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we are prepared to believe, who have been oppressed with a sense of sinfulness and of utter human weakness, and, knowing of no way of deliverance have, with groanings that cannot be uttered, made their prayer to "heaven above," that in some way or other, at some time or other, deliverance should come. Without being at all dogmatic or opinionated we can think that God may count such a crude embryo of faith up to the light then had of more value than we commonly suppose. Gentile history discloses many such nebulæ of trust and hope. The faith of the successive ages has not received the study it is entitled to, nor have we estimated properly the amount of spiritual blessing involved in faith in some earthly promise of God. The earthly, in the Old Testament, so easily lapped over on to the heavenly, the temporal on to the eternal. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is rich in illustrations. Abraham's promise of an inheritance specified only an earthly one, but it included also a heavenly. According to the law of promise, supposing the faith to be indeed genuine, there is no limitation as to years; the promises live forever and include the forever to him who can discern the spiritual in the temporal.
To sum up.
Though it may seem like a reiteration let us state it again in brief. In the case of the Jews there was a written law and a written provisional Gospel, and these two bore a certain ratio to each other. In the case of the Gentiles there is an unwritten law of nature and an unwritten Gospel of nature, and these two bear a certain ratio to each other. In other words there has been no particular publication of law that God has not been pleased to accompany with some sort of co-ordinate Gospel, and there has been no condemnation that has not been attended with some proportionate means of justification, "out of" or "through faith," according to the circumstances of the different persons. It is God that justifieth, and to us it seems only presenting two different phases of the same broad truth to say that He who condemns according to men's disobedience of such law as they have will also justify according to their faith in such Gospel as they have.
A Practical Inquiry.
If these things be so may not the heathen of our day be left to such Gospel of nature as they may be supposed to have? No! emphatically. The view now presented opens a door of hope for many in ages past who have been outside of the covenant, but it strikes us that one of the evil results attending the development of sin is
the loss of faith receptivity. We may be wholly mistaken, but it has often seemed to us that in earlier days this faith receptivity was greater than now in "the natural man." Men will stand more law now-a-days and grow more stubborn, and they will stand more Gospel and grow more hardened. For many years have we looked and watched to see how many could be found who were trusting in a Gospel of nature. The result is startling. We will not say there are none, but they are amazingly few. For if there were such, when the full Gospel of Jesus Christ comes within their reach, they would respond quickly as Cornelius did, but they do not. The truth is we find them indifferent to the suggestions of a divine mercy as they are to the manifestations of a divine anger. Heaven has piped unto them by means of fatness upon the pastures of the wilderness, by ridges abundantly watered, by furrows made soft with showers, by years crowned with goodness. Yet they have not danced. Heaven has also mourned unto them by floods, by droughts, by caterpillars and palmer worms, by famines, by pestilences, and yet they have not lamented: Nor have any "considered the operation of His hands."
I. There is a far better ground for a "larger hope" in a re-estimate of the privileges men have had than in a projection formed into the utterly unknown. In connection with that re-estimate we ought also to define more accurately what constitutes a probation, and whether the essence of it does consist, not in the formation of a character but in the opportunity to exercise a choice, or manifest a predilection. Out of that all character will afterwards develop. This we say offers a larger ground of hope, and one that can be better measured. Especially if we take in connection with it the teaching that, as from Adam there flowed a stream of evil which overspread the race, affecting all without their actual personal participation in the originating cause, so by parity of administration there flows a stream of good from the Lord Jesus, which extends to all and upon all that believe. It extends its benefits to all who do not reject it. It is on this ground that we look for the salvation of infants the wide world over, of all classes of incapables, and we would fain hope of many others who have not shut their eyes and hearts to the acceptance of such Gospel light in nature as God has given them. They have not rejected.
II. At the same time, while there is thus opened a larger door of hope there is also an increased occasion for condemnation if the light is rejected. The heathen will be adjudged guilty, not only for disobeying a certain degree of law which they have, but further for
rejecting and despising a certain amount of Gospel which they enjoy. The essence of "faith in God" consists in believing on the strength of such evidence as He has given; the essence of unbelief consists in being dissatisfied with such proof and in demanding some other that He has not seen fit to give. If the Hebrews were condemned for not believing as well as for not obeying up to the measure possessed in pre-Messianic times then will the Gentiles be treated exactly according to the same rule. Until men, whether Jews or Gentiles, have believed up to the measure of evidence already possessed they have no reason to complain that additional evidence is not given. If they will not believe earthly things they have no right to demand that heavenly things be told unto them. Believe what you have got, was Abraham's answer to the rich man,
The Lesson of it all.
Taking all these things together we reach this conclusion: People may be advancing in a material way and yet be degenerating spiritually. Faith receptivity may also degenerate from age to age. Not even the wise and intelligent heathen show a disposition in our day to read aright the Gospel of nature around them. Whatever power that Gospel may have had it does not appear to possess much For the heathen of our day there is no hope but in the preaching to them of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that too with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven. All other things are mere shadows, symbols and pointers. This is the real agency from which all other provisional arrangements derived their efficacy and which now supersedes them. The darkness is past and the true light now shineth. It is to be made known "for obedience to the faith among all 'nations."
A Word of Disclaimer.
In these studies we ascribe no divine sanction to any of the organised systems of heathenism which have spread over these lands and have darkened the air as if by the dust and ashes of a volcano. We see individuals here and there struggling towards the light. We remember with joy what the prophet said, "Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness." We can believe that such will find God or rather "be found of God," and we can look for myriads of them. Do the best we can we cannot see where Brahminism or Buddhism or Confucianism or Shintoism have helped the struggling ones at all. Not one of them has preached or inspired hope, even through a Gospel of Nature, which they all have had. They have led men away from the light into Pantheism, Atheism, Polytheism, Fatalism and Materialism and left their votaries in uncounted millions "without hope and without God in the world."
Education and Missions.
BY A. J. GORDON, D.D.
MY DEAR RECORDER: Much has been said, of late, through the medium of your pages, on the relation of schools to our mission work. Of course there have been extreme views advanced on both sides. To me it seems that A. J. Gordon, D.D., has given us, in the accompanying article, a middle ground, which is the true and safe one, upon which we as missionaries ought to take our stand. If you will kindly give it to your readers I think it will do good in a most important direction.
Yours very truly,
G. W. PAINTER.
TEXT for a very extended and very impressive sermon is certainly to be found in the following statement made before the recent Decennial Conference in India by Rev. Maurice Phillips, of the London Missionary Society. Mr. Phillips is reported as saying, "The only organized opposition which Christianity has yet had to meet has been from the efforts of the Hindu graduates of our universities." We do not, in this article, propose to furnish an exhaustive sermon upon this text, but rather to furnish the framework and setting for the testimony of others who, from personal experience and a thorough mastery of the facts, are amply qualified to speak.
The notion that "the heathen must go through some propedeutic dispensation of civilization to prepare them for the Gospel" seems to be inveterate, and only to be cured by the teaching of dearly bought experience. Civilization to pioneer the way for Christianity and education to introduce Christianity or to confirm it when once received this seems to be the conception which has possessed the minds of many of the most eminent missionary founders.
As to the first, certainly the Gospel nowhere intimates that God has anointed civilization to be the John the Baptist of Christianity, to prepare its way and to make the people ready for its coming. Evermore does the Gospel hold its place as the root and not the fruit, as the origin and not the issue of human culture. Master missionaries, like Hans Egede and Samuel Marsden, have gone to their fields with the dictum on their lips, "Civilization must work in preparation for conversion," but their own experience has proved the fallacy of their doctrine, so that the latter of these, after twenty years of hard trial, inverted his doctrine and wrote, "It will always be found that civilization follows Christianity rather
than conversely."* Indeed we are dealing here with an old and persistent error-the error which in its application to missionary policy Pastor Harms characterized as "a yoking of the horses behind the wagon." Legalism says, "Do that you may live." The Gospel says, "Live that you may do." Human wisdom says, "Educate men that they may regenerate society." Divine wisdom says, "Regenerate men that they may educate society." The most disastrous heresies have sprung evermore from inverting God's order and putting that as last or secondary which He has made first and primary.
We ought to bear in mind that even the primitive order in reaching men the lowly and the illiterate first-has never been successfully reversed; however some have tried to do so. "Christ did not choose orators to catch fishermen, but fishermen to catch orators," says Augustine. Perhaps we think that our Lord acted thus because He could not do any better, and that we who live in these times of high culture, with all the machinery for making orators in full operation, may wisely change the plan. Certainly the stress laid on elaborate education in connection with missions, and the demand for preachers who shall be able to deal with "the subtle and metaphysical Brahman," seems to hint at a proposed revision of the apostolic methoda working from above downward and a catching of high-caste fish by highly cultured orators.
Now, the Divine way is the right way, and it is the same from the beginning to the end. An intelligent student of the Bible can easily discover God's plan for evangelizing the world if he will observe the teaching of the Gospels and the epistles and mark the practice of the Church as seen in the Acts of the Apostles. But would the reader be glad to know the teaching of missionary history on this point? This would certainly be instructive; and the thorough work of Dr. Gustav Warneck, of Germany, "Modern Missions and Culture," has exhibited this so exhaustively and so impartially as to leave little to be desired. This author is not an extremist; he treats the subject with the utmost calmness and fairness. Yet in summing up the results of his wide research in this whole field this is his conclusion:-
"We plant and promote civilization when we present the Gospel, and we make the nature-peoples human by making them Christians. Christianity is not the bloom but the root; culture is not the root but a bloom of Christianity. Apart from a few half-successful experiments as, perhaps, those of the Raja Brooke in Sarawak, we look in vain in the history of the ancient and the modern mission, for examples of the heathen being slowly prepared, to and through culture, for the * "Missions and Culture," Warneck, pp. 232, 233.
+ Ibid., p. 253.