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If it be the will of "the Governor among the nations" to visit this people for so long refusing to acknowledge his authority, and for worshipping in his stead the gods of their awn creation—the slaves of their lusts, with what intense earnestness should we pray that the event may introduce a new era in the church of Christ! What ample space is here for ** Zion to break forth on the right hand and on the left—what a multitude for her to lift up her eyes round about and behold." The conquest of the islands of the sea, and on the continental kingdoms of the earth, is most desirable. We hail the victories of the Prince of peace in other lands. But we cannot forget that all the islands in the world scarcely compare with China, and that none of the continents, nor indeed all of them together, exclusive of the one of which she makes the prominent part, contain an equal number of responsible beings. And can the church rest, while these unhappy millions are kept in ignorance of " the only name given among men whereby we must be saved?"
Pray that whatever is permitted to occur may grant us more favor in the eyes of this nation, and open "a wide and effectual door" to us as missionaries of the cross of Christ. We would not overlook our present liberty, restricted as it is ; we would be thankful that we may exert ourselves to some advantage in our studies, and in the retired school-room, and that we can visit and quietly converse with multitudes on their immortal interests. But these very limited opportunities of usefulness cannot satisfy us. Nay, they teach us the more impressively what would be the happiness of preaching boldly and freely "the unsearchable riches of Christ," of publicly gathering congregations and instituting schools— and of endeavoring, by all practicable means, to arouse the general atten. tion to " the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory."
We want to break away from our retirement, and with the gospel in our hands to go forth to the full discharge of our ministerial duties " no man forbidding us." We want to enter the villages and cities, and in the chief places of concourse "to lift up our voices like a trumpet." Most ardently do we long to establish ourselves in the great centres of influence —to erect the temples of Christ hard by the imperial palace, to attend at the crowded examinations, and be allowed to address all whom we meet, "disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of Christ." It may be necessary to mention, that the impracticability of efforts which attract the attention of the public has been proved in this part of the empire by repeated experiments, and that the attempts made in the other provinces have not been of a nature to show that the public and permanent exercise of the ministry would be anywhere tolerated. Even these last mentioned labors along the coast, through which we pray that the light of life may still be communicated to many minds, cannot we fear, be resumed until the maritime parts of the empire are no longer the scene of strife between the opium-smuggler, and the laws of the country. Our circumstances afford us encouragement to hope that the day of China's deliverance from ' cruel bondage' is at hand. The Lord is collecting his forces here and in the neighbouring regions, and we must believe that he has something prepared or in preparation for them to do. Within a few months, we have welcomed to this field Dr. Driver of the American Board of Missions, and Dr. and Mrs. Hobson and Rev. W. Milne, son of the late Dr. Milne, from the London Miss. Soc. The number of Protestant missionaries and their wives residing at present in China is sixteen. Five of them are under the patronage of the American Board; three are connected with the London Missionary Society; and two with the Church Missionary Society; two are from the American Baptist Board, and one from a Baptist Society in the valley of the Mississippi; two are in the service of the Morrison Education Society, and one is attached as interpreter to the British commission for trade. The missionaries devoted to the Chinese, residing at Singapore, Malacca, Siani, Java, and Borneo, have had large accessions to their number within a few years : so that from Penang on the west to Canton on the east, there are between fifty and sixty men and women devoted to the Christianization of the Chinese.
During the latter part of the year, we have experienced no serioufl interruptions in our missionary engagements. Dr. Parker has not heed able to re.open the hospital at Canton, although he practises privatelyeven among many of reputation. The hospital at Macao, a most commodious, and eligibly situated building, which has been purchased by the Medical Missionary Society, will probably remain closed until present agitations subside. Dr. Lockhart who arrived here about a twelvemonth since, was driven away with the other English residents, and has taken np his temporary abode in Batavia. Mr. Gutzlaffand family were obliged to flee at the same time. He has returned to Macao, but his family has gone to Manila.
The Morrison Education Society have hired a spacious house, with retired grounds attached, for Mr. and Mrs. Brown, who have half a dozen hopeful Chinese youth residing with them, and receiving daily instruction. They have been received on condition of remaining several years with Mr. Brown. English literature is the object of their parents, the Christian religion through this medium is the chief object of the Society. Mr. Bridgman still continues at Macao, where he is at present exposed to less interruption than at Canton. His attention is chiefly given to the preparation of an elementary work designed for the equal benefit of those who wish to learn either language. Mr. Williams devotes a part of his time to the study of the Japanese, under the tuition of those shipwrecked natives whom Mr. King carried back to their country; but who were not permitted to disembark. Mr. and Mrs. Shuck and Mr. Roberts of the Baptist denomination are diligently engaged in the usual work of missions.
We regret to add that Mr. and Mrs. Squire of the Church Missionary Society expect to sail for England in a few days, on acconut of the delicate state of Mrs. Squire's health. For the same reason, Mr. Abeel is ordered by the physicians to escape the approaching rain and cold of China, and to visit Singapore or Manila. As his dialect is the one which the emigrants and foreign traders generally employ, he will find a sphere of usefulness in any of the neighboring countries. The son of Leang Afii. who was educated by Mr. Bridgman, is still in the service of the commissioner Lin. He is at present employed in translating into Chinese the Cyclopaedia of Geography by Murray. This we consider an auspicious circumstance. We have much reason for hoping that the study of the English by Chinese youth will be regarded in future with much more complacency by the authorities than hitherto. If our expectations be realized, it furnishes another call for intercession, that " the waters of life'' may flow freely into the empire through these new channels of communication.
We cannot close without once more adverting to a subject to which we have made only n passing allusion. We refer to the traffic in opium— one of the most appalling obstacles to our missionary exertions. After all the imperial edicts which have been issued, and the victims which have been sacrificed to public justice, and the costly, though no doubt injudicious efforts made by a high officer commissioned for this very purpose, this nefarious and ruinous trade is still going on in a manner, and to a degree which can scarcely he credited. Vessels built for the purpose, armed and manned as ships of war, are continually forcing this drug upon the empire, and more effectually to gain their ends, are supplying with nrms and ammunition the Chinese craft engaged to assist them. If this traffic continues, what is to prevent the whole coast of China from becoming a scene of ruthless piracy?
It is gravely asserted by those who have resided in China, that opium as used here is a harmless luxury, and of course the supply of it a very honorable employment. As well might they declare, that there is no idolatry in China, or that what little may be practised amounts to a very innocent and useful recreation. The effects of opium encounter us "in the house and by the wayside," in our domestic arrangements, and in our missionary pursuits. Although we have made the most explicit regulations to debar from our service those who are addicted to this indulgence, and although those who have entered our families have bound themselves by these rules, yet notwithstanding their promises and the fear of expulsion we have detected some of them yielding to the habit, even in our houses. Some of us have experienced serious embarrassments from having the best teachers we can procure, stupified and disabled by its influence.
The sallow complexion and meagre appearance of hundreds and thousands in the streets betray its deadly inroads in their constitutions. The sufferings of families from whose scanty support this expensive luxury is deducted, or from whose head its victim is torn away by death, can scarcely be imagined. Of all with whom we converse, those who are the least susceptible to serious impressions are opium-smokers. And yet nominal Christians, men of high worldly respectability, grow, prepare, .rail smuggle this deadly poison; nay justify, and even commend themselves for their benevolent services.
These, as far as we are aware, are the principal incidents connected with the present state of this mission. We would not conceal from those who can sympathize with us, that we are at times oppressed with a sense of unprofitableness in our difficult sphere of labor. Hemmed in by crowds of ignorant and dying heathen, we are humbled to find that we make no visible impression upon the mass. We again entreat you to remember us under our trying circumstances. Pray that obstacles may be removed and facilities multiplied. Pray that we may be "wise as serpents, harmless as doves," bold as lions—that our efforts may be Tightly directed, and that we may be permitted to see that "our labor is not in vain in the Lord." We are not discouraged, neither do we expect to be, as long as we can exercise faith in the word of promise, but how can we be satisfied, so long as we sympathise with Him who has thus far scarcely seen any fruits of the travail of his soul, in this empire.
May the whole world soon be subjected to his dominion, and that we all may meet with many " sheaves in our bosoms," when the harvest of the earth is reaped is the earnest prayer of your brethren in this part of our Lord's vineyard.
27.—The Periodicals Op The Month. The Journal of the Asiatic Society is exceedingly interesting and instructive.—Dr. McCIelland's second number of the Journal of Natural History is a magnificent number. The talented Editor is a host in himself.—The India Review is as usual full of all kinds and degrees of matter. The worthy Editor appears equally beyond the reach of praise or blame, and hence he disports from v
"Grave to gay—from lively to severe" and from the veriest nonsense to deep philosophy. It is a useful miscellany; but we put it to the Editor whether it might not be more Bo were it less chequered and adorned.
28.—The New Poem "justice."
From recent communications received from our friend-; in England we learn that a new poem entitled "Justice" has issued from the press. It is the production of a very young man, and is considered a very masterly production—one of the most successful poetical efforts of modern times. The subject is the searcli of happiness in the world, together with its disappointment. The plan is somewhat similar to Goethe's Faust. The style is bold and somewhat redundant—an error which maturity will correct. The imagery is bold and in many parts originally put, which is saying much in this late age of the world's history. The whole subject is calculated to lead men wandering and erring to the only source of peace and rest and hope—the cross of Christ. The poem offers great promise from the future labors of its esteemed and talented author.
The Church of Scotland's Mission in this Presidency has received an accession to its agency by the arrival, on the 9th of April last, of MrJames Aitken, appointed to labour at Puna. Mr. A. prosecuted his studies, in the first instance, for the profession of the law, in connexion with which his prospects were most encouraging; but for some time past his desires have been directed to the propagation of the Gospel in this great country, to which in the good providence of God he has been safely brought. We trust that no long time will pass away before he be ordained to the office of the ministry, for which, in the opinion of all who know him, he is highly qualified by his piety, talents, attainments, and experience in communicating religious knowledge.
On the 11th of June, the Reverend Messrs. Muller, Mengert, Fritz, Weigle, and Amann arrived in Bombay, as a reinforcement to the German Evangelical Mission in Canara. They have all been educated in the Basle Missionary Society, and we doubt not, through the grace of God, will support its celebrity. We most cordially welcome them to the shores of India.
The Rev. Dr. Wilson, and the Rev. J. Murray Mitchell, have just returned from a missionary journey, extending through the Northern Krai. kan, the province of Gujarat, and part of Marwar, and Khandesh. They have been enabled to survey a large portion of the Missionary field in the North-West of India, to preach the glad tidings of salvation to great multitudes of the natives; to circulate several thousand portions and copies of the divine word, and other religious publications ; to confer with many of the friends of the propagation of Christianity at different stations; and to make various arrangements for the furtherance of the cause of the Saviour, the effects of which may appear many days hence. To some of their proceedings and discoveries, we may afterwads direct the attention of our readers.
Since March last, an interesting periodical, entitled the Protestant Weekly Visitor, has been issued from the press at Madras. It is conducted on liberal principles; and many of its articles are distinguished for their good sense and ability.
The two first numbers of our Native's Friend, have just made their nppearance. The subscription is two rupees per annum, payable in advance; and application for copies should be made to the publisher of the Oriental Christian Spectator. This periodical tract, we may remind our readers, is intended for circulation among native youth who understand the English language. Gentlemen purchasing copies for gratuitous distribution, may have them forwarded to them by banghy, when necessary.
We have seen two numbers of the Dig-Darshan, a Marathi magazine published by some of our native friends, whom we wisli to see enjoy the greatest success in their editorial labours. We may afterwards more particularly notice it.—Oriental Christian Spectator.
30.—Restriction Of Tub Arab Slave Trade.
Political Department, Notification. His Highness Sied bin Sultan, the Imaum of Muscat, having on the 17th December, 1839, consented to the three following Articles being added to the Treaty concluded with His Highness by Captain Moresby, under date the 30th August, 1822, pro. hibiting any traffic in slaves, being carried on by sea within certain limits in his Highness's territories, the same are now published for general information.
*' I agree that the following Articles be added to the above Treaty, concluded by Captain Moresby on the aforesaid date.
1st. "That the Government Cruizers whenever they may meet any Vessel belonging to my subjects, beyond a direct line drawn from Cape Welgado, passing two degrees seaward of the Island of Socotra, and ending at Pussein*, and shall suspect that such vessel is engaged in the Slave Trade, the said Cruizers are permitted to detain and search it."
2nd. "Should it on examination be found, that any vessel belonging to my subjects is carrying slaves, whether men, women, or children for sale, beyond the aforesaid line, then the Government Cruizers shall seize and confiscate such vessel and her cargo. But if the said vessel shall pass beyond the aforesaid line, owing to stress of weather, or other case of necessity, not under control, then she shall not be seized."
3rd. "As the selling of Males and Females—whether grown up or young, who are Hoor, or free, is contrary to the Mahomedau religion and whereas the Soomalees are included in the Hoor, or free, I do hereby agree, that the sale of Males and Females whether young or old, of the Soomalee Tribe, shall be considered as piracy, and that 4 months from this date, all those of my people convicted of being concerned in such an act shall be punished as pirates.—Dated 10th Shown], 1255. A. D. 1839. Seal of Seid bin Sultan. /,. S. True Translation, (Signed) S. Hennet., Resident, Persian Gulf. By order of the Hon'ble the Governor in Council, L. R. Reid, Chief Secy, to Govt. Bombay Castle, 18th May, 1840. Ibid.
31.—Death Op The Rev. Alexander. Fyvie, Of Surat.
Of this trying dispensation we have received intimation in the following touching letter:—
Sly dear friend,—" In the midst of life we are in death." May it be our happy privilege to be waiting for the coming of the Lord. This introduction to my letter may lead you to suppose, that 1 have heavy tidings to communicate. Yes it is the case. My beloved brother and companion in Missionary labour for the last eighteen years is no more. He has left us. His work on earth is done, his wife is a widow, and his dear children fatherless. He died on the 10th instant, of a bilious fever of a few days continuance. His body now sleep in Jesus, in hope
* On the Mekroom coast.