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nian church. How could it be otherwise since the - Review even confesses to “the deplorable ignorance of many of their clergy, the superstitious and doctrinal errors which have been the accretion of centuries,” and that “the spirit of a cold, objective formalism hung over them, with its icy atmosphere, chilling their hearts and withering the germ of spiritual life.
Is it so surprising that a warm-hearted young convert should pray “extemporaneously” for such a clergy and church?
Toward the Nestorians the policy las been different. They are a peculiar people, and so have received peculiar treatment. While it cannot be said that even among them the Board has acted on the “conciliatory principle,” it cannot be said, after thirty years, that it is “looking to the establishment of a distinct church.” It still is hopeful that it may see that ancient missionary church reformed, as such, with her Episcopal constitution substantially remaining to her. A thorough spiritual reform is what the Board is aiming at, in dependence on the ever blessed Spirit; and so far as the government of the church and its prescribed worship do not stand in the way, it is not aggressive. With the Nestorian clergy its course from the first has been conciliatory, and as far as now appears, may continue to be so. The Board would do no unnecessary violence to the prejudices and habits of those ancient churches, the Greek, the Armenian, and the Nestorian. It would show Jesus unto them, who is more than ecclesiastical government and forms, “as he who hath builded a house hath more honor than the house."
The instructions of the Prudential Committee, delivered by Dr. Anderson, to the Rev. Cyrus Hamlin, when about to embark on his Turkish mission, in 1839, declare the entire and constant policy of the Board with reference to those Oriental churches. We close this topic, viewed in so unfortunate a light by the “Church Review," with a few passages from those instructions.
“ These churches must be reformed. Lights must be made to burn once more upon those candlesticks that remain. The fire of a pure Christianity must be rekindled upon those Christian altars.” “It is indeed certain that they will one day be renovated. The elements of reform are already among them.” “ Those churches have sunk too low to rise speedily without assistance. They need an impulse from without. They need help from their Christian brethren.” “Our object is not to subvert them ; not to pull down and build up anew. It is to reform them; to revive among them, as has been said, the knowledge and spirit of the gospel. It is no part of our object to introduce Congregationalism, or Presbyterianism, among them. . . . We are content that their present ecclesiastical organization should remain, provided the knowledge and spirit of the gospel can be revived under it.” Miss. Herald, 1839, pp. 39-44.
But the revived and quickened members in these churches were excommunicated, exiled, and outlawed, and so the Board had no alternative left, if it would provide at all for them spiritually, but to have them organized into new churches. So the Evangelical Armenian Churches are the fruit of necessity, and not of the policy or original choice of the Board.
In the examination of this Memorial volume and other documents pertaining to the Board, few things have interested us more than the studied and well arranged policy throughout, and a constant tendency and pressure to develop and employ the native forces on the missionary ground to establish Christianity.
In the outset the Board assumes no ecclesiastical connection with or control over its missionaries. They are left to manage in their church relations and ecclesiastical polity as they please. As to churches and ecclesiastical bodies springing up among the converts, they are earnestly advised not to connect themselves as members with them,
Here our system of missions divides radically from that of our Episcopal brethren. Their missions are an extension of their church, and they consider themselves obligated to organize church government and to exercise ecclesiastical control over all their missionary agents. But the Board regards its functions as exhausted when it has selected its agents and furnished them with pecuniary means and with counsels for bringing the heathen to Christ. It feels that it must leave them on the mission field to their independent judgment and choice in the matter of church order and government. The design is to slide responsibility along to the prospective Christian churches and communities that are to be formed on heathen ground. Adopting this idea, the missions theoretically and practically assume
that they are not colonies, or settlements, but movable, migratory bodies. So soon as they can plant Christian institutions in a place and feel that they will be safe under native management and support, they are to leave for another field. The personal work of the missionary is temporary. So soon as the new Christian material can wisely be organized into churches, this is to be done, and with the expectation that as soon as possible those churches become self-managed and self-supported. Looking to this end of his work, that he may depart for a new field to conquer, he is empowered and instructed to raise up native helpers, — the catechist, school
master preacher, and pastor. As he is to leave only native churches and forces behind him, he does not become a member or pastor of one of them. It is in the theory that the foreign and native Christian are to separate so soon as it is safe for the latter. Then it is good for him to bear the yoke in his youth, by being from the first and organically separate from the other. The pastor should be of the same race, social condition, sympathy, and style of living with his church. Hence it has been necessary, in the education of a native ministry, to guard most carefully against elevating them above the people with whom they are to dwell, or making their manners and customs unlike those that are national to their future flocks.
This general theory and practice of the Board and of its mission being foreknown, it is exceedingly interesting to trace in this Memorial, and in the reports and official papers of the Board, a purpose and spirit permeating the whole, to raise up an able and independent Christian community around every mission, and then, as soon as safe, remove the mission as a foreign and temporary substance, as the mould is removed from the casting
So we find the Board constantly working on the unsettled problem how and when a mission may safely withdraw — the spiritual, intellectual, and social difficulties being overcome. A conclusion is reached “ that a less number of foreign missionaries is needful for the work in a heathen country than was once supposed,” and that native pastors should be ordained as fast as suitable men can be found. The native church is to be urged to support its native pastor as far as it has ability, and to manage its own internal affairs as best it can, looking for nothing more authoritative than Christian advice from the missionary. The Committee submit to the prayerful consideration of their brethren the expediency of ordaining a native pastor over each of the churches, as well at the stations as at the out-stations, being satisfied that the early and complete organization of native churches under native pastors is indispensable to the early, healthy, vigorous development of the religious life in native communities. In all this difficulties must be expected, but met, as the price of a free, responsible, selfsustaining church. They recommend this course, that the missionaries may be able to disperse, invading, conquering, organizing, and superintending, in “regions beyond.” In the settlement and dismission of pastors they encourage the usual ecclesiastical forms of the American churches. Having this policy of native pastors in view and force, the Board feel that they have now nearly or quite the requisite number of missionaries among the Armenians, and so see the beginning of the end of planting the gospel among them. In addressing the Hawaiian brethren, they take it for granted that they will furnish all the native churches with native pastors at an early day. While the Board, in addressing the missions, speak of education, they urge that all native laborers must be educated in their own land, that they may be as little changed as possible in national characteristics and the innocent tastes and habits of their own people. Otherwise the future pastor may feel above his people, or be diverse from them in manner, dress, style of living, and domestic and social habits, and so offend them, or be unable himself comfortably to adapt himself to the necessities of his calling and condition. The education should also be as far as possible at the expense of the natives themselves, because of the reflex advantages of such efforts on their part, and it should ever have in view the main end of missions the evangelization of the people. The education and even the evangelization of the masses by foreign aid is not to be attempted or expected. A few self-sustaining centres are to be established, and then the work thrown on the native Christian communities. Perfect trust is felt in the interior and essential force of Christianity to work its own way under fair auspices. In the religion of our Saviour it is preëminently true that samples are powers. How far the American Board has been able to carry out its policy, as to native forces, may be seen in the fact that it now has two hundred and fifty native preachers, one hundred and sixty-three native churches, and thirty native pastors.
ENGLISH COUNTRY AND COUNTRY-FOLK.
A Great city, in a commercial country, is, to a considerable estent, a law unto itself. Its image and superscription are in only a small degree received from the peculiar type of national institutions, political or ecclesiastical. In its main elements it exhibits far more of power to assimilate than of susceptibility to be assimilated. The possession of capital or of commercial enterprise is necessarily a chief condition of strength and influence. Its merchantmen are its ruling princes. Its working classes are always characterized by a highi comparative intelligence, whether the State has provided schools for them or not. A great city is in itself a school, diffusing a vast amount of valuable knowledge by the inevitable contact of men congregated in large masses - not only stimulating and sharpening the intellect, but making the mental stores of each one the property of all.
The disposition of the common people to flock to great cities will always keep the supply of labor considerably above the demand. The sure result of this will be, the continual presence, to a certain extent, of idleness and destitution, with the usual consequences, vice and crime.
The spirit of competition, which, in all places alike, is reckless of everything but gain, must necessarily aggravate these results. And then the feverish excitement of the passions, and the multiplication of temptations, the easy isolation of individuals where men congregate in masses, and the consequent removal of social re