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tionary principle. Our Southern brethren have dispensed with probation altogether, yet Bishop M'Tyeire's Manual (pp. 71,72) indicates a felt necessity for some such provision. Dr. J. Ditzler, of that Church, has been "turning his eye within and without," and he discovers something to be done in this direction. “Let us restore vitality to class-meetings; watch lest unconverted men get into our pulpits; rectify our ritual, for it has been tampered with, instead of improved.” It is no secret that the almanac rule of probation fails to give satisfaction in our own Church. Let all Methodists go back to the Wesleyan idea, use the principle as local circumstances require, and they will then have in common a safe, just, and needful law.
It is by this method of home investigation and application that substantial fraternity is to be promoted. “Go down to the sea-shore when the tide is low and you notice a great many little muddy pools. But when the tide comes up you see the little pools are lost.” Forty years ago and less the tide of sympathy between Methodism North and South was at a low ebb; but about fifteen years ago it began to turn, and is still gradually rising. It is yet too soon, however, to look over each other's lines too closely for the little muddy pools. Only let us be true to our mission as pointed out by our venerable founder,“ to take care of the societies, to save as many as you can, to bring as many as you can to repentance, and with all your power to build them up in that holiness without which they cannot see the Lord.” Thus engaged in the practical and spiritual work of the Church, we shall discover, by the time the year 1900 is ushered in, that the “ little muddy pools” of political, constitutional, and ritualistic differences will possibly have disappeared, and fraternity will not be in name and form only, but a glorious reality. Then, whether American Methodism is embraced in one, two, or ten branches, the world may look on and say, “Behold, how good and low pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
ART. VI.-MISSIONARY METHODS. In a former article we gave a condensed and rapid résumé of the rise, growth, and present status of the foreign missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Very little more than the simple facts, as they appear on the surface, could be given in the
space at our disposal ; and yet not the facts themselves, so much as their implications, the principles they demonstrate, and the possibilities they bring into view. The practical philosophy of missions which these facts teach is, indeed, their chief value, and we accordingly resume the subject in order to consider some of these things.
Missionary work, as is often said, and as all know, is inseparable from the living Church. It has, accordingly, been in operation during all the Christian ages-modified, however, in its form and manifestations by the changes of the spirit and the methods of action prevalent in the Church at different times and among its varied conditions. Passing over unnoticed the times of the early Church and of the Middle Ages, as we come to the times of the Renaissance-a term that may be applied to thought and life as well as to art-we may detect signs of awakening and of quickened activity in the Church life of those times. This manifested itself among the nations of northern Europe in an unprecedented spirit of free inquiry, which brought on the Reformation, while among the Latin races it showed itself in increased zeal for the Church, and especially for the Christianization of the non-Christian worldin which movements Loyola, Ximenes, and all the Jesuits were the specially distinguished actors. While the Protestant Churches were chiefly occupied in asserting their own right to be, and the sacred privilege of private judgment, the Romish Church was pushing out its missions into some of the most distant countries, and even the Greek Church was vigorously extending itself into the remote North.
But even then there were signs of the missionary spirit in many points in Protestant Christendom, though its efforts were comparatively feeble and its field of operations narrowly circumscribed. As early as 1556 the Church at Geneva sent a company of fourteen missionaries to Brazil, but its purpose
was frustrated by the Portuguese authorities. In 1559 a mission from Sweden, under the auspices of Gustavus Vasa, was sent to Lapland, which resulted, at length, in the Christianization of that people. Early in the next century, the Dutch, having obtained a footing in Ceylon, began missionary efforts among the natives. These several efforts, though isolated and comparatively feeble, indicate the existence of the missionary spirit ainong the Protestant Churches, nor were their results either inconsiderable or wholly transient. But the closing years of the seventeenth century, and the beginning of the eighteenth, is the period usually recognized as the date of the beginning of modern missionary movements. In 1705 the King of Denmark established a mission in the Danish colony in Ceylon, at Tranquebar, of which Bartholomew Ziegenbalg was the apostle and sustaining spirit; and this, in respect to both the zeal with which it was prosecuted and the success that it achieved during its first half century, will not suffer by a comparison with those of later times, having had the services, after those of its founder, of both Schultze and Schwartz. The mission of Hans Egede to Greenland dates from this period, and also that of Carey, the pioneer of all the Baptist missions in India and Burmah. About 1810 Dr. Coke com. menced his great work in the West Indies, whither he had been driven by stress of weather when on his way to Nova Scotia with a company of Wesleyan preachers; and a few years later he sailed on a like errand for Ceylon, and died on the voyage, but the work proceeded as he had purposed. The Christian Knowledge Society, which, though only incidentally 80, was still really and effectively a missionary agency, was formed in 1698, and the missionary operations of the Moravians began about 1725. The Churches of New England-in which they were effectually aided and impelled by their kindred Churches at home-engaged actively and successfully, too, in evangelistic labors among the native Indians, and the conversion of the native Americans became a subject of no lit. tle interest, about this time, with English Churchmen, among the results of which were the visits of the Wesleys and their associates to Georgia-itself a colony founded for philanthropic and religious purposes, as well as with political and mercantile designs.
