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country seems to be destined to exert a still greater influence. This is owing, in part, to the interest which the French nation has taken in the affairs of Greece. French troops liberated the Peloponnesus from the Egyptian army, which was covering it with desolation. A French scientific corps lately explored the antiquities, the geography, and the resources of the country; and Frenchmen being among the Greeks in great numbers, and always ready to impart their knowledge and render assistance, the effect, in the forming period of the national institutions, could not fail to be great. This influence is increased, and will be continued, by the fact, that a knowledge of the French language is regarded by the Greeks as an essential part of a liberal education. This opens a channel from the fountain of French literature into Greece ; and the Greeks are in danger of being flooded with French in fidelity. French books will be more likely to be translated by Greeks, than any others. French school-books are believed to be the only ones of which the Greek Government has ordered translations to be made. The “ Manual of Mutual Instruction,” which the Government of Greece has made the exclusive rule of Lancasterian schools, is a French work by Sarisin ; and the Greeks plead the example of the French, in suspending a picture of the Saviour in the schools for the adoration of the pupils. ... The determination of the Greek Government to introduce pictures and idolatrous prayers into all the Lancasterian schools patronized from its treasury, is much to be deplored. One is ready to attribute this, not to the free choice of the enlightened Head of the Government (Capo d'Istrias), but to the force of circumstances, which may have given the priesthood an undue influence in the councils of state. .... Yet, with every allowance, probably nothing has been more injurious to the reputation of the Greek Government, than this engrafting of idolatry upon the system of national instruction, and making it binding by law upon every teacher of every Lancasterian school. Being not less at variance with the principles of freedom, than it is with those of religion, its speedy abrogation may with some reason be anticipated.'
We regret to say that this pernicious policy has found apologists among the Protestants of England and of America. Mr. Waddington, our readers may recollect, thinks, that 'pictural • representation 'may be made as useful as oral exhortation, and that the vulgar ought not to be allowed to discover too soon 'the • gross corruptions of their religion. And the North American Reviewers, while admitting that the prayer to the Virgin Mary, (in which occur the words, “ All my hope is in thee,') is objection• able, and that pictures of saints may be abused as objects of idolatry, dismiss the subject with the flippant remark, that 'men • as well as things must be taken as we find them,' and the call • of the schoolmaster is not identical with that of the missionary.** The Protestant teacher who goes to Greece to dispense the means of education, under the sanction and with the co-operation of the
* North American Review, Ixxiv. p. 5.
Government, must therefore, it is contended, “ tolerate that Go• vernment in such adherence to the prevailing faith of the
country ;' that is, tolerate its intolerance, and wink at idolatry. We trust that such liberal notious as these will never receive the countenance of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. With Mr. Anderson, we would rather hope for the speedy abrogation of the intolerant edict.
The French language has long contended with the Italian for the ascendancy in the Levant, the one being the language of commerce, the other of diplomacy; but we had hoped that by this time an acquaintance with the English language, the genius of which much more closely resembles that of the Greek, would have come to be regarded as not less essential an accomplishment than a knowledge of either;—that our sovereignty in the Mediterranean would have been followed by a wide diffusion of that language which seems to be identified with the spread of the religion of the Bible. We must confess that we are far more solicitous for the spread of the English language, the symbol and vehicle of our moral power, than for the extension or perpetuity of our political empire. What the Arabic is to Mohammedism, what the Latin and the modern languages derived from it are to Popery, those of the Teutonic family, and chief among them, though latest born, the language of Milton and Taylor, Chillingworth and Barrow, Newton and Locke, Bunyan and Watts, are to Reformed Christianity. By its progress, we may almost trace the spread of Christian civilization over the face of the globe. Its forced substitution for any native language in any part of the British dominions, would be an act of impolicy as well as of oppression and injustice; but it seems not unreasonable to expect, that it should obtain the preference and ascendancy over languages equally foreign to the country in which our power has become paturalized. With high satisfaction we have heard, that it is to be allowed at last to supersede the Persian in the courts of British India. It is not long that Dutch law and Dutch pleadings have been in like manner superseded by English in the Cape Colony. Eventually, we should hope that the Venetian will be expelled from the islands of the Ionian Sea, which are as properly Greek as those of the Egean, and that the cultivation of the Greek itself will keep pace with the diffusion of the English.
It is, we repeat, on the ground of moral considerations only, that we regret the policy which our Government has pursued with respect to Greece, and 'the alienation of England (as we find it characterized by Mr. Anderson) from the country lates under the rule of Capo d'Istrias. Into the causes of that alienation, we do not now inquire: the blame may rest upon the Greeks themselves. At the same time, we cannot but feel it as a reproach upon the British character, that the French, and even the Americans, should have discovered a more lively and active sym
pathy in the fortunes and interests of the Greek nation, than either the politicians or the religious public of our own country. Since the exposures connected with the Greek loan, since the abandonment of Greece by our philosophical codificators, Stock exchange philhellenists, and liberal regenerators, followed by the rejection of the proffered crown by Leopold, the interest excited by the Greek Revolution has seemed wholly to have subsided. The eager interest of the republicans of the United States in the affairs of the rising State, has also declined from the moment that it was decided to give to Greece a king. To our Missionaries, not to our politicians, Greece must look for the consummation of her freedom.
While, however, Great Britain retains the sovereignty of Ionian Greece, it cannot be a matter of indifference to her, what European power shall acquire a dominant influence in the Morea and Continental Greece. It matters little, indeed, to whom they nominally belong, or what puppet is set up as the pageant king of a territory, the real capital of which is Corfu, and the chief emporium Malta. But it does concern us more intimately than any other nation, except the Greeks themselves, what language is spreading and taking root in their soil, what literature is becoming naturalized, what moral influence is shaping the rising mind of Greece. The apparent indifference of our statesmen on this point, is not creditable to their political sagacity, if it be real. While it became our Government not to manifest any anxiety to acquire the sovereignty of the territory rescued from Turkish domination, which would be of comparatively little use to us, it is the part which philanthropy and policy unite to recommend, to take every means of strengthening the moral relations between the Greeks and the English nation, and of encouraging them to look to the Protector of the Ionian Isles as their benefactor.
Our true policy will now be, to promote as much as possible the cultivation of the modern Greek, as the language of education. By this means alone the Frankish dialects can be displaced, and Greece be as it were re-peopled with Greeks. We rejoice to find that the press at Malta has for a long time been very active in furnishing school-books to Greece, as well as tracts and other small publications in Modern Greek. An edition of 15,000 copies of the Alphabetarion, a Greek spelling-book, has been printed at Andover, in Massachusetts, and forwarded to the American Missionaries in Greece. Hitherto, the absurd mode of teaching children to read by means of obsolete languages, has been universal in the Levant. "The Greek child,' we are told, has 'been condemned to labour upon the ancient Greek, the Ar
menian upon ancient Armenian, the Turk upon Arabic, the Jew • upon Hebrew.
Should these designs be realized, the entire population of Greece will, as a whole, be placed in a state of mental cultivation which few other countries possess. It may be true of Greece, before it is true of Great Britain, that “every poor child within its confines can read the Word of God”pp. 154–7.
The Author adverts to the machinations of foes' as having so far prevailed in some instances, that picture-worship has been introduced among the school regulations, in avowed opposition to the plans of the Church Missionary and other Protestant agents. What effect the accession of a Catholic prince to the sovereignty of a country where a bitter mutual animosity still inflames the members of the Latin and Greek Churches, it is not easy to determine. This, however, is certain, that it is not by upholding suiperstition, and by opposing intolerant restrictions to the progress of education and Christian instruction, that any Government will maintain its authority there.
Mr. Hartley declares, that he never found any difficulty in convincing the Greeks of the impropriety of worshipping saints and pictures, when he had previously adopted a conciliatory line of conduct. The Septuagint Version, which is in common use among them, and the language of their own · Divine Chrysostom,' afford the ready means of completely silencing them, when attempting to palliate the practice. The following statements are most encouraging.
I consider it correct to say, that there has been no opposition to Scriptural circulation ; for, after an acquaintance with a large number of the Greek ecclesiastics of all ranks, I cannot recollect one who expressed any doubts of the legality or propriety of giving the Scriptures to the laity. It was reported, in the year 1828, that the Bishop of Paros had manifested a degree of opposition ; but, as little more was heard on the subject, we may conclude that his disapprobation of our proceedings was of transient and tritling moment. The Bishop of Talanta, under whose episcopal charge Athens has of late been placed, used to exhort his people, at church, to study the Scriptures; and, I believe, other instances of the same character might be cited. The sanction of the Archbishop of Smyrna to the introduction of the Scriptures amongst his people, I witnessed in the following manner. At a public examination of the principal school of the Greeks in Smyrna, in the year 1828, the prizes distributed amongst the boys who distinguished themselves by their proficiency, were copies of the New Testament, sent from England. More than seventy of these were presented. The archbishop was present, with all the pomp which distinguishes the prelates of the Oriental Communion; and each boy, as soon as he had received the premium, instantly proceeded, with the volume in both his hands, and knelt before his throne, and received his episcopal blessing. It was gratifying to observe the chaplain and several other officers of his majesty's ship Isis present on that occasion.
• The introduction of the Scriptures into the Greek Church has also VOL. VII.--N.S.