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In the prosecution of his great object in Travancore, he opened places of worship at 6 or 9 different stations, which he constantly visited-commenced school operations distributed the Scriptures, in different languages, with good effect, and by these, and every other means within his power, exerted himself to diffuse a knowledge of the Gospel among the natives. He continued thus to labour alone for several years, in the course of which he admitted to baptism many hundred persons who had renounced idolatry and embraced Christianity. In 1812, the number of these amounted to 677, which, in following years, was considerably increased.
In 1818 the Rev. Charles Mead arrived in Travancore, shortly after Mr. Ringeltaube had left the station, and, for a short time, resided at Malaudy. In September, the same year, he was joined by the Rev. Richard Knill. These brethren successively took up their residence at Nagercoil, in a dwelling-house, presented to the Society for the use of the mission by the Rannee, and which had been previously occupied by the British Resident, the late Colonel Munro, who, during the time he resided in this part of India, warmly patronised the missionaries, showed them much personal kindness, and rendered substantial services to the mission.
In the same year a considerable number of the natives, who had professedly renounced heathenism, manifested an earnest desire to be instructed in the knowledge of Christianity; and, during that and the following year, about 3,000 of them placed themselves under the instruction of the missionaries with that view ; exclusive of about 900 who had been previously brought into connexion with the mission under Mr. Ringeltaube. In 1819, Mr. Knill, compelled by ill health, returned to England, where he arrived in November that year. The Rev. Charles Mault joined the mission in December, 1819; and Messrs. Ashton and Mc Ally, who had received their education under a Protestant missionary in India, were engaged as assistants in 1820.
Native Services, 8c. In 1820, places of worship were opened at Tittevelly and Agatesurum, and about 500 natives baptized. In 1821, the benefit resulting from the preaching of the Gospel was evinced by the marked difference which was apparent between the conduct of those natives who had embraced Christianity and that of those who still continued idolaters. In 1822 the number of congregations was 9; in 1823 they were increased to 29 ; in 1824, to 48. In this year Mr. Cumberland was engaged as assistant missionary. In 1825 the congregations increased both in number and in attendance, but no specific returns were received by the Directors. In 1826 the congregations were in number 40. In 1827 the Deputation, who visited the Society's stations in this part of India in that year, recommended the formation of another head station, which was eventually fixed at Neyoor (situated about 4 miles from the Town of Travancore), and forms the head-quarters of the western division of the mission, those of the eastern division of the same being at Nagercoil. According to the statements of the Deputation, there were, at that period, belonging to the eastern division 14 chapels, 1,400 professing Christians, and 17 native teachers, or public readers; and, belonging to the western division, 1,441 professing Christians, and 16 native teachers, or readers. In October, 1827, Rev. William Miller joined the mission. In 1828, the number of congregations in the eastern division was 34, and that of the members of the same 1,967 ; in the western division 28 congregations, in 20 of which the number of members was 1,340 ; the attendance on the Sabbath being upwards of 1,300 persons, exclusive of children. In 1829 the native Christians were exposed to a violent and unprovoked persecution from their own countrymen, in which the Pagan, Mohammedan, and Papist conspired with equal fury, the weight of which fell chiefly on the western division, in which, notwithstanding, from 800 to 1,000 of the Christians continued, at different places, to assemble for worship. In the eastern division, which suffered but little comparatively, the number of congregations increased that year to 33, and the number of their members to 3,126. In 1829 a Christian church was formed at Tamara kollum, containing 25 members. No returns were received of the congregations belonging to the eastern division for 1830; but the number of congregations reported, in the western division, for that year, was 37, being an increase of 4. In 1831 the number of congregations was, in the eastern division, 30, and, in the western division, 43. From the returns received since the report made at the last anniversary of the Parent Society, it appears that the number of congregations, in the eastern division, has increased to 50, and that of the members of the same, on an average, to between 1,500 and 1,600; and that the number of congregations in the western division has increased to 60, and the members belonging to the same to 2,532; making a total, including both divisions, of one hundred and ten congregations, containing above four thousand individuals.
The brethren have, from time to time, reported the improved attendance of the people on public worship their serious deportment and attention in the house of God--the decisive evidence which has appeared of not a few having received the grace of God in truth-the happy deaths of several who have died in the faith of the Gospel—the desire manifested by many to promote the salvation of their friends and neighbours--the improved observance of the Sabbath, and an obvious amelioration of the temporal condition of many of the natives.
Native Schools. The native schools, which had been commenced by Mr. Ringeltaube, continued, from time to time, to increase, after the arrival of Messrs. Mead, Knill, and Mault (with the exception of the years 1822 and 1823, during which period they, from different causes, fluctuated considerably), viz., from 10 to 15 in 1820, to 32 in 1821, and, in 1824, to 48, containing 1,327 children. In 1825 the number of schools was further increased to 50, and that of the scholars to 1,480. In 1826 the number of schools was reduced to 47 ; while, on the other hand, that of the scholars was increased to 1,564. In 1827, the schools, according to the Deputation, amounted, in the eastern division, to 38, containing 1,375 children ; and those in the western division to 21, containing 541 children, making a total, at that period, of 59 schools, containing 1,916 scholars. In 1828 the number of schools, in the eastern division, was 31, containing 1,127 scholars, of whom 63 were girls ; and that of the schools in the western division 24, of which 19 schools contained 507 scholars. In 1829 there were, in the eastern division, 40 schools, of which four were native female schools, containing 200 girls ; and, in the western division, 28 schools, containing 528 scholars. In this year considerable improvements, founded on the British system, were introduced into the schools by Mr. Addis, who joined this mission in 1828, and, in 1830, removed to Coimbatoor. In 1830 the number of children in the schools, in the eastern division, was increased to 1,700 (exclusive of the female schools, of which one only, containing 50 girls, was reported in that year); and that of the schools in the western division to 37, and the scholars to 954. In 1831 the number of the schools in the eastern division was 49, the number of scholars having increased to 1,792, of whom 107 were girls; and that of the schools in the western division to 43, but with a reduction in the number of scholars to 859, being 95 less than the number returned for 1830. According to returns received since the report of the Society at its last anniversary, there is, in the schools of the eastern division, an addition of 149 scholars; and, in the western division, additions of 5 schools and 303 scholars, making a total, including both divisions, of ninety-seven schools, containing upwards of three thousand and one hundred scholars.
Beside the schools above enumerated, there is an Adult Female School; among those included in the enumeration, are a school called the Bazaar School, for the instruction of the children of Mohammedans as well as of Hindoos; an Orphan School, supported by friends in India ; and a School of Industry. Of the native female schools, of which there are five, one is situated at Nagercoil, under the superintendence of Mrs. Mault, and the other at Neyoor, under that of Mrs. Mead. The rest are situated at three different out-stations. But the most important school is the Central School, or Seminary, at Nagercoil, established in 1819, the immediate design of which is to impart to boys of superior natural abilities, selected from the other schools, besides Christian instruction, an acquaintance with general literature, and a grammatical knowledge of Tamil. It was designed that they should be also instructed in English, for the purpose of opening to them the vast stores of theological and other knowledge contained in our language ; but this part of the design failed, from the want of a suitable tutor, which deficiency has lately been supplied by a recent engagement with Mr. Roberts, to whom has been confided the sole charge of the institution. This seminary has usually contained about 30 boys. Another of a similar character has been lately commenced at Neyoor.
The benefits conferred by the native schools scattered over the whole face of the country, from Trivanderam to Cape Comorin, are valuable, numerous, and diversified. While the children have been imbued with divine and other useful knowledge, and raised in the scale of society, their parents, impressed with the improvement which has taken place in their minds and manners, have themselves been led to inquire into the nature of the Christian faith. The advantages of female education are now far better appreciated by many of the natives than formerly; and the repugnance to the instruction of their daughters, generally prevalent among Hindoos, has been in Travancore so far overcome as to admit of the applications for the reception of girls into the schools to be, in repeated instances, more numerous than the funds would meet. Several, both among the boys and girls, have afforded evidence of decided piety ; and the moral and social improvement evinced, generally speaking, by the children educated in the schools (which are all Christian schools) is very gratifying and encouraging. While the Protestant schools have been themselves thus useful, the Roman Catholics, apparently from a spirit of jealousy, have been stimulated to multiply their own sehools.
Native Teachers, or Readers.
The employment of a considerable number of native teachers, or public readers of the Scriptures, tracts, &c. (not to mention assistant readers, who are numerous), supported by annual subscrip. tions from benevolent individuals in our own country, is a very important and interesting feature of this mission. The evidence of personal piety, and of zealous and useful labours, in regard to not a few of these native teachers, whose character and proceedings have been described in the reports from time to time inserted in this Chronicle, cannot but have afforded much satisfaction, in the perusal, to the members of the Society in general, and especially to those individuals who, from year to year, so generously contribute to their support. The number of native teachers, or readers, employed in this mission is, according to the last returns, in the eastern division of it, 16; and, in the western division, 14, making a total of 30, exclusive of assistant readers.
Printing Offices, &c.
There are two printing establishments belonging to this mission, one at each of the two head stations, Nagercoil and Neyoor. That at the former station was established in 1820, and that at the latter in 1831.
At the Nagercoil establishment, beside numerous tracts, catechisms, school-books, &c., there have been printed, in the Tamil version, St. Paul's Epistles to the Romans, Ephesians, Galatians, Colossians, and those to Timothy and Titus ; also the General Epistles of Peter.
Numerous copies of the Scriptures in Tamil, thus printed, have been circulated, in separate portions, besides many thousands, annually, of religious tracts, the beneficial effects of which distribution have been extensive. Beside the direct benefit imparted in the perusal, they have, in many places, proved the means of awakening the attention of the natives to the
subject of religion; and, in some, have induced them to throw away their idols, and to send their children to the mission schools.
The Deputation, who inspected the state of the Travancore mission in 1827, describe, with peculiar delight and satisfaction, this extensive field of important operations, which, traversing from one end of it to the other, they surveyed and examined with equal interest and attention. Afterwards, when writing to the Directors, they thus expressed themselves in reference to this mission :-"There is nothing, as far as we have seen, equal to it in all India, and we are strongly reminded of what we had so often witnessed in the South Seas.”
Since this very favourable testimony to the state of the Travancore mission, in 1827, was borde, by visiters who had surveyed the scene of its operations in the length and in the breadth thereof, and had attentively examined into, and on the spot recorded the details of those operations, the number of professing Christians, in connexion with it, has increased from 2,350 to nearly 4,400, and that of the native schools from 59 to 90, and the children belonging to the same, under Christian instruction, from 1,890 to 3,900; while the evidence as to the extent of good effected has been increasingly satisfactory, and the prospects of the efficiency, in future, of the extensive operations carrying forward, is continually becoming more and more animating and encouraging.
The members of the Society, we feel assured, will not fail earnestly to pray that the moral and spiritual results of those operations may be proportionate to their magnitude and extent ; and that from the southern extremity of India (in some of which missionaries from another Society also labour with great and increasing success) pure Christianity may progressively advance, till, in all directions, and throughout the entire region of Hindostan, it shall, at length, have extended its peaceful triumphs, and established its holy and righteous dominion. Amen.
Austin Friars, 22 October, 1832.
A brief Memoir of Mr. John Muncaster, one
of the Society's Missionary Students, who was drowned while bathing in the River Ouse, at Turvey, Bedfordshire, May, 1832.
The subject of this memoir was born at Cleator, a small village in the neighbourhood of Whitehaven, in the county of Cumberland. He enjoyed the invaluable blessing of having pious parents, who were anxious to discharge their duty to him, and to their other children, in bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He very early discovered great tenderness of conscience, and deep impressions of the fear of God upon his heart." He was possessed of good talents, and, during his continuance at school, made considerable improvement in the ordinary branches of education. His general behaviour and improvement attracted the attention of a benevolent gentleman who had a manufactory in the village, and led him to employ him as a teacher in a Sundayschool, which he had established for the benefit of the numerous youths in his employ, and connected with the families of his works men ; and be often said that he never had
any teacher who pleased him so much as
When he was called to leave his father's house, and commence his apprenticeship in Whitehaven, he repaired at once to a Sunday-school; and, at his own request, he was added to a class of youth, who were, alternately, the one Sabbath placed under the tuition of an experienced and pious teacher, and the other, still under his superintendo ence, employed in teaching younger classes. Under this teacher, there is reason to believe that his knowledge of divine things was greatly enlarged ; and in a short time he became an efficient agent in the school-a pattern of regular attendance, and of steady and consistent conduct.
His attendance in the house of God was most exemplary; and though little was for some years known of his feelings, there was every evidence of his taking delight in the services of the sanctuary.
About four years ago he made application to be admitted as a member of the Church of Christ assembling in Duke Street Chapel, Whitehaven, and was cordially received. His knowledge of divine things was at that
time more accurate than that of many who were his seniors, and more extensive, too, than is generally met with. It was truly refreshing to find such profiting under the dispensation of the gospel, in one so young. His becoming connected with the church of Christ gave him fresh impulse in the work of the Lord. He continued active, pious, and devoted, desiring only to know how he might be useful, and lamenting only that he could not devote more time to the work on which his heart was set.
In the month of July, 1830, he addressed a letter to his pastor, in which he, for the first time, made known his desire to engage in the work of carrying the gospel to the heathen. The letter breathes a truly humble and Christian spirit; and, but for swelling this memoir to an undue length, it should be inserted. His pastor was much pleased with it. He had often wished that from amongst the fruits of his labours there might be some raised up who should be a witness to the truth among the heathen. His wish and prayer seemed now about to be fulfilled. It was under feelings of no ordinary kind that he repeatedly met his dear young friend to converse upon the subject of his letter. The results of these conversations were most satisfactory. In order to ascertain his talents, an exercise was prescribed to him, on the subject of “the duty of Christians engaging in efforts to evangelize the heathen world.” This was performed in a way that showed the germ of talents capable of great improvement. He commenced the revisal of his Latin with his pastor, and, by himself, acquired so much acquaintance with the Greek as to be able to commence reading the New Testament in the original. Every thing combined to show that he was possessed of the qualifications, the piety, the enterprise, and the patient perseverance adapted to an evan. gelist to the heathen, and application was accordingly made on his behalf to the Directors of the London Missionary Society. *
His examination was satisfactory, and he was admitted on probation, and placed under the tuition of the Rev. R. Cecil, of Turvey, Bedfordshire, of whose affectionate care and kindness he always wrote with the greatest warmth. He left Whitehaven about the middle of October, 1831. His feelings were peculiarly strong on the occasion. Jealousy of himself, fear lest he should be intruding on ground on which he was not called to enter, an apprehension lest he should be deceiving himself, were expressed with a sensibility which his pastor cannot forget ; and the same self-jealousy and holy fear were
often repeated in letters which his pastor re. ceived afterwards from him.
Under Mr. Cecil he prosecuted his studies with his accustomed diligence. He was much employed in preaching, was very acceptable, and, there is reason to believe, useful. His great theme was Christ crucified. He was deeply imbued with the love of evangelical truth, and considered it as worthy of all acceptation. In his letters to his friends there was uniformly discovered the humble, anxious Christian, looking unto Jesus, and feeling the indispensable necessity of cleaving to him with full purpose of heart.
During the last few weeks of his short career he was observed by his fellow-students to grow rapidly in the divine life, and in a meetness for a better world. The same thing was noticed by his correspondents, as appearing evidently in his letters.
On the last Sabbath of his life (the 6th day of May) he preached three times, by appointment, at Carrington, nine miles distant from Turvey, to large congregations. He discovered unusual fervour in the whole of the services ; and many of his hearers were struck with the earnestness which he manifested for the salvation of sinners. He returned to Turvey on the Monday, in high spirits, and met his fellow-students with great cordiality, speaking of the encouragement he had enjoyed on the preceding day.
He had always anticipated the return of the season when he might bathe in the River Ouse, which flows past the village of Turvey. The day was fine; he felt relaxed by the exertions of the Sabbath, and he resolved to bathe. The proposal did not meet, at first, the approbation of his fellow-students ; but at last, overcome by his importunity, four of them accompanied him to the water-side. It was swollen with heavy rains which had lately fallen. Three of his companions, who were excellent swimmers, went first in, that they might ascertain the temperature of the water, and the strength of the current. They felt considerable difficulty in bearing up against the stream, and told him so; but, as if satisfied that he could stem the torrent, he ventured in, swam for a few moments well, and then, to appearance, became paralyzed. This was seen by one of his brethren, who instantly seized him by the arm, and conducted him to a part of the bank, of which both of them caught hold. But the bank gave way with them, and they were thrown back again into the strong current. His other two companions had found it necessary to gain the bank, that they might recover their strength ; but one of them now returned to his assistance, but in vain. His strength was gone; both were carried down the stream together, and the subject of this memoir sunk, alas ! to rise no more. The agonized feelings of his companions may
soy At the same time application was made on behalf of another member of the church, who is now preparing for the honourable work.