« ForrigeFortsett »
Published Monthly under the Direction of the Executive Committee.
ROBERT CARTER, 112 CANAL STREET,
in Ž ORK FUPI !
TRY 529 6 65
ASTORU, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS, R
SCATCHERD AND ADAMS,
No. 38 Gold Street.
To the Readers of the Foreign Missionary Chronicle.
DURING the year which is now nearly ended, we have been permitted to communicate various intelligence, showing the successful prosecution of Missionary work in two of the fields of labor which Providence has assigned to the care and cultivation of our Presbyterian church. And while we have to refer, with regret, to the temporary suspension of the Smyrna mission, and the yet limited operations of the mission to Western Africa, it has been our privilege to see the number of our missionaries considerably enlarged, four families having gone to the Indians on our Western frontier, and four families having sailed for India. We have, also, endeavored to present general Missionary and religious information, according to the measure of our narrow limits.
Our pages have shown that the receipts of the Society, during the past year, have been larger than during any former year. This fact deserves to be remembered with sincere gratitude to Him, whose is “the gold, and the silver, and the cattle on a thousand hills ;" who has inclined so many of his people to consecrate their property to the promotion of his cause, notwithstanding the commercial embarrassment that has been so severely and generally felt in this country. In common with other benevolent institutions, we have felt the influence of "the pressure.” It has been our painful duty to limit the operations of those of our brethren who are among the 'heathen, to delay the departure of others from the beginning until near the end of the year, and to keep some others still at home. This would be less a matter of grief, if the multitudes of the heathen could but stop, or delay, their progress to that world where the benevolence of Christians cannot reach them. While the wants and woes of our heathen fellow men continue to be so deeply affecting, and while, by the favorable opportunities afforded in the course of Divine providence for relieving them, so many millions seem to be uttering the cry, “come over and help us,” it cannot be too much lamented that any circumstances should occur to interrupt or to hinder the efforts which are making to extend salvation to those who are ready to perish. This reflection carries along with it increased force from our knowing the abundance of the elements of prosperity, and of the comforts of life, which have been enjoyed by the greater part of the American people, even during the severest embarrassment that has prevailed. As no events in the history of men, and especially of the church, can be supposed to occur without the permission and intention of God, it becomes Christians to ask, why it should have pleased an all-wise Providence to permit such a pecuniary embarrassment in the midst of stiîl abundant though impaired resources, and why there should consequently have been such a hindering of the streams of salvation, at the very time when the channels for their flowing seemed most widely open ? Has it been because the people of God have been too much occupied with worldly cares, or too anxious to become rich in this world's goods, or forgetful of their obligations as stewards of their Lord's money, or deficient in the exercise of prayer, faith, and love, when they have given their pecuniary offerings for the promotion of their Saviour's glory? Or has it been because it is the intention of God to teach his people that, in order to support his cause, something more is necessary than the offerings of mere convenience; something quite beyond the overplus of their abundant temporal comforts; in short, that self-denial is still required, as in the early days of the church, from those who would be co-workers with Christ in extending his kingdom on the earth? Whatever be the cause, we trust that this embarrassment, which all hope will not be of long duration, will be regarded by Christians, not as proceeding from human agency and secondary causes merely, but as the discipline of our gracious God and Father, intended to direct our thoughts and affections to the more earnest seeking of those treasures in Heaven, which are never attended with any anxiety or loss; and also to induce us to meke a more
entire and conscientious consecration of our property to the service of God and the good of man. If it have these effects on the minds and conduct of Christians, then even the heathen, in their progress to the grave, may pause to ascribe thanks to God, whose peculiar glory it is to bring good out of evil
, and to overrule all the troubles that afflict his church, for the promotion of his own glory in her greater enlargement and perfection.
Our readers will unite with us in devout thanksgiving to the great Head of the Church, for the action of the last General Assembly on the subject of Foreign Missions, and the subsequent action of the Foreign Board of Missions appointed by that venerable body, We feel the greater pleasure in reverting to the measures adopted by the General Assembly on this subject, because of the evidence which they furnish that the minds of the Lord's people have not been occupied, by the painful but apparently unavoidable troubles in our branch of Israel, to the exclusion of a proper interest in benevolent objects. The continued interest which is felt in these objects, in the midst of such trying circumstances, is like the bow in the heavens, peaceful, and promising brighter days, in the midst of dark clouds and conflicting elements. And now that we may consider these conflicts with brethren who differ from us as nearly at an end, and the great questions concerning the manner in which we shall serve Christ as almost settled, we hope there will be a greatly increased feeling of interest in direct benevolen xertions.
We are the more encouraged to entertain this expectation in regard to our department of Christian benevolence, from our belief that the Foreign Missionary cause, in the Presbyterian Church, now rests on more satisfactory principles, and a better understood policy, than at any former period. We have at length, as a Church, recognised our obligations to the Saviour and to the heathen. This is what should be. The doctrines of our Church, as is known to all intelligent men, directly lead to the most direct Missionary efforts ; and in its organization, our church is fitted to become admirably efficient in its Missionary character. What more appropriate employment could engage the attention of our various church cour's and officers, than the providing, superintending, and sending into all the world the precious means of salvation? For what other object, so important, were they constituted by the Head of the Church? Let the business proceedings of our ecclesiastical meetings be more like those of the Synod of Jerusalem, whose members came together to consider the matters which related to the progress of Christ's cause among the Gentiles, and who hesitated not to send to distant places « chosen men of their own company,” to aid in adjusting them.--Oh that we were more like the members of that court, and like the Christians of those days, in the holiness of our lives, and the efficiency of our efforts to do good! We do believe that our church has greatly suffered in her spiritual interests by so long neglecting the cause of Foreign Missions.-It is the cause of Christ, enjoined by his commandment, exemplified in his life, and endeared to his people by the affectionate interest with which he still regards its progress. If they neglect this cause, how can they expect to enjoy the presence of Christ? It is to those who obey his command, that he says « Lo I am with you always.” They who water others, shall themselves be watered.”
We hope that better days are dawning upon our Zion. A beginning has been made in this work of the Lord. We trust that the progress of our beloved church will be onward; that the close of every year will witness a deeper interest felt in the salvation of the heathen by all our church judicatories, and by all our private members, until we shall have the honor of being, like the church represented in the first ecclesiastical council
, A MISSION CHURCH.
African languages, translations into, 22 Brewer, Rev. J., letters of,
15 British Christians, pious and kind, 84
Algiers, description of,
49 Calls for missionaries in India, 27
Am. Temperance Union, 104 Campbell, Rev. W.,
tutions of Great Britain, 139–141 Church Missionary Society,
31, 134, 171
Communion among the Weas,
Baptism of a Brahman at Madras, 59 Convention of Presbyterians in Phi.
of Chinese converts at Malac-
110, 127, 144, 159, 175, 189
Bird, Miss, memoir of,
65 Departure of missionaries, 70, 161