Imágenes de páginas
PDF
[ocr errors]

but a short time before for China. As there were Christian books in the junk, and some of the men were well acquainted with the history of Mr. G., there was little reason to doubt the correctness of their statement. We were thus prepared to learn from Mr. Silveira that he had actually embarked on the expedition in which his heart has been absorbed, and the possibility of his death considered no adequate preventive. In mental, bodily, and even social qualities he is said to be strikingly adapted to such an enterprise. He sailed for Seang Hai, three or }. days’ journey from Pekin, and is determined, with the Lord's blessing, to make his way into the very capital of this heathen empire. Though he goes in the capacity of a physician, and with an extensive knowledge of the language, yet in these he has no comparative confidence. He goes to offer terms of reconciliation to the most populous section of this revolted world. He goes fearlessly, as an ambassador of their Sovereign, knowing that he shall be protected, though it may not be from bodily sufferings. #. goes in the full assurance that China is to be restored to God, that the exalted Savior is “waiting” for this determined event; that the day of the world's redemption draweth nigh. The Lord grant that the trump of ... inay echo is joyfully through this enslaved empire, as it ever did through the borders of ancient Judea. May myriads feel their chains loosed, and spring forth to the liberty of God's people. {{. hope that the experiinent o put to shame the fearful and animate the bold. Our brother needs the prayers of all Christians. God has promised success to the labors of his servants." There must be a commencement to the work in China, and who can tell but that this is the time and these the appointed means. Oh that the churches would lay the subject to heart, and cry mightily to God for the recovery of such a multitude of their fellow immortals from the captivity of Satan. July 4. This afternoon we called with Mr. Carlos on the Prah Klang, the director of all commercial affairs, and one of the o ministers of state. On our way to is establishment we had an opportunity of seeing part of the city, or its suburbs. For a long distance, the houses are built on rafts on each side of the river, and the only communication is in boats. The dwellings and stores are very contracted, built of a lender material, and covered with attap. The boats employed by the natives in transerring their persons and light effects are exceedingly small and crazy. They are Propelled by paddles; their progress is very rapid and their safety precarious. The Women take a full share in the labor, and *come exceedingly coarse and immodest on appearance and discourse. We landed ost of the Prah Klang's dwelling, and *finding him at home, proceeded a short

distance to a pagoda, which he has been building for the last seven years. The princes and men of office and wealth gemerally spend part of their income in erecting sacred buildings and supporting a number of priests. What a reflection upon those, who, knowing the true God and possessing abundant means to extend that knowledge, neither make provision for their own eternal welfare nor offer their abused privileges to those who might improve them. We were apprised of approaching the presence of the Prah Klang ". the strange actions of our interpreter, a Portuguese by extraction, and the only admitted medium of communication between the great man and foreigners, When he saw him, perhaps at a distance of thirty or forty yards, he bent his body and crept along like a sportsman, approachin the game unobserved. When the § Klang observed us he sat down, and our interpreter, *..."; himself prostrate on the ground, waited his pleasure. We all approached and signified the respect required of foreigners, merely taking off the hat, bowing and sitting in his presence. He made a number of inquiries respecting our several offices and objects in visiting Siam, and appeared satisfied when told that Mr. Tomlin and myself had come for the same purpose, which brought him and Mr. Gutzlaff there before. The interpreter was commanded to take us round and shew us the “great Babylon he was building by the might of his power and for the honor of his majesty.” There were many separate temples and ornamental pillars, some complete and others just commenced.

5. This morning visited the city and went to the walls of the palaces, Ámon the objects of curiosity are the . white elephants of the king, supposed to be the habitations of former sovereigns and kept with the greatest care. None but the most honored and virtuous are thought to be favored, after the present existence, with such a rare and dignified residence. The size of these and many others of a darker shade much exceeded those we had seen before. Their hue was far from being white, though it approaches nearer that color than the opposite. We walked nearl around the palace walls, but were not al. lowed to enter. From the roofs and spires they appear to contain o and extensive buildings. We visited a large pagoda, surrounded by *} smaller apartments and lofty o he principal temple was closed, and the indolent priests, who were lying about on their mats, had no disposition to gratify our curiosity. One of them, with whom we attempted to converse on the folly of idol worship, threatened to tell the king that we were defaming his gods. The priests in Siam are proverbial in other countries for their gross immorality; and Budhism here, as well as in China and India, has no basis but ignor. ance, no support but depravity. May the

[blocks in formation]

April 19, 1831. Having occasion a few weeks ago to propose through Dashiel a question to Vesuvenather, the native astronomer in this neighborhood, which I was aware he must answer in a manner contrary either to his own judgment or to the popular belief, he replied, after a moment's reflection, “I perceive I must act the part of the eel, which shows his head to the serpents, and his tail to the fishes.” He then gave a correct answer 9 the question proposed. In the course of a week or two he gave an intimation that he was now willing that I should call on him, and that he wished to have a view of the moon through the telescope. This evening, agreeably to appointment, I went to see him. On my approach to the house I was met by a person who conducted me to an adjacent field, where I was introduced to the aged brahmin and to two other brahmins, his relatives. As he could not receive me at his house without being subjected to some defi!ement, he spread some mats and placed a chair, table, &c. for my accommodation at a convenient distance from his dwelling. Vesuvenather, who is a very infirm old man, seventy-two years of age, was seated on a platform in the manner in which the natives sit on the ground, about three feet square, and elevat£d two or three inches from the ground. His two relatives were seated near him on mats. After various inquiries respecting his family, and ancestors, I gave him at some length my own history, stating more particularly the motives which induced me to take up my abode as a missionary in Jaffna. I then presented to him a copy of the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, from which, as I informed him, he might become more fully acquainted with the subject which I had endeavored to exIain to him. He received the book as an ... of civility, but manifested no interest in what I i. stated of its contents. The principal remark he made, and which he £epeated from time to time, was, “All that it is necessary for us to know on these subjects is clearly made known in the Agamas {.. which are not within the reach of the people of this country.” When I told him that we have some parts of the Agamas, and are acquainted with the contents of others, his reply was, that there are no rsons within our circle capable of explaining them.

I then prepared the telescope, and took a view of Venus and of the moon, which was in her first quarter. The old brahmin excused himself from looking through the telescope on account of his infirmities, and directed me to one of the young men. While looking at Venus I turned his atton; tion to the circumstance of its being but partially enlightened, and when o: at the moon, to its convexity. Thuogh these phenomena were entirely new to them, they manifested little or no interest in the subject, nor did they care to have any explano tion of what they had opportunity to wit. ness. The circumstance most worthy 9 notice, which occurred during my visit, was, that, on some reference being made by me to the Cunda Puranum, the old brahmin observed that the statements made in.” Puranum related to the state of things in " former oogum, or age, and are not applica: ble to the present times. I inquired it." were then true, that, in the age referred to, the moon was twice as far from the to as the sun, that eclipses were occasioned by serpents, &c. “Such,” he replied, “was the state of things formerly, but now it is.'” otherwise.” in confirmation of this he ". ferred me to a verse in the Puranum which intimates that great changes in natur..". to be expected. I then inquired why the Puranum was so much read' at the tempo" throughout the district, in as much as its contents were not applicable to the present state of the world. His reply was, that, though the statements there given ". astronomy and some other sciences do. not apply to the present order of things, still great part of the Puranum holds tou." ages, and is useful to all people. I did not think it best to pursue the subject, as there had been a previous understanding, " his suggestion, that we should have no ". putes. Indeed the old man was evidently a little embarrassed in consequence of the intrusion of some of his neighbors into "; company. Before taking leave of him. made a proposal to him to teach the Sanscrit language to five or six members of the ** nary who would attend weekly at hish". He manifested some interest in the Po posal, but was evidently under some ". harrassment. He intimated, however," he should be willing to give assistance "," private way, but i. #. of the people would prevent him from acting openly * * teacher. He proposed to recall his *. law, who is teaching Sanscrit in a distant parish, and who he thought might be willing to serve us as a .. in Sanscrit:

They all seem pleased with the ideo my leaving them, and I know not how to will atone for the offence of receiving me as a visitor.

.Admissions to the Church.

21. o meeting at Oodooville. Ou this occasion thirty-four persons were * mitted to the church, of whom eighteen

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

selves.” This sermon was preached with

reference to the question frequently proposed, “What became of our ancestors who never heard of the only name given under heaven whereby men can be saved?" ... . 15. Preached from the passage, “Visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children." This text was selected with reference to a question recently proposed by one of the schoolmasters; viz. “What justice is there in punishing children for the bad conduct of the parents - Preached in two villages on the ad* island of Karadive. In one of them had a large company of men and women,

*nd a favorable opportunity for preaching the word.

**TRActs FROM A LETTER of MR. woodWARD, DATED AT MANEpy, sept. 30th, 30

Although this communication is of a much *ther date than others from the same mission which have been published, yet as it tends to show in a striking manner by what varied means * with what assiduity the missionaries labor to

and the children of heathen around them, it is inserted.

Special Erertions to render the Instructions of the Schools effectual.

An interesting duty to which I have attended since my return from the Neilgherries, and which I have not mentioned in former communications, is the religious instruction of the children of my brethren and sisters, who assemble monthly at my house. In 1828 meetings of this kind were held at our several stations in rotation, but since my return they haye been held at Manepy, which is a central station. At this meeti the children are formed into classes, an recite the Christian lessons to which they have attended during the month; after which I give them an exhortation, or preach a sermon. The number of children who attend is now sixteen, who are from four to thirteen years of age.

It is to be regretted that so little can be done, even by schools, towards preparing the way of the Lord. The difficulties are numerous. Among those which we constantly feel, may be mentioned the want of suitable teachers. . This difficulty, I trust, will to some good extent be removed ere long. But there exists another, which to human view cannot be removed till the people generally participate in the blessings of the gospel. I, allude to their poverty. A great part of the population are so poor, . value learning so little, that their children, who generally attend school when quite young, are frequently called . as soon as they have become large enough to watch a fruit tree, or pick up manure in the fields. As soon as they can profitably engage in the work by which their parents obtain their livelihood, their connection with the school is generally dissolved. Thus they are frequently taken from our reach just as they have learned to read, and begun to comprehend something of the important truths which we have for years been laboring to instil into their minds, Hence it is a matter of vast importance that the most effectual means should be used to form their minds early for the reception of Christianity. For the accomplishment of this object, 1 possess one advantage which my brethren at the other stations do not. All the schools at this station are so near the church that they can be easily assembled for religious instruction. During the past six months I have endeavored to do more than formerly for the direct rsonal application to the children of what is learned by them. For this purpose I have all the members of the first class in the several schools assembled at the church on Monday morning, at nine o'clock, where they remain till noon attending to various exercises, such as a brief examination in their Christian lessons, reading tracts or

Pomote the welfare both of their own children,

Scripture, and instruction on some important truth or doctrine, which is generally

[graphic]
[graphic]

given in the catechetical form, attended with exhortation and prayer. On the three following days of the week a similar course is pursued with the remaining classes. At these meetings a regular account is kept of the number of children from each school. In order to avail myself of the influence of the masters for securing a regular and general attendance of the children, their monthly pay is to some extent regulated by the punctuality of their children at these meetingos.

About three months ago I commenced an English day school at this station, supported in part by parents or friends of the children who attend it. The present number of pupils is nineteen. This, with similar schools which we hope will be generally established in the country, will be preparatory to admission at Tillipally. In consequence of the establishment of this school, my Tamul grammar school was reduced to so small a number that I have been obliged to suspend it for the present.

Joint LETTER or thf. Mission AR1Es, DATED August 8, 1831.

Enlargement of the Church.

A particular account of the revival with which the mission in Ceylon was favored during the fall and winter of 1830–1, was given in the numbers of this work for July, August, and September, of last year; together with a brief notice of the growth of the mission church. The results of this revival, with a summary view of the church are given in this article. It wery clearly shows that the Spirit of the Lord can cause the gospel to take effect on the hearts not only of those who are trained in the boarding-schools, under the eye of the missionaries, but of schoolmasters, villagers, and even men who have grown old in the practice and with all the prejudices of idolatry, and with whom no more powerful means have been used than preaching, the circulation of portions of the Bible and tracts, and occasional religious conversation.

In a letter, dated the 1st of December last, we gave an account of some special encouragement, in our work. Lest our friends should be eventually disappointed we stated with some caution what our eyes saw and what our hearts felt. During that month and until near the close of February, the excitement continued with very little abatement. Our meetings with schoolmasters, seminarists, youth in the prepartory and female central schools, with the children in our native free schools, and with such persons in our neighborhood and villages as were disposed to listen, were frequent and sometimes solemn and interesting. During this time most of those on of. minds the gospel had previously

made some impressions were more or less awakened, while others, who had for a long time watched the progress of Christianity with jealousy, were alarmed. How far our hopes have been realized may appear in part by the following facts. On the twenty-first of April, we held our quarterly season of communion at Oodooville; at which time eighteen lads belonging to the seminary, four from the preparatory school, two from the central school for girls, seven schoolmasters and three women, (making thirty-four) were added to the church, and as but two received the ordi. nance of baptism. Most of those received on that occasion had even previous to the revival been almost persuaded to be Christians, but from various hindrances were either unwilling to come out from the world, or were deficient in the exhibition of that Christian character which we now think we see in them. On the twenty-first of last month we held our quarterly meeting at Batticotta, on which occasion we received ten lads from the seminary, one girl from the female cen: tral school, eight schoolmasters, six other natives, and the two oldest children of the mission—H. B. Meigs, and M. A. Poor, Qf these twenty-seven, nineteen received baptism. Both these days were solemn, interest. ing, and encouraging. The latter was peculiarly calculated to affect our own hearts, from the fact that two of our own children came forward with natives of almost all ages, from twelve to sixty years, to enter into covenant with the church and with him who purchased them with his own blood. There is still a large number, includi seminarists, youth in the preparatory an female central schools, schoolmasters, neighbors, and children in the native free schools, who retain to a considerable degree the impressions made during the revival, and our hope is that the truth thus impresse on their minds in some instances has prov: ed, and in others will prove, the power of God and the wisdom of God unto their sal. Vation. When we take into consideration that sixty-one have already been admitted to the church on credible evidence that they have been born again, and that there are many others whom we hope hereafter to ". we have great cause for thankfulness an praise, that the fruits of the revival have been so great. Since the first admission to our church in 1816, there have been two hundred and four admitted to Christian communion; 9 whom all but six are natives. Of these 117 have been connected with our o schools and seminary–30 schoolmasters on superintendents--and 50 villagers, including some of our domestics. Of the last two classes, 30 are more than 40 years old—13 are over 50—one is 70 or upwards—ando" above 80. Besides these several others of more than the middle age have died,

| candidates for admission to the church have not been received. In learning all

iving hopeful evidence of a change of make pleasing and commendable progress.

#. but without making a public profession of their faith.

From these facts it will we think appear that though the principal fruits of our mission have been gathered from the boarding

Schools—Encouragement,

Our native free schools still continue to furnish a very important field of labor. We

schools, and though the greater Part of have $3 connected with the mission, in

those received into the church are young, yet a sufficient number of adults have been received to show that God in the dispensation of his grace is not confined to the rising generation, and that the opinion too commonly expressed of the hopeless state of adult o is not warranted by experience. missionary efforts, instead of being so desultory as they often are, were more concentrated, and consequently brought to bear more directly and constantly upon a small population, instead of being wasted on a large surface, we are persuaded that more converts would be seen, even among the adults. Considering the blessing which God has already conferred upon missionary labors, we think that young men may find new encouragements to devote themselves to the cause of missions; and surely Christians in England and America should be excited, by what God hath already wrought among adults, as well as among the children and outh, to send many more laborers into this arge and populous field before all the present generation go down to the grave.

The appeals in behalf of India, made in the little work called, “The conversion of the world,” are not out of date. Whether we look at the want of missionaries, whose number has increased very little in the eastern world for ten years—at the number of stations commenced, but impersectly supPorted—at the incipient churches which (instead of being wells without water) should be living and overflowing sountains, fertilizing and enriching the whole neighborhood—at the millions included in has a generation who have gone down to the grave since that appeal was made with the marks of their god on their forehead—or, at the probable, yea certain results of that day when Christians and heathen must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ—we rePeat it—the appeals made there are not out of date. On the contrary they have gained additional force—and still the same appeal echoes from the grave of every missionary who has fallen in India, as well as from the testimony of every one who has been obliged to leave on account of ill health, or who still has the privilege of preparing in this wilderness the way of the Lord.

The religious state of the seminary, preParatory school, and central school for girls *y be learnt in part from the number in *ch admitted into our church. In the two *r, however, the larger proportion being !” young to be received to Christian privil

which there are about 3,500 children. Of these 430 read in some portion of the scriptures daily, and as many as 200 are just beginning to put words together and to tead in small tracts. All those who read in the scriptures have finished our smaller and larger catechisms, and are committing to memory a scripture history of 120 duodecimo pages, and some of them parts of the Bible itself. With the exception of a few distant schools, all the children under our care are formed into Sunday school | classes, under our own inspection, and not only attend on the Sabbath, but most of them on one other day, in each week. It should also be remarked that from 150 to 200 of the most forward boys and girls leave our schools every year, and, though they are in a great degree under the control of those whose whole influence is heathem, still they are not only able to read, but have many impressions in favor of Christianity. The masters are also required to attend at our stations one day each week, besides the Sabbath, when they enjoy most | - Joy of the advantages of a Bible class, and are urged to attend immediately to the salvation of their souls. To give our instructions more force, we hold a quarterly meet|ing with them, when in a united and solemn manner we urge on them the great responsibility of their situation as individuals and as teachers. These meetings have been uniformly interesting, and at some of them we have had very special evidence of the presence and approbation of the great Head of the Church. In the distribution of tracts, in preaching on the Sabbath, and at other times our en. couragements are gradually increasing, not so much from larger congregations than formerly or from individual conversions, as from evidence that heathenism is gradually declining. This appears not only from a #. manifestation of desire to obtain | Christian knowledge, but from the fact that many who were formerly strong heathens are now deists, and though they oppose the pure truths of the gospel, they have very | little desire to support so Casté, custom, and idolatry, the three great bar. |riers to Christianity, which have bound these people so long in setters of iron, are gradually yielding, and we have every reason to believe that the patient, persevering and constant preaching and teaching th: gospel on our part, and an unwearied and prayerful supply of aid on the part of our friends at home, will secure the gift of the

*ges, all who in other respects would be WOL. XXVIII.

|Holy Spirit—without which we labor in 19

[graphic][graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »