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A Narrative of Some of the Lord's Dealings with Ge

How then can I be fit for missionary work


In

addition to this I would give my own experience concerning the lot, but only by way of illustrating the view just given; for the word of God is quite sufficient on the subject. And first as it regards my using the lot in the above case. How did it turn out? I had repeatedly asked the Lord to show me His mind, whether He would have me to be a missionary or not. But not coming to a satisfactory assurance, and being very anxious to have the matter settled, I found out in my own judgment a much shorter way, namely, the lot. I ought to have said to myself, how can an individual, so ignorant as you are, think about being a teacher to others? For though I was truly begotten again, and rested upon Christ alone for salvation, still I should not have been able to give a clear explanation of even the most elementary truths of the Gospel. How then could I be fit to teach others? The first thing therefore I ought to have done, was, to seek through much prayer, and searching the Scriptures, and a holy life, to obtain more knowledge of divine things. Further, as to my impatience in wishing the matter settled, how could I have been fit to endure in that state the hardships and trials of a missionary life, in which my patience, no doubt, would have been much more severely tried? I therefore ought to have said to myself, if I cannot wait quietly, though it be many months longer, before the Lord shows me clearly His will concerning the matter, how then can I be fit for missionary work? Instead of
thus comparing my state of heart and knowledge, with what is required in the Scriptures from him who is to be a teacher, I ran hastily to the lot, and thought I had done it prayerfully. And how did it end? According to my prayers the lot decided I should be a missionary among the heathen (and my mind, at that time, especially inclined to the East Indies). But the way in which the Lord has led me since has been very different. And it ought not to be said in defense of the practice of deciding by lot--Perhaps the Lord meant you to be a missionary among the heathen, but you did not give yourself to the work? for I actually offered myself to a society, but was not accepted. Moreover, since 1826 I have repeatedly offered myself most solemnly to the Lord for this work, and am as sure that it is not His will that I should go out a missionary for the present, as I am sure of any thing. Nor could it be said, that perhaps the Lord yet may call me for this work. For if He should be pleased to do so tomorrow, yet that would prove nothing concerning the above point. For I did not use the lot to ascertain whether at any period of my life I should be engaged in missionary work, but whether I should then set about it. And to put such an explanation on the matter, would be acting as false prophets, who, when their prophecies fail, try to find out some way or other, whereby they may show that their prophecies were true.

About two years after I used the lot in another instance. I went one day to a village about fifteen miles from Halle, to see the few believers there. When I was about three miles from the place, it began to get dark; and finding myself in a spot where the road divided, and not knowing which way I should choose, I was greatly perplexed. I stood a moment, and then prayed to God to show me by the lot, which was the right way. Now, truly one may say, if the use of the lot in our day is according to the will of God, this was particularly a case for the Lord to direct me through this means. For here was one of His children in need, looking up to his Father to help him, through the lot, out of his difficulty, and this His child also on a journey in His service. I drew the lot and went the way to the left. After some time I found I was on the wrong road. Now, at last, as I did not know how to get into the right one, I did what I ought to have done before, and what I believe to be a scriptural way of acting; I prayed that the Lord graciously would send some one to put me into the right way; and almost immediately a carriage came up, and I was directed on my journey.


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