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around which all can rally against the common foe. Amid the icy selfishness of the world around, it has called forth warm streams of Christian liberality. It has given employment to energies which would otherwise have been wasted in the arena of angry controversy. It has given a heart to the church, stirred its deepest sympathies for the world, brought large accessions to its numbers, enlarged its views, and brightened its visions, of the reign of Christ, filled many of its members with a sense of self-dissatisfaction, of utter dependence on God, of aching want and craving desire for something more, and some. thing better, than it yet possesses; so that its loudest prayers are prayers for the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit: from all of which we infer, that a full return in faith and prayer to the aggressive design of the Christian church would be a full return to its first prosperity.

III. Now if such be the design of the church, and such its illustrative history, let us, thirdly, attempt to enforce that design; and we shall find that the motives of the Christian church, and its responsibility as a witness for God, are greater now than at any preceding period. Not only do all the original motives to this duty exist: they exist in aggravated force, and others in addition have come to reinforce them.

1. For instance, the first witnesses for Christ required no higher motive for duty than the divine command of their risen Lord. They no sooner saw that he designed his church to bear his testimony to the world, than they hastened to obey. Brethren, that design is not merely essentially the same-i e-it is now more apparent than ever. Could those first witnesses return to the church on earth again, they would find that the history of every church, since the time of Christ, had unceasingly illustrated and enforced that design, without a moment's intermission. "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." And this is the language of the Spirit as he conducts us over the ruins of once flourishing churches"Exist aggressively, or not at all. Behold in the state of every existing Christian church an illustration of the principle, that to act the evangelical missionary church is to prosper; to neglect it is to languish and perish."

2. "But is there the same necessity for a witnessing church now as at first?" The wants of the world are more urgent than ever; or, what amounts to the same thing in the matter of our responsi bility, we are better acquainted with them, and our facilities for meeting, as far as Christian instrumentality can meet them, are greater than ever. The map of the world, in the days of the apostles, was only the map of a province, compared with that which lies open before Every geographical discovery since has only served to enlarge our ideas of the great Satanic empire. O! in what a small minority does the Christian stand! What a fearful expanse of darkness around him!-and that darkness how dense!-and what hideous enormities does it conceal! There cruelty has its chosen habitation, and feasts perpetually on human blood. There superstition has its temples, and its sacrifices of human suffering, and its music of human groans. There sin has its priesthood-its ceremonial of murder, and its ritual of lust!

By a very slight effort of the imagination, we can cause the hosts

of evil to pass before us; and what a spectacle to behold! First, come the Jews out of all nations under heaven, each with a vail over his heart, and stained with the blood of the Just One. Next, nominal Christians, by myriads, and from all parts of Europe, headed by one who drags a Bible in triumph, as a dangerous book, and embraces an image, or an amulet, instead. Then comes the crescent of imposture, followed by Turkey and Persia, by large tracts of India, the islands of the Eastern Sea, Egypt and northern Africa, the inhabitants of the largest and the fairest portions of the globe. After these, the swarthy tribes of Africa, central, western, and southern, with their descendants of the Western Indies, laden with the spells of witchcraft, and covered with the charms of their Fetish worship. Now come the aborigines of the two Americas, and the islanders of the great Pacific-fresh from the scalp-dance, the cannibal feast, or the worship of the snake-god. Next, the selfish Chinese, one-third of the species--in appearance all idolaters-in reality all atheists-a world of atheists, to whom all truth is a fable, and all virtue a mystery. Last comes India--the nations of southern Asia, and the many islands of the Eastern Sea, a thousand tribes, including infanticides, cannibals, and the offerers of human blood, draggging their idol-gods, an endless train, with Juggernaut at their head, worn with the toil of their penances, and marked with the scars of self-torture. And who are these that close the train? The Thugs of India, just discovered-a vast fraternity of secret murderers—the votaries of Kalee, who has given one-half of the human race to be slaughtered for her honor. O God, and is this thy world! Are these thy creatures! Where is thy church? O, righteous Father, the world hath not known thee, and thy church, appointed to declare thee, hath neglected to fulfil her trust! Christians, did you count their numbers as they passed? Six hundred millions at least. Did you ask yourselves, as they passed, whither they were going? Follow them, and see. Can you do so, even in imagination, without feeling an impulse to rush and erect the cross between them and ruin? That is your office; that is the great practical design for which the church exists, to go and testify this faithful saying, that Christ has come to save them all. "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord."

3. Ánd this reminds us of another inducement,-the testimony of the gospel is divinely adapted to them. It is not the fearful burden of Isaiah, threatening judicial blindness and hardness of heart, or we might hesitate to go. It is gospel. It is a message from pity to misery-an invitation from mercy to guilt. It is a gift from the fulness of God to the emptiness of man. The witness for Christ takes with him a treasure more precious than the ancient Jew, could he have taken the ark of the temple. Christian missionaries, you take with you tears-the tears of incarnate compassion; blood-the expiatory blood of the Son of God. "Before your eyes," said the apostle to the Galatians, "Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you." Brethren, you go to India with the cross, to repeat the scenes of Calvary, to let the Hindoo see Christ crucified before his eyes. Do you feel sufficiently the grandeur of your message? You go to Africa with the identical gospel that Paul took to Rome. You go to China with the identical blessing that Christ brought from heaven.

O, it was the

consideration of their subject-its necessity, its adaptation, its infinite grace and glory, which fired the apostles-which made them think little of life itself when this was at stake-which made them wonder that any should suppose that persecution could affright them from their office-which gave them the air of ambassadors, the port of kings-which would have led them, if necessary, to contend for precedence with an angel. You go to address a nature which, however depraved, was originally preconfigured to the truth, and the message you bear is divinely adapted to the moral state which that depravity has created-and the Spirit goes with you to give it effect. You go to tell the victims of imposture of essential truth-to point the eye of the Hindoo widow from the corpse of her husband to Him who is the resurrection and the life-to tell the infanticide mother that she may save her offspring, and may press them to her heart to tell the followers of Boodha of a true incarnation--and the parched pilgrim of the desert, of a well of water that springeth up to everlasting life-and the devotee of the Ganges, of the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost-and the self-torturing votary of cruelty, that the name of God is Love-and the self-immolating worshipper of Juggernaut, of the sacrifice offered once for all, and of the blood which cleanseth from all sin. O, find out the nation where guilt has been hourly accumulating ever since the time of the deluge; and the command of Christ is, "Go to it." And, having gone, challenge them to produce the one guiltiest man of their nation; and the command of Christ is, " Offer him redemption through the blood of the cross." Have they, as many of the nations have, a fabulous tradition that such or such a cavern is the mouth of hell? Ask them to lead you to it; for even there, could the dreadful spot be found, your commission would extend to the very brink; for He whom you preach is able to save even to that uttermost.

Brethren, in testifying to the necessity and divinity of the gospel, you occupy higher ground than did even the apostles. Since their day, nearly eighteen hundred years have added their testimony to the fact that man by searching cannot find out God-that spiritual deliverance, to be effectual, must come direct from heaven; and nearly eighteen hundred years have only served to demonstrate the sufficiency of the gospel remedy. Guilt, which might destroy a world, has been cancelled by it-iron chains of sin have been burst asunder-hearts filled with pollution made habitations of God,-where Satan's seat was, happy communities have been formed— earth has been blessed by it-and heaven has been hourly growing louder in its praise. In affirming its necessity, then, all history is speaking in your voice; the nations that have perished-all the lost-rise up and confirm your testimony, and urge you to repeat it with a deeper, and yet deeper, emphasis. And in proclaiming its efficacy, the thousands who in every age have been saved by it urge you to speak louder in its praise--the chorus of all heaven comes to your aid, ascribing "salvation to the Lamb that was slain."

4. Again, think of the certainty that the testimony of the gospel shall ultimately and universally prevail. We do not undertake to say that the present kind of Christian instrumentality alone will eause it to prevail-that no new machinery, no miraculous agency,

will come to its aid. But, whatever the means employed, the end will be gained and gained as the result of all that had in any way been scripturally done to obtain it-the gospel, in the most enlarged sense, shall be preached as a witness to all nations.

Where now is Diana of the Ephesians? Where now are Jupiter and the gods of Greece?-and where the whole Pantheon of Rome? The first Christians testified against them, and they vanished. Witnesses for Christ came to Britain—and where now are Woden, and all the Saxon gods; Hessus, and all the more ancient and sanguinary rites of the Druids? Brethren, the idols we assail have long since been routed; and the sword which we wield routed them. The gods of India are the same, under different names, which Italy and Greece adored: the sword of the Lord chased them from the West; and shall it do less now in the East? Many of them are already fallen. "Bel boweth down, and Nebo stoopeth." And the Christian missionary, approaching and standing before the most crowded temple and the firmest throne that idolatry boasts, is divinely warranted in taking up a burden against it, and saying, "Thy days are numbered, and thine end draweth near." Yes, if there be stability in a divine decree-merit in the mediation of Christ,-if any truth in the doctrine of his reign-any power in the agency of his Spirit, the prediction shall be fulfilled. Prior to the ultimate triumph of the gospel, indeed, unnumbered events may transpire which have not yet been conceived. It is possible, even, that the affairs of the kingdom of Christ may at times assume a doubtful aspect, and his people may begin to wonder how he can retrieve them. But he sees no difficulty-he feels no perplexity. At any moment he can touch some secret spring which shall silently and imperceptibly, but most effectually, change the whole aspect of his affairs. Looking on to the end, he sees nothing desirable which he has not provided for,-nothing adverse which he has not provided against. The history of the world, to the latest period of time, is written already in his mind. Every province of idolatry and error has its limit and its date appointed there. The angel is already selected who shall eventually shout," Babylon is fallen, is fallen." The chorus is appointed whose voices are to resound, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." "And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth." Brethren, if we listen, we can hear that voice too; for even now are they rehearsing for the glorious day,--and every hour increases the chorus, and every echo that reaches us rebukes our indolence as witnesses for God, and proclaims the dignity of our office, and the certainty of our success.

5. And, then, think what the consequences of that success would be. Civilization? The missionary of the cross, indeed, is the missionary of civilization. This the gospel taught first at imperial Rome,--cleansing her amphitheatre of human blood; and evincing that her boasted civilization had been only a splendid barbarism. Morality? The missionary of the cross is the missionary of morality. The gospel produced charity even in Judea, humility at Athens, chastity at Corinth, humanity at Rome. And wherever it

has gone, in our own day, liberty, morality, education, the arts of civilization, and the blessings of commerce, have followed in its train. It has extinguished the fires of the suttee, and called away the cannibal from his unholy feast. It elevates the barbarian into a man, and raises the man into a useful member of society. It turns the wandering horde of the wilderness into a civilized community, and calls it to take rank among the nations. There is but one art which the gospel does not promote; as the peace-maker of the world, it steps between the ranks of war, and, taking the weapons of death away, it declares that men shall learn war no more; and, joining their hands in amity, it says to them, "Love as brethren." O! could mere human civilization effect results such as these, how soon would her image be set up, and what multitudes would fall down and worship! But these are triumphs for the gospel alone, and triumphs which it achieves incidentally, by aiming at greater things than these.

The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. It raises the savage into the man by making him a new creature in Christ Jesus; it prepares him for civil society by making him a member of a Christian church. In the zeal of its new-found existence, that church becomes a witness for Christ to others; the word of God sounds forth into all the regions round about; and similar triumphs result, only to be followed by similar labors and triumphs again. Thus every step of present success is a new facility for a farther advance, and an additional pledge of universal triumph.


O, there is a day-call it the millennium, or by any other namethere is a period yet destined to bless the earth, when it shall no more be necessary to witness for God, for all shall know him; the knowledge of his glory shall fill the earth as the waters cover the sea. Happy state of Christian triumph!—a day without a cloud— the reproach of indolence wiped away from the church, and of ignorance from the world. Truth shall have completed the conquest of error-Christ shall have given law to the world-and, pressing his image on every heart, shall receive the homage of a renovated race. Brethren, these are visions-but they are the visions of God-and let nothing rob us of the inspiration to be derived from gazing at them. They are visions-but visions painted by the hand of God-dear in every age to the church of Godgazed on in death by the Son of God. Yes, then they were brought and set before him, and such was the joy with which they filled him, that he endured the cross, despising the shame. Then, on the lofty moral elevation of the cross, all the ages of time, and all the triumphs of his church, passed in review before him. He saw our missionaries go forth in his name to distant climes-again he looked, and saw them surrounded by ten thousand converts to his grace. He saw the vail fall from the heart of the Jews; and heard their bitter mourning as they stood looking at Him whom they had pierced. He saw Ethiopia stretching out her hands unto God. He heard his name shouted from land to land as the watchword of salvation, and marked how its every echo shook and brought down the pillars of the empire of sin. He saw the race of Ishmael that now traverses the desert tracts of Arabia-the castes of India with their numbers infinite-the national Chinese-the

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