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Instructions, given by the Prudential Committee of the American
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, to the Missionaries to the East, Feb. 7, 1812.
“To the Rev. Adoniram Judson, Samuel Nott, Samuel Newell, Gordon Hall,
and Luther Rice, Missionaries to the East, under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
CVERY DEAR BRETHREN, As in divine Providence we are specially charged with the weighty care of the Mission in which you are engaged, it devolves on us, as a sacred duty, to give some instructions for your observance. These instructions, owing io a pressure of circumstances, and the want of certainty in regard to some important points relating to the mission, wil} doubtless be more imperfect than otherwise they might bave been; and it will rest with us, or with our successors in this care, hereafter to make them more complete.
“1. Your first concern, dear Brethren, must be personal. As you have given yourselves to the service of God in the Gospel of His Son among the Gentiles, it will be of the utmost importance, not only that you be sincere and without offence, but also that your hearts be kept constantly burning with love to God, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the souls of men. In order to this, you will be much in the exercises of devotion; in reading, meditation, and prayer; you will be religiously observant of all the precepts, ordinances, and instructions of the Gospel; and you will exercise yourselves to have always consciences void of offence, both towards God, and towards men. Keep under your bodies, and bring them into sub. jection. Keep your hearis with all diligence. Live by faith in Christ Jesus. Walk before God and be perfect. "2. Have forveni charity among yourselves.
Let there be no strife among you, which of you shall be accounted the greatest: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. Ye have one Master, even Christ; and all ye arc brethren. Be watchful over one another, in the spirit of meekness; and provoke one another only to love and good works.
“3. The Christian Missionaries of every Protestant denomination, sent from Europe to the East, you will regard as your brethren; the servants of the same Master, and engaged in the same work with yourselves. With them your only competition will be, who shall display most of the spirit, and do most for the honor of Christ; with them you will be ready to cultivate the best undera standing, and to reciprocate every Christian and friendly office; and with them you will cheerfully co-operate, as far as consistently you can, in any measure for the advancement of the common However it may be with others, let it never, dear Brethren, be your fault, if among the converts to Christianity in the East, every one shall say, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I VOL. V. New Series.
of Christ; but remember that there is one body, and one Spirit, even as believers are all called in one hope of their calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in them all.
“4. Wherever your lot may be cast, you will withhold yourselves most scrupulously from all interference with the powers that be; and from all intermeddling with political concerns. You will saeredly remember who has said, Render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar's, and unto God the things that are God's. Render unto all, therefore, their dwes: tribute, to whom tribute is due; custom, co whom custom; fear, to whom fear; honor, to whom honor. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake.
“5. As much as in you lies live peaceably with all men. dear Brethren, as the messengers of love, of peace, of salvation, to people whose opinions and customs, habits and manners, are widely. different from those, to which you have been used; and it will not only comport with the spirit of your mission, but be essential to its success, that, as far as you can, you conciliate their affection, their esteem, and their respect. You will, therefore, make it your care to preserve yourselves from all fastidiousness of feeling, and of deportment; to avoid every occasion of unnecessary offence, or disgust to those among whom you may sojourn; and in regard to all matters of indifference, or in which conscience is not concerned, to make yoursclves easy and agreeable to them. In this, as well as in most other things, you will do well to hold in view the example of Paul, the first and most distinguished missionary to the heathen; who, though he was free from all, yet made himself servant unto all, that he night gain the mor e; and became all things to all men, that by all means he might gain some. When you behold the superstitions and abominations of the heathen, your spirits, indeed, will be stirred in you, and you will be very jealous for your God and Savior. But even then, you will take heed that your zeal be according to knowledge, and tempered with the meekness of wisdom. In all things, it will behove you, dear Brethren, to be harmless and blameless, the children of God without rebuke; to show to the Gentiles the excellent character of the religion of the Gospel, and to let them see in you a living example of whatsoever things are true,of whatsoever things are honest, of whatsoever things are just, of whatssever things are pure, of whatsoever things are lovely, of whatsoever things are of good report.
«6. From the best views, which we have been able to obtain, our present desire is, that the seat of this Mission should be in some part of the empire of Birmah. After your arrival in India, however, you will make it an object to avail yourselves of information relating to that empire, and also relating to other parts of the East; and atier due deliberation, you will be at your discretion, as to the place n here to make your station. It will also in a similar manner, rest with yoa to determine, whether the great object of the mission will probably be best promoted, by your residing together in one place, or by occupying separate stations. In regard to those very ina
portant points, however, it is expected that you will act with una-, Dimity; certainly, that you act only with a due regard each to the views and feelings of the rest, to our known desire and expectation, and to the essential interests of the Mission.
"You will perceive, dear Brethren, the very urgent importance of observing strict economy, in regard both to your time and expenditures. You will therefore make it your care to get to the field, or fields, of your labors, as soon and with as little expense as possible.
67. For yourselves and for the object of the mission, it will be important that you adopt, as early as possible, some plan of polity, or social order. The office of presiding in your little community should, for very obvious reasons, we think, be held in rotation. You will have a treasurer, and a secretary or clerk, that your financial concerns may be conducted, and the records of your proceedings kept, with regularity and correctness. The rules and regulations which you adopt, you will transmit to us for our consideration. Of the journals of the mission, also, to which you will pay very particular attention, and in which you will regularly note whatever may be interesting to you, or to us, you will, as often as convenient, transmit to us copies.
"8. No time should be lost in forming yourselves into a church, according to the order divinely prescribed, that you may attend in due form upon the worship and ordinances of Christ's house. This will be of great importance, both to yourselves, and to the people among whom you dwell. The ordinance of the Lord's supper should be administered, we think, as often at least, as once in every inonth; and you will freely reciprocate the privilege of communicating in this ordinance with other Christians in regular church standing
“In all places, and especially among people superstitiously observant of their own sacred times and seasons, a very excmplary observance of the Sabbath is of the very first importance to Christianity. This, dear brethren, you cannot too deeply feel; and it will be your care that Pagans shall not have occasion to say, or to think, that Christians have no reverence for the ordinances of their God. It is by their eyes, not less than by their ears, that you are to gain access to their hearts. In regard, also, to the time of beginning the Sabbath, you will perceive it to be not of little consequence that you be conscientiously agreed.
with. The great object of your Mission is to impart to those who sit in darkness, and in the region and shadow of death, the saving knowledge of Christ. In order to this it will be a matter of primary attention to make yourselves acquainted with the language of the people, with whom you are to converse, and to whom you are to preach. You will not, however, neglect any opportunity or means of doing them good, even before you can use their language; but you will give yourselves wholly to your work, and use all care that you run not in vain, neither labor in vain. The deplorable ignorance of the poor heathen will constantly be in your minds, and
deeply affect your hearts. To them you are to make known the words by which they and their children may be saved. - To them you are to teach, not the commandments, or the dogmas of men; but the pure doctrines of the Gospel, drawn directly from the Scriptures of truth. You will most religiously beware of that philosophy, and vain deceil, which is after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ; and avoid questions and strifes of words, whereof come envy, strife, revilings, evil surmises, and perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds.
“In teaching the Gentiles it will be your business, not vehemently to declaim against their superstitions, but in the meekness and gentleness of Christ, to bring them as directly as possible to the knowledge of divine truth. It is the truth, THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN Jesus, which is mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing, which exalleth itself against the knowledge of God; and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. So far as the truth has access, so as to produce its effect, the errors, and superstitions, and vices of Paganism will fall of course. You will beware of the rock on which Missionaries have too often split; and not at once advance upon the uninstructed with things beyond their power to under. stand. Beginning with the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, you will proceed in your instructions gradually, with patience and wisdom; feeding the people with milk, until they have strength to bear meat. And for their good unto salvation, it will be your delight, as it will be your duty, to be iristant in season, and out of sea80n; to be their servants for Jesus' sake, and to spend and be spent.
“10. If God in his infinite grace, prosper your labors, and give you the happiness to sce converts to the truth, you will proceed in regard to them, at once with charity and with caution. You will allow suficient time for trial, and for the reality of conversion to be attested by its fruits; that, as far as possible, the scandal of apostasy may be prevented. You will admit none as members of the church of Christ, but such as give credible evidence that they are true believers; and none to the ordinance of baptism, but credibie believers and their households. The discipline of Christ's house, you will charitably and faithfully ubserve.
“11. As in Christian lands, so in all lands, the hope of the church is principally from the rising generation. Youth and children, therefore, will be objects of your very particular solicitude and attention; and no pains will be spared either by yourselves, or by our dear sisters, your wives, for their Christian education.
“12. It will be your desire, as it is ours, to lighten as much as possible the expenses of the Mission; that by the pious liberalities of this country, your establishment may be enlarged, and other missions supported. So far, therefore, as you can consistently with your missionary duties, you will apply yourselves to the most eligible ways and means of procuring a support for yourselves and fam. ilics, agreeably to the example of European missionaries and even of the apostles.
“Dearly beloved Brethren,
You cannot but be sensible of the vast responsibility under which you are to act. You are made a spectacle to God, to angels, and to men. The eyes of the friends, and of the enemies of Christ and his cause will be upon you. You are the objects of the prayers, and of the hopes, and of the liberalities of many. On your conduct in your mission, incalculable consequences, both to the Christian and to the Pagan world are depending. Be strong in the Lord and be faithful. Count not even your lives dear unto yourselves, 80 that you may finish your course with joy, and the ministry which you have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God. With fervent prayers for your safety, your welfare, and your success, we commend you, dear brethren, to God, and !o the word of his grace. A true Copy from the Records of the Prudential Committee; Attest.
SAMUEL WORCESTER, Salem, Feb. 7, 1812.
Clerk of the Prudential Com.
PECUNIARY ACCOUNTS OF THE BOARD.
The American Board of Commissioners, in account current with their Prudential
To cash paid out during the year which preceded the annual meeting in September 1811, (there being no Treasurer,) for the following purposes, víz.
Expenses of Mr. Judson's voyage to England, in the winter of 1811,
S409,33 Travelling expenses of the members of the Board, in attending the annual meeting,
13,75 Espenses of entertainment during the meeting,
17,80 Travelling expenses of Messrs. Judson and Nott, in at. tending the annual meeting,
25,00 -555.88 To balance since accounted for to the Treasurer.,
$1 375,96 By interest on a donation to the permanent fund,
lu, 20 By a premium of 5 per cent on a bill of exchange for $267,22—--13,36
$1,399,52 N. B. For the particulars of the bove sum of S1,375,96, see the Panoplist for Aug. last, where they are published at large. The American Board of Commissioners, in account current with Jeremiah
Evarts, their Treasurer, Dr. To cash paid in conformity to orders, from No. 1. to No 22, inclusive, signed by the clerk of the Prudential Committee, between the annual meeung in Sept. 1811, and the passing of the Act of Incorporation, June 20, 1812, viz. for,