« PreviousContinue »
plan of preaching Christ, in lieu of first the schools, of whom three thousand bringing civilizing and educating influ. seven hundred and sixty-five are girls. ences to bear upon heathendom, may These statistics, neither in reference to not meet with the approval of the wise Indian nor any other missionary disand prudent of this world; but we simply trict, give an adequate impression of follow in the spirit of the Apostle's the nature and character of the work declaration, that it las pleased itself. In India and Ceylon, the misGod by the foolishness of preaching to sionaries preach in the streets and save them that believe.” (1 Cor. i. 21.) bazaars, as well as in the chapels; they Meanwhile the great work of education make frequent missionary tours in has not been neglected. Many of the their respective Districts, to preach opponents of missions admit that the and converse, and circulate books in missionaries have done much by their the villages. Much time is necessarily educational institutions towards pre- occupied in the training of native agents, paring India for a moral and intel. and the charge of the higher classes in lectual revolution, the tokens of which our schools, as well as in the general are even now observable by those who superintendence of the educational de“understand the signs of the times." partment of our work. Of these, and It may be true that no great movement of our missionaries in general, we may is perceptible among the masses of the say, "Blessed are ye who sow beside all ignorant population, but the middle waters.” (Isaiah xxxii. 20.) We look forand higher classes have not escaped ward in confidence that“ they who sow in the contagion of the new ideas. Wit- tears shall reap in joy.” (Psalın cxxvi.5.) ness the ferment in the Hindu mind. Of China we make no further men. The rise of a reformed Hindu Society, tion, but simply give the statistics, as formed on the teachings of pure it has already had its special meeting. Theism, though confined to a compara. In the Canton and Wuchang Districts, tively small class, is a proof that Chris- we have eleven missionaries, with one tian teaching has made some impression hundred and seventy-eight members and on the mind of India. As in the second three hundred and eighty-six children in and third century, the heathenism of the schools. A new opening at Kwang. the whole world, brought in contact Chi, about one hundred miles from with Christianity, was compelled to Wuchang, has been entered upon, with explain away its absurdities, and to good prospects of success. Meanwhilo fall back upon à modified and more
the Medical Mission exercises a most rational system of Theism, so in our beneficial influence upon Chinese public day in India. Our missionaries are opinion. The Chinese mission in the beginning to hope ; they say, “Every Australian colonies meets with support, year the prospect brightens a little ;' and is making very satisfactory progress. “ We are much encouraged by the The Polynesian missions, under the success with which we have been care of the Australasian Conference, blessed in our efforts to raise efficient carried on mainly in the Friendly and native agents, and by the progress Fiji Islands, have been among the most which our schools are making." This successful of modern missions. The is the opinion of our brethren in Con. Friendly Islands, governed by the tinental India. In the Tamil and Christian King George, may be regarded Singhalese Districts, in the island of as Christian, and, as such, no longer a Ceylon, our prospects are very bright. mission. In Fiji, the rapid influx of An educated native ministry, and European colonists from the Australian Churches rapidly advancing towards colonies is producing complications in self-support, are proofs that the labours the government, and in all the relations of our missionaries have not been in of society, which are likely to result in vain. In the Calcutta, Mysore, Madras, serious evils, unless met by the estabTamil, and Singhalese Districts, we lishment of some legal authority which have seventy-five missionaries, two would command obedience and inspire thousand nine hundred and seventy- confidence. The statistics of these six members, thirteen thousand nine missions speak for themselves : twentyhundred and eighty-seven children in three European missionaries labour in connection with sixty-three native mis. lands. If the succession of such men is, sionaries, and nine hundred and six to be perpetuated, we must pray to native cateclists, and one thousand Christ to give them to us. None but seven hundred and ninety-six local such as He gives us can do the work of preachers; the number of Church- missionaries.. "Pray ye therefore the members is thirty-three thousand one Lord of the harvest, that He would send hundred and forty-nine. There are. forth labourers into His harvest.”