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the tenderness of friendship, or the fervors of seraphic zeal may be superadded to the most powerful reasonings, and yet, till Christ crucified is exbibited as the hope of glory, no submission to God can be inspired into the heart,mno victory over the spirit of disobedience can be secured.
When, therefore, we are able to estimate the value of that principle of immortality, within us—to compute the happiness it may enjoy, or the misery it may endure, through interminable agesz--when we can fully understand the preciousness of the blood of atonement-the loveliness of Him who is “chiefest among ten thousand,” and “altogether lovely," we may comprehend the importance of missionary labors--and not till then.
2. Its magnitude. The moral revolution, which the Gospel proposes to effect in every sinner, is so great, as to be described by the Holy Spirit as a new creation a work that can be accomplished only by that "exceeding greatness of power which wrought in Christ and raised him from the dead." If we extend our thoughts, then, from an individual sinner, to a whole world lying in wickedness, and consider the rapid flow of successive generations--the millions that are every year swept into eternity and succeeded by other millions equally needing the renovating influences of the Holy Spirit, and the instrumentality of a preached Gospel, can we deny the immense magnitude of the work? . But we must consider the demand made on the resources of those engaged in it. Their circumstances
oblige them to be abundant in labors—in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of their own countrymen, in perils of the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils among false brethren, in weariness, in painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger, in thirst, in cold and nakedness.
The whole system of Christianity is to be explained, defended, and applied to the actual condition of those to whom the missionary addresses himself. The counteracting systems of idolatry and superstition are to be boldly met-their claims are to be canvassed-their absurdities and their intrinsic abominations exposed. The prejudices that have fastened on the benighted mind,and been confirmed by the unsuspecting confidence of a hundred generations, are to be loosened from their hold, and removed out of the way. The conscience, incumbered by a thousand vain ceremonies, or blinded by the pomp and pageantry of idol worship, is to be relieved and aroused. The heart, hardened to adamant by familiarity with licentiousness and blood, is to be summoned to a surrender of all it values, at the foot of the cross
-and every thing consecrated by immemorial custom to "them that are no gods,” is to be challenged as the enemy of Jehovah. Is not this a work of magnitude? Is it to be accomplished by feeble efforts--or even by the more vigorous exertions of here and there a solitary missionary? When we think of the miserable condition of pagan countries, we are apt to imagine them destitute, equally of spiritual and intellectual energies. It is a mistake. Minds of the greatest subtilty, of the greatest power, and capable of prodigious
effort, may be found among the Indians of the west, and are not uncommon among the idolaters of the east. The mass of heathens are no doubt degraded; the lower classes have as little claim to intellectual as moral cultivation-but there are those among them, as well as among us, capable of distinguishing between sophistry and just reasoning, capable of detecting every weak point in argument, and of bringing no small share of metaphysical acumen into the defence of their theistical systems. Such minds possess an influence over the multitude, not easily to be controlled; and, buried as they are in ignorance of the first principles of revealed truth-strengthened in their prejudices against a new religion by veneration for antiquity, and fondness for earliest conceived opinions, they are not to be easily enlightened and brought into subjection to the great Prophet of the church. The sluggish mind of the Hindoo Pariar, and the shrewdness of the philosophical Brahmin, may, for aught I know, present equal difficulties to the Christian teacher-but the history of missions assures us, that years of patience and arduous exertion, accompanied by fervent prayer, have scarcely gained access to either.
And, if the magnitude of the work be estimated by the extent of the field inviting culture-tell me what amount of labor is requisite to place six hundred millions of immortal beings_and these six hundred millions removed and succeeded by six hundred millions more every thirty years, at an equal point with ourselves on the scale of religious privilege. You must remember,—it is no fiction—it is fact-paganism extends its sway over more than half the extent of the immense continents of Asia and Africa, and over at least three fourths of the extent of America. Beside this, until lately it has maintained an undisputed control over the islands of the South Sea. New Holland, sometimes called “the Fourth continent” is wholly pagan, except a little corner, where a recent Christian establishment exists. And even the West India islands, held by Christian nations, “contain,” says Bishop Porteus “upwards of 400,000 human beings, of whom much the greatest part live most literally without God in the world; without any knowledge of a Creator or Redeemer; without any one principle either of natural or revealed religion, and without the idea of one moral duty." Besides this, in Europe, Pagan idolaters possess the greater part of Greenland, Russian Lapland, and other parts of the northern extremity of the continent; making in the whole a pagan population of nearly five hundred millions totally ignorant of Christianity. Add to these at least an hundred and forty millions, who swear by Mahomet-spread over all the Turkish dominions in Europe, Asia, and Africa-Gilling up the Barbary states-planting the crescent in the interior of Africa, and extending its baleful shadow to Zanguebar and a large region of dense population on its eastern coast; scouring the desarts of Arabiawithering the glories of Persia—flourishing in the Russian territories of Astrachan and Little Tartaryguiding the Independent Tartars of Turkistan and Bucharia on their plundering and murderous expedi
with awful darkness the eastern islands of Malaya, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, &c. thick settled with men immortal as ourselyes, and even
stretching into Hindostan, as though the blackness of Paganism was not of a dye deep enough, to please the Prince of darkness.
Now I ask-Is there one spot on earth, that does not need the Gospel? Where will you find it? Are the islands of the sea sufficiently happy without it; happy -in crowding their morais with hundreds of human victims in a day as a burning sacrifice to the honor of an idol? They have every blessing that the bounty of an indulgent Parent can bestow, except the Gospel-but can they be happy while the restraints of Divine grace on their guilty passions are suspended-while, in all their anticipations of the future, an impenetrable cloud hangs over the eternal world--and the only heaven, of which they form an idea, corresponds in its chief characteristics with the most filthy and disgusting scenes on which the sun ever looks down? Are the inhabitants of Asia or of Africa happy, when the slight elevation of their character above the brutes only enables them to perceive their miseries, and aggravate them by guilty indulgencies? Are they happy in their domestic condition, when selling each other—the nearest relatives, into perpetual bondage—in their self inflicted tortures in their horrid immolations? If this be happiness, then indeed the Gospel would add nothing to their comfort; if this be happiness and, if eternity be a dream,--then, no missionaries are required, to carry them the good news of peace on earth and good will to men. But if on the other hand, all the nations of the earth, yet unenlightened by the Gospel, are in that state of deep moral degradation, which renders them incapable of solid happiness both here and hereafter, then