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Home arrow Griffin's History arrow Debate on Foreign Missions-Chapter 29
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Written by Potter/Yates   



 Through the good providence of God I am permitted this morning to appear before you to continue the affirmative of the question that has been read in your hear­ing. I will in the first place take up the speech made by my worthy opponent on yesterday evening; and, as I said in the outset, I know that I will have your undivided attention, but I want your impartial hearing.

He says that I have said during this discussion that God’s promises are conditional. My brother is mis­taken. So far as regards man they are conditional, but God is faithful in keeping his part. This is the trouble with my brother; he looks all the time at the divine side without taking the human side. Hence the truths in the book must seem to clash. He says: “I argue that the Word is not indispensable. Why? To say that it is indispensable makes the heathen go to hell because they have not the Bible.” Now, I do not think any man, woman, or child, ever hard me say that. I have said just what Paul said in the second chapter of Romans, that if they—those that were without the law—did the things that were in the law, they would be saved. That is the truth. That is what I say. I have explained it time and again. Well, I would answer him by saying, they were not elected. That would be enough for his doctrine. I want you clearly to understand the proposition before you this morning. Sly brother gets up and repeats it for you time and again, and tells you I have failed, and how many speeches I am behind him. You would never know it if he did not tell you, would you? Never. Well, let me quote that proposition: “Resolved, That the gospel work “—now had I held him strictly to the proposition, I could have required him to deny that the gospel work in the foreign lands is owned of God. He denies gospel work in that proposition, but I do not claim that as an argu­ment. “Resolved. That the gospel work carried on by the different denominations of the Protestant world in heathen lands or foreign countries is authorized in the Scriptures, and blessed and owned of God.” There is nothing about measures and means in this, and he may read all he pleases of Campbell and Rice, and these Confessions of Faith. But it will not do him any good. The question is whether this work carried on in the Foreign Mission field is authorized in the Bible, and whether the fruits, the results of that work indicate that it is blessed and owned of God, whether its fruits are identical with the fruits of the gospel work as record­ed in the New Testament. Upon this the whole ques­tion hinges—right there. This proposition does not inti­mate that every heathen will be saved. Hence we have only to take the Word—to prove it in the Word. There is no intimation whatever in the proposition that all heathen will be lost or that all heathen will be saved. Brother Potter says that, according to what missionaries say, Christ died for the lost, and then placed their sal­vation in the hands of the Church and the ministry. He asks, “Did not God know that the Bible would never reach these people? Did not he know the means that would be employed were not sufficient? Therefore, his elect are saved.” I reply, Did not God know that the non-elect were non-elect? Did not God know all about Satan? Did not he know all about the land of the lost? Did not he know all about the wicked acts of man? Then, if knowing effects it, Brother Potter in his argument is beyond a doubt a Universalist, and takes the devil into his catalogue. That is his logic. I say, if logic is worth any thing, that is his logic. But he says he objects to the Foreign Mission work because it places the salvation of mankind in the hands of the Church. I want to know where else Jesus places it, instrumentally, when he says, “Ye are the light of the world; ye are the salt of the earth”; “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you;” “Go”; “Go preach the gospel to every creature”; “Go teach all nations.” That is the Book. Is Brother Potter’s theory accom­plishing this end? Well, let us see. 2 Cor. v. 20: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” Paul was a missionary, was he not? That he was has been thoroughly proven in this discussion, and my brother dare not deny I He has only tried to show that there is no identity between the Foreign Mission work and the gospel work, as recorded in the New Testament, in this particular—viz., in sending forth the laborers into the mission field; and he has failed to be successful in that. He talked yes­terday about building cob-houses. He said our sensi­tiveness in regard to his brethren criticizing the Foreign Mission work was like the sensitiveness he used to feel in building cob-houses when he was a boy living over in Illinois. When any one touched his cob-house he would cry out. When a man comes up here before the people, and says you need not trouble yourselves about this great work here (pointing to the heathen lands on the map), what is that but saying that all these preach­ers and Christian workers do not know what they are talking about? that all the best Christians in the last century have been, deceived? That is saying a great deal. Although we are elected, God misleads us. And yet Brother Potter comes out and says that the best civ­ilization is found where the Bible goes; and yet he does not aid in sending the Bible to the heathen. I will tell you what is the trouble—he has been building cob-houses religiously for several years, and he had better quit it. Before I drove him to notice this proof-text— Prov. i. 24—33—I had called on him in every speech for five days, until he could avoid noticing it no longer. Then he said, “I did not notice that, because I believe in human responsibility as much as Mr. Yates does.”

