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You must not expect too much from your fellowlabourers; for the best of men are imperfect. You must be prepared to bear with many hasty expressions, perhaps rather unreasonable proposals or requirements, and various things which will need the exercise of patience and meekness: for in heaven alone, will these be needless.
You cannot give up too much for peace among yourselves, unless you give up a good conscience towards God. No words can express how much your success depends on this union of soul among yourselves. The more you all live together, as if one family, without any separate interests visible to the natives, the more likely will you be to succeed in your pious and benevolent attempts.
3. In respect of the instructions which, when you have the opportunity, you should give to the natives, I need say little.
You must, so far as you are able, and in due time, order, and proportion, administer first "the milk,” and then "the strong meat," as they are able to bear it; and "declare to them the whole counsel "of God," of which "Christ crucified" is the grand centre.
But "the whole need not a physician." Nothing which can be spoken by man, concerning the glory and grace of the Saviour; his power, his truth, and his love; the suitableness, preciousness, and sufficiency of his salvation; will ever bring a sinner "to count all things but loss for the excellency " of the knowledge of Christ," till he is convinced of sin, and feels his urgent, his perishing need of his great salvation. "By the law is the knowledge "of sin ;" and the holy commandments of our God
must, therefore, be explained and enforced on the heart and conscience, for this as well as other purposes.
But, as such a measure of acquaintance with the divine law, as opens the instructor a way to the sinner's conscience, cannot be communicated to the heathen except by degrees; it appears to me that the best way of proceeding is, to take it for granted that all men are bound to obey the God who made them; that all have failed of this obedience; that all have refused to do what they in their consciences knew they ought to do, and have done what they knew they ought not to do; that all, being thus self-condemned, are also condemned by God, and will be condemned at the day of judgment, if left in their present state; that, on this account, all need repentance, forgiveness, and salvation. Then they must be instructed that God has, in rich mercy, provided salvation, has given his own Son to be the Saviour, and has sent to them the word of salvation. You should never, in my judgment, attempt to discuss doctrines or duties separately; but hold "the ministration of death "and condemnation" in one hand, so to speak, and that "of righteousness and of the Spirit" in the other, in every sermon or conversation, so far as it can be done. Briefly but strongly, with a direct appeal to the conscience, shew them their guilt and danger, and point out, at the same time, their refuge and remedy; the Saviour from wrath, and the Divine Sanctifier.
As Chaplain of the Lock Hospital, I had to address numbers almost as ignorant as the poor Africans; but in this way I could always fix their
attention, and often greatly move their affections. And I think you also, will in this way succeed far better in your attempts than by laboured arguments. There is generally in men, an almost instinctive idea of a Judge, of accountableness, of a future reckoning, and of criminality; from which they strive to hide themselves, as Adam and Eve did among the trees of the garden. But, "by mani"festation of the truth," thus " commending our"selves to every man's conscience as in the sight " of God," we, as it were, say to them," Adam, "where art thou?" And in this way, without much laboured reasoning, by the concurrent blessing of God, "their mouths are stopped;" and they are induced to hear what we wish to speak concerning the salvation of God.
But let these hints suffice. And now, my dear brethren, "I commend you to God, and to the "word of his grace, which is able to build you up, " and to give you an inheritance among all them "that are sanctified:" to make you "blessed, and blessings to multitudes!" "May the Lord Jesus "Christ be with your Spirit! Amen."