The white man is very clever. He came quietly with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.
When the Missionaries arrived, the Africans had the Land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.
Jomo Kenyatta, reported in John Frederick Walker, A Certain Curve of Horn: The Hundred-Year Quest for the Giant Sable Antelope of Angola (2004), p. 144; also attributed to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Are there no Moravians in the Moon, that not a missionary has yet visited this poor pagan planet of ours, to civilise civilisation and christianise Christendom?
Herman Melville, White-Jacket (1850), Ch. 64; this has often been quoted with modernized American spelling, rendering it "to civilize civilization and christianize Christendom?"
For example, Cambridge University established a prize named for an essay competition on the topic: 'The best means of civilizing the subjects of the British Empire in India, and of diffusing the light of the Christian religion throughout the eastern world.'
Indras Net by Rajiv Malhotra, p 133
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
Palestine was the West Point and Annapolis for the world. In that little country God was training up a people out of whom, when the fullness of the time should come, His gospel cadets should emerge, fitted by all the training of all their national history for going out among the heathen and proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ.
A man may make his way across the Atlantic in a skiff, for all I know; but if you are intending to cross the sea, take my advice, and secure passage in a first-class steamer, and you will be more likely to get there. So it is with these heathen millions. I do not know but some of them may drift, and we shall find them in the city of God. But I do know that by giving them the gospel, by building up and supporting among them a Christian church, we shall greatly multiply their chances for heaven.
Every impulse and stroke of missionary power on earth is from the heart of Christ. He sows, and there is a harvest. He touches nations, and there arises a brotherhood, not only civilized by His light, but sanctified by His love. The isles of the ocean wait for Him. He spreads His net and gathers of every kind, and lo! the burden of the sea is not only fishes, but fishermen, who go and gather and come again. If there are activity, free giving, ready going, a full treasury, able men who say, " Here am I, send me," it is because through all the organization Christ lives, and His personal Spirit works. There is no other possible spring for that enthusiasm.
The movement has indeed been slow, and not such as man would have expected; but it has been analogous to the great movements of God in His providence and in His works. So, if we may credit the geologists, has this earth reached its present state. So have moved on the great empires. So retribution follows crime. So rise the tides. So grows the tree with long intervals of repose and apparent death. So comes on the spring, with battling elements and frequent reverses, with snowbanks and violets, and, if we had no experience, we might be doubtful what the end would be. But we know that back of all this, beyond these fluctuations, away in the serene heavens, the sun is moving steadily on; that these very agitations of the elements and seeming reverses, are not only the sign, but the result of his approach, and that the full warmth and radiance of the summer noontide are sure to come. So, O Divine Redeemer, Sun of Righteousness, come Thou! So will He come. It may be through clouds and darkness and tempest; but the heaven where He is, is serene; He is "traveling in the greatness of His strength; "and as surely as the throne of God abides, we know He shall yet reach the height and splendor of the highest noon, and that the light of millennial glory shall yet flood the earth.
On the American Continent, what a wonderful amalgamation of races we have witnessed, how wonderfully they have been fused into that one American people! — type and earnest of a larger fusion which Christianity will yet accomplish, when, by its blessed power, all tribes and tongues and races shall become one holy family. The present popularity of beneficences promises well for the missionary cause in the future. Men's hearts are undergoing a process of enlargement. Their sympathies are taking a wider scope. The world is getting closer, smaller, quite a compact affair. The world for Christ will yet be realized.
David Livingstone, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 419.