« AnteriorContinuar »
Of the first newspaper printed in the language of Bengal, the Sumachar Durpun, or · Mirror of Intelligence,' published by the brethren themselves, they say,
Occupying the ground alone for a long season, from 1818, it now takes the lead of all native papers; appearing twice a week, with no little labor; being published in Bengalee and English, line for line, in parallel columns. The Durpun is now getting into town after town-is exciting curiosity-promoting inquiry -and creating an ardor for information truly delightful; and, proceeding by the post-office through Bengal, Hindoostan, Assam, and Arracan, it must ere long contribute to form a reading and reflecting class out of the victims of superstition. The native correspondents amount to about a hundred; and the correspondence of the paper, for the first quarter of this year, 1832, exceeded 400 letters."
Increasing Attention to English among the Natives. The pupils in the schools are not, as formerly, confined, Mr. W. H. Pearce writes, to the children of the poor; but the acquisition of English is anxiously desired by all, as the road to competence and respectability; Government having determined to patronize those who make proficiency therein. Youths now remain in the schools till they are sixteen, eighteen, and twenty years of age; and there many of them distinctly see and openly assert the folly of idol worship, and allow the hopelessness of obtaining salvation by their imaginary deities, while some of them are brought to embrace Christianity.
Government has greatly promoted this object, by having made English the medium of oflicial communication with the natives; and a late progress of the Governor-General through the Upper Provinces has given a strong stimulus to the natives in seeking to learn English. There appears to be a general movement on the subject throughout those provinces. The native chiefs have, in several places, agreed to rate themselves, according to their respective incomes, in support of this measure. At Lucknow, the king of Oude, to a munificent provision for the sick and poor of that city, was about to add a College for the instruction of the youth in English, and in the literature and science of Europe. The Secretary of the Delhi College writes to the Committee of Public Instruction at Calcutta,
“ Bigoted Pundits and orthodox Molwees think it no longer heresy to reject, as barren and unprofitable, the antiquated lore of their ancestors, and enter their sons at the English school. The respectability of the appointments obtained by some of our pupils, and the demand for English teachers and secretaries on the part of native chiefs and princes, have served to awaken attention to the prospects of fame and fortune opened to the successful cultivation of the English tongue; and it may be stated, in proof of the growing taste for the new literature, that no less than fifty copies of an English grammar in Persian, sent to me by the
Calcutta School Book Society, were bought up in the course of a single day."
Increasing Influence of the Gospel. The Rev. T. Dealtry, in writing from Calcutta to the British and Foreign Bible Society, says:
“ The calls for English Bibles are more loud and extensive than ever. We cannot near answer to them. This arises from the great increase of intelligent native inquirers. If you could look into the schools at Calcutta, and see the numbers of native youths who are capable of reading and understanding the Bible—if you could see the desire of these youths to obtain copies thereof, and the extreme caution which is adopted in giving them by the missionaries who are placed over the schools—you would need no further argument to press you to send us out as many as you can spare of common English Bibles and Testaments; and, as English schools are likely to be extended throughout the whole of the empire, the demand for them will be greater than ever. The fruits of the former labors of God's servants are becoming more and more manifest; and of numbers who have been prepared by them, it may be said, with the utmost truth, that they are not far from the kingdom of God.”
Substitution of the Roman in place of the Asiatic Alphabets. The “ Englishman," a Calcutta paper, thus speaks on this subject:
“The scheme is fully developed by a writer in the Calcutta • Christian Observer,' for June. He has given a complete Roman alphabet for seven of the Indian languages, and also the Arabic and its branches. The result is, that every reader of English, with an hour's attention to the Roman alphabet, as he has constructed it, may read, with tolerable fluency, these seven Indian languages and the Arabic and its branches. All that an English learner now requires, is books and dictionaries, printed in their new character. And what is a still further recommendation of the plan, is, that the natives who choose to adopt it in the acquisition of their own language, may read with tolerable accuracy, excepting some words of anomalous pronunciation, the English language. They have a key at once put into their hands, with which they can open to themselves one of the richest literary. stores in the world."
The subject is now under serious discussion. We notice it on account of its important bearing on the cause of missions. Such an extensive change, however, in the habits of nations, cannot make rapid progress. Much must depend on the Government and on the conductors of Indian education.- Ch. Miss. Reg.
THE LAST COMMAND. Just before our Lord Jesus Christ was received up into heaven, he said to his disciples, ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” He had finished the work on earth that was given him to do. It only remained that the work he had wrought should be made universally known, that men might believe and be saved.— This parting address of our Saviour to his disciples was not a mere suggestion; it was not an earnest request. It was a most grave injunction, -an express and absolute command. The apostles so regarded it: “they went forth, and preached every where.”—This command is binding on all the disciples of our Lord to the present day. It has never been annulled: it still waits for its fulfilment. It presses on every individual Christian with a directness and force not to be evaded or repelled. It must be met, and sustained, and obeyed, at WHATEVER SACRIFICE. To carry it out to its full accomplishment, is the great work assigned to the church on earth, to which all other interests are secondary, and all other duties subordinate. To this, all thought, all feeling, all effort, in the church universal, and in its individual members, must be subservient. Failure to achieve this enterprize, or delay not unavoidable to bear it onward to its completion, is chargeable on every Christian who does not put forth for its advancement his most vigorous and untiring efforts. To cast away from himself all participation in the guilt of neglect and unfaithfulness is impossible. Here is a detinite object to be effected: the means are put into our hands: he who has rightful and exclusive control of us, and to whom we have deliberately and unreservedly consecrated ourselves, calls on us to achieve the work,-but it lingers. Are we guiltless? The only possible ground of excuse or palliation would be the denial that Christ has entire and rightful control of us, or that we had consecrated ourselves to him as the purchase of his blood. But did we not consecrate ourselves to Christ in the very act of becoming his disciples? On that day, when, according to his mercy, we were saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, on that day, did we not give ourselves to him in an everlasting covenant? Did we not pledge ourselves then to do his will? And as the grand object for which he left the throne of his glory in heaven, and came and dwelt among men, was to open the way and provide the means by which the kingdom of Satan in this world may be overthrown, and on its ruins a new one be established of righteousness, did we not then bind ourselves, by that voluntary consecration, to be co-workers with him? Did we not severally promise, as we called ourselves Christians, to enter on the work assigned to his followers, and to prosecute it with a singleness of purpose and a concentration of effort such as marked the whole course of the work committed to him, till he cried, “It is finished?"
But why insist on the imperativeness of Christ's last command? Why appeal to the unreservedness and solemnity of baptismal engagements? He who is indeed a disciple of the Lord Jesus, delights to do his will. The love of Christ constraineth him. He judges that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they which live should not benceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them and rose again. He is eager to labor for Christ, and to suffer for him, so far as he is permitted thus to labor and suffer. His habitual feeling of heart is, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth. I am thine, bought with a price--ihy blood.”
Does any Christian doubt what to do in fullilling Christ's last injunction? He may aid in preaching the Gospel to every creature by pecuniary gift. llave you great possessions? You may lay them down at ile Saviour's feet. Or the widow's mite? You may cast in all that you have, even all your living. You may aid in the work by prayer; and, like him of Peniel, have power with God, and prevail. You may aid by personal labor. By a holy and blameless life; by offices of kindness and charity to die alllicted and necessitous; by the inculcation of divine truth in private conversation man with man, or in Sabbath schools and Bible classes; by the distribution of religious tracts; by the circulation of the Bible; by the preaching of the Word from house to house and in the sanctuary; in one, or in all of these ways, you may aid in making known the glorious Gospol of the blessed God. Freely you have received, freely you may give.
Are you a Christian, and doubl what you may do for Christ? Do with your might what your hands and to do. Waste no time in idle speculations or vain imaginings Work while it is called today. 'Do what the present hour permits: do it well, and do it for Christ. A vast majority of the servants of Christ must build up the walls of Zion as the priests in the days of hehemiah, “ every one over against his house." Perhaps, like Paul, you pant to preach the Gospel, not where Christ has been named, lest you build on another man's foundation; but as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see; and they that have not heard shall understand. Perhaps you hear the appeal so long and so loudly rung through all the hosts of the Lord, “ Whom shal] we send, and who will go for us?” Your cheek is mantled with shame, that so few and faint voices answer. Vet be not impatient. Jesus Christ knoweth the hearts of all men. He sees what is passing in your bosom, and at the fitting moment will make known his good pleasure. If you use the appointed means to ascertain it, if you study his word, mark the events of his providence, consult the good and wise, estimate candidly your ability to do and to endure, and your means of operation, at the same time guarding against all unauthorized partialities; above all, if you pray fervently, He who said of Saul of Tarsus, " Behold, he prayeth," will cause it to be told you what you must do and suffer for his sake. Meanwhile, neglect not your present appropriate work.
Give no occasion to the angels to say, “ Why stand ye here gazing up into heaven?” You may never preach the Gospel to the heathen. What then? You may be diligent in the work that Christ giveth you to do. You may be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.—Has Christ told you what you must do? Commence the work. Though the designation has been unexpected, delay not: though it involve great toil and suffering, move right on. Be the prescribed course rough or smooth, safe or hazardous,-let it admit rapid and pleasurable accomplishment, or task the most determined resolution, and the most enduring fortitude,-confer not with flesh and blood. Requiring no explanation, and stipulating no exemption, seize every opportunity for action, put forth the most strenuous effort, and execute the commission. Emulate the apostle Paul.
He was not disobedient to the heavenly vision from the hour when it was told him what he must do, till he was ready to be offered up. At Damascus, straightway, he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God: at Jerusalem he was with the apostles, coming in and going out, and spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus: at Corinth, he determined to know nothing among men, save Jesus Christ and him crucified: at Ephesus, he taught publickly and from house to house, ceasing not to warn every one night and day with tears. Every place alike witnessed his fidelity, the synagogue and the school, the prison and the palace, the river side and Mars' hill. In labors abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons frequent, in deaths oft; in weariness and painfulness, in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, shipwrecked, beaten, stoned;—none of these things moved him. He even rejoiced in his sufferings, filling up that which remained of the afflictions of Christ in his flesh; he took pleasure in infirmities, and reproaches, and necessities, and persecutions, for Christ's sake; and counted not his life dear unto himself, so that he might finish his course with joy, and the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus.
Imitate Him who left us an example, that we should follow him. Think of his compassion, seeking that which was lost; his disinterestedness, though rich, becoming poor; his perseverance, finishing his work. Remember his lowliness, washing the disciples' feet; his meekness, though reviled, not reviling again; his fortitude, enduring the cross; his magnanimity, praying for his murderers. Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, and rejoice that you may be like him. Do you labor in obscurity? Christ took upon him the form of a servant. In poverty? The Son of man had not where to lay bis head. Do you incur reproach. Christ was rejected of men. Shall you submit to scoff?' He hid not his face from shame and spitting. Shall you endure violence? He gave his back to the smiters, and his cheek to them that plucked off his hair. Shall you hazard death? He poured out his soul unto death, and with the wicked made his grave. If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.