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DEMERARA. Mr. Elliot, in a letter dated July 28, 1818, says, 'It is with peculiar pleasure I inform you that the Lord is carrying on his gracious work among the poor negroes. Many others are inquiring the way to Sion, I trust, with their faces thitherward. Since I last wrote to you I have baptized nearly 100, and married about 20 couples. They have made a public profession of their faith ; may the Lord enable them to walk worthy of their vocation! One of those who were lately baptized was a head driver; he had been a very bad character, a great enemy to religion, and did all he could to prevent the negroes on the estate from holding their prayer meetings; but he is now, and for sometime has been, one of our most pious and zealous catechists. Many other negroes have offered themselves as candidates for baptism.
An estate in the neighbourhood, the slaves on which had formerly been prohibited from meeting together for prayer, has been sold to a gentleman who desires that they may be instructed ; and it is hoped that a chapel will be erected.
From the London Baptist Magazine, Nov. 1818. Extract of a letter from Mr. Phillips, at Samarang, a populous town on the
eastern part of the Island of Java, dated Jan. 2, 1818. "I am now at Samarang, where I arrived on the 9th of Novem, ber. I spent nine months at Batavia in learning the Malay language, and set sail on October 2d for Samarang, and after a tedious passage arrived in safety with my family,
I have begun to preach in Malay, in mny own house, and have also English worship on Sunday mornings. I have begun the Jayanese, and this will furnish employment for some years. Mr. Bruckner informs me that he has a collection of 25,000 words, and that in every new book he reads he meets with a great number of new ones. I pant to preach to the Musslemen in Javanese, I long to establish schools for the youth, since it must be by the dissemination of knowledge among the rising generation, that the almost unlimited power of the Musslemen priests must be destroy. ed. The work is great and arduous; outward circumstances appear forbidding; but an unshaken confidence in the power of diyine grace forbids me to despair, Though fast bound by the prejudices of superstition, and in the fetters of delusion, the Javanese appear to furnish little ground to hope for their conversion, it is not our province to be dismayed, for “the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform it."
Wherever I have been I have found the natives entirely under the controul of their priests and teachers, so that they have not dared to read a tract unless they had first shewn it to them, and received their opinion on its contents. These teachers are for the most part very ignorant; their knowledge, in many instances, extending little further than the ability to read the Koran in the Arabic character without understanding the ineaning of twenty words in it. There is a numerous class of persons who have performed the pilgrimage to Mecca. These men are held in great respect, and live upon the credulity of the people. I asked one of them what good he had obtained by so long and painful a journey ?! he replied, that God had commanded it, and he hoped to obtain salvation by it. I endeavoured to convince him that his hope was false, and that a work of that nature could not reconcile God to a sinner. He agreed to everything I said ; still I could ñot forbear lamenting, that his ideas of the character of God were so incorrect as to lead him to hope for safety in him as á merciful Being, without once thinking of bis justice: Men are ruined in their
eternal interests by ignorance of God. We are all now tolerably well; death has carried off scores of Europeans of late, but a merciful Providence has preserved us. I am now writing at the table at which Mr. Trowt often sat when lingering under the dreadful dysentery which carried him off. O that I may follow him in his zeal and devotedness to the cause of God!
DEATH OF AN AGED MAHOMEDAN CONVERT. Spadilie, an aged convert from Mahomedanism, died last week. I baptized him about three years ago ; and be grew in knowledge and grace. He died triumphantly at the age of about 78. God wonderfully brought this man, at the age of 72, to renounce the errors of the false prophet, and to bear testimony to the holiness of the Christian faith for nearly five years. His body was interred in the public burial ground, attended by many respectable and pious men, a circumstance unknown before. He was born in Ceylon, and had been a slave till within 19 years of his death. [Mr. Thom.
TOLERATION IN PERSIA. It is well known that the Mahometans profess to believe that Jesus Christ is a great Prophet; that he performed miracles; that he ascended up into heaven; and that he will judge the world. They in general, however, treat Christians with great contumely and cruelty. We are happy to hear that the Prince Royal of Persia is attempting to protect the Christians in that kingdom. He has lately assembled at Tauris, a city of Persia, containing about 200,000 inhabitants, a Divan, composed of the SheickalSellaum, (or head of the faith,) an office answering to that of Mufti in Turkey, and the principal doctors of the law, and proposed the following questions for their determination. 1. Was Jesus Christ a true prophet sent from God? 2. Are the laws contained in the Gospel just ? 3. Is it lawful to blaspheme these laws? The first two questions were answered in the affirmative; the last, in the negative. These decisions have received a legal form. The Prince Royal bas in consequence punished one of his domestics for insulting a Christian.
RESISTANCE TO THE MANDATE OF THE POPE. On the death of the late Primate, who was also Bishop of Con. stance, the Baron Von Wessenberg, his General Vicar, in the dia ocese of Constance, was nominated to succeed him. The Pope refused to confirm the nomination, but the Grand Duke of Baden, his Sovereign, maintains him in his situation, in defiance of the Pope's authority; and in so doing he is supported by all the sovereigns in Germany. The Grand Duke of Baden contends, that as sovereign, he is entitled to nominate to the vacant diocese, and that such nomination ought to be held good, till it be ascertained by competent judges, in partibus, that an improper person has been chosen. In ihis case, aster the most rigorous inquiry, he has found the Baron Von Wessenberg's qualifications of the highest kind, and his conduct to have always been most exemplary; he contends, therefore, that the refusal on the part of the Pope is an arbitrary act, to which no deference ought to be paid.
The whole case is laid before the public, in a memorial from the court of Baden, accompanied by a number of very curious documents.
It appears that the Baron Von Wessenberg, in his capacity of Grand Vicar of Constance, being sanctioned by the Prince Primate and the Chapter, has been the author of many important reforms in the church, that have long given great umbrage to the court of Rome.
Among his other reforms, it appears that he absolved monks from the oaths of celibacy, quoting the well known language of the apostle Paul on the subject; that he caused the service to be translated into, and celebrated in the mother tongue ; that he dispensed with the use of the Breviary; that he altered a number of inconvenient forms with respect to baptism, &c. : that he appointed stated examinations of the clergy; that he abolished all but a few festivals, and prohibited all ringing of bells on the days and eves of those abolished ; that hę, with the consent of the civil au• thority, converted monasteries, &c. into places of education, and hospitals; formed a new and more commodious division of parishes, and distributed the livings into classes, which were bestowed according to merit, and in which all extremes were avoided ; and that he discouraged pilgrimages, &e. It appears also, that he protected a professor who had distinguished himself by his skill in fiberal learning, after a mandate had been issued against him by the Pope, on the ground that he ascertained the accusations in the mandate to be unfounded. The bishop is supported by all the clergy of his extensive diocese, and indeed by nearly all the cler
gy of Catholic Germany. Among the lay Catholics there is but one opinion concerning bim.
HIBERNIAN SCHOOL SOCIETY. The cattle on a thousand hills afford no sustenance to a poor Hibernian. The luxuries which the sun inatures in distant climes are all alike strangers to his eye and his taste. If he possesses a cow, be eats not of the butter : thousands of them have never seen à cheese, and tens of thousands never tasted one. You have heard of yearly emigrations, to a large amount, from this kingdom to America. Thanks to the poverty of the people, or Ireland would be depopulated. None can emigrate but the comparatively rich. The accumulated property of many families here would not pay for the passage of a single individual. Here they must remain; and they have no way to exist but by renting one, two, or three acres of land. Necessitated thus to be land-holders, the country sub-divides in proportion to the increase of the population, which from early marriages, is in rapid progression. The potatoe garden preserves the half famished existence of its miserable cultivator; but after living on potatoes only, the cultivator of the land is always in debt to the landlord. I have denominated these people miserable ; but this is more descriptive of my own feelings than of theirs; for, blessed with a potatoe to eat, and a potatoe to share with a stranger, a poor Hibernian is happy; so mercifully is that cup mingled which the Lord pours out on the earth. Oh that they may be made happy with a participation of the bread of life! Thanks be to God, that through the labours of the Society, this manna now falls around their tents.
[As evidence of the favour which Roman Catholics begin to show towards the Schools, the following facts are stated in the Report.]
One schoolmaster writes: "I would have written ere now, but daily expected the arrival of the Catholic Bishop here, from wbom I expected nothing but a severe persecution, and harsh invectives against me and the parents of the children attending this school; but blessed be God, who overrules the counsels of men, instead of the expected persecution, the Bishop has exhorted the priests to govern their flocks with meekness, and not to exert an arbitrary or tyrannical power over any of them ; in consequence of which, the schools in this vicinity may be expected to flourish, and produce fruit in abundance, to the glory and praise of God. Some, who had withdrawn their children from the schools, are now anxious to have them returned. From my conversation with my neighbours respecting the Scriptures, many are craving Testaments; and some who possess them already often ask the meaning of different texts, which I endeavour to explain to them with humility and simplicity."
A Roman Catholic Priest writes-"I feel grateful for the con fidence which you and the charitable Society repose in me, for my humble exertions in the instruction of the poor. Would to God that all Christians, of whatever denomination, would zealously unite to rescue them from ignorance, and diffuse among them the Light of the Gospel, which would prove the most effectual means to rectify their morals, and impress their minds with charity, justice, and resignation to the will of Heaven ; which virtues, necessary as they are for their future bappiness, do not guide their conduct. I understand that some clergymen of my persuasion do not approve or sanction, in their respective parishes, the method offered by the Society for the instruction of the poor Irish; under the apprehension, I suppose, of their gaining proselytes to the Protestant religion. I entertain no suspicion of that tendency; but judge very favourably of their laudable design; and consequently, shall always feel happy in contributing my mite towards the edification of my poor parishioners, aided by the donations of the bumane and charitable Society. I sincerely wish your labours and those of the Society, for the good of the community, may be attended with the desired effect, and terminate prosperously to the bonour of God.”
The following extracts of various letters will be read with much satisfaction
“A very extensive and useful school has been established in the parish chapel belonging to the first enemy which the schools had to contend with in that quarter, and whose opposition was incessant. Around his altar, from which so many anatbemas were burled against the Scriptures and all who would read them, are now assembled in peace, the children of his then appalled and terrified hearers, committing to memory those very Scriptures wbich be once denounced; and that house which once resounded with his curses, now reverberates Glory to God in the highest ; peace and good will unto men !"
“ A young Priest observed, that our schools would shortly flourish in this country, as there was a prospect of persecution being at an end; for that, on Good Friday last, a conference was held in the town of G. at which thirty-three priests were present, as also the Bishop ; that the different priests, who did not like the institution, requested the Bishop to give orders to suppress our schools ; and that Priest H. opposed their proceedings, arguing from scripture the inconsistency of such as would resist the truth, or prevent the education of the poor who were in ignorance; which had such an effect on the Bishop's mind, that he said, "You may do what you please in your different parishes about this matter; but, as for me, I heartily coincide with Mr. H.”
“The priests who were our greatest enemies in this part of the country, striving beretofore to abolish the institution, to put a stop to the establishment of schools, and to prevent their flocks from reading the Scriptures, are at present recommending what they