Page images
PDF
EPUB

remove.

bc summoned to return to the mercy and shrine, any more than change the heart of the sceptre of its lawful sovereign. Tell the worshipper. But Christianity has efthem that you are not the troublers of fected this, and it has been done by the nations; but that their contentions and very means which they despise: that wrongs arise from the lusts which they which they presumptuously called “the cherish, and which you are anxious to foolishness of preaching," has proved the

Tell them that which may power of God. The scorn and derision silence their apprehensions as to the issue. turn upon their own heads; for “the It is only to look at the world as it is; foolishness of God is wiser than man; worse it cannot be made; better it may and the weakness of God is stronger than be. But who can look at the world as it man." is, lying in wickedness, and broken with They assert that our designs are sinister, sorrow, without a relenting heart and a our own efforts injurious. We have heamelting eye ? without looking up to the ven and earth to refute the falsehood. Father of the family of man, and praying, Heaven, in the sanction which it has “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done given to the efforts-earth in the benefit on earth as it is heaven,” and without which it has received from them. To so calling into exercise all the exertions foul a calumny it would be a degradation which the expressed desire demands ? to make any other answer than to appeal

They tell you that your resources are to the principles which we inculcate, and inadequate ; the means which you possess to point to the effects which they produce. are not proportionate to the end which They require no defence they speak for you contemplate. Reply to them, that themselves. you do not proceed upon human calcula When, having exhausted all other obtions; that this departure from the ordi- jections, they conclude that the thing is nary rule arises not from fanaticism, but impossible, there are two clear answers to because the rule does not apply to an ordi- such an assumption. It is presumptuous, nary subject; the cause is not your own, as it regards the Being whose work it is. and the success is not your own; that It is, indeed, impossible with man; and you use the means prescribed by him their own vain labours sufficiently estawhose interests you labour to advance, blish it—but not with God; “for with and that you cheerfully leave the result God all things are possible.” It is irrawith him. Show them that by these de- tional; for Reason replies, that what has spised and confessedly disproportionate been done, may be done again ; and the means the triumphs of Christianity have history of the church in all ages, the state been hitherto secured ; and that what has of our own country, nay, our own hopes been effected is a sufficient guarantee for and principles, establish the possibility whatever remains to be done. Your ex- of that moral change which Christianity ternal means are, indeed, limited; but effects upon human nature, and the ceryour hidden resources are eternal and tainty of its success. Such are the obinexhaustible.

jections which the opponents of revelation They say that yours is the wild dream usually bring against missionary objects and the contemptible effort of fanaticism. and efforts, and you perceive of how Before they venture to pronounce upon small weight they are when laid in the your pretensions, they ought to blush for balance of truth. the practical defeat of their own in every III. And lastly, I detain you a few moage. Point them to the desolated temples ments longer to press upon your attention of superstition and cruelty; to the forsaken the peculiar obligations devolving upon altars, where human blood flowed ; to the the rising generation, and their incalculaabolished and infamous rites of heathen ble importance to missionary success. worship, and tell them, that while philoso- The application of these obvious principhy denounced these, it could not remove ples must be left to yourselves. them; it could not stay the effusion of in All the obligations generally stated, are nocent blood, nor cleanse the polluted | peculiarly pressed upon you. When the

[ocr errors]

prophetic eye of the psalmist beheld the your early consecration to the cause of rcliexpiring Saviour upon the cross, distin- gion. You are now in the spring of your guished the manner of his death, and its age, in the flower of your beauty ; devote cruel circumstances, saw the soldiers di- yourselves to that Saviour, for it is he viding his garments and casting lots for who calls; who clothed

you
with

grace, his vesture, heard the insulting taunts of and girded you with strength; who gave the priests and of the multitude, and even symmetry to the frame, and intelligence his own dying complaint of desertion, he to the understanding ; his hand fashioned anticipated also the glorious results of this you, his Spirit inspires you; he died to sacrifice, and the universal empire which raise the body which must soon decay to should arise out of it. Then his eyes immortality; to renovate the faculties of were turned upon the importance of the the spirit which will become incumbered rising generation in connexion with the by the infirmities of its frail tabernacle, extension of his cause. As to the result, in a state fitted to their grandeur; to rehe said, “ All the ends of the world shall deem the soul from destruction, and to remember and turn unto the Lord; and all give expansion to all its intellectual grasp the kindreds of the nations shall worship in eternity. Come, and dedicate the firstbefore thee: for the kingdom is the fruits of your existence to him, who will Lord's, and he is the governor among the ripen it into everlasting glory. nations.” As to the means, and the espe The voice of nature sanctions the demands cial influence of the young, he added, “ A of religion. Your fathers are passing seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted away-the sacred phalanx that once stood to the Lord for a generation. They shall so firm is broken-the ranks that occucome, and shall declare his righteousness pied the front of the battle are thinnedunto a people that shall be born, that he the fragment of a clay remains alone to hath done this."

