Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

in peace, being staid on God. In his tabernacles, they behold his power and glory, and are brought near to God as their exceeding joy. At his table, they remember his love more than wine, and the fruits of their Redeemer's death are sweet unto their taste. With gratitude they welcome every return of that day which God himself hath consecrated, and which

brings them the renewed evidence, that their Lord is risen, and hath triumphed over death and the grave. With Simeon, they go up to the temple to worship; with Lydia, they attend to the things which are spoken of the Lord; with Asaph, they meditate on the works of God, and remember the years of the right hand of the Most High; with devout Cornelius, they wor ship God in their house; with the disciples going to Emmaus, they take sweet counsel together, and talk of him who redeems Israel; and with the first Christians, they continue stedfast in the apostle's doc trine, and in fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.' Pp. 65, 66.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.

by every one who has had an opportunity of knowing any thing of the character of its author, and will be endeared to those to whom he was personally known. There is a very interesting memoir of him prefixed to the present edition of this treatise, drawn up by one who possessed favourable opportunities for appreciating his worth, and who has done himself great credit by the sketch which he has here given of his friend.

[blocks in formation]

Among the faithful servants of God, who have now entered upon their rest and their reward, we have enjoyed the privilege of knowing not a few. But we can scarcely recollect one who approached more nearly than Mr. Bonar did, to the character of the patriarch who "walked with God;" of the prophet in whom was found "the excellent spirit;" of the apostle who "leant on Jesus' bosom, and whom Jesus loved;" or who appeared to possess more of the same mind that was in him-higher than all patriarchs, prophets, and apostles-whose "meat it was to do the will of him that sent him, and to finish his work."

Hindoo women burn themselves) certain acts have been occasionally committed, in direct opposition to the rules laid down in the religious institutes of the Hindoos, by which that practice is authorized and forbidden in particular cases: as, for instance, at several places pregnant women, and girls not yet arrived at their full age, have been burnt alive; and people after having intoxicated women, by administering intoxicating substances, have burnt them without their assent whilst insensible: and inasmuch as this conduct is contrary to the Shasters, and perfectly inconsistent with every principle of humanity, (it appearing

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

from the expositions of the Hindoo law delivered by pundits, that the burning a woman pregnant, or one having a child of tender years, or a girl not yet arrived at full age, is expressly forbidden in the Shasters, and also that the intoxicating a woman for the purpose of burning her, and the burn ing one without her assent, or against her will, is highly illegal, and contrary to established usage,) the Police Darogahs are hereby, accordingly, under the sanction of Government, strictly enjoined to use the utmost care, and make every effort to prevent the forbidden practices above-mentioned, from taking place within the limits of their thannahs; and they are farther required, on all occasions, immediately on receiving intelligence that this ceremony is likely to occur, either themselves to proceed to the spot, or send their Mohirrir, or Jemedar, accompanied by a Burkundaz of the Hindoo religion, to learn of the woman who is to be burnt whether she has given her assent, and ascertain the other particulars above-mentioned relative to her age, &c. &c. &c. In the event of the female who is going to be burnt being less than sixteen years of age, or there being signs of her pregnancy, or on her declaring herself in that situation, or should the people be preparing to burn her after having intoxicated her, without her consent, or against her will, (the burning a woman under any of these circumstances being in direct opposition to what is enjoined in the Shasters, and manifestly an act of illegal violence,) it will be then their duty to prevent the ceremony, thus forbidden and contrary to established usage, from taking place, and require those prepared to perform it to refrain from so doing; also to explain to them that, in the event of their persisting to commit an act forbidden, they would involve themselves in a crime, and become subject to retribution and punishment; but in the case of the woman being of full age, and no other impediment existing, they will nevertheless remain on the spot, and not allow the most minute particular to escape observation; and in the case of people preparing to burn a woman by compulsion, or after having made her insensible by administering spirituous li. quors, or narcotic drugs, it will be then their duty to exert themselves in restraining them; and at the same time to let them know, that it is not the intention of the government to check or forbid any act authorized by the tenets of the religion of the inhabitants of their dominions, or even to require any express leave or permission being required previously to the perform. ance of the act of Suttee; and the police officers are not to interfere and prevent any

such act from taking place. And, lastly, it will be their duty to transmit immediately, for the information of the magistrates, a full detail of any measures which they may have adopted on this subject, and also on every occasion, when within the limits of their thannahs this ceremony of "Suttee" may take place, the same being lawfully conducted, they will insert it in the Monthly Reports.

