In a sermon to Barbadian emigrants, at Trinity Church, Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa on May 14, 1863, Alexander Crummell calls on persons of African ancestry around the world to be actively engaged in the religious, economic and social development of the African continent. His sermon appears below.
Deuteronomy XXVI. I-II.
And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it and dwellest therein; that thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name there. And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the Lord thy God, that I am come unto the country which the Lord sware unto our fathers for to give us. And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the Lord thy God. And thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage: And when we cried unto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labor, and our oppression: And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders: And he hath brought us into this place and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey And now, behold, I have brought the first fruits of the land, which thou, O Lord hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God and worship before the Lord thy God: And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God ha,, given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.
These words are a part of that summing up of the Exodus, made by Moses to the Israelites, as he was on the eve of his departure, and they well nigh the close of their journey through the wilderness. The whole process of their colonization was now about to close; the land of promise from the top of Pisgah, was suffered to greet his eyes; allotments of land, as the first lesson this evening showed us, had been given to three of the tribes, and full preparations made for a new chieftain to lead them across Jordan into the promised inheritance of the Lord. The Prophet avails himself of this pause in their history, to relate unto them all the marked peculiarities of their history and migration; and to point out to them God’s agency therein, and His intents and purposes.
They had been nigh four hundred years in servitude in Egypt. Their fathers, during all their sojourn in that land, had suffered the keenest miseries and afflictions. But God had never suffered their. bondage to be, entirely, at any time, unmixed and absolute evil. “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the Angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity, he redeemed them.” Large providential favors were mingled with their sore trials; in all their tribulations, they were still God’s people; much temporal prosperity, yea, even miraculous increase had been given them; the spectacle of high civilization was continually set before their eyes. Thus, in various ways, they were going through a system of mental and moral training. God was preparing them then for another land, and far distant duties. Generations passed away; and many a soul sank, and many a spirit fainted, and many a despairing man laid down and died; but the work went on. By and by, when God was ready for his own large ends and purposes, then He commenced the processes and the policies for that noble work, which tells, even in our day, in every Christian church and household in the world. The two special expedients to that end were, First, colonization, at God’s bidding, from Egypt; and Secondly, a re settlement in the land of Canaan, under the immediate direction of the Almighty.
Doubtless it was a great trial to the children of Israel to leave that land, which time had now succeeded in making their home. How great a trial it was may be seen in their reluctance at the first, to follow the leader whom God had given them; and in their frequent sightings in the wilderness for their old home. “We remember,” said they, ” the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic ; but now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all beside this manna, before our eyes.”
But the hand of God was upon them; and when His hand is upon a people, it is destiny, and they cannot resist it. His hand was upon them. His hand guided them through all that ” terrible” journey through the wilderness, which never passed away from their memories. For he had a great work for them to do; and this process of migration was the passage, through which they were to enter upon and to do that work.
This subject of colonization then is a pregnant one, and a sacred. We find it here in our Bibles, associated with some of the most important of God’s plans and purposes. We find it here in the upturned faces of many men, women, and children; just touching our shores, singing the “songs of Zion,” joining in olden Litanies, for the first time, “in a strange land,” in this house of God. On this occasion, therefore, it will not seem unmeet that I call your attention to the subject of colonization, especially in its relation to God’s great work of evangelization.
I am afraid I shall be somewhat lengthy; for it was only yesterday noon, I was requested to address you; and I have had but one single day for preparation. And as I have written in very great haste I am sure I shall hardly be equal to the subject; but I trust that under the circumstances; you will kindly bear with my imperfections.
I. The first point to which I beg to call your attention is the fact that emigration and colonization have ever been among the commonest movements of mankind. Nothing is more manifest in history than the wanderings of families and clans and tribes from one locality to another, creating new homes, and forming new nationalities. All along the tracks of time we see traces of such movements on every soil of earth Indeed the fact of emigration is almost coeval with humanity itself; for it presents itself among the earliest of human records. It seems to have been a spontaneous, instinctive tendency of human nature; faint traces, of such dispersions being discoverable, even before the days of Noah, among the descendants of Adam.” Then, immediately after the flood, so soon as family life began again to show itself, we read the significant words, “These are the three sons of Noah, and of them the whole earth was overspread.” And the same idea is, more explicitly set forth in the chapter following, where the like genealogy of Noah’s family is given, and where we are told “that by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.”
This, then, we may take as a germ of the whole history of colonization. Here we stand at a great fountainhead of that broad stream of emigration which has filled all lands, and peopled multitudinous isles and continents. After the deluge, burst three distinct groups of race and family, from the sons of Noah, each the common parent of divers and renowned peoples, whose names and deeds have filled the pages of history.
Then we have those great events of dispersion which scattered abroad the Tartars through Asia; the movements, which, in remote history, peopled the isles of the Pacific; the migrations which spread abroad the Malay family through portions of both Africa and America; the navigations which sent the Phoenicians along the coasts of both Africa and Europe; and those other great colonizing upheavals which have sent the Celtic race from Asia through all Europe.
In more modern periods we ourselves have seen the Northern nations of Europe, streaming out from their crowded homes to their own antipodes; and these again reproducing the forms of their olden nationalities, religion, and domestic life, amid the wildernesses of new worlds.
They have gone out from their ancestral homes, in commercial ventures, in incipient colonies, in corporations, in missions; and have raised up on the shores of America, of New Holland, and even of Africa and Asia, States, and Commonwealths, and Empires, already rivaling their father lands in population, in the energy of laws, in the influence of letters, in the vitalizing power of religion.
And thus you may see that emigration is a marked feature of the world’s history; and that the transplantation of fragments of the children of Africa to this Western Coast, is not an exceptional fact; is not an isolated event. Colonization is history,,’ prompting whole races of men, and determining the destiny of nations and continents.
II. But in the second place I remark, that these migrations of men have been providential events, ordered and regulated by the Divine will. Emigration, I mean to say, is not a casual or fortuitous thing. Both in its facts, and in all the principles and ideas connected with it, we may discover evidences of a large and comprehensive plan, which excludes all ideas of the accidental or adventitious.
There is no such thing as chance. However convenient the term may be, as descriptive of certain seeming occurrences, the idea, in strictness of meaning, can have no real existence.
All human events have their place in that grand moral economy of Goth in which He himself is an ever-present, ever active agent; they are all elements and instruments in His hand, for the accomplishment of the august objects of His will. Doubtless they are ofttimes seemingly insignificant to us; ofttimes mysterious; but the eye of God sees their fitness to the ends He has in view, and directs them to their proper issues. Owing to our finite vision, we are often long in tracing out these ends and issues. Sometimes we utterly fail the discovery of them. But this is one of the mental tasks the Almighty has set before us, and which constantly comes before us, in life and history, to scrutinize and solve. Thus, the simplest student of history can run back in a moment, in memory, to numerous events which were mysterious and inscrutable in their winding evolvements ; but which, in result have unfolded to sight most distinct evidences of divine intent and sacred purpose. And even thus is it with all human story; whether dark and disastrous; whether clear, bright, and propitious. The will of God overrules all the deeds, the counsels, and the designs of men, and tracks them from their. unseen germs, invisible to sight, in the dark, secret, counsels of the human mind, to those manifest and notable deeds which rank among historic facts. If in design and issue they are good, then they come from. God, whoever may be the agents by whom He works His will. Not that men are ever mere machines, even in God’s hands; but when righteous deeds are wrought, God either gives the large suggestion, or adjusts the fit position, or directs the concurring events, or orders .the happy providence; so that while men act on their own personal responsibility, they nevertheless act either consciously or unconsciously as the agents of God.
So, on the other hand, if those deeds are evil, His controlling hand, although unseen, distracts their evil counsels, and directs them to the ends He purposes.
So indeed has it been in all the world’s history of colonization. The great, vital, permeating power, propelling, guiding, checking, ordering it, has been the Spirit of God, resting upon, entering into the hearts of men, awing and governing them, albeit ofttimes unknown to themselves; even as we read in the Divine. Word that “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
I know indeed that there is a piety, (so called,) which divorces the Almighty from the secularities of earth, and which would fain convince us that the God of the Bible has nothing to do with the profane histories of men; which would, of necessity, leave the moral evils of the world to the disposal of some other great being besides out God.
But what is this, I ask, but a profane and damning Manichaeism, which sets a god of evil upon the throne of the universe, right beside the One, Everlasting God, whom we own and reverence; dividing with Him the empire of creation, and with Him determining its moral destinies?
We allow no such partnership in the moral government of God. We yield to no such heresies. We give place to no such theories. They are abhorrent to our reason, to our creeds, to our teachings, to our religion. Dark and intricate as are many of the problems of life and history, we have learned to leave their solution to the providence of that one, sovereign, over ruling Being, who “governeth all things in heaven and earth,” and “ordereth the course of this world by His own governance.”
We see everywhere God’s hand in history. We feel that its animating spirit is the breath of God. In all the movements of society, or the colonization of peoples, we see the clear, distinct, “finger of God;” ordering, controlling, directing the footsteps of men, of families, and of races. We apply this principle as well to those dark and disastrous histories, which, when we read them, pain our hearts, as to those grand and gracious ones; which stir our liveliest sensibilities. For while indeed God is not, and cannot be, “the author of evil,” still He is Governor of the wicked, and exercises a masterful authority over their works and ways. And this is a great principle in God’s moral government. He never allows evil to run, unchecked, its own wild and uncontrolled career, and to have its own way. God always checks and thwarts sin in its workings, and in its intended mischief. Wherever He sees wrong, He steps in and interferes, to turn it some way into good; even as when Adam sinned, He began at once a scheme to counteract the malignant influence’ of Satan.
In what other way, I ask, will you account for those marked incidents in human history, where, from seeming disastrous causes, have flowed out most signal and saving results? Look, for instance, at the early history of the Israelites. See the way in which God brought them into Egypt. Note their four centuries of servitude there; and then, at length, their triumphal exodus therefrom under Moses. And now can you, or you, or any other man, blind your eyes to the fact, that all the magnitude of this story grew out of the providential events connected with the sale of Joseph by his wicked brethren? And then, if you place this large fact beside its seeming insignificant causes, how can you do otherwise than did Joseph himself, that is, run up from the painful details of his sufferings to the sublime philosophy which he announces to them: ” It was not you which sent me hither but God! “‘ And what does this suggest but the immediate remembrance of that signal parallel of history, so painful and so personal to ourselves, viz : the forced and cruel migration of our race from this continent, and the wondrous providence of God, by which the sons of Africa, by hundreds and by thousands, trained, civilized, and enlightened, are coming hither again; bringing large gifts, for Christ and his Church, and their heathen kin !
I know indeed that other, darker thoughts, are the more natural ones to our fallen nature. I know how much more prone we are to dwell upon our griefs and injuries, than the merciful providences which are intertwined herewith. And I must perforce yield somewhat, to day, to the melancholy musings which contemplate, with anguish, ancestral wrongs.
Think, indeed, if you please; think, as you cannot but think, when you stand upon this soil, and look abroad upon that ocean, once so disastrous to our poor forefathers; think of that long, long, night of agony and desolation which covered Africa, as with a pall, generations upon generations ! Think of that fearful hurricane of disaster and death, which, for nigh three hundred years, has swept over the towns and villages and hamlets of this Western Coast, even to the far interior, carrying agony to multitudinous breasts of parents and helpless children! Think of that bloody and murderous colonization, which, in the holds of numberless “pestiferous barks,” bore millions of men and women and babes into a forced exile, to foreign strands! Think of all the murder, and carnage, and revenge, and suicide, and slaughter, on this continent and the other, which flowed from all this dark history, as a black river of death! Think of that glorious sea, made to image the majesty of its Maker; despoiled of its beauty, dyed with human gore, blackened with human crime, robbed of its harmony, and made to send up, through long centuries, one ceaseless wail of despair and woe to a just and holy God ! Think of all the painful tasks, the forced labor, the want, the deprivation, the lashings and scourgings, the premature deaths; continued from generation to generation, on many and many a plantation; transmitted as the only inheritance of poor helpless humanity, to children’s children!
Think of all these things, which are indeed but partial pictures of many a sad tale from the lips of your fathers and mine; their own sad experience, or that of their sires; and yet when you have told all this dread story, I would turn with you to another and a fairer page. Amid all the morbidity of these cancering thoughts, my mind, I must confess, would fain run out to the adjustments and compensations which a just and holy God has intermingled with His dark and mysterious dispensations. And a brief reference to this feature of divine Providence will justify, I think, such peculiarity of thought.
For, first of all, our forefathers, in remote generations, “when they knew God, glorified him not as God,” and “did not like to retain Him in their knowledge;” and from age to age their sons, our ancestors, wandered off further and further from the true God, and kept heaping abominations upon abominations through long centuries, until the divine patience was exhausted, and God withdrew from our sires and their habitations, and extinguished the “forbearance and long suffering” of ages; which is the direst wrath!
And then it was that the Almighty permitted the most cruel of all marauders to devastate this coast, and to carry off its people into foreign slavery. And most terrible was all this retribution upon Africa and her sons.
Here it rained anguish and woe for centuries. “And the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. And the exiled children of Africa, in distant lands, were made “an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.” But mercy was mingled with all this wrath. Their lot was caste in the lands of men where the cross shone from their temple spires, and the Bible was read at their altars. Terrible as was the ordeal of slavery, yet God restrained the wrath of their oppressors; not seldom did he turn the hearts of Christian masters and mistresses to them and their children; catechisings were commenced on many a plantation; schools, in course of time, began to multiply; a missionary, now and then, was sent to the colonies; right beside scourgings, and lacerations, and lawless legal murders, teaching and training, preaching and conversions, anti slavery questionings, and emancipations were carried on; until now, at the close of nigh three centuries, millions of the children of Africa, on the isles and continent of America, have been turned from the paganism of their fathers; “the people that sat in darkness have seen a great light;” God has redeemed this injured people, and fearfully scourged their oppressors; tens of thousands of them, in all the lands of their thraldom, have received the enlightenment which comes from books and seminaries, from the Bible and churches; and now, as the end of all this chapter of providence, God is bringing scores and hundreds of them back to this continent, as colonists and merchants; as missionaries and catechists and teachers; and with them “casts the pearl of the gospel,” upon these heathen shores !
“He cast The Gospel’s pearl upon our coast;
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound His name.
O let our voice His praise exalt
Till it arrive at Heaven’s vault,
Which then perhaps rebounding may
Echo beyond the Mexique bay!”
And now, when I look at the noble work which God has manifestly set before us and our children in this land, and think, especially, of the marvelous way by which God has brought us to it; I feel as if I could laugh to scorn all the long line of malignant slave traders who have defiled and devastated this wretched coast of Africa, and fling in their teeth the gracious retort of Joseph : “As for you, ye thought evil against us, but God meant it unto good, to save much people alive.” For that, I maintain, that is, ” to save much people alive,” that is the great mission of our race to this coast: to turn this heathen population “ from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them who are sanctified by faith.”
III. And this leads me to consider the lesson which, evidently, springs from the train of remark I have set before you to day. The lesson is that of duty and spiritual obligation to Africa, through us, her exiled sons, returning to the bosom of our mother.
The day of preparation for our race is well nigh ended; the day of duty and responsibility on our part, to suffering, benighted, Africa, is at hand. In much sorrow, pain, and deepest anguish, God has been preparing the race, in foreign lands, for a great work of grace on this continent. The hand of God is on the black man, in all the lands of his distant sojourn, for the good of Africa.
This continent is to be reclaimed for Christ. The faith of Jesus is to supercede all the abounding desolations of heathenism. And the church of Christ is to enter in, in His name, and to subdue, by the Spirit, its crowded populations to His yoke, and to claim the whole continent for her Lord.
In this work the colored populations of America are largely to participate. They, whether living on the mainland, in the States; or residing as inhabitants of
the Antilles; or sojourning in the Republics of the South; or dwelling in the Brazilian Empire; are to be active agents of God for the salvation of Africa. A
REMNANT of all these peoples, thus widely scattered; for it is by “remnants,” “the called,” the “chosen,” the “elect,” that God works the marvels of his providence, as well as of His grace; a remnant of these peoples, prompted either by the immediate Spirit of God, or moved by collateral influences, are to be transplanted from their distant homes, amid this heathen population, with domestic habits, civilized customs, and Christian institutions.
A portion of them have already been brought into compliance with these manifest providential arrangements. By a most singular and favoring providence, thousands of American emigrants have crossed the wide ocean, and taken up their residence in this Republic. Here we are touching and influencing; in divers ways, thousands of heathen natives. Our mission is evidently to organize the native labor all around us ; to introduce regulating and controlling law among them; to gather their children info schools, in order to train their intellects ; to make these people civilized and Christian people; and to incorporate them into our Republic as citizens, and into the Church of God as brethren!
Some little of this great work we have already done among our native tribes; but 14,000 Christians are but a handful of people among a half million of heathen. The work is too vast and weighty for the paucity of our numbers. Hence we have become painfully impressed with the necessity of large additions to our civilized, Christian population. We need more capable men and women in the land. It is not that we lack labor; for we have tens of thousands of natives, . all through the’ country; and all that is needed to secure that labor, is skillful treaties, judicious alliances, just remuneration, and humane treatment, to supply any demand we can make upon kings and headmen in the interior. Our need is that of civilized” Christian black men to join us in the great work Providence has set before us as duty in this land.
Hence the Legislature of Liberia, prompted by the late President Benson, in the year 186 1, commissioned three citizens of this Republic, to invite emigration, on the part of our own brethren in the United States of America, and in the West Indies. More recently the present chief magistrate of our Republic, Hon. D. B. Warner, issued a proclamation, inviting especially, the colored population dwelling in the West India islands to emigrate to this Republic. His proclamation accorded entirely with the desires of hundreds in those islands, especially in the island of Barbados ; and at a very early day news reached this country of the determination of our Barbadian friends to come over, and join us in our work. But great difficulties intervened; more than one delay occurred; by and by the friends of African colonization in the United States came to the rescue; a large appropriation of money was made by the “American colonization society,” and the whole project of the emigration of these brethren was generously and graciously assumed by this Society. The difficulties being thus removed, information was communicated to this country that we might confidently look for an emigration this year from the island of Barbados.
And they have come. They have come from a home of civilization and refinement, but where a close crowded population, the painful remembrances of past servitude, and a yet existent spirit of caste, robbed them of many of the feelings of home, and long suggested to them ideas of voluntary exile. They have come, rejecting the offers of other and wealthier colonies, electing from choice, and interest, a heritage amid the negro race, in the land of their fathers. They have come, tired of an alien rule, wearied, as we were, with the position of strangers in their native land, to become citizens in a negro nationality and the creators of a free Republic amid despotic heathenism.
They have come with their hoes and their spades, with their scythes and their axes, to humble the forests of Africa, and to subdue the soil to the purposes of civilized culture. They have come with their “young, and with their old, with their sons and with their, daughters,” come across the wide ocean, to set up their: standards, and to make new homes in this Western Africa They have come with their Bibles and Prayer books, with their Christian creeds and their family altars, to reproduce the faith and the forms of Christianity amid the idolatries of their father land.
Children of the Antilles! Sons of “Little England,”‘ beautiful Barbados ! We welcome you to this the land; of your forefathers. We welcome you to this heritage of freedom and civil prerogative! We welcome you to a full participation with us in governmental rights and national responsibility! We welcome you to a common burden of duty and obligation in this infant state; yet we believe, to become, in our children, a nation that will excite the admiration of the world! We welcome you to all the obligations of the Church of God, placed in the midst of the heathen, and henceforth made responsible for their training and salvation!
You saw yourselves how warm and generous was the greeting of the Emigrant Agent who first met you on your arrival. And since then you have had the hand grasp of brotherhood from our chief magistrate, the President, who hailed you from afar, and saluted you even before you left your former homes for this. In this salutation all people of standing and respectability in this community, all classes of our population join, and hail you, at once, as comrades and fellow citizens.
You see with your own eyes the unpretending condition of our Republic. We are no ancient State, no advanced and aged government, with a burdened treasury and overflowing coffers. Our Government is the latest born of time, and we stand to day, the least among the nations. Liberia is a young country, laying, as I dare to affirm, good foundations, but with much pain, great trials, consuming anxieties, and with the price of great tribulation, and much mortality.
You will not look therefore for that large governmental patronage which ancient kingdoms and wealthy republics are able to give new emigrants to their shores or colonies.
But, unofficial as I am, in all my relations, I feel that I may venture the declaration, that all that skill, and forecast, and perseverance, and brotherly regard, and the prompted sympathies of Christian love can do, to make your way, in this new, rough land, easy and comfortable and satisfactory, will be done by the authorities to whom you have already paid your respects, and who are interested in your welfare.
Already you have been assured of the allotments which are to become your family possessions for all the future of yourselves and children. On those rich and fertile lands you will soon erect your habitations and commence your toil. There you will work your farms, and commence those laborious preparations which, with but half of the spent labor of your past lives, if it be systematic and persistent, will soon lay the foundations of broad and solid wealth. But brethren, vital and important as are these family and economical interests, they are but subsidiary to that one great, master interest and cause, which lies at the base of all this emigration, both yours and ours, to this our father land, viz.: The evangelization of this section of the continent.
We have been sent hither in God’s providence, civilizers and evangelizers of these our heathen kinsmen around us. We are placed here, without doubt, the pioneers of the Christian Church, in all this special region. For this we all have been trained and schooled in the lands, respectively, of our trial and suffering; we in the United States; you in Barbados; in the one blessed Church ” in whose bowels we were all bred, at whose breast we received nourishment” from our youth to manhood, We all, with our families, are the agents and ministers of this Church, in this land, for the propagation of the faith.
Other work indeed, we have here; but it is only collateral to this. Trade, agriculture, commerce, art, letters, government, are other great features of our mission here, and ruinous will it be for us, to despise or to neglect them; but they are only auxiliary to that one great, master service, which God has imposed upon us and you, viz., to glorify God’s name, and to plant His Church amid this heathen population !
You are going out from this spot, in a day or two, to the uncleared lands, on the border line between our civilized communities and the heathen. Carry with you there all the elements of the faith, all the marks of your Church in their fullness and integrity. Lift high in your families and communities, the standard bf the cross. Suffer not, by even one jot or one tittle, the least diminution in your townships of your Christian principles and your Christian habits. Erect at once, the family altar; and let the incense of prayer and praise ascend, morning and evening, from your assembled households.
Be tender and pitiful and earnest to the heathen around you for their souls’ sake, and for Christ; but resist, steadfastly, especially for your children’s sake, their vicious habits, . and their corrupting influences.
Cling to all the simple teachings of your catechism, especially to that one, strong, forceful precept, “to do your duty in that state of life unto which it shall please God to call you.” Hold on, with tenacity, to all the doctrines and the truths contained in that “form of sound words,” by which you have been trained, and taught to worship. Above all, make the Word of God “the man of your counsel;” keep open Bibles in your houses; and not only read them yourselves, but teach your children, and your heathen servants, should you have any, to read them daily, for guidance in all things, as well secular as divine.
Go forth then, Christian pilgrims, with all the deep resolve of serious men, and in the fear of God. Let the sentiments and motives which come from heaven prompt you in all your actions. Ye have done right well in coming up here to Holy Communion this morning; in offering your “first fruits” on “coming into the land which the Lord your God has given you.” Abide in the spirit of this beginning. Remember, I beseech you, the warnings and the monitions of the second Lesson for this evening. Carry them with you to your new homes in the wilderness. Preserve the spirit of them in your hearts and households; and then God will be with you. He will help you, and your children, and the generations which may succeed you. And so a blessing shall go out from you through all the land; and as your settlements spread out into the interior, every town, every family, shall become the centre of a wide circumference of godly influence. Yea, every footfall, as your population advances, shall tell powerfully for Christ. And thus the widening circles of Christian influence, from us, and from all the other centers of gospel truth on this coast, shall, in early centuries, embrace this entire heathen population, until the whole continent is reclaimed, and rises up regenerated, to sing the praises of the Lamb !
And even thus will it be. Yes! land of our forefathers; land of woe and agony; land of pains and suffering and anguish ! Thy exiled children think of thee! Their hearts, filled with sympathy and desire, run toward thee! Already have they come to thy shores; already hast thou heard the voice of some of thy returned children, along the mountain sides, and in thy valleys; preaching the glad tidings! But this is but a dim forecasting of that large stream of blessedness, which thy children in distant lands are preparing for thee! For the day is at hand! The sons of Africa will soon arise, and come in crowds, priests and catechists and teachers, to thy shores; their feet beautiful “bringing good tidings,” “publishing salvation.” Soon they will spread themselves abroad through all thy quarters. Schools and churches, and Christian colleges will spring up throughout thy borders. The Spirit of the Lord God, according to His promise, will be poured out upon millions of thy sons. “Christ shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied.” The Lord God shall hasten the number of His elect; and the tide of salvation, sweeping along, in one broad, mighty current, shall bear along the mighty masses of thy people to salvation and to glory; and then “Ethiopia,” from the Mediterranean to the Cape, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian, “shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God.”