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field for British enterprise in those distant seas where Cook was murdered and Magellan slain. "It has in a great degree prepared the Negroes in our West India colonies for a transition from a state of slavery to the enjoyment of their just rights as men and fellow subjects; so that Christian Missionaries, who not long ago were looked upon with jealousy, or who were actually arraigned as the promoters of discord or insubordination, have been recognised and congratulated by the public functionaries of the State, as the instruments of the peace and god order that prevail. It may be safely asserted indeed, that independently of the ulterior and principal object of the undertaking, in these, and similar collateral results, if it has not already repaid, it will most amply repay the whole expenditure employed in conduct

ing it.

The missionary work, proceeds Mr. Macfarlane, has elicited some of the best and noblest qualities of the human heart; and has led to the culture of capabilities that might have for ever remained latent for want of an occasion to exercise themselves. One of the results of this display has been to confirm the wavering and the suspicious with regard to the truth and power of the Gospel. The essayist continues :

It is impossible to read some of the works of Christian Biography to which the Missionary undertaking has given rise, or to mark the bearing of many who are engaged in conducting it, without experiencing some such salutary influence. That labour of love has been the means of manifesting more strikingly than any occasion or crisis that has arisen in an age wanting in stirring incident, the purity, self-denial and benevolence, the energy and elevation of character to which the religion of Christ can conduct its disciples. If not exactly occurring under our own eye, at least in our own day, and upon testimony that brings to the mind a certainty as great as if we had been actual spectators of the scenes that are described, we know what the force of Christian principle has done in the person of many a devoted Missionary. We have seen him leave his native land,-forego the ease and the comforts of home,-labour in season and out of season, in the midst of whatever is discouraging, depressing and apparently hopeless, till he sunk into the grave, which became the solemn monument of his fidelity and zeal. We have seen even a female nature acquire new intrepidity and power without losing aught of its grace and tenderness, when going forth as an angel of mercy, to cheer with the accents of celestial truth the desolate abodes of heathenism, and to teach the tongue of little Pagan children to lisp the Re. deemer's name; pursuing her self-imposed task of benevolence till her fragile frame drooped and withered under the intense rays of a burning sun, and the exhaustion of toil requited by no human hand. We scruple not to say, that in some of our recent sketches of Missionary character, there is exhibited a holy love to Christ and to His cause; a purity and stedfastness of purpose, ---a patient endurance,-an enlightened and indefatigable benevolence, only equalled by the confessors and martyrs of the early Church, and scarcely less confirmatory of Christian faith, than the edifying testimony they bore to the divine power

of " truth as it is in Jesus."

The missionary work is advantageous to the Church, not merely by indirectly enlivening her zeal and preventing a still greater stagnation of the vital principle of piety, but by nature and immediate influence; for it tends directly to encourage and promote the growth of personal religion.

The work, as it implies to a certain amount, so is it fitted to promote, PERSONAL RELIGION in all who are engaged in it, and that in a two-fold way. It can scarcely fail, in the first place, to suggest to the mind the flagrant inconsistency between indifference as to one's

own spritual character and condition, and his professed solicitude, as to the salvation of remote nations. I do not say that this is always its effect. The deceitfulness of sin sometimes sadly appears, in a too successful attempt to substitute outward activity for the inward graces of the Christian character, -to deck itself in the tinsel ornament of a busy and a bustling zeal, to cover under the gorgeous robe of a showy and superficial philanthrophy, a distaste for the devout and purifying exercises of the heart. Men may, and often do, pervert and abuse the best instrumentality. But it will scarcely be denied, that there is a direct and powerful tendency in the Missionary work, to bring before the tribunal of conscience the momentous subject of a personal interest in the gospel salvation.

In the case of a number of people met, in whatever capacity, whether as a Church, or as a miscellaneous assemblage, or as a Committee, for deliberation or prayer in behalf of heathen lands, what question is more natural to arise in the mind of each than this :--do I myself stand in the relation to Christ in, which it is my professed desire, that others should be brought? Upon the slightest reflection, a feeling of incongruity must be awakened in every bosom, between real carelessness upon the one point, and professed anxiety upon the other. If the topic be evaded, or the just and salutary reflection suppressed, the very fact of such language being applicable implies, that an effort is necessary, to resist the practical effect which the enterprise is fitted to produce. Whatever, therefore, has a tendency thus to keep alive a salutary suspicion, and to guard against self-deception in a matter of eternal moment, must be regarded as no inconsiderable ingredient in the spiritual healthfulness of a Christian community.

