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to value a Christian Gentleman, who adorns his religious profession in all the private and social relations of life. I would impress upon all our minds this general observation, as one which must strike us in all our considerations of the subject now before ns, that no man can behold the signs of the times,---the signs in the heavens above, and those wonderful signs which have in a manner delnged the earth with blood,---without perceiving that a peculiarly bright and glorious rising of the Sun of Righteousness is about to break forth upon us; and as the day advances in which the mysteries of Providence and of Grace are unfolding themselves, I am persuaded that there is not a feeling heart, within these walls or elsewhere, that will not unite in good wishes on behalf of this cause.---This subject is so vast that one really knows pot where to begin. It is not, however, my duty to enter into any details, but if, from my long residence in India, (nearly half of my life,) I can suggest any thing useful, I shall be happy to do it. I am glad to see some of my brother officers here, who have come for the same purpose, to pull down the infidel delusions of some, to support the faith of others, and to aid in erecting the standard of the Cross throughout the world. If we look around the globe, and especially if we read the MissionARY REGISTERS of the present day, we behold a new era. They are the best cotemporary histories of mankind that are now published ; and (blessed be God!) they show us, all over the habitable globe, the rise and increase of such a zealous affection towards these things, and such a growing desire for christian instruction, as must induce us to give our humble assistance and our prayers to that great work which God is now carrying on for his own glory and for the salvation of souls. Here then, upon the broad principle of the divine will, and on the authority of the moral law, which commands us to love our neighbour as ourselves, we ask for Missions the assistance of every person present, (for I see Christian Brethren of almost all denominations around me) whether united or not to this particular Society. “What!” said a Pagan to a Christian some years ago, when his eyes began to be opened by means of one of those translations of the Scriptures which a Learned Gentleman now upon your platform, (the Rev. MR. WARD, of Serampore,) was the means of sending to them, “What!” said he, “have you had this blessed book so many hundred years, and never till now communicated it to us?" The natives of India reason closely, as you see from this anecdote, and think deeply, on these subjects.---Nay, some of our elder brethrer, the house of Israel, in these times, begin to mark and admire the Scriptures of their prophets. They who have been “scattered and peeled” are learning to look to the standard of the Cross, and to behold him who was pierced, and to mourn. My heart feels warm on this subject while I address you; and I am persuaded when I relate to you what I yesterday saw, your hearts will rejoice with mine : On that sacred day I kneeled at the altar with a converted Jew, ordained now as a Missionary of Christ. NEHEMIAH SOLOMON was ordained yesterday in my presence to the sacred office of a Missionary ---I spoke just now of divine commands. Let us hear what the Word of God says : look at the 96th Psalm and 3d verse, “ Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people." Is not this obligatory upon Christians in the present day? ---Look again at the 9th verse, “ worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness ; fear before him, all the earth; say"---mark the word---" SAY among the heathen, that the LORD reigneth." These, and many other similar texts, contain positive commands of God; and every brother officer of mine on this platform will tell you, that, in our military career, it is indispensably necessary for us to obey the word of command. We are met, strictly speaking, not to reason on the e.rpediency of Missionaries going abroad, but to know how those Missionaries, whom it is our absolute duty to send, are to be supported. From what we shall hear this day, I am persuaded, we shall all go away with increased ardour for the canse of God and his Gospel. The Chairman concluded by reading a letter from the Rev. H. Davis, at Bombay, describing the deplorable state of the heathen, as being most literally “ without God, and without hope, in the world.”
The Report was then read by the Rev. R. WATSON, one of the Secretaries of the Society.
It stated, that nearly One Hundred and Fifty Missionaries, (many of whom are married,) besides a number of Catechists and School Masters, are now employed under the direction of the Committee of the Society, on more than One Hundred highly important Stations, (if places inhabited by a numerous but deeply degraded and perishing population, willing to come under Christian instruction, constitute important Stations for Missionary labours,) and that upwards of 27,000 Members have been united in Religious Societies. In addition to the advantages derived to the
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beathen from the pastoral labours of Missionaries, extensive and prosperous Schools have been established by them, both in the East and West Indies. In the Island of Ceylon alone, nearly 5,000 native children are under daily tuition ; and many thousands of the children of the Negroes of the West India Islands regularly attend the Sunday and other Schools which are established in those Colonies. The Society's Stations both in Western and Southern Africa are extending; and a new Mission has lately been sent out to a part of New Zealand, in which there will be no interference whatever with the labours of the Church Missionaries. A Missionary is also just gone to the Black Natives of New South Wales.
The Rev. WALTER GRIFFITH, of Bath, after apologizing for speaking so early, observed, that in former times, there was a necessity for taking pains to convince our friends, that the state of the heathen was quite as bad as it actually is. We all indeed seemed to think, that, though they were not quite equal to ourselves in religious privileges, their case was not quite so deplorable as it is now found to . be ;---that though they might not have the same measure of light as that with which Christians are favoured, yet they had a measure of piety without our troubling ourselves about them, and would in some way or other, (we could not tell how,) get within the threshold of heaven, though they might not be quite so exalted as those who have heard the gospel, and trusted in Christ for salvation. But we have lived long enough to get out of this opinion on the subject; for we have found in our own country, notwithstanding all the means of religion, and the dissemination of the Scriptures, that the number of the ungodly is still immense. If this be the case in our country, how deplorable must be the situation of those persons who are “ sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death!” This point, said Mr.G., is now settled, Sir, by your testimony of the fact, and by the general declaration of the Scriptures.There is another topic on which we used to dwell, but of which we are now deprived; it was, that the faithful preaching of the Gospel by faithful men, accompanied by the influences of the HOLY GHOST, is indispensably necessary for the salvation of the world. Some had been accustomed to think that they might be taugbt reading, &c. and so, without Missionaries, by reading the Scriptures (if they could get them) or other works of a religious nature, might be led to salvation. But we have all been taught by experience, that when the world by wisdom knows not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe;' and therefore this point also is now set at rest.---Another topic on which we used to enlarge, and which is now taken away from us, is, that Christian people of every age and of every description are bound to come forward in one way or other to give this gospel to every creature under heaven, My younger brethren are bound to offer their personal services, to go out, when called for, into all lands, and preach the gospel to every creature ; and old men, like myself, uniting witii the respectable assembly before me, are bound in every way in our power to aid in the same delightful work. Of these solemn obligations we are now all convinced. When I saw the people crowding into this place, I thought to myself, “ What can any man say to this people to make them give more than they are already willing to give ?"---Neither is it now necessary to dwell largely on another of our old topics, viz. That the gospel, so preached by men of God, and accompanied by influence from heaven, cannot fail of producing effect. There is not a spot under the operation of Christian Missions, where the Missionaries have laboured long without fruit.---Without enlarging, then, on these topics, now no longer disputed, I will only say that we are engaged in a very glorious warfare; we are forcing our entrance into the dominions of the Prince of this world; we, have to contend with enemies exceedingly cunning and powerful; and, humanly speaking, the strength of our army is exceedingly small. I doubt, Sir, with all your gallantry, whether with 140 or 150 men, you would venture to attack such countries as we are attacking by our little band of Missionaries, and pledge yourself to go forward till you had obtained the victory. But we have made some way,---we have taken some of the enemies' out-works. Some of our blessed men have fallen in the attack; but they have not fallen in vain, ---they have taught a lesson in their death which the Heathen never knew, that Christians die conquering. They have taught them, that it is possible for men to die triumphantly; they have left behind them the savour of a holy life and the savour of a victorious death. Their places are supplied by others; more re-inforcements are about to join them; and the part of this business, which lies more immediately within the sphere of our duty, is the furnishing of money for sending out new Missionaries, for supporting those who are gone, and for supplying the wants of those widows and fatherless children whose husbands and whose fathers bave fallen in this conflict : and shall we not have it? will not this meeting supply it? There is not a person within the reach of my voice to-day, who would not deprive himself even of some of the necessaries of life, rather than this work of God should not be carried on.---MR. G. then moved the first Resolution.
JOHN POYNDER, ESQ. said, It falls to my lot to second the Resolution just proposed. There are two leading arguments which have suggested themselves to my mind, and upon which most other arguments may be raised : the one is the necessity, and the other is the duty, of Missionary exertion. I hold in my hand a statement in reference to the world at large, on the supposition that it contains ten hundred millions of souls, of whom only 175 millions are even professing Christians; and the remaining 825 millions are either lost in the blindness of Jewish obstinacy, or sunk in the prejudices and vile aboininations of Pagan or Mahometan superstition. Perhaps the darkest spot in this picture is that of Paganism, where we see so many men degraded by their iniquities, and wandering in that darkness that may be felt'; and yet many of these are regular in their devotions, have cultivated minds, have large capacities, and a finished education, while they are still in a state of dreadful idolatry. So it was of old in lettered Greece, and in accomplished, warlike Rome; St. Paul's striking account of whose idolatries is confirmed by the saying of one of their own Satirists, that it was easier in Athens to find a God than a Man. I mention these things only in confirmation of what has before been observed, that “the world by wisdom knew not God;" and now, whether the case be that of the stupid Hottentots, or of the bordes of ferocious savages on the Atlantic shores, each of these is sunk as low, certainly, but no lower, in the eye of an angel and in the contemplation of those who know God, thau the most lettered heathen of China or of India. There is no deficiency of natural intellect in the learned Brahmins; many suppose there is a superiority' of it; and yet we see them in the same state of degradation. Look at the Chinese'; what has the wisdom or the learning of Confucius done for this polished people ? For an answer to this I beg to refer to the first proclamation of their present Emperor, lately published in the Newspapers, which awfully shews how little this great Emperor can do for his great people, till Christianity has first done much for him. In India, the scene is not only one of darkness, but of bloodshed and misery, and that dark part of the earth is still full of the habitations of cruelty. I refer here particularly to three things,---namely, infanticide, burning of widows, and suicidal sacrifices. . And, first, concerning infanticide : it is stated that three thousand infants were sacrificed in one year; and this happened not in India generally, but in two provinces only.---Secondly, as to the custom of women burning themselves with the bodies of their deceased husbands ; Dr. Carey, who is not accustomed to come to hasty conclusions, estimates that ten thousand are sacrificed in this way annually ; and Mr. Ward, in the work he has lately given to the public, states, that in 1815, 1816, and 1817, there were destroyed, in Bengal only, 1528 widows.---Thirdly, as to suicidal sacrifices, take one specimen : One British officer states, that he saw with his own eyes, from his own window, 15 females devoted to self-destruction at the source of the Ganges. I need not refer to the Car of Juggernaut; except just to remind you of the connexion between the superstition and the horrible vices of India ; rices such as no Christian tongue can utter, or Christian audience should hear. We were once informed, that the Code of India did not require all these sacrifices. When people were told this, they thought it was time to look at that code for themselves. They did so; and Mr. Grant, in particular, has shewn how the very abominations to which I have alluded do actually spring out of this code; the fountain is contaminated and poisoned at its source; it is not an accidental circumstance, it is necessarily and inseparably interwoven with it. The fact is, the heart can only be converted, by the power of God. But how shall these people call on Him, whose word they have not heard ? And how shall they hear it without a preacher ? Here is the strong and mighty argument for all the Missionary exertions that have ever been made. In this climax the Apostle has put the subject beyond all controversy; and I could not state any argument that would have greater weight with this assembly. By onr Missionaries we must send the pure, unmixed, and unadulterated Word of God; and not, as some who have been called “ Christian” have done, an idolatrous superstition mixed with it. The fact is this, when the Devil cannot hinder the world from getting the gospel, he will mix something else with it,---if he cannot stop the stream, he will muddy it.---Ifthese facts prove the necessity, every thing, before our eyes, abroad and at home, will show the duty of these exertions. Our anEestors were once idolaters, falling down before stocks and stones, and worshipping dumb idds. A man might have said, that these Saxons did not need the gospel,
that they would oppose the gospel, or that the attempt to introduce it was hopeless. But, blessed be God, one or two men of God came and planted the gospel among us, and here it has flourished to the present hour. And if we have a feast, surely we shall not leave others starving. While we know the joyful sound, shall we feel nothing for those who never heard it? While we enjoy the sweet infiuences of the Holy Spirit on our hearts, shall we feel nothing for them who have not so much as heard whether there be a HOLY SPIRIT? I shall never forget a discourse I heard, at the meeting of another society, by Mr. Jay, some years ago, from those words, “ Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things, and blessed be his glorious name for ever, and let the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen! The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended."---“ As if," said the preacher, “this was all his desire, and he had nothing more to ask."---Let us look also at the general solicitude of the world at large to receive the gospel. Of this we have abundant proof in the operations of the British and Foreign Bible Society; and the single circumstance of the prejudices of Caste having subsided in India is most decidedly in our favour, as well as the subsiding of opposition at home. There is now an Episcopal establishment in India ; this is an important point gained; for it concedes the great principle, that there ought to be Christianity in India.---Again ; look at our preservation as a nation. We remember the time when we were in danger of invasion, and when a naval mutiny broke out at the Nore; and yet God delivered us out of all these, and other perils; and are we to do nothing for him and for his cause? ---Let us advert to the conduct of the Moravians, after the sufferings they had endured, when they settled in Hernhuth, and were in number only about 600. At that time when others would have rested, they began Missions to various parts of the world; and their last account states that thirty-one thousand converts have been the fruit of their labours. But why need I refer to Moravians, when I have the Methodists before me? I look at your Report, and from that I would confidently hope you will still go forward and take courage. An old Divine says, “ he that has the ear of God has the hand of God;" and this is a consideration I would particularly press on our female friends, and on those in humble life. For those, who have nothing else to give, can at least assist by their prayers.---I really enjoy the opportunity of addressing so large a body of Wesleyan Methodists. I certainly consider them as the best auxiliaries of the Church of England, to which I belong.' I love the memory of your Founder. I love his loyalty; it was singular and striking. But I must conclude with one lesson to myself and to my christian friends. On our parts there exists an absolute necessity of personal conversion. You may contribute to Missionary Societies, and so may I; but let us remember that many of the heathen contributed to the erection of the Temple who were never permitted to enter its doors, or to partake of those spiritual mercies which descended on the Israel of God. So it was with many who assisted at the formation of the Ark; they were not ignorant of their danger, and of the means of safety; but they were not included among that small body who had entered into it, and who were on the right side of the door of the Ark when that door was shut, and the windows of heaven were opened.---Mr. POYNDER concluded an able and energetic speech by happily referring to the final triumphs of Missionary exertion. There is, said he, a day hastening on, which none of us may live to see, but which it will be the delight of our souls to have advanced, ---a day of splendid mercy, ---when that mercy shall be known by all, which has hitherto, notwithstanding all its progress, been confined tò so few, and which has still so large a course to run before it covers the earth as the waters cover the deep.
W. H. TRANT, ESQ, late Member of the Board of Commissioners for the ceded Provinces in India, moved the second Resolution, and said, I should not have had the honour of addressing this Meeting at this time, but that, having passed a great part of my life in the country to which much allusion has been made, I am desirous to state some things that have passed there ; and as you, Sir, have lived many years there, I will state them under your correction. The
the object is very great; it is the temporal and spiritual welfare of a hundred millions of our fellow creatures, in the eastern part of the world. At this time of day it is hardly necessary for me to state, that the people of India are not altogether uninformed. ---MR. TRANT here read some interesting documents, one of which gave a striking account of the Saadhs, a singular people in Hindostan, who 'have lately been induced to renounce idolatry, and other lindoo customs, though not as yet acquainted with the true Religion. If, said Mr. T., A mere pretender to wisdom has so far succeeded arnong them, what may not Christia, Missionaries effect? The case proves at least, that Hindoo superstition is not invincible. I can declare that Christian Missionaries, so far from having done any harm, have proved to be the greatest possible benefit to that country. They have conducted themselves with a patience, forbcarance, and zeal, which are beyond all human praise. I state this, because there may be still some apprehensions as to the propriety and safety of Indian Missions : I declare before my Maker, that I entertain no apprehensions whatever. I have lived in that country the greatest part of my life, and have there witnessed the progress of Missions from their infancy. I have seen the Missionaries, and I have watched their proceedings minutely; yet I never knew any impropriety in their conduct. When I have been asked, * Where are the converts which these Missionaries have made ?" I have replied, “ Their numbers have not yet been very great, but there is much to be done in the way of preparation. In this country the ground must be prepared and the sced sown, before a harvest can be expected; and it is the same there."---Twenty years ago, there were only MR. CAREY and Mr.THOMAS in that country; little more than a year ago, in Calcutta alone, the Metropolis of India, there were 12 Missionaries; and almost the whole of the native population were under the instruction of a Society, partly composed of literary persons and partly of officers of the state, called “the Calcutta School Society.” Will any one say, that, when this is the case, little has been done ? And if I, at my time of life, have seen all this, what may not the rising generation hope to see? What may not the young men, just gone or going out, hope to see? They may hope every thing. Let us go on in the true and faithful course which has been so well begun; and, I am satisfied, that, long before we once expected it, we shall have reason to say, “This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes; this is the day which the LORD hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."
COLONEL MUNRO, Resident at Travancore, in seconding the motion, said, “ Most cordially do I unito in the statements just made, and hope on some future opportunity to express my sentiments more fully. The situation of India calls most pressingly for exertion, and every thing in that country appears now to conduce to the success of the Missionary cause. The political power of India, now so much under the authority of England, and the disposition of the natives, almost entirely in favour of it, seem to promise greater good than we can at all contemplate. I fully concur in the opinion, that this cause may be carried on without danger, and with the greatest hope of success. The Mahometan religion formerly met with success in India ; and surely a religion like the Christian, cannot fail of exciting greater attention."
COLONEL SANDYS, the Chairman, here said, “ I wish to bear my testimony to all the statements just made, and to relate a fact; and I am happy to see here the Rev. MR. WARD, from Serampore, who will, I have no doubt, give you some further information on this subject. The fact is this : in 1790 I was Adjutant and Quarter-Master General in the army, under MARQUIS CORNWALLIS, who brought down the power of Tirpoo Saib. I sailed to join the army in the month of January in that year. Having on board 300 Sepoys, we laid in our provision and water for the voyage, expecting a passage of only eight or nine days. The principles of these Sepoys were well known to me, and many of them were of high caste. They were permitted to fill their own water-casks, every one of which was sealed with the Brahminical seal. Their provisions and packages were also sealed ; and no one touched that part of the ship where they were stowed. It was then in the infancy of the war, and it was necessary to attend to all their prejudices. We sailed; and from calms and contrary winds, the voyage proved much longer than we had contemplated. We had been at sea 25 days. I kept account of the provision and stores, as was my duty, and I found that now we were only half way, and for these 300 men there only remained two butts of water. I well knew their sentiments respecting any other provisions or water; and what would be the consequence I did not know, when the scarcity should be discovered. My anxiety was so great for several days, that I was scarcely able to support it: this was observed by one of their chief personages, with whom I was on terms of the closest intimacy; and he said to me one day, “ What is the matter with you? are you ill ?" No, said 1, I am much as usual. « Is there any thing upon your mind?" said he, “We have been a long time at sca, how does our provision hold out?" He could not have asked a more unfortunate question. I however waved it, and it passed off for that day. I could only hope that something would soon occur in our favour; but the