« IndietroContinua »
(See Pages 105, & 115.)
ExTRAct from THE INSTRUCTIONs DELiver ED, FEBRUARY 9, 1829, to the Rev. Messits. Dixon, FARRAR, AND BRowN; MRs. FARRAR, Mits. BRow N, AND MRs. HART.; PRoceeding To Bombay AND NEW-ZEALAND.
The Committee have the satisfaction of sending forth another company of Christian Labourers, to Missions where their services are greatly needed. They have hitherto been unable to supply Bombay with Teachers in any number adequate to the importance of the Station. Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell have now for some time laboured by themselves, in a sphere which would abundantly occupy the full strength of many Missionaries.
The Committee would very ear
nestly press on your attention the importance of a conduct and spirit suitable to your high calling, on your voyage. Your Missionary Trials begin at your embarkation ; and your Missionary Character will be developed in your intercourse with your fellow-passengers. If they observe you deficient in self-denial, in meekness and lowliness, and assuming an air of self-importance, they will contrast your character with what it ought to be ; and will be led to form unfavourable conclusions, not only coneerning yourselves, but of the Sacred Cause in which you are engaged. Evils of this kind have occurred ; and we are, therefore, anxious to caution you against them. We hope, indeed, better things of you; and we trust that you will make it your constant aim to bear each other's burdens, and love one another as Christ has loved you. Receive the brotherly admonition : See that ye Jall not out by the way. Remember, that that work to which you have devoted yourselves, and in which your life is bound up, can only prosper as those who carry it forward are united together. Remember the natural selfishness of the human heart; and that kindness, and forbearance, and oneness of mind, are the gift of
the Holy Ghost. We beseech you carefully to avoid every thing that may grieve Him ; and earnestly to seek His constant in-dwelling. Do not, we entreat you, bring a reproach on that worthy Name by which you are called; and on that high and heavenly office to which you have been set apart. Some of the Missionary Brethren, perhaps from having too much dwelt on the animating accounts which, gathered from every Mission, are presented to our friends in the country, and not having duly Weighed the difficulties and slow progress of a Mission, and the little impression that has comparatively as yet been made on the Heathen, have been greatly stumbled, on their arrival, to find the real good so much less than they, without adequate foundation, had previously anticipated. Some, who have even been at Stations, from not having actually seen some of the good doing, have supposed and asserted that no such good had been done ; when it has afterwards been made fully manifest, that their own want of observation occasioned the mistake. Be slow, then, to judge and condemn ; and be sure that you are right, before you venture to call in question statements which have been previously made. While we say this, we add, that the Committee at home are, of course, anxious always to receive accurate accounts of the Society's Stations abroad, and wish to encourage the most unreserved communications as to their actual circumstances. The importance of a regular communication with the Parent Society, kept up through the Corresponding Committees where they have been established, is very great. Without full information regularly transmitted, it must obviously be impracticable for the Committee to direct the Missions of the Society with intelligence and effect; nor will the sympathy of the Members of the Society at large be duly awakened to the state of the people to whom the Missionary is sent, or to the labours of the Missionary himself. This information will be most advantageously communicated in the form of Journals; and should be punctually transmitted to the Committee, by the first opportunity after each Quarterday.
i. preparing your Journals, the first point to be attended to is a rigid adherence to truth. To secure this point, so essential and important, it will be requisite that the Missionary should habituate himself to examine closely all that passes around him, and to exercise a calm and deliberate judgment in drawing his conclusions. On all matters of fact relating to your work, make it your care to obtain authentic and accurate information. In all your communications, bear in mind, that the Committee are necessarily uninformed of many things which are grown quite familiar to you. The communications of Missionaries often fail of producing the intended and desirable effect, from their obscurity. With this in view, we recommend you to use no term which is not familiar to English ears, without a brief explanation ; and to adhere to that orthography of proper names which has been fixed by competent judges.
Experience has taught us, that Missionary Brethren of studious minds are exposed to danger from the mere taste for knowledge which their needful preparation for their work has fostered ; and some have employed too much of their time in study, to the neglect of their more direct labours among the Heathen. While some are called to the work of Translation, and must therefore give more time to study than others, yet never should the proper office of a Missionary, as the Teacher of others, be lost in any studies, not even in the
acquisition of a critical knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. We must not, as Ministers and Missionaries, rather feed ourselves than others : here, too, it is more blessed to give than to receive ; and it is better to be willingly destitute of some valuable knowledge, than negligent of the perishing souls of the Heathen. This caution will not be abused by you, as a reason for the neglect of proper studies; and, to your last days, we trust that you will be diligent students of the Holy Scriptures, daily bringing out of the treasury within, things new and old, for the spiritual good of all under your influence. But the Committee would impress on your minds the great principle of an entire dedication of yourselves, and your whole time and strength, to the Redeemer, and His cause among the Heathen. You have, by many solemn pledges, given yourselves up to this work ; do not, then, lettemptations, which will multiply in a foreign land, lead you to deviate from the path of duty, by devoting any part of your time to things not directly connected with your high and solemn engagements. Much of your usefulness will depend on the constant manifestation of kind and Christian tempers and dispositions. Circumstances have led many Europeans to treat Natives of foreign lands with distance and reserve : but the Christian Minister, while he avoids undue familiarity, will manifest frankness of disposition and condescension, in his intercourse with them. Very great allowance must be made for their many prejudices. Consider their long-neglected state, their bad education, their long-formed habits, the immense influence of their whole country supporting them in error; and then learn to bear, with much patience and long-suffering, all their deceit and hypocrisy, their perverseness and obstinacy, their fraud and dishonesty. Their ignorance of those things which are obvious to you as first principles, must not be overlooked. They know not, with any clear perception, that there is a God, and an immortal state: they know not what His Law is, or what sin is. Their conscience is darkened, and seared. It will be of little use to enter into mere disputes with those whose manifest aim is to dispute, and to commend their own skill in conducting an argument rather than to learn the truth. Seek for that discernment of spirits which will enable you to discriminate between a captious disputant and a humble inquirer. It will generally, if not always, be prudent to refuse to enter into disputation with the mere disputant; whose acuteness, in taking advantage of any thing to excite ridicule, will often make such a dispute rather injurious than profitable, to the bystanders as well as to himself. Many have found it advantageous to preach by an Interpreter, even after they have acquired some knowledge of the Language; and you will probably deem it expedient to adopt this mode of conveying, as early and as intelligibly as practicable, the blessed message of Mercy to the ignorant and the lost. We would guard you against discouragement, if you should wait long before you see the fruit of your labours. We have all to learn, practically and experimentally, that this work is not of man, but of God; and this is a lesson which we are naturally so slow to learn, that we require lengthened experience to have it effectually taught us. It is necessary, also, that we and the Heathen should understand this: were they always to see effects immediately following the Ministry of the Word, they, too, would be apt unduly to magnify the instrument, and to lose sight of the Hand which alone makes it successful. Hence, some of those who have, in the result, been most eminently blessed in their Mission, have had previously to go through years of patient labour, disappointed hope, and, apparently, unanswered prayer : they have sown in tears, year after
year, before they have reaped in joy. In other cases, some have spent their lives in sowing the seed; while others have entered into their labours, and reaped the fruit of what had been sown by those who went before them. We the rather mention this, because we know that some of our Brethren have expected very speedy success; and have been much cast down, because they perceived little or no impression made, by many sermons, and many conversations. Our whole work is eminently, and throughout, a work of faith. It originates in faith, in the precept and promise. It is maintained by the faith of its contributors in this country. It is prosecuted among the Heathen by the same faith, from day to day; and this faith shall ultimately be abundantly recompensed, as in the case of the Father of the Faithful, who, through faith in the promise, became the father of many nations. Bear, then, this great principle constantly in mind; it will, under the teaching of the Spirit, prepare you for the difficulties of your work, support you in the midst of them, and animate you to stedfast and patient labour in bearing the burden and heat of the day. The Salaries which the Society gives are calculated on a scale adequate to the wants of the Missionaries; and therefore in some degree vary in different Missions. Those in New-Zealand, from the peculiar circumstances of that Mission, are chiefly in rations and supplies, issued from a common store. Those in India are 200l. for the Married Missionary, and 1501. for a Single Missionary; but this Salary is not paid in mohey, but in Rupees, calculated at the fixed par of Exchange. It is not calculated in money, as that from the Exchange is fluctuating and uncertain; but in Rupees, which, being the fixed currency of the country, are of more fixed and unchanging value, in relation to the various necessaries of life.
You, Mr. Dixon, and Mr. and Mrs. Farrar, have been appointed by the Committee to strengthen the Mission at Bombay. The ultimate decision as to your respective Stations must be left to the Corresponding Committee there: but we send you with much confidence, that your steps will be guided, by our Heavenly Master, to that sphere of labour where your peculiar talents may be most useful. It is probable that it will be found most expedient that you, Mr. Dixon, should be fixed at Bombay, for carrying forward Translations of the Scriptures and Liturgy, and promoting the education of Native Teachers; and that you, Mr. and Mrs. Farrar should assist Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, at Tannah. In the Three Presidencies in India, the Committee have long had the
advantage of Corresponding Committees, to superintend and conduct the general proceedings of the Society's Mission. They are formed of such Chaplains of the East-India Company, and pious Laymen, as have the interests of the Society warmly at heart, and voluntarily give their time and influence to assist its opera. tions. These Local Committees represent the Society, and act with its authority. All correspondence between the Society and its Missionaries is carried on through them; and your Letters to us, therefore, as we have already stated, must be transmitted through the Corresponding Committee of the Society at Bombay. We doubt not that you will cheerfully acquiesce in all their measures and regulations, respecting the sphere and mode of your labours, and other matters of general arrangement.
BENEFACTIONS, COLLECTIONS, AND ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS, PAID DIRECT TO THE PARENT SOCIETY.
II. CONTRIBUTIONS IN AID OF THE INSTITUTION-BUILDING FUND. III. CONTRIBUTIONS IN AID OF THE INDIA-FEMALE-EDUCATION FUND. IV. CONGREGATIONAL COLLECTIONS. V. ASSOCIATIONS IN AND NEAR LONDON.
ASSOCIATIONS OUT OF LONDON AND ITS WICINITY.