Billeder på siden

tions, who can fail to recollect the high comperidon PrO Doubu by our dear Redeemer himself? We could terefore risk that this form of donations should be adopted by all, bosh rich azd poar, 23 should be made personally by every commaricant. The rich can, in other modes of contribution, make their gifts shat they cbocze: and we pray that they may be such as becomes these who recullett that all they possess has been given them by God; cat ties are Set the stewards of his bounty; and that he will at last desund a strid account of every talent which he has intrusted to them, and with which he has commanded them to occupy till he come." For tie collection of the annual fifty cent contribution, some reil digested and easily executed plan must be devised; which we should hope pe the session, or other leading members of each cliurch, would willing ly form and execute.

3. We recommend that mission boses be kept in the houses el the members of our congregations, into which not only the heads of families, but children, servants, and occasional visitants, mas cast luler their voluntary offerings. Here again, we have in view, autoadstents the pecuniary avails of these boxes, which doubtless would be com siderable, but the moral effect of the practice recornmended. We could wish that the members of every family should have before their for eyes daily, something to reinind them that it is a duty to contribute to Christian missions; and that every child should imbibe the spiri of missions from the first dawn of intellect, and cherish it through the whole progress of childhood and youth. The contents of the mi sion boxes might be committed monthly to some individual appuisi kaze ed to receive them, and to forward the amount to the treasurer of the General Assembly.

4. We recommend that collections be taken up at every month ly concert for prayer, to be appropriated to missionary purposes.We think it must, without any enlargemeut from us, strike every one as peculiarly proper, when we pray for the spread of the grepel

[ocr errors]

, to give of our substance for the purpose of extending its blessings The alms, as well as the prayers, of Cornelius, --came up for a much orial before God;" and the ministry of an angel, and the mission of an apostle, were employed, that the messages of the gospel might be carried to him and to his friends.

5. We suggest that there are wealthy congregations that might each engage to support a missionary—perhaps Wealthy individuals also, either singly, or by the joint agreebies of several, might engage to do the same. It gives us pleasure state, that we already have the pledge of two individuals that they

le thee

inore than 036


will support one missionary to South America, on the allowance of $500 per annum. And we may also state in this connexion, that those who make donations will always be at liberty to appropriate them to a favorite missionary object, and that such appropriations will be sacredly regarded. At the same time, it may be proper to remark, that as the Board will have the best view of the whole field of missionary operations, it will certainly be desirable that the most of their funds should be left, without embarrassment, to their disposal.

6. We suggest that there are individuals in every part of the extended bounds of the General Assembly, who, beside what they give in public or general contributions, may agree to pay annually, so long as they shall find it convenient, a certain specified sum. subscriptions of this character should be frequently or largely made, it is manifest that a fund would be provided which might be considered as permanent; and on which calculations, without much risk of failure, might be made, which would warrant missionary engage ments that would otherwise be improper; and the importance of having such a reliance is obviously great. It is however by no means to be understood, that the Board of the Committee contemplate the formation of any thing like a permanent fund, of which the interest only, and not the capital may be expended. On the contrary, it is the full determination of the Board, to hoard nothing; but to spend all that they may have at command, so soon as an opportunity to use it to advantage shall occur. Their reliance must be on Him, whose is the silver and the gold, and on the continued liberality of their Christian brethren, which will best be cherished by an unceasing call for its exercise. Yet money should be improved till an opportunity to use it offers, and rash engagements must not be made, for the fulfilment of which no reasonable expectation can be formed.

7. We trust it is not unreasonable to expect that the missions of the presbyterian church will in cominon with other charities, be remembered by the pious and benevolent members of our communion, in making their last wills and testaments. The time we hope is past, (and may it never return,) for men to sooth themselves in & life of avarice, fraud, oppression, or profligacy, by determining to make, and by actually making, large bequests at their death, to pi. ous and charitable uses. Nor do we ever wish to see that given to the church, which ought to go to a poor parent, child, or other near relative, friend or dependant. But we do hope that the time is near at hand-and

some recent noble examples of pious liberality animate VOL. II,


the hope that it is not far distant-when men of wealth shall not only say, but feel that God gave them all they possess; and gave it as a loan, for the use and improvement of which they must give an account, when their eternal destiny shall be decided by an Omniscient and equitable Judge. Then it will no longer be seen that the savings of avarice and folly are bequeathed to children, to scatter faster than it was gathered, and to ruin their own souls, and to injure society by their profligate squanderings; or, following the example of covetousness which has been set them by their parents, live only for themselves, and die without blessing others, or being blessed themselves. the time will come! when, from truly Christian principles, and without any hope of buying heaven, men, both in life and in death, will give much more to God and much less to their families than men of unquestionable piety have hitherto generally done.

Thus, brethren,we have spread before you the resources for missionary funds which have occurred to us, in reflecting on the subject. It inust be for you to communicate from these sources, or from others of your own devising, what you feel it to be your duty to lend to the Lord; and with us we feel will remain the high responsibility, to use your donations and contributions, in the best and most frugal manner-wasting nothing, squandering nothing, but employing, if possible, every cent bestowed so as most effectually to promote the sacred missionary cause. It is our determination to give as much publicity as possible to all our proceedings, and especially to publish a statement every month, of all sums, large or small, that shall be received, the parties from whom they come, and the objects to which they are to be applied. An annual statement of expenditures, will also be made and published. For these purposes it is plain that a vehicle of missionary information must go abroad; and we contentplate the issuing of a monthly periodical, under the title of “The Missionary Reporter," so soon as we shall obtain evidence that & subscription for it, which will defray the expenses of publication, can be obtained. In the mean time, religious periodicals already established, will be employed to convey to the public, the statements which it will be our duty to make.

It may justly be expected that we should say something of the whissionary operations which we contemplate. We can only say, brethren, that our operations will correspond to the means which you may put into our hands, for the execution of the large missionary pow. ers, with which our Board has been clothed by the General Assembly of our church. If our church shall, as we hope she will, now awake from her slumbering, and become animated with a holy Christian zeal.

to stand forth among the foremost in the grand enterprise of Christianizing the world, we shall then, if spared to witness it, take a wide view of the moral desolations which overspread the earth; and aspire to share in the blessed instrumentality, by which these desolations are yet to be made “to rejoice and blossom as the rose," and to become like “Eden, the garden of God.” But even in this event, it ought to be constantly kept in mind that the fruits of no foreign missionary operations, can reasonably be expected immediately to to appear. Other associations have been obliged to wait for them, and in some cases, the waiting period has been greatly protracted.V'et when persevering effort, under much discouragement, has still been continued-when- faith and patience have not failed, under the trials by which a sovereign God has seen meet to prove them great and glorious success has usually been granted at last. For the present, our views are generally directed to home missions in every part of our country; and to the extension, which in all probability must be slow and gradual, of a small establishment which our church has made at Buenos Ayres; and to some other operations in South America, for which, as we hope, the dispensations of providence are preparing the way.

The general agent of this committee, who is also one of its members, and the corresponding Secretary of the Board, is the Rev. Dr. Ezra Stiles Ely, the Moderator of the last General Assembly. He proposes shortly to journey on the business of his agency, as extensively as he may find to be practicable in the space of three or four months. Other agents we expect will shortly be appointed; and we most earnestly commend them all to the kind attentions and the cordial co-operation of the ministers and churches that may receive their visits. They go on an errand highly important and interesting, to which we have already alluded--they go for the purpose of endeavoring to rouse the Presbyterian Church, to a united and vigorous effort in favor of christian missions. The experiment is now to be made, whether this church has zeal and talent enough to conduct missions extensively and with energy, by herself; and we hope that your anxieties will be mingled with ours that the result may be gratifying. We would make no appeal to your pride, brethren.--But we would remind you that there is a regard to character, of which every christian, and every church, ought to be jealous. It is connected with duty, with dignity, and with usefulness; and the individual, or the community that is regardless of character, will soon be destitute of influence, and meet with nothing but neglect and contempt.' We call on every Presbyterian, therefore, to do his part, to uphold the character of the religious community of which he is a constituent member.

But apart from considerations of character, we most earnestly beseech every individual, male and female, who may read or hear this Address, to consider the missionary cause as involving a sacred personal duty. We are quite sure it is a concern that ought to be brought home, to the heart and conscience of every one who names the name of Christ. It seems to us that it ought to interrogate us individually in language such as this-Does the love of Christ con strain you, as it did the apostle Paul?"-if not in the same degrely get in some good degree? Do you sensibly feel that if Christ died for you, and had compassion on you when you were "dead in trespasses and sins," you ought not henceforth to live to yourself

, but to him that died for you, and rose again!" Are you making the best expression of gratitude, that you can ever make to your Saviourwhich consists in walking as he walked, making your light **so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Fa. ther who is in heaven-going about doing good," doing something toward feeding the sheep and the lambs of Christ--something that may instrumentally contribute to his having the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession?" Alas! have you not been sadly and criminally negligent, in caring for the salvation of immortal souls? Have you not acted too much as if you did not know or believe that every human being has a soul, that will certainly be happy or miserable for ever? too much as if you did not believe that on the practical influence of gospel treth. the salvation of the soul will depend? too much as if it were a matter of indifference to you, whether the ignorant and wicked shovid, or should not, be made acquainted with their danger and their duty, and of course, whether their souls should be saved or lost: If conscience charges you with such neglect or indifference, do you intend to continue it? If you do, will you not bring into just and fearful suspicion, the state of your own soul? Can you be a real disciple of Christ, and not be very tender of his bonor, and very desirous for the promotion of his cause, and very solicitous for the eternal wellbeing of those who are living without God and without hope in the world?" If you lay out all your property to please and gratify your self, or lay it up as an inheritance for your children, does not this prove that you are of the world; that you seek your portion in it and that your heart and your treasure are not in heaven? does not the word of God declare, that if you thus “love the world, the love of the Father is not in you?" Do you ever think how the world and

« ForrigeFortsæt »