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Written by Potter/Yates   

MR. YATES’ THIRD SPEECH.

[Dr. Darby having been called away unavoidably the Rev. J. E. Jenkins acted as Moderator in his place for the day.]

MODERATORS AND CHRISTIAN FRIENDS:

I am glad to meet you this beautiful morning in the house of God, and to continue the discussion of the great subject stated in the proposition which has been read in your hearing:

“Resolved, That the gospel work carried on by the different denominations of the Protestant world in heathen lands or foreign counties, known as the Foreign Mission work, is authorized in the Scripture and blessed and owned of God.”
I believe it as much as I believe in my existence; I believe it and affirm it with as much confidence and enthusiasm as I believe and affirm that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only Saviour of men, or that the Bible is the blessed word of God.

In his beautiful speech yesterday evening, in which he laughed ever the points in which he was caught, my brother demanded certain things of me, which I will attend to this morning. I ask you to notice when he comes before you again, and see if he does not resort again to the laugh. He will tell you a little anecdote; I will commend him for that, but when you get cool and read these things, many of you will feel badly for him. I do not care how much you laugh, but I want to give you facts. We have to meet these things in the judgment. We are going to grapple closely this morning; we only did a little picket-firing yesterday.

My brother asks me to show a text speaking of Foreign Missions. “O,” he says, “the Mission work is a good work; we are not here to oppose that work.” It is, my brother? Where do the good things come from? There are only two sources. God is author of all good things; then, all good things are blessed and owned of God; therefore the Foreign Mission work being a good work, as admitted by my opponent, is authorized, and blessed, and owned of God. Every good and perfect gift comes from above. The others are of Satan. Now look at the logic of my brother! When he asked me to find Foreign Missions named in the Bible, I told him I would find it on the next page after the one on which he would find Regular Baptist. Then he said, “He owns he cannot find it, and has lost the proposition.” He almost frightened me yesterday morning when he said, “Remember, you have got six days before you.” I will remember it. He well knew his denomination was gone when he took the position “that Foreign Missions are of man and not of God” on any fair interpretation of the Scriptures; therefore he asked me to give him a text speaking of Foreign Missions. This is only a quibble; but when he goes farther, and says he wants me to give him a text where the approval of Foreign Mission work is implied, I will gratify him with several; and I want him to look at these texts, this morning. I will turn to that one he touches so lightly— Acts xxvi. 17—18: “Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee”—is not that the rest of the word? —“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light”—my brother said yesterday evening that they did not need to have their eyes opened, that the Lord was revealed to them in nature—” and from the power of Satan unto God; that they may receive forgiveness of sins.” Sins! and yet my brother teaches a doctrine that man has no agency in salvation. I want him to come out today and tell us about that. “And inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” That is the way the heathen are saved; they are “sanctified by faith that is in me.” Rather a good mission text, my brother.

Matthew xxviii. 19: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Go ye into all the world and teach the gospel; that is it. To all nations—that is, to all people. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Is not that mission work?

