Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

drop from the withered arm of the Ottoman Porte, and nothing sustains it, but the jealousies of Europe. I am aware, that numbers who hear me may look on the existing troubles in Turkey with dismay, and may regard them as furnishing evidence that this is not the time for Missionary operations within her territories. A single consideration, however, will shew, that a great and effectual door is about to be opened in that country, for the introduction of the Gospel. The barbarities committed on the Greeks have roused the sympathy and the indignation of Christian Europe; and particularly of their brethren of the Greek Religion, in the empire of Russia.—If the arms of Russia and Austria, shall be directed towards Constantinople; no one can hesitate as to the result. The overthrow of the Turkish empire, and the deliverance of European Turkey, would open not only that country, but the whole of Western Asia, to every Christian invader. The Missionaries of the Cross might commence their labors in every part of the Mohammedan world; and the Mussulmaun and the Jew would soon listen with surprise to the Gospel of a Crucified Saviour preached in the Mosque and the Synagogue.-If, on the contrary, peace is now concluded with Turkey; it will be concluded on such stipulations, that the various nations of Christians, inhabiting her territories, shall be guaranteed the enjoyment, of their religious rights and privileges. On this supposition, therefore, the Missionary will find the way of the Lord prepared, and his paths made straight.

In the mean time, the present state of things will open the eyes of these various nations to the fact, that their brethren, the Christians of Europe, are deeply interested in their welfare; and will thus prepare them more readily to receive the Gospel at their hands. The sympathy and friendly interposition of the Europeans, and especially of the Russians, on the one hand; and the gratitude of the Greeks on the other; will serve to unite more closely these great divisions of one common family; and will soon call forth far greater efforts, than have hitherto been made, to procure them not only the Sacred Scriptures but faithful Instructors and Missionaries. Their very sufferings, also, and the many struggles which they have sustained in the cause of freedom, will raise them to asuperiour character, and inspire them with feelings which cannot long endure the yoke of slavery. If, then, the present convulsion does not terminate in the immediate liberation of Greece; it will prove the speedy precursor of that desirable event, and of the consequent downfall not only of the Turkish power, but of the Religion of Mohammed. The present State of the eastern world, therefore, as well as the sure word of prophecy, leads us to the conclusion that the churches of Greece, Armenia, Syria, and Egypt are soon to be liberated from Mohammedan oppression, and to take their stations among the younger but more flourishing churches of Western Europe and America. What a vast influence, then, may we not exert on these interesting portions of the Christian world, by giving them, at this present moment, the light of the Gospel, and preparing them for that brighter day, which is rapidly approaching.

Pleasing is the reflection, that the Missionaries, this day ordained, are to carry with them that most powerful of all human engines, the Press. It is generally known that a few individuals, chiefly inhabitants of our metropolis, have pledged themselves to furnish for five years, an adequate support for a Printing Press, to be established in Western Asia. It will commence its operations in the modern Greek. As the field opens and widens, it will extend its labors to Armenia, Syria and Egypt, and ultimately to Arabia and Turkey. The population of these countries, Jewish, Christian and Mohammedan, is rapidly becoming a reading population. Tracts and other religious publications, as well as Bibles, annually distributed to thousands of pilgrims at Jerusalem, and dispersed by them on their return to their respective countries, like the river of the waters of life seen by Ezekiel "will issue out towards the east country, and go down into the desert; and every thing, whither the river cometh, shall live."

These interesting events, which many prophets and kings desired to witness, and the approach of which no christian can contemplate without thankfulness and praise, will soon be recorded on the page of history. Some of you, christian Brethren, may not, indeed, live to hear of their accomplishment on earth; yet you will not long have joined the church above, before you learn, that the prayers, which you and they never ceased to oiler, are answered; and that, after the lapse of many centuries, Judea and Galilee again witness the victories of the Cross. Will any of you then regret your efforts, or your contributions, in the best of causes. Whatever sacrifices you may now make for Christ and the Church; if it be of all your property, and even of life itself; will it not then appear as nothing. Will not all be repaid a thousand fold, when you behold the light of heaven dawning anew on these benighted regions, and their inhabitants following each other in successive generations to that world, where there is no distinction of Gentile or Jew, but where Christ is All in all.

And is there a solitary individual in this great assembly, who, if alive when these events shall be accomplished, does not wish to share in the victory and to feel that it is in some degree owing to his efforts, his charities, and his prayers; or who, if previously summoned to the world of spirits, is not desirous to learn, in heaven, how the land, where Christ himself unfurled the standard of salvation, is once more recovered to the King of Zion. If this be your wish, my beloved friends, let me persuade you to engage now in the service of Christ. Make his cause your own. Give up your property, your time, your labors, as the Lord hath need of them. Verily, I say unto you, you shall in no wise lose your reward.

Permit us then, Brethren, to rejoice with you in the prospect of great and ultimate success, in the interesting field where your Missionary and his brethren are to labor. It will not be surprising if numbers of you, who are this day contributing to this glorious object, shall live to see the day, when the empire of Mohammed shall come to a perpetual end; when the Jews out of all nations, and the Ten tribes of Israel from eastern Persia, shall come together as one nation, and worship the Lord again at Jerusalem, believing in Him of whom Moses and the Prophets did speak, Jesus of Nazareth the Son of David; when the ancient churches of the East, now sunk in the lowest state of ruin, shall rise and shake themselves from the dust, and put on their beautiful garments; when the Law shall again go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem; and when not only Greek, Armenian, and Syrian, but Jewish missionaries shall unite with those of Europe and America in proclaiming the Gospel of peace, not merely in the countries now called Mohammedan, but in the remotest limits of Africa and Asia.

I need not say, Brethren of these united Churches, that the Missionary whom you now send forth, will need your prayers. He is soon to embark lor Jerusalem, "not knowing what may befal him there." He is going to a country, the most hostile of any on earth to the Christian religion. While you are safe at home; you know not what enemies he may be called to encounter. Yet the God of Missionaries has said, "Lo I am with you alway even unto the end of the world." If Paul and Silas and Timothy, at Corinth, could ask for the prayers of the church at Thessalonica; well may he, who is on his way to Jerusalem, say to you, "Brethren, Pray for me." I need not however, on this occasion, intreat your prayers in his behalf. The deep interest which you have manifested in him, and in the Mission in which he and his companions are entering, is a full assurance, that you will remember them continually in secret, in the family, and in the prayers of the sanctuary; but especially when you meet, in concert with the whole church on earth, to pray for the prosperity of Zion. I know, my christian friends, that I may here publicly pledge your faith, that, whenever you go, united or alone, to the Mercy-seat, you will have them in affectionate remembrance. Beloved Brethren, Go on and prosper; may the Lord grant, that your example may kindle the flame of Christian love throughout the churches of our land, and prompt them to unite in similar associations for the same benevolent purpose!

[graphic]

PALESTINE MISSIONARY SOCIETY.

Mr. Temple was received as a missionary in the autumn of 1820. He had for several years contemplated offering himself for this service when his theological course at Andover should be completed; and this intention had been known to the Committee. The field of labor, on which his mind had long dwelt with particular interest,was Asia Minor, Palestine, and the neighboring regions; and to this field he was assigned, with the expectation that he would enter it, as soon as the necessary arrangements could be made. In the mean time, he was employed as an agent to preach on the subject of missions, and to raise funds for the Board. While performing this agency, in the winter and spring of the present year, he visited all the towns in Plymouth county, and many in the adjoining counties; and was most kindly and cordially received, both by the clergy, and the people.

In consequence of becoming acquainted with Mr. Temple, and his intended mission, it was proposed by friends of the missionary cause, that an auxiliary society should be formed, with a view to the support of a missionary in Palestine or its vicinity. A meeting was accordingly held at Weymouth, on the 20th of June, at which the contemplated society was formed.

CONSTITUTION.

Art. I. This Society shall be called The Palatine Mi$iionary Society.

Art. II. The specific object of this society shall be to support one Missionary, (who shall be approved by the Society,) in Palestine or its vicinity, under the direction of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.'

Art. III. Should the annual subscriptions and donations of the Society amount to a sum more than sufficient to support one missionary, the surplus shall be appropriated to aid in the education of Jewish children under the direction of the Palestine mission.'

Art. IV. Any gentleman or lady, on subscribing this Constitution, and engaging to pay annually into the treasury, such a sum as he «r she shall

« AnteriorContinuar »