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CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY.
IN our last Number, p. 249, we gave an outline of the Valedictory Address of the Bishop of Bristol to the Bishop of Calcutta, and of his Lordship's Reply. We shall now extract the chief parts of both these docu
After some introductory remarks on the magnitude of the object before the Society, and the favourable prospects in India, the Bishop thus addresses Bishop Heber:
My Lord-The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge desire to offer to your Lordship their sincere congratulations upon your elevation to the Episcopal See of Calcutta.
They derive from your appointment to this high office the certain assurance, that all the advantages, which they have anticipated from the formation of a Church Establishment in India, will be realized; and that the various plans for the diffusion of true Religion among its inhabitants, which have been so wisely laid and so auspiciously commenced by your lamented Predecessor, will, under your superintendence and controul, advance with a steady and uninterrupted progress. They ground this assurance upon the rare union of intellectual and July, 1823.
moral qualities, which combine to form
Of the benefits, which will arise to the Indian Church from a spirit of selfdevotion so pure and so disinterested, the Society feel, that it is impossible to form an exaggerated estimate.
Nor has this act of self-devotion been the result of sudden impulse: it has been performed after serious reflection, and with an accurate knowledge of the difficulties by which your path will be obstructed. You have not engaged in this holy warfare without previously counting the cost. So deeply were you impressed with the responsibility which must attach to the Episcopal Office in 2 P
India, that you hesitated to accept it. But, upon maturer deliberation, you felt that a call was made upon you-a call, to disobey which would argue a culpable distrust of the protection of Him who made it. You assured your self, that the requisite strength would be supplied by the same Almighty Power, which imposed the burthen. Among the circumstances which have attended your recent appointment, the Society dwell upon this with peculiar satisfaction; inasmuch as it forms a striking feature of resemblance between ́ your Lordship and your lamented Predecessor; who, like you, originally felt, and, like you, subsequently overcame, a reluctance to undertake the administration of the Indian Diocese.
Before that accomplished Prelate quitted his native shores, which he was, alas! destined never to revisit, this Society, in a Valedictory Address, entreated him to honour with his countenance and protection their exertions for the propagation and maintenance of the Christian Religion in the East. They stated their exertions to consist, in sending out Missionaries-in procuring Translations, into the Dialects of Hindostan, of the Scriptures and the Liturgy of our Church, and distributing them throughout the country-and in encouraging the Erection of Schools, for the Instruction of Children, as well of Europeans as of Natives. They further invited his attention to the formation of Institutions in imitation of the Diocesan and District Committees, which had about that period been established in different parts of England and Wales.
In the Designs recommended to his notice by the Society, your lamented Predecessor was pleased to promise his cordial co-operation. Under his fostering care, Committees were formed in the three Presidencies and in Ceylon, from the labours of which the most beneficial results have arisen. The limits, which the Society must prescribe to themselves in the present Address, will not allow them to enter into a minute detail of their results: yet they cannot deny themselves the gratification of particularly referring to the re-establishment of the Vepery Mission Press, through the interposition of the Madras Committee; a measure fraught with the most important benefits to the cause of the Gospel, since it supplies the
means of diffusing through the whole of Southern India the Word of knowledge and of life.
The same countenance, with which your Predecessor honoured their past labours, the Society now entreat your Lordship to bestow upon their future exertions. The nature of the objects to which those exertions are directed will, we are assured, of itself constitute, in your estimation, a title sufficient to your support. Yet we cannot but indulge the hope, that you will be induced to regard them with an eye of especial favour, by the consideration that they proceed from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Though you have been precluded, by the distance of your residence from the Metropolis, and by more pressing avocations, from attending the Meetings and taking an active part in the business of the Society, still ample proofs have not been wanting of your friendly disposition toward them. Your name has long been enrolled in the list of their Members; and they feel both pleasure and gratitude, when they reflect, that you condescended to close your ministerial labours in this country by a Discourse delivered at their request, and, if they may be allowed to use the expression, in their service.
It now only remains to assure your Lordship, if such an assurance is indeed necessary, that, in quitting your native land, you bear with you the esteem and the regret of the Society. Though removed to a distant quarter of the globe, you will still be present to our thoughts. Every event, which befals you, will be to us a subject of the liveliest interest: and, with our prayers for the success of your public labours, we shall mingle our petitions for your personal safety and welfare; humbly beseeching the Giver of all good gifts, that He will be pleased to shower His choicest earthly blessings on your head, till He shall at length call you, in the fulness of age and honour, to receive that eternal reward, which He has reserved, in His heavenly kingdom, for those who are the instruments of turning many unto righteous
Reply of the Bishop of Calculla. In reference to himself and the difficulties of his undertaking, the Bishop says—
I cannot forget, that it was this So
ciety which administered to the wants and directed the energies of the first Protestant Missionaries to Hindostan ;
that, under its auspices, at a later period, Swartz, and Gerickè, and Kohlhoff, went forth to sow the seeds of light and happiness in that benighted country; and that, still more recently, within these sacred walls (for SACRED I will venture to call them, when I consider the purposes to which they are devoted, and the prayers by which they are hallowed) Bishop Middleton bade adieu to that country which he loved, and to that Church of which he was one of the brightest ornaments. With such examples of learning and holiness around me, with such models of Christian Zeal before me, I may well be acquitted of assumed humility, when I profess a deep and painful sense of my own insufficiency. His Lordship speaks of his future
--that awful and overpowering en. terprise, which (if I know my own heart) I can truly say, I undertake not in my own strength, but in an humble reliance on the prayers and counsels of the good and the wise, and on that assistance, above all, which, whosoever seeks it faithfully, shall never fail of receiving. On the encouragement afforded by the progress of the Society's Missions, the Bishop thus speaksNor, my Lord Archbishop, will I seek to dissemble my conviction, that, slow as the growth of truth must be in a soil so strange and hitherto so spiritually barren, distant as the period may be when any very considerable proportion of the Natives of India shall lift up their hands to the Lord of Hosts, yet, in the degree of progress which has been made, enough of promise is given to remove all despondency as to the eventual issue of our labours. When we recollect, that one hundred years have scarcely passed away, since the first Missionaries of this Society essayed, under every imaginable circumstance of difficulty and discouragement, to plant their grain of mustard-seed in the Carnatic when we look back to those Apostolic Men, with few resources save what this Society supplied to them; without ENCOURAGEMENT, without SUPPORT; compelled to commit themselves, not to the casual HOSPITALITY, but to the systematic and bigoted INHOSPITA
LITY of the Natives; seated in the street, because no house would receive them; acquiring a new and difficult language, at the doors of the schools, from the children tracing their letters on the sand-can we refrain, not only from admiring the faith and patience of those eminent Saints, but from comparing their situation with the port which Christianity now assumes in the East, and indulging the hope, that, one century more, and the thousands of converts, which our Missionaries already number, may be extended into a mighty multitude, who will look back with gratitude to this Society, as the first dispenser of those sacred truths which will then be their guide and their consola
In allusion to the manner in which the Bishop of Bristol had spoken of him, the Bishop of Calcutta ob
There is no man who knows better than myself-and this, my Lord, is no time for dissembling-how little these praises are deserved. Yet even these praises, by God's grace, I would hope may not be useless to me. They may teach me what manner of man the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge desires as her agent and corre
what manner of man a Bishop of Calspondent in India: they may teach me cutta ought to be-what manner of man Bishop Middleton was—and what manner of man, though at an humble distance, I must endeavour, by God's help, to become.
I can only conclude by expressing, so far as words can express, to your Grace, to the distinguished Prelates around you, and to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in general, my gratitude for the private and personal, as well as public kindness and countenance, with which you have honoured me my gratitude, and that of the Indian Church, for the splendid bounty of which you have made me the dispenser-my gratitude for the patience and indulgence with which you have now heard me-my gratitude, above all, for those prayers, which you have promised to offer up on my behalf to the Throne of Grace and Mercy. Accept, in return, the blessing of a grateful heart: accept the settled purpose of my mind to devote, what little talent I possess, to the great Cause in which all our hearts are en
gaged; and for which it is not our duty only, but our illustrious privilege, to labour.
Besides His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was in the Chair, and the Bishops of Bristol and Calcutta, there were present, on this occasion, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Bishops of London, St. David's, Chester, and Llandaff, Lords Kenyon and Lilford, the Dean of Carlisle, Sir T. Dyke Acland, Bart., Sir Robert Harry Inglis, Bart., the Archdeacons of London, St. Alban's, Colchester, Stafford, Cleveland, and Northamp
prosperity of the Colonies, an opportunity of exercising their benevolence, by contributing to the Funds of the Society: and they have the satisfaction of stating, that liberal contributions have been already offered by persons of the highest distinction both in Church and State, as well as by several of the most considerable Proprietors in the WestIndia Islands.
The Society was incorporated in 1794. Its object is the Conversion and Religious Instruction of the Negro Slaves in the British WestIndia Islands.
ton, the Hon. and Rev. the Master Right Hon. and Right Rev. the Lord
of Magdalen College, Cambridge, and a large assemblage of other Members of the Society.
SOCIETY FOR THE CONVERSION OF
State of the Society. THE following Circular has lately appeared :
This Society, which derives its existence from the charitable donation of the Hon. Robert Boyle, and was incorporated at the instance of the Right Reverend Beilby Porteus, D. D., late Bishop of London, has pleasure in announcing its very satisfactory progress toward the attainment of its truly important objects; and the removal, in a great degree, of the difficulties, which, in the year 1803, induced it to suspend for a time the collection of those contributions which it is authorized by its Charter to receive from the public.
