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on your divine mission to the uttermost parts of the earth.
In tm/ name offer remission of sins, life and salvation to all the
sons of Adam; invite the rude Barbarian as well as the civilized
Roman. The apostles went iorth endued with power from
on high; and, full of the most enlarged views and generous
desires, occupied much ground, penetrated into the darkest
recesses of sin and Satan, overthrew many an altar reared by
the hand of superstition, and turned the people of different
countries, from the service of dumb idols to that of the living
God. Other faithful men entered into their labours, and new
conquests were made in every succeeding age of the Christian
dispensation. But, after all, what Joshua said in regard to
the land of promise, is still ap))licable to the world at large :
" There remaineth yet, very much land to be possessed."

Tn addition to the old world, comprehending Europe, Asia,
and Africa, in the fifteenth century the extensive continent
of America was discovered, which, with the yet unnumbered
islands of the South Sea, presents a wide field of enter-
prise and labour to Christian Missionaries and Missionary

1 was much struck by reading an extract of a letter from
that faithful servant of God, ]Mr. Campbeh, who, at tlie re-
quest of this Society lately visited all its Missionary stations
in Africa at the risk of his health, liberty, and life, and
whose safe and seasonable return to his native shores, in
union with thousands, I hail with the most lively emotions of
joy and gratitude to his divine preserver.

" The extent (says he) of Africa is so great, that though I
have travelled about one thousand miles into the interior, from
the Cape of Good Hope, it is little compared to what is still
to be known ; I have been in various parts of Africa hitherto


unexplored, where a white man was considered as a com-
pletely novel sight, and where the women looked upon a
watch to be a living animal, of which they were as much
afraid, as you would be of the most poisonous serpent or
scorpion. Yet such people expressed a strong desire that in-
structors should be sent, after we had explained what these
would teach them."

In another letter he says: " We arrived at the city of
Ijatakkoo, containing 1500 houses, very neatly built, and
about 8000 inhabitants. The king at first started all the
objections he could think of against having Missionaries sent
to his people ; but being at last fully satisfied, said : ' Send
them, and I zcill be a father to them.' While residing there,
we obtained information respecting twenty tribes or nations
beyond, who all speak the same language, which opened to
my view such a wide field of usefulness, as filled my mind
with joy and wonder to such a degree, that many a night I
could not sleep for musing upon it. From thence we travelled
south, in search of the Malala or Hartbeast river, to find
the Boschemen who lived there, and directly came to that
kraal, where, providentially at that time, was the chief of all
the Boschemen in that country. After explaining to him the
object of my visit, he most frankly consented to receive Mis-
sionaries. In point of beauty, this country does not fall short
of Captain Cook's description of Otaheite. It is capable of
great improvement, and to introduce among the Boschemen
settled residence, useful arts and the cultivation of the ground
would bean invaluable temporal blessing; for they are now
miserable beings, both as to this life and that which is to come,
as they have no provision for a day beyond the present."

II. This naturally leads me to the second part of the dis-
course ; which was, that the field of the world stands in need
of cultivation.

The world as we noz& behold it, is neither in a physical
nor moral point of view, what it was, when first formed by its
Almighty Creator. Then it shone in primitive beauty. All
was order, harmony, and happiness. Our first parents ap^


peared in the image of God ; purity and innocence were their
fairest ornaments, and without toil the earth yielded them
plentifully, all, and even niore than their necessities required.
But, alas ! how changed is the aspect of things ! Forgetful of
their Creator's bounty, unmindful of his command, they ate of
the forbidden fruit, sinned and fell ; their whole system be-
came depraved, the noble faculties of their soul impaired,
their bodies diseased, and death with its ten thousand terrors
began to reign. Their posterity being involved in all the
consequences of their fall, the same earth which before had
been a paradise, was comparatively turned into a desert,
through which the awful sentence resounded : " Cursed is the
ground for thy sake. In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat
bread, till thou return unto dust. For dust thou art, and to
dust thou shalt return." Men multiplied, and sins multiplied
with them. The flood swept away the world of the ungodly;
none were saved, except righteous Noah with his family ; but
even his descendants soon forgot the God of their father;
idolatry advanced, and the glory of the incorruptible God was
changed into an image made like to corruptible man, and to
birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. The pure
worship of God would have completely vanished from the
face of the earth, had not his power and mercy raised up pa-
triarchs and prophets, and chosen a peculiar people to whom
he condescended to reveal himself in the most gracious

