« AnteriorContinuar »
is ground of encouragement, as it proves that the people feel the importance of sending the Gospel among their heathen neighbours. All we want is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our congregations, that
sinners may be pricked in their hearts, and brought to true repentance and faith in Christ; and that believers may be quickened and built up on their most holy faith. Do not cease to pray for us.
ADVANCE OF THE GOSPEL. LIBERALITY OF THE NATIVE CONVERTS.
Extract of a Letter from the Rev. F. P. Gladwin, dated Clarkebury,
IT affords me pleasure to write to you again on matters connected with our great work. I am happy to say that the steady advance of right principles among this people affords me great satisfaction, and will, no doubt, be equally pleasing to you. Many on this station are beginning to "see men as trees walking." They are awaking from their visionary dreams, and approaching the feet of the Redeemer. Upwards of sixty, including catechumens, have cast away their refuge of lies, and joined themselves to the Lord. Instrumentally, this gracious work may be attributed to the baptism of ten young women, which was certainly one of the most interesting services it has fallen to my lot to conduct. Their public examination was very affecting, their testimony clear and scriptural, their deportment pious and reverential. During the service, I called on one of them to read the third chapter of St. John; but, being overpowered by her feelings, she could not proceed; and at that moment God vouchsafed his approval of the service in which we were engaged, and all present were deeply affected: such was the confusion which for some time prevailed, that I could not proceed with the service. The happy result of this visitation led twenty to seek admission into the catechumens' class, and they are earnestly seeking the salvation of the Gospel. This has indeed been as the former and the latter rain unto us. Thankfully cherishing a lively sense of the goodness of God, we are still endeavouring to bring these wanderers to him.
Having long felt great inconvenience arising from the crowded state of our chapel during the services on the Sabbath, and as God seemed to open my way by pouring out his Spirit on the people, I determined to embrace the opportunity by trying to induce them to erect one much larger. I therefore called them together, and laid my request before them; when not a dissentient voice was raised, women as well as men agreeing to perform their part.
We are therefore making preparations to commence a chapel on an extensive scale, sufficient to hold our school-children, as well as the congregation. This will effect a saving of at least £50 to the Society. This universal effort on the part of the people must be ascribed to the influence of Christian principles; for, but a few months previously, they were equally united in their attempts to break down one of the most essential regulations of the station, and it seemed to be with us "the hour and power of darkness." But God overruled the machinations of the wicked one for his own glory; for in addition to the above, they have begun to improve their dwellings,-a work which was greatly needed, and in which almost the entire population on the station are engaged. Six large cottages are in the course of erection, and others are about to be commenced; while many are building improved Kaffer houses: these are worked like a basket, with small rods, plastered and whitewashed, and are not only a great advance on their present habitations, but will add considerably to their comfort, while the women will be relieved of a part of their yearly labour.
No one, unaccustomed to associate with Heathenism, can form a proper estimate of its chilling effects on the spirits of a Christian man. Not a ves
tige of even pretended religious ceremony is to be found among this people, not a particle of civilization; all is as dark as midnight, and gloomy as death, as far as the soul is concerned therefore every departure from Heathenism, even in the construction of their houses, is to my mind cheering, presenting so many bright spots in this dark portion of God's creation; and, if I be spared, I hope soon to see this remnant of it swept away from our station. Although it may be regarded as a small advance on the strong-hold, yet I hail it, with gratitude to Almighty God, as the harbinger of better and brighter days; for, when once broken into, it will, by the continued application of Gospel principles,
wither and die. Heathenism, apart from the influence of Christianity, is opposed to civilization in all its parts, and looks with a jealous eye on its advancing approximation. Its true spirit may be illustrated by the following anecdote:When I first came here, I engaged a boy to live in the house. After a few days, gave him some old clothes. When he returned home, his father at once expressed his dissatisfaction at this new innovation on the rights of Heathenism, by exclaiming, "My child is spoiled! The Teacher has ruined my child! he has put my child into bags!" He tried, in every possible way, to induce the boy to throw away his bags, assuring him that he would never be able to run again, and that he regarded it as a serious reflection on the family. But the boy kept his bags, has become a converted character, and has begun to exhort his benighted countrymen to flee from the wrath to come; and as he is a sensible young man, I entertain great hopes that he will ere long become useful as a native Preacher, to which object I am endeavouring to lead his mind. He studies closely the Gospel of Christ; and will frequently rise, lay his book aside, and seek a place in which to weep, saying, "This is too great for my heart." This blessed change among the people has induced a great desire for European clothing; which I have supplied, by way of encouragement, to the utmost of my power; and I very much feel the want of some articles of clothing. If the Committee have any at their disposal, it would afford me unspeakable pleasure to become their almoner, as an expression of their satisfaction with this people at their attempts to raise themselves out of Heathenism.
I would mention another proof of right views and feelings among them, which may be seen in their efforts to help according to their ability the good When I first came here, I held
a public Missionary Meeting, the object of which, however, was but faintly com prehended; consequently the collection was but small, amounting to fifteen shillings. The following year, I held my second Meeting, when the collection reached £3. 16s., which shows an advance on the year preceding of £3. 18. I have just held my third Meeting, the collection at which amounted to eight young oxen, forty goats, and £3 in money. This, in substance, if not in value, will surpass your Exeter-Hall collection; and, when disposed of, will show an advance of about £8 on the year preceding. Therefore we may say that an English Missionary platform would not even bear the weight of an African Missionary collection. With these tokens of the divine favour we are greatly encouraged in our work, not only on the station, but in the neighbour. hood.
On Sunday last, a Chief who resides a little way from us, made application for a book. On asking him what he intended to do with it, he said, "I am learning to read." On further questioning, who was his teacher, &c., I found that a little girl, who had been taught on the Morley station, had succeeded in teaching him his letters; and that they were about to erect a small chapel at their own place, in which he and his children will assemble to be taught more perfectly the word of God. I have this day selected the site. At this place I shall immediately commence a school, and supply it with Teachers from the station, preach once during the week, and supply it on the Sabbath with native help. I am very anxiously trying to establish such places all around us; but I meet with great opposition: nevertheless "the Lord reigneth.' Concerning ourselves, I am thankful to Almighty God to be able to report the continued enjoyment of good health, together with much of his divine presence in our work.
MISSIONS IN BRITISH NORTH AMERICA.
ST. ANDREW's.-On Sabbath, the 16th, I preached in the country to three large and attentive congregations. In the afternoon I administered the ordinance of baptism.
Yesterday we commenced our service here at half-past ten A. M.; and, after sermon, we held our love-feast, at which twenty-two spoke what they deeply felt,
and, almost without an exception, with much propriety. More would have spoken, but we had reluctantly to come to a close, in order to give place to the Sabbathschool, which on that occasion was hin dered from two to half-past two o'clock, and which is in a prosperous state, as you may judge from the fact that there were not less than one hundred scholars
present. There are in this town a number of young persons who begin to think seriously about their souls. Last week, one young woman, who, since she came from the city, has met with us in class, found the blessing of pardon. To God alone be all the praise !-Rev. R. Douglas, March, 1844.
As to the spiritual state of this Circuit, I may say it is much the same as when I wrote before; but as to finances, I have my fears. Poverty continues to drive our members away. Some have
lately left, and others speak of soon leaving. But though we have to complain of poverty, we do hope to keep up the little number; and this hope is founded on the fact, that the good Spirit is manifestly at work with some who, we trust, will cast in their lot among us. -Idem, April 5th, 1844.
ST. STEPHEN'S.-You will be glad to hear that God has been favouring us the last few weeks with a gracious revival at the Lodge: between twenty and thirty profess to have found peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and appear to be very happy in the enjoyment of the divine favour. I think we have had some instances
of as sound conversions as I ever witnessed. The chapel has been crowded, night after night, for upwards of a fortnight; and a most solemn feeling seems to rest upon the whole assembly. For this we praise God, and are encouraged. Indeed, the spiritual state of the Circuit generally is assuming an encouraging aspect. I feel more than ever convinced, that, to insure success, we have only to use the means in a right spirit. Rev. Henry Daniel, April 9th, 1844.
ANNAPOLIS.-God has favoured us in this Circuit with a powerful and glorious revival. Since I wrote, we have had a revival at the Creek where I live, and at Granville Ferry.-Rev. W. Smithson, April 18th, 1844.
BRIDGETOWN.-You will be glad to learn, that God has graciously condescended to own and bless our dedicatory service at the opening of the TuppeeSettlement chapel. Mr. Smithson came up in the spirit of a Missionary, and rendered us valuable service. Several have found the pardoning mercy of God, and many are seeking the great salvation. Rev. James G. Hennigar, March 12th, 1844.
CEYLON. I wrote to you in January, giving you an account of the work to the end of last year. Since then things have been gradually going on well. Several have renounced Heathenism, and joined our society; and two or three have come over to us from the Catholics. Heathenism still declines; and a general impression prevails, that Christianity will speedily effect its abolition. The people in general consider Christianity as an invisible power at war with the gods of the land; and, from what they have seen, they conclude that their gods are fleeing to other places. We seem to be approaching an important crisis: the people are brought to the birth, and now supernatural power is required to bring forth. The time seems to be at hand when the mighty rushing of the Spirit is required to convince of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and I believe the Spirit will be given. It may not come in the way we expect or wish; but I have faith to believe it will come, and overturn the powers of darkness. I often look at that promise, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your
children how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him!" I then consider that we have set apart an hour every morning to plead for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, for nearly three years; and that again and again we have had the drops, the earnest of a shower; and that, under the influence of the divine Spirit, several have been brought from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God. This inspires me with confidence that God will come down in all his power. Pray for us, that our faith fail not. I am daily more fully impressed with the necessity of the Spirit's influence upon our labours. I look upon all we do as entirely useless in the great work of saving souls without it. And this leads me carefully to examine every means we employ, and to ask the question, "Have I scriptural ground to believe that God will bless this means by the pouring out of his Spirit on the faithful preaching of the Gospel, and fervent, believing prayer?" I know he will. I have therefore implicit confidence in them, as means I not only know that they may
be blessed, but that they will be blessed. I therefore wish to give myself wholly to this work. Rev. Ralph Stott, Batticaloa, April 15th, 1844.
SOUTH AFRICA. We have just held our Missionary Anniversary in Graham's-Town; which was one of the very best we have ever known, and, with respect to the proceeds, was beyond all precedent. The contributions exceeded those of last year by about £80. This large increase has been obtained, first, from the native congregations, among whom Branch Societies were formed about the middle of last year, and who have raised by monthly contributions and collections at public Meetings the sum of £45. Many individuals have given one, two, and three shillings per month; so that in our next Report, we shall have the names of Fingoes, Bechuanas, &c., as annual subscribers of more than one guinea.
Similar Branch Societies have been formed amongst the natives at Farmerfield, D'Urban, Clumber, and other places. Another portion of the increase has been obtained by the formation of a Juvenile Branch Society in connexion with the Sunday-school. Several young persons have become Collectors of weekly and monthly subscriptions; and they have raised in eight months the sum of £27. Mr. Cameron, the Chairman of the Bechuana District, is now on a visit to the colony; and he informs us that two of the brethren in that District are about to take a journey to the Barapatu, a large nation living considerably further in the interior of Africa than our Bechuana stations, who have never yet heard the Gospel of Christ. They fully expect to find an open field in which to scatter the seed of the word; and, O, if it should be so, and the Committee be unable to answer the call which will be made upon them on behalf of that people, then they must remain in heathen darkness for years longer, and perhaps the door to them may be closed against us for ever. O, I sometimes wish I could fly across the mighty deep, stand on some of your Missionary platforms, and plead on behalf of Africa! But, surely, our voices will be heard through the medium of our letters, and the Christian public of Great Britain will be excited to greater liberality. On Wednesday last, the settlers of Albany commemorated their arrival in this country twenty-four years ago. On this occasion my esteemed Superintendent delivered a discourse in St. George's episcopal church, prayers being read by the Rev. J. Heavyside,
the Colonial Chaplain. The church was crowded to excess, and the sermon, which was founded on part of the 24th verse of 1 Sam. xii., and occupied an hour and a half in the delivery, was listened to with profound attention. It is to be published shortly. The fact that a Wesleyan Minister occupied the pulpit of the church, shows that here we are endeavouring to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." After the service, the children of the Sabbathschools walked in procession, with banners and music, to Oatlands Park, the property of Colonel Somerset, where they sang the national anthem, and then had cakes, &c., given to them. It was a day which will long be remembered. This colony has prospered within the last four-and-twenty years to an extent which no one could possibly have supposed; and much of its prosperity is owing to the moral and religious influence which has been brought to bear upon the peo ple.-Rev. Thornley Smith, Graham's Town, April 1st, 1844.
