[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Surely, in the Lord, have I righteousness and strength. However slowly, in our eyes, yet the Power of Darkness, with all its cunning arts by which the poor Hindoos have hitherto been kept in a deplorable bondage, is falling: it is certainly losing ground; and is every day more exposed to the ridicule of the people, by means of the instructions which are imparted to them.

In reference to the Madras and South-India Mission, the Corresponding Committee having testified that some progress was making at every Station, it is remarked thereon in the Report of the Society's Association at Carlisle

This statement is confirmed by the personal communication of a Gentleman, lately returned from Madras, after a residence of seven years in that Presidency; and whom some of your Committee had the opportunity of meeting several times in Carlisle. It was gratifying to hear from him of the increasing attention paid to religion in that part of India by our own Countrymen; and of the effect, which Missionary Exertions are, in a silent manner, gradually producing among the Heathen. Formerly, he observed, it was an object of eager anxiety with multitudes, to assist in dragging the Cars used in the annual processions of many of their Idols; but, of late, entreaty and even compulsion have been found necessary, to obtain a sufficient number of people for the purpose. Similar signs of the declining influence of Idolatry were also stated by this Gentleman to be observable in the neglect of their Temples, many of which, being constructed of perishable materials, are permitted gradually to moulder into ruin, instead of being as formerly kept in repair and beautified with the utmost solicitude.

Some remarks with which the Committee have been favoured by an Officer of Artillery in the Service of the Company, on the western side of the Peninsula, will close these testimonies; and will furnish, at the same time, a salutary caution against incompetent witnesses on the subject of Missions in India :

As a Member of the Church Missionary Society, and lately arrived from the scene of the labours of its devoted Servants in India, it may be satisfactory to you to receive the testimony of an eye-witness to what is now doing in that country. I must observe, however, that the testimony of every man who may have resided in India, on the subject of Christian Missions, ought to be viewed in connection with the dispositions and habits of those who offer it: for many old Officers, Civil and Military, who have been twenty-five or thirty years in India, and even at the same Stations with Missionaries, are frequently found ignorant of their labours, to an extent, which, on any

RE in



an CH

other subject, would cause a blush for ignorance of what they might so easily have known. The fact is, that, if the habits and dispositions of men in India are not religious, the very unobtrusive work of the Christian Missionary does not force itself on their attention. Facts have occurred at a Station at which there were many Officers, who were so ignorant of these facts, that, had I mentioned them, they would have immediately said, “I cannot believe these things, for, if they were true, I should have heard of them before." When persons on the spot evinice such ignorance, we must not be surprised when we hear of old residents in India rising, even in our Senate, and manifesting their ignorance of every thing connected with Christian Missions. We shall do well to remember, that it is not, alone, the length of years occupied even in the exemplary performance of Civil or Military Duties in India, which ought to command deference to opinions on such subjects: nor ought our seeing old residents in India referred to, to contradict the reports of the exemplary Missionary, to have, of itself, any weight: nor ought the fact of many well-disposed people around us withholding their mite from the Cause of Missions, through ignorance of the subject, to surprise us. That no more is done in India in the grand work of Conversion, may well occasion to every friend of Missions deep regret : but, sufficient is EFFECTED and EFFECTING, to warrant a continuance of exertion in the assured confidence that a blessed increase from on high shall, in due time, be granted.

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

CEYLON MISSION. The Annual Meeting of the Missionaries for 1821 was held at Nellore, in the end of September and the beginning of October. Mr. Lambrick attended from Kandy and Mr. Ward from Baddagamme. Mr. Ward was attacked by fever, while at Nellore ; from which he recovered sufficiently, in a few weeks, to undertake his long journey home.

The Archdeacon of Colombo had received, at the date of the last advices, the authority of the Committee to draw for 2001., placed at his disposal for the publication of the Liturgy and Tracts; and would immediately determine, in conjunction with the Society's Missionaries, on the best mode of employing the Grant.

The opening of a School Fund for the maintaining and educating of Ceylonese Children, to be named by their Benefactors, has been already stated in this

Report. A consideration of what will now be stated, in reference to the degraded character of the people, will commend this Fund to the support of such benevolent persons, as may not only wish to perpetuate among the Heathen the endeared name of some Christian Friend, but who may wisely judge that the separation of promising Children from the habits and practices of a depraved population, is the most likely method, under the blessing of God, to train up Native Preachers of Truth and Righteousness. The little School of Kandean Children will plead powerfully with such persons for support and enlargement: so also will the Nellore and Baddagamme Stations : all are in the midst of Heathens, from whose evil example the Missionaries would gladly withdraw as many Children as Christian Benevolence may enable them to do, in order to their being brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

KANDY. In the MINISTRY OF THE WORD at this Station, where Mr. Lambrick and Mr. Browning continue to labour, two English Services are held every Sunday for the Garrison, and one in Cingalese for the Natives. Of his entrance on this last service, Mr. Lambrick writes, Jan. 31, 1821

On Sunday last, one of us, through the goodness of God, was enabled to preach to this people, in their own language, the glad tidings of salvation by Christ Jesus. This was, perhaps, the first time that ever this joyful sound was heard in this city, in the Native Language. We entreat all our Friends and Brethren to remember the poor Kandians in their prayers, that the Lord would incline them to receive the Gospel in the love of it: for it must be remembered, that these people are awfully deluded by superstition; and much, very much, under the influence of the infatuated Priests of Budhu. The authority of the Priests, it is true, is much diminished since they have been under the British Government; but they still retain great ascendency over the minds of the people.

The whole Congregation was very attentive on this occasion: but in July, it is stated

We are sorry to observe, that the Cingalese Service has hitherto been very thinly attended; yet we do not relinquish the hope, that, even here, a people will at length be found,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

blessed of the Lord, to know the joyful sound, and to walkin the light of His countenance.

Of the prospects with reference to schools, the Missionaries make, at the same time, the following statements:

In regard to Schools, little has yet been effected ; nor can we, for a considerable time, reasonably hope to see our attempts. crowned with much success. On the Coast, they have facilities for the establishment of Schools with which we are not here favoured. The Kandians have no secular object whatever in view, to induce them to have their Children educated ; nor is it to be expected that they should yet act from any higher motive: the only purpose for which the common and middling ranks of people give their Children education, is, to train them up for Priests of Budhu; but, when this is the case, the Priests: always afford them gratuitous instruction. On the Coast, also, the people have so long been accustomed to the habits of Europeans, and to the advantages accruing to themselves from having their Children educated, that they have sufficient stimulus for sending them to the Schools : but here the case is quite different: the people have had very little intercourse with Europeans; and, for the most part, are very suspicious of them, and consider the fairest plan as a design upon them.

We have not been able yet to establish any Native Schools: that which was set on foot, was broken up when an Epidemic Disease prevailed, and has not since been re-established. A few of the Natives are taught English in the Military School, and more are taught by a Master sent by Government for that purpose; but, as the acquisition of English is not necessary to their understanding the Gospel, it does not appear to us of sufficient importance to devote our attention much to that object. If the Children who learn English make any tolerable proficiency, they are immediately employed in Government Offices, and are taken off from the great object at which we aim the benefit of their countrymen: whereas, if they are instructed only in their own language, they are more likely to fix their resi-, dence among their own people, and to improve their learning to the good of others.

In July, the Missionaries write

W: have made a small beginning towards the establishment of a Boys' School, and also of a Girls' School. The Girls's School contains, at present, six Girls, who, living with their parents, attend daily for instruction in reading the Native Language and sewing: we have good reason to hope that their numbers will continue gradually to increase. The Boys' School consists of Three destitute Native Boys, for whom we have ventured entirely to provide, at about 51. a year each; and we beg

[ocr errors]

to be permitted to add Nine more to their number ; in the hope that they may be watered by the Holy Spirit and become a little Nursery of Kandian Christians. The advantage of their being entirely withdrawn from the pernicious influence of the Native customs, habits, and superstitions, is too obvious to need being pointed out to the observation of the Committee.

Toward the close of the year opportunities seemed to open for establishing Schools in some villages near Kandy. The Native Collectors of Paddy for Government, stationed in two of them, assured the Missionaries of their support.

The Missionaries have strongly urged the Establishment of a Press at Kandy, as they found it difficult to avail themselves of the Presses already in action. The Colonial Government sanctioning this measure, a Press has been sent from this country, with a Fount of English Types: a Cingalese Fount was to be supplied from Calcutta.

The Missionaries at Kandy and at Baddagamme, who live in the midst of the Cingalese, are anxious to obtain a translation, both of the Scriptures and the Liturgy, in a style more generally intelligible than the present Versions

Mr. Lambrick, who had been long familiar with the Learned Languages, has made it his constant aim to acquire the style intelligible to the body of the people. He finds that the present Cingalese Version bears the same relation to pure Cingalese, as Martyn's Hindoostanee Testament has to the colloquial Hindee. As the work on which Mr. Bowley has been so usefully employed, in reducing the mixed Hindoostanee to the colloquial Hindee, must probably be imitated in the reduction of the Cingalese of the coast to the language of the Kandian Provinces, the Committee bave recommended the printing of a single Gospel, in the first instance, in order to ascertain the acceptableness of such a translation to the Cingalese Population. 4. This subject is forcibly stated by the Missionaries. They say

You will hear with regret, that the Cingalese People are still without such a Translation of the Scriptures as they can generally understand. We think we might venture an opinion, that

« ElőzőTovább »