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Christianity of workshops, on the | do we see one possible way of causing Christianity of crowded and indus- it to circulate at large among the trious establishments, on the Chris- | families of our land. tianity of nearly all our cities and all On this subject, therefore, we our parishes. That the hope which again with confidence appeal to the is in us may have the property of experience of any Christian minister endurance there must be a reason for within the limits of his own parish, the hope, and where, we ask, in the did he ever witness the conversion of whole field of their habitual contem- one of his own people, and more esplation, are the toil-worn children of pecially in the humble classes of poverty to find it?— Are they to society, and where then, we ask, was search for the reason among the the instrument or cause in that conarchives of history ? - Are they to version. Did it lie, we ask, in any gather it out of the mouldering eru- thing external to the subject matter dition of other days ?-Are they to of the Gospel, or did it lie within the fetch it up from the profound and subject matter of the Gospel itself. puzzling obscurity of argumentation? | Did the light lie in that history --Are they to encounter the toil of which the documents of antiquity scholarship, and ere the light of reve- enabled him to give of the book, or lation can guide or gladden them, did it lie in that doctrine and inforthink you that they must learn to mation which stands engraven upon number, and to balance, and to con- its pages? Did it lie in the exhibifront the testimony of former gene- tion he made of the proof of the comrations?
munication, or did it lie in the exRefuse the evidence that we have hibition he made of the substance of been insisting on, and in doing so the communication? Let him tell us you pass oblivion on nearly all the the argument of that awakening SerChristianity that is in our own land. mon under which he remembers some It may still continue to be talked of secure hold of infidelity to have been in the cloistered retirements of lite- stormed ? was it in combatting the rary debate and speculation, but the hostility of nature's blindness? was it mighty host of our people could take in the act of combatting the hostility no more rational interest in its of literature, when in all pride of questions than they would in any erudition he demonstrated the faithcontroversy of the schools ; and if ful conveyance of the Scriptures of the authority of this volume be not truth from the first ages of Chrislegibly stamped upon all its own tianity; or was it in the act of compages, if all the evidence by which batting the hostility of nature's blindwe can affirm it to be most thoroughly ness and nature's opposition, when he and visibly impregnated, be a de- opened the Scriptures and made the lusion, if all the varied points of truth itself manifest to the consciences accordancy between the book of re- of men? This last, we imagine to velation and the book of human ex- be the only way of converting the perience be not sufficient to attest human soul. It is not done by dethe divinity that formed it, or if this scending into the depth of the earth, attestation be far beyond the under and there fighting the battle of the standing of an ordinary peasant, then truth against the dark and visionary must Christianity be ever shut up spectres of theology; it is not done from a vast majority of our species, nor by ascending up into the heavens,
and fetching from those wondrous, and the attributes, and the love of regions some sublime illustration. God. The Greenlanders did not It is done by bringing the word nigh comprehend them, and the missionunto them, by entering with it into aries were mortified to find that after the warm, and well known chambers years of labour they had not gained of their own consciences, by making a single proselyte to the faith. On them feel the full force of its adjust- this they resolved to change their ment to all their wants and expe- measures, and, as a last desperate riences, by telling them of that sin, experiment, they gave up all prepaunder a conviction of which, nature ratory instruction, and made one tries to forget God, or would fee great and decisive step onward in affrighted from his presence, and of the peculiar doctrines, and these too that Saviour, who alone can hush the couched in the peculiar phraseology alarms of nature's philosophy. of the Gospel. When simply told
These are the lessons which could in Scriptural words, of sin, and of do to those, my hearers, what they the Saviour, the effect was instandid in the days of the Apostles. They taneous; there was something in the can make the unbelievers, and the hearts of these unlettered men which unlearned, feel themselves to “ be responded to the truths and tidings judged of all and convinced of all, and of the New Testament. The dethus can manifest the secrets of their monstration of natural religion fell hearts, so that they shall acknow-fruitless and unintelligible on their ledge God to be in them of a truth."
