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Holy Ghost;” the means, the Bible. * The distinguishing doctrine of the reformers was “justification by faith alone.’ ‘The kingdom of Satan,’ said Luther, " is to be resisted by this heavenly and all powerful doctrine. Whether we be rude or eloquent, whether we be learned or unlearned, rhis Rock must be defended ; this doctrine must be published abroad in animated strains.’”
“Pure religion being thus restored, the first labour of our church was to do honour to the true and genuine doctrines of Christianity;” and this she did by exhibiting them to the world in her Liturgy, Articles, and Homisies, which, as we affirm, and as the Protestant Churches in Scotland and on the Continent, as well as the Dissenters in England, acknowledge, contain a standard of sound doctrine. Various causes, however, after a time, contributed to produce a spirit of indifference to vital Christianity in this country. Religion was fast sinking into a #. less profession; its spirit was nearly extinguished, and men began to be ashamed of it. “Out of this state of things arose a new enemy to the church,” infidelity. But at the very time (about the middle of the last century), when this deadly enemy was collecting its strength, the spiritual religion of Christ began to revive. True religion and infidelity have respectively shewn their proper character and fruits in our own time ; and we can now contrast them with advantage. While we have been witnesses of the dreadful effects of infidelity in a neighbouring nation, the revival of religion in this country has produced “an increased knowledge of the holy Scriptures; a cultivation of the principles of the Gospel; the practice of subordination, loyalty, and contentment; the almost universal instruction of the poor; the imore general worship of God in our land; the publication of the Bible in new languages; and the promulgation of Christianity among all nations, to Jews and Gentiles.”
The present period, therefore, Dr.
proach; for it is the sin of ignorance. These facts are not generally known. Aud they are not known, because there has been no official inquiry. Could the great council of the nation witness the darkness which I have seen, there would be no dissentient voice as to the duty of giving light.
“It is proper I should add, in justice to that honourable body of men who administer our empire in the East, that they are not fully informed as to these facts".” pp. 43, 44.
It would be unjust if we were to confine our review of these sermons to a mere analysis, which, though it may state distinctly the subjects of which they treat, can convey no adequate idea of the manner and spirit of the author. Besides this, we are anxious to embrace every opportunity of uniting our testimony, with that of Dr. Buchanan, in favour of those fundamental truths of Christianity, on the cordial reception of which, however traduced and vilified they may be by some as the ravings of enthusiasm, not only the salvation of the heathen, but of every professing Christian, essentially depends. But why should we wonder that men should speak evil “ of this way?” Even our Lord was represented as beside himself, and as doing the works of darkness. St. Paul was considered in tue same light. Luther and his associates were stigmatized as enthusiasts; and those in the present day, who tread in their steps, must share in their reproach. But let them, at least, endeavour to make themselves understood. It is with this view we insert the following extracts.
**In regard to the idol-tax, the principle of the enormity, it is said, has never been fally explained to the government at home. It was admitted by the Indian government many years ago without reference, I believe in the first instance, to England; and possibly the reference may now appear in the books under some specious or general name, which is not twell understood.—The Hohourable the Court of Directors will feel as indignant, on a full developement of the fact, as any public body in the nation.”
* That which constitutes a Christian is ‘Faith, Hope, and Charity; these three? Much human learning is not essentially necessary to constitute a Christian. Indeed, a nuan may be a profound theologian and not be a Christian at al. He may be learned in the doctrines and history of Christianity, and yet be a stranger to the fruits of Christianity. He may be destitute of Faith, of Hope, and of Charity.
* Let us not then confound the fruits of religion, namely, its influence on our moral conduct, its peace of mind, and hope of heaven, with the circumstances of religion. True religiou is that which its great Author himself hath declared. It is a practical knowledge of the love of God the Father, * who sent uot his Son into the world, to condemn the world; but that the world, through him. might be saved;” of the atonement of God the Son, by faith in whou we receive remission of our sins, and are justified in the sight of the Father; and of the sanctification of God the Holy Ghost, by which we are made meet ‘to become partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”—The preacher who can communicate this knowledge to his hearers (and it is true, that if he possess a critical knowledge of the Bible, and of the history of Chirstianity, he will be likely to do it with the most success), the salue is “a workinan that needeth not to be ashamed, and a good minister of Jesus Christ.” pp. 24, 25.
