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becoming. They have now been so long deserted, that they are beginning to go rapidly to ruin. We have, however, considerably arrested the progress of decay, by cutting out the banians, which were fast breaking down the walls of the buildings.
You will learn from the extracts from our journals, which we occasionally send you, the details of our missionary concerns, which supersedes the necessity of being very particular in this letter.
Our schools, for reasons which we have before mentioned, are not so numerous as we hoped they would
be before this time. But still, we are making advances in this good work. The school at Tillipally is in a flourishing state, and consists of forty boys. Twelve of these brother Poor has taken from their parents, and they are supported at the expense of the mission. They are making very good progress, both in Tamul and English. The school at Panditeripo, betw: en three and four miles west of Tillipally, established and superintended by Mr. Poor, consists of 36 boys. The school at Batticotta consists at present of 40 boys; since we wrote last, it has been for a time much less than that. Many boys will attend the school for one, two, or three months, and then be taken away by their parents for various reasons; but principally, because they need them to labor.' This is indeed a trial; but one which we must expect to meet often, till these people have learned the value of an education.
About the middle of April, brother Meigs opened a school in another part of Batticotta, where he goes to preach every Sabbath afternoon, which already consists of 30 fine boys, and is almost every day increasing: He has now also opened a school in Changane, the next parish north of Batticotta. This school has been opened a fortnight, and consists of upwards of 30 boys. The whole number of boys in the schools superintended by brother Meigs is 100; those of brother Poor 76; in all 176 boys.
You will probably have learned from the journal of brother Poor, and also from private letters, before this reaches you, that our sick brethren have taken a passage from Columbo to the Cape of Good Hope. You will also learn from our former letter and journals, that they were prevented from taking a passage to Bombay, by the sickness of brother Warren.
As sending our brethren to the Cape was a measure necessarily attended with considerable expense, we deem it proper to state to you definitely the reasons of our conduct; and in doing this, it will be necessary to give you a concise his tory of the business. The last attack which brother Warren experienced of bleeding from his lungs, was so severe, that we greatly feared he would never be able to be removed from Columbo. We had strong desires that, it possible, he might be removed to this place, and spend his last days with his missionary brethren and sisters. But for a long time it appeared to those about him, that on account of the extreme weakness and irritability of his lungs, it would be highly imprudent tè attempt to remove him.
In the beginning of March, brother Richards, who had been at Columbo for. some time, found an opportunity of engaging a passage in a small vessel that was going the circuit of the Island, and in this he first came to Jaffna, where he arrived on the 16th of the same month. While brother R. remained here, a letter arrived from Columbo, enclosing a certificate from the two principal physicians at that place, who attended brother Warren, very strongly recommending that he should take a passage to the Cape of Good Hope, and, on account of the need die would have of a pliysician, and the great benefit which brother Richards would probably experience from the voyage, it was thought best that he should accompany brother Warren. We should here insert the certificate; but from some accident it has been either mislaid or lost. We have, however, given the substance of it above.
When the subject came before us at our meeting, we had many doubts as to the propriety of the measure. The principal objections against it were the following. The little probability, in our minds, that brother Warren would ever regain his health, or ever live to return; the expense that it would be to the mission; and the desirableness that he should, if possible, return to Jaffna. We were aware, however, that we could by no means judge so correctly at this distance, respecting the prospect of benefiting his health, as his physicians could who were with him, one of whom had spent ten years at the Cape. We were uns
tilling therefore, to take upon ourselves the responsibility of saying at once, that they should not go. We wished, if possible, to obtain more light on the subject, and to follow the indications of divine Providence. We had strong hopes, that, before the time arrived, in which they would find an opportunity of going, such circumstances would occur, as might render the path of duty plain. After much deliberation and prayer, we came to the following conclusion: That it was expedient for brother Richards to return immediately to Columbo, and not to prosecute his voyage round the Island. If, after his arrival at that place, all things appeared favorable for their going, they had our permission to go. We also concluded, that brother Richards must be the judge, whether all things were favore able or not, after knowing our opinion and feelings on the subject. We had, however, but faint expectations that our brethren would go. We thought it hardly probable that any good opportunity would be presented; as vessels would not come to Columbo after the middle of May. We feared that brother Warren's health would be such, as to render it inadmissible to attempt to remove him to the vessel. We did not know that our funds would be sufficient to meet the expense, without very much curtailing our missionary operations here. All these difficulties were in the providence of God to be removed, before they could go, as it will appear in the sequel that they were.
Soon after brother Richards' arrival at Columbo, the weather there became suddenly cooler, and brother Warren's health was evidently considerably benefited by the change. The physicians had before given their opinion, that he ought to be removed to a cooler climate, that he might recover strength. They now urged this as an additional reason why he should go to the Cape, in preference to any part of India.
The venerable the Archdeacon Twistleton was so kind, as to offer to write to the Governor, then in Candy, to request that a free passage might be granted to our brethren on board one of the government transports, which was expected shortly from the coast, and would then sail immediately to the Cape. This request was very generously complied with by his Excellency, Governor Brownrigg. Our brethren were however to find their own provisions for the voyage. We are informed that brother Richards spent much time with brother Warren in conversation on the subject, and particularly with his physicians. He found brother Warren very desirous to go. He entertained a strong persuasion that a voyage to the Cape and back again, would be the means under God, of restoring him to a comfortable degree of health; and he had a strong desire to live, that he might do something for the heathen. His physicians also concurred in the same opinion respecting the probable benefit to be experienced by the voyage. In conversation with brother R. they stated distinctly, that, in their opinion, there was a great degree of probability, that the voyage would be the means of so far restoring brother W. to health, that he might be useful in the mission for some years; although they did not think he would ever again be able to preach. After this opinion was given, brother R. said that he felt it to be his duty to advise brother W.to go. All the circumstances appeared to him favorable. The opportunity presented was a very good one. The expense would not be very great; and brother W.'s health was so much better, that it was thought proper to attempt to remove him to the vessel.
On the return of the two transports, they were offered their choice of the one in which they would sail. After bra, her Richards, and brother Chater had been on board of both, they chose the Regalia. Every thing on board was found convenient for their voyage. The Captain was a very agreeable and obliging man, and the ship in which they were to sail was almost empty. As the rules of the ship would not permit them to furnish their own provisions, the Captain agreed to furnish them with every thing necessary for l.35 each, which was considered at Columbo to be very reasonable.
On Saturday, April 25th, they attempted to remove brother Warren to the ship, and succeeded beyond their expectations. When he arrived at the wharf, however, he had symptoms of bleeding from the lungs; but soon after he was put on board these symptoms subsided; and before brother Chater left them in the evening, brother W. was quite comfortable. At eight o'clock next morning the transports set sail with a fair wind, and proceeded on their voyage.
We regret exceedingly the necessity which has occasioned the departure of our two brethren; and the circumstance that they were both physicians adds not a little to our loss. That they should both be removed from us by sickness, we consider in our situation a peculiar trial. We are placed here in the midst of the neathen; removed from any European settlement, and have no physician at hand in case of sickness in our families. Still, the Lord has thus far remarkabiy preserved us, and we will not distrust his faithfulness for time to come. We hope that our destitute situation will be taken into cou sideration by the Board; and that they will take such measures for our relief, as shall appear to them proper, and inay be in their power.
We conclude this letter by renewedly requesting an interest in your prayers, and in the prayers of every menuber of the Board, and of all who wish for our prosperity, and for the welfare of the heathen around us. Although we have severe trials; yet we have much to encourage us to proceed with alacrity in our work.
With sentiments of affection and esteem, we subscribe ourselves your unworthy fellow-laborers in the vineyard of our Lord.
BENJ. C. MEIGS,
JOURNAL KEPT BY THE REV. MR. POOR, AT TILLIPALLI.
(Continued from Vol. xiv, p. 413.) Jan. 12, 1818. This day made an agreement for tiles to cover the roof of our house. During the tyo rainy seasons we have been here, we have experienced great inconvenience and injury, by the heavy rains. The ollas serve well for the small steep rooted houses of the natives; but are unsuitable for a large house, constructed, as this was, for tiles. A tiled roof is ultimately cheaper than an olla one, on account of its durability.
Wednesday, 14. Learn that brother Warren has returned from Galle to Columb.), and that he and brother Richards have engaged a passage to Bombay for the bencfit of their health.
17th. This day brother Chater's son James left us, having been with us nine months.
Sabbath, 18. In consequence of Mrs. Poor's sickness was unable to attend the afternoon service. My interpreter went to the rest- house, and read a chapter to the people who assembled.
Monday, 19. Learn that our school-master has been twice waylaid within a few days, by persons who intended to beat him. They are very angry with him, on account of his leaving the heathen religion. Once they were about to beat another man by mistake, thinking he was the school master. The other time, he did not return to his house in the direct road, as usual. Thus he escaped the hanıls of those who were watching for him. I have let these persons know that I am acquainted with their design, and have their na nes.
This day Supyen visited us. As he came in a secret way, he could tarry but an hour or two. He now resides in a house belonging to a man of a different cast, who prepares food for him; but will have no other intercourse with him. Rendered him some pecuniary assistance, which he needed, and read and expounded to him the 8th chapter of Ronans. He is anxiously waiting for his father's return from the coast; as he hopes then to be set at liberty.
20. Received the distressing intelligence from bro:her Richards at Columbo, that on the 11th inst. brother Warren had a most violent attack of spitting blood. As you have learned from letters, and from brother Meigs's journal, the particulars of brother Warren's case, it is unnecessary here to say much on this interesting and afflicting subject. Both the brethren have for the present relinquished their intended voyage to Bombay.
27. We have regarded this day as a season of special prayer, on account of the afflicting dispensation of providence towards us, concerning our dear brethren. While attending to the 38th chapter of Isaiah, we were greatly encouraged to pray, by the receipt of a letter informing us, that brother W. has had no
return of bleeding for some time past; and that hopes began to be entirtained of his partial recovery, at least.
98. Learn that there is war in the Mahratła country, and consequently, that letters cannot be sent to Bombay by land.
Feb. 4. We find many prejudices to contend with in conducting our boarding school, Many unfavorable reports are circulated concerning our object in taking boys to be supported by us; such as that it is our intention to send them to our country; or to go to Candy as soldiers, &c. The boys whom we have taken, suffer considerable reproach, in consequence of their connexion with us.
Sabbath, 8. Attended to the ordinance of the Lord's supper. Brother Meigs and sister Richards were present.
16. I have at length succeeded in establishing a Tamul school at Panditeripo, with a fair prospect of success. The person employed as an instructor, is a young man from Tillipally, who has usually attended our preaching, and who is quite
willing to receive instruction, and to assist his school-boys in learning the Scripture and catechism.
This day received a letter from brother Graves, dated the 11th inst. on board the Saco, át sea, near the island of Ceylon, and which was sent ashore at Point de Galle. It contained the pleasing, intelligence that two missionaries, and three sisters have been brought thus far in safety on their voyage to Bombay; and that brother Graves having some knowledge of the printing business, is destined for Jaffna. We rejoice that God is increasing the number of laborers in this extensive harvest; and that we have a prospect of assistance at our station, in a time when our strength is much reduced, and our calls for exertion fast increasing.
19. Visited the school at Panditeripo. Fifteen boys have been collected. I explained to some of the parents of the boys, and to others who were present, the object of our coming there, viz. to instruct their children, and to give all an opportunity of becoming acquainted with our religion, which professes to make known the only method of obtaining pardon for sin, and the favor of God. In consequence of the manner in which this people were treated in former times, it is necessary to guard their minds against the idea of our coining to compel them to forsake their own religion, and to receive ours.
Having visited the school, I went to that part of the parish that is inhabited by the Roman Catholics. I went to the house of the Maniagar, the principal head man of the parish, who is a Catholic, and to whom we lent a Bible and some ocher books last year. The maniagar was not at home. His wife told me, that their priest had informed thein, that we were a different sort of Christians from them. When I inquired for the books, she said, that her husband had read them, and lent them to several other people in the neighborhood. I inquired what the priest said of the books? she replied, that her husband did not show them to the priest. As several women were present, whose appearance was far better than that of the heathen women, I inquired, whether it was customary to have their daughters instructed in reading? They said, that there was such a custom in one of their neighboring villages, a short time ago; but that now they had left it. In answer to my inquiry, whether it was customary for women to eat with their husbands, or to eat after their husbands have done, as the heathen women do? they said, "there is no custom in the country for women to eat with their husbands.” When I stated to those present some of the leading truths of the Gospel, the women whispered among themselves, saying, that I spoke the things which they believe. I learn that the people are repairing the Catholic brick church and house at Panditeripo, and that the priest who is placed over the Catholic churches in this circuit, intends to make that the place of his residence.
20. Received from the Columbo Bible Society a note of thanks to the A. B. C. F.M. for their liberal donation of $500 to the Society.
24. This evening sister Richards left Jaffna for Columbo, that she may assist in taking care of brother Warren; and that she may relieve brother Richards, whose ill health requires him to travel. 27. Learn that brothers Warren and Richards are more unwell.
28. Sent to Dr. Worcester, by way of Bombay, extracts from my journal from Sept. 16, 1817, to Jan. 12, 1818. March 2. Visited the school at Panditeripo. Twenty-four boys attend. Had opportunity of speaking to a number of people, who came to the school house. VOL. XV.
Finding that four boys are able to read, I introduced into the school a tract, containing extracts from Scripture, on the various doctrines and duties of the Christian religion. This tract will in part be a substitute for their olla leaves, which are filled with stories relating to idolatry. The printed character is a little different from the written one; but it soon becomes familiar to those, who are accustomed to read on the olla. The boys are very eager to obtain printed books. The Roman Catholics are very desirous of enjoying the advantages of the school; but dare not send their children, for fear of their priest.
9. Learn that brother Richards has left Columbo for Jaffna, by water. He is on board a vessel in which he expects to sail round the island for the benefit of his health. Brother Warren continues in a weak state. We consider it a great affliction, that it is inconsistent with the advice of physicians and friends for him to be removed to Jaffna; especially as the rainy season in this part of the island has past, and will soon comience at Columbo.
10. Received a letter from Supyen, in which he informs us, that his father has returned from the coast, but continues to object to his coming to Tillipally.
Sabbath, 15. In the forenoon preached in Tamul at our house. In the afternoon, preached by an interpreter, at the rest-house.
17. Yesterday brother Richards arrived from Columbo, has spent the day with us. His health has been much improved by the voyage, thus far. He gives a very unfavorable account of br ther Warren's health. We have had much conversation on the state of our mission, and our future prospects.
It is easy to perceive from what spirit opposition to.missions proceeds; but difficult to understand how people can offer in sincerity the third petition of the Lord's prayer, without using some means to send to the heathen those appointed weapons, which are mighty through God to the pulling down of the strong holds of sin and Satan.
18. Our hearts were made glad by the receipt of three letters from friends in Uxbridge, Mass.
19. Met brethren Richards and Meigs at Batticotta, to attend to various concerns relative to the state of the mission. On my arrival found that a letter had been received from Columbo, informing that the physicians who attend brother Warren strongly advise, that he should take a voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, and that brother R. should accompany him, both for the benefit of his own health, and that he might render assistance to brother Warren.
23. On Saturday Mrs. Poor accompanied me to Batticotta; yesterday we united in attending to the ordinance of the Lord's supper. Brother and sister Meigs dedicated their child to God by baptism.
27. Visited the school at Panditerijo. The number of boys thirty-three. Sev. eral Roman Catholics, who wish to enjoy the privileges of the school, requested to obtain permission from their priest for them to send their children. But I think, : that the most effectual method of removing prejudices that may be excited against " the school, is to give the people a fair opportunity to see the operation and effect of it, especially as it regards the catholics. I conversed with the boys and others present, as well as I was able without an interpreter; and prayed with them. On my return I overtook a brahmin, to whom I stated some things concerning the Christian religion.
April 3. We have been favored with a letter from Dr. Worcester, dated June 23. 1817, forwarded to Calcutta by the Naiad.
Sabbath, 5. Preached twice in Tamul; once at the rest-house, being the first time that I have had a formal service in the Tamul, out of our own house.
8. Supyen visited us: could not tarry, as he came without his father's knowing it. He appears to be stedfast in the Christian faith; but his father is still using various means to turn him from it. A short time ago his father placed him under the care of a brahmin with whom he now resides. The father has also entered into an agreement to marry Supyen to a heathen girl. It frequently happens in this country, that parents have their children married, without cousulting them on the subject. Supyen remonstrated against the design of his father, and tore the agreement that had been made. But his father persists in saying that he shall be married next month. Supven is constantly watched, especially on the Sabbath, and at other times, when religious meetings are held at Jaffnapatam. He is often carried back by force, wheu he attempts to go to the meetings. To