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community. He is therefore left without the encouragement to zeal and diligence in his appropriate work, which the stimulating presence of brethren might afford; and at the same time, beyond the salutary restraint of being under the eye of them who would watch over him with jealous care, lest he should be drawn aside, either in spirit or conduct, from the good ways of the Lord; lest he should grow slack in the service to which he has vowed the consecration of his time, and talents, and heart, and all; lest he should learn the ways of the heathen, and bring reproach on the name of Christ. In such a situation, a truly devoted servant of God will walk with "fear and trembling." Knowing his own weakness, and not ignorant of the deceitfulness of his own heart, and the devices of Satan, there will seem a double urgency in the call to him to "watch and pray, lest he enter into temptation." But if we follow an individual of an improper character, such as we are here supposing, into a distant scene of labor, remote from the view of all whose presence might be a spur to good, and a check to evil, it is easy to conceive the almost certain consequence; at liberty to think his own thoughts, and speak his own words, and do his own deeds, and that for a long season; while there are no means of his friends or constituents ascertaining the true state of matters, his real character may remain long undiscovered and unsuspected. His unconscious waste of time-his engagement in pursuits foreign to his proper work-his deviations from sobriety, and dignity, and consistency of conduct-his dereliction of principle, and utter breach of his most solemn engagements, are never known and never heard of, because he will not criminate
himself, and he is at a safe distance from the obser vation of his brethren. With all this, there may be such a measure of attention paid to the language of the country, and to the duty of holding occasional intercourse with the natives, as will furnish matter for an occasional letter, for the satisfaction of those at home, whom it may be his interest to please. He may find it no difficult matter to keep on good terms with his constituents, and delude them with the vain idea that he is laboring faithfully and successfully to disseminate the gospel among his heathen charge, while he is leaving them without the smallest concern, and, as yet, without remorse, to their wicked delusions.
The case is in some respects, but not essentially, altered, where there are several laborers together, and one such character among them. There must here be more circumspection, more care to preserve appearances. But as it is generally found conducive to the furtherance of the work, and most suited to the variety of taste and qualification in a body of missionaries to make a division of labor, each in his own department is thus rendered more independent, and left more at liberty. And in the supposed case of an unfaithful member of a missionary establishment, there is more room for the practice of hypocrisy, and less liability of suspicion; while delicacy, and the spirit of forbearance, and hope of amendment, and charitable allowance for peculiarity of natural disposition, &c. may make his brethren very tender of exposing one whose improprieties cannot escape their notice. truth is, a Judas may remain undetected for years among his brethren and fellow laborers. And who can say but there may be traitors who sell their Master and the souls of men for a piece
of money, and yet live unsuspected, and pass off the stage with a fair reputation! The supposition is awfully alarming; but the use to be made of the observations offered in this letter, must be reserved for the subject of my next.
I am, &c.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
My dear Friend,
THE promised sequel to the observations contained in my last letter, I now proceed to lay before you.
If other motives than those which ought to actuate the mind, may impel men to offer themselves for missionary service; and if such persons may succeed in obtaining the sanction of societies, be appointed to fields of labor, and occupy them to their own hurt, and the injury of many-the subject demands the solemn consideration of all. whom it in any way concerns.
In secular business, though principle is ever regarded as of the highest value, yet it is possible for a servant influenced merely by considerations of interest, expediency, or necessity, to perform his work with as much credit to himself, and satisfaction to his master, as if he had been actuated by the most honorable and conscientious motives in every iota of the service required of him. But in this sacred employment the case is
otherwise. Nothing can compensate for the want of a heart in the work-a heart right with God, in simplicity and sincerity devoting itself to him and to his service.
The first and obvious deduction from this is a warning to missionaries and missionary candidates themselves. Its language to them is "Look well to your motives-sift them to the bottom, and be not satisfied, although you think there be found 'some good thing' in you, among much that is not so: separate the precious from the vile, and try how far such views and motives, as have the sanction of the word of God, influence you, independently of all other considerations."
The conduct which flows from wrong principles of action, although others may admire and extol it, conscience will pronounce to be destitute of all moral worth, and anticipate the sentence of condemnation God will at last utter alike against open transgression and feigned obedience.
Moreover, as there may be, and most commonly is, a mixture of motives to be discovered, when we enter upon the difficult search of the secret springs of our conduct, it is a matter of the first importance, to ascertain what share right motives have in leading to any particular act or course of action. The primary motive in the case of missionary service must be a sense of duty, entertained by a mind which approves, and chooses, and delights in the great end to which that duty points-the glory of God. Let the man then who "desires" the 66 good work," endeavor to ascertain how far he is actuated by a regard to the command and authority of God. Let him further inquire with what complacency the mind entertains the conviction of duty: in other words, whether he is
brought to love the service, and rejoice in it, as the way in which God is pleased to give him the happy privilege and opportunity of glorifying his name, and fulfilling his blessed will.
Were I further to address such an one, I would say "If you have reason to conclude that the command to go and preach the gospel is imperative upon you as an individual, it is then with you a simple question of obedience to God. You must acknowledge his authority by yielding obedience to his command, otherwise you are selfcondemned as a transgressor. I speak not of the means of ascertaining your call; but supposing that point to be settled, and that you are satisfied in your own mind, that it is your duty to embark personally in the missionary cause, you cannot refuse to act upon the conviction, without forfeiting your title to the character of one who is 'following the Lord fully.'
Were it not that I consider self-deception here to be very dangerous, and the danger of being so deceived very great, I would not think it necessary to pursue this subject farther, but allow it to be taken for granted, that when the call of duty is obeyed, we have nothing more to do but to congratulate the individual upon such a proof of his subjection to divine authority, and of his conquest over the appetites, or habits, or desires, that may have opposed his obedience.
When I consider the difficulty attending all investigations into the operations of our own minds, and the proneness of all to judge favorably in their own case, it occurs to me that there may be persons who take credit to themselves for acting under the influence of motives derived from the authority of God, and their duty to him and