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inent, and though no real or actual extravagance may be practised, an excuse is given to those who delight to act as censors, to exercise their uncharitable remarks, which we should guard against allowing them any opportunity to do. I have often observed that some things which startle us in others on our arrival, become eventually rather too familiar, and we are in danger of forgetting simplicity altogether. I would be no advocate for unnecessary self-denial of the body-it is both unwise and unsafe, I would have Missionaries enjoy every outward comfort, and reasonable alleviation to the climate, but the spirit of simplicity must prevail, and be apparent all
The following are a few reasons which may be given for simplicity of living.
1. To remove all just occasion of reproach.--Men of the world know that Christians in the humble walks of life contribute a considerable proportion the funds of Missionary Societies. They feel, therefore, the inconsistency of any show. A single act of extravagance on the part of one individual, may be quoted to disparage the whole body of Missionaries in the neighbourhood.
2. To facilitate intercourse with the people. If the establishment of a Missionary is like that of a Government official, an inquirer is repelled. Swartz and other successful Missionaries were, in general, simple in their habits, and mingled freely with those among whom they laboured.
3. To exercise a wholesome influence over Mission Native Agents.--It will be shown in a subsequent chapter, that the salary question is a great root of bitterness among them. Plainness of living on the part of Missionaries will tend to make their native fellowlabourers satisfied with such allowances as can be afforded.
4. To benefit the Missionary himself:—When on his knees he devoted himself to his Master's work, he
* Female Missionaries in India, p. 66.
probably anticipated a life of self-denial. Let him, then, endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. An opposite course will have an injurious effect upon his character.
Christian Instruction of Servants.--The spiritual interests of domestics should receive much attention. Some Missionaries conduct their family worship in the vernacular, both morning and evening, for the benefit of their servants. At all events, this should be done in the morning. A small collection of suitable books should be provided for their use, and they should be encouraged to read. If they do not know their letters, they should be taught.
The following honorable testimony is borne of the first Mrs. Winslow :
“ No domestic lived in her family any number of years without becoming a Christian. At the time of her death, they were all, five in number, members of the Church, though they came to her heathen.”
V. STUDY OF THE VERNACULARS. Importance.--Next to the care of religion in his own soul, the thorough acquisition of the native language is, perhaps, the most important duty of a Missionary. Upon this his usefulness will, to a large extent, depend. His great commission is to preach the Gospel. It is evident that it would be sheer mockery to address in English a crowd of villagers who knew nothing but Bengali or Tamil. It would be little better to speak to them professedly in their own language, if from the barbarous pronunciation, the false idioms, the whole were almost unintelligible. Sometimes it happens that a native attempting to explain some simple subject in English cannot be understood. Now if this occurs with a European, whose mind has been cultivated, and the matter con
cerned is only a trifle connected with ordinary life, it is evident that the difficulties must be immensely greater to a ryot, when strange things are brought to
Some Missionaries never acquire the vernacular thoroughly; they speak in a dialect, sui generis, which those familiar with them can comprehend in some measure, but which causes a stranger simply to gaze with astonishment. On the other hand, there are Missionaries who can wield the language with power, and sway an audience whom they address for the first time as well as when speaking to their own countrymen. It is not easy to estimate the difference in the value of the services of such men.
All Missionaries should acquire the vernacular, even those engaged in superior English Institutions. It may be objected, that some Missionaries, like Anderson of Madras, were highly useful though they never mastered the native language. In like manner, there have been cases in which a blind man has been a valuable teach
If Anderson could have addressed his fervid appeals to his pupils in their vernacular, the effect would have been greatly increased. Religious instruction comes nearest the heart through the mothertongue. By means of it, a Missionary may also be useful to all, whereas otherwise he can communicate with only a small proportion of the people.
Value of the First Year. The experience of a century has confirmed the truth of the observation that,
If a Missionary does not get over the main difficulties of the language within a year, there is little likelihood of his getting over them at all.” Hough says :
"A venerable Missionary soon after my landing in India told me that he had always observed, and at that time he was of about fifty years' standing in the vineyard, that those persons who deferred the study of the language, either neglected it altogether, or picked it up afterwards in a very perfunctory manner : and I must confess, that my own observations have abundantly confirmed the truth of his remark. A man soon be
gins to feel the enervating effects of a tropical climate; and if he have not sufficient rectitude of principle and energy of character instantly to resist its influence, it will daily increase upon him, and he will very soon feel or fancy himself incapable of exertion, and be fit for little or nothing." p. 61.
Some Missionaries are crippled in the language for life by spending the first year in a Presidency town. Colonel Lavie mentioned this at the Liverpool Conference. * European Society is a temptation, and many of the Natives speak English. The study of the vernacular is dull, dry work, especially in the hot weather; the Missionary thinks he sees some providential call to teach or preach in English, and the vernacular is laid aside in a great measure, for a more convenient season, which in general never comes.
In some cases the Home Committees are in fault. Missionaries intended for up-country stations have actually been directed to spend a year or two at first in a presidency town, to give part of their time to English work, while professedly studying the language. Except in the case of a few very superior men, the results in general are lamentable
. The Church Missionary Society acts wisely, Every Missionary, even although he may be appointed to the Presidency itself, is on his arrival sent upcountry to the station where he may best acquire the vernacular, and he is not put in charge of a district till he has passed a specified examination. Thus every facility is afforded, with every inducement to effort.
The Rev. C. B. Leupolt of Benares made the following remarks at the Liverpool Conference :
"Every Missionary committee should make a law, as inflexible as the laws of the Medes and Persians ever were, that no missionary going to a new sphere of labour should have any thing to do with English for a year and a half, even though he be appointed a teacher to one of the English colleges. He should be requested to spend his first year and a balf entirely in
studying the lauguage of the new scene of bis efforts ; and if he does not acquire the language in that year and a half, he will never learn it at all. This is what I have seen during the twenty-six years I have been in India." p. 32.
In spite of the above advice it will happen, in the case of some Societies, that a young Missionary, as soon as he lands, is obliged to work in an English Institution. He may be warned, that if he does not give his strength to teaching English, History or Mathematics to some dozen young men, they may be plucked at the University Examinations. But even although the Institution should suffer for a time in that way, let him devote his principal attention at first to the study of the language. While
While superintending the lower classes, generally the most neglected, he may learn much himself, by hearing the children translate what they read into the vernacular, and asking them how they would render such and such phrases. Still, he must beware of thinking that this will compensate for much private study with a munshi; or that he can teach the whole day and learn the language in addition. If the Institution should be affected a little the first year,
the benefit will be felt throughout the whole of the Missionary's course. There is probably no Committee that would not yield, if asked, to what is proposed. The Missionary who neglects the language has therefore himself to blame.
Knowledge of General Principles.-Some acquaintance with Comparative Grammar will make much difference, both in the progress and mental feelings, in acquiring a new tongue. If the language has never been reduced to writing, the learner must grope his way through a tedious course. Grammars in the old style, which give the rules einpirically, are a great help; but they are very dry, and the ordinary student is long in mastering them. The works of Bopp, Max Muller, Caldwell, and other writers, have shed a flood of light over the whole subject. Their study will