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success of their operations; but the nature of the operations themselves, he most grossly misrepresents. Their system he contrasts with one, which he is pleased to call that of the "Gospel Missionaries." "Instead of preaching to the natives," he informs us, "the mysterious parts of the gospel, the Moravians instructed them in useful and industrious habits; instead of building a church, they erected a storehouse. Their labors were crowned with complete success. ""* In a paper on Barrow's work, in the Edinburgh Review, as well as in another article in the same periodical, on Lichtenstein's Travels, the same high commendation is awarded to the Moravians, for the wisdom manifested in their plans, and the same gross misrepresentations are made in regard to the nature of these plans.† In the last mentioned article we are expressly told that the Moravian brethren "begin with civilizing their pupils,educating and instructing them in the useful arts." We are not sure whether this reviewer was the original inventor of the oft-repeated objection to missions in general. That "you must civilize a people before you can christianize them." But if he was, it is most unfortunate for his theory that he happened to stumble on the operations of the Moravian missionaries, in order to support it; for never has the objection met with more triumphant refutation, than in these successful labors of these devoted philanthropists. The author of the review meant to compliment the Moravians; but they felt
* Barrow's Journey in Africa, p. 881.
+Edinburgh Review, vol. viii. p. 434-438, and vol. xxi, p. 65, 66.
insulted by his eulogium, and were the first to come forward and deny his assertions.
Here, then, is a very high testimony to the efficacy of evangelical religion. A person unacquainted with the hidden mechanism, is delighted with the visible effects which are produced by it. He begins to speculate on the principles in which such results must have originated. He forms a theory of his own, agreeable to his own previously acquired modes of thinking, and proceeds forthwith to compliment those who had acted on so excellent a plan, and who had demonstrated its efficacy by the beautiful system which they had caused to emerge from it. The workers behind the scenes, now come forward, and tell him that he has quite mistaken the matter; for they have been acting on a system altogether different. Our speculator is not only disappointed to find that his own theory receives no support from the facts under consideration, and may not, for aught that he has yet seen, merit the high eulogiums, with which he has thought fit to honor it; but he is confounded to discover, that he has been unwillingly bearing testimony to the merits of a plan at variance with his own; and that the system to which his high eulogiums are now most legitimately transferable, is one, which he has all along been accustomed to declaim against as irrational, and to despise as unphilosophical.
The interesting views and reasonings of this well-written paper are deserving of attention from the friends of missions. It shows how much may be made of this subject by men of a discursive and philosophic turn of mind; and were missionary meetings occasionally conducted in the
manner pursued by Dr. Chalmers, they would prove more interesting and instructive than they often do. Considering the period during which exertion has been made to propagate Christianity among the heathen, and the number of persons who are employed in the work, both at home and abroad, it is surprising that some work, on what might be called the philosophy of missions, has not yet appeared. The only things, approaching to this character, are the "Hints on Missions," by Mr. Douglas, of Carvers; and the work on "The Advancement of Society," by the same highly gifted individual. But the former of these productions too accurately corresponds with its title, to answer the purpose to which I refer; and in the other, the subject is only noticed as one among many. From these works, however, the germ of a highly valuable essay on the subject of Christian Missions to the heathen might be obtained.
What we want is not an increase of reports of yearly proceedings, and arguments derived from the Scriptures, to persuade us that it is our duty to engage in this good work; but a condensed view of the knowledge and experience which have been acquired during the last thirty or forty years. What appear to be the best fields of labor?-what the most successful mode of cultivating them?-what the kind of agency which has been most efficient, and least productive of disappointment?-what the best method of training at home, for the labors and self-denial to be encountered abroad?-whether are detached and separate missions, or groups of missions and depots of missionaries, the most desirable? These, and many other questions, require a mature and deliberate answer. The materials for such an
answer exist. And can none of the officers whose time is wholly devoted to the management of our missionary societies furnish such a digest? Are they so entirely occupied with the details of business, as to have no time or inclination left for looking at general principles? Were more attention paid to the ascertaining of such principles, and more vigor and consistency manifested in prosecuting them, there might be less of glare and noise; but, assuredly, there would be a prodigious saving of labor, property, and life; and, in the end, a greater degree of satisfaction and real
"The first requisite in benevolent operations," says Mr. Douglas, "as in all other undertakings, is system; a fixedness of design, and a steady adaptation of the means to the end. Opposite to that of system, is the pursuing of what are called openings, or the being caught with every change of circumstances and drawn by every chance of success into new paths of pursuit, having no connexion with each other, and leading to remote terminations. Every step gained in a system, strengthens; every step gained without it weakens. The first object acquired leads to the possession of the second, and that to the attainment of the third, if all the objects to be attained are originally chosen with reference to the accomplishment of a plan. Every new object, where there is no system, divides the already scattered forces; and success, if pursued, might dissipate them entirely, and leave but the vain pleasure of having a number of defenceless stations, each calling for assistance, and all calling in vain, while the society only retained the empty boast of an extended line of operations, and of being equally helpless and
inefficient in every quarter of the globe. system, each part strengthens the other, the line of communication is held up entire; as each point is gained, the whole advances; they are all in movement towards the same position, and they rest upon the same centre of support.
I cannot pursue the subject farther, but the existing circumstances of our missionary institutions call loudly for the consideration of these judicious remarks. I return to the narrative.
Not satisfied with his exertions in establishing and aiding a missionary society, and thus contributing to diffuse the gospel abroad, John felt it his duty to do all the good in his power to those among whom he lived. This led him at the commencement of this session to engage in teaching a Sabbath School, in a village a few miles distance from St. Andrew's. To this place he was in the habit of going regularly every Lord's day evening, and occasionally, also, on other days, when he could find time, for the purpose of conversing with the parents; and thus endeavoring to interest them in the spiritual welfare of their children, and in their regular attendance at the school.
These engagements have often been productive of the most beneficial effects on young men intended for the ministry, as well as on the minds of the rising generation. They stimulate to the examination of the Scriptures, accustom the teacher to an easy and familiar method of speaking and address; and increase his acquaintance with the peculiarities of human character. The difficulties he experiences in conducting such seminaries, and accomplishing his wishes, will be found to arise from many of the same causes which operate on