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of labor will be needed, other than those within the legitimate sphere of existing organizations.
It may here be urged, that if a resort to any arguments, other than the simple command uttered on Olivet's side, be necessary, in order to induce men to become missionaries, such persons had better remain in the walks of secular life. To this it is replied, that the command of our ascended Lord should ever be the grand argument in every appeal. This must be kept prominent and distinct; for only as it shall have control in the bosom of the missionary will he be able to sustain the manifold and often appalling realities of his laborious life.
Romance may picture to the fervent fancy the waving palm-tree of Orient climes, and there may be some who imagine that, beneath its shade, it were an easy matter to gather and instruct a group of listening idolaters; and, that there the Christian warfare would be less severe than in lands of cold reality. But ah! romance shall lay her pencil by; and youth shall depart; and manhood's strength shall give place to premature age ; and then the missionary must be borne onward in his work, only by the consideration that his blessed Lord bade him toil. peat, therefore, that the simple command of Jesus Christ should be the paramount argument in our addresses to those we wish to become missionaries.
But, admitting this, it is not sinful or unwise to turn to account any natural law of mind. Whatever may be affirmable of the affections and tendencies of the heart, no one will deny that the laws which pertain to, and constitute man's mental organization, are wise and "good ;" and are intended to be used in his various relations, wheth
er these pertain to religious or to secular matters. Curiosity—the desire for adventure-the wish to secure a good name as an inheritance for our posterity, and other of the minor instinctive laws of our nature, may well be appealed to in the case under consideration. It becomes sinful to encourage them, only when their exercise would be injurious to their possessor or to others.
Neither is it unwise to throw around the subject of missions all the sublime considerations with which it stands in connexion, whether these pertain to this life or to that which is to come; and by plans and arguments adapted to individual peculiarities of thought and taste, to induce all within our influence to respond to the Macedonian cry by personal consecration to the service.
In the catalogue of names of a little missionary band in one of our literary institutions, is that of an individual -beloved for his great moral worth by all who know him—to whom the principle we have just been considering has been applied; and to its operation may be attributed his leaving the walks of secular life, to prepare for missionary labor on a foreign strand. This change of purpose was not the result of an impulsive, inconsiderate determination, brought about by the speciousness of a recent theory. His very remarkable staidness, to use a word of more intenseness, the better to express the character of his mind, not only substantiates the above position, but proves that it is not the enthusiastic and buoyant only that require, or can appreciate, the special motives to which allusion has been made. The identical plan presented in this volume was urged upon bis attention. Its unique character, its simplicity, its adaptation to the wants
and woes of heathenism, its striking resemblance to the mode of missionary labor marked out in detail by the Saviour, constrained him to leave a life of comfortable toil to which he had become attached, and almost penniless to commence a course of preparation for the missionary service. Once has spring thrown over the bosom of earth her robe of green, and autumn has come and clad the forests in their seared livery, since this noble youth made the high resolve, and he still toils on. In days to come, should God guard his life, he will doubtless be seen in India, a faithful laborer in his master's vineyard; and to the application of the principle under discussion, will many poor heathen be indebted for physical relief, and for eternal life.
There is now, in a foreign mission field, a feniale whose present course of life was finally decided upon by the principle under discussion. He whose duty it shall be to write the history of her life, when she shall have passed away to yonder better world, will not fail to record, that the adaptation of motive to the peculiar structure of her mind, and to her modes of thinking, called forth energies which few supposed she possessed. There are, doubtless, many others in the missionary corps, to whom this remark will apply, but this individual is singled out for the purpose of more exact notice, as allustrating the point in hand. The
The person referred to was a faithful Christian at home, adorning the doctrines of the gospel in all things. But, like Deborah, she was endowed with qualifications for more enlarged efforts than were required within the limited circle of her native village. The hidden fire of christian enterprise burned within her bosom, and she
panted for a wider field. Although she performed, as has been hinted, every relative duty in the circle where her more youthful days were passed, and was in every good work the first and the best, yet there was nothing apparent to the general observer, that marked her with superiority. It is true there were a chosen few who knew her character, and who were well certain that in fulness of time its developments would extensively bless her species, and put high honor upon her sex. At length, the spring of her peculiar mental constitution was touched. The providence of God, to which she had long looked in secret, presented, by a chain of unexpected circumstances, an enterprise that demanded the prompt exercise of all that was high and courageous in her nature. In the field of foreign service to which she had been invited, peculiar difficulties and dangers were to be looked for, and almost unsurpassed responsibilities were to be assumed. These very features of the case, probably had more weight in leading her to the determination of going upon that service than any and all other considerations, save the command of her Sovereign Lord.
It was not pride or self-confidence that led to this experience, for the grace of humility seemed pre-eminently to adorn her, and to throw around her lovely character, its soft and mellow tints. The secret of the matter was simply this, that that service was most congenial to her cast of mind, which should call for the exercise of the higher powers with which nature had endowed her. Call this romance, or whatever else we please ; it is almost invariably the experience of the most gifted spirits ;-of those who are destined by God for great and enduring
usefulness. Let those be appealed to whose names stand out on the page of history (its gems and stars of glory) as philanthropists of the higher order. They will tell of this hidden desire to grapple with giant evils, and to guage the most profound depths of human wretchedness. It is true “they were faithful over a few things” while as yet Providence had not led them out of the common routine of the Christian's life ; but while thus faithful, they longed and panted with almost irrepressible ardor for a field whose culture should demand greater things at their hands.
Lest a misunderstanding of our meaning arise, it may be permitted to repeat what has before been asserted, namely, that the duty of the Christian to consecrate all his
powers and resources to the work of the world's salvation is positive, whether he be or be not pressed by his fellow men with motives to do thus. Simple principle must govern his decision. This is the ground of his personal responsibility, and which never can be shifted or evaded.
But while we scrupulously avoid every consideration that would invest the enterprise of missions with the drapery of romance or fiction, let us clothe it with all its moral grandeur. Let no one of its hallowed and beautiful contingencies be kept out of sight. Let it be seen that the ardent, the adventurous, and the bold, can find, in the prosecution of its designs, abundant scope for all their powers. So let it stand out before the world, that all shall confess, both pious and profane, that it is a work of the most intense interest.
To one class of minds let one variety of considerations