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is found in education, will not be fitted for the offices and duties of the christian church, nor to stand alone without the help of missionaries.
They need such extraneous influences far more than did the early converts. This is true of the nations of India ; and it is pre-eminently true of the more barbarous pagan nations in which the experiment of Protestant missions has been made. How it would be in China, I do not know. A more thorough and practical discipline appears there to be given to the mind in the class of students called “ literati," than is known to any class of minds in India. But in the large portions of the heathen world just named, it is impossible, without either miraculous gifts, or education, fairly and fully to introduce the christian church, in any one of its existing forms; or if introduced, there is no reason to believe that such churches could be sustained and flourish without the constant presence of missionaries. They could not on the plan of Congregationalism ;—for want of that intelligence and discretion among the members, which are so necessary where every man has a vote and a direct agency in the affairs of the church, and for want also of men qualified to act as deacons and committees. Even now, after all that has yet been done in the way of education, Congregational missionaries (and the same is equally true of all others) are obliged to exercise a governing influence in the churches they have gathered very analogous to that exercised by the apostles. They could not on the plan of Presbyterianism ;—for want of suitable men to be entrusted, as ruling elders, with the government of the church.—Neither could they on the plan of Episcopacy; for want of men qualified to perform the duties of priests and bishops. Indeed, the want of well qualified teachers and pastors would be equally felt, and equally fatal to success, whatever form should be given to the ecclesiastical organization. I repeat; without either miraculous gifts, or that intellectual and moral discipline which is not ordinarily attained without more education than is to be found in the heathen world, the native churches, if left to themselves, would soon run into confusion, and the institutions of the gospel would perish from among them. One has but to study the writings of the apostolical Fathers to see, that even in their times—in the centre of the civilized world, and almost in the brightest period of ancient learning-the churches founded by the personal ministry of the apostles, as soon as miraculous gifts ceased, and earlier, were kept with the greatest difficulty in the doctrines of the apostles.*. And we know that it took the church three long centuries to acquire even the ascendency in the Roman empire, and that the hour of her triumph may be regarded as the commencement of her decline. It would be an interesting inquiry, how far this slow progress, it must be regarded as slow, if we take only the time into view,) and the early, rapid, and terrible decline of the church, followed by ages of darkness, were owing to the want of those very facilities for general education, with which God, chiefly through the medium of the press, has furnished his people in these latter days.
Not to pursue this subject, let us illustrate somewhat more the intellectual degradation, into which the great body of the present heathen world has fallen.
To how great an extent have all useful ideas perished from the minds of pagan nations! In those which make the greatest pretentions to learning, in India for instance, the researches of christian scholars have discovered that there is but little of truth on any subject. Their history, chronology, geography, astronomy, their philosophical notions of matter and mind, and their views of creation and providence, religion and morals, are exceedingly destitute of truth. It is not, however, so much vacuity of mind that we have here to contend with, as plenitude of error; the mind being filled with theories and systems of geography, astronomy, metaphysics and theology, all mingled together-the accumulations and perversions of three thousand years—and all claiming the same divine origin, the same infallibility and authority. So that, happily, even the simplest course of elementary instruction in schools, could not be otherwise than a direct attack upon their false religions; and the overthrow of any one of their systems of learning would be a subversion, in their apprehension, of theological error, and the substitution of theological truth.
But when we go beyond the limits of civilization, among the wild children of paganism living on our western wilderness, in Africa, and the islands of the sea, then it is vacuity of mind, and not a plenitude, we have to operate upon. The savage has few ideas, and those few relate to his physical experience and wants. The relations of things escape his attention. He sees only the objects just about him. He knows nothing of
* See Osburn on the Doctrinal Errors of the Apostolical and Early Fathers, passim.
geography ; nothing of astronomy; nothing of history ; nothing of his own spiritual nature and destiny; nothing of God. His mind, if it were possible for it in these circumstances to be expanded, would still be empty. It could not stand erect. It would have nothing to support it.
The worst consequence of all this in connection with the natural depravity of the savage, is that paralysis of the thinking power, especially on spiritual subjects, so often mentioned and İamented by missionaries. This indisposition to thought is well illustrated by the Rev. Lorrin Andrews, principal of the missionary Seminary at the Sandwich Islands, in an essay on native schools at the islands written about six years since.* I will quote a few of his more striking facts.
