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not have seen the least reason to hesitate as to its entire correctness. From this statement it appears, that seven counties in East Ternessee have at least one regular Presbyterian minister in each;—that there are twelve such ministers in the whole; and that there are generally from four to six young men studying divinity within the same limits. Comparing the letter of Mr. Cornelius with the census, the following result is worthy of being published. In seven counties of East Tennessee, which contained 48,339 souls according to the census of 1810, there are twelve regular ininisters of the Presbyterian denomination, each county being favored with at least one such minister. In the other ten counties, containing 53,028 souls, there is not a single regular Presbyterian minister, and probably not a regularly educated minister of any other denomination. The four contiguous counties, lying on the Cumberland mountains, and containing 20,797 souls, are equally destitute. These four counties are reckoned as belonging to West Tennessee, in our Geographies and Gazetteers.
The reader of the Report might naturally suppose, that the three counties, there represented as enjoying regular ministers, contained a population of about 18,000; (estimating all the counties to contain an equal number of souls;) and that the remaining 83,000 souls were in counties which do not possess a single competent religious instructor. Bad as the case is, it is materially better than this representation would make it.
The origin of the mistake is perfectly obvious. The 4 counties on the Cumberland mountains were reckoned in the Report as part of the 17 counties of East Tennessee. Of course it appeared that 14 counties out of 17, instead of 10 out of 17, were destitute of ministers. We observe, by the way, that the population of all the counties, has increased since the census of 1810; and of course the number of souls destitute of religious instruction is greater than would be the case, if the population bad remained stationary.
In regard to the western parts of Virginia, we had not the slightest intention of controverting the specific statements of the Report, by the general declaration of a layman who had resided there for two summers.
We have no doubt that the representations of Mr. Hill are correct; and we have the fullest confidence in the opinion of the layman, so far as the range of his personal observation had extended. The fact is, that the religious and moral condition of a country is not to be learned from a single brief statement, either specific or general. Some things may be learned in this manner; but it would be easy to imagine a specific statement, perfectly accurate in itself, and originating in perfectly upright motives, which should still mislead the British public, as to the state of politics, morals, or religion in New England. We do not mean to apply this remark to the Report before us; but merely to remind our leaders, that many things are to be taken into consideration, in forming a judicious opinion of the moral condition of a large community. It is impossible that such a community should be well supplied with religious instruction by the labors of a very low preachers; but to be ill supplied with instruction, and to be absolute hcatlicus, are quite diferent things.
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF MISSIONARY READING.
1. Importance of a judicious selection in general.
At the present enlightened period, when the world is deluged with books, reviews, pamphlets, and newspapers, it is no easy task for common readers to direct their attention so wisely, that much of their time shall not be lost, and worse than lost, by an injudicious choice of matter,
It is no easy task for them to make a proper selection from the immeasurable and heterogeneous mass, that has been accumulating for ages, and that is daily augmenting by the labor of a thousand pens.
It is no easy task to confine their attention to such topics and such works, as would afford them the most substantial benefit, by enlightening their minds, clevating their tiews, expanding their hearts, and increasing their happiness; exciting them to poble, vigorous, and successful enterprize; preparing them for the most extensive usefulness in the world, and for the highest enjoyment of God hereafter.
These are the proper objects of books and of reading. Happy would it be for the church and for the world, if all the rubbish that fails of this end, and all that is positively pernicious, were burned with the books of the Ephesians, that the word of God and of truth might prevail. Then the energies of the active might be concentrated, well directed, and efficient. Then the rising generation, instead of being deluded with fantastic trifles, might be instructed by sober truth; instead of being poisoned with error, might be nourished with the bread of life; instead of being ruined for this world and the next, might be fitted for usefulness and for heaven.
2. With this view of the importance of a judicious selection, it may be proper, in this place, without attempting to give a general directory, to suggest some hints on the utility of missionary reading.
At this new era of the Christian church, when her movements are becoming so general and interesting, as to eclipse the glory of the most splendid revolutions of earthly empires, a course of reading which exhibits her progress, and present state, the means by which her borders are enlarged, and by which her triumph is to become universal, demands the first attention of her firiends.
