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A halo deigns to cast
And gilds them to the last;
Let Memory deign to flee
To cast one beam on me!
THE MISSIONS OF CHRISTIANITY.
The extent to which the efforts of holm has directed its attention to the great societies now established in this desolate kingdom, and twelve every Protestant kingdom, have urged young men are constantly educated at their missions for the conversion of the king's expense, for
preachers the heathen, and for the instruction among the Laplanders. The Rusof the careless, the ignorant, and the sian bible societies are also exerting infidel, among themselves, raises them themselves in this direction; and, so into one of the grand features of our early as 1815, had distributed 7000 time, or perhaps even into that charac- bibles. teristic by which all others are to be Passing on to the north-east-Rusthrown into the shade. 'If the fif- sian Asia, a space of four millions of teenth century was the age of natural square miles, with a population of and scientific discovery, the eighteenth about nine millions, is still almost tothe age of infidelity and revolution, the tally heathen. The Edinburgh misnineteenth may yet bear the illustri- sionary society so far back as 1803 ous name of the age of Christian la- sent two ministers to preach in Tarbours for the enlightening and happi- tary. In 1815, they renewed their ness of mankind.
attempt at Astracan. Three missions To bring all these labours into one aries of the London missionary sopoint of light, with the double pur.. ciety, have been for some years stapose of shewing us what we have tioned at Selinginsk, about 160 miles done, and what we have still to do, from Irkutz, where the Emperor would be to render a public service to Alexander gave them an estate and the Christian community. But it re- money for building. A printing press quires time and details which are at of the Mongolian has been erected present beyond our power, and we there. They have made extensive must - reluctantly content ourselves journeys towards the south and the with a rapid view.
Chinese frontier ; but the poverty of The general population of Europe the soil, the inclemency of the cliis estimated by Humboldt at 198 mil- mate, and the roving nature of the lions, of whom 103 millions are Ro- tribes, offer the most formidable man Catholics, 52 Protestants, 38 fol- obstacles to the diffusion of religious lowers of the Greek ritual, and 5 Ma knowledge. hometans.
To the south lies one of the most reTo begin at the northern extremity markable regions of the world,—Tibet, of Europe,-Lapland, a space of the Switzerland of Asia, an immense 150,000 miles, or about the extent of succession of hill, valley, dells of exe France or Germany: In a population haustless fertility, and mountains towperhaps the thinnest in the world—one ering almost twice the height of Mont to every four square miles-Lapland Blanc. The top of the Dwawalaghiri has at present thirteen principal and rises 26,000 feet above the level of the ten filial churches. Three transla- ocean. But the civil constitution is tions of the bible have been printed. still more extraordinary. The nation The Swedish bible sociedy of Stock- is one great convent, with a multitude
of lay brethren to labour for the course in the strongest degree. The monks. It is the centre of Lamaism, lower orders are idolators, but some of a religion spreading from the Volga to the leading sects reject every species Japan. Its tenets are a compound of of image worship, and probably many Christianity-probably learned from among the higher orders, and philoso the Nestorian missionaries of the early phers,- for they have an affectation ages-and of the original superstitions of metaphysics,--are scoffers at every of Asia. The Tibetians hold the unity ilea of the acknowledgement of a diand trinity of a Supreme Being; the yine being. But the superstitious are existence and perpetual opposition of deeply superstitious; they make pil. an evil principle; and an incarnation grimages, they have convents, and which they aver to be a thousand
years their rules would do honour to a before that of the founder of our faith; Trappist or a Carthusian. but later corruptions, probably intro- In the early part of the 17th cena duced by the Jesuits in 1624, diversi. tury, Rome established some missions fy this mixture of creeds. They be in Japan. But the popular indignalieve in purgatory, in the efficacy of tion was armed against them, and the prayer for the dead; they have holy missionaries were expelled, after a resiwater, a rosary, and extreme unction. dence of almost a century, during
They have priestly robes, a dress for which they perpetually sent pompous the nuns, three orders of initiation into accounts of conversions to Europe, the priesthood, superior priests, equi- but seem to have done little more than valent to cardinals, six grand lamas or trade, offend the national prejudices patriarchs, presiding over the three by their ill-directed efforts, and dedivisions of Tibet Proper, and the grade Christianity by the example of three of the southern provinces, or their lives and doctrines. In 1715, the Bootan, and at the head of all a great Abbe Juidott attempted to renew the Supreme, the declared “ vicegerent of Roman mission. His fate is not omnipotence,” the Teshoo Lama, who known. Jesuits and monks of other
