« AnteriorContinua »
by them; so that, as we at first found them, they seem to remain gross idolaters, enemies to God by wicked works, without God, without Christ, and without hope: yet it must be confessed, that very many of them have obtained a very considerable, though, as yet, unsanctified, knowledge of the doctrines of Christianity."
From this observation, connected with that which our judicious friend Mr. Marsden made, when he convers. ed with some of the natives who occasionally visited New South Wales, and which was mentioned in the last annual report, we cannot but think a pleasing ray of light penetrates the gloom which has long covered Otaheite. We cannot but hope, that when a number of poor heathens, born and educated in total ignorance of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Saviour, "obtain a considerable knowledge of the doctrines of Christianity," the seed of life may be considered as already sown, and a just expectation indulged, that the harvest will one day bless the eyes of the labourers and of the Society.
Mr. Marsden's observation derives additional confirmation from another circumstance. In the course of the last year, two young men, one a native of Owhyhee, and the other a native of Otaheite, were brought to England by the captain of a ship, for the purpose of assisting to navigate it, but who were, soon after their arrival, totally deserted by the captain and owners of the vessel. By the humane interference of Sir Joseph Banks, they were rescued from destruction, and recommended to the care of the Directors, who instantly took them under their protection. By such conversation as various persons were enabled to hold with them, it was plainly perceived that the native of Otaheite, who well knew the missionaries there, and had worked for them as a labourer, had received some knowledge of the great subjects of revelation, and expressed, in a forcible manner, what we doubt not is the common sentiment of the inhabitants," that they were very good men-men of God."
IT was suggested in the last! Re. port, that the colony of the Cape of
Good Hope having reverted into the possession of the British government, a more direct and powerful sanction would be given to the exertions of our missionaries among the African heathen; and that our intercourse with them would be facilitated. hopes of the Directors have been tully realized; and the information from the several missionary stations in that country have been very ample and satisfactory.
It will be recollected, that just be. fore the recapture of the Cape by our brave countrymen, the opposition of many ill disposed persons to the mis. sions had risen to a great height; and the brethren Vanderkemp and Read were apprehensive that they should be obliged to relinquish their work, and withdraw from the colony, They had been summoned to the Cape, where they had vindicated their conduct to the satisfaction of the Dutch governor; yet so malignant were their enemies, that he recom mended it, to the missionaries to suspead their return to Bethelsdorp to a more favourable opportunity.
That opportunity was unexpectedly afforded by the capture of Cape Town, which was no sooner effected, than the general, Sir David Baird, sent for Dr. Vanderkemp, whom he received in the most cordial manner, and even consulted him upon the proper treatment of the Hottentot prisoners of war. Shortly after, full permission was granted to resume the care of the congregation at Beth. elsdorp, where the doctor arrived on the 21st of March, 1806. Brother Read, who was desired by Sir David Baird to return by sea, was preserv ed from the most imminent danger of being, shipwrecked on the coast of Caffraria; but had the happiness of reaching the settlement in safety, and finding it in a flourishing state; the Lord having blessed the labours of the brethren Ullbricht, Tromp, and Erasmus Smith, in their absence; Mrs. Smith also, who formerly lived at Rodezand, and who had devoted herself to the instruction of the heathen, having become a very great blessing to the institution. Brother Read was received by the congrega. tion with universal joy and thankful. ness, the poor Hottentots expressing, "by their acclamations and caresses,
how much they prized the word of life, and this beloved minister of it.
In addition to the protection and sanction now afforded to this mission by the English government, their privileges have been augmented by the spontaneous permission of the Landrost to plough and sow, for the present year, an excellent piece of ground belonging to government.
Such was the pleasing state of Bethelsdorp, according to the last accounts received; and such was the attachment of our worthy brother Vanderkemp to the people, that when he received a proposal from the directors to remove from thence, in case his further services in Africa should be prevented by the violence of opposition, and to devote his talents to the establishment of a mission in China, he replied, "I am convinced that God has called me to do his work in the place of my present residence, and that it is my duty to continue in that station till it shall please him to call me out of it as evidently as he called me into it.”
Communications have been received during the past year from Mr. Kicherer, concerning the settlement at Zak River. When upon his journey to it from the Cape, in the month of September, 1805, he was met by brother Botma, to whom the care of the congregation had been committed when Mr. Kicherer left it to visit Europe; and who informed him that many of the people had been obliged
"We found, to our joy, the work of converting grace going on prosperously; and we admired the success with which that exemplary sister, Smith, had set up a school, in which Hottentot children are instructed to knit stockings, &c. She is universally respected and beloved by all our people. Besides her conversation with the females, who seem to be concerned about their souls, she keeps a weekly meeting with our baptized sisters; and instructs them, by way of catechising, in the practical, as well as doctrinal, truths of the religion of Christ."
[Letter from Dr. Vanderkemp, July 10, 1806.
to leave it on account of the excessive drought which had prevailed for a long time; and which rendered the support of their cattle impossi ble. On the eighth of October, he and his companions reached the settlement, and immediately repaired to their little church, to offer up their devout acknowledgments. In a few days, they had another occasion of thanksgiving, on account of the copious showers which renewed the face of the earth; a blessing which they had not experienced during three preceding years. They sustained, however, a heavy loss, a great number of sheep being stolen by the Boschemen. At the close of the year the settlement consisted but of about one hundred persons; in the school were thirty one children, and eleven adults.
At the Great Orange River. In the last report of the directors it was noticed that no letter had then been received from the brethren Anderson and Kramer, respecting their mission among the Corannas on the Orange River; but that from doctor Vanderkemp's letter, it was understood that "their labours blessed in an extraordinary degree.” Since that period, however, very full and pleasing information has arrived from Mr. Anderson, who was summoned to the Cape by the late Dutch government, with the other missionaries.
It appears from the journal, that these brethren, finding the ill effects of removing from place to place, determined on fixing themselves, with as many of the natives as were disposed to abide with them, in a stated residence. This, with some difficulty was effected in the year 1804. In the months of March and April the people were severely visited with the small pox; and Mr. Anderson himself was dangerously if with a bilious fever, without any person at hand to afford him medical assistance. He determined to send some messengers to the brethren who were labouring among the Briquas; some of whom were, at that very instant, on the road to visit him, and were met by
the messengers half way. When they arrived they found him delirious, and in a very dangerous state; but by the blessing of God on the methods used by brother Koster, who is possessed of some medical skill, and the kind attention of the brethren Jansen and Vanderlingen, with their wives, he was speedily restored. Soon after which, the Landrost of Tulbary paid him a visit, and treated him with such respect, that from that time the people behaved far better than before, and the settlement assumed a far more promising aspect. They now proceeded to build a house, forty six feet by sixteen, and afterwards another. The number of persons collected at this place is 784; and as they are about 31 days' journey from the Cape, though but about five from the Briquas, they would have no means of grace were it not for this station. The brethren began, about September, 1805, to form them into a state of order, and to introduce among them the arts of agriculture, in which they succeeded beyond their expectation, but by no means equal to their wishes; for the situation is, on many accounts, unfriendly to such pursuits, as there is but little rain, except thunder showers at the latter end of the summer, which are generally partial. They are obliged therefore to content themselves with the production of a few vegetables and corn for their own use, relying chiefly on their cat. tle and sheep.
The brethren Anderson and Kramer have now been labouring among the poor Africans in that quarter, for about 6 years; and have practised much self denial in that course of time. They have apologized to the directors for not writing more frequently, by saying, that they were not willing, on uncertain grounds, to elevate the hopes of the Society too much; but they now rejoice that they have not waited in vain. They have laboured to correct the immoralities practised among the Corannas, particularly their polygamy, and to introduce among them such regulations as to marriage as are adopted in Christian countries. They have sometimes about 250 persons at a time, to hear the gospel, in the
school room, which is about a third of their whole number, most of whom attend in rotation; about 84 of those who dwell sufficiently near them receive daily instruction, and are taught to read; but the missionaries were forbidden by government to teach them to write, without special orders. It was their intention, as soon as possible, to form those, who appear to be truly converted, into a church, having reason to hope that more than 30 persons were fit for that purpose.
The general support of the people, it seems, is scanty, their principal de pendence being on the chase; but, by the laudable efforts of the missionaries among them, they will now have an opportunity of further sup plies from their gardens, corn fields, and tobacco, which they may culti vate, if they are but industrious, and exchange them among the Briquas and Namacquas for cattle and sheep.
They had occasionally been annoyed by a destructive insect called a Tortoise, whose bite poisons every plant it touches. At one time, a vast body of locusts passed near their settlement about noon, by which the sky was rendered as dark for about an hour as if the sun had been eclips ed, and the noise of their wings resembled that of a mighty wind. They shot, in the course of a single year, fourteen lions, four tigers, and several wolves. For the sake of lessening the expense of the Society, they purchased, when at the Cape, a quantity of beads, to be exchanged for elephants' teeth; but they are aware of the danger of losing sight of their great object by engaging in concerns of a worldly nature, and therefore crave such assistance from the Society as may be necessary. In a word, they appear to be much owned of the Lord in their work; "Ido not think," says Mr. Anderson, "I have laboured in vain many cir cumstances have occurred to establish my mind that I am in the place where the Lord Jesus would have me to be. I preach the gospel with more delight and liberty, although in a foreign language, than ever I did in my native tongue, and would not exchange my mission for any in Africa." To be continued.
The following Extracts are from No. XVI of the Periodical Accounts relative to the Baptist Missionary Society, published May, 1807, from the Journals of Messrs. Marshman, Ward, and Mardon.
Dec. 1, 1804. WE learn that Sadutsa, brother to Boodwysa, is gone to live in the Sunderbunds, amidst the tigers, as a kind of ascetic, pretending that he is proof against all the attacks of wild beasts. Poor deluded, unhappy mortal! He will probably soon fall a prey to his own deception. To what will not pride urge a man! Amidst these distressing circumstances we hear from Futteck, who has been treated with much severity by the little tyrant of the village where he lives. I hear he has tied him up, and fed him with cow dung. Ramkanta and Kanaee, who brought the intelligence, say, that had not a domestic misfortune thrown their persecutors into confusion, they would probably have been treated much worse.
At the close of 1804, they speak of having baptised seventeen during the year; and though several had given them pain, yet Mr. Carey, in a letter dated Dec. 12, conceives the church, notwithstanding their various disappointments from individuals, to be upon the whole in a more promising state than it had been at any former period.
Jan. 1, 1805. A plan for a new place of worship at Calcutta having been agitated, a meeting was this day held on the subject, and subscriptions began. We do not wish to confine it to ourselves. The cause of God ought to be, and I trust is, our grand object. 4800 rupees were subscribed at this M. meeting.
Feb. 12. Mohun, Golook's husband, who has been a good deal at Serampore lately, has proposed himself for baptism, and talks much of his sin in opposing the religion of Christ. He says he did not know that there was any thing really good in the gospel; but having been here some time, he is convinced there is a reality and an excellency in it.
Vol. III. No. 6.
Mar. 21. We are much concern. ed respecting the state of the mission. Every inquirer that we have had for some time past has left us in a clandestine manner. M.
Mar. 28. The extensive premises to the east of ours have been on sale some time. They are walled round, and have many buildings upon them. The mission consists now of ten distinct families, including in the whole eighteen adults, and fourteen children. Looking forward seven or ten years, we shall probably be much more numerous, and require more room. On these considerations we have consulted about purchasing these premises. Several friends have strongly advised it; but we have not a rupee to spare. After consulting however with all our brethren, who are unanimous on the subject, one of us went to the auction, and purchased the whole for 14,200 rupees. It seems strange for missionaries to have so many secular affairs to transact. How different is our employment from that of Brainerd and others! Yet is it not necessary to the object we have in view? I sometimes examine myself on this head. Ah, were it neglected, how soon would the name of God be blasphemed! How soon would all our missionary efforts, printing, schools, &c. &c. be stopped! How soon should we with our families be compelled to return to England; unless indeed a few of us were detained in prison as hostages for debt! These considerations convince me that in pouring instructions on the mind of a child, or balancing an account, I am as really employed in the cause of God, as when assisting in the translation of the word, or preaching to the heathen the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Apr. 7. Mohun, Golook's husband, has been some months with Krishno, and has appeared to lend a favourable ear to the gospel. Indeed he has publicly declared among Mr. Rolt's workmen (whose servant he has been for many years) that he will renounce hindooism, and embrace the gospel. His father-in-law, and our other brethren, whom we consult on every occasion of this nature, have
a favourable opinion of him. We had a meeting before breakfast this morning for humbling ourselves be fore God, on account of the deadness of the cause amongst us. After this, Mohun, having previously made profession of his faith in Christ, was baptized in the river. He acknowledged his sin in his former violent opposition to the gospel, but said he did it in ignorance. His account of a change of mind was, upon the whole, pleasing and satisfactory; and if it be what it at present appears to be, it is amongst the wonders of grace. Instead of his compelling Golook to be an idolater, he himself is constrained to become a Christian! After Bengalee worship, a native came to one of us, and with tears talked of what he had been hearing. This day has been a kind of refreshing after the many disappointments we have lately experienced. Oh that we may walk worthy! W. & M.
Apr. 11. We have had considerable difficulty in obtaining the money for our late purchase: we are through mercy however carried through it. A friend has generous ly lent us 14,000 rupees at less than the usual interest. We have also let a warehouse belonging to it, for which at present we had no use, for a rent which will go far towards paying the interest. M. & W.
May 13. Three native sisters called at our house this evening, and began to converse with a woman servant about the sufferings and death of Christ. I knew the subject, though I could understand but few of their words. One of them, looking on me, said, in broken English, "It is Jesus Christ that makes us brothers and sisters." It affected me to observe that they were not only concerned to abtain an interest in Christ themselves, but to recommend him to their fellow sinners as they go from house to house. O that this were more the case in our native land.
May 18. This day, after a short illness, our dear and highly esteemed governor died, aged seventy five. A ray of hope beamed forth at the last hour. His relations say that they heard him almost the whole night, preceding his disease, praying most fervently to the Saviour. As a gov
Kangalee has been very earnest for baptism. All our friends think favourably of him. In giving in his experience, I think I never native more affected. By his account it appears that he had heard of the new way a long time ago, and had been seeking in vain for some one to give him farther information about it. At last he met with Bydenaut, who told him all he wished to know, and brought him to Serampore. When we asked him whether he renounced his former hopes in his goroo, and in the debtas, and depended alone upon Christ, he wept abun dantly, and answered in terms whieh implied that he made him his all. Caleb Hirons has been six months at our school, and we hope that a work of grace is begun in him.
GENERAL LETTER TO THE SOCIETY.
Very dear brethren,
Aug. 6, 1805.
WE are aware that many missions have been established for a time, and then given up; and that others have been continued, which yet have never made a powerful impression on the body of the people. We pray God