Page images
PDF
EPUB

and very sensible effects were perceived to follow the heart-searching truths exhibited. About this time Mr. Wade, in his journal observes, "Last week a young person came with her mother to converse with Dr. Judson on the subject of religion. There is reason to hope she feels real conviction for sin, and is anxious to be saved. The mother, who has long been an inquirer, and who hopes she has passed from death unto life, has requested baptism. We trust, from this and other encouragements, that there is some reason to anticipate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the ingathering of souls in this place. We feel our own minds more impressed than usual, with the importance of devoting ourselves unreservedly to the work of God among the heathen, and the cultivation of spiritual fruit in our own souls, persuaded, that ardent piety in ourselves, is one of the most direct means of success in Missionary labours." On the 20th of May following, he mentions with unaffected pleasure, that the female above referred to, was, by the unanimous voice of the church, received to baptism ; and adds, "this no doubt is the first time this sacred ordinance was ever administered in these regions."

We may then consider that at Amherst, the standard is erected, the word of life proclaimed, the work of regeneration commenced, and the ordinances of the church of Christ administered.

Nor is this all that is doing at the place to rescue the rising generation from delusive idolatry, and train them up for the service and enjoy. ment of God. So soon as a quiet settlement was obtained, Mrs. Wade, availing herself of such assistance as the two native sisters could af ford, continued the school commenced by Mrs. Judson for female children. Of this, Mr. Wade writes as follows. The pupils are all boarders, and their expenses of food, clothing, and tuition, are defrayed from the funds collected for that purpose, in pursuance of the plan proposed by Mrs. Judson. The number of scholars is now fourteen. These have been obtained without any direct application on our partthey came voluntarily, and in a number of instances, begged admittance as a favour, or their parents have done so for them. They learn to read and to use the needle. Dr. Judson contributes much to their religious improvement, and maintains regular prayer with them-nor are there any objections offered by their friends." The Board consider this intelligence highly interesting and important. Situated as our Missionaries formerly were before the war, and under Burman authority, no per mission was given them to teach children, except such as they might occasionally purchase of merciless creditors, and make them their own.* "It was deemed an object of such moment to obtain access to the minds of the young, as, in the absence of other means, to justify the adoption of this measure. Accordingly during the visit of Mrs. Judson to England and America, several devoted and benevolent christians, furnished her with funds for procuring or ransoming a number of such children.

At the termination of the war, and in prospect of residing in the conquered provinces, where Burmans would enjoy British freedom and protection, she was peculiarly animated by the consideration that there, she should be unrestricted in the formation of schools, except by the ability for supporting them.

It may be proper, for the information of some, to remark, that among the Burmese, a custoin prevails, allowing a creditor, if he can obtain nothing else of a poor debtor, to take and make sale of one or more of his children, to meet his demand. These become the property of the purchaser, who may dispose of them as he pleases ; and if obtained by Missionaries, might be educated at their discretion.

What she anticipated is now realized, and we are assured that this branch of instruction may be extended indefinitely, affording every engouragement of success.

The circumstances of Mr. and Mrs. Boardman did not allow them to join the Missionaries at Amherst until April 17, 1827. During their stay in Bengal they had pursued the study of the Burman language under a competent teacher, besides which, Mr. Boardman had been most usefully employed in assisting our valued English brethren, at a time of unusual religious revival in their churches.

When he arrived at Amherst, and had conferred with the brethren, it was determined to establish a second station at Maulaming, the head quarters of Sir Archibald Campbell, about 25 miles distant on the same river. This place is delightfully situated, with a population of about 20,000 natives, and rapidly increasing. Its position upon the river affords facilities for the most easy intercourse with Amherst and the interior of the country. To this new station, Mr. and Mrs. Boardman were appointed, and, on repairing to it, were received with much kindness by Sir Archibald, who gratuitously presented him for the mission, an ample plot of ground in an eligible situation. On this a small bamboo house has been erected, which cost about $175.

It is the purpose of Dr. Judson to occupy these stations alternately; a. measure which we contemplate with much satisfaction. By this arrangement he will be able to give the most efficient aid to each family, till they shall have fully acquired the language of the country, while at the same time he will be able to preach the gospel to thousands of the natives more than would immediately have heard it, had his residence been limited to either place. Our accounts from these stations are only down to May, 1827, at which time there had been no opportunity for the establishment of schools at Maulaming. There is another

event which we view as auspicious to the mission. One of the native Christians in the ardour of his love to Christ, has voluntarily devoted himself to the spread of the gospel among his countrymen, of whom Dr. Judson thus writes :

“At the evening meeting, which is attended by the native Christians Tuesdays and Fridays, Moung Ing expressed his desire to undertake a missionary excursion to Tavoy and Mergui. We were all particularly pleased with the proposal as originating with himself, and indicating a state of mind peculiarly favourable to the spread of the gospel. On a subsequent Lord's day, after the usual worship, we set him apart to the work to which, we trust, he is called by the Spirit of God, appointing him a teacher of the Christian religion, without the power to administer ordinances, and being thus committed to the grace of God, he embarked in a native boat, bound to Tavoy. May this be an earnest of a large number of native preachers who shall hereafter be raised up in this mission to go forth into every part of the Burman dominions.'

