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The delegate who next addressed the assembly, was born and educated in a corrupt branch of the Christian Church, on the continent of Europe. He ascribed his conversion to the humble efforts of a colporteur. The following is an abstract of his speech:
There is one sphere of missionary labour, said he, which has not been referred to by any of the speakers. There are multitudes in the part of the world to which I belong, who are called by the name of Christ; but whose condition would scarcely be deteriorated, if that sacred appellation were exchanged for that of Mahomet or Buddha. Before it pleased God “ to reveal his Son in me,” I was as ignorant of the plan of redemption as the deluded votaries of Juggernaut. I knew that Christ had appeared upon earth; but that faith in his merits was the only ground of acceptance with God, was repugnant to the doctrines I had been taught to believe. The Bible I had never read, and scarcely ever seen. That its tenets were the rule of faith; or that its truths were instrumentally adapted to convert the soul, my teachers did not themselves believe.
Since the cruel yoke of my former bondage has been broken, and I have exulted in the liberty of the children of God," I have often dwelt with the deepest solicitude upon the condition of continental Europe. A large proportion of its inhabitants, about one-fifth of the human family, belong to churches, some of which exhibit scarcely the skeleton of Christianity; while from the best of them the spirit of life has almost entirely departed. The most superstitious ceremonies and heretical opinions have supplanted the simple worship and saving doctrines of the gospel. They all belong to that general class of the human family, who substitute the merits of man for the perfect sacrifice of Christ, and within whose ample bounds are grouped Pagans, Mahometans, and modern Jews.
I have thought that, in some respects, they were in a more hopeless condition than the heathen. They have been taught, not merely to disbelieve, but to hate the truth. The Arch Deceiver has prejudiced them against the very sources of knowledge, through which their deliverance from fatal delusions must come.
Recently, however, there are 'signs of the times' which clearly indicate God's gracious presence in this part of the world. In almost every country
the heavings of that earthquake begin to be felt, by which the things which can be shaken are to be removed," that those which “cannot be shaken may remain." Its concussions have been frequent in France, Switzerland, parts of Germany, and many nominally Christian countries, while even Spain, and Portugal, and Italy have recently ex-perienced a few slight, shocks.
The openings for the pure gospel in these countries, and the abundant blessings which have crowned the feeble efforts already made, urge a call to increased exertion, and furnish a guarantee for its success, which ought not to be disregarded. The stated Pastor -- the Missionary — the Colporteur — the Bible -- the Religious Tract, find their way into regions which have long been guarded by a flaming sword.
A few years ago, many of these countries were like " the valley which was full of bones.” Now, the prophets have entered, and the dead begin to revive. In France alone, where a few years ago there was scarcely a faithful pastor, there are now more than one hundred evangelical ministers. In French Switzerland there is double that number. Thousands of precious souls have recently been gathered into the fold of Christ in these countries. More than one hundred missionaries have already been sent to the heathen. Those of us into whom the breath of spiritual life has been breathed, are persuaded that we can effect a revival of undefiled religion among us, only so far as we strive to obey our Lord's last command.
What has been done in other countries I cannot stop to detail. What remains to be done is far more important. Christians in these countries are, with few exceptions, in straitened circumstances. They need help from other quarters.
They require the aid of benevolent institutions to supply them with men, and Bibles, and religious books. But more especially are they in want of pecuniary assistance. Almost any amount of means could be profitably expended. Our own institutions which we think best adapted to the circumstances of the countries ought to be greatly enlarged. Others which we have no ability to support ought to be established. Young men who pant for the ministry cannot be sustained. Others who in humbler spheres of labour might rescue many souls from death, are obliged to devote their time and talents to secular pursuits for a livelihood, Christians of England and America, we appeal
for relief. Send us of the ample resources by which God has favoured you above all other people under heaven. “That now at this time your abundance may be a supply for our wants, that there may be equality."
When the trophies of redeeming mercy begin to multiply in the distinguished circles of rank and literature, when our centres of civilization and refinement - the lights of Europe - the admiration of the world, become thoroughly pervaded by the influence of Christianity, it will be to the nations as the light of the morning when the sun riseth.”
Much in the same strain, though accompanied with the most touching details both of suffering and of conversion, was the address of a missionary among the Jews. He dwelt with the most affecting pathos upon the condition of this once favoured and still remembered people, “scattered among the nations,” oppressed, despised, “a reproach," "a taunt," "a by-word.” From this gloomy picture he turned to their brightening prospects. “ The gifts and callings of God are without repentance." He pictured with the most glowing ardour the scenes he had witnessed. The religious movement in various places the conversion of numbers, and the inquiries and investigations of many more, argued to him the speedy accomplishment of Zechariah's prediction -- " and I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplication : and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn, &c." From these and many other