KING & BAIRD, PRINTERS, NO. 9 SANSOM STREET.
During the Session of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, at Philadelphia, in the month of October, 1856, meetings, at which Bishop Potter, of Pennsylvania, presided, were held on the evening of the sixth of October, at St. Stephen's Church, and on that of the thirteenth of October, at St. Luke's Church; with a view to receive and communicate information in regard to the situation, progress, support and extension of the Missionary Establishment, in its Foreign and Domestic Departments. Addresses were made, at these meetings, by Bishop Clark, of Rhode Island, Bishop Hawks, of Missouri, and Bishop Johns, of Virginia; and also by the Reverend Mr. Clarkson, of Illinois, the Reverend Mb. Scott, of Liberia, in Africa, Mr. Henry D. Gilpin, of Philadelphia, and Mr. F. B. Fogg, of Nashville, Tennessee.
Though I cannot claim to be among those, who, by the arrangements usual on occasions such as this, might be expected to take part in the duty of laying before this large and deeply interested audience, the proceedings of the benevolent and admirable association--the Board of Foreign and Domestic Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church--whose officers and active members are here assembled around me; and though I am well aware how little any words of mine ought to engage the attention of those who have heard, and who are yet to hear, the eloquent remarks of the reverend persons who in glowing language can point out to us the duty, the excellence and the Christian charity of diffusing, by means of our missions, the blessings of religious truth; yet I have ventured to solicit permission to trespass somewhat upon your time, while I lay before you facts with which circumstances, mainly accidental, have made me acquainted; and which this seemed to be a fitting occasion to make known to those whose pious hopes established, whose [5/6] generosity has sustained, and whose confidence has cheered the labors of our Missionaries in foreign lands.
Learning from the announcement lately made, that the present meeting was this evening to assemble here, I solicited the favor of being allowed to lay before it some of the results of personal observations, made, not long since, during a tour in parts of Greece. I sought permission to offer, in this public manner, my humble tribute of respect--as a Christian and an American--for some of my own countrymen in Greece (and, thank God, such generous and devoted spirits, have not sought Greece alone, but have carried the same glad tidings to farther and benighted lands)--for some of my own countrymen, I say, whose quiet, and pious, and beneficent labors have reflected on my country's name a glory and honor that made me proud to be her son.
It happened to me, after having travelled over much of continental Europe, seldom hearing the language of America, or meeting with familiar faces, to find in a port of the Mediterranean one of our public vessels, from whose mast I saw again the star-spangled banner floating to the breeze--bright sign of a Union, that I believe it is not in the dispensations of Providence to allow any madness to destroy; clouds will sweep over the brightest constellations of the skies, but they keep their fixed places to shine out more brightly when the fleeting [6/7] obscurity has passed. As I stood upon her deck, I seemed once more to be at home; and my bosom swelled with those emotions which the thought of home excites in the heart of him who is absent from and loves her. But faint was that emotion compared with what I felt as I passed, in Athens, along a street bearing the name of Hadrian--that mighty emperor who scattered broad-cast, in the very prodigality of art, over the remotest regions of his vast empire, the multiplied images of pagan worship--when I saw in this street, a small bookstore, which had been the first, to give evidence that the spirit of letters and of thought were again to be awakened in their once favorite haunt; and when I learned that it was established by an American missionary who began to diffuse, from that centre, the sacred volume of revelation, on the earliest dawn of liberty in rescued Greece. Still deeper was my emotion--still more proud was I of America--when I stood in the midst of one of her Missionary schools; when I saw the little flock listening to the accents of Christian truth, from the lips of one whose gentle manners and whose gentle sex allured the young heart with love, as they filled with admiration and with praise the more mature.
