſe
the hope of eternal life, and be indifferent to
their condition ? No, if the love of God is ſhed
abroad in your hearts, by the Holy Ghoſt, you
will fervently pray, that God would ſtir up his
ſtrength and his might, and come and ſave
them. There is no ſalvation for them but in
Chriſt; all who call upon the Lord, and believe
in him ſhall be ſaved; " but how ſhall they
call on him, in whom they have not be"lieved,
how ſhall they believe on him, of
"whom they have not heard, how ſhall they
"hear without a preacher, and how ſhall they
preach except they be ſent?" Let this awaken
you to intercede with God in their behalf, and
to perſevere in prayer, until "the Spirit be
poured upon them from on high, and the
"wilderneſs become a fruitful field, and the
"fruitful field be counted for a foreſt." God
hath promifed, " to lift up his hand to the
"Gentiles, and ſet up his ſtandard to the peo"ple."
He hath given Chriſt a light to "the
"Gentiles, that he may be his ſalvation to
"the ends of the earth." If you have any
confidence in the divine promiſe; if you are
concerned for the ſalvation of mankind; if you
are intereſted in the honour of Chriſt, and the
glory of his kingdom, you will pray without
ceaſing, you will allow yourſelves no reſt, until
you find, in theſe nations of idolatry, a place
for the ark of the living God to reſt in. That
man has not yet known the value of a foul
who is not affected with the deplorable condition
of the Heathen, and praying unto God
for their deliverance. Let your ſouls, as on
eagles wings, aſend to the throne of grace,
and ſurveying, from their exalted ſtation, the
deplorable condition of the Heathen world, you
cannot leave the mercy-ſeat till you obtain for
them a releaſe.
I ſhall now conclude the diſcourſe, and again
put you in mind,
That without God we can do nothing. " Ex"cept
the Lord build the houſe, they labour in
"vain that build it; except the Lord keep the
"city, the watchman waketh but in vain."
Except the Lord diſplay his power, all the exertions
of men are vain. Except the Spirit of
the Lord go forth, as a ſpirit of counſel and
of might, of underſtanding and of the fear of
the Lord, all the wiſdom which this age of
ſcience can produce, all the riches which the
Eaſt or Weſt can furniſh, will prove ineffectual
means. " Awake, awake, O arm of the LORD;
"awake, and put on ſtrength, as in the ancient
days, in the generations of old; for without
thee we can do nothing."
2. I would exhort you to make a proper
improvement of the zeal which in theſe days
has been ſtirred up.
All who have intereſted themſelves in the
glorious undertaking of ſending the goſpel to
the Heathen, and whofe hearts the Lord bath
opened to know the riches of divine grace,
have experienced much of the joys of religion.
While they have looked with earneſt and
longing expectation, for the riſing of the Sun
of righteouſneſs, on the benighted world of
Heathens, he has rifen upon themſelves.—
They have felt his comforting influences. Religion
has been revived in them, and the benevolence
of Chriſtianity has rewarded it ,if in
the hearts of thoſe who have exerciſed it. Who
have not been animated in their devotions,
while contemplating the riches of ſovereign
grace toward man ? What ſoul has not been
elevated to heaven, in the joyful proſpect of
beholding a numerous race of Pagans flocking
to the ſtandard of Chriſtianity, and joining the
tribes of God to afcend the hill of Zion? What
heart is not affected with the thought, that fo
many are zealouſly engaged in the behalf of
millions of thoughtleſs creatures, who are, at
this moment, ignorant of the aſylum of mercy
that is rearing for them ? Ignorant that theſe
hearts glow with affecſion for their welfare —
ignorant that the tear of ſenſibility and companion
has been ſhed for them — ignorant that
a whole nation of ſaints is moved, under the
reſolution of ſending to them the tidings of
ſalvation.
Ye, we hope, are not ſtrangers to that zeal,
which, in theſe days, has been experienced.
