Imatges de pÓgina

Gospel of God only, but also our oron Souls, because ye were dear unto us, (i Thess. 11. 8.). There be many other Testimonies of a generous and disinterested Zeal for the gaining of Souls, in the first Planters of Christianity; to Thew, that their pure Religion was above all sordid and secular Designs, was not earthly, to feed the Flock of God for filthy Lucre, but with a ready Mind, (1 Pet. V. 2.) and for a Re compence above.

The Apostle upbraided thofę false" Teachers, who, through Govetousness, made a Tort of Merchandise of Souls, (2 Pet. II. 3.) This was very unworthy the Riches of Christ preach'd among the Gentiles, (Ephef. HI, 8.) It was reseryd for the Abominations of the spiritual Babylon, that among fefsd : They themselves tell us, That the Spaniards, in their first Discoveries of that new World, (8) prefert'd' their Gain infinitely before any Godline's whatever ; examin’d the poor People about Gold, not about Religion; seeking not them, but theirs; Baptizing them only for a Token and Mark of Property to New Masters; giving them Beads and Crosses, as Hooks and Baits to draw out Things of greater Value from 'em ; and after all, taking away their Lives, if they could not produce some reserv'd Ransom for them. They confess again, that the 'savage Indians were sensible of this horris ble Abuse put upon them, and did shake their Heads, and shew great Indignation at it. (b) They observe, that the Spanish Governours and Leaders made Use of the Priests and Fryers, only as Setters to them; and yet were sometimes so jealous of the Priests interfering in their Profits, that they forbid them Entrance into fome Towns of greateft Trade and Treasure ; and quarrelled with


the Merchandise of Gold and Silver, and other pretious Wares, there should be found Slaves and Souls of Men, (Rev. XVII. 30.)

These Things have been fulfilled in the Chureh of Rome, as their own (f); Writers have con


TOT (f) Their Writers have told us, that their carrying Religion into the East-Indies , was only subservient to their Trade in those Parts; that they built Churches, or pull'd them down, as more or less useful to their Commerce. So Fryer Peter of Lisbon, in a Letter to Fryer Diego in Portugal, dated from Cochin in the Eaft-Indies, 28 December 1589. relates; I had great Conference with the King of. Pegu and his chief People;they demanded of me many Questions, touching the Law and Faith of Jesus Christ, and touching the Ten Commandments. And the King gave his Content, that our Order Thould Build a Church in his Country, which was half builded, but our perverse and malicious Portugals pluck'd it down again. For whereas it is a Country wherein our Nam tion gains very much by their Commodities, they fearing, that by the Building this Church, there would be greater Refore thither, and so their Trade ihould be impaired, if 'their great Gains should be known unto others, than those which found this Country out at first; therefore they were fo unwilling that the Building of this Church should go forward : Our Portuguese here, which are in this Realm, are worfe People than the Gentiles, &c. Hackleit Voyages Fol. Tom. II. p. 102,


them often for making their Slaves idle with Prayers,


[ocr errors]

(9) The Instances are large and many, given by Peter Martyr, Casas, and other Eye-Witneffes.

(b) The Notions the Indians had of them and their Religis on, were thefe : They looked upon them as a fort of People entirely eaten up of base and covetous Defires; and that they would do any thing for fordid Gain; and therefore they have held up pieces of Gold to them in Mockery : Ho Chriftians (say they) here's Gold, here's Gold! Intimating, there was the Thing they Admir'd and Ador'd; they knew very well it was the governing Idol of their Souls, and that whatever respect they pretended to God Almighty, it was this only that they Worlhip'd in their Hearts; and therefore the Spaniards have heard ebem say, Look upon this Gold, and behold your God. It is for this that you have Subdued us, and done so many Mischiefs; 'tis for this that you Game, Blafpheme, Curfe, Quarrel Steal, commit Rapes, and practise all manner of Luft and Villany, &c. See Dr. Harris's Colle&. of Voyages, Fol. Vol. I, p. 798.

and (i) such as they thought impertinent Offices of Religion.

we cannot boast, that all our Protestant Bre-, thren, or all our Fellow-Subjects are clearly innocent of these sordid ihaineful Crimes. Too many Complaints have been made, that some of our Plan ters have formerly obstructed the Conversion of their Slaves, from a strange Suspicion that they would be then of less Value to the m. (k) And that some of our Traders among the remoter Indians, have artfully incited them to Wars and Battles, that after a Victory on either Side, they might purchase Slaves in greater Numbers and at easier Rates. I wish these Men could take the Sin and Scandal

upon, ,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

; (i) The insatiable Covetousness of the Spaniards, who mind nothing but to anals together heaps of Treasure, makes them unwilling to luffer any Priests or Monks to come into those Cities where they are Maiters, &c. Relation given by the Bishop of Chiapa, Engl. Translation, 8vo. p. 16, 123, &c. for "fear their worldly Interest should receive dao mage, because (say they) it makes the Indians idle, to Aflemble them together, and Instruct them in the matters of Relia gion ; for all the time they take up to Preach to them, they detain them from the Work impos'd on them. Sometimes when the poor Indians have been assembled for their Instructis on in Christianity, the Spaniards have insolently accosted them with Cudgels in their Hands, and with other Cruelties; which is a great Scandal to our Religion, and a mighty Obe stacle to their Conversion. ibid.

