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Hence the exclamation of the Prophet, '^ Sing, O
" ye Heavens, for the Lord hath done it : fliout
" ye lower parts of the earth : break forth into
*^' iinging, ye mountains, O forell and every tree
" therein : for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and
'• glorified himfelf in Ifrael." Hence the fong of
the '^ heavenly hofts praifing God and faying,
" Glory to God in the higheit, and on earth
" peace, good-will towards men."

The Gofpei difplays the glory of God in " re-
'^ newing us after his image in righteoufnefs and
^' true holinefs." I remember the words of our
Saviour at the grave of Lazarus, '' Martha, faid I
'^ not unto thee, that if thou wouldeit believe, thou
'' <houldell furcly fee the glory of God ?'' Did the
glory of God appear in the re-animation of a breath-
Icls body ? x\nd ffiall it not much more appear in
tlie refarreclion of a foul " dead in trefpaiies and
^•' fins ?'' — L^pon this principle God promifcs to
^^ place fiivation in Zion for Ifrael liis glory."

I w^oulei not haltily pafs over this part of our
fubje6l. Man was originally created in the like-
nef? of God ; but he loit it by iin. The law ftill
requires this rcfemblance, but it is the Gofpei that
■eticcls it. " If any man be in Chrift he is a new
" creature." '^ Beholding as in a glafs the glory of
^'^ the Lord we are changed into the fame image from
^'^ glory to glory even as by the fpirit of the Lord."
Every thing in the Gofpei refleds honour upon
God. Its dodrines, its precepts, its threatnings,
its promifes are ail worthy of God ; but they are its
effects which mod clearly decide its fuperiority
over every other fvftcm. Plato with all his dili^
gence, and with all the celebrity his philofophy ac-
quired him, was unable to bring over the inliabit-
ants of one city, or one village to walk by his

rules.



78 PRAYER FOR THE

niles. The law only 'dcfcribes duty, and enforces
obIig;ation by propoling rewards and punifliincnts.
But " the fpirit of life in Chrift Jefus" makes us
•' free from the law of fin and death/' The
*^ Qolpel is the power of God to falvation to every
" one that believeth." By an admirable method
God puts his word into the heart. The apollle
James fpeaks of it under a very familiar allufion.
You all know the procefs of grafting; a tree. The
fcion infertcd, drives baek oppohng juices, diffufes
its own fuperior fap, converts the whole ftock into
its own quality, and caufes it to bring forth new
fruit — fueh is " the engrafted word which is able
*^ to fave the foul." It produces an internal afli-
milation, evidenced by the " fruit of the fpirit, love,
*' joy, peace, long-fuffering, gentlenels, goodnef>,
'^ faith, meeknefs, temperance.'' This changes the
nature, and fills the underflanding with right fen-
timents and the heart with right difpofitions.
This by its all-powerful energy fubdues deep-rooted
prejudices, fenfual palfions, worldly interefts.
This by its all-cheering confolation refcues the
mind from defpair, and makes us " joyful in tribu-
" lation" and triumphant in the hour of death. — I
appeal to fa6t. In the firft ages of the church did
not the Gofpcl make men wife, and holy, and hap-
py, and ufeful ? Did it not '• teach them to deny
*' all ungodlinefs and worldly lufts, and to live fo-
*' berly^ righteoully and godly in this preicnt world,
*' and to look for that blefled hope and the glorious
*' ap})earance of the great God and our Saviour Je-
*^ fus Chriil ?'* And does it not to this dny produce
the fame efie(!n:s when it is faithfully preached ?
The world cannot be ignorant of this, nor can the
promoters of erroneous lyftems amidft the unpro-
fitablcnefs of their miniftry be unacquainted with
it. Blefled be God, we frequently fee the drunk-
ard becoming fober, the fwearer learning to " fear
^^ an oath/' the covetous expanding with liberality.

