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upon one course under all circumstances. On the whole, however, there has been the same progress in Missionary views, as Mills notices in the following extract with regard to the best form of Government :
“ Institutions need to be radically different, according to the stage of advancement already reached. The recognition of this truth, though for the most part empirically rather than philosophically, may be regarded as the main point of superiority in the political theories of the present above those of the past age ; in which it was customary to claim representative democracy for England or France by arguments which would equally have proved it the only fit form of Government for Bedouins or
Plans must therefore vary with the advance of the people. What was necessary under certain conditions, may be injurious at a further stage of development.
4. If intrusted with the charge of a Mission Station, make no rush changes. The Church Missionary Society has a very wise rule, that a European Missionary shall not have control of a station till he pass in the language. The new-comer is allowed to give his undivided attention to the study of the vernacular and acquiring a knowledge of the people. On the other hand, it has happened that the entire responsibility of managing a Mission Station, with upwards of 100 Native Agents and 5,000 Native Christians, has been made over to a Missionary as soon as he landed in India. The Church Missionary Society in such a case would have given the oversight to an experienced Missionary in the neighbourhood.
Often the first step of a young injudicious Missionary is to upset every thing. An old Mission agent remarked that he had seen the world turned upside down several times in the course of his life, arrangements periodically relapsing to their former condition. A hasty man may do much mischief, the effects of
* Considerations on Representative Government, p. 36.
which may last for years. Be sure to weigh well any alterations which seem indispensably necessary, and do not carry them out, till you have consulted some experienced brother.
5. Do not be discouraged by your feelings in the early part of your course. The following remarks are from the life of the Rev. D. T. Stoddard :
" The first year of a Missionary's life is apt to be the time of severest trial. He has just torn himself away from all the tender ties of home, and after the excitement of his journey and the novelty of his new circumstances have subsided, the most painful memories and contrasts with respect to outward associations must force themselves upon him. He cannot, like the mere traveller, divert his mind from such associations by observing foreign scenery and society, solacing himself meantime with a prospect of a speedy return to his native land. He has come to settle for life among a people with whom he has no affinities but the common ties of humanity, and no sympathies but those which the gospel prompts towards them as needy and perishing. And yet, he cannot now do any thing directly for their relief. With a more constant and painful sense of their lost and ruined condition than that which prompted him to seek their salvation, he cannot so much as speak to them with stammering tongue of the love of Christ. Yet this very discipline has its advantages, not only in the virtues of faith and patience which it develops, but in the gradual adaptation of the Missionary to his field.”
In some cases the Missionary's health also suffers at first. But let him not despond. Gradually he will become accustomed to the climate, opening fields of usefulness will employ his energies, friends will be raised up, and he will find fulfilled in his experience the promise of the Saviour, “ There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”
II. PERSONAL RELIGION AND HABITS.
Importance.--If even the great Apostle of the Gentiles watched over himself with holy jealousy lest he should prove a castaway, much more is such care necessary in the modern Missionary. There have been a few cases which showed that, notwithstanding the severe scrutiny to which candidates are subjected, unconverted men have been sent out to preach the Gospel. The solemn inquiry is therefore not unnecessary, whether a Missionary has himself passed from death to life, whether although he may have prophesied in the name of the Lord and done many wonderful works, the awful sentence may not be pronounced upon him in the great day, "I never knew you.”
Even when the Missionary has the best ground of hope with regard to his state before God, double watchfulness is necessary in a heathen land. There is an erroneous idea that a Missionary on leaving his native country “bids farewell to spiritual foes and needs no longer to contend with the flesh, the world, and the wicked one." The old Latin proverb shows the fallacy of this :
Coelum non animum mutant, qui trans mare currunt.
The experience of the late lamented H. W. Fox expresses the real state of things :
“A Missionary life does not deliver one from spiritual trials, such as used to beset me of old. There are just the same temptations to indolence and love of ease, which have been iny besetting sins all along ; just the same reluctance to prayer and rearling of the scriptures : in fact I see nothing but the grace God to prevent a Missionary from being as cold and dead a Christian as ever vegetated in an English parish. Perhaps there are more temptations of this kind, for all around is ungodly." Memoirs, p. 118.
Dr. Duff puts the following forcible exclamation in the mouth of a Missionary :
Oh, it is
you at home, to maintain a blazing fire on the borders of an ancient forest--to rear the tender exotic in a sheltering hot-house-to keep full the liquid reservoir in the neighbourhood of a thousand rills. But to feed the flaines on the very crest of perpetual frost and snow—to cherish the budding exotic on a bleak and desert heath--to replenish the reservoir amid scorching sands :--this, this is to maintain the plant of life flourishing, the fount of purity overflowing, the fire of devotion burning bright in the frightful solitude of an idolatrous city in India.”*
Weitbrecht and Lacroix were devoted men of great experience, and cautious in their statements; yet the former made the following entry in his Journal :-
“Had a profitable conversation with Lacroix on the sad fact that many of us Missionaries lose our spirituality even while engaged in our work. He lamented it with me, and said it was often a cause of distress to him, and one principal reason that had induced him to visit Europe, once more to strengthen his spiritual faculties, and warm his heart afresh by intercourse with established and devoted Christians at home.” Memoir, p. 223.
The state of religion in a Missionary's own soul has a most important bearing on his work. Robert Hall thus wrote to Yates, “Great talents combined with great attainments are amply sufficient to establish the fame of a Missionary ; but nothing but, eminent piety will insure his usefulness.”
A few general points may be noticed at present. Others will be alluded to hereafter, when subjects naturally call attention to them. Love to God.
The first and great commandment forms the foundation of every true virtue. Let the Missionary walk with God. The Bible should be the chief book for devotional study. Next to it will probably be a good selection of Hymns. There are many practical works which may be read in portions, as those of Augustine, A Kempis, Baxter, Leighton, Beveridge, Rutherford, Howe, Flavel, Doddridge, Bogatzky, Bridges, Arthur's Tongue of Fire, and others. Biographies will also be found very useful, as those of Philip and Matthew Henry, Halyburton, Doddridge, Cotton Mather, Zinzendorff, Wesley, Whitefield, Payson, Henry Venn. The memoirs of Missionaries are valuable for different purposes, some as calculated to promote spirituality of mind, as those of Brainerd and Martyn; others for the insight they give into Mission work. A list of some of the most valuable will be found in the Appendix.
* Missions the Chief End, p. 152,
The following advice, given by Weitbrecht near the end of his course to a young Missionary, should be followed by every labourer in a heathen land :-
“Let me affectionately advise you as an elder brother to adopt a resolution, with a view to advance your growth in grace, and spirituality, and scriptural knowledge, which I have found most useful. I spend at least balf-an-hour, and if possible one hour very early, and again before bed-time, in reading, meditation, and prayer. This has a remarkable effect in keeping one in that calm, proper, peaceful, cheerful frame of mind (and this precious jewel one is always in danger of losing especially in India), we so much require, to fit us for the great work we have to do, and it imparts tact and feeling, helping us to act and speak as we should do at all hours. I have often regretted my own remissness in this respect in earlier years, for it is only private intercourse with God that can feed the soul; and when we neglect it we are empty and starving, as the body is when deprived of its proper meal. And what is worse, sin, selfishness, and other passions, gain the upper hand, and we lose the very life of true religion. He is likely to do best as a Missionary who feeds his own soul well with the bread and water of life, and as regularly as the poor, mortal body is fed.” Memoir, p. 518.
Love to Man.--This is the great key to the human heart. There are men from whom a child instinctively recoils, and others to whom he is drawn as it were by a powerful magnet. The absence or presence of love in the heart, is the solution. There are few more acute discerners of character than the people of India,