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THE

EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE

AND

MISSIONARY CHRONICLE.

MAY 18 23.

1

MEMOIR OF THE LATE REV. WILLIAM MILNE, D.D.

MISSIONARY TO THE CHINESE, &c.

(Concluded from p. 139.)

IN our last Number, we left Mr. sation that enabled him, for two

Milne among his friends at Can- years, to relieve the Missionary Soton; but the extreme jealousy of the ciety from expense on his account. Chinese government rendering it Afterwards, however, personal inimprudent for him to remain with disposition and an increasing faMr. Morrison throughout the year, mily obliged him to recur to them after much consideration it was again for his support. His labours agreed, that Malacca was, in many among the Dutch, though in the respects the preferable centre of the English language, were not altoUltra-Ganges Mission; and prepa- gether in vain; much success, howrations were made for Mr. Milne's ever, could not be expected, consiremoval thither with his family. dering their imperfect knowledge Chinese boolis, printing-paper, and of the English language, in which materials, a teacher of the language, only he could preach. and proper workmen were procur

His heart was, as we have seen, ed, and after a most painful farewell intent upon his missionary work; to their friends at Canton, they em- and as a first effort he determined barked April 17, 1815. Unhappily, on the formation of a school for the when they had not been more than instruction of the children of the five days on

board, Mrs. M. was poor. A place that had been oce taken in labour, and delivered of cupied as a stable, was at a small twin boys under very trying circum- expense fitted up as a school-roone; stances; but by the kindness of and papers being posted up in difProvidence they all safely arrived ferent parts of the town to give noat Malacca, after a passage of 35 tice of it

, they excited considerable days, and were very kindly received attention; the Chinese never hava by the Resident, Major Farquhar. ing heard of a free school before.

The Dutch Protestants being at Some difficulties however arose from this time without a pastor, Mr. Milne their native superstitions.

The was invited to accept the office; Chinese master could only begin being determined, however, not to upon a lucky day, and each of the relinquish his missionary work, he children must have what they called declined the offer; but agreed to "a heart-opening cake,” to prepare preach to them once a week : for him for instruction. These things, this service he received a compen, in the first instance, it was fovid

S

VOL. I.

necessary to comply with, or the He had then a part of the Old Tesschool could not have been com- tament in hand to translate, the menced.

school to superintend, and his own But this was not all. It is cus- studies in the language, of which tomary also for the Chinese, in all his knowledge was as yet very imtheir schools, to set up the images perfect, to pursue. Every Sabbath of Confucius and of Wan-chang Day he had to preach in the Dutch (the god of letters); to which the Church in the morning ; his usual children used to bow and to burn morning exercise was therefore de

every morning, bem ferred till the middle of the day. fore they began to learn their les. At one o'clock the Scriptures were sons. This, however, was positively read, followed by an exhortation refused; and the objection was at somewhat more at length than on length surmounted, by stating that other days. In the afternoon, the the school did not stand upon the scholars were catechised, as above ground of a Chinese.

stated. Mr. M. then visited the At length the school was opened town, distributing tracts and conon the 5th of August, with five versing with the natives. In the scholars; but they soon increased evening, at eight o'clock, the Scripto fourteen, who were instructed tures were read and expounded, in reading, - writing, and arith- and the day closed with prayer. metic; the whole in their native From three to eight adults usually 'tongue. Still the grand difficulty attended, and there have been as was to introduce Christian books, many as twenty ; but great difficulty and the knowledge of that religion was found in collecting any numwhich was necessary to connect the ber of silent and attentive hearschool with the office of a Mission- ers. Copies of the Scriptures and ary. The first object of the master Chinese Tracts were distributed, was, of course, to instruct them in the by various mediums, throughout the elements of their native language, Archipelago; and Mr. M. usually and to enable them to read. He was visited the different ships that arthen persuaded to teach them (with rived from China. consent of their parents) Dr. Mor- In the close of this year was com. rison's Catechism; from which they menced the Ultra-Ganges Library, learned from six to ten questions in with a very small number of books, a week. Mr. Milne afterwards ex- European and Chinese. On a pounded this, dwelling on such memorial to the Governor in Counwords as God, creation, soul, death, cilat Penang, a grant was made of &c. which, by degrees, formed a ground for the erection of Missioncatechetical exercise for the Sun- ary buildings, subject to the future day afternoon. · The masters were approbation of the Dutch Governalso gradually induced to attend on

ment.

A free press was also althe public worship with their chil- lowed at Malacca ; and a free pasdren.

sage for members of the UltraMr. Milne had now, for two Ganges Mission to any parts of the years, a great weight of engage- Archipelago where cruisers should ments on his hands. Every morning be visiting. his Chinese domestics met for In 1816, the Chinese scholars Christian worship, in that lan- had increased to nearly sixty; guage. A portion of the New Tes- Mr. Milne composed for them the tament was read, with short re- Youth's Catechism, and printed marks, and followed by prayer. two new tracts, “ The Strait Gate,

and " The Sin of Lying." Mr. had gone thither a little before him, Milne's translation of the Book of sailed for China, where he landed Deuteronomy, after being revised September 3d, and did not return by. Mr. Morrison, was now put to till the following February. During press: and, in the course of this this period some of the Missionary year, the Chinese printer was bap- labours were necessarily interrupttized, on a credible profession of ed, as Mr. Medhurst could not be his faith in Christ.

