Obrazy na stronie

women to offer themselves, and on all Christians to offer their money freely, that the men and means may be furnished, and the forward movement entered upon, to be prosecuted continuously till the end come.'”

It will be noticed that this resolution is not in the form of suggestion to the Prudential Committee, but of instruction ; indicating a sense of urgency in the case which led to somewhat unusual action. This feeling was not uncalled for ; and the financial crisis which has since come upon the country increases the danger that contributions, for the year to come, may fall far short of what is required by the condition of the missionary work.

In accordance with this direction of the Board, the Prudential Committee have fixed upon the first Sabbath of December as, in their judgment, the best “ early day” to be observed as recommended. It has the advantage of being the day for the regular Monthly Concert, so extensively observed on the evening of the first Sabbath of each month, by churches coöperating with the Board, as a season of special prayer for missions. The service recommended for the day will be a good preparation for the concert, and the concert will most appropriately follow those services with its prayers, its missionary intelligence, and its remarks and exhortations.

The day has this other great advantage, that it is the Sabbath following the 3d of December (Wednesday), which had already been designated by officials of the Church of England, and of different missionary societies in Great Britain, as a day of special prayer for missions, that there may be an increase of laborers and of means. It is presumed that that day will be observed by many in this country also, and its observance by Christians coöperating with the Board would only tend the better to prepare their minds and hearts for the service now recommended for the succeeding Sabbath. Notice has been already sent to the missionaries of the Board and the mission churches, inviting them also to the prayerful observance of the Sabbath recommended. And now, brethren in the ministry, - brethren in the churches,

shall not this Sabbath be remembered, be observed in full accordance with the spirit of the resolution at Minneapolis, and so be made an occasion for giving a new and decided impulse to the interest of Christ's churches in the progress of his cause on earth ? The missionaries, and the constituency of the Board, believe in prayer, and also in the special agency of the Holy Spirit, as the one condition of success in this great enterprise. But prayers and alms, supplication and consecration, in such a case as this, must be united. May prayers be now so fervent, and consecration personal, and of means, and of children so full and hearty, as to secure large measures of the Divine blessing, and the Spirit's gracious work, at home and abroad.


The Missionary Herald will appear in a new dress the coming year, and changes, it is to be hoped improvements, will be made from time to time in its internal arrangement. The January number will contain a survey of the different missions, with the names and locations of the missionaries. It should be

carefully preserved for future reference, in order to a proper understanding of the details that will be presented in subsequent numbers.

Besides giving the current items of interest in our own missions, the Herald will be made a means of acquainting its readers with the more important movements in the entire field of missionary effort, of inculcating sound views of mission policy, and of developing a true and healthful interest in the cause.

It is published so nearly at cost that no premiums can be offered to secure a larger circulation ; may we not rely on the friends of the Board to do this as a labor of love?

We would suggest the same in reference to the publications of the Woman's Board, “ Life and Light," and " Echoes.” They are marvels of cheapness, to say nothing of their real worth in expressing the thoughts and experience of so many devoted Christian women, who have left the comforts and privileges of American cultured society to labor on mission ground. The success of “Life and Light,” has been very satisfactory, nearly or quite doubling its issues the last year. But a large circulation is needed to make a monthly of thirty-two pages, with one or more choice illustrations, pay expenses at fifty cents a year!

choes from Life and Light”; a missionary magazine for children, eight pages, monthly, with illustrations, is offered at the rate of forty copies to one address for five dollars, and a larger number at the same rate. We commend this as one of the publications for general circulation in every Sabbath-school. Will not superintendents give a place to this missionary magazine in making up the list of papers for the coming year ?

Subscriptions for the Herald should be sent to Charles Hutchins; for Life and Light," and " Echoes," to the Secretary of the Woman's Board, Congregational House, Boston.


While so much effort is made by some to disparage the foreign missionary operations of the Christian church, it is refreshing to meet with testimony from the highest and most impartial sources, affirming the success, the promise, and the great value of such operations. Extracts from a recent work by Sir Bartle Frere were given in the “ Missionary Herald” for September last. Recent English and Irish periodicals present passages from official papers of the India Government, well worthy of attention. The following is from the London “ Record” of October 10, 1873:

“The official papers presented to Parliament, in accordance with the orders of the House, contain some of the most striking testimonies to the progress and efficacy of missions in India we have ever seen. In the statement for 1871–72, under section xii., — Education, - we have the following view of the Number of Societies, Missionaries, and Stations.

« « The Protestant missions of India, Burmah, and Ceylon are carried on by thirty-five Missionary Societies, in addition to local agencies, and now employ the services of 606 foreign missionaries, of whom 551 are ordained. They are widely and rather evenly distributed over the different presidencies, and they occupy at the present time 522 principal stations, and 2,500 subordinate stations.

The entire Presidency of Bengal, from Calcutta to Peshawar, is well supplied with missionaries, and they are numerous in the southern portion of the Madras Presidency. The various missions in Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras are strong in laborers, and almost all the principal towns of the Empire have at least one missionary. A great impulse was given to the efforts of these societies by the changes in public policy inaugurated by the charter of 1833, and since that period the number of missionaries, and the outlay on their missions, have continued steadily to increase. In 1852 there were 459 missionaries in India, at 320 stations, and in 1872 the number of missionaries was increased to 606, and of stations to 522.'

“In reference to the friendly coöperation of the missionary societies, we have this tribute :

“The large body of European and American missionaries settled in India, bring their various moral influences to bear upon the country with the greater force, because they act together, with a compactness which is but little understood. Though belonging to various denominations of Christians, yet from the nature of their work, their isolated position and their long experience, they have been led to think rather of the numerous questions on which they agree than of those on which they differ, and they coöperate heartily together. are divided among them by friendly arrangements, and with few exceptions it is a fixed rule among them that they will not interfere with each other's converts and each other's spheres of duty. School books, translations of the Scriptures, and religious works, prepared by various missions, are used in common; and helps and improvements secured by one mission are freely placed at the command of all. The large body of missionaries resident in each of the presidency towns form Missionary Conferences, hold periodic meetings, and act together on public matters. They have frequently addressed the Indian Government on important social questions, involving the welfare of the native community, and have suggested valuable improvements in existing laws. During the past twenty years, on five occasions, general conferences have been held for mutual consultation respecting their missionary work.'

“ The various forms of labor, and the attention to the study of the native languages by the missionaries having been spoken of, we come to the account of mission presses and publications :

* * The mission presses in India are twenty-five in number. During the ten years between 1852 and 1862, they issued 1,634,940 copies of the Scriptures, chiefly single books; and 8,604,033 tracts, school-books, and books for general circulation. During the ten years between 1862 and 1872, they issued 3,410 new works in thirty languages ; and circulated 1,315,503 copies of books of Scripture; 2,375,040 school-books; and 8,750,129 Christian books and tracts. Last year two valuable works were brought to completion — the revision of the Bengali Bible, and the first publication of the entire Bible in Sanskrit. Both were the work of the Rev. Dr. Wenger, of the Baptist mission in Calcutta.'

"Details of great interest are given with regard to schools and training-colleges; and it is stated that the missionary schools now contain 60,000 scholars

more than they did twenty years ago. The high character of the education is proved by the results obtained in university examinations. As to the number and rate of increase of Protestant converts, we read :

“In 1852 the entire number of Protestant native converts in India, Burmah, and Ceylon, amounted to 22,400 communicants, in a community of 128,000 native Christians of all ages. In 1862 the communicants were 49,688, and the native Christians were 213,182. In 1872 the communicants were 78,494, and the converts, young and old, numbered 318,763.'

“ The number of native ordained ministers is 381, and the estimated amount of native contributions £15,912. The statement contains a great variety of other details in regard to the different classes and populations affected by the missions. We pass on to give the passage on the general influence of missionary teaching :

“ • But the missionaries in India hold the opinion that the winning of these converts, whether in the cities or in the open country, is but a small portion of the beneficial results which have sprung from their labors. No statistics can give a fair view of all that they have done. They consider that their distinctive teaching, now applied to the country for many years, has powerfully affected the entire population. The moral tone of their preaching is recognized and highly approved by multitudes who do not follow them as converts. The various lessons which they inculcate have given to the people at large new ideas, not only on purely religious questions, but on the nature of evil, the obligations of law, and the motives by which human conduct should be regulated. Insensibly a higher standard of moral conduct is becoming familiar to the people, especially to the young, which has been set before them not merely by public teaching, but by the millions of printed books and tracts which are scattered widely through the country. On this account they express no wonder that the ancient systems are no longer defended as they once were; many doubts are felt about the rules of caste; the great festivals are not attended by the vast crowds of former years; and several theistic schools have been growing up among the more educated classes, especially in the Presidency cities, who profess to have no faith in the idol-gods of their fathers. They consider that the influences of their religious teaching are assisted and increased by the example of the better portions of the English community; by the spread of English literature and English education ; by the freedom given to the press ; by the high standard, tone, and purpose of Indian legislation; and by the spirit of freedom, benevolence, and justice which pervades the English rule. And they augur well of the future moral progress of the native population of India from these signs of solid advance already exhibited on every hand, and gained within the brief period of two generations. This view of the general influence of their teaching, and of the greatness of the revolution which it is silently producing, is not taken by missionaries only. It has been accepted by many distinguished residents in India and experienced officers of the Government; and has been emphatically indorsed by the high authority of Sir Bartle Frere. Without pronouncing an opinion upon the matter, the Government of India cannot but acknowledge the great obligation under which it is laid by the benevolent exer. tions made by these six hundred missionaries, whose blameless example and

self-denying labors are infusing new vigor into the stereotyped life of the great populations placed under English rule, and are preparing them to be in every way better men and better citizens of the great empire in which they dwell.'”


There are nearly twenty thousand children and youth connected with the different mission schools of the American Board. About one thousand of these are in boarding-schools and seminaries, in training to become preachers and teachers among their own people - Bulgarians, Armenians, Zulus, Hindoos, Chinese, Micronesians, Dakotas. In making up a list of appropriations for 1874, will not every Sabbath-school give enough to support at least one of these ? Some schools may like to support a native preacher in some field. One hundred dollars will do that. Wherever mission circles exist in connection with the Woman's Board, and we hope they will soon be formed in every church, the money may be sent through that channel; otherwise send to L. S. Ward, Treasurer of the American Board. “Echoes,” the missionary magazine for children, will give interesting accounts of these mission school, and the scholars in them. Let foreign missions have a place in every Sabbath-school, with other good objects.


Dapan Mission.

haps be called the first step savoring at

all of retrogression in Japan, since my THE SABBATH QUESTION.

arrival here. Mr. Gulick, writing, from Osaka on “For a people to renounce their holithe 1st of September last, remarked: days, whether they be days of rest from “ You will have heard of the attempt of labor, or consecrated to religious festivals, the government to rob its employés of and adopt others, of the worth of which the Sabbath, by the decree that, after the the masses know nothing further than that expiration of the present contracts, all they hold out to them periods of rest or teachers in government employ shall have relaxation, is a step in relation to the suc. the sixth, instead of the seventh day, as a cess of which the most hopeful reformer holiday. They have doubtless found that might well entertain serious doubts. Yet, the best of the teacbers in their service at the close of last year, in reviewing steps will not consent to such an arrangement. of progress in Japan, we could notice the It is now reported that they have receded encouraging promise that, during the comfrom this unfortunate attempt, but that ing year, we should witness a nation reghenceforward no clergyman will be em- ulating its periods of labor and of rest ployed as teacher in government schools. in accordance with a religious system in Such a regulation will not hurt the prog- which but a minute fraction of its people ress of the missionary work.”

even professed to believe. A few days earlier Dr. Berry sent an “ That the originators of this step were account of the retrograde Sabbath move earnest in their effort is not doubted; but ment, which should perhaps have a place, that they did not duly estimate the diffiin an abridged form, in the pages of the culties which would attend a question of Herald. He states :

such vital interest, and that the highest “ I write you to-day of what may per- motive prompting them was a desire to

« PoprzedniaDalej »