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The Eastern church comprises, perhaps, forty or fifty millions of immortal souls; and this church partakes of the same abominations as the Romish one to which we have just alluded. A great part of them are indeed sunk in superstition and sin, much like the Roman church; but other parts, such as the Greek church, the Armenians, and some others, do not deserve so severe a condemnation-they have shown no backwardness, but willingly have received the word of God. It has been translated and introduced into the Russian Empire, in forty different languages, but much is still to be done, among the whole of the Eastern churches; and those who wish well to the cause of Christ will aid the dissemination and preaching of the Gospel among them. There has been already a large testimony to Christ among them: then will ye not prepare them for the coming of our Saviour? I come, lastly, among the divisions of the Christian world, to the Reformed Church, Never since the Reformation has there been such a general stir and extreme excitement. This excitement arises from two classes, Infidels and Christians. Infidels, on the one hand, have put forth
new, bolder, and more energetic efforts to bring all classes to a level with themselves; they are using their best efforts to make proselytes, and I am sorry to say their doctrines prevail to a prodigious extent in all Christian countries, and is, at the present moment, the great engine of Satan for the destruction of the souls of men, But look on the other hand at the way in which the true Christian world is roused; there is a spirit of philanthropy abroad among them; the anxiety now prevailing to do good, both to the body and the souls of men, is unparalleled in the history of the Christian church. Never since the Apostolic days has there been displayed such an ardent desire to bring all nations to the knowledge and the obedience of the faith, The Scriptures are being translated— they have already been rendered into one hundred and fifty-seven different languages of the earth, and these have been diffused to the extent of thirteen millions of copies. There are sixty Protestant societies in America, formed for the purpose of extending the knowledge of the Scriptures among the heathen-upwards of six hundred thousand pounds are collected in the year, which gives
nearly two thousand pounds daily, that is raised for the spreading of the Gospel.
and scholars, one thousand four hundred and thirty-seven. So that, blessed be GOD, there is a progressive advance in the great work of evangelizing the world.
But the most cheering sign of all is, that GOD has called forth an extensive spirit of prayer. Who can know the great efficacy of the increased number of fervent prayers offered up in the thousands of little societies that meet weekly or monthly or quarterly, to pray for the coming of our Saviour's kingdom? GOD has given to Protestant nations vast facilities--to Britain and America for instance; they have everywhere a preponderating influence, not only in a political sense, but in every other. Then is it not their duty, as well as their high privilege, to use that influence in order to communicate his truth? The new system of simulta
Now amidst all this noble excitement, let us see what the state of the Church Missionary Society is. They have established nine missions, and appointed sixty-six clergymen to labour at different stations and in different countries: they have one hundred and twelve European lay teachers, and five hundred and four native teachers appointed and made fit for the like duty. Six hundred and eighty-two Christian teachers are supported by them, who are employed in forty-six stations. It has sent out sixty-six clergymen to labour among the heathen; there are one hundred and twelve European lay teachers, and five hundred and four native teachers. Six hundred and seventy-eight Christian teachers are supported by the society in propagat-neous and mutual instruction, the ining the Gospel. There are fifteen hundred and ninety-eight monthly communicants. There are established four hundred and five schools; and in these schools there are eighteen thousand three hundred and eighteen scholars. The increase of communicants during the last year was three hundred and twenty-seven. The increase in schools, thirty-of scholars, one thousand four hundred and thirty-seven. There is a progressive advance in the great work of evangelizing the earth; and the most cheering sign of all is, that GOD has called forth an extensive spirit of prayer. Who can know the value of the fifteen hundred monthly communicants? They support four hundred and five schools, and in those schools there are eighteen thousand three hundred and eighteen scholars who are receiving a good and a Christian education. The increase during the last year has been, in communicants, three hundred and twenty-seven; of schools, thirty;
vention of a Briton, is now diffusing itself with all its extended blessings throughout the heathen world. Take a single fact: an infant school was formed at New Zealand a few years ago, thus affording the surest method of diffusing the blessings of one of the best of modern inventions-early instruction among the heathen nations. Is it not delightful now to see the improvements and discoveries in our arts and sciences so early conveyed and most successfully imitated by nations, the inhabitants of which a few years since were considered as mere savages? Does not that point out to the church the duty it has to perform, and give it cheering hopes for its success?
Such are the peculiarities of Providence. We come now to the peculiarities of prophecy. As the unchristian world around us is so steeped in ignorance, how could we extend the church of Christ, unless we were aided by providential facilities! Without them nothing could be done.
pective leaders, as if to prepare for rushing to the contest for the battle of the great day. My brethren, we live in a peculiar time: it is an honour to have been born in such a day, if we do but discern our privileges-if we do but discharge our duty.
Now, let us inquire what are the practical duties to which God is calling the attention of his church.
But what we need has been vouch- world, the Mahometans and Pagans safed to us, and GOD has foretold are prepared to receive or to reject that they shall be crowned with com- the Gospel. GOD in his providence plete success. The particular times renders every facility, as GOD in his for the fulfilment of future events he word gives every promise, to animate has reserved unto himself, but we the heart of his people; both old as know that the result is sure-1 -the well as young are active and stirring, general result is clear-the kingdoms and full of fresh energy. Men are of this world are to become the king-ranging themselves under their resdom of our GOD and of his Christ. It is clear also that the prophecies mentioned in Daniel and the Revelations, especially the great era of twelve hundred and sixty years hasten to a close, if they have not closed; and on their termination we are to expect the fall of Popery, the overthrow of Mahometanism, the conversion of Israel, the coming of Christ, and the full establishment of his kingdom. It is generally agreed that the sixth vial has been opened, and is now pouring out on the river Euphrates, or the Turkish empire; and the state of all nations for the last twenty years has been weakening under its influence; and it is at the close of that vial that we are taught to expect the coming of our Lord. Blessed is he that watcheth. We have seen these things taking place in our days-who will say they are not "signs of the times," and that they do not give especial indications of the coming of our Saviour? We are sure that we approach to the end by the lapse of years, and by these indica-join together the world and the tions which are daily appearing. "And when these begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." I would inquire whether any one is justified in disregarding these signs? Jesus himself says, "These things have I told you, that when the time shall come ye may remember that I told you of them." See then the signs of the coming of your Saviour's kingdom, and profit by them.
The Christian and the Romish
First, to decision of character-to be decided in the service of Christ. It is not a time for lukewarmness-it is not a time to halt between Christ and the world, nor to trifle with sin; all of which you may have been doing in times past. O, my brethren, dedicate yourselves heartily and decidedly to the Lord, range yourselves among his people, and bear his burden and his cross. Prove now your attachment to him-manifest now your love to Christ-now is the time of holy boldness in his service. GOD is coming to discriminate between those who serve him, and those who serve him not-dare not, we entreat you, to
church-it is the most foolish thing a man ever did-it never will, it never can answer any good end. Come out and confess your Saviour, and he will confess you on the great day.
But GOD calls upon you not only for decision-he calls on you for zealous exertions in the diffusion of the Gospel. Look at the psalm from which our text is taken-there you are called upon to " say among the heathen, that the Lord reigneth." "Declare his glory among the hea
then, his marvellous works among all nations." The British nation is called upon to act a most important part, in endeavouring to bring all nations of the earth to the Lord. We rule over or command a fifth part of the human race. If we, as a nation, act for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ, I believe that in the judgments that will come on the earth, Britain will be preserved; but if, like the Jews of old, the mass of the nation remain in insensibility and unbelief, the nation will be destroyed, and only the true servants of Christ will be preserved. Now he affords his
church an opportunity of attesting their love to him. England, beyond all other countries, is called upon as the spiritual nursery for the world to send out her missions to bless the human race.
