« السابقةمتابعة »
no return of gratitude to God. When shall these heathen wastes be reclaimed, and populations now dead in ignorance and sin become like well-cultivated farms, yielding the pleasant and varied fruits of gratitude and service? Alas! how extended the wastes, how few the labourers! When shall "the ploughman overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed, and the mountains drop sweet wine, and all the hills melt?"
HELP FOR CHINA.
THE following passage occurs in a letter written by the Rev. G. Hamilton, Chaplain at Fuh-chau, and dated October 24, 1867. Who can tell but that, by the blessing of God, it may call forth some labourer to the Lord's work in China?
"There are about two millions of souls in this city and its suburbs, and our Society has only two Missionaries here at present. These, however, are truly earnest, devoted men. I think their work is much blessed. The situation of the city is healthful, and the surrounding scenery quite lovely. The climate, too, is delightful during six or seven months in the year, though we have certainly four very trying and exhausting ones. I think, however, if a man is naturally of a sound constitution, he may labour on here with impunity for six or seven years in succession. If this were known at home we should perhaps find as many offering themselves for China as for India. May the Lord send forth more labourers into His harvest! My people do give liberally to the support of our Missionary Institutions. It is a cheering fact that all our Missionaries, both American and English, are agreed in considering that we are on the eve of a great spiritual crisis in China. Old prejudices against foreign usages and institutions are gradually giving way, and a readiness to hear and receive the Gospel is becoming everywhere apparent."
CHINA, A.D. 1.
(The following lines were suggested by a Chinese Buddhistic legend, referring to the introduction of Buddhism into China in the first century of our era.)
THEY say that in that wondrous time
Eve after eve, as sank the sun,
From China's boundless plains to rest,
Then fell the shadows; and the smoke
Rose in blue wreaths from countless homes:
THE JAFFNA MISSION.
Again and yet again, as rolled
The fires of day toward the west,
And beckoned China to the Blest.
Here by bright cloud, and there by star,
Passed that strange month: again the sun
One rose, and, wandering westward, sought
Back to the Flowery land he hied
With priest and charm and idol-form;
The sun went down mid circling storm.
Ah! had he farther pressed, to where,
He spake as man ne'er spake before;
Enough! the blind who would not see;
To them long years of gloom were given.
The gloom is breaking: come, ah, come,
In rainbow glory pass away.
A. E. MOULE.
THE JAFFNA MISSION.
GATHERING OF WHEAT INTO THE BARNS.
THE late severe and long-continued ravages of cholera in Jaffna and the districts around proved a heavy trial to our Mission in that part of the island. The schools were almost entirely broken up and dispersed, many of our Christian people cut off, and, among them, some of the best and most faithful of our native teachers. This heavy dispensation, however, was mingled with mercies; the dark cloud of trial which it pleased God to send had a silver lining; and, in the midst of much tribulation, there was also much cause for thanksgiving and praise. The pestilence which swept away so many into eternity, and spread such terror and consternation among the heathen population, proved a means of testing the sincerity of
the native Christians, and the great body of them, thanks be to God! stood firm and steadfast in the hour of trial; while many, who were taken away, gave evidence on their death-beds, not only of the reality of their faith and professsion, but also of their joy in prospect of entering into their Saviour's presence and kingdom.
The following accounts, (furnished by our native ministers) of the state of the Jaffna districts during the late sad visitation, and of the last hours of some of our native Christians, will be read with much interest by all who desire the progress of Christ's kingdom among the natives of this island proving, as they do, the reality of the work, at a time and under circumstances in which nothing but sincerity could possibly stand. Such proofs of sincere profession and firm faith among native Christians, as those furnished in the following extracts, are most cheering, and we cannot feel too thankful for such encouragements to go forward in the Lord's work, feeling assured that the efforts made to spread abroad the knowledge of His truth are not and will not be made in vain.
The following account is from the Rev. J. Hensman, the native minister at the Copay station, dated May 7th, 1867—
Cholera has been raging in this district during the last few months, during which time the heathen were in a state of great alarm, and sought refuge in their temples, and spent a great deal of money in offering sacrifices to their idols, endeavouring by such means to appease the vengeance of their gods. Temples that were in a ruined state have been repaired and rebuilt, and in them morning and evening oblations have been offered. Amongst these temples is one deserving of very particular notice: it stands in the neighbourhood of a few Christian families. The priests and diviners, who daily practised divination in it, made the boast that the lives of their followers would be safe and secure within its walls. Many, both old and young, believing the boast, resorted to it, and waited daily, expecting the fulfilment of the prediction. The Christians were not moved by these things, though the diviners had predicted that the cholera would sweep them away, and leave their houses desolate. This seemed to make them put their confidence more entirely in their all-wise Father, who not only promises to do what is best for His children, but also does it. This sad disease, making no distinction, entered into that temple, and many, to the surprise of the diviners, were taken away by it, dying as heathen always die, in great alarm, without a hope beyond the grave. The disease also attacked some of those poor Christians, but what a contrast did their closing scene present when compared with the others while gloom, terror and despair hovered round the dying beds of the heathen, peace, joy and hope shone round the dying beds of the Christians, though they were deserted even by their nearest of kin, and left, in some cases, destitute of all bodily aid. But thanks be to God, that He has supplied these Christians with friends, who can, not only bodily, but more especially spiritually, help them. The native pastor and some of the catechists rendered all the aid in their power during these trying times.
