Imágenes de páginas

Nor have we heard, the past year, of changes less wonderful in the manners and habits of villages, than of individuals. At Lahaina, not long since, scarcely any thing could be kept from the rapacity of thieves, who were as numerous as the inhabitants themselves. Locks, guards, the utmost vigilance, every precaution, were ineffectual. But, as we have been told the past year; so great has been the moral change in that place, that, for successive months, although every thing was exposed, and nothing was guarded, and hundreds of natives were entering the missionary's habitation every day; nothing, absolutely nothing, was lost. At Kaavaroa, on Hawaii, a little more than two years ago, the people were opposed to Chistianity, given to inebriation, quarrelsome, often engaged in domestic broils, and grovelling in the lowest ignorance and debasement. But within a few months we have been informed, on authority not to be questioned, that intoxication is no longer witnessed in that place; that there are no more family quarrels; that family prayers are uniformly attended; that kind offices are every where rendered; and that, from remote villages, individuals come to inquire respecting the new way, and with tears beseech that some one may be sent to instruct them. And so far had the people of this village advanced, that we were not surprised to hear of their forming a society to support their missionary, and that, from their “deep poverty,’” they had contributed for this purpose a greater value, than is ordinarily contributed for missions in our own towns.

Without dwelling longer on the intelligence communicated respecting this mission, we pass to a department of missionary effort, which has scarcely been alluded to in this retrospective view, and yet has not been overlooked in the statements of the year. We refer to the PRINTING EstablishMENTs. Saying nothing of former years, we have heard, within a little more than the space of time now under review, of three millions and a half of pages, made living and efficacious by the religious truth impressed upon them at Malta, and Bombay, and the Sandwich islands:–which is nearly half as many as have been printed in all the preceding years. We have heard, too, of the travels of these little eloquent messengers of truth—through the Sandwich Islands— over the populous Mahratta country—into Greece, and Asia Minor, and Syria, and Palestine—and into countries farther towards the rising sun: all calculated to produce the very best kind of intelligence known on earth, and adapted to act powerfully on the mind, elevating, enlarging, and strengthening it, and fitting it to live and move and act to some purpose on the stage of human life, and in the boundless spheres of eternity.—Oh who can tell how many fatal errors have been removed; and how many new, all-important, glorious views have been imparted!

Do not the events of the past year declare, with an impressive voice, that this cause is of God? And call they not loudly upon all to be co-workers with God, by contributing their aid to its advancement?

See we not, too, that money and labor, bestowed upon American missions to the heathen, have not been expended in vain? and that not in vain has prayer gone up to heaven?

And may we not perceive, that the cause is advancing with accelerated rapidity? The last year's intelligence was more interesting, than that of any previous year, and the last three years embrace more proofs of successful operation, than did the twelve that preceded. What if the progress for three, or six, or twelve years to come, should be like that of the three years past! Say you, it is more than we have reason to expect? So, twelve months ago, would what has since saluted our ears have appeared to us; and if the

[ocr errors]

good and animating intelligence, the past year, has exceeded what we had reason to anticipate, so may it be in time to come.

At any rate, the cause is of God. And though clouds may rise, and storms burst, yet let the churches but keep pace, in their efforts, with the plain indications of Providence, and ere long, the world will be filled with wonder at the extent and glory of the results.


THE facts, which will now pass in rapid review, are such as have been noticed in the past volume of the Missionary Herald. They are selected from the intelligence of the year, on account of their special interest.

wo From INDIA, the intelligence has been less abundant, than in some former

years; but never, perhaps, more decisive in its bearing on the missionary question, as it respects that populous country. The current of improvement has become rapid enough to be seen, and strong enough to be resistless. Two hundred .# fifty years ago, England had but one newspaper, and was content with that. India has now star, in the languages of the country, designed solely for native readers, the product of native intelligence, and of native enterprise. And though the readers are comparatively few, and most of the papers of no great value, their existence is a fact, which the intelligent will regard as not unimportant. orth of Calcutta, far into the interior, in the populous city of Dinagefiore, we have heard a missionary o: over unequivocal proofs of the divine favor attendant on his labors: while a little to the south, at the preaching of some fishermen of that country, the inhabitants of a village have waked from their long sleep, torn their idol god from his temple, and presented him to a missionary of the cross; and were about to demolish the temple itself, and, from the materials, to erect a Christian chapel. Farther to the south-west, at the well known Vizagapatam, we have heard, that the car of Juggernaut had so fallen in the general estimation, as, for a year, not to have made its customary appearance; and that its idols, regarded as no

longer of value to the natives of the country, had been offered for sale to Christian.

missionaries. Still farther south, but on the same side of the peninsula, we have heard of results of missionary labor, which are still more animating. At Palamcottah, long the seat of missionary labors, the powerful effects of Christian influence had begun to be witnessed. In the course of the past year, we have been told of elevent hundred families, dispersed through more than 120 villages, which have forsaken idolatry, and renounced the distinctions of caste. In some villages, we were informed the idol temples had been converted into Christian churches; in others, they had been demolished. One village was particularly mentioned, where all the inhabitants, at their especial request, had been assembled for Christian instruction; while three other villages, incited by this example, had sought to be instructed in the same manner. We have heard, also, from the Syrians, on the western side of the peninsula;those native Christians, for whom Buchanan waked up the sympathies of England. and America; and we have seen, with pleasure, how, under the fostering patronage of the Church Missionary Society, they are gradually improving in doctrine, in discipline, and in practice. At the commencement of the year, the most painful uncertainty hung over the fate of the missionaries in Burmah. Whether they were living; or, by disease, or starvation, or the hand of violence, had been removed from the world; no one presumed to conjecture, for there were no data, upon which to ground an opinion. Late in the year, however, through the wonderful providence of God, they emerged to light, and tidings from them has diffused universal joy. The southern parts of Ceylon, as well as the northern, have also furnished the most pleasing intelligence. We have heard of whole parishes, in which are heathen temples, but no ..o. and we have been told, by a missionary from that island, that a temple of Budhu had been offered by the natives for Christian worship, and that in proportion as the Bible had been circulated, the influence of caste had been destroyed. Twenty thousand people could read that blessed volume; and before the present ** expires, it is expected, that one in fifty, * the Cingalese language, will, by the British and Foreign Bible Society, he supplied with the blessed volume.

MADAGAscAR has been noticed in our work only incidentally; but some of the missions in SouTHERN AFRICA have passed under review. Among the Hottentots and the Caffres, the word of God, as we have learned, steadily gains influence. Respecting the former, their punctual attendance on the daily public exercises of devotion, their seriousness of demeanor while there, their readiness and liberality in contributing toward the temporal necessities and religious improvement of their brethren, and their orderly deportment and moral conduct at all the stations, evince, that the Gospel has come to them “not in word only, but in power.” How flourishing the older stations among the Caffres must be, may be inferred from an account, received during the year, of one recently established, and named after the founder of Methodism. Before this station was formed, the people there assembled were naked, rambling on the mountains, murdering strangers, living on plunder, destitute of the word of life, unacquainted with the Sabbath. But fifteen months afterwards, as we learned from a respectable visitant of the station, this same people were collected into something like a civil society; most of them wore some clothing, and several were very decently clad; and all were taught to worship the true God, and to reverence his Sabbath. From their habitations, or from among the bushes of that wild region, the voice of prayer anti of praise was every morning heard to ascend.

From MALTA, we have heard of near a million of pages, filled with pious matter, and issued from the English missionary press; in addition to the publications of our own similar establishment on that island.

From CoNSTANTINoFLE, a report reached us, in the latter part of the year, founded on the declaration of the indefatigable Wolff, that 500 Jews in that city professed to believe in Christ as the Messiah. Intelligence from other sources, constrain to the opinion, that, at least, an active spirit of inquiry has been excited among the Jews of the Capital of the East;—an event as strange, as it is worthy of grateful observation.

The intelligence from Russia, casts a shade over this picture of light and life; but it is neither deep, nor very portentous. For, the circumstances, under which the Russian Bible Society was suppressed, show, conclusively, that it had acted strongly on the public opinion of the nation, and had increased the amount of general intelligence, and had called forth an expression of it, in regard to the rights of the people, civil and religious. The seed, thus sown, will not be lost. Doubtless many streams have been made, to break forth in the Siberian desert, which will never dry up; and the flow of opinion and feeling, thus begun, may continue and increase, till a flood of blessedness shall cover that vast empire.

A stronger and more painful sensation of alarm filled our minds, when we heard of the controversy in that greatest wonder and glory of the age, the BRITISH AND FoREIGN BIBLE SocIETY: and great was the satisfaction, with which we announced the suspension of the controversy, in a decision which must commend itself to all the lovers of revealed truth. The sturdy spirit of Scotland, which had been roused in the contest, seems not to have been wholly allayed; but we wait in calm expectation of a striking display, in the result, of providential wisdom.

From the dreary coasts of GREENLAND, where it would seem nothing short of Moravian benevolence and zeal could live and labor, we have heard of the triumphs of the Gospel. Delightful sight! to behold human nature so wrought upon by grace, that it can empty itself, in humble imitation of the Lord Jesus, and fly from the lights of science, and from the comforts and consolations of civilized and Christian life, to polar snows, and frost, and barbarism, that it may bring to the knowledge of the truth, and to the bliss of heaven, a race of men overlooked by all the world beside! And these benevolent men have not labored in vain. They have founded a Christian church in Greenland; and with sweet transport they now listen to the high praises of God, as they ascend from those icy cliffs to heaven.

From the young, but growing republics of SPANIs H AMERICA, a messenger of the churches has, during the past year, returned with good tidings:—not, indeed, that a wide door and effectual, is opened to the ministers of a pure religion; not that numerous souls in those extended regions are rejoicing beneath the effusions of the Holy Spirit;-but that a vast amount of mind has broken from the shackles of ages; that intelligence is springing into life and activity; and that publit opinion, all over that land, has felt the pulsations of liberty, has heard the Como

vol. XXIII, • ?

mand to go forward, and has commenced its resistless march. From the advancement of society, we expect that degree of religious toleration, both in the laws and in the general feeling, which will give scope and efficacy to the operations of Protestant benevolence.

Far beyond the ridges of the Andes, in the bosom of a vast ocean, unknown to the world until lately, and when known, known only to be pitied and despised, lie the little clusters of the HARVEY and RAIv Av Al Islands. Of these, the last year has held before our eyes a picture, made lovely and attractive by its moral beauty. Polygamy, infanticide, war, cannibalism, no longer offend the sight. In vain do we look for the wildness and ferocity of the savage. In vain do we listen for the yell of the warrior, or the shriek of the victim. Every where there is peace, and order, and neatness, and industry. The wbitewashed cottage adorns the landscape, and the church gives grace and dignity to the whole. And by what agency has this change been effected? “Not by might, nor by power.” A few natives of the Society Islands, who, through the instrumentality of missionaries, had felt the love of Jesus shed abroad in their souls, voluntarily offered themselves as the heralds of the cross to these islands, and were sent thither at the hazard of their lives. There, alone, unsustained, except by the Lord of missions, they prayed and taught, with unceasing diligence, till idolatry, fell before them, and barbarism fled away, and the Gospel, as the corrector and the rule of life, became gloriously triumphant.

We should add, in closing this retrospective view of the year, that, in our notices of the state oF RELIGION IN THIs Count Ry, we have reported an accession to our churches, of not less than 7,000 persons; and have announced the existence of revivals of religion in many places, from which we have seen no numerical returns sufficiently authenticated to admit of their insertion in our pages We should not be surprised, if extended and accurate inquiries should shew the accessions to the churches, during the year, to have been three, or four, or six times as numerous, as the number mentioned above. “He that watercth, shall be watered also himself.” Prov. xi, 25.

àmeritait 35oard of Foreigit faiesions, PALESTINE MISSION.

course and much religious conversation with them. Two years ago they would

FROM M R. G.00DELL to THE cost RESPOND. purchase only a certain edition of the


The following communication is dated “Beyroot (Syria) June 19, 1826;” and, with the articles that follow, from the same pen, cmbodies much interesting matter.

My design in this communication, is to state a few facts, which have an important bearing on this mission, and which will jo. you some of its interesting features; and as they are entirely unconnected with each other, I shall arrange them under separate heads.

of the Jews.

When we first came to Beyroot, the Jews had no more dealings with us, than they had of old with the Samaritans. We could not induce them even to call upon us; and if we visited them or their school, they looked upon us with the eye of suspicion. But a course of uniform kindness on our part has aparently overcome many of their prejudices, and inspired them with confidence; and we now have much inter

Old Testament; now they come a jour

ney of several days, and purchase even the firohibited edition. Then they would not purchase the Prophets by themselves, and the very name of the NewTestament appeared to excite great uneasiness and abhorrence in their mind; now they purchase not only the Prophets but even the New Testament, . when it is bound up with their own Scriptures.” . Then they had no other idea of Christianity than what they had acquired by seeing the superstitions, idolatries, and abominations of these corrupt churches; now a few of those in Beyroot have had entirely different views presented to their minds, and many solemn considerations urged upon them. One individual, with whom we have had the most conversation; has promised to read the New Testament, and to believe in Christ, if he finds evidence that he is the true Mes

[merged small][ocr errors]


siah. We had just succeeded in establishing a school among them, when it was broken up amidst those terrible occurrences, which followed the visit of the Greeks here, and has not been since renewed. The Jews, like the Christians, are lamentably ignorant of their own Scriptures; and, like the latter, have incorporated with divine truth so many of their own traditionary legends and absurd tales, that to bring them back to the simple word of God, is like clearing away piles of rubbish, which have been accumulating forman


Of the Armenians.

You already know, that the Archbishop at Sidon, the Archbishop in my family, and the monk in my service, have married wives, in violation of the most sacred canons of their own, and of all the oriental churches. This bold step of theirs, in breaking away from the customs of their fathers, has been noised abroad through the whole country, and has produced not a little excitement. Another Armenian monk, has also recently followed their example, under circumstances of special interest, which are as follows:

Archbishop Jacob Aga, at Sidon, sent him to Damascus to transact business with the Pasha. The Pasha made many particular inquiries respecting the Archbishop, his age, circumstances, family, character, &c.; and similar inquiries, also, respecting the Archbishop, who is with me at Beyroot. He then said to the Cadi, the Moolla, the Mufti, and all his courtiers about him, “Listen; one year ago, while I was with the Grand Vizier at Constantinople, the Armenian Patriarch came before him, with a long complaint in writing against Jacob Aga, and Signor Carabet, for marrying wives; saying it was contrary to their sacred books, an innovation in their church, &c. &c. But before he had finished what he had written, the Grand Vizier, looking at him with a smile of contempt, said, ‘You may put up your papers. If your books are opposed to the marriage of the clergy, your books are not sacred, they are false. Our books are true and sacred. The Koran is from God, and commends marriage in all.” With this he dismissed the Patriarch.” Then turning to the Armenian, the Pasha said, “Are you not also a monk?” Being answered in the affirmative, “I advise you as a friend,” said he, “to follow your false books no longer, but to take a wife.” The Armenian, overjoyed, hastened back to Si

[blocks in formation]

and canons, which have had the sanction of ages, and all the corroboration, which pretended miracles could give. I do not think I state more than sober facts will justify, when I say, that the Armenians appear to be awaking from the slumber of many generations, and to be in a state well suited to receive a powerful and desirable impression from the labors, and examples, and instructions of able and devoted missionaries. Jacob Aga, at Sidon, collects his neighbors every Sabbath, and reads with them, or to them, the sacred Scriptures, interspersing the same with remarks, which, though probably not very experimental or spiritual, but confined to the external affairs of the church, yet serve to direct men's attention to the Bible, and thus to “prepare the way of the Lord.” Two or three individuals, and one of them of the Greek Catholic church, now enter into all his views, and take part with him in all his disculSSlons. Signor Wortabet, in my service, who left the convent about a year and a half ago, as wild and as thoughtless, as it was in the nature of a convent to make him. has now apparently conviction of sin, and is an earnest inquirer, not so much to know what is truth, as to know what salvation is, and how it is to be obtained. After a deeply interesting conversation with him a few evenings since, in which I seemed really to have come once more into the province of the Holy Spirit, he made a request, which, as it was the first of the kind ever made to me in Syria, was deeply affecting to me. “I wish you,” said he, “to pray for me. Pray that God, would send his Holy Spirit to form in me a new nature. I pray more earnestly for this every day, and desire it more ardently, than any thing else, or than all things else in the world. But I fear, God will not hear my prayers. I think he will hear yours.”—In this request, he was joined by another individual, of whom more presently.

Of Individual Inguirers.

It was not till within a few months, that we found any among the Arabs, who would acknowledge themselves to be in a state of sin and death. . Every body “fasted twice a week, and thanked

« AnteriorContinuar »