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cease disputing with the infidel about the origin and qualities of Christianity, and proceed, in good earnest, to the universal dispensation of its benefits. One principal proof of its divine origin, lies in its power to reform, renovate, and bless those who receive it. Eternity apart, it is the grand source of all real happiness in the present life. It is fully adequate to meet, to the largest extent, the wants of man. There is not an evil for which it does not supply a complete and immediate cure. Its universal reception would introduce a better than the golden age. Approaching the temple of truth, let us consult the oracles of history, and inquire of her whether any code of legislation, or any system of morals, or any thing, in fact, ever exerted a power, in the slightest measure, analogous in its effects, to the power of the gospel of peace? We may inquire, too, whether voyager, traveller, commercial factor, voluntary or compulsory exile, ever effected such changes among any portions of men, as those achieved by the Martyr of Erromanga ? Have any of these, or all of them, through all ages, united, accomplished the millionth part of it? Did they ever thus bless a single family, or a single man ? No! to impart good is not their practice; it is not their purpose. If it were their province, without personal piety, it is not in their power.
How long, my friend, is the world to be unjust? When will it awake to the glory of the gospel and the utility of missions ? As a man of reading and observation, and great experience, you are but too well informed of the contempt with which multitudes of educated men, among the middle and upper classes, regard the missionary character. I challenge the attention of all such to the facts of this chapter. If the man who
achieved works so various, so wondrous, so beneficentworks embracing so many people, and in their effects extending through all coming time—be contemptible, I ask them, who is illustrious ? If John Williams be little, let them tell us who is great ? Is any man great but as he promotes greatness ? Who can do more for the creature than he who restores him to the favour and friendship of his Creator, and, at the same time, lifts him up to the elevation of civilized man? Who can do more for the isles of Polynesia, than he who fits them for the fellowship of Christian nations ? Truth answers, he, and only he, who fits them for the fellowship of angels and of God! John Williams has done both! Who, then, I desire to know, can add to the benefactions of the man who has done these things ? Let the pretender stand forth, put in his claim, and hasten to make it good! He who can do so, and he alone, is of a rank superior to the missionary ; he, and he alone, is a greater man than the Martyr of Erromanga!
TO THE RIGHT HON. LORD BROUGHAM.
ON THE RESULTS OF MISSIONS IN REGARD TO SLAVERY AND
It is impossible, my Lord, to write on the subjects of War and Missions, with their respective attendants, Slavery and Education, without being reminded of your lordship’s humane and patriotic exertions. African slavery cannot survive the extinction of war; education cannot be diffused through all nations, apart from Christianity. The question, therefore, of this world's complete civilization, and all that it implies, is chiefly a question of missions. This is the consideration which I am deeply anxious to press upon the attention of your lordship, because it is one of the very few subjects with which your lordship seems but slightly acquainted. In this assumption I have reason to think I do not wrong you, for I speak after careful inquiry. To me, in common with tens of thousands, your lordship’s life and public character supply a subject of extraordinary interest: I have been at pains, accordingly, to investigate the history of your opinions, and to trace your bright career during the last thirty years. I have endeavoured to form a correct estimate of your views respecting all those great questions which have agitated the minds of men during the eventful period of your public life; and I now proceed to state the result.
The analysis of the intellectual powers with which you are so amply endowed, has been frequently attempted : the peculiar style of your eloquence, too, has been a favourite theme of criticism ; while men of various judgments have passed sentence on your public character and conduct. Of these lucubrations, some, as far as they have gone, have been just and good; others erroneous and malicious; and all meagre and defective. The delineation of a single region, however accurate, is not to be substituted for that of a great continent. The mental, moral, and political portraiture of such men as your lordship, is not so easily taken as certain artists appear to imagine. These, moreover, are small matters, my Lord: you have been raised up for a great work among mankind; and justly to estimate the workman and the work, it is necessary to take your whole life, and to examine the lengthened series of great actions by which it has been illustrated. It is further necessary to compare your actions and character with those of your contemporaries and of your predecessors,
of all countries and of all times; and, finally, in order i to a just judgment, you must be tested by the word of
eternal truth. To perform this undertaking aright, my Lord, will be the business of Christian and philosophic biography. I can barely hint at these points ; and, in so doing, I hope there is little fear that I shall offend your delicacy ; for, adopting the language of Elihu, “Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person,
neither let me give flattering titles unto man; for I know not to give flattering titles ; in so doing my Maker would soon take me away.” But I cannot discharge my conscience, without stating facts and opinions tending to your lordship's credit, because a grateful reference to what you have done, is essential as a foundation for the expression of regrets that you have not done more. I shall, however, have occasion to show that, how exalted soever may be your place among men, a far higher elevation invites you still to ascend.
I hope your lordship will give me your candid attention, for my sole motive in addessing this letter to you, is, your own honour, and the good of the whole family of man. The period of life, and the stage of experience which you have reached, are favourable. The lengthening shadows proclaim that your lordship's sun is descending. It is now more than three-score years since you entered this mortal sphere: not only, therefore, has the delusive romance of youth passed away, but the bewildering fires of ambition, which burn most fiercely in middle life, have surely subsided. You now understand, somewhat correctly, the true condition of man. You have drunk to its dregs the cup of earthly greatness, and this world has nothing more to offer you. As a politician and a moralist, as a man of letters and of science, as a lawyer and an orator, you have been acknowledged, by the suffrages of millions, to be the first man of your age. You have sat in each house of legislation, without an equal in either, the chief ornament and attraction of both. Your fame has filled the civilized world. Is this then enough, my Lord ? Is the heart at ease and satisfied ? I venture to presume it answers, No! Well, but there is still more in reserve.