Yc?,



SUCCESS OP THE GOSPEL. /^

Yes. there are living examples of perfons who were
once a terror to themlelves, a curfe to their families,
a judgment to their neighbours^, delivered by the
preaehing of the crofs from the anghifli of a guilty
confcience and the tyranny of vicious pallions, be-
coming '^ peaceable, gentle, eafy to be entreated;
'^ full of mercy and good fruits." " The wolf dwells
" with the lamb, and the leopard lies down v/ith
*^ the kid, and the wolf and the young lion and the
*' fatling together, and a little child leads them."
However unbelievers may fafpedl the truth of the
Gofpel,it would feem impofllble for them to deny its
utility. They may call it a fable, but this fable ha^
been more cificacious in reforming the world than
the moil ferious truths of philofophers, and the moil
fevcre laws of uK^giit rates. What they defpife as
a human invention, was m.ore beneficial to mankind
in a fL'W years, than all other boailed fchemes
through a fuccefTion of ages. No other collcdlioii
of doctrine aim.s fo high as the chriftian difpcnfa-
tion. It affecfs nothing lefs tlian to turn fallen
men into angels, and to form focieties below like
the " general allembly of juit men made perfed^t: in
*' Heaven." Chafmg away error, vice, enmity,
difcord, and rll the malignity with which fm has
filled the earth, it difi'ufes light, love, and harm.o-
ny, and unites men fiift to God and then to each
other in one divine and heavenly fraternity. Ima-
gine for a moment the Gofpel univerfally diffufed,
and mankind at large living under its benign in-
fluence — what a lovely fcene would this diftradcd
earth exhibit compared with prefent profpedls } —
" Nations learning war no more," — " Iwords beaten
" into piov/fhares, and fpears into pruning hooks"
— " deltructions com^e to a perpetual end," men
*' living as brethren," and " loving one another
" out of a pure heart fervently." — The prophets
delighted with the gloiious change which thev
forefaw as the confequence of the Gofpel-difpenfa'-

tion,



80 PRAYER FOR THE

tion, have defcribed it in a' I the glowing ftyle of
eaftern imagery. Sometim.-s they take the com-

fiarifoii from the human body, and behold, fays
faiah, a multitude of mifery, the blind, the deaf,
the lame, the dumb — but " then the eyes of the
" blind flinll be opened, and the cars of the deaf
•* fhall be unftopped, then ihall the lame man le;»p
*' as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb fliall
•^ fino;/' Sometimes they take the image from tlic
natural world, and behold, fays the fame prophet,
a parehed defert where no water is, w^here the
thirfty traveller pants and dies, where cattle cannot
live, where grafs cannot flourilh; behold on a liid-
dcn the appearance reverfed, waters fpringing out
of the hills and murmuring along the vallies, the
fields Handing thick w^ith corn, iheep covering the
plains, and trees crowning the tops of the moun-
tains. '' The w^ilderncfs, and the lolitary place
" Ihall be glad for them : and the dcfeit Ihall re-
^' joice, and bloflbm as tht rofe. It Ihall bloilbm
^^ abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and fing-
^' ing, the glory of Lebanon iTiall be given unto it,
*' the excellency of Carmel and Sharon : they
" Ihall fee the glory of the Lord, and the excellen-
" cy of our God."

ir. The ^")rayer appears Hill more excellent if we
:Confider the principle from which it proceeds. It
is piety and benevolence ; thefe arc not two difpo-
•fitions, but two references of the fame difpofition.
We cannot feparate what the fcripture has joined
together, and if a man fay I love (lod and hateth
■his brother he is a liar, for he that loveth ^^'>t h'ny
brother whom he hath feen, how can he lo\^ God
whom he hath not fccn ?'*

The prayer comes from a foul penetrated with
•love to God, and alive to his intereft in the world.
This concern divine grace always produces in the
.jbreafis of the godly. A Chnftian loves " God with
** all his hcait, with all his mind, and with all his

'' ftrength."



ti



SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL. 81

'* flrength." Reafon requires this fupremc affection.
We ought to regard objects in proportion to their
real worthy and God h the perfection, the fource
of all excellency. We .ought to love without
bounds, an objec^l: infinitely lovely. And what is
the language of all the mercies, we have received
from God — blessings of birth, of infancy, of youth,
of mature age, blessings pertaining to this life, " fpi • .

