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light of revelation. Is it not more mysterious that God has refrained from pouring out the fierceness of his indignation upon the guilty possessors of that revelation? who, shutting up their bowels of compassion from their perishing brethren, have falsified their own profession of loving God by living in the habitual neglect of the Saviour's command, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel, to every creature." Had no such command been given to publish the remedy of God's providing for the universal disease of sin with all its present and future misery, men would have been less inexcusable; but the command vindicates the character of God, and throws all the guilt of keeping back the sovereign remedy for a perishing world upon those who were solemnly charged with the duty of dispensing it, and the blood of all that have perished through their neglect will be required at their hands! Let none think that the system of means at present used is at all commensurate with the length and breadth of the undertaking, nor is there yet room for any to conclude that the over zeal of others will make up for the deficiency of theirs. In efforts to convert the world there can be no works of supererogation. The men of this generation are not like children sitting in the marketplace and saying, "We have piped unto you and ye have not dan ced." They expect to see them dance without being piped to;--they wonder why the world has not been converted long ere now ;
but what is the cause? The gospel has not been preached to it. Speak not of the decrees of God. Whatever be thought of them they can never furnish an excuse for disobeying the command of God. It has been said that the effectual enlightening of the world with the beams of divine truth must be as independent of human effort as the rising of the sun. And that is a truth in its own connexion never to be forgotten, for it is God's part of the work; but man has his part assigned him to perform likewise-namely, to call upon the nations to awake and behold the light-saying, "Arisebe enlightened, for thy light is come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."
I have elsewhere argued that we may safely leave God to vindicate his own prerogative to convert the nations to himself. He will not give his glory to another, nor share it with even his most eminent servants; and they have no reason to fear (the very idea is presumptuous) that their efforts will render the power of God less manifest. There was trial made for four thousand years of what the wisdom of the world could do to improve human nature. Philosophy and civilization, and all the resources of human genius were expended without effect; they utterly failed in turning man from sin to righteousness, but the "foolishness of God accomplished it." The preaching of the cross, derided by the Greek, and stumbled at by the Jew, was the power of God to salvation. But God still
retains in his own hands the prerogative of making this doctrine effectual to the salvation of them that hear it; and only eternity perhaps will fully explain why generations of missionaries were suffered to labour almost without success-why societies and churches brought all their energies to bear year after year upon the work of evangelizing the world without accomplishing the object, except to a very limited extent. But one reason of this-if we may without presumption suppose it, may be--that when the Spirit is at length poured out as floods upon the dry ground, and nations are born in a day, all the world may see in that glorious advancement of the kingdom of Christ a grand illustration of the principle, that it is "not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God, who sheweth mercy."
I am yours, &c.
MINISTERIAL FAITHFULNESS TO CANDI
DATES FOR MISSIONARY SERVICE.
My dear Friend,
A YOUNG man, whose mind is turning toward the ministry must think himself happy if he enjoys the privilege of having recourse for consultation and advice to a judicious friend; and tutors, 'ministers, and intelligent private christians ought to consider the influence they may possess over any young person of this description as a valuable talent. It gives them opportunities of usefulness which ought to be most anxiously improved; for the amount of good they may do in this way, may extend far beyond the immediate advantage which the young friend or pupil may derive from their attentions. I can scarcely conceive of any circumstances in which the christian solicitude of a minister or tutor is likely to meet with a richer reward than when it is employed in directing, encouraging, and watching over one who is aspiring to the ministry of the gospel, whether in a heathen or christian country. When a judicious christian friend takes such a young man aside, and enters with him into close, affectionate and instructive
conversation, incalculable is the good that may result to the individual from the views and impressions of his future work which he may thus acquire. I believe it is the complaint, in most cases, even of the most serious young men, that their minds are too little affected with the awfulness and responsibility of the vocation they have in prospect, and that they labour often, as they suppose almost in vain, to have their minds more deeply imbued with feelings and sentiments suitable to the solemn engagements to which they look forward. O how such minds would value the condescending attention and counsel of an experienced christian friend; how would the tender anxiety, suitable cautions, faithful admonitions, and stimulating exhortations of a venerated minister tend to awaken and keep alive the best impressions in the mind of the young candidate for the sacred office. But if such intercourse might prove so advantageous to the most serious and devoted, how much more needful to others of a lighter cast of mind. Besides, such private intercourse would afford the finest opportunities of acquiring an accurate acquaintance with the character of the individual, and enable the wise and experienced instructor to adapt his strain of address and general behaviour towards his pupil in the way most likely to profit him. Is the young man apparently light and superficial in his views of the real nature of his contemplated work-its duties-difficulties-dis