Imágenes de páginas

your attention to a fascinating but pauperism; and all, as they say, and most injurious volume which has probably have so persuaded themlately issued from the domestic re- selves, for the honour of God, and pository in Albemarle Street. It is the salvation of their souls ! How the twenty-fifth Number of the Fa- much is such a change brought about mily Library, and contains a history by such conduct to be deprecated ! of the mutiny of the Bounty, its How lamentable is it to reflect, that cause and consequences. With the an island on which nature has laaccount of Captain Bligh's open- vished so many of her bounteous boat navigation, the subsequent wreck gifts, with which neither Cyprus, of the Pandora, and the recent dis. nor Cythera, nor the fanciful island covery of the relics of the mutineers of Calypso, can compete in splendid on Pitcairn's island, we are all fami. luxuriant beauties, should be doomed liarly acquainted; and the story is to such a fate in an enlightened age now told over again with double in- and by a people that call themselves terest, heightened by the recital of civilized.” (p. 39.)—You would have much original matter from the records justified me, sir, I believe, in chain the Admiralty, a fact to be noticed racterising such a paragraph by lanin the sequel ; and further, by the guage more reprehensory than has publication of various manuscript been used; and particularly when I communications from private sources. add, that other portions of the volume If the work had been confined to are constructed upon the same printhese details, it would be difficult to ciple. The work affords ample inmention a performance in modern ternal evidence respecting the person literature more deeply impressive as who has furnished this very offensive a tale—an authentic tale taking the addition to the Family Library. He highest place among the romances of has at command the records of the real life, and vividly illustrating the Admiralty; and it is desirable to operations of Divine Providence among know under what restrictions the the affairs of mankind. But the editor authorities at that station allow the has polluted the narrative by such use of their papers to a compiler of gratuitous derision of the sacred books, who interweaves into what cause of Christian missions, as must might otherwise be an innocent and awaken the grief and righteous in- useful narrative the darkest insinuadignation of all who believe that tions ofinfidelity. When the very first Jesus Christ said to his earliest and missionary voyage of modern times his latest disciples, “ Go ye into all was undertaken, and to this sameisland the world, and preach the Gospel to of Tahiti, in 1796, the then governevery creature.” In proof of the ment of this country directly enjustice of my reprehension, I copy couraged the attempt, by remitting the following paragraph :

certain dues payable by the vessel "All these cottages' are now when she sailed from theriver; and, in destroyed; and the remnant of the other instances, either patronized the population has crept down to the project, or, to say the least, withheld flats and swampy ground on the sea every expression of disapprobation. shore, completely subservient to the It is also notorious that Lord Byron, seven establishments of missionaries together with all the officers and who have taken from them what crew of the Blonde, treated with little trade they used to carry on, to perfect respect the British and Amepossess themselves of it; who have rican Missionaries of Hawaii, as those their warehouses, act as agents, and excellent men have gratefully and monopolize all the cattle on the warmly acknowledged. On the other island (Tahiti); but, in return, they hand, the Quarterly Review has had have given them a new religion and a lamentable share in the guilty a parliament, (risum teneatis ?) and warfare, waged of late years against reduced them to a state of complete the Polynesian Missions; and it is impossible not to identify a writer offence even to the directors and in that periodical with one of Mr. agents of the London Society, who Murray's domestic librarians. The would doubtless have rejoiced in first attack, with the exception of a the success of any herald of the few insinuations in minor journals Gospel, provided he fulfilled his comtoo insignificant to detain public at- mission in sincerity and truth. As tention, was made in the Quarterly, to the system propagated by the which actually attempted to sink the agents in question, it was indeed, I Christian cause in the Pacific by a entirely confess, “a new religion;" forged letter; and this letter was quite as new as St. Paul preached to forwarded for publication from the the sensualists of Corinth and the Admiralty ! * I am not accusing the philosophers of Athens, when he proLords Commissioners of having, either claimed among those Gentiles also directly or obliquely, permitted any the unsearchable riches of Christ.” individual to abuse their trust. The If the credit due, by the courtesies fault, I believe, lay exclusively with of literature and of civilized life to an official person, who had access men's report of their public conduct, to our naval muniments. However, be given to Ellis and his predecessors this reviewer was refuted by almost and associates ; I, for one, must alredundant evidence both from Ame- lege, that a more pure and consistent rica and England; but he never scheme of Christianity was never ofowned his offence. After some time, fered by uninspired men to the exEllis's Polynesian Researches were amination and acceptance of manrecommended to the public in the kind, than was framed under their Review, with an earnestness and en- ministry. I can only take their thusiasm almost equal to its former own statements, for I have none vituperations. Since then, the usual other, except indeed from such invacillation of principle has been dis- cidental notices as have been given covered in its pages, while Captains by the French minister of marine, Kotzebue and Beechey have joined the and from similar witnesses ; that is, war, by repeating exploded accusa- from men who simply have told what tions; and they have been faintly has come in their way in the ordiechoed in the same journal, which nary manner; not from partisans seems determined to go all the of the mission cause, nor from its lengths it prudently can, and gradu- avowed enemies, but from those ally to retreat from the ground which voyagers who beheld with astonishMr. Southey, the acknowledged re- ment the reformation of manners in viewer of Ellis, was allowed to oc- the voluptuous Hesperides, the once cupy. What will the Quarterly “Cytherean ” islands of the south. Reviewer, or the compiler of the The missionaries have themselves Mutiny of the Bounty, or both, now fully explained the source of the say to Mr. Montgomery's excellent enmity against their proceedings. digest of the manuscripts of Bennet It is simply this : the Gospel, by its and Tyerman; a work which equals, influence on the natives, has opposed or surpasses, the performance of Mr. the licentious habits of the sailors ; Ellis ?

the men have become moral and If the opponents of the South-Sea peaceable, and the women modest Missions had expressed a wish (as and virtuous. The religion which others have done), that they had effects such changes is a new religion been prosecuted by the Established wherever it comes : the world canChurch, such an intimation might not love it, and there seems in the have been made with perfect con- minds of too many, even in a prosistency; and, let us add, without fessedly Christian country, a secret

feeling as if all was lost when any * See your volume for 1827, pp. 638 obstacle is opposed to the pleasures and 792

of sin which are for a season : the sun of Polynesia has set; its joys are denly, the narrator deviates from his gone; there are no longer any of province, and plunges into an unthose dances by midnight, or cere- timely attempt to ruin a cause which monies, or picturesque exhibitions of this very Christian parent, with his war, which have been so much ad. family and cherished circle of friends, mired in the beautiful engravings to have long and cordially supported. Cook's Voyages. No, all is gone; He perceives, too, that in the three and what is the substitute? Why, hundred and fifty-six pages of this says the anti-missionary, we have Mutiny of the Bounty, there is a sermons, and hymns, and serious sprinkling of irreligious commentary, faces, and the demolition of curious worse, perhaps, than a regular attack; edifices and barbaric grandeur, under an imitation of Gibbon, who also dethe masses of tropical foliage and the viated from his immediate subject, shades of romantic precipices. Yes, that he might wound Christianity we have these things, and we have by a side thrust. The end is, that also the cause of them, for“life and im- the parent locks up a book which, mortality are brought to light by the had it even preserved a quiet neuGospel.” With the development of trality upon religious topics, would these things, it would be assuredly be, I repeat, one of the most fascistrangeif there did not also appear cor- nating and striking productions of ruption, hypocrisy, and all that dis- the modern press. graced the primitive congregations Where are these things, sir, to of Corinth, Galatia, and Sardis: and end ? Have Mr. Murray's agents all that has, since their day, evidenced learned nothing from the example of the success of Satan and the world Milner's History of the Jews ? And in the pollutions of the visible church. is the Quarterly Review alternately · I am afraid, sir, of infidelity; I am to bless and curse the missionaries afraid of the cholera; I am afraid of who have done so great things in domestic agitation and treachery; the Pagan world, and are yet adbut I fear more than these awful vancing in their beatified course ? sources of alarm such writers, with One thing, amidst all this confusion, their patrons also, as poison the may comfort us: Good is doing ; fountains of home and educational otherwise the world would sleep on, literature, by productions sheltered regardless of the power and progress under the apparently secure name of the Gospel. Let a Romanist, or of A Family Library. One might a Protestant formalist, make ten have hoped, that a most sacred cau- thousand converts in the “ delicious tion would have been exercised in isles of the southern hemisphere,” the preparation of what was empha- on their several principles, and Cy. tically designed for a parental fire- thera will be Cythera still. Public side. Here, at least, might contro. worship may go on through the versy have suspended its complaints, Sunday, and the old customs be and reserved itself for a more ap- observed-saving the more disgustpropriate exhibition. But observe ing and absurd usages of idolatrythe course of facts : A Christian for the rest of the week; and no one parent draws around him his Christ- will forge letters, and quote private mas circle of children, and their journals of officers, to subvert the companions, and for an evening hour new religion. There will be nothing has eagerly bought a book, attractive to agitate the conscience; no comfrom its title, and containing what punctious visitings, which their subhe previously supposed to be, from ject will strive to repel by sneer and his early remembrances, a story ex- sarcasm-nothing of this, but, in all actly suited to amuse and improve likelihood, a few defensive remarks, his domestic audience. The work followed up by compliments to misis in full reading, and the younglings sionaries “ of a liberal and sagacious are all deep attention; when, sud- character," who, in the antipodes, forget the doctrines which made deration should relieve the mind from them enemies so long as they re- its languor and temptation to lapse mained in Europe. I only hope, into indifference; while we further that the society which has been so recollect, that many promises are highly honoured by the success of given to those who “gird up their its missionaries and also by the de- loins and hope to the end," and rision and scorn accumulated against “ faithful is He who hath promised, them- will persevere more earnestly; who also will do it.” will “ agonize" to prosecute the Di. I cannot close without observing, vine work,“ in no wise terrified by that although the editor of the Family their adversaries.” Every act of Library has selected for his attack a hostility from the unbelieving world particular branch of Christian misshould be to them a token of good, sions, and, possibly, thought himself an undesigned stimulus to exertion, the more secure if he bore down, in a proof that the kingdom of dark- the first instance, upon a vessel offi. ness is falling before the Cross. cered and manned under sectarian « These shall make war with the patronage ; yet, let the members of Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome the Church Missionary Society rethem.” The allies of the prince of member, that they have common this world will indeed struggle des- cause with all who wave the banner parately to keep what they have, of the cross. Tua res agitur. And and to regain what they have lost; I offer this to their consideration and the last convulsions may be more with the greater seriousness, from a terrible than the early strife. We conviction that the doctrine diffused must not be startled, should we lin- in Polynesia is essentially the same ger ten or twenty years longer in with the leading principles of their this lower state, if we hear rumours own church. And if any one imafrom Polynesian Christendom of in- gines that the Gospel, when faithdividual, or even national, relapses fully preached and livedwe must into abominations now seeming to never disjoin the two-by a clergybe buried in deep oblivion. The man, will conciliate the enemies of soul, indeed, shrinks from such a missionaries in the South Sea, and revulsion ; and the mere suspicion ensure their patronage to schemes of the possibility that thus might of instruction founded on the comperish all of what has been done, mon basis of all believers, he will sickens the heart, and tends to dis- sooner or later be undeceived. There couragement and despondency. Yet are numberless facts already rethese things have been ! Regions, corded in silence, or divulged in where the missions of the apostolic esoteric circles, proving the identity age once flourished and were lux- of the human heart under all circumuriant in the growth of truth, are stances. An irreligious and secularnow barren, and might appear to be ized separatist will be flattered by doomed to perpetual sterility. Even the man who frowns upon the dein those cases, however, all has not vout and world-abjuring churchman ; been lost; neither will the churches and, alas! there have been, and are, of the Pacific, should they likewise those who have only established be annihilated, be unproductive of their claim to orthodoxy, when they eternal fruit. Many believers, in all have defended certain branches of these communities, have been saved; Christian truth, without extending and many, in the existing example, such truth into their daily conduct. are in the way to salvation. So that In this relation, infidelity itself will supposing the assemblies of the South allow us to contribute to missions, Sea to be what the assemblies of so long as we do not irritate a scepEphesus, Thyatira, and Philadelphia tic's conscience by a consistent life, now are, the labour of missionaries

ASYNCRITUS. will not have been in vain. This consi

a deceitful lustre over an event which REMARKS ON NO. IV. OF THE EDIN- the reader feels he ought to condemn. BURGH CABINET LIBRARY. And in another place he talks of the

ill-fated Saul. To the Editor of the Christian Observer. The chapter on the literature and As you pointed out the evil tendency religion of the Jews, I think parof Mr. Milman's History of the Jews, ticularly objectionable. Instead of by which I and many of your readers speaking of the latter as a revelation escaped the painful feelings which from God the writer talks of it as arise from reading such works, you the wise institutions of Moses. At may, perhaps, confer the same favour page 119 be says, that Saul, before on them when you read a few sen- he mounted the throne, was sent to tences from a work which appears to acquire the elements of learning me to be highly pernicious. I refer amongst the sons of the prophets, to the History of Palestine, which whom in a short time he accomforms the fourth volume of the Edin. panied in their pious exercises, in a burgh Cabinet Library, by the Rev. manner so elevated as to astonish M. Russel D.D., who is, I believe, every one who formerly knew the the clergyman of the Episcopal Chapel young Benjamite. At page 124 he at Leith. It is well written, and con- mentions the Psalms of David and tains much condensed information; the Proverbs of Solomon as fine exand I have seen commendations of it, amples of the fruits of their profesand extracts from it, in several news- sional studies. At page 147, he says papers (whether genuine, or paid for that it is a proof of the purity of as advertisements, I know not), so Hebrew poetry, that it has been that it will probably be widely cir- introduced into the service of the culated. The increasing number of Christian church; no other nation of cheap publications, such as the above, the ancient world having produced the Family Library, the Library of a single poem that could be used by Entertaining Knowledge, and Lard- an enlightened people in the days of ner's Cyclopedia, makes it very im- improved devotion. Hesiod, although portant that Christian publications much esteemed for the moral tone of should watch over them, and point his compositions, presents very few out their errors; for this evil comes ideas capable of being accommodated in an unsuspected form, and finds its to the theology of an improved age. way unnoticed into many families. Is not this putting the Psalms of

I proceed to copy, as a specimen, David and the poems of Hesiod into a few things from the History of an unwarrantable juxta-position ? Palestine.

I think I have copied enough to At pp. 46 and 47 the writer says, shew that the tendency of the work that Joshua consented to the Jews is injurious; it in fact speaks of the casting lots for the provinces which whole Jewish policy in a sort of were still in the hands of the Gentiles; philosophising tone, as if it had been but that the effects of this injudicious a mere human invention. The devout policy soon appeared. He says of reader feels greatly distressed at a Saul, p. 80, that the impetuosity of style of writing which divests the his character, and a certain indiffer- Old Testament narratives of their ence to the claims of the national sacredness, and discusses them much faith, paved the way for his downfall; as we should discuss the pages of a and adds, that the scene of Gilboa heathen historian. Such publications which terminated the career of the coming from the pens of clergymen, first Hebrew monarch, exhibits a and circulating unsuspected in famost affecting tragedy, in which the milies, are fearfully calculated to valour of a gallant chief contrasted extend that spirit of scepticism, neowith his despair and sorrow throws logy, and infidelity, which is already

« AnteriorContinuar »