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It is a question, then, to which I would most earnestly invite the attention of the Board, what measures should be adopted to increase the number of Foreign Missionary laborers, and the means of sustaining them!
And as a member of the Board, I beg leave to suggest for your consideration, the matured system of that most successful Body, the Church Missionary Society of England. Especially their plan for accomplishing the two objects above referred to.
For receiving Missionary laborers, there is a Committee of Correspondence; their business, of course, being to correspond with all
; parties who may exert an influence in procuring laborers, as well as with the candidates themselves, for the Missionary work.
Such a Committee, earnestly at work, would do very much towards securing the second great desideratum—an increase of means. For where there is life in a Church to send forth spiritual laborers, it will call forth also the funds to sustain them. But for this purpose, means, wise and continued, must be used. The plan of the Church Missionary Society here, again, is admirable. Besides several secretaries unconnected with the office, there are local unpaid secretaries scattered over the kingdom. These are selected for their heart-interest in the work of Christ for the salvation of the heathen, and in their parishes and spheres organize and hold regular Missionary Societies and meetings. Here information is regularly communicated from the Missionary field, and the wants of the world are brought in contact with the living heart of the Church for sympathy, prayer, contributions, and efforts. Why may not our Church “ go and do likewise ?” Is the command, “Go and make disciples of all nations," still binding? May we, must we still ask, “ How can they call on Him in whom they have not believed, and how can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard, and how can they hear without a preacher ?"
*** Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord! the wills of thy faithful people, that they plenteously bringing forth the fruits of good works, may by thee be plenteously rewarded, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Respectfully submitted.
MISSIONS OF AMERICAN BOARD.
BARAKA.— William Walker, Ira M. Preston, Missionaries ; Mrs. Catharine H. Walker, Mrs. Jane E. Preston.—One native helper.
NENGENENGE.-One native helper.
In this country.-Albert Bushnell, Jacob Best, Epaminondas J. Pierce, Andrew D. Jack, Missionaries ; Mrs. Lucinda J. Bushnell, Mrs. Gertrude Best, Mrs. Mary E. Jack, Miss Jane A. Van Allen.
Since the last annual survey, ill health has called Miss Van Allen to return, on a visit to the United States. Only two brethren, with their wives, are now on the ground; but they have been, more than often heretofore, encouraged in their labors by apparent religious interest among the people, the faithfulness of some church members, and the hopeful conversion of a goodly number of persons. These two brethren, Messrs. Walker and Preston, as also Mr. Bushnell, now on a visit to this country, number each from fourteen to twenty years, since they commenced their missionary career on that sickly coast.
UMZUMBI.—Elijah Robbins, Missionary ; Mrs. Addie B. Robbins.
IFUMI.-William Ireland, Henry M. Bridgman, Missionaries ; Mrs. Laura B. Bridgman.
AMANZIMTOTE.-Silas McKinney, David Rood, Missionaries ; Mrs. Alvira V. Rood.-One native teacher.
MAPUMULO.--Andrew Abraham, Missionary ; Mrs. Sarah L. Abraham.-One native catechist.
Station not known.-Charles H. Lloyd, Missionary ; Mrs. Katharine C. Lloyd. On the way.—Daniel Lindley, Missionary ; Mrs. Lucy A. Lindley.
In this country.-Lewis Grout, Missionary ; Mrs. Lydia Grout, Mrs. Catharine M. Stone.
This mission has enjoyed the usual prosperity. In several of the churches there has been a very good degree of religious interest. Twenty-two have been added to the church, others were hopefully converted, and professing Christians were revived. The churches are making some progress towards self-support. Much interest is manifested in the Missionary Society, for sustaining native home missionaries. The body of converts, all so lately barbarous, have contributed 750 dollars for various purposes. So great are the inducements to trade, growing out of the incoming civilization, that only a few of the converts have been induced to give themselves to the ministry of the Word. Yet some have done this under such circumstances and with such a spirit, apparently, as much to encourage the missionaries.
Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd sailed to join this mission, June 21; Mr. and Mrs. Rood embarked on their return, May 10, and Mr. and Mrs. Lindley, October 28. The death of two female members of the mis. sion must be recorded. Mrs. McKinney died, November 21, 1861, and Mrs. Ireland, January 25, 1862. Mr. Lewis Grout has returned to the Un ed States.
Two mission dwellings, those of Mr. Lindley at Inanda, and of Mr. Abraham at Mapumulo, have been destroyed by fire.
Mr. Walker wrote, Sept. 22, sending a few items of pleasant intelligence, and a few words of appeal, which will be read with interest.
I hardly know whether I have much active faith, or a great deal of passive indifference. I was not very much cast down by the events of 1860–61. I did not suppose the Lord would leave us; I.have had few fears in regard to the mission; and I am not as much elated by the apparent prosperity of the past few months as perhaps I ought to be. I rejoice with trembling and labor with hope, There are about fifteen persons now, who would apply for admission to the church, the present and coming week, but it is doubtful whether they will be able to leave their business to come at this time. If all could be present, I suppose that six or eight would he received. On the other hand, one who was restored to the fellowship of the church six months ago, has again fallen into the same deep ditch and narrow pit, from which we hoped he had escaped.
“Mr. Preston is intending to go up the river this week, to try and locate two of our young men at a Paywe settlement, on the Asyango creek. The church [at Baraka] is finished, except painting doors and windows, which was commenced this morning, by one of our young men. The donations and assistance of foreigners and natives cover all the expense, so that we shall not need a dollar of the appropriation to the mission for building. The edifice is better proportioned, better lighted, and much better seated than I had hoped, until we saw it finished. It cost, of money paid, one hundred and sixty dollars. Much of the work, say one-half of the whole, has been done by Mr. Preston and the school-boys; the heavy timbers were brought by Kroomen, sent by the factories; and much other assistance came from the same source. It was dedicated on the 7th instant; when there was a sermon in English, and one in Mpongwe. All present seemed gratified and satisfied. I was constrained to make a full statement of the means used in building, or the business men and traders could not have understood by what feats of financiering the expense was made so small. We have again occasion to set up our Ebenezer, and say, Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.
“We have reason to be renewedly grateful for health spared, and the privilege of laboring still for Christ in Africa. But if you take into account the age of your missionaries at the Gaboon, you will see that we are in much need of a man on the ground, preparing for the work. We want one to locate and superintend the young men whom we hope to put into the field. If I were a letter writer, I would write to Andover, and tell the students there, that if they can afford to cast off our mission forever, we can afford to do without them. This mission does not belong to us, but to Christ; and if Africa receives the gospel, and turns from darkness, it will turn to Christ. We lean upon the Lord. He has been our strength and our hope, and He has not left us, To him be all the glory.”
METHODIST AFRICAN MISSIONS. The following items are taken from the monthly Missionary Advocate for January :
MORE LABORERS.—Bishop Burns, in late communications to us, speaks earnestly of the need of more laborers; he also speaks hopefully of the prospect of the gift of some among themselves. His affecting statement of the heart's desire of the people to that end aids our faith in God, that from among the mission Churches planted on that distant coast the children born among them will rise up to say, “ Here am I, send me.” I am weary and cannot forbear.
ÉMIGRATION.-In the bark Ann, which left our port in the month of November, Rev. Mr. Blyden, Professor in the Liberia College, was among
the passengers. If it please the heavenly Father to bring him to his desired haven, Liberia will be benefited anew with his labors. Other laborers, among them Rev. Professor Crummell, have left for that field in the “ M. C. Stevens.” Several persons, among whom were those qualified to teach in their common schools, and to advance their agricultural interests, sailed in that vessel.
COMMERCE.— There was a decided increase in the exports and imports of Liberia during the past year, which is the result of the advanced stages of agriculture and manufactures in the republio.
EDUCATION.—This cause is likely to be somewhat furthered by the appropriations made at the late session of the legislature. Every aspect in which we look at the young republic there is ground of encouragement for the friends of the religious and civil conditions of the people.
The Rev. Mr. Ellis has been kindly received at Madagascar. He found the Sabbath observed, and had a large congregation. He states :
“The prime minister, the commander-in-chief, the first officer of the palace, and other high authorities, some of them apparently most earnest Christians, were equally cordial in their welcomes, and in their conferences with me at their own residences, in which I have been their guest.”
INSTRUCTIONS TO THE KING AND HIS OFFICERS.-I am occasionally sent for by the king or some of the high officers, and I have for some short time past attended the king at his house daily, from one to three o'clock, to read English with him. We read together out of a large quarto Bible, on the outside of which is inscribed in gilt letters, "Presented to Radama, King of Madagascar, by the London Missionary Society, 1821." A number of officers, some of them Christians, are generally present, and we frequently converse on what we have read. I have also, every forenoon at my house, eleven or twelve sons of the chief nobles and officers, who come to learn English an hour and a half daily. They will be the future rulers of the country. They accompany me to the chapel, and sometimes to my readings with the king. Last Sunday, with his ma
jesty's approval, I held divine service at the king's house at three o'clock in the afternoon. His majesty, some of his high officers, all my pupils, and a number of others, were present. I read in the old and New Testament; we sang twice, I prayed, partly in English and partly in Malagasy, concluding with the Lord's Prayer in Malagasy, and occupied about a quarter of an hour in an address from 1 Tim. i, 15 : "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” This was faithfully translated by Ra Haniraka. All were very attentive. I was informed that the king expressed his approval, and I hope to be permitted to continue the service. I have seen nothing yet to diminish the high opinion I had formed of the strength and purity of the religious feeling among the people.
[From the Independent.) Beautiful Manuscripts from Negroes in Africa. It is not generally known in the United States that there are powerful negro nations in Africa in a state of civilization so advanced, that public schools are everywhere established, the useful arts are practiced, manufactures and trade flourish, and the people are friendly, hospitable, and eager for knowledge.
Though all this is declared, or at least intimated, by various travelers, whose works are within our reach, few readers seem to have paid sufficient attention to them to have discovered it. Recently, however, very interesting evidence of it has been obtained in several Arabic manuscripts, procured by Presidents Roberts and Benson of Liberia, at the request of a gentleman of New York; and the mere sight of them would be sufficient to excite the admiration of our readers, by the evident skill, uniformity, and perfection of the execution. They were written at Monrovja by educated negroes visiting that place from the interior.
These writings are curious in several points of view; but, as the object in sending for them was to do good on a large scale, their practical relations are worthy of the first consideration. They afford unquestionable evidence that the writers are intelligent and educated men; that they are sincere Mohammedans, and desirous of the conversion of their fellow-men to their faith. They speak with brotherly kindness to the persons who had requested a communication from them, declared the attributes of God which the Koran has copied very faithfully from the Old Testament, and depict in forcible terms the ruined nature of man, his exposure to eternal punishment, and the mercy of God to penitent believers. Even the most rigid Protestant Christian must admit the orthodoxy of many of the doctrines inculcated, and the justice and force of the appeals made to reason, conscience, and the Word of God. The high regard expressed for Mohammed, the low regard for Christ, who is only classed with the prophets, and the absence of every idea of a Savior, will be lamented; but these and other evidences of fatal error will furnish a most