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THE ANNUAL MEETINGS. The difficulties through which the Society has been brought, during the last year, by the gracious hand of God, gave to the annual services an unusual interest. All the meetings, without exception, were more largely attended than for many years past, and were pervaded by a devout and grateful spirit. They began with the devotional service in the Library of the Mission House, at which the Rev. Dr. Steane presided. His address added to the impressiveness of the occasion.
In the evening of the following day, Friday, the 22nd April, the Annual Sermon in the Welch language was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Price, of Aberdare, in Jewin Crescent Chapel. The attendance was much larger than the previous year.
On the Lord's Day, April 24th, missionary sermons were preached in eighty-three chapels in London and its suburbs, and thirty-five juvenile missionary services were held; a larger number than the Society has ever before enjoyed. It is a pleasing indication that the missionary spirit is also spreading in the congregations of the metropolis.
At the general meeting of members and subscribers, on Tuesday the 26th, the usual business was transacted, and some important notices were given by Dr. Underhill, on behalf of the Committee, and by the Rev. C. Stovel, of some proposed changes in the constitution of the Society. They will come up
for decision at the next annual meeting. The Treasurer and Secretaries were re-elected, and the following gentlemen chosen to serve on the Committee for the present year :Aldis, Rev. J., Reading.
Lewis, Rev. W. G., jun., London. Birrell, Rev. C. M., Liverpool.
Maclaren, Rev. A., B.A., Manchester. Bloomfield, Rev. J., London.
Manning, Rev. S., London. Brown, Rev. H. S., Liverpool.
Martin, Rev. J., B.A., Nottingham. Brown, Rev. J. J., Birmingham.
Middleditch, Rev. C. J., London. Brown, Rev. J. T., Northampton. Millard, Rev. J. H., B.A., Huntingdon. Burchell, Rev. W. F., Blackpool. Mursell, Rev. J. P., Leicester, Chown, Rev. J. P., Bradford.
Newman, Rev. T. F., Shortwood. Colman, Jeremiah, Esq., Norwich, Page, Rev. T. C., Plymouth. Dowson, Rev. H , Bradford.
Paterson, Rev. J., D.D., Glasgow. Edmonstone, G., Esq., Torquay. Pattison, S. R., Esq., London. Edwards, Rev. E., Chard.
Prichard, Rev. J., D.D., Llangollen. Evans, Rev. B., D.D., Scarborough. Robinson, Rev. W., Cambridge. Foster, Michael, Esq., Huntingdon. Smith, W. L., Esq., St. Albans. Goodall, A. B., Esq., Hackney.
Spurgeon, Rev. J. A., London. Gotch, Rev. F. W., LL.D., Bristol. Stanford, Rev, C., Camberwell. Green, Rev. S. G., B.A., Bradford. Templeton, J. Esq., F.R.G.S., London. Haycroft, Rev. N., M.A., Bristol. Thomas, Rev. T., D.D., Pontypool. Heaton, W., Esq., London.
Tresidder, J. E., Esq., London. Hobson, Rev. J., London.
Tucker, Rev. F., B, A., London, Jones, Rev. D., B.A., Brixton.
Vince, Rev. C., Birmingham. Katterns, Rev. D., Hackney.
Walters, Rev. W., Newcastle. Landels, Rev. W., London.
Webb, Rev. J., Ipswich. Leonard, G. H., Esq., Bristol.
Wheeler, Rev. T. A., Norwich,
To the list of honorary members of the Committee was added the name of our esteemed friend the Rev. J. Leechman, D.D.
The Annual Morning Sermon was preached at Bloomsbury Chapel by the Rev. D. Katterns, of Hackney. The text was taken from the 67th Psalm, the first two verses. The subject illustrated was the inseparable connection that exists between the spiritual state of the church and its usefulness in the world. The evening sermon was preached by the Rev. A. Maclaren, B.A., of Manchester, at Surrey Chapel. His text was the 16th verse of the 10th chapter of the Gospel according to John. These discourses were listened to with breathless attention, and the memory of them will remain as amongst the most precious legacies that the recent services have left. Their publication in the pages of the “ Baptist Magazine” has given pleasure to thousands who could not enjoy the privilege of hearing them.
The Public Meeting on the 28th was held under the presidency of Lord Radstock ; but we had to deplore the absence of our beloved Treasurer, who, for the first time for sixteen years, was compelled by sickness to be absent. The Rev. Dr. Thomas, of Pontypool College, conducted the opening devotional service. After the reading of extracts from the Report the meeting was addressed by the noble chairman, and by the Revs. T. Evans, J. D. Coley, Dr. Angus, and Chas. H. Spurgeon. From the full report in the Freeman we take the following extracts :UNITY OF THE CHURCH.
Son to die for us." When we see evi.
dence that God has knit together the It was with great joy I accepted the in- different members of His body into one vitation from your Society to be present harmonious whole, it makes us hope that here to-day. More especially, as I am not the day is not far distant when that unity connected with the branch of the Church will be completed, though as yet it is but of Christ by wbich this Society is main imperfect; and when we shall all, with tained, I felt all the more rejoiced in one heart and one voice, give praise to accepting the invitation, because I saw in Him who “sitteth upon the throne." it & recognition of the true principle of
Lord Radstock. "the unity of the body of Christ, the members of which, however they may have different works and different functions THE TRANSLATION OF THE SCRIPTURES. on earth, are yet knit together in the one body, kept alive by one Spirit, having The work of the Society seems to be one Head, one hope, and one calling. It more and more important. The work of was, therefore, with more than common translation that was mentioned in the pleasure that I came here to fill the po report is one the value of which cannot sition which I have the honour to hold be overrated. When we see the progress to-day; and I must say it is one of the which education in the empire of India is most cheering signs of the tiines, to see making, the gradual leavening of the that the little lines of demarcation, which native mind which seems to be going on, seem to separate the different members of it is of the utmost importance that the the church of Christ, are being obliterated ; Scriptures, and books bearing on the not because the distinctions are thought Scriptures, should be sent forth whole. unimportant, but because it is seen that sale amongst the people. The native there is something which is more im. mind appears, from all accounts, to be portant still, namely, the love of the gradually opening for the reception of different members of the church of Christ truth, and it does seem to be of unspeakone towards another. (Hear, hear.) Iable importance that that truth should believe that it is giving a testimony to be God's truth; that it should not merely the world--that testimony which the Lord be certain improvements in physical Himself said it would give, when we are science, certain advancements in civilisaBeen to be one in the love of that God tion, but that truth which our Lord told who " so loved the world that he gave his His disciples “should make them free,"
IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER.
We pity the degraded natives of heathen / which he cannot dispel, and of misery lands, but we forget sometimes that it is which he cannot mitigate. He would God's Word to which we owe our free- speak, but he cannot-he would assist, dom; and by forgetting that, I think oc. but he is helpless. As far as my own ex. casionally our efforts are somewhat luke perience went, I can only say that the warm in making known to others the preparatory part of my religious course blessed Gospel which has been the charter was to me, of all others, the most trying. of our own liberty.
Fancy yourselves standing on the verge Lord Radstock. of a mighty current, in which millions of
your fellow creatures are being swept away to destruction before your eyes. You come there to save them, but you
cannot. You would throw them a lifeI trust that there may be an earnest buoy, or direct them to a lifeboat, but spirit of prayer in each one of ns, knowing you cannot. Your tongue is tied ; your that the time for effort is rapidly passing hands are shackled; and all you can do away. Each one has an influence to some is to look on, and to look up to the God extent. There is not a single person in of mercy on behalf of those who perish this large multitude who has not a very before you. Would not such a position large influence, an influence for which he as that be a trying one? This is the case or she is responsible in the sight of God. in a still more awful sense with the misYou can strengthen to an immeasurable sionary in India, until after anxious extent the hands of the missionaries by months of toil and study he is qualified to prayer. By half an hour a-day you may go forth to the bazaars with the " strengthen the hands of the missionaries speakable riches of Christ." in a way that eternity alone can disclose;
Rev. T. Evans. and I verily believe that what we need now is not so much fresh organisation, as more earnest, unyielding prayer that God A MISSIONARY MUST THINK LIKE THE would bring down His blessing, not merely in drops, but in showers. We see that seed has been sown in all countries He has to learn not only how to speak
- not only in Europe, but in Asia, Africa, to the people; but also how to think and America ; and there appears to be the as the people think. He is now adpromise of a large crop. But for this dressing a people who have a peculiar there must be abundant rain. If much manner of expressing themselves, quite seed has been sown, there must be foreign to Europeans, and the missionary much rain ; and for the blessed shower I must lay hold of the native mind as well think we ought to plead earnestly and as the native tongue, and cast all his unweariedly that God will in His own thoughts in an Eastern mould if he would good time send down the shower which have them suit the figurative and fan. shall bring forth fruit to His glory. ciful minds of heathen people. Their
Lord Radstock. books are filled with figures, and even
their common conversation abounds with
metaphors. Nothing pleases them so A MISSIONARY'S DIFFICULTY IG. much as apt illustrations, and no manner NORANCE OF LANGUAGE A of preaching will interest them like the
pictorial and parabolic. They call the ig.