The principal of those difficulties, viz. that of engaging Clergymen of the Established Church, well qualified in all respects to co-operate with the Clergy of the Islands in the Conversion and Religious Instruction of the Negroes, is now considerably lessened; while, on the other hand, the application for such assistance from the Authorities, Proprietors, and Inhabitants in the Colonies, much exceed the means which the Funds of the Society (though not inconsiderable, and managed with the greatest economy) can supply.
Under these circumstances, the Society feel it a duty again to afford to all who are anxious for the good of their fellow-creatures, or interested in the
Bishop of London.
Right Hon. Robert Peel.
Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Llandaff. Very Rev. the Dean of Westminster. Right Hon. the Lord Mayor. Treasurer,
Thomas Porteus, Esq.
Jonathan Tyers Barrett, D. D. Subscribers of Two Guineas per annum, and Benefactors of Twenty Pounds, become Honorary Members of the Society.
The business of the Society is transacted at No. 14, Duke Street, Westminster.
CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
Distressing Intelligence from Sierra Leone.
Most of our Readers will have probably learned, from the Public Papers, that a heavy affliction has befallen the Colony of Sierra Leone, in a fatal Fever which has carried off many of the Europeans. The Society, in the loss of its Missionaries and Friends, has very severely suffered. Never did the Committee receive such an accumulation of heavy tidings, as came, this last month, in quick succession, in the course of a few days. Not only have both the Chaplains of the Colony been removed from their labours, but three of the Labourers in immediate connection with the Society
have departed this life: two of these three, Mr. James Bunyer and the Rev. W. H. Schemel, had but just entered on their work. The report of the other death which we have the pain to record-that of the Rev. W. Johnson-will be heard with that deep regret which accompanies the departure of well-known and longtried friends.
All these Christian Labourers have left Widows. Mrs. Johnson, in England, was anxiously waiting the arrival of her Husband, whose chief object in his visit to this country was once more to see her in this world. Mrs. Flood arrived in the vessel in which her Husband died. Mrs. Palmer, Mrs. Schemel, and Mrs. Bunyer, are, at present, in Africa.
This distressing intelligence is not, however, without some alleviation. The Mission, which has been thus afflicted, is still greatly blessed of God: its Converts continue to multiply in number and to grow in
and one and another of them grace; is added, with the best-grounded hope of usefulness, to the body of Native Teachers. It is obvious, that it is on this class of Labourers, under the blessing of God, that the extension of Christianity in Africa must chiefly depend. The destructive influence of the tropical climates of this continent on the health and lives of Europeans, renders the preparation and increase of competent Native Instructors a point of first importance with the Societies which are aiming to benefit Africa. The Committee cannot, therefore, but feel thankful, in the midst of the trials of the Mission, that these Labourers continue to multiply.
But the work which has been begun, and has received such a blessing from God, must be maintained. The Committee feel this Dispensation of Providence a loud call on them to mature, as speedily as possible, the system of Missionary Preparation which they have in hand, that
well-instructed Labourers may be ready to take the field: and they cannot but hope that the Members of the Society will feel it their duty to assist this object, both by their liberal contributions and their earnest prayers.
The Committee have thought it right, on this solemn occasion, to put on record their feelings, which they have done in the following Minute and Resolution :
At a Meeting of the Committee of the Church Missionary Society, held on Monday the 14th of July, 1823, the Secretary stated that he had very afflicting intelligence to report from Sierra Leone, not less than Five persons connected with the Society having been removed from their labours between the 20th of April and the 8th of May, among whom was their excellent friend, the Rev. W. Johnson. On Sunday, April the 20th, Mr. James Bunyer, Schoolmaster in Freetown, died about One o'clock in the morning, after a short illness, and was buried the same evening-Friday, the 25th, the Rev. W. H. Schemel died, after several weeks decline-Saturday, the 26th, the remains of Mr. Schemel were committed to the grave: on the same day, the Rev. W. Johnson sailed for England, apparently in perfect health-Tuesday, the 29th, Mr.
Johnson was taken ill-Saturday, May the 3d, the Rev. S. Flood, First Colonial Chaplain, sailed for England, somewhat indisposed at the time; and on the same day the Rev. W. Johnson died at sea-Sunday, the 4th, the Rev. H. Paliner, Second Colonial Chaplain, preached in the morning at Freetown, and administered the Lord's Supper; but was taken ill in the afternoon, and was carried up to Regent's TownTuesday, the 6th, the Rev. S. Flood died at sea-Wednesday, the 8th, the Rev, H. Palmer died at Regent's Town.
Resolved, that, while the Committee record with grief and regret the death of these valuable friends and labourers of the Society, and sympathize with their afflicted widows and relatives in their bereavements, they desire to bow with submission to the Divine Will; and to
urge on all the Members of the Society the duty of special prayer to Almighty God, that He would sanctify to all concerned this trying Dispensation of His Providence-would take the African Missionaries and Converts under His gracious protection-and would render efficient, by the influence of the Holy Spirit, the endeavours of the Society to supply faithful Labourers in the Mission, and especially to prepare Native Teachers who may be the means in His