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brings me to that, as the great climax of the gospel dispensation. This will be the last triumph of Christ; before death itself shall be dead; death's great jackall, war must die also, and then shall there be peace on earth, and the angel shall say, “I have gone up and down through the earth, and the earth sitteth still and is at rest; I heard no tumult of war, nor noise of battle.” This is what we hope for. Let us fight on, with diligence and earnestness.
And now, having thus enlarged upon my text, you will permit me to offer a few remarks on a more practical subject.
The question naturally arises, Why has not this promise been more abundantly fulfilled in our own time?” Many say, “ This is Divine sovereignty.” Well, we believe Divine sovereignty with all our hearts; it is a doctrine which we delight to dwell upon, and ever to acknowledge; but we cannot make Divine sovereignty the great sepulchre for our sins. We cannot have it that everything is to be laid at the door of Divine sovereignty. We believe there is a sovereignty that ever overrules the sins of the church, as well as of the world. We hold that in the highest and purest sense; but we do think it is a very gross mistake for us always to be saying, if we are defeated, “ It is Divine sovereignty.” Israel of old did not say so. They looked for the accursed thing that was in the camp. They did not say, “ Divine sovereignty!" when they were beaten by Benjamin; but they enquired of the Lord. They were not content to say it was sovereignty. It was sovereignty, no doubt; but they desired to find another reason which, when discovered, might help them to remove the difficulty and enable them to conquer.
And now, beloved, there are many reasons, I think, why we do not prosper as we could desire in the missionary field; and permit me very briefly to hint at one or two. I shall mean no offence to any.
One reason is, because we have not a thorough and entire unanimity with regard to the matter. Now, I know something of the Baptist denomination. I have wandered through every county of England, pretty well, and been to a great number of the churches, and I grieve to sce thąt there are many of our churches still standing totally aloof from the missionary field. If they stood aloof from our particular society, I might not so much regret, if they chose to have one of their own; but they have not one of their own either. There is the great thing for which I would blame them. That they should have some objection to unite with those whom they think to be different from them in doctrinal opinions, would not only be excusable, but possibly there might be occasions when it would be praiseworthy; but that any of us who hold strongly the doctrines of the grace of God, and who, perhaps, give greater prominence than others to the truth, as it was taught by Calvin, and, as we believe, taught by Christ, should therefore have no Missionary Society, is a great and crying sin; and I really think that the defection of a large part of our body, however it may be caused, may be one reason why we have not had such an abundant blessing from God. For, look ye here! Ye say ye can do without them. Very well: so said the people to Joshua, when he led his troops to attack Ai. They said, “Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.” They thought it would be unnecessary, and Joshua leit behind him a large part, and only took with him his strong able-bodied men. But, together with “the accursed thing” that Achan had concealed, I believe that the want of all the army of Israel was a part-cause of the defeat at Ai. So it is with us. Ah! if there be a means whereby we can get every brother who calls himself a Baptist, to unite himself with this society, if there be any method of love, if there be any way of making concessions, if there be any mode or any means whereby we all could be bound together in the holy brotherhood as á denomination, I think we are each of us bound to make it. I am sure, as far as I am concerned, I may say that there is not to be found upon the surface of the world, one more strongly attached to the old faith, as I believe it to be--the old, strong, doctrinal faith, coupled with the earnest preaching of the gospel to every creature; yet I find myself not out of place in preaching for a Baptist Mission, nor out of place in helping it, and throwing my whole heart into it. "It seems to me it was founded by ourselves: the very men who held these truths were the first leaders in it; and it seems to me the most strange and marvellous thing, that any brother should, from his love to sound doctrine, stand aloof from missions. I am sure it is a stab against our prosperity as churches at home, if we do not come forward to help the missions at large.
I am just saying this, because it may reach to the ears of many of the brethren who are possibly not present to-day. I trust they will think the matter over. We do not ask them to come with us-we will be very glad if they will—but do let them at the very least have a society of their own. Let them be doing something, and do not let it be said that there is a Baptist existing who does not love to send the gospel to the utmost ends of the earth. That maniac nonsense about God doing his own work and our sitting still and doing nothing, ought to have been buried long ago. I know not how to characterize it: it has done us immense damage. We know that God has accomplished his own work; but he always has worked and always will work with means. The men who do not approve of working by means, and stand by and say, “ I do not sympathise with it," I do not wonder that God does not work with them: they do not deserve to be worked with, if they think so. Let us cast away that, and let us say, “ If we can agree with these brethren who associate in missions we will do so; if we cannot agree with those wlio associated in one society, we will do it somehow else; but do it we will, for it is our anxious wish that the kingdoms of this world should become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.”. But again, it is not all that, my brethren. It is a want of real love to missions in all our churches: and if this should fall scatheless, and if any should say, “ It is not so with the church of which I am a member," let it be so; I do not mean, when I speak generally, to include each individual. It is, I believe, one reason of our want of success, or of that measure of want of success that we have, that there is not a true love of missions in the churches that really help them. Many love missions; they love the cause of Christ, but they do not love Zion better than their own households; but, as far as I can judge, there are many whose attention to the mission field is confined to that one day in the year when the sermon is preached. Some of them confine that day very closely too; for the very smallest threepenny piece that can be discovered is appropriated to the collection on that occasion. They love the mission; yes, they do, but their love is that old sort, of which it is said, “ She never told her love." They never tell it by any contribution, but they keep it very still in their hearts. We cannot think but that they do desire that the gospel should fly abroad, for they sing it with lusty lungs and with voice vociferous; but when there is aught to be done they pinch and screw—the purse-string is made half the ordinary, circumference, and it cannot be undrawn. There is little to be given for Christ. Christ must take the dregs, the sweepings of their wealth. Ah! if our churches loved missions, if we had more of the true spirit in our midst, we should find scores of our young men rising up to go out and preach the gospel to the heathen; and then the church, taking an interest in the young men who sprang from its own bowels, would think it its duty to maintain its missionary, and send him forth preaching the gospel to every creature.
