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Scott objected. He was commissioned to preach the gospel “to every creature ;” and insisted that the lowest of the people should be permitted to hear him. At Manchester, his ministry was known to have been owned to the conversion of two respectable persons ; the one a lady, who heard him in consequence of his preaching having been announced in a newspaper; the other, a gentleman, who heard him in a timber-yard. - The gentleman afterwards setiled at Stone, in Staffordshire, and was the instrument in laying the foundation of a gospel interest at that place.
It is of great importance that ministers, if married, should be united to truly suitable partners. A minister's wife may be a great help or a great hinderance to her husband in his work. Mr. Scott was exceedingly happy in his choice of a wife. On the Ist of June, 1768, he married Miss Elizabeth Clay, of Wollerton, near Drayton, in Shropshire. She was possessed of a handsome extate; and, which was of far greater importance, was a lady of eminent piety and exemplary prudence. She was fund of retirement, and spent much of her time in holy converse with God. She was, in short, to him, a most suitable and excellent wife. To her pious conduct, - her affectionate care of his person, and economical managentent of his temporal affairs, be, under God, owed much of his comfort and usefulness.
The heart of Mr. Scott was at all times warmly attached to his Sovereign; and it does not appear that he had any objection to continuing in his service, provided he would have been freely permitted at the same time to serve the king of Kings in the ministry of the gospel. But these very different services were deemed incongruous by some of his superiors. One of them, therefore, advised him to leave the army. He took his advice; and, on the 16th of March, 1769, sold his commission; and, from that time, fully devoted himself to the service of Christ in the ministry of his word; and thus ended all the brilliant views of military rank and fame to which Mr. Scott (had he continued in the army) might have aspired. Mr. Scott was a man of no ordinary capacity. He was well qualified for a military command. His mind was fertile, his apprehension quick, his utterance ready, and his fortitude great. The way to worldly honour was open before him. lle had a prospect of obtaining what was once the object of nis highest ambition. He liad a prospect of shining with conspicuous lustre among the heroes of his country; - but the great Sovereign of the world and the church had destined him to more impertant services and higher honours than any that mere military heroes can ever perform or attain. Blessed with that knowledge which connected with the salvation of the soul, he wisely preferred the reproach of Christ to all the honours of the world ; he became indifferent to the honour that comes froin man, and sought the honour that comes from God; and mnade it the business of his life to glorify his name.
[To be concluded in our next.]
ON THE PROGRESS OF THE GOSPEL. Mr. Editor, The importance of diffusing and cherishing a missionary spirit, is very
generally acknowledged. This object is considerably promoted by the Missionary Meetings, and by the publication of the Sermons and Transactions. But there are hundreds who read your excellent Miscellany, who neither attend the anniversaries, not see the missionary publications. With a hope, therefore, of preventing such persons froin sinking into supineness, -of inflaming their zeal,--and of exciting them to greater diligence, the following Essay is offered for insertion in your Magazine. If it be considered acceptable, it is at your service ;- if it be useful, the end of the writer will be accomplished. Yours, Hastings.
To mark the progress of the gospel, it might be proper to revert to the period when the glorious system was fully developed. But a complete description of the then moral state of the world would occupy too large a portion of this paper. Let the follow ing inspired abridgment suffice:"Darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people.” . By the Jews a partial exemption might, indeed, have been claimed. Favoure! with superior light, they excelled the Gentiles in their knowledge of the true God; but, influenced by their unreasonable prejudices, they rejected with disdain their promised Messiah, and refused to believe “the report of the gospel. But the rejection of the Messiah by the Jews, and their refusing to listen to the tidings of great joy, neither frustrated the design of the Saviour's mission, nor retarded the progress of divine truth. To the Gentiles the Saviour “turned, and they glailly received him." Disciples were commissionel ; — they went forib and preached the “gospel of the kingdom ;"-men were converted, and "devils were subject to them.” The success of the gospel was indeed but partial before the Saviour ratified its truth and importance by his death; but when, by the resurrection of " the Lord of Life,” it received an additional recommendation, iís progress became more rapid, and its effects more visible. Previous to his ascension, Jesus assembles his disciples on a certain mountain, and invests them with authority to go forth into all the world, and to preach the gospel to every creature.” Emboldened by their commission, and fired with zeal for their Master's honour, they proceed. The standard of their Redeemer is erected “amongst the thickest ranks of his enemies.” Sovation is published through Him “whom the Jews with wicked hands had crucified and slain;" and soon three thousand are pierced to the heart,” and
" What must we do to be saved ?” Nor were the exertions of the Apostles confined to a single IV.
district. Their commission was extensive.
The world was their sphere of action; and the then known parts of it were, it is generally supposed, visited by the Apostles, and by the missionaries, whom they judged qualified for assisting them in the work of evangelizing men. One of them (St. Paul) affirms that, “from Jerusalem round about to Illyricum (a circuit of several hundred miles) he had fully preached Christ's gospel." The progress of the gospel, in the early ages of Christianity, is the more to be admired on account of the opposition with which it met. Let it not be imagined, that it had the sanction of princes, or the supposed advantage of connection with the civil government. T:It the fourth century it stood as its divine Author had left it, in a condition of independence upon civil power, and totally unconnected with worldly polity. Without the recommendation of human appendages, and unassisted by the force of arms, it had to contend with angry monarchis, and with crafty and idolatrous priests: the former, foolishly suspecting that the success of the gospel would make men drag them from their thrones; the latter, convinced that their diabolical impositions would be detected, and their unlawful gains be diminished.
And not only was the system opposed, but its supporters had „much to endure. The native enmity, of the human heart, and the malicious influence of Satan, whose empire now began to totter, soon produced violent persecutions. The first preachers of the gospel were favoured with peculiar evidences of being divinely appointed; bụt their authority was questionel, and various attempts were made to prevent their success. By the Şcriptures we are told, that they were forbidden to speak in the name of Jesus;” that they were considered as the filth of the earth;" that they endured “trials of cruel mockings;" that they submitted to the most painful sufferings; and tbat, eventually, they sealed the truths of the gospel with their blood ! At different periods, and in various places, Satan seemed to triumph, and success appeared doubtful. But, though the kings of the earth raged, and the people imagined a vain thing, yet He “who sits in the Heaven” smiled at their folly, made bare his holy arm, displayed his glory as “the God of salvation," and revived the hopes of his faithful servants, by giving " testimony to the word of his grace," and by granting * signs and wonders to be wrought by their hands."
Thus the slittle cloud,” which, at the first, was " no bigger than a man's hand,” gradually increased, spread over the nations, extended itself to Britain, and, bursting over our isle, diffused such a copious shower of blessings as has fertilized the hearts of millions, and made England, once comparable to a dreary wilderness, to rejoice and to blossom as the rose."
The progress of the gospel will continue. This we conclude from the testimony of Scripture; and from the general adapt ation of the gospel to all nations.
To enumcrate Scriptures is unnecessary. Let the reader peruse the following animated and elegant predictions of the latter-day glory:- Psa. xxii. 27. Psa. Ixxii. Isa. ii. 2, 3. Isa. lx. and Rev. xi. 15. - By the gospel much has been already done; but not enough to justify a conclusion that we may not enlarge our expectations. Surely, thesc predictions and promises will remain unaccomplished
46 Till Christ has all the nations bless'd
" That see the light, or feel the sun. Consider also the general suitableness of the gospel. One of the peculiar excellencies of the gospel consists in its meeting the wants of all nations, and in its being calculated to benetit all de. scriptions of men. Herein it differs materially from the Jewish economy which it superseded : - that dispensation was confined to the Jewish nation: indeed, this was necessary. To mention nothing else, How could distant nations assemble three times a year, which the Jews were required to do? It was impossible; at least, it would have been attended with much inconvenience. But the gospel makes no such requisitions. It informs us, that “ in every place, the man that fears God and works righteousness is accepted of him ;" and that “they are of the true circuncision who worship God in the spirit, - who rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.'
As then the gospel is calculated for general diffusion; as it discovers the exact remaly for “ healing the nations, and introduces light, life, and happiness, wherever it comes, how earnestly should Christians intercode with God to “send forth his light and his truth ;” - to bless his servants with prudence, zeal, and fortis tude while they convey this best of blessings to nations yet enveloped in the shades of ignorance, of superstition, and of idolatry! “Ye that make mention of the name of the Lord, give him no rest till he establish and make Jerusalem a praise in The earth.”
But prayer must be attended with erertion. " As surely as I live," saith the Lord, “ the whole earth shall be filled with my glory.” Animațing passage! Let us, my brethren, exert oure : selves with a hope of being the instruments, of accomplishing what it promises; and, while we make our feeble efforts, we may anticipate the period when the truth of it shall be universally felt.
Ye heralds of salvation !-ye Christians, who are exerting your talents in the service of your Redeemer, continue your exertions; and, aided by the light of inspiration, look through the surrounding gloon, and see the dawning of the glorious day, when all shall know the Saviour! The standard of Inmannel is already planted before the enemy's ranks; - the banner of redeeming love is unfurled ; – the sound of the gospel-iru npet
waxes louder and louder;": -nations are convulsel, and they begin to listen to the universal Sovereign! And shall these ens
couraging symptoms deceive us ? No; God will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back.” Let the gospel continue its progress, and the plundering Arab, influenced by the love of Jesus, will relinquish his dishonest practices, and“ provide things honest in the sight of men;"- the ferocious
will become susceptible of fellow-feeling, and shudder at his former brutality; - the heart of the frozen Laplander will glow with the fire of pure devotion ; the sable African be fully emancipated from the slavery of Satan and of his agents; and the unbelieving race of Abraham be gathered with the fulness of the Gentiles. Desirable pi-riod! Hasten its approach, O King of Zion! Then shall the thunder of canuon and the clashing of arms die away into everlasting silence. Peace and prosperity will diffuse their generous blessings without discrimination. On Earth, “Glory to God in the highest !" will be the theme of every tongue; and Heaven will resound with “Hallelujah! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!"
PROVISION FOR THE WIDOWS OF MINISTERS,
To the Editor. It is painful to read so many instances of gospel ministers, who, after giving up their whole time for the benefit of others, when they have done their work below, leave their widows and orphans destitute of every means of support. Surely, it must be a great grief to ministers, while living, to reflect on the situ. ations to which their families must be reduced, for whom they cannot be expected to lay by any part of their (in general) very scanty income. It has been proposed, through the medium of the Evangelical Magazine, that where ministers cannot afford to pay the annual subscription to an Annuity Society, that the churches over which they preside should do it by a subscription among its members ; but, alas! the hint, though good, it is to be feared, has bren very partially attended to in the more wealthy congregations, while there are others as unable almost to do it as their pastor.
I am far from wishing to obtrude my sentiments on the pube lic; but would suggest to you, Sir, the propriety of proposing that a Fund should be raised for the sole purpose of paying the subscription to some Annuity Society for those ministers whose income is so small as to be barely sufficient for their support, and whose congregations are unable also, from tbeit poveriy, 10 contribute in so needful and good a cause.
If I am not mistaken, an annual payment of Five Guineas will entitie the widow of the person to l'wenty Pounds, which would be a very comfortable assistance ; and, if so, low easy might one or two hundred ministers' widows be reieved from a