None can have forgotten the sudden burst of enthusiastic joy with which all America hailed, scarcely thirty years ago, the news that Greece--little Greece--was throwing off, by her own unaided [7/8] bravery, the oppression of tyranny, heathenism and ignorance beneath which she had been buried for centuries. How did the eloquent words of Clay, issuing from the halls of Congress, awaken sympathy throughout the land! The deep tones of Webster, speaking from the north, refused, in his appeal for this sympathy, to acknowledge the influence--and who more than himself could feel it--of those memorials which ancient Greece had transmitted for the admiration and the benefit of mankind; he claimed it for modern--living Greece; for a people who, under barbarous masters, aspired after the blessings of knowledge and civilization; for a country where Christian men had been trampled into the very earth, century after century, by a pillaging, savage, relentless soldiery. From the south, the generous spirit of Poinsett, ever the knight-errant of oppressed liberty, pleaded the same cause. From states; from citizens; there was a prompt response. South Carolina, by her legislature, leading the way, expressed her deep interest in the noble and patriotic struggle to drive the infidel and barbarian from the hallowed ground. Massachusetts implored that America should be foremost in behalf of Christian brotherhood and suffering humanity. Large assemblages solicited Congress to welcome the young republic into the family of nations; and numerous associations transmitted voluntary aid, to relieve the wants and to mitigate the sufferings of a people, small in numbers [8/9] and poor in resources, who were encountering the perils of a barbarous warfare. As we rode along the shores of the Isthmus of Corinth, the Greek who was our guide stopped to point out the site of the hospital and the store-house from which, as he told us, Doctor Howe, the minister of American benevolence, had sent timely supplies and bestowed timely comfort in the darkest hour of the struggle. It was at the same spot where Saint Paul had made his vow of unshaken devotion to the ministry of Christ--when "troubled on every side, he was not perplexed; when distressed, he was not cast down," but looked confidently for the time when "the light was to shine out of darkness, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God." Such acts first brought the name of America to the knowledge of the Greeks and endeared it, and still endears it to them. They early placed it in a contrast, of which we may be justly proud, with that of other Christian governments, who have scarcely left there any mark, but the plundered ruins of classic edifices; the introduction of institutions novel and totally uncongenial to the wants, habits and character of the people; the forcible disruption of ties of common language, associations and origin; and the odious exhibition of military interference and domination.
But American sympathy displayed itself in impulses even more noble than national fellowship, or generous relief against the sufferings of war. It was [9/10] not to be doubted that Greece must assume, sooner or later, her place in the family of states. The ravages of the oppressor must pass away. Industry and peace would slowly remove the desolation he had made. But what was to give life to the rising body, when the shroud was cast aside? What was to give food to the mind that had been pressed down for centuries beneath the despotism of besotted ignorance? What was to rekindle the smouldering sparks of Christian truth that had been crushed and buried beneath the jealous intolerance of heathenism, through the whole period in which reviving religion had been elsewhere making her brightest progress? In the language of Greece had been diffused the first sacred lessons of the Christian faith. In the cities of Greece, Christian churches, almost the earliest, had been founded by the immediate apostles of our blessed Saviour. When these pious men had been removed--too often by the sword of martyrdom--from the trust delegated to them by the divine Author and Finisher of our faith, their inspired teachings continued to be spread, with undiminished fidelity, by the fathers and in the language of Greece, until, under the influences of the holy spirit, they saw the cross of Christianity supplant the altars of paganism, throughout all the enlightened portions of the world. Polycarp, and Justin, and Chrysostom, and other sacred teachers who associated with or followed them, have left us, in the [10/11] language of Plato, the lessons of a purer faith. Even when
The double night of ages and of her,
Night's daughter, Ignorance
descended upon the world, during the mysterious period of medieval darkness; Greece in her language, her religion and the pious names that adorned her church, preserved the last rays that faded from the horizon. Alas! when the dawn of brighter days reappeared, it did not shine on her. During that gloomy night, the infidel had swept over her land, and he still retained his unmitigated sway. While Christianity gained new triumphs, as the returning sun rose by degrees over the rest of Europe; as religion went hand in hand with the progress of civilization; a darker oppression kept in subjection all the impulses of Christian faith, all the efforts of social advancement, in the land where Saint Paul had founded his churches, and whose people had been formed by nature to be foremost in the love of knowledge and the pursuits of industry and art.