Preferve your zeal in exerciſe. Communicate
it to all your brethren in Chriſt. Kindle it up
in the hearts of the riſing hopes of our Iſrael,
that, if Providence does not complete any part
of the glorious purpoſe in your day, your children
may riſe up to proſecute it after ye are
gone; and thus, from generation to generation,
it will be kept in view, till the end is at laſt
obtained. Perhaps it may be left to the generation
that is to ſucceed, in times of greater
peace, as in the days of David's ſon, to build
this temple to the Lord God of Iſrael. In the
mean time, do ye ſtrengthen each other's
hands, and encourage each other's hearts, in
the work of the Lord. Your own perſonal
advantage will be promoted, the religion of
your family will flouriſh, and the vineyard of
the Lord, in theſe lands, will appear indeed as
the garden of the Lord, diſplaying to advantage
the beauties and the fruits of holineſs.
3. I would encourage you to hope, from
the divine promiſes, that all nations will be
turned unto God. This event ſhall take place
whether the preſent attempts be ſucceſsful or
not. " The kingdoms of this world, ſhall become
the kingdoms of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt.
" Heaven and earth may pats away, but God's
" word cannot fail. Hath he ſaid it, and will
" he not do it, he hath fpoken, and will he
" not make it good? — The wilderneſs and the
" ſolitary place ſhall be glad for them ; the
deſert ſhall rejoice and bloſſom as the roſe.
" Behold, your God ſhall come with vengeance,
" even God with a recompenſe, he will come
" and ſave you: Then the eyes of the blind
" ſhall be opened, and the ears of the deaf ſhall
" be unſtopped: Then ſhall the lame man leap
" as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb ſing;
" for in the wildernefs ſhall waters break out,
" and ſtreams in the deſert: The parched ground
" ſhall become a pool, and dry land fprings of
" water. I the Lord have called thee in
" righteouſneſs, and will hold thine hand, and
" will keep thee, and will give thee for a co"venant
of the people, for a light unto the
" Gentiles, to open the blind eyes, to bring out
" the prifoners from the priſon, and them that
" fit in darkneſs out of the priſon houſe. —
" Sing, O barren, thou that didſt not bear; break
" forth into ſinging, and cry aloud, thou that
" didſt not travail with child; for more are the
" children of the deſolate, than of the married
" wife, ſaith the Lord." Do not theſe promiſes
encourage you to look forward with certainty,
that the bleſſed day hall arrive, when
God ſhall be one, and his name one over all the
earth? You look forward, in hope, that its
dawn is at hand — that the ſhadows are diſperſing
---- that divine love is now preparing an
high-way in the deſert, for the illuſtrious diſpenſations
of grace.
Can there be a more fublime object preſented
to your view, than Jeſus, the preacher of righteouſneſs,
ſtationed on the top of a mountain for
his pulpit, as if all creation was to form the
auguſt auditory, and every nation Ellen to his
voice? — He uttered his voice .— The ſound has
reached our ears.—It is ſtill extending, and will
extend, till the iſles of the ſea, and the nations
of the Gentiles ſubmit to his law. Canaan was
not all his kingdom, nor the tribes of Iſrael,
collected in a temple, the ſole ſubject of his
government. — He looked beyond the confines of
Judea, and beheld princes coming out of Egypt,
and Ethiopia ſretching out her hands unto
God. He beheld his kingdom extending from
fea to fea, and from the river to the ends of the
earth. He beheld them that dwell in the wilderneſs
bowing before him, and his enemies
licking the duſt. He beheld the kings of Tarſhiſh
and the ides bringing preſents, the kings
of Sheba and Seba offering gifts; kings falling
down before him, and all nations ſerving him,
"His name ſhall endure for ever; his name
"ſhall be continued as long as the ſun : men
"ſhall be bleſſed in him, and all nations ſhall
" call him bleffed. Bleſſed be the Lord God,
" the God of lſrael, who only doth wondrous
things: And bleſſed be his glorious name for
" ever; and let the whole earth be filled with
" his glory: Amen, and amen."
4. I now call upon all the people of God to
unite in this glorious undertaking.
