« PrécédentContinuer »
Sa. Rs. 1500 were for the support of a Mission, and that the success of a Foreign Missionary, Sa. Rs. 1562 1 8 in aid of the Mission will have a most beneficial influcontingent expenses of the Mission, and ence upon the state and character of the the remainder towards the erection of the denomination in those countries. On the Chapel. In the letters which accom- other hand there is a danger from the panied this remittance the British and multiplicity of the objects of one Society Foreign Unitarian Association engaged that details will be neglected, the evils to remit annually Sa. Rs. 1500 for the of which the Committee, in communicatsupport of a Missionary, and Sa. Rs. 500 ing with their English brethren, have in aid of the Fund for General Purposes, already had occasion seriously to lament. the last mentioned contribution not to Each plan is probably best adapted to the
till the expiration of two circumstances of the denomination in the years. The interest excited among the country where it has been adopted, and English Unitarians in favor of a Foreign while the Committee venture to express Mission appears to be very general, em- the hope that the evils of both will be bracing almost every congregation be avoided, they gratefully acknowledge the longing to the denomination; the Unita- liberal and generous aid which they have rian periodical works advocate the cause received from Unitarians both in Engof the Calcutta Mission; and sermons land and America. It is true that they have been preached by some of the most have not rushed with a rash and impetudistinguished ministers in furtherance of ous zeal into the business of Foreign its objects. The correspondence on the Missions. Most of them were probably part of the English Unitarians with this at first inimical or indifferent to the obCommittee has indeed been very tardy ject; then they learned to call in quesand irregular; but the sincere and gene- tion the grounds on which their hostility ral interest felt in the objects of a For- or apathy rested; they inquired and obeign Mission is shown by the liberality tained information; they reflected on of the pecuniary aid they have afforded, the facts placed before them and disand by the number of individuals in dif- cussed the subject in public and in priferent parts of the kingdom, whose sub- vate, in conversation and by corresponscriptions have contributed to swell the dence, from the press and in the pulpit; amount. The Committee are happy to and finally they have acted with a zeal state that, amongst others, Mr Belsham, and liberality which are well fitted to enthe bosom friend and coadjutor of Dr courage and stimulate Unitarians in India. Priestley and Mr Lindsey, with whose It may be regretted that they did not names his will be associated in the grateful sooner perceive the christian duty they recollection of every friend of pure Chris- owe to heathen countries; but none can tianlty, has lived to witness the com- justly reproach them for it, for, until withmencement of a Unitarian Mission in India in the last twenty or thirty years, nearly and to express his ardent aspirations for its the whole Protestant church was equal
ly neglectful of this high duty, and Uni• The friends of Unitarian Christianity tarians even now have left some branchin India will perceive from the preceding es of that church behind them in this statements, that the English and Ameri- good work. It may be regretted that can Unitarians have adopted different much valuable time has been lost, and plans in regard to foreign objects, the that in the interval some friends to the former having combined the prosecution cause of Unitarian Christianity in India of them with domestic objects by one have grown cold; but it could not be exand the same Association, and the latter pected that English and American Uni. having made them the business of a dis- tarians would give their active support tinct Society. On the one hand there is to a Foreign Mission before they were a danger from the existence of two so- convinced of its practicability and utility, cieties, one for domestic and the other or that a few having been convinced for foreign objects, that an impression of that there was a probability of permanent opposition between them may be cre- good being done, they could at once carated, an effect which this Committee ry the whole denomination along with should deeply regret to witness, because them in this persuasion. Now, however, they are convinced that the prosperity that a deep and general interest has been of the denomination in England and excited among English and American America will be the surest guarantee for Unitarians in favor of a Mission in this the effectual prosecution of a Foreign country, Unitarians here, knowing that
their decision has been formed after se. different sources amounting to about 350 rious and mature consideration, may de- Rs. per month. In consideration of the pend on their zealous and persevering inadequacy of this salary to do more than cooperation with a degree of confidence afford subsistence to a European family which could not previously have been without providing for their future wants, possessed.
