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power to make the indulgence of that disposition the source of more misery than happiness. Hence, when men confer a benefit upon a portion of their brethren, it is generally preceded by a protracted struggle to decide which can inflict most, or which can suffer longest. Hence, the arm of the patriot is generally, and of necessity, bathed in blood. Hence, with the shouts of victory from the nation he has delivered, there arise also the sigh of the widow, and the weeping of the orphan. Man produces good by the apprehension, or the infliction of evil. The Gospel produces good by the universal diffusion of the principles of benevolence. In the former case, one party must generally suffer; in the latter, all parties are certainly more happy. The one, like the mountain torrent, may fertilize, now and then, a valley beneath, but not until it has wildly swept away the forest above, and disfigured the lovely landscape with many an unseemly scar. Not so the other;
“ It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
Upon the place beneath ; it is twice bless'd
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.” Consider the efficucy of these means. The reasons which teach us to rely upon them with confidence, may be thus briefly stated.
1. We see that all which is really terrific in the misery of man, results from the disease of his moral nature. If this can be healed, man may be restored to happiness. Now the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the remedy devised by Omniscience, specifically for this purpose, and therefore we do certainly know that it will inevitably succeed.
2. It is easy to be seen, that the universal obedience to the command, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself,” would make this world a heaven. But nothing other than the Gospel of Christ can persuade men to this obedience. Reason cannot do it; philosophy cannot do it; civilization cannot do it. The cross of Christ alone has power to bend the stubborn will to obedience, and melt the frozen heart to love. For, said one who had experienced its efficacy, the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they which live, should not live to themselves, but unto Him who died for them, and rose again.
3. The preaching of the cross of Christ is a remedy for the miseries of the fall, which has been tested by the experience of eighteen hundred years; and has never, in a
MORAL DIGNITY OF THE MISSIONARY ENTERPRISE.
single instance, failed. Its efficacy has been proved by human beings of all ages, from the lisping infant to the sinner a hundred years old. All climates have witnessed its power. From the ice-bound cliffs of Greenland to the banks of the voluptuous Ganges, the simple story of Christ crucified has turned men from darkness to light, and from the power
of Satan unto God. 4 And lastly, we know from the word of the living God, that it will be successful, until this whole world has been redeemed from the effects of man's first disobedience. As truly as I live, saith Jehovah, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Ask of me, saith he to his Son, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. In the revelation which he gave to his servant John, of things which should shortly come to pass ; “ I heard,” said the apostle, “great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Here, then, is the ground of our unwavering confidence. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the word of God, until all be fulfilled.” Such, then, are the means on which we rely for the accomplishment of our object, and such the grounds upon which we rest our confidence of success.
And now, deliberately consıder the nature of the missionary enterprise. Reflect upon the dignity of its object; the high moral and intellectual powers which are to be called forth in its execution; the simplicity, benevolence, and efficacy of the means by which all this is to be achieved ; and we ask you, does not every other enterprise to which man ever put forth his strength, dwindle into insignificance, before that of preaching Christ crucified to a lost and perishing world ?
Reader! allow me to inquire, are you identified with this man-ennobling and God-glorifying work? If so, let prayer abound; let personal effort increase; and let the property entrusted to you as a steward, be faithfully and abundantly employed in forwarding it.
May God of his grace enable us to receive his truth as it is in Jesus, and so to act as will meet his approval when he cometh.
THE ENGLISH MONTHLY TRACT SOCIETY,
27, RED LION SQUARE,
J.& W. Rider, Printers, Bartholomew Close, London.
INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS OF SOCIETY
VIEWED IN CONNEXION WITH
We necessarily presume, that any system which should heal the moral diseases of the human family, and restore its hopes, would be equally adapted to the common nature, and to all the rariety of circumstances in which that nature may be placed. This presun,ption too is strengthened, when it is remembered, that the promulgation of this system, and the administration of its advantages, are intrusted to unskilful hands; the remedy, to be a catholicon, must in itself be adapted to every disorder. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” The revelation of mercy, the gospel of our salvation, though always essentially the same, admitting of no accommodation in its grand principles to human prejudices, is, nevertheless, wisdom so condensed, as to be capable of expansion to any extent; and so elastic, as to be applicable to all the circumstances of the freeman and the slave, of the Greek and the barbarian, the sage and the savage. It could quench the cherubic sword to the faithful, before the flood; it could render the ark a floating church ; it could speak an intelligible language amidst the confusion of Babel, and make the patriarchal tent a Bethel ; it could mix up
itself with the independent governments of the judges and the kings, and soothe the captive and the tributary; it could dwell either in Cæsar's prison or in Cæsar's palace, and wear either the confessor's bonds or the imperial purple.
Christianity is only a form of gracious revelation, more visible, and rich, and attractive indeed, than those which have preceded it, yet essentially the same ; for Abel and Abraham were justified by faith, as well as Simeon and Paul. Christianity, therefore, has an aspect of benignity on human society, in what condition soever it may be placed ; and she has already attended man, inviting him to blessing, in almost every possible state of social degradation, and of social eminence.
To exhibit the phenomena of mind, is one great office of history, and to deduce principles from these exhibitions, is the business of philosophy; but the moral of the phenomena can only be interpreted by revelation, and essentially improved by the gospel,—“the grace of God, which bringeth salvation, and which hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world ; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who
himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
We cannot subscribe to that philosophy, which tells us that the original state of man was not only barbarous, but also half brutal—that he was an ape without a tail; because the only book which is of sacred origin, asserts, that man was created in the intellectual and moral image of God, a fact perfectly agreeing with the heathenish mythology of the Saturnian age. The ignorance subsequent, is accounted for by the fall—by the daring impiety consequent on the fallby the dispersion, and by the pressure of animal wants—and above all, by the apostolic statement,-“ Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful ; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Man's ignorance of all the arts necessary to a state of simplicity, and of all the science which perceives and recognizes God in his works, is the consequence of his alienation from his Creator. He paints the glass till he excludes the light.
The little correct knowledge seen in heathenish mythology and philosophy, may be chiefly traced, if not entirely, to traditions originating in revelation ; and though mind has at times exhibited phenomena, which, like the fragments of art in Greece and Rome, prove its ancient grandeur; yet the general scenery has been desolation, and the few lights which have glimmered in the gloomy expanse, have only rendered the darkness visible, and shed a melancholy gleam on the contemplative eye. The bulk of mankind, even amidst the intellectual splendour of antiquity, was ignorant; and if a few master minds possessed the ideal of virtue, and could express the image of their souls in the numbers of poetry, and the flow of eloquence, they were yet unable to embody their thoughts in the practical moralities of life--to produce animated virtue, and living piety. Rome, when she extinguished the liberty, destroyed the mental light of Greece, and was in her turn to suffer a dark and long night of superstition, barbarism, and slavery: a degradation in which all Europe participated. “ Darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people.” A feeble lunar light indeed fell on Arabian genius; and in the school3, a few were amused with categories, and syllogisms, and airy subtleties, but the mass of mind was ignorance and stagnation. So infatuated was even the thinking part of the world with Aristotle, that if a man like Roger Bacon dared to look into the arcana of nature, and to establish principles on phenomena, he was deemed to be mad, and to have a devil! Art, science, language, revived with the Reformation ; and the inductive reasoning introduced by Lord Bacon, and worked with so much effect by Newton in the world of matter, and by Locke in the world of mind, aided by hosts of emancipated spirits, has poored a flood of light on the civilized portion of the earth. Like machinery by the application of steam, mind has recently been moved by an astonishing force; and not only have some of the arts and sciences, as mechanics and chemistry, received new forms, but political economy, mental philosophy, and general information, and general habits of thinking, have extended rapidly, till the tradesman and the mechanic “ feed on thought,” and assume the character of rational intelligences.
We might here prove, that while literature and science have mutually co-operated with Christianity, in carrying on the improvement of mind, and while the latter is bound to acknowledge her obligations to the former, Christianity has taken the lead, and has been a greater benefactress than a debtor. Seasons of the greatest moral excitement, have been those of the greatest intellectual activity and advance. Even the lingering remains of the Gospel which hovered about religious houses, were tutelary guardians of literature; the chivalry of Christianity, low as the true feeling of piety was in the crusaders, imported much knowledge into Europe, and (to say nothing of the caliphate) destroyed baronial tyranny. Wickliffe, Huss, and Jerome, preceded Erasmus, and the reformation of Luther the reformation of Bacon. The last century was remarkable for a revival of Religion in Great Britain, and this period is distinguished by improved inteligence: and we scruple not to affirm, whatever obligation we acknowledge to the promoters of useful knowledge, that the schoolmaster had never been abroad, and with so much success, had not the ministers of Jesus Christ been first in the field, and in the highways and hedges, preaching and