« AnteriorContinuar »
tion before us. There is a disposition on so that we look forward to the issue with the part of the Chinese to give heed to the confidence. One may die in the strife, and truths, announced to them. At the north another--more than one generation may and the south concurring testimony is given pass away, and the contest still appear on this head. So far as Hong Kong is con doubtful, but it is true of this battle, that cerned, I speak of what my own eyes have
* Though vanquish'd oft, 'tis ever woni." seen, that our native chapel is filled with attentive hearers, two and three times every ." The harvest truly is plenteous.” Where week. As to Amoy, I might refer to letters we have so fair a field, it would be cowardice which I have received from the brethren and treachery united, to doubt that in due there, to the same effect. As to Shang-Hae, season, we sball reap, if we faint oot, I mentioned that a chapel had been opened Our Lord further said to his disciples, there on the 24h of August last. “On that " The labourers are few." occasion," the Brethren write,“ every part We are brought now to the painful part of it was crowded with hearers, wbo listened of our subject. “The harvest is plenteous ;"! to the preached word, and both assembled and bow melancholy to see it uncared for, un. dispersed without noise. Since that time, reaped 1 Divine worship has been continued in it On a careful enumeration, I find that the every Sunday afternoon, altended by crowded Chinese missionaries of the various Protest. congregations, who come regularly, and sit ant Missionary Societies amounted in the quietly to the end. It is pleasing to ob. past year to forty. A few were probably serve bow attentively they listen, every eye added to the number during the year from being turned towards the preacher, and the United States, with whose names I am not every ear open to catch the sounds of his yet familiar, but in the reckoning I include voice; while they uniformly rise when prayer myself and others, absent through necessity is offered, and keep their eyes on the books from our duties for a season. Forty la. while the Scriptures are read."
bourers amidst 360,000,000 of heathen ! It will not be denied by any one, who And of those forty the number is small, dispassionately considers these statements, who have been studying the language for a tbat our Saviour's words, "The harvest sufficient length of time to be capable of truly is plenteous," may be applied with speaking fluently to the Chinese in their remarkable appropriateness to China. Be own tongue. Perhaps if I said there were fore passing on to the other declaration of ten, fully equipt for their work by a compe. our text, I must be allowed an observation tent knowledge of the language, I should. or two, by way of caution. When it is said not be far from the mark. It is to be borne that there is among the Chinese a disposi. in mind, however, that the provinces in tion to hear the gospel, that is a different which the various stations are situated con. tbing from a disposition to embrace it. Fartain only 132 of the 360 millions of the be it from me to leave the impression on empire. The five ports themselves and their any mind, that the work of a missionary in vicinities may bave a population amounting China will be all of triumph, or a progress to no more than about three millions. If from victory to victory. There is less of we take the lowest of these numbers, we bigotry, stobborn irrational adherence to bave ten labourers to three millions of their own systems of superstition, among heathen-one man to 300,000, and expected them, than among any other great heathen to produce an impression on these, which people. Such statesmen as Lord Ellen. | shall extend itself so as to be felt over all borough and Sir Henry Pottinger have the nation. Must we not exclaim, How come to this opinion, as well as missionaries. few! If England were to be evangelized in Still the labourer among them will have to the same proportion as all China is by all possess his soul in patience, to endure a the labourers in it, there would be fouud thousand disappointments, to contend against barely two ministers in all its coasts. If it various oppositions. This we could not but were evangelized in the same proportion as anticipate. There mast be a continual these five ports and their vicinities are by miracle being wrought upon their minds if | efficient labourers, London would have six it were not so. To suppose that a people or seven ministers, but I know not if there would abandon the habits and prejudices of be another town or city in the kingdom three thousand years' growth on the first which would enjoy the undivided labours of summons would be fanatical. But they listen one ! to tbe truth, wbich is mighty through the And let pot the churches of this couotry poker of God to pull down the strongholds take to themselves the pitiful assurance that of Satan. Their house is occupied by a most of those forty labourers are from them. stroug man armed. We do not expect that Of the forty, fourteen are from Britain; the he will give up his goods without a struggle, others are American. We give honour to But they admit us into the house, and with whom honour is due. I would that the us there is Ooe stronger than our adversary, ' American churches provoked us to good
works in this matter. or the fourteen | not counting their lives dear unto them, English labourers, ten belong to the London and mighty in a mental and moral power, Missionary Society; one to the Church which their adversaries will not be able to Missionary Society ; two are from the withstand. For teaching the young, for General Baptist body; and one is a lady, training evangelists, for preparing tracts, Miss Aldersey, of Ningpo, unconnected with for revising the version of the Scriptures, any society.
