« PreviousContinue »
were not entire strangers to the manner of any of the congregation were disposed to reconducting service in our other chapels. tain their seats, they might immediately hear Without any reference to stragglers, who went an address in their native patois; and it was in and out during the service, we think that also suggested, that those who could not the number of people who throughout kept remain, might quietly retire. On this, a portheir seats, must have been about 450, con tion of the audience withdrew, while prosisting principally of the working classes. ably one-half remained, and formed the nu
“Of course, the ceremony of opening a cleus of a second congregation, quite as large chapel for preaching to the heathen cannot as that which had been addressed in Manbe conducted in the same order as that with darin. Mr. Muirhead conducted this second which a chapel is opened in England. In part of the service in the Shanghae dialect, deed, in the present instance, there was no de after which the audience broke up. From viation whatever from the simple order usually that day to the present, daily services have adopted in our Sabbath-day services.
been held there, attended by good and atten“Dr. Medhurst commenced by reading the tive congregations. first chapter of Mark, from the new version, " It is perhaps needless to remind you, that copies of which had been previously distri at present you have in this city two buildings buted among the audience ; upon which, devoted entirely to the stated preaching of the prayer was offered up, the congregation all gospel, in the general language of the empire, standing. Dr. M. next addressed them on and the dialect of this district; besides a house the meaning of Mark i. I, “The gospel of in the suburbs, rented for the purpose of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” for the preach preaching in the Fuh-kien tongue to the ing of which alone this new house had been residents and visitors from the Fuh-kien built. At the conclusion of the address, province. You see, then, that we have our prayer was agnin offered. As this part of chapels, we have our congregations, we have the service had been conducted in the Man our preachers ; the seed is daily sown, much darin language, it was thought desirable that seed is already in the ground, and all we want an address should follow in the Shanghae is the descent of the influence of God's Spirit dialect. It was thereupon announced, that if to give the increase."
FUH-KIEN CONVERTS. Among the Missionary brethren who for some time past have been engaged at this Station in the important work of Scripture revision, is the Rev. John Stronach, of Amoy. Mr. S., desirous to render his temporary sojourn at Shanghae available for the spiritual benefit of the numerous strangers speaking the Fuh-kien dialect, who are in the habit of repairing hither for the purposes of trade, opened, at his private expense, a room for preaching, and has also sought by other appropriate means to arrest the attention of that migratory portion of the population. Through the Divine blessing upon these efforts, no fewer than eight Chinamen have successively, and within a comparatively short period, been led to abandon idolatry, and to make a public profession of their faith in Christ. The particulars of these gratifying events are conveyed in the following letter from Mr. Stronach, dated Feb. 18th, ult. :
"I wrote you under date 20th December for baptism had been mentioned in the Relast, communicating the information that, on port of the Mission, dated October last. In November 17th preceding, I had baptized the above letter, I also stated that on the three Fuh-kien Chinese, whose application Lord's-day succeeding that on which the
baptism had been administered to these con attending our services; but when told how he verts, others, their friends and acquaintances, occupied his time during the Lord's-day, exhad applied for admission, and that I had pressed his approval of it, told him to persecommenced, in regard to them, the necessary vere in his resolution to join us, and added course of instruction. They attended regu that possibly he him self might at some future larly, for the purpose of receiving that instruc period follow his example. This person, who tion, for nearly three months, and gave con can read our books with intelligence, has also tinued evidence of sincerity in seeking the written to his brother in Fuh-kien, earnestly salvation of their souls, and of the strength of dissuading him from idolatry. The younger their conviction, that by Jesus Christ alone brother of the man first baptized in April could that salvation be secured to them. last) has been with me twice, as well as the They, one and all, with earnest abhorrence, relative of one of the other men, and I think expressed their determination to forswear not I am warranted in entertaining the hope that only idolatry in all its various forms-of at the movement among these men will be a diftendance at temples, incense burning, burn fusive one, and that they will be in earnest ing of gilt paper, and worshipping their in seeking to extend its influence. One of dead parents or ancestors—but also every out the inen baptized in November (Lim Eng ward and inward sin denounced in the law of Kiu), being about to proceed on his annual God, and the gospel of Christ. At the same tour for the recovery of debts owing to his time, they expressed their sense of helpless- firm, asked of his own free will for a supply of ness without Divine aid, and their resolution tracts and Gospels, and he