Such cruelties as
they have been practising show that as yet not a ray of Christ's love
has entered their darkened minds." How can the priest teach what he
is himself ignorant of?
Where the Indian has been civilized, as well as Romanized, Mr. Milne,
of the American Bible Society, could write:
"Since the Spanish conquest the progress of the Indians has been in
the line of deterioration and moral degradation. They are oppressed
by the Romish clergy, who can never drain contributions enough out of
them, and who make the children render service to pay for masses for
deceased parents and relatives. Tears came to our eyes as Mr.
Penzotti and I watched them practising their heathen rites in the
streets of La Paz, the chief city of Bolivia. They differ from the
other Indians in that they are domesticated, but they know no more
of the Gospel than they did under the rule of the Incas."
What is to be the future of these natives? Shall they disappear from
the stage of the world's history like so many other aborigines,
victims of civilization, or will a hand yet be stretched out to help
them? Civilization, after all, is not entirely made up of greed and
lust, but in it there is righteousness and truth. May the day soon
dawn when some of the latter may be extended to them ere they take
the long, dark trail after their fathers, and have hurled the last
malediction at their cursed white oppressors!