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ROMAN CATHOLIC PROCESSION.— In the Annals of the Propagation of the Faith for September we find an account, given by the Roman Catholic priest at Pillavadandey, of the services which he holds with his people. It is not a little surprising that such a statement should be published by the Romanists themselves. Such scenes as are described are, doubtless, in exact accordance with Hindu taste, but they are hardly a step removed from paganism. The car of the image of the Virgin Mary is practically to the worshipers the same as the cars of their pagan deities. Here is the priest's account: “At the evening processions, the church is filled as on holidays. Truth to tell, our processions have a somewhat wild character, and I dare say you would be astonished if you heard the cries uttered by my Indians and saw how they dance and gesticulate before the car of the Virgin Mary. Each nation has its own way of honoring God. Did not David dance before the Ark of the Covenant? The instrumental band opens the march, half a score of black-skinned individuals belaboring with all their might the poor, battered instruments. We have an old tambour, a big drum, which has rolled in many an Orphean concourse, not without damage to its skin, a wheezy clarionet, and others of a piece. Our performers have not the least suspicion that there are such things as notes and rules to hamper their genius. What an uproar, to be sure | Everybody, however, is delighted. After the band come two dancers, armed with long sticks, and having all the air of champions prepared for a pitched battle. All this may appear absurd enough, but you may well believe that our good Mother is pleased with her children who testify their affection in their own particular fashion. Then appears the Cross, followed by the car of Our Blessed Lady. Last month it was a o lad who took the Cross, and right well he carried it. May the good God save him : The car is neither carved nor gilt. Its whole adornment consists of garlands of natural flowers woven by my schoolmaster and some other young men. Four choir-boys in short red cassock and surplice carried it on their shoulders. The Virgin, about fifty centimetres high, is wood gilt; the head and hands, as well as the head and hands of the Infant Jesus, are in ivory. It is an old statue held in great veneration here. They say it came from Manila. As for myself, I bring up the rear, my heart overflowing with gratitude to our Holy Mother.”
WORK AMONG THE BATTAs. – At the beginning of this century attempts were made by English Baptists to Christianize the Batta people in the island of Sumatra. When England restored that island to Holland, the missionaries were forced to retire, and no further effort was made till the sad day when our own American Board sent among them the ill-fated Lyman and Munson, who were killed by the cannibal natives whom they went to save. In 1861 the missionaries of the Rhenish Society took refuge in Sumatra from persecution in the island of Borneo, and began a work there which continues to the present time. The results, so far as statistics can give them, are summed up in a recent number of the A’evue des Missions Contemporaines, and we give them briefly as follows: —
There were at the close of 1890, among the Battas, 18 missionary stations and 86 out-stations, numbering about 17,500 Christians. In 1890 about 2,500 were baptized, of whom 25o were Mohammedans. At the close of 1890 there remained 5,000 candidates for baptism under instruction, of whom 400 were Mohammedans. By means of money advanced by the Rhenish Society, to be repaid in the course of a certain number of years, 41 churches now support themselves and their native evangelists, who labor among the surrounding heathen. In 1889, 6 preachers were ordained, and 17 new evangelists began work. Fifty-nine young men applied for admission to the Theological Seminary, but only 21 could find room. “The converts are naturally far from being angels,” and many of them fall, but many return. One such came back after an apostasy of twenty years. When the missionary asked him why he came, he answered, “To die in the hands of Jesus.” He did die not long afterward, courageously confessing his faith in Christ before his Mohammedan parents. Thus has the gospel triumphed where in the time of Lyman and Munson it was set at naught. The Kingdom comes NEW HEBRIDEs.
CHANGES AT ERROMANGA. — This island, famous in missionary annals as the scene of the martyrdom of John Williams, has recently been visited by Rev. James Lyall, of Australia, who writes in The Missionary Record of the United Presbyterian Church of intensely interesting scenes on the island. As the steamer neared the port of Erromanga unexpectedly, no one was to be seen on shore, but as soon as the steamer's whistle sounded the people turned out from their schoolrooms and houses, and the beach was alive. On board the steamer were Rev. H. A. Robertson and wife, who were returning to Erromanga after an absence of seventeen months. With great joy the people welcomed their returning missionaries. In the boat that came off for them were two sons of the man who murdered John Williams, and among those on shore was a third son of the murderer, who had for years remained a heathen, but during the absence of the missionary had become a Christian. All went directly to the Martyr's Church, where prayers and songs of praise gave expression to the great gladness of the people. Mr. Lyall describes many interesting scenes in different parts of the island and reviews the sacrifices that have been made, and answers the question as to what has been the result of these sacrifices as follows: “It was in 1872 that Mr. Robertson commenced his labors in Erromanga. He had an uphill struggle for a considerable time; but the Christian party remained faithful, and gradually increased in numbers and strength, till at last the whole island was evangelized. In thirty-four villages there is service every Sabbath and every Wednesday. Out of a population of 2,500, 1,200 regularly attend church. There are 200 communicants and eight elders, while all traces of heathenism have passed away.” Surely this is a notable triumph of the gospel !
