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3. You may confidently assume that for no persons, or at least for scarcely any persons on earth, are so many prayers incessantly and fervently poured out, as for you, and your brethren in missionary labours.
And this, to those who know the value and prcvalency of the fervent prayers even of one or two persons, needs only to be hinted, to inspire courage and confidence. While you are labouring amidst difficulties abroad, we shall be without excuse, if we do not daily implore every blessing on you, on your souls, families, and labours, with all earnestness and importunity.
4. Finally, my dear brethren, you, if faithful unto death, have scriptural ground to expect peculiar honour and distinction at the day of Christ, your Saviour and your Judge: both as having attempted to honour his name and promote his cause, in regions most completely subjected to the sway of his great adversary, the Devil; and this, by willingly renouncing all earthly interests, connexions, and indulgencies, and submitting to hardships, labours, and self-denials peculiar to the service which you have undertaken: and also, even should you not live to witness any great success, in that you will scatter seeds of divine truth where none have before been sown; and no doubt, at the last day, many, whom you never saw, will bless God for sending you into the regions in which they dwelt; and so, at least, preparing the way for their being "turned from darkness to light, and from "the power of Satan unto God."
V. I had purposed to conclude with Counsels andExhortations; but I have anticipated most of the subjects which I intended to introduce: and I have already far too much trespassed on your time and patience; except as the example of St. Paul, who, for the last time addressing his fellow Christians, "being about to depart on the morrow, continued "his speech until midnight," can plead my excuse.
I shall, therefore, only drop two or three hints.
1. Let nothing induce you to neglect all due care of your health. •
Let no influence or persuasion prevail on you to neglect such rules, for the counteracting of the insalubrity of the climate, as competent persons have laid down. Let no ardour for any special service, no motive of convenience, or even of economy, prevail with you to take voyages or journeys, at those seasons in which experience proves that they are perilous to European constitutions, Rather submit to frowns and censures from ill-judging men, than risk your valuable lives in such romantic attempts: I say valuable, not to yourselves so much, as to mankind.; to us, who long for the conversion of the heathen; to the Society, and the common cause of Christianity. Remember, I say, that you are not your own: you have no right to throw away your lives. In all cases, where it is indispensible, you ought to venture them freely: but not without some adequate object; and that must be a great object indeed, which, in your situation, is adequate to the life of a zealous and able Missionary.
There is a sort of amiable easiness, and a disposition to yield every thing to others, without any regard to what may become of yourselves ; which may here mislead you. By declining or postponing particular attempts, attended with extraordinary danger, (I speak especially with reference to the climate; the rains, the damps, the diseases peculiar to it;) your lives may be preserved for objects of ten-fold greater importance.
God forbid that I should be thought to plead for a timid, cowardly care of life and health! I admire the man, who "regards not his life," when an important object is before him: but men of this character are too valuable, and too ready to expose themselves, to be left without counsel and caution not to do this without good reason.
2. You, my dear friends, are going to join some other Missionaries already settled in Africa. I shall leave it wholly to others to give you advice and instruction concerning this, as to other things; but let my parting counsel be, "let All Your Things "Be Done In Love:" "Let nothingbedone through "strife, and vain-glory: Do all things without "murmurings or disputings."
Remember, remember, I say, that Satan's grand object is, to divide those who seek the subversion of his kingdom. Be fully and constantly aware of this, and resolutely and pertinaciously oppose this his grand object. Endeavour " to stand fast in one "spirit, with one mind, striving together for the ct faith of the gospel." "Love one another; and "marvel not if the world hate you."
Force the Africans to say, 'See how these Chris'tians love one another! how free they are from 'selfishness, covetousness, ambition, vain-glory, 'resentment! how ready to "bear one another's "burdens ;" to bear with one another's infirmities; 'to sympathize in one another's joys and sorrows! 'They are as one body animated by one soul!'
You must not expect too much from your fellowlabourers; for the best of men are imperfect. You must be prepared to bear with many hasty expressions, perhaps rather unreasonable proposals or requirements, and various things which will need the exercise of patience and meekness : for in heaven alone, will these be needless.
You cannot give up too much for peace among yourselves, unless you give up a good conscience towards God. No words can express how much your success depends on this union of soul among yourselves. The more you all live together, as if one family, without any separate interests visible to the natives, the more likely will you be to succeed in your pious and benevolent attempts.
3. In respect of the instructions which, when you have the opportunity, you should give to the natives, I need say little.
You must, so far as you are able, and in due time, order, and proportion, administer first "the milk," and then "the strong meat," as they are able to bear it; and "declare to them the whole counsel "of God," of which "Christ crucified" is the grand centre.
But "the whole need not a physician." Nothing which can be spoken by man, concerning the glory and grace of the Saviour; his power, his truth, and his love; the suitableness, preciousness, and sufficiency of his salvation; will ever bring a sinner " to count all things but loss for the excellency "of the knowledge of Christ," till he is convinced of sin, and feels his urgent, his perishing need of his great salvation. "By the law is the knowledge "of sin ;" and the holy commandments of our God must, therefore, be explained and enforced on the heart and conscience, for this as well as other purposes.
But, as such a measure of acquaintance with the divine law, as opens the instructor a way to the sinner's conscience, cannot be communicated to the heathen except by degrees; it appears to me that the best way of proceeding is, to take it for granted that all men are bound to obey the God who made them; that all have failed of this obedience ; that all have refused to do what they in their consciences knew they ought to do, and have done what they knew they ought not to do; that all, being thus self-condemned, are also condemned by God, and will be condemned at the day of judgment, if left in their present state; that, on this account, all need repentance, forgiveness,' and salvation. Then they must be instructed that God has, in rich mercy, provided salvation, has given his own Son to be the Saviour, and has sent to them the word of salvation. You should never, in my judgment, attempt to discuss doctrines or duties separately; but hold "the ministration of death "and condemnation" in one hand, so to speak> and that "of righteousness and of the Spirit" in the other, in every sermon or conversation, so far as it can be done. Briefly but strongly, with a direct appeal to the conscience, shew them their guilt and danger, and point out, at the same time, their refuge and remedy; the Saviour from wrath, and the Divine Sanctifier.
As Chaplain of the Lock Hospital, I had to address numbers almost as ignorant as the poor Africans; but in this way I could always fix their