We subjoin a brief Abstract of the Report read by Mr. Fuller, the Secretary... comprising the Progress of the Mission from January to November, 1812.
I. At Calcutta and Serampore. Here things were very encouraging at the close of the year 1811. "The Lord has been pleased," say they, "to appear in a more effectual manner than in any former year: 59 have been added to us at this station." Kreeshnoo, Sebuk-ram, Thompson, and Debrun, were constantly preaching the Gospel to above 1,000 of various Nations. The Benevolent Institution, a charity school, on the Lancasterian plan for the poor children of nominal christians, chiefly among the Portuguese chatholics [sic] was in a very prosperous state, more than 300 children attended, and a place had been erected to contain near 1000.
On the first Lord's day in 1812, Dr. Carey's youngest son, Jonathan, a youth of about 16, of promising talents, was baptized by his father at Serampore.
In an excursion which Messrs. Ward and Marshman took on horseback for their health, they entered a village where many people gathered round them, furnished them with seats and sat down to hear. The missionaries read from the ten commandments, and then asked the
people, "Which of them they thought evil or unjust?" "None, they are all good." Our brethren then insisted that the tree must be good from whence these branches came, and then proceeded to shew how every man by nature was averse to these just and good commands, and of course to the God who gave them; which state of mind must be a state of wickedness and of great danger. They farther shewed how Jesus Christ came into the world to deliver men both from the guilt and the dominion of swin, and that their errand into this country wholly to bring a message of love, to make known these glad tidings, and communicate to them a share of the blessings which they themselves enjoyed. The people were very attentive.
On the 11th of March, Mr. Jonathan Carey, with Deep-chund and Vykoonta, went to a Hindoo festival at Chagda, where the river Hoogly is about three quarters of a mile wide. "The immense crowds upon the shore seemed like a forest of heads." Many had come above ten days journey, and the river was covered with men, women, and children, nearly to the middle of the current, all intent on their idolatrous ceremonies. About seven in the morning, Deep-chund, begun to speak to the people, declaring the inefficacy of what they were doing to remove their sins, and pointing them to the Lamb that was slain. The people listened with great attention, and eagerly received a number of Scripture Tracts which were distributed, and even followed the missionaries to their boat, some up to the neck in water, and others swam to the boat to obtain the tracts, with which they swam again to shore. They thus continued to discourse and distribute tracts, sometimes on the water, and sometimes on shore, the whole day. Sometimes the shout of Hurri bol (A sort of Huzza; tantamount to 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians.') was raised by opponents; once a lewd brahmun insulted them, but he was upbraided by another, and the people exulted in seeing him put to shame, and drove him away.
On the Missionaries' return they witnessed a most gratifying spectacle. A number of people sitting under a tree, close to an old temple of Sheva, in ruins, and is the midst of them a brahman, who had obtained a scripture tract, explaining its contents to the attentive crowd! "I could not help stopping," says Mr. J. Carey, "to contemplate this scene." One of these "images of the divinity" (as the brahmen are called) with a poita hung round his neck, just come up from the river, from whose lips nothing had ever proceeded but the praises of the gods, at the very door of the temple too, within whose walls he perhaps had been accustomed to pay his idolatrous adorations, and from which very likely he had all his life received his maintenance — this man became an unwitting teacher of the gospel. This sight was so new and, so cheering, it compensated all our trouble." On their arrival at Serampore, they found the Printing Office hart been consumed by fire. - The particulars of which, and the prompt and liberal contributions for its restoration, we have before detailed.
At a church-meeting a week or two after the fire, four new deacons were chosen, and Mr. Thompson and Mr. Leonard called to the ministry. The latter, with his wife and mother, and two others, were formed into a church to be planted in the city of Patna, 500 miles up the country.
Between 20 and 30 Seapoys stationed near Serampore came to the Mission House for Hindee Testaments. They are said to be encouraged to read them by their officer, and to take pleasure in it; but the missionaries have no access to them. It appears that large bodies of Hindoos have left the ancient forms of idolatry, and formed different sects under some one leader, of their own choice, called their goroo. Some
of these goroos have 100,000 disciples. They oppose the brahman, incline to a hospitable mixture of casts, and open a wide door for the entrance of the gospel - for having rejected the authority of the brahmans. the people push their enquiries farther, and will often acknowledge that they "never found the true goroo till they heard of Christ."
Some of the Goroos themelves have of late acknowledged Christianity to be the only true way. One of them, who is considered as the head goroo, on whom Kreeshnoo, waited at Ugra-deep, on his visit to that place, received him very kindly, declaring that "he wished to see him and to hear of the faith of Christ. The cast," added he, "is not of God; I will therefore follow the Lord with you; for with you are all casts. Englishmen, Musulmans, and Hindoos." "At night," says Krishnoo, "about 30 of his disciples of various casts, ate together, and the goroo commanded me to sit among them and to partake of the repast: I did so, and we praised God while partaking of this love feast. After he had eaten, the head goroo forbad an inferior goroo, though a brahman, to invest his son with the poita, and one of his disciples to give her sons in marriage to idolaters. To many present he said, "We will no longer preserve the distinctions of cast, but seek to possess the true religion, in which there is no cast; come let us walk in the true way, let us delay no longer."
Oo the 10th of August the brethren Johns and Lawson, with their families, and Miss Chaffin, arrived at Calcutta in good health.
At this station there had been baptized at various times, since January, 19 persons, including 8 soldiers, who were awakened chiefly by the preaching of native brethren, and 6 Portuguese, who owe their conversion to Sebuk-ram.
Translations. - The casting of types was resumed in a fortnight after the fire, and in November the New Testament was printing in Hindee, Sikh, and Tamul; the Pentateuch in Hindee, Mahratta, and Bengalee; and the Historical Books in Orissa and Sungskrit. The first sheet of John in Chinese was also in the press. The missionaries had received L2000 from the British and Foreign Bible Society, out of the L3000 voted for the years 1811-1813.
The conclusion of the Report, which relates to the Out-stations, as also the proceedings of several Meetings of the General Union, we must defer till our next; in which also we hope to find room for some remarkable instances of conversion, detailed by Mr. Fuller in his report.
Mr. Fullers Report at the Annual Meeting. Concluded from page 306.
II. Out-stations. Omitting two or three, at present establishing rather than established, they amount to ten; Dinagepore, Goamalty,Cutiva, Jessore, Rangoon, Orista, Digah, Patna, Agra and Colombo.
1. Dinagepore. The church in this city enjoyed much prosperity in 1811. The severe trial their worthy pastor, Mr. Fernandez, had experienced in the loss of his amiable and useful partner, had sunk his spirits so low, that for a season he thought of relinquishing his post. This feeling was but transient, he mentions. September 8, 1812, a young musulman, with his wife and three children, as having of their own accord forsaken cast and friends, and come over to them; and several others of whom he hoped soon to give a good account. Their worship was well attended.
2. Goamalty. Mr. Mardon having been greatly afflicted, Mr. De Cruz, a member of the church at Calcutta, who was previously a Portuguese catholic, was sent to his assistance. The natives in this part of the country being very solicitous for christian schools, several have been established, which are superintended by Mr. De Cruz, who also preaches with much acceptance and distributes the scriptures. The schools increase very rapidly; many of the children read the scriptures very fluently. Another native brother has been sent to assist Mr. De Cruz.
3. Cutwa. Since the removal of Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. W. Carey has occupied this station, assisted by the native brother Kangalee, three of whose brothers have been baptized, with several others. The principal success has been at Lakra-koonda, a large town in Bhecrboom, and the villages around it. where there is a branch of the Cutwa church. Several schools are opened in these parts also.
4. Jessore. In the villages of this district, Carapeit, assisted by five native brethren, has laboured with considerable success. Carapeit has since been removed, and is preparing for a mission to another part of India. He is succeeded by Petruse, and Pran-Kreeshno, (the head of a family who are all believers in the Lord Jesus, and have suffered much persecution for his sake) was chosen to administer the Lord's supper in those places where Petruse was unable to go.
5. Rangoon in Burmah. The progress of this mission is at present confined to the translation of the scriptures. Mr. F. Carey had taken one or two of the Gospels with him to Serampore, purposing to have them printed, and to return with them, after having taken the advice of his brethren.
6. Orissa. The labour and success of Mr. John Peter, and Kreeshna-das, at this station, during the last three years, have been very considerable. The scriptures have been plentifully distributed and the gospel preached from Balasore to Cuttack, a distance of more than 100 miles. The church here consisted of 30 members in January, 1812, since which several more have been baptized. The scriptures have obtained admittance into the very temple of Jaggernaut, having been distributed among the principal persons belonging to the temple - a new testament was given to one of the head ministers of the idol. The missionaries' labours continue unremitting, and the success very encouraging.
7. Columbo in the Island of Ceylon. No missionary being in this city, or within 100 miles of it, and as it contains with its vicinity, scarcely less than 50,000 persons, generally called christians, but perishing for lack of knowledge, Mr. Chater, with the advice of his brethren, and encouraged by the Calcutta Bible Society, fixed upon this for his future station. He and Mrs. Chater arrived there April 16, 1813. Their first object was to open a European School, which has been done with some success. It is hoped that this station will soon be able to support itself.
8. Digah, (near Patna.) Here the society has a valuable house, purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Moore, with a view of forming a school and a missionary station. In 1811, Mr. and Mrs. Rowe, Mr. Biss, and some native christians joined them, and in 1812 became a distinct church. Mrs. Moore died August 30th, at Serampore. her trust was in Him who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
9. Agra. Messrs. Chamberlain and Peacock here opened a School, which was pretty successful. They preached also in the Fort twice a week, and the word was blessed to several, Mr. C. lost three of his children early in the year, and an occurrence has since taken place which has occasioned his removal from Agra. Mr. Peacock remains at this station, and the brethren at Serampore have sent one of their members of the name of Mackintosh to assist him, who being a native of the country, no restriction is laid upon him.
10. Patna. This city is about 300 miles from Calcutta, and may contain half a million of people. Thither a Mr. Thompson, with his wife and mother, and two other brethren, after being formed into a church, are gone to reside. He is a very promising young man. In three days after his arrival, he appeared to be in the midst of his work, reasoning and expostulating with men about their eternal salvation ; and no sooner did he begin to preach, than the people began to hear and weep, and wish to hear again. He is well able to preach in English, Bengalee, and Hindoosthance, and being born in the country of a native mother, is under no such restrictions as missionaries sent from Europe. His ministry excites great attention from various classes; Catholics, Hindoos, and Mahometans hear him and appear to be much interested. It seems as if it were by these half British and half Hindoo inhabitants that God would save the natives.
Besides these ten stations, there are others forming, and several
places which appear to present promising openings for the spread of the gospel, such as Dacca, Java, the Mahratta Country, Bombay, and the Isle of France. To each of these the missionaries have paid some attention, and some native brethren and others are making the first efforts to disseminate the scriptures and preach the gospel therein.
[From The Baptist Magazine, 1813, pp. 304-306; 348-350. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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