distributed them to persevere in the course they had com. in every village and town to which he went menced, of supplication to the God of all (in the neighbouring province of Che Keang), grace, for the sanctifying influences of his even though, in the very first one he came Holy Spirit, so indispensable to success in to, one of his debtors, who could not pay, their career as Christians. They make a took advantage of the opportunity presented, point of abstaining from all business on the by his creditor distributing foreign books, Sabbath-day, and attend regularly the services to express his contempt for Christianity, as held in my meeting-room and in the chapels being a religion founded by one who must in the city. I cannot discover, by the utmost have been a malefactor, because he was crucloseness of questioning and investigation, any cified, and, of course, if a malefactor, unable sinister motive that could induce them to to save others. And he wished to impress wish to join us: certainly, no considerations all around him with the conviction that one connected with either money, or good name who joined foreigners in such a religion must among their countrymen, could lead to any be a wicked man, as well as intimate with line of conduct but one exactly the reverse aliens. His injurious language, however, bad of that they are pursuing; for a profession of not the effect he intended. Eng Kiu entirely Christianity in a heathen city cannot either refrained from any railing reply, and merely increase the wealth or respectability of those
stated that Christ came into our world for the who make it; and not one of them is dependent very purpose of dying for us, and that if he in the slightest degree on foreigners, or has had not thus died, none could have been any prospect of being so. The eight men saved. When he told me all this in the prewho have thus come forward are all well sence of the other converts, I expressed my known to each other, exbibit evident marks satisfaction that he had thus calmly stood his of mutual confidence and regard, and often ground against the opposition he had met with, talk with one another about the truths they and my hope that he would persevere in his unitedly believe; and they are aware that it efforts to do his countrymen good, and that is their duty to invite others to the same all the others would go and do likewise. belief, and are not slack in discharging it. Such being the state of feeling and conduct The head partner of the firm in which one manifested by these men, I brought the case of of them (Lim Cho Giup) is engaged not only the new applicants (whose names are Ch'wa has no objection to that individual (his princi Chin Sui, aged 47, partner of Lim Keng Hien, pal book-keeper) keeping the Sabbatla, and formerly baptized; Lim Cho Giup, aged 41;
Lim Pi Chiok, aged 33, partner of Lim Eng Seng, formerly baptized; and Lim Ni Sin, aged 30) before Dr. Medhurst and the other brethren. Dr. Medhurst had a long interview with them, about a fortnight ago, in my presence, when he put a great many questions to them, for the purpose of eliciting their real state of mind, and received answers entirely satisfactory. He asked them especially what was the difference between Christianity and Confucianism? and the reply was, that the difference was great, as the former system was from Heaven, and the latter from man:Christ being God manifested in the flesh, and Confucius only a fallible mortal. I brought before him the possibility of persecution, should the Chinese cabinet ever resolve to cxhibit in action their latent hostility against foreigners; in which event, doubtless, Chinese converts to their religion would be the first victims, and be at once called on to meet death as traitors: would the possibility of this not frighten them, or be likely to induce apostacy if it really took place? “No,' one replied, with energy; "we should only the sooner be taken up to heaven.' Dr. Medhurst thought so favourably of their state, that he quite agreed with me in the propriety of baptizing them soon; and he proposed to meet with them and the others next Sunday, that he might talk to them in their own dialect; a proposal which I followed up by requesting him, if his other labours allowed it, to do so regularly every alternate Sabbath. He did meet them, expressed himself much pleased with their quiet and Christian-like deportment while listening to his address, and engaging in the other religious
services. Shortly after, I gave to the assembled brethren a statement of the character and conduct of these new men, which was received by them with entire satisfaction; and it was resolved that baptism should be administered the succeeding Lord's-day in the new chapel in the city. The day (Feb. 6th) proved a very stormy one, so that only about 200 were present; less than one-half of the number who might have been expected if the day had been favourable. Dr. Medhurst preached in the Mandarin dialect (which is understood not only by the natives of Shanghae, but by the Fuh-kien men, who have resided there for some time), on the peculiar nature of the happiness of the gospel. I then addressed the men in their own dialect, from the latter part of Acts ii.; and having asked them questions, to which, in the presence of all, they gave appropriate answers (the questions being nearly the same as those put to the men formerly baptized), I administered the initiatory ordinance of Christian dispensation. Dr. M. then, as before, interpreted, in Mandarin, the answers of the men, and commended them, in prayer, to the Divine blessing.
