Page:Address to an emigrant.djvu/2

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No. 447. — Address to an Emigrant.

put on, then shall the Lord be my God," Gen. xxviii. 20, 21.

The present moment, then, is highly important to you, and if you feel aright, corresponding emotions will take possession of your heart. There is much of mercy in the position you now occupy, and this should be thankfully acknowledged to God, the Giver of every good and perfect gift. It is not the least of your mercies that, after much deliberation, and, I would hope, prayer for direction, you have obtained a conviction that Divine Providence is, by your removal from home, opening a way for your future support and usefulness, and that the cloud of God's gracious presence will go before you. It is He who fixes the bounds of our habitation, and setteth the solitary in families, who not unfrequently says, by the arrangements of his providential government, as he did in vision to Abraham, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee," Gen. xii. 1. There is therefore nothing unlawful in emigration; it is one great means of peopling the earth, and causing the ground to yield its fruits for the sustenance of man and beast. From the patriarchal times, down to the present day, as population has become dense, in particular localities, individuals and families have migrated to more extensive regions, and peopled other lands. The love of adventure, a thirst for the acquisition of territory, and a desire after wealth have acted as motives, and stimulated many persons to such undertakings; while others have left their homes from a love of freedom, an attachment to religious truth, or in obedience to the command of God. Thus some seeds are wafted by boisterous winds, and others are borne by the kindly hand of man to the uncultivated soil of an uninhabited island, but both alike have been deposited in the earth, and have