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whole Patriarchate there were not less than one hundred and twenty millions of Christians. Then in Italy, Spain, France and Ireland, there were five hundred and twentyfive Dioceses, averaging more than one hundred Parishes to a Diocese, and giving twenty-six millions of Christians. To these must be added a large number of Christians in Persia, in India, in Ethiopia, as also in Britain and the north of Europe. In Persia alone there were as many as fifty Dio
In A. D., 330, the Bishops of thirty-three of these Dioceses suffered martyrdom at the same time. In one Diocese alone, two hundred and fifty of the inferior clergy suffered with their Bisbop. It cannot be an over estimate therefore if we allow one hundred Dioceses in all these countries with at least five millions of Christians.
Now if we bring together the result of these calculations, we shall have at least two hundred and seventy or two hundred and eighty millions of Christians in the year A.D., 450, in Dioceses, the names of which have been preserved to this day, and this is little, if any, short of the whole number of noininal Christians at the present time, on the face of the globe. In this estimate the fifth century is not taken as the period when the nunber of nominal Christians was greater than at any other time, but only as contrasted with the present. Possibly there may be some mistakes in the computation; though I have followed the very learned investigation which was made a few years ago by the late Rev. Dr. Chapin of New Haven, in his “ Primitive Church," and who assured me in a private letter written only a short time before his death, that he had no reason to doubt the accuracy of his computation. But granting all that may be required for mistakes in the estimate, still the strange and startling fact is one that cannot be denied and which must be boldly looked in the face, that the number of nominal Christians at the present tiine on the face of the globe, is scarcely greater than it was in the fifth century of the Christian era.
No doubt there have been new accessions of physical, intellectual and moral power, new and fresh demonstrations of the Divine origin and authority of the Christian Church. The Christian nations of the earth are more civilized, and enlightened, and more free; and the hidden leaven of God's Truth has been continually at work in renovating and ameliorating the condition of mankind. But in converting the heathen and the savage, in demolishing the idols of Pagan and Heathen Idolatry, in reaching the debased and ignorant masses of the world, and extending over numbers the influences of the Redeemer's Kingdom we have scarcely advanced at all.
Is not this a startling fact? And one before which the Christian world should tremble and turn pale with guilt and shame? Can it be possible? Can it be possible that since the glorious Reformation-a period of more than three hundred years, with all the unnumbered advantages which we have possessed; with the art of printing to aid in disseminating the Scriptures—with the vast machinery of means which have been brought into action by various societies, expressly to propagate the Gospel—and the modern invention of revivals—can it be possible that little or no actual progress has been made in converting the nations ? Alas! the fact is most painful and humiliating; and yet as a fact, susceptible of the clearest deinonstration, it ought to be rung in the ears of Christians, until all are convinced and are willing to acknowledge that something is fatally and radically wrong.
Here then is unfolded a question of infinite inomentwhat is that something? Where is that wrong? To answer these questions requires not the vision of a seer or the tongue of a prophet; for the seers and prophets have spoken. On this subject the Scriptures are as clear and plain as upon any other, and there can be no mistake as to their interpretation. We have only to look at our Saviour's prayer in the Garden of Gethsemene.
- Neither pray I for these alone,” that is not alone for the Apostles and faithful few who have become My disciples, “but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word,” that is for all succeeding generations of Christians in all the ages of the world, “ that they all may be one." Not that they may agree to disagree, which would be treason to the truth, not simply that they may have some views and principles in common for the maintenance of which they may be willing to coalesce and contend; not that they may be united together as conspirators for the accomplishment of their evil purposes, but that they may be one, really and truly one, as having One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism—that they may be one, even as Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee, that they may be one in Us, that is, that their unity as Christians may be as perfect as
be as perfect as it can be, outwardly and inwardly, visibly and invisibly, as members of One Body and partakers of One Spirit.
And then comes the reason—the grand considerationthe all-important end and object of this oneness," that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me."
Upon what then depends the conversion of the world? Plainly, not upon the influence of numbers, not upon secn. lar authority and power, not upon worldly pomp and glory, not upon missionary meetings and missionary schools, not upon the talents, learning and eloquence of man, not upon zeal or energy or labor of sectarian pride or prejudice, but under God and in accordance with His will, upon the Unity of the Church.
I say not the union of the Church, for there may be union without unity; a mere coalition of discordant elements based upon the principles of temporary policy and expediency and destined to break out into the production of a thousand factions, but unity, oneness.
Can nothing be done to restore the lost unity of Christendom? Yes, much every way, and even by ourselves. We can ourselves be examples of that unity, and so let our light shine before mien. We can continue stedfast,"
"as did the early disciples, “in the Apostolic doctrine and fellowship; in breaking of bread in the prayers.” We can hold fast as they did “the form of sound words,” and we
mark those who cause division” and at least avoid “their evil example.” We can exercise the virtues of firmness, patience and fortitude, and we can have that “ fervent charity among ourselves, which covers a multitude of sins."
pray for the whole state of Christ's Church militant," not merely for those who are called Evangelical and who do not constitute one-twentieth part of Christendom, but we can enlarge our petitions and our hearts for "all who profess and call themselves Christians," for the Greek and the Oriental, the Roman and the Protestant. We can remember with joy that the great majority of the Christian world are Episcopal, and notwithstanding the additions and corruptions of the Faith here and there, yet, God be praised! we have all the same prayers, the same sacraments, the same fasts and festivals, and the same Apostolic ministry. Therefore we can feel that having such common ground to stand upon, the barriers which separate us may be broken down; and the blessed and glorious oneness for which the Saviour prayed, and upon which depends the conversion of the world, may be restored; restored not as it was when kings and emperors began to call it theirs and adorn it with gold; but restored as it was in the days of its virgin purity, when suffering and reproach and chains were its only insignia; when the fire, the rack and the gibbet were its only preferments and rewards. God be praised, we can place our hope and trust in Him, and in answer to our prayers, “He can show wonders among the dead, and cause even the dead to rise up and praise Him," and therefore, though we weep as we remember Zion, and sigh to see her in the dust, yet even now we may encourage ourselves with the hope that the time is not far distant when we shall see eye to eye,” and the lost unity of Christendom be restored in the One Holv Catholic Church.
Grant it gracious God!
For which admiring angels should renew
JAMES A. BOLLES.
THE WEAKNESS AND STRENGTH OF
The impression prevails that the pulpit of our day is not the power that it has been, and that it is doubtful if its prestige will ever be recovered. The Pulpit and the Press have been compared as though they were rivals, and the palm has been awarded to the latter. This seems to me to be a great mistake; there is fairly no rivalry in the case; the spheres of the two are different. Preaching is not mere authorship; and the press, while it may help, can never take the place of the pulpit.
Reading what a man has written out of his own head, or upon his own responsibility, is a different and lower thing from hearing what one says who faces us with a message from God, and this is preaching. The hearer of it goes through an exercise widely different from that in which he reads what is written. It calls into play in him other and keener susceptibilities, and the effects differ accordingly. Over and above this difference, preaching is a Divine ordinance, and like every other, it can have no rival and no substitute in the field assigned to it. We are not indeed to believe that God ties Himself to this ordinance, or to any other, in such a way as to refuse its virtue to other instrumentalities. All visible means whatsoever, may be dispepsed with by Him at His pleasure. A field of exception is to be recognized, in which we can only say that God works in ways known to Himself.
There is a weakness of the Pulpit, as there is the power of it. And the design of this paper is to point ont some of the elements of that power; the absence or loss of