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brethren with whom, in the course of providence, they may be associated-brethren not of their own selection—and it may be, not such as they would choose as their favorite companions and friends. They may be men who possess few qualities in common with themselves, with the exception of the fundamental ones of piety towards God and zeal for his glory, devotion to the missionary cause, and the possession of one or two talents which they desire to employ in the service of their Lord and Master among the heathen. But these qualities, common to all, should be considered by each as sufficient to bind his heart to his brethren, and teach him to overlook the peculiarities which may accompany these primary graces and gifts-to bear with and forgive the tastes and habits, the likings and aversions as to indifferent things, with which he can have no sympathyremembering that his own peculiarities require an equal degree of forbearance to be exercised by his brethren towards him.
Let the candidate for this arduous office, then, not suffer his glowing imagination to carry him away with the prospect of the exalted happiness he must enjoy in having for his associates in labor, and for the companions of his selected hours, men whose hearts have been warmed like his own with the missionary flame; men with whom his every pulse beats in unison as to the extension of the Saviour's kingdom among men, and who, like himself, have left all to follow Christ. Let him not delude himself with this romantic view of the missionary life. It may be his happy lot to be united with brethren not more respected and honored for their works' sake, than beloved as bosom friends. He may live and labor with
them with so much comfort, confidence, and unity of spirit, as to leave him in these respects nothing more to wish; nor am I to be understood as intimating that such unions are rare ; but this hypothetical enjoyment must not be suffered to enter as an important item into the calculation of one who is counting the cost of becoming a missionary. The estimate ought to be made on the supposition, that there will arise from this quarter many temptations, many sorrows, many hindrances, many humiliations; and if the estimate is so made, he will not need to add,— many bitter disappointments. When he has thus prepared for the worst, if his expectations of peace and comfort are exceeded, his enjoyment will be so much the greater. He will learn better how to appreciate the blessing, and to improve it accordingly.
Paul's expostulation with the Corinthians, "Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded ?" had a more immediate reference to the case of Christians going to law with one another, and that before unbelievers. Missionaries may not go so far as this, and yet they may utterly violate the spirit of the passage now quoted. But O the comfort and advantage of thoroughly imbibing it! One, resolved to make every sacrifice consistent with duty and a good conscience, for the preservation of harmony, will most effectually secure his own peace of mind, while he is thus studying "the things that make for peace," with his brethren. It was the wise resolution of a distinguished friend of missions, one of the first of those philanthrophic men who embarked in the cause of the Missionary Society, 66 NEVER TO BE OFFENDED," whatever treatment
he might meet with in the course of that undertaking. It was indeed a wise and noble resolution; and his adherence to it was of greater importance, perhaps, than can well be estimated, in regard to his own comfort and usefulness, and the good of the cause as far as his influence extended. Let this resolution be that of all missionaries. Let them never take offence at the treatment they meet with from friends or foes. The disposition to take offence where none is intended, is despicable and hurtful in the extreme to all parties. Where the conduct of any one is such, that we have reason to believe he had the design and wish to hurt us; let us disappoint him by still resolving not to be offended. Let us overcome evil with good, and heap coals of fire upon the heads of our cruel enemies or unkind friends; and who can tell but this, by the blessing of God, may melt and soften them, change their enmity into love, and their intended injury into a real blessing both to us and to themselves.
Let it not be thought from the strain of these remarks, that missionary stations present nothing but internal dissension, alienation of affection, and mutual dissatisfaction among the members; or that they hang together and keep up a show of affection, interchanging heartless civilities, and submitting to a constrained and unavoidable intercourse as if they were cordially united, while there is at bottom nothing but coldness and indifference. No! I am persuaded that, so far from that being the case, there is in most of the existing missions the most happy cordiality, and the best mutual confidence and friendship in exercise among the missionary families. But this by no means disproves the justice of the above remarks. The fact that peace and love reign in missionary settle
ments, rather argues, that those devoted men have so fully entered into the spirit of their work, and that grace has so abounded towards them, that they have been enabled to overcome their peculiar temptations; and so to triumph over the disadvantages of their outward circumstances, that every evil passion, and every unchristian feeling are laid to rest; that in their social capacity all bitterness and clamor and evil speaking and evil thinking, are consumed in the celestial flame of love. "Love suffereth long and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." This is the oil that makes all the parts of the moral machine move smoothly, and perform its work without noise and without weariness, to the glory of God and the good of men.
I think it very desirable, on many accounts, that these things were generally known and attended to. Young men preparing for the work, or having their minds inclined towards it, would, if the real state of matters were honestly and without concealment laid before them, be better able to judge what they had to expect, and how they ought to prepare themselves for the work in every view of it.
The friends of such young men, if aware of the importance of missionaries being men of sober minds, * and of their being capable of becoming all
* "Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded," (owpoove) to have the due government of the mind; to have the passions in due subjection to judgment-to reason enlightened by religion.
things to all men (not to the heathen merely for their conversion, but to all men), to their brethren also for their mutual help and comfort;-I say if the friends of missionary candidates were aware of all this, they could in many cases better decide whether from their knowledge of the character of an individual as to temper, prudence, candor, &c. they ought to encourage him to go forward; and in every case they might be able to suggest hints, and inculcate the importance of attention to the "smaller morals," in the probable scene of his future activity. A judicious minister, or other Christian friend, might in this way be rendering a most essential service to the individuals whose minds they thus enlighten as to an important class of duties, and perhaps instrumentally prevent scenes of discord, disaffection, and confusion at a future day. I conclude this letter with one word more:-If these things were generally known and considered, the people of God would pray more feelingly for all missionaries, that the Lord of peace himself would give them peace always by all means." I am, yours &c.
THE OFFICE OF THE MISSIONARY COMPARED WITH THE MINISTRY ᎪᎢ HOME.
My dear Friend,
COMPARISONS, it is said, are invidious; but, as the Christian world tacitly makes comparisons, forms