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The Catholic Missionary.
III. ANDREW KIM; OR, THE MARTYRS OF COREA.
The Catholic Church is the mother of martyrs. She alone can boast of bearing this undoubted mark of being the real spouse of Christ. It is true that there have been those who were strangers to her fold, and even enemies to her claims, who have died rather than renounce the opinions they had adopted. There have been obstinate men who preferred death to giving up their own religious views, and highminded men who were willing to part with life rather than deny their convictions ; but a martyr is one who sheds his blood for the faith; that faith which he holds on the infallible word of God, made known to him by the Church, to whom God has revealed it. To die for our opinions held on our private judgment, is not to die a martyr's death. Keep this real meaning of the term martyr in view, and you will readily perceive that the so-called ' Protestant martyrs, who died in defence of the new opinions they introduced and held on no higher authority than their own or that of some other individual
, cannot claim that glorious title which their descendants desire to award to them.
Protestantism, as such, never produces martyrs. However, it may be said that good Protestants, and such (we hope there are many) who are in a state of invincible ignorance, that is, ignorance for which they are not to blame, do believe firmly various Christian truths, and may possibly, therefore, become martyrs for them. No doubt, they may. I do not deny the possibility of such cases ; but even granting that faith may exist outside the visible Church, yet love is weak and languishing. It is love makes martyrs ;
and that love is learnt in its warmth and in its heroism only by the child of holy Church in the warmth of his mother's
fond embrace. It is she who teaches him to love Jesus with a love stronger than death, and which many waters cannot quench. It is she who teaches him not only to die rather than deny his faith, but to brave tortures and death to propagate it. For a proof we need but point to heathen lands, and compare the missionary labours of the Church and of the unhappy separatists. They have missionaries,
and so have we; but where are they to be found ? Protes! tant missionaries are to be met with only where Christianity
can be preached without bodily risk. Catholic missionaries are to be met with every where, not only where they are welcomed or tolerated, but where privation, persecution, and death await them. Another equally remarkable circumstance is this, that not only does the missionary offer his life as a willing victim for the love of Him who died for sinners, but he trains up martyrs too. The newly baptised, the scarcely instructed heathen, who has just received the mere rudiments of the faith, but the love of which has sunk deep into his untutored heart, rises up, as in the early days of Christianity, to claim the martyr's crown of glory. He casts away his idols; but not that alone-he embraces the cross.
The Protestant can, it is true, sometimes prevail upon
heathen to despise or forsake the superstition of his fathers; but, by his own confession, he fails in persuading him cordially to embrace the truths he presents to him. As for a Protestant convert from heathenism facing martyrdom, I suppose that is a thing utterly unknown. It is much if he do not learn from his new teachers utterly to disbelieve, where before he only believed erroneously. He was a pagan ; he becomes a sceptic.
I am about to give you a short account of the martyrdom of a young Christian priest in a distant land, which occurred but a few years ago; and I have purposely selected one who was himself a native of the country and not a European, the better to exhibit the fruit which our holy religion bears in all lands. The country to which I am about to transport you is called Corea. It is a peninsula stretching north-east of China, and is a dependency of that great empire. The Coreans are given up to the worship of a countless number of idols, and are the prey of many afflict. ing scourges, which have greatly thinned the population. Among these we must reckon pestilence and famine, as well as the ravages of wild beasts, whose numbers are truly frightful, and which, it is said, devour at least one thousand of the population yearly. But the miserable divisions of this unhappy people, and their want of energy form, one of the principal causes of their wretched state. The country has been divided for years between two rival factions; and whichever can succeed in placing a king on the throne, wreaks its fury on the partisans of the other side, and on all whom they have favoured, however inoffensive their conduct may be. Many persecutions against the Christiansan for Christianity has penetrated into this dark regionhave had no other cause than this, that they had been tolerated by the opposite faction. On these occasions Christian blood flowed in torrents. Then, however, have men seen what a change the true faith can work in the heart that receives it. The degraded Corean, exhibiting usually no spirit or energy, save in persecuting the Christian, become a new man in Christ, has bent his neck with holy joy to the executioner's sword. Even children have come forward begging to die with their mothers; the very judges fearlessly confessed the faith, and offered their hands to fetters ; princesses descended with Christian fortitude into loathsome dungeons, and endured untold tortures, such as pagan fury, urged on by the devil
, alone can invent, and then knelt meekly down with their slaves to receive the eternal crown of martyrdom. We may
form some idea of the difficulties with which the Christian converts have had to contend in this country, even under the most favourable circumstances, when there has been a cessation of active persecution, from the following facts. They are unable to assemble for the purposes of devotion, since they would be instantly attacked; and if a priest come among them in the towns, he is seized the moment his disguise is detected. Moreover, the Christians are very generally forced to abandon their only means of subsistence. Many are workers in silver, copper, &c., or perhaps they are cabinet-makers; hence they are constantly required to make objects of superstition or idolatrous wor