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THE

MARTYR OF ERROMANGA.

LETTER I.

TO THE TEACHERS OF BRITISH AND OTHER

DAY SCHOOLS.

ON THE CULTIVATION OF THE MISSIONARY SPIRIT AS A BRANCH

OF EDUCATION, AND THE PREFERENCE DUE TO MISSIONARY WORK.

BENEFACTORS of your country and of mankind! to the Christian pastor, the true patriot, the statesman, and the philosopher, your system and labours present a spectacle of the deepest interest. The edifices in which you exercise your functions, are centres of influence of which it is difficult to describe the limits. The economy of our world supplies no standard by which to measure the importance of your services. Like the true ministers of religion, the utility of your labours is not to be estimated by their earthly reward. The rude millions of which society is composed, cannot yet appreciate them. Be not discouraged, however; but, with the faithful missionaries of the cross, labour on for the good of mankind, in the hope of better times.

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The day is near in which your work will be its own witness, and will assert its own claims. Go on to awaken, enlighten, and elevate the spirit of man; and to impart benefits which gold cannot compensate ! Your work, happily, carries with it its own reward. How vast and abiding the satisfaction which results from calling forth the intellectual and moral resources of your species ; from giving the immortal mind of man a new consciousness of its powers and faculties; invigorating the judgment, regulating the will, and purifying the heart! Your vocation invests you with a power, which, wisely wielded, will shake and subvert all the despotic thrones and dominions of our world. Your position commands for you an awful and augmenting ascendancy in the sphere of human agency. You put forth your strength upon a nation's mind in the morning of its life, when all is young, and fresh, and tender. The lessons you teach, become part of the very instincts of opening life. The principles you implant, are permanently incorporated with the elements of thought and being. It is not for nothing that you are objects of hatred to the foes of freedom and of human advancement.

In proportion to the greatness of a power, are the necessity and importance of its right direction. The work of teaching well deserves the best talents; but moral considerations are paramount to intellectual: for it is your high province to produce, not simply intellectual, but moral results; and the latter are inexpressibly the more important. Hence, no degree of mental progress can compensate for deficiency in moral culture; and the utmost measures of both are essential to complete success in the exercise of your functions. The scale of your competency is one of many gradations ; and he who approaches the highest point, is entitled to rank with the most distinguished of his race.

The plain and simple apparatus of your rooms is but the index to your powers. There is no limit to the richness and variety of your communications, but that which is set by your own capabilities; and there is scarcely any kind or degree of information which may not be brought to bear upon the interests of education. You may perform miracles in tuition, without book. Thus it was that Socrates and Plato taught the youth of Greece; but you may infinitely excel both Socrates and Plato, not only in the matter, but also in the manner, of your communication. Amidst the multitude of subjects which lie before you, especial attention is due to those which are discussed in this volume, War and Missions. What may you not do towards teaching mankind to think aright on these mighty themes! They come legitimately before you in the two chief departments of History and Geography; and, in able hands, they will never fail to contribute a freshness and an interest to the business of instruction, which nothing else can impart. But, that you may teach, it is necessary that you should learn. Let your own minds, therefore, be thoroughly familiarized with these great subjects. Make an intense and patient study of them, till you have mastered them in all their principles and in all their details. What materials for moral instruction and pathetic exhortation ! On these weighty topics, how much you may accomplish towards the reformation of the public taste and the creation of a public conscience ! You may ultimately implant in the nation's heart an abhorrence of war which nothing can mitigate, and a zeal for missions which nothing can quench! The day is near in which your work will be its own witness, and will assert its own claims. Go on to awaken, enlighten, and elevate the spirit of man; and to impart benefits which gold cannot compensate! Your work, happily, carries with it its own reward. How vast and abiding the satisfaction which results from calling forth the intellectual and moral resources of your species ; from giving the immortal mind of man a new consciousness of its powers and faculties ; invigorating the judgment, regulating the will, and purifying the heart! Your vocation invests you with a power, which, wisely wielded, will shake and subvert all the despotic thrones and dominions of our world. Your position commands for you an awful and augmenting ascendancy in the sphere of human agency. You put forth your strength upon a nation's mind in the morning of its life, when all is young, and fresh, and tender. The lessons you teach, become part of the very instincts of opening life. The principles you implant, are permanently incorporated with the elements of thought and being. It is not for nothing that you are objects of hatred to the foes of freedom and of human advancement.

In proportion to the greatness of a power, are the necessity and importance of its right direction. The work of teaching well deserves the best talents ; but moral considerations are paramount to intellectual: for it is your high province to produce, not simply intellectual, but moral results; and the latter are inexpressibly the more important. Hence, no degree of mental progress can compensate for deficiency in moral culture; and the utmost measures of both are essential to complete success in the exercise of your functions. The scale of your competency is one of many gradations ; and he who approaches the highest point, is entitled to rank with the most distinguished of his race.

The plain and simple apparatus of your rooms is but the index to your powers. There is no limit to the richness and variety of your communications, but that which is set by your own capabilities ; and there is scarcely any kind or degree of information which may not be brought to bear upon the interests of education. You may perform miracles in tuition, without book. Thus it was that Socrates and Plato taught the youth of Greece; but you may infinitely excel both Socrates and Plato, not only in the matter, but also in the manner, of your communication. Amidst the multitude of subjects which lie before you, especial attention is due to those which are discussed in this volume, War and Missions. What may you not do towards teaching mankind to think aright on these mighty themes! They come legitimately before you in the two chief departments of History and Geography; and, in able hands, they will never fail to contribute a freshness and an interest to the business of instruction, which nothing else can impart. But, that you may teach, it is necessary that you should learn. Let your own minds, therefore, be thoroughly familiarized with these great subjects. Make an intense and patient study of them, till you have mastered them in all their principles and in all their details. What materials for moral instruction and pathetic exhortation! On these weighty topics, how much you may accomplish towards the reformation of the public taste and the creation of a public conscience! You may ultimately implant in the nation's heart an abhorrence of war which nothing can mitigate, and a zeal for missions which nothing can quench!

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