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ance of the very wisdom they are so fond of celebrating.
The venerated writings of Confucius expressly approve of liberal intercourse with other nations, and the people of China would be pleased with such intercourse. So that there are principles existing in the empire which might at any time produce a revolution favourable to the introduction and dissemination of Christianity. The God of heaven has a thousand ways to overcome the immobility of my nation, and to send us forward in the progress of improvement with an irresistible impetus. A collision with Russia, or England, or other western powers, would probably throw open every gate and every port.
But there are silent principles already at work, whose operations are powerful and must produce great ultimate effects.
When asked, as I often am, whether China is open to the unrestricted efforts of missionaries; I answer no. Missionaries are permitted to reside only in one or two places, and here their movements are closely watched, and their liberty is greatly abridged.
Why then, they reply, do you plead for an increase of missionaries? I answer, because although the ministers of the Christian faith would not be admitted in China, much work might be accomplished for her; and under circumstances
scarcely less favourable than if they resided within the empire. Many of the neighbouring nations are accessible, and multitudes might occupy them without molestation. Every missionary must first acquire the language, -- a work of no inconsidera- . ble magnitude.
Through an advanced knowledge of the language a Christian literature is to be prepared for the people. Now from the prevalence of education, and the popularity of literature, we may form some conception of the vastness of such a work. Many active and accomplished minds, and many long laborious years must necessarily be devoted to this undertaking. Is it not the time to accomplish this preparatory labour, while the country remains closed to more active exertions? Perhaps before the good seed can be prepared, this boundless field may be opened for its reception. God may be waiting for the dilatory movements of the church. Should the obstructions be removed before she is prepared for her work, pestilential errors and ruinous examples under the Christian name, would doubtless form far higher barriers than those which now prevent our approach.
There is one mode of operating upon my country, which will probably forever elude the vigilance and baffle the power of an opposing government. Many of us are driven by necessity or avarice to the surrounding countries to increase our resources. Let missionaries go, as blessed be God, a few have already gone, to these countries. Here they can teach us without molestation. Hundreds who have spent a portion of their lives in these countries return to the empire every year. They will carry the knowledge of Christ with them.
Another measure for introducing the gospel into China has lately been attempted, and it is believed with much success. The sea-ports along the coasts have been entered by ships freighted with Bibles and Christian books, and thus beside the oral instruction given by the accompanying missionaries, thousands of volumes have been put in circulation.
Can it then be said that China is shut against the gospel ? That missionaries are debarred I admit; but they can all take up the exulting strains of the Apostle, though they are bound, “yet the word of God is not bound."
An invading army would be satisfied with the advantages we enjoy. We have a foothold on the borders of the enemy's possessions. We have positions which command his country. Now all that we want to carry forward our resistless operations are soldiers qualified to occupy these posts, and an artillery capable of sending its fires on the very citadel of the enemy. That many of our own
men will fall, I think is probable. They must go prepared for such an honour. But the victory is certain, and what more can we desire ? If the children of light were only as wise in their generations as the children of this world, how soon my country would be subdued to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
If I could only see multitudes of young men with apostolic zeal going forth to qualify themselves for usefulness, I would then believe that God's time to favour this part of the world had
If the churches were only aroused to earnest and unceasing prayer for the salvation of these deluded millions, I should know that the arm of the Lord would soon be made bare. And are not Christians shut up to this duty just so far as they are shut out from the empire? While we are prevented from employing some of the most effective means for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ in China, are we not summoned to exercise stronger faith and employ more importunate prayer, that the indirect efforts we can put forth may be the more successful ?
I read that “Jesus is head over all things to the church.” The hearts of my emperor and all his subjects are submitted to His control. He is able to accomplish all his purposes. Opposition is vain. One word of his power would open China,
and another open every heart to the reception of the Saviour. Why then are we appalled at the cob-web obstacles of man? We can lay hold of the strength of the Almighty. We are permitted, nay commanded to do so.
Prayer is a weapon placed in every Christian's power,-a most potent weapon, which can neither be parried, nor broken, nor wrenched from his grasp. It is a missile which may be projected with unerring aim and resistless force from the most distant position.
Oh, that the church universal would cry day and night for the recovery of this great theatre of human life from the usurper's dominion. God would lend an ear of favour, and the voice of his awful majesty would be heard, and the lightnings and earthquakes of his power felt, and earth would soon catch the triumphant song of the happy myriads in heaven. "Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth."