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christians of St Thomas in India, situated chiefly on the Malabar coast, trace their origin immediately from the apostle. The name of John is intimately associated with the seven churches of Asia. Of Matthew, Simon of Cana, Judas or Thaddeus, and Matthias, history furnishes no accounts worthy of credit; this much, however, we may safely affirm regarding them, that each of them performed the part assigned him by the command of Jesus: 'Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.'

The church of Christ is essentially a missionary institution; and if she had been true to her proper character, and faithful to the commission of her Lord and Saviour, there would not have remained, at this day, so much land to be possessed. But the faith and zeal of the first christians were not sustained by those who followed them. In. difference soon entered, and spread its withering influence over all the branches of the christian church. While men slept, the enemy sowed tares, which speedily brought forth an abundant harvest, destructive alike to the purity of scripture doctrine and to all evangelistic effort for the conversion of the world to the faith of the gospel. A long season of darkness and death ensued, during which nothing was done for the spread of divine truth by the christian church. Popery, indeed, was not idle during the dark ages. The whole world was before it; and the extensive and untiring labours of its missionaries, both in the east and in the west, in the old world and in the new world, were followed with much success, the results of which remain to this day. After the light of the Reformation had spread its reviring and gladdening beams over the various countries of Europe, so busily was the church employed in re-organising and re-constructing what the enemy had thrown down, that for many ages very little was done to carry the gospel into other lands.

The first effort of the kind, of which we have any record, was made by the Church of Genera in 1556, through the instrumentality and exertions of Calvin, the reformer. Their object was to plant the christian faith among the Indians of South America, and fourteen Protestant missionaries were sent out for this purpose. A few years afterwards, in the year 1559, Gustavus Vasa, the king of Sweden, sent a missionary into Lapland, with the view of extending christianity among the inhabitants of that country. But the history of modern christian missions may be said to have taken their rise with the Eng, lish settlers in America, about the year 1620. Actuated by feelings of compassion for the condition of the poor and degraded Indians, the ‘Pilgrim Fathers,' as they were called, soon began to make efforts to bring the heathen, among whom they dwelt, to know the only true God and his Son Jesus Christ. The first who gave himself wholly to the work of God among the Indians, was Thomas Mayhew, several of whose descendants followed him in the same honourable work. Soon after Mayhew came the Rev. John Elliot, ever since known by the honourable appellation of the apostle to the Indians.' Others were raised up, from time to me, to care for the souls of the Red Indians. Among these no name occupies a more distinguished and honourable place than that of David Brainerd. He began his labours among the

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Indians in April, 1743, at a place called Kaunameek, under the superintendence of the American correspondents of the Scottish Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge. In 1664, a German nobleman, named Baron Webz, formed a missionary society among his friends, and, to carry out his object, generously subscribed to it the sum of 28,800 florins. At length he accompanied a mission to the West Indies, where he spent the rest of his days among the negroes. In 1705, Frederick IV., the king of Denmark, at the recommendation of one of his chaplains, formed a mission to the coast of Coromandel, in the East Indies. Having engaged for this purpose two pious young men, who were educated for the ministry at the university of Halle, in Upper Saxony, they embarked at Copenhagen in November of the same year, and, after an agreeable voyage of seven months, they arrived in July, 1706, at Tranquebar, the principal town belonging to the Danes in that quarter of the world. A few years afterwards, this early mission was supported chiefly by funds collected in England.

It was soon, however, found desirable, by christians in every part of the world, to combine their efforts for evangelising the heathen world into societies formed for that purpose. Among these, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, founded at London in 1647, and the Christian Knowledge Society, established in 1698, occupy the first place. The missions are now all under the care of the first of these societies. Its annual contributions are upwards of £40,000, and it has nearly three hundred missionaries. The Moravian Missionary Society was formed in 1731, under the direction of Count Zinzendorf and the brethren of that community, two of whom, Dober and Nitschman, offered to go and teach the gospel to the neglected negroes of the West Indies. They have besides, stations in South Africa, in Tartary and Siberia, in Dutch Guiana, in Canada, among the native Indians, and in Greenland. The Baptist Missionary Society was formed at Kettering in 1792 ; and its first missionaries, Dr Carey and Mr Thomas, proceeded to India as the scene of their future labours. They have numerous churches in the East and West Indies, in Canada, and in Africa. The London Missionary Society was instituted in 1795. It has missions in the East and West Indies, China, Africa, Greece, the South Sea Islands, and other places. The Scottish Missionary Society was formed at Edinburgh in 1796. Northern Asia, Hindostan, and Jamaica, have been the principal scenes of its labours. Its missions are now merged in those of the London Missionary Society and the United Presbyterian Church. The Church Missionary Society was formed in 1799 by members of the Church of England, and principally directs its attention to Africa and the East, though it has other important missions. The Wesleyan Missions may be said to have commenced with Dr Coke, who visited the West Indies in 1797. It was not, however, till 1814 that the Society was formed. Its funds are large, and its agents are labouring in the four continents of the earth and many of the isles of the sea. The General Baptist Missionary Society originated in 1816, and fixed the centre of their future labours in Orissa, a province of Hindostan. The Church of Scotland's Foreign Mission was instituted in 1824, and

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since the Disruption, in 1843, the same field of labour has been occupied both by the Established Church and the Free Church.

Omitting in the meantime any particular notice of the Continental Missionary Institutions, several of which exist in different parts of the continent of Europe, particularly in France and Germany, it may be sufficient to notice that the American Missionary Societies have rendered their quota of labour in the general enterprise to enlighten the heathen world. The Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and Episcopalians, have each their missionary institutions. The American Board of Foreign Missions was incorporated in 1812, and is composed chiefly of the Independent Churches. The principal scenes of its labours are the Sandwich Islands, Turkey, and Persia, Bombay, Ceylon, China, and North America.

And what has been the result? What has been done by such a vast amount of instrumentality employed in various parts of the heathen world?

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MILLER'S FOOTPRINTS OF THE CREATOR.*

(Continued from page 480.) Our argument regarding the point at issue between us and Mr Miller was concluded in our last, in as far as it is a point of simple Bible interpretation. But as in urging his special view of the import of the reason annexed to the fourth commandment,' Mr M. had a special object which he sought to accomplish, viz., to establish his theory re. garding the days of creation denoting not literal days, but immensely protracted periods, it does not seem a work of supererogation to add some additional considerations against rashly making any concession in this matter.

Though we should grant that the days of creation are not literal days, but immensely-protracted periods, harmony would not be produced. Some, we are persuaded, without due reflection, impressed with the striking discoveries of geology, imagined that they saw an explanation of the whole seeming discordance between those disclosures and the statements of inspiration, by at once conceding that the days of creation in Genesis are to be interpreted as denoting periods of vast duration. But they have done so in haste. After making this concession, a new class of discrepancies between geology and the inspired record springs up. New questions, no less difficult than that regarding the days themselves, demand answers which will not be soon given. Does the work of the six periods of the Bible, admitting, for the sake of argument, that they are periods, harmonise with the work of the geologic periods, as read by geologists in the stoney records? or are they of the same length? According to Mr Miller himself, the law of proportion requires that all the six days be of equal length. It will be long, we fear, before geologists will be

• Footprints of the Creator; or the Asterolepis of Stromness.' By lIugh Miller, Author of the Old Red Sandstone,' &c. London, 1849. 12mo, pp. 313.

able to tell with confidence either the precise number of their periods, or to prove the equality of their duration.

Again, there is the question of order. Here the statement of the Bible or the word of God must be held to be infallible, or, as by the infidel, treated as a fiction. And in the Bible record the days are numbered in their order, first, second, third, &c., and the work of each day expressly specified. Here the discordance is so great and manifold, that it does not seem to be possible to produce agreement between the Mosaic record and the theories of some geologists, upon the supposition that it is the geologic periods and the days of creation that must be brought to harmonise.

According to the Bible, reptiles, quadrupeds, and man were all created on the sixth day; but according to geologists, the reptiles and quadrupeds belong to different periods—the one to the secondary, the other to the tertiary, whilst man belongs to a period different from both. Again, the testimony of the Bible is, that the fowls were created on the fifth day, and the reptiles on the sixth. But the doctrine of geologists is, that the reptiles were created before the fowls. Further, the Bible declares that grass, herbs and trees, of various kinds, were made to grow on the earth on the third day, and the creatures that were to enjoy the grass, ate the fruit of the trees, and beheld the beauties of the landscape on the sixth day. So that, according to geologists, all this flourished unseen, and without any creature to enjoy it, for no less than three immensely-protracted periods; and one full period of vast duration, ere there was any sun to shine on the earth; for the sun was not created till the fourth day. Further, the evidence of the geologic record goes to show that marine animals were the earliest inhabitants of our globe, that moluscs and fish moved on the waters at least as early as any forms of terrestrial vegetation appeared, if not before grass in any form existed. But according to the inspired record, the various forms of vegetation appeared on the earth on the third day, and fishes were not created till the fifth. Such are some of the tremendous mountains that lower in the distance, and, for anything yet known, are utterly insurmountable, after we have tried to cross the first barrier, by granting that the days of creation are not literal days, but periods of immense duration. Though far better cause were shown, that there is anything untenable in our present position, in holding the literal interpretation, we have little temptation in seeking to avoid Sylla, to rush upon Charibdis.

But it may be asked, how are you to reconcile the interpretations which geologists are giving of the writing in the rocks with the records of inspiration, in as far as they seem to be at variance? We are not sure that we are called yet to be very careful as to this matter. The geologic writings are confessedly yet in a very imperfect state. There are sad gaps in the record. There is here a leaf and there a line, here a broken sentence and there a broken word, and sometimes a single letter standing mysteriously alone. Geologists cannot be sure themselves that they have put the detached leaves and fragments of their book in their proper places, or that they have the true key to the import of the hieroglyphics which they are trying to translate.

There is no room for any question which of the two records, the inspired or the geologic, is most legible—as to which of them there is most danger of missing the true meaning. We might infer a priori from the character of the author of both records, that the Bible would be the simplest—that it would be so plain as to be level to the weakest capacity, for it is given for the use of all men—it is given not to be looked into or studied as a matter of curiosity, but as a rule of faith and practice, with an imperative command to search it, ponder its import, and walk according to it. And with this a priori inference, we find the facts strikingly accordant;—we find the Bible record exhibited in the light of noon-day; so that he that runs may read it;—whilst the geologic record has been buried, and buried, too, by its author himself in the bowels of the earth, and hid in its deep recesses for many thousand years. The one is preserved unmutilated by the providential care of God, and copies of it so multiplied that forgery is impossible; whilst the other is found in fragments, and withal written in a language so enigmatical that he who shall be able to give an indubitably correct interpretation of its testimony, as respects the subject in dispute, shall be indeed the great Apollo.

Again, in the one case, the language is not only simple, in the simplest style of all writing—not that of poetry, nor that of prophecy —but that of history. The term the meaning of which it is attempted to bring into dispute, is repeated six times in one page, not only without any intimation of its being employed in an extraordinary, an unheard-of sense, but with concomitants six times repeated—also tending unequivocally to establish the very opposite conclusion, its being used in its well-known and universally acknowledged acceptation. It is further so repeated, in the second page of Revelation, as to put the most perverse criticism to defiance, so to torture it as to extract from it any other meaning than that which the common-sense interpretation demands; and as if to put the true interpretation for ever beyond controversy, God again so wrote the whole with his own finger, on a table of stone, as to show, in the most unequivocal manner, that it must be understood in the common acceptation, and no other.

Now it is something very singular, that it is this part of scripture, a part so plain and so fenced by divine wisdom against assault, that we are called to interpret in a sense of which no example can be found in any language under heaven. And for what end? To make it harmonise with the import of a writing, the true meaning of which no man under the sun will be so bold as to say that he is able to give, with any certainty, even as to the point in dispute—a writing of which the most learned in this department of literature are only in the process of gathering up the shreds from the dark abodes in which they have been so long hid—of trying to piece together, and are only expecting, some centuries hence, so to unite as to make out the sense with a satisfactory distinctness. It is this that is making so many literati of the theological faculty of Britain stand aghast, or to act as if they silently acquiesced, and were afraid of being thought unphilosophical and antiquated in their opinions if they refused to admit, without better cause shown, such an interpretation of the

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