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guish the servants of Christ. In answer to which, a distinction between those difficulties which are inherent in the work, and those which are of man's making will be suffi cient. For example, that a Missionary should, on going to a pagan region, abandon his native country for life, has long been the prevailing opinion; but neither apostolic example, nor the precepts of the New Testament, require any such thing. For man to make the service more difficult than Heaven and its own nature have made it, savours of the same superstitious spirit as the self-imposed austerities of pagan devotees. To remove the impositions of the man of sin-celibacy, vows of poverty, and so forth, might have been called, in Luther's days, a making of Christianity easy; but all judicious Christians now agree, that it was only removing a human yoke, by which removal Christianity was greatly be nefited: so also, as to the case in hand; if Christian Missions can be freed from an implied vow of poverty and perpetual exile, and similar difficulties of man's imposing, although doing so may be stigmatized as a worldly policy, to remove the cross, it will be, in truth, only removing the impositions of a self-righteous will-worship. A worldly, money-making, covetous spirit, is utterly unchristian, whether found in Messengers of the Churches, or Pastors, or People. A dependence on abstract education, learning, and means, instead of a dependance on the simple unadorned Gospel of our Saviour, and the energies of the Divine Spirit, is not the thing that we advocate. But we do advocate the diligent employment of proper means to convey Christian knowledge to men's minds all round the world; and the removal of every impediment that Holy Scripture will allow to many persons engaging in this work.
The world is, under God, one vast empire; or, as the Chinese Sages say, it is but "one family;" and whether a Christian teacher be employed in one province of this empire, or in reference to this, or to another department of the great family, cannot make such a mighty difference in the rules applicable to these teachers, and the means to fit them for their work, and which they should employ, as some persons would suppose.
In the early history of the Church, the writings and apologies of the Christian Fathers were of great efficacy; and at the Reformation, the press was productive of the greatest good. Also in the present day its effect is of the utmost service to the Christian cause. If we would have it operate on mankind, the study of all the living languages on earth must be more encouraged. Archbishop Tillotson thought that a miraculous gift of tongues was necessary for the universal propagation of the Gospel, and being necessary, would be granted; (Vol. x. p. 4454 and 4527.) but till human industry has done its utmost, it is not fair to assert the necessity of miraculous aid. Would not a Society in London to encourage the study of all living languages, for the purpose of communicating Christian knowledge to all nations, be a means very likely to further greatly the universal dissemination of Christian truth? Would it not be a most important means of preparing the Messengers of the Churches to fulfil the Saviour's last command to his disciples, "Go and teach all nations ?"
With a view to the formation of such a Society,* these thoughts are respectfully submitted to the public who take an interest in the propagation of the Gospel.
* The "Language Institution, in Aid of the Propagation of Christianity," established in Bartlett's Buildings, carries into effect a part of these suggestions. It still requires, as an integral part of the Institution, a Literary Committee, to call periodical meetings of pious Literati, versed in ancient and in modern languages, for the purpose of extending information, and exciting interest about the less cultivated languages of mankind.
BETTERING THE MORALS AND CONDITION OF SAILORS IN CHINA.
As the spiritual condition of seamen in China, referred to in the following Paper, yet remains unattended to by the zealous Christians of England and America, the document is here inserted, to keep alive the subject, in the hope that by the blessing of Divine Providence, something may eventually be done in that distant land for the Sailor's welfare.
TO THE PUBLIC.
Canton, December 1, 1822. The General Plan given in the following Proposal being approved of by some individuals to whom the manuscript has been shown, it is now printed, to make the subject more extensively known, that its merits or demerits, practicability, or impracticability, may be conversed about, and more distinctly ascertained. Dr. Morrison will be happy to receive the written opinions, or suggestions of any Gentleman who is resident in, or who frequents China, on either or both of the subjects proposed, for the benefit of any Committee, who may hereafter meet to deliberate and report thereon.
Canton, China, September 25th, 1822. At Whampoa, the anchorage of European ships which frequent China, there are annually from fifteen to twenty large Indiamen, and between twenty and forty smaller
vessels from the United States. The crews of those ships make collectively from two to three thousand men, all of whom speak the English language; and therefore, under the operation of liberal and Christian sentiments, any benevolent efforts for the good of these men, whilst in China, may include both nations.
The assistance that Sailors in China require, is medical attendance for many of them; and for all of them instruction concerning their duties as moral and religious beings. Medical assistance is provided for all the Indiamen, and for some of the American ships, and therefore it only remains to be enquired whether the mode of communicating that assistance may not be improved, so as to make the condition of the sick and healthy men better; and the fatigue of the medical attendants less: that is, whether a FLOATING HOSPITAL, to which the sick men may be removed from their own ships, away from the noise and bustle occasioned by unloading, and other duties daily going on; and what is perhaps of the first importance, in some complaints, (arising as it is supposed from the local circumstances of a particular ship) removing the Hospital to a more healthy part of the river. In case of infectious diseases also, the Floating Hospital would remove the sick men from those still in health.
Moreover, ships do arrive frequently, (i. e. English India ships as well as Americans) and occasionally the vessels of other nations, without any medical person on board, and sometimes without any such person at Whampoa : in those cases the FLOATING HOSPITAL, always having a medical man belonging to it, would afford such relief as every humane mind would be happy to avail itself of; and humanly speaking, many lives might be saved. And when death did occur, the rites of sepulture could perhaps be more decently attended to by those persons belonging to the FLOATING HOSPITAL than is practicable amidst the hurry of a ship's duty.
However, much is done for the seamen's health, and his bodily comfort; and but little, or nothing for the improvement of his mind. In some ships, it is true prayers are
read, which is so far well; but prayers are not for the instruction of the ignorant; but are the language of a person already instructed, addressed to the Deity; and hence it happens that hearing prayers, but seldom reforms individuals. Without, however, discussing this question, the fact is, that the thousands of seamen, who in the course of a year stay a shorter or longer time at Whampoa, and many of whom die there (Note 1st), neither have prayers nor any kind of religious instruction: and hence the Sunday only gives them leisure to get intoxicated and quarrel with the Chinese. A FLOATING CHAPEL (Note 2), with sermons twice a day, would furnish the means of rational occupation, and of religious and moral instruction to as many of the seamen as chose to avail themselves of it; many of whom would no doubt gladly do so, if a pious zealous Preacher addressed them. The benefits arising from such an Institution would not only apply to the individual sailors whose minds were improved; but from the more moral and orderly behaviour of the sailors, which would in all probability follow, the interests of all who trade in China would be subserved, and the respectability of foreigners, in the eyes of the Chinese, would be promoted.
The FLOATING HOSPITAL, and the FLOATING CHAPEL, being perfectly unconnected with the natives, and the sailors not having to go on shore when frequenting either, no opposition can be anticipated from the Chinese Government, nor any interruption to Divine Service, from the curiosity, or insolence of the populace.
The only objection to the Plan appears to be the probable expense of the vessels employed; and of the persons who shall perform the necessary duties.
At London on the Thames (Note 3), at Liverpool, and at Leith, and other places, the FLOATING CHAPEL has been adopted, and been found to meet the wishes of sailors, and to be useful to them. At London a FLOATING HOSPITAL has been commenced, and met with the approbation of His Majesty's Government, and many persons of distinction in the country.
The expense for the Hospital would arise chiefly from