ears; but they felt the burden of sin, III. We would now come to the and of death, and listened attentively THIRD and last head of our discourse, to the preacher's voice when it told, in which, as briefly as possible, we that “unto them a Saviour was born." would consider THE LIKELIHOOD OF They live on the very outskirts of SUCCESS IN THE MISSIONARY ENTER- population, and beyond them there PRISE, AND
is nothing seen but a wilderness of ACTUAL, HISTORICAL SUCCESS, snow, and nothing heard but the
angry howling of the elements. But I must here restrict myself Who will say that the enterprise to a few gleanings from a now mul- is chimerical now that a Christian tifareous and daily accumulating his people is formed in a country so untory, and such as may best illustrate promising--that the limits of the the rationale of the missionary enter- Christian church have been pushed prise. When the first missionaries forward to the limits of human exwent to Greenland we may be asistence, and the tidings of goodwill sured that they had the ignorance to men have been carried with acof a rude and unpromising popula- ceptance to the very last and uttertion to contend with. They thought most of the species. The discovery they would go systematically to work, there made by the Moravians was and before presenting them with the converted by them into a principle Christian message in the terms of which they carried round the globe ; the message, that they would give and which ever since has been the them some preparatory ideas as in fertile source of their marvellous natural religion. For this purpose success in the work of evangelizing they expatiated in formal demonstra- the heathen. They now learned that tion on the existence, and the unity, it was impossible to antedate the
WHICH ALREADY HAS ATTENDED IT.
message of the Gospel in any manner, | Their services are everywhere and they availed themselves of this sought after. It is a most substantial experience in Greenland in all their testimony in their favour that the subsequent operations among the West India planters have found the Exquimaux of Labrador, among the best results from their preaching and Indians of North America, and among discipline in the good order and fidethe negroes of the Danish and Bar- lity of their slaves. When their badoes Islands, and lastly, among accounts were made up at the end the Hottentots of South Africa. As of 1827, they had under Christian the effect of this peculiar, yet pow- instruction, no less than 35,629 neerful moral regimen, villages have groes. arisen in the wilderness, and we now This seems to be the best place for behold men of, before, untamed and the adjustment of the question, whesavage nature, as if by the touch of ther the first attempt should be to a miracle, completely become radi- christianize or to civilize, or which it cally transformed, living in gentle- is of these that takes the precedency ness together, and tutored in the arts of the other. The Moravians themand decencies of a civilized people. selves have innocently given rise to Many there are who nauseate the a delusion upon this subject. The peculiar evangelism which lies at the result in these converts has now beroot of this great, moral, and spiritual come so striking and so palpable-change, yet are forced to admire the they have at length succeeded in beauteous efflorescence which pro- raising so beauteous a spectacle as ceeds from it, just as there are many that of christians and well ordered who can eye with delight the graces villages, which were before the fruitof a cultivated landscape, yet have ful haunts of prowling and plunno taste for the operations of hus- dering barbarians – there is somebandry which called it into being thing so inexpressibly pleasing in the Certain it is that Moravians have chapel service, and the well attended become the objects of a popular and school, and the picturesque garden, sentimental admiration among men
and the snug habitations and prospewho would not tolerate the metho- rous husbandry of reclaimed Hottendistical flavor, as they may term it, tots, that Moravians are now cried of a Moravian report, a thing just up by sentimental travellers and eloas possible as that they might feel a quent writers as an example, nay, as most exquisite relish for their music a reproach to all other missionaries ; along with a thorough distaste for and they have supposed, perhaps their hymns. The fruit and the naturally enough, that what was first flower are both pleasing to the eye in exhibition was also first in time ;of many to whom the culture is offen- that the christianity in short was a graft sive; and who could not look upon upon civilization, and not the civiliit without the revolt of nature's en-zation a graft upon christianity. There mity to the truth as it is, in Jesus, were none more hurt and scandalized and, therefore, it is that they look by these eulogies than the Moravians only to the one, and continue to over-themselves, and they have actually look the other. And accordingly penned a vindication of their method, Moravians have, of late, become the not against the sneer of malignant objects of very general request, as enemies, but against the praises of well as of very general admiration. mistaken admirers. The whole his
tory of christianization since the days a great portion of British society, of the apostles tends to prove that there is such a demand and venerawherever the faith of the gospel arisestion for Moravians, there is still so in the mind, it is rooted and has its deep strong a remainder of dislike, and foundation in the workings of that even of derision for all other missionmoral nature which is common to all aries. The reason is simply this, the the species. And so it is that Moravians are the oldest of all our these Moravians tell us how they modern Protestant missionaries, and began the topic of sin, and of the they have had time to work up a more Saviour, at the very outset of their conspicuous result as the evidence of converse, even with the very rudest their labours. They also went through of nature's wanderers, and they find the very ordeal of contempt and of a conscience in them which responds bitter calumuy,which the missionaries as readily to their sayings, and which have still to undergo, and which they loses the pre-occupations and preju- must continue to endure, so long as dices which obstruct their efficacy, as the Christianity of the attempt stands in the lettered Mahometan, or the out so nakedly to the eye of worldly demi-civilized Hindoo. It is true observers, and the mantle of civilizathey also attempt, as all other mis- tion is not yet sufficiently thickened sionaries do, to insinuate among cover it from their view. We them the arts and industry of Europe doubt there is a rawness which is now from the very beginning of their en- most comfortably and most completely terprise, and the two educations of softened away in the older establishreligion and humanity go on contem- ments of the Moravians. The one is porarily. It may in some instances just as solid and deeply founded as the be difficult to assign what the prece- other, in the sacredness of the enterdency is in the order of time, but as prise which led to it, but there is not to the precedency in the order of yet that secondary luxuriance which nature, or in the order of cause and catches the eye, and calls forth the effect, there is no difficulty. It is not homage of sentimentalism.