Still the hand of the Lord is with us for good. Still he condescends to bless, in some small measure, the work of our hands in building up the church of God, and making addition to the same. A new opening for more extended usefulness has been presented within the last few months, at a place called Würtemberg, on the banks of the Orange River, seventy miles from Colesberg, about the same distance from Kamastone, and one hundred and twenty from this station. This opening has resulted from our Superintendent's last journey to the Bechuana District. It appears, that as Mr. Shaw was proceeding to visit the new station at Kama stone, near the Witte Bergen, on his way from Colesberg, he called at the residence of Mr. Kolbe, who, in the course of conversation, pressed upon Mr. Shaw that his place might be taken on our District Plan of labour, that himself and family might have the advantage of the public ordinances of religion, and the privilege of the communion of saints. Mr. Shaw approved of his proposal, and his Plan was made accordingly. My appointment was there on Sunday, 24th of last month; and thankful I am that another opportunity has been presented of adding several persons to the church of the living God. I left home on Wednesday, 20th, in company with W. Wright, Esq., of Prospect, and one of my sons; and arrived at Würtemberg on Saturday, 23d. The journey was made across the Stormberg, the highest moun.
tain-range in this part of South Africa, being considerably higher than the Würtenberg at the highest point. This mountain-range divides the waters of this part of the continent: the one part sends its streams to the Indian Ocean; and on the other side, the waters fall into the Orange River, by many small streams, called "sprouts," and from thence pass through the continent till they fall into the South Atlantic. Through the whole of the journey, I found the Boers very civil. Thank God, the irritating subject of the Natal question has subsided. With one circumstance I was struck and greatly pleased: it was this, that the Dutch farmers, living near the Orange River, had passed out of the colony, with waggons, into the Bechuana country, to purchase wheat of the Bechuanas. Christianity and civilization are steadily pacing through the land. At present, there is peace.
Schools and churches
are prospering, the land is in a course of being highly cultivated; and all this amongst a people who, prior to the introduction of Christianity, were ruined and destroyed by intestine wars. Of the Bechuanas, I heard but one statement amongst the Boers; namely, that they were civil, industrious, and honest. the Sabbath, I preached twice, once in English and once in Dutch: both services were well attended. A class of nine members was formed, placed under the care of Mr. Kolbe, and subscriptions given and promised to the Missionary cause, amounting in all to a little more than £10. A chapel was proposed to be built, Mr. Kolbe giving the ground, and one-tenth of the expense of the entire building. This gentleman is a German by birth and education; was educated by, and became a member of the church of, the venerable Dr. Steinpkoff, of London. At present Mr. Kolbe is the most popular medical practitioner in this part of South Africa: the Dutch Boers resort to him from all parts of the Cape colony. At this time there were twenty-four waggons and tents on his place, with persons afflicted with almost all the maladies common in this part of the world. Hitherto he has been most successful; and as his custom is always to labour for the good of the soul as well as of the body, there is reason to believe that he has been made a blessing to many. At this place I found a poor wandering sheep, a person of the name of John Watkins. Twenty-six years ago he was a companion of mine in attending the means of grace, prayer-meetings, &c., at City-road chapel, London. With tears
he acknowledged his backsliding: himself, wife, and son have joined the class. Rev. John Ayliffe, dated HaslopeHills, April 1st, 1844.
With regard to the Beka, the following extracts from my journal contain the chief points of interest, during the December quarter. November 17th,
1843. I returned from a short itinerating excursion to the Sea. I preached at Kobus's place yesterday morning, and at the Sea this morning; but most of the people were away at the dancing, which is now going on throughout the country, on account of the individuals and places which were proscribed during the time of the small-pox. It is said, that they have never yet been reinstated officially in their former privileges; and this, therefore, is designed to do it. Of course, slaughtering is the principal means employed in cleansing the country; and several cattle have been killed already in this neighbourhood. 26th. Hearing that Pato was going to race cattle and have a dance to-day, (the Sabbath,) I went to see for myself, as soon as our morning service was over at the station. As I approached the great place, I saw that the report was too true. I went up to the Chief, and reproved him. He pleaded ignorance of the day; and, at my request, immediately stopped the dancing. I then assembled the people, and had a large congregation of Kaffers from all parts; and, having read all the Commandments, preached from the fourth, as being particularly applicable to their circumstances. They were very attentive; and I trust this event will have a good effect. 28th.-Pato called to-day; and I had a long conversation with him on the subject of his Sabbathlaw. He promised to send word to his people again, as also to attend the church better than he had done lately. From this time to the District-Meeting in the middle of January last, the Sabbath congregation was much better than before, and Pato was generally there himself. The circumstances connected with the Gwanga were not of an encouraging na
In consequence of the sickness of the Chief, and its attendant evils, the congregation had much fallen off. The power of witchcraft was, as usual, called into requisition, and the Doctor fixed upon an individual as the guilty party. He, however, contrived to effect his escape; but another, who was supposed to be his comrade, was immediately seized, and put to the torture, and ultimately died in the most horrible manner.