Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

rejoice, therefore, in meeting with an occasion in which the feelings of my heart happily concur with the justice of your claims; and in which the sensations of benevolence and gratitude can be expressed in such language, as will neither be flattering, offensive, nor unjust.

As the Work before you is chiefly indebted to your beneficence for those evidences of Christianity which it records, to suppress this acknowledgment would be ungrateful, and to transfer the obligation to another object would be unjust. I have not ingratitude enough for the former, nor baseness enough to be guilty of the latter ; the Work therefore approaches you as its legitimate parents, and comes to present you with a full survey of that distant mony. ment, which your joint benefactions, under the grace and providence of God, have contributed to raise.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Having acted as a medium of your bounty, and transmitted beyond the Atlantic the favors which you have so generously conferred, it is a duty which I owe both to myself and to you, to give some account of the issues of your liberal actions, that you may, from these circumstances, calculate upon the effects of your munificence, and permit that calculation to operate in the direction of your future course. To what height your expectations may be raised, I take not upon me to determine; but flatter myself that the present Work will fully convince you, that

your donations have not been bestowed in vain.

s. The sacred monument, which, under God, you have been made instrumental in raising to the efficacy of divine grace, among the swarthy inhabitants of the torrid zone, cannot fail to fill you with gratitude towards God. And while you contemplate this result of your efforts with joy, and feel it to be a me . dium of consolation to yourselves, you have held out, without designing it, an example to future ages, which your posterity will reflect on with pleasure, and which must be admired by the serious part of mankind.

The dignity which unavoidably associates itself with such modes of conduct as you have displayed, may probably excite, in future generations, a noble emulation to imitate the example which you have so conspicuously held out to the Christian world, when your names are enrolled in the annals of eternity an example which I fatter myself will be imitated by your posterity, and which will produce effects, which the progress of time will not be able to erase from the records of piety.

The salutary effects which have resulted from your liberal exertions, stand as a conspicuous demonstration, that those who are sunk in heathenish dark. ness, are not outcasts of the divine mercy. And the work which God has wrought among the Negroes unequivocally proves, that he has accepted of your sincere endeavours to promote the interests of the gospel, and that he has happily instructed us to adapt

the means he has taught us to use, to the important end at which we have sincerely aimed.

[ocr errors]

How far this may stimulate our cotemporaries and successors, either to follow our example, or to improve upon the plan which we have adopted, it would be presumptuous to say. Prudence, on this occasion, lays an embargo on those anticipations which our sanguine wishes would urge us to express; we must therefore repose our thoughts in reluctant silence, and calmly wait the event.

Conscious of that integrity which has marked our actions, and guided our conduct, in those once unpromising regions of the globe-and animated by those successes with which God has been pleased to crown our endeavours-we must do violence to our feelings to reflect on our efforts with regret. .

[ocr errors]

Our primary endeavours embarked in some degree on adventure, but with no small confidence, at the same time, on the blessing of God. Success has justified the experiment; it has given sanction to future enterprize, and therefore perseverance in the ancient path becomes a duty which requires no comment.

We are taught, from contemplating that train of events which lies before us, to behold in the present state of existence an ample recompence for all our toils. We are already repaid in the success of our en

deavours for what is past: and this requital, from the God of all grace and consolation, becomes a source of confidence, on which, in missionary prospects, we build our hopes of future blessings from on high.

That the contributions made by you have produced no pecuniary embarrassments in your temporal circumstances, is a truth which I fatter myself you will readily allow. It is a point which I submit to your own decision; and confident of the issue, to your deliberate judgments I now appeal.

Not being impoverished by your generous exertions, the felicities which you have been made instrumental in communicating to thousands, must have returned upon yourselves, in those pleasing reflections which still inhabit your bosoms.

bosoms. The actions which afford you these reflections, must be a continual source of gratification; and, while you give all the glory to God, they must administer to you a species of pleasure, which is neither embittered by the anguish of repentance, nor the torments of remorse. They are such as you need not blush to own, either in your departing moments, or in the day of retribution.

But what are these momentary satisfactions, when compared with the felicities of eternity! Though great and exquisite in themselves, they shrink from all comparison with that happiness which will be infinite in its duration, as well as permanent and pure in its nature. The pleasures of time are destined to

decay; but the joys which these reflections afford you, will revive again with brighter lustre beyond the grave, and flourish with unfading beauty in eternity.

To meet, in a world of spirits, thousands of our Ne. gro brethren, who shall have happily escaped from the corruptions of their own hearts, and the miseries which result from guilt, through the merits of that Saviour, whose infinite love we have been made instrumental in communicating, must be a source of joy which we have not language sufficiently energetic to express, and which will submit to no description. The arduous task imposes silence on me; and my powers are absorbed in the pleasing contemplation. I anticipate the scene with an ecstasy that overwhelms

I sink beneath the pressure of that glory, which is too exalted to be told, and too dazzling to be pursued; and humbly join my prayers to yours that we may be “stedfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as we know that our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.”

me.

That the light of the gospel may be diffused through the nations of the earth, till all shall know the Lord from the least unto the greatest, holds an exalted station among my most ardent wishes; and that you may realize in eternity those felicities which you anticipate in time, is the earnest and sincere prayer of

Your much obliged,
affectionate, and faithful Servant,

aithf

THOMAS COKE.

« AnteriorContinuar »