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Report have appeared in public prints from which we furnish one or two extracts. The Illustrated Missionary News for October says:
Reading the Annual Reports of Missionary Societies is not always the most pleasant occupation, owing to the amount of statistics necessarily introduced. When, however, figures are carefully mingled with a large amount of interesting and valuable information the case is otherwise; the reader is led on from fact to fact until he finds that he has reached the close of that which, at first sight, may have been designated “A dry Report.”
Some of our societies issue a large amount of really valuable information, upon which great care is taken, but we think there is room for improvement in many ways. The plan that most commends itself to our mind is the one adopted by the General Baptist Mission.
The Freeman, of September 28th, in a long leading article, says:
We have received and read the Indian Report of this interesting Baptist Mission. It is one of those suggestive records of success and disappointment, of sighs and hopes, so commonly issued in connection with our foreign enterprizes. It points to the endurance of brave hearts and unwearied piety, of faithful diligence and uncomplaining service, examples of which in Christian life have been innumerable, and of which the field in India has witnessed so many. If Christian work abroad had done no more than furnish a sphere for the development and manifestation of high character and devoted consecration, it would have to no small extent served the cause of our Divine Master. Patience under privations, zeal unabated by discouragement, confidence incapable of being daunted, and love impossible to be quenched, have won and deserve honour, not in India alone, but throughout our wide mission sphere.
The work that is carried on in the large Orissa territory is one which, if not startling in surprises, yet shows steady progress and hopeful augury.
GoPALPORE, or Gopaulpore, is a town in the Ganjam district in the Presidency of Madras, and is six miles east of Berhampore, as will be
seen in the map of Orissa inserted in the Annual Report.
Brief sketches of the districts occupied, precede the accounts given by the Missionaries. Under the heading is placed the name of the Missionary and the lay or native preachers as the case may be; this is followed by a small table showing the number of communicants, &c., in connexion with that particular district. At the close of the report these are collected in one general table, showing total results, which is followed by lists of contributions, balance-sheets, &c.
Thus the general reader, as well as the practical student of the Mission, can at once become fully acquainted with the position and work of the Society. We subjoin a few extracts from the report above mentioned.
Fifty-five years ago there was but one native Christian in the district of Cuttack, and but one in Berhampore, Ganjam— only two in all Orissa. To-day the number of communicants at the different mission stations is 1,176; those baptized during the year, 57; total of native Christian communicants, 3,163. On the whole most interesting progress is being made, and the devotedness of earnest labourers loudly calls for the sympathy and prayers of all Christians who desire the advancement and final establishment of the Kingdom of our Lord. It was a very touching remark that was made to Mr. Heberlet, “I doubt these ‘glad tidings’ because you have been so long in bringing them to us.” What a rebuke to slowheartedness and the grudging spirit. “Christ lifted up” is truth intended and calculated to bless the world, and yet with what sluggish steps, comparatively, has the church advanced to her duty. The report pleads with us by its mingled encouragements and depressions for increased interest and enlarged
It forms the After an interval of seventeen years I have had the pleasure of revisiting Gopalpore. Its short distance from Berhampore, refreshing sea breezes, and the complete change of air and scene it affords, make it a very desirable resort in the trying heat of the summer; and the importance to the mission of possessing suitable premises here for the accommodation of its agents can scarcely be overrated. The relief is greater even than I supposed, and I fervently trust there will be no failure on the part of the committee to purchase the house now in the market. It is admirably situated and sufficiently commodious, and to allow it to slip through our hands would be very injurious to the interests of the mission, and might involve very serious consequences.
principal sea-port of the district, and is a place of rapidly increasing
importance. hemp, horns, hides, and seeds.
It has a considerable export trade to Europe in grain,
GOPALPORE IN GANJAM.
and the British India Company's steamers to Bombay and Calcutta call there every week. The port light (fixed white) is displayed at an elevation of eighty feet, and is visible from eight to ten miles at sea. There is a good anchorage of sand and mud about a mile and a half off the shore, but sometimes the surf is so high that for weeks together shipping cargo is impracticable. Here the missionaries from Berhampore have been accustomed to resort in the hot season, and though the distance between the two places is so small, the thermometer is often ten degrees lower, there being a pleasant sea breeze instead of a scorching land wind. Had we the men and the means Gopalpore should be occupied as a mission station. It is said that the Roman Catholics, who are wise in their generation, are about to erect a church and convent
Respecting Gopalpore Mr. Bailey writes:—
I arrived here on the 22nd inst., in company with the three native brethren, Niladri, Balunki, and Makunda Sahu. The native town has increased considerably since I was here, but the improvement is even more marked in the European quarters, and in the public offices and buildings. The Police, Postal, and Telegraph offices are conveniently situated and efficiently served. There is a good Charitable Dispensary with a competent medical staff. The shipping and mercantile agencies have large offices and warehouses near the beach; and 120 cargo boats in charge of the masterattendant, are constantly employed in conveying merchandise to and from the ships. During the time I have been here, steamers have been coming and going nearly every day; there are also seven sailing vessels lying in the roads loading with rice and other goods.
The port-master, Captain Taylor, full of kindness and hospitality, has now for some years been a steady and faithful friend to the mission, liberally promoting its interests both here and at Berhampore,
providing employment for a number of the native Christians, and active in every good word and work.
A large market is held on the Friday, and the traffic of the port with the interior, together with the increasing resident population, have found us good and sufficient work to do. Our congregations in the bazaar have been large and attentive, and on Sunday we held an English service at which no less than 25 Europeans and Eurasians were present.
The case of
is interesting. He is one of two hundred
I have much enjoyed my visit here; Mr. Scott has joined me for two days from Berhampore, and in addition to those I have mentioned, Daniel, Paul, and a number of other native friends have spent part of the time with us. We are arranging to return to Berhampore on Saturday.
Almost immediately after my return from Gopalpore the rains commenced, and have been unusually copious, as much as seven inches having been registered in the interior in 36 hours; and as the hills in Ganjam are very near the coast the rivers are peculiarly liable to sudden floods. Both the Rooshikooliar and Mahanadi rivers which join at Aska have overflowed their banks, submerging the town and factory there and a large part of the surrounding country. The district suffers so frequently from drought that the attention of the Government has for a long time been directed to the subject, and in future this vast surplusage of water is to be utilized for purposes of irrigation. A gigantic project has been sanctioned by the Government which has for its object the impounding of the waters of the Mahanadi and Rooshikooliar rivers, and comprises a large anicut across the Mahanadi and an immense reservoir with the needful distributories. The amount sanctioned for the undertaking is 2,860,000 rupees, and the work is to be completed in five years.
DISTRIBUTION OF PRIZEs.
institution, which is presided over by our friend Mr. Scott, is evidently in a flourishing condition. The pupils number 189, and during the year reported upon, four have successfully passed the F.A. examination, and seventeen have matriculated. The facilities for a good secular education are very great, but religion is carefully excluded.
I was at Padri Polli on Sunday and Monday. Two candidates were proposed, and Monday was enlivened by a marriage in the morning and the subsequent election by ballot of a new punchayet, as well as various other matters of business. The fruitful showers have made the country look very beautiful, and the people are confidently expecting a good harvest. The village school is working well, and now numbers nearly thirty children.
From the first of the current month we have amalgamated with our school here a small neighbouring village school, which increases our numbers and income, and enables us to retain two masters, and also to raise the status of the school. The sub-inspector has been this morning, and speaks well of the progress of the higher classes. The distinctively Christian character of the school is retained.
ALso in Italy we are celebrating the fourth century of the birth of Luther. I preached last night, endeavouring to give the people some of the principal facts in Luther's life, and the principles that underlay them. In the afternoon there was a meeting in the Scotch Church, outside the Porta del Popolo, at which I assisted. To-night, Monday, there is to be a united meeting in the Wesleyan Church, and three or four Italian preachers will speak. The Catholic papers have not been silent. One of them published an article the other day full of falsehoods, setting forth that Luther was everything that was vile, and quoting his own words in which he describes his feelings previous to his conversion. The journal, without the least shame, proceeds to show from these expressions that Luther was a bad man. Just as if we might take the expression of Paul in which he says he was the chief of sinners as a proof of Paul’s special wickedness.
. The words of Luther are taken and stripped of their connection and qualification, and thus held up as giving a picture of the man. The result of this misrepresentation is that the prevalent, almost the universal idea, of Luther among the people around us is, that he was a kind of incarnation of Satan. If these celebrations of the fourth century of the Reformer's birth call attention to the facts of his life, and the principles which he held, they will be useful in no small degree.
NOTES FROM ROME. 473
THE DEATH OF A BROTHER.
The church at Wia Urbana has lost a member by death—the first that has left the little company for the better world. His name was Luigi Fallugiani, and he was the custode of the church. He was a faithful servant, and we feel his loss. He was always ready to do anything to oblige, and if in any point of duty he failed, he listened most readily to our gentle reproof, and promised amendment.
He assisted me to pack up some Testaments on the evening of October 15th in preparation for a tour I was to begin next morning. He said he felt poorly, and Mrs. Shaw gave him a cup of tea, &c., which comforted him. I said to him, “Luigi, if you feel poorly in the morning, do not come here, but stay in bed, and perhaps a day of rest will be beneficial.” He thanked me, and said, “Good night,” I remarking “ that I hoped on my return to find him quite well.” Those were our last words.
What was my grief and surprise on being informed, the moment I set foot in Rome five days afterwards, that poor Luigi was dead and buried. He went home and took my advice, but pernicious fever came on, and the poor fellow died, without even a visit from Sig. Bertola, no one suspecting, not even his wife, that he was so ill. In my absence and the illness of Sig. Bertola, Dr. Taylor kindly read and prayed at the grave, and Mr. Eager lent various kind services.
Luigi, like most Italians of his age, had had an eventful career. He had worked at many trades, had been in the wars, in which his brothers were killed, and at one time was employed in the secret postal service. His custom was to be sent ashore from the steamer into a port, having letters fastened up in the linings of his clothes. He was searched, and of course nothing was found on him. He went to a certain lodging where he left his clothes, putting on others provided for him having letters stitched in, in the same manner. This was how news was transmitted in the time of the Pope and the Bourbons.
A BAPTIST UNION FoR ITALY.
For a long time we Baptists in Italy have thought and talked of union among ourselves. Divided as we are, we seem and are a feeble folk, and there are those who are not slow to seize every opportunity to make us realize the fact. .
At length, after much discussion, the union is formed, and it remains to be seen how many churches—we hope all—and how many individuals will join it. At present, our statute or basis of union, subject to modifications by the general assembly, has been agreed to by Mr. Wall, Dr. Taylor, Messrs. Eager, Landels, Walker, and myself. The first named is elected President, the second Vice-President, the third Secretary, and the Treasurer is the writer of this note. The statute will soon be sent out to those whom it may concern. It is too long for me to give here, but as may be supposed, it provides for the perfect independency of each church, and nothing can be done by the union to interfere with each church's autonomy.
An interim committee is chosen, of nine persons, in Rome, which will shortly meet and decide when and where the first general assembly is to be held.
It is proposed to unite our forces in works of evangelization, and it is hoped that we may soon have a journal of our own. I suppose that, united, we shall form one of the largest, if not the largest denomination in Italy—a fact that will be startling to some people.
A TRICYCLE WANTED.
I have sometimes met with persons who felt a desire to help the mission, but preferred to do something particular. To such persons I could suggest half a dozen ways of using well their money. Among other things very desirable is a tricycle. I often wish I had one so that I could with it visit places not too far from Rome, with Testaments and Tracts. It would be a veritable gospel chariot, and help greatly in the work of evangelization. Perhaps some friend of the mission has one that he no longer wants? A kind friend in England offered a sovereign towards one more than a year ago, and I doubt not, his offer holds good yet. Who will have the honour of presenting us with this help ? If it were capable of being taken to pieces casily, and if two could ride in it together, it would be all the more useful.
The Mission—its friends and its funds.
We have recently received several letters of an encouraging character, and shall rejoice if the same generous spirit should spread among our friends generally.
A widow writes :-“I have subscribed half-a-guinea to the Mission, and shall in the future have much pleasure in forwarding a guinea. I hope the enthusiasm at the missionary meetings in Leicester will be followed by a large increase in the subscriptions."
A son of the above writes :-"I am anxious to subscribe to the Mission; and as I do not belong to a General Baptist church, think it would be best to send the money direct to you. You can put me down for two guineas."
A friend writes : :-“We have a box we put the Lord's money into. I have emptied it, and found £3 11s. 2d., and have sent you every penny besides what I have in my purse. 'He maketh my heart soft.' Put it down, self £1 ls.; wife £1 1s. ; children £1 9s. 2d.”
An old and valued friend in London writes :-“I am reminded that the time has arrived for my payment towards Mr. Shaw's Mission Station in Rome, viz., £12 108.; but as the work is so urgent, we beg to enclose £20; the £7 10s. will be found useful for evangelistic work in Rome.
"Having read Messrs. Pike & Heberlet's appeal in the November Observer, we have much pleasure in sending £10 towards the Book Room and Preaching Station in Sambalpur, and pray that the Lord may greatly bless all these efforts. There is no merit in our giving money to help in the cause of Christit is a great privilege; all is His, and we are only in trust for a few years. Our brethren and sisters who go abroad to the work are the brave ones, and those of us who stay at home are in simple duty bound to sustain them. I trust that Christian hearts, warmed by the love of Christ, may be constrained to send help.”
We trust that others—in thinking over their privileges, their obligations, and their opportunities, together with the necessities of their fellow-creatures—may be constrained by the love of Christ to do likewise. “For God loveth a cheerful giver.”
Notes from my Diary.
BY THE REV P. E. HEBERLET, OF SAMBALPUR. THE sower went forth to sow, and the seed fell on ground of many kinds. We have spoken the word of life to men of many minds, and among others to “Boiragees”—“the passionless," as they delight to term themselves. I believe there may be some sincere seekers after truth among men of this class—mistaken souls striving to make themselves approved unto God—but it has not been my good fortune to come across any. The specimens I have seen have been all of that insufferably vile parasitical genus which clings to the body of Hindoo society, sucking out the blood with terrible earnestness, and says not at any time, “It is enough.” It is a marvel to me how the people can suffer themselves to be imposed upon by these vile wretches, whose shallow disguise it is not hard to see through, and some of whom with marvellous impudence lift the veil off their own hearts at times, and allow us a glimpse of the corruption that reigns within. Of this sort was a young man I came across one evening that I went down to a Bhagabat house, where the common people gather to hear the shastra of that name read, and to chat, particularly the latter. A great strong fellow-I had seen him going about previously, intent upon filling his belly with the fruit of other men's labours-came in and set himself down in a corner where there was some provision for cooking, as one at home. I learnt afterwards that he had been putting up there for some months. One of those present put the question, What is sin p” I was going through the