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heaven indeed to us without such a And I hear a responsive voice, from privilege. Let us pray God that it those who are gone before us, crying, may please him, of his great mercy, how long! O Lord, how long! Why shortly to accomplish the number of are thy chariot wheels so long in his elect, and to hasten his kingdom. coming? And the Spirit, and the The whole Christian world indeed Bride, say, Come! And he which groaneth and travaileth together in testifieth these things, replies in tenearnest expectation of his coming, der accents of encouragement, Bethat they and we may have our per- hold! I come quickly, and my reward fect consummation and bliss in his is with me! Amen. Even so. Come, everlasting glory.
DELIVERED BY THE REV. DR. CHALMERS,
AT THE NATIONAL SCOTCH CHURCH, REGENT SQUARE, ON WEDNESDAY
MORNING, JULY 10, 1833.
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 pro- of the word, has a far higher bearing vision for the continuance of the Gos- than in the vulgar sense of it, as pel ministry upon earth. If he do pointing, not to what makes most for not enact the mode of succession for the good of self, or the good of soall ages, he at least exemplifies it ciety, but as pointing to what makes from his own age down to the third most for the prosperity of religion in generation in the Christian church. the world, for the extension and the He ordained Timothy to this office, glory of our Redeemer's kingdom. who was also to ordain others; which Expediency, wherewith we commonly last, we may well conjecture, were associate a certain character of sornot only to minister, but, in their turn, didness, instantly acquires a sacredto ordain ministers who might come ness of character, when its objects after them. It must, however, be are thus made sacred, and its bigh acknowledged that there is marvel- aim is more thoroughly to Christialously little of express enactment in nize a land, and to ensure a fuller Scripture, as to ecclesiastical consti- and more free circulation of the Gostution, and in this far-famed contro- pel among its families. versy chiefly turns on apostolical ex- Now, there is one question of ecample, and the facts of ecclesiastical clesiastical polity, which in the lack history; thus leaving it more in the of aught in the New Testament that shape of an indeterminate or discre- is very distinct or authoritative upon tionary question, and to be decided the subject, we should feel very much by considerations of expediency ;- inclined to decide upon its ground, à term which, in the Christian sense we mean the question of a religious
establishment. The truth is, that, but rather in obedience to its purest Christianity for three centuries was and highest behests, the advance left to find its way in the world; might be met and consented to by for, during the whole of that period, the latter. none of this world's princes did it Let me suppose, then, a society of reverence; all this time it was treated Christians, great or small, actuated, as an unprotected outcast, or, rather, as Moravians now are, by the zeal as a branded criminal: yet the ex- and the spirit of devoted missionecrable superstition, as it was called, aries,-pressed in conscience by the neither withered under neglect, nor obligation of the Saviour's last saywas quelled by the hand of persecuting, Go, and preach the Gospel to ing violence. It grew, and gathered every creature,”—bent on an expeinto strength, under the terrible pro- dition to the heathen of distant lands, cesses that were devised for its anni- if they had but an opening for the hilation. Disgrace could not over- voyage, and the means of defraying bear it,-threats could not terrify it. Hitherto it would have been it, - imprisonments could not stifle admitted that all is purely apostoliit,-exile could not rid the world of cal, and that as yet no violence has it,--the influence of superstition, the been done to the high and heavenfires of bloody martyrdom could not born sanctities of the Gospel. Now, extinguish it; they could not prevail what we ask is, whether we ought to against a religion which had the vitiate this holy character in the next blessing of heaven upon its head, and indispensable step, of the means being in its bosom the strongest energies provided,—the money being raised for of conviction. And so it spread and the essential hire and maintenance multiplied among men, in the signal of the labourers,- of the vessel being triumph of principle over power, of equipped, that is to bear them onthe moral over the sensual and grossly ward in this errand of piety—of the physical, and men had the indestruc- wealth being transferred to their tible church, increased in magnitude, hands for the erection of the misand settled more firmly on its basis, sionary church and missionary dwellunder the warring elements which ing-place. Is there aught of earthly had conspired for its overthrow. contamination in this? Is the Unitus
Throughout this whole transition, Fratrum, that church of spiritual from the time that the fishermen of men, at all brought down from its Galilee tended its infancy, to the time saintliness by those annual supplies that the emperors of Rome did ho- without which their perils among the mage to its wondrous manhood, it heathen could not have been enhad neither the order nor the means countered, their deeds of Christian of an establishment. This change did heroism could not have been pernot nor could not originate with the formed? They maintain their own ecclesiastical, it originated with the independence as a church, notwithcivil authority: it took effect by the standing,—their doctrine and discipstate holding out to the church the line, and mode of worship, are left right hand of fellowship. The ad untouched by the proceeding; in all vance was made by the former; and matters ecclesiastical they take their we should hold it tantamount to own way: It is true they are subthe 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.
