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prophecies which relate to the restoration of the Jews, he urged those who had been grafted in their place to intercede with their offended God for them. He closed with the probable effects of their conversion upon the many heathen nations. He believed that they were destined to become the most efficient missionaries of the cross ; " for if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead."
An officer in the British army delivered the next address. He had spent nearly thirty years in India, and had been spiritually awakened through missionary effort in that distant country.
When I reflect, said he, on the effect of missions, I often compare it to the triumphs ci an adroit swordsman who goes forth to the conflict single-handed, and deals his blows with equal effect, in front, in the rear, and on either side.
The direct and reacting influence of missions have been elucidated. The collateral influence remains to be considered. To this oblique effect of missions myself and hundreds of others are under everlasting obligations.
Multitudes who went out to India almost as ignorant of religion, and quite as indifferent to its claims as the heathen themselves, have found a Saviour where we least expected to meet him. I sometimes think that the whole character of our Indian army has undergone a change within a few years. Before missionaries were sent to those countries, the semblance of religion had almost vanished from our ranks. Its external proprieties were often entirely dispensed with.
I shall never forget the first Christian who was pointed out to me in the army. Though an offi. cer of acknowledged talents and tried courage, he was despised because we considered him a methodist.
When the first efforts were made to introduce the gospel into our ranks, the opposition was strong and obstinate. But the sword of the Spirit proved irresistible. One after another fell overpowered. I cannot dwell on the victories which ensued. Hundreds have been made to ground their arms. Many of our highest, bravest, most admired officers have left their former service and become the faithful soldiers of the cross. Armed with the panoply of God, and animated by his Spirit, they are now engaged in a warfare, not “ against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
There are few regiments in that part of the world in which there is not a greater or less number of devoted Christians - many of whom were first led to embrace the gospel in that land of heathen darkness.*
* See Preface to “The Church in the Army.”
And this work of grace has not been limited to the army. Civilians, and planters, and merchants, and sailors, and adventurers of all pursuits have been directed to these pagan shores to find the pearl of price. Often has the transient traveller and seaman here, been arrested by disease, that before he was removed to another clime, or another world, he might become interested in him who is the resurrection and the life.”
I could detain you for hours in detailing the active exertions of those who have themselves been “taught of God."
A few examples will suffice to show how the influence of missions extends and increases through the self-multiplying agency it establishes.
As soon as Lieutenant D. was “renewed in the spirit of his mind," he wrote to his cousin of another regiment, and by his powerful arguments and faithful admonitions enlisted this noble, talented youth in the same blessed cause.
Among my most esteemed friends are two captains in the service, who have added to their military honours, the highest literary distinctions in the native languages. Since their conversion, they have lived together on an economical scale, and devoted all the balance of their pay, about nine-tenths of the whole amount, to the spiritual welfare of those around them. And this is not all. Not simply their incomes, but their richly cultivated minds, and almost all their time, are consecrated to the same work. They have been long employed in translating the Scriptures, and writing religious books in the languages of the heathen.
At one of the stations the Surgeon is the secretary of the mission-schools. At another the Resident is the Gaius of the place, to whose hospitality and cheerful aid “the brethren have often borne witness," and who is a most efficient “ fellow helper of the truth.” Several officers have left the service and become missionaries, that they might dedicate their all to the cause of their Redeemer.
In conclusion I would bespeak for missionaries in the prosecution of their arduous duties, the cheerful support of all who have friends dwelling in heathen lands, or wandering on distant seas. Let me commend them to the patronage of the statesman, the philanthropist, the man of science, the merchant. Especially would I aim to enlist in their behalf the sympathies and co-operation of all classes of those nations whose banners wave over lands“ lying in the region and shadow of death."