Thus, in the course of ten months, I have had the privilege of admitting eight Fuh-kien men into the church of Christ; and I doubt not that you will join with me in the prayer that their faith may be stedfast, and their piety and real eminently progressive ; and that the example may be the means of stimulating many to do as they have done, and take a decided stand on the Lord's side."
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION AT BHOWANIPORE,
ADDITIONAL CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY.
In our last Number we gave prominence to a report of the interesting solemnity of laying the foundation-stone of the new Institution at Bhowanipore, and of the spirit of religious inquiry which, in happy coincidence with that event, had been excited in the minds of several of the students. As a result of the movement, we announced that two of the converts had openly abandoned caste, and attested their allegiance to Christ by receiving the rite of baptism. Encouraged by their example,
and undeterred by the threats and opposition of the heathen, two others of the students have since been led to embrace the Christian faith; and though, as might have been anticipated, the panic excited among the native community by these events has occasioned a temporary diminution in the number of the pupils, there is every reason to believe that tokens of the Divine favour, so signal and decisive, will ultimately serve to promote its strength and stability,
The following details are extracted from two numbers of the Calcutta Christian Advocate, under date respectively the 26th April and 10th May ult. :
BAPTISM OF A THIRD CONVERT. was suddenly carried off by cholera. The “Ou Saturday last, April 19th, a third event made a solemn impression on many student in the Institution at Bhowanipore left ininds; but it led him to say, “There is no his home and came to Calcutta, with a view to time for delay; I must confess the Saviour at profess himself a Christian. His name is once.' Of the convictions forming in the Kasináth Datta; he is the son of a respectable minds of others in the Institution, he was tradesman in the Bhowanipore bazar, and is quite ignorant; and he felt, therefore, surprised, twenty-one years of age. He entered the as well as encouraged, when the two lads, Institution more than ten years ago, and has whose cases have been formerly described, opengradually risen from the study of A, B, C, to ly did what he was then contemplating. In a almost the highest place in the first class. few days he opened his mind to Mr. Mullens, He has gained two or three prizes in the and with a heart expecting the struggles of second and first classes, and has enjoyed a affection, but prepared to meet them, he left monitorship for more than eighteen months. home to declare himself a Christian. His steady perseverance and great regularity “ It is not to be supposed that he was have done much towards raising him to his allowed to do this in peace. On Saturday present position; while the propriety, gentle afternoon, his father, brother, and other relaness, and amiability of his conduct have tives; and on Sunday, the same relatives, acquired for him general esteem. That such with his mother and sisters, made constant an one, against whose age, intelligence, or moral endeavours to draw him away from Mr. character, nothing can be said, should come Parker's house. He saw and spoke with forward to avow himself a Christian, is a them ; but neither their pertinacity, their subject of the deepest thankfulness; it is ignorance of his intentions, their entreaties, calculated both to impress his fellow-students nor their tears, though deeply and powerfully and the Hindoos in general favourably, and felt, for a moment shook his resolution. The leaves no room for the reproach, which they trial was a very hard one, but it was borne sometimes cast against Missionaries, that they manfully, and served only to prove the make Christians of young boys. The growth sterling character of the metal on.which it of religious conviction and change of heart was exercised. in Kasináth Datta seems to have been gradual: "On Sabbath evening, April 20th, he was various circumstances from time to time, baptized in the Union Chapel, Calcutta. acting in conjunction with his regular studies, After the usual service, which was conwere employed by the Spirit of God to ducted by the Rev. Dr. Boaz and the Rev. strengthen impressions and remove all barriers Dr. Poor, who was to leave the next day for to a firm and enlightened faith. But there Ceylon, the Rev. Joseph Mullens addressed was one circumstance that led to his imme
the congregation on the circumstances in diate decision to declare the faith in Christ which the Institution was now placed; and which his heart had received. On Sunday, described the history and character of his April 6th, two days before the foundation.
