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THE END AND THE MEANS OF
TIAN MISSIONS. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a ChrisAnd Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all tian. that hear me this day, were, both almost and altogether, such as I am, except these bonds. ?
de ILavXoc elirev
Qeti, not kv bTiiyu nal
ov [ibvov oe, dA/la nal izavrag tovc anovovrag fiov cyfiepov,
yevEcftat roiovrovg, onolog nayo)
TrapeKTog tCjv Seafiuv tovtcov.
xxyi. 28, 29.
on a like occasion
some length of the Prospects of Christian Missions/ and I ventured to give seven grounds which the peculiar circumstances of I spoke at
our time afforded for greater confidence in the First, the better knowledge of the future.
Divine nature acquired by the extinction of the once universal belief that all heathens
secondly, the increased
acquaintance with the heathen religions themselves; thirdly, the instruction which Christian missionaries have gained or
actual experience in foreign parts 1
Prospects of Christian Missions, a sermon preached in
minster Abbey, on December 20, 1872.
& Co., London.
recognition of the fact that the main hindrance
from Christendom of fifthly, sins and an the vices acknowledgment of the indirect influences of Christianity through legislation and civilization sixthly, the recognition of the advantage of exto the success of Christian missions arises ;
unvarnished, impartial statements of mis-
seventhly, the testimony borne
by missionary experience to the common elements and essential principles of the Christian religion.
peculiar grounds for hope
for exertion in this
observations which I then made, and
I will not
now repeat. make
I propose on this occasion to
remarks on the End and on the Means of Christian Missions remarks which must of necessity be general in their import, but w hich for that ;
reason are the more suitable to be offered by one who cannot speak from personal and special
taken from a striking incident in
of the greatest of apostolic missionaries.
and Agrippa that Paul had poured forth those few burning utterances which to Felix seemed like madness, but which Paul himself declared to be words of Then it was that the truth and soberness.
in the presence of Felix
Jewish prince, Agrippa
far better instructed
than the heathen Felix, and seeing deeper into
mind than he, yet still unconvinced broke in upon the conversation with the words Paul's
which in the English translation have well nigh passed into a proverb, " Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." The sense which they thus give would be in itself perfectly suitable to the halting, fickle character of the Herodian family, and would accurately describe the numerous half-converts throughout the world " Almost," but not quite, u thou persuadest me
But the sense which, by the nearly universal consent of modern
to join the
scholars, they really bear
meaning of which the Greek words are capable is an exclamation, half in jest and half in earnest, " It is but a very brief and simple argument that you offer to work so great a change " or, if we may venture to bring out the sense more fully, " So few words, and such a vast conclusion " u So slight a foundation, and so gigantic a superstructure " " So scanty an outfit, and so perilous an enterprise " The speech breathes something of the spirit of Naaman, when he was told to wash in the Jordan "Are not Abana and Pharpar better than all the waters ;
like the complaint of the
popular prophets in the time of Hezekiah, whose taste
flavor than the noble
simplicity of Isaiah, " Line
It breathes the spirit
Ephesian Christians who, when they heard St. John's repeated maxim of "Little children, love said, " Is this all
one another," ?
that he has to
It expresses the spirit of
has stumbled at the threshold of
the genuine Gospel
So vague, so simple, so
Give us a demonstrative argument,
a vast ceremonial, a complex system, a uniform
else will satisfy us."
As Agrippa's objection, so is Paul's answer. It would have indeed borne a good sense had he meant what in our English version he is made to say, " I would that both almost and c
Halfness or wholeness
Half a soul
To have come
never to have started at good,
Agrippa's remark, bears to
a yet deeper
better than none at
God, that whether by
would or by much,
whether by brief arguments or by long arguments, somehow and somewhere, the change
atively nothing, so long as the plished."
the same spirit
accomas that which is
dictated the noble expression in the Epistle " Some preach Christ of Philippians
one preach Christ of contention, the other of What then ? notwithstanding, every love.
way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ preached."
then he proceeds to vindicate the end
which makes him indifferent as to the means. Agrippa, in his brief taunt, had said, " Such are the arguments by which you would fain make me a Christian." It is one of the few, one of the only three, occasions on which that glorious
used in the
charged not with the venerable meaning which
but with the novel and
degrading associations which
innovating sufficient is
of Tacitus or Josephus, no less than of
bore in the
Jew and every Roman " Is
Felix or Agrippa. to
that you think to
of which the very
only by bearing this in mind that 1
of that despised, heretical,
see the force
on the word ; he does not fight even not he does not take it up as for this sacred title a pugnacious champion might take up the glove which his adversary had thrown down he does not say, " I would that thou wast a Christian." In his answer he bears his testimony insist
to one of the gravest, the
but the thing, not the form but the
and he gives the
would that not only thou, but what is no ambiguous catchword or byword, but what you see before you I would that you all were such as I am such as I am, upheld by the hopes the reality all
who hear me were ;
with the affections,
charmed existence;" and then, with that exquisite courtesy which characterizes so many traits of
the Apostle's history, glancing at the
except these bonds.'
call it Christian or not, is
you and in the
the character, the
knows what all his
I desire to see
and who wishes that
fellow-creatures should partake of the
happiness that he has gained, repose
CHRISTIAN MISSIONS. same
principles that give
the statement of the greatest of mis-
end which he sought means and the by which he and we
sionaries, both as to the
should seek to attain I.
except these bonds."
Paul desired to bring
That, according to him, was the
description of a Christian.
been pressed yet further, he would have said that he meant, "Such as Jesus Christ, my But he was satisfied with taking such Lord." a living, human, imperfect exemplification as he whom Felix and Agrippa saw in their pres" Such as Paul was " where is no amence. biguous definition, no obsolete form. We know what manner of man he was, even better than Felix or Agrippa knew. Look at him with all ;
his characteristic peculiarities
and clinging to the reminiscences of his race and country, yet with a heart open to embrace all mankind a man combining the strongest convictions with an unbounded toleration of differences, and an unbounded confidence in turth a man penetrated with the freedom of the ately devoted to his
but with a profound appreciation of the
value of great existing institutions
thorough Roman citizen and a thorough Eastern gentleman a career of daring fortitude and endurance, undertaken or religious
in the strength of the persuasion that in Jesus
had seen the highest perfection of Divine and human goodness a Master worth living for and worth dying for, whose Spirit was to be the regenerating power of the whole world. This character, this condition it was to which St. Paul desired that his of Nazareth he
hearers should be brought.
except these bonds," except
those limitations, those circumscriptions, those vexations, those irritations, which belonged to
the suffering, toil-worn circumstances in which
he was at that moment placed. Such is the aim which, following the example of their most illustrious predecessor, all missionaries create,
ought to have before their eyes.
preach, to exhibit
character, those apostolical graces, those Divine
which even the hard Roman magistrate and the superficial Jewish prince recog-
nized in Paul of Tarsus. there
In proportion as any of
these are attained, in that proportion
human being become and
in proportion as these are not, there the
missionary's labor has failed
CHRISTIAN MISSIONS. has been sown to no purpose of Christian
— there the name
but the reality
This preeminence of the object of Christian
and therefore Christian characters, In these has a wide practical importance.
dwell on the scaffolding, the apparatus, the organization of religion, as though it were religion itself
doubly necessary to bear in mind
what true Eeligion
superiority of Christianity to
the other forms
of religion on the surface of the earth.
not merely the baptism of thousands of infants,
a large part of the aspirations
even of so great a missionary as Francis Xavier nor the adoption of the name of Christ, ;
was done on
rebels of China so
by the ferocious
so vast a scale ;
nor the repetition, with ever
accuracy, of the Christian creed, as
was done by the pretended converts from Mohammedanism or Judaism, under the terrible compulsion of the Catholic sovereigns of Spain. Nor is it the assurance, ever so frequently repeated, that tion,
ever so solemnly pronounced by a priest
the shedding of floods of tears
the adoption of voluntary self-degradation or
be found in
other religions in as great, or even greater
That which alone* if anything, stamps Christianity as the supreme religion, is that its essence, its object, is in none of these things, valuable as some of them may be as signs and symptoms of the change which every mission is intended to effect. The change itself, the end itself, Christianity itself, is at once It is to be such as Paul greater and simpler. was it is to produce characters, which in truthforce,
than in Christianity.
independence, in mercy, in purity,
something of the great Apostle, even as he recalled something of the mind which was in Christ Jesus. It was this in charity,
what he desired
clear vision of fruits
to see as the
lovely and of good report wherever he found
In Gentile or in Jew, in heathen or
in Christian, he recognized at once the spirits
kindred to his own, and welcomed them accordingly.
that he could
higher; but he was eager to claim them as his brethren
even from the
legends which surround his history there has
been preserved something of 1
xxv. 11. xv. 33.
Phil. iv. 8.
xvii. 23, 28
xxi. 26 1
was a fine touch in the ancient Latin hymn which described how, when he landed at Puteoli, he turned aside to the hill of Pausilipo to shed a tear over the tomb of Virgil, and thought how much he might have made of that noble soul if he had found him still on earth sympathy.
Ductus, fudit super
Pi a3 rorem lacryrnas
Quantum, dixit, te fecissem Si te vivum invenissem, Poetarum maxime."
which made him cling with such interest
friends, to his sons, as
them, in Christ
All that he sought,
Jesus. for in
that he looked
them, was that they should show in their
characters the seal of the spirit that animated
Whether they derived
from himself or from Apollos or Cephas he cared not to ask. He was their pupil as much as their master. He disclaimed all dominion over their independent faith to
be a helper in their joy. This reproduction of Paul
tion of all that
he claimed only
best in ourselves or better
than ourselves in the minds and hearts of mankind, is the true work of the Christian missionary
and, in order to do this, he
himself that which he wishes to impress upon
and holiness, except only the straitening bonds which cramp or confine each separate character, naNo disparager of Christian tion, and church. missions can dispute this no champion of Christian missions need go beyond this. When, in the last century, the Danish missionary, Schwarz, was pursuing his labors at Tanjore, and the Rajah Hyder Ali desired to treat with " Do not the English Government, he said send to me any of your agents, for I trust But neither their words nor their treaties. send to me the missionary of whose character him will I every one I hear so much from receive and trust." That was the electrifying, vivifying effect of the apparition of such an one " a man who had indeed done nothas Paul ing worthy of bonds or of death " a man in whose entire disinterestedness and in whose transparent honor the image and superscription of his Master was written so that no one could mistake it. " In every nation, he that feareth God and worketh righteousness " is the noblest the most precious work of God our Creator endeavor. If any such by misresult of human in humility, goodness, courtesy,
convert or teacher, either
have been produced, then the prayers uttered, the labors inspired, the hopes direct or indirect,
expressed in these and like services have not
most striking facts to which our attention has been called as demanding our thankfulness on this day is the solemn testimony borne by the Government of India to the fruits of " the blameless lives and self-denying labors of their six hundred Protestant missionaries." And what are those fruits ? Not merely the adoption of this or that outward form of Christianity by this or that section of the Indian community. It is something which is in appearance less, but in reality far greater than this. It is something less like the question of Agrippa, but far more like the answer of Paul. It is that they have been altogether
vigor into the stereotyped
of the vast populations placed under English rule
populations to be in every
Empire under which a verdict on which w e can
better citizens of the great
rest with the assurance that it
— may be
not likely to be
accounted for by special motives
but long-sustained, wide-reaching changes of the whole tenor and bent of a man or of a na-
beyond immovable and, tion are
" the stereotyped " 2
forms of Indian
mated with a vigor unknown earlier days, this
a regeneration as
surprising as that which, to a famous missionary
of the past generation, seemed as impossible as
the restoration of a
the conversion of a single Brahmin. This, then,
whether to heathens or to
of Christian missions, to Christians,
whole of society by inspiring it with a higher view of duty, with a stronger sense of raise the
with a more powerful conviction that
only by goodness and truth can
that God is proached or Christ be served goodness and truth, and that Christ is the
Image of God, because He
If this be the legitimate result of Chris-
no further arguments are needed to prove that it contains a light which is worth imparting, and which, whenever it is imparted, vindicates its heavenly origin and its heaventianity,
ward tendency. II.
the End; and
what we might expect in Anything (so the
the view of so great an end.
small or great, short or
ample the manners of a Jew for Jews, the manners of a Gentile for Gentiles, " all things for all men," 1 are worth considering^ long, scanty or
Cor. ix. 20-22.
"by any of these means he might save/' that elevate, sanctify, purify, any of those to whom he spoke. When we reflect upon the many various efforts to do good in this maniif
— the multitude of sermons, which
and fruitless as cious and important
some seem as seem pre-
to others they
a true consolation
mind the Apostle's wise and generous maxim, u Whether by little or by much, to bear in
whether in pretense or in truth, whether of strife or of good-will, Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."
be by a short, sudden, electric shock, or
be by a long course of tendencies. as that
may be by
a single text, such
which awoke the conscience of Augus-
or a single interview, like Justin's with
long systematic treatise
be by a
or Lardner's " Credibilia," or the " Institutes" of Calvin, or the u Suinma Theologiae " of
be by the sudden flush of
victory in battle, such as convinced Clovis on the
the argument of a
peaceful conference, such as convinced our Ethelbert.
may be by
teachers steeped in
what was by half the Christian world regarded as deadly heresy,
such as the Arian Bishop
by whom were converted to the faith those mighty Gothic tribes which formed the first elements of European Christendom, and whose good deeds Augustine regarded, notUlfilas,
withstanding their errors, as the glory of the Christian
be by teachers as
repudiated by the civilized world, as was
the famous missionaries
change has been effected by the sight of a single picture, as when Vladimir of Russia was
shown the representation of the Last Judgsometimes by a dream or a sign, ment, known only to those who were affected by it,
such as the vision of the Cross which arrested Constantine on his
Colonel Gardiner's dissolute youth to a man-
hood of strict and sober piety. Sometimes it has been by the earnest preaching of missionaries, confessedly ill-educated and ill-prepared for the work which they had to accomplish sometimes by the slow infiltration of Christian literature and Christian civilization ;
In the well-known passage where, speaking of their modera"
Christi nomini, hoc Christiano tempori tribuendum quisquis
in the capture of
quisquis non laudat, ingratus
reluctatur, ingratus est." Ibid. c. 1,
Rome, he concludes
quisquis laudanti i.
CHRISTIAN MISSIONS. the grandeur, in old days, of stantinople
our days, the superiority of
European genius, the spread of English commerce, the establishment of just laws,
homes, merciful institutions.
do not say that
equally good or equally efficacious.
argument with Agrippa, did not mean to say that " almost and altogether," that u much and little," were the same he did not mean that it was equally good that Christ should be
or in good-will
he did not
that a good end justified bad means, or
we may do evil that good may come he not mean to justify the falsehoods which are
profanely called pious frauds, nor the persecu-
which have been set on foot by those who thought to do God service, or the attempt to stimulate artificial excitement by undermining the moral strength and manly independence But what he of the human spirit. God forbid meant, and what we mean with him, is this tions
In true Christian missions, in the conversion of
from dead works, from
from barbarism, from hardness, from selfto goodness and purity, justice and
truth, the field
so vast, the diversity of char-
so infinite, the en-
terprise so arduous, the aspects of Divine truth
so various, that for each
on the one hand a duty
one to follow out that particular means
of conversion which seems to him most
and on the other hand to acquiesce in the converging use of many means which cannot, by cious,
the nature of the case, appear equally efficacious
Such a toleration, such an adoption of the different modes of carrying on what John Bunyan called the Holy War, the Siege of Man's Soul, must indeed be always controlled by the determination to keep the high, paramount, universal end always in view; by the vigilant endeavor to repress the exaggeration, to denounce the follies and the falsehoods which infect even the best attempts of narrow and fallible, though good and faithful, servants of their Lord. But, if once we have this fixed in our minds, it then surely becomes a solace to to every one.
remember that the
thousand different approaches
— that thus the
instruments which often seem most unworthy
yet serve to produce a result far above
when "we have
night and taken nothing
the shore, or by throwing out our nets always
we have courage
out into the deep, and cast out our nets on the other side of the ship,"
shall a inclose
great multitude of fishes, so that the net shall break."
a traitor to the cause
23 exalts the
means above the end, or who seeks an end
gether different from that to which his allegiance binds him but he is not a traitor, but a ;
the best use of
the means that are placed in his hands.
have perished the results will endure, and in forms wholly unlike the insufficiency or the meagreness of the after the imperfect instruments
The preaching of Henry Martyn may have been tinged by a zeal often not according to knowledge but the savor of
a sweet-smelling incense
through the whole
frame-work of Indian society. said himself, " if I should
has passed like "
Even," so he
never see a native
God may design by my patience and
continuance in the work to encourage future missionaries."
