« PreviousContinue »
also to disarm the enmity formerly felt against solemn and deeply interesting, and all present its teachers;—as, to my heart-felt gratifica- could say: " It was good to be there." tion, I have had an opportunity of observing during my late tour in the country, and on
“ On Tuesday, the 8th, at half-past five in other occasions.
the evening, the Foundation Stone of the New " But that is not all. Several of these pu- Building was laid at Bhowanipore. pils of the Missionary Institutions, in conse- “ The ceremony was performed by the Rev. quence of the training there received, eventu- Dr. Boaz. It was an eminently interesting ally became so convinced of the truth of and leart-cheering spectacle, and was witChristianity, that they have openly embraced nessed by a large concourse of ladies and it, and for its sake, gladly sacrificed caste, gentlemen interested in the subject of Nawealth, comfort, and even the most endearing tive Christian Education. Among these we family ties. And it is with feelings of deep noticed some unconnected with any of the satisfaction and gratitude, that I can say, Missionary Institutions, but who have interthat not a few of these young neophytes are
ested themselves in this great undertaking. walking in a manner worthy of their high vo. Some time before the appointed hour, notcation, and adorning the doctrine of God our withstanding the threatening aspect of the Saviour by a moral and consistent walk. sky, the place was crowded, and a deep in
"Among thiese, some have gone even farther, terest appeared to be felt by all assembled: and have devoted themselves to the work of the effect was not a little heightened by the making the gospel known to their idolatrous appearance of several native youths, who countrymen, and are actually engaged with thronged around, eager to witness a ceremony acceptance in this great and good undertak- in which they were themselves so deeply ining;-and thus a commencement has been terested. The greatest quiet and decorum made, through the means of Missionary Insti. was observed. tutions, in regard to that most important ob- “ The business of the evening commenced ject-the introduction of a Native Ministry by the Rev. Dr. Boaz reading the 126th and into this country.
132nd Psalms; when he gave an outline of “ These have been some of the fruits of the earlier history of the Institution, and of Missionary Educational Institutions. Now, the signal success that had crowned his efforts my dear hearers, the Institution which we while in England, in obtaining contributions are about to erect at Bhowanipore, is intended
towards the new erections. to carry on with greater efficiency than here- “ Towards the accomplishment of the obtofore this particular branch of Missionary ject,' observed Dr. Boaz, 'the following sums labour, which I have just described, and which
have been raised. In England—including the has already produced such pleasing effects. Society's handsome donation of £1000— Could there be, I ask you, a purpose more
£4974 6s. 5d. In India-Rs.7025 Ca. 8p.: of truly excellent,-more likely to advance the
this sum about 3000 Co.'s Rs. have been exglory of God, and better calculated to pro- pended in the purchase of books and apparatus, mote the temporal and eternal welfare of leaving an available balance, for carrying out thousands and tens of thousands of our fel- our project, of 54,000 Co.'s Rs. The total low-creatures, than this plan which, with
cost of the buildings will be 68,000 Co.'s Rs., the Lord's assistance, we are about to carry
so that we need about fourteen thousand into effect, and on behalf of which we solicit Rupees to complete the whole. Towards your aid, sympathy, and prayers?"
this the members of my congregation contri
buted last Sabbath 1100 Rupees: other On Monday morning, the 7th instant, a donations we have, amounting to 900 Co.'s Rs., special Prayer Meeting was held at the making 2000 Co.'s Rs. towards the fourteen.' Union Chapel, to entreat the Divine blessing “ Dr. Boaz, assisted by Mr. Vos, the archito rest upon the New Institution. Suitable tect, then proceeded to lay the foundation. portions of Scripture having been read, the Rev. Messrs. Parker, Paterson, Hill, and " On the Stone was inscribed the folDr. Boaz offered prayer. The Meeting was lowing:
THIS FOUNDATION STONE
At Bhowanipore, Calcutta,
1851, BY THE REV. THOS. BOAZ, LL.D.
" The stone having been deposited in its proper place, Dr. Boaz said:—We lay this foundation-stone in the name of the true God, Jehovah-in the name of Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of men-in the name of the Holy Spirit, the Converter and Sanctifier of mankind:-in the name of the Triune Jehovah. Amen.'
“An appropriate prayer was then offered, and the interesting ceremony was brought to & close.
“ After the ceremony the party adjourned to the compound of the Mission House adjoining, where there was a good deal of agreeable promenading and interchange of friend
ship. The scene was enlivening, and there was an impress of sincerity and good feeling hardly ever to be met with in such large assemblies. Tea and refreshments were afterwards served in the school-room, which was gracefully laid out, and ornamented with a profusion of tasteful bouquets and flowers. The rustic appearance of the shed, which is a commodious thatched bungalow, imparted a peculiarly interesting effect; reminding one, by its Oriental character, of the people whose interests were involved in the business of the evening. The company was considerably greater than was anticipated, but there was room for all. Some ten or twelve Missionaries were present; all wore cheerful and smiling faces.
“ The Rev. Mr. Lacroix was called to the chair, and addressed the company in a very earnest and interesting address.”
The following gentlemen :-Dr. Poor, of the American Mission in Ceylon; Messrs. Storrow, Russell, Anderson, and Dr. Boaz, also spoke in succession, and enlarged with great animation and effect on the interesting topics suggested by the occasion.
CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY AT BHOWANIPORE,
CALCUTTA. In connexion with the events recorded in the preceding article, it cannot but impress our readers with feelings of sacred delight, to learn that, contemporaneously with these events, the Spirit of God had been working on the minds of several of the students in the Institution, of Brahminical caste, exciting them to earnest inquiry, and inspiring them with the moral intrepidity to make an open avowal of their faith in Christ. Two of these interesting youths have received the rite of baptism; and though three of their companions, who were equally decided in their sentiments, have, through the artifices of their heathen connexions, been withdrawn, for the time, from the influence of the Missionaries, it may be hoped that the seed thus sown on a genial soil, will in due season produce its appropriate and blessed fruits.
The details of this remarkable movement are given in the following article from the Calcutta Christian Advocate, of the 19th April :"A NARRATIVE OF EVENTS CONNECTED WITH ceremony of laying the foundation-stone of
FIVE INQUIRERS IN CONNEXION WITH THE the Institution, Bhowanipore. Since that LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY'S INSTITU time the Institution has been the centre of TION, BHOWANIPORE.
considerable excitement and interest. For “ We last week gave a full account of the some months past a number of the more
advanced pupils have, it appears, been making serious inquiry into the truth of the Christian faith, and the evidences on which it rests. Until recently the teachers, Messrs. Mullens and Storrow, were not cognizant of this movement amongst the pupils. At length the subject was seriously brought before them by five inquirers. Messrs. Mullens and Storrow, together with another of the Missionary body, examined the young men, and were perfectly satisfied with their intelligence and the sincerity of their intentions: after placing before them the losses they mast inevitably sustain, both in reference to status and property,--for they were all Brahmins, two of them Kulins, and two proprietors or Haldars of the temple at Kali Ghaut-and telling them they had nothing to expect by embracing Christianity, save that which would flow from their own efforts, and keeping them for some time in an inquiring state, they resolved, at the earnest request of the pupils, to baptize them. On Saturday last they sought refuge in the house of the Rev. E. Storrow, in the Circular-road. The Rev. J. Mullens, of the Bhowanipore Institution, immediately wrote to their relatives, informing them of the intention of the young men, and of the place of their residence. During the whole of Saturday and on Sunday morning their relatives were allowed to see them, and both parties were told that the Missionaries had no wish to retain the inquirers if they wished to de. part; and their relatives were further told, that they might use all reasonable measures to persuade them to do so. One of the youths was a minor, and the Missionaries told him from the first, that they could not sanction the step he was about to take, and further told him they could not allow him to go with the others. He, however, insisted on accompanying his companions. On being visited by his relatives, the minor, after they had employed every argument calculated to work upon his youthful affections, stated, in the presence of his relatives and many respectable witnesses, that he had not only come of his own free will, but that he had forced himself on the Missionaries. He said he would go and see his mother, who, he was told, was dying, expressing his wish, however, to return on Monday ;-one of his friends, an old pupil of the Institution, promising and pledg
ing his faith to the truth of his statement, that if the lad wished to return on Monday he should come. We need scarcely say that he has not returned, nor did the Missionaries expect it, nor did they wish him to remain; for being a minor, they had no desire beyond giving him an opportunity of stating his views and expressing his desire on the subject, to give him even temporary protection. It may perhaps not be out of place to afford our readers an opportunity of judging of the kind of arguments employed to induce this boy to return to his home. He was promised money, they would give him wine to drink, and sweetmeats to eat. His mother would die if he did not return; one of his relatives, formerly a pupil in the Institution, stating and appealing to his teacher for the truth of his assertion—' I am a Christian in my heart, and you know it. I do not wish to influence him, but I wish him to see his mother once more.
