Зображення сторінки

have satisfactorily accounted for, made them, it is true, generally indisposed to the cause of the prince of Orange: but the Stuart family are either now no more, or the last remnant must be considered as seated on the throne of England, and thither has the loyalty and fidelity of the Catholics been transferred or followed them. No one now thinks of Catholic plots or Catholic treasons ; even the cry of no popery is effectual only amongst old women and dishonest partisans. It is then high time, my lords, to retrace the steps which bigotry and political intrigue induced our forefathers to tread, and to loosen the fetters which they forged. The services of the Catholics demand our gratitude-their sufferings challenge our compassion. Christian charity and political wisdom are both outraged by the anomaly of their situation; and above all, my lords, a heavy and indelible reproach will be fastened upon the genius and character of our national faith, if your lordships should unfortunately determine to continue to be the barrier, which shuts them out from justice, and the instruments of perpetuating their wrongs. I am, my lords, with unfeigned veneration and respect, your lordships' faithful and obedient servant,




(Continued from p. 179.)


Tule Moravians, or United Brethren, are a religious sect but little known in this country. They have their first name from a province in Germany, where they first began in about 1720; and their second name from their living together in communities, and having their property in common.

Mr. Owen's plan for providing for the poor is probably something like the Moravian institute. In their general demeanour they are modest, inoffensive, reserved, and in every respect much resembling the character of Quakers, but much less numerous, at least in

England. Their peculiarities of practice and doctrine are such as to preclude the possibility of its ever becoming an universal religion. They have one or two establishments in England, which are much admired for their regularity and industry.

The writer of these remarks has converted to the Catholic religion a young woman of exemplary conduct, who had been brought up under them, and if all Moravians be like her, he must say, that they want nothing but the true faith to make them most exemplary characters. O utinam omnes nostri tales essent!! They have bishops, who are elective, and have no spiritual character or authority, but what the community confer upon them. They have elders or priests, but no previous study or instruction is necessary to prepare them for the ministry. From this short description most people would not expect to find the Moravians distinguished among the missionaries. It is however otherwise, They seem lately to have considered themselves as a society destined particularly for missions, But after all I think they would be more accurately stiled colonists, than missionaries. For the method they pursue is this. They send out to any foreign country a number of mis, sionaries as they call them, seldom fewer than six together, with wives and children, to make a settlement. And as their maxim is to mend the world if they can, but not to quarrel with it, they seldom trouble their neighbours any farther than by inviting them to settle among them, and imitate their institute. As for any fixed faith, I cannot find that they have any. They renounce the works of count Zinzendorf, who was their first bishop

It does not properly fall within the sphere of this work to review their missions, first, because I consider them rather as colonists, and secondly, because they are chiefly foreigners. I do not know of any English Moravian establishment for mis. sions. It is for this reason also, that I have not as complete information about them as I could wish. But whatever I have been able to glean in my other researches, I will now lay be. fore the public.

So early as 1738, the Moravians began a mission at the Cape of Good Hope, but the Dutch government not liking them, they made little progress till 1799. They have been

encouraged by the English, since the Cape came into our possession. They have now collected the fragments of all their former proselytes and their descendants together into three settlements, of which the following is the account.

1. Groenekloofe. Here they have 250 inhabitants, of which only 91 are communicants, though 139 besides are baptized.” Register, p. 19.

2. Gnadenthal. “Out of 1400 inhabitants, they reckon 482 communicants; but last year, on account of the distress and hardship of the times, most of the hottentots were obliged to stay and work at the farms. They have now returned home, and are diligent in attending at the church.” Ibid. 20.

3. Enon. “ The congregation consists of 102 adults, and 55 who have expressed a desire to receive instruction.” Ibid. 29. These last 55 are called new people, i. e. natives, who come to live among them on trial, who, if they like and are liked, remain among them as part of the establishment, but if not, they go away again. So that they are not all converts who attend the congregation. This circumstance will explain, why there is such a great difference between the number of inhabitants and communicants.

In 1765 they began a mission at Sarepta, on the banks of the Volga, in order to convert the Calmucs, but this has totally failed. They even adopted in some measure the wandering lives of these hordes by having moveable tents, but that scheme also failed. 66 They now hope that a change has taken place among one tribe, which may prove favourable to christianity." Reg. 39.

Among the other unsuccessful missions of which now not a vestige remains, we must reckon the following, viz.

1735, to Lapland.
1737, and again in 68, to the coast of Guinea.
1738, to Georgia.
1739, to slaves in Algiers,
1740, to Ceylon.
1747, to Persia.

1752, to Egypt. In all these instances the reader will be inclined to admire their perseverance and great exertions to benefit the most degraded part of mankind. In this I shall not disagree with them. I will allow they have displayed virtues worthy of a better cause. I will allow them the best of intentions, in fine any thing but success, which is the point in ques- . tion.

In the West Indies this society is supposed to have been somewhat more successful. The following is what I have been able to collect.

1. Barbadoes. 66 They have some estates which they hold in trust, and the regulations established on them are worthy of imitation !" Reg. 83.

2. Antigua. “ The congregations increase in number and grace. In October 111 negroes were baptized. Some even who have walked rather unsteadily when they approach towards their end shew true repentance, and depart this life as reconciled sinners," 83.

“ In the beginning," writes another from this island, “my expectations of success were rather sanguine, but I found cause to lower them soon. For, though my labours may be ever so much countenanced by the masters, yet the work of the spirit of God in the hearts of negroes, cannot be forced or hurried. Satan never sleeps, but is ever active in mischief, and we must sow in tears, waiting with patience and humble resignation for God to give the increase.” 83.

3. St. Christopher's. “ It pleases God to carry on by his spirit, his work of grace in the hearts of many negroes.

The brethren had on a late occasion to converse with 1213 new people, and candidates for baptism.” 84.

From the Danish Islands in the West Indies I have no ac


From easter 1819 to Easter 1820, 93 had been baptized or otherwise admitted into the congregation, which was 505. There are many things more (says the missionary) that distress memamong them the seductions prevailing in the rising generation. It is indeed grievous to see promising appearances nipt in the bud. The prevalent sins here are committed without remorse. Having such bad examples before them, nothing but God's mercy can save them from being drowned in the vortex of ini. quity." 85.

4. Jamaica. " A new church has been built.

From the West Indies we must now transport ourselves to the settlements which this class of people have formed in North America, with which we shall conclude our account of them. There are 19 missionaries in Labrador with their families. In 17 ?1 the first settlement

1, At Nain, was formed. The congregation now does not exceed 168 people, which is scarcely above the natural increase of population. 87

2. Okkah, founded 1776. 66 Painful occurrences were not wanting. Four communicants were expelled, but appeared penitent." 87.

3. Hopedale. 6 There are 51 communicants. This colony was begun in 1782, and there are now about 141 inhabitants.”


We come now lastly to the most celebrated mission of Greenland, of which my correspondent says, in his letter introduced in the beginning of this treatise, page 35, that it is a rare occurrence to meet a heathen in the most northerly parts. I suppose from the tenor of his letter that my friend was serious when he made this extraordinary assertion. Is he aware that the whole of north Greenland does not contain 100 inhabitants. Of these how many will he allot to the most northerly parts? I certainly agree with him, it must be a rare occurrence to meet a heathen, or christian either, there, if you except the Moravian settlers. The fact is this : it is now near a century since a few Moravians went there with their families. These, especially if joined by some few Greenlanders, or fresh colonists from home, should have by this time encreased considerably. They are accordingly divided into three villages at a great distance from each other, but whether they be all in north Greenland I cannot tell. The number of inhabitants in 1820 is as follows. New Hernhut, 342; Lichtenfels, 544; and Lichtenan, 325. Among these it is not specified how many are baptized, nor how many communicants; but the last accounts say in general terms, that the mission enjoys prosperity, and the brethren good health, and the state of the congregation satisfactory. I now appeal to every candid reader whether this be an instance of heathen country converted to christianity? It may be an instance of an inbospitable country

« НазадПродовжити »