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NEYOOR MISSION. AMONG the numerous out-stations connected with this mission, few surpass in moral interest or in natural loveliness, the locality which forms the subject of the accompanying engraving. For the means of presenting this, we are indebted to the Rev. C. Mead, who has also supplied the brief account which we now insert :
“At Mandicaudu, on the sea-side, celebrated for its annual heathen feast, which is attended by vast numbers of heathen from various parts of the country, we have had for several years a small dwelling-house. This we usually occupy at the time of the festival, and, at other intervals, during the hot season. On an elevated spot near the house I have recently erected a place of worship, and named it Ryde Chapel. (Page 109.*) The place is situated on the Malabar Coast, distant about four miles from Neyoor, and thirteen from Cape Comorin. The whole coast is lined with Romish chapels, and stone cru. cifixes, erected on pillars of masonry at intervals of three or four miles."
We have much pleasure in presenting the annexed account of the native teacher who has charge of the above station, and whose support is provided by the christian generosity of friends at St. Petersburgh. His original native name was Sabattean; but, at the request of his kind benefactors, he assumed the name of Alexandroffsky. The narrative which follows, was written by himself in the Tamil language, and translated into English by Mr. Mead.
“ I was born of idolatrous parents at Killadichanvilly, near Mandicaudu. My heathen name was Sabattean Sempaga-peramal. We worshipped Petracaly and other demons; believed in them as the authors of our salvation; made earthen and wooden images and erected altars for them. In honour of the idols we used to display flags, let off guns, sing songs, dance, roll on the ground, and offer goats in sacrifice with rice, plantains, and cakes ; when flowers, dipped in saffron-water, were also placed before them. All these things we did in ignorance, thinking we should obtain in this way abundance of wealth and a numerous offspring, and be saved from all kinds of afflictions and early death. In order to be cured of any disease, we used to unite, in offering sacrifice, with one of the great men of the Shoodra caste. Soon after this, my father died, trusting, to the last, in the demons; and the Shoodra whom we joined in idolatry squandered our property in offerings to the idol-gods. We laboured for this man in a state of the greatest oppression. One night, my brother and I began thinking how we might escape from these troubles and be saved. Next day, we saw Nethegodian, the reader of Mandicaudu, with a Gospel in his hand. On seeing us, be came to our house, read the Gospel, and exhorted us. Imme. diately, we told him our sorrow. Then the reader told us that he thought it had all happened by the mercy of God; and he said, 'If you truly embrace the Gospel, all sorrow will be removed.' He gave us a tract, which I was then unable to read; but my brother read it daily.
“Through fear of the Shoodra and of the demons, we delayed for some time going to the chapel to hear the Word of God. While in this condition, the Rev. Mr. Mead came one day to Mandicaudu, and we then began to attend the chapel. Ashamed to be seen by our neighbours, we stood outside for a time, but afterwards went in and listened to the preaching of the Word. A few days after, Mr. M. came again to Mandicaudu, wben I and my brother went to the chapel and heard the sermon. was over, Mr. M. inquired who we were? The reader said, “These two persons are newly seeking a knowledge of Christ. After this I went regularly to school, learnt to read the Scriptures, and attended the house of God every Sabbath. The Shoodra, having heard of this, was very angry, and took unlawfully our land to the value of 2,000 fanams, saying, “These fellows have become greater than us.' Notwithstanding this trouble, by the grace of God, I continued to attend instruction, and endeavoured to keep the Sabbathday holy. In May, 1835, I married Annamath, the daughter of a native Christian. We have now two children. My wife has been baptized, and diligently attends divine worship and instruction. After visiting various places, I was sent to Tipparapu, to read the Word of God to the people. While there I was seized with jungle-fever, and, in consequence, was removed again to my native village. I lay sick for the space of two years. Though I suffered great pain and weakness, and even despaired of life, the Lord graciously restored me to health. I was afterwards employed as school-teacher at Mandicandu, and when fully restored, was appointed a Reader, and am still labouring in this village."
• The building on the left of the engraving is the chapel; that on the right is the residence of the native teacher; and the smaller buildings are the dwellings of the native inhabitants.
TAHITI. In a letter received from one of our Missionaries at Tahiti, under date Oct. 18, the actual state and prospects of the Mission are described in the following terms. It will be seen that our Missionary brethren continue to possess the un limited confidence of the natives; while the french intruders have hitherto utterly failed to win their favour, either for themselves or the religion which they seek to impose on these defenceless people :
At this moment we possess more of the people's confidence than at any other period of the Mission: they now see that we are their real friends. Whilst French, English, and Americans, are quarrelling with one another, and striving who shall make most of the depressed and humbled state of the people, by possessing if possible their lands, we are now, after forty years' labour among them, not possessed of a single inch of the soil, which we can call our own. Since the period that the French quartered the tri-coloured flag on the Tahitian, there has been but one feeling existing among the people of the latter towards those of the former nation, namely, a deep-rooted hatred, which only needs an occasion to show itself. We are watched very narrowly, and need much prudence and circumspection. There is an individual, an Irishman, (who has been a creature of the popish faction,) who makes a visit here every week for the purpose of knowing all I say and do. There are also spies all round the island of Tahiti, and persons too whom no one would suspect to be in that character.
The more sensible part of our people say, “ Had the Roman Catholics arrived instead of the Duff, they would not have had so much toil and anxiety as the Protestant Missionaries had, inasmuch as the two religions, of Roman Catholicism and Paganism, were so much alike." One course, and one only, is left to us, namely, to pursue the plan we have hitherto pursued, but, if possible, more effectively; to preach Christ—the Cross of Christin all its bearings on the present and future condition of man, and faithfully to warn all classes of the fearful condition of those who obey not the gospel of God.
I am happy to say that we have not yet seen any demonstration in favour of the Papal heresy. We seldom take any notice of it in our sermons, readings, and conversations with the people, unless the subject is either forced upon us by the latter, or comes naturally under review; and then it is not the men, but the doctrines, we expose. All is carefully noted down, and carried to head-quarters by their creatures, and we are, forsooth, put down as “enemies to the French Government."
There is one sentence in the Proclamation of Du Petit Thouars worthy of remark, and which it will be well for the Directors to keep in view in publishing letters, either in whole or in part, from any member of this Mission ; for I feel thoroughly convinced, not. withstanding all their fair speeches about religious liberty, they only wait for a suitable occasion to drive us from the islands : 'If any foreigner shall be found to speak against the French Government to the Tahitians, he shall be banished the island.' You will see from this that great caution is necessary, to avoid even the appearance of offence.
The preceding statements are fully confirmed, and additional intelligence communicated, in the appended extract of a letter received from the Rev. J. T. Jesson, and dated in December last. The information it conveys affords at once ground of encouragement and of anxiety, encouragement because we are assured that our devoted brethren still stand fast in their integrity, and continue to enjoy the divine blessing upon their labours ;-anxiety, on account of the unholy zeal with which the enemy is striving to destroy the precious fruits of their past exertions :
Monday, Sept. 26, (Sunday with the Priests.)—This day the priests opened a new chapel on their premises, (a beautiful valley, where they are building the largest house in the Islands.) The band from the ship accompanied the high mass, and great numbers of the natives were attracted to the spot. Carot, the vicar-general, preached in Ta. hitian. Thus the work has commenced. The priests dined on board, and were treated with naval honours. Popery is established by the mouth of the cannon-how beauti. fully it maintains its character, “Semper ubique et eadem !" The priests, however, are just quietly lying on their oars, waiting for the arrival of a bishop for Tahiti, and a cargo of priests. Such is the position of affairs at this time. I have not heard of a single convert to Romanism at present; on the contrary, I know
that, throughout the islands, the general feeling is that of cordial hatred, blended with profound contempt. I should not, however, neglect to state, that there are two Chiefs, Hitoti and Paofai, two bad men, though members of the church at Teirei, who, from political feeling, have always been opposed to the present reigning family. I should not be sure prised if these men were to become papists; and if so, they would exercise an influence over others. Their influence, nevertheless, is very limited, for they are known among the people as bad characters. Under present circumstances, I feel that most emphatically, we know not what a day may bring forth."
I shall quietly watch passing events. If the Papists have this field, they shall take it "vi et armis"-every inch shall be hardly fought for. I have strong confidence in the power of truth, and in the word and grace of Jehovah. The only things I fear are cannon-balls. Under these circumstances, however, we have great cause for thankfulness. My heart is cheered within me when I behold our much increased schools, and our much enlarged con. gregations. At no period of the history of the Tahitian Mission have there been more, il 80 many, individuals attending on the means of grace. I have just returned (December 19th) from Tautira, where I have been visiting that large and important station. Though the weather has been unusually wet, the schools were attended by from one to two hundred children. The congregations are large and very attentive, and numbers are seeking admission to the churches; many of these I shall probably receive as soon as Mr. Pritchard arrives to liberate me from this station, (Papeete.) I trust the French will fulfil their agreement in allowing liberty of conscience ; if so, I confidently expect great prosperity.
The following cordial expressions of christian sympathy in the trials of the Society, occasioned by the present circumstances of our Mission in Tahiti, have been received by the Directors, in addition to the very gratifying communications of a similar character, presented in May.
Edinburgh, May 24, 1843. Dear Brethren,- I have the painful satisfaction of communicating to you, by desire of the Directors of the Scottish Missionary Society, the following resolution, which was unanimously passed at our late annual meeting :
“ Resolved, That this meeting views with deep regret the attempt now making to bring the island of Tahiti under the domination of France; and the prospect there is, should the attempt prove successful, of Roman Catholic Missionaries being sent to that Island, for the purpose of turning the natives from the simplicity of the Gospel to the superstitions of Popery; and beg to express to the London Missionary Society, their heartfelt sympathy with them under these trying circumstances, which threaten to exercise so baneful an influence over their Mission in that Island, and over Missions in general in the Islands of the Pacific
Ocean." In communicating this expression of our sympathy with you, I cannot but express also my earnest hope and prayer, that God will graciously interpose in behalf of the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands, and of Tahiti in particular. Some years ago, we scarcely looked for a trial of this kind befalling our Missions; but I shall not wonder although this should be the commencement of a system of aggression by the Church of Rome on Protestant Missions, particularly in the more important fields, and in those in which they hare been most successful. Perhaps it is well that we should be preparing for this ; and, in an especial manner, lifting up our hearts in earnest prayer to God on behalf not only of Tahiti, and the other Islands of the Pacific Ocean, but of the various countries in which we have established Missions, that they may be preserved from the wiles and machinations of the man of sin. Amidst all that is going on
in the church and in the world, it is consolatory to think that “the Lord reigneth !" I am, dear brethren, your very faithful friend and brother,
WILLIAM BROWN, Sec.
Bex, Switzerland, May 25, 1843. DEAR AND HONOURED BRETHREN, — We have been profoundly affected by the blow that has been struck at the labours of your Missionaries in the Pacific, through the politico-religious interference of French Catholicism ; and we feel a desire to express to you on this occasion our sincere sympathy.
The Central Conference of the Evangelical Societies of the Canton du Vaud, although not bearing an official character, may nevertheless be regarded as the appropriate representative of that pretty numerous section of our church, which has taken a part in the religious revival. It is then in the name of all those who, amongst us, have learnt, through divine grace, to invoke, in spirit and in truth, the name of Jesus, that we tender to you the right hand of fellowship, under an act of oppression, which, in striking at the churches of Polynesia, has so directly affected you. These churches are dear to us, as to all the children of God, on account of the extraordinary manifestations of divine grace of which they have been the objects. He, whose pleasure it is to show wonders, has seen fit to cast his compassionate regards upon these distant isles,—there he has displayed the riches of his mercy, and has chosen you to be the blessed in. struments of his dispensations.
“ The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad."
But we must expect that the enemy will not permit us, without a struggle, to accomplish these peaceful and glorious victories of the Eternal Son of God ; for we are not ignorant of the devices of Satan. The events which have recently transpired in the Island of Tahiti, are the fruits of his work of darkness. How should we deplore them! How should we manifest our feelings under the blow by which you have been struck! All the friends of missions in our country have been deeply moved. Ever since this sad intelligence reached us, we have raised our suppliant hands towards the Lord, on behalf of our oppressed brethren. We have entreated Him to strengthen them against aggression from without ; to fortify them in the faith ; and to thwart the designs of the adversary, by overruling them to the glory of his great name.
We live in troublous times, which demand, on the part of the servants of the living God, redoubled activity and an enlarged spirit of prayer. We shall heartily unite in the supplications to be specially offered on the first Monday in June, in reply to the appeal which you have circulated ; and we propose to second, with all our efforts, our brethren of the Evangelical Missionary Society of Paris, who have adopted the resolution, if God should furnish the means, to extend the sphere of their labours to the islands of the South Sea.
“ The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong-holds, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.” We may then hope that victory will be on our side. God can convert to good all that the enemy intends for evil. Take courage, then, beloved friends!---be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. He is only trying you for a season that you may enjoy a larger manifestation of his favour. From the highest heavens he watches over his church ; and no design formed against it can prosper.
It is in this firm expectation that we send you the assurance of our fraternal love. United to you by the bands of the same faith and the same hope, we felt that the hour of trial was that in which we ought to advance and offer the testimony of our cordial affection, in Him who first loved us, and who said to his disciples, “ Love ye one another as I have loved you.”
In the name of the Central Conference of the Evangelical Societies of the Canton du Vaud in Switzerland.
DESCOMBAZ, Pastor at Bex, Canton du Vaud, President.
FROM THE COMMITTEE OF THE BASLE MISSIONARY INSTITUTION,
Basle, June 12, 1843. MY DEAR BRETHREN,— It is not from any want of cordial sympathy that you receive these lines as a testimonial thereof so very late. There were several circumstances out of human power in the way of the writer, which prevented him from conveying the feelings and expressions of warm and sincere sorrow and sympathy with your trial in the South Seas, as they were given in the meeting of the Committee. We consider the stroke fallen on your dear brethren in the South Sea Islands, and your young churches there, as one aimed at the whole Protestant Evangelical Church. We are full of that pain which must befall every Christian in seeing the work of destruction coming down upon sweet plantations of the Gospel, and are quite alive to our duty to do every thing in our power in order to have restored what is damaged, and protected what has to fear further attacks from the enemy of souls. We have, therefore, at the first account of the French intrusion into your beautiful field, taken every means for making public our own feelings of indignation and of anxiety, to arouse a spirit of prayer among our Swiss and German brethren, and to refute and unmask the false accounts of the newpapers regarding the history and state of the Missions in Tahiti, and the neighbouring islands.
Your kind letter of April 28th, came to hand after we had held already a monthly meeting in the church of St. Elizabeth, and sent our common prayers for the rescue of a threatened Mission to the throne of grace ; nevertheless we were very rejoiced that a prayer-meeting should be held on June 5th, for that highly important purpose. We announced in the newspapers what we were to do, and in many places God's people came together and prayed earnestly for comfort and new blessings, where the fiend has planned to bring corruption and ruin. In our own city we had a crowded assembly, and it was easily to be felt how every heart was seized by the might of the Spirit, when we came humbly to pray that the Lord would turn every usurping plan of the Romish priests to kindle the lighted flame of the Gospel. But that meeting ought not to be the last for this great object. I hope we will pray incessantly for it; and as we do not think it suitable to send out Missionaries to that quarter, because the field ought to be taken only by your own Missionaries, we will at least do what is in our power as believers, to bring down upon the work of your labourers, the rain and sudshine of the Holy Spirit.
This new trial, dear brethren, as we firmly hope and believe will give only a new impulse to your blessed work, and give you a new experience of the wonderful assistance of the Lord Jesus Christ. It will also arouse à feeling of brütherly sympathy and of union in the Gospel, of all those who are working for the glory of our Saviour, and awaken that sympathy without which we could not hold together in the days of danger which are coming on,