Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

i strong terms, to the conduct of the head of the English Government, in conveying 'the signs of personal esteem,' to that imbecile and execrable tyrant Ferdinand of Spain, whom he justly designates as an ungrateful despot, an enslaver of his

people contrary to law,' ' an usurper,' who ought to be • deemed quite as distasteful, if not so dangerous' a one, as Bonaparte. He calls upon the nation to prove that it was, as it was pretended, in pure indignation against tyranny, and the

pretensions of villainous imposture, that she fought in Spain, • and not solely against Buonaparte as the enemy of England's • teas and muslins, her severe maritime code, and her suspicious

Indian conquests!' and he concludes with manfully affirming, in a spirit worthy of an Englishman, that

• No one, surely, now-a-days, will be found in this country to maintain that mere birth alone constitutes royal legitimacy. If so narrow an interpretation were that, according to which the principle is understood by that combination of persons in authority over society who have done so much to render it paramount, and who say they are resolved to keep it so,-mankind would have much less reason for congratulation than they are instructed to believe they possess.

The glory of the people of England has been well proved in what they have sustained and achieved, the chief glory of their rulers remains still to be proved. p. 233.

We do hope and trust, that the asserter of these worthy sentiments, will never be either tempted by interest, or impelled by Decessity, to swerve from the line of honourable and patriotic independence.

Mr. Scott makes no allusion to the subject of the disturbances in the South of France. He probably had not at the time the requisite data, on which to form a competent opinion of their real nature. The public will not much longer be the sport of contrary opinions on this subject. The pamphlét affixed to the present article, translated, and we are sorry to say, badly translated, from the French of a Protestant clergyman, himself a sufferer and an exile, will serve to convince the most incredulous, we imagine, that they have had a religious, not a political origin, that they have assumed a most malignant character, and that, inasmuch as not a single instance can be adduced of the agents in those infamous transactions, having been brought to condign punishment, the French government has incurred a degree of implication in them, from which it is imperiously called upon to discharge itself. The Author of the Memorial asks,

• Will the kind of protection which is now granted to the Protestants of Nismes be of long duration? The Protestant powers who have overthrown the Government under which they were protected, should at least become their protectors. It would be truly worthy

their dignity to befriend the Protestants of France, after having replaced the Pope on his seat; and contributed to the re-establish ment of the Inquisition in Spain.' p. 44.

We have attempted in this article to illustrate and account for the present moral condition of the French nation, contemplating them as the victims of an unhappy combination of political evils. The removal of these evils, is that which as men and as Christians we ought with earnest solicitude to desire, in whatever way it might interfere with our own commercial or political interests. If, indeed, the affairs of France should at length assume the character of permanent tranquillity, so as to allow of the growth of her commerce and the consequent improvement of her navy, the affairs of England must not only have been going wrong altogether, but her prosperity must be considered as wholly artificial and irretrievable, if in the advancement of another country, her own loss be pecessarily involved. It would become us then at once to meet, and provide for the possibility of, an event which, in its aspect on the general interests of society, would be so highly desirable.

The continuance of external peace would infallibly lead to important changes in the social economy of the French nation. The object next in present importance, yet not of secondary moment, is the establishment, on a permanent basis, of an enlightened and unlimited toleration, in matters of religion, which inight throw open the darkened aisles and polluted altars of the temples of superstition, to the purifying light and genial breath of Heaven, or, in other words, to allow of the entrance of Protestantism, as a religion not of secular institutions, but of life and power. Of what does France pre-eminently stand in need? Of that of which Spain and Italy, equally with China and Mexico, stand in as utter need:-The Gospel. And will the time never arrive, when the vine-covered hills of France shall rejoice in the free proclamation of the genuine tidings of the Gospel of peace? What might we not hope for, for Europe, for the world, if France and England, for ages opposed to each other in irreconcilable hatred, should ever be brought to unite, not in a hollow and interested treaty of state alliance between their rulers, but in a union, originating with the people of both kingdoms, cemented by mutual obligations and common interests, and rendered permanent by the inHuence of genuine Christianity, prevailing alike in the social character of each nation ?

Art. II. The History of the Propagation of Christianity among the

Heathen, since the Reformation. By the Rev. William Brown, M.D. in 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 623 and 654. Price 25s. Longman and

Co. London, 1814. ASSUREDLY, the preaching of the Gospel is the most

important of buman avocations. All other employments relate to limited objects and to transitory interests; this is a work the purpose and effects of which extend into eternity; its scope is vast as the population of the globe, and the necessity for its continuance will remain undiminished till the number of sinners reclaimed and of the just made perfect, shall be consummated, and time shall be no longer.

But when we contrast with the sphere of exertion, the extent of the efforts which are made by Christians, to promote the knowledge and to diffuse the enjoyments of the religion they profess, great as those efforts at present are, in comparison of the supineness of past ages, they awaken feelings allied to those which excited the demand of the prophet, “ Who hath “ despised the day of small things ?”' It is indeed a fact awfully illustrative of the essential depravity of the heart, that while the greatest energies of the greatest minds, the utmost means of the most enlightened nations, are, more or less, continually exercised in achieving the destruction of their species and the desolation of nature, the labours of the Missionary are by numbers treated as visionary, and by others deemed expensive. With great difficulty Christians at home can raise sufficient funds to defray the comparatively few and small expenses of that little detachment of the Church inilitant, who bravely go forth by twos and by threes, to conquer strange kingdoms for their Divine leader.

It was a melancholy feeling that overspread our imagination on closing these volumes, as we rapidly glanced at the various scenes of Christian missions during a century and a balf, and reflected on how much had been done and suffered, and how little bad been effected, by all the labours and sufferings of these good men during that interval.

The only thought that reconciles the mind to such a retrospect, is that of the elevated enjoyments which, even in the present world, a truly Christian Missionary must derive, under all his privations and trials, from the peculiar incentives wbich animate him, the simplicity of purpose with which his whole mind is occupied, and the lofty and intimate converse which, in his sequestered and barbarous station, he is enabled to maintain with the world of spiritual realities. It is natural, and it comports with the ordinations of Providence, that those whose hardships, and anxieties, and privations, are so much greater than what are experienced by any other class of evangelical

labourers, should be supported by enjoyments more intense, in proportion as their affections are more fervent. While all that they could possibly endure, is not a worthy to be com“pared” with their eternal reward.

But much as we felt disposed at first to deplore the inadequacy of the result of so much toil, when we honestly appreciate the effects of the preaching of the Gospel among heathens of every description, we inay safely affirm, that no exertions of intellect, no sacrifices, no achievements in any secular undertaking, can be su gloriously successful as Missionary labours have been, and, where they are faithfully performed, continue to be.

In one campaign of such a war as we have seen in our days, nay, by one battle such as that of Waterloo, there is inconparably more misery inflicted and entailed, in person, in property, in peace of mind, in life and in death, on all classes and conditions of society; on kings and peasants, on old men, women, and infants, immediately or remotely implicated, than was endured by all the men of God, whose sufferings and achievements are recorded in these volumes, during a period of one hundred and fifty years; and we will add, without fear of successful contradiction, that in Greenland alone, a country overlooked by all the pbilanthropists of Europe, except a few Danish and Moravian Missionaries, more good has been done to mankind, and certainly more glory given to God, than has been directly accomplished by all the wars of Christendom, from the days of Gustavus Adolphus to those of Napoleon Bonaparte. Yet Greenland is but a small, though certainly an essential province of moral conquests. Let none then who are incited to offer themselves to this service, be disheartened, when they read of the long, and sore, and bitter trials, the late, and tardy, and small success, of the most zealous, indefatigable, and competent Missionaries : it were worth all the efforts and all the sacrifices of a whole life, to be the instrument of accomplishing the conversion of but one heathen, with all that that conversion involves.

The following is an instance of the unspeakable joy which sometimes surprises and overwhelms a Missionary engaged in his work, when perhaps he least expects it.

• Five years had now elapsed since the missionaries (the Moravians landed in Greenland ; yet hitherto they had toiled and laboured in vain, but now they began, at last, to witness the fruit of their unwearied exertions. A number of Southlanders happening to visit them, at a time when one of the Brethren was writing out a fair copy of a translation of some part of the Gospels, they were curious to know what the book contained, and he was no less willing to gratify their wishes. After reading some portion of it to them,

he asked them, Whether they had an immortal soul? To this they replied, Yes. He then enquired, Where their souls would go, when their bodies should die Some answered, Up yonder; others said, Down to the abyss. Having set them right in these particulars, he asked them, who made the heaven and the earth, and all things? To this they replied, They did not know, nor had they ever heard; but certainly it must have been some great and powerful Being He then told them of the creation of the world, of the fall of man, of our misery in consequence of sin, and of our redemption through Jesus Christ. In speaking on the latter subject, he was enabled to describe the sufferings and death of the Redeemer with more than ordinary force and energy; and he, at the same time, read to them from the New Testament, the history of his agony and of his bloody sweat in the garden. Upon this, one of the savages, named Kaiarnak, stepped up to the table, and in an earnest affecting manner 'exclaimed, • How was that? Tell me it once more ; for I also would fain be saved!" These words, the like of which the missionary had never heard from the lips of a Greenlander, penetrated his whole soul, so that the tears rolled down his cheeks while he gave them a general view of the life and death of Christ, and of the plan of salvation through him.' Vol. I. pp. 364-5.

This poor savage became afterwards a true convert, and enabled not only to rejoice in the Lord Jesus, but to suffer for his sake.

In every Mission there has been a first convert ; and as a mother watches over her infant to discover the first glance of intelligence, and to witness its earliest effort to stand or to walk alone, so the Christian teacher, when his eye has once singled out of the pagan crowd, one whom the “ word spoken" has touched with compunction for sin, follows him with yearning tenderness and unceasing solicitude, marking every symptom of growth in grace; and smiles, and weeps, and hopes, and fears, and wrestles for bim in agony of prayer, as for a son born to him in the Gospel.

On the other hand, let no friend of the truth, at home, become disconsolate, when in spirit he looks over the face of the globe, and sees how wide is the wilderness, how few and small are the spots already cultivated, appearing like African Oases, as islands of verdure in an ocean of sand; for, by the faithful, contemporary, and consentaneous exertions in this work, of all those that truly love the Lord Jesus Christ, much more may be done in a few years, in dissemiDating the Gospel, not only by the way side, among thorns, or in stony places, but in good ground, than we dare at present imagine. If the Saviour of mankind was sometimes restrained, or, in the language of Scripture, “could not do many mighty works,” because of the want of faith in Vol. V. N.S.

T

« EdellinenJatka »