Page images
PDF
EPUB

whole of British North America, (with tinent, and thus keep ont the Dutch the exception of the regular Circuits and English “heretics.". These colowithin the limits of the Canadian Con- nies seem to be so placed as to be in. ference, the colonies in Australia and tended to be, through their Churches, New Zealand, and the colonial portion instruments of spiritual good to the of South Africa. No missions have been islands of the Pacific and of the Indian so successful in immediate results Ocean, and their presert efforts in sup. as those in North America. Within port of missions indicate a desire to the last century the “little one" has co-operate in this honourable work. In become "a thousand." The Methodism the English work we have two hundred of the United States, as well as that of and seventy ministers labouring in British America, is the result of mis. these colonies, and they report twenty. sionary labour. The identity of lan. six thousand six hundred and seventy guage and race, and the free, unshackled members, with fifty thousand three condition of colonial life, were no doubt hundred and fifty-four scholars in the very important helps to the zealous schools. With the exception of Western labours of the early missionaries; but Australia these missions are self-supthe great moving influence was that porting. In the Cape Colony, the converting power of the Holy Ghost Orange Free State, Trans Vaal Rewhich attended their ministry, and public, and Natal, the vative and which we must never forget duly to European populations are so mingled, honour. In British North America, in that it is impossible to separate the addition to the large work carried on returns of the colonial work from those by the Canadian Conference, we have of the missions in Kaffirland and in the among the dispersed settlers and in the Bechuana country. The early bistory Indian territory, three hundred and of the mission is identified with the seventy-nine ministers, thirty-two thou- names of Barnabas and William Shaw, sand seven hnndred and fifty members, the latter, the honoured father of the and seventy-two thousand seven hun. Kaffir mission, is no longer amongst us, dred and sixty-six scholars, scattered but his work survives. These missions over the Canadas, New Brunswick, Nova have been, since their beginning, tried Scotia, Cape Breton, Newfoundland, by native wars, and by the unsettlePrince Edward's Island, Columbia, Van. ment of tho population occasioned by couver's Island, and what used to be emigration, and by the discovery of the called the Hudson's Bay Territory, but diamond fields; but the work is rapidly which is now being occupied by settle- advancing. A large number of the ments. These missions are under the Kaffir population have been brought care of the Canadian and Eastern

under Christian influence; thousands British American Conferences. The of scholars have been trained to read colonies of New South Wales, Queens. the Word of God in their own tongue; land, Victoria, South Australia, Wes-. and many able native ministers have tern Australia, Tasmania, and New been raised up. Our difficulty now is Zealand are placed under the care of' to meet the enlarged educational wants the Australasian Conference. The popu- and requirements of the native people. lation of these colonies is mainly Brit- In these missions eighty-five mission. ish, and, like their brethren in North aries labour. The number of ChurchAmerica, disposed to be intensely so.' members is thirteen thousand seven They emulate, and in some respects, hundred and forty-eight, and the excel, the mother country in their zeal seholars reported are thirteen thousand for the maintenance of Christian insti- eight hundred and twenty-one. tutions. It is a matter of thankfulness

3. The West Indian missions occupy that this important section of the globe & peculiar position in relation to other should, in the good providence of God, missions. The colonies of Jamaica, the have been colonized by the British

Windward and Leeward Islands, the race. Little more than two hundred and Bahamas, British Guiana, Honduras, seventy years ago, a far-seeing Spanish and Hayti are mainly inhabited by the official endeavoured to persuade Philip descendants of the Africans emanci. II. of Spain to occupy this southern con. pated in 1834. The European population is comparatively small. No miss that of his predecessor, and the dissions have had greater difficulties to tractions arising out of war between contend against. Earthquakes, hurri- Ashanti and Fanti tribes, have seri. canes, the pestilence, and occasional ously affected our work. It is our tires have from time to time destroyed hope that the influence of the British life and property; the changes in the Government will be successful in commercial policy of the British making such arrangements as may Government operated for a while most secure the peace of this extensive injuriously in reducing the value of the country, over which it already exercises staples of these colonies, and in some a partial protectorate. In West Africa localities fearful droughts reduced the we have twenty-one missionaries, eight population to poverty and starvation. thousand nine hundred and seventyOur Maya mission to Honduras has four Church-members, and five thoubeen disturbed by Indian raids on the sand eight hundred and twenty-nine colony; and our Societies in Ruatan, children in our schools. an island belonging to the republic of 5. Missions to purely heathen coun. Honduras, have suffered from a politi. tries stand in a very different position cal revolution, which is no strange event from missions to colonies in which in the Spanish republics of America. identity of race and language afford Yet, in spite of these untoward circum- peculiar facilities for the propagation stances, the West Indian colonies are and reception of new ideas. To somo gradually improving, - agriculturally, extent the Roman world in Western commercially, and socially. The great - Asia and Southern Europe had been Want is an educated native ministry. partially prepared for the first preachers The time since the emancipation has of Ohristianity, and large sections of been but a short period in the history the population had become familiarized of a nation, and our moral and educa. by the dispersion of the Jews, and by tional agencies have not been equal to the translation of the Scriptures into the task of thoroughly changing the Greek, with the phraseology and truths character and habits of the people revealed in the Old Testament. This within the lifetime of a generation. 'important preparatory work, which was Yet, over many of our Churehes we proceeding in the old world for some have great reason to rejoice; and, from centuries before the coming of Christ, what has been effected in their case, has been wanting in India, China, and to look hopefully in reference to the in most of the heathen lands to which future. In these missions we have our missionaries are sent in our day. ninety-seven missionaries, forty-four "As the operations of the Holy Spirit, thousand seven hundred and twenty. the Giver of light, are generally carried eight members, and twenty-eight thou. on in accordance with the ordinary laws sand and thirty-eight scholars.' Owing of mind, we are not to be surprised that to emigration, and to the dispersion of the missionaries have to regret the slow our Societies in Tortola and elsewhere,' progress made in direct conversions to after the last hurricane, these numbers Christianity. No one can charge them are a small decrease on the returns of with dealing in highly-coloured statethe previous year.

