« ElőzőTovább »
OUR sales in Holland mark a falling off, compared with those of the same period 1850; but the work still continues as interesting as ever. The bad state of the crops prevents many persons from buying. I take the following facts as proof of the interest which continues, extracted from the Colporteurs' weekly reports:—
“Can you visit me again?” asked a woman whom I met in the street. “I am the wife of the carpenter whom you called on about two years ago.” Colporteur: “Yes; where do you live?" When I reached the house in the evening, I easily recognized it as one in which I had been before; but how everything was changed, and what a friendly reception! “How everything is changed!” said the man, warmly pressing my hand. “What an alteration since you were last here! The Lord has opened my eyes and my heart. When you last visited me I purchased a Bible. Before that time I seldom read the Scriptures; but since then I have regularly done so for myself and for my family. The Lord has blessed me in it. He has shown me how necessary Christ is to my soul. The Lord is indeed good."
FRogress of Pope RY IN NORTH WALES. SIR,--I have just returned home from a journey into North Wales, and during my short sojourn there, I collected a little information with regard to the efforts and zeal of the Church of Rome in that part of the Principality, and, with your permission, I will give it to the readers of the EvangelicAL MAGAZINE. The Roman Catholics have been diligently and systematically employed in North Wales for some time past. They have worked without much noise, and almost without observation. At length, however, they have built a college in the parish of Tremeirchion, a short distance from St. Asaph, capable of accommodating, it is believed, three hundred students. I am informed that the requisite funds have been supplied chiefly by France, and that an eminent ecclesiastic from Italy came over to superintend the building. That gentleman, I hear, has obtained an introduction to most of the influential families in that neighbourhood, and it is said, that his intercourse with Lord and Lady Feilding paved the way for their secession from the Church of England. The students in the college at Tremeirchion are instructed in the Welsh language. I am told that already ten have been ordained and sent forth, two and two, through the country, upon a missionary errand, for the
purpose of visiting the Welsh cottager, and of preaching wherever they find it practicable.
A school has been opened near the college, and it is reported that the parents of the scholars are occasionally supplied with “soup" from the college. It is only right that the Protestants of this kingdom should make themselves acquainted with the doings and tactics of Rome. To be forewarned is to be fore-armed. I hope my Welsh brethren will not lose sight of Tremeirchion. If diligent and faithful, as I doubt not they will be, the Spirit of God will bless their endeavours to prevent their fellow-countrymen from embracing the delusions of the Man of Sin. And here I would mention, with approval, the exertions of one family I had the pleasure of visiting. Besides aiding in the circulation of the Scriptures, they are distributing widely such excellent little books as “Popery and Protestantism brought to the test of God's Holy Word, in the form of a Catechism for the use of Schools and Families;” and “Popery and the Bible: the Word of God withheld, and its Circulation opposed by the Church of Rome." I hope others wilicopy this good example, and “go and do likewise.” I do not know how far the Scripture Readers Society could assist, but I hope its directors will forgive me if I venture to tell them, that an agency similar to that which they employ, might, under the blessing of God, do great good in Wales. If only twelve Scripture readers could be sent there—converted, intelligent, earnest men, who understood the Welsh language—to go from town to town, and from village to village, visiting the people at their own houses, reading the Word of God to them, and praying with them, they might prevent the spread of Popery, and be the means of saving some from the error of their ways, and of hiding a multitude of sins.
We must be prepared to meet Rome. She is at work, and so ought we to be. Our cause is better than hers; it is the cause of truth, and we are certain of ultimate success. The clouds may be blackening, the storm may be gathering—by and by the tempest may break forth, and sweep away Popish abominations which have been gathering for ages, and Christianity, (pure, scriptural, voluntary Christianity,) will come forth from amid the crash, and from amid the ruin, adorned with beauty, and full of power.
I am, dear Sir,
INDIA: The CLAIM or its CHRisTIAN Missions. [IN the Calcutta Review for Oct. 1851, there is an able article entitled “THE REsults of MissionARY IABoth IN INDIA,” which has been reprinted in this country, and from which we select the following powerful appeal, greatly calculated to awaken the zeal of the churches:—] Have Indian missions then been a failure? Irreligion and fear prophesied in former days that they would be. They prophesied that the Hindus would never be converted, and that the attempt to Christianize them would lead to rebellion. Such notions have long been exploded. Looking at the number of actual converts, and the still larger number under regular Christian instruction; looking to the character of many, who have died in the faith of the gospel; looking to the vast amount of efficient agency now at work; looking to the deep and wide impression made upon the native mind at large; looking to the improvement in European society; looking to the removal of several of the most striking evils once prevalent in the land; looking to the large and valuable experience acquired by past labours, and to the preparation made by those labours for future success;–we must allow that missions have accomplished MUCH, during the short period in which they have been efficiently carried on. “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." The camp has been planted, and the position of the Christian army made good. The battle has begun; and the various bodies of troops have had their several positions assigned to them. The translators, with their heavy batteries of Bible truth; the tract writers, with their light field guns; the active cavalry of itinerators; the preaching battalions of foot; and the little band of Christian sepoys, are all engaged in subduing this vast continent to “the obedience of Christ.” If the work be carried on, what must be the end? “The Lord gave the word; great is the company of the preachers.” Shall not “kings of armies flee apace; while they that tarry at home, divide the spoil” and share the Foy of victory? Everything calls upon the churches of Christ, both in Europe and America, to complete what they have begun. The claims of India upon their sympathies, efforts, and prayers, are becoming stronger every day: and the more they are appreciated, the more will our great missionary work be prosecuted with earnestness and vigour. In support of those claims, we may appeal to the vast population which India contains, reckoned as at least one hundred and thirty millions, and by some, as two hundred millions. We may appeal to the vast extent of this great continent, its many nations, and its resources for promoting human comfort. We may appeal to its great influence in Asia in general; and to the fact, that as it spread its Buddhism over China, Thibet and Burmah, it must, as a Christian
country, be mainly instrumental in bringing those and other countries under the power of the gospel. We may appeal to the Providence of God, which has made the whole country accessible in the fullest degree to missionary labour, under the security and protection afforded by the English Government: —a fact which, contrasted with the position of China, Madagascar, Persia, Tahiti, and even Kaffirland, must show the immeasurable superiority of the advantages we possess. We may appeal to the debt which England owes to India, for the commerce it has originated, the support it gives to thousands of our countrymen, and the profits of its merchandise; to an annual gain reckoned at eight millions sterling in value; and to the political consequence attached to the Indian empire. We may appeal to the many and powerful religious systems of the country; to its Hinduism, Muhammadanism and Buddhism; to its ancient Shastras and powerful priesthood; its system of caste, and the degradation of its women. We may appeal to the labour already spent, and to the success with which it has been followed. Some of these motives exist only in India. What other country has them all combined? Separately they are unanswerable: united, who can resist them? But one Macedonian called upon Paul to bring the gospel across the Hellespont. Millions of men appeal to our sympathies, and with far greater earnestness, and with far deeper reason, cry, “Come over and help us." The present missionary force in India is utterly insufficient for the completion of the grand object in our view. New efforts, therefore, in Europe and America; new efforts in England, Scotland, and Ireland; new sacrifices, new gifts, new self-denial, alone will avail to secure the men and the money which our agency requires. It is true that missionaries in India are many in one sense They constitute nearly one-third of the entire missionary body throughout the heathen world. They are many, as compared with none: but as regards sufficiency, their numbers are quite inadequate. Neither are they many, as regards the proportion of labourers to the people to be evangelized. The Sandwich Islands, with 80,000 inhabitants, have thirty-one missionaries. The Navigators' Islands, with a population of 160,000, have fifteen missionaries to instruct them. New Zealand, with 100,000, has forty. The population of the South Sea Islands under instruction is 800,000 and is taught by 120 missionaries. In the West Indies, there are not less than three hundred and fifty missionaries to instruct a population of two millions and a half. More than seventy missionaries are crowded into the “Five ports” of China and the Island of Hong-Kong. But in India, for 130 (or as some say 200) millions of people, we have but four hundred and three missionaries. Whole provinces, and large towns, with thousands of inhabitants, are wholly uninstructed. In Bengal and Behar it has been reckoned that eighteen millions never hear the gospel. Within fifty miles of Calcutta, there are towns and villages with 30,000, 20,000, and 10,000 inhabitants, that never saw a missionary till the present year; and were so unknown that no map accurately described their position and size. Delhi, with 150,000 people, much more populous than New Zealand, has no missionary at all. Midnapore, with 70,000, has none. Azimghur, Bareilly, Purnea, Mymensing, and hundreds of other important towns and districts, have none at all. Excepting two missionaries at Lahore and one in Sindh, the Punjab, Sindh, the Bhawalpore states, all Rajputana, all Oudh, Bundelkhund, the Nerbudda valley, and the great state of Hyderabad, have no missionaries whatever. Even Agra, the chief seat of the North-west Provinces, has but eight missionaries, of whom one is absent; and Benares, the “holy city,” with a permanent population of 300,000, has but eleven. The two towns of Saugor and Dacca alone, contain a population equal to that of all the Malay-peopled Islands of the South Seas put together. In those islands one hundred and twenty missionaries are labouring; while in the former two cities, there are but four! In the whole Presidency of Agra, containing numerous large towns, and peopled with the finest races in India, there are only as many missionaries (57) as are engaged in the small Negro settlements on the West coast of Africa. These things are seen in India; in India, under an English Government; in India, opened to the gospel; in India, white to the harvest. Has the church given to it its proper share of agency? Grand efforts are made to open doors that are closed; while doors wide open are neglected! Oh! for more of the spirit of Him, who “had compassion upon the multitudes, when He saw them as sheep without a shepherd.” This is not the time for the church to withdraw from its appointed duty in evangelizing this great land. During the past ten years, the providence of God has in a remarkable way been calling the attention of the whole world to its interests, and to strange events of which it has been the scene. During the past ten years, the Chinese war has opened a way to the gospel in the Celestial Empire: and to the success of that war Indian troops and Indian steamers contributed not a little. Within ten years, the awful Affghan war, with its massacres, and captivity, and deeds of prowess; the war with Gwalior; the conquest of Sindh; the two wars in the Punjab, with their murderous battles and final conquest, have directed all
eyes hither. And that attention, excited by strange catastrophes and striking occurrences, has been retained. Within ten years, two lines of steamers have been established through the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, and have maintained a rapid and constant intercourse between England and India: a new line, it is confidently hoped, will ere long be added, and the present means of intercourse be increased and improved. Communication is improving also within the continent itself. Numerous steamers now ply along the Ganges, and have begun to navigate the Indus. Our railroad is fairly coinmenced; our postage rules are about to be modified; an immense nuinber of native newspapers have been called into existence; and the English language has made a giant stride among the young, in the province of Bengal. Within the last year, a regular intercourse has been opened with China by monthly steamers. California and its cities have created new wants and new commerce; and numerous ships have found their way hither from that newly settled territory. New ties are connecting India with the Aus. tralian colonies. The Great Exhibition has shown, upon a large scale, what India contains, and what its nations can produce. In the east and west, its voice is being heard. It is claiming an important position in the public eye, and men are beginning to acknowledge the justice of our appeals in its behalf. It is no time, then, for the church of Christ to forget it; to forget that it is open to the gospel; to forget that the contest between truth and error can be carried on upon fair terms; or to forget that the hand of God has directed his people hither. As if to compel a greater attention on the parts of religious men, that Providence which has opened the way to India has been closing up other fields. Within ten years, missionaries have been driven from Siberia; the Madagascar missions have been broken up; Tahiti has been left a wreck; the Sandwich Islands have been threatened; cholera has decimated the West Indies; and the Kaffir missions have been twice destroyed. Have these things no meaning? Has that Almighty Spirit, who “suffered not" his servant to go into Bithynia, and “forbade him to preach the word in Asia,” no object, in thus closing some doors of usefulness, while the largest of all remains wide open? We trust that these indications of His purpose will be met by the hearty response of a willing church. We trust that, with the increase of communication with Europe, the churches of both Europe and America will put forth new exertions, and devise new schemes for extending missions in our Indian Empire. May He be with them, who said to his people in ancient days: “I will send mine angel before you, and he shall drive out the Hittite and Amorite from the land." May He fulfil His promise speedily: “The gods, which have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.” We conclude this brief review in the words of the Bishop of Calcutta:—
“What can exceed the inviting prospect which India presents? The fields white for the harvest and awaiting the hand of the reaper 1 Nations bursting the intellectual sleep of thirty centuriesl Superstitions no longer in the giant strength of youth, but doting to their fall ! Britain placed at the head of the most extensive empire ever consigned to a western sceptre : that is, the only great power of Europe, professing the Protestant faith, intrusted with the thronging nations of Asia, whom she alone could teach! A paternal government, employing every year of tranquillity in elevating and blessing the people unexpectedly thrown upon its protection. No devastating plague, as in Egypt; no intestine wars; no despotic heathen or Muhammadan dominion prowling for its prey. But legislation going forth with her laws; science lighting her lamp; education scattering the seeds of knowledge; commerce widening her means of intercourse ; the British power ever ready to throw her aegis around the pious and discreet missionary.
“Oh I where are the first propagators and professors of Christianity? Where are our martyrs and reformers ? Where are the ingenuous, devoted, pious sons of our Universities? Where are our younger devoted clergy 2 Are they studying their ease ? Are they resolved on a ministry, tame, ordinary, agreeable to the flesh? Are they drivelling after minute literature, poetry, fame? Do they shrink from that toil and labour which, as Augustine says, OUR CoMMANDER, Noster Imperator, accounts most blessed ? . . . . . Let us unite in removing misconceptions; let us join in appealing to Societies; let us write to particular friends and public bodies; let us afford correct, intelligible information. Let us send specific and individual invitations; and let us pray the LoRD of the HARVEST, that He would send FORTH Morte LABOURERS INTO HIS HARWEST.” J.
But in what spirit and in what manner shall such appeals be met P Will our English friends, especially, meet them on the old cold plan, in which all alike, rich and poor together, too idle to discriminate, and unaccustomed to self-denial even in the best of causes, gave, as their sole contribution to missions—gave to each Society, the great and small alike—the formal fee of one guinea F. If we appreciate at all as we should the transcendent importance and grandeur of the missionary enterprise; if we value as we should that gospel, which is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,” we shall not be content to do little, or to spare ourselves in this service. We shall think of the misery that sin now entails upon the earth; of the value of the souls that missions may be appointed to save; and of the glorious future for which missions are preparing;-even that coming time when the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His beams on every land where the prince of this world now reigns. If, thus, all who profess and call themselves CHRISTIANs realize their duties, there will be no lack of labourers, and no lack of means. We shall no longer have to beg for more liberal succour—and to beg in vain. No longer shall we appeal to those whose zeal, piety, and talent fit them for labour in the Lord's vineyard, and be met with fancies and with fears. All then will act as men who “count themselves alive from the dead, and their members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” All then will remember the test : “His servants ye are, to whom ye obey.” The days of timid, faint-hearted service will be over. The fruitless sympathy of sentimentality at home will give place to holy and devoted men in every land where the Lord, by his providence, calls his servants to labour. Then, the love of Christ constraining them, his ministers will offer themselves, saying: “Here am I, send ME;” and no longer will the soldier of the cross, to obtain the crown which fadeth not away, fear to follow the merchant who seeks in a foreign land for things which “perish in the using.” And thus labouring in His service, “God, even our own God, shall BLEss Us, and ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH shall FEAR HIM.”