« PreviousContinue »
THE RESULTS OF CHRISTIAN MISSIONS.
“ Look throughout the world, and see —to grievous and numerous disappointHow Truth has sped—what light has brightly ments—to the clouds often arisingbeam'da
to the unexpected failures sometimes What gifts of heavenly grace the nations Have receiv'd;
;-no sight can gladden more experienced—to the death of so many It quickens and inspires."
valued and highly qualified MissionHUMAN PROGRESS,
aries, and other agents, so frequently The question is often proposed, very occurring—to the comparatively little significantly and earnestly, — "What movement of an intellectual, moral, has the Missionary cause done?” | and religious character, which, in many What is the practical—the actual result countries, for a long period, has taken of all the plans which have been formed place. We might regard these, and -all the efforts made—all the excite- numerous other considerations, - and ment occasioned-all the contributions, the theme is tempting; but we pass from year to year, bestowed-all the them all by, and simply inquire,— difficulties encountered
- all the ap
Has the Missionary cause answered paratus employed all the mind and its great design ? Have the results energy brought to bear on it—and the been, in any degree, commensurate with waste of valuable lives so frequently its magnitude, its importance, its exrealised? The above inquiry is often pense, and the sacrifices connected with proposed unkindly-sometimes sneer it? And we, at once, distinctly and ingly, or wantonly, from a sceptical, unequivocally reply in the affirmative. sinister, and improper feeling or It has subserved its great purpose ; inotive. There is no love to the Mis- it has been positively, extensively, imsionary undertaking. There is no mensely, unspeakably, beneficial; inappreciation of its excellence and value. deed, its results—for their value, magThere is, indeed, no correct knowledge nitude, permanent and mighty inof it at all. Still, the question is legiti- fluences-cannot be at all adequately mate—is most interesting and im- estimated. portant-and as it is desirable to be In carrying out and establishing this proposed, so it is instructive and benefi- statement, we can only glance at a few cial to furnish a lucid and dispassionate of the momentous consequences of the reply.
Missionary undertaking-recur to a few What, then, we ask, has been the of the direct and priceless advantages result of the Missionary enterprise, up which it has conferred. It will tend to to the present hour? Has it been confirm and stimulate our efforts, enstrictly and highly useful and moment courage us amid all our labours and ous? Has it, in any degree, answered difficulties, and give increased fervour, its intended and legitimate end? Has importunity, and power to our suppliit, in any way, realised the expectations cations. of its friends, its advocates, its support The Missionary enterprise has been ers, its benevolent and honoured agents? of the utmost value :This is the question. This is the point I. Because numerous and peculiar specifically to regard. We will not difficulties and embarrassments, previdwell on preliminaries. We will not ously existing, have been removed out recur to carly difficulties and struggles, / of the way.
These were very great, and had been intelligence, character, and ability—has accumulating for ages; but, in answer been awakened, and respect for their to prayer-as the result of combined sentiments, motives, and labours has and persevering action-- and by the been engenderod. How different is the blessing of Heaven, a large number of state of things now, from the condition them have been annihilated. Un- formerly existing! When Missionaries acquaintedness with the various fields proceed, at the present period, to reof Missions, and the character and mote countries, whether to India, peculiarity of the undertaking itself, Africa, the Islands of the Pacific, or has been removed; knowledge of that even to China itself,—they do not land field, and acquaintance and experience, as perfect strangers, with none to rein relation to that undertaking, have ceive or welcome them, but they find becu acquired.
the people glad to see them,-in many An entrance into many remote and instances their landing is hailed with strange countries has been made, and a the utmost joy,--they have a cordial settlement in the most distant and pre- greeting from many of their own conviously unknown territories has been verts, or those converted by the instruestablished. The formidable difficulties mentality of their predecessors. There connected with gaining a knowledge are dear brethren at the various Misof many and singular dialects and sionary stations, to give them a warm languages have been overcome in the reception; there are houses in which most satisfactory, and, in some instances, they can take up their abode; there are the most triumphant manner. Mauy many comforts provided, and numerous superior Missionaries, identified with facilities afforded, which remove a large various great Societies in Europe and measure of that inconvenience, delay, America, have acquired, not merely a and hardship, formerly experienced, readiness and fluency in the several and always so painful to devoted and tongues of the natives among whom noble-minded men, longing to be emthey have been located, but have ployed, at once, in their great work. possessed that nice, critical, minute The Missionary enterprise, then, has knowledge of their languages which is accomplished no ordinary achievement requisite to their correctly translating in securing these things; and if the the Holy Scriptures into the dialects of money contributed had only realized the people,--to their tact and freedom these benefits, who can affirm, with any in conversing with them,--and to their propriety or truth, that it had been unpreaching the gospel to them with ease, wisely or idly expended ? precision, and power. In very many The Missionary enterprise has been countries, obstinate and inveterate pre- of the utmost value:judices against Christianity, and those II. Because varied and important who professed it,--prejudices increasing facilities, most civilizing and useful in for ages-have given way—have been their influence, have been furnished, effectually subdued.
and many of a mechanical kind have In remote and thickly-peopled dis- been created. tricts, the spirit of indifference and Wherever Christianity goes, civilizaapathy among all classes, prevailing for tion, aud all its attendant blessings, are centuries, has been exchanged for a sure to accompany it. The Missionary spirit of attention, of reflection, and of undertaking has been uniformly identiinquiry. Gross superstitions have been fied with human progress, with the ad checked; pernicious and withering vancement of the nations in respect of errors have been uprooted; perfect con- dress, culture, art, science, and everyfidence in our Missionaries-in their thing calculated to promote their comfort, or to secure their elevation. We numerous instances have performed have often recurred, with wonder and largely the manual labour required. delight, to the advantages which have Thus services have been accomplished, been conferred, and will be conferred, and expenses have been incurred, which on millions, not only by the presses will not be required again, in the same employed on a large number of foreign spheres of Missionary operation. An languages, by the great Bible and Tract | important scaffolding has been reared, Institutions of Europe and America, the utility of which, for generations, but by the various printing offices be- can scarcely be estimated, and benefits longing to Missionary Societies in pa- of indescribable worth will be conferred gan lands. It is a well-known fact, that on multitudes of the population in some of these have now from six to ten, heathen lands. And it must be rememor even more presses, and those gene- bered, that, by the outlay already made, rally of the best construction. Here is and the large available capital formed, an engine for the intellectual and moral there will be a material saving effected elevation of the nations of India, Africa, in future time by the works which have and China, in particular. The founts of been planned and executed, and by the type are abundant, and in many differ educational facilities which have been ent characters. The work has been one furnished. of great expense and difficulty, espe- The Missionary enterprise has been cially from the cutting of punches, the of the utmost value:sinking of matrices, and the large appa- III. Because schools, based on purely ratus required for casting; and, as has Christian principles, have been instibeen observed, the alphabets, moreover, tuted, and large numbers of heathen do not consist of six-and-twenty letters, children and youth have received intelas in our language, but often of a thou- lectual and religious culture. sand or more, including symbols and This is a point, the importance of compounds. Besides, all the print- which cannot be too earnestly regarded; ing-offices have departments for bind this is a blessing, the value of which it ing, supplied with instruments requisite is impossible to appreciate too highly. for the work of the several establish- What is designated " The School ments. Many of the intelligent natives, System," the Missionary enterprise bas also, at the expense of no ordinary time always introduced into heathen lands. and labour, have been trained to all the The uniform motto of Christian Misbranches of mechanics connected with sionaries everywhere has been — and the respective offices. School-houses, nothing could be wiser-“We must chapels, ordinary dwellings, libraries, commence with the young.” Previously orreries, globes, tools, and varied appa- to the Missionary undertaking, scarcely ratus have been prepared and com- any regard had been paid, in the ma. pleted at the different Missionary Sta- jority of pagan countries, to the inteltions, especially those which may be lectual or moral culture of children and termed central, at a very large, but youth. What a change, however, has necessary outlay. In getting all these the introduction of Christianity accomthings accomplished, our Missionaries, plished! Schools founded on the firmand those of other lands, like Williams est and most enlightened basis have and Moffat, Carey and Ward, Martyn been, in all directions, established ;and Thomason, and many others, have and this most valuable and powerful been invaluable. They have planned, | agency our Missionaries brought into they have taught, they have superin operation as early as possible after tended-have displayed much intelli- commencing their labours. gence and mechanical skill, and in And thus, as has been justly re
marked, the Christian Missionary, and tian education, as well as civil and relihis wife or daughter, extend their influ- gious liberty, these two mighty kingence through all the future relations of doms move closely and harmoniously their pupils, and in this way affect the together. It is delightful to consider in literary interests of the people as truly what manner many of these schools, as their moral and social interests; for established by our excellent Missionthere is an intimate connection between aries, have been regarded, and how they the literature of a nation and the early have been blest. Applications, in many education of its youth.
quarters, are far too numerous to be enSome of these educational institu- tertained. Funds are requisite to secure tions are boarding-schools, where the not only a large, but an almost unlimited pupils are wholly withdrawn from extension of the advantages of such inheathen influence; some are designed stitutions. In the great cities of India, for the children of native Christians, even Brahmins send their sons, without who receive, in their own homes, im- any hesitancy whatever. Is not this pressions favourable to the growth and already a grand and mighty result of permanence of those which they receive the Missionary enterprise? And who at school; and the schools established can calculato its importance and wonin the first instance by the Mission- derful efficiency in reference to unborn aries, created, after a certain time, the generations ? necessity for higher seminaries of learn- These valuable institutions have ing, and opened, indeed, the way for effected, in all quarters, great things. their formation; so that now, associated The minds of tens, and even hundreds with all the older and more important of thousands of children, youth, and Missionary Stations, there are insti- some near maturity, taught in them, tutions of a superior character, asford- have been awakened and enlarged; ing facilities to the rising youth of the thought has been induced; correct acrespective populous towns or cities, for quaintance with Christianity and its entering the higher walks of literature disciples has been furnished; erroneous and science, and for occupying a posi- and pernicious systems of philosophy, tion similar to that filled by so many of morals, of religion, have been exintelligent youth in the colleges of our posed; vicious habits, in countries own country. Many, too, in pagan where the moral dangers are so fearful, countries, have been taught by our have been counteracted; intelligent and Missionaries in languages never before promising hearers of the word of God committed to writing ; so that the have been raised up and sent into the scholars are the first of their tribes who mission churches and chapels; efficient have ever been instructed to read. A teachers have been, in many instances, large number of schools, especially in produced in these schools; in a large the East—and they are confessedly number of cases genuine conversion some of the most valuable and import has been the result, and many native ant-are devoted exclusively to the edu- preachers have been eventually brought cation of the female sex, in countries forth to proclaim the simple gospel of where that sex has not only been under Christ to their benighted countrymen. valued, but, in innumerable cases, kept Besides, as has been stated, priestly in a state of profound ignorance. These influence, the authority of the legitiFemale Schools are ably and vigilantly mately constituted heathen priests of watched over by intelligent, devoted, various grades, has been by our mission and morally heroic women, particularly schools and higher seminaries matefrom the British empire, and the United rially diminished; an intelligent, inStates; and thus, in reference to Chris- quiring, and superior body of indivi
duals have been thus raised up, who, and every form of intellectual improvewhatever their position, will not ac ment of Greece, of the visit of that quiesce in the doctrines and worship of Phænician traveller, who gave her an paganism as they have done, and bow alphabet? Was it not the starting point before the altars of superstition and of all her intellectual greatness? Apply idolatry; and they are prepared and this sentiment to the Missionary enterready to argue clearly, boldly, and most prise. What, in relation to uncivilized triumphantly with the men who had and barbarous countries in modern previously, in reference to religion, com- times, have not Christian Missionaries manded supreme veneration and awe, accomplished for the people, by imand exerted almost unlimited authority. parting to them a written language, Is not this, we ask, a blessed, a glorious clearly defined, philosophically un. consequence of the Missionary under- folded, and illustrated with grammatical taking ?-one, moreover, which will be accuracy and precision ? No words, always telling, its advantages will ever however powerful, can
describe the be increasing, its immense importance value of the boon,-no imagination, will ever be accumulating. It is esti- however vivid or exalted, can ademated, that the number of pupils in quately portray its importance. How Missionary schools, at the present we revere and honour our enlightened, period, throughout the world, amounts studious, persevering, and superior Misto between three and four hundred sionaries in consequence! The names thousand; we may well say, not only of William Carey, of Marshman, of Ro“What has God, in this respect, wrought bert Morrison, of Milne, of Henry Mar. already, but what will He not by this tyn, of John Williams, of Robert Moffat, instrumentality accomplish!
and many others, are immortal in conThe Missionary enterprise has been sequence of this achievement, and the of the utmost value:
translations they effected. It is most IV. Because rude and benighted interesting and instructive to consider, nations have been furnished with a that, in nearly every Mission, there written language, and, in nearly every have been prepared for the people, as Missionary station, necessary elemen- well as for successive educators and tary works for the acquisition of the Missionaries, a grammar, vocabulary, language have been provided.
and dictionary. Rude and defective as It is obvious, how little can be done some of these necessarily are, inasmuch by any people — how cramped and as they were not only early, but the first stunted must be the mind-how trifling efforts, they are most valuable and imits influence over the minds of others; portant to those anxious to acquire the indeed, how effectually the intellectual language, to understand its grammar, condition of any nation, or tribe, is its orthography, the meaning and force depressed, without a written language,– of its terms, and to give correctness its alphabet, its terms, its phrases, its and fluency, either in writing or speaklaws, all defined with clearness and ing. What time is gained, in conseprecision. In this respect, to millions, quence, by fresh Missionaries or eduthe Missionary undertaking has been cators! The ground is broken up, the invaluable. In relation to multitudes, way is prepared for them; months, and by the written language communicated, sometime years of hard labour, are it has been the morning-star of hope avoided by the efforts previously made. with regard to their progress, as well Health and strength, by long confineas happiness. The inquiry has been ment and close application in hot and beautifully proposed—“What was not undesirable climates, are not impaired, the value, to the philosophy, eloquence, I and frequently undermined, and the