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lous light, and feels dazzled by the change. He is escaped from the snare, and is surprised at the consciousness of his freedom.
run as it were under ground, unnoticed by the eye of man, but it shall issue forth at last in light and gladness, and carry health and fertility in its train. And why should we murmur at the bitter pangs, that attend this, the travail of our souls, when we shall soon remember no more the anguish, for the joy that is Our heavenly Father set before us. does but try us with sufferings here, in order that he may indulge us the But he sees that we more hereafter. have much yet to learn, both of our own weakness, and of his all-sufficient grace. He knows we are still too prone to lean upon an arm of flesh, or covet those gratifications that would prove our ruin. He finds that we are not sufficiently humbled under his mighty hand, or conscious of his inexhaustible love. And therefore he suffers us to be led as it were into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil; but he is still present with us, and if we do not tempt him by distrust, his everlasting arms will be about us to insure our safety. Or he may permit us to be cast into the fiery furnace of affliction, but he will be seen to walk with us through the flames, and nothing but the bonds of sin, wherewith we are tied and bound, shall perish from their fury. Though ye have lien among the pots, for a time depressed by sorrow, or grovelshall yet rise ling in uncleanness, ye and disport yourselves in a purer atmosphere; with your wings like silver wings, and your feathers like gold. Something of this triumphant feeling may be enjoyed even in our
But to such also I have a word of exhortation. If you have been born again, be not content with the feebleness of infancy, but seek to "grow in grace." Men often value religion chiefly because it exempts them from the punishment of hell, and they think, if that point can be secured, they need not trouble themselves about further progress. But this is a very inadequate conception of the subject, even in a selfish point of view, as well as a proof that it has not obtained its proper influence over the heart. Though Scripture tells us, our own works can never entitle us to a place in heaven, it seems to represent the degree of happiness we shall enjoy there, as depending upon our present diligence. This doctrine may be thought liable to abuse; but, if rightly received, it is a most valuable truth, because it affords a constant and cheering stimulus to advancement in holiness. The nearer you draw to GOD, the more devotedly you love, the more closely you resemble him, the happier you will be both in time and in eternity. Though none of the family of heaven may there feel any deficiency of enjoyment, they may yet be capable of very different measures of it, because their hearts have been differently prepared for its reception; "just as two vessels may both be full, though one may contain a much larger quantity than the other." Lastly, be content to bear your pre-present state. And when, at length, sent trials, considering the many comforts that are given to refresh you here, and the certain reward that is laid up for you hereafter. Be not discouraged if your improvement is slow, and confidence is delayed. The current of your affections may long
we shall lay aside the burden of the flesh, with all its infirmities, and the mind shall be free from temptation, then shall we be born once more into a purer and happier existence. Then shall we find rest from sin, and every It would be no inclination to it.
heaven indeed to us without such a privilege. Let us pray GoD that it may please him, of his great mercy, shortly to accomplish the number of his elect, and to hasten his kingdom. The whole Christian world indeed groaneth and travaileth together in earnest expectation of his coming, that they and we may have our perfect consummation and bliss in his everlasting glory.
And I hear a responsive voice, from those who are gone before us, crying, how long! O Lord, how long! Why are thy chariot wheels so long in coming? And the Spirit, and the Bride, say, Come! And he which testifieth these things, replies in tender accents of encouragement, Behold! I come quickly, and my reward is with me! Amen. Even so. Come, Lord Jesus!
