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interposing to stop what he conceived to be an illegal measure, brings forward certain REASONS to support his cause. He comes down now into the field of argument; and it will be our concern to examine whether his facts and reasonings here, are more correct than we found them to be on the subject of ecclesiastical authority.
1. The reverend author states, that the Church Missionary Society was originally unnecessary, because the Incorporated Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts was, and is, in existence and in action.
Is it possible, then, that an Archdeacon of the Church of England should be ignorant that that venerable and most useful Society directs its labours, in conformity to its Charter 2, to the supply of our foreign plantations, colonies, and factories, with ministers and schoolmasters? Does he not know that it has nothing to do with missions to Africa and the East, and scarcely any thing with heathens any where? Was, then, the Church Missionary Society unnecessary? What, when almost the whole world lay in darkness and the shadow of death, and untold nations implored the compassion of Christians?
The reader is requested to observe, that the reverend author is not now advancing any ob
2 See the Abstract of the Charter in Appendix, No. III.
jection against the conduct or ciety. This is not the topic.
spirit of our SoHe roundly as
serts, that the very design was ORIGINALLY UNNECESSARY-the design of enlightening and blessing five hundred millions of our fellow men in ASIA and AFRICA-gifted with the same reason, and capable of the same happiness, as ourselves--because a Society for instructing the Christian settlers and colonists of BRITISH AMERICA was in activity! Surely he must have other ideas of Christian charity from those commonly entertained. Is then a society, which has not a single English clergyman engaged as missionary amongst the heathens, and which collected the last year very little more than 10007., and this for the use of our fellow-Christians of one particular province abroad, sufficient to exonerate the members of our Church from the duty of establishing other societies for the salvation of the heathens in the other immense regions of the world? Or is the Archdeacon prepared to state, that the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge was also unnecessary? His language implies, that he is either totally forgetful or ignorant of the existence of the East Indian missions of this venerable institution3. And can a person who be
3 Only a fiftieth or sixtieth part of the gross receipts, even of this much respected and useful Society, was expended last year on its Indian Missions.
trays a want of information so deplorable on the leading facts connected with his argument, be the man who is entitled to pronounce a solemn censure on the plans founded on the more enlarged information of his brethren?
It may undoubtedly be an unnecessary measure, in the judgment of some few persons, to disturb themselves in their accustomed habits and usages; unnecessary to make painful exertions; unnecessary to do more than discharge their quiet duties at home. But not so felt the first Apostles and martyrs of the Christian faith: they counted not their lives dear unto themselves; they burnt with an inextinguishable ardour for the salvation of men: and we trust that we may at least be allowed to emulate the holy zeal and love, the intrepidity and constancy, the self-denial and voluntary privations, of these primitive examples of the Church.
To Christians possessing such feelings, nothing appears so necessary, as to send the Gospel to all the accessible parts of the world-nothing so necessary, as to awaken the tardy love of Christendom in such a cause-nothing so necessary as to invite, by new associations, the contributions and efforts of all around:necessity is laid upon such, yea, woe is unto them, if they promote not the most extensive diffusion of the Gospel of Christ. If labours
4 See Appendix IV.
such as these are superfluous, then were the pious missionaries who first visited our own shores, when our ancestors wandered in their painted skins and offered their sons and daughters unto devils, engaged in an useless project. But surely it cannot be endured for a moment, that the descendants of the converts of these very missionaries, should consider it as unnecessary to carry the Gospel to those heathen nations, who are in the same circumstances now, in which their own forefathers originally were. Forbid it, sacred charity, that such a thought should be entertained in a Christian's breast! Forbid it rather, O Divine Mediator of Mankind, that we should receive the infinite grace of salvation ourselves, to withhold it from a perishing world! Forbid it, O thou eternal Father of Mercies, that the chilling deductions of a cold selfishness should oppose, for an instant, the exuberant designs of thy stupendous love to the whole of the lost children of men!
2. But the reverend Archdeacon is not content with pronouncing our Society to have been unnecessary: he finds it to be as little happy in its structure, as in its original design. He proceeds to observe
"I said that I considered some of the Rules and Regulations of this Church Missionary Society, and especially the means which it employs to increase its funds, to be utterly un
worthy of the name which it would assume; viz. that of a Church of England Society. For example is it worthy of the Church of England, is it worthy of the members of the Church of England, to authorize persons to go about, collecting pence and farthings from servants, school-boys, and apprentices, in order that the collectors of one shilling per week, or five shillings per month, may be elevated into members of a Church of England society? And, moreover, be tempted to the additional honour of voting at meetings, of receiving copies of the Annual Report and Sermon, and one number of the Missionary Register? This is the statement in Rule VI. of your Report."
In this censure, it is not easy to guess, whether the reverend Author means merely to say that there is something low and undignified in the office of the persons who collect petty alms for the Society; or whether he means farther to imply that the Society itself is disgraced by the very act of soliciting and encouraging such petty benevolences. It may be conjectured that both sentiments were, in a degree, in his mind. And yet, what is it that a minister of the church of God can find ignoble in the office of exciting the humanity and philanthropy even of the lowest classes of society; of those who, though below the level of science and learning, are not below the level of Chris