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forth labourers into his harvest: or rather that he would commission the sower to go forth into his field, to scatter the precious seed of the word. Eternal God! what boundless regions are there where the Gospel seed has never fallen, or at most so sparingly that they are now over-run with tares! Christian Europe is the smallest division of the globe. Greece and Asia Minor, countries to which, in early times, the word of the Lord sounded out with power from Judea, are they not now groaning beneath the yoke of Mohammedan superstition, or sunk in the errors of a Church which has apostatized from the Catholic Faith? And in that immeasurable tract of country, peopled by different tongues and nations, from the shores of the Mediterranean eastward to the North Pacific Ocean, where do we see the banner of the Cross unfurled? Alas! is not Palestine itself, whence the light of the Gospel first shone out on a benighted world, trodden under foot of strangers, and oppressed by those who hate the name of Christ, and deny the Lord that bought them? What converts have we made among the swarthy tribes of Africa? Surely, in a world of
We live in a period which Erasmus would have rejoiced to see. When he penned this animated appeal on behalf of Christian Missions, Bible and Missionary and Jews' Societies had not arisen; the religion and literature of the Greek and Oriental Churches had not engaged the attention of the Christian world; Eastern and Western India had not heard the glad tidings of a Saviour; and the sons of Western Africa had not listened to the preaching of Christ crncified, in fourteen missionary stations. Much has indeed been effected; but infinitely more remains undone. must not lay down our arms, as if vic
torious, when we have but entered on the war. The God of this world is not to be so easily subdued; and though we trust that his kingdom shall fall, the armies of the living God must gain many a hard-fought field, and many a self-de. voted martyr be offered upon the sacri
such extent as this, there must be many a simple hearted, though rude and uncivilized, people, among whom it would not be difficult to win souls to Christ, if missionaries would come forward, and sow bountifully among them the incorruptible seed of the word of God! What shall we say, when daily discoveries are making of lands before unknown, and others are reported to exist, untrodden as yet by the foot of our countrymen ? not to mention those multitudes of the children of Abraham, whom the Lord has scattered among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; not to mention the vast numbers of those who name the name of Christ, but depart not from iniquity; and the scarcely less numerous hosts of schismatics, infidels, and heretics? full accomplishment would attend "He must inthat prophecy, crease," if wise and faithful masterbuilders would go forth to raise new temples for the living God, and to cast down every one that has not its foundation on the Rock of ages: if "workmen who need not be ashamed," would go forth to sow the good seed, and to plant the tree of life, plucking up the tares, and rooting out every plant which their heavenly Father bath not planted. Doubtless, a glorious harvest would ultimately follow;-a harvest, not their own, but Christ's;-a harvest, not of wealth to themselves, but of souls to their Lord!
Oh! what a
When our Saviour directed his followers to pray the Lord of the Harvest that he would send forth labourers into his harvest, the harvest truly was plenteous, but the labourers were few. Nor is this prayer less needful in the present day, while the fields of missionary exertion are so ample in their exfice and service of the Church's faith, ere at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
tent, and yet so little occupied. But when the command is given, Go ye also into the vineyard, all with one consent begin to make excuse. Alas! are there none from among the great body of a Christian clergy and a Christian laity, endued with the spirits of cherubim and seraphim, delighting to do the will of their Father who is in heaven? From these, then, let men come forward, and be chosen to the missionary office; men dead to the world, but alive unto God, who may faithfully proclaim among the Gentiles the blessed word of
The difficulty of acquiting foreign languages is made by some a plea for inactivity. What!-could Themistocles of Athens gain in one year sufficient knowledge of a barbarous tongue to converse, without an interpreter, with the Persian monarch, are earthly princes never at a loss for men well versed in the languages of various nations, to undertake their embassies, and shall we, the servants of the King of kings, the ambassadors of Christ, shrink from the toils of study, in a service so exalted and sublime?
