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churches of this united kingdom, national and not national, both in the north and in the south, acknowledge that there is a great duty devolving upon them in their collective capacity, to communicate to all nations the knowledge of Christ: And what do they do to carry into effect this object? They form societies and associations, and collect certain sums of money, and wait till persons volunteer to be their agents abroad. And it so happens, that few or none of the existing ministers of religion volunteer. And the generous hearts of the youths of our land, although greatly inexperienced and untried as to their aptness to teach, are constrained, since no others offer, to present themselves as candidates. And since these young and inexperienced men are the only ones who offer, the conductors of Missionary Societies are under a necessity of either going without agents, or accepting these. It is my opinion that this state of the case is greatly to be lamented. It has indeed pleased God to bless the labours of some of his servants, notwithstanding their manifold incapacities for the work. And he can give strength to the feeble and wisdom to the young; but still, that will not justify the want of honest zeal in the churches and their ministers.

I beg leave to suggest the converse of this proceeding for the deliberation of Ministers and Laymen in this assembly i. e. that the churches, or the societies acting for the churches, do invite persons, whom they deem qualified, to undertake the ministry abroad for a season; and let young men who have volunteered to be missionaries, first exercise the christian ministry at home; till they shall have acquired an aptness to teach, and till their principles become fixed, and their characters established.

I know life is short, and foreign languages require youth and strength; but an attention to foreign languages may be commenced during the first years of a man's ministry at home. Oh that the churches were less selfish than they are in this case, that there were such a feeling in them, that they would rejoice to part with the most beloved pastor, or the most favourite preacher, when the Saviour's cause in Pagan or Mohammedan lands requires his services! But

the churches must collectively, in order to this, attain to a firmer decision of purpose, and a higher tone of feeling on this subject, and stand forward manfully to lay the proposal of foreign service before the men they deem qualified for the work. As long as there is hesitation, and a tremulous delicacy, and a cold prudence on the part of the churches, no wonder individuals are slow to come forward. The Saviour's precept, is we believe, in the first instance, given to the disciples collectively; and in the next place, to every one whose heart may be stirred up by divine influences, to go and teach the nations. Indeed I would that the disciples generally scattered themselves over all parts of our heavenly Father's world, for the purpose of sowing the seeds of Christian knowledge, whilst they pursue their lawful avocations as circumstances may permit; I believe the promise of the Master's presence and aid may be safely confided in. But still I would lay the burthen of this work on the churches collectively; it is for them to do it, and not cast it off themselves on individual enterprize; saying, we will wait and pray till heaven raise up some superhuman agents to teach the nations.

Where we do not possess absolute certainty, nor express precept, it is not good to be positive. I do not, fathers and brethren, on this subject dogmatize; but, with deference to your experienced minds, shew also my opinion.

Would a few of the most esteemed ministers and laymen in the land, engage in the direct communication of Christian knowledge to Pagan and Mohammedan nations ;-give their time and attention to the intellectual and spiritual part of the work, either in this country or abroad, instead of giving it wholly to the external management and the financial resources; I very believe that, as in the time of Moses when the sanctuary was rearing, the people would bring much more than enough for the service of the work; till it would be necessary to proclaim throughout the Christian camp, that neither man nor woman should bring any more work for the offering of the Sanctuary.

People of eminence spend their time in speculating about

the qualifications of Missionaries, and working up poetical pictures of an ideal being, and discoursing of hardships and deprivations, and turning the momentary and light afflictions of an Apostle into permanent and lasting evils, till they scare away themselves from the work; all the sober Christian men of the land deem it presumption to come forwards, and the most highly gifted men and ministers in the churches say they are not fit to be Missionaries. I believe that every one who possesses the knowledge of Christ, may and ought to communicate it to others; and see not the mighty difference which some do, between communicating that knowledge in one country and in another.

