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with a Missionary Society. The first principle of Commercial Association is individual temporal advantage; the first principle of Missionary Association is the spiritual and eternal welfare of others. The foreign Agents of Commercial Societies engage in the service for their own private emolument, and properly stand in the relation of servants; the foreign Ministers of Missionary Societies engage, without reward, to carry into effect the benevolent designs of associated Christians, and subscribe to the cause their personal services. They are then Fellowlabourers with the Subscribers and their Managing Representatives at home. As disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, all are equal at the time of their association; and a spirit of devotion to the MASTER, of reciprocal affection to each other, and of good will to men, constitute the only proper impulse to their association, and the only principle on which they should ever continue to act. There is no period at which this equality should cease. affairs to keep secret from each other; no separate or private ends to promote. They do not stand in the relation of master and servant, employer and employed. They should all have but one end; they should meet in one common council. Mutual confidence, esteem, and affection, are essential to the well-being of the association: nay, are essential to the maintenance of its Christian character.
They have no
In secular Associations, the dissevering tendencies of reciprocal jealousies will be overcome by the impulse of private interest; but in a benevolent Association, where there is, in fact, no private interest to serve, mutual jealousies and distrust are ruinous to the whole concern. The subscription of personal service from a man whom the Association does not esteem, and in whom it cannot confide, had better not be accepted; and the Committeeservices of a narrow-minded, money-loving pietist had better not be requested. When the Missionary Class are treated as mere Employés, or hirelings, good men will not join them, and they will gradually become mere mercenaries
and there will be complaints of domination and niggardliness on the one hand, and of rebellion and extravagance on the other; and the spirit of piety will decay, and the love of Christ, which is the soul of Missions, will wax cold-an evil in this enterprize, of much more magnitude than the diminution of funds, or any other which affects not the vital principle.
1. A Director should, we conceive, be like a Missionary, a man of unfeigned piety, conversant with intellectual, spiritual, and eternal realities. A worldly or secularized, merely mercantile mind, that places literary, moral, and religious considerations far behind in the back ground, whilst pecuniary matters are exalted to the chief place and to the highest influence, is unfit for directing the affairs of a Religious Society; because the moral apparatus of wellqualified Ministers, Teachers, and Preachers; Books, Schools, Colleges, and Chapels, will be kept out of the service, for the sake of pecuniary savings.
2. A Director should, like a Missionary, be a devoted disciple of the Lord Jesus. His doings as a Director should be considered as done to the Lord, and not to man. If he look no higher than serving "the public," and consider his gratuitous service as what may either be done or left undone, he is not fit for a Director.
3. He should not consider himself as a Lord over (God's) heritage (τwv kλnpwv), i. e. (as some would say,) the "Clerks or Clergy;" but as an example to the whole Christian flock; and as a Father or a Brother to his fellowservants in distant lands. If they are prosperous and successful, he will no doubt rejoice with them; this is easy: but also if they be unprosperous, and unsuccessful, he will sympathize with them; and if they backslide, he will mourn over them with true sorrow, as a father or a brother would do. If they write unwise letters, recording petty strifes, &c. (for who is wise at all times,) he will reprove and admonish, but not scorn them.
The devout men and women in the land, who supply the funds of Missionary Societies, cherish, no doubt, the kindest possible feelings to good Missionaries; but these
kind feelings must generally be communicated by proxy, through Directors and official Secretaries of Societies. And a good Director or Secretary, who has the "true spirit of Missions," will, from the impulse of his own love and zeal, even outdo the requirements of the pious contributors to the cause. The Churches and pious Friends of Missions, could never mean that Directors or Managing Committees should be Masters over the Foreign Evangelists, but Fellow-helpers to the Truth; a representative medium between the Christian Public and the Foreign Agents; an important and indispensable link in the chain of operations.
4. A man who does not view the welfare of the Universal Church, or the conversion of heathen nations to the faith of Christ, a greater object than the local welfare of his own branch or section of the church, is not well fitted for a Missionary Director. He who is more anxious to retain talent for the sake of Independency or Episcopacy in Scotland, or Presbyterianism in England, than to employ it for the sake of the heathen world—or who thinks it wrong to request an eminent Minister of a particular congregation, to remove and serve the cause of the Universal Church-does not appear to possess the true spirit of Missions. He has far too low an idea of the service which he is called upon to superintend, to provide for it well-qualified Agents, which, after all, constitute its real and its only "dignity." For a Society, however rich, or a National Establishment, however affluent, are, in reference to Christianity, but like the scaffolding employed to rear a magnificent temple. They have neither dignity nor worth in themselves. They are only useful so far as they subserve the end. If the time, and attention, and property, given to rear the temple, be spent on ornamenting the scaffolding, instead of employing good materials, with able and efficient labourers to raise the building, it is very apparent that the time, and attention, and property have all been mis-spent. The Home Management of foreign Missions, is but as the external scaffolding. Christian Labourers, in distant lands, are those alone who can there rear the temple of truth to
Jehovah. Therefore, whilst a good Missionary will be thankful for all the help afforded him, a good Director will rejoice, for the Temple's sake, to afford every possible facility to him who actually labours at it; and all ought to remember, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it."
5. He who would wish to be a good Director, should not undertake too many offices in benevolent Societies. In London benevolent men are generally called upon for more sacrifice of time than their private affairs will admit of; and when they consent to hold many offices, they are liable to do justice to none. Let there be a division of labour. I have known a party of persons enter a committee room an hour and a half after the appointed time of meeting, and interrupt the business by an excessive haste to conclude it, because they had to attend three public meetings on the same evening. In that case they could not do justice to any, and had better have staid away with their half hour of time from that meeting which required four hours to perform the duty of it. A good Director of Missions should be "warmly affected," enthusiastic in their behalf; so as cheerfully to devote to them the time requisite.
6. A good Director will inform himself as fully as possible of the circumstances of each Mission; the character of the people among whom it labours, the persons who constitute it, their wants, their difficulties, their sufferings, their sorrows, and their joys. He is not a man who merely desires the end, whilst he neglects the ordinary and requisite means.
7. He who directs well, is worthy of great honour, both from his fellow Christians, and from the Missionaries; and he will, no doubt, receive eventually the approbation of his Saviour. The most sincere and purest motives must have influenced the leading men, in the late revival of Missions, to bear them onward, in attending to the duties of their office. Their reward has been in their work; the Saviour's glory, and the eternal happiness of kindred spirits, have, we believe, been ever pre
sent to their minds. Such men boast not of their services to the public, nor regret the discomfort to which those services must often have subjected them. Nor have their families any real cause to regret the time taken from their society, and devoted to the general interests of the Redeemer's kingdom; for, "If any man serve me, (said the blessed Jesus,) him will my Father honour."