« AnteriorContinuar »
“Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;
IN making an application of the subject of this discourse, I have little to say: For the lessons of gratitude, and consolation, and duty, which it suggests, are exceedingly obvious; and they must already have been presented to every reflecting mind, and impressed on every pious and benevolent heart. How obvious, my Christian brethren, is the inference, that we are under peculiar obligations of gratitude, to our God and Redeemer, for our distinguished Christian privileges! We live in Immanuel's land. To us Christianity has come, in all her simplicity and splendor—in all her beauty and glory. We have the Bible in our hands; and may learn its truths, and obey its injunctions without fear or restraint. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Again, how obvious is the lesson of consolation and joy, which flows from our subject, in connexion with the prophetic assurance of the future triumphs of the Gospel! If Christianity, in its limited operations, has done so much to meliorate the condition of mankind; what must be its effects, when its influence shall have become universal and unrestrained; reach
ing all lands, purifying all hearts, and controlling the counsels of all nations;–when “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess him to be Lord, to the glory of God, the Father;”—when “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom, under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the Saints of the Most High!” Finally; how obvious is the inference from our doctrine, that it is the duty of every Christian to aid the cause of Christian Missions. The wretched state of the Heathen, of Jews, of Mahomedans, and even of multitudes, nominally Christians, must awaken the tenderest sympathies excite the most ardent and importunate prayers, and rouse all the energies of the renewed soul. My brethren, we have placed before us the strongest motives to induce us vigorously to engage in this work of love. The sublimity of the enterprise, the certainty of ultimate success, the signs of the times, and, what is paramount to all other considerations, the command, the last command of our blessed Redeemer, urge us to active exertion and persevering effort, in this cause. Do any object? Will any withhold their hand or restrain their prayers? They are not Christians—certainly not active and well informed Christians. All the objections, which I have heard alleged against the missionary enterprises of the day, are objections, either of ignorance, or infidelity, or avarice. It will invariably be found, that men opposed to the benevolent operations for the spread of the Gospel, are either ignorant of the nature and design of these operations, or they have no established belief in the truth and efficacy of Christianity, or they possess a sordid spirit, which hardens their hearts against the convictions of their understandings, or they are excited by the combined influence of all these causes, to fight against God. Those, who truly believe and love the Gospel, who know how to estimate the value of the Gospel, and who feel any thing of the benevolent spirit of the Gospel, will not, cannot object to Christian Missions; will not, cannot hold back their hands from the benevolent work. It , is true, “salvation is of the Lord;” but it is equally true, that he works by means; and has designated the means, by which sinners are to be converted, sanctified and saved. “After that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” The knowledge of the Lord must be communicated through the medium of his word. This word, therefore, must be translated into every language, published in every land, and preached to every rational creature under heaven.
Be entreated, then, my Christian friends, my brethren and sisters in the Lord, to put your hands to this glorious work; and set an example, which your fellow Christians, every where, may safely follow. Like your elder brother, while you lean on Jesus’ bosom, imbibe his heavenly spirit:like John, the beloved disciple, show that you are yourselves constrained by love, to speak the language, and perform the labors of love.—Like your elder sister, do what you can for Christ and his cause;—Like Mary, anoint the feet of your blessed Redeemer; and though some Judas should reproach you for your zeal, and charge you with the folly of wasting your substance; yet be not ye discouraged by the reproach, nor terrified at the charge. It is the reproach of the cross—it is the charge of a traitor. Wherefore break the box, and pour the precious ointment on the Saviour’s feet.
MAT. xxviii. 18, 19, 20.—And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in hearen and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoerer I hare commanded you. And lo I am with wou alway even unto the end of the world.
I Rise to advocate the cause of missions to the heathen and to plead for a dying world. My sole object is to enforce the claims of five hundred millions of perishing men by some plain and simple arguments which have affected my own mind. And I have chosen this text because it contains some of the arguments and suggests the rest. Both the authority of Christ and his personal reward are here distinctly brought to bear on the subject. I'or his obedicnce “unto death” he received the inheritance, including “the heathem” and “the uttermost parts of the earth,” with authority to manage the whole estate. This
authority he employed in sending forth missionaries to disciple all nations and to bring to him the unnumbered millions promised for his seed.
My first argument then is founded on the authority of Christ. The injunction in the text was not addressed to the eleven exclusively, but to them as depositaries of the divine commands, and through them to the whole body of ministers in every age. This appears from the promise subjoined, “Lo I am with you alway even unto the end of the world.” Indeed the eleven were expressly commanded to transmit to their successors all the injunctions which they themselves received, one of which was to disciple all nations. “Go ye—and disciple all nations,—teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” This command then is now sounding in the ears of the ministers and churches of the nineteenth century.
And yet some when called upon for their aid are heard to say, I do not approve of such things: just as though they had a right to place themselves on the seat of judgment and decide for themselves what they will approve and what not, when the command of God is in their ear and his sword at their breast. Hark! did you not hear that thunder 7 “Curse ye Meroz;-curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.”
My second argument is grounded on the example of Christ and his apostles. The Saviour of the world sent out a band of missionaries and charged them to “preach the Gospel to every creature;” “and they went forth and preached every where” “that men should repent.” No one objection can be raised against missions at the present day which will not equally lie against Christ and his apostles. The attempt is no more presumptuous now than then; the prospect is no more discouraging ; the difficulties are no greater; the power that is engaged to give success is the same, for the promise remains unchanged, “Lo I am with you alway even unto the end of the world.”
My third argument is founded on what we owe to the heathen. Is the Gospel no blessing to you? And would it not be an equal bless