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It is proposed to unite these district unions into one general county union; and it is hoped that this example will be followed throughout the principality, in which it is calculated there are 100,000 Sunday scholars.
In Scotland, no less than 121 schools, attended by 7158 children, have been connected with the Sunday School Union, of which number nearly 100 have been formed within the preceding twelve months; 180 schools are reported to have libraries, containing together nearly 5000 volumes: libraries are also attached to several others.
From the reports of 338 schools, it appears that the average annual expense of conducting them is less than 27. 11s. 6d. for each school, or about nine-pence per scholar.
In Ireland, the increase during the last year amounts to 262 schools, and 22,075 scholars; and gratuitous assistance has been afforded by the Sunday School Society to 610 schools. An interest for the welfare of Sunday schools appears to be no where more warmly excited than in Ireland. Within the last three years, the schools assisted have been more than doubled.
PROCEEDINGS OF MISSIONARY SOCIETIES.
WANT of space prevents us from giving more at present than the following brief sketch of the various Societies formed in England for the propagation of the Gospel in heathen countries. It will be our pleasing duty, in succeeding numbers, to present an account of the several stations at which missionaries reside, and to detail from time to time the progress of their very important, interesting, and extensive labours.
The Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts was instituted in 1701, under the auspices of William III. The principal object contemplated in its formation, was the supply of the plantations, colonies, and factories beyond the seas, with suitable ministers of the Established Church; for which purpose, as far as it respects our possessions in North America, a sum of money is annually voted by parliament. The members of this society have recently determined on an extension of their plans, and propose to adopt active measures for the spread of Christianity in the East. In consequence of this resolution, a Mission College' is now erecting in Calcutta, by which the means of instruction will be afforded to European missionaries, as well as to those natives who may wish to avail themselves of its advantages. Here also the translation and printing of the Scriptures will be actively carried forward; besides which, it is proposed to establish missionary stations, scholarships, a library, and Christian and native schools. The principal of the college, the Rev. W. H. Mill, with the Rev. J. H. Alt, one of the professors, arrived at Calcutta from England in February 1821, and have entered upon their important functions.
The Society for promoting Christian Knowledge has existed more than a century, and, besides important domestic operations, has greatly contributed to the spread of religion in the East Indies. Mission
aries, catechists, and school-masters, have been long patronized and supported; of these labourers the venerable Swartz was one; his successors still carry on the work with the most valuable effects. The present stations are Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Tanjore, Tinnevelly, Vepary, Noacolly, Meerut, Barrackpore, Trichinopoly, and Ceylon. The Li. turgy is translated and printed in the Tamul and Cingalese languages; and the schools, which are numerous, are well supplied with books and religious tracts. A clergyman who lately visited the Madras district mentions two villages, named Nazeret and Mothelloor, entirely inhabited by native Christians, whose instructors are supported by this Society. He observes that "there is not an idol or heathen temple any where to be seen while the stillness that prevailed, contrasted with the tumult of heathen abodes, seemed to invest these favourite spots with a degree of sanctity, and made one forget for the moment that they were in the midst of a pagan land. I have seldom witnessed so much religion in a town in England as is conspicuous here; and some heathen in the neighbourhood of one of the villages told me candidly that it was a very quiet and good place."
The labours of the Moravians, or United Brethren, exhibit extraordinary generosity, self-denial, and patient perseverance. Their missions commenced in 1732, when the whole number of their society did not exceed 600. They chose for the scenes of their exertions, the most barbarous and unpromising countries. Without funds, without patronage, without any human resources, they ventured to the inhospitable shores of Labrador and Greenland; and there they have continued amidst obstacles that would have disheartened any but themselves. Sometimes they have been on the very verge of starvation; at other times, the inclemency of the weather has occasioned severe suffering and danger; and more than once the murderous hand of the savages has been imbrued in the blood of the missionaries: yet nothing has deterred, nothing has appalled them. Their missions are now in a flourishing state. There are three stations in Greenland, and the same number in Labrador. The missionaries have translated the New Testament into the languages of the Greenlanders and the Esquimaux. In the West India Islands, there are seventeen settlements, in which Christian instruction is afforded to nearly 27,000 Negroes. Upwards of 1900 Hottentots are collected into congregations in South Africa. The good effects of the regulations uniformly established by the Brethren for the promotion of industry and civilization have particularly appeared among these people. The converts have been induced to cultivate the land; they have learned various trades; and have even succeeded in erecting a bridge over the river Zenderend, which will prove a great benefit to the surrounding country-the Hottentots are a nation proverbially slothful; this change is therefore entirely to be ascribed to the introduction of Christianity. There are other stations among the North American Indians, in South America, and in Russian Asia. In thirty-two stations there are 161 missionaries, and the congregations are about 32,000 in number.
