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Thus, my respected female friends, I have endeavoured to perform, in the best manner I could, the service to which you have called me on this occasion. It is a time at which, as has been said, women are taking part in almost all that is done, in the holy cause of religion and humanity. For this, you suffer unsparing censure from some of my sex, and from some of your own. By this censure, some among you have been intimidated; and others, I question not, have been made honestly to doubt, in what manner they ought to act. In stead, therefore, of confining myself, in this service, to a single point, or of indulging in general declamation, I have rather chosen to show, as far as my limits and my ability would permit, what Christian women may do, and what they may not do, in expressing their love to the Saviour, and manifesting their desire to promote his religion. The sneer of the infidel we look for, and are prepared to disregard it; but what is Christian duty, is for us a most serious inquiry. In pursuing this inquiry, I have taken the word of God for my guide-In its letter, where I found its letter explicit; and in its spirit, as far as I could ascertain that spirit, in all that I have said.
As to the special purpose for which your association has been formed, I shall add but little, to what you have already heard. It is your high praise, that while too many have been, and still are, negligent of their duty, and as it seems to me, sealed up in apathy and stupor, in regard to the great object of your society-you, like Mary, have done what you could. Go on, Christian sisters. "Be not weary in well doing, for in due time you shall reap, if you faint not." Often think of the number of immortal souls, that are every day and every hour passing into eternity, from the multitudinous population of In
dia-vicious, polluted throughout, and totally ignorant of that Saviour, whose blood alone "cleanseth from all sin." Often think on your special obligations to "God who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." Often think on the distinguishing and merciful allotment of his providence, in giving you birth and education, in a Christian, instead of a heathen or Mahomedan land. And while you perceive, as you cannot fail to perceive, that women have a peculiar interest in the propagation of revealed truthsince the influence of that alone has ever raised them to their proper rank in society, and sustained them in it-feel that you are under peculiar obligations to extend the knowledge of that truth, by all the means in your power; to extend it for the benefit of all, but especially for the benefit, both temporal and eternal, of your own sex. Never was there greater encouragement to proceed with animation and energy in a good work, than that which you have already received. The cheering intelligence has reached you, within the year past, that on the schools of Ceylon, the very schools to which you afford your aid, God has most remarkably poured out his Holy Spirit. Under his sacred influence, those schools have become Bochims and Bethels
places of weeping and houses of prayer; houses in which daughters, as well as sons, have, we trust, been born to God and glory. In this most joyous event, remember that your prayers, and your alms, have had a happy instrumentality. Go on, then, to pray earnestly and to give cheerfully, for God is with you: and before the throne of God and of the Lamb, many of the female children of India, shall yet meet you, and bless you, and rejoice with you, through eternal ages.
Men and brethren, who hear me on this occasion. Be reminded that. there is a divine injunction laid on
us, in relation to the subject which has now been discussed. The apostle Paul, speaking as he was moved by the Holy Ghost, has saidHelp those women that laboured with me in the Gospel." Yes, it is the sacred duty of us all, to help these female gospel labourers; to help them with our countenance and encouragement; with our prayers and our purses; with every aid and every facility which we can afford them, in their benevolent exertions. For whom do they labour? Not more for themselves than for us. Nay, in many of these pious labours, they are directly helping us; they are taking a part of that burden on themselves, which used to be borne by us alone.-They are doing for us, generously and nobly, a part of our special business. And shall there be a creature in the form of a man, so much without the spirit of a man, as to hinder, and not help them, while thus employedto mock them with laughter or ridicule, or even to treat them with a cold and discouraging neglect? Such a being, I trust there is not in this assembly. Ah! my brethren, the hour is not far distant, when to have helped the cause of God and Christ, in this dark and perishing world,--to have helped this sacred cause but in a feeble, if it has been in an upright manner-will avail us infinitely more, than to have received the proudest distinctions which the world can confer.
And now-hearers of all descriptions-I call on you to help these women, on the present occasion, by a liberal contribution to their funds. But think not that I am going to address you, for this purpose, in the language and tone of a mendicant. I read no such address, no such language, in my Bible. Paul indeed, sometimes appealed earnestly to the liberality of the primitive churches, and sometimes warmly commended them for it.