norant man blind, and the learned man The acquisition of foreign languages is they say has a hundred eyes. If they the first difficulty that a missionary in wish to describe a man of good outward India meets with. He lands in the appearance with a bad heart they will say country full of zeal for the salvation of that is a golden cup full of poison, whilst the heathen, and is anxious at once to the man with a poor outward appearance commence with his message of love and and good heart they will say is an earthen mercy to the perishing millions around pitcher full of nectar, The liberal man him. The scenes he has daily to witness is a well within reach of every thirsty are sad and sickening. He is now brought traveller. The truly benevolent man is a into personal contact with obscene and tree which drops its fruit even to those degraded forms of idolatry. He now looks who cast stones at it. The wicked man on what before he only heard of, and his is a serpent that will bite even those who heart fails within him. All he can do is feed it and fatten it. The indolent nian to stand a silent spectator of darkness is a pair of bellows that breathes without
life. Sin is a sea into which the wicked nomy, being able to specify the time when sink, and religion is a boat to ferry the an eclipse of the sun or moon will occur, good across. And thus they paint and use this knowledge to serve a double pur. picture almost every object and event pose. In the first place, they tell the they speak of. The missionary also must ignorant masses that nothing but direct acquire this parabolic mode of speaking if communication with the gods can enable he would have his preaching understood them to acquire this knowledge of the and appreciated by the people.
heavenly objects; and, therefore, the Rev. T. Evans, great power that the Brahmin must have
with the gods. But, not satisfied with
this, and wishing to turn this knowledge HEATHEN ENMITY AGAINST THE GOSPEL. to some more practical account, the Brah.
min goes on to say,
“ Did I not tell you They are prejudiced not only against this would occur? Did I not tell you the missionary, but also against the when it would take place! And now I Gospel. By the learned Brahmins and must tell you more. I must tell you why Buddhists who have an interest in up: it has taken place. There is in the sky a holding idolatry, the Gospel is regarded huge dragon, that has power to hurt and with that hatred which is known only to destroy the planets—that dragon has now those who feel that their trade is in a portion of the sun in his mouth. Do danger. To the common people Chris- you not see it black? He will devour it tianity is misrepresented by the religious outright unless you give gifts to the teachers. The levelling of castes in eat. Brahmins, who alone have power over the ing and drinking is represented as a sun." Gifts are freely and liberally made monstrous system of libertinism and to rescue "the orb of day" from falling a sensual indulgence; and the adoption of prey to the great dragon in the sky, Christianity involves the loss of all that Tricks of the same nature are practised the Hindoo holds sacred and valuable, by others who profess a knowledge of and subjects him to the deadly hatred of astrology, and by others who are supposed his friends, to the curse of the holy Brah- to be skilful in charms and incantations mins, to the wrath of the mighty gods. and witchcraft. The knowledge of the Moreover, the doctrines which the mis- people on religious questions is quite as sionary has to preach to the heathen, are defective. Not one out of a thousand can such as to arouse the enmity of the be give you an intelligent answer to the nighted heart of the heathen. The Gospel simple question, why they worship their aims a deadly blow at all his long.cherished gods. The reply generally is, because it is hopes. It robs him at once and for ever the custom. The knowledge they have of of the right which he has been thinking their gods is confined to the name of a he possesses from his deeds of self-denial. god or two, while the great majority of A man does not like this. He likes a re- the people scarcely know the name of a ligion which is suitable to his own desires god ; and the Brahmin tells them that it and inclinations. The Gospel reflects on is enough to know and repeat the names his character a light in which he never of the gods. Thus, then, are the great saw himself before, and because in this masses of the people plunged into deep light he can only see himself disgraced and darkness. They do, indeed, " sit in depraved, he loves that darkness which darkness, and in the shadow of death." flatters him as a paragon of virtue and They hold fast to the chain of supersti. holiness.
tion and caste. Rev. T. Evans.
Rev. T. Evans.
THE MORAL CONDITION OF THE HINDU. IGNORANCE OF THE HINDUS.
His conscience seems hardened against Brahmins watch and labour to keep the all moral influence, and the appeals that people in ignorance, and every inlet to would melt the hardest heart in England light and kuowledge is guarded as care. will fall flat on the most religious minds fully as the caverns of the dead. The in India. The Hindoo knows nothing of consequence is that the great mass of the moral obligations, all the requirements of people are dupes to priestcraft, and the his religion being social and ceremonial. easy victims of oppression to all those who Vice and virtue, as regarded by us, have pretend to knowledge in any branch of no place in his creed : he is at liberty to education. As an illustration of this, I practise the one, and to dispense with the might mention a fact of frequent occur other, at his pleasure, without running rence. The Brahmins, who study astro-' any risk of damaging his character as a religious man among his fellows. Ask | paratively small portion of the country. him of sin, as we understand it, and he There is Rajpootana, with 15,000,000 has no idea. Sin, with him, is to break people, and not one missionary; and there caste, to eat and partake of food with is Hyderabad, with 10,000,000, and only foreigners, or that which has been touched one missionary. Can we reasonably expect by a man of low caste. To eat beef, to the conversion of a country a large portion kill a cow, or to insult a Brahmin, are of which has never heard the Gospel ? sins of the most heinous kind and blackest Can we expect to reap where we have not die, that would fill the heart of the Hindoo sown the seed of the Gospel? In esti. with fear and terror; but he will lie and mating the amount of work done, I would deceive, he will oppress and defraud, he ask you to take into consideration the will forge and bribe, he will seduce and paucity of labourers, the extent of the debauch, and rob and murder, without field, and the huge difficulties to be surthe least sense of guilt, without any mounted. To those who think that little twitches of conscience. Everything in or nothing has been done, I would say, the present aspect of Hindooism tends to judge not before the time, nor by outdeaden the conscience and foster the ward appearance; and never forget that moral apathy of the people. The Vedas though the husbandman labours hard and and Shasters do indeed contain some long, he does not labour in vain. It must moral lessons, but these ancient writings never be forgotten that hitherto mission have been superseded by the more im- work in India has been chiefly preparamoral books called the Purans. These tory, and the measure of work done and are ten in number, very bulky, and full success achieved in this respect, may well of the most absurd and immoral legends inspire with joy the most gloomy heart, about the gods. To listen to these legends and the most dejected mind. is a delight to the Hindoo, for they have
Rev. T. Evans. been framed with the special object of gratifying his evil passions. The actions
ENCOURAGING FACTS. of the gods are recorded there, and the worshipper looks on those actions as The happy change that has taken place models for bis imitation, as standards by in the Government of the country may be which
he is to be ruled and guided. And, regarded as a token for good. The unalas ! what wretched models, what mean holy alliance of a professedly Christian standards he has before him! The very Government with heathen prejudices will essence of vice and immorality. Hence now be broken, and the powers that be his own licentious life, and his want of shall no longer be permitted to uphold remorse or shame at the most cruel and and sanction idolatry. And further, there infamous actions he is guilty of. The is a growing desire in India for knowledge most licentious and the most cruel of the and education. Many Brahmins in Ben. gods are the most popular, and are daily gal are becoming proficient scholars in solicited to aid the darkest of deeds. English literature, while others, who are
Rev. T. Evans. medical students, do not hesitate to dis
sect the corpses of the polluted Sudras. THE WORK TO BE DONE IN INDIA. We have not only Government colleges in
large cities, but in almost every district For any one to suppose that the task is throughout British India village-schools nearly accomplished, is nothing but a have been established. Sir Robert Montpleasant dream; and how can we expect gomery, the pious Governorofthe Punjaub, to see India forsake her idols, while and father of the missionaries, is taking Christian people spend their pounds on the lead in female education; and that luxuries, and give only their pence to noble movement will no doubt be warmly missionary societies, or while there is only supported by Sir John Lawrence. Even one missionary in proportion to 400,000 of public works are doing a great deal for the inhabitants ? The Government finds India, for when the great Ganges canal it necessary to send 70,000 British soldiers, was cut by the English, hundreds of Brahbesides having a native army, in order to mins, on their bended knees, prayed that maintain its temporal authority, and how Ganges would not go ; but it went, and can we expect to conquer the country for they now say that if England can lead Christ with 500 European missionaries, the Ganges where it likes she is no goddess aided by 1,000 native brethren? Not after all. The Brahmins also prefer even the large cities of India are efficiently mixing with other castes in railway occupied, and our agents must, of neces. carriages to walking; and even caste sity, confine their attention to a com- itself favours us for once, Let a large