Who is upon the Lord's fide? To whatever
branch of Chriſt's family he belongs, let him.
now ſtand forth to the help of the Lord againſt
the mighty. It is not the cauſe of a party
you are called to promote: It is the cauſe of
cod. It is the preſent and eternal good of
your fellow-men. All the articles, concerning
which you differ, ought not to ſlacken your
hands in a work concerning which you are all
agreed. Do not the Heathen need the goſpel? Is
it not in your power to ſend it to them? Ought
you not to make the attempt ? Does difference
in your religious profeſſion prevent you from
uniting in fupport of the fame charitable inſtitution
? I hope not; will it prevent you from
a more laudable work, the preaching of falvation
to periſhing ſouls, and erecting, for the
miferable, inflitutions of mercy? If it does, be
ſuſpicious that the benevolence of Chrifflanity
has not yet tempered your minds; your love is
confined to a principle and a party, which is inconſiſtent
with the nature of the religion of
jefus. You can unite in ſupplicating heaven
for a bleſſing on your common food; you can
unite in the houſe of mourning, in ſupplicating
heaven for a recovery of the diſtreſſed; and,
what proportion is there betwixt theſe exerciſes,
and this laudable attempt to reſcue millions of
creatures from perdition? Who is there, that is
actuated by pure love to Chriſt and the ſouls of
men, that dare be ſhackled by party prejudice
from putting his hand to the Lord's work ?
Who will venture to ſav, that his boſom glows
with love to the ſouls of men, if he confine his
attachments and exertions within the circle of
a party? Diſentangle yourſelves from theſe fetters,
and burſt theſe bands aſunder.
They that are fent forth to enlighten the Heathen,
go not to propagate the cauſe of a party
but the cauſe of God. They go not to impoſe
on men the peculiar opinions of any denomination,
but to inſtruct them in the oracles of
God. They carry not with them the teſtimony
of a ſect, but " the teſtimony of Jeſus," and
" the record of God, which is, that he giveth
cc unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."
I proclaim then unto you, what Moſes proclaimed
to all the tribes of Iſrael, when he
commanded them to contribute for the erecting
of the tabernacle: All ye tribes of Iſrael, " This
"is the thing which the Lord commanded,
"ſaying, Take ye from amongſt you an offer"ing
unto the Lord; whoſoever is of a willing
"heart, let him bring it, an offering of the
"Lord; gold, and ſilver, and braſs." I alſo
proclaim in the words of Moſes, to thole whom
the Lord hath prepared as miſſionaries for the
work; out of all the tribes of our Iſrael, " E"very
wiſe-hearted among you, ſhall come and
"make all that the Lord bath commanded."
Who, that is intereſted in the cauſe of God,
will loſe this opportunity of ſhowing his zeal
for it? Who will not come forward and throw
into the Lord's treaſury for the building of his
temple? Who will not unite in earneſt fupplications
unto God, " Awake, awake, put on
"ſtrength, O arm of the Lord ; awake, as in
"the ancient days, in the generations of old?"
Go on ye who have engaged in this work; go
on in the ſtrength of God, and if you have not
the happinefs of beholding it profper in y our day,
you have the bleffed aſſurance that it will proſper,
and that the gates of hell ſhall not prevail
againſt it. You have the bleſſed aſſurance, that
the rod out of the ſtem of Jeſſe, and the branch
out of his roots, ſhall be exalted on the tops of
the higheſt mountains — be beheld by all, and
there ſtand an enfign of the people, to which
the Gentiles from all quarters of the world ſhall
repair. Bleſſed, bleſſed are ye, if ye ſhall be
the remote inſtruments of turning many to
righteouſneſs: " Ye ſhall ſhine as the bright"neſs
of the firmament, and as the ſtars for"ever
and ever."—" In that day ſhall ye ſay,
"praiſe ye the Lord, call upon his name, de"clare
his doings among the people, make
mention that his name is exalted: Sing unto
"the Lord, for he path done excellent things;
"this is known in all the earth. Cry out and
"ſhout thou inhabitant of Zion, for great is
"the Holy One of Iſrael in the midſt of
"thee."