“ In all this it will be seen there was no attempt to convince his judgment, or to speak with him on religious subjects. All the means employed were addressed to his affections as a son, and to his sensual appetites. There was no effort made to convince him that Hindooism was right or Christianity wrong; nay, in this whole business, it was curious to observe how many of the friends acknowledged the superiority of Christianity, and expressed their conviction, that sooner or later all must become Christians. The main point urged by all was, the great dishonour which would fall on their families should these young men become Christians; some of them going so far as to say, that baptism and eating food with Christians would not be in the way of their restoration.
" It may be here observed, that it was with great difficulty the Missionaries could induce the other four to have interviews with their relatives. They said, 'We have made up our minds, and do not wish to see them; we have counted the cost, and wish to be baptized and become Christians.' This can be testified to by many witnesses, and, amongst the rest, by one of the European inspectors of police, and a native Jemadar, who were called in to preserve the peace, and saw the young men both on Saturday and on the Sabbath. These officials were requested to ask them any ques
tions they pleased, which they did, and were to give his testimony, had it been needed, but perfectly satisfied.
it was not, the case having utterly failed on "On Sabbath morning the friends of two its own merits. These two young men were of the young men sought for another inter- baptized on Sabbath evening last, in the view, which they obtained. They urged on presence of a large and respectable audience, them once more to come and see their female by the Rev. E. Storrow. On Tuesday, Mr. relatives.
Storrow was served with a writ, chiarg“ They were told by the Missionaries, in ing him with the abduction of a minor, and the presence of the police authorities, that on Wednesday, with a second writ, charge there was no wish to influence them, and that ing him with the same grave offence in they were quite at liberty to go if they another case, and desiring him to produce wished. They said they would go and see the bodies of the young men in the Magistheir mothers once again, saying, "We will trates' Court at Allipore, which lie of course return on Monday; who can prevent us? We did not fail to do. To support this grave are of age, and are capable of returning if we charge of abduction, not a tittle of evidence wish. One of them had been in durance for was produced, for this good reason, that the a week, and had escaped only on Saturday. offence never had been cominitted; and if The relatives of these two young men pledged evidence had been adduced, the Missionaries themselves that they should return that were prepared with such a mass of veritable evening or the following morning. We need evidence to the contrary-leaving the testinot say that they have never returned. One of mony of the young men out of the question them we have good reason to believe is held ---that the case must inevitably have failed, in confinement by his father. A petition was
and covered the parties with disgrace, and presented before the magistrate of the Twenty- subjected them to an indictment for perjury. four-Pergunnahs, asking him to inquire after This was not attempted; in fact, the father the lad, which he promised to do; but of the of one of the young men voluntarily gave up issue of this application we are at present not all claim to his son, and said he had been cognizant. The other young man has not misinformed as to the feelings and intentions been yet heard of.
of his child, stating that he had been told “ On Saturday, the two remaining young
that he was detained, and was crying, and men saw several of their relatives many times,
wished to come to him. The other case was and refused- though repeatedly urged to do soon disposed of. The prosecutor was a little 80 by the Missionaries—to see them on the boy about twelve years of age, who was held Sabbath, stating, “We have made up our up in the court: he had evidently been inminds, and why subject us to these trials? structed what to say. He was a fine little We love them very much, but we must fol- fellow, and we pitied the cause which required low the dictates of conscience and serve God. him to be in, and the friends who had induced We do not wish to love them less, but more, him to occupy, such a position. Not a vesand when we are baptized we will see them as tige of evidence was adduced to support the often as they please.'
