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hearts ought to be knit together in love. A literary spirit is not the spirit of missions, and the effects of the exchange will be seen in the bitterness and rancour always manifested when critical acumen is more cherished than the love of souls. Forgetting that, at the best, all the productions of foreigners in a strange tongue must needs be imperfect, and endeavoring to correct each other's faults in charity and meekness, such men as missionaries may fall to biting and devouring one another on account of mistakes in the grammar and idiom of languages, in which none have reason to boast of their proficiency. This is just as if the Apostles and Evangelists had set themselves up as disputants concerning the comparative purity of the Greek used in the Gospels and Epistles, while even the Holy Ghost in infinite wisdom left them all to employ that kind of Greek, intelligible, though not pure, with which they were most familiar, and could employ to the best advantage. What a comment upon our superior taste and discernment! But, in truth, it is all vain jangling of those who have swerved from the path of duty, and affect to be literary pedants, instead of humble ambassadors of the meek and lowly Jesus. Nor can any of us expect a better end if we do not stick unto his testimonies, and give ourselves wholly to the performance of his work.

After noticing so many other reasons for the Divine displeasure, which it is supposed may be to a greater or less extent among missionaries, it will not appear strange that I should add :

6. Inadequate concern for the salvation of souls. If men are to be found among us so deficient in principle, and so erratic in practice, as I have led you to imagine, then it cannot surprise you to intimate that the care of souls has not fired every bosom and weighed upon every spirit as it ought.

Indeed, independent of these things, there is much in the circumstances of the missionary, and the situation of those for whom he labors, to damp the ardor and relax the energies of the best and most devoted. It is difficult in the extreme for our poor natures and our weak graces, when once familiar with the blindness, the insensibility, and the obstinacy of heathen and mahometans, to maintain all the warmth of interest and tenderness of feeling for their spiritual welfare, which constitutes the missionary spirit, and is essential to the missionary character. If, therefore, we are not greatly on our guard, and especially if we do not habitually look up for assistance, we will most assuredly become dead to the spirit of our work. And if our concern for souls once ceases, we immediately lose all the high and commanding motives of the Gospel for self-consecration and devotion. We become mere worldlings, even in the prosecution of our heavenly calling. The glories and terrors of the eternal world wax dim to our spiritual vision, or fade away entirely from our sight. Whatever we may think proper to do for the body and for time, the undying man and the unchanging state are coldly overlooked, or unfeelingly neglected, and whatever we may achieve, the end of our commission is

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not answered. Is this, then, the performance of missionary work? What if we cry up schools, and devote ourselves to secular and scientific instruction! What if we clothe the naked and feed the hungry! What if we train the mind and the body to all that is wholesome, refined, and elevating! If Christ is not faithfully, affectionately, and habitually preached; if the Gospel is not constantly inculcated, applied, and enforced; if the conscience is not enlightened, awakened, and warned; if every thing in our power is not done to convert and sanctify the soul, our labor is lost; we cannot expect God to bless it, and without his blessing it may be worse than useless. The richest earthly blessing may thus be turned into a curse. And let us not flatter ourselves that the curse will fall only on the head of these sheep. "Wo be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves. Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?" Yea, wo is me if I preach not the Gospel!

But to sum up all these evils in one comprehensive description, or to point out the source from which they all flow, I must call your attention lastly :

7. To a lack of the spirit of devotion. Prayer is as correctly as it is poetically called, "the Christian's vital breath." Just as far, therefore, as we lose the spirit of prayer, we cease to live the life of a Christian; all our graces languish, our souls verge to the shades of death, yea, our feet take hold on hell! Hence arises every species of spiritual decay. Our great enemy immediately gets the advantage over us. Our defence is departed. For the Lord will not protect those who shun his presence, or do not find delight in his communion, and love to walk beneath his shadow. Thus deserted of heaven, left to eat of the fruit of our own way, and exposed to the wiles of the adversary, the natural consequence is, that we wax worse and worse. There is no corruption in principle or practice to which we are not liable, and if not checked in our career, and restored by grace divine, there are no lengths to which we may not go in delusion and in sin. O! my brethren, into what an abyss may even the missionary thus be allowed to fall! The thought is enough to make the stoutest tremble, as the event is sufficient to make the ears of every one that heareth it to tingle. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

But, brethren, I hope better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though I thus speak. Still, it becomes us all to beware of the danger as we would escape the catastrophe. The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it and is safe. This is our citadel. If we cling to the horns of the altar, all will be well; but if we let go our hold, ruin is inevitable.

Here, therefore, you will allow me to appeal to your hearts, and ask: How does this matter stand? Can our closets, the places of our secret retirement, bear witness to the fervor of our devotions? Is the spirit of grace and supplication manifested at the family altar,

in the social circle, and amid the hallowed exercises of the solemn assembly? Is its fragrance breathed through all our daily avocations? Does it float over all the scenes in which we move? If it does, then how sweet will be our tempers, how lovely and winning our carriage, how heavenly and elevating our conversation, how meekly we will bear correction and reproof, how tenderly we will expostulate with the erring, how humbly and affectionately we will strive to inform the ignorant and persuade the obstinate, how beautiful, consistent, and influential will be all the conduct of our lives. O, if we live in the Spirit let us walk in the Spirit. Then the Spirit shall take of the things of Christ, and show them unto us, and we shall know all that pertains to life and godliness, and become workmen that need not be ashamed.