His closing speech last night did not touch the prop­osition, yet in that very sermon he taught that he was saved eighteen hundred years before he was born. Not only did he teach in that speech that repentance and faith are not conditions of salvation, but he said God’s elect were justified in the death of Christ. He emphasizes the past tense in the 5th chapter of Romans, say­ing Jesus Christ would save his own. But he says that those of us who believe in the Foreign Mission work think we must have another mediator. But he was saved eighteen hundred years before he was born, and yet he believes in personal responsibility! He says, “Brother Yates misunderstands our doctrine. He can­not understand it at all.” In one breath he declares that man reprobates himself, and in the next he argues that as the potter shapes the clay, so God as absolutely shapes the destinies of men, regardless of their agency. Yet he believes in personal responsibility. What does that imply? Trust. What does trust imply? It may be abused, or used improperly. He thinks the gospel is only to be preached to the sheep. Why will you do this, my brother? Why are you quoting all this? Is it because Jesus and the Bible are against Foreign Missions? Jesus says, in spite of all your arguing, “Go and preach the gospel to every creature.” Well, he says they are damned for not accepting Christ, though they have no part in the, atonement. They have never had the ability to trust, and yet, God has a perfect right to treat them thus. That was a beautiful illustration he gave yesterday evening, and I believe I have heard him give it before in his sermons. He said, as I understood him, that if two men each, gave him a note, and neither was able to pay him, those notes were his. He could release one man, cancel his note, and still hold the note against the other, Or he could destroy both notes. I an­swer, if those men who gave him their notes were hon­est and had a personal responsibility in the matter, they claimed they were able to comply with the promise on the face of the notes. Hence, Brother Potter, as a businessman, accepted them as able to meet the obligation. Now, when the notes come due, and the men have not the ability to meet their obligations, being bankrupts, they have either lost the means they possessed when they gave the notes, or they deceived my worthy broth­er by claiming to possess something they did not—that is, if they had any agency in this business transaction.

But the fact is, you claim that every sinner is dead. When I come to that you run clear back to Adam, six thousand years ago. Now, what about the notes? It was the Oriental custom in the days of Jesus to put a man in prison for debt when he did not have the ability to pay. What do you mean to teach in this illustration?  That God gives men the ability to contract a debt of guilt that will damn them forever, and at the same time withhold from them the privileges and opportunities of having it cancelled? This illustration proves too much for you, my brother. Your aim is to place upon the sinner all the responsibility for his own condemnation; but you use this note illustration to prove that God has the sovereign right to save one and reject another of the very same class, and that this is his method, the Divine plan in saving men. But your note illustration will not sustain your doctrine. The two men against whom you held the two notes might, by their differing surround­ings and relations to you, by their differing conduct, furnish you with justifiable reasons for favoring one in preference to the other—viz., the man whose note you cancelled may have lost his means by misfortunes over which he had no control, while the other man may have squandered his by vice and dissipation; or the man favored may have been deceived as to his real financial condition, while the other may have knowing­ly misrepresented his condition. “But you may say, “If they both occupied the same condition before me, have I not the right to cancel the note of one, and hold the note against the other?” You have the power, but not the right, for equity would demand that you treat them both alike, especially if failure in non-payment subjects them to punishment in prison. If you make provisions for the release of one and arbitrarily punish the other, you show yourself not only partial but un­kind and unmerciful. And if you knew the man’s in­ability at the time he gave the note, your conduct in ac­cepting it would be still more heinous. If you had also placed him under such circumstances as to force him to give this note, you would be a monster. That is just the light in which your doctrine places God in this illus­tration. You claim that God absolutely elected his people from eternity, as individuals, choosing them out of the millions of the human family, who, in his sight, were all equally lost and helpless. Therefore the sinner’s desti­ny was fixed before he was born. He was caused to enter life where circumstances forced him to give a note of indebtedness to God, without any provision for its payment or any possibility of ever having it canceled. He is finally to be imprisoned and to suffer eternally for its non-payment. That is Brother Potter’s doctrine; that is the reason he takes the negative side of this question. He believes God has fixed every thing; that I am bound from eternity, and that every single individ­ual is.

He quotes from the eighteenth chapter of Acts, and. says that he does not suppose that any man, woman, or child, ever heard of such an interpretation as I gave of it. Let me turn to that chapter and notice it a moment, commencing with the 6th verse: “And when they op­posed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads.” They were not saved from eternity. What had that to do with that matter? “I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.” Verse 9: “Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” He said when I used the word prophetic that he did not suppose anybody had ever heard any one say that before, and that I ought to write a new commentary. If I should, I would lead him out of a good many troubles he has gotten into during this discussion. What does prophetic mean?

