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In what light, then, ought the several claims of the heathen abroad and the christian community at home, to appear to the mind of a pious student of divinity, or one who wishes to become a student with a view to the ministry ? and what are we to make of the fact, that there are many hundreds

young men of this description, studying with a view to the pastoral office in Great Britain, while scarcely one individual is coming forward to offer himself as a missionary?

Is it that they have adopted the opinion combated in another letter, that persons of mean talents are good enough for missionaries? Is it that the young men who crowd our academies and universities, the nurseries of the church, think their abilities too good to be thrown away upon the heathen? Do they modestly leave it to less gifted brethren, who give no favourable augury of becoming good preachers, to occupy a sphere abroad, where their deficiencies may be less felt by themselves, and less observed by their hearers? I should be glad to find a more favourable explanation of the fact; and I can indeed make a more charitable supposition in the case of a few : but how to account for the great bulk of aspirants to the ministry preferring home service, more honourably to their principles and motives, I confess myself at a loss. It this moment occurs to me, that some may shelter themselves behind the example of the race of ministers of the last century, who seem to have thought very little of the duty of practically and generally seeking the conversion of the heathen. But without attempting to defend or to criminate the ministers of a former period, it is most manifest that those of the present have had their attention drawn to the subject in a way unprecedented, at least in modern times. The claims of the heathen have been so pressed on their notice, the actual state of the heathen so clearly brought to light, the practicability of attempting and effecting their conversion so proved, the facilities so increased, that they who neglect them now, are utterly without excuse.

Do students for the ministry really think that their services are so much needed at home, that to go abroad would be, at the best, a very questionable course ? I doubt 'whether they can think so. Let me suppose a case for the sake of illustration. Suppose the state of a certain empire to be as follows:- The rightful sovereign in one part of his dominions is generally acknowledged, his laws are respected, and the great body of the people professing allegiance to his government, and instructed and ruled by faithful servants of the king, enjoy peace and prosperity. But the rest of the empire, all the foreign possessions of the crown, all the distant provinces, are in a state of disaffection or open rebellion ; multitudes of the

people have utterly thrown off their allegiance, have chosen leaders for themselves, and trample on the authority of their prince. The king, therefore, desirous of reducing these misguided subjects to obedience, issues a proclamation, inviting his faithful and devoted servants to exert themselves to

repress the spirit of rebellion wherever it may be found; to bring back the rebellious to their duty; and not to relax in their efforts till tranquillity be universally restored, and the honour of the king and government be every where acknowledged and supported. The king, however, depending on the fidelity and attachment of those who own his sway, accepts the services of volunteers only, and invites them to enrol themselves in his name. Many do so accordingly, professing ardent zeal for their king, and compassion for their undutiful fellow subjects; but they decline foreign service, where they are most wanted, preferring to parade at home, leaving the honours and dangers of the field, where the rebels are in arms, the field of actual war, to such, forsooth, as may not be able to make a respectable figure in their home establishment. There is a numerous well appointed corps stationed where all is quiet, but where the mass of the population is in a state of avowed shameless hostility to their rightful king, there is scarcely a single man to stand up for him and his cause; and few or none of his volunteer corps at home have

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the courage, or the self denial, or the love to their king, to face his enemies ! I leave you to apply this parable.

It is a glory peculiar to the christian system, that its motives to obedience are as powerful as its precepts and doctrines are pure and heavenly; and so it is possessed of the grand desideratum, the want of which left the boasted ethics of heathen antiquity essentially defective. Their ethical systems, like their celebrated statues, were astonishing monuments of human genius; but they were lifeless. But how is this peculiar character of christianity illustrated by its professors ? Does their conduct demonstrate that they are governed by a religion of motives ? Is their performance of the most difficult and self-denying duties it prescribes, but the means of shewing the power it exercises over them ? or at any rate, are there so many examples of this, that it is no breach of charity to account for the rare cases of neglect of duty, by ranking the few who are guilty of such neglect among mere hypocritical pretenders to the christian name?

The admission of duty not followed up by corresponding practice necessarily proves one of two things : either that christianity is deficient in motives, or that the omission of acknowledged duty betrays a radical defect of principle. The question then with regard to those who profess christianity and yield no practical obedience to some one important duty, is reduced to this alternative. The influence of christianity over its disciples is as powerless as the systems of Aristotle or Epicurus were over theirs ; or, the professor of christianity who neglects, or deceitfully compromises the duties it prescribes, is a hypocrite.

It is easy to see how these remarks bear upon the duty of christians to propagate the gospel. I cannot conceive of a more triumphant proof of the divinity of the christian religion than would be furnished by its disciples being universally animated with a zeal to extend the knowledge of it through the whole world—not such a partial inefficient zeal as draws a paltry annual contribution to a missionary society - but such a zeal as would lay the whole moral and mental energies of the christian world as a consecrated offering on the altar of God. Some christians do all they can; and when all christians shall act as some already do, it will be a happy omen for christianity and for the world. When christians, instead of replying to the endless quibbles of sceptics and heretics, shall rise up and bend their whole efforts to make the pagan world christian, they will effectually and for ever silence the infidel, and


the righteousness of the cause of God and truth.

It is one of the strangest things in the world to hear men talk of the mysteriousness of the ways of God in suffering so great a portion of the world, and for so many ages, to remain destitute of the

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