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Clouds and darkness often appear to attend the first efforts for evangelizing Pagan lands, where afterwards the brightest prospects cheer the benevolent heart. We rejoice that the horizon of the Burman Mission appears to be brightening. The following extract from a letter written by Mr. Judson to Dr. Baldwin, when connected with later intelligence, will rejoice every friend to the spread of the Gospel. On their arrival at Ava, they met with a favourable reception from his Majesty, and were directed to seek them such lodgings as were agreeable, near the foot of the throne. We trust this will turn out to the furtherance of the Gospel among the millions of Burmah. Extract of a letter from Rev. A. Judson to Rev. Dr. Baldwin.
Rangoon, Aug. 21, 1822. REV. AND DEAR SIR,
Since I wrote you last February, I have been almost entirely confined to the translation of the New Testament, in which I had proceeded to the end of the second of Corinthians, including Ephesians, Hebrews, and the epistles of John; when an order arrived from the king, summoning brother Price to Ava, on account of his medical skill, of which his Majesty had heard. We expect to leave Rangoon day after to-morrow, in a boat provided by government. Brother Hough remains in eharge of this station.
For several weeks past, there has been a considerable excitement in the minds of our Burman friends. The assembly on Lord's days has risen to thirty or forty, Five have lately been baptized, and there remain several hopeful inquirers. These circumstances make me very reluctant to leave Rangoon; yet the path of duty seems to lead to Ava. May the Lord direct and prosper this our second attempt to gain some footing in the capital and the palace.”
The late intelligence from the Palestine Mission is peculiarly interesting: The following brief extracts from the Missionary Herald, will show our readers how these unweariedly active men are employed at Malta.
They have secured such confidence from the Greeks that two Greek youth have been entrusted to their care, and have actually arrived in this country to receive an education. These interesting natives of classical ground are at Salem, with the Rev. Mr. Cornelius.
“We preach four times a week in English. Our chapel which accommodates one hundred persons, is filled twice on the Sabbath. On Wednesday evening we preach also in the chapel, and on Thursday evening in a room on the other side of the water, near the dock-yard. Our preaching is generally extemporaneous. This is the kind of preaching, to which our hearers have been most accustomed, and which they prefer.
“Our congregations on the Sabbath are of quite a mis. ed kind ;--some persons distinguished for learning, talents and accomplishments, and some of the most illitterate; Churchmen, Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, and Methodists. Nothing gratifies the serious part of our congregation so much as when we preach on the glory and grace of Christ : 1 mean, in a practical and experimental way.
We have several times had at our meeting two young midshipmen, from an English manof-war, who have beconie serious in the course of the past year.
BIBLICAL LECTURES. A Bible Class has been formed in the First Congregation in Charles
town, under the pastoral care of Rev. Mr. Fay, of which, at our request, he has furnished us with the following account. We are pleased that he has so minutely traced the incipient steps which led to its complete organization. We hope that the regret which many others among Zion's Watchmen feel in rarely meeting their young people except in the sanctuary, may be removed by the same resolute, persevering, and successful efforts which he has made,
The Pastor of this Congregation had long lamented, that so small a number of the dear youth attended his weekly lectures at the Chapel, and other appointed means of religious instruction, aside from the public wor. ship of the Sabbath. To interest this important portion of his charge in the study of the Scriptures, gain access to their minds, and secure stated opportunities of apply.
ing divine truth to their consciences and hearts in an affectionate and familiar manner, he proposed the establishment of a Biblical Class, and gave notice from the pulpit, on the Sabbath, of the
design and objects of such an association, inviting all of twelve years of age and upwards, wbo could find it practicable, to assemble at the Chapel, and learn more definitely the objeet proposed, and the plan to be pursued. In the mean time he visited the families of the Congregation, exhibiting the importance of the object to the youth, that they might be persuaded to attend; and to the parents, that they might not only secure the attendance of those under their care, but also co-operate with their Pastor by their parental fidelity.
This Class was formed on the last Tuesday in Janua. ry, when there were entered as members, one hundred and thirty. The Biblical lectures are given every other Tuesday evening, or once a fortnight. The present number of members is two hundred and twenty, and there are additions at every lecture.
