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other ways, the countenance and co-operation of the friends of Christ; and he thinks, therefore, that a task is imposed on him, to which, humanely speaking, he is unequal, and that his fellow-Christians require more from him than they have enabled him to perform. In so far as such apprehensions exist, is he dissatisfied and discouraged. sometimes happens that the character of a missionary is assailed, and misstatements circulated-his present usefulness injured, and his continuance in the mission thereby endangered. The Committee of the Society may have too much important business on hand to attend to his individual case, or, being themselves satisfied, may think that others are so too; yet, perhaps others are not satisfied, and he still suffers in the estimation of the Christian public; and if he have no direct connexion or intercourse with any considerable number of them,-if he know not their sentiments, and cannot express his own, he remains in a state of the most painful anxiety, and is, perhaps, all the while suffering much injury. Such a case as this would very clearly show the benefit of that closer connexion which I advocate, between the labourer abroad and the church at home. The congregation who had adopted him would step forward in his defence, feeling themselves injured in him; they would immediately inquire into the matter, being the persons most concerned; and if they were satisfied he would be able calmly to bear the reproaches of others, being strengthened by the cordial support of those who were personally engaged on his behalf, and confident, therefore, that the means would not be withheld, of enabling him to continue preaching to the heathen the unsearchable riches of Christ. He would likewise benefit much by their correspondence, in consequence of the interchange of Christian feeling, and the information he would receive of the progress of the gospel among his friends at home. The Secretaries of large Societies, from the multiplicity of their duties, must, in their letters to their missionaries, confine themselves to matters of business; and the correspondence between them, therefore, whilst all about the important cause in which they are engaged, has necessarily but little manifestations of the Christian spirit and feelings which should ever actuate all who are connected with it, and should flow forth abundantly in frequent communications between the members of the Society at home, and the workmen whom they have sent forth. Such a plan as I am consi
dering would greatly promote the union between the churches and their missionaries, and would render it so intimate and sensible, as to be a mutual advantage of the first order and importance. But while I would urge congregations, either singly, or by two's or three's, as they might be able, to adopt missionaries as their own, and maintain and correspond with them, I would equally urge, as absolutely necessary, that they leave them under the direction and superintendence of the Committee of the So. ciety, the same as before, in order to secure uniformity, and co-operation, and harmony in their labours, and to benefit by the acquired and ever-accumulating experience of the Committee. Were the congregations to assume the direction of the missionaries they adopt, I can anticipate nothing but uncertain and desultory, perhaps misdirected and conflicting efforts from the outset, and disaster in the end.
You proposed, my dear Sir, to adopt one of those who have been labouring in Jamaica, and desired that I should state the situation of that and other West India islands, with respect to missionary operations.
The West Indies generally are in the most favourable state that can be desired for the reception of the gospel, and appears to me the most encouraging field for missionary labour at present in the world. We read in the gospels that multitudes followed Christ from all the cities, and vil lages, and regions round about, regardless of weariness or distance, hunger or thirst, in order to hear the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth-words of wisdom and holiness, of peace and reconciliation to God; which gave occasion to his exclaiming to his disciples, "The har vest is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." The field on that occasion seemed white to the harvest, only wanting workmen to gather it in to God. Such is the condition of the negroes in Jamaica. They are in a state of readiness and preparation for receiving the gospel of Christ, and need only persons to preach it to them. They are generally grateful for religious instruction, and acknowledge their obligations to receive and obey it. Missionaries, wherever they have gone among them, have been greatly encouraged by the kind reception they have obtained, and the abundant fruit of their labours which they have been honoured and blessed to witness. The gospel, indeed, has had greater success among the negroes of the
West Indies than among any other class of heathen in the world. Its brightest triumphs in modern times are there to be found.* No missionary has had to return, saying he bad laboured in vain ;-stretched forth his hand to a disobedient and gainsaying people; but, on the contrary, as many as have been permitted by the Lord to continue in the work, have been the means of planting churches in the wilderness, and bringing a people to the knowledge and service of the true God.
The English language being universally spoken in Jamaica and many other West India islands, by all classes of its inhabitants, removes a great difficulty out of the way, with which missionaries, in other countries, have to contend. Several of the prime years of their lives have not to be spent acquiring a new tongue, and exhausting their strength and zeal in mere preparatory work, and, after all, executing it but imperfectly. At once-the first day-we can preach to the negroes the message of God; and there are not wanting instances of its being as soon received in faith and love; and we can preach it to them free of the ridiculous or injurious errors which, if we were speaking in a recently acquired language, we would be apt to commit.
The negroes are not prepossessed and prejudiced by a false religion. They are heathens, but not idolators. They had no religion till Christianity entered; yet the first principles of religion-the conviction of their sinfulness and of a Supreme Being and a future state, are strongly impressed on their minds, and therefore they were and are in a manner ready to embrace the gospel, the purest and best religion in the world as soon as preached to them. Had an erroneous system found its way among them, I doubt not they would have received it as readily; but it has been God's goodness to break them off their errors, and superstitions, and idolatries, by removing them from their native country, and in the land of strangers and of bondage, to send them the truth as it is in Jesus. The rigours of their slavery prevented them practising any heathenish rites or ceremonies. They had no time or opportunity for such things. Christianity, indeed, foreed its way and reached them, notwithstanding all difficulties. But now that their servitude is moderated, and that they will begin tɔ have a little time at their own disposal, there is danger of many errors springing up, unless the ground be immediately and fully pre-occupied by the seed of the Divine Word.
The South Sea Islands form an exception to this statement.-ED.
Their bondage, by its bitterness, has prepared them for receiving the instructions and consolations of religion. The beneficial effect of afflictions in humbling the heart and reducing its stoutness and stiffness, and preparing it for submitting to God's messages of reproof and offers of mercy, is well known. Such have been its effects, in a great degree, on the mind of the negroes. The words of peace and good will which were proclaimed to them in the name of the Most High, through Christ Jesus, were new, and strange, and delightful to them; and the love of the Saviour in dying for them, even for them poor negroes, as much as for their masters and other more highly favoured persons, gained and subdued their hearts by the blessing of God, with wonderful quickness and power. To the gospel of Christ they are indebted for joys they never knew before, and which, but for it, they would never have known; and therefore it is that its ministers are so well received, and so much respected by them, and their message from the Lord listened to with so much readiness and gratitude. Slavery is now removed. It prepared them in the hand of God, for receiving with meekness and thankfulness his word. Its work being accomplished, it has been taken out of the way, and the many great obstacles to the spread of the gospel which it presented, have no longer existencé. The negroes have now full opportunity equal to their desire for receiving the instruction of that word which is able to make them wise unto salvation. Those masters that were formerly desirous of their spiritual improvement, it is to be hoped and expected, will not now be less so; others that were then adverse, have now happily ceased their opposition, while some have become decidedly friendly, and now maintain the faith which once they destroyed; and if any are still so ignorant or wicked, as to wish to obstruct the progress of Christianity among the negroes, they have it no longer in their power. The emancipation of the slaves loudly calls on us for greatly increased exertions to bring them to the knowledge of Christ, in order that they may fully enjoy the blessings of that liberty which has been bestowed on them; in order also that the truth of our professed anxiety for their eternal interests, as the chief reason why we sought their freedom, may be proved sincere; and especially that they may become partakers of the higher and better liberty of the children of God. Their deliverance from slavery was but the beginning of what the Christians of Great Britain professed to design for their benefit; who should now advance and com
plete their work, in evangelizing that long oppressed and injured people.
There is every prospect of the light of Divine truth shining from our emancipated colouies into all the other lands where negroes are still in the region and shadow of death, not only in the western parts of the world, whither they have been carried captive, but even back into Africa, their original country. And in this point of view, Jamaica holds a most promising and important situation, as it is within sight of the islands of Cuba and St. Domingo, equal in size to England and Ireland, and consequently capable of exercising a direct and powerful influence on them, and sending most easily the messengers of peace and truth into them, and capable also, from its size, wealth, and population, at no distant period, of providing the supply of teachers from among its own Christian people, that may be necessary for its own wants and those of the surrounding countries. And as that supply must sooner or later depend on Jamaica, more than on any other of our West India colonies, it becomes the more necessary to have it now abundantly supplied with gospel missionaries.
For the spiritual wants of Jamaica alone, two hundred evangelical labourers would be required. There are as yet in that large and fine island not more (even with the addition that has been lately made to their number,) than sixty missionaries. It has therefore obtained little more than a fourth part of what it needs, and they are continually intreating inore help. "Come over and help us," is the cry both of the negroes, and those already engaged in their instruction. With the increase of the population, their necessities will increase; and if there be not some bold and large efforts made now for that purpose, the most favourable opportunity ever presented to the Christian public for spreading the gospel among the negro race, both in the eastern and western hemispheres, will be lost. I do not hesitate to say, that as many ministers as can be sent into that field will find im. mediate and full employment; and if spared in their work, will be the means of gathering large churches of the negroes to Christ. It is a remarkable and interesting fact, that there are no Papists in Jamaica among the negroes. There is but little doubt, however, that they will avail themselves of the present opening to insinuate themselves, and the most effectual and only way to keep them out, is to occupy the ground before them.
The annual expense of each of the Society's stations in Jamaica, is about £300. I am allowed £250 and a free house, which