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will caress him, and crowned heads will show him the highest favour. The smiles of royalty will not always rest upon worthless objects.
A few more centuries, my Lord Duke, of the labours of Gospel missions, and what will be the aspect of our globe ? What will then meet the eye that surveys it ? An awakened world ! An enlightened, a purified, a peaceful world! A world filled with men who fear God, honour their magistrates, and love one another ! A world in which man is wholly free, and governments entirely just! A world where mind, religion, the tongue, the pen, the printing press—all are free, and not abusing their freedom! A world where God is glorified, and man is happy!
Come, then, illustrious Duke! and finish your career in a manner worthy of your character, your country, and the age in which you live! Oh! come and identify yourself with all that is wise and liberal in government, —with all that is generous and noble in humanity,– with all that tends to the peace of the earth,—and with all that makes for the furtherance of missions-the fountain of all good ! On earth this will not detract from your transcendant glory ; nor will you have reason to repent it in the world of spirits, for, to have liberated one soul from the slavery of sin, will there be held an infinitely higher achievement than to have wrenched the sceptre of a terrible tyranny from the giant grasp of a ruthless usurper, and restored a continent of kings to their ancestral thrones !
ON THE PAST HISTORY, PRESENT POSITION, AND FUTURE
PROSPECTS OF THE MISSIONARY ENTERPRISE.
To the Churches of Great Britain, Ireland, and
Men and brethren, does not the present state of Christian missions call for consideration ? Is not the aspect which the work now assumes wholly new ? Has not a point now been reached which the most sagacious man among you never anticipated ? David represents the church as giving utterance to the following lamentation : “ Thou hast cast off, and put us to shame ; and goest not forth with our armies. Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy; and they which hate us spoil for themselves.” According to Isaiah, she said, “ We have not wrought any deliverance in the earth ; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.” In our day, how different is the language that becomes her situation! If " the inhabitants of the world have not yet fallen,” is not the blame ours? In all lands, has not the Lord been before us, and opened up a way for our armies ? Are not the walls of almost all nations levelled with the ground? Or are not their gates opened wide for the reception of the soldiers of Christ? Are not their inhabitants, as if ready to fall, patiently, in some cases anxiously, waiting for subjugation ? Are not men of all climes, some literally, others virtually, calling on the
churches of the living God to come up and possess the land ? Yes : but she is unable. Army she has none ! All she can boast is a few faithful scattered soldiers ; and yet, few although they are, instead of augmenting her force, she is actually incapable of supporting it! Under these circumstances, is it not proper to pause and ponder the path by which God has led us during the last fifty years ?
From the past, we may surely gain some encouragement with respect to the present, and direction concerning the future.
In taking a survey of the past history of modern missions, we need not go further back than the memorable hour when, in Sierra Leone, the Rev. Melvill Horne composed his celebrated Letters. To his observant eye, how desolate and dreary, at that time, was the world! Greenland might be said to be the only heathen land in which the religion of the Son of God had for centuries gained a firm footing. While gazing on the sorrowful spectacle, the indignant spirit of that fervent writer thus broke forth, and summoned the world to testify against the church :—“ Speak, ye desolate shores of Africa ; declare, ye bloody fields of Hindostan; bear your impartial testimony, ye numerous islands of the Western and Pacific oceans !” The appeal could not be opposed. Those parts had nothing to say in praise of Christian mercy; at the hands of Christians, so called, they had received nothing but evil and wrong. Mr. Horne asked the churches what monies they had subscribed, what associations they had formed, what prayers they had offered, what exhortations pastors had given to their flocks, and to each other. To all this the answer was—silence! He next bewailed the extinction of the spirit of missions in the Church of England ; insisting, however, at the same time, that the Dissenters had no reason to rejoice over her, since, with the exception of Carey and Thomas, none of them had then engaged in the work of missions. He gave due
and just praise to Dr. Coke, for the missions that he established, which Mr. Horne correctly affirms to have been rather the missions of that individual, than of the Methodists as a body, for they had not then taken that noble stand in the field which they have since assumed.
At this dark hour, the whole earth was quiet and at rest. The churches of Christ, in Britain, had no proper sense of their obligation to go to the Gentiles. Their knowledge regarding the subject was as defective as their feeling. It is very instructive now to read the missionary meditations of grave and holy men in that and the former age. One of these, an excellent minister of the word, thus delivered his views on a public occasion :—“To a dark and benighted world at large, our efforts cannot extend ; new arrangements of Providence alone can pave the way for its conversion.—Let us plead with him his own truth and faithfulness in fulfilling his promises, that, by methods known to his infinite wisdom, he would enlighten the dark places of the earth with the pure light of evangelical truth, and hasten the happy time foretold, when the dominion of Christ shall extend from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth." How strange such language now sounds! The command of Christ, the practice of the apostles, and the history of gospel diffusion, seem to have been things quite foreign to the speaker's mind. The worthy gentleman assured his hearers that they could do nothing, and that the world could be converted only by some inscrutable “methods” in the economy of Providence, with which methods man had no instrumental concern beyond prayer. Our fathers, however, happily did not believe him. They found from the Bible that God had but one “method of enlightening the dark places of the earth,”—a method which involved the agency of man; and that there was really no mystery about the matter. They sa that they had simply to do as they were bid,
go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Under this impression they began to labour for the illumination of mankind; and this labour has been carried on to the present time. What has been the result? Many deem it small. According to the opinion of an acute writer, and a Christian, it has been very insignificant. “ It cannot,” says he, “ but be a question to every mind—Why is it that with such large and varied means our success is so trifling? Why is it that, while so many societies are at work, and so much money expended, the results bear no adequate proportion to the cost and labour ? The fact is notorious, both at home and abroad. We labour in vain, and spend our strength almost for nought; at least, all are ready to acknowledge that our success is not commensurate to our means, and that a vast machinery is employed to produce an insignificant result." - The writer, preferring assumption to argument, declares that “ all are ready to acknowledge this.” Is it so? When, how, was this ascertained ? Has it ever been acknowledged in the reports of any society ? Has any missionary ever affirmed it ? I know of none, except infidel travellers and profligate voyagers, who every where find the missionary a check to their plunder and their profligacy, that " are ready to acknowledge” it! Churches of Christ ! are you thus ready ?
The writer, I repeat, confidently assumes, instead of attempting to prove the fact alleged, and he likewise conveniently assumes the concurrence of Christians in his opinion! This plan is popular, and therefore mischievous. To my simple understanding, however, it appears that the work, already accomplished, is incredibly, I had almost said, inconceivably great. Let us just look at facts. Was it a light thing to arouse the dormant spirit of the general church, up even to its present lukewarm state ? Was ever the mind of nations
ght over to a merely secular question of magnitude