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Your Committee regret to state, that, in consequence of increased labour, their funds are nearly expended: they would also remark, that their monthly expenditure is, upon an average, above 300 rupees; to meet which, their subscriptions only amount to one-fourth of this sum.
A Collection was made after the Meeting, which amounted to 662 rupees.
The Rev. John Theophilus Reichardt and the Rev. Isaac Wilson continue at this Station. A Chapel has been erected on the Society's Premises at Wii. which the Christians residing on or near the Mission Premises meet morning and evening for worship, to the number of about 25; when also some of the passers-by are usually attracted to hear a portion of the Scriptures read and explained. On Sundays, the regular Service of the Church is performed, Morning and Evening, in Bengalee; when, including the unconverted Natives, from 60 to 70 attend. The Lord's Supper is administered every second Sunday in the month, to about 12 Communicants. Three other Chapels have been opened in the Native Town: one of them was built at the sole expense of a benevolent individual. The Rev. Mr. Reichardt attends principally at the Chapel in Potuldunga, and the Rev. Mr.Wilson occupies himself in the more northern parts of the town. Sometimes two, and not unfrequently three Chapels are attended in succession, and two or three hundred persons hear a portion of Divine Truth at each place. In the course of the week the Missionaries preach in this way from ten to fifteen times; and a Country-born Young Man and two Native Converts are also occupied from time to time in distributing Tracts among their countrymen, and conversing with them on subjects connected with Christianity. During the past year, there have been four Marriages among the Native Christians; and five persons have been baptized, of whom two are adults. Among the Candidates for Baptism are the Father and Mother of a little Girl, a Scholar in one of Mrs. Wilson's Schools; who having herself been taught to hate the sin of idolatry, and gently, yet firmly, to remonstrate with her parents against it, was the means of exciting in their minds a desire for Christian instruction. In the 12 Boys' schools in Calcutta and its Vicinity, supported by the Calcutta Association, there are upward of 800 Scholars. The Calcutta Committee have transmitted an account of a very satisfactory examination of 200 of the Boys, on the 6th of March, in the presence of Archdeacon Corrie and many other friends of native education. In the midst of the facilities which present themselves on all sides for more extended labours in this department, the Calcutta Committee write— The applications for Schools have been so pressing, and the ..o. to listen to Christian Instruction so manifest, in some Villages near Calcutta, that it has been very painful to the Missionaries to be obliged to refuse the aid which has been sought for. It appears, from the Third Report of the Ladies' Society for NATIvE-FEMALE Education, that the Central School would probably be ready for occupation by the end of the year. The Society's Receipts amounted to something more than 8700 rupees. The Committee have made a grant of 300l. to the Ladies' Society in aid of its important objects. The number of Schools, and other particulars connected with them, are thus noticed by the Ladies' Committee in their last Report:— In Calcutta the same number of Schools has been maintained as was stated last year, and the same number of Children continue to attend; namely, in 30 Schools about 600 Girls, of whom about 400 are in daily attendance. Their respected Superintendants remark to the Ladies' Committee— The effects of novelty being now at an end, we hope that we may look on our work as tolerably well established. It would be difficult to ascertain the motives which induce Parents to send their Children to our Schools; but they have seen our disinterested labours among them for more than five years, and are well acquainted with our plans of instruction. No rewards are held out to induce the Children to attend; and it seems but justice to them to state, that the Natives around us seem to give us daily more of their confidence. The character of the books which we use, the nature of the examinations, and the
general order and state of the Schools, are all open to the inspection of the Friends of the Children entrusted to our charge.
On the inexpediency of enlarging their labours
without enlarged means of superintendence, the Committee remark— Many more Schools, with the prospect of being well attended, might have been established; but as no dependence can be placed on the Native Teachers without vigilant superintendence, it was not judged advisable, even had the Funds admitted of it, to extend the Committee's sphere in Calcutta. An Examination of the Schools took place on the 23d of December 1826, which satisfactorily exhibited the progress that has been made in the appearance and acquirements of the Children. The PREss is conducted by Mr. De Rosario, under the superintendence of Mr. Reichardt. Besides the Monthly Missionary Intelligence, and Report of the Society in English, 4350 copies of Tracts and Scripture Extracts in Hindoostanee, Persian Character; 6500 copies of ditto in Nagree; and in Bengalee 18,300 copies; have been issued during the past year: and much work has been done for other Societies and Individuals. On the disposal of Tracts, the Committee remark— A great number of these little Messengers of Truth have been used in the Schools of the Society, and a greater number given away to individual Natives. The utility of this mode of disseminating religious knowledge has often been made manifest; and during the past year one of the most intelligent and influential Converts in the neighbourhood of Chunar was first led to serious inquiry from reading a Tract he found in a Fakeer's bundle, and to whom it had remained a dead letter.
The difficulty of supplying the wants of the various Stations induced some hesitation in the minds of the Auxiliary Committee as to the expediency of maintaining this; but it was afterwards decided that it should be continued. The circumstances which led to that decision are thus noticed by Mr. Corrie—
At Culna, much is to be hoped for: under the pressure of scanty funds and paucity of help, we were inclined to defer establishing Mr. Deerr there ; and accordingly begged Mr. and Mrs. Wilson to accompany Mr. Deerr thither in December last, and to dismiss most of the Teachers; reserving two or three Schools, to be carried on in connection with Burdwan, and increased hereafter as opportunity might serve. On their arrival at Culna, they found 300 First-Class Boys, of whom 70 were sons of Brahmins, each with a copy of one of the Gospels (according to their classes) under his arm: in them they read so well, and answered so intelligently, that Mr. and Mrs. Wilson could not find it, in their hearts to disperse the Schools: a Petition, too, which has been sent home, was drawn up by some of the principal people, to beg that Mr. Deerr would settle among them: under these circumstances, and hoping literally against hope as to funds, we have continued the Schools at Culna: and Mr. Deerr is gone up, and is living with his Wife and Child at present in a little hut. I shall see him too, if it please God, next week; and shall consider what arrangements can be made for his accommodation.
In their Report, the Committee state—
Though the state of the Society's funds has not yet allowed the Committee to provide a suitable house for a Missionary at this Station, yet Mr. Deerr has been so much encouraged by the anxiety manifested by the people for his residence among them, that he has continued with his family to reside in a matted Bungalow, at no small personal inconvenience. He has Eight Schools under his charge, containing at least 100 Boys each : here are, also, Three Girls' Schools, and more might be established. In all these Schools, the Christian Scriptures are read; against which no objection has been ever made.
It has been mentioned, that the Committee deemed it advisable that Mr. Deerr should reside at Burdwan, instead of this Station; and they, doubtless, must have had a painful duty to perform, in deciding between the conflicting claims of two places affording so much encouragement, when one of them must, in a great measure, be deprived of the services of a Missionary.
Of his MIN 1stry, Mr. Deerr writes—
I think it a duty to make preaching a matter as public as possible; and have begun to go into all the principal places, and address those whom I meet. If we were to confine our preaching to insignificant places only, and among ignorant men, it would appear as if we could not venture to meet their learned men with the Bible in our hands; and we might be suspected of imposing on the ignorant, who have not learning and sagacity enough to distinguish between right and wrong.
The state of the schools is shewn in the following
extract from Mr. Deerr's communications:— The Schools are still kept on at Culna, it being only 30
miles distant; so that I can visit them occasionally: they are,
however, reduced to six in number, for the sake of saving ex
pense. The number of Boys ...i. 600 on an average: they read the same books as those at Burdwan, but are more backward: more than one-third in each School are reading the Gospels, Ellerton's Scriptural Dialogues, and Geography. The progress would be more, if superintendence were not wanting. The Female Schools have been closed, because Mrs. Deerr could not superintend them after we had left.
On reviewing his labours at Culna, he thus expresses his sentiments:—
I lived only a short time in Culna, and found great satisfaction in the work: the people behaved as they had promised. I found everywhere an open ear; but, as it appears, not always an open heart. However, an extensive field is open. May it invite our Brethren to come and put their hand to the plough
The illness of the Rev. John Perowne led, as has been stated, to the return home of himself and family last year: this Station was, in consequence, deprived for a season of the stated labours of a Missionary, being only occasionally visited by Mr. Wilson from Calcutta: but, at the suggestion of the Committee, the Rev. William J. Deerr removed thither, from Culna, at the close of last year. Of this Station the Calcutta Committee thus speak, in their last Report:— Thirteen Schools continue to be supported here: an Examination of the First and Second Classes, consisting of about 200 Boys, was held in March last, as also of the Enlish School, when the Scholars exhibited the general evi#. of proficiency in various branches of knowledge, as has often before been stated in the Committee's Reports. The English School has been of necessity dispersed. r. Perowne gave the following brief account of the state of the Mission before his departure:– The preaching was continued regularly in the three Village Chapels, and also the Services in the Mission Chapel, till the beginning of July, when severe indisposition compelled me to desist. #. time to time the above Services have been resumed; but repeated attacks have prevented any thing like a regular course of instruction being kept up. Much interest, however, has been excited in the different Villages. All the Schools, both male and female, with only one or two exceptions, are thrown open to the Missionary, and he may preach
Christ in them with as much freedom as in an English Congre.