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on what authority any Christian denomination can rationally hope to undertake this great work without a struggle.
The text of the first discourse is in Luke xi, 2. Hallowed be thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done as in Heaven so in earth.
We certainly bave encouragements enough, as is shown in the first discourse before us, to use all the means which God has placed in our reach for diminishing the quantity of misery in the world. The remedy for this misery is not now to be discovered. It has been applied thousands of years, and examples of its efficacy are witnessed every day.
If the pursuit of great objects be itself ennobling;-if its tendency be to expand the mind and clear up the intellectual vision,-if in travelling onward in high pursuits, and seeing before us a prize of sufficient magnitude to stimulate the most unwearied exertions of a good mang-and further, if we have every desirable evidence that the good proposed is fairly attainable, and that the infallible efficacy of certain means to be employed is established on the most unquestionable testimony,—there would seem to be an unaccountable blindness or perversity in the refusal to engage in such an undertaking. But such, however, is the fact. At this hour one of the most difficult duties to be performed, by those who seek to convey the Gospel to all nations is, to encounter a determined opposition at home. This opposition is made by people gravely calling themselves Christians, some of them professing to be the disciples of that Savior, whose last and peremptory command to his followers was, that they should preach the Gospel to every creature.
“The first great object is the highEST GOOD OF MAN.
"That good is spiritual; and those who have not felt their own fallen state and. that of all mankind, and the glorious deliverance wrought out for them by the humiliation and exaltation of the Savior, are not in a condition to appreciate that spiritual good.
"Many are ready to acknowledge the excellence of the precepts of the Gospel, and to admit the utility of being guided by its upright and beneficent laws: they own not only the temporal advantages of obedience, but the blessing that is prepared for it in another life. But if they have not felt their own lost estate by nature, and the power of the Gospel to deliver their souls from destruction, they cannot feelingly understand the state of those who are yet unenlightened by the truth of Christ; nor can their hearts be warmed with zeal to open their eyes, and to lurn them from darknese to light, and from the power of Satan unio God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith that is in Christ.
"It is not our province to judge the Heathen. They are in the hands of a righteous and merciful Judge. But we must remember, that the passage of Scripture just recited is the description of their state, and of the means of their deliverance, given by that Judge himself. Such is his decision of this question. He has not indeed told us how he will deal at the last day with those who have had no opportunity of hearing the Gospel: but he has told us, that they are under the power of Satan—aliens from God; and that preaching to them the Gospel is the way to procure for them the forgiveness of their sins, and to make them heirs of heaven.” pp. 21-23.
To minds accustomed to take an expansive survey of the human family, the natural and moral evils which they suffer, their strong desire for happiness and the small degree of it found below,might all be supposed to urge a posserful argument for evangelical
labors. Judging from fair principles, one unacquainted with his own heart would be ready to conclude, that the temporal blessings alone, which are scattered over the face of nations by means of Christianity, would plead effectually for endeavors to introduce this heavenly soother of earthly sorrows into every corner of the globe. Is it not strange, that even worldly men can see all that is valuable in civilized society, all that is tolerable in human governments, or softening to the ferocious bosom of the savage, entirely the result of revelation, and still oppose every measure taken or proposed for imparting to heathens such a treasure. If it be said that unrenewed men do not discern this transeendant excellence, and that such a view of the subject belongs exclusively to the real Christian, is it not passing wonderful, that such an one will not, does not, put forth his mightiest energies for such a work?
“How great is the utility of missionary exertion, even if we carry our prospect no farther than the temporal good of those to whom the Gospel is to be preached! How high the object, then, when we add to this the spiritual blessings which are conveyed to those who are truly converted!
“What is man when ignorant of his Creator?-guilty; but with no instructor to bring bing to the knowledge of his guilt-alienated from God; but ignorant of all means of reconciliation led captive by Satan at his will-without any reasonable ground of trust-without hope-without a ray of light shed on the darkuess of the grave!
“How great the contrast of this man with him who is translated into the kingdom of Christ! The Christian trusts in one who died to redeem him-in one, to whom all power is given in heaven and in earth-in one, who has engaged to make all things work together for his good--in one, who is his great High Priest before the throne; and who has promised to send his Spirit to render him meet for his eternal inheritance—that Holy Spirit, who will enlighten his understanding, renew his heart, subdue his lusts, implant in him every gracious disposition, and fill him with comfort and joy; and whose grace will be in him a well of water, &pringing up into everlasting life.
“And is it not a high object to be the instruments of thus bringing nations from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God? Such is the first great object pursued by this and other missionary institutions--the highest good of nian, disinterestedly sought by the Christian.” pp. 24, 25.
