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altogether excluded. For the external comforts of mankind and the natural embellishments of the earth


hand in hand with the reception of Divine truth, and the manifestation of Christian virtues. Wherever the gospel comes in its power and renewing influence upon the heart, it sooner or later brings along with it the blessings of civilization, and leads to the abandonment of rude and savage practices—to the improvement of the soil, and to the rearing of cleanly villages and comfortable habitations. This may be seen in the progress of Christianity in Southern Africa, where the narrow and filthy kraals of the Hottentots have been changed into substantial and commodious dwellings; and in the Society Isles, where gardens, villages, spacious churches, seminaries, and stately mansions, now beautify and adorn that once savage territory, so lately the seat of idolatry and “ the habitations of cruelty.” In these respects, " the fields" may be said to “be joyful,” and “the mountains and the hills to break forth into singing, and the desert to rejoice and blossom as the rose.' Such predictions, too, seem to intimate, that the extensive deserts and tracts of bar. ren sand now lying waste and uncultivated, and seldom trodden by the foot of man, will be brought under cultivation, and changed into a scene of delightful verdure; and that, upon the hideous wilds where Nineveh, Babylon, and other famous cities once stood, other splendid cities will be reared, congenial to the holy and elevated views of a renovated population. The following and similar passages may be fairly interpreted in this sense. “I will make the dry land springs of water, and I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle. They shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations."

How, then, are such glorious transformations to be effected ? Are we to suppose, that God, by a direct act of his Almighty power, as at the first creation, is to sweep the dense forests from the earth, level the mountains, prepare highways for its inhabitants, and plant

with his own hand “in the wilderness, the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle?" Or are we to suppose, that angelic beings are to be sent down from heaven to perform such material operations? If not, then, they must be effected by the genius and energy of man. For, whatever man is enabled to perform, under the arrangements of the Divine government, is uniformly ascribed to God as the Supreme mover and director of every operation; and a miracle was never performed, when huinan agents, by the ordinary laws of nature, were able to accomplish the object intended.

And how is man to accomplish such improvements, but by employing his treasures, and his physical and mental energies in such beneficent operations ? Hitherto, covetousness has prevented such desirable improvements from being effected. When requested to embark in any undertaking which has for its object the melioration of the social state, its uniform language is, “ will it pay?" “ will it pay

?" “will it produce a proper per centage for the outlay of money?" implying that the acquisition of more money, is the grand stimulus which should excite us to embark in any undertaking. It is stated, for example, that certain marshes, mosses, and heath-clad hills, can never be cultivated, because "the expense of cultivating them would outrun the profit.” This is an argument which may be allowed to a man who worships mammon as his God, and who has his portion only in the present life; but such an argument ought never to proceed from the mouth of a Christian. The grand question to be determined is, “is it expedient and requisite that such improvements should be attempted, and is it consistent with the will and purpose of God, that they should be accomplished ?" If such questions can be answered in the affirmative, then all other considerations ought to be laid aside, and it ought to be deliberately considered, and laid down as a maxim, that money was bestowed by God just for such purposes, and not to be put in a bag, or “laid up in a napkin.” Were such views generally recognised, and acted upon, a new impulse would be given to human activity, and a

new aspect would begin to appear throughout the scene of nature, and of general society. How

many thousands are to be found in our cities and populous towns, and even in our hamlets and villages, who are living in the midst of filth and wretchedness, either altogether unemployed, or eking out a scanty pittance, scarcely sufficient to keep soul and body together, or employed in pilfering, or other criminal pursuits, who would rejoice in the prospect of being employed in rural improvements ! Now, were some hundreds of such

persons distributed, under proper superintendents, in different parts of the country, to drain a marsh, to cultivate a desert, to form new roads, to drive soil to sandy or rocky wastes, and to direct rivulets and streams of water to flow through such places; were small towns and villages, on spacious plans, to be reared in such places, and comfortable habitations for the industrious labourers; were schools established for the instruction of the young, and churches, and lecture rooms for the instruction of adults in religion, and in every branch of useful knowledge, what an amount of enjoyment might be communicated to thousands of miserable creatures, now in a state of penury and degradation ? and what a beautiful transformation would appear on the aspect of " the wilderness, and the solitary place,” now covered with briars and thorns, and untrodden by the foot of man! Nothing prevents such scenes from being realized, but the principle of avarice; and it becomes Christians to whom God has granted riches and property, seriously to consider, whether they be not called upon by the word and providence of God, to embark in such undertakings, although, instead of making five per cent. for their money, they should lose twice that sum in accomplishing such designs. The question with a Christian, ought not to be, what is the per centage of money to be acquired; but what is the per centage of happiness that will be gained to mankind, and of improvement on the face of nature. Let such consider what I say, and“ may the Lord give them understanding in all things!"

Vol. VI. — 18

3. Were covetousness undermined, we might soon have institutions established for the intellectual and religious instruction of persons of all ranks and ages.

This is a most important consideration-a subject the most momentous of any that can engage the attention of the Christian, or of members of general society. It is a subject, however, which has been most unaccountably overlooked by all ranks, and even by professed Christians and philanthropists. Innumerable facts which have lately come to light, in our own land, abundantly prove, that ignorance and crime are almost inseparably connected; and the same position is confirmed by the experience of almost every other country. Notwithstanding the severity and the multiplicity of our penal statutes, and the new enactments which are issued, year after year, against crimes, they have multiplied almost in proportion to the increase of our criminal statutes. It has been calculated, that in and about London alone, there are above fifty thousand thieves and pick-pockets. And no wonder, when we learn from the Report of the “British and Foreign School Society" for 1833, that " in the Metropolis alone, there are above 150,000 children growing up to manhood without education." In Nottingham, it is found that more than a thousand children, of an age suitable for school, are growing up in total ignorance; and, in Herefordshire, out of 41,000 individuals, only about 24,000, or little more than one half, were able to read. Instead of one out of every four attending instruction, it is estimated, that throughout Great Britain and Ireland, there is not above one out of twelve or fourteen of the population, at an average, enjoying the means of regular instruction; paltry, and inefficient, as they generally are. Without a thorough intellectual and religious education, universally extended, commencing at a very early period of life, and continued till manhood, the root of crime will never be extirpated; and although its branches may be occasionally lopped off by the sword of the law, they will always be ready to break out in fresh luxuriance. So long as the principle of crime, and those affections which lead to it, are suffered to remain without moral counteraction; human laws, however severe, will be altogether inefficient, either for eradicating, or repressing it.

An efficient education is likewise essentially necessary for preparing men to listen with attention and intelligence, to the declarations of the gospel. For want of that intelligence which education should produce, neither rational nor moral arguments make the least impression on the mind. We cannot, in many instances, persuade such persons to attend a place of worship where Scriptural instruction is communicated; and when they are constrained to enter a religious assembly, they are incapable of fixing their attention on spiritual subjects, or of understanding and appreciating the nature and importance of the truths delivered; so that the most solemn considerations and admonitions produce no more effect in exciting to repentance and serious reflections, than “a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.”

Hence, likewise, the confused and distorted conceptions of Divine truth which are entertained by many of the regular hearers of the gospel; hence the little effect produced on their moral characters, and hence the want of holy energy, and of that noble spirit of Christian heroism and generosity, which ought to distinguish every member of a religious community,

Again, universal education is essential for preparing the way for the arrival of the predicted millennium. Such a period cannot possibly be ushered in, till a moral, intellectual, and religious education be universally established, and the benefits of it enjoyed by all ranks and conditions of men.

It is in this and the effects which flow from it, that the essence of the millennium will chiefly consist. For, at that period, "all shall know Jehovah from the least to the greatest," in consequence of which “all the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all kindreds of the nations worship before him."

At present, we have little or nothing that truly deserves


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