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Who does not feel his mind united to Wilberforce and his associates in the glorious work of extinguishing human slavery, however different may be his own ideas, either of a political or religious nature ? Who can fully trace thé oblique effects of the Bible Society in uniting the minds of men, even of different countries ? The writer of this cannot recollect without delight a slight incident which occurred during the late contest between Britain and America, the interposition of the friends of humanity in America to replace a number of Bibles, sent by the British and Foreign Bible Society as a present to America ; but taken by an American ship of war. May we not discern in an action of this nature, the germ of universal peace ? Could two countries carry destruction into each other, in one of which the public mind had voted a present of bibles to a part of the other ;-and which act the public of that other country had so respected, as to advance money to renew the purchase that the gift might be rendered efficient when incidentally frustrated ? If enmity and war be perpetuated between these two countries, it must be by discoumaging and utterly suppressing all societies of this nature; for if they continue to grow, (and it is said that in America the Bible Societies are already increased to two hundred,) they will surely a unite the best, the wisest, and most powerful minds in both so firmly, that it will be impossible for any thing to cause them to life wage war with each other.
Such then is the gradual but mighty effect of benevolence when
Point out then a few of those individuals who are now reduced to a state of poverty through their indulgence of this principle. For one such, it will be easy to point out a hundred reduced to indigence, by the gratification of other desires. Surely the feela ings of these martyrs to benevolence must be such amidst their indigence, as almost to take away every thing in that state of a painful nature. But the fact is, that instances of this nature are so rare, as almost to render them worthy of being recorded with other phenomena, in the public annals of a country. While there is, a withholding more than is meet which tendeth to pover- . ty, though it wears the appearance of prudence and good husbandry, “ there is that scattereth, and yet increaseth," through
the secret blessing of Him who hath declared, that," he that waE tereth shall be watered himself of the Lord.” Nor is this at all I wonderful ; if this spirit in its oblique operation has such an effect
on society in promoting union and mutual esteem, while its direct effect is to confer blessing, it is no wonder that the Author of blessing, the God of peace, should delight therein, and is his providence constantly preserve and bless those who nourish it, although this may be in a great measure unperceived by themselves.
With this spirit it cannot be denied that British India is favored in a high degree ; a spirit which they who love India will never wish to see repressed ;ma spirit that forms one of the charms which render Indian Society so amiable, and often causes those who return to their native land to look back with pleasing tegret on the years they spent in India, as among the happiest of their mortal existence. Of the truth of this assertien no proof is needed beyond what the Numbers of the “ Friend of India” have already furnished ; in which will be found brief notices of no less than Ele. ven Institutions at this Presidency, the object of which is either the diffusion of knowledge, or the alleviation of human inisery under some form or other. We are now called in chronological order to notice another, which although now extinct, was not with
out its appropriate merit, nor dnworthy of being recorded among other instances of public benevolence. We allude to,
The Lying-in Iospital. The first idea of this Institution may be traced to the Right Honorable the Countess of Loudoun and Moira, a name endear. ed alike to the friends of virtue and the sons and daughters of mi. sery. . To her feeling and en ightened mind, the distresses to which
many of our country-women are subject, particularly in the military line, at a time when humanity pleads for every degree of assistance, appeared such as to deserve the most serious consideration ; and an Institution, which, while it afforded relief of the most valuable nature to some, should afford opportunity to
RE others of acquiring a degree of knowledge which might in many instances be the means of preserving highly-valued lijes, appeared worthy of the labor and expense it might involve.
This idea was warmly supported by Dr. Luxmore, who, both in his private circle and in his more public capacity, laboured greatly to promote the Institution; to which, after it was formed, he generously devoted his gratuitous labors.
Of this Institution the Countess of Loudoun while in India was the Chief Patroness; and much benefit was reaped from it by the lower class of our country-women in the various regiments, which have been stationed at Fort Willia:n. Nor could it be altogeo ther Åseless to others in the town of Calcutta, who had an opa portunity of deriving that assistance from it, which however ne. cessary, they could scarcely have obtained from any other quarter. Happily, however, those who would form its proper objects, are not numerous in this country; the natives confining their applications of this nature generally within themselves. not, therefore, the same extensive necessity for an institution of thês kind, which isofound in many of our cities and large towns at | home; and hence the encouragement it needed was not of that pressing nature.
For the 66 Friend of India.".
former letter I endeavoured to prove, that divine influ. ence was promised to the church, and had been in many instances wonderfully poured out, so as to produce the greatest effects on the minds of multitudes, and the most thorough change of character; and that these influences were greatly needed to render effectual the means of Christian instruction in India.
Admitting these premises, it seems to be a reasonable enquiry, What is the duty of real Christians, in reference to this need of the influences of the Holy Spirit in this country?
As the Holy Spirit condescends to employ human agents, and hu. man speech, in imparting his saving gifts to men, it cannot be doubted, but that it is the duty of those agents so to acquire the language of the natives, as that what they deliver shall convey ideas in a clear, and distinct, and impressive manner. Paul in his epis: tle to the Corinthians, shows the greatest anxiety that the speakers in their assemblies should use language which could be well understood, adding, that in this case, if “there come in one that believeth not, or unlearned, he is convinced, and the secrets of his heart are made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” If this anxiety to be understood was necessary in apostolic times, how much more necessary now.
But it is to be feared that the discourses which have hitherto been addressed to the Hindoos by Europeans, have either been very imperfectly understood, or the idiom in which they have been delivered has been so awkward and barbarous, that they could not fall with weight on their minds. The same objection, it is to be suspected, lies against most of the tracts hitherto published: they have not enough of the native idiom, nor of similies drawn from the natural scenery, poetry, history, and manners of the country, The native preachers also, even those
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who have been the most useful, are, it is to be feared, as yet too little acquainted with divine subjects, and too little impressed by rothem, to become powerful and persuasive preachers. then a most important duty, that those who have devoted them here selves to the conversion of the heathen should endeavour to remove ko oth these obstacles, by perfecting themselves more entirely in their fithe language, especially in those features of it which carry the addresses them of a speaker to the heart?
Another duty to which we are called, if we would wish to reach the hearts of the natives, is to be more familiar with them, and to furth borrow those manners, as far as possible, which most attract the sinne native mind. To gain a familiar, a thorough knowledge of the strine Hindoos, &c. we must see them unfold their whole characters in the most familiar intercourse.
To hope to persuade men without a knowledge of their predilections and antipathies; of the springstar which move their passions of love and hatred, joy and sorrow; of - Spi their modes of reasoning ; of their reflections on the events of life ; filom. or of their ideas respecting a future state-is nearly as hopeless suvak as that the pleasures of harmony should be excited when a mere at ca rustic, destitute of knowledge, pats his rough hands on the keys than of a piano forte. The only possible way for European Missionaries pre to acquire this knowledge, is for them to reside in the very of the heathen,* to mix as much as possible with them in all of the their domestic engagements, and to witness all their national customs.
Such a familiarity as is here supposed, is, I believe, prins far more possible in the country than in large towns. These observations, if correct, point out also the vast importance of enlarging the minds of the native teachers, and as far as possible filling them with Gospel truth. The children of Missionaries, i
in reading the Fifth Report of the Columbo Auxiliary Bible Society, I was much struck with the spirit of genuine Catholicism which pervades poigt it. It reports in the most liberal manner every thing done by all denominations in that Island for the spread of the Gospel. Respecting the Ameri
. call Missionaries the Report says, “They have shewn extraordinary zeal in thus fixing at once among the natives, entirely secluded from European society,"