Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

tianity Is making terrihle progress—the Bombay petitioners ask for the safety valve of Government influence, to check the progress of truth ; while the general impression in the mind of every true Christian is that his cause must triumph. Such we believe to be the state of feeling on the subject of religion, at present, in this country. The end and the fruit it does not require much foresight to predict. The conflict must terminate in a full and complete triumph for the faith of Christ. We shall return to this subject in an early number."

10.—Education.

We have this month devoted considerable space to the Reports of several of our excellent Missionary and Orphan Schools*. We shall be happy in being made the medium of conveying aid of a pecuniary nature to the managers of any of these truly excellent institution. Nor would we forget to notice also the claims of Mrs. Wilson's Refuge, the London Society's Female School Society, and that of the Calcutta Baptist Mission. Benevolent Imtittttion.

"In the last Report the friends of the Benevolent Institution had to lament the loss of the last of its venerable founders, the Rev. Dr. Marsh, man ; and in the present they have with unfeigned sorrow to record the death of one who for twenty-two years presided over it, and devoted all his energies to realize the object for which it was founded. The Rev. James Penney came to this country in the year 1817, on purpose to take charge of the Institution; and from that time to the last day of his life, he devoted himself almost exclusively to the benefit of the children of indigent Christians, connected with it. By giving them a good education suitable to their condition and future prospects, and calculated to strengthen their mental faculties by instilling into their minds the principles of science and general useful information, and the knowledge of true religion, he endeavoured to prepare them for filling stations of respectability and usefulness in this world, and for enjoying pure and everlasting happiness in the next. He was admirably qualified for this work; himself possessed of a lively imagination and of an extensive knowledge of men and things, he could illustrate any subject in hand with wonderful facility and clearness, and pour light into the dullest minds; and being always lively and cheerful, he made all around him lively and happy too. Combining also ardent affection with manly dignity and unbending integrity, he secured for himself the respect and love of all his pupils. They felt, by his exposing and banishing their ignorance, that he was their instructor, and therefore they revered him: they knew, by his anxiety to promote the welfare of those who were in school, and of those who had left it, that he was their friend, and often their only friend, and therefore they loved him. How far he was successful in his endeavours it would be impossible to say, but that he was eminently so, at least in reference to secular education, an acquaintance with the East Indian Society in general, by whom he was universally known and respected, and an appeal to many of the public offices where this class of persons are employed, will abundantly testify.

"As however, neither worth nor usefulness can ward off the shafts of death, this excellent teacher and devoted servant of God was attacked with cholera in February last, and thus suddenly torn away from bis family and friends, and from this institution which has deeply felt his loss.

"In consequence of this melancholy event the Managers did their utmost to provide a proper successor; and the Rev. Mr Boaz in particular, with his usual activity and zeal, made considerable exertion, with very great success, to pay off a large amount of arrears due to the teachers, as well as to extinguish the debt accumulating against the Institution, and per

* Press of matter has obliged us, however unwillingly, to omit some iu type for insertion.—Ed.

petuate and increase its efficiency. They have, however, now transferred the whole of the premises belonging to it, in trust, to the Rev. Messrs. Yates, Pearce, and Bayne, as Trustees to conduct it on the same com. prehensive principles on which it has been always conducted. Thus, though there is now a change of the Managers, there is no change in the principles or the plan.

"In order to make the Institution as useful as possible, the Trustees have written to the British and Foreign School Society in London, to supply them with a teacher fully qualified and regularly trained for the work ; and they doubt not but that their application will be readily com. plied with. In the mean time, the boys will be carried forward in their studies by Mr. Roberts and the girls by Mrs. Baldwin, who are both active, intelligent and pious teachers. They are also happy to state, that the Rev. Messrs. Boaz and VVenger, and J. W. Alexander, Esq, have kindly allowed themselves to be appointed Visitors of the schools. These gentlemen will carefully look into the mode of conducting them, and suggest improvements wherever they appear necessary. They will also narrowly watch the progress of the scholars, and by their frequent presence and advice endeavour to stir up all to attention and diligence. Thus the public will have the best guarantee that can be given, that the Institution will be conducted on the same principles as before: we trust it may be with equal success.

"Notwithstanding the great loss which it has sustained, the Trustees feel a pleasure in stating, that the decrease of the scholars has not been so great as might have been expected. As it regards the Male Department, the number of boys on the register is 161, and the daily attendence averages 140. These embrace the following classes, viz. Roman Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Mahomedans, Jews, Chinese and Armenians, though by far the greater number belong to the first three.

"There has been latterly a considerable diminution of Roman Catholic cbildren in attendance, in consequence of another school being opened in the neighbourhood by their own denomination, who are making vigorous efforts to draw away the children from this Institution to their own. It is rather surprising, however, considering all the changes that have taken place, that so many yet remain."

