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precious gift from the society to me! truly, a clearer manifestation of Christian love and charity I cannot expect; consequently, however imperfect the language might be, yet I cannot forbear writing a few lines to the society, acknowledging, in the deepest sense, my sincerest thanks for the invaluable present of books voted to me: indeed, it is more than a cup of cold water given to a thirsty soul. I panted for them. May he, therefore, who abounds, yea, more than abounds, in all the riches of glory, reward you jointly as a society, and severally as his stewards, both temporal and eternal blessings. As it pleased the society to regard me in my low estate, I beg leave also to introduce myself to the honourable society as one of the un worthiest of your household; and, as such, I may be enabled by you, in future, to acquit myself in the important duty, till I shall cease the ploughing. I ima gine you would be happy, or rather anxious, to know something of my present sphere of life: I shall most gladly inform, but briefly, for I do not doubt but brother Chater might have communicated it, therefore I shall state in short.
I attend every day, from ten in the morning till two in the afternoon, to school at the Grand pass, little less than a mile's distance from my house. We have, at present, upwards of 50 pupils, of different descriptions, class, and age; amongst whom, there are four proper Malabar heathens, three of them born at and came from Kandy, with their parents; Kings Cast, the father, is called royal teacher-Gooroo Rhajah. The languages taught are English and Cingalese. preach five times in the week, both in Cingalese and Portuguese, in turns with brother C. at four different places in the Fort, Pittah, Grand Pass, and at the Lepers' hospital. I have some humble hopes of a work of grace in one or two of the poor women; they were all ignorant of true Christianity, previous to our going there. At present, the three first-mentioned places of worship are attended by thirty to forty, and forty to fifty. The work of conversion is scarcely seen. O Lord, make bare thine arm to the saving of Columbian souls! The Portuguese preaching is much esteemed by most: my translation of the
Bible into vulgar Portuguese is very slowly going on, for want of more time; still, however, it has advanced to Luke. I humbly hope, should providence spare me in health and strength, with his blessing, to bring it in more forwardness. It bears the approbation of the common people. O, that they be those poor, and this gospel such as our Redeemer termed! The gospel of Matthew is nearly revised by brother C. and myself. I am sorry he has no more time to spare; his hands and head are full of business. Besides regular turns with me, he preaches four or five times in English. His studying Cingalese, translating the Bible, attending the family and mission affairs, I am led to fear should there be a trying providence on either of us, much more on him, humanly spoken, the little that häs been raised must be decayed. Therefore, dear fathers and brethren, allow me to beg of you to send over to us some plain missionaries, to help in the cause of the Lord. Lastly, as the society had the kind attention towards me, in favouring with an invaluable present of books to help me forward; permit me to petition to you for a few, but much-wanted books: viz. a Concordance, a Theological Dietionary, a Dutch and English, and English and Dutch, a Portuguese and English, and English and Portuguese, and a Pronouncing Dictionary-the two last but one are greatly wanted to help me in translating. I stand highly indebted to the society for all I have and enjoy; and will, till the last moment, acknowledge it, and endeavour to discharge myself as such an one, ever making mention at a throne of grace, praying to pour down his blessings on you copiously. I entreat you for an interest in your prayers on us, as a church, and on me and my poor labours. Forgive the inperfections, and allow me to remain,
Your humble and obedient servant, and the meanest in Christ, HENDRIK SIERS.
Domestic Religious Intelligence.
REMARKS UPON THE LOAN FUND.
THAT the present mode of application to the public, for aid in the building and enlarging of places of worship, is liable to serious objections, few are disposed to question. But, while the public at large are anxiously looking for relief from this burden, it is much to be regretted, that the general attention is not directed to some definite and practicable plan.
Since I had an opportunity of meeting the committee of the Loan Fund, some months ago, I have frequently thought of that institution, and have had some opportunities of conversing respecting it; and my conviction is, that if our denomination would lend it their countenance, it would ultimately prove an essential benefit, by materially lessening the number of applicants; and probably, at length, superseding altogether the begging system.
Those who are acquainted with the plan of your institution, are apprized that the Loan Fund must be created by donations, not by sums borrowed, from the religious public. The monies thus raised are to be vested in the hands of trustees, who shall lend them to such churches as may need assistance in repairing or building their places of worship, on condition that 34 interest be paid annually, and one-tenth of the capital returned.
The advantages which the Loan Fund will secure are obvious.-It will prevent such cases as are able to avail themselves of its aid, from applying to the public. It will render more successful those cases which must apply to the public, because they will have fewer rivals.—It will save much money, which is paid for interest, at 5 per cent. and expended in travelling to collect, &c. It will preserve many ministers from the most unpleasant work in which they can be engaged, and preserve many a bosom from the painful feelings excited by the application of a beggar.-And, if properly supported, it will ultimately supersede altogether the present begging system, by affording adequate relief to such cases as may be unable to pay interest or principal.
While the advantages are important, objections have also been stated to the
plan, which certainly have considerable weight; but, I conceive, not sufficient to deter the committee from proceeding in its benevolent course.
The principal objections which I have heard are the following:
1. "That the great majority of cases cannot be relieved by a Loan, therefore such a mode of assistance cannot prevent applications to the public for donations."
Answer: Granted; but, if only one case in ten or twenty, at present, be prevented from applying to the public, it will be some relief, and that many churches will avail themselves of this aid, is proved by the solicitations already presented to the committee.
2. "That in order to render assistance by way of loan, an essential benefit to the denomination, the Loan Fund must amount to a very considerable magnitude."-Answer: Certainly; but, at its commencement, it may be but small. The Baptist Fund was but small in its beginning; now, its bounty refreshes and comforts our poor ministers through every part of the island. The principle of the Loan Fund insures its increase. The first contributions are not sunk; the interest upon them will annually increase them; and, if collections, subscriptions, bequests, &c. be added, in the course of a few years, the fund may acquire a magnitude and importance which will surprise and delight us.
3. "That to raise such a sum from the religious public would considerably lessen their ability to assist, by way of donation; and consequently such cases as most need assistance, would have increasing difficulties to encounter."-Answer: Every case assisted by the Loan Fund is withdrawn from the public, aud must therefore be a benefit to such as must apply; except, indeed, a larger demand should be made on the public, to create this new fund. But it must be obvious, that the benefit to the begging cases would be increasingly great every year, without raising larger contribu tions, because, upon that portion of the pubic contribution which goes into the hands of your committee, interest will be paid, and the principal restored; whereas, on the present plan, the whole, both principal and interest, is sunk.
4. That, in some instances, owing to a variety of causes, the committee will be under the necessity of either losing their money, or of pursuing legal mea
sures to recover it."-Answer: The committee for the management of the fund will, doubtless, act with prudence, both in the securities which they may accept, and in the measures pursued to recover the property; and, if some loss should be incurred, it may be fairly presumed, that this loss will not be so serious, as to prevent the accumulation of money in the hands of the committee.
P. S. As the fund contains the principle of constant increase, it seems necessary, that when the capital has arisen to a considerable amount, the committee should have a discretionary power to reduce the rate of interest, and also of making donations. Probably, it would not be wise to deviate from the present plan, till a capital of (say) £50,000 be realized; for it is not so much to the present, as the future operations of the fund, that the denomination must look for relief. T. M.
THE Aniversary Meetings which have just terminated, have not been inferior, in pleasing gratification, to those of former years. A spirit of zeal for the extension of the Gospel has been largely displayed; which, we hope, will be more abundantly manifested in active exertions, both in our own and in foreign countries. The late period of the month prevents our giving more than a mere sketch of the meetings; reserving a more detailed statement till the next month.
On Tuesday evening, June 23, a good congregation were assembled at Carterlane, when Dr. Ryland preached from John, xiv. 10; Mr. Edmonds, of Cambridge, began in prayer.
BAPTIST ITINERANT SOCIETY.
The above Society held its annual meeting on Wednesday morning, the 24th, at the City of London Tavern, Bishopsgate-street. Mr. James Pritt,
the Treasurer, took the chair at seven o'clock; and the Report, which was encouraging, was read by the Secretary, Mr. Edwards, of Wild-street. Several ministers present advocated the principle of the Society to remunerate settled ministers their expenses in preaching the Gospel in villages, in the vicinity of the places of their residences. It appeared that considerable good had been done during the last year by these labours. The Report states,
Upwards of 60 labourers have been assisted to preach the gospel in more
than 220 towns and villages in Great Britain and its adjacent Islands, and nearly 8000 religious tracts distributed; -that upwards of fifty Sunday Schools for children, and five for adults, have been carried on through their instrumentality;-that there is reason to believe, as seals to their ministry, not less than 200 souls have been called to the knowledge of the truth, and six new churches "Assistformed during the last year." ance has been afforded to Mr. Jarvis, at St. Hiliers, in Jersey, through whose labours a considerable congregation has already been collected on that island. He says 'our place of worshipts crowded, and we hope soon, not only to be able to bear our own expenses, but also to assist the Society in its attempts else. where.""
Mr. Jeffery is labouring in the Scilly Islands. In a letter, dated Feb. 10, 1818, he says, During the three years in which I have been labouring in these islands, upwards of one hundred and fifty persons have given reason to hope that they were truly converted to the Lord Jesus Christ; fifty of whom have been awakened within the last three months. We are expecting a visit from Mr. Smith, of Penzance, when a number will be baptized, who have been candidates for several months; among whom are two young men,of whom I had good hopes two years ago: till the above period, they were proverbial for drunkenness, &c. but, through grace, have since conducted themselves with such propriety, that some of their most abandoned neighbours have been constrained to admire the change. The Sunday schools, which are now established on each of these islands, are in a very The numbers are prosperous state.
greatly augmented, and their desire to obtain books and tracts increases with their ability to read them. A few books, whether old or new, would be a most acceptable present to them, and perhaps a little tract, addressed to the inhabitants of the Off Islands of Scilly, in the language of kindness and encouragement, would be of great use.'
A strong degree of interest was excited at this meeting, by statements made by Mr. David Jones, an itinerant in Herefordshire. He has been assailed by much opposition in that dark county, but has been enabled to persevere in his humble labours till a good degree of success has attended his labours. A let. ter written by a female, the wife of a farmer, who first heard Mr. Jones for the purpose of derision, was uncommonly pleasing, as it exhibited proof of the powerful influence of the Gospel upon
the heart, in leading persons who have "tasted that the Lord is gracious," to use their influence in attempting to bring others to "the obedience of faith."
BAPTIST MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
The public services of the Baptist Missionary Society, on the same day, were attended by large congregations, in Great Queen-street chapel. Mr. Griffin read the scriptures; Dr. Ryland prayed; Mr. Cox preached, from Numbers, xxiii. 23, "Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought." The care of God, in protecting his church from danger, was illustrated by a reference to the period of the Jewish theocracy, from the time of Moses--in the time of the apostles -at the period of the Reformation from Popery and especially during the last thirty years. In the latter period, Mr. Cox noticed the attempts of Voltaire and his triumvirate, to exterminate Christianity from Europe, and the gradual but large extension of the gospel since that time. Mr. Watson, Secretary to the Wesleyan Missionary Society, concluded this service in prayer.
In the evening, at Sion chapel, Mr. Thos. Thomas read the scriptures, Mr. Ivimey prayed, Mr. Samuel Saunders, of Frome, preached from Psalms, "O send out thy light and thy truth!"
The preacher, in a strain of powerful eloquence, represented the miserable state of the heathen world, as destitute of the light of the gospel; the adaptation of the gospel to heal all its maladies; the reasons why Christians uttered the prayer of the text, and the blessedness which attended the fulfilment of the petition. Mr. Wilkinson, of Saffron-Waldron, concluded
in prayer. The hymns were read by Messrs. Elvey, of Fetter-lane; Arlington, of Clapham; Dr. Newman, Shenstone,
We shall feel obliged, on behalf of our readers, if the preachers will imitate some of their predecessors in these labours, and furnish a brief outline of their sermons for insertion in the Magazine.
GENERAL UNION SOCIETY.
The Meeting of this Society, held at Carter-lane, on Thursday morning, the 25th, was well attended by ministers, and other brethren, both in town and country; and, but for a Meeting of the Committee of the Baptist Missionary Society, which was unavoidably held at the same time, would have been by several
others, who regretted the necessity of being absent. We understand, that the accounts given of the state of the churches were very gratifying.
The sermon before the above Institution, was preached at Salters'-hall, by Mr. Coles, of Bourton, from 1 Tim. iii. 1, "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work." Mr. Coles will oblige us by sending us so much of this sermon as will fill a few pages of our Magazine. The excellent advice, and evangelical sentiments it contained, demand for it a more permanent form. It may do much good to ministers in general. exhort," are much benefitted by such exhortations. Mr. Anderson, of Dunstable, began; and Mr. Hughes, of Battersea, concluded in prayer. The bymns were read by Mr. Thomas Thomas, secretary to the Institution.
" Those who
In the evening, the Prayer Meeting, for the success of missions, was held at Albion chapel, Moorfields. A report was read by Mr. Dyer, of Reading, the assistant secretary; and an address delivered by Mr. Saffery, of Salisbury; prayer by Messrs. Upton, Winterbotham, of Horsley, and Pain, of Ipswich. The hymns read by Mr. Shenstone. At all the Missionary Meetings, a letter which Rad come to hand on Tuesday, from Mr. W. H. Pearce, was read; and, after the latter meeting, printed copies were given away at the doors of the chapel. We insert it for the gratification of those of our readers who were not present on these occasions, and to preserve so cheering and important a missionary docu
Letter from Mr. William Pearce (son of the late Rev. Samuel Pearce) to the Rev. James Hinton, of Oxford, dated Serampore, Jan. 1818.
My much esteemed friend and pastor,
As a vessel is about to sail direct to Liverpool, I embrace, with pleasure, the opportunity it affords me of conversing with an absent, though not forgotten friend.
The brethren have not been unmindful, that your annual meeting is in June, and that you will then wish the latest intelligence you can obtain. But, as I am confident that, should the review of the mission, which they hoped to have forwarded by this vessel, reach you in time, the memoir of the translations will be certainly too late, I have gleaned the following particulars respecting them for your gratification. In giving you these sketches, I have preserved the order
pursued in the memoir for 1815, to which I beg leave to refer you.
In the memoir, the whole of the scriptures, in the Ooriya, were represented to have been printed.
I have now the pleasure of informing you, that a new edition of the New Testament, of 4000 copies, has been some little time begun, and the printing advanced to the middle of Matthew.
In the Bengalee, in which, of course, the version will be now as accurate as the brethren can expect ever to make it, and in which the opportunities for distribution are becoming daily more extensive, we have commenced a new edition, of 5000 copies, of the whole scriptures, in a new and much reduced type; reduced by brother Lawson, when he resided at Serampore. By means of this alteration, we shall be able to comprise the whole Bible in one large octavo volume of 850 pages, which has hitherto occupied five volumes, of 800 pages each. The brethren intend to print 5000 additional Testaments, forming a thin volume, of about 180 pages.
and, in the Assam and Watch, to the Romans; while, in the Bruj Bhassa, although a delay has arisen, in conse quence of the distance of brother Chame berlain's station, who was superintend ing the version, we are preparing to proceed with the printing as before
In the Kurnata, we have finished Mark, and are proceeding with Luke; while, in the Kunkuma, the Mooltanee, the Sindhee, the Kashmere, the Bika neer, the Nepal, the Ooduypore, the Marwar, the Juypore, and the Khassee, not much progress in the printing has been made since the last Report, access to them, in many cases, being difficult, and their prosecution interfering with the supply of countries more extensive and more easy of approach. As soon, however, as the Hindee and Sungskrit versions are completed, it is the intention of the brethren to proceed with them; while the return of brother Carapeit, as hereafter mentioned, afforded a most fayourable opportunity of distributing the gospel of St. Matthew, already printed, in four of these languages.
In the Sungskrit, the Latin of the Although the printing of the Seram east, and intelligible to almost all the pore translations has been in some degree learned men throughout Hindoosthan, retarded, by the printing of several elethe historical books have been commentary works for the Bengalee schools, pleted, and the printing advanced to the middle of Jeremiah. We therefore expect to complete this volume within the next three months, and shall then have printed the whole of the scriptures in that language.
The Hindee Bible is still further advanced; and we fully expect that, within a month, the last part will be ready for distribution. We shall then have printed the first edition of the whole scriptures, with a second edition of the New Testament.
In the Mabratta, the historical books have been printed off, since the last memoir, and the Hagiographa advanced to the middle of Proverbs.
In the Sikh, the Pentateuch is just completed, and the historical books begun.
In the Chinese, we have just completed the Pentateuch, and are now proceeding with a second edition of the New Testament,
as well as of the Roman Malay and Armenian Bibles, for the Calcutta Auxiliary Bible Society (a cause not much to be regretted), you will be pleased to hear, that they were never proceeding with more rapidity than at present. The of fice now furnishes our venerable editor, Dr. Carey, independently of the Chinese proofs it forwards to Dr. Marshman, with twelve proofs per week, on an average.
You will be gratified to hear, that our opportunities of distributing the scriptures, when printed, are becoming more extensive. Our much esteemed brother, C. C. Aratoon, being desirous to return to Surat, to fetch his family, left us in November last, intending to proceed up the river as far as Agra (four months journey), to supply the different stations in his way, with scriptures and tracts, and then to cross the country to his late station. The last letter we received from him was dated Benares, and he had In the Telinga, the New Testament is then, in his journey, distributed himself, printed as far as the Thessalonians: and or left for distribution, at the different we hope to have finished the volume ere stations through which he passed (inthis reaches you. cluding Cutwa, Berhampore, MoorshedIn the Pushtoo Testament, the print-abad, Monghir, Patna, Digah, and Being is advanced as far as the 1st of Peter; nares), no less than 10,250 books or pamphlets, of which a large proportion were volumes of the scriptures, in Bengalee, Persian, Hindee, Sungskrit, Kashinere, Mahratta, Arabic, Sikh, Bulochee, Bruj Bhassa, and Chinese. The brethren wish him to proceed, over land, to Surat,
Dr. Marshman has it in contemplation, I believe, to carry on the printing of the Psalms and New Testament together; and we have lately increased our supply of men in this department.