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cult it is to persuade men to repent even in Christian lands, with so many favorable influences concurring to secure the result. What then must be the improbability of a heathen turning from his loved vices to a life of purity, without the Bible, without the ministry, without the church, without the Sabbath, without the example of individual saints, without the encouragement of any one or anything, save of his own half-enlightened conscience, and amid surrounding pollution such as we cannot possibly conceive! Motive stimulates to action, and the motive which needs to be brought to bear upon a dark pagan mind is “the truth as it is in Jesus." He must be made to understand what God is, in the majesty and purity of his nature; what the divine law is, in its claims upon the heart and life ; what his own character is, in its vileness and evil desert; what the moral impotence of his diseased will is, in its bondage to sin; and then what Christ has done for the world, to place salvation within the reach of all; and what He is ready to do for the individual sinner who receives him as the all-sufficient Saviour. This is the truth which convicts of sin and subdues the soul to penitence and love. If we wish to reclaim men from wickedness, we must hold up the cross. It is not enough to preach morality and industry; it is not enough to discourse to them on the vague truths of natural theology. The Moravians did this for years to the degraded Greenlanders, without eliciting a single response. But when Christ was preached and they were told that the Son of God exchanged the glories of heaven for the woes of Calvary, that they might be rescued from sin and hell, their sluggish minds were moved and their hard hearts were melted. This was the influence which shamed Paul out of a life of selfishness, as we learn from his own lips: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them and rose again.” Thus the gospel works upon character as no other influence can, and hence it is the chosen instrumentality of the Holy Spirit for effecting the conversion of sinners. Therefore Paul went everywhere preaching the gospel, knowing that nothing else would make any impression on the masses of sinful mind around him, and declaring that “it pleased God by the foolishness (as the world deemed it) of preaching to save them that believe.” With this same view we send forth missionaries to the remotest parts of the earth, that we may bring to bear upon the nations that influence which alone suffices to attract men from sin to holiness. If abstractly the heathen may be saved without the gospel, provided they repent of sin, practically few of them will repent, except as they are made acquainted with the grace of Christ.
3. Lastly, as an incidental and subordinate result, and in some cases as an auxiliary influence to illustrate the beneficent character of Christianity, missions operate to elevate communities in temporal respects. The grand aim of missions is spiritual, and the missionary addresses himself directly to the mind and heart of every heathen to convince him of sin and danger and to induce him to repent, and exercise faith in Christ. Still, where he can make temporal benefits auxiliary to his chief work, he will do so, both as conferring favors on the destitute and as preparing them to listen favorably to his message of salvation. He will do what he can to heal diseases, to impart education, to encourage industry and the mechanic arts, to aid the poor, to comfort the afflicted, to redress the wrongs of the oppressed, and, in general, to elevate society to the level of Christian civilization. He will thus do immediate good of a temporal nature, will illustrate the beneficent spirit of the Christian religion, and will gain access for spiritual truth to many minds that could not otherwise be reached. And so, also, civilization will necessarily result from the operation of piety, which stimulates the whole man to action, makes him responsible for the best use of all his powers, and brings him in contact with truths and influences of the most elevating character. The degree of attention that must be given to this secular work, will vary with the condition and customs of nations. Nomadic tribes, such as the Indians of our own continent, can
hardly be reached to much effect, except as they are induced to form stationary communities and cultivate the soil. All experience, from that of Eliot to that of the most recent missionary, proves the truth of this assertion. But such secular aid is purely incidental, as when you require a man to stand still, while you converse with Irim, and is never absolutely essential to the operation of divine truth upon the heart. The truths of the gospel are simple, and the most degraded heathen can be made to understand their practical import. They do not need to be educated or civilized up to a given point in order to enable them to repent of sin and accept of Christ. A previous work of civilization might be more needful, were the missionary cause dependent on mere natural appliances for its success. Such appliances are used, but behind them is the Holy Spirit to give efficacy to the truth by his supernatural power. Relying on his promised aid, we look for speedy results from an early and direct presentation of purely spiritual truth. From the inward change thus wrought, we proceed to outward renovation and improvement, thus simultaneously fitting men for two worlds.
