In 1834, 24-year-old John Bailey Adger of South Carolina prepared to sail across the world to minister the gospel to the Armenians in Asia Minor, sent out by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. But why would he go to a foreign nation, when the need was so great in his own country? To the Executive Committee of the Southern Board of Foreign Missions, he penned this Farewell Letter. It is a beautiful apologetic for the work of missions to every people, tribe, tongue and nation.
A snippet: "Great as are our domestic necessities, I have been unable to convince myself, that it is my duty to remain in America! Why? Simply because I hear a louder call from Asia. Our Savior's ascending command, bids us evangelize the whole world. But his ministers are chiefly confined to a small portion of the earth. Very few Americans (hardly any from the South) have left their country to go to more destitute lands. All seem occupied in looking down at the contracted space around their own feet. Instead of the telescope, we are using the microscope. Instead of all mankind, we think only of our own countrymen. Instead of the whole harvest, we are anxious about reaping only the produce of a little corner. Instead of the whole glory of THE SAVIOR OF MANKIND, we are striving to win for Jesus, only a dim and lustreless diadem. I desire not that such views and feelings should be mine. It is the duty of the Church of Christ, and it should be my endeavour, 'to lift up the eyes and look round about.' Our Master has instructed us to teach all nations. He has allotted us our work upon a great scale. We must, therefore, 'attempt great things, and expect great things.' (the motto of William Carey, D.D., Baptist Missionary to India)."