Romans i. 13—15. We will stick to the Book. When I catch him in the Book, he runs out and says God saves without the Book; then he says I do not stick to the Book; and I go back to the Book again, and he is out of the Book. I go with him into nature, and he goes back to the Book again. It reminds me of an advertisement I read once over the door of a place of business, which said: “There are all kinds of turning and twisting done here.” That was their business; it seems to be the main business of my worthy opponent in this discussion. Now I will read the reference I gave: “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you (but was let hitherto), that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians”—my brother does believe as Paul did, that he is a debtor to the heathen world; he has no mission in the Foreign Field—” both to the wise and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.” He was a debtor; he was under obligation to preach this gospel wherever there were benighted minds; wherever there were sad hearts; wherever there were people that had not this wonderful revelation of Jesus; to preach the gospel, the glad tidings of salvation. He was under obligation to use all the means within his power to take, the gospel to them. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation” but my brother does not believe it is in every case—” to every one that behieveth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” I will turn back now to the lxxii. Psalm, 16th verse: “There shall be a hand full of corn in the earth upon the top of, the mountains: the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.” Mountains, when employed symbolically in the Scriptures, usually represent kingdoms. Hence the mountains,” in the prophecy quoted, represent the kingdoms of the world in all future generations. That this prophecy is descriptive of the planting, propagation, and the grand results of the gospel, is clearly taught by the Saviour himself; for he employs the planting of wheat in the earth to picture the planting of the Word of God in the souls of men. This will be apparent if we examine the Saviour’s teachings in Matthew xiii. 3—9: “And he spake many things unto them in parables, spying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up; some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them; but other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” In the 18th to the 23rd verses, inclusive, the meaning of this parable is explained by the Master. “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the wayside. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for awhile: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that receiveth seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Thus we see that the Saviour’s teaching in this parable corroborates my interpretation of the passage quoted from the 72d Psalm—that the handful of corn planted in the earth on the top of the mountains is a prophetic description of the planting and propagation of the gospel, and hence it is an exact description of the Foreign Mission work of today, both in its object and its fruitfulness. Is not the object of the Foreign Mission work the planting and propagation of the gospel in all the kingdoms and among all the people of the earth? Do not the fruits of this work today shake like the mighty cedars of Lebanon in all the kingdoms and countries of the world? He was telling us yesterday that we damned all the heathen, that we cast them wholesale into the land of the lost. He said, “I object to this doctrine because it is contrary to God’s Word. “That they are all going to hell unless they get the Bible,” is the plea that gets your half-dollar from your pocket for the Mission Work. Now, he said I was on both sides of the question. How sweetly he said it! And he got a laugh. You noticed one thing—how nicely he kept away from that proof-text that I gave him. I want to quote it again this morning, and let him take hold of it. Romans 1. 20. And there is another—Romans ii, commencing with the 11th verse:

“For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.”---that is, those who have sinned in the Hebrew theocracy shall be judged by its code. “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” Then he says: “For when the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves.” He teaches that the Gentiles who did not have a formal revelation of the divine law, like that of the Hebrews would be judged by the light they had. Though unlike in form, the light they had was the same in essence as the principles of the Hebrew revelation. For truth is a unity. Hence they must obey the light they had to be saved. That would be doing the things contained in the law. So it is in the heathen lands today, where the gospel has not been proclaimed. What is the Bible in its facts and principles? It is the counterpart of man’s nature, a revelation of God to man—the one in whose image he was created, and of the principles, of his nature, and how he can learn and obey them, and thereby become godlike. In the constitution of things man cannot be saved—I speak it reverently—without he is saved in accordance with God’s spiritual and moral government as revealed and recorded in his Word, having not the law, having not the ritual when they comply with these principles, then they are saved.
“They [the heathen] are without excuse” (Rom. i. 20). I want you to, listen to his fine comment. “Why? asks Brother Potter, were they without excuse? They had Nature that should teach there is a God. Does not the same thing teach the heathen now? If it answered the purpose then, why not now? My idea is, that when people think there is a God, and have an idea of his character, they ought to have some respect for him.” Ought to treat him kindly, you know—not use his name in vain. “And it is my idea that it is so,” he said; “that Nature unfolds a volume to the people wherever they live. Paul said the people that had that were without excuse, as they had some way, to know. Then the Bible and the ministry are not absolutely essential for the heathen to know that there is a God.” Brother Potter and Paul are squarely at issue. Why did Paul say they were without excuse? “Because that when they knew God they glorified him not as God.” But Brother Potter says it is his opinion that if the heathen know God they will respect him. I want him and Paul to fix that up. “Neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Now my brother, I call your attention to that. I want you to answer that argument. So much for that.
I will give you another proof-text for Foreign Missions. The Book is full of them; I would have to take up all my time in quoting them if I quoted all. Revelation xiv. 6. This book of Revelation is a perfect prophetic description of the grand history of the Church—her triumphs, her agencies, and her means. The quotation reads as follows: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the, everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.

Now I want to read you one of his objections to Foreign Missions. I desire him to answer a few questions this morning. He says: “There is one objection I have always had to this plea for Foreign Missions— that they preach the universal damnation of all the people where there is no Bible.” Now, I say we do not preach that I have given you frankly my views in regard to the salvation of the heathen. If they live up to the best light they have, they will be saved. If so, few of the great multitude in gospel lands comply with the principles of salvation, how fearfully less will be the number in heathen lands who will live up to the light they have, with the terrible pressure of the darkness of sin and corruption around them, when the light they have is no more in contrast with the light of the gospel lands than the light of the glow-worm is in comparison with the light of the noonday sun in his dazzling splendor. I will say this to you that no man who is an idolater is saved; no being is saved who worships something else instead of God. I want my worthy opponent to affirm that persons are saved who pay homage to some object or creature instead of the Lord, if he believes it. I defy any minister to show in God’s word any idolater who was saved. In the Mosaic Law the penalty of idolatry was death.

“I object,” says he, “to that doctrine because it is contrary to God’s Word.” Where does he get it in God’s Word that the heathen are saved without some truth at least? Truth is a unity in God. It is the plea, he says, that gets your half-dollar from your pocket. He tells us that these schools and colleges lifting up the people out of that bad state are a good thing, but that the plea that gets your half-dollar from your pocket for mission-work is that the heathen are going to hell unless they get the Bible. Where would we have had any of these good results if we had taken your position? (pointing to the map). There would not have been a mission in all those heathen lands. You said Mr. Taylor was a Regular Baptist. You would not take him into your Church today. He is a Protestant, and he is not a Regular Baptist in the sense you use it at all, my brother. I can take every Regular Baptist by the hand that takes the position of Taylor, of the Chinese Inland Mission. You would not take him into your Church. You would not receive any missionary unless he would submit to be rebaptized. The real fact is, Brother Potter does not believe I am called to preach. He does not believe any man is called to preach unless he belongs to the Regular Baptist Church. For my worthy opponent to accept a minister of the gospel as scripturally ordained and set apart to the work he must be dipped backward, ordained by the voice of his Church, which, he claims, has an unbroken line of ordained ministers dear back to the Pentecostal revival at Jerusalem.

You remember when he challenged me yesterday to show a missionary on the foreign field that supported himself by his own hands, as he claimed Paul did, and when I produced the Rev. J. Hudson Taylor and his co-laborers of the China Inland Mission, with the wonderful fruits of their work as missionaries of this class, he saw he was caught, and undertook the ridiculous dodge of claiming the Rev. J. Hudson Taylor as a Regular Baptist. How absurd for a man occupying the position he does on this occasion toward the Foreign Mission work to claim such an enthusiastic worker for the mission cause as Mr. Taylor! But he was completely nonplussed, and this was the best he could do to relieve himself of the embarrassment of the terrible dilemma into which he was thrown.

I want to say another thing—he has not argued to the questions he knows that. I read you yesterday morning the change he wanted to make in the proposition. He wanted me to affirm that all the measures and means employed in Foreign Mission work are prescribed in the Scriptures, and I would not do it. It is the Foreign Mission work itself we are to discuss. I asked him last night, before this congregation, if the wording of the proposition did not mean; and if he did not understand the expression “blessed and owned of God” to mean, the work of spiritual regeneration among the heathen, as evidenced in the fruits of the Foreign Mission work. He said, No; man might be blessed in other ways. And when I pressed him to know in what other ways, he said; “It is not of God, for the free-school system of Indiana is a good thing, but it is of man; and not of God.” Did he suppose when I wrote that proposition I wrote it in view of only of the temporal blessings of man? This supposition seems not to have entered his mind until he saw where he would be caught. He has to say now that very one of these men who are laboring, or have labored, in foreign fields, are self-deceived or hypocrites. He has to say this of men who are acknowledged by all who are conversant with their lives to be the grandest men on earth. He has to say it of Judson, who did so noble a work for India, who stood at the head of Christian civilization in that land, who acted as mediating ambassador in the war between the English Government and the Burmese, writing the treaty, while suffering in a prison in Burma, that brought about peace, thus opening the way for missionary operations, and securing protection to the missionaries throughout India. He has to say that Duff and Moffatt, and all those grand men and women—and some whose bones bleach today on the foreign fields—were either self-deceived or hypocrites, and he cannot do it. Outside of that he has to show that these men and women are not competent judges; they are liars, so to speak! They are giving figures, and are not competent to judge whether men are truly converted or not. They are not competent to judge the tree by the fruit it bears. Ah, my friends, he has something on his hands in this business, and it is a serious business. I will leave it with him to fix that.

