« VorigeDoorgaan »
year, also, a new church has been opened for Divine Service at Wellington; and another is now being erected at Kent. Seven new churches will thus have been built in this colony in eight years, solely at the expense of the Church Missionary Society, beside several school-houses in the River and Sea districts, which serve the two-fold purpose
of schools and places of public worship.
Communicants and Candidates. The number of communicants is 1521, besides 1502 candidates for baptism and the Lord's Supper. The whole number is greater than at any other period of our history; and it affords us great pleasure to witness the growing piety, and devotedness to the Saviour, of many of them; family worship is pretty general among them; and there is a marked improvement in their attention to relative and personal duties.
Contributions of the People. The Divine blessing on the labours of this mission is further apparent by the grace of liberality which many of our people have exemplified in their conduct. During the past year the natives have contributed, toward the spread of the Gospel, about 1201.; and the contributions from the day-scholars in the different stations, for the year ending Deccember 25, 1845, amounted to 2241. 7s. 50,3441. 7s. 5d. received from the natives in one year !
Welcome given to a Missionary on his return. The Rev. Mr. Beale writes :
The report of our arrival quickly spread through the town and villages. Many members of our Church met us at the water-side, and gave us a regular black man's hearty welcome to their shores. They gladly carried all our boxes and luggage, &c. to the mission house without any pay. I offered money to one man, but he said, “No, massa, no mind that, we no want that;" yet this man was not a member, although he partook of the joy which animated the rest.
Early on Monday morning a scene commenced which would have gladdened any heart. It was the people coming in from different towns, in great numbers, to see us and bid us welcome. We shook hands with so many, young and old, as at length to be quite fatigued. All were thanking God for our safe arrival. For several days the same pleasure was afforded us, during which we could scarcely turn our heads in the street without being saluted by some smiling face, and “How do, massa ? you done come: me glad for see you, massa. Thank God! thank God!"
Dec. 11, 1845.-One of the most pious and useful women of Freetown was reported to me as being prevented, by illness, from coming to pay her respects to us. This evening we went to her house to see her, and found her in bed very unwell. . Oh,” she said, as we entered the room-grasping our hands with much affection, while her weak frame was almost overpowered with joy-"me no been think me live till this day. Thank God, we see one another's face in this world once more! good! He bring you back over the big water once more. Thank God! thank God!" When I inquired respecting her sickness, she said she had been suffering much since August; but added, “ Massa, this sickness do much for me: I thank God for it. When I lay upon this bed I consider my state; I look upon Jesus, and He give me patience for bear. Jesus so good to me. When the sickness hard upon me, and the pain so bad me heart ready for complain, then Jesus send Holy Spirit and give me patience to bear."
When I got home, I found that a fowl and a basket of rice had been sent by her husband as a present. Many marks of our dear people's affection have we had. One would take pleasure in pointing out a tree of which I had given the seed; others would send presents of milk, or fruit, to testify their affection for us.
Such proofs are unequivocal marks of the effects of the Gospel on the hearts of this people. I do feel that it is a privilege to be permitted to labour among such a warm-hearted and affectionate people.
CHINA. This vast country, from which the valuable luxury of tea is brought, contains an immense population of 360 millions, among whom we have yet only one missionary from this Society. Until the late peace was made, it was almost impossible to get the Chinese to hold any intercourse with the English, except for commerce in tea. But as we are now in treaty with them, the friends of the Gospel may hope that they may soon establish the knowledge of the truth in that vast wilderness. This Society has sent out some clergymen to find out where a mission may be best set up, and the following extracts describe the encouraging beginnings which have just been made.
The commencement of a Chinese Service is thus de scribed, in a letter from the Rev. Mr. M'Clatchie, dated March 30, 1846
I am most thankful to God that He has mercifully permitted me to commence a Service in the Chinese language.
I feel, indeed, that my attempts are yet very feeble; but I trust that He who can unloose the tongue of the stammerers will ere long give me greater fluency in the language, and enable me to convey his blessed truths with more ease to the minds of these poor idolaters. My Service is not exactly a public one yet; I wish to go on by degrees; but I hope that in a short time I shall acquire sufficient courage to put up a notice at my gate, and to invite all to enter. I have the unspeakable satisfaction, however, of knowing that at present I am tolerably well understood."
And again, April 15
6 I have been in Shanghai exactly one year to-day, and I have been ten months studying the dialect of the place. I wish that I could be perfectly satisfied with my progress in it; but yet I am bound to thank God for enabling me to feel that I am doing something though, alas ! feebly indeed-in his blessed service.
“My daily Service requires much study to keep it upalmost the whole day to prepare for the following morning. However, it is a most delightful occupation to me, as I know that our gracious Saviour will bless even the weakest efforts to promote the knowledge of Him among the heathen. My cook seems to be especially interested in the Service, and, as our copies of the Word of God are very few, he has commenced writing out the Gospel of St. Matthew from a copy of the New Testament which I have lent him. The constant exclamations of my hearers-such as 'It is clear;' I understand-I find very, encouraging. I pray God that I may soon attain that which to me is the acme of all earthly glory --the ability to declare fluently to the poor Chinese the wonderful works of God in their own strange and difficult language."
Of his encouragements, and the reading and reflective character of the people, Mr. M'Clatchie writes, in the letter of March 30–
" There is every thing here which a missionary could wish for, in order to encourage him in his work. There are, of course, some discouragements; such as the apathy with which the Chinese receive exhortations to the
practice of true religion, and that, too, notwithstanding their admiration of the beautiful morality of the Gospel of peace. But then, after all, this and similar discouragements are to be found in Christian countries as well as heathen, and merely prove the melancholy fact, that all the children of Adam are by nature dead in trespasses and sins.
« The Chinese are, without doubt, a reading and a thinking people. I have seen shopkeepers, to whom I have given tracts and books, sit down in their shops, and become wholly engrossed, in a moment, in reading them; or else engaging in conversation with those around them on the subject treated of in them.”
General Review, and Appeal for more Labourers. We conclude with the following extracts from the Rev. Mr. Smith's communications. He writes, in a letter dated Nov. 8, 1845
“ The time I have spent in China will be always viewed by me as a very happy period of my life: and though, had I foreseen much of what I should be called
to pass through here, flesh and blood would perhaps have recoiled at the prospect, yet I have found the real trials of a missionary's life to be fewer than I had anticipated, and of a very different kind, and have learned how little we are dependent on external things for real enjoyment and happiness. And in another, dated Jan. 14, 1846 ;
“ China is open to us; its population is generally friendly; its rulers are fast becoming tolerant; its superstitions are nowhere strongly enthroned in the native mind; its social institutions present no insuperable barrier to our progress. Worship paid to ancestors is our rock of future difficulty ; atheism is our principal foe; and the lack of labourers our constant sorrow.” Matt. ix. 37, 38.
EXTRACTS FROM NEWSPAPERS. Power Of Conscience.—The following is a copy of a note which Mr. Colton, of Caistor, received last week from an unknown person. He has no recollection of the circumstance to which the writer refers ; but the latter, it seems, has not forgotten it, and his conscience is another proof of the truth of the scriptural assertion, “ Be sure your sin will find you out."
“ The writer of this some years ago defrauded Mr. Rd. Colton to a small extent. Although years have elapsed since the commission of the sin, conscience has not been silent. The writer is very thankful to God for having given him the ability as well as the inclination to make restitution. The amount (5s.) is for convenience enclosed in postage stamps.”
A Good EXAMPLE TO LANDLORDS.- The Duke of Rutland has given orders to have the village of Codnor culverted and drained, at his sole expense ; so that the cottages of the poor, as well as the houses of the upper class in the village, may be all freed from that offensive matter which must unavoidably accumulate about dwellings where no such judicious precautions are adopted. The work has already commenced.-Nottingham Mercury.
In 1814 the average cost of producing a piece of calico in Manchester was 1l. 3s. 10d.; and in 1829 it was 5s. lld.
NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS. We have received the communications of Viator ; a Layman; L. S. R.; X. Y. Z.; P. S. L. ; M. P. and several anonymous correspondents.