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wiser men and better teachers ; in the Prophets of God, and the Apostles of Christ I find them. They answer every question, they solve every difficulty, their announcements meet my exigency. I experience peace ; I cherish hope ; I am happy! I therefore determine my estimate of parties by my obligations. The aid of the philosopher is desirable, that of the missionary indispensable. The former brings me edifying information, the latter, that knowledge which is eternal life.
Philosophy is the mere child of the understanding ; she is too frequently a stranger to devotion, and she knows nothing of spiritual compassion.
Our own Newton, to be sure, is a grand exception, but his devotion proceeded primarily and principally from his Christianity, not from his science. The bulk of his brethren have been practical atheists. Are such the persons to renovate mankind, to fill the world with truth, love, harmony, and happiness ? By their work they may be known. Since the days of Brahe, nearly three hundred years have passed away. Surely this period has been sufficient for philosophy to display her pity for the wretched, and exert her power, both at home and abroad, for the emancipation of an enslaved world. If, with respect to homé, as is alleged by an author to whom you have administered severe, but merited rebuke, and by many others, the “bulk” of the British community “only require the fostering care of the philosopher to ripen them into complete rationality, and furnish them with the requisites of political and moral action," I beg to ask, in your own terms, “Why, then, is not the philosopher about his business? Why does he not go and indoctrinate a company of peasants, in the intervals of ploughing or a harvest day, when he will find them far more eager for his instructions than for drink? Why does he not introduce hiinself among a circle of farmers, who cannot fail, as he enters, to be very judiciously discussing with the aid of their punch and their
pipes, the most refined questions respecting their rights and duties, and wanting but exactly his aid, instead of more punch and tobacco, to possess themselves completely of the requisites of political and moral action."* Ah, Sir, science has contributed but little to morals. The philosopher is but a feeble instrument of social purification. The peasantry of England are but slightly indebted, in the matter of morals, to her Royal Socie
They are under far greater obligations to the Home Missionary Society, in Chatham Place, Blackfriars, than to all the scientific bodies in the British dominions. Those societies have allowed them to perish by millions, without a sigh or a single effort for their salvation. Nor has it ever entered their minds to interpose in behalf of distant nations who are walking in the valley of the shadow of death, and bowing down to stocks and stones. Both these departments of active benevolence have been proudly despised, or coldly overlooked by the philosophers of England. They have been too much engaged about the nature, properties, and laws of the earth itself to concern themselves with the moral and intellectual condition of the millions, and hundreds of millions, of immortal beings who people it.
Thus, Sir, I am again brought back to the Christian missionary, the true philanthropist, the only agent endowed with the power of elevating and sanctifying corrupt, fallen humanity. He goes forth to the heathen upon principle, for he goes in obedience to the command of his Master; and his instincts of compassion powerfully prompt him to the performance of his duty. If this groaning earth shall ever be delivered from the oppression of cruelty, the confusion of darkness, and the misery of sin, it will be done, not by the philosopher, but by the missionary. How comes it that philosophical societies have sent forth no missionaries to
* Foster's Essays, p. 277.
benighted nations ? Have they no desire to diffuse the delights of science,-no wish to divide their pleasures with their species? How is this? Will not that which is beneficial to the individual, be beneficial to the millions ? Is not that which is useful and ornamental for the people of England, equally so for the whole human race ? Why, then, are the philosophers idle ? Why are they not aroused to a sense of the honour and of the duty of diffusing the doctrines of science to the ends of the earth ? Why? Is it because systems of science supply no sufficient motives ? Is it because they possess no moral power ? Natural philosophy has but little in common with Christianity. The one deals only with matter ; the other, with mind. That is simply a subject of science ; this, of salvation. The organ of Christianity is the heart; the organ of science, the understanding. The whole system of natural philosophy, with every thing that appertains to it, does not supply the moral motives comprised in a single verse of the gospel of John. Philosophy is not the parent of true philanthropy ; true philanthropy is the offspring of Christianity.
A million of mere philosophers -of men ignorant of the gospel-do not possess the moral principles and the moral power of one devoted missionary! Nay, the missionary often excels them in the advancement of their own objects; a single missionary has occasionally done more for the honour of letters, and to the spread of science in benighted climes, than all the academicians of Europe! But this was only an appendage to his mighty work. He conducts the people of his affections through nature to God. His lessons ascend from the Divine existence to the Divine character, and from his natural to his inoral attributes,-from justice to mercy, from penitence to faith, from peace to purity, from earth to heaven. The physical ilosopher cannot what he does not possess. His sphere is wholly confined to the works
of God ; he has no agents, no instruments to operate on the malignant, the mortal maladies which rage in the spirit of man! Mind and morals are the peculiar province of the missionary. But, Sir, attempts at comparison, between the missionary and the philosopher, must have an end ; for in reality there can be no more comparison between them, than between the gospel and philosophy. We may contrast, but we can hardly compare them.
The true philosopher is the appropriate fellow-worker of the missionary—not his rival. Their provinces, although distinct, are, nevertheless, harmonious. True philosophy is the handmaid of Christianity. Both, indeed, may unite in the same person, and, in some cases, the more they are blended, the better will it be for both. Christianity, in heathen lands, invariably opens the path of science : but in such lands science can make no way for herself, and still less can she introduce Christianity. For all that science can do, or indeed, cares to do, the heathen world wiil for ever remain as it now is. It is important to know what science has hitherto done to civilize barbarity and turn idolaters to God. For what she has already done, she may probably do again. What then, has she accomplished ? I wish that her priests and votaries would answer for themselves ; they may have secrets which we kn not, and which they have not told. The pursuits of the philosopher are intellectual, selfish, and solitary ; those of the missionary are moral, benevolent, and social. The philosopher is the man of the few the missionary, of the million. It is in vain, however, that we look for achievements of this description in the inultitudinous volumes of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, or in those of any kindred institution. Nor by me are they blamed for the deficiency. Their proper business is science, which relates to nature, not philanthropy, which relates to man. But my proposition is,
that philanthropy is as much superior to science as perishable matter is inferior to immortal mind. By this principle I submit that we should estimate respectively the comparative honour, dignity, and importance of the missionary and the philosopher.
I have largely spoken, Sir, of the past in relation to missions ; I shall now close with a word concerning the vast, uncertain, and awful future ! All my hope with respect to it is placed in Christian Protestant missions. The hope of all nations is bound up with the gospel of Christ, in union with the Protestant principle. True liberty, and free institutions, wheresoever found, are the fruits of genuine Christianity. That from which they spring can alone nourish and sustain them, where they already exist; and they can be multiplied throughout the earth only by diffusing the parent element. I am sure you will agree, that freedom, whether political or religious, as it exists even in the most enlightened states of Europe, is very imperfect. The freedom which conscience demands, is far from being completely enjoyed even in England, and in the chief continental nations its name is a term hardly known. In this department of the globe, a work of inconceivable difficulty and of prodigious magnitude, has yet to be performed, before these nations can enjoy the civil and religious liberty to which every soul of man has a clear, a natural, an indefeisible right, and of which he cannot be deprived or defrauded but by wrong and robbery. Toleration, in religious matters, is not enough ; it is not a boon, but an insult; enlightened Christians, as such, demand entire equality in the sight of the civil power, and complete independence of all state support and state control.
Now the spread of pure Christianity, in those kingdoms, and nothing else, can effect the glorious consummation. Pure religion can alone correct the errors of legislation. But if this be so, how great a work yet awaits her! Even in favoured England, there is much