the veterans who yet keep the field. They You possess advantages superior to those called upon you to fill the vacant spaces; who preceded you. “Other men laboured, upon you, noble youths, to be baptized and ye have entered into their labours." for the dead; upon you to receive the coSo said Jesus when he pointed out to his lours of the cross from their dying hand; disciples fields white unto the harvest, upon you to stand last amidst the shock which patriarchs had ploughed, prophets of battle, while the trumpet that blows an sowed, and martyrs watered with their onset for you, sounds the signal of retreat blood. “I sent you to reap that upon for them. Buckle on your armour, and which ye bestowed no labour.” This, take courage by their example, who die my young friends, is your position; and with their harness on, and when they fall, this is your advantage. If the toil de- write, “I have conquered," upon their volves upon you, so does the experience shield. It was thus that Paul the aged of those who went before you in this encouraged the youthful Timothyarduous enterprise. They sounded the “Watch thou in all things, endure afflicalarm in the ears of a slumbering world: tion, do the work of an evangelist, make let the awakened nations now wait to full proof of thy ministry. For I am now receive your testimony. Besides which, ready to be offered, and the time of my when personal labours abroad cannot be departure is at hand. I have fought a rendered, your prosperity, your talents, good fight; I have finished my course; I your influence at home, may all be bene- have kept the faith. Henceforth there is ficially employed. The harvest of the laid op for me a crown of righteousness, world is ripe ; the ingathering belongs to which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall you, and to those who shall follow you give me at that day; and not to me only, The present generation has sown in tears, but to all them also that love his appearalthough not altogether so; the future ing." generation shall reap with unmingled The hopes of the world are fixed upon joy.

you ; and the cries of hundreds of millions There is peculiar beauty and fitness in of immortal spirits poured in upon your

ear. These hopes are cherished, and these cometh.” You are about to occupy the cries are raised, with a confidence corres- place of your fathers, and your children ponding with the promise of your years. will, hereafter occupy yours. Do the Age may be dull, and grow indolent; but ravages of death appal you? It is true, youth is active, and cannot excuse itself ministers and missionaries are not im from employment. Avarice is cruel, and mortal, but their cause is : its friends are is sometimes thought to be the vice of like the foam of the billows which the age; but youth is generous, and for you tempests scatter ; but it resembles the to be covetous would be unnatural ; to be eternal flow of the ocean, rolling its ful. parsimonious in such a cause would be ness upon the most distant shores. criminal. Spare nothing ; time, property, 0 ye heroic spirits, who have met talent, influence, labour, prayer; bring all, death in all its forms; by fire or the and lay it upon the altar which “sancti- wave, by famine or the sword, by climate fieth both the gift and the giver;" and or oppression, from the beginning of the before which eventually “every knee creation to this hour,—who have stood shall bow."

firm amidst all danger, undismayed by You must succeed. It is possible that persecution, unterrified by your adverdiscouragements will arise; it is certain saries,-spirits of martyred missionathat difficulties must be encountered ; it ries, who in all ages have suffered for is probable that disappointments may be the truth as it is in Jesus ; from rightfelt. Fear none of these things; you eous Abel down to blameless Smith; if may be compelled to retreat; you can ye could attend our call, we would never be conquered. If the magnanimity summon you here to tell those young of a senate could thank a vanquished champions for the cause for which you general because he did not despair of his expired, from what fountains ye drew Country-what cowardice is ours, fight- your resources, and what rewards now ing under the banner of a captain always recompense your labours. But it canvictorious, if we should faint, because the not be; you rest from your toils, and battle waxes hot, or the advantage seems even the cause of religion must not to balance for a moment between the con- interrupt your repose. To thee, then, tending hosts, or the campaign is pro- holy and eternal Spirit, by whom these longed beyond our expectations. To the were what they were, we appeal; thou timid pilot who was afraid to launch into art ever present; may a double porthe deep at the bidding of Cæsar, when a tion of those influences by which thou frightful tempest raged"Fear nothing," didst honour them, rest upon those young said the hero, “ you carry Cæsar and his and ardent minds, devoted in their refortunes.” And you who are embarked spective stations, and in their day, to in the missionary cause, carry in your the same service, and upon the genevessel, not Jesus and his fortunes, for rations that shall follow them, until all with him nothing is contingent; but shall be consummated; until the SaJesus and his interests, interests so dear viour shall appear the second time, withto him that he died to secure them; and out a sin-offering, unto salvation ; and he who sails with you can rebuke the when he shall rise from his throne of tempest, and instantly there shall be a judgment, the shouts of the myriads of great calm. Does the lapse of time ef- the redeemed shall overpower the thunfect you? It is true, “one generation ders which destroy the material universe. passeth away, and another generation. Amen.

NO. XIII.

ably elegant and polished, and there is a THE PULPIT GALLERY,

rich vein of evangelical piety running through all his works.

As a preacher, he is admired for the THE REV. WM. BENGO COLLYER, D. D. varied excellencies of his discourses.