I want to know of him today if as many heathen will be saved without the Bible as with it? Put that down, if you please, my brother. I want to know if Brother Potter does not believe that as many heathen will be saved in all these islands (pointing to the map), before the gospel reaches them as there will be when it does reach them? Will any man or woman be lost because the word of God has not been taken to them? I may be mistaken, but I think Brother Potter saves them all before they were born, away back in eternity. I believe Brother Potter teaches the doctrine—if I am wrong he will correct me—that God chose before the foundation of the world all of his elect, and the number is so definite that it c at not be increased or decreased. It does not matter who or what you are, in God’s own time he will save you. You are dead; you cannot do any thing; God has to do it all, and no man can be saved without he is elected. This is his idea of heathenism. Of course their condition would not touch his heart.

Well, he says, you have the glowing colors on the map, but you do not know whether there are ten million or one thousand Christians there. We will see, by and by. Brother Potter spoke of the Roman Catholics, and said, Brother Yates is arguing from results. Now he said, “If numbers are to be taken the Roman Catholics have greater evidence that God blesses and, owns their mission work than the Protestants.” That is what he said. I did not put “numbers,” absolutely, as evidence that the Foreign Mission work was owned and blessed of God. I showed that these me n and women working in the cause of Foreign Missions are equal to others in piety, in earnestness, in consecration, and in intelligence, and certainly equal to my brother and myself. He says, “Brother Yates tells us what they have done and how much they have done, and if numbers prove any thing, they would prove the Catholics are more greatly, blessed and owned of God in their mission work than the Protestants.” Now, I am deflecting from the subject, because we are not discussing catholic mission work, but Protestant missions. Brother Potter has to go outside, because it will give him some material. But by your permission I will answer this further on in my speech. There are some good Catholics. He called them the mother of harlots, and all that. I am not a Catholic. I think I am as far from that as he is.

To get out of the dilemma I put him in on the nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand believing in Foreign Missions, he compared us to Christ-killers, and said Jesus belonged to the small party. He loves us, though. We are elected; born of the Lord; are converted; we are elected; and yet we are Christ-killers— all of us that are Foreign Mission men. He takes the Baptist Missionary Magazine, published by one of his Baptist brethren who went off when Judson turned to be a Baptist missionary; he distorts its language, and aims to array it against the cause it advocates. He ought to be thankful to the Missionary Baptist Church, for it has furnished him with all of his material to fill up his time here. But the Regular Baptists do not believe in working for money; no sir; it is against their doctrine of election. They do not believe in sending missionaries to save the heathen, and they do not do it either. I do not believe that this mission man that wrote in that magazine was ever in the Foreign Mission field at all. He may have been, but if he was he was a bad missionary. If he denies it, I have Vameter’s statement—a Missionary Baptist preacher and a missionary to Rome. He said in regard to advancing the Christian religion there, “I believe in saving souls first for Christ, and then if they won’t come and go with us, let them go where they will.” And then when he left for the United States, ministers of the Pedo-Baptist denominations that were working there in Rome, filled his pulpit in his absence. And Brother Potter said, “Why do the missionaries go among the Protestants of other denominations? Here one missionary will go and work, and they will get to hair-pulling, and another missionary will go there to fix it.” I would like for him to prove that.

He spoke of the Reformed Churches of Europe, whose religion was empty and Christless, and said they were Presbyterians; but he is mistaken. They are a certain kind of Lutherans. Maybe he will deny that. Now about the Roman Catholics: I want to ask you, my brother, do you put these Methodists, and all the Baptists, and 4he Presbyterians, and the Church of England, on the same basis with the Catholics? Do we receive members the same way they do? Do not Catholics merely sprinkle holy water upon them in receiving them as converts, and have them do penance for their Sins? Do we believe such a doctrine? Don’t we believe just as much in the new birth and conversion as you? Are not these converts from heathenism examined under as strong a test as any candidate for church-membership in your Church, or any other? And yet Brother Potter stood up in the face of these men and women here, and compared us in our work with the Catholics. Now I will leave that for you to decide. We are both ministers. I want him to explain that.

