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sopher and peasant, and prepares them alike for heaven. Both are admitted to the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven in the same way and upon the same footing at the last. The light which shines out of darkness, shines in the very same way on the mind of the most accomplished savant, and on the humblest of the common people. It is the light of its moral or experimental or doctrinal evidence manifested to the conscience which christianizes them both; and even the proudest of reasoners must thus humble themselves and become as little children, ere the truth of the Gospel becomes theirs -even that truth which is hid from the wise and the prudent, and is revealed only to babes.
19. The external evidence for the truth of Christianity is such as to leave infidelity without excuse, even though the remaining important branches of the Christian defence had been less strong and satisfactory than they are. works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.” 66 And if I had not done the works among them which none other man did, they had not sinned.”. But the study of the historical evidence is not the only channel to a faith in the truth of Christianity. How can it in the face of the obvious fact, that there are thousands and thousands of Christians, who bear the most undeniable marks of the truth having come home to their understanding “ in demonstration of the Spirit and of power ?” They have an evidence within them selves, which the world knoweth not, even the promised manifestations of the Saviour. This evidence is “a sign to them that believe;" but the
Bible speaks also of another evidence, which is “ a sign to them that believe not;" and should it be effectual in reclaiming any of these from their infidelity, a mighty object is gained by the exhibition of it. Should it not be effectual, it will be to them a savour of death unto death ;” and this is one of the very effects ascribed to the proclamation of Christian truth in the first ages. even in the face of that kind of evidence which they have a relish and respect for, they still hold out against the reception of the Gospel, this must aggravate the weight of the threatening which lies upon them: “How shall they escape if they neglect so great a salvation ?” It were well, then, if the effect of having studied the historical evidence should be a stronger determination than before to take our Christianity exclusively from the Bible. It is not enough to entitle a man to the name of a Christian, that he professes to believe the Bible to be a genuine communication from God. To be the disciple of any book, he must do something more than satisfy himself that its contents are true
- he must read the book-he must obtain a knowledge of the contents. And how
many are there in the world, who do not call the truth of the Bible message in question, while they suffer it to lie beside them unopened, unread, and unattended to !
20. But if, on the one hand, the evidence which tells upon the people, should not lead us to undervalue that evidence on which Christianity makes its appeal to the science and the scholarship of the most enlightened in society-on the other hand, no evidence, whether external or internal, or with
whatever truth and ability it may be expounded, should lead us to forget our entire dependence on the Spirit of God. All the powers and all the activities of nature will be of no avail, without the visitation of this preternatural influence from Heaven. There is nothing to supersede the utmost diligence in the use of means— -when told what that is which gives to means all their efficacy. It should not slacken the workman's hand, it should
him all his strenuousness—when told that the high capacity in which he labours, is that of a fellow worker with God : But still, if God be not recognized in the process, all human labour will be vain and all human wisdom a mockery. In other words, if we want to insure success, prayer must be added to performance. The building of churches-the gathering of congregations—even the preaching of the word, with whatever eloquence or talent—all will turn out the unmeaning noise and bustle of an empty preparation, without the effectual invocation of a blessing from on high. The Apostles, in the first ages of Christianity, seem to have been abundantly sensible of this— when they said, “We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word." It was not enough to have preached the word, even with the purity of an Apostle. It must be preached, not with purity alone but with power—even that power, given only to prayer, which opens the gate of heaven, and " moves him who moves the universe." There is not a more delightful occupation than
the prosperous management of human naturewhen schemes of education and Christian philanthropy have so far a successful issue; and the boyhood of a before neglected locality are now assembled in schools; and the people at large, obedient to the sound of the church-bell, are now to be seen Sabbath after Sabbath in the house of God. But even this spectacle, inexpressibly pleasing as it is to the eye of taste, and full of promise and expectancy to every lover of his species, will terminate in a mere civil or economical reformation, and without any fruit for immortality --unless the windows of the upper sanctuary be opened, and living water* shall be made to descend upon us.
We might build our churches—we might chalk out our parishes—we might open our seminaries of learning; and raise, in the midst of some favourite and selected territory, a full complement of busy and well-ordered institutions, by which to send forth a moralizing influence upon the families. But, in the first place, to work aright this moral apparatus that our hands have reared, we are altogether dependent on the Spirit of God for the men; and, accordingly we are told, not merely to send labourers ourselves, but to pray that God would send them, who might enter on the plenteous harvest of our large and teeming population. And then for the efficacy, for the real saving and spiritual efficacy of their labours, we must continue to knock at that door which we cannot open—that light and grace may descend on
this busy scene of human endeavours, and God may revive His own work in the midst of us. Could any thing exceed the labour and the locomotion of Paul ?—the fervour and constancy of his ministrations ?—the weight and variety of his multitudinous cares? And yet what a life of supplication was his, as well as of sustained diligence and activity; and how he cast himself on the intercessions of his own converts—imploring the benefit of their prayers. And it holds true, not in the first age only, but in all ages of the church. It is only by the union of devout hearts with diligent hands, that Christianity will either be planted firmly or propagated widely in the midst of us. Prayer and performance must go together. We should be as diligent as if men did all. We should be as dependent as if God did all. Our pains-taking of itself will do nothing
And it is just as true that our prayers of themselves will do nothing without pains. It is the recorded experience of one of the most zealous and successful of Christian missionaries, that it is in the power of pains and of prayers to do any thing.
21. II. This reasoning on the means and the likelihoods of christianization at home, is applicable, in many leading respects, to the question of christianization abroad. The true philosophy of missions is comprehensive of both-resting on this basis, the identity of human nature in all the climes and countries of the world. He who made of the same blood all the nations that be on the + face of the earth, hath also made them of the