Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

CHINA, now in the throes of a revolution in which the influence of a few imper· fectly apprehended Christian ideas is strikingly manifest, is attracting to itself the gaze of the Christian world. The immediate effects of the insurrection as related to missions, should it even succeed, cannot be predicted. In its most favorable aspects, it offers the promise of an open and unobstructed way for the preaching of the gospel and the circulation of the Scriptures. It may issue less auspiciously. But of one thing we may be safely assured: a pure Christianity, whether favored by the sovereign power or under its ban, will make no progress unless it is preached to the people. "How shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher ?" The obligation to give the gospel to China does not rest upon our own denomination with such single and exclusive force as do the claims of Burmah. But in common with others we have attempted to bear a part in this great enterprise, and have met with a measure of success.

The Hongkong Mission, by the temporary withdrawal of Dr. Dean, who lately returned to this country on account of impaired health, is left in the sole charge of Mr. Johnson. To Ningpo a missionary of recent appointment, the Rev. M. J. Knowlton, has just been designated, who, with Mr. Lord returning to his station, will strengthen a post that is in great need. At both stations there have been accessions to the native churches. The character of some of the converts promises much for the future. There is every encouragment to cultivate this immense field with a vigor and liberality beyond any precedent hitherto set.

The Mission to ASSAM has sustained severe afflictions, in the death of Mr. Däuble, who had won in an eminent degree the confidence and love of his associates during his brief service, and of a native preacher concerning whose future usefulness the best hopes were entertained. Mrs. Cutter has returned to this country as an invalid. The enfeebled health of some of the brethren causes deep concern for the welfare of the mission. It calls for succor. Though the fruits of labor bestowed do not immediately appear, yet the soil is breaking up, the good seed is sown, and the Lord of the harvest will not refuse the increase. The Foreign Secretary, by authorization of the Executive Committee, has decided to visit Assam, a step much desired by the mission, and one that it is believed will prove for its permanent advantage.

The Mission to the TELOOGOOs is reduced, by the return of Mr. Day in enfeebled health, to a single missionary and his wife. To expect that it should be able to make any sensible progress under such circumstances would be unreasonable. The divine energy is boundless, but works by means. Mr. Jewett has been preserved from discouragement and continues his work with cheerfulness, leaving the future in the hands of God and of his brethren. The efforts made to reinforce the mission, we are sorry to say, have thus far failed of their object.

The Mission to the BASSAS, resuscitated, after long waiting, by two missionary families, presents itself with fresh interest to the view of all who are concerned for the welfare of Africa. The missionaries found, in the state of the church, the schools and the mission property, visible proof of the fidelity of the native assistants in whose charge these had been so long left. They have suffered from sickness incident to the acclimating process, but have been sustained and enabled to rejoice in the lot assigned them. They have already seen some triumphs of the gospel, and look with the patience of hope for multiplied conquests.

The retirement of one missionary from FRANCE, and the declinature of another wo had received appointment to that field, leave but one to take the oversight of the work there. Mr. Willard removed in October from Douai to Paris. Outward circumstances still present a forbidding aspect, but the progress already made has evinced the action of a vital impulse which "cannot, but by annihilating, die.”There are some tokens of better days in reserve, but of one thing alone can we safely be confident—that the Lord will overrule all events to his own glory.

The churches in GERMANY continue to enjoy a large degree of spiritual prosperity, and make progress in the work committed to them. The King of Prussia bas offered a measure of toleration, which, though not yet fully realized, brightens the prospects of our brethren in that kingdom, but some other states have inflicted increased severities on the Baptists within their borders. Recent events attest the growth of liberal sentiments among the German clergy, but the removal of restrictions on worship must apparently be a work of time. The gospel, however, asks no leave of human power to live and act. By the presence of Mr. Oncken in this country, it is hoped that a stronger interest will be awakened in the mission with which he is identified, and that the Committee will be fully sustained in their effort to give it a more ample support.

If the Mission to GREECE exhibits fewer sensible proofs of success than others, it finds in the eagerness with which the treasures of divine truth are sought by the people special encouragement to perseverance. A stronger impulse appears to have been given to the reading of the Scriptures and investigation into its doctrines and precepts. An enlargement of the mission is eminently desirable. The things that remain need strengthening, and greater things ought to be attempted.

Our INDIAN MISSIONS exhibit no marked change externally. Among the Cherokees, as for many years, a steady progress is made by the churches, in numbers and we hope in character and efficiency. The death of two native preachers was a severe trial. One has since been licensed, One has since been licensed,—may others be speedily raised up! The missions to the other tribes are in a less advanced state. The churches they have planted, however, endure as the present reward of their fidelity and a seed of future increase, of which individual conversions are now the foretokening.

Such, in brief outline, is the state of our missions. In view of their small beginnings, they call for a grateful remembrance of the divine favor through which they have reached their present degree of expansion. But in consideration of the immensely widened field now made accessible, of the providential signs that beckon to us from the four corners of the earth,- of the resources of our denomination multiplied by years of prosperity, it is impossible to suppress the questionsWhat doth the Lord require of us? What lack we?

INTELLIGENCE FROM THE MISSIONS.

THE CONVENTION AT MAULMAIN., Missions," preceding. The last day's session, being on our anniversary week, was spent in prayer for the Missionary Union. The first Thursday in November was designated as a day of fasting and prayer, for a blessing on the labors then to be commenced at the several stations. A resolution was passed expressing the thanks of the convention to the Executive Committee for the presence and aid of the Deputation.

This is not the time or place to comment on the proceedings of the Convention, particularly as their action was not final on the questions before them. The report of the Deputation will present to the Executive Committee and to the Board more ample materials for estimating them, and aid

We continue our record of the doings of this important body, reserving two or three reports and resolutions which either are of no public interest, or require special action by the Committee and the Board of Managers. The reports by themselves convey but an imperfect impression of the labors performed by the convention, the investigation of facts and precedents entered into, the comparison of individual views, and the earnest discussions that sifted every section of these documents.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The selection of new stations and the distribution of missionaries among them, are noted in the "General View of the

their judgment on the practicability and the most expedient means of giving effect to the

conclusions arrived at. But it should never, for a moment, be forgotten that human might and wisdom, without the divine approval, will be powerless for good. It was the aim of the convention to discover the methods which our Lord and his apostles have sanctioned, to conform to their precepts and example; and to Him who is excellent in working they commit their future weal.

APPROPRIATION, OF MONEY CONTRIBUTED TO BE APPLIED AT THE DISCRETION OF A MISSIONARY.

The committee to whom was referred the topic of the appropriation of money contributed for the special or general purposes of a mission, with permission to apply it at the discretion of the missionary receiving it, would respectfully offer the following report.

It is not to be expected that a heathen people will in any way aid in the work of disseminating the gospel among themselves; nor that a people just emerging from the ignorance and degradation of heathenism, will at once be able to support the ordinances of the gospel necessary to their well being, without foreign aid. The expenditure of money by missionary bodies is indispersable in the prosecution of missionary labors. But we think that as little money should be spent, as is consistent with the vigorous prosecution of the work. A careful and economical expenditure, for any department of a mission, accomplishes more good than a careless and lavish expenditure. We believe that individual missionaries, and missions also, have expended funds for particular objects, and commenced systems of expenditure, which with more experience and with a more careful reflection on the worthiness of the objects and on the consequences of the systems, would not have been expended nor commenced. Funds injudiciously spent are in many cases lost, often worse than lost — the occasion of incalculable harm. For instance, if a native church would be able, with the counsel and encouragement of a mission

[blocks in formation]

The committee to whom was referred

(c) Where the money is given for a specified object, and that alone, as for the erection of buildings of any kind, for the organization of a new school, for preach- the subject of the theological training of ing in any specified place, or for any native preachers, Burman and Karen, object the expense of which is not usually and what further provision, if any, is borne by the mission; before such ap-requisite for its advancement, beg leave to present the following report.

The subject is most naturally considered in its historical order. We shall, therefore, begin with the establishment of the first theological school in Burmah, designed for both Burmans and Karens, and then present what was subsequently done in the way of theological training in the Burman and Karen departments separately.

propriation be made, the subject should be laid before the mission: if the mission approve, well; but if the approval of the mission cannot be obtained for such proposed expenditure, the money should remain in the hands of the receiver, at the disposal of the donor. In case it be impracticable to get the further direction of the donor, said money should go to the mission treasury for the general purposes

1

of the mission. The credits for all such

moneys as are above referred to, should, we think, appear in the accounts of the mission treasurer.

[blocks in formation]

THEOLOGICAL TRAINING OF NATIVE
PREACHERS.

I. The Burman and Karen theological school. During the first twenty years of the Burman mission, and while there was only a Burman department, no special effort was made for the education of the native assistants, because they were educated, according to Burman custom, before their conversion to Christianity. But almost as soon as missionary efforts commenced and became successful among the Karens, particularly on the reduction of the Karen language to writing, it became, in the minds of the Karen missionaries, an object of importance to educate to a greater or less extent individuals of promise, in order to qualify them for preachers or school teachers. They, unlike the Burmans, had had no previous education in their own language. They were, therefore, taught by the missionaries, during a part of the year when the rain prevented jungle labor, without any specific directions to that effect from the Missionary Board.

In 1835-36 the Rev. Mr. Malcom was sent out by the Board with special directions, among others, to establish a theological school. On this subject Dr. Bolles, the then Corresponding Secretary, wrote to the mission: "To Mr. Malcom has been confided the duty cf devising with you the plan of a school, to be early put in operation, adapted to the exigencies of the mission. We do not wish a splendid but an efficient establish

ment, which shall take such converts as appear to be called of God to the Christian ministry, and qualify them for an acceptable and successful discharge of their duties. We will not pretend to define the course of study to be pursued, but request you to propose a plan based on what you know to be the wants of the persons to be taught, and submit the same to us for revision and approval. It will probably be best to embrace in the plan the instruction of school teachers no less than those for the ministry.”

|

In pursuance of these instructions a committee was appointed by the convention of missionaries held in Maulmain in April, 1836, on an "Institution for educating native assistants." This committee reported, that, as a temporary arrangement, the institution should be located at Tavoy, that Mr. Wade should be the instructor, and that the Board should be earnestly solicited to send a suitable man, as soon as possible, to take permanent charge of the institution. The committee also recommended that Amherst be the future and permanent location for the institution; that, as many of the Karens, whom it would be desirable to place in such an institution, do not understand the Burman language, the Karen missionaries should institute a bible class for Karen native assistants; that the branches taught should be a general exposition of the holy Scriptures, rudiments of astronomy, geography and chronology, a sketch of ecclesiastical history, and the English language; — not that each scholar should invariably engage in all these studies, but in so many of them as should be approved by the instructor; - and that, in arranging the studies of each particular scholar, the instructor should be guided, as far as practicable, by the wishes of the missionaries from whom the individual should be sent. It was also recommended that such scholars as were yet young, and were to study the English language, should be placed in some primary school a proper time for that purpose.

|

mendations are contained was adopted by the Conference, and a school was commenced at Tavoy without delay, according to the plan thus established. It opened with about twenty pupils, the number of Karens preponderating; five Burmans and about the same number of Karens, were from Maulmain; two Karens were from Burmah, and one Burman and seven Karens from Tavoy. Most of these had already been employed as preachers, and the others were designed to be. Three or four, however, failed of coming up to these expectations after leaving the school. Of the studies specified in the report, that of the English language was never introduced, having been left to the discretion of the instructor and the expressed wishes of the missionaries sending the pupils.

This school continued in Tavoy some two or more years, until Mr. Stevens, sent by the Board to be the permanent instructor, was ready to take charge. It was then removed to Maulmain; after which, according to a clause in the above mentioned report, the Karen missionaries instituted bible classes at their different stations, for the instruction of Karen native assistants.

II. The Burman theological school. Mr. Stevens arrived in Maulmain in February, 1838, with directions to study the Burmese language, that being understood to be the medium through which instruction was to be given in the institution; and in the following year, in March, he commenced a bible class, composed of seven assistants of Maulmain; six of these were then engaged in preaching, and ore in the translating department.

The members of the class were assembled at first twice a week, at 3·1-2 P. M., after they had usually finished their preaching for the day. A pupil being sent up from Amherst shortly after, to be instructed daily, from that date the assistants were convened three times a week; and by the end of July the class numbered sixteen in all, including one

The report in which the above recom- Toungthoo, and two Burmans from Ta

« AnteriorContinuar »