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We wish that this great truth could be held up in all its importance before every Christian mind in the nation. Our best people, we fear, are not half awake to the indispensableness of a living ministry-a holy ministry-a ministry now. They are lulled into present slumber by that fatal dream, that a “future day will do as well." We are therefore grateful for every voice, by whomsoever it is lifted up, that tends to rouse the churches to this subject. The following remarks, from the Ohio Observer, are refreshing to our hearts, for the timely and well-expressed suggestions which they contain; and we gladly give them such diffusion as our columns may afford.

The Home Missionary Society.

At the present era of our national history, when questions vitally affecting the peace, the honor, the integrity of the Union are swept into the Maelstrom vortex of party spirit, beyond the reach of every thing but the prayers of the truly patriotic, so that good men stand, with heavy hearts, not knowing what they can do to avert the impending evil; and when also, in the religious world, many schemes of benevolence are afloat, which in the absence of divine precedent, must rest their claims to patronage only upon human calculations of utility; it is most refreshing to be able to turn our thoughts and efforts to a Society that takes for its groundwork, the example and precepts of the Savior and his Apostles.

We do not mean to claim for the American Honte Missionary Society, exclusively, this high vantage ground; but we do mean to assert that this Society is treading in the path marked out by Christ himself, and pursued by those who received from his own hands their commission to preach the Gospel.

The divine method for saving the world is exceedingly simple. It can be stated in a few words. It is that Christ's disciples should go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature; that they should, every where, gather churches, and set over them in the work of the ministry, "faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." Churches planted every where, and furnished with an able and faithful ministry-this is the beginning, middle, and end of the divine method. It embraces very little machinery, but a vast amount of labor, suffering, self-denial, and prayer. Its divine simplicity, makes it less imposing than some schemes of human invention, but it is, for this reason, better adapted than they are to the wants of man: and having God for its author, he every where accompanies it with the life-giving energies of his Spirit. Worldly-minded politicians may call it "weakness," and visionary philanthropists, "foolishness" but they will find that "the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." The world, after wearying itself out with systems innumerable to make men wise and virtuous, and to qualify them for political freedom, will be compelled to return to the primitive plan of our Savior; "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature."

Every year we feel, with increasing solemnity and weight, the truth that here is to be found our nation's only hope. Political freedom implies the capacity of self-government-that the individuals who compose the nation are themselves emancipated from the dominion of ignorance and corrupt passions, and made freemen by the knowledge and love of the truth. A population sunk in igno

rance and corruption could not retain civil liberty, though it were given to them as a direct boon from Heaven. A population whose minds are enlightened, and whose hearts are purified by the Gospel cannot be kept in slavery.

We look not therefore to political parties, whatever may be their name or pretensions, nor to any reform-societies of human origin, but to the preaching of the Gospel, and the establishment of christian churches, for the perpetuity of the glorious fabric of our civil constitution.

We are aware, indeed, that the Gospel does not seek, as its primary end, the civil freedom of a nation, but the sanctification and salvation of the souls of individual men; and that this latter end ought always to be allowed to retain its paramount importance that the moment we degrade the Gospel into an instfument of political freedom, we cut the sinews of its power. Collaterally, in its efforts to redeem men, as individuals, from sin and misery, it accomplishes for their civil welfare, what it could not accomplish by direct effort. Still we are not forbidden to look at times at these collateral benefits, and the present posture of our nation is peculiarly adapted to turn off the thoughts of reflecting men from all human devices to that source of safety which is found in the Gospel of Christ alone.

The American Home Missionary Society, and all its sister societies of other denominations, who are laboring in direct accordance with the divine plan to plant churches with a living ministry every where, we hail as destined, if sustained by the prayers and contributions of the churches, to achieve not only that for which they are immediately laboring, the salvation of men's souls, but also that at which they can only indirectly aim,—the perpetuity of our civil institutions.

The Divine Plan.


1. It is simple. It includes little machinery, but much labor, prayer, and selfdenial. Hence the derangements to which it is liable are few and easily rectified. Hence, also, it is adapted to all ages and states of society. This divine simplicity, which makes it less imposing in the eyes of the superficial multitude, constitutes one of its chief excellencies.

