Obrazy na stronie

advancement; and because it is a pledge, not of a mere fitful gush of liberality; but of a perennial stream of Christian bounty, flowing from love to the infinitely precious cause.

This character was once much more common, than it is at the present day. How ought we at once to be humbled and animated, when we read the history of the primitive Christians! Many of them, literally and cheerfully, gave up all for Christ. Contemplate, my beloved friends,-contemplate the affecting narrative! Ah! how they labored, and denied themselves, and made sacrifices, and gave their substance-sometimes to the last farthing-for the cause of Christ. See them "counting all things but loss," and even cheerfully going to the stake, when the Saviour's honor required it. Read this narrative, professing Christians, and then say, whether those who feel reluctant to give the price even of a few luxurious dinners for promoting the Redeemer's kingdom, can seriously believe that they are animated by the same spirit with those devoted disciples?

But how ought we to be still more deeply humbled and animated, when we call to mind what our blessed Saviour has done for us! I have sometimes heard professing Christians talk of doing and giving as much toward the spread of the glorious Gospel, "as they conveniently could." Surely this is wonderful language for the professed followers of a crucified Redeemer! Did our blessed Master do no more for us than he "conveniently could?" Did He not give his life for our redemption? Did He not, in offering up himself a sacrifice, that we might not die, yield himself to sufferings unparalleled and indescribable? Shall not every one, then, who calls himself by the name of Christ, make the language of Paul, in all its force and tenderness, his own ?—For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they which live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again.

Lift up your eyes, Christian brethren, on the unnumbered millions of our globe, sunk in ignorance, pollution and misery! Think of their condition : a condition in which you must have been at this hour, had it not been for the wonderful grace of God. Contrast with that condition your own mercies and privileges, and then ask, whether you ought not to feel for those who are thus miserable, and try to help them? Christians! can you enjoy your Bibles, your Sabbaths, your sanctuaries, your sacramental tables, and all your precious privileges and hopes alone? Can you enjoy these hallowed scenes, and heavenly gifts, and know their value, and yet slumber in ignoble indolence over the moral desolations of those who are perishing for lack of them? Can you calmly sit by, and see million after million of treasure cheerfully expended for amusement, luxury and sin; and only a few stinted thousands devoted to the greatest, best work of enlightening and saving the world? O whither has the spirit of the Bible fled? May He who gave the Bible, and the promise before us, restore it in his time!

Let us, then, with one accord, rouse ourselves, and endeavor to rouse others to new zeal, and larger enterprise in spreading the knowledge and glory of the

Lord. Every heart, every tongue, and every hand that can be stirred up to engage in this great work, from infancy to old age, is needed. And remember that the more thoroughly any of the children of men can be excited and consecrated to this work-the richer the benefit they gain for themselves. Christian brother! Christian sister! whoever you are, in this large assembly!— you have each, respectively, a duty to perform in reference to this mighty work. It is incumbent upon you to do all in your power for sending the light of life to the benighted and the perishing. Nay, upon every human being, whether in the church, or out of it, there lies an obligation to aid, as far as God gives the opportunity, in sending to "every creature" that gospel which is "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." We invite you all, my hearers, not merely to the duty, but to the precious privilege, of co-operating in this holy and blessed enterprise. And we can venture to assure you, that, if the day should ever come, in which your hearts shall be thoroughly imbued with the spirit of missions, it will be the happiest period of your lives; as well as the pledge and the dawn of that wide-spread glory, which our text proclaims as certain and approaching. We can point you to no higher honor, no richer pleasure on this side of heaven, than that which is found in enlightened, zealous, active, absorbing zeal for spreading the holy, life-giving religion. of Jesus Christ from the rising to the setting sun.