But the spark was there. Neither medieval darkness nor infidel subjugation--through the long course of more than a thousand years--had been able to extinguish it. Power had not subdued, interest had not seduced the strong love of a common country, language and race. Christian faith, if clouded by superstition, had never yielded to persecution. Centuries of poverty had not diminished [11/12] the conscious pride of possessing an intellectual heritage. The light and liberty of religion, the gift of education, the blessing of free government, the boon of untrammelled industry, were among the earliest aspirations of independent Greece, and she welcomed the stranger-friend who was to aid in restoring these blessings to her, with a spirit at least as grateful as that with which she hailed the generous assistance that ministered to wants apparently more pressing.
And nobly did America respond to these hopes; and great is the benefit, which, it is already apparent, has been conferred. Scarcely thirty years have elapsed since the footstep of the Turk has been lifted from that small portion of Greece, which the arbitrary political arrangements of modern Europe have permitted to retain the freedom it acquired for itself. Unjust therefore would it be, to expect from a people, few in numbers, poor in all this world's goods, with a small territory and a rugged soil, just emerging from an oppression, which for centuries had maintained amongst them the most degrading ignorance and superstition, and obliged to enter upon their own self-government, with institutions unsuited, in many respects, to their character, habits and wants; unjust would it be to ask from them, so soon, the absence of every vestige that such oppression must have left; and if their progress, in these short thirty years, has not reached all we might desire, has it not [12/13] attained more than the most sanguine could have been led to hope for; more than any other people, under similar circumstances, ever has achieved?
Do you regard these opinions of the progress of modern Greece, since her revolution, as too enthusiastic] Fain would I dwell upon the reasons--derived from my own observation--upon which they have been founded. The more readily would I do so, since there are few causes to which, in my judgment, they may be more properly attributed, than to the generous efforts which American philanthropy promptly made to minister to the religious and intellectual advancement of the Greeks. But upon a topic so wide and alluring, I must now forbear to enter. I must limit myself to that alone, upon which the time, the place and the occasion permit me properly to dwell.
The journals which bore to Athens the eloquent expressions of American public sympathy; the vessels which were freighted with food and clothing for the destitute; had hardly been announced, when the glad tidings came also, that there were generous friends who were bringing the Bible and the school-book. Before the mainland of Greece was finally relinquished by the Turk, on the thirty-first of August, 1829, a school for boys and another for girls, were opened in the island of Tenos, by the Reverend Doctor King, the necessary expenses of the latter having been promptly and voluntarily remitted to [13/14] him, by Miss Angelina Grimké, a lady of South Carolina, whose name I am proud to record, and whose character for benevolence and piety was not first made known even by that generous act. As if in that land, where omens were in old days so enthusiastically hailed, one should not be wanting, at an event and moment so auspicious; the youth who first presented himself for admission, bore the name of Swthr, or "Saviour;" and the little Christian girl who first came to seat herself at the feet of the far-wandering missionary, had been baptized by that of Eirhnh, or "Peace." Surely it was a good omen, gladdening the heart of the kind messenger, since it might seem to assure him that the restored religion of the Saviour and the first tidings of returning Peace, were the united harbingers of his labour of love.
When the last trace of the infidel disappeared from the soil of liberated Greece, though Athens was still little better than a mass of ruins, and the only buildings that were conspicuous among the dilapidated remains of her classic grandeur, were the domes and minarets of deserted mosques; the Reverend Doctor King removed there, under the sanction of the American Board of Foreign Missions, having transferred his island school, whose pupils had risen in numbers to two hundred, to the faithful care of an island teacher, whom he had himself instructed for the duty.
Close upon his footsteps, came also to Athens the [14/15] Reverend Doctor Hill, despatched from America by the prompt benevolence of that Society which now, after the lapse of a quarter of a century, assembles here to acknowledge that the work of its good and faithful servant has been well done. These most excellent persons were followed, at what exact interval I do not know, by the Reverend Mr. Arnold and the Reverend Mr. Buel, missionaries sent to Greece by the American Baptist Missionary Union, the former of whom, established himself at Athens, the latter at the Piraeus, the ancient as well as the still existing seaport of that city. These four pious and devoted ministers of Christ, still continued to be resident in Greece when I visited it; and it is recorded, I perceive, among the latest reports transmitted to this Society, that they all united together in the expression of the warmest Christian fellowship, when the clergy of the Greek Church, and the public authorities, and the delighted parents, and the approving citizens of Athens, assembled to witness, at its late annual exhibition, the missionary school of our own church, clustering, as for so many years it has clustered, fast by the Hill of Mars.
I found them, indeed, to have secured the esteem and respect of the whole community. If, at some periods in this long interval, there had been displayed towards any of these good men, by those who professed and administered the religious observances of the Greek Church, any unfriendliness of conduct and [15/16] injustice, they were passed away. Temporary in their duration, they had been reconciled by the evident piety and the Christian bearing of the American missionaries, and had disappeared before the influence of that evangelical spirit in which the duties confided to them had been religiously performed.
Though the Greek Church professes a creed which is mainly accordant with our own, and a liturgy which abounds, not only in direct lessons drawn from the Bible, but in the teachings of the reverenced fathers of the early Christian church; yet the long night of ignorance and oppression under which the people had suffered, the want of education, the absence of the Holy Scriptures, the few and scattered churches, all combined to make it apparent that what was most needed by Christian Greece, was the establishment of schools, where lessons of piety and vital Christianity should be impressed upon the youthful mind; the diffusion of the Bible in the language of modern Greece; and the translation and circulation, throughout the country and its schools, of those books which had been adopted and selected, under the lights of Christian benevolence, in our own land, as being best fitted to lead the young intellect in the way that it should go. While the offices of religious worship have been faithfully and steadily pursued, with doors ever open and a winning spirit, in accordance with the forms and [16/17] doctrines of each Christian communion to which the American Missionaries have belonged; and while many have been thus gathered by them into their respective folds; and while the truths of religion have thus found their way into hearts from which formality and superstition had long excluded them; yet, in addition to this, they have scattered broadcast over the whole territory of Greece the fruitful seeds of elevated religious truth, by the agency of those they have tutored and sent forth, and by the lessons of revelation and of virtue which they have carried to every door.
And while I speak of these labours of piety--and they have been, at the same time, truly labours of love--let me not omit also to speak of one circumstance, the impression of which never can pass from my memory, and which must deeply enlist the sympathy of all who have watched and gloried in the progress, so successful, of the Protestant Episcopal Mission to Greece. I have adverted to the labours and zeal of Doctor Hill, Doctor King, Mr. Arnold and Mr. Buel, as I witnessed them at Athens; but I have not yet named a bright, charitable and untiring spirit, who, from the first, has borne a more than equal share in this holy enterprise; whose modesty is equal to her piety; whose practical usefulness is not surpassed by her superior intelligence. From the earliest days of the Christian church, many of its brightest and holiest sons have [17/18] been led into the path of truth, by the gentle suggestions of a woman's teaching. Who can forget the touching appeal of Saint Paul to his young and favourite disciple, when he reminded him that his early lessons in the gospel faith were from his mother Eunice's lips? Who does not remember with what fulness of heart Augustine upbraids himself, for not acknowledging the direct language of God, recalling him from the wayward life of his youth, when he passionately exclaims, "What were the words of my mother, but Thy words, Oh God, coming through her lips!" As I looked upon the little flock of children clustered around Mrs. Hill; as I saw among them grandchildren of those she had first taught; as I heard infant lips evincing that they had well learned, from her teaching, the lessons of Christian truth; as I walked through Athens, and found voice after voice bearing testimony to the good she had done; I felt proud, indeed, that the American matrons should have such a representative in a foreign land.