DELIVERED BY THE REV. DR. CHALMERS,
AT THE NATIONAL SCOTCH CHURCH, REGENT SQUARE, ON WEDNESDAY
2 Timothy, ii. 2.—“The things thou hast heard of me, among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."
THE Apostle in this verse makes provision for the continuance of the Gospel ministry upon earth. If he do not enact the mode of succession for all ages, he at least exemplifies it from his own age down to the third generation in the Christian church. He ordained Timothy to this office, who was also to ordain others; which last, we may well conjecture, were not only to minister, but, in their turn, to ordain ministers who might come after them. It must, however, be acknowledged that there is marvellously little of express enactment in Scripture, as to ecclesiastical constitution, and in this far-famed controversy chiefly turns on apostolical example, and the facts of ecclesiastical history; thus leaving it more in the shape of an indeterminate or discretionary question, and to be decided by considerations of expediency ;— a term which, in the Christian sense
of the word, has a far higher bearing than in the vulgar sense of it, as pointing, not to what makes most for the good of self, or the good of society, but as pointing to what makes most for the prosperity of religion in the world, for the extension and the glory of our Redeemer's kingdom. Expediency, wherewith we commonly associate a certain character of sordidness, instantly acquires a sacredness of character, when its objects are thus made sacred, and its high aim is more thoroughly to Christianize a land, and to ensure a fuller and more free circulation of the Gospel among its families.
Now, there is one question of ecclesiastical polity, which in the lack of aught in the New Testament that is very distinct or authoritative upon the subject, we should feel very much inclined to decide upon its ground, we mean the question of a religious
Let me suppose, then, a society of Christians, great or small, actuated, as Moravians now are, by the zeal and the spirit of devoted missionaries,-pressed in conscience by the obligation of the Saviour's last say
ing violence. It grew, and gathered into strength, under the terrible processes that were devised for its annihilation. Disgrace could not overbear it,-threats could not terrify it, imprisonments could not stifle it,-exile could not rid the world of it, the influence of superstition, the fires of bloody martyrdom could not extinguish it; they could not prevail against a religion which had the blessing of heaven upon its head, and in its bosom the strongest energies of conviction. And so it spread and multiplied among men, in the signal triumph of principle over power, of the moral over the sensual and grossly physical, and men had the indestructible church, increased in magnitude, and settled more firmly on its basis, under the warring elements which had conspired for its overthrow.
establishment. The truth is, that Christianity for three centuries was left to find its way in the world; for, during the whole of that period, none of this world's princes did it reverence; all this time it was treated as an unprotected outcast, or, rather, as a branded criminal: yet the execrable superstition, as it was called, neither withered under neglect, nor was quelled by the hand of persecut-ing, "Go, and preach the Gospel to every creature,"-bent on an expedition to the heathen of distant lands, if they had but an opening for the voyage, and the means of defraying it. Hitherto it would have been admitted that all is purely apostolical, and that as yet no violence has been done to the high and heavenborn sanctities of the Gospel. Now, what we ask is, whether we ought to vitiate this holy character in the next indispensable step, of the means being provided, the money being raised for the essential hire and maintenance of the labourers,-of the vessel being equipped, that is to bear them onward in this errand of piety-of the wealth being transferred to their hands for the erection of the missionary church and missionary dwelling-place. Is there aught of earthly contamination in this? Is the Unitus Fratrum, that church of spiritual men, at all brought down from its saintliness by those annual supplies without which their perils among the heathen could not have been encountered, their deeds of Christian heroism could not have been performed? They maintain their own independence as a church, notwithstanding, their doctrine and discipline, and mode of worship, are left untouched by the proceeding; in all matters ecclesiastical they take their own way: It is true they are sub
the vindication of a religious estab-sisted by others, but in no one article lishment, could we demonstrate how, relating to the church's peculiar buwithout the compromise of principle, siness are they controlled by them.
Throughout this whole transition, from the time that the fishermen of Galilee tended its infancy, to the time that the emperors of Rome did homage to its wondrous manhood, it had neither the order nor the means of an establishment. This change did not nor could not originate with the ecclesiastical, it originated with the civil authority: it took effect by the state holding out to the church the right hand of fellowship. The advance was made by the former; and we should hold it tantamount to
but rather in obedience to its purest and highest behests, the advance might be met and consented to by the latter.
is to fill up the internal vacancies, and so, perhaps, as thoroughly to saturate with Christianity one nation. It is not enough reflected on, that under the latter process a vastly greater number of human spirits may be medicated into spiritual and immortal ones, than under the former; and, at all events, that the latter must have its accomplishment ere the knowledge of the Lord can fill the earth, even as the waters, which in their collapse admit of no internal vacancy, cover the sea.
They are maintained from without, but they need not because of this suffer one taint of desecration within. There is a connexion, no doubt, established between the two parties; but I can see nothing in it save a pecuniary succour rendered on one side, and a high service of philanthropy rendered upon the other, yet rendered according to the strict methods, and in rigid conformity with the most sacred principles, of those who are embarked on this high and holy vocation. The transaction, as we now relate it, is of purest origin, and has been nobly accredited by the beneficial consequences which have followed in its train; for, by means of these hireling labourers,-these hireling labourers, you will observe, as the ministers of our establishment are openly denominated,-by means of these hireling labourers the outposts of Christianity have been pushed forward to the very outskirts of the human population,-Christian villages have been reared in the farthest wilds of paganism, the prowling savages of Greenland and Lapland have been reclaimed to the habits and the decencies of civilized life, and successive thousands of before untaught idolaters, under the effec-fringement by them on their inviotive tuition that has been brought to lable prerogative of determining and bear on them, have lived in the obe- ordering in things spiritual. Their dience, and died in the triumphs of maintenance cometh from others; but the faith. their worship, and their creed, and their formularies, and their sacraments, and their ministrations--both of word and ordinance-are all of them from above. We yet see no compromise of principle in such a connexion as this. There is support given on the one side, but there is no surrender in the least article, either of faith or holiness, made on the other. The only submission that we can perceive on the part of these missionaries or ministers is, a submission to be fed by them and that
But the position which I want chiefly to fix at present is, that, whether the missionary movement lie in an outward or in a homeward direction, its whole economy and character may remain essentially the same. The enterprise may be supported in its expenses by one party-it may be executed in its work and labour by another party. Each may be distinct of the other, and give no disturbance to the other. The secular men may provide the means; yet the ecclesiastical men, in their proper department, may have the entire and uncontrolled management. They may take their support from others in things temporal, yet suffer no in
Now, the essential character of this whole transaction is the same, whether we conceive these Gospel labourers to be employed in the business of a home, or the business of a foreign mission. By one process you carry the blessings of our religion beyond, by the other you circulate them within, the territory of Christendom. The effect of the one is to spread Christianity externally abroad, and so, perhaps, as to sprinkle many nations; the effect of the other
to be done which we have now supposed. Its proper object is not to extend Christianity into ulterior spaces, but thoroughly to fill up the space that had been already occupied. It is a far mightier achievement than may appear at first view, completely to overtake the length and breadth of a land. All the devices and traverse movements of the many thousand missionaries who, during the three first centuries, lived and died in the cause, failed in their accom
they may wait without distraction on
Now, we think it is not by a fanciful, but a sound generalization that we pass from the case of a home mission to that of an establishmentwhich is neither more nor less, in fact, than a universal home mission. At its first institution, in the reign of Constantine, the very work remained
I beg you to recollect that fact, because it is one of chief importance in the argument for a religious establishment-that, notwithstanding the high endowments, the political endowments-notwithstanding the advantages of highly gifted men, though bordering on the ages of inspiration-yet all the movements in the three first centuries did little more than plant Christianity in the cities of the Roman empire. And that is the reason why the term "heathen" is synonymous with that of "pagan,” which signifies a countryman;" it was because the great bulk of the countrymen, (and those who lived in the country) were still in this state of heathenism. These men did much in the work of spreading the Gospel externally, but they left much undone in the work of spreading it internally. They had Christianized the thousands who lived in cities; but the millions of pagans, or the peasantry, who were yet unconverted, evince the country to have been every where a great moral fastness which, till opened up by an establishment, would remain impregnable.
Now, this very opening was presented to the ministers of Christ when the Roman emperor, whether by a movement of faith, or of philanthropy, or patriotism, made territorial distribution of them over his kingdoms and provinces, and assigned a ter