Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/B/OMS/C I2 E2/91
TitleLetter from Pratt and Bickersteth to Rhenius: 3 August 1819: London
Extent1 doc.
DescriptionAcknowledges private letters, contents have been most painful; R. had no right to write privately, particularly with accusations against the Corresponding Committee; the regulations mentioned in letter 6 Feb (see 71) defined the relationship between the Corresponding Committee and the missionaries; relating to ministerial duties "the committee recognise the missionary's liberty to exercise a conscientious discretion in the discharge of them" reserving themselves the right to dispense with any missionary who conducts ministerial duties in an unscriptural manner; in all secular or mixed affairs missionary must be absolutely guided by decision of the Corresponding Committee; these principles condemn R.'s conduct towards the Corresponding Committee; "an assumption of independence runs through the whole of your reasoning on this subject, which if admitted, must prove subversive of all order"; as concerns tracts, where R. has taken typically independent view, this is a subject of such delicacy that any "indiscretion or even deficiency of information, on the part of the missionaires, might involve the society with the government or the natives or both; and might speedily terminate in the entire ruin of the mission"; as the Corresponding Committee is able to have a more informed view on affairs than the missionary the committee have decided "that no tract shall be published which has not previously been submitted to the Corresponding Committee and received their sanction"; regarding salary, committee is satisfied that it is sufficient, being fully equal if not superior to those of other societies; the actual spirit of R.'s letters has caused committee pain and displeasure; R. has also infected Bernard Schmid with his imaginary grievances; "over your conscience, neither the Committee nor any of their representatives would assume any control, but only endeavour to lead it by what should appear to be the truth, in any case where there might be a difference of judgement on matters of importance; but if you make a conscience of having your own way in things which an enlightened and tender conscience would rather direct you to be guided by others, or if your conscience dictate on any important point what our consciences disapprove, it is plain what the issue must be" (copy).
Access StatusOpen