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late Mr. John Thornton. It does said or did any thing praise-worthy, not appear among his printed letters, it was the Lord's entirely. The but it is so beautifully expressive of will, the power, the success was his. the loveliness of true Christian hu- He has all the honour. What was mility, that the perusal of it may, blame-worthy, it was altogether by the blessing of God, benefit the mine own. I take the shame of it reader. It is the more striking, to myself, and wish for more of as impatience of opposition, if not that true humbling which he felt, spiritual pride, has been sometimes who confessed, “I abhor myself, and imputed to the writer, by those who repent in dust and ashes. Every did not know both his self-abase- thing that brings, and keeps a deep ment before God, and his readiness sense of this alive on my soul is also to receive the kind reproof, profitable, because it is the means whether deserved or not, of a fellow- of keeping up communion with the Christian.
SENIOR. Almighty Saviour. It affords a fresh
conviction, that I have no failings Hon. Sir,–I cannot see the mo- pardoned but through his blood, tive for your reproof; but whatever nor subdued but through his grace. it was, I fall under it, and stand And I trust I am living to learn corrected. I have not a word to to magnify Him for both. In which say for myself before God or man. if you will give me your prayers, it I cry, Peccavi. My mouth was never is the only favour I have to ask of more stopped about self-defence, you, and a great favour it is: the than at present. Although I am Lord incline your heart to do it persuaded of God's special love to fervently, in brotherly love, such as my soul, and of the free forgiveness I feel towards you. O pray (and of sins, yet I feel it daily hard fighting may the Lord bless you to pray) against them,—now at the close of for
W. ROMAINE. the battle, very, very hard; yea, so hard, that I am stripped of every great and high conceit of myself, and am forced every moment to re- ON PROVIDING FOR THE FAMILIES nounce all self-confidence. There is not a man in the world more exercised with the body of sin, or Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. more plagued with its continual opposition to God's most holy will. The letter of your intelligent corIn these sore conflicts, there is not respondent Z. (see Christian Oba sin that can be committed, but I server for January last) relates to a find it in me; and, if God leave me subject which every well-wisher to to myself, may be committed by the cause of missions must acknowme. In this situation your reproof ledge to be of very great importance, found me, acknowledging that sal- and to which therefore the attention vation never did come, nor possibly of all who are intrusted with the can comé, to one less deserving of management of missionary instituit than I am.
tions, cannot be too early or too Go on then, sir. Repeat your seriously directed. My object in charges. Make one fault a thou- troubling you with the following resand. Multiply that by thousands, marks, is not, however, to discuss by tens of thousands, yet still you the general question which he has are far short. I feel more than you so clearly proposed, but merely to can number. I have nothing, in place in a correct point of view the me, nothing done by me, nothing practice of the Brethren's church in I can even think of, which is mine regard to it;-a task, which will own, but what, God knoweth, I loath hardly be deemed unnecessary by and abhor myself for. If ever I those who recollect that it is from
this practice, and its real or pre
what is the real state of the case, sumed consequences, that the argu- as it regards our own church. Havment of the writer derives its chief ing supplied several important omiscorroboration.
sions, and rectified a few serious, If the statements of your corres- though doubtless unintentional erpondent on this subject be perfectly rors, in the statement of your recorrect, it is hardly possible to avoid spected correspondent, I shall leave the conclusion, that the church of your readers to decide what degree which I have the privilege to be of parallelism there exists between a member, has committed a serious the circumstances and experience and alarming oversight in under of the Brethren's missions, and those taking to provide for her super- of other societies, and in how far, annuated missionaries, and for the consequently, our example may furwidows and children of those who nish the beacon which it has been engage in her service ; and that if it presurned to do. behoves the managers of kindred The first notice is claimed by a societies to pause, before they ir- fact, which appears not to be generevocably pledge themselves to a rally known, but which may be consimilar course, it is doubly incumbent sidered as the key to the financial on the directors of the Brethren's system of the Brethren's missions. missions, to relinquish a system I refer to the circumstance, that the fraught with consequences so peri- missionaries of our church, wherlous. Our error, if such it prove to ever employed, and whatever their be, is indeed distinctly characterized incumbencies, receive no fixed saas a venial one, seeing that we have lary ;-but a pledge, on the part of committed it ignorantly, not in the the society, that with the Divine obstinacy of unbelief, but in the sim- help, they shall be supplied with plicity of faith; not from a disposi- food, raiment, and other necessaries tion to tempt God by the indulgence of life, both during the period of of presumptuous expectations, but their service, and when they are from inability, owing to the want of compelled by any visitation of Prothe requisite information and expe. vidence, to retire from it; and that rience, to estimate aright the diffi- a suitable education shall be proculties inseparable from the system vided for their children, till they we had determined to pursue.
