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MR. YATES’ FIRST SPEECH.

GENTLEMEN, MODERATORS, AND RESPECTED AUDITORS:

Through the good providence of God I appear before you this morning, to open the joint discussion which has been arranged to begin at this hour, upon the proposition just read in your hearing. For this privilege I am indeed profoundly grateful. It also affords me great pleasure to be greeted by so many earnest and pleasant faces. I hope that Elder Potter and myself will be so guided by the Spirit of God, that we will be so earnest and cautious in this discussion, and that it will be conducted in such a manly spirit, that all the predictions that have been made in regard to evil results may be proven to be false, and the cause of Christ in this locality receive a great impetus. Some good people on both sides of the question under consideration, I have no doubt, have looked forward to this discussion with great misgivings, fearing that it may engender ill feelings among the Christian people of this community. There is nothing in the language of the proposition before us to justify such misgivings. If we discuss this subject in accordance with its strict meaning, and in the spirit, which its importance demands, the very opposite results will be produced.

There is no theme, to my mind, in the whole range of the divine economy that is better calculated deeply to impress and powerfully to draw out all the nobler feelings and principles of a man’s spiritual nature, both heavenward and earthward, and thereby cause the hearts of Christians to become more perfectly blended and their hands more firmly plighted in gospel work, than this. This is not a discussion of the minor points of Christianity, upon which Christians differ, such as Church organization, Church polity, and Church ordinances, or the discussion of theological dogmas which have for centuries torn the seamless robe of Christ asunder, and divided the Christian world into many factions, and filled it with fearful dissensions. No; the subject-matter in this discussion is the primary principle of the Christian religion; the great heart and essence of the gospel; the great principle that should guide, and the purpose that should actuate the people of God in carrying out the great work committed to them by the Divine Master in proclaiming arid propagating the gospel throughout the inhabited globe, and especially in those parts of the earth where mankind are sunk in ignorance, corruption, misery, and crime. This is to Church organization, Church polity, and the ordinances of the Church what the kernel is to the outer covering of the grain. Remove the kernel, and the grain is but an empty shell, without life or value. So remove the principle tinder discussion from the doctrines and the outward organic expression of the Christian religion, and you have nothing left in these forms. They are without life and without force. Hence the principle of Christian missions. to which your attention will be called during the present discussion, gives these doctrines that I have named all their potency and value.

How ephemeral and insignificant they appear when viewed in contrast with the great question of the world’s evangelization by the Christian Church. In this question is involved the temporal and eternal destiny of millions of the human race now living, and no doubt countless numbers of unborn generations. There are questions to which you and I have given much more thought in science and education, in political economy and theology. But, my friends, the very things that we put so much stress upon will pass away with the wreck and ruin of temporal things. Yea, Church polity and Church ordinances and Church symbols will pass away with the things of time; but this grand theme, the conquest of the world for Jesus, will loom up in isolated grandeur and glory when time shall cease to be, and the cycles of eternity shall be rolling on. Ah, I have no doubt this theme will grow with increasing interest in the days to come.

When Foreign Missions are viewed in their true light, the work will be seen to be a work of preeminent importance, and thrilling interest. The gravity of this question, so fraught with human destiny, both in this and the world to come, requires of us, in entering upon this discussion, a devout and earnest state of heart and mind if we would reap the profit which it is our privilege to reap. This will enable us to investigate this subject for the sake of truth alone, and not for victory. This will enable us to examine this subject with that preparation of mind and soul that will cause the speakers to present it in its proper spirit, and the auditors to listen to it in a way that will be profitable to them. It will enable them to see the arguments when presented in their true light. The results of this discussion, and its benefits, will depend much upon the spirit in which we shall present the theme. I am not one that believes that joint discussion necessarily result in evil; but while I do not so believe, I must confess that a great many of these controversies have resulted in evil. But those who are acquainted with the history of the past will also have to concede that many truths that are dear to us in science, in education, in political economy, and religious doctrine, have been brought to light, unveiled, and firmly established through controversy.

He who has truth on his side need not fear the results of investigation. Hence, Jesus Christ himself, and his apostles, advanced the gospel cause through controversy. As I have already said, the evil effects flowing out of these joint discussions are the results of the spirit that is manifested by the disputants. So we see the state of heart and mind that we must possess in this discussion, and the spirit in which each party must present his arguments, if we would have this debate prove profitable.

Now, my dear friends, I will not ask you for your undivided attention; I know I will have that; but I ask of you an impartial hearing. Especially I ask it of you who differ from me. It is a very difficult thing for persons who have been taught, and have for years embraced, views which are the opposite if those embraced and advanced by an opponent to listen to him in an unprejudiced manner, and to receive his arguments in their true light; therefore I ask of you today to give me an impartial hearing; and I ask my brethren and sisters to give the very same to my worthy opponent. I want to say that I am not waging war upon our Regular Baptist brethren. It is not my desire to hurt the feelings of any one; but while this is true, I do not as a man, feel like sacrificing my manhood or my convictions to win any man’s friendship. If men are willing to accord me their friendship and allow me my convictions, they have my hand and heart in truth and honesty.

Today I come before you as the advocate of a cause which I believe to be the grandest in heaven or on earth. Before taking up my affirmative line of argument I shall briefly explain the causes that led to this discussion. It grew out of a challenge published by me in the Gibson County Leader of October 14, 1885. The circumstances that gave rise to this challenge were these: Eider Thomas, a minister of the Regular Baptist Church, at the close of their Association, which had convened with the Owensville Regular Baptist Church the Friday before, said, in a sermon preached in the General Baptist Church, of this place, on the 14th of September, at 10:30 o’clock, that Christian people need not trouble themselves about Foreign Missions; that when the Lord got ready, in his own good time, he would attend to them—inferring that nothing as yet had been done in Foreign Mission work by the Lord. When this fact was brought to my attention, I thought he certainly must have been misunderstood, if he possessed the natural ability and the information for which he is reputed. I had on several occasions conversed with different ministers of the Regular Baptist Church in regard to their attitude toward Foreign Missions, and every one of them claimed that there was no difference between them and me as to the work, but there was some difference as to the methods employed. As to the work, they said they believed in it as strongly as I did. So between the statements of Elder Thomas and his ministerial brethren I was confused as to the real position occupied by the Regular Baptist Church of today in regard to Foreign Missions. In order to test the matter, and thereby have, my own views righted in regard to their real position, I published the challenge, and in connection with it an explanation of my purpose in so doing. This challenge was not made against the Regular Baptist Church as a denomination, for I was not positive as to its position. The challenge was not made in the special interest of any sect, or specially against any sect, but in behalf; as I have said, of the great cause. I intentionally put the proposition in its present format that it would present the Foreign Mission work alone, and not directly the means and measures employed. I knew if the challenge was accepted by a representative minister, who was indorsed by his Church, this would reveal the position of the minister and those who should indorse him, as opposed to the Foreign Mission work. If any minister took issue with me upon the proposition, and could not secure the official endorsement of his Church, it would show it was only his own view as an individual, and not that of his denomination. I must confess that when I put the challenge in the paper I could not induce myself to believe it would be accepted; for I have never known any minister of the gospel, among the hundreds with whom I have associated, who dared, in the light of the wonderful triumphs of the foreign missionary work, to come out and boldly oppose this great cause as unscriptural and unfavored of God. For any minister, as a representative man, to put himself and his brethren in that attitude, at this advanced stage of the Foreign Mission work, was to my mind a thing unreasonable—too unreasonable to be expected. I thought there might be the slightest possibility bf such a thing, but scarcely a probability. If my challenge ha remained unnoticed, I should have decided that Elder Thomas was misunderstood, and that the regular Baptist Church was not opposed to the Foreign Mission work. But, to my surprise, my worthy opponent, Elder Potter, indorsed by his brethren, accepted the challenge, taking the negative of the proposition, thus placing his Church squarely in opposition to the Foreign Mission work, as carried on by the different denominations of the Protestant world in heathen lands, denying that this work is authorized in the Scriptures, and owned and blessed of God. This challenge was not against any individual or any Church until it was accepted. Hence, it was not against my brother and his Church until he made it such by accepting the challenge. It was not for any minister particularly as an individual, or Church as a denomination. It was for any minister or Church, of whatever name or order, that opposed the Foreign Mission work as unscriptural and not blessed by the Divine favor.

Now, my friends, this is enough in regard to this matter. If, in bringing the gospel authority and the Divine approval of the Foreign Mission work into public controversy, I appear to this Christian public to concede that it is an undecided question, I owe this Christian community a public apology. No, this question has been settled years ago. There are nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand of the Protestant world that espouse the cause of Foreign Missions. There is no great doctrine of the gospel that the Christian world so universally agree upon as this.

Neither am I ready to admit that those opposed to Foreign Mission work have good reasons for withholding their endorsement of it and their cooperation in its advancement. So plainly is God’s approbation and blessing seen in the marvelous results of the work that he who runs may read; and such are the opportunities for obtaining information concerning the progress and development of the Foreign Mission work, that there is no excuse for not being well informed on this subject. From pulpit and platform, iii the secular papers, in the writings of the learned, and in the last few years from the vast and varied productions of the Foreign Mission literature itself, every one may learn the wonderful facts in regard to this great work.
I believe, my friends, to obtain a correct knowledge of this work is to become interested in it and to he an advocate of it. Of course my worthy opponent is an exception. The fact that the gospel authorizes Foreign Mission work, and that the Divine favor rests upon it, is well established. The question we are to discuss is already settled: but the discussion of it affords me a. golden opportunity to present the claims of this great cause, and the arguments in its favor, to men and women to whom I would not have had the privilege of presenting them under any other circumstances. The celebrity of my brother, and the confidence his brethren have in his ability to defend the anti-mission position, have drawn you here today, and you will have an opportunity to weigh both sides of the arguments that will he presented.
The proposition that has been read in your hearing is:

Resolved. That the gospel work carried on by the different denominations of the Protestant world in heathen lands or foreign countries, known as the Foreign Mission work, is authorized in the Scriptures and blessed and owned of God.

In order that you may understand the arguments I have to put forth to sustain the affirmative of the proposition, and that my brother’s arguments to disprove it may he understood, the real issue between Brother Potter and myself needs to be clearly stated. That we may plainly see what I affirm in this proposition, and what my brother denies, we have but to ask the following question: “What is it that is carried on by the different denominations of the Protestant world in heathen lands or foreign countries, and which they believe to be authorized in the Scriptures and blessed and owned of God?“ It is the Foreign Mission work. You can see, then, it is the work itself, absolutely, which is the subject of controversy—the work itself.

I will read here a proposition that Brother Potter proposed to me. This is his language in a letter to Father Hume, dated October 19, 1885:

“CYNTHIANA, IND., Oct. 19, 1885.

“DEAR BROTHER HUME:—I received your letter, and I had seen Yates’ challenge before. I will meet him and debate the question of Foreign Missions, and if it suits all round, I would suggest that the debate begin on Tuesday after the third Sunday in November. I do not know how long it ought to last, but I suppose one, two, or three days will be long enough. Ask him. I want you to see if he would admit a change in the wording of the proposition. You will find enclosed the one I would like for him to affirm. You can see him and find out. If he will not allow the change, I will meet him anyway, but I would rather have the change.”

The enclosure is as follows:

“Will Brother Yates affirm the following proposition:
“Resolved, That the work known as the Foreign Mission Work, as it is, and all the means and measures used in its support for evangelizing the world, are authorized by the Holy Scriptures.”

