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CIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN
(Continued from Vol. for 1814, p. 752.)
HE Report for 1792 makes honourable mention of the efforts of the Rev. D. Brown and the Rev. J. Ov wen, and also of W. Chambers,* C. Grant, and Udny, Esqrs. to keep alive the Society's Mission in Calcutta. The efforts of the Society, however, to procure a supply for that station, had proved unsuccessful.
OF THE so were baptized. Being baptized, we insisted upon their becoming industrious in their business. proper All of them had very good fields, which they were exhorted to cultivate. To these exhortations, we added ocular inspection. I went and visited them in their villages. Having examined them in respect of their knowledge, commonly done in the presence of a and prayed with them, which was great many Heathens, I desired to see the fruits of their industry, on which they fully satisfied me. I then exhorted them to be honest, in paying the usual rent to Government, which they soon did in a pleasing manner. The appearance was agreeable, and the prospect hopeful.
Mr. Gerické had baptized 71 children and 16 adults, and had put to press a translation of the Pilgrim's Progress in the Malabar Lange. Mr. Swartz had baptized, in the Tanjore station, 87 Heathens, and had received 23 converts from Popery. At Palamcottah, Mr. Jænické had baptized 40 Heathens, and received 12 Roman Catholick converts. At Tranquebar, 18 adult converts had been added to the congregation. The schools contained 166 children. The Rev. C. W. Pezold was this year appointed one of the Society's Missionaries.
The Rev. Mr. Swartz, in a letter
dated Madras, Feb. 5, 1793, observes concerning the Heathens, that many of them were baptized last year, and particularly some of those called Kaller, who were looked upon as the worst, and somewhat resemble the thievish Arabians.—"These people, having been instructed two months,
*The death of Mr. Chambers is an
nounced, in the Report of the succeeding
year, as a severe loss to the interests of true religion in India, and to the affairs of the Calcutta Mission in particular.
Christ. Obsery. No. 157.
As the water courses in their district
had not been cleared for fifteen years, by which neglect the cultivation was impeded, and the harvest lessened,
I entreated the collector to advance a sum of money to clear them, promising to send people to inspect the work. The work was completely done, and those inhabitants who formerly, for want of water, had reaped only 4000 large measures, called kalam, reaped now 14,000 kalam, and rejoiced in the increase. The whole district reaped nearly 100,000 kalam more than they had done the preceding year. But this our joy Heathens observing that many of was soon turned into grief. The their relations wished to embrace Christianity, and that such as had beef baptized refused to join in their and formed an encampment, threatplundering expeditions, assembled, ening to extirpate Christianity. Now all looked dismal. Many of the
Christians were encouraged by their relations, who were Heathens, to form an opposite camp. But I exhorted the Christians to make use of other weapons, viz. prayer, humility, and patience; telling them in strong terms, that if they became aggressors, I should disown them. This disturbance lasted four months, and became very serious, as the malecontents neglected the cultivation of their own fields, and deterred others from doing it. I wrote to these misguided people, (for they had mischievous guides,) sent catechists to them, exhorted them not to commit such horrid sins, and reminded them that my former endeavours, so beneficial to them, had not merited such treatment. At last, finding no opposition from the Christians, and not being willing to be looked upon as the aggressors, all went to their homes and work, ploughing and sowing with double diligence. My heart rejoiced at the kind overruling Providence. Surely he is a God that heareth prayer."
The Rev. Mr. Janické, in a letter dated at Tanjore, observes, that, at Palamcotta, he had resided ten months, preaching on Sundays in Malabar and English, and on Fridays in Malabar. Sometimes Sattianaden had preached for him, in his native language. The gentlemen and other Europeans regularly frequented the church, to which they were encouraged by the good example of the commanding officer. During his stay at Palamcotta, he had instructed and baptized 60 Heathens, and had likewise received several converts from Popery. The Christians in the Tinnavelly district generally resided in the country, and formed several congregations. For the use of those at Padpanadaburam, and at Parani, he had erected some chapels, at the expense of Mr. Swartz. Many of those converts were Christians, not in name only, but in reality. There is every reason to hope, he observes, that at a future period Christianity
will prevail in the Tinnavelly country. Himself and Sattianaden had severally made journeys into parts of the country, where the word of God had never before been preached; and the people were generally attentive, and desirous of hearing: they assembled in hundreds, and shewed him every respect, and numbers had conducted him from village to village. Sattianaden had experienced the same attention. More than, thirty people came afterwards to Palamcotta to be instructed and baptized.-Such happy effects, he remarks, would often be experienced, could such journeys be frequently repeated.
Mr. Jænické mentions, that Mr. Swartz had translated the Secretary's Letter addressed to Sattianaden, and that its contents had given him unspeakable joy, and had animated him to a greater enjoyment of Christ's holy religion, to live conformably to its rules, to follow Christ, to set a good example to all persons, and to be faithful to the charge committed to him.
The Danish Missionaries at Tranquebar state, that 24 Heathens had been baptized; that 1000 persons had communicated in the Lord's Supper; and that 176 children: had been instructed and maintained in the Mission Schools.
The Report of 1794, contains the well-known letter of Mr. Swartz, written to vindicate himself, and the Missions generally, from the misrepresentations of Mr. Montgomery Campbell, in the House of Comtnons; and to which we have often referred in our pages.
The annual account for 1795 states, that Mr. Claudius Buchanan, who is now going out to Bengal, promises much friendly attention to the concerns of the Calcutta Mission. Mr. Swartz, at Tanjore, observes, that contemplating the circumstances of the Missionaries, he could not but feel much sorrow. One at Tranquebar, Mr. Koening,
had lately died; Mr. John had been ill and Mr. Pohlé likewise was ailing. We entreat God, Mr. Swartz observes, to send new labourers into his vineyard.
The Rev. Mr. Pohlé states from Tirutchinapally, that on the 8th of Jan. 1794, he set out for Namaul, in the Baramaul country, where no Protestant Missionary had been before. Having arrived at that place, he continued there with a worthy friend, the then commanding officer, until the 21st of the month. He had preached daily to the natives, and visited the villages round, and had had the satisfaction of being heard with joy and amazement.
In the account for 1796, the Rev. Mr.Pezold, in a letter from Vepery, mentions, that in a journey to Tanjore, in company with the Rev. Mr. Swartz, he had had the opportunity, at Tripalore of being present at a conference between that excellent Missionary and about twenty Bra. mins, to whom he expounded the Christian doctrine; pointing out its great pre-eminence to their heathenism and idolatry. "Their general reply to him was-Very true; your doctrine, your religion, your instruction, is a pleasing thing: but it is inconsistent with flesh and blood; it is repugnant to our carnal affections; it strikes at the natural propensity to moral evil, and to worldly pleasures. Moreover, they replied, we do not see your Christian people live conformably to what they teach. The Christians appear to be doing quite contrary they curse, they swear, they get drunk; they commit whore dom and adultery; they steal, cheat, and deal fraudulently with one another; yea, they blaspheme, and rail upon matters of religion, and often make a mock of those who profess to be religious in short, they said, you Christians often demean yourselves as badly, if not worse, than we Hea thens. Now pray,they added, of what benefit and advantage is all your
instruction and recommendation of Christ's religion, if it does not reform the lives of your own people? Could not you first endeavour to convert your Christains, ere you attempt to proselyte Pagans?-Mr. Swartz replied to these insufficient objections with so much propriety, and with so wonderful an intrepidity and energy, that the Bramins unanimously said at last, Of a truth you are an holy man: if all your Christians thought, and spake, and lived as you do, we would without delay undergo the change, and become Christians likewise. Others said, If you would free us from sickness and from death, without hesitation we would apply ourselves to you: but, instead of that, we see that Christians likewise are subject to death, and even you yourself must die; so that in this respect you are not to be preferred to Heathens." Having produced such trifling observations as these, they all departed.
The Rev. Mr. Kolhoff speaks of his frequent converse with Heathens, of whom the far greater number applaud the doctrine of Christ, but are unwilling to submit to that fundamental precept, If any one will be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. They continue, therefore, to be what they were before. He mentions the having had much satisfaction in the exemplary con-' duct of several privates of the 71st regiment, stationed at Tanjore, to whom he had several times administered the holy sacrament. He likewise mentions an affecting dispensation, in the loss of James Dods, in the Company's service, "who, with much piety and great talents, had applied himself to the study of the Gentoo and Tamulian languages; into the former of which he had began to translate some parts of the New Testament, in order to make the saving doctrines of the Gospel known to the natives,
amongst whom he was always happy to converse upon the subject of Christ's religion."
Mr. John states that the new edition of the Old Testament had lately been finished in their Malabar printing press, which they had been enabled to accomplish by means of the printing paper sent out by the Society.
Two Missionaries, the Rev. Mr. Ringeltaube and the Rev. Mr. Holzbergh, were this year sent out to India by the Society. An able charge was given to them by the Rev. Mr. Owen, formerly one of the Company's Chaplains in Bengal, and now Chaplain-General of the Navy and Army. He exhibits in it some striking views of Hindoo superstition.
"Where shall we look for the morals of this people? Among their Bramins? They who officiate at the great pagodas are licentious, and eager for gain to an incredible extent. The unbounded superstition of the people protects them in their vices. In this respect, it would be difficult to say, whether their priestcraft has been more fatal to themselves, or to their followers. Will you seek for morals among their myriads of Fakirs and travelling saints? It is common to see one of these extorting money from the reluctant manufacturer by a torrent of obscenity in which he insults him, and the threat of curses which no Hindoo will incur.
