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In your inquiries especial regard will be bad to the Bible: Whether copies of it exist and are read, of what kind, and to what extent? Whether the circulation of it might be increased?-In what versions, by wliat means, and in what amplitude? It will be an object also to ascertain what other books are in use, or are held in esteem; and what useful books or tracts might be circulated, and in what languages.
The two Grand Inquiries ever present to your minds will be-WHAT GOOD CAN BE DONE? and, BY WHAT MEANS? What can be done for the Jews? What for the Pagans? What for the Mahommedans: What for the Christians? What for the people in Palestine? What for those in Egypt-in Syria---in Persin-in Armenia,-in other countries to which your inquiries may be extended?
You may be assisted in these inquiries by such corres. pondences, commenced with caution and managed with wisdom, as you may find it convenient to establish and maintain.
It will be pleasant and useful, if by the way of Suez, to which place the Bombay Bible Society extends its benevolent care, you shall be able to open and prosecute a correspondence with your brethren at Bombay and Ceylon.
The fruits of your researches, consisting of facts, descriptions, notices, reflections, comparative views, and suggestions of methods and means of usefulness, you will regularly enter in your Journals, and transmit to us as opportunities are afforded. Possibly also you may be able to send home some Books or ancient Manuscripts, interesting to the student in the Scriptures, in Ecclesiastical History, or in general literature; or at least gratifying to a laudable veneration for Antiquity or to a reasonable curiosity.
In all your communications to us and to others, it will be of high importance that your statements and representations' be correct and exact. For this purpose too much care cannot be employed.
This business however, of procuring and communicating information, interesting and important as it will be, is not all that you are to attempt. You go to that Land-still of PROMISEas Christian Missionaries--as Ministers of Christ commissioned to testify the Gospel of the grace of God to Jews and Gentiles; to people of every nation and name and condition. This character you are sacredly to maintain in every place; and this cominission you are faithfully to execute as you have opportunity.
It is right, however, that you should bear in mind the word of the Lord Jesus, to those whom he first commissioned and sent forth two and two, to preach in the same Land; Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: BE YE THEREFORE WISE AS SERPENTS, AND HARMLESS AS DOVES.-BEWARE OF Men. This caution certainly was not more important for thein, than it is for you.
The abetters of those different Religions, and the adherents to the different sects, regard each other with mutual jealousy; and you will not think it strange if they all regard you with something more than suspicion. You will take all prudent care that you do nothing rashly-nothing inconsiderately or unadvisedly; that you do not inadvertently or needlessly expose yourselves to resentments, rapacities, siratagems, or acts of violence,-startle prejudices, excite suspicions, or offend against laws, or customs, or ceremonies, or opinions: and that, by avoiding all appearance of earthly wealth or distinction, by Christian courtesy and kindness, and meekness and gentleness,-and by all fair and lawful means, you conciliate civility, confidence, favour, and respect.
Though you are to maintain the Character and fulfil the Commission of Ministers of Christ; yet you will exercise a wise discretion in regard to the publicity which you give to yourselves, or to the errand on which you are sent. It may be necessary to your ultimate success that, for some time, you withhold yourselves from public notice, and prosecute your studies, inquiries, and general object in retirement; making acquaintance, meanwhile, with individuals as favourable oppor
tunities are offered, and extending your circle as circumstances direct or admit.
It will be of especial importance to seek among those, who are Christians in name, for such as are Christians in heart, with whom you may be joined in one spirit. With such, of whatever denomination, it will be as delightful as it will be useful to cultivate acquaintance, friendship, and the most sacred fellowship. Some such may be found with whom you may take sweet counsel, and go to the Mercy Seat of God in company; hold stated exercises of devotion and instruction, and concert measures for doing good. Though the Association be small at first, it inay increase and be advanced to great utility.
Be this your motto-UNION OF ALL WHO LOVE THE LORD Jesus CHRIST IN SINCERITY. Make it a steady aim to reduce the distinction of names, and forms, and minor differences of opinion, to their proper places; that they may not separate Brethren, nor obstruct communion, nor hinder unity of design or of action. Let the Prayer of the common Saviour and Lord, offered on that consecrated spot for his Disciples then present, and all that should believe on him through their word, be remembered with the deepest feeling: That they all may be one; as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us. Should this divine sentiment, this spirit of celestial union, only be duly felt by you and a few others in Judea who truly believe in Christ; how soon might scenes, scarcely less refreshing than those of Pentecost, be expected. That it may be so felt,--and that the diffusive and vivifying influence may be realized, let nothing, Dear Brethren, be wanting on your part.
At the house occupied by yourselves, if at no other place, you may find it safe and convenient to have stated seasons for social worship; at which you may open and allege the Scriptures, and hold such other exercises as shall be deemed must proper. Some true worshippers, some serious inquirers, and others willing to hear, may attend; and the word of God may grow, and prevail.
You may also at your house be able to receive pupils for instruction either in a regular course, or in some particular branches. A few promising youth will be worth your attention, on their own account and on account of the services which they may eventually render to the cause; and in this part of your work, you will proceed with engagedness, as the way shall be opened to you.
It will be a primary care, that your station become a Depository for Bibles, and other Books and Tracts, for distribution around you, and extensive dispersion. At all seasons Jerusalem is a place of resort; and from Christmas to Easter especially, the city is filled with pilgrims from countries near and far off. Opportunities therefore will be afforded contin. ually for distributions to an indefinable extent. And if you find yourselves free to establish a Depository, and to make issues from it, and take care to let it be known in what languages Bibles and Testaments may thence be distributed, and what other Books and Tracts are wanted for the same purpose, you will soon receive, and will continue to receive supplies.
You must not despise the day of small things. You must not be impatient under embarrassments and restraints. We know that your hearts are enlarged and ardent; we have great confidence also in the spirit of wisdom and of a sound mind which God has graciously given you. It will be put, we have no doubt, to a severe test; it can be adequately sustained, only by that same Almighty Grace by which it has been given. You must dwell in God; and be strong in hi'n and in the power of his might. Though straitened in the circumstances of your situation, in Him you need not be straitened. When he pleases he can bring you out into a large place. From small beginnings he can advance your work in its several parts, to extensive operations and mighty results. It may be esteemed by the world a fool-liardy enterprise; but the world knows not what it is to trust in the promised aid of EVERLASTING STRENGTH.
If, however, it shall seem good to the Sovereign Lord of Missions, that you should labour,as many of his servants have,
both abroad and at home, without seeing tlie desired effects; still, if faithful, your work will be with him, and you will be glorious in his sight. If you are permitted to plant the grain of mustard seed, though it come not to be a great tree before you rest from your labours; it may ultimately, nevertheless, be for life to many nations, and for an everlasting praise.
Your Mission,-associated as it will be, in every Christian mind, with all that is interesting in the ages that are passed and in the ages to come, will have a strong hold upon the Christian Community, and every circumstance of it will be extensively and deeply felt. Does this oppress your minds with an appalling responsibility?—Let it encourage your bearts with the cheering assurance of being helped with many prayers.
The Jews have been for ages an awful sign to the world. But the period of their tremendous dereliction, and of the severity of God, is drawing to a close. You are to lift up an ensign to them, that they may return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will return. The word of promise is sure;—and the accomplishinent of it will be as life from the dead to the Gentile world.
T'he day is at hand. The signal movements of the age indicate its dawn.-It may be your privilege to prepare the way of the Lord. It may be your felicity to see some of the long lost Children of Abraham, returning with dissolved hearts; and confessing with unutterable emotions, that the same Jesus whom on that awful spot their fathers crucified, is indeed the Messiah, the Hope of their nation and of all the nations of the earth. It may be your distinguished honour to be leadingly instrumental in building again the Tabernacle of David which is fallen down, and the ruins thereof, and in setting it up; that the residue of men may seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom his Name is called. It will be our unceasing prayer, and the unceasing prayer of many, that your Mission may be crowned with all this joy and all this glory.