. above one hundred and thirty-three In reviewing the financial results of thousand attendants at public worship the year, the Committee cherish the in eight hundred and two chapels and conviction that God's people are becom. in three hundred and fifty-seven other ing more thoroughly alive to the respon. preaching-places. The work of education sibilities of wealth, and are disposed has not been neglected ; one thousand to tithe the first-fruits of their increase five hundred and sixty-eight day- for Him. The country has to a large schools, taught by one hundred and extent been favoured with great comforty-eight head teachers, and by two mercial prosperity, and it is only right thousand four hundred and sixty-nine that such prosperity should be sanctified subordinate masters, return fifty-three in the service of humanity and religion. thousand eight hundred and four day. “With such sacrifices God is well scholars, and about the same number pleased.” The organization of the attend the Sunday-schools, in which Society for collecting its pecuniary rethere are three thousand five hundred
sources covers the entire country, and and fifty-one teachers. The statistics touches all classes; and if it be worked of the Maori mission in New Zealand with the systematic oversight, the are included in the colonial returns of steady zeal, and the cheerful earnestthe Australasian Conference. Marvellous ness which have marked the past year, is the retrospect; a generation ago the there is every reason to believe that the Fiji Islanders were cannibals. What next balance-sheet will show as gratify. hath God wrought !
ing a result as that which, with devout
gratitude to God, we have announced In conclusion, the retrospect of ano- to-day, ther year furnishes ample grounds for As to the future, there is no doubt a renewed and unreserved consecration to formidable work before us. In helping the service of God in this department to restore a pure and primitive Chris. of the Church's labour, and for cheerful tianity to nominal Christendom we and hopeful confidence as to the future shall find much to try our faith and stability, progress, and triumphs of patience. Then, again, we have only Christian missions. While we linger touched the outskirts of heathendomwith reverent affection over the graves the citadel remains to be taken. But of our honoured dead who have recently we are not disheartened. With the been gathered to their fathers, we can old Gospel committed to us to "preach only exclaim, " The Lord gave, and the to every creature;" with the power of Lord hath taken away; blessed be the the Holy Ghost vouchsafed to give name of the Lord.” The Lord gave us effect to our efforts; and with the Elijah Hoole, with his various learning, mighty promise, "Lo, I am with you his wide experience, and his lengthened alway,” we cannot fail. The Church years of faithful service as one of the may be harassed, but “God shall help General Secretaries of the Society; her, and that right early;", the heaWilliam Shaw, with his practical intel. then may rage, but "the Lord shall lect, his administrative talent, and his have them in derision;" the nations of unexampled success as the Apostle of the earth may refuse to serve the Kaffirland; and Thomas Jackson, with Lord's Anointed, but those nations his saintly simplicity, his godly elo- shall be "utterly wasted.” “He must quence, and his glorious old age. “They reign, till He hath put all enemies under rest from their labours; and their works His feet." "Ye that make mention of do follow them." Their precious me- the Lord, keep not silence, and give mories are among the richest endow- Him no rest, till He establish, and till ments of the Methodist Churches of all. He make Jerusalem a praise inthe earth."
