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think much has already been done, if the difficulty of the undertaking be considered. When I have conversed with the natives of Otaheite who are now in this colony, I have been much gratified at the knowledge they have acquired. It appears to me that the missionaries, from their letters, are not sensible what impression they have already made on the minds of the natives. I have already said much has been done, and I think so."
Mr. Marsden suggests a plan for increasing the intercourse between New South Wales and Otaheite, by means of a small vessel, of about seventy tons, which he thinks would soon be navigated principally by Otaheitans, at a small expense; and which would tend to accelerate their civilization, and so prepare them for a more attentive reception of the gospel. He purposes to give this subject a nore particular consideration, and write the directors futher thereon.
These worthy missionaries are much entitled to our sympathy, and our prayers. Excluded, for years together, from all communication or intercourse with friends and greatly wearied by disheartening circumstances, they yet persevere with unabated zeal in their important work; and it appears from various testimonies, that they exhibit that excellency of principle and conduct which do honour to the christian missionary. May their faithful labours be soon rewarded with success! When their reply to the letter written to them in June, 1805, shall be received, the directors will, in all probability, be enabled to form a better judgment respecting this missionary station, than they can at present: it is also probable, that some of the brethren may be inclined to return to England, as the period for this event, (as it respects those who went out by the Royal Admiral) approaches. This would enable the directors to enter on a discussion of several important matters suggest ed by the brethren; and to regulate the future concerns of this mission, by a more comprehensive and accurate view of circumstances than can at present be taken. In the mean time, they bear these muchtried brethren most affectionately on their hearts, and will continue to administer to their convenience and comfort as opportunities may occur.
NORTH AMERICA. Although the labours of the brethren, the Rev. Mr. Hillyard at Newfoundland, and the Rev. Mr. Pidgeon at New-Carlisle and Restigouche, in New-Brunswick, may not be considered as essential or
prominent parts of the system of missionary exertions; yet the directors have annually noticed these stations, and the preaching of the gospel which is there continued, under the patronage of this Society.
The latest accounts from Mr. Hillyard are very satisfactory to the directors, as they evince his diligence and activity in the good work in which he is engaged. Mr. H's. principal station was at Twilin gate; but the Rev. Mr. Morris having left the church over which he presided at St. John's, Mr. H. at the particular requestof its members has removed thither, and probably has resided there during the last winter, at which season of the year, his labours are necessarily stationary. In the summer, however, Mr. H. itinerates to various places, at a distance from his residence, such as Green Pond, an island in Bonavista Bay, Fogo, Trinity, &c. As these places are not favoured with the stated ministry of the gospel, Mr. H's services are very acceptable, and, it is hoped, are productive of much good. Oa these accounts, and the directors judging very highly of his christian character, and ministerial labours they have agreed to extend their engagement with him from three to four years: which additional term they are persuaded will be faithfully im proved.
The directors have received two letters from Mr. Pidgeon, since the last annual meeting. They give information that he generally resides and preaches at NewCarlisle during the winter, and at Restigouche in the summer: that at both thes places his ministry is acceptable; and that he occasionally extends his services to various villages in the vicinity of those places. As his exertions are necessarily circumscribed in the winter, he employs his leisure in the acquisition of the French and Indian languages, in order that be may be able to preach to the French catholics and Indians; the former being very numerous, and many of the latter also residing in the vicinity of those stations. The directors are happy to receive this intelligence, as it tends to assimilate his views, and to direct his future exertions to objects which are directly suited to the patronage of this society. And as Mr. P. has requested, and will certainly need an assistant, when he shall have entered on his labours among the French catholics and the Indians, the directors think it will be expedient to look out for a suitable person, to take a part of the ministerial duties at Carlisle, and at Restigouche.
The connexion which subsisted be. tween the religious society at Quebec, and the missionary society, has terminated by the return of Mr. Bentom to this country. But the directors have the pleasure to state, that at their recommendation, and on application from the friends at Quebec, the Rev. Mr. Dick has been sent out by some religious societies in Scotland, to succeed Mr. Bentom in that city. AFRICA.
In the last report of the directors, it was mentioned that, in consequence of political circumstances, it became necessary that the missionary stations in South Africa should be placed under the care of the Netherland society; the directors whereof had kindly agreed to become the medium through which the correspondence with them was to be conducted. During the last year, the information received has not been so extensive as could be wished; and although, in some respects, it is of a very acceptable nature, yetit is mingled with circumstances which occasion regret. These have arisen from the opposition made by the Boors to the instruction of the Hottentots, prompted by their malignant hatred to the cause of Christ; but covered and enforced by pretences of necessary prudence and caution in respect to institutions connected with and supported by English societies. The respectable governor Janssens, although convinced of the utility of missionary exertions, and that they were entirely separated from all national views, yet found it expedient to subject our stations both at Zak River, and Bethelsdorp, to some inconvenient restrictions; and afterwards to summon our brethren Dr. Vanderkemp, and Mr. James Read to Cape Town, to vindicate themselves against some charges brought against them by the Landrost a kind of sheriff, and the Boors, the bitter enemies of their missionary work.
Some steps which Dr. Vanderkemp had thought himself bound to take in behalf of the Hottentots, most cruelly oppressed by the Boors, had inflamed their resentment, and produced this measure; and after our brethren had convinced the governor of the innocence of their conduct, the Boors threatened, that if he should permit them to return, they were determined to take away their lives; at the same time representing them as friends to the English, and enemies to the Dutch government. Although the governor perceived the falshood of these charges, yet he expresseed the wish that both
Dr. Vanderkemp and Mr. Read, whom he highly praised, would suspend their return to Bethelsdorp, until more favourable circumstances should render it advisable.
Their journals for 1804, contains several pleasing instances of the success of their ministry among these poor heathen, one of which is the following: "A man named Hannes Trompetten was, even so lately as the present year, captain of a horde of plundering Hottentots. One of his sisters, belonging to the same gang, came last year to our institution. In the present year her example has been followed by another sister, and also his aged father. At last, Hannes himself resolved to give up his flagitious employment, and endeavoured with four of his brethren to join us. In this attempt his brethren were killed, and he alone escaped. In both of his sis rs the almighty power of God is glorified: the first was baptized in March, the other in April. In that month the Lord displayed his power in the conversion of our people in a singular manner, and we saw therein, eleven, being all women, added to the assembly of those who shall be saved. The whole number baptized in that year appears to be five brethren, seventeen sisters, and fourteen children; in all thirty six." One they had been obliged to exclude from their communion for immoral conduct, and to dismiss from the institution the associate of her guilt.
Notwithstanding the opposition made to the labours of these faithful men, the power of God continued to attend their ministry to the period when they were obliged to leave this settlement, which was in the month of May last. Mr. Read writes on the subject as follows: "Our spiritual work continued till our departure in a prosperous state; and there were added to the church daily such as we trust will be saved. The number of baptized consisted of forty-six grown persons, besides a great many others, of whose conversion we have little doubt. One of the baptized named Kruisman, seems likely to be useful in the Lord's work. He lived with a farmer near us, who treated him with cruelty, on account of the wish he expressed to come to our institution to hear the word of God. He had for several years been concerned about his soul, and could get no one to tell him who, or what God is. He conceived, how ever, that what he saw and heard daily, such as murder, drunkenness, adultery, and swearing, could not be pleasing to him. His treatment became so intolera
ble, that he was compelled to complain to the magistrate, who released him from his oppressor, and allowed him to come to our institution. It was striking to see him while hearing the word of God, with his ears, eyes, and mouth open. He however was soon convinced, that the evils which he had seen in others, were his own and he began to be almost in despair that such a monster could be saved. The Lord Jesus however manifested himself to his soul, and filled it with joy and peace in believing. No sooner was this the case, than he returned to his fellow-servants, to tell them what the Lord had done for his soul. This was attended with a blessing to one of them, and he, as a spiritual father, goes daily to visit this child of grace, and encourage him to go on in the good way. He is indeed very zealous, and we should not be surprised if the Lord should a great things by him among his countrymen. These instances of divine mercy are our glory and our joy."
cause of Christ have long been very conspicuous, and she appears now to have devoted herself, in a more explicit and entire manner to his service among the heathen. The brother and sister Bekker of Stellenbosch, must have fallen within the operation of the ordinance just mentioned, but no certain information has yet been received concerning 'them. The directors do not see any reason to regret this part of the regulation, which necessarily fixes the labours of the missionary more directly among the heathen, their proper object, than in places occupied principally by nominal christians.
To another friend he writes. "The Lord has favoured me greatly, in giving me to see his work flourish among the poor heathen; many have I seen called out of darkness into light, and many of these favoured with strong assurance of their interest in Christ, their new Lord, so that they often express their longing desire to see him, and be with him. Others have great gifts to recommend them to their fellow sinners, and the Lord crowns their work with an astonishing blessing, to the surprise of all around.”
