This issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is published in 4 columns only
The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions commenced their annual meeting in this city on Wednesday. The operations of this Board were more extensive than any other Missionary Society in our United States. Its expenditures in the last year were $93,540.00, and in receipts 87,878.00. 20 years have elapsed since the Board began its operation and 19 since the first Missionaries to the heather were sent out under its patronage. The reasons for Missions, as stated by the Corresponding Secretary in his Report, appear stronger every year, as the work progresses in its effects; and it is evidently apparent that the Gospel gives the only hope of an enduring blessing to the world. The operations of the Board in Bombay, in Ceylon, in Western Asia, 'c. are attended with numerous blessings. The publications of the Gospel, the circulation of the Scriptures and of Tracts, the education, both literary and religious, which the schools are communicating, are producing surprising changes in the idolatrous world. The superstitions inculcated on the populace by the Brahmins are losing their effect, as the light of revelation and of conscience opens on their minds; and though the Roman Catholic priests are sedulously guarding their devotees against reading the scriptures and religious tracts, there are occasional and happy instances in which even the Roman Catholic, discovering the impositions practised on them, break the chains in which they had been held, and come forth into the light and liberty of the gospel. The Press is sending forth its precious pages, in all directions, and in different languages, and there is the best reason to believe that the good seed is now sowing, which will ere long produce a harvest of souls saved, and of blessings diffused through the earth, which will be preparatory to the glorious days seen in vision by the patriarchs and prophets, who spoke under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
In the evening, the Rev. Dr. Dewitt preached in Park street Meeting House, from Matt. ix 37.38- The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few:- Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest. The leading propositions of the discourse were 1.- The motives to Christian effort, and 2. The duty of persevering exertions in the promotion of Christian Missions. The harvest is great, and the field of labor extensive. The castes and prejudices of India must be destroyed, and the wall of China, which shuts out the gospel must be thrown down. The superstitions and despotism which enslave the human race must five place to light and liberty, and the mind must be free in its search after truth. Another motive to encourage labor in the work is the gospel confers immense blessings. In the countries where it is unknown, darkness reigns. Where, but in Christian lands, are to be found real refinement of mind, civil liberty, or domestic purity?- Take the map of the world and reply. But what gives the gospel its brightest glory is its saving efficacy, redeeming the soul from the bondage of sin. The instrumentality required in this work is great. Preachers called of God, and qualified by his grace, must be employed. God will not, as in the first creation, speak his church into existence by a single fiat. Means must be employed, and these he will succeed. In giving pastors, teachers, 'c. he has committed to his church the means of its perpetuity ' its indefinite multiplication. The facilities and prospects now furnished are another high incentive to holy effort. Providence opens the way and path of the friends of Missions. The day of Pentecost cave life and energy to the primitive disciples; but it was not a miraculous influence, but the common operations of the Holy Spirit, which effected the conversions under Peter's preaching, as under that of Paul and others afterwards. And when darkness and superstition had again overspread the world, and the degrading doctrine had obtained currency, that ignorance was the mother of devotion, the invention of the mariner's compass, and the art of printing by which the Bible was spread, again pierced the gloom in which our race was involved, and the glorious reformation followed. In later times, however, Infidelity raised its brazen front of profaneness; but Bible Societies, and Missionary Societies, and other associations, divided the labor of counteracting the evil, and we now see a glorious day. On the duty of persevering in the promotion of Missions, the Doctor was ardent and eloquent. The Christian edifice, he said, must be raised by human instrumentalities, but all their dependence is on God. This dependence must be deeply felt, and it must pervade ministers and churches.- Prayer, ardent and incessant, must be made for the Holy Spirit's influence without whose sacred energies nothing can be done. Missionaries must be trained to their work in our theological seminaries, and it must be felt that we need in this labor, men both of piety and science. A diffusive benevolence must pervade Christians of all denominations; and though they may labor in different spheres, their pole-star must be the glory of Christ and the world's salvation.