The the process of civilization which makes honeysuckle has not yet fully grown way for the Christianity, it is the at each cottage door, nor is the picchristianity makes way for the civili- ture yet completed for the enraptured zation. This is the strict philosophy traveller to gaze upon, and at which of the process ; Christianity does not he may kindle perhaps into strains wait for civilization, it is civilization of sweetest poesy. So meagre, so that waits, and follows with attend- utterly superficial, and ignorant, are ant footsteps on Christianity. In a the conceptions of those who, when word, the message of God to man they would exalt the Moravians, might be delivered immediately to all do it at the expense of the nakedmen; it is a message alike to the ness of all other missionaries. They “ barbarian and the Greek.” And exhibit the mere finery of sentihere too, as in every thing else, there mental criticism, without the depth is the fullest harmony between the of Christian principle, without the declaration of the gospel itself, and substance and the depth of philothe findings of experience.
sophic observation. This will explain, I hope, that very I consider it necessary before I prevalent misconception, in virtue of conclude to give you just one instance which it is, that while in the West more, in justice to the usefulness and Indies, and more especially through the efforts of another society, not com
posed of Moravians, I mean the Lon-, physics (for I am supposing this to don Missionary Society. Let me be a company of philosophers and just say a few words on what is still savans)-well, had they proceeded considered to be the most illustrious thus far, and furnished with the best of all achievements. Had the mem- and fitted lessons for man in the inbers of some school of philosophers fancy of understanding brought their by dint of a skilful and laborious well weighed processes to bear on analysis, become profoundly con- them-had they got pupils from versant with the mysteries of the among all their families, and in human spirit, had they speculated twenty years wrought a change more with accuracy and effect not merely marvellous than twenty centuries on the progress of the individual rolling over the heads of many tribes mind, from its first rude and barren and many nations of our world have elements to the highest finished being been able to accomplish-in a word, of its moral and intellectual cultiva- | had they transformed this horde of tion, but also on the progress of the cannibals into a lettered and humancollective mind in society : 30 as to ized peasantry, and from the cruelties trace all the continuous footsteps by of their desolating superstition turned which the transition is made from them to the peaceful charities of this savage to civilized life-had they on world, and to the rejoicing hopes of the principle of a new system de- another—had they been further envised a plan of tuition, and instituted abled to grace the whole of this a method of discipline and formed a exhibition by such pleasing and book of elementary doctrine and picturesque accompaniment as those scholarship, in virtue of which they of newly formed villages, and cultiheld themselves prepared for a grand vated gardens, and prosperous inphilanthropic experiment on some dustry, and the whole customs of remote remnant of barbarians, yet in industrious and well-regulated lifethe primitive ignorance of nature, and all this on the part of a people, had they been enabled so to interest who but a few years ago were prowlthe public in their scheme as to be ing in nakedness, and who with fierce upheld by them in all the cost of a and untamed spirits could assemble beneficial expedition, then set forth in delighted multitudes around the on the wide ocean of adventure till altar of a human sacrifice they reached a far distant shore that achievement so wondrous as this was peopled by the most degraded would have blazoned forth on the tribes of idolaters, where all the arts world as one of the noblest triumphs and habits, and decencies of Europe of philosophy; it would have filled were unknown, and where and delighted the whole of our litehideous misshapen sculpture bespoke rary republic, and her academies a paganism of the most revolting would have vied with each other in character—had they in these cir- heaping their orders and honorary cumstances offered parley with the titles on the men who had found out natives, and gained their confidence, that specific charm by which to reand won such an ascendency as that claim savages to the walks of humathey could assemble and detain them nity, and to quicken a hundred fold at pleasure, for the purposes of edu- the march of improvement of our cation, and furnished, as they were,
species. by an enlightened scheme of meta
Now it is not very many years ago