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world, having been the chief seat of free inquiry, has also been the chief seat of open heresy and avowed infidelity. This kingdom will not come, until, throughout the whole church, there is “one Lord, one faith, and one baptism;” nor until there is not an heretic nor an infidel on the globe.
The Greek Church, as yet, is chiefly without the Bible; and few of the 40 millions included in it could read it if they had it. This Church is sadly departed from the purity and spirituality of the worship of Christ. It must be enlightened and purified.
The Catholic Church, as Protestants generally believe, is destined to destruction. It is obvious that the excessive ignorance, bigotry and superstition of Catholic countries must be done away; their dreadful pollutions purified, and their whole system of penance, absolution, indulgences, and auricular confession destroyed; before this event can take place.
Ten millions of mankind are Jews, scattered over every country under heaven. All these must confess with the tongue and believe with the heart, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah the Son of David.
About 90 millions are Mohammedans. Their religion is a compound of cruelty, pollution and falsehood. No Mohammedan nation ever yet renounced its faith; and our brethren now on their way to Jerusalem are the first missionaries ever stationed in a Mohammedan country.* Yet in this benighted region the standard of the Crescent must be furled, and the banner of the Cross must wave in its stead..
At least 500 millions of mankind, or five-eighths of the human race, are Heathens. They are chiefly
* The mission of Karass is within the limits of Russia.
savages; and must be civilized. They are sunk in the lowest depths of ignorance and pollution; and must be elevated, purified, and enlightened. They worship demons; and must be brought to know and worship Jehovah.
All this mighty moral revolution must take place before the prayer in the Text is answered.
2. What Means are to be employed for this purpose.
That this kingdom will not come of itself; and that the age
of miracles will not return; all will admit. Of course, Means must be employed to bring it forward. Whạt these Means are, we may learn from Facts, and from the Scriptures.
Nations have heretofore been converted to Christianity. How was it done? In the first instance, Christ sent his Apostles among them. As soon as one of them entered a heathen country, by imparting the gift of tongues, the Holy Spirit taught him the language without previous study; and inspired him with a perfect knowledge of Divine Truth. Thus he became a Travelling Bible: a Bible and Missionary all in
In this way Parthians, Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and a vast multitude of others heard in their own tongues the wonderful works of God.
But nations have been converted since the period, when inspiration and the gift of tongues ceased. The way
has been this. A few men, "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost,” have ventured at the hazard of life into a heathen territory. There they have learned the language, and translated parts or the whole of the Bible; and, before the invention of printing, with immense labour they multiplied copies with the pen.
There, too, they have laboriously preached the Gospel; and the Holy Ghost has given them souls for their hire. Others have come to their help, both in preaching and multiplying the Scriptures. Their converts have at length in great numbers become evangelists. The work has thus prospered; until ultimately the whole nation has renounced its idolatry. It was in this way that Spaniards, French, and Germans, Russians, Danes, and the dwellers in Scandinavia, Scotchmen, Irishmen, and Englishmen first heard in their own tongue of the Love of Him who was born in Bethlehem Judah. Thus, to him who asks, What are the Means of introducing Christ's kingdom; Facts answer, Bibles and Missionaries.
The Scriptures give the same answer. “The Gospel,” they tell us, “is the power of God unto salvation.”—That St. Paul understood practically, and at least as well as we, how the Heathen are to be converted, will not be questioned. He asks with great force, (and I wish that those, who think he was mistaken, would attempt to answer the question,) “How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard, and how shall they hear without a preacher? So therefore,” he says, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”—To usher in this kingdom, St. John says, that he “saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel, to preach unto them that dwell on the earth.”—That Christ knew how his kingdom was to prevail, probably no one will question. “Go,” he said to his disciples, just as he was ascending to heaven; “Go,” he still says to his ministers, and spreach my gospel to every creature.” The Gospel of the kingdom, he also tells us, shall be preached in all the world, for this very purpose.
Reason and Common Sense give the same answer. Men are introduced into Christ's kingdom not by force, but voluntarily. That which introduces them is Faith. Faith, whether we intend by it Assent to probable evidence, or a cordial Trust in the Truth of God, is an act of the mind resulting originally from knowledge and evidence. In order that
be believed, it must be first known, and the evidence which supports it perceived by the mind, before Faith can, in the nature of the case, exist. The Truths of the Bible must then be known by the Heathen, and their Evidence seen, before they can be brought into Christ's kingdom. But is there any way of communicating truth except orally; and by letters, i. e. by writing or printing. If it is to be done by letters; can any thing better than the Bible be procured for this purpose. . If, orally; are there any more proper agents than Evangelists or Missionaries.
Does the objector still doubt whether these means are adequate; and wonder that the Bible and Missionaries should produce such strange results;—A story told by St. John will explain the mystery. John informs us that Jesus, passing near to Sychar a city of Samaria, and being wearied with his journey, sat down by the well of Joseph. A Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. Christ, entering into conversation with her, told her the most secret events of her life, and revealed the thoughts of her heart. Returning into the city, she said to her neighbours, “Come, see a man, who told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”—Here is the true secret. The Omniscient God, who knows the heart of Man, wrote the Bible. In the Bible he has unfolded the human heart; its true character, and most secret thoughts and intents.
As the image in the mirror answers to the face, so
3. What has hitherto been done to bring this kingdom forward?
The thought that eighteen hundred years are gone, since the angels at Bethlehem proclaimed, “Peace on earth and Good will to Man," at the birth of the Saviour; and yet, that three-fourths of mankind have never heard of that Saviour; compels us to admit, that the ways of God are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts. Yet, however inexplicable this part of the Divine plan may appear; if I mistake not, some important points necessary to the great result have in this way been settled. The native depravity of Man has been fully exemplified. The tendency of sin, to produce ignorance, de basement and misery, has been proved. The fact, that the Heathen when left to themselves have no tendency to reformation, and only grow worse instead of growing better, is put beyond contradiction. The insufficiency of Man in every stage of civilization to devise a system of religion for himself, has been fully developed. The inefficacy of human philosophy to reform enlightened and polished