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live not only safely, and blissfully for themselves, but for their children, and children's children; in which the accumulated treasures of wisdom, and knowledge, and wealth, which any and all may be enabled to accumulate, instead of drowning in destruction and perdition those who come after them, may be so used as to work out for them an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
Parents, do you wish to be rich, and to have your children rich ? to live rich, to die rich, and to be rich to all eternity? Be rich in good works ; ready to distribute ; willing to communicate ; and thus lay up for yourselves and them, a good foundation against the time to come ; an inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and never to fade away. Do you wish for glory? Inscribe your names and those of your children, on a monument where they will shine, in living characters, an eternity after all the monuments of earth shall have crumbled into ruins ; inscribe them on those living stones 'of that living temple, whose foundation is the Prince of life; and where they shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars, forever and ever. Though it is to be built by the Spirit of the Lord, yet he has need of you, and of your children. And forget not, 0, I beseech you, forget not, that you and they have need of him, and will continue to have need of him, to all eternity. His favor is life, and his loving kindness is better than life.
6. We see in view of this subject, that the missionary of the cross is engaged in a great and glorious work. Men may, if they will, view him with pity, or contempt; as a wild enthusiast, or blind fanatic. God views him as a co-worker with himself ; in preparing his own eternal habitation. They are workers together with God. Though he dwelleth not in temples made with hands, as he saith, “ Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool;" yet, he dwelleth also with the humble, and taketh up his abode with the contrite in heart. As it is written, “ Ye are the temple of the living God.” And God hath said, “ I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” “ If a man love me, my father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode, with him.” He shall dwell in them, and they in him; and they shall be filled eternally with the fulness of God. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.
7. As the Spirit of the Lord is the author and finisher of this work, all are bound to be instant, sincere, fervent, and persevering, not only in labors, but in supplications to him, that their efforts, and the efforts of others, may not be in vain, in the Lord. Without his influence, though you put a Bible into every family, and preach the gospel to every creature, not a blind eye, will be opened, nor a deaf ear be unstopped ; not a hard heart will be softened, nor a distant soul be brought nigh by the blood of Jesus. Not a living stone will ever shine in that living temple, but all will be cold, motionless, and dead. Even the glorious gospel, that word of life, will be, through its perversion, a savor only of death unto death. Butlet the voice of the “Resurrec
tion and the life," "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light,” be proclaimed, even by the feeble tongue of mortals, and attended, as in answer to humble affectionate supplications, it will be, by the power of him who quickeneth the dead, and calleth things that are not as though they were; and there shall be a shaking among the dry bones; and bones shall come together, bone to his bone ; and flesh and sinews shall come upon them; and they shall stand up for God, an exceeding great army. Nations shall be born in a day. I, Jehovah, have spoken, and I will do it: I will hasten it; for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and water the earth, and cause it to bring forth and bud—so shall
word be. It shall not return unto me void, but shall accomplish that which I please, and shall prosper in the things whereto I sent it. Ye shall go forth with joy, and be led forth with peace. The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn, shall come up the fir tree; instead of the brier, the myrtle tree. The glory of Lebanon shall come; the fir tree and the box tree, to beautify the place of my sanctuary. And I will make it glorious. Thy walls shall be salvation, and thy gates praise.
8. As the Spirit of the Lord is the builder of this temple, it will be completed. For four thousand years he was preparing to lay the foundation ; and that is now done. For six thousand years he has been preparing the materials; and taking them on to the spot. Not a few, whom I once saw, here, and some who took part with us in these deliberations, I now see, there, shining like the sun. Multitudes, partakers of the same boundless grace, are now on their way. And he who hath begun this good work, is able, and he has resolved to finish it; to carry them onward; and all who shall follow them, and present them, spotless, and faultless, before the Eternal. And has he begun, and will he not make end? Shall
of his enemies ever taunt him, and say, He began to build, and was not able to finish ? No. Let difficulties accumulate till they fill the whole earth, and rise up to heaven. What art thou, O great mountain ? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain ; and he shall bring forth the head-stone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, GRACE, UNTO IT.
Let all the enemies of Christ in our world unite to oppose it, and let all who people the world of darkness come forth to assist them; let/them be aided by every enemy of God in the universe, and the rising of this temple, will laugh at opposition and mock every
effort to resist it. Disappointment will be written upon every exertion, and all opposers held up to the view of the universe, as everlasting monuments of their own weakness and folly. They will soon feel, that they are contending, not with might, nor with power, but with the Spirit of the Lord ; who looketh on the mountains, and they tumble; on the hills, and they melt: from whose face the heavens and the earth flee away.
Opposer of Christ, you may, if you will, prevent yourself from ever
becoming a part of this temple; and carry yourself to a spot, from which should you ever behold it, it will be at an amazing distance ; and on the other side of an impassable gulf. Its glory may exceed a thousand suns, and cast its brightness even on you; but it will only show you in ten-fold horrors, the gloomy darkness of that dreadful abyss into which you will forever be descending. To that abyss you are going ; to continue there, forever, na pi* Unless born from above, created anew, And washed in the fountain, now open
Why hažard your souls by a longer delay?
Then rise in triumph, to that temple above. And the glory shall be given, all to him, to whom it is all due, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the God of salvation, forever.
By Rev. RUFUS ANDERSON, D. D.,
ONE OF THE SECRETARIES OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS.
THE PROMISED ADVENT OF THE SPIRIT.
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all
flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days, will I pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”—JOEL 2 : 2832.
How evident it is that more is wanting than we now have to bring about the conversion of the world—both to multiply the means, and to give them success. Not that the churches of Christ are unable to publish the gospel every where. Not that there is a lack of opportunity. - Not that the experiments already made have been without
ample encouragement. Not, in short, that a sufficient motive is wanting to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. But who does not know, that the churches are slow to engage in this work ?--that the work itself is regarded in the light of a charity, which one is at liberty to perform, or not, as he pleases, instead of being the great thing, for which the church exists, and for which the Christian lives?—and that it is hard to obtain the men to go as missionaries to heathen nations, and still harder the means of supporting the few that go; while the results of missionary labor, though equal, nay, superior to those of pastoral labor at home, and greater than is generally supposed, are still such as would require ages upon ages to complete the earth's spiritual renovation ?
Does it follow, that the conversion of the world, by means of human instrumentality, is a hopeless or even doubtful work? By no
On the contrary, the enterprise is full of hope, full of certainty. And it is so for a reason which is gloriously set forth in the Scriptures. The piety of the professed people of God is not always to remain in its present low condition. The church is to have a transforming visitation from on high; and the world is to have a similar visitation. The Spirit is to be poured out upon all flesh. There is to be an advent of the Spirit, so to speak—a grand putting forth of his influence, a mighty effort of his power, that shall ensure both the publication and the triumph of the gospel over all the world.
The delightful theme, then, on which we are to dwell, is this :That a time is coming when divine power is to be exerted, in connection with the preached gospel, at home and abroad, to an extent far greater than it ever has been, so as to render the gospel every where triumphant beyond all former erperience.
My first object, of course, will be to ESTABLISH this great truth.
As a first step in the argument I assert the fact, that such an exer. cise of divine power is NECESSARY, if the world is to be converted.
Look at the greatness of the work to be done. The field is the world, with scarcely less than a thousand millions of inhabitants Three-fourths of these are beyond the pale of Christendom—Moham. medans, or else Pagans. Estimating the population of China a three hundred and fifty millions, which is believed to be its true pop. ulation, at least eight hundred millions are yet to be made acquainte with the gospel. Whether we regard this part of the great fiek numerically, or geographically, its magnitude is truly overwhelming And all the missions, which we discover in our survey of it, seen only a few bright points on a boundless region of darkness. We may contemplate the magnitude of the work in a two-fold aspect first, as so many hundred millions of minds, to be approached in al the extent of their wide dispersion, and then interested, enlightened and won over to the kingdom of Jesus Christ, involving the overthrow of numerous ancient systems of philosophy and superstition and an almost entire revolution in the social state of mankind. And secondly, as an endeavor to enlist the whole Christian community in this work, and for a long course of years, and to an extent of self
consecration and devotedness very far beyond any thing yet seen in any portion of that community. How many thousands of the best and ablest members of the church must engage personally as missionaries; and how
millions of money must be contributed annually, to furnish them and their native helpers with the means of living and usefulness.
Now who does not see, in this view, the necessity of such an agency of the Spirit? In vain shall we expect so universal a movement, so vast a spiritual revolution, without it, either in the church, or the world. Indeed it must be confessed, that the zeal and enterprise of the church are almost as much behind this result, as is the spiritual condition of pagan nations. There is even more difficulty, as I believe, in perceiving how we are to obtain the means for the great moral conflict, than how, if we had them, they could be successfully employed. I feel more inclined to despair, when looking on the worldliness and apathy of the church, than by all I can see of opposition and difficulty elsewhere. Woe to the world, if the church is not to be blessed with such an outpouring of the Spirit! And alas for mankind, if that Almighty Agent does not soon wing the rays of his truth everywhere, with far more of his Power Divine!
2. Proceeding another step in the argument, I assert, that such a result is not only necessary, but HIGHLY PROBABLE, irrespective of all direct prophecy or promise on the subject.
Who can believe, that a world embraced within the range of the influence of Christ's atoning blood, is always to remain covered with the ruins of the fall ? Who, after learning that the Son of God made a sacrifice of his own life in order to destroy the works and power of the devil, can believe that the god of this world is always to hold his usurped dominions? Who, that has reflected on the object and plan and history of redemption, does not expect that work to proceed onward till its influence embraces the whole earth? It is not prophecy and promise alone, that awakens expectations of this sort. Such expectations arise also from just views of the gospel as a system of mercy; they are the spontaneous breathings of every heart that is filled with the love of Christ. The true follower of Christ rejoices to anticipate the triumphs of his King, the universal extension of his reign, and the clearing off from the face of the whole earth of the ruins of the fall. And though this result be connected with ever so great an amount of human instrumentality, he spontaneously refers it to divine power as the only effective cause. And the more pains you take to make him acquainted with the greatness of the enterprise, the more does he feel the necessity of divine interposition for its accomplishment; and the more probable does it seem to him that his almighty and gracious King will grant such an interposition. Yes, it is an animating truth, that what the world needs there is the highest: probability, under the government of God, that it will sooner or later have. And what does it need so much, let me ask, as such a gracious visitation of the Holy Spirit as is predicted and promised in the Scriptures ?