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ment of the mere professor was to be expected, as Mr. Simpson remarks, in a letter dated Eimeo, Nov. 14, 1831, " That a separation has taken place between the righteous and the wicked can surely be no matter of surprise, and that there existed a cause for this separ. ation need excite no astonishment.” The purity, prosperity, and stability, of the churches required such a separation, and the Christian faith could not be expected to become either firm or durable without it. It is not from the parties who remain in Christian fellowship, and manifest by their general deportment their attachment to the Gospel, that those who decry the religion of the islanders adduce their examples of defective Christian character, but from those who have cast off the wholesome restrains on vice which that Gospel imposes, and who are drawn together at the several ports visited by shipping. At these places, persons of the latter description abound more than in any other ; nothing, therefore, can be more unjust than to exhibit the proceedings, to which they are often incited and encouraged by their visiters, as a specimen, not only of the general conduct of the population, but of the members of the Christian churches.
One of the earliest causes of trial to the Christian communities in the South Seas, next to the outbreaking of vicious propensities but feebly restrained, was the appearance of the most absurd and injúrious heresies. Visionaries pretended to be favoured with special revelations from heaven, not to supersede the Scriptures but to add to what they contained. It was not long before the secret of this delusion became apparent, by some of its leaders declaring that when they were under the influence of inspiration they were not accountable for their actions. A flood-gate for the practice of iniquity was thus opened, whilst the guilty perpetrators of vice sought, by these delusions, to persuade themselves that they were free from its penalty. Those who had no root in themselves fell away in this time of temptation; and several, whom a desire to possess the good opinion of others had induced professedly to regard the precepts of the Scriptures, now availed themselves of the pretext this afforded to return to the filthiness and sin of their former state. The churches were afflicted by a partial defection, and their enemies triumphed.
Within the last few years the people have been exposed to another great cause of demoralization ; the importation of large quantities of spirituous liquors which have been retailed in the different settlements. The baneful effects of this, on a people among whom intoxication was formerly one of their most easily besetting sins, cannot be described, and we can conceive of few causes likely to occasion greater sorrow to the missionaries or distress to the churches. Those who have thus been induced to use ardent spirits, if they had departed from the paths of Christian virtue, were, under their influence, reckless of the criminal excesses into which they were hurried; while others who had hitherto maintained a consistency of conduct now exposed themselves to shame, and occasioned, even to those who were preserved, the deepest affliction. A number, on this account, have, during the last two or three years, been separated from the fellowship of the church ; and though some of them have continued the victims of the destructive habits thus induced, the greater part of them have been, after satisfactory indications of deep penitence, and a return to consistency of deportment, restored to the privileges which they had forfeited.
Lastly, the agitation and irregularities, inseparable from civil war, have, during the last year, prevailed in both clusters of the islands, and have not only excited painful apprehensions of outrage and violence, but have interrupted for a time, at some of the stations, the attendance on the schools, and on the means of public Christian instruction. These calamities have ceased, tranquillity was restored when the latest accounts from the islands were sent away, and the schools were again in regular operation in the windward islands. In the leeward, one of the missionaries, who had been obliged to leave his station for a time, was about to resume his labours ; although apprehensions were still entertained, with regard to these islands, that the peace there prevailing might again be disturbed. The majority of the church members, especially in the Westward Islands, had, through all these perils, remained steadfasti; many who had been separated had returned to their commu.
nion, and a number from time to time continued to seek admittance to its privileges, of whom it was not too much to hope that they were living in the exercise of repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The annexed census of two of the stations, which is extracted from the recent communications of the missions, will show very nearly the proportion which those who have by baptism made a profession of religion, and those who are united in church-fellowship, bear to the entire population of the respective stations, and are, probably, not inapplicable to the other stations in the islands.
Men. Women. Boys. Girls. Total. In Church Fellowship . . i 72
349 S Unbaptized . . 191
252 Children s Of Parents, professing Christi
247 ' anity, who have been Baptized Of Unbaptized Parents :
The members of the churches, so far as information has been received, are intelligent, industrious, exemplary, and sincere. They have to contend against the sinful inclinations of their own hearts; they are exposed to the reproach of their own countrymen, whose conduct appears in humiliating contrast with their own ; and many snares are laid for them ; they are also the objects of ridicule, contempt, and misrepresentation, from the irreligious by whom they are visited, and it is painful to be unable to resist the impression that the majority of those who visit them have no strong prepossession in favour of religion. Their preservation, under these circumstances, and notwithstanding the present immaturity of their Christian character, is of itself no unimportant cause for thanksgiving unto God. The numbers that are every year added to these churches shows also that the Lord hath not forsaken the work of his own hand.
The defections that have occurred have not, it is presumed, rendered the missionaries less circumspect in their proceedings, nor less careful in their endeavours to ascertain the suitableness of those thus received into Christian fellowship, yet, besides 216 individuals who were united to the churches in the out-stations among the Austral Islands during the past year, the accounts received within that period report the addition of 355 to the churches previously established at the several stations. The circumstances of the station at Haweis-Town, or Papara, as described by Mr. Davies, were probably those of other stations, though Papara has been less exposed than some nearer the harbours. After speaking of the lukewarmness that had prevailed “though the means of grace, and the duties of religion were not neglected,” and referring to the measures which were adopted to promote a more serious state of feeling among the people, he observes, “ These appear to have been blessed, and a greater degree of concern has taken place, especially among those who had not become communicants, and many are now pressing forward that they may be received as church members; but, still, I have my fears lest their present 'goodness,' like that of Ephraim of old, should prove to be as a morning cloud, and the early dew, vanishing away.” These feelings manifest an unwillingness to proceed with precipitation, yet, during the year in which this statement was made, 28 were added to the church, and in the ensuing nine months their number was increased by the admission of 33 others. These statements are offered to show that, though the conduct of the irreligious and careless part of the community is just cause of grief to the missionaries and the truly pious among the natives, the churches not only remain steadfast, but that the Lord was adding to their fellowship numbers who, there is reason to believe, have their names written in the Lamb's book of life.
We have been solicitous in this brief outline of the South Sea Mission to state, with great explicitness, the various causes of discouragement, the operation of which has been most extensively and painfully felt, as well as the grounds for thanksgiving unto God which the circumstances of the mission continue to afford. In the islands there were, when the latest accounts were sent away, 39 Stations, 14 missionaries, 2 artisans, 50 native teachers, 37 schools, 7,000 scholars, 39 congregations, the average attendance at which was 22,000, and 20 churches, containing 3,371 members.
Were this last instance of divine goodness and benediction on the labours of the missionaries the only one the Society could record, in the balances of the sanctuary in the estimate of eternity-it will be found to be a benefit infinitely surpassing the worth of all the efforts that have been employed in the missionary cause; the true value of it can only be understood in the regions of blessedness, where it will prove the source of unmingled felicity and the subject of unceasing praise. Another proof of the genuineness of the faith of the native Christians might be adduced from the concern the churches manifest to communicate a knowledge of the gospel to the inhabitants of other islands who are still the subjects of ignorance and idolatry—their zeal in accomplishing this object, and the grateful pleasure they manifest when God is pleased to accompany their endeavours with his blessing.
Notwithstanding all the attempts that have been made to bring discredit on the mission, by preferring vague and sweeping charges against the missionaries, and by representing the conduct of those of the natives who do not profess to observe the requirements of religion, who are the greatest pests of society and sources of continual grief to the mis: sionaries and the pious part of the community, as applicable to the whole population to the members of the churches as well as the most abandoned,--the intelligent Christian will regard the commencement and the progress of the work of God in the South Seas as demon. strating most unequivocally the wisdom and the goodness of the Most High. He will admit the strong claims which the missionaries and the native churches have to the confidence and sympathy of the ministers and churches of Britain. Their trials and dangers will excite more frequent and fervent prayer on their behalf, that this portion of the missionary field may still flourish in the garden of the Lord; while it is hoped that the wide and effectual doors which God is opening before them for the introduction of the gospel to the Marquesas on the one hand, and the Navigator's Islands on the other, will encourage the friends of the Society to more vigorous efforts and generous contributions for sending forth the labourers to reap these fields, that appear indeed already white unto the harvest.
Tue Native Teachers, or Reuders, we are happy to observe, have not been inactive during the past half year. Generally speaking, they have been diligently occupied in catechising and instructing the people, on the Sabbath in the places of public worship, and, during the week,
from house to house; and likewise in reading the word, and publishing the way of salvation to the heataen population of the towns and villages around them. Nor have they laboured in vain ; in most places the fruits of their diligence are apparent, by the increase of knowledge and piety among our people, and by some considerable additions to the congregations.