It means that which unveils the future. What is that? Telling the future. How was prophecy brought about in the Scripture? Undoubtedly by God unveiling to his servant some future results, or the means and agen­cies to be employed to avoid or bring about such future results or events. Was not this what the Lord did for Paul on this occasion? So his argument goes to the ground. As I have said, that was simply a proph­ecy to encourage Paul, and I read to you about the condition of the people in Corinth, who Paul said were guilty of every vice. It was one of the most corrupt and wicked cities of that day. Paul said, “Such were some of you,” referring to the polluted state of some members of the Church in the city of Corinth, before he took the gospel to them. Then Paul, referring to his labors on that occasion, afterwards Wrote to the Co­rinthians and said they were saved through the foolish­ness of preaching. If they were saved through Paul’s preaching, they certainly were not saved before he preached the gospel to them. What were they’ saved from? There were evidences connected with the preach­ing of Paul at Corinth, and with the results following it, which prove that the Christians in the Corinthian Church were saved through this preaching.

Here (pointing to the map) is the gospel preached in benighted and corrupt heathen lands by God’s servants in the nineteenth century. Down there in Southern Africa, over in India, in the Islands of the Sea, over yonder in Asia, and up in British America— wherever those red and blue stripes are seen on this map—it is the Foreign Mission which you see here represented. The red lines represent the stations of the missionary societies of Europe, and these green stripes the stations of the missionary societies of America.

The men and Women who are sent away to consecrate their lives to work in heathen lands are called foreign missionaries. Those who labor in destitute places in our own country are called home missionaries, because they are sent out by the respective Churches to which they belong, and are supported by the general missionary fund of the same. You see these red stripes beside the blue in both North and South America. These blue marks represent the Home Mission stations of the American Missionary Societies, and these red marks represent the Foreign Mission stations of the Foreign Missionary Societies of Europe. These missionaries work side by side, on the very same principle and for the very same object. The principle of the Home and Foreign Mission work is the same. It is simply carry­ing the gospel to, and propagating it in, those countries which are destitute of it, whether it be in Christian countries or heathen lands. The missionary principle is the very heart of the gospel. The word mission means to send, and the meaning of Foreign Mission is to send, to preach, and teach the gospel to every creature. Then the gospel work carried on in heathen lands or foreign countries is authorized in the Book, is in accordance with the command of the Saviour. The very last words he ever uttered on earth were an assurance to his disci­ples they should be witnesses for him unto the ends of the earth, in carrying out this great commission. He says, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” The very same principles belong to both the Foreign Mission work and the gospel work of the New Testament, the very same conditions are present in both, the very same loving and almighty Christ is in both, the very same fruits are produced by both; hence they are identical.

Well, he spoke to us a little about the potter. I want to notice that a moment. He said it was the same lump. Now if, when you go home, you will take your Bible and just read the ninth chapter of Romans, you will see that Paul was addressing the Hebrews who had reject­ed Christ. He was talking to his Hebrew brethren in the Church at Rome about those Hebrews who had reject­ed Christ, not about the ones he was writing to, but their brethren who had rejected Christ: “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and con­tinual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” And then he goes on to tell what a peculiar people they were to God, and in the sixth verse he says, “Not as though the word of God had taken none effect. For they are not all Is­rael, which are of Israel.” Then we go down to where he speaks of the Hebrews replying, and says, “Who art thou that repliest against God?” The Hebrews asked the question, “Why doth he yet find fault?” Then Paul answers, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say unto him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels fitted to destruction.” There was much long-suffering on account of the ves­sels of wrath, and yet, according to my brother’s doctrine, God made them vessels of wrath from eternity; they were non-elect. I must confess I do not under­stand it. “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.” I do not understand this as Brother Potter interprets it. The Book is plain in itself. “Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” Why does he speak of one piece of clay? Here are the two great classes of men represented. One part of that clay represents the vessels of wrath. Why? One part of that lump made vessels fitted to destruction. Why? Let us see why it was. The 31st verse: “But Israel, which fol­lowed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore?”—here is the reason—“Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at the stumblingstone”—which is Christ? Why, there never was a plainer thing. “As it is written, Behold I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offense: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”

But he said I was like an Irishman who made a great leap to get on a boat. The Irishman thought he could jump on the boat, but missed it and fell, and got very badly hurt. That is the way Brother Potter described it, and he got up a laugh over it. That is all right. I indorse Brother Potter in his sharp touches. He can raise a laugh, there is no doubt about it. This Irish­man, he said, fell and got hurt, and when he got up, seeing the boat about one hundred yards off, he said it was no wonder he fell, trying to jump that far. Why, the trouble with that man, my brother, was that he aimed to jump on the boat, but he was not elected to do it, and he fell and got hurt.

Well, Brother Potter compares me to a Universalist colt. I am glad he does not look at me as being very old. I thought when the week was ended I would be old, decrepit, and gray. And he said he would saddle me, and if anybody wanted to ride a Universalist colt away from here, that he could ride me this morning. I will let him get in the saddle first. Brother Potter said on yesterday evening that he did not want to serve a God that could not carry out what he desired. Now, I will refer him to a text, and I want him to explain it— Matthew xxiii. 37—39 again: Here is something that Jesus did not do, and his heart was nearly broken over it; his words were broken by sobs. Brother Potter said he would not serve such a God; he said he would apostatize if he did not believe God could do what­ever he desired. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy chil­dren together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not”—I would, but ye would not—” Behold, your house is left unto you deso­late. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Now, here was something in this verse that Jesus would have done, and yet they—the Jews who rejected him—would not. But, for fear my brother may not think this is enough on this point, I will read another verse: “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” O my brother, you ought to have quoted that in connec­tion with the parable that you read in the 20th chapter of Matthew. They refused to go in themselves, and also kept others from entering the kingdom of heaven. Now, Brother Potter says Jesus will save all that he died for. I want to turn over here and see if Brother Potter and the Bible harmonize. I want everybody to listen to this language.

Romans iii. 22, 23: “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The righteousness of God is by faith unto all men and upon all that believe. I will turn to 2 Corinthians v. 14, 15:

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” He died for all, and, according to Brother Potter, will save all he died for; hence, all will be saved. We will therefore have to put Brother Potter in the harness again with his Uni­versalist brethren. I do not know what to call him; he called me a colt. What shall I say? A gray donkey from the mountains of eternity past?

Now as to Madagascar: You remember he told us in his speech on yesterday evening that he never spoke about gunpowder and armies backing the missionaries; that he was not talking about that; he was talking about civilization. Now, my brother is certainly mis­taken. He was saying that Christianity gave the best civilization; he was arguing that the fact that Foreign Mission work, where it has been successful, has given the heathen countries a noble civilization is not an evidence that it is owned and blessed of God; saying, also, that I understood him, and did not present the matter right when I said he was placing the civil­ization of Greece and Egypt side by side with the civ­ilization which the Bible gives. Then he went on to say he objected to Foreign Missions because they are backed by armies and bayonets. Then I asked him— and I want you to listen to this—I asked him if he would permit me to ask him a question. The Moder­ators said they would have to know what it was; and then I said, were these missionaries in Madagascar, who were trying to carry out their purpose by the thunder of cannon and force of arms, Protestants or Catholics? I was not permitted to ask the question, and I gave him to understand that he would have to meet that thing; that, if that was true, I knew I was ignorant of it. So he handed me Appleton’s Cyclopedia when I came down here, and it was as good a quota­tion for my side as I could wish, and I quoted it. Ev­ery thing was in my favor. The Cyclopedia showed that the missionaries had suffered martyrdom and per­secution there for twenty-five years, and were expelled time and again; that the seed sown there grew, and, in spite of opposition to it, it become a great harvest. The armies went to protect the citizens, and were defeated by the natives of Madagascar, and the French and En­glish colonies were expelled from the island. In order to return to their possessions they had to pay an in­demnity to the queen. So the seed was sown that now makes Madagascar the crown of glory of the Lon­don Missionary Society. I am very much obliged to him for Appleton.

He said, “The Missionary Baptists once believed as we do.” Well, I am glad they have gotten out of that torpid state and are working for Jesus.

In trying to dodge the unanswerable testimony I have given from unquestionable authorities of the his­torical identity of the Foreign Mission work with gos­pel work, he seeks to make the impression that I am not competent to decide upon authoritative works, or valid testimony, in solving historical questions. He says that if my witnesses are honest they are valid. I answer that the Rev. John Harris, whom I quoted yes­terday, was not only honest, but was one of the best informed and most reliable writers of his day—a mental and spiritual giant. His work from which I quoted is entitled “The Great Commission.” A committee which represented the talent and piety of the leading Churches of Europe decided upon the merits of this work for critical and accurate information and profound and forcible practical thoughts. This committee awarded him the first prize for this book, as a superior pro­duction on the subject of Foreign Missions in prefer­ence to the many other productions from the pens of the ablest writers of Europe with which it competed. My worthy opponent knows that the authority and ac­curacy of this work cannot be successfully denied or gainsaid—that Mr. Harris is not only honest, but one of the most competent witnesses on this subject.

In his confusion, Brother Potter seeks to disparage me in order to draw your attention from the argument. Mr. Harris was too honest and sincere when writing about facts in history to pervert them. Brother Potter was going to object to any authority I could give, be­cause it was all missionary authority. I have never read any of the other kind of authors or historians. If any history has ever been written by an anti-missionary author, except infidels, I would like to see it. 11 am willing at any time to submit to facts when presented. My brother’s history in that respect is rather’ dim—in the fog—like his arguments, in negativing this propo­sition.

