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with him, that he might send them forth to preach,” and to lay the foundation of his kingdom, the illiterate fishermen of Galilee were among the first called ; but they did not continue ignorant or illiterate; He fitted them for the work to which he had called them; and so he does, with respect to every instrument he employs. Thus his work began in simplicity, and without observation, as to the world; a work which has never since ceased, which has extended to the remotest corners of the earth, and against which, its divine author has declared, that “the gates of hell,” that is, all the powers of darka ness, “shall not prevail.” Again, when the great work of the reformation was to be effected, an obscure monk was the instrument chosen to begin it. And now in the present day, when that prophecy, that, “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea," appears about to receive its accomplishment, a plan is suggested and devised, by a few respectable but humble individuals, in a company, I believe, consisting of not more than six persons, by whom it was proposed, that the word of God should be translated into every known language under Heaven, and be circulated through every nation of the earth. This small beginning, this grain of mustard-seed, as it were, speedily encreased and became a great tree, its top towering towards heaven, and spreading forth its boughs unto the ends of the earth, so that the inhabitants of all climes, have already taken shelter under its branches. And to whom are we to ascribe this great work, as astonishing in the result, as it was simple in the design ? Certainly not to the individuals who first suggested the plan: I am confident they would themselves be the first to disclaim all title to merit or reward, and would unite in exclaiming, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory!” No, they were but instruments in his hands, “ from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all good works do proceed."

This great work, claims. God for its author, and bears the divine image and superscription of him who gave the command, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” To such a work, it would appear astonishing in this day of Christian profession, that there should be a dissenting voice; that any one could be found bold enough to stand up and say, “this ought not to be," but so it is; and yet when we come to consider it, it is only what our Lord has taught us to expect. His own ministry was rejected by the great majority of the Jews, when with the Scriptures in their hands, they professed to look for the coming of the promised Messiah ; yet they not only rejected, but reviled him, as an encourager of licentiousness, “a friend of publicans and sinners :” He was accused also of being disaffected to the government, and of “forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar.” Nor did his faithful disciples meet with better treatment, for it was not possible, that “the disciple should be above his master, nor the servant above his Lord.” They too, were accused of being “ pestilent fellows," who “would turn the world upsidedown,” and “teach things contrary to the established laws and order. Therefore we are not to be surprized, if the world continuing ever the same, still oppose the servants of God in carrying on his great designs; but in doing so, it is remarkable how exactly they imitate, perhaps without intending it, the example of their predecessors in former times : they carry on their opposition, under the appearance of zeal for the cause of religion, and an anxious desire to preserve the established order of things, in church and state ; and though I will not question their sincerity in what they profess, yet their sincerity cannot be admitted as a proof, either of their piety or the rectitude of their conduct, any more than the same principle would have justified Saul, when he “made havock of the church ; " or those who, when they “killed the Apostles, thought they were doing God service.”

It has been objected to the Bible Society, that the union of Churchmen with dissenters in the distribution of the Bible, will encourage dissenting, and that it is even now sapping the foundation of the established church. But till it can be actually proved, that the circulation of the pure word of God, without note or comment, is inimical to the establishment, this argument can have no weight; for the sole purpose for which churchmen and dissenters of all sects and persuasions, are united in this Society, is for the distribution of the Bible, without note or comment. But could it be proyed, that this act, for which they have thus united, is unfavourable to the church of England, the friends of that church might have just cause for alarm ; for if it were proved, that the cause of the establishment was at variance with that of the Bible, which appears to command universal circulation; and should it be made appear, that if we would effectually and conscientiously support the interests of the one, we must relinquish the other, I believe there could be little doubt in the mind of the sincere Christian, which he should give up; and that all such would join in declaring in the words of a learned professor, in the university of Cambridge, “so soon “as it shall be proved, that the distribution of the “ Bible alone is hostile to the interests of the “established church; then, and then only be " that church subverted: When this shall be “proved," continues the professor, “I would “ not save it from destruction: when this shall “ be proved, let it fall ; and let there be erected

upon its ruins, a universal church, which shall “unfold its everlasting doors to all nations of “the earth.” (See Dr. Clarke's Speech at the Cambridge Auxiliary Bible Society, Nov. 18, 1812.) But thank God, we are not brought to this alternative; for it can, I trust, be proved from principle and experience, that their interests are one, that they go hand in hand, and that the more the Bible is distributed, read, and understood, without being adulterated by note or comment, the more clearly it will appear, that the Church of England is, both in doctrine and discipline, “ built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” If then, the dissenters wish to undermine and overturn that church, they must find out some other instrument for their purpose, than the Bible without note or comment. I would ask the objectors, are they prepared to prove, that there would be less dissenting from the Church of England, than there now is, had the Bible Society never existed ? I am confident they are not: nay,

I am free to say, that the unconstrained and social intercourse which the business of the Society has necessarily produced between the Church of England Christians, and those of other communions, has MOST MATERIALLY served the cause

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