The first Moravian missionaries to the West Indies walked six hundred miles to take ship, worked their passage, and then sold themselves as slaves, in order to get the privilege of preaching to the Negroes? The father of John G. Paton was a stocking weaver. The whole family, with the exception of the very small children, worked from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., with one hour for dinner at noon and a half-hour each for breakfast and supper. Yet family prayer was regularly held twice a day. In these breathing spells for daily meals John G. Paton took part of his time to study the Latin Grammar, that he might prepare himself for missionary work. When told by an uncle that, if he went to the New Hebrides, the cannibals would eat him, he replied: ?You yourself will soon be dead and buried, and I had as lief be eaten by cannibals as by worms.? The Aneityumese raised arrowroot for fifteen years and sold it to pay the £1200 required for printing the Bible in their own language. Universal church attendance and Bible study make those South Sea Islands the most heavenly place on earth on the Sabbath day.
In 1839, twenty thousand Negroes in Jamaica gathered to begin a life of freedom. Into a coffin were put the handcuffs and shackles of slavery, relics of the whipping post and the scourge. As the clock struck twelve at night, a preacher cried with the first stroke: ?The monster is dying: ?and so with every stroke until the last, when he cried: ?The monster is dead:? Then all rose from their knees and sang: ?Praise God front whom all blessings flow!?? ?What do you do that for? ?said the sick China man whom the medical missionary was tucking up in bed with a care which the patient had never received since he was a baby. The missionary took the opportunity to tell him of the love of Christ? The aged Australian mother, when told that her two daughters, missionaries in China, had both of them been murdered by a heathen mob, only replied: ?This decides me; I will go to China now myself, and try to teach those poor creatures what the love of Jesus means.?? Dr. William Ashmore: ?Let one missionary die, and ten come to his funeral.? A shoemaker, teaching neglected boys and girls while he worked at his cobbler?s bench, gave the impulse to Thomas Guthrie?s life of faith.
We must judge religions not by their ideals, but by their performances. Omar Khayyam and Mozoomdar give us beautiful thoughts, but the former is not Persia, nor is the latter India. ?When the microscopic search of skepticism, which has hunted the heavens and sounded the seas to disprove the existence of a Creator, has turned its attention to human society and has found on this planet a place ten miles square where a decent man can live in decency, comfort, and security, supporting and educating his children, unspoiled and unpolluted; a place where age is
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reverenced, infancy protected manhood respected, womanhood honored, and human life held in due regard ? when skeptics can find such a place ten miles square on this globe, where the gospel of Christ has not gone and cleared the way and laid the foundations and made decency and security possible, it will then be in order for the skeptical literati to move thither and to ventilate their views. But so long as these very men are dependent upon the very religion they discard for every privilege they enjoy, they may well hesitate before they rob the Christian of his hope and humanity of its faith in that Savior who alone has given that hope of eternal life which makes life tolerable and society possible, and robs death of its terrors and the grave of its gloom.? On the beneficent influence of the gospel, see Schmidt, Social Results of Early Christianity; D. J. Hill, The Social Influence of Christianity.
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