He has gone back to Isaiah liii. 10, and I must go there now. “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” Well, There is not a man of us who denies that Christ shall see his seed and shall prolong his days, but Brother Potter made his own interpretation of this passage, making it allude to the elect from eternity. He accuses me of not following him up. I will now do so.

Psalm XX11. 30. I will read that, and see what it says. We will put it all together. “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.” Now, we will follow this seed spoken of through the Book. I will now turn to Gal. ii. 16, where this matter is explained. In studying any great doctrine of the Bible, the best way to get a true knowledge of it is to examine all the passages that bear upon it through the Old and New Testaments. There is a perfect unity running through this Book: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith .of Jesus Christ”—there is faith—“even we have be­lieved in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ.” Now, I will read Gal. iii. 8: “And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the hea­then through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Why, Abraham had the gospel. We will look now at the 16th verse of the same chapter: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” We will read the 24th verse: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Put­ting this with the language in Romans x. 4, we have: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Now, we will look at the 28th and 29th verses of this 3d chapter of Galatians: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye arc all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the prom­ise.” They were united to Christ by faith. But Brother Potter says I amt responsible; I am glad of that; I take him by the hand. Every sane man is re­sponsible. Every sane man has a trust committed to him. The Lord gives every man a work to do, a work according to his ability, he does not give him a work to do that he cannot do. Every man can do what God requires of him, or obtain help to enable him to do it. When Christ comes he will reckon with all according to the trust committed. Now, I am aware that a great deal of this talk has not been directly to the proposi­tion. There has been some complaining about my fight­ing the doctrine of election, but Brother Potter goes right back to it. If he had stood to the proposition I would not have touched his doctrine of election. Suppose I admit that his elect sheep are scattered every­where, still the Foreign Mission work is authorized in the Scriptures and blessed and owned of God. Jesus said, “Go preach the gospel to every creature.” The Master from his own lips gives the command. What is to be the result? “Whosoever believeth and is bap­tized shall be saved, and whosoever believeth not shall be damned.” The proposition does not say that all heathen will go to hell. As I have said, if they live u to the best light they have, they will be saved. But I have shown that these heathen are devil-worshipers. That degrades and brutalizes them. Brother Potter depends on election instead of sending the gospel he stays here at home, waiting for God to do the work without any human agency. We obey the command of the Master; hence our work is authorized in the Scripture, guided, blessed, and owned of God. Both in the home and foreign fields we have the proofs that we are in accord with the principle of the primitive Church. The same results are produced from the op­eration of the very same principles. Hence our work shows more indications of the Divine favor than his. He himself has confessed that Christianity gives the very best civilization. He has acknowledged also in this discussion that our civilization is the result of Christianity. Then, if our civilization is the result of Christianity, it has been begotten by the Christian religion and comes to us through it. The civilization in the isl­ands of the sea, in the heathen lands, has been brought about by gospel means and agencies, and hence it is gospel fruit. This is conclusive evidence—a monu­mental demonstration that the Foreign Mission work is blessed and owned of God.

Now, I have examined the 9th chapter of Romans, during this debate, several times, in answering the in­terpretation of its teachings by my opponent. But there is one little thing I have not noticed, and I will not have time to notice it now. I will pass it by for the present, and will give it attention in my next speech.

But I want to notice a further evidence that the For­eign Mission work is authorized in the Scripture and blessed and owned of God. I want, how ever, before I do this, to remind you that I showed on yesterday, as Brother Potter said, by a volume of passages, that we are employing the ordained means of God in carrying out the great gospel work. Jesus told his apostles to go, saying, “Lo, I am with you.” And my brother here is fighting it. He does not go to the remote parts of the earth. What else did we show? We showed that human agency was employed in all true gospel work. He denies that the Word of God is indispensa­ble. I asked him to show a single case of salvation without the Word, and he cannot show one. He can­not point to an individual bringing forth the fruits of love where there is not some form of truth. We say in our Confession of Faith that the Word is the ordinary means employed. He would rather get hold of our Confession of Faith than the Bible. I am not afraid to face him on that, either. If I am contradicting the Confession of Faith, he is contradicting the Bible. “The Holy Spirit, operating through the word and through such other means as God in his wisdom may choose, or directly without means, so moves upon the hearts of men as to enlighten, reprove, and convince them of sin and of their lost estate, and of their need of salvation, and by so doing inclines them to come to Christ.” And there was a man sitting right here, one of the Moder­ators (Dr. W. J. Darby), that helped to word that. I asked him, What did you mean to teach in the expres­sion “directly without means”? “We simply meant,” he said, “that God’s Spirit operates upon the hearts of, men wherever there is a ray of the light of the truth and thereby prepares them to receive it.” The Spirit operates through the truth and independent of it. We do not know what God can do, but we stand by the revelation he has made. There is where I stand. I am not here today to affirm what it is possible for God to do absolutely in saving men, without either agencies or means. If I were to ask the Moderators to permit me to discuss such an issue under this proposition, they

would rule it out of order. I am to defend the propo­sition that Foreign Mission work is authorized in the Word of God, and is blessed and owned of God.

