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point of view, would form different opinions of them. We think, however, it must be conceded by all, that the "Memoir of Mrs. Judson" stands decidedly at the head of the list, in point of thrilling incident, and well-sustained interest. The author was eminently qualified for his task, and had the best materials for his work. Of the few books, which will survive the lapse of time, and re-appear in successive editions, century after century, we have no scruple in predicting that this is one. In our opinion, no missionary memoir has equalled it, or is likely to do so. In the memoir of Harriet Newell, we are conscious, from the beginning, of the want of interesting historical narration. She was too young, and the cause was too young to furnish it; what could be expected, that should instruct and entertain the world, in the story of the life and death of a female scarcely twenty years of age, who, having been brought up in the retirement of a country village, married, sailed for the eastern continent, sickened and died? We may admire her intrepidity, and praise her Christian devotion; but the grandeur of the design must, after all, furnish the chief source of our gratification. Imagination must draw its own pictures, and faith must seal and sanction them. The sublimity which we feel in perusing the brief record arises not from what the subject of the memoir was, or from what she did, or suffered; but from our own conceptions of the work, illuminated by contrast with the weakness and early death of one of the first instruments, who was charged with the effort for its accomplishment.
As we are speaking of different missionary memoirs, we may be permitted to say, that the "Memoir of Mrs. Sarah L. Smith" presents a peculiar phase of missionary life. We are gratified with the manner in which the editor has performed his task, and with the character of the individual who is the subject of the book. But we almost forget that we are accompanying an exile along the rough path of toil and trial. We feel that this is the poetry of missionary life. We see chiefly the elegant employment of a foreign resident, among the awakening scenes of the land of Christ and the apostles. Hers was a privileged course; how different from the fatigues, and alarms, and distressing anxieties of Mrs. Judson!
There is a still greater difference in the value and interest of the published memoirs of missionaries of the other sex. In reading the life of Brainerd, for example, we are so much
absorbed in his spiritual experience, that, except in the chapters which give a special detail of the success of the gospel among the Indians, we forget that we are reading the memoir of a missionary. The missionary is lost in the Christian. The memoir of Dr. Carey is at the opposite extreme. For though we would not be understood, by any means, to intimate a deficiency of his piety, or of the exhibition of it by the editor, yet, in reading the book, we are so much occupied in contemplating the subject of the memoir, in the unwearied performance of missionary work, that we nearly lose sight of every thing else. The memoir of Henry Martyn, by Sargeant, presents a most happy union of these two extremes. Perhaps we have not a better missionary memoir in the English language. The personal work of that amiable young man was closed at Tocat, in October, 1812. But the influence of his memoir is, doubtless, felt to this day, in every quarter of the globe, and in the islands of the sea. The lives of Fisk and Parsons are of a kindred character. They exhibit, in a remarkable degree, the connection of earnest piety and missionary ardor. Their particular field of labor was in regions hallowed in the memory of every student of antiquity, and of every Christian. Their developments of character, before they entered upon their work, were very interesting; and the exhibitions of them cannot fail to be instructive to those who contemplate embarking in the same. We hope the prolific press will soon furnish a reprint of them both. The memoir of Boardman is another specimen of the character of the Christian and the missionary, mingled and blended into one. We are not interested in him exclusively as either the one or the other; but as both. Our minds are not solely occupied with the man; but, as in the memoir of Mrs. Judson, we are borne along also by the surpassing interest of the scenes, in which he was a prominent actor. We feel, as in the work just alluded to, that his history is identified with the history of the progress of the gospel in the country in which he labored. To relate the one is to relate the other. And the interest of the one combines with, if it does not create, the interest of the other. It lacks the finish which belongs to the memoir of Mrs. Judson; yet we cannot doubt that it is destined to enjoy a kindred immortality.
We should be unwilling to have our missionary memoirs assume the air of mere business-documents. We should be
dissatisfied with them, should they overlook the spiritual character of the subjects of them;—that their work is a spiritual work; their joys, spiritual joys; their comforts, spiritual comforts; their trials, spiritual trials. We wish to see them mainly in a Christian garb; not simply as men of business; but as men, transacting the business of the Lord Most High. The character of the "Life of Ledyard" is in keeping with the character of the man and his pursuits. There is a mutual congruity in them. We wish to see the same in these emphatically Christian memoirs. The persons who are the subjects of them are not men of the world. Their engagements do not pertain to the things of this world. They are men of God. Their work has reference to eternity. They are expectants of heaven; and their aim is to prepare immortal beings for a happy admission into heaven. We can, therefore, pardon a heavenly vein, running through the book. Nay, we demand it. We are disappointed, if we do not find it. We feel a deficiency in the absence of it, which no substitute can make up.
Still, we do not forget, that the character of many who have undertaken the missionary work, is capable of being viewed in several different lights. We may regard them successively as Christians, as literary and scientific men, as enlightened travellers, as efficient philanthropists, and as laborious and successful ministers. To do some of them entire justice, we should have separate memoirs of them. We should have their literary memoirs, and memoirs of them as Christian missionaries. Their contributions to the cause of science have not been of trifling value. They have laid before us the geography and the natural history of remote countries, with all the ardor and the accuracy of practised explorers. They have made us acquainted with the literature of barbarous tongues. They have reduced languages to writing. They have furnished grammars and dictionaries of the uncouth sounds, and apparent jargon of uncivilized men. They have translated not only the Scriptures, but various works connected with the subject of education, into the languages of every quarter of the globe. Thus they have extended the influence of the labors of scientific men in Christian countries, to numerous branches of the human family. The books which have issued from our closets, and which have formed the characters and elevated the destinies
of our children, are read by the dwellers along the banks of heathen rivers, by the worshippers in idol-temples, by the scholars who are receiving the rudiments of instruction in the heart of an Indian jungle. The persons who are engaged in the work of missions have made not only themselves, but us also, benefactors of the world. In a good literary memoir, written by an author of philosophical mind, and extensive and varied learning, all these things would be set in their true light. And they would show, we believe, in a new and surprising manner, the indebtedness of science to the cause of missions.* * They would win for the cause the reverence of those who have affected to be indifferent to it.
One of the most useful works in which our publishers could engage would be a good "Missionary Library," composed of the best memoirs which have been written; and, in some instances, of new memoirs, written by a skilful hand; philosophical histories of separate missions, drawn from original documents, which are now scattered abroad in various nations and languages; and in which the missionary history and efforts of the several branches of the Christian church, in successive ages, might be presented in an attractive manner; essays on the theory of missions, and on the several departments of missionary labor; contributions of qualified persons at various stations to the literary and scientific treasures of Christendom; and aids to the interpretation of the prophetic and other portions of the Scriptures, such as their acquaintance with the people and the countries, spoken of in the sacred record, would enable them to prepare. Such an enterprise would carry information on these topics into spheres from which it is now almost wholly excluded. We should see the fruit of it, in an extension of interest in the missionary cause.
The memoir, which bears the title at the head of this paper, has given rise to many of the thoughts contained in the above remarks. It is a good specimen of missionary biography. The subject of it was a true missionary, in spirit and in fact. We may safely propose her as an example to others, who shall hereafter aspire to tread in the same honorable path. The work has been twice reprinted in England, and translated also into French.
See an Article in this Review, on the "Connection of the Missionary Enterprise with the Cause of Learning," Vol. V, p. 580.
Mrs. HARRIET L. WINSLOW was born in Norwich, Conn., April 9, 1796. She was early the subject of renewing grace. Her religious exercises, though she was still but a child, were marked with sufficient clearness as the work of God. On Lord's day, April 9, 1809 (the day on which she was thirteen years of age), she made a public profession of her faith in Christ. A child so young was never before known, in that place, to come out from the world, and choose her portion with the people of God. Surrounded by young and gay companions, this act must have demanded peculiar decision. But, notwithstanding the temptations to which she was exposed, she was enabled to hold fast her profession. The religious character whose elements were laid in early Christian instruction, in solitary meditation and communion with God, and, above all, in a thorough work of the Holy Spirit in her heart, was not to be blighted. On the contrary, its traits continually developed themselves, more and more, in an increasing conformity to the standard of scriptural obligation. The best evidence of the genuineness of her conversion is in the depth and fervor of her piety in subsequent life. She needed not to recur only to the past. There was the continued exhibition of the operations of grace in her soul. Of this, let the following extract from her journal, written after the lapse of thirteen years from the time of her joining the church, serve as a token:
"This day has been a privileged one. I have, I trust, prayed for the assistance of the Spirit in trying the state of my heart. I would be searched as with candles. Have looked at the evidence I find of sincere love to God, and of being under the influence of the Spirit from day to day. I do hope that I can say, 'I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.' I have gained so little victory over some besetting sins of late, that I have greatly feared my hopes were delusive. The great change which I experience is in having more distinct views of God, of his holiness, majesty, and gracious designs; in seeing him in all respects so good, so full of every thing great and glorious, that I can find no language to express my feelings. I have more delight in prayer, as the means of quickening my affections, of guarding me from the assaults of the adversary, of bringing me nearer to the blood of Christ when I have sinned, of relieving my doubts, controlling my fears, supporting my despondency, and making the word more rich and precious. I cannot live without prayer. If it is omitted, I feel that I have lost my meat and my drink. In regard to others, I prize the privilege of drawing near to God for them. I never had such delight in contemplating the promises and resting in them with sweet assurance. Sometimes I believe that even my eyes shall see their fulfilment. I can plead them before God, even with groaning,