Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

an ordinary man cannot discover. This society has existed longer than the one I last reviewed, and has pecuviary rew, sources quite as great. The following extracts are taken from the 26th Report, 1820, or the Moutbly Missionary Register of the same date.

CHINA, &C. 1. China. “ Of the few natives, whom Dr. Morison is privileged to address, he speaks favourably, especially of their attention to his discourses, and their reverential behaviour during divine worship.” 19. “I hupe for the speedy introduction of a happier era in this part of the world. These are my antici. pations, though there appears not the least opening at present.. A bitter aversion to the name of our blessed Saviour, and to any book which contains his name and his doctrine, is felt and cherished.” 21,

2. Malacca. 66 The attendance of the Chinese and Malays is small.” They do not perhaps attend from love of truth...they, come chiefly. I believe, because they think it is expected of them. They may not derive real benefit from what they hear, 27.

3. Pulo Penang. “ The most pleasing intelligence which we can communicate is, our being able to introduce, without fear, the sacred scriptures and religious tracts into the schools, M. R. 45.

4. Java. “The missioner here contemplated an extensive, though gradual establishment of schools.” 85.

5. Sincapore. “ He performs service on Sundays in English, at which the Europeans attend." Regist. 44. : 6. Amboyna. 6. The natives have cast away all their idols into the sea, and about 800, when this was done, repaired to the church to worship the living and true God.” 39. In the register from whence the foregoing extract is taken, it is stated that the inhabitants of this island are chiefly Protestants, Dutch Settlers, or Mahomedans. That the few patives, who still remain, should forsake their idols, is no great wonder. It is not stated that they are become Christians..,

EAST INDIES.

1. Calcutta. “ The attendance on the preaching of the gospel by, English residents is on the increase. From 40, to 50 na

tives attend, chiefly domestics, or others belouging to members of the English congregation." 41.

2. Chinsurah. 66 Our schools are regarded as models, nevertheless we admit the absence of their chief beauty, direct christian instruction." Register, 55. “Mr. Pearson preaches in: English on the Sabbath....and has family worship with the servants belonging to the mission in the native tongue.”' 45.'

3. Benares. “The directors have contemplated the establishment of a mission here. Mr. Adam has been sent." 46.

4. Vizigapatam. “ The prospects of the mission brighten, and the brethren are animated in their labours by the expectation that they shall reap some of the fruit thereof, if they faint, not, in due time.47. :

5. Madrass. 66 Of the heathens there is a great number willing and eagerly desirous to receive instruction ; and it is with much satisfaction the Directors are able to record, that one, formerly employed in the mission as a schoolmaster, has during the past year received Christian baptism. Since his conversion he has preached in their tongue.” 53.

6. Bellany. “ In consequence of the departure for England of his majesty's 84th regiment, the chapel has lost a large part of its congregation, and the church nearly all its mem-bers.” 57.

7. Bangalore. “Two missionaries are about to instruct the natives by an interpreter.” Regist. 62.

8. Travancore. “ In the prosecution of these missions much discouragement arises from the idolatrous processions. Many of the people however are induced from time to time to renounce these abominations. Of these, Mr. Mead had lately baptized about 500, and there were many more candidates for the ordi

Their minds enter with great difficulty into the purity. and sublimity of christian faith.”

“ However gratifying it is to witness the people renouncing idolatry, and determining to serve the true God, yet he is decidedly of opinion that the great hope of the mission is in the religious instruction of the rising generation." The adults learn slow. 60—63.

I should conclude from this last paragraph that Mr. Mead does not make much account of his converts, and that people

nance.

may renounce idolatry without being much the better for it. Vide Amboyna, p. 173.

9. Surat. 66 They preach the gospel in English to large congregations, chiefly soldiers. It may be truly said of the natives, they know nothing but. wickedness, We have reason to bless God for the countenance he has given us in preaching the gospel to our countrymen." Regist. 60.

AFRICA.

1. Cape Town. “ About 1000 Mahomedans, proselyted slaves, had renounced their religion. This step, however, does not appear to have been the result of any examination or conviction of its claims to divine authority, but from very different causes.The reader is particularly desired to notice this fact. It will help him to judge in other cases. 66 The number actually under christian instruction does not exceed 50.” p. 80.

2. Stellembosh. 66 Mr. Backer labours among the Hottentots and slaves, by whom his ministry is well attended.” Reg. 19.

3. Paarl. 66 Evan Evans preaches to the colonists and slaves !” Reg. 20.

4. Tullagh. 66 Ariel bos has transmitted no accounts.” 82

5. Caledon. 66 There are seventy communicants here, (natives ?) but the place is now vacant.” Reg. 21. 6. Pacaltsdorp. “ The communicants are 46."

Are they Africans or Europeans ? 6 Mr. Messer has baptized 10 adults, of these three were female natives.” 84.

7. Bethelsdorp. “ The church in this place consists of about 200 members.” Query. Are they natives ? 86.

8. Theopolis. “ This church consists of 46 men and 60.women.” 86. 66 The inhabitants of the place exceeed 600.” Reg. 22.

9. Griqua Town. “The situation of affairs here is very discouraging. Instead of designating any as preachers, it will be better, in future, to request some of the best instructed among the people to itinerate, and converse with the natives upon religious subjects.” 88. 66 Abundant rains had fallen, and vegetation was flourishing." Reg. 23.

10. New Lattacoo. 6 Good gardens had been made. Pumkins, melons, and beans have been introduced !!" p. 25. Reg. 11. Bethesda. 66 The missioner had retired im bad health, and returned improved." 90.

19. Steinkopf. “A goodly number of natives belong to this station, some of whom can work well! Some have received the word with readiness of mind." Reg. 25.

13. Bethamy. “ This blessed man (the missionary here) has meat to eat, which the world knows not of. His labours have been much blessed in bringing many from gross darkness to the enjoyment of a glorious gospel day; but some have turned from the holy commandment delivered to them.” Reg. 26.

14. Jerusalem. " This place is for a time destitute of a missioner.” 26. Reg.

On the preceding extracts I shall only make this remark, viz. that one third of the inhabitants are Europeans, or their descendants. It is therefore with reason that I ask, when they speak of the attendants at church, are they converts, or Euro

peans ?

This society has also sent missionaries to Siberia, Zante, Malta, West Indies, &c. but I find nothing to record in all these places.

SOUTHSEA ISLANDS.

This Missionary society have four stations in this part of the world, the principal of which is at Otaheite, the conversion of which place has been the object of their endeavour ever since 1797. We are now told it has renounced idolatry, as well as the neighbouring islands, where the other three stations are, and that they have embraced christianity. These are high sounding terms, which mean a great deal, are calculated to impose upon the thoughtless, and such as are willing to believe any thing, but by no means satisfactory to the incredulous and the critic. As I rank myself among the latter, I must examine their own accounts, and see if I cannot find sufficient grounds to justify my unbelief, and throw discredit on the foregoing general assertions. The following extracts which I shall lay before the reader, will, I think accomplish all this, and if my readers shall be of the same opinion, I shall then have annihilated the chief instance to which Protestants are always appealing, as a proof of the success of their missions. I do not possess all the sources of information I could wish upon this sub

ject. I shall present my readers with what I have been able to obtain, which, though scanty, will I hope be satisfactory.

It is a misfortune, that in subjects of this nature we cannot proceed with mathematical precision. The same words convey different ideas to different minds. For instance, when we are are told that the inhabitants of these islands are become christians, we ask, what is it that makes a christian ? Some will say instruction, others faith, others baptism, &c. &c. but none I presume will be found, who seriously maintain that to adopt the name is enough. I hope too, that merely renouncing idolatry, will not be called conversion, otherwise atheists would be christians, because they are not idolater. After these preliminary observations, I shall proceed to make extracts from the accounts of the missionaries, contained in the 26th Report, and Miss. Register.

66. At Otaheite Mr. Wilson preaches to the natives twice on the Lord's day. He hopes some are seriously concerned for their salvation.” 6.

“ As to these missions generally in the windward islands, the directors are happy to state that there appears much to encourage a hope, that the great work, which has been commenced in the islands, will continue to advance till it attain a state of permanent maturity.” 8. This extract alone would

prove

that the work of conversion is not yet finished ; and yet this is one year after the whole island, as we are told, had become christian. And two pages further, we find that the natives in general are not yet baptized. When their king Pomare submitted himself to that rite, brother Henry addressed himself to an immense coucourse of people who had assembled to witness the ceremo ny, exhorting them to give themselves up to the Lord, and imitáte the example of their king.” 100.

Either a christian must be

very different thing in the South Sea islands to what it is in Europe, or the people, whom brother Henry addressed in this language, could not have been christians in any thing but name, if even that. The year after the arrival of the news, that these islanders had become christians, the London society determine to send out a deputation of wise men, and for what purposes ? “ To promote the establishment of christian churches and the regalar administration of christian ordinances.17. I shall make

а

« НазадПродовжити »