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You will be pleased to hear that we have lately added a Hospital to our Poor Fund, which is going on well, and meets with every body's approbation and patronage. I want an Asylum here for half-caste children. I have a plan ready, but I must wait my opportunity. The next thing will be a Church, which has been a desideratum with me ever since my residence here. We must, however, wait God's time. Our business is, when He opens a door, to go in.
BOMBAY AND WESTERN INDIA MISSION. The Committee have already stated, that measures have been taken for commencing a Mission at the remaining Presidency of Bombay, for the Western and North-western parts of India, by the appointment and sailing of the Rev. Richard Kenney.
Before they quit the Continent of India, the Committee will quote the testimony of the Rev. Francis Spring, to the promising state of its vast regions.
The two main bonds (he writes) by which the tottering edifice of Heathenism is held together, are—the worldly interest of the Priests; and the show, riot, and licentiousness of the Ceremonies.
I am persuaded that one reason why Christianity has not been, in general, more publickly avowed by the great body of Natives, is, the want of a sufficient supply of Teachers. I state this from my own knowledge. The minds of men are beginning to be enlightened. They see the folly of their own superstition; and, so far as they have the means of knowledge, they perceive the excellency of Christianity.
If there were here a place for Divine Worship, and a Preacher sent who could lead them on in their own tongue, so that there should be an appearance of stability in the thing, Christianity would, under the Divine Blessing, be rapidly diffused.
Popery has survived the temporal power of those who introduced it, because, by the erection of Churches and the permanent succession of Ecclesiastical Leaders, they gave it an outward stability
All that I have seen leads me to conclude, that the time is not far distant, when the Plant of the Gospel will flourish throughout all India. In this respect, however, time must be counted, not as man counts it, but as God. We ought not to expect the progress to be more rapid than in the Primitive times of Christianity, if so rapid ; and though Christianity increased to a remarkable degree, being assisted by the extraordinary operations of the Holy Spírit; yet, I doubt not, had we lived in Apostolic Times, we should still have regarded the despised Christians as a very small number, compared with the bulk of the Nations among whom they were scattered ; and that these, as in the present day, were not generally the rich, the noble, and the mighty, but of the middling and lower ranks of life.
Under all these circumstances, the success hitherto has been more than we had reason to expect; and it behoves every man, who has a love for souls, to do what he can in the Service of Christ, by aiding the Scriptural Cause of Missions. May it please God to grant to all Christians the will and the power so todo; to His honour and glory, and to the benefit, temporal and eternal, of the souls and bodies of mankind !
The Committee will add to this testimony of an eyewitness, the able review of the state of India, which is given in the Report of one of the Society's Associations:
It is on INDIA, that the eyes of all must now be fixed. This is, without question, that part of the Missionary Field, in which, under an awful responsibility, the most extended labours of British Christians are demanded.
And there too, blessed be God! we behold the fairest signs of the approaching triumphs of the Cross !-obstacles removing, which resisted or harassed the former attempts of Christiansthe great body of European Residents justly appreciating the importance of instructing the Natives, and the Natives themselves eager for instruction-Idolatry exposed to contempt among the more enlightened Hindoos; the shackles of Caste and Brahminical Tyranny daily losing their hold; and secessions making from the long-established superstitions-an Ancient Church taking the first steps of a return to her primitive purity; and the Members of our own, in those realms, beginning, under the salutary influence of Episcopal Discipline, to exhibit an aspect more worthy of her name-Schools establishing in almost every quarter of that mighty land—the Scriptures circulating in all the principal languages of the East-Christian Champions hastening to this great theatre of moral conflict-the Church of England, at length, after full deliberation, deciding that“ the time is arrived” for proclaiming interminable war against the powers of darkness —the spiritual rulers of India rising up, as with one heart and one soul, to fight the good fight; and rejoicing in the prospect of an Institution to be founded by the brotherly love of all her faithful Members, in which she may train her sons for every part of the vast scene of action and every branch of Missionary Duty:
these are some of the chief Signs of the Times. And they comprise a series of connected causes so powerful and so well adapted, that, even according to human calculation, they can scarcely fail of very great and extensive effects; while they, who walk by faiih and not by sight, must surely regard them as means employed by Him, in whose hand are all the hearts and ways of men-as proofs that He has a mighty work to do-and, therefore, as especial calls of His providence, to engage in His work, and labour for the promotion of His cause.
CEYLON MISSION. In the preceding Survey of the Missions of the Society, the attention of the Members has been chiefly directed to the Continents of Africa and Asia. In passing to the Society's Insular Missions, the Committee would adopt the animated appeal of one of its Associations :
After surveying the multitudes of India, we might be almost disposed to overlook the Insular Stations occupied by the Society. But what is it, that has placed us, the inhabitants of Islands, but a few ages since scarcely included in the known world, and described only by the whiteness of our rocks, the tin on our coast, and our strange superstitions—What has placed us in a position, from which we parcel out the globe; weigh Continent against Island, and East against West; and inquire concerning the value of hundreds of thousands of our fellow-men, compared with unnumbered millions, both standing, as it were at our feet, and waiting for THEIR portion of the Breud that came down from heaven? And who shall say that the Cingalese, or the New Zealanders, or the West Indian Brethren of those Africans in whom so wonderful a change has already taken place, may not, when your still enlarging Missions shall have made them fully acquainted with Him through whom all have access by one Spirit unto the same Father, rise to your elevation; or even reach a standard of spiritual dignity and power, which Ancient Christendom has never known since the Apostolic Age?—that they may not, at some future period, if your love should grow cold, infidelity be suffered to prevail
, and darkness, vice, and misery overspread these Nations, inquire in their Missionary Meetings, how the British Church may be revived, and share in that blessed light which shall then have arisen on China and Japan? Or (which may the Father of Mercies grant !) may not rather be your especial auxiliaries, when, according to the sure word of prophecy, from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the
same, His Name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered unto His Name and a pure offering ?”.
Some changes have taken place in the Stations of the Missionaries, since the last Report. At Kandy, in the interior, Mr. Lambrick still continues his labours; and so does Mr. Knight, at and near Jaffna, in the north. Mr. Ward has left Calpentyn, on the western coast, chiefly on account of his health ; and has, for the
present, joined Mr. Knight: and Mr. Mayor, in the south, has removed from Galle, and has settled, for more ready access to the Natives, at Badoogam or Baddagamme, a little distance from Galle.
In March of last year, the Missionaries all assembled in Colombo. Mr. Lambrick writes, on this occasion
Your Missionaries have just had a Meeting : it had been proposed to hold it in Kandy; but the Governor feared that the Kandians might take alarm, at the sight of so many of us among them. We met, therefore, at Colombo. The Meeting was delightful, surely, to us all; but to me, who am so entirely destitute of Christian Society here, it was peculiarly refreshing. We shall be all, I trust, the better for it; having been led to reflect on the way by which we have been led, and on all the blessings which we have received in passing along. The Lord has been very gracious to us all! We have been preserved in the midst of dangers; and dreadful disease has carried off numbers around us, while we have been unhurt; and, what is of infinitely higher importance, we have been kept in the good ways of the Lord. Union and brotherly love have been maintained among us all, without jealousies or heart-burnings; and we have been at peace, not only among ourselves, but toward others also: for all which we have cause to bless and praise our Heavenly Master; for we know that it is not in us to direct our steps aright, in this or any other respect.
Of their different scenes of labour, Mr. Lambrick wrote, before the changes took place in the Stations of the Missionaries
All our Brethren are more deeply engaged in the Missionary Work than myself. Br. Knight, in the neighbourhood of Jaffna, is laying a good foundation for future usefulness, in a close application to the study of Tamul, and in the establishment of Schools. Br. Ward, at Calpentyn, preaches regularly, by 'an Interpreter, to the nominal Christians there, and is preparing to
extend his labours in the neighbourhood : and Br. Mayor has penetrated the Jungle, and preached the Gospel to some who had never heard it before ; and he has been so encouraged in the work, that he has determined to go and settle among them, in a place where no European ever lived before.
Let us praise the Lord for this beginning of hopeful labour among this unhappy people, praying Him to give it abundant
Mr. Mayor has sent home some remarks on the state of the Natives, which will enable the Members of the Society to enter into the difficulties attendant on Christian Labours among them :
They are a well-formed and intelligent race of men. Many of them have been baptized, and are by profession Christians; but they are ignorant of both the History and the Doctrines of the Gospel. They are unacquainted with the state of their own hearts, the danger in which sin has involved them, and the only way of being re-admitted into the divine favour or restored to the divine image. They have no knowledge of a Saviour's love, no feeling of their need of His salvation, and consequently no regard to His Laws or to His Name. They have not renounced their idolatry, nor forsaken the Worship of Devils.
The Budhist Priests wear a long yellow robe, which covers the whole body, from the neck to the feet. They are supported by the people. In their mode of living, they are remarkably abstemious, and never take any
food after noon.
For the most part, they are very unlearned ; though some of them appear to be as subtle objectors against the Truths of Revelation as Infidels in England. It is contrary to their religion to marry. In their temples, they have several large figures of Budhu, before which they and their people prostrate themselves and offer gifts. They deny that the heavens and the earth were created by a superior Being, and assert that all things exist by chance. They regard Budhu as a sort of God, who has obtained the preeminence by chance. He has appeared about 300 times in the world, in the form of birds and of beasts. They believe in the transmigration of souls; and suppose that all bodily diseases are the consequences of sin committed in our former state of existence. They expect that happiness or misery will be awarded to all hereafter, according as they have done good or evil in this life. The worship of the Devil is quite as common as that of Budhu.
Mr. Mayor confirms the numerous reports of the degradation of Females among the Heathen. Of those of Ceylon, he says