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CONDITION OF THE TREASURY.
The first half of the current financial year closed on the 28th of February ; and it must be confessed that the state of the treasury is such as to occasion serious apprehension. It will be remembered that the Prudential Committee felt compelled, last October, to enlarge their appropriations to $440,000, in order that more might be attempted in China, Japan, European Turkey, etc. It appears, however, that while this sum was $30,000 in excess of that of the previous year, the receipts from September 1, 1872, to March 1, 1873, were only $185,720, or $7,220 below those of the same period last year, and $34,295 below the average disbursements for six months.
It will be said, perhaps, that the donations which shall be made during the remaining half year may be expected to advance materially. Unfortunately, however, there was no such advance in the last balf of 1871-72, but a comparative loss rather of $11,000! There was, indeed, an unexampled inflow of legacies, whereby the treasury was saved from a heavy deficit; but this source of income is always uncertain. There is no reason to anticipate such a harvest the present year, but a decrease rather of $50,000; and the difference may be
If we assume that the legacies from March 1 to September 1, 1873, will amount to $50,000 - a very liberal estimate in the circumstances -the treas. ury will need an advance of thirty per cent. on the donations of the last half of 1871–72. It has become necessary, therefore, to urge those who are to make their contributions hereafter to increase their last year's offerings in this proportion.
The argument for greater liberality is very strong. (1.) It will save the Board from a debt which may prove exceedingly embarrassing. (2.) It will be for the honor and strength of the churches which have been called to this high endeavor. (3.) It will encourage young men to offer themselves for the foreign service - a result which is eminently desirable, in the present state of the world. (4.) It will cheer the hearts of missionaries, all over the earth, as being an expression of a lively and abiding interest in their labors. (5.) It will please Him who has said, “ Preach the gospel to every creature," and has given us the means and facilities for obeying his command. (6). It will tend to hasten the triumph of righteousness and peace among all nations.
It is respectfully submitted to pastors, that if the present financial year is to close auspiciously, their coöperation will be found indispensable. By earnest appeals to their congregations, by wise methods for securing collections, by showing a tender and prayerful sympathy with the missionary enterprise, they can perform a service which will be not less fruitful of good to their churches than to the heathen.
PRAYER FOR MORE MISSIONARIES.
The difficulty of finding suitable men to occupy important positions in the work of the church abroad is becoming more and more apparent and trying. But it is a favorable indication that the need, in this respect, is coming to be so
generally recognized, and is leading to special prayer. The want seems to be felt as keenly in England as with us. A day of prayer with reference to this want was observed extensively by the established churches of Great Britain, in December last; and on the first Monday of January the London Missionary Society held a special meeting for prayer and conference in this regard. After an hour spent in devotional services, an address was delivered by Rev. Dr. Parker, of which the following outline is given in “The English Independent." The thoughts presented are as true in their application to the needs of the missionary work, and to the duty and privilege of Christian young men, here as there:
“ Dr. Parker urged the duty of Christian men, and especially ministers, to speak to young men upon the matter of mission work, remarking that one word might shape the whole future of the youth. But we were then assembled to speak to God for young men ; we were there to ask for men of education, men endowed with gifts and graces, men filled with holy enthusiasm, and glowing with love to Christ and compassion for the souls of the heathen ; we were there to ask for suitable men. Had we fully weighed the meaning of that word suitable ? Had we counted the cost of an answer to our supplications? It meant the breaking up of families, the abandonment of long-cherished projects, the separation, perhaps forever, of dear friends and relatives. Were we prepared for such experiences ? The suitable young man might be the eldest son, the heir, whose career in life the father had hoped to watch with joy; it might be the youngest son, the boy to whom the father hoped to intrust those dear to him when death summoned him hence; it might be the only son, and a sacrifice like that Abraham was called to make might be involved in the answer to the prayers we then presented. We needed to pray that fathers and mothers might be made valiant and willing to surrender their sons for the work of Christ. The suitable men must be courageous men. Valiant men were indeed required in the ministry at home. In these days, more than ever, it required moral hero-. ism to hold the light of heaven steadily, and to set the seen against the unseen. But the valor at home was not to be compared with that required abroad. The missionary to a distant land was exposed to trials we were unacquainted with, and denied comforts all of us more or less possessed. But why could not this valor be found in young men for Christ's glory? Multitudes of men, every year, sever the ties of home, and forego the pleasures of their native land, and expose themselves to untold difficulties, for worldly honor or aggrandizement. Merchants, geographers, astronomers, antiquaries, and many others, are prepared to do what we ask young men to do. The difference is, they do it for a corruptible crown, and we ask young men to make sacrifices and face difficulties for the smile of Jesus and a crown of eternal glory. Could I speak to young men to-day (said the Doctor), I would say, “ Do not compound with your duty by giving your guineas to the Missionary Society - give yourself.' He regarded the present need of men as a most encouraging sign — an indication of greater things being done in the future. He was sad when he looked round on Christian churches and beheld the formality and coldness prevailing so largely. But he was no pessimist. He believed the gospel will yet be preached with greater power than ever. Only as the existence and operation of the Holy Spirit are recognized, and the aid of the Spirit sought, can the church expect success."
NOT QUITE YET.
In an editorial notice of the efforts making to increase the circulation of the “ Missionary Herald ” which appeared in the “ Advance” of February 6, occurs the following sentence: “The blessed fact is, that the Missionary Herald has done so much towards popularizing the interest in missionary enterprises that now one might, in the course of the year, glean almost as much information bear.
the evangelization of the heathen even from the New York Herald,' as from its more exclusively religious namesake in Boston.”
We read it the first time with some surprise, and re-read it with more. Was it possible that the object was really gained at which we had been aiming for years - that Christians at home were thoroughly informed in regard to the missionary work, its necessities, the marvelous opportunities for Christian effort, and its splendid results ? No more anxiety as to men and means, the church awake, money pouring into the treasury, fathers and mothers eagerly contending for the privilege of sending their sons and daughters forth to have part in the grand consummation !
Strangely enough, and in sad contrast, there appeared in the “ Interior” of nearly the same date, an eloquent plea by a Chicago pastor, urging the churches of the Western States to consecrate of their wealth to the cause of Christ, and giving very little credit to the excuses so often alleged, and hitherto largely accepted, in their behalf. But the “Advance” must be right, as its very name implies. While we have been musing the fire has burned. Tens of thousands of copies of the “ Herald” have gone West! They are to be found in every family! And not only so, the secular papers are full of missionary intelligence ! The great interests of the church and of the world are duly recognized! “The good time coming” has come, and we did not know it!
We rub our eyes, we hurry into the treasurer's room, and down to the publisher's quarters. Everybody is busy; but there is no special excitement. Have we been dreaming ? The consummation so devoutly to be wished is not quite yet. We conclude not to order a hundred thousand copies of the “ New York Herald,” to substitute for our own magazine not quite yet.
Our conviction of the necessity of some distinctively missionary monthly for some time longer was confirmed a week later by the following items which ap. peared in the leading religious weeklies of their respective denominations :
1. “It is said that the entire Persian mission, with forty missionaries and sixty teachers, now under the care of the Presbyterian Board, costs less annually than the current expenses of some of our city churches.” Two days later the item, shorn of the qualifying force of the first four words, appeared in a daily of large circulation. The wide diffusion of missionary intelligence does not prevent the most egregious blundering in our high places. The last Report of the Presbyterian Board gives but four resident missionaries in the Persian mission.
2. “ There are now in Turkey twenty-five Protestant churches and several boarding-schools; but there are only five missionaries.” The “Missionary Herald” for January gives the names of forty-five ordained missionaries. The number of churches is seventy-five, and of boarding-schools, for both sexes, thirteen.
The items here quoted have but just started on their travels. The first is so “ fresh" and "striking," and so well indorsed by journals of the highest respect
ability, that it will undoubtedly have a “fine run.” It will hardly surpass an item that some enterprising reporter picked up at a monthly concert a few years ago, and gave to a daily the next morning. By this item, a venerable missionary, who had grown gray in the service, and who ranks among the most accomplished of Oriental scholars, was sent off by a sailing vessel to some place and tribe of men before unknown to history or the latest geographical works. Other errors only less gross kept company with this amazing fact. Out of respect to our worthy friend - the Rev. Dr. Van Dyck - thus sent off to ignominious exile, corrections were instantly sent from the Missionary House, and in season for the evening edition of the journal, but in vain. The scissors were too quick for us. The original article was copied into several religious journals, and in due time came back among interesting items of missionary news from England. We gave up the chase, a sadder and a wiser man. Save in the above items, copied into this paper, we have forborne all attempts to make corrections in other journals. But once more, in all seriousness we ask, has the time come to give up publishing the “ Missionary Herald," or to cease effort to extend its circulation ?
PROFESSOR SEELYE IN INDIA.
A LETTER from Prof. Seelye, published in March, mentioned his intention to comply with the request he had received to visit Ahmednuggur. At that place he received a letter urging him to visit Poona also - a city of 200,000 inhabitants, 130 miles southeast of Bombay - on his way back to the latter place. A few extracts from his private journal will serve to show the interest mani. fested at these places in his lectures.
“ Ahmednuggur, January 6. Have had a very pleasant time here. Lectured Saturday night to a large audience, almost wholly of natives, and but few of them Christian. The request was urgent for another lecture, and as last night was the only other evening I could spend here, I agreed to speak again then, and did so. The audience were attentive, and will, apparently, be glad to get the written lectures when published. It is sowing the seed beside all waters, with what effect we must wait to see. Yesterday afternoon I attended service at the native church, in connection with our mission, and for the first time preached a sermon through an interpreter. I have given brief addresses in this way before, in Japan, China, and India, but yesterday was the first of my preaching thus. The missionaries — Messrs. Bissell and Fairbank
- were very desirous of this, as something which the native church-members would take a special interest in, and would long remember. It seems they had heard about my coming, and had been looking forward to it. It was the largest gathering I have seen together in any mission.church, and was a very pleasant spectacle. They were clothed and in their right mind, and sitting at the feet of Jesus; and as I contrasted their present condition with their former heathen state, it seemed as great a miracle of healing as that which Christ wrought upon the man from among the tombs. I felt quite paid for my journey from Bombay. I wished, too, that some of our wiseacres, who think missions don't amount to much, could see such a sight; and also such of our students as wish to find large fields of influence.
“ Poona, January 8. The audience here, last night, was the largest I have seen in India. There were at least eight hundred Brahmins present, and may have been a thousand. I was astonished at the sight. Poona is the old capital of the Deccan, and is a great center of Brahminical power. Under English rule it is a large military post, having one of the Governor's residences, a couple of colleges, and a number of prominent schools. One of these schools occupies the old palace of Nana Sahib, the monster whose deeds in the mutiny are hardly matched in all the annals of terror and crime, and whose family were the old rulers of the Deccan. My lecture was given in the great court of this palace, under the clear sky, the stars looking down on me, as they had doubtless often done on Nana Sahib occupying the same spot, and perhaps here planning his atrocious deeds. The same stars! At the close of the lecture, one of the Brahmins came up and asked if I would not remain and give another to-night, affirming that such would be the wish of the audience. I feel in haste to get back to Bombay, but thought it wrong to refuse such a request, and therefore promised to stay
January 9. The crowd last night was, if possible, greater than the night before. They packed the court and filled the balconies, leaving little more than the bare space for my stand, while a number of peering faces gathered about the door. It was an engaging sight, — the bright eyes and inquisitive looks of something like a thousand Brahmins, crowded thick before, behind, and on either side of me, in this court of the old palace of peace, as its name implies but where so many plottings of war have been seen - numberless candles lighting it up, and the stars looking down from the open heaven above. I shall not forget it. I thought at first that such a spot would be a difficult place in which to speak, but it was not at all so. Though open above, it was inclosed on the four sides, and I think I spoke with even more ease than usual. I certainly never had a more attentive audience. These people, perhaps from their Oriental politeness, know how to constitute a very well-behaved assembly. I spoke exactly an hour, as I did the night before. I leave to-day for Bombay. A week ago I had no thought of stopping here, and I dreaded the journey to Ahmednuggur; but both have been exceedingly interesting experiences, for which I am grateful. The Deccan College, and several schools of note located here, I visited yesterday, under the escort of Col. Johnson.
“ Bombay, January 10. A ride of six hours again, through the wild and tiger infested regions of the Ghats, brought me safely here yesterday afternoon. Mr. Harding met me at the depot, and a warm welcome from himself and wife greeted my return. A number of Hindoos had called to see me during my absence, and I find work enough ready for me as long as I can stay.
“ January 13. Yesterday was the Sabbath. Attended communion service in the native church, and preached in the evening for Rev. Mr. Boyd, in the Free Church - Scotch. These English and Scotch church people are a little afraid of Americans and their ways, since Mr. Taylor has been here with his subsoil ploughing, but if there ever was the appearance of Divine blessing, it seems to have attended Mr. Taylor's labors. There has been organized, in connection with his work, an earnest and vigorous church, whose members seem to feel that they have something to do in behalf of the heathen ; and though their zeal shows itself in some ways which shock the English and Scotch sense of