I remember Edward Irving once preached a sermon to a vast congregation, upon missions; I think he preached for four hours; and the object of the sermon was to prove that we were all wrong—that we ought to send out our missionaries without purse or scrip, giving them nothing! Edward never volunteered to go himself! If he had done so at the end of the sermon, we might have endorsed his philosophy. But he stayed at home, and did not go. Now, we are no believers in that. We think that if a man cannot have help, it is his business to go without it. If a man loves the ministry, if he can only preach Christ's gospel in poverty, God bless him in his poverty; if he has to be a tent maker, like Paul, and to work for his own living, and to go forth without purse or scrip! But as a church we cannot have that. “No, no,” we say, “ brother, if you are going to a foreign land, and you give your life and health, and if you renounce the comforts of your family, we cannot let you go without anything. The least we can do is to provide for your needs.” And one says, " There! though you go without purse or scrip, you cannot get across the sea except you have a ship; I will pay your passage-money." Another
says, “ You cannot preach to these people without learning the language; and while you are learning the language you must eat and drink. It is quite impossible that you can live by faith, unless you have something that you can nourish your body with: there is the fund to support you, that you may give all your time to the preaching of the Word.” Ah! if we did but love Christ better, my brothers and sisters, if we lived nearer to the cross, if we knew more of the value of his blood, if we wept like him over Jerusalem, if we felt more what it Was for souls to perish, and what it was for men to be saved- if we did but rejoice
with Christ in the prospect of his seeing the travail of his soul, and being abundantly satisfied-if we did but delight more in the Divine decree, that the kingdoms of this world shall be given to Christ, I am sure we should all of us find more ways and more means for the sending forth of the gospel of Christ.
But to conclude. Perhaps, I may say, and some of you may with tears confess 'tis true, it is a want of revived godliness in our church at home, which prevents our hoping for any great success abroad. Ah! brethren, we must till our own vineyards better, or else God will not make us successful in driving the plough across the broad acres of the continents. We want to have our brethren mors earnest in prayer. Look at our prayer meetings,-a miserable handful of people, compared with the congregation. We want to have them more earnest in labour. Look at many of our agencies, dying for want of effective labourers, when they are to be found, but they are not willing to come forth. Where is the zeal of olden times? We are not among those that say, “ The former times were better than now.” In some respects they were-in others not so good; but if they were better, it is not ours to bemoan, but ours to labour to make these better still. We want (gathering up all things into one), we want the outpouring of the Divine Spirit in our churches at home. Just as the anointing oil was first poured on Aaron's head, and then went to the skirts of the garment, so must the Holy Spirit be poured on England, and then shall it go to the utmost borders of the habitable earth. We want to have Pentecosts at home, and then, Medes and Parthians and Elamites shall hear the Word. “ Begin at Jerusalem," is Christ's ordinance, and it is Christ's method. We must begin there; and as we begin there, in circles wider and wider and wider, yet the gospel shall spread, till, like a sea of glory, it spreads from pole to pole.
Now, dear brethren and sisters, in repairing to our homes this morning, let us carry away at least one thought. Let us believe firmly that God's purpose shall be accomplished; let us hope joyously that we may be the instruments of its accomplishment; and then let us labour prayerfully, that our wishes may e consummated. What is there that you can do to-day for Christ? Oh! if you love Christ, do not let this day pass till you have done something for him. Speak for him; give to him; pray for him. But let each day be spent as a mission day, and be you each day a missionary for Christ. Begin at home. Enlarge your charity; but begin first at home. Let your own houses be cared for, and then your own synagogues; and then, after that, you may send your missionaries to every part of the earth. I beg for a good collection to-day. It is the first time we have met together in this place, and there is a large number of us; if we do not give a right good collection to-day, we shall not save our own credit. That is a poor way of putting it. It will be a disgrace to us, if we do not give well to-day; but beside that, if we save our own credit, we shall not approve our love to Jesus. Give as God hath given to you.
BOUGHT WITH A PRICE.
DELIVERED ON SUNDAY, APRIL 18, 1858,
BY THE REV. J. P. COURTENAY,
IN ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, UPPER LEWISHAJI ROAD,
" Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."--I Coriuthians vi. 19, 20. The Apostle makes known to us a mighty truth in the words immediately preceding our text. He tells us that our bodies are “the temples of the Holy Ghost.” What a wondrous communication is this ! How it ennobles our fallen humanity; how it should lead us to regard with sacred awe the lemple of so great a Deity; how it should induce us to guard it from all impurity and sinful association. If it be true that our poor frail bodies have been made the dwelling place of so blessed a guest, ought it not to move us to dedicate all our faculties and to consecrate all our energies to his blessed service. No longer then may we yield our members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but as instruments of righteousness unto God. Let no evil act, let no unhallowed desire profane this sanctuary of the Holy Spirit; let the character of him who resides within, awe us into veneration for it; let his presence ever keep us in the way of rectitude, make sin more sinful, holiness more desirable, God nearer, and the world farther from our affections. The realiza. tion of his nearness to us will strengthen us in the time of weakness, and confort us in the time of affliction. Earthly temples there are which often excite our wonder and admiration, but they are often temples without a Deity, altars without a sacrifice. If these then are worthy of calling into exercise our better feelings, how much rather should we reverence the living temples of an ever living Deity.
This brings us to consider-
III. The reason deduced" Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1. “ Ye are not your own.” Surely this is a solemn truth; we are not our
We have been so accustomed to look upon ourelves and possessions as absolutely ours, that a statement such as this comes upon us with startling power. Oh, how it condeinns the avarice, selfishness, and heartless indifference which men manifest towards each other. How it changes the cure rent of society, introducing new motives, and setting up new objecte at which 10 aiın. But, brethren, the world at large recognizes no such “Lord,” and counts the idea of the text as a very delusion and a snare; as though we were
self-created, we give ourselves the glory of the work; as though our continuance in life depended upon ourselves alone, we trust in our resources to preserve it; as though our riches were the necessary consequence of our own efforts, and their continued possession entirely at our will. We say, "by the might of my hand I have done it; and by my wisdom, for I am prudent;" and with a self-delusion of the most dangerous kind we hush our souls to a sleep of carnal security, saying, “take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." Alas! alas! the great mass of mankind acknowledge no such “lordship" over them, they are guided by their own blind wills, and impelled by their boisterous passions. The Lord has planted the vineyard and hedged it all about; he has furnished it with everything necessary to the happiness and convenience of those who inhabit it; and having accomplished the wondrous work, he has let it out to husbandmen, and has himself gone into a far country. But how sadly the scene has changed since then; these husbandmen have cast off their allegiance to their Lord ; his messengers they have beaten, his blessed prophets and apostles they have been stoned ; and as the Master looked down upon this scene of disorder and conflict, pity and compassion moved him to a deed of inestimable love. “ Surely they will reverence my Son!" Surely the fury of their passion shall cease, and the fierce conflict be hushed into the gentlest calm when they behold my only beloved Son; surely they will cease the strife and return again to obedience and submission, when they behold my great condescension in sending among them my Son ; surely their hard hearts will melt, their eyes be filled with tears of holiest contrition, and their hands lay down their weapons of warfare for ever, when they behold my Son. We know the sequel. The presence of the heir evoked no such feelings, on the contrary, it maddened their fury, increased their hate, seared with a hotter iron their hearts, blinded their eyes with a blacker darkness, nerved their hands to greater deeds of violence, and added fuel to their fiery zeal. Earth and hell, men and devils leagued together for the work. And as they saw the heir, with a maliguity scarcely human, and with the last gleam of hope which ever cheered the souls of the lost and lighted up their dark abode, they exclaim, .This is the heir, come let us kill him and let us seize on his inheritance. And this is the second act in that great mutiny, which first defied the power of the Most High, and opened that pit of awful darkness, which first lighted up the fires that shall never be quenched, and gave food to the worm which never dies. And so the world lieth in the arms of the wicked one; and while men are forging fetters for a never-ending slavery, they boast that they are free, deny the authority of God, and treat with utter contempt the government which He has set up. And now look upon the world, see the motives which animate men, the thoughts in which they indulge, the hopes by which they are inspired, the objects which they have set before them; and will you not find that “SELF" is the spring and source of all their efforts, that this is the “ idol" which Satan has set up as his representative, and before which men everywhere bow down and worship. This is the most seductive snare with which the evil one entraps our souls, under the veil of self-gratification of whatever kind, he allows our souls to swini down the tide of life, our passions to carry us impetuously on ; we have no conflicts, no struggles. Satan's plans, and the voice of our fallen nature mutually agree, and thus our souls pleasantly pass on until the mighty rapids beyond awake us to our danger; but, alas ! as we near the point, the stream becomes swifter, babits become stronger, self-denial becomes burden.