For the promotion of this work, my friends, the "American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions" has convened in this place. Our hope in coming together is, that we may be enabled, by the grace of God, to excite each other to more lively sensibility, and more ardent zeal, in the great Missionary cause which we have associated to carry on; and also that we may be instrumental in adding something to the missionary spirit which we hope already exists in the enlightened and favored population of this city. We are now celebrating the twenty-sixth anniversary of our Board: and, instead of being weary of our work, we can sincerely declare, that in looking back on our past course, our only regret is, that we have not labored with far more diligence and sanctified ardor in the cause of the world's conversion; that our plans have not been more enlarged; and that we have not prayed more, and done more in this greatest of all causes in which Christians can engage. Yes, brethren, beloved of the Lord, we come to mingle our vows with yours; to proclaim with deeper conviction than ever, that we consider the cause of missions as the most precious cause in the world; and to bind ourselves by new resolutions, that we will, by the help of God, with greater zeal than heretofore, "spend and be spent" in this most blessed service. What more worthy object can we seek, than contributing to fill the earth with the glory of the Lord? Brethren, pray for us, that we may be faithful to our sacred trust. Pray for yourselves, that you may not be found wanting in the payment of that mighty debt, you owe to your Divine Master, and to a perishing world. And let us all, more and more, aspire to the honor of being "workers together with God" in hastening the triumphs of Immanuel's universal reign. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly; and let the whole earth be filled with thy glory! Amen! and Amen!

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Chancellor of the University of New-York City.


2 KINGS 4: 19. Carry him to his mother.

THE text is taken from a story of much tenderness and beauty. In the various journeys which Elisha made from Carmel to Samaria, he frequently passed through Shunam, where lived a woman well known for her piety and her rank, among the inhabitants of the place. Seeing how frequently the "holy man of God passed by," she proposed to her husband to have a chamber suitably furnished for his accommodation: "and it shall be," she added, "when he comes, he will turn in hither." The prophet was pleased with this exercise of piety and generosity on his behalf, and when "he came thither, he turned into the chamber and lay there." But if he was pleased, he wished also to manifest his gratitude; and he sent to her, saying, "Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldst thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host?" Promotion at court, however, was not her ambition. She was loved and respected where she was; and she answered, "I dwell among mine own people.''

There was one point, however, on which her feelings were deeply interested. She was childless; had no son or daughter on whom to exercise her affections, and to whom she might impart the influence of her good example, and her distinguished name. And in the way most welcome of all others, we find she had her recompense for the kindness shown to the man of God. Elisha predicts to her the birth of a son, and in due time she becomes the happy mother of a child, the more beloved, no doubt, for his having been given to her with such marks of Heaven's favor.


But how soon may the choicest comforts become sources of bitterest sor"When the child was grown," grown, too, it would appear, to that age of childhood, most interesting to parents, "it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers." While in the field, he is suddenly taken ill, exclaiming to his father, "My head, my head!" who immediately directed one of the lads to "carry him to his mother."

It was the best plan for the child; and, if there was hope for him at all, VOL. 10. No. 8.

there he would find it. But, though carried to her without delay, and from the hour he was brought to her, not once removed from her eye, when "he had sat on her knees till noon, he then died." Overpowered as she must have been for the moment by this sudden çalamity-bher child of promise and of prayer, well in the morning, and a corpse on her lap at noon-yet not a murmur escaped from her; and she began at once to act like one whose mind was more fixed on the resuscitation of her child, than on its burial. "She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God," and then hasted away to Carmel, to lay her sorrow before the prophet, saying to her servant, "Drive, and go forward, slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee." She was seen by Elisha, while yet "afar off;" and his anxiety being awakened by her eager haste, he commands his servant to "run and meet her, and to say un to her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child?" Feeling, as she did, that whatever God does, is well done, she answered, "It is well;" and rushing past the servant, she threw herself in the bitterness of her soul at the feet of " the man of God." There she presented her case, and refused to leave him, till he would go with her to the chamber where the child "was laid upon his bed." He went, therefore, and having entered, and "shut the door upon them twain," he "prayed unto the Lord." In answer to his prayer, accompanied by action significant of his earnest engagedness, the "flesh of the child waxed warm," it "opened its eyes," and its heart again began to beat with the pulsation of life. The anxious mother was then called, and directed to "take up her son," now no longer a cold corpse, but animated with all the freshness of former days. Her joy, as she looked upon him thus restored to life and to her, did not lead her to forget her Maker and his; and, accordingly, first owning the Divine goodness and power to which she was indebted for her child, she "bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son and went out."