Such, then, is the theory of missions. No grander enterprise was ever undertaken or conceived. It aims to subdue this world to Christ, for his glory and the salvation of lost men. The foundation principles are, that Christ of right owns the world, and that the world stands in perishing need of his salvation. No man can be saved without him, and but few without the knowledge of him. The truth which centres in him, is the power which, in the hand of the Spirit, is to regenerate human character and to bring all nations at the last to the obedience of faith. Based thus on immutable truth, the missionary cause, sustained by reason, enjoined by Christ's own command, fortified by the divine promises, goes forth, through toil and suffering, to secure a certain victory. Who will march by its side? Who will consecrate himself to its work ?
The missionary cause appeals with special power to the Christian heart. More than anything else it represents the great object which Christ came to this world to accomplish, and for which he so freely shed his precious blood. It pictures to us the world in its sin, in its deep, dark, inveterate, wilful, chosen sin. It tells us of six hundred millions of heathen, in utter ruin, bound hand and foot by Satan, through various systems of idolatry, and false religion. It causes us to see how improbable is their repentance under present influences, even when through an unknown Saviour, repentance might avail. It spreads before us the glorious gospel of the Son of God as the remedy divinely provided for this desperate condition of disease, as a message of hope to the world, as crowded with the truth which can alone move the masses of the heathen to repent and live. It confronts us with Christ's solemn and explicit command to 6 preach this gospel to every creature.” It demands that we shall obey this injunction and make obedience to it the great business of life. Has the Christian church yet risen to the magnitude of this conception ? Is it yet baptized with this spirit?
WAS PETER IN ROME, AND BISHOP OF THE CHURCH AT
A HISTORICO-CRITICO INQUIRY BY J. ELLENDORF. TRANSLATED FROM THE
GERMAN BY E. GOODRICH SMITA, M. A., WASHINGTON, D. C.
§ 1. Introduction. The Romish bishops maintain that they have been constituted by God for the supreme rule of the church; that Christ the Lord has appointed them his vicegerents on earth, and that they ought to govern the church in his stead.
But as there is no declaration, and nowhere any mention
Ist Petrus in Rom und Bischof der Römischen Kiche gewesen. Eine historisch-Kritische Untersuchung von J. Ellendorf.
in the Holy Scriptures of a transmission of such a dignity and power to the Romish bishops, they have therefore attempted to establish it in the following way :-“ Christ, beyond all doubt, gave to Peter the primacy above all the apostles, and appointed him to be the supreme head of the church. This power and dignity of his, Peter has transmitted to the Romish bishops as his successors and his heirs in the Romish see.”
Thus the question is now to be regarded as thrown over to the domain of tradition, and proceeds on the supposition that Peter was a bishop, and indeed the first bishop, of Rome. As the pretended primacy was given to Peter the apostle, he must first be a bishop before he could have bishops for his successors, and make them heirs of his primacy.
Let us now hear what is brought forward from tradition to establish this transmission. It is said : “ Until A. D. 37, Peter stood at the head of the church that was forming at Jerusalem and in the region around. But in that year he left Jerusalem and went to Antioch, where he founded a church, and for seven years presided over it as a bishop. After this period, and in the second year of the reign of Claudius, A. D. 42, he journeyed to Rome, where he vanquished Simon Magus, preached the gospel, founded a church, and placed himself at the head of it as its bishop. As such he continued till a. D. 50, when Claudius banished the Jews from Rome. Peter was then obliged to flee, and he betook himself to Palestine and Jerusalem, where in A. D. 51, he held and presided over the first council on the occasion of the controversy respecting the circumcision of the Gentile Christians. Thence he went to Antioch. During this time the emperor Claudius died, and Peter now returned through Asia Minor, where he founded numerous churches, and across Sicily and Lower Italy to Rome, which he reached under Nero's reign, and re-occupied his see. From Rome he made many apostolic journeys into the countries of the West : to
i That this is not so wholly beyond all doubt I have shown in my Treatise über den Primat der Röm. Bischöfe, Kapitel I. (on the Primacy of the Romish bishops. Chap I.).