« הקודםהמשך »
so, I then
origin of our christian faith, I arrest him upon worldly principles--I desire him to produce, from all the wisdom of the earth, so pure a system of practical morality—a code of ethics more sublime in its conception--more simple in its means--more happy and more powerful in its operation : and if he cannot do
say to him, Oh ! in the name of your own darling policy, filch not its guide from youth, its shield from manhood, and its crutch from age!
Though the light I follow may lead me astray, still I think it is light from Heaven! The good, and great, and wise, are my companions-my delightful hope is harmless, if not holy; and wake me not to a disappointment, which in your tomb of annihilation, I shall not taste hereafter! To propagate the sacred creed-to teach the ignorant--to enrich the poor---to illumine this world with the splendours of the next—to make men happy you have never seen and to redeem millions you can never know-you have sent your hallowed missionaries forward ; and never did an holier vision rise, than that of this celestial and glorious embassy. Methinks I see the band of willing exiles bidding farewell, perhaps forever, to their native country ;foregoing home, and friends, and luxury--to tempt the savage sea, or men more savage than the raging element—to dare the polar tempest, and the tropic fire, and often doomed by the forfeit of their lives to give their precepts a proof and an expiation. It is quite delightful to read over their reports, and see the blessed product of their labours. They leave no clime unvisited, no peril unencountered. In the South Sea Islands they found the population almost eradicated by the murders of idolatry. God Almighty,” says the royal convert of Otaheite, - who sent your mission to the remainder of mig people! I do not wish to shock your christian ears with the cruelties from which
have redeemed these islands. Will you believe it, that they had
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been educated in such cannibal ferocity, as to excavate the earth, and form an oven of burning stones, into which they literally threw their living infants, and gorged their infernal appetites with the flesh! Will you believe it, that they thought murder grateful to the God of Mercy !--and the blood of his creatures as their best libation ! In nine of these islands those abominations are extinct-infanticide is abolished their prisoners are exchanged-society is now cemented by the bond of brotherhood, and the accursed shrines that streamed with human gore, and blazed with human unction, now echo the songs of peace, and the sweet strains of piety. In India, too, where Providence for some special purpose, permits these little insular specks to hold above one hundred millions in subjection-phenomena scarcely to be paralleled in history—the spell of Brahma is dissolving—the chains of Caste are falling off-the wheels of Juggernaut are scarce ensanguinedthe horrid custom of self-immolation is daily disappearing--and the sacred stream of Jordan mingles with the Ganges. Even the rude soldier, 'mid the din of arms, and the license of the camp, “ makes," says our missionary, " the Bible the inmate of his knapsack, and the companion of his pillow.” Such has been the success of your missions in that country, that one of your own judges has publicly avowed, that those who left India some years ago can form no just idea of what now exists there. Turn from these lands to that of Africa, a name I now can mention without horror. In sixteen of their towns and many of their Islands, we see the sun of christianity arising, and as it rises, the whole spectral train of superstition vanishing in air. Agriculture and civilization are busy in the desert, and the poor Hottentot kneeling at the altar, implores his God to remember not the slave trade. If any. thing, sir, could add to the satisfaction that I feel, it is the consciousness that knowledge and christianity are advancing, hand in hand, and that wherever I see your missionaries journeying, I see schools rising up, as it were, the landmark of their progress. And who can tell what the consequences of this
be in after ages? Who can tell whether those remote regions may not, hereafter, become the rivals of European inprovement ? Who shall place a ban upon the intellect derived from the Almighty? Who shall say
that the future poet shall not fascinate the wilds, and that the philosopher and the statesman shall not repose together beneath the shadow of their palm trees? This may be visionary, but surely, in a moral point of view, the advantages of education are not visionary. [A long and continued burst of applause followed this passage, and prevented the reporter from detailing some most excellent remarks on the advantages of the cultivation of the human mind.) These, sir-the propagation of the gospel--the advancement of science and industry ---the perfection of the arts—the diffusion of knowledge--the happiness of mankind here and hereafter-these are the blessed objects of your missionaries, and, compared with these, all human ambition sinks into the dust: the ensanguined chariot of the conqueror pauses—the sceptre falls from the imperial grasp the blossom withers even in the patriot's garland. But deeds like these require no panegyric-in the words of that dear friend whose name can never die~[In this allusion to his lamented friend, Curran, Mr. Phillips' feelings were evidently much affected]_“They are recorded in the heart from whence they sprung, and in the hour of adverse vicissitude, if ever it should arrive, sweet will be the odour of their memory, and precious the balm of their consolation.'
Before I sit down, sir, I must take the liberty of saying that the principal objection which I have heard raised against your institution is with me the principal motive of my admiration - allude, sir, to
the diffusive principles on which it is founded. I have seen too much, sir, of sectarian bigotry-as a man, I abhor it—as a christian, I blush at it-it is not only degrading to the religion that employs even the shadow of intolerance, but it is an impious despotism in the government that countenances it.These are my opinions, and I will not suppress them. Our religion has its various denominations, but they are struggling to the same mansion, though by different avenues, and when I meet them on their way-I care not whether they be protestant or presbyterian, dissenter or catholic, I know them as christians, and I will embrace them as my brethren. I hail, then, the foundation of such a society as this -I hail it, in many respects, as an happy omen-I hail it as an augury of that coming day when the bright bow of christianity, commencing in the Heavens, and encompassing the earth, shall include the children of every clime and colour beneath the arch of its promise and the glory of its protection.
2 Speech delivered at a Dinner given on Dinas Island,
in the Lake of Killarney, on Mr. Phillips' healtli being given, together with that of Mr. Payne, a young American.
It is not with the vain hope of returning by words the kindnesses which have been literally showered on me during the short period of our acquaintance, that I now interrupt, for a moment, the flow of your festivity. Indeed, it is not necessary; an Irishman needs no requital for his hospitality; its generous impulse is the instinct of his nature, and the very consciousness of the act carries its recompense along with it. But, sir, there are sensations excited by an allusion in your toast, under the influence of which silence would be impossible. To be asso
ciated with Mr. Payne must be, to any one who regards private virtues and personal accomplishments, a source of peculiar pride ; and that feeling is not a little enhanced in me by a recollection of the country to which we are indebted for his qualifications. Indeed, the mention of America has never failed to fill me with the most lively emotions. In my earliest infancy, that tender season when impressions, at once the most permanent and the most powerful, are likely to be excited, the story of her then recent struggle raised a throb in every heart that loved liberty, and wrung a reluctant tribute even from discomfited oppression. I saw her spurning alike the luxuries that would enervate, and the legions that would intimidate; dashing from her lips the poisoned cup of European servitude ; and, through all the vicissitudes of her protracted conflict, displaying a magnanimity that defied misfortune, and a moderation that gave new grace to victory. It was the first vision of my childhood; it will descend with me to the
But if, as a man, I venerate the mention of America, what must be my feelings towards her as an Irishman. Never, oh never, while memory remains, can Ireland forget the home of her emigrant, and the asylum of her exile. No matter whether their sorrows sprung from the errors of enthusiasm, or the realities of suffering, from fancy or infliction ; that must be reserved for the scrutiny of those whom the lapse of time shall acquit of partiality. It is for the men of other ages to investigate and record it; but surely it is for the men of every age to hail the hospitality that received the shelterless, and love the feeling that befriended the unfortunate. Search creation round, where can you find a country that presents so sublime a view, so interesting an anticipation? What noble institutions! What a comprehensive policy! What a wise equalisation of every political advantage! The oppressed of all countries, the martyrs of every