I want to ask him further in regard to his objections to the way the Foreign Mission work is carried on. He speaks of men being sent out by a rich Board. He said that was no sign, no evidence, of their being called of God. Did I claim that? Did I not show yesterday morning, in carrying out the features of identity, how they were called by the Spirit of God? how they prayed? how they were examined? how this Foreign Mission work was begotten by the Spirit of the Living God? Did I not tell you how the Warwick Association, in 1792, gathered its churches together, and set apart a day out of each month for a monthly concert of prayer; and how the bugle-note of Jonathan Edwards sounded over the seas; how on both sides of the seas the Christian Church on their knees besought God to baptize the Christian world with the missionary spirit, and open up the way of entrance to the heathen world? Brother Potter has never noticed it. And I showed how Carey went out from England, after praying and laboring some eight or ten years, and how the great field of labor was opened up to him in India, and the indications of the Divine guidance and favor given him in the glorious results that crowned his efforts. My opponent is not interested in these items.

Now, about the Roman Catholics. There is a quotation I will give you from Professor Christlieb, of Bonn University, in Germany. Here is what he says about the Catholic and Protestant Foreign Mission work:

“Eighty years ago the total sum contributed for Protestant missions hardly amounted to £50,000. Now the amount raised for this object is from £1,2000,000 to £1,250,000; about five times as much as that of the whole Roman Propaganda.”— The Foreign Missions of Protestantism, page 18. Five times as much as that of the Roman Catholics, whose numbers are more than double ours. They number two hundred and five millions! and you must remember that every one of their members have to contribute liberally of their means for this as well as for any other Catholic enterprise. This Protestant world contributes for Foreign Missions about five times as much as this Roman Catholic Propaganda, or the annual amount contributed by the Catholic world for missions. That is the fund to which all money for missionary purposes in the Roman Catholic Church is contributed. Though the Protestants use their own liberty in contributing to the mission cause, and not more than one-tenth contribute to it, yet they give five times as much as the Roman Catholics. So much for your Roman Catholic work.

But I must attend to Paul; we have been talking about Paul, and I do not know of any better worker than Paul to talk about. We will turn to that proof text.

Brother Potter said, “Brother Yates, you did not know that Paul engaged in a missionary tour before he was sent out.” This chapter xiii. of Acts is troubling him, and he went to Galatians, and I will read the same. I love to read that. I and going to stand with you, my brother, on Gal. 1:15-17: “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” Brother Potter said he was preaching there. Where did he get that in the Scripture? Brother Potter, where did you find that passage, if you please? You are going to the Book; where did you get the idea that he preached in Arabia? I could not find it. If you can find it, my brother, you will do me a great service. I want it. I say emphatically it is not there. I am with the Book with you today, my brother. We are on the Book. Called from his mother’s womb; set apart. I suppose we all understand that. Paul, like the prophet, in his inborn constitution was fitted to be an apostle, and the grace accepted by him only set him apart and prepared him for the sphere of service to which he was adapted.

We will turn now to an author who is a pretty good man. Let us refer to Canon Farrar’s “Life and Epistles of St. Paul,” page i m6, and see what he, one of the most scholarly of men, has said. My brother will call up one man and not name him: he will take the Missionary Magazine, and read from it, and say, “Here it is—I have it;” and when I take up a book to read to you, he says, “No sir; you have to go to the Book the Bible.” But you have commenced the business of referring to other books, my brother, and I am going to help you. Now I will read the quotation I spoke of:

“No one, I think, who reads this passage attentively can deny that it gives the impression of an intentional retirement from human intercourse. A multitude of writers have assumed that St. Paul first preached at Damascus, then retired to Arabia, and then returned with increased zeal and power to preach in Damascus once more. Not only is St. Paul’s, own language unfavorable to such a view, but it seems to exclude it. What would all psychological constructions lead us to think likely in the case of one circumstanced as Saul of Tarsus was after his sudden and strange conversion? The least likely course—the one which would place him at the greatest distance from all deep and earnest spirits who have passed through a similar crisis—would be for him to have plunged at once into the arena of controversy, and to have passed without pause or breathing space, from the position of a leading persecutor to that of a prominent champion. In the case of men of shallow nature or superficial convictions, such a proceeding is possible, but we cannot imagine it of St. Paul.”

