« הקודםהמשך »
friends of humanity of every name! whilst thus we press upon you the mighty objects yet to be attained, we are not unmindsul of what
you have already done. We thank you, from our hearts we thank
you, for the liberal support you have afforded in the common cause of our Master; and we feel a pleasure in reflecting that our thanks are the least recompense that shall be given to every one wbo thus serves him. If we have“ used boldness” in urging upon you the necessities of ever increased exertions, it is because we are sensible that such only can be crowned with success. We ask not your gold or silver for our own purposes, but for His who is Lord of both. Our missionaries, content with what may subserve the ordinary support and decencies of life, prefer to all the charms of wealth the privations which their duties impose, and find their comforts in the consolations of Christ-their luxuries in doing good. There is, indeed, one subject upon which they are importunate, and we cannot but request your attention to it. Their constant cry is, “ Pray for us." This duty a Lazarus may fulfil;
and even the most wealthy will find themselves enriched by the exercise. They who cast their bread npon the waters shall find it after many days; but the devout supplication of the pure in heart, of itself diffuses the joys of heaven through the bosom of man. We close our address with the wish, that in this, as in every good word, and work, you may continue to abound; and that all engaged in the glorious enterprise of extending the empire of the Redeemer, may realize the prayer of Moses, the man of God-“Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish thou the work of our hands : yea, the work of our hands establish thou it."
COMMUNICATED FOR THE CHRISTIAN HERALD, Extract of a letter from the Rev. Horatio Bardwell, American Missionary in Hindostan, to his friend in New York.
Bombay, April 27th, 1819. MY DEAR BROTHER,
In reading your letter, in connexion with other communications from America, my mind was led to admire the goodness of God in exciting his children to such a variety of efforis in forwarding 'the kingdom of Christ. Some are soliciting charity to enlarge the funds of Bible Societies; some are contributing in aid of translations; some are sending their money for the education of heathen children; some are imparting the means of grace to their neglected and abandoned countrymen; some are giving tongues to the dumb and ears to the deas; some are endeavouring to bring in the Jews, and some to evangelize the gentiles; some are espousing the cause of eastern missions; some plead for the western, and others for domestic missions. Though there may seem to be a kind of rivalry, and a spirit of contention in carrying forward these various objects, yet the cause is the same; the grand object of all these efforts is, to promote the kingdom
and glory of Christ. No matter, then, how much emulation in acts of benevolence and good will to our fellow men, and in the service of our divine Master.
It is unnecessary to enter into the detail of our affairs and prospects in Bombay, for in our recent communications to the Board you will see every thing of importance that is to be said.
Though we have occasion to mourn, and to say, in the language of the prophet, “who hath believed our report,” yet we faint not. rejoice and bless God, that through the instrumentality of this mission thousands of the heathen have heard the word of life. Christ has been held forth as the only Saviour of sinners in companies assembled for the worship of idols, even “where satan's seat is.” Though we know of no one instance of conversion to the christian faith among this people, yet God will be honoured through the preaching of the gospel, though it may prove " a savour of death unto death." It is not improbable that we may spend our lives in making known the gospel to this people, without being permitted to witness the conversion of an individual. But we hope for better things; and pray that we may not only be sowers of the seed, but reapers of the harvest. But never did I more sensibly feel the absolute need of the Spirit of God in the conversion of sinners, than since I have been among the heathen. If these idolaters are ever made to forsake their idols, no one can deny that the Spirit of the Lord hath done it.
No one department of our mission is more flattering than that of native schools. We have now twelve schools under our patronage, in which are about 600 boys. The immediate instruction of these schools is committed to native teachers, under our superintendence. School books, religious tracts, and the gospel of Matthew in the Mahratta language are put into the hands of the boys. We hope and pray that the Word of God, which is read daily in the schools, will have an important influence on the minds of the rising generation.
The object of instructing the natives by schools is beginning to gain the attention of European residents in this place, and also in Calcutta. A school Society has been formed in Bombay, which will soon commence its operations. A school book is now in our press, for this Society, consisting of Christ's Sermon on the mount, and a selection from the parables contained in the Gospel, in the Mahratta language.
I am led to conclude, that the method of imparting christian instruction to the heathen, by schools, is calculated more than any other to produce a general and lasting influence on their minds. In proportion as their minds are enlightened by the principles of natural science, such as history, geography, chronology, and astronomy, the principles of their religion, many of which are grounded on ignorance of these sciences, will be undermined, and they will be more ready to embrace the religion of the gospel. But though a correct knowledge of the sciences may be the means of opening in some degree their blind eyes, yet their hearts never will be turned from idolatry till
the Spirit of God is sent from on high. Idolatry is not simply an error of the head, its seat is in the heart, and nothing less than the power of God can overthrow its empire.
You will easily conceive, that in this barren land, every item of religious information from the land of our fathers is very refreshing to our hearts. The late accounts of the revival of religion at home, the establishment and prosperity of so many societies for the promotion of the kingdom of Christ, cause our hearts to rejoice and to give thanks to the Father of mercies. O may the increase of Christ's kingdom at home be the means of furnishing more labourers to build the wastes of Zion abroad, and to scatter the light of life in the shades of paganism and death!
Letters recently received from the Brothers at Ceylon contain the afflicting intelligence of the sickness of Brs. Richards and Warren. This you
will learn from the communication to the Board. God's ways are mysterious, but we must submit without murmuring. He knows, infinitely better than man, how to dispose of his servant, and to forward the cause of Zion.
We all enjoy good health and are happy in the work to which we are called.
From Mr. C. S. Dudley.
May 5, 1818. The Committee will rejoice to learn, that the Ladies of Manchester are indeed emulating their Liverpool sisters in the course of christian charity. The similarity of extent and population induced the application of similar means; and it is with heart-felt satisfaction that I now announce the establishment of the following thirteen Ladies' Bible Associations, in connexion with the Ladies' Branch of the Manchester and Salford Auxiliary Bible Society.
To each of these Associations, a Treasurer, three Secretaries, and a numerous Committee, are appointed ; and all find a common centre in the Branch Committee, through which they are connected with the Auxiliary Society. My detention at Manchester enabled me to place all these Societies in a state of complete regularity; and it affords me the greatest pleasure to bear this testimony to the caution and prudence, as well as the zeal and emulation, which characterize these “honourable women.” I have already seen sufficient to justify my confident persuasion, that these several Institutions, embracing a population of 130,000 souls, will prove a blessing to this great and important town. I have already alluded to one fact, of a nature peculiarly interesting : not fewer than 21,500 children receive the benefits of education in the Day and Sunday Schools of Manchester
From the weekly Report of Lieutenant Cox, Agent at Gravesend, to the Merchant Seamen's Auxiliary Bible Society.
May 27, 1918. I supplied three East Indiamen, lying in Northfleet Hope, with the Scriptures. The chief officer on board each ship was of opinion, that one Bible and two Testaments to each mess, would prove a sufficient proportion, there being ten men in each mess. The seamen belonging to the Arab, being messed in the same manner, I gave, for their use, the like proportion
of Scriptures; the same to the Mary Ann. When coming over the Trio's side, one of her seamen said, “I hope Sir, the Books which you have left for our use will not be left in vain ; I hope by attending to them, our time will be better improved than it has been."
On the 22d I called on board the Salus, bound to Hambro', a vessel supplied by me in March. The captain gave me a most hearty welcome on board; told me, that the Scriptures which I left for his vessel's use were the best gift he had received ; that the
people read them frequently, and were then reading them forward, which I found to be the case.
The captain of the Waterloo, Mr.John Headburn, on my taking the scriptures into the cabin, cried out, “This is cheering; this is delightful.” “ Yes,” replied the owner, “it is the best of Institutions,
” and I hope its usefulness will appear in this ship.” I was most handsomely received.
The seamen on board a Spanish ship hardly knew how to be thankful enough for the two Testaments I left for their use ; thanking me a thousand times, in Spanish, and in broken English, not only while I was on board with them, but when I was at some distance in the boat. The captain of the Charles (to his honour be it spoken) reads the Scriptures to his people twice a week—that is to say-on Wednesdays and Sundays. They had the appearance of being, in every respect, in comfortable order. When on board the Arab, the ship's company having learned for what purpose I was come on board, left their work, and came aft, earnestly asking for a Book ; declaring, at the same time, and one of them, apparently, with some concern, that, they had seen neither Bible nor Testament since they had been in the ship. Mr. French, a Missionary, and his wife, take their passage in the Lord Nelson, for St. Kitt's. The Missionary said, he hoped he should have the pleasure of witnessing that the Books I had left were much used on the passage.
The mate of the Mary Ann informed me, that he always (when the duty of the ship will admit of it) reads prayers and the Scriptures to the people in the cabin every Lord's Day, and most cordially accepted the present which I had brought for his people.
I find on board very many of the vessels I visit, captains, who take much pains in instructing the boys under their command, destitute of education. All promise, that the Bibles and Testaments shall be taken great care of, and frequently used.
I could, this week, have sold a great many copies, had the seamen had money.
From the Report of the Netherlands Bible Society, delivered
July 2, 1817. We have not neglected communicating to His Majesty the King, to the Princess Dowager, and to the Prince of Orange, the transactions of our Meeting, and all such documents as in any way might tend to excite an interest for the cause we desire to promote. They have all been most favourably received, and we have unequivocal proofs of the favourable disposition of these high personages towards our object.
The total receipts from fifty-two different places, has been, 30,463 guilders, 10 stivers, (about 3000 pounds sterling.)
The whole number circulated since the establishment of the Society, amounts to 5583 Bibles, 100 Old Testaments, 4127 New Testaments; total, 9810 copies. On the 1st of May there were in the Depository 2325 Bibles, and 2035 New Testaments, in divers languages.
The stereotype edition of the Bible will leave the press in the month of September.
We cannot omit this opportunity of stating, that the Swedish Bible Society has made us a friendly offer of a number of Swedish Bibles, to be distributed among the sailors of that nation, who may visit our ports, and are in want of them.
The Russian, Berg, Basle, and Hambro'-Altona Bible Societies have likewise solicited a friendly connexion with the Netherlands Bible Society.
England, which has contributed so much towards the consolidation of our Society, has given a new proof of the benevolence and generosity which signalize the British and Foreign Bible Society, by placing
1000 copies of the Dutch Bible at our disposal for distribution. The same Society offers also to purchase 5000 copies of the Bible, and as many copies of the New Testament in the Malay language, with Arabic types; according to the edition executed at Batavia, in the year 1759, in case we should undertake a new edition of the same in our country.
Of the various Auxiliaries, which have all, more or less, vied with each other in a holy emulation, that at the Hague is exhibited as reaping the richest fruits of their unwearied exertions. Its members and contributions have increased ; copious distributions of the Scriptures have been made, and a truly christian spirit has manifested itself in all their proceedings.
Rotterdam is highly commended for its essential services rendered to the cause, and for the impulse its Bible Society has given to every work of christian benevolence.
Utrecht has liberally distributed to the necessitous, and instituted periodical inquiries, which have proved highly useful. Thus (continues the Report) the Bible Societies prove a blessing both to our country and to christianity at large.
Amsterdam continues its vigorous attention to the work. The prisons are provided with the word of God; and under the superinten