and, in addition to all and above all other It thus takes but a brief space to show! things, for preaching the gospel, as workmen how painfully applicable the words of the that need not to be asbamed; in a word, Sayiour, that “the labourers are few," are to for laying the foundations of the Christian the case of China. No rhetoric is wanted temple at these several places broad and to aid the force of the numerical figures deep, the quota of eight 'men to each sta. which have been adduced.
tion very barely meets the exigency. If we In proceeding to consider how the exigen- are to aim at great things, and expect great cies of the Chinese Mission are to be met, things, we must not do what is really worse in otber words, how the supply of labourers than doing nothing at all. A beginning is is to be augmented, it may be necessary necessarily small; but the time has "now to anticipate an objection wbich will occur come, when we are entitled to look where to some minds from the strain of remark unto that beginning will grow. At the which has been pursued. 'Are we then to south there are already two ordained Eva supply all China with ministers? some gelists labouring in connection with the anxious friend may be ready to ask. If not brethren: one, Leang A.Fah, who has we alone, but we in conjunction with other maintained an honourable profession ever Protestant communities on the Continent since his baptism more than thirty years and in America, are to do this, we may as | ago, by the late Dr. Milne; and the other, well abandon the attempt at once. We Ho Tsin-Shen, only lately set apart to the never can do it. Now we are by no means work, but a man of established character, called to such a Quixotic undertaking. It | and qualified for his duties by a good know.
| ledge of his own language, and also of the different points. That once accomplished, English. Still, if these two were added to its power of self-propagation will supersede the ten missionaries, we should only have the necessity of our further labours. Its twelve agents of the London Missionary seeds will be carried by the winds of heaven, Society in China.
But I do not regard these as an exponent tant parts of the empire, and grow up there, of the interests felt by the constituents of nursed by no care but that of its own sons, that Society in their chosen mission. Our to overshadow and to bless all its people. brother, who is to be ordained to-night, will But for the work which we must do, a cer add one to the number. With him there tain amount of force is necessary, and must will sail to the same station two other be maintained for a considerable time to brethren, and two more will sail about the come. There has not been so little expe same time to the south. The number will rience during the last fifty years of mission. thus be raised to fifteen, ary exertions in the east, that doubt on this | There still remain, however, nine to make point can be left in the minds of any who up the complement of twenty-four, avd it have watched their history attentively. is a serious consideration, whether the So,
Let us confine ourselves to the operations ciety is able to support that number of of the London Missionary Society. Its ten missionaries, with the unavoidable expenses agents are divided at the three ports of of their operations in China, without crip: Shang-llae, Amoy, and Hong-Kong. With pling its labours in other spheres. But the last will ultimately be connected a mis. the same impulse which should bring forth sion in Canton. Here, therefore, are three nine competent men, saying to the Directors, stations, for the maintenance of which in a “ Here are we — send us," would bring state of permanent efficiency, there must be forth, I am convinced, at the same time, a complement of not fewer than four-and. all the gold and the silver which would be twenty foreign labourers. I have no idea, required. Of what nature must that im. as was intimated before, that Europeans | pulse be ? And in what way may we expect will evangelize China. That is an achieve. | to see it produced ? ment which can be accomplished only by | It is plain to my mind that it must be tbe united labours of multitudes of her own the fruit of consideration and prayer. We children. But these, in the first place, are cannot expect the recurrence of transto be brought by missionaries into the light actions in Providence so spirit. stirring as of the gospel ; they are, moreover, to be the peace between this country and China trained and moulded through them by the in 1842, and the toleration edict in 1844. word of truth, till they will go forth to their Could the ever. honoured Morrison have countrymen in the spirit and power of Paul, | foreseen in 1834' that in eight years China
would be opened by force of arms to the the state of things either the one or the commerce of the west, and in two years other, the remedy is the same.-Consideraafter opened by the act of the Emperor tion and Prayer. ,, himself to the gospel, and yet that so feeble The facts must be looked till they assume a response would be made to these unparal their proper magnitude and importance. leled events by the churches of Great Britain, The plenteousness of the harvest and the that would indeed have been a thorn in his paucity of the labourers must be frequent dying, pillow. The news came to England subjects of meditation, in all our churches. that China was opened, Thousands hailed | Let ministers bring and keep them before it as an answer to prayer. Such it was. their people, and say that the responsibility Public ineetings were held. Thanks were of such a painful contrast rests with them. given to God. Pledges were offered to send It may not be devolved upon any Board of out men. And, finally, a considerable Direction. Let the people revolve them in amount of money was collected. And after their minds till the rich shall be constrained all this up to the present time only eight to bring their ofierings, and the young and men have been forihcoming. How can this talented shall feel their obligation to devote phenomenon be explained? There is utterly themselves. Let the members of churches a fault among us somewhere. On what look around them, and reflect wbo among place shall the band be laid as if the fault them is fit for this mission. It is a most were there?
mistaken idea, that a man has done all his The thing is not to be charged upon the duty, when he has contributed bis ten, or bis Board of Directors. It is not at their door hundred, or his thousand pounds. Let that the guilt lies. I would not say that students for the ministry and men of eduthey have done what they could. God only cation entertain the question whether they can pronounce such a judgment on any be not called to this work. I have been man or any body of men. I know they told, but I hope erroneously, of young men have done much; and I am sure the man who had thought of the Chinese mission, breathes not who is in a condition to throw and then dismissed it from their minds bea stone at them. The Church Missionary cause of the difficulties of the language. Society, moreover, is in a more painful How any man, looking forward to the work position with regard to China than our own. | of the ministry with proper views, could With greater general resources and larger act in this way, I can hardly conceive. Is funds in the hands of their Treasurer, spe the work of a minister an easy one? Is it cially for that country, they have a solitary to be sustained without the hardest labour, labourer in the field, and I have reason to and the most diligent study? The Chinese believe there is not much prospect of his language is difficult of acquirement_very being speedily re-inforced. I could almost difficult. But it bas been mastered by wish that my own judgment on the case several: it may be mastered by any one were incorrect, for I find it difficult to resist who is competent to the ministry at home. the opinion, that there is something wrong The study of it requires no brilliant powers: in the religious feeling of the country, solid parts and a determined purpose, such that there has taken place some decay in as every missionary must possess, will overthe missionary spirit, which is of the very come all its peculiarities, and enable him in essence of the gospel, among the professed the course of years to speak freely to the subjects of the Redeemer. The language of people in their own tongue. Deborah and Barak might find its applica The grand remedy, however, is prayer. tion, I fear, in many a pulpit and many a Without this, consideration will do little. church, " Why abodest thou among the There will in fact be little of consideration sheepfolds, to bear the bleatings of the itself. If there be a lull of the spirit of flock?. For the divisions of Reuben, let missions, it is by prayer that a sense will there be great searchings of heart." There | be awakened of the necessity of immediate have been to be sure subjects of great ex action. If there be really a decay of the citement connected with home affairs during missionary-the philanthropic, the Chris. the past few years, and special efforts have tian life,-it is only in answer to prayer that been put forth. I need only adduce the we can expect a revival. There is the instrucagitation upon the factories' Education tion given by our Lord to his disciples in Bill, and the subsequent noble contributions the verse following our text, “Pray ye of funds for educational purposes. Looking therefore the Lord of the harvest that he at these and various other things which might will send forth more labourers into his har. be mentioned, some may think that there has | vest." Let that be well pondered. If it only been a temporary lull, and no decay of were complied with for a brief period simulthe missionary spirit. I shall be truly happy taneously and extensively throughout the if such be the case. Meanwbile the lull is churches, how would our sorrow give place as injurious while it lasts as the decay would to joy, and our depression be exchanged for be. It has endured already too long. Bel hope! The great element, which needs to
be inwrought into our minds, gives to the the end of her days. She stands surrounded passage all its life and power-that the by her children-but they are not all chil. Saviour is really the Lord of this harvest, 1 dren. All honour to the few who raise and deeply, anxiously, interested in the reap. voice and hand in her defence against the ing of it. Unless our religion be a pretence, many who seek to exalt themselves at the we could not realize this, and be indifferent risk of her existence! These are patriots, to the present position of the mission. There and she stands amongst them yet, but the would be, there could not but be, a sym. bitter draught of poison has already wetted pathy induced between the Head and the her lips, which, before long, inust rid her of members of the church. Individuals would an existence so intolerable to her rebellious appear whose hearts the Lord had touched, sons. Viewed politically, Switzerland may and the treasury would be abundantly sup. indeed be regarded as one dying, while many plied with all that was necessary to send confidently assert she is actually numbered them into the field, and to maintain thein among the dead. Sure enough, all her true there.
children are in mourning-mourning disIt is only by such a measure of consider. | played not so much in the outward apparel ation and such a spirit of prayer, that the as in downcast looks and anxious brows, exigencies of the Chinese mission can be stagnation of trade and temporary extinction met. I pray God that they may be both of all commercial enterprise; and the festive vouchsafed. If we arouse not from our season of Christmas and the new year has lethargy, let us remember that it is highly passed away, quietly and sad. Terrible criminal, and the churches of England may things are foreboded from the ill omens not hope to escape the righteous judgment which fit unpropitiously by our left hand. of God. Carne says, in his Life of Xavier, Men, to whow the very moonlight would that the apathy of the Chinese would have seem ungrateful-with an owl-like love of killed that ardent spirit. Forbid it that i night for the accomplisbment of their plans, there should now be labourers in the field, ! which give no ray ot' hope to lovers of midwho will sink beneath the apathy of their day-men such as these, ay, and worse, own countrymen ! If missionaries be denied far worse, have seized the reins of governto China, the Lord of the harvest may be ment,-have mounted a steed, which they provoked to deny to England pastors after are now quarrelling bow best to manage, his own heart. It was Dissent which in and presently, as it seems reasonable to sup. this country evoked the spirit of missions pose, the animal will turn furiously under fifty years ago; with the growth or decay of this mal-equestrianship, and refuse to be that spirit, Dissent is in my humble opinion priest-ridden, by ridding itself of the priests. destined to increase or fall. I would ad. A sad and tearful time for lovely Switzerland ! dress the petition, “God be merciful to us, The boary Alps look pale and chill upon and bless us, and cause his face to shine this corrupted generation. Yes, the moun. upon us, that thy way may be known upon tains and the valleys- the waterfalls, glaearth, thy saving health among all nations." ciers, and lakes remain for the traveller to Great is the confidence reposed by the Sa- explore; but where are the simple-hearted, viour in his servants in these realms. Great contented, and blithe peasantry? How hast is the charge committed to them by Him. thou fallen, oh, Switzerland 1-thou land We are called in China to lay the found of so much interest and praise, how art thou ation of the vastest Christian temple which transformed! Thy children cherish the trathe world has ever seen. What innumerable veller's gold, and thirst for more ; content. multitudes of liviog stones will get adorn | ment has quitted their humble cots, yea, it! When its top-stone shall be brought and their breasts, while restless aspirations forth with shoutings, “Grace, grace unto
for equality and power stupify their minds it," and all China shall be holy to the Lord, and beguile them, to the ruin of their then surely the angelic choir will be heard country. Alas! alas ! that the inexperienced, again hymning over our world, “Glory to unrefined, uneducated, eh, and too often the God in the highest, on earth peace, goodwill foully immoral hand, should seek daringly to to men."
bid defiance to and insult those whose intel.
ligence and capacity point them out as SWITZERLAND.
superior, and alone fit to discharge the
duties of the canton. Yet so it is in Genève Extract of a Leller from a young English Student.
at present. Switzerland alas! is now fast approaching