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Go ... Teach all Nations.... Matt. xxviii. 19.
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VOL: II. NEW-YORK, NOVEMBER, 1827. NO. 6.
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BY WILLIAM PATTON, A.M.
THE DUTY AND IMPORTANCE OF SPECIAL EFFORTS FOR THE CONVERSION OF CITIES.
LUKE xxiv. 47.—And
that repentance and remission of
sins should be preached in his name among all nations,
BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM.
Here the apostles receive from Christ a commission to commence in one of the chief cities of the world the great business of preaching the gospel to mankind. The fulfilment of prophecy required them to begin at Jerusalem. “Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem.” But there were other and more special reasons. It was at Jerusalem that the death and resurrection of the Son of God took place:—facts, on which Christianity rested all its claims: and it was fit that the enemies of truth should have every possible advantage for controverting those facts. In commencing at Jerusalem, an immediate and striking illustration was also afforded of the forgiving spirit of Christianity—’Go at once, and preach unto these mine enemies repentance and remission of sins. Let them have the opportunity of salvation through my blood—even that blood which their own wicked hands have shed.’
This direction to the first preachers of the cross, to begin at Jerusalem, suggests the general thought,
THAT IT BECOMES CHRISTIANS, IN ALL AGES, TO MAKE SPECIAL EFFORTS FOR THE CONVERSION OF CITIES AND LARGE TOWNS.
This thought may be illustrated and enforced, from the example and instructions of Christ and his apostles; from the early and signal visitations of the Spirit on cities; from the power with which Satan reigns in them; and from their relative importance, and influence on the world.
Says Matthew, “And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.” Mark speaks of Him as follows: “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he departed into a solitary place, and there prayed: and Simon, and they that were with him, followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.” Luke informs us, that, on another occasion, He said unto those who sought him, and who urged him that he should not depart from them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also, for therefore am I sent.”