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accounts, whether their names would be known to posterity. They labored, however, for the good of mankind, and laid foundations, with a distinct, and special, and declared regard to the benefit of future times. Their posterity remembers them with inexpressible gratitude ; and their names will receive new tributes of admiration with every succeeding age.
The moral enterprises of the present day are novel, if not in their character and principle, yet in their combination and effect. They will be thoroughly examined hereafter, and the hundreds of millions of Americans will, in the next century, declare the result. We may now imagine these millions convened, as in some vast amphitheatre, and directing their anxious and concentrated gaze upon us. Happy will it be for our country and the world, if they can then exclaim, “ These were the men of the nineteenth century, who came to the help of the Lord against the mighty. These friends and patrons of missionary and Bible institutions;—these supporters of a press truly free, which, by its salutary issues, emancipated the nations from the thraldom of sin ;-these defenders of the sabbath, and all its holy influences;—these are the men who counted the cost of denying themselves, and cheerfully made the sacrifice of throwing all their powers and resources into an effort for the world's deliverance. God smiled upon their persevering and united labors, acknowledged them as his friends and servants, and we now hail them as benefactors of our happy millions, and of thousands of millions yet unborn.”
In words like these may we imagine that our humble instrumentality will be commemorated, if we are faithful to our engagements. But should we become weary of our work, and relinquish it; should its difficulty dishearten us, and the confused shouts of the enemy terrify us; should we say that these Anakims are too tall for us to encounter, and their fortifications are too strong for us to assail, and we must leave to better men and after times the glory of such high achievements ;-should we fold our hands, and say that another age of darkness must intervene before the dawn of the millennial day shall rise; that we have been beguiled by a meteor, which we took to be the morning star ascending on high ; and that we must remit our efforts, and make up our minds that our children, and our children's children, for centuries to come, are to grind in the vast prison-house which is preparing for their reception ;-if these are to be our conclusions, and these the depths to which our high hopes are fallen, let no man write our epitaph. The sooner we are forgotten the better. If it were possible, let every recorded trace of the religious exertions of the present day be blotted out, so that the knowledge of our disastrous failure may not discourage the enterprise of some future age. But it will not be possible ; for the enemy will preserve our sanguine predictions, and the memory of our gigantic plans, to grace his triumph, and as a standing exhibition of a design which joined all that was splendid and glorious in anticipation to all that was feeble and abortive in execution. In such a melancholy termination of our efforts, some indignant prophet of the Lord, in that retirement to which the prevailing wickedness shall have consigned him, will utter his complaint against us. " These are the men,” he will say, “to whose energy and fidelity God committed the condition of their posterity. The charge fell from their feeble hands. They began to build, but were not able to finish, because they were not willing to labor. They put their hands to the plough, but looked back, and were not fit for the kingdom of heaven.”
If we would avoid this catastrophe, more deplorable than words can describe, we must feel, deeply and constantly, that without Christ we can do nothing; that from him must proceed
« Our high endeavor, and our glad success,
Our strength to suffer, and our will to serve."
To him must we look habitually, as the Hope of Israel, as the Redeemer of his chosen people, as King of kings and Lord of lords. Knowing his power and willingness to save, we must distrust ourselves only; and, in such a temper, we must apply to him to call forth more zeal and devotedness, and to place more consecrated talent in requisition.
The professed friends of Christ—those who are charitably regarded as his real friends-must, as a body, show more zeal and self-denial in his cause, or it cannot advance; that is, it cannot advance, according to any known method of the divine administration.
This is a very solemn concern. It is a painful truth, but thousands of facts prove it to be a truth unquestionable, that the mass of those who are regarded as the real friends of Christ, are in no degree awake to the responsibility of their situation. They have but a very indistinct apprehension of what they are able to do—of what they ought to do—of what the world is losing by their neglect; and the very imperfect decisions of their minds are but slowly and partially executed by the performances of their hands.
This is the more to be lamented, as we are now at the very harvest time of the world. The individual, who annually gives his few dollars or his few cents, puts tracts and Bibles into the hands of distant heathens immediately; or places heathen children in a missionary school ; or aids in training up native preachers to itinerate and proclaim the gospel among their countrymen.
As to consecrated talent, never was there such a call to bring it into exercise ; never such a reward as it now has to offer to a benevolent heart. The man whose labors contribute, in any material degree, to raise up, and purify, and ennoble the future millions of America, will do more for himself, as aiming to exert a salutary influence (even if his name should never be known to his grateful fellow men), than has ever yet been done for the most successful aspirant by all that the world calls fame.
The.preacher, who sends abroad a sermon, full of great and striking thoughts, that command the attention of the religious world, and make their way, through a thousand channels, to successive ages ;—the sacred bard, who composes a hymn that shall be stereotyped a century hence, on the other side of the Rocky mountains, and printed on the same page with Cowper's
“O for a closer walk with God,"
or the “ Martyrs Glorified" of Watts ;-the writer, who shall print a warm and stirring treatise on practical religion, which shall stand by the side of the Saints' Rest, in the library of every family, when our country shall have become thoroughly and consistently Christian ;—the editor of a periodical, or the agent of any of our religious charities, who shall indite a paragraph, able to move the hearts of men to great and noble deeds, and to secure for itself a permanent existence among the elements of thought and action :—the man who shall do any one of these things, or any thing of a similar character, will exert an efficient influence over more minds than have ever yet heard the name of Homer or Cicero; and will cheer more hearts, during a single generation, than have ever yet responded to the calls of the mightiest genius. To aid, even in a feeble and indirect manner, the work of bringing thousands of millions to glory and virtue, to heaven and to God, is to reach an exalted rank among those whom their Saviour will honor as the instruments of his divine beneficence.
Sublime Virtues inconsistent with Infidelity.
INFIDELITY is a soil as barren of great and sublime virtues as it is prolific in crimes. By great and sublime virtues are meant, those which are called into action on great and trying occasions, which demand the sacrifice of the dearest interests and prospects of human life, and sometimes life itself; the virtues, in a word, which, by their rarity and splendor, draw admiration, and have rendered illustrious the character of patriots, martyrs and confessors. It requires but little reflection to perceive, that whatever veils a future world, and contracts the limits of existence within the present life, must tend, in a pro portionable degree, to diminish the grandeur and narrow the sphere of human agency.
As well might you expect exalted sentiments of justice from a professed gamester, as look for noble principles in the man whose hopes and fears are all suspended on the present moment, and who stakes the whole happiness of his being on the events of this vain and fleeting life. If he be ever impelled to the performance of great achievements in a good cause, it must be solely by the hope of fame; a motive which, besides that it makes virtue the servant of opinion, usually grows weaker at the approach of death; and which, however it may surmount the love of existence in the heat of battle, or in the moment of public observation, can seldom be expected to operate with much force on the retired duties of a private station.
In affirming that infidelity is unfavorable to the higher class of virtues, we are supported as well by facts as by reasoning. We should be sorry to load our adversaries with unmerited reproach : but to what history, to what record will they appeal for the traits of moral greatness exhibited by their disciples ? Where shall we look for the trophies of infidel magnanimity or atheistical virtue ? Not that we mean to accuse them of inactivity ; they have recently filled the world with the fame of their exploits
xploits of a different kind, indeed, but of imperishable memory and disastrous lustre.
Though, it is confessed, great and splendid actions are not the ordinary employment of life, but must, from their