young friend, particularly in relation to the stone of the new Institution was laid, one of steps which have ended in his conversion. the teachers, about twenty-two years of age, He also set before them the reasons why such
BAPTISM OF A FOURTH CONVERT.
struggles of feeling arise in these cases; and lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy why young Hindoos cannot be Christians and foundations with sapphires; I will make thy reside with their Hindoo parents; showing windows with agates, and all thy borders of that the whole evil arises from the spirit of pleasant stones: and all thy children shall be Hindooism, and especially the institutions of taught of God, and great shall be the peace caste. In reply to various questions, the of thy children. The whole service proved convert proceeded to state the reasons which exceedingly interesting, and gave great encouhad led him to be a Christian. He described, ragement to those the fruit of whose labours first, the general features of Hindooism; point it tended to show. ing to its gross idolatry, the character of the gods (of whom he specified Krishna, Siva, and “Last Wednesday evening, May 7th, the Rám), the general fruits of the system among
ordinance of Christian baptism was publicly the people, and especially the influence of administered in Union Chapel to another of caste. On these accounts he had given up the pupils of the Missionary Institution at Hindooism long ago. He then stated that Bhowanipore. The young man then baptized, the Natural Religion, so great a favourite in whose name is Keshab Chandra Haldar, is Calcutta at present, had never satisfied his one of the three referred to in our issue of religious wants: it did not teach him enough April 19th, as having been induced after he about the character of God, the duties of had come forward for baptism-to return man, or the future state of the soul; it pro
home for a short time in order to see his vided no atonement for sin, and supplied no mother, with the promise that he should be motives for the practice of virtue powerful permitted to come back and be baptized whenenough to overcome the sinful tendencies of ever he desired it. On reaching home, howman's nature. He could not rest, therefore, ever, he found such permission was not in Natural Religion, but was compelled to go granted him. He was most carefully watched forward. In Christianity he had found what and guarded all day, wherever he went; and he needed: mercy in God, as well as justice; during the night, for the greater part of the a sufficient atonement in Christ; a time that he was in his father's house, he was nature from the Holy Spirit; the hope of locked up in order to prevent his escape. everlasting life. 'On these accounts,' said he,
Within the last few days, this vigilance has * I take Jesus Christ to be my Saviour; and,
been somewhat relaxed; and he most gladly according to his own command, profess my
availed himself of the first opportunity he faith before men. Mr. Mullens, in the name found, again to escape from his father's house, of the church, then welcomed him into all and return to the care of the Missionaries the privileges, joys, and blessings of the Chris which he had once or twice in the interval tian church; to its ministry, its Bible, its unsuccessfully attempted. fellowship; and baptized him in the name of “Keshab was baptized on Wednesday the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. evening, by the Rev. J. H. Parker, who, after He concluded by entreating the prayers of reading the Scriptures and offering prayer the congregation for the Institution under its gave some account of the young man who present interesting circumstances; that the had come forward for baptism, and of the good work now begun may be finished from circumstances which had led him so to do above; that those who have just confessed He is about seventeen years of age; by caste, Christ may be stedfast in their faith and con a Brahmin; and belongs to a very respectable sistent in their lives; that other inquirers may family residing at Behala, a village about be led into the way of truth, and have strength three miles south of Kidderpore. He has to brave its consequences ; and that the been a pupil of the Institution at Bhowanischemes of Hindoo opponents may be brought pore more than two years; and previous to to nought. He trusted that as they had laid that, was in the Branch School at Behala, the foundation-stone of their new Institution from the time of its commencement, about six in the name of the Saviour, He would make years; so that for the whole of that time he these converts ' living stones' in his own has been receiving instruction in the Instituspiritual temple: even as he has said, 'I will tions conncoted with the London Missionary