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worship him. Nor is it desirable that ever again the Church of Christ on earth should possess such enormous external unity, such overshadowing predominance as an undivided institution with an earthly head. It cannot be regarded as useful, as favorable to liberty or humility, or as consonant with the genius of the Scriptures. The division of the Church of Christ into coexisting sections is a movement in the providence of God, preparatory to the universal spread of the gospel, which probably never will be altered.
The devotion of the Jesuits to the Romish Church, their identification of themselves with the interests of that Church, was an ambitious spirit of aggrandizement, like to any thing rather than that devotion which Christ requires from his followers. The afflictions which Paul professes himself ready to suffer for Christ's body's sake, which is the Church, were to be endured, not for the power of the Church, but for its edification ; the glory which is to be given to Christ in the Church is not the glory of an external unity, but of inward, all conquering love. The unity of the Church is not unity under a particular earthly head, but the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and the unity of faith in the knowledge of the Son of God. A Church may have an unbroken form, an unbroken faith, and an unbroken succession of pastors from the time of the apostles, and yet not be the Church of Christ, nor any part of it. The arrogant preten. sion of the Church of England to be exclusively the Church of Christ, and its submission in established unity to an earthly head, is utterly contrary to the spirit of the gospel. The dedication of the Apocalypse was not to the Church of Asia Minor, but to the seven Churches of Christ in Asia Minor. Had that book been sent to the kingdom of Great Britain, its style of designation must have been, not, John to the Churches of Christ in England, but, John to the Established Church of England professing to be in Christ.
The grand cause of corruption and persecution in the Romish Church was its unity under an earthly head. And the garment of Christ's body had better be torn into ten thousand pieces, than preserved seamless from top to bottom, only to be a seamless covering and defence of concentrated despotism and impurity.
The work of missions, therefore, could not have been committed to the Roman Catholic Church, nor to any part
of the Church before the 15th century; it must of necessity have been reserved for a Church that holds the truth in freedom and purity. It needed likewise a Church imbued with the truth, not merely electrified with the new perception of it. Accordingly, a nation had been training up and disciplining for God's purposes, and Protestant England, in which a greater spirit of liberty and knowledge prevailed than any where else, was selected as his sanctuary. There the ark of God rested, till the earth began to put on its verdure. The principles newly revealed at the Reforma. tion were clothed with power of language, and dwelt richly in the English mind. The whole compass of Divine truth was investigated by English theologians; men of the profoundest learning and the profoundest piety at once combined their powers upon it. The deepest erudition and the most heavenly wisdom were brought to the illustration of the Scriptures. A body of speculative and practical theology grew up in the 17th century, such as could not be surpassed, and in its depth and richness afforded a bank sufficient for the whole world to draw upon. For the accumulation and circulation of all this wisdom, and for the carrying out of the great purposes connected with the Reformation, the provi. dence of God had revealed to the world the art of printing, on the very eve of that mighty event. '
Meanwhile, the New World had been discovered, and the North American Continent peopled with Protestant belier. ers. Here we may admire the wisdom of God in deferring the discovery of the New World, till a people suited to his purposes had been made ready to inhabit it. If Columbus had made his heaven-directed voyage only two or three cen. turies earlier, the whole western world, froin its northern to its southern extremity, would have been peopled with Roman Catholics, bound in bigotry and superstition to the court of Rome; and the beast, though driven from his throne in Europe, would have found still a secure refuge and a throne unshaken across the Atlantic. The birth of Columbus was deferred till just before the birth of Luther; the Old World's Reformer trod fast upon the footsteps of the New World's Discoverer; so that, while the one was making his prodigious discoveries, the other was laying a train of causes to possess and preserve them for the Divine glory. Then again the occupation of America by Protestants was de
ferred till a race had sprung up, made out of the best stuff in England,—a race who would go to forward the Divine purposes, and not, like the Spaniards, to kill the natives, and labor for the lust of gold. Nurtured in Protestant theology, alike learned and godly, animated by an indomitable spirit of liberty, and prepared for their work in Protestant fires of persecution, the Puritans were the instruments whom God had appointed to raise up a people prepared for his name. Accordingly, in the fulness of time, the persecution of their own enemies, in God's overruling providence, banished them to this country, to fulfil one of the most glorious destinies in the history of man.
