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to Persia, addressed to Rev. W. S. Plumer of Virginia. It is dated Constantinople, Aug. 11, 1835.
“I have written Mr. Anderson, of the American Board, on this subject, and I rely on you, my dear brother, to aid him in procuring a suitable missionary for that place. It is very desirable that whoever you send should
possess a knowledge of medicine, as this would at once give him access to every family in the city, and enable him to open wider doors of usefulness to the missionaries now at that station. Well-educated and pious physicians are extremely needed in all these countries : there should be one at every station, not for the benefit of missionary families alone, but to prepare the way for the preacher of righteousness, by enlarging the circle of acquaintance, and by inculcating truth in professional calls. While the medical profession is overflowing in America, have none of the hundreds that annually graduate, piety and devotedness enough to do good to the bodies and souls of the unevangelized ? I believe the attention of medical men has never been turned to this subject. Will you, my brother, tell them something about Luke the beloved physician,' who was Paul's companion in travel and labor? The Board wish to send me a medical associate ; and if you recollect the long and weary wanderings assigned me, you, too, may perhaps think it important that I should have such a companion ; but Mr. Anderson writes me that it is out of the question, at least for the present, because no physician for this purpose can be found. Don't let the profession sleep over the cause of missions any longer. When you arouse them, point the attention of some to the Mohammedans.”
In the Journal of the late Dr. Dodge, American Missionary in Syria, we find the following ; evincive of an ardent desire on the part of many there, to procure medical aid at the hands of skilful physicians.
“ April 1. At Bozra. We did not let it be known at Ezra that I was a physician, and so were not troubled ; but after we left, a man came after us from Habub, for medicines, and this made the thing known. Last evening, about sunset, a man arrived from Ezra for medicines ; said he came the whole distance (25 miles) at one run; and that, if it had not rained, many others would have come.
A man followed us from Zoneida for medicines. A man overtook us at Bozra for medicines from beyond Zoneida.
“ 3. We were followed to Edrei by two men, one from Kareh, and one from Bozra, for medicines.”
Frorn a general letter of the missionaries stationed in Syria and the Holy Land.
“But it is not merely, nor chiefly, to attend to the health of the mission families, that a physician should come to this country. At each of our stations a wide and inviting field of missionary labor is open before him and white to the harvest. He can enter it even before learning the language. With the assistance of an interpreler (and interpreters can now be found at all our stations) he can enter immediately upon his work. He can visit persons and families, to which, without his influence, his fellow missionaries could have no access. He becomes at once, in a large sense, a benefactor to the community ; goes about doing good to the bodies and souls of men ; and in a thousand ways opens the door of usefulness to his associates. Now it is scarcely necessary to say that if this is a work of importance at any of our stations, it is such at the other also. And really were one physician now to join our mission, it might become a question of no small difficulty to determine where he should be stationed. It is our deliberate opinion that every missionary station in this country, with which you connect a physician, will gain a more speedy and firm hold of the public confidence, than those which are with
Would it not, therefore, be good economy in every respect, if a much larger proportion of your missionaries were physicians, than has hitherto been the
It were easy to multiply facts and opinions favorable to our general design. Many of an equally interesting character to those presented in the last three chapters, remain in our port-folio. The only difficulty has been to make a candid selection.
An illustration of the probable working of our plan. Course of study
recommended. Some objections to it considered.
The facts that have just passed under our notice amply prove, that the gratuitous healing of the sick in heathen communities, arrests public attention toward the individual exercising the healing art; and secures for him a warm welcome to persons and places almost inaccessible by others. It calls into exercise a sense of gratitude on the part of the persons benefited, and on that of their friends and neighbors. In truth, we have seen that it awakens the kindest feelings toward him in the bosom of all to whom a knowledge of the benevolence comes.
Here, it should be remembered, that, the evidence adduced, is not confined to one nation, or taken from one class of persons. Neither are the witnesses medical men, who seek to magnify in the public estimation, their office. For the most part, they are ordained missionaries. Some of them are unconnected with missionary societies or efforts ;-men, whose object in writing, was not to aid in evangelizing the nations.
Another feature of the evidence is, that, it was not given in answer to particular inquiries by one who was endeavoring to draw out,—by cross examination and implication,--arguments of the nature contemplated. In other words, the principal part of the testimony was casually procured. This is a point of some interest ; inasmuch as it shows, that, without pre-concert or interchange
of views, a general sentiment favorable to the plan, exists. Had specific inquiries been instituted, it would not have been difficult so to frame a series of questions, as should lead to the expression of an opinion, equally favorable to the general merits of the matter under discussion ; even if that opinion were, strictly speaking, far less favorable than we suppose it really to be. This does not imply any want of candor in the persons who might answer the interrogatories. It implies, ivtentionally so, that there is often an unfair coloring given to a subject by a sort of special questioning which is resorted to. And hence it is that, to our mind, the testimony we have presented, is peculiarly valuable. The facts were recorded from time to time as they were furnished by occasional reading and correspondence. These considerations, added to the amount of the evidence, (coming as it does from many persons in the four quarters of the globe) must entitle it to the most respectful and candid notice,
Our attention may now be turned to a remark which was made in the first chapter of this work ; namely, that the general plan now under consideration will find a ready response in the bosom of many of the youth in the church, who, but for it, would not enter the missionary service. It is believed that this is a position, not only tenable, but fraught with great importance. Illustrative of it, and of the practical application and probable working of our plan, let the following case be supposed..
A young man,--twenty-five years of age-of sound sense and ardent piety, well accustomed to Sabbath School teaching, and other benevolent duties pertaining to laymen; becomes deeply impressed with the spiritual