The school is divided into eleven classes. (_Here follows a programme of the studies."] Religious instruction is also communicated. Both the schools are daily opened with singing, reading the scriptures, and prayer; and closed with prayer. The great principles of the oracles of God are unfolded to the rising race, and piety towards God and justice and benevolence to men constantly enjoined. Thus are they taught to connect a sanctified heart with an enlightened mind, to seek for moral excellence as well as mental greatness; and while the utmost attention is paid to their education with the view of elevating their character, and raising them in society, and enabling them properly to discharge the duties of friends and subjects, great care is taken to make them well acquainted with the way of salvation, and the necessity of true holiness, and thus to train them up, as far as possible, in preparation for a happy eternity. But it must be evident to every one, that such an Institution cannot be carried on without considerable expence. Although it is conducted with the utmost economy consistent with efficiency, yet the subscriptions and donations have not been equal to the current expenditure. In addition to this, the debt mentioned in last Report has been discharged, other arrears have been partly paid up, and the premises have undergone very extensive repairs. Another debt has consequently been incurred of nearly 2000 Rs.

In addition to discharging this, it will be necessary to defray the exVol. I. 2 A

pence of the new teacher's outfit and passage from England, which will considerably embarrass the trustees, unless they receive even more than usual aid. But conscious that they themselves have no other object in view than the general good, they can appeal with confidence to the generosity of a liberal and enlightened public. They would take this opportunity also of expressing their regret that, in consequence of the unsettledness occasioned by various causes connected with the Institution, the regular subscriptions have not been called for during the past year, and they would earnestly request that they may now be paid.

If the friends of education will only bear in mind that this was the first Institution which was devoted to the improvement of the East India population,—a large, important yet neglected class; and that it has been the means of rescuing more than a thousand of young men and women from idleness, vice and misery, and making them happy and useful members of society, and many of them true Christians; and that thousands more may still realize the same blessing, the Trustees doubt not but that it will continue to receive that support which it has for thirty years so liberally enjoyed.

ROBERT BAFNE, Secretary.

Berhamporr Native Orphan Asylum.

The Origin, Objects and Routine of the Berhampore Native Orphan Asylum, having been fully explained in the " Statement" published by the Rev. M. Hill at the close of last year, on these points we have nothing new to lay before the friends of the Institution.

The inmates of the Asylum, however, have received a considerable ad. dition to their number, since the publication of Mr. Hill's statement. The Cawnpore Famine Relief Society, sent us last cold season 2* orphan .children, of whom two died, and one ran off before reaching this station. 1 he emaciated forms and haggard looks of these poor sufferers, showed how deeply they had drunk of the cup of misery, before the hand of Christian charity could avail to rescue them from the horrors of a famine which, like an overflowing scourge, had swept away parents, brothers, friends, and all who would *' naturally care for their state." Though the regular supply of food and clothing which they enjoyed on their passage down the river, at the most bracing season of the year, had greatly contributed to their restoration to health; many of them on their arrival were still laboring under various diseases, which ultimately carried off four more of their number. The remaining 17, through the Divine blessing on the kind exertions of the surgeon and assistant surgeon of the station, have returned from the Native Hospital in good health, and are now perfectly naturalized, many of them already speaking the Bengalee language as fluently as if it were their mother-tongue.

But besides these orphans from the North Western Provinces, we have also received a few from our own district, from Patna, Hazaribaugh and the zillah of Kishnagur. The number of our orphan children at this date (not including the girls referred to in Mr. Hill's statement as having been sent to the Bhowanipore Christian Institution, in Calcutta), is 35, of whom seven are girls.

As it was found inexpedient to educate the children of both sexes on the same premises, the girls, with those of the boys whose tender age required such an arrangement, were formed into a separate department A Native Christian matron resides constantly with them, teaching the elder girls the various branches of Bengalee housewifery, and acting as a mother to the younger children, by which name indeed she is known among them all and loved. This department of the institution is at Babulbona, in the compound of Mr. Lessel.

The elder boys remain in the original Asylum on the Mission Premises as before, under the immediate management of Mr. L'Herondelle, who lives in the Asylum, directs their work, assists in their education, and exercises a genera] superintendence overall their conduct. Both departments of the Institution are under the daily control of the missionaries and their wives, who assist by their personal efforts wherever the teachers appear to require counsel, encouragement or aid.

We are happy in being able to add, that the orphans generally have given us satisfaction, by their good behaviour and attention to their les. sons and their work: but we mourn that so few of them seem to regard what is our main object, our hearts' desire and prayer for them, the salvation of their souls. Over at least two of them, however, we are rejoicing yet with fear and trembling. They are amongst the senior boys, though not the oldest. For some months past they have of their own accord accompanied us and the catechists to the bazars, with the view of qualifying themselves for the work of preaching the gospel to their countrymen.

In addition to the orphans there are four boys and two girls, children of the farm laborers, being educated in the Asylum: so that the inmates of both departments united amount to 41, viz. 24 boys on the mission premises, and nine girls and eight young boys at Babulbona. Seven men of the agricultural class from the neighbouring district, professing to be in search of employment and at the same time desirous of embracing the Christian faith, last hot season were engaged as stated laborers on the farm, as they seemed to us to come under the description of persons for whose benefit the farm was originally designed, (vide Statement, p. 6.) In a short time they solicited and obtained permission to bring their families, amounting in all to 28 souls. They were so very poor, that we willingly, at their request, admitted such of their children as were of a suitable age, into the orphan school. The parents, with their infant children, are located on the farm, and with them we have placed a Christian sirkar, to conduct their morning and evening worship, and instruct them in the true faith. They also attend the regular Bengalee services at the mission house on the Sabbath day, along with the Native Christians and orphans; and though deplorably ignorant, they appear willing —some of them anxious—to learn, and attentive to the means of grace. One of the old farm servants, also, has thrown off his caste, and attends worship, &c. with the others, with the avowed design of becoming a Christian. We should not, however, think ourselves justified in baptizing any of them yet.

Two of the orphan girls have just been married—one to a young man (one of the above laborers), and the other to the eldest of the orphan lads. We should have gladly kept them at school two years longer, as' they had been only a few months in the Asylum ; but considering their mature age, we did not think it prudent to oppose their wishes. Both couples are now located on the farm.

In concluding this Report, we would desire to express our humble gratitude to God, for the measure of support which he has graciously vouchsafed to us, in our endeavours to benefit the temporal and spiritual condition of those destitute children, who by his all-wise providence have been placed under our care. VVe also return our sincere thanks to those very kind friends of the Institution, by whose liberality we have hitherto been enabled to carry on our efforts, without embarrassment. We shall doubtless be excused from naming individual benefactors, but we feel their favors not the less on this account. May He who is the Father of the fatherless bless them, and'return their kindness into their own bosoms a thousand-fold!

We subjoin the balance sheet of accounts for the last year and a half.

JAS. PATERSON.
THOS. L. LESSEL.

Berhampore, Dec. 31, 1839.

P. S. The adults, who have renounced the errors of their fathers, and placed themselves with their families under our protection and religious training, and the children who are being initiated in the rudiments of learning and the first principles of the oracles of God, form an aggregate of upwards of eighty souls, known among the heathen by the name of Christians.

11.—Murder Op The Rev. J. Williams. We regret having to record the loss of one of the most indefatigable and successful of modern Missionaries, the Rev. J. Williams of the South Sea Mission,—well known to the world as the author of a most interest, ing work on Missions in that region of the world. Mr. W. it is well known, went out in command of the Camden, a missionary ship, for the purpose of exploring the islands of the southern Pacific as yet unvisited by mis. sion influence. In the course of the voyage the vessel touched at the island of Aramanga, when the inhabitants rushed upon the party and massacred Mr. XV. and a young man named Harris, |who was proceeding to England with a view to study for mission labor at the Marquetas. The companions of Mr. W. (two) escaped unhurt, but without even rescuing the bodies of the murdered saints from the grasp of these lawless islanders. The sensation which this tragical event will produce in Britain h beyond calculation, since our deceased brother was personally known as a useful and holy Missionary from the Sovereign down through all grades to the lowliest peasant. May that God whose servants we are, impress upon our hearts the utter impotence of all human effort, and that all success depends upon the strong and ever-living arm of Jehovah.

THE MEETINGS. In our last issue we gave an account of the anniversaries of several of our public institutions; we now complete the series by the insertion of an account of the anniversaries of the Tract and Book Society, and the Calcutta Auxiliary Bible Society. We are indebted to the Courier for the substance of the reports.

Tbact And Book Societt. A Meeting of the friends of the Christian Tract and Book Society was held on Tuesday evening, Jnnuary 21, at the Town Hall, but rather thinly attended. The Chair was taken by J. A. Hawkins, Esq. A short prayer was offered up by the ReT. Mr. Ewart, and then after a few remarks from the Chairman the Secretary was called upon to read the Report. The following is an abstract of the Report as read by the Secretary: First, as to the funds of the Society during the past |twelve months ; the report states that they hare experienced a slight decrease in the receipts of subscriptions and donations compared to former years: ,

Income For 1839.

Balance of last year, 4,159 6 9

Subscriptions and Donations, 4,999 0 0

Sale of Books, 4,980 0 O

Rs. 13,738 6 2

Expenditure.

Tract Expences, 4,476 11 4

Depository 3,017 8 6

Rs. 7,494 3 9

Balance, Rs. 6,244 S s

« AnteriorContinuar »