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We think it proper, in a suitable manner, to commemorate great names and great events. The noblest feelings of our nature are thus improved. And frozen be the heart that would withhold due respect from the illustrious dead! Well then, here is "a name, that is above every name that is named." Here is One, who, "by the offering of Himself," has released millions from the bondage of Satan, and from the pains of the second death; and raised them to the "liberty of the sons of God." Here is an event, the blessed influence of which is now felt in both worlds, and will extend for ever. Here is the consummation of a treaty, which binds together the heavens and the earth-which restores man to communion with his Maker-which breaks for ever the power of Satan-which unites in one grand confederacy the wise and good of all ages, all nations, and all worlds;—and which acknowledges the SUPREMACY OF HIM, "whose right it is to reign over all." In comparison with this name and this event, then, let names of patriots and venerated statesmen be forgotten-let the ever memorable day of a nation's birth be commemorated no more: But O, let the great sacrifice of Him, who conquered death and hell, and reconciled earth and heaven, be often commemorated. Let these sacred memorials "show forth the Lord's death, till He come." And when, amid the wreck of worlds, this theatre of blood shall be seen no more, we will sing, with the "ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, WORTHY IS THE LAMB, THAT WAS SLAIN, TO RECEIVE POWER, AND RICHES, AND WISDOM, AND STRENGTH, AND HONOR, AND GLORY, AND BLESSING;-FOR THOU HAST REDEEMED US TO GOD BY THY BLOOD, OUT OF EVERY KINDRED, AND TONGUE, AND PEOPLE, AND NATION."
That song is already begun. It will swell with louder and still louder and sweeter notes for ever. That song tells, in few words, the full meaning of the ordinance before us. But how distressing the thought, that multitudes around perceive not its meaning. now blinds their eyes, and hardens their hearts. "feed on ashes"—they they grasp at wind." shall be savingly opened-if heaven, with all its as desirable as a little spot of earth, or a breath of applause; if the prospect of hell, with its eternal horrors, shall be as appalling as the loss of property; then will they fly to the cross of Christ;-then will they joyfully commemorate, that death, through which believers live,-through which God is glorified, and through which angels are bound to His throne.
The god of this world They cling to earthBut if ever their eyes grandeurs, shall appear
MAT. xxviii. 18, 19, 20.—And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
I RISE to advocate the cause of missions to the heathen and to plead for a dying world. My sole object is to enfore the claims of five hundred millions of perishing men by some plain and simple arguments which have affected my own mind. And I have chosen this text because it contains some of the arguments and suggests the rest. Both the authority of Christ and his personal reward are here distinctly brought to bear on the subject. For his obedience "unto death" he received the inheritance, including "the heathen" and "the uttermost parts of the earth,"* with authority to manage the whole estate.
* Ps. ii. 8.
authority he employed in sending forth missionaries to disciple all nations and to bring to him the unnumbered millions promised for his seed.
My first argument then is founded on the authority of Christ. The injunction in the text was not addressed to the eleven exclusively, but to them as depositories of the divine commands, and through them to the whole body of ministers in every age. This appears from the promise subjoined, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Indeed the eleven were expressly commanded to transmit to their successors all the injunctions which they themselves received, one of which was to disciple all nations. Go ye-and disciple all nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." This command then is now sounding in the ears of the ministers and churches of the nineteenth century.
And yet some when called upon for their aid are heard to say, I do not approve of such things: just as though they had a right to place themselves on the seat of judgment and decide for themselves what they will approve and what not, when the command of God is in their ear and his sword at their breast. Hark! did you not hear that thunder! Curse ye Meroz;-curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty."
My second argument is grounded on the example of Christ and his apostles. The Saviour of the world sent out a band of missionaries and charged them to "preach the Gospel to every creature;" "and they went forth and preached every where" "that men should repent." No one objection can be raised against missions at the present day, which will not equally lie against Christ and his apostles. The attempt is no more presumptuous now than then; the prospect is no more discouraging; the difficulties are no greater; the power that is engaged to give success is the same, for the promise remains unchanged, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
My third argument is founded on what we owe to the heathen. Is the Gospel no blessing to you? And would it not be an equal bless
• Judg. v. 23.
ing to them? And are we not bound to extend to others all the happiness in our power? To say that Pagans can be as happy without the Gospel as with it, is to say that the Gospel is no blessing to men; and then you do not believe that it came from God. If the Gospel would be no blessing to the heathen, why do you preach or support it at home? Are you universalists? But still you find motives enough to preach or support what you call the Gospel at home. Why then not send it to other nations? If all mankind are to be saved, and mercy requires that the tidings be circulated with sectarian zeal through Christendom, to dispel the gloomy fears of former generations, why not send the glorious news to Asia? If things are so, let armies of missionaries be collected to stop those bloody rites which guilt and fear have invented to atone for sin and prevent future punishment. Let them hasten to stop the self-torturing pilgrimages, to take down the wretch who hangs voluntarily suspended by a hook thrust through his side, to drag the infatuated victim from under the car of Juggernaut, and the widow from the funeral pile, and termiuate for ever the destruction of infants in the Ganges. Let them pour upon the ravished ear of Asia the tidings that all guilt was expiated on Calvary; that they have no need of their bloody rites, nor even of a reformation of manners; that they may live in pleasure here without apprehension, and enter on eternal pleasure hereafter.
Let it be true that all men will be saved, or even that men are as likely to be saved without the Gospel as with it, is the Gospel of no service in the present life, as a foundation of hope, as a purifier of manners, as a tamer of the passions, as a means of civilization, as a handmaid to science? What nation since the commencement of the Christian era ever arose from savage to civilized without Christianity? If you are the friends of the human family, I call upon you to weep over the degraded and comfortless condition of five hundred millions of people destitute of the light of science and the pleasures of refined society, subject, in a large proportion of cases, to all the hardships of the savage state, and in every instance to the horrours of a gloomy superstition.
But what believer in revelation except an universalist will say that men are as likely to be saved without the Gospel as with it? Be it so that good heathen will be saved, but the mass of the heathen are not good. They are sunk in the grossest vice. All the passions and all
the crimes that ever degraded man, there rage with little restraint. Owing to some defect which nothing but revelation can explain, man is universally inclined to evil. This truth, which every page of history attests, which a thousand poets have mournfully sung, which all the statutes of legislators have acknowledged, is confirmed by every day's experience. It is equally certain to every believer in Christianity that the grand means to reform the world is the Gospel of Christ. Let nations with all these native passions, run wild without this means of reformation, and what can you expect but that they will sink into the lowest depths of vice? Tell me not that their ignorance excuses them. Whence then that resentment with which you contemplate savages breaking into a village at night, burning houses, murdering infants in their mothers' arms, dragging their prisoners to the slow tortures of the stake, and rioting on their groans? Does ignorance excuse all the infernal passions and crimes of the heathen world? They will not plead this themselves. If they are conscious of no fault in these things, whence their resentment against each other? When they take revenge, do they not give judgment that Pagans may sin? Do they not this when they execute their laws on criminals? "their conscience -bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing-one another." But if any doubt remains, read the Epistle to the Romans contemplate the picture of the heathen world sketched in the first chapter, and the inference drawn in the third. And what said the charitable John? "We know that we are of God and the whole world lieth in wickedness." The only means to reclaim the world is the Gospel of Christ. What nation since the world began was ever reclaimed without the Scriptures? Talk as you will of the salvation of pious heathen let it be admitted if you please that now and then a Pagan becomes a good man; yet the mass of the heathen are grossly wicked, and will always remain so till reformed by the Gospel of Christ.
But I go further. Show me one instance in which God has ever saved or enlightened an adult without his word and ordinances. But his word and ordinances cannot travel to the heathen alone and there explain themselves. The living preacher must go with them. Even in the days of miracles you never hear of a Bible carried through the air to a distant land and there expounding itself, nor of a Pagan taught
Rom. ii. 15.
+ 1 John, v. 19.