it has been expressly recognised by this • Having thus secured the cooperation Committee and the British and Foreign of those Christians in England and Ame- Association that Mr Adam is at liberty to rica who assume the distinctive appella- devote a portion of his time to other than tion of Unitarians, the Committee propose strictly religious pursuits, if they are to avail themselves of the opportunity not, in the judgment of this Committee afforded by the publication of this Re. incompatible with his Ministerial and port, to open a correspondence with the Missionary character. Even the undivid. Presbyterians of Ireland many of whom ed labors of only one person cannot do are known to be Anti-Trinitarians, and full justice to the combined duties of with the Free-Thinking Christians in Preacher to an English congregation and England who are all Unitarians—with Missionary to the Heathen, especially as the Unitarians at Geneva and in Transyl- in the present case, where a Mission is vania on the continent of Europe—and not only to be carried on, but to be begun with the Christian Connexion, the Soci- and its very foundations to be laid, and ety of Friends, and the Universalists in where, consequently, much of his time the United States of America, most of must be occupied in subordinate and whom are stated to believe in the simple preparatory details, and where, moreunity of God. Individuals belonging to over, scarcely any are to be found who several of these bodies of Christians can spare even a small portion of leisure have already written to some of the from their own professional engagements members of the Committee, and it is to aid in those details. The Committee hoped that most of them will be disposed, therefore consider a coadjutor to Mr according to their ability, to contribute Adam highly desirable and indeed netheir aid for the promotion of education cessary to give efficiency to the Mission, in India under the superintendence and and they earnestly hope that the exercontrol of this Committee.
tions of the English and American Uni* II. Employment of a Missionary.- tarians may be directed to supply this The first object accomplished by the unit- deficiency. In the mean time, it has ed contributions of the English, Ameri- been the endeavour of the Committee, can, and Calcutta Unitarians, is the per- in which Mr Adam has cordially concurmanent engagement of a person compe. red, to separate as much as possible the tent to act as a Unitarian Minister and secular from the spiritual concerns of the Missionary by devoting the chief part Mission, to assign the care of the former of his time to the business of the Com- exclusively to the other members of their nittee, conducting the local and foreign own body, and to require from him only correspondence, and putting into execu- the appropriate and congenial duties of tion or superintending measures for the his station. The various sums received promotion of religion and education on from England and America for Mr Adam's the spot. The individual employed for personal use, before the commencement the performance of these duties is the of his engagement, were placed by him Reverend William Adam, whose engage- at the disposal of the Committee, who ment with this Committee commenced have applied them to the other purposes from 1st May 1827. It has already of the Mission. been mentioned that the British and For. • III. Chapel for English Worship.eign Unitarian Association have offered The next object contemplated by the permanently to contribute for this pur- Committee, was the erection of a Chapel pose 1500 Rs. annually, and the Ameri- for stated worship and instruction in the can Society for the Promotion of Chris- English language, a measure which tianity in India, 600 dollars annually for they believe to be strongly recommendten years certain; and it is now to be ed by the following considerations. 1. added that this Committee have formed One of the best ways to convince others a Missionary Fund, and from the accru- of the truth and excellence of Unitarian ing interest have agreed permanently to Christianity, is for its adherents and procontribute to the same object 125 Rs. fessors to show that they wish, not only per month, the salary derived from these others but themselves and their families,
VOL. V.-NO. IV.
to live under the influence of its pure a firm, consistent, and public adherence and salutary principles. The number of to unpopular truth would alone essentialUnitarians resident in Calcutta has been ly contribute to shake the foundations of found greater than the most sanguine ex
Nor is it to be supposed that a pectations had anticipated, and it is grad- congregation of Unitarian Christians ually increasing by the accession of in- would be indifferent to the employment dividuals from all classes of society; and of legitimate means for the diffusion of the number is also considerable of Uni- correct information respecting their retarians who come from the other parts ligious sentiments. They would doubt. of India, or from foreign countries, and less be willing according to their ability remain here a longer or a shorter time to aid the Committee with pecuniary for purposes of business. Hitherto Uni. means for prosecuting the objects of its tarians in Calcutta, whether permanent institution ; and the value or rather neresidents or transient visiters, have had cessity of such aid will be duly appreciatno public place of worship to which they ed when it is considered that Unitarians could conscientiously resort, no stated are without the pale of all other chrismeans of religious culture, and it is sure- tian denominations, and enjoy none of ly desirable for their own sakes, without that sympathy, assistance, or support any reference to its effects upon others, which they mutually afford to each other. that, to supply this want, a Unitarian Every man's hand is against them. Chapel should be built in Calcutta. It is They must depend on themselves alone high time that Unitarian Christians in and draw their resources from their own India, forming a distinct class of Protes- body; and it is only through the meditant Dissenters, neither few in number um of a stated and regular congregation nor confined to a corner, should have a
that any permanent or considerable peplace of worship which they may call cuniary aid can be derived from the Unitheir own. 2. But the measure becomes tarians in this country. The Committee, still more important when viewed in convinced that without an appropriate connexion with the Unitarian Mission place of their own for public worship, which has been commenced in Calcutta. there will not be a permanent congregaThe labors of one or more isolated indi- tion, and that without a permanent conviduals to make known Unitarian Chris- gregation none of the advantages enutianity to the natives, will attract little merated will be fully enjoyed, at an early attention, and exert scarcely any influ- date opened a subscription for the erecence; and to act effectively therefore tion of a Unitarian Chapel in Calcutta. upon the native community it is essen- The amount subscribed in Calcutta is tial that Unitarians should become a reg- Sa. Rs. 13,033 9 9, but not more than ularly organized religious body. The half of that sum has actually been paid; existence of such a body exhibited by a a sum of Sa. Rs. 14,029 8, has been reregular attendance upon the weekly ser- ceived from the British and Foreign Asvices of religion, and distinguished from sociation, being the amount of the English other christian sects by the exclusive subscriptions ; besides £20 sent direct worship of One God in One Person, would by Mr Freme, as already mentioned, and be a fact which could neither be over- added to the Chapel Fund, and a sum of looked nor denied, and which would alone 100 dollars sent by Brattle Square Church tend to remove many prejudices from the Society in Boston, as formerly stated, minds of Christians, Mohummudans, and which has been appropriated in the same Hindoos; while the discourses delivered way. With part of these funds a piece would furnish the professors of other de- of ground consisting of one beegah and nominations and those natives who un- four cottahs has been purchased for derstand the English language, which 12,378 Rs. and vested in Trustees for the most respectable Hindoos of Calcutta now use of Unitarian Christians in Calcutta ; do, with a better opportunity of knowing and the remainder of the funds is in the what Unitarian Christianity is, than per- hands of the Treasurer of the Committee. haps any other means that could be em- If the Calcutta subscriptions remaining ployed. Such a congregation would be unpaid were received, and an equal like a focus from which the light of pure amount of additional subscriptions obtainreligion would emanate in many differ- ed, the Committee would commence the ent directions ; for, without seeking to erection of the Chapel with some degree transform private Christians into prosely- of confidence that they would be able to tizing zealots, even the silent example of complete it, although even that sum
they consider would be insufficient to respectable portion of the community to furnish it for public worship. The Eng- be correctly informed respecting the lish Unitarians have subscribed far more doctrines of Unitarian Christianity. The liberally to this object than could have subject of the Evening Lectures which been reasonably expected of them, and are still in the course of delivery, is the the Committee therefore earnestly call Doctrine of the Unity of God considerthe attention of the Unitarian public in ed in its various relations both to TriniIndia and America to the deficiency of tarianism and to Polytheism and Idolatry; the funds applicable to this purpose and and the Committee are happy to add that to the importance of carrying into early the endeavours used to draw the public execution this long pending measure. attention to this great truth have, they Every one who is desirous of giving per believe, been materially aided by the manence, consistence, and efficiency to a discourses of Trinitarian Divines intendUnitarian Mission in this country will ed to counteract the effects of the Lecsubscribe to the Chapel Fund. It is to tures delivered at the Hurkaru Rooms this one point, after defraying contingent A considerable proportion of the congreexpenses, that all the pecuniary contribu- gation that assembles, besides several tions of Unitarian Christians in aid of a respectable and intelligent natives, conMission in India should be at this time sists of individuals who could not condirected, and the Committee therefore scientiously, and therefore did not in limit their call for pecuniary aid to this fact, regularly attend any other place of single object, and anxiously hope that its worship ; and, although none of course importance may not be overlooked. are excluded, yet the further accessions
Until sufficient funds shall be obtain that are expected belong principally to ed for the erection of a Chapel, the Com- the same class. They have not been mittee have sought to gain the advanta- drawn from other churches and chapels, ges of one by commencing Unitarian and their attendance, therefore, on Uniworship and instruction in a hired place. tarian Christian worship even in the esThis has been done on two different oc- timation of the most hostile must be casions, first in 1821-22, and more re- considered a clear gain to society and to cently during the present year. The first the cause of Christianity. All who are attempt was attended with an encouraging desirous of promoting national religion degree of success; but it was finally and pure Christianity are invited to give abandoned in consequence of Mr Adam their attendance at Unitarian worship having been placed under the necessity where it is now conducted, and in the of engaging in a secular occupation for mean time the Committee will make evthe support of his family. Since his re- ery exertion to obtain funds by which linquishment of that occupation and his they may be enabled to commence and resumption of the Missionary and Minis- complete the Chapel for the better acterial character, public worship, on the commodation of the public. The ex. principles of Unitarian Christianity, has pense incurred by the maintenance of been recommenced at the Hurkaru Pub- public worship amounts to upwards of lic Rooms. The form of worship em- 150 Rupees per month, including rent, ployed is that of the Church of England, &c., and is defrayed from the Fund for the Committee having adopted the Com- General or Contingent expenses which mon Prayer Book used at the Unitarian has been formed partly by public sub. Chapel in Essex Street, of which they scriptions and partly by remittances from commissioned a number to be sent, and England. have lately received 125 copies presented IV. Native Service.