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worthy of our toil, and that the fields before us are white already to harvest. His words to us are always cheering words, like the words of Caleb in old time. And as the LORD then recompensed him for his fidelity, may He give to our missionary also, just such a reward, — the comfort of beholding the great conquest in good part achieved, and of enjoying finally a rich inheritance in that rest which remaineth to the people of God!
Within a few weeks past, we have sent forth our second missionary, * into the north-eastern district of our city. And though we cannot, for a time at least, expect from him an account of what, by God's help, he may accomplish, we have good reason to anticipate, that his pious labors also will be blessed, and that by his efforts the LORD will add daily to the Church such as shall be saved.
From the lofty cupola in the centre of our city, the appointed watchman of the night looks around him on the thousands who are merged in sleep. And with a loud voice he cries, “ All's well !" for amid this darkness he hears and sees nothing to awaken his alarm. But to the eye of one who watches for men's souls, there is discovered a far different scene on every side, - a scene of moral death and spiritual desolation. Here are the abandoned and the profligate, in every street, and every lane, and every avenue, all enmity against God; and multitudes, by no means less in danger of eternal death, - great multitudes, who are deluded by the self-contradictory supposition, that they may be saved without a Saviour, that
" An honest man 's the noblest work of God," that is, to fulfil the duties of one's station to the approbation of our fellow-men, with or without regard to Gospel motives,
"Act well your part, there all the honor lies ;" multitudes, living thus without an interest in Jesus, and dying without the transforming power of the Gospel on their hearts, and entering into the world of spirits to receive their doom, without the love of Christ through whom alone we may
obtain salvation !
* The Rev. Lot Jones.
At such a scene, our Society holds every man of God committed, to come up to the help of the Lord. It holds every one who loves the Lord Jesus in sincerity committed, to show, both by his words and actions, that he is on the Lord's side. Our work demands your personal services, my friends, or at least your liberal and frequent bounty, never thinking a mere pittance an acceptable offering to such a cause as this.
In the bright gospel day that is now rising on the world with all its radiance, oh how imperfect will our best efforts seem ! How insincere, we of the ministry! How insincere, ye also who profess and call yourselves the people of the LORD! Within a century from the present time, could we revisit our
ld, and read the received rule of duty at that period of the Church, we shall be overwhelmed with humiliation, that we loved Christ so little, in return for his boundless love to us!
But while we live, and while we may labor in his cause, let us be at least guided by his Gospel, in the few and feeble efforts which we make.
1. Let the motive and the power of the Gospel, first and chiefly, be apparent, in our selecTION OF APPROPRIATE MISSIONARIES.
Let us not, as we would cherish our cause, choose men of second or third rate qualifications; but able, faithful heralds of the cross, fully competent to make known the message of Christ's love. By no means would I have them gather for the sanctuary choice fruits of classical and polite learning, the enticing words of man's wisdom; but acceptable words in God's sight, — their subjects, their embellishments, their whole drapery of thought, their very manner in the pulpit, all attesting that they are supremely actuated by the love of Christ, - and their teaching, as they negotiate between God and men, being accompanied with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. The LORD, who is in his holy temple, does not delight in such as here unfold, no matter with how great ability, the encyclopedia of literature, science and the arts; but he gives the witness of his Spirit to the preaching of such, and of such only, as set forth Christ crucified, and exhibit, with all simplicity
and godly sincerity, THE GREAT TRUTHS OF OUR REDEMPTION, IMBODIED IN THE LOVE OF Curist.
Rich men, unless guided by the Gospel motive, will always exercise the privilege of choosing to themselves teachers who may regale their taste; but we, my friends of the City-Mission, should ever take good heed that the poor, who are in a peculiar manner committed unto us, should have the Gospel preached to them. We may indeed find no one qualified for our arduous work, in all respects. But in whatever else he may be deficient, let him be at least an effective preacher of the Gospel.
Among the causes why our public ministrations fail of due effect, it is not one of the least prominent, that our sermons are too often hastily prepared, amid the distractions and the perplexities of other duties. On this account, the office of a Free-Preacher and that of a City-Missionary, are in a great measure incompatible. It may well claim your serious consideration, whether the one should not be allowed to make the pulpit his chief sphere, and the other spend his strength, almost exclusively, in dispensing our alms, in breaking the bread of life from house to house, and in visiting with our benefits a multitude, in recesses that have not yet been explored, - a multitude whom we cannot hope to see within these walls, until their temporal and spiritual condition shall first be meliorated by some Gospel guide, who will go to them, and, implanting in their minds the Gospel motive, by the power of the Gospel compel them to come in.
But to whatever duties you may call them, — “Brethren, look ye out among you men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” (Acts vi. 3.) And let each ever bear in mind the character of the apostle of the LORD who penned our text, and who, in the capital of Syria, and in the capital of Pisidia, in the chief city of all Asia Minor, and in the chief city of Achaia, in the pride of Greece and in the emporium of the Western Empire, - by his toils in many a metropolis, by his faithful, powerful preaching of Christ crucified, and by the abundant success of his
indefatigable labors, was the first, and is the best, model of a City-Missionary.
2. IN ALL YOUR DELIBERATIONS, let the love of Christ have free course, as your great motive.
Our mission, my friends, has been popular, from its commencement. It has enlisted in its service not a few, who have been willing to spend and to be spent. It has won the hearty commendation of wise men after the flesh; for, to reclaim the ignorant, and feed the hungry, and wipe away the tear of human sorrow, are approved by many, who have no higher aim, than to relieve temporal distress. But our charity, we should remember, is not mere secular benevolence.
It becomes us, my mission friends, to look steadily at our object. In all the exercise of our kindness to our fellow-men, let us carry with us this great truth : that we do nothing, as God hath willed and commanded it to be done, * unless we extend some influence of the Gospel to the heart of every one whom we profess to serve. Let us relieve the suffering, and let us instruct the ignorant; but let it ever be our heart's desire and prayer, " that they may be saved.” For every one of them CHRIst died; and then only shall we have labored with effect,
; when we have taught them to love Christ unto the saving of their souls.
Hitherto, the spirit of the Gospel has prevailed throughout our mission. It is well, that all the meetings of our Society, and of our Managers, and of all our Committees, have begun and closed with prayer. It is well, that our missionary work has been done so much in a missionary way. The love of Christ has constrained the conductors and the teachers of our schools. To win souls is manifestly made their object. For this, they profess to teach their lambs of Christ's fold ; not impelled by the philanthropy of novelists and poets, but by the motive of the Gospel. On this account, there are already in our schools some children of the very poorest of the poor, who have here imbibed a saving knowledge of redemption. A hallowed in
* The 13th of our 39 ARTICLES OF RELIGION, inculcates the Gospel motive, in very strong terms.
fluence has issued from our missionary cause upon the Managers and the Committees of the Society. While occupied in conferring spiritual benefits on others, we have ourselves become partakers of the same gifts of grace. Some have here first caught the true spirit of missions. Some have here first made sacrifices for Christ's sake, and here first felt their hearts burn within them, as they have talked of Jesus by the way. And the thought may well come, with power, to the conscience of every one of us, Let me beware lest, providing for the salvation of others, I may myself be a cast-away!
To all of you, my hearers, who have an interest in our good work, I would say, Come hither on the Lord's day, an hour before the stated time of public service.
Repair first to our INFANT School, well managed and altogether supported by its pious and efficient Ladies Board of Visiters : see on its register four hundred and seventy names ; and hear the heaven-born accents of those little children, out of whose mouth proceed songs of praise to Him who hath redeemed them. Then go to the apartment occupied by our SUNDAY School, with its register exhibiting five hundred and fifty names; then, into the room where our Adult Classes are assembled; then again to our LIBRARY AND READING Room: and learn something of the detail of our work of love. Amid the animating associations that must be awakened by the scene, O then think of being workers together with God, in effecting all these various operations, that are here reclaiming souls, which shall be washed, and sanctified, and justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God. And as the hour of public worship then draws nigb, come into our sanctuary. See here the mixed congregation in our FREE CHURCH; not the very poor alone, but here and there the members of some family who once saw better days; here an aged widow, and there one reclaimed from wretchedness and sitting in his right mind at the feet of Jesus. See this stranger, and that young man and young woman, who have repaired to our mart of business, to obtain an honest occupation or acquire the knowledge of a trade. And beside these, you may meet