« AnteriorContinuar »
of imparting to very many the saving knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.
For the generous aid rendered them in this important department of their labours, the missionary brethren desire to present their very grateful acknowledgments, while they indulge the hope that the example set by some will be followed by many more, that a9 the demand for the word of God increases, the means of multiplying copies of the sacred volume may also increase.—Herald.
It.—Desire Fon Religious Books At Dacca Continued.
Sept. 3.—I shall now give you a few hints, concerning the state of things at Dacca during the last month. I may state in general terms, that tbe demand for books is greater than ever, and that the disposition to hear seems on tbe increase. I have seldom spent 60 rupees to better purpose, than in tbe erection of our native chapel. * Let it be opened whenever it may, we are sure of some hearers, and we often have a great number. But 1 will give you a few particulars. ,
On the 7th ultimo in the afternoon I went to the chapel and spoke from these words : " It is appointed for all men once to die," &c. As soon as I had done, many requested books, that they might, as they said, learn more of these things. Before we left the chapel, a letter was brought for (.'hdiul informing him that a native teacher was on his way to Dacca. This cheered him much.
On the 8th brother Leonard and I went to Frasganj with an intention of preaching, but I became so unwell, that we were obliged to content ourselves with tbe distribution of a few books, which brother Leonard had brought with him. On this day your first box arrived, containing 1302 volumes; but I did not open it till Monday the 10th.
On Sabbath morning the 9th the congregation in the native chapel was about 40. My text was Isaiah xlvi. 5—8. I succeeded in fixing attention better than usual. The poor people appeared quite surprised, but not at all offended, to hear their own idolatrous practices so exactly described in our shastras.
On tbe 11th brother Leonard and I went to the chok or square. Ahout 50 gospels in Hindustani, a large bundle of tracts in the same language, am) a few in Bengali, went off in a few minutes. On such occasions it is impossible to preach; the uproar is too great.
On the 15th brother Leonard and I went to Dhakaishwari, where there is a temple of Kali in a thick jungle, perhaps a mile out of tbe city. A few brahmans, who inhabit a few mean huts were the only persons to be seen. Tbe brahmans were very civil, and gladly received portions of scripture. I wonder at the brahmans of Dacca; they come to my house in great numbers for books, and claim them in preference to other people, because they are brahmans.
After tbe box above mentioned was opened, crowds came for books, and 1 bad to live, for a few days, in the midst of a great uproar. On the 18th another box containing 810 volumes arrived with the native preacher. On tbe 19th I employed him in distributing books at my house. He continued the distribution perhaps an hour, and then the tumult became so great, that I thought it prudent to desist.
On the 21st the people began to come in to celebrate a Hindu festival, in honor of the birth of Krishna. In the evening, brother Leonard and I went to the native chapel, and found our native brethren engaged with a crowd. Leaving them at the chapel we took about 100 copies of Matt., and went to one of tbe outskirts of the city to meet tbe people, who were coming in from the country. We saw many nocking into the city, but there were few renders among them; and some of those who could read were very shy: they had not heard much of our books. We persevered however, and gradually the whole number was disposed of, either to persons who begged them, or to persons who gladly received them when offered.
Saturday 22nd was the day of the festival; crowds of people paraded the streets all day. 1 had so many applications for books at my own house, that my stock in Bengali was soon exhausted. I had determined to go out about twelve and join the native brethren; but I was taken suddenly unwell, and was unable to go. I went in the evening with brother Leonard, and when we reached the native chapel, we found that nearly all the books were gone. Our native brethren had opened the chapel in the morning, and had been engaged, either in the chapel or near it, in talking and giving away books many hours. They had distributed, on that spot, in two days, about 1000 volumes, chiefly, of course, single gospels. On this day, a few volumes in Hindustani excepted, the contents of both the boxes were exhausted. They containted 2,112 volumes. Supposing about 112 volumes in Hindustani remained, mostly single gospels, it follows, that from the 10th to the 82nd, i. e. in 13 days, 2,0C0 volumes were distributed.
It may perhaps be thought, that many of these books must have been given in a very indiscriminate and careless manner. Such however was not the case. We never force books on people; on the contrary we withhold them till we are satisfied that those who solicit them, can read and are likely to read them. This plan wo adopt as much as possible, even in a crowd, where we seldom give any thing larger than a single gospel; and when people come to our houses for large books, we make them submit to many interrogatories before they obtain their request. 1 now refuse even small books to many who can read, when I think they have received them before or are not likely to read them. Some now come tome for books, and beg with great importunity, just to amuse themselves and inflict a little trouble on me ; but long practice has taught me to know these characters, and I send them away as they come. On the other hand, as our books spread in the country, many new faces appear. They have seen books with their neighbours and they want some for themselves. Thus, for one volume given away, we may expect three or four new applicants. This, I think, is the secret of the increasing demand, after so many have been supplied, and so many refused.
On the 25th ( 1 ami went to Narindiya, a place crowded with boats. Many of the boat people requested books, but he had none to give. This was to be regretted, as they might have been very widely dispersed.
Last Sabbath morning, in our native chapel, I again preached on the subject of idolatry, taking for my text Isaiah xliv. 9—20. The people, about 40 in number, heard with fixed attention. When 1 had done, a man stood up : " All this is very true ; give me a book, that I may learn more of Christianity." C'hand gave him a Testament which he had reserved for his own use. The same man attended again in the afternoon.
Would it not be well to publish, in a separate form, the book of Isaiah and the first nine chapters of Daniel? They contain some very pointed passages against idolatry, many predictions concerning our Saviour, and many about the nations of the earth, which may be illustrated by profane history. 1 would say, Print it in both languages.—Ibid.
IS.—Miscellaneous Notices. We have been sorry to learn that the funds of that most excellent institution, the District Benevolent Society are quite inadequate to the demands which are made on its benevolence. In its native nsylum, there are at present about 200 inmates, the number of out-pensioners is very considerable. In many instances, it affords temporary relief to those who are suffering from want and disease. In order to eive effectual relief to the objects at present dependent upon it, it requires an income of about Its, 12,000 per annum, while only lis. 8000 form about the average of its annual receipts. It is manifest that some extraordinary effort must be made on its behalf.
Considerable additions have lately been made to the Translation and Examining Committees, of the Bombay Tract and Book Society. It is hoped that greater expedition in the publication of the Scriptures and tracts in the vernacular languages of this Presidency "ill be the consequence. For some time past, the Committee of the Bible Society has bad monthly meetings for the despatch of business; and by this arrangement the interests and efficiency of the institution have been materially advanced. The Committee of the Tract Society has determined to meet once in the two mouths.
It has been resolved, that in consideration of the extent of the province of Gujarat, the prospects of increased missionary agency within its borders, and the multitudes of the mercantile class of natives speaking its language who reside in, or visit Bombay, a fourth part of the funds of the Tract Society be set apart for the publication of tracts and small books in Gujarathi.—Bombuy Spectator.
16.—Mission Op The General Assemblv Ok Tiie Presbyterian Church In Ireland To Ka'tia'war.
In our last number, we expressed our expectation of soon welcoming to the shores of India, the ministers lately appointed by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland to labour in the peninsula of Gujarat. In doing this, we were guilty of a lapsus penna? in reference to the name of one of the missionaries. The necessary correction will be made, and additional information given, by our introducing the following extract of a letter to Dr. Wilson, from the Kev. Mr. Morgan, of Belfast, dated the 12th August.
"You may think it strange that no answer has yet been forwarded to you from the Synod of Ulster on the subject of your communication recommending the district of Katiawar as a suitable field for a Mission to the heathen. Allow me to assure you this has not arisen from inattention or disrespect. Your communication was highly esteemed, and determined us in the selection of our first Missionary field. But we did not wish to write until we could do so with entire satisfaction, and that, by the blessing of God, we are now enabled to do. Our two Missionaries have been chosen, both tried men, having been ministers in congregations mid having renounced their charges at the call of the church to go to the heathen. They have both been married within a few weeks. Funds have been raised sufficient to make a commencement. . . . 'The names of our Missionaries are James Glasgow, formerly minister of Castledaw8on, and Alexander Kerr, formerly minister of Portadown. May the Lord carry them to the heathen with the fulness of the blessings of the gospel of Christ. You will accept the thanks of our missionary directors and of our Assembly for your valuable communication and the interest you have taken in our cause. The name of our church now is ' The Presbyterian Church in Ireland,' and that of our principal ecclesiastical assembly 'the General Assembly.' This includes the General Synod of Ulster and the Secession Synod, who are now happily united."—Ibid.
an opportunity of personally #: the circumstances of the case. . . . . . . . .
-- - . . . . . . Baiutsour, Sunday night, 23rd November, 1839. * . Through the mercy aid care of our Heavenly Father, i arrived osa e and well here last Friddy... I spent the day before yesterday with 3the German Missionaries at Hoobly. Immediately on my arrival, I had an interview with the péople, by whom I was invited, and saw them today also... I find they *ksow very little, or rather scarcely any thing, of 3 Christianity-more than the name. They profess however to have no faith --- in their own religion, and thitt the Linga which they wear is of no use, and can profit them nothing, and may be cast off. They would, I suppose; .." in one way immediately embrace Christianity, or rather take upon themselves the profession of it, that is, if I would engage to secure them from ... loss, , and procure the power of Government to support them against any * unpleasant results. But of course I can give them no such assurance. ... I purpose-staying here a day or two longer to sift them further, and
: ascertain, if I can, their true motives. There is certainly a stir ...; ... ."
: the people in this and some of the adjacent villages, who are of opinio
... that some great change is about to take place, and that one religion only ‘’ .
will prevail, and that all castes will become one, or rather that there wist. ... be no caste at all. And though some readily say, that the Christian reli.gion, according to what is predicted, is to be the prevålent religion, yet they are very ignorant of the doctrines and requirements, the graces and , ” duties of Christianity. They listen to me very quietly, and apparently -, - with attention ; but there is no anxiety evinced about their soul's salva-- . tion.: ; there is no earnest inquiry made, “What must we do to lie saved,” nor any desire evinced to make themselves acquainted with the "...nature of Christianity and its author, the work he did, the salvation lie ... wrought out, and the glory to which he exalts his people. Nor do they inquire to know thre-temper, dispositions, and conduct required of those who believe on his name. May the Lord direct and give me wisdom and grace to know and do what will be for his Glory and this people's good. wo-lawould ask all my friends to pray for me. * . . . . - - - * - - Tuesday night, 25th November, 1839. * ; (2). I have had a long, and on the whole an interesting interview * off the people for about five or six hours to-day. One of their promised books was brought this afternoon, and part of it read. It is indeed surprising that many things are predicted, which have been either already accomplished or are now being accomplished. They have agreed to let me-take the book with me to translate into English. There seems to be ‘‘something’ worth knowing further regarding this book, and one or two ... . . others which they produced this night while I was at the Guru's house, ..and parts of which they read. A few of his disciples, from one or two of the adjacent villages; came in this, night, and I had a very favourable - o; of setting before them the nature of the Gospel. They seem * rin
* ly toiléHeve that the time is not far distant when all the people will become one; that is, that the distinctions of caste among the people will VOL. I. 5 G
cease, nnd that the Christian religioniwill universally prevail, and all merely from what is predicted that a "religion will be brought to their notice and which they will be invited to belrev'eby a people corresponding •• ■with the English (and many particulars prerecorded regarding their. . . appearance, dress, simple manners, their power, conquests, &c.) and which they are assured is to be the prevalent reljgion. They art* likewise-in those books exhorted to receive and follow.this religion, and threatened with severe judgments if they despise and reject it. So far it is good and hopeful; but the greater portion of the people know little more of the.; Christian religion than that it is the religion of the English, Theyli'a/a «. * no apparent sense of sin and their need of salvation by Jesns Christ to»fc save them from sin, with the teaching and influence of the Holy Spiri* to make them wise and holy. But they may, .notwithstanding, be a people prepared of the Lord, to hear and receive his word; and I think a resideuce of a month or so is desirable, or frequent visits among them, untile something more satisfactory or tangible is-manifest, so as to make it/ . necessary to make some arrangement for t^eir. further instruction and,to admit such as may afford evidence of a change of heart and true faith in Christ, into his Church by baptism.
(3). Since writing the above, 1 had an interview (on the morning of the 2bth November) with several individuals who were assembled at the ," Guru's house. Extracts from one or two of their books, which they-; appeared to venerate very much and consider inspired, were read by a man of the goldsmith caste, to whose judgment and interpretations much J deference appeared to be paid; but, the interview was to me not at all satisfactory, for when 1 endeavoured to set forth the truths of the Gospel, there was much evident listlessness and apathy. No anxiety was '. evinced to understand the things which were spoken. Some questions' were put about forms and ceremonies which would be necessary to observe if they became Christians. I told them there were other things of greater importance for them to know Slid experience first; otherwise, whatever they may profess or whatever they may do, would avail them nothing. This kind of address they did not at all seem to relish; but they would profess the Christian religion (holding still in veneration their own books), under the assurance of protection from harm by the Government, and security against any temporal loss. After being with them upwards of two hours, i left them, but was invited to return again.in the evening, which I purposed doing, but, having ascertained that in consequence of. several additional persons having during the day come jn from adjacent -. villages, flags were hoisted and other ostentatious preparations made for shew, I was induced to decline going, especially as 1 had also learnt, that a report was in circulation that I was come with authority from Government to install the Guru there, as the High Priest of this new sect. My-*-'" duty appeared clear, that I should not lend myself to promote any improper views or expectations, among the people, and that the evil should he nipped in the bud. 1 therefore, preferred rather to represent the Gtisp'eT••' to them in its native unostentatious character and at once to tell them that instead of immunities and emoluments those who embraced it would be exposed tu loss and persecution. And as several were assembled in the vicinity of my halting-place, Solomon (the native teacher who' accompanied me.) and I went out and alternately addressed them' for a" considerable time. A few objections were made by some brahmans, but we appealed to the common people who heard us apparently more gladly.. We endeavoured fully to explain to them the nature and doctrines of the Gospel, the obligations and duties of those who embraced it., with the >; happy results attending the reception thereof both here and'hereafter. It was not till it was quite dark the people separated.