Page images


much or how little he may diverge from his main pursuit, or whether literary diversions be compatible or not with the duties of a missionary. We can only lay down the general principle, that both ministerial and missionary work demands the entire energies of those who are dedicated thereto. In order to be at all eminent or successful, experience has proved that the man must be totus in illis. Give thyself wholly to themMake full proof of thy ministryDo all the work of an evangelist—is the charge of the Apostle. To divide the strength is to weaken it, and one's profession inevitably suffers.

Examination of the yearly minutes of the Hawaiian Mission, and a bird's-eye view of the business they lay out for themselves, every one or two years at general * meeting, as well as the personal inspection of them at their several stations, would satisfy any one that there is no chance in Hawaii-nei for laziness. There is work enough, both professional and miscellaneous, to keep them all busy; and there is full exercise, in one way or another, for all gifts and talentSj inventive, administrative, executive; teaching, preaching, organizing, building, improving in every way.

Some of the missionaries excel in preaching, and some in teaching; others, again, in translating and bookmaking; and others in devising and constructing new ways and means of operation upon the native mind, whereby it shall develop and educate itself.

Some pastors, by reason of their impulsive, sanguine temperaments, strong faith, and fervent zeal, are eager to introduce candidates early into the Christian ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper. Others, again, may have shown an excess of carefulness in admitting to the Church, an extreme of skepticism on the subject of native piety, and the important lack in their intercourse with Hawaiians, of the affable temper of Milton's

Sociable spirit Raphael, that deigued

To travel with Tobias, and secured

Hia marriage with the seven-times wedded maid.

We have put it down as a maxim that no man can be beloved or popular, as a missionary or a man, in - Hawaii-nei, who is not either from natural disposition, or in default of that, from purpose and policy, particularly patient, condescending, and social in his intercourse with the people. Any one that cannot be so, or who will not make up his mind to exercise much selfdenial, and spend considerable of his time in talking with the natives, receiving calls, and listening to their manaos, (thoughts,) had better not come.

The most beloved and best missionaries are the most easy and gracious in their dealings with the natives. You cannot be cold and reserved, or keep them at a distance, without keeping away their confidence and love. There must be much gentleness, a kind, obliging temper, and a considerable degree of familiarity allowed, or their regard for you will be slight, and your influence over them inconsiderable.

It is much more agreeable to nature to commune in one's study with books, or to be enjoying the society of

[merged small][ocr errors]

family and friends, than waiting upon ignorant though well-meaning Kanakas, that can add nothing to one's intellectual stores, patiently unravelling their Mhias, (moral entanglements,) listening to the tale of their corruptions, or sitting in judgment upon their strifes. But all this must be willingly submitted to if a man will gain influence, and will not quite forego the fruit of his labors. There must be a mutual love and confidence begotten between pastor and people by these offices, or the good that can be done is almost nothing.

There is one part of the pastor's discipline at Waialua that commends itself as wise, and worthy of imitation among more cultivated people than Hawaiians. I mean the way he deals with cases both of gross and minor delinquency, where yet the offenders are not cut off. When church members have confessed to him sin, or it has been found out in any way, and they seem penitent, he confesses it in their stead, and rebukes them publicly before the church on the days of communion, rather than let them confess at length themselves, and lay bare the deep ulcers of their souls, with the horrid kind of delight that some men seem to have in exposing their own depravity.

No careful observer who has been much conversant with men in religious matters, can fail to have taken notice of the secret pleasure which some persons have in detailing their sins, criminating themselves, and minutely relating the circumstances of their guilt. You hear such confessions sometimes in church-meetings, to let brethren and sisters know how wicked they have been; but it is almost always of sins that were, and that had better be let alone, except to mourn over them before God; seldom of those to which the man is now habituated, and that are a real stumbling-block in his business and family.

The pastor often listens to them with* surprise and sorrow in private. Sometimes they are protruded before promiscuous assemblies, with a wanton though concealed pleasure, to be detected by an acute observer, arising from the self-instituted comparison which the confessor makes, and which he supposes his hearers to be making also, between his past wickedness and present goodness, and from the supposed imputation to himself of humility in the minds of others, for being willing to make such disclosures of his sins.

There is not a little of this to be observed in the publicly related experiences of reformed drunkards, of whom he is thought to be the most entertaining, and is made the lion, who can tell the most terrible tale in his own person, (Quw-que ipse miserrima vidi, et quorum pars magna fui,) of the degradation and woe, the bestiality and filth, of intemperance. We shrewdly suspect these public experience-tellers of sometimes adding a thing or two, like the venders of the last words of noted pirates and highwaymen, in order to make out a case, and horrify, and get it to go the better.

And we think there is no small danger of the public taste becoming vitiated by the disgusting exhibitions that are sometimes made. Certain it is that in all such A COMMON WEAKNESS CONSIDERED. . 269

confessions, (those first spoken of,) there is more of pride than of conscious shame, or humble grief, or glory to God. They are alike unedifying to those to whom they are made, and to those by whom they are made, except for the relief they now and then give to a burdened conscience.

True shame and repentance for private sins does not seek the meeting-house, but the closet, to confess in; not the itching ears of men, but the ear of the all-hearing God. It says to him, like David, Against thee, thee only ham I sinned and done evil in thy sight. If the sin has been public, and an injury to men, then indeed will genuine repentance suggest the reasonableness of making a public confession, and seeking pardon of men as well as of God. But it is, if we mistake not, with heart-felt sorrow for sin as with deep-felt grief for some bereavement: both seek solitude to pray and mourn in, and ask not a stranger's'intermeddling therewith.

We always conclude that an affliction is not felt very deeply, that the barbed iron of sorrow has not entered into the soul, when it can be spoken of with every caller or guest, and the wound it has made in the sensibilities handled and shown. It argues a superficial and volatile, rather than a deep-suffering mind, to be able to say much about its sorrow. A heart deeply wounded shuns the sympathy and sight of all but God and a few bosom friends. Its anguish cannot be told and shared with many. The keenly felt trial or bereavement must be touched gently, and will not be talked about as a. common theme.

« PreviousContinue »