Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

cipitation, yet, during the year in which this statement was made, 28 were added to the church, and in the ensuing nine months their number was increased by the admission of 33 others. These statements are offered to show that, though the conduct of the irreligious and careless part of the community is just cause of grief to the missionaries and the truly pious among the natives, the churches not only remain steadfast, but that the Lord was adding to their fellowship numbers who, there is reason to believe, have their names written in the Lamb's book of life.

We have been solicitous in this brief outline of the South Sea Mission to state, with great explicitness, the various causes of discouragement, the operation of which has been most extensively and painfully felt, as well as the grounds for thanksgiving unto God which the circumstances of the mission continue to afford. In the islands there were, when the latest accounts were sent away, 39 Stations, 14 missionaries, 2 artisans, 50 native teachers, 37 schools, 7,000 scholars, 39 congregations, the average attendance at which was 22,000, and 20 churches, containing 3,371 members.

Were this last instance of divine goodness and benediction on the labours of the missionaries the only one the Society could record, in the balances of the sanctuary in the estimate of eternity—it will be found to be a benefit infinitely surpassing the worth of all the efforts that have been employed in the missionary cause; the true value of it can only be understood in the regions of blessedness, where it will prove t

the source of unmingled felicity and the subject of unceasing praise. Another proof of the genuineness of the faith of the native Christians might be adduced from the concern the churches manifest to communicate a knowledge of the gospel to the inhabitants of other islands who are still the subjects of ignorance and idolatry—their zeal in accomplishing this object, and the grateful pleasure they manifest when God is pleased to accompany their endeavours with his blessing.

Notwithstanding all the attempts that have been made to bring discredit on the mission, by preferring vague and sweeping charges against the missionaries, and by representing the conduct of those of the natives who do not profess to observe the requirements of religion, who are the greatest pests of society and sources of continual grief to the mis: sionaries and the pious part of the community, as applicable to the whole population—to the members of the churches as well as the most abandoned, the intelligent Christian will regard the commencement and the progress of the work of God in the South Seas as demonstrating most unequivocally the wisdom and the goodness of the Most High. He will admit the strong claims which the missionaries and the native churches have to the confidence and sympathy of the ministers and churches of Britain. Their trials and dangers will excite more frequent and fervent prayer on their behalf, that this portion of the missionary field may still flourish in the garden of the Lord; while it is hoped that the wide and effectual doors which God is opening before them for the introduction of the gospel to the Marquesas on the one hand, and the Navigator's Islands on the other, will encourage the friends of the Society to more vigorous efforts and generous contributions for sending forth the labourers to reap these fields, that appear indeed already white unto the harvest.

EAST INDIES.

SOUTH TRAVANCORE.

Extracts from the Report of the Nagercoil

Mission for the half year ending 31st Deo cember, 1831.

The Native Teachers, or Reuilers, we are happy to observe, have not been inactive during the past half year.

Generally speaking, they have been diligently occupied in catechising and instructing the people, on the Sabbath in the places of public worship, and, during the week,

from house to house; and likewise in reading the word, and publishing the way of salvation to the heatken population of the towns and villages around them. Nor have they laboured in vain; in most places the fruits of their diligence are apparent, by the increase of knowledge and piety among our people, and by some considerable additions to the congregations.

The following brief notices, respecting the Readers employed in the Nagercoil mission during the period above referred to, are contained in the report, signed by the missionaries, the Rev. Messrs. Charles Mault and William Miller.

come.

1. EDWARD BALM* (station, Nagercoil).- 8. WILLIAM MILNE (station, ParacheriThis teacher, 'whose conduct we have long villy). He is a man of active habits, and and attentively observed, continues to afford much devoted to his work. increasing evidence of piety and devotedness 9. Joun Foxell (station, Sandad yputo the work in which he is engaged. He is thoor), is also diligent in the work to which a prudent and active labourer, and diligent he has been appointed. in the study of the sacred Scriptures.

