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India within the Ganges.-Bombay.
A meeting was held at the house of our late brother, on the 3d of June, anticipating the usual time of our quarterly meeting. Never can we forget the solemnities of that occasion. The scythe of death was sweeping all around us. From 60 to 100 were then dying daily in Bombay. Our brother had just gone, and there was reason to think the disease somewhat contagious. All this brought eternity very near to our view. Religious exercises were attended on the Salybath, and the sacrament of the Lord's supper was administered to all the missionary circle, by the Rev. Mr. Fletcher. • The letter proceeds to give an account of the translations, which go on very well. The whole of the New Testament is in a state of forwardness, and will be ready for the press by the time means are furnished. The missionaries are employed also in translating tracts, and preparing other things for the schools:
A tract, containing a concise bistory of the Bible; a short doctrinal catechism; and a tract for the Jews, have been prepared, and will be printed in order. The next portion of the Scriptures, which we shall print, is the Gospel of Luke. This will be done with a view to make it a part of the proposed edition of the New Testament.
The Christian Knowledge Society have given employment to the press in printing tracts, for several months, with some benefit to the mission. The School Book Society at Bombay is also expected to employ the press. The last they printed for themselves was an edition of the ten commandments in Latin, Portuguese, English, and Mahratta, designed principally for the native Catholics.
Amidst great indifference to plans of improvement, and a jealousy of innovations, they have made some advances in improving the schooling system ; and notwithstanding the irregularity and unskilfulness of the teachers, the progress of some of the boys has been highly encouraging. We are well persuaded,” say the missionaries, “ that if our patrons at home could see these boys, and hear their recitations, they would feel themselves paid for their charities.” And yet, with all these encouragements to promote and increase the number of schools, the want of funds has obliged them to dissolve len schools, and thus send away about 500 boys from the only means they have of receiving light and knowledge. The Jewish superintendent of schools has been dismissed for the same reasons, and the mission has been obliged to lop off every possible expense until they receive new supplies and encouragement from home.
With respect to preaching the Gospel publicly, the letter informs us that .
For several months past, Mr. Hall has made appointments, and held meetings in different parts of the town of Bombay. Some of these have been exceedingly well attended. The number has varied from 20 to 200. Besides the occasional meetings, he holds stated ones on the Sabbath ;-one in English to his own family, and some others, in the forenoon ; and in the afternoon, another in Mahratta in the schoolroom adjoining his house. Nothing can be more irre. gular, or uncertain, than a heathen audience. Sometimes a proposed meeting is frustrated by an insidious Brahmin ; sometimes a hope- . ful assembly of hearers are broken up, and the opportunity lost, by some angry mocker, or some obscene buffoon. So light a matter to most heathen, are those truths, which concern the very life of their
souls ! Mr. Hall most seriously feels the need of a chapel* and a fel low-labourer. Ever since the departure of brother Bardwell, he ha supported these meetings without any assistance.
For the greater part of two years past, a company of blind beggar came regularly to Mr. Newell's every Sabbath, and received from hin Christian instruction. Their number was from 20 to 40. The were always still and attentive ; and after religious exercises were over, Mr. Newell.gave each of them a pice (one cent,) with which they went away satisfied. Thus have these wretched blind people received much light into their understandings. May the divine Spiri apply it to their hearts !
Mr. Graves has recently succeeded in getting a considerable num ber of people together, at sundry times, to hear the Gospel. In this however, he has experienced many painful disappointments. Not withstanding this, he has constantly preached Christ to the people o
* We sincerely hope that he will soon be gratified. Indeed it is painful to thin! that, since this letter was penned, he has been seriously feeling this need, and la bouring in the same awkward manner eleven months already--that the most effi cient measures can hardly be expected to raise the necessary funds in a year to come and that more than another year must then elapse before the funds can be
transmitted and the building reared; so that eight or nine years will probably hav • elapsed since the missionaries had sufficient knowledge of the language to be pub
lic preachers of the Gospel, before any public centre shall be provided before a visible standard for the Gospel shall be reared-before there is a place sacred to the Lord Jesus, and pointed at as the known resort of the curious or the anxious inquirers. Long before this, however, the golden opportunity may be lost of en joying the labours of Mr. Hall, by this time, no dodht, eminently qualified to preact to the heathen around him; as is already irrecoverably lost the golden opportunity of profiting by the labours of Mr. Newell. He has ceased from his labour, and “having done what he could" inherits, doubtless, a glorious reward. We trust tha Mr. Hall and his associates will be spared long. It is incumbent, however, upon the public, to make their labour as efficient as possible while they live, and to compensate for the removal of those who have been taken from the field by sickness and death, by giving to those who remain as great an increase of power as possi. ble: and we confess, we think it would be a grcater good to erect a chapel than to send one or two additional missionaries, if in that case no chapel should be provided.
We hope some measures will be devised to fulfil, without delay, Mr. Hall's earnest and reasonable desire. We do not suppose that any draft upon the existing funds, or that any appropriation of the regular receipts of the society which support the Bombay Mission, can be made. But surely no object could more commend itself to the consciences and piety of the community; and we cannot think it will be long, after the plan is set on foot at Boston, before New-England will furnish abundant funds. Should there be a deficit, our readers and friends, and that multitude of good and charitable people in this quarter who are not our readers, we hope will cheerfully come forward with their aid. Besides all this, we presume that the project need only to be set forward, in order to secure at Bombay, as liberal contributions as we remember to have read, were furnished at Calcutta for the erection of a chapel there. We will add, even at the hazard of swelling this note to an unreasonable length, that if the thing be not done in a more ordinary way. that there are congregations in our country who could do the work alone; or a dozen individuals of wealth could league together and do the work; or some individual, a moiety of whose annual income would be enough, can put down tere thortsand dollars in the inoment of Christian and generous feeling he will find it is more blessed to give than to receive, and may perhaps, as some others have done, find it so much more pleasant to give than to hoard, as to resolve that as long as God bestows upon him a noble income, he will annually give nobly in promoting his glory.
India within the Ganges.--Bombay.
Mahim, and the villages round about, to many or to few, wherever he found them disposed to hear.
Mr. Nichols, for months past, has directed his attention principally to the Lapsed Catholics in Chandree, a large village of seafaring people, about one mile from Tannah.
In our last volume we gave some account of the Lapsed Catholics, more than 4000 of whom, about four years ago, set up the worship of devils, in order to avert the cholera morbus, and through the influence of artful men, went off from the Catholic communion. Several other villages on Salsette and near Basseen, and at Bombay, have followed their example. Their dreadful sufferings from this disease are thus described:
When the cholera made its appearance in this region, about four months ago, it first lighted on that people. In a few days, one hundred and twenty persons died. The heart-sickening scenes which were exhibited during that season, were unparalleled. The sick and the dying were brought into the presence of the village god, and there dreadfully beaten with rods, under the impression that the demon, that is, the disease, would be driven from them; while men and women, in the midst of a great assembly, were seen dancing in the most wild and furious manner, shaking and falling into trances, pretending to receive the god into themselves, and then promising health and safety to all who would implicitly trust them, and pay well for the supposed benefit. It seemed impossible to avoid the impression, that they were given up to “ believe a lie, that they might be damned." Lamentation and wo have been in their dwellings, but they have not turned unto the Lord. The disease is gone from them ; but instead of thanksgiving to Jehovah, it is given to dumb idols.
There is however much encouragement to labour among them, and Mr. Nichols thinks if he had a chapel a considerable number would attend to receive Christian instruction.
He has almost daily intercourse with the people of Chandree. They live compactly, are very accessible, and have sometimes collected in considerable numbers to hear divine truth. But these meetings bave been incidental, and not by appointment. The school, which Mr. Nichols has established among them, succeeds very well. It has now about 40 boys. When this school was commenced, there were scarcely three men in the village, who could read.
Mr. Hall, in the March preceding, made a tour of seven days to Rawadunda, Allebay, Nagotua, and Pane ; distributed books, conyersed freely with the people, and at the two Jast mentioned places, established schools, by the direction of the mission. In May, Mr. Graves, also, made an interesting tour of 13 days, in the southern Koncan, where he was favoured with many opportunities of declaring the Gospel to great numbers of people.
Mr. Hall has a boarding school of 10 or 12 scholars, country born, whose parents or guardians support them. These are instructed by Mrs. Hall in useful knowledge, and have great advantages of a religious education. Mr. and Mrs. Graves have adopted two little girls, who are provided with nearly a support, and
have taken two children of the native Catholics. Mr. and Mrs. Nichols have taken a little Mahratta girl, and three children of superannuated soldiers, the latter being placed under their entire control until they shall be 18 years of age.
The letter concludes with a renewed appeal in behalf of a Native Mission College, but our limits will allow us no more than the following extract.
When we consider the great expense, at which we have been educated and sent bither; the expense that is absolutely necessary to our support ; the difficulties of acquiring accurately a foreign pro. nunciation; the time that is spent in doing this ; the peculiar uncertainty of our lives ;-all these, and many other considerations, lead us ardently to wish, that a provision might be made for the instruction of missionaries in this country. There are many boys, who might be obtained and educated. The language of the people is their language; the country is their country. They are attached to no community ; have no high expectations in regard to pecuniary emolument ; and have no false systems of faith to shake off. They will not be regarded with that jealousy by government, with which foreigners are ; nor will they be liable to be sent away from the country. We do not mention this subject as a new one, either to ourselves, or our patrons ; but we cannot forbear repeating its importance.-From what Christian country, or countries, we ask, are missionaries to come, who will be adequate to the wants of this people ? From what treasury are they to be supported ? It must never be forgotten, that a capital object of missionary exertion is, to put the heathen into a way of teaching themselves.
UNITED STATES.-New-YORK Religious Tract Society.
Rev. GARDINER SPRING, D. D. President.
Mr. D. H. WICKHAM, 59 Fulton-street, Depositary. The operations of the Society during the last year have been more encouraging than in former periods. A loan of $500 granted to the Managers for that pur. pose, have enabled them to adopt the plan of stereotyping their principal Tracts, from which very great advantages may confidently be expected. In our last num. ber we made a misstatement of the number of Tracts distributed, which we now correct.
The whole number of Tracts sold and distributed the past year, is 131,331 English, 7,150 French, and 5,350 Spanish. Of these, 25,141 English have been drawn out by members, on account of their subscriptions; 76,128 have been sold from the Depository. There are now on hand 124,397 English, 47,526 French, 33,214 Spanish Tracts.
The whole number of Tracts printed by the Society, since its formation, is 1,135,594, exclusive of a considerable number in the press, which will, in a short time, be ready for delivery.
From the foregoing it will be perceived that the amount of Tracts drawn out
New-York Religious Tract Society.
by subscribers, and gratuitously distributed, is nearly equal to the whole amount sold from the Depository.
The following very sensible remarks claim the particular notice of Tract distributors:
Many of those, who are friendly to the object of the Society, appear to be unmindful of the expediency of promoting the sale, as well as the distribution, of tracts. If the publications of the Society are sold the proceeds afford the ability of republishing, and if again sold the benefit may be thus greatly increased. But, if the person who wishes to distribute, obtains a donation for the purpose, the aid he lends the cause is but of an imperfect nature. The liberality of the Society would be abused if the facility of obtaining donations prove a means of preventing sales. . A gratuitous supply should never be requested by individuals until some effort had been made to obtain the ability of purchasing. A pious individual, for instance, travelling to the westward, may apply for a donation of tracts to distribute on his journey. His motives being duly appreciated, the request is granted; but would it not be far better if this same individual, supposing bim to be unable to purchase himself, were to make a little collection amongst his friends, or to apply to some one or two of his richer acquaintance for the means necessary to purchase the quantity required. In the former case, he does well, it is true ; but he gives away what has cost him nothing, while the Society only is embarrassed by his benevolence: in the latter instance, while with one hand he administers to the wants of those who hunger and thirst for the instruction disseminated, with the other he waters the plant destined to afford the same spiritual nourishment to thousands equally destitute.
The Managers have added to the Society's list the following Tracts, received from the London Tract Society, viz:
No. CLIII. Fifth Part of the Boatswain's Mate. CLIV. Sixth Part of ditto. CLV. Seventh Part of ditto. CLVI. Thomas Brown. CLVII. Contemplations, on Eternity. CLVIII. The worth of the Soul. And No. CXLVIII. “A plea for Missions," written by a member of the Princeton Theological Seminary. This we are sorry to say, is the only original Tract which the Managers have procured this year.
How unhappily true was the remark in the last report of the Managers, that "It has been difficult to draw the attention of our uble and pious writers to this subject." If what they seemed to anticipate be true, that there exists an opinion that the object is not of sufficient importance to deserve the effort, we would ask the great number of those who are competent to write, to look over the annals of the Tract Societies, to visit the cabins of our poor, to listen to the testimony of the Sunday scholars, to hear the story of the restored Sailor, who thanks “his stars" and “thanks his God, that GEORGE CHARLES SMITH was ever born, that he ever wrote the Boatswain's Mate.”
The names of Richmond, and More, and Smith, and many others, will be hand. ed down to posterity as benefactors of mankind, and will be blessed by thousands in eternity for writing religious Tracts. Surely there cannot be wanting a motive. Neither can there be wanting ability and leisure. Why have not our clergymen and laymen as much ability and leisure as those who write the English Tracts ? We know no reason unless it be that most of these have acquired ability and leisure