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can not fail to see that the waste of resources in the kingdom of grace is beyond expression or comprehension. Just reverse the picture, and suppose every fraction of power in this great Commonwealth of our Israel was used in its legitimate sphere, and how long should men ask in vain for the bread of life? Would not the light stream afar, would not the leaven permeate into other souls, and inoculate itself as a life into this dead humanity ? Would not these burning lives, which God has hung in this great world-gallery, speedily light the lost to heaven?
We need, then, men more than money, more than books ; men who can endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. It is worth considering, whether our Christianity is not becoming too delicate for the rough places over which she is called to walk; whether we are not rearing a generation of effeminates, when we need men of more than Roman courage and endur
We send our workers into the field with all the nice and tasteful appointments of home, banishing, in all outward surroundings, the very idea of sacrifice and self-denial. But what army ever covered itself with glory, that went out to the battle carrying the refinements and conveniences of luxurious life! It is remarkable that there is not a scene this side the grave, in which the Scriptures represent the Christian as enjoying elegance and ease. On the other hand, he is a pilgrim without a home, a soldier in ceaseless warfare, a runner speeding to the goal, a wrestler on the white sands of the arena for the crown of victory. In the elder day of Christianity, these figures were realities. God's chosen then went out without staff, or scrip, or change of garments, to battle with sin, and want, and the devil. But now, who will go to tell the dying of Christ, without a full purse, and wardrobe, and larder? We are not saying that the church, in her fulness, should send out her sons empty to toil and suffer; this would be meanness itself. But our question is more fundamental : Is this the best
are to expect, is this all that Christianity is capable of doing? If the church is so mean as to withhold itself and its money from Christ, are we to assume that the men, with a heart to work, must stay at home, or be recalled from the field? What I have not men hands as well as hearts, and is there any
more difficulty in ministering to one's own necessities now, than there was in the days of Paul ? Do not the children of this world make pilgrimages to every quarter of the globe, on errands of gain? Are not the white wings of commerce flying on every water? Are not millions of feet pressing to the gold lands on the Pacific slopes, and in the Pacific Sea ? Not a zone however pestilential, not a region however barbarous, not a latitude however icy and desolate, that has not invited the enterprise of commence, or science, or worldly adventure. Whatever human power could do in this direction, has been attempted. Danger and death have been met in every form, but have not retarded, for one moment, the step of this advancing host. Has the Gospel no power to make heroes and martyrs in these latter days ? Has the world gained all the heroes, and shall it have the honor of all the martyrdoms of our time? Is it any more difficult for the heralds of salvation to penetrate distant and unknown lands, than for the heralds of traffic and adventure? If for gold we can dare cold and nakedness, and pestilence and death, shall they have terrors to turn back our feet on missions of mercy to the perishing? What would Paul have said to such a suggestion? Would he have turned back on any path which mortal man would dare to tread? The men of apostolic time and spirit went to the ends of the earth, trusting for temporal things to Him who sent them to distribute heavenly things. If other hands were shut to their necessities, they had hands of their own that never failed them in an emergency. If they could not ride to their fields of labor, they could walk; and if they had no scrip for their journey, they could work, or beg their way. They were sent of God to tell the dying of Christ, and they asked no men, or organizations of men to come between them and their work. So simple was their idea of preaching the Gospel to the world, each man creating his needful temporalities in the very plan and service of spiritual things. When the church shall recognize her distinctive work, and plan and labor just to give this world to Christ, what will all the crafts and industries be but parts of her heavenly calling? This will simplify every thing, and unite brain, and heart, and hand, in a single service. We believe there is a day for the church, when her consecrated minds will have some of the wisdom, and some of the devotion, to an engrossing idea, which the world has. We would hang our head for Christianity, if we believed it was not competent to do what Mammon and Mormon can. Has not the one countless thousands in every land, toiling, suffering, and dying, to win his golden smiles? And has not the other sent out his heralds over the earth, without patronage, without protection, and without support, to preach his beastly gospel ?. With a devotion worthy of the holiest cause, a band of seventy men left Salt Lake, a little time since, each with his hand-cart, carrying what little he needed for a journey of a thousand miles over the plains, and mountains, and deserts, between him and his point of destination. This point was St. Louis. Arrived here, they separated, each to make his way to a different and special field of labor. His support each one must create for himself. He is face to face with his work, and only his courage, and skill, and strength, are pledged to his success. And these men are traversing every part of Christendom to-day, at their own charges, and doing their work with a singleness and efficiency of purpose, which mock our slow, and cumbrous, and noisy methods of evangelization.
What a power there is in one soul consecrated to some engrossing idea, what force has worked in the brain of a single scholar, or artist, or inventor, who has toiled on in poverty, and silence, and neglect, till at last, he has moved the world in the realization of his idea, and been crowned among the regal minds of the race.
Christianity was once a simple idea, a vital, central, moving force in the individual heart. It was the power of individual lives dropped into the current of humanity to change its course and destiny for eternity.
Has God changed his plan of raising up humanity from the ruin of the fall and of the tomb? Has he interposed any medium between the church and the world, or does he want any there? Did he not, by a necessity, introduce the soul to its heavenly work, the moment he introduced into it its heavenly life? God, then, has fitted the church for her work, and put her in connection with it. And what is to hinder her taking possession of the earth in the name of Christ, but the earthliness which enfolds her? · Why could not she march to-day on her heavenly mission, but that she lacks the high consecration for such a service?
We have money enough, and too much; this is the millstone on the neck of our piety. This it is which detains men from the field, instead of sending them into it. When the church has been poorest in this world's goods, she has been mightiest through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Until we come to feel that God's kingdom is to advance among men, through the consecrated lives of his people, without regard to any accessories of wealth, or worldly position, the church will fail to reach the fulness of her power and glory. We, at least, suggest the inquiry, whether our machinery is not standing between us and the world, whether organizations representing large money capital and power will be doing the work of the church, when the final shout shall go up, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ”? Is it heresy to suppose that organizations, as distinct from the church, and beyond her control, have answered mainly their end, and that God is indicating that they are ready to vanish away? We suggest whether the church will not do her work without proxies, when her work is simply to preach Christ and him crucified ?
But before that time, perhaps our exclusive idea of a learned ministry may be somewhat modified. We suspect there is a golden mean in this matter, which we have not reached as yet. And we are not without apprehension that our Baptist and Methodist friends are nearer to it than we are. Younger than ourselves as denominations, they have far outstripped us in the race of denominational success. We can not suppose that it would be just to attribute this to any peculiarities of creed, so much as to peculiarities of practice. They have shown a power of expansion, an efficiency and devotedness in the single work of preaching the Gospel, which are well worth our study, Their ministers, as a body, have not been learned, in the common sense of that term, but they have been godly, earnest, natural, real men, and not so far above the people as to lose their sympathy for them, or their points of attachment to them. Here, we believe, is the real secret of their power, a secret which a
very high culture is too apt to disregard. · Had we, like those denominations, between our learned clergy and the people, a class of middle men of sufficient cultivation for the demands of correct and forcible speech, we can not help thinking our power for practical, popular effect would be immensely increased. What proportion these two classes shall bear to each other we can not decide ; perhaps that which obtained in the little circle of the twelve will furnish us with a hint.
If it should be said that we open the door to false doctrine by adopting, in part, an unlearned ministry, it is sufficient to reply that all the great errors which have distracted the church have come from just the opposite quarter, namely, the school
Besides, is it certain that the best preparation for preaching the Gospel is a long and weary attention to subjects which, to say the best, are but remotely related to the Gospel ? Shall we decide, ex cathedra, that no one is fit to preach who is unable to read the Scriptures in the original tongues? Has not God a teaching which is infinitely better than this, and without which all the Hebrew and Greek in the world would not qualify a man to expound the word ? These are helps indeed, and when they are available should be carefully and gratefully employed, but are they indispensable? When a man has been taught of the Holy Ghost, and knows the truth in an inner experience, there is nothing greater or better. You may give him a rhetoric and an utterance by your classics, but God has given him the burden which he is to speak, and he can not well enunciate an error, or defend a lie.
And, moreover, shall we accept, without challenge, the idea that the schools are the only places where men are disciplined to severe and accurate thought. “The power to act nobly and efficiently may exist with little book knowledge ; to know living men, to have sat under the stern and thorough teaching of experience, to have a sympathy open to the unnumbered influences of exhaustless and ever-healthful nature, may set a man above those who have studied all things at second hand, as seen through other eyes, and represented by feeble human speech.”' A faculty to work well, a knowledge of men, and a power to measure them at a glance, these are attainments of not a few
1 Peter Bayne.