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you should stand foremost in making liberal provisions for the advancement and support of Freedom and Virtue; without which, neither the ordinances of Religion, nor the Laws can be duly administered; nor the civil duties of life fulfilled; nor the manners of a people improved; nor their happiness for any length of time secured. But by wise establishments for the instruction of youth, the advancement of the Arts and Sciences, the encouragement of industry, and the maintenance of Religion and Morality—this shall become a great and happy land!
Transported at the thought, I am borne forward to days of distant renown! In my expanded view, these United States rise, in all their ripened glory, before me. I look, through, and beyond, every yet peopled region of the New World, and behold period still brightening upon period. Where one continuous depth of gloomy wilderness now shuts out even the beams of day, I see new States and Empires, new seats of Wisdom and Knowledge, new Religious domes, spreading around*. In places now untrod by any but savage beasts, or men as savage as they, I hear the voice of happy labor, and behold towery cities growing into the skies!
Lo! in this happy picture, I behold the native Indian exulting in the works of Peace and Civilization! His bloody hatchet he buries deep under ground, and his murderous knife, he turns into a Pruning Hook, to lop the tender vine and teach the luxuriant shoot to grow. No more does he form to himself a heaven after death, (according to the poet) in company with his faithful dog, behind the cloud-topt bill, to enjoy solitary quiet, far from the haunts of faithless men; but, better instructed by Christianity, he views his everlasting inheritance, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
* The general sentiments in this concluding address were published in. a poem by :he author near fifty years ago, and have been occasionally introduced into former public addresses by him, but have not before been published at large, or in the present form.
Instead of recounting to his offspring, round the blazing fire, the bloody exploits of their ancestors, and wars of savage death, shewing barbarous exultation over every deed of woe; methinks I hear him pouring forth his eulogies of praise to the memory of those who were the instruments of Heaven, in raising his tribes from darkness to light; in giving them freedom and civilization; and converting them from violence and blood, to meekness and love!
Amongst those who shall be celebrated as the instruments of this great work, I hear the names of every good citizen and Christian, who is a friend to mankind, and to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and especially, methinks, I hear your names, ye illustrious Patriots! who, having asserted your own and your country's rights, cheerfully join in every laudable endeavour for conveying those rights to posterity, and bringing “ the utmost ends of the earth to see the Salvation of our God.”
Hasten, O Almighty Father, hasten this blessed period of thy Son's Kingdom, which we believe, shall come; and the praise and glory shall be to thy name, forever and ever! Amen.
SERMONS ON PUBLIC OCCASIONS, CONTINUED.
THE FOREGOING SERMONS, IN THIS VOLUME, BEING CHIEFLY
ON PUBLIC OCCASIONS, CIVIL AND MILITARY; THE FOLLOWING ARE DENOMINATED PART II. BECAUSE, BEING PREACHED ON PUBLIC OCCASIONS ECCLESIASTICAL, THEY COULD NOT BE PROPERLY CLASSED AMONG THE FORMER.
CONCERNING THE CONVERSION
THE HEATHEN AMERICANS,
AND THE FINAL PROPAGATION OF CHRISTIANITY AND THE
SCIENCES TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.
First Preached before a voluntary Convention of the Episcopal Clergy of Pennsylvania, and places adjacent, in ChristChurch, Philadelphia, May 2, 1760; and published at their joint request.
LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY,
AND TO ALL THE HONOURABLE AND VENERABLE MEMBERS OF
THE SOCIETY, FOR PROPAGATING THE GOSPEL IN FOREIGN
My LORDS AND GENTLEMEN,
AFTER the many excellent Sermons that have been preached and published by the members of your body, on the propagation of Christ's religion through the untutored parts of the earth; the present publication may be thought to argue some degree of presumption. And this consideration, added to the difficulty of saying any thing new or interesting, on a subject so fully handled by many of the brightest ornaments of our churcb, would have deterred the Author from letting this Discourse appear in print; if, on the other hand, he had not been encouraged therein, by the express desire of his brethren who heard it, and the hopes that his situation in America may have enabled him to place some particular points in a light, perhaps, somewhat new.
It may be thought a very needless labour to attempt a proof That the interests of Christianity will be advanced, by promoting the interests of Science; which is the design of the next following Sermon, as a second part from this text. But it hath been the Author's misfortune, in his endeavours for the latter, to meet with men, who, seeming to consider the advancement of knowledge and free inquiry as unfriendly to their dark system, have set themselves up, with rage truly illiberal, to stifle the infant Sciences here. For this reason, the Author thought he could not do a better service than by endeavouring to shew them at large, that they were, in effect, waging war, not only with every thing elegant and useful in life, but even with the extension of our common Christianity, the prosperity of our country, and the best interests of our species! And if, in the prosecution of this design, he hath been led into a more particular analysis of the Sciences than some may judge needful in a discourse of this kind, he hopes the circumstances of the case will be his plea. It may also be some apology, that it was delivered before a learned body of Clergy.
He cannot conclude without taking this opportunity of expressing his gratitude to the venerable Society, for propagating the Gospel, for the honour done him by having elected him into their body; and to sundry illustrious members in particular for the countenance and protection they have always shewn him, in carrying on the sundry concerns committed to him, in the distant parts of the earth, for the advancement of Science and Religion. More especially, he owes most humble thanks to that truly learned Prelate,* who having himself written so excellently on the accomplishment of the Prophecies, condescended to peruse and make some corrections in this discourse, respecting the explanation of some passages of Prophecy, before the present edition was committed to the press.