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This is, indeed, the great matter,' and whether or not we should be found entirely to agree with this intelligent and spirited writer, as to what that vital principle is, which constituted the strength and pre-eminence of Great Britain, we fully accord with the general tenor of his remarks ; and we extract, with a high degree of pleasure, the following admirable reflections.
• The political institutions of society are at least as far from having reached perfection, as the arts and sciences; and if change and experiment are not so practicable in the former as in the latter, yet, in proportion as it is mischievous to tamper with them but when the occasion is clear, the opportunity striking, and the call urgent, it is dangerous and guilty to withstand those great invitations which at intervals supimon mankind to improve their condition. It would be stupidly base to set down all these disturbances that have of late years agitated Europe, to a wilful and unfounded temper of popular insubordination: the convulsion can only fairly be considered as a natural working, accompanied with painful and diseased symptoms, but 'occasionecs by the growth of men's minds beyond the institutions that had their origin in a very inferior state of information. Nor should England consider herself out of the need of advancing herself further, because she is already advanced beyond her neighbours; on the contrary, lyer strength and wisdom lie in maintainįng her wonted prerogative of being the first to move forward in a safe road,of first catching the bright prospect of further attainments,--and securing for herself, in the independence and fortitude of her judgment, what other s tardily copy from her practice. The vigorous habits of action and thought, which her rulers have found so valuable in the late struggle for national fame and pre-eminence, are only to be preserved, as t'hey were engendered, -namely, by admitting popular opinion to busy itself with the internal affairs of the country, to exercise itself freely on the character of its political establishments, to grapple on even ground with professional and official prejudices and prepossessions, and finally, to knock every thing down that does not stand firm in its own moral strength. This is England's duty to herself;—and to 'the world at large she owes an equally sacred one : viz. so to regulate the application of her influence and power, that it shall oppose no tendency to good,—that it shall never be available to evil and bigoted designs, masking themselves under canting professions-but justify those loud and confident calls which she has every where ad dressed to generous hearts and fine spirits, demanding that they should feel and join her cause as a common one for the honour, the interests, and the hopes of human nature.' pp. 229-232,
Mr. Scott proceeds to remark—but the popularity of his former volume will secure, and we are glad of it, an extensive circulation for his present work, and we need not therefore swell this article with further quotations-that It may be doubted,' whether this country has, in every respect, duly maintained the high ground on which she assumes to stand.' He alludes
in 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 maine tain 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
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 necessity, 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 eontrary opinions on this subject. The pamphlet affixed to the present article, translated, and we are sorry to say, badly translated, from the French of a Protestant clergyman, himself a şufferer and an exile, will serve to convince the most ineredulous, 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-establishment 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 com-' mercial 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 necessarily 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 might 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 influence 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,
Co. . London, 1814.
important of human 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 militant, 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 half, and reflected on how much had been done and suffered, and how little had 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 which apimate 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 “ 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 may safely affirm, that no exertions of intellect, no sacrifices, no achievements in any secular undertaking, can be so 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 incomparably 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 philanthropists 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 ipcited 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 aca complishing the conversion of but one beathen, 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,