Why, when Cornelius prayed and wanted to learn the way of salvation, an angel appeared to him. This angel told him about the results of his prayers and alms in heaven—that they had been accepted. But the angel could not proclaim to him the message of salva­tion. Why? Because God, in the economy of things, has given the angel his work on one side of the curtain and man his work on the other side. God has honored us by allowing us to labor with him in carrying this grand message of salvation to others. Man was lost; by disobeying God he brought ruin upon himself and upon the world. So God honors man by the grand revelation he has made to him of the way salvation. Such is the divine arrangement in the plan of redemption, that man can accept or reject salvation. He can open his mind to receive the message of salvation through the aid of God and the light of the Holy Spirit in the Word, and also independently of the Word. The Holy Spirit accompanies the Word into the heart, and prepares the heart for the reception of the truth, and thus through and by the Word purifies the soul and puts it in line with God, to move in harmony with God. No man is ever regenerated for himself alone, but for the well-be­ing also of his fellow-men. When the angel spoke to Cornelius about the way of salvation, he showed him that one Simon Peter would tell him what to do. If Cornelius learns the way of salvation, not the angel but Peter must teach him.

The gospel, the ministry, and the Church are indis­pensable in the work of evangelization, as the divinely-ordained agencies and means in the prosecution of the work of salvation. I have proven this by scores of texts selected from different parts of the Bible, representing the entire trend of its teachings. You remember that I showed how Philip went down to Samaria to preach to them Jesus, and how they received the Word, and how he was guided by the Holy Spirit to join himself to the chariot and guide the eunuch in understanding the 53d chapter of Isaiah, and the results of Philip’s in­structions. So it was in all the gospel work in those days. Paul preached the Word with wonderful success in all the countries and cities in which he labored as the great apostle to the Gentiles. In prosecuting the gos­pel work, the early Christian disciples preached the Word in Antioch, in Cyprus, in the Isles of the Sea, and in Cyrene in Africa, and over in Asia Minor, and in Macedonia and Greece. The Word was thus carried and propagated throughout the Gentile world, and God owned and blessed their labors, for they were carry­ing out the great commission, just as the foreign mis­sionaries are doing today. My opponent speaks of the agencies and gospel means of the Church in the work of salvation. I want to know if the Church is not Christ’s bride. Jesus says to his Church, “Lo, I am with you alway.” Brother Potter says Christ alone is to prosecute the gospel work. This is not true in the sense in which my brother states it. Christ works through the Church, his representative. By whom has the gospel work been presented in the centuries of the past, if not by Christ through his Church? The teaching of the Bible and the history of Christianity show clearly that it is through the Church, with its gospel means and agencies, that Christ prosecutes his gospel work. It was by the voice of the Church, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, that the hands of ordination were placed upon Brother Potter’s head. This was the course pursued by the primitive Church, and this is the way the Church now sets apart and sends out laborers for the Master in the Foreign field.

I will now extend my affirmative line of argument. A further evidence that the Foreign Mission work is authorized in the Scripture is seen in the fact that it is fulfillment of prophecy—that its past and present tri­umphs are but an echo of prophecy. In proof of this I will first read Psalm ii. 8: “Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the utter­most parts of the earth for thy possession.”

Psalm lxxii. 8—11: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts; yea all kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him.” Let me turn to Isaiah xl. 3—5: “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall he made straight and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be re­vealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

Now, we will turn to Zechariah ix. 10: “And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea “—look there at that map, at those mission stations, girding clear around the earth—“ from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.”

Now, let us take Malachi 1. 11: “For, from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Psalms xxii. 27: “All the ends of the world shall re­member and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall Worship before thee.”

Now, I will turn to Daniel ii. 44. The Book is so full of this doctrine it would just take us days to get it out: “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be de­stroyed and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” It is rep­resented in this chapter as a stone cut out of the mount­ain without hands. How solid it is, how irresistible, how every thing goes down before it! As I have shown, the Spirit of God energizes, guides, and blesses the Foreign Mission work through the ordained means and agencies. The work is “blessed and owned of God.” Now, I will go to the New Testament—Mat­thew iii. 2: “And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It was that stern wilderness preacher who said that.

Matthew viii. i i: “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.” To the Master himself, when he beheld the marvelous faith of the centurion, it suggested the great incoming of the Gentile world. You will bear with me while I quote a few more passages. The kingdom of the Messiah is today gaining the patronage and the influence of the ruling powers of the king­doms of the world. Through their patronage and in­fluence shall the nations of less prestige and power be led to Christ, and thus flow into the house of the Lord, as foretold by the prophets. To prove that mission work is a fulfillment of prophecy, I will now turn back again to Isaiah ii. 2, 3: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be ex­alted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”

I will now turn to Micah iv. I: “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mount­ains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.”

Now, without taking farther time in quotation, I will just call your attention to Psalms lxviii: 31, 32, where the psalmist pictures Ethiopia and Egypt. You can see them on the map there (pointing to the map). “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” Look there on the map at those mission stations, the literal ful­fillment of prophecy. With tearful eyes and tender hearts these poor, degraded people have embraced Christ, and the work is going on, and the gospel is lifting them up and transforming them into the image of God. O blessed truth! O grand and glori­ous work! My heart is touched whenever I read of the people in those mission fields, or think about them. I have said many things here in twitting my brother, but I have nothing against him. I love him. We may differ. We have said sharp things here, but I shall hold nothing against him when it is over. God knows I be­lieve he could be useful in this work.

I have shown from this book, the Bible, that the Foreign Mission work is the fulfillment of prophecy. I have shown that in these lands of darkness are poor little children in the midst of degradation and vice, who never have heard the sweet songs of Zion, or the blessed Saviour’s name, who do not know what are the blessings of a Christian home, who never heard of the Christian’s heaven, nor learned that this mighty ‘God, who controls the universe, is a Father of infinite love. Jesus says, Go and tell them quickly. Wher­ever there is a sad heart, wherever there is a broken spirit, wherever there is a degraded soul, go and tell the good news of deliverance. A Saviour is born, a reve­lation is made, Gethsemane is passed, and the blood-stained cross; go and tell of the resurrection, the as­cension, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The word of God is come; go and proclaim it to every creature. For­eign Mission work is a fulfillment of prophecy. Just to show that this work pays, I want to read a quotation from Bainbridge’s trip around the world. “Around the World: Tour of Christian Missions,” page 99. Leav­ing out a part of it, I will read from page 101: “For this mighty force of Protestant missions the field is the world.” I thank Jesus that I live in this age of utility and progress, when messengers are flying hither and thither over seas, islands, and continents; when Chris­tianity has developed such a wonderful dispensation, and when the means for taking ‘the gospel to 800,000,000 in heathen countries are so abundant. The way, and the gates of entrance to them, are all open. Many are pleading with us, beseeching us to send them the Word of life. The missionaries are everywhere call­ing for workers; and why do they not go? Because we at home are too indifferent. I continue the reading: “Our Saviour’s parting command was, ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations’; ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’ The responsibility is nothing short of world-wide evangeli­zation. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness unto all nations. We are to reckon all men as lost sinners because ‘there is no difference, for all have sinned.’ But we carry the glo­rious tidings of an all-sufficient salvation,” etc. Now, I want to read concerning the results of this work: “In this great world-field God has so blessed the labors of Protestant missionaries during the present century that the number of communicants, or full Church-members, has increased from 12,000 to 473,121” (the number, has now increased to 750,000; this book was written several years ago), “and the number of hea­then converts or adherents brought under the care of our missionaries has multiplied from 50,000 to about two millions.” There are many who have accepted Chris­tianity nominally and attend service, but have not accepted the truth in their hearts. “Of those latter, Prof. Christlieb reckons that 310,000 are in the West Indies, 400,000 to 500,000 in India and Farther India, 40,000 to 50,000 in West Africa, 180,000 in South Africa, over 240,000 in Madagascar, 90,000 in the Indian Archipelago, 45,000 to 50,000 in China, over 300,000 in the South Sea Islands.” Those South Sea Islands were inhabited by cannibals fifty years ago. Over three hundred thou­sand have professed to embrace Christ and are bringing forth the fruits of salvation. This I have proved to you by the best of witnesses. “Meanwhile Protestant schools have increased from seventy in number to over twelve thousand, with 393,000 pupils. Within the same time Bible work has advanced from 50 translations and a circulation of 5,000,000 to 303 translations in whole or in part, and a circulation of 148,000,000 copies.”