ritual blessings," ".wifdom, righteoufnefs, fancti-

iication, redemption" — wdiere fhall I end ? — all
thefe furround us and with one voice cry, '' O love

the Lord all ye his faints." " By the mercies of
^' God prefent your body , a Jiving facrifice holy and
^ acceptable to God which is your reafonable fer-

vice." He at an expcnce which angels cannot
compute, has ferved you, be all devotion in ferving
him. " Whether ye eat or drink, or whatever ye
do, do all to the glory of God" — The Chriilian feels
his obligations, he lives to God. He cannot be in-
different to his honour. — See that man; " his eyes
'' run down with tears." Has he lofl his fortune ? Has
he heard God faying " Son. of man, behold I take
^/ from thee the defire of thine eyes with a ftroke ?"
No.— He has heard a fwearer, he has feen a
fabbath breaker — " his eyes run down with tears
" becaufe men keep not God's law." — Elijah is
praying to die. What dilappointments have im-
bittered his life ? " Lord they have broken thy co-
^' venant, and digged down thine altars, and killed
'^ thy prophets ;" and I cannot furvive thine ex-
piring caufe. — Behold t
tention than we have hitherto given them. Our
duty appears from the words of the Apoftlc to the
ThefTalonians. " Brethren pray for us that the
" word of the Lord may have free courfe, and be
*^ glorified." The allulion is be^iutiful^ whether it,
refpe6ls a conquering army bearing down all oppo-
fition, marching from victory to vidory; or an
unobftru6k:d river, fertilising its banks, fprcad-
ing plenty over the country through which it paffes,
and augmenting as it rolls along till it becomes an
ocean. Hear the language of God by the Prophet ;
" I hav€ fet w^itchmcn upon thy walls, O Jcrufa-
** lem, which fhall i^ever hold their peace day nor
" night : yc that make mcntiqn of the Lord, keep
^ not filcncc; and give him no rell till he eft^i-
'' blifh, and till he miike Jerufalem ^ praifc in the
^' c^rlh.'^ What importunity is here cxprelled ?

The



SUCCESS OP THE GOSPEL. QJ

The promiffes fefpcftlng this fubjedl are ^^ ex-
" ceeding great and precious." I would repeat a
few of them. ^^ And it fhall come to pafs in the
""' laft days, that the mountain of the Lord's houfe
'' fliall be efiabliihed in the top of the mountains,
^•' and fliall be exalted above the hills; and all na-
" tions ihall flow unto it." " And it fhall be in
" that day, that living waters fliall go out from Je«
" rufalem: half of them toward, the former fea,
^^ and half of them toward the hinder fea: in fum.-
^- mer and in winter iball it be. And th'c Lord
" fliall be king over all the earth : in that day fliaH
" there be one Lord, and his name one." " For
*^ the earth flrall be tilled with the knowledge Of
^' the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the
'• fea." I might enlarge quotation, but it will be
of more importance to removed an objc6lion taken
from the fappofition that thefe profpt^ds have been
already realized. This, if admitted, would damp our
zeal, and weaken our hands. We contend, there-
fore, that nothing has taken place in any pair ex-
perience of the Church, whether Jewifli or Chrif-
tian, to fubftantiate thefe plcc^ifing defcriptions;
that there has been nothing in the condudl of God
to this day fufficient in extent, ill duration, in glory,
to embody the hopes which his w^ord has excited.
When have thefe promifhs been accompliflicd ? — In
vain we look into the Jewilli nation for a fulfilment.
Much of their profperity was diminiflied before
many of thefe prophecies were given — the\' werd
in a diftradted and fuffering flate under the reign
of the Kings of Judah and Ifra el— -their Gity and
Temple were: deltroyed by the Chaldeans — though
they returned from captivity, and rebuilded their
Gity and Temple, they continued a dependant
people, and were tributaries to the Perfian, Mace-
donian, and Pvoman power. Rejec.ling the Melii-
ah, and imprecating his blood upon themfelvcs and
their children, they were '^deftfoyed with a very fore

'' deflruiiUon,"



S8 fRAYER FOR THE

" deftrudlion," and to this hour they remain " feat-
^^ tered and peeled/' unable, by their fituation and
circumftanccs, to perform the ceremonies of their
own ritual.