The following account is from the Rev. George Champion, native minister of Kokooville, dated May 7th, 1867
The following instances are given to show that the Gospel seed sown in Jaffna by means of the Mission, by the help of God has begun to grow, yea, to blossom and even to ripen into rich and luxuriant fruits. The first case I shall allude to is that of Mr. Robert William. He was born of heathen parents, and brought up in heathenism. But the grace of God saved him from that course, and chose him for His own use. He studied for some time in one of our Mission day-schools at Nellore, and then was received into the Chundicully Seminary. As he proved himself an active and diligent Christian boy, he was sent to the Cotta Institution, to make him more useful for the Mission work. There he received a good education under the Rev. J. F. Haslam, who then superintended that Institution. He returned to Jaffna, and was employed in the Mission service in the year 1849. That time was a very hard time with him. By temptations and persecutions of different kinds his friends tried to prevail upon him to separate himself from his faith. They tried to persuade him, by offering him a large sum of money, to marry a heathen wife, and thus plunge him into that gulf in which many a Christian youth has been plunged, and eternally lost. But the grace of God helped. him, and he married a Christian girl from our Mission boarding-school at Nellore. In the year 1851, after he was married, he was appointed the head master of the Chundicully Seminary, and continued in that service until his death. His ability to conduct such a school as that, his lively interest in the work, and self-denial for the cause of his Saviour, are well known to all who knew him. He was a good soldier in the army of Christ. His aim was always to glorify Him. But in the midst of his labours, in the bloom of his life, he was suddenly attacked by cholera, and was removed from this life to his Saviour's kingdom, to reap the fruits of his faith and hope here below. In him the Mission has lost a precious ornament, but he has gained in the next world. One of the bright stars that shined in Jaffna was eclipsed by his death. His preachings, teachings, conversations to the boys, both in the school and out of it, for some days previous to his attack of cholera were remarkable for their faithfulness, clearness, and sincerity. He wished all the school-boys to commit to memory some Scripture texts which he selected for them, especially the twenty-third and ninety-first Psalms. He was attacked by cholera on the 10th October 1866. Immediately he sent word to me to come and see him. It was about three o'clock in the afternoon when I reached him. When he found that the disease was of such a nature that it would soon end his life, he showed no anxiety whatever, but, with a composed mind, called his wife, and said, "Do not feel sorry at my departure: every thing that our heavenly Father does He does with infinite wisdom. He knows what is best for us. It was His will that we should live so long together on earth, but now He intends to call me to Himself. I go to Him. Be prepared, through our Saviour Jesus Christ, to come to the place where I go." When his eldest son stood before him with weeping eyes, he said, "My son, when my father died I was of the same age as you are now: the merciful
NAAS MISSION, BRITISH COLUMBIA.
heavenly Father, who called me from heathenism and brought me to this state, is able to raise you up, and look after you. I give you all up to His hands; take hold of Christ, and serve Him as I did." As soon as I entered the house he stretched out his hands, took mine, and shook it with great pleasure, and desired to speak with me; but as he spoke nothing, I asked him, "What have you to speak with me?" He said, "Please wait." A little while after, I asked him, "Can you speak with me now?" He said again, "Please wait." Finding that the power of speaking was decreasing, I went very near to him, and said, My brother." He then opened his eyes, and looked upon me. Then I said, 86 Will you take a little pains, and try and tell me the present condition of your mind?" Then he said with a loud voice that could be heard by all who stood round his bed, "My sins are forgiven: I am in the hands of my Saviour Jesus Christ, and I am ready also to go to Him." A little while after, I asked him, "May I pray to God for you?" Then he said with a glad face, "Yes." When I began to pray he joined his hands together, and listened attentively to the prayer. When I concluded the prayer I found no breath in his nostrils. I fully believe that he is now with his Saviour, in whom he sincerely trusted.
Wherever the Gospel is faithfully preached, and as faithfully believed, it has ever been found more than sufficient for any form of trial, whether it be pining sickness, sudden death, or the death of violence inflicted by the hand of persecuting men. And why? Because through this the Spirit of God works, so as to give the Christian not only support and comfort, but a glorious victory.
NAAS MISSION, BRITISH COLUMBIA.
COMMENCEMENT OF A NEW VILLAGE.
THE Mission at Metlahkatlah, in British Columbia, under the charge of Mr. Duncan, has often been brought before our readers, and cheering intelligence has been thus given to them of the gracious manner in which our God has caused fatness to drop on these pastures of the wilderness.
An advanced post had been taken up at Naas River, lying to the northward. This was intermitted for a time, there not being sufficient force available for the maintenance of two posts; until help having come opportunely from Europe, the Rev. R. R. A. Doolan was authorised to revisit the Naas River, and ascertain whether it was desirable that the Mission should be renewed. The results were encouraging. Many of the Indians came down to welcome him, and express how glad they were that he had returned.
On the first Sunday after his arrival a little group of people gathered for instruction-thirty in the morning, and twenty in the afternoon. Some of the Metlahka tlah Indians were also present, and one of them, Mary by name, spoke to them a few earnest