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Extracts from the Sixty-Sixth Annual Report.
THE Committee of the GENERAL BAPTIST MISSIONARY SOCIETY, in submitting the SIXTY-SIXTH ANNUAL REPORT, are thankful to state that the work of the Mission has been steadily pursued during the past year. They are also pleased to add that, both in Orissa and Rome, at the head quarters of Juggernath worship, and of Papal power, the labours of their brethren and sisters have been attended with the Divine blessing.
ORISSA. The work of the Society in Orissa has, during the year, been carried on in its manifold departments. Preaching the Gospel in the vernacular has always been regarded as of the highest importance. In bazaars and markets, in fairs and festivals, in crowded cities and in solitary hamlets, the people have heard, in their own tongue, the story of God's love.
The printed Gospel, in many languages, has been scattered far and wide, and in places where no missionary has ever been, the entrance of God's word has given light. In a village beyond Sambalpur, Mr. Pike was surprised that the people were familiar with the name of Jesus ; and on asking how they obtained their knowledge-as no missionary had been there before-he was informed that it was from a book which was brought from Pooree twenty years ago. The tract, being in a dilapidated condition, was exchanged for a new one, which would also testify of Christ.
To the preparation of Scriptures, tracts, and a Christian literature, earnest attention has been given by the different brethren. Dr. Buckley is engaged in preparing a marginal reference Bible in Oriya, a work which will be of great service to the native Christians.
Into the Mission Press, Mr. Mulholland has thrown considerable energy. Finding that printing by the old hand-press was too slow, he sent for a modern printing machine, which was made to order, and dispatched to India. In trying, however, to get printing machinery into Orissa, there seems strange misfortune. For instance, a machine purchased some years ago by Mr. Brooks, after it had been safely conveyed from England, was lost in a river in Orissa on its way to Cattack; and on Tuesday last, June 12th, tidings caine to hand that the British India Steamship Chinsura, in which the new machine-a double crown " Wharfedale”. -was being conveyed from Calcutta to Orissa, had been stranded near to False Point. Whether the machine will be recovered from the wreck is not known at present, but fortunately it was insured for £146, the amount it cost.
In the Educational Department of the Mission great activity prevails. At no former period were there so many opportunities for gaining access to the young as in the present day. And knowing the vast importance of this branch of Mission work, your brethren and sisters are doing all they can to bring the rising race under Christian instruction and influence. For this purpose, not only do they keep up the old village schools, in which an elementary education is given, but schools of a higher class have also been established both for natives and Europeans
- for girls as well as for boys. Sunday-Schools, too, have become more popular, are better conducted, and are exerting an immense power for
318 MISSIONARY OBSERVER.
good. Zenana visitation and education are also carried on by Miss Packer and Miss Barrass with encouraging signs of success. In entering a native gentleman's house one day, Miss Packer was surprised to find that, from the principal room, all the household gods had been removed, and that on the walls had been written the words recorded in Jeremiah x. 11—“The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.” To put in their place the master of the house applied for some illuminated texts of Scripture, which have been sent out from England. In the orphan asylums the benevolent work of former years has been continued, and in these institutions the fatherless and motherless have been cared for and trained both for earth and heaven. To visit the houses of the poorer classes native Bible-women are being employed, and are doing a work which only females can accomplish.
The new School-rooms at Cuttack, for which appeals were made last year, have been erected and occupied. They are said to be admirably adapted for their purpose, and quite an ornament to the station. But, instead of costing only £1,000, as was at first supposed, they have cost over £1,500. The generous friend in Cuttack, however, who offered £500, has given twice that amount, so that the buildings are free from debt.
Thus is the work of the Mission being carried vigorously forward in its manifold departments, evangelistic and educational. Further . of these operations will be found in the reports from the various
The number of native ministers is the same as last year; George Das, whose ministry commenced in 1867, has been removed by death, and Bharasa Mahanty, who has completed his college course, has been added to the list.
STATISTICS OF CHURCHES FOR THE YEAR.—The statistics for the year, from April 1st, 1882, to March 31st, 1883, are as follows:—
Increase—by baptism, 53; by reception, 7; by restoration, 11; Total increase, 71.
Decrease—by removal, 10; by exclusion, 9; by death, 15; Total decrease, 34. Nett increase, 37.
The GENERAL STATISTICs of the Mission at the present time, March 31st, 1883, are as follows:–
English Missionaries (male and female) ... --- --- --- 16
Total number baptized since the commencement of the Mission isoff
Erun (who was a Telegu), the first native to confess Christ, was baptized by Mr. Bampton at Berhampore, December 25th, 1827. Gunga Dhor, a high caste brahmin, the first Oriya convert, was baptized in the Mahanuddi at Cuttack by Mr. Lacey, March 23rd, 1828.
EXTRACTS FROM THE ANNUAL REPORT.
Rome, as the Capital of United Italy, increases in size and importance every day. Garibaldi, writing in 1870, said: “Rome that had once two millions of inhabitants, now contains scarcely two hundred and ten thousand.” If we might believe some ancient authorities, Rome under the empire contained many more than two millions of people, but Gibbon does not favour these large numbers. In the winter of 1878, when our present missionary first set foot in Rome, the population was variously estimated at from 225,000 to 250,000, and when the last census was taken on Dec. 31st, 1881, the numbers had increased to 300,467 persons, the number of families being 53,235. Large numbers of great Palazzi, or blocks of houses, are still being planned and built (it is said that English capital is largely employed in these works), especially on the Esquiline, and stretching towards the Campagna; in fact, a new Rome is springing up there, which, together with the improvements of the older streets, makes the the city unrecognizable to those who have not visited it within the last ten years. Immense sums of money are being spent on improvements, and there is a manifest desire, and on the part of some an expressed intention, to make Rome, even as a modern city, equal to any one of the capitals of Europe.
The religious provision for Rome, if it were only of a suitable kind, would appear to be ample. It is said that there are 365 churches, one for every day of the year. Many of these are large, handsome, and richly endowed. It is not easy to state correctly just now the number of priests connected with these churches, but correct statistics are preparing. Suffice it to say that their name is “ legion.”
But nearly the whole of this vast machinery is employed to degrade men, dishonour God, and destroy spiritual religion. There is no place on the face of the whole earth where missionary labours are more necessary than in the city which has been regarded as the capital and centre of Christendom. To preach the gospel to the neglected and ill-used people of Rome, missions have been established in different parts of the city by the Waldensians, the Italian Free Church, the Methodists, and the Baptists. For particulars as to the work in Rome see the report, which concludes as follows:
In this report there is only an account of a part of the work of the Mission. Much of the work and of the influence of the Mission cannot be put into a report. We are sometimes very impatient, but, on the whole, we have great reason for thankfulness and hope. We are saturating many minds with Christian ideas, and one day the result will be evident. We could do much moreah! how much more? if we had the means. Would that God would put it into the hearts of those who have money to help us in so altering our property, that we may be able to care for the sick and orphaned children! The need is great. Who will help us in this matter? We want also a good Bible-woman to go among the women at their houses. And when shall we extend our operations in Rome and in other parts of Italy? Our Lord has much work that wants doing in this famous land. There are splendid openings for it. There is no part of the Mission-field more interesting or more needy. And the money, it is in the pockets of the Lord's people!
Notes and Gleanings. TAE SIXTY-SIXTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE GENERAL BAPTIST MisSIONARY SOCIETY will, it is expected, be ready before the end of July. Will the friends receiving copies of the Report be good enough to see that they are distributed forthwith, according to the instructions given, or that they are made over to the proper persons for this purpose. The Report will be found to contain a great amount of instructive and interesting information, and it is hoped that its contents will not only be perused and pondered by the friends of the Mission generally, but that our ministers especially will endeavour to turn it to the best account in the interests of the Mission.
Particularly would we call attention to what is said in the Report with reference to the state of the funds, to the necessity of an increase in the annual income by at least £500, and to the resolution on the subject at the Annual Committee meeting.
BAPTISMS. BERHAMPORE.—Two young persons were baptized at Padre Polli on Lord's-day, June 10th.
CUTTACK.—Five were baptized at Cattack, by Damoda, May 6th; and six, by Shem Sahu, on June 3rd.
Have been held, since the publication of the last list, as follows:
8,9 15, 16
80 May, 6, 7
Loughborough, Baxter Gate
T. R. Stevenson, W. Hill, and H.
Received on account of the General Baptist Missionary Society from Audit, to
July 15th, 1883. £ s. d.
£ s. d. Association Collection at Bradford
Leicester, Mrs. Brooks, for debt 1 10 0 for W. and 0. 5 2 2 London, Bosworth Road
0 16 6 Barton and Barlestone ..
4 2 0
0 2 6 Burnley, Ebenezer 7 8 4 Wesť Vale--for W. and 0.
0 10 0 Dalkeith, N. B.--"more to follow" 0 5 0 Wheelock Heath
0 3 10 Knipton
8 4 7
20 13 1 Leicester, Archdeacon Lane-for Rome 5 12 0
Subscriptions and Donations in aid of the General Baptist Missionary Society will be thankfully
received by W. B. BEMBRIDGE, Esq., Ripley, Derby, Treasurer; and by the Rev. W. HILL, Secretary, Mission House, 60, Wilson Street, Derby, from whom also Missionary Boxes, Collecting Books and Cards, may be obtained.
The Increased Responsibility resting upou tye
Church and tÞe Sunday-School arising from the Improbed Education given in Day-Schools.*
BY C. W. PRATT.
Does the church realize that there is any responsibility resting upon her with regard to the young? I have sometimes felt inclined to doubt whether she does. Some of her members do; but in how many churches is the most important and difficult work of training the children left almost entirely in the hands of the young and inexperienced, whose well-nigh only qualification sometimes seems to be their earnest zeal. But this
work demands the wisdom and experience, and the patience and self-control, of mature life. In the Romish church it is not left in the hands of novices, but is assigned to Jesuit priests and others of great experience, who have undergone long and special training. The foregoing remarks were always true, but their force has been increased a thousand-fold by the altered conditions under which we now live and work; and increased responsibility rests upon the church and the school, arising from, first, the advanced starting point and the improved material on which we have to work; second, the greater danger of the children arising from the sceptical spirit of the age; and, third, the greater danger arising from the tendency to secularize the teaching in day-schools.
I. The advanced starting point and the improved material on which we have to work.
When Raikes, of immortal memory, first attempted to gather the children of the slums into his schools, reading and writing were rare accomplishments, and his scholars were almost as ignorant of the Bible as of Homer. It was something to keep them for a few hours under some kind of discipline, to place the means of acquiring knowledge within their reach, and to familiarize their minds with some of the simpler facts and teachings of holy writ. And when the Education Act of 1870 came into operation, the percentage of those who could neither read nor write was still very considerable, and the number of those who never entered a school except on the Lord's-day was very great; and those who devoted a portion of the day to teaching the children to read, and even to write, were to be commended. But all this is changed, and soon there will be very few indeed whose knowledge does not extend far beyond the elementary acquirements of reading and writing. Mathematics and science, Latin and French, music and drawing and philosophy, as well as history, geography, grammar, and English composition are being taught in our Board schools; and many of our scholars in everything but knowledge of the world and experimental Christianity—we fear sometimes even in these,-are far ahead of some of their teachers. We believe that the Lord has entrusted the conversion of the world to His church, and that the Sunday-school is an organization of the church for the more effectual * Read at the Sunday School Conference of the General Baptist Association, Bradford,
June 20th, 1883.