ments of success, or with being blinded 4. Nearly allied to our West Indian to their difficulties by a sanguine enthu. missions are our missions in the Sierra' siasm, which takes no fair estimate of Leone and Gambia Districts in West the obstacles to be encountered. On Africa. Here Africans are being trained the contrary, they write under Christian influences to benefit battling against overwhelming forces, by the civilization which too often bas but calmly resolving to labour on in been made a means of degradation to , faith, laying foundations which make their race. The majority of our minis- no show to the ordinary observer, but ters in these Districts, as well as on upon which the grand superstructure the Gold Coast, are native Africans, of Christianity will eventually be appaeducated and trained for their work. rent. All who admit the divinity of In the Gold Coast District, the death Christianity must equally admit that it of the Chairman following so soon after is our duty to propagate it: the simple

as

men

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."

6

[ocr errors]

-The CNAIRMAN said :-Mr President, takings, and without the aid of volunLadies and Gentlemen, You will not tary agency I do not hesitate to say be surprised when I say that I have that they could not be carried out. accepted the position which I occupy The Governments have done mach by here to-day with some hesitation. direct action for the higher education; Born a Presbyterian, and associated by; but even here, in this restricted part, the accidents of life with the Church they feel their complete inability to of England, I do not belong to the embrace the whole field of work. They Wesleyan Communion, and I have therefore invoke every form of volun. been but rarely brought into contact tary effort, and especially the efforts of with its members. I do not possess. Christian philanthropy. I need not. the convictions by which most of my say how, warmly the missions bava hoarers are probably animated. I responded to the call. In the South of cannot hold the language familiar to India certainly half the higher educathis place. These facts were, bow. tion of the country is directly due to ever, frankly stated to the gentlemen missionary enterprise. Nor is the who were charged to offer me this bigher education bestowed by volunhonourable office, and the Committee tary Christian agency identical with were still of opinion that my presence the education of the State. It has its might be useful; that the testimony, distinctive character and peculiar of anentirely separate, unattached, and advantages both for Government and impartial person to the value of mis. people. It costs the Government less. sionary labour might in some quarters It costs the pupil less. It is more have greater authority than the testimoral and spiritual in its character. mony of one who was deeply embark. I mean, that there must naturally be ed and strictly identified with the cause. a larger sbare of moral teaching, asso In the remarks which I shall have the ciated with doctrinal teaching, in a honour of submitting to you I will not mission school than in a secular State go beyond my personal experience and school. The mission school, morethe secular aspect of the question, over, teaches what Christianity is, The views which I express will have even when it does not make the reference to missions in India only, scholar a Christian, and it supplies to to the Wesleyan missions as an im. the Christian population, generally of portant branch of the Protestant low-caste or outcast origin, the means missionary agency, and they apply to of culture and social elevation which Roman Catholio missions as well as they might not so readily attain in to those of the Protestant Churches. the seminaries of the State. The mis. In estimating the significance of mission goes hand-in-hand with the sionary agency to the Government Government in raising the intellectual and the people of India, let us look standard of the Indian people, and in for a moment at the great social ob- forming for the service of the State a jeots which the Governments of India body of public servants of intelligence bave at this moment at heart, and the and morality. The Government could means which they possess of fulfilling not do without the mission. If you those objaots. The Governments of blotted out the missionary you would India desire to give a high and sound deprive the State of half its teaching, education to a portion of the people, civilizing, and moralizing power. If to give elementary education to the such be a correct statement of the part masses, to bring home the benefits of taken by the mission in the higher European medical science and sanitary education in Southern India, I affirm regulations to all, and to diffuse the that the mission is equally available practice of looal organization and self- for elementary education, and especi: government. These are great ander. . ally for the elementary education of

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »