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lief in any particular creed be tolerated ?' but rather put it, Shall inic quity be encouraged and countenanced to the dishonour of God, and to our own national destruction and confusion as a Christian people??” Pp. 35–38.
Let British Christians at length awake. The danger is imminent, and nothing but energy will win the day. In the strength of God, and in the spirit of prayer and faith, let them go forth to their work. It is not yet time to despair. God may yet have mercy on us. He is chastening us awfully for our past defections:—for who that believes his Bible, can doubt that the judgments which are falling on us are the inflictions of a righteous Judge, for our countenance of that anti-christian system which he had taught us to abhor. But let us return that we may yet inherit a blessing.
Let the Free Church make it known that she is thoroughly a Protestant church, Let not wily politicians insinuate themselves into her councils, and lead her into the devious paths of a halfhearted policy. There has been no ambiguity in her testimony for Christ; let there be none in her testimony against anti-christ. We trust that the next Assembly will give forth no uncertain sound in a matter so unspeakably momentous.
1846. John Johnstone,
Art. V.-The Herald of the Churches.
· This Periodical, like the Continental Echo, has been withdrawn to make way for the organ of the Evangelical Alliance. We are not friendly to the multiplication of magazines ; at the same time we regret the premature end of the Herald of the Churches, “ Evangelical Christendom” will not supply us with those broad views of missionary work and warfare which we have loved to contemplate in the pages of the Herald. As the name of the new Periodical imports, it will rather detail the events that happen within the professing Christian world, than those that happen in the outfields of heathenism.
The Herald has evidently been closed abruptly. A series of papers upon the present aspect of religious parties is left unfinished in the last number, with the promise of being continued in the next. A promise, however, which now will never be fulfilled, unless the accomplished editor—from whose pen we presume they flowed--will take some other medium of communicating the remaining papers to the public. We liked them much; they showed a deep and discriminating knowledge of the religious state of Europe ; and the views which they embodied were presented
in a much less vague and misty way than is commonly the case. Indeed it is not an easy matter to take a comprehensive view of the manifold conflicting elements which are now working in the heart of Christendom; and it is still more difficult to analyse their different forces, and estimate what is to be hoped or feared from each. We think the editor did this part of his duty well.
We have little more to say of this volume in the way of criticism. It is, of course, a mere compilation; and we believe its contents are as miscellaneous and as well-mixed as they could be, considering the multitude of Christian and philanthropic agencies at work, and the large quantity of intelligence published by each of them. The editor has evidently striven to give the Churches fair play, and for the most part allows each to tell its own tale in its own tongue.
However, while there is little in a book like this to attract the notice of the critic, it affords abundant sources of calm reflection to the Christian. Let it be remembered that here are chronicled all the most eventful occurrences of the past most eventful twelvemonth, not in the circle of politics or science, but in the everlasting kingdom of our God and Saviour ;-that here are described the movements and operations, the successes and sufferings of all the different branches of the Lord's host;—and that here are embalmed the names of His dear servants who have died in the battle, or earned the martyr's crown,-and it will be seen that no human production can possibly yield so much interesting and solid instruction as these annals of the imperishable work of God. • What are missionary records,” it has been said, “what, but the Book of Acts prolonged through our own time.” The Fathers used to call the Book of Acts, most appropriately, “ The Gospel of the Holy Ghost.” So that missionary intelligence, rightly given and rightly read, declares nothing less than the glorious proceedings of the Holy Ghost. And we shall offer no apology to our readers for recalling some of those facts which have appeared in this volume, and mentioning some of those lessons which they seem to suggest.
1. We are struck, at first sight, with the multiplicity of Christian agencies that are at work, and the wide extent over which they have scattered their operations. Every evangelical church has its cohort in the field. The whole face of the heathen world is dotted over with missionary stations-shining out like stars on a dark sky. Thus Protestantism is at length relieved from the argument which Fenelon used against it: “ It cannot be of God, because it is not evangelistic.” On beholding the vast number of points that have been seized and invested by Christian missionaries, one might conclude that the field must soon be won.
However, when he learned the true state of things--when her learned that each of these posts, occupying so prominent a place on the missionary map, was held and garrisoned by a single som litary soldier, or at most by two or three, he would feel sorely disappointed, and, would probably be disposed to question is not to condemn+the policy of scattering soldiers in thati way.is single-handed over the wide world. And truly, if we were to be guided in this matter by the maxims of human wisdom, or the practices of human warfare, we would be forced to condemn it! too. Concentration, not diffusion, is the principle of military tactics. And he would be deemed a fool who thought he couldı win a country by spreading his resources over the widest possible space, and planting them-each man apart in the strong towns and on the mountain taps. Our warfare, however, proceeds ton different principles, and we are prepared not only to admit that the diffusive policy is a marked feature of the missionary enterprise, but to defend it. Light is lost when many lamps are placed together. Light-houses are never built upon contiguous rooks : each stands at the centre, and illuminates the darkness of a wide circle of its own. We think it should be so with our missionary stations. And if it be asked how can they, with such weak defence, be sustained against the ebullitions of heathen rage and how can they be succoured and supplied with fresh light standing so far apart and so far away, among snows and icebergs, and weary, sandy wastes? We answer, that their security and supply are altogether independent of the mother church that gave them birth. Like the lighthouse they can stand the shock of the stormy waters, because they are on the rock; and the fuel of their ever-burning fires is drawn from God's word-ignited rand inflamed by God's Spirit. Seldom does our faith receive a finer illustration of its power than when it is seen leading by the hand the missionary and the missionary's wife into the heart of a savage land, and bidding them there pitch their tent and preach the gospel. Were it for no other end but to embolden our timid Christianity, and invigorate the Church's faith in God, we should like to see new enterprises undertaken, and newexploits attempted, deliberately of course, but in uninterrupted succession U-1979
We have sometimes, however, to do battle with good men, who are anxious to contract, as far as possible, our missionary operations--to withdraw the advanced posts, and concentrate all our labours upon a few chief points. So far als we understand their feeling, it seems to arise from dissatisfaction with the results of missionary work. They are anxious to see fruit in regularly constituted churches and evangelized communities. We believe, however, that our duty is best done otherwise, that we
ard acting more tint accordance with the mind of Christ?97/Ye skatl be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." we believe this is the law of the kingdom; 'under it Christ has a daimi upon us, that every dark valley shall see the true light, andrevery mountain repeat his name: * Preach the Gospel to avery creature." ? Every creaturethen hastal claimi'y
"upon us, 474 vinely constituted, to hear the Gospel, and the main question for the churchés tot consider" is plainly this, how can we in shortesti time tell the glad tidings of the Gospel to the greatest number144. After this I beheld, and lo a great number which nod man could number of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palmis in their hands.” Heaven toofthas á claim upon us--heaven has a separate joy for each returning, repenting soul; but will it not greet with a double joy the first representative of a new tribe, the first fruits of a new nation? We believe that the church will ever enjoy the richest outpourings of the Holy Ghost, when she is casting her sons as well as her seed upon the waters. Dr Chalmers loves the thickset better than the broad-cast husbandry. So do we. But the territorial principle, even though it were applied most rigorously, would not withdraw one missionary from his post, however isolated. It would simply describe a line round him, and admionish bim to do no more work than was contained within it, because he could do no more well. In considering this subject, only let it be remembered, that the church is in some sort the depositary of the Spirit, for it abides with her; and then let it be remembered, that the Spirit has come from heaven, commissioned to convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judg ment, and it will be felt how awful a responsibility remains with her, if she confines and cramps his blessed energies, if she does not give Him free way across the world. If we wish for the day-break, and for the reign of light, and order, and life, we must let the Spiriti move upon the face of the waters. issirinli ... 2. As a result of this diffusive policy, we find a universal and increasing demand for labourers. Every land' is 'stretching out its, hands imploring help, but the churches are plainly unfit to meet the world's wants. The most of thein stem to have reached their maximum of effort; even 'where the means'are not wanting, men-are. The Presbyterian Church of England has been searching for a missionary to proceed to China, for two years, in vain; our own missions need replenishing, but the candidates for missionary work are few. An idea seems to have taken hold upon our minds in Scotland, that God has destined our country, or as some would have it, our Froe Church, to be the rallying point of Christendom, and the refuge of His persecuted truth; and hence, that it is our duty to husband our resources, compact our strength, and closely guard our citadel. Every man, it is argued, who is detached from the garrison, and sent into the field, causes a breach in the walls of our witnessing church, and endanger's its stability. This idea, sufficiently flattering to ourselves, and falling in very well with our natural love of staying at home, seems to us a Jewish, rather than a Christian idea, savouring of the economy
rather than that which now is. We need not dwell upon it. The distinctive feature of the two dispensations is well known, the one being strictly local, the other meant to be universally diffusive. But we would require some stronger arguments than have been advanced yet, to convince us that the dealings of Christ with our church ought to be interpreted to the effect of concentrating all, or nearly all our forces within the entrenchments, while such urgent calls for aid are coming from the foreign field. At all events, we would like to see that principle, so admirably acted upon in the Church of Rome, adopted in our own, and impressed upon our incipient ministers, namely this,—that every minister is a servant of his church, entirely at her disposal, either for home or foreign service. Another direction in which we desire to see this principle applied, is by erecting our Indian institutions into missionary colleges, not for India alone, but for Asia and Australasia.
The mighty kingdoms that lie round Hindostan seem inaccessible to us in any other way. European missionaries are not forthcoming for the work in China, Persia, Thibet. Let the Hindoo converts have this honour. These noble-hearted youths, who have entered the kingdom through much tribulation, who have already broken the ties of caste and kindred,—they are prepared to endure hardness, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. But India demands all her sons for herself, it may be said ; doubtedly, she does; but whether the demand should be conceded is the question answered in the preceding paragraph. Evangelical churches have come all to occupy both a home and foreign field of operation : we wish to see the churches of India assuming the same position. The ordination of the first foreign missionary from our Indian colleges we shall hail with great joy.
3. Missionary stations are many—missionaries are few—but the number of neither constitutes the main element of success in the missionary enterprise. It is “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.” Has the Spirit been poured out upon us from on high? Has He raised the dead, and breath