Now this which i have quoted is a mere matter of opinion; but my brother gave his opinion as a fact of Scripture—as a scriptural fact. If he had said it was his opinion, I would have let it go, but I did not want him to quote a thing as Scripture for which he had not a “thus saith the Lord.” But suppose my brother’s position is correct—what does he mean? It would injure his denomination. Does he claim that a minister is authorized to preach in his Church without being ordained? Do you accept the ordinances from such hands? None of us deny that Paul was called from heaven, and that was what he meant. He need not consult with flesh and blood. None of us deny that he was conscious of his call; and so is every man who is called. The Church is the temple of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit. And why should he be sent forth? What is the Divine design in it? It is that the Church may stand behind him, and that he may be a worker—a representative worker.
Now let me read again what I have already quoted, and I must hasten. Acts xiii. 1—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. And 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. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” There is where they were sent to the Foreign Mission work—right there. He will tell you, though, when he gets up.

But we have got another little matter. He said if foreign missionaries were all like Paul—if they would go out and labor with their own hands, and look after their own self-support—they would be the Foreign Mission men for him. He and Paul get into conflict again. I will read now i Cor. iv. ii, 12: “Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place; and labor, working with our own hands; being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it.” He says he was buffeted, and had no certain dwelling-place, and labored with his own hands. Turn now to Acts xx. 33, 34: “I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel “—I do not suppose any Christian minister does: I read this to show where Paul was when he did this work with his own hands. To continue: “Yea, ye yourselves know”—speaking to the elders and ministers from Ephesus at Miletus—” that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.” He supported others while he was at Ephesus. We will now turn to 2 Cor. xi. 7—9, and see what Paul says about the Foreign Mission, work. I want you to listen to this now: “Have I committed an ‘offense in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?” He said he had abased himself. Have I. committed an offense in doing it? he asks. “I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.” He was sent and paid for it, wasn’t he? He speaks of wages. “And when I was present with you and wanted, I was chargeable to no man.” The gospel was first with him. He was chargeable to no man. That is the reason he worked with his hands, so that his acts might not be misinterpreted. Paul, how were you supported? This brother does not believe in supporting a man that way. But Brother Potter says you are his man. Let us see how that is. “And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man, for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied; and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.” That is pretty good Foreign Mission doctrine. I am ready with him on that. Now 2 Cor. xii. 13: “For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you?” They were inferior in not supporting their minister, and other churches had it to do; and Paul adds, “Forgive me this wrong.”

I must spend a few moments on the question why the gospel should be sent to the heathen. I want you to listen to it, brethren. Let me state the object of Foreign Missions again. The object of the Foreign Mission work is to get the knowledge of God through Christ to the heathen. That is it. Take the gospel, and go with it, and preach it to every creature. And my brother says that revelation is not absolutely necessary; but the Lord said it was. You see they differ. Jesus said preach it, and “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.” My brother, what are they saved from? If they are saved before the gospel is sent to them, what is salvation? What are they saved from and saved to? The Lord said it was important, and hence he commanded that the gospel be preached to every creature.

We will go the Book again. 2 Cor. iv. 6: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” It is God presenting to them this Saviour—bringing him before them. How can he preach unless he be sent?’ and how can they believe on him of whom they have not heard? We are giving them the Bible—this blessed book.

Now, I want to show you what has been done. In 1883 it was estimated that the number of mission schools exceeded 12,000 in these countries you see here on this map, and that the Bible—this Book my brother is such a stickler for, though he will not do any thing to send it to the heathen—that this Bible had been translated into 308 languages and dialects, while its circulation during the eighty years preceding had reached an aggregate of 148,000,000 copies, and within the time designated the annual contributions for missions increased from $250,000 to $6,000,000. In the beginning of this century there were but 50 languages into which the Bible had made its way in 3,300 years. Since 1800 it has created 70 languages in which to carry its inspiration—this missionary work has—and has enriched in all nearly 300 languages with 15,000,000 copies of the Bible. O this blessed Book! This precious Book!

