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Cornwall, in Connecticut, and seven in the African School at Parsippany, in New-Jersey: the former are children of various heathen countries, the gift of a marked and affecting providence to the Christians of America, and are destined to return to the shores and to the forests from which they wandered, richly laden with good for their native land ; the latter are descendants of Africa, and hope, one day, to bring to their much injured mother, with the tears and confessions of America, her offering of recompense in the gospel of the Son of God.
But besides education directly ministerial, the Assembly are rejoiced to observe that religious instruction in general continues to be increasingly provided for the youth of the church. Bible classes are multiplying, and can never multiply too much ; while Sabbath schools, one of the happiest inventions of the age, are every where extending their benign effects both on the teachers and the taught. New-York contains nearly eighty of these schools, and educates about nine thousand scholars; Philadelphia about fourteen thousand, Baltimore about eight thousand, and other cities in proportion. Nor can we forbear to mention, that within one of our Presbyteries, the opportunity for the reception of religious instruction, afforded by these litle nurseries of truth, has been embraced by many members of the Romish communion, who were prohibited from entering a protestant place of worship.
That spirit of multiform benevolence which so eminently marks the present era throughout Christendom, has, of late, addressed its compassionate regard to the condition of our seamen. Not only have tracts and Bibles been distributed in numbers, among our shipping, but places of worship have been opened in our Allantic cities, expressly for the use of sailors and their families. The result has been gratifying beyond the most sanguine hope. Not only have that too long neglected class of men shown themselves sensible of this mark of Christian remembrance, and willing to attend on public ordinances (a privilege from which they thought themselves in a great measure excluded by their dress and appearance;) but they have listened with deep earnestness to the word preached to them; tears have flowed over their hardy cheeks, and hearts which no hardships could move, nor storms appal, have been broken and melted under thegospel's gentle voice. The gratitude and affection they manifest toward their religious teachers, and the solicitude they evince for further instruction, and an interest in the prayers of a Christian people, are truly affecting, and pungently rebuke the lukewarmness and apathy of those better taught, and more highly favoured. The effect upon their moral habits is immediate and striking; and has drawn expressions of the utmost astonishment from their former employers. The Assembly would suggest, whether these men might not be made of essential use in the diffusion of the scriptures, and the furtherance of the missionary cause.
The missionary spirit is another distinguishing characteristic of the age. Dissolving the worst rigours of sectarian bigotry, the spirit of missions, which is emphatically the spirit of heaven, has directed toward the miseries of perishing millions, that zeal which had been worse than wasting itself in contests between the members of Christ. The assembly witnessed with exultation the triumph of this spirit in the formation, three years since, of the United Foreign Missionary Society; and they now rejoice in being able to state, that the exertions of that society, have, at length, produced a mission, which, from the marked circumstances of providence in preparing its way, the spirit of devoted zeal which distinguishes its members, and the abundant prayers and offerings of God's people which have thus far accompanied its steps, bids fair for accomplishing the greatest and the happiest effects. A mission family consisting of seventeen adults, and four children, and containing two ordained ministers, a physician, and a number of pious persons acquainted with agriculture and the mechanic arts, have taken their departure for the Arkansaw River, with the design of forming a permanent missionary establishment among the Osage tribe of Indians. The chiefs of the tribe approve and invite the mission; and the paternal smiles of our general government have encouraged a design so directlycalculated to promote their civilization and moral improvement.
But while regarding on one hand the much injured aborigines of our land, the church has not been unmindful, on the other, of a race among us who have a claim no less imperious to our compassion and our prayers. The Colonization Society have at length enjoyed the long wished for gratification of seeing a ship depart from the American coast, bearing to Africa a company of her descendants, enlightened and free, and destined, as they hope, to provide upon her benighted shores, a sanctuary both for liberty and truth. The ship was sent out by government and accompanied by an armed vessel for her protection. She has safely reached Sierra Leone, on her way to Sherbro, which is contemplated as the site of the proposed colony. The Assembly, while contemplating these efforts abroad, think it right to add, that the condition of slaves in several districts of our own country, is not without circumstances which in some measure relieve the picture of their general condition. Their religious education is, in some cases, assiduously attended to; they worship in the families of Christian masters; and numbers of them give the clearest evidence of being Christians themselves. Some of our southern churches contain in their communion; some three and some four hundred slaves.
The cause of domestic missions continues to receive that assiduous attention which its importance to our country so imperiously demands. The settlements on our extended frontier, and the des!itute parts of our country in general, have received a large VOL. VII.
amount of missionary labour. Yet it is with equal pain and surprise the Assembly are compelled to state, that although the field for such labour has, during the year, been widely extended, the funds of the Board, instead of a proportionate increase, have experienced an alarming declension--insomuch that a less amount by one fifth of missionary service must be distributed this year than was the last. They regret that the plan proposed by the last Assembly for the formation of societies auxiliary to the Board has operated in a manner very different from what was contemplated ; and they earnestly exhort the Presbyteries which have taken this auxiliary form to use their most assiduous efforts that the collections for the general fund of the Board shall not be impaired by that arrangement
(To be concluded.)
SUMMARY OF THE EIGHTH ANUUAL REPORT Of the Board of Directors of the Theological Seminary located at Prince
ton, presented to the General Assembly, May 23, 1820. The number of students in the seminary at the date of the last report was fifty-sir. The highest number of students connected with the seminary at any time through the year, has been seventy. The number now in connexion with it is sixty-seven.
Since the last annual report seventeen of the students have been licensed to preach the gospel.
The board with pleasure repeat a remark, which they have had occasion to make in former reports, that a spirit of missions exists among the students of the seminary, and appears to increase, Numbers of those who studied in this institution, have, through the year, been actively and successfully engaged on missionary ground in different parts of the United States ; and, within a few weeks, one of the late students of the seminary, viz. Mr. Epaphras Chapman, in company with others, set out,under the patronage of the United Foreign Missionary Society, on a mission to the Osage Indians.
There has been raised by societies and individuals, for the support of necessitous students, $2612, besides sundry articles of bedding and wearing apparel.
Through the year past several valuable books have been presented to the seminary. In this way there have been added to the library one hundred and thirty-eight volumes, and thirty seven pamphlets. The number of volumes now in the library is 1106, besides three hundred pamplets.
On the subject of the theological edifice, the board report that but little work has been done. The library rooms, and five lodging rooms have been finished--with respect to the professor's house, it has progressed in building as far as the funds collected for this object would admit. For want of funds the work was suspended
in August last. The superintendent states that $2500, in addition to the subscriptions which were reported last spring as obtained for this object, will be requisite to complete the house and kitchen, with such out-houses and fencing as will be necessary. The great inconvenience to which one of the professors has from the commencement of the institution been subjected, and under which he still labours, for want of a suitable and perma. nent residence for his family, renders it very desirable that the attention of some able and liberal individuals should be directed to this object. The original plan was to procure ten or twelve subscribers, who should each become responsible for $500 for this object. Eight have been procured, as stated in the last annual report. Five more will be necessary as stated above to complete the building.
Of the $4000 subscribed for this object, $3540 have been paid. The expenditures have been $4132 46.
The last Assembly appropriated for the general purposes of the institution, the sum of $4000 in addition to the unexpended balance of the former year, of $912 54. The expenditures have been as follows, viz; professor's salaries and house rent, $4000: secretary's account and stationary $26 66 ; printing circular letter 917 50; advanced to Rev. Samuel S. Davis, an agent, $38 00; treasurer's commissions on the above at one per cent $40 32; printing the last annual report, paid by the treasurer of the General Assembly, $37 50 ; total, $4160 48 : leaving a balance of the appropriation for the current expenses of the institution unespended, of $752 50.
Of the $1000 appropriated for building, there have been expended the following sums, viz : for materials and labour on the edifice $199 67 : to pay on account of Mr. J. M'Comb for plans, attendance, commissions, &c. $313 00: for auditing the accounts of the building committee, and the superintendent from the com. mencement of the building of the edifice, $50 00; treasurer's commissions on the above, $5 62; total, $568 29 : leaving a balance of this appropriation of $431 71, out of which remains to be paid for materials and work done through the year past, the accounts for which have not yet been discharged, the sum of $178 98.
The board have further to report, that at their stated meeting last autumn, the professors communicated the following pleasing ioformation; viz. “ The professors are happy in being able to announce to the board, that the first class in the seminary have lately resolved as a class to endow a scholarship; and in the mean ime, to raise for the present year, the sum which a scholarship will annually produce. The second and third classes have also with laudable zeal and promptitude, taken measures which it is expected will lead to a similar endowment, by each class, and a similar provision in the mean time.” At the late meeting of the board, the Professors reported that they had received from the
students of the several classes in the seminaries on their annual instalments of the several scholarships founded by them the sum of $437 39
The board have learned from the treasurer of the trustees of the General Assembly; that the state of the funds for the support of the institution are such as to require the most serious attention of the Assembly
The Professors of the Seminary, are, Rev. Archibald Alexander, DD. professor of didactic and polemic theology. Rev. S. Miller, DD. professor of ecclesiastical history and church government.
Six Scholarships have been founded, viz. 1. The Le Roy scholarship, and 2. The Banyer scholarship-both founded by Mrs. Martha Le Roy, New York. 3. The Lenox scholarship found . ed by Robert Lenox, Esq. of New-York. 4. The Whitehead scholarship, founded by John Whitehead, Esq. of Burke, county, Georgia. 5. The Charleston female scholarship, founded by the Congregational and Presbyterian Female Association of Charleston, for assisting in the education of pious youth for the gospel ministry. 6. founded by the first class in the seminary in 1819.
It will be perceived that this institution is increasing in prosperity and usefulness; it is plain, however, that there is still a great want of funds. It is painful to know that an edifice erected for the accommodation of pious young men, devoting themselves to the ministry, remains, from year to year, with its rooms unfinished; that a house for a professor to instruct them in, is in as melancholy a condition; and that there should be an evident want of the means for support to those students who are poor. Is not this cause dear to thousands of the rich, and to tens of thousands in comfortable circumstances, who profess to love the Lord Jesus? and to keep in mind how he said, it is more blessed to give than to receive? And shall unfinished buildings, shall uncompleted enterprise be suffered to contradict professions which will still be made ?
From the Panoplist.
MISSIONARY REINFORCEMENTS. Seven young men devoted for life to missionary labours, under the direction of the American Board of Commissioners for Fareign Missions, are now on their way to their destined stations. Mr. Jacob Hitchcock, from Brimfield, Worcester Co. Mr. Anson Dyer, from Goshen, Hampshire Co. Mr. Zechariah Howes, from Ashfield, Franklin Co. Mr. Joel Wood, from Greenfield, Saratoga Co. N. Y. and Mr. James Orr, from Groton, Tomkins Co. N. Y. arrived by two different routes at Pittsburgh on the Ohio, on the 29th and 30th April; thence to descend the Ohio and the