the Mooktiar himself, who certainly " It was determined to baptize these two did not help either case, being non est before young men on Sabbath evening, at the Union the case was closed. To use the language of Chapel. Previous to their taking this step, the Magistrate to him, 'It was all what he two of the European police of the district saw had heard, and the pleasure of the Hujoor,' them, and asked them what was their inten- but no evidence. In support of the charge tion, and if they were taking the step they that the young men were minors, two papers were about to do of their own free will. To (horoscopes) were put in, asserting that the which they replied, that they were. They one, who is at least nineteen, was fourteen and were accompanied to the Union Chapel by a half, and the other, who is seventeen, was fif. the Inspector of Police. Both these gentle. teen years and nine montlıs: on receiving men are prepared to confirm this statement if which, the Magistrate observed, from their required, and one of them attended at the freshness, that they certainly looked very well Magistrates' Court, at Allipore, on Tuesday, after so many years' service, which appeared
to settle their truthfulness in his mind, and in the minds of all but the parties presenting them. The Magistrate having examined the eldest lad, did not seem to agree with tlie horoscope in reference to age. To the other young man, after his examination, he said, * You can go where you please, sir.' There appeared to be no doubt on the mind of any one who saw and heard the young men, that they were not only of age, but also fully competent to judge and act for themselves. Acting on this conviction, the Magistrate, at their own request, handed them over to the Missionaries, under whose protection they left the court." "BAPTISM OF TARAPRASAD CHÂTTARGI, AGED
NINETEEN, AND CHONDRONATI BANARGI,* AGED SEVENTEEN.
“On Sabbath evening, the 13th of April, the two young men who had stood firm were publicly baptized at the Union Chapel, in the presence of a large and deeply - interested audience. The service was opened by the Rev. Dr. Boaz, by reading the 15th chapter of Luke's Gospel, and the offering up of prayer; after which the Rev. E. Storrow gave a lucid account of the steps by which the young men had been led to adopt the Christian faith, appealing to them at different stages of his discourse for the truth of his statements. After the address, the following questions were put to them by Mr. Storrow, to which they rendered the accompanying replies:
“ • Have you come here of your own freewill and choice? or have you in any way been forced by the Missionaries to come?'
No one forced us to come here; we came because we wish to be Christians.'
“ • Have any inducements of a worldly or pecuniary kind been held out to lead you to become Christians?' 6. O no.'
"Why do you wish to relinquish Hindooism and embrace Christianity?'
* * Because there is no salvation in Hindooism-it is false, and Christianity is true.'
" . Have you thought of becoming Christians some time, or have you lately considered it?'
“ • We have thought about it five or six months.
" " Has anything at home led you to come to us? have not your friends been kind to you?'
" • No; we have come for salvation-our friends have been very kind, and love us.'
“ • What is there in Christianity which leads you to choose it in preference to all other religions?'
“ Christianity is the true religion; and it is a religion of love and light; we cannot get salvation in any other.'
“ • Do you look for salvation to a mere profession of Christianity, or to baptisrn, or to your own works, or to Christ alone?'
"Only to Jesus Christ; the others are outward things, and cannot save us.'
" " But Christianity is a holy religion, and forbids all those sins which Hindooism and our wicked hearts permit. Are you then prepared to give up sin ?'
"O yes, we wish to leave it.'
" • Are you willing to do whatever Jesus Christ has commanded in the Bible?'
6 * ( yes.'
“ ' Then you repudiate the Vedas, and the Puranas, and Idol-worship?'
“ “ Yes, we give them up; idols are only wood and mud, and some are straw.'
" • And can you bear to leave your father, and mother, and all your friends?'
" "Yes, we hare left them.'
"O yes; but they are not our friends, because they do not wish us to embrace the true salvation.'
" " And are you willing to break your caste?'
"Yes, we have done it.'
me these roitas, the marks and signs of your Brahmin, hood?'
* Yes; they are here. (They here gare up their poitas.)
" The examination being completed, Mr.
* Both of these youths are Brahmins, the latter a Kulin Brahmin, and bis mother is proprietress of ten days' offerings annually at Kulighet Temple,