I refused to make this change. My brother had accepted the challenge, and I was going to stand to the challenge that I had made. Now, suppose my brother in his criticisms could show that the measures and means employed in the Foreign Mission work are defective; he still has not touched the proposition. He has not touched it, from the fact that the measures and means employed in any work may be defective, and the work itself be good. Two generals who are equally interested in a campaign may differ as to the measures and means employed in carrying on that campaign, and both be equally enlisted in the cause for which the campaign is carried on. The Criticisms of my brother on the measures and means cannot touch my position, unless he can show that the methods and instrumentalities employed by all the Protestant denominations engaged in this work antagonize the principles of the gospel, and that the results of their work are not the fruits of the gospel. Here is the issue that we meet on this today. It is the Foreign Mission work itself. If he could succeed in showing that all the mission stations that girdle the globe, as they are represented here on the map, are failures, and that every denomination and every society that sends out these missionary workers are mistaken in their methods, yet if he could not show that the principles the missionaries themselves advocate are contrary to the principles of the gospel, he would still lose his case; and if but one mission station out of the many thousands complied with the principles of the gospel, and brought forth gospel fruit. Elder Potter would have to yield the proposition; for then there would be Foreign Mission work authorized in the Scriptures and blessed and owned of God.

I will proceed now, since you see what I have to affirm, and what my brother has to deny, to give you my definite line of argument i n support of the proposition under discussion. My whole line of argument will rest upon this basal position—this granite and immovable foundation: THAT THERE IS. IN EVERY ESSENTIAL FEATURE, A PERFECT IDENTITY BETWEEN THE FOREIGN MISSION WORK, AS CARRIED ON IN THE FOREIGN FIELD TODAY BY THE PROTESTANT WORLD, AND THE GOSPEL WORK RECORDED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

.1. This identity is seen first in the grand object to be accomplished, and the end to be subserved. This will appear if we carefully examine the great Magna Charta of the Church of Christ, in which its mission is enjoined by its Master himself, and its nature and object clearly defined. In Matthew xxviii. 19 the commission is given in this language: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” In Mark xvi. 15 it is given: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

In the commission as given by Matthew, the Saviour by express and imperative command enjoins upon the Church, through its representatives, the apostles, to “go and teach the gospel to all nations;” as given by Mark, to “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” The Saviour by Matthew simply declares Christianity to be a universal religion, adapted to all nations, and equally addressed to all nations. Mark is definite and explanatory. He says it is equally suited to every child of Adam; hence, “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” We are not, then, to wait for a direct call from heaven to go and teach the gospel to the heathen, and proclaim the glad tidings of salvation; for the Master enjoined this upon his Church more than eighteen centuries ago. This is truly the object of the Foreign Mission work, as carried on by the Protestant world today. It is to take the gospel to all benighted portions of the earth, and to teach and preach it to every creature. The advocates of the Foreign Mission work believe in the doctrine of the great commission that Christ has given; that this religion is needed everywhere, and adapted to every member of the human family. Hence, under the leadership and aid of the loving Master, they are laboring to spread it abroad. Thus, the work that has been enjoined upon us is especially to preach and teach the gospel to every creature. This command lies at the very foundation of mission effort. It says that the heathen world is perishing; that they must have the gospel or be lost. If we say the heathen are saved without the gospel, we make the command of the Saviour meaningless. Mr. Potter, or the most intellectual man on earth, may say that the heathen would be saved without the gospel, but he is not so competent a witness in the matter as the Lord Jesus, who knows all things in heaven and in earth. There is nothing clearer in this commission than the guilt of the heathen world, their need of the gospel, and our duty to carry it to them. This is not one of the hidden things that belong to God, but it is revealed to us. This enterprise is not a needless task, but one of imperative necessity—one to which God bas set his seal, and shown favor with conspicuous distinction. Nothing is more plainly taught in the New Testament than that the heathen need the gospel for salvation, and that it is our duty to carry it to them. This is the need to which the missionary work is subservient. Did not the Redeemer emphasize this when he opened the heavens after his ascension, and called Saul of Tarsus as a missionary to carry the gospel to the Gentile world? Listen to Him as he speaks to Saul on that great occasion (Acts xxvi. 15—18): “And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes”—they were blind, were they not?—”to open their eyes “—notice that; not some trivial matter—” to open their eyes, and to turn them “—from what?—”from darkness to light, and from “—what? I want my brother to notice that—“the power of Satan unto God”—the Gentile world was under the power of Satan, and the heathen world is under the power of Satan today— “that they may receive”— what?—“forgiveness of sins”—don’t they need it, need the gospel, that they may receive the forgiveness of sins?—“and inheritance among them”—be saved—“and inheritance among them which are sanctified by “—what?—“faith”—what faith?—“that is in me.” So you see this gives it a new emphasis; and that is just exactly what we believe; that is my position today; I stand on that basis.

