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supposed by Saurin, is borrowed from the celebrated tower built at the mouth of the Nile, on which a bright flame was kept constantly burning during the night, for the guidance of ships as they entered the harbour of Alexandria. Human life is likened to the navigation of a boisterous sea : the night is dark, the tempest of the sky presses heavily on them, the harbour is ill known, the entrance narrow and difficult. In great compassion to the sons of men, thus ready to perish, the merciful Father of the human race, the God of salvation, hath in the Gospel church raised a pillar, and on its summit enkindled “the shining of a flaming light,' the blaze of heavenly truth, to guide the endangered mariner, to preserve him from shipwreck, to bring him safely into the harbour of celestial blessedness. It should ever be remembered, that it is the word of life' which the ministers of Christ, as elevated lights in the world, are to hold forth to men. It was neither the conclusions of the philosophy of Greece, nor the interpretations of Rabbinical erudition, which Paul preached among the Gentiles, but the unsearchable riches of Christ.' Neither is it the decrees of assemblies, convocations, or councils, that the ministers of religion, as elevated lights, hold forth to the darkened world. There may be much truth in these ; but there may be much error too; while in the word of life' there is no darkness at all. The faith of a Christian resteth solely on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.' Let not good men, however, who from conscience are attached to the particular views of the Holy Scriptures which are given in such decrees of uninspired men, decline to associate with us in 'holding forth the word of life' to the heathen, as if our design were to confound all distinctions of religious opinion, or to deride and insult with names of ill repute the honest scruples of a tender and inquiring mind. Art thou, my brother, inclined to approve of that particular form of church order which is known by the name of Episcopal, or Independent, or Presbyterian? We invite thee: to come and assist us with thy countenance, thy counsel, thy prayers, and a reasonable measure of thy substance, while we are employed in sending the word of life, the oracles of God, to the heathen, and assuredly all the episcopacy, all the independency, and all the presbyterianism, that he hath put in them. This • word of life,' this good, this perfect gift, which hath come down from the Father of lights, the mission of this forms the central, the uniting point of all our exertions. · Its immense magnitude arouses our zeal; and, by God's grace, will sustain, purify, and exalt it.
“ But not to the native lands of her present children ought the church to confine her efforts to illuminate. The beams of heavenly truth emanated from Mount Zion to penetrate all the ends of the earth. Looking abroad on the present state of the world, we behold the shadows of the evening stretched over Popish lands ; — thick darkness envelopes the regions of the Arabian impostor;—the nations beyond are in the blackness of darkness the very light is darkness. Let the church, therefore, hold forth, by the long arm of missionary ministrations, the word of life to them. They are even ignorant of the harbour of happiness; but in holding forth the word of life to them, they will learn that in God's favour is life. They are utter strangers to the way which leads to the harbour; but in the word of life, which the church holds out to them, they will read the sure testimony of the Son of God, who says, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me:' the testimony of his Spirit will inform them that there is no name but that of Christ, given under heaven among men, whereby we must be saved. In the midst of much guilt, on account of the perpetration of crimes at which the human heart revolts with abhorrence, they are strangers to the sacrifice by which alone human guilt is expiated; but by holding forth the word of life to them, they will read the glad tidings of propitiation for sin, in the wounds, tears, groanings, agony, and death of the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, and who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. While their minds lie under the curse of God's law, which is the strength of sin, the foul, the ferocious, the conflicting passions of the corrupt heart will prevail with unhallowed sway. Their souls will be like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. Ardent and scorching are the vertical suns which burn up the deserts of the land of Ham; furious and desolating are
their tornados; fatal to human life are their dipsas, their scorpions, their horned cerastes : but more scorching to the soul, and consuming of her happiness,-more desolating of social order and joy,— more poisonous to their peace,-are jealousy, rage, revenge, unbridled lust, and the other unsubdued tempers of the depraved mind, the fires of which, enkindled of hell, are fanned by their climate and the forms of their government. To them, there. fore, let the church ‘hold forth the word of life,' in which they will find, that in the new covenant provision is made for the introduction of the reign of holiness and peace, of righteous manners, and the gentleness of Christ,—the blessed age in which instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtletree, – the blessed age in which men shall not hurt nor destroy in all God's holy mountain, the earth being full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
“ Nor let us dare to entertain an idea so reproachful to the state of religion in the Christian church, as to suspect that there will be wanting men, enlightened, compassionate, and courageous, to hold forth by their personal ministrations this word of life to the heathen. Our cup of spiritual privileges and benefits runneth over, and shall not our thirsty African brother be permitted to drink with us? Doth not the condition of their souls cast a wishful, earnest look towards this illumined land, and in the look convey the pathetic desire, -' that one would give us to drink of that water of the well of Bethlehem?' And shall there be found in all the garrison of the circumcised, no man of mighty mind, strong in the Lord, to break through the host of real or imaginary dangers, and carry the living waters to their parched lips? Have we ourselves obtained peace through the blood of the cross, and purity through the washing of regeneration, and can we see the anguish of their souls, and not hasten to them with relief ? Shall myriads of these sons of the stranger perish in their sins, without one effort on our part to save them ? O for large measures of the spirit of the Apostle Paul! The love of Christ, said he, constrains me; it bears me away before it. The love of ease and of honour from men would have kept him at ignoble anchorage all his life in Jerusalem ; but at the call of his Saviour, all the faculties of his great mind were unfurled ; and the love of his Redeemer, who bought him with his blood, filling those faculties, bare him away far, far from home, among the Gentiles, to encounter every storm, richly laden with the blessings of the Gospel of peace.
“ But if we would “hold forth the word of life,' either in our public ministrations at home, or in our missionary efforts abroad, consistently, gracefully, and, by God's blessing, effectually, we ourselves must be irradiated, our personal deportment beautified with holiness and peace. It is in the highest measure desirable, that while we recommend the Gospel to others as the instrument of transforming the heart and introducing peace among men, our own hearts should have felt that transforming power, and we ourselves