There are some persons, who feel well disposed to this work, still linger at home, because they receive not some special intimation from Providence: and they say, they "cannot see their way clear." A willing mind to serve in this cause, and the judgment of the churches that a person is fit to serve, appear to me to make the way perfectly clear. One Evangelist has recorded the Saviour's words to this effect, "Every one" that forsakes temporal good and earthly connexions, for Christ's sake shall be blessed. And another relates that Jesus, in his reply to the Apostle Peter, who had left all, not merely to be a disciple, but to aid in propagating the gospel-said, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren or sisters, or father or mother, or wife or children, or lands for my sake and the gospel's, but he shall receive a hundred fold now in this time, even though persecuted, and in the world to come eternal life. The promise is to "every one" who answers the character given; "no man" is excluded. It is, however, impossible to suppose that our Lord inculcated that a man should disregard, or be careless about his kindred. The sense must surely be, that, as in Peter's case, when a man had to go about his master's business for the Gospel's sake, he could not give to his kindred, his personal presence. He must separate from them. Every day does it happen that those who serve their country, their king, or any great and public cause, must be absent from their homes and their kindred.

Alas how mean does it appear in the disciples and servants of the Saviour to say, when His cause, the propagation of the blessed Gospel for the salvation of immortal souls, requires their absence from home, I cannot quit my houses or my lands, or my father or mother, or my brother or my sister, or my wife or my children. Does not such conduct shew more love to these than love to Christ? Our Society does not now require everlasting separation from kindred; and therefore, those who may and should, but will not go, are left without excuse.

I shall now close with one idea, on which I feel still more confident, viz. that it is the duty of every disciple of Jesus to subordinate his personal and his domestic affairs to the cause of God his Saviour; for as the knowledge of Christ is of supreme value and importance to himself, so the communication of that knowledge to the whole of mankind is an object, which with him ought to rank higher than any other. We are convinced this will really be the case with him who, in the language of our text, counts all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.

But, my Brethren, can we say that in this Christian land, this supreme regard to Christian knowledge is the prevailing feeling of the disciples, even those of them who are accounted most sincere. We fear not. Oh, how active and zealous and laborious are we for the purposes of individual and family aggrandizement! How much trust in our own exertions; how little faith in the Divine promises! Laying up treasures on earth, providing a competence for old age, accumulating fortunes for our children-for these things the different classes of men in our nation, the literary, the mercantile, the civilians, the clergy, are all anxiously labouring. I decry not industry, but I do decry the making of these things our supreme object: I do decry placing these things higher in our estimation, and nearer to our hearts, than the things which concern Messiah's reign, and a world's salvation. The precept which com, mands us to seek first the kingdom of God, and promises that all other necessary things shall be added to us, is applicable here as well as in our individual case. There is a

want of consistency between our principles and our practices; for that which we say we deem supremely excellent, infinitely important, and indispensably necessary to human happiness and salvation, we do less, than for many of those objects, which we confess to be very secondary to the knowledge of Christ.

Still, although I do not think that in the Missionary doctrine, or the Missionary practice we have attained, either are already perfect; I do with you, my Christian friends, rejoice in what the Lord hath wrought ;-that he has, in these last days stirred up the hearts of His people to this great argument, and has made the feeble band of modern missionaries not altogether useless. But oh, how much yet remains to be effected! The empire of ignorance still how wide! the night of error in many regions of the globe, yet how dark! It is because so much remains to be done, that I have this day spoken, as if nothing had been achieved. I would not that my discourse tended to discourage; or should seemingly approach to querulous ingratitude. But in this cause, my brethren, look not at the things that are behind, but at those things which are before; that ye may press onwards, and ever keep the eye of faith, steadily fixed, "looking to Jesus." My fellow sinners-Remember Jesus; learn of him, and speak of him;-for yourselves attain the knowledge of Christ, and diffuse the knowledge of Him in every direction-in your families, around you in your own neighbourhoods, and let the circle of your united efforts widen and widen till they reach the most distant circumference of the habitable globe. Begin with the knowledge of Christ, and end with the knowledge of Christ. Christ is man's best Friend. He is head over all things to the Church. He is the Dispenser of every blessing, temporal, and spiritual; and all we possess, should be devoted to the service, or sacrificed to the cause, of Jesus Christ. Yea, doubtless, we should count all things but loss, however, in other respects gainful, that would impede our efforts to promote the universal dissemination of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. The longest life thus spent in any part

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