The more profoundly we the
are impressed with
degradation of the heathen nations, with
the corruption of the Christian churches, the
more thankful should we be for any attempts, however slight and however various, to quicken the sluggish mass, and enlighten the blackness of the night, provided
only that the mass
permanently quickened, and the darkness is in any measure dispelled. " I have lived too long," said Lord Macaulay on his return from India to
England, " I have lived too long in a country
where people worship cows, to think much of the differences which part Christians from Christians." And, in fact, as the official report to which I have referred testifies in strong terms, the presence of the great evils which Indian missionaries have to confront, has often produced in them a noble and truly Christian indifference to the trivial divergences between themselves. "Even a one-eyed man," says the proverb, " is a king amongst the blind." Even the shepherd's sling
the Goliath of Gath.
of a rustic preacher
The rough sledge-hammer
the most polished scholar would plead in vain.
The calm judgment of the wise and good,
the silent example, or the understanding sympathy, or the wide survey of the whole field of
which all the declamations of all the churches would fail to arouse. The misery of the war on the coast of Africa,
the terrible prospect of the Indian famine, furnish the very opening which
They may be
the very touchstones
these suffering heathens will test the practical efficiency of a
government and a
Christian nation, of Christian missionaries and Christian people, and, having so tested
Napoleon suddenly found
the quicksands of the
ordered his generals to ride out in so
opposite directions, and the
on firm ground
what we may ask of all the various all the various in schemes and agencies quiries after truth now at work in all the dif ferent branches and classes of Christendom "Ride out amongst those quicksands Ride out in the most opposite directions, and let him that first finds solid ground call out to us It may perchance be the very ground in the midst of this quaking morass where we shall be able to stand firm and move the world." There is one special variety of means which I would venture to name in conclusion. Ever since the close of the Apostolic age there have been two separate agencies in the Christian Church by which the work of conversion has been carried on. The chief, the recognized, the ordinary agency has been that of the clergy. Every pastor, every presbyter, every bishop in the Church of the Roman Empire, and again in the beginning of Christian Europe was, in the This
of the word, a missionary
though their functions have in these latter days been for the most part best fulfilled by following their stationary, fixed, pastoral charges, yet
from their ranks in
it is still
churches that the noble army of missionaries
and martyrs in foreign lands has been, and is, and must be recruited. Most unwise and unworthy would be any word which should underrate the importance of this mighty element in the work of renewing the face of the earth. But there has always been recognized, more or less distinctly, the agency of Christian laymen in this same work of evangelization. Not only in that more general sense in which I have already indicated the effect of the laws, and literature, and influence of Christian Europe
only in that unquestionable sense in
which the best of all missionaries is a highminded governor, or an upright magistrate, or a devout and pure-minded soldier, who is always " trusting in God and doing his duty ;
not only in these senses do
look for the co-
operation of laymen, but also in the more direct
forms of instruction, of intelligent and far-seeing
though carried on mainly by the clergy, must, if they are to be good for anything, concern all mankind alike. interest
In the early centuries of Christianity the aid of
laymen was this great
freely invoked and freely given in
Such was Origen, the most
learned and the most gifted of the Fathers,
preached as a layman in the presence of pres-
CHRISTIAN MISSIONS. byters and bishops. evangelizers
Such was one of the
of India, Pantsenus
the hermit Telemachus, whose earnest protest,
aided by his heroic death, extinguished at the horrors of the gladiatorial games
such was wilds of mighty preacher in the Antony, the the Thebaid and the streets of Alexandria such, in later days, was Francis of Assisi, when first he began his career as the most famous preacher of the Middle Ages such, just before the Reformation, was our own Sir Thomas ;
In these instances, as in
the influence, the learning, the zeal of laymen
w as T
directly imported into the
tianizing the nations of Europe.
It is for this
reason that we, in our age also, so far as the law and order of our churches permit, have frequently received the assistance of laymen
who, by the weight of their character or their knowledge, can render a fresh testimony, or
throw a fresh light on subjects where we, the clergy, should perhaps be heard less willingly. As their voices have been raised on this sacred subject of missions in 1
he was called
humbe to the
Inn did, for a considerable time, read a public lecture
Civitate Dei, in the
rence in the Old Jewry, to which the learneder sort of the City of
ed. 1721, pp. 182, 183.
on other sacred topics, such as and history, their words have often
been heard within the consecrated walls of this so and other great abbeys and cathedrals, the privilege of listening this shall have we evening in the nave of this church to a scholar renowned throughout the world, whose knowledge of all heathen religions in connection with
the experience of Christian missions probably
exceeds that of any other single person in
in the hope that a more systematic Europe form may thus be given to our knowledge, and a more concentrated direction to our zeal. I conclude by once more applying the Apostle's words to the Means and the End of Christian missions. We would to God that whether by little or by much, whether by sudden stroke or by elaborate reasoning, whether in a brief moment or by long process of years, whether
by the learning of impartial laymen, whether by illiterate simplicity or by wide philosophy not only fervor of active clergy, or
who hear me, but
and near, have any influence, may become, at least in some degree, such as was Paul the Apostle, such as have been the wisest and best of Christian missionaries, except only those bonds which belong to time and place, not to the Eternal Spirit and the vices of this day, far
Everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ.
not wish, a better wish or pray a better prayer
God on this day than that amongst the miswho teach, amongst the heathens who hear, there should be raised up men who should to
exhibit that type Christian
which w as T
and of seen by Felix and
Agrippa in Paul of Tarsus. May the Giver of all good gifts give to us some portion of his cheerful and manly faith, of his fearless energy, of his horror of narrowness and superstition, of his love for God and for mankind, of his absolute faith in the triumph of his Redeemer's May God our Father waken in us the cause.
whole earth become more and more one under one Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ Son may the Holy Spirit
lighten with celestial fire."
LECTURE ON MISSIONS, DELIVERED IN THE
NAVE OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY, ON THE
Evening of December
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
The number of religions which have attained stability and permanence in the history Number of of the world is very small. If we leave religions. out of consideration those vague and varying forms of faith and worship which w e find among uncivilized and unsettled races, among races r
who have nor even hymns
ignorant of reading and writing, neither a literature, nor laws,
and prayers handed down by from father to son, from mother
oral teaching to
number of the real historical mankind amounts to no more than
see that the
have produced three
Mohammedan ; the Indo-European races, an equal num-
the Jewish, the Christian, the
the Brahman, the Buddhist, and the Parsi. to
China, that of Confucius and Lao-tse, and
have before you what may be called the eight languages or utterances of the faith of mankind from the beginning of the world to distinct
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
the present day
you have before you
outlines the religious
of the whole world.
All these religions, however, have a history, comparative
the history of language, of literature, of
Religions are not unchange-
on the contrary, they are always growing and if they cease to grow and
cease to change, they cease to live.
these religions stand by themselves, totally in-
dependent of all the rest; others are closely united, or have influenced each other during various stages of their growth and decay. They must therefore be studied together, if we wish to understand their real character,
and their resuscitaThus, Mohammedanism would be unin-
their growth, their decay, tions.
and there are similar bonds
that hold together the great religions of India
the faith of the Brahman, the and Persia After a careful study Buddhist, and the Parsi. of the origin and growth of these religions, and after a critical examination of the sacred books
on which all of them has become possible
profess to be founded,
them all to a same manner as
scientific classification, in the
languages, apparently unconnected and mutually unintelligible,
LECTURE ON MISSIONS. ranged and
those points which in
and by a comparison of
some of them share
by a determination of
as well as
those which are peculiar to each, a
has been called cerns us
a science which con-
and in which
must sooner or
later take their part
Science of Religion.
of „. have been applied to the religions o Missionary the world, there is one that interests S^XSiy Rellglons us more immediately to-night, I mean .
the division into Non-Missionary and Missionary This
by no means, as might be on an unim-
supposed, a classification based
portant or merely
on the contrary,
on what is the very heart-blood in every system of human faith. Among the six religions of the Aryan and it
Semitic world, there
Brahmanism, and Zoroastrianism
and three that have a Missionary character from their very beginning Buddhism, Mohammedanism, and ;
particularly in ancient times, never
thought of spreading
Their religion w as to them a treasure, a privir
lege, a blessing,
something to distinguish them,
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
as the chosen people of God, from all the rest
must be of the seed of Abraham and when in later times, owing chiefly to political circumstances, the Jews had to admit strangers to some of the privileges of their theocracy, they looked upon them, not as souls that had been gained, saved, born again of the world. :
new brotherhood, but
very similar feeling prevented the Brah-
as aliens, not to be trusted,
as their saying was,
mans from ever attempting to proselytize those who did not by birth belong
to the spiritual
aristocracy of their
Their wish was rather to keep the light to themselves, to repel intruders as to
they went so
near enough to hear even the sound of their prayers, or to witness their sacrifices. 3
Parsi, too, does not
re ligi° n
wish for converts to
proud of his faith, as of his blood and though he believes in the final victory of truth and light, though he says to every man, Be bright as the sun, pure as the moon,' he himself does very little to drive away spiritual darkness from the face
of the earth, by letting the light that
shine before the world.
LECTURE ON MISSIONS. But now religions, at
look at the other cluster of
— they mean
However they may Rell s lons from each other in some of their most
essential doctrines, th
they share in
have faith in themselves, they all and vigor, they want to convince, they
the very earliest
of their existence these three religions were
their very founders, or their first
apostles, recognized the
the truth, of refuting error, of bringing the
acknowledge the paramount,
not the divine, authority of their doctrines.
what gives to them all a common expression, and lifts them high above the level of That
the other religions of the world.
Let us begin with Buddhism. deed, very
origin and ear-
nest growth, for the earliest beginnings of religions
by necessity But we have
from the eye of the historian. something like contemporary evidence of the Great Council, held at Pataliputra, 246 b. c, in which the sacred canon of the Buddhist scripand at the end of which missionaries were chosen and sent forth to preach the new doctrine, not only in India, but far be-
frontiers of that vast country.
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
possess inscriptions containing the edicts of the
king who was to Buddhism what Constantine was to Christianity, who broke with the tradi-
tions of the old religion of the
recognized the doctrines of
religion of India.
as the state
possess the description
of that Buddhist Council, which was to India
what the Council of Nicsea, 570 years later, was to Europe and we can still read there 5 the simple story, how the chief Elder who had presided over the Council, an old man, too weak to travel by land, and carried from his ;
hermitage to the Council in a boat
— how that
man, when the Council was over, began to reflect on the future, and found that the time had come to establish the religion of Buddha
in foreign countries.
some of the most eminent
therefore dispatched priests to
Cabul, and farther west, to the colonies founded
by the Greeks Caucasus, and
in Bactria, to Alexandria
on the others
northward to Nepaul, and to the inhabited por-
Himalayan mountains. Another mission proceeded to the Dekhan, to the peotions of the
ple of Mysore, to
Goa; nay, even Birma and Ceylon are mentioned as
the earliest missionary stations
of Buddhist priests. of their
manner of preaching.
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
ened by infuriated crowds, one of those Buddhist missionaries said calmly, "Even if the gods were united with men, they would not frighten Hie away." And when he had brought the people to listen, he dismissed
them with the simple
not hereafter give
and anger care for the happiness of all living beings, and abstain from violence. Extend your good- will to all mankind let there be peace among the dwellers on earth.'" ;
achieved by those early missionaries are exaggerated, and their fights with snakes and drag-
ons and evil
remind us sometimes of the legendary accounts of the achievements of such
as St. Patrick in Ireland, or St. Boniface in
were sent out to convert the w orld seems beyond the reach of doubt 6 and this fact represents to fact that missionaries r
us at that time a
thought, new, not only
in the history of India, but in the history of
The recognition of a duty truth to every man, woman, and
the whole world. to preach the child,
was an idea opposed to the deepest inBrahmanism and when, at the end
of the chapter on the the simple
would demur, stake
w ords of the r
old chronicler, u
the salvation of the world
once that we move in a
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
dawn of a new day, the openhorizons we feel, for the first
ing of vaster
time in the history of the world, the beating of the great heart of humanity.
The Koran breathes a different spirit it does no * i nv ite, it rather compels the world Mohammedamsm. ^ come jn Yet there are passages, particularly in the earlier portions, which show ;
had realized the idea of humanity, and of a religion of humanity nay, that at first he wished to unite his own religion with that of the Jews and Christians, comprehending all under the common name of that
Islam meant originally humility or de-
who humbled themselves
with real revernece,
dispute with you, say,
the true worship of God.
sacred books, and ask the
Are you Moslim
they are on the right path but if they turn away, then you have no other task but to de;
sionary, progressive, world-embracing
preach to them
to exist if
ceased to be mis-
disregarded the parting words
LECTURE ON MISSIONS. Founder
therefore and teach
Father, and of the Son, and of the
teaching them to observe
things I have
with you alway,
even unto the end of the world." missionary character, peculiar to
It is this
these three religions, Buddhism,
and Christianity, which binds them together, and lifts them to a higher sphere. Their differences, no doubt, are great on some points they are opposed to each other like day and night. But they could not be what they are, they could not have achieved what they have achieved, unless the spirit of truth and the spirit of love had been alive in the hearts of their founders, their first messengers, and ism,
the life-spring of
it must plead, it must convince and convert.
sionary work, however, in the usual sense of
the word, spirit
one manifestation of that spirit
of the missionary with daring abroad, gives courage also to the preacher at home, bearing witness to the truth that religions
which can boast of missionaries who
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
of their childhood, and parted and friends never to meet again in this life who went into the wilderness, willing to spend a life of toil among strangers, ready, if need be, to lay down their
as witnesses to
the truth, as martyrs for
— the same
the glory of
also in those
honest and intrepid inquirers who,
religions are rich
same spirit of truth, were leave behind them the cherished creed
at the bidding of the
of their childhood, to separate from the friends
they loved best, to stand alone among that shrug their shoulders, and ask "
and to bear in silence a martyrdom more galling often than death itself. There are men who say that, if they held the whole
truth in their hand, they would not open one
Such men know
of the working
of the spirit of truth, of the true missionary spirit.
and anxiety cence
doubt and darkness
soul of an inquirer, reti-
be his natural attitude.
once doubt has yielded to certainty, darkness to light, anxiety to joy, the rays of truth will
and to would be
our hand or to shut
petals of a flower to shut themselves against
of the sun of spring.
there in this short
LECTURE ON MISSIONS. seal our lips
are not to speak here
there are thousands waiting to
but speak the truth, and nothing but
there are thousands
cause they cannot find that food which
venient for them.
And even chained
spirit of love
the spirit of truth might be fear or prudence, the
recognize the kind, not as a
The spiritof love
common brotherhood name or a theory, but
of manas a real
bond, as a bond more binding, more lasting
than the bonds of family, caste, and race, and the questions,
should I open
speak to again.
should I open
brother ? will never be asked not far better to speak than to
walk through life silent, unknown, unknowing ? Has any one of us ever spoken to his friend, and opened to him his inmost soul, and been answered with harshness or repelled with scorn ? Has any one of us, be he priest or layman, ever listened to the honest questionings of a truth-loving soul, without feeling his
soul filled with love
aye, without feeling
humbled by the very honesty of a confession
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
we would but
confess, friend to friend, if
we would be but
should not want confessors or confessionals.
and difficulties are self-made, if they can be removed by wiser and better men, why not give to our brother the opportunity of helping us ? But if our difficulties are not self-made, if they are not due either to ignorance or presumption, is it not even then If our doubts
better for us to
the same burden, the
we are all carrying common burden of hu-
that for the
heavy laden there is but one who can give them rest. There may be times when silence is gold, and speech silver but there are times also when silence is death, and speech is life the :
be afraid of
be afraid of those
Are the young
afraid of the old
ing delights the older
man more than
by the young, and that they them the truth. Are the old afraid of the young ? But nothing sustains the young more than to know that they do not stand alone in their troubles, and
believe he will
helpless as the child.
of the soul the father
LECTURE ON MISSIONS. Are women not wiser
But men are
in the things appertaining to
than women, and real love of God
more than ours. Are men afraid of women
But though women may hide their troubles more carefully, their heart aches as much as ours, when they whisper to themselves,
Are the laity afraid of the clergy? But where is the clergyman who would not respect honest doubt more than unquestioning faith ? Are the clergy afraid of the laity ? But surely voice
we know of honesty
in this place that the
hearts than the harsh accents of dogmatic as-
surance or ecclesiastic exclusiveness.
must overflow with love love of man, love of truth, love of God and in this, the highest and truest sense of the word, every Christian ;
or ought to be, a missionary.
And now, let us look again at the religions in which the missionary spirit has been at The fate of non-missionwork, and compare them with those m wy religions. which any attempt to convince others by argument, to save souls, to bear witness to the truth, .
treated with pity or scorn.
alive, the latter
are dying or dead.
The former are
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
religion of Zoroaster,
Cyrus, of Darius and Xerxes,
for the battles
of Salamis, might have become the religion of
the civilized world,
by about a ten-thou-
sandth part of the inhabitants of the world.
two centuries their number has steadily decreased from four to one hundred thousand, and another century will probably exhaust what is still left of the worshippers of the Wise Spirit, Ahuramazda. The Jews are about thirty times the number Judaism. of the Parsis, and they therefore represent a more appreciable portion of mankind.
not likely that they will ever
crease in number, yet such
vigor and their intellectual tenacity, such also their pride of race
we can hardly imagine
that their patri-
archal religion and their ancient customs will
soon vanish from the face of the earth.
But though the religions of the Parsis and Jews might justly seem to have paid Brahmanthe
how, it will be said, can the same be maintained with regard to the religion of the
at least 110,000,000 of
souls, and, to
LECTURE ON MISSIONS. judge from the
even that enormous
short of the real truth.
yet I do not shrink from saying that their gion
And why ?
dying or dead.
cannot stand the light of day.
Because it The worship of
and the other popular deities, is of the same, nay, in many cases of a more degraded and savage character than the worship of Jupiter, Apollo, and Minerva it belongs to a stratum of thought which is long buried beneath our feet it may live on, like the lion and the tiger, but the mere air of free thought and civilized life wall extinguish it. A religion may linger on for a long time, it may be accepted by the large masses of the people, because it is there, and there is nothing better. But when a religion has ceased to produce deSiva, of Vishnu,
fenders of the faith, prophets, champions, martyrs, it
has ceased to live
Brahmanism has ceased
to live for
more than a
thousand years. It
women, and men
the stone image of Vishnu, with his four arms, riding on a
half bird, half man,
sleeping on the serpent
monster with three eyes, riding naked on a bull, with a necklace of skulls for his ornament. There are human beings who still believe in a
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
god of war, Kartikeya, with six faces, riding on a peacock, and holding bow and arrow in his hands and who invoke a god of success, Ganesa, with four hands and an elephant's head, sitting on a rat. Nay, it is true that, in the ;
broad daylight of the nineteenth century, the figure of the goddess Kali
the streets of her
disheveled hair reaching
human heads, her tongue protruded from her mouth, her girdle stained with blood. but ask any Hindu who can All this is true read and write and think, whether these are the gods he believes in, and he will smile at your credulity. How long this living death of national religion in India may last, no one can necklace of
our purposes, however, for gaining an
idea of the issue of the great religious struggle
of the future,
which are alive, and between which the decisive battle for the living reHgions. dominion of the world will have to be fought, are the three missionary religions, Buddhism, Mohammedanism, and Christianity. Though religious statistics are perhaps the most uncertain of all, yet it is well to have a general conception of the forces of our enemies and it is well to know that, though the number of Chrisreligions
LECTURE ON tians
double the number of Mohammedans,
the Buddhist religion
place in the religious census of mankind.
in Central, North-
ually absorbs whatever there inal
in that vast
Persia, great parts of India, Asia Minor,
sionary efforts are
population of Africa. Christianity reigns in
Europe and America,
conquering the native races of Poly-
nesia and Melanesia, while posts are scattered
over the world.
Between these three powers,
then, the re-
ligious battle of the future, the
Holy War of
have to be fought, and is being fought at the present moment, though apparwill
to convert a Buddhist,
convert a Christian, let us
hope, well nigh impossible.
the use of
we spend 0bjects of misslons millions on foreign missions, when there are children in our cities who are allowed to grow up in ignorance ? Why should we de-
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
prive ourselves of
some of the
most ardent and devoted
into the wilderness, while so
and send them
wanted in the vineyard at home ? It is right to ask these questions
ought not to blame those political economists who tell us that every convert costs us £200,
and that at the present rate of progress
take more than 200,000 years to evangelize the
these figures. as
child born in
a heathen as the child of a Melanesian
more than £200 to a Christian man. The other
turn a child into calculation
totally erroneous, for an intellect-
must not be calculated by adding simply grain to grain, but by counting each ual harvest
grain as a living seed, that will bring forth fruit
a hundred and a thousand fold. If
know what work
we we must distinwork the one is
^he missionary to do, what results
eX p ec
guish between two kinds of
parental, the other controversial. ilized
of a parent
work of the missionary
whether his pupils are young he has to treat them with a ;
parent's love, to teach
them with a
he has to win them, not to argue with
LECTURE ON MISSIONS. them.
this it is
kind of missionary work called
and it is said that missionary success obtained by such means proves nothing for the truth of Christianity; that the child handed over to a Mohammedan would grow up a Monapping
taken by a
Christian missionary becomes a Christian. this
true; missionary success obtained
means proves nothing for the truth of our Creeds but it proves, what is far more imporRead only the tant, it proves Christian love. :
"Life of Patteson," the follow
Bishop of Melanesia;
in his vessel, sailing
from island to
for children, carrying
mother her new-born child, nursing them, washing and combing them, clothing them, as a
feeding them, teaching
Palace, in which he himself
in his Episcopal
and housemaid, and cook, school-master, physiread there, how that man cian, and Bishop who tore himself away from his aged father, from his friends, from his favorite studies and pursuits, had the most loving of hearts for these children, how indignantly he repelled for them the name of savages, how he trusted them, respected them, honored them, and when they were formed and established, took them back to their island homes, there to be a leaven for
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
Yes, read the
the work, the
death of that man, a death in very truth, a ran-
whether you would
like to suppress a profession
that can call forth such self-denial, such heroism,
such sanctity, such love.
have known some of the finest and noblest spirits which England has produced during this century, but there is none to whose memory I look up with greater reverence, none by whose friendship I feel more deeply humbled than by that of that true saint, that true mar-
tyr, that truly
The work of the parental missionary and
success undeniable, not only in Poly-
and Melanesia, but
India (think only of the bright light of Tinin America, in Turkey, aye, in the very heart of Lon-
nevelly), in Africa, in China, Syria, in
different with the controversial
has to attack the faith
men bought up in other religions, religions which contain much truth, though f
mixed up with much
immense, the results very discouraging. Nor need we wonder at this. We know, each of us, but too well, how little argument avails ties are
in theological discussion
the very opposite result of what
confirming rather than shaking opinions no less erroneous, no less indefensible, than
Mohammedan or And even when argument
ticles of the
forces a verdict
from an unwilling
has the result been disap-
because in tearing up the rotten stem
on which the tree have been injured,
rested, its tenderest fibres its
ground to expect that these controversial weapons will carry the day in the struggle between the three great religions of have
is a third kind of missionary acwhich has produced the most indirect influence of important results, and through which Christianity.
alone, I believe, the final victory will be gained.
Whenever two religions are brought into contact, when members of each live together in peace, abstaining from all direct attempts at
though conscious all the time of the fact that they and their religion are on their trial, that they are being watched, that they are responsible for all they say and do the effect has always been the greatest blessing to both. It
the best elements in each, and at
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
the same time keeps under
of doubtful value, of uncertain truth.
ever this has happened in the history of the world,
has generally led ^either to the reform
of both systems, or to the foundation of a
When e Influence of ed " ^n°ism on
after the conquest of India the vio-
the conversion of
the Hindus to Mohammedanism had Brahmanism. i^/ri -it»t ceased, and Mohammedans and Jbrahmans lived together in the enjoyment of perfect equality, the result was a purified Mohammedanism, and a purified Brahmanism. 10 The worshippers of Vishnu, Siva, and other deities became ashamed of these mythological gods and were led to admit that there was, either over and above these individual deities, or instead of them, a higher divine power (the i
Para-Brahma), the true source of all being, the only and almighty ruler of the world. That religious
at the beginning of the twelfth
when Kamanuga founded
sect of the worshippers of
in the fourteenth century,
Bamananda, imparted a
his fifth suc-
more liberal Not only did
character to that powerful sect.
he abolish many of the restrictions of caste, many of the minute ceremonial observances in
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
and bathing, but he replaced which was unintelligible the classical Sanskrit by the livto the large masses of the people ing vernaculars, in which he preached a purer eating, drinking,
worship of God.
The most remarkable man of that time was a weaver, the pupil of Ramananda, known Kabir. by the name of Kabir. He indeed deserved the name which the members of the reformed themselves, AvadMta, which
sect claimed for
means one who has shaken
off the dust of su-
entirely with the popular
mythology and the customs of the ceremonial law, and addressed himself alike to Hindu and
According to him, there
but one God, the creator of the world, without beginning and end, of inconceivable purity, and irresistible strength. The pure man is the image of God, and after death attains community with God. The commandments of Kabir are few Not to injure anything that has life, is
speak the truth
aloof from the world
obey the teacher.
is most beautiful, hardly surpassed any other language. Still more important in the history of India was the reform of Nanak, the founder Nanak, AT of the Sikh religion. He, too, worked sZn reisl0n entirely in the spirit of Kabir. Both
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
labored to persuade the Hindus and
medans that the
truly essential parts of their
creeds were the same, that they ought to discard
the varieties of practical detail, and the corruptions of their teachers, for the worship of
the One Only Supreme, whether he was termed Allah or Vishnu.
effect of these religious
reforms has been
has cut into the very roots
of idolatry, and has spread throughout India an
and spiritual worship, which may at any time develop into a higher national creed. The same effect which Mohammedanism produced on Hinduism is now being proinfluence C ? duced in a much higher degree on the ty on Brah" religious mind of India by the mere presence of Christianity. That silent influence began to tell many years ago, even at a time when no missionaries were allowed within the intelligent
Ram Mo turn ttiJ Brahma-
territory of the •*
old East India Corn-
was Ram Mohun Roy. born just one hundred pany.
Its first representative
years ago, in 1772,
died at Bristol in 1833,
the founder of the Brahma-Samaj.
highly cultivated and so highly religious as he was, could not but feel humiliated at the spectacle
which the popular religion of
presented to their
attention to the fact that there
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
purer religion to be found in the old sacred
writings of his people, the Vedas. far as to claim for the
Vedas a divine
to attempt the foundation of a reformed faith
In this attempt he
on their authority.
the Vedas and other works of the
ancient poets and prophets of India contain treasures of truth, which ought
never to be forgotten, least of of India.
Inspiration of theVedas
by the sons
good Bishop Cotton,
address to the students of a missionary institution at Calcutta, advised
to use a certain
of the Rig- Veda in their daily prayers. 11
Nowhere do we find stronger arguments against idolatry, nowhere has the unity of the Deity been upheld more strenuously against the errors of polytheism than by some of the ancient sages of India. Even in the oldest of sacred
the Rig- Veda, composed
three or four thousand years ago find
the sky, the
protest of the
— where we of — the
to the different deities
the earth, the rivers
breaks forth from time to time with no uncertain
poet, after he has asked to
sacrifice is due, answers, " to
enumerating the names of without hesitation, that
Him who poet,
" these are all
And even when
deities are invoked, it
difficult to see that,
mind of the poet, each one of the names meant to express the highest conception of deity of which the human mind was then capable. The god of the sky is called Father and Mother
in the is
and Friend he is the Creator, the Upholder of the Universe he rewards virtue and punishes sin he listens to the prayers of those who love ;
we may well understand
attempt to claim for these books a
divine origin, and thus to
make them an
foundation for a
Roy, the present head
of the Brahma-Samaj, the wise and excellent
Debendranath Tagore, was for a time even more decided in holding to the Vedas as the Debensole foundation of the new faith. But dranath Tagore. this could not last. As soon as the true character of the Vedas, 13 which but few people in India can understand, became known, partly through the efforts of native, partly of European scholars, the Indian reformers relinquished the
claim of divine inspiration in
favor of their Vedas, and were satisfied with
a selection of passages from the works of the
ancient sages of India, to express and
members of common.14
the creed which the
Samaj hold in
LECTURE ON MISSIONS. The work which only
who know w hat 7
have been doing in India
in religious matters,
to break with the past, to forsake the established
custom of a nation,
oppose the rush of public opinion, to brave adverse criticism, to submit to
can form any
what those men have
suffered, in bearing wit-
ness to the truth that was within them.
They could not reckon on any sympathy on the part of Christian Missionaries
schism Brahma.the samaj. in
much attention very lately, when a schism broke
did their in
out in the Brahma-Samaj between the old conservative party and a
The former, though °
ling to surrender
wil- Keshub Chunder
that was clearly
idolatrous in the ancient religion and customs
of India, wished to retain
did not wish to see the religion
The other party, inby Keshub Chunder Sen, went
of India denationalized. spired and led
further in their zeal for religious purity.
that smacked of the old leaven was to be sur-
not only caste, but even that sacred
which makes and marks the Brahman, which is to remind him at every moment of his life, and whatever work he may be engaged in, of his God, of his ancestors, cord
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
and of his children even that was to be abandoned; and instead of founding their creed exclusively on the utterances of the ancient sages of their
was best in the sacred books of the whole world, was selected and formed into a new sacred Code. The schism between these two parties is country,
deeply to be deplored It
a sign of
augurs success rather than failure for the
the same schism which St. Paul
to heal in the
Church of Corinth, and he
with the words, so often misunder-
In the eyes of our missionaries this religious Relation of Missionaries to the
reform in India has not found ~
nor need we wonder at
to transplant, if possible,
we might wish to transplant a fullgrown tree. They do not deny the moral
to India,' as
worth, the noble aspirations, the self-sacrificing zeal of these native reformers
all this will
but they fear
but increase their dangerous
and retard the progress of Christianity, by drawing some of the best minds of India, that might have been gained over to our religion,
Keshub Chunder Sen
as Athanasius might have
LECTURE ON MISSIONS. towards
the Arian Bishop of the
and yet, what would have become of Christianity in Europe but for those Gothic races, but for those Arian heretics, who were considered more dangerous than downright Goths
of the future of India, and of the
has influence which that country J
ways exercised on the East, the move- SSSfii to a new creed. n i* ment of religious reform which is now going on, appears to my mind the most momentous in this momentous century. If our mis•
sionaries feel constrained to repudiate
history will be
than they themselves.
of Christian missionaries, hereafter as the tians
true Christian tives
them the work
will be recognized
work of those missionary
lived in India, as examples of a
who have approached
in a truly missionary spirit, in the spirit
whose bright and brought out
in the spirit of love
presence has thawed the the old
for all the highest
ready to blossom into
These Indian puritans are not against purposes of
are with us, and we, I trust,
w ith them.
would the early Christians have outside the pale of Christianity,
Christ and his doctrine as
some of these Indian
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
Would they have
you speak our language and think our thoughts, unless you respect our Creed and sign our
we can have nothing
that Christians, and particularly missiona„.
would lay J
words of a missionary Bishop "I have for years thought," writes Bishop Patteson, ries,y
to heart the 16
we seek in our Missions a great much to make English Christians.
dently the heathen
deal too .
we encumber our message with unnecessary The ancient Church had its requirements.
selection of fundamentals.'
what mistakes we have made
seek to denational-
these races, as far as I can see
think themselves into the state of
the Eastern mind. ize
surely to change as
— only what
clearly incompatible with the
simplest form of Christian teaching and prac-
mean that we are to compromise truth .... but do we not overlay it a " good deal with human traditions If we had many such missionaries as w u Bishop PatI
Bishop Patteson and Bishop if
Christianity were not only preached,
but lived in that
would then prove
LECTURE ON MISSIONS. itself
diversities of character
And more than spirit, this spirit
of truth and love, of forbear-
ance, of trust, of toleration, of humility,
once to kindle the hearts of
ambassadors of Christ, the message of the Gospel which
they have to deliver would then
as great a blessing to the giver as to
the receiver. Even now, missionary work unites,
separated by the barriers of theological
might do so
common enemy, w e own small feuds. But
prudence only and then, friend
When we „.