Joseph THOMSON AND THE SCOTCH MISSIONs on LAKE NYASA. — Mr. Joseph Thomson, the young and yet eminent African explorer, arrived in London October 18, after explorations continuing through eighteen months in behalf of the British South Africa Company. He explored the region between Lakes Nyasa and Bangweolo, a region which he declares is of high agricultural value, and one in which Englishmen could live and thrive. Mr. Thomson saw the tree on which Livingstone's men carved the record of the great missionary's death, and talked with many who remember the white man's coming. At Blantyre, in the Shiré Highlands, Mr. Thomson was much impressed by the remarkable progress in the mission of the Scotch Established Church. Fine coffee plantations are here, natives who were wont to devastate the region now coming hundreds of miles to work on the plantations. Mr. Thomson says that the Scotch missionaries at Blantyre go about their work in a most effective way, having not only day-schools but boarding-houses where two or three hundred youths, mainly sons of chiefs, are under their care. He describes a church edifice which he says would do credit to many a London suburb, though it was built entirely by the natives, under the supervision of the missionaries. The Free Church missionaries on Lake Nyasa are also highly commended, having some thousands of people under their care. Blantyre is now reached in six weeks from England, by way of the Cape, and it is expected that this time will soon be shortened. On the whole Mr. Thomson's report upon this region of Africa is most cheering.
ZULULAND. — The district which now bears this name was formerly called the Zulu Reserve, and is north of Natal, covering an area of about 9,000 square miles. The population of the whole region is estimated at about 180,000. It is under the British Protectorate, administered by the governor of Natal. In this region there are 17 mission stations, of which 6 belong to the English church; the other II are Lutherans, 8 of them being Norwegians, 1 Swedish, and 2 belonging to the Hermansburg (German) Mission.
THE JUBILEE of THE LovEDALE MISSIONARY INSTITUTION.— On July 21, 1841, the now well-known training institution at Lovedale, South Africa, was established. The school began with twenty pupils, most of them the sons of missionaries. At last accounts the number in actual attendance was 660. The institution has accomplished so much, and has been so favorably regarded by all intelligent observers, that the British East Africa Company has determined to open an institution in the interior not far from Mombasa, on the same plan as Lovedale. We have already chronicled the fact that Dr. Stewart, who has had charge of the Lovedale Institution for many years, has consented to labor for a while in the organization near Mombasa. There is to be associated with him in the opening of the new school, Dr. Robert Moffat, son of the famous South African missionary of the same name. From an account of the Jubilee celebration at Lovedale in July last we take the following : —
“When Mr. Govan opened his school at Lovedale in 1841, with twelve Kaffirs and nine whites, would he have believed that fifty years later there would have been in this same school 660 pupils? Four years ago the presses of Lovedale printed a list of all the young people who had gone forth from this institution. They then numbered about 2, ooo former pupils still living, most of them natives, and occupying honorable positions: some of them distinguished men. But that is not the whole of it, as said a colonial journal of that time; these thousands of young people, to-day useful men, paying taxes, consuming and producing all kinds of commodities, would be except for Lovedale naked barbarians, daubing themselves with red ochre.” A Lovedale teacher, himself a Kaffir, in a most interesting address spoke of what the whites have still to do for the blacks. “It is not necessary in Kaffraria,” he said, - and, we may add, nowhere else in Africa, – “to demonstrate the truth of Christianity by logical arguments. Do you know what my countrymen want?” asked he: “they want to see Christianity; to see it in your lives, in you Christians.”
