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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 througli 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.
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 thie 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, 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 him 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 dissentinating 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.
those around him, his disciples in this day are much more restrained, and do much less for their master, in his name, in his strength, and for his sake, than they might do, owing to their own “ little faith" in the efficacy of his Gospel. And we fear that this defective faith indicates defective experience of the full efficacy of the Gospel on their own souls. Just in proportion as believe that He will work among the heathen to whom bis word is preached, shall we be excited to use the means, and perform the part appointed to us, as “ labourers together with Him." We shall give our - money freely, offer our prayers fervently, and devote our talents strenuously, in this cause, precisely according to our faith that they will be effectual, and effectual they shall beso God has ordained it--effectual in proportion as we believe that they will be, when we know and are sure that He bas called us to this ministry. We disclaim, however, every intention to inculcate here a foolish and fanatical credulity; or to compromise one particle of his word respecting the power of that faith, which, at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances, firmly believes that God will do what he has promised to do.
The volumes before us refer exclusively to Protestant Missions. Had the Author's plan embraced those of Roman Catholics, they have been so numerous and extensive, and of so long standing, that the bulk of the work would have been more than doubled. It is to the shame of Protestants, that the professors of the true faith have shewn themselves far less zealous to promulgate it, than the anti-christian Church of Rome, or the followers of the impostor of Mecca, have been, to propagate their false
doctrines. Wherever Catholics or Mahometans have carried their arms or their commerce, there also they have planted their errors. Are bigotry and superstition, then, more active, mischievously active we acknowledge, than the faith in Christ, which works by love? We boldly answer, No, in the face of all the facts that appear to prove the contrary. But the reason that Protestants in general are so indifferent to the diffusion of their religion, is, that they themselves are too generally indifferent to religion, and want not only the pure motives, but the restless stimulants of bigotry and superstition, to induce them to labour for its extension. Yet, we would not be understood to condemn altogether the exertions of Roinan Catholic Missionaries. Wherever popery has been enforced by fire and sword, we regard the promulgators with horror, and the converts with compassion, but wherever the truths of the Gospel, the essential trutlis of the Gospel, however mingled with buman mistakes in the interpretation, have been sincerely taught, we cannot doubt, that the blessing of God has accompanied them; and it is far from being improbable, that in the day of judgement, there will rise froin the remotest. regions of South America, the now interdicted shores of Japan, and the impenetrable recesses of China, thousands, and tens of thousands, to call those blessed, whose names are unrecorded on earth, and whose good works are as absolutely forgotten as if they had never existed. Another remark we must make, and we grieve while we make it: If Protestants have been less eager than Papists and Mussulmen, to establish the form of religion in their colonies, of all Protestants, the British have been the most negligent in this respect. Conquest and commerce they have carried on with purely secular views; and of our countrymen it certainly cannot be said, that they have profaned the Gospel by propagating it with violence, or have debased it by blending it with avaricious speculations. Wherever Spain, Portugal, Holland, and Denmark, have formed settlements in heathen lands, something has been done, not only to furnish the factories with chaplains, but to supply the natives with teachers, to instruct them in the principles of Christianity. By the British Government and by the British East India Company, so little has been done for the latter purpose, that the representatives of the parties themselves, we presume, would rather that it were passed over as nothing, than he told horo little it has been.
We shall not attempt more than a recapitulation of the various contents of these volumes, making however a few occasional extracts and passing observations. The work itself is a compilation, not inarked either with extraordinary defects or extraordinary merits. It is conducted with general fairness, and, we believe, without any wilful prejudice or perverse partiality. Its principal recoromendation is, that it comprehends, in a moderate compass, a sketch of the several Missions undertaken by Protestants since the middle of the seventeenth century, whether instituted by Governments, or, as they have chiefly and most successfully been, supported by particular classes of Christians, especially British; for this is the glory of our country, that while as a nation we have been more remiss than any other, in introducing our holy religion into our Pagan dependencies, as private Christians we can shew Missionary trophies already won, equal to those of the Danes and Germans, while, at this very time, we are meditating and carrying into effect evangelical enterprises, far beyond any thing which they ever attempted, or even anticipated in hope.
The first and second chapters of Dr. Brown's History, contain soine imperfect notices of experiments made in the sixteenth century by the Swiss and the Swedes; the former, fór the conversion of the Savages in South America, and the latter, of their neighbours and subjects the Laplanders.
The third chapter informs us, that in Ceylon, soon after its discovery, the Portuguese had widely established popery, but the Dutch having conquered the island, immediately proceeded to make the inhabitants Dutch Christianis instead of Portuguese Christians.
. Besides settling ministers and erecting schools in the island, they issued a proclamation, ordaining, that no native should be raised to the rank of a modelear, or admitted to any employment under the government, unless he subscribed the Helvetic Con fession of Faith, and professed himself a member of the Reforms ed church. This absurd and impolitic order, so well calculated to make the people hypocrites, not Christians, was attended with complete success. The higher ranks of the natives, and all who aspired after either dignity or office, immediately professed to abandon the religion of their forefathers, and to embrace the faith of their conquerors.' Vol. I. pp. 8–9.
• Nothing more was demanded of them, than that they should learn to repeat the Lord's prayer, the ten commandments, a morning and evening prayer, and a grace before and after meat. When the ministers, in the course of their visitations, were cer. tified by the schoolmaster, that the poor Pagans had committed these things to memory, (for they themselves were ignorant of their language,) they proceeded to baptize them without further ceremony.' Vol. I. p. 9.
We can believe, notwithstanding these slender qualifications, that the poor natives were in many instances as good Christians as their teachers. At any rate, the end was laudable; and the means were inefficient rather from the ignorance than froin the neglect of those who employed them. The following paragraph reflects little credit on our country, and shews how nationally indifferent we are to the interests of religion abroad, whatever zeal may be manifested for our Church and State at home.
• In 1796, the Dutch possessions on the island of Ceylon, surrendered to the arms of the British; and for a considerable time the religious instruction of the natives occupied no part of the attention of their new masters.' The European clergymen became prispners of war; the native catechists and schoolmasters no longer received their salaries; the duties of public worship, and the education of the youth, were either, feebly discharged, or entirely neglected; and the memorials presented by the inhabitants on these subjects, were considered by a military commander, either as matters in which he had no concern, or which he had not power to redress. Many of the churches now fell to ruins ; thousands of the natives, who had once called themselves Christians, relapsed into heathenism; and the prohibition of the Dutch against erecting any new Pagan temples being no longer in force, the number of these was doubled in a short time,' Vol. I.
13-14. < But early in 1803, instructions, in his Majesty's name, were received at Colombo, directing that the annual expence of all the schools on the island should be limited to the sum of £1500 sterling; and as this was not more than sufficient to support the academy for instructing the natives in the English language, and the different asylums for the orphans of Europeans, the salaries of all the country schoolmasters and catechists were once more withdrawn, while the whole saving to the revenue scarcely amounted to the sum of £ 1800 a year. We are happy, however, to understand that the schools have, to a certain extent, been again established, chiefly through the instrumentality of Sir Alexander John ston, chief-justice of Ceylon, whose benevolent exertions promise to be of essential service to the cause of religion in that island.' Vol. I. pp. 15-16.
'In propagating Christianity in Java, and the neighboursing countries,' says Dr. Brown, there is nothing for which & the Dutch have been more distinguished, than by their zeal to furnish the inhabitants with the Holy Scriptures.' Did our East India Company ever thus concern theinselves for the eternal interests of the wretched millions, whose temporal interests have been so little promoted by their connexion with our trading conquerors ?
The fourth chapter, copsisting of six sections, is exceedingly interesting. It contains a sufficiently clear and copious retrospect of the propagation of Christianity by the AngloAmericans, as our Author designates the British Colonists, The extraordinary labours of that eminent servant of God, John Eliot, the first apostle of the Indians in Massachusets, are briefly detailed, He was peculiarly qualified for the work iņ which he had engaged. Ardent, indefatigable, patient, discreet, and courageous, he was at once the patriarch and the eyangelist, the legislator and the priest, of the poor barbarians whom he had gathered around him, and whom he governed with equity and taught with faithfulness. One extract from his history, will shew his character, and the perils of his situation, when he went forth with his life in his hand among murderers, whom he could meekly brave to their faces, when they were most infuriated.
• In a letter to the Hon. Mr. Winslow, he says, “ I have not been dry night nor day from Tuesday to Saturday, but have travelled from place to place in that condition ; and at night I pull off my boots, wring my stockings, and on with them again, and so continue. But God steps in and helps me. I have considered the exhortation of Paul to his son Timothy, Endure hardness as a good poldier of Jesus Christ.” Such sufferings as these, however, were