“It is an undeniable truth, constantly asserted by Scripture, and demonstrated by experience, that there have ever been two descriptions of persons in the Church. They are denominated by our Saviour, the children of light and the children of this world;’ and again, “the children of the wicked one, and the children of the kingdom.” Matt. xiii. 30. These different terms originate entirely from our receiving or not receiving that illumination of understanding which God, who cannot lie, hath promised to give to them that ask him. For is a man supplicate the Father of Lights for his “good and perfect gift,' with a humble and believing spirit, he will soon be sensible of the effect in his own mind. He will begin to behold many things in a view very dif. ferent from what he did before; he will devote himself to the duties of his profession with alactity and zeal, as to a labour of love; and his moral conduet will be exemplary and pure, adorning that Gospel which he is now desirous to preach. Another consequence will be this. He will learn, for the first time, what is meant by 'he reproach of the world. For men in gemeral will not approve of the piety and purity of his life; and they will distinguish it by some term of disparagement or contempt.” pp. 56, 57. “Let every student of theology inquire whether the religion he professes bear the true character, Instead of shunning the reproach of Christ, his anxiety ought to be, how he may prepare himself for that high and sacred office which he is about to enter, Let him examine himself, whether his views correspond, in any degree, with the character of the ministers of Christ, as recorded in the New Testament.” “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel. 1 Cor. ix. 16. Even the Old Testament arrests the progress of the unqualified and worldly-minded teacher. It is recorded that when Dathan and Abiram invaded the priest's office, with a secular spirit, t the eartli opened her mouth and swallowed them up, in the presence of Israel. This was written “for our admonition;' that nomian should attempt to minister in holy things until he has cleansed his heart from 1be inpurities of life; and is able to publish the glad tidings of salvation with unpolluted lips. to “If the student desire that God would honour his future ministry, and make him an instrument for preservinus the unity of the Church, instead of his being an instrument of secession from it, he will seek to understand that pure doctrine of which our Lord speaks, when he saith, “He that will do the will of God shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God.” This is an era of light in the Church. Mea are ardent to hear the word of God. And it a thousand churches were added to the prescut number, and “enlightened by the doctrine of the evangelist John,' they would all be filled. Those who preach that doctriue are the true defenders of the faith, and the legitimate supporters of the Church of England. If these increase, the Church will increase. . If these increase in succeeding years in the same proportion as they have hitherto done, it is the surest pledge that the Church is to flourish for centuries to coine, as she has flourished for centuries past. And there is nothing which forbids the hope that she will be perpetual; if she be the ordained instruuent of giving light to the world. “I shall now conclude this discourse with delivering my testimony concerning the spiritual religion of Christ. — I have passed through a great part of the world, and have scen Christianity, Judaism, Mahomedamisun, and Paganisin in almost all their forms; and
I can truly declare, that almost every step of my progress afforded new proof not only of the general truth of the religion of Christ, but of the truth of that change of heart in true believers which our Lord describes in these words, “ Born of the Spirit; and which the evangelist John calls, ‘Receiving an unction from the Holy One.' For even “the heathens shew in their traditions and religious ceremonies, vestiges of this doctrine. Every thing else that is called religion, in Pagan or Christian lands, is a counterfeit of this. This change of heart ever carries with it its own witness; and it alone exhibits the same character among men of every language and of every cline. It bears the fruit of righteousness: it affords the highest enjoyment of life which was intended by God, or is attainable by man; it inspires the soul with a sense of pardon and of acceptance through a Redeemer; it gives peace in death; and “a sure and certain hope of the resurrection unto eternal life.’ “Let every man then, who hath any doubt in his mind as to this, change in the state of the souh in this life, apply himself to the consideration of the subject. For if there be any truth in Revelation, this is true. “What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?' 