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expect to find it, than with the worthies of our
own land--the Howard of a former generation,
who paced it over Europe in quest of the un-
seen wretchedness which abounds in it-or in
such men of our present generation, as Wilber-
force, who lifted his unwearied voice against
the biggest outrage ever practised on our na-
ture, till he wrought its extermination and
Clarkson, who plied his assiduous task at rear.
ing the materials of its impressive history, and
at length carried, for this righteous cause, the
mind of Parliament—and Carey, from whose
hand the generations of the East are now re-
ceiving the elements of their moral renovation
-and, in fine, those holy and devoted men,
who count not their lives dear unto them; but,
going forth every year from the island of our
habitation, carry the message of heaven over
the face of the world; and, in the front of se-
verest obloquy, are now labouring in remotest
lands; and are reclaiming another and another
portion from the wastes of dark and fallen hu-
manity; and are widening the domains of

gospel light and gospel principle amongst them; and are spreading a moral beauty around the

every spot on which they pitch their lowly tabernacle ; and are at length compelling even the eye and the testimony of gainsayers, by the success of their noble enterprise ; and are forcing the exclamation of delighted surprise from the charmed and the arrested traveller, as he looks at the softening tints which they are now spreading over the wilderness, and as he hears the sound of the chapel belt, and as in those haunts, where at the distance of half a generation, savages would have scowled upon his path, he regales himself with the hum of missionary schools, and the lovely spectacle of peaceful and Christian villages.

Such, then, is the benevolence, at once so gentle and so lofty, of those men, who, sanctified by the faith that is in Jesus, have had their hearts visited from heaven by a beam of warmth and of sacredness. What, then, I should like to know, is the benevolence of the place from whence such an influence cometh ? How wide is the compass of this virtue there, and how exquisite is the feeling of its tenderness; and how pure and how fervent are its aspirings


among those unfallen beings who have no darkness, and no encumbering weight of corruption to strive against ? Angels have a mightier reach of contemplation. Angels can look upon this world and all which it inherit as the part of a larger family. Angels were in the full exercise of their powers even at the first infancy of our species, and shared in the gratulations of that period, when at the birth of humanity all intelligent nature felt a gladdening impulse, and the morning stars sang together for joy. They loved us even with the love which a family on earth bears to a younger sister; and the very childhood of our tinier faculties did only serve the more to endear us to them; and though born at a later hour in the history of creation, did they regard us as heirs of the same destiny with themselves, to rise along with them in the scale of moral elevation, to bow at the same footstool, and to partake in those high dispensations of a parent's kindness and a parent's care, which are ever emanating from the throne of the Eternal on all the members of a duteous and affectionate family. Take the reach of an angel's mind; but, at the same time, take the seraphic fervour of an angel's benevolence along with it; how, from the eminence on which he stands he may have an eye upon many worlds, and a remembrance upon the origin and the successive concerns of every one of them; how he may feel the full force of a most affecting relationship with the habitants of each, as the offspring of one common Father; and though it be both the effect and the evidence of our depravity, that we cannot sympathize with these pure and generous ardours of a celestial spirit ; how it may consist with the lofty comprehension, and the ever-breathing love of an angel, that he can both shoot his benevolence abroad over a mighty expanse of planets and of systems, and lavish a flood of tenderness on each individual of their teeming population.

Keep all this in view, and you cannot fail to perceive how the principle so finely and so copiously illustrated in this chapter, may be brought to meet the infidelity we have thus long been employed in combating. It was nature, and the experience of every bosom will affirm it-it was nature in the shepherd to leave the ninety and nine of his flock forgotten and alone in the wilderness, and betaking himself to the mountains, to give all his labour and all his concern to the pursuit of one solitary wanderer. It was nature; and we are told in the passage before us, that it is such a portion of nature as belongs not merely to men, but to angels; when the woman, with her mind in a state of listlessness as to the nine pieces of silver that were in secure custody, turned the whole force of her anxiety to the one piece which she had lost, and for which she had to light a candle, and to sweep the house, and to search diligently until she found it. It was nature in her to rejoice more over that piece, than over all the rest of them, and to tell it abroad among friends and neighbours, that they might rejoice along with her-aye, and sadly effaced as humanity is, in all her original lineaments, this is a part of our nature, the very movements of which are experienced in heaven,

<< where there is more joy over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance.” For any thing I

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