But the work of missions, during the whole of the eighteenth century, was compelled to struggle against great and formidable difficulties, and with but feeble and uncertain support. It was largely indebted for whatever of success it achieved to the devotion, energy, and self-sacrifice of those who engaged in it. The home Churches were simply indifferent to the whole matter, and, if the attention of their leaders was called to it, they often regarded the whole affair as visionary—not to say a presumptuous intermeddling with the affairs of Providence. To become a missionary, at that time, signified the acceptance of a life-long exile among savages, without any assured support, or even sympathy, from the home Church ; and if brought into contact with Europeans, these would probably be their most potent antagonists in respect to their evangelistic labors. And yet this was the period and these the conditions that produced some of the most illustrious missionary heroes that have arisen since the times of the apostles. They seem to have acted under a special spiritual impulse in entering upon their work; and because of the completeness of their consecration, with the like renunciation of all earthly good, they appear to have entirely escaped from any possible temptation to look for either pleasure or emolument apart from their own special work. That they failed so largely to accomplish great and lasting results is readily accounted for when the newness of their positions and their own inexperience, together with their lack of facilities and the unfriendliness of their surroundings, are considered. And yet they accomplished not a little, and they laid the foundations upon which later missionary successes have been made possible.
The new era of missions very nearly agrees, in time, with the beginning and continuance of the century. The first years of the term were quite naturally devoted to making preparations for future action; and in this those occupied with the work“ builded better than they knew.” This was the period of the founding of most of the principal Missionary Societies of Protestant Christendom. Among these in this country we find the American Board, (1810 ;) the Baptist Union, (1814;) the Methodist Episcopal Missionary Society, (1819 ;) the Presbyterian Board, having before acted with the American Board, (1833 ;) the Protestant Episcopal Board, (1835;) American
Missionary Association, (1846.) These organizations came into existence in response to the newly-awakened religious life of the Church, and a consequent recognition of the obligation devolved upon it by the departing words of the Saviour, to make disciples of all nations, (the heathens.) The Church, in its aggregate unity, began to realize its duty in the matter, and individual believers—especially young men called to the ministry -began to feel that the words of the Master were addressed to them personally. By slow degrees, and painfully, the Church came to the conviction that this duty could not be innocently ignored ; and, formally at least, though only very partially in fact, the Church now confesses her sacred obligation to give the Gospel to all men.
But, however fully the Church might have conceded her duty and sought to perform it, there were still formidable and, in many cases, impassable obstacles in the way of the work. Down to the end of the first quarter of the present century only small portions of the nations were accessible to the Gospel. China and Japan were hermetically sealed against all foreigners, and especially hostile to any thing like Christian propagandism ; and India, though largely ruled by Englishmen, was carefully shut up against Christian missions. In these three great pagan empires were comprised not less than six hundred millions of souls—or more than half of the human race--all of which vast mass was, during the next half century, thrown open to the preaching of the Gospel. At the earlier date the attitude of nearly all Roman Catholic governments toward Protestantism, and especially toward Protestant missions, was intensely hostile and intolerant, while to-day the Gospel may be preached in its purity in all these countries with comparatively little interruption from their governments. Formerly it was the law—and it was sternly enforced in Turkey and other Mohammedan countries—that a Mussulman becoming a Christian should be put to death ; but all that is changed, and the Moslem convert is now secure against all legal interference in his new profession. These changes are so great, and indeed wonderful-so far beyond what could have been dreamed of by the most hopeful before they came to passthat the most active imagination can scarcely keep pace with the actual facts, so as to adequately appreciate this wide-spread
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