'What avails it that all the treasures of science and literature are poured at our feet, if we are ignorant of ourselves, of Christ, and holiness? The period is hastening which will put an end to this world and all its distinctions; which, like a flood, will sweep away its applause and its frown, its learning and its ignorance. The awful glories of the fast judgment will, ere long, appear; when the humble and penitent enquirer, who has received by faith that stupendous Gracerwhich the doctrine of Christ reveals, shall be eternally saved; while the merely speculative student, whose secret love of sin led to the rejection of that doctrine, shall, notwithstanding his presumptiou of final impunity, be, for ever, undoue.” pp. 59–63. -We admire the truth and honest boldness of these remarks; and we deem it no mean sign of the increase of evangelical light in the land that such doctrines should be preached in our university pulpits, and not only be there listened to with “candid attention,” but should afterwards be permitted to issus from the university press. We hail the omen with joy! -
But much as we have been interested by these sermons, we have felt a still livelier interest excited by the account, which follows them, o. author's Christian Researches in Asia. We should be afraid of appearing extravagant to our readers, were we to say all that we think respecting the importance of this work. But we wish them to judge for themselves, whether we exceed the bounds of moderation, when we rate its value above that of any other work, connected with our Oriental empire, which we have yet seen. When we speak of its value, we have no eye to its merits as a composition : although, in that view. every thing which proceeds from the pen of our author must be respectable; but to the stupendous magnitude, and infinite moment, of the subject of which it treats, the means of establishing the empire of Jesus Christ, and diffusing the light of his Gospel, over, perhaps, four hundred millions of human beings, who now “sit in darkness.” It has to do, not merely with the millions of India who are subjected to our government, and who therefore have a sort of filial claim on our regard; but with the hundreds of millions in Asia, who are united to us by social ties more or less binding, to whose shores we have easy access, and who seem to demand from our compassion the light of life. Nor does it merely press upon us our oblipo to these countless multitudes;
ut it points out specifically how those momentous obligations are to be fulfilled. Its object, in short, is to realize the magnificent anticipation of a poet of the present day, for whose splendid production we are also indebted to the philanthrophy of our author.
“Be these thy trophies, queen of many isles! On these high Heaven shall shed indulgent sniiles. First by thy guardian voice to India led, Shall truth divine her teasless victories spread; Christ. Oseaw. No. 112.
Wide and more wide the heaven-born light shall stream, New realms from thee shall catch the blissful theme; Unwonted warmth the softened savage feel, Strange chiefs admire, and turbaned warriors kneel : The prostrate East submit her jewelled pride, And swarthy kings adore the Crucified. Famed Ava's walls Messiah's name shall own, Where haughty splendor guards the Birman throne. Thy hills, Tibet, shall hear, and Ceylon's bowers, And snow-white waves that circle Pekin's towers; Where sheathed in sullen pomp the Tartar lord, Forgetful, slumbers o'er his idle sword. O'er all the plains, where barbarous hordes asar On panting steeds pursue the roving war, Soft notes of joy th' eternal gloom shall cheer, And smooth the terrors of the arctic year; Till from the blazing line to polar snows,
Through varying realms, one tide of blessing flows.
Dr. Buchanan's object, we repeat it, is to realize this sublime anticipation, this dream, as many will doubtless account it, of the poet's fancy. And in order to effect this object, he looks to no supernatural interference, to the occurrence neither of prodigies nor miracles, but to the use of those means which are within our reach, and particularly to the diffusion of Christian light by the circulation of the holy Scriptures in the languages of the East.
Had Dr. Buchanan confined himself to the bare statement of his general views on this subject, he would have done no more than has of. ten been done before ; and he would not have merited on that account any peculiar distinction. But he has descended to particulars. He has uncovered to our view the gloomy recesses of Asiatic superstition; he carries us with him, by turns, to the temple of Juggernaut, and the dungeons of the Inquisition; he shews us the “gross darkness” (darkness which may be felt) “ that covers the people;” he tells us what he has seen with his
eyes, and heard with his ears;
ing, and a correspondence was F.