Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and the stake, where they wore the crown of martyrdom 15 in the cause of Jesus, has ascended in thick volumes to

the skies. The tribes of persecution have sported over her woes, and erected monuments, as they imagined, of her perpetual ruin. But where are her tyrants, and

where their empires ? the tyrants have long since gone 20 to their own place; their names have descended upon

the roll of infamy; their empires have passed, like shadows over the rock--they have successively disappeared, and left not a trace behind !

But what became of the church? She rose from 25 her ashes fresh in beauty and might. Celestial glory

beamed around her; she dashed down the monumental marble of her foes, and they who hated her fled before her. She has celebrated the funeral of kings and king

doms that plotted her destruction ; and, with the in30 scriptions of their pride, has transmitted to posterity

the records of their shame. How shall this phenomenon be explained ? We are at the present moment, witnesses of the fact ; but who can unfold the mystery.

The book of truth and life, has made our wonder to 35 cease. "The LORD HER GOD IN THE MIDST OF HER IS

Mighty. His presence is a fountain of health, and his protection a wall of fire.' He has betrothed her, in eternal covenant to himself. Her living head, in

whom she lives, is above, and his quickening spirit 40 shall never depart from her. Armed with divine sir

tue, his gospel, secret, silent, unobserved, enters the hearts of men and sets up an everlasting kingdom. It eludes all the vigilance, and baffles all the power of the

adversary. Bars, and bolts, and dungeons are no ob45 stacle to its approach: Bonds, and tortures, and death

cannot extinguish its influence. Let no man's heart
tremble, then, because of fear. Let no man despair
(in these days of rebuke and blasphemy,) of the Chris-
tian cause.
The ark is launched, indeed, upon

the 50 foods; the tempest sweeps along the deep; the billows

break over her on every side. But Jehovah-Jesus has promised to conduct her in safety to the haven of peace. She cannot be lost unless the pilot perish. Mason.

[ocr errors]

93. Obligations to the Pilgrims.

Let us go back to the rock, where the Pilgrims first stood, and look abroad upon this wide and happy land, so full of their lineal or adopted sons, and repeat

the question, to whom do we owe it, that “the wilder5 ness has thus been turned into a fruitful field, and the

desert has become as the garden of the Lord ?" To whom do we owe it, under an all-wise Providence, that this nation, so miraculously born, is now contributing

with such effect to the welfare of the human family, by 10 aiding the march of mental and moral improvement,

and giving an example to the nations of what it is to be pious, intelligent, and free ? To whom do we owe it, that with us the great ends of the social compact are ac

complished to a degree of perfection never before real15 ized; that the union of public power and private liber

ty is here exhibited in a harmony so singular and perfect, as to allow the might of political combination to rest upon the basis of individual virtue, and to call into

exercise, by the very freedom which such a union gives, 20 all the powers that contribute to national prosperity ?

To whom do we owe it, that the pure and powerful light of the gospel is now shed abroad over these countries, and is rapidly gaining upon the darkness of the

western world ;--that the importance of religion to the 25 temporal welfare of men, and to the permanence of wise

institutions is here beginning to be felt in its just measure ;--that the influence of a divine revelation is not here, as in almost every other section of christendom,

wrested to purposes of worldly ambition ;—that the ho30 ly Bible is not sealed from the eyes of those for whom it

was intended ;-and the best charities and noblest powers of the soul degraded by the terrors of a dark and artful superstition ? To whom do we owe it, that in

this favoured land the gospel of the grace of God has 35 best displayed its power to bless humanity, by uniting

the anticipations of a better world with the highest interests and pursuits of this ;—by carrying its merciful influence into the very business and bosoms of men ;

by making the ignorant wise and the miserable happy; 40 — by breaking the fetters of the slave, and teaching

" the babe and the suckling” those simple and sublime truths, which give to life its dignity and virtue, and fill immortality with hope ?-To whom do owe all this?

Doubtless to the Plymouth Pilgrims !--Happily did one 45 of those fearless exiles exclaim, in view of all that was

past, and of the blessing, and honour, and glory that was yet to come,

“God hath sisted three kingdoms, that he might gather the choice grain, and plant it in the wilderness !"

Whelpley.

[blocks in formation]

'Tis done! dread Winter spreads his latest glooms, And reigns tremendous o'er the conquer'd year. How dead the vegetable kingdom lies !

How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide extends 5 His desolate domain. Behold, fond man!

See here thy pictur'd life : pass some few years,
Thy flow'ring Spring, thy Summer's ardent strength,
The sober Autumn fading into age,

And pale concluding Winter comes at last,
10 And shuts the scene. Ah! whither now are fled

Those dreams of greatness ? those unsolid hopes
Of happiness ? those longings after fame ?
Those restless cares ? those busy bustling days?

Those gay-spent, festive nights ? those veering thoughts 15 Lost between good and ill, that shar'd thy life?

All now are vanish'd ! Virtue sole survives,
Immortal, never-failing friend of man,
His guide to happiness on high. And see!

'Tis come, the glorious morn! the second birth 20 Of heav'n and earth! awak’ning Nature hears

The new-creating word, and starts to life,
In ev'ry heighten'd form, from pain and death
For ever free. The great eternal scheme,

Involving all, and in a perfect whole 25 Uniting as the prospect wider spreads,

To reason's eye refin'd, clears up apace,

ye

Ye vainly wise! blind presumptious! now,
Confounded in the dust, adore that Pow'r

And Wisdom oft arraign'd; see now the cause 30 Why unassuming worth in secret liv’d,

And died neglected : why the good man's share
In life was gall and bitterness of soul :
Why the lone widow and her orphans pin'd

In starving solitude; while luxury,
35 In palaces, lay straining her low thought,

To form unreal wants; why heaven-born truth,
And moderation fair, wore the red marks
Of superstition's scourge : why licens'd pain,

That cruel spoiler, that embosom’d foe,
40 Imbitter'd all our bliss. Ye good distress'd !

Ye noble few! who here unbending stand
Beneath life's pressure, yet bear up a while,
And what your bounded view, which only saw

A little part, deem'd evil, is no more;
45 The storms of Wintry Time will quickly pass,

And one unbounded Spring encircle all. Thomson.

95. Present facilities for evangelizing the world compared

with those of Primitive times. The means of extending knowledge, and influencing the human mind by argument and moral power, are multiplied a thousand fold. The Lancasterian mode of

instruction renders the instruction of the world cheap 5 and easy. The improvements of the press have re

duced immensely, and will reduce yet more, the price of books, bringing not only Tracts and Bibles, but even libraries within the reach of every man and every child.

But in the primitive age, the light of science beamed 10 only on a small portion of mankind. The mass of man

kind were not, and could not be, instructed to read. Every thing was transient and fluctuating, because so little was made permanent in books, and general knowl.

edge, and so much depended on the character, the life 15 and energy of the living teacher. The press, that lev

er of Archimedes, which now moves the world, was unknown.

It was the extinction of science by the invasion of the northern barbarians, which threw back the world ten 20 centuries ; and this it effected through the want of per

manent instruction, and the omnipotent control of opinion which is exerted by the press. Could Paul have put in requisition the press, as it is now put in requisition

by Christianity, and have availed himself of literary so25 cieties, and Bible societies, and Lancasterian schools

to teach the entire population to read, and of Bibles, and Libraries and Tracts, Mahomet had never opened the bottomless pit, and the Pope had never set his foot

upon the neck of kings, nor deluged Europe with the 30 blood of the saints.

Should any be still disposed to insist, that our advantages for evangelizing the world, are not to be compared with those of the apostolic age, let them reverse the

scene, and roll back the wheels of time, and obliterate 35 the improvements in science and commerce and arts,

which now facilitate the spread of the Gospel. Let them throw into darkness all the known portions of the earth, which were then unknown. Let them throw into dis

tance the propinquity of nations: and exchange their 40 rapid intercourse for cheerless, insulated existence.

Let the magnetic power be forgotten, and the timid navigator creep along the coasts of the Mediterranean, and tremble and cling to the shore when he looks

out upon the loud waves of the Atlantic. Inspire 45 idolatry with the vigor of meridian manhood, and arm

in its defence, and against Christianity, all the civilization, and science, and mental power of the world. Give back to the implacable Jew his inveterate unbelief, and

his vantage ground, and disposition to oppose Christian50 ity in every place of his dispersion, from Jerusalem to

every extremity of the Roman Empire. Blot out the means of extending knowledge and exerting influence, upon the human mind. Destroy the Lancasterian sys

tem of instruction, and throw back the mass of men into 55 a state of unreading, unreflecting ignorance. Blot out

libraries, and Tracts; abolish Bible and Education and Tract and Missionary Societies ; and send the nations for knowledge parchment, and the slow and limited pro

« AnteriorContinuar »