Gambar halaman

or guide the pative teachers and the imma. ture body of converts, the Committee have reason to believe that, for the most part, they remain faithful to the truth; and that, at least at one station, the instructions of the negro preacher have been greatly blessed.

In India and Ceylon, thirty-six missionaries, with their wives, and ninety native preachers, with about ninety schoolmasters and catechists, carry on the work. These are distributed over thirty-nine principal stations. In some twenty-four villages besides, there are regular preaching places or chapels; while the labours of the brethren are widely diffused in every direction, at melas, bazaars, markets, and fairs, and in remote and distant parts of the country. Thus, in Ceylon, the brethren visit regularly not less than 109 villages, and one brother, in the north-west of India, embraces fifty villages in a monthly tour of evangelistic visitation. One of this noble band, the Rev. J. T. Timpson, has been called away by death, after thirty-eight years' service.

The Society has sustained another severe loss, by the sorrowful event which has de. prived the Ceylon mission of the valued labours of Mr. Dawson. It was stated in our last Report, that that excellent and worthy missionary had sailed from Ceylon, accompanied by his wife, his three children, and a Singhalese boy, for this country. Too long a time has now elapsed to permit us to cherish the slightest hope of their safety. The terrific hurricanes and storms that swept the Indian Ocean in the month of March last year, leave no doubt that the vessel foundered at sea, with all her passengers and crew.

Others of the missionary band have been greatly tried by domestic afflictions. The brethren Denham and Morgan have been constrained to take voyages for the re-estabJishment of their health ; Mr. Makepeace, of Saugor, for the same purpose has visited this country; and Mr. Small, of Benares, is now on his homeward way.

The number of brethren engaged in India has received, at Dacca, an unexpected accession, in the baptism of two German missionaries. Without any previous com. munication with our aged missionary, Mr. Robinson, these foreign brethren declared their change of sentiments, and were baptized in September last.

The translation and printing of the word of God has given incessant occupation to our brethren Wenger, Lewis, Leslie, and Thomas. An edition of 2,000 copies of the Hindi Testament has left the press; and the edition of the Gospels and Acts in Hindustani has been completed. Upwards of 15,000 copies of portions of the New Testament in the Persian language have been finished. The distribution of the Scriptures, in various portions, in the chief languages of Hindostan, from the depository in Calcutta, has amounted to upwards of 32,000 copies. Mr. Wenger has still in the press the important version of God's word in the Sanscrit, the classical language of

India, and has just commenced, with nu. merous improvements, and with the intention to render the version more perfect, new editions of the Old and New Testaments in Bengali,

Other works have likewise engaged 'attention. A catechism of christian doctrines, in Bengali, has occupied the pen of our brother Wenger, who has also completed å volume on the composition of sermons, for the use of native christians. Similarly useful is the Church History, translated from the English of Dr. Barth, published in Hindi, by Mr. Parsons, of Monghir And our brother Mr. W. Carey has promised to commence a series of books adapted for the use of native christian women and school girls.

The number of converts received into the churches of India and Ceylon during the past year, is not quite equal to that given in the last Report, while an unusual number of the members have been subject to discipline. Yet, on the whole, advance has been made, and the various mission churches enfold upwards of 2,000 members, of whom there are not less than 1,600 native converts. The absolute number of baptized converts exhibits by no means fully the influence the truth exerts. Thus in several villages in Bengal, idolatry has ceased to be the practice of the people. In the district of the Barisal mission alone, our brethren have under their care native communities, nominally christian, embracing more than 1,000 individuals, of whom 700 are adult men and women. While only 87 adults can read the word of God, 154 others are learning to do so, of whom 93 are women. A somewhat similar state of things exists in the district of Jessore. An interesting native christian village has recently been formed in the neighbourhood of Agra, containing upwards of 100 inhabitants, engaged in agriculture and handicraft trades, of whom 35 are members of the church. This village forms a valuable refuge for converts from the persecutions to which they are often exposed by their heathen relatives, as well as affording means for training the christian converts and their families in habits of industry and domestic piety.

More than eighty schools, containing above 3,000 children, are superintended by our missionaries and their assistants. Nearly the whole of those in India, fifty in number, are supported by liberal local aid, by funds supplied either by the European members of the churches, or by residents of other denominations. The thirty schools of Ceylon draw the chief part of their funds from this country. To this object the labours of the Young Men's Missionary Association have chiefly been directed, and with a success that encourages the Committee to hope that, ere long, the school operations of the Society will be wholly sustained by the young, to whom this object is one of attractive interest.

Another feature of general interest is the completion of the Act for liberty of conscience, announced as prepared last year, The legislature of India passed this righteous Act on April 11, 1850. By its provisions, every person who may forsake, or may be excluded from any religious community, is protected in the enjoyment of all his civil rights. If but a small part of the results anticipated by orthodox Mussalmans and Hindoos flow from the Act, there has been removed one, if not the greatest barrier existing in the way of an open profession of christianity by multitudes of the people.

[ocr errors]

Female education has likewise, of late, attracted great attention in Bengal, and received an impetus, by the generous patronage and the active exertion in the establishment of a female school of the Hon. Mr. Bethune, a member of the Supreme Council, and President of the Committee of Education. The number of scholars in this department of our mission is but small, perhaps not reaching to 100 scholars in the whole, and these chiefly taught in the few boarding schools sustained by the wives of eur brethren.

In the early part of the year, in accordance with the resolution of the last general meeting, the question of a deputation, to visit all the eastern stations of our mission, engaged the anxious attention of the Committee. As the brethren then invited were unable to accede to the request, an invitation was addressed to the Revs. J. Russell and J. Leechman, both members of the Committee. From those brethren, and the churches over which they preside, was received a cordial assent; and on the 20th of August, they proceeded by the overland route, first to Ceylon, thence to Calcutta, touching on their way at Madras. The letters of these brethren are, on the whole, of a very cheering nature. It is hoped that they will return in the month of May or June.

It remains to speak, in a very few words, of the Society's mission in France. By the last Revolution, principles were embodied in the charter which gave the liveliest hope that the time was come when the word of the Lord would have free course and be glorified. Those hopes have proved fallacious. For a time, tracts and Scriptures were freely circulated and sold, liberty of prophesying was enjoyed, and the brethren could meet for worship without molestation. These rights are being every day invaded. The movements of the missionary and his The move assistant colporteurs are, on every hand, restrained. First, authorization so to act was imposed on them, and now that authorization is refused. The préfets and mayors, instigated by the agents of Rome, absolutely refuse to allow the liberty assured by the fundamental law. Still, in these circumStances, our brother's labours are not fruitless. Several enquirers and hopeful cases have fallen in his way, and two persons have been baptized into the faith of Christ.

The year was begun with a debt of £5,357 9s. Id., inclusive of a balance of £1,554 14s. Id., due on the account of the special grant to Jamaica. The debt on this latter account was to have been liquidated

by charging every year the sum of £500 to the general account of the mission. For two years this was accidentally omitted, but this year it has been done, and that account is now closed. The present balance, there. fore, against the Society, which will appear in the account about to be read by the Treasurer, will be the amount of the entire debt.

The total amount of receipts has been £19,064 18s. 5d., and the expenditure £18,459 Os. 8d. The excess of income over expenditure is £605 178. 9d., which will reduce the balance due to the Treasurers to £5,751 11s. 4d.

Although the receipts for the past year are below the average of the three preceding years, yet, in some respects, the account is encouraging. The falling-off has been in donations and legacies, which are less this year than in 1850 by £1,000. The Committee look with more anxiety to the income from the auxiliaries, since any serious diminution of income from that source would shew that either the capabilities of the churches were becoming less, or their interest in the mission was declining. The Committee have at present, however, no ground for such fear, for this year there has been an increase of £300; and they are persuaded that the organizations in the churches may be extended and improved, while, in some cases, they need quickening, and, in some, have to be commenced altogether.

It is plain, however, if the present operations of the Society are to be efficiently carried on, that the income must be increased, and if they are to be extended it must be considerably augmented. The reductions which the Committee have been compelled to make have necessitated a reduction in native agency, which all your missionaries declare to be among the most useful. How, then, is the income to be increased? The Committee feel some hesitation in urging the members of the churches generally to greater efforts. For the most part they are constituted of the poorer classes, and it is to their honour that they have done so much. The annual subscribers, however, are a class of supporters among whom much more might easily be done. Their contributions are mournfully monotonous. If they could be induced to follow the example of their poorer brethren, and give weekly, or monthly, or quarterly, as God had prospered them, the result would both surprise themselves, and go far adequately to fill the treasury of the Society.

Again, then, is this beloved Institution afresh commended to the divine blessing, and to the prayers and support of its friends; and if through the coming year, each one engaged in the work can but realize its importance and grandeur, prayer and effort will be more commensurate with its design. If it should be so, effort and prayer will be put forth with a deeper reliance on the favour of the Holy Ghost, who is in the church to renew the heart, and perfect the saints for glory, and in the world to con.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ed by the age liberty ashese circulita

fearlessing rightly, idinacy of the the entire

vince it of sin, and righteousness, and judgment. May He shed down upon this and all kindred institutions His selectest influence, that they all may rejoice in a blessing on their varied labours, far more abundant than they have ever yet employed.

WESLEYAN REFORM. We have just received a copy of an address " to the Protestant Evangelical Churches of Great Britain and Ireland,” which has been issued by the general committee of Wesleyan Reformers. It is written in a clear and conciliating, and yet in a firm and fearless spirit. We quite think our brethren are acting rightly in thus appealing against the tyranny and obstinacy of the Conference to the sympathy and support of the entire christian world; and we feel assured that in the battle they are so nobly waging, they will continue to have that sympathy which has been hitherto so generally accorded to them.

We wish our space would admit of our inserting the address to which we have referred entire. It contains a clear and unexaggerated statement of the position and principles of those from whom it emanates; and we commend it to all who wish to understand the bearings of one of the most important movements of the christian world in the present day. We have room only for the conclusion of the address, which is as follows:

“Thus is our Connexion in a state of anarchy and ruin. The flocks are being scattered and destroyed by their pastors, and our Zion is almost desolate. We have been branded, it is trne, with the epithet of faction; we have been denounced as revolutionists, who seek the overthrow of Methodism; and we have been told, that, if we cannot reconcile ourselves to the present state of things in the Connexion, we must seek some other church more in accordance with our views. But we have no disposition to forsake Methodism. Many of us have becn ourselves excommunicated, yet we claim to be considered as Methodists. Conscious that we scek nothing at variance with the primitive principles and vital interests of our ancestral church, we will not abandon the temples which we and our fathers have erected, and for the support of which we are still responsible; nor retire from scenes and associations hallowed to our miuds by the most sacred recollections. We love the doctrines of Methodism and its modes of worship, especially the more social means of grace and of inutual edification peculiar to its economy. We desire such alterations only as are sanctioned by the Word of God; such only as would render the Connexion more beneficial to its own members, and increase its capability of becoming a permaBent blessing to the world.

"If during this agitatiou we have been betrayed, either by ignorance or by anger, into a deportment or language uubecoming those who profess to be the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, we supplicate the forgiveness of a merciful God. To Him we refer our cause, and entreat His guidance, that our future course may be in harmony with his will. Next, however, to the favour of God, and a conscious sese of integrity, nothiug can be so encouraging to us as an assurance that we have the approbation and esteem of our fellow-christians.

For this reason, we lay our case before you, aud commend it to your fraternal consideration. The claim we prefer is not for active assistance. We are able and willing to provide for our own religious wants, while involuntary exiles from our Father's kouse. We desire tbat there should be no schism

in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another.' Judge, then, between us and our oppressors. Take knowledge of the nature of our demands, and of the spirit and temper in which we advance them. Admonish us if we exceed the bounds of christian moderation, or deviate from the line of moral rectitude. Encompassed as we are with calumny and reproach, let us at least have the satisfaction of knowing that we possess your sympathy,-may we add, that your friendly voice is raised in onr vindication? Above all, christian brethren, in those solemn monents when you are gathered together to worship God in your own sanctuaries, none daring to make you afraid, and when yon approach the throne of grace, remember us who are suffering in the cause of religious liberty, and let our names be mingled with your supplications to Him who is the avenger of the oppressed, and especially the friend and protector of his persecuted followers.

“Sustained by yonr prayers and by the blessing of God, we shall make light of suffering, and think no labour too great in the prosecution of the cause ; for the rights we maintain have been, for ages, regarded as the sacred inheritance of Englishmen; the principles we contend for have beeu sealed by the blood of our Protestant ancestors; and, above all, our Lord himself has with his own gracious words solemnly invested his church with that liberty which we assert for the Wesleyan-Methodist Societies.”

In conclusion, we can only say that we are fully sensible of the evils resulting from such an agitation as the one now going forward, and of the sad aspect it bears, and must bear, to the world at large; but the responsibility of these we throw not upon the reformers, but upon their oppressors; to use the words of the great Nelancthon, “If controversy engenders many evils, as I see to my great sorrow, it is the fault of those who first propagated error, and of those who, filled with diabolical hatred, are seeking to uphold it;" and remembering the injunction of the apostle Paul, to be "first pure, then peaceable," we assure our brethren, in answer to their appeal, of our most devout and cordial sympathy, and once more wish them "good speed in the name of the Lord !”

BLISWORTH, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE. A meeting was held in the Baptist chapel, at Blisworth, on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 21st, to recognize the recently formed pastoral engagement of the Rer. R. Turner (late of Bythorne, Hunts) with the church and congregation meeting there: The Revs. T. Brooks of Roade, J. Lea of Kislingbury, T. Marriott of Milton, P. Wheeler of Moulton, I. New of Birmingham, and Slye (Independent) of Potter? Perry, took part in the service. After the service about two hundred and fifty person took tea together, and in the evening public meeting was held in aid of the Bapa tist Missionary Society.

HUDDERSFIELD. Mr. J. Chislett, late minister of the Bap tist Village Mission, Kirkstall, having de boured amongst the Particular Baptische meeting in Princess-Street, Huddersfield, for about six months, bas accepted a upande mous invitation from the church and code gregation to the pastorate, and commence his stated labours with them on Lord's-cayo June Ist.


“Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets Jesus Christ

himself being the chief corner-stone."-Epb.ii.20.

AUGUST, 1851.



“Go forward.”—Exodus xiv. 15. When this command first echoed through the hosts of Israel, their position was difficult and perilous; only a little in the rear was the Egyptian cavalry making rapid advances towards them with hostile in. tentions, while in their front rolled the sparkling waters of the red sea. They had just escaped from the severe bondage of Pharoah, and were joyously wending their way to the promised land, when, as by an electric shock, their brightest prospects are blasted, and their fondest hopes laid in the dust. With intense anxiety and tremulous forebodings they can only "stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” But the arm of omnipotence is not shortened that it cannot save. At that critical mo. ment God so interposes as to silence all their fears, and to call forth that triumphant and magnificent song which celebrates their victory. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward."

It is easy to perceive that this command delivered to Israel, is equally applicable to “the sacramental host of God's elect” in its pilgrimage from earth to heaven; and is addressed to all classes of christians, whether youthful or aged, who have their faces Zionward. Nor ought it to be forgotten, that it was issued to the people of Israel when they were in the midst of overwhelming calamities and, apparently, irremediable difficulties. But man's extremity renders the mightiness of Jehovah more manifest. Though obstacles, all but insurmountable, beset their path, they were, nevertheless, to go forward. It was given also at the commencement of the journey, and it was to be their watchword all through the wilderness. It is yours, Christian Pilgrim, whatever be the stage of your pilgrimage, whether just commencing the christian course, or far on the way. Though escaped from the bondage and tyranny of Satan, you are yet in an enemy's country. The toils, the anxieties, the duties, are to be heroically met and conquered. You are to forget the things which are behind, and to reach forth to those things which are before; to “go from strength to strength till you appear in Zion before God.”

It is the will of God that you should go forward in knowledge. When a sinner is translated from darkness to light, another world opens before his wondering vision,-he is a new creature in Christ;--"old things are


passed away, behold all things are become new.” The emancipated spirit is encircled with means and facilities for advancement in knowledge and spiritual understanding; and is not, therefore, to settle down on earth contented with only a knowledge of the rudiments of the grand scheme of redemption, but, leaving the first principles, is to “go on to perfection." In the volume of inspiration, God has given “precept upon precept, line upon line,” for the express purpose that we may obtain an enlarged acquaintance with its mysterious doctrines, its charming promises, its cheer. ing predictions, its enchanting prospects, and all that pertains to life and godliness, -"that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine,” but, rooted and grounded in the truth, "may grow into him in all things.”

In close proximity with an increasing knowledge of revealed truth, is an augmentation of self-knowledge. Although this attainment is exceedingly difficult and humiliating, it is nevertheless essential to christian advancement. To value the work of Christ, we must form right views of self. To estimate his atonement, we must become acquainted with the depravity of our nature, the sinfulness of the human heart, which an unerring witness pronounces “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Tradition informs us, that on the very spot where Romulus first founded Rome, Nero built a transparent marble temple, which could be seen into from without. If we could imagine the heart of man such a temple, how much impure worship would be detected within,-how often unhallowed fire would be seen burning on its altar, and sin continually marring all the service. How, then, but for the cleansing blood of Christ, could we stand before the holy Lord God of Israel? Whilst making ada vancement in other kinds of knowledge, neglect not to go forward in the knowledge of self.

Progression in personal holiness is likewise included in the command to go forward. In the present state of being, the renewed mind is in union with a body of sin and death, hence a continual struggle has to be maintained. “The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.” The christian life, therefore, is one of continual resistance,-an eternal war with sin and Satan, and all those spiritual foes which are in battle array against it. But, through divine grace, in the very effort to conquer, the spiritual strength is renewed. “God giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, he increaseth strength.” Every victory confirms the habit of resistance, and renders the mastery more perfect. The exercise of gracious principles is to the soul, what the employment of a stringent regimen is in some forms of physical disease-it subdues and conquers its malady, not, indeed, at once, but by a careful, persevering, continuous effort; thus the flesh is weakened, and the spirit strengthened, evil passions and besetting sins lose their dominion, while gracious principles increase in power, and, as a consequence, meekness, gentleness, patience, and other christian virtues adorn the character. Thus, there is a growth in grace, and a meetening for “the inheritance of the saints in light."

Increased efforts to promote the kingdom of Christ also belongs to going forward. The glory of God, in connection with the felicity of man, is the grand end of creation and redemption. Every redeemed and regenerated spirit is a trophy won from Satan to the side of Christ. And when con. secrated to the service of his divine Master, each christian exclaims, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?” Here is my heart, here are my hands, here are all my powers to be devoted to thy service.”

“All that I am, and all I have,
Shall be for ever thine,"

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »