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sincere desire to know whether the Bible was really the Word of God, or merely the production of a foreign sage. While this man is not yet, so far as we know, converted, his interest in the things of God is most encouraging, and gives one good reason to hope that the spirit of God is working in his heart.
Mr. Hunt also mentions another case of much interest. A Chinese graduate, an earnest Buddhist and a vegetarian, has become thoroughly acquainted with the whole Bible, and has carefully studied some dozen Christian books besides.
Mr. Hunt says “This gentleman speaks highly of the Christian religion to many others in the city, and has gone so far in making it known that some of his own friends have already slighted him on account of it.” This man also is not yet a Christian, his one point of difficulty being his inability to see himself a hopeless, helpless sinner, devoid of personal merit. We are told however that the entrance of God's Word giveth light. It has already dispelled much darkness in his mind, and we would ask prayer that He who alone can convince of sin may lead this influential man first to know his own state, and God's Salvation, and then largely use him in the spread of the truth.
KWEI-CHAU. Mr. J. F. Broumton, who has lived in Kwei-yang Fu, the capital of this Province, writing on September 17th, says :
“Our evangelist Ts'en, a short time ago, was looking over some old books at a book-stall to find one for his children to study. He selected one, but the prico asked for it was too high. While barganing, an old man said to him, 'I have lots of old books at home, perhaps you can find a copy of the one you require among them.' Ts'en accordingly, went to his home and found he was a collector of lettered paper. Occasionally he finds books in the waste-paper baskets he empties, and if be thinks Any of thein will sell, he puts them by. Ts'en looked over the books that he had, and found among them a copy of the New Testament. This seems to have been read carefully. The owner had made thicker covers for it, had bound it more strongly, and had written a poetical index for aid in remoruberiug the order of the books, a copy of which I enclose. * This
約 希 提,加
使兩 翰 百 摩力拉 徒馬 來
比太 修行可太 前 哥與 羅路歌
*J 書 默得
index he had pasted inside the cover of the book. Many passages he appears to have admired and these he has marked. For instance he marks, Col., 111. 14. 'Love which is the bond of perfectness,' and again Chap., 1v. 6. 'Let your speech be always with grace,' also the graces mentioned in Chap., 11. 12, have marks against them. It would be interesting to know who the reader was, and how the book came subsequently to be consigned to the waste-paper basket. We cannot but hope that God will bless His word to some who, like this man, appear to have read it carefully."
One needs continually to remind oneself of the importance of following up the circulation of Scriptures and Christian books. It would never do to prepare the field and cast in the sced, and then leave it unheeded. Prayer at least for each district visited, continued prayer, surely should follow; and so far and so often as possible visits should be repeated. Still it is cheering to know that without such visits portions of Scripture have been blessed from time to time.
THE SYMPATHY OF CHRIST-A LESSON TO A MISSIONARY.
Az ORDINATION ADDRESS, By Rev. James Ross, LATE OF CALCUTTA. IN addressing to you some counsel and encouragement, I wish to call
your attention to words in Mark vi. 34, “And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.”
I think that in these words we have a glimpse of that sacred inner life from which the veil is occasionally lifted in connection with some passages in Christ's history. His sighing indicated intense sympathy with the man he was about to heal. That sympathy, indeed, was never absent in all His manifold works. There was too great an overflow of tender feeling to permit Him to descend to a mechanical discharge of duty, and to be satisfied with righteous conduct apart from sympathetic loving-kindness. No sick or maimed ones ever failed to feel His tender touch, or catch the glance of His sympathetic eye, or hear the tender tones of His voice as it breathed forth loving pity for them. Whoever was healed by Jesus felt he got as rich a blessing in the love which the healing act expressed as in the healing itself.
Equally strong was this power in its influence over the men whom He drew to Him as His disciples and friends. There was no obtrusive miracle performed when, in obedience to Christ's command—“Follow Me!”—they arose and followed Him. They had found a Master and Friend who knew their thoughts, and sympathised with their wants. Had He acted only as the Teacher and Lord, they might have resisted or murmured at His authority; but He made Himself one of them, was their Friend, Companion, and Guide. Even in His sternest rebukes
there was mingled that strange sympathy with them that surely won their hearts. I doubt not it was the conviction of this that gave keenness to the anguish of Peter's penitence as Christ turned and looked npon him; and it was this, too, that made a large part of the remorse that overtook Judas. For there is a law in our nature which was very manifest in the life of the Man Christ Jesus—and true in every human life—that no heart can painlessly resist the sympathy of another heart; the sympathy must either conquer or punish-must draw heart to heart, and life to life, or leave those who resist its power with the pain of shame and self-reproach.
Now, as I see manifest in the life of our Lord the power of this sympathy, I regard it as a great encouragement to us to know that it
Ι is a power we can share with Him, and which, under His guidance and teaching, may be largely acquired by those who do not already fully possess it. And it is a power which, in my judgment, stands next in order, in the life of a true missionary, to the power of that truth which he declares to men. It is a power, too, without which, I believe, even the Gospel often fails to become effective in its influence
To teach men, we must feel with them; to draw them to Christ, they must also be drawn to ourselves; to enable them to see and understand the love of Christ, they must first see it through our love to them.
You will need this human sympathy as a missionary of Christ. There will yet come up in your path difficulties and discouragements, which nothing will more help you to overcome than tender regard for the well-being of those
labour. You will need it in your contact with a new and strange race of
I cannot well describe to you the strange feeling of repulsion, or even something like disgust, which you will have in
introduction to those among whom you will live and labour. It is an aversion springing partly from a certain physical feeling which it is difficult to account for, but which certainly exists between fair-skinned and dark-skinned races; and partly, too, from the difference of habits and customs of heathen races from those that obtain in civilized countries. That feeling, which I may call race-aversion, is more painful to some than to others. I have known it so strong in some missionaries as to disqualify them for their work. I knew one who never could shake the hand of an Indian without inwardly shuddering at the cold, clammy touch so characteristic of those who are natives of tropical lands. And I have known others who never could remain in a crowd of Indians or Chinese without a feeling of almost sickening disgust. I trust no such degree of discomfort will be felt by you; but doubtless
you will have more or less of the feeling. Now, I know but one remedy for this, and that is, such a tender sympathy with the moral and spiritual needs of the people as will enable you to overcome every feeling of aversion. Your pity for their degraded condition, your yearning desire to bless them through the Gospel of the divine love, these sanctified and sanctifying emotions will expel all such feelings of aversion. So it must have been with our Divine Lord. How terrible must have been the suffering which IIis pure spirit endured as He came into contact with the vileness and sin of men; and yet His tender pity for them, His strong desire to bless them, cast out every other feeling.
You will need this sympathy also amid the trials of your patience, forbearance, and diligence. You will have to deal with minds and lives in many respects different from those of your own country. For in our own land, not only is there a degree of intelligence and knowledge among even the poorest and most ignorant which a public teacher
a can count upon, but there is also a certain degree of moral feeling and principle even in the most degraded lives. You will find ignorance so dense and almost brutal, you will find such an utter absence of moral feeling and principle, as will shock you in your first contact with the natives. Feelings and emotions, and ideas of right and wrong, which are so common in our own land, and which seem to belong to men by a law of nature, you will find all but absent from the lives of the heathen. I know nothing of the language of the race, but I know that in languages spoken by millions in India, there were no words for "conscience" or "gratitude" until they were created by Christian missionaries, and the absence of such words, related as they are to the most powerful emotions in the moral nature, may give you an idea of the degradation of the people. In fact, you will find that no small part of your work will be to help to create ideas in the minds of the people which you have seen inseparably connected with men's minds in your own land. You have not only to begin with the alphabet of the moral and spiritual life, but, to a large extent, you have to try and make that alphabet. And your contact with such moral depravity will make a great trial in your working life. It is hard enough to deal with men who, while knowing that lying and stealing are wrong, nevertheless practise both; but it is harder still to deal with those who regard both as commendable, if only they are clever enough to conceal them. And there are other forms of evil which will meet you in manifold ways, to which I cannot allude here. In spending your life among a heathen people, you will find you will need all the energy und strength of nature which you can possibly possess. You will need
this, not only to keep you active and hopeful in your work, but to save you from that weariness and languor which so often oppress the spirit of a good man in his constant contact with moral degradation. There is a double struggle in every faithful missionary's life, not only in his effort to raise those around him to a higher life, but in striving to save himself from descending to their low level.
And I know no mightier power of a human kind than the power of a tender sympathy in connection with this work, and as a force that will help you to resist the influences to which I have referred. You will never weary of the work you do for men, so long as you love the men for whom you toil. You will never cease to be hopeful as you realise the value of the souls you seek to bless. Only remember how dear they are to the Lord whom you serve; only remember, too, how much their sin and degradation plead on their behalf, and how their wants eloquently cry out for your brotherly help, and you will feel that no labour, or patience, or forbearance, can be too great for you to give in seeking to bless and save them.
But I want to say a few words regarding the strengthening and maintaining of your sympathy in all its freshness and power. We are variously endowed with this human feeling. Some are naturally much more sympathetic in their natures than others. Some of the most virtuous and estimable persons we meet, often, to a very large extent, lack this feeling: they are not able to enter into the feelings of others; they find it difficult to understand and guide other lives; there is a hardness about them that often makes their very good to be evil spoken of. However such a defect may be tolerated in the working Christian world in our own land, it is a fatal defect in any missionary's life. Not only does it make any success in winning men to Christ almost impossible, but it makes many a burden and pain for his own spirit, and it deprives him of one of the mightiest forces which any man can use in seeking to gain over to God his fellow-men.
Here are the chief ways in which you may encourage and strengthen this emotion :
1. Always keep before your mind men's spiritual and moral needs. Let these claim your attention, and you will never fail to have a friendly and loving pity for those among whom you labour. As I said before, it was thus that our Divine Lord sustained His Spirit. Man's want pressed more upon His heart than man's desert. The sin which to a hard nature, to a nature in which the sense of strict righteousness overpassed every other feeling—the sin which to such a nature would have called forth constant indignation and sorrow, chiefly moved Him to pity. He looked on men's iniquities, not with the desire to