Missionary Travels And Researches In South Africa By David Livingstone



 -   The Society's operations may be transferred to the north,
and then the strong-built mission premises become the home of - Page 190
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The Society's Operations May Be Transferred To The North, And Then The Strong-Built Mission Premises Become The Home Of A Boer, And The Stately Stone Church His Cattle-Pen.

This place has been what the monasteries of Europe are said to have been when pure. The monks did not disdain to hold the plow.

They introduced fruit-trees, flowers, and vegetables, in addition to teaching and emancipating the serfs. Their monasteries were mission stations, which resembled ours in being dispensaries for the sick, almshouses for the poor, and nurseries of learning. Can we learn nothing from them in their prosperity as the schools of Europe, and see naught in their history but the pollution and laziness of their decay? Can our wise men tell us why the former mission stations (primitive monasteries) were self-supporting, rich, and flourishing as pioneers of civilization and agriculture, from which we even now reap benefits, and modern mission stations are mere pauper establishments, without that permanence or ability to be self-supporting which they possessed?

Protestant missionaries of every denomination in South Africa all agree in one point, that no mere profession of Christianity is sufficient to entitle the converts to the Christian name. They are all anxious to place the Bible in the hands of the natives, and, with ability to read that, there can be little doubt as to the future. We believe Christianity to be divine, and equal to all it has to perform; then let the good seed be widely sown, and, no matter to what sect the converts may belong, the harvest will be glorious. Let nothing that I have said be interpreted as indicative of feelings inimical to any body of Christians, for I never, as a missionary, felt myself to be either Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or Independent, or called upon in any way to love one denomination less than another. My earnest desire is, that those who really have the best interests of the heathen at heart should go to them; and assuredly, in Africa at least, self-denying labors among real heathen will not fail to be appreciated. Christians have never yet dealt fairly by the heathen and been disappointed.

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