« IndietroContinua »
Adults and several Girls, all of whom read the New Testament. The First Class in the Persian School read a chapter daily, and a chapter is expounded to them twice a-week. The Boys of one of the Hinduwee Schools assemble in my Study daily, to read a chapter of the New Testament. In addition to his Ministerial labours, Mr. Bowley has been occupied in the important work of Translation: of his Hinduwee Version, the Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, and New Testament are printed: the Version of the Old Testament is completed and revised to the end of the Second Book of Kings. The Committee of the Calcutta Auxiliary Bible Society remark— This acceptable Version is the most useful work, perhaps, in reference to the number of Native Christians who are prepared to use it, that has yet appeared.
While Mrs. Wilkinson, with her Children, has been compelled by ill health to return home, the Rev. Michael Wilkinson has been enabled to continue his labours at this Station.
There are two English and two Hindoostanee Services on the Sunday, and the number of the various Congregations is fully maintained. The opportunities of religious communication with the Native Population increase; and the Committee of the Church Missionary Association at this place remark—
In the course of an evening excursion directed to no fixed place, it has been generally found practicable to collect together a small number of persons who have listened with attentive respect to the truths declared. No specific instance of benefit received can be pointed out, but it is a step in our progress deserving of remark.
They further add—
Some success has attended the efforts of a Lady of our Society to dispense religious instruction to the Native Females. Between twenty and thirty attend on Sunday, to whom the Scriptures are read and explained; and on five week days, meetings are held at different houses in the town in succession, where a party of about twelve Females attend very regularly. Many of them are very attentive, and ask pertinent questions; and some of them appear to have acquired considerable knowledge of the Scriptures.
The Report does not state what numbers of Children there are in the schools, though it gives a satisfactory account of their progress. The Boys advance, not in knowledge merely, but in the general tone of their conduct: their attachment to their Festivals is diminished, and they are far more regular in their attendance at School than formerly. The Committee of the Association report, that, since Mrs. Wilkinson's departure, the Lady already adverted to has taken the Girls' School under her immediate superintendence. Of the Scholars they thus write :The number of those who attend is about eighteen: their school-hours are divided, as before, between reading and learning plain work, and such other female occupations as are likely to tend to their comfort and advantage in after-life. The principal obstacle in this department is found to arise from the prejudices of the Parents. The Children hang about, and desire to be taken in and instructed; but their Parents often forbid them. Time and patience on our part, and experience on theirs, can alone overcome this difficulty. In the se MINARY there are 12 Youths: more are desirous of admission; but the funds do not allow it. The Boys in the Seminary and School have read, during the year, the following books: — Sellon's Abridgment in Hindoostanee; Psalms of David in Oordoo and Persian; New Testament, from the Gospel of St. John to Revelation, in Oordoo and Persian ; the whole of the Pentateuch in Hindoostanee. They have also gone through the first four Rules of Arithmetic. Four Native Children have been baptized during the year. Two deaths have also occurred in the Native Congregation. In reference to the trial to which God has, in his providence, subjected him in the separation from his family, Mr. Wilkinson thus expresses his sentiments:– The trial to which you allude I do indeed feel to be one of no ordinary kind. It has called forth feelings which before I knew not from experience that I possessed. The strongest affections of the soul have been opposed, and have called into exercise a principle which the Lord had graciously given for the day of trial. Adored for ever be the Divine Love, in all its G
varied manifestations! When God gives, He blesses; when He takes away, He blesses also. To the upright there ariseth light in darkness; and the exercise of Divine Goodness appears most bright when breaking through a cloud. I can now think more clearly, speak more experimentally, and sing more loudly of Covenant faithfulness. Through mercy, my mind has been preserved from such a state of anxiety as must have hindered me in my great work. In the multitude of my thoughts, the comforts of Jehovah have rejoiced my heart.
Of the general state of things, Mr. Wilkinson writes in July—
My own feelings often prompt me to speak of the good things which the Lord seems to be doing by us; but I always fear to speak as I feel. I do not wish you to think that nothing is doing. I think, on the contrary, God is greatly blessing us; but it is in a way which would not probably be visible to a stranger coming among us: my own heart is abundantly rejoiced and encouraged by what is going on; but it is more from a knowledge of what must necessarily be, in a great measure at least, unseen by a mere spectator. The Schools are as promising as can be expected. Among the Adults, too, I hope much good is finding its way silently and unseen. Three persons since my arrival here have died, witnessing a good profession, two of them rejoicing. On Sunday I baptized another Adult, with one Child; which make, in all, eight Baptisms since my arrival.
In September he remarks—
These opportunities of conversing with the poor infatuated people are among the best means of making known Christianity. When I often ask, When shall the day dawn? When shall the Sun of Righteousness arise? How long has darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people? The inquiry of the Edomites is peculiarly suited to the long and awful reign of the god of this world. What, what will be the issue of this awful night? Blessed be God for the cheering hope that the morning cometh? Oh, it will soon, I trust, open upon us! As yet it is scarcely twilight with us here. Few are heard to inquire, Watchman, what of the night 2 Enveloped in darkness, they love that darkness well: it suits too well their evil deeds: they come not, and they manifest no desire to come to the light, lest their deeds should be made manifest. He who reigns in the children of disobedience, must first be cast out, and the Spirit must be poured out from on high. We sometimes talk of the conversion of the world by human means and human instruments. Where are the means, where are the instruments, for so prodigious a work? A miracle must be wrought, to create them first. And yet, my dear Sir, yet it shall. He who doeth all things after the counsel of His own will, will do it in His own best time and way. He has only to give the word, and many shall be the Heralds of Salvation. The power to make known, the will to hear, the heart to receive—all, all is from Him. Soon the seventh trumpet shall sound; and He that shall come, will come, in the power of His Spirit. He shall work, and none shall let. I rejoice to hear good of home, in respect to contributions: and could we translate a few of the scenes we are obliged to witness into your Meeting, they would be instead of a thousand Sermons, to open the heart and the pocket. Cawnpore.
The Society supports a Native Catechist at this Station, of whom the Rev. Mr. Whiting gives the following account:—
I am happy to be able to inform you, that Peter Dilsook continues to maintain a truly Christian deportment, and that his desire to make known to his poor deluded countrymen the Way of Salvation appears not to abate. I regret, at the same time, that I have it not in my power to say, that the number of his attendants at the Native Chapel is increased. His labours, however, are not confined to the Chapel: he frequently endeavours to spread the savour of the Redeemer's name on the banks of the Ganges and in the Bazars; and I hope these endeavours, although we could desire some more positive
roofs of his success, are not altogether in vain. Every K.I., Morning he visits me; when he performs a short Service, and delivers a brief address to a small assembly of Natives, in a room in my compound. Agra.
This Station has acquired a peculiar interest, from its having been so long the scene of the Rev. Abdool Messeeh's labours; one of the earliest of that holy band of Christian Teachers who, in God's time, shall be raised and sent forth by the anointing of His Spirit to proclaim the message of Redeeming Love to their unhappy countrymen. After his ordination by Bishop Heber in December 1825, he did not reach his Mother's residence at Lucknow till the hot season of 1826 had set in. It was intended that he should make that place the sphere of his future labours; but on the 4th of March, in last year, he was called to enter into his heavenly rest. The following view of his character is given by the Calcutta Committee, in
their last Report:
He had laboured in the service of the Church Missionary Society upward of 14 years; during the whole of which period he had uniformly adorned the doctrine of God our Saviour, and greatly endeared himself to many Christians of all classes in society. By patience and meekness under persecutions and reproaches for Christ's sake, and by persevering endeavours to return good for evil, even his enemies had become at peace with him; whilst, by his labours to make known the Gospel, multitudes of his countrymen were brought to acknowledge the superiority of the Christian Reli gion, and about one hundred of them to embrace the profession of it: many of these departed this life before him; some have returned to their old errors; and some remain walking in the truth. Whilst the Committee justly regret the loss which the Church, and the cause of the Gospel generally, has suffered in the removal of so valuable a fellow-labourer, they at the same time are persuaded that their loss is his unspeakable gain; and they would offer their hearty thanks to the Father of Lights, from whom every good and perfect gift doth come, for manifesting so signally the power of His grace in the conversion, holy life, and triumphant death of this true Servant of Christ.
It is intended to prepare a Memoir of the Rev. Abdool Messeeh from the documents which are in the Society's possession.
Of the proceedings of Abdool's successor, the Calcutta Committee report—
The remnant of the Rev. Abdool Messeeh's flock continue to assemble for Christian worship under Fuez Messeeh. Encouraged by a friend of the Society, he has lately established three Native Girls' Schools in the city; in one of which, 6 Widows and 5 Young Girls are instructed by the Daughter of a Moonshee; and in the other two, 20 Girls, 10 in each, by a Widow.
The Rev. Henry Fisher, the Chaplain at Meerut, gives the following account of the Native Christians, in April :—
Behadur is still with me. I retain him as my Native Clerk; and have great pleasure in testifying to his faithful discharge of many important duties in that capacity: he is very valuable to me; indeed I could not do without him: he is especially required to look after and examine and inspect the Native Catechumens. Matthew Phiroodeen is a stedfast Christian; and does much good from day to day—reporting to me, as occasions arise, any thing advantageous or otherwise to our cause ; and leading a quiet, sober, and consistent life.