The Protestant Missions — June 7, 2011 at 2:40 am

The disastrous effect of the Plymouth Brethren!


John Nelson Darby (18 November 1800 – 29 April 1882) was an Anglo-Irish evangelist, and an influential figure among the original Plymouth Brethren. He is considered to be the father of modern Dispensationalism. He produced a translation of the Bible based on the Hebrew and Greek texts called The Holy Scriptures: A New Translation from the Original Languages by J. N. Darby.

Persons who had been prominent church-members were led to withdraw. In some places churches were almost broken up; in others, where churches were on the point of being organized; this became impossible because some of the believers went over to the Plymouth Brethren. If such persons had retained their faith, the result would have been less deplorable; but many who thus gave up associating with Christians and getting the help derived from the pastors, fell into sin and unbelief.

The effect of the reactionary movements was speedily felt by the Christian schools and especially by those for the education of girls. Critics declared that the young women in these schools lost their gentle manners, becoming forward, mannish, and proud. There was considerable financial stress in the country, and many persons who had formerly sent their daughters to such schools found this to be one of the easiest points at which to economize. For these reasons the number of pupils was gradually reduced, and it was several years before interest in the education of women revived. The schools for boys had to contend against difficulties arising from the desire of the Educational Department to confine education to the schools established by the Government. At one time the best opportunities for acquiring a modem education had been furnished by Christian institutions; but the excellent system of schools established by the Government had raised the latter to a high standard. The large sums of money furnished for the institutions of high grade gave them better material equipment’s than those of the Christian schools. Not only did graduates of private schools find that it was difficult for them to enter the Imperial University and other higher institutions of learning, but in other ways private schools were discouraged by the Educational Department. As has already been stated, a Christian school in Sendai was discontinued because of this opposition, and the same was true of others. Some schools that were under the control of Japanese endeavored to retain popularity by giving up religious exercises, refusing to be known as Christian institutions, or minimizing the Christian features that had before characterized them. As we proceed we shall see how even the school formed by Joseph Neesima, which had been considered by opposers the chief citadel of Christianity in Central Japan, yielded to the pressure. Many things seemed to indicate that the Educational Department had determined to oppose Christianity itself. Certain it is that Christian teachers felt their positions to be very insecure, and that the Department winked at injustice done to Christian pupils. The simultaneousness of the warnings that teachers in all parts of the country gave to children in the lower schools, telling them they ought not to attend Christian Sunday schools, is not easily explained except on the supposition that in some way it was made known that such directions were in accordance with the wishes of the educational authorities.

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