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dignities and the destinies of woman, and thus becomes the standard of society, the elevation of the species, and the blessedness of all nations. Hence we rejoice to welcome their inspiring and assisting presence here. Our glory and theirs it is to follow Christ. Again, I say, dear brethren, I congratulate you all in this wisdom of missions—believing that there is no other! and remembering without ceasing in this heavenly relation, your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope, in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God, even our Father. The spirit of faith is the spirit of missions. I shall long remember, what I think was the last sermon preached in my pulpit by our lamented Armstrong, on this great theme of missions. His text was, we, that is, the ministers of God, we having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken ; we also believe, and therefore speak. In that faithful sermon, he showed the true source of missionary zeal and missionary achievement, in a way, solemn, luminous, earnest and true. Faith in God, he said, was its inspiration, its vindication, its source,
and its power.
Equally insidious, therefore, my brethren, and mischievous, is the way, too prevalent in these times, of invented substitutions, or learned adulterations, in place of the truth as it is in Jesus. We believe that the world is to be reclaimed. The man of no faith or of a diluted and worldly-wise scholasticism, compassionates our credulity, plumes himself on his noble philosophy, and inquires, Why do you believe it? Like children and heirs of the kingdom, we reply ; Our God has revealed it, because he has determined it; and he will do it, for both these
We believe what he says, and this is our wisdom. If
you call it folly, we pity you, and appeal to the day of judgment. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
God is not a man, that he should lie ; neither the son of man, that he should repent ; hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good ? It is impossible for God to lie.
Is faith inimical to reason, or only superior and tutelary? Faith, says a good writer, is only reason leaning on the bosom of her God. Faith is the friend and the best friend of
reason ; expands, sublimes, and enriches it, with the treasures of God. We may well be indignant at the folly and the falsehood that would at all set reason and faith at variance. It is a deceitful compound of ignorance, indolence, pride, avarice, and crude impiety, that would ever prompt us to it.
Our faith in Daniel as the prophet of God, has been shaken in previous ages, only to be ever since the more confirmed and invulnerable. The audacious onset and flourishing malignity of Porphyry, toward the end of the third century, seemed for a time greatly to intimidate the church of God. Some think that Christians, in those persecuting times, were more scared by the audacity of the infidel, than they were in the following century, by the heathen zeal and the retrograde madness and the brutal hatred of the apostate emperor, Julian.
The great position of Porphyry, was that the predictions of Daniel were demonstrably written after the events to which they refer, and are therefore only imposture. This he asserted, not proved. And to say nothing of the noble way in which contemporary and subsequent ministers of Christ, and especially Jerome, met and refuted his fallacies, we cannot forget the evidence since accumulated, by which the providence of God, confirming the faith of his people, has overwhelmed the pride and folly of their adversaries. More than fifteen centuries have passed since Porphyry went to his account, at the judgment seat of Christ. Whatever else is true of him, he is infidel no more; since the devils also believe and tremble. And what is now the demonstration of the matter? Twice as much, in time, has been accomplished since the death of Porphyry, as had been previously from the days of Daniel. Our retrospect of history, as we have seen, reaches now over a tract of twenty-four, rather twenty-six centuries in all. And what is the character of Daniel the prophet, as read in this comparison ; what of his prophecy in the seventh chapter ? I answer, it is all alive and brilliant, as well as lucid, homogeneous, consecutive, though not yet complete; in demonstration that it was given by inspiration of God. It is all harmonious and proportionate; a tissue of related symmetries, like the concentric stones
of a circular arch, each part is strengthened by every other part, and is itself a key-stone resisting the common pressure and communicating strength to the whole. It is all one series and a unit, extending consistently through so many ages, from the reign of the Babylonians to the consummation of all things. And it is truly, in the words of Mede,' the sacred calendar and great almanac of prophecy, a prophetical chronology of time, imeasured by the succession of four principal kingdoms, from the beginning of the captivity of Israel, until the mystery of God is finished. Let us then, at our present elevated and commanding stand-point, look back through all these centuries, since that glorious seer in the courts imperial, from Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus, wrote by anticipation their history; and then say, Is it not symmetrical as a gorgeous whole? Was onethird of it all imposture till the times of Porphyry ? and the subsequent two-thirds all history and inspiration? where now the three-thirds all combined, in one astounding retrospective sequence, show homogeneous and unique, a magnificent arcade or corridor of related glories, all in keeping, plainly the architecture of God, which neither men nor angels could have planned, or predicted, or fulfilled, or sustained, or accomplished, as we see it at this day, and as posterity shall see it still more glorious, till the temporal expands for coronation in eternity.
All history is tributary to prophecy. Infidels have written the facts that accomplished what their pride and madness disdained to acknowledge as the inspiration that foretold them. Porphyry, Gibbon, Hume, Voltaire, where are your arguments ? where your hell-inspired prophecies? where your souls ?
And what, my brethren, is our faith? Shall we believe only that part of the prophetic scroll which the history of the past authenticates ? Shall we be voluntarily blind or darkling as to the glorious future? God has put his own telescope into our hands; the light of heaven illumes it; things to come are the disclosed objects. Shall we not look at them, with steady and sober observation, with calm and confiding inference, with holy
and gratified persuasion? . What! in the same series of authentic prophecies, which our Lord Jesus Christ expressly quotes and sanctions, shall we believe all the beasts and none of the angels? all the misery, the mischief, the bloodshed, the heathen horror, the predominating sin, of the long afflicted scene; the incessant storming of the sea of empire, with its waves of blood and fire for ever roaring and dashing and destructive ? ; Shall we believe all the preparatory, and none of the compensating stages ; rejecting only the brightest, and the best, and the last, and the most blessed, of the inspired declarations? Do we believe them? Hark! It is the voice of God proclaims it. Yes, indeed—the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
How wonderful are the relations of history, how firm and immutable; what tablets of unalterable registration ! and yet in their relations how variable, how cumulative, how changeful—as the scenery of the kaleidoscope. The present is continually becoming the past; the future, the present. Each of us knows in this relation more than Milton or Calvin, or either Scaliger, knew. They are among our ancients. We look at them in aspects and in contrasts, which in their times had no existence. None of them knew the last two centuries in history, of England, of Europe, or of the world. None of them ever heard of Napoleon, or Wellington, or Washington. America was in their day almost a terra incognita, comparatively nothing ; its greatness a trivial possibility of the future. What wonders have since succeeded wonders, till wonders, monsters, earthquakes are becoming the ordinary course of events; the expected demonstrations of God in providence, God in history, God in prophecy, God in all ; illustrating, confirming, accomplishing, his own eternal purposes, working salvation in the midst of the earth. Let us not forget that spectators as we now are of the scene, so privileged, and with the vast, the recent, and the ancient, constituting, at once, to our large vision,
the picturesque of marvels that feeds and entertains it, we are soon to become ourselves spectacles to the gaze and the censure of others—the unborn spectators, an amphitheatre of countless millions of the future, to whom the first half of the nineteenth century, when nearly sixteen added months have finished it, shall be distinctly objective; and the fitting counterpart of other prodigies, not by us anticipated, which are to make the brighter, perhaps the bloodier, history of the other half. Do we believe God in his own words; and is our faith so sincere, so luminous, so cordial, as to be operative and constraining too? What are we doing, each in his own sphere and place and example, public or private, direct or indirect, praying or working, or both, or all of these, in the cause of Christ, and for his manifested glory in the earth? But, respecting what we are to do—the connection of these coming results
IV WITH HUMAN AGENCY SUBORDINATE, claims our attention.
Whatever the millennium may be in future history, we now view it as a predicted state of piety for long enduring ages; in which the truth of Christ, and the grace of Christ, shall predominate among all the nations of living men : making them Christians ; restoring them to goodness and to God, as his worshippers and his children; pacificating all the world; banishing irreligion and false religion, superstition, bigotry, fanaticism, heresy, false philosophy, infidelity, ignorance, indolence, oppression, persecution, and every false way, with mainly every wrong practice, from the world. Every plant which my Heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted ир.
This consummation must occur in this world, since in that better country, to which we go, there is no such plant.
Then violence shall never lift the sword,