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instances of hopeful conversion. The immediate and pressing needs of Italy. and the unsettled condition of things at Barcelona, have led to the transfer of Dr. Gulick from Spain to Italy, where he will aid Mr. Alexander in the establishment of a training-school and in the care of the ten churches now aided by the Board. A great deal of miscellaneous work — without system or responsibility — has been done in Italy, and there is the greatest need of well-defined and approved methods of labor, to guide to the best results. In the Austrian Empire the brethren are meeting with such a welcome from those truly interested in the spiritual welfare of the country, and find such abundant opportunities for effort, as to lead them to form the most generous plans for the future. They ask means to employ sixteen native evangelists at important centers, and plan the organization of two training-schools, one in Bohemia and one in Upper Austria. Besides the station at Prague, another is to be taken in Upper Austria, and native preachers at once put into the field.
The mission work begun so well by Miss Rankin, at Monterey, in Mexico, now passed over to the Board, is to be vigorously prosecuted. Mr. Herrick, late a pastor in Connecticut, is just leaving for this field. Quite unexpected success has attended the two young men who, a year since, began a mission at Guadalajara, the second city in Mexico. A hearty welcome from the Governor of the State, and the city authorities, gave them rare facilities. Public attention was awakened, and a violent opposition excited by the priests only helped to publish abroad the errand of the missionaries. The demand for Bibles and tracts has exceeded the supply. The interest has spread to towns and villages in the neighborhood; the room in which public services were begun last year has been found too small, and the Governor of the city offered the use of one of the state churches, which it was thought expedient to decline. The missionaries are finding valuable co-laborers in some young men of education, who have been brought to accept the gospel through their labors. Everything seems to betoken a great work in Mexico, and that at an early day. Shall not this new work in nominally Christian lands, opening with such promise, share generously in the prayers and sympathies of the churches ?
TWO COLLECTIONS? OR ONE?
It will be remembered that the Prudential Committee were exceedingly reluctant to commence missionary operations in papal lands. A principal objection to their doing so, was the possible injury which might accrue to the missions which had been previously organized. They did not think it right to withhold the gospel from those who know nothing of its preciousness, to give it to those who have a partial acquaintance therewith.
They were told, however (1), that the Congregational churches were anxions that the Board should enter upon this new endeavor; in proof whereof they were pointed to the action of all the State Associations and Conferences, except one, which held their annual meetings between June 1, 1871, and October 1, 1871; and (2), that the pecuniary aid requisite for the new work could be easily secured by means of contributions made distinctively therefor.
Accepting this twofold assurance as sufficient, the Board resolved at Salem (1), to enlarge its operations by forming “missions in Europe, South America, and other foreign lands,” “ as God in his providence” should“ open the way,” and (2), to “secure from the churches, as far as practicable, a specific collection for this object, over and above their ordinary gifts to the Board.” The Committee have been careful to conform to the action which was taken at Salem ; but, to their great surprise, they find that they are not sustained therein, as they expected. Relying upon the guidance of an unseen hand, they have commenced five missions; and they cannot refrain from expressing their belief that “God in his providence” has gone before them to “open the way.” And yet, while the disbursements for the new work during the year which closed September 1, 1873, were $39,116.37, the receipts were only $19,506.57! The Committee do not recall a deficiency of contributions, since the Board was formed, more unexpected and more disappointing than this. They must be allowed, therefore, to appeal to their friends with special urgency, and ask (1), that the deficiof $12,399.14, with which the present financial year began, be cancelled at once, by the gifts of those who forgot last year the claims of the brethren who are representing us, faithfully and hopefully, in Roman Catholic countries; and (2), that the entire sum appropriated for this work during the current year, be forwarded to the treasury in due time, so that no debt shall remain on the 1st of September, 1874.
Some have supposed that the Board resolved, at Minneapolis, to discontinue specific contributions for the work in nominally Christian lands. But the fact is otherwise. The Committee appointed to consider the report on the Home Department, expressed the opinion that, “ unless there be imperative reasons to the contrary," there should be but one collection ; and their report was duly accepted; but, as no resolution was presented, the Board has not reversed the judgment which it pronounced at Salem, and which the National Council virtually confirmed at Oberlin. The Prudential Committee are confident, moreover, that the reasons for continuing to receive two collections are “imperative." They cannot feel that it is right to consolidate the two departments, financially, till, (1), they can do so without throwing a serious deficit upon the old work ; till, (2), they shall have ascertained how much the churches are willing to con. tribute for papal evangelization; and till, (3), the receipts therefor shall have been duly adjusted to the disbursements. It may become necessary, in view of the failure of the churches to furnish a suitable support, to recall some of the missionaries from fields which, because of the ripening harvest, they are so anxious to occupy.
Such a measure will, indeed, be greatly to the discredit of our American Christianity; still more will it be to the dishonor of Him who has, within the last few years, wrought so wondrously in papal lands, and who is so manifestly leading us forth thereto, even as a shepherd leadeth his flock. Still the Committee cannot shut their eyes to the possibility of such an issue, saddening, mortifying as it will be.
MANIFOLDNESS OF THE BOARD'S WORK.
By referring to a paper, prepared at the instance of the Prudential Committee, and read to the Annual Meeting at Minneapolis (November Herald, p. 348), it will be seen that the Board performs the functions of (1), a Foreign Missionary Society; (2), a Home Missionary Society; (3), a Publishing Society: expending at Constantinople alone more than $10,000 a year; (4), a Church Erection Society ; (5), a School Society, embracing day-schools and boarding. schools ; (6), a College Society, by providing buildings and other needful appliances for training-schools
, and by supporting the teachers assigned thereto; (7), an Education Society, by supporting young men who are preparing for the sacred office.
Few have suspected, it is presumed, that our missionaries have under their care, in a course of study for the ministry, more students than are enrolled in all the Congregational seminaries in the United States, and that the cost of their education falls largely upon the Board. When our churches make their contributions for foreign missions, therefore, they are in some sort giving to half a dozen societies at once!
Is it unreasonable, then, to ask that a specific collection be taken up for a work, which the churches seemed so anxious that the Board should undertake in 1871; which has been entered upon, as well in the Old World as in the New, under the most favorable auspices; and which, according to many signs and tokens, is to yield a rich and abundant fruitage? The Committee cannot accept such a conclusion, with their present information ; and they confidently expect that the churches will refuse to accept it.
APPROPRIATIONS FOR 1874.
The Prudential Committee have long been accustomed, in the month of Or. tober, after considering carefully the estimates forwarded by the different missions, of what would be necessary for the successful prosecution of their work, to make appropriations for the next succeeding calendar year, giving the missions seasonable information, that they might know what they were at liberty to undertake, and reporting their action, also, to the churches at home. It is, of course, impossible to foresee all contingencies, and therefore impossible to make the many items of expenditure for any year conform, in every case, exactly to appropriations. In the aggregate, however, and in most of the items, the variations are wont to be small, and the Committee know very nearly, at the commencement of each year, what the necessary expenses for the year will be.
On reviewing, this year, the estimates sent by the missions, and letters which accompanied these estimates, it became at once apparent that the brethren abroad had acted very carefully, keeping constantly in mind the ever-existing necessity for rigid economy. Though estimates were made before the missions knew that the Board would be embarrassed by debt, and when they had no reason to anticipate the serious financial crisis which has since come upon the home community, so carefully had they been prepared that the Committee found
comparatively few cases in which it seemed safe to make reductions from the sums asked. In hardly any case would a reduction have been made had not the necessity for keeping expenses at the lowest practicable point seemed urgent. As it was, in several cases the amount granted was less than was requested ; with reference to some matters there is to be special correspondence with the missions, in the hope of securing diminished expense ; and in general, the missionaries are to be informed of the special call for carefulness during the year to come.
Thus at home and abroad there has been, and will be, earnest effort to avoid expenses which can properly be avoided. It is believed, indeed, that these efforts are carried quite as far as, perhaps further than the benevolent patrons of the Board, if they could know all the circumstances, would desire. Yet the appropriations for 1874 amount to $445,000 in connection with the old work of the Board, and $47,000 for the work in nominally Christian lands. To this must be added the debt, of $26,086.25, with which the Board closed its last financial year — ($13,687.11 on account of the old work, and $12,399.14 on account of the new work), making a total of $518,086.25 to be provided for.
Gladly, under existing circumstances, would the Committee have made this sum smaller if they could have done so consistently with a faithful discharge of the duties devolved upon them. It is $86,251.44 more than last year's income of the Board. But it is not more than the needs of the missions demand. It is by no means as much as the openings set before us, the condition of the unevangelized, and the exigencies of Christ's cause on earth seem to invite the churches now to contribute.
It was of a Monday afternoon that the Foreign Secretary left his office, with a weary step and a wearier look, to spend an hour socially with a company of Christian gentlemen. Day after day, for previous weeks, he had been plodding through the details of the estimates that had come in from the different mission fields, of what was necessary to carry on the work for 1874. New missions, and enlargement in old fields, required new and increased expenditure. There was encouragement to push on at almost every point, in Mexico, Austria, European Turkey, India, China, Japan, Micronesia, - this very success called for enlargement, but the past year had closed with a debt. At one point a native preacher is beginning a work in a new center, amid a large population; at another, a mission school, with a Christian teacher, is to be established where no ray of gospel light ever fell before ; here a Bible-woman is just beginning to gain access to a large circle of heathen families ; there a native church, after great self-denial and effort, needs a few dollars to complete a simple chapel or school-room, or to piece out a faithful pastor's salary. And so, on and on, with the thousand items — already carefully scanned by the missionaries in their several fields, before coming to the eye of the Secret time of great financial stress, and enlargement is not the thing, - retrenchment, rather. But where begin, what suggestions make, what pleas urge with the Committee that in a few days must go over all again, and decide for the year ?
Shall salaries of missionaries be cut down ? But these only cover what is necessary to enable them to work with the greatest efficiency; and in some cases a small advance must be made, because of increased expenses of living. Shall some be recalled ? The work is suffering for want of more laborers. Shall we “suspend,” “or run on half time” for a while, after the manner of manufacturing establishments at home? That is impossible. Something is due to these men who, after devoting eight or ten years to study and preparation, at an expense to themselves or friends of perhaps four thousand dollars on the average, have given up all opportunities of labor and worldly advantage at home, and all social privileges here, and have gone abroad to bear the toils and trials of a missionary life, for the love of Christ and the souls of men. Shall we break up the plans and hopes of such men, discourage or cripple them in their labors, by withdrawing the means for the vigorous carrying forward of a work which bears such signal marks of the Divine blessing?
Such were some of the thoughts that had been burdening the mind and heart of the Secretary for days, crowding in on the hours of rest and holy time, as he went out to meet his brethren that Monday afternoon. One of the first to meet him remarked, in a casual way, “ You have heard, I suppose, of the legacy left you by one of my church?” “What?” “Why, twenty thousand dollars !” A quiet, modest man, little known out of a narrow circle, but who had shown his love to foreign missions by giving his five hundred a year to the Board, had been called up higher, and left this token of his regard. He little thought how timely was to be this gift, but there was One who knew, and he, doubtless, knows now ! We would have such a man live long in the enjoyment of his wealth, and the opportunities and the pleasure of doing good; yet when his earthly service is over, we are glad for such uses of wealth. This legacy, if paid within the year, will go far towards lifting the burden of debt now resting on the Board. It did lift a burden from an anxious spirit, and bid it look up more hopefully to Him who sees the end from the beginning, and is carrying forward his own glorious plan of redemption.
THE DAY OF SPECIAL SERVICE.
IF readers have perused the statements on foregoing pages of this number of the Herald, respecting the new work of the Board, the reasons for continu. ing two collections, the appropriations that have been made for 1874, and the necessity for such appropriations, they will be prepared, in some measure, to appreciate the feeling which led a committee at Minneapolis, to whom was referred the special paper by Secretary Treat, on the “ Present Duty of the Board to its Missions,” to recommend, and the Board to pass, the following resolution :
Resolved, That for the development of this [the missionary) spirit, a fresh baptism of God's Spirit on our churches, in this specific direction, is essential; and therefore the Prudential Committee are hereby instructed, after consultation, to name an early day, a Sabbath, if practicable, to be devoted to this object, made prominent in the services of the pulpit and in special meetings for prayer; and it is recommended that each pastor, on that day, bring this paper of Secretary Treat, by reading and exposition of his own, before his people, with a special pressure on young men and young