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and most pernicious errors are rife among us. Probably if Mr. Southgate's lectures were published, we should find he had given like testimony on other matters of doctrine and discipline. In the points of pictures, relics, and invocation of saints, we are left to infer that their churches are theoretically sound, since Mr. Southgate speaks only of practical corruption. We are brought to the same conclusion [that they are theoretically sound] respecting the doctrine of justification by faith, for though Mr. Southgate alludes to the want of a just appreciation of this doctrine as their great internal defect, yet he gives us no reason to think that they are tainted, or that he is the man to taint them with the Lutheran perversions which are widely disseminated among us, and are the source of most of our difficulties.” We might quote from another Episcopal paper in a strain most opposite to this, and most discouragingly of Mr. Southgate and deprecatory of his influence.” But we will not—discord at home is unison with an emphasis abroad, and all these various and inharmonious tones will sweetly blend together in a clear and silvery note, for Mr. Southgate is Bishop, and is the mouth of his church to the orientals. Drs. Milnor and Tyng and Seabury, and Bishops McIlvaine and Hopkins and Whittingham, may speak to each other at home in the dialect of Babel; but heard at Constantinople, the voice shall be “one and indivisi
ble,” for Bishop Southgate interprets it as he pleases. We ask again, and last of all, What will be the relation of this mission to the mission and missionaries of the American Board 2 First of all, the Episcopal church has thrust this mission upon ground occupied, and for nearly fifteen years, by the representatives of our churches. They began in weakness and fear, and God has blessed their labors; their presence and influence is felt throughout the Armenian church, as the earth in the springtime ferments with its wondrous processes, whose results are beauty and life, where was nakedness and death. Their hold on the people is strong. All at once, a messenger comes in, who understands their position, their aims, their hopes, and their strong reliances, for he himself was once a brother in the same school of Christ. At first he resides near them as a friend; then he proposes to establish a mission to the Greeks. To this they reply, that it would be inexpedient to have a mission from another church on the same ground, yet, as they have never labored among the Greeks, they shall not object, and if the mission is to be established, they hope that he will conduct it. He comes out again, a missionary to the Greeks, and conducts himself as we have seen. He now goes out a missionary bishop, and to the Armenian church also, and the only reason that has the shadow of courtesy to them is, that the Armenian is in communion with the Syrian church, to which he had also before been commissioned. He puts the lie upon the published reports of the progress of their work and its hopeful tokens.” He talks with contempt of their prospects, and slanders the character of their converts. He says that to churchmen- and to churchmen alone, “does he believe that the work of restoring and strengthening those churches to be committed, and they alone are able to perform it.” The primitive character of his own church he contends to be its passport and guarantee, and says that her proper lot is to maintain it among the Eastern Christians, and to present herself to them in this character alone. “This is the first condition of our usefulness, and every missionary operation which does not respect it, will be “as the morning cloud and as the early 'dew;’ as the chaff toat is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.” He thinks that in the Greek church “there are many, even among the higher clergy, who long for better things, and their influence will be the more felt, the work of restoration will be sooner and better done, if we of the West do not, by our hasty zeal, hurry it into a rank and premature growth. If there has been on the one hand much of painful opposition, there has been
* Bishop Hopkins says: “I have been obliged to express in the plainest terms, y entire dissent from the appointment of the foreign missionary bishop to Constantinople, and can not allow that he is “sent forth to do apostolic work' at all, for the simple reason, that I do not believe the apostles would have connived, or appeared to connive, at the corruptions of the Greek and other oriental churches, in the face of the people, under the vague and delusive hope of converting the priesthood, en masse, by friendly pri. rate conversation at some fo day.”
* Let the following serve as an example. “It is such reports as this, and others less erroneous, but generally conveying a false impression, that fill the pages of the Herald, and make it, to persons reading it in Turkey, little better than a romance. It is such reports as these which have created the impression that the missionaries of the American Board are doing a great work among the Armenians ; reports which, I confidently af. firm, there can not be found five Armenians in Constantinople who would not read with utter astonishment.” “To report these things as indications of the prosperity of a mission; to allow them to go forth as if they were connected with missionary operations; to put down men as inquirers,' or ‘in an inquiring state of mind,' and this, as if it were in consequence of the labors of missionaries, when this same state of mind existed long before there was a missionary in the land, nay, always existed as a part of the life of Christianity at the East, is, however interesting it may be to people at home, an unsafe and deceptive mode of sustaining the missionary work. It will come to naught among the Armenians, as it has among the Greeks.”—Mr. Southgate's letis,in the Banner of the Cross, Aug. 31, 4.
on the other much of injudicious action.” Throughout his volume recently published, there is manifest the most thorough contempt for non-Episcopal missions, and even for Episcopal missions not conducted on his own principles, and towards them the most decided though guarded hostility is expressed. Need we ask what will be the conduct of such a man, and of the mission controlled by such a man, towards these missions 2 Will he not labor to coun. teract their teachings, to prevent their “schismatical influence,” to prejudice against them the lawful heads of these churches, and profess that he is doing God service How can he do otherwise, if he act according to his professed principles 2 And as he thus labors, does not the Episcopal church labor through him against this mission ? Yes, even Dr. Milnor, who with one hand puts tracts into the hands of Messrs. Dwight and Goodell, and with the other sends out Bishop Southgate to be glad if they are burned But we are not left to conjecture what Mr. Southgate will do. He tells us that his friendly forbearance has been so abused, and his non-interference so misconstrued, that he shall take no care in future what are the results of his labors upon these missions. “They have placed me in a position which otherwise might never have been occupied. It is not a position of hostility, but of indifference. My work will go on, as if their own did not exist. No one is to be avoided because he is their enemy, nor will his acquaintance be received for any such reason. The full agency of my church will be carried out, as if they were not in the field. Controversy must cease here. My appropriate work must be done, without any reference to theirs. I have hitherto worked in chains, from an over-sensitive desire to avoid even the appearance of offense. I have now no such desire, nor do 1 desire to give of. fense.” Need we here inquire, If Mr. Southgate's friendship has been so hostile, and productive of such issues, what will not be his indifference, reckless of consequences 2 If Mr. Southgate, “working in chains,” can feel and act as he has done, what will he not do when he is unchained 2 But he tells us that “kindness and gentleness, forbearance and love, will, I hope, mark its course.” Yes, and so do certain other “gentle and affectionate sons of the church,” as they give over their victims to the torture for the purifying of the flesh,
do it in tender concern for their souls' welfare; and, as they consign the hopeless and unreclaimable to the civil power, for the rack and the stake, they do it beseeching them not “to hurt a hair of their heads.” And if Mr. Southgate should happen to rouse the Patriarch and the Sultan, “the bull and the scimitar” both against “the Armenian schismatics,” he would doubtless be very sorry, but would gravely say, that his own church “shall do its own work, with its own means and in its own way.”
T H E A M ERICAN TRACT SOCIETY.”
We had intended to write at large upon the policy and operations of the American Tract Society. But we find that the unexpected length of some of our articles confines us to a few pages. We have hesitated, therefore, about saying any thing till our next number, in which we shall have room for a more full expression of our views. There is, however, a question respecting one part of the Society's operations, which recent discussions and developments have rendered peculiarly interesting and exigent. We refer to the alteration of standard works of Christian literature. There is a dissatisfaction with the course of the Society's committee in this respect, wide already, and spreading like flame before the wind. A few words, therefore, fitly spoken, now,
* Report (to the Public) of the Committee of the Synod of New York and New Jersey, on the alteration of Books by the Publishing Committee of the Tract Society.
Address of the Committee of the American Tract Society to its Supporters and Friends.
Address of the Committee at Boston to the Members and Friends of the American Tract Society in New England.
may be better than many in our next number. We take several positions for granted at the outset, without discussion, since in our view they need none. We take it for granted that the American Tract Society is truly and eminently a beneficent institution, receiving a larger support than would be received by denominational institutions of the same kind, having access to fields from which such institutions would be excluded, and having a benign and powerful influence to secure the best kind of catholic unity—unity in essential doctrine, in spirit, and in action. We take it for granted that the wide and rapidly running dissatisfaction among the numerous supporters of the Tract Society, of which we have spoken, really exists. We can not be blind to the fact, if we would. The action of associations and synods, the language of our religious journals, and the private intercourse of individuals, decisively declare it. We know it. And we are confident that we speak the general sentiment of New England Congregationalists, when we say, that this discussion must be arrested by a prompt, full and fair consideration on the part of the managers of the Society, of its cause, and by a settlement of principles for future action wisely made and distinctly announced, or those managers will lose the confidence of a large part of their constituency, and the Society's usefulness be greatly impaired. We take it for granted, that the committees of the Tract Society regard themselves not as the Society, but as the agents of the members of the Society, responsible to those members, and therefore anxious to know their wishes and will. We take it for granted, also, that those who have expressed dissatisfaction with and urgent objections to the course of the Publishing Committee, are what they profess to be, real and earnest friends of the Society, and desire only its constitutional administration and prosperity. We come then abruptly to the question, Is it right—morally right we mean—for the publishing committee of the Tract Society to alter the works of standard authors 2 This we will divide into two, which may be more clearly discussed separately. (1.) Is it right for them to alter works of history 2 (2) Is it right for them to alter practical and doctrinal works 2 To the first question, we answer, decidedly, No. A work of history is the testimony of an individual to facts of which he has acquired, in his view, an accurate knowledge. To alter an historical work, therefore, is to destroy its peculiar value. The peculiar value of a work of history—i.e. its value as history— is measured by the worth of the author as a witness. If it is altered, therefore, its peculiar value is destroyed as truly as would be the deposition of a witness by being al