They are maintained from without, | is to fill up the internal vacancies, but they need not because of this and so, perbaps, as thoroughly to sasuffer one taint of desecration within. turate with Christianity one nation. There is a connexion, no doubt, es- It is not enough reflected on, that tablished between the two parties ; under the latter process a vastly but I can
see nothing in it save a greater number of human spirits may pecuniary succour rendered on one be medicated into spiritual and imside, and a high service of philan- mortal ones, than under the former; thropy rendered upon the other, and, at all events, that the latter must yet rendered according to the strict have its accomplishmentere the knowmethods, and in rigid conformity with ledge of the Lord can fill the earth, the most sacred principles, of those even as the waters, which in their who are embarked on this high and collapse admit of no internal vacancy, holy vocation. The transaction, as cover the sea. we now relate it, is of purest origin, But the position which I want and has been nobly accredited by the chiefly to fix at present is, that, ochebeneficial consequences which have ther the missionary movement lie in followed in its train; for, by means an outward or in a homeward direcof these hireling labourers,—these tion, its whole economy and character hireling labourers, you will observe, may remain essentially the same. The as the ministers of our establishment enterprise may be supported in its are openly denominated,—by means expenses by one party-it may be of these hireling labourers the out- executed in its work and labour by posts of Christianity have been pushed another party. Each may be disforward to the very outskirts of the tinct of the other, and give no dishuman population,--Christian villa- turbance to the other. The secular ges have been reared in the farthest
men may provide the means; yet the wilds of paganism, — the prowling ecclesiastical men, in their proper savages of Greenland and Lapland department, may have the entire and have been reclaimed to the habits uncontrolled management. They may and the decencies of civilized life, take their support from others in and successive thousands of before things temporal, yet suffer no inuntaught 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 Now, the essential character of this their formularies, and their sacrawhole transaction is the same, whe- ments, and their ministrations—both ther we conceive these Gospel la- of word and ordinance--are all of bourers to be employed in the busi- them from above. We yet see no ness of a home, or the business of compromise of principle in such a a foreign mission. By one process connexion as this. There is support you carry the blessings of our re- given on the one side, but there is no ligion beyond, by the other you cir- surrender in the least article, either culate them within, the territory of of faith or holiness, made on the Christendom. The effect of the one other. The only submission that we is to spread Christianity externally can perceive on the part of these abroad, and so, perhaps, as to sprinkle missionaries or ministers is, a submany nations; the effect of the other mission to be fed by them and that they may wait without distraction on to be done which we have now supthe business of their own unshackled posed. Its proper object is not to exand uncontrolled ininistry. In this tend Christianity into ulterior spaces, instance, as in the former, there is but thoroughly to fill up the space the like pure origin, and there may that had been already occupied. It be a like, or, perhaps, a surpassingly is a far mightier achievement than glorious result. Hence, by the fo- may appear at first view, completely reign mission, stations are planted to overtake the length and breadth along the margin of our populated of a land. All the devices and traearth,—by the home mission, stations verse movements of the many thoumay be multiplied in the territory of sand missionaries who, during the our own land. As the effect of the three first centuries, lived and died one we now behold villages of peace in the cause, failed in their accomand piety in the distant wilderuess— plishment. I beg you to recollect as the effect of the other, the moral that fact, because it is one of chief wilderness around us may be lighted importance in the argument for a reup and fertilized, and we may be ligious establishment-tbat, notwithmade to witness both a holier Sab- standing the high endowments, the bath and purer week-days than here- political endowments-notwithstandtofore, in all our parishes. If, by vir- ing the advantages of highly gifted tue of the missionary doings abroad, men, though bordering on the ages we read that hundreds of families, in of inspiration-yet all the movements some before-untrodden field of hea- in the three first centuries did little thenism, have been Christianized, more than plant Christianity in the let us not forget that many of the cities of the Roman empire. And that cities of our island where, without is the reason why the term “heathen” one mile of locomotion, we may have is synonymous with that of “pagan,” converse with thousands of families which signifies a countryman;" it who but for the same doings at home, was because the great bulk of the would be sunk in the apathy and countrymen, (and those who lived in grossness of practical heathenism. the country) were still in this state If, as the fruit of the one service, we of heathenism. These men did much can appeal to thousands of savage in the work of spreading the Gospel wanderers of the desert transformed externally, but they left much uninto Christian and companionable done in the work of spreading it inmen, Jet not the splendour of this ternally. They had Christianized the achievement eclipse the wants of the thousands who lived in cities; but other service, if, as ministers, we can the millions of pagans, or the peaappeal to an effect equally splendid santry, who were yet unconverted, on our own cottage patriarchs, on evince the country to have been every our own virtuous and well-conditioned where a great moral fastness which, peasantry.
till opened up by an establishment, Now, we think it is not by a fan- would remain impregnable. ciful, but a sound generalization that Now, this very opening was prewe pass from the case of a home sented to the ministers of Christ when mission to that of an establishment, the Roman emperor, whether by a which is neither more nor less, in movement of faith, or of philanthropy, fact, than a universal home mission. or patriotism, made territorial distriAt its first institution, in the reign of bution of them over his kingdoms Constantine, the very work remained apd provinces, and assigned a ter
ritorial revenue for the labourers of other than the purest services of the this extensive vineyard ; and so en- sanctuary. Its single aim, as hereabled each to set himself down in his tofore, is the preparation of souls for own little vicinity, the families of heaven ; but in virtue of the blesswhich he could assemble to the ex- ings which Christianity scatters in its ercise of Christian piety on the Sab- way, do the princes of this world bath, and among whom he could ex- find these are the best citizens of the patiate through the week in all the earth ; and that the chief defence of offices of attention and Christian kind- nations, the best safeguard of their
Such an offer, whether Chris- prosperity and power, is a universal tianly or politically made on the one Christian education. There need be side, could most Christianly be ac- nought of contamination in this. The cepted and rejoiced in by the other. state pays the church, yet the church, It extended inconceivably the powers in the entire possession of all those and the opportunities of usefulness; privileges and powers which are it brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ strictly ecclesiastical, maintains the into contact with myriads more of integrity of her faith and worship imperishable spirits : and, with as notwithstanding; she would be the holy a fervour as ever gladdened the same hallowed church as when the breast of the devoted missionary when fires of martyrdom were blazing the means of an ampler service in around her-possess the same spithe Redeemer's cause were put into rituality among her ministers, the his hands, might the church in these same lofty independence in all her days have raised to heaven those pulpits. The effect of an establishorisons of purest gratitude, that kings ment is not necessarily to narrow at length had become its nursing Christianity, but to extend it-not fathers, and opened up to us the necessarily to vitiate the ministraplentiful harvest of all their popu- tion of the Gospel, but certainly to lation.
disseminate its ministrations amongst, There is just as little of the essen- as well as to spread them more diftially corrupt in this connexion be- fusely abroad, over the families of tween the church and the state, as the land. there is in the connexion between But, just as in philanthropy and the missionary cause and its pecu- in politics, there are mistakes upon niary supports : each is a case of the this subject of a religious establishearth helping the woman. But what- ment, from the very common error of ever the earthliness may be on the not assigning the right effect to its one side, there might be none, and right cause, -there is a kind of vague there need be none, on the other. and general imagination as if corrupThe one may assist in things tem- tion were the invariable accompaniporal, while the other may continue ment of such an alliance between the to assert its entire and untouched civil and the ecclesiastical. And this has jurisdiction as heretofore in things been greatly fostered by the tremenspiritual. There might be thus an dously corrupt popery which followed alliance between the altar and the in historical succession after the estathrone, yet without the danger of blishment of Christianity in the days any one earthly intermixture being of Constantine, and which certainly at all engendered by it. The state shows in vivid contrast the difference avails itself of the church's services, between this religion in the period of and the church gives back again no its suffering, and this religion in the