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worketh the good pleasure of the will of God, and advanceth his glory; where the preaching of the Gospel is not, neither is Satan's malignity perceived, nor is God's grace revealed, nor man's heinous wickedness, nor the person of Christ, nor the work of the Spirit, nor any one of the mysteries which it is God's purpose to manifest. Every thing remains a chaos, a dark and waste deep, unproductive of any fruit unto the Creator, possessed of darkness and death, without any rival of their usurped reign, without a demonstration or a witness of their usurpation.

If these be right views of preaching, and I can find no others in the Holy Scriptures, what is there in our doctrine which hindereth this noble office of God to be carried on in any, and in all parts of the earth, to which it seemeth good in the Lord's sight to ordain it? And that it doth indeed so seem good, is apparent from that last parting commandment of the Lord, “ Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you : and lo, I am with you, even unto the end of the world.” That this commission is co-extensive in place with the habitations of men, is manifest from the words,“ teach all nations;" and from the coincident words of Mark, “ Go unto all the world, and preach the Gospel unto every creature. That it is co-extensive in time with the present age or dispensation, which runneth on until the coming of the Lord, is likewise manifest from the promise, “ Lo I am with you all the days, until the consummation of the age.” Upon the Apostles therefore, and upon those who succeeded them in the office of preaching the Gospel, and upon the ministry of this day, and upon the ministry that shall succeed us until the consummation of the age, it must be incumbent, as we honour the last parting charge of the Lord, and tender his good pleasure, that we should preach the Gospel everywhere round the world, among the nations, for a witness against the many, and for an effectual calling unto the few who are chosen. And the ministry of the word, as an ordinance of Christ, is so far forth guilty in his sight, as it cometh short of this its appointed office. It is not clear from the blood of all men, until it is making a good and a true testimony unto all men. I do not say that any of the elect of God shall by its negligence be lost, because he is larger than his ordinances; or that the Lord shall want a sufficient plea against the reprobate ; but I do say, that the foundations of the earth will get more and more out of course, and the ways of men more and more wicked, and the judgments of the Lord more and more heavy, according to the decline and iniquity of preaching.

And herein, I may remark by the way, consisteth one of the many beauties and excellencies of an established church, that it doth make provision for the preaching of the Gospel to every creature within the bounds of that nation over which it is established, whereby one ordinance of Christ is fulfilled, and he, as the Head of providence, doth bless that land with power and wealth, and great glory. Yet are not we, who are ministers of an established church, each commissioned, and by law holden to preach the

Gospel to every creature within our bounds, thereby exonerated from the commission of preaching it to every nation under heaven; but rather bound, as being of the ministry, to exonerate the order to which we belong, and the office which we fill, by doing whatever we can to bring it to be commensurate with the commandment of the Lord : and forasmuch as the flock of Christ is, by his appointment, made chiefly dependent upon the pastors, as appeareth from the Epistles to the Seven Churches of Asia, and many other parts of Scripture, it becomes a duty incumbent upon every minister of Christ, in order to defend the ministry from wrath and on many other accounts, to help in that good work. And hereon I rest the duty of promoting missions to the heathen, and to the apostate churches : because it was the last parting commandment of the Lord, that all nations should be preached unto till he come again, and it was his last parting promise, that he would be with all who should labour in this vocation till the end of this dispensation. To this I do not need to have superadded the vain and heretical hope, that thereby we shall be able to convert the world ; which is condemned, and remaineth to be destroyed; or that we will bring in the universal dispensation which awaiteth the glorious coming of the Lord. Sufficient for me it is, that we shall thereby do the will of him that sent us, and lift up in the ear of the earth a witness against its wickedness, a prophecy of its destruction, and a glorious hope thereafter, of blessed days to the election and to all the redeemed creatures of God.

After these explanations, I can see no way of fastening this objection upon the doctrine of this parable, otherwise than by proving that in some part or parts of the world, there is no soil to receive the seed of the word. And, even in this case, though I were assured that every grain of it would be trampled under foot, I am far, very far indeed from allowing that it ought not to be preached there, for a witness against such wicked men, for the aggravation of their wickedness, and a speedy consụmption of them from the face of the ground. Was it not so with the preaching of Noah ? and was it not so with the witness of Lot ? But by what process of reasoning, I ask, or by what prophetic insight, shall any one dare to say that there is no soil in such and such regions of the earth; seeing the Lord hath promised, “ That his word shall not return unto him void, but profit in the thing whereto he hath sent it?” Do they say, because the people are uncivilized, therefore there cannot be a soil? I answer, it were just as good a reason to say,

“ Because the people are civilized, there cannot be a soil.” For what is civilization, that it should be preferred to the preaching of the Gospel, in the order of God's arrangement ? If civilization be the right honest occupation and discharge of those various functions which we have described above, of the relative duties of man to man, and the dominion of man over the inferior creatures, then I hold that this, though not altogether, is in a chief measure, dependent upon the knowledge and belief of revealed truth, and therefore where this is already in a measure by reason set on foot, they wait for revelation to perfect it; and where it is not at all begun, they wait for revelation to begin it. But will revelation take a root where it is not ? Revelation will take a root in the soil of a true and honest heart. And who is he that can say this is not as frequently present in the ruder as in the more refined states of society? The effect of refinement is, in most cases, to introduce deceit and double-mindedness, to foster avarice and covetousness; and to engender the vanity and out· ward pretence which attend upon distinctions: And where it proceedeth in the absence of the church of Christ, I would be much more apt to fear lest it should scourge and destroy the soil of an honest heart, than to hope that it would produce it: and I believe you will find that the Gospel hath taken a root among the simple Hottentots,andGreenlanders, and Esquimaux, and South-Sea Islanders, more ready than amongst the more polished and refined of the heathen nations; whose refinement standeth in the oppression of one rank by another, in the extremes of riches and poverty, in the bonds of superstition, and the horrid rites of idolatry. But where civilization proceedeth in the presence, and by the side of, God's church, then it is to be believed that it will be the reflection of the light and truth of the Gospel, in the natural reason and good sense, the blessing of God upon the house and family of Obed-Edom where the ark of his covenant abideth, and the consequence of those lower growths of good feeling and manifold duty which prepare the soil to carry the seed of everlasting life, when it may please God to sow it in the heart. Civilization is, of one kind, the work of idolatry and tyranny; of another kind, it is the work of Christianity and freedom. To the former I would send the Gospel, to condemn it and

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