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1. It is natural to expect that the movements of God's providence in the future, will be very much like those of the past; and that civilization and culture will, hereafter, pass into the unenlightened parts of the globe in very much the same way they have heretofore. But history shows that this has uniformly taken place by the exodus of colonies. Religion, law, and letters are not indigenous, but exotic, in all the past career of man on the globe. One race hands the torch of science to another. One quarter of the globe is both the parent and teacher of another. There are autochthones nowhere. There are no strictly self-taught men anywhere. And in the last examination, and at the primary origin and source, we are compelled to rise above earth and man altogether, and find the first beginnings of knowledge and religion in the skies. From first to last, there is an imparting act from the higher to the lower. The more intelligent makes revelations to the less intelligent. The genealogy cannot stop short of the Creator himself. Cainan was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
These changes and movements in human civilization are particularly visible at those points where civilization passes from one continent to another continent. The knots in the grape-vine reveal where the life gathers and concentrates in order to a new expansion, Europe received letters and civilization from Asia. The little district of Greece was the radiating point; for Rome received them from Greece, and gave them to all her empire. But the original sources of Greek culture were colonists, few and feeble, from Egypt, Phænicia, and Asia Minor. The Egyptian Cecrops and Danaus brought over the seeds of civility to Attica and Argos, fifteen centuries before our era. The Phænician Cadmus carried over an Asiatic alphabet soon after. And the Lydian Pelops soon followed with his wealth and knowledge of the mechanic arts. But the consequences of this immigration from another continent were not felt, to any great extent, upon Europe at large, until a thousand years had rolled by. The Greek, with all his treasures of wisdom and of beauty, was shut up from the barbarian' world, until the Roman broke down the barrier, and Grecian culture then had free course. And if we should allow a millennium for a colony upon the African coast to diffuse law, manners, letters, and religion over the African continent, it would be as rapid a movement as that to which ancient Rome, and the whole modern world, owe their secular civilization.
The radiating points for the Western continent were the Spanish, and more especially the British, colonies. The movement here has been much more rapid than anything in the history of the Old World. And yet, after more than two centuries, not one quarter of this Western hemisphere is fully under the influence of Christian civilization.
The history of the past, then, indicates that Africa must receive religion, law, and letters in the same way that the other continents have received them. They must be given to her. The colonist must carry the seeds of civilization and of empire into the tropical world.
Christendom owes colonies to the only portion of the globe that has never yet been a part of Christendom. Europe and America ought to adopt the utterance of the great apostle to Europe-an utterance to which both of them, under God, owe their religion and their culture more than to any other single human cause and say, “We are debtors, as much as in us lies, to Africa. Each of them ought to prove its sincerity, by entering with energy upon a great colonizing movement, and planting Christian colonies all along the coast.
2. In the second place, it is the colonist of African blood upon whom the chief reliance must be placed, so long as the colonizing period continues; for the tropical climate necessitates the sluggish blood of the tropical man. It is certain death to expose the nervous, high-strung, and never-relaxed nature of the Caucasian, to the fervours of the burning zone, and the damps of an equatorial nightfall. The dweller in this portion of the globe must be able to rise and fall like a barometer, with the climate ; to act and toil vehemently for a time, and then to pass into a recuperative inaction. All the colonists of history have gone from temperate to temperate regions. The true colonist for the tropics, then, is the man of the tropics. It may be that the white man can live upon the high grounds of the interior, when the heart of Africa shall have been opened to commerce, and made yet more salubrious by agriculture and civilization ; but, for a long time to come, the black man must lay the foundations of empire and civilization, and build up the superstructure.
3. And thirdly, without intending to disparage, in the least, the other agencies that have been and will be employed, all present indications go to show that it is the Liberian colonist who must take the lead in this great movement; for the Liberian is the tropical man more or less penetrated by the cold and calm ideas of the North. He carries with him some American discipline and education. He has not lost his ancestral traits ; for, while in bondage, he has still lived upon the borders of that great zone from which his forefathers were stolen. He can not only endure, but he loves, a hot and languid clime. And yet he has felt the stimulation of that active race among whom he has lived. The wrath of man has praised God. The American Negro has been made aggressive and enterprising by his enslavement. He has been fitted to be a colonist, and to impress himself upon the passive and plastic millions of Africa, by a process that involves awful guilt in the human authors of it. The Liberian colonist has, thus far, obtained a firmer foothold than any other, upon the African continent. He has established a republic, whose independence is acknowledged by the leading powers of the world ; and whose nationality has now entered into the history of nations. There is a definite point of departure, and a living germ of expansion in Liberia.
Furthermore, this Liberian republic is a really Christian state. There is not now, probably, an organized commonwealth upon the globe, in which the principles of Christianity are applied with such a childlike directness and simplicity to the management of public affairs, as in Liberia. New England, in the days of her childhood, and before the conflicting interests of ecclesiastical denominations introduced jealousies,–Geneva, in the time of John Calvin, when the Church and the State were practically one and the same body, now acting through the Consistory, and now through the Council,-in fine, all religious commonwealths in their infancy, and before increasing wealth and luxury have stupified conscience and dimmed the moral perception, furnish examples of the existing state of things in the African republic. Even the common school education, which the Liberian constitution provides for the whole population, has been given by the missionary, and in connexion with the most direct religious instructions and influences. The state papers of the Liberian executive and legislature breathe a grave and serious spirit, like that which inspires the documents of our own colonial and revolutionary periods.
It is not necessary to enlarge upon the significance of the fact, that the most influential radiating point for civilization throughout Africa is a religious republic. No reflecting man can ponder the fact, and think of all it involves, without ejaculating, from the depths of his soul, “God save the Commonwealth.
The time has now arrived for enlarged operations. Africa is evi. dently upon the eve of great events. The explorations of Barth, and Vogel, and Anderson, and Moffat, and Livingston; the English Niger expeditions; the curiosity and courage of individual explorers, in search of the head waters of the Nile; the discovery of fine stalwart races all through the interior ; the very rapid growth of African commerce, at points upon both the Eastern and Western coasts; the very mystery itself which overhangs this part of the globe, the more stimulating because all the rest of the world lies in comparative sunlight; all these things combined tend to the belief that, comparatively, more will be discovered, and more will be done, in and about Africa, within the coming century, than in and about any other quarter of the globe. The other continents have had their hour of deliverance. The hour for Africa has now, for the first time, come. Her scores of races prove to have capacities for Christianity and self-government. The American emancipationist is ready and waiting to send out, among them, hundreds and thousands of Americanized colonists. Shall not the philanthropists of this land now make full proof of the colonizing method ?-that method which was employed with such vigour by Rome in Romanizing the barbarians whom she conqueredthat method by which Britain, the modern Rome, has made her drumbeat to be heard round the globe? And, especially, shall not the Church of Christ secure a foothold and a protection for its missionaries in Africa, by helping to extend the influence of those Christian colonies which have hitherto been their best earthly protection, and, in connexion with which alone (so the history of past missions in Africa, for four hundred years, plainly shows), can missionary operations be carried on with permanent success ?
The Wisdom of the Poets.
Q. (Looking over Z.'s shoulder at a sheet of MS. so headed.) The wisdom of the poets! Are poets ever wise then? very wise ? wise enough for their wisdom to be worth writing about?
Z. If you consider the time and labour that are spent in reading, writing, and expounding poetry, you must surely think it a great pity if there should be no wisdom in it.
Q. Well, some wisdom, just salt to savour it.
Z. But think of the hold which poetry maintains upon human affections; a little wisdom would hardly suffice for that.
Q. Why not? people in general are silly enough to take a good deal of mere prettiness on the strength of a little dilution with sense.
Z. I guess you are wrong. Individual men, and classes of men, are open enough to charges of that sort ; but take the race all down the ages, and what is admired is worthy. You fancy I keep poetry on my shelves because it is pretty ?
Q. Well, in fact, you like it.
Z. Well, in fact, I do. But I prize it also, and go to it for wisdom as well as prettiness.
Q. I often hear from the pulpit things introduced with, as the poet says,' or, ‘in the words of the poet ;' but I seldom find them particularly wise things, or things which could not have been better said in prose, if the preacher had chosen.
Z. You are right there. But preachers who habitually resort to that feeble device do not know poetry from prose, 2. Not know poetry from prose! What can be easier than that?
The Law commands and makes us know
The duties which we ought to do.' That is poetry!
* All we do we sin in,
Must not use
Woollen mixed with linen.' That is poetry! It rhymes and it runs off easily. You do not mean to tell me anybody could take that for prose ?
2. The first passage you quote is rhymed prose - it is merely propositional - unless, indeed, there be a sort of personification in saying, “The Law commands. Rather oddly, your second example has the element of poetry in it. It comes, does it not, from Hart's Hymns? and it means that human works of merit and the righteousness of Christ must not be intermingled. The author, instead of putting forward a bare proposition, has cast the idea in the concrete form which is characteristic of poetry; but his manner is so trivial that he has, after all, only produced doggrel. If the music had suited the theme, the passage would have been poetic. Our pulpit friends who are in the habit of rounding off periods with “ as the poet says,' apply the sacred name without much discrimination.
Q. I never before thought so of the difference between rhyme and poetry. I think I see now where it chiefly lies.
Z. If a man writes, “Truth, received into the human soul, produces moral freedom, and nothing else produces that result,' he writes prose. But
• He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves besides,' is poetry. The case would be just the same if the first example stood thus
* Truth, truth alone, while circling ages roll,
Produces freedoin in the human soul,' which will serve for an instance of the rhymed rhetoric so constantly taken for poetry. If one were to write
“My resolution fails, though now 'tis time
That I had carried out my plan sublime,' he would produce flat prosc, in spite of his rhyme. But when Mr. Alexander Smith (I am quoting him from memory, and I know, not quite verbatim) writes
My drooping sails
Should grate the golden isles,' he writes poetry. It is generally the case that where the poetic tendency, the tendency to body forth 'thought and feeling, to give it shape, life, and movement, exists in great strength, there is also a natural tendency to throw the words employed into musical forms. Then we get song. We feel that the man sings his meaning better than he could say it, and we call him a poet. What the quality of his meaning may be is another question. But it does so happen, besides, that the power to use, as is the poet's wont, all nature and all life, as a pictured language, depends upon a fineness of spirit which is rarely found out of the company of great capacities of feeling and thinking.
Q. You will never persuade me that poets are wise.
2. Not wise for themselves; but that is another thing. Wise for others they are, and often wiser than they think. It is impossible for them to know the whole value of their own special language to other minds, or what lights the sudden bringing together of thoughts and representative facts, never 'approximated' before, may strike out for the beholder. So, as I said before, I go to the poets for wise things.
Q. If you find then, it is because the poets have turned philosophers for the occasion.
2. Very often it is so. On the grounds I have myself laid down, I could not always call the wise things found in poems poetry. · But I find there more wise things than I find in books of prose, whether rhymed or unrhymed.
Q. What do you mean by 'wise things ?
Z. I mean things which so powerfully light up the subject to which they relate, as to serve for guidance,-things to remember, to lean