tered by a lawyer before its present
ation to the court and jury. The testimony is worthless. It is no longer testimony. It is no longer authentic. It no longer speaks by authorVol. III. 35
ity. It can never be adduced as testimony. In other words, it can never be adduced to answer the great purpose for which it was written. It would be rejected at once by any disputant who should learn the fact that it has been altered. It may be argument. It may be exhortation. It may be romance. But it is no longer testimony—no longer authentic history. Hence the public sentiment requires, and publishers are usually very careful to give, full and particular evidence of the complete authenticity of editions of historical works. Moreover, to alter an author's history, and send it out as his, is really a fraud. No one would deny that the alteration by a lawyer of the deposition of a witness is a fraud. No more can it be truly denied that the alteration or omission of the statements of an historical witness is a fraud. It makes the testimony of the witness other than as he gave it. It presents testimony which he did not present. And yet it is sent out as substantially his testimony. It deceives. An individual publisher who should alter the statements of an historical work, to save the feelings of his customers, and increase the sale of his book, would, when detected, be denounced at once. It is as truly a fraud, as would be an alteration of the historical statements of the Bible. The difference between the error of altering sacred history—the Bible—and the error of altering history by a human author, is a difference in degree, not in kind. In each case it is the alteration of testimony to facts. The fact, that in the one, the testimony altered is divine and infallible, makes the error greater in degree, but not different in kind. We have an illustration in point. The Roman Catholics, in their version of the Bible, wishing to give divine authority and recommendation to the worship of images, altered this passage in the epistle to the Hebrews, “Jacob ... worshiped
leaning on the top of his staff,” so as to make it read, “Jacob . . . adored the top of his rod.” We do not hesitate to denounce this as a “pious fraud.” Now surely it is a less fraud, but not less truly a fraud, to alter the statements of any human historian, and send them out as his. These remarks apply not merely to statements of the prominent facts of history, but also to the coloring and shading of those facts. Alteration here destroys not only the idiosyncrasy of the writer, but the authenticity of the work. The identity of a person consists not less in his flesh, and color, and air, and gait, than in his bones and sinews. The reasons which we have given are decisive, we think, against the alteration of an historian's statement by individuals. They are equally decisive against such alteration by the publishing committee of the Tract Society. The fact that such alterations are made by a committee of a benevolent association, with benevolent intentions, does not change their nature and tendency. If such alterations, when made by an individual, destroy the testimony of a witness, they destroy it none the less when made by the committee of the Tract Society. If such alteration, when made by an individual, is a fraud on the purchaser or reader, it is none the less a fraud (we speak not of intention) when done by the committee of the Tract Society. There are also additional and peculiar reasons why the committee of the Tract Society should not alter the statements of history. We will mention two. The first is, that the Committee publish such altered statements not with their own funds. They are trustees and disbursers of a fund contributed by others. They draw from a treasury which is filled from all the land,-into which the rich casts from his abundance, the poor from his penury, and the child from his little store. And these numer
ous contributors have never contemplated or authorized such use of their funds. * The other reason is this. The Committee, by this course, affect not themselves only. They bring discredit on the Society. They give an unfavorable character to the whole association—the character of a garbler of history. Men will think, that the Society changes his. tory to suit its purposes; they do not know how far or in what respects changes are made, and they will not confide in its integrity as a publisher. Thus the Committee cut the cords of public confidence in the Society. But plain as is the general question of the propriety of the alteration of history by the Committee, the particular question which has been a subject of public discussion— Were the Society's committee right in altering the History of the Reformation by Merle D'Aubigné — is, if possible, still plainer. Whatever doubts there may be in some minds on the general question, we see not how there can be any on the particular question. One of the great lessons which that history teaches is, the evils of prelacy and hierarchy. But the Committee have stricken out all references to prelacy and hierarchy, as such, or have so changed them as to make them bear only on one form of hierarchy, the papacy. They have not only destroyed their own witness, by altering his testimony—by the fact of alteration— but such is the nature of their alterations, as to divest his history of one of its chief lessons—to defeat one of its main objects. Besides—and this is in our view a consideration of great weight— D'Aubigné himself, with as strong
... motives as had the Committee to
make these very changes, delibe. rately chose not to make them. He is intimately associated at Geneva with evangelical Baptists, one of