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The Subscriptions and Benefactions at Calcutta, with the Collection at the Annual Sermon, amounted to about 8071. ; which sum, added to a Donation from Government of 3031 rupees or 3791. forms a deduction of 1186l. from the charge on the Society.
The Income of the §. was larger than had, on several grounds, been expected; for the Conversion of the Natives to Christianity is a subject not as yet generally popular. Education is widely encouraged; but direct Missionary Exertions will receive, until a higher sense of duty shall prevail among Professed Christians, but a partial support. As, however, true religion shall increase among the residents, and the object of Missionary Societies shall be more justly appreciated, more ample assistance will be rendered to them by those on whom, above all others, the obligation most seriously presses.
The Corresponding Committee are alive to this subject; and will endeavour to raise on the spot such a fund as shall be adequate to all contingent expenses, such as the erection of Places of Worship, School Houses, and Dwellings for the Missionaries. Much has, indeed, been already done in this way, by the exertions of the Society's friends: the buildings belonging to the Society at Chunar and Burdwan are estimated at 35,000 rupees, of which 14,000 rupees arose from the sale of its House at Kidderpore; leaving 21,000 in permanent property, the produce of Contributions in India, independent of valuable premises at Agra and Benares which were presented to the Society.
The Corresponding Committee will supply an encouraging review of the Mission. They remark–
Upon the whole, the Committee think they may be allowed to congratulate the friends of the Church Missionary Society on the general aspect of their affairs at this Presidency. The Word of the Lord does evidently not go forth in vain.
In further proof of this, the following extracts from Letters of the Society's Missionaries may be adduced. Mr. Bowley writes—“A Young Man, calling himself a Devotee, called upon me from a village seven cos off. He said that . he had heard from some of his neighbours (who had received books from me) that a Padre was at Chunar, who devoted his
time in instructing people, and discussing religious points with them. This had brought him to me. He said that the books introduced into the village caused a great stir; and that the artful and selfish Brahmins had made the worst of it by prohibiting the books, saying, that they contained atheistical doctrines, and that the person who distributed them was an Atheist. Thus, by spreading calumnious reports, they endeavoured to deter the people from reading them. However, such efforts on their part had the contrary effect on him, and he therefore made up his mind to come and judge for himself"— Another thus writes—“The Prince asked of me, that himself and his colleagues might read the English Testament. On my asking his reasons for making this request, he answered that his Father had read Martyn's #. of the New Testament; that he had copied it; and, on his death-bed, he desired his Son to study it, as he found benefit from it in his dying moments:" the Writer adds, “May we not hope that the loan of this book was blessed to him 7" Another of the Society's Missionaries writes—“Amidst difficulties which at times much depress me, I yet have the strongest expectation of good from the School. Though it would be difficult perhaps to make the reasons for thus speaking evident to others, yet the altered feeling of many of the bigger boys is manifest.” Another thus writes—“It affords me sincere pleasure to be able to say, that, by the blessing of God, we are proceeding in the work almost as well as can be expected under existing circumstances. If I understood the language better than I do at present, and could converse with them more freely, I believe great part of my time would be employed in answering questions respecting the Christian Religion. It is evident that many of the more thinking part of the Natives are dissatisfied with their own religion; and are expecting a new era now. These signs make me conclude, that the time is come, when no Christian should appear indifferent to what is about to take place in this part of the world. Jesus shall reign!" These sentiments of those, who, above all others, are most liable to become discouraged, added to what the Committee has collected from their correspondence detailed in this Report, afford sufficient ground to thank God, and take courage.
MADRAS AND SOUTH-INDIA MISSION.
From the Fourth Report of the Madras Corresponding Committee and other communications, the Committee will now present as succinct a view as cireumstances will allow of the increasing exertions in this portion of the Society's Missions; while they renew their unfeigned thanks to its Representatives in this Presidency, for the zealous and prudent superintendence which they continue to exercise.
The Corresponding Committee, in , the following introductory remarks to their Report, while they faithfully state the difficulties and delays attendant on the Mission, clearly point out the duty of those who labour therein :
The stage at which the Society's establishments in this country have arrived, does not justify expectations of any extraordinary success, on the part of its Missionaries and Coadjutors, in the actual conversion of the Heathen. Most of its Missionaries are still engaged in the study of the languages of the places where they are stationed. . Many of their employments, from which, at an advanced period of their respective Missions, important results may ensue, are at present pursued incidentally. The work of Education is, in several places, still upon an experimental footing; and is, at most Stations, of limited operation. The Holy Scriptures have hitherto been circulated only to a small extent, compared with the occasion for them, in any of the languages of the country; and, in many, not at all. Books of Christian Instruction, in the 'ernacular Languages, are still rare; and, though increasin in number as much as can be reasonably expected in the actua circumstances of the different Missions, the preparation and publication of them are necessarily works of slow and difficult execution: the circulation of such books is also contracted by many causes, which can only be removed by the gradual and concurrent operation of various arrangements. Above all, the work of Preaching—the great appointed means of extending, in every part of the world, that Faith which it was the means of first promulgating—must be exceedingly restricted in its exercise, until the Missionaries, who are entrusted with the function, shall have become fully qualified for its performance, by a perfect acquaintance with the languages, and an intimate knowledge of the character, the manners, and the condition of the people, among whom they have been appointed to minister the Word of Life. - -: ..." Under such circumstances, all that it is reasonable for those to expect, who watch the proceedings of the Missionaries with the warmest desire for their success, is the diligent performance of the various duties of their respective stations. And, for the Missionaries themselves, the line of duty seems to be, to strive to make progressive proof of their Ministry, as the means and opportunities within their command shall enable them: and to persevere in patient continuance in well doing—happy if the favouring Providence of Almighty God shall permit them to witness, in their progress toward greater results, occasional instances of the beneficial fruits of their limited and imperfect endeavours, for the development of the objects of the Missionary Office: but willing, if denied such encouragement, to pursue their obvious course of action; preparing their Lord's way, it may be, for their successors; supported by the glad assurance that a day shall arrive, when both he that soweth, and he that reapeth, will rejoice together, in the abundant harvest of imperishable blessings, communicated by the Divine Compassion, in its appointed period, through their means, to the people whose present and everlasting welfare they have been solemnly devoted to promote. he retrospect of the current year's proceedings will evince, that, in the performance of the duties incumbent upon them, the Missionaries, in this division of the Society's extended field of operation, have not been deficient; and those, who favour their undertakings, and who aid them with their prayers for the blessing of Heaven upon their efforts, will find with satisfaction, that their labours, during this period, have not been without some encouraging proofs of present utility and success.
The Corresponding Committee, on the publication of their Third Report, addressed Letters to the Missionaries at the several Stations, conveying to them their views of the respective parts of the Mission. These Letters furnish a most satisfactory evidence of the wise and paternal solicitude with which the Committee watch over the different parts of their charge. No Missionary of the Society having been at that time at Tranquebar, a Letter was not addressed to that Station; but, on the appointment of the Rev. Isaac Wilson to a temporary residence there, the Corresponding Committee addressed to him Instructions, containing the most seasonable counsel, in reference to himself and to the state and circumstances of that part of the Mission”.
MA DRAS AND I TS VIC INITY.
From the Fourth Report and its Appendix, the Committee will select, in the usual order, the principal details relative to Madras and its Vicinity.
In reference to the MINIstry of the wood, it is said—
The division of duty at this Station, mentioned in the last Report, by assigning to the Rev. Mr. Bärenbruck the Native
* These Letters and Instructions are printed in Appendix XI.
Department of the Mission, and to the Rev. Mr. Ridsdale, while pursuing the study of the Tamul Language, the English Department, continues to be observed.
On the Native Department, the Report states—
The Congregation of Christian Natives which assembles regularly at the Mission Church, has averaged this year from 70 to 80 persons. Four Heathens have been admitted within this period to the ordinance of Baptism, after long probation and suitable instruction. In the case of one, in particular, the renuneiation of Heathenism ensued after much persecution on the part of the Convert's family and relations, on account of his intention; and was attended by the dereliction of the nearest connections of life—realizing an instance of the deliberate choice of the alternative, which the Divine Redeemer has imposed upon his disciples—He, that loveth father and mother more than me, is not worthy of me. The Congregation which assembles at the Koorookapettah School, on Sunday Afternoon, increases; and is often attended by Heathen Spectators. In the course of this year, the Reader Christian, who was formerly deposed from his Office in the Church, has been restored; after i. and satisfactory proof of his repentance, and a solemn admonition before the Congregation.
Mr. Bärenbruck continues, with much benefit, to visit, at their respective houses, the Native Members of the Mission. Of the English Department of the Mission, it is said— The English Congregation, which assembles in the Mission Church, has o amounted on Sundays to between 100 and 150 persons; and a marked improvement is visible in the order and seriousness with which the Service is attended. From 50 to 60 persons are usually present at the Weekly Service on Tuesday Evenings; and 14 persons have, after careful instruction, been admitted to the Communion of the Church. On this subject, it has been found highly necessary to act with prudence and decision; and strictly to enforce the discipline of our Church. This was judged important, for the twofold purpose, of excluding improper characters to prevent offence, and of bringing those who should be received into closer connection with their Minister for their edification. The utility of this measure has been fully proved: as it has kept back several, who would have been a scandal to the little flock; and, on the other hand, has ensured a more full and satisfactory development of the characters of those who have been admitted. There is a spirit of inquiry among the Young, some of whom have applied for instruction with great apparent earnestness.