The Lord enable us all to discern the signs of the times, to devote ourselves to his cause, and to give ourselves fervently to himself: and to share in the labours and sacrifices necessary for the full establishment of his kingdom. Let us share in the sacrifices, and we shall have a full share of the triumph and the glory. Amen,
DELIVERED BY THE REV. H. MELVILL,
AT CAMDEN CHAPEL, CAMBERWELL, SUNDAY EVENING, August 4, 1833.
Genesis, viii. 21.-" And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth."
ON the earth, which was still outspread with the waters of judgment, stood Noah and his family, the sole remnant of the human population. Provoked by the wickedness of the race, GoD had at length interfered with a signal vengeance; and opening the windows of heaven, and breaking up the fountains of the deep, had swept the globe with a mighty flood; causing the creation which had been full of life, to become awfully silent and untenanted. And when the deluge had effected its commission, the ark which contained the favoured few, rested upon the mountain of Ararat; and the saved ones came forth, and, building an altar to Jehovah, offered thereupon of every clean beast and of every clean fowl.
It must have been a day of intense solemnity; and if ever men could be struck with awe, if ever men could feel their spirits bowed down and overwhelmed by the tremendousness of GoD-those who now presented that sacrifice, the lonely wreck of an unnumbered population, must have crouched, and trembled, and been full of the most earnest humility. And possibly they might have thought, that, since the wicked were removed, a moral renovation would pass over mankind, and that themselves and their posterity would differ altogether from the ungodly race which had perished in the waters. It could not have seemed improbable that, after removing the multitude which had provoked him by their impieties,
GOD would raise up a people who should love him and honour him, seeing that, if there was to be the same provocation of wickedness, there was nothing to be looked for but a recurrence of the deluge; and if this earth were to be again and again the theatre of the same provocations and the same vengeance, it would be hard to say why GoD spared a remnant, or why he allowed the rebellious race to be continued and multiplied.
Yet however natural it might have been for Noah and his sons to calculate on a moral improvement in the species, it is certain that after the flood, men were just the same fallen creatures that they had been before the flood. There had been effected no change whatever on human nature, neither had God destroyed the wicked, expecting the new tenantry would be more obedient and more righteous than the old. And it is every way remarkable, that the reason which is given why GoD sent one deluge is given as the reason why GOD sent not a second deluge. And you observe from the text, that the offering which was presented by Noah and his sons found acceptance with the Almighty. We cannot doubt that the sacrifice was pleasing to GOD as typifying that of his own beloved Son. He had no delight in the blood of bulls and of goats; but since the burnt-offering had reference to the propitiation of Christ, it is said," the Lord smelled a sweet savour." We are then told-the language being adapted to our feeble conceptions that the Lord said in his heart, "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake." We can only understand him as declaring that he would not again curse the ground as he had just cursed it-by the waters of a flood. We are sure there was no repeal of the original curse, and
we have no authority to think there was any diminution of it: but GoD covenanted afterwards in more direct terms that there should not any more be a flood; and the reason for giving this pledge is contained in the last words of the text: "for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth." In the margin of our Bibles though" is used instead of "for:" "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; though the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth." The difference between these translations is not very material: which ever you adopt, GoD equally declares that the non-recurrence of the deluge should be in no degree the consequence of an improved state of humanity; but that, on the contrary, the race should be spared in spite of its undiminished sinfulness. And the point on which we wish this night to fasten your special attention is, that God gives the same reason for sparing as he had before given for destroying.
If you turn to the sixth chapter of Genesis, you will find it said, that "GOD saw that every imagination of the thoughts was only evil continually." And this it was that moved him to the sending the deluge; for we are told immediately afterwards, that "it repented the Lord that he had made man on earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth." So that we seem warranted in saying, that GOD cursed not the ground again on the very principle by which he had cursed it once; or rather, that he was moved to the withholding vengeance by the very reason which had moved him to the inflicting. He sent one flood because "the imagination of man's thoughts was only evil continually;" and he resolved that he