« ElőzőTovább »
prayers to Saints &c. is taught, it is here as in other Catholic places, the Children are brought up without any correct knowledge of the Principles of the Christian Religion: even their Parents, though called Christians, are often as ignorant as the Heathen around them : but little, therefore, can be expected from their Schools.
The proficiency of the Scholars may be, in some measure, ascertained by one of the last Monthly Reports of the state of the Schools:
321 Boys have learned the Lord's Prayer Of these, 265 have learned the Ten CommandmentsOf these, 174 have learned Watts's First Doctrinal Cate
chism Of these, 90 have learned The Sermon on the MountOf these, 13 have learned Scripture Extracts, including
the Creation, Fall, and DelugeOf these, 7 have learned Watts's Second Doctrinal Ca
techism : And a few have proceeded considerably further; besides those who have left the Schools, having made greater or less progress in learning. Ninety-seven have also made greater or less proficiency in reading: these are exercised in reading printed books, as Scripture Extracts, &c. and will thus be prepared, it may be hoped, for the future reception of the Scriptures.
Mr. Knight, in common with his Brethren, is anxious that a due estimate should be formed of the state of things around him, in order to prevent the indulgence of expectations which may be disappointed. The following remarks deserve the attention of all who would form a right judgment on the subject :
Though I endeavour to conduct my Schools in the best manner I am able, I think it necessary to caution the Society not to expect too much from them. Schools in England and Schools in India are very different things. We have not the means, here, of conducting Schools, in the way in which they are conducted at home; and yet have all the indolent habits and wretched customs of the country to struggle against. To counteract some of these, Rules* have been prepared ; but it is one thing to prepare Rules, and another to get them executed. This requires all the vigilance, perseverance, and PATIENCE possible : and whenever, therefore, I have spoken of the Prosperity of my Schools, it must be understood only comparatively,
* These Rules may be seen in Appendix XV.; together with a series of Extracts from Mr. Knight's Journal.
and not as what would be deemed prosperity in England. This does not arise from the intellects of the Children not being good, for they are excellent; but from the influence of evil customs and examples, and the want of good Teachers. The Children, also, are still with their Parents-trained up in all the follies and superstitions of Heathenism; and while things continue thus, after all my efforts my hopes of moral and religious good are certainly very low. The grace of God can, indeed, effect wonders; but without the interposition of a divine and supernatural power, little, very little can be expected. My hopes are, therefore, placed on the power and grace of God.
Mr. Knight adds, on another occasion
Though the Schools continue to keep up in attendance, and much is learnt in them, many discouraging circumstances, from time to time, present themselves. The use of Heathen Books, I am still obliged to connive at; and the necessity which I lay upon the Masters of adopting my lessons, often oocasions one and another of the Scholars to be taken away, and sent to be taught elsewhere. I also find it very discouraging that knowledge is so slowly disseminated: and that though the Children learn their Scripture Lessons at School, and constantly attend to hear the Word of God on the Sabbath, they yet make so little progress; but, with
my present means, I know not what more can be done. May the Lord cause His blessing to rest on my feeble labours, and then success will soon be evident!
Of his proposed plan of receiving Children into his house, Mr. Knight writes
From the reasons stated in my former communications, and from an increase of Missionary Duties, I am grieved to say, that I have not begun to take Boys to be supported and clothed, according to the permission granted me by the Society. I am still as much alive to the advantages, which, by the Divine Blessing, might be expected from this plan, as when I first recommended it; but other duties require so much time and attention, that, while I continue alone, however desirable it may be, I am ready to fear I shall not be able to carry it into effect.
The Committee will close their survey of the state of the Ceylon Mission, by quoting Mr. Knight's review of his own Station :
The review of the work in which I have been engaged, occasions peculiar sensations--some pleasant, some painful: but, though past efforts seem too much like traces in the water which speedily disappear, I would indulge the hope that they have not been altogether in vain. Many have heard the Word preached, and have understood much; but, alas! prejudice and the power of sin and Satan have blinded their hearts, so that I fear it hath
not been received in love. Many of our beloved Youths are trained to the observance of the Sabbath Day, which I trust they will not altogether neglect in days to come: they are also making progress in acquaintance with the Sacred Volume; and are daily storing up in their minds those truths, which are able to make them wise unto salvation, which I must yet hope will not be entirely lost.
As my Schoolmasters constantly attend on the Sabbath, and as they hear the Word more than others, I think it is not unreasonable, or inconsistent with God's usual method of working, to hope for far more from them than from others. I have therefore just commenced the plan of having them with me the whole of the Thursday Afternoon, to give them special instructions ; and, at the same time, I make them the subjects of daily special prayer. This plan I have taken, in part, from my American Brethren. I give the Schoolmasters a portion of Scripture, as a Chapter or Section, to take with them and consider for the week; and, when they come, I hear each of them read a little, and then make such inquiries or observations as I think will be likely to be instructive and useful.
For myself, I have enjoyed remarkably good health, and am as vigorous as I ever was in my native land. I consider my progress in the language as very encouraging; for though I have much to learn, and though very much time and application will be necessary before I shall be anything like master of it, yet my progress during the past year very much exceeds my previous calculation, and prompts me to additional perseverance.
On a review of the past year, I see much cause for gratitude; much reason to thank God, and take courage.
AUSTRA LASIA MISSION. The arrival of his Excellency Sir Thomas Brisbane at the seat of his Government, is an event which
promises much advantage to all exertions for the moral and religious benefit of the Colony and the countless islands to which it is a medium of access. His Excellency landed on the 7th of November. Mr. Marsden had an interview with him the same day; when he renewed the assurances of his countenance and support of the Society's undertakings, which he had made to its Deputation in London. The advantage of such kindness toward this Mission will be strongly felt by all who have marked the circumstances under which its foundations were laid, by that great friend
of the Society and of all efforts to benefit this quarter of the world, the Rev. Samuel Marsden.
In the early part of last year, Mr. Marsden requested some friends of the Society to assist him with their advice in conducting its concerns. They acted, for a time, as a Corresponding Committee; but it was afterward thought expedient to defer the regular organization of such a body: Mr. Marsden continues, however, to avail himself of the assistance of his friends.
The Seminary, at Parramatta, for New Zealanders, has been, for the present, suspended; the change of habits and climate being found injurious to the health of the Natives, and to require a degree of attention to them which under present circumstances could not be paid. Mr. Samuel Butler left in the beginning of March, and returned in the Hope to New Zealand. The Committee feel, however, that such advantages have been already derived from the Seminary, and are likely still to be derived when it can be placed under due management, that they wish every effort to be made to place it on a permanent footing.
In the same vessel, Mr. James Shepherd, mentioned in the last Report, proceeded, with his Wife, to join the Mission. Having spent some time both at New Zealand and in the Society Islands, before he engaged himself in this work, he understood its nature before he entered upon it. As to temporal circumstances, he would have done well in the Colony; but the Missionary Spirit had grown up with him from a Boy: nor could he rest until he had entered on this work, in which there is every prospect, under the blessing of God, that he will do well. Very intelligent Instructions* were addressed to him relative to his proceedings as a gardener and agriculturist.
Mr. John Cowell, who arrived in the Colony in May 1820, in order to proceed to New Zealand for the instruction of the Natives in rope-making, lost his Wife, after a few days' illness, on the 22d of Noveinber. A brief account of her last moments will shew that
• These Instructions are printed in Appendix XVI.
the Society also has sustained a great loss in the death of this valuable woman:
During her illness, she was perfectly sensible. The day before she died, she said, with that composure which nothing but the
grace of God could produce in a dying moment—"The Lord is about to take me to Himself. It is all for the best. His will be done!” A little before her death, she said "I am thankful to God for sending so many kind friends around me, but Jesus Christ is my best friend”-repeating, “ Jesus, Jesus, is my
best friend.” Éer last words were, lifting up her heaven-“ I am in no pain now. That is all taken away. Grieve not for me, I shall soon be better. I shall soon be with Jesus Christ my Saviour !"
Mr. Cowell writes, March 21, 1821–
My detention in New South Wales has been the means of my obtaining useful information respecting my business; and of having an opportunity of trying various methods to clean the New Zealand Hemp* which I could not have tried in New Zealand, not being able to get the proper machines made there for that purpose, as it is very different from the European Hemp, and requires a different process altogether to clean it. I am happy to inform you that I have been successful in the greater number of my operations in cleaning it; and I hope, in a short time, to be able to give you a more satisfactory account of all my operations on that valuable article; and I have no doubt, that, in a little time, the cleaning and manufacturing of that article will be one of the great means that God will make use of in the hands of men to bring the Natives into a state of civilization. Captain Irvine, the Gentleman with whom I have lived in Sidney since the death of my Wife, has taken an active part in all the operations.
After Mr. Marsden's return from his Third Visit to New Zealand, these experiments were continued. It appeared, however, probable, on several accounts, that it would be expedient to defer the establishment of a Rope Work in New Zealand; and to labour, for the present, to habituate the Natives, both to extend the cultivation of the plant, and to clean the raw material for exportation.
On Mr. Cowell's arrival in May 1820, Mr. Marsden
The term Phormium, the Linnæan name of the genus, seems best suited to this plant, which is said to unite the properties of both Flax and Hemp in a superior degree. See the Missionary Rugister for February, p. 91.