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importance to commence such labours, than accurately to resolve the comparative claims of different latitudes of the globe to become their primary scene. The ‘great salvation' is the patrimony of the world; and every portion of the human race, accessible to christian agency, is equally eligible to its mercies. The early dispensers of the gospel did not tarry in one region until all its population received it. Some, it is confessed, were driven from their native province by the terror and force of persecution; but others risked the perils of a missionary life, amongst remote and even barbarous tribes, from the purest charity to the souls of men. Nor is it supposable, that the devotion indispensable to originate, and keep in vigorous movement, a system of exertion and sacrifice such as foreign missions require, should be long prosecuted without producing a decisively salutary influence at home. That 'love of Christ,' which constrains a tender and an obedient heart, is too impatient to effect the good it meditates, to be holden in arrest, until a cautious, calculating, secular wisdom, has formed its decisions; and too deferential to supreme authority, to regard them when enunciated. A prudential worldly man, aye, and many a sober' christian, may deem the votary of such a principle to be “beside himself;' whilst he, conscious of no desire but to please God, is content to appeal from the judgment of men to His. *If we be beside ourselves, it is to God.' It is too often assumed that men, fervent and prompt, must be indiscreet; and that those of cool temperament and slow movement must be wise. But what hinders the com
bination of a feeling heart with a bright, sound, and discriminating intelligence? And why should we deem it conclusive, that the man who cannot feel, must therefore think profoundly and judge rightly? Must the noblest nature on earth be the least of all consistent with itself, and be destined to so great an absurdity, as to present its main attributes in necessary and ceaseless hostility? If a fair history of our moral nature could be exhibited, it would perhaps be found that the most feeling men were the most reflecting. The very attention they give to great and benevolent objects renders them vigilant observers of providential occurrences, and anxious to adopt the most promising means for compassing them.
The sensibilities of a christian heart being once excited, they will be easily provoked into new and further developments, and wrought to higher intensity, as legitimate occasions are supplied. More than half the popular charities of this kingdom have been devised and brought into active operation since foreign missions commenced; and the wealth by which they are replenished, is derived principally from the same source. But, persons who demur at contributing to evangelizing the heathen abroad, because, as they allege, “they have heathen at home, will be found to be those to whom these heathen at home' are least of all indebted. When making some slight effort a few years ago in Philadelphia, in behalf of female schools in India,' a department of missionary labour then of recent origin, those who met me with rigid mien, declaring they could not
consistently, nor in conscience, divert their benevolence
if give an equal sum,' said the christian friend. I did not mean that,' replied the objector. “But,' continued he, ‘if you must go from home, why so far. Think of the miserable poor of Ireland. “I will give £ to the poor of Ireland, if you will do the same.' I did not mean that, either,' was the reply. No, it is neither this nor that, which this class of objectors exactly mean ; but, simply to veil their criminal parsimony by excepting against the proceedings of liberal men, whom, if they could not condemn, they must, for
very shame, in some degree imitate. In the Baptist denomination itself there were strong difficulties to encounter. Many, from the doctrinal views they had embraced, were deeply prejudiced
against all missionary labours. Others objected, or held back from directly giving encouragement, or sharing in the responsibility, from prudential considerations. The project arose in an obscure part of the kingdom, and among brethren, at that time, but little celebrated. The scene chosen on which first to assay it, was remote, and but little known. To reach and occupy it would of course be very expensive; whilst the issue was doubtful. To make such an attempt and fail, must incur disappointment, and perhaps dishonour. They were not disposed to commit themselves, and to compromise the denomination to a mere experiment. Of all the metropolitan ministers, only one, it appears, was of a different mind; and when a meeting was holden in the city to consider the propriety of forming a Society auxiliary to the one originated in Northamptonshire, the proposition was negatived by an overwhelming majority, and a very respectable and pious gentleman, nominated to receive subscriptions, was not induced to accept the office. I have heard Dr. Carey, notwithstanding, speak with gratitude of the personal respect with which he was treated, both by Dr. Stennett and the venerable Abraham Booth. He also, when in London, made the acquaintance of Mr. Newton, who advised him with the fidelity and tenderness of a father; and encouraged him to persevere in his purpose despite of all opposition. What,' says Mr. Carey, “if the Company should send us home upon our arrival in Bengal? Then, conclude,' said he, that
Lord has nothing there for you to accomplish. But, if he have, no power on earth can hinder you.
The reader is already apprised that Mr. Carey was proceeding to embark for India without his wife. All persuasions to induce Mrs. Carey to accompany him, at present, were utterly vain. To resign her eldest son, Felix, was the utmost to which her consent could be obtained. His mind was irrevocably fixed upon the mission, whatever pain, or perplexity, or odium the pursuit of it might involve. Some will find it difficult to award their approbation to his conduct. But, to judge accurately, we must do our best to realize his circumstances. The conviction, that it was his duty to go and preach the gospel to the heathen, unless an absolute physical impossibility should present itself, was, in his judgment, as imperative as that of discipleship itself. He could as soon cease to be a christian, in other words, as he could consent to relinquish his
purpose of discipling some portion of the idolatrous world to Christ. As to the piety and integrity of the procedure, none who knew him entertained the shadow of a doubt; the wisdom of it was a secondary matter, capable of distinct consideration, and upon which different parties might pronounce differently, as they were able to appreciate the motives of the individual, and according to the estimation in which they held his design. Subsequent occurrences, as the reader will presently see, resolved this dilemma. It may be just to remark, however, in passing, that it was his full determination to return to England when the mission had obtained a footing, hoping that he might then persuade Mrs. Carey to return with him, as it might seem to her less perilous, than it was to adventure at first, when the path was untrodden.