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"draw contributions," or as an indication of "melancholy fanaticism." It says: "We pity the dreary delusion of the Manichees, who enthroned the Evil Principle in heaven. But if we proclaim that God is indeed one who could decree this more than Moloch sacrifice of the vast majority of his own creatures and children, for no fault or sin of theirs, we revive the error of the Manichee; for the God whom we preach as a destroyer of the guiltless, can be no God of justice, far less a God of love. It needs no exaggerations such as these to supply a sufficient motive for missionary enterprises. Our object is, to introduce Christianity with all the blessings that accompany it: its true views of God, its ennobling motives, its pure morality; the elevation of life and manners, the civilization, the knowledge, even the material progress, which are sure to follow in its train." In all which, the reader will observe, there is no recognition of any relations to eternity! Now against this secular theory of missions, we have three serious objections.
1. It rests upon too low a basis. The highest interests of man are spiritual; the noblest relations which he sustains, are to God and eternity; his choicest possession is character. To look out, then, upon nations sunk in the lowest moral degradation, nations who have utterly forgotten God and debased the soul; who are horribly corrupt in character; who resist the light which they have and try to shut out that which is poured around them, and who are as unfit for heaven as it is possible to conceive; and to talk merely of civilizing them and making them more comfortable and decent for this life, is to belittle the whole conception of man as a spiritual and immortal being accountable at the bar of God. A human soul is more than a mere animal to be fed and sheltered; more than a mere social being to be fitted for polite society; more than a mere citizen to be qualified to rule or to obey; more than a mere creature of intellect, capable of education. Earthly civilization by no means exhausts his powers, or secures the true end of his being. He is one possessed of moral character, subject to the Divine law, actually guilty of its violation, and needing pardon for the past and holiness for the future, that he may be accepted at the final judgment, and may be fitted to dwell with God and the angels in a higher and an eternal sphere of action. To overlook these chief interests of his existence, while seeking to, promote his temporal comfort and advancement, is to base missionary labors upon a foundation wholly inadequate.
2. This secular theory stands in opposition to the declarations of the Bible, with reference to heathen character and destiny. Its advocates repudiate the idea that the heathen are under condemnation as sinners and are justly exposed to eternal death. They regard these as persons simply ignorant, superstitious, degraded, and unfortunate; vicious perhaps in outward form but not in inward intent; mere babes in knowledge, whom it is well to instruct and elevate, but who are living according to their best conceptions of duty and are in no danger of divine condemnation. But however this view may suit the easy, superficial ideas and facile hopes of the sceptic, it will not satisfy the convictions of the Christian, who knows that the Bible teaches an opposite doctrine, and that Biblical descriptions of human character are always sustained by the most rigid investigation of facts.
It is certainly worthy of notice, that the Bible uniformly speaks of the character of idolaters in general as exceedingly corrupt. The description given of the various nations who dwelt in Canaan, and who are said to have been given up to destruction by the Israelites, for their horrible impieties and immoralities; the account of the inhabitants of the cities of the plain, as explanatory of their sudden and awful doom; the pains taken to guard the Israelites against social intercourse with the surrounding kingdoms, lest utter corruption should ensue; and the woes denounced by the prophets against all the heathen nations, not only for idolatry but also for every kind of vice, show that the ancient heathen were regarded by God as exceedingly guilty as well as degraded.
Nor are the references in the New Testament of a different nature. The Saviour speaks of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah, and of Tyre and Sidon, as under condemnation and awaiting their doom at the judgment, and uses their case to warn his hearers, lest by sinning against greater light, they should come to a still worse end. Paul discusses the character and condition of the heathen of his day repeatedly and at length, especially in his epistle to the Romans, in which he declares, that, though destitute of the written revelation, they have yet the double teaching of nature without and conscience within, and are therefore without excuse for their sins. "Because that which may be known of God, is manifest in [to] them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." "For as many as have sinned without [the written] law, shall also perish without [the condemnation of that] law. • * • * These having not the [written] law, are a law unto themselves. Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another." Many of those whom he addressed in his epistles had been idolaters; and in his ment ion of their original character before the gospel was preached to them, he never speaks of them as merely unfortunate, but as guilty, and refers to their former companions as in danger of eternal destruction by reason of their utter corruption of heart and life. One or two passages will suffice in proof. "Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth—fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry; for which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience; in the which ye also walked sometime, when ye lived in them" (Col. 3: 5—7). Compare also the following: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath even as others" (Eph. 2:1—3. See also 5: 3—7). Now add that terrible description of heathen character as Paul found it, given in the fourteen concluding verses of the first chapter of the epistle to the Romans, in which he barely alludes to crimes that decency forbade him to depict, and which existed amid the highest civilization of Greece and Rome, and it will be seen that if sin can exist anywhere, it exists in heathen lands. 'Our missionaries assure us that this is a true description of heathen society now, in all parts of the world. Says the Rev. Mr. Eckard, missionary to India : " I have read, this tremendous catalogue to assemblies of Hindoos, showing from facts which both they and I knew, that each of these sins belongs, in a high degree, to their national character. I have asked the heathen themselves, whether the crimes enumerated by the apostle were not their national characteristics. Never, that I remember, did I fail to hear them confess that such was the case." The Rev. Sheldon Dibble, in his earnest and valuable work, entitled "Thoughts on Missions," after quoting Paul's language, adds: "This description is not understood in Christian lands, neither can it be; but missionaries to the heathen, who are eye-witnesses of what is here described, place an emphasis on every epithet, and would clothe every word in capitals." Again, he says : " The character of the heathen is no better now than in the days of Paul. It is worse. It is impossible to describe the state of degradation and unblushing sin to which the nations, for ages sinking, have sunk. * * * It is impossible to give a representation of their unrestrained passions, the abominations connected with idol worship, or the scenes of discord, cruelty, and blood which everywhere abound. Deceit, oppression, and cruelty fill every hut with woe, and impurity deluges the land like an overflowing stream. Neither can it be said, that the conduct of the heathen becomes sinless through ignorance. From observation for many years I can assert, that they have consciences — that they feel accountable for what they do." And this last Vol. XV. No. 59. 47
assertion is Paul's inspired testimony also, for he conclude? his awful catalogue of heathen crimes with the words: "Who, knowing the judgment of God, that they who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." The heathen are not mere ignorant worshippers of idols, who through wrong education have fallen into the practice of erroneous ceremonies, while living otherwise in a state of savage simplicity and virtue; but they are men who sin against inward and outward light; who are consciously selfish, immoral, cruel, and beastly; who reject the truth when it is brought to them, because it condemns their vices; who, as a mass, doubtless wish to be different from what they are; and who, on being pressed, acknowledge that their course is wrong. The remorse which they express, the sacrifices which they offer, the tortures which they endure, the fear of divine wrath which they exhibit, all testify to their consciousness of guilt and their desire to propitiate the offended deity. Those who are brought into contact with them by travels, by trade, by war, or by efforts to instruct and elevate them, all testify to their mental capacity, their shrewdness, their quickness to distinguish between right and wrong,—especially where their own interests are involved,—and the superiority of their knowledge to their conduct. It is noticeable, also, that the men of the world who are ready to palliate or even deny the guilt of the heathen, when arguing against missions, are fully convinced of their accountability and guilt, when made to suffer by their crimes. Let a sea-captain be cheated in trade, or have articles stolen from his ship by the natives of a heathen land, and how full of indignation he is against their villany! Or, let a ship's crew be murdered and the cargo plundered, and how soon our rulers despatch a vessel of war to cannonade and burn the native village and to inflict "summary justice" upon the criminals! We hear nothing said, upon such occasions, of the ignorance and innocence of the heathen. All who speak intelligently and candidly, admit that they are sufficiently enlightened to be responsible for their conduct. Therefore the view of the Bible, sustained by all