(Signed) G. H. FAGAN. Adj.-Gen."

SOUTH SEA ISLANDS.

Extract of a Letter from the Rev. D. Tyerman to a Lady in England, dated Taheite, Nov. 24, 1821.

All our brethren, the Missionaries, received us with the most cordial affection, while the natives were not backward in giving us every proof of their joy on our arrival. The power and wisdom of God, as displayed in the structure of this wonderful island, can only be exceeded by that stupendous and marvellous change which has taken place among its inhabitants: a change which fills me with incessant astonishment and joy. Had I opportunity and leisure to describe the former moral condition of this people, it would be unnecessary that I should do it to you: suffice it to observe that it was peculiarly the place where Satan's seat was, and if ever that awful being were allowed an incarnation, it was here. The details of this wickedness, given us by the Missionaries since we have been here, are enough to fill us with horror. How many human victims almost daily bled upon their cruel altars! Two-thirds of the infants born were instantly murdered by the hands of their own mothers. I saw one woman, the other day, who had destroyed eight of her own offspring; I have heard of another who killed nine, another seventeen, another twenty!!! The god of thieves, for there was such a god here, was faithfully served, while crimes of other kinds too horrible to be named, every where defiled this beautiful land. All the worst passions of human nature were indulged in the utmost possible extent. But, where sin abounded, grace much more abounds!

God has done great things for this people. The faithful and holy exertions of his servants are most amply rewarded. The prayers of the British Churches are indeed heard; and all the expenses which have been incurred, are now fully repaid. () that you and all whose hearts are engaged in doing good to the heathen, could but witness what I have already seen; it would fill your soul with amazement and gratitude!

·

Where I have been, the Sabbath is universally regarded; not an individual is known, whether among the chiefs or the common people, who does not attend divine worship on the Lord's day. The engagements of that holy day commence with a prayer-meeting, conducted entirely by the natives themselves at sunrise. Knowing the backwardness of Christians in England to attend early prayer-meetings, what do you think my surprise has been on go ing to these services, to find their large places of worship literally filled. This is the fact at all the situations which I have visited; the whole congregations indeed attend. At nine o'clock in the morning, and at three in the afternoon, there is public worship and preaching, when their places are crowded. The congregations make a very decent appearance; all is solemn and becoming. They have congregational singing, and it is conducted with great propriety. In the intervals of worship, there is catechising of both young and old. The natives dress all their food on Saturdays; not a fire is lighted, not a canoe is seen on the water, not a journey performed, not the least kind of worldly business done on the Sabbath. So far as outward appearances go, this day is here kept indeed holy; by multitudes, I doubt not, it is kept really so.

The missionaries have already translated and printed the gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John, which are in the hands of the people, and nothing can induce them to part with them. The word of God is indeed precious here. The Scriptures are the companions of the people wherever they go. Not a family (I am told) is known that has not family worship, morning and evening, every day. At every missionary station there is a church formed; and though it is only between two and three years ago that they were organized, many real Christians have united to enjoy the benefits of the Lord's Supper, and many more at every station are waiting with eager desire to obtain admission. At one of these are 20 members, at another 62, at another 74, at a fourth 102.

No public immorality or indecency is seen. All drunkenness and profane swearing are unknown here. All their former sports and amusements are completely put down. Their morais are almost all demolished, and many of them completely obliterated; and it is a singular fact, that chapels now occupy the very ground on which many of them stood. Never before did the Gospel obtain so complete and so universal a triumph in any country over heathenism, cruelty, superstition, and ignorance. Think not that I wish to repre

sent these people as perfect: No, alas! human nature is the same here as elsewhere, but I state facts which speak for themselves.

PITCAIRN'S ISLAND.

It appears from the public papers that on the 8th of March, 1819, Captain Arthur, of the American Whale ship, Russel, touched at the above island, where he found about fifty inhabitants, descended from the mutineers who seized Captain Bligh's ship, the Bounty. When at the distance of three or four miles from the shore, they were boarded by the crew of a boat from the island, who were remarkably interesting young men. Bread and butter were set before them, but they refused to eat, alleging that it was their fast-day; but being much importuned to eat, they partook, though slightly, but not till after they had implored a blessing. And after their repast was finished, a hymn and prayer was preferred with great devotional propriety. Their boat needing repair, was taken on deck, and completed before the next morning, to their great satisfaction.

After landing on the island, Captain Arthur and others ascended a high hill, assisted by a young man named Robert Young. They then met with the venerable governor, John Adams, who was at. tended by most of the women and children of the island, and were welcomed to their shores in the most artless yet dignified manner. They were then invited to the village, and a dinner was prepared for them, consisting of pigs, fowls, yams, and plan. tains. A blessing was asked, and thanks returned in an impressive manner.

At night they were provided with beds, and in the morning at seven, a plentiful breakfast was prepared for them. At dinner also they were equally well provided for. In the afternoon, about three, they took an affectionate leave of their friends, and returned to the ship, well pleased with their entertainment.

Before we leave Pitcairn's Island, it will not be improper to make a few observations. The time and manner of its colonization are to most general readers well known. John Adams and six Otaheitean women are all that is left of the Bounty. Forty-nine have been born on the island, two of whom are dead, which leaves fiftythree persons on the island, now all in good health without a single exception. There are about eleven active young men, who are ready and willing at all times to assist a ship's crew in procuring wood and water, or any thing else the island affords. John

Adams assures us, and from what we ourselves saw, we have no reason to disbelieve him, that the island was inhabited before themselves, but at what period it is difficult to conjecture. They found, after their arrival, many places where houses had stood, burying places, and images representing a human figure, with other indubitable marks that they were not the first possessors of Pitcairn's Island. Itis, however, certain that the aborigines left it at no recent period, as the trees growing on the house spots could not have arrived to their present size in less than 100 years, perhaps 500. The land is high, and may be seen twelve or fifteen leagues-its coast free of dangers winds variable, which makes it easy to lie off and on; the town is situate on the north side of the island, rather nearest the west end the houses may be seen three or four leagues off by a ship coming from the north.

The different names of the islanders are, Adams, Christian, sen. Christian, jun. Young, Quintrall, and M‘Kay.

Pitcairn's Lat. 25.3. S. by acct. 26.41.; Long. 130.22. W. by acct. 128. 52.

Henderson's Island lies E.N. E. from Pitcairn's 100 miles. Lat. 34.26. Long. 138.30. W.

tions. A brief notice, however, on this subject, occurs in a letter from Dr. Carey, dated in September last, which must not be overlooked. His words are, “Several versions of the New Testament have lately been printed off, which had not before been published; and several more are approaching to a conclusion." By a reference to the last Memoir, it will be seen, that in December, 1820, there were six versions of the New Testament more than half through the press," in addition to fifteen then completed, and that about ten months more were computed as necessary to finish them. This calculation coincides so nearly with the date of the letter just quoted, as to justify the conclusion, that those six versions are alluded to, and that, consequently, soon after that letter was written they had all been finished at press. It is, at least, reasonable to conclude that, unless some unexpected impediment has occurred, this portion of the vast undertaking has been accomplished ere now; and that twenty-one of the dialects of India, and those by far the most extensive and important, have been enriched by the publication of the New Testament. On this subject, and on the state and progress of the Native Schools, we may expect more ample information from Mr. John Marshman, the eldest son of Dr. Marshman, who is expected shortly to arrive in this country.

It appears that, of the whole number of translations at first undertaken, fourteen have been discontinued, principally through the inadequacy of funds to meet the expenses. Some of these, in which considerable progress has been made, are transferred to other labourers, who have more recently entered upon the field, and whose local circumstances may enable them to carry for Thus, ward the work to its completion. it was intended to resign the Telinga and Kunkuna translations, after printing the Pentateuch, in addition to the New Testament in each; the former to the care of the Auxiliary Bible Society at Madras, the Similar arlatter to that at Bombay. rangements were contemplated in reference to the Gujuratee and Kurnata versions. The remaining dialects in which the work of translation is suspended, are spoken principally in the remote provinces to the north-west of the Peninsula, where, indeed, for the present, opportunities of distribution would be exceedingly limited, as no Missionaries have as yet been sent to occupy the ground. For it must never be forgotten that there is a necessary connection between the two great means of propagating the gospel-that while the personal labours of a Missionary are not likely to be permanently effectual without a translation of the Bible, neither can the translation be 5 H

BAPTIST MISSIONARY SOCIETY.

(Extract from the Annual Report.)

We would commence our notice of the station at Serampore, so long and so honourably distinguished in our Missionary annals, by gratefully reporting that Mr. Ward and his companions, who left this country just before our last annual meeting, arrived in safety at Calcutta in the month of October last. Their voyage had been pleasant and agreeable; the exercises of public and social worship had been regularly maintained; and, under the kind instructions of Mr. Ward, considerable proficiency was made in the study of Bengalee by Mr. Mack and other Missionary friends who sailed with them. Mr. Ward was gratified to find his brethren in health, but learnt that though they were spared, death had been commissioned to remove one of the Missionary family, and that Dr. Carey had been called to mourn the removal of his excellent wife, to whom he had been united upwards of thirteen years, and who was peculiarly qualified to be his companion, by the eminence of her piety, and the vigour of her understanding.

It was scarcely to be expected, after so full and circumstantial an account as we were enabled to give in our last Report, that any new information could be presented respecting the progress of the Transla

VOL. XXI. NO. XI.

circulated to advantage among those for whose benefit it is intended, unless by the personal agency of one who will exert himself to unfold and impress the truths it

contains.

The Second Annual Report of the College, under the direction of our brethren at Serampore, has been lately received. The buildings are in a state of forwardness, and forty-five youths are enjoying the advantages of education there. Of those, about thirty are the children of Christian parents, with whom Mr. Ward unites in domestic worship twice every day.

Several additions appear to have been made to the Church in the course of the past year. Referring to this subject, in a letter written soon after his return, Mr. Ward observes, "The increase of the native Christians since I left this has been great, and a number appear to be added, every month, in one part of India or another." A similar account is given by Dr. Carey, who, in a communication dated about the same time, indulges a spirit of grateful complacency in contrasting the present state of India, with that in which he found it. "It is now," said he, " twenty-eight years, within a few days, since I first landed. There was then no sanctification of the Sabbath, and a very thin attendance on the only preacher of the gospel in this presidency. Infidelity was the general open profession, and it would have been reckoned a gross violation of decorum, to introduce the subject of religion in any company whatever. Now, the whole body of society has assumed a comparatively religious as pect, and not a few in every station are decidedly pious."

At Calcutta, a variety of events have occurred in the past year; some of a pleasing, others of a very painful nature. The new chapel, for English worship, was opened in March, 1821; the expense, about £3000, had been nearly defrayed by subscriptions on the spot. The native places of worship are continued as before, excepting that the chapel, erected at the expense of a pious female servant, having been found too distant from the road to command a tolerable congregation, has been taken down, and ground procured for rebuilding it in a more populous neighbourhood; to the expense of which, this liberal woman had cheerfully contributed. A new station has also been occupied at Howrah, a very populous suburb of Calcutta, in which reside many Englishmen, and thousands of natives, who were all previously destitute of the means of grace. From the lively interest which has been shown, and the exertions made, by the inhabitants, for the introduction of the gospel among

them, there is reason to hope that, in the adoption of this measure, our brethren were guided by unerring wisdom. At Dum-dum, a military station some miles distant from Calcutta, religious worship, which appears to have sustained some interruption, has been renewed. Several afford evidence of having listened to the word with profit; and the attendance has been so great, that a subscription has been set on foot for building a new place of worship. On this pleasing prospect the refections of our brethren are so just and striking, that we cannot forbear subjoining them. "That a number of poor soldiers, who rejected all the calls of the Gospel in their youth, and left their native country, generally speaking, destitute of all religious attachments, should be arrested by the voice of the Good Shepherd, and thus induced to relinquish revellings and dissipation, and to attach themselves to the self-denying duties of piety in this heathen country, will be contemplated with deep and pleasing interest, by all who wait and pray for the progress of divine truth in these regions. For, as the example of thousands of our countrymen has proved, hitherto, one of the principal stumbling blocks to the dissemination of the gospel, so we may hope, that the conduct, the prayers, and probably the personal exertions of these people, may help to repair, in some measure, the injuries done to the cause of God in former years, and finally entail a blessing upon many who are ready to perish."

Adequately to supply all these various scenes of labour, in addition to the other' important Missionary objects which claim their attention, would have been beyond the power of the brethren united at Calcutta, had their little band remained unbroken, and the health and strength of each individual entire. But in both these respects they have been exercised with painful trials. We mention with deep regret, that Mr. William Adam, lately one of their number, has embraced opinions derogatory to the honour of the Saviourdenying the proper Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ; in consequence of which the connexion between him and the Society has been dissolved. Several of the other Missionaries have been visited in succession, with severe personal affliction, so as to be laid aside for awhile from their accustomed labours. We have unfeigned pleasure, however, in adding, that, with the exception of Mr. Eustace Carey, all had been restored nearly to perfect health; and that the last accounts respecting that valuable Missionary, warranted the hope of his recovery also.

The Mission Press, under the manage

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »