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way withhold it from the knowledge of mankind, they believe to be the direct way to promote error aud perpetuate contention. Let those brethren who introđuce among the millions of the East the same cause of controversy which for centuries has distressed and divided the British and American churches, beware of arrogating to themselves EXCLUSIVELY the title of " peace-makers. Let them not “heal the hurt of God's people slightly; crying peace, peace, when there is no peace," and but faint prospects of it.
Another great objection to our society, is, that if the Bible is translated as we would have it, all who read it will of course become Baptists. On this account, it is urged that we ought not to insist upon such a translation; that some how, in a spirit of generous compromise, this point should be yielded, and men lest free to practice immersion or sprinkling as they please.
Let us look at this objection. Let it be admitted, that if the scriptures were translated as we contend they ought to be, all converted heathen would read and be immersed. What then? Would they have done wrong? The very men who make this objection, confess that immersion is valid baptism, “good and acceptable to God.” What harm would be done, then, if all the heathen should believe and be immersed? No error would be taught or practiced; nothing wrong believed or done. What then are the dreadful evils that would result from the universal practice of immersion ? Does it make a man less praverful to immerse him, than it does to sprinkle him? Does it make him less spiritually minded, less active, less liberal in the cause of God? The men who make the objection, do not pretend this. If the believing heathen were all sprinkled, they do not pretend that they would be any more holy or useful than if they were immersed. Or if part were sprinkled, others poured, and others immersed, it would be no better than if all were immersed. Let the objection stand, then, in all its force. Let it be admitted that if all men should read the Bible faithfully translated, it would make “immersion the only baptism.” All then would be right, our opponents being the judges. For tho they contend that something else "will do as well,” they have nothing to propose that will do BETTER.
Take another view of this objection. It is now ad
mitted on all sides that immersion was the practice of John, of Christ, of the Apostles, and of their successors for several hundred years. Immersion was then the UNIVERSAL PRACTICE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Suppose then that our translations should make this the universal practice of the christian church again. The church would then be, on this point, just what she was in her best and purest days. Every body would be satisfied with their baptism. Controversy would cease. The churches “would then have rest from strife and division; and "walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, they would be multiplied.” Should our translations effect all this, would they do the world an injury? And are they to be rejected because they have this tendency? Will they make the church too apostolic ? too much like Christ ?
I will here waive any further consideration of the subject in this point of view. I hope and pray, that as we feel justified before God and nrankind, in the organization of the American and Foreign Bible Society, we shall be united and liberal in its support. By the blessing of God, our missionaries have already translated the Holy Scriptures into languages spoken by more than half the population of the globe. They are still prayerfully and zealously engaged in this responsible, yet blessed work. We intend never to rest in this great enterprize, till the “Lamp of Life" shines upon the pathway of every dweller upon earth.
Under existing circumstances, what ought to be the spirit by which the half million of American Baptists should be animated? God, in his holy providence, has, by the labors of holy men, our own brethren, furnished these pure translations of the word of life to our hands. He has put them into our hands in this eventful age, and just as the way is opening for the diffusion of the gospel among all nations. What can be his design in this, unless it is that we should, WITHOUT DELAY, give to mankind a pure, unaltered, unobscured Bible. As the angel having the everlasting gospel to preach to them who dwell on the earth, is now taking his flight in the midst of heaven, let us fill his hands with these most faithful” versions of the Blessed Word, and bid him scatter them over the whole earth !
I rejoice that the Board of the A. & F. B. Society
have recently appropriated $2500 towards the publication of the Revised Edilion of the Bengalee New Tesiament, by Mr. Yates. So that the labors of that devoted missionary are not to be lost, nor the Precious Word denied to 32,000,000 of our fellow men who are ready to receive it. This, however, is only the starting point.These waters of life which are beginning to flow, must roll on in a deeper, broader channel, till like the waters of Noah, they shall cover the whole earth,-not to destroy, but to save.
Could either of you present ANYTHING to a fellow creature in heathen darkness, it would be the Bible.This would be your first, best gift for him. There are many hundreds of your fellow men begging of your missionaries for Bibles, and begging in vain, because they have none to give them. Would you not like to put a few more Bibles into the hands of your missionaries, and let then give them to the anxious heathen, who waii all night at the missionary's door, that they may be in season to ask for the precious boon in the morning?
A happy convert who loved his Bible, said to his teacher, “ How could you christians, in your country, keep this sweet honey so long among yourselves, and not send any of it to us?” The teacher made the best apology he could. "But,” continued his shrewd disciple, it was not right for you christians to be saying so LONG 10 each other, how coon this honey is! how SWEET this honey is! Why did you not break off a piece of the sweet comb, and send it to us?"
Ye friends of the Bible and of mankind, when in your prayers to Almighty God, you say, “How precious is ihy word unto me! sweeter also than honey or the honeycomb!” will you think to break off a piece of the "sweet comb," and send it to your perishing fellow men? “As ye would that men should do unto you, DO YB EVEN SO TO THEM."