Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ANOTHER of our veteran' missionaries has fallen. The cable has brought the message from Ceylon that Rev. William W. Howland died at Jaffna, August 26. “Father" Howland, as he was affectionately called, was seventy-five years of age, and had been not in vigorous health, yet the letter from him in the last number of the Missionary Herald will show that he was in active service. There has not been time to receive letters from Ceylon since his death occurred, and a fuller notice of this beloved missionary must be deferred until a future number.

AND yet again death has made a sad inroad upon the ranks of our missionaries, this time not one of the aged toilers, but one in the freshness of her missionary consecration. Miss Bertha Smith, daughter of Rev. J. F. Smith, of Marsovan, died at that city, on the thirtieth of July last, at the age of twentyfour. Born on missionary ground, after finishing her studies in the United States she gave herself unreservedly to the work to which her parents had consecrated their lives, and on receiving appointment she returned three years ago to Marsovan. She won all hearts by the beauty of her character and her devotion to her work. Occupying as she did a sphere she was well fitted to fill, human reason cannot fathom the deep mystery involved in the taking away of a life so full of promise.

SINCE the statements on another page in regard to the expedition to Gazaland were in type word has been received, through Mr. Goodenough, that the pioneer party, consisting of Messrs. Wilder, Thompson, and Bunker, sailed from Durban for Beira, July 12. Much enthusiasm in reference to this forward movement has been manifested both among the missionaries and the natives in Natal. Two native laborers have gone with the party, and at the farewell meeting held at Umtwalume, Mr. Wilder's station, one of these native laborers said to the people : “Don't pray that we may not die; for death is everywhere, and comes to all. But pray for us that we may not be afraid of danger or death, and may be faithful unto death.” This Zulu gave up lucrative employment in Durban to accept one third the amount he had been receiving. Such a spirit augurs well for the expedition.

Our friends have already learned, through the public press, of an outbreak at Bourdour, in Asia Minor, in which the house that was in process of erection by Mr. Bartlett, of Smyrna, was burned to the ground, and the lives of the missionaries were endangered. The facts were telegraphed our government by the United States Chargé d'Affaires at Constantinople, and a most vigorous response was sent, calling for indemnity and for the support of the rights of our missionaries. It is also reported that an American man-of-war in the Mediterranean Sea was ordered to proceed to Constantinople. Bourdour is an out-station of Smyrna, and is situated about 250 miles a little south of east of that city, and about sixty miles north of Adalia, a port on the Mediterranean. There is a native ordained pastor, and a Protestant community numbering about seventy-five, the population within the limits of the out-station being estimated at about 18,000. The land on which the house stood was bought about eighteen months ago, and six months later a permit for building was obtained. Just as the house was being roofed, the government stopped the work, declaring that it must not proceed till

a bond was given that the premises should not be used for religious or school purposes. The United States Legation remonstrated, and various orders were sent by Turkish officials to allow the work to proceed. Every possible obstrucition was put in the way of the carrying out the orders. When complaint was again made to the Grand Vizier, he telegraphed a peremptory order that Mr. Bartlett be allowed to complete the house. This order apparently excited both the Armenian and Greek populace, and the result was that on the next night, August 17, the house was burned to the ground by the enemies of the mission. Mr. Bartlett and his daughter were then at Bourdour, and, under date of August 18, Mr. Bartlett says that there is great bitterness on the part of both Greeks and Armenians, who had united in pledging themselves to dispose of the missionaries in some way. The demands of our government, promptly made, have been responded to by Turkish officials, who have offered indemnity both for the property destroyed and for the personal wrong done our missionary. The offer of 350 liras for the house and 250 liras to Mr. Bartlett has been accepted. It is to be hoped that the incident will result in good, as indicating the fact that the rights of American citizens in Turkey are to be maintained against the machinations of their enemies. Thanks are due to our government for its vigorous action in the case.

ANOTHER incident, however, has recently occurred in Turkey, which has called for the intervention of our government. While Dr. Pettibone, of Constantinople, was on his way from Aintab, he was arrested at Adana, on the suspicion, absurd on the face of it, that he was an escaped Armenian crimina!. His American citizenship was speedily vouched for, and under existing treaties it was a clearly illegal proceeding to arrest and detain him without the concurrence of the American Consul. Moreover, the officers went to the mission house and searched the baggage of the party, which included Mr. Lee and Miss Pierce, carrying off for examination all their private papers and books. After three days Dr. Pettibone was released by direction of the authorities at Constantinople. It does not at all meet this case to say that the arrest and search were made by mistake. It is such a mistake as should never have been made, and in flagrant violation of treaty rights, and, having been made, it should be atoned for by something more than a verbal apology. Since his return Dr. Pettibone has been seriously ill at Constantinople, but at last reports was improving.

