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the strength of God, by faith and prayer and holy resolution, to meet it, and to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord, he is not fit for the missionary office.
Mr. Hough assumes high ground in this matter. He does not think that even a tender sympathy for the souls of men, and a willingness to suffer much in the duties of his office, are of themselves sufficient to qualify a man for the arduous work of striving to convert the heathen to the knowledge and faith of Christ. There may be much of young, warm, feeling, which may be chilled in the freezing atmosphere of a heathen land: there needs therefore, besides mere untried ardour, industry in the application of principles, singleness of purpose, decision of character, patience of spirit, fervency in prayer, and simplicity of dependence upon God. But to keep these qualities and graces in constant exercise, there must be, says Mr. Hough, an entire devotion of heart to the cause in which the missionary is engaged.
"Young persons are often seen to enter with all the fervour of youth upon the superficial consideration of this subject. Affected by descriptions of heathen ignorance, abominations, and moral degradation, they are all alive to go forth and pluck them 'as brands from the burning' of Divine wrath. Stimulated by the memoirs of a Swartz, a Brainerd, or a Martyn, they are impatient to tread in their steps. But there may be much that is artificial in all this flow of feeling. The tenderness of spirit, the unaffected piety, the astonishing successes of those devoted men, and even the interesting descriptions of their sickness, or their toils, cast a glow of enchantment over their histories which throws their sufferings into the shade. But the feeling thus excited is not necessarily that of devotion to the cause in which they lived and died. It may be no more than an ebullition of animal spirits; and all such unsubstantial emotions will evaporate, when brought to the test of trials similar to those of the holy men just named. The missionary candidate ought to know, that he may be called to endure more than they endured, without meeting with any of their success; and he should ask himself, seriously and devoutly, whether he is prepared for such a disappointment. Let him weigh, fairly and deliberately, the encouragements and discouragements; and if the latter seem to preponderate, it is his duty to pause, at least; for if he shrink in the contemplation of suffering, how can he expect to endure the reality? But if nothing can deter him, and he feels ready to suffer and to die in the cause, and is content to have his name soon forgotten by man, who then will be bold enough to dissuade him from the work?" pp. 14—16.
This devotedness can only be kept up, under the Divine blessing, by constant prayer; and the missionary must be eminently a man of prayer. The powerful effect of such a spirit upon the heathen, Mr. Hough says, is often very remarkable.
"Unlike the profane of this Christian land, who delight in treating the most eminent piety with the bitterest scorn, the heathen know how to appreciate such characters. They regard as oracles the devotees of their own religion who are most attentive to its numerous ceremonies, and look with similar veneration upon the devout Christian. Though unable to weigh the comparative merits of different creeds, or unwilling to renounce their own, yet they expect the teachers of every religion to be men of prayer; and they would not easily be persuaded to attend to the instructions or rebukes of the Christian minister who should be negligent of private devotion. When calling on a friend, 1 have been interested and pleased to find my palankeen stopped at the door, with this reason assigned, in a whisper, Master at prayer:' and never, even when on a journey, have I been disturbed, if the bearers knew me to be so engaged." p. 19.
In reply to the question, What constitutes a call to the missionary work, Mr. Hough remarks:
"Under these four heads, his ability for the work, his willingness to undertake it, his freedom from those ties which prohibit the engagement, and the reasonable prospect of his succeeding,'-the missionary candidate may so arrange his thoughts, feelings, and relative obligations, as to enable him to ascertain the reality of his call. Let him beware of presuming to tread on this hallowed ground merely to escape from the monotony or drudgery of a secular occupation, or to obtain a competent provision, or to gratify a restless ambition or thirst for adventure. In a word, if he is conscious of any defect in his constitution of mind or body; or of any moral irregularity in his habits and feelings; or of any circumstance in his situation that may be unfavourable to the attainment of his object; and yet intends to conceal the fact
from those to whom he applies for the appointment, lest it should disappoint his expectations; I do not hesitate to assert, that such intention is alone an evidence against his call. For he wants moral integrity: and without this, however numerous or imposing his other qualifications may be, and to whatever useful purposes they might be applied at home; they would prove in a missionary as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."" pp. 31, 32.
It has been generally recommended both for their own sake and for the sake of the heathen, that missionaries should be married men; and certainly one of the most lovely exhibitions of the beauty and excellence of true religion is a well-ordered religious family. The usefulness of the wives of missionaries in the native schools, and as helps meet for their husbands in their arduous labours, have been often dwelt upon; but Mr. Hough seems very much to doubt whether, as a general rule, the marriage of missionaries is desirable. He speaks, indeed, in the highest terms of the valuable aid and solace rendered to their husbands by the wives of missionaries; but he adds:
"Notwithstanding this concession, which is cordially made, as the result of my observations on most missionaries' wives whom I have had the pleasure of knowing in India; yet ought the young missionary to be cautioned against premature marriage. The only inference I wish him to draw from these observations is this, that a wife is not so indispensable, and the probabilities of her sharing in his peculiar work are not so great, as he may have been led to suppose. Swartz and others laboured long and successfully without marrying. The circumstances of the country for which a missionary is destined may be such as to demand of him no trifling sacrifice of feeling or convenience, and even to expose him to imminent danger. In such a case, it
would certainly be his duty to attend to the advice which St. Paul gave to unmarried Christians in the unsettled and perilous state of the primitive church. The difficulties and embarrassments of a foreign station are sometimes unknown, nor can they be imagined at a distance from the scene. A right minded missionary would disregard them were he exposed alone to their consequences; but he would be unworthy of the love and confidence of a tender wife did he not feel distressed at the bare apprehension of her suffering with him. I have seldom, indeed, known one who was not as ready to endure such trials as her companion, and have more than once been put to shame by the female's patience in trouble and fortitude in danger. But that very circumstance is calculated to increase her husband's uneasiness at her sufferings; and his regret, if not self-reproach, that he has inconsiderately brought her into such a situation. I cannot, therefore, refrain from advising the missionary to consider the expediency of marrying at the commencement of his career on grounds very different from that of necessity, which has hitherto been assumed. Nor do I hesitate to declare my opinion, that it is very inexpedient." pp. 35, 36.
But whether married or unmarried, or whatever his worldly condition, the Christian missionary ought to be eminently a man of spiritual graces and especially of faith.
"Without a steady reliance on the promises and truth of God, he cannot persevere. Brought into contact with the mass of superstition that enslaves the minds, and demoralizes the hearts of the heathen; entering the habitations of cruelty' which fill those dark places of the earth;' he is appalled, and his heart sickens, at the sights and the sounds that assail him: and if he calculate only upon human means and ability to demolish this Babel, he must despair of success. Often will he find,
that every effort to induce the heathen to relax their hold of lying vanities,' seems only to increase the tenacity with which they cling to them: and nothing but a perpetual recurrence to the promises of Jehovah, and a reliance on their fulfilment, can keep him stedfast in the path of duty, and always abounding in the work of the Lord.' The Almighty hath declared, As the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.' To his Son He hath promised, Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.' With such assurances, we ought not for one moment to question the possibility of success, how unpromising soever present appearances may be. Failure is impossible, if it be true that 'the word of the Lord endureth for ever.' Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.' And, 'from the beginning,' He knew also the various impediments that would arise to the accomplishment of His work of mercy. Yet, notwithstanding, His promise is absolute, without reference to any contingency whatever, that the wisdom of His Gospel shall one day fill, its glory illumine, and its harmony
bless 'all the ends of the earth. To forget this will be fatal to the missionary's peace of mind, and a constant check to his exertions. Though his prospects be discouraging, yet let him always revert to the promises, and remember that the day will come when Jesus Christ'shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.' To believe this-really, habitually, practically to believe this-will leave no room in the mind for a doubt of ultimate success, though for the present impediments and enemies to the truth may prevail. If we only have faith in God,' He can enable us to walk over the troubled waters, or pp. 39-41.
to cast mountains into the sea."
