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this world, unjust, but wise and prudent in his secular business, is more to be commended than the spiritual man who acts as a fool in all that relates to his own salvation and that of others.
O it is fearful to think that in the day of judgment many an unjust steward, who made himself friends of the mammon of unrighteousness-many a pharisee who compassed sea and land to make one proselyte-many a merchantman, who, seeking the goodly pearls of time, visited in the spirit of commercial enterprise every quarter of the world-shall rise up and condemn the unwise conduct, and mistaken policy of the professed children of light.
I will just add, before closing this letter, that I believe some who talk lightly of the qualifications required in a missionary to the heathen, are not aware of the conclusions to which their hypothesis leads; but if it proceed not in the tacit assumption that God prefers weak instruments that his power may be more conspicuously displayed-and involve not the consequences of tempting God, and giving the enemy occasion to triumph, I have utterly mistaken the matter. I am, &c.
ON THE QUANTITY OF MEANS EMPLOYED.
My dear Friend,
I AM impelled to take up once more the subject which occupied the greater part of my last letter; but in a view sufficiently distinct from the former,
I hope, to screen me from the imputation of giving you a bare repetition of the same sentiments.
I endeavored to combat the notion, that for the conversion of the heathen world able men are not required—that little stress should be laid upon the kind and quality of means employed, since the grand effect is to be produced by the power of God.
It is my purpose now to expose a similar error as to the QUANTITY of means. "No matter," say some, "though the means we employ be inadequate in extent, as well as humble in quality, according to human reckoning; our handfull of plain unpretending missionaries will be sufficient for the accomplishment of the whole undertaking if the hand of God be with them; and it may be confidently hoped, that he will take occasion from the circumstance of their weakness to manifest his own power, and show that the work is not man's but his, and his the glory of accomplishing it."
The pious sound of such words is imposing, and they pass for solid argument with many who feel as if it would savor of profaneness to question the correctness of the views that dictate such speeches. While with others, this convenient view of the matter seems to keep all quiet in the inner chamber of conscience, and hushes an occasional unwelcome whisper that we are not doing all we can, nor exerting ourselves as the mighty extent of the work demands.
Let the question, however, obtain a fair hearing. Were I to come in contact with an individual who disapproves of attaching so much importance to fit means, I would encourage him to the discussion, by the assurance that if his be really the right view of the matter, missionary societies and the
Christian public at large may derive great advantage from the adoption of it; for it will prove that upon his principles instead of too little being attempted and accomplished in the way of using means, too much is done already. Missionary societies need not proceed any longer in the selection of men for actual service in the field of missionary enterprize on the principle of appointing only men fit for their work, and in such numbers as to bear something like an adequate proportion to the extent of the field. The directors of such societies have sometimes, from the scarcity of laborers perhaps, been compelled to send forth men comparatively unfit, according to the common idea of what fitness means; but such men were the best and most desirable instruments they could possibly appoint; and now they may save themselves much expense and trouble in fitting missionaries, by preparatory study, &c. since the laborers employed cannot be too weak and too ignorant. Besides, they may now very safely relax in their exertions to increase the number of their agents either for strengthening existing missions or for forming new ones; for the truth is, there are too many already in the work. Missionary societies have already gone too far: they should have been contented to employ perhaps a dozen or a score of plain simple men with the Bible in their hands. Nothing more should be attempted, if we would give God room for the display of the irresistible force of his arm in overthrowing the kingdom of the enemy, without the might and power of man.* I really feel
*The worse and fewer the means we use so much the better. Numerical force and intellectual and moral power are of no value, or worse than none; for God can equally effect his own purposes by many or by few.
reluctant to put down in words the monstrous perversions of Scripture, and almost blasphemous conclusions to which this insidious notion leads. I am far from supposing that all who disapprove of the idea of men-made missionaries and ministers, as they are scornfully termed, actually carry their theory so far, that they must, to be consistent, either abandon their principle, or submit to be charged with the consequences of it. I have myself heard remarks made in a captious, sarcastic way of the exertions of modern missionary societies, as if by bustle and ado about preparing and sending out so many missionaries, they thought the kingdom of Christ could not come without their helping hand, and so on. Now, if people will take refuge in such a position as that we are now considering, it is but fair to show them its insecurity— that it can neither endure the scrutiny of human investigation, nor will it avail them when God shall bring every work into judgment.
But it is time to turn to a different view of the subject. If so extravagant a sentiment is untenable; if it is absurd, that means are to be approved in proportion to their unsuitableness and insignificance; if it is our sober and decided judgment that means, both as to quality and quantity, as far proportioned to the work as possible, ought to be used, it will require little argument to prove that as yet we have not done enough; that our means still bear a vast disproportion to the end, and that increased efforts on every hand are called for, both to extend the application of the agency God is pleased to employ for evangelizing the world, to EVERY kindred and tongue, and people and nation; and to render the operations of the missions already established more efficient by such additional sup
port, by such accessions of numbers, piety, talent, and zeal, as shall prove that we are in earnest in the work.
Into this argument, however, I do not enter. Much has been ably said and written upon it, and could I say anything more and better than has been already said a hundred times, I would gladly do it; for, after all, I fear the Christian world is not yet roused as it ought to be to the paramount claims of the heathen upon the compassion, may, upon the justice of their Christian brethren. To bestow the blessings of salvation upon sinners is an act of sovereign mercy on the part of God; but to spread the knowledge of that salvation is matter of imperative duty, of bare justice, on the part of the Christian world. And be it remembered, that, while the guilt of non-performance lies heavy against the professors of the religion of Christ in general, in the day of judgment the neglect will be charged home upon every individual who has not done as he was commanded. "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature," is the command of Christ-Ó! who can calculate the guilt of neglecting to obey such a command!
But, in the mean time, as the means in actual operation are comparatively small, the ardor and zeal of every laborer ought to be so much the greater. If the number of missionaries that can be sent out to the work must fall short of the - necessity of the case, this is an additional reason why those who are sent should be, men of competent qualifications. When a small detachment of soldiers are appointed to a difficult and important service, they should be all picked men. To commit such an enterprize to raw undisciplined recruits would be sure to draw the public disap