forget our small feuds,
stand in spirit before
— can we
Often, I fear, from motives of
soon forget our
the face of God,
missionaries admit to their fold converts
can hardly understand the equivocal abstrac-
and formulas, is it necessary to exclude those who understand them but too well to submit the wings of their free spirit to
tions of our Creeds
such galling chains
the majesty of God, what are
try to think of
but the stammerings of children, which only a
can interpret and understand
The fundamentals of our these poor Creeds
are not in
true Christianity lives, not
in our belief, but in our love
our love of
our love of man, founded on our love of
^ e religion
whole world, that
preached to the Gospel
conquer all other religions even Buddhism and Mohammedanism which will w in the hearts of all men. will
There can never be too much there
leads to the requirement of exactly
the same measure of faith in others.
who wish work
success of missionary
abundance of their faith let them learn to demand less from others than from themselves. That is the best offering, the most valuable contribution which learn
in of the
they can make to-day to the missionary cause. it
Let missionaries preach the Gospel again as was preached when it began the conquest of
Roman Empire and the Gothic nations when it had to struggle with powers and princithe
with time-honored religions and
philosophies, with pride of civilization
and savagery of
yet came out vie-
LECTURE ON MISSIONS. torious.
conversion was not a
question to be settled by the acceptance or rejection of certain formulas or articles ple prayer ful to
was often enough
one kind of
another that can hardly
which each of us has to win in the sweat of his brow. We cannot expect the former from new converts we ought
like the daily bread,
not to expect
or to exact
for fear that it
might lead to hypocrisy or superstition. The mere believing of miracles, the mere repeating of formulas, requires no effort in converts brought up to believe in the Puranas of the
Brahmans or the Buddhist Gatakas. it
easier to accept a legend than to love
God, to repeat a creed than to forgive their enemies.
they are exactly like
Let missionaries remember that the
Christian faith at
was, and that
no longer what
impossible to have one creed
to preach abroad, another to preach at
Much that was formerly considered as essential much that was formerly negis now neglected I think lected is now considered as essential. ;
of the laity
more than of the
LECTURE ON MISSIONS.
would the clergy be without the laity ? There are many of our best men, men of the greatest power and influence in literature, science, art, politics, aye, even in the Church itself, who are no longer Christian in the old sense of the word. Some imagine they have ceased to be because they
they cannot believe as to believe.
as others profess
cannot afford to lose these
learn to be
a hard-workto retain its
conquer in the Holy War of the future, it must throw off its heavy armor, the helmet of brass, and the coat of mail, and face the world like David, with his staff, his stones, and his sling. We want less of creeds, but more of trust ; less of ceremony, but more of work less of solemnity, hold on Europe and America,
if it is to
but more of genial honesty;
but more of love.
a faith, as small as
a grain of mustard-seed, but that grain alone
can move mountains, and more than that, can move hearts. Whatever the world of us, of us of
little faith, let
there was one
poor widow. that
the offering of the
She threw in but two mites, but she had, even all her living.
Different systems of classification applied to the re-
world are discussed in
ligions of the
" Introduction to
the Science of Religion/' pp. 122-143. 2 " Proselyto ne fidas usque ad vigesimam quartam gen-
" India, Progress
Danz, in Meuschen,
and Condition," Blue Book presented " It
to Parliament, 1873, p. 99.
Test, ex Talm. illustr." p. 651.
asserted (but the asser-
must be taken with reserve) that
suppose that the Hindu religion
a mistake to
long as they do not interfere with
established castes, can form a
Hindus, and the Brahmans are always ready to receive
who submit 4
and pay them."
In some of the places mentioned by the " Chronicle "
the earliest stations of Buddhist missions, relics
have been discovered containing the names of the very missionaries mentioned by the " Chronicle." See Koeppen, " Die Religion des Buddha," p. 188. 7
the verbal noun, and Moslim the participle of
the same root which also yields Salam, peace, and salim and satym, whole, honest. pacify
Islam means, therefore, to satisfy or ;
Lassen, " Indische Alterthumskunde," vol.
" Chips from a
on the Science of Religion," pp. 161, 216. 10 Lassen, " Indische Alterthumskunde," Wilson, "Asiatic Researches," xvi. 11
vol. iv. p.
See " Brahmic Questions of the Day," 1869, p. 16. " History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature," by M. M.
t^q Adi Brahma-Samaj,
Calcutta, 1870, p. 10. 14
Brief History of
1868," p. 15. 15
The "Indian Mirror"
of missionary efforts of various kinds in a
not only friendly, but even desirous of reciprocal
sympathy and hopeful that whatever differences may exist between them (the missionaries) and the Brahmos, the two parties will heartily combine as brethren to exterminate idolatry, and promote true morality in India. Many of our ministers and leading men, says the " Indian ;
Mirror," are recruited from missionary schools, which, by
more favorable to the Brahmoism than Government schools growth and spread of with Comte and Secularism (" Indian Theism," by S. D.
affording religious education, prove
Collet, 1870, p. 22). 16
" Life of
John Coleridge Patteson," by
large body of
European and American mission-
aries settled in India bring their various
to bear upon the country with the greater force, because they act together with a compactness which is but little un-
Christians, yet position,
from the nature of their work,
their long experience, they
have been led to
think rather of the numerous questions on which they agree,
than of those on which they
and they cooperate
69 among them by
Localities are divided
friendly arrangements, and, with a few exceptions, fixed rule
that they will not interfere with each
and each other's spheres of duty.
books, translations of the Scriptures and religious works, -
prepared by various missions, are used in
help and improvements secured by one mission are freely placed at the
large body of mission-
aries resident in each of the presidency
towns form mission-
ary conferences, hold periodic meetings, and act together on
frequently addressed the Indian
Government on important
welfare of the native community, and have suggested val-
uable improvements in
During the past
twenty years, on Ave occasions, general conferences have
been held ary work
mutual consultation respecting their mission-
and in January
the latest of these gath-
erings, at Allahabad, 121 missionaries
ing to twenty different societies, and including several of long experience
who have been twenty
years in India
("India, Progress and Condition," 1873, p. 124).
The Schism in
Brahma- Samaj. 1
present position of the two parties in the is
by Rajnarain Bose
Calcutta, 1873, p. 11).
opinions above referred to can be divided into two compre-
hensive classes 1
— conservative and
Brahma-Samaj, the Church,
the schism took place, the original Samaj was called Adi Brahma-Samaj, i. e., the First Church of Brahma, while the progressive party under Keshub Chunder Sen was distinguished by the name of the Brahma-Samaj of India. The vowels u and o are often the same in Bengali, and are sometimes used
70 servative ligious
social reformation to
are unwilling to push re-
any great extreme.
are of opinion that reformation should be gradual, the law
of gradual progress being universally prevalent in nature.
also say that the principle of
Brahmic harmony reand that,
quires a harmonious discharge of all our duties, as
a duty to take a part in reformation, so there are
other duties to perform, namely, those towards parents and society,
and that we should harmonize
much as we may appear
They are certainly such Brahmo think sincerely that he
in not pushing religious
any great extreme.
these duties as
a progressive Brahmo, they are such as
could not be slighted at as to
unsatisfactory such arguments
union of both the
conservative and the progressive elements in the
will prevent the progressive
from spoiling the cause
of reformation by taking premature and abortive measures for advancing that cause
the progressive element will pre-
vent the conservative from proving a stolid obstruction to it.
conservative element will serve as a link between
the progressive element and the orthodox community, and
prevent the progressive
Brahmo from being completely
tranged from that community, as the native Christians are while the progressive element will prevent the conservative
from remaining inert and being absorbed by the orthodox
should lead both classes to respect, and be on amicable
terms with, each other.
true the progressive of the
present half century will prove the conservative of the next
but there could never come a time when the two classes
bosom of the make them live
exist in the
should, like a wise mother,
in peace with
each other, and work harmoniously together for her benefit.
intimately interwoven with our social
Brahmos, though discarding it in other difficult to do so on the occasion of
such very important
shradh (ancestral prenticing)
but they should consider that Brahmoism
not so imperative on any other point as on the renunciation It can allow conservatism in other respects,
but not on the point of idolatry.
It can consider a
he be conservative in other respects than
can never consider an idolater to be a Brahmo.
Brahmo can do one
the old ritual, leaving out only the idolatrous portion of
he do not choose to follow the positive Brahmo ritual Liberty should be laid down in the Anushthana Paddhati. if
in judging of the idolatrous character of the por-
tions of the old ritual rejected
If a progressive
requires a conservative one to reject those j)ortions
which the former considers
be idolatrous, but the
does not, he denies liberty of conscience
The Adi Brahmo-Samaj
demeanor towards the old rebut corrective and reformcircumstance which preeminently distin-
been describing above. ligion of the country ative.
antagonistic and offensive.
of the Adi Samaj it.
from the Brahmo-Samaj of India, whose attitude
to that religion
to fulfill the old religion,
Adi Samaj to the old renot at the same time opposed to
attitude of the
It is a
a conservative church.
rather a conservative progressive church, or,
Church, whose principles of church reformation
simply a church or religious body, leaving matters of
social reformation to the
judgments of individual members
or bodies of such members.
and conservative members.
the ultra-progressive Brah-
to eliminate the conservative
so if a high conservative
bosom which would attempt to do violence and convert the church into a partly conservative one, that party also would be obliged to secede from it. Only men who can be tolerant of each othparty arise in
to the progressive element
and who can respect each other's earnest conprogressive and conservative, can remain its mem-
strong national feeling of the Indian reformers finds
expression in the following passage from " Brahmic Questions," p. 9
Samaj is accessible to all. The minds of the majority of our countrymen are not deeply saturated with ChrisWhat would they think of a Brahmo tian sentiments. "
who would Would ?
quote on the Yedi (altar) sayings from
they not from that time conceive an in-
tolerable hatred towards
Brahmoism and everything Brah-
If quoting a sentence from the Bible or Koran offend
our countrymen, we shall not do
when taken from True
the Sastras as from the
liberality consists, not in quoting texts
the religious Scriptures of other nations, but in bringing up, as
advance, the rear
tates of conscience, if
are groveling in ignorance
certainly do not act against the dic-
and not from
from the Hindu Sas-
the religious Scriptures of
countries on the face of the globe.
a single saying in the Scriptures of other nations, which has
counterpart in the Sastras."
again in "
Principles," p. 1
The Adi Brahma Samaj,
The members of the Adi Samaj, aiming to diffuse the Theism among their own nation, the Hindus, have naturally adopted a Hindu mode of propagation, just as an Arab Theist would adopt an Arabian mode of propagation, truths of
and a Chinese Theist a Chinese one.
the aspect of arise
in different countries
from the usual course of things, but they are adven-
in a particular country.
nicate a universal form to
must wear a particular so-called universal form
appear grotesque and ridiculous to the nation
among whom it is intended to be propagated, and would not command their veneration. In or religious denomination
conformity with such views, the Adi Samaj has adopted a
innocent Hindu usages and cus-
toms, and has adopted a form of divine service containing
passages extracted from the Hindu Sastras only, a book of Theistic texts containing selections from those sacred books only,
as could be
ritual containing as
of the ancient form
kept consistently with the dictates of con-
Extracts from Keshub Chunder Sen's Lecture on Christ and Christianity, 1870.
u Christian," I
I cherished respect and reverence for Christ it
though I do not take the name of
persevere in offering
There must be something in the life and death of Christ, must be something in his great gospel which tends to bring comfort and light and givings to Jesus Christ
strength to a heart heavy-laden with iniquity and wickedness*
I studied Christ ethically, nay, spiritually,
studied the Bible also in the same spirit, and I must acknowledge candidly and sincerely that I owe a great deal to Christ and to the gospel of Christ. .
the creed taught in the
I go through all the
dogmas and doc-
which constitute Christianity in the eye of the various
there something simple which I can at once
grasp and turn to account
" I found Christ spoke one language
and Christianity an-
him prepared to hear what he had to say, and was immensely gratified when he told me Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and love thy neighI went to
and then he added, This is the whole law and the prophets/ in other words, the whole philosophy, bor as thyself
theology, and ethics of the law and the prophets are con-
centrated in these two great doctrines of love to
and then elsewhere he
shall inherit everlasting
man we become
This do and ye
" Christ never
demanded from me worship or adoration
as the spirit I
der to approach the Divine Father, as
and guide who
God, the Creator of the Universe
places himself before
must imbibe in orthe great Teacher
There are some persons who believe that if we pass through the ceremony of baptism and sacrament, we shall be accepted by God, but if you accept baptism as an outward rite, you cannot thereby render your life acceptable to "
wants something internal, a complete conmammon and
version of the heart, a giving up the yoke of
accepting the yoke of religion, and truth, and God.
wants us to baptize our hearts not with cold water, but with the
of religious and spiritual enthusiasm
NOTES. us not to go through any outward
but to make baptism
a ceremony of the heart, a spiritual enkindling of
and most heavenly aspirations true baptism. So with regard to
energies, of all our loftiest
There are many who
the doctrine of the Sacrament.
the bread and drink the wine at the Sacramental table, and
go through the ceremony in the most pious and fervent spirit, but, after all,
what does the
and honor to
Shall they themselves be sat-
Can we look upon them
as a tribute of respect
as Christians simply be-
cause they have gone through this rite regularly for twenty or
years of their lives
I think not.
of us absolute sanctification and purification of the heart.
this matter, also,
I see Christ on one
is that bread which Christ asked his disciples to what that wine which he asked them to taste ? Any man who has simple intelligence in him, would at once come to the conclusion that all this was metaphorical, and
highly and eminently spiritual. accept Christ simply as teacher, an external
an outward Christ, an outward
atonement and propitiation, or will you
prove true to Christ by accepting his solemn injunctions in their spiritual importance
and weight ?
every follower of his must eat his flesh and drink his blood. If
converted into strength and health, and
becomes the means of prolonging our
we take truth into our heart, if we put Christ into the soul, we assimilate the spirit of Christ to our spiritual being, and then we find Christ incorporated into our existence and if
converted into spiritual strength, and health, and joy, and blessedness. self-sacrifice,
Christ wants something that will
a casting away of the old
in the heart.
I thus draw a line of demarkation
76 between the
and outward Christ and the
and inward Christ, between bodily Christ and spiritual Christ, between the Christ of images and pictures, and the Christ that grows in the heart, between dead Christ and living Christ, between Christ that lived and that was, and Christ that does live and that
a Christian then
Christ as a proposition or as an outward representation, but spiritual conformity
And what Thy said,
and character of Christ.
Christ I understand one
and when I talk of Christ, I
talk of that spirit of loyalty to God, that spirit of absolute
determinedness and preparedness to say at all
times and in
be done, not mine.'
" This prayer about forgiving
an enemy and loving an transcendental doctrine of love of man, is really
Man of God, and uttering those blessed words, Father, forgive them, they know not what they do oh I feel that I must love that being, I feel that there is some-
sweet to me, and when I think of that blessed
touched by these sweet and heav-
enly utterances, I feel that I must love Christ, let Christians
say what they like against
he preached love for an enemy. "
— repudiate the name, man becomes
that Christ I .
— when every individual
as prayerful as Christ was, as loving
giving towards enemies as Christ was, as self-sacrificing as
Christ was, then these ities, will
units, these little individual-
coalesce and combine together by the natural af-
finity of their hearts
and these new creatures, reformed,
regenerated, in the child-like and Christ-like spirit of devotion
faith, will feel
drawn towards each
shall constitute a real Christian church, a real Christian na-
NOTES. Allow me,
friends, to say,
not yet a Chris-
from a Catechism issued by a member of Brahmo-Samaj.
the deity of the
The One True God, one only without a second, whom Hindu Sastras proclaim. Q. What is the divine worship of the Brahmos ?
A. Loving God, and doing the works He loveth. Q. What is the temple of the Brahmos ?
A. The pure heart. Q.
What are the ceremonial observances of the Brahmos
A. Good works. Q.
the sacrifice of the
A. Renunciation of Q.
Brahmos ? The Mahabharata says, He who
are the austerities of the
A. Not committing
does not commit sin in mind, speech, action, or understanding,
drieth up his body.
the place of pilgrimage of the
A. The company of the good. Q.
Vedas. The The inferior knowledge is the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, the Atharva Veda, etc.
A. Divine knowledge. itself says
the superior knowledge Q. WTiat
It is superior to all
the most sacred formula of the
A. Be good and do good. Q.
A. shad is
He who knows Brahma. The Brihadaranyaka-Upanisays He who departs from this world knowing God, :
(See " Brahmic Questions of the Day,''
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