By the exertions of The Wesleyan Missionary Society, formed in 1786, many thousands of the slaves in the West India islands have received instruction. Their conduct has been consistent and prudent; and the inhabitants of some of the islands have been so well convinced, by the evidence of facts, of the beneficial results of the mission, that they have voluntarily come forward to defray the expenses incurred. This Society has also several stations in the East Indies and in Ceylon. In the latter island, two priests, of the highest order of the Buddhist priesthood, have embraced Christianity: they have since visited England for further instruction, and, we believe, are now gone back to their own country. The whole number of stations occupied by this Society is 97; there are about 150 missionaries; and many schools have been established for the education of the young, both on Sundays and other days of the week. The establishments are most numerous in Ceylon, where there are 84 schools containing 4878 children, and conducted by 150 teachers.
The Baptist Missionary Society was instituted in 1792. Messrs. Carey and Thomas, the first missionaries, sailed from this country in 1793, and on their arrival in Bengal immediately commenced their active labours. They had to struggle with great difficulties, and met with numerous disappointments; but they persevered. The number of missionaries now employed is about 30, besides many native assistants, converts to Christianity, who, from their knowledge of their countrymen's habits and modes of thinking, are peculiarly adapted to the work. Twenty-five stations are occupied, situated in Bengal, Ceylon, Java, Sumatra, and Jamaica.
The Baptist missionaries have paid particular attention to the translation of the Scriptures, and have been signally successful in this department. In the space of twenty years they have translated and printed the word of God, in whole or in part, in no fewer than thirty-one languages and dialects In five of these languages the whole Scriptures are published and in circulation. In two others the New Testament is printed; of these the Chinese is one, in which language the remainder of the sacred volume will soon be published. Sixteen other versions of the New Testament are in the press, some of which are probably by this time nearly finished. On the importance and usefulness of these exertions it is impossible fully to calculate: by such labours the Missionaries leave a rich legacy to future generations, and may justly be regarded as the best benefactors of India. for ages to come.
At Serampore, the seat of the translations, seventeen presses are employed; the paper for their use, of a better quality and more durable texture than any before manufactured in India, is furnished from a manufactory on the spot established by the missionaries. A laudable attention to the temporal necessities of the natives, has induced them to institute a Savings Bank; and Dr. Carey has lately exerted himself with success in the formation of an agricultural and horticultural 30ciety, of which the governor-general has accepted the patronage, and which has been joined by several of the most opulent of the natives. The education of the young has proved a powerful auxiliary to their exertions.
exertions. Under the superintendence of the missionaries, upwards of 10,000 children receive valuable instruction; they are supplied with compendiums of useful knowledge, which, by means of the Scientific Copy Books,' are well impressed on their memories. The effect already produced by these schools, may be gathered from the following extract from one of the missionaries' journais :
"This morning, asked my pundit who has lately visited every school connected with the Society, whether he had witnessed any effects of the instruction now afforded to children? He replied, 'Yes, sir, the effects are astonishing, both among the children and the parents. A few months ago, before your books were introduced, if I had asked a boy at school what was the matter during the late eclipse, he would have replied that the giant Rahoo was eating the moon, and would have joined in the beating of drums, &c. to frighten him, that he might let go his grasp. But now they all know better; they see such an event without alarm, know it to be produced by the shadow of the earth, and despise the foolish ideas and customs they formerly entertained and practised. A few months ago, had a snake bit a person, he would have done nothing but immediately call for a priest to repeat a muntra (or incantation) over him, and, if the snake was poisonous, die in the repetition; but now, as soon as he is bitten, he puts no faith in muntras, but directly ties a bandage over the wound, and gets a hot iron applied to burn out the poison.'
The literary labours of the Baptist Missionaries have been various and important. They have compiled grammars and lexicons of several of the Eastern languages. Dr. Carey is one of the professors in the college of Fort William, Calcutta; a college has been recently founded at Serampore, at a great expense, where the native youth will have the opportunity of obtaining a knowledge of religion, science, and lite
In 1795 The London Missionary Society was formed, and has been extensively useful in various and distant parts of the world. In several of the South Sea Islands, to which missionaries were sent soon after the formation of the society, the system of idolatry is abolished; large buildings are erected for Christian worship; the Sabbath is religiously observed; education is progressively advancing; spelling-books and portions of the Scriptures have been printed in the Taheitian language; and considerable improvements are already observable in industry and civilization.
Dr. Morrison is stationed at Canton in China; he has translated the whole Bible into Chinese, great part of which is printed and in circulation. He is otherwise actively employed in missionary concerns. Malacca, an Anglo-Chinese college has been established, which is under the superintendence of Dr. Milne. In the East Indies, 24 missionaries are assiduously labouring; several thousand children are under their care, Vigorous efforts are made for the enlightening and civilization of the uncultivated tribes of South Africa.
The King of Madagascar having recently entered into a treaty with our Government, by which the slave trade is abolished in his dominions, Mr. Jones, one of the missionaries of this society, accompanied the
British commissioner, in order to solicit permission to introduce Christi. anity into the country. The king, having thoroughly informed himself of the views of the society, cordially sanctioned the project, and wrote a letter to the directors, of which the following is an extract:
"Mr. Jones, Your missionary, having satisfied me that those sent out by your society have no other object than to enlighten the people by persuasion and conviction, and to discover to them the means of becoming happy, by evangelizing and civilizing them, after the manner of European nations, and this not by force, contrary to the light of their understandings: therefore, gentlemen, 1 request you to send me, if convenient, as many missionaries as you may deem proper, provided you send skilful artisans to make my people workmen, as well as good Christians."
In consequence of this application, another missionary and four artizans have been appointed to proceed to Madagascar. Eight youths, sent by the King to England to be instructed in useful learning and arts, are now under the care of the British and Foreign School Society; their progress in writing, speaking, and reading the English language, is highly creditable to them. Should they be spared to return, the knowledge they will have gained will doubtless enable them to render essential service to the land of their birth.
The other stations occupied by this society are in Russia, Russian Tartary, the Mediterranean, and the West Indies. The whole number of stations is fifty, in which are 140 labourers, including missionaries, assistants, native teachers, schoolmasters, &c.
The Church Missionary Society, conducted (as its name imports) by members of the Church of England, was formed in 1801. Its operations are carried on with great vigour, and on a large scale, by a supply of able missionaries, catechists, and schoolmasters, and by the translation of the Scriptures and the English Liturgy into several of the Eastern languages. Besides eighteen stations in British India, there are agents supported and employed by this society in Western Africa, Ceylon, the West Indies, Malta, and Constantinople: the stations connected with these districts are twenty-one in number. The missionaries in Western Africa are chiefly occupied among the liberated Negroes, who are dis tributed into several towns and hamlets, and are making great progress both in Christian knowledge and in habits of industry and order. Regent's Town, one of these places, contains 1218 inhabitants. It is laid out with regularity in nineteen streets. There is a large church, a government-house, a parsonage-house, an hospital, school-houses, store-houses, a bridge of several arches, all of stone, as are some of the native dwellings, and other buildings; the land in the neighbourhood is cultivated, various trades are carried on, a daily market is held, and the whole place is rapidly advancing in civilization.
The following fact will serve to show the benign influence of Christian principles, wherever they are sincerely believed and practised:-On a late occasion, when a body of newly-liberated slaves arrived in Regent's Town, the inhabitants met the enfeebled sufferers, carried them up the hill on their backs, brought them food from all quarters, and clothed them in their own garments :-whereas before the introduction of religion