They are equally removed from vulgar cant

and high flown mysticism.-His voice “I venerate the man whose heart is warm,

is soft and melodious, and his action reWhose hands are pure, whose doctrine and markably elegant. The tender and pathewhose life

tic are his forte. Coincident, exhibit lucid proof

With a mind stored with classical That he is honest in the sacred cause."

learning, and a good memory, perfect CowPER

self-possession, and a knowledge of Scrip

ture language, he illustrates his subjects There are few men who have obtained with such an easiness of manner as to a greater degree of celebrity, or who have awaken curiosity and secure attention: exercised a more powerful influence upon neither art nor labour is visible in his pul. others, than the Reverend Doctor Collyer. pit exercises. Like Jeremy Taylor, he His name has always been able to attract does not confine himself to a dry exposia numerous congregation, and for a long tion of a text, but ranges over all nature series of years his labours have been de- and art for new and striking images, and servedly honoured by the Christian world. this is done without affectation,-so thai He is one of the few who have been able the poorest and most illiterate can underto withstand the seductions of popular stand him, and the learned cannot be applause, and to keep on the even tenor offended.

his way, notwithstanding the flattery Occasionally, he ascends to the dignity of friends. And few have been so much of argument and expostulation, and his exposed to the temptation of vanity. language then becomes bold and animated, Praised alike by the learned and igno- and his manner ardent and impassioned. rant, by wealth and fashion, by royal-His eloquence is like that of the school and noble friends, it is a sure proof of his which immediately succeeded the orations genuine piety, that amidst such libations of Cicero,-—correct, polished, elegant,he has continued humble.

where, if there was little to offend the With all sects of true Christians, the taste, there was still less to call for the doctor appears to be on terms of cordiality vehement emotions of mighty passions, and friendship. The bishops and clergy struggling to imbody in action the variof the Established Church, his own and ous duties which the orator enforced upon other denominations, equally venerate his the people. Yet this may be imputed character, and applaud his published la- more to the taste of the age than to the bours. The list of subscribers to his fault of the preacher. lectures proves his acquaintance with the The theology of the Doctor is drawn religious, political, and literary world ; from the Bible; and to that sacred source and names are found there which it is he on all occasions appeals for the truth honourable to mention. This at least of his statements. He does not, howshows that his merit is sterling, that his ever, despise the aid of learned men, but, piety is sincere, and that his works are where their sentiments are in unison valued.

with truth, he readily adopts them. This As an author, although he cannot claim gives greater variety to his preaching. the palm of originality, yet his researches He is most at home when dwelling upon -his various learning-his accumulation the consolations of religion; here, indeed, of interesting facts his presenting old his talents shine forth, and the poor and and familiar truths in a new and striking wounded in spirit are refreshed under his manner, entitle him to rank high as a ministrations. When detailing the love theological writer. His style is remark- of our Saviour, when he exhibits his suf

ferings and death to accomplish our sal- eclipsing all light in its surpassing ravation, he triumphs over the coldness of diance. So it grew as the mustard scepticism and unbelief, and warms the seed, which indeed is the smallest of heart with pious emotion.

all seeds;' but when its maturity shall The Doctor's life has been one of devo- have come, not the birds of the air,' tion to the cause of God and man: his but all nations of the earth shall find great popularity as a public teacher has repose under its shadow. So it rose always kept in full exercise his pulpit as the fountain rises,—a spring of live talents, and the press bears testimony to ing water gushing forth ; but now it his unwearied exertions to promote true is a • river, the streams whereof make religion. Besides his seven volumes of glad the city of our God ;' and in the lectures, which contain many new and fulness of time, its healing waters ingenious arguments in support of Chris- shall flow over all the kingdoms of tianity-a vast storehouse of curious and the world,

Its voice is more power. interesting facts—he has published a ful than the thunder, to which science great many single sermons, and other can easily point out the bounds asuseful works, all tending to increase and signed ; and it is softer than the gale multiply the disciples of Jesus. of the summer's evening: it would

The following is a specimen of his seem as though the universe were constyle, from the last volume of his Lec- structed to convey its sound into all tures : he is speaking of the progress of lands: it was whispered in the east, the gospel. "The beginnings were mi- and rolled round to the west-it is reraculous, but the close shall be inconceiv- peated in the west, and rolls back to able. Who, that had seen the little band the east. It is gentle as the spring of brothers issuing from their upper cham- shower, and as fructifying the wilderber, in all the simplicity of their charac- ness and the solitary place is glad because ter, unarmed, unpatronized, could have of it, and the desert rejoices and blossoms imagined that the throne of the Cæsars as the rose.'— It is all-embracing, vivifyshould feel their power, and veil its glory ing, enlightening, supplying, controlling, before them; and that the stupendous as the sun ; but the sun has his period, structure of paganism, reared by philoso- and shall sleep in the clouds forgetful phy, cemented by habit, and upon which of the voice of the morning.' But, we restate policy had built its power and au- peat, what shall the end be? It is allthority, should vanish like a morning glorious and eternal as the heaven to cloud as they advanced? Yet so it was, which it leads--where there is no night so went forth the word of salvation, as the - for the Lord God and the Lamb are day breaks—its first beam distinguishing the light of it;' where the nations of itself, by its purity, from the lamp of the redeemed shall walk;' and they reason and the torch of philosophy; but shall reign with the Redeemer for ever wherever it poured its meridian splendour, and ever. Amen.”

VOL. I.-51

2 L 2

« PreviousContinue »