surrounded and caressed by the Brahmins them that if this swinging was a very holy act, and the multitude.

as the Brahmins pretended, it behoved them I witnessed this scene at a village where who were reputed the holiest of the Hindus I was surrounded by hundreds of Heathen. to set a good example and swing first ; but A friend and I were the only Europeans pre- the Brahmins were too wise for such a dissent. I determined on using my influence play: they shrunk from it, and happily to prevent this barbarity; the people knew the people saw the force of the argument. me, for they had often seen me; they showed I here had an opportunity of contrasting no displeasure at my presence, but listened their religion with Christianity, declaring to what I had to say. I endeavoured to that Jesus Christ came not only to give his show the wickedness and danger of such life a ransom for many, but to show us an practices, observing, in reference to the example of holy obedience and practice; devotees, that if they wished to amuse the and that his disciples and Missionaries are multitude, (as some said that was their rea- bound not only to tell others what to do, son for swinging,) they might do so in a but to be an example to all in every good more innocent way. Some Brahmins, and word and work. I left the scene blessing other interested persons, incensed to see me God that I was thus enabled to check this exerting so much influence with the multi- horrid cruelty, and for having an opportutude, began to wrangle ; this gave me a good nity of pointing out the excellency of the opportunity to point out to the people how Cross of Christ. they were deceived by their priests. I told

NAGERCOIL STATION, SOUTH TRAVANCORE. In South Travancore, the judgments of the Lord, fraught with solemn and heartpiercing admonition, have been abroad during the past year. Great mortality has prevailed among the native inhabitants, and the death of Mrs. Charles Miller, at Neyoor, in the midst of her valuable and devoted exertions, has bereaved the Mission of one whose place few could have filled with equal usefulness and efficiency. Our brother, the Rev. Charles Miller, besides the sorrow of separation from his exemplary and now sainted wife, has been himself afflicted with a painful attack of illness, the same which has proved fatal to so many of the natives of the country. The friends of the Society cannot but respond to the claims which his circumstances, together with the indisposition of our brother, the Rev. W. Miller, of Nagercoil, and the state of the Mission generally in reference to its temporal concerns, prefer to their prayers and Christian sympathies. But amid these numerous trials, the word of the Lord has not been bound; on the contrary, its power has been magnified, and its influence felt in the darkest season of outward adversity. At Nagercoil and Neyoor, the native congregations unitedly have increased to nearly twelve thousand persons; and notwithstanding the unfaithfulness of some, and the impure motives of others in professing the name of Christ, still, as a body, the power of his Cross has been made manifest among them. The native teachers and evangelists are improving in intelligence and piety, as well as increasing in numbers, and the collective result of their agency expresses a promise that they will become peculiarly effective instruments for spreading the Gospel in India. The interesting cause of native female education in Travancore is also progressively advancing, and the schools generally present a cheering measure of success. At Quilon, the character of the Missionary work considerably differs from that of the other stations, the encouragements it offers being chiefly incipient and prospective. The commencement of another Mission station in Trevandrum, the capital of the province, has been entrusted to the Rev. John Cox, whose arrival in Travancore with our brother the Rev. Charles Mead, and the other brethren and sisters, in the Ship Severn, we rejoice to be enabled to communicate in our present number (p. 125.) By the arrival of this large Missionary company in Travancore, the whole Mission will be cheered and invigorated ; and through the favour of the Most High, the next intelligence from this important quarter will be such as greatly to augment the amount of hope now cherished, and call forth the most grateful and holy feelings. From the report of the Nagercoil station for the past year, transmitted by Messrs. Mault and Miller, under date Oct. 3, 1837, we derive the subjoined portions of intelligence respecting that division of the Travancore Mission :

In reviewing our labours, and the pro- homes, and seek the means of subsistence gress of the work of Christ at Nagercoil, for themselves and families in other places. during the last twelve months, we are re. Our poor people have shared in the comminded of the loss we have suffered by the mon calamity; many of them being desti. death of a beloved member of this mission. tute of the simplest necessaries of life. Mrs. W. Miller died at Quilon, on the 1st of They have claimed our sympathy and prayDecember last; and then, we trust, ex- ers; and relief to some extent has been changed the labours and trials of this mor- afforded. We often wish that they had a tal life for everlasting rest and joy in hea. less precarious means of support than that ven. May we be followers of them, who which arises from the cultivation of the through faith and patience are inheriting palmyra tree. The excessive labour which the promises ! We have also to lament the it requires, and the poverty and wretched. loss, to a great extent, of Mr. Miller's ness to which they are reduced, when this active efforts in the mission. The symp- resource fails them, are exceedingly unfatoms of the complaint, under which he has vourable to their intellectual and spiritual been suffering above three years, have much improvement. But how to obviate or reincreased, and it seems as if the time were move the disadvantages of their situation, not far distant when he too shall put off it is difficult even to conceive. It is, notthis tabernacle. These occurrences, viewed withstanding, an unspeakable mercy, (and in connexion with the difficulties which al- we praise the Father of mercies for it,) that ways more or less attend our labours, speak the Gospel has been brought to this poor, to us in language we cannot misunderstand, oppressed, and despised people. This conand call us to the exercise of humility, tains in itself a remedy for all the evils to watchfulness, and dependence on God; which they are subject, and we thank God, while they give us room for the full and that not a few of them exhibit proof of its proper display of that Christian love which healing and transforming power. is the bond of perfectness, and of that Although we have still to complain of the mutual sympathy which distinguishes the ignorance, worldliness, and irregular attendmembers of the body of Christ.

ance on Divine worship of many in our We begin, as usual, with a general view congregations, yet we have reason to beof the state of the

lieve, that upon the whole an improve

ment has taken place in these respects. We Native Congregations.

notice with pleasure, that some show a In seven new villages the Gospel has greater regard for the Sabbath, and for the been professed, and Christian worship es- ordinances of religion, than they once extablished. The old congregations, with a hibited. Many also are very regular, atten. few exceptions, have increased in num. tive, and serious in the house of God, and bers. The whole increase during the year appear at times to feel the power of the amounts to nearly one thousand souls, truth penetrating and searching the heart, and we have reason to hope, that their pro- and affecting the conscience. Such results fession is more the result of a conviction of as these cheer us in our labours, and lead the truth of the Gospel, than of any other us oftentimes to hope, that God is about to

That inferior motives do operate pour his Spirit upon this people, to form extensively in making proselytes to Chris- them for himself, that they may show forth tianity in Travancore, we have often had his praise. occasion to notice, and this is a circum- We have to mention with regret, that stance which we have reason still to regret. during the year, several individuals belong

The period we are now reviewing has ing to different congregations have returned been one of great suffering among the to idolatry. They were, in most cases, poorer classes of people in this part of the tempted to do so by their friends and country. Owing to a deficiency of the neighbours in time of affliction, a time usual rains, the produce of the palmyra when their superstitious fears are most tree, which furnishes the chief article of awake, and when it is therefore easy for food to thousands, as well as the several the heathen to persuade them to “sacrifice crops of grain, have failed to a great extent. to demons," in the hope of obtaining reThe price of rice has in consequence been lief. A few others, whose conduct was raised to double the usual sum, which has scandalous, and who, after repeated admooccasioned much distress among the poor. nitions, refused to amend, have been disMany have been obliged to leave their missed from the congregations with wbich


[ocr errors]

they stood connected. Some of them are weeks, to resume their wonted occupations ; persons whose influence rightly directed and all the others have since followed their might have been highly serviceable to the example. They were frequently visited, cause of Christ; but now, alas! that in. while in their retirement, by the Readers fluence is employed for Satan and the in that neighbourhood, and once by Mr. world.

Mault, for the purpose of showing them a We have alluded to a considerable in- more excellent way, but without much succrease of numbers in our congregations. cess. They were then too big with enthuIt may be interesting to the Directors and siastic and false expectations, to attend to friends of the Society, to learn that many of sober statements on things relating to their those who have recently joined us are from eternal salvation. Now, however, most of a new and peculiar sect which sprung up them listen with attention to the word of two years ago, in the neighbourhood of God; and we hope shortly to find them not Cape Camorin, of the origin and history of less willing to sacrifice all they possess, if which the following is a brief account:-A necessary, to secure the pearl of great poor man, who had been in a state of price, than they were formerly to obtain a mental derangement for years, at length bubble—the creation of their own fancy. professed to be under supernatural influence, and to work miracles. His fame

Readers. was soon spread over the country, and With regard to the native teachers, we immense crowds of people flocked to his have much satisfaction in being able to place of abode from all parts of Travancore state, that, with a few exceptions, all those and Tinnevelly. The roads were literally hitherto employed have continued to conthronged with people of all classes, among duct themselves with much propriety, and whom were the diseased of every descrip- afford us great assistance and comfort in tion, hastening to obtain a cure. At this our work. stage of the extraordinary proceeding, the They have been occupied as heretofore, government interfered, and the poor man in instructing the people of their several was put under restraint. Many, however, congregations from house to house, in conby his persuasion abandoned the worship of ducting the public worship whenever we are idols, became Saivas, as regards the prin- not present; in publishing the Gospel to ciple of abstinence from all sorts of animal the heathen, in the towns and villages of food, and adopted the most simple and ab. the district ; in visiting the sick, and instemious habits. They were also for some specting the schools situate in their respectime exceedingly zealous in making con tive neighbourhoods. That their labours verts, in which they succeeded to a certain have not been in vain, is abundantly eviextent, chiefly among the heathen. In the dent from the increase of numbers in the beginning of the present year about seventy churches, congregations, and Bible-classes, families of these people were induced by one and the general improvement of the people of themselves, who had acquired a leading under their care, in knowledge, order, and influence among them, to sell all their pro- piety. Such men must be regarded as a perty, form a community of goods, and real blessing to the country, as well as an leave the country. They removed into the honour to the religion they profess. May Tinnevelly district, where they erected Divine grace keep them stedfast, unmovehuts for themselves upon the sea-shore, able, always abounding in the work of the some distance beyond the boundary of Tra- Lord ! vancore, by which they avoided the annoy- They continue to assemble once a week ance they had reason to expect from our at Nagercoil to report their labours, and to local authorities. In this retreat they prac- receive instruction and advice according to tised great austerities and frequent ablutions the exigence of circumstances.

Beside a in the sea, and were exceedingly careful to diligent and regular study of the holy separate themselves from every person and Scriptures, their attention has been occuthing which they imagined to be defiling. pied with a course of systematic theology, They were frequently assembled to hear the in which they have made some progress. dreams and visions of their leader, and wit- They have also entered upon an outline of ness the miracles he was said to perform. sacred geography. This subject would be Many of them professed to be deeply af- rendered much more intelligible and interfected by what they heard and saw, and esting to them, were they furnished with a

egan to express brilliant hopes of future few maps, a desideratum which we hope will greatness and felicity. But as time and soon be supplied. disappointment damp the ardour of an ex- Before concluding this brief notice of the cited imagination, and restore men to the readers and their labours, we beg to express exercise of their sober sense, it so came to our warmest thanks to those Christian pass in the present case. For some of these friends in our native land, whose liberality poor deluded people returned after a few has enabled us to augment their number;

and that at a time when there was a great inclined to question the reality of conver, call for an increase of labourers. And we sion even in cases where the conduct seems have the pleasure to add, that after much to us to justify the hope, that the persons care and deliberation, we have appointed are truly renewed in the spirit of their the whole number for whom subscriptions minds, and endeavouring to follow the have been received during the year, and Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Many of sent them into the field. We trust tbat the readers take too high a standard in the members of the Society, and those judging of the character of their people, friends in particular who support these use- considering the peculiar circumstances in ful men, will join their prayers with ours, which the latter are placed. This is obvious that the Divine blessing may rest upon from the fact, that they are not easily them, and that they may be made the in- brought to make any allowance for the im. struments of turning many of their be. perfection of human nature in its fallen nighted countrymen from darkness to light, state, or to sympathise with those who are and from the power of Satan unto God. overtaken in a fault. They are led to sup

pose, it may be from a partial view of the Mission Churches.

Scripture doctrine, that if persons are real. Experience has shown us, that many in ly renewed by the grace of God, they will this country, influenced by a variety of cir. be in a manner perfect, exhibiting in the cumstances, make a profession of Chris- course of their lives an undeviating con. tianity, while their hearts are still alienated formity to the Divine law. Hence it is from God, and callous and unconcerned in seldom that any one is recommended for reference to eternal things. As it regards baptism (by which we need hardly state, he such persons, (and they form, we regret to is admitted to church fellowship) before he say, a large proportion of every congrega- has given very decided proofs of his sintion,) we feel that neither the end of our cerity. mission, nor the best desires of our hearts, To the churches several additions have are yet accomplished. We can look upon been made during the year, and many more them as Christians only in name, for whose candidates are now waiting to be received. conversion we are bound to labour and pray In a few instances, we have been called to the with all perseverance.

exercise of discipline, by suspending those To judge, however, of the state of real who had dishonoured the name of Christ. Christianity in the congregations, by the With these few exceptions, we are happy to comparatively small number in church com- say, that these “ little spots enclosed by munion, would lead to an erroneous con- grace,” in the midst of this moral desert, clusion. There are many persons whom we flourish and blossom as the rose. They have reason to regard as truly converted to have their fruit unto holiness. Walking in God, who have not yet been received into the fear of God, and in the comfort of the the church. Various circumstances contri. Holy Ghost, they are edified and multiplied. bute to delay their admission : particularly They are increasingly disposed to mutual the number and local distance of the con- love and forgiveness, candour and liberality; gregations, making our visits to each neces- and, contrary to the characteristic selfishsarily less frequent, and the diminution of ness of the natural heart, they learn to look our strength by the protracted affliction of not every man on his own things, but every one of us, and the increase of labour conse- man also on the things of others. These quently devolving upon the other. To these are our hope and our joy; and, we trust, causes may be added, the difficulty we feel they will be our crown of rejoicing in the in attempting to form a just estimate of the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his real character of the people. We, of course, coming. consult the readers, but we often find them

(To be continued.) DEATH OF THE REV. WILLIAM MILLER. SCARCELY was the preceding article in type 1838. He has left an orphan son, who is when the Directors received a letter from under the care of the Rev. Chas. Mault till the Rev. C. Mead, conveying the afflictive such time as he has an opportunity of sendtidings of the death of Mr. William Miller, ing him to this country. which event took place on the 24th of April,

[ocr errors]


SOUTH AFRICA. Accounts from the brethren at Griqua Town, dated in October and November last, record numerous proofs of the effusion of the Divine blessing upon their

labours. The Word, clothed with power, continues to penetrate many a heart in this remote field of Missionary exertion, bringing a nation that knew not God to the knowledge, love, and obedience of the truth, as communicated in the glorious Gospel of his Son. The particulars inserted below, received from Mr. Hughes, under date November 3, 1837, cannot fail to impress every Christian mind with grateful and holy sentiments, and produce heartfelt acknowledgments of that grace and love by which, through the instrumentality of our brethren and their native coadjutors, such valuable and promising results have been elicited. It may be noticed that the Batlapi tribe to which the present communication refers, forms a branch of the Bechuana nation, and is chiefly, if not entirely, included in the field of labour to the cultivation of which Messrs. Wright and Hughes have long been zealously devoted. Parts of that nation are also embraced within the range of effort made by the Missionaries at Lattakoo and Philippolis. Mr. Hughes, adverting to the Batlapi tribe, thus writes :Account of a Native Congregation.

fervent, and comprehensive, such as would On the 12th of July, I and my family surprise many a Christian in England, left home to visit the Batlapi towns along whose means of improvement are incomthe Vaal river, and after a journey of two parably superior. When

the amen was days arrived at Moruanitown, about 20 uttered, the congregation rose to depart; miles east of Campbell. This is the town not the least notice was taken of me while over wbich Siminui is chief, and Makame within the building, but as soon as I came native teacher. On my arrival there, I outside, a host of hands, of all sizes, met found that the people had assembled for me wherever I turned. I could not but Divine service. Anxious to join, and if imitate Paul, in thanking God and taking needful to aid them, I hastened towards a courage. On inquiry, I found that every rude pole-building, guided thereto by the day they assemble in the manner above sound of singing within. On approaching described ; in the morning soon after sunthis humble sanctuary, and listening out. rise, and in the evening a little before its side, I heard a native reading the 73rd setting. On my hinting to the native Psalm. My desire to see the interior of teacher that they held more meetings than this tabernacle, and to observe the degree were held at Griqua Town, and that some of attention which the company assembled might possibly feel it burdensome, he refor worship would pay to the simplest read- plied, "Oh, no!

Their running to get ing of the word of God, so wrought upon the nearest to the pulpit showed it was not me that I went in and took my seat under Besides that, the meetings could not the clay-built pulpit. I was sorry for it be dispensed with ; for as yet the Batlapis afterwards, for my sudden appearance were young in the Christian warfare, while seemed to embarrass the plain, but I trust at Griqua Town we had conquered, and sincere and useful, native who led the ser- therefore had the more leisure." vice. I was pleased to see that the congre

On the Sabbath, July 16, at sunrise, gation, nearly 200 in number, paid no at. the people held their meeting for prayer, tention to me, but that all eyes were fixed

and the native teacher addressed them from upon the reader ; and, as I hope, all hearts the parable of the talents. upon what he read. Having concluded At 10 o'clock, I preached to a congrethe Psalm, and perused several other por- gation of about 300 adults and 150 child. tions of Scripture, offering an occasional ren, taking for my text the first chapter of remark, to illustrate or enforce what he Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonians. read, the services were concluded with From the lowness of the roof, and the singing and prayer. The singing might not crowded state of the house, I found the have pleased an English ear, but I was glad service very oppressive. to see them engaged in the praises of the In the afternoon, I had the children asLord; and who knows but it is recorded of sembled for me to the number of about 150, them, as of the woman who anointed the and read to them some pleasing pieces out head of our Saviour, that “they did what off the Child's Companion. The adults they could." Here were people of all ranks were afterwards convened, and the place of and conditions, as found in a Bechuana worship was crowded again, as in the town, assembled to hear some portions of morning. I first read and commented on Scripture read in the simplest manner. It a passage of Scripture : after prayer, I reminded me of the days of Christ, when preached from Luke xv. 2,—"This man the common people heard him gladly. The receiveth sinners." I found afterwards prayer was solemn, humble, penitential, that the text had made a general impression.

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »