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Relating principally to the Foreign Missions carried on under the direction of the Methodist CoNFERENCE,
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Clough, dated Colombo, Nov. 5th, 1825.
It affords me sincere pleasure to have another opportunity of addressing you... My last letter was written a few days after our arrival in the island, at so short a uotice, that I could say but little; and even now I am not much hetter prepared to give you general information; for my attention has been so much occupied by the affairs of this Station, that I have not been able to pay much attention to the others. When I first landed, I thought I would visit every Station in the south, and especially as I found I could do it without any extra expense to the Mission. In this visit I intended to include Kornegalle. But I am sorry to say I have been prevented hitherto. I found the printing-office in a state that required some close attention, and the proposed Native Institution required arrangement. These engagements have kept me in Colombo. I am sure it will gratify you to hear that all our Brethren are in good health : and what a mercy is this: for the island has been visited with a succession of epidemics which have made sad havoc among the inhabitants of all classes, i.e. both native and European, and thousands have fallen victims. But God has in mercy screened our dear Brethren ; and as it regards my own health, I have abundant cause for thankfulness to God. I never expected to be so well again as I now feel myself to be. And I can add in great sincerity of heart, that I feel resolved, by divine help, to consecrate , this renewal of my health and strength to the work of God in this country. The spread of Christian knowledge, and its consequent influence among the then here, are really amazing. A few days after my arrival, that emiment man, Petrus Panditti Sekarras, who was the first Cinghalese convert from heathenism, called upon me, and in the course of a long conversation we had on the subject of the spread of the work of God, he dropped a sentiment which ought not to be lost sight of : for it. must be recollected, that he is in the habit of having intercourse with the natives of all ranks, and is always collecting information from every
native source. In speaking of the general views and feelings of the Buddhist priesthood, I asked his opiuion as to the best plans likely to hasten a general conversion of them to Christianity. He replied, “Sir, from what I know of their state, I am of opinion, that were the Missionaries to pursue the same plan in respect to the priests that you did in reference to me, every priest in Ceylon might be prevailed upon to embrace Christianity.” A few days ago I observed a priest coming up the steps of my house, and from his robes 1 perceived him to be a man of emimence. On my going out to meet him, I found he was from the kingdom of Kandy; that he was at the head of a temple; had often, since the conquest of Kandy, heard of me, and wished to have some conversation with me on subjects of importance; and that this was the sole object of his visit. We sat down together, and continued our conversation, which, by the by, was for the most part an ardent dispute, for more than four hours. I soon found he was, according to their system, a learned and well informed man, and a keen reasoner and supporter of a bad cause. Towards the end of our contest, I said to him, “My friend, you are aware that one of the most sacred names or epithets of your god is, * The all-wise,” or, “The omniscient one.’” “That is true,” said he. “Then
of course it is an article of your reli
gious faith, that all which he has said and caused to be recorded is infallible, and consequently divine :” (for the Buddhists worship their sacred books :) “Most certainly,” said the priest. “Then, may I ask, how it happened that your god should, in the course of his orations and religious revelations, have given to the world so erroneous a view of the geography of the world 2 A system which was not only false at the very time it was delivered by him, but one that has kept his adherents in error to the present day.” “O, Sir,” said the priest, “this is imossible.” “But I can prove it to be }. “What,” said he, “...cana mortal dispute the word of a deity?”
I replied, “If a divinity, or pretended divinity, make a revelation that contradicts my experience, and daily matter of fact, have I not just cause to call in question such a revelation?” This he acknowledged. “Well then," said l, “I think I can prove to you that this is precisely the case with the orations and revelations of Buddha, as given in the Jatakas.” Here he was roused almost to indignation. However, I produced some maps, a globe, a quadrant, and a compass, and proceeded to give him as correct an outline of our geography, navigation, &c., as I could, and showed him by a variety of experiments, which he readily understood, how we must in the nature of things understand this matter. “And now,” said I, “not a day passes but we make fresh discoveries that Buddha was mistaken. He represents the world as a vast plane. Now, said I, on this prinple, if a ship leave a port, and for two years together continue to sail at such a rate in a direct westerly course, then at the end of that two years she must be so many thousand miles from the place she left.”, “Certainly,” said he. * But now,” said I, “our ships have often tried this ; and at the end of two years, instead of finding themselves many thousand miles from the place they left, they have found themselves in the port from which they sailed.” Having a globe before me, I now explained the matter, and he immediatey apprehended it. “Besides,” said I, “here is this quadrant, and this compass, by which instruments we find our way to every part of the world. And I can assure you, that Buddha has referred to oceans, to continents, to islands, and empires, and people, that never had an existence ' Besides, said 1, he pretends to have described the whole world.” And here I handed him a list of all the places mentioned in their books, as well known by him; and showing him a map of the world, said, “This list of yours does not include one quarter of the world.” B
this time the Priest was in a pitiable state. His face, though a native, turned pale; his lips quivered; and his whole frame was agitated. When he recovered he excused himself, and apologised for his agitation, and said, “Sir. I have heard with amazement these things. I see the truth of what you state on these points; but how are we situated in other respects?” “Well,” said I.' your astronomy, your history, and, in fact, the whole system of your theology, is precisely in the same state: It is error ''' ith great emotion
he now rose, took me by the hand, shook it in the most hearty manner, and said, he never could have expected such discoveries to be made to him ; thanked me much for the time I had spent with him, and begged me to become his spiritual instructer... I recollect when I was at the Hull Missionary Meeting, in 1824, I gave it as an opinion, that at some future period the temples of Buddha won!d taken ossession of by Christians. Something ike the dawn of this event has now beo to appear. Brother Gogerly, atour Missionary Meeting a few days ago, related, that at a place in the Negombo Circuit, such a desire to hear the Gospel had manifested itself among the people, that the chapel, which was opened four years ago, was too small to contain half the people. They resolved upon enlarging it. They consulted a builder, who gave it as his opinion, that a new one must be built. But as this neighbourhood is situated at a great distance from building materials, it is very expensive to obtain them. The consultations, however, went on. At length the inhabitants of four villages came forward and stated, that some time ago they had united to build a heathen temple, which they had done of the best materials, and at a great expense; that this temple was situated not very far from the spot; and as they now began to see the folly and wickedness of heathenism, if the Missionary would accept the offer, they would agree to turn out the idols, and convert it into a house for God: or if the Missionary preferred it, they would pull down the temple, carry the materials to the place of our present chapel, and with them build a new chapel. The offer is accepted. In several of our Circuits in the south of Ceylon, such crowds of people attend our little chapels to hear the word of God, that the places are too strait for them. The chief instruments in this
lorious work are our native assistants.
Iothing will check their efforts, not even personal danger. That worthy young man, Perera, has faced many difficulties and dangers, and even many deaths, in the Kandian countries, for the sake of Christ. The other day he was giving me a history of his proceedings, when he mentioned with great simplicity the following relation :There was one place, which he was accustomed to visit and preach at, at the frequent risk of his life, owing to the number of elephants that beset his path. “But,” he said, “the poor people are always so glad to hear about the Lord Jesus Christ, that I never mind my life. One day I was going there, aud, when passing along a narrow crooked path in the jungle, suddenly I came near a very large wild elehant. Well, now I think I must die, 5ut I have a gun; I will fire, but no hope to send him away." But I lift my gun, I pray to the Lord Jesus Christ, and then I shoot. After that I stand like a pillar, and expect every moment I be under the elephant's feet. But when the smoke of the gun cleared away from my eyes, I was greatly astonished to see the large elephant on his back, and his four legs stand straight up like four pillars among the jungle and the trees, Immediately my heart praised God, and I think now what a great mercy I was going on God's work, therefore he saved my life. I now not fear go any where in the work of my Lord Jesus Christ.” I am sorry, however, to inform you, * It is a fact, that sometimes elephants will chase their hunter s, after having received twenty, thirty, forty, or even fifty shots; and a gentleman told me last might, he saw an elephant get away that had received more than forty balls. There is, however, one part of the heyd where a single ball will prove fatal.
that Kornegalle has been without a Preacher since last Décember, now nearly a year. Brother Sutherland, as you will have seen from their last miinutes, is appointed to another station. It was then attached to Negombo, and Brother Gogerly has visited it two or three times. An assistant superintendent of schools is there, watching over the few schools, but I fear little can be done until we can send a European Brother. Perera, the assistant Missionary, whose labours have been so reatly blessed there, still remains at Negombo, confined by the fever. He sometimes gets a little better, but relapses again,
November 16th.-Yesterday we held our Monthly Missionary Meeting. It was a very gracious season. There were present the Missionaries of the Church, the Baptist, and Wesleyan Societies, and many of our friends in the settlement; Sir R. Ottley; J. N. Mooyart, Esq.; J. Bruce, Esq., of the Honourable East Iudia Company's Civil Service; Dr. Frazer, the Dutch Minister; Rev. Dr. Palmer, and many others.
