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whence themselves first rose above the horizon of the moral world;-to recollect the means which have promoted their own advancement, and to impart them to such as now require their guidance and assistance. With this view, the encouragement of zealous but discreet missionaries, the moral uses of commercial intercourse, a provision for the religious interests of distant colonies, the abolition of all cruel, unjust, and oppressive methods of commercial enterprize, are at once erected into plain and positive duties. The Indian hunter must no longer be bribed by intoxicating spirits for the spoils of his chase, nor the African warrior for his more guilty spoils, even his fellow man; but they must be gently led to the knowledge of their duties and their happiness, and of the benevolent designs of Providence in their favour. And above all, these objects must be secured by a provision for keeping alive among the foreign agents of the more civilized country a sense of their moral and religious duties. It is thus, and thus only, that its intercourse with others can be either innocent, or ultimately useful to itself; or that it can be honoured by Divine Providence as the instrument of conveying His destined blessings to the uncivilized regions of the Earth.
This department of philanthrophy, however, is difficult in proportion to its importance; for the rare combination of zeal with discretion is essential to its successful pursuit. Enthusiasm, though useful and even commendable in some cases, must here be carefully tempered. The growth of zeal in the mind must be perceived only by the fruits of activity and perseverance, while the sincerity and simplicity of its views must be evidenced by the utmost wariness to avoid
giving offence, and a cautious abstinence from any display of personal vanity or individual rivalship in the pursuit of philanthropic objects.
The neglect of skilfully combining temporal and commercial objects with the apostolic zeal of missionaries engaged in savage and barbarous countries, seems to have been the principal cause of failure in most of the cases where their benevolent designs have proved abortive. This appears evident from the accounts rendered of the missionary voyages to the South Sea Islands (see quarto Account of the Mission), of the mission in the Karroo Deserts (see Barrow's Cochinchina), and of all others, with a few judicious exceptions. The brightest of these is perhaps to be found in the account of two “ Attempts made to civilize the North American Indians by the United Friends, 1. of Baltimore, and 2, of Philadelphia.” (See two small Pamphlets under these titles.). The plan they proceeded upon was this: that whereas most missionaries had (as an Otaheitan Chief expressed himself) bestowed on the objects of their care plenty of parrow (i. e. talk), but very few hatchets (i. e. objects of temporal convenience); these plain and benevolent missionaries, some of whom by the way were carpenters and blacksmiths, reversed this order of proceeding. They began by putting the spade, the hoe, the hammer, the saw, and the anvil, into the possession of the natives, and worked with them personally in constructing houses, cultivating fields, and making the coarser articles of furniture. When the savages with a customary jealousy, which reflects more disgrace on the general conduct of their civilized neighbours than on themselves, began to forget the benefits bestowed, to feel
uneasy at the continued presence of their benefactors, and to doubt if so much kindness from a white man could be altogether free from some selfish design; the enlightened individuals, with a generosity and good sense truly admirable, made the Indian natives a present of every thing they had brought, and every thing they had done in the country, and instantly departed. The result was such as might have been expected. The houses soon got out of repair, the tools damaged or worn out, and the Indian attempts to remedy these evils were not the most successful. Deputations thereforewere forthwith sent to Baltimore and Philadelphia, praying the return of the missionaries, who were seated for good in the confidence of the natives; and, unless the late war has interfered with their designs, have probably before this converted them to Christianity. At all events they have induced them to settle in regular villages, and have planted and watered the root, from which evangelical missionaries may in future gather an abundant increase.
I trust that this passage will not be construed into any reflection upon these last-mentioned missionaries : I admire their zeal and perseverance, and venerate the motives by which they are actuated; and have been indignant when writers of character have permitted the pride and prejudice of their hearts so far to overcome their better feelings, as to indulge in public sneers at what they are pleased to term “ lazy evangelical missionaries.” The ignorance betrayed by such reproaches is not less conspicuous than their malevolence. It is true that, among barbarous and savage tribes of the South Sea Islands, of North America, Africa, and so forth, the manual activity of the Baltimore and Philadelphian philanthropists
is preferable; because corporeal improvement (if I may be allowed the term) is the first object in view. But when men's temporal wants are in some degree satisfied, and their minds begin to be accessible to reason and argument, (as among the heathens of Asia and other countries,) the mental activity and the spiritual zeal of evangelical missionaries are as appropriate and acceptable as the manual operation of their less educated brethren would then be misplaced. And I trust we have yet to learn that sacrifices of the higher qualities of the mind are less acceptable to God than those of the coarser operations of the hands. At all events the self-denial of the individual must be admitted to be great and praiseworthy in proportion to his possession of those attainments which give a charm to the intercourse of civilized society. Were Mr. Swartz and Mr. Martyn“ lazy evangelical missionaries” because they did not drive nails and construct ploughs in the luxurious societies of India and Persia? Proh Pudor !
The reader may probably anticipate that some useful lessons may be deduced from the preceding arguments, when we inquire into those parts of the commonwealth of Britain, which include her colonial polity and her charitable institutions. I cannot, however, close this chapter without entering my protest against some mistaken doctrines that have found a comparatively easy entrance into the mind, through the custom prevalent among writers of denominating uncivilized man, man in a state of nature :-as if a responsible agent endowed with reasoning and moral faculties, and gifted with an immortal spirit, fulfilled the ends of his nature in proportion as his objects are confined to the mere animal gratifications
and sensual pursuits of the brutes that perish; in proportion as all the great and nobler parts of his nature Lie buried and obscured! Corrupt and fallen as it is, surely it is still the nature of man, for which. all his moral and physical properties are best adapted, to pursue those objects which have a tendency to refine and enlarge the mind, to lift him from his fallen condition into one approaching to his original state, to lead him to the practice of the virtues and the charities of life, and to find his highest enjoyments in the praise of his Maker, and in promoting the happiness of his fellow-creatures. No one who has engaged in the pursuit of happiness, successively, in the career of sensual gratification and in that of Christian morality, will hesitate in admitting the superior happiness imparted by the latter. And what is superior happiness but a system of enjoyment the best adapted to our natural faculties, when renewed and confirmed by God's appointed means? Let us then no longer entertain the idea that the brutal state of man is his natural state, and that all those combinations of society, which call for the more refined and enlarged exertion of his mental faculties, are merely artificial inventions foreign to his original nature.
A state of nature, says Bishop Horne in his Discourse on the Origin of Civil Government, has been supposed by some writers of eminence, when men lived in a wild and disorderly manner, when they were mere savages, restrained by no laws human or divine, except the physical force and the unruly passions of their fellows.
The state of civil government has been opposed to this, as arising out of the inconveniences which men