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year, for the observance of the ordinances of Christ, and that it never occurs to one of all these multitudes of professing christians, and is never once suggested to them by their pastors, that there may be some individuals among them who should go as messengers of mercy to their heathen brethren ? If this is the fact, I leave you to draw the inference. Guilt lies somewhere. Is there not ground for addressing such bodies of professing christians, in words originally spoken in reference to another subject, “Now, therefore, there is utterly a fault among you.”

On this I shall not now enlarge, but I would ask, If such has been, and is the state of things in many christian churches, ought they to remain so ? It is high time for all whom it concerns to consider this question. And unless they can justify their neglect of the heathen, let them repent, pray for forgiveness, and seek grace to " walk henceforth in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”

Within the period that has elapsed since the publication of the sermon now commented on, the greater number of the existing missionary societies date their commencement. Many foreign missions have been undertaken, and a degree of businesslike activity and system characterizes the operations of most of them; and their exertions God has been pleased to honour in many instances with an encouraging measure of success.

But it should be observed, that while christian benevolence has taken a wider range of exertion, and is now travelling to the ends of the earth, it has not been absorbed by these foreign operations. Christian zeal and benevolence have opened new channels for themselves at home also, and are flowing in various directions through the length and breadth of the land. Consequently the christian world is not now pursuing, with undivided attention, either the propagation of the gospel among heathen nations, or the enlightening of the dark and long neglected corners of our own country. Both have a share of attention. And these two great classes of objects, the foreign and the domestic, are again subdivided into various minor classes, so that there is a great variety of benevolent objects now demanding the support of the christian public.

But in this state of things, there is more need than ever to sound the alarm in the ears of professors, lest, deceived by this appearance of multiplied and diversified activity in doing good, they become deaf and callous to the cries and miseries of those to whom they have yet afforded no relief ;lest, thinking only of what they are doing, they forget that there is something they are not doing, and which nevertheless ought to be done.

Is it not matter of notoriety, that many when the claims of the missionary cause are pressed upon them, crave to be excused lending their aid, the ground that they assist some other benevolent


and religious institution? This, to say the least of it, is surely making the performance of one duty the reason for neglecting another. To propagate the gospel wherever there are human beings to receive its glad tidings, is either the duty of christians or it is not. If it be the duty of one it is the duty of all, according to their ability. But in the case supposed the plea in effect is inability. I grant that a poor man who may give his mite to one object, may not be able to give to two or more, and in his case the plea is valid. But I am supposing the plea of inability to be urged upon insufficient grounds, and the pittance of charity bestowed on one beggar, made a pretence to send away twenty, unpitied and unhelped.

Let me suppose for the sake of illustration, that in time of war, it were put to the patriotism of the people to furnish voluntarily the necessary contingent for prosecuting the war with vigour, there is good ground to conclude that in multitudes of instances there would be the attempt to evade altogether the payment of the smallest fraction towards the expenses of the war ; and in another immense number of instances there would be the attempt to answer the demand made upon their generosity and public spirit, by the payment of a sum far below the due proportion to be expected from persons in their respective circumstances. But all the while these persons would wish to be thought lovers of their country, and contributors to its defence and aggrandisement as far as they were able. Suppose now, that instead of leaving the matter to the optional contributions of the people, a levy were imposed upon all, proportioned as far as co be ascertained to their means, would not this tax in thousands of cases fall much heavier than the people, when left to their own view of the duty, thought they were able to sustain ? I may here repeat a text quoted before : “ The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.” Human governments do not leave it to their subjects to determine how much each shall contribute to the purposes of the state; for if they did, imbecility, inaction, and derangement of the whole political machine would soon be the consequence.

We would not have the expenses necessary for carrying on the war against the empire of darkness, to be imposed in the shape of a tax upon the subjects of the kingdom of Christ; but till they are generally roused to more adequate conceptions of the amount of means requisite, and become more conscientious in doing and sacrificing what they can, it is easy to see that, so far as human agency is concerned, the contest may be indefinitely protracted, and the enemy continue to laugh at the irresolute measures, unwise counsels, languid zeal, cowardice, and imbecility of the confederated, or rather divided, christian world.

Turn now to the matter of fact. To subdue the

whole heathen world to the obedience of Christ, the combined energies of all the christians in the world are equal to the maintenance of an army of five or six hundred men.* No wonder that they are ready to sink under the burden of supporting this immense body of forces. It is some comfort to think, however, that the enemy must soon be overpowered by such a host, and therefore the oppressive duty of maintaining it is but for a short season ! I feel that this is not a subject for irony, but I know not in what


I can better express the feeling of shame and sorrow which the contemplation of this subject excites. It is indeed mortifying to think that the christian world can do so little, if it can do no more than has been done; and it is not less mortifying, if it can do more,

that it does it not.

I will not repeat the humbling comparisons that have been made between the amount of the annual receipts of our benevolent societies, and the receipts of one of our London theatres for a short season ;


* It is true that the separate societies which devote their funds to the translating, printing and distributing of the scriptures, and other societies, not strictly missionary, are supported by the christian public. These furnish the missionary (to carry on the figure) with arms and ammunition--and may be supposed included in the view we are taking of the hostile operations now going on against the prince of this world. Let therefore the whole accumulation of means be kept in view. There is, alas, no need to hide some part of the means used in order to make the amount appear small.

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