2. It is comprehensive. It includes the entire duty of man, and all the truth on which that duty is based. It is the whole Gospel which God commits to his churches, and not some fragments of it-not practice without doctrine, nor doctrine without practice, but both united. He has not made them his witnesses for some part of the truth, to the neglect and undervaluing of the rest, but for "the whole counsel of God." Consider, for a moment, what a vast range of truth comes within the province of every pastor, and in what endlessly varied applications. His preaching is not all warm exhortation, or all doctrinal discussion, all promises or all threatenings, all instruction of believers, or all admonition of unbelievers, all revival efforts, or all laboring for remote results, all moral reform, all anti-slavery, or all church order and ordinances, but each and

all of these in its place. And it is addressed to men in all conceivable circumstances, young and old, in sickness and in health, in prosperity and in adversity, and through every kind of channel-the pulpit, the conference meeting, the tract, the private interview, the family visit. Thus are he and his people kept from the error into which those who devote themselves to the propagation of one specific truth are in perpetual danger of running-that of making a particular province of the Gospel larger than all the rest of it.

3. It is direct. It is the common sense way of meeting men face to face, the very way which all spontaneously adopt when they wish to persuade their fellow men. The man of God, thoroughly furnished for his work, is not a principle which may be understood, but whose presence cannot be seen or felt; nor is he a letter or a book that utters one thing alike to all, without any power of adaptation to their individual wants; but a person, who makes his presence felt, and who gives to each just the instruction which he needs, and in the way in which he needs it. The divine plan has, therefore, an unlimited flexibility, a power of self-adaptation, which makes it every where the very thing which is wanted.

4. It is stable. It takes the form of an institution, with its simple but efficient organization, that stands from age to age, independent of the lives of the individuals embraced in it; exerting its influence without intermission, and moulding the character from the cradle up to manhood. In this one particular it has an infinite advantage over all random modes of doing good, that make powerful impressions for the present moment, without embodying them in any permanent living organization which shall secure their perpetuity.

5. It is economical-the most economical way of doing good that is known on earth, hard as it is to make men believe it. Estimating the salary of a pastor wholly devoted to his work at 500 dollars per annum, (which is considerably higher than the average of salaries in this region,) it will amount in ten years to 5,000 dollars. Now, if he has been faithful and efficient, consider what an untold amount of good he has accomplished--good that has pre-eminently a self-propagating power, that will endure and multiply itself indefinitely when he is in his grave. Look at his steady, healthful influence, on the education of the young, on the social habits of the community, on the character of the piety of the church; look at the streams of beneficence which his labors have caused to flow out from his parish to water and bless others; at the young men who have under his preaching been set in the way to enter the ministry--look at all this, and much more, as well as at the immediate results of his preaching in the conversion of sinners. Five thousand dollars could not have been expended so economically in any other way.

"Well," you will say, "we knew all this before; why tell us of it." We answer, because, though you may have known it theoretically, you have not felt it; you have not acted accordingly; you have not believed, with all your heart, that the simple plan of establishing churches every where, and furnishing them with an able and faithful ministry, is the only plan which gives any promise of saving the nation or the world. Had you done so, with what warm affection, with what rich liberality, would you have cherished those institutions that are acting in direct accordance with this plan-Home Missions-Foreign Missions

we cannot, we dare not put one above the other. Both are important beyond all human competition.

But we are looking now at the home field. We cannot restrain the expression of our vehement desire that all our good brethren at the East, who wish to help us, and the cause of Christ here at the West, might see that there can be no other investment of their liberality so economical and productive as the investment in Home Missions, and the means of training for the field Home Missionaries. If this cause is adequately sustained, so that churches shall be planted every where, and furnished with a well trained ministry, the nation will be, under God, safe-otherwise its ruin is certain; how many other schemes soever of saving men it may set on foot, and with what zeal soever they may push them forward.

Correspondence of the A. H. M. S.


The past year has not been unproductive in many of the best influences of a stated ministry on the fields where the Society has assisted to sustain it. The external order of the house of God has been observed, increasing numbers have been brought to sit under the sound of the Gospel; an unusual impulse

has been given to the instruction of the youth, and to the outward reform of the intemperate and the profane. Still, however, conversions have been comparatively rare. Within a few weeks past, the hearts of the

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Executive Committee have been cheered by From Rev. Erastus Colton, Michigan

the intelligence that on a few of the missionary fields, the gentle dews of grace are de scending.