Through the kind providence of God, this missionary station, though for the present deprived of the superintendance of Dr. Vanderkemp and Mr. Read, is not left destitute of the means of grace. These are supplied by the brother Albrecht, (sent over by the society from Holland, in company with brother Kicherer and the Hottentots,) of whom Mr. Read speaks highly, and by the missionary Tromp, who was formerly at Waggonmaker's Valley, but has been obliged to leave it by the ordinance of the Dutch government, which forbids missionaries in general from giving instruction to christians or heathens within the limits of the parishes in the colony, and enjoins them to remove to a distance of three days journey from every established church. These are joined by Mr. Smith, most probably a pious and zealous colonist, of whom however no particular account has reached us, and also by Mrs. Smith, a widow of Rodesand, whose hospitality to our brethren, and zeal for the
The station of brother Anderson and Kramer, on the Orange river, among the Corannas, had been considered as beyond the limits of the colony, but they were ordered to appear at Cape Town, and were there with Dr. Vanderkemp and Read. No letters have been received from them; it appears however, from brother Read and Dr. Vanderkemp's letter, that their labours among the Corannas are blessed in an extraordinary degree.
The directors have received the interesting journal of the voyage of Mr. Kicherer, the Hottentots, and the rest of the missionaries from Holland to the Cape; where they arrived in the month of January, 1805; for the occurrences of which they refer to the 13th number of the missionary transactions. Since their arrival, they have received no letters from them, but are informed through the medium of Dr. Vanderkemp, and of the society at Rotterdam, that Mr. Kicherer, Mr. and Mrs. Vos, and the Hottentots, were returned to their station at Zak river, and that there were very favourable prospects of much good being done to the contiguous heathens. Bother Sydenfaden, and the two brethren Albrecht, who accompanied Kicherer and the Hottentots from Holland, had taken their departure for the country of Namacquas, in order to introduce the word of life among those distant and untutored tribes.
As the Cape of Good Hope is now, through the providence of God, in the possession of the English government, there is the strongest ground to expect that a more direct and powerful sanction will be given to the peaceful and zealous endeavours of our brethern to spread the savour of our dear Redeemer's name among the heathen nations. The brethern Vanderkemp and Read were turning their attention to the important island of Madagascar, or to the kingdom of Mozambique. One of the natives of the
latter of these places, who was converted to God by the ministry of Mr. Vos, has been redeemed by this society, and placed under a course of instruction to qualify him to accompany such a mission. The directors having furnished a competent supply for the colony itself, have with great satisfaction encouraged the attempt to be made at one or both of those places; but they are doubtful whether Dr. Vanderkemp will feel it to be his duty to engage in this service, as they have suggested to his consideration another sphere of action of still greater importance, of which some notice will be taken in a subsequent part of this report. The directors have embraced the first opportunity of placing their missions in Africa, under such new regulations as are adapted to the more favourable circumstances which now exist there; and they trust they will hereafter receive more regular and frequent accounts from their different stations, where the power of God has so frequently been manifested in the conversion of the heathen.
It was intimated in the last annual report of the directors, that several missionaries had embarked with a view to establish different stations on the peninsula of India, and in the island of Ceylon; and the directors have now the satisfaction to mention, that, under the divine protection, 'most of them have reached the places of their destination, and have entered on their work, they trust under the gracious auspices of their great Master. The incidents which occurred during their voyage, and after their arrival are too numerous to be detailed at present; but they will be found in the publications of the tranactions of the society, and will afford much satisfaction to those who may peruse them. The brethren Ringletaube, Cran, and Desgranges, and Messrs. Vos and Ehrhardt proceeded to Tranquebar in the same vessel. Not very long after their arrival, the brethern Taylor and Loveless reached Madras; and it has since been ascertained, that Mr. and Mrs. Palm have joined Mr. Vos, and his associates at Ceylon. Of these three missions, we now proceed to speak, beginning with that of Messrs. Ringletaube, Cran and Desgranges.
These brethern arrived at Tranquebar early in December, 1804, and were received by several christians friends there with great cordiality. Their anxieties
were relieved by the information given them of the encouraging prospects in India, and like St. Paul after his communications with certain christian brethren, when on his journey to Rome, they also "thanked God, and took courage."
In the instructions given to them by the directors, they were recommended to form one missionary station only, and to act together. They were not however so entirely limited to this point, as to be deprived of the privilege of judging, and determining otherwise, if it should appear to them necessary, in order to promote more extensively the interests of the great cause committed to their hands. After much deliberation and prayer, the brethren Cran and Desgranges were inclined for various reasons to remove to Madras, with which their colleague acquiesced, and about the 5th of March, these friends separated, after having sealed their mutual love in that ordinance which is alike the pledge of union to the adorable Head of the church, and to each other in him.
On their arrival at Madras, they were welcomed in the most affectionate manner, by different gentlemen; some in the sacred profession, and others who fill respectable stations in civil society. From these they derived considerable information, as well as countenance and assistance in their work; and as it appeared to them, in the first instance, probable, that they would pitch their missionary tents in some part of the interior, where the Tamulean language was spoken, they applied themselves with unwearied assiduity to its acquisition, and made therein considerable progress. On further investigation however, they were induced to fix upon a station, in the Northern Circars, altogether unoccupied by preceeding missionaries; and the directors are of opinion that the reasons which they state, justify them in adopting this measure. A second time, therefore, they were called to the painful task of separating from friends, who had manifested towards them every sentiment of kindness and affection which binds the heart in the cords of gratitude and love.
On the 13th of July, Mr. Cran thus expresses himself, in a letter to a friend in the direction of this society. "With the Bible in our hands full of promises; with the permission of the honourable the governor in council; and with a number of introductory letters from gentlemen of the first respectibility in Madras, my dear brother Desgranges and I are just going,
to embark for Visigapatnam." In a few days they arrived at that place; and here the pillar of cloud and of fire, which had so long, and so graciously directed their wanderings, appears likely for some time
Visigapatnam is situated on the coast, in one of the Northern Circars; and the sea breezes render the air refreshing and salubrious. It contains above twenty thousand inhabitants, and in its vicinity are many large villages, inhabited by thousands of the heathen who are sunk in the grossest idolatry. To the right and to the left they have the oportunity of engaging in their missionary services for hundreds of miles. The Telinga language, which is spoken there, extends throughout the whole of the Circars; and prevails also at Hydrabad, Golconda, and Bangalore. This station presents an opening also to the Cattack, and Mahratta countries, where the language is not greatly dissimilar; and so extensively is it understood that a thousand missionaries might employ all their time and talents within its sphere.
The last intelligence received from these brether, is dated October 16th, at which time they had resided there about three months; and they write as follows: "God has in all things exceeded our expectations. The gentlemen of the settlement, and especially one high in official station, continue to sanction us. Unknown to us, the latter wrote to the governor in council, requesting that we might be allowed some acknowledgment for performing divine service in the fort: in consequence of which we now receive ten pagodas per month."
The directors cannot fail to consider so high a sanction to their residence, and to the exercise of their ministry in that place, as of the greatest importance; and that it demands their gratitude to Him, who has the hearts of all men in his hands, and turns them as the rivers of water whithersoever he will.
The brethren, whilst learning the Telinga language, which it appears is not of very difficult acquisition, have the opportunity of preaching the gospel in their native tongue, not only to their own countrymen, but also to the decendants of Europeans. They have established meetings three evenings in the week, for the instruction of the latter, who are engaged in military service, and also of their children; and they express their hope that some good effect has already been produced by these means.
On account of the very high rents of
houses at this place, compared with the expense of building them, they have requested our permission to erect one, convenient not only for their residence, but for the reception of others who may hereafter join them, and to contain also a school-room. Their estimate of the purchase of the ground amounts to 140%, but they do not mention what the building itself will cost. The directors, however, have placed 2007. at their disposal for this object. The missionaries have already opened a school for the instruction of native children; and it appears that their three first pupils are the sons of a Brahmin. The directors are compelled, by the reason before assigned, to omit a number of other occurrences, which will however excite no small degree of interest in those who read the publications which record our missionary transactions, and which they take the liberty to recommend to a more extensive perusal. They cannot, however, entirely leave this subject, without expressing the satisfaction which they have received from the inspection of their journals, which are drawn up with great care and accura cy, and breathe a spirit of deep piety, and devotedness to God, as well as of holy jealousy and watchfulness over their own hearts. Their time appears to have been fully occupied either in sacred exercises, or other suitable engagements; and we have only now to beseech the Author of these influences, that he would confirm and increase them, and, by means of their ministry, diffuse them all around.
The approbation which we have expressed of the journals and proceedings of the brethren Cran and Desgranges, are due also to the brother Ringeltaube, their companion in the mission, to the period of their separation at Tranquebar. What further relates to him, exclusively, we now proceed briefly to narrate.
In his letters and journal are contained intelligence, both of general importance, as it relates to natural history, and the geographical delineation of the boundaries of the different languages, or dialects and also of particular interest in a religious view, from the statement which he gives of the exertions that have already been made by missionaries from the Roman and Lutheran churches. He speaks with becoming gratitude, of the protection which the government in India affords to the endeavours of sincere missionaries; and the assistance which, in some cases, they have actually afforded. He expresses the persuasion, that a still