All who wish for the universal reign of righteousness must understand their duty. They must be taught that every thing which has yet been done is but a small beginning; and that far greater efforts than any hitherto made are indispensable. While the Christian devoutly ascribes all the praise to God, for the success hitherto given, he will consider such success as a strong inducement to a mighty increase of labors, of self-denials and of prayer, If professors of the religion of Christ do not display more activity, and far more unyielding perseverance than any we have yet seen, the work, so far as it depends on human agency, must stop. The millennium will not be introduced by means of men's endeavors, unless sich endeavors assame a character very different from the present. Provided that not only all the outposts of Satan's empire are to be taken by storm, but that the victory is to be pushed into the strongest fortresses of his dominjons, this must be done by soldiers of the cross possessing sometbing of the spirit of Paul, and their hands will need to be strengthened by the prayers and contributions of their brethren at home. Unless those little bands be supported, now they are, at such expense and hazard, well fixed in their stations, with what propriety can we pray for the coming of the Lord's kingdom, or with what reason expect, that the great revolution is ever to be accomplished?
“Yet, after all that has been done, how little is it, when compared with the exigency of the case!-the case of six or sever hundred millions of our fellowcreatures, waiting to be called out of darkness into light, and from the power of Satan unto God! Do we speak of the magnitude of our Bible Society subscriptions, and of other funds connected with this object? Let them all be added together, it would be found that they would not be sufficient to afford, on an average, a single penny in the year among a hundred perishing souls! While, on the other hand, all that is raised is, comparatively, but a trife, hardly felt by this great and opulent nation. This is'a loud call on the Church, and on every one to whom the name of Jesus is dear, and who has any bow els of mercies toward his perishing brethren, to exert himself yet far beyond what has hitherto been done, and to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest.
“Yet let not this view dishearten any one. Christian missions in heathen countries, though feeble at the beginning, may, by the blessing of God, increase so far as to be able to support and extend themselves; and, acting with the zeal and energy of new institutions, they will grow in a still accelerating proportion, till they embrace a range almost too large to be calculated: as the preaching of a few individuals, in the early times of Christianity, filled the Roman Empire, within a century or two, with Christians, in spite of every opposition from all that was powerful and authoritative in the world. The effect of such accelerated progress is far beyond what, at first sight, might be imagined.” pp. 34-35,
No doubt some persons may offer themsclves, and be persuaded by others still less judicious, to tender their services as laborers in such an honorable field, who may, notwithstanding their real hearty love. for the cause, possess very few of the qualifications for such an employment. The incalculable mischiefs to be expected from the ill con. duct of one incautious person, who should be sent among the heathen as a teacher of the Christian religion, would be alarming enough to excite the utmost vigilance on the part of all conductors of missions, and closest scrutiny in their own motives and qualifications on the part of all candidates for such an office. Suppose an improper person to land on missionary ground,-imagine his derelictions from duty to be what you please; those unhappy beings, whom he should instruct and win to the cause of his Master, he confirms in prejudices against his religion ten times stronger than before, Secing the discrepancy between his doctrine and his life, their eyes are closed, and their ears stopped, not only against his instructions, but against the Bible which he recommends, and against the persuasions of all his associates. Months and years, perhaps centuries, will be required for a succession of devoted servants of God to counteract and overcome the false impressions received from the noxious example of one man.
of the difficulty of making a wise selection of agents for such responsible stations, no conception can be entertained without some acquaintance with the subject. Let any one who thinks the duties of a missionary easy, or his temptations small, beware how he approaches such an untried enterprize. Let it be recollected, that here at home, when the contracting parties have frequent opportunities to learn a man's private character, after hearing his performances as a candidate as long as they please, with the advantage of much personal acquaint
ance-churches and parishes find occasion to exercise all their prudence in the selection of a teacher. Add to all this, their opportunities for personal observation of the man,—the facilities for his dismission if incompetent to his duties, and then let the situation, or the responsibilities of a parish be compared with those of the conductors of missions. In the case of the latter, the most thorough acquaintance with the candidate, in regard to his disposition, talents, and habits, which one finite being can possibly have of another, seems almost indispensable. For the acquisition of this knowledge the directors of a Missionary Society are often under great disadvantages. They are obliged to rely somewbat on the recommendations of others. Sometimes, however reluctantly, they must yield so far to the exigences of the occasion, as to depend almost wholly on testimony. Their overwhelming toils exclude the possibility of such personal knowledge of their functionaries as would be highly desirable. They cannot follow the missionary to the place of his destination, and see either his faults or sufferings; they cannot be on the spot in the moment of his difficulties, nor shape their counsels according to occular evidence of his precise condition.
“How necessary is it for those who are THE CONDUCTORS OF OUR INSTITUTIONS, who have the office of selecting and sending forth laborers into this harvest to be wise in the choice which they make!
"It is their duty to look well to the disposition, the character, and the qualifications of those who are to carry on a work so important and so difficult. How much evil will arise, if those whom they send, into foreign lands to propagate light, should turn out to be dispensers of darkness!