never dies ;” an infant born on the orders followed and failed, and since day of his apparent decease being ap- 1748 Japan has been rendered nearly pointed to his throne, and receiving inaccessible, by a severe strictness that his spirit thus transmitted into a new has had no parallel in the world. form. Hence this Pope of the Him- China, with its two hundred mil, malaya is named " Lama Kaku,” the lions of people, and variety of tribes, eternal father. The convents are as is at present, perhaps, in the state numerous and as fully peopled as which must precede the reception of might be presumed, under this holy
. Christianity in an Asiatic empire. Its oligarchy. The high convent of Te, religion is broken up by furious sects, shoo Lumba contains 3700 priests. which alternately assume the charac,
The Capucins in 1707 sent out ter of spiritual disputants and rebels missions, which, like those of their in arms. The “ Pelinkin," or " more vigorous predecessors, the sons mies of foreign religions," agitate the of Loyola, failed of making converts. north. The “ Kedufis,” or “ Heaven Yet they were enabled to found two and earth one," race of levellers, houses of their order, which lasted proclaim equality of men and commuduring a century. A Protestant mis- nity of property in the west and sionary, Schroter, unfortunately died south; and the “ society of the three when, in 1820, he was preparing him- powers, heaven, earth, and man," self, at Calcutta, for translating and makes war against all authority whate propagating the scriptures among this ever. The Jesuits planted their mise extraordinary people.
sions in China in the middle of the At the extremity of the east, Japan sixteenth century. Multitudes of noexhibits the most determined resiste minal Christians were made ; but the ance to every attempt at conversion. suspicious spirit of the government The country has reached that precise appears to have nearly extinguished rank of civilization which makes a their advance. So late as 1815, an impation jealous of foreign knowledge, perial ordinance commanded that the without the power of adding to its introducers of Christianity should be own. The spiritual and temporal put to death. The Protestant misauthorities are distinct and defined, sionaries are prohibited from going beand both repulsive of European intera yond Canton.
But this prohibition may have been people, one of the most tasteful and fortunate, in its compelling the mise ingenious of the East, is a loose Islamsionaries to attend to perhaps the only işm. But among the higher ranks way of impressing the mind of China. are thousands who disdain the religion It has led them to prepare tracts and of the vulgar, or all religion, and are versions of the Scriptures in the lane called Suffees, or Freethinkers. guage of the country. Doctors More The Russian invasion has laid open rison and Milne made a translation of the northern frontier, and from the the Old and New Testaments; and facility with which the people of the Morrison's great Chinese Dictionary conquered districts have adopted the and Grammar have laid open the lane tenets of the Greek Church, it may be guage to the European student for all augured that Islamism would still more time to come. An Anglo-Chinese cole readily give way to the intelligent lege has been established at Malacca, seal, and pure doctrines, of the misa with some Chinese schools. But the sionaries of England, an ally bearing circulation of the Scriptures in China the Scripture. is at present rendered extremely diffi- The immense Archipelago of the cult by the Government, which, dise Indian isles is almost wholly untouchturbed by fear of insurrection, and ed by missionary labours. The final unable to distinguish between political conquest of Ceylon, in 1815, put into and religious change, has prohibited our hands the « Sacred Island” of Ino at once all religious meetings, and all dia, the original seat of Buddhism, books of Christianity.
with a population of 300,000. Schools Hindostan, the finest portion of Asia, have been established, and the forms called by its people, " The Garden of of British government and laws introGod," a territory of a million of square duced. In this spot the conversion of miles, and with a population of a hun- the Archipelago may be prepared. dred and twenty millions, is kept in Africa is still a blot upon civiliza: awe by twenty thousand British troops, tion and religion. The characteristics and governed by three thousand Bri- of its nations are deep ignorance, satish functionaries, at a distance of vage superstition, furious passions of eight thousand miles from home,-the every kind, and a reckless love of most singular instance of possession blood. Everything is done for plunder, in the history of empire.
and done in slaughter. From AbyssiThe renewal of the Company's char- nia, down the immense eastern coast, ter, in 1813, gave some hope of making almost the whole territory is Pagan, a solid religious impression on India. brutish, and hostile alike to European An English bishop was sent to Cal life and knowledge. : cutta, where a college was erected in The conquest of the Cape by the 1821. Schools are supported through British, in 1805, opened a field for the the provinces ; many English, Pro- missions. The subsequent emigrations testant, and Lutheran Missions are lo- from England have afforded a still cated, and a striking spirit of improve higher opportunity, by acquainting ment is displaying itself, in the efforts the natives with the peaceable and inof some of the Rajahs and men of high telligent character of the English peocaste, to acquire European literature; ple. They are no longer insulted, in the gradual inclination for Euro- robbed, and shot, as in the time of the pean intercourse, and the extinction of Dutch; a fair trade is carried on with some cruelties and many prejudices. them; their children are frequently But actual Christianity has hitherto educated in the Cape schools, and a made but a slight impression. The series of humane and equitable reguhabits of the people, their natural re- lations are adopted for the commerce luctance to the religion of strangers, of the colony with the Hottentots and their ignorance of our language, and Caffres. On the faith of this mutual the fatal distinction of castes, raise good understanding, the missionaries formidable obstacles against the ef- are penetrating the country, and some fective progress of religion.
of them have advanced even seven In Persia, the Jesuits had attempt hundred miles among tribes, who, a ed but little, which forms a ground for few years ago, could not have been the Protestant missionaries to hope for approached but with the certainty of much. The popular belief of the death.
From the boundary of the Cape tury, the seat of missions. The Jee northwards, the west coast, a space of suits founded a mission in St Domingo 1500 miles, is barren, or inhabited by in 1704, and the island, now contain: utter savages.
ing a million of souls, is divided into On the coast of Upper Guinea, the four bishopricks, with an archbishop colony of Sierra Leone was establish- residing at Port-au-Prince. In Jae ed in 1787, as a place of refuge for the maica, the chief British settlement, negroes taken on board the slave-ships, the Moravians appeared in 1754. and as a means of introducing civili- These were followed by the Wesleyzation into Africa. But with some ans in 1781, and the Baptists, who advantages, this settlement wanted founded numerous congregations, consome important features of success. It sisting of about a sixth part of the had no large river, without which the negro population, or 50,000. In all interior must be inaccessible; it had the Protestant islands, the Gospel has but little means of supporting itself, been spread with great diligence. But from its position in a corner of the the original crime and calamity of the coast; and last, and most obnoxious of West Indies, slavery, still acts powerall, the climate, always hazardous, has fully against Christianity. To aboseemed to grow constantly more fatal lish slavery at once, or even to abolish to Europeans. Under these circum- it at all, until the negroes are fit for stances, another experiment is about freedom, would be to expose the whole to be tried at Fernando Po, a large white population to massacre, and island in the Bight of Benin, and throw the negroes themselves into a commanding the mouths of the great state of wretchedness, bloodshed, and rivers of West Africa. Commerce in incurable ignorance, that no rational the hands of England is among the man, let his homage for liberty and most vigorous instruments of civiliza, religion be what it may, can contemtion; and if commerce can make its plate without abhorrence. But the way up the central rivers, religion will new expedient of establishing English follow.
bishops in Barbadoes and Jamaica, America presents an almost unlimit- may lead to some advantageous change. ed region for the efforts of the mis- The planters may look with less sussionary. The space lying between the picion upon the labours of an authennorth of Canada, the Asiatic ocean, tic and responsible clergy, than upon and the United States and Mexico, a the notorious giddiness, and compararegion of more than two millions and tive ignorance, of the sectaries. The a half of square miles, had long been doctrines of the English Church, proeither altogether abandoned to the sa- verbial for gentleness and good sense, vage superstitions of the Indians, or to may lead the negroes more securely the blind perversions of the Gospel into Scriptural knowledge ; and if the brought by the Romish priesthood. distributors of office at home shall Within these few years, some attempts conscientiously send out no prelates have been made by the Protestant inferior to their duties, men not meremissions from Upper Canada, but with ly of intelligence and scholarship, but only partial effect.
of holy zeal, and filled with the conThe United States have made con. sciousness of the good that may be siderable efforts to reclaim their bor- done by Christian activity, and the dering savages.
The Society, esta- evil that must follow indolence, we blished in 1787, for the " Propaga- may before long see a great and salution of the Gospel among the Hea- tary reform in the West Indian hathen," has laboured diligently. The bits, the character of the planters circulation of the Scriptures is vigor- purified, and the negroes made fit for ously pursued. In 1827 there were a safe and productive freedom. in the States no less than 578 Bible The new states of South America Societies. The Aborigines have been are still in the embarrassments of inreduced to about 470,000 souls, of surrection, revolution, and mutual which a portion are quietly adopting war. But to augur from what they civilization, and settling in villages. have done under those formidable There are forty-one missionary esta- pressures, they have a noble future blishments for Indian education. before their industry. They have pro
The West Indies have been, since hibited the slave trade, and decreed the commencement of the 18th cen. that every human being born in their
territories shall be born free. Buenos: power of Christianity is to be found. Ayres has established a university, The Sandwich islands, once proverbial which has 400 students. Thirty free for crime, are rapidly receiving the schools are supported by the govern
habits of religion. Occasional excesses ment on the British system.
still disfigure the picture, and the preIn Columbia, Bolivar has establish, sent generation must be worn out beed the same system, with a public fore the recollections of its old license stipend, and sends annually several can be without partizans. But the young men to England to acquire its change is proceeding, and must be fidetails. In Mexico, a convent has nally productive of the highest advanbeen turned into an Academy for 1360 tages to the national character, the pupils, with a model department for prosperity of the people, and to the training masters for provincial schools. general influence of the missionaries In Peru, a central school has been es- over the tribes of the South Sea. tablished in Lima. The British Bible In giving this sketch, we have to Society, and the American, have many acknowledge ourselves much indebted agents in those new republics, and the to a work which has but just appeared, Bible is received willingly. The Ro« entitled, “ The Present State of Chris man Catholic faith is still paramount, tianity, and of the Missionary Estaand must for a while form a powerful blishments for its Propagation through antagonist; but prudence, perseve- all parts of the world, -a single vorance, and the great and glorious cause lume, very intelligently drawn up, and which stimulates the Protestant mis- giving a number of details and opie sionary, will finally overcome. nions important to the subject, but
New Holland, the fifth continent, on which we, of course, have no opwith its islands covering an immense portunity to enter. But the value of space of the great Southern Ocean, such publications must be not merely and growing up before the eye in in the information which they give, işlands innumerable, had been, since though the present work seems to the first English settlement in 1788, have been collected with great care by the object of religious labour. But, its original author, a German, and by in 1825, an “ Auxiliary Church Miss its English reviser, and in part author, sionary Society” was formed in New from the reports of our various socieSouth Wales, with a grant of 10,000, ties—but in their impulse to similar acres. A grant to the same extent publications, to the activity of misa was made to the “London Missionary sionary establishments, and the geneSociety,” and of twice the quantity ral desire of Christian men for the to the “ Wesleyan Mission,” in con
communication of Christian knowsequence of its wider establishment in ledge through the darkened regions the colony. But the natives, perhaps of the globe-the noblest effort that among the most brutish of mankind, can be achieved by the wisdom, the have been hitherto but little influen. wealth, and the enterprize of man. ced. Nothing can be more contrary One immense region alone remains, to the received ideas, that human na- the finest of the earth, and the most ture derives its evil habits from natu. impervious to the step of Christianity ral privations, inclemency of climate, Turkey in Asia, an extent of more or long oppression, than the temperaa than 360,000 square miles, with a poment of the dwellers in the South pulation of twelve millions. The few Seas. The fine climate, abundant pro- Christians scattered through this magvisions, and lazy equality of condition, nificent territory are scarcely more are all made for the overthrow of the than nominal; and every attempt to theory. The people are almost uni- restore them to the knowledge of their versally ferocious, treacherous, licenc faith has been hitherto almost hopetious, and thieving. Cannibalism is less. To convert their masters is benot uncommon, and the massacre of yond even the highest daring of the prisoners is customary. In New Hole missionary. The Turk answers all are land, man is a beast; in the two New gument by the dagger. But the change Zealand islands, he is a savage ; and, which no reasoning of man can effect in the generality of the others, he is a may be destined to severer means, and monster of perfidy and blood. Yet it the sword may liberate the Christian is in this Archipelago that the most slave from a hideous tyranny, which striking evidence of the civilizing not even the light of the Gospel has