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On the Best Means of Convincing the Heathen of the
On the Reasons which may justify Qualified Indivi-
Missions for the Propagation of Christianity among the Heathen can no longer be regarded as doubtful experiments. The grounds of attack and defence, therefore, have undergone an entire change. Thirty or forty years ago, such undertakings were represented by those who opposed them, as fanatical and utopian; as begun under the influence of a misguided zeal, and never likely to answer the purpose, or reward the benevolent exertions and sacrifices of their projectors.
The friends who espoused the cause, knew too well the nature of the work in which they had embarked, to be put down or discouraged by this mode of assailing them. Their enterprise was founded on a correct knowledge of the nature of christianity, as a message from God to man, and as adapted to all the diversified evils which belong to his fallen nature. They were fully persuaded that it was the will
of God the gospel should be preached to every creature; and that, though they might err in the selection of instruments, or in the choice of spheres of action, God would regard with approbation the effort to promote his glory, and sooner or later smile
it with success. Success, come when it might, however, they never alleged as the proper ground of their engaging in the work. They knew that it was the prerogative of God alone to give it in answer to prayer, and in connexion with effort, while it was their duty in faith and patience to wait for it.
I grant that if success in such a cause were indefinitely delayed, it would lead to some important considerations. It would induce suspicions as to the nature of the work attempted ; as to the construction put upon the revelation of the will of God; and, finally, as to the divine origin and design of christianity itself. For if any part of the communication from heaven be clearer than another, it is the intimation, that the blessings of the gospel, as they are adapted to all, so they are destined by God to be enjoyed by all, the nations of the earth. If therefore all attempts to propagate the gospel should fail, it would follow either that we are incapable of understanding its revelation, or