“ The worst thing in their reading,” he says, speaking of the natives, "is, that they get no ideas. I have taken great pains to ascertain this fact, and I am convinced that ninety out of a hundred that are called readers, hardly know that any meaning ought to be attached to the words. Indeed a great many think there is a kind of mystery, or perhaps magic, in reading. Their notion is, that they must say over a word or two, or a sentence, and then from some quarter a thought will come to them—that is, when they have any thought at all. I have spent hours at a time, in the high school, trying to make the scholars believe that a word written on paper, or printed in a book, meant just the same thing as when spoken with the mouth.” -“The mass of the people,” he adds, “gain nothing from conversation with their countrymen who are better informed, as in enlightened countries, for they are all alike unthinking.”—“ It is remarkable that we are obliged to teach in a formal manner many things to this people, which are easily understood by the most illiterate in civilized countries, or which they would find out by inference. We are called upon frequently to answer questions which appear to us foolish. To mention only one; about three months ago, the wife of Kauwa, one of the Society Island teachers, died; a very respectable and, I believe, pious woman. She died on the Sabbath day, Some few days after her death, the question was agitated among our Lahaina church members, whether or no she could now be happy? And the conclusion pretty generally, if not universally, was that she must be miserable, since the last act of her life consisted in dying on the Sabbath ; in other words, break
See Appendix to the 25th Annual Report of the A. B. C. F. M.
ing the Sabbath ; and as they had been taught that there was no repentance after death, it was not discoverable at all by them how she could be saved. This reasoning was among
the best informed people of Lahaina, who have enjoyed almost ten years of faithful instruction. Kaio, my teacher in the native language), who for thought, reflection, and knowledge of the Scriptures stands third, if not second, in the island, was completely puzzled with the question, and came to me for a solution.”
“ The study of Colburn's Intellectual Arithmetic,” says the same missionary, two years later, “ has done more than all other books in teaching the scholars to think. Geography has great ly enlarged their views of things, and added much to their stock of knowledge. But for much mental discipline in a little space, this little book has exceeded all others they have yet bad. After going half way through the book, they were astonished at themselves. When I commenced with it, they laughed at the simplicity of the questions on the first page, and said it was like the Child's Arithmetic.* I turned over thirty or forty pages of the manuscript, (the translation had not then been printed), and read off several questions. They thought of them a while, and said, nobody knows these things, they are exceedingly entangled. I told them they could soon comprehend them, if they would go straight on from the beginning of the book. They said, perhaps so.
Sometime after they had passed over the place they thought so difficult, they asked me when they should get to the hard questions I had formerly read to them? On being told they had passed over those questions without making a mistake, they exclaimed, what fools we were!"
How very unlike the field which God has given us to cultivate among the heathen, to that cultivated by the apostles and their associates. Moreover, we go forth to our work without their
power of performing miracles, and our converts must be built up in the faith and order of the gospel, and qualified to stand alone and extend the triumphs of the Redeemer of men, without those gifts of teaching, prophecy and government, which were supernaturally conferred on the first gentile converts.
Would any one, notwithstanding this vast difference of cir
* Members of the high school, or seminary, were at that time adults.
cumstances, still restrict us to the single method of oral preaching, because only that was employed by the apostles ? But why overlook the supernatural qualifications, the miraculous powers of the apostles! Why overlook the supernatural gifts conferred upon their converts ? Why lose sight of the fact that the apostles did actually press into the service all the natural powers they possessed, all their intellectual acquisitions, all their gifts and graces, and all the providential facilities within their reach, and brought these all to bear to the utmost upon the people to whom they were sent? And would they not have been grateful for more power, and greater means and facilities? Would they not have used them if they could ? Would not the apostle Paul, for instance, in the prosecution of his missions, have rejoiced in such providential facilities, as rail-roads by land; steam-boats by water; paper instead of papyrus, or parchment; printed books instead of manuscripts ; bills of exchange, by means of which to remit the contributions of the Macedonian and Grecian churches to Jerusalem, rather than the necessity of sending messengers all the way thither to carry the money; and the log-line and compass, in that terrible tempest when for many days neither sun nor stars appeared ? Would he not gladly have favored the whole body of his converts with the reading, as well as the hearing, of the word ? And when laboring with his own hands at Corinth and Ephesus, because he deemed it inexpedient to be chargeable to the Christians of those cities, would it not have been grateful to his feelings and facilitated his missionary work, if some society in Judea could have relieved him from this necessity ?
Nothing can be more illogical, than the objection brought against missionary schools, because the apostles established
How many things the apostles omitted to do, which they would have done if they could. And how absurd to restrict the church of the nineteenth century to the means that were at its command in the first. Must no use be made of the numberless providential gifts to the church since then ? Must no notice be taken of the subsequent changes in her circumstances ? Must no regard be had for the very different attitude and relations of the pagan world towards her ? The heathen to whom the church then sent her missions, were as well instructed in human science, as she was herself; now, the heathen are as much lower on the scale of intelligence, as the church is higher; and does this fact create no additional obligation ? Vol. XII. No. 31.