When a house is burning in the dead of night, the first and great concern is not for the house, but for the sleeping dwellers therein. Similarly the missionary's first and great concern is for the soul, to save it from impending wrath. In due time when men and women are truly reconciled to God, a social renovation will be sure to follow. Such an approach to missionary activity remains the good old way, marked with the footsteps of the apostles that brings peace with God and peace with one another.
-American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions; Theory of Missions to the Heathen, 1812