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bitter, metaphysical doctrinalist. He should ever be ready to do good to all men, to the evil and unthankful, as well as to the household of faith. If he have it in his power to communicate pecuniary aid to the distressed, he will not confine it to those who profess to become Christians, but extend it liberally to all human beings who are in the midst of suffering. Some persons, to avoid the possibility of encouraging hypocrisy, would have Missionaries studiously avoid bestowing any charity. But then, in this case, the heathen mock his discourses on benevolence, for he is never seen to practise it. The straitened circumstances of Missionaries generally, whose allowances are often scarcely adequate to support their own families, place pecuniary charities out of their power. The late Dr. Milne felt much this difficulty, and sent home a request to have small sums placed at the disposal of Missionaries, to be expended by them in relieving cases of distress among the heathen. But however desirable this may be, it is possible, without silver or gold, to exhibit kindness and benevolence of heart and conduct, in various nameless ways.
10. The Missionaries should not cherish high notions of priestly* power and privilege, but should introduce
Seeing it is now generally admitted that the choice of a nation can constitute rightful magistrates, and a rightful dynasty of kings, (who are also "ministers of God" for good,) it seems inconsistent to reason, that the choice of a Christian assembly, or church, consisting of "faithful men," cannot constitute a rightful Pastor or Bishop. The kings of England, since the "glorious revolution," acknowledge that their right to reign is derived from the choice of the people; but the Bishops of the English Church still cling to a supposed divine right, derived mysteriously by a disputed, uninterrupted succession from the Apostles, through the Bishops or Popes of Rome; deeming this a better title than the election of Christian congregations. And some of the advocates of this system still scoff at those whom they call "self-created," and "self-constituted" teachers. The Presbyterian Church of Scotland too, and the Secession Church, are not less staunch in requiring, as by divine right, the communication of their authority to teachers of Christianity, and the same leaven seems working among Dissenters and Methodists. But if Bishop Burnet was correct in considering an experimental knowledge of Christianity, and an ardent desire to communicate it to others, as a being
a system of mutual instruction, to bear as extensively as possible on the facts, principles, and duties of Christianity.
"moved by the Holy Ghost" to undertake the ministry, surely any believer whatever, provided with the requisite knowledge and piety, is competent to teach Christianity. Knowledge of any science constitutes a right to teach it, and why the communication of Christian science should be fettered by any other conditions, is not easy to apprehend.* It is true, incompetent persons may assume to teach; and it is equally true, incompetent persons may be regularly appointed to teach. There is no system without its defects or abuses. Unless the disciples of Jesus, "scattered abroad" throughout the United Kingdom, and all nations of the world, exert themselves, and exhort their fellow-creatures to "know the Lord," we see no adequate means for the universal diffusion of Christian knowledge. The Pagans of China teach, that it is the duty of every man, not only to study virtue for himself, but also to communicate it to others, with all the knowledge and experience he may acquire; if he perform only the first part of this duty, and omit the latter, he sins against the light of nature; whereas many of the Christian priesthood of Europe discourage every effort to communicate Christian knowledge by any other persons than themselves; and some avow that they would rather have persons ignorant of Christian doctrine, than that a layman should teach it. A Dutch merchant in China wrote prayers, and distributed them amongst the poor Catholics resident in Macao, for doing which he was summoned before the Bishop, and reprimanded. The Bishop told him, that although the prayers were good, it was irregular and improper for any but a Clergyman to write and circulate them.
The Ecclesiastics of Europe, who have had it in their power to influence the legislatures of different countries, instead of encouraging, have procured the prohibition of private assemblies of Christians for mutual instruction and devotional exercises. The prevention of seditious meetings has been the plea; but the utmost charity cannot help suspecting other motives, arising from selfishness and the lust of power; motives, indeed, similar to those that originated the Brahminical caste in Asia. Under such circumstances, no one can be surprised at the ignorance of Christian doctrine, and the hostility to it which still prevails in all the nations of Europe; for Ecclesiastics have usurped the keeping of the key of knowledge, and have, in a large majority of instances, (it is to be feared,) neither entered themselves, nor suffered others to enter. The Archimandrites, and Cardinals, and Bishops,
"The Romanists reproach the Protestants, that their Ministers have no Mission, as not being authorized in their ministry, either by an uninterrupted succession from the Apostles, or by miracles, or by any extraordinary proof of a vocation. Many among us deny any other Mission necessary for the ministry, than the talents necessary to discharge it."
Every new disciple should be, to the extent of his capabilities, a new Missionary. No native convert should be taught to live only for himself. In this way, under the fostering care of the Great Shepherd, Christian truth will spread itself in all lands, and the vocation of Missionary eventually cease.
"And they shall not teach any more
Every man his neighbour, and every man his brother,
For they shall all know ME,
From the least of them unto the greatest of them,
The preceding thoughts on the qualifications of Missionaries are presented to the reader, not as a complete essay on the subject, but as touching on the leading points, which the writer, from his own experience, considers applicable to the present times.
The qualifications of each Missionary, natural or ac
and Presbyters, and other Rulers of national churches, who, by envying the Lord's people, being prophets, and interfering to prevent their prophesying or teaching, hinder the Gospel, instead of furthering it, have reason to anticipate a terrible account at the day of judgment.
Since the human mind is substantially the same in all ages and countries, and by it the patriarchal and the Jewish revelations were corrupted, it is not matter of surprise that the Christian revelation should also be neglected or perverted, and corrupted by those who should teach it.* And, therefore, as in great monarchies, there are appointments which proceed, not through the usual channels, but immediately from the throne, so the Divine Providence seems sometimes to overlook the constituted authorities on earth, and Himself bring forwards unsanctioned individuals to reform and bless mankind. Such was the Reformer Luther, and many others.
*As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred, so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith."
(Articles of Religion.)
quired, should be suited to the people he has to instruct. For the old civilized nations of Asia, a degree of literary attainment may be suitable, which is not required in Africa or the South Seas. And in the same Mission, it will be most efficient when it consists of various gifts and qualifications. To require perfection, or high excellence, in many departments, from the same individual, is to expect more than the experience of mankind warrants.* Preachers, Teachers, Writers, Catechists, School Masters
"I can do nothing to any purpose at speaking the language myself."-" To ride about, frequently in order to procure collections for the school, &c. &c. leave me little for application to the study of the Indian languages. And when I add to this, the time that is necessarily consumed upon my Journals, I must say I have little to spare for other business.""I have been obliged to labour twelve and thirteen hours in a day, till my spirits have been extremely wasted, and my life almost spent, to get these writings accomplished. I cannot possibly gain two hours in a week for reading or any other studies. Frequently when I attempt to redeem time, by sparing it out of my sleeping hours, I am by that means thrown under bodily indisposition, and rendered fit for nothing." (BRAINERD.)
How lamentable that a man of Brainerd's spirit and zeal should have time and health consumed in riding about to procure collections and in writing journals, instead of learning the language of the Heathen! (MORRISON.)
"Tues. Dec. 11. Felt very poorly in body, being much tired and worn out the last night."
"12. Was again very weak, endeavoured to spend the day in fasting and prayer; I was much disordered when I arose, but having determined to spend the day in this manner, I attempted it." "The sins I most lamented were pride and wandering thoughts, the former of these excited me to think of writing, or preaching, or converting Heathen, or performing some other great work, that my name might live, when I should be dead."
"16. Was overwhelmed with dejection, that I knew not how to live; I longed for death exceedingly." (BRAINERD.)
In these experiences of Brainerd, it is lamentable to see how much Christlessness there is. They are recorded, we hope, not for the imitation of Missionaries, but as a caution. He says, "My soul was in anguish and ready to drop into despair, to find so much of that cursed temperPride." Yes! that "cursed temper" is, we fear, too much mingled with the best services of the best of men. (MORRISON.)
and School Mistresses; Principals and Assistants, united in one Mission, centrically situated, are more likely to communicate, to a wide circumference, extensively and effectually, Christian knowledge, than a Mission composed of Preachers only.
Those Christian Societies who make each member of a Mission, whether experienced or inexperienced, whether judicious or injudicious, whether of twenty years or a day's standing, totally independent of each other; and who from principle reject all authority or control, among the foreign agents themselves, may perhaps elicit more individual effort than is the case where a contrary system is adopted; but they produce not that co-operation, harmony, and general effect which the others do; because the individual efforts are liable to be eccentric and extravagant, conflicting rather than co-operating with each other. A Moravian Missionary Community, with a mild paternal system of episcopal order and subordination, or a control of "Elders," is a more pleasing and edifying spectacle, and perhaps a more efficient agency, than several independent isolated individual Missionaries, without any system of order and co-operation; where not even length of service, nor grey hairs, are allowed any weight; where the "younger" do not "submit themselves to the elder,” but "wrest" the next clause of St. Peter's admonition, so as to make him (by their interpretation) immediately contradict himself, and also the whole scope of the inspired writers, by saying, "Be subject one to another;" as if it meant that all distinctions of age and experience should be confounded, and the precept just uttered be reversed, and that the "elder must submit to the younger."
At home, independent pastors who may be young and injudicious, are kept in their place, and in order, by the common sense of a large body of Pastors, Deacons, and Churches; but in distant lands that check is removed,
Since the "young," in due time, become "elders," this mode of rule is not to be confounded with an aristocratic oligarchy.