We fully respond to this sentiment. The native is already in possession of the language, and its idiomatic peculiarities, which it takes years for our countrymen to acquire. He is also acquainted from youth with the sentiments and habits of thinking of his nation, and knows best how to meet them in familiar intercourse. He requires no expense for outfit, is accustomed to the climate, and can ordinarily be supported for much less than is indispensable for Europeans or Americans. Let the churches consider this; and in their supplications in behalf of the great object of missions, offer special prayer for the raising up of native preachers.

AVA.

At the restoration of peace, Dr. Price remained at Ava; and the accounts from him are to the first of January, 1827. The effects produced by the war on the publick mind at the capital, and particularly on the king and court, were favourable to the designs of the Missionaries.

Up to that period they were sanguine of their intelligence, and ever asserted their superiority to other nations; but the lessons then taught them by experience, produced an opposite conviction, and rendered them desirous of English instruction. Of this disposition, Dr. Price gladly availed himself, and took under his care, several children belong-ing to distinguished families. It is worthy of particular consideration, that no restraint was imposed on him in their education ; so that he early associated with his other instructions, the principles of christianity, and established for the Sabbath, a regular service which all were at liberty to attend. This publick avowal of religious opinions and sentiments altogether new, excited attention, and called forth investigation on the part of the parents and others; but no displeasure was manifested. The king had condescended to inquire after his sacred books, and requested to be furnished with them; more particularly the historical parts of scripture. What will be the ultimate effect of this surprising change in the policy and conduct of the Burman court, we shall not attempt to predict, but conceive there is much to hope from it. Indeed, in our estimation, there is rarely a field of so much promise to the god. by and devoted missionary, occupied by any one, or a situation of such fearful responsibility, as the station at Ava. It gives us concern to add, that at such a time, when all the assistance which a Christian consort could give, seemed necessary, Mrs. Price was suddenly removed by death. She was among the early converts of Rangoon, and a woman of undoubted piety. As it had been her daily concern to live the life, so it was her consolation to die the death of the righteous. She is, we trust, reaping the fruits of that gospel in the kingdom of glory, which our Missionaries first carried with success to Burmah.

From the survey we have thus briefly taken, we perceive enough to excite us to a vigorous prosecution of our enterprise in the east.

Since the preceding was drawn up, accounts have been received from all the stations, bringing the information from Ava, down to May 26th, and from Amherst and Maulaming, to September 30, 1827. of the letters and journals have already been published in the Magazine for May, and the remainder will soon appear, so that less needs be said in this place of their contents. We cannot, however, forbear to mention, that they furnish abundant evidence of the successful progress of the Mission.

Dr. Judson had resumed the work of translating the Scriptures, for which he is eminently qualified; and if Providence permits, will not cease from it, till all the Old Testament shall be added to the New in the Burman language.

Dr. Price, though with impaired health, was able to continue instruc. tion in his school,

and deliver regular lectures upon the evening of the Sabbath.

Mr. Wade had so far acquired the language of the country, as to commence preaching in it with acceptance and effect. Mr. Boardman was able to converse in a manner to interest and instruct the natires.

We are further informed that the provinces taken from the Burmese, are to be retained by the British. Of this, the missionaries, with others,

A part

1

have been in doubt, which tended in no small degree to embarrass their operations, and retard measures for a permanent settlement. They have not presumed to construct any other than temporary accommodations for themselves, not knowing but they should deem it proper to remove, which caution will doubtless prove advantageous in point of economy. It now appears to be determined, that whether the civil authorities shall finally occupy Amherst or not, the Head Quarters of the Army will be at Maulaming, and at this point, the native population is concentrating. In consequence of this, the brethren who were at Amherst, without relinquishing their hold at that place, have thought it expedient to follow the people, and for the present join Mr. Boardman at Maulaming. Here their school and other labours will be continued, till further indications of duty shall appear.

One of the first fruits of the mission, Mah Men-la, whose life has borne a uniform testimony to the transforming power of grace upon the heart, deceased on the 10th of September last. In her sickness, she displayed an unshaken faith in Christ, and a firm reliance upon him for justification and life everlasting. One such trophy of mercy--a soul rescued from ruin, and prepared for the endless bliss of beaven, infinitely more than repays all the sacrifices and exertions made by us and our associates, in sending the gospel to Burmah. Yet many such, we trust, in the present and succeeding generations, will be our joy when we shall meet them in the kingdom of our Lord, to go out no more. What gratitude shall we then feel, that we were permitted to share any part, even the least, in this “work of mercy, and labour of love,” and should we sigh at all, it will be that we did no more.

AFRICA

Monrovia, on the western coast of Africa, is a station to which the Board has directed an unvarying attention. They have considered it as the home of many who were lately of this country, and destined to a rapid increase of population from the same source, having claims on ns of no ordinary character. Among them the seed of the word has taken deep root, and few as the means of cultivation have been, it has brought forth fruit to the praise and glory of the grace of God. Gradual accessions have been made to the church of valuable members, under the indefatigable labours of Mr. Cary, and some of them from a distance in the interior, thereby preparing the way and providing the materials for other churches, which may soon arise. Availing himself of all the assistance he could obtain, the Sabbath School has been regularly and successfully maintained, and until lately, a week day charity school.

We understand that to the latter Mr. Cary has not only devoted such personal attentions as his other unavoidable engagements would permit, but from his private resources, furnished a considerable portion of the means for its support.

This he would have cheerfully continued, but an opportunity presenting for the establishment of a school at Cape Mount, 40 miles distant, where no such advantages had ever been enjoyed, and unable to sustain both, he relinquished for a time the one in Monrovia. Deep as their concern has been for this mission, the funds of the Board were so low, and often more than exhausted, that they have not furnished to Mr. Cary the pecuniary assistance essential to the execution of the work commenced; and though they have recently made a scanty remittance, which they trust will inspire sufficient confidence to re-commence the school at

B

Monrovia, still they consider it wholly inadequate to the demand which that country has upon our churches. Nor have they supposed, when this subject should be understood by them, that they would willingly withhold what may be appropriated with such prospect of advantage.

The importance which the Christian publick attach to this portion of Africa as a missionary field, may be seen in the fact, that Lutheran missionaries have already arrived there from Europe, and from the further and more impressive one that the colonists themselves, though in the very infancy of their establishment, and struggling under all the disadvantages incident to such a state, have generously come forward and organized a missionary Society, to which they contributed the last year about $50.

These events are sufficient to indicate to us the course which we ought to pursue. The fields are white, and we should be ready to reap the harvest. To supply sufficient funds is an important duty, but we should not be satisfied until a sufficient number of competent and devoted teachers are furnished to the colony. Impressed with the propriety and necessity of this measure, and persuaded that the churches would soon awake to the subject, the Board has instituted inquiries in most of our principal cities for coloured young men, of ardent piety and promising talents, whom they might educate for the object; and we invite the co-operation of our brethren, particularly in the southern and middle States, in ascertaining suitable candidates for this service.

STATIONS AMONG THE INDIANS.

CAREY.

The establishment on the river St Joseph's, 25 miles S. E. of lake Michigan, in Michigan Territory, is called Carey. It is located among the Putawattomies, and at no inconvenient distance from the Miamies, and is sufficiently extensive in its accommodations for a large school. Its usual number of children is not less than seventy, and may be over eighty. The missionaries at this station, are Rev. Isaac M'Coy, Superintendant, and Mrs. M'Coy, Mr. Johnston Lykins, teacher, Mr. Robert Simmerwell, blacksmith, and Mrs. Simmerwell, Mr. Leonard Slater,

teacher, and Mrs. Slater, and Mr. Jotham Meeker.* The state of this | school is highly promising, and its order and discipline have been fully approved and commended by Gov. Cass, and other officers of Government, who have visited it. The church is united, and maintains its character for stability and faithfulness; it has the word and ordinances of the gospel duly administered, but has experienced no special revival during the past year. The young men who were sent from this station to Hamilton Institution, N. Y. to complete their education, are prosecuting their studies with exemplary diligence, and give flattering promise of future usefulness.

THOMAS.

This station, situated on Grand river, of lake Michigan, about 40 miles from the eastern shore, among the Ottawa Indians, has usually been considered a branch of Carey. It was originated by the members of that station, most of whom have successively visited the place, and contributed to bring it to its present maturity. It now. has a flourishing school of about thirty children, and the Ottawas have manifested an unusual interest in the measures adopted for their improvement.

Miss Purchase, who was connected with this mission last year, has married, and removed to Fort Wayne.

« PreviousContinue »