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The interests involved in a successful prosecution of the Home Missionary enterprise are becoming every year more and more apparent. Christians who pray, and philanthropists who labor for “THE WORLD," are beginning to discover that our country is a part—and, on account both of its physical capabilities and its moral influence, an important part of the world.

This change in the public feeling has been promoted in no small degree by the steady exhibition of facts collected from all parts of our country, and spread before the churches on the pages of this periodical. The Home Missionary is thus a most effectual advocate of all those benevolent movements which adapt themselves to the actual condition of the land. It gives the individual features as Fell as the general character of the passing times, and thus affords the inaterials which will be needed by the future historian of the moral advancement of society in this country.

The volume of the Home Missionary which we now commence will be conducted on the same general principles as the last, except that greater pains will be taken to collect information both original and compiled, and to present it in an acceptable and useful manner. Some improvements may also be expected in the arrangement of the matter and in the typographical execution.

We have received abundant evidence of the acceptableness of that portion of our work, called the “ Pastor's Journal," and hope to secure authentic materiais for making it interesting to the pious reader. We solicit the assistance of pastors, and of others to whom the Lord has given experience of his dealings, to render it a record of such religious narratives as are calculated to illustrate important principles of the truth and government of God.

To the friends of Home Missions we express our thanks for their assistance in circulating this periodical; and would again remind them that it is among the most efficient agents of the Society, and that whatever is done to give it access to the churches is a material service done to the Home Missionary cause.

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VOL. XV.

Comparative Claims of the Home Missionary Cause.

It is exceedingly difficult to speak of the comparative claims of different forms of benevolent effort, without being misunderstood. If an agent or an editor make an urgent appeal in behalf of one society, he is almost certain to be regarded as implying some disparagement of others. It is on this account, that we begin the present article in favor of enlarged Home Missionary operations, by assuring the reader, that if he draw from our remarks any conclusion that shall weaken the hold of Foreign Missions on his heart, we shall have produced a result which we deprecate, and intend most carefully to avoid. The spirit of Foreign Missions is the spirit of philanthropy, of the apostles, of Christ. Its prevalence is at once the means and the measure of the revival of true, primitive Christianity; and had we a hundred “tongues of men and of angels,” they should all plead for the intrinsic dignity of the work, and urge upon the churches its hearty and liberal support, as essential to a living piety and to the salvation of the world. When we advocate the sister cause of missions to our own countrymen, we do not think of disparaging the claims of Foreign Missions, any more than the mother, who begs bread for one child, thinks of robbing its equally loved and equally needy brother. Indeed, we can see no essential diversity in the two forms of well doing. The object of missions, both at home and abroad, is to place before lost men the only Savior, and to secure if possible their submission to his reign. The means employed, is the same Gospel; and success, in either case, is the result of the same blessing from on high. The mere circumstance of a geographical difference of the fields of labor, cannot impair the essential unity of the work. When, therefore, we speak of Home Missions, as entitled to more consideration and a larger support, let no one regard us as intimating that Foreign Missions ought to have less.

It has somehow become impressed on the public mind, that the work of evangelizing our own land is of minor importance, and requires smaller resources than the foreign enterprise. This opinion may have arisen from the greater extent and numbers of the unevangelized nations, or from the fact that various causes early combined to give the work of missions to the heathen a strong hold on the public mind, before Home Missions were attempted on a large scale. But whatever may have caused the existing proportion of public charity to these two objects, we are persuaded it is not according to their comparative demand on the churches of this country. In its just claims on American Christians, the home MISSIONARY CAUSE is second to no other.

Our duties modified by our relations.

Whatever duties we owe to the various parts of the world, it cannot be denied that there is a natural order in them. The people of Great Britain, for example, are under stronger obligations to spread the Gospel throughout that island than we are; and for this plain reason, that it is their own home—they are there, with all their knowledge of the case and their means of influence : we, on the con. trary, with all our means, are far removed. For the same reason, American Christians have a paramount duty to discharge to their own country. That those with whom our relations are most intimate, to whom we alone have free access, have the first claim on our care, is a position too plain to need argument. This order of nature we cannot violate, without violating the divine constitution which has given us different relations with different portions of mankind. If, then, we do not make adequate exertions for the salvation of our country, who will make them? Who but ourselves ought to make them? The duty of laboring for the heathen, we share in common with other christian nations; the duty of converting our own land, we divide with none. The responsibility of the human agency in this work rests upon ourselves alone.

Emergencies of the Home field.

And what are the circumstances which demonstrate the magnitude of this duty? One is the fact, that the subject of our Home efforts is this great nationgreat in its physical resources and probable influence; impetuous in its enterprise ; tossing like the ocean with popular convulsions, and constantly in jeopardy of being torn by the explosion of the elements which it embosoms. Besides these home-bred dangers, others no less threatening are imported from abroad. The territory of this nation is an unlimited and inviting field to which the human swarms are gathering from other lands. The crumbling dynasties of the Old World are sending hither materials to reconstruct the fabrics which are there tottering to ruin. Already the foundations are laid for social institutions such as our fathers knew not. Foreign Papists are planting our fairest territories thick with their schools. Colony after colony of men of a strange tongue and stranger associations are possessing themselves of our soil, and gathering around our ballot boxes.

Facts like these admonish us to do what our hands find to do for our country with all our might. There is said to be a bill in Europe, from the top of which bursts forth a spring, and that the removal of a single spade-full of earth may determine whether its waters shall fall into the Rhine, and thus reach the Atlantic; or whether they shall flow in the opposite direction, and mingle with the sources of the Danube, that winds its way through many distant states, and is finally lost in the waves of the Euxine. So diverse are the ends towards which the current of our nation's destiny may be turned ; and now is the time, and This the generation which is to determine which way the stream shall run. А few years have greatly altered the moral aspect of the nation ; and a few years more will make greater changes still. An era in our history seems to be at hand, and many a heart is failing for fear of the events that will follow. Whatever is done to give an evangelical type to those events must be done soon. А dollar expended for the salvation of the country ten years ago, was worth two expended now; and the same amount now will far exceed in usefulness what it will if not employed until ten years hence. This is the day of our country's sal. vation ; a few thousands of treasure may prevent her ruin ; millions might fail to retrieve it!

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