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in Jesus. And therefore it is, that they look only to the one, and contrive to overlook the other. And accordingly Moravians have, of late, become the objects of very general request, as well as general admiration. Their services are every where sought after. It was a most substantial testimony in their favour, when the West India planters found the best results from their preaching and discipline, in the good order and fidelity of their slaves proving of the most degraded and oppressed of our species—that still there was a moral nature within, which felt the adaptations of the Gospel and could respond to them.
25. This seems the best plan for the adjustment of the question, whether the first attempt should be to christianize or to civilize-or which of these ought to have the precedency of the other. The Moravians themselves have innocently given rise to a delusion on this subject. The result in their converts has now become so striking and so palpable—they have at length succeeded in raising so beauteous a spectacle, as that of christian and well-ordered villages, in what were before the frightful haunts of prowling and plundering barbarians—there is something so inexpressibly pleasing in the chapel services, and the well attended schools, and the picturesque gardens, and the snug habitations and prosperous husbandry of reclaimed Hottentots, that Moravians are now extolled by sentimental travellers and eloquent writers as an example, nay as a reproach to all other missionaries. And they have supposed, perhaps naturally enough, that what was foremost in exhibition was also first in time—that the Christianity, in short, was a graft upon the civilization, and not the civilization a graft upon the Christianity. There were none more hurt and scandalized by these eulogies than the Moravians themselves—and they have actually penned a vindication of their method, not against the censure of malignant enemies, but against the praise of mistaken admirers. The whole history, in fact, of their success, we may add, the whole history of christianization since the days of the apostles, goes to prove, that whereever the faith of the Gospel arises in the mind, it is rooted and has its deep foundation in the workings of that moral nature which is common to all the species—and that it springs not from so thin a layer as that surface-dressing of civilization, by which one part of the species is distinguished from another. And so it is, that they begin with the topics of sin and of the Saviour at the very outset of their converse, even with the rudest of nature's wanderers_and they find a conscience in them which responds as readily to their sayings, and with less of presumption and prejudice to obstruct their efficacy, as in the lettered Mahometan or demi-civilized Hindoo. It is true, they also attempt, as all other missionaries do, to initiate into the arts and industry of Europe from the very beginning of their enterprise—and the two educations of religion and humanity go on contemporaneously together. It may, in some instances, be difficult to assign what the precedency is in the order of time—but as to the precedency in the order of nature, or in the order of cause and effect,
It is a message
there is no difficulty. It is not the previous civilization which makes way for the Christianity-it is the previous incipient Christianity which makes way for the civilization.
This is the strict philosophy of the process. Christianity does not wait for civilization—it is civilization that waits and follows with attendant footsteps on Christianity. In a word, the message of God to man may be delivered immediately to all men. alike to the barbarian and the Greek-and here, too, as in every thing else, there is the fullest harmony between the declarations of the Gospel itself, and the findings of experience.
26. This explains that very prevalent misconception, in virtue of which it is, that while in the West Indies more especially, and indeed throughout a great portion of British society, there was such demand and admiration for Moravians, there was along with it some years ago so strong a remainder of dislike and even of derision for all other missionaries. The reason was simply this. The Moravians were the oldest of all our modern Protestant missionaries—and they had time to work up a more conspicuous result as the evidence of their labours. They also, went through the very ordeal of contempt and of bitter calumny which other missionaries had still to undergo—and must continue to endure, so long as the Christianity of the attempt stands out more nakedly to the eye of worldly observers; and the mantle of civilization is not yet sufficiently thickened to cover it from their view. There may be even still a rawness in the more recent village of Bethelsdorp. which is now most comfortably and completely seasoned away, in the older establishments of the Moravians. The one is just as solidly and deeply founded as the other, in the sacredness of the enterprise which led to it. But there may not yet be that secondary luxuriance, which catches the eye and calls forth the homage of sentimentalism. The honey-suckle has perhaps not fully grown at each cottage door-nor may the picture yet be completed for the enraptured traveller to gaze upon, and at which he kindles perchance into strains of sweetest poesy. So meagre, so utterly superficial and ignorant and meagre, are the conceptions of those, who while they would exalt the Moravians, do it at the expense of the Methodist and of all other missionaries. There is in it the mere finery of sentimental prettiness, without the depth of christian principle, without the substance or the depth of philosophic observation.
ON THE BOOKS OF THE JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN REVELATION, AND THE DEGREE OF AUTHORITY WHICH BELONGS TO THEM.
On the Canon of Scripture ; and, more especially,
of the Old Testament.
1. The term “canon” has long been employed, to distinguish the real or authoritative books of revelation from all other books, whether they pretended to this high character or not. The origin and significancy of the word in this particular application of it, seem not very clear. In the primitive use of it, it denoted the tongue of a balance-whence, by no very distant transition, it came to mean a rule or standard. Every book that is the genuine work of an inspired man, is an absolute rule of faith or life for all who are addressed by it. St. Paul, in Gal. vi. 16, speaks of those who “walk according to this rule," zavou TOUTW; and in Phil. iii. 16, he says " let us walk by the same rule,” τω αυτω κανονι. To walk according to the canon of certain doctrines or precepts, is to walk according to the rule and direction of the scriptures which contain them—which may be well therefore termed canonical, because of their prerogative to rule, or because of the authority which belongs to