10. Timothy East (station, Kundal).2. J. W. VENNING (station, Anandanadan- This teacher has here an important field of geodiyiruppu).—The conduct of this teacher labour, in which, we hope, he faithfully affords us great satisfaction. He possesses occupies his talents. good talents

and considerable mental energy. 11. DAVID STEWART (station, Kalvilly).--We trust his wife is a pious woman, who is This teacher has long given us much satisdesirous of being useful to her own sex. She faction. He is a diligent labourer. continues to assemble the women of the con- 12. JEHOIADA BREWER (station, Cannangregation, at stated times, in her own house, kullam).--He has here a large sphere of when she reads the Scriptures, imparts in- labour. Besides giving instruction to the struction, and prays with them.

people of two congregations, he has the 3. JAMES Craigdam (station, Etambly). superintendence of six schools, and visits -This teacher is diligent and much esteemed ten of the adjacent villages for the purpose by the congregation. Many, even of the of reading the word of God to the heathen. heathen, respect him, while from others he 13. George HAMILTON (station, Koodenmeets with opposition, on account of the kullam).-This teacher is, we hope, diligent firm stand he has made against the injustice in the work to which he has been called. practised on the poor.

The people of his congregation have had to 4. Rowland Hill (station, Puttulum).- contend against the opposition of their heaThis teacher is diligent. In addition to his then neighbours, which, we are thankful to more regular and public duties, he assembles observe, they have been enabled to overa class of young people once a week for reading the Scriptures and prayer. There are 14. CHARLES SEYMOUR* (station, Mylaudy). several young persons of both sexes belong- -This place was the original seat of the ing to this congregation who were formerly

mission in Travancore. The congregation under instruction in the school. They can here prospers by the diligent labours of the read well; and, we may hope, such an exer

teacher. A considerable improvement is cise as that just referred to will be of the visible among the old people, while a few greatest use to them; as it will preserve a individuals show very satisfactory evidence remembrance of the truths they have already that they “are washed, and sanctified, and learned, and make them familiar with the justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and word of God.

by the Spirit of our God.” Several families 5. John PALMER† (station, Tamarakul- have made a profession of the gospel, in lam).-He is a devoted man, indefatigable in connexion with this congregation, within the his work, and we believe the Lord has greatly last six months. It may not be uninterestblessed his labours. Meetings for reading ing to observe, that sixteen persons, who the Scriptures are held most evenings of the were members of this congregation, are either week in the different villages where the peo- regularly or occasionally engaged in making ple reside.

known the truths of Christianity to their 6. DUMFERMLINE (station, Muchlingoodi. countrymen. yiruppu).—This teacher is truly devoted to 15. Richard Knillt (station, Tittavilly). his work, and God is blessing his labours. -This teacher is diligent in his labours to Several families have lately made a profes. edify this congregation, and to diffuse the sion of Christianity, and joined the congre- knowledge of God in the neighbouring towns gation.

and villages. 7. Philip DODDRIDGE (station, Agatesuram).-We have reason to believe that

* Of Charles Seymour, see Monthly Chrothis teacher is faithful to his important trust,

nicle for April, 1831. consisting in the care of this congregation.

+ Of Richard Knill, see Monthly Chronicle There are four schools in this vicinity sub

for April, 1831. ject to his superintendence, and several small societies of the people that meet in their dif

SOUTH AFRICA. ferent villages for reading the Scriptures and prayer. A few young people who were educated in the school at Agatesuram take part in these exercises.

Extracts of a Letter from the Rev. George

Barker, Missionary, Theopolis, duted 20th * Of Edward Balm, see Monthly Chronicle

December, 1831 ; addressed to the Directors. for January, 1831.

