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heart, and never needs to make enquiry in regard to anything. His power was once greater than it is now, and he appointed and deposed the khans; but he is now more dependent on the emperor of China, although the latter, in a religious respect, is subjected to him. Two Chinese mandarins, with a garrison of 1000 Chinese, are maintained in his capital, and in the palace at Pekin the Chinese emperor supports a subordinate lama, who is sent as a nuncio from Thibet. When the Dalai-lama dies, it is then necessary to discover where his spirit has chosen to be born anew. In this case, all must submit to the opinion of some of the lamas, who alone are acquainted with the signs by which he may be known, or rather, who knew what child the deceased has appointed for his successor.
The worshippers of the lama are divided, in general, into two sects, known by the titles of the yellow and red caps. At Lassa there are 3000 monasteries.
The religion of the lama sprung up in Thibet, and knows no eternal, self-existent Being. Their idols or Boorchans, 108 in number, are created beings, who ascended into the ranks of gods before the present world was created, on account of their holiness.
Their idol worship consists in clamorous songs and prayers, accompanied with loud music in splendid and festive processions, and in the solemnization of certain festivals at fixed times, together with pilgrimages and personal castigations."—Encyc. Amer.
They believe in a metempsychosis (or the passing of the soul of a man after death into some other, animal body), inconsequence of which the wicked must pass through several processes of purification. Their religious rites are full of the most dreadful superstition, which fills the heart of the christian spectator with the greatest pity and disgust. Thus they are shrouded in darkness, and yet with such a regular and elaborate system of irreligion they seem to be less accessible to the gospel than some other heathen nations.
After the four gospels had been translated into the Calmuc tongue, which is a dialect of the Mongol language, by br. Isaac Schmidt, and printed in St. Petersburg, the mission among this people was renewed by the brethren Schill and Huebner in the year 1815, under the patronage of the emperor Alexander and his minister, prince Galitzin. These two brethren repaired to the Khoschot (Chaschude) horde near Astrachan. and received permission from the khan or prince Thuemmen to live among these Calmucs. During the first years, their labor to make the gospel known to them, seemed to be altogether fruitless, but in the sequel the Lord granted a rich blessing. A small company of 23 persons were convinced of the truth of the christian religion, after one of their number, called Sodnom, had been the first whose attention was drawn to the doctrine taught by the brethren. At the same time, a translation of the gospels was rendered, under the supervision of br. Isaac Schmidt, into the Mongolian language by two Mongol Saisangs or noblemen, Nomtu and Badma, belonging to the Chorin-Buratian tribe near lake Baikal. These men while thus engaged, were so powerfully awakened and led by the Holy Spirit into the knowledge of the truth, that they professed their faith in Jesus, as the son of God and the Savior of sinful man, in a precious letter aadressed to their khan and tribe, in which they admonished them with all their hearts "to turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God."
(Badma died at St. Petersburg in the year 1832 in the faith of Jesus, after he had been received by baptism into the Greek church.)
This letter which was communicated by pur missionaries to the Calmucs, caused a great sensation among them. The priests immediately instigated a violent persecution against the new converts. The latter were at last forced,.after suffering many trials, to leave the horde in company with our missionaries, and to seek an asylum on the Sarepta district. The little Calmuc congregation arrived there on the 20th of October, 1821, and was received with open arms by the brethren at Sarepta. An aged brother of nearly 83 years, one of the first settlers of this congregation, went out to meet them with many others of the inhabitants, and exclaimed with tears of joy: "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace!" And it was remarkable, that his departure took place soon after! The Calmuc brethren now put up their tents of felt and kibitkas on the Sarepta territory, and our missionaries gladly began to keep schools and hold divine services for them, cherishing the most pleasing hopes of the spiritual growth of their beloved little flock. But alas! the Russian government soon commanded them to relinquish all their missionary labors and the baptizing of their converts to the Greek church, which should alone exercise the right to discharge these sacred duties!
In addition to this severe blow, violent persecutions were visited upon the poor, christian converts by their enraged heathen countrymen. They were frequently surprised by them, dragged away as prisoners, and treated in the most cruel manner. On several occasions, however, the Lord let them experience his help in their greatest extremity. One of the converts, named Tschirme, had been seized, fettered, and tied by the marauders to a kibitka. They had designed to wreak all their rage upon him, but before doing so, they sat down to a drinking carousal. When the prisoner perceived that they were all in a state of intoxication, he prayed fervently to Jesus, in whom he had been led to believe, for deliverance from his enemies, and attempted to move his hands which had been firmly tied, and behold! he was enabled to do so, and even by degrees to loose all his bonds, and finally to make his escape from his enemies, who would in all probability have killed their prisoner.
These converts were at last constrained, after enduring many trials, to join the Greek church, into which they were in the sequel received, and baptism administered to them.
The brethren at Sarepta visited, at a later period, five other Calmuc hordes, in order to distribute copies of the gospel among them, but an effectual stop has been put to all missionary efforts on their part by the prohibition of the Russian government.
