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I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night. Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

WHEN we consider the high duties of a Christian Missionary, the zeal and humility which are to be united in his character, and the persevering fortitude which must enable him to meet almost innumerable difficulties, we might conclude that no human virtue could be equal to so great an enterprize. But when we contemplate, on the other hand, the power and grace of God in Christ Jesus, and the various prophecies which relate to the future glory of the church, we check our rash distrust, and we no longer doubt that the same Almighty grace

which has provided redemption for sinners, can qualify and support even frail and feeble man, for the arduous effort of propagating Christianity throughout the earth. We are especially encouraged in this expectation, by observing in the prophetic records, that the promises of God not only regard the purity and extension of the church, but the means by which they are to be effected. For if the Almighty is pleased to engage, as in the words of my text, that Jerusalem shall be established and become a praise in the earth; and at the same time to declare, that he will raise up men to stand on the walls of the sacred city, and never to desist from their zealous efforts, till his full mercy towards her is accomplished, what Christian can hesitate? What heart remain distrustful? What hand shrink back from assisting, and assisting with ardour, in the sacred undertaking? What further can be wanting in the way of direction or encouragement? Particularly when such declarations are introduced, as in the instance before us, in the midst of a succession of rapturous predictions, apparently for the very purpose of animating the church in those exertions, to which such inspiring prospects are designed to invite her.

The speaker, in the first division of the passage which I have selected, is undoubtedly Jehovah himself, graciously declaring that he will appoint men of holy piety and zeal to enter

on the great work of propagating his truth. The words which follow are generally attributed to the church; by which she welcomes the cheering promise, and, viewing in prophetic vision the blessing as already fulfilled, exhorts these faithful watchmen never to cease in their exertions and prayers, till she shall have received the entire completion of the divine purposes. Such rapid changes of person are not uncommon in the elevated poetry of Isaiah, and add a peculiar beauty and force to his writings. The whole passage may have had a primary relation to the period of the deliverance from the captivity of Babylon, and certainly referred to the glorious time when the Redeemer became incarnate for the salvation of mankind; but its full accomplishment is yet to be expected in the extension of the Christian name, the conversion of idolaters, and the restoration of the ancient people of Israel, to the faith of the Messiah whom they rejected and crucified.

It has appeared to me, therefore, that no text could be more suitable than this for the present occasion; when you, my reverend brethren, together with the several other friends before me who are to be attached to the mission, are about to proceed to Western Africa, under the auspices of our Society, for the purpose of contributing your endeavours, so far as you may

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have opportunity, for bringing about this great consummation.

Permit me then to direct your attention,

I. To the great EVENT to which we are encouraged to look forward; the establishment and glory of the church.

II. To the MEANS by which this event will be accomplished; the raising up men of fervent piety to enter on the high work of propagating the Gospel, whilst the church generally assists and animates them by her exhortations and prayers.


Hitherto she has never seen the days to which the energetic language of prophecy has directed her expectation. The Messiah has indeed appeared, and the predictions which related to his person and sufferings have been literally fulfilled. The foundation has been laid in Zion. On this she has stood, and will continue to stand secure. Not the gates of Hell can prevail against her. Multitudes have in every age acknowledged the sceptre, and adorned the grace of the Prince of Life. In this view the church has long been established, and been made a praise in the earth. But the promise,

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