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into temporary buildings on the ground: a more substantial House and School-room were erecting. In June, his Congregation had considerably increased; and he had recently opened, at six o'clock in the morning, a short Service of exposition and prayer, for the servants and others, which many of the Scholars attended. In the close of the year, Mr. Browning reported to the Annual Meeting— The regular Service on Sundays is now more numerously and respectably attended, than at that period: the average attendance may be reckoned from 30 to 200, including children: several, also, of the Modeliars, Mohanderums, and Aratchies have occasionally attended, for some months past. Several adults had applied for baptism; but finding them ignorant, and yet to grow weary of the necessary instruction, he suspected their motives, and proposed to the other Missionaries the following question:— I should be happy to hear the opinion of my Brethren, on the propriety of admitting to baptism, persons who profess their firm belief in the truths of Christianity and their fixed determination to lead a Christian Life, and who yet manifest no real marks of genuine conversion. The Missionaries give it as their judgment, that Baptism ought not to be administered to any adult, whose object in applying for it was evidently of a secular nature. The Caffre Drummer, Jonathan Gambier, has been removed to Colombo. Of his associates, Mr. Browning writes— I had feared that my little company of Caffres would be * broken up by his removal; but I am happy to find at they still come to me and listen attentively to the Word of God. A competent acquaintance with Portuguese, Mr. Browning finds, would much increase his means of usefulness. The Cingalese Prisoners confined in the Jail, from 60 to 70 in number, have opened to him another sphere of labour. They, in general, receive his serVices with thankfulness; and some of them manifest a great desire to hear the Word of God, and to attend to religious instruction. .
The attendance of the Beggars, mentioned in the last Report, on the Cingalese Service, seems to have ceased with their ceasing to receive alms.
During the absence of the Chaplain, last Spring, on a visit to the coast for his health, Mr. Browning took charge of the Services of the Garrison, at the Church and the Hospital.
In reference to a New School, about to be
opened near Kandy, Mr. Browning writes—
It will furnish, I hope, a place for regularly preaching a Sermon on the Sunday. This is one great object of Schools —that they may become places for preaching the Gospel to the Adult Natives. But I fear it will be a very long time before much can be effectually done in this way, the §. never having been accustomed to assemble, except in obedience to an order from Government for that purpose. Unless, therefore, a Missionary has time to go from house to house, in the villages into which he goes to visit his Schools, and, by conversing freely with the people, to induce them to attend his Ministry, little, I fear, can be done in this way. But while there is only one Missionary at the Station, it is not practicable, from the multiplicity of his duties, for him to spend much time in such visits. But we may hope, that, when time can be devoted to this object, or when the Missionary shall be able to go and live more immediately among the people, these Schools will afford facilities for preaching the Gospel to the Adult Natives.
Of the five schools mentioned before, one is the Boys' School in Kandy with 72 scholars; and a second is Mrs. Browning's Girls' School, with 7 scholars, which promises to become, in time, a useful establishment. The Village Schools were still three in number—Danture, with 15 Boys; and Embilmegama, with 14. , Hurekade had been given up, on account of the children's irregular attendance; but another had been opened, at Doombara, and had 19 scholars. Another School was about to be opened, near Kandy. The average attendance of these 127 scholars was 71. Of the Five Orphan Boys supported by the Society, two had died: two of the survivors are very promising. Some of the scholars make good progress: irregularity of attendance retards others. Under the discouragements arising from the indifference of the Adults, the hopes of the Mission rest very much on the Young, who receive daily religious instruction, and many of whom regularly attend Public Worship. During the last year, Christian Books had been introduced into all the Schools, and received without opposition. Schools might be increased to almost any extent; but little good, Mr. Browning states, can be expected from them, unless frequently visited, or unless they offer places for preaching the Gospel to the Adult Natives. He has engaged a person for the express purpose of going very often, from School to School; in order to ascertain their real state, and to stir up the Masters to diligence and zeal. Additional aid is greatly needed at this Station. Mr. Browning finds abundant occupation in Kandy; while there would be full employment, in the surrounding villages, for a number of Missionaries: and he expects that, in time, there will be no difficulty in the way of their settling in the midst of the people. He earnestly entreats, in reference to his own scene of labours, that, while the African, the Indian, and the New Zealander are remembered in prayer before God, the benighted Kandian may not be forgotten; and adds— For the preaching of the Gospel we want pious Natives— may it please God in due time, to raise them up for us! who will go out among the people, and declare what the Lord has done for their souls, and thereby encourage others to hear and receive the Gospel. This is the grand means, under the blessing of God, to which we must look for an extensive diffusion of Divine Knowledge among the people: but until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, it is necessary that as many European Missionaries as possible should enter into the field; for, the more extensively we sow, so much the more abundantly may we hope to reap. The few whom I am able to collect, from time to time, to hear me, are so much like strayed sheep, that I can hardly recognise them as my flock. . What pleasure and delight would it be, to witness two or three of them joining themselves together in a perpetual covenant, to love and serve the Lord! But, instead of this, we are constantly pained to behold vast numbers infatuated with the mummeries of Popery, or deluded by the lying stories of Buddhu, or o: with the fancies of Mahomet, or enslaved by the
read of Devils; or, else, living without any religion at all! These devices of Satan, to ensnare unwary souls, are so captivating to the carnal mind, that we might well despair of finding one willing to come and listen to the plain, awakening, and humiliating truths of the Gospel, did we not depend on a Power superior to that of human skill or eloquence. But the power of God is superior to all the devices of Satan; and when HE is pleased to accompany the preaching of His Word, by His power and blessing, neither earth nor hell can make it ineffectual. Oh for faith, to look more simply to Him, and to depend on His aid
BA DDA G AM E.
The Missionaries have pursued their MIN 1stry, with diligence, at this Station; preaching twice on the Sunday at Baddagame, and occasionally at the Schools. The Congregations are irregular: upward of 100 Scholars attend. The Church was finished at the last dates, and was about to be opened : its tower attracts much notice, and has made the Station at Baddagame well known, no object of that kind having been before seen in Ceylon. Mr. Ward thus speaks of the course of their labours:— One of us takes the Services at home; and the other goes to some village, not more however than three or four miles , distant. He who stays at home has two Services—one in the morning, in the School-room; and the other in the afternoon, at some house in the neighbourhood. He who goes out has, in general, two places where he preaches before his return. We have, besides, an English Service in the evening, when our Interpreter, and all the Boys who understand, attend. Almost every evening in the week, we are both out among the people. On Saturday Evenings, we meet together for rayer. - Of their daily Ministration of the Word, Mr. Mayor gives the following interesting particulars:— We go out among them daily, and collect a Congregation in the following manner. We send a messenger to the most respectable Native living in the neighbourhood of other inhabitants, and tell him that we intend to come and preach at his house in the afternoon, or on the morrow, as it may be; and request him to give notice to his neighbours, and to collect them together: if it be not convenient to him to receive us on the day fixed, he will request us to come on another day. At the appointed time, we set out. When we approach within a reasonable distance of his house, we begin to look round the fields to see if there are any people at their labour: as many as we find we invite to come and hear us. Sometimes we meet with a group of women, weeding the paddy-fields: after pleading the excuse of not having on a clean cloth, they yield to our importunities, and go . to hear the preaching of the Word. The men who are working with the hoe tell us sometimes, that hearing us will not. fill them with food; but it is seldom that any refuse ultimately to accompany us. Formerly, they would run and hide themselves, when they saw us coming toward them; or, if they promised to come, they would remain behind: but they seem now less unwilling to hear than they were; and they seldom turn back, when we have persuaded them to set out. They put their hoes across their shoulders; and, unconscious of the advantage which they may hereafter receive from their compliance, they proceed, from a feeling of respect and attachment to us, to hear the strange sound of the Gospel. Besides gathering them thus from the fields and ways, we call at their houses, and persuade as many as are at home and able to leave the house to attend also. When we are arrived at the house, we find mats laid on the ground beneath the shade of the trees, on which the people sit down; the women distinct from the men. Near the house there is usually a sort of court, or level spot of ground, well shaded with trees: we find this a much more convenient place to assemble them in than inside their houses, which are small and close. On these occasions, we have sometimes as many as 100, seldom fewer than 30 hearers. They listen with much attention, and are very orderly in their conduct. We know not that there is an individual near us, from the highest to the lowest, who would not receive us gladly, and allow of the people assembling about his house to hear the Word of God—not that they have renounced Buddhism, or the Worship of Devils: their eyes are not yet open to discern the sin and folly of their former vain superstitions and idolatry. But they have a sort of respect for religious ceremonies; and, while they believe our religion to be a good one, they still regard their own as good also.