I cannot venture to detain you with the history of that seminary, which, founded by the pious foresight of the Protestant Episcopal Board of Missions, and sustained through long years by its ministering aid, has been, as I believe, the fountain-spring of a present and a future, not for Greece only, but in the progress of time, for the whole benighted East; which is to respond to the hopes and gladden the heart of [18/19] every friend of human progress. Three generations have passed, or are passing from its walls, bearing with them no lessons but those of virtue, no impression of religious faith or duty but that which is simple and evangelical. Supported by small means, sustained by neither influence nor power, with no counsellors to guide, amidst a people emerging from the darkness of ages, in a land just convulsed with revolution, the Sun of Righteousness has seemed to shed its holy beams upon the good undertaking--to brighten it, to cheer it, to warm it with increasing light and life. God has blessed the bread that was cast upon the waters.
When this school was founded in 1831, by Doctor and Mrs. Hill, a cellar among the ruins left by the departing infidel, was the receptacle where twenty children, poor, almost naked, quite uneducated, assembled to receive the first teachings of the missionaries. Their pious plan was fully matured from the beginning, and has been faithfully pursued to the end. With the lessons of instruction, they sought to impress the love of truth; to turn the mind from the influences of superstition; to cultivate in it a respect for the ordinances of God; to encourage domestic virtue with the progress of intellectual improvement; to train up, in the same mode and spirit, those who might become teachers, among their own people; and, above all, to make habitual the study and reverence of the Scriptures. [19/20] No efforts to win the scholar or to influence the parent were used, beyond these avowed and open purposes, and the evidence of their results. In two years the number of their scholars had increased to one hundred and sixty. In the third year it had reached two hundred and fifty. At the close of 1835, it numbered four hundred; and in a year after had risen to six hundred. And now the school which had been, at its outset, hardly more than a refuge for the poor, was sought by the influential and intelligent. Persons high in official rank eagerly sent their children there. The officers of the State were seen among those who came to witness the proficiency of the scholars; and it sank deep into the hearts of the good missionaries when they heard, from the convinced judgment of one of them, the acknowledgment that they had taught lessons which were not only to benefit the pupils within their walls, but to spread an enduring influence over Greece; "We, measure," said he, "our advancement as a nation, by the increasing prosperity of your missionary labours." The government itself sent to the missionaries, scholars, more advanced in years, to be instructed by them as teachers for its public institutions; those of their own pupils who might leave them, bearing with them the certificate of their approbation, needed no other testimonial to secure for themselves similar positions; and thus, in a few years, were the teachings of the missionaries [20/21] of our Church, extended to a circle which their own efforts could not have reached, and hundreds of pupils whom they could not, therefore, have hoped to instruct, were imbibing the same lessons of religion and of moral duty that they would have desired to teach them. In 1837, the scholars had increased to six hundred and thirty; in 1840, they numbered seven hundred; and in 1841, had reached seven hundred and ninety.
From the rapid increase of number, and improvement in the character of the instruction in the public schools, which had been gradually established and enlarged, during this interval, by the government of Greece; from the demands which health, impaired by such exertions and by increasing age, has made upon the good missionaries themselves, they have been compelled, and deemed themselves justified to reduce, within a few years past, their exertions to narrower limits, and to confine them to pupils of earlier years; but when I was in Athens, their flock still numbered several hundred; and our eyes were gladdened as we saw clustering around the benevolent matron, a little band, who, using the language of Greece, and showing in their countenances the features of another people than our own, were studying the same school books, singing the same hymns, reading the same holy lessons, and growing up in the same divine faith, as if they had [21/22] been gathered together in the school-room of an American church.
Nor have their other duties been less faithfully performed. The books introduced and largely used in the public schools of Greece, are those which the American Missionaries have selected and translated; the excellent works of pious teaching which have been prepared in America, as best fitted for the youthful mind, are widely spread there; and above all, the Bible entire, the New Testament, and extracts selected from both, have been diffused to an extent that is scarcely to be conceived. The traveller in Greece now purchases the Scriptures without difficulty in the libraries and in the language of the country; their perusal in the public schools is not only authorized but enforced by law; and their circulation is not more surprising from its number, than from the fact that it exists among a people to whom bibles and schools, and even a printing press, were almost totally unknown, much less than half a century ago.
