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in view for instance of the extinction of the national debt, how deplorable, how ominous, is the determination exhibited by many, to cast off entirely the small impost wbich is necessary for the protection of those physical, intellectual, and moral improvements which it becomes all nations to make! Well might Mr. Adams in his Report, speaking of the national achievements, under circumstances of comparative difficulty and trial, observe with his characteristic felicity and energy,
And while all this has been accomplished, the nation bas been advancing it population, in wealth, in physical and intellectual cultivation, in all the elements that constitute the prosperity of nations. What sudden blast of lightning from heaven could strike with more fatal blindness-what inconceivable infatuation must lay prostrate all the faculties of our souls, were we capable of seizing the very moment of liberation from the heaviest burdens we have borne, to throw off all those which are but the stores of seed, 10 be sown and cultivated into barrests of future plenty:
It would truly be a most melancholy comment on the best human institutions and the highest human happiness, if we must become die vided and imbecile, when it would seem to be within our reach to be more united and powerful than ever—if we must sink into dishonor and infamy, when never before was it apparently so easy to consummate our greatness-if we must consent to loose the ada vantage of that providential preparation in the benevolent more ments of the day, by which the interests of virtue and piety might be signally advanced, among so large a portion of the human fami-ly--if all this experiment of a republican government must fail, when it might be established on an unshaken basis—and if our wbole example must be lost to inankind, when it might be made taj speak with effect through every coming age. But all these must take place, not because majorities are liable to enact laws which are disliked by minorities, for this will often happen, and we could not possess a representative government without a subjection to such a contingency; but it must take place, if minorities will not peaceably yield the point that majorities shall govern-if they will not roluntarily submit to the decisions of law-if a spirit of menace and resistance be cherished among any considerable portion of the people. Nor will such a state of things stop here. Regular constitutional government having failed, and the country being no longer a country of laws, the fury of passion will impel us to force and violence; and as the ultimate result, all history shows that the supreme power will be siezed by a bloody triumvirate, or directory, or by a single fortunate adventurer. Let the people solemnly consider the disastrous tendency of violent factions, and decide whether they are prepared, for the sake of party triumph or sectional interest, to sacrifice their noblest inheritance--the union of these states, the integrity of our common country.
We cannot for a moment reconcile it with christian principle, that they who are called the disciples of Christ, should by word or deed, sanction any such proceedings as those to which we have adverted. We can perceive—we can admit no real claim to the possession of the spirit of christianity, in refusing obedience to the laws of the land. Except in the single instance, where the laws require that to be done which is morally wrong, or to be omitted which moral obligation demands, we hold it to be incompatible with true subjection to the gospel, to refuse subjection to “the powers that be.” Under our government, inclination, party, or interest has nothing to interpose but the constitutional remedy-and that is the ballot box. In foro conscientiae we have no other rectifier, and ibis it is believed, always will correct abuses, on whatever side the wrong may lie; for who can admit, among the people at large, a disposition to oppress any portion of the land? On the whole, “ we are persuaded better things” concerning our country, though we have thus spoken. The time, the occasion, the crisis, the character of the nation, seems to require something by way of caution and remonstrance, from every pen. It seemed to us to require something even from ours,
Art. lll. -CAUSES WHICH HAVE IMPEDED THE SPREAD OF
EIGHTEEN hundred years have passed away, since the comHand was given, go ye into all the world and preach the gospel lo every creature, and yet there is not to be found on our globe one whole nation in possession of the word of God; not one whole nation blessed with the ministry of reconciliation; not one nation under heaven in the full enjoyment of the light, knowledge, and glory of the gospel. We speak of christendom; and we hear nations exclaiming with the people of Israel, “ we are wise and the law of the Lord is with us," while its want of efficacy renders the reply of the prophet fearsully appropriate, “Surely in vain hath be made it-the pen of the scribes is in vain.” Were there presented to our view a faithful summary of all the wrongs to be redressed, ignorance to be enlightened, error to be controverted, vices and oppression to be done away, and heathenism to be reclaiined in nations which are called christian-nothing but the everlasting arms could
phold us from despair. We are accustomed to speak of our own land as the most favored of God. Fix your eye steadily upon it, and you see no narrow field for missionary enterprise. A popula
on outgrowing its moral and religious institutions, errors coming in like a flood and the love of many waxing cold, impiety with its repVol. IV.
tile meaness, and infidelity with its daring effrontery, covering some portions of our land with more loathsome plagues than ever rested upon the land of Egypt-multitudes without a bible, multitudes more, destitute of a proper ministry—two millions the victims of a slavery whose "iron entereth into the soul,”—hordes of savages in the most abject state of heathenism. .
If we turn to Europe, we see religion well nigh become extinct, by an unnatural alliance with civil power and secular interests. The crown was placed upon the head of christianity, while the knee was bent in solemn mockery; she was decked with a robe of purple and spit upon; endowed with the scepter of pretended empire wherewith she was smitten. Amid the most imposing magnificence, we have here witnessed the 'melancholy spectacle of religion lying in state, and surrounded by the silent pomp of death. There are churches enough in Europe—the mighty dead sleep beneath them, and marble statues are within them, but the living are noi there. Millions of thoughtless beings are sleeping the sleep of death in the arms of an establishment, ignorant of every thing which pertains to vital godliness, save when it is held up to ridicule and contempt by a bireling clergy. To a large part of the people, that bible, to open whose promises the Lamb offered up his blood, is a sealed book; and millions by means of a perverted religion, are rendered far more hopeless than the ignorant, unprejudiced heathen. The vacant soul of the savage may be filled with rapture at the story of redemption, the shivering bosom of the Greenlander may be warmed with the love of Christ, and charmed with the novelty and tenderness of a tale, which breaks in upon their benighted souls, sudden and unexpected. But the ignorant catholic clings to his unmeaning formalties with sinews stronger than steel. But were christendom what it ought to be, it would bear no greater proportion to the mass of mankind, who are in the most abject state of heathenism, than the surface of the ocean which receives the light and the breeze, to the unfathomable depths which remain dark and unstirred beneath it. That sun wbich on every returning sabbath smiles on the people of God, as it rises in the east, and passes slowly through heaven, witnesses scenes of human guilt and wretchedness, sufficient to quench its luster in endless night. Millions prostrate themselves in blind adoration to the sun as to God, of whose glory it is but the faintest emblem. It absorbs the fire of human sacrifices: its light falls on the minarets of a thousand mosques, crowded with the victims of imposture-upon the pagodas of India—those "outer chambers of hell," and on the numberless temples where nameless idols are worshiped in bloody and obscene orgies-all piercing the skies as so many provocations to call down the wrath of God. The voice of lamentation and woc
ascends to heaven in every breath of air ; and in all the length and : breadth of the world in which we live, oppression and cruelty, ignioFrance, superstition and crime hold alınost an undisturbed dominion. ** Such is earth's melancholy map.” The whole creation groaneth to be delivered from the bondage of corruption.
The inquiry spontaneously arises, why is it that the gospel exerts an agency so narrow and limited? Why is the knowledge of it confined to such an insignificant portion of mankind, while millions are perisbing for lack of it? What are the causes which have impeded christian enterprise ?
Men who believe that the world is to be converted by human agency-by a process of efficient means, see no cause for surprise in the present limited extension of christianity. The church has seldom acted upon this principle, since the days of the apostles. She bas mistaken the nature of her duty. Her warfare is designed to be aggressive. She is to go forth conquering and to conquer. Yet it is an undeniable fact, that her mightiest energies have been expended in self-defense. Content if she could protect herself from the assaults of her enemies, and make her own bulwarks strong, she has seldom aspired to the more glorious enterprise of gaining fresh accessions to her kingdom, and traveling in the greatness of her strength, to become mighty to save. Hence those imperishable memorials of talent and labor, which have come down to us from past ages of the church, are almost exclusively mere defenses of christianity-able indeed-but not partaking of the nature of direct attacks upon the systems of her adversaries. What is true of such productions, is eminently true of the practice of christians. The church, since apostolic times, has never made the experiment of a combined attack, a systematic invasion into the kingdom of darkness. She appears to have been waiting for some sudden passion to seize the nations, like that which inspired christendom at the time of the crusades. On such a principle of tactics, to compute the ages which must elapse before the world will be evangelized, transcends our limited capacity. The Hindoo chronology which assigns to its fabulous dynasties, millions upon millions of ages, would form but an inconsiderable item in such a calculation. When a nobler principle shall be adopted ----when christian governments shall have learned the first lesson of their duty to a perishing world—and the church shall go forth to the field with the same enterprise and ardor she bas shewn on minor objects :exhibiting the same wise adaptation of means to the end-the world is evangelized. When she has sent forth into the Holy Land, as many devoted missionaries, under inviolable vows, as she has superstitious palmers--when some Elliot, with the spirit of an apostle, shall pass, like Peter
the Hermit, through the courts of christian Europe, and summon their resources to the help of the Lord against the mighty :—when some soldier of the cross, with the untiring zeal of the “Lionhearted” Richard—and with a soul burning with love to Christ, shall lead forth the armies of the living God, with banners consecrated with the unction of the Eternal Spirit, on a nobler crusade against the superstitions of Islamism ; then if we sail will be the time to sit down in ashes, and wonder at the limited spread of the gospel. Converting the world, by sending out here and there a poor, broken-hearted, sighing missionary, is like leveling the everlasting hills, by removing a stone once in a century. We have never imagined, even when our ' enthusiasm' was at its highest—that the spiritual wickedness in high places would cease of itself, and the world be converted in the absence of all adequate means. The whole matter is thrown into one syllogism, with admirable conciseness and irrefutable logic, by the “ pbilosophic apostle." “ How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heardand how shall they hear without a preacher-and how shall they preach, except they be sent ?"
Again : Past efforts for evangelizing the world, have not only been exceedingly sparse and inadequate, but from want of sufficient system have been, to a great extent, misdirected and wasted. A vigorous writer of our day, has drawn an admirable distinction between the “ charity of instinct,” and the “charity of principle" -the one holding forth a single cup to the passing traveler—the other digging a well in the desert, which once opened, will now forever. Without dwelling upon this distinction, it is obvious, that the church for too long a period, acted at random on this subject. Whatever efforts were made, were made without a system, and without a plan. Elliot and Brainerd were noble hearted missionaries, but they were alone. When they died, none followed up their exertions. Compare the movements of the church, now, as she uses foresight and system and organization, with all preceding efforts. It is an immense augmentation of power which we have gained by reducing all our efforts to a uniform and consistent plan, by making every impulse however feeble, to bear upon one and the same purpose ! Means for converting the world are not wanting. Society abounds in resources for its own speedy and universal amelioration ; the public mind now seems to be heaving like the bosom of the deep; and all that is necessary in order to accomplish the grandest designs of benevolence, is that the highsouled impulse should be guided by deliberate foresight, and by calm and considerate principle.
Were we called upon to specify causes now operating to create