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suffers all willingly.—" For Christ” is his watchword, and his motto is, “ For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
This may seem a hard saying, but “ he that is able to receive it let him receive it."
I have attempted then to give a slight sketch of what I conceive a missionary should be, intellectually and morally, by nature, by education, and by grace.
If you think I have raised the standard too high, and that the adoption of it would keep many who might prove useful labourers out of the field, I pray you to think again, and reflect whether the lower standard hitherto applied to missionary candidates, may not have kept back some individuals of the first rank as to learning and talents, who were given to understand, that superior learning was rather a disqualification than a recommendation, would raise them too much above their fellow missionaries, or tempt them to neglect their work for the sake of literary or scientific pursuits. Be that as it may, I am per
I suaded that were it generally understood that missionaries ought to be superior men in every sense of the word, and were the impression on the public mind respecting them, consequently raised to what it ought to be, the missionary cause would find more able supporters at home,
able agents to conduct its operations abroad.
As a corollary to what I have said on this subject, I will just add, as my own conviction,
without going into the argument, that the ordinary term allowed young men for preparatory studies might, in most cases, be doubled with advantage to all concerned. A longer season devoted to preparation I think advisable, not merely that missionaries might be sent out better furnished with human learning, and with greater stores of general knowledge, but that they might have more time to prepare their hearts for the work, and have all those feelings, and views, and impressions of their great undertaking, which they should be taught to cherish, more deepened and matured.While their tutors and patrons would have better means of getting an intimate knowledge of the men they have taken under their care, be better able to direct them in their studies, and be at last qualified with more judgment to arrange the appointment of these young missionaries to fields of labour suited to their peculiar talents and characters.
I am, &c.
FROM DIVERSITY OF
TEMPER AMONG MISSIONARIES.
My dear Friend, In pursuance of the subject of former letters I have now to submit to you a few more thoughts that have occurred on taking a practical view of missionary undertakings.
Missionaries, associated together in the honourable and arduous work of evangelizing the heathen, have a strong, a sacred bond of union; and this bond, it might be supposed, could in no case be in danger of being broken. Those who have made accurate observations on human nature, however, will not find it difficult to believe that even missionaries may “ fall out by the way;" and that much wisdom and grace are necessary to preserve, in all its integrity and beauty, the golden chain of love which constitutes a missionary bond. That there have been and are so many edifying instances of this cordial union and co-operation, is not to be regarded as matter of course, but to be ascribed to the influence of that elevated christian principle, and that spirit of consecration to the advancement of the common cause,
which make those who occupy the same field of labour smother every germ of dissension, and have taught each to look, not upon his own things but the things of others
When a number of individuals are brought together, previously unacquainted with each other ; perhaps natives of different countries, of different tastes, habits, and natural tempers; and differing not less it may be in point of learning and talent; do not these diversities form so many points of resistance to a close and cordial union ? They have now to act together in a great and responsible work, in which each has an undoubted right to judge for himself. It will therefore soon be discovered that there is among them in many things, a difference of judgment. Some surpass others in natural and acquired endowments some will be more active and forward, others more passive and yielding.--some fond of study, others more inclined to 'business and bustle-some with a talent for managing, and others ever jealous of their brother's superiority. It is more than can be expected that in all things they should think alike. The same subject will appear in very different lights to different minds ; and now is discovered the difficulty of acting in harmonious oneness of spirit. Even supposing passion and selfishness to have no place among them, how can they possibly avoid occasions of offence? Pursue what plan they may, they must sometimes act in opposition to the views
and impressions of duty of some individual of their number. Not to mention peculiarities of natural disposition found in some of the best of men, which render it impossible for others to live and act with them, but on the terms of submitting to endure much from them, and habitually exercising forbearance towards them. To maintain all the warmth and cordiality of christian feeling towards one another, among the members of a society so constituted, requires no small share of grace. The peculiarity of their situation greatly increases the difficulty. Nothing in a christian country is exactly parallel to it. At home, ministers and private christians, when they combine their energies for the promotion of any common object, can select such individuals as possess congenial minds, and all other requisites for harmonious co-operation. Thus similarity of taste and temper attract men to each other, and they lend mutual assistance, and mutually contribute to each other's pleasure and progress in their various objects of pursuit. And when in any case such societies of men, or any individual connected with them, may find it difficult, or uncomfortable, or unprofitable, to continue together, the fraternity breaks up, or the individual withdraws. But not so missionaries. They have no power of choosing. One grand object, it is true, has drawn them together; but be the object of human pursuit what it may, there must be accordances of character in other