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Extract of a Leller of Rev. Juhn Smith, dureit
Madrus, 17th June, 1831, addressed to the Directors.
God. As our dear brother lived, so he died. Even in his delirium bis heart was fixed ou God, and scarcely a sentence escaped his lips that had not some reference either to the cause of missions, or the work of grace on his own soul. On Thursday evening his reinains were consigned to the tomb, with the sure and certain hope of a glorious resur. rection to etei nal life, throngh Jesus Christ our Lord.
Gungree. The station of Gungree is about twenty miles south of Calcutta, situated in the midst of a marshy country, which extends nearly forty miles. Each village in this district forms a distinct island, and the mode of travelling from one to another is by small ca. noes, formed of the trunk of a single tree. The quantity of putrid vegetation and other deleterious substances, which abound in these parts, produce malaria, which affects the European constitution much sooner than it does the native. On this account the missionary has not been able to take up his abode at any of these village statious, in consequence of which a great portion of his time is occupied in travelling, and the exposure occasioned thereby materially affects the health. At Gungree are nearly fifty baptised persons, and as many candidates for baptism. The distance of the place from Calcutta being so great, and the labourers at the latter so few, the care and attention necessary to bring a rude, uncultivated, barbarous people into proper order. has never been given to it; hence the church at that station is in a worse state of discipline than any other connected with the mission. Mr. Ray, who formerly had charge of it, owing to family and other circumstances, could not give that attention to it which it absolutely required, and, on his departure for Eurose, Mr. Lacroix undertook the superintendence of it, in which he had my occasional assistance; but the duties of the Rammakalchole station pressed so heavily upon him, thai he found it quite impossible io do justice to the work in both places. Kristnapore l'eing situated in alto. gether a different direction, prevented me from rendering any other assistance than a service on the sabbath day. Mr. Adam, therefore, having at last made sucli proficiency in the language as to be able, in the opinion of the brethren to enter fully into the work, was appoinied to this important station, and, had it pleased God to have spared his life, we doubt not he would have brought it into a very llourishing state. The church at that place is now, however, again without a pastor, and what we are to do to supply the deficiency we know not.
(Signed) George Gocerly.
Particulars relative to the Death and Character
of Mrs. Smith, lute Wife of the Rev. John Smith, Missionury at Madras.
1 proceed to detail the particulars of an event which has afficted my soul with deep anguish — which has deprived me of the dearest object of my affection on earth, and reduced me to that condition for which no word is better suited than “desolation.”
My dear wife departed this life on Wednesday evening, the 15th of June, 1831 : ber death was sudden and unexpected. On the Friday preceding, she was mercifully delivered of a daughter, and our gratitude was commanded by the favourable circumstances which attended her confinement. In the course of the day she was, to all appearance, doing well: and we were sanguine enough to hope that she would speedily recover. On the third day her pulse was remarkably high, and thoneh we were favoured with good medical advice, every means adopted to reduce it, failed. It continued to increase (to the surprise of our medical attendant, as there were no symptoms of inflammation), and was necessarily connected with much restlessness, On the 5th day the fever raged, and suddenly hastened the flight of my nearest and dearest relative to the realms of everlasting day.
In the course of the last day of her life, her mind was considerably affected ; but neither of us fully realized the idea of her approaching dissolution till the afternoon of the day in the evening of which she expired. — She was, however, mercifully favoured with a lucid interval, and in thai short period her mind was supported and consoled by the influence of those religious principles which had distinguished her for many years. The interval to which I refer was not more than half an hour.-Oh, how thankful am I that her character was already formed, and that the interests of religion were not left to this brief period of time! In answer to inquiries presented, she declared Christ to be her only resting-place, and that she felt herself to be reconciled to God. She put up several prayers, in which, with great seriousness, she addressed God as her everlasting portion, and surrendered her interests, for life or for dealbi, into his fatherly protection. These expressions of sentimient and feeling, considered in connexion with the excellency of her character, founded on Christian principles, are a cordial to iny afflicted mind, animate me with a conviction of her present blessedness, and a sure and certain hope of her joyful resurrection.
Death of Mr. Jennings.
Directors, I never for a moment considered Our dear brother Jennings departed this
that I had abandoned that vast and importlife after a course of suffering but of short
ant field, I confess, I had not any rational duration; and is now resting from his la
expectation that events would have proved so bours. It is satisfactory to reflect that though
auspicious, as they now are, within this very his course was short, it was connected with
limited space of time. The hand of Provi. vigorous efforts, ardent devotion, and a holy
dence is clearly to be seen, and ought to be life; and I cannot but hope that his labour's
most gratefully acknowledged, in the present at that station, from which he is now removed,
posture of affairs. Instead of intestine wars will bear, in a train of happy consequences,
desolating the country, the whole island apon the mental and moral improvement of the
pears, from the latest accounts which I have people for whose eternal good he lived and
received, to be in a state of tranquillity—or, died. I severely felt this bereavement; and,
at any rate, not to be suffering more serious associating his demise with that of Mr.
disturbances, than existed in consequenee of Adam, I was induced to inquire, How does
petty opposition in some few provinces to it occur that these bright ornaments of the
the government of the Hovas, in the time of Society are removed from their spheres of
Radama. The queen's power seems to be labour at the time of their being best adapted
thoroughly established, and her disposition to for their office ? But we are children', with un
encourage the mission has been proved beyond developed and limited capacities, and cannot
suspicion. I have received voluminous corcomprehend the divine "dispensations : we
respondence from the members of the mission cannot see the end from the beginning.
within the past few months, besides several
letters from native teachers, and from some (Signed) Joux SMITII. of the officers (that from the queen I have
already mentioned), and all impress me with
the conviction that our mission is favoured INTELLIGENCE OF REV. J. HANDS.
with considerable prosperity in its actual From a letter dated on board the Duke of state, and may reasonably hope for still Buccleugh, Sept. the 10th, 1831, addressed greater, unless some new events arise to imto the Home Secretary, we are happy to state pede its present operations. I have not that Rev. J. Hands and family, and Mr. received any definite accounts of the state of Buyers, were all well, in S. lat. 13°. 50'., the schools; but from various orders issued and E. long. 78°, when they hoped to reach by the Malagasy government, and from the Madras in about a fortnight.
attendance on public worship on the Sundays, I am under no painful apprehensions on that
head. T'he voluntary attendance of several AFRICAN ISLANDS.
adults, and of those just arriving at maturity, on the public institutions of religion, is one
of the most pleasing signs in the case; and, Extracts of a Letter from Rev. J.J. Freeman, it is also a tacit proof, that the true disposi
on board the Conch, bound from the Cape of tion of the government is favourable to our Good Hope to Tamatave, dated 2nd August, exertions there. We have been taught a 1831; addressed to the Treasurer.
lesson, indeed, in the history of Radama,
“ not to put our trust in princes,” or the MY DEAR SIR,
arm of governments, but we have also nuBy letters which I forwarded to you a merous instances of the vast importance of short time prior to my departure from Cape the countenance and good-will of the native Town, you would receive all the information authorities in a country where the will of one I had to convey, for the satisfaction of the is the supreme law. Directors of our Society, respecting my re You will, I think, be gratified if I insert turn to Madagascar, together with the rea here a translation of two or three of the let, sons which have led to the adoption of that ters which I received from some of the native measure. On leaving Mauritius last year to teachers. As to the penmanship I will only visit the Cape, I certainly had no expecta say, it would, in some instances, be no distion of resuming, at so early a period, my honour to any mercantile house in London. sphere of labour in Madagascar. I expected, But the friendly tone in which they are as you would be aware, to remain, at any written, and, I may add, the religious feelrate, two or three years in the colony, and ing manifested, are highly encouraging and most probably to visit some, if not all, the
satisfactory. missionary stations there, agreeably to the idea suggested by Dr. Philip, in his letter,
Antananarivo, 2 Adalo, 1831. inviting me to Cape Town. The prospects of the general state of Madagascar at that
(To Mr. Freeman.) time, and of the mission in particular, were And health and happiness to you, my sufficiently gloomy and discouraging; and friend. I received your letter some time though, as I have previously assured the since, with very great pleasure and delight. The pleasure was, however, not unmixed
Antanunarivo, 6 Adalo, 1831. with pain. I rejoiced to receive your handwriting, for we have been both favoured of (To our Father, and our Relative, and our
Friend, J. J. Freeman, and to his Wife and God, in like manner, having received each other's communications. But still the coun.
Children.) tries are far remote, and hence I am still left And how are ye all in family ?-say we, in some uncertainty respecting you. I regret the printers. And how is it with ye?—för we the distance which there is between us, and are well, and we send you our salutations. which prevents our knowing the exact situa And we have received the letter which you tion of one another's families respectively. sent us, and we were rejoiced when we read You have remarked in your letter, “1 shall it, and heard that you were all well. not forget you, nor the journey which we had And the instruction which you sent to us together to V- , and the conversation we we have received. It is good, and has rehad there." And I reply, “ If you, amidst joiced us. It is, Sir, sweet and grateful to so many engagements among us, can say, I us, for it is the act of a friend we are sureshall not forget you,” with how much greater yea, more than of a friend_ofa far
yea, more than of a friend-of a father ; since reason may I say, I shall not forget you, it is the part of a father to give wholesome who addressed us and instructed us so long counsel; albeit, we do not say that our own
When shall we have the pleasure, through father has given us such counsels. Your the blessing of God, of meeting again? I word is just, in which you say, “Christ is a am hoping for it, as well as yourself. I trust shield, and the word of God a means of we shall yet meet some day-and, at any defence to the mind.” rate, in the day of Christ. May we be And you say that perhaps you shall visit favoured of God, so as not to be found wants us again. We shall be happy when you ing in that day, but to be numbered among come among us, that we may see our friend. them that are his !
We have now printed the Testament, and My best salutations attend you, your wife, we are happy, for it is doing a good work ; and children. And thank you for your re for the word has come to us that is the root membrance of me, and for the book which of instruction, which is not the word of man, Mary Ann, your daughter, sent me ; for I but the word of God. esteemed it as the receiving of much treasure, And thank you for your remembrance of that I should receive the very book which us in whatever way it be; and farewell till you yourselves had sent. Now farewell for we meet. a season !—farewell till we meet! We are
(Four names subscribed), all well. God has added to my family a short time since, and I named the child
Printers. Ebenezer, saying, “ Hitherto hath the Lord The following is a translation of a brief helped us:" 1 Sam. iv. 12; for I said, “This note which I received from a youth who was is the first son whom the Lord hath given formerly one of Mr. Jeffery's scholars, and
who had, I believe, never ceased to cherish Saith your affectionate friend, an affectionate respect for the memory of his
teacher. I have always entertained a good R
hope respecting him. In the above translation I have endea
Antananarivo, 27 Alholsy, 1831. voured to preserve a just medium between a And health and happiness to ye, Mr. strictly literal rendering, which could scarcely Freeman, and how are ye in family? I am have conveyed the meaning to an English well, and am happy to hear that you will reader, and that perfectly free style which come to see us again. Delighted are we would have lost sight of the idiom and sim that we shall see our friend. May you come plicity of the native composition.