The Biblical Catechism of the Rev. Hervey Wilbur, is adopted as the text-book of these lectures ; and it is hoped, that not only this interesting manual, but the efforts of its author to airl the moral and religious improvement of the rising generation, will be extensively useful.
Those associated to attend these lectures, are enrolled in six divisions; four of females, and two of males, and a question or subject is assigned to each division ;-and when proposed at the next lecture, it is expected some member of the division to which the subject was assigned, will repeat the passages of Scripture found under it. The Pastor then proceeds to discuss the subject of the question, explain the passages of Scripture repeated, answer objections, and make a direct application of the truths illustrated.
Every lecture is commenced and elosed with prayer. And it may with propriety be add. ed, that while the dear youth are assembled to be in. structed out of the Scriptures, there is a meeting at the same hour of professing parents, to pray for a divine blessing upon these instructions; and ihe very first lecture was not without its visible good effects.
It must be perfectly obvious that this system of Biblical instruction might be widely extended ; and the Pas
; tor had hoped to have extended it; but the religious at
tention, which has appeared, has so multiplied his la. bours, as to render it utterly impracticable.
The course of Biblical instruction already adopted, is attended with many important advantages.
I. It brings the youth together to gain religious instruction, and awakens a disposition to attend other leetures, and meetings for religious purposes.
II. It calls their attention directly to the word of God, and gives the Pastor an opportunity at every lecture to enforce their obligation to study the Scriptures by new motives continually occurring.
III. It furnishes the youth with the most useful and interesting topies of conversation when together, and the Pastor with the most interesting subjects of inquiry, whenever he meets them.
IV. It gives a Pastor the most favourable opportunity to address nearly all the youth of his congregation at once, and in an appropriate manner.
V It furnishes the most correct and efficient aid to pious parental instruction, and renders the joint labours of both Pastor and parents the most effectual.
VI. It brings, more than any other mode of instruction, the sacred Scriptures before the mind as the only rule of faith and godliness, and it has already evinced by actual experiment, that men are begotten again, and sanctified by the word of truth.
The Pastor has given notice, that any members of the Biblical Class were at liberty to write essays or dinnertations, on the subjects to be discussed, and send to him; and if deemed useful, ihey would be communicated to the Class. One essay, or more, lias been read at every lecture. The Pastor has been requested to submit the following, read at the Biblical lecture oo the 25th of February and 11th of March last. As the essays are all presented as anonymous, they will be thus submitted.
The following prose and poetical Essays are those alluded to in
the above communication.
66 The study of the Scriptures, must be considered by every unprejudiced observer of their invaluable and di
versified contents, not only the most important, but the most interesting, which can engage the attention of a rational, contemplative mind. All that the most fertile imagination can conceive of purity of style, sublimity of thought, or grandeur of imagery, is found there. They contain variety suited to all the diversity of taste man possesses.
Is biography your favourite study? With what interest will you follow the pious youth, whose history commences in the 30th chapter of Genesis ;-who having been sent on an errand of mercy from the bosom of a doting father, was ungratefully received, cruelly treats ed, and his life attempted by his wicked brethren, but mereifully preserved by an overruling Providence ? With what interest will you dwell on the description of his bondage ;-with what delight behold him afterwards next in honour to the king, overcoming every temptation, and resolving not to “ sin against God.”
With what deep solicitude will you trace the history of the child saved in an ark of bulrushes from a cruel and untimely death, and called to be a prince and deliverer to his countrymen; and yet in all his prosperity remembering the Lord,-choosing rather to suffer afljetion with his people, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season ?
Are you pleased with history? With what delight will you peruse the history of the Jewish nation, and trace their various journeyings, distresses, and providential deliverances, which occupy the seventeen first books of the Bible, and are either foretold or adverted to on almost every page? Do you delight in the recital of deeds of valour, or martial fame? Look at the holy fortitude, the pious confidence of the young hero, (1 Samuel, xvii.) who went forth at the command of the Lord with a sling and a stone, trusting in an Almighty arm, and defied the proud Philistine's strength and skill, and you will find much to admire and imitate. He was but a youth, yet, trusting in the Lord of hosts, was victorious; - youth ;-and yet before assembled thousands declared his confidence in Israel's God ;-in our God.
Has poetry more enticing charms for your refined taste? Some of the finest and best strains ever presented to the eye of man are to be found in the Psalms of Da