Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/310

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TRAVELS IN MEXICO.

endeavor. In the apportionment of Mexico for most effectual work, the northeast, including Monterey, has been taken by the Baptists; Chihuahua and the northwest by the Congregationalists; the Presbyterians are mainly in the central States, and the Methodists in the valley of Mexico and to the south of it.

I cannot find better words in which to conclude this statement of mission work than the following, by the Rev. S. T. Wilson.

"It does not require a long residence in Mexico to impress one anew with these truths:—

"I. This is a transition epoch in the history of the country. A half century of struggle with foreign domination and with ecclesiasticism, resulting in the apparently firm establishment of a republic and the complete divorcement of Church and State, has at last given place to peace. Mexico's pulse beats more normally than ever before. Her energies, instead of finding their vent in rebellions, are now devoted to arts of peace. Encouraged by this peace and by the government, foreigners are investing their capital and enterprise in railroads, mines, and manufactories. Steam and electricity render the success of rebellions almost hopeless. The scream of the locomotive is breaking even the profound quiet of the snow-crowned mountains. The burros and cargadores, Mexico's traditional burden-bearers, look on in wonder as their occupation vanishes. The electric light in the Grand Plaza of this city shines on excavated columns and sculptures of the old Aztec temple, as well as on the hoary cathedral and deserted Inquisition building, as if to rebuke the deeds of darkness of the past. Just as marked is the transition in religious matters. The more intelligent liberals, disgusted with 'The Church,' are naturally making their transit into infidelity. The common classes are more and more asserting their liberty of conscience. Mediæval bigotry has to struggle with modern liberalism in a constantly increasing number of towns. The Bible and its religion are daily growing in favor.

"2. Rome will not make the right use of this transition period. As changeless as the pyramids, as remorseless as the grave, that Church remains the same. Mainly responsible for the continuance of the dark age that has so long enveloped Mexico, she makes every endeavor to perpetuate that darkness. The patron of slavery, she has bitterly resisted every step toward liberty. The direct cause of Mexico's immorality, so incred-