Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

valne of a sacrifice depends on the degree this is the ordinance of God, so it is for his in which it glorifies God; and nothing can glory, as the author of it, that it be honored. glorify him more than his own peculiar When men believe in Christ crucified, they glory: now, this divine glory was in the glorify God, even as when they keep his sacrifice of Christ, and so it is of infinite holy law, or observe his righteous comvalue, and is therefore infinitely sufficient mands; and hence a man has the same infor sinners. It is therefore impossible that ducement to believe in Christ, which he has my guilt can transcend this value of atone to do any good action whatever. In man's ment, and therefore I Bee from all my sin fallen state, this is the most honoring thing to that sacrifice as greater still. When the which he can perform;-yea, it is the very mountaios of my transgression are cast into first that he can do, contributing to the this ocean of sacrificial value, then do I glory of his Lord. What an obligation of know something of the greatness of God, encouragement therefore is there in this more than all nature can teach. Appre- circumstance to induce you as a sinner to hend this truth, that the vicarious death of identify yourself with Christ's sacrifice ? Christ is infinite in value, and you have When can you ever present such a rightrisen far up into the rock of eternal secu eousness as his; when, such a sacrifice as rity !

his ? When can you glorify God, as God 4. The sacrifice of Christ is an ordi- hath glorified himself? Can you ever satnance of God, and therefore sure and valid isfy the justice of God, and yet be a vessel as a ground of trust. God alone, who has of his mercy ? Can you ever manifest been sinned against, can have any right to God's hatred of sin in your punishment, and institute the mode of forgiveness; and this yet also bring honor to him as a monument is that medium which he has ordained, of his grace? Can you magnify him in the even the sacrifice of Christ. · Him hath pains of hell, and afterwards praise him in God set forth to be a propitiation for sin, the joys of heaven? Can you magnify the through faith in his blood." “ Christ cru- law by suffering its eternal penalty, and cified, the power of God unto salvation, to then make it honorable by its everlasting every one that believeth.” From the be- fulfilment? Nay, these things you cannot ginning of the world, the future sacrifice of do :—but Christ hath done them—and he the “ seed of the woman" was presented that receives him, receives all that was to men as the divine ordinance for pardon; done by him;—and so, that man being and the whole Jewish economy, with its partner by gift in Christ's work and sacriinnumerable sacrifices of blood, was but a fice, presents an endless source of glory to sacrificial forerunner of the “ Lamb of God God by faith in his beloved Son, our kinswho taketh away the sin of the world.” man Redeemer. Oh what a splendid inIs not the sun the ordinance of God for ducement is this to believe in the sacrifice light, by which alone you expect to see? of Christ and to rely on his all.sufficient Iš not air the ordinance for breath; and are atonement; that a finite creature, a wretchnot bread and water the ordinances for hun- ed sinner, can thereby honor the holy God ger and thirst? Even so is Christ sacrificed, to infinity! Herein is a mystery—How the divine ordinance for eternal life to sin- shall the finite contribute the infinite ? ful man. Do you hesitate to receive the Even by faith, participating in the rightelight of the sun, to inhale the air of the fir- ousness of Immanuel, God with us! mament, or to eat the bread and to drink 6. Behold here the basis of Peace bethe water of this earth? Nay, and why tween God and man. Doth God breathe then hesitate to accept and appropriate the war, when he gave his own Son to be sacrifice of Christ, as sure and free an ordi- crucified for his enemies? Will he not be dinance of God as any one of the others ? reconciled, seeing that Jesus hath become Will you not for yourself believe and say, a sacrifice for us? What is requisite for

_" What God hath appointed, is not that securing peace? Has the law been broken? sufficient? What God hath declared to be Behold it fulfilled! Has the curse been his own ordinance, shall I not trust to as entailed ? behold it endured! Has the my hope and fixed security ?” Go, my character of God been dishonored ? Bedear friend, and cling to the cross of Christ; hold it infinitely glorified! God, the offendand if conscience or the world say, why cd hath begun; shall not man, the offender doest thou so— let thine answer be, ** This follow? The reconciliation bas commenced is the ordinance of my God; he against with him that is supreme;—shall not the whom I have sinned hath said, thus shalt low and the base, press in for the pardon ? thou be forgiven!”

The sacrifice is slain—“ Peace,' It is a source of glory to God, now to name; for, “ Christ is our peace;”'-and administer the sacrifice that was offered in will you not lay your hand on his head, the death of Christ, so that sinners may be and live? Be not afraid to rely on bim pardoned and saved through it. For, as who is the Prince and the sacrifice of peace

is is its

!