"HALLELUIAH, HALLELUIAH, THE
"LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNETH."
APPENDIX.
AS ſo many thouſands of God's people feel themſelves deeply
intereſted in the profperity of the Miſſionary Society, we
efteem it our duty to communicate to our readers a circumſtantial
account of the public ſervices, and other proceedings of that body,
at their FIRST ANNUAL MEETING, which was held at London, on
Wednefday, Thurfday, and Friday, the 11th, 12th, and 13th of
laſt month.
We recoiled, with ſatisfaction and thankfulneſs, the general
pleaſure which was diffuſed throughout the kingdom, by the large
account we preſented of the meetings held in September laſt, when
the foundation of this noble work was laid ; and we truſt that our
readers will derive no leſs delight from the following particulars
reſpecting the riſing edifice, which becomes, every day, an object of
increaſing magnitude and attention.
TABERNACLE.
THE firſt public devotional fervice was held at the Tabernacle;
on Wedneſday morning, and commenced by ſinging the 24th Hymn
of the Miſſionary Collection, which was read by the Rev. Mr.
Mark, of Weathersfield, in Eſſex. Solemn prayers, imploring the
Lord's preſence and direction, was then offered up by the Rev.
Mr. Barker, of Deptford ; who alſo read the 49th chapter of Iſaiah.
This was followed by the 14th Hymn, which was given out by the
Rev. Mr. Gilbert, of Heathfield, Suſſex. The Rev. Mr. Bodes,
of Hanley, offered up the general prayer. The 8th Hymn was
read by the Rev. Mr. Buck, of Sheerneſs; which was ſucceeded by
the Sermon, preached by the Rev. Mr. Lambert of Hull, in Yorkſhire,
from Iſaiah, xix. 23, 24, and 25th verſes. " In that day
ſhall there be a highway out of Egypt to Aſſyria ; and the Aſſyrian
ſhall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Aſſyria, and the
Egyptian ſhall ſerve with the Aſſyrians. — In that day ſhall Iſrael
be the third with Egypt and with Aſſyria, even a bleſſing in the
midſt of the land: Whom the Lord of hoſts ſhall bleſs, ſaying,
Bleſſed be Egypt, my people, and Aſſyria the work of my hands,
and Iſrael mine inheritance." After Sermon, the 5th Hymn was
given out by the Rev. Mr. Cottam, of Briftol Hot-wells: and the
Rev. Mr. Gardner, of Cambridge, concluded the ſervice prayer .
SPA FIELDS CHAPEL.
THE general meeting of the ſubſcribers and friends to this Inſtitution,
was held in this commodious and elegant place of worſhip,
at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The buſineſs was preceded by a
Hymn to the Holy Spirit, taken from the Rev. Mr. Whitefield's
collection. The Rev. Mr. Rogue, of Goſpolt, was voted into the
chair, who prayed for the Lord's gracious prefence. The original
PLAN of the Society, was read by Mr. Shrubſole, one of the Secretaries;
and a large REPORT of the proceedings of the Directors,
from the commencement of the Society to that day, was read by
the Rev. Mr Love, the other Secretary: this Report obtained the
univerſal approbation of the company, and a vote of thanks was
paſſed to the Directors for their zeal and aſſiduity in forwarding the
important buſineſs of the Society.
From the Report, juſt mentioned, it plainly appeared to the Members
preſent., that the Miſſionaries, intended to be ſent to Otaheite,
and other Iſlands of the South Seas, cannot be conveyed, with any
propriety (if at all) except in a veſſel belonging to the Society:
The following important reſolution, which had been previouſly and
maturely conſidered by the Directors, was paſſed with perfect
unanimity —
" That a Miſſion be undertaken to Otaheite, the friendly Iſlands,
the Marqueſes, and the Pelew Iſlands, in a ſhip belonging to the
Society, to be commanded by Captain Wilſon, as far as may be
practicable and expedient."