"Will you inquire among their merchants, or manufacturers, or landholders? The great feature in a Hindoo's character is the desire of amassing wealth: this he does with a cold, unfeeling perseverance, that baffles all consideration of morals or humanity. The rich are oppressive; the poor are knavish: it is craft against violence. Their avarice is connected with parsimony; and hence, as from other causes, they are free from much of the luxury of their Mahometan invaders, who to
equal avarice united boundless profusion.
"Can it be asserted their superstitions are harmless? Their religion has inculcated human sacrifices; and they appear yet to exist under different forms. The number of widows who perish on the funeral pile, or are buried alive in the same grave with their husbands, is as great as ever. To their superstition, among many other injurious customs, may be ascribed their laying the sick at the edge of the river in all seasons, when the opinion, or whim, or interest of his relations may suggest that a man is near death. To this may be ascribed their base subjection to those who assume dominion over their conscience. No human vigilance can long keep all parts of a family from some ceremonial impurity that may affect its honour: nothing can exceed the secrecy and certainty with which a certain order of Bramins obtain information of what is amiss, or the address with which they turn the terror of their records to their own purpose.
"All false religions have been accommodated to the corruption of human creatures, by whom nothing is less sought than justice or purity of heart. It has ever been' bodily exercise that profiteth little,' instead of godliness that is profitable to all things.' The people of India have indeed line upon line to make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter! But is that superstition harmless by which a man would sanctify unjust gain by giving part of it to an idol, or purify his soul as he washes his body in the Ganges? I have seen them shew strong symptoms of uneasiness when urged on this side; and no wonder."
He adds in a note
"The officers who led back the Bengal troops by Jagernaut, at the close of the last war, indulged the Hindoos in their earnest desire of visiting this celebrated place of worship, the resort of men from the
extremities of India. On their approach to the temple, they passed by an, enclosure white with the bones of wretched pilgrims, who, exhausted with fatigue and poverty, had died under the delays and extortions of the Bramins. The sight occasioned a
shout of indignation.
"The modes of extortion used at Gaiah, a place of famous resort within our provinces, are extremely whimsical. Among others, they will bind rich persons with a wreath of flowers, to a tree, till they have agreed to pay such sums as they are told it is their duty to pay, and which are often
(To be continued.)
1 To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
I AM sorry that I cannot entertain so very high an opinion of the authority of the Jewish historian as your correspondent ANOTHER INQUIRER; who appears to deem a contradiction of Josephus scarcely a less misdemeanour, than a contradiction of Scripture itself.
For my own part, as I have some serious doubts respecting that writer's assertion, that the four rivers, which once met all together in Paradise, are the Ganges, the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Nile, though such might very possibly be the traditional belief of his countrymen; because I cannot help wondering, how in the world they all got there: so I have likewise ventured to impugn his other assertion, though probably he might have no less Judaical authority for it, that the Scythians were the children of Magog; simply because I find it contradicted by direct evidence. To enter, however, into the detail of this evidence would not be suitable to the plan of a periodical publica. tion: I shall, therefore, not trouble you with it.
In reply to my remark, that a primeval national settlement of the Scythians in Europe would necessarily have proved them to be Japetida,
I am indebted to your correspondent for the highly original though somewhat irrelevant information, that all mankind came in the first instance out of Asia. My obligation to him would be increased, if he would tell me where he has found the proofs that the great Sclavonic house is descended from the old Scythians: I have not hitherto, in the course of my reading, been fortunate enough to meet with them. I must not unfairly ask him to demonstrate a negative: otherwise, while he is about the matter, I would request a proof that the Goths are not the descendants of the Scythians. With repect to this point, however, I can venture to assure him, that the relationship of our brave ancestors to that wise and powerful people does not hang upon quite so slender a thread as he seems to imagine.
I here close my correspondence; the sole object of which was to shew the danger of interpreting genealogical prophecies without first carefully studying the pedigrees of nations: whence I would caution your readers against too hastily admitting Mr. Penn's extraordinary view of the predictions relative to Gog and Magog.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
Ir you will take the trouble to turn to the 2d vol. of Hale's Chronology (pp. 705-710), you will find a very difficult passage (viz. St. Luke ii. 2.) explained in a most simple and satisfactory manner. The object of this paper is to explain another equally difficult passage of the same Evangelist by the same process, and I trust with the same effect. The passage to which I allude is St. Luke xxi. 32. 'Aunv déyw iμiv, ¿T: 8 μή παρέλθῃ ἡ γενεὰ αὕτη, ἕως ἂν návra yevra. Now the whole difficulty of this passage consists in the word arn, and may be removed, I think, in the most easy and natural