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lic, because it unfolds the views he takes of Divine truth, the reasons he assigns for believing that he is a Christian and has a right to preach the Gospel, and the principles in which we wished to act, when we set apart to the sacred work of the Christian ministry, Hindoo labourers.
There is a strong and Christian feeling generally excited in churches towards the poor perishing Heathen, and the efforts that have been made, and that are making for their spiritual good, bear the evident marks of their origin. We accept these first fruits as a certain pledge of a speedy and bountiful harvest. The spirit of grace and supplication is poured out, and the fervour of true piety is daily making the distinction between the church and the world more apparent. We wish by no means to underrate in our own views the pleasingly progressive state of vital godliness in the churches at home; but whilst we do rejoice, yea, and we will rejoice in the peace and increasing prosperity of Zion, we do not wish to overlook a backwardness in the churches to put forth, with heart and goodwill, both hands to the work of the Lord. The churches do not (God forbid they
should do !) the work of the Lord deceitfully, yet we fear there is a tardiness, a want of energy, which convinces the beholders that the whole soul is not
Do the churches, make conscience of sending forth their able experienced champions to the field ? Why should local comforts and wants be attended to in preference to the cry of millions perishing for lack of knowledge ? Liberal sums are collected-meetings for prayer and concerting plans are held-joy is diffused through bodies of Christians collected, when they are informed of the success of the gospel at home and abroad. The number of Evangelists is continually increasing, (that are sent from the churches to foreign parts,) who carry with them the glad tidings of salvation to the ends of the earth. What hindereth the church, that she does not fully obey the will of her Lord and Master? Why does she not call forth a Barnabas, a good man and full of the Holy Ghost-a beloved Paul and Silas-men who are willing to hazard their lives, and finish their course in the high places of the field? Why should the church act as if she considered that she was con
ferring a favour on the heathen as those who are aliens only, and not view them as brethren in greater, much greater spiritual distress than themselves, and minister to them accordingly? We have, therefore, endeavoured to give utterance to our feelings on this subject in the Discourses. It is, we think, our duty to bear our testimony (however feeble) against what appears sinful neglect in the churches, and to suggest remedies which if correct ought instantly to be adopted.
The question on the Validity of Roman Catholic Baptism, as administered by that church, and the debate between Samuel and a Roman Catholic, we have given a place to in this volume, from the consideration of the relative importance of the subject. If the Romish Church is Antichristian, the true church is bound to separate in spirit and in every respect from that abomination. We, as part of the true Church of Christ, consider it our duty to record our public testimony that we disown her, and all her ministrations, as strictly Antichristian.
The character of Hindoo believers has been described, and their labours stated, partly to show that
the past exertions of the church for that part of India have not been in vain, and partly to exhibit the adaptation of native labourers to the work of the gospel among their countrymen.
Praying for the blessing of the Holy One of Israel, that it may rest upon all scriptural efforts for the diffusion of the gospel of the blessed Jesus in heathen lands, we commit this work to his care.
London, November 14th, 1827.