HONOURED FATHERS AND BRETHREN, + Of John Palmer, see Monthly Chronicle Instead of a lengthened journal, as has for January, 1831.

hitherto been my custom, I beg to lay be:

THEOPOLIS.

we

fore you the following condensed report of superintended by natives ; and many are the state of this institution, hoping that in making progress in reading, particularly the the absence of more gratifying details it will slave above alluded to. The attendance is prove acceptable.

sometimes rather thin. The congregation continues good, and in Our evening school has fallen off in numthis respect the late emigration to the Cat bers for some montbs past, owing, in part, River is scarcely felt; our place of worship to some of those who attended having left on the Lord's-day is generally filled. The home for employment. Just now it is at a congregation averages about four hundred in stand on account of the harvest. Some, the morning ; in the afternoon, about two however, have made progress in writing, thirds of that number, as many leave to at- The Auxiliary Missionary Society realized tend their cattle; in the evening, still fewer, the sum of £6, which we voted to assist in owing partly to the distance at which many ceiling Union Chapel, Graham's Town. reside, and the time of worship being their With regard to the temporal state of the milking-time. On week-day evenings the mission, owing to the heavy drought of last congregations vary from thirty to sixty and year, the harvest was not very productive, upwards, according to circumstances and the and some families have been in want of the state of the weather. One pleasing indica- means of subsistence. Our general work tion of good, is the fact, that we have had on Monday has been partially suspended, as for some time past more strangers present on many of the people manifest a dislike to it, the Lord's day than I ever witnessed before and it has been confined to the repairs of at Theopolis. These come from the neigh- roads, &c. This year cultivation has been bouring farms, and some of them from a greater extended beyond any preceding year since distance. One man in particular, a slave, is the emigration to the Neutral Territory took very regular in his attendance, and is the place. Our crops of barley have turned out only slave that I know of in our vicinity; I very good, the little wheat has failed, the hope well of his moral character. The gene- maize promises abundance.

Our people ral demeanour of our assemblies is highly possess thirteen waggons, eight of which becoming the worship of God. Solemnity are at this time serviceable, and thirteen pervades the whole congregation, and the at- ploughs, almost as many ploughs as tention apparently seldom fags, in a single possessed previous to the emigration to the instance, during the service.

Cat River, when the population was much The candidates for baptism are on the in- greater. Three of the ploughs are of Encrease ;

the service allotted to them has as- glish make, to which they are becoming sumed an interesting aspect. It is highly partial. gratifying to observe a recent awakening Fourteen families have joined the instituamong the people, which is most apparent tion this year, six of whom brought no proamong the females, and includes several perty. The other eight families brought young persons; but on this subject I wish fifteen oxen, thirty-four cows and calves, to speak with caution at present, and to pray six horses and one old waggon. The fourthat it may prove a genuine work of the teen families consisted of sixty persons, inHoly Spirit.

cluding children, many of whom have again The number of communicants now on the left for employment. lists, after the emigration to the Cat River, I hope we shall soon be able to establish is, males, thirty-two ; females, forty-four ; a Temperance Society-they are being estatotal, seventy-six. Four new members have blished in different places ; I preached on been admitted this year. The attendance on the subject last Lord's-day. I have first the sacramental services chiefly depends on desired to see that most pernicious custom of how many of the members are at home at giving spirits to Hottentots abolished, and the time of its administration. The greatest have written to the preparatory committee of number at one time, this year, has been a Temperance Society, now forming at Graforty-nine, the least thirty-six. The general

ham's Town, to that effect. This is a necesconduct of the communicants is worthy of sary step to our proceeding, as most of the praise, and if we have to mourn over a intemperance among the Hottentots is the Demas-like spirit in some, or now and then fault of others more than themselves. No to contend with a Diotrephes, the generality one can reflect on the almost universal cusconduct themselves as upright Christians. tom in our villages, of paying for occasional

Three adults have been baptized (who services with nothing but brandy, without now stand candidates for communion), and horror; and I have told the committee, that six children. Nine couple have been mar

unless this custom is abolished a Temperance ried.