MAshoxALAND. — The expedition of Messrs. Wilcox and Thompson, of the East Central African Mission, into Gazaland, mentioned in our Editorial Paragraphs, renders of special interest the report that comes from Lisbon of a decision of the Mozambique Company to undertake, as soon as possible, the construction of a railroad from the mouth of the Pungwé River to Massi Kesse. The most hopeful feature of this enterprise is that it is mutually undertaken by the Portuguese and the British. It is a clear sign that the two parties have ceased their contentions and are uniting in practical work. No time is to be lost in sending out the material for the construction of the road, which it is expected will be begun next April, and with the promise that 100 miles will be completed before the close of 1892. The line will start from Beira, at the mouth of the Pungwé River, and from Massi Kesse a line will be carried to Fort Salisbury, in Mashonaland. As far as Massi Kesse the tsetse fly is found, which is fatal to cattle, but beyond that point the pest does not exist,
This is the thirteenth in the Series of Popular Missionary Biographies issued by these enterprising publishers of Evangelical Literature. The letters and diaries of Brainerd are as truly a Christian classic as those of Henry Martyn. A new generation needs them to brace it for the toil and sacrifice of its missionary work. Our brethren at the front may gather courage for dark days from the story of Brainerd's early trials and final success. It was when his strength was almost spent and “all hopes in human probabilities most manifestly appeared to fail” that crowds began to gather about him and converts were multiplied. Of his Indian congregation Brainerd could say, at last, “I know of no assembly of Christians where there seems to be so much of the presence of God, where brotherly love so much prevails, and where I take so much delight in the public worship of God as in my own congregation, although not
more than nine months ago they were
worshiping devils and dumb idols, under the power of pagan darkness and superstition. Amazing change this ' "
Service in the King's Guards. By Two of Them. With an Introduction by Rev. Walter M. Barrows, late Secretary of the American Home Missionary Society. Boston and Chicago: Congregational Sunday-School and Publishing Society.
An instructive story of the life of a Home Missionary and his wife on the frontier, among Indians and in the growing towns of the West. All honor to missionaries at home ! Their work and OurS are On C.
Chinese Characteristics. By Arthur H. Smith. Shanghai: Printed and published at The North China Herald office. 1890. 427 pp. 8vo.
This is an unusually interesting and instructive volume, written in a racy style by a discriminating observer, who has had abundant opportunity during a missionary life of nearly twenty years to know whereof he affirms as to the characteristics of that strange people who dwell “in the land of Sinim.” We should be glad to see a similar volume, written by as well-informed and discriminating a Chinese observer, entitled “American Characteristics.” These two peoples, China and America, are facing the great problem of the next century. Only a living gospel can solve it.
A Practical Introductory Hebrew Grammar. By Edwin Cone Bissell, Professor in Hartford Theological Seminary. Hartford, Conn.; The Hartford Theological Seminary. 1891. 134 pp. 8vo. Price, $1.75.
So far as we can judge, after a hasty examination, this concise volume presents, what it claims to have demonstrated as the result of much experience, “a superior method for mastering the principles of Hebrew and acquiring facility in reading at sight in the Hebrew Bible in the shortest possible time.” It is attractive to the eye and tempts one to linger over its clear-cut Hebrew letters and words. That familiarity with these selected words will be of great help in learning to read the Hebrew Bible at sight will be evident, since, as stated in the preface, “All words used in the Hebrew Bible over fifty times, the most of those used between twenty-five and fifty times, and not a few of those, of connected roots, used less than twenty-five times, are here found, and they are the only Hebrew words employed in the book.”
but obstinate old grandfather to an earnest interest in missions. It is charmingly told.
Africa Rediviva; or, The Occupation of Africa by Christian Missionaries of Europe and North America. By Robert Needham Cust, LL.D., author of “Modern Languages of Africa,” “Bible Translation," and “Notes on Missionary Subjects.” London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row. 1891. 5x4%. pp. xi, 118.
This volume presents in a compact form a full account of all existing missionary operations on the continent of Africa, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic. An opening chapter and a closing chapter present luminous comments on missionary methods and agencies, with incisive criticisms upon what are felt by the author to be unpardonable blunders and mistakes. No one who would be well informed can afford to pass these by: least of all can they who are in earnest to discover and apply the wisest methods of evangelization in the Dark Continent.
Africa is here divided into four great regions, each treated in a separate chapter, and each accompanied by a sectional map, presenting up to date the facts described in the text. The description of work in each region embraces the following particulars, which are presented in a convenient summary at the close of the chapter devoted to that region: Field, Agency,
Station, Population, Language, Remarks. Valuable Appendices, including tables of the languages spoken in Africa, of Bible Translations in Africa, Alphabetical and National List of Missions in Africa, Statistics, and Books of Reference, close the volume and add materially to its worth. It will be a surprise to many to learn that seventy-seven missionary agencies are at work in Africa, fifty-seven Protestant and twenty Roman Catholic. The wide experience of the author and his unusual familiarity with the missionary operations of the day give especial weight to his utterances; and the conceptions of the needs and opportunities of missionary work in Africa here presented are wise and inspiring.
out his Spirit upon all flesh, so that all the ends of the earth might see his salvation.” For China and Christian Missions within the Empire : That political disturbances may cease;
that the motives of missionaries may not be misunderstood; that the Christians may be
protected from harm; and that the work of preaching the gospel may not be hindered.
October 24. From Boston, Rev. John S. Porter, to reinforce the Mission in Austria.