The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Preaching the Gospel Abroad

"Preaching the Gospel," which we have spoken of as man's great duty after his own restoration to God, is a form of expression which may be understood in various ways. The first idea attached to it, as we find it employed in the New Testament, is announcement abroad.  It is said of the Savior, on a certain occasion, that he sent his disciples to preach the kingdom of God, "and they departed, and went through the towns, Preaching the Gospel and healing everywhere." His last command was: — "Go, therefore, and teach all nations. And we know that the early Christians, after having labored a short time at Jerusalem, went abroad, as preachers of Christ's coming and kingdom, into various and distant parts of the world.

Preaching the Gospel abroad, however, does not exclude the idea of preaching it at home. The labor of those who are united with God, is not limited to the transmission of the news of salvation to distant lands. This, undoubtedly, is a great and indispensable work; but it is not the whole. He is truly a missionary of God, who communicates God's truth, and discharges God's mission of benevolence, whenever and wherever an opportunity is presented. Harlan Page, who labored at home, was as truly a preacher of the Gospel, and as truly a missionary, as the Brainerds and Martyns and other devoted men, who have preached and toiled in distant climes and among savage tribes. Always do we have the poor, the sick, the suffering, the ignorant with us. Constantly are we so situated, that a just and kind word, and even a kind look, will have its effect as a messenger of the spirit and truth of the Gospel. The ignorant are to be instructed, the suffering to be relieved, the impenitent to be awakened, the wandering to be reclaimed, the weak in faith and hope to be strengthened. There is a sense, in which every man, whatever his position in society, either is, or ought to be, a preacher of righteousness. Nor will these views be considered as unreasonable, or as destitute of foundation, when we remember that the man always preaches effectually, and cannot help doing so, who stands in the position which God's providence has assigned him; who lives the life of prayer and faith, and exhibits in speech and action that meek and benevolent spirit, which the Gospel is calculated to inspire.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 4.

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