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FRONT ELEVATION AND GROUND PLAN OF THE NEW MISSION CHAPEL AT SHANGHAE.
2 M VOL. XX.
OPENING OF THE NEW CHAPEL AT SHANGHAE. From an early period of their labours in this important city, our Missionary brethren have suffered serious disadvantage from the want of an edifice for the service of God, which, by its favourable site, adequate dimensions, and neatness of exterior, might command the attention of the native population. In our Number for February, 1850, an appeal was made to the friends of the Chinese Mission on behalf of this special object; and we are now happy to announce, that, from the proceeds of that appeal, together with the amount of local and other contributions, a sanctuary has been reared which, should it please the Most High to vouchsafe the gracious token of his presence, may prove a blessing not only to the present generation, but to multitudes yet unborn. Of this temple to the only true God, erected in a city heretofore wholly given to idolatry, may it be recorded, “ This and that man was born in her: and the Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there"!
In a letter dated 18th Feb. ult., the Missionaries make the following gratifying statement :
“While the new chapel has been in progress, chiefly, we take this opportunity of attributwe have at different times communicated ing the success with which this arduous work particulars respecting it, which we thought has been crowned ; so that, although it is might be interesting to you. And we doubt devoid of those ornaments and attractions not that the announcement of the building that may belong to some of the chapels rehaving been completed and opened for preach cently built in this place, it is second to none ing, will be received by you, as it is now made for neatness of style, solidity of structure, and by us, with feelings of unmingled satisfaction. adaptation to the end proposed. Very fortu
“We herewith inclose a pencil sketch (see nately, the building was completed, so that Frontispiece, page 177) and brief description * it could be opened on the first Sunday in the of the building, with which Mr. Wylie has fur Chinese new year. Arrangements were acnished us; to whose skill and superintendence cordingly made for holding public worship in
* In the form of the ground plan we have had it on the afternoon of February 2nd, and we little choice, the building covering near the whole of our lot of ground. The length inside is 63 are happy to inform you that our first services feet, width 34 feet, height, from floor to ceiling, 20 feet, being the greatest span of roof in Shanghae,
were conducted in the new building under unsupported in the centre. Four hundred and fifty the most auspicious circumstances. persons may be conveniently seated. The foundation of solid brick-work, three feet thick and the
“No season, indeed, could have been more same in height, rests on thick slabs of granite all round, above three feet wide, the ground having
appropriate for opening the place than thisbeen first rendered firm by driving from seven to
the only period of the year in which all grades eight hundred six feet piles. The wall of the
and classes of the people rest from their toil. superstructure, also of solid brickwork, is two feet thick at the base, gradually diminishing to one
The concourse was, in consequence, large; foot six inches at the top. There are five arched windows on each side, and two smaller ones in
and, for an assembly of heathens, who are front; a large front door, and two smaller ones, be wont to muster together in their temples in sides two small doors behind, one leading into a side building, and the other into a lane. Between every
great crowds, and, amid noise and uproar, to two of the side windows there is a pilaster, but go through their religious exercises with levity rather for strength than ornament. The roof is constructed on the English principle of building,
and heedlessness, the order, decorum, and being supported by six common queen post truss. frames, while it was necessary to conform to
quiet they maintained throughout was remarkthe Chinese rule in the application of the tiling.
able; evincing that many in the congregation
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 P'i Chiok, aged 33, partner of Lim Eng services. Shortly after, I gave to the assemSeng, formerly baptized ; and Lim Ni Sin, bled brethren a statement of the character aged 30) before Dr. Medhurst and the other and conduct of these new men, which was brethren. Dr. Medhurst had a long inter received by them with entire satisfaction; view with them, about a fortnight ago, in my and it was resolved that baptism should be presence, when he put a great many questions
administered the succeeding Lord's-day in the to them, for the parpose of eliciting their real new chapel in the city. The day (Feb. 6th) state of mind, and received answers entirely proved a very stormy one, so that only about satisfactory. He asked them especially what 200 were present; less than one-half of the was the difference between Christianity and number who might have been expected if the Confucianism? and the reply was, that the day had been favourable. Dr. Medhurst difference was great, as the former system preached in the Mandarin dialect (which is was from Heaven, and the latter from inan: understood not only by the natives of ShangChrist being God manifested in the flesh, and hae, but by the Ful-kien men, who have reConfucius only a fallible mortal. I brought sided there for some time), on the peculiar before him the possibility of persecution, should nature of the happiness of the gospel. I then the Chinese cabinet ever resolve to exhibit in addressed the men in their own dialect, from action their latent hostility against foreigners; the latter part of Acts ii.; and having asked in which event, doubtless, Chinese converts to them questions, to which, in the presence of their religion would be the first victims, and all, they gave appropriate answers (the quesbe at once called on to mcet death as traitors: tions being nearly the same as those put to would the possibility of this not frighten them, the men formerly baptized), I administered or be likely to induce apostacy is it really the initiatory ordinance of Christian dispensatook place? “No,' one replied, with energy;
tion. Dr. M. then, as before, interpreted, in "we should only the sooner be taken up to Mandarin, the answers of the men, and comheaven.' Dr. Medhurst thought so favour mended them, in prayer, to the Divine blessably of their state, that he quite agreed with ing. me in the propriety of baptizing them soon; “ Thus, in the course of ten months, I have and he proposed to meet with them and the had the privilege of admitting eight Fuh-kien others next Sunday, that he might talk to men into the church of Christ; and I doubt them in their own dialect; a proposal which not that you will join with me in the prayer I followed up by requesting him, if his other that their faith may be stedfast, and their labours allowed it, to do so regularly every al piety and zeal eminently progressive ; and ternate Sabbath. He did meet them, expressed that the example may be the means of himself much pleased with their quiet and stimulating many to do as they have done, Christian-like deportment while listening to and take a decided stand on the Lord's his address, and engaging in the other religious side."
INDIA. EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION AT BHOWANIPORE,
CALCUTTA. 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,