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PARIS EVANGELICAL MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
Thirteenth Anniversary, April 20, 1837. M. le Pasteur Juillerat expressed his regret, that bad health had compelled the venerable President to remove from Paris for a season, in whose absence, be had been requested to preside. Assembled again to deliberate on the progress of the missionary enterprize, their thoughts were naturally borne along to the ends of the earth, because almost in every direction they beheld the servants of God engaged in cultivating his too-long neglected vineyard. They were met to pray for the success of this great work in general, and especially for their French missionaries, and the several stations under their care.
The Report was read by M. le Pasteur Verny, and began by rendering a suitable tribute to the memory of the late excellent M. le Pasteur Monod, sen, who, having been manager to the Society from its commencement, was called to his rest early after the last Annual Meeting. It next proceeded with a statement of operations and success during the past year, the substance of which follows. The stations of the Society, five in number, are all in South Africa, viz. Wagenmaker's Valley, Béthulie, Béerséba, Morija, and Molito; at which are employed six missionaries and one assistant. They are all, for the most part, in a prosperous condition. Béerséba is a new station, embracing nearly 500 sook. Five years ago, Molito was literally a barren desert. In 1835, it contained only 64 huts or cabins, and now there are 186 houses, and nearly 750 inbabitants. The missionaries experience scarcely any opposition from the chiefs, and many of the native tribes have treated them with a favour equally warm and constant. The fertility of the climate and seasons, always a source of great support and comfort to the missionaries, has been strikingly abundant during the past year. The beneficial effects of the mission on the intellectual and moral culture of the people, are marked and promising in a degree. This appears from the growing disposition of the African tribes to adopt the European customs and clothing, the moral renovation gradually working in their habits and general character, and those principles of order and justice which increasingly pervade all their social relations. The schools greatly prosper. At Béthuhe there is a constant attendance of about 80 scholars, children and adults. Among the latter, the most distinguished for rank and diligence is Lepui, the chief of the Bechouanas at this place. Lepui is in his fiftieth year; is eager and constant in his attendance on divine worship, strictly conscientious in the sanctification of the Sabbath, and has refused to submit his children to circumcision. Writing of him, M. Daumas exclaims—“ Behold, the Lord has raised up a second Pomare !" At this school, many of the children read the native dialect, and others the Dutch, with great fluency; and considerable progress has been made in the elements of sacred music, on the plan introduced to the Paris schools by M. Wilhelm. At the Beerséba school there are 100 scholars, and at Molito nearly 50. Of these last, 20 read with ease the Gospel of Luke, and extracts from the Old Testament, “in their own tongue." "The Missionary here employs one hour weekly in catechising the more advanced scholars on the lessons and preaching; and from their replies, he indulges the hope that the Scriptures are not a dead letter to many of them. He proposes soon to teach them writing and arithmetic. The Missionaries, MM. Cazalis, Pellissier, and Lemue, have accomplished the translation of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, together with several catechisms and tracts into the native language. At the five stations the preaching of the Gospel is anxiously attended, and many who lately were declared enemies to its announcements, show that a deep movement has been excited in their consciences. M. Bisseux has recently baptized two old men, one of whom is in his eightieth year; and subsequently six other indivi. duals have been submitted to the same ordinance, the circumstances of whose conversion, are related in his letters, are deeply interesting and delightful. These eight have been admitted to the Lord's Supper; and the little church under the care of M. B. now consists of thirteen persons. The occurrences of
the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper, produce a stroug impression on those present, especially on the parents and near relatives of those engaged in them. The three converts baptized at Béthulie, as mentioned in the last report, continue to exhibit those gracious dispositions which become their holy profession, and are making great progress in the divine life. Of fifteen Béchouanas at this station, who have manifested signs of repentance, M. Pellisieur has admitted six candidates for baptism, five of whom, he writes, have been received into the church since his return from the last missionary conference.
No account of conversions have arrived from Morija, but the attendance on preaching is most assiduous; anxious solemnity pervades the congregation ; many abstain from all labour on the Sabbath day, and have begun to hold small meetings for prayer among themselves. At Beerséba, nine individuals have afforded delightful hopes of " newness of life;" one of whom is a chief of considerable influence. Writing on this subject, M. Rolland states, that not a few of his hearers frequently interrupt the silence of their public services with their sobs and tears. Lastly at Molito, where M. Lenuce is stationed, the Word of God is exciting encreased attention among the people. Although as yet, no actual conversions have been noted, he labours in hope; and in a letter observes ; -“ It is not pleasing to God for me to be discouraged. The wind of the Holy Spirit bloweth where it listeth; and ere long, it will blow upon these countries, and revive the dry bones."
The Mission Blouse has sustained a severe loss in the death of Mme. Grand Pierre, the wife of its Director. A prevailing sickness, too, which appeared soon after the last public meeting, reduced the number of its students to one. This depression, however, was only momentary, and fourteen candidates were soon presented to the Committee ; making in all twenty-six, who have offered themselves for missionary service during the year. Of these, six have, at different times, been received into the institution, and two who had left from illness, have resumed their studies. Three of the students are now ready to enter on their work as assistant missionaries, viz:-MM. Maeder, Loyer, and Hagenback. These young labourers will embark in a few weeks for their several stations, accompanied by three female missionaries, namely, Mlle. Eliza Colany, daughter of the worthy pastor of Lemé, sister of the wife of M. Lemue, and who is promised in marriage to Missionary Daumas ; Mlle. Graciette Tousa, of Castetarbe; about to become the wife of Missionary Lauga; and Mlle. Clarisse Delatte, from the Templeuse-le-Guérard.*
From the Treasurer's account presented by M. Waddington, it appears that the receipts of the past year amount to 45,077 fr. 74 c. or £1873 5s, and the expenses to 58,044 fr. 59 c., or nearly £2418; leaving a balance due to the Treasurer of about £545 15s. 6d.
The Report of the Paris Ladies' Auxiliary was read by M. le pasteur, F. Monod. The receipts for the year are 2,432 fr. 80 c. or £107, which with the proceeds of the sale referred to in last report, make a total of 4902 fr. 15 c. or £204 5s. After recording with gratitude the goodness of God in disposing their beloved sisters in Christ (before mentioned), to devote themselves to the Lord's service, the Ladies' Report concludes with the following beautiful sentiments on female co-operation in the cause of missions. “Is it not worthy of devout observation that while some timid spirits are boldly inquiring into the rights and privileges of the female sex, God is now preparing for them in every region a glorious opening for the advancement of his kingdom? While we behold them aiding in the circulation of the sacred writings, the instruction of children, and the work of missions, what a noble sphere of effort is presented to them! An illustrious band of female missionaries from England, America, and, we can now add, from France, are seconding their husbands in their arduous and perilous enterprize. They not only instruct the female portion of
* These missionaries sailed from London in May last for the Cape, accompanied by an English missionary and his wife.
the heathen population, and preside over infant schools, but they proclaim the gospel, and adorn the christian faith, in all the details of domestic life. For it is proper to remind them that the gospel in its purity, the good news, is the love of God to sinners, einbracing time and eternity. The true worship which is in spirit and in truth, consists in an entire consecration to God; recourse to him in all exigences as the only refuge, the sole support and eternal friend of immortal souls. The woman, the mother, and the little infant also, become missionaries of the same faith. All the changes and sorrows of life are softened by the Holy Spirit, the Comforter: all inquietudes are dissipated at the feet of the Saviour, and by him the affections and relations of life are sanctified. In these things, constantly exhibited to the heathen by the Missionaries, will assist those daily teachings, which will lead them to know the love which the Father has for them and for their children. O, how sublime to accept such an office! How glorious to fill it thus! But who would dare to enter upon it, unless he has for his support the arm of Omnipotence! • Eloquent and powerful addresses were delivered by MM. les Pasteurs, G. Encontre, Hugues, Colany, Wilks, F. Perrott, and Rosselloty.
ALLEGED PERSECUTIONS OF THE PROTESTANTS IN SARDINIA. As in our last number we published some statements from the public journals unfavourable to the Sardinian government, so we think it right to give equal publicity to the following exculpatory statements.
The Nouvelliste Vaudois, a Swiss journal, having made erroneous assertions respecting a new civil code promulgated by the King of Sardinia, an advocate of Anncey protests in the Federal of Geneva, against those assertions. We quote the following passage of his refutation, which might be applied to the articles in some other journals on the same subject. “It is false that our new legislation renders the condition of the Protestants worse than that of the Jews; that Protestants cannot serve as evidences, or that a recent circular probibits notaries from drawing up contracts in favour of the Protestants. If the writer had read our new code, he would have found in Articles 3, 18, and 150, undeniable proofs that no change is made respecting subjects not Catholics, and that with respect to them the ordinances hitherto in force are referred to; he would have seen that our code follows, for the most part, the code of Napoleon, with some judicious modifications which experience has suggested, and that this code is a vast benefit conferred on his subjects by the King of Sardinia.”-- Journal de Frankfort, Oct. 27.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS, &c.
Favours have been received from Rev. Drs. J. P. Smith-Clunie-Henderson-Price. Rev. Messrs. A. Wells-N. Hellings—Thos. Haynes-E. Giles - Joseph Morison - A. Reid.
Also from J. R. Bennett, M.D.-J. B. Williams, Jun.- Joshua WilsonW. Stroud, M.D.—Josiah Conder.
The Editor invites the attention of his readers to the prospectus of The Protestant Dissenters' and General Life and Fire Insurance Company, which he thinks has claims upon the effective co-operation of the whole nonconforming community.
He regrets that he has been compelled to defer several important articles until the January number, that he might complete, in the present Magazine, several papers that were commenced in preceding numbers. The Review of Mr. Beverley's Letters is in type, but for this reason will not be published until January.
The Supplement of the Congregational Magazine has always been devoted to subjects which, in the judgment of its conductors, have had special claims upon the attention of its readers.
In selecting for the present Supplement the able letters which have recently appeared in the Patriot Newspaper on the merits of the Congregational Union, the Editor has only shown that he agrees with the writers on both sides of that question, in their opinion that it has now become a subject of such importance as to deserve and demand the best consideration of the Congregational Ministers and Churches throughout the land.
At the Annual Assembly, in May last, changes were happily made in the executive of the Union, which were soon apparent in a powerful address of the Committee to all the pastors and churches of the denomination in England and Wales, which was published in this Magazine for September last, (p. 541.) That able and important document, which also appeared in the Patriot newspaper, could not fail to attract the attention of the parties to whom it was addressed.
It induced a gifted writer to commence a correspondence in that. Journal upon the merits of the Union. This step cannot be a matter of regret to its committee and members, who have often wished that its secret opponents would break their ominous silence, and fairly come forth to discuss the questions involved in its constitution.
Although that gentleman assumed the modest title of a Layman, yet he is generally understood to be a member of one of the learned professions, and has not only conducted his part of the discussion with considerable talent, but also with that tact which legal practitioners so readily acquire. As it was scarcely to be expected that a more able and willing advocate on that side of the question would appear, the Rev. Algernon Wells, the Secretary of the Union, replied. Six letters of these gentlemen, together with a single epistle from Mr. Peek form the entire correspondence. The Editor possessing some authentic information on the subject, has felt it to be his duty to append explanatory notes on several parts of the controversy.
In these statements he has sought rather to be a witness than an advocate, though he is not willing to abandon his right of declaring his conviction that this effort to unite our churches before the eyes of the world, is a most scriptural, important, and necessary enterprize, a conviction that has increased with the observations of each succeeding month, both in reference to the Congregational denomination, and other bodies of British Christians.
He commends, therefore, these letters to the serious and candid attention of the churches, and trusts that this friendly discussion will promote the true interests of liberty, truth, and godliness,
Sir,-You may not perbaps consider that even your Journal, deroted as it is in a great measure to politics, is the most fitting place for opening a discussion on the subject of the Congregational Union.
It is, however, a somewhat disadvantageous position in which those who object io a national organization of our sect, as being uncalled for and inexpedient, if not in its necessary tendency, dangerous to the independence and liberty of the churches, are situaled,—that all the periodical publications which profess to explain and support our general denominational principles, have yielded, so to speak, an obedient adhesion to the Society. Ai first, a kind of skirmishing warfare took place on the subject in the Congregational Magazine, but that excellent periodical, although it has been long supported faithfully (it is not said adequately) by the ministers and laity of the denomination generally, in country as in town, has, for some years past, ceded itself as a regular pledged organ of the Union. It is its reporier, its record, ils advocate. It is not the publicalion of the Independent denomination.*
That the Congregational Union does not actually embody and represent the whole, or even a majority, of the members of the Independent churches, by any system of equal and adequate representation, making allowance for the relative numbers and influence of each respective church, may be collected from the able and amiable-spirited document which has just issued from the secretary, It is a great misfortune, therefore, that those who cannot discover the same advantages of a merely denominational association, of such an extensively organized character as to become an accretion and concentration of our entire power, which have been seen by the eminently learned and pious men who have established the Union, should be so situated as to find no Dissenting periodical which has yet kept the subject in the fair position of an open question. It would certainly be a somewhat Irish way of proving our real union of spirit and operation, if we were to split ourselves, decidedly, and before the deriding world, into Unionists and anti-unionists; that is to say, if other periodical magazines and papers advocating our general sentiments were to be set up, separately, and in opposition to the existing publication, thus dividing Dissenting periodical literature into two prominent sections, not to say factions. And yet if all those periodicals which for years have received the general and affectionate support of the denomination become the pledged and obedient organs of the very Institution, the propriety of which is still, in fact, a matter of grave and serious doubt among us, whar alteruative is there that shall do justice to the unfortunate doubters? It may be answered, “ Why the general press is open! You can write pamphlets.” No doubt! But the position in which a member of the body, (as we are called.) who is not convinced of the necessity or propriety of the Union (not union) is placed, is, to say the least, highly
* If this periodical be « not the publication of the Independent denomination," the blame can. not be imputed to the present editor, who has laboured now for twelve years to make it such. He begs respectfully to remind the Layman, that the Independents of England and Wales did not possess a list of the pastors and churches of their own faith and order, until in 1926, when he compiled one for this Magazine
That list of churches and pastors has been reprinted with extensive corrections and additions in 1827, 1829, and 1835. Now it is obvious that such a compilation could not have been made and improved again and again, without the cordial assistance of some influential gentlemen in each county, and that they could not have afforded that assistance, but as their brethren around them approved of the object of their inquiries.
Again, let any one, acquainted with the Independent ministers and laymen throughout the country, examine the names of our correspondents during the past or any preceding year, and say, whether they do not include a fair representation of the learning, intelligence, and piety of the denomination
The editor owns, that by an early vote of the Union, this Magazine was appointed the organ of its communications to the public, but this was not intended to exclude the communications of those sections of the denomination which have not joined the Union. In the present volume there are at least eighty pages devoted to the Transactions of Congregational Churches at Home and Abroad, in which intelligence of the proceedings of individual and associated churches bave bren cheerfully and prompily inserted, altogether, irrespective of the question, Are these parties “ Unionists or Anti onioni.ts ?"
After having in this manner received the spontaneous suffrages of his brethren, the editor dees not feel that it is presump'ion in him to claim for this Magazine the privilege of repescuing the Inde pendent denomination in the monthly congress of periodical literature.