« AnteriorContinuar »
among brethren bound together by the most sacred ties, and laboring together for an object of incalculable interest, would send abroad, not merely through communities most nearly allied to them, but throughout the Christian world, and along the whole range of missionary operations in heathen lands ! And who, I may add, would not treinble at the thought of incurring the vast weight of guilt which would assuredly rest on the individual, however unthinking he may have been, who, sent forth in the sight of all men to inculcate and exemplify among the heathen a system of humility, meekness and love, should make the very opportunities for their fullest development an occasion for the display of pride, resentment and hatred ! God forbid, my brethren, that this sin should ever be laid to your charge. Remember the saying of your Lord, “He that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." Should it ever happen, that any one of you become, I will not say alienated but, distrustful towards your brethren, or tempted to imagine that your opinions, your labors, or your character do not receive due consideration from those associated with you, near or remote, suppress, I entreat you, the first risings of every such sentiment,be reconciled to your brother,-rejoice in that you are made low. But we are persuaded better things of you, beloved brethren, though we thus speak; and better things of those who shall be fellow-laborers with you : and we have hope in God, who is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love. We cherish a confident assurance, that every succeeding year will bind you together in closer bands of Christian affection; that your trials and your joys will alike be shared with ever increasing good-will; that your oneness of object and principle will ensure harmony of plan and concert in action throughout the period of your labors among the heathen, and that the only strise among you will be, who shall most resemble Him, who came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many.
It is proper to remark, in this connection, that the Board deem it a highly important principle, and one which they expect will meet with invariable observance from the missionaries in their employ, that in devising and carrying into effect such measures as may best promise to further their great design, no one will consider himself at liberty to pursue a course not sanctioned by the general voice of the Mission with which he is connected. The immediate object which he may have in view, may be truly desirable, the means suggested by him may ultimately receive the approval of the Board : but no incidental evil that could result from delay, however distinctly foreseen, would justify an individual in waiving the principle I have stated; no advantage to be gained by immediate action, could counterbalance the sacrifice, of harmonious counsels, and the dangers which might arise from precipitancy and self-will.
The only remaining suggestion which I need to make at this time, in regard to hindrances which might impede your work, re
spects the uncalled for interference with the civil or political relations of the governments under which you live. Remember at all times and in all places, you are ambassadors of him who has said emphatically, My kingdom is not of this world. The doctrines and precepts of Christianity, as given in the oracles of God, you will not hesitate to inculcate and enforce in the hearing of all men to whom you gain access. You will not shun to declare before kings and princes all the counsel of God. At the same time you will be cautious to give no offence further than the faithful discharge of your appointed service shall unavoidably create. You will study to live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty, rendering tribute to whom tribute is due, and honor to whom honor; being subject to all that are in authority, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake.
The hindrances to the efficient prosecution of your work which I have mentioned, affecting your fitness for labor, your interest in the object, your freedom from discouraging fears, your mutual co-operation, or your avoidance of all unnecessary connection with civil or political affairs, are obviously such as are subject in a great degree to your own individual control. It is for this cause I have directed your attention to them. Other embarrassments may arise; obstructions almost insuperable may lie in your way; you may be plunged into difficulties from which no earthly power can extricate you; you may be cut off from your labors by some interposition of Providence which it is equally impossible to obviate or foresee: for these the only preparation we can now suggest, is faith in God and deference to his will. But the evils against which I would set you on your guard, are essentially of a different nature, and for the manner in which you meet and counteract them you will be held responsible, not by the Board of Foreign Missions merely, or the Christian world at large, but more especially by Him, whose Gospel you are to publish to the heathen, and who is both your Lord and ours. In his name I would solemnly renew the charge, which I have thus far addressed to you in behalf of the Board. As his servant, entrusted by his providence with the duty of ushering you into the work to which he has called you, and of acquainting you of the manner in which he would have it performed, and the necessity of your providing against the dangers
which threaten its advancement, I would again, with all earnestness, yet with sustained hope, bid you, in Christ's name, take heed to yourselves, and see that your efficiency in his service be not checked by aught I have mentioned within the bounds of your influence. Bear in mind also, that the dangers adverted to are of a general nature, and that the varied and numberless forms in which they will steal upon you, will require an ever-wakeful vigilance to detect, and the readiest promptitude to repel.
I have only to remark in passing, that whatever obstructions may impede your work, and whatever success may crown your exertions, the Board will expect to be distinctly and seasonably apprized by you. They wish to know, indeed, all that may essens
tially concern the progress of the Missions to which you are assigned, and which may enable them the more judiciously to apply the means entrusted to their management, for the furtherance of the general cause. Your communications of this nature will not fail, we trust, to be frequent and full; and if at time
sball feel desirous to impart to the Board, concerns of a more private and personal bearing, as between friend and friend, it will be our privilege to be partners of your sorrows, and helpers together of your joy.
There is another class of subjects which claim our notice, on the present occasion, and should ever share your best thoughts and most strenuous endeavors. I refer to the relation which, as individuals, you sustain to the Saviour of men, your dependence on his Spirit for the growth of the Christian graces in your own souls, as well as for the success of your labors for the salvation of the heathen, your need of habitually repairing to Him for the culture of those qualities physical, intellectual, and moral, which are essential to the right prosecution of your enterprize, and your liability to undervalue and neglect the means, which in ordinary cases have been proved the most efficacious in the promotion of a deep, fervid and consistent piety. That you cannot rely with safety on the favorable action of your peculiar circumstances, for the maintenance of such a piety as this, is obvious to very slight consideration. There is nothing in the situation or the employment of the missionary, which can of itself impart or quicken a single grace. It is not in the nature of any mere circumstances to effect what the Saviour has kept in his own power. Even the right application of the means he has prescribed, avails solely as he gives them efficiency. I am aware that the circumstances in which you will be placed, will give ample scope for the development of the Christian character. Occasions will undoubtedly arise, if they may not be said to abide permanently, when, if you will, you may advance rapidly in resemblance to our blessed Lord. But you will not need to be told, that opportunity does not ensure improvement, or that occasions demanding great effort may only serve to expose imbecility or recklessness. The means which Christ has designated for the culture of personal piety, must be familiar to you all, and have already, I trust, been faithfully employed. My only object in alluding to them, has been to warn you against imagining that any the less diligence in the use of them, will suffice for your Christian steadfastness and advancement in the scenes which await you: and to apprise you of your exposure to become earthlyminded, and estranged from your Redeemer, instead of growing in devotedness to his cause according to the increasing urgency of its demands upon you from year to year. How great this exposure is, we cannot of course determine. But if it exists in any degree, which none can question, it claims your most serious regard. Not only is your own peace, and your final salvation dependent on your vital and abiding union to the Lord Jesus, but in a very manifest degree, your fidelity in the work committed to
you, and the nature of its results as it respects the heathen. On this we shall rely most confidently, under God, for the conscientious husbandry of your time and strength: this will best secure the permanency of your interest, in behalf of the wretched beings whom you seek to relieve; this will most effectually sustain you in seasons of discouragement and despondency: this will prove your surest safeguard against mutual distrust and disunion: and be your strongest preventive to ill-advised intermeddling with interests appertaining exclusively to this world. This, in short, will most assuredly bring down the blessing of Almighty God on your labors of love, and, so far as human instrumentality can ever avail, will save both yourselves and them who hear the Gospel from your lips, or witness its
lives. Cherish, then, with all diligence the spirit of piety. Faithfully avail yourselves of all approved means to ensure its uniform and vigorous growth. Regard the maintenance of the love of Christ in your souls as a duty no less indispensable, than to impart the gospel to the heathen, as connected, indeed, indissolubly with the proper discharge of this trust,—and esteem the frequency and nearness of your communion with him, as the measure and the earnest of your success. What else, indeed, but the presence of Christ, and the rich com• munications of his grace, will adequately sustain you in the enter prize now before you. Separated from all which you hold most dear in your native land, from the refinements and charities o. civilized life, from the blessed institutions of Christianity, and the delights of Christian intercourse, from friends and kindred and home, you go forth to the dark corners of the earth, filled with habitations of cruelty; you become residents and associates with beings lost to almost every sentiment of virtue and religion: exposed to continual contradiction and reproach, if not to violence, you spend your days in toil, under a burning sun, and your nights in watchings: you die on heathen ground, with few to administer to your expiring moments, or render to your remains the last sad offices of friendship. But, thanks be to our God, you go not forth alone. The Lord Jesus Christ himself will bear you company. Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. On him you may cast all your care; to him you may resort in every time of need. His grace will be sufficient for you. And when the hour of your departure from all your privations and toils and sorrows shall draw nigh, he will enable you,—it is our prayer and cheering hope-to exclaim with the Apostle, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day.
It is the direction of the Board, that with leave of Providence, you embark to-morrow morning in the ship Louvre, for Calcutta, and may He whom the winds and the sea obey, give you safe and swift conduct to the desired haven.
Subscriptions and Donations to the General Convention of the Baptist Denomination, in the United States, for Foreign Missions, &c., sbould be transmitted to Heman Lincoln, Esq., Treasurer, at the Baptist Missionary Rooms, No. 17, Joy's Building » Washington Street, Boston. The communications for the Corresponding Secretary should be directed to the same place.
JOURNAL OF MR. WADE.
cords of life are giving way, and the
soul is launching into the vast ocean The following extracts from Mr. Wade's of eternity. Journal, on board the ship Cashmere, 3 and 4. Have as yet made very which has been lately received, relate little progress in the long, long chiefly to particulars not mentioned, or voyage before us; the wind has been slightly alluded to, in the joint narrative very light, and mostly ahead; have of the missionaries published in our num.
had one very rainy night, and were ber for July. They will be read with much incommoded by the leaking of the deeper interest, as illustrative of the
the deck. The young missionaries feelings common to missionaries on quit- sea-sickness; but they still sing,
suffer, as was to be expected, from ting their native land, and particularly in reference to those who have but recently
“ Bear me on, thou restless ocean,
Let the winds my canvass swell." left our shores.
Have prayers together at evening, July 2. This was one of those and blessing at meals. days, of which there are a few in 6. This is our first Sabbath on life, wherein joy and sorrow are so board the Cashmere. I thought of strangely interningled that they pro- the Sabbaths which we spent amidst mote each other, and harmonize so crowded assemblies in various cities well that they seem to be but one and villages, during our visit to our and the same emotion. It was a native land, which perhaps I should solemn, happy, painful season, when have enjoyed too much to have alseveral hundred of our dearest friends lowed me cheerfully to forego them, and the dearest friends of the mis- and exchange the blessings and privsion stood weeping on the wharf, ileges with which they were fraught and the missionaries were leaning for the moral destitution of a heathen over the vessel's side, singing, “ Yes, land again, if there had not been my native land, I love thee,” while some drawbacks. These drawbacks the sailors were spreading their were, being obliged constantly to canvass, and loosing one halser after make addresses myself, when other another, until the last one which ministers sat by, who I knew had bound the vessel to our native shores abilities superior to my own, and bewas gradually paid out and we began ing obliged always to speak on the to move off. Thus, thought I, dear same topic, part of which, particularrelatives and friends stand around ly the customs of the heathen, bethe bedside of the dying, while the came to me quite stale; besides