From the connexion between knowledge and action, it is obvious, that an increase of knowledge, must precede an increase of action. And it is equally obvious, that nothing has contributed more to form the distinguishing features of the present age, as the age of Action,' than the discovery and dissemination of important facts, which have led to the production of the grandest designs, and called forth the best efforts of the present generation, and which will finally result in the noblest achievements.
If men are to be aniversally excited to the work of extending the influence of Christianity and of supporting its institutions, no human means could more directly lead to secure this object, than the dissemination of religious intelligence. If men are expected to aid the missionary cause, they must be made acquainted with it: and they are best prepared to aid it successfully, when they bave a clear view of
wiat luas been done, what is now doing, and what remains to be done by inissionaries and the friends of inissions.
Without extensive knowledge on this subject, who would be competent 10 manage the nighty engines that are coming into operation, to make them bear will resistiess force upon the empire of Zion's adversary? Who would be able to marshal for the glorious enterprise, and lead forward to certain victory,
•The sacramental host of God's elect?'
It might indeed have required some effort in the dark ages to prove, cotisat ignorance is the inother of devotion;" but surely in this era of light,' the point need not be labored, that knowledge on missionary subjects is the parent of a missionary spirit,
Where is the inan, whose heart melted in tender compassion for the miseries of the leathen, while he was unacquainted with their ignorance, their delusions, their abominable and bloody rites, the extreme wretchedness of their habitations of cruelty,' and the awful danger of their cternal ruin? Where is the friend of the heathen, whose bosom is kindled with the hope of their speedy deliverance and salvation, and whose soul is fired with the zeal of an apostle to effect this glorious and benevolent work, while ignorant of the means by which it is to be accomplished? Where is the inan of a true missionary spirit, who is borne forward by the broad, and deep, and resistless current of a “passion for missionas," who is furnished for a successful enterprise in that cause, and prepared for all ihe self-denials, toils and hardships of a missionary life, while unacquainted with missionary characters, with the history of missionary operations, with the situation of the opening field, and wiile the nature of the work before hiin? But suppose the missionary spirit to exist without this knowledge; what could it accomplish? What would it do at home? Would the friend of the leathen give bis substance for their salvation, if he knew no means by which his liberalily could afford them any important benefiti Jf so, Why is this threadbare pretext so often used, •We know not what becomes of our money, or what good it will do the heathen. What would it accomplish in the field? Knowierige is power; but power without knowledge is weakness. With what hope of success could a company of bold athletic men, ignorant, indisciplined and unarmed, encounter the embattled hosts of a well disciplined and regular army? Wouid you send a child, who had never heard of a battle or a siege, to take possession of a fortress, simply because he exhibited a daring, warlike spirit? The man needs to be thoroughly furnished, who is to take :Session of the strong holds of Satan. Some skill in the use of armor that has been provod is requisite, that a stripling might vanuis! the champions of error, that one might chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand 15 tligit.
Should we look at the influence which knowledge of various kinds has upon the characters of men, in the different professions of Divinity, Law, Physic', arms, &c. We could not avoid the conclusion, that extensive knowledge on missionary subjects must have a powerful and salutary influence pou the life and character of the friend of missions, and produce in the world the most happy ellects. It is, perhaps, too often mainiained, that a set of peinliur talents are necessary to the mis
sionary. No man was ever born a divine or a conqueror.--No man is born a missionary; but a person is formed to that character by discipline. Born a depraved and selfish being, he must be born again, and taught by the Holy Spirit to deny bimself, and to love the souls of men, and to love the Redeemer of lost men more than he loves his dearest relations or his own life. Then, from the word of God, and other valuable sources, he must derive his principles of action, bis plans of operation, his commission and his armor, his hopes and con. solations.—Thus thoroughly furnished unto all good works, while the sacred impulse stirs within him, waking the energies of his soul and urging him to action, with well-directed ardor he engages in the benevolent enterprise of rescuing the perishing heathen from the power of the Prince of darkness.—Thus furnished, he is prepared to meet disappointments, privations and persecutions; to penetrate the darkest regions of paganism; to parry the fiery darts of the adversary; to disarm the champions of error; to struggle with the wayward dispositions of ungodly men, which none but an almighty arm can rule; to pull down the strong holds of delusion; to put to flight the armies of the aliens; and, fearless, to maintain his ground, when Infidelity with all his terrors and deformity,
"From his dark den, blaspheming, drags his chain,
"And rears his brazen front with thunder scarr'd."Thus furnished, he is prepared to toil and preach and pray with ardor and perseverance, for the salvation of those, who hate and abuse him, or with unshaken confidence in God, and Christian resignation to his will, to enter the flames of persecution, the martyr's chariot of fire, and thus in triumph to ascend to glory.