The idea of the great expence attending the purchaſe and employment
of a Ship ſolely for the conveyance of Miſſionaries, had,
previous to the general meeting, occaſioned an heſitation in the
minds of ſome valuable friends. But the Directors having ſtated
the great difficulties of every other mode of conveyance, the proſpect
of being able to viſit not Otaheite only, but feveral other
Elands with the invaluable bluffing of the Goſpel, in one voyage;
it is with pleafure we reflect, that the above refolution was unanimously
adopted as a meaſure highly expedient, and beſt calculated
to promote the great objects of the million.
The powers of the Directors, choſen in September laſt, having,
according to the plan, now ceaſed, the Society proceeded to a new
eledion; when all the old Directors, except thofe who declined,
were re-choſen; each name being ſeparately propoſed, and ſeveral
additions made to the former liſt. Among the latter were Captain
Wilſon, (the gentleman who ſo nobly offered to command the veſſel,
and whole preſence on this occaſion afforded ſingular pleaſure to the
company) together with ſeveral other Gentlemen and Miniſters
in various parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland, whole local
ſituation, as well as abilities, may render eſſential ſervices to the
Society
Several other regulations and reſolutions were made, which we
ſuppoſe will be detailed in the account intended to accompany the
publication of the Sermons.
SURRY CHAPEL.
ON Thurfday morning, at half paſt ten, a very numerous congregation
aſſembled at this place. The prayers of the Eſtabliſhed
Church were read by the Rev. Mr. Hill The Rev. Mr. Atkinſon,
of Ipſwich, gave out the 12th Hymn; after which the Rev. Mr.
Kingſbury, of Southampton, prayed. The Rev. Mr. Douglas,
of Chelmsford, read the 23d Hymn. The Rev. Mr. Pentycroſs,
of Wallingford, in Berkſhire, preached on a text happily appropriate
to the firſt grand object in view — Iſaiah xliii. 6. " I will
ſay — to the SOUTH, Keep not back." After Sermon, the 9th
Hymn was given out by the Rev. Mr. Bowden, of Tooting; and
the fervice was concluded by the Rev. Thomas Gardner, whoſe
prayer, on this ſolemn occalion, was rendered peculiarly affecting
to the whole congregation, from the conſideration of his being
one of the Miſſionaries, a circumſtance that had been previouſly
intimated by Mr. Hill. It might be plainly perceived how much
the ſpirit of prayer was drawn forth in behalf of theſe devoted
ſervants of Chriſt: and encourages us to hope that the Church of
God will not fail to hold up their hands by inceſſant prayer.
TOTTENHAM COURT CHAPEL.
IN the evening fervice of this day, prayers were read by the
Rev. Mr. Edwards. curate of the chapel. The Rev. Mr. Bond,
of Oulton of Norfold, gave out the 14th Hymn. The Rev Dr.
Hunter, of London, prayed. The Rev Mr. Clark. of Trowbridge,
read the third Hymn ; after which the Rev. Mr. Jay, of Bath,
preached on the 72d Pſalm, 19th, and 20th verſes. " And bleſſed be
his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his
glory; amen and amen. The prayers of David the ſon of Jeſſe are
ended." After Sermon, the Rev. Mr. Joſs, of London, gave out
the 5th Hymn, and the Rev. Mr. Hey, of Briſtol, concluded the
whole with prayer.
ZION CHAPEL.
ON Friday morning, a very large congregation being aſſembled
at this ſpacious place, the prayers of the church were read by the
Rev. Dr. Haweis. The Rev Mr. Yockney, of Staines, gave out
the it Hymn. The Rev. Mr. Poore, of Chicheſter, prayed.
The Rev. Dr. Duncan, of Winbourne, Dorſet, read the 8th
Hymn: The Sermon was delivered by the Rev. Mr. Jones, of
Langan, in Wales, from Judges, chap. vii. verſe 2. " And the
Lord ſaid unto Gideon, The people that are with thee, are too
many for me to deliver the Midianites into their hands." The
Hymn after Sermon, (the ad in the colledion) was given out by
the Rev. Mr. Miller, of High Wycombe; and the Rev. Mr. Ray;
of Sudbury, concluded the fervice by prayer.
All theſe public fervices were attended by very numerous congregations;
which cannot, now, be attributed to the power of novelty,.
but to the magnitude of the object in view—an object certainly of
the laſt importance; and which, unlike moil others, becomes more
interefling and more defirable, by repeated and long continued
attention. It is but juftice to the preachers, to fay, that their
texts were happily chofen, and their difcourfes well adapted to forward
this good work ; they were maſterly, ingenious, and impreſſive:
hut we forbear to commend; the public will ſoon have opportunity
of judging for themſelves. The number of Miniſters
of various denominations was, we think, conſiderably greater than
laſt year. The front feats of the galleries, in the largeſt places,
were infufficient for their accommodation; many of them had come
from great diftances, a fecond time, on this important errand; and
from their unabated zeal in this glorious carafe, we truſt, through
their inſtrumentality and extenſive influence, the ſpirit of miſſionary
zeal will pervade every Britiſh Church, and every Chriſtian boſom;
will extend itſelf to the Dutch, German, American, and all other
Proteſtant churches; till the whole profeſſing world, burning with
fervent love, ſhall, with unremitting aſſiduity, labour to ſpread
abroad, in every heathen land, the ſweet favour of the Redeemer's
name; till all the promifes, on which he has cauſed us to hope,
ſhall be accompliſhed, and his ſaving knowledge cover the whole
inhabited globe.
On Friday evening at 6 o'clock, the laſt general meeting of the
Society was held in the large room of the Caſtle and Falcon, when
the Rev, Mr. Ray, of Sudbury, having been voted in the chair,
commenced the buſineſs of the evening by prayer. Our limits
will not admit of a full detail of the tranſactions of this meeting;
but we mention with pleafure feveral memoirs written by various
gentlemen, propoſing miſſions to Surat, Madagaſcar, the Weſt
Indies, and the northern ſhore of the Caſpian ſea.
Many thanks are due to theſe gentlemen, and particularly to
one of the Directors, for his geographical communications, eſpecially
for a very large chart of the whole Pacific Ocean. What an extenſive
field was, this evening; opened to the view of the Society!
How did every heart bound with joy, in the hope and proſpect of
being inſtrumental its conveying our glorious Goſpel to benighted
millions of periſhing men. We are ſorry we cannot preſent our
readers with theſe valuable papers. Sure we are, that the ſcenes,
now opening all around us, are ſo pleaſing and animating, that they
cannot but ſecure the continuance of that liberality, which has already
ſwelled the funds of the Society to more than ten thouſand
pounds. But what is that ſum, when it is conſidered how much
work lies before the Society? We deſpair not. The ſilver and the
gold are the Lord's. He who permits the worſt. of men to laviſh
millions on unworthy objects, has already given a bleſſed ſpecimen
of his gracious power in opening the hearts and hands of his own
people; and we are confident that this great work. however widely
extended, will never fail for lack of pecuniary aid.
Various letters were read from Scotland, where Societies, having
the fame object in view, intend to ad either ſeparately as Miſſionary
Societies there, or jointly with that in London One of them
propoſes to fend Miſſionaries of their own to the Pelew Iſlands,
in the ſhp intended for Otaheite and other Southern Iſles. Theſe
letters afforded a high degree of ſatisfaction to the company, as
appeared by the following reſolution, which was paſſed with perfect
unanimity and loud applauſe.
Reſolved, " That this Society receives, with great ſatisfaction,
the letters which have now been read from their Chriſtian Brethren
in Scotland, and appoint their Secretary, Mr. Love, to ſignify
their cordial aſſent to the propoſals they have made of correſpondence,
union, and co-operation.
The gentleman, who ſeconded the motion for this reſolution,
cbferved, that it was near ninety years ago ſince the legiſlature of
this country paſſed the act of union, whereby both kingdoms became
one, in a political and commercial ſenſe; but, ſaid he, " It
was not till this night, and by this reſolution, that the union was
perfected; the union is now complete; a ſpiritual union has taken
place, far more important and glorious than the former." Burſts
of applauſe indicated the pleaſing power of brotherly love, and how
juſtly it was ſaid on a former occaſion, that we attended the funeral
of bigotry.
