« AnteriorContinuar »
allowances, when they shall deem it necessary for the support and education of the children, to the amount which would have been allowed for them, had they continued at the missionary station.
14. The Board regard it as not consistent with the multiplied cares and duties of the Prudential Committee, for them to undertake the guardianship of the children sent to this country for education.
VI. The Missions. 1. A majority of missionaries and assistant missionaries in any mission shall, in their regular meetings, decide all questions that may arise in regard to their proceedings and conduct, in which the mission is interested, the decision being subject to the revision of the Prudential Committee. At such meetings every male missionary and assistant missionary present, having arrived at the age of twenty-one years, is entitled to a vote.
2. It shall be a standing rule, applicable to all missionaries and agents of the Board, that real estate shall not be purchased at the expense of the Board, nor money loaned belonging to the Board, without the express permission of the Prudential Committee previously obtained.
VII. PERMANENT FUND FOR THE SUPPORT OF OFFICERS.
The permanent funds for Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer, heretofore kept distinct, shall be merged in one, and be called the “Fund for support of Officers;" and the avails of this fund shall be appropriated to the support of the Secretaries and the Treasurer of the Board, at the discretion of the Prudential Committee; provided that a strict regard be had to the intentions of donors in such appropriations.
VIII. LIBRARY OF THE BOARD, CURIOSITIES, ETC. 1. The Library of the Board shall be regarded as embracing the books, maps, manuscripts, pictures, &c. at the Missionary Rooms, and all the books, maps, &c. appropriated to the use of the several missions, and not included in the original outfit of the missionaries, nor purchased at their private expense. The Library at the Rooms, shall be placed in charge of a librarian appointed by the Prudential Committee; and those of the several missions, shall be placed in charge of a librarian appointed, in ordinary cases, by the mission itself, who shall be accountable for the books to the mission and to the Prudential Committee.
2. The curiosities deposited in the Missionary Rooms, and consisting of idol gods and other objects of superstition, together with specimens in natural history, &c. interesting on account of their being brought from countries which are fields for missionary exertion, shall be carefully preserved, arranged, and labelled, and kept
in a room provided for the purpose, under the direction of the Prudential Committee.
IX. INTERCOURSE WITH OTHER SOCIETIES, AND
1. A friendly intercourse shall be maintained with other protestant societies in this and other lands, which are engaged in the benevolent design of propagating the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. The Board will send to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States, to the Synod of the Reformed Dutch Church, and to the several General Associations in the New England States, as many copies of the annual Report and other printed documents, as shall be sufficient to furnish those bodies with the means of information with regard to the state and necessities of the Board, its operations, and the success which God may grant to its exertions.
All bye-laws and resolutions heretofore adopted by the Board are annulled, so far as they are inconsistent with those here embodied.
INSTRUCTIONS of the PRUDENTIAL COMMITTEE delivered May,
1832, to the Rev. George W. Boggs, about to embark as a missionary
to Bombay. Dear Sir,
It has been the uniform custom of the Committee, when missionaries of the Board were embarking for a foreign station, to address to them various hints and instructions relative to their future conduct and labors. On the present occasion this will be done in a much less formal manner than usual. The absence of Mr. Anderson, the engagements of the several members of the Committee, and the pressure of duties require that you should be referred to the Instructions that have been addressed to those who have gone to the same mission before you; especially those addressed to Messrs. Hervey, Read, and Ramsey, inserted in the 26th volume of the Missionary Herald. This course may with the more propriety be adopted in view of the late general letter to the mission, a copy of which you have with you, and which treats of most of the topics relative to the concerns of the mission, that will require your special attention. Still, we feel unwilling to see you depart to sc important a field of labor, with little expectation of having much further intercourse with you till we meet at the judgment seat of Christ, without saying, in a fraternal manner, a few words respecting your future responsibilities, duties, and trials.
Make sure of your own salvation. Do not be content a moment without such a clear understanding of the truths of the gospel, and of your own character, such a firm and living faith, such an assured hope, as you can rest and bear your whole weight upon, with entire confidence, in perplexities, sufferings, and death.
Become eminently holy. Let no low attainments in piety satisfy you. Love your work because it consists in efforts to rescue men from sin, and make them holy. Think much on the holiness of God; contrast it with your own sinfulness, and with the awful depravity of the heathen. Pant after perfect holiness. Think no effort too great to secure it in yourself and in the heathen. Without this state of mind you will have little enjoyment in your work. It will become heavy, monotonous, and wearisome. The mind will act languidly in it. He who loves his work will accomplish many times more than he who dislikes it, and only labors out of regard to his reputation, or from a cold feeling of duty. You must have an appetite for your work. Without this holy love to your business as a missionary of Christ, you have no promise of success, and no reason to expect it. Live a life of prayer. Do not regard this work on which you go as your own, and yourself to be a gainer or loser, according as you may or may not have success. Regard yourself simply as a servant of Christ, sent into his vineyard to labor, leaving it for him to decide as to the result. The agent who is sent abroad with specific instructions from his employer, does not become discouraged because the business on which he is sent is not profitable to his employer. He does not retire from it murmuring and desponding. He works on faithfully till he is recalled, and receives his wages. So let it be with you. Still do not for a moment feel as if there could never be any success in Bombay, or as if it must be long delayed, or as if your success, if any is given, must be small and slow. Let your revival spirit, let your faith, and zeal, and labors, let your hopes and expectations, be all in readiness for a rain of righteousness that shall flood the whole land. Feel deeply that the increase is of God. Be careful that the want of prayer and faith and diligence on the part of yourself and brethren do not keep the Spirit of God at a distance.
Look much at the heathen in the light of the New Testament. Think of their character, condition, and prospects—what a ruin has come upon them, when compared with man as he stood forth at first in the image of God what a relation they now stand in to God and the Lord Jesus Christ--what a ruin awaits them in their sins. Think of these things till the fountains of your soul are broken up, and you exclaim, "Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears.” Think of the greatness, honor, and infinite and eternal value of your work, until all your labors and sacrifices seem utterly worthless.
Expect many trials that you never thought of. Be prepared to find your situation in many respects different from what you anticipated. It is scarcely possible that this should not be the case. Do not let this sour your temper, disaffect you towards your brethren, or diminish your zeal in the work.
Co-operate cordially with your brethren You cannot expect perfect unanimity. Yield cheerfully, kindly. Determine that they never shall do any thing which shall alienate your affections, or make you cease to pray for them, and do them good. Never indulge in any feelings and remarks respect
ing them which shall spoil or embarrass the cordiality of your prayers and Christian intercourse, or prevent your meeting them face to face with perfect frankness and a good conscience. Think of your relation to them as fellow disciples and fellow apostles. Think of the common relation which you and they sustain to Christ as redeemed sinners, and fellow laborers under him as the great Head of the church and Lord of the vineyard. Think how he must regard dissentions and cold feelings between those whom he equally died to redeem. Ephesians 4: 3. 15: 2..
You and your brethren have no Christian community around you. You must make a standard of religion and morals for yourselves and the community; or rather it will devolve on you to take such a standard from the Bible, and hold it up before the community. This involves great responsibility. See that the standard you raise is scriptural, and for this purpose study the Bible diligently and closely.
Take pains to cultivate your own mind, to strengthen your faculties, enlarge your views, and increase your knowledge. Do not feel that efforts aimed directly at this are time or labor thrown away. Place a judicious limit to such efforts, and consecrate all your powers and acquisitions to the work of making known the gospel of Christ.
Be an exemplary missionary. Keep a clear conscience with reference to yourself, your brethren, the heathen, and your Lord and Redeemer. Do nothing that shall give occasion for painful regret. Always do that, under all circumstances, which you solemnly believe would best please the Lord Jesus Christ, if he were by your side.
The first labor that will claim your attention after arriving at Bombay, will be the acquisition of the Mahratta language. In the mean time you will be able to render some aid to the mission by taking a part in the superintendence of the schools, and in the English services in the mission chapel; as also in distributing books and tracts.
Your great work will be preaching the gospel-it may be in the chapel, or the school-house, or at an idol s temple, or in native huts, or in the market places, or on the way side,-it may be to few or to many,-still it is making known Christ and his atonement. In this work rejoice. Your day of toil cannot be long. Your day of account and rest must be near. Labor like a good servant, and you shall surely be owned and rewarded as such, when the Lord shall call home the laborers in his vineyard, and reckon with them.
We are reminded in many ways, and in a most affecting manner, of the brevity of human life. Three members of the Bombay mission, and two Secretaries of the Board have been removed by death, since the last Instructions were given to a reinforcement of that mission. Neither the missionaries who go abroad, nor those who labor at home, are suffered to continue. This scene of trial and labor is to be short, and death is to conduct us to a glorious resurrection, the presence of our Redeemer, and a heaven of eternal rest and joy.
We would commend you to God, on your voyage and through life. May his grace at all times be sufficient for you. By order of the Prudential Committee.
INSTRUCTIONS of the PRUDENTIAL COMMITTEE, delivered in Park
street Church, Boston, on the evening of Oct. 24, 1832, to the Rev. WILLIAM Thomson, Reo. Elias Riggs, and Doct. Asa Dodge, about to embark as
Missionaries to the Mediterranean. DEAR BRETHREN,
A leading object in the mission with which you are about becoming connected, has hitherto been the exploring of countries bordering on the Mediterranean sea. To the pursuit of this object nearly all the missionaries of the Board sent to that part of the world have devoted more or less of their time, in conjunction with not a few respected and beloved brethren sent out by other societies. Although thirteen years have elapsed, since Messrs. Fisk and Parsons commenced the mission of the Loard, every year has shown the wisdom of making an extensive survey of the people one of the first measures. Thus will no small waste of time and money be prevented, and the grand object of our enterprise be sooner attained.
This part of our work has advanced far towards its completion. We might speak of the Christian researches of Graves, and Conner, and Lowndes, and Robinson, and Gobat, and Kugler, and Hartley, and Jowett, and others, our fellow laborers of other societies, whose benevolent footsteps have been seen on almost every shore, from the Ionian Islands and Greece, through the Levantine regions, to the site of ancient Carthage. The results of their inquiries have been published, and have thus become the common property of the Christian church. So also have those of missionaries of the Board, who, traversing the same great and interesting field, have explored the cities of Tunis and Tripoli, in northern Africa; the banks of the Nile as far up as ancient Thebes; the desert, from Cairo to the ancient capital of Philistia; nearly the whole of Palestine; and the villages of Mount Lebanon in Syria, from Sidon to Tripoli. They have, moreover, explored the condition of a part of the Nestorian church in northwestern Persia ; and a great part of the province now under the government of the heir apparent to the Persian throne; and the trans-Caucassian provinces of Asiatic Russia ; and a considerable portion of the ancient Armenia and Asia Minor, including the district once illumined by the Seven Churches; and, finally, almost the whole of liberated Greece and the Ionian Republic. Concerning the religious, moral, intellectual, and social state of these countries, we are now, in general
, well informed. We know what needs to be done; what are the best methods of operating; what are the hindrances and delays to be expected; and what effects may reasonably be anticipated. Although some districts in Asia Minor, and whole countries watered by the Euphrates and its tributary streams, and nearly the whole interior of northern Africa, remain to be explored, there is no necessity, at present, of pursuing our explorations farther in that part of the world. We are ready to select our positions, and commence the mighty task of supplying the wants, which have been exposed to our view on every hand, and which now rest their claims upon us with ten. fold weight from the fact that they are known.
What, then, is to be done to repair the extensive moral ruin we have discovered? The general answer to this question is obvious. We must repub