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gence in imbibing the doctrines and obeying the precepts of the Sacred Volume, and our humility in following the steps of that adorable Saviour whose death is the propitiation for our sins, and whose life is the example and motive of our obedience.
ADDRESS at the first Anniversary of the
City and County of CHESTER CHURCH
Having been requested by the Committee of your Society to be present today, in order to give such information as may be in my power as to the designs and prospects of our Missionary Institution, I would begin by observing, that so far is our Society from deserving censure for its attempts in the great work of the conversion of the world, that it rather merits reproach for not having begun them sooner, and acted in them with more vigour. If six hundred millions of our fellowcreatures are ignorant of that Gospel which has been vouchsafed to us, it is our bounden duty to do all in our power to communicate to them the blessing. He who continues a passive spectator of the misery and idolatry which he has
the power of lessening, is justly chargeable with guilt. As man is not at liberty to pursue his individual interests to the injury of Society at large, neither is he at liberty to withhold the means which he possesses of promoting its welfare. He has no solitary path to tread. He is bound to his fellow men. Not only the ties of humanity, but the motives of Christian love, constrain him to do all in his power to diffuse the knowledge of redemption, to communicate to his lost race the tidings of pardon, to tell the wretched victim of cruelty, and superstition, that God is Love, to direct the votary of sin and guilt to the mysterious cross of Christ, and lead the ignorant and forlorn worshipper of idols to the temple of the living God. And if the man who could tamely witness a shipwreck, and withhold his aid from the perishing mariner, would incur indelible reproach, much more will the Christian who can behold unmoved a shipwrecked world, deserve the keenest censure, I had almost said, himself forfeit a right to the blessings which he refuses to communicate. I may, perhaps, be thought to speak warmly, but I must avow my persuasion, that, next to his own salvation, a Christian's first duty is to do all in his power to save others. And to what, Sir, was England itself indebted for the very advantages which now raise her so high above the nations of the earth? Was it not to missionaries that she owed her own illumination with the light of life? Did not England once wander in the darkness of a Druidical superstition? Was it not Augustine and his humble followers (as a reverend friend has already observed), who planted about the year 596 the first Christian mission on our shores? And is there a single argument which can be advanced against missions to Africa and the East in the nineteenth century, which might not have been raised against missions to Britain in the sixth ?
But I abstain from pressing these points further. I will not dwell on the value of the soul of man, on the infinite love of God, on the unutterable glories of redemption, on the gulph of dark and interminable woe in which the world now lies, on the efficacy of the Gospel -its unlimited offers—its exhaustless grace—its matchless blessedness-its exuberant compassion. Sir, I will leave all these topics, though they involve the mighty elements of this question; and will proceed to observe, that if it be asked why a new Society was formed in our church, when two old and most venerable institutions already existed in it, I reply, that new circumstances, new information, new opportunities, new demands, new duties called for it. I reply that, when every division of Christians in our land was awaking to fresh energy, and framing additional plans for missions, we could not endure the thought, that the Church of England, the glory of the Reformed Churches, should appear to be behind-hand in the general effort. I reply, that it is an humble attempt only that we are making,—that we urge no one-violate no rule of ecclesiastical discipline, cast reflections on no other Societies; but, rejoicing most sincerely in the solid and extensive benefits effected by the venerable bodies, now for above a century at work in our church, simply propose to those who may be disposed to join us, the opportunity of trying to do something more for the salvation of the world. We appeal to the compassion of Christians. We submit the case to their candid judgment. We conceal nothing. Our plans are before the world. Our proceedings openly declare who we are, whom we send, to what church we belong, what stations we occupy, how many Christian teachers we support, the number of our schools, the converts we have gained, and the general success that has attended our efforts. We stand prepared also to receive every additional suggestion, to adopt every useful bint, to avail ourselves of every caution, in order to guard against attendant evils, and increase the amount of the good we achieve. In this spirit of frankness and of charity we began our Society, and in this we endeavour to prosecute it; and it is to this spirit that we attribute, under God,