« 上一頁繼續 »
And that it accords with the declarations of eternal
truth and wisdom, every reader of the Bible knows full well. “The liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.” (Isaiah, xxxii. 8.) “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts, xx. 35.) It is your distinguished privilege, Christian brethren, to realize, this evening, the promised blessing of the Almighty Saviour, by fulfilling his command.
THE CLAIMS OF THE BIBLE.
AN ADDRESS BEFORE THE BIBLE SOCIETY.*
CHRISTIAN charity is, we trust, beginning to develope her genuine character throughout the Christian world. Christian people are beginning to feel and to acknowledge that the Saviour's valedictory command—“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” (Mark, xvi. 15)—is addressed to them—collectively and individually; and that a dreadful wo is denounced against those who slight or seek to evade it. It is impossible to retain the blessings of the 'gospel in any community, large or small, where no active and faithful efforts are made to impart the same blessings to others. The gospel cannot be monopolized or hid in a corner: and those who hazard the profane and impotent attempt, are sure, in the end, to lose themselves what they so covetously withhold. spirit of the gospel impels its friends to communicate it to the ignorant and the needy, to the labouring and heavy laden, to the guilty and the perishing. They cannot do otherwise, without giving infallible evidence that they are but enemies in disguise. “Freely ye have received, freely give,” (Matt. x. 8, is inscribed in golden capitals, upon every page of the Christian charter. To believe the gospel, and yet to be indifferent, or backward, or slothful in recommending it, and in furnishing it to the destitute, according to our ability, involves a palpable contradiction; and if any one lesson, more distinctly than another, can be learned from the history of the church and of mankind, it is this--namely, that those who neglect the duty of teaching and extending, as far as practicable, the true religion, do invariably incur the severest frowns of Heaven, and involve their posterity in the most awful calamities--including always either the utter forfeiture, or the most deplorable perversion, of the truth itself.
* Delivered at the Anniversary Meeting of the Davidson County Bible Society, October, 1830.
The command then has gone forth—“Preach the gospel to every creature.
creature.” This command is binding on all those who already enjoy the light and blessings of the gospel. It is their duty to send it where it is not. It is our duty to do this; and this is precisely the object of our present meeting. It is to contribute a reasonable portion of our superfluous or useless dollars to aid in circulating the Holy Scriptures among our ignorant, guilty, perishing fellow-men--not merely as a matter of grace and favour on our part—but as an imperative duty and a high privilege.
If the Bible be the word of God—if its pages speak truth-then there is an end of all cavilling, or doubt, or hesitation. The course of duty is obvious, plain, direct, straightforward and cannot be mistaken.
But admitting the truth and inspiration of the Bible,