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communion with the Mother Church, whence their faith originally came; yet so as to have their own native hiérarchy, governing many congregations and churches regularly or- . ganized, and of such a character, as that, wherever the doctrines of Christ had once been preached, error was completely rooted out, and never again appeared; and the whole population, in the course of a very short time, became members of the Church of Christ. This is naturally the most simple and obvious idea that can be formed of conversion ; and during these ages, this was the way that all the missions were conducted, and these were the results which they uniformly gave. And so far was this spirit of conversion from failing in later times, that, on the contrary, just at the moment of the Reformation, it is remarkable how a new field opened, and was cultivated with success, among the natives of America, and in the peninsula of India.
When, therefore, the new religion took possession of this and some continental countries, it very soon struck those who were the founders of the new Churches, that it was an important duty incumbent on them to show themselves inheritors of the promise made by Jesus Christ; and, not content with supposing themselves to have received a new light, they determined to diffuse its rays among those nations who had not enjoyed the same happiness. Hence it was, that so early as the year 1536, the Church of Geneva instituted a mission for the conversion of heathens, who had not received Christianity in any form. Of the history of the mission I can say nothing: but it is acknowledged, on all hands, that it proved abortive, and was very soon discontinued, in consequence of its ill-success. I may, therefore, date the missionary labours of Protestantism from the beginning of the last century. In the year 1706, Frederic IV. king of Denmark, established a mission, which still enjoys considerable celebrity, and of which I shall later give you some details. It flourished chiefly !!! after the middle of the last century, under the direction of
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sary to enumerate. Besides these societies in our own country, tan Res 166 Ziezenbelg, Schultze, and Schwartz: and this seems to have been the first mission attended with any appearance of success.
In this country, in the year 1701, the first Missionary within this Society was formed, and incorporated by Royal Charter,- she been that is, the “ Society for the Diffusion of Christian Knowledge;" and, about the same period, the “ Society for the stamined Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," was also completely organized, and in activity. From that time, until possible to towards the end of the last century, nothing particulary striking was done in this department. It was in 1792, that the Baptist Missionary Society, since become so celebrated by its many
versions of the Scripture into the eastern languages, made at its head quarters at Serampore, was first instituted and consolidated ; and in 1795, the “ London Missionary -to the Society," which belongs to the Independent Congregation, was also formed; followed in the next year by the “ Scotch Missionary Society." In 1800, the “ Church Missionary Society" came into activity. Since that time, a great number of secondary associations have sprung up; and many
have also been formed by members of different religions in this country, as the Wesleyans, and others, whom it is not neces
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there are also similar ones in America, some in Germany, and some in France, which have all directed their labours to the same important purpose. In other words, I may say, that the most wealthy and most enlightened nations of the earth, according to the flesh, have devoted themselves, with extraordinary zeal and diligence, to compass this important end, of vary's bringing heathens to a knowledge of Christianity.
Next we may enquire, what are the means which they have in their hands? They are such as never, from the time of the Apostles, have been brought to bear, I will not say upon the work of conversion, but on the attainment of any great moral object. I have not always had the convenience of consulting documents down to the very latest period; and I have therefore been obliged to content myself with such as have come
within my reach. I mention this cautionary circumstance for this purpose, that, if I do not always quote the notices received within this and the last year, it may not be supposed that I have been ruled by a wish to avoid what might appear adverse to my assertions. With the greatest pleasure I would have examined the history of every mission down to the present day, if my other avocations had permitted me; or if it were possible to have access to the necessary documents. It has been in my power, however, to obtain those of two or three years ago in a pretty complete form; and this is why I shall seem to chuse my specimens from that period. The statements I shall be able to make will be sufficiently accurate, to direct your attention especially to the working of a principle, --to the discovery of how the method pursued has been found to act; for this will be accomplished whether we take the average of a smaller, or a greater number of years. For if we shall discover that the failure of these attempts has been in consequence, not of a want of time, but of a want of power in the means employed, we can arrive at a proper estimate of the correctness of their principle. -390 I find, from authentic documents published in the “Christian. Register," for 1830, that five of these societies, from among which some of the most opulent are deducted, * amassed funds in this country alone to the amount of 198,151l. ; and if the other societies received in the same proportion, the sum must have been perhaps nearly double that amount. In -70* The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and the Scotch Missionary Society are omitted. * † The following are the specific details :
Wesleyan Missions . . . . . £55,565 sved Church Missionary ,
.47,328 London Independent Mission .'. to 9n Baptist 01 9:40 PM
.. 17,185 109. Society for the Propagation of the Gospel $1979 VILL to 1990/s641 Total :3*1720 £198,151 ) -409 There are omitted, the Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge, which we may moderately reckon at : 50,000 3Y&And the Scotch Missionary Society, say*:D) LAND) 45,000 le 91099vsd 5. doua ndiw 1198 yox LUDiese AV T HE 911
Total . . . £295,
addition to this, however, we must not omit the co-operation of Foreign Societies, especially those of America, the contributions of which have also been
considerable. There is another way of making a calculation. In the
year 1824, it was boasted that 1000l. a day were expended upon the work of conversion, which would give us an estimate of 365,000l. per annum, devoted to this great task.* will see, presently, that even this falls below the truth at the present day.
But, in addition, it would be unjust to overlook the immense assistance afforded to these societies by that which is generally considered the most important and most interesting in this country—the Bible Society. For a great portion of its funds go indirectly to these societies, by furnishing them with copies of the Scripture—the most important and essential instrument, in their idea, for the accomplishment of their object. The thirty-first annual report, the last published, gives the net receipts for the year ending March 1, 1835, at 125,721l. 145.7 And from the same report we learn that the expenditure of the Society, during the thirty-o
7-one years of its existence, amounts to 2,121,640). 188. 11d. It appears, moreover, that this society alone has printed nine millions one hundred and ninety-two thousand nine hundred and fifty Bibles or New Testaments ; to which, if we add the issues from other societies in Europe and America, amounting to 6,140,378, we have the enormous aggregate of fifteen millions three hundred and thirty-three thousand three hundred and thirty-eight copies of Scripture. This statement, in any
age, would have appeared incredible; and if the true way of working conversion be the dispersion of the written word, surely an abundant harvest might, by this time, have been expected; for the seed has not been avariciously scattered abroad.
Quarterly Review, June, 1825, p. 29. + Thirty-first Report, Lond. 1835, p. 156.
Ib. p. 142. Ś Pp. 145, 142. I do not know whether the copies purchased abroad for the Society, and counted in their nine millions, should not be deducted from the foreign issues.
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But, after we have added the income of this society to that of the missionary associations which I have rehearsed, we shall not have reached the sum total of their resources; in consequence, doubtless, of omissions in the list which I have given you. For the Missionary Register exhibits a table of the progressive increase of income enjoyed by religious Protestant societies from 1823 to 1835, in which we see a steady advance from 367,3731. to 778,035l. per annum,* the income
of last year.
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In this great sum are not included grants from the government, whether general or local. In India, for instance, is a well appointed church establishment, of bishops, archdeacons, and chaplains, not left to depend on contingencies, but amply provided for, and able to devote their time and attention to the work of conversion. In New South Wales, the local government, on orders from this country, grants 500l. a year to two missionaries appointed by the Church Missionary Society, to undertake the conversion of the natives. Similar grants are, I believe, made in other colonies, as in Canada ; and to the African missions, for the liberated slaves, some support of a similar character is, I understand, afforded. So that, as far as the power goes which almost unlimited means can give towards this object, I may say that these societies possess it.
These funds are naturally directed to the support of persons who undertake the work of the ministry; these are, therefore, sent forth in
every direction; but the estimates which I have been able to see of the number employed are so contradictory,
* Quoted by the Rev. E. Bickersteth, in his “ Remarks on the progress of Popery," p. 66.
+ Parliamentary Papers on Aboriginal Tribes, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th Aug. 1834, p. 148. The instructions given by this society to one of the missionaries, sounds very unapostolical to Catholic ears. It begins thus : “ Instructions of the Committee of the Church Missionary Society to the Rer. W. Watson, and Mrs. Watson, on their proceeding to New South Wales on a mission to the aborigines of New Holland. Dearly beloved in the Lord! The Committee address you, Mr. and Mrs. Watson, with a paternal solicitude.” (p. 151.) Has the society episcopal, or other jurisdiction, that it has parental rights over ordained ministers of the Gospel ? or are these missionaries sent by the society?