The CHAIRMAN said :-Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen, You will not be surprised when I say that I have accepted the position which I occupy here to-day with some hesitation. Born a Presbyterian, and associated by the accidents of life with the Church of England, I do not belong to the Wesleyan Communion, and I have been but rarely brought into contact with its members. I do not possess the convictions by which most of my hearers are probably animated. I cannot hold the language familiar to this place. These facts were, how ever, frankly stated to the gentlemen who were charged to offer me this honourable office, and the Committee were still of opinion that my presence might be useful; that the testimony of an entirely separate, unattached, and impartial person to the value of missionary labour might in some quarters have greater authority than the testimony of one who was deeply embark ed and strictly identified with the cause. In the remarks which I shall have the honour of submitting to you I will not go beyond my personal experience and the secular aspect of the question, The views which I express will have reference to missions in India only, to the Wesleyan missions as an important branch of the Protestant missionary agency, and they apply to Roman Catholio missions as well as to those of the Protestant Churches, In estimating the significance of mis sionary agency to the Government and the people of India, let us look for a moment at the great social objects which the Governments of India have at this moment at heart, and the means which they possess of fulfilling those objects. The Governments of India desire to give a high and sound education to a portion of the people, to give elementary education to the masses, to bring home the benefits of European medical science and sanitary regulations to all, and to diffuse the practice of local organization and selfgovernment. These are great under
takings, and without the aid of volun- : tary agency I do not hesitate to say that they could not be carried out. The Governments have done much by direct action for the higher education; but even here, in this restricted part, they feel their complete inability to embrace the whole field of work. They therefore invoke every form of voluntary effort, and especially the efforts of Christian philanthropy. I need not say how warmly the missions have responded to the call. In the South of India certainly half the higher education of the country is directly due to missionary enterprise. Nor is the higher education bestowed by volun tary Christian agency identical with the education of the State. It has its distinctive character and peculiar advantages both for Government and people. It costs the Government less. It costs the pupil less. It is more moral and spiritual in its character. I mean, that there must naturally be a larger share of moral teaching, associated with doctrinal teaching, in a mission school than in a secular State school. The mission school, moreover, teaches what Christianity is, even when it does not make the scholar a Christian, and it supplies to the Christian population, generally of low-caste or outcast origin, the means of culture and social elevation which they might not so readily attain in the seminaries of the State. The mis sion goes hand-in-hand with the Government in raising the intellectual standard of the Indian people, and in forming for the service of the State a body of public servants of intelligence and morality. The Government could not do without the mission. If you blotted out the missionary you would deprive the State of half its teaching, civilizing, and moralizing power. If such be a correct statement of the part taken by the mission in the higher education in Southern India, l'affirm that the mission is equally available for elementary education, and especially for the elementary education of
the very lowest order of the people, of the outcast, destitute, disinherited classes who claim the peculiar sympathy of this Christian assembly. What has been hitherto the elementary education of the Indians? It has been supplied not by Government, but by the Pyall or Leaf school, the primitive teaching of the Indian village. These schools have indeed a deep interest to the philological and social inquirer, and have rendered great services to a simple people; but I need not tell you how incommensurate they are in number, how laborious and conventional in their methods, how restricted in the subjects taught. Insufficient for the better rural classes, they scarcely can be said to exist in some provinces for the lowest castes and pariahs. It is true that here and there the Government has taken up the primitive native school, reformed it, and assisted it with grants in aid, under the system of payment by results-witness Malabar; but to such schools I doubt whether the pariah has practically any access. If you ask to see an elementary school in the South of India taught by European methods, and really available for the humblest orders of the Indian people, you will find it in connection with the missionary's house. The amount of service hitherto rendered in this way may indeed be small compared with the necessity; but it is a substantial, a beautiful, and a touching service, and one peculiarly appropriate to the blessed office of the missionary, who can never be so well employed as in carrying the benefits of light and conscience to the most despised and the most afflicted. In addition to such important aid rendered to Government by the missions in the higher education and in the elementary teaching of the people, the missions have peculiar facilities for the education of women. The missionary commands the confidence of the people, by his sacred office; and by the presence and co-operation of his wife and daughters, the Hindus readily entrust their girls to his
charge. Nor is the female mission school only a school for the education of the female pupil, heathen or Christian: it is also a training-school for the female teacher, who is destined, we hope, hereafter to carry the benefits of knowledge to women as widely as they are extended to men. Not withstanding all the efforts of Government, and all the efforts of voluntary agency, how little has been yet accomplished in comparison with what is left undone ! It may be doubted whether there be three per cent. of the Hindus and Mussulmans receiving any education at all which is worthy of the name. Great indeed is the lack of means and the lack of instruments; but in the midst of this inability and deprivation how mani fest is the obligation of the Govern ment and the people of India towards those who come spontaneously, it matters not with what primary motive, to their relief! I consider it a sacred duty on the part of every Indian Governor to recognize and avow the value of the missionary as an auxiliary teacher of the people. I thank this great assembly for the part which the Methodist Church has taken in the work; I earnestly solicit their unabated co-operation and good offices.
I And now while we remember all that India owes to the missions, we must not forget what the missions owe to India. The missions are largely benefited by the grants in aid from the Indian Government, and the Wesleyan missions have their full share of those grants. The money thus obtained is well earned by the secular instruction given; but it is granted to a form of instruction which includes Christian teaching. The Government grants are grants from the revenue of a Hindu and Mussulman nation to Christian and denominational educa. tion. The system is one of the most liberal character, and in this reflection the missionary may find an additional incentive in the performance of his duties to the heathen from whom he draws the elements of support. If the educational work of the India
Governments has been insufficient, too, engaged in this way, and acceptable though zealous and expansive, what alike to the community and to the shall I say of their philanthropic work, authorities. I have seen them also in the form of medical relief and occupied in developing the agricultural sanitary regulation ? The recognition and industrial pursuits of their of the duty is complete. The desire respective congregations, and thus to fulfil it is great. The performance contributing indirectly to the welfare is insignificant. In the presidency of of all. Having thus emphatically Madras, with a population of thirty stated my firm and deep belief in the millions, there may perhaps be one · usefulness of all the missions of the civil dispensary for five hundred Christian Church to the Governments thousand inhabitants. But here again and the people of India, I have the voluntary agency, that is, Christian greatest pleasure in affirming that the philanthropy, comes to our aid. There missionaries of the Wesleyan Church are four or five medical missions, which occupya most honourable and respected are conducted with admirable human- place in that fraternity who are at the ity and skill, and which are in some present moment working in perfect degree schools of popular medicine as harmony for the glory of God and the well as places of medical relief. The good of mankind. The Rev. Gentlevalue of these institutions is not to be man who opened these proceedings measured by the actual material good with prayer, remarked that he hoped which they do, but by the fame which the heart of the Chairman would be they enjoy, by the evidence which they gratified and kindled by the glorious afford of the benovolence of the Chris. spectacle of Christian zeal manifested tian religiou and of the English people, in this assembly. Indeed, I now for who freely and spontaneously send the first time feel, when I look around to their Indian fellow-subjects what me, how intense and enthusiastic is they deem most precious and most the missionary spirit in the souls of the profitable for body and for soul. English people. It matters indeed little Finally, the missions have in my eyes, that my spirit should be animated in a and for Southern India at least, a cause in which I have so small, so particular value at the present con- transitory a part; but what must be juncture with reference to the recent the triumph and consolation of those policy of Government in instituting labourers in the missionary field who a new order of local institutions, such stand behind and around me in the as municipalities and rural boards, presence of such a demonstration of charged with local powers for public affectionate sympathy! My memory, works, for elementary education, for as I gaze on this great multitude, sanitary improvements. This is all carries me back to a solitary and in its infancy, but it will go on sooner
distant place—to Manargudi, in the or later. Now as friends and coun- plains of Tanjore, to the humble but sellors of the people in their ignorance hospitable roof of the good missionary and inexperience, I think that the Fryar, where first I received a welcome missionaries may often do a good in a Wesleyan home. How will he, work. It is of no small importance and such as he, kindle with new that there should be this grave, dis- strength and new zeal when they read passionate, and disinterested order of the record of your unceasing efforts and Englishmen walking between faithful love! In this they will find Government and the people, and
the reward of their remote and often desirous to do their duty by both. ill-requited toil. The missionary should not be afraid The noble Chairman, who had been of doing some secular work in local repeatedly cheered during the delivery affairs and in the remoter parts of the of his speech, resumed his seat amid country. I have seen missionaries, loud applause, and those of the Wesleyan persuasion
(To be concluded.)