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and China : and, had his life been prolonged a few short years, the writers of his Order would have had doubtless to relate the wondrous workings of the spirit of their great Missionary upon those vast fields of error. If Ranke's opinion of him be correct, Sein Bekehrungs Eifer war zugleich eine art Reiselust,* even Burmah might have come within his sweep of his wanderings and labour; and then there would have been another and a closer point, on which for a moment to compare the career of the Spanish Jesuit with that of the American Baptist. But this was not to be; and the isle of Sancian saw Xavier expire, with “ In te, Domine, speravi ; non confundar in æternum" on his lips. Three centuries have passed, since this hope was uttered with his dying breath by one of the noblest heroes of the Cross. Of his labours, which under any aspect were truly gigantic, what now remains ? Where are the Churches which he founded ? We will not ask where are the Scriptures which he translated, for that he considered neither his duty nor his calling: but where is there any thing to indicate that the spoken word, the seed sown three centuries ago, struck root, and grew, and continues to bear fruit ? His success was sudden, meteor-like, and transient, as that of one of earth's conquerors. It was too much based upon
the gross superstition of his hearers, to which his own deep enthusiasm and fanaticism made no vain appeal:-he conquered them with their own weapons, rather than with the dogmas of his own creed.
Far different has been the success of the seven-and-thirty years of Judson's continuous, unflinching labour. His career has not been marked by the alleged sudden conversion of tens of thousands of idolaters. Princes indeed listened, but did not bow their heads to the truths of the Gospel. Brilliant success no where attended him. Yet, it may be permitted us to doubt, whether Judson has not laid the foundation of a fabric, which, instead of vanishing in the course of the next three centuries, will, should earth last, grow into the stately proportions of an extensive and solid Spiritual Temple. Driven from Burmah, he planted his small, but really Christian, Church of Burmese converts on the frontier of the Burman and Peguan Empire; first, at Amherst ; subsequently, where Boardman had preceded him, at Moulmein-a position from whence, at any favourable moment, it can with great facility go forth to the work of evangelizing the surrounding Heathen. His converts and disciples have not been altogether idle in spite of the stern persecution which awaits them on discovery: and, as most Burmans can read and write, the
* “ His Missionary zeal was at the same time a kind of love for travelling."
translation of the Scriptures, their wide dissemination, and the teaching of these converts, few though they be, cannot fail to prepare
the soil, and to sow the seed of a future far richer harvest, than the state of this Buddhist stronghold at present promises.
We recollect hearing a Civil Servant of the Company, a gen. tleman now holding one of the highest judicial offices in the Presidency to which he belongs, observe, that he had never been able to account for a fact, which he had had repeated opportunities of witnessing. He, by no means a second-rate linguist, had, during a long course of public service, been in constant daily attendance in his kacheri, with every description of case to investigate, and an unceasing intercourse with natives of every rank, character, and kind; yet, notwithstanding this constant intercourse during so many years, he at that time felt, that he was very far from being at all a proficient in Urdu, always the language of the people with whom his service had associated him, and for a good many years the language of the Courts-while a Missionary, who might have been less than one-fourth of the time in India, would, in the course of a short conversation, utterly dishearten him by the correct and even eloquent facility, with which the Missionary would discourse in Urdu upon the most difficult subjects. Various reasons were advanced by those present, but were easily shown to be insufficient by the person, who had brought the question under discussion. One, however, of the company suggested, that, in the practice of Civil and Criminal Courts, as in the connection between mi. litary officers and their men, even when cordial and intimate, the language employed, though more or less extensive, still partook of a limited and technical range, which a short application was sufficient to master; on the contrary, it was otherwise with the Missionary. He was under the necessity, from the very beginning, of aiming at far higher attainments; for he could have no hope of being useful, until he should have acquired such a command of the instrument he was to use, as would enable him to launch freely upon the consideration and discussion of metaphysical subjects. But the scope of language, essential for a due treatment of such subjects, is of a far higher order, than that with which a person can very creditably and ably perform the duties of Civil or Criminal Courts. We think that the true proximate cause of the observed fact of Missionary success in the acquisition of languages was here struck. Think for a moment of the command of language requisite, even in a speaker's own mother-tongue, in order to treat adequately of the materiality or immateriality of the soul; of time, space, eternity; of the intellectual faculties and the moral conditions of man's soul and spirit ; of good and evil, and a beneficent Deity. Yet upon all these subjects the Missionary must be prepared to speak, not in his inother-tongue alone, but in the foreign tongue of his adoption. He must be able, not only to rise to the contemplation of the attributes of Omniscience, but also to their expression ; and though, sin and death, and a Redeemer may be, and fortunately are, simple facts for a home address to the bosoms of mankind, yet, in every one of these, the passage from the simplicity of the Gospel truth to an infinity of subjects, in which human reason may be bewildered, is so easy, and the pride of intellect is 80 apt, backed by the passions, to stray into these dark and mysterious regions of thought, that the teacher's voice must be clear, precise, and strong; for, otherwise, if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle ? * Although, therefore, we own ourselves somewhat sceptical of the astounding rapidity with which a Xaviert is said to have acquired languages the most radically distinct, yet, we admit the full force of the powerful stimulus, which operates upon the Missionary's mind. Wholly independently of preternatural inspiration, they are under the impulse of a ruling necessity, if earnest in their vocation, to rest content with no inferior acquirements, but to strain every faculty with wbich they may be gifted, in order to insure a thorough mastery of the instrument, bowever difficult, with which they purpose to expound God's Word and Will. Judson was an eminent instance of such high aim, determined resolve, and most successful accomplishment ;--we say determined resolve ; for even he, although gifted with a natural ability for the acquisition of languages, had to sit at close study twelve hours out of the twenty-four; and, after two years of such continuous labour, wrote as follows, in January 1816 :
I just now begin to see my way forward in this language, and hope that two or three years more will make it somewhat familiar; but I have met with difficulties, that I had no idea of before I entered on the work. For a European or American, to acquire a living Oriental language, root and branch, and make it his own, is quite a different thing from his acquiring a cognate language of the West, or any of the dead languages, as they are studied in the schools. One circumstance may serve to illustrate this. I once had occasion to devote a few months to the study of French ; I have now been above two years engaged in the Burman. If I were to choose between a Burman and a French book to be examined in, without previous study, I should, without the least hesitation, choose the French. When we take up a Westeru language, the similarity in the characters, in very many terms, in many modes of expression, and in the general structure of the sentences, its being in fair print (a circumstance we hardly think of,) and the assistance of Grammars, Dictionaries, and Instructors, render the work comparatively easy. But when we take up a language spoken by a people on the other side of the Earth, whose very thoughts run in channels diverse from ours, and whose modes of expression are consequently all new and uncouth ; when we find the letters and words all totally destitute of the least resemblance to any language we had ever met with, and these words, not fairly divided and distinguished, as in Western writing, by breaks, and points, and capitals, but run together in one continuous line-a sentence or paragraph seeming to the eye but one long word; when, instead of clear characters on paper, we find only obscure scratches on dried palm leaves, strung together, and called a book; when we have no Dictionary, and no interpreter to explain a single word, and must get something of the language, before we can avail ourselves of the assistance of a native teacher
* A greater difficulty perhaps, though not so closely affecting his familiarity with the language, is that of findivg, among a heathen nation, words to convey the Christian ideas of Sin, Holiness, Heaven and Hell, spirituality of mind, and many others, the corresponding terms for which have been perverted by idolatry to signify what is always alien and often opposite to their Christian meaning.--Ed.
† Xavier himself tells us that he preached through an interpreter.-ED.
“Hoc opus, hic labor est ! I had hoped, before I came here, that it would not be my lot to have to go alone, without any guide, in an unexplored path, especially as Missionaries had been here before. But Mr. Chater had left the country; and Mr. Carey was with me very little, before he left the Mission and the Missionary work altogether.
I long to write something more interesting and encouraging to the friends of the Mission ; but it must not yet be expected. It unavoidably takes several years to acquire such a language, in order to converse and write intelligibly on the great truths of the Gospel. Dr. Carey once told me that, after he had been some years in Bengal, and thought he was doing very well in conversing and preaching with the natives, they (as he was afterwards convinced) knew not what he was about. A young Missionary, who expects to pick up the language in a year or two, will probably find that he has not counted the cost. If he should be so fortunate as to obtain a good interpreter, he may be useful by that means, But he will learn, especially if he is in a new place, where the way is not prepared, and no previous ideas communicated, that to qualify himself to communicate divine truth in. telligibly by his voice or pen, is not the work of a year. However, notwithstanding my present incompetency, I am beginning to translate the New Testament, being extremely anxious to get some parts of scripture at least into an intelligible shape, if for no other purpose than to read, as occasion offers, to the Burmans with whom I meet.
But Judson was the very man to contend with, and to overcome, such difficulties; and he became as powerful in discourse, as he was clear, correct and erudite in writing Burman.
Judson's study of French, the language which he brings into contrast with the Burman, appears to us to have been useful to him. It made him acquainted with Pascal, who always remained a favourite ; and, we think, the pregnant, suggestive writings of this author, with their close antithetical style of reasoning, unknown perhaps or unobserved by Judson, came into play, when he had to wield the Burmese language as a
The structure of this really difficult language forbids long involved sentences, in which the sense can be suspended, with the view of arraying and bringing before the mind a many-sided comprehensive survey of closely associated subjects. Concise reasoning in few words is indispensable ; and, when we read Judson's account of the line of argument he adopted with Oo-yan, one of the semi-atheistic school of Bud. dhists, it strikes the ear, not as a plagiarism, but like a vibration of Pascal's mind : “ No mind, no wisdom; temporary 'mind, temporary wisdom ; eternal mind, eternal wisdom.” The harmonic note is so truly in accord, that the reader might expect, when he next opened Blaise Pascal, to find this among the Pensées. Well might Judson modestly add—“Now, as all
the semi-atheists firmly believe in eternal wisdom, this concise
simple and inconclusive to one unacquainted with Burman rea' soning, its effect is uniformly decisive.”
Sentences are the formulæ of thought; words are the algebraic symbols of such formulæ ; and, according to the richness, flexibility, and structure of different languages, the same thought will have to be expressed by a more or less perfect array and concatenation of these symbols into the requisite formulæ. In Mathematics, as is well known, a very concise formula may be the exponent of a widely applicable, and almost universal law; but, in general, to arrive at this formula, much ground must be previously gone over; and, at the various stages of the elimination, the same truth and the same thought are before the mathematician, although the number of symbols and their form of expression may be presented, in the course of the series of equations, under every variety of aspect, from that of the most complicated, to that of the apparently most simple and concise. The student of mathematics soon finds that the simplest-looking formula is not always either the easiest to arrive at, or to apply when found; and he learns to be thankful to those, who do not scorn to show the steps, by which they reach their resulting expressions, and to value the intermediate (more complicated, but often more easily apprehended) forms of symbolical enunciation Some languages, however, and the Burman is one, seem to mould themselves with great difficulty to the elimination of thought in the intermediate stages of a continued chain of close argument. In such languages an argument, or train of reasoning, appears to advance by abrupt steps, the mind being left to trace and fill up their connexion; the resulting formula has to be reached, dropping out, as it were, some of the intermediate equa