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then we are utterly unable to see what propriety there is in calling the plan a new one; how it differs from the measures long since adopted and carried into execution by our various missionary boards. For they have their physician-missionaries who are unmarried ; who itinerate; who, in short, bear all the characteristics of the missionaries described in this work, except this single one. But how far would the author make them independent? In the first place, they are to be independent of eristing missionary boards, or of boards who sustain other classes of missionaries, for support. The author, indeed, would not have the new class of missionaries entirely left to themselves to provide means of subsistence in a foreign land. Here even he would depart from the strict letter of our Savior's instructions to his seventy disciples and to the twelve apostles. Yet he supposes, that medical missionaries might derive a great part of their support from wealthy natives or European families, in which their skill would be eagerly sought. How this idea consists with that of itinerancy, it is a little difficult to perceive. The suggestion is, however, one of great importance and worthy of the attention of all the friends of missions. Perhaps, many individuals who, from diffidence of their own capabilities, are unwilling to make themselves burdensome to the church, or fear lest, by giving themselves to the missionary work, they might use funds too precious to be wasted on instrumentalities so feeble, might be induced to enter on the work with such a prospect before them of sustaining themselves.

Independence in labor, also, seems to be implied or necessarily involved in the scheme. The missionaries on this new plan are not to be attached to stations, as are most of our present physician-missionaries. They are not to be associated with other missionaries in any such way as missionaries are now associated, for purposes of mutual aid, sympathy, and counsel; to divide labor, or otherwise to avail themselves of the advantages of associated effort. They are to do nothing towards perpetuating the establishment of christianity. It is present effect which seems to be aimed at. This new order of missionaries are to operate on those with whom they come in contact. They are to teach them the truths of the gospel, and pass on to other cities. They are to sow the seed; and then leave the field. This seems necessarily incidental to the feature of itinerancy.

The author, in the practical development of the scheme, has drawn out at length a course of study for this order of missionVOL. X.


aries. But, as this is not important to the success of the plan, and is not necessarily connected with it, we pass it without further notice.

This, then, is the outline of the plan, as we have been led to view it from the work before us. The arguments relied on in support of it are :-its conformity to the plan drawn out by Christ himself in his commission to the apostles and the Seventy ; its adaptation to the cause of heathenism; its economy, and its tendency to call into the missionary work many who are, or feel themselves to be, debarred by existing missionary organizations.

In urging the first argument, principles of reasoning are adopted which demand attention. The author insists, that our Savior's commission must be followed in its strictness, unless one or all of three points are first clearly established; "namely, that the apostles and the Seventy were not missionaries in the proper sense of that term ; or, secondly, that there is a radical difference in the circumstances which now meet the missionary in foreign lands and those under which the first missionaries were first placed ; or, lastly, that there was an object then desired as the result of missionary labor which is not now desirable. In other words, it must be shown, that the former and latter missionaries have not an identity of office, a similarity of obstacles to combat, and a oneness of purpose.” These several positions he proceeds to examine separately, and concludes that they cannot be maintained. He seems, after all, inclined to the opinion, that “the entire mode of procedure" marked out in this commission, "in all its severe and homely details, is to be followed, before the success of the mission cause shall be at all commensurate with its desired end." This conclusion, indeed, he does not press in all its strictness. Yet it is so prominently urged, that it deserves a passing notice.

It is obvious, that the three positions named are, each of them so indefinite in their terms, that the affirmative and the negative of all can be reasonably and truly maintained. He, for instance, is a missionary who is sent. There is an “identity of office" in all who are sent, in a certain sense. There is a striking "similarity” and also a striking dissimilarity in the circumstances in which the former and the latter missionaries are placed. Probably no two minds would agree as to the precise degree of dissimilarity which would constitute "a radical difference.” The purpose aimed at in the commission to the apostles, and by modern missionaries, is one in a certain sense,

and not so in another. Hence no decisive issue can even be made out of a question thus presented.

More reliance is laid upon this argument, we think, than truth will warrant. We admit fully, that the modern missionary should "embody the spirit” of this commission of our Savior to the twelve and the seventy. He must like them make it his great object to preach the kingdom of God.” He must in doing this, as well to gain a favorable hearing, as to show forth the characteristic spirit of that kingdom, exhibit in all his conduct the principle of benevolence ruling in his soul,-he must “heal the sick," so far as he may be able. He must exercise a spirit of confident dependence upon God, not only for success in his mission, but also as essential to this, for personal protection, guidance and support. If he does this, we conceive he embodies the spirit of the commission. He is not bound to go farther and literally obey every specific precept given to the primitive disciples. There is no express obligation resting upon him to “carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes,_and salute no man by the way " "to go not from house to house," " but remain in the same house." We derive precisely the opposite conclusion to that which our author deduces, from the fact, that Christ left no full, detailed constitution of his church, while he dwelt with such particularity upon the mode in which the twelve and the seventy should pursue their mission. If he did not deem it important to draw out a complete system of church organization; much less should we suppose, that he would have deemed it necessary to leave behind him a detailed account of the mode in which missions should be conducted. We are led to infer from this circumstance, that the commission in question was designed only for the immediate profit of the disciples in reference to the mission they were about to undertake. This opinion is confirmed by the following considerations :

First, the object of their mission was specific and for the moment. The object was simply to prepare the way for the coming and preaching of Christ. He sent them only to such places as he himself intended to visit. He “sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself would come.Accordingly they were expressly prohibited from going to the Gentiles and to the Samaritans.

Again, their mission being but temporary in its object, they did nothing whatever to establish on a permanent basis, the institutions of Christ's religion. Herein their mission differs widely and essentially both from the apostolic missions after the ascension of Christ, and all since that time. In this point

of difference we perceive sufficient reason for all the specific instructions which our Savior gave them. This is, in our view, a sufficient warrant for confining the commission to those to whom it was directly addressed; except so far as the general spirit, the general principles which it contains, are clearly applicable to the case of others. In this view, the commission is no more obligatory upon modern missionaries than upon modern christians, generally. To the first argument urged in support of the author's new plan, therefore, we cannot allow any weight.

The second argument relied on,—the adaptation of the plan to the wants of heathenism,-is more tenable. In urging it, the author advances considerations worthy of all attention; and especially deserving of the notice of all who contemplate the work of the missionary.

One grand difficulty which meets the christian missionary to the degraded pagan, in his effort to inculcate the spirit of that gospel, the prominent characteristic of which is humility and self-denial, is the fact, that the very religion which he teaches, places him incomparably higher than the heathen in all respects of worldly comfort. We cannot present this difficulty better than in the language of our author:

'It is a fact that, in most heathen countries, so low has idolatry sunk its victims, that the temporal provision and conveniences enjoyed by the humblest missionary, are far superior to those which constitute the portion of the majority of the former. While the missionary with a noble self-denial has cheerfully given up many of the social and physical comforts of a christian community; and is contented with, in many instances, a meagre supply of his necessary requirements, he is still above want. The hand of poverty, - ,--severe and pinching poverty,—is laid on the majority of all around him, while the church of a nation is pledged for his support. The naked, the houseless, the diseased, and the orphan, wander in crowds within sight of his window; while of him it cannot be affirmed that he has no place where to lay his head; or that he is friendless. Thanks, thanks be to God that he is not thus left, and thanks too that the church at home is permitted to share in the privilege of adding to his temporal well-being.'

Christianity is the mother of comfort, heathenism of misery. This is as true of things temporal as of things eternal. And herein lies the difficulty under consideration. To be even decent, according to the code of enlightened civilization, is almost necessarily to elevate the individual above the generality of the heathen. It is hoped that the foregoing remarks will not be misunderstood. It is not intended by them to intimate aught against the extreme simplicity and economy which obviously characterize the arrangements at the various missionary sta

tions in foreign lands. What has been said is merely to elicit inquiry, as to the importance of embodying as nearly as may be the details of the first commission. That plan involves an unworldliness, so to speak, which could not fail of arresting the attention of the most obtuse and degraded heathen. He would notice in the external condition of the missionary who should carry it out, a willingness to be a partaker of his sufferings; and by a law of the mind, universal and immutable, a mutual sympathy would run from heart to heart.'

'We may well suppose that a band of holy men, such as were the majority of the eighty-two, travelling unarmed, unattended, unprovisioned, throughout the regions of heathenism; doing plain and palpable good; and preaching, in childlike simplicity, the doctrines of the cross, would gain for them the hearts of all in the poorer walks of life. Their penury, their plainness of garb, and their manner of life, might not command from the great what is called respect, nor gain them admittance into their splendid dwellings; but it would make them, in a sense, one with the poor, and down-trodden. And in so far as the latter class outnumbered the former would that course be desirable.' pp. 55–58.

Another great difficulty in evangelizing the heathen is, that the pure truths of christianity, simple as they are, are almost inappreciable by their degraded, besotted, sluggish minds. They are creatures of sense. Intellect is buried in carnality. This fact shows not more their need than the difficulty of bringing them salvation. To meet their case, it is absolutely indispensable to address them through the senses. They must, in other words, in order to appreciate, to feel the power of christianity, see it “ embodied.” In the language of an experienced missionary, “it is not exegesis, it is not theology, it is not divinity, it is not law, it is not precept or command, which the heathen need; but it is the gospel, the pure gospel, which they want, all day long. It is christianity embodied, acted out, living, breathing.”

This was the principle upon which our Savior acted. This was the principle which he has laid down in his gospel, by which his followers are to propagate his religion. The more this principle is carried out, the greater will be the success attending missionary efforts.

That the plan proposed is well adapted to meet these difficulties, is obvious; yet, we conceive, it is possible to modify the present missionary organization, so as to embrace all that is excellent in this respect in this scheme. The other considerations advanced in favor of the plan, its economy, and its fitness to call into the missionary field many who now excuse themselves from the work, we deem it unnecessary to notice farther.

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