Thus concluded the find annual meeting of the Society. A
meeting of the fame kind is intended to be held on the fecond
Wedneſday in May of each ſucceeding year: and may every ſuch
anniverſary be as refpectably attended, as happily conducted, and
as peaceably concluded! May future years produce the bleſſed
news of great fuccefs, and new ſchemes and plans of more extenſive
uſefulneſs! Glory be to God in the higheſt!
To the Friends of the Miſſionary Society.
The proſperity which has attended our miſſionary efforts having
greatly enlarged the magnitude of the ſcale in which we now have
determined to proceed, and thirty miſſionaries, or more. beſides
wives and children, being voted to make more ſettlements than one
on different ſpots of the South Sea, we are now very actively engaged
in furniſhing them with neceſſaries for their voyage and future
abode. Some of our friends have already come forward with
their offerings for this temple of our God; and that others may
have an opportunity of following their good example, we ſubjoin
the following liſt of articles, which are much wanted, either for the
life of the Miſſionaries themſelves, or to procure the neceſſaries of
life, and the favour of the inhabitants in the South Sea iſlands.
Teleſcopes, quadrants, and every ſort of philoſophical inſtruments.
Spacious tents, Staffordſhire ware, tin ware, garden ſeeds,
linen and woollen cloths and cotton of all kinds, haberdaſhery of
all kinds, hardware and cutlery ware of all kinds; iron tools, axes,
adzes, hammers, chiſſels, files, vices, anvils, ſmith's bellows, iron
hoops, &c. ſpades, hoes, pick-axes, nails of all ſorts, planes, mattraſſes,
coverlids, pillows, camp-ſtools, ditto tables, leather jackend-kitchen
; medicines of all forts, copper and iron yeſſels of various
ſorts, pots, pans, &c. Glaſs ware, ſpectacles, beads of various
colours, combs, hand-mill, grinding-ſtones. Printing-preſs, types,
ink, &c. copper-plate preſs, and botanic paper; hot preſs for extracting
oils; lamps, paper of all ſorts, pencils of all kinds, quills,
retorts, glaſs tubes, ſurgeon's inſtruments. Books in Theology,
Hiſtory, Geography, Botany, Chymiſtry, the Materia Medica,
Maps and Charts of the South Sea, and its Iflands, &c. Fiſhing
hooks of every ſize, and fiſhing tackle; linen garments, ſhirts, &c.
Theſe, or any of them, will be thankfully accepted; and the ſeveral
articles, with the donor's name, may be ſent to Mr. Hardcaſtle's,
Duck's Foot Lane, the Society's Treaſurer, to Mr. William
Shrubſole, the Secretary, Old Street Road, or to any of the
Directors, who will convey them to the Committee of equipment,
and they will be acknowledged in a printed liſt, unleſs otherwiſe
deſired.
The Committee of Examination continue to receive applications
from perfons who wiſh to go out as miſſionaries, ſeveral of whom
have been approved The Committee of Provifion and Conveyance
are active in their department, and ſay they want ſeveral ſerious
ſailors in addition to thoſe who have already offered The
friends of the Society will do it a ſervice by inquiring after perſons
of this deſcription, and by immediately informing one of the Secretaries
of their ſucceſs.
The Treaſurer continues to receive freſh proofs of private and
public liberality. Several perſons having read the liſt of the
Society's wants, have preſented ſome ſuitable articles for the uſe
of the miſſionaries, in their intercourſe with the inhabitants of the
South Seas.
FINIS.

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Divine Agency Necessary to the Propogation of Christianity: A Sermon

Document Information

Document ID 677
Title Divine Agency Necessary to the Propogation of Christianity: A Sermon
Year group 1750-1800
Genre Religious prose
Year of publication 1796
Wordcount 11416

Author information: Duncanson, Andrew

Author ID 463
Forenames Andrew
Surname Duncanson
Gender Male
Occupation Minister
Education University