“Such unhallowed missionaries need not be sought out. They will be eager of themselves to press forward into a situation, the duties of which they have no ability, perhaps no intention, to fulfil.
“The vain and giddy novice knows not what he is entering on. The fickle and discontented worldling may wish to change a scene which has palled upon him; or in which he has met with pains and crosses, that have made him wish for any situ. ation rather than that in which he has been placed. The man who has ruined himself by his vices, may be very willing to undertake an office which he is to exercise far out of the sight of those who lrave authority over him; and he may think to make a temporal advantage through the medium of hypocritical pretences.
"Many such persons may be brought forward by interested or ignorant patrons; but it is the arduous duty of the conductors of such Institutions as ours to deter and reject all such pretenders. Some such 'may, indeed, after all their care, creep in; as there was a Judas among the Apostles, and a Diotrephes among the ministers of Christ. Whenever such discovery is made, it is their duty, as far as possible, to put down the evil.” pp. 40_42.
We give the following paragraphs, closing Professor F.'s discourse, - as peculiarly worthy the attention of all who call themselves disci
ples of Jesus Christ, and who profess to love the souls he died to redecm,-of all who think bis commands are binding on his followers.
“Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ? Look, then at these petitions-measure them with the other petitions of that most excellent prayer, which he has given for your daily use and comfort-look at the place in which they stand-and tell me, ye Christians, what your Lord had most at heart-what he would have you to have most at heart. Tell me, and blush for shame at the coldness and backwardness of the Christian world at the dulness and stupidity of the ages that are past! and wonder, after all the comparatively great things that have of late
been done, that you yourselves have had so little zeal, compared with that which Christ purposed to excite. Ask his grace, to stir you up to greater zeal. Ask his blessing on all who are engaged in this labor. Ask, and ye shall receive: seek, and ye sliall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
“A great and effectual door is now set wide open for your exertions. Make use of the opportunity which your God hath given. Do not retard the times which he hath promised; as the Israelites retarded the time of their being put into possession of the promised land, by their backwardness and unbelief, at that period when they suffered the spies to discourage their hearts.
“While you pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into the harvest, fear not lest the necessities of your own country should not be supplied. Fear not, that so many faithful laborers sent abroad will diminish the number of Christian ministers at home. Put away such fears. The greater call, the more abundant will be the supply.
“Has the progress of religion in this country been injured by sending abroad a Brown, a Buchanan, or a Martyn? No--they have returned tenfold into our bosom what we lost by their absence. The brightest characters that now adorn the country have been nursed in their school. The echo of their distant voice has been heard at home; and it has awakened a spirit, which has animated and enlightened our country—which has warmed our pulpits, and excited the people.
“Shall I mention names highly revered of laborers in the same work who are yet alive! I will restrain myself, but I will direct you to the Ganges to the Antipodes—to the forests which shade the injured children of Africa-to the islands and empires of other hemispheres; and let each man's heart give the answer to hiin self. Be it yours, Christian brethren, to covet one thing, that ye may be humble instruments in awakening the hearts of men to desire earnestly the glory of God in the highest; and, on earth, peace and good-will towards men; and cordially to ask of Him, who has given you a title to do so as His children, that His name may be hallowed, His kingdom may come, and His will be done, as in hcaven so in earth; in other words, that Missionary Societies may prosper and increase, and be effectual instruments in the conversion of the world.” pp. 45-47.
The sermon of the Rev. Mr. Noel is founded on Isa. lii, 13, 14, 15, As it is a production of no ordinary merit, and is not likely to fall into the hands of our readers, we shall not hesitate to make very liberal extracts from its pages.
Men deem it an honorable character which enters with enthusiasm into the pursuit of almost any object purely temporal. If any one's attention is so far absorbed by his own affairs belonging to the passing moment only, as to be almost insensible to every thing else, it is estimated kindly, and relished well enough; but the moment an attachment is shown to the interests of his soul, or any endeavor to rescue those of his fellow men from perdition, he is regarded as a poor fanatic, whose imagination has overpowered his reason. From the discourse now before us we are glad to present the following remarks in the exordium, as a happy illustration of the sad truth which we deplore.
"It is among the most affecting proofs of the degraded state of man, that, not unfrequently, the same mind, which, on subjects purely temporal is keen and sagacious, on questions that are spiritual and eternal is reluctant, and dull, and cold. Men of even great and commanding intellect, can, without hesitation, arrest their thoughts on this side the limits of those grand and momentous subjects; and can bound their speculations within the details of individual or national, but still earthly aggrandizement: the pursuits of human science have the decided preference over those of religion; the narrow range of politics and of the arts is again and again traversed, while the ampler fields of revelation lie neglected and forgotten.