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India, China, or elsewhere, to win souls to Christ. There are many beautiful specimens to be gathered in the far-off lands of Missionary labour. Would that they were more carefully selected, and more tastefully brought together, so that every Gleaner might be as a bouquet of choice flowers, exhaling sweet perfume, refreshing to those who take it in hand. But, alas ! our endeavours fall far short of our wishes. And yet, while we gather something from the foreign field, our own home must not be forgotten, and we would gather something from thence also, to add to our collection, for in the nooks and corners of old England, in retired places, where they shun observation, and love to bloom in secret to the Lord, are to be found many lowly Christians whom the world knows nothing of, but whom the Lord knows and prizes; and many unobtrusive services done simply to the Lord, like the two mites of the poor widow, which, if the Lord had not noticed them, no one else would have seen.
We have asked our friends in different parts of the country to gladden our hearts by telling us something of the work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope of the Lord's people here and there, as much as may be safely done, for many of our English flowers do not like, are not used to much sunshine. They love the shade, and seem to do best there. And there we would leave them, except a sample now and then for general encouragement, and just to show how much more there is behind. For we are persuaded the Lord has many people in these islands of Great Britain, who love His word, love His yoke and service, and who, to please Him in whom they trust, engage themselves, as they have opportunity, in various services, some to do good at home, others to send the Gospel abroad.
We have now before us several stirring details of what is being done by Parochial Associations to help the great Missionary work. They are from north and south, too many to bring within the compass of a single Number. Like leaves plucked from the sweet-smelling verbena, they are very fragrant and very choice, and we mean to be sparing of them, so as not to give too much of them at once; for we shall have another bouquet to make up next month, and we want to keep something for that. Here is the one we have selected for our present Number.
PAROCHIAL CHURCH MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION IN OUR TOWNS AND CITIES.
The parish in question is situated in a city where the Church Missionary Society had one of its earliest Associations, and one which has been as well worked as any in the kingdom for many years, by means of district collectors, &c.
The parish church will seat about four hundred people, and the congregation contains only five or six families of the upper classes, the rest being small tradesmen, domestic servants and labouring poor.
All those in the congregation better able to give have long been subscribers to the Society. But the great majority belong to a class too often passed by and dissociated from ordinary Church Missionary effort. The idea suggested itself of interesting them personally in it, more than hitherto had been done by the annual sermons and meetings, and other efforts of the general Association.
Accordingly a meeting of the parish and congregation was called, an Association formed, a general canvass agreed to, and collectors, male and female, appointed.
The result of the first year's working of the Association is as follows : 190 new subscribers obtained ; of these, 140 subscribe not more than 58. a year, i.e. three-fourths of the subscribers give little more than 1d. a week : 80 subscribe not more than 28. 6d. a year, i.e. little more than a }d. a week.
The additional income thus arising to the Society in the first year of the Association's existence is upwards of 701.
Of this sum, upwards of 201. have been raised by the female servants in the congregation, who have four collectors of their own class, and 60 contributors.
The 701. thus raised is independent of the collections at the annual sermons, which, though always unusually large, has increased this year, the increase being in silver and copper.
As instances of the greater liberality of contributors in the poorer classes, two cases might be mentioned : a young man, serving behind a counter, lately an apprentice, subscribes 6d. a week ; two young women, in a similar position, subscribe 108. a quarter each.
lo! as gems to deck the waste, behold
Nor lion roaring after prey
CEYLON-ITS PEOPLE. Our valued Missionary, the Rev. W. Oakley, of Ceylon, has forwarded to us information respecting this island and its population, from which we put together the following particulars.
The population consists of three races—Indo-Portuguese, Singhalese, and Tamils.
The Indo-Portuguese are the descendants of the European Portuguese, who once were masters of those parts of Ceylon which lie along the seacoast, but never conquered the mountainous district which occupies the south-centre of the island. These are for the most part Romanists.
The Singhalese inhabit the southern and western parts of the island, and also the interior, where they are called Kandians, from the word Kanda, which signifies a “hill, or mountain.”
The population of the northern portion of the island and of the eastern coast are Tamils.
The religion of the Kandians is Buddhism ; so also is that of a large proportion of those who live in the south and west. The remaining Singhalese are either Protestants or Romanists. The religion of some of the Tamil people, especially the merchants and traders, is Mohammedanism, and the remaining Tamils are either Hindus or Romanists, with the happy exception of the little groups of Protestant Tamils which are springing up around the Mission stations.
It must also be remembered, that on the coffee estates in the Kandian territory there are not less than 200,000 Tamil coolies. Amongst these there is going forward a deeply-interesting Missionary work, carried on by Tamil Christians, who, with the people amongst whom they labour, have come over from the Tinnevelly province of India. These native catechists are superintended and encouraged in their work by two European Missionaries.
Of these people the Singhalese are so far the least hopeful. This is caused by the deadening action of Buddhism, which recognises no Creator, no Saviour; "there is no one either to reward or punish.” The commonly received notion is, that good deeds necessarily lead to happiness, and evil deeds to misery; but whether in his future transmigrations he shall be happy or miserable, the Buddhist has no means of knowing beforehand. The highest degree
. The highest degree of happiness he expects or hopes for, is to cease to be, and this most of the people hope they shall one day reach, after passing through bodies of jackals, crows, serpents, toads, for ages.
AUNT LINA'S SUNSHINE.
As to religious worship," they are content to visit the temples occasionally, and there make offerings of flowers before the larger images, and sometimes to give money or cloths to the priests.” But when they come into trouble, or are attacked by sickness, they look for help and deliverance, not to Buddhism, but to devil-worship. There are books, which give a list of the different calamities men are liable to, while the devil, or devils, by whom the trouble is sent, are minutely described ; and also what should be done to appease their anger, or drive them away. There are devil-temples, devil-priests, devil-dancers, &c.
The lowland Singhalese are, however, not only Buddhists and devilworshippers, but very frequently are found to have put over these a form of Christianity. The Portuguese, when they were masters of these provinces, compelled them to profess Romanism ; the Dutch, when they came into possession, compelled them to profess Protestantism. If they readily complied, there were temporal advantages with which they were rewarded by the government of the day; and as they were not expected to give up the old religion, but to put on a new, they did just as a person does who when going into public puts on a new dress over the old one which he wears every day, and takes it off again when he returns home. Thousands of families are to be found Christian in name, Buddhist in practice.
The Kandians, speaking the same language as the Singhalese, are quite a different class of people. They were never subject to the Portuguese or Dutch, nor have they, for the sake of temporal advantages, professed a religion which they neither understood nor cared for. “They are staunch Buddhists, and are a very independent people. They have their own gardens, and houses, and fields. They are not accustomed to engage in trade or business. They barter the produce of their gardens
. and fields for cloth, fish, &c., and seem perfectly content to remain at home. The cultivation of their paddy-fields occupies a very small portion of their time, and that only occasionally, and, as they have no wants, they lead a careless life. They visit their temples occasionally with offerings of rice and flowers, and join the people of their village in summoning a priest to read the sacred books to them once a year, or once in two years, and they sometimes go in company to visit and make offerings to some distant temple. From all parts of the island Singhalese come to visit the great temple at Kandy, and offer the first-fruits of their harvest. But in times of trouble and of darkness the Kandians, like the rest of the Singhalese, have recourse to charms and devil-worship.
Amidst these various races our Missionaries are at work, preaching the Gospel and winning souls to Christ, as the Lord blesses the word, amongst the Tamils of the north, and the Tamil coolies on the coffee estates in the Kandian country; amongst the Singhalese of the sea-coast provinces, and the Kandians in their own beautiful country of mouutains and rivulets, and woods. Another paper in this Number brings out some points of interest connected with the work among the Kandians.
AUNT LINA'S SUNSHINE. We found this paper in an American periodical. It appears to be of English birth, for it is prefaced by the words, “ from an English paper.
We had not seen it before it was borne across the Atlantic
A FAR-OFF MISSION FIELD.
to the Christians of New York. They seem to have perceived its beauty, for they have given it a place in one of their publications, and so it comes back to us again, having won golden opinions from our Christian friends beyond the sea. We ourselves have liked it so, that we reproduce it in the “Gleaner,” although, to some of our friends, it may not be new.
“ And what is your name ?” said I, as the child of the friend whom I had just come to visit passed before me.
“I'se Aunt Lina's Sunshine," was the pleasant answer of Louisa. “That is a queer name,” I said. “Why do they call you so ?”
Shaking back her long ringlets, and looking up to me with her earnest, 'speaking eyes, she said, “Aunt Lina is papa's sister : she is blind and cannot see any thing, not the pretty flowers, nor the soft, white clouds, nor the little birds. She hears the birds sing, though, but she cannot see the pretty colours. She feels the warm sunshine, too, but she can't see how beautiful it makes the meadows look after the rain. But sometimes when she is sad and lonely she calls me to her, and I sit on my little stool by her side and say the pretty verses to her that I learn in the Sabbath-school ; and I have learned some hymns, too, and I repeat those to her, and then she calls me her sunshine. Don't
think it's very nice to be Aunt Lina's Sunshine ?"
“Yes, indeed I do. You are a real little Missionary,” I said.
“No, I am not a Missionary. I know who the Missionaries are. They are people who go a great way off to the poor heathen that don't know any thing about Jesus, and tell them about Him. What made you say that I was a Missionary ?".
“ Because Missionaries do good, and you do good to Aunt Lina, don't
“I don't tell her about Jesus, because she knows all about Him ;" and the child stopped and thought a moment, and then looked up and added, “No, I am not a Missionary; I’se only Aunt Lina’s Sunshine.”
I kissed her broad, white brow, but said no more to her. But although I was silent, I didn't stop thinking ; no, my thoughts were very busy with all the little girls and boys of my acquaintance. I wondered how many of them were “Sunbeams” in their homes. How many made themselves the lights of sad hearts by cheerful endeavours to make others happy. All have not an “ Aunt Lina,” blind to all beautiful things, and whose heart may be gladdened by the love of a little child, but
many have a sick friend or acquaintance to whom kind attentions would come like sunlight, making an otherwise dreary home bright and cheerful; and all have friends who are sometimes “sad and lonely,” to whom 'a word of love or sympathy would be more precious than the sunshine.
A FAR-OFF MISSION FIELD. In our last number we gave a picture of a Kutcha-Kutchin chief, and accompanied it with a brief description of the tribe to which he belongs.
We should like to follow up the subject, and to tell our readers something more of this people, amongst whom the Gospel of Christ, made