Yet arrive at a certain age. The lastnotwithstanding the apprehensions mentioned engagement, it will be expressed by your correspondent, observed, extends much farther than and the anxieties to which we our- your correspondent is aware of; selves too often give way, I will since it is not merely the children venture to affirm, that we should not of retired missionaries, but of those hesitate to adhere to the same prin- likewise who are in actual employciple and practice, if, with the ac- ment, to whom a specific provision cumulated experience of nearly a is guaranteed. century, we had to commence our Having thus briefly stated the missionary work afresh.
principle on which the practice of For so bold a declaration, it be- the Brethren's church in this particomes me to assign a sufficient cular is founded, allow me to ask,
In doing this, I wish to be whether that practice could be reunderstood as offering no opinion linquished without the subversion as to the existing practice of other of the whole system ;— whether missionary societies, or the expe. having once engaged to provide our diency of their either following or missionary brethren with whatever is avoiding our example, (for who are needful for their own maintenance we, that we should commend our- and that of their families, so long as selves or judge our brethren?) but they continue faithful in their callmerely as endeavouring to explain ing, we could, under any circumstances of outward pressure, with question; noram I even qualified, by a draw from the aged and worn-out careful collation of the unpublished labourer, and the bereaved widow, returns of our missionary disbursea support to which they are as fully ments, previous to the year 1818, entitled as we are absolutely pledged, to state, whether the ratio between or to withhold from their offspring the annual expense of retired misthe advantages of a careful and re- sionaries and their families, and that ligious education, in the bosom of incurred for general mission-purtheir own church. It will surely be poses, has or has not reached its admitted, that the faithful mission- maximum. It will not however apary labourer is worthy of his hire, pear surprising, that the number of whether like Zeisberger, or Beck, the former class should have been or Marsveld, he chooses to spend gradually increasing within the last his little remaining strength, and to twelve years, when it is ascertained lay his bones in the midst of the that during the same period, the Indians, the Greenlanders, or the active labourers have increased in Hottentots, who have enjoyed the nearly the same proportion, namely, benefit of his lengthened ministry, from 160 to 200 (including the or, like others of his fellow-servants, wives of missionaries). Had your he solicits and obtains permission, correspondent confined his calculato have the evening of his days tions to this branch of the subject, cheered by the society of his chile the result would have been more dren or near relatives, and by inter- accurate, as well as less alarming: course with friends and brethren, by extending them, as he has done, from whom he has long been sepa- to the question of expenditure, he rated.
has fallen into mistakes which seSuch at least are our feelings, in riously affect his argument. regard to this important question ; 1. He has omitted to mention the and we shall therefore, I trust, be fact, that, although the missionary forgiven, if we hesitate to apply to expenditure of the
Brethren's church the scanty and hardly-earned pit- bas varied but little in the course of tance, enjoyed by our retired mis- the last twelve years, her sphere of sionaries, the name of relief, or, to missionary activity has, through the speak of them in terms employed Divine blessing, been greatly enby the writer of an ingenious article, larged. This is sufficiently proved in a contemporary journal, as an by the establishment of eight new interesting class of sufferers. Those stations since the year 1818. who in heathen lands, “ for Christ's 2. Another circumstance, still sake have borne and have labour- more, important in its bearing on ed, and have not fainted,” have, I the general question, is inadvertthink, a claim to be treated rather ently, I am persuaded) kept out of as fathers of the church than as de- view ;-namely, that the sum of pendents on her bounty.
63001., which is quoted as the aveBut I proceed to point out a few rage annual expense of thirty-eight other particulars, in which the state- missionary stations, includes none ments of your correspondent appear of the disbursements in the Danish to need correction or explanation. West-India Islands and Labrador, · And first, in regard to the expe- and only a proportion of those inrience of Life Insurance Societies, curred at the Cape of Good Hope which he considers not only to be and in Surinam ; the charge of these generally applicable to the case of missions, containing seventeen stamissionary institutions, but to have tions and one hundred and fifteen received a decided confirmation from missionaries, being defrayed, either the financial history of our own. wholly or in part, by the aid of disa The accuracy of the principle laid tinct societies, and the laborious exerdown, I am not prepared to call in tions of the missionaries themselves.
3. In referring to the maintenance cessive generations of these children, of retired missionaries and their fa. the ranks of our inissionary labourmilies, he has neglected to notice ers, and of those servants of our the three following very material church who are employed in Chrisparticulars :- That the annual ex- tian countries, have been frequently penditure, on account of the former recruited ; so that it would be easy of these two classes (the only one at the present time to exhibit a which comes strictly within the catalogue of individuals belonging scope of his argument), has during to both these classes, who are themthe last twelve years, experienced selves the children or grand-children an augmentation, scarcely propor- of missionaries. One series of extioned to that which has taken place amples of this kind is so remarkable, in the number of missionaries em- that I am templed to quote it, in ployed ;— That of the sum of 29001. illustration of the above statement. the amount expended in 1828_on The name of John Beck, the the objects above specified, no less instrument in the hand of God for than 16001. was required for pur- the conversion of Samuel Kajarnak, poses of education ; - and lastly, is well known to all who have peThat of the eighty-six children who rused the history of the Greenland received their maintenance from this Mission. Before this veteran in fund, probably three-fourths were the the missionary field was called into offspring of missionaries in actual eternal rest, in the seventy-first year service.
of his age, and forty-third of his The expenditure for these several labours, he had the pleasure to see objects, though considerable, will, it two of his sons following close in is hoped, not be deemed excessive, his footsteps, the one as a missionby any person who has examined ary in Greenland, the other in and compared the statements an- Labrador. The former of these nually published by our Society ;- departed at Lichtenau, in the year on the contrary, he will ather in 1822, after a faithful and blessed cline to the opinion, that the allow- ministry of above half a century ;ances to each class are apportioned the latter retired in 1797 from a with a degree of economy bordering yet more arduous service of nearly on parsimony.—Taking the averages twenty-five years among the Esof five years, it appears, that the quimaux. Nor has this desire to pension of a retired missionary and minister to the salvation of their his wife, is about 35l. per annum ; fellow-men become extinct, even of a widow 121. ;—and that for the in the third generation ; several education of a child, the annual members of the same family being disbursements do not exceed 161. at present actively engaged in the It is hardly necessary to add, that service of the Lord's house,-(wo without the advantages afforded of their number, the children of our by the peculiar institutions of the late venerable brother Jacob Beck Brethren's church, especially on the of Lichtenau, as messengers of continent of Europe, economy to peace to the very tribes among this extent would be impracticable. whom their father, uncle, and grand
In regard to the education of father so long and successfully lathe children of missionaries, I may boured. Could a more distinct or perhaps still be allowed to observe, cheering evidence be afforded to an that though adherence to this branch ambassador of Christ, – that his own of our system is abundantly war- service, however feeble and imperranted by every principle of justice fect, had been well-pleasing in the and equity, it has not failed to sight of his gracious Master ;-or receive additional confirmation from that the Head of the church had conthe blessing of God hitherto mani- descended to accept and ratify his festly vouchsafed to it. From suc- solemn and well-considered vow,
“ As for me and my house, we will transfer the portion we have so serve the Lord ?"
unworthily occupied to other husThere is yet one other circum- bandmen, who will render Him the stance, connected with the existing fruits in their seasons. state of our missions, of which we In the mean time, I trust it is are reminded by your correspondent, unnecessary for us to assure and on which, therefore, I beg leave fellow-servants in other churches, to say a few words. He declares who have so nobly and spontaneously with truth, and we acknowledge come forward to bear our burden, so with gratitude (and I may add, fulfilling the law of Christ, that we without shame, in as far as our are not unthankful for their labours poverty is the cause), that the of love,—but that our fervent prayextended work carried on by the ers continually ascend in their behalf Brethren's church among heathen to the Throne of Grace, that God nations, has, for a number of years, would make all grace abound towards been in a great measure dependent them, that they always having all for its support on the liberality of sufficiency in all things, may abound British Christians. Were this ge- to every good work. nerous aid withdrawn, either from I cannot conclude, Mr. Editor, necessity or from a change in the without tendering to yourself and public feeling, we readily admit that your readers, a twofold apology for our situation would become, hu- this communication ; in the first manly speaking, not merely critical, place, for its length, which to many but desperate. But when we re. may appear very disproportioned to collect at whose command, and in the interest of the subject under reliance on whose grace and strength discussion; and secondly, for its the work was originally undertaken, bearing the signature of an individual and has been successfully prose- comparatively inexperienced in the cuted now for nearly a hundred work concerning which he has years,—and further consider, that He ventured to state some particulars ; who in the present day inclines the a hewer of wood and drawer of hearts of so many of his children to water in the missionary vineyard, minister to our necessities, is the whose term of service has probably same Lord who, in former times, been shorter than that of your reafforded us help and deliverance, by spected correspondent. My appameans altogether out of the control rent presumption will perhaps be of man-our faith is powerfully more readily forgiven, when I menconfirmed, and we are enabled to tion that the task which I have rejoice, that we serve a Master to undertaken has been urged upon whom there is no restraint to save, me, by several valued friends in by many or by few. So long as He other churches, and the statements accounts us worthy to labour in his which I have made have received vineyard, we are confident that He the sanction of a revered parent, will not leave us destitute of those who has devoted forty-three years things whereof He knoweth we have of an active life to the furtherance need ;-but if we should hereafter of the Gospel among the heathen, be found slothful and reprobate through the instrumentality of the servants (unprofitable we confess missions of the United Brethren. ourselves to be), what else ought As an associate in his labours, and we to expect than that He will be in the present instance as his repreas faithful in the execution of his sentative, I have presumed to address threat, as He has shewn himself in you ; and now beg to subscribe mythe fulfilment of his promise ; and self with sentiments of unfeigned that, when the period of his long. respect and esteem, suffering has reached its limit, He Your servant in the Gospel, will cast us out of the vineyard, and
P. LA TROBE. Christ. OBSERV. No. 340. 2 I