« PreviousContinue »
as well as of the house occupied by our esteemed missionary and his family, and the home provided for the orphan children. Arrangements may subsequently be made for having these copied, and distributed among the friends of the Mission. Referring to the School-house, which the Committee authorised Mr. Anderson to erect or purchase, he states in a letter dated August 22nd, "I have bought a house to be used as a school-house. The situation is excellent, not far from the Mission compound, and yet central so far as the town is concerned. The foundation has been tested for ten or twelve years, and the building is substantial. We are getting it altered to serve us at present, and hope to enter it by the ist September. After the rains are over, I propose to take down the roof, which is flat, and therefore heavy, and the beams of which are bent and not very strong, and to break down most of the interior walls, and enclose the courtyard. We shall then have a fine large hall, and accommodation for probably over three hundred scholars. The sloping tiled roof which I propose to put on, will be safer than the present one. I think the total cost of the school-house may probably amount to about £80, when the contemplated alterations are finished ; but I am not sure if its equal could be erected for double that amount, if we had to buy materials and begin from the foundation. The school” Mr. Anderson adds "continues to prosper. We have now about 190 scholars, and have reason to expect more.”
Writing on September roth, Mr. Anderson says, “We have now over 190 scholars. The other day I had occasion to go to the Zillah School, when there were present in it 38 scholars. There were also 40 present in the branch school conducted in the same building, ---making in all 78. Allowing that one fourth of those enrolled were absent, the total number would be about 104. There is another branch school which has on the roll, I am credibly informed, no more than 30. You will therefore see, that we have decidedly the majority of boys, besides hope of increase. It is possible that our numbers may diminish when we begin to levy fees. We are therefore desirous to delay levying them as long as we can; bu long we must begin.
“I am sorry to say, that one of the infant orphans, Susan Burnham, died on the 31st August. She has never been at all strong since she came to us, and more than once we have had reason to think that she would not live long.
She was getting her eye teeth, which weakened her very much. She was sweet little child, and had always a smile for us when we spoke to her. We expect soon to get a little Gond girl, who is presently in the hospital."
a very The most recent letter received bears date November 9th, and it indicates that the missionary and educational work continue to make satisfactory progress, while another important branch of mission work has been started, David Gajadhar having been sent out occasionally as a colporteur. The letter contains a number of interesting statements, and we here give it almost verbatim :
“You are aware that the school-house is undergoing extensive repairs ; I might almost say that it is being rebuilt. Work of this kind needs to be very closely superintended. When the work is finished, we shall have one room measuring 25 by 38 feet, another measuring 40 by 11 feet, and two small rooms additional. The largest apartment is to the back, in the centre is the boys room, and in the front is the verandah, having a small room at each end. The house, having been built by a Mahometan, was so constructed as to shut out light and air, which rendered it necessary to make a number of doors and windows. Any doors that were in the bailding were very low, so that a person of average height had to stoop in order to enter. This is the universal custom here in native houses. The school compoand will now be fully occupied with the building ; but probably enough we may be able by and by to buy up some cheap neighbouring houses. It would, however, only tend to raise the prices if we were to show any eagerness to obtain them.
* The school is getting on very much as when I last wrote. As yet we have not been successful in our attempts to get a second English teacher ; but we hope that we may be able to get one by the beginning of the new year.
"On Wednesday, the Ist instant, I accompanied Mr. Bose and David Gajadhar to the Mundara fair, where we stayed till Saturday. We had 16 or 17 meetings in the fair, all of them large; and we had the satisfaction of observing that a number of persons were evidently much impressed with what they heard. This year we saw no pretended demoniacs, and there was very little that we noticed worth writing about. Near our tent was the tent of a wealthy village owner, whose son or daughter, (I forget which) a mere child, was engaged to be married to the son or daughter of another malguzar. The women connected with these two families came twice or three times to the tent of the former, and sang a monotonous tune for a considerable time. One evening a procession of these women, numbering say from 50 to 100, came to the tent singing all the way. We could not make out distinctly what they were singing. They stayed for some time, after which they left, singing abusive and very obscene language, directed against the malguzar above mentioned. He called on us next day, when we spoke to him about the obscene language which the village women had uttered. He replied, that it was the custom of their caste ; and all that we could say could not convince him that it was wrong. On the contrary he maintained that it was an expression of affection for him. On inquiry, he informed us that on similar occasions this practice would be maintained as long as he lived. At the same time these women are so modest in their own way that, if a gentleman were to appear in their village, they would rush into their houses to avoid being seen.
