Page images
PDF
EPUB

eficiaries, and obligated dependants of us who live and luxuriate at home, is really too bad; men, who when the alternative is to go or send, consent to the weightier branch of the alternative, and go; that they should be looked upon as inferior to us, who choose the lighter part of the alternative, and only send ! I say it is too bad. " I must give you something." Really!

I do not wonder, for my part, that God does not give " the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven," to the present generation of saints. Their souls are not sufficiently expanded to receive it. It will require a race of Christians of great hearts to take possession of the world in the name of Jesus-Christians who shall be constrained by his love, and who shall feel the full force of the consideration presented in 2 Cor. 8 : 9. Many Christians now think they feel it; but is it feeling the force of that consideration for a man, who has an income of some thousands

a-year, to give a few surplus dollars annually to support missions, or to circulate the Bible? I do not say, that because Christ impoverished himself, therefore all his followers ought literally to do the same; but I say they ought to come nearer to it than they do. If, being rich, they should not become poor, as he did, yet surely they ought to be more free with their riches. If the master gave his whole principal, cer. tainly the disciples might' give their interest. That would not be too closely imitating him. If he emptied himself, they at least might forego farther accu. mulation. They need not become poor; but why should they be so solicitous to become more rich? That is being as unlike the model as possible.

29. A Tract Effort.

We had a meeting last night in one of our churches to raise the sum of one thousand dollars in aid of the American Tract Society's foreign operations. The notice was general in the churches, and to many dividuals repeated in the shape of a printed request sent to them on the day of the mecting. The evening came, and it was one of the finest we ever have; not a cloud, and the moon shining forth in her fullest splendor--emulating, to her utmost, the light of the orb of day. We had not, however, a very large meeting.

Few, even of our church members, can be persuaded to adopt that sentiment of the Savior, that "it is more blessed to give than to receive." Many are unable to conceal the sceptical smile, when it is gravely advanced and urged as an argument for liberality. More blessed to give! There is nothing in

them that responds to that sentiment. Yet Jesus said it seriously. He meant what he said ;

and some of his dear followers know in their hearts that it is so. They experience the superior blessedness of giving. Far more delightful to them is the feeling when they communicate, than the feeling when they receive; and giving leaves an impression of pleasure on the soul which no other act does or can. To be capable of communicating! What a privilege ! they exclaim. It is to be like God, who all things gives, but nought receives, save the gratitude and praise of his innumerable pensioners and dependants. These persons give now as they pray, almost for getting it is a duty, so occupied are their souls with a feeling that it is a privilege.

But we met to promote a foreign object; and that made against us with, The distance of the heathen from us was even pleaded by one as an argument against contributing. They are so far off. So far off--my thoughts dwelt on these words and I reflected thus : “ They are not so far off from us, as angels are from men. Yet angels come over the distance to minister to men. No part of earth is so far from any other part, as earth from heaven; yet, did not the benevolence of the Son of God bring him across that long interval of space ? How have we his spirit, if our benevolence cannot carry us the length and breadth of this little continuous earth? What if the object be foreign ? Earth was more fo

some.

reign to heaven. The man that argues against missions as foreign, is not aware perhaps that his argument assails the mission of the Son of God, and would prove the incarnation to have been an unwise measure. But is it foreign ? What! one spot of earth foreign to another, and man an alien to man! Christianity teaches a different lesson-that earth is but one great habitation, and men but one extended brotherhood. O shall we, who have been visited by a benefactor from the skies, think any part of earth too distant for our charity to explore! Jesus thought it not so when he said, “ Go ye into all the world.” If the argument of distance had prevailed with others, we had never heard of Jesus. Was not Britain far off? Yet Christian missionaries visited it. I wonder that this circumstance should be forgotten. Was that a Quixotic enterprise which resulted in the conversion of our ancestors? If not, how is that Quixotic which undertakes the conversion of a nation now in heathenism? Too distant! There was something forinidable in distance once. But what is distance now? With the star, and the compass, and the sail, and the steam, and man's skill to construct, and courage to dare and fortitude to endure, what, I ask, is distance ? Diminished almost to being annihilated. Whither has not man gone for his own objects ? Whither shall he not go for Christ's ? Shall curiosity, the love of science, the passion for adventure, the lust of gain, carry men farther than the love of Christ

а

shall constrain them to go? O never. There is no force in the objection.

It was, notwithstanding all, a good meeting. Those who were present gave liberally, and with the help of the ladies we shall more than make up the sum we proposed. I know some think these women ought not to labor with us in the gospel. But why not these, as well as “those women " which labored with Paul in the gospel, of whom he makes such respectful mention in his epistle to the Philippians ? Was it proper then to use their aid, and not now? May they not do what they can for Christ as well as their sister whom Christ commended for having done what she could ? Were they not women whom Christ sent on the first errand he wanted done after his resurrection ? “ Go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.” May not such as went on that errand, go on that greater errand: "Go ye and teach all nations ?" May they not at least promote the going of others ? What, are women the followers of Jesus Christ, and may they not, as their Master did, ge about doing good ?

« PreviousContinue »