Imatges de pÓgina

generations yet unborn. The Scriptures are not the only work which are putting into the languages of this country. We have just finished, i. e. printed off, a very large edition of Mr. T. Wood's Catechism, in Cingalese, and another in Portuguese ; and from the manner in which they are read and committed to memory by the children, and adults, I am persuaded that great good will soon be done by it. It is really delightful to hear the children repeat the different answers, with all the Scripture-proofs, with the utmost correctness. We are now printing it in Malabar. Besides this, we have printed in the Cingalese and Malabar languages, within the last four months, from twenty to thirty thousand Tracts, chiefly extracts from the New-Testament, consisting of the parables, miracles, our Lord's Sermon on the Mount, &c. We have printed also a small edition of two thousand of Ostervald's Scripture-history, in Cingalese. I mean the abridged edition. The same is now printing off in Tamul. It is done at the expense of the Bible Society in Ceylon.

I am almost constantly confined in my room, and my principal journies are those I make out of my study, to the translatingroom, and from thence into the pulpit. I am sometimes for weeks together, and scarcely reach the outside of the walls of the mission-premises. Here I am:-my hours, days, and weeks, fly in such a way that the remembrance of them is only impressed upon my thoughts by the return of certain seasons; and it must of necessity be the case with me, at least for some time. And our mission will always require some of the brethren thus to fill up their time, as much must be done in translating.

O! that we could make our voices convey across the wide ocean the feelings of gratitude, love, and affection, that fill our souls toward our friends in Britain, for all their kindness to us, their unworthy representatives to the heathen. Well:-they are known unto God, and the day of the Lord will bring us together in our Father's house. At present we are separated: It must be the case. God's cause requires it, and our souls unitedly say, "Father thy will be done," and by a proper realization of the two periods, in which man was created to move, namely, time and eternity, our little separation will appear a matter of trifling importance.




AFTER stating the local circumstances of the Society, the Committee proceed-" From these subjects of local interest, your Committee will now proceed to call the attention of the Society to topics of more general importance; namely, the extent, operation, and successes of those Foreign Missions, to the support of which the funds of this Society are devoted.

But as the Subscribers have been made acquainted with the state of the Missions up to the month of August last, by the large distribution of the General Report of the Executive Committee, ordered to be printed by the Methodist Conference of last year; it will only be necessary for the Committee to bring before the Society those particulars respecting the different Missions which have been supplied by the correspondence of Missionaries, and the proceedings of the Executive Committee, since that period.

The first subject on which your Committee beg leave to report, is the increase of the number of Missionaries appointed to various stations. The prayers of the pious, who, affected by the dark and vicious condition of so many parts of the earth, have earnestly prayed the Lord of the harvest to send forth more labourers, have been answered. The Conference and the Managing Committee have been able to avail themselves of the offer of many suitable young men, to open several new stations, and to re-inforce the Mission in other places, where the provision was inadequate to the exigency of the case, and where the desires of many "to hear words by which they might be saved," were the most pressing. Six additional Missionaries have been sent to Newfoundland, three to Canada, three to Nova Scotia, one to the Bahamas, three to Ceylon, one to Jamaica, four to Antigua and other British Islands in the West Indies, one to Sierra Leone, and two to St. Domingo; making in the whole twenty-four Missionaries, appointed since the Meeting in May last, in addition to those before employed. The total number of our Foreign Missionaries now amounts to upwards of One Hundred. Of the persons who have thus, at the call of the church, devoted themselves to the work of God in foreign parts, the Committee state with great pleasure and gratitude, that they appear in general, eminently qualified for the important work which has been confided to them; and that their talents, piety, and zeal, give encouraging promise of extensive usefulness in their respective scenes of labour. Others, of equal qualifications, have offered themselves, and are held in reserve for future appointment; but though the most urgent calls have been made for their labours, the present state of the funds will not allow of their being immediately sent; and the managing Committee have to regret that not only are some important new stations yet without appointments, but that others are still vacant, which have been deprived of their Missionaries by death.

The intelligence recently received from the Missionary stations, is of the most encouraging nature. In Europe the small, but not unimportant Missions in Gibraltar and France maintain their ground, and are operating to spread the knowledge and influence of true Christianity in the places where they are established. In Gibraltar, the society has increased, and many of the military in the garrison enjoy the benefits of the ministry of the Missionary stationed there, to the great improvement of their morals, and in many instances their true conversion. By his means also a number of useful tracts in the At Periere, in Spanish language have been circulated and taken into Spain France, the Committee have the satisfaction to state, that the increase of the VOL, J. 25

congregation has required the building of a chapel; and this work, the erection of the first Methodist Chapel in France, is before this time completed by the zeal and liberality of the small society there, assisted by their Protestant neighbours.

In the British Colonies of North America, the additional Missionaries which have been appointed. have enabled the District Meetings to enlarge the number of stations, and to supply the want of religious ordinances to many living ip situations where they were entirely destitute of them. They have been very gladly received by the inhabitants, and have entered on their work with the best appearances of success. From the late appointment of a Missionary to preach in the French language in Canada, the language of a large proportion of the inhabitants, the Committee anticipate much good. The ignorance of the Catholic population in that province is truly deplorable. They are not only without the scriptures, but wholly ignorant of their contents; in some instances even of their most important facts. Mr. De Patron not only preaches in French, but diligently circulates the scriptures: and has, in many places where he has itinerated, been heard with great attention and with some success.

The increase of the Missionaries in Newfoundland, has also been followed by the opening of New places; and religious instruction, and the ordinances of divine worship, have been supplied to many of the coves and harbours in that extensive settlement, which were before but occasionally visited, or wholly destitute of the ministry. The distresses of that island have indeed been very severe. The failure of their fishery, the depression of commerce, and a season unusually severe, have produced great sufferings among the inhabitants in general; but in the midst of trouble they have sought and found relief in the consolations of religion. The spirituality of the societies appears to have advanced, and their numbers are increased.

The Mission to the slaves and people of colour in the British West India colonies has in the last year been placed in circumstances of considerable difficulty. The alarms of insurrection, and the suspicions incident to the state of society which exists there, have given an opportunity to some of the colonists to call for laws in some instances greatly restrictive of the freedom of religious worship, and the exertions of Missionaries, and in others wholly obstructive to them. Several instances of opposition and violence, in some of the islands, may be traced to the inflammatory and illiberal writings of an antimission party at home but they have also excited inquiries into the doctrines and characters of the Missionaries, which in some cases have issued in their additional encouragement. The Legislature of St. Vincent's appear to have abandoned their avowed intention to embarrass the Mission there by persecuting enactments, and the Session has passed without the adoption of those measures which the Council had recommended to the House of Assembly. In Demerara, the opposition appears to subside, and the congregations have greatly inoreased. In Antigua, the oldest, and most successful of the West India stations, the societies have had an increase of four hundred members, and enjoy the full confidence and protection of the local authorities. In Jamaica, the work rapidly extends, both where societies have been long formed, and in new places where the Missionaries have been invited to extend their labours. But, the Committee deeply regret to state, that notwithstanding the facts which have from time to time been exhibited in proof of the excellent effects resulting from the instruction of the negroes, and the increased number of friends which the Mission has been acquiring among the respectable white inhabitants of the colonies, many of whom have recently signed the most satisfactory testimonies in favour of the character and usefulness of the Missionaries; laws

have been passed by the Jamaica Legislature, and the Legislature of the Bahama Islands, against which it has been thought necessary to petition the British Government, whose tolerable spirit, and regard to the religious interests of the colonies, support the confidence that from every law restrictive of religious liberty, and opposed to the pious design of communicating Christianity to the pagan population of the West Indies, the Royal assent will be withheld.

In the inscrutable dispensations of Providence, four most active and useful Missionaries have been removed from their labours in the West Indies by the diseases incident to those climates; and their places yet remain unsupplied. They, however, honoured the Missionary cause in life and death; and the donation of 1001. sterling to the widow of Mr. Burgar, from the parish of St. Thomas, Jamaica, voted at a meeting of the Magistrates and Vestry as a token of respect for the memory of her husband, is a pleasing proof that Jamaica has many respectable inhabitants who value the gospel, and appreciate the pious zeal of those who hazard their lives to teach it to their negroes.

The two Missionaries appointed to that part of the island of St. Domingo which is under the presidency of Petion, have recently reached their destina. tion; but as their last letters were written immediately upon their arrival, nothing can be communicated respecting that important Mission, except, that from the manner in which they have been received, and the qualifications of the Missionaries themselves, the most sanguine hopes may be entertained, that they may be the means of communicating the important benefits of religion to a people whose civil condition is rapidly advancing under a liberal government. Uniting schools with their proper work as ministers, they will at once promote the instruction of the adults, and sow the seeds of knowledge and religion in the minds of the rising age.

An additional married Missionary has been appointed to Sierra Leone, who, it is hoped, will prove a useful auxiliary to the Missionary who has for several years faithfully and successfully laboured in that colony. The schools for the children of recaptured negroes, and the children of the neighbouring tribes, amounting to one hundred and sixty, under the care of Mr. Davies, are in a flourishing and well organized state; and since the arrival of another Missionary, the towns in the neighbourhood of Free-Town, composed of recaptured negroes, have been visited, and promising religious impressions made upon many minds. The Committee trust that their labours, united with those of the excellent men of other denominations labouring in the same colony, are, with their immediate benefits, providing the elements of the future instruction and the moral renovation of the population of the Western part of the vast continent of Africa.

The Cape of Good Hope is at present without a Missionary; but the socie-ties in the colony are under the care of some pious and useful local preachers. Mr. Shaw, the last Missionary sent to that station, led by a strong desire to preach the gospel to the heathen in the interior, has, with the consent of the Committee, fixed his residence among the Little Namacquas, a tribe of Hottentots, residing near and upon the Khamics mountains. Encouraged by a pious Missionary employed by the London Missionary Society, he and his excellent and intrepid wife left the Cape for the interior in a waggon drawn by oxen, without any particular designation; but having been met by a chief of the Little Namacqua tribe, who with some of his people were proceeding to the Cape in search of a Missionary, whom they might invite to reside among them, he regarded this as a providential indication, and consented to go with him to instruct his people. He has commenced building a house for himself, and a place for divine worship. The Hottentots appear not only willing, but eager to be instructed, "a people prepared for the Lord;" and the religious meet

ings which Mr. Shaw has already held with them have been accompanied with powerful manifestations of the Divine influence. The hearts of his hearers appear to have deeply felt the power of the word of God, and the voice of prayer and praise to the true God and Saviour has begun to gladden the wilds of that part of degraded Africa.

Africa has also presented to the Committee a new and important station in the extensive island of Madagascar, containing about four millions of inhabitants, in a partial state of civilization, and among whom, through the influence and protection of the British government in the Mauritius, an opportunity of a very favourable appearance has occurred to communicate to them the blessings of our divine religion. To this work, the Managing Committee have been invited by a truly benevolent and liberal letter from the Governor of the Mauritius to T. THOMPSON, Esq. M.P. one of the General Treasurers. The occupation of this station is delayed only by the state of the funds; but, it is hoped, will be speedily embraced. No opening to the pagans of that island, of so favourable a kind, has perhaps before occurred. By the liberality of the Governor, and other gentlemen of the Mauritius, copious vocabularies of the language, and authentic information respecting the character, manners, and Opinions of the natives, have been offered to the Missionaries who may be appointed, and thus the best facilities will be afforded them to obtain the language of the island, and in that to declare to its inhabitants "the wonderful works of God."

In Asia, the appointment of a Missionary to New Holland, has been justified by the manner in which Mr. Leigh has been received, and the effect which has already attended his labours. Forty-four persons have been united in society; and he has formed a circuit of one hundred and fifty miles in extent, in which he itinerates, preaching at fifteen places. In every place the settlers “receive the word of God with gladness;" many of them, before his arrival, not having heard a sermon for many years, whilst t'eir children were growing up in ignorance and irreligion. Three chapels are proposed to be erected in that colony, one at Sydney, one at Windsor, and one at Castlereagh. Four SundaySchools have also been commenced; and with such prospects of usefulness, the Committee earnestly hope that the public liberality will speedily enable the Mission Fund to meet the earnest wishes of the many who have begun to "taste the word of life," for the appointment of another Missionary. It is only by itinerating, that the scattered population of the colony can be reached; and the state of society in the towns is such as demands the most zealous efforts of Missionary labours to correct its depravity. The excellent chaplains of the colony, so far from considering the labours of Mr. Leigh an intrusion, received him with great kindness, and the Governor expressed to him his best wishes for his success. Thus many of the outcasts of society will prot⚫ bly be reclaimed, and the distant settlers will be "sought out and not forsaken.”

Since the last meeting, the Ceylon Mission has been reinforced by three additional Missionaries, who, it is hoped, have safely arrived at their destination. The intelligence from this island continues to be of the most interesting and encouraging nature. In July last, the Missionaries held their first Confer ence at Columbo, and fixed their stations for the ensuing year. The number of stations are six, in the principal towns on the coast, to two of which but one Missionary was appointed, from the deficiency of their number. The arrival of the three who sailed in November last, will, in part, supply this want; but the favourable facilities offered by this interesting island for the spread of Christianity, are such, that no efforts which have yet been made are commensurate with them. The state of the Province of Jaffna, where Christianity once greatly flourished under the labours of the pious ministers appointed by

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