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English DEPARTMENT. Our last Report left this department under the superintendence of Mr. Kincaid. Scarcely had he entered on his sphere of operations, before he found himself deeply interested in it. His hearers were drawn from the British cantonment in the neighborhood, and at first were few in number, but increased with each succeeding week. A spirit of inquiry was excited, and many were induced to ask, “what shall we do?” Special meetings and other means adapted to their circumstances were employed. Tracts, which Mr. Kincaid took with him from America, were circulated, and the good they have done, he remarks,“ will only be fully disclosed in the future world. One man dated his first serious impressions from reading the “Swearer's Prayer.” “The great Question answered” has been most signally blessed. The tracts on intemperance have been like the stone which went from the sling of David. Many a giant, that defied the armies of the living God, has fallen, not to perish, but to be raised to life everlasting. From about the middle of July to near the end of October, we have had a constant ingathering to the fold of Christ. Many who came out to the chapel to scoff, went home agonizing under the awakening influence of the Holy Spirit.” As the fruit of this revival, 96 were added to the church in seven months, since which the number has increased to about 110. We should rejoice to say that these have all continued to be the steadfast and exemplary friends of Christ; but former inveterate habits of intemperance have proved å snare to some. Two thirds of the whole are on the side of total abstinence, in reference to ardent spirits ; but such as will not endure the self denial, expose themselves to temptations, from which few escape uninjured. The church observes the monthly concert of prayer, and has formed a missionary society within its bounds. A letter, expressive of the most grateful feelings, has been forwarded by them to the Board, from which it would afford pleasure to give extracts, did our limits permit.
On the removal of Mr. Kincaid to Rangoon, in Feb. 1832, Mr. Jones took his place, and discharged the duties of the pastoral office, up to the time when he left for Siam. It was his happiness to see a measure of the same gracious influence attending his labors which had characterized those of his predecessors. Though the church was greatly reduced by the transfer of the 45th regiment to Madras, yet the spirit of piety was not diminished. His last letter, dated Sept. 17th, says, “I continue preaching to the European church. The members have been gradually improving in vigor and stability of Christian character. They now present an aspect more interesting than at any previous period since I had the care of them. Several have recently felt an unusual concern about their eternal destiny ; and on the 9th inst., I was allowed the privilege of baptizing six more, connected with the army.
A Sabbath School of 40 pupils has been superintended by Mr. Jones, though from excessive rains, the attendance has been irregular. Mrs. Jones, who is in feeble health, has for several months held a weekly meeting for the religious instruction and improvement of females connected with the congregation. In these and other ways, much seed has been sown; and there is reason to hope, it will yet spring up and bear the fruits of righteousness.
PRINTING DEPARTMEN The delay attending preparations in the printing establishment has been a source of strong solicitude; but justice requires us to say, that no blaine attaches to any one on account of it. The real cause may be traced to the difficulties attending the formation of punches and casting of types for a language, which no one of the agents understood. The Board engaged the most skilful founders in Calcutta, and thought that they had secured their object, as stated in the last Report; but their success was not entire till Mr. Bennett acquired, by application and experience, an intimate knowledge of what was necessary, and attended in person to its execution. He repaired to Bengal, and after a persevering effort of some months, succeeded in obtaining all that could be wished. He returned in March, 1832, carrying with him a sufficient quantity of types to keep three presses in operation, and the means of increasing them to any extent which the exigencies of the mission should require.
While he was in Calcutta, Mr. O. T. Cutter, who left Boston the 12th of October, 1831, arrived, with a steam press, and soon followed Mr. Bennett to Maulmein.
