Billeder på siden


one who speaks sincerely, but now tell me something about the place of his residence, or the locality of his presence. I replied, the account God has given of himself is, that the heavens are His throne and that the earth is His footstool, by which we are to understand that He is omnipresent. This view of God commends itself to our reason, for did He not create all things, and does He not still uphold all things and supply every creature with all it requires for its own peculiar wants? If He were not omnipresent, He could not do So. If so, said he, God is in the stones and in the soil, and therefore these become proper objects of worship, do they not? Do you believe, I asked, that He fills all space? 'Yes, I believe it,' he replied. Then we can think of Him in any place we might happen to be, on the public road, in the desert, or at home, can we not? 'Yes,' he replied, 'as He fills all places we can worship Him in any spot we like.' If so, I added, why need we an image to look at, can we not praise Him in our hearts? If you have an image at all it should be one furnished by God as a correct representation of himself, and to deserve our worship, it should possess His attributes. Be so good as to show me such an image any where in the world. The man paused a while and said, 'My mouth is locked up by your answer.' We can, said I, worship the omnipresent God without the aid of an image, but if it can be shown that we cannot do so, then that showing must contain the proof of the omnipresence of God being circumscribed to the narrow limits of an idol. I then explained to the people the kind of worship which is suitable to an invisible, omnipresent God. They became ashamed of their kind of worship, and said, 'Yes, we see the truth; your reply is quite right; idols are simply the work of men's hands; to worship the omnipresent God by means of an idol is as improper as to attempt to make another omnipresent God; we see, we see.' The goldsmith then said with animation, 'I am resolved not to worship any image from this time forth; I have hesitated before this to worship after that fashion, but your reply has now removed all hesitation.' After this I showed him the way of salvation, and when I spoke of the Divine promises made in ancient times respecting the advent of Christ and how they had all been fulfilled in the incarnation, sufferings, and death of the Son of God, and of the Divine love and mercy manifested in all this, the man was much

affected and shed tears. I read to him some texts of Scripture for his direction and comfort. His words were such as to lead me to conclude that he was a secret Christian."

The following is from the report of the same catechist, and shows the


"A family of heathens, consisting of five persons, have recently attended Divine service. The head of the family is the chief man of the village. He was a most bigoted heathen, and received a double portion of the offerings made to the idols. His own offerings also were more numerous than those of any of his neighbours, and his quarrels with his Christian relative were frequent and violent. His wife was very clean in her dress and habits, but was more than commonly addicted to idolatry, and had sacred ashes on her forehead at all times. A son of theirs who was learning in our Mission School died about two years ago, notwithstanding all the vows they made to the devils. This affected them much, and caused them to regard the devils with some displeasure. Whilst looking into the books of their lost boy they resolved to make a profession of Christianity, but postponed. Afterwards, the man was attacked with a very large boil in his back, which caused such pain as could hardly be endured. His heathen relatives made many vows to various devils, which cost them about two hundred fanams, but all in vain. I was called in, and requested to use means to alleviate his pain. I rebuked them for their folly in trusting to the devils to effect a cure, whilst they neglected the use of medicine, and then prescribed a poultice and the application of the lancet. They adopted both, but with reluctance. With the blessing of God these proved successful. The man and his wife were by these means convinced of the folly of idolatry and of the inability of the devils to do them any good. All this, however, was insufficient to induce them to make a profession of the Gospel. In the meantime, another child sickened and died, though many vows were made for him both by his parents and their relatives. This last providential call to repentance brought to the parents' mind the instructions they had formerly received, and their own indecision and procrastination, and they resolved to break off all connexion with idolatry and at once attend on the means of grace, which they did on the 4th instant,


neatly dressed in clean clothes. They now listen attentively to the Word, come to my house frequently for instruction, learn the weekly lessons, and often request me to go to their house to read and pray with them. I once asked him if he still retained in his house the utensils and garments dedicated to demon worship. He replied, that he had given them all away to the poor, and that when the wicked' was renounced, everything belonging to him was also cast away. The conversion of this bigoted heathen is a source of much joy to his Christian relatives, who had for a long time prayed to God on behalf of their quarrelsome brother. May the merciful God preserve them to the end!"

[ocr errors]

DYING MOMENTS OF A CONVERTED HEATHEN. "Christiana was attacked with cholera at midnight of April 18, and died the next day at four P.M. A short time before her death she addressed us, and, among other things, said, 'I beg of you not to weep for me. I am going to the Lord. I see the heavens open to receive me. Jesus Christ has pardoned my transgressions. My heart is washed in His holy blood. I am going to wear the white robe of righteousness. I shall be afflicted no more. Jesus Christ my Saviour will wipe away all my tears,' and then calmly gave up her spirit into the hands of her beloved Redeemer." If I had not received the above particulars of the death of Christiana, I should have concluded from what I knew of her life that such would necessarily be the state of her mind in her dying hour. From the time I had the honour (for I deem it as such) of administering to her the ordinance of Baptism in September, 1849, to the time of her death, not the shadow of a stain was found on her Christian character, and so far as I am aware, not a word was said by any of her neighbours in depreciation of her moral worth. She was among the best of my hearers, ever ready with an answer to any question put to the congregation during the time of preaching. She not only gave the Gospel an early and hearty reception, but she ever after loved it, rejoiced in it, and exemplified its virtues in her happy temper, holy life, and devoted exertions on behalf of her Lord and Saviour.


tians on the part of the heathen. The women of the lower classes in Travancore are prohibited by a law of a former Ranee or Queen, and by the present standing laws, from covering their bodies above the waist; but Christian women are allowed by the same laws to wear a kind of jacket. Though I always wished the women thus to clothe themselves, the force of previous habit was such that they long neglected to carry out my wishes. During this year, however, I have positively required them to adopt the dress which the law permits and decorum requires; and particularly on the 4th October, at a general meeting of the Christians, I pressed the subject upon them, and a Dorcas Society' was formed to help those who are poor to procure proper clothes. But no sooner did the Christian women with greater regularity clothe themselves decently and in the manner prescribed by law, than the Soodrar began to murmur and to threaten to assault them and tear off their jackets. On the 8th October a Christian woman was assaulted in the public market and her jacket torn. This case was proved in the Policecourt at Nayattankerry; yet the offender was let off with so slight a punishment by fine, that he has since committed several similar crimes. About the end of November, and since, there have been more decided demonstrations against the Christians in Nayattankerry, which is twelve miles south of Trevandrum. The Soodrar gave out that an order had been issued by the Sirkar to strip the women of their jackets, and they threatened that they would soon carry it into effect: crowds in the market-places hustled the Christians, spat and threw earth at them. But since the visit of Lord Harris to the Rajah in the beginning of December, and the reading of the Queen's Proclamation in the middle of that month, the bad feeling of the Soodrar has been far more markedly shown. By some misconstruction of these events they made it believed that they had obtained an opportunity to harass the Christians, which they would diligently employ."


"Vakkum has been mentioned as the most distant outstation to the north; eight or nine miles beyond it, in the interior of the country, lies Madavoor. There a man,

Mr. Cox, writing of his own station, gives named Pothy, and his wife came under the following account of



"Towards the end of the year there was a new outbreak of opposition to the Chris


Christian instruction; and when able, he walked all the way to Vakkum for worship on the Sabbath. I placed a Catechist in his village in the hope that others would be brought to the truth; but being dis



appointed, I removed him where he was more wanted. Pothy and his family were thus left alone among the opposing heathen: but he did not leave the truth; he was able to read, and generally had his New Testament with him. Thus he held on for a few years. When I returned from the conference in May last, I was surprised to find him and his family living near the Mission premises. He had disposed of his house and little property, and come here with the object of being better provided with Christian instruction and care. He then tried to make some arrangements for supporting his family, and leaving them here, went to his village to settle some business. Before he left, his eldest daughter had the small pox; and being recovered she went with him to join her husband, who still remained there. During his absence his youngest girl, about six years old, was seized with the disease, and then his wife. The latter became delirious, and would sometimes rush out of the house; then this little child was heard to say, Mother! don't do so, the Lord will take care of you."

[ocr errors]

This proves that the truth was really active in the family. The mother died, and the little girl was left without a single person to take care of it. Repeated messages had been sent to call the father; but neither he nor a reply came: at last I was shocked to learn that he had sickened with the small pox at that distant place, and there died." I had already appointed a woman to take care of the little orphan girl, and when all danger of infection left, I took her into our Home School, where she now is a very interesting little girl, named 'EMILY ATKINSON.'

"A son of Pothy's was already in my Boys' School, I have given him the name of 'JOSHUA.' I have now these two orphans altogether left on my care to bring up for Christ. The parents had not received baptism; but were candidates for it when that disease seized them which ended in death. I was pleased with their state of mind, as shown in some conversations I had with them, and I have hope that they are saved by the blood of Jesus."



we may see brighter days.

"During this period it has been my privilege, and that of my brother missionary (Mr. Johnston, now at Nandial, in the Kurnoot Zillah), to baptize upwards of 700 persons (professed converts from heathenism), who are scattered in twenty different villages to the north and north-west of this and the Kurnool districts.

We have been gratified by the perusal | ing, though we long and earnestly pray that of a letter written by the Rev. E. Porter, of Cuddapah, in which, like so many more of our missionary brethren, he speaks of the pleasure he derives every month from the reception of our Journal, since it brings him "into communion with dear brethren in Christ in various parts of the world." He mentions also the warm sympathy he feels in all the efforts of the Evangelical Alliance to promote union among the people of God, and says that the noble protests which from time to time it has borne against the religious persecutions of the Papal Church, as practised in Tuscany, Sardinia, France, and other countries, have cheered the spirits of many who are labouring for the spread of Divine truth in heathen lands. After referring to some other works of practical Christian usefulness in which the Alliance has engaged, he adds the following information respecting his own field of labour:

"It will, perhaps, be gratifying to you and other Christian friends to know what the Lord is doing in this part of our great Indian empire. I am thankful to say that during the last seven years we have not been without tokens of the Divine bless


"It is true that many of these are deficient in knowledge, weak in faith, and at times have given us much trouble and anxiety by the unsteadfastness of their walk. Still we must remember, for our encouragement, that they have broken away from the trammels of idolatry and caste, and have placed themselves under Christian instruction and discipline. hideous idol is now the object of their worship or fear; no obscene songs in their honour issue from their lips; no wicked gooroos now torment and perplex their minds by their vain signs and lying symbols. Heathen marriages, formed without thought, love, or any idea of suitability as to age-in which the main thing was, the amount of dowry and the class to which


"Let me entreat your prayers, and those of other Christian friends, that the good seed sown by faithful missionaries in this heathen land may spring up and bear fruit a hundred fold.

they belong-are now forbidden, and our | leavening the corrupt masses of heathenism people are taught the sacredness of the by which it is surrounded. marriage bond, and the necessity of love in order to true happiness. The Sabbath, not known before, is now respected and kept; the Word of God, that was never read, is now read by many of our school boys, and its sacred doctrines and precepts are read in the hearing of those Christian adults who are not able to read or write. Family prayer is now established in many houses where prayer was never heard, and the melody of Christian songs is heard where the sound of obscene heathen songs only filled the air.

"Thus, we hope, the good leaven of Christian truth is now silently, yet powerfully,

"I hope to send you in another month a report of this mission, by which you will be able to form a more correct idea of the extent and fruits of our labours.

"Mrs. P. unites with me in Christian love to yourself and all the members of the Alliance. "Believe me, yours truly, "EDWD. PORTER."

Australasian Intelligence.



A devoted missionary, labouring in the Island of Eromanga, the scene of the martyrdom of the late Rev. John Williams, has lately forwarded to England the following interesting statement of the present condition of its inhabitants ::

"Some noble efforts were made for the conversion of this island to Christianity several years ago, but by reason of the unhealthiness of the climate, native teachers from the eastern islands could not remain long on it at one time, and when we arrived we consequently found it destitute of teachers, and many of the natives engaged in war, in which for the most part they are still engaged; even while I am writing they are assembling around us for war, with their faces painted red and black-horriblelooking wretches. They use caves for forts, and some of them build fortifications, by which their wars are prolonged. When we first landed on the island we succeeded in collecting ten of them for instruction on the Sabbath-day, and now ten times ten. But these, I am sorry to say, have not yet abandoned heathenism, with the exception, perhaps, of two or three young men, who are beginning to see that they have inherited lies, for they still worship their own gods, and ask us to pay them for making narot (worship) for us. We also hope that a few interesting women are be

ginning to appreciate the Gospel, for they come to hear it preached, although some of them have been cruelly beaten by their brutish husbands for coming into our schoolhouse. They frequently commit suicide. The chiefs are the most opposed to the Gospel, because they now perceive that if it prevail, it will divest them of their priestly offices, and of some of their wives. Some of them have twenty.

"Like all other heathen nations, the natives of this island have traditions derived from the primeval families of the earth. They believe that one Creator (Nobu) created all things visible and invisible, and by his mighty power upholds all thingseven the stars from falling. They, however, exclude him from ruling over human affairs, by the deification of their deceased patriarchs, whom they exalt to this office, while they give them the character of demons. There seems here to be the confounding of the primeval knowledge of evil spirits with that of the spirits of their deceased chieftains. They have a tradition of the flood which connects the agency of Nobu with the drying up of the waters. They practise circumcision on this and the neighbouring island, and when foreigners ask them why they hold this rite, they simply reply, 'Nobu, the Creator, gave us this rite,' which is namon (secret). They


have no carved idols, excepting some ring-formed stones, which are held in great veneration, not only as idols but also as relics of antiquity. They believe that the gods gave them to their progenitors. No one supposes that they were ever made by man. It is probable that their forefathers brought them with them when they migrated here.

"The natives who surrounded Captain Cook when he discovered this Island understood quite well the meaning of the green branch which he held in his hand, and when they saw the new floating world in which he came, they said, 'This is Nobu;' and to this day they call all foreigners by this name who have wisdom to make and govern ships.

"There are two languages spoken on this island, one of which is becoming extinct; it is only spoken by one tribe. The languages of these islands, as far as known, have a triplael in addition to the dual, and a causative conjugation of the verb as in Hebrew, at least some of them. The laws of the article are similar to those of the Hebrew He, and the copulative conjunction is used the same as the Hebrew Vau, both uniting and euphonising in syntax with the nouns. Some important parts of the Scriptures are easy of translation into this language, but there are portions again very

difficult of translation, especially those which have reference to court procedure.

"I find these natives all round us possessed of Sepoy hearts, but the leaves of this tree have a special healing virtue for such, and we labour therefore more earnestly to give them more and more of the Book of life, which by the Spirit of the Lord forms anew the only lasting foundation of indestructible virtue-where it was originally destroyed by the Enemy-in the human heart.

"We have had again very recently another dreadful massacre of foreigners on this dark island, which calls vividly to remembrance the martyrdom of Williams and Harris. A few mornings ago, a host of infuriated savages rushed on one of the foreign establishments and killed seven foreigners, three of whom were Europeans. Others have been wounded, and two more since have been killed and eaten quite near to us. I, however, travel among them and spend nights with them where these deeds are perpetrated, not, of course, without danger, from which God is our shield. I have just put a party of fighting men to flight by a few words from the Book.

"P.S.-Captain Prout and some of his men were massacred last month at Nanicolo. His vessel was taken to this island by the mate for supplies."


We have an announcement to make, which we are sure will be not less agreeable to our readers than it is gratifying to ourselves. We propose next month to enlarge our Journal, and to make such improvements in it as may render it still more the medium of information from all parts of the world in relation to the advancement of Christianity. By arrangements which have been effected, the foreign matter hitherto published in The Beacon and Christian Times, will be transferred to our pages, while our own correspondence will be extended. We are thankful to God for the favour this Journal has hitherto obtained, but we feel that the time has arrived when more should be done to meet the growing wants of the universal Church; and we are encouraged to hope that arrangements which are in progress will enable us, with augmented usefulness, to advocate fundamental Christian truth in the spirit of Christian love.

« ForrigeFortsæt »