Society will be a mere pageant. I anticipate The number of children on the records of much good from the interest now taken in the school is one hundred and sixty-two, but the abolition of intemperance, for which inthe attendance has not been so correct as terest we are much indebted to the editor of we could wish.

the colonial newspaper, Mr. Fairbairn. The adult Sabbath school continues to be Our eldest girl is at Cape Town, to learn

the Infant School system with Miss Lyndall.

I am happy to inform you that the utmost harmony exists among us. I respect Mr. Sass* as a father. He does what he pleases, and is always willing to assist me. He takes one service out of three on the Lord's-day, and if I am absent he is always ready to supply my place. It is not often, however, that I am from home, unless it is on an extraordi. nary occasion, or I go occasionally to assist Mr. Monro at Graham's Town.

I hope to have a continued share in your prayers, and of all those who have the welfare of Zion at heart.

(Signed) George BARKBR.

BETHELSDORP.

Letter of Rev. Adam Robson, Missionary at

Bethelsdorp, dated February 4, 1832; addressed to the Directors.

Honoured GENTLEMEN, As a vessel is now about to sail from Port Elizabeth to England, I embrace the opportunity of writing to you a few lines. I have recently had a narrow escape from an accident. In returning from Port Elizabeth one Sabbath evening, after service, my horse fell with me, and wounded my side and leg. Providence préserved my life, and I am now recovering from the injury which I sustained. May I be enabled to hear the warning voice, and to double my diligence in that great cause to which, in reliance on divine aid, I have devoted myself.

The state of the institution, as it respects religion, is much the same as it was last year. The establishment of a Temperance Society inspires me with hope that the cause of God will be more extensively promoted at this institution, the adjacent vil lages, and in the neighbourhood. There is one also established at Port Elizabeth. Intemperance has hitherto been one of the means whereby Satan has maintained his sway over many, and he will not quit his strong hold without resistance; yet I am confident that, by the divine blessing on persevering and zealous efforts, these Societies will succeed. The attendance on divine service, both during the week and on Sabbath, during this year, has been very good, and the gospel has not been preached entirely in vain. Some careless sinners have been awakened, some backsliders reclaimed, and some, who have given satisfactory evidence of being the recipients of vital piety, have been received into the bosom of the Christian church. During the past year I have baptized seven

* Mr. Sass, having become infirm, through years, has not the exclusive charge of any department of the mission, but renders such assistance as he is able.Ed.

teen children, and eight adults; ten members have been added to our communion, and seventeen couple have been married. It would give me much pleasure to be able, on good grounds, to inform you that all who have made a profession of religion exemplify, in their deportment, the sanctifying tendency of its doctrines, and adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things ; but it grieves me to state, that many are neither so steadfast, zealous, nor humble as they ought to be. Others, however, are to me a source of joy and gratitude, and in Christian intercourse with them I have experienced much comfort. May the Lord increase their number! There is a silent, yet energetic, eloquence in consistency of character. The Sabbath school continues to prosper, and the average attendance is from one hundred and eighty to two hundred. The progress which some adults make, especially those who are under serious impressions, in acquiring the knowledge of letters, is astonishing. One man, the father of ten children, who has not been above a year here, and who knew not the alphabet when he came, is now reading the New Testament.

The day school, which is under the super. intendence of Mr. Head, is in good order, and highly improving. Some of the children, with considerable fluency, can translate the English into Dutch, and the Dutch into English-can write well, and have advanced as far as the rule of three in arithmetic. The average attendance is between one hundred and one hundred and ten.

This has been, on the whole, a favourable year. We have not had such frequent and fine rains in any season since I came to Bethelsdorp, and more ground has been cultivated than I have seen

at any former period. The people have had crops of oats and barley; and though the rust has been in the corn, yet they have not entirely failed. The success with which their industry has been crowned has given an impulse to their feelings; and plans are now being formed for rearing, on a more extensive scale, this year on which we have now entered. There has been plenty of grass for the cattle; the oxen are in a good condition, and the cows give plenty of milk, which is a great means of subsistence. Being able to obtain a livelihood at the institution, the people avoid much temptation, and have the opportunity of sending their children to school, of attending the preaching of the gospel, and enjoying the means of grace.

I have much reason to be thankful that Mrs. Robson and my children are quite well. Humbly and earnestly soliciting an interest in your prayers, that the influences of the Holy Spirit may rest on myself and labours,

(Signed) A. ROBSON.

(Letters Received unavoidably postponed.)

DOMESTIC MISSIONARY INTELLIGENCE.

MONTHLY MISSIONARY PRAYER-MEETING,

BELLARY. Bellary (or Balhary) is situated in N. Lat. 159.1., E. Long. 76o. 55'., and is the capital of the western division of the Balaghaut ceded territories, as already intimated under the article CUDDAPAH.* It stands on a tract of level ground, in the midst of a mountainous country, which conduces much to the salubrity of the climate. The streets of Bellary are wide and regular, running in parallel lines, and crossing each other at right angles. The houses, though built, as is common in the East Indies, with mud, have yet, compared with many other Indian towns, a neat and cleanly appearance. What is called the Coul Bazaar contains a population equal to that of the town of Bellary, composed of a mixed multitude, of whom a considerable proportion are camp-followers, who, being chiefly Malabars, speak the Tamil language. The native population of Bellary speak Canarese. The aggregate population amounts to about 36,000 souls, one fifth of whom are Mohammedans ; the rest are Hindoos, or, as they are called here, and in some other parts of the East Indies, Gentoos. The number of Brahmins at Bellary is comparatively small, and they appear to possess less influence, and also less prejudice, than are in general found among their order in many other parts of India.

The Society's mission at Bellary was commenced in 1810 by the Rev. John Hands, whose original destination was Vizagapatam, whither he was prevented from going by obstacles that appeared to be insurmountable; while, on the other hand, he seemed to be providentially directed to Bellary. At this place he met with the most respectful treatment from both the civil and military authorities, and, during the first year of his mission, commenced a stated service for the benefit of the European residents, which was performed on the morning of the Lord’s-day. This service was, also, attended by several Indo-Britons. Some of the Brahmins sometimes visited him at his dwelling-house, for the purpose of conversation. latter, on those occasions, were not unfrequently constrained to admit the superiority of the Christian doctrine to the tenets of their own superstition ; while they inflexibly, though vainly, maintained that an irresistible fate discharges mankind from moral responsibility. The common people, also, were willing to listen to the message of the missionary, and manifested a disposition to admit the folly of idolatry, but none to abandon it.

Native Services, &c. For several years the missionaries † employed every means in their power to impart the knowledge of Christianity to the natives at and in the country around the station, by conversing with and addressing them on the subject, in the vicinity of their temples, at their annual and other festivals, in the bazaars and other places of general resort, and by distributing among them tracts in the different vernacular languages; but it was not till 1815 that they were able to report that many among the people had acknowledged the excellence of the Gospel, and manifested a desire to know more of it. It was at this period that a spirit of inquiry was excited, and that the prospects of the mission began considerably to brighten. Beside the residents in Bellary, who were desirous of receiving Christian instruction, many from the surrounding country visited the brethren at the Mission-house, to inquire concerning the “new way;" among whom were some who appeared to be under the influence of decided religious impressions. In 1817. Mr. William Reeve joined the mission. The spirit of inquiry increasing more and more, a suitable place, situated in the road leading from the town to the Coul Bazaar, was in that year purchased for the accommodation of those natives who were desirous to converse with the missionaries. During the same period, Auxiliary Missionary

* Vide page 166.
+ Mr. Joseph Taylor, now missionary at Belgaum, joined Mr. Hands in 1813.

« VorigeDoorgaan »