Our esteemed friend, Dr. Guetzlaff, as above stated, has on his recent visit at Herrnhut warmly urged our Board at Berthelsdorf to commence a mission in Chinese Mongolia. The Board has been led to decide in favor of this important enterprise, and cherishes the hope, that it may please the Lord thus to open a door for resuming our missionary labor among the Mongol tribes of Asia. Measures will accordingly be taken in order to send forth heralds of the gospel to these heathen. The brethren who devote themselves to this service, should not only possess the requisite gifts, but they must above all be willing to deny themselves, yea even, if necessary, to lay down their lives in this holy cause. It will prove most trying to flesh and blood, to wander about with these Mongol hordes in those distant regions of Eastern Asia, dwelling in a tent of felt, and living upon sour horse-milk, in order to cast the gospel-net among these deluded worshippers of the Dalai Lama, and to lead them from the degrading worship of a sinful human being to adore the true and eternal God, who by his incarnation and death obtained everlasting life for sinners. But the Lord will call and, by his holy Spirit, qualify and prepare the missionaries for this new field of labor, as he has heretofore summoned many witnesses from our midst to go forth into his holy warfare, willing to welcome death itself. It has been decided to enter upon this great undertaking; but its successful prosecution will altogether depend upon the blessing, granted by the Lord, whenever His time has come. Let us therefore pray :—" Thy kingdom come! Let it come to these wretched man-worshippers of China and Mongolia also! The field is vast,—and the harvest great! Lord, send forth Thy laborers into the harvest !"—
From Br. C. R. Kcelbing.
Oenadendal, March 11th, 1850.
On the 8th of January, we held a solemn jubilee, it being fifty years since the consecration of our church. The sacred edifice was tastefully adorned with garlands of green leaves and flowers along the galleries and round the two pillars or columns supporting the roof, as also around the windows and the doors. Two passages of Scripture were inscribed—the one,—the daily word for January 8th, 1800, the day on which the church was consecrated, "Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him: talk ye of all His wondrous works," Ps. cv, 2.—in front of the minister's table; the other, on the wall behind. By reading a report of the commencement of this mission, shewing how great difficulties had to be overcome during the first years, and till the colony came under English rule, and the long-refused permission to build a church was granted, we endeavored to prepare the minds of the people for this solemnity; and the Lord made it a day of blessing, by causing His presence to be felt in a most striking manner at all our festal services. At the concluding meeting the evening before, we humbled ourselves in the presence of the Lord, lamenting that we and the congregation had made no better use of the privilege enjoyed for fifty years, of having the pure word of God faithfully set forth; and that we had failed to bring forth more pleasant and abundant fruit. On the festival-day, the congregation renewed their covenant, in a solemn manner, to live alone to the Lord; and, on being questioned by br. Teutsch, whether they were disposed to turn their great privileges to better account in future, they answered with many tears, and a hearty and unanimous "Yes." I preached the morning sermon, br. Suhl that in the evening, and br. Lemmertz held the children's meeting. It was altogether a most blessed day, which I believe none of us will ever forget; and oh! that the fruits of it may be seen in a new spiritual life vouchsafed to our congregation. During the past fifty years, there have been baptized in our church, 2058 adults, 2826 children of Hottentots, and 77 children of missionaries.
Genadendal is at present crowded. Br. and sr. Nauhaus arrived on the 18th with their son, and two children of br. and sr. Kuester; br. Nauhaus brought two Fingoo boys from Clarkson, Kulu Maziza and Kanti Mazika, for the training school: they have very dark complexions, but, we trust, hearts that love the Savior; and they show good abilities for learning. Another boy will come from Groenekloof, and then we shall have eleven. But it is time to find employment for some of the older ones, who give us much satisfaction by their conduct, and promise to be very useful, if we can only find suitable situations for tbem. Br. Kuehn has taken charge of the juvenile school in place ofbr. Gysin, and br. Hartman has entered into the service of the training institution. As boys of twelve years old contribute much by their earnings to the support of their parents, it proves a degree of disinterestedness in those parents who are willing to give them up to us for education, with a view to future service in the mission, as they thereby deprive themselves of any pecuniary profit from the labors of such children.
I mentioned in my last, that we had some hope of opening a new preaching-place in the Bosjesveld. Sunday, 27th January, was appointed for the first visit. I accordingly went over on the 29th. The footpath across the the mountains is in some parts very steep, but highly interesting from its romantic scenery; it overlooks wild glens, and in the distance the glittering sea. When I had reached the summit of the pass, which I think is 3000 feet high, I kindled a fire, the smoke being the signal agreed upon to inform the people, who were to send me a horse to the foot of the mountain. It was observed; and I found, when I came down, Franz de Witt himself waiting to conduct me to his farm, where I was very kindly received. They had at this season abundance of fruit—melons, watermelons, peaches and mulberries, and pears. At the evening service, there were 10 Europeans and 12 Hottentots ; but on Sunday, I was astonished to see all the neighbors arriving in wagons and on horseback, so that I had 30 Europeans and 24 colored persons present.—March 2nd. I went over again accompanied by br. Roser. The heat was great, 80° Fahrenheit. The auditory would have been much larger, but for a thunderstorm during the night, which continued during many hours ; but the people seemed very anxious to hear the Gospel. Mr. de Witt himself has regular family-worship; but the nearest church is 30 miles off. I fear it is the last time we shall be received in that house, as Mr. de Witt has sold his farm, and is going shortly to Worcester.. Br. Nauhaus writes, that the dwelling-house at Mamre is finished; but thus far our brethren are laboring with but little encouragement. Nevertheless, they continue, trusting that the Lord will send His Spirit to open the hearts of their hearers in His own time. Br. Theodore Kuester has found an opportunity of preaching to a number of Caflres every Sunday, at a military station five miles from Mamre. At the date of our last letter, br. Gysin was still at Shiloh; but the dwelling-house on the Windvogelsberg being nearly finished, he and his wife were preparing to take up their abode at that place.