Изображения страниц

therefore to bear with the failings of others. If all the addresses of God's preachers in India and elsewhere were delivered in the power of strong faith, and ardent self-denying love, we should not long have to mourn over the slow progress of the gospel. We shall not speak “ as we ought," unless we combine with our preaching earnest prayer for that blessing which alone can make it efficacious. We shall not speak “as we ought," unless the flame of true piety in our own souls burn brightly, unless we “abide in Christ." Let Christians, then, who cannot themselves engage in missionary work, be earnest in their prayers for those who are thus engaged, that, their own souls being filled with the love of God in Christ, they may“ speak” the word “as they ought.”

4. We have further to pray that God's blessing may make the preaching of His word successful. Or, as the Apostle Paul puts it, we should pray not only that the word of God may “run,” but also that it “may be glorified," and it is “glorified" when men feel its power. Even if they do not submit to it, yot, if in their consciences they feel that it is true, and that their own religion is false, the word of God is thus glorified. Let prayer be made, then, that the word may be “in power," " whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear.” But, let us specially pray that it may be glorified in the conversion of souls, that it may be to men a savour unto life, and not unto death. Without God's blessing we know all preaching will be in vain.

5. Earnest prayer should also be offered up on behalf of the churches gathered from among the heathen. We pray that the word of the Lord “ may be glorified,” and it is glorified not only when sinners feel its power and come to Christ, but also when believers walk in the fear of the Lord. How earnest was the Apostle Paul in his prayers for the churches of Christ scattered through the earth! Many of them were personally unknown to him, yet " what great conflict” he had for “them that bad not seen his face in the flesh," praying that their hearts might be knit together in love and in the knowledge of God. And for the Christians at Philippi, at Ephesus, at Corinth, at Colosse, what earnest and unceasing prayer did he offer up! Let us follow him in this, and seek to show our oneness with the people of God by our earnest prayers for them. We need not lack for special subjects for prayer--the Epistles are full of them. Let prayer be offered, that the members of Christian churches gathered from among the heathen may be kept pure in life; that they may be upright, honest, truthful, manly, chaste, sober, loving, moek, " adorning the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things.” To this end we should pray that not only their outward life, but also their hearts, should be kept pure, and their souls abiding in Christ. Let us seek, further, that they may hare a growing knowledge of God's truth, "the eges of their understanding being enlightened ;” that God would " open anto them the Scriptures," and enable them better to understand its teaching, and more fully to carry it out in their daily lives. The Christian literature in all heathen languages is so very defective, that there is special danger of a lack of intelligent apprehension of divino truth.

We need to pray that the Natiro Church may feel more the power of true, spiritual religion; that there may be in them a vigorous divine life, as distinguished from a mere attendance on outward ordinances. We need to pray that they may manifest a more independent and manly spirit; that they may learn to support their own religious ordinances, and to fight their own battles ; in one word, to " quit themselves like men." In praying thus for the native churches of India, let us remember also that there are many European churches scattered throughout the land, and that they need the very same blessings which their native brethren need ; let prayer be made that they too may be more independent, active, zealous, ardent for the conversion of souls, and walking worthy of God.

6. There are, moreover, certain special subjects for prayer. Special countries should be interceded for; India, as the country which is the chief field of our missionary operations as a denomination, and whose population is so vast; China, with a population vaster still ; Africa, which has been recently brought so prominently into notice through the travels and the death of Dr. Livingstone; Madagascar, with its marvellous missionary history, and the religious crisis through which it is now passing; Japan, where such great changes are going forward; America, in whose marvellous developments so great issues are involved ; Italy, Spain, Austria, so lately barred against the truth; and not least of all, our native land. Special persons also call for our prayers ; those who have been sent out from the Church with which we are connected, relatives who have given their lives to the work of God, friends of our childhood or manhood who are now far removed from us, and in distant lands are preaching the everlasting gospel. Let us, like Paul, "make mention of them” personally before the Lord.

The Gospel in Sonthalistan. DY the time these pages are in the hands of our readers, the Rev.

D L. 0. Skrefsrud will be on his way to India, accompanied by two additional labourers, Norwegians like himself, also by Mrs. Boerresen and Miss Skrefsrud. The interest which has been excited in this country by his bold and ardent appeals will not spon su bside, and many prayers will attend his steps, and those of the devoted friends who are associated with him in their deeply interesting work. Meanwhile the information contained in the following paragraphs will gratify our readers. The first portion is taken from Mr. Boerreson's report of last year. .“In June, 1873, we had a very in. numbering upwards of a thousand. teresting journey. As it was very hot After preaching the Gospel to them we at the time, we determined to travel by examined the nineteen candidates again night. On this occasion we left Ebe. in their presence. The heathen were nezer one evening with a good number therefore witnesses to what these perof Christians, and walked all night long, sons were doing, forsaking the devil and until ten o'clock next morning, and all his works and giving themselves when we reached a village called Lakra to the triune God. One old woman pahari, where a number of people had when about to be baptized cried out been instructed and were prepared to with a loud voice, 'I have truly been a be baptized. We put up a small tent great sinner, and served the devil my there under some trees, and were glad whole lifetime, but now Jesus has to rest after our long march. The heat, found me and saved me. This made however, proved so overpowering, that such a deep impression on the heathen, we were obliged to abandon the tent that they exclaimed, “This must be the and take refuge in a cow-house, which true God!'. is the only kind of hotel among the Sonthals, though by no means very

“SONTHAL LABOURERS. pleasant. This did not, however, de “ Churches are built at a cost of prive us of the great blessing we re 3 rupees by the converts. Pastors and ceived there. The same day, in the catechists are paid 6 rupees each when evening, towards sunset, we had the they cannot work in the fields also. joy of seeing a large number of people When the famine began to threaten last coming to us from the surrounding November, some fifty Christians mi. neighbourhood, who sat down with us grated for work to the Darjeeling tea and received the Gospel with great joy. gardens, with this result: They worked All the candidates for baptism came to- on steadily there until the middle of gether in our cow-house, where we ex. April, when they returned with a amined and prepared them for the month and half's pay saved, which set following day. In the afternoon of the them up for the rainy season. They next day, after once more having a appear to have performed their duties prayer meeting with the candidates, we to the satisfaction of their employer, proceeded to the place of baptism. as they say that he frequently had Here we found a large crowd collected, occasion to find fault with and punish the Hindoo labourers there, but never himself. The liquor-shops licensed by with them. A pastor went with them, Government, against the disproporwho conducted their correspondence, tionate number of which the missionand held daily service morning and aries have protested in vain thus far, evening, and twice on Sundays. His are the enemies of all moral progress. wife worked along with the other This mission consists of 383 communiwomen, while he acted as chuprassy cants in 10 churches. Of these, 108 over his countrymen and supported were received by baptism last year.”

The following extracts are from a letter addressed to a friend in Edinburgh by Mr. Boerresen, dated July 6th of last year. " HOW THE WORK SPREADS.

gave in, and have since been baptized.

Four more families have since come for"I frequently wish that you could

ward, and are now being taught, while come here, were it even for 80 short a the Christians are as joyful as possible, time as a week or two ; it would make and hope still to capture the remaining you twenty years younger to see what four families. The Manjee avows his deour dear Lord is doing amongst us. I termination of continuing in his idolcan only compare it to the events in the worship, and his anger and disappointearly Christian Church in the days of ment at the turn affairs have taken the Apostles. During the last three may be better imagined than described. weeks I have baptized 200 persons, and find it quite impossible to say how many “THE YOUNG CONVERTS. more are now under instruction. As “Some of our young converts are every Sonthal Christian is a catechist, being persecuted by their heathen and makes it his pleasure as well as neighbours, and their faith being put to duty to make known the riches of the a severe practical test. The Manjee of Gospel he has himself received, fre- & village called Thakoorpoora, about quently the first I hear of anything is, four or five miles south from here, has that a man will come with a number been exhibiting the most bitter hatred of others, and say they want to be towards some four or five families baptized and become Christians, and recently converted from there. He that he has been instructing them for seized their fields, drove them and their some time back.

oxen away when they attempted to “The Manjee of a village called plough them, stole their seed, grain, Matiajuri, some six miles to the west and several other things. He and some of this, among some hills, found him- of his choice spirits even went so far as self very lonely and uncomfortable as to go to the houses of the Christians being the only heathen there, and all when they were singing hymns and the other inhabitants Christians, Heac- praying, and threatened them, with upcordingly induced sixteen heathen fami- lifted clubs, telling them to desist. lies to come and settle here, hoping thus The Christians, however, sang quietly to make the place too hot for the Chris. on! They put up with such kind of tians, and drive them away. The latter treatment for some time quietly; but waited quietly until the new comers at last, when they found that matters had built their houses and settled down, were going too far, they reported them and then threw out their net, and in a to me, and I felt compelled to bring short time eight of the sixteen families the whole affair to the notice of the authorities. The Manjee is now under the Christian converts accordingly. It examination by the police, and many is marvellous how, in spite of all the other Manjees who are inimical to the rage and worst endeavours of the devil spread of the Gospel, are awaiting with and his children, the influence of the anxiety the result of this case, so that Gospel only spreads wider." they may shape their conduct towards

During the year 1874 more than 1,200 persons have been received into the Christian church.

Zenana Work and Bible Women in India,

IN CONNECTION WITH THE BAPTIST MISSIONARY SOCIETY. THE interesting work in India which is carried on by the Agents of 1 the Ladies' Association is so constantly increasing that, although the success which attends it may well call forth gratitude, yet a great deal of anxiety and disappointment cannot but be felt by the Committee when new claims come before them which their funds will not allow them to undertake. Still they feel so strongly that this is God's work which they are called to do by His own command, that they are compelled to accept it, and look with confidence to the sympathy and assistance of their Christian friends.

In the year 1870, for a short time only, this Association had Agents at work in Dacca, under the superintendence of the ladies of the Baptist missionaries. Some of the Zenanas were visited, but owing to the baptism of a Brabmin lady at Calcutta by an agent of the Church Missionary Society, the Baboos in Calcutta and in Dacca became frightened, and closed their houses against all missionary efforts, so that the work there was discontinued—to be resumed, it was hoped, at some future time. Lately, the wife of the Commissioner, resident at Dacca, has succeeded in gaining an entrance into many Zenanas, and has employed two native Christian teachers to give religious instruction to the ladies; but as she expects very shortly to leave Dacca, she has expressed her willingness to hand over her work to this Association, if they can support it. Mrs. Bion, Mrs. Allen, and Miss Robinson-all connected with the Baptist Mission—will give what sympathy and help they can, but are too much occupied to be able to undertake the housevisiting; so that there must be a lady visitor and some native Christian Bible women. This will need an expenditure of not less than £150 per

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »