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by the governments of the colonies where their missionaries have been stationed, who have borne the most favourable testimony, to the benign influence of their labours, upon the state of society in the neighbourhood of their congregations, and have extended to them the most indulgent protection. The ancestors of the Moravian Brethren had been a church of

a martyrs for many ages before the Reformation. Originally descended from the Sclavonian branch of the Greek church, they never implicitly submitted to the authority of the Pope, though their princes, from the year 967, adhered to the Roman communion; but resolutely retained the Bible in their own hands, and per. formed their church service according to the ritual of their fathers, and in their mother tongue. For these heresies, as they were deemed, they were persecuted without mercy, and almost with out intermission. Many were punished with death; more with the spoiling of their goods; and multitudes with imprisonment and exile. In their sufferings, were literally exemplified the declarations of the apostles concerning the ancient worthies :

They had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings; yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment ;--they were stoned, were templed, were slain with the sword ;-being destitute, afflicted, tormented, (of whom the world was not worthy :) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." Among these confessors and martyrs, in the fourteenth century appeared John Huss, who was condemned to the flames as a heretic. During the war that ensued after his death, the Church of the United Brethren, under its present name, was formed by those who chose rather to suffer as witnesses of the truth, than to defend the truth by weapons of worldly warfare. A bloody decree was issued against them at the diet in 1468, and commanded to be read from all the pulpits in the land. The prisons in Bohemia were crowded with the members of their church; and their first bishop, Michael, remained in close confinement until the death of the King Podiebrad. Many perished in deep dungeons, and others were inhumanly tortured. The remainder fled to the thickest forests, where, fearing to be betrayed in the day-time, they kindled their fires only at night, round which they spent their hours in reading the scriptures and in prayer. When they afterwards obtained some respite from persecutiou, they were the first people who employed, the newly-invented art of printing for the publication of the Bible in a living tongue, and three editions of the Bohemian scriptures were issued by them before the Reformation.

When Luther, Melancthon, Bucer, and Calvin, at length arose to testify, more successfully than they had been able to do, against the errors and usurpations of the Church of Ronie, to each of these illustrious men tbe Brethren submitted their doctrinal


tenets their church discipline, and the records of their affairs ; and from each, in return, they received assurances of cordial approbation, and the kindest encouragement. But as the Reformation did not penetrate into the recesses of Bohemia, they had to suffer renewed and aggravated persecutions; till towards the close of the seventeenth century, they were so broken up, hunted down, and scattered abroad, that they ceased to be known publicly as an existing church. Their devotions, at the peril of life and liberty, were performed by stealth, in private dwellings, in deep forests, and in lonely caverns; a few only daring to assemble in one place and at one time. Previous to this dispersion, their Bishop, Amos Comenius, one of the distinguished scholars of that age, published a history of the Brethren, with a dedication, (which he called his last will and testament,) to the Church of England, bequeathing to it the memorials of his people, in the following af fecting terms :--" If, by the grace of God, there haih been found in us, (as wise and godly men have sometimes thought,) any thing true, any thing honest, any thing just, any thing pure, any thing lovely and of good report; if any virtue and any praise; care must be taken that it may not die with us, when we die ; and at least that the very foundation of our church be not buried under its present ruins, so that generations to come may not know where to look for them: and indeed this care is taken, and provision is made on this behalf, by this our trust committed to your hands.” Sixty years after this period, the church of the Brethren was raised, as it were, from the dead, by a persecution intended to crush its last remnant in Moravia. Some families flying from thence, found refuge on the estates of Count Zinzendorf, in Lusatia, where they built a humble village, (Herrnhut,) which is now the principal settlement of the Brethren. As their countrymen, together with some pious people from other quarters joined them, their congregations gradually multiplied through Germany, and a few were established in Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Holland, and North America. The Brethren first appeared in England about the middle of the last century, where, (though the most malignant calumnies were circulated against them,) in the simplicity of conscious innocence, they laid their case before Parliament. Their doctrines, discipline, character, and history, were scrupulously examined in Committees of both Houses; and a Bill exempting them from taking oaths and bearing arms, was passed, with the unanimous consent of the Bishops ; indeed all opposition to it was abandoned after the final investigation of their claims, and they were fully acknowledged by the British Legislature to be "an ancient Protestant episcopal church, which had been countenanced and relieved by the Kings of England, his Majesty's predecessors." The Brethren have now several congregations in England, Scotland, and Ireland ; but their numbers are every



where small, and their means of supporting the work of enlightening the heathen very slender. If it could be ascertained how much they have done, and with how little means, the world might be held in wonder and admiration ; but they themselves would

“ This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.” Yet even of the little which has been at their disposal, no inconsiderable proportion has been furnished by the occasional bounty of Christians of other denominations. • When the Moravian refugees, on Count Zinzendorf's estates, scarcely amounted to 600 persons ;-when they had only just found rest from suffering themselves, and were beginning to build a church and habitations, where there had previously been a desert; the missionary spirit was sent down with such constraining influence, that in the short period of eight or nine years, they had sent missionaries to Greenland, to the Indians of North and South America, to many of the West India Islands, to Lapland, to Algiers, to Guinea, to the Cape of Good Hope, to Ceylon, and subsequently to the Nicobar Islands, to Persia, and to Egypt. In 1732, pitying the misery of the negroes in the West Indies, two Brethren sailed to the Danish island of St. Thomas ; and such was their devotedness to the work, that having heard that they could not have intercourse with the slaves unless they themselves became slaves, they went with that full purpose, that they might have an opportunity of teaching the poor Africans, the way of deliverance from the captivity of sin and Satan. Although this sacrifice was not eventually required of them, sacrifices no less painful were cheerfully endured for many years, during which they had “to eat their bread in the sweat of their brow;" and to maintain themselves by manual labour under a tropical sun, while every hour of leisure was employed in conversing with the heathen. The fruits of their zeal and perseverance in due time appeared ; and in the West Indies, (Danish and British,) there are now more than 23,000 negroes joined to the Brethren’s congregations, and a vast number have entered into eternal rest, steadfast in the faith of Christ. Not a step behind these in ardour and self-denial were the first missionaries that went to Greenland in 1733. These were plain men, who knew only their native tongue, and who, in order to acquire one of the most barbarous dialects on the earth, had to learn the Danish language first, that they might avail themselves of the Grammar of the Rev. Mr. Egede, a Danish missionary then in that country. Now, the principal part of the population of Greenland is become Christian ; the

1 state of society is wonderfully changed; and instruction, through the medium of Danish, as well as Moravian teachers, is at least as universal in that inhospitable clime as in our own country. In 1734, some Brethren went among the Indians in North America. Their labours, their trials, their sufferings, and their success,

were extraordinary, even in missionary history. Many thousands of these roving and turbulent savages, of all others perhaps the most haughty and untractable, were converted from the error of their ways, and adorned the doctrines of God their Saviour, both in their lives and by their deaths. On one occasion, 96 men, women, and children, being treacherously made prisoners by white banditti, were scalped and tomahawked in cold blood, and, according to the testimony of their murderers, with their latest breath gave affecting evidence of their faith. 'At another time, eleven missionaries, male and female, were burnt alive in their dwellings, or massacred, and thrown back into the flames in attempting to escape, by a troop of Indians in the French service. In the late war, also, the Brethren's settlement at Fairfield, in Canada, was plundered and burnt to the ground by the American army, under General Harrison. A missionary and his wife accompanied the Christian Indians on their flight, who endured for more than two years the most deplorable privation with unshaken resignation, thankful to God that they had yet the bread of life, and the means of grace, when they had scarcely any other comfort left.

In 1737, G. Schmidt settled in South Africa, built himself a hut, and cleared a piece of ground near Sergeants' river. Finding it impossible to learn the Hottentot language, he set resolutely on the task of teaching the barbarians his own.

He soon so won the affections of these rude people, that many became willing scholars, and made proficiency in learning to read the scriptures. In the course of seven years he baptized seven persons, who gave proof of their change of heart and life. But owing to some difficulties that arose at that period, he returned to Europe to obtain assistance, and procure powers from the Dutch govern. ment to pursue his peaceful ministry. These were denied, and he was never permitted to go back to the colony. His heart, how. ever, was among his Hottentots, till the hour of his death. He was wont to consecrate a part of every day to secret intercession with the Lord in their behalf; and it is recorded, that he was at length found a corpse in the performance of this duty. Meanwhile, though his scholars and converts kept together for a little while, expecting his return, they were in the sequel lost among their countrymen: and during fifty years, according to human apprehension, his labours seemed to have been in vain, and his prayers unanswered. But at the end of that interval, the Brethren were enabled to send three men of like spirit with G. Schmidt, with the permission of the Dutch government. They found the spot which he had cultivated; the ruins of his hut were yet visible; but his garden was run to waste, and the whole valley was such a haunt of wild beasts, that it was called Bavians' Kloof (Baboons? Glen). The new missionaries, however, took possession of it, expelled these intruders, gathered the Hottentots to hear the word





of God, and taught their children to read it under the shadow of a magnificent pear-tree, planted by their predecessor, which was still in full vigour and bearing. But this tree and its fruit were not all that remained of the good man's labours :-an aged blind woman, being traced out, produced a Dutch Testament, 'which he had given her on leaving Africa, and which she kept as her greatest treasure, carefully wrapped up in two sheep-skins. A young Hottentot woman was in the habit of reading occasionally from this book to her, and this young woman became one of the earliest converts of the three Brethren. In that place (since called Gradenthal) there is now a flourishing congregation of Hottentots, and at a considerable distance another (Groenekloof,) which is also greatly prospering. A third settlement has been lately begun under the encouragement of the British government, on the Witte Revier, near the borders of Caffraria. The two former, according to the testimony of both friends and enemies to missionary exertions, are like beautiful gardens in the midst of the wilderness; the Hottentots themselves being as much changed in their habits, manners, and minds, as the face of the country has been improved by industry and skill. The change which has taken place in their hearts, the eye of God alone can see in all its aspects, and contemplate in all its issues; but it is sufficiently obvious to all, that the love of Christ has subdued their natural character, and has brought their affections and their understandings into obedience to himself. The Brethren have various missions in other parts of the globe. The following is a table of the whole.

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For many years past the burden of pecuniary expense attending these missions has been more than the Brethren were able to bear; but the successive occupation of their principal settlements as the head-quarters of the hostile armies in 1813, brought them to the verge of ruin. The committee in London for the Relief of the Suffering Germans, found themselves called upon, in the year 1813, to extend their assistance to the Brethren's settlements,

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