페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

true nationality, is waiting and ready for the higher, broader spiritual regeneration. The gospel has now free course into all her broad territories; it is glorified in the conversion of the individual immigrant to its saving truth. The convert turns missionary. Aheong carries back over the waters, pacific in a new sense, to his countrymen the saving creed he himself has received; and among the effective missionaries of the gospel to China are doubtless those to be prominent who have embraced the faith in their wanderings on our shores. The immigrant, so far as received with Christian kindness, yields to the Christianizing influences to which he is here introduced. The testimony is: "they are gradually, with an unmistakable progress, leaving the dress, language, food, and paganism of China, and adopting [those that are] American and Christian." The hopes of the general evangelization of the Chinese empire are strengthened by the clear effects of this immigration. And China evangelized, the grand consummation will seem to be at hand. Three-fifths of the whole race will then represent the spread of Christianity. The hundred millions of India are already reached by Christian influences. The few comparatively scattered among; the islands have also received the gospel. Africa, hardly explored, waits for the divine law. But the grand fact now appears that, with the evangelization of China is accomplished the general enlightenment of the great part of the race.

The physical fusion of the races, the amalgamation of the several varieties of the humau family is a part of this ethnological problem the solution of which it may be wise to leave to the future. The moral and religious harmony does not necessarily involve such a fusion of blood 'and family. What time may effect under the mollifying, humanizing influences of an enlightened Christianity in wearing down differences that now repel such unions, iu assimilating complexion, feature, and general physical structure as well as moral habits, tastes, and pursuits, and so unifying the varieties of the race into one indistinguishable species, we need not trouble ourselves with attempts to divine. It is enough to know that caste and Christianity are utterly irreconcilable; that, as the latter prevails, the former disappears. The remotest shades of color will, in the diversifications of individuals, of families, of neighborhoods, soften and blend, and the lines of race distinction, now so marked, will fade out and disappear.

Nor does the ultimate harmony of the races at all necessarily imply that again, as of old, all the world shall be " of one lip." The highest ideal of a perfected humanity is a richlydiversified unity; manifold individual and specific differences harmonized in a common Christianized manhood. A monotony of language and of literature, as of art and pursuit, is neither desirable nor, nnder the diverse allotments of providence and the diverse gifts of grace, attainable. But an intercommunication by speech which can be reached at the cost of that exertion which is itself helpful or even necessary to development, may reasonably be looked for. And in this connection should be noted the important fact that the English and the Chinese, while they are by far the most extensively spoken of all the dialects among men, are wonderfully approximated to each other. Of all inflected languages, the English is most monosyllabic, and at the same time most assimilative of foreign elements; to its character in this respect the monosyllabism of the Chinese has made a significant advance in its free admission of its so-called dissyllabic '* clam-shell " formations. "What is more, perhaps, both languages observe, to an uncommon degree, the logical order in the structure of the sentence; and also admit most freely the use of form-words to denote the different relations of thought. We recognize accordingly a linguistic harmony which evinces the races to be of one common nature, and in the wide contrast that appears in the different vocal symbols chosen to denote the objects of thought, only the specialization which is incident to all develop ment. The parent of all speech, thought to be communicated, is the same in both in its characteristic form, as to its essential nature, as are also the governing principles of its expression. "Pigeon English" may be the immature fruit of the first mingling of dialect; but the ultimate result can hardly be other than the euriching of both languages and of both literatures. They are both too fixed in character and too widely diffused in extent to admit essential corruption by adopting elements that cannot be assimilated.

Nor yet does this final harmonizing of the races involve necessarily a uniformity in the organization of political society throughout the nations; nor in social institutions and manners. This would be a result incompatible with the manifold diversification which the long scattering has occasioned. The general harmony of this diverse, excluding conceit, contempt, and hate between the nations, with the practical recognition of the noble sentiment of Humboldt, that "none are in themselves nobler than others," will be only the richer by reason of the manifold peculiarities of pursuit, and custom, of government, and laws.

Thie, then, we regard as the ethnological significance and interest attached to this migration. The human family, at first, one in its origin, one in social organization—the patriarchal—one in language, with the utmost simplicity in pursuits; then, under the wise orderings of Providence, broken and scattered to different abodes with consequent diversities of tongue, yet ever in families to preserve ever the evidence of their oneness in origin, in order that our nature might cover all the habitable parts of the earth and have fit opportunity for the largest, richest diversification; now, at last, in this our day, the scattering and the diversification having reached their limits, begins the great harmonizing of these diversified developments which, when consummated, the race will have fulfilled the destiny assigned it. These are the three distinguishable stages of all vital progress and development; first, the primeval simplicity; secondly, the richest possible diversification; and thirdly, the harmonizing of this diverse into the primitive oneness, not now simple, but rich in all the developed capabilities of the one nature.

The grand import and significancy of this migration is, that it marks the epoch of this last stage of human progress. On our shores, in our days, this change from the diversifying to the harmonizing, begins; verily, " on us the'ends of the worlds (dispensations) have met." Harmonizing is thus to be the law of the coming ages. Institutions, laws, customs, arts, sciences, languages, henceforth must bow to the sway of this principle, and be characterized by it.

Slowly, almost imperceptibly to the superficial study, will the change be, even as the development of the bud into flower and subsequent fruit. But the time has come for the fruitformation. The time and season of the ripening, it is not ours to know. But to enter heartily, intelligently, with a docile, obedient spirit, into this consummation of providence and of grace, is our high lot and privilege.

Aeticle II.—THE LIFE OF A JESUIT FATHER OF OUR OWN DAY—FATHER DE RAVIGNAN.

Tfie Life of Father de Ravignan, of the Society of Jesus. By Fatheb I>e Ponlevoy, of the same Society. Translated at St. Beuno's College, North Wales. New York: The CatholicPublication Society, 126 Nassau Street, 1869.

In the new and independent aspect which the French Roman Catholic Church has of late assumed, our attention has been drawn to the life of one of those three great Catholic preachers who in these last years have made the pulpit of Notre Dame in Paris so illustrious. We have read this biography with great interest, although in some respects it is unsatisfactory. While drawn out quite fully in detail, it still has an appearance of uureality, like many other Roman Catholic, and, as to that, Protestant, religious biographies. We are permitted to see much, but not all; and that which we are not allowed to see is what contains the gist of the matter. The book professes to give an account of " the principles of conduct and maxims of perfection" which governed the life and formed the character of this eminent Jesuit preacher; and, as to that character, judging from the book itself (and we do not have at hand other means of judgment) it was assuredly one of concentrated power, lofty aim, and extraordinary, though austere, piety.

Gnstave Xavier de Ravignan was born in Bayonne, France, Dec. 1, 1795, of noble race. Some of his ancestors in the time of Heury IV. were Protestants. His childhood was one of precocious intelligence and gravity. His academic life was passed in Paris; and though he was inclined to a diplomatic career, he finally took up the study of jurisprudence as a profession. While pursuing his studies, news came of the landing of Napoleon on the coast of Provence, and he enlisted at onee in the royal volunteers. He received the appointment of lieutenant of cavalry, and participated in one engagement,

« 이전계속 »