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visionary and absurd! But when we see the excellence of religion exemplified in “a man of like passions with ourselves,” we no longer look upon it as a matter of untried experiment, but are made to realize both its practicability and importance in our own case.

Indeed, the influence of man with man, and the facilities afforded us on that account for benefiting each other, especially as ministers of the gospel, could not escape the notice of angels; and hence it has been customary with them, whenever they have been sent as “minis. tering spirits" to any of the human family, to assume man's character, appearing “in bodily shape," the more effectually to interest and benefit the objects of their ministrations.

If any doubt could possibly remain, however, as to the adaptation of human instrumentality for the restoring of our fallen race to the favor of God, it must be removed by reading the second chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, particularly from the fourteenth to the last verse, where it will evidently appear, that when the Lord Jesus Christ himself undertook the redemption of our ruined world, he could only execute the Godlike enterprise in the character of man !

2. That it is the design of God to evangelize the world by means of a gospel ministry appears from his having instituted such a ministry, and separated them to this very work. In the patriarchal age, every man was the priest of his own family; though even here, some exercised a more public ministry, as Noah, who was “a preacher of right. eousness one hundred and twenty years ;” and Lot, who faithfully warned the abandoned Sodomites of their approaching destruction. Under the Mosaic dispensation, God raised up a succession of prophets, who, as a general thing, were sent with special messages to individual kings, countries, and cities; as Elijah, Jeremiah, and Jonah. But under the gospel dispensation, after sending out “ the twelve,” and then

the seventy, ," whose labors were at first confined to the Jews, our divine Lord established a perpetual ministry, which was to spread itself among all nations, and descend to the latest period of time. It was on this occasion that he gave a general commission, saying, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature:" or as one evangelist has it, “Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost : teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And, lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world.”

3. The design of God to evangelize the world by means of a gospel ministry appears also from the success with which he has attended their labors; not merely in the number which have been gathered into the church through their instrumentality, but in the obvious improvement both of their character and condition. It is true, all have not heen alike successful, nor have the same instruments been equally successful at all times; still, as a body, the ambassadors of Christ have been extensively useful through every period of their histor : The pledge which God had graciously given for the success of his ministering servants, as in Isa lv, 10-13 ; Psa. cxxvi, 6 ; Matt. xxviii, 20, &c., has been faithfully redeemed. The Saviour has been eminently with them, according to his promise, as expressed in the following

lines :

" I'll make your great commission known;
And

ye shall prove my gospel true,
By all the works that I have done,

By all the wonders ye shall do.” Among the more successful, to whose individual ministry might be traced the salvation of thousands, we should naturally reckon the prophet Jonah, the apostle Peter, the intrepid Luther, the sweet. tongued Whitefield, and the immortal Wesley. But that others have been useful too, though some of them in a less degree, the vast number of pious souls who have been converted to God through their instrumentality is sufficient evidence. It remains, however, for the day which shall try every man's work of what sort it is,” to determine the amount of “gold, silver, and precious stones” that each one shall have "built upon the [true) foundation;" but then, it shall be seen by the assembled universe, how many souls he shall have as “ seals of his ministry," and as “stars in the crown of his rejoicing.” O happy day! when preachers and people shall mutually greet each other" at the judgment-seat of Christ," where the faithful pastor shall be heard to say in delivering up his charge, “ Here am I, and the children thou hast given me;" and the joyful flock, redeemed through his ministry, to respond, “ These are the servants of the most high God, who showed unto us the way of salvation.”

II. We shall proceed to show that the gospel ministry are to be regularly sent.

1. They must be sent by God; for “no man taketh this honor to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” That the office of a gospel minister is in the gift of God, (to use a political phrase) or that God has a right to choose his own ambassadors, none can doubt. Nor is it less clear that he is infinitely more competent to make such choice than any other being. This fact is strikingly exemplified in his choice of David (not to be a spiritual teacher directiy, but) to be the successor of King Saul on the Jewish throne. In the estimation of Jesse, David was the least eligible of all his sons to that high distinction; and even the prophet Samuel, who was sent to anoint him, being struck with the personal appearance of Eliab, a tall and comely young man, " said, (within himself,) Surely the Lord's anointed is before him. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his coun. tenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” It was doubtless a very strange thing to Samuel and Jesse that the omniscient Jehovah should select a stripling, a mere shepherd boy, to govern the first nation upon earth. And how naturally does“ the wisdom of this world” spurn the idea of employing fishermen, mechanics, and common laborers to evangelize the world! Yet, the event has proved that these alone, (embracing a small proportion of the learned in their number,) would have been likely to succeed in the undertaking.

But while some admit the right and competency of God to choose for himself in this matter, they are still in doubt whether he does not confide the exercise of this right to other hands. It clearly appears, however, from the Scriptures, that every preacher of righteousness" is called and sent forth by the immediate authority of Heaven. That the prophets received their commission, and even their message in this way, might be shown from many passages of holy writ, of which the following may serve as a specimen :-"Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word of my mouth, and give them warning from me.” Also, when our blessed Lord instituted the Christian ministry, he exercised the same prerogative, for the evangelist says of him, that "he went up into a moun. tain and called unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.” And it is a fundamental rule in the Discipline of our church, that no one shall be allowed to preach the gospel, unless he be “moved thereto by the Holy Ghost,” having "an inward and spiritual call to the work.”

2. The gospel ministry is required to be sent by the church also. This practice is sanctioned, not only by general usage, but likewise by apostolic example. Accordingly it is said of Paul and Barnabas, that “ when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they coinmended them to the Lord, on whom they be. lieved ;" and of the church at Antioch, that was they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” Hence it is that our church inquires, concerning all candi. dates for the ministry, “ Have they grace? Have they gifts? Have they fruit ?" feeling herself calied upon to send out any one as an ambassador of Christ, whose profession that he is “moved by the Holy Ghost to preach the gospel" is corroborated by these indubi. table marks. From all which it is abundantly evident, that the cir. cumstance of being sent of God does by no means supersede the necessity of being sent by the church, as some suppose ; but while the call, the qualification, and the authority to preach, are from God, still, he requires the church to interpose her judgment in the case, (according to the proper criterion,) for the purpose of distinguishiny between those who are truly called, and such as “ run without being sent."

3. The ministers of Jesus Christ, and especially those called missionaries, must be sent “with purse and scrip.” It is true, twelve" were sent out at one time without these provisions. But this was the age of miracles. The Saviour charged them afterward, and their successors in the ministry for ever, to take “purse and scrip for their journey," as the means of a comfortable subsistence. His lan. guage is, “When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, [as the age of miracles was about passing away,] But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” And that the church are required to send them out in this way, appears from the following considerations : first, it is a principle which Christ himself has laid down, that "the laborer is worthy of his hire." Secondly, the heathen, among whom the missionary labors, could not possibly support him, even if they would, on account of that extreme destitu. tion which is the result of their habitual dissipation and sluggishness. Thirdly, they would not give him a support, if they could, such is the attachment they feel for their own superstitions, and their aversion to Christianity. The utmost we can expect at present, is, that they will suffer the Christian missionary to labor among them at the ex, pense of others. And fourthly, the missionary cannot support himself, since, as we are all aware, he belongs to that “tribe who have no inheritance among their brethren.” The plain state of the case is, the ministry are generally poor, and it seems to be the design of God that they should for ever be distinguished by this circumstance, first, that they might not be “entangled with the affairs of this life," by which means their usefulness must be necessarily hindered ; and secondly, that the mutual dependance of preachers and people might create a tie of mutual affection and esteem. Indeed, Christ himself has set the example, for though he might have appeared in other circumstances, yet he chose a condition in which “ he had not where to lay his head." And he has chosen his ambassadors from a similar con. dition, not merely for the purposes above indicated, but to afford his people the peculiar privilege, the heartfelt satisfaction—as it must be to the truly pious--of supporting the instruments of their salva. tion; and of expressing, in this way, their estimation of a gospel with which are identified all their interests, all their joys, and all their hopes.

o the

4. But to present the subject in one view, it is necessary to remark, that the obligation of diffusing Christian knowledge, and of evangelizing the world, devolves upon the entire church, embracing preachers and people. Some are appointed to labor, and others to support them in their work; the same as in national wars, where a part of the citizens are called into the field of battle as soldiers, and the residue are justly required by some mode of taxation to support them during the controversy. In fact, the obligation which Christ has laid upon his ambassadors to preach the gospel, is only binding when taken in connection with that which he has laid upon his people to support them in their calling. And as any one, who should enlist as a soldier in his country's cause, and fight her battles at the manifest hazard of his life, would have a right to expect both his rations and his pay, so the Christian ministry who serve in the war that is going on between the church of Christ and the powers of darkness, giving their whole time and talents to promote the Redeemer's kingdom, are en. titled to their support for a similar reason. Accordingly St. Paul says in reference to this very point, “ No man goeth a warfare at any time at his own charges ;' and it is clear enough to my mind, that our Lord in denominating his church “the salt of the earth,” and likewise “a city on a hill," intended to be understood, that her “light” was to shine out upon the world, and her “ savor” to be diffused abroad, not merely by her personal example, but also through the inedium of a public ministry supported by her own hand.

Finally, you perceive it has not been my ohject to inflame the mind, or to excite the passions by a fervid declamation ; this I leave to others whose eloquence is better adapted to such an undertaking: but I hive endeavored to convince the understanding, that you may give, not from the impulse of feeling, but from the convictions of duty. Then, indeed, will you become, what you should be, the permanent Vol. XI.-Jan., 1840.

10

friends and patrons of the missionary cause; and, in that character, you will not merely cast into its treasury on this occasion, "as the Lord hath prospered you,” but you will continue to sustain its ope. rations, as well by stated subscriptions as by occasional contributions, until the grand design of God to evangelize the world by means of a gospel ministry shall be carried into full execution.

Cazenovia, N. Y., Oct. 29, 1839.

For the Methodist Magazine and Quarterly Review.

CONSTITUTION OF THE ATMOSPHERE. Wisdom and Benevolence of Deity exhibited in the Constitution of the Atmosphere ;

an Introductory Lecture to the Course on Chemistry in the Wesleyan Univer. sity, for the year 1839–40. By John Johnston, Á. M., Professor of Natural Science.

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In accordance with custom in years past, I have prepared a lecture for to-day on a subject not immediately connected with subsequent parts of the course.

The primary object of the scientific student is, of course, to make himself acquainted with the facts and principles of science, but it is often interesting to turn a little aside and examine the important relations a particular branch of human knowledge sustains to other branches. "It would be considered unpardonable at the present day for a person making any pretension to science to be unacquainted with the geography of his country, a knowledge of which, however, would avail him but little was he entirely ignorant of the countries adjoining his own. And as a knowledge of the geography of a country implies some acquaintance with the territories immediately adjoining in every direction, so also to obtain a knowledge of any particular branch of science we must push our investigations a little into the regions beyond, and learn something of the relations it sus. tains to other branches with which it may be connected. Nor is it any the less important or interesting because we are thus sometimes led to

“Look through nature up to nature's God," and contemplate in the material things of earth the abundant evidence of the Eternal, and of his infinite wisdom and goodness.

If it be true that the whole systeni of material nature has originated, and is constantly upheld, by a Being of infinite wisdom, benevolence, and power, we may of course expect to find, in the investigation of its obvious or more recondite laws, some indications of these attributes. And it is a matter of delightful contemplation to the pious student of nature to meet on every hand with so rich a profusion of evidences of this character. It is true, we have given us by the pen of inspiration ample evidence of the existence, and infinitely exalted character of Deitv, in lines so legible that "he that runs may read;" but is delightful, notwithstanding, to know that, whether we turn our attention to those mighty orbs, which with unerring certainty wheel their stated course around the “ central throne," or to the minute insect of a day, or the leaf that flutters in the breeze, and contemplate their relations to the great Creator and his created intelligences, we every

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