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universe to build up and extend the dominions of his grace among the children of men.
The churches want evangelists as well as elders and deacons, and they want men just as well accomplished with all useful learning as the ministers of partyism or the agents of disunion and schismatic professions. We have, moreover, hundreds of young men, of good and well-balanced minds, alike destitute of suitable education and of the means of obtaining it, whose services in the cause of Bible Christianity are not to be appreciated by the ordinary means of human computation. We have, moreover, individual wealth enough to send out hundreds per annum into the field in the course of a few years. All that is wanting is a willing mind on the part of those into whose stewardship the Lord has entrusted so much of his earthly property. I am personally acquainted with many citizens of Christ's kingdom who could as easily educate and train for the ministry one evangelist every four years, as they can afford to live sumptuously every day, and add a few hundreds or thousands to their deposites for years to come. know also many churches that could, in addition to all their contributions for the gospel, fit out a young brother every few years for the work of the Lord. And why do they not? They pray to the Lord to send out laborers into his harvest, and seem not to think that they hold the means, and will not let them go, by which the Lord would answer their prayers. They seem to have forgotten that since the age of special calls, special missions, and miracles, the Lord has committed it to the church to increase her growth, and spread her influences over the earth. He has committed to her the oracles of truth, the word of life. He has given her talents, wealth, and power, and charged her to occupy till he return in person, and she seems in many instances never to have laid it to heart.
Moreover, she seems not to have learned the arithmetic of Heaven, nor the interest, per cent., per eternity, for all the stocks and investments in the Bank of the New Jerusalem. Heaven's Saving Bank has had its books open for many a year, and but a few millions of its many ten thousands of stock have yet been subscribed by its friends and admirers. Why is it so, is one of the most puzzling problems in the whole science of evangelico-political economy.
Of all the mysteries of modern Christianity, to me the most inscrutable is the fact that many say they believe the gospel to be true-that the redemption of one soul is worth more than all the gold of both the Indies, and all the treasures of North and South-that the preaching of this gospel is as necessary as faith, (for where there is no testimony there can be no faith)—that preachers and Bibles must be furnished to
the poor and the destitute, and to those who, without them, will never become interested in the matter—and finally, that the Lord has given overhis estate of means to the church, and told her members to occupy till he return to reckon with them; and after all this, take her money and her property and consume them in sumptuous and expensive modes of living, and investments for the flesh-for the pride and luxury of life, or for far distant heirs and successors; and, so far as their instrumentality goes, leave thousands to perish in ignorancə and error. To cap this climax of mysteries and contradictions, they also affirm the conviction that human means are necessary—that neither angels nor apostles are now sent directly from heaven to do these works—that the Spirit of God only works through moral means for moral ends, and not without the word spoken or read, operates at all upon the moral nature of man; and yet leaves it to chance or special providence whether they ever hear or learn the way of life! Explain this mystery who may, I cannot but upon the assumption that either such professors misunderstand the gospel or themselves, or that they are sinfully remiss in thinking upon the subject at all.
In my horizon I see brother Agricola: he is worth some 30,000 dollars, has four children, his annual income is some ten or twelve hundred dollars more than his actual expenditures. For the last three or four years he invests in lands or houses, or puts to interest at 6 per cent. some thousand dollars per annum. He is considered a benevolent, hospitable, and rather generous Christian amongst his compeers. But tell him that he ought to educate a young man for the Lord, or sustain an evangelist in the field; and while admitting his indebtedness to the Lord and the grandeur of the scheme, he adds, “But I am in debt, and must be just before I can be generous." Yet he has always been in debt for ten years, because his desire of accumulation always anticipates his actual receipts in hand. Then he will add, "I cannot afford it any how; besides, I do not believe in man-made ministers, nor in mercenary preachers," &c. &c. The matter pushed a little farther, and he evinces still more love of wealth than either myself or he suspected. He adds, "It would be a very singular generosity should I educate one young man, when the whole church of W—, of more than 150 members, has never educated nor sustained one evangelist." "But," continues he, "find nine others, and I will be one of ten who will educate, and then sustain for ten years to come one evangelist." Compared with many others, he is both liberal and generous; but should we estimate his attachment to the Lord and his interest in the kingdom of heaven by comparing his investments in the church with those in the world, how unfortunate for his reputation in heaven would be
the comparison! Still he constantly prays to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the field, and strongly affirms the conviction that if Christians were to be as liberal to the Lord's cause as he has been to them, the world would soon be converted to God.
To afford opportunities of raising up a host of accomplished proelaimers of the word, we have all the means in our power. We have Bibles, churches, schools and colleges, and wealth in abundance to support them all, together with the conviction in almost every one's conscience, that, of earth's noblest undertakings, this deserves the palm, and ought to command the energies of every true hearted Christian that rejoices in the hope of the appearing and of the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
One or two churches, and but one or two individuals, have as yet made propositions to us for carrying into effect their desires to raise up a ministry devoted to the Lord, able and intelligent in the learning of Apostles and Prophets; and yet all the churches are praying for success to our undertakings, and entreating the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers to the work. If but half the brethren of equal wealth were to do but half as much for the advancement of the cause of our common Master as the Faculty of our Institution, and they are not yet doing quite all they can, in ten years from now we should have a thousand evangelists in the field, and many a tongue now dumb would be vocal in the praise of the Lord; and many a hill and valley and solitary place would rejoice and blossom as the rose. Will the brethren think of this, and not only pray for laborers, but contribute the means for the accomplishment of their own desires?
MORAL BEARINGS OF GEOLOGY-No. I.
Dear Sir-I HOPE to be excused for writing when I inform you of the occasion. Some weeks ago I had a proposition from an Episcopalian clergyman to open a friendly correspondence upon the science of Geology; to which I agreed. He takes the view of that science as bearing on the Mosaic account of creation given by Fairholme. If I understand that writer, he confines the whole to the six thousand years of our era, (of creation,) and refers the whole geological phenomena to the flood and recent volcanie action.
My friend is a "Neptunean." My own understanding of this science fixes upon the theory of Cuvier, Buckland, and Lyell, which gives the earth an igneous origin, but refers many phenomena. to the alternate action of fire and water. Facts seem to give the earth a far greater period of duration than six thousand years: indeed, it would seem
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that six thousand years geologically is "not true." The Mosaic narrative has been so long interpreted in the light of Fairholme, Com stock, and others, that it requires some resolution (moral) to admit a fact that does not literally yield to that construction. The Bible has nothing to fear from real facts; though when these do exist, every theory we may have formed upon the construction of words in that book should be given up. If, however, the days of creation were days of 24 hours each, as these writers contend, then the whole phenomena of geology has taken place in the space since, except the view of Mr. Buckland be true, with which you are acquainted, though I will repeat it by way of refreshing your recollection. He contends that the first two verses of Genesis is only prefatory to the third and Succeeding verses. In the first Moses only declares God to be the creator of all things, without reference to the time or mode. At the third verse he takes up the narrative of creation as relates to man. If this is really true, the whole phenomena of geology is easy and plain. There is, however, one objection still, though it may not be weighty with any but feeble minds. Paul informs us that by sin death came into the world; and we have been in the habit of thinking that but for the sin of the first man death would not have been known. Geology unfolds to us such fields of death as fill us with wonder. Indeed, we live upon death. An immense portion of the crust of our globe is the remains of a former world. If geology is correct in its facts and references, then the work of death had gone on long before Cain slew his brother, and that too upon a grand scale. If Paul did mean that death as an effect was caused by sin, then it was unknown before, unless he intended to apply it to man exclusively. This is the view I have been inclined to take of death-that man was involved in it, as the effect of sin, and that animals were made to "die."
The words of the fourth commandment seem to oppose the period system-in six days God made”—“ix days shalt thou labor." It would seem that if we are to labor six days, of 24 hours each, and rest the same one day, that is 24 hours, because the Creator did so, that they were periods of the same length. As before stated, I am inclined to the theory of Good, Buckland, and Liteman, though not without some misgivings. These interpretations of scripture, made to fit a science, are to be cautiously admitted; and with all this science of geology was not not long ago held up as a god, and we were challenged to cast Moses aside and do homage at the shrine of this idol. It has been taken down from the pedestal, and made in turn to do reverence to the sacred record.
Now, sir, the object of thus troubling you, was to have the opinion of some sound-hearted critic who is a believer in revelation. There are but few men who are qualified to give an opinion in such cases. However learned a man may be, if he be not religious, he is not fully qualified to vote; and a weak timid believer is equally disqualified.The learned of Europe have caught the German "light;" so that but few of those in high places are to be trusted, These reasons have induced me, sir, to ask your opinion upon this subject; and that you may not be misled by the confused manner in which I have thrown things together, I will state the poin's distinctly. And,
1st. Of the first verse of Genesis.
2d. Of the days of creation.
3d. The objection respecting death.
I am sensible, sir, of the trouble imposed upon you-perhaps for no profit. You may be assured the appeal has been made from the sense of its importance to me, and the preference from a conviction that your sitnation through life has been of a character to qualify you to give an opinion in matters of so much moment.
W. W. STEVENSON.
REPLY TO MR. STEVENSON.
My dear Sir-YOUR kind epistle was duly received and put on file for notice. Its time has come, and I will offer a few reflections on the moral bearings of that grand and stupendous science of which it speaks. It is, indeed, a subject of much wonder that the structure and composition of Mother Earth should have been so slightly considered and so generally neglected, till very recently, by her heavenbegotten sons. Had mankind been so much engrossed in the study of the heavens and heavenly things as to have become enrapt in celestial visions and aspirations, I should not have been so astounded with man's erratic course in science as well as in religion and morals;
with his fantastic excursions into infinite space, and his curious speculations on the heights of lunar mountains and the depths of solar vallies, while he has not penetrated one half mile into the mysterious strata of Mother Earth.
And still the wonder grows at man's strange obliquities, when we see the latent scepticism of the bewildered myriads ignited into a devouring flame that would consume both Moses and his blazing bush-because, forsooth, they fondly dream that the yet unstudied and unread pages of Earth's unnumbered volumes are about to reveal such mysteries as will consign both Moses and his books to the nethermost pit of Earth's unfathomed caverns.
Still some of us believe in Moses, and are not ashamed to hold up our faces to the sun of geological science, and with unwavering eye gaze at its meridian glory, without the necessity of that symbolic vail which hid the Prophet's face from the less favored sons of Jacob when he descended from the visions of the holy mount. Our venerable friend Moses has often been accused of ignorance or error, and as often triumphantly successful in exposing the ignorance and infatuation of his inconsiderate and moon-struck assailants, that we are willing to adhere to him even in advance of the so called demonstrations of all human science, until we have read the last page of their most 'sage developments.