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The Regions Beyond,
BEING THE JOURNAL OF
THE EAST LONDON INSTITUTE FOR
HOME AND FOREIGN MISSIONS,
HARLEY HOUSE, BOW, E.
MRS. H. GRATTAN GUINNESS.
27, PATERNOSTER ROW.
The REGIONS BEYOND . . . . .
The recently-published Report of the East London Institute (1877-8) is entitled, “ OTHER SEVENTY Also," and can be had on application. It was posted to all our friends in the month of August, but we find many haveowing to temporary absence from home-not received it. We shall be glad to send duplicate copies to all with whom this is the case, if they will kindly send us a post-card. Our friends might serve the work of the Institute by ordering a few copies for lending in Christian circles.
The Regions Beyond.
They have a wide prospect outstretched before them, yonder veteran missionary and his younger companion! The mighty river rolls its flood far, far away, and is lost in the misty distance where the eye cannot follow its course. And yet the prospect that bounds their sight, distant as it is, does not include the scenes on which with the mind's eye they are gazing! Years ago that father left his fair and peaceful English home, and for Christ's sake and the Gospel's became a pilgrim and a stranger on earth. Much arduous and difficult pioneering work he has since accomplished; Christian churches have been planted and have grown up around him, in one place after another, and he has moved on and on, carrying the light of life to other dwellers in darkness. And now his young companion seeks counsel about his path in life, and evidently longs to stay where a clearing has already been made in the dismal and dangerous jungle of heathenism, and where the flowers and fruits of Gospel teachings are already apparent.
“Have we not gone far enough? May we not linger here?” he says. And the old missionary lifts his hand, and, pointing away to the dim line where the grey earth melts into the golden sky, says in deep and earnest tones, “ No, no, my son ! not yet! This Elim which has sprung up in the wilderness, is indeed comparatively pleasant and secure, but think of the regions beyond! Think of the lands over yonder, where Christ is not named ! where no ambassador of His has ever yet carriea the message of reconciliation; picture to yourself the myriads sitting in the shadow of death,—the countless tribes and kindreds of this dark continent! We see them not, but the Lord Jesus looks on them in their degradation and ignorance; at this moment He is yearning with compassion over them ! Would He not have us go to them instead of lingering here? Is not yonder setting sun passing on to enlighten and quicken other lands? Does not God care for all His creatures ? Has He not bidden us proclaim to every one of them the glad tidings ? Away, my son, away to the regions beyond! Rest and home will come by-and-by! While whole nations of men have never heard of a Saviour for the lost, His ambassadors must not tarry! Arise, let us go hence !”.
And silence - the silence that gives consent—the silence broken only by the slow sigh of resolve, shows that the younger man feels the force of his companion's words. His eye wanders over the familiar landscape, as over scenes beheld for the last time; he will bid them farewell, he will consecrate his young life to the work of seeking the lost, in “THE REGIONS BEYOND.”
Dear friends, you understand now, our title, and our titlepage! Our Institute stands like yonder father, pointing young servants of God to the dark and distant realms of heathendom, as to the sphere that most loudly calls for their aid. It urges, and it aids them, to renounce all home ties and attractions, and to go forth as missionaries, among earth's dying idolaters, and hence we choose as our motto, " THE REGIONS BEYOND.” It expresses in brief the great end and object of all our work. Paul, in writing to the Corinthian Church, says he had no desire to interfere with other men's labours, but that his ambition and his aim was “to preach the gospel in THE REGIONS BEYOND;"-beyond Corinth, beyond Greece, beyond Rome, beyond the spheres in which other evangelists had laboured, “and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to his hand.”
This is our desire also, and the object of our endeavours both at home and abroad, to reach the unreached, to enter untrodden paths, and to send the Gospel of Christ to places where He is not named or known. At home, not to the decorous church and chapel-going public, but to the ninety per cent. of the population, who here in East London, neglect all religious observance, and live like the heathen—to the working men who only name the name of Christ in profane swearing, to the sailors of our vast mercantile marine, who are often almost as ignorant and godless as Hottentots, to the dwellers in back lanes and crowded courts, who will not enter even the Mission Hall, but who may be gathered in the cottage meeting, or attracted to the open-air service. And abroad, to the lands where fewest missionaries are, or none, to the “dark continent " into which now, for the first time, some gleams of gospel light are beginning to penetrate, to the immense and teeming but utterly unevangelized western provinces of China, to the neglected hill tribes of India, and to the darkest islands of the great Oceans of the East,—to these, and to similar spheres, it is our earnest expectation and our hope, to be enabled to help forth year by year continually, fresh labourers.
Our periodical will seek to make these “ REGIONS BEYOND” more interesting and familiar to our friends : it will give descriptive sketches of the state of the various unevangelized kindreds and tribes of the earth, as well as tidings of the progress of the gospel, especially, though by no means exclusively, in connexion with the labours of missionaries, who have been students in the Institute.
In our recently issued Report, entitled “ Other Seventy Also," we mentioned that for various reasons we had decided to discontinue the Monthly Messenger, which we have for some time been in the habit of sending to our friends, and to substitute for it this little periodical. The Monthly Messenger was a localization only, that is, a specially adapted edition, of a previously existing, and still existing paper, entitled the Illustrated Missionary News, a paper which aims at giving current intelligence from all Missionary Societies, and information about all missions.
Excellent in its way and for its own object, this journal was too general to answer our purpose, which is to communicate from time to time, to our own circle of friends and helpers, tidings of the work which they and we together are attempting to carry on in the Master's name, and in which, of course, they and we
1 Hodder and Stoughton, 27, Paternoster Row, E.C.