Chips from a German Workshop - Volume IV - Essays chiefly on the Science of Language
by Max Muller
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Zend ana, prep., upon; Greek#ana#; Goth, ana, upon.

Zend erezatana, adj., made of silver; Lat. argentinus. In Sk. we have rajatam, silver, but no corresponding adjective.

Zend ii, ice; O.N. ss; A.S. s; O.H.S. s.

Grimm compares the Irish eirr, snow, and he remarks that the other Aryan languages have each framed their own words for ice, Lith. ledas, O.S. led, and distantly connected with these, through the Russian cholodnyi, the Latin glacies, for gelacies, Greek kruos, krumos, krustallos.

The root from which these Greek words for ice are derived has left several derivatives in other languages, such as Lat. cru-s-ta, and O.N. hr-m, rime, hoar-frost, and in Zend khrta, used as an adjective of zim, winter, originally the hard winter. In Zend khrma, and khrra, Sk. krra, as in Greek kruoeis, the meaning has changed to crudus, crudelis. In the English raw, O.H.G. hro, a similar change of meaning may be observed.

Another name connected with ice and winter is the Zend zyo, frost, from the root hi, which has given us chi-n, Sk. hi-ma, Lat. hiem-s, O.S. zima, but which in the simplest form has been preserved in Zend only and in the O.N. . Fick quotes with the doubtful meanings of cold and snow, Curtius with that of storm, identifying it with Norw. gj, nix autumni recens.

There is still another name for snow, absent in Sanskrit, but fully represented in Zend and the other Aryan languages, viz., Zend nizh, to snow, Lat. nix, Goth. snav-s, Lith. snig-ti, to snow, Ir. snechta, snow, Gr. niph-a (acc).[14]

Zend ava, one; Gr. oios.

Zend kamara, girdle, vault; Gr. kamara, vault, covered carriage; A.S. himil. Connected with this we find the Zend kameredhe, skull, vault of head, very nearly connected with kmelethron, melathron.

Zend kareta, knife; Lith. kalta-s, knife; cf. culter, Sk. kart-ari, etc. The Slav. korda, O.N. kordi, Hung. kard, are treated by Justi as words borrowed from Persian.

Zend cvant, Lat. quantus. Sk. has tvat, tantus, and yvat, but not kvat.

Zend gara{n}h, reverence; Gr. geras.

Zend thrfa{n}h, food; Gr. -trephes.

Zend da, e.g. vamen-da, towards the house; Gr. oikon-de; cf. Goth. du, to, O.S. do.

Zend daiti, gift; Gr. dosis, Lat. ds, dti-s, Lith. d[uo]ti-s.

Zend dmi, creation; Gr. themis, law.

Zend nau, corpse; Gr. nekus; Goth. nau-s.

Zend napo, nom. sing.; A.S. nefa; O.H.G. nefo.

Zend paithya in qapaithya, own; Lat. sua-pte, ipse; Lith. pati-s, self.

Zend peretu, bridge; Lat. portus.

Zend frasta, most, best; Gr. pleistos.

Zend brvat, brow; Gr. abroutes (Macedon.); Lat. frons.

Zend madh, to cure; Lat. mederi.

Zend man, in upa-man, to wait; Lat. manere.

Zend mzhda; Gr. misthos; Goth. mizd-; O.S. mzda.

Zend yre, year; Goth. jer; O.S. jarŭ, spring.

Zend yo{n}h, yh, to gird; yonha, dress; Gr. zs in znnumi; O.S. po-yasu, girdle.

Zend rta, straight; Lat. rectus; Goth. raiht-s.

Zend rap, to go; Lat. repere.

Zend varez, to work, vareza, work, varstva, work; Goth, vaurkjan, to work; Gr. eorga, rhez; Goth. vaurstv.

Zend vati, willow; Lith. vɏti-s, withy; Lat. vtis.

Zend taman, mouth; Gr. stoma.

[Footnote 1: Note A, p. 227.]

[Footnote 2: Note B, p. 230.]

[Footnote 3: See M. M.'s Letter to Chevalier Bunsen, on the Turanian Languages, 1854, second chapter, second section, "Ethnology versus Phonology."]

[Footnote 4: Note C, p. 235.]

[Footnote 5: "Judgment (crimen, krinein), penance (poena, poin), retribution (talio, tala, tlnai, are Grco-Italic conceptions." Mommsen, Rm. Geschichte, vol.i. p.25.]

[Footnote 6: See my article in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, vol. xix. p.46.]

[Footnote 7: Lectures on the Science of Language, vol. ii. p.467.]

[Footnote 8: Rendiconti del Reale Instituto Lombardo, classe de lettre, iv. fasc. 6.]

[Footnote 9: See Benfey, ber die Enstehung des Indo-germanischen Vocativs, Gttingen, 1872, p.35.]

[Footnote 10: The rule is that vocatives in on from proper names in n retract the accent, except Lakedamon, and those in phron, as Lukphron from Lukphrn.]

[Footnote 11: Vocatives in es from proper names in s retract the accent, as Skrates, except those in des, les, res, res, as Deides.]

[Footnote 12: Benfey, l.c. p. 40.]

[Footnote 13: See, also, M. M.'s Lectures on the Science of Language, vol. ii, p.472.]

[Footnote 14: See M. M.'s Introduction to the Science of Religion, p.372, note.]





The number of religions which have attained stability and permanence in the history of the world is very small. If we leave out of consideration those vague and varying forms of faith and worship which we find among uncivilized and unsettled races, among races ignorant of reading and writing, who have neither a literature nor laws, nor even hymns and prayers handed down by oral teaching from father to son, from mother to daughter, we see that the number of the real historical religions of mankind amounts to no more than eight. The Semitic races have produced three—the Jewish, the Christian, the Mohammedan; the Aryan, or Indo-European races an equal number—the Brahman, the Buddhist, and the Parsi. Add to these the two religious systems of China, that of Confucius and Lao-tse, and you have before you what may be called the eight distinct languages or utterances of the faith of mankind from the beginning of the world to the present day; you have before you in broad outlines the religious map of the whole world.

All these religions, however, have a history, a history more deeply interesting than the history of language, or literature, or art, or politics. Religions are not unchangeable; on the contrary, they are always growing and changing; and if they cease to grow and cease to change, they cease to live. Some of these religions stand by themselves, totally independent 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, their growth, their decay, and their resuscitations. Thus, Mohammedanism would be unintelligible without Christianity; Christianity without Judaism: and there are similar bonds that hold together the great religions of India and Persia—the faith of the Brahman, the Buddhist, and the Parsi. After a careful study of the origin and growth of these religions, and after a critical examination of the sacred books on which all of them profess to be founded, it has become possible to subject them all to a scientific classification, in the same manner as languages, apparently unconnected and mutually unintelligible, have been scientifically arranged and classified; and by a comparison of those points which all or some of them share in common, as well as by a determination of those which are peculiar to each, anew science has been called into life, ascience which concerns us all, and in which all who truly care for religion must sooner or later take their part—the Science of Religion.

Among the various classifications[2] which have been applied to the religions of the world, there is one that interests us more immediately to-night, Imean the division into Non-Missionary and Missionary religions. This is by no means, as might be supposed, aclassification based on an unimportant or merely accidental characteristic; on the contrary, it rests on what is the very heart-blood in every system of human faith. Among the six religions of the Aryan and Semitic world, there are three that are opposed to all missionary enterprise—Judaism, Brahmanism, and Zoroastrianism; and three that have a missionary character from their very beginning—Buddhism, Mohammedanism, and Christianity.

The Jews, particularly in ancient times, never thought of spreading their religion. Their religion was to them a treasure, aprivilege, ablessing, something to distinguish them, as the chosen people of God, from all the rest of the world. AJew 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 into a new brotherhood, but as strangers gerim, as Proselytes (proslutoi); which means men who have come to them as aliens, not to be trusted, as their saying was, until the twenty-fourth generation.[3]

A very similar feeling prevented the Brahmans from ever attempting to proselytize those who did not by birth belong to the spiritual aristocracy of their country. Their wish was rather to keep the light to themselves, to repel intruders; they went so far as to punish those who happened to be near enough to hear even the sound of their prayers, or to witness their sacrifices.[4]

The Parsi, too, does not wish for converts to his religion; he is 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 is within him shine before the world.

But now let us look at the other cluster of religions, at Buddhism, Mohammedanism, and Christianity. However they may differ from each other in some of their most essential doctrines, this they share in common—they all have faith in themselves, they all have life and vigor, they want to convince, they mean to conquer. From the very earliest dawn of their existence these three religions were missionary; their very founders, or their first apostles, recognized the new duty of spreading the truth, of refuting error, of bringing the whole world to acknowledge the paramount, if not the divine, authority of their doctrines. This is what gives to them all a common expression, and lifts them high above the level of the other religions of the world.

Let us begin with Buddhism. We know, indeed, very little of its origin and earliest growth, for the earliest beginnings of all religions withdraw themselves by necessity from the eye of the historian. But we have something like contemporary evidence of the Great Council, held at P{t}aliputra, 246 B.C., in which the sacred canon of the Buddhist scriptures was settled, and at the end of which missionaries were chosen and sent forth to preach the new doctrine, not only in India, but far beyond the frontiers of that vast country.[5] We possess inscriptions containing the edicts of the king who was to Buddhism what Constantine was to Christianity, who broke with the traditions of the old religion of the Brahmans, and recognized the doctrines of Buddha as the state religion of India. We possess the description of the Council of P{t}aliputra, which was to India what the Council of Nica, 570 years later, was to Europe; and we can still read there[6] 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. He therefore dispatched some of the most eminent priests to Cashmere, Cabul, and farther west, to the colonies founded by the Greeks in Bactria, to Alexandria on the Caucasus, and other cities. He sent others northward to Nepal, and to the inhabited portions of the Himalayan mountains. Another mission proceeded to the Dekhan, to the people of Mysore, to the Mahrattas, perhaps to Goa; nay, even Birma and Ceylon are mentioned as among the earliest missionary stations of Buddhist priests. We still possess accounts of their manner of preaching. When threatened by infuriated crowds, one of those Buddhist missionaries said calmly, "If the whole world, including the Deva heavens, were to come and terrify me, they would not be able to create in me fear and terror." And when he had brought the people to listen, he dismissed them with the simple prayer, "Do not hereafter give way to anger, as before; do not destroy the crops, for all men love happiness. Show mercy to all living beings, and let men dwell in peace."

No doubt, the accounts of the successes achieved by those early missionaries are exaggerated, and their fights with snakes and dragons and evil spirits remind us sometimes of the legendary accounts of the achievements of such men as St. Patrick in Ireland, or St. Boniface in Germany. But the fact that missionaries were sent out to convert the world seems beyond the reach of reasonable doubt;[7] and this fact represents to us at that time a new thought, new, not only in the history of India, but in the history of the whole world. The recognition of a duty to preach the truth to every man, woman, and child, was an idea opposed to the deepest instincts of Brahmanism; and when, at the end of the chapter on the first missions, we read the simple words of the old chronicler, "who would demur, if the salvation of the world is at stake?" we feel at once that we move in a new world, we see the dawn of a new day, the opening of vaster horizons—we feel, for the first time in the history of the world, the beating of the great heart of humanity.[8]

The Koran breathes a different spirit; it does not invite, it rather compels the world to come in. Yet there are passages, particularly in the earlier portions, which show that Mohammed, too, 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 Islm. Islm meant originally humility or devotion; and all who humbled themselves before God, and were filled with real reverence, were called Moslim. "The Islm," says Mohammed, "is the true worship of God. When men dispute with you, say, 'Iam a Moslim.' Ask those who have sacred books, and ask the heathen; 'Are you Moslim?"' If they are, they are on the right path; but if they turn away, then you have no other task but to deliver the message, to preach to them the Islm."[9]

As to our own religion, its very soul is missionary, progressive, world-embracing; it would cease to exist, if it ceased to be missionary—if it disregarded the parting words of its Founder: "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things I have commanded; and, lo, Iam with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

It is this missionary character, peculiar to these three religions, Buddhism, Mohammedanism, 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 missionaries.

The spirit of truth is the life-spring of all religion, and where it exists it must manifest itself, it must plead, it must persuade, it must convince and convert. Missionary work, however, in the usual sense of the word, is only one manifestation of that spirit; for the same spirit which fills the heart of the missionary with daring abroad, gives courage also to the preacher at home, bearing witness to the truth that is within him. The religions which can boast of missionaries who left the old home of their childhood, and parted with parents 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 life as witnesses to the truth, as martyrs for the glory of God—the same religions are rich also in those honest and intrepid inquirers who, at the bidding of the same spirit of truth, were ready to leave behind them the cherished creed of their childhood, to separate from the friends they loved best, to stand alone among men that shrug their shoulders, and ask, "What is truth?" 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 finger. Such men know little of the working of the spirit of truth, of the true missionary spirit. As long as there are doubt and darkness and anxiety in the soul of an inquirer, reticence may be his natural attitude. But when once doubt has yielded to certainty, darkness to light, anxiety to joy, the rays of truth will burst forth; and to close our hand or to shut our lips would be as impossible as for the petals of a flower to shut themselves against the summons of the sun of spring.

What is there in this short life that should seal our lips? What should we wait for, if we are not to speak here and now? There is missionary work at home as much as abroad; there are thousands waiting to listen if one man will but speak the truth, and nothing but the truth; there are thousands starving, because they cannot find that food which is convenient for them.

And even if the spirit of truth might be chained down by fear or prudence, the spirit of love would never yield. Once recognize the common brotherhood of mankind, not as a name or a theory, but as a real bond, as a bond more binding, more lasting than the bonds of family, caste, and race, and the questions, Why should I upon my hand? why should I open my heart? why should I speak to my brother? will never be asked again. Is it 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 own soul filled with love? aye, without feeling humbled by the very honesty of a brother's confession?

If we would but confess, friend to friend, if we would be but honest, man to man, we should not want confessors or confessionals.

If our doubts 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 better for us to know that we are all carrying the same burden, the common burden of humanity, if haply we may find, 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 very life of Pentecost.

How can man be afraid of man? How can we be afraid of those whom we love?

Are the young afraid of the old? But nothing delights the older man more than to see that he is trusted by the young, and that they believe he will tell 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 that in many trials of the soul the father is as helpless as the child.

Are the women afraid of men? But men are not wiser in the things appertaining to God than women, and real love of God is theirs far 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, "Lord, Ibelieve, help thou my unbelief."

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 we know, in this place at least, that the clear voice of honesty and humility draws more hearts than the harsh accents of dogmatic assurance or ecclesiastic exclusiveness.

"There lives more faith in honest doubt, Believe me, than in half the creeds."

A missionary must know no fear; his heart 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 is, or ought to be, amissionary.

And now, let us look again at the religions in which the missionary spirit has been at work, and compare them with those in which any attempt to convince others by argument, to save souls, to bear witness to the truth, is treated with pity or scorn. The former are alive, the latter are dying or dead.

The religion of Zoroaster—the religion of Cyrus, of Darius and Xerxes—which, but for the battles of Marathon and Salamis, might have become the religion of the civilized world, is now professed by only 100,000 souls—that is, by about a ten-thousandth part of the inhabitants of the world. During the last 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, Ahura-mazda.

The Jews are about thirty times the number of the Parsis, and they therefore represent a more appreciable portion of mankind. Though it is not likely that they will ever increase in number, yet such is their physical vigor and their intellectual tenacity, such also their pride of race and their faith in Jehovah, that we can hardly imagine that their patriarchal 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 the penalty of their anti-missionary spirit, how, it will be said, can the same be maintained with regard to the religion of the Brahmans? That religion is still professed by at least 110,000,000 of human souls, and, to judge from the last census, even that enormous number falls much short of the real truth. And yet I do not shrink from saying that their religion is dying or dead. And why? Because it cannot stand the light of day. The worship of {S}iva, of Vish{n}u, 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 will extinguish it. Areligion 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 defenders of the faith, prophets, champions, martyrs, it has ceased to live, in the true sense of the word; and in that sense the old, orthodox Brahmanism has ceased to live for more than a thousand years.

It is true there are millions of children, women, and men in India who fall down before the stone image of Vish{n}u, with his four arms, riding on a creature half bird, half man, or sleeping on the serpent; who worship {S}iva, amonster 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 god of war, Krtikya, with six faces, riding on a peacock, and holding bow and arrow in his hands; and who invoke a god of success, Ga{n}e{s}a, 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 is carried through the streets of her own city, Calcutta,[10] her wild disheveled hair reaching to her feet, with a necklace of human heads, her tongue protruded from her mouth, her girdle stained with blood. All this is true; but ask any Hindu who can 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 tell: for our purposes, however, for gaining an idea of the issue of the great religious struggle of the future, that religion too is dead and gone.

The three religions which are alive, and between which the decisive battle for the 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 Christians is double the number of Mohammedans, the Buddhist religion still occupies the first place in the religious census of mankind.[11]

Buddhism rules supreme in Central, Northern, Eastern, and Southern Asia, and it gradually absorbs whatever there is left of aboriginal heathenism in that vast and populous area.

Mohammedanism claims as its own Arabia, Persia, great parts of India, Asia Minor, Turkey, and Egypt; and its greatest conquests by missionary efforts are made among the heathen population of Africa.

Christianity reigns in Europe and America, and it is conquering the native races of Polynesia and Melanesia, while its missionary outposts are scattered all over the world.

Between these three powers, then, the religious battle of the future, the Holy War of mankind, will have to be fought, and is being fought at the present moment, though apparently with little effect. To convert a Mohammedan is difficult; to convert a Buddhist, more difficult still; to convert a Christian, let us hope, well nigh impossible.

What then, it may be asked, is the use of missionaries? Why should we spend millions on foreign missions, when there are children in our cities who are allowed to grow up in ignorance? Why should we deprive ourselves of some of the noblest, boldest, most ardent and devoted spirits and send them into the wilderness, while so many laborers are wanted in the vineyard at home.

It is right to ask these questions; and we ought not to blame those political economists who tell us that every convert costs us 200, and that at the present rate of progress it would take more than 200,000 years to evangelize the world. There is nothing at all startling in these figures. Every child born in Europe is as much a heathen as the child of a Melanesian cannibal; and it costs us more than 200 to turn a child into a Christian man. The other calculation is totally erroneous; for an intellectual harvest must not be calculated by adding simply grain to grain, but by counting each grain as a living seed, that will bring forth fruit a hundred and a thousand fold.

If we want to know what work there is for the missionary to do, what results we may expect from it, we must distinguish between two kinds of work: the one is parental, the other controversial. Among uncivilized races the work of the missionary is the work of a parent; whether his pupils are young in years or old, he has to treat them with a parent's love, to teach them with a parent's authority; he has to win them, not to argue with them. Iknow this kind of missionary work is often despised; it is called mere religious kidnapping; 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 Mohammedan, as much as a child taken by a Christian missionary becomes a Christian. All this is true; missionary success obtained by such means proves nothing for the truth of our creeds: but it proves, what is far more important, it proves Christian love. Read only the "Life of Patteson," the bishop of Melanesia; follow him in his vessel, sailing from island to island, begging for children, carrying them off as a mother her new-born child, nursing them, washing and combing them, clothing them, feeding them, teaching them in his Episcopal Palace, in which he himself is everything, nurse, and housemaid, and cook, schoolmaster, physician, and bishop—read there, how that man 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 home, there to be a leaven for future ages. Yes, read the life, the work, the death of that man, adeath in very truth, aransom for the sins of others—and then say whether you would like to suppress a profession that can call forth such self-denial, such heroism, such sanctity, such love. It has been my privilege to 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 martyr, that truly parental missionary.

The work of the parental missionary is clear, and its success undeniable, not only in Polynesia and Melanesia, but in many parts of India—(think only of the bright light of Tinnevelly)—in Africa, in China, in America, in Syria, in Turkey, aye, in the very heart of London.

The case is different with the controversial missionary, who has to attack the faith of men brought up in other religions, in religions which contain much truth, though mixed up with much error. Here the difficulties are immense, the results very discouraging. Nor need we wonder at this. We know, each of us, but too well, how little argument avails in theological discussion; how often it produces the very opposite result of what we expected; confirming rather than shaking opinions no less erroneous, no less indefensible, than many articles of the Mohammedan or Buddhist faith.

And even when argument proves successful, when it forces a verdict from an unwilling judge, how often has the result been disappointing; because in tearing up the rotten stem on which the tree rested, its tenderest fibres have been injured, its roots unsettled, its life destroyed.

We have little ground to expect that these controversial weapons will carry the day in the struggle between the three great religions of the world.

But there is a third kind of missionary activity, which has produced the most important results, and through which alone, Ibelieve, 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 conversion, whether by force or by argument, 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 calls out all the best elements in each, and at the same time keeps under all that is felt to be of doubtful value, of uncertain truth. Whenever this has happened in the history of the world, it has generally led either to the reform of both systems, or to the foundation of a new religion.

When after the conquest of India the violent measures for the conversion of the Hindus to Mohammedanism had ceased, and Mohammedans and Brahmans lived together in the enjoyment of perfect equality, the result was a purified Mohammedanism, and a purified Brahmanism.[12] The worshippers of Vish{n}u, {S}iva, 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, ahigher divine power (the Para-Brahma), the true source of all being, the only and almighty ruler of the world. That religious movement assumed its most important development at the beginning of the twelfth century, when Rmnuja founded the reformed sect of the worshippers of Vish{n}u; and again, in the fourteenth century, when his fifth successor, Rmnanda, imparted a still more liberal character to that powerful sect. Not only did he abolish many of the restrictions of caste, many of the minute ceremonial observances in eating, drinking, and bathing, but he replaced the classical Sanskrit—which was unintelligible to the large masses of the people—by the living vernaculars, in which he preached a purer worship of God.

The most remarkable man of that time was a weaver, the pupil of Rmnanda, known by the name of Kabir. He indeed deserved the name which the members of the reformed sect claimed for themselves, Avadhta, which means one who has shaken off the dust of superstition. He broke entirely with the popular mythology and the customs of the ceremonial law, and addressed himself alike to Hindu and Mohammedan. According to him, there is 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, for life is of God; to speak the truth; to keep aloof from the world; to obey the teacher. His poetry is most beautiful, hardly surpassed in any other language.

Still more important in the history of India was the reform of Nnak, the founder of the Sikh religion. He, too, worked entirely in the spirit of Kabir. Both labored to persuade the Hindus and Mohammedans 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 Vish{n}u.

The effect of these religious reforms has been highly beneficial; it has cut into the very roots of idolatry, and has spread throughout India an intelligent 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 produced, in a much higher degree, on the 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 territory of the old East India Company. Its first representative was Ram Mohun Roy, born just one hundred years ago, in 1772, who died at Bristol in 1833, the founder of the Brahma-Samj. Aman so highly cultivated and so highly religious as he was, could not but feel humiliated at the spectacle which the popular religion of his country presented to his English friends. He drew their attention to the fact that there was a purer religion to be found in the old sacred writings of his people, the Vedas. He went so far as to claim for the Vedas a divine origin, and to attempt the foundation of a reformed faith on their authority. In this attempt he failed.

No doubt 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 all by the sons of India. The late good Bishop Cotton, in his address to the students of a missionary institution at Calcutta, advised them to use a certain hymn of the Rig-Veda in their daily prayers.[13] 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 their sacred books, the Rig-Veda, composed three or four thousand years ago—where we find hymns addressed to the different deities of the sky, the air, the earth, the rivers—the protest of the human heart against many gods, breaks forth from time to time with no uncertain sound. One poet, after he has asked to whom sacrifice is due, answers, "to Him who is God above all gods."[14] Another poet, after enumerating the names of many deities, affirms, without hesitation, that "these are all but names of Him who is One." And even when single deities are invoked, it is not difficult to see that, in the mind of the poet, each one of the names is 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 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 him.

But granting all this, we may well understand why an attempt to claim for these books a divine origin, and thus to make them an artificial foundation for a new religion, failed. The successor of Ram Mohun Roy, the present head of the Brahma-Samj, the wise and excellent Debendranth Tagore, was for a time even more decided in holding to the Vedas as the sole foundation of the new faith. But this could not last. As soon as the true character of the Vedas,[15] 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 embody the creed which the members of the Brahma-Samj hold in common.[16]

The work which these religious reformers have been doing in India is excellent, and those only who know what it is, in religious matters, to break with the past, to forsake the established custom of a nation, to oppose the rush of public opinion, to brave adverse criticism, to submit to social persecution, can form any idea of what those men have suffered, in bearing witness to the truth that was within them.

They could not reckon on any sympathy on the part of Christian missionaries; nor did their work attract much attention in Europe till very lately, when a schism broke out in the Brahma-Samj between the old conservative party and a new party, led by Keshub Chunder Sen. The former, though willing to surrender all that was clearly idolatrous in the ancient religion and customs of India, wished to retain all that might safely be retained: it did not wish to see the religion of India denationalized. The other party, inspired and led by Keshub Chunder Sen, went further in their zeal for religious purity. All that smacked of the old leaven was to be surrendered; not only caste, but even that sacred cord—the religious riband 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, 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 own country, all that was best in the sacred books of the whole world was selected and formed into a new sacred code.[17]

The schism between these two parties is deeply to be deplored; but it is a sign of life. It augurs success rather than failure for the future. It is the same schism which St. Paul had to heal in the Church of Corinth, and he healed it with the words, so often misunderstood, "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth."

In the eyes of our missionaries this religious reform in India has not found much favor: nor need we wonder at this. Their object is to transplant, if possible, Christianity in its full integrity from England to India, as we might wish to transplant a full-grown tree. They do not deny the moral worth, the noble aspirations, the self-sacrificing zeal of these native reformers; but they fear that all this will but increase their dangerous influence, and retard the progress of Christianity, by drawing some of the best minds of India, that might have been gained over to our religion, into a different current. They feel towards Keshub Chunder Sen[18] as Athanasius might have felt towards Ulfilas, the Arian Bishop of the Goths: 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 pagans?

If we think of the future of India, and of the influence which that country has always exercised on the East, the movement of religious reform which is now going on appears to my mind the most momentous in this momentous century. If our missionaries feel constrained to repudiate it as their own work, history will be more just to them than they themselves.[19] And if not as the work of Christian missionaries, it will be recognized hereafter as the work of those missionary Christians who have lived in India, as examples of a true Christian life, who have approached the natives in a truly missionary spirit, in the spirit of truth and in the spirit of love; whose bright presence has thawed the ice, and brought out beneath it the old soil, ready to blossom into new life. These Indian puritans are not against us; for all the highest purposes of life they are with us, and we, Itrust, with them. What would the early Christians have said to men, outside the pale of Christianity, who spoke of Christ and his doctrine as some of these Indian reformers? Would they have said to them, "Unless you speak our language and think our thoughts, unless you accept our Creed and sign our Articles, we can have nothing in common with you."

O that Christians, and particularly missionaries, would lay to heart the words of a missionary Bishop![20] "Ihave for years thought," writes Bishop Patteson, "that we seek in our missions a great deal too much to make English Christians..... Evidently the heathen man is not treated fairly, if we encumber our message with unnecessary requirements. The ancient Church had its 'selection of fundamentals.' .... Any one can see what mistakes we have made in India.... Few men think themselves into the state of the Eastern mind.... We seek to denationalize these races, as far as I can see; whereas we ought surely to change as little as possible—only what is clearly incompatible with the simplest form of Christian teaching and practice. Ido not 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 Bishop Patteson and Bishop Cotton, if Christianity were not only preached, but lived in that spirit, it would then prove itself what it is—the religion of humanity at large, large enough itself to take in all shades and diversities of character and race.

And more than that—if this true missionary spirit, this spirit of truth and love, of forbearance, of trust, of toleration, of humility, were once to kindle the hearts of all those chivalrous ambassadors of Christ, the message of the Gospel which they have to deliver would then become as great a blessing to the giver as to the receiver. Even now, missionary work unites, both at home and abroad, those who are widely separated by the barriers of theological sects.[21]

It might do so far more still. When we stand before a common enemy, we soon forget our own small feuds. But why? Often, Ifear, from motives of prudence only and selfishness. Can we not, then, if we stand in spirit before a common friend—can we not, before the face of God, forget our small feuds, for very shame? If missionaries admit to their fold converts who can hardly understand the equivocal abstractions of our creeds and formulas, is it necessary to exclude those who understand them but too well to submit the wings of their free spirit to such galling chains! When we try to think of the majesty of God, what are all those formulas but the stammerings of children, which only a loving father can interpret and understand! The fundamentals of our religion are not in these poor creeds; true Christianity lives, not in our belief, but in our love—in our love of God, and in our love of man, founded on our love of God.

That is the whole Law and the Prophets, that is the religion to be preached to the whole world, that is the Gospel which will conquer all other religions—even Buddhism and Mohammedanism—which will win the hearts of all men.

There can never be too much love, though there may be too much faith—particularly when it leads to the requirement of exactly the same measure of faith in others. Let those who wish for the true success of missionary work learn to throw in of the 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 they can make to-day to the missionary cause.

Let missionaries preach the Gospel again as it was preached when it began the conquest of the Roman Empire and the Gothic nations; when it had to struggle with powers and principalities, with time-honored religions and triumphant philosophies, with pride of civilization and savagery of life—and yet came out victorious. At that time conversion was not a question to be settled by the acceptance or rejection of certain formulas or articles; asimple prayer was often enough: "God be merciful to me a sinner."

There is one kind of faith that revels in words, there is another that can hardly find utterance: the former is like riches that come to us by inheritance; the latter is like the daily bread, which each of us has to win in the sweat of his brow. We cannot expect the former from new converts; we ought not to expect it or to exact it, 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 Pur{n}as of the Brahmans or the Buddhist Jtakas. They find it much easier to accept a legend than to love God, to repeat a creed than to forgive their enemies. In this respect they are exactly like ourselves. Let missionaries remember that the Christian faith at home is no longer what it was, and that it is impossible to have one Creed to preach abroad, another to preach at home. Much that was formerly considered as essential is now neglected; much that was formerly neglected is now considered as essential. Ithink of the laity more than of the clergy; but what 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 Christians altogether, because they feel that they cannot believe as much as others profess to believe. We cannot afford to lose these men, nor shall we lose them if we learn to be satisfied with what satisfied Christ and the Apostles, with what satisfies many a hard-working missionary. If Christianity is to retain its hold on Europe and America, if it is to 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, but more of genial honesty; less of doctrine, but more of love. There is a faith, as small as a grain of mustard-seed, but that grain alone can move mountains, and more than that, it can move hearts. Whatever the world may say of us, of us of little faith, let us remember that there was one who accepted the offering of the poor widow. She threw in but two mites, but that was all she had, even all her living.



Mahdayasspi jinassa ka{d}{d}hana{m}, Vihya patta{m} amata{m} sukham pi te Kari{m}su lokassa hita{m} tahi{m} tahi{m}, Bhaveyya ko lokahite pamdav?

The first line is elliptical.

(Imitating) the resignation of the all-merciful Conqueror, They also, resigning the deathless bliss within their reach, Worked the welfare of mankind in various lands. What man is there who would be remiss in doing good to mankind?

Hardy, in his "Manual of Buddhism" (p. 187), relates how fifty-four princes and a thousand fire-worshippers became the disciples of Buddha. "Whilst Buddha remained at Isipatana, Yasa, the son of Sujat, who had been brought up in all delicacy, one night went secretly to him, was received with affection, became a priest, and entered the first path. The father, on discovering that he had fled, was disconsolate: but Buddha delivered to him a discourse, by which he became a rahat. The fifty-four companions of Yasa went to the monastery to induce him to return, and play with them as usual; but when they saw him, they were so struck with his manner and appearance, that they also resolved on becoming priests. When they went to Buddha, they were admitted, by the power of irdhi received the pirikara requisites of the priesthood, and became rahats. Buddha had now sixty disciples who were rahats, and he commanded them to go by different ways, and proclaim to all that a supreme Buddha had appeared in the world."

Mr. Childers has kindly sent me the following extract from Fausbll's "Dhammapada" (p.119), where the same story is told:—

. . . . Yasakulaputtassa upanissayasampatti{m} disv ta{m} rattibhge nibbijjitv geha{m} pahya nikkhanta{m} "ehi Yasati" pakkositv, tasmi eva rattibhge sotpattiphala{m} punadivase arahattu{m} ppesi. Apare pi tassa sahyake catupa{n}{n}sajane ehibhikkhupabbajjya pabbjetv arahattu{m} ppesi. Eva{m} loke ekasa{t}{t}hiy arahantesu jtesu vutthavasso pavretva "caratha bhikkhave crikan" ti sa{t}{t}hi{m} bhikkh dissu pesetv..... "Seeing that the young nobleman Yasa was ripe for conversion, in the night, when weary with the vanities of the world he had left his home and embraced the ascetic life,—he called him, saying, 'Follow me, Yasa,' and that very night he caused him to obtain the fruition of the first path, and on the following day arhatship. And fifty-four other persons, who were friends of Yasa's, he ordained with the formula, 'Follow me, priest,' and caused them to attain arhatship. Thus when there were sixty-one arhats in the world, having passed the period of seclusion during the rains and resumed active duties, he sent forth the sixty priests in all directions, saying, 'Go forth, priests, on your rounds (ortravels).'"

Another passage, too, showing Buddha's desire to see his doctrine preached in the whole world, was pointed out to me by Mr. Childers from the "Mahparinibbna Sutta," which has since been published by this indefatigable scholar in the "Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society," vol. vii., p.77:—

"Three months before his death, when Gautama's health and strength is fast failing, he is tempted by Mra, who comes to him and urges him to bring his life and mission at once to a close by attaining Nirv{n}a (dying). Buddha replies that he will not die until his disciples are perfect on all points, and able to maintain the Truth with power against all unbelievers. Mra replies that this is already the case, whereupon Buddha uses these striking words: Na tvha{m} ppima parinibbayissmi yva me ima{m} brahmacariya{m} na iddha c' eva bhavissati phta ca vitthrika{m} bhujaa{m} puthubhta{m}, yvad eva manusschi suppaksitan ti. 'Owicked one, Iwill not die until this my holy religion thrives and prospers, until it is widely spread, known to many peoples, and grown great, until it is completely published among men.' Mara again asserts that this is already the case, and Buddha replies, 'Strive no more, wicked one, the death of the Tathagata is at hand, at the end of three months from this time, the Tathgata will attain Nirv{n}a.'"



The present position of the two parties in the Brahma-Samj is well described by Rajnarain Bose (the "Adi Brahmo Samaj," Calcutta, 1873, p.11). "The particular opinions above referred to can be divided into two comprehensive classes—conservative and progressive. The conservative Brahmos are those who are unwilling to push religious and social reformation to any great extreme. They are of opinion that reformation should be gradual, the law of gradual progress being universally prevalent in nature. They also say that the principle of Brahmic harmony requires a harmonious discharge of all our duties, and that, as it is 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 all these duties as much as we can. However unsatisfactory such arguments may appear to a progressive Brahmo, they are such as could not be slighted at first sight. They are certainly such as to make the conservative Brahmo think sincerely that he is justified in not pushing religious and social reformation to any great extreme. The progressive Brahmo cannot therefore call him a hypocrite. Aunion of both the conservative and the progressive elements in the Brahmo church is necessary for its stability. The conservative element will prevent the progressive from spoiling the cause of reformation by taking premature and abortive measures for advancing that cause; the progressive element will prevent the conservative from proving a stolid obstruction to it. The conservative element will serve as a link between the progressive element and the orthodox community, and prevent the progressive Brahmo from being completely estranged 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 community. The common interests of Brahmo Dharma should lead both classes to respect, and be on amicable terms with each other. It is 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 would cease to exist in the bosom of the church. She should, like a wise mother, make them live in peace with each other, and work harmoniously together for her benefit.

"As idolatry is intimately interwoven with our social fabric, conservative Brahmos, though discarding it in other respects, find it very difficult to do so on the occasion of such very important domestic ceremonies as marriage, shradh (ancestral sacrifices), and upanayana (spiritual apprenticing); but they should consider that Brahmoism is not so imperative on any other point as on the renunciation of idolatry. It can allow conservatism in other respects, but not on the point of idolatry. It can consider a man a Brahmo if he be conservative in other respects than idolatry; but it can never consider an idolater to be a Brahmo. The conservative Brahmo can do one thing, that is, observe the old ritual, leaving out only the idolatrous portion of it, if he do not choose to follow the positive Brahmo ritual laid down in the 'Anushthna Paddhati.' Liberty should be given by the progressive Brahmo to the conservative Brahmo in judging of the idolatrous character of the portions of the old ritual rejected by him. If a progressive Brahmo requires a conservative one to reject those portions which the former considers to be idolatrous, but the latter does not, he denies liberty of conscience to a fellow-Brahmo.

"The Adi Brahmo-Samaj is the national Hindu Theistic Church, whose principles of church reformation we have been describing above. Its demeanor towards the old religion of the country is friendly, but corrective and reformative. It is this circumstance which preminently distinguishes it from the Brahmo-Samaj of India, whose attitude to that religion is antagonistic and offensive. The mission of the Adi Samaj is to fulfill the old religion, and not to destroy it. The attitude of the Adi Samaj to the old religion is friendly, but it is not at the same time opposed to progress. It is a mistake to call it a conservative church. It is rather a conservative-progressive church, or, more correctly, simply a church or religious body, leaving matters of social reformation to the judgments of individual members or bodies of such members. It contains both progressive and conservative members. As the ultra-progressive Brahmos, who wanted to eliminate the conservative element from it, were obliged to secede from it, so if a high conservative party arise in its bosom which would attempt to do violence to the progressive element 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 others opinions, and can respect each others earnest convictions, progressive and conservative, can remain its members."

The strong national feeling of the Indian reformers finds expression in the following passage from "Brahmic Questions," p.9:—

"A Samaj is accessible to all. The minds of the majority of our countrymen are not deeply saturated with Christian sentiments. What would they think of a Brahmo minister who would quote on the Vedi (altar) sayings from the Bible? Would they not from that time conceive an intolerable hatred towards Brahmoism and everything Brahmo? If quoting a sentence from the Bible or Koran offend our countrymen, we shall not do so. Truth is as catholic when taken from the Sstras as from the Koran or the Bible. True liberality consists, not in quoting texts from the religious Scriptures of other nations, but in bringing up, as we advance, the rear who are groveling in ignorance and superstition. We certainly do not act against the dictates of conscience, if we quote texts from the Hindu Sstras only, and not from all the religious Scriptures of all the countries on the face of the globe. Moreover, there is not a single saying in the Scriptures of other nations, which has not its counterpart in the Sstras."

And again in "The Adi Brahma-Samaj, its Views and Principles," p.1:—

"The members of the Adi Samaj, aiming to diffuse the truths of 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, and a Chinese Theist a Chinese one. Such differences in the aspect of Theism in different countries must naturally arise from the usual course of things, but they are adventitious, not essential, national, not sectarian. Although Brahmoism is universal religion, it is impossible to communicate a universal form to it. It must wear a particular form in a particular country. Aso-called universal form would make it appear grotesque and ridiculous to the nation or religious denomination among whom it is intended to be propagated, and would not command their veneration. In conformity with such views, the Adi Samaj has adopted a Hindu form to propagate Theism among Hindus. It has therefore retained many innocent Hindu usages and customs, and has adopted a form of divine service containing passages extracted from the Hindu Sstras only, abook of Theistic texts containing selections from those sacred books only, and a ritual containing as much of the ancient form as could be kept consistently with the dictates of conscience."



"Why have I cherished respect and reverence for Christ? . . . Why is it that, though I do not take the name of 'Christian,' Istill persevere in offering my hearty thanksgivings to Jesus Christ? There must be something in the life and death of Christ,—there must be something in his great gospel which tends to bring comfort and light and strength to a heart heavy-laden with iniquity and wickedness.... I studied Christ ethically, nay spiritually,—and I 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....

"My first inquiry was, What is the creed taught in the Bible? ... Must I go through all the dogmas and doctrines which constitute Christianity in the eye of the various sects, or is there something simple which I can at once grasp and turn to account?

"I found Christ spoke one language, and Christianity another. Iwent to 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 neighbor as thyself;' and then he added, 'This is the whole law and the prophets,' in other words, the whole philosophy, theology, and ethics of the law and the prophets are concentrated in these two great doctrines of love to God and love to man; and then elsewhere he said, 'This do and ye shall inherit everlasting life.' ... If we love God and love man we become Christ-like, and so attain everlasting life.

"Christ never demanded from me worship or adoration that is due to God, the Creator of the Universe.... He places himself before me as the spirit I must imbibe in order to approach the Divine Father, as the great Teacher and guide who will lead me to God.

"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 God, for Christ wants something internal, acomplete conversion of the heart, agiving up the yoke of mammon and accepting the yoke of religion, and truth, and God. He wants us to baptize our hearts not with cold water, but with the fire of religious and spiritual enthusiasm; he calls upon us not to go through any outward rite, but to make baptism a ceremony of the heart, aspiritual enkindling of all our energies, of all our loftiest and most heavenly aspirations and activities. That is true baptism. So with regard to the doctrine of the sacrament. There are many who eat 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 sacrament mean? If men simply adopt it as a tribute of respect and honor to Christ, shall he be satisfied? Shall they themselves be satisfied? Can we look upon them as Christians simply because they have gone through this rite regularly for twenty or fifty years of their lives? Ithink not. Christ demands of us absolute sanctification and purification of the heart. In this matter, also, Isee Christ on one side, and Christian sects on the other.

"What is that bread which Christ asked his disciples to eat? 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. Now, are you prepared to accept Christ simply as an outward Christ, an outward teacher, an external atonement and propitiation, or will you prove true to Christ by accepting his solemn injunctions in their spiritual importance and weight? He distinctly says, every follower of his must eat his flesh and drink his blood. If we eat, bread is converted into strength and health, and becomes the means of prolonging our life; so, spiritually, if 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 converted into spiritual strength, and health, and joy, and blessedness. Christ wants something that will amount to self-sacrifice, acasting away of the old man, and a new growth in the heart. Ithus draw a line of demarcation between the visible and outward Christ, and the invisible 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 is.....

"To be a Christian then is to be Christ-like. Christianity means becoming like Christ, not acceptance of Christ as a proposition or as an outward representation, but spiritual conformity with the life and character of Christ. And what is Christ? By Christ I understand one who said, 'Thy will be done;' and when I talk of Christ, Italk of that spirit of loyalty to God, that spirit of absolute determinedness and preparedness to say at all times and in all circumstances, 'Thy will be done, not mine.' ....

"This prayer about forgiving an enemy and loving an enemy, this transcendental doctrine of love of man, is really sweet to me, and when I think of that blessed Man of God, crucified on the cross, and uttering those blessed words, 'Father, forgive them, they know not what they do;' oh! Ifeel that I must love that being, Ifeel that there is something within me which is touched by these sweet and heavenly utterances, Ifeel that I must love Christ, let Christians say what they like against me; that Christ I must love, for he preached love for an enemy.....

"When every individual man becomes Christian in spirit—repudiate the name, if you like—when every individual man becomes as prayerful as Christ was, as loving and forgiving towards enemies as Christ was, as self-sacrificing as Christ was, then these little units, these little individualities, will coalesce and combine together by the natural affinity of their hearts; and these new creatures, reformed, regenerated, in the child-like and Christ-like spirit of devotion and faith, will feel drawn towards each other, and they shall constitute a real Christian church, areal Christian nation. Allow me, friends, to say, England is not yet a Christian nation."


Q. Who is the deity of the Brahmos?

A. The One True God, one only without a second, whom all Hindu {S}stras 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. What is the sacrifice of the Brahmos?

A. Renunciation of selfishness.

Q. What are the austerities of the Brahmos?

A. Not committing sin. The Mahbhrata says, He who does not commit sin in mind, speech, action, or understanding, performs austerities; not he who drieth up his body.

Q. What is the place of pilgrimage of the Brahmos?

A. The company of the good.

Q. What is the Veda of the Brahmos?

A. Divine knowledge. It is superior to all Vedas. The Veda itself says: The inferior knowledge is the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, the Atharva Veda, etc.; the superior knowledge is that which treats of God.

Q. What is the most sacred formula of the Brahmos?

A. Be good and do good.

Q. Who is the true Brahman?

A. He who knows Brahma. The Brihadra{n}yaka-Upanishad says: He who departs from this world knowing God, is a Brahman. (See "Brahmic Questions of the Day," 1869.)



Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, Iwould to God, that, not only thou, but all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.

Ho de Agrippas pros ton Paulon eph: En oligi me peitheis Christianon genesthai. Ho de Paulos eipen: Euxaimn an ti Thei, kai en oligi kai en polli ou monon se, alla kai pantas tous akouontas mou smeron genesthai toioutous, hopoios kag eimi parektos tn desmn toutn. ACTS xxvi. 28, 29.

When I preached on a like occasion last year, I spoke at some length of the prospects of Christian missions,[24] and I ventured to give seven grounds which the peculiar circumstances of our time afforded for greater confidence in the future. First, the better knowledge of the Divine nature acquired by the extinction of the once universal belief that all heathens were everlastingly lost; secondly, the increased acquaintance with the heathen religions themselves; thirdly, the instruction which Christian missionaries have gained or may gain from their actual experience in foreign parts; fourthly, the recognition of the fact that the main hindrance to the success of Christian missions arises from the vices and sins of Christendom; fifthly, an acknowledgment of the indirect influences of Christianity through legislation and civilization; sixthly, the newly awakened perception of the duty of making exact, unvarnished, impartial statements on this subject; seventhly, the testimony borne by missionary experience to the common elements and essential principles of the Christian religion.

On these—the peculiar grounds for hope and for exertion in this our generation—I content myself with referring to the observations which I then made, and which I will not now repeat.

I propose on this occasion to make a few remarks on the End and on the Means of Christian Missions; remarks which must of necessity be general in their import, but which for that reason are the more suitable to be offered by one who cannot speak from personal and special experience.

The text is taken from a striking incident in the life of the greatest of apostolic missionaries. It was in the presence of Festus and Agrippa that Paul had poured forth those few burning utterances which to Festus seemed like madness, but which Paul himself declared to be words of truth and soberness. Then it was that the Jewish prince, Agrippa—far better instructed and seeing deeper into Paul's mind than the heathen Festus, yet still unconvinced—broke in upon the conversation with the words 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, "thou persuadest me to join the good cause." But the sense which, by the nearly universal consent of modern scholars, they really bear in the original is something still more instructive. The only 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 forcibly, "So few words, and such a vast conclusion!" "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 of Israel?" It is like the complaint of the popular prophets in the time of Hezekiah, whose taste demanded stronger flavor than the noble simplicity of Isaiah, "Thou givest us only line upon line, precept upon precept." It breathes the spirit of the Ephesian Christians who, when they heard St. John's repeated maxim of "Little children, love one another," said, "Is this all that he has to tell us?" It expresses the spirit of many an one since, who has stumbled at the threshold of the genuine Gospel—"So vague, so simple, so universal. Is this worth the sacrifice that you demand? Give us a demonstrative argument, avast ceremonial, acomplex system, auniform government. Nothing 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, "Iwould that thou wert converted both 'almost and altogether.' Halfness or wholeness—I admire them both. Half a soul is better than none at all. To have come half way is better than never to have started at all; but half is only good, because it leads towards the whole." Nevertheless, following the real meaning of Agrippa's remark, St. Paul's retort, in fact, bears a yet deeper significance—"I would to God, that whether by little or by much, whether by brief arguments or by long arguments, somehow and somewhere, the change were wrought. The means to me are comparatively nothing, so long as the end is accomplished." It is the same spirit as that which dictated the noble expression in the Epistle to the Philippians: "Some preach Christ of envy and strife, some also of good will. The one preach Christ of contention, the other of love. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is preached."[25]

And 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 name is used in the New Testament. It is here charged not with the venerable meaning which we now attach to it, but with the novel and degrading associations which it bore in the mouth of every Jew and every Roman at that time—of Tacitus or Josephus, no less than of Festus or Agrippa. "Is it," so the king meant to say, "is it that you think to make me a Christian, a member of that despised, heretical, innovating sect, of which the very name is a sufficient condemnation?"

It is only by bearing this in mind that we see the force of St. Paul's answer. He does not insist on the word; he does not fight even for this sacred title; he does not take it up as a pugnacious champion might take up the glove which his adversary had thrown down; he does not say, "Iwould that thou wast a Christian." In his answer he bears his testimony to one of the gravest, the most fruitful, of all theological truths—that it is not the name but the thing, not the form but the reality, on which stress must be laid; and he gives the most lucid, heart-stirring illustration of what the reality is. "Iwould that not only thou, but all those who hear me were (Iask for no ambiguous catchword or byword, but) what you see before you; Iwould that you all were such as I am—such as I am, upheld by the hopes, filled with the affections, that sustain my charmed existence;" and then, with that exquisite courtesy which characterizes so many traits of the Apostle's history, glancing at the chains which bound him to the Roman guard—"'except these bonds.' This, whether you call it Christian or not, is what I desire to see you and all the world." "You see it before you in the life, the character, the spirit, of one who knows what Christianity is, and who wishes that all his fellow-creatures should partake of the happiness that he has gained, repose on the same principles that give him strength." This, then, is the statement of the greatest of missionaries, both as to the end which he sought to attain, and the means by which he and we should seek to attain it.

I. Let us first take the End: "Such as I am, except these bonds." That is the state to which St. Paul desired to bring all those who heard him. That, according to him, was the description of a Christian. No doubt if he had been pressed yet further, he would have said that he meant, "Such as Jesus Christ, my Lord." But he was satisfied with taking such a living, human, imperfect exemplification as he whom Festus and Agrippa saw in their presence. "Such as Paul was." Here is no ambiguous definition, no obsolete form. What manner of man he was we know even better than Festus or Agrippa knew. Look at him with all his characteristic peculiarities; aman passionately devoted to his own faithful friends, and clinging to the reminiscences of his race and country, yet with a heart open to embrace all mankind; aman combining the strongest convictions with an unbounded toleration of differences, and an unbounded confidence in truth; aman penetrated with the freedom of the Spirit, but with a profound appreciation of the value of great existing institutions, whether civil or religious—a thorough Roman citizen and a thorough Eastern gentleman; embarked on a career of daring fortitude and endurance, undertaken in the strength of the persuasion that in Jesus Christ of Nazareth he 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 hearers should be brought. One only reservation he makes; "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 ought to have before their eyes. To create, to preach, to exhibit those elements of character, those apostolical graces, those Divine intuitions, which even the hard Roman magistrate and the superficial Jewish prince recognized in Paul of Tarsus. Where these are, there is Christianity. In proportion as any of these are attained, in that proportion has a human being become a Christian. Wherever and in proportion as these are not, there the missionary's labor has failed—there the seed has been sown to no purpose—there the name of Christian may be, but the reality is not.

This preminence of the object of Christian missions—namely, the formation of heroic, apostolic, and therefore Christian characters—has a wide practical importance. In these days—when there is so much temptation to dwell on the scaffolding, the apparatus, the organization of religion, as though it were religion itself—it is doubly necessary to bear in mind what true Religion is, wherein lies the essential superiority of Christianity to all the other forms of religion on the surface of the earth. It is not merely the baptism of thousands of infants, such as filled a large part of the aspirations even of so great a missionary as Francis Xavier; nor the adoption of the name of Christ, as was done on so vast a scale by the ferocious rebels of China; nor the repetition, with ever so much accuracy, of the Christian creed, as was done by the pretended converts from Mahommedanism or Judaism, under the terrible compulsion of the Catholic sovereigns of Spain. Nor is it the assurance ever so frequently repeated, that we are saved; nor is it the absolution, ever so solemnly pronounced by a priest; nor is it the shedding of floods of tears; nor is it the adoption of voluntary self-degradation or solitary seclusion. All these may be found in other religions in even greater force than in Christianity. 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 greater and simpler. It is to be such as Paul was; it is to produce characters, which in truthfulness, in independence, in mercy, in purity, in charity, may recall something of the great Apostle, even as he recalled something of the mind which was in Christ Jesus. It was this clear vision of what he desired to see as the fruits of his teaching that made St. Paul so ready to admire whatsoever things were lovely and of good report wherever he found them. In Gentile or in Jew, in heathen or in Christian, he recognized at once the spirits kindred to his own, and welcomed them accordingly. He felt that he could raise them yet higher; but he was eager to claim them as his brethren even from the first.[26] Even in the legends which surround his history there has been preserved something of this genuine apostolic sympathy. It 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:—

"Ad Maronis mausoleum Ductus, fudit super eum Pi rorem lacrym— 'Quantum,' dixit, 'te fecissem Si te vivum invenissem, Poetarum maxime.'"

It was this which made him cling with such affectionate interest to his converts, to his friends, to his sons, as he calls them, in Christ Jesus. All that he sought, all that he looked for in them, was that they should show in their characters the seal of the spirit that animated himself. Whether they derived this character 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; he claimed only to be a helper in their joy.

This reproduction of Paul—this reproduction of all that is 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 must be himself that which he wishes to impress upon them in humility, goodness, courtesy, and holiness, except only the straitening bonds which cramp or confine each separate character, nation, and church. No disparager of Christian 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 the English government, he said: "Do not send to me any of your agents, for I trust neither their words nor their treaties. But send to me the missionary of whose character I hear so much from every one; him will I receive and trust." That was the electrifying, vivifying effect of the apparition of such an one as Paul—"a man who had indeed done nothing 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 work of God our Creator—the most precious result of human endeavor. If any such—by missionary efforts, either of convert or teacher, either direct or indirect—have been produced, then the prayers uttered, the labors inspired, the hopes expressed in these and like services have not been altogether in vain. One of the 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 its 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 more like the answer of Paul. It is that they have "infused new vigor into the stereotyped life of the vast populations placed under English rule;" it is that they are "preparing those populations to be in every way better men and better citizens of the great Empire under which they dwell." That is a verdict on which we can rest with the assurance that it is not likely to be reversed. Individual conversions may relapse—may be accounted for by special motives; but long-sustained, wide-reaching changes of the whole tenor and bent of a man or of a nation are beyond suspicion. When we see the immovable, and, as the official document says, "the stereotyped" forms of Indian life re-animated with a vigor unknown to the Oriental races in earlier days, this is a regeneration as surprising as that which, to a famous missionary of the past generation, seemed as impossible as the restoration of a mummy to life—namely, the conversion of a single Brahmin.

This, then, is the End of Christian missions, whether to heathens or to Christians, namely, to make better men and better citizens—to raise the whole of society by inspiring it with a higher view of duty, with a stronger sense of truth; with a more powerful conviction that only by goodness and truth can God be approached or Christ be served—that God is goodness and truth, and that Christ is the Image of God, because He is goodness and truth. If this be the legitimate result of Christianity, no further arguments are needed to prove that it contains a light which is worth imparting, and which, wherever it is imparted, vindicates its heavenly origin and its heavenly tendency.

II. This is the End; and now what are the Means? They are what we might expect in the view of so great an end. Anything (sothe Apostle tellsus), be it small or great, short or long, scanty or ample,—the manners of a Jew for Jews, the manners of a Gentile for Gentiles, "all things for all men,"[27]—are worth considering if "by any of these means he might save," that is, elevate, sanctify, purify any of those to whom he spoke. When we reflect upon the many various efforts to do good in this manifold world—the multitude of sermons, societies, agencies, excitements, which to some seem as futile and fruitless as to others they seem precious and important—it is a true consolation to bear in mind the Apostle's wise and generous maxim, "Whether by little or by much, whether in pretence or in truth, whether of strife or of good will, Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." It may be by a short, sudden, electric shock, or it may be by a long course of civilizing, humanizing tendencies. It may be by a single text, such as that which awoke the conscience of Augustine; or a single interview like Justin's with the unknown philosopher; or it may be by a long systematic treatise—Butler's "Analogy," or Lardner's "Credibilia," or the "Institutes" of Calvin, or the "Summa Theologi" of Aquinas. It may be by the sudden flush of victory in battle, such as convinced Clovis on the field of Tolbiac; or the argument of a peaceful conference, such as convinced our own Ethelbert. It may be by teachers steeped in what was by half the Christian world regarded as deadly heresy, such as the Arian Bishop Ulfilas, by whom were converted to the faith those mighty Gothic tribes which formed the first elements of European Christendom, and whose deeds Augustine regarded, notwithstanding their errors, as the glory of the Christian name.[28] It may be by teachers immersed in superstitions as barbarous, as completely repudiated by the civilized world, as were those of the famous Roman Pontiff who sent the first missionaries to these shores. Sometimes the change has been effected by the sight of a single picture, as when Vladimir of Russia was shown the representation of the Last Judgment; sometimes by a dream or a sign, known only to those who were affected by it—such as the vision of the Cross which arrested Constantine on his way to Rome, or changed Colonel Gardiner's dissolute youth to a manhood 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; the grandeur, in old days, of Rome and Constantinople; in our days, the superiority of European genius, the spread of English commerce, the establishment of just laws, pure homes, merciful institutions.

We do not say that all these means are equally good or equally efficacious. St. Paul, in his argument with Agrippa, did not mean to say that "almost and altogether," that "much and little," were the same; he did not mean that it was equally good that Christ should be preached in strife or in good-will; he did not mean that a good end justified bad means, or that we may do evil that good may come; he did not mean to justify the falsehoods which are profanely called pious frauds, nor the persecutions 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 of the human spirit. God forbid! But what he meant, and what we mean with him, is this: In true Christian missions, in the conversion of human souls from dead works, from sin, from folly, from barbarism, from hardness, from selfishness, to goodness and purity, justice and truth, the field is so vast, the diversity of character in men and nations is so infinite, the enterprise so arduous, the aspects of Divine truth so various, that it is on the one hand a duty for each one to follow out that particular means of conversion which seems to him most efficacious, and on the other hand to acquiesce in the converging use of many means which cannot, by the nature of the case, appear equally efficacious to every one. 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 principle fixed in our minds, it surely becomes a solace to remember that the soul of man is won by a thousand different approaches—that thus the instruments which often seem most unworthy may yet serve to produce a result far above themselves—that when "we have toiled all night and taken nothing" by keeping close to the shore, or by throwing out our nets always on one side, yet if we have courage "to launch out into the deep, and cast out our nets on the other side of the ship," we shall "enclose a great multitude of fishes, so that the net shall break."

He is a traitor to the cause who exalts the means above the end, or who seeks an end altogether different from that to which his allegiance binds him; but he is not a traitor, but a faithful soldier, who makes the best use of all the means that are placed in his hands. Long after the imperfect instruments have perished the results will endure, and in forms wholly unlike the insufficiency or the meagreness of the first propelling cause. The preaching of Henry Martyn may have been tinged by a zeal often not according to knowledge; but the savor of his holy and self-denying life has passed like a sweet-smelling incense through the whole framework of Indian society. "Even," so he said himself, "if I should never see a native converted, God may design by my patience and continuance in the work to encourage future missionaries."

The more profoundly we are impressed with the 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 is permanently quickened, and the darkness is in any measure dispelled. "Ihave lived too long," said Lord Macaulay on his return from India to England, "Ihave 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 may perchance smite down the Goliath of Gath. The rough sledge-hammer of a rustic preacher may strike home, where the most polished scholar would plead in vain. The calm judgment of the wise and good, or the silent example, or the understanding sympathy, or the wide survey of the whole field of the religions of mankind, may awaken convictions 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, may furnish the very opening which we most desire. They may be the very touchstones by which these suffering heathens will test the practical efficiency of a Christian government and a Christian nation, of Christian missionaries and Christian people, and, having so tested it, will judge.

When the first Napoleon suddenly found himself among the quicksands of the Red Sea he ordered his generals to ride out in so many opposite directions, and the first who arrived on firm ground to call on the rest to follow. This is what we may ask of all the various schemes and agencies—all the various inquiries after truth now at work in all the different 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 presbyter, every bishop in the Church of the first ages, and again in the beginning of Christian Europe, was, in the strict sense of the word, amissionary; and although their functions have in these latter days been for the most part best fulfilled by following their stationary, fixed, pastoral charges, yet it is still from their ranks in all the different 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—not only in that unquestionable sense in which the best of all missionaries is a high-minded 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 we look for the coperation of laymen, but also in the more direct forms of instruction, of intelligent and far-seeing interest in labors, which, though carried on mainly by the clergy, must, if they are to be good for anything, concern all mankind alike. In the early centuries of Christianity the aid of laymen was freely invoked and freely given in this great cause. Such was Origen, the most learned and the most gifted of the Fathers, who preached as a layman in the presence of presbyters and bishops. Such was one of the first evangelizers of India, Pantnus; such was the hermit Telemachus, whose earnest protest, aided by his heroic death, extinguished at Rome the horrors of the gladiatorial games; such was Antony, the mighty preacher in the wilds of 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 More.[29] In these instances, as in many others, the influence, the learning, the zeal of laymen, was directly imported into the work of Christianizing 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 many a humble parish church; as also on other sacred topics, such as Christian art and history, their words have often been heard within the consecrated walls of this and other great abbeys and cathedrals;—so, in the hope that a more systematic form may thus be given to our knowledge, and a more concentrated direction to our zeal, we shall have the privilege of listening this evening in the nave of this church to a scholar renowned throughout the world, whose knowledge of all heathen religions, ancient and modern, in their relation to the experience of Christian missions, probably exceeds that of any other single person in Europe.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12     Next Part
Home - Random Browse