--In the First gratis by a member of the Unitarian Memoir the delivery of Familiar Lecbody in London. The attendance at the tures on religion in the native language Morning Service from the beginning of and in the native parts of the city was August to the end of October varied from contemplated, and the Committee still ten to thirty individuals; and that at the think this an object of great importance. Evening Service, which was substituted By means of a Native Service, respectafor it, has varied from fifty to eighty, ble and educated Hindoos will have an which, compared with the average at opportunity of acquiring plain and inteltendance at all Dissenting Chapels and ligible views of religion in general and at some Churches in Calcutta, the Com- of Christianity in particular; such a sermittee regard as a pleasing indication of vice will form a point of union between a desire on the part of a numerous and Christian and Hindoo Unitarians against polytheism and idolatry; and even if no that the English language is the most conversions are made, which indeed are proper medium for communicating knownot anticipated as the primary effects of ledge to the great body of the people, the Committee's exertions, yet the stat. however valuable an acquaintance with ed inculcation of moral and religious it may be to some as an accomplishment, obligations on rational principles, cannot or to others as a means of subsistence, but be attended with beneficial conse- and however important it may be to quences both to individuals and to soci- train up a limited number to a full and ety. With these views a Native Ser- accurate knowledge of it, to be astervice was commenced in October last wards employed as the instructers of and is still continued every Sunday their countrymen. morning. The order of the Service con- • With regard to the course of instrucsists in offering a short extempore tion commenced and intended to be prayer; examining those who are pres- pursued, it may be remarked in geneent on the subject of the preceding Lec. ral, that Missionary preaching has proture ; delivering another Discourse in duced an effect on the minds of the nacontinuation, and again joining to- tives upon the whole unfavorable to gether in a concluding prayer, after Christianity. It has excited prejudice, which every one is at liberty either suspicion, jealousy against everything to advance objections to what has been Christian. The utmost caution, therestated or to ask for further information. fore, must be exercised by the UnitaIt was at first intended to conduct the rian Missionary, and his principal enservice in the Bengalee language, but deavours must be directed to lessen or this was strongly objected to by the na- remove this hostile bias. Instead of tive members of the Committee, on the forcing Christianity on the attention of ground that the natives are not accus- a congregation of intelligent Hindoos tomed to use the vernacular tongue as without reference to their age, disposia medium of instruction on literary and tions, opinions, and degree of mental religious subjects, and that if an attempt cultivation-which would be nothing were made to teach religion in Benga- less than a proclamation to them to dislee, the subject would be degraded and perse—it must be his object to produce despised in consequence of the medium a favorable state of feeling towards employed. They recommended the use Christians and Christianity, without of the English language, which the ma- which the clearest evidence will make jority of intelligent Hindoos in Calcutta no impression and the most undoubted can understand, and in which they would truths will find no resting place in the consider it a mark of respect to be ad- mind. With this view an attempt has dressed. The English language, there- been made, by plain arguments and fafore, is principally although not exclu- miliar illustrations, to prove, explain, sively employed in the Native Service; and enforce the being and attributes of but it is designed gradually to introduce God, his providence and moral governthe use of the Bengalee to a greater ex- ment, and the various duties resulting tent, for the Committee are satisfied from those doctrines, but without introthat if Bengal is ever to be enlightened, ducing Christianity ; while at the same either by religion or science, it must be time Mr Adam has distinctly stated that through the medium of the vernacular he is a Christian, that his object is to dialect. The Bengalee language is ob- promote Christianity, and that he will taining encreased attention from the na- be happy to afford any information retives themselves, and no one has contri- specting it, that may be required of buted more than a learned native mem- him. Hereafter, according as he finds ber of this Committee to elevate its his audience competent and willing to character, purify its idioms, and recom- enter into such an investigation, he may mend it as a medium of scientific and re- deliver a separate course of Familiar ligious communication to his country- Lectures on the comparative merits and men. The prejudice, however, against demerits, excellences and defects of the Bengalee, is still so strong, and the every system of Religion which prorage for learning English so high, that fesses to be a Divine Revelation,Juthe adoption of the latter at present, daism, Mohummudanism, Hindooism, although not to the entire exclusion of and Christianity,—leaving every one to the former, is deemed expedient; but come to a decision for himself; and in the Committee are far froni considering a state of more advanced preparation,