Do any fear, less such a service should leave them exposed to want, or destitute of the absolute necessaries of life? The Apostles of Christ, those first great missionaries of the Cross, who traversed countries barbarous and unknown, were always supplied with food and raiment. They remembered and depended on the promise of their Lord, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." But were it possible that our missionaries should meet with a people so poor or so ungrateful, as either to be incapable of affording, or wilfully to refuse, them support and habitations, let them imitate the disinterested conduct of St. Paul, who wrought with labour and travail, night and day, that he might not be chargeable unto any who ministered to his own neces
sities, and to the necessities of his
Even miracles should not be
There may perhaps be some who are backward to assume the missionary office, because they count their lives dear unto them. But if it is appointed unto men once to
*No anxiety with respect to temporal provision needs now deter any from offering themselves as missionaries. Each society undertakes to support its own agents, in order that fit persons may be the more encouraged to go out, and that they may give their undivided labours and attention to the great work of evangelizing the heathen. Nor is the loss of life, from any other cause than illness, and the nature of the varihended; as our missionaries are always ous climates, to be by any means apprereceived with forbearance, and, in a great majority of cases, with reverence and delight..
die, what end can be more honourable, what death more happy, than that which is endured for the sake of Christ, and of his Gospel? Pilgrims to Jerusalem, from the farthest corners of the earth, fearlessly risk their safety, and many pay the forfeit of their lives: yet, for the sake of seeing I know not what, thousands yearly make the pilgrimage, regardless of the dangers to which they are exposed. To
behold the ruins of Jerusalem is an
object of no high importance; but to build the walls of the spiritual Zion, to set up the kingdom of Christ in the hearts of men, this is truly a great and noble undertaking. In the armies which are marshalled by the potentates of the earth, what numbers of brave spirits are there, who will boldly rush into the hottest of the battle, to gain the approbation of their prince or general, which they value more than their existence! And shall the Lord of Hosts, who holds out as the reward of his service an eternal crown of glory,-shall He find none who are willing to give up all for Him, and esteem his favour better than life? Death, it is true, will come, but not till the hour which is appointed of God; and though, in the times of the Apostles, the whole world was in a state of furious uproar, all of them lived to a full, and some to a very advanced, age. With Christ for our guardian and our shield, the fear of death should not disturb us; since his word is engaged that not a hair of our heads can fall to
the ground without the knowledge and permission of our heavenly Father. But is it possible, that the fear of death can raise a barrier against missionary exertion, or that the love of life can seduce those from the duties of an Apostle, who have voluntarily stipulated to be instant in season and out of season, and to spend and be spent for Christ? To despise wealth is but a small attainment; heathen philosophers, unacquainted with our Lord CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 245.
or with his followers, have learned it; but to be ready and willing to sacrifice even life for the Gospel, forms a distinguishing feature in the character and spirit of an Apostle".
If this paper should meet the eye of any about to devote themselves to the office of missionaries, or already engaged in that truly honourable vocation, they will not peruse the following quotation from the writings of a bishop of and spiritual profit. Speaking of the our own church, without lively interest "feast and communion" of the body and blood of Christ, he says, "Herein we unite and join ourselves to the critcified Jesus; and so profess, that if he will have us bear his cross, we will not deny him. Nay, we declare that we will glory in nothing so much as in the cross of Christ, that we will rejoice in tribulation, and think it is given to us is the very height of Christianity, to which noble pitch we should earnestly strive by all means to arrive. Every drop of our blood should be ready to be poured out for that religion which Christ sealed with his own. And indeed, what better use can we make of our life, than to give it for him from life for us? And how much better is it whom we received it, and who gave his mark and brand of cowards and fuginot to live at all, than to live with the tives from the Prince of Life and the Lord of Glory? O how much do we
as an honour to suffer with him. This
owe Thee, most blessed Redeemer ! How great is the price which thou hast paid for the ransom of us, miserable sinners! Tongue cannot express it, nor thought conceive it. What shall I render unto Thee for the incomprehensible benefits Thou hast bestowed upon me? I can give Thee no less than myself; which here I resign entirely into thy hands. Do thou dispose of me according to thy pleasure. It is but reasonable I should follow thee whithersoever thon leadest me. Though it be to thy cross, I refuse not to obey thy orders. Though I should die with thee, I hope I shall not in any wise deny thee. For
there is no better use I can make of my life, than to spend it for thee. I esteem all things but loss, for the excellence of thy knowledge. I account not my life dear unto myself, so that I may finish my course with joy. It is Christ that 2 N
Go forth, then, I beseech you, in the strength of the Lord, and in the power of his might, ye champions of the church militant, conquering and to conquer! Take unto you the whole armour of God; having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast plate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Thus completely furnished, advance with Chris tian courage to the holy warfare. Cast down, slay, and utterly destroy, not your fellow-creatures, but ignorance, superstition, and vice for thus to kill is to save alive. Go forth, not to return laden with the spoils of those whom you may visit, but to enrich them with imperishable treasures. Think it more than an abundant recom
died, yea, rather, that is risen again who is even at the right hand of God;
who also makes intercession for us.
Who shall separate me from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or naked. ness, or peril, or sword? (as it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.) Though all this should come upon me, yet will I not forget thee; nor will I deal falsely in thy covenant. My heart shall not be turned back; neither shall my steps decline from thy way. Nay, in all these things I shall be more than a conqueror, through him that loved me. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor heighth, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!"-Bp. Patrick's "Christian Sacrifice." p. 47. Lond. 1693.
The climax in the original is very beautiful: "Dejicite, jugulate, mactate, non homines, sed ignorantiam, impietatem, cæteraque vitia; sic enim Accidere servare est.'
pence for your labours, if you shall be made the honoured instruments of rescuing souls from the hand of the destroyer, and of recovering them to Christ, their lawful owner; if, through your means, the gates of heaven shall at length stand opened to millions, now groaning under the yoke of bondage, and carried away captive by satan at his will.
The service to which we are exhorting you, is confessedly most arduous; but it is also most honourable in itself, and, if discharged with fidelity, will receive the amplest reward. The post of glory is the post of danger; and he who fears the one, is undeserving of the other. That man indeed is equally unfit for the office of a missionary and of a minister, who does not hold in contempt the pleasures and the wealth of this world, or who cannot say with the Apostle, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain!" The offence of the Cross has not yet ceased; and they who and live godly in Christ Jesus, will faithfully preach its doctrines, (whether they be missionaries or not,) must suffer persecution. But under every trial, let that Cross be our boast and consolation. To wrestle with principalities and powers, is neither inglorious nor unrewarded: and he who calls us for the victory. to the combat, gives us also strength
endued with the spirit and the zeal Where then shall we find men of the Apostles? Will none be provoked to this labour of love, by the example of St. Paul and of his brethren, who for his name's sake went, forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles?" Who that has respect unto the recompence of the reward, or beholds with the eye of faith the prize of his high callingwho that longs for an exceeding and eternal weight of glory, that pants after an inheritance incorruptible, undefised, and that fadeth not away would not cheerfully submit to labour, privation, and
fatigue, to scorn, and persecution, and the cross,-light afflictions which are but for a moment? The profane may hate, oppose, traduce, the character and conduct of a missionary; but the countenance, the approbation, and the prayers of the pious shall cheer his heart, and send him on his way rejoicing. Worldlings may view him with contempt; but those who love the Lord Jesus Christ will honour and admire him. In these things, however, he glories not, but only in the Lord. He must expect, and may meet with, his full share of suffering and trial; yet even here he gains a higher reward than all earthly pleasures could afford. In the present possession of his heavenly Father's love, and in the prospect of the crown which awaits him, he enjoys a peace of mind the Gospel only can bestow ;-a peace which is unspeakable, and full of glory; a peace, which to himself and to others, passeth all understanding; but which is secretly and sensibly experienced by all who have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Let our prayers ascend up before God, that he would send into his long-wasted vineyard men likeminded with the Apostles; who, both by their preaching and living, will magnify their office; not that they themselves may be had in honour, but that souls may be won to Christ, and God be glorified in them that fear him. But it is to our bishops that we more especially look; for on them chiefly does the salvation or destruction of the people rest. It is theirs to give us a clergy of unblameable life and conversation; priests adorned with the spirit and the virtues of the Gospel; men of piety and talent, skilled to form the minds of youth, and ready to be the instructors of babes in the first principles and
The mind of the reader will imme. diately advert to that affecting and descriptive account of a minister's trials and qualifications, given in 2 Cor. vi. 3—10.
* Des. Erasmi Roterodami Ecclesias
tes, sive Concionator Evangelicus, lib. I. P. 131, &c. Lond. 1730.
By such arguments and appeals does the great Erasmus urge upon Christians in general the duty of supporting, and upon the clergy in particular the duty of undertaking, Christian missions. Let us join in fervent supplication to Him who alone worketh great marvels, that he may send down upon our bishops, and curates, and all congregations committed to their charge, the healthful spirit of his grace; and that, in order graciously pour upon them the continual to their truly pleasing Him, he would dew of his blessing; for the honour of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Let us pray to that merciful God who hath made all men, and hateth nothing that he hath made; who would not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live, to have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heretics; to take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of his word; and so to fetch them home to his flock, that
they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold, under one Shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
+ The following sermon is abridged from one of the Rev. C. J. Hoare's Dis courses reviewed in our last Number. 2 N2