Sidor som bilder
PDF
[ocr errors][merged small]

THE legislative council of the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, in reference to the resolution of the House of Commons, adopted previously to its proceeding to pass the emancipation bill, enabling his majesty to defray any expense incurred “in providing, on liberal and comprehensive principles, for the religious and moral education of the negro population to be emancipated,” passed, among others, the following just and humane resolutions:—

—“That we beg leave humbly, and earnestly also, to recommend to his majesty's benevolent care the state of the Hottentots and free people of color of every denomination; and that we cannot forbear to indulge the gratifying hope, that, by the gradual diffusion of the blessings of education and of moral and religious knowledge among them, they will be rendered not only useful members of the colonial community, but valuable subjects of the British empire.

—“That it is, in our opinion, an imperative act of justice toward the Hottentots, to restore to them, in addition to the enjoyment of freedom and security of property, the means of subsistence on that land which has been emphatically designated “as originally and exclu. sively their own;” while it is, at the same time, a measure of the soundest policy toward the colored classes in general, to stimulate them to exertion, by giving them motives of industry, and to endeavor to elevate their character by encouraging and rewarding the industrious.

—“That we earnestly recommend, that whatever lands now remain available for this purpose throughout the colony, may, with as little delay as possible, be granted in absolute possession to the Hottentots, and other free people of color, according to such rules as to the colonial government may appear necessary; reserving a sufficient portion of land for the use of a clergyman or teacher, and the erection of a church and school, wherever a number of the families of the free colored people are settled.”

DUTY OF PROPAGATING THE Gos P.E.L.

THE following forcible statement of the nature of the duty of preaching the gospel to all men, and of the ground on which the obligation is maintained, is taken from the report of the Auxiliary Foreign Missionary Society of Litchfield County, Con., presented in February last. It places the missionary spirit on proper, and the only stable, foundation.

This cause, in which we again solicit your renewed and increased co-operation, is no other than the cause of our Lord and Master. We advocate it as “ambassadors for Christ, as though God by us did beseech you.” It is on the firm ground of moral obligation that we stand. The position we maintain is this.To aid in propagating the gospel throughout the world, to the utmost of their ability, is the indispensable duty of all who hear this gospel.

1. This is a duty which is enjoined by erpress dirine command. When the Redeemer of men ascended up on high, after having finished the work which the Father had given him to do, he left behind him this parting injunction; “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” This precept is universally binding. Would you limit its application to the disciples who first received it? With as much propriety might you thus limit the application of every other precept of the divine code, and maintain that the law which forbids murder, adultery, theft, etc., has no binding force, except on those to whom it was originally given. Why then should it not be distinctly understood and felt by every hearer of the gospel, that God will no more hold him guiltless who disobeys this precept, than he will any other transgressor of his law?

2. This is a duty which we owe to the Redeemer of our souls. For all the efforts and sacrifices which it is possible for us to expend in extending his kingdom, he has richly paid us in advance. A life of toil and anguish. and a death of ignominy and torture, was the price with which he purchased our services. Cold and ungrateful must be the heart, perverse and unjust the character, that is unwilling to acknowledge and meet the debt! Can those whom the Lord has “bought with a price,” refuse to lend him their necessary aid in securing an object so dear to his heart as the salvation of the uttermost parts of the earth?

3. This is a duty which is urged by the claims of humanity. The Father of the human family has made adequate provision for all his household. From the store-house of nature, and from the fulness of his grace, we may draw ample supplies for the wants both of the body and the spirit. But these stores of God's munificence can be no benefit to the children of his household, any further than they are distributed. If those stewards to whom his treasures are committed lock them up from the greater part of mankind, instead of “giving to each one his portion of meat in due season.” in vain to the neglected part of this family will it be that God is good and gracious.

Now, it is a fact with which all are familiar, that the provisions of divine grace, infinitely the richest and most important class of God's supplies, have yet been distributed only to a minor part of the human family;-that millions of this family are now starving and dying in their sins for want of this “bread of life.” It is also a fact, that those who hold “the oracles of God,” are “stewards of the mysteries of God,” on whose humanity and faithfulness all the other members of the family are dependent for the “living bread” which is necessary to save them from the agonies of the second death. Proof of this fact, if required, might be adduced in abundance from the testimony of history, and from the testimony of God. “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” The claims of humanity, then, in this case, are urgent beyond what we can describe or conceive. There is balm in Gilead; there is a physician there. The bleod of Christ is a healing stream for the mortal wounds of sin, just as far as those who are intrusted with the diffusion of it will suffer it to flow. 4. This is a duty which is essential to the Christian character. It is the very conduct which marks and constitutes the christian character. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” But it is impossible to adopt the example of Christ, and possess “the same mind,” and become a “partaker of his mature,” a follower of his steps, and a co-worker with him, without being like him, embarked, heart, and soul, and mind, and strength, in labors and sacrifices for the salvation of a lost world. The duty is necessary also for the improvement of the christian character. The spiritual man, in order to attain to “the fulness of the stature of a perfect man in Christ Jesus,” must have its appropriate employment, in which to exercise and invigorate its faculties; and this employment the great work of reclaiming a world lying in wickedness furnishes. Here is a field in which the two great principles of the christian character—piety to God and benevolence to man—find ample scope for exercise and cultivation. A dwarfish, narrow-minded, and selfish christian must he be whose moral powers have never been expanded and invigorated in this wide field of christian bencvolence. Equally necessary is this employment to true christian felicity. The spirit of love which it both marks and cultivates, is the flame which burns in “the wrapt seraph,” which illuminates the palaces of heaven, and which lights up “the joy unspeakable” of every holy heart. these fruits of grace? Then you must participate also in the labors which produce them. “He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 5. This is a duty which is essential to the prosperity of our churches. A church must have very erroneous views, both of duty and interest, to consider itself excused from this labor of love, because it is already weak. Weak it must continue to be, both in moral and physical resources, so long as it neglects to employ the means which God has appointed for imparting health and vigor. “They

[ocr errors]

Would you participate in

that wait on the Lord shall increase their strength.” The debility of many a languishing church too plainly indicates that it needs the pure air and exercise of God’s wide field of benevolence to invigorate it. What is essential to the character and improvement of an individual Christian, must be equally so to collective bodies of Christians. Certain it is, that the revealed design of Christ, “who gave himself for his church,” was, that it might become “zealous of good works.” It is on this “zealous” spirit of benevolence that a church must rely also for the improvement of its physical resources, as well as its spiritual strength. A mistaken policy it is, which courts the alliance of the selfish passions to secure its outward prosperity. With such combustible materials for its basis, a disastrous explosion, sooner or later, must be expected. Like a city built upon a volcano, you may read its approaching catastrophe in the rumbling of the elements beneath it. Preach to congregations the self-denying duties which God inculcates, rather than the indulgence which the selfish heart desires, if you would secure their support to your own religious institutions. 6. The service required is a duty, because the spirit which it cultivates, is a spirit which spreads and multiplies the institutions of the gospel in our own land. We have proof of this in the religious history of our country for twenty-five years past. It was the foreign mission enterprise, conceived in a few such hearts as Mills, and Hall, and Newell, and presented to the American churches, that first waked up that spirit of christian benevolence which has since been filling the land with Bibles, and tracts, and gospel ministers. The claims of patriotism then call upon us to cherish this spirit of foreign missions,—to fill up this fountain until its swelling streams shall overflow the nation. This spirit is emphatically the spirit of Christ; and the more of it we can infuse into our churches, the more will its streams of christian beneficence diffuse their blessings over the land. Dry up this fountain, and its streams would cease to flow. To attempt to repress this spirit of foreign benevolence, for the purpose of turning its accumulated streams into a domestic channel, would be disastrous in its effects upon our own destitute population. 7. The duty is one which is necessary to the accomplishment of the Redeemer's purpose. To say that this almighty Agent cannot secure the object for which he gave himself a sacrifice, without the agency of man, is only asserting his immutability. This agency is a constituent part of his established plan for the redemption of the world. Strike out this agency, and you destroy his plan. Just so far as man neglects to perform the part assigned him in this work of redemption, it is all in vain that Christ's blood is shed, and his Spirit sent down, and the sword of the Spirit sharpened for execution. It is a plain gospel fact, and a fact which ought to ring through all our churches, that these divine agencies, all prompt to execute the Father's will, are waiting only the dilatory movements of those who hold the sword of the Spirit, to bring the uttermost parts of the earth into the possession of the Redeemer that bought them. When they shall obey the mandate of their King, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,”—then, and not till then, will Christ “see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied '' The point of duty thus established, the folfowing practical conclusions are subjoined. 1. It is a duty which the faithful minister of the gospel cannot fail to inculcate on his hearers. To preach a gospel of which this essential constituent of the gospel of Christ, and of the christian character, should form no part, would be to preach “another gospel.” If faithsul as a minister of God's word, he will not neglect to repeat its mandates. If faithful to his Master, he will not fail to urge his claims, nor neglect to advocate his cause, as the cause of foreign missions emphatically is. If faithful as a “steward of the mysteries of God,” he will do what is in his power to effect the distribution of this “bread of life” to all the members of the family for whom it was provided. If faithful to his people, he will apprise them of this gospel requirement, and this essential trait of the christian character, and labor to imbue them with that benevolent spirit of Christ which constitutes the chief blessedness of all holy beings. If faithful to the church, the bride of the Lamb, he will seek to adorn her with that pure spirit of active love which is the chief glory of the Bridegroom. Truly, then, may he adopt the emphatic language of Paul, “Necessity is laid upon me, yea, woe is me, if I preach not this gospel.” 2. It is a duty of the first importance. Is it a fact, that the salvation of millions of immortal beings is absolutely suspended on its performance?—that those to whom the oracles of God are committed, are indecd stewards of this grace!—and that the universal distribution of this bread of life, waits only their tardy execution of this trust? Then what duty ean take precedence of this? What more important trust, brethren, has God committed to your hands, than the work of saving a world of immortal beings from the agonies of the second death, and of executing the sublimest purposes of redeeming love? What gives additional importance to the duty is, that it is essential to the dearest interests of the benefactor, as well as the beceficiary. Its relative importance among other duties, Christ himself has established. “Seek first,” his decision is, —not “what shall we eat? or what shall we drink?” “but seek first the kingdom of God.” What provision can you make for your own household even so durably rich and beneficial, as to train them up in the spirit and habit of seeking first the kingdom and the glory of God? 3. To the importance of this duty our present labors and sacrifices in the cause are inmensely disproportionate. This is the ultimate conclusion to which we are brought. We leave it with conscience and facts to decide,

whether the practical regard which the subject has hitherto commanded from us, bears any just proportion to the magnitude of the interests concerned? It is common to estimate the value of things in the standard coin of our country. What is the relative value at which we thus appraise the salvation of the world? How does the price we pay for it compare with what is paid for personal and even selfish gratification? What rank does this object hold in our affections, judging by that true criterion,-the sacrifices we are willing to make for it? Some few, we hope there are, who can meet these inquiries with an approving conscience. Would to God that their number were greatly increased! If we cannot do it, how shall we answer for our delinquency at the bar of God! Oh how will the fact appear in judgment, if we shall be found to have willingly paid a higher price, both of money and sacrifices, for objects of mere worldly gratification, than we could be persuaded to bestow for the salvation of a dying world; if it shall there appear that a little “shining dust” was of more value in our estimation, than the redemption of the undying soul? Compare your estimate, brethren, of the value of this object with the price which the Redeemer paid for it. What toils, privations, and sufferings did he esteem it worth? Are you his disciple? How do you follow your Master? “Afar off,” indeed! And are there two different paths of duty for the disciple and for the Master, so wide apart, that while a life of toil and sacrifice is required of the one, a life of ease and self-indulgence may properly be allowed to the other? Did Paul so learn Christ? Compare what we are doing in this cause with the efficiency of the apostolic church in the same service. On what principle do we excuse ourselves from the “labors more abundant” to which their powers were devoted? With what plea shall we be able to justify ourselves in their presence, when we shall be judged together, for declining those sacrifices which they were required to endure? Compare our religious benefactions with those which God's ancient people, the Jews, were accustomed to make. Let Christians now appropriate to the service of God only one tenth part of the bounties which his munificence is pouring into their bosoms—a standard of benevolence far below that of the apostolic church—and how greatly wonld it augment the treasury of the Lord, and multiply the labors so much needed in his wide spreading harvest! And do the wants of God's kingdom require less of its subjects in this gospel age, when the conquest of the world is before it, than it formerly did to maintain the institutions of religion within the narrow bounds of Palestine? Surely nothing less than Jewish beneficence can satisfy an enlightened christian conscience! Compare our religious appropriations with those which are made for secular objects of general interest. The overslowing resources which such an object can at any time command, is proof sufficient, that the ability is not wanting among us, for the speedy execution of all that the purposes of redeeming love and the claims of humanity demand.

Compare, finally, the value of your benefactions, brethren, with the value of your own salvation, to which they hold an important relation. That the subject is not viewed in this relation by Christians with the deepest concern, may well be matter of surprise, when we consider the light in which God has presented it. The awards of the judgment day are to be distributed to men “according to their works,” and that species of moral conduct which is there to be recognized as “good works,” consists, not in doing no evil,-no “works” at all,—but in that very beneficence which we are beseeching you to practise. “I was a flungered, and ye gave me meat;” or, “I was a hungered, and ye gave me no meat,” is the revealed ground of final retribution. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Whether our present measure of beneficence is actually imparting that relief to the members of Christ's household, which our ability and obligations demand, is a question of awful moment. Claims like those of our Redeemer we must not think to meet by returning to him the mere “crumbs,” or refuse, of what his own bounty has bestowed upon us. To “lay hold on eternal life,” we must be “rich in good works,”—“willing to distribute.” The parable of the “rich man,” who, when his “ground brought forth plentifully,” thought to appropriate these fruits of his Father's munificence to his own ease and gratification, surnishes a fearful monition of the judgment which awaits the man “that layeth up treasure for himself,” and is not rich towards God. That your earthly treasures, dear brethren, may be laid up and expended for God, is “our heart's desire and prayer to God,” in your behalf.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Winslow, who has spent the last year and a half in this country. The book is principally occupied with the letters and journals of the deceased, interspersed by narrative and remarks by the editor, which exhibit to the reader the character of her mind, and the implantation and growth of her christian principles and her spirit of active usefulness. Mrs. Winslow was one of the first reinforcement sent to the Ceylon mission, and embarked for the scene of her labor in June 1819, and arrived in Jaffna in the following February. In addition to the ordinary care and labor of a mission-family, she had the principal instruction of the boarding-school for girls, in which she exerted great influence, till near the time of her decease, which occurred in January, 1833.

Besides an account of the character and labors of Mrs. Winslow, the book contains a good history of the Ceylon mission, including the plans and labors of the missionaries, and the success attending them, together with almost every important event connected with the mission. It also presents much minute information on various topics, which must be interesting to the friends of missions, relating to the character, customs, and religion of the people—their manner of thinking, and of living; the scenery of their country and its climate. encouragements of missionaries in all the departments of their labor; and throws open to inspection the whole interior of a mission and of a mission-family, exhibiting to the reader what missionary work and missionary life in India are, better, perhaps, than any thing before published.

It also describes the perplexities and

[blocks in formation]

number of laberers. The school-teachers are

[blocks in formation]

have resolved to send forth a large reinforcement in compliance with the above request, should it please the Head of the Church to furnish the suitable men for the enterprise. They will gladly send one company in the ensuing autumn, should it be found practicable to make the necessary arrangements seasonably; and another in the autumn of the next year. The subject is commended to the prayersul consideration of the churches. It should be borne in mind, however, that while we aim to strengthen one mission, the others are not to be neglected. More missionaries are urgently

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Board, 100;) 507 53 Oneida co. N. Y., Aux. So. A. Thomas, Tr. Bainbridge, 27 17 Binghamton, ((Of which from Oli v E R Ely, 40; which and prev. pay. constitute him an Honorary Member of the Board,) 258 34 Chenango Forks, 20 23 Clinton, Cong. chh. 129 42 Coventry, 2d cong. so. v.which and prev. pay. constitu. e Rev. John B. Hoyt an H norary Member of the Board, 37 44 Coventryville, 31 76 Erwin Centre, Mon. con. 15 00 Greene, 99 21 Guilford, 110 26 Hamilton Village, Cong. so. 56 21 Lisle, Fem. miss. so. 15 00 Madison, Cong. so. 35 13 Marshall, D. Barton, 12 00 Mount Vernon So. Sab. coll. 30 18 Norwich, 71 57 Owego, 178 19 Oxford, 28 00 Sherburne, 97 25 Sidney Plains, 22 00 Smyrna, To constitute Rev. SIDNEY MILLs an Honorary Member of the Board, 52 00 South Bainbridge, 10 43 Union, 50,03; cong. chh. 13; 63 03 Whitesboro’, Ladies, to constitute Rev. IRA PETAB on E an Honorary Member of the Board, 50; aux. so. 44,30; Oneida Institute, Mon. con. 8,62; 102 go Newark Valley, 39 00-1,464 74 Orleans co. Vt. Aux. So.C. H. Cook, Tr. Coll. at ann. meeting, 8 00 Barton, Asso. 2 00–10 00 Palestine niss. so. Ms. E. Alden, Tr. Braintree, J. Newcomb, 1,000 00

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »