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the soil, the roots of the tree which has at length attracted the gaze of the world. If it be such in the germ, what shall it be in its maturity? We tremble to think of the manhood of that nation which, after existing two thousand years, is yet a child. As long ago as the time of the Athenian Republic, the foundation of the present power of Russia began to be laid;1 and while other nations have been springing up, growing old, and perishing around it, this preparatory work has gone steadily forward;2 and though only the lowest stones of the superstructure have as yet been placed, it already awes or excites the jealousy of half the world.3
Such is the power with which the Greek church, after its many misfortunes, has at length become connected. The type of mind which it represented in its early ages, can be traced back to the beginning of the history of redemption. Christianity grew less Oriental, in its modes of expression, as it made further progress among the nations of the West; and when the spiritual authority of Rome became worldwide, like her temporal dominion, the Eastern Christians very naturally were disturbed. While Occidental tastes only
1 "The Russian, therefore," says Mr. Bancroft, after stating the case, "is of all the present European peoples the one which may lay the best grounded claims to antiquity of residence in its present abodes. In the darkness of ancient centuries, extending over vast plains, into which the genius of Greeeo and the arms of Rome never penetrated, this people were slowly ripening to nationality during the aL'es of classic splendor, when Solon gave laws to the Athenians, and Borne strove after principles of public justice and liberty.''
- There have been domestic revolutions; yet these seem to have been peaceful comparatively, and to have resulted uniformly in the greater prosperity of the nation. All is tradition and vague conjecture up to the time of the republic Novgorod. That lasted till sometime alter the middle of the ninth century, whi'ii the dynasty of Rtirick commenced, which was succeeded by the Ramanow family.
8 Many persons predicted that the Russian empire would begin to wane after the death of the late CV.iir. Nicholas. Such, however, does not seem to be the fact. The present emperor has already distinguished himself in his negotiations with o:her powers; and l>y hi* efforts to recover from the effects of the late war, to elevate his people and develop the natural resources of his empire. Should he. or any other Czar, prove false to " the destiny of Russia." we may infer from the i "st what t\v i onsi'qui'iices would be. s(„M secret m •ans would pro'i^'r be in ilov d o iiury Mm out of the world; tnd a more energetic, member of the ■ •' f' 'i •on .1 lake Lis place.
were consulted in the ecclesiastical regimen, they felt themselves neglected and more or less trammelled. A different nationality, language, and intellectual habit; different social customs and impatience of a foreign yoke, alienated them, or rather prevented them from ever agreeing with the Latins. Upon the founding of Constantinople, these peculiarities began distinctly to show themselves. Neither party desired a separate organization at first, but only to become predominant over the other. For a time, owing to temporary causes, the straggle turned in favor of the Greeks; but ultimately Roman will, aided by a powerful prestige and the nations of Western Europe, triumphed. Thereupon the Eastern church was excommunicated, and has ever since been regarded as a schism by Romanists; just the reverse of which would probably have been the fact, had the conflict terminated in favor of the Orientals. After the conquest of the Eastern empire by the Turks, the Greek church lay in an utterly prostrate condition for want of a civil protector. At length, however, it has found a champion in the great Northern power of Europe. It possesses resources, and is beginning to breathe a spirit such as gave the victory to the Latin church in former times. Nothing but expansion, and a firm establishment in the country of the United States, can save the papacy from decaying, through the same cause? which proved fatal to the Greek church in a former age. With Russia, this latter organization is now destined to rise, and flourish, and reign; not to reign in any high and scriptural sense, for how degraded must the most powerful church appear when it is but an instrument in the hand of secular authority; but destined to reign in a better sense, more permanently, and on a broader scale than when it enjoyed the protection of the Eastern Ctesars. Its history is yet to be written; the most brilliant parts of that history are yet to be acted. If the facts to which we have just adverted may be taken as the shadows of what is to come, the Greek church need not be disheartened on account of its reverses heretofore. It can be patient. It can afford to wait. Calmly and cheerfully may it bide its time. A prospect is opening before it, in the anticipation of which it can smile on Ihe past. If the omens of the future be not very deceptive, the day is coming when It shall be the triumphant, and Rome the down-trodden, church. Then Greek Christianity shall have its partial historians, who, with unwearied pen, shall tell the story of its conflicts, its reverses, and its final victories— ever and anon throughout their ponderous tomes, ablaze with the successes and oblivious of the errors of their mother church, pointing the reader to some dishonest footnote, which shall allude to the great Italian schism with a pious sneer; and Protestantism, in its battles with this last corrupter of the truth, shall forget the falsehoods and usurpations of the papal power.
BT REV. TV. W. PATTON, CnlCAGO, ILL.
A Thought lies behind every deed, an idea is illustrated in every achievement. The ideal may be but dimly revealed in the consciousness of him who labors at the practical; yet by it is his work guided and his toil sublimed. Plans which are comprehensive in their scope, should find their justification and encouragement in true theories; for, if advocated upon false grounds, they will either entirely fail of success, or will be feebly prosecuted and attended by mortifying and disastrous imperfections. No cause can permanently triumph, which does not vindicate its claims to the minds of intelligent men. Action, to be vigorous and sustained,
1 Christian Missions: their Principles and Practice. Westminster Review for July 1856.
Christian Missions. North British Review for August 1856.
must be based on perceived truth, must appeal to the ripe convictions of the more enlightened portion of the community.
It is on this account that we propose, in the present Article, to inquire after the true theory of missions to the heathen, particularly as respects their object and necessity.
The work of foreign missions, as the enterprise of evangelizing the heathen is called, has, since the apostolic period, always been prosecuted to some extent by the Christian church; but within the last half century it has attracted increased attention, partly by reason of a revived spirit of piety, and partly from the new facilities of exploration and labor furnished by the present age. Earnest, thoughtful, and sanctified minds have been its advocates and self-denying agents. The great mass of true Christians have supported it by their prayers and contributions. It has even conquered, to no small extent, the prejudices of worldly men and secured their occasional commendation. All classes, infidels scarcely excepted, declare that the work is honorable and important, and should be carried forward with energy till light has penetrated the remotest regions of darkness. But when we inquire for the basis upon which the enterprise should be prosecuted, for the necessity which vindicates the work, the answers are various and conflicting. The end to be secured by foreign missions differs in the opinion of different men, who may be arranged, however, in three classes, each with an independent theory of missions.
L First, we have what may be termed the worldly or unevangelical theory. This advocates the cause of missions on secular rather than religious grounds; or, at best, on a basis of morality rather than of piety. Travellers meet with missionaries, are hospitably entertained, visit the schools and churches, behold the superior condition of the converted natives in all secular respects, and return home with a favorable report of the influence of missions in heathen communities. Men of science find, in the journals of missionaries, a record of facts connected with the geography, history, natural productions, and geological phenomena of distant lands, and speak in a complimentary manner of the intelligence which they display and of the service which they render to the civilized world. Scholars also cheerfully acknowledge the debt which they owe to the researches of missionaries into the languages and literature of nations with whom there was before little intercourse. In like manner, the friends of education look with complacence upon the efforts of missionaries to remove the ignorance of the heathen nations, and praise their common schools, their seminaries, and their printing-presses. And then the moralist and philanthropist behold the degradation, the crimes, the cruelties and the sufferings of barbarous nations giving way before the meliorating influence of the gospel, and they add their commendation of missions. Even infidels do not hesitate to express a favorable opinion on such grounds. Thus the Westminster Review, the organ of the British philosophic "free-thinkers," in an Article entitled " Christian Missions— their principle and practice" (July, 1856), declares the true and liberal theory to be, " the hope of raising whole nations out of a state of idolatrous corruption of morals into a condition of Christian civilization ;" and in reference to Greece acknowledges, that the best hope for that country lies in the young generation reared under the influence of various Protestant missionaries. But these sceptical admirers repudiate the religious basis altogether, and will admit no necessity for missions as regards the spiritual well-being and final salvation of the unevangelized communities. Thus the Westminster Review, in the Article just cited, scoffs at the idea that the heathen are in any danger of damnation; and with reference to missions among Jews and Mohammedans, says: " We confidently declare success in this kind of mission to be impossible, as long as it is based on a religious ground and prosecuted by any theological agency." Even writers who are supposed to have evangelical sympathies, seem disposed to adopt this theory. Thus the North British Review, conducted by members of the Free church of Scotland, ridicules (August, 1856) the idea that missions are needed to save the souls of the heathen, as either put forth to