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*«The next point of inquiry respects my reputation. Here I feel a difficulty. It is hard to learn what others really think of us. An unfaithful world will flatter us to our faces, but frown and slander behind our backs. Were I to give implicit confidence to what I sometimes hear of the opinions of others concerning me, I should be led to think I was generally and highly esteemed. But all this food for my vanity is swept away in a moment, by a single look from some man of intelligence, that tells me how I stand in his estimation; or by the cool reception which some of my performances meet with from my brethren; or by the derangement of some darling plan for doing good; or by a discovery of some weakness, some prominent defect of character, of which I had before little or no knowledge; or by some remark I happen to hear, that has been made about me in my absence. I have, however, some judicious friends who are faithful. I hope I have made an estimate, nearly correct, of the rank I hold in the opinion of people, where I have been acquainted. I am not aware that any thing, which the world would call immorality, belongs to my character, or that I have been at any time guilty of such indiscretions, as have destroyed the confidence of people, either in my integrity, or prudence. A variety of incidents have occurred, in my childhood, when engaged in school-keeping, when at college, while preaching, and while I have been in this Seminary, which might have served to lessen the esteem, others have had of me. Still I am not aware, that any unfavorable impression is so deeply made, as to forbid my going forward with the object proposed; I trust I have a character, where I am best known, which will allow me to hope that the public will look on with approbation, if my name should be found among the candidates for missiona

ary service.

I would not presume too much. I wish to be prepared to find myself wholly without public favor. But if I have influence, if I do share in the good opinion of others, and if expectations are raised that I shall be useful, I desire to exert all the influence I have, to prove myself not unworthy the opinions formed of me, and to answer, by an active and holy life, the expectations that may exist.

“I am to consider next the leadings of divine providence. A kind Providence led me, as I hope, early to choose religion as my portion. Early in my Christian course I was led to peruse Horne's Letters, Buchanan's works, and Dr. Griffin and Livingston's sermons, and at the same time to become intimately acquainted with two persons who contemplated a mission. My health has been preserved, my efforts to obtain an education have been succeeded, my way has been cleared of many difficulties, and I have not been entangled in any connexions, which now stand in the way of my being a missionary. I sometimes ask myself, whether I viewed, as I ought, the hand of Providence in the invitations I received to preach at P., and some other places, especially at w. There seemed to be a door opened in the latter place for doing good. I cannot think of the anxiety, manifested by that dear people, without the most tender emotions. Did the circumstances which attended my going thither, my preaching there, and the success with which it was attended, the peculiar state of the people, and their unanimity in wishing me to stay with them, indicate, that it was oot my duty to leave them? Had there been no heathen in the world, I might have thought so. As it is, may I not conclude, from the fact that I loved so well to labor there, and that some success fol lowed, that I shall also love to labor abroad, and that I may hope still for the divine presence. The dispensations of Providence by which I have been made intimately acquainted with missionaries,

brought to this Seminary, and led to form habits adapted to the work, encourage me to go forward.

"It remains for me to consider the teachings of the Spirit-an important part of the inquiry-I expect no miraculous communications; but I believe the Spirit does teach the saints to understand the word and the providences of God, and that it does point out the path of duty. O that I might be taught by him, and understand his teachings.

March 24. A few hours to-day I devoted to the important inquiry respecting missions. After imploring the divine presence I read the 52d, 54th, 59th, 60th, 62d, and 65th chapters of Isaiah. The promises of Zion's enlargement are really cheering, and I think I have some faith in their accomplishment. God has promised and he will do it.

“When my faith is strong, I feel like laboring, and making sacrifices for the church, and for the souls of men. I can go any where, do any thing, bear any sufferings, if the Head of the church be

Is it the Holy Spirit that excites these sensations? If not, why this love to missionaries? this missionary enthusiasm? this earnest desire to go to the heathen this willingness to leave my country, my friends; yea, all my friends, for the sake of carrying the Gospel to those who are destitute of it?--this willingness to leave all, to hazard all, to be no where at home, to suffer losses, and endure hardships~Whence arises all this, if the Holy Spirit is not operating on my heart to lead me into this way of serving God? When I have most sensible communion with God, and experience most sensibly the influences of the Holy Spirit, then I feel most anxious to go among the heathen. May I not call this an indication, that this Heavenly Guide approves of my purpose to go? May I not hope, that it is his influence which has made a life of trial look so pleasant, and weaned me thus from the society and friends I naturally love so mueh? To what nat

with me.

ural principle can I attribute all this?-0 divine Teacher, I do see, and I would gratefully acknowledge the tokens of thy approbation. I bless thee for them--yield myself to them, and go as thou hast bid me. I give thanks for all the various means, by which my attention has been directed to the subject, my habits formed, and my feelings prepared for the work. O what a privilege that I should be called to this work! I, who am so sinful, so feeble, so unworthy. When I think what I was when a child, and what I have been ever since, I am greatly astonished. Out of nothing as it were, but ignorance and sin, the Lord Jesus is, I trust, preparing himself a missionary. I know I am poorly qualified, "but I have a pleasing conviction that the Lord calls me to the work, and I trust in him. I read the promise, 'Lo, I am with you, always,' and my heart rests with unreserved confidence on the gracious assurance. Blessed Jesus, I go–Thou wilt go with me, for thou hast promised, and thy promise will not fail.

July 14, 1817. I have had, since I wrote last, a comfortable assurance that I was not deceived, in thinking it my duty to be a missionary. This opinion is more and more confirmed by reviewing the subject, by conversation with judicious friends, and by waiting upon God for direction. My wishes and expectations have generally been directed to the heathen world. Many of my most judicious friends think I ought rather to go into the destitute parts of our own country. Here is a question, which I would give a faithful and impartial examination. This inquiry may respect the comparative importance of the fields, the prospect of supply, and my particular qualifications.

"Importance of the fields. In our own country there are ten millions of people. Most of these have opportunity to hear preaching occasionally, and to read or hear read religious books. There are in the world probably as many as 500 or 600,000,000,

who never hear from preachers or books, any of the peculiar doctrines of Christianity. What a vast disproportion as it respects the importance of the fields!

The prospect of supply. There are supposed to be between three and four hundred missionaries among the heathen. Not more than one to a million. In this country, forty or fifty were employed last year, [1816] beside settled ministers. Probably several to every million of souls. Besides, I observe that



are much more willing to be missionaries in this country, than among the heathen. Many are ready to engage in domestic missions, where one is ready to go to the heathen.

Particular qualifications. Some have given me to understand, that they think me better qualified to itinerate, to form societies, &c. than to engage in the study of languages, and other things connected with a mission to the heathen.

“I think it is my wish to be wholly devoted to Christ and the church. It would be pleasant to be a domestic missionary, to select some destitute field, and labor there for life. When I look at this, it is really a self-denial to relinquish the object. But the great want of men among the heathen, weighs heavily on my mind. If better men would go there, I would cheerfully stay here. But shall we all stay? Christ has said, 'Go into all the world. And this is the commission under which I act. It may be, I am better qualified, in some respects, to preach among the destitute of our own country, than among the heathen. But there are so few who will go there, and so many who need to be taught, I cannot hesitate. If a multitude were ready to go abroad, it might be my duty to stay; but as it is, if I do not greatly mistake, it is my duty to offer myself for foreign service. Should the Committee of the Board see fit to accept me, and Providence allow me to go,

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