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into the number of the elect; and that when they are thus admitted, not by their own merits, but by God's free
into the privileges of the church, we are to instruct them as to the manner in which those privileges are to be used, and to warn them of the awful danger of neglecting so great salvation.
Now this is a subject, which, especially in these days, is deserving of the greatest attention. For if it be admitted, and surely, the unprejudiced hearer will admit, that this is a fair and legitimate interpretation of our text, we clearly learn from it that it is our most bounden duty, a duty imposed upon us by the Lord of life and death himself,—by our great spiritual Kingand Master, to establish the Church wherever we can.
For, as to the conversion of a nation without the connivance, or even the encouragement of the civil authorities, the endeavour would be probably as vain as the attempt would be certainly rash. And hence too it follows, that where, as in our own country, the church is established, we are called upon by the highest authority that a christian can possess, to defend its rights, and to maintain its ascendancy, even when the spirits of the air are in league with the spirits of the world to subvert it.
sion is to be executed; and, consequently, as such, it interests the laity as well as the clergy; since the laity though not authorised to minister in sacred things, are in duty bound to be assistant to the clergy in endeavouring to render their ministrations efficacious.
In the first place, then, we are commanded to do—what? our English version says, teach all nations : but by “ teaching,” in the first part of the sentence something different is meant from what is implied by “ teaching." in the conclusion of it. In the original the same word is not used in the two places; the sentence might be rendered thus : Go ye, therefore, and disciple or make disciples of, or convert—whom? not merely individuals but nations, whole communities, consisting of men, women, and children : disciple or convert them—how? even by administering to them the sacrament of regeneration. This done, then tench them to observe all things, whatsoerer 1 hare commanded you to do; having thus given them a title to, then instruct them in the conditions of eternal life. And lo! I am with you always, while thus acting, even unto the end of the world. (a)
The direction, then is this, that we are to receive whole nations into corenant with God;
On these grounds, too, I cannot help thinking that the lamentable, but indisputable failure of the generality of the missionary schemes to which spiritual speculation has given rise within the last few years, is to be traced to this, that instead of acting upon the principle laid down by our Lord for the gradual promulgation of his faith, these modern missionaries act too much according to the devices of the carnal wisdom which they profess to condemnn: that instead of endeavouring to render kings the nursing fathers, and queens the nursing mothers of the church, they labour simply to proselyte individuals ; that instead of being content to proceed by degrees, they seek at once to sow the seed and to reap the fruit. And it is because our two Church of England Societies, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, in union with the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, proceed on a principle the reverse of this, because they advance towards their end slowly and gradually, and by legitimate means ; because unseduced by the impatience of zeal, which, however honest, is not always according to knowledge, unabashed by the mockery of sceptics and scoffers, undeterred by the stern rebuke and bigoted opposition of sophisters and economists, they seek not only to persuade individuals, but to render christianity the national religion of India and the Colonies ;—it is, I say, on these grounds that we build the hope that our children, or at least our children's children, may live to see the empire of the Cross hold more than a divided sway with the empire of the Crescent, and that the pure sacrifice of christian hearts will be offered in temples which are now defiled by the abominations of Idolatry. (B)
Slowly and gradually does the mysterious Providence of our God and Saviour bring to pass those mighty ends which we know from the sure word of Prophecy will be ultimately accomplished. Slow, therefore, and gradual may we fairly expect the progress of Christianity to be.
If, when the civil authorities consent to receive Christianity as the religion of the land, we find the number at first apparently small of those who are influenced by Christian principles, and actuated by spiritual motives—we must forbear from dogmatizing on the measure in which the Saviour sees fit to mete out his gifts. If we insert the leaven, it may
still be at work though unseen by us; if we sow the mustard seed, it may still be