REPORTS have been received of the occupation by the British of several islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Johnston Islands, a rocky group some 600 miles southwest of Honolulu, are said to have been formally taken possession of by a British man-of-war on July 17. If newspaper reports are to be relied upon, a far more important annexation took place June 12, when the British flag wis raised on the Gilbert Islands, at Butaritari. In the July number of the Missionary Herald we gave an account of the coming of Nan Temate, king of Butaritari, to San Francisco, in the hope of securing from the United States a protectorate for his island. In this he was disappointed, and he returned to his island home uncertain as to what might happen, having special fears lest Germany should take possession of the group. We have had no direct communication as yet from the islands, but a correspondent of San Francisco papers at Butari

: tari, said to be an American, and, if so, doubtless a trader there, complains

somewhat bitterly of the "high-handed" transaction on the part of the officers i of a British man-of-war in proclaiming the sovereignty of the Queen. The first | act of the British commander, according to this correspondent, was to issue orders

that no foreigner should sell to the natives firearms, rum, or tobacco. Hence these tears over British aggression. We have no doubt that this whole affair was in accordance with the wishes of the Butaritari king, who would much prefer British to German or Spanish authority. In this we heartily agree with him. Though it is difficult to see just what advantages England may derive from the possession of the Johnston and Gilbert groups, yet such is the greed among the nations for territory, though it be distant and comparatively valueless, that the assumption by some power of authority over these groups seemed inevitable, and we are glad if British rule, which is religiously tolerant and which favors good morals, is established over the Gilbert Islands where we have such a hopeful missionary work. We shall await with great interest definite reports from our missionaries in regard to this transaction.

This number of the Missionary Herald will reach its readers a few days before the first Sabbath in October, a day that ought to be noticed far and near as the one hundredth anniversary of the organization of the first purely foreign missionary society among English-speaking people. It was on the second day of October, 1792, that, after the public services connected with the regular meeting of Baptist ministers at Kettering, England, twelve village pastors retired to a back parlor and formed, under the leadership of such men as Carey, Ryland, and Andrew Fuller, the “ Baptist Missionary Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen.” These twelve men made then and there a notable collection toward the commencement of missionary work, amounting to £13 2s. 6d., not a large sum in comparison with later contributions, but large for those who were so poor in this world's goods, and a striking testimony to the depth of their convictions on the matter of giving the gospel to the benighted. In remembering this anniversary the churches of Christ may well give thanks for what God has wrought within the century, and in view of the past redouble their energies for the evangelization of the world.

Our readers will have noticed in the secular newspapers a statement, said to ave been made by the United States Minister to Spain, in regard to the settlement of the difficulties between that country and our State Department, growing ut of the destruction of the American Board's mission at the island of Ponape. e have no information in regard to this matter other than that which has been ven to the public, and no proffer of indemnity has been received as yet. We ave no doubt that Spain will assent, through her diplomatists, to the return of ur missionaries to Ponape. But it is quite another matter whether she will allow hem to reside where they will, and minister as they see fit to the native popution. A return to Ponape under restrictions such as would render nugatory 1 missionary efforts is not what is demanded. Liberty for the missionaries to each, as well as for the people to follow their teachings, is the only permission at can meet our claim. We have confidence in our government that it will cess this claim vigorously and secure indemnity for the large loss sustained.

We find in The Friend of Honolulu a letter from Henry Nanpei, the Ponapean Christian teacher who came to the Sandwich Islands and to San Francisco a year ago, dated Ponape, June 6, which reports that the people on Ponape are strictly prohibited from holding any service except under the direction of the Catholic priests. Matters were quiet, and the rumors which had prevailed as to possible outbreaks had not been justified. Many of the Christians had fallen away, and no wonder, since everything is working against the spiritual life of the people. The Friend well remarks that it is “folly for Protestants ever to be beguiled into supposing that Roman Catholic priests are tolerant at heart." Since the Ger mans have established their government over the Marshall Islands the authorities have required the Morning Star to obtain a permit from the German commissioner at Jaluij, before she lands at any islands of that group or at Pleasant Island, which is some 250 miles west of the Gilbert group. It is a great hardship to require the Star always to go to Jaluij before visiting Pleasant Island, involving often much expense and the loss of time. The Hawaiian Board petitioned the Emperor of Germany, since the Morning Star did not go to Pleasant Island for purposes of trade but solely on missionary service, to grant it exemption from this rule. The request certainly seemed reasonable, and such exemption for a missionary vessel would in no wise affect the general regulations as to trade. But the reply to the request was a refusal, stating that “there is no motive to make any exception of existing laws." This means that there is no motive which the German officials can appreciate.