On the 29th of June, Mr. R. B. Hancock embarked at Boston, with two more printing-presses—a standing-press,
,-a large fount of English types,-and all the materials for a stereotype foundry; and from letters just received, he doubtless reached his port of destination by the first of January, 1833. While these preparations were going on, it is understood that a substantial brick or teakwood building was erected, consisting of several compartments, suited to the safe keeping of paper, and other expensive materials, and the more convenient execution of the several branches of labor to be performed. This was deemed by all the brethren a measure of prudence and economny. The excessive dampness of the rainy season rendered it impossible, in the ordinary frail tenements of the place, to secure from damage the paper and other articles requiring to be kept dry; and when the rains ceased, the hazard of loss was still greater from fires, which often destroy scores of their thatched bamboo dwellings in an hour. It will doubtless be thought by the friends of the mission, that the provisions of this department are on a broad and extensive scale. The members of the Board so view them. They consider, that to this establishment the eyes of the Christian public are directed, to see the whole empire of Burmah supplied with the Word of Life ; and it is their design, if Heaven shall smile on the attempt, not to disappoint the expectation. The work is in a course of delightful progress, and will be carried onward to the extent of the means supplied. In a letter, dated August 21, Mr. Judson says “ the New Testament in Burman is printed to the end of Acts nearly, and will be finished by the close of 1832.”—The entire volume may therefore be considered as now in circulation. Successive editions will follow, as the demand for them shall require.
It is not intended, in consequence of the publication of the Scriptures, to diminish the issue of tracts. If fewer were circulated the last than the preceding year, it must be ascribed wholly to the interruption occasioned by Mr. Bennett's absence. The field is constantly widening, and the thirst for information increasing.–The blessed results, which have followed those already given away, only render the duty plainer and more imperative to fill the land, in its length and breadth, with them.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE PRESS. Such progress has been made in the translation of the Old Testament, that its entire completion is now anticipated in May, 1834.
Before Mr. Judson devoted himself entirely to this work, he prepared maps of the world, of Palestine, and of the countries mentioned in the N. T., which have been printed at the Lithographic press in Calcutta,-a thousand copies of each. The utility of these, filled out with Burman names and characters, can easily be imagined, where so much is depending on a correct knowledge of Geography.
ALPHABET AND SPELLING-BOOK FOR THE KARENS. Mr. Wade, who takes a deep interest in the Karens, has, for more than a year, as opportunity offered, made their language a study. His particular object, at first, was simply to acquire so much knowledge as would enable him to preach in it; but, as he advanced, he conceived the idea of giving to it a written form and character. He found that many Karen sounds could be expressed by the Taling character, which could not by the Burman. This suggested the idea of trying how far an arrangement of the Taling and Burman combined would go towards supplying the characters wanted, and the result he thus describes :—"I have now completed a Spelling-Book, which contains about fifteen hundred radical or syllabic combinations, in all which only two
types are required, which are not used in Burman or Taling." He bas, also, with the assistance of his Karen teacher, made a translation of the Burman Catechism, and scriptural commands, as contained in the “ View of the Christian Religion.”
As Mr. Mason had also paid attention to the Karen language, the latter has been sent to him for revision, and to elicit any suggestions which bis experience shall dictate. The prospect is, that this preparation will prove to be a valuable acquisition, and a means of speedily procuring a translation of the New Testament into the Karen language. The Karen teacher has made himself master of the spelling-book, and has a Karen school of ten scholars under his care, who are learning to read in their own language, with intense interest
Tavor. Missionaries. Rev. F. Masox, Mrs. Mason, and Mrs. S. H. BOARDMAN.
The result of labors at this station is no way diminished in interest or importance by the lapse of another year. During the rainy season, Mr. Mason was necessarily confined to the vicinity of the mission house, but without any relaxation of effort. He studied the language, received and conversed with visiters at the zayat, ailed himself of occasional meetings, such as festivals, feasts, funerals, &c., to preach the gospel to the natives, and went through the city and suburbs, leaving one or more tracts with every Burman family. He supposed, that a few might be omitted at such a season, when the place was literally drenched; but says, “I am persuaded, the number is extremely small, as I have repeatedly gone over the same ground to make sure of having done my work thoroughly.” He distributed more than 3,000 tracts, comprising more than 40,000 pages. These were received with various indications of feeling, some being pleased, and others displeased, and some indifferent; yet when it is considered what a powerful influence these messengers of truth have exerted on the consciences of persons in private, we cannot do otherwise than anticipate some good in this instance.
As soon as it would do to travel, Mr. Mason directed his way to the jungle. He commenced about the middle of November, and made successive tours in different directions, north and south of the station, returning at intervals till the close of the year. In his journey north, he went as far as the inhabitants extend, and was at places where no missionary had previously been. After visiting eleven villages, he says, “we returned home, with the impression, that the northern section of the province, though with a sparse population, is a missionary field worth coltivating: The people, at the most, have but a flickering zeal for idolatry, and of priests to keep the flame alive, they have few or none.” In another trip to the southwest of the city about ten miles, he preached to an attentive congregation, and lodged at Weydu. Before sunrise the next morning, he was visited by a chief from a neighboring village, who introduced himself, and said, he came to request books for his village, and to shew the teacher the way there. He then accompanied Mr. Mason from house to house, and exhorted the people to examine the books, and consider the doctrine therein tanght.
It was at the close of one of those tours, in December, that a most interesting scene occurred at Tavoy : when Mr. Mason arrived at his house, he found more than sixty Karens, who had come from distant places in the country, and were waiting his return. The next day being the Sabbath, the company at worship was so large, they could not be accommodated with seats. Many of them were applicants for baptism, and on Monday the examination commenced, which continued through that and the following day, and resulted in the admission of twenty to the church. Others were deferred for further acquaintance, and some rejected. Of those received, Mr. Mason says, “ One man attributes his conversion to the preaching of a Karen Christian during the last rains ; but most of them heard Mr. Boardman preach, when he visited
them three years ago, and say they believed at the first hearing, but did not obtain a new heart till about a year afterwards. One said, he got a new mind when some of the first converts were baptized. Nearly all, therefore, had been a long time the subjects of Christian hope, and afforded, as a testimony of their faith, the evidence of a self-denying life.
Early in January, 1832, Mr. Mason set out again for the Karen country, and was absent about two months. Our limits will only allow us to report some of the closing events. After travelling over several very difficult passes in mountains, in pursuit of those who had not heard the gospel, and distributing many tracts, he returned to the well-known village of Moung-So, late in February; when he writes,—“I cry no longer, 'the horrors of heathenism'-but the blessings of missions!' I date no longer from a heathen land. Heathenism has fed these banks. I look on fields cultivated by Christians, and see no dwellings but those inhabited by Christian families. When brother Boardman visited this people, three years ago, they were worshipping demons, and in the practice of all the vices connected with universal darkness; but he preached to them the gospel, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven;' and behold, all things have become new!” Here, the converts from the adjacent country gathered around Mr. Mason, and a course of examination for baptism began, which terminated the third day with the admission of twenty-seven. Many of these dated their Christian experience ten or twelve months back, and some even more,-affording to their pious acquaintances and others the best opportunity of determining the sincerity of their profession. From this interesting and delightful accession to the kingdom of Christ, Mr. Mason returned to prosecute his labors in Tavoy. His journal is brought down to September 23, when the reports from the country were still favorable, and indicative of the work of the Holy Spirit on the hearts of the heathen; but he could not become a personal observer of it, till the rains should be over. The fruits of the last year have been such as angels and all the saints on earth would delight to witness. More than sixty souls, ransomed from the power of heathenism and the dominion of sin, have put on Christ by baptism, and swelled the entire number of the church in this place to upwards of one hundred and fifty. These, with fewer exceptions than usual, adorn the doctrine of the Saviour; and though, from their former ignorance, they require constant teaching, still, by their docility and obvious desire to do right, they endear themselves much to those who have the oversight of them in the Lord.
“ They are,” says Mrs. Boardman, “mostly Karens, living two or three days' journey distant; but, by their frequent visits to us, over almost impassable mountains and through deserts, the haunt of the tiger, evince a love for the gospel seldom surpassed. What would the Christians in New England think of travelling 40 or 50 miles on foot, to hear a sermon and bega Christian book? A good Christian woman, who has been living with us several months, told me that when she came, the water was so deep that she was obliged to wait till the men in the company could cut down trees, and lay across the streams for her to get over on; and sometimes she forded the streams. The reason of their coming at so bad a time was, we had appointed a church fast, and sent to the Karen Christians living near, to unite with us; but a rumor of it spread beyond the mountains, and they were so afraid that they should not observe it at the right time and in the right way, that a large company of the best disciples came immediately to inquire about it. As far as we can learn, they manifest the same tenderness of conscience and fear of doing wrong, on every subject; and I can say with truth, that the more we become acquainted with them, the more reason we find to love them as Christians, and to believe that the work is of God. Some of them have lived on our premises month after month, and their conduct has been most exemplary; and we have not heard of an instance of immorality among any of the church members during the past year.”
Their general character since conversion is altogether benevolent, each one laboring in his sphere to be instrumental of the salvation of others. Instances have occurred in which two, who could act with but little power separately, have united together, that by combining their qualifications they might achieve what neither had the prospect of doing alone. An example of this is given in Moung Shannoung, a school teacher since deceased, who spent the principal part of the last rains in going round from house to house with Moung Kya-Shannoung could read, but was slow of speech; while Kya, who could not read, had a faculty of communicating his ideas; and thus, one reading and the other expounding, they went about making known the gospel. They have exhibited, in some instances, a spirit of enterprize regardless of toil and expense, which it would be well even for Christians in America to emulate. They knew by report, that they had kinsmen according to the flesh in Siam, who had not heard the glad tidings of great joy by Christ Jesus, and though unapprized of the solicitude which our missionary felt to become acquainted with their state and disposition, they resolved to cross the mountains and explore their country. Several engaged in this mission; and when Mr. Mason arrived among them, intending to make the same tour, he found himself anticipated.
Ko Thah-byoo, Moung Sha-too, Moung Shwa Moung, and others, are indefatigable laborers, and entirely devoted to evangelical objects. The value of their services cannot be estimated, and the final day alone can disclose their beneficial results.
A more lucid view of operations in reference to schools could not be furnished by us, than is given in the following extracts of letters from Mrs. Boardman, dated January 19 and July 18, 1832. After recounting former interruptions from sickness and removals, she says, “It was not till April, 1831, that we were able to attempt any thing in this department again. I then opened a school with five scholars, under the care of a respectable and intelligent Tavoy feinale. We met with much encouragement, so that other schools have been since established, and our number of day scholars is now about 80; which, with the boarding school, two village schools and about 50 persons who learn during the rainy seasons, in the Karen jungle, make upwards of 170, under our instruction. The scholars in the jungle, of course, cannot come to us often; but a great many have been in to be examined in their lessons, and we are suprised and delighted at the progress they have made. The children of the day schools in town, and some of the teachers, attend worship on Lord's day. About 40 can repeat Mrs. Judson's catechism. and some have added to that, the account of the “Creation,” the “Prodigal Son," the “ Rich Man and Lazarus," and part of the “Sermon on the Mount.” The little girls have many of them made good progress in needle work. But what gives me far greater pleasure, is the interest with which they listen to religious instruction, and the affectionate, docile disposition they manifest. They are very much ridiculed for studying the Christian books; but they bear it all very patiently. Mrs. Mason and I occasionally visit them in their school-houses, in order to prevent their teachers from deceiving us. On the Lord's day, all the children, both male and female, are examined in the Scripture lessons that they have studied during the week; which exercise, with the catechism and prayers, makes our Sunday school.
But the school that gives us most pleasure, and on which Mrs. Mason and I should like to spend all our time, if other duties did not require it, is one consisting of eleven females, taught on the mission premises. Our youngest scholar is eleven years old ; so that the time spent upon them, turns to better account than if spent upon little children. Five of the scholars are members of the