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January, 1835.

I.-Introductory Observations.

THE commencement of the Fourth Volume of the CALCUTtta CHRISTIAN OBSERVER, and a large increase of subscribers in the course of the past year, call for an expression of gratitude from the Editors, for that public support which has been so liberally afforded. Notwithstanding the temporary absence of one, whose labours were indefatigable, and the little time which the other Editors have to spare, we enter on the new year with greatly increased resources and hopes of usefulness. In accordance with the catholic principles of the work, it has been our object to select, from the materials put into our hands, all that seemed calculated to promote the well being of India, to further the cause of Missions, to enlist public opinion and to secure Christian sympathy in its behalf, and, above all, to build up, to enlarge, to refresh the Church of God. When the Christian reads what great things the Lord is doing among his American brethren, he will be moved to a holy emulation, and (as some have done already) resolve to weary Heaven with prayers, until we also be made partakers of the same grace: and the Missionary, when his heart sinks within him at the sight of the abounding iniquity, can turn his eye to accounts, such as C. G. F.'s visit to S. Africa, or Mr. Leslie's journeys among the Hills, and proceed on his way with renewed strength and faith. Again the Chapters of Indian Correspondence, and on the Progress of Education, ought to be deeply interesting to all who wish well to


the Natives: the zeal, ability, and perseverance already at work have attracted attention and imitation, and schools are spreading like wildfire. True! all this movement is not in the best direction, and is to be looked upon rather as a token than an earnest of better things: but there is life amidst it ;-the dead bones are stirred. Is it that the Spirit has breathed upon them? would to God, that it were so !

Our third volume will we found to contain even more than the usual variety of Original Essays, valuable papers on Biblical Criticism and Philology, Biographical Sketches, Correspondence, Reviews of local and other publications, Poetry, and Religious and Missionary Intelligence. For these, we beg to offer to the correspondents of the OBSERVER our grateful thanks; to many of them, we are personally strangers; and we would be identified only with the cause which we advocate: to it we owe their contributions, and to it we trust confidently for the continuance of their support. Already we are strong in pledges for the coming year. In the Essay and Review department, several new and valued friends have joined us; and the kindness of our publishers, in favouring us with the latest English works for review, will give greater scope and interest to our publication. We have also been promised authentic accounts of the history and present state of nearly all the missions in Calcutta and its vicinity: and we expect soon to be able to lay be.ore our readers, a tabular statement of the various schools, and charitable institutions, similar to the brief sketch of religious and missionary statistics, which will appear in our next number. Chiefly through the kindness of a friend, to whom we are already deeply indebted, the triumphant progress of knowledge and education will find in the OBSERVER a faithful and an early chronicle; and we look confidently to our missionary brethren for a record of what is doing in their higher and more peculiar field. Two journals have been promised-the earnest, we trust, of many others. No narrow sectarian prejudices shall keep out from our pages any thing which is intrinsically valuable. It shall be our ambition to make them, like the Bible, a broad ground, where all Christians may meet in harmony; and to open them wide for every thing that comes with the Gospel watch-word, "Glory to God in the highest! on earth, peace and good will to men !"

In conclusion, we would say a very few words on the present aspect of the Church of Christ towards Missions. She has sent us money, she has sent us labourers, she has sent us prayers, and assurances of sympathy, in nearly the usual proportions. But, along with them, there comes over the waters the sound of anger and contention. Human passions, and human weapons find place within the walls of Zion: the voice of menace is heard oftener than the voice of prayer; "each secketh his own, and few the things of Christ." We pronounce no opinion on the points in dispute, nor is it necessary that we should do so the waves of party spirit subside into ripples ere they reach our distant shores; and the scenes of desolation and idolatry around us have a blessed effect, in uniting into closer brotherhood the little band of the followers of the Lamb. We at least, have reason to be humbly and devoutly thankful to God; for the past year has been a year of many mercies. The blessed Gospel of the Redeemer has not returned unto Him void. Not many conversions have been made, nor has there been much visible success; but many, very many obstacles have been taken out of the way. In every part of Hindusthán, a rapid change in the popular opinions is being effected, and heathenism daily loses ground. It has been discovered that the alleged unchangeableness of the native character was little better than a cloak to cover the apathy of their European masters; and that when these bestir themselves, the natives are not slow to perceive and to follow their own interest. They crowd our schools; they learn our language, even our religion; they adopt our alphabet— not universally, no, nor even generally, but in such numbers, as to give reasonable ground of expectation, that the day is fast coming, when Hinduism, like every thing that is false, will vanish before the light of the Gospel. Let us then be ready: let us lift the CROSS on high, that when the people throw their idols to the moles and to the bats, they may know whereunto they may resort; and let us raise up our hands continually, that we may be made living evidences of its spirit and influence.

II.-Native Education.-Presbytery of Calcutta.

Brief Statement of the views of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, in establishing a Presbytery at Calcutta, in connexion with the Assembly's School and Mission at this Presidency.

Many of our readers are, no doubt, acquainted with the circumstances, under which the School of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, now in so flourishing a condition, arose at this Presidency. The expediency of an institution, having in view the Education of Native youth, became apparent, and the way to it was obviously paved with the greater facility, when a branch of the Church of Scotland was extended to India, in 1814. It was not, however, we believe, until 1823, that the subject was distinctly brought before the General Assembly in a memorial from the Rev. Dr. Bryce, and the gentlemen then forming the KIRK SESSION of St. Andrew's Church. Fortunately for so good a cause, it found in the late Rev. Dr. Inglis, of Edinburgh, a supporter of the most acute judgment, the most ardent zeal, and the most unwearied diligence. To the enthusiasm with which this distinguished churchman took up the cause of Native Education in India, and the deservedly extensive influence he possessed in the church, the Institution, now enjoying so general and well-merited a reputation, may truly be said to have been indebted for its existence. We should fear that the death of Dr. Inglis will be felt by it as a very grievous loss, not to be speedily repaired, did we not rest in the hope, that the revered and respected Father of the Mission lived long enough to inspire others with the same zeal and industry in its support, which so remarkably distinguished himself; and did we not know from the very best authority, that there now prevails over Scotland so general a persuasion of the benefit which it is producing, that we cannot doubt of the continuance of the patronage, which hitherto, unquestionably, it has owed in so great a measure to the personal character and exertions of Dr. Inglis.

It is almost superfluous to remark, that an Institution, maintained by the benevolence of a Christian people, emanating from a Christian Church, and subject to her spiritual and ecclesiastical authority, must, in every step taken by it, have in view the promotion of knowledge, and the spread of education, upon CHRISTIAN principles.

The lessons selected, when the scholars are sufficiently advanced to be carried forward after this universally practised mode of instruction, are therefore, many of them, from the Christian Scriptures; and thus, the pupils become necessarily acquainted with the BIBLE history of man, his creation, his duty to God, his fellow-creatures and himself—his reconciliation to God by Jesus Christ-and the destiny that awaits him in another and eternal world. To ground their education on any other system, were obviously to interpose the most effectual barrier to their advancing a single step in the path of that knowledge, in which it is the object of the school to conduct them. To contrive any means of carrying on their literary, scientific and moral improvement, while, at the same time, the elements of religious information are altogether withheld, does not appear to us to be possible-could never, certainly, be sanctioned by an enlightened Christian Church, were it even practicable, and so far as it may have been attempted in other quarters, has been productive, we fear, of fruits over which there is little reason to rejoice. The School of the General Assembly has, in our opinion, struck into the happy road, in regard to the Elementary Education bestowed, which must recommend it to every Native who is really desirous, that his son should

receive instruction in that knowledge, which so greatly distinguishes, and has so highly exalted, the European character and power. And, accordingly, it is now confirmed by the experience of several years, that no objections are offered by Hindu parents to their children receiving an education founded on these principles, and conducted on this system. The number now under instruction at the Scotch School is not less than five hundred and fifty; and were the funds sufficient, and the accommodation possessed by the Institution more extensive, this number might be greatly enlarged. The branches of learning taught in this department of the school comprehend English grammar, reading and arithmetic, geography (political and physical), elementary mathematics, including algebra, and the use of logarithms, translation and composition in English and Bengálí, a brief survey of history, ancient and modern, the Bible, and a comprehensive outline of the evidences, and leading doctrines of Christianity.

But we have already noticed, that besides an elementary department, there is to be attached to the Institution a branch having in view the higher object of qualifying Native Youth for becoming themselves the instructors of their countrymen. The General Assembly would appear to have seen at the outset, that until Native instruments can be employed in the work of educating and enlightening the Native mind, little, comparatively speaking, can be done over so immense a field as presents itself, by European labourers alone. They have, therefore, always looked forward to a period, when they would be in a position to employ these instruments, and they have justly regarded the attaining this position as a most important epoch in the history of their Institution. That this period has arriv ed sooner than the General Assembly perhaps expected, may, in part, be ascribed to the fact, that before the Church of Scotland moved to the work of Native Education in India, much had been done by other bodies, that had devoted themselves to the instruction and enlightenment of the Native mind; and independently of the success attending the labours of her own teachers, which also has surpassed her most sanguine expectations, a considerable number of Native youth have thus been rendered, in a great measure, qualified for receiving the higher attainments required to fit them for becoming themselves teachers of their countrymen.

But while the General Assembly saw the vast importance, indeed the absolute necessity, of creating, if possible, a body of Native teachers of this higher description, they did not shut their eyes to the high responsibility they must take on themselves in sending forth such a body, when found willing to act UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND. To have entrusted so difficult and delicate a task to the Missionaries of the College alone, would have been a very wide departure from the form and practice of that church; and might, in the eye of the public, fail in furnishing that security against abuse, so essential to the success of the great object in view. To have conferred on the clergy and elders of the Kirk Session of St. Andrew's Church, the power of licensing Native preachers of the Gospel under her authority, would also have been more at variance with established ecclesiastical practice than the case demanded, while the means were at hand of creating a Presbyterial body at Calcutta, from among the ordained ministers and lay-elders of the National Church, now resident at this Presidency. The General Assembly accordingly resolved to estab lish the Presbyterial body, which has now been organized, consisting of the two clergymen of St. Andrew's Church, the ordained teachers of the Mission, members ex-officio of the Presbytery of Calcutta, and two laymen, elders of the Church, chosen from year to year from among the Kirk Session of St Andrew's Church. This body the Church at home have invested with very extensive powers, as regards the Natives to be employed

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