well and safely, through the providence and The following is a translation of another protection of your God! We shall continue letter which I received from five youths who to pray to God that he may bless you, so are employed in the press, under the instruc- that you may happily come here among us, tions and direction of Mr. Baker. Printing that we may rejoice in seeing each other, being altogether a new art in Madagascar, and may unite together in praising God, the native language had not, of course, any whose care is over all his works. Saith word to express the idea for the word “ press," a generic term is employed, found in the language, “fanerena,” signifying an instru- To this great field of labour I am, therement of pressure ; but for the term, “prin- fore, now returning. I have felt it no smal ters,” it appears that the English word itself sacrifice to leave Mrs. Freeman and my two is retained, and I like it much, as it iden- young ones ; but, as I have already explained tifies the art itself, in Madagascar, with the in my former letters to you on the subject, labours of our English mission. We give it appeared the only proper measure to be them the art, and they adopt our name for it. adopted. Mrs. Freeman and the children
will, I hope, find, ere long, a favourable op- rieties known at the Cape. Those already portunity of leaving the Cape for England, in Madagascar are, so far as I have seen where they will remain till some further them, much inferior in quality. Should the arrangements are made, and such as future soil and climate suit the oak, of which I take circumstances may render most expedient a large quantity, it will be a most useful ad
Mr. and Mrs. . Atkinson reached Cape dition to Imerina, as will also the Proteas. Town by the Conch, on her return from In many of these objects I have been assisted Algoa Bay, and, during their short stay, had by donations of seeds, plants, &c., from the time to make final preparations for Mada. Rev. Mr. Faure, Dr. Adamson, Mr. Bowie, gascar. Mrs. Atkinson availed herself of botanist; V. Ludwig, Esq., Mr. Nisbet, Mr. opportunities there to improve her practical Locke, Mr. Cowell, Mr. Tredgold, Mr. Procacquaintance with the infant-school system, ter, Mr. Gregory, Mr. A. de Smit, and and Dr. Philip has very kindly, by means of many other gentlemen. You are not famithe funds left under his disposal by friends in liar, perhaps, with many of these names, but England, made us a present of the apparatus I have thought it right to insert them here, required for the establishment of an infant. that, if any notice is published in the “ Misschool at Tananarivo. Should the queen sionary Chronicle" of my return to Madagive her sanction to the formation of such a gascar, or of the circuinstances connected school, I anticipate most important results with it, I might offer this acknowledgement from it, in reference to the increase of our to the friends of Madagascar. Indeed, I scholars in the mission schools, and in the must say, I found a very general interest general character of the native youths. I excited in the Cape in favour of that country, have written to the queen, stating the object, and of our mission there ; and for much of and requesting permission for Mr. and Mrs. this I feel not a little indebted to our friend Atkinson to be allowed to join the mission at Dr. Philip, for the cordial reception he gave Tananarivo. Dr. Philip has also addressed me, and to Mr. Fairbairn, Editor of the a letter to the queen, recommending infant “ Commercial Advertiser,” for his notices schools to her patronage, and, of course, of the state of Madagascar, at different times, soliciting her good will towards the new in his paper, and for the extent to which he members of the mission.
allowed me his columns for communications In preparing for the present voyage to respecting that sphere of our missions. To Madagascar, I am under great obligations to Mr. Greig, also, publisher of the “ Advervarious friends at the Cape for the assistance tiser,” and of the “ Cape Directory,” I am they have rendered. By chartering a vessel indebted, not only for repeated offers of any direct for Tamatave, I am enabled to meet assistance he could render me in the prosecuthe request of the queen, her officers, and the tion of the objects before me, but for having members of the mission, more than I could really assisted me in them. I owe many have done had I returned by way of Mauri. thanks to Dr. Bailey, of Somerset Hospital, tius; and for the business of chartering the for his numerous and valuable medical comvessel I am indebted to Messrs. Rutherfords. munications, as also to James Abercrombie, · Besides a large stock of provisions, clothes, Esq., for assistance of a similar nature. I &c., for the mission generally, we have on feel most unwilling to omit the names of board seventeen mares and horses, twelve many other friends who have, in various Merino sheep, and three head of cattle ways, contributed to the promotion of my (Teeswater breed), not having the “ loup” plans, and yet to specify all would exceed on the back, as all the Madagascar cattle the limits of a letter; and I must content have-a few useful dogs—some rabbits and myself with adding only those of Mrs. Philip Batavia fowls. All these will, I hope, be and her daughters, and of Mackrill, Gray, of use to the country, and especially so the Innes, Pears, Beek, Horts, Jardin, Rose, large quantity of seeds, bulbs, plants, and Steedman, and Mr. Stapleton. young trees, we are conveying there. A I shall always recur with feelings of lively subscription was entered into at Tananarivo interest to the Cape, and shall be, indeed, to meet the purchase of the latter, from delighted to find that any useful commercial which, with some additions made to it at the connexion can be established between that Cape (including a donation from Colonel and colony and Madagascar. If the Malagasy Mrs. Prendergast of £5), I expended about are not wanting to themselves in a spirit of £35. But, having explained the objects in industry, and are not interrupted by the aga letter to the “ Commercial Advertiser,” bygressions of foreigners—I mean the attacks of which they became very generally known in the French-they may there find a large marthe town and neighbourhood, I received a ket to which they may export much of their very considerable supply from various quar- surplus rice, and, perhaps, ere long, other ters, embracing all kinds of kitchen, garden, articles of commerce. many flower seeds, both European and colo- Before I quit the subject of goods taken by
nial; bulbs, fruit trees, some useful forest us to Madagascar, I must not omit naming · trees, shrubs, and smaller plants. Of vines the promise of the queen, to have all the
and figs I have, I believe, most of the va- plants, trees, seeds, &c., carried up, from the
Extracts of a Letter from Rev. Michael Lewis,
duted Berbice, British Guiana, Oct. 22, 1831, addressed to the Foreign Secretary.
coast to the capital, free of expense. And orders have also been given that as many bearers as are required are to be collected for the journey, on arrival of the ship at Tamatave, so that trouble and delay will be avoided, if not expense.
It is to me, also, by no means the least interesting fact connected with my return to Madagascar, that I am enabled to take with me five natives of that country, who were torn from thence as slaves some years since captured on their voyage by British vesselscondemned to be prize negroes—and, having served out their time, and being declared free, have embraced this opportunity of returning to their homes. Four of them are men; one of them is married, and takes his wife with him. This female was a young mother when taken from the island, and left her two chil. dren then living. She relurns with much emotion, anxious to ascertain if her children are still living. Many others, in similar circumstances at the Cape, expressed an earnest wish to be taken back also ; however, I could only conveniently take these five. The men look after the cattle on board. Their return home, with some habits of industry, and some knowledge of European manners, may be of utility to their own country. I have no doubt they will be well received by the queen. My wish is, that she may be disposed to give them such encouragement as may induce others, when they hear of it, to return also, as opportunity may offer, especially such as have any acquaintance with the mechanical arts. I regret that these are so few. The majority of the prize slaves I have met, instead of having been taught to be useful handicrafts, have been mere personal servants, or employed in menial work, as stable boys, &c. &c.
(Signed) J. J. FREEMAN.
Increase of the Congregation and Church.
You are aware that an enlargement of the chapel was proceeding when I removed hither : I have added a gallery more than Mr. Wray or myself thought necessary when he left, and now we have not nearly room enough to accommodate the numbers who wish to attend, so that in point of attendance you will perceive our congregation has much increased. Fourteen also have been added to the nuinber of our communicants, and several others who are on probation, will, I hope, be admitted to that privilege at our next church meeting. The impressions among the young persons of the town are of a very pleasing character. Prayer.meetings have been established in four houses in town, belonging to members, besides the one previously established at the Winkel departinent; and from the manner in which they have been conducted by the members, and an individual by whom I am much assisted, I hope they will be very useful in cherishing and further exciting the minds of the population.
Sunday School. Our Sabbath school is in a most flourishing state. We have had an uncommon accession of help. We now number ten female, and eight male teachers, with two or three assistant teachers, and many of the children beconing old enough and fully competent to teach. I baptized one of the scholars a fortnight ago, a fine lad about fifteen years of age, which excited an uncommon interest in the congregation, and I hope at some future period he may be made useful to the church. I give him daily instruction, and would attach him to my family were he not an apprentice.
Missionary Lahours on the Sabbath. To give you an idea of your missionary's labour on this side of the Atlantic, I may mention the regular service of ihe Sabbath, at this station. I expound the Scriptures at seven o'clock in the morning; immediately after see the negroes who may be assembled from the country; commence school at a quarter before ten ; preach at eleven ; assist in the instruction of adult classes till two, P. M.; recommence school at three, continuing it till five, and preach again at a quarter before seven in the evening: all this except the morning school (which has been established · since I came) was attended to by Mr. Wray.
Tamatave, 31st August, 1831. P.S.-We had the pleasure of arriving here safely on the morning of the 22nd, and are enjoying good health. We expect to leave this for the capital in the course of a day or two. Nearly all our packages are sent for. ward, and will be conveyed to Tananarivo, free of expense, by the queen's orders. Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson are allowed to go up for one year. However, I entertain no doubt of their being allowed to remain longer, pro vided they are found useful--that is to say, it the Malagasy are pleased with them, and with their services. * I shall write again from the capital by the earliest opportunity.
J. J. F.