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The Missionary Enterprise.

The Missionary Enterprise.

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Published by glennpease

"We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.'' —
Acts iv. 20.

"We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.'' —
Acts iv. 20.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 18, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE MISSIONARY ENTERPRISE. BY Rev. WILLIAM ANDERSON, LL.D, "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.'' — Acts iv. 20. I SHALL embrace the opportunity which the spij-it of the text furnishes for making a general review of those principles and motives by which believers are influenced and actuated in supporting and disseminating the gospel, and in which we are provided with a test by which we may try the genuineness of a man*s profession, and also be assured of the safety of the Church of Christ — ^assured that believers will actively pursue measures for its per-petuation and extension. I shall commence the review with those principles and motives which are of a lower order, and proceed to those which are of a more important character. I. I remark, then, in the first place, that we have a security for believers being zealous for communicating the truth to others on that great constitutional principle of our nature — the impulse to inform others of that which we ourselves have learned. The remark is frequently made *'Dt, Anderson, as is well known, was an earnest advocate of the
Missionary Enterprise when it was by no means popular. In his second volume of Discourses (published in 1860) appears one entitled, ''The Missionary Plea, one of Justice ; " and to show that his interest in the great cause never abated, it may be mentioned that the present discourse was preached not only in many of the leading towns of Scotland, but also in Bradford and Belfast— Ed. Digitized by Google THE MISSIONARY ENTERPRISE. 287 that man is characterised by the principle of curiosity — the desire of obtaining information ; but he is every whit as strongly characterised by his love of imparting infor-mation. Observation indeed might lead us to conclude that men are in general more inclined to be teachera than to be scholars. But without magnifying the power of the one principle above that of the other, it is surely much
to say, in order to show the strength of the principle for communicating knowledge, that it is equal to that of the principle of inquiring after it — ^that the ardour of the man who asks, " What are the news ? " is not greater than that of the man who reports them. There are few burdens more distressing than that of a bosomful of intelligence which we are not permitted to communicate. Many prefer defiling their consciences and betraying their friends to the bearing of it. There is nothing rarer than the faithful secret-keeper. How wisely we have been thus framed by the Creator! In this love of telling — this passion of communication — He has provided against knowledge being locked up in the minds of individuals through indolence or selfishness. And when Galileo, the father of modem astronomy, and his pupils and their pupils, disseminated with such irrepressible zeal their scientific opinions respect-ing the order of the starry heavens, till they made a conquest of the philosophy of the civilized world, shall we imagine of the disciple of the gospel, even when it is regarded as being merely a philosophical system, that he will prove an exception to the otherwise universal rule of humanity, and satisfy himself with a solitary survey of the wonders of the moral firmament, without inviting others to a participation of the sight by which his own

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