Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

of hastening death? An outbreak, last and sublimest, of a heavenward soul? Magnifica verba mors prope admota excutit."* So let us advance our standards to other fields ! Let us go up to the regions beyond ! Let us seek the nations which are far off! Let us speak to the people, that they go forward ! On, on, be our cry! We may not pause till the furtherance of the gospel be circumscribed but by the limits of our world ! Christians need only fear retrograde and declension !

“ Let such bethink them,
That in our proper motion we ascend,-

descent or fall
To us is adverse.”+

Members of the Established Churches of these realms! In them ye think that there are noble advantages, a national confession of the Divine Providence, a public testimony to Christianity, standards of doctrinal purity, checks upon the license of enthusiasm, the security for an honourable clergy, a living infusion of religion into all the departments and even ceremonies of the state, the holy baptism of all civil interests, the basis of jurisprudence and the bond of society, a conformity to the divine model, a laying of all power and wealth and learning under a requisition to extend true piety, an apparatus which may be expanded with our colonial growth and greatness. Stand, ye, then, before the world. Make full proof of your system. Your influence is indisputable. What cannot ye do? What resources cannot ye Seneca.

+ Milton. :

*

command?

At your summons the already anointed diadem glitters on you with its brightest rays, the aristocrasy is pledged with all its lineage and bravery, high names of martyrdom invoke your zeal, illustrious foundations encite your munificence. Appeal to the throne. Let your heart be to the governors of Israel. Plead the cause of the wretched nations in senate and in judgment-seat. Let it be heard through the venerable temples which by massive tower speak of your solid faith, and by heaven-pointing spire tell of your immortal hope. Let your colleges hear the call until their alumni be fired with the ambition of the enterprise. Ye are cities set on a hill. Let your dioceses, let your synods, rouse themselves up: and earnestly, and directly, and unanimously, resolve the salvation of a lost world !

Members of the Dissenting and Separatist Communities ! In them ye think that there are high facilities, a spirit of freedom, a range of action, an exhibition of more apparently disinterested motive, a more elastic application of principle to circumstance, power to meet the most exigent crisis, a more legitimate principle of contribution, a truer cement of union, profession more' spiritual and conscience more free, closer assimilation to Apostolic ordinance and usage. Stand ye, then, before the world. Seize your enlarged opportunities. What hinders you from going into all the world? What ecclesiastical formalities have you to observe ? By what slower jurisdictions are ye stayed ? Use your liberty and press it to the utmost. Let it be seen that your nonconformity, of whatever ground and degree, is not a thing of cavil, repulsion, moroseness; that it is only dear to you because it supplies you with a greater latitude of usefulness. Sow beside all waters. Set your feet in a large place. If less restricted than others, go ye into the highways,-if more impassioned, compel the outcasts to come in. Whatever is characteristic in your respective denominations, employ it to evangelise the world !*

There still remains a case, a predicament, of guilt and danger, greater than that of the idolater! “ It shall be more tolerable in the day of judgment for him,” than for the unconverted among ourselves. There may be those who connect themselves with Missionary interests, and have not "given themselves unto the Lord.” They are moved in their animal feelings at the pictures of the misery which abounds among the heathen: they intellectually appreciate the triumphs of civilization and truth. But their heart is disaffected still. “Come with me," exclaimed Jehu, "and see my zeal for the Lord.” The historian adds : “ But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart.”

* The Author knows not in what terms to express his admiration, in referring to the recent work of the Rev. Dr. Campbell. It is one original conception. Its execution is worthy of the high genius which planned it. It is a most masculine and sinewy appeal. Before Missionary greatness he causes all other forms of earthly majesty to bow themselves. Any one could have said that the herald of the gospel to the nations was far nobler than the men who are commonly celebrated. But who, save the writer of “ The Martyr of Erromanga,” could place this thought, sufficiently obvious to the Christian, so distinctly and burningly before statesmen, orators, philosophers, and heroes, with such address and such fidelity, —that as we read, we see them tremble ? and can mark them" bending to" the super-eminence of the lowly, but ever-renowned, man who has thus received a costly embalmment at the hands of one, that seemed alone qualified to do him justice by proving how truly he was great ?-It gives me much pleasure to take this occasion to recommend to serious perusal the publication of a dear friend, the Rev. Professor Stowell, entitled, “ The Missionary Church.” To its elegance of composition, closeness of reasoning, and piety of temper, is added much information on the details of our modern Societies and on the branches of their agency.

come

What a contradiction of profession and heart, what a self-variance, do thousands still exhibit! They assist in building that which they continue to undermine, - in healing that which they continue to inflame, — in enforcing that which they continue to annul. They make a mock at sin, and yet warn against it! They neglect the great salvation, and yet proclaim it! They hold forth the cup of blessing, and pass it untasted by themselves ! But the word of the Lord is against them. He is walking contrary to them. Oh, could searching remonstrance reach these infatuated ones! Could they see that the inconsistency, the incredibility, is fulfilled in them,—“Moab howling for Moab”! “Satan casting out Satan" ! They may be useful. Their labours may be crowned with success. They may “join themselves to all the living.” They may, by their means, save souls from death. By the converted heathen they may be recognised as their spiritual benefactors. To them they may “owe their own selves.” By a new faculty of discrimination, they may suddenly perceive the authors of the blessing. And now, for the first time, they meet at the Judgment. There is the interview! The ransomed Pagans break forth into utterances of gratitude towards the instruments of their redemption ! · We glorify God, on your behalf.

We were ready to perish. We were in the power of Satan. We were of the nations which forgat God, and, but for you, we should have been turned into hell. You heard our cry. You pitied our distress. No voice of kindness sounded, save from you. You ministered the only balm for our broken hearts. You taught us to feel the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. How beautiful were the feet of the messengers you sent us! Your hearts spoke by them! You cared for our souls ! Blessed and honoured servants of the Lord, his ministers and witnesses, how can we cease always to long after you, and to acknowledge that unto us He sent you to open our eyes?

open our eyes ? What debt can creature contract to creature, that we owe not to you? Come, let us sing unto the Lord. Take your harps, ye the First-born, and lead the song. Take your crowns, and cast them before the throne for tribute. Ye were in Christ before us. who first led us to His feet !-Why are the objects of this grateful appeal covered with sudden shame? Why are their eyes fixed on the ground? Why does their tongue cleave to the roof of their mouth? Why shrink they from the salutation? Why gathers that paleness on their countenance ? Why shivers that tremor through their frame ? Why bursts that outery from their lip? They who greeted them,

It was you

« PredošláPokračovať »