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of every possible effort to compel them to come to the Saviour, and to persecute them (if they will call it so) with the remonstrances and invitations of the gospel. Still I maintain that it is not consistent with a fair representation of the case, to compare or liken Britain to yonder pagan lands; and it is a pitiable niggardliness of some pious misjudging people, who seem to regret that there are British Christians who look not entirely at their own wants; but also look at and endeavour to supply the wants of others, beyond the political limits of our own dominions. I fear these opinions will appear to some, unjustly censorious --if they be so, it is my mistake, of which I shall be happy to be convinced ; and as my remarks refer to opinions which I have seen in books or heard in conversations in general society, they are not in the least degree personal. I close by saying, Oh! remember Jesus-his degradation for us; his painful life; his agony in the garden; his death upon the cross-and remember the cause of these; in none of these did he regard his own things, but the things of others. Learn then of Jesus; let the same mind be in you, that was also in Christ Jesus : and look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
To this procedure it may be objected, that many other “peoples," and other tribes of men do not desire our aid ; but if offered, are more likely to despise it than receive it. This is in many cases true, but their misconduct is not the rule of our duty. How many human beings in this country--(aye, it may be there are many in this assembly,) who neglect the great salvation wrought out by the Son of God! How many are there who, when the Almighty himself gives counsel and reproof, set at nought all his counsel, and will accept of none of his reproof? But that is their sin,--for that they are accountable. Although many may reject spiritual aid, it is not to be apprehended, if we judge by past experience, that all will : but even if all were to reject it, still Christians are bound by the command of God to use diligently the means of benefiting others; for if any man have not the benevolent spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
DELIVERED BEFORE THE LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY, IN SURRY CHAPEL,
MAY 11, 1825.
[Fathers and Brethren!
So long ago as 1807, Jan. 31st, I embarked for a distant country, as a Messenger of the Churches, to convey to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, the Books of Divine Revelation. From that time to the present my attention has been almost entirely devoted to that language, and to accomplish the object for which I was sent; which object, with the aid of my beloved friend and colleague, the late excellent, laborious, and indefatigable Missionary Milne, was effected. But those labours were such as altogether tended to disqualify me to appear in the place which I now occupy; to address a British audience. I remember well that a return to this land was never anticipated by me. At 5, P.M. as the sun was declining in the west, on the 26th of February of the year I have already named, when the ship in which I sailed took her final departure from the British shores, I find from my Journal that I thus wrote
“ This is in all probability (but God alone knows) the closing prospect of a land I shall visit no more. O may the blessing of God rest upon it! the land that gave me birth; the land that till this hour has nourished me; the land of my
fathers' sepulchres—a land I esteem most precious, because there, I trust, I was born again; and there the saints in numbers dwell. Happy land! May the light of the Gospel never be removed from thee. The prayers of a departing Missionary are ended. Amen, and Amen."
Afterwards, being removed to a far distant land, about 17,000 miles from Britain, when standing on the sea-shore, in the cool of the evening; or walking solitarily on the beach; often have I cast a wishful look across the ocean-but dared not cherish the hope of revisiting England. However, Providence has led me by a way that I knew not; and I am, by the will of
others, placed, this day, in circumstances which I had not anticipated. I therefore crave your indulgence, whilst I deliver the following discourse; and I pray that the blessing of God may rest on my endeavours to state, and to enforce the TRUTH.]
THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST SUPREMELY
PHILIPPIANS, III. 8.
“ I count all things loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of
In this passage of sacred writ, the ideas, conveyed by. St. Paul may be, I conceive, thus paraphrased. Messiah, Jesus, my Lord! He of whom the ancient prophets spake as the Lord's anointed and chosen one ;-a Redeemer, Deliverer, and Saviour, who was manifested as Emmanuel, God with us; who came to save his people from their sins ; who came down from heaven to give light, and life, and salvation to the world; who having given his life a ransom for many given himself to be a sacrifice-a sin offeringa propitiation for the sins of men ; rose again from the dead, a glorious conqueror of Satan, and the gates of hell; and who hath ascended up on high, in the possession of full power to rule in heaven and in earth, till all his enemies be put under his feet; and till he hath brought to eternal bliss and glory all those, of every tribe, and tongue, and nation, who believe on his name. And his is the only name given among men (the only name proclaimed by divine authority from the skies) by which man can be saved.