City, Ia.


In communicating to you my first quarterly report, permit me to say that I

From Rev. R. K. McCoy, Clayton, Ill. regard my unforeseen destination to this

I rejoice that we are enabled to say, that the Lord has not entirely forsaken his people in this place. In a former report, I mentioned the hopeful conversion of some twelve or fifteen souls, and eight additions to our church. I think I can safely say that through the quarter that has just closed, there has been an increase of piety in the hearts of God's people, and a closer and more

place as to me an unspeakable favor of God. To Wisconsin or Illinois had I "devised my way;" "but the Lord directed my steps" to this city. Soon after my arrival in Chicago, in August last, my attention was turned to this place. I came, and commenced preaching, the Sabbath immediately following the one on which the late minister closed his labors, and after three weeks, received a call from the Congregational Church and Society, to become their pastor.

temporarily here, the one a backslider, the other impenitent, when our meeting commenced, are now going to their friends in the country to speak of the love of God shed abroad in their hearts. Pride, self-will, and even bitter opposition, have been brought to yield to the subduing power of a Savior's love. Some minds have embraced the over

The call being accepted, I was installed the 20th November. During my first visit I called upon all the people who were connected with this body; and when, after a short absence, I returned to take my charge, I held personal conversation on experimental religion with as many of the church members as I could conveniently see, during the week immediately preceding that of my instal-tures of mercy soon after conviction, lation, at the close of which the church observed a fast.

After describing the progress of a season of protracted services, Mr. C. speaks as follows

of the results :

others after a week or more delay, or rather, resistance of the Spirit. It was little expected that some persons would be converted, whom God has brought to bow: they are now like little children sitting at the feet of Christ: they are surprised at themselves, when they contrast their present feelings with those which they had some weeks ago, touching reli

a range, in the conversions, from persons of high standing and influence down to an opposite grade. There is not a single adult colored person in the place, (who was not before a Christian,) but has recently been hopefully converted; they are several in number. We think we are safe in saying that 60 persons, in all, have within a few weeks been hopefully converted to God; while many others have, at different times, prescnted themselves as being on the Lord's side.

The Methodists, and some individuals in other denominations, have partaken of these spiritual blessings.

There continues to be a general seriousness in the community, such as the inhabitants have never before seen; conversions are frequently taking place.

Christians seem now to have a religion of deep-seated, all-pervading prin-gion, Christians, and meetings. There is ciple, not that of mere passionate excitement. So searched were they by the truth and Spirit, that some of them concluded that they had never known by experience what true religion was, or if they had known it, not so intelligently, deeply and happily as now. After "the joys of God's salvation" became restored to the soul, the prayers and labors of Christians, in connection with those of the ministry, were expended in the behalf of impenitent sinners. By this time, so much of the atmosphere of heaven pervaded the church and filled even the house of God, that sinners became solemn and tender, especially when hearing the truth addressed to them. By the proclaimed word, and by personal appeals, many persons, through the Spirit, were brought to submit themselves as rebels to the disposal of a righteous God, and to fall into the arms of bleeding mercy. The understand-year was one, have we spent in holy ing being addressed, the convictions were deep and thorough, and the conversions apparently genuine, and based on principle. Persons of various ages, from the man of gray hairs to the child of eight years, are now rejoicing in the service of the Lord: our Sabbath school, Northern Indiana is a fertile section which is exceedingly well conducted, of country, and is annually increasing in has shared in the salvation wrought. its population. The institutions of reThere are cases of conversion of pe-ligion are planted in the towns and some culiar interest: one young man was of the larger settlements; they are first impressed while at work alone. A greatly needed in a permanent form man and his wife came from the coun- at other points, that the foundations of try on a visit, and in a few days re- society may be laid in healthful moralturned, hopefully converted; two others ity and pure religion.

Many precious days, long to be remembered, of which the first in the new

convocation. Heaven seemed to be let down to earth, and God to dwell among men. Brotherly love binds in union sweet kindred hearts of different denominations, and the power of this Christianity is felt by the world.

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