—who died to purchase, and lives to dis- | universal—it is individual—it is to me-oh pense it; but rather, in the gospel hear the yes, to me!” Blessed be God-blessed trumpet of peace sweetly sounding the be Christ! Blessed be the Holy Ghost notes of reconciliation-yield to the joyful who hath shewn it to me! Oh happy, sound—accept the peace, and be at rest. happy I, who have such an offer made;Oh what peace is that! No more curse, but happier, happier I, who can say now, no inore hell, no more wrath, no more “ the Lord Jesus Christ is become my scourge, no more deadly execution—all, sacrifice for sin!" all, the “ Peace of God”-sweet, mighty, I have said nothing special of that love eternal peace!

which was the soul of Christ's atonement; 7. The universal presentation of this because that was fully illustrated in a forsacrifice is a circumstance which ought to mer letter:-neither have I specified the secure your individual acceptance. There grace of the Holy Spirit, as coming to us is virtue in it for every one;—and to every by Christ's death, this being rather a result one is the offer made--why then should of the sacrifice, than an element of its conany one doubt? You have just as good stitution. Yet, let me beseech you to rereason from the gospel to embrace the member that whilst in this matter God has sacrifice of Christ, for your own salvation, to himself been strict justice, he has to us as if an angel from heaven carried the mes- been love—so that we have every thing to sage from the eternal throne, and read it in attract, and nothing to repel us. And let your astonished ears. You have an offer, me also remind you, that the Holy Spirit, my dear friend, of this atonement to be- who is sent on the basis of Christ's sacricome your own; that offer existed before fice, alone can introduce us into its beneyour appearance in the world—it awaited fits. He unites in faith the mind of man, your birth—it reached you in early life—it and the word of God;—he unites, too, the has attended you till this hour—it is re- soul of the sinner, and the sacrifice of the newell in this page. What have you Savior, that they become one. done with it? Is the gift accepted ? Has The Spirit reveals the Son, and the Son the glorious sacrifice of Christ become reveals the Father; and so these three are yours? Are you justified by its merit? one in the believer's heart, even as in Are you living on Christ's death? Does heaven. Let your soul dwell on the love he seem the loveliest of beings to you, in of God, and the glory of God-head in the laying down his life for you? If you can sacrifice of Christ; and the Eternal Spirit refuse argument, can you get rid of an will spread forth his gracious energy over offer? Although you may reject reason- you, and cause faith, and love, and hope, ing, can you cast away a gift? “ This and joy, grailually to spring up within you; is the record, that God giveth us eternal -until you can with understanding say, life, and that life is in his Son!" This “ I am crucified with Christ;-neverthegives you an individual right to trust in less, I live;-—yet, not I, but Christ liveth Christ, and this also lays upon you a divine in me:—and the life which I now live in obligation which you cannot violate with the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of out awful guilt.

God, who loveth me, and gave himself for My subject is not exhausted, my friend, me!" but my limits are exceeded:--yet I trust, Again, for the present, farewell! I may not without your finding some food for write you soon again if at leisure. Meanmeditation, and it may be also, for the ex- while, remember the Savior, and his sacercise of faith. Indulge in thought on the rifice! We have much to try us, and much subject, in occasional abrupt thought, as to busy us, from day to day; so will it be well as in steadfast train. Say in your until death;-but, under the shadow of the heart," It is true—it is real—it is hu- cross, there is peace, there is rest. God man—it is divine—it is ordained—it is I be ever with you to bless you and yours.

American Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.

THE ACTING BOARD.

from the meeting; and several, now memWe design, in a few remarks, to invite bers of the Acting Board, have served as attention to the relations and responsibili

members more than fifteen years. ties of the Acting Board. We have before

The responsibilities of the Board are shown by whoin and in what manner the very great. The business which invites Board is chosen. A new Board is created the deliberations of the Board, is of the every third year. The constitution of the most serious and weighty character. Our Convention requires that it shall consist of missions are established in Europe, in Asia, a President, Vice Presidents, Secretaries, and in Africa, as well as among the AborigiTreasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and forty nes of our own country, and in a great varieManagers, with the President and Secre- ty of nations. To exercise a judicious supertaries of the Convention.

At the late vision over these missions, requires a vast meeting of the Convention, the number of amount of knowledge. If saitable men are Vice Presidents to be chosen, according to

selected as missionaries,—and we believe previous agreement, was eighteen, making the Boarul have been hitherto singularly the entire number of the Board sixty-four. successful in this respect,—very much can

Immediately after its election, the Board be confided to them; still, there will be met and appointed fifteen of its number, oceasion for the Board to be well informed living in and near the city of Boston,-concerning the civil relations of various seven of whom constitute a quorum,—to countries, where their missions are, or are transact all business during the ensuing to be established; their commercial relayear, whose proceedings are to be report- tions, climate, laws, manners and customs, ed at the annual meeting of the Board. religion, degree of civilization, language, The number thus selected, are called the &c. &c. All this is necessary to a judi“ Acting Board,” which, in other words, cious selection of a missionary station, or is a committee, invested with authority to to the exercise of an enlightened judgment act in the name and on the behalf of the in adopting a station that might be selected whole body. The same thing has been by missionaries; and also, to an economidone, in fact, ever since the Board has had cal and expeditious performance of the buan existence. The question of convenience siness in procuring and transmitting suphas generally determined the place of meet- plies. ing, and whatever members have resided The Board are called upon to judge of in the vicinity of the meeting have been ac- the qualifications of missionaries; and very customed to attend, and transact the busi- grave consequences are involved in a suitaness. The present form is preferable; ble or unsuitable discharge of this branch certain individuals are appointed, and are of their duty. A congregation in a Chrisheld responsible for a faithful performance tian land, where every thing is inviting, of the business.

and where candidates are pumerous, often Besides many special meetings and much find it to be a difficult thing to procure a labor performed by committees, the Acting suitable supply; and how much more diffiBoard holds a regular monthly meeting, cult must it be for the Board to procure a which all the members feel under a special supply for a field much less inviting, lying obligation to altend. These meetings occupy many thousand miles off, and with which ordinarily the whole day. All the members, they themselves, from the nature of the except the Secretaries, whose entire service case, can be but partially acquainted. is given to the Board, labor gratuitously, and There may be openings for missionary defray their own travelling expenses to and labor, and the public may call for an in.

14

VOL. XXII.

crease of missionaries, while as yet the of this, we have only to refer to the stateBoard may not have discovered the men ments of our missionaries, and their often that seem adapted to their service. Again, repeated appeals published in the Magaopenings for missionary labor may have oc-zine. Specimens of this sort are found in curred, and the suitable men may be ready, the present number, in the notes of Mr. yet the Board may not have the means of Mason, of the Tavoy mission, and in the sending them. For the right disposition of letter of Mr. Goddard, of the Siam mission. all these various questions, the Board are Mr. Mason, having stated some reasons held responsible.

why he supposed that the See of Rome The relation of the Board to their mis- had its eye on the Karens, as a field of sionaries is delicate and important, involv- missionary labor, remarks :ing very great responsibilities. The mis

“I am astonished at the apathy of sionary, on entering the service of the American Christians in respect to the KaBoard, relinquishes all hope of acquiring rens. We ought to have six more misearthly possessions; he leaves his country ment, in these provinces alone. The Chris

sionaries at work among them at this moand his kindred, and goes far away from tians are scattered hither and thither uninboth, to dwell among the heathen, and structed, their children are growing up in thus places himself in a condition of depen- ignorance for the want of teachers, and the dency upon the Board for his sustenance, hear the gospel from January to December,

great proportion of the unconverted do not and for the means necessary to the accom- year after year. Yet so hopeless is the plishment of his reasonable expectations as prospect of doing any good by mentioning a missionary among the heathen; a service the subject, that I have more than once to which he feels himself shut up by his whether to finish it or not. I think I

hesitated when writing this letter, in doubt convictions of duty. This relation awak- should have thrown it aside altogether, had ens in the Board the feelings of the great- not Ezek. 3 : 18, 19, come to my mind. I er solicitude, from the fact that it cannot have delivered my soul.” be subjected to the rigorous exactions of a Almost every despatch from our missionwritten contract, but must be regulated by aries contains some touching appeal for the principles of the gospel, which take it help. They speak on behalf of their for granted that each party is disposed to brother missionaries, on behalf of native do the thing that is right and proper. Christians, on behalf of millions who wore

To cherish a becoming sympathy, and ship idols. Nor can the Board be indifferprovide suitably for the ever returning ent to the claims of either of these parties. wants of some fifty or a hundred families, They could not feel indifferent, were they must engross no small share of attention; to contemplate them in their individual cabut this service is light compared with that pacity. Every man, whose soul has beea necessary to be bestowed on the great en- animated by the hopes of the gospel, must terprize in which the missionary is engaged, feel with an Apostle, that he is debtor and in which he has a right to expect that “ both to the Greeks and to the barbarihe will be sustained. The Board feel ans," to communicate to them a knowlbound to listen attentively to every propo- edge of that which he has found so benefisition from their missionaries, that aims at cial to himself, and which he knows is giving enlargement and efficiency to their needed by them, and is equally adapted to operations, and to second their endeavors them. And more especially is the Board to this end by every means in their power. moved by a consideration of these claims, To do this is but the fulfilment of their when they remember that thousands of most sacred pledge; and it has been one their Christian brethren are confiding in of the greatest sources of anxiety to the them, that, as the almoners of their bounty, Board, that they have not been able to they will listen attentively to these entreameet such expectations. Almost every ties, and supply those wants, or inform mission is at this moment suffering for the them of their inability to do so. want of a reinforcement. In confirmation In what we have remarked hitherto upon

this subject, we have directed our attention, ish its resources. The grounds of objecexclusively to the foreign field of labor; tion are various. Some maintain that an and it will be obvious, we think, from the association embracing both extremes of brief sketch which we have drawn, that the Union, must necessarily be accessory the Board would bave sufficient to com to the perpetuity of sectional evils; others, pletely engross their attention were they that if the wicked are allowed to cast into allowed to confine it exclusively to this de- the common treasury, the displeasure of partment. In other words, the Board Heaven must consequently rest upon the would find sufficient employment in super- whole institution; others again complain intending the work of foreign missions, if of the administration of the Board as being the means necessary for prosecuting them, inefficient, and that it squanders the funds were furnished without their care. But in needless expenditures. These grounds every one knows that this is not the fact. of objection are urged with great freedom, It is known that the greatest obstacles to in a variety of forms. Though the Board the progress of foreign missions lie in this are generally aware of the sources of these direction; that the labor of collecting the things, and know how to appreciate them, requisite sunds far exceeds all others. This they are nevertheless occasion of deep rewill probably continue to be the case. gret; for every scheme brought forward, The supporters of this enterprize are multi be it ever so absurd, will have advocates; tudinous, and are dispersed over an im- and every pretender, however worthless, mensely wide surface of territory. They will have followers, and thereby many of must, nevertheless, all be approached; the the unwary aro seduced from the simplicity facts in the case must be communicated, of the truth; and this is the more to be reso that every one may have the means of gretted because every substraction from forming an intelligent judgment; the heart our strength, by whatever means made, must also be moved to the duty of evange- inflicts a blow which falls ultimately upon lizing the heathen, by a presentation of our missions. This is quickly perceived those motives which the gospel furnishes. and most keenly felt by the Board, for It is, doubtless, the daty of every disciple they cannot but be tenderly alive to the of Christ to do something for the conver- interests of the missions entrusted to their sion of heathen nations, yet one may live care. It were indeed monstrous to feel and die in the neglect of this duty, and so otherwise. A most vivid picture of the may thousinds; whole communities may missions is kept constantly impressed upon neglect this duty, as has often been the the mind, and they would that the same case, and as always will be the case until were impressed on every other mind. some influence is exerted upon the people | When assembled for prayersul deliberation, to move them to the performance of it. communication after communication is These difficulties arise from the nature of read 10 them from the missionaries, so full the case, and are incident to every organ- of interest that their feelings often become ization for missionary purposes. There wrought up to the highest pitch of endurare also other obstacles which our Board | ance. They come, it may be, from differhave to meet, some of which arise from ent continents, and from missions in a great the nature of the civil institutions of the variety of conditions, from the highest country; some from the peculiarities of our measure of prosperity to the lowest depths previous history; and some from the nature of adversity. Some are in prison, perhaps, of our ecclesiastical polity.

being persecuted for righteousness' sake; There are many influences adverse to the some are sick, and nigh unto death. Othcause of missions among us, that furnishers again are giving thanks to God that occasion for deep regret. There are not they have been enabled to complete a wanting those who feel at liberty to assail translation of his Word into a language the Board in a manner calculated to destroy spoken by millions of benighted and perpublic confidence, and, of course, to dimin-1 ishing heathen; others, being surrounded

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »