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Yes, when the church begins to give not only a tenth, but in some measure as was demanded of the ancient Israel, then, and only till then-when christians make a business of giving-there will be no lack. And then will the windows of heaven be opened, and the long-expected blessing come down.-Dr. A. T. Pratt.
CHUNDER SEN IN ENGLAND.
THERE was a period in the spiritual history of Baboo Keshub Chunder Sen, when he had distinctly before his mind the broad uncompromising alternative laid down by Jesus Christ: "Except a man forsake all that he he hath, except a man take up his cross and follow me, except he confess me before men, he cannot be my disciple; no man can serve two masters: no man cometh unto the Father save by me; except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, except he believe and be baptized, he cannot be saved; the disciple is not above his master." If he had obeyed these, made confession of his faith in Christ as the only Saviour, dedicated himself to His service and identified himself with His people by baptism, he would have become a native christian, a preacher of the gospel; would have probably suffered the reproaches of his people and of natives generally, and been treated as a great transgressor. The great majority of Europeans would have shown very little sympathy with him, and some of them would have called him a fool for his pains. If he had gone to England after that, it is not likely that " an enthusiastic and brilliant auditory" would have given him a distinguished reception in Hanover Square Rooms. But the Baboo's decision was not as we have hypothetically put it. He would not be a disciple of Christ in the sense so much insisted upon by Christ; he would take the liberty of putting aside those things in Christ's teachings that were not altogether palatable; were there not all sorts of Christianity in the world, and among these could he not find one that suited him, which would allow him to be called a christian in some sense by christians, while calling himself a Brahmist, or pure Hindoo, with his own people? At all events, by some means, the knot was solved (or cut) in this way. He was
"It seems to us perfectly evident that the deeper interests of the meeting of Wednesday were all gathered round one thought the possibility that Hindoo genius might give to the teaching of the Bible, Jewish as well as christian, if not a wholly new development, at least an interpretation so fresh in the relative proportion of weight to be attached to different parts of its teaching; that it might attain, in the hands of educated Hindoos, a perfectly new missionary force for the West as well as the Eastnot only for India, but for our own England, where, checked by the rapidly growing importance of the industrial arts and physical science, the influence of the christian faith seems to have reached a stand-still, if it has not begun in some degree to recede."
Another English journal says:—
"Chunder Sen, having heard christianity with all its theological accretions preached in India, accepted it without the accretions, clearing them off and tossing them away as something utterly foreign to the teaching of the Divine Master, and has now come here to preach real, pure, unalloyed, unencumbered christianity as a new revelation. This is startling, but not unnatural, when we come to think of it. Christianity came from the glorious, thoughtful, poetic East. It came to us robed in poetry, and figure, and metaphor; but in the West, especially in the NorthWest, its poetry was soon transmuted into hard prose, its metaphor and figure into cold facts; and from these, in process of time, such a net-work of elaborate schemes, systems, creeds, &c., was educed or spun, that, instead of christianity being the beautifully simple thing that it was when it came from the hands of its Author, it became the most complex, perplexing, unintelligible religion that the world ever saw."
So Chunder Sen is the Coming Man, come at last to deliver christianity from its base accretions, and restore it "real, pure, unalloyed, unencumbered," to those who dwell in the Egyptian darkness of England!
Now it so happens that Chunder Sen's system is not his own. It is not one that he has dug out of the Bible, without guidance or instruction. All that is really essential and characteristic about it is from Europe. It is an utterly erroneous fancy that he has gone to England with an Oriental form of christianity, something that he has excogitated for himself. It is as much Western as anything in England. He declaims grandly against dogma.
"Leave us to ourselves, and let us study the Bible ourselves. Do we not
find there imageries, precepts, and the manner in which those precepts were told, of an Oriental and Asiatic stamp? Do we not find that in those descriptions with which an Indian is bound to sympathize? Do we not feel that the spirit of christianity comes to us as something very natural to the native heart-something with which, by the very constitution of our peculiarly Indian mind, we are bound to sympathize? In that spirit Christ shall be accepted by India. There may be thousands who deny that, but I for one, so long as I live, shall say that the Spirit of Christ India will one day accept. But I cannot say the same thing with regard to the doctrines and dogmas which you have presented to India through your various churches."
Leave us to ourselves, and let us study the Bible ourselves. But this is just what the Baboo has not done. The distinction between him and native christians is, that whereas these have been influenced by evangelical missionaries, by men who believe that all the words of Christ are worthy of acceptation, the Baboo and his friends have preferred to listen to Theodore Parker, R. W. Emerson, Francis Newman, and others who prefer a selection from Christ's teachings, and deny the claims of the Bible as an infallible revelation. There is dogma in the Brahmo Somaj system; dogma in abundance; only the dogmas that please him are not those which are made most prominent in Christ's teaching. And, as we have said, they are European, not Asiatic. No one that knows anything of what genuine Hinduism is, can read through one of the Baboo's discourses without seeing that it is, from beginning to end, foreign in its origin. The religious experience narrated by him is of a purely Western type; and dogmas so eloquently incul
cated have been gathered from Western literature. Even the reverence he expresses for "the priceless volumes inculcating pure Theism, bequeathed, in many instances, by our forefathers as a precious legacy," savours much more of the contented ignorance of some of our writers of the Broad School, than of the feeling inspired by an actual acquaintance with Hindoo sacred literature. (In what priceless volumes of Hindoo antiquity is a pure Theism inculcated? Not in the Vedas certainly.)
In a few months the good people of England will become better acquainted with the eloquent reformer, and he will become better acquainted with them. Many excellent men, sincere friends of the gospel, take an interest in the movement, because they believe that those who are following Chunder Sen, are following him to a position where they will be more likely to be influenced by the gospel than if they had remained in orthodox Hinduism; just as many were interested in the movement of Ronge, and as, in the first centuries, many were interested in the Gnostic, Docetic, and Neo-platonic modifications of Christianity. When Mahomedism arose, many would have thonght it a good and hopeful sign that the idolatrous nations of Asia and Africa should adopt this monotheistic system, yet history shows that no system has had a greater power in keeping its adherents from the influence of the gospel, than this very monotheism. No one can desire that men should do otherwise than abandon idolatry and caste; it is the duty of all men to do this; we may cordially congratulate them upon this measure of reform; but it does not follow that we are to encourage them in thinking that the difficulties between them and salvation are taken out of the way.
We appeal to all history, whether Christianity has been spread in the world by being received piecemeal; first one elementary truth diffused through the community, then after a long time another, and so on, until in the lapse of ages we get something like Christianity. On the contrary, it has never pervaded any community until numbers of men have confessed Christ before all, and concentrated themselves to Him without
The Illustrated Times says:-"This man and his adherents, counted, we be
lieve, by hundreds of thousands, are pure theists." What extraordinary exaggeration have we here? The adherents of Mr. Sen in Calcutta are all easily contained in one not very large place of worship; and the entire number of those who have identified themselves with him in all India, entirely breaking with orthodoxy, caste, and idolatry, would probably be well within two thousand.
THE PENITENT'S PRAYER.
BY MAKUNDA DAS.
Air-"Abide with me."
HERE wretched, lost, the chief of sinners
Forgetting Thy loved name I went from Thee;
A captive calls, my stony heart would bend; Forgive me, Thou the helpless sinner's Friend!
Unclean exceeding from my birth in sin, My heart is filled with vileness to the brim ; For water pure I ask and cry again
O cleanse me wholly, wash my deepest stain.
In forests of unbroken darkness here
Me naked, with Thy fair pure image clothe;
And in celestial birth make me thine own.
THE BURDENED SINNER'S CRY.
My Lord, me helpless hear-
O! love and save me here
With outstretched arm.
For once on me.
I trust Thee, I would live
O hear my moan
Who restless and forlorn,
Now know no calm.
O Lord, remove my fear-
Bid sorrow's thoughts depart;
Lord, I have none but Thee-
I shall not friendless be-
O, Lord, thine ear incline,
That not a thought may stray
Thee mighty on Thy throne,
I, heavy laden, come-
In prayer so weak;
Am bought with blood.
We are indebted to the Rev. E. H. Jackson, of Ripley, for putting the prose translation of the above hymns into metre and rhyme. It was an omission on our part not to have mentioned this at the Association. As our brother has generously promised further assistance, other translations from our native christian poets may be expected. W. BAILEY.
VALEDICTORY SERVICES ON REV. W. BAILEY'S DEPARTURE TO INDIA.
Ir has been arranged that the above services should be held at the Mary's Gate Chapel, Derby, on Tuesday, August 30. There will be a Devotional Meeting in the afternoon, and in the evening a Public Meeting, when addresses will be delivered by the Missionary and other friends. Particulars will be given in the bills.
Owing to the Secretary's absence from home the List of Contributions is deferred till next month.
Subscriptions and Donations in aid of the General Baptist Missionary Society will be thankfully received by T. HILL, Esq., Baker Street, Nottingham, Treasurer; and by the Rev. J. C. PIKE and the Rev. H. WILKINSON, Secretaries, Leicester, from whom also Missionary Boxes, Collecting Books, and Cards may be obtained.
GENERAL BAPTIST MAGAZINE.
THE GREAT COMMISSION.
Matthew xxviii. 19, 20.
BY THE REV. S. COX.
ON the door of that magnificent chamber in St. Peter's at Rome, in which the prelates of the Roman Church still sit in council, there is a Latin inscription
Docete omnes gentes;
Ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus Usque ad consummationem sæculi, which, being translated, runs thus:"Teach all the nations: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world!" It is a most suitable and appropriate inscription, for when the Fathers of the Church meet to give form to the growing thoughts of men, they need to be sure that the Spirit of Christ is with them, and will speak by them. And yet, is the inscription so complete as we should like it to be? The Doctors of the Church ought at least to quote Scripture fairly. It is not right that they should garble texts; that they should either insert or omit words so as to falsify the sense of Holy Writ. And there is one very important omission in the text on the Council-door at Rome. Christ said, "Go and teach all the nations all things whatsoever I have commanded you; " and in that "whatsoever I have commanded you," He VOL. LXXII.-NEW SERIES, No. 9.
fixed the standard, the scope and limits, of Christian teaching. He condemned all that went beyond, or fell short of, or violated His commandments. To omit this phrase is to omit one of the most essential phrases of His great commission; it is to leave men at liberty to preach what they will in His name and this phrase is omitted, not without reason, one fears, in the inscription which greets the eye of every prelate as he enters the council chamber of Rome. There there is no mention of Christ's commandments; the inscription simply runs-"Teach all the nations, and, lo, I am with you always!" The garbled text on the door is but a sinister omen of the fate of truth within the chamber. We cannot but apprehend that the Council may teach as doctrines of Christ the commandments of men, that they do not intend to confine themselves within the circle of Christ's words and precepts. The text means that, so long as men teach what our Lord has commanded them, He will be with them; but the inscription claims for the prelates, and the prelates have claimed for the Pope, the power to teach all nations
whatsoever they think good, and an infallible inspiration which will keep them, and him, from error, even when by their vain traditions they make void the commandments of God.
It would be very easy to continue this strain of remark, to say many bitter words, bitter and yet true, against our brethren of the Roman Church; very easy to show that they have always, at least of late years and centuries, garbled Scripture texts or "glozed upon them as they thought good." But what should we be the better for that? We might be the worse for it. Instead of gaining in humility and charity, we might only nourish that self-esteeming and arrogant temper which is too common with us already, whether as Protestants or Englishmen. It will be better, it will be more for our own good if, in place of dwelling on the faults of our brethren, we let their faults suggest our faults; if we examine ourselves and discover how we also sin against the words and spirit of Christ, that we may renounce our sins and amend our lives. Thus we shall put our neighbours very faults to some good use, and by their errors correct
Now there can be no doubt that if we Protestants quote our Lord's commission never so correctly, we nevertheless in many ways fail to carry it out, and therefore miss the blessing of His constant presence and inspiration.
He here sets up a standard of Christian doctrine, and makes His presence contingent on our conformity to it. He tells us exactly what we are to teach; what, therefore, we are to learn; and only promises that He will be with us as we teach and learn all things whatsoever He has commanded us. You will observe, too, that the injunction to teach men comes after the injunction to make disciples of them, and to baptize them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. So that it is baptized disciples, it is the avowed servants
of Christ, who are to teach and learn His precepts; and not only the ignorant, and outcast, and unconverted. We who have been enlightened, who have tasted the good word of God, who have been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and felt the powers of the world to comeit is we who are to study the words of Christ, and to acquaint ourselves with the whole counsel of His perfect will.
Can we say, then, that as a rule, we, the members of the Protestant Churches, keep this standard constantly before our eyes, and not counting that we have already attained, reach forth to the things which are before us, which are as yet beyond our reach? Is it not obvious and notorious that at least many of us account that we have already attained all we need to know when we have learned to recognise Christ as our Saviour, and have been drawn by grateful love to Him into the fellowship of the Church which He has redeemed? In many ways, in varied forms of rebuke and persuasion, the Holy Scriptures bid us leave the first rudiments of Christ, and go on unto perfection. And when we ask, What are those rudiments? the Scriptures reply, Repentance from dead works, faith in God ordinances the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment." Yet how many never advance beyond these rudiments! how many for ever busy themselves about repentance and faith, the resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment? How many conclude that these rudiments compose the whole Gospel, and are even angry when their teachers try to lead them on to all things whatsoever Christ has commanded us? How many adjudge the morality of the Sermon on the Mount, for instance, unworthy of regard as compared with the doctrines of repentance and faith, the atonement and the judgment?