—-oWEST INDIAN MISSIONS, BARBApoes.—As our friends generally feel great interest in what may
relate to the re establishment of the Mission in this colony, we subjoin the following Documents and Letters. At presets we shall withhold all com
ments upon them.
Ertraet from the “Barbadoes Globe,” Feb. 23d, 1826.
4 Declaration of the Inhabitants of Barbadoes, respecting the Demolition of the Methodist Chupel, with an Appendir. BARBADoes.—At a numerous meeting of the lahabitants of this Island, convened on the 13th day of December, 1825, for the purpose of petitioning his Majesty to be graciously pleased to protect these colonies from the inachinations of their enemies in Englaud; and also for the purpose of petitioning the Colonial Legislature to go the utmost length in meeting the views and wishes of the Government and Parliament of England, respecting the amelioration of the Slaves, that may be consistent with the public peace, and with the real interests of all parties concerned:—After these matters had been disposed of, Mr. Hamden availed himself of the opportunity afforded him, by the assemblage of so large a number of the
Inhabitants of the Island, to call their attention to the illiberal construction which had been put upon their silence respecting the euorumous outrage committed upon the Wesleyan Chapel some time since : and recommended that, cven at this late period, a Declaration should he put forth by the Gentlemen of the Island, expressing the sentiments of reprobation with which they had always regarded that act;-since, if this measure should uot serve to satisfy the enemies of the Colouies, which, perhaps is impossible, it would, at least, furnish our friends in England with the means of deseuding us from their attacks.
The following Declaration was then proposed, adopted, and signed accordingly.
“Finding that the White Inhabit
auts of Barbadoes, generally, are
charged with a criminal acquiescence
in the outrage committed upon the the act of a muh, but of persons who Wesleyan Chapel on the night of Oc from their station and property must tober the 19th, 1823, because they have be supposed to belong to the most repot exhibited some public manifesta. spectable classes of society ;-We, the tion of their abhorrence of these of undersigned feel ourselves called upon fences; and observing also, that in the to declare, that we cordially concur in Report of the Debate, which took place every sentiment of reprobation exin the House of Commons, respecting pressed by the House of Commons the said outrage, many of the speakers against this disgraceful act; and that endeavour to cast an odium upon the we view, and ever did view, with incommunity at large, by asserting that dignation that scandalous and daring the Demolition of the Chapel was not violation of the law.”, "La gente 6 This Declaration, with its signatures, has been published in an anonymous pamphlet, with an “ Appendix,"containing some strictures on Mr. Buxton's Speech in Parliament, when the subject of the Barbadoes outrage was under discussion. The following is an Extract from the remarks of the Barbadoes Globe on this publication.
51 473 fua *** So after two years, three months, a greater opportunity to Messrs. Buxand twenty-six days! a pamphlet ton, Brougham, and Co., to traduce the written by some unknown person has character of the inhabitants than any been ushered forth, containing the de thing which could have come from our claration of ninety-four individuals, to bitterest enemies. Of these uinetyprove that the demolition of the Chapel four persons, about twelve may be said was not the act of the respectable in- to reside in town, eight are Members habitants. If those who signed this of Council, who hold their places at manifesto bave proved any thing, it is, the will of the Crown, three Members either that the Chapel was destroyed of the House of Assembly, ten Clergyby the respectable inhabitants, or that 'men, and the rest Planters, Attorneys there are only ninety-four respectable of Plantations, and Overseers, residing persons in the colony. We cannot sup- some five, ten, and sixteen miles in the pose for one moment that they meant country, and most of them employed by to prove either, but it is as clear as persons in England. We repeat, could two and two make four, that neither Messrs. Brougham, Buxton, avd Co., or ingenuity or sophistry need he called either of those gentlemen, have planned in to settle this point. What a pity it any fresh matter to bave aided them in is that men will not be more cautious their pious purposes against the Colowhen they wish to make a figure in pies, we do not think they could have print! The author of this Pamphlet, suggested one more suitable to their and the signers of the Declaration have wishes to attack the Interests and given by this work a dreadful blow to Character of the Colony,' than that the Interests and Character of the now offered them." Colony,' and afforded at the same time
The following Extracts from Mr. Rayner's Letters, will furnish a view of his proceedings.
Barbadoes, March 25, 1826. CONSIDERING, in addition to other sions at large ! I wrote to you from St. circumstances, the melancholy event of Vincent's a few days after our arriyal the loss of the mail-boat Maria, off An there, informing you of the death of our tigua, Mrs. Rayner and I feel very late dear son Thomas. His death is a thankful that we and our dear children cause of great grief to the miuds of his have been preserved from accident and parents; but they wish to be, and are, in harm whilst traversing the mighty ocean some measure, resigned to the will of during nearly four of the last twelve God. Our District Meeting was upon months; and particularly so as we were the whole very satisfactory, I felt much at sea and under very painful and trying at home, and satisfied with my return to cireumstances for seven days and nights the West Indies, while assembled with about the same time in which our bre- those of my dear brethren with whom thren were lost. May the awful and, as I had for a considerable time la. to dur Mission, unprecedented event be boured in this department of the vinesanctified to purgood, and that of the Mis- yard of the Lord. An Auxiliary Mis.
sionary Meeting was held towards the close of the District Meeting, which was very interesting, and I feel persuaded it was instrumental of good to the large and attentive congregation assembled on the occasion. I embraced the earliest opportunity of opening a correspondence with Mrs. Gill from St. Vincent's, and received two or three letters from her of an encouraging nature; on the ground of which, although, general reports were by no means favourable, I resolved upon proceeding to this place with my family as soon as possible. We sailed from St. Vincent's on the 24th of Frebruary. Having encountered a gale almost constantly from the first, with the most tremendous seas that I have seen among these islands, our sails being almost torn to pieces, and the men nearly exhausted by constant attention day and night, we put back on the sixth day, and arrived at St. Vincent's on the seventh. Through mercy we landed safely, and as well as could be expected. W.Stowe, Esq., and Co., having a brigantine in readiness to sail for Demerara, it was suggested to me that in all probability they would allow her to call at Barbadoes to land me and my family. I applied to them accordingly, and was k; favoured with their consent. As the vessel was ready for sea, we had but little time to recover from the effects of the former unsuccessful attempt. We sailed a second time for Barbadoes in two days after our return in the schooner; and being in a large vessel, well manned and well managed, we were far more comfortable than before, although the weather continued i. rough for some time. We came within sight of this island on the sixth day, andfully expected to have landed on the seventh, but the tide ran so strongly against us that we did not arrive until
unday, the eighth day after we sailed, and the 13th day of this inonth. As we arrived in the bay about daylight in the morning, and the vessel was not to anchor, but to proceed on to Demerara with as little delay as possible, I followed the advice of the captain, and a friendly gentleman, a passenger, by landing with them before I communicated with the authorities. Immediately ou landing, particular inquiries were made from the Captain, and the answers were noted down; and as he had to name his passengers, the public soon became acquainted with my arrival. From the wharf we proceeded to the alien office, where we gave the usual information, and were treated politely, From thence the Captain went
with me to our old friend Mr. Clarke's, who received the with great kindness, and assured me of his readiness to do whatever lay in his power to serve me or the Mission: "Mr. Clarke" accomnied me to Mrs. Gill's, where we found erself and family'wels, and I need not add, much delighted to find that I had landed quietly. "We them went back to Mr. Clarke's, and after"breakfast he kindly accompanied me in his gig to . Government-House, where, about eleven o'clock, A.M., we were favoured with an interview with his Honourthe President of the island, who received us politely. After having stated the object of my visit to the island, he apprized me of a colonial law that might be found to affect Missionary proceedings. I replied, if there should be found a colonial law that would become a legal obstacle in our way, we should make use of regular and legal means to remove it. He answered, he would not undertake to say that it is a legal obstacle. It was his duty merely to apprize me of it. After which he was pleased to state, that as I came here as a British subject, while I conducted myself agreeably to existing laws, and he had . honour of filling the situation he then held, I should have British protection. I returned him thanks and came away. The next difficulty lay in getting my family and luggage on shore. By this time the Captain, having been at the Custom-house, where he was sharply reprimanded for bringing a Missionary here when the whole country was against it, and as some objections had been started to his having lauded me, and particular inquiries made concernin his vessel, crew, &c., he feared bot for himself and the vessel. Mr. Clarke went to accompany Mrs.Rayner and the children on shore, as it was thought that I had better not be seen at the wharf again that day. Several friends and members of the Society accompanied my luggage to the Custom-house, and, after they had been examined there, to Mrs. Gill's house, where we at once took up our abode. About four o'clock, P.M., I had everything on shore, and was enabled to settle, finally, with the Captain. On reviewing that day's proceedings, I could not help perceiving that a very particular and gracious Providence had been manifest, which we feelingly acknowledged, and, in family worship returned qur, unfeigned thanks to Almighty God...But very considerable danger was still appreheaded. A placard had been posted up spon after y arrival, calling upon all true lovers of their country, unitedly to prepare to