The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, APRIL 15, 1889. MISSIONARY WORK.
That there are missionaries and missionaries we readily admit, and we concede with sorrow that on the missionfield, as elsewhere, there have been instances of men whose first aim was evidently the securing for themselves the things of this world ; but to say this is only to say that among missionaries, as among other men who have been called to high and noble work, there are some who prove unworthy of their calling. To make the admission is, however, by no means to say that missions and missionaries are a delusion and a fraud, nor to deny that an immense amount of good has been accomplished by missionary enterprise. On the contrary, to prove the exception is to prove the rule, m this as m all other matters. And the value of the work of missionaries is by no means only to be measured by the number of converts to Christianity, though this is the crowning reward of missionary effort, for to them the world at large is indebted for the carrying of civilisation into the darkest regions of the earth, and the opening up of new avenues for commerce and new arenas to the enterprise and activity of the peoples of the Old World . JS o qne who listened to the very interesting address delivered by the Rev Mr Eooney and his Papuun friend Daniel on Friday evening could fail to be convinced of this. The work of the past twenty years m Fiji and of the past ten years m New Britain has produced marvellous results. Cannibalism, and the dense darkness and cruel customs of heathenism have disappeared, and hundreds of thousands of people m these groups and m other groups of the Pacific are now not only living m peace, decency, cleanliness and comfort, but they are being educated and made acquainted with all the arts of civilisation. The white man can now dwell among them m security, and law and order prevail where once barbarism and violence reigned. All this we owe m the first instance to those noble and selfdenying men who have sacrificed home comforts and privileges and the society of friends And relatives to go among these peoples with their lives m their hands, and fr.ave suffered dangers m numerable, and privations untold, to carry to benighted regions the Gospel of Christ and the Knowledge of the One true God. Not only, therefore, does the I work of the missionary entitle him to the sympathy of the Churches, but he has a right to look to toe world at large for a recognition of his labors and for aid m his enterprise, and even those who concede nothing to the claims of Christianity may fairly* be called upon for pecuniary assistance to missionary enterprise, a2 being so much v»ork performed m the cause Ql humanity and of civilisation, upon the principle* which applies as well to work of a secular d£t o£ a religious sort, that "the laborer is worthy of his hire."