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Who that knows nny thing of the painful and insinuating nature of idolatry can contemplate without a glow of gratitude the spectacle of so many sons of isolators imbibing the antidote to that soul-destroying poison? Who that has himself experienced the power and sharpness of the word of God can fail to be delighted when he hears this word intelligently read and explained by hundreds of heathens? Who that looks forward with earnest longing to the day when this mighty land shall be added to the kingdom of the exalted Messiah, can hesitate to hail this spectacle as he who watches for the morning welcomes the first streak of scarcely perceptible light which, though little and dim, he knows will brighten ;ind expand, till the heavens shall be all illuminated mid the earth sJinll rejoice in the effulgence of the orb of day? Who that knows the value of the gospel, and its adequacy to supply all the wants and to relieve all the distresses of men, doeB not feel Imb heart burn within him even when he hears that this gospel is in the hands and in the heads, if we may so speak, of hundreds whose fathers scarcely know the name of Jesus, but who bow down to stocks and stones, and give that worship to the works of their own hands which is due only to the one living and true God? How much more then does the Christian experience a transport of holy joy when with four hundred youths actually before his eye, each with the Bible or some Christian book in his hand, he looks back to the time, not so long a retrospect, when from the one end of the land to the other the Bible was not to be found, and forward to the time, God grant the prospect may not be distant, when scriptural knowledge shall be multiplied, and the gospel shall take its residence not in the heads alone but in the hearts also of the millions of India. There are of those whom we respect and love who think that the Missionary treasury is robbed when any portion of its resources are expended on such institutions as this: but we freely say that for ourselves we cannot conceive a more legitimate application of Missionary labour and Missionary funds, and let us add of Christian prayer; and we look upon it as a token of great good for this land, that Bible schools are now rising up over the length and breadth of the land, and the Missionaries of the cross are suffering the little ones to come to Jesus.
The examination was well attended by ladies and gentlemen, although Bhowanipore is at n rather inconvenient distance from Calcutta, and the lateness of the hour at which the examination commenced must have rendered it impossible for many to be present, without risking exposure to the heat. The Rev. Mr. Boaz, secretary of the Bengal Auxiliary Missionary Society, presided, and amongst the visitors we observed the Rev. Dr. Charles and Mr. Meiklejohn, Ministers of St. Andrew's Church; Messrs. En art, Macdonald and Smith, Missionaries of the General Assembly, and we think all the Missionaries of the London Society resident in Calcutta, besides Dr. Somers from Banaras. Besides these there was present a goodly number of ladies and laymen. The examination was chiefly conducted by Dr. Charles, Messrs. Morton, Piffard and Smith, who as well as all the visitors were in the highest degree satisfied with the attainments of the pupils, both in religious and in what has been called sub-religious knowledge. They manifested, according to their several standings in the school, at once a large and minute acquaintance with sacred history, the evidences and doctrines of the Bible, and the elements of those sciences which truths are peculiarly opposed to those errors which are sanctioned by the books esteemed sacred by the Hindus, as Geography, Astronomy, &c. These branches of knowledge had of course been communicated through the medium of the English language ; but the cultivation of their mother-tongue had evidently not been neglected, as was evident from their readings in Bengali and their translations from English into that language. We look upon this as a matter of the last moment, since under God their future usefulness among their countrymen must in a great degree depend upon their correct knowledge of their vernacular tongue. Short English essays were read on Female Education and on the History of Joseph. The former was a very creditahle performance, shewing at once power of thought and freedom of expression. At the conclusion of the examination prizes were distributed by Mr. Bonz, consisting of valuable books and medals. In classes consisting of so large numbers, and where all were so well acquainted with the sub. jects of study, the prizes must have been hardly earned, and are therefore the more honourable to the successful competitors ; while from what we saw of the talents and acquirements displayed by some of the prize-hold. ers we should say of those who were foiled, that it was no dishonour to them to be overcome by such antagonists. We subjoin the programme of the examination:—
I.—12th Clots, Instructor, No. I. 2.— 11th Class, Instructor, No. II. 3.—10th Class. Introduction. No. II. 4. - 5th Class, History of Bengal, 5.—2nd Class, History of Rome, Mechanics, Geography. 6.—7th Class, Introdnction, No. III. Grammar. 7.— 1st Class. Astronomy, Evidences of Christianity, Natural Philosophy, Geometry and Algebra, Simple Equations. 8.—3rd Class, History of Greece, Geography, Grammar. 9.—Essay on Advantages of Female Education. 10.—1st aud 2nd Classes, Scriptures, the Gospels and Acts. 11.—4th Class, History of Bengal, Grammar, Geography. 12 — Essity on the Character of Joseph. 13.—6th Class, History of Bengal, Geography, Grammar. 14.—3rd Class, Bengali Scriptures, Genesis. 15.—9th Class, Introduction, No. 111. 16.—6th Class, Introduction, No. III. Grammar.