The work operates in another way, it impresses the obligation on the part of each individual to manifest his own personal devotedness and obedience. And what would be its effects if the purity and consistency of Christian character were displayed but by one country, or even one section of the Church? But the display of these beauties will never be witnessed until each member be practically convinced that the Church is formed of individuals, every one of whom has his particular part to perform.

Nor may any justly suppose that he is individually too inconsiderable or minute a particle to contribute at all to this general result. He may one do it imperceptibly, but he does it really. The addition of a single ounce to the gravity of the earth would affect the motion of the whole system. A

very small infusion of active antiseptic matter may retard or prevent the corruption of a large mass. Ten righteous men would have saved the cities of the plain from destruction. He, therefore, who feels a lively interest in the progress and establishment of the truth throughout the world, has, in the existence of that very interest, a pure and sublime motive present to his mind, to the vigorous cultivation of Christian qualities, in addition to all the other considerations which invite to personal holiness. To elevate by his influence or example the standard of religious sentiment and feeling within his own circle or neighbourhood,--among his own dependents or children, is to furnish the means and materials of propagating the truth, and of perpetuating its advancement to remotest generations. And is not every addition that is thus made to the moral forces, which impel to Christian activity and attainment, to be numbered among the greatest blessings that can be conferred

upon the world ? One of the most cogent motives and arguments is well put by starting with the assertion, that foreign missions have exercised a favourable influence at home, “by directing attention more fully to the spiritual condition of our own country.” This is quite in accordance with human nature, not to speak of the enlargement and countenance which theology teaches, -of the Scriptural doctrine, that a divine blessing is poured upon those who fulfil the commands of God; for what is more true than that charity is generative, were it but from the remunerative pleasure which flows from its exercise, or more in agreement with what is to be witnessed daily, than that he who considerately gives to one needy individual or institution, is the most prompt and cheerful in forwarding the interests of another, – it

may be not with his purse, but at least by the sunshine of his countenance, and the attractive harmony of his benevolent life? Well does Mr. Macfarlane observe, "did you dry up the fountain of missionary benevolence, you would at the same time dry up the fountain and stop the stream which would spread moral verdure and beauty over the entire surface of our native soil."

As the feeling of incongruity is strongly produced by a sense of actual carelessness for one's own salvation, and professed solicitude for the salvation of the heathen; so, an incongruity no less palpable occurs to the mind as being involved in active endeavours to enlighten and reclaim the Hottentots of Africa, combined with a total neglect of the scarcely less ignorant heathen at home. The claims of ignorance and guilt having found access tô the heart in one case, prepare for estimating and feeling the force of similar claims in another case. When a man is once awakened, he becomes conscious of the objects in his own immediate neighbourhood still more fully than of those at a distance. When his eyes are once opened, he sees what is near still more distinctly than what is far off. If the sleep of the Church was first disturbed by the loud and bitter cry of distress, wafted upon the breeze from the distant and perishing millions of Asia and Africa, the piercing note which reached the dull ear and opened the heavy eye has at the same time awakened a regard to similar necessities at our own door. The

active endeavours made for our own country are in no small degree to be referred to the energies which foreign objects called into wakeful existence. And we may venture to propound it as an incontrovertible truth, entering into the very nature and essence of the Missionary enterprise, and to be developed in its future history,—that in the same proportion that the gospel is zealously propagated abroad, will the interests of religion be zealously protected and promoted at home.

Again, whatever gives honour to Scripture, and inspires confidence in its power and efficacy, has a wholesome influence upon the state of the Church.

The Missionary work is an experiment of the efficacy of Scripture truth made under new circumstances. It is undertaken in simple and entire reliance on the innate and omnipotent power of that truth. In so far as it succeeds, it goes to demonstrate the undiminished quality of vegetation that there is in the good seed of the word, when committed even to a hitherto untried soul. That seed has, it is true, long taken root and brought forth fruit in Christendom, and every instance there of its power in “converting the soul" will be gratefully acknowledged by the devout mind, and regarded as a new evidence of its unchangeable character. But there are many circumstances that tend to conceal its inherent energy from human observation. Its direct and immediate efficacy, proclaiming and vindicating its divine origin, does not stand forth so palpably to the public eye as to constrain universal attention, and to dispel prejudice and unbelief. Its simplicity has in many cases been corrupted, and its strength impaired, by the intermixture of human invention. The assent which it receives is rather that of education than of conviction. Acting for successive ages through those institutions which itself has been the means of calling into existence in Christian lands, men are apt to give to the secondary means and instruments by which its influence is conveyed, the honour which is due to truth alone. Modifying the condition of society by a secret and silent power, the subordinate agents which it brings to its aid are too often looked upon as the primary and procuring causes of the blessings which it bestows.

This argument is pursued in the following happy strain of eloquence, and with a pertinent recognition of facts which prompt to further efforts :

The Missionary with the Bible in his hand goes to break up the fallow ground of heathenism. All the arrangements and habits of society, as well as the tastes of the natural heart are against him. The success that attends his efforts therefore can never be referred to any of those subsidiary means, which in a Christian country promote the continuance and support of a system that has long held an undisputed sway. What is done in heathen lands is undeniably effected by the force of Scripture truth, aided only by the influence of the spirit of truth. Every spot that is enlightened, -every waste place that is reclaimed, --every idol that is renounced, -every heart that is renewed, -every ingredient that is shed into the cup of human enjoyment, is a new and striking evidence of the inherent power of divine truth. The same kind and manner of evidence is brought back to the Church and the

World, which in the primitive age arose from the first triumphs of Christ i anity. Whatever conviction was produced in favour of gospel trutly, from the energy it displayed in subverting the previously existing systems of superstition that prevailed, that conviction may now be produced in proportion to the amount of energy it displays in a similar field. In so far as the word of God prevails in heathen lands, is there a visible and palpable proof brought under the observation of all men, that there is a divine efficacy in that word, --that it has a heavenly Author,—that we follow no cunningly devised fables,--that “ holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

Already have some such trophies been won to the honour of the Bible. The light of a new and fresh conviction has thus been poured into the Christian mind. Little as has been done, principally because little has been attempted in modern times, the inherent power of the religion of Jesus has been exhibited to the public eye in scenes where it has accomplished its triumphs unaided and alone. We do not now need to derive our sole con. viction from the evidence of history, we have seen with our own eyes the evidence of facts. We have seen, in cases too few indeed to meet the wishes of Christian benevolence, and upon a scale as yet too limited to attract the observation of the world, we have seen enough to prove the superhuman power and the celestial origin of Christian truth. We have seen it subdue and renovate the human heart, and exert an energy which only requires to be more fully developed, in order to transform the wilderness into a fruitful field. And, if we shall suppose that its progress in the same direction shall advance and its triumphs accumulate, how salutary we may expect that progress to become in its effects upon Christian States. May we not reasonably hope, that by the visible demonstration thus afforded of the unabated virtue and vigour of the Bible, a wavering faith shall be rebuked and strengthened, indifference shall be awakened and arrested, and infidelity itself shall be made to acquiesce and adore? We do not step a hairbreadth beyond the line of a fair and rational expectation when we say, that in this form the precious seed with which the anxious sower is sent forth to heathen lands is likely to return with an increase of an hundred-fold to our own bosoms.

We would with pleasure accompany Mr. Macfarlane while he maintains that a zealous and judicious prosecution of the missionary work tends to promote unity among the various sections of the Christian world. But we must desist. We had marked certain passages in the parts of the essay where the author undertakes to answer the current objections to the grand enterprise under consideration, on account of the triumphant character of his arguments and evidences. But our limits forbid; so that we are obliged to conclude, and do so by fearlessly repeating Mr. Macfarlane's assertion, when he declares that the cause of missions has not only outlived, but lived down most of the objections and calumnies with which it was wont to be assailed.

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