Messiah, Jesus, my Lord !-to know him: to win him ; to be found in him ; redeemed by his death ; justified by his righteousness; and sanctified by his Spirit,—is in my estimation of infinite value—there is nothing under heaven to be compared to it. The esteem and regard of my kindred; the consideration of my friends and countrymen ;
the rank and privileges of a civil and religious nature, which all men so much value; if denied me because of my devotion to Christ, I willingly forego them.
The ground of hope as to acceptance with God and eternal bliss, which I once fondly cherished; arising from a religious and strictly moral education, and (as far as man is concerned, and the rites and observances of religion referred to,) a blameless life-these I abandon; not desiring to have my own righteousness which is of the law; but that which is through the faith of Christ; the righteousness which is of God by faith.
My bodily ease, and temporal comfort; a sure competence in my native country; the delights of a settled home, and a circle of friends with whom I have grown up from childhood-these, when my Lord's cause requires it, I willingly relinquish. Things that I have heretofore esteemed gain, I now count loss for Christ. “ Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Such, my friends, is St. Paul's language ; and this language is not the vapouring boast, or the declamatory harangue of an untried man. For the sake of Jesus he had already suffered the loss of all things. Friends, and kindred, and home and country, and domestie comfort, and personal ease and safety, he had already sacrificed. And he had lost the good opinion of the society amongst whom he lived, and for his devotedness to the crucified Jesus, had subjected himself to the appellations of enthusiast and madman; and had been despised and vilified, and suffered persecution and insult, and endured hunger and thirst, and every privation. For he considered that winning Christ, -obtaining a knowledge of him, more than compensated all.
The knowledge of Christ, it is affirmed, is supremely excellent. And in what then does its excellency consist? A dignified and eminent preacher and prelate of former days has, in a discourse on this text, argued the excellency of this knowledge from the four following topics. The knowledge communicated by Christ, does, in the
1st place, more fully reveal to us the nature of God.
2dly, It gives us a more certain and perfect law for the government of our lives.
3dly, It propounds to us more powerful arguments to persuade men to the obedience of this law than did Judaism or Paganism, and,
Finally, it furnishes us with better motives and considerations to patience and contentedness under the evils and afflictions of this life than they did.
These generalities are true, and good, and important, as far as they go, but they come not up to that distinct and experimental knowledge of the salvation which is in Christ; which was the object of St. Paul's admiration and esteem. There is a work which Jesus performed, as well as doctrines which he taught; and that sort of knowledge which not only makes us acquainted with Christian principles, but also makes us participators of the benefits of the Saviour's work, is the thing which is of such high value, and to be held in supreme estimation.
It is the saving knowledge of Christ's mediatorial work, by which human beings are delivered from the awful penalties of a violated law; whereby they are delivered from the curse of sin, and the love of sin, and the practice of sin; by which they are restored to peace with God; to peace with conscience; and to peace with their fellow men; as far as their tempers and actings can effect that peace.-A knowledge which, in proportion as it is diffused throughout the world, will not only bless individuals and families, but which will unite families, and tribes, and nations in the bonds of peace and of reciprocal love; and will banish strife and injustice, and oppression, and bloodshed, and wars from the face of the earth.
Knowledge of every sort is good ; learning and science, which contribute to the rational and useful occupation of the human mind, and which promote the civilization and temporal comfort of man, are to be esteemed-we are not this day the advocates of ignorance: we too say encourage education all round the world; especially make man acquainted with the wonders of his Creator's works-lead him if you can through the garden and the forest, and across