With faith dwells hope; and hope is strikingly a missionary virtue, Faith is an anchor to the soul: it renders it steady amidst the waves and the blast but hope adds to it wings, and enables the missionary to aspire far above the region of doubts, disappointments, and ominous prognostics, and to breathe a portion of the ardour and the happiness of heaven. Mr. Hough strikingly shews that hope may be often indulged, even when the present prospect is cloudy, by the instance of the Tinnivelly mission in
"The numerous conversions in that district during the past ten years have surpassed the belief of those persons who judge of their probability by what they observe in other parts of India. Whole families, entire villages, have together renounced their idolatries, and embraced the Christian faith; and certainly, nothing like this has taken place in any other district of the East-India Company's possessions. But it ought to be remembered, that this is one of the fields which Swartz planted, and Janicke cultivated with so much industry and zeal. They were not called to their rest, indeed, without reaping much fruit from their labours, having established numerous congregations in the district. But it was left for others to gather in a fuller harvest. When we consider the vast disproportion between the recent successes there and those of other Indian missions, I am sure that the indefatigable missionaries of Tinnevelly would not thank me, nor would it be just, were I to attribute the disparity to a superiority of talent, fidelity, or zeal in them over their brethren at other stations. Some, with equal piety, energy, and ability, seem to be labouring to little purpose; while they have found the fields 'white already to harvest' (John iv. 35). How is this to be accounted for? May we not fairly ascribe it to the seed sown by Swartz and others in the last century? And ought not this fact to encourage the hope of future missionaries, that their labour also will not be vain in the Lord.'" pp. 47, 48. Thus encouraged, the missionary may cherish hope, though he sees no immediate fruit; and it is his duty and his happiness to be "patient unto the coming of the Lord," as the husbandman "waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain."
With faith and hope, is united love that master principle of the soul of the true missionary, which leads him to imitate the Great Shepherd and Bishop of souls in desiring to gather sheep into his fold, and to feed those which are in it. Next follows zeal, without which no man can be a useful missionary. A good man, not conspicuously marked by this characteristic, may work with some degree of usefulness and acceptance in the quiet routine of a Christian parish; he may attend his church and occasionally inspect his schools, and spend his allotted hour in visiting the sick; but a much more earnest spirit is necessary to bear up amidst the toils of the missionary vineyard.
Mr. Hough gives us a very useful chapter on missionary studies. The missionary must study the language of the place where he is stationed, and in some instances his talents as a linguist may be useful in translating the Word of God and religious publications; general information also is valuable; but the true missionary is an active and practical man, and cannot afford to be a close student. Literary mental recreation is often one of the first things he must sacrifice, in order to become a man of one book and one subject. Mr. Hough earnestly cautions the missionary against extending his studies to the idle religious novelties of the day. What have the heathen to do with the mountebank fooleries which too often disgrace the very name of religion; where men, having long had wholesome spiri
tual food in abundance, have begun to hunger after shewy garnish and stimulating condiment-perhaps luscious poison.
"Avoid all theories, the tendency of which is to divert you from your obvious duties. No speculation seems to be too visionary, no pretension too preposterous, to obtain currency in the Christian church and it requires unwearied vigilance, with constant and fervent prayer, to preserve the imagination from the seductions of such flattering pursuits. No strength of human understanding, nor any extent of literary acquisitions, can render a man proof against their influence. To some persons the fascination of novelty seems to be irresistible: and too often do we see even men eminent for piety, and zealous for the honour of God, led away from the obvious path of Christian duty in which they were diligently walking, by notions which, even if correct, could lead to no practical result of sufficient importance to compensate for the loss of services thereby neglected. Every inducement to such aberrations I cannot but regard as a device of the devil." p. 67.
A facility in preaching in the language of the country, or rather in conveying in a striking manner familiar religious instruction and exposition, is very important to the missionary. We know what interest Bishop Heber excited among the natives of India, by pronouncing the benediction in Tamul, and every clergyman who resides where the Welch or Irish language is spoken, is aware what a passport it is to the hearts of his people, and, perhaps unavailingly, laments that he does not possess the ability to preach or converse in that tongue. As to the topics of missionary preaching, and we may add of all preaching, Mr. Hough remarks:
"The pious missionary, with the Bible in hand, can never be at a loss for a subject. He will find all the parables and miracles of our Lord both interesting and profitable. Simplicity should be his study. Let him dwell much on the first principles of religion. Nothing is to be assumed as admitted or understood. The heathen ought to be regarded and addressed as children, for they are as ignorant as children of the rudiments of the Gospel. The Lord's Prayer contains more wisdom than all their Vedas and Shasters together. Bearing this ignorance in mind, it is hardly possible to be too plain in addressing them. It is almost superfluous to say, that the simplicity here recommended is compatible with the faithful declaration of all that is necessary to make the heathen 'wise unto salvation.' The sublimest and most essential truths of the Gospel may find an appropriate illustration in objects familiar to the senses, and be rendered intelligible to the capacity of a child." pp. 77, 78.
The cautions in the chapter upon intercourse with the natives appear very judicious; but a much more difficult chapter is that on the missionary's caution with his own countrymen. In India, in Africa, in the West Indies, and wherever the British flag is unfurled, Europeans are, or have been, one of the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of the reception of Christianity by the natives. Missionaries, if they would not impede their own labours and prove traitors to their God, are often obliged to shun the company of their own countrymen in foreign lands. The Quarterly Review has lately entertained its readers with some extracts from a foolish flippant book, by a wanderer over the earth, of the name of Earle, in which he complains that the Church missionaries in New Zealand did not behave hospitably to him and his companions, and that they avoided their company. We know nothing of this particular case; but from the circumstances admitted by the Quarterly Review itself, we think it most probable that a party of drunken sailors landed, with the express object of corrupting the women of the place, some of whom were too probably in the party whom the missionaries declined inviting to their peaceful aud virtuous dwellings. Was it want of hospitality, that a party of missionaries with their wives and sons and daughters around them, and with the eyes of the natives fixed upon them for examples of Christian life, avoided countenancing the idle. drunken, and vicious "frolics," mildly so called, of a licentious boat's crew? The Quarterly Review may be well ashamed of itself for introducing Mr. Earle's idle charge against the missionaries, and, above all, in that worst of all ways, hoping with all due candour it may not be true, publishing it with a view to elicit explanation, and so forth. Mr. Earle's charges are bold and
bluff; but the Quarterly Reviewer's are in the spirit so well described by Mr. Canning, in his epistle to a former editor of that work, Mr. Gifford : "Much may be said on both sides.' Hark, I hear
A well-known voice that murmurs in iny ear—
Black's not so black, nor white so very white."
In India, as elsewhere, the missionaries had formerly much to encounter from their licentious countrymen, whose vices their presence silently rebuked, even when their conduct was most unobtrusive and inoffensive. They were not indeed beheaded like John the Baptist, or tarred, feathered, and brought within an inch of the gibbet as in the West Indies; but they suffered such insults and misrepresentations both in the scene of their labours and in the mother country, as are not easily endured by men who are not strengthened by higher than earthly motives and supports. We rejoice to say, that in India the aspect of affairs in this respect has greatly improved; there are few stations in which a missionary may not find friends to welcome and aid him: but in the West Indies the spirit of persecution is worse than ever; and, strangely enough, it affects to take the aspect of zeal for the Church of England.
Mr. Hough resumes the important subject of the missionary's intercourse with the natives, with a more immediate view to the circumstances of India. His large experience of the Hindoo character does not lead him to echo the panegyrics of those who have undertaken to shew that Christianity is not very necessary for Hindostan, at least at present, as the people are incomparably good without it. He says:
"The human heart is naturally the same every where-morally corrupt; and often do its foulest weeds seem to flourish with rank luxuriance within the reach of means best adapted to check their growth. From Hindoos, however, you have nothing else reasonably to expect. Their religion and education provide not a solitary antidote for the worst passions of the heart. They have no moral principle to guide or restrain them. They understand one another so well, that a father will rarely trust his own son in pecuniary matters: and I know of no security against their dishonest practices but that of constant vigilance over every one in your service." p. 10.
Much has been said of late as to the right line of conduct in admitting converts to baptism. Some missionaries have thought, that an apparently sincere belief of the general doctrine involved in the baptismal benediction, or even the shorter formula "if thou believe in the Lord Jesus Christ," was sufficient for baptism; and that the catechuman was to learn the chief points of faith and duty more perfectly afterwards. Others have thought it requisite to insist upon a considerable period of instruction and probation; that the convert might be found to be a convert indeed, before he was received into the visible church of Christ. This has been the general practice of modern Protestant missionary societies; and we think it the most safe, judicious, and scriptural. Mr. Hough defends this view of the question as follows:
"If a missionary would grow rich in faith,' be filled with all joy and peace in believing,' and abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost,' he must exercise great caution in receiving those who profess to believe the Gospel. He ought to subject them to a close and careful examination, and to extend the period of their probation until a reasonable time has been given for any sinister motive that may exist to develop itself. He must expect especially to be tried by the dissimulation of persons coming to him for instruction, under apparent impressions of the truth, but who at length will evince that they were actuated from the first by worldly expectations. He should be prepared for the frequent recurrence of such cases in a heathen land. Many an inquirer will come day after day, listen attentively to what he hears avow himself convinced of its truth, and seem to promise well; when,