ACCOUNTS of the annual meetings of many of our missions have recently been received at the Missionary Rooms, and in several instances emphasis has been placed upon the manifest efficacy of prayer in directing the counsels at the various sessions. In three or four cases peculiarly difficult and delicate matters called for discussion and action, and no little anxiety was felt in anticipation as tɔ what the issues might be. But in all these cases, as we now learn, there seems to have been a preparation by prayer, so that these knotty questions were quickly solved, and to the surprise and gratification of all united action was secured. The testimony as to the instrumentality of prayer in bringing about these delightful results, coming spontaneously from so many sources, is most striking. Shall not a like spirit of prayer prevail in anticipation of the Annual Meeting of our Board at Chicago, so that all questions presented shall be considered calmly, wisely, and in a spirit of profoundest devotion to Christ and zeal for the advancement of His Kingdom?

How many Christians in this land would stand as well in reference to Sabbathkeeping and Christian benevolence as do those nat Christians in Madura described in Rev. Mr. Chandler's letter on another page? It means a great deal when people so poor that they can afford but one meal on days when they do not work say to their employers: “If you should give us an armful of money, we would not work on Sunday.”

This year, which is the centenary of the Baptist Missionary Society of England, is also the Jubilee of the Free Church of Scotland ; and the General Assembly of the Free Church has directed that a special “ Jubilee Thanksgiving

Offering" be asked for foreign missions. The appeal of the committee emphasizes three special reasons why they this year should make enlarged gifts. First of all, it presents the fact that the Free Church has never before had such a year of ingathering in its foreign missionary work. Converts are counted by hundreds where formerly there were only tens. Moreover the year has been marked by a wonderful outburst of missionary spirit among the young men ; sixty-three students in the colleges and among the senior medical students in the universities having given themselves to foreign missionary work. The committee say: "Our church has never witnessed anything like it; many have called it a modern miracle." The committee naturally regard the fact that this remarkable missionary movement occurs on this Jubilee year as constituting a divine call to the church, which was born in a revival under Chalmers and Duff, to move forward in this consecrated work. They suggest that the aim should be to raise for this Jubilee thanksgiving fund an average sum of £r ($5) per member. What a blessing would come to Scotland, as well as to India and Africa and the New Hebrides, if the Free Church should rise to this standard of giving !

PERSISTENCE and devotion are marked characteristics of many of the Christian converts in China. Miss Grace Wyckoff, of Pang-chuang, gives an account of a hot Sunday afternoon in July last when she was greatly surprised to see four women come into the yard from a village ten miles away. Three of them were over sixty years of age, and their faces were red with heat and they were very weary. They came simply for a Christian service, walking because the animals were so busy that they could not have a cart. One of these women said : “ If one was to give me money, I would not walk that distance to get it.” At the same meeting, which was only a regular Sunday service, sixteen other women were present from villages at least six miles distant, and a goodly number from nearer points. In some parts of New England, professing Christians have been known occasionally to absent themselves from church, even though it was considerably less than six miles away.

WHEN we published last year the account of the revival of hook-swinging near Madura, India, there were those who spoke of the occurrence as an isolated event, not likely to be repeated; but Mr. Jeffery, of Battalagundu, reports that in uly last at a great festival held at that town, and only two miles from his bungaow, hook-swinging was to be repeated, and the car with its immense arm from which the man was to hang was prepared. Fortunately a quarrel arose between wo factions as to who should conduct the ceremony, which “ gave the governnent an excuse" to put a stop to the swinging. It would seem as if no excuse would be needed, and yet the government is extremely loath to interfere with he religious ceremonies of the Hindus. But what a religion it is !

The American Baptist Missionary Union has issued a Hand Book for 1892-93, hich is both beautiful and most serviceable. In a pamphlet of sixty pages, ull of maps and illustrations, it gives in condensed form the story of each mision, with a note as to each station and a list of its missionaries. There are many who will prize this Hand Book aside from the constituents of the Baptist -Sissionary Union.

« AnteriorContinuar »