A little touch on his civilization. As my time is going, I will just notice one point in that. He has been telling us about Cecrops, the founder of Greece. That was very pretty; but that was legendary, my brother. The trouble with Brother Potter is, he has been quoting from Guthrie’s Geography. He made a mistake on that. I think I will bring him over an almanac this afternoon. Though Solon was not the founder of Athens, yet was he the great legislator and statesman who laid the stable foundations of the glory and prosperity of Athens. It was he who gave Athens her great institutions and her culture. There it is in that book (referring to Johnson’s Encyclopedia lying on the table, Vol. II. page 313). Then he described how they went up from that beastly state. I will not use his language.

Here is Peabody’s Lectures on the Evidences of Christianity, entitled “Christianity and Science.” He dare not reject him. He is one of the most learned men in Christendom. On page 197, speaking of Greece; we have the following: “The primitive power of life and death over the child, though not legally repealed, had fallen into disuse” (that was in the days of Jesus), “in consequence less of growing refinement than of the massing powers that had been distributed into the more and more autocratic sway of the emperor; yet still there seems to have been not a little of tolerated, not legalized, infanticide in the case of feeble or sickly children, and of those whom it was inconvenient to bring up—a license claimed by Plato, sanctioned by Aristotle, and, so far as I know, accepted without contradiction in all classic antiquity.” They killed their children, then, in this beautiful civilization he speaks of being developed by culture. A beautiful civilization that, is without the gospel! So much for our civilization.

Now in regard to the fruits of the work, I will go to McKenzie, the great historian. I quote from his “History of the Nineteenth Century,” page 210. This writer was not a preacher, my brother, but he is one of the greatest historians of today. Well, says my brother, you cannot read that, you have got to keep to the Book. Upon what testimony do you take a member into the Church, my brother? Is not the evidence you demand the fruits of his inner life? We have it in the Book here:

“You shall know them by their fruits”— you shall know them by the quality of their renewed life in Christ Jesus. Paul tells us how it was with the Ephesians. I will quote what he says before I read from McKenzie. Somehow I cannot keep out of this Book. Ephesians ii. 2—5: “Wherein in the time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together. and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Paul was here contrasting the former state of the Ephesians with their latter state—contrasting their state in sin before they embraced the gospel with their condition after they had become Christians. That is just why he went into the heathen lands; it was that this wonderful change in character and society might be brought about. Suppose an individual is arguing with me that Christianity is a failure, because it does not produce the fruits in the hearts and lives of men which it claims to produce when properly received; suppose I can point to a bad community that has been given up to vice and crime, and all manner of sin; suppose a minister has gone down there and held a meeting, and good results have followed. They have built a church; a church-spire now gleams there in the sunlight; men have become decent and respectable, devoted fathers, husbands and brothers; the women have become loving and faithful wives, womanly women. Those lately given up to vice have become Christian men and women; they love the Lord Jesus with all their hearts, and love God’s work; the voice of prayer is heard in the family; they love to speak and sing for Jesus. Would not that be an evidence that God had done work there? That is just the way it is in the heathen land. These are precisely the results that have followed the teaching and preaching of the gospel to the heathen by the missionaries. Now I will read the quotation from McKenzie:

“During the first quarter of the century all the great missionary societies of Europe and America were formed, and missionary work was organized into a system. The Churches fairly committed themselves to an undertaking from which they cannot desist until heathenism is extirpated. Colleges were established for the training of missionaries. A vast network of auxiliaries for the collection of funds overspread Protestant Christendom. The Bible was translated into many languages hitherto unwritten. Grammars and dictionaries presented to the learner the simple structure of these rude tongues. Teachers of the gospel were to be found here and there in heathen lands, facing with heroic courage the dangers of the Christian pioneer, hearing with heroic fortitude his inevitable and often fatal hardships. Among the snows of Labrador, under the fierce heat of the tropics, in our Indian dominions, among the Hottentots at the Cape, in the islands of the Pacific, among our own negroes in the West Indies, men had begun in simple faith, with means conspicuously inadequate, the gigantic work of driving out heathenism and replacing it with Christianity. A little later China was entered by the door, which England opened in her determination to force the use of opium on that empire. A few missionaries found their way into Japan. Dotted along the western shores of Africa, and seeking their way into the interior, are numerous mission stations, each the center of a benign influence, which is steadily extending its power, and preparing the restoration of that lost continent to civilization and progress. The sum of these efforts, viewed in relation to the vast proportions of the undertaking, is still inconsiderable. Great Britain sends out one thousand missionaries, and expends annually six hundred thousand pounds. The Continental Churches employ four hundred missionaries at a cost of a hundred and twenty thousand pounds. America contributes five hundred and fifty men and three hundred thousand pounds. In all, there are now at work in heathen countries two thousand Protestant missionaries, and the Churches sustain the work by an annual contribution of about one million sterling.

These attempts to Christianize the world have been progress for upward of half a century. There is yet no more than time to open an enterprise so vast; but already there are materials from which it is possible to estimate the prospects of the missionary enterprise, and the grandeur of the results which its success must yield the gains which have been in some instances secured may be trusted to guide us in forming our expectations for the future.”

This man says they faced with heroic courage the dangers of the Christian pioneer, bearing with heroic fortitude his inevitable and often fatal hardships; and my brother wants to know if there were any martyrs among the missionaries. I will just read on, for this is as good as any thing I can give you. Commencing on the next page, 211, I will read a few minutes on this, and then mix in a little from the Bible:

“In the Southern Pacific, not far from the equator, he the Sandwich Islands, members of a vast insular family which stretches five thousand miles from north to south. The existence of these islands was made known to Europe by Captain Cook, who himself perished here, murdered by the natives.” This was in 1778. Now look at the change. This is not a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher saying this. “Every advantage of soil and climate has been bestowed upon them.” (There is your Nature’s God). “The grove of bread-fruit trees around the village is itself a sufficient maintenance for the population. The cocoanut tree yields food and drink. Its bark can be converted into clothing; from its leaves the natives manufacture baskets and fishing-lines, and obtain thatch for their houses. The sugar cane, the cotton and the coffee-plants grow almost without human care. Many trees yield valuable dyes and gums. Fish swarm on the coasts. Nature in her most bounteous mood has profusely endowed these lovely islands with the elements of material welfare. But the inhabitants had sunk to the lowest depth of degradation. They fed on raw fish and the flesh of dogs. They had found among the products of their soil a narcotic root which readily produced intoxication, and they used it to excess. Human sacrifices were frequent. The family relation was unknown. Lasciviousness was without limit or restraint of shame. Two-thirds of the children born were strangled or buried alive by their parents. So given to stealing were the natives that expert divers endangered Captain Cook’s ship by carrying off nails which fastened the sheathing to the timbers. The population was rapidly diminishing under the wasting influence of the vice which prevailed.” Then he goes on to tell the result. He says that missionaries went there, and their influence steadily increased. “In a few years the observance of the Sabhath was enjoined by law, applications for baptism were received, and one of the great chiefs, an old man who had spent his days in war, died professing Christianity. Gradually, as the missionaries were reinforced from home, churches and schools were built, and the whole population was under the influence of Christian teaching. In the course of years the Christian marriage was adopted, a temperance society was formed, and one-third of the people were attending school.

“Christianity made its way steadily until, in twenty years, it had become the accepted faith of the nation. The deeply ingrained vices of the old days were hard to conquer, and many disappointing falls grieved the missionaries. But upon the whole the progress in virtue kept pace with the progress in faith. The people became quiet, orderly, and industrious. From among themselves an adequate number of young men were trained for the ministry. It was deemed that the Sandwich Islands had ceased to be a field for missionary operations. The nation was Christianized. The native Church afforded men enough for her service, and means enough for their support. Fifty years from its opening the mission was closed.” Those islands today are baptized in the sunlight of heaven.

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.