J. Lewis Shuck, husband to Henrietta Shuck, returned to the U.S. after his wife’s death on the mission field. Shuck returned home accompanied by a Chinese convert, hoping to spark missions interest among the Convention and encourage the churches to provide more money and missionaries to the mission field.
The letter below appeared in the Southern Baptist Missionary Journal in 1846. The introduction from the journal is included as well. It reads:
In a letter addressed to the Baptist ministers of North Carolina, brother Shuck, now on a tour to the South, employs language, which we’could wish was read and thought of by all our brethren at the South. The reflex influence of foreign missions on. the prosperity of the churches at home is but little understood. The following is the extract to which attention is invited:—
“Although I cannot visit you, nor behold your faces in the flesh, yet I am anxious even by this hasty line to assure you of the deep interest I shall ever take in your spiritual devotedness to the Lord Jesus, in the success of your ministry, and in the welfare of your churches. And were I called upon to say in what way your spirituality could be increased, your ministry rendered more efficient, and how the welfare of your churches could be best promoted, I would unhesitatingly say, think more, pray more, read more, and preach more on the subject of foreign missions. There is a reflex influence possessed by foreign missions which is yet to be understood and appreciated in this country. Wherever I have been since my return to my native land, I have invariably found that they were the most intelligent and efficient pastors, and they the happiest and most flourishing churches, who were the most actively engaged in promoting the spread of the gospel in regions beyond them. There is a withholding that impoverishes the withholder, and there are streams which send back their gladdening waters upon those who water others. Dear brethren, I leave the case with you—Will you hold the rope while a few of us descend into the deep, dark, chilling well of heathenism? May I expect soon at least one effort from you. Your sympathies, and your prayers, and your efforts are now needed. Every breeze which sweep3 the ocean, brings to our ears importunate cries for help from the few and fainting laborers who are toiling amidst the dismal scenes of pagan midnight, and these cries are backed by the wails of dying millions, perishing for lack of knowledge. God bless you, my dear brethren, abundantly,your souls, your bodies, and your labors.”
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