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then, who will not wish to have made some provision for the extremities of his situation.
But, consider here, you cannot take the course of fraudulency with God. "Be not deceived.
“Be not deceived. God is not mocked, for whatsover a man soweth, that shall he also reap." If you would take the course to secure commendation and be received into everlasting habitations, the case of the steward will be of no use in this view of your situation. You have the omnicient God to deal with, and none can deceive him. If you would take the course, therefore, which secures his approbation, you must take the way of the Lord, cast up for the righteous, on which “the ransomed of the Lord return with singing and everlasting joy, and gladness on their heads;" the way appointed by his own infinite wisdom and goodness. You must come out in the open acknowledgment of your guilt, and the renunciation of all your abominations. There must be no reservation, and no reluctance. The sentiment of your heart must be, “ To God belongeth righteousness; but to us confusion of face."
And one thing more which the case of the steward incul. cates. There must be an experience of this sentiment, “ The time is short.” You must feel the pressure of a great crisis in your moral state ; you may have been sensible a long time that you are sinners before God; but you must come to feel that you are in complete bankruptcy, owing ten thousand talents, and having nothing to pay. And whereas you may have thought to avoid the distress of your situation, in one way and another not appointed of God, you must feel that now all your refuges of lies are swept away, and you left at last to the simple way of God's appointment through Jesus Christ. In this view, with the Lord Jesus Christ full before you, lifted up like the serpent in the wilderness, as an object of faith for your dying soul; you must come, under the urgency of the case, to feel, like the steward, that something must be done, and done immediately. In this way close with the Redeemer, as the Saviour of the lost, and you shall do more wisely than the steward, receive an unqualified commendation, and be admitted into everlasting habitations, even the mansions prepared before the foundation of the world.
MEMOIRS OF AMERICAN MISSIONARIES, formerly con
nected with the Society of Inquiry respecting Missions, in the Andover Theological Seminary : embracing a History of the Society, fc., with an Introductory Essay, by LEONARD Woods, D. D. Published under the
Direction of the Society.--Boston: Published by Peirce • & Parker, No. 9, Cornhill. 1833. pp. 367.
Perhaps we owe an apology to our readers for our delay in noticing this interesting little volume. At its first appearance we gave it a hearty welcome, and we take this opportunity to express our thanks to the Society under whose direction it was published, for so valuable a contribution to the missionary literature of our country. We had long felt that something was needed to make our churches better acquainted with the character and labors of our missionaries, and the publication of this volume affords the means at least of the better acquaintance desired. Several of these devoted servants of Christ have already entered into rest. The majority of them however, are still bearing the burden and heat of the day. And though the former have passed beyond the influence of praise or blame, or even the prayers of Christians, the latter have an undeniable claim to their tenderest sympathies and most fervent supplications in their behalf.
It is a well known fact in human nature, that in order to feel a deep interest in any enterprize, we must be acquainted with at least its most distinguished actors and with many particulars of its history. Oftentimes from a personal knowledge of an individual who is reported in the public papers as having taken part in the proceedings of some political and religious assembly in a distant part of the land, we are induced to go through all the detail of the account given of the meeting ; thus becoming absorbed in a subject to which we should otherwise have been entirely indifferent. Who does not feel a deeper interest in the Slavery Question, from his knowledge of the character and exertions of men like Clarkson and Wilberforce? Who that is acquainted with individual missionaries, now toiling in the wilds of Asia, does not feel a peculiar solicitude for the success of Asiatic missions ?
It has not yet been found an easy matter in modern times
to secure sufficient attention on the part of Christians, to the subject of missions. In this respect the churches of our own day differ widely from those planted by the apostles and their immediate successors. In the primitive ages of Christianity, the spirit of missions was deemed one of the same with this spirit of the Gospel. To forget the heathen was to forfeit all just pretensions to a personal interest in the great salvation. This apostolic touchstone of Christian zeal was at length lost -the spirit of missions departed. While it lay buried in the dark rubbish of the Middle Ages, Christianity not only gave over farther conquests, but retired froin many a field she had won, and almost from the earth. The tests and badges of gen uine piety become as numerous and whimsical as the errant fancies of bewildered mind could make them; and whea the dawn of the Reformation began to rise, slowly did the Church return to any thing like the apostolic mode of thinking and judging in regard to the nature and extent of Christian duty. The simple-hearted, praying Moravian at last caught a portion of the primeval missionary spirit. He loved it-cherished it, and obeyed its benevolent dictates. His humble example was the breath of new life to the Church. From that time to the present, the claims of missions have been taking stronger hold. upon the conscience and benevolence of Christians. Missionary intelligence has begun to be scattered as on the wings of the wind, and the heart of the Christian community to beat high at the prospect of speedily evangelizing the world. Sull there is a lamentable degree of ignorance and criminal apathy on this subject, in many of the American churches. There are churches in New England, that while they observe the Monthly Concert in imitation of their better informed neighbors, are as ignorant of the number, stations, and labors of our foreign missionaries, as of the number, posts and trials of the individual tithing-men in Ireland. Painful facts on this subject have recently come to our knowledge, which we would fain disbelieve, but cannot, though we forbear being more particu lar.
Much has been said of the Moral Dignity of the missionary enterprize. And surely no work ever undertaken by men can in this respect challenge so high honor to itself. It is grand beyond conception. The conquests of Alexander, the extension of Roman dominion through the world, and the all grasping plans and fearful achievements of Europe's late tormentor, dwindle into insignificance, when compared with the sublime purpose and approaching result of missionary movements. The object of this enterprize is the moral and intellectual renoVOL. VI.-NO. XI.
vation of the whole pagan world, and the ennobling subjugation of every tribe and family of man, to the righteous dominion of the Saviour. It aims not simply at improvement, but at the highest practicable perfection in the condition of all mankind. It is hard, however, to bring the popular mind to any thing like a tolerable examination of this great scheme of pious benevolence. Vast multitudes of professing Christians feel as little concern for the heathen as for the inhabitants of a distant planet. They think less of the temporal degradation and hastening perdition of six hundred millions of beings, endued with like faculties and susceptibilities as themselves, than of some trifling matter of personal or national interest. In time of war, every individual is eager for all existing intelligence respecting the condition and success of his country's forces and the probable issue of the contest. He watches every movement and stratagem of the enemy. His eyes and ears are to catch every particle of flying information. The nation knows the naines and stations of all the principal officers and the comparative importance of the several military posts. The discharge of a gun on the frontiers, is echoed by a thousand continuous voices, to the remotest parts of the land ; and the capture or loss of a fort is matter of national gratulation or regret.
Now we wish the entire Christian community in every Christian land, but particularly in our own, to feel a like pervading interest in the missionary enterprize. We wish them to possess an equal amount of correct, definite information, on a like number of particulars respecting it. They owe it to themselves and to the world to be familiarly acquainted with its past history, present attitude, and future prospects. Without such knowledge, they will never act the part which duty imperiously requires. They can neither labor nor pray effectually for the success of an undertaking of which they know little or nothing. In order to act, they must feel, --in order to feel, they must know.
How then shall the Church be brought to a better acquaintance with the whole subject of Christian missions, and as a consequence, to more correct views and a deeper sense of her duty to the heathen world? By what means shall the requisite light be thrown upon the mind, and the proper amount and intensity of emotion be excited in the hearts, of those to whom the missionary enterprize must look for support? We answer, by the conjoined instrumentality of the living ministry and the press. Ministers must give the subject of missions a prominent place in their regular public exercises. They must labor to press to the centre of every Christian's conscience, the pungent, agitating conviction, that the heathen are now perishing for want of the Gospel. They must enforce the indispensable duty of every follower of the Saviour to come up to the help of the Lord against the might of pagan superstition. The question of personal duty and the obligation of individual churches to marshal themselves for instant attack upon the powers of darkness in foreign lands, should be frequently and pointedly discussed. The practicability of subverting the giant fabrics of idolatry or converting them into temples of the living God, should be demonstrated from the unexampled success of missions and the sure promises of Jehovah. The miserly Christian, if indeed there can be such a Christian, must be made to feel that his hoarded gold and silver will one day eat his flesh, as it were fire. Nor should the preacher think he has done enough when he has merely made his people sensible of their obligation to contribute of their property to the support of missions.
He must strive to excite in them a spirit of prayer for the success of the means employed for the speedy renovation of the world. When Christians love to wrestle at the throne of grace for the conversion of the pagan nations, then their benefactions will be greatest and most acceptable, and their efforts most direct and effectual. The cause of religion at home will also derive unwonted vigor from this fervent zeal for the universal spread of the Gospel. When the fountains of Christian benevolence in the heart are once opened, they send forth perennial streams in every direction. So long as the early Christian Church was intent on making inroads into the empire of heat hen darkness, her own domestic altars glowed witla a living flame of pure devotion. An ardent love for the souls of distant millions is like the sun at the meridian, which, while it sheds a benign influence over all the earth, pours its rays with burning intensity upon the objects more immediately within its power.
We repeat then, that it lies principally with ministers to awaken and keep alive a missionary spirit in our churches. The trumpet is in their hands--they must give the sound. They are placed upon a watch-tower from which they are expected to survey the desolations of the earth and give the people warning, when and how they shall aid in turning these desolations into the garden of the Lord. It is the voice of the living preacher, that must summon the host of God's elect to this glorious war of extermination against all superstition and idolatry.
But while the pulpit is to arouse Christians to a sense of their duty and responsibility in respect to missions, the press