(&) See a Sermon, intituled, Trade preferr'd before Religion. By: Morgan Godwyn of Chrift-Church in Oxford, who in his Preface before it, cells us what he calls a most dreadful Story, related to me (says he) by one that had spent some time in those Parts, of the Behaviour of some of our Factors towards the Natives of a certain Place called Jackatra upon Java, who, desirous to be Inffruted in Christianity by the English, were most unchriftianly denied the Favour ; they forfooth dreading least their apt Scholars fhould thereby come to improve their Faculty in the Mystery of Buying and Selling, (as if that also were a Mystery of the Gospel) which in timo inight lessen their Gain, and to spoil all.

upon their own (!) Heads, and not cast a Reproach upon our Religion and our Nation. An infinite Reproach it is for any Christian People to facria fice their Religion in the sight of the Heathen, for a little worldly Gain. (m) We thank God, this Society cannot be suspected of any indirect Dealings in that Kind : We freely give a part of our own Substance, and we are faithful Stewards of the Gifts and Benefactions of others : Our Misfionaries are chiefly supported out of the common Fund of Charity: We do indeed believe that the



(1) Some Letters from our Correspondents in those Parts, especially in South Carolina, have complain'd of this Pra&tice in fome English Traders or Factors, who have gone up to Trade with the Indians bordering upon Florida, &c. Letter from Goofcreek dated O&tober 20. 1709. -I am told still, if any thing opposes the Publishing of the Gospel among the Indians, it ihall be the manner of carrying on our Indian

Trade, chiefly the fomenting War amongst them for our People to get Slaves.

(m) The Author of A Preliminary Discourse concerning the Character of a Misionary, prefixt to An Account of the Success of The Danish Misionaries, lately sent 10 the East-Indies, 1711.

8vo. puts in this Paragraph. The Gentleman that attended Sir Thomas Roe in his Embassy to the Great Mogul, in the time of King James I. about the year 1615. confirms, in his Description of the Territories of that Prince, what hath been complain'd of by the present Missionaries in their Letters. It is most fad and horrible thing (fays he) to consider what Scandal there is brought upon the Cloristian Religion, by the Loosness and Remisness, by the Exorbitancies of many which come among them, who profess themselves Christians, of whom I have often heard the Natives (roho live near the Port where our Slips arrive) Say thus in broken English, which they have gotten, Christian Religion, Devil Religion ; Christian much Drunk, Christian much do Wrong, much Beat, much Abuse others. Where he also takes Notice of the exact Justice and Honesty of the Hindooes or Heathens, trading with the Christians. These after having set the lowest rate upon the Goods expos'd 10 Sale, and being yet offered far left by the Christians; in ihese Bargainings were apt to say, Doft thou think me a Christian, that I lould go at out to deceive thee?

Trade of this. Nation would be very much improv'd by the Advancement of Religion in those Parts; but even this is left for a happy Consequence, and not propos'd as an immediate View : We labour and pray for the Success of our Labours, expecting no other Returns, but our Acceptance with God, and our Reward in Heaven.


“III. A Third Hindrance of the Gospel, will be « our practising Injustice, Fraud and Oppression, “ instead of providing Things honest in the Siglio u of those Heatheus we labour to convert.

The good Apostles had nothing more at Heart, than that the Name of God should not be blafphemed among the Gentiles. And they were senlible that nothing would more tend to it, than for Christians to break the Laws of Nature, and the Rules of Gentile Honour, in doing the base Things of Dishonesty and Fraud ; for this would turn the Hearts of the Heathen, alienate their Affections from the very Faith or Profesion of such Men, who at every Advantage to be caught, would be the Deceivers and the Robbers of them.

The Law of Nature has set up an even Balance in the Minds of all rational Pagans, and in their mutual Dealings they desire to be meighed in it, knowing without any other Law, how to be a Lam unto themselves in the Equivalents of Commerce ; and how in their own Thoughts to judge of Right and Wrong. Hence it was truly divine Wisdom in our Saviour to establith his Gospel upon these Foundations of the common Sense of Mankind, the Doing unto others, as we would they should do ucto us.

The Disciples built on the fame Foundation, of having their Conversation honest among the Gentiles, (i l'et. Il. 12.) and of providing for 39.571ešt' Things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the Sigist of Men; because the contrary


[merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »