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efforts for general usefulness, are regularly given by the European officers, and by the resident morchants aud opulent civilians. Now, this is most important and delightful, and shows what a marvellous change has been accomplished; and the alteration, morally and religiously, in connexion with European and American residents in India particularly, as one of the blessed fruits of Christian missions, is exceedingly striking. We cannot be too grateful for it. It is the result of the truth. It is the work of God. What obstruction at certain points has been removed! What influence is consequently given! What an amount of beneficial co-operation is thus furnished, which is every year augmenting! And when we consider how large a part of the Missionary field is possessed by Europeans, and is under the mild and beneficent rule of Queen Victoria herself, this one result of past exertions in pagan countries is obviously of material, indeed of the highest, importance—leading to consequences permanently and incalculably beneficial.
As the result of Christian Missions, VI. Multitudes, there is every legitimate ground for belioving, have been effectually converted to God.
This is the grand aim. This is the crowning result. This is the supreme object of Missionary plans, Missionary efforts, Missionary instructions, Missionary sacrifices, Missionary prayers; and it has been amply and delightfully realized, awakening our unlimited wonder and admiration, and inducing our unbounded praise. There has been no mistake on this point—no uncertainty —experience has testified-it in the most surprising manner. Facts have confirmed it indisputably, and in such a way as to occasion unmingled gratitude and joy. Look at the West Indieslook at Southern Africa—look at India —look at Western Africa—look at the Navigators' Islands, Tahiti, Karotonga,
and groups of islands in the South Seas — look at Madagascar — look at Burmah—look at Porsia—and even at China—and what can you say? That nothing has been done? That little has been accomplished? That we have toiled to no purpose? That we havo not been repaid for our money, our efforts, our sacrifices, our perseverance, our sufferings, or the death of numbers of our valued Missionaries, and their excellent and devoted assistants and agents? Oh, no! It is impossible to make such a statement. We can only exclaim, with wonder, love, and gratulation, as we contemplate the spiritual blessings conferred on the heathen, and those now communicated—" What has God wrought!" "The Lord has done great things for the people, whereof we are glad!"
Converted heathen, we rejoice to believe,—and the fact is undeniable,—are already numbered not by hundreds, not by thousands even, but by tens of thousands; and, after makiDg every admission, we may go much beyond this. There can be no question respecting the accuracy of this statement. The history of Christian Missions, during the last fifty or eighty years, is full of the most important and well-authenticated facts; and the evidences furnished of the sincerity of those brought to Christ in heathen lands, have been beautiful and demonstrative, especially by the change in their character, and by the sacrifices they have made,—even the martyrdom for Christ to which many of them have submitted, in the most spontaneous and heroic manner. Who, we ask, can tell the numbers, since the establishment of Christian Missions in those countries, who have been converted to the faith of Christ, and brought effectually to the Bedeemer, in the West Indies, in Polynesia, in Caffraria, in Sierra I^one, in Burmah, in Ceylon, in Madras, in Bombay, in Serampore, and in Calcutta, specifying no more places, or countries, where the gospol lias been divinely and savingly blest?
It is evidently impossible to ascertain the number of enlightened and regenerated heathen, purified by the Spirit of Christ, and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Some Missions bavo furnished very few and imperfect returns. But, when we consider the number of communicants associated with the Church Missionary Society, the London, Wcsleyari, Baptist, Moravian, and Scottish Missionary Societies,—when we dwell on the number of members of the Church of Christ in heathen lands, identified with the varied and important American Missionary Societies, we must see, at once, what a multitude, in the course of half a century, have been drawn to Christ, and put in possession of the blessings of salvation. Many years ago, no less than two thousand, professedly converted from heathenism, were baptized by Missionaries connected with Serampore alone, and the majority maintained their Christian standing in a consistent and decisive manner. When we recur to the numbers, as reported by the great Missionary Institutions, as being united with their churches in the bonds of fraternal and holy fellowship, in almost every part of the pagan world, we see, at one glance, how the truth has been honoured —how the grace of God has been magnified—how the Saviour has been glorified—how the benefits of Christianity have been realized and savingly enjoyed.
Several year3 ago it was calculated, from the best data, that the number of Christian converts in heathen countries, then existing, might safely be estimated, after every deduction of those who were
received on external profession merely, at more than a hundred thousand.
Besides, let us dwell, in addition to these, on the multitudes of sincere converts who have died in the faith of Christ, and received their immortal crown. Some have computed, many years ago, that we should specify another hundred thousand who have entered into the kingdom of God. How it rejoices our hearts to think of the multitudes from heathen lands, who are now in paradise, celebrating the unbounded praises of the Lamb of God!
Schmidt and Schwartz. Marshman and Carey, Brainerd and Eliot, Martyn and Thomason, Vanderkemp and Williams, and a great band of noble and beatified Missionaries, with their glorified converts with them, in the presence of the angels and of tho Redeemer! What scenes do they witness! What society do they enjoy! What employments fix thoir minds, and awaken all their energies! What bliss is perpetually realized, as, being delivered from all danger, all sorrow, all fear of defection, and all sin, they hymn the praises of Christ in concert, and sing loudly, sweetly, triumphantly— "Worthy, worthy for ever, is the Lamb!"
These, these, dear readers — ye miuistors of Christ—ye Missionaries to the heathen—ye members of churches throughout our land—ye Missionary collectors, Missionary supporters, Missionary advocates — these, we gratefully repeat, are some of the fruits, 6omo of the blessed results, of Christian Missions.
—" See, see the glory! View, 0 view it loDg aud well!"
THE GROWING CHRISTIAN.
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thorcby."
1 Peter ii. 2.
Entrance on the Christian life is characterized as a now birth. A man does not become a Christian as he may become a Piatonist, or a Mahomedan, by a mere change of opinion, or an avowal of discipleship. The believer in Jesus is a " new creature." Christianity requires that men " be converted and become as little children," before they can enter into the kingdom of God. There is a change in the moral nature. Old things pass away, and all things become new. Self-right«ousuess and 6elf-seeking are renounced, and the soul's supreme satisfaction and sufficient supply are found in God, through Christ. Thus the believer becomes a child of God, having cast away hostility, and looks up to him as his reconciled Father. This is not merely a term of endearment, nor is it simply expressive of relationship. The whole course of the Christian's life on earth is represented as a state of childhood, in comparison with what it will be hereafter. And 'even here, the first stages of the spiritual life, when compared with its further developments, are represented as infancy gradually disappearing and passing into manhood. Christians are the children of light, the children of God, and no term in its application to them is more attractive or full of meaning; but how often, in the other sense, do they continue children, lingering amidst the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, and betraying the weakness of babes, when they ought to be advancing to the vigour and energy of manhood! The child of God must grow.
I. Religion Involves The Principle
Tt is the Christian's special duty and
business to " grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." We too much forget this. We are apt to think that the great principles of the gospel aro so few and simple, that they are easily and speedily learned. But the most intelligent Christian may become wiser. An advancement in the knowledge of truth may not exclusively, or even chiefly, mean an addition of new truths to existing knowledge, but a deeper acquaintance with the import and bearing of that which wo know. Thus every Christian may grow. The lovo of Christ passeth knowledge, yet the believer may advance to a more practical acquaintance with the power of this love, and, under its influcnco, grow in all the graces which adorn the Christian character. Religion in the soul is not healthyunlesstherebe growlh. Progress seems to bo a law in all the departments of God's universe with which wo are familiar. Vegetable life manifests the principle of growth,—tho powers of tho animal life expand,—tho faculties of the rational being are developed,—and it is in perfect analogy, that the elements and energies of the spiritual lifo should grow. When viewed in relation to man's imperfection, this life must be progressive. All its aspects will advance. Faith will increase in strength; love will more thoroughly pervade tho soul; humility will more completely clothe the character; purity will more brightly boam from every action; the blighting influence of worldliness will decline, and tho whole character will become radiant with more celestial attraction. The stationary Christian— the man who has no greater hatred of sin, and no greater delight in God than when he professed his faith in Christ, has reason to suspect the sincerity of his religion. "The path of the just is as the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day." The dominion of grace in the soul must extend. The mind is gradually expanded, and the beaming of intellect brightens under the regal sway of truth. The heart is enlarged, and the affections become more firmly and constantly fixed on things which are above. The religion of the true believer in Jesus becomes more thoroughly a life and less a sentiment. The law of the Christian life is to press on towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. How is this law fulfilled? II. The Oreat Means Of Growth In
THE Chbistian LIFE IS THE WORD OF
On this point there seems no room for controversy or doubt. The word is "the incorruptible seed," which germinates in the soul, and brings forth fruit unto God. Christians are begotten of God by the word of truth. It is the truth as it is in Jesus, received into the soul, which delivers it from the "bondage of corruption," and introduces it into the liberty of the children of God. "The words that I speak unto you," said Christ, "they are spirit, and they are life." We have no warrant to believe, that, apart from the word, or independently of the word, there is the impartation of life to any soul that is spiritually dead. And the means which are employed in implanting a principle, are certainly the proper and only efficacious means of promoting its development and strength. In the present day thero is a tendency to depreciate the revealed Word of God in its influence and bearing on the Christian life. It is asserted by some, that men can be duly and devoutly religious independently of the Bible. This is the form which modern infidelity is taking, and to which there appears some ten
dency in other directions. Inspiration is spoken of as common to all good and great men; there is a revelation in every man's individual soul; the religious life—as a sympathy with the true, the virtuous, and the divine—is declared to be altogether independent of anyobjective source or external revelation. To speak of a written word, a historical gospel, a volume of sacred writings, as necessary to impart and nourish true religion in the soul, is, in the estimation of these spiritual philosophers, absurd and derogatory to the nobleness of humanity. This notion, in a modified or mutilated shape, has an influence in some professedly evangelical quarters, to the disparagement and depreciation of the "oracles of God." But we have no ground to believe, that, in God's dealings with us as moral beings, a Mm] can be born again apart from the presence and power of the truth; and if the Word of God be the instrument of imparting life, then it is equally needful to maintain and strengthen this life. This is not the place for any discussion of the mode of inspiration. On this point the wisest and best of men may have different opinions. But if there be any Word of God, then God has spoken uith authority to man. And if so, when and where? If his voice is to be recognised by us—if it wore meant for us—must it not be definite Rnd clear? If tho spiritual life of man is made to depend on the reception of God's utterances in the gospel as an objective revelation to him, is it not absolutely necessary that these utterances be distinct, and free from all ambiguity. There was certainly something well defined and clear in Paul's idea of the gospel, when he wrote to the Galatians (i. 9), " If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, lot him be accursed." And if that book—which meets the most searching scrutiny of the candid inquirer with abundant evidence of its special inspiration—be tampered with, and subjected to the test or tribunal of man's "intuitional consciousness," either as to tho authority of its historic narratives, the divinity of its sublime disflosures, or tho accuracy of its logical deductions, the foundation of Christian experience at once becomes shifting sand, and the grand instrument in the hands of tho Spirit, of imparting the Christian life, loses its definite character, and, as a consequence, its influence. To part with faith in the written Word, is to part with faith in the positive means of spiritual life. And if it is left to man's inward impressions, or individual consciousness, to receive some parts of this Word as true and divine, and to reject other parts as illogical and inaccurate, then the criterion is various as the manifold frames or phases of the human spirit; and the Word, thus regarded, cannot with confidence be pronounced the living and life-giving oracle. As thero oan be no life, therefore, without the Word, so there can bo no growth but through the Word.
The history of the Church in all ages has a clear testimony on this point. It proclaims the closest relation between a profound regard for the authority of Scripture, together with a proper use of it, and the spiritual life and power of tho Church. Every remarkable revival of piety has been associated with the high appreciation and devout study of the Inspired Volume. It was so under the Old Testament dispensation, in the time of Ezra the Scribe (Nehemiah viii), when the Levitcs read and expounded the "book of the law " with such stirring effect upon tho minds of the people. It was so in the rapid progress of Christianity in the first age of the Church, when the "Word of God," preached and written by the apostles and evangelists, "grew mightily, and prevailed." It was so at the Reformation, when Luther and his coadjutors brought forth tho Word of God from its concealment, and claimed for it the
place and influenco of supremacy in tho doctrinosand ordinances of the Church. And it was so more recently amongst ourselves, in that extensive revival of religion which took place through the blessing of God on the labours of Whitfield and Wesley. Nor is it too much to say, that every revival of religion in the individual soul, every victory of the believer over sin, overy step in advance towards more complete conformity to the Divine mind and model, is associated with, or accomplished by, a more practical acquaintance with some utterance of "the lively oracles." "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The pretensions, therefore, of our modern philosophical religionists to true sympathy or harmony with the divine, independently of God's own revelation, are preposterous as well as false. They may commune with their own reasonings, they may speculate about their intuitions, they may boast of their refined moral consciences; but their rational or emotional religious life is not the spiritual and holy life of a man subdued, won, and sanctified by the truth of the gospel. How can there be a knowledge of God, or sympathy with his character, in depraved moral beings, apart from "the Word," in which ho has graciously and avowedly revealed himself? Without the reception of the objective truth we do not believe that there can be anything really subjective, of religious power, or excellence, or consolation. The divine record is the instrument of life and the means of growth.
Iii. In Order To Grow, The ChrisTian Md8t Diligently And Dbvoutly Use The Word Of God.
Christians are to "desire the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby." Thus will their spiritual strength be invigorated, and the energies of their spiritual life developed. This is the chief end to be sought by