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That the Divine majesty, whose way is in the sea and whose paths are in the deep waters, should sometimes permit events to occur that appear adverse to the expectations and aims of his people, should excite no astonishment. By incidents of this character, he exhibits the frailty of his creatures, he instructs them that in his whole government he is himself the sovereign; he invites the exercise of an unreserved confidence in him alone, and triumphs over their fears by evincing in the result that occurrences of the most disastrous aspect were intended to issue in the accomplishment of the most glorious de. signs. Providence and prophecy, the conduct and the language of Jehovah can never militate against each other. The kingdoms of this world must become and are becoming the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.
Are motives required for missionary activity? In his own character and the obligations it imposes, the good man will find a host. Let him contemplate the multiplied sorrows of them who are worshipping gods of clay and silver, and surely his heart must melt in pity. Let him consider with what ease God can chastise his disobedient and slothful servants, by divesting them of that property with which they are entrusted, a hundredth part of which they will not employ for his glory, or by suspend. ing those sacred consolations which are the christian's most delightful support. Let him reflect on the trivial sums which at his hand are solicited, and contrast them with the immense expenditure of the Son of God, for his everlasting salvation. Let him estimate the aggregate which the accumulations of the small contributions of thousands must produce, and the good it promises with a Divine blessing to accomplish. Let him appreciate the honour the Lord sheds on his servants in making them “ fellow-workers” with himself. Let him read the privations, the afflictions, the martyrdoms of the missionaries of Christ, and the harvest of blessings which have sprung
from the seed which, with tears, they scattered. Let him recollect the brevity of human life, the months that are gone for ever, in which he has done so little in the noblest of causes; and that only during the few remaining hours of his existence, it is possible for him to work. Let him anticipate the pleasure of meeting those among the blessed in heaven, to whose conversion to God his self denying benevolence has been instrumental-but why multiply motive. The terrors of hell, the joys of heaven, the inestimable worth of the soul, the establishment of the Son of God in ordaining the publication of his Gospel, the rod of his strength, and especially the signs of the times call on the saints, as with a voice of thunder, to associate their counsels, contributions and labour, and to appear before the throne, offering the daily, united, and prevailing prayer, Lord let thy kingdom come!
SUBSTANCE OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD
FOR THE YEAR PAST.
FOR the information of such as did not receive the former publication of the Board, it may he remarked that, in May 1814 a number of delegates from Mission Societies in Massachusetts, Rhode Island; New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, met at Philadelphia, for the purpose of comcombining their efforts to send the gospel among the heathen; and formed The General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States of America for Foreign Missions.
The Constitution directs, that this Convention be held once in three years, composed of delegates not exceeding two from each Society that contributes at least one hundred dollars annually to the general fund; and that, during its recess, the business be transacted by a number of persons chosen by the Convention, to be called The Baptist Board of Foreign Missions for the United States.
It is the cluty of this Board, according to the constitution, to employ missionaries, determine the field of their labours, and the compensation to be allowed them; to publish accounts, from time to time, of their transactions, and an annual address to the public; and in general to conduct the executive part of the missionary concern.
The Board, at their first mceting, elected Dr. Baldwin, of Boston, President; Drs Rogers and Holcombe, of Philadelphia, Vice-Presidents; Mr. John Cauldwell, of New York, Treasurer; Dr. Staughton, of Philadelphia, Corresponding Secretary; and Rev. Mr. White, of Philadelphia, Recording Secretary.
The Board undertook the patronage of Rev. Luther Rice as their missionary, to continue his itinerant services in these United States for a reasonable time; and also the patronage and support of Rev. Adoniram Judson, now in India, as a missionary under their care and direction; for whose use they ordered one thousand dollars to be transmitted to India by the earliest opportunity.
The Board agreed to hold their meetings quarterly.
At a meeting of the Board, June 15, 1814--Voted to supply brother Rice with credentials, stating his appointment under the patronage of the Board, the object of his itineracies and labours in this country, and recommending him to the favour of the people wherever, in pursuing the openings of Providence, he may direct his course.
At the quarterly meeting of the Board, September 9th, 1814– Information was received that the one thousand dollars ordered for brother Judson in India had been by a favourable opportunity forwarded for his use and support.
Voted to request the several Missionary Societies to forward the monies in their hands to the general Treasurer.
At the quarterly meeting of the Board, March 6, 1815-Commu. nications from many Associations and individuals, evincing a dispo
sition to aid the benevolent purpose of imparting the knowledge of Christ to the heathen, were placed before the Board by the Corresponding Secretary.
Voted that one thousand dollars be transmitted to India for the support of brother and sister Judson.
Voted that all communications to the Board be made through the Corresponding Secretary.
Voted that brethren Staughton, Rogers, and White, be a committee to ascertain and report the probable expense of supporting cach missionary in India.
Voted that brother G. H. Hough, who made application to be em. ployed as a missionary in the service of the Board, be requested by the Corresponding Secretary, to appear at the next meeting of the Board for examination; and that his expenses in coming to Philadelphia for this purpose be defrayed out of the general fund.
The Board regretted that Mr. Elton, who had contemplated devoting his life to missionary labours, found himself under the necessity, for want of health, of declining this service. No doubt was entertained of his possessing the requisite talents and piety for such a station.
At a meeting of the Board, April 11, 1815-A communication from brother Rice was received relative to his exertions and their results.
Voted that the Treasurer be directed to settle with brother Rice, and pay him the balance that may be due for his services and expenditures.
The examination of brother Hough took place, and afforded very great satisfaction-on which
Voted to accept him as a missionary destined for India, to join brother Judson at Rangoon as soon as practicab.e.
Voted that brother Hough be publicly and solemnly set apart at a suitable time for the missionary service.
Voted that two hundred dollars be ordered for the immediate use of brother Hough, towards defraying the expense of his journey to Philadelphia, and other contingent expenses, while endeavouring to find opportunity of a passage to India.
It was the sentiment of the Board that however desirable it might be for brother Rice to return immediately to India, pursuant to his own wishes to be re-associated with brother Judson, and the wishes of the Board to avail themselves of his services in the Burman empire, yet, such is the actual posture of the missionary business in this country, and the course clearly indicated by an over-ruling and all-wise Providence, as, in the judgment of the Board, imperiously to require his longer detention and farther labours here--therefore
Voted that brother Rice for some time longer continue his labours as an agent of this Board, subject however to such openings in Providence, and such success attendant on his labour, as in the judge ment of the Board may render his continuance in this country no longer requisite, and his removal to a missionary station requisite and proper.
At a meeting of the Board, April 27, 1815–Voted that brethren Staughton, Holcombe, and White, be a committee, to provide for an
outfit, and to procure a passage for brother Hough and family, for India.
Voted that thirty-six dollars and eighty-five and a half cents be ordered for the purpose of meeting the expense of procuring and forwarding certain books, &c. for brother Judson.
Voted that the annual publication of the Board be printed without delay.
To the Corresponding Secretary of the Baptist Board of Foreign
Missions for the United States,
DEAR SIR, The period has arrived when it becomes my duty to render a detailed account of my labours and their results in the service of the Board since the meeting of the Baptist General Missionary Convention.
Previously to leaving this city, I had the particular satisfaction of being present at the formation of The Sansom Street Baptist Female Society for Promoting Foreign Evangelical Mis: sions. While in New York not long after, the honourable Judge Tallmadge had the goodness to suggest improvements to the model of a constitution intended as the basis of societies through the interior of the country; which model may be seen by the Board in the constitutions of mission societies since actually formed.
Arriving at Hartford, Con. late in July, it afforded me great pleasure to find the way prepared for the adoption of measures immediately to bring about the formation of a mission society in that quarter. Rev. Mr. Cushman, pursuant to the unanimous voice of the church, of which he is pastor, issued a circular to the brethren and friends of our denomination in the state, soliciting their attendance at a meeting in Hartford, the 31st August, for the purpose of organizing a missionary society. Meanwhile I thought proper to make an excursion into Vermont, from which, having ascertained the prospect to be favourable in that direction, I returned to be present at the meeting just mentioned, and had the pleasure of assisting in the formation of The Connecticut Society Auxiliary to the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions. No instance of this nature, unless perhaps the formation of Female Societies, has imparted to me greater satisfaction than the manner in which our brethren in this quarter have taken hold of the missionary business. At the very threshold, a circumstance which I cannot without violence to my feelings abstain from gratefully announcing, the society received by letter religious assurances of one hundred dollars a year from an individual for