The narrative does not tell us how the child grew from this time forth, and what he became in after life. It leaves this to be inferred from the character of the mother, to whose hands his childhood was committed. The silence of the Scriptures is often as full of meaning as its express declarations; and if we are not expressly told in the story before us, yet we are led to believe, that, childhood being spent beneath such a mother's care, manhood must have ripened in piety and usefulness, perhaps in brilliant fame, and death have been met in peace. And here you have the object of our present discourse. It is to show,



How much the future happiness and welfare of children, both in this world and the world to come, must depend on the piety and faithfulness of mothers. Or, in allusion to the history from which our text is taken, it is



to show,

That it depends, under God, on the mother's pious care over those in childhood, how far they are to pass unharmed at last, through the ills of life, and whether they shall be found, in the end, quickened from death in trespasses and sins, and heirs according to the hope of life everlasting. "As is the mother, so is the daughter," saith the proverb of the ancients; and

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equally true is it, in the sense we have described, that "as is the mother, so is the son." Let us consider,

1. How facts bear on the illustration of the truth now advanced. We have read history to little purpose, if we have not observed, that there are periods when corruption seems to acquire à peculiar and fearful sway in our world; and these sad changes are generally attributed to the influence of some distinguished leader, or leaders in wickedness, who impress their own corrupt image on the generation in which they live. But if we trace the evils to their true source, we must go farther back than to the men who stand thus prominent in producing them. Had I time, I would here show, that all those great changes from bad to worse, which have rendered nations so corrupt as to consign them to ruin, have been effected through the corrupting influence of mothers, acting on those in childhood, who, in manhood, became the leading men of their day. Such, the Holy Scriptures inform us, was the real cause of that awful wickedness which brought the waters of the deluge on the earth. It was not till "the sons of God took to them wives of the daughters of men,' (thus contracting unhallowed and forbidden alliances,) that "the wickedness of man became so great in the earth that it repented the Lord that he had made man, and he said, I will destroy man which I created, from the face of the earth." And what is so marked as the immediate cause of the wide spread depravity which called for the destruction of a world, is equally marked in other parts of the Scriptures, as the grand source of ruin to the nations whose history they record. Have you never observed how frequently they allude to the mothers of Israel, and of Judah's kings, when in the days of the nation's decline the throne passed in such rapid succession from one king to another, "who did evil in the sight of the Lord ?" The career of guilt and declension was sometimes checked by the raising up of one good king, who walked in the way of the Lord. Such was Josiah, of whom we are told, "his mother's name was Jedediah ;"- -a name which at once announces her piety and worth. But see how the parentage of the wicked and idolatrous kings is noted. We are told of Abijah, the grandson of Solomon, and who was, perhaps, the first who filled the land with idolatry, that his mother's name was Maachah. Of Ahaziah, the son of Ahab, who did evil exceedingly in the sight of the Lord, we are told that his mother was Jezebel, who stirred up his father Ahab to sin. In like manner we are told of Jehoahaz, that his mother's name was Hamutal; of Jehoiakim, that his mother's name was Zebadah; of Jehoiachin, that his mother's name was Nehushta :-names which, taken in connection with their history, sufficiently show the evil courses they pursued, and the consequent evil influence they would exert.

Now, why was this all so carefully noted? It was to show that the bane of the nation was found in the nurseries of her kings, where their infant minds were tainted and poisoned by their Jezebel mothers; and that being thus early led into sin, when in after life they gained the throne, their baleful influence was felt in spreading wickedness around them, till their nation was carried away into captivity, and their land left a desolation. It was the corrupt queen-mothers, corrupting the minds of their infant sons, who were to be, in future,

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