While the Church grew on and knit to strength in NewEngland, a people like the Puritans, with the same fire of liberty and religion, were gathering, in Old England, a dissenting Church, purified in persecution, and filled with the Spirit of God. In this hemisphere and in that, the whole discipline of the Church has been in some respects eininently favorable for the part she is to bear in the accomplishment of God's purposes. Two grand fundamental lessons have been teaching ever since the Reformation, burnt in with fire, into the heart and experience of God's people, and still working out in greater visible truth, and becoming every day more universally acknowledged and established; toleration, and independence of an earthly head. Without a Church that had learned these lessons, it is hard to see how the world could ever have been conquered in the name of Christ. It might have been by the arm of power, in fierce despotism, in an enforced unity of blood and fire ; but never by truth and love. These lessons God is therefore impressing upon his people, as the result both of experiment and argument, and is all the while drawing the array of his providences closer and thicker in every generation.
In Europe and Asia the fallow ground of the nations was broken up by the French Revolution, a scene of madness and crime, which, with the vast and rapid movements of Napoleon, marched in the van of God's mighty preparations. Since that series of events, knowledge has been increasing, many have run to and fro, inventions and discoveries in science and the arts have been multiplying with extraordinary speed. A great source of power, and a striking indication of Providence, is the almost universal prevalence of the English language. The students in the Missionary Seminary at Basle, call the English language the missionary language; and well they may. The present population of the British empire, including its kingdoms, colonies, and dependencies, is 150,000,000, comprising 4,457,000 square miles. The area of the Roman empire, at the summit of its glory, is estimated by Gibbon at only 1,600,000 square miles. What a comparison might this fact suggest, between the field of missionary enterprise now, and that of the world in the time of the apostles ! Among the whole of this vast population the English language is sprinkled at intervals; it prevails to a great extent in the British possessions in India and on the continent of New Holland; the two mightiest Protestant nations of the earth speak it as their native tongue, the two nations more prominent than all others for their missionary exertions, which, indeed, is the grand fact pointed at in that designation of the missionary language ; in South Africa, and on the western coasts of that dark quarter there are settlements that speak it; it is found, almost without exception, wherever there is a missionary station in the world. It is like a great wall of intelligence running round the whole circuit of the missionary field, with strong towers rising up at intervals, so that in truth the watchmen see eye to eye; they shall lift up their voice, with the voice together shall they sing, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Whatever the multitude of different dialects to be encountered, this one missionary language in a manner encircles them all.
As God, in his providence, has thrown over the earth this bond of intelligent union, and has increased the acquisition of every sort of knowledge and power, which could fit the Church of Jesus to work under their Divine Head, so he has provided facilities to carry the army of laborers and the array of materials all over the world. In the invention of rail-roads and steam-engines, he has gone far to annihilate distance, and, what is more, to remove the mountains interposed, and the prejudices, that make enemies of nations. The first steamer that turned its noisy paddles in the silent harbors of the Mediterranean sea, was the prophet of a glorious revelation. That sea is his, and he made it; and he it is, whose providence, unveiling the secret powers of nature, has covered its romantic waters with those sailless
ships, that in their swift course bring almost within a stone's throw the civilized and barbarous countries that line its lovely circuit. It was the privilege of the writer to visit these countries soon after the establishment of regular steam communication between them. It was interesting to notice the effect of that event upon the minds of devoted missionaries, who had long toiled in those regious. We stood one evening with such a servant of Christ on the quay in Smyrna, gazing with deep interest across its noble bay, at the coming steamer, as.she advanced, regardless of wind and tide, to her place of anchorage in the harbor. Never shall 1 forget, said Mr. Temple, speaking of his feelings when that star of the providence of God rose on the missionary horizon,-never shall I forget the excitement of my mind, when the first steam vessel entered our harbor in Smyrna. Our chain of bondage was broken, and I seemed to see, as in a vision of the Lord, the glorious future events that wait upon that movement. It was, indeed, a jubilee to many hearts.
Throughout the whole extent of what was once Rome's Empire, the facilities of communication will soon be easier, in every direction, than they ever were in the proudest state of Rome's dominions. The missionaries and their stations are no longer alone; the thrill of feeling and the flash of intelligence goes almost with electric rapidity from one to the other, and from the whole across the ocean. Curiosity is awakening in all lands; the apathy even of the Turkish character is giving way before the marvels of European civilization; the power of the Koran is diminishing, and a breach is made in the influence of the false prophet by every step taken by the Sultan and the Shah to assimilate their people to the manners of the occidental world. The obstacles that prevent the access of Divine truth to their hearts, and its power over their consciences, are gradually removing ; a spirit of inquiry and of life is breathed into oriental sects of Christianity, and living instruments for God's Spirit to work with, native leaders of the sacramental host of God's elect, are here and there rising up. The field is every day getting more ready for the chariots of salvation to move upon, and the great Head of the Church is selecting his ground, posting his armies, and occupying fortresses for the last great conflict with the powers of darkness. In all political movements in the East, whether