“Since I last wrote to you, a new branch of mission work has been begun, viz : colportage. David Gajadhar has begun to take tracts and books with him for sale in the district. About a fortnight ago he went out for five days, walking from village to village, and sold tracts to the value of u annas (Is 4$d). Considering the state of education in this district, and the poverty and prejudices of the people, I think this was a good beginning. This kind of work always involves, in India at least, pecuniary loss; and for some time to come we cannot expect it to be very successful here.
“I told you in a former letter of the death of Susan Burnham, one of the infant orphan children. Since then, I am happy to say, two orphan children have been made over to us. One of them is a boy of about three years of age, of the blacksmith caste. According to your instructions, he has been named Thomas Manson, in memory of our late revered minister of that name. The other is a little girl, somewhat younger than the boy, of the Brahmin caste. She is to be provided for by Mr. Fraser, Assistant-Commissioner, who to our great regret has been again transferred from Seoni, after a residence of about a month and a half. He has not yet told us by what name he wishes her to be called.”
The Foreign Mission Committee having recently considered the advisability of sending out another ordained missionary to Seoni, resolved meanwhile to instruct the Convener to correspond with ministers, and ascertain if any young man connected with any of our congregations, was likely to offer himself for this important and necessitous field of labour. The Convener will be glad to hear of any one who feels constrained, out of love to Christ, and a desire to be instrumental in saving souls, to leave his country and relatives, and go to the rescue of the benighted heathen. To encourage young men to decide on going to India, the following is extracted from the journal of the Rev. Dr. Caldwell, a well-known Indian missionary ; “ Perhaps in no other country in the world would a foreigner, coming amongst the people to teach a foreign religion, be received with so much courtesy. My assistants also testify that they have everywhere been received with respect, and listened to with attention, except by a few thoughtless young men. On the other hand, perhaps in no country in the world would arguments and appeals, patiently listened to from day to day, and apparently assented to, produce so little immediate effect. There is a great gulf in this country between assent and conviction, and a still greater gulf between conviction and action."
Priesthood in the Light of the New Testament. The Congregational Union Lecture
for 1876. By E. Mellor, D.D. 8vo., pp. 423. Hodder & Stoughton, London.
1876. THE “Congregational Union Lecture," which was established with a view to the promotion of “Biblical Science, and Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature," has done good service to the cause of Scriptural Exegesis and Evangelical Theology. The volumes that have been already issued afford abundant evidence of careful research, profound thought, and earnest zeal for the advancement of the cause of revealed truth and of religious liberty. We have perused a number of them with much interest and no small profit. Even in cases where one is constrained to dissent from the sentiments of the Lecturer, the views which he advances are deserving of respectful attention and thoughtful consideration, as they are generally presented with clearness and candour, and sustained by arguments which are at once plausible and weighty.
The volume of the Congregational Lecture for the present yearon the "Priesthood,"—is, we consider, one of the best of the series. The lecturer, Dr. Mellor, occupies, deservedly, a high place in the Congregational body in England, as an eloquent preacher, and a learned and able divine. The subjects—the Christian ministry regarded as a Priesthood, and the errors and Ritualistic practices connected with the priestly theory-are at the present time, worthy of the gravest consideration, when the Papacy is putting forth the most vigorous efforts for the spread of idolatry, superstition, and antichristian error; and large and increasing numbers in the Protestant churches are in no little danger of being seduced by the outward attractions of an unscriptural and sensuous worship.
The Lectures, in this volume, which are eight in number, form a full and eminently satisfactory discussion of the subject. In the first, entitled, “ The Priesthood not an ordinance in the New Testament," the author states the object of the discussion—and the method which he prescribes to himself—to restrict the field of evidence to the New Testament, and especially to the Acts of the Apostles, and the apostolic epistles; and he shows that Patristic authority is, on various grounds, of no real value in deciding the question. With approval, he quotes the words of Augustine in writing to Jerome:
“I confess that I only owe to those books of Scripture which are now called canonical, that reverence and honour to believe steadfastly that none of their authors ever committed any error in writing the same. But as for all other writers, how eminent they are, either for sancity or learning, I do not so read them as to think that anything is true, because they have so thought, but because they have persuaded me that it is taught by those canonical writers, or by probable reason."
The Question—"What says the New Testament touching the existence of an official priesthood in the Christian Church," is answered at length in the First and Second Lectures, by the author establishing-as he does, by able and convincing reasoning, the following positions--1, " There is no such priesthood acknowledged in name in the New Testament;" 2, “ No such priesthood is acknowledged in office;" 3, “ Nor in specific qualifications;” 4, “Such priesthood is precluded by the whole genius of the Christian dispensation." These positions are maintained and elucidated with apposite and cogent proofs from Scripture, and in chaste and polished diction. In showing that the priesthood in the Church is precluded by the genius of Christianity, the Lecturer quotes an extract of a letter of the late Dr. Arnold of Rugby :
“Every part of the New Testament gives a picture of Christianity, or of some one great feature in it; and every part negatively confutes the priestcraft heresy,
because it is to be found nowhere, insomuch that no man ever yet fell or could fall • into that heresy by studying the Scriptures, that are a bar to it altogether, and it
is only when they are undermined by traditions, and the rudiments of men, that the heresy begins to make its way. It is making its way fearfully, but it will not take the form that Newman wishes, but the far more consistent form of pure Popery." Justice Coleridge likewise says—"The Priest is either Christ or Anti-christ; he is either our Mediator, or he is like the man of sin in God's temple. The Church system is either our gospel, and St. John's and St. Paul's gospel is superseded by it, or it is a system of blasphemous falsehood, such as St. Paul foretold was to come, such as St. John knew to be already in the world."
Lecture third treats of the “Christian Priesthood—its alleged orders and lineage." In this the author exposes clearly the pretensions and discusses the claims of Diocesan Episcopacy, showing by a number of considerations, the absolute identity of the two offices of Presbyter and Bishop, in the New Testament, and proving the utter impossibility of tracing the line of descent from the Apostles of present Protestant Bishops. By an apt quotation from Archdeacon Hare's work on the “ Mission of the Comforter," there are strikingly exhibited the pride, intolerance, and uncharitable and unchristian presumption of the advocates of Apostolical succession within the pale of the English Establishment. In Lectures iv. v. and vi. the Priesthood in its functions at the altar and in the Lord's Supper, is discussed with much fulness and in a highly satisfactory manner. The gross perversions of the Sacrament of the Supper into a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the living and the dead, are pointed out; and the errors of Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, and the New Catholic theory of the “ Objective Presence" of Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist, are clearly stated and ably refuted. Dr. Mellor most convincingly shows, by various quotations from some of the leading Anglican and Ritualistic writers and theologians, that the Anglican theory is essentially the Popish doctrine of the Real Presence, with slight modifications and various disguises. This Archdeacon Wilberforce, in his work on the “Eucharist," and Dr. Pusey, virtually admit; while others of the same school declare in the plainest manner, that the doctrine of the churches of Rome and England on the Lord's Supper are identical. One of these says,—The Eucharistic sacrifice is Christ Himself, supernaturally present in the Sacrament; the Victim slain once for all upon the Cross, but continually offered before God in memory of that death by His own natural presence in Heaven, and by His supernatural presence in the Sacrament here on earth.”. And another declares,—“The Church of England holds precisely the same view of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper as the Church of Rome.” These three Lectures are replete with lucid statements of