II. The second feature of identity will be seen in the principles and the great motive-power that actuates the Foreign Mission work. I will name a few of these principles: Faith in the promises of God; faith in Jesus as the only Saviour of man, and in the gospel, the chosen means of God to bring men to Christ; obedience in performing the Christian work in the field of the Master—“the world is the field;” belief in the doctrine of the brotherhood of mankind and the Fatherhood of God; that all nations are of one blood, and that all men who are saved must be saved by one faith, one Bible, one Saviour, and one gospel. Another phase of this feature of identity with the gospel work of the New Testament is the self-sacrificing spirit and motive-power of the Foreign Mission work. 2 Cor. viii. 9: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” “Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. viii. 9). This self-sacrificing, compassionate spirit of Christ the Foreign Mission work possesses in a very eminent degree. Matthew ix. 36: “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them.” That is, his feelings were stirred to their profoundest depths in sympathy with the need of the multitudes; and that is the spirit of the Foreign Mission work. This is the great power that moves these men and women who labor in the foreign fields. This causes them to leave their homes and go among the jungles of India, in the midst of its malignant diseases, or to face the other dangers found in other heathen lands, and meet that life of self-denial and sacrifice that the missionary who goes forth to labor for Christ has to meet and suffer. It is because their hearts are moved with compassion for these poor, degraded, deluded, and suffering people. As this compassionate love is the very heart of Christianity, so it is the very essence of the Foreign Mission’ work of today. Therefore, the missionary idea is the basal idea of the gospel. When Jesus said to his disciples, “Go preach the gospel to every creature,” the command meant to send the good tidings into all parts of the world, to bear this gospel of light to benighted and suffering humanity everywhere.

III. The third feature of identity between the Foreign Mission work of today and the gospel work of the New Testament is seen in the fact that The great spiritual agency that now begets, energizes, and guides the Foreign Mission work is identical with the agency that begat, energized, and guided the gospel work in the days of the apostles. In proof of this we will read from John xvi. 7—13: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” Acts i. 4—8; also 13, 14: “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, arid in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” “And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”

Now we will read Acts ii. 1—4: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

So we here learn that when the Primitive Church commenced its work, though its members had the truth, they tarried at Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. The Holy Spirit, this Vice Regent of Jesus, was to beget, energize, and guide the work.

Now we will turn to Acts xiii. i, 2: “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”

So it is in the Foreign Mission work of today. Its laborers are begotten, energized, and guided by the Holy Spirit that gave spiritual life, power, and success to the primitive disciples. It was the revival of the Church-life by the Holy Spirit, through prayer, that gave birth to the wonderful epoch of the Foreign Mission work of the present day, and which is carrying its great victories in every land of the world.

We are told by Isaac Taylor that in the first half of the eighteenth century England herself was in virtual heathenism; that it was filled with a lascivious literature, a worldly Church, and an atheistical theology. Black-stone, during this particular period, heard every clergyman of note in London, and he said there was not a discourse that had enough of Christ in it to tell whether the preacher was a disciple of Christ, Confucius, or Mohammed, or that had any more Christ in it than a lecture upon science or literature. In America, Samuel Baine declared that “Religion lay dying.” Voltaire and Rousseau led society in France. In Germany, the court of Frederick the Great was the Olympus of infidels. Morality and spirituality in Europe were trampled under foot. I am glad that such a worldly, corrupt religion as that possessed by the Church the first half of the eighteenth century has no propagating powers.
In order for the Church of Christ to be revived, it needed a deep and wide spiritual work. This was brought about by that wonderful constellation of evangelists, viz.: by such men of God as Whitefield, the Wesleys, Grimshaw, Romaine, Rowlands, Beveridge, Penn, Walker, Hervey, Toplady. and Fletcher. Bishop Pyle speaks of them as the twelve apostles of the new Reformation. These men rose in the name of the Lord and the strength of his might, and preached the gospel of individual Salvation and experimental religion.

