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MISSIONS IN CEYLON. POINT-DE-GALLE.-Extract of a Letter from the Rev. William H. A. Dickson,
dated August 15th, 1850. It is now
months since I Our aged native brother Salmon is in wrote to you ; but the uniform charac- charge of the Matura station; and I ter of our proceedings prevents that vari trust our work among the burghers at ety which invites to frequent detail. I least is advancing. There is a much have continued to visit all our out-sta greater outwerd decorum, and desire for tions once in the month, as I before pro the means of grace, than formerly existed, posed, which, though it occupies me two and a change, I trust" the great change," weeks in each month away from home is observed in the lives of a few.
more immediate Circuit duties, I visit the families in their own homes strengthens them, and prevents that de. when I am on that side, and make it a cay which often occurs from want of rule while thus employed to let the conefficient oversight. In June last I opened versation be only on serious and eternal a new chapel at Aniblangodde, which things. The schools are still by no we have built for the accommodation of means what I could wish, though they the people by the assistance of our friends have been gradually improving through there, aided by a trifling grant from some
What is most necessary in private available funds. The district is this Circuit is a healthy Singalese work; intensely Heathen, and I trust the chapel and I regret that the appearances of that will prove a place of salvation to many. are not more promising. The Catechist The other places in the Amblangodde at Dondra has suffered much opposition Circuit afford little room for gratulation, in his work, chiefly through the influwhich is mainly to be attributed to the ence and intrigues of the Patagania inefficient working of the station, as its Schoolmaster, who was dismissed, as only supply is a young and inexperienced mentioned in my last, for the performCatechist, who is wholly without influ. ance of some Buddhist and devil cereence in the neighbourhood, and the monies. state of the funds prevents a more effi Difficulties are doubly formidable to a cient appointment. Mr. Rodrigo con Singalese; but I trust a discipline of tinues to labour on the Belligam station, trial will make our Catechist “add to and the school there is now in a more sa patience experience, and to experience tisfactory condition. The people generally hope." manifest an awful indifference to truth, Last month I opened the new chapel and an equally eager pursuit of degrada- which we have been for some time buildtion, in the abominable rites of demon- ing at Goddapitiya, and preached to worship. Sometimes, however, apathy those lovers of carnal demon-worship on gives place to opposition; and a few the spiritual worship of God, who is a Sabbaths since, a company of Buddhists Spirit. I say carnal demon-worship; collected under a sacred banian-tree im for the devils to whom they offer are beings mediately in front of our chapel, at the who are believed to delight in flesh and hour of public worship, with the avowed blood, and to them they attribute all design of putting it down by a clamorous bodily disease and physical deformity. chanting of Banu, the sacred writings Our new chapel is small, but neat, and of the Buddhists. Remonstrances pleasantly situated on au eminence in the were vain, and the interference of the midst of this degraded people. I was police officers was almost leading to its happy also to find our school there conbeing brought before the Magistrates; siderably improved, and the work altogebut, as I happened to go down at the ther in a more promising state. But the time, I succeeded in inducing them to condition of the people is deplorable inaccept a promise that the annoyance deed. In these jungle-villages Buddhism should not be repeated, without prose has become a practical nullity before the cuting the adversaries, which could fiercer and fouler form of devil-worship. only lead to irritation of feeling on one So demented are they, that the more side, and unholy influences on the other. intolerably abominable the demon is Litigiousness is a characteristic of the supposed to be, the more assiduous are natives, and by it they often abuse both they in performing ceremonies to his the law and liberty they are under; and honour. our people are frequently too weak in Even poor frail men, disreputable grace to suffer wrong, as well as too weak Singalese, who lived and died within in faith to labour amidst trials.
the memory of some in the present gene
ration, receive an apotheosis, and are her, and invited her to our Portuguese honoured and supplicated in festivals and service on Sunday evening. She proorgies; while the Creator is altogether mised to attend, and did so reluctantly : forgotten, unmentioned, unadored. but I was happy last week to receive a
How sad it is to think, that in such a letter from her husband, stating that she district, where spiritual wickedness is en- had felt the service profitable, and was dethroned, and multitudes perish in sin, the sirous of becoming a regular attendant ; limits of our grant permit us to station and that he himself had marked a great only one poor solitary Catechist, aided change in her conduct. by occasional visits of a Missionary from There is an interesting case of a Singaa distance of forty miles, a great part of lese convert, now an applicant for bapwhich is through jungle !
tism. He is a well-educated young I am much depressed at the extent of man, of a wealthy Singalese family of the southern section of the South Cey- the Velala or highest caste; and his lon District, and its peculiar difficulties, father is a rigid Buddhist, but says that compared with the paucity of labourers. since his son has become a Christian Cannot the Committee make us a special upon inquiry and conviction, and not in annual grant of at least £100 for the name and for secular purposes, he will more efficient occupation of these jungle- not oppose him. The young man was stations, teeming with degraded devil- formerly a 'strenuous defender of Budd. worshippers ? Though we should all hism ; but, from conversation with an work ourselves to death, we alone could excellent Christian schoolmaster, and the not efficiently occupy the ground; and studious consideration of Christian tracts the Chairman wrote to me last week that and pamphlets, and the sacred Scriptures, there was no probability of our having he has become entirely convinced of the further help at present, as the ordinary truth of Christianity; and, after much grant is fully absorbed in existing ap- consideration and prayer, is desirous of pointments.
public baptism, which I hope shortly to Respecting Galle Circuit, properly so administer. All hail Emanuel ! of the called, I have but little to add, though increase of His government there shall that little is, I hope, encouraging. Our be no end ; and these scarce first-fruits work has been maintained ; and within are pledges of a harvest coming, when the last few months two or three new long-withstanding Buddhism shall finally classes have been formed, and there are and for ever fall, some manifestations of Divine power and My health, I am thankful to state, grace. I was invited, a short time since, which was a few months back very to visit a Portuguese woman, who had not seriously impaired, is now considerably been in a place of worship for upwards of improved; and I trust that the amend. twenty years. I did so, conversed with ment will be permanent.
MISSIONS IN WESTERN AFRICA.
SIERRA LEONE. The subjoined letter from one of our Native Assistant Missionaries at Sierra-Leone has been received by the officers and Committee of our Society with more than common pleasure, and is earnestly recommended by them to the careful perusal and prayerful consideration of our friends, and of all who feel a Christian interest in the welfare of Africa.
The writer is one of the liberated Africans, who, since his rescue from slavery, and transfer to Sierra-Leone, has been, we believe, truly and effectually converted to God. He was for some time an approved student in our Institution for the training of native Africans, commonly called "King Tom's Institution;" and is now regularly recognised and employed as a Native Assistant Missionary at the YorkTown station.
The necessity and advantage of raising up, both in Africa and elsewhere, a Native Agency, not to supersede, but extensively to co-operate with, European Missionaries in evangelizing their heathen fellowcountrymen, have long been deeply felt by our own and other Missionary Societies. We regularly make a considerable annual appropriation from our General Fund for this specific purpose; and that it is well and beneficially expended, the case of Mr. Decker furnishes one instance, among many others of similar interest and encouragement. Our readers, we are sure, will thankfully recognise in such instances the genuine work of God's Holy Spirit, in renewing the heart of a once-benighted Pagan, and in inspiring sentiments of love to Christ, and of compassionate and self-denying zeal for the salvation of men, such as this letter abundantly indicates. This specimen, and as a specimen we give it publicity, of the piety, Christian simplicity, humility, and devotedness of Native Missionaries, is in the highest degree pleasing and stimulant.
It is delightful to find that the converted Africans themselves, in their little devotional assemblies, evince so much awakened feeling of concern about this matter, and so touchingly make it one frequent topic of their united prayers to God. Let ristiar at home more and more fervently join them in such supplications.
Mr. Decker's offer of service on a proposed Mission to the Gallinas, is exceedingly interesting. Who can read or hear it without emotion? Of course, it will require mature investigation, and we trust that it may soon, by an increase of the Society's pecuniary means, be brought under the favourable consideration of the Committee. Is it not a call from God ?
Extract of a Letter from the Rev. George H. Decker, Native Assistant
Missionary, dated York, Sierra-Leone, April 9th, 1850. Having an opportunity, I gladly to humble my soul. When I “ look to embrace it, by writing you these few the rock whence I was hewn, and to the hasty lines. I know you will be very hole of the pit from which I was dug,” I glad to hear from me, as you have not cannot help but exclaim, “What hath heard from me since I was received as God wrought !” I do feel indeed that I an Assistant Missionary on probation. was called by God, and moved by his Holy
You are aware, Sirs, that I was re- Spirit, to preach to my fellow-countrymen commended by the District-Meeting in the unsearchable riches of Christ. I began December, 1847; and I was kindly to call sinners to repentance in the latter received and appointed to the said office part of 1837, and since then to the preof an Assistant Missionary on trial, by sent the Lord has always blessed me in the Conference assembled at Hull in the my preaching. The very first time I year 1848.
went to preach, some poor sinners were The District-Meeting thought it ad- brought to Christ : this led me to believe visable and necessary for me to labour in that the Lord had called me to labour the York Circuit, in which I am now at for Him. And I cannot tell you of the present; and I am endeavouring, by hundreds who have been brought to God God's grace, to be useful, and to do my through my instrumentality ; the Lord utmost. But I must say to you, Sirs, has used me as an instrument in His this office to which I am called is an hand; He has blessed my labour abunimportant one. I do feel my unworthi- dantly: to Him be all the praise and the ness and insufficiency; sometimes I am glory. There is nothing in this for me to ready to shed tears. Who am I, and boast about; instead of boasting, I often what am I, that the Lord should call me feel sorry that I have done so little, comto such work as this ?-poor unworthy paratively speaking, for my Master. dust as I am, just fit to sweep the chapel After all, I am "an unprofitable serand to clean the Missionaries' shoes, vant.” Once I used to be proud; but much less to be called a Missionary, a since I received a more abundant bapWesleyan Missionary, a Preacher of the tism of the sanctifying Spirit, iu the year Gospel of Jesus Christ! This is enough 1842, I feel power over sin; and all slav. ish fear is gone.
“ The blood of Jesus for us Africans, I think we ought to Christ His Son cleanseth me from all make it ourselves. When I think of the sin.” Anger is gone, pride is turned to many valuable lives that have been lost humility, the love of God is shed abroad in in so short a time, and many that have my heart. Before I enjoyed this greater dropped in the field almost before they blessing, I was too fond of self-love and began to sow the precious seed with self-praise; I used to be troubled with which they left their native land, it is my own will.
But this beautiful hymn indeed a grief and pain to my heart. of ours now suits my case, and I some- Many a time have I been praying, times sing :
“Lord, raise Native Agents, raise men
in Africa after thy own heart, to carry "O hide this self from me, that I
the Gospel to the interior !” The white No more, but Christ in me, may live;
Missionaries have done all they could on My vile affections crucify,
the sea-shores ; but I say, if the Gospel Nor let one darling lust survive ! In all things nothing may I see,
is to go into the interior, it must be Nothing desire or seek, but Thee!
chiefly by us Native Agents. But I
am so thankful that the Lord is now “O Love, Thy sovereign aid impart,
raising us for this great work. Amongst To save me froin low-thoughted care ; the Church and the Wesleyans every Chase this self-will through all my heart,
effort has been made for this purpose : Through all its latent mazes there : Make me Thy duteous child, that I
thank the Lord, it is not fruitless ! Ceaseless may, ' Abba, Father,' cry!"
My congregation in York meets regu
larly once a month, in what is called Now I feel that all self is gone, and my Missionary prayer-meeting, to pray essoul is as a little child in the arms of my pecially for the Missionary Society, for Saviour.
the extension of the Redeemer's king
dom, for Missionaries abroad, &c. In “Ilumble, and teachable, and mild,
every meeting I always read an abstract O may I, as a little child,
of some letters written to the Committee, My lowly Master's steps pursue !
from the different statioris, by MissionBe anger to my soul unknown; Hate, envy, jealousy, be gone;
aries. It is very interesting indeed to In love create Thou all things new !
the people. Afterwards, I call some of them to pray.
To hear of their “Let earth no more my heart divide ;
pouring out their souls to God in behalf With Christ may I be crucified, To Thee with my whole soul aspire ;
of their fellow-countrymen in the inteDead to the world and all its toys,
rior, living in heathenish darkness, Its idle pomp, and fading joys,
will be interesting and gratifying to Be Thou alone my one desire !"
every British Christian's ears, especially
those who have thrown in their pounds The Lord has called me into the work, into God's treasury, for the conversion and I will be no longer mine own, but of the Heathen, and for the civilisation give up myself to His will in all things. of Africa. I think it will be well for Before I became a Travelling Preacher, I me to repeat their own phrases on this used to think if the Lord should ever call point:-“Lord, save poor Africans ! me to go into the interior or out of the Send the Gospel to our father and mocolony, whether I should be willing to ther that live in our dark country, where go. No, was the reply. My proud the Gospel no reach yet : they have bad heart could not consent to this. “I want hearts; they sell one another; they make to be in the colony, to go from one Cir- war, and do all bad things. Do, Lord, cuit to another. I want to be with my pardon and forgive them. The Gospel friends. I do not wish to go away from make us good, and it can make them home. I cannot bear the thought of good. Lord, save our Missionaries ! parting from my aged mother," &c. I They left father, mother, and all, and loved ease. But at present I am ready to come to teach us poor Africans. They nesay, “Send me wherever Thou pleasest. ver live long; they die; yet this po make Lord, I am willing to go, and ready to them tired to come. Bless our Missionleave father, mother, sister, brother, and ary Committee : make them no give up all, to go any where and every where, when to send us Missionaries, because all our it shall please the Lord to call me. country people are not saved yet. But,
Why should I speak of ease and Lord, make our countrymen Missioncomfort, when others have left their aries, to carry the Gospel home to home, their friends, their beautiful coun- our father-land: they can live long in try, for the burning sun of Africa ? I this country, pass white man," &c.say, if they will make such a sacrifice But, Sirs, though these words are uttered
in broken language, it is with such an write to the Committee in England ; agony of mind, that I believe they reach and if they send me good answer, he the Majesty on high.
will be sure to see me, or some one else ; I do not wish to take up your time so I make him present of a very beau. with a long writing ; but I must open to tiful Bible; and he was very much you my mind at once, and tell you of pleased with it, and promise to get a subject which lies very heavy on some one to read it to him. And my mind. Doubtlessly you may have when he was taking leave of me, he heard of that long war in Sherbro':- said, “ Don't you forget to write to your many lives have been lost, many sold masters in England ; tell them we want to slavery. That bloody war lasted somebody to come and teach us, and to for about seven years.
But, bless the tell us about God palaver.” About Lord, through the efforts of the Go. two months previous to this, a brother vernor of Sierra-Leone, there is peace in that part wrote to me as follows:between the contending nations or tribes; “ I want you very much to come here. the war is at an end. Civil men have Will you come? Do come. And now, done their duties so far. Also at Gal. since God has stilled the contending linas the slave-irade has been given up elements, and given peace to the counby the exertions of the British cruisers. try, how very important that we take The Chiefs have signed treaties, and the field, before Mahomedans, or some drove away the Spanish slave-traders out other, have pre occupied the ground, of their land.
and closed the doors against us! Dear As I went down the wharf one day, I brother, can't you come ? Won't you saw hosts of Spaniards walking about on come ? Do come, and we will soon the beach. I was anxious to know where have a Mission far in the interior." they came from. The answer was,
Now, dear fathers, you see from this we Gallinas." “ And where are they go- have a call from the interior, from the ing ?” “ To Freetown," was the reply. neighbouring country : shall we say, No,
Why, and what for ?" said I. “0," we cannot go ? I have been praying says a man, “to look for passage about it all this time, and I feel that the to the Havannah. The slave-factories Lord has called me to go; and shall I say, are all broken up; the Chiefs delivered No? Shall I refuse? Will you hinder up all the slave-traders ; and signed a me? Our Mission is established in this treaty, that no such traffic will be car- colony : we
: we have here sixty-seven Local ried on amongst them any more." I am Preachers and Exhorters, and many sorry that I cannot dwell upon every par. other labourers besides : while the neigh. ticular now on this subject : I shall leave bouring countries are perishing for want it for next time. But, Sir, I was over- of Teachers. If any other Christian, or joyed. Never was there a news which Christian Ministers, can feel satisfied in make me so happy in this world as this. their minds, I cannot. At present I am If I had disposal of myself, I would sail just as one out of its element. I thought the next day, to plant the standard of the it was the design of the Committee that Cross on the shores of Gallinas.
every Missionary resident at York should On the month of August, 1848, Prince visit Plantain-Island. It grieves my Ar-mar-rah, from Gallinas, called to see heart, when looking at the Report every
We had a very long conversation. year, to see entered, “York, PlantainOne particular thing we conversed about Ísland, &c.," when that island has was, the subject of religion. I asked never been visited but once or twice ; him, how would be like to have Mis.ion and as since the late war the island aries sent to teach him and his people was given up and became desolate, all about Jesus Christ. He said, “Very the people have removed to the main much. · And why don't you come now ? land. No Missionary living at York War is done ; no more slave-trade. could give due labour to the PlantainYou must come to teach us your book ; Island. He has enough to do, and plenty we want our children to learn. If you to take up his time, and cannot do jis. come, we will be glad to receive you.” tice to it on account of its distance. If I told him," I shall be very happy to we are to have a Mission established in come, if the Committee sends me." I those places, it must be a distinct one. told him, “I am not my own; I am It ought to be called Gallinas Mission. a servant: and wherever my Master The Church Missionaries have gone to
I go.” He said, “ You ought Gallinas and Susoo country to establish to come, because it is
your mother's a Mission. And what are we doing ? country; and we will be very glad to If you will only appoint a European receive you.” I told him, that I shall Miss'orary for the head, and send me