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how clustering to our shores from all quarters of the globe. We view them as sent to us by the overruling providence of God, that they may here learn our religion, our laws and institutions, and become the means of carrying these privileges back to the home of their fathers. In this way a new leaf is to be opened up in the history of missions. Much credit as may be due to the noble-hearted men who have gone abroad from Christian lands as missionaries to the heathen, it is vain to expect that the great mass of Pagan nations can be brought to Christianity by their labors. They can but sow the seed; “and herein is that saying true, one Soweth and another reapeth.” The harvest must be gathered in by those who belong to the land where the seed has taken root. No people can be so advantageously and universally instructed as where the teachers and the taught speak the same vernacular language, and sympathise with each other through the countless cords of the heart, which a foreigner cannot so happily touch. Native instructors must do the work, and they can never be so amply qualifi
ed for their task as by having lived in the midst of a people, and mingled with a people, where they have not only learned the truths of Christianity, but have also seen its practical workings, and have
been witnesses of the blessings it bestows. 6
Our age and our country have already furnished a remarkable demonstration of this. Time has fully shown how little can be done for Africa unless by those who properly belong to her own race of the human family. Long, painfully long, has she remained what she has often been called, “opprobrium humani generis,” the reproach of mankind, because of her deep and unrelieved degradation. Notwithstanding the most persevering efforts made by some of her best and most devoted friends, sad experience has shown that she never can be elevated and enlightened by the labors of white men. They are under the ban of her climate; and she has written her stern decree for their exclusion all along her coast, in the graves of those to whom it was allowed only to die for the cause for which they had hoped to live and labor. All now admit that if ever Africa is redeemed from darkness it must be the work of her own sons, and of their descendants, trained for a successful entrance on the service by having enjoyed the privileges of a Christian land. And since the work has passed into their hands a success has followed it that has silenced even the scoffer. “ Ethiopia is stretching out her hands unto God.” Regions on her coast, lately “filled with the habitations of cruelty,” are blessed with the light of life. A cordon of moral health begins to surround her, not to confine pestilence within, but to exclude pirates from without, whose ruthless violence has long soaked her sands in the tears and blood of her children. Liberia is a Christian and a free country; and, like “a city set on a hill,” is showing to the world what Africans can become, and can accomplish, when moulded under the power of the Gospel. It was in America, and while dwelling in the midst of us, that the men who have thus begun the work of evangelizing the land of their fathers were trained for their high enterprise; and our nation has enjoyed the opportunity of showing how successfully colonies may be planted, without entailing on them the evils of colonial dependence. Let us also look at China. Missionary means and labors have been expended there without interruption for many years, but with comparatively small success. The land still continues walled in from the approach of the Gospel, and the inhabitants boast that its citadels of darkness remain impregnable, whether assailed by one denomination of Christians or another. Their habitual jealousy and studied contempt for foreigners seems to shut their ears against the truth which its ablest advocate may present to them; and their language is so intricate and perplexing that it costs him the labor of
years before he can either speak or write it with freedom and confidence." No argument can be required to show what an impulse would be given to the spread of Christianity in China by the native Chinaman, who, having witnessed and felt the power of the Gospel in a Christian land, would then return with a heart yearning for the salvation of his countrymen, “beseeching them, in Christ's stead, to be reconciled unto God.” But where, and how are the proud jealous sons of that long secluded and wide empire to be qualified for such an important service? Not many years since it would have been scarce possible to give an answer to the question. Recent events, already noticed, suggest a reply. The advance of our nation, with her institutions both ci
vil and religious, to the shores of the Pacific, was an important step in the civilization of the world ; and now, when under the aegis of her protection, she is bringing to light the rich resources of that long neglected region, the dormant faculties of the various nations in Eastern Asia will soon be quickened into new activity. The Celestial Empire already begins to lose the spell which bound the Chinaman in the belief that it contains within itself every thing of value, and that every thing “on the outside" of its confines is barbarous and worthless. The new, but restless desire to learn the secret of our strength, when we have opened a new way to his doors, will impel him to show himself among us. And when the Chinaman comes he will soon be followed by others. When our country shall have become, as we have described, the great highway for the commercial wealth of the world as it passes from one continent to another, it will call to our shores myriads from north, south, east and west, until every language shall be spoken, and every tribe and kindred of the human family shall be seen among us. The effect of such a state of things on the religious interests of mankind was not overlooked by the “Holy men of God, speaking as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” A commerce which will bring together countries now far distant from each other, a commerce which forms that very branch of enterprise and industry in which our nation is fast taking the lead, is distinctly described in prophetic language, as yet to have a wide-felt influence in turning the whole earth to the Lord. “ Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel.” When I look forward to that day, a day of such large, if not measureless means of doing good to
* Note L.