« FöregåendeFortsätt »
appears to us of great importance to the serious consideration of the churches.
The first is a translation from the Tamul. We requested Samuel Flavel to write a summary of the truth he preached to his countrymen, and to close it with an address to the British churches. We feel much pleasure in forwarding it as a part of the intended volume. This discourse is a faithful translation of the original.
The Victim of Delusion was not at first designed to form a part of this volume; yet a copy of it was furnished to the directors. It is now inserted from a desire that it may keep alive the compassion excited in the breasts of many towards the deluded Hindoos.
· The Plan of the College embraces a range of considerable extent. What is proposed to be taught will we trust be found to be both practicable and highly beneficial. We decidedly approve of much solid learning as the ground-work of extensive usefulness in the Gospel ministry, and feel persuaded that all religious institutions commenced in India, and in all hea
then countries, should be founded on broad and liberal principles. Minds of stinted growth are the production of defective education; and narrow-minded principles greatly retard the usefulness of even pious men. Superior minds, overleaping the barriers of a limited and superficial system, soon learn to despise it as a whole; and their creative genius, instead of being properly directed, runs wild, and may (as they often have done) prove highly injurious to the best interests of man. A system therefore which will insure ample scope to superior minds—which is calculated to chasten and not disgust the enterprising—we think should as much as possible be adopted, and acted upon from the commencement.
We have studied, in connecting the whole plan, to make the different branches so far distinct, that ministerial students may profitably attend to parts where circumstances may render the whole course impracticable.
Part of the service which was delivered at the Ordination of Isaac David to the work of an evangelist, is considered as calculated to interest the religious public, because it unfolds the views he takes of Divine truth, the reasons he assigns for believing that he is a Christian and has a right to preach the Gospel, and the principles in which we wished to act, when we set apart to the sacred work of the Christian ministry, Hindoo labourers.
There is a strong and Christian feeling generally excited in churches towards the poor perishing Heathen, and the efforts that have been made, and that are making for their spiritual good, bear the 'evident marks of their origin. We accept these first fruits as a certain pledge of a speedy and bountiful harvest. The spirit of grace and supplication is poured out, and the fervour of true piety is daily making the distinction between the church and the world more apparent. We wish by no means to underrate in our own views the pleasingly progressive state of vital godliness in the churches at home; but whilst we do rejoice, yea, and we will rejoice in the peace and increasing prosperity of Zion, we do not wish to overlook a backwardness in the churches to put forth, with heart and goodwill, both hands to the work of the Lord. The churches do not (God forbid they
should do !) the work of the Lord deceitfully, yet we fear there is a tardiness, a want of energy, which convinces the beholders that the whole soul is not engaged.
Do the churches make conscience of sending forth their able experienced champions to the field ? Why should local comforts and wants be attended to in preference to the cry of millions perishing for lack of knowledge ? Liberal sums are collected-meetings for prayer and concerting plans are held-joy is diffused through bodies of Christians collected, when they are informed of the success of the gospel at home and abroad. The number of Evangelists is continually increasing, (that are sent from the churches to foreign parts,) who carry with them the glad tidings of salvation to the ends of the earth. What hindereth the church, that she does not fully obey the will of her Lord and Master? Why does she not call forth a Barnabas, a good man and full of the Holy Ghost—a beloved Paul and Silas—men who are willing to hazard their lives, and finish their course in the high places of the field? Why should the church act as if she considered that she was con
ferring a favour on the heathen as those who are aliens only, and not view them as brethren in greater, much greater spiritual distress than themselves, and minister to them accordingly? We have, therefore, endeavoured to give utterance to our feelings on this subject in the Discourses. It is, we think, our duty to bear our testimony (however feeble) against what appears sinful neglect in the churches, and to suggest remedies which if correct ought instantly to be adopted.
The question on the Validity of Roman Catholic Baptism, as administered by that church, and the debate between Samuel and a Roman Catholic, we have given a place to in this volume, from the consideration of the relative importance of the subject. If the Romish Church is Antichristian, the true church is bound to separate in spirit and in every respect from that abomination. We, as part of the true Church of Christ, consider it our duty to record our public testimony that we disown her, and all her ministrations, as strictly Antichristian.
The character of Hindoo believers has been described, and their labours stated, partly to show that