Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Percy of Newcastle On The Jesuit Missionary

Eustace Sutherland Campbell Percy, 1st Baron Percy of Newcastle
To the continental mind, however skeptical or hostile, this is obvious obvious alike to the Belgian freethinker confronted with Cardinal Désiré-Joseph Mercier and to the Czech politician who meditates a new concordat with Rome. For in Europe a united and self-organised Church is still a ubiquitous power, a formidable factor in the political life of every state, and reason, which might find a dozen ready explanations of the existence of state churches or of scattered and ephemeral sects, is forced to seek a more potent motive to account for such continuity of existence and concentration of strength. But the English mind, confronted to-day with the reassertion by the Anglican Church of its independence from the State, the American mind disturbed by the rapid growth of the Roman Church in the United States, and the Protestant mind as a whole, influenced by the revived ideas of catholicity and reunion, must now be impressed by much the same considerations. We have here clearly no code of morality at the service of government, no mere sectarian fashions in doctrine, but a corporate consciousness persisting from century to century. 
The same course of reasoning may carry the investigator a little further. This conception must be something more than what is known as the "saving of souls' The Jesuit missionary among the Hurons might risk his life to "turn little Indians into little angels' to quote the words of one of them, by surreptitious baptism of dying infants ; he might be satisfied to win a convert at the torture-stake by the promise of the "French heaven"; but, both as a matter of reasonable deduction and of historical fact, it was no such restricted policy that had created the tremendous organization of his Order and inspired its Generals, or that gave to the New France of the seventeenth century the character that endures in the province of Quebec to-day.
 In our own times, the colonial administrator in Africa knows from experience that missionary teaching, even when deliberately confined to the plainest moralities and the simplest hopes of heaven, is inseparable, in the mind of the native learner, from ideas of corporate life and effort which distinguish it sharply from Mohammedan proselytism and, in some cases, still more sharply from the official view of the proper relations between Western civilization and backward races.
Link (here) to read the full piece by Lord Eustace Percy of Newcastle

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