Nor is extensive knowledge on missionary subjects needed by the missionary alone. To the ministers of the Gospel too, an acquaintance with this subject is indispensable. On them devolves the management of missionary concerns; and without this knowledge, how could they, as good stewards, discharge this important part of their duty? Under their hands, too, are the sons of the church to be trained up for missionaries and pastors; and how can ministers acquit themselves in this responsible part of their work, without missionary information, and missionary ardor? Or how can they rouse their people to action, and diffuse among them the spirit of the age;-how can they waken the slumbering dead around them, and enlist their powers in the great work of evangelizing, and renovating the world? It is presumed, there is not a parish in N. England, or in the U. States, which has not a missionary field in its neighborhood. When will these fields that now lie waste be occupied and cultivated, if ministers do not breathe the spirit of missions, and practise the self-denial of missionaries?-When, also, will our destitute and declining churches, and the waste unorganized population of our land, be furnished with a competent supply of zealous, able, and faithful preachers of the Gospel?
But the salutary influence of missionary reading is not confined to public characters. It extends with powerful effect to private Christians, It promotes, in a high degree, their happiness, their activity, and their usefulness. It elevates their hopes--it opens and warms their hearts; VOL. XY.
it regulates their affections; it purifies their desires; it multiplies their sources of enjoyment, while it directs their powers more exclusively to the service of Christ, and the advancement of his kingdom. How many, warmed by the fervor of Horne, and stimulated by the pious ardor of Harriet Newell, have felt a new impulse to Christian action, and more cordially espoused the cause so dear to their hearts. How many thousands, cheered and guided by the light of that oriental star, Claudius Buchanan, have brought their talents, their influence, and their treasures, as grateful offerings to the Prince of Peace, and with pious joy laid them down at his feet. How many thousands more, who now scarcely lift a finger to extend the blessings of the Gospel through the earth, would be filled with grateful admiration, and most cordially come up to the help of the Lord, did they but know all that he is doing and intends speedily to do for his kingdom?
But all that can be said of the importance of missionary reading, as to its influence on the private christian, the pastor, and the missionary, applies with double force to the student in Theology. He is now forming his character for public life. He has now the best means of pursuing such a course, and of deriving the greatest benefit from it, especially in our public seminaries. Without the benefit of such reading, he must fall below the standard, required by the spirit of the age in which he is to act. The standard of 1800, would not answer for the spirit of 1820. Much less the standard of 1820 for 1850.
Every student of theology, who is aware that the spirit of primitire Christianity ought speedily to be revived throughout the Christian world, and that the spirit of Apostles must extend its benign influence through the pagan world, and who hopes to see the day, when this spirit shall pervade the earth, cannot but feel the importance of cultivating such a spirit in himself and others, and of forming such a character as to take a leading part in the majestic movements and the rapid advances of the Church for 30 years to come. If missionary reading does cherish "this spirit of missions" he will not question its utility, nor refuse its proffered aid.
By such a course of reading the student may obtain another end, which, in its bearing on the progress of the Gospel, is of no ordinary importance. It will afford him much assistance in deciding the difficult and too often unanswerable questions, “What will you be?” “What will you do??" Though he is resolved to obey the call of God, and to levote himself to the service of the church, as an ardent, animated, indefatigable preacher of the Gospel, yet the momentous question, whether he shall boemployed in planting,or watering churches; whether he shall preach to Christians, Jews, Mahometans, or Pagans; in short, whether he will be a Pastor or a Missionary, may still remain to be decided. It is a question which, at the present day, must be examined; and with prayerful solicitude and deliberation, must be decided in the fear of God, by every intended preacher or student of theology. Can this decision be safely made, without surveying the vast field, that is to be occupied, and the mighty work that is to be accomplished for 30 years to come? Can he ascertain what part of the great field of the world demands his labor, without a comprehensive view of the real and comparative wants of different nations, the means adapted to sup