If, however, you read the history of that favoured nation,
what strikes you on almost every page ? Ingratitude, corrup-
tion, and misery. Yet, rejoice, ye heavens, and shout, O
earth ! — God was manifested in the flesh, and the delight of
the Son of man was to seek and to save that which was lost.
A cloud of witnesses succeeded, they sowed with tears, and
reaped a harvest of souls ; a great moral change took place ;
the benefits of Christianity spread far and wide ; yet in order to
make the change complete, they must be still more universally
extended. View the world in its present state ; survey all its
nations and tribes, and then ask : Is there no need for further
cultivation ? Even in Christian countries much ignorance and
depravity remain. " Multitudes (says a Catholic priest in


Germany) are destitute of the word of God. The field is in-
deed extensive, but the seed is insufficient and scarce. May
the means be put into our hands, to cover the field with seed !
Stretch out to us your hberal hands ; grant us, whatever God
may direct, who has in his abundant mercy blessed you ; you
give it to Him, who has made us poor and hungry after his

What shall I say of the remains of the ancient people of
God ? Most of the Jews of our day resemble those, M'hom
the compassionate eye of the Redeemer saw scattered like
sheep without a shepherd, preferring the Talmud to the Bible,
the traditions of man to the pure word of God, they greedily
pursue a hand-full of golden dust, neglecting the pearl of
great price. A veil of ignorance and unbelief covers them.
Still waiting for their long expected Messiah, they entirely
disregard that meek and lowly Jesus whom their fathers cruci-
fied, and, ignorant of God's righteousness, they go about to
establish their own.

" Arise, O Lord ! and have mercy upon Zion : for the time
to favour her, yea the set time, is come. For thy servants take
pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof."

As for the Turks, Persians, Arabs, and other Asiatic tribes,
which profess the Mahomedan religion; examuie their
morals, observe their conduct, see them in the hour of distress,
at the moment of death; and you will find millions of your
fellow-creatures sunk in sensual lust, buried in apathy and
sloth, blinded by a system of fatalism, deprived of solid con-
solation, intoxicated with the delusive hopes of a Paradise,
scarcely superior in enjoyment to the seraglio of a Turkish
sultan. Is there no need of improvement here ? no need of
the prayer : " Oh, that Ishmael might live before thee !"

And now, my fellow-christian ! accompany me for a mo-
ment to the heathen world, and thou shalt see still greater abo-
minations than these. Thou hast heard of Siberia's northern
blasts, intense cold, inhospitable clime, and gloomy deserts ;
thou knowest it to be a land of banishment and captivity; but
there is something worse to be found there — a multiplicity of
heathen tribes, far more numerous than is geneially known,
some of whom deify a mortal man ; others, in their high


places and shady groves, worship an idol much resembling
Baal of old ; and many of them, literally through fear of
death, are all their lifetime subject to bondage *.

India, it is true, is a fairer land ; its fields are more fertile,
civilization is rapidly advancing under the fostering influence
of a mild government ; but even British India is still full of
the habitations of cruehy. Read " the Christian Researches,"
a work, for which generations to come will bless the name of
Buchanan. Peruse the Records of Christian Missionaries,
who have spent and are still spending their best strength, and
even their lives, in cultivathig these extensive fields. Their
united testimony is this : that the hydra of idolatry, with her
many heads infests India ; that deities are adored there whose
worship is as atrocious as that of the ancient Moloch ; that
shouts from millions are rising in honour of Juggernaut;
that many of his deluded devotees are crushed to death under
the bloody wheels of his ponderous chariot ; that the shrieks
and groans of agonizing widows are heard from amidst the
flames of the funeral pile ; that infants are sacrificed to the
Ganges, the old and infirm left by their own relations to
perish with famine, or to be devoured by wild beasts; that

* Exclusive of those smaller tribes tiiat inhabit the eastern parts of
Siberia, such as tlie Kaiiitschadals, Youkagirs, Koriacks, Tsehuktsches,
Kurilians, &c. we find Finns, Mongols, Tartars, and Manjurs, which are
divided among themselves into a great many branches: such as live
by hunting and fishing, are still complete savages, roaming about in
woods and steppes, and rnsbing with equal indifference into danger or
pleasure. Fruits, roots, and raw flesh, are their usual food, aud-they
are covered with the skins of the animals they kill. Some follow the
occupation of shepherds. With regard to religion, they may be com-
preliended under these three sects : Ma/ioiiicdans, Lnmiis, andShamanits.
Most of the Siberian tribes are still idohiters. The chief divinity of the
Tschermises is called Youmu, besides which they have a great number
of demi-gods. They offer their sacrifices in groves, and worship their
idols on high places, the environs of which are considered as sacred,
and neither wood nor water is permitted to be taken from them. The
Shamanits and Lamits cannot conceive any thing more terrible than
death; as a singular proof of this the word JJkaduL or death, among
the Mongolian tribes also signifies Devil. Extracted from a manu-
script account of the present state of' the nations of' Siberia, by the Rev.
Robert Pinker ton.


lepers are burnt alive, the crimes of priests sanctioned, the
lower classes of the people despised and trodden down, and
that impurity pollutes the very acts of their devotion. It would
be easy to illustrate all these assertions by examples, but let
one single fact, publicly mentioned in the British Senate,
speak for the rest.

About the year 1790, the following most shocking murder
was perpetrated at Mujilupoor, about a day's journey from
Calcutta : A Brahmin of the above place dying, his wife went
to be burned with the body ; she was fastened on the pile, and
the fire kindled. (The funeral pile was by the side of some
brushwood and near a river ; it was a late hour when the pile
was lighted, and a dark rainy night.) When the fire began to
scorch this poor woman, she contrived to disentangle herself
from the dead body, crept from under the pile, and hid her-
self under the brushwood. In a little time it was discovered
that only one body was on the pile. The relations took the
alarm, and began to hunt for the poor fugitive. After they
had found her, the son dragged her forth, and insisted on her
throwing herself upon the pile again, or that she should drown
or hang herself. She pleaded for her life, at the hands of her own
son, and declared, she could not embrace so horrid a death.
But she pleaded in vain ; the sou urged that he should lose
his caste, and therefore he vvould die or she should. Unable to
persuade her to hang or drown herself, the son with the others
tied her hands and her feet, and threw her on the funeral pile
where she quickly perished.

I calculate (says Dr. Carey) that ten thousand women
annually burn with the bodies of their deceased husbands.
If we turn to Africa, we observe Hottentots, Boschemen,
CalFres, Namaquas, Susoos, Mandingas, Negroes, and many
other tribes, some of which are paying homage to the evil in-
stead of the good Spirit, some exercising the base art of
witchcraft, and others fighting in order to procure victims for
sale, and wasting their ill-gotten substance in revelling and
drunkenness. Some enlightened Hottentots, speaking of their
own state, previous to their conversion were heard to exclaim :
" A few years ago we were living like our horses and oxen."
The savage tribes of North American Indians are in no


better state. Whatever may be presumed in favour of indivi-
duals among them, calling on the great and good Spirit ; — of
tlie generality it must be said, that rioting and plunder are
their chief delight, and he tlatters himself to obtain the first
place in Paradise, who can produce the greatest number of
scalps from his conquered enemies.

The natives of the South Sea Islands have been repre-
sented by some travellers as the most gentle and innocent
beings, in whom scarcely any symptom of the fall was to be
traced ; but the result of closer observations has exhibited a
far different character; and the Missionaries, with bleeding
hearts and weeping eyes, have had to record the prevalence of
the most violent passions, the commission of nameless crimes,
and the offering of human sacrifices.

If then so great a proportion of the world still lies under
the power of the wicked one ; if it still resembles a dreary
desert, or a field overgrown with llie most noxious weeds ; is
there no need of cultivation ? Are no means to be employed
to remove, or at least to alleviate those evils which now afllict
millions of the human race ? Shall the blind continue to lead
the blind, the ignorant be allow ed to live and to die without God
and without hope ? Shall the language of Cain be the language
of a Christian : Am I my hrothers keeper ? Shall the joyful
soHJid of salvation through a crucified Redeemer never reach
their ear ? God forbid ! Rather let us listen to the voice of his
commandment : " Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
Let us with the tender pity of the merciful Samaritan hasten
to the relief of a bleeding, dying world, and employ all practi-
cable means for its recovery, improvement, peace, and hap-

III. I will therefore proceed in the third place to the
enumeration of such means as may prove most efficacious to
produce this desirable end. To enlarge u[K)n them all, time
will not permit. Allow me to specify but a few.

The holy scriptures must be disseminated to the largest
possible extent.

Missionaries must preach the gospel in every part of the



Missionary Societies must still increase in number, acti-
vity, and harmonious co-operation.

Schools must be established in every heathen town and

Prayers must ascend with tenfold fervour from every
Christian country, every Chri^stian church, every Christian

Contributions must flow in more abundantly than ever.

It ought to be acknowledged with unfeigned gratitude to
God, that much has already been done in all these respects,
and still more is now doing. With regard to the scriptures,
which are emphatically called the incorruptible seed of the
word of God, there perhaps never was a period of the church,
in which this precious seed was scattered with a more bounti-
ful hand.

The British and Foreign Bible Society has been called
by some, the wonder of the nineteenth century ; and must
we not ascribe it to a pecuhar blessing from God, that this
Society has been enabled, within the short space of ten years,
to promote in whole or in part, the printing and circulation of
a million of copies of the sacred volume, in more than fifty
languages, into several of which it never had been translated
before. But still in India alone, about twenty dialects remain,
into which its divine contents have never been transfused ; and
how many millions of copies will be necessary, before every
land, province, town, village, hamlet, house and cottage can
be furnished with them !

Missionaries must preach the gospel in every part of th§
world. Blessed be God ! hundreds have gone forth, and
scarcely a week passes without some being sent out by the
various Societies in Great Britain and other parts of Europe.
Theirs is die arduous but honourable task to penetrate into
the dark places of the earth, to preach the gospel where its
cheering voice was never heaid before, to clear the ground, to
prepare the way of the Lord, to shew the poor benighted
heathen their sin and their danger, to direct their awakened
conscience to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins
of the world, to collect the wandering tribes, to tutor tjjeir
infant minds^ to inure them by degrees to habits of industry,


to introduce civilization, to celebrate with them the Christian
Sabbath, to teach them to sing the praises of the Most High,
to raise the standard of their morals, and to prepare them for
a blissful immortality. How ought I to love you — ^ye faithful
ambassadors of Christ ! My soul blesses you, ye meek and
lowly followers of Him who went about doing good, ^^here-
ever you labour, titere may the protection and blessing of God
rest upon you ! — And here justice requires me to declare, that
INiissionaries have done more for the translation and distribu-
tion of the Bible than any other class of men. Ziegenbalg and
Grundler translated it into the Tamul. Des Granges began
the gospels in the Telinga, and Hands is employed in trans-
lating them into Canaara; Morrison is enriching China with his
New Testament. The Moravians have made the first attempts
in the Esquimaux, Creol, Arawack, and Calmuc dialects ; and
how shall I mention a Carey, Marshman, and others of the
Baptist Missionaries ? Their well-earned praise is in all the
churches. Had they merely translated and published portions
of the scriptures in twenty Oriental languages, the name of
S.erampore would have been immortalized. Nor let me for-
get to add tq this honourable band the revered name of Mar-
tin, who, animated by a truly apostolical spirit in the pursuit
of biblical labours, sacrificed his life.

Missionaries are likewise in many places the only agents
who can be obtained for the circulation of that blessed book.
IJut great as their number may appear, it bears no proportion
at all to the extent of the ground to be occupied. The harvest
is truly great, while the labourers are few. 1 need not, there-
fore, hesitate a moment in assertuig that ISIissionary Societies
nmst still increase in number, activity and harmonious co-ope-
ration. For what can even the most able and zealous indivi-
duals eftect, unless powerfully supported by the united coun-
sels, exertions, and contributions of whole churches and so-
cieties ? By llicse they must be scut forth, assisted, directed,
and encouraged in their important and difiicult undertaking;
by these their widows and children must be taken care of.
On this ground I most sincerely rejoice in all Missionary So-
cieties, to whatever church or denomination of Christians they
lielong, whose sincere aim is to glorify God and to save souls.


To all such I wish well in the name of the Lord ; and freely
own the peculiar obligations I feel to this Society, whose
cause I have now the honour of pleading, as it was the first
which directed ray attention as well as that of many of my
fellow-christians on the Continent, to the state of the heathen
world, and led us into a most happy connexion with the friends
of God and man in Great Britain. May this Society still in-
crease a hundred-fold, and continue to be the fruitful parent
of similar Institutions both at home and abroad ! The Dutch
Society in Rotterdam, the Berlin Seminary, and several
smaller Associations in Germany and Switzerland owe to it
their origin, and I am happy to find that these Foreign So-
cieties have supplied several truly valuable Missionaries, among
whom Van der Kemp, Kicherer, and Butscher, stand honour-
ably distinguished. This pleasing union and co-operation of
protestant churches on the Continent with the Missionary So-
ciety have lately furnished the means of undertaking a new
mission to Java, to which a Dutchman and two Germans
have freely devoted themselves. Nor can I omit mentioning
with feehngs of sacred exultation, that by the late wonderful
events, in which the hand of God has been so eminently con-
spicuous, the free communication between England and the
Continental nations, so long and so painfully interrupted,
has been mercifully restored. May this renewed intercourse,
under the blessing of God, prove a powerful means of still
more universally spreading the sacred tlame of an enlightened
missionary spirit, and may protestant churches of every
description vjc with each other in the promotion of this great
and glorious cause ! Should even a hundred — yea, a thousand
Missionary Societies arise, as large as your's, they will find
plenty of work to do. And here I take the liberty of ob-
serving, that while every due attention is paid to the instruction
of the old, the young should not be forgotten; for they justly
claim a peculiar share in Missionary exertions. Let therefore
schools be established in every heathen town and village, to
which Christian Missionaries may have access. Attempts of
this kind have already been made for the benefit of Indian, Ne-
gro, Hottentot, Susoo, and Esquimaux children, and iheyhave
been crowned with encouraging success. What would be our


ser.salions of Cliristian joy and animating hope, could we pay a
visit to these schools, and behold so many promising youths
cngnged in reading the wonderful works of God in his word,
or harmoniously singing their hosannas to the Son of David !

it will also be truly gratifying to this assembly to hear that
the Emperor Alexander, with that kind attention to the tem-
poral and spiritual prosperity of his subjects, which so eminently
adorns his character, has added many hundred schools to those
already established in his empire ; thus evidently aiming, in re-
ference to his vast dominions, to fulfil the same benevolent in-
tention which our beloved Monarch expressed relative to his,
" diat every child might have a Bible, and be able to read it."
If kings are thus becoming nursing fathers to the church, and
queens her nursing mothers, what glorious prospects are open-
ing for the rising generation !

But Bibles may be distributed, Missionaries preach, so-
cieties labour, and schools increase ; even Paul may plant,
and Apollos water; still, let it be recollected, it is God who
giveth the increase. On this account, let me again urge—
what has been so often recommended before, the necessity
of frequent, earnest, persevering prayer. " Father of mercies !
let thy kingdom come ! Thou l^ord of the harvest, send forth
faithful labourers into thy harvest !" " Keep them as the apple
of thy own eye !" " Send now prosperity !" " Establish thou
the work of our hands, yea, the work of our hands establish
thou it!" Such petitions ought day and night to ascend to the
throne of grace.

Let indivitkials wrestle with God in behalf of the pe-
rishing heathen ; let whole churches unite in their suppli-
cations, and ministers prove in this, as well as in every other
respect, patterns to their flocks. If the prayer of one right-
eous man availelh much; what may we not expect from the
fervent aspirations of believing thousands ! In this the rich
and the poor may equally join; but let them also join in pecu-

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