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THOUGHTS ON MISSIONS.
and walks up and down in it," to excite
Your labours, as the Editor of an impartial Journal, have procured for you here and there an enemy, but as it is solely because they have been told the truth, you doubtless can say, "I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." A part of the following paper, as you will per-gage an enemy, animates his army, by ceive, wears somewhat of a vituperative cast, and will, perhaps, be unpalatable to some of your readers, (that is, provided you think it worth inserting,) but to such, and to all who may think an apology necessary, I would merely say in the language of David to his brother Eliab, "Is there not a cause ???
depicting before their eyes, in glowing
He through the armed files
"And instead of rage
Deliberate valour breathes, firm and unmoved,
The Holy Spirit in recording the entrance of moral evil into our world, in troduces Satan as the agent, who by subtilty and falsehood "beguiled Eve" prevailed on her to eat of the forbidden tree, and to give unto Adam, that he Nor are his endeavours, alas, without also may eat thereof; by which act of success; as is abundantly demonstrated disobedience" sin entered into the by the opposition that has lately been world, and death by sin." On that manifested to Missions. Who, that has woeful occasion, Satan gained an in- read the miserable work of the " Abbé fluence over man that soon grew up into Dubois," of various Clergymen, of West a kind of sovereignty, and on account Indian Planters, of Antinomians, and of which he is emphatically styled in various others, but must have recognized the Scriptures, "the god of this world." therein the lineaments of him, who We cannot, it is true, determine the works with "all deceivableness and manner how, or the extent to which he lying wonders." Our blessed Redeemer exercises this influence over the fallen commissioned his apostles to go into all race of Adam; but observation and ex- the world, and preach the Gospel to perience concur with the "Oracles of every creature," which commission they Truth" to prove, that he is wisely per-zealously executed, "the Lord working mitted to tempt and annoy the saints of with them, so that a great number were the Most High, and that the wicked are obedient to the faith;" and although "led captive by him at his will;" that their successors, the soldiers of the "to and fro through the earth, cross, have made repeated incursions on
he goes VOL. X.
ingenious friends must find very difficult to ground on the commission of Christ, or reconcile with the " Acts of the Apostles" and on which one of your correspondents very properly animadverts in your number for February. In adverting to this again, it may indeed appear to some invidious; but I ask, who is there that has any concern for the stability and prosperity of Missions, the honour of religion, and the glory of God, that would not rather see these anomalous proceedings pointed out, in order that they may be remedied, than connive at them, and see them increase, till it shall
the territories of Satan, and now and then borne away a few captives, yet the great mass of mankind are still" wholly given to idolatry,"-" enemies to God by wicked works, having changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever." So true it is, that "the world lieth in the wicked one." Now, if this be the case, is it to be expected, is it likely, that he who has for so many ages ruled with his iron rod such a vast multitude of the human race, will tamely submit to see the subjects of his kingdom desert to the ranks of Immanuel without re-be said, "the glory is departed?" We sistance? No, he and his emissaries will dispute every inch of ground, and maintain the conflict, until Jesus, who is " stronger than he," shall arise and plead his own cause, and vanquish all his and our enemies.
It will be recollected by many of your readers, that when Missionaries first went to the South Sea Islands, where "Satan's seat was," the scheme was by many considered Utopian, and that the projectors of it came in for no small share of opprobrium; and the disastrous circumstances that followed that noble undertaking, seemed to justify its enemies in their opposition, and induced them exultingly to exclaim, "Aha! aha! so would we have it." Many and severe were the conflicts those Missionaries had with the united powers of earth and hell in those beautiful Islands, and often were they compelled to retreat apparently "in every combat foiled." Never surely was that Scripture more strikingly exemplified, where it is said, "If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us." But the work was of God, and when the set time came, He "who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working," subdued their enemies under them; set before them an open door which none shall be able to shut; made the people willing in the day of his power, and constrained them "to cast their idols to the moles and to the bats." Sing unto the Lord, for he hath done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.'
It is, nevertheless, a lamentable truth that this work, so "wondrous in our eyes," is considerably tarnished by some things, which its most sanguine and
all know that many of the diseases incident to our bodies, if suffered to remain, eventually prove fatal; whereas, if taken in their incipient state, may be arrested in their progress, and their "hurt healed." So it is in moral and
spiritual concerns. How accurately
THOUGHTS ON MISSIONS.
which we may direct our steps, and examine our conduct. Now these rules, and that standard, we have in the Bible: by it we are taught how "to walk so as to please God," and we are anxious that our Missionaries abroad, and churches at home, should."take heed unto it, as unto a light shining in a dark place." "In vain," says our Saviour, "do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." He has also said, My kingdom is not of this world," and if we confound them, may we not conclude, that sooner or later, he will "visit us for these things," and answer our prayers "6 by terrible things in righteousness," for "what is the chaff to the wheat, saith the Lord." In proportion, therefore, to the deference we pay to his will, who is "King in Zion," and our desire to "obey from the heart that form of doctrine delivered unto us," will be our endeavours to prevent individuals and churches from going astray, and our fidelity in sounding an alarm in the ears of those who have already erred. "Then shall I be satisfied when I have respect unto all thy commands." Let our Missionaries then, study to "do the work of Evangelists," and henceforth determine with Paul, "to know nothing among men save Jesus Christ, and him crucified;" be theirs the blessed work, to "point to his redeeming blood, and say, Behold way to God."
We are not insensible to the comforts and advantages of civilized life, but civilization should ever be considered as of secondary importance, and its advancement rather incidentally touched upon in letters and journals, instead of appearing the most prominent. To evangelize the heathen it is that we subscribe our money; and for this we "bow the knee before the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom the residue of the Spirit is." What will it signify if the poor heathens have not chairs to sit on, if they can but be brought to sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn of him or if they have not sofas to recline on, if they do but recline on his bosom, and lean on his arm, who is "our beloved and our friend". -or if they have not bedsteads to repose on, if they are but enabled to repose on the Rock of Ages," the everlasting love of God, and his unchangeable promises-or if they have not elegant houses to dwell in, if they do but dwell in God and God in them, and are
preparing to dwell with him, in "a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
But these aberrations sink into comparative insignificance, when compared with the supposition, that a great majority of the baptized are unbelievers; for if believers why are they not communicants? The order of old was, "Then they that gladly received the word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them (or the church, as the context proves) about three thousand souls." The two ordinances are equally binding on believers, and the novitiate are surely as capable of understanding the import of the one as the other; not more difficult is it to comprehend our Redeemer when he says, "Do this in remembrance of me," than when he declares, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Should the remarks of your correspondent above alluded to, or should these imperfect hints meet the eye of a Director or Missionary, I hope they will be received in the spirit of that charity, that "hopetli all things, and endureth all things.'
But to return from this long digres sion. If we advert to the accounts of other Missions, we shall find that they also have been exercised with similar trials. For instance, that of the Moravians in Greenland, and of the Baptists at Serampore. No solid footing could be obtained, until God was pleased to "give them favour in the sight of the people;" and even then obstacles, to human apprehension, insurmountable presented themselves, so that not one was "translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son," till he was pleased to open their hearts. Nor was any progress made in translating the Bible, till God was pleased to pour out from on high a portion of his influences, by which "holy men of old spake as they were moved." He it was that caused the most untoward circumstances, and the most direful calamities to fulfil his gracious purposes, and "work together for good;" thus teaching us our dependance on himself, "who is mighty to save :" that no flesh should glory in his presence, but devoutly say, Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name be all the glory."
Seeing then that they, the Missionaries, have, in a peculiar sense, to wrestle, "not with flesh and blood, but
strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might;" that as there is " very much land yet to be possessed, they may be enabled to go up and possess it." Prudence and patience are eminently needed by a Missionary. Their difficul ties will be many, their hardships in some cases great, and their privations numerous; let us pray then, that if they are "troubled they may not be distressed; if perplexed, they may not be in despair; if persecuted, they may not be forsaken; if cast down they may not be destroyed," that God would not try them above what they are able to bear, "lest the spirit should fail before him, and the souls which he has made." That they may be men of perseverance. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." And that to all these mental qualifications, God would be pleased to add healthful and vigorous constitutions. We all know, that even in our temperate climate, when the body is languid exertion becomes doubly irksome; how much more must it be beneath a vertical sun, or in the inhospitable regions of Greenland or Siberia.
against principalities and powers, and against spiritual wickedness in high places," it may well be enquired, "Who is sufficient for these things;" and we may be at times, ready to despond, and "tremble for the ark of God." But "let no man's heart fail him because of fear," for "greater is he that is for us, than all they that can be against us." Let us then "seek unto God, and unto him commit our cause, who only doeth great things, and unsearchable, marvellous things without number." And as it is not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God, that the world is to be renovated, let us beseech him to pour out his Spirit upon all flesh, that all the ends of the earth may remember and turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations may worship before him. Let us pray, that he would "send out his light and his truth," and give "him no rest till he make Jerusalem a praise in the whole earth;" and, methinks, if ever our prayers acquire more than an ordinary fervour, it must be when we say, "Thy kingdom come-thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Let us pray, that none may be sent forth, but such as God has called to, and qualified for That I may not further trespass on the work. Piety is indispensable. It is not, your pages, I will conclude, by exhorting indeed, denied, but that God has some- all who are waiting for the coming of times accomplished his purposes by in- that period, when the "kingdoms of struments who "meant not so, neither this world shall become the kingdoms in their hearts did they think so;" but of our God and his Christ," to improve we are not warranted to commit the the talent or talents entrusted to their trust to any but "faithful men, who care-the rich to contribute of their shall be able to teach others also,"- abundance-remembering that they are men who can say, 66 we believe, and not proprietors but only stewards, and therefore speak.” "Unto the wicked that ere long it will be said "give an God saith, what hast thou to do to de- account of thy stewardship, for thou clare my statutes, or that thou shouldest mayest be no longer steward;" and the take my covenant in thy mouth? seeing poor to use their interest in the court of thou hatest instruction, and castest my heaven, by praying that all who cannot words behind thee." Nor can it be ex- be prevailed on to aid in this blessed pected that any but those, who "have work, may at least argue with rational tasted that the Lord is gracious," and Gamaliel of old, "Refrain from these know that "the redemption of the soul men, and let them alone, for if this is precious," should “watch for souls as counsel or this work be of men it will those that must give an account," and come to nought; but if it be of God, ye "having done all to stand." We should cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be pray that they may be endowed with wis- found to fight against God." Let us all dom and meekness. "Be ye wise as serpents, anticipate the accomplishment of those and harmless as doves," said he, "in yet more "glorious things," that are whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom predicted of Zion the city of our God, and knowledge," to the first missionaries:" provoking one another unto love and that if brought before kings and rulers, good works, and exhorting one another, they may have a "mouth and wisdom and so much the more as we see the which all their adversaries shall not be day approaching." able to gainsay or resist." And that they EPENETUS. may be men of zeal and courage, being
Feb. 14, 1824.
ON THE OMNIPOTENCE OF THE DEITY.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE OMNI-
[Continued from Page 175.]
IN the next place, the rapid motions of the great bodies of the Universe, no less than their magnitudes, display the Infinite Power of the Creator.
swifter than that of a cannon ball. These velocities will appear still more astonishing, if we consider the magnitude of the bodies which are thus impelled, and the immense forces which are requisite to carry them along in their courses. However rapidly a ball flies from the mouth of a cannon, it is the flight of a body only a few inches in We can acquire accurate ideas of the diameter; but one of the bodies, whose relative velocities of moving bodies, motion has been just now stated, is only by comparing the motions with eighty-nine thousand miles in diameter, which we are familiar, with one ano- and would comprehend within its vast ther, and with those which lie beyond circumference more than a thousand the general range of our minute inspec-globes as large as the earth.-Could we tion. We can acquire a pretty accurate conception of the velocity of a ship, impelled by the wind-of a steam boat-of a race horse—of a bird darting through the air-of an arrow flying from the quiver-and of the clouds when impelled by a stormy wind. The velocity of a ship is from 8 to 12 miles an hour of a race horse, from 20 to 30 miles of a bird, say from 50 to 60 miles, and of the clouds, in a violent hurricane, from 80 to 100 miles an hour. The motion of a ball from a loaded cannon is incomparably swifter than any of the motions now stated; but of the velocity of such a body we have a less accurate idea; because, its rapidity being so great, we cannot trace it distinctly by the eye through its whole range, from the mouth of the cannon to the object against which it is impelled. By experiments, it has been found, that its rate of motion is from 480 to 800 miles in an hour, but it is retarded every moment by the resistance of the air and the attraction of the earth. This velocity, however, great as it is, bears no sensible proportion to the rate of motion which is found among the celestial orbs. That such enormous masses of matter should move at all is wonderful; but when we consider the amazing velocity with which they are impelled, we are lost in astonishment. The planet Jupiter, inter, in his actual course through the describing his circuit round the Sun, moves at the rate of 29,000 miles an hour. The planet Venus, one of the nearest and most brilliant of the celestial bodies, and about the same size as the earth, is found to move through the spaces of the firmanent at the rate of 76,000 miles an hour; and the planet Mercury with a velocity of no less than 105,000 miles an hour, or 1750 miles in a minute a motion two hundred times
contemplate such motions at a fixed point at the distance of only a few hundreds of miles from the bodies thus impelled-it would raise our admiration to its highest pitch, it would overwhelm all our faculties, and, in our present state, would produce an impression of awe, and even of terror beyond the power of language to express. The earth contains a mass of matter equal in weight to at least 2,200,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons,supposing its mean density to be 2 times greater than water. To move this ponderous mass a single inch beyond its position, were it fixed in a quiescent state, would require a mechanical force almost beyond the power of numbers to express. The physical force of all the myriads of intelligences within the bounds of the planetary system, though their powers were far superior to those of man, would be altogether inadequate to the production of such a motion. How much more must be the force requisite to impel it with a velocity one hundred and forty times swifter than that of a cannon ball, or 68,000 miles an hour, the actual rate of its motion round the sun! But whatever degree of mechanical power would be requisite to produce such a stupendous effect, it would require a force one hundred and fifty times greater to impel the planet Jupi
heavens! Even the planet Saturn, one of the slowest moving bodies of our system, a globe 900 times larger than the earth, is impelled through the regions of space at the rate of 22,000 miles an hour, carrying along with him two stupendous rings, and seven moons larger than ours, through his whole course round the central luminary. Were we placed within a thousand miles of this stupendous globe, (a sta