This great series of Church revival work extended through the rears between 1735 and 1785. It awoke not only the Church in England, but the whole Protestant world from its awful apostasy, irreligion and infidelity. At first the Church resisted all efforts to revive its dying life. The ministers of Scotland shut their churches against Whitefield and the Wesleys, and set apart days of prayer and fasting in opposition to their work; but this was Divinely overruled in preparing the way for open-air preaching, which in the hands of God has been greatly blessed in reaching the masses. Through the godly and earnest labors of the illustrious constellation of evangelists before named, all Protestant Christendom was thrilled with a revived evangelical faith. As evangelical zeal is always sure to follow. Out of these Pentecostal outpourings came the flaming tongues of witnessing. The Church, from its silver trumpets, pealed forth its summons to prayer for the affusion of the Holy Spirit upon the Christian Church and upon all the benighted lands of the globe. Praying bands in all parts of Britain answered the trumpet-call. From America’s shores came the echo of Jonathan Edwards’ bugle-call of the Christian world to concerted prayer for the same purpose. The tidal wave of revival rose higher and moved with greater momentum under the Haldanes, Andrew Fuller, Sutcliffe, Rowland Hill, and others, which resulted in the Warwick Association, in 1792, formally setting apart the first Monday of each month as “a monthly Concert of prayer for the world’s evangelization,” and also in the formation of the first Foreign Missionary Society” in England in the same year. 1792. The next year, 1793, this society sent to India its first missionary, William Carey, that wonderful man of God—that colossus of the centuries— whose name has more influence in England today than that of any other man.

Look at those red and blue spots on the map today. They represent how much has been done through the foreign work. So we see the Foreign Mission work of today is identical with the gospel work, as it was begotten, endued with power, and guided by the same Holy Spirit. Why, this enthusiasm, and this witnessing for Jesus in the enthusiastic prosecution of the Foreign Mission work is just as natural and as necessary a consequence of this baptism of the Holy Spirit as was the witnessing of the apostles on the day of Pentecost. To show that the Holy Spirit was the great Agent that gave life, force, and guidance to the gospel work in the day of the apostles, I will quote from i Cor. ii. 3—5: “ And I was with you in weakness and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” So the Holy Spirit, in the same sense, is the great spiritual Agent of the Foreign Mission work of today, as we have shown from its history.

IV. I will now go to the next feature of identity. We have seen that the Holy Spirit has given life to the Foreign Mission work, and has energized and guided it, just as he did the primitive Church in the gospel work. The fourth feature of identity is seen in the selecting and sending forth laborers into the field.

Let us now read from Acts xiii. i—3: “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord “—notice, there were prophets in the Church there—” and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Said for the work whereunto I have called them “—they fasted and prayed, of course. “And when they had fasted and prayed “—that is what they did in those days—” and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”

Now we will turn to Acts xiv. 26, 27: “And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God “—that is, Paul and Barnabas—”for the work which they fulfilled. And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.” The Church sent them out, and they came back and rehearsed the story of their work to the Church. I think that is plain. Paul, you know, was told by the Lord that he was to be a chosen vessel to the gentiles, and he had labored considerably among the brethren before he was sent out on this missionary journey. During his first visit to Jerusalem, after his conversion, he was drawn into a controversy with the enemies of Christ; but perhaps his opponents were not as smooth with him as we will be with each other, and the brethren felt it was better for him to go over home, to Tarsus. Some time after this event a great revival took place at Antioch, and up to this time the disciples had been preaching the gospel to the Jews only. Some Cyreneans came to Antioch and preached the Lord Jesus unto the Grecians, and they accepted the message of salvation, and a great number turned unto the Lord. When tidings of these things came unto the ears of the Church which was in Jerusalem they sent forth Barnabas to Antioch to see if the work was blessed and owned of God. Barnabas saw that it was scriptural, and he went over and brought Paul from Tarsus to Antioch, and they preached a year there; and the brethren learned thereby what workers they were, and thought the work ought to be extended into the other provinces; and the prophets came down and assembled the Church together, and the holy Spirit said, “ separate mc Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” The Church prayed over it, and that was the decision finally reached; and they put their hands on them and sent them away. That is the way the laborers are selected and sent forth in the Foreign Mission work today.
A great many people have a misconception of this matter, and I want to make a few plain statements, and if I am not right the Moderators will correct me. Those of us who believe in the Foreign Mission work know that whenever one comes before the Board as a candidate to become a missionary in the foreign field, he is examined upon his Christian experience by earnest Christian men and women. These applicants give their testimony and make known the convictions by which they are led, and we compare that with the Word. Then they are examined as to their knowledge of the field, for fear their call to the foreign field may be merely imaginary, from wrought-up feelings, without thorough intelligence or deep conviction concerning the matter. They are required to study the field to which they think of going. They see the dangers and self-denials they have to meet, and the obstacles they have to overcome, and what sacrifices the work will demand. It takes the Spirit of the Master to make these sacrifices, yet even young women have done this; leaving their homes, and their parents who have always counseled and cared for them, leaving all their friends, and the precious opportunities of a Christian land, with all its privileges and blessings, to go to the benighted and degraded countries of heathendom. O it takes the grace of God, my brethren! It is brought about by much prayer.

MR. POTTER: Can you give an instance of this?

Yes, I will name a man to you, and he is only a sample of the real workers. It is Alexander Duff. He graduated in Aberdeen University, Scotland, in 1824. Thomas Chalmers, that wonderful minister of God, gathered together the young men who had embraced the religion of Jesus Christ, and who were studying tinder him in that college. These young men he induced to organize themselves into a Missionary Prayer-meeting. The chief object of this prayer-meeting was to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as to their work in the future. Three missionaries came out of that movement. One of these was Alexander Duff: one of the grandest men that ever trod the soil of India, and whose discipline and work are only one example of what is seen in every consecrated and faithful man or woman who has ever gone to the Foreign Mission field.

V. My friends, I call your attention to the fifth feature of identity between the Protestant Foreign Mission work and the gospel work of the New Testament in the fruits of the work. I will only have time in this speech, merely to touch upon this feature. I invite your attention to 2 Cor.v. 17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all thing are become new. I will now turn to Gal v 19—21 : “ NOW the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these. Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulationtions, heresies, envying, wrath, strife, seditions, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell von before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Now, my friends, that is an exact picture of heathenism throughout the world, in all the islands of the sea and the continents of earth. as represented here on this map—in the islands of the Indian Archipelago, in part of the islands of Oceania, here on the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, and America. That is the exact description of it.
Now let us read to you the fruits of the Spirit: Gal. v. 22, 23: “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Now in the conclusion of my address, I want to bring before you a statement that will show some of the gospel fruits of the Foreign Mission work in heathen lands. In the Missionary Herald, Nov. 13, 1885, page 437, is a statistical table showing the number of communicants of the different evangelical Churches that are planted in heathen lands. These have been won for Jesus from an imbruted state. They were slaves of the very lowest passions—many of them feeding upon human beings, many guilty of infanticide. Before their conversion they engaged in exterminating wars, and were often guilty of crimes almost incredible. Yet, as a result of eighty years labor in the Foreign Mission work, there are today 752,152 communicants of the different evangelical Churches in the various countries of the heathen world.
The light gleams out in those islands (pointing to the map) of Oceania. They extend from south to north about five thousand miles and the majority of them are captured for Jesus. In them the church and the schoolhouse are going up side by side. In those very islands, where these men destroyed each other before the gospel was sent to them, and where no civilized man dared to put his foot, the children are singing the sweet songs of Zion, church-spires gleam in the sunlight, and every blessing of civilization flourishes. So here are 752.152 communicants, whose character has been transformed by the gospel of God. How do they live faithful lives? How do they bring forth this fruit, if God has not blessed and owned the Foreign Mission work in regenerating their degraded natures by the Holy Spirit, through the teaching and preaching of the foreign missionaries? All the men and women who manage this work belong to the home Churches here. It is the same thing exactly the ministers who work in these islands are subject to the denominations to which they belong, just as they would if they were in the home field, and they examine the converts from heathenism who apply as candidates for Church-membership much more particularly than candidates who apply for membership here in the Church at home. I have a vast amount of evidence to present, showing that the fruits of the Foreign Mission work are identically the fruits the gospel.
Now, my brother has to meet this; He has to account for this. Let me explain this map, that you may understand it. The red marks represent all the mission stations of the different Foreign Missionary Societies of Europe. The blue lines represent-the stations of the missionaries sent out by the different Foreign Missionary Societies of America. O what a host we have! One hundred and seventy societies, hundreds of thousands of workers, and 752,152 members of the gospel Churches in heathen lands! The Church members are not the only ones that are blessed by Christianity in these heathen countries. Besides those who are professed Christians, there are over two million who are nominally Christian today, who have given up idolatry, assented to Christianity, but have not personally appropriated and realized its saving power. In 1795 there were not fifty thousand in heathen lands that sustained Church relations. In 1878 there were sixty thousand taken into The Church—ten thousand more than the whole number who had been brought to Jesus in the heathen world eighty years ago. Hence, my friends, I take every one of those converts, with all the blessings that have grown out of the Foreign Mission work, as a monumental demonstration of the truthfulness of the proposition that I affirm: that the gospel work carried on in the heathen lands, or foreign countries, by the different denominations of the Protestant world is authorized by the Scriptures and blessed and owned of God.

Now, my friends, this being true, I want to read a selection that I have here from Japan, a paper from the native Japanese pastors to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, which was presented at the annual meeting of the Board in Boston last October—its seventy-fifth anniversary. It is found in The Missionary Herald, page 465:

“The Christians of the Associated Japanese Churches to the American Brethren and Sisters constituting the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions send Greeting:

“May God the Father of all people, and Jesus Christ the Saviour of all nations multiply unto you grace and peace. We have been informed of the diamond anniversary of your venerable Board which you are going to celebrate this year at this its seventy-fifth anniversary. We heartily share in your hopes and joys for this great meeting, and gladly take up this opportunity to offer you most respectfully a few words of  gratitude for your. Christian love and precious gifts which you, have so bountifully bestowed upon us. Thus do millions today send back their thanksgiving over the seas to those earnest, consecrated men and women who have sent to them the blessed gospel of the Son of God. If we look upon our past history twenty years ago, we had been sunk in the corruption of the world, passing our days in sins and transgressions, without hope and without God, and in utter ignorance of the salvation of Christ. But now, through the precious knowledge of Christ our Saviour, and of the blessed communion of the Holy Spirit, we are reconciled to, and made sons of our great Father in heaven, no more to be wanderers in this world, but with the saints made partakers of the same glorious inheritance in the kingdom of God. No doubt we are all in all indebted to the sovereign grace of our Almighty Father in these blessings; still at the same time we heartily acknowledge our indebtedness to, the pains-taking efforts and patience of the missionaries of your venerable Board. We look out on the wide surface of the earth; many are the countries as yet enshrouded in the darkness of sin and ignorance. Don’t you see how their hearts run out for the salvation of those countries which have not the gospel, after they have received this rich boon and blessing? And the people to whom the gospel is unknown are not limited to this land of Japan. Nevertheless you have early selected, our beloved country as a field of missionary labor; and the missionaries, you sent over have admirably manifested their self-sacrificing spirit and ardent zeal in their constant efforts for the salvation of our country. Notwithstanding the inconveniences arising from the difference of climate and language and manners in a strange country, and in spite of the most insolent oppositions from the obstinate people. O the depths of gratitude we feel toward you! It is more than we can express in words.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 September 2006 )
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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.