Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/292

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pies they fixed up in some conspicuous place the ten commandments of the Jewish religion, while they rarely fixed up the two Christian commandments which were to replace them. 'And yet,' says the reporter, after dilating on these strange facts, 'though the English were greatly given to missionary enterprises of all kinds, and though I sought diligently among the records of these, I could find no trace of a society for converting the English people from Judaism to Christianity.' This mention of their missionary enterprises introduces other remarkable anomalies. Being anxious to get adherents to this creed which they adopted in name, but not in fact, they sent out men to various parts of the world to propagate it—one part, among others, being that subjugated territory above named. There the English missionaries taught the gentle precepts of their faith; and there the officers employed by their government exemplified these precepts—one of the exemplifications being that, to put down a riotous sect, they took fifty out of sixty-six who had surrendered, and, without any trial, blew them from the guns, as they called it—tied them to the mouths of cannon, and shattered their bodies to pieces. And then, curiously enough, having thus taught and thus exemplified their religion, they expressed great surprise at the fact that the only converts their missionaries could obtain among these people were hypocrites and men of characters so bad that no one would employ them.

"Nevertheless, these semi-civilized English had their good points. Odd as must have been the delusion which made them send out missionaries to inferior races, who were always ill used by their sailors and settlers, and eventually extirpated by them, yet, on finding that they spent annually a million of their money in missionary and allied enterprises, we cannot but see some generosity of motive in them. They country was dotted over with hospitals and almshouses, and institutions for taking care of the diseased and indigent; and their towns were overrun with philanthropic societies, which, without saying any thing about the wisdom of their policy, clearly implied good feeling. They expended in the legal relief of their poor as much as, and at one time more than, a tenth of the revenue raised for all national purposes. One of their remarkable deeds was that, to get rid of a barbarous institution of those times, called slavery, under which, in their colonies, certain men held complete possession of others, their goods, their bodies, and practically even their lives, they paid down twenty millions of their money. And not less striking was the fact that, during a war between two neighboring nations, they contributed large sums, and sent out many men and women, to help in taking care of the wounded and assisting the ruined.

"The facts brought to light by these explorations are thus extremely instructive. Now that, after tens of thousands of years of discipline, the lives of men in society have become so harmonious—now that character and conditions have little by little grown into ad-