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have larger cuts. As far as possible every agent is to get his February allowances from the community in which he lives. Probably no one can get full allowances. Some can get almost nothing. The people are always very, very poor. Moreover, they are just recovering from famine. The plague seriously interferes with work and income. By these measures we can provide for only a part of the heavy cut of $1,100. But we shall hope for some restoration and for some gifts.”
From Rev. A W. Hubbard, Sivas, Turkey. – “Here in Sivas city all our schools have enlarged, some doubled, recently having 700 students. The looted people pay tuition well. There is no discussion about getting the Bible into schools, only to get it taught when in. Scholars are refused admittance for want of space; the debt of $100 is still on our last building. Besides the above we have here nearly 200 orphans under the gospel's influence, and to stay but a little while. Our Sunday-school has swarmed, and there are three hives now. Attendance on preaching has nearly doubled. Go out of town and you will find scores of villages hitherto suspicious now always welcoming us heartily, in several of them with no successors to the slaughtered priests. All through our field minds are vividly realizing eternity near ; hearts are crushed by fear, grief, and failure of every earthly hope. Therefore retrench 'our colportage, touring, education? Leave doubt as to whether we can yet afford anybody in place of our Sivas pastor, who deliberately chose to die rather than deny his Lord? And now, when Miss Brewer, after ten retrenched years, capped by cholera and massacre, takes a vacation, drop her gathered game anywhere, anywhere?”
NEVER SO PROSPEROUS.
From Rev. Alexander MacLachlan, Smyrna, Turkey. —“Of the work generally I think I may safely say that it has never been so prosperous or hopeful as it is at the present time. This prolonged reduction, however, is most discouraging. Last year by means of special appeals to friends in England we were able to avoid the necessity of closing up any of our out-station work. But we can scarcely expect our friends to respond continuously to such appeals, and the prospect of further avoiding this ruinous necessity of closing up work and dismissing workers is at the present moment small indeed. This will mean that funds and labor expended during past years will be largely lost.
It looks very much as if the constituency of the Board had grown weary of well-doing; and indeed, if there is to be no forward movement, it would be very much better that we should be told so outright, that we might at once drop part of the burden we are now endeavoring to carry with altogether insufficient support."
GLORIOUS YET SAD.
From Rev. R. Winsor, Sirur, India. “Oh, how sad an hour is this for us here at Sirur, more especially in view of the great interest there is among the people ! Only just now a company of nine Hindus came to my study to talk with me and asked me to tell them of God. Their hearts have been touched, and these men are seeking the light and truth. I knelt down to pray with them, and these Hindus actually took off their pagotes and reverently bowed in prayer.
It was a scene of unusual interest. Thus are people moved upon in Baburdie, in Dhamari, in Ranjangaw, all about us. But, you say, why sad if such blessed things are occurring in your midst? Yes, glorious news, delightful things, these ! But oh, the sad time, ard why I will tell you! I have called in our ten village teachers who are doing this good work among the village people. They met me this afternoon. I had prayer with them, and then told them that every one of them must in two months give up all this most blessed work unless the Board sent out money for their support. I told them I would write the Board by this mail stating these facts to them, and that if help did not come in two months the whole work must be given up without further notice. I's not this sad? You, dear brethren, cannot tell how sad.
“And now another view. Unless help come it will be positively necessary to close all this work so far as our mission is concerned. In places where we have built schoolhouses the government will come and take possession of the premises and do what the contract allows them to do, and the premises will go. Thus the mighty influence brought upon the people by the terrible famine, leading them to seek better hopes, must all be lost. Never was there such a time for earnest work in these villages. Dear brethren, there is a crisis this time, and no mistake. Is n't this sadness that all these ten teachers and their families that have been in the mission service from five to twenty years must now be set adrift and all the work come to naught? The salaries of all these ten teachers for the year amount to 1,200 rupees, that is, $400, but I am cut 1,900 rupees. How is it possible to retain a single teacher in the light of these facts ?"
DISMAYED YET JOYFUL.
From Mrs. Amy B. Cowles, Adams, South Africa. — “We are dismayed to read in the Herald of our dear Board's financial troubles. We cannot understand it. But we know God sees it all. His hand is at the helm. We must and do trust that all will work together for good, whatever comes. Just now the prospect for our schools looks dark. I understand that the amount appropriated for the general work of the whole mission is less than what was asked for our school simply. Added to this are the expenses and losses brought upon us by rinderpest and locusts, until we feel sometimes as though the foundations were about to drop from under us. There is money enough in sight to keep our school open next term. We are very thankful for this, and we hope and pray that money for the next term will be forthcoming from somewhere.
“Whatever trial comes there is always so much joy left. One of our chief blessings is the love and harmony among the workers at Adams. A beautiful spirit of brotherly love pervades the station, and as far as fellowship goes, it seems to me that we live as near the ideal as is possible this side of heaven. It is a privilege indeed to be one of such a company of workers.”
THESE FROM THE LAND OF SINIM. From Miss Elsie Garretson, Foochow, China. — “I note the increased numbers of church members and the weary, tired faces of the overworked and anxious missionaries. The increased opportunities and diminished financial resources impose a heavy burden on some of them, and if the churches at home
could only realize the greatness of the opportunities I am sure they would be more ready to send the needed funds to meet them.”
From Rev. C. A. Nelson, Canton, China. — No money is forthcoming for the Training School or Mrs. Nelson's second day school and Bible-woman. We cannot separate the chapel and school for girls, as the two are in one building, so cannot reduce here. I am not writing for more money, for doubtless you cannot give it, but it will lighten my anxiety to inform you. Dr. Hager is one with me in desiring the Woman's Board to take up Mrs. Nelson's work. The outlay would be small. For the sum of $100 in gold she could maintain two schools in full and still have a few dollars for a Bible-woman.
From Miss Emily S. Hartwell, Foochow.—“I had hoped next year I should have some leeway to help me out in the unavoidable deficit this year. Instead of this the tremendous reduction comes as a terrible blow. I only pray the Lord to help me out in some special way. If you can see any special way, please remember me, for with the purse of a single missionary it is not easy to meet the burdens usually borne by a family."
From Rev. Charles Hartwell, Foochow, China. — “Pray for us, as we do for you. We are in sore straits in our work from lack of funds as well as from need of more workers. As Mr. Goddard moves soon to Yungfuh or Inghok, I am in charge of the city station, and do not see but I must in some way find at least $200 in gold to carry the work on efficiently. A pretty heavy burden is placed on me in my seventy-third year. Help must come soon without fail.”
ONLY ONE HALF !" From Rev. C. S. Sanders, Aintab, Turkey. — “Our present distress comes to the front. We have not pastors and preachers enough to go around, but we could probably find men if we had the money. Of course they would not be trained preachers, but much better than nothing. It seems almost as though our churches had become so calloused to this state of things that they did not care. But the question arises, how long is this thing going to keep on? The last year or two we have had unusually good fortune in outside gifts. But the outlook for this year is dark. I was looking over appropriations for 1884 - or rather my eye happened to catch them the other day when doing some other work. We were allowed then 503 liras, according to my account. This year we have 153 liras or thereabouts. If we had only half of what we had that year we would be supremely thankful. Now we get along; but how?"
From Rev. H. C. Haskell, D.D., Samokov, Bulgaria. — “I had noticed that those great legacies were exhausted, and had told our station we could expect no advance whatever, but I did not suppose there would be more reduction. My embarrassment in writing this letter comes from a conflict of several impulses. There is an impulse to be silent, because had you reduced our salaries less, you must apparently have reduced our general appropriations more; and the reduction on these, small as it is, often cuts to the quick. Some of our missionaries must now confine their giving to this involuntary gift to the Board. Of course this may make no difference in God's sight, but we are to let not our good be evil spoken of. One of them wrote me two weeks ago : "The reduction of our salaries again is a severe blow, is it not? I am quite largely in debt.' It seems to me that the churches must increase their gifts for this work or some mission must be cut off, or else the number of missionaries must be reduced.”
IS THERE LIGHT AHEAD? From Rev. J. P. Jones, Pasumalai, Madura Mission. — “I need not tell you how sad your letter concerning appropriations for 1898 has made us all, because it seems to dissipate all the hope and cheer which the meeting at New Haven and subsequent events had brought to us. It is not for us to say what the Prudential Committee were warranted in appropriating to our work for the coming year; but we certainly had been led by the general aspect of affairs to anticipate more than is given us. Still we are prepared to accept, even though in much heaviness and discouragement, whatever is given us. I need say little about the reduction in our salaries as you know, from our recent vote, where we stand upon this subject. If we could only feel that there is light ahead for our work and that progress and advancement were the present motto of our Board and of our home churches, we could be happy under this and any other similar adversity. Our mission meeting begins within two weeks from this, and I expect to find sadness and discouragement multiplied.”
INDIA NEEDS CHRIST.
From Rev. W. W. Wallace, Madura. — “ There is an activity in Hinduism that calls for redoubled effort on the part of Christian missions. Sivaite preachers are rehearsing the popular stories of Hindu mythology in the temples and on the streets. Hindu books are being sold in the bazaars. The bookseller sits and reads aloud, while a crowd of listeners gathers around, and he advertises his wares.
“Thoughtful Hindus are saying, 'Let every one stick to his own religion.' They say that Christ is our Saviour, not theirs. They call it patriotism to stick to their own religion. Hence the great religious festivals are largely attended and everything possible is done by Hinduism to keep up a lively appearance. This revival and form of Hinduism is a welcome sign of awakening. It is one of the first results of Christianity. This is where God's blessing is most apparent, and this is our opportunity for advance. Curtailment or retreat at this time in India would mean defeat at the very moment of victory. In spite of the pomp and din and all the outward splendor of Hinduism, we know that they that be with us are more than they that be with them.'
“We believe in three things : That Christ wants India ; that India needs Christ; that it is the business of the Church to establish Christ's kingdom there."
TOKENS OF GOD'S BLESSING. From Rev. H. C. Hazen, Mandapasalai, Madura Mission. — “What are the tokens of God's blessing on the work? They are threefold.
“ First, the urgent calls which I have had during the last three weeks from Hindus in three different places to open Christian schools where there shall be
Bible teaching, prayer, and Christian song daily, coupled with the offer of five rupees monthly toward the expense of those schools; second, the most earnest entreaty from four places for a preacher to fill vacant congregations; and third, the return to us of nineteen souls in one place who had gone over to heathenism and were considered hopelessly lost. Also, in the return to us of a large congregation in another place whom we had given up because of their notoriously bad lives. They were looked upon as irreclaimable thieves. Under the labors of a faithful and godly catechist they have been completely changed during the past six months. Two weeks ago we were refreshed and comforted to see them so eager in learning the Bible, and faithful at all the services. One man, of his own accord, had put away his second wife, and we received him and his wife to the Lord's table after a careful examination. In another place where they ask for a school we have the promise of a large ingathering. The Spirit seems to be moving upon them, and we only want the means to put a man among them to lead them to Jesus.
“Let me give some instances of earnest and devoted native workers.
“(1) One year ago an excellent man was asked to leave his large and fourishing congregation to go and try to rally three congregations that had all run down. After some hesitation he went. Mark the result. All three congregations have been wonderfully waked up. Two of them that had no church building have taken hold and built new churches for themselves, and one has become so strong through the large accessions of the year that they want a man wholly to themselves, and I have decided to give them one, trusting to the Lord to provide the means. The man is all ready for them and the former man who brought them forward has his hands already full with his two other congregations.
“(2) There was a layman in one of our congregations that consecrated himself and his all to God during a time of protracted illness. After his recovery he offered to go and live among those thieves above referred to and try to reclaim them. I let him try. Mark the result. After six months they have abandoned all their thieving propensities and are so advanced in piety that they are a real comfort to me. Their children are eagerly studying the Bible and they listen to the preached word like hungry men. God has wrought wonders by that humble laborer.
“(3) A man came to me from Ceylon desiring to labor among his own people who belonged to the thief caste. He was receiving twenty rupees over in Ceylon, but felt so earnest to win his own kinsmen that he consented to take the nine rupees, which was all I could give him. He took his family to a place where he was surrounded by dense and dark heathenism, and went up and down the streets warning and entreating men to be reconciled to Christ. But they would not hear him, and he came to me once and again begging me to pray for him. He finally went down with the smallpox, but in his dying hour he was pleading with his neighbors to accept of Christ.
“(4) On account of the reductions our workers are doing double duty. Some have two, three, or four congregations. One had for a time eight, till I gave him an assistant, and now he has five while his assistant has four. And yet they do not murmur. They work bravely, cheerfully, and very hard.
“I must speak of the needs and opportunities for advance work.