In cities, ministers and good men can readily and effectually co-operate in plans of usefulness. The inhabitants of smaller towns and villages are too scattered to allow of ready co-operation; but in our cities, a few minutes may assemble many of those who love the Lord. The dangers which threaten, or the hopes which gladden, quickly circulate. The weakness of one portion may be readily sustained by the greater strength of some other portion. In the multitude of professing Christians, may be found men of wisdom, of wealth, of enterprise, of leisure, of devotedness; all of whose varied gifts and talents may be concentrated for good. Surely these are advantages peculiar to cities. Too long have we looked upon the might of opposing interests, and neglected the power which God hath given us. Too long have churches stood alone, and feebly exerted their separate influences. But in a union of the efforts of churches the increase of power may be immense; for whilst “one shall chase a thousand, two shall put ten thousand to flight.”
It is by the means which cities afford for ready co-operation, that Satan and his followers have in all ages achieved so much. They make common cause. They suffer no differences to divide their strength; knowing “that an house divided against itself cannot stand.” They combine their forces, in any plan which promises injury to the Christian interest. Cities furnish to Christians the very same opportunities for united effort, and thus present peculiar advantages.
Again, cities also furnish advantages for individual exertion. Here a minister’s influence may at once reach, not merely to his own congregation, but far beyond. Every month he is brought in contact with some thousands, who may be affected by his faithfulness. And under his influence, many benevolent and pious institutions may rise and shine to bless the world.
But it is not to ministers alone, that cities present large fields for exertion. Private Christians also have abundant opportunities for usefulness. In the walks of business, the influence of one inflexibly just man is felt as far as his name is known. If Christians, in our cities, would conduct themselves agreeably to the Bible, how awful to the wicked would be their example! What reformations would be wrought among the worldly and profane! How many haunts of poverty and wretchedness would be searched out! How many souls, once in communion with the saints, would be brought back from their wanderings! How many children, rescued from vice, would be brought to the Sabbath school; and there, perhaps, be taught of God to become themselves angels of mercy! How many meetings for prayer and exhortation would every week be sustained among the poor and the wretched! How many of these degraded immortals might be rescued from temporal and eternal darkness, to become lights in the world, and stars in the kingdom of our Father’s glory! What field then offers so rich and large