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to-day working out, the policy of by common agreement stretching the boundaries so as to give a limited toleration to new ideas, and then, as these ideas come to have common acceptance, formally incorporating them into the fundamental law, this is the policy which the soberest wisdom would dictate. It has its dangers and drawbacks. But it is on the whole the safest and fairest. It is in fact the historic policy of the churches. It is even the policy of that church which above all others professes never to change. For in reality that church has changed and is changing to adjust itself to a changing age; only its concessions are long-delayed, are carefully hedged about, are ambiguously expressed so that the change is as far as possible concealed. As it has been in the past, so it must be in the future. The church must continue to change with the changing thought of man, must bear and forbear, must remember the words of Paul, "Him that is weak in the faith receive but not to doubtful disputation," must above all illustrate in its own internal relations that grace which stands pre-eminent among the three-love.



Delivered March 26, 1893.

The character and aims of this association, taken together with the subject you have given me to speak upon, make plain your object. As an association of merchants would wish to know of the productions and trade of a foreign country, that they might intelligently open new fields for their enterprise, so you are looking out to new fields for successful missionary labor.

Though the South American States are all nominally Christian, there can be no doubt, at least among Protestant Christians, that missionary labor is greatly needed there, and abundantly justified by the present religious condition of the people.

This last is certainly a matter of first importance. Proselyting where the gospel of Christ is preached with reasonable plainness and where there is an open Bible, should be abstained from by all Christians.

There can be no doubt that the Roman Catholic faith, even as preached in South America, has worked a great improvement in the native peoples of that country. One has but to pass from the christianized tribes of the coasts and great. rivers, to the wild and pagan tribes of the interior, to satisfy himself that there has been both moral and material improve


A religion may serve a useful civilizing purpose even after

it has lost all spirituality. Doubtless some also have been able to discover the Christ through this darkened faith, and have been spiritually saved; but the Bible is generally a sealed book, and the Gospel has been so concealed in the rubbish of processions and ceremonies and image-worship, that few are able to find it. Whatever the reason, whether it be from the very character of the Roman Catholic religion or faith, or because the method of colonizing the South American States has led to such a mixture of races as is unfavorable to moral development, or because of the character of the races themselves colonizing these countries, the effect of the Roman Catholic faith. upon the South American peoples has been anything but satisfactory, even to the better class of Roman Catholics themselves. We are accustomed to lay all the moral short-comings of a race to the religion it possesses. This is probably just, but let us remember that with this same judgment we and our neighbors shall be judged. It makes us Christians responsible for the saloons and gambling dens and other immoral conditions in this country.

Without interference from Protestants, and with all the influence and power of the temporal governments for its help, four hundred years of sway of the Roman Catholic church in South América has resulted in a large number of the tribes of the interior being still left pagan, and with the missionary spirit almost entirely departed from the church; while of the nominally Christian part of the population, the white portion are a race of atheists, while the Indians and Negroes, believe, it is true, but practice a faith which approaches closely to the idolatry of pagans. The church has failed utterly in bringing those who have adopted its faith up to a Christian standpoint of morals. The christianized tribes are indeed less blood

thirsty, more industrious, and perhaps less thievish than the wild tribes; but marriage is held in little esteem, gambling, and betting, and drinking are universal, and this not alone among the colored races, but among the white people as well; in fact, these vices seem borrowed from the European colonists themselves.

In many of the interior towns, even where white blood is predominant, as in Tarapoto and Moyobamba, Peru, marriage is very rare, and a genuine system of free love, gambling, cock fighting and lotteries is so universal as to have become a part of the life of the people; and this generally without a thought of being immoral, the church itself making use of some of these methods to raise money for its support. The priests themselves, with few exceptions, live scandalous lives, sharing in the general immorality of the people.

To a much greater extent than in this country of open Bibles, these priests are the exponents of the religion they preach to the people. It will be a sorry time for the morals of any country when the people, instead of going to the fountain head of scripture for their standard, shall be compelled to find it in the lives of a degraded priesthood.

The intelligent white people of South America, seeing the immoral lives of the priests, excuse their own faults through these, and at the same time discredit the religion which has such poor representatives.

Atheism will be most prevalent where christianity does least in bettering the lives of its followers. The world makes few mistakes in its judgments of religions. To carry a pure and living faith to those who have lost sight of Christ while looking at the failures of His professed follwers, is surely as necessary as to carry it to the pagans of the east.

South America has an area of 5,700,000 square miles,

more than twice the area of the United States without Alaska. A great portion of this consists of the most fertile land on the globe, capable, when fully cultivated, of supporting a population as numerous as that of India or China. It is rapidly increasing in population, and that of people essentially Christian, at least in their traditions.

The population of South America, exclusive of the pagan and independent native tribes, but including the Indians who have embraced Christianity, number some 32,000,000, divided among the various states, as follows: Brazil, 12,000,000; Peru, 3,500,000; Colombia, 3,500,000; Chili, 3,000,000; Argentine Republic, 2,000,000; Bolivia, 2,000,000; Equador, 2,000,000; Paraguay, 2,000,000; Venezuela, 2,000,000.

These are of several races, white, Indian and Negro, and mixtures of all these in every variety. The whites number probably less than one-fourth of the whole; the Indians of pure blood may include another fourth, while the remainder are Indians and whites, and whites and Negroes. The whites are relatively most numerous in Peru, the Argentine Republic and Venezuela; the infusion of Negro blood is greatest in Brazil.

The whites are chiefly descended from Spanish and Portuguese ancestors.

The methods of colonization followed by these natives. differed, and still differs radically from those with which we are familiar. The English colonists came over in families and made homes for themselves in the new country, driving back the native inhabitants and never uniting with them, and we are still accustomed to see immigrants with their families coming in the same way our ancestors came But the Spanish and Portuguese came as adventurers, men alone, expecting in time to make their fortunes and return to the peninsula,

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