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tended. 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 settlements, 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 clamour 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 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, candour, &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.
* “ Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded,” (owopovew) to have the due government of the mind; to have the passions in due subjection to judgment-to reason enlightened by religion.
THE OFFICE OF THE MISSIONARY COMPARED
WITH THE MINISTRY AT HOME.
My dear Friend, COMPARISONS, it is said, are invidious; but, as the christian world tacitly makes comparisons, forms its own divisions, and acts accordingly, it cannot be unfair to bring such things under review. If there is reason to suspect that in any one instance popular opinion rests upon insufficient groundsthat the things compared, and concerning which a judgment is formed, are seen through a medium that distorts their proportions, and imparts to them a shade and colour which do not belong to them; the interests of truth require an exposure of the deception, and an exhibition of the things as they
Comparisons have been, and will be, made between the ministerial or pastoral, and missionary offices; but if this be done in the way of exalting one against another, there is utterly a fault among them who do so. There ought to be no strife which of them should be accounted the greater. . Pastors at home, and missionaries abroad, are
“ brethren”--servants of the same Master, employed in essentially the same service, although very different spheres of exertion are assigned to them. The offices have many things in common, although each calls for the exercise of appropriate gifts ; and the reward of every faithful servant of Christ, whatever may
have been his station in the church, will be the crown of glory that fadeth not away. If those crowns, like the stars, differ in glory, the brightest will not be given to those who have been greatest in their own eyes, but to those who have most humbly, most faithfully, and most devotedly served their Lord in the work allotted them.
It is therefore to be regretted, that there exists so strong a prejudice with many against the missionary character, and that there is such a tendency to depreciate evangelical labours in a heathen, below similar labours in a christian country. But on the other hand, far be it from me to sanction an error, not less unjustifiable than the one against which these remarks are pointed ;-the error of exalting the missionary at the expense of the stated minister of a christian congregation at home. Some ministers eminent for learning, piety, and abundant labour, are in the habit (it must be supposed from real humility) of extolling the man who becomes a missionary above all due bounds ;-— they speak of shrinking from the comparison with men of such fortitude, zeal, &c. They almost rank some living missionaries with