The following brief notices, respecting the Readers employed in the Nagercoil mission during the period above referred to, are contained in the report, signed by the missionaries, the Rev. "Messrs. Charles Mault and William Miller.
· 1. Edward Balm* (station, Nagercoil).This teacher, 'whose conduct we have long and attentively observed, continues to afford increasing evidence of piety and devotedness to the work in which he is engaged. He is a prudent and active labourer, and diligent in the study of the sacred Scriptures.
2. J. W. Venning (station, Anandanadan. geodiyiruppu).—The conduct of this teacher affords us great satisfaction. He possesses good talents and considerable mental energy. We trust his wife is a pious woman, who is desirous of being useful to her own sex. She continues to assemble the women of the congregation, at stated times, in her own house, when she reads the Scriptures, imparts instruction, and prays with them.
3. JAMES Craig Dam (station, Eiambly). -This teacher is diligent and much esteemed by the congregation. Many, even of the heathen, respect him, while from others he meets with opposition, on account of the firm stand he has made against the injustice practised on the poor.
4. Rowland Hill (station, Puttulum).This teacher is diligent. In addition to his more regular and public duties, he assembles a class of young people once a week for reading the Scriptures and prayer. There are several young persons of both sexes belonging to this congregation who were formerly under instruction in the school. They can read well; and, we may hope, such an exercise as that just referred to will be of the greatest use to them; as it will preserve a remembrance of the truths they have already learned, and make them familiar with the word of God.
5. John PALMER+ (station, Tamarakullam).--He is a devoted man, indefatigable in his work, and we believe the Lord has greatly blessed his labours. Meetings for reading the Scriptures are held most evenings of the week in the different villages where the people reside.
6. DUMFERM LINE (station, Muchlingoodi. yiruppu).- This teacher is truly devoted to his work, and God is blessing his labours. Several families have lately made a profes sion of Christianity, and joined the congre gation.
7. Philip DODDRIDGE (station, Agatesuram).-We have reason to believe that this teacher is faithful to his important trust, consisting in the care of this congregation. There are four schools in this vicinity subject to his superintendence, and several small societies of the people that meet in their different villages for reading the Scriptures and prayer. A few young people who were educated in the school at Agatesuram take part in these exercises.
8. William MILNE (station, Paracherivilly).--He is a man of active habits, and much devoted to his work. 9 . Joun Foxell (station, Sandad yputhoor), is also diligent in the work to which he has been appointed.
10. Timothy East (station, Kundal). This teacher has here an important field of labour, in which, we hope," he faithfully occupies his talents.
11. DAVID STEWART (station, Kalvilly).This teacher has long given us much satis. faction. He is a diligent labourer.
12. JEHOIADA BREWER (station, Cannan. kullam).-He has here a large sphere of labour. Besides giving instruction to the people of two congregations, he has the superintendence of six schools, and visits ten of the adjacent villages for the purpose of reading the word of God to the heathen.
1 3. GEORGE HAMILTON (station, Koodenkullam).—This teacher is, we hope, diligent in the work to which he has been called. The people of his congregation have had to contend against the opposition of their heathen neighbours, which, we are thankful to observe, they have been enabled to overcome.
14. CHARLES SEYMOUR* (station, Mylaudy). --This place was the original seat of the mission in Travancore. The congregation here prospers by the diligent labours of the teacher. A considerable improvement is visible among the old people, while a few individuals show very satisfactory evidence that they “are washed, and sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Several families have made a profession of the gospel, in connexion with this congregation, within the last six months. It may not be uninteresting to observe, that sixteen persons, who were members of this congregation, are either regularly or occasionally engaged in making known the truths of Christianity to their countrymen.
15. RICHARD Knillt (station, Tittavilly).
This teacher is diligent in his labours to edify this congregation, and to diffuse the knowledge of God in the neighbouring towns and villages.
* Of Charles Seymour, see Monthly Chronicle for April, 1831.
+ Of Richard Knill, see Monthly Chronicle for April, 1831.
* Of Edward Balm, see Monthly Chronicle for January, 1831.
+ Of John Palmer, see Monthly Chronicle for January, 1831.
Barker, Missionary, Theopolis, duted 20th
HonouneD FATHERS AND BRETHREN, Instead of a lengthened journal, as has hitherto been my custom, I beg to lay be
fore you the following condensed report of the state of this institution, hoping that in the absence of more gratifying details it will prove acceptable.
The congregation continues good, and in this respect the late emigration to the Cat River is scarcely felt; our place of worship on the Lord's-day is generally filled. The congregation averages about four hundred in the morning ; in the afternoon, about two thirds of that number, as many leave to attend their cattle; in the evening, still fewer, owing partly to the distance at which many reside, and the time of worship being their milking-time. On week-day evenings the congregations vary from thirty to sixty and upwards, according to circumstances and the state of the weather. One pleasing indication of good, is the fact, that we have had for some time past more strangers present on the Lord's day than I ever witnessed before at Theopolis. These come from the neighbouring farms, and some of them from a greater distance. One man in particular, a slave, is very regular in his attendance, and is the only slave that I know of in our vicinity ; I hope well of his moral character. The general demeanour of our assemblies is highly becoming the worship of God. Solemnity pervades the whole congregation, and the attention apparently seldom flags, in a single instance, during the service.
The candidates for baptism are on the increase ; the service allotted to them has assumed an interesting aspect. It is highly gratifying to observe a recent awakening among the people, which is most apparent among the females, and includes several young persons ; but on this subject I wish to speak with caution at present, and to pray that it may prove a genuine work of the Holy Spirit.
The number of communicants now on the lists, after the emigration to the Cat River, is, males, thirty-two ; females, forty-four; total, seventy-six. Four new members have been admitted this year. The attendance on the sacramental services chiefly depends on how many of the members are at home at the time of its administration. The greatest number at one time, this year, has been forty-nine, the least thirty-six. The general conduct of the communicants is worthy of praise, and if we have to mourn over a Demas-like spirit in some, or now and then to contend with a Diotrephes, the generality conduct themselves as upright Christians.
Three adults have been baptized (who now stand candidates for communion), and six children. Nine couple have been married.
The number of children on the records of the school is one hundred and sixty-two, but the attendance has not been so correct as we could wish.
The adult Sabbath school continues to be
superintended by natives ; and many are making progress in reading, particularly the slave above alluded to. The attendance is sometimes rather thin.
Our evening school has fallen off in num. bers for some montbs past, owing, in part, to some of those who attended having left home for employment. Just now it is at a stand on account of the harvest. Some, however, have made progress in writing,
The Auxiliary Missionary Society realized the sum of £6, which we voted to assist in ceiling Union Chapel, Graham's Town. · With regard to the temporal state of the mission, owing to the heavy drought of last year, the harvest was not very productive, and some families have been in want of the means of subsistence. Our general work on Monday has been partially suspended, as many of the people manifest a dislike to it, and it has been confined to the repairs of roads, &c. This year cultivation has been extended beyood any preceding year since the emigration to the Neutral Territory took place. Our crops of barley have turned out very good, the little wheat has failed, the maize promises abundance. Our people possess thirteen waggons, eight of which are at this time serviceable, and thirteen ploughs, almost as many ploughs as we possessed previous to the emigration to the Cat River, when the population was much greater. Three of the ploughs are of English make, to which they are becoming partial.
Fourteen families have joined the institution this year, six of whom brought no property. The other eight families brought fifteen oxen, thirty-four cows and calves, six horses and one old waggon. The four. teen families consisted of sixty persons, including children, many of whom have again left for employment.
I hope we shall soon be able to establish a Temperance Society—they are being established in different places ; I preached on the subject last Lord's-day. I have first desired to see that most pernicious custom of giving spirits to Hottentots abolished, and have written to the preparatory committee of a Temperance Society, now forming at Graham's Town, to that effect. This is a necessary step to our proceeding, as most of the sary step to intemperance among the Hottentots is the fault of others more than themselves. No one can reflect on the almost universal custom in our villages, of paying for occasional services with nothing but brandy, without horror; and I have told the committee, that unless this custom is abolished a Temperance Society will be a mere pageant. I anticipate much good from the interest now taken in the abolition of intemperance, for which interest we are much indebted to the editor of the colonial newspaper, Mr. Fairbairn.
Our eldest girl is at Cape Town, to learn