Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

mins, have been so deeply impressed with the truths which they contain, that they have renounced idolatry, given up caste, and made a public profession of Christianity.

After giving some further interesting statements relative to Bengal, Dr. Marshman writes-"The impression on my own mind is, that there is opening to Britain, in Hindoostan and Eastern Asia, a far wider field for circulating the Sacred Scriptures than is now presented by Europe" for it would further appear, that the people are not forbidden to read the Scriptures; and that, when once the mind of a Hindoo is awake, there is a strong spirit of enquiry, and that they are familiarized to the general idea of the nature and necessity of a revelation to

man.

"Various means of knowledge, it must also be remembered, are in active operation. From the same document, while the prospects as it respects China are far from discouraging, it wouid seem, that, in British India, a field is already opened for very extensive employment of the henevolence of Christians: for, in addition to what has been already stated, the force of their own superstitions is falling rapidly into decay; and there is but little of union among the people, grounded, either on the influence of the Brahmins or their idols, The demand which all these circumstances will create for the Scriptures, is immense.

AVA,

Dr. Price, as will be seen by the following extracts from his Journal, continues to enjoy free intercourse with the king and nobles of Burmah :

[ocr errors]

Feb, 3, 1827.-Going into the palace, I was called by the king to converse with some priests who were sitting before his Majesty the two globes being brought, the subject of the earth's being round, and of the Western Continent being separate from the Eastern, was introduced; and, although I asssured them of the size and distance of America, and of its bordering on China as well as England, my words seemed to have the effect of idle tales. Their religion would be overturned at once, were they to give credit to such accounts.

We make the following extracts from the Missionary papers, No. 50, Midsummer, 1828.

Nature and Extent of Budhuism.Every sincere Christian will be deeply grieved to learn, that the leading principle of this system of heathenism is, a flat denial of the existence of that Being who

giveth us life and breath and all things. Budhuism is, in fact, downright Atheism mixed up with religious forms! And yet this blasphemous scheme is, in the opinion of some writers, followed by 169,000,000, or more than one-fifth of the whole human race! It is received not only in Burmah but also in Ceylon, Siam, China, Tartary,and other extensive countries; and is supposed to prevail even more than Brahminism.The Burmese assert that there is no Eternal God; and that there will not be a Day of Judgment, or a state of final rewards and punishments, but that the whole Universe and all things therein, even their own idols in whom they trust, will be annihilated! No wonder, then, that Budhuism palliates every vice, and feeds every unholy principle. No wonder that the Burmese are haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful. How affecting is the thought, that such vast multitudes of immortal souls should be under the influence of such a delusive system: and that they should be religiously attached to!

PRUSSIA.

Report of the Friend of Israel Society, for August, 1828.-Intelligence has been received in England of a most favourable open among the Jews in Sheffield, which will be immediately acted on by the Friends of Israel, in reviving the public reading of the Holy Scriptures both there, and at three other places.

A controversial correspondence has been commenced with some learned Jews at Birmingham, which will be published on its termination, according to the regulations agreed to on both sides.

The Friends of Israel are publishing Extracts from Rabinnical writers, proving every doctrine of Christianity to have been taught by those writers, which will leave the Jews without any possible excuse for rejecting the truths of the Gospel.

A letter from a valued correspondent in England mentions a very curious relic of antiquity having been found in the River Euphrates, supposed to be the tables of stone belonging to the Ark, containing the Ten Commandments. The characters are similar to those found among the Mohawk Indians; a copy of the inscription has been written for to the Indian House, where the original tables are to be seen; and, on its arrival,

[ocr errors]

a fac-simile shall appear in the Christian Examiner.

Letters have been received from General de Witzleben and Mr. Foche, of the most gratifying nature. They state, that miss Neville's letters have been laid before his Majesty the King of Prussia, who has commanded them to be laid before the Ecclesiastical Council, who will shortly determine on the Seven Hebrew Churches being rendered Episcopal under certain regulations. As soon as the council has terminated their deliberations, the king will give his judgment on the matter, which General de Witzleben will communicate to Miss Neville.

The Schools are going on well. Subscriptions are earnestly requested for the support of the Hebrew Churches.-The Church Catechism is ready for publication in Hebrew and English.-Two hundred and fifty copies of the Creed, Lord's Prayer, Duty to God, and Second Collect in Advent, are ready for distribution in Hebrew, having been printed in the Lithographic Press.

AMERICA.

Panama, May 12, 1828.-Mr. Luke Matthews writes:-The same Goodness, to which I have been all along so signally indebted, again conducted me safely over the deep. On my arrival at Guayaquili, I was most hospitably received by Mr. Wheelwright, the American Consul, in whose possession I found the forty three cases shipped per the Bolivar. Guayaquil, you will remember, is the place where Mr. Thomson met with such astonishing success. I supposed that I should there dispose of a very large number of Bibles. I was however disappointed: but still it was a disappointment full of consolation. My visit had been anticipated by the American Society; and the place was supplied. I am very happy to inform you, that, generally speaking, the value of the Bible is appreciated among the principal people of Guayaquil. The Governor, a most gentlemanly, kind, and superior man, an Englishman, told my friend Mr. W. that he was persuaded the Bible Society bad conferred most essential benefits upon the country and, in a conversation I had with him, he remarked that, in the education of children of the better class, Scripture instruction was a general thing. I have also the pleasure to say, that although my expectations were not fulfilled, I was enabled to do something. I trust that, upon the whole, you will see reason to rejoice: I mean as to what I have done. Of course, the successful

labours of the American Bible Society will be matter of as great and as pure rejoicing as though they had been ours.

In my walks about the town, I one day saw a large School of poor boys. I entered into the School-room, and on looking round me, I observed one or two boys with the New Testament: I then, immediately after paying my re. spects to the master, informed him, that if he thought fit to introduce the book generally into his School, I could supply him. Fears as to the price seemed to be the only difficulty with him. I told him I would contrive to make that convenient; and I named a sum which I thought the boys' parents could pay. Upon this, he begged me to let him have a dozen as an experiment. I sent them by one of his scholars: and the next morning I received a note from him, requesting four dozen more: he afterwards wrote for six dozen : and, in fine, every boy purchased, and paid for a Testament. No one who has received, no one who has witnessed the effects of early instruction in the Gospel will think lightly of the introduction of the New Testament as a reading-book in schools for children. But such a circumstance is of double importance, and of double promise, in a country like this. Among other happy results that may be reasonably expected, should be reckoned the benefits which may accrue to many of the children's parents. It should never be forgotten, that there is no other way in which they would be at all likely ever to obtain any acquaintance with the contents of the Bible, as most of them are unable to read.

General Illingsworth, the Governor of Guayaquil, anxious to promote the object of the Society, and impressed with the importance of introducing the Scriptures into public seminaries, proposed to the Cabildo, or Town Council, that they should purchase a number of New Testaments for a Public School, which it is in contemplation to form for the Jurisdiction. In a note which I received from the General, he informed me that the Cabildo expressed the same anxiety as himself for the introduction of the Scriptures into the Institution; but that, from want of funds, they were compelled to throw themselves on the liberality of the Bible Society. These are not yet the times, nor are they yet the people, in South America, for us to expect much public spirit; or to look for contributions from private persons for philanthropic purposes. We must be satisfied if we find individuals willing and able to give

effect to the benevolence of those whose advantages of education, both of the heart and the mind, have been so far above their own. I am sure it will be considered by you, as it was always felt by me, matter of rejoicing, to meet with facilities, especially public facilities, for

prosecuting the great objects of the Society, although it be not quite in the manner most to be desired. With this feeling, I thought myself justified in placing two cases of Testaments at the disposal of the proper Authorities.

DOMESTIC RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.

Dublin Sunday School Union.— The number of Schools now in connexion with the Union, is 33, which are taught by 337 Teachers; and the average number of scholars in attendance is 2189, being an increase, during the past year, of 29 Teachers and 487 Scholars.

Of the increasing attendance now reported, more than a third part is attributable to the exertions of a body which has been in connexion with the Dublin Sunday School Union since its formation: namely, the Association for promoting Sunday Schools in the City of Dublin; in whose Schools the average attendance in the course of the year has increased from 345 to 524.

Irish Society.-Extract from the Report of the Rev. Robert Winning, Superintendent of the Kingscourt District, for the quarter ending 17th May, 1828.

"I am happy to inform the Committee, that, through the blessing of God, continued success accompanies the exertions of your Society in this district. The sphere of your usefulness is gradually extending, and the number of Schools and Scholars daily increasing. It is expected that the Kingscourt Schools, which extend to the Irish Channel, will soon meet and join the Leitrim Schools, which extend westward to the Atlantic Ocean. In the quarter ending 17th February, 1828, the number of Schools on our list was 314; the number examined, and producing scholars, 214. In the quarter ending 17th May, 1828, the number of Schools on the list was 357; the number examined, and producing scholars, was 253.

"In the quarter ending 17th February, 1828, the total number of scholars produced was 6380, of which, 5102 were adults. In the quarter ending 17th May, 1828, the total number of scholars produced (if we include the Louth Schools) amounted to 8193, of which number, more than 6000 were adults. That those are not imaginary, but real numbers, we can prove to the satisfaction of

our friends; for, to be able to meet the violent attacks of our enemies, the name, residence, age, and progress of each pupil, are marked down in regular documents, which are forth-coming at any time; and by those documents, imposition can immediately be detected.

"The operations of the Irish Society interfere not with the work of any other Institution. It has brought to its Schools many thousands, not of the young and middle-aged, but of the old and advanced in age; it has established Scriptural Schools, not merely in districts where both English and Irish were spoken, but in districts where English sounds were seldom heard, and English Scriptures never seen. It interferes not with the work of any other Institutionit merely goes before, to prepare the way for other Societies-its objects are not to teach reading English, writing, or arithmetic-its sole desire is, either to teach those who will not learn the Scriptures in English, to know them in Irish; or who cannot read them in English, to read them in Irish.

"The establishment of Irish Scriptural Schools in this district, has created a taste for the English Scriptures."

From the Report of the Rev. T. H. C. F, Superintendent of the Louth District.

"I consider the cause has made progress, though much opposed. There is a larger field opening in this county. In the last half year fourteen new Schools, three of them female Schools, have been established."

From the Superintendent of the East and West Dromahair Districts.

"The opposition to the Irish Schools in the West District has been fierce during the last quarter, on the part of the Roman Catholic Priests, and has so far influenced many of the adult pupils, as to check that spirit of enquiry which shewed itself on former occasions, by taking part in conversations amongst themselves, when the inspection of each School was

[ocr errors]

finished. They latterly seen afraid of being thought more acquainted with Scriptural knowledge than heretofore, lest it should expose them to the fury of their clergy; and yet their attendance indicates that they are still desirous of instruction in their native language.

"The observance of the Sabbath has become more strict, and, as many of the Masters instruct upon that day, their pupils at least cannot well be found among the frequenters of the whiskeyhouse, nor likely to become the ready abettors of the midnight disturber.

"The inspector reports very favourably of the advancement of the female pupils in the West Dromahair district, and gives reason to hope several will soon be qualified to teach. He particularly alludes to the facility with which some in the T- School translated into English, and I am confident that no part of your system will be found more productive of good, than the instruction of females. Each future mother will become the mistress of her little class, and every Irish cabin would then be found an Irish School, where the word of God will form almost the rudiments of learning. An increase of 228 pupils since last quarter, the establishment of seven new Schools, and a total of 2311 on the Roll; of whom 937 have passed inspection, including 244 females, gives a view of the West Dromahair District to 17th May, 1828."

Wicklow Bible Meeting.-The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Wicklow Auxiliary Bible Society, was held in the Court-house of Wicklow, on Thursday, the 11th of September.-The Earl of Rathdowne in the Chair. The Report, which was read by the Rev. Robert Daly, as Secretary to the Society, though not so favourable as that of the last year, contained most interesting information. The Meeting was then addressed by the Rev. Messrs. Cleaver, Kelly, Ball, Dalby, and Armstrong, &c. A slight interruption to the proceedings of the Meeting was caused by Fitzimons, Esq., a Roman Catholic gentleman, who stated, that "Catholics regard the Scriptures with equal veneration and respect as Protestants." The Rev. Robert Daly, in conclusion of an unusual strain of eloquence, observed-"That he desired from his heart that all his Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen (both far and near) should hear and profit by the words just spoken-that seven-times*

exertion would be necessary to defray the wants of this perishing people.

Reformation Meeting.-On Sunday last, a Branch Meeting of the British Reformation Society took place in Carlow, at the Methodist Chapel, Charlottestreet-Colonel Palliser in the Chair. Rev. Messrs. Hamilton, Burrowes, Meyers, Armstrong, Newcombe, O'Connor, and Captain Gordon, R. N., accompanied by Mr. Finch, an English gentleman, said to possess a considerable fortune, addressed the chair. The Rev. Gentlemen, and Captain Gordon, in moving and seconding the Resolutions, respectively addressed the Chair, recommending peculiarly to the Roman Catholics present the adoption of the prin ciples of the British Reformation, and an abhorrence not only of that system alleged to be pursued by the Roman Catholic clergy in withholding the sacred Scriptures from the people, but also of the delusive instruction in religion offered to the Catholic laity, in the mutilation and corruption of Scriptural texts to enforce the doctrines of Purgatory, Invocation of Saints and Angels, &c. &c. The Catechism compiled by Dr. Doyle, was the principal object of censure, as being falsified in several texts from Holy Writ, for the purpose of sustaining antiscriptural doctrines, and misleading the people.

Some boys partially disturbed the proceedings of the day; but as they were not considered as antagonists sufficiently worthy of hearing, they were silenced by the Chairman.

On Thursday, 22d September, a Meeting of the Kildare Branch of the Hibernian Church Missionary Society was held in Naas, Thomas Bury, of Oldham, in the Chair, when a Report was read by the Rev. M. Hanin, the Secretary, and the Meeting was successively addressed by the Rev. Messrs. Brown, Owen, Matthias, Reed, Singer, Cole, Stevelly, Armstrong, &c. The Meeting was more numerously attended than on any former occasion.

Limerick Branch of the Hibernian Bible Society.-On Wednesday 17th, the Anniversary Meeting of this Institution took place in Wesley Chapel, Limerick. The meeting which was well attended was principally composed of ladies. Robert Maunsell, Esq. of Bankplace, took the Chair.

The Secretary (the Rev. Mr. Cousins) read the Report. It commenced by

* Mr. O'Connell stated on a late occasion, that Roman Catholics were 7 to 1 to

[blocks in formation]

stating that the Hibernian Society, which was established in 1809, had for its sole object the dissemination of the Scriptures. Since its commencement there were circulated in Ireland 500,000 copies of the Bible; the number of Bible Institutions now connected with the Society were 605, including 70 new Societies which have been formed since April in the present year; and that within the period of the two last years 200 parochial branches have been formed in the province of Munster. The grants to those branches, including auxiliaries, for the last year were 10,892 Bibles and Testaments. The total grants of the Society for the present year amounted to 22,516 copies; and it also stated that the call from all parts of the country was great beyond example. It is said that the present aspect of the country indicates that they are likely to encrease to a large extent.

The Report further stated that for the last eight years, since 1820, the amount of Bibles circulated was 252,400.

The Report concluded by calling on the people for pecuniary aid, adding, that the anxiety to possess the sacred volume was never so great as at present.

The objects of the Society were ably advocated by the Rev. Messrs. Cousins, Murray, Urwick, Dickie, Majeniel, Massaroon, and Archdeacon Galway. The Rev. Mr. Majeniel, a Frenchman, in the course of his address mentioned that there was a Bible Society established in Paris, in which Roman Catholics and Protestants had been equally exerting themselves; and that the Society was receiving every encouragement from ladies of the Court.

We are glad to find that meeting's unconnected with party exacerbations or distraction, but solely on the religious principles of the Reformation, have been held in the south of Ireland, and that the attendance has been numerous of all classes, especially Roman Catholics: the conduct of the assemblage peaceable, and the respect for the great truths of the Gospel put forth on these occasions, not only deep but universal, as will appear from the following extract of letters written by a person who took a part in these interesting meeting, and for whose veracity we desire to be responsible. It would appear that after the Anniversary Meeting of the Reformation Society which was held in Waterford on Tuesday the 9th instant, the gentlemen composing the deputation from the Parent Society in London, thought it expedient to

hold adjourned meetings in the evenings in order to give those persons who were precluded by their daily avocations from attending, an opportunity of hearing the great principles of the Reformation developed and discussed. Accordingly on Wednesday evening, the 10th instant, an adjourned meeting was held, and the following extract of a letter from a person of rank, talent, and influence at the meeting, will exhibit its results:

"Knowing you are interested in the proceedings of our Society, I hasten to give you the result of our meeting yesterday evening. The meeting-house was crowded, vast numbers of the lower orders of the Catholics attended, and listened with the most patient attention. Mr. Gordon opened the proceedings and spoke for nearly three hours, his subject was the necessity of every one reading the Scriptures, and it was indeed a masterly specimen of persuasive Christian eloquence; there was not the slightest interruption, and when, in consequence of the lateness of the bour, it was given out that the meeting would be adjourned until this evening, when many of the doctrines of the Church of Rome would be brought to the test of Scripture,' the notice was received with loud cheers."

Friday:-"Our meeting last night was thronged with Roman Catholics, and the different persons who addressed the meeting were listened to with the greatest patience and attention, no opposition of any kind was offered, and the meeting broke up at ten o'clock in the greatest harmony. Some FEW of the lower sort attempted by making a noise with their feet to cause interruption, but they were stopped by the respectable part of their own people. Mr. Finch opened our meeting, by urging arguments against Purgatory, which were listened to with attention-one man after waiting for the close of his speech said, that the speaker did not state the doctrine quite correctly, and in support of the true doctrine (as be conceived it) handed up a work written by Dr. Challoner. This circumstance caused no interruption. One gentleman made some remarks, which were per haps injudicious, and under the irritation some interruption was given. But these feelings were quite allayed when Mr. Corr spoke on the subject of justification, his address was listened to with delight and attention.

Mr. Gordon then spoke a few words in conclusion, and the meeting dispersed in the utmost harmony and order."

A meeting was held in Carlow, which was numerously attended-Colonel Pal

« PoprzedniaDalej »