supposed in so short a time suffiAdditional printers having ar- ciently qualified to fulfil all the rived from India, the printing estae duties of an experienced Missionblishment was considerably in ary, especially in China. creased : and, in the autumn, the Previous, however, to Mr. Milne's Rev. C. H. Thomsen arrived, to leaving Malacca, he had translated commence a Malay Mission (the the Book of Joshua; and while in importance of which had been long China he translated the Book of urged by Mr. Milne), and applied Judges. An Exposition of the himself sedulously to that object. Lord's Prayer, which had been

In January 1817, a new range partly delivered in weekly lectures of warehouses and printing-offices in a small temple at Malacca, was was erected, having become ne- also here finished; beside which he cessary from the enlargement of the wrote a tract “ On the Folly of concern. Mr. Milne's next step Idolatry.”. Mr. Morrison and his was, as had been previously agreed, old colleague, Mr. Milne, being to publish a kind of Magazine, now once more brought together, called " The Chinese Gleaner.” they jointly drew up some regulaNo, I. is dated May 1817,

tions for the future conduct of the printed at the Mission press. It Ultra-Ganges Mission. A friend was proposed to be published quare having given 4000 Spanish dollars terly, and to contain extracts of the for the express purpose

of building correspondence of the Eastern an Anglo-Chinese College, they also Missionaries, and miscellaneous devoted a spot upon the Missionary notices relative to the philosophy premises at Malacca for its erection. and mythology of the Indo-Chinese Another friend of the cause offered nations. This work was calculated 400 Spanish dollars, as the foundato produce the double effect of tion of a fund for the Vidows and showing the Chinese, from their Orphans of this Mission, to which own writers, the folly and wick- each Missionary was to contribute edness of their idolatry, and con- one dollar monthly. vincing Europeans of the necessity During the same year, Mr. Morand importance of the Chinese rison finished his Translations of Mission. The circulation of this Ruth and the Book of Psalms; and work commenced at 500, and in- some progress was made in other creased to 1000 or more monthly. books of Scripture: he also transIt reached nineteen or twenty Num- lated into Chinese the Morning and bers before Mr. Milne's death. Evening Prayers, from the English

In June of this year (1817) ar- Common Prayer Book. During rived Mr. Medhurst, as assistant this period also, Mr. Morrison reto Mr. Milne in the Chinese Mis- vised Mr. Milne's Scriptural transsion ; but, within two months after lations, and prepared them for the his arrival, the latter, partly for press; and they agreed upon a di

own health and partly on ac- vision between them of the remain·count of his afflicted pariner, who ing books of the Old Testament.

and was

his

Mr. Milne, as the junior Mission- pidly, but soon fell back, and died ary, choosing the rest of the his- on March 20, "in humble hope (as torical books, as the more easy, Dr. Milne expresses it) of eternal and Mr. Morrison undertaking the salvation through Jesus Christ.” An books of Solomon and the prophets. interesting Obituary of this excel

The health of Mr. and Mrs. lent woman may be found in the Milne being considerably improved Evan. Mag. for 1820, p. 13—15. by the change of climate and the

During the spring and summer of kind attention of their friends, they 1819, Dr. Milne finished the histonow returned to their proper station, rical books of the Old Testament; and landed at Malacca, Feb. 17, and on the 25th of November the 1818. Here they found Mr. Thom- whole of the Old Testament was sen, who had also returned from a completed. The same year a misvoyage in the December preceding; sion was commenced in the Island and Mr. and Mrs. Slater, who had of Sincapore, in the straits of Macome from England by the way of lacca, which was conducted by Java, where Mr. S. had been de- Mr. Milton. tained by the Batavian fever. Mr. T. As a proof and specimen of the and Mr. M. resumed their respec- piety and missionary spirit of Dr. tive labours, and Mr. Slater ap- Milne, we give the following explied to the study of the Chinese tract from a letter written about language. Sept. 14, three more this time (1820) to a friend in Engmissionaries, (Mess. Milton, Beigh- land. ton and Ince) with their wives, ar

“ Our schools prosper; knowrived from England, two of whom ledge increases; some hear the word. applied to the study of the Chinese, Ten or fifteen heathen, however, we and one to the Malay.

consider equal to a congregation of About Michaelmas this year, several hundreds of professing Chris(1818) Malacca, according to trea- tians. The whole Scriptures are now ty, was restored to the Dutch go- rendered into Chinese. Many thouvernment; and the mission being re

sands of tracts, and other publicacommended to their protection by Mauy fields are open.

tions, have been widely circulated.

We want the English,

was received with great missionaries ; young men-hard stukindness. Nov. 10. the foundation dents-flaming souls, to set this dull was laid of the Anglo-Chinese Col- part of the worldon fire,for though we lege, on which occasion both the live under the line, the people's hearts English and Dutch authorities con- are cold as ice. Spiritual death reigns descended to attend.

around. Pray for us, and for the During this year, Mr. Milne got outpouring of the Spirit in Ultrathrough his translation of the books Ganges India. Though we see not

success yet, we faint not-we plough of Samuel and Kings, and wrote some new tracts and short dis, less approaching: though we shall

in hope. The Millennium is doubtA new Chinese school not see it, we resolve to labour to was opened, and Mr. Medhurst took basten it on. God has no need of us ; the charge of the school and print- but he confers great honour upon us, ing-office. Mr. Milne (as also Mr. in suffering so vite and unworthy Morrison) was honoured with a creatures to have any share in this gratuitous diploma of D.D. from glorious work Java, Sincapore and the University of Glasgow.

Penang, are all-important fields, both Feb. 6. 1819. Mrs. Milne laid-in have lately been visited with the

for the Chinese and Malay. We of her last child, named Farquhar. Cholera Morbus in these countries, At first she appeared to recover ra- which was carried off multitudes; yet

courses.

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