In vain we look into the Chriftian Church for
a fulfilment. Since the Apoftle's days the boun-
daries of Zion have been altered, but never enlarg-
ed. Is not the greateft part of the earth to this
day unacquainted with the name of God our Sa-
viour? What is Chriftendom itfelf compared with
the globe? A conliderable part of Europe, almoft
the whole of the other three continents, with the
numerous Ifles in the Eaftern and Southern Oceans,
are covered with " grofs darkncfs.'* Is it thus
that '^ all men fhall be bleiTed in him, all nations
'' fhall call him bleffed?'* Is it thus that "from
" the rifing of the fun even to the going down of
*^ the fame, his name fhall be great among the
^^ Gentiles, and in every place incenfe fhall be of-
" fered to him and a pure offering?'* The extent
of God's caufe, therefore, has never been adequate
to prediction. — And what has been the duration
of its peace and profperity ? Sometimes the influ-
ences of divine grace attending the preaching of
the word have been remarkable. The Church of
Chrift has had blefied revivals, but they have never
been of long continuance. — " The people of thy
^'^ holinefs have pofleffed it but a little while: our
", adverfaries have trodden down thy fandluary."
But faith aifures us that " there fliall be abundance
" of peace fo long as the moon endurcthf " that
" Zion fhall be an eternal excellency, the joy of
^' many generations." " Thy fun fliall no more
" go down, neither fhall the moon withdraw itfelf:
" for the Lord fliall be thy everlafting light, and
" the days, of thy mourning fhall be ended."

A glory is fpoken of which has never been rea-
lized. " For brafs I will bring gold, and for iron
" I will bring filver, and for wood brafs, and for
" ftones iroivl will alfo make tbme oiBcers peace,

" and



SUCCESS OP THE GOSPEL. Sp

^^and thine exactors righteoufnefs. Violence flmll
*^ no more be heard in thy land, wafting" nor def-
" trudion within thy borders; but thou fhalt call
*' thy walls falvation, and thy gates praife. The
" lun fhall be no more thy light by day, neither
•^ for brightnefs fhall the m.oon give light unto
" thee, but the Lord fhall be unto thee an everlafl-
" ing light, and thy God thy glory. Thy people
'^ fhall be all righteous." — The more minutely v/e
examine prophecy, the flronger is the coniirmation
of our hope, that a day will come when ^^ wars
" fhall ceafe to the ends of the earth;" when the n

animofities which have fo long prevailed amongft
Chriftians lliall fublidc; when Idolatry and Superfti-
tion fhall vaniih ; when Truth and Holinefs and
the pure Worfliip of God fhall abound.; — We are
authorifed to expe6l that a period will come, when
not only individuals in different nations of men
fliall be devoted to Chrill:, but alfo potentates of
every flate, whofe example is influential, and whofe
authority gives them a peculiar advantage, fhall
own their fubordination to him, and make their
dominion fubfervdent to his. Confldering them-
felves in their different departments as delegated
to rule by him, they will rule for him. Viewing
themfelves as fubje(?ls of his fovereign fway, " all
"^ kings fliall fall down before him," and far from
being dillreffed at any inquiries concerning his
kingdom, they fhall rejoice and " praife him." In
all things fliall He have the pre-eminence, who
amongft other titles will be acknowledged " King
^' of Kings, and Lord of Lords." Has all this been
verified ? How readefl: thou ? Thefe days are to
come, the profpcdl is before us. And this prayer,
V. Is certain in its faccefs. It mufl: be accom-
pliflied. The world Vv^as made for the Son of God,
and '^ he fliall have the heathen for his inheritance,
" and the uttermofl: parts of the earth for his pof-
" fefl[ion." The enlargement of his kingdom is

K thg



QO PRAYER FOR THE

the uniform defign of all the events of Providence.
To this, all the commotions and changes whicli arc
taking place in the nations of the earth, and which
fo exceedingly perplex and confonnd the views
of politicians, are tending; to this, a futm*e day
will fliew us, they were all fubfervient. Thcfc
agitations are '^ fhaking not the earth only, but al-
**' fo Heaven," and will continue till " the removal
^^ of thofe things that are fhaken as of things that
*^ are made, that thofe things w^hich cannot be
'' fhaken may remain." " I will overturn, over-
'* turn, overturn it— until He come whofe right it
^'* is, and I will give it him."

Nothing comes to pnfs by chance, and God ne-
viT a6ts without a dclign worthy of himfelf. In
the midft of apparent confufion and uproar he
tvuidcs the whole movement; " he makes the
*' \Yfath of man to praife him." Things which wc
ia our ignorance and rallinefs imagine unfavorable
may be the inoft proper means which Supreme
W'ifdom could employ. Whatever our opinion
may be refpedling prefent occurrences, his plan is
ti>:ed, '' his counfcl fhall fland, and he will do all
*^ his pleafurc." The word is gone out of his
mouth, and " hath he fpoken and lliall he not do
'^it?" What he has promifed he is able to per-
form. Impediments are nothing to him; " before
*^ Zerubbabel every mountain iball become a
'' plain."

Do w*e ftagger at the promife of God through
unbelief? Let us remember w^e have a fufficient
pledge of the whole in what he has already done.
The joyful found has already extended far, not-
withllanding all the attempts of its enemies to re-
ft rain it. Midtitudes from age to age have heard
the glad tidings, and obtained falvation through
our I^ord Jefus Chrifr. What a happy change has
this higlily favoured Ifland experienced fince the
iuvalion of Juliuii Ccufar! Suppofc a Chriftian had

landed



SUCCESS OP THE GOSPEL Ql

landed with the Roman army, and after cxamin
ing the ftate of the country, had heard a prophet
predicting all the advantages we have long enjoyed.
Are we attempting any thing more improba-
ble? — But what is every inllance of converlion ? —
Some of you are not Itrangers to " the day of
" God's power." You know that " the exceeding
*^ greatnefs of his mighty power," which has been
exerted in you, is fufficient to infure fuccefs to ouj
labors amongft the heathens.— I confider every
linner as a little pagan world in himfelf; and the
grace which renews him^ is all the encourage-
ment we delire.

Draw no improper inference from this reafoning.
Say not God will fupport his own caufe, and exe-
cute his own purpofes, and therefore we may lit down
at our eafe ; we have nothing to do — He will main-
tain his own caufe, and he will accomplilh his own
defigns ; but if you are properly affedled, you will
be delirous of becoming inftruments in his hands.
The certainty of the event inftead of relaxing dili-
gence, fhoiild increafe it^ initead of pre venting the
ufe of means fliould encoikage us in the ufe of
them — and if David's prayer be the prayer of your
hearts, it will excite activity, it will lead you in
proportion to its warmth to exert yourfelves ac-
cording to your nations, your talents, your oppor-
tunities. Without this our prayer is hypocrify, and
our pity refembles the charity of thofe verbal phi-
lanthropies, who fay " be ye w^ai'med and be ye
^' cloathcd, when they never give thole things that
, are needful."

We ought to lament that we have done fo little
to prove, I will not fay the fervency, but even the
iincerity of our prayers ; and upon fuch an occa-
iion as this^ rather than eipbarrafsing our minds
with the condu6l of God in the eontracSled limits
of the Gofpel, it becomes us to examine ourfelvcs
to fee whether we are not verily guilty. The

K 2 Church



9^2 • PRAYER FOR THE

Church of Chrift flioukl have burned with zeal
while there was one heathen nation or town to
convert. The Friend of Sinners faid to his Apof-
tles, " Go ye into all the world, and preach the
'^ Gofpel to every creature." They were not to
defifi: till they had fulfilled their extenlive eommif-
fion. The Apoftles underftood this; they flew
like angels, " having the everlafting Gofpel to
'^ preach to them that dwell upon the earth." The
Dif-iples difperfed; the Gofpel fpread in every di-
recnon, and " mightily grew the v/ord of God and
" prevailed." Pious men after them tbllov/ed the
noble example; carrying the Gofpel from city to
city, and from province to p'-ovince. This courfe
fhould have been continued — but fucceflbrs forgot
the common objecl, fl:opped w^ithout endeavouring
to make further progrefs, divided into parties, and
contended with acrimony for their refpedtive pecu-
liarities. — How little of the knowledge of the Gof-
pel have the heathens for ages derived from their
conne6lion with evangelized nations ? It has been
juftly obfervedj that this is the crying fm of chrif-
lian lands; a fin too of which they have been quite
infenfible; a fin never lamented m our fermons
for national humiliation. Without ufing the means
to fave men, are we not chargeable with their
blood? Is it not owing to our criminal indifi^erence
that millions are " fitting in darknefs and in the
" region of the fhadow of death .^" — \^iewing our-
felves in a national capacity, as Englifhmen, the
Providence of God has furnifl-icd us with pecidiar
advantages for this fervice. Our arms and com-
merce have opened us a pafiage to the mofi dillant
parts of the Globe — but our defigns have not been
formed with a view to benefit the heathens, while
our condu6l has left a bad imprcfsion of the Chrif-
tian nauK*. We have all been culpable; too long
have we fiood idle; we have not fought occafions,*
we have neglcdied opportunities. May our repen-
tance



SUCCESS OP THE GOSPEL. gS

lance obtain forgivenefs, and produce diligence.—
Let us with one heart and voice pray that the
whole earth may be filled with the glory of our
God. Let us fpend our days and end our lives in
this blcilc-d fcrvice.— It is better that it be in our
heart to attempt the w^ork, fhould our endeavours
fail of fuccefs, than that we fhould be as indifFe*
rent to it as the fupine Jews were to the rebuild*
ing of the Houfe of the Lord^ which had long lain
in ruins, under the notion that " the time is not
come, the time that the ^^ Lord's Houfe fhould ba
^' built."

We rejoice that a conliderable number Is form-
ed into a Society to make proof of the will of God
refpecling the converfion of the heathens. We
rejoice that the well formed plan receives fuch ge-
neral countenance and afsiflance. We rejoice in
the harmony, liberality, prudence and vigour which
have been difplayed. We rejoice that there are
thofe whofe zeal for the Lord of Hofls difpofes them
to renounce the comforts of civilized life, to de-
vote themfelves to the fervice of favage tribes. We
rejoice that there are thofe whofe hearts have in-
clined them to engage in condu6ling tbem to the
place of their deftination — give commandment, O
God, concerning their bones — fay to the roaring
winds and waves, " touch not mine anointed, and
^^ do my prophets no harm." — We rejoice that in
a bufinefs of fuch moment fo many favorable cir-
cumftances concur to llrengthen our hands, and
enliven our hopes. We will treat our difcourage-
ments Avith negle6l, and our encouragements with
gratitude. We have begun in the llrength of the
Lord, and his fpirit enabling us, we will patiently
endure. While others " defpife the day of fmall
^' things," we will get our faith flrengthened by
" the teilimony of Jefus," and expe6l that "the
'^ little one fliall become a thoufand," and that the
cloudy no bigger than a man's haud^ fhali increafe.



f)4 PRAYER FOR THE, &C.

and pour down fliowers upon defert lands. — And
thou, O God, whofe mercies are over all thy work*;,
and who hatefl nothing that thou haft made, O
thou that hcarcft prayer, receive nnd anlwer our
united fupplications. " Be merciful unto us, and
" blefs us, and caufe thy face to fhine upon U5.
*' That thy way may be known upon eaith, thy
" faving health among all nations. Let the peo-


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