5.—Ladies' Society's Schools. The Annual Examination of the Ladies' Society's Schools for Native Female Education took place yesterday at the Central School, Cornwallis Square. Besides the girls attached to the Central School, now placed under the superintendence of Miss Missing, the children attending the Mirsapore School under Mrs. Sandys, the Howrah School under Mrs. Hampton, and the Circular Road School under a native named Pitamber, were also assembled. The number in all would be about lire hundred. Amongst the visitors present, we noticed the Rev. Messrs Sandys, Jones, E wart, Macdonald, Smith, Wenger, K. M. Banerjie, and Mesdames Ellerton, Wybrow, Jones, Vos, Pearce, &c. &c. The Rev. Mr. Sandys examined the classes in the Gospels and Acts. The manner in which they acquitted themselves was highly satisfactory, and reflected much credit on those who have the charge of their education. Considering the many difficulties which Institutions of this nature have to contend with, the result of the examination was, on the whole, encouraging to those who seek to emancipate the native females from their present abject state. In the utter prostration of the mind now visible throughout Hindustan, the improvement of the females should be as strenuously sought after and promoted as that of the male population. VVe hope the benign influence which education sheds on men, will induce the reformed Hindus to make their daughters and wives the recipients of, and the participators in, their enlightened views and sentiments. This is a line qua non, without which the civilization of the whole body of native population cannot be complete. —Calcutta Courier.
6.—Colleges Ani> Schools. During the past month not only have the more direct Missionary schools held their anniversary examinations, but also the other Christian and Hindu establishments, the Parental Academy, High school, St. Xavier's (Jesuits! college, and Armenian Philanthropic Institution have all had their annual examinations, and have passed through the ordeal with VOL. I. s?
the usual honors. The prominency given to the vernaculars and religion in some of the examinations was highly encouraging. The general state of education in nearly all is much the same as in previous years. The annual examination of the pupils of the Hindu college has also been con. ducted throughout the month, both in the European languages and sciences as well as in Oriental lore; the Sanskrit classes have been put through a searching examination. The new Patshala, connected with the college, in which the junior classes are to be taught the vernacular in its purest form, has been publicly opened. Many of the friends of education attended on the occasion, and addressed the people both in Bengali and English. We understand that it was opened not in the name of Kali or Ram or any of the Hindu deities, but in the name of the one God. We are happy to hear, that Jehovah was recognised at the opening of the school, though He was not at the laying of the foundation stone. We have been given to understand, that more than one morning school has been opened for the children of indigent natives ; these schools are conducted by educated native youth, who attend them early in the morning previously to office-hours and at their own expense. This is a good omen, one of the best that has occurred for some time. When the natives so begin to feel the force of education themselves as to teach others, a better day is evidently rising on them. Several individuals in the Mofussil have also established schools in their villages for supplying a liberal education ; in some instances, these schools have been taken up by the Government Board. The Board, we hear, intend to establish central schoolsor colleges in every district under which the superintendence and visitation of all local schools shall be placed. Oh that the Lord the Spirit may descend into the midst of all these efforts and movements, and seal the instruction home to the heart, so that it may end in true conversion to Christ. The examination of the H uglily college has also been held during the month: the institution continues much as in former years.
7.—Chinese Converts, Bankok. To the Editors of the Calcutta Christian Observer. Sirs,
It may he interesting to some of your readers to learn, that the gospel is beginning to produce its appropriate effects, though to a very limited extent, upon the heathen in this place. Last Sabbath we enjoyed the privilege of administering the rite of baptism to one Chinese convert, and of extending the hand of Christian fellowship to two others who had received the ordinance two weeks before. Then Mr. Jones welcomed Mr. and Mrs. Shifter, recently from America, to a participation in the duties and privileges of the Church, when we all, in company with the native brethren, surrounded the table of our Lord to commemorate his dying love. The services at the water were witnessed by an assembly of Chinese and Siamese in connexion with our English and American friends, while the communion season is to be numbered with those which constitute an antepast of heavenly joy. This little Chinese Church is now composed of nine members, eight of whom were with us on the occasion alluded to, and one has recently returned to his native town in China with the prospect of being useful to his countrymen. Three of these were baptised in 1835, three in 1838, and three in 1839. Our assemblies for religious worship, amidst a numerous population, are small, but such as to afford us some encouragement. The Roman Catholics are making some converts to their faith from the Chinese here, and have just erected a new temple.
_ Yours, &c.
Bankok, Siam, October 7th, 1839. Wu. Dean.
The season for holding the anniversaries of the different religious and benevolent Societies, and the examinations of the colleges and schools in Calcutta has now come to a close; and in accordance with our promise last month, we shall proceed to lay before our readers as perfect an outline of the whole as our space and means will permit. We have availed ourselves of the reports of the meetings and examinations as they have appeared in the pages of our contemporaries, especially the Christian Adtocate and Courier ; by carefully picking out the most accurate report of speeches, as given in both, we trust we have presented a tolerably faithful account of the whole.
1.—SEAMEN's FRIEND Society.
The 13th Anniversary of the Seamen's Friend Society was held on board the Bethel on the evening of Dec. 17. We were agreeably ...T. to find, on entering the little ark, that it was almost full, and still more pleased to find the bulk of the congregation composed of seamen. It was indeed a gratifying sight to see men noted for their disregard of every thing serious assembled to witness the Anniversary of a Society which has for its object the promotion of their spiritual interests. The meeting was opened by the Rev. Mr. Boaz, who selected an appropriate hymn and offered a prayer suited to the occasion. A. Grant, Esq., on being called to the chair, informed the meeting that the Reverend Secretary would read the report. Before doing this, the Secretary informed the men that they might rest assured the reading would not occupy much time. The report, he said, was only about the size of a letter which they were accustomed to send home. The report contained no instance of conversion which had come under the observation of the Committee ;—it stated that the funds were low, that the past year was literally a year of faith with the Committee, as they very often did not know how they were to defray the current expences of the month. The report gave a brief outline of the labors of the Society. A number of Bibles and Testaments, and no less than 6000 tracts had been distributed ; and though, as before stated, no immediate results had followed, their efforts were, the Committee trusted, as “bread cast upon the waters to be found after many days.” The Society was stated to be 400 or 500 rupees in debt. The Rev. G. Gogerly moved the first Resolution :I. That the report now read be printed and circulated by the Committee.
The Rev. Gentleman delivered a very appropriate address to the seamen. He noticed a peculiar trait in the character of seamen, well expressed in the homely adage that “a sailor works like a horse, but spends his money like an ass.” He mentioned a circumstance which had lately occurred in England in illustration of this. A seaman was brought before the Lord Mayor for creating a disturbance, he had been throwing handfuls of his hard-earned money amongst the mob. On the Lord Mayor's reproving him, he declared he was very unfortunate, for he had more money than he could spend, and begged to be sent to sea as soon as possible. The speaker simply but forcibly endeavoured to prove to the seamen that it was nothing but love to the common Saviour of all men, and to them in particular, which induced the Committee to interest themselves in behalf of seamen. He touched on the injury which British seamen, the professed followers of Christ, have inflicted on religion and morals in foreign countries, particularly in the South Sea Islands, by their lax and unprincipled behaviour, and urged on them the necessity of making themselves dreaded by none but those who were the enemies of their country. The Rev. Gentleman concluding by exhorting the sailors
to behave well in this heathen land. He pointed out to them how interesting it was to see a Bethel floating on that river which was the object of adoration with the natives, and recommended them to be as punctual in their attendance at the Bethel as they must have seen the natives were in resorting to the river side for devotional purposes. The Resolution having been seconded by J. W. Alexander, Esq., was carried unanimously. The Rev. Mr. Wenger rose to propose the 2nd Resolution :11. That this meeting desires to offer thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ for his continued goodness in carrying on and extending the work of grace amongst seamen in this and every land; and would also unite in supplication to the Father of Mercies, that he would pour out the blessing of the Holy Spirit upon all the efforts of his people that they may not be in vain in the Lord. The Rev. Gentleman spoke of the peculiar opportunities which sailors possessed of doing good to mankind, and of observing the works of Providence... He called their attention to what is majestic in the vast deep, and to all that is beautiful in the starry firmament. He exhorted them to be mindful of God in storms and in calms, and not to forget to glorify Him when looking upon the worlds that twinkled above them. He said he had never visited the South Sea Islands, but he had visited Greece and Turkey; and felt sorry to say that the impressions produced by the conduct of Seamen visiting those countries was very unfavorable. He was often told to go to England, and make better men of British Sailors, before preaching to other people the excellency of the Christian religion. The Rev. Gentleman was happy to observe that efforts were being made for the reformation of British Seamen, and he prayed that under God's blessing they may prove successful. He adverted to a prophecy of scripture which declares; they shall be as doves flying to their windows. The Rev. Gentleman hoped the day was at hand, when Sailors who are scattered over the face of the whole earth shall carry with them the message of salvation, and be living epistles of the religion which they profess, known and read of all men. - The Resolution was seconded by J. M. Vos, Esq. and adopted unanimously. The Rev. Mr. Lacroix rose to propose the 3rd Resolution :III. That this meeting appoint in the name of the Lord the following individuals to be the Officers and Committee of the Society for the ensuing year, with power to add to their number : Treasurer, A Grant, Esq.-Secretaries–Corresponding,-Rev. T. Boaz, Minute, –Mr. Henry Andrews. Seamen's Ministers, The Missionaries of different denominations. Visiting Agent, —Mr. Chill. Committee,_J. F. Hawkins, Esq., J. W. Alexander, Esq., H. Woollaston, Esq., J. Muller, Esq., D. Clark, Esq., J. M. Vos, Esq., G. C. Owen, Esq. The Rev. Gentleman began by making what to us appeared a very proper renark, that unless the members were regular in their attendance on all the meetings of the Committee, the Society would in all probability languish. Laxity on the part of the Members he compared to indolent sailors rowing against the tide; if any or all ceased to pull, the boat would naturally take a backward course. He said he made this remaak from long experience in the affairs of other Societies. The Rev. Gentleman observed, that religion when possessed by Sailors or Soldiers made them braver, and therefore the more useful men;–he said he knew little about sailors, but he had opportunities of learning the truth of his remark amongst soldiers. He instanced the men of two particular regiments that had fought, one in the siege of Bhurtpore and the other in the Burmese war, on the testimony of Sir Archibald Campbell, who said of the Pious soldiers, “Give me men all like these, and 1 care for no one ;” men