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barely obtain a subsistence; while the most prosperous and successful pass a life of great anxiety and labour, with but little of that satisfaction at its close, which arises from having made the glory of God the sole end of their existence.
Of one thing I am aware. Many live, as I did, in utter ignorance of the claims of the world upon their talents as Christian physicians. But their duty is becoming better understood, and more powerfully enforced. The light beams too brightly to admit the plea of ignorance. The map of heathenism is spread out before them. They see the destitution of the world. They are informed from every quarter of the importance of their personal exertions. They must attend to the loud and thrilling appeals of millions whose present and prospective sufferings can scarcely be exceeded, or aggravated guilt must be the consequence. Why then do they not go ? How can they meet these ruined souls at the day of retribution ?
If there be but little excuse for the majority of ministers, what possible reasons can they assign? Here is an opportunity of sanctifying a secular talent. What they would accomplish at home merely to increase their wealth and benefit the bodies of their fellow men, might be consecrated to the eternal interests of thousands. Every prescription - every operation would redound to the
advancement of their Saviour's kingdom. Oh, who that understands his own dearest interests — who that feels the value of eternal realities-- who that possesses a spark of the Redeemer's compassion, can hesitate a moment to accept so honourable, so benevolent, so useful a calling?
The next address was delivered by one who had spent his life in mercantile pursuits. He began by saying that he could not speak on this subject without self-condemnation. I have long, continued he, professed entire devotion to my blessed Lord ; but until recently my life was a palpable contradiction to my avowed principles. I was early placed in an advantageous situation for commercial gains. I have been prospered beyond most of my fellows. My heart was not entirely unmoved by the special blessings with which I was crowned; but I was too much engrossed with care and intoxicated with success, to reflect upon the duties of my situation.
I acknowledged my obligations to the cause of missions ; but I regarded the act of giving as quite sufficient, — the amount bestowed was a matter of private discretion. All the preaching at home, and representations from abroad, never once shook the inconsistency of my protestations. The reason was obvious. 1 scarcely listened to the one, and never read the other. Burdened with business, I had no leisure, no disposition to inform myself respecting the condition of a dying world. Hence my ignorance !--hence my unpardonable apathy! I now doubt whether I knew any thing of the love of Christ. Certainly I could not affirm with the apostle 6 the love of Christ constraineth me." Neither would I have dared utter the solemn imprecation of the psalmist with reference to the church, -" If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” — Psalms cxxxvii. 5, 6.
I might have been convinced by a moment's reflection, that without the liberal assistance of those, to whom the treasures of this world have been committed, the work of missions could not be carried on.
This obvious truth was rung in my ears a thousand times; but like my ungodly neighbours, I was either annoyed, or amused at the endless repetition. I listened to the exhibi. tions of heathenism, when I listened at all, as to a dull song. The picture of a living reality never once presented itself to my mind. Such was my want of credence or consideration; such my criminal indifference on this subject, that I often refused to go, where I should be harassed by these vexatious appeals.
I saw nothing of the kindness of God in furnishing guch opportunities for usefulness. The blessedness of giving never occurred to my mind. I scarcely remember to have given from a right motive-never according to my ability, and seldom without grudging the little I did bestow. Oh how great the mercy that snatched me from this slippery path that turned my feet, as I trust, into “ the way of God's commandments," and "put a new song in
Several years ago, I was arrested in this mad career. My strength was taken from me, and my life, for a while, held in alarming suspense. Aroused at my danger, I looked around for support to my sinking soul. 1 laboured to make my past life a witness in my favour; but the more I strove, the more was I foiled. The little I had done for the cause of Christ, and the perfect want of principle which all my actions betrayed, filled me with consternation. This season of constrained leisure and solemn reflection was the most profitable season of my life. The hand which brought me low, and for a while kept me there, restored me to my wonted health. I arose from my bed of languishing, to a new life. Oh how all my conceptions on spiritual subjects were changed !
Inow felt it my most valued privilege tojoin heartily with those of my brethren who devote all the gains of their secular business to the Lord. The provision I had already made for my family, I saw would be adequate to their support, in case of my