Now, especially, we should abound in prayer, for the hand of God is upon us, and if we do not heed the stroke, He will punish us seven times more for our sins. As yet He seems to say: "Behold I have refined thee, but not with silver." Then He shall change his tone and declare: "I will come near to you to judgment. But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? For our God is a consuming fire!"

That, therefore, we may not only avert his present displeasure, and be prepared for the more fiery ordeal, but realize all the blessings of the Covenant ourselves, and become a blessing to all around us, let us strive to improve the afflictive dispensations with which He has visited us:

1. By deep humility and self-abasement. This is doubtless the posture into which He would bring us. "That thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done," saith the Lord God. Nor can we maintain any other posture with safety. So surely as our hearts are lifted up, it will be to our peril, if not to our destruction. But will any wait to be coolly reasoned into this frame ? Why that one word of the Most High should break in pieces and melt the hardest heart. "All that thou hast done!" What piercing reflections must this sentence harrow up in the guilty soul. And who of us can plead entire innocence? We are verily guilty. And O how awful is the guilt implied in the slightest stain from the blood of souls. Think, for a moment, of the fatal consequences. How far has the missionary work been put back? How many hearts have been made to faint? How many hands have waxed feeble? How many souls have gone down to death unwarned? How many, for years to come, will have to tread in their steps? When you can answer these solemn enquiries with precision, you will have some adequate idea of this awfully awakening subject. Meanwhile our hearts must be hard indeed if the barest suggestion does not cover our faces with confusion, and make us wish to hide them in the dust.

But we should be equally on our guard against that spurious hu

mility which lies in dark and melancholy views of the divine dispensations, and leads to cheerless if not plaintive musings on the present and hopeless forebodings of the future. This is only pride under another name, and is as displeasing to our God and Savior as it is fatal to our own peace and profit. True humility is one of the most engaging features of the gracious soul. While it melts down and removes every disposition to haughtiness and self-importance, it softens and smooths much if not all of the natural roughnesses and austerities of the character. It dispels the gloom of despondency, raises the drooping spirits, and lets in upon the feelings the genial light and warmth of heaven's Eternal Sun. Thus it quickens and invigorates every principle of activity and devotion.

This remark naturally leads us to notice another effect which should be produced by these humbling dispensations:

2. Renewed self-consecration. We are not our own, for we are bought with a price. But this we are sadly prone to forget. Hence those grievous wanderings we have just been lamenting, and which we have reason to suppose have drawn down the Divine displeasure not only upon ourselves, but upon the cause to which we are devoted. O, then, while we remember our past deficiencies, and return into the path of duty with weeping and with supplications, come and let us join ourselves to the Lord by a perpetual covenant, that shall not be forgotten. Yea, let us make a full surrender. Are we indeed so thoroughly emptied of self as true humility supposes, then surely we ought to glorify God in our bodies and our spirits, which are his. And is it not high time for us to be absorbed in concern for the interests of his kingdom and the salvation of precious souls, and to labor for the promotion of these objects under the full realization of eternal things? In such circumstances, it will be well, expressly and formally, to renew our covenant engagements. If done in a holy spiritual manner, this will have a most reviving effect upon our hearts. At any rate, they should be solemnly recalled from day to day, and a deep impression of their reality and sacredness should be carried into all the avocations of life.

Thus we should put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and in no respect whatever make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof. But this will evidently require :

3. Increased and constant watchfulness. Let us not, for a moment, dream—as others are too apt to dream for us-that missionaries are not men, or certainly not men of like passions with themselves. I will not say that the missionary work is not calculated to promote, what we all know it requires, pre-eminent piety. I believe it is. But how? As idle dreamers would suppose, by a sort of undefined spiritual enchantment? Is there any direct influence in the circumstances in which we are placed to enwrap the soul in heavenly contemplations, to give it living and transforming views of eternal things, and to quicken its naturally sluggish pace, in the life of god

liness and the ways of usefulness? The very reverse of this will be found, by experience, to be the sad reality. But as it is the agitation. of the waters which purifies them, so it is the exercise of the graces that stimulates and strengthens them. Yes, depend upon it, if the missionary work tends to elevate the standard of piety, as it undoubtedly does when piety exists in life and vigor, it is by the severe-I had almost said desperate-trials and struggles to which it puts every principle of truth and fidelity in the soul. It requires the soldier to be fully armed not only, but ever wakeful and ever watchful, that he may stand always firm at his post, that he may press forward with ardor in his march, that he may not halt or falter on the way, and that he may not flee in the day of battle. Let us, therefore, put on the whole armor of God, and habitually watch unto prayer. Thus shall we "be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord."

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