And my brother denies that any part of this great work has God’s approval or blessing. But we see from the book itself, and from the unmistakable evidences that have been adduced, that the Foreign Mission work as carried on by the different denominations of the Protestant world is authorized in the Scriptures, and owned and blessed of God. I have shown here that the 

Protestant world itself is but an outgrowth of the great revival of the gospel life, which is the mission­ary spirit itself. I have shown that the Methodist Church was born of the Foreign Mission spirit, out of that grand revival that swept over England under the Wesleys, Whitefield, Romaine, and others, ushering in the present dispensation of Foreign Mission work. I have shown that the Presbyterian Churches, and the Church of England, and all Protestant Churches, have been successful in proportion as they have been actuated by this mission spirit. I have also shown that the wonderful triumphs of the Foreign Mission work in the past, both in the foreign field and in its reflex in­fluence on the Christian Church at home, and in its wonderful prosperity today, and in the doors still open­ing to the heathen world, are unmistakable signs—yea, to the spiritual, discerning eye, clear and conclusive demonstrations—that the Foreign Mission work is ap­proved and blessed of God. To see this, we have only to take a bird’s-eye view of what has been accomplished by the Foreign Mission work within eighty years. Eighty years ago there were only 7 missionary so­cieties, today there are 150; then there were 170 missionaries in the whole foreign field, now there are 6,000 men and women, ordained and lay workers, from Christian lands, with about 29,000 native ordained and lay workers, making a working force of 35,000. There were then 50,000 converts from heathenism to Chris­tianity, there are now about 2 ,000,000 such converts; the Church offerings for Foreign Missions then was $250,000, today it is nearly $12,000,000; then there were 70 Protestant schools on the foreign field, and now there are 12,000, with a half million of pupils. Within this period, through the Foreign Mission work, the transla­tion of the Bible into different tongues has been in­creased from 50 to 308. The number of the copies of the Bible circulated eighty years ago was 5,000,000, to­day the number is 148,000,000. Then all the homes of the heathen women were closed against the gospel, and heathen women were inaccessible; today hundreds and thousands of homes are open to the gospel, and thou­sands of heathen women have already embraced Christ, and multitudes arc inquiring the way. The increase of Christian converts on the Foreign field is thirty-five fold greater than on the Home field. This, no doubt, is the greatest missionary era of the Church of Christ. During the apostolic age the new faith flashed through the Roman Empire. In the medieval age it here and there touched with its rays a rude and barbarous peo­ple; but in this age, the age of universal missions, the most distant and destitute are approached by the evangel, and no land or tribe is left to the shadow of death. Eighty years ago Oceania, the Indian Archi­pelago, all India, Japan, Africa, Madagascar, the Mos­lem and Papal lands were enshrouded in moral night and degradation. Today the numerous islands of Oceania are evangelized and have become radiating centers of light and salvation. The Indian Archipelago is rapidly coming under the gospel sway. The mission work is extending its influence and light. Its radiating and connecting lines reach out over British East India, Burmah, Siam, China, and Africa. All pagan lands are becoming dotted with mission stations; these gleaming centers of gospel light are bestudding benighted hea­thendom like the blazing stars that bedeck the firma­ment of night. “Evangelization is fast coming to be universal. With a rapidity unexampled in history, this golden network of missions expands and extends over the realms of paganism, from where the most refined followers of Brahma and Buddha dwell to where the lowest fetish-worshipers bow to their mud idols; over the lands of Islam, from the gates of the Golden Horn, west of the pillars of Hercules, and east to the heights of the Himalayas; and over the domains of the Pope, from Mexico to Cape Horn, and from the Volga to the Vatican.” Never was there a time in the history of Christian work when there were so many indications of the overthrow of heathenism. The whole heathen world seems to be ready to break loose from idolatry and superstition. Never in the history of the work of the Christian Church was the hand of God more viv­idly displayed, nor the voice of his providence more clearly proclaimed than in the mission work of today in the heathen lands or the foreign field. “Many of the nations and races of the world stand poised today upon a pivotal point of destiny, and their future weal or woe will be determined within the next twenty years. Japan, with eight hundred atheist students in her national university, and not one single Christian, is awaiting to choose between Herbert Spencer and Je­sus Christ. China, with every avenue opening to the commerce and culture of the world, waits to decide be­tween Mammon and God. India is listening with one ear to Deism and Chunder Sen, and with the other to the gospel of the Lord Jesus. France and Italy must either be Protestant or infidel. Germany and Austria must sink entirely into Ritualism, or rise to the only re­ligion that can successfully and truthfully appeal to reason. Africa’s glorious interior will soon be one vast chain of commercial posts. Shall the infamous trader make them darker blots on that dark continent than even the shrines of Fetishism, or shall the Christian missionary convert then-i into beacon-lights for benighted races? God has at length answered the prayers of his people that have been going up for a century. Every­where he has opened the door for the reception of his gospel, and opened it, too, under circumstances more favorable to its success than could have been imagined. The next ten or twenty years is to decide the fate of most of these nations and peoples. These years are to be the very pivot upon which their destiny will turn. Will the Church prove equal to the emergency? Can any Christian hesitate or hold back when such a glo­rious work is to be, and can be, done for the Master?”

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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.