Before I was in Greece, more than sixty-five thousand copies of works intended for circulation, and translated from English into modem Greek, by the Episcopal missionaries, or under their auspices, had been printed and were then nearly all distributed; embracing among them works of Home, of Bickersteth, of Leslie, of Robinson, of Littleton, and of Watson.
 Within the last few years the missionaries of the Baptist Union, Mr. Arnold, at Athens, and Mr. Buel, at the Piraeus, had, in addition to their schools and religious services conducted in the language of the country, and open to and frequented by the Greeks, published and circulated more than twelve thousand copies of various works of the same excellent character. While we were there, they were engaged in preparing a life of Washington in that language, and a translation into it of the Pilgrim's Progress. They had made frequent journeys into various parts of Greece, bearing with them, not these books only, but copies of the Sacred Writings; their advent, wherever they travelled, being eagerly welcomed by the public authorities and the people, and their books being anxiously sought for and gratefully received. An infant school of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold, at Athens, gathered around them a hundred little children; and the same number of scholars, but of maturer years, attended a Sunday School of Mr. and Mrs. Buel, at the Piraeus, where they were inculcating, to voluntary pupils, in a place of public and gratuitous instruction, the divine lessons of Saint Paul, close by the very spot where an altar, inscribed "To the Unknown God," long continued to exist, bearing its silent testimony to the recorded eloquence of the great Apostle. Nor is it inappropriate to state the fact, that when, not long afterwards, that school was closed, and the building [23/24] in which it had been held was occupied by the invading army of the French, a new edifice was speedily erected by the private munificence of a Greek lady of the Piraeus, in which a public seminary, having already more than two hundred scholars, takes the place of that of the departed American Missionaries. Of the admirable and almost unbounded labours of Doctor King, the time-honoured Missionary of the American Board, in the same benevolent cause, it is scarcely possible for me to give you an idea. At the very moment of his arrival in Athens, while it was yet a mass of ruins, he sought and obtained permission to establish the first library for the distribution and sale of the Scriptures, and of works of the character I have mentioned. Though not less zealous or successful than his fellow-labourers in the prompt establishment also of schools, he early decided rather to leave those institutions to their benevolent and competent care, and to choose for himself that part of missionary duty for which his learning and abilities were eminently adapted. In addition to the religious instruction and worship, which, in common with them, he has never ceased zealously to give, in the language of modern Greece, he undertook, with an ardour trained by piety and aided by knowledge, the translation from our own language, of volume after volume, suited to combine the advancement of education and religion. Regarded, as I found him to be, with reverence and [24/25] confidence, alike for his virtues and his services, by many of the most distinguished persons who guide or control the public institutions of Greece, he has been the centre of an influence as unbounded as it has proved to be beneficent. I cannot pretend to enumerate the volumes which, by his agency, have been circulated through Greece, or state the titles of those which he has translated in his well spent career of five and twenty years. The number of them does not fall short of one hundred. To works on grammar, arithmetic, geography and education in its various details, he has added histories, ancient and modern, always carefully influenced in making his selections, by the rules which would govern a similar choice in the best institutions of his own country. Through his exertions, the writings of the purest teachers of piety and morality--those of Baxter, of Wilberforce, of Butler, and of kindred spirits--have become as familiar in the schools of Greece as of America. Above all, it is largely due to his unwearied efforts that the sacred Scriptures have been authoritatively introduced into them. From his library and his dwelling at Athens, have been issued, since the commencement of his mission, the amazing number of four hundred thousand copies of school-books, the Scriptures, and religious works sanctioned by the American Tract Society. During the single year in which I was myself in Athens, he distributed more than seven thousand copies of such [25/26] works; and, in a corresponding period, he circulated more than three thousand copies of the New Testament alone. To him, especially in the earlier days, before the presses of Greece had become as numerous as they now are, the public schools looked chiefly for their books, and at one time he had more than a hundred applying to him for this assistance. Confided in by the Bible Society of England, as well as by the institutions of his own country; and regarded with just respect by the authorities of Greece; he has discharged with exemplary fidelity, as with unexhausted industry, the duty intrusted to him by the one and beneficial to the other, while deeply gratifying to his own kind heart.
Knowing the reverence with which the pious behests of Chrysostom are regarded by the Christians in the East, he had engaged himself, at the time when I was at Athens, in collecting and translating into modern Greek, those passages of his works which urge the perusal and study of the Scriptures; and I cannot better conclude my sincere tribute to the virtues and services of this faithful missionary, nor better exemplify the spirit which now characterizes some, at least, of the statesmen of Greece, than by reading to you a translation of an official decree, made from the original now in my hand, which directs the introduction into all the public schools, of this excellent and well-timed volume. It was transmitted to Doctor King, as soon as it was promulgated, by the [26/27] Minister of Public Instruction, with a letter, expressing his sense of the service he had rendered to the cause of education and religion. The decree, which is dated on the nineteenth of January, 1855, is as follows: "Kingdom of Greece. The Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs and Public Instruction to the Schoolmasters and Schoolmistresses of the District Schools. That nothing tends so much to the regulation of morals, and to the knowledge of man's duties towards God and his neighbour, as the reading of the sacred Scriptures, Saint Chrysostom has shown in many parts of his numerous and sacred writings. These passages of the holy father, collected with care and simplified by a translation, are now published and distributed gratuitously. A sufficient number of copies has been already sent to the Nomarchs, that they may be distributed to the District Schools, in proportion to the number of their scholars. We recommend to you that this collection be read, as well for the perspicuity of the style as the wholesomeness of the sense, and we doubt not that practice will be added to theory. Thus will be made operative the injunctions of the holy father, by inspiring the youths who attend your schools with ready minds to read the sacred Scriptures, and also to resume, when at home, in the hearing of those around them, the divine lessons they are thus taught, so that the advantages they have themselves received will be multiplied to [27/28] others, and the scripture be fulfilled, which saith, 'the entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.' Signed by the Minister, G. Psyllas."
Nor is it from the government and statesmen of Greece alone that this cheering answer to the labour of the missionaries, has come. They have found also, year after year, increasing fellowship and cooperation from the clergy of Greece; bishops and priests attend the examinations of their schools; approve of the introduction of their books; and gladly unite to promote the circulation of the Scriptures among their flocks. Not long before I was at Athens, the Ierokhrux, or official public preacher of the city, when attending the examination of a national school, selected as the topic of a discourse to the teachers and pupils, the duty of studying and circulating the Word of God; "The Bible," said he, "is the source of all godly knowledge; it is, on this account, the safest guide to man's salvation; it reveals to us the character of the Deity; and they who read it, aided by the enlightening influence of God's holy spirit, find it to be 'a lantern unto their feet, and a light unto their paths,' purifying the heart, delighting the soul, and causing it to utter its joy in the words of the Royal Psalmist, 'Oh, how sweet are Thy words unto my taste!'"
It is thus that the American Missionaries in [28/29] Greece, in the short period of five and twenty years, have performed, with a success that cannot be surpassed, the highest duties of Christian usefulness. They have shown, in a land where they went as strangers, the personal evidence of unsullied piety and virtue. They have conducted, with conscientious, undisguised and winning fidelity and candour, the simpler devotional exercises of their own communions. They have preached, without shrinking, the gospel truth in a tolerant and unobtrusive but resolute spirit. They have sent from their schools many thousands, with hearts imbued with the best lessons of religion and morality. They have filled the channels of public instruction with the Scriptures in the language of the country; and have carried them, far and wide, into the cottages and hamlets of a scattered and pastoral people. They have contributed to form the intellectual mind of Greece, not for the present time only, but in generations that are to come. They have largely moulded the system and directed the course of that progress which is already a characteristic feature of regenerated Greece, aiding her to preserve and restore the bright intelligence, which is the heritage of her ancient name, and giving to our times the hope, that a new light of truth, religious and intellectual, is to be spread over the whole benighted East, emanating from the same centre which diffused it in times long past.