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tion of my incapacity and small experience (for I had lived in Herruhut only two years) I had refrained from disclosing, became very powerful within me. I was then working with Frederick Böhnisch in the new burying-place on the Hutberg. I told him first what was in my mind, and found that a strong desire for the salvation of the heathen had also been excited in his by the same circumstance. We talked together in the simplicity of our hearts about it, and felt the strongest desire to go to Greenland, but did not know whether we should regard our inclination as an impulse wrought of God, and declare it to the congregation, or wait until a call should be brought to us. As, however, we were of one mind, and believed simply that the promise of the Saviour, If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven, Matt. xvii. 19, applied also to ourselves, we fell on our knees before him in the next thicket, and prayed him to enlighten our minds in this weighty matter, and lead us in the right way. Our hearts were hereupon filled with uncommon joy, and we hesitated no longer to lay our wishes in writing before the congregation, without any reserve as to what heathen a call might be addressed to us for, although we felt the strongest inclination towards the Greenlanders. The letter was read in public assembly, and listened to with joy. Some, indeed, expressed their surprise that it resembled the letter of the before-mentioned brethren so closely, and a few thought that we had talked it over with them, or at least wished to imitate them. Thence, perhaps, it came to pass, that we, for a long time, neither had an answer, nor were spoken to on the subject by the officers of the congregation. One of them only, on one occasion, expressed himself to me, in a way which gave me but little hope. We let ourselves be deterred, however, by all this, as little as by the representation of the difficulty of getting to Greenland, and living there, of which we, in a casual way, heard a great deal ; and waited tranquilly to learn whether our request would be received or rejected. After a good while, Count Zinzendorf sent for us, and asked us if we were still in the same mind; and as we answered “yes,” and gave him to understand that we would gladly go to Greenland, he urged us again to consider the difficulties in the way
of our support and continuance there ; but added, at last, that if we were willing to venture in confidence upon the Saviour, we might prepare for our journey, with his blessing, and that of the congregation. We therefore looked forward to the time of our dismission with much desire, but meanwhile worked at our ordinary calling. A year, however, passed away before all was ready; and as in the mean time F. Böhnisch had preferred another place of labour, Christian David expressed his willingness to go with me to Greenland. Our preparation was soon made; and the Count in the last two days conversed with me very impressively, particularly on the care of both body and
soul, which was of lasting benefit to me. As, however, Christian David was to return the following year, I asked, in reply to the question, Whom I should like for a companion ? that I might have my cousin, Christian Stach, with me. He joyfully acceded to the call, and got ready as quickly as possible.”
Such was the simple commencement of the mission, which, if it had produced no other fruits, would have remained for ever imperishable in the lesson imparted by the conversion of Kajarnak, in 1738. The whole recital is too long; but we must quote a few lines from it. One of the missionaries, John Beck, was writing out a fair copy of a translation of the Gospels. The heathen were curious to know what it was about. He told them ; a conversation ensued respecting the soul, creation, the fall, and redemption by Christ. “On this occasion, the Holy Spirit moved this brother to set before them the sufferings and death of Jesus more earnestly, and he urged them, with much feeling, to consider how much it must have cost the Saviour that we might be saved ; that they ought no longer to keep back their hearts, his so painfully-earned reward, from him, since they had cost him death with such bitter sufferings, and even such an agony of soul that he had sweat great drops of blood. He read them then from the New Testament the history of the Saviour's sufferings in the garden. Then the Lord opened the heart of one of these ignorant savages, named Kajarnak. He went up to the table, and said with a voice trembling with emotion : ‘How was that? tell me that again, for I would gladly be saved.' These words," said Beck, “which I had never heard from any Greenlander, went through both bone and marrow, and put me in such a ferment, that I told the Greenlander, with tears in my eyes, the whole history of Christ's passion, and the plan of God for our salvation.” If any one, however, would know either the value of the mission; or the sufferings, stedfastness, and faith and patience of the brethren; or the hopeless aspect of things when it was undertaken, he must go to Crantz's history of it, or the abstract given in Brown's History of Missions. The noble aspect of the enterprise appears in this, that it was undertaken by the brethren to succour good old Egede in an apparently hopeless extremity. It is easy to go about the Lord's work, when all the world claps hands ; but these were men who suffered afflictions, were not dismayed at their adversaries, and for Christ's name laboured, and did not faint: Behold, we count them happy who endure.” It is almost needless to add, that the voyage
of Christian David and Matthew and Christian Stach to Greenland, has been sung by the sweetest living poet of our country, James Montgomery.*
* Montgomery's Greenland. Canto I.
“O'er Greenland next two youths in secret wept," &c.
THE DAY OF TROUBLE.
Trouble is of many kinds, and of different degrees. There may be the ruffling of the surface; there may be the angry and tempestuous battling of the waves. Trouble will be variously regarded by men, according to their natural temper, or their spiritual state: what is borne by one with equanimity, may overwhelm another ; what leads one to diligent inquiry and serious reflection, may be regarded by another with stupid indifference. It is both the design and certain effect of trouble, to try and prove men; to mature character, whether evil or good; to develope and make manifest what we are. We are so clearly taught in the word of God, as well as by the entire history of the church, that trouble is one of the principal elements in God's government of the human family, and one of the chief means by which he disciplines his saints, that it becomes us to look at it, to consider its nature and operations, and to know how to act when it falls on us.
But it is not to trouble in its lighter forms, that we now wish to direct the reader's attention. We know that the passing cares and every-day anxieties of life are neither unimportant in their influences, nor incapable of being made, by watchfulness and prayer, greatly subservient to spiritual improvement; but these are not our present business. Nor is it every serious trial a man has to bear, which places him in the condition of the Psalmist. One individual loses half his fortune, and for a moment is staggered by the blow; but he has a lovely and interesting family, that cleave to him the more closely, and whose fond affections speedily soothe his grief, and revive his energies. Another may be bereaved of his wife, the wife of his youth, and the stroke may bow him down to the earth ; but the vigour of his manhood, the esteem in which he finds himself held by his fellow-men, the deep and heartfelt sympathies of a thousand friends, bring sweet relief, and, with the aid of time, heal the wound, and restore his soul. There are conditions of human life far more malign, and writhing calamities far more terrible than these. The Psalmist has not told us how he was afficted, or what were his particular trials ; but it seems evident, from his language, that they had in them exceedingly bitter elements, and were of that peculiar character, which justified him in speaking of the period of their continuance, as emphatically his day of trouble. His tribulations were, undoubtedly, of the most unwelcome kind : probably his fondest affections had been lacerated; his choicest possessions had been taken away; he had been smitten to the heart : but the peculiarity of his condition was this, that he had nothing left on earth that he cared for. There might be much that those who were mere spectators would imagine ought to mitigate his grief ; but it had no power over him, and, instead of soothing, only aggravated his woe; whilst his infirmity put into his cup its last and bitterest ingredient, by leading him to suppose that God had forgotten him, and was now cutting him off for ever. This is trouble ; it is trouble, indeed, when all that a man has loved on earth-all that he has been aiming at, and toiling for, in this life—all that he has been trusting in, as a man, a husband, a parent, a citizen, is gone. The hope of twenty or forty years vanished in a moment! It had often nerved his arm; it had sustained bim in a thousand difficulties; it had been the chief stimulus of each day's exertions, and the chief pleasure of each day's anticipations; and now, when he is just ready to enjoy it, it is gone—for ever gone : whilst God himself seems at the same time to have forsaken him. Who can tell what it is for a human being thus to be made to stand alone? Who can describe the desolateness of that human spirit, that is thus cut off at the same moment, from the world, from his fellow-men, and from God? Yet it sometimes happens; and it is that shade, which, when it does happen, may be called emphatically the day of trouble. How keen its suffering! how intense its anguish! what fearful thoughts are made to revolve in the breast! what purposes that may not be uttered are conceived! It may not be thus experienced by all the people of God; yet it is not of so unfrequent occurrence, as not to need our consideration, or to justify any one of us in expecting to be exempted from it.
Of this state we have several striking scriptural examples. Abraham had severe trials; but his day of trouble was that which he was called to spend in Mount Moriah. Numerous and heavy were the calamities that befel David ; but it is in that sad hour when we see him crossing the brook Kedron, and looking back from Olivet on the beloved city, stung, as he moves on, by the curse of Shimei, and heart-broken by the treachery of his child, that his spirit is surcharged with woe, and he knows the day of trouble. Each of the trials that overtook the patriarch Job was sufficient to cast him down ; yet how comparatively light, even in their accumulation, while a single hope remained, human or divine! At length his cup was filled ; his day of trouble came. His last earthly comfort fled, and at the same time, round about the throne of God the clouds and darkness seemed to gather. Jesus was a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief ; yet even to him was allotted a season of peculiar and untold bitterness, a day of trouble, the hour and power of darkness.
Why does God so afflict men, or permit them to be so tried? While it is admitted, that in any case our punishment is far less than our deserts, can any end be answered by it, which can reconcile it with goodness and mercy, and render it imperative on man meekly and quietly to bow? A full answer to this inquiry we cannot now attempt. Let it, therefore, suffice to remark, that God entertains to his people the highest and most glorious designs; and purposes to bring them ultimately to a
condition of holy existence, and elevated blessedness, far beyond all our present conceptions; and that, as we are fallen and reprobate creatures, yet free and accountable, this, if not the only possible method, is by far the best and most satisfactory way, by which, in many cases, our preparation for it can be secured. It is obvious, that virtue cannot be illustrated, piety towards God can never be proved, without trial. Even if the seed of it really exists in the heart, its maturity and developement both require trial. Now the kind of trial to which we have referred, puts us and our principles, especially our trust in God, to the most decisive test; and we would ask whether, notwithstanding its severity and painfulness, it is not worth going through, to secure such an end ? Indeed, the position of a human spirit in the day of trouble, is one of the most interesting and sublime that can be imagined. Here is God on the one hand, and the creature on the other. He claims to be our God; he presents himself to us in Christ, as the only good; the one Being in the universe that can make us happy,—who, if we acknowledge his sovereignty, and take him for our portion, will make us happy. But this is an indispensable condition : as long as our hearts are divided, -as long as there is any rival, any rebellion there, it cannot be. When man submits to God, and God becomes supreme, and only then, the creature is blessed. This is an eternal law ; it is unalterable in its character; no power could remove or even modify it. To ascertain the fact, to try the issue, God brings on him the day of trouble. He knows previously how things will turn out; the process, however, which to us is still a critical and fearful process, must be gone through. While it is proceeding, flesh and blood is offering its resistance ; the natural man, stung to madness by disappointed hopes, or mortified pride, or the contempt and the trampling of the wicked, is stubborn and rebellious ; while Satan goads the spirit on to charge God foolishly, to impeach his goodness, to defy his power, and, by a desperate effort, stoically to bear his calamities, that he may seem to his fellows to outbrave them all. But while this deep and dreadful struggle is going on among the natural passions within, there are other elements at work of great power. The unquenched piety of his own heart, the experience of Divine goodness in the past, the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, the promises of the Gospel, the hope of heaven, are all in operation; and as he thinks and listens, God says, Be still; the Bible says, Be still ; conscience says, Be still ; the church says, Be still; while every individual saint, that for six thousand years has passed to the kingdom through much tribulation, seems to speak, and say, Be still, aud see the salvation of God. It is a momentous conflict. The destiny of a human but immortal spirit is dependent. Its character for ever stands in the balance ; another trial may not be afforded; this is the grand, the critical moment, on which God has been pleased to