« הקודםהמשך »
Pastor, accompanied with the offer of a sufficient annual compensation, and a promise of erecting a place of worship without delay. With this invitation, predicated on such conditions, I signified my willingness to comply; and should I be permitted to visit NewYork during the ensuing summer, I shall prepare it in the form of a call, and prosecute it accordingly before my Presbytery. A subscription has been circulated for purchasing a lot for building a church; and the present result is, that the Trustees have secured the first, at the price of $10,000, and have a balance left of $5000 to $6000 for erecting the edifice. Every week, however, is augmenting the amount of this last sum. An estimate has been made of the probable expense of the whole undertaking—and, exclusive of the lot and steeple, it is supposed that $30,000 will be necessary to complete a brick church, of the general dimensions of 90 feet by 60, more or less, and constructed, for the most part, on the plan of Dr. Mason's in the city of New-York. To such an object in this town, donations must necessarily prove inadequate; it is contemplated, therefore, to make up the final deficiency of funds by a loan from one of the banks, or from individuals, until a sale of the pews can effect a redemption of the money. Were it necessary that I should say, in many words, what the efforts in allusion will probably amount to, when they shall have ripened into some sober and certain results, I could only remark, that the prospect is at present highly encouraging: There are circumstances, however, which have a bearing on the subject by no means favourable-Among which I mention, in the first place, that any undertaking directed so decidedly as our own to the advancement of religion, cannot proceed so actively in a very low as in a flourishing state of general piety; in the second, that a large proportion of monied Americans here, are already enlisted in behalf of the Episcopal church; and in the third, that young men, and particularly young merchants, from whom the support of our contemplated establishment will be chiefly derived, have generally come io the city for temporary purposes, and on this account feel but a short-lived interest in its public institutions. But on the whole, I cherish a belief, reciprocated, I am confident, by the congregation as a Body, and by their Trustees, that the day has at last arrived, when a Second Protestant Church will list its spire to Heaven! and shield our city, in something more than a natural sense, from judgments which it has too much reason to apprehend. For the present, I am accustomed to preach on every Sabbath morning at a commodious room fitted up by Mr. Paulding, a Baptist gentleman; in the evening, at the Episcopal, or as it is commonly styled here, the American Church. At the former of these places, also, I hold a regular lecture on Thursday evening; besides which, there is a prayer meeting on the morning of every Wednesday for our own sex, and of every Friday for females. As it becomes a part of my report to speak of the disposition exhibited towards the public exercises of worship, I am happy to state, that it has exceeded iny most sanguine expectations. Mr. Paulding's and very
room, which seats about four hundred persons, is almost uniformly,
often uncomfortably crowded; and during the afternoon's 'service in the Episcopal church, containing 1000 to 1100 seats, I have frequently seen persons compelled to leave the house for want of accommodations. And it is but justice to the American population, who, however little they are inclined to religion, claim a very considerable exemption from the immoralities chargeable on the city at large—it is but justice to say, that I have never witnessed more decorum of conduct, or more solemnity of attention, than I have found among them on every occasion of worship. From a determination which I long since formed, and to which I have rigidly adhered, of preaching the truth, without withholding, abridging, or embellishing the severest doctrines, I have experienced less difficulty than I expected. And I rejoice in an opportunity of saying, that four or five instances of serious inquiry have occurred, as if to prove, on the part of God, that it can never be necessary for the good of His Church, to halt between two opinions in the pulpit.
From the Religious Remembrancer.
MEETING AT DELHI. In former numbers of the Remembrancer, we presented to our readers some account of an interesting meeting of Hindoos, at Delhi, to read the Sacred Scriptures; in addition to which we doubt not but the following letter from Anund Messee to the Rev. Mr. Fisher, and also the extract of Lieut. Macdonald's letter, will afford pleasure. ANUND MESSEE'S LETTER.
Delhi, May 12, 1817. “Oh! Father of my religion ! reverend Sahib! may Anund Messee's respectful salutation reach your presence! The account of my proceedings is as follows:
“With the blessing of God, I arrived among those people to whom your commands sent me; but did not meet with the whole of them, as they were principally scattered about in different directions, having returned to their respective occupations of trade, &c. But I succeeded in finding about twenty or thirty; and, in several of the villages in which these few resided I preached to them the word of the blessed Christ : and they, on hearing this word of Jesus, were filled with joy, as having found God. They all showed me great love, and exclaimed “You must always stay with us, and dwell in our villages; teaching us the worship of Jesus; and we will learn.' I showed them Mr. Corrie's Translation of the Church Liturgy, which some of them copied; and they told me that after the rain, in the cold weather, they intended again to assemble at Delhi. I explained to them the nature of Sacrament and of Baptism : in answer to which they replied, “We are willing to be baptized, but we will never take the Sacrament. To all the other customs of Christians we are willing to conform, but not the Sacrament, because the Europeans eat cows' flesh, and this will never do for us. To this I answered, “This word is of God, and not of men: and when he makes your hearts to understand, then you will properly comprehend it.' They replied, 'If all our country will receive this Sacrament, then will we. I then observed, 'The time is at hand when all the countries will receive this word! They replied, “True !
“I am rejoiced to learn that Mr. Henry and Mr. John are coming to Delhi. May my respectful salutations reach your presence! If you come to Delhi you will see these people.”
A letter to the Secretary of the Society is just arrived from Mr. Thomason, dated Calcutta, July 19, 1817, inclosing an extract of a letter from Lieutenant Macdonald, dated Delhi, June 20, written in answer to Mr. Thomason's inquiries respecting these people.
This extract follows:
“I have conversed with Anund Messee on the subject of the interesting meeting in the Tope, near Delhi. At this season of the year you must be aware that it must be next to an impracticability for me to travel to the respective villages of these people for the purpose of making such investigation as would enable me to speak decisively on the subject. Without such a personal inquiry you will be further aware how utterly incompetent I must be to judge what progress they have made in the knowledge and understanding of the Word of God.
“Several of these people came to Delhi in the course of last month, for the purpose of laying a complaint before the Resident respecting some acts of oppression under which they had been suffering. Anund Messee brought them to us. Lieutenant Tompkins and I conversed with them; but their minds were so full of grievances, that at first they could speak of nothing else. We discovered however, after some more conversation, that they were eagerly desirous of instruction, and had already heard some tidings of good. This was the impression left on my mind by their visit. I regret that I omitted to make any memoranda of the exact particulars of our conversation; but such as above said was the impression left on my mind, viz. that they had seen and had heard the Gospel, and are willing to receive further instruction.
“Every inquiry shall be made. Mr. Fisher will accompany us on a tour which we purpose to make to the different villages, about the termination of the rains: meanwhile I will endeavour to prevail on some of the people to visit Delhi, and will acquaint you with the result."
Extract of a Letter from Mr. Bicknell, Eimeo, dated 12th August,
1816, to the Rev. Mr. Weston, Sherbourne. Dear Sir,--Bless God with us, because he hath done great things for the people among whom we labour. At length superstition and idolatry are done away, and the Areoi Society is also at an end. Their gods are burnt in the fire, and their children are saved from death. You know that where the Gospel comes with power, it always works a change for the better in man.
"Blessings abound where'er he reigns,
" And all the sons of want are blest.” I have lately been twice round this island, preaching the Gospel, and have just returned from a preaching tour round Taheite. There are about 700 people on this island who have embraced the Gospel, beside about 500 who are with us. In every district they have built a place of worship, in which they have prayer thrice every sabbathday, and once every Wednesday. Almost every house has family worship daily, and most of the people retire for private worship (in the bushes) twice and some three times a-day.
At Taheite there are about 3000 who have turned from idols, and who now call Jehovah their God. They have built about 50 places of worship, in which they pray as they do here. They teach each other to read and write, and they learn very quickly. Many teach others the catechism. The king writes better than any of us.
At Huaheine, Raiatea, and Borabora, we believe there are nearly 4000 people who embrace the Christian religion, although they have no instruction at present, except by the books which we send them. They are frequently sending messages to us, requesting us to come and teach them.
[We are indebted to a worthy member of the Society of United Brethren for the following remarkable account of the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a Mahomedan Nobleman.] Extracted from the Memoirs of the late Brother Winiger, who with
several other Missionary Brethren, resided, about 30 years ago, a considerable length of time in Egypt.
One day, for recreation's sake, we entered (Brother Winiger writes) a large and beautiful garden, situated on the river Nile. The proprietor of it, an Aga, richly attired, saluted us in a very friendly manner, and inquired whether all of us were Brethren, and of one and the same religion ? Being answered in the affirmative, he turned towards me and said: “Why dost thou wear a beard, and thy brethren wear none ? Surely thou art a priest.” He would not give credit to my assertion, when told I did so merely for convenience sake, but reiterated, “Thou art a priest; do not detain my soul! I have prayed to God Almighty that He would suffer me to become acquainted with a man who could tell me what I must do to be saved ; and God has given me this answer—that a man would one day enter my garden, and he would tell me what I should do. Thou art the man ; I'm sure of it; so now only speak out thy mind freely !"
I replied that it was out of my power to tell him, a Mahomedan, what he must do to be saved; he might consult the clergy of his religion on this head. He rejoined, “I am thoroughly convinced that myself, as well as all the followers of Mahomet are not walking in the right way. There must be a something else whereby we are saved, and thou must tell me in what that consists.” He added, “I am well aware, that our conversation will be death to us if the news of it transpire; however, do not fear, thou art dealing with an honest man-the secret shall not escape my lips !" While he spoke this he was so much affected that myself was also sensibly moved by it.
“Well then,” said I, “I will tell thee what a Christian must do to be saved.”
He now conducted me under the shade of a fig-tree, saying, "Come, thou man of God; here, where I have prayed to God so often, thou shalt tell me what I shall do!”
During silent aspirations to my Saviour for his aiding grace, I gave this ignorant man a concise account of Scripture history till to the crucifixion and ascension of our Lord. He listened with profound attention, and on being informed that Jesus had re-ascended up to heaven before the eyes of his disciples, he raised his hands towards heaven, exclaiming, “ O Jesus, thou who sittest at the right hand of God, have mercy on me! be my Saviour also !” Several times he repeated this prayer, with eyes overflowing with tears; and the Saviour of sinners deigned to grant unto this sinner, crying for mercy, a lively sensation of his peace, and a saving view of his atonement for lost human creatures. Repeatedly did he exclaim, with heartfelt emotion, “Yea, Lord Jesus, I behold thee with thy wounds; now I am permitted to call thee my Saviour too !” During this interview myself was also pervaded by a happy sensation of the gracious presence of Jesus.
Next morning, before daybreak, this Turkish gentleman appeared with a numerous retinue at the door of our house, which at the first greatly disconcerted us. I ran up to him, inquiring "What art thou about, to fetch so many people along with thee?” He replied, “These are my mamelukes, (or slaves.) They are ignorant of the matter, and have received orders to await my return in the street. I could endure it no longer without seeing thee and thy brethren, and have not slept a wink all last night for joy." We had a very agreeable conversation with him, and conjointly returned our grateful acknowledgments to the Lord for the mercy he had shown unto him.
As long as we abode in Egypt this Turk remained faithful to the Lord.??
CONVERTED MONGOLIANS. From the London Missionary Chronicle of May last. The Rev. Isaac Jacob Schmidt, of the Church of the United Brethren, and Treasurer of the Bible Society at Petersburg, has