But he never presented himself before them in the character and style of a beggar. No. But he directed Timothy to "charge them that are rich in this world-to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate." And a greater than Paul, commended the two mites of a poor widow, cast into the treasury of the Lord, beyond all the offerings of the rich.-Therefore, men and brethren, it is in the name of the Lord, unworthy as I am, that I come to you; and I deliver to you his charge, and not my own, that, for his sake, and for your own sakes, you help these women who labour in the gospel. I tell you in his name, that the day is coming that will call you to account before Him, as the Judge of quick and dead, for the manner in which you shall have disposed of all your property.-The day when what you shall now give, if you give it from right motives, will afford you more pleasure, than all that you ever spent in luxury and show, and superfluous personal gratification. Give then from a pure, a noble, a truly benevolent desire to do good. Give thus, I repeat it, for your own sakes, and for the sake of your Saviour's precious cause, and as you will wish to have done, when he shall say to those on his right hand-O! may you and I be there -"Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in: Naked and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me-Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me Enter ye into the joy of your Lord."-Amen.
THE VOICE OF THE NEW YEAR.
We think the following extract from the expository works of Archbishop Leighton, may, with peculiar propriety, receive the title we have placed at the head of this article.
1 PETER, iv. 3.
"For the time past of our life may suffice us, to have wrought the will of the Gentiles."
The past may suffice; there is a figure in that, meaning much more than the words express: It is enough, Oh! too much, to have lived, so long, so miserable a life.
Now, says the Christian, "Oh! corrupt lusts and deluding world! look for no more, I have served you too long. The rest, whatsoever it is, must be to my Lord; to live to him by whom I live; and ashamed and grieved I am, I was so long in beginning. So much past,-it may be the most of my short race past,-before I took notice of God, or looked towards him. Oh! how have I lost, and worse than lost, all my by-past days? Now, had I the advantages and abilities of many men, and were I to live many ages, all should be to live to my God and honour him. And what strength I have, and what time I shall have, through his grace, shall be wholly his." And when any Christian hath thus resolved, his intended life being so imperfect, and the time so short, the poorness of the offer would break his heart, were there not an eternity before him, wherein he shall live to his God, and in him, without blemish and without end.
Spiritual things being once discerned by a spiritual light, the whole soul is carried after them; and the ways of holiness are never truly sweet till they be thoroughly embraced, with a full renunciation of all that is contrary to them.
All his former ways of wandering from God are very hateful to a Christian, who is indeed returned and brought home; and those most of all hateful, wherein he hath most wandered and most delighted. A sight of Christ gains the heart, makes it break from all entanglements of its own lusts, and of the profane world about it. And these are the two things the apostle here aims at, exhorting Christians to the study of newness of life, and showing the necessity of it. He intimates that they cannot be Christians without it; he opposes their new estate and engagement, to the old customs of their former
* Called in the schools, Liptote.
condition, and to the continuing custom and conceit of the ungodly world; that against both they may maintain that rank and dignity to which now they are called, and, in a holy disdain of both, walk as the redeemed of the Lord. Their own former custom he speaks to, ver. ii. iii. and to the custom and opinion of the world, ver. iv. and both these will set strong upon a man, especially while he is yet weak, and newly entered into that new estate.
1. His old acquaintance, his wonted lusts, will not fail to bestir themselves, to accost him in their most obliging familiar way, and represent their long continued friendship. But the Christian, following the principles of his new being, will not entertain any long discourse with them, but cut them short; tell them that the change he hath made he avows, and finds it so happy, that these former delights may put off hopes of regaining him. No, though they dress themselves in their best array, and put on all their ornaments, and say, in the known word of a certain courtesan, I am the same I was, the Christian will answer, as she was answered, but I am not the same I was. And not only thus will he turn off the plea of former acquaintance that sin makes, but turn it back upon it, as, in his present thoughts, making much against
"The longer I was so deluded, the more reason now that I be wiser; the more time so misspent, the more pressing necessity of redeeming it. Oh! I have too long lived in that vile slavery. All was but husks I fed on; I was laying out my money for that which was no bread, and my labour for that which satisfied not, Isa. Iv. ii. Now I am on the pursuit of a good that I am sure will satisfy, will fill the largest desires of my soul; and shall I be sparing and slack, or shall any thing call me off from it? Let it not be. I that took so much pains, early and late, to serve and sacrifice to so base a god; shall I not now live more to my new Lord, the living God, and sacrifice my time and strength, and my whole self, to him?"
And this is still the regret of the sensible Christian, that he cannot attain to that unwearied diligence, and that strong bent of affection, in seeking communion with God, and living to him, that sometimes he had for the service of sin; he wonders that it should be thus with him, not to equal that which it were so reasonable that he should so far exceed.
It is, beyond expression, a thing to be lamented, that so small a number of men regard God, the author of their being, that so few live to Him in whom they live; returning that being and life they have, and all their enjoyments, as is due, to him from whom they all flow. And then,
how pitiful is it, that the small number that is thus minded, minds it so remissly and coldly, and is so far outstripped by the children of this world, that they follow painted follies and lies with more eagerness and industry, than the children of wisdom do that certain and solid blessedness that they seek after.* Strange! that men should do so much violence one to another, and to themselves in body and mind, for trifles and chaff! and that there is so little to be found of that allowed and commanded violence, for a kingdom, and such a kingdom that cannot be moved, Heb. xii. 28; a word too high for all the monarchies under the sun.
And, should not our diligence and violence in this so worthy a design be so much the greater, the later we begin to pursue it? They tell it of Cæsar, that when he passed into Spain, meeting there with Alexander's statue, it occasioned him to weep, considering that he was up so much more early, having performed so many conquests in those years, wherein he thought he himself had done nothing, and was but yet beginning. Truly it will be a sad thought, to a really renewed mind, to look back on the flower of youth and strength as lost in vanity; if not in gross profaneness, yet in self-serving and self-pleasing, and in ignorance and neglect of God. And perceiving their few years so far spent ere they set out, they will account days precious, and make the more haste, and desire, with holy David, enlarged hearts to run the way of God's commandments, Psal. cxix. 32. They will study to live much in a little time; and, having lived all the past time to no purpose, will be sensible they have none now to spare upon the lusts and ways of the flesh, and vain societies and visits: Yea, they will be redeeming all they can even from their necessary affairs, for that which is more necessary than all other necessities, that one thing needful, to learn the will of our God, and live to it; this is our business, our high calling, the main and most excellent of all our employments.
thee, and depress thy mind; and will hold it so down, that thou shalt not find it possible to walk upright and look upwards, with that freedom and frequency that becomes heirs of heaven.
2. The measure of thy affairs being adapted, look to thy affection in them, that it be regulated too. Thy heart may be engaged in thy little business as much, if thou watch it not, as in many and great affairs. A man may drown in a little brook or pool, as well as in a great river, if he be down and plunge himself into it, and put his head under water. Some care thou must have, that thou mayest not care; these things are thorns indeed; thou must make a hedge of them, to keep out those temptations that accompany sloth, and extreme want there waits on it: But let them be the hedge; suffer them not to grow within the garden: Though they increase, set not thy heart on them, nor set them in thy heart. That place is due to another, is made to be the garden of thy beloved Lord; made for the best plants and flowers; and there they ought to grow, the love of God, and faith, and meekness, and the other fragrant graces of the Spirit. And know that this is no common nor easy matter, to keep the heart disengaged in the midst of affairs, that still it be reserved for Him whose right it is.
3. Not only labour to keep thy mind spiritual in itself, but by it put a spiritual stamp even upon thy temporal employments; and so thou shalt live to God, not only without prejudice of thy calling, but even in it, and shalt converse with him in thy shop, or in the field, or in thy jour ney, doing all in obedience to him, and offering all, and thyself withal, as a sacrifice to him: Thou still with him, and he still with thee, in all. This is to live to the will of God indeed, to follow his direction, and intend his glory in all. Thus the wife, in the very oversight of her house, and the husband, in his affairs abroad, may be living to God, raising their low employments to a high quality this way, "Lord, even this mean work I do for thee, complying with thy will, who hast put me in this station, and given me this task; thy will be done. Lord, I offer up even this work to thee, accept of me, and of my desire to obey thee in all." And as in their work, so in their refreshments and rest, such Christians pursue all for him, whether they eat or drink, doing all for this reason, because it is his will; and for this end, that he may have glory; bending the use of all their strength, and all his mercies, that way; setting this mark on all their designs and ways, this * Plus illi ad vanitatem, quàm nos ad for his glory, 1 Cor. x. 31, so from orre for the glory of my God, and this further
Not that we are to cast off our particular callings, or omit due diligence in them; for that will prove a snare, and involve a person in things more opposite to godliness. But certainly this living to God requires, 1. A fit measuring of thy own ability for affairs, and, as far as thou canst choose, fitting thy load to thy shoulders, not surcharging thyself with it. An excessive burden of businesses, either by the greatness or multitude of them, will not fail to entangle
thing to another throughout their whole life. This is the art of keeping the heart spiritual in all affairs, yea, of spiritualizing the affairs themselves in their use, that in themselves are earthly. This is the elixir that turns lower metal into gold, the mean actions of this life, in a Christian's hands, into obedience and holy offerings unto God.
And, were we acquainted with the way of intermixing holy thoughts, ejaculatory eyeings of God, in our ordinary ways, it would keep the heart in a sweet temper all the day long, and have an excellent influence into all our ordinary actions and holy performances, at those times when we apply ourselves solemnly to them. Our hearts would be near them, not so far off to seek and call in, as usually they are, through the neglect of this. This were to walk with God indeed; to go all the day long as in our Father's hand; whereas, without this, our praying morning and evening looks but as a formal visit, not delighting in that constant converse which yet is our happiness and honour, and makes all estates sweet. This would refresh us in the hardest labour; as they that carry the spices from Arabia are refreshed with the smell of them in their journey; and some observe, that it keeps their strength, and frees them from fainting.
If you would then live to God indeed, be not satisfied without the constant regard of him; and whosoever hath attained most of it, study it yet more to set the Lord always before you, as David professeth, Psal. xvi. 8, and then shall you have that comfort that he adds, He shall be still at your right hand, that you shall not be moved.
And you that are yet to begin to do this, think what his patience is, that, after you have slighted so many calls, you may yet begin to seek him, and live to him; and then, consider, if you still despise all this goodness, how soon it may be otherwise; you may be past the reach of this call, and may not begin, but cut off forever
from the hopes of it. Oh, how sad an estate and the more, by the remembrance of these slighted offers and invitations! Will you then yet return, you that would share in Christ? Let go these lusts to which you have hitherto lived, and embrace him, and in him there is spirit and life for you. He shall enable you to live this heavenly life to the will of God, his God and your God, and his Father and your Father, John xx. 17. Oh! delay no longer this happy change; how soon may that puff of breath that is in thy nostrils, who hearest this, be extinguished! and art thou willing to die in thy sins, rather than that they die before thee? Thinkest thou it a pain to live to the will of God? Sure it will be more pain to lie under his eternal wrath. Oh! thou knowest not how sweet they find it that have tried it! Or thinkest thou, I will afterwards? Who can make thee sure either of that afterwards, or of that will, if but afterwards? Why not now presently, without further debate? Hast thou not served sin long enough? may not the time past in that service suffice, yea, is it not too much? Wouldst thou only live unto God as little time as may be, and think the dregs of thy life good enough for him? What ingratitude and gross folly is this! Yea, though thou wert sure of coming unto him, and being accepted; yet, if thou knowest him in any measure, thou wouldst not think it a privilege to defer it, but willingly choose to be free from the world and thy lusts, to be immediately his, and wouldst, with David, make haste, and not delay to keep his righteous judgments: all the time thou livest without him, what a filthy wretched life is it, if that can be called life that is without him? To live to sin, is to live still in a dungeon; but to live to the will of God, is to walk in liberty and light; to walk by light unto light, by the beginnings of it to the fulness of it, that is in his presence.
FOR THE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE.
CHRIST'S REPROOF AND CALL TO HIS DISCIPLES.
"Sleep on now and take your rest!-Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners!-Rise! let us be going: behold he is at hand that doth betray me!"
Hark! hark! from heav'n the Saviour's voice
To slumb'ring saints address'd
Rise! rise! nor make the ignoble choice,
Whilst sin abounds, to rest.
VOL. IV. Ch. Adv.