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LONDON MISS. SOCIETY.
In 1816, the board sent Mr. Hough and wife to his aid, and subsequently, Messrs. Wade and Boardman.
The Burmese are civilized like the Hindoos; but are debased and bloody Pagans; chiefly followers of Boodhu. The prospects of the Missionaries have ever been discouraging. Mr. Judson has translated the New Testament into the language of the Burmese. The Baptist board has also established stations in Africa and among the North American Indians, which have been much prospered.
The zeal with which the Baptists in England engaged in missions in England, excited a number of dissenters and members of the establishment to unite, Sept. 22, 1795, in the formation of the splendid London Missionary Society.
Its attention was first directed to the South Sea Islands. A ship called the Doff, commanded by Captain Wilson, was prepared, and 30 persons sailed, Aug. 10, 1796, from London. Some were left on the Friendly Islands, in a partially civilized community ; but were soon through adverse providences, part destroyed, anà part compelled to flee to New-Holland. The remainder landed at Otaheite amid the most deplorable ruins of the fall.' There where the eye witnessed a fertile soil, salubrious climate and delightful scenery, it also beheld the most awful moral desolation, accompanied with no mental cultivation or refinement of manners, and connected with a religion which sanctified every crime-a taboo system, the most horrid; the offering of human sacrifices to the most foolish and absurd idols ever imposed by Satan upon mankind.
Fifteen years they toiled amid worse than Egyptian darkness. At length, light began to dawn. In 1813, Pomare the king, was impressed by the gospel, and soon renounced his idol gods. His people followed him. For twelve years the Sun of righteousness has shone upon the island; and 12,000 adults have been taught to read; 3000 children are in schools ; 28 houses of worship have been erected, and are filled sabbath after sabbath by worshippers of Jehovah ; idolatry and superstition have passed away ; peace has succeeded to the most cruel and desolating wars; a missiorary spirit is excited, and eighteen natives have entered the field of labour, through whose instru. mentality two churches have been formed on distant islands, and 5000 taught to read. A nation has been born in a day. It brings millenium nigh.
The London society have establishments also in other parts of the globe. In 1798. Dr. Vanderkemp, a learned and skillful
physician, whose name is precious in Missionary andals, with Mr. Kicherer, was sent to the Hottentots, and Bushmen of Africa, through whose instrumentality, together with that of successive labourers, some thousands have come to the knowledge of Christ. Fifteen stations, 25 missionaries and some native preachers are now under the care of the Society, in the South of Africa. To the East and West Indies the Society have also sent forth able heralds of salvation, who are active in dispelling the thick darkness which veils the human mind in those regions. Among its labourers, no one deserves greater commendation than Mr. Morrison, who has compiled a Chinese grammar and dictionary; translated the scriptures into the Chinese language, and circulated above 150,000 pamphlets and tracts—The Chinese are Pagans, though not so gross as the Hindoos. They are worshippers of the god Foe.
In 1801, a missionary seminary was established at Gosport in England, under the care of Dr. Bogue.
In 1796, the Scotch came forward with their usual zeal in religion, and formed the EDINBURGH MISSIONARY society. They first directed their attention to the Sosoo country in Africa. But being unsuccessful, they turned to Tartary, where they have now three stations, and the prospect of doing great good by circulating bibles and tracts in the Tartar language, through the immense regions of Tartary, Persia and China.
Until the commencement of the 19th century, the immense Church establishment of England remained a stranger to foreign missions. A society was indeed formed in 1647, “ for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts," which received the sanction of parliament, and the patronage of different princes, but has done little excepting in British provinces. In 1800, was formed the noble CHURCH MissioNARY Society.
Its first missionaries were sent to Western Africa--awfully debased by the slave trade, where, after conflicting with many most distressing evils, their stations are flourishing. But the immense British dominions in Asia, have been the chief object of attention. There, their operations have been generously supported and blessed. A recent effort to teach females to read, who bave for centuries been totally neglected as incapable of it, has been very successful, and promises to effect the greatest changes in India.
In 1814, an establishment was formed under the Rev. Henry Marsden, at New Zealand, among a people barbarous in the ex
BUCHANAN. H. MARTYN.
treme, and continually engaged in the most ferocious contests. This society has 45 stations, 296 schools, 440 teachers and labourers, and 14,000 scholars. It has a flourishing missionary seminary at Islington.
Two Britons, though employed by no missionary society, will be held in lasting remembrance for their labours among the heathen. The first, Claudius Buchanan, D. D. one of the chaplains to the East Iodia company at Bengal, was for a course of years indefatigable in his labours, in ascertaining the state of the moral and religious world in the East, and in rousing the attention of his countrymen at home to its spiritual desolations. He died in England, Feb. 9, 1815. The other, Henry Martyn, who was excited to devote his life to the heathen by reading the life of David Brainard, gained the chaplaincy to the East India company. He reached Dinapore, Nov. 1806, and having learned the Hindostanee, he translated into it the liturgy and the New Testament. From India he travelled into Persia; boldly disputed with the Mahometan doctors; translated the New Testament into the Persian, and produced a prodigious excitement in that kingdom. He was cut off at Tocat by a fever in the midst of usefulness, Aug. 16, 1812, aged 31. “ While some shall delight to gaze upon the splendid sepulchre of Xavier, and others choose rather to ponder over the granite stone which covers all that is mortal of Swartz, there will not be wanting those, who will think of the humble and unfrequented grave of Henry Martyn, and be led to imitate those works of
mercy which have followed him into the world of light and love."
The friends of missions in Germany, have of late been directing their efforts towards the southern provinces of the Russian enpire, where German colonists are planted through the Crimea and Georgia-ev
-even to the borders of Persia. Their objects is to revive religion among their countrymen, to awaken into life the ancient Greek church, and ultimately to carry their conquest into the territories of Mahomet.
The spirit of Missions which once burned in the breasts of Eliot, the Mayhews, and Brainard, had become nearly extinct in the American churches, as they advanced in age and increased in riches, and for a considerable period no sympathy seems to have been felt for the nations sitting in the region and shadow of death. In 1787, a society was formed in Boston, for propagating the gospel among the Indians and others in North
America ; but little, however, was ever effected by it. This was followed by the institution of the New-York Missionary Society, in 1796.—The Connecticut, in 1798.—The Massachusetts, in 1799—and the New-Jersey, in 1801—all valuable institutions ; but their efforts have been chiefly directed to the relief of the destitute in the New Settlements. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church have also for some years had annual collections for missions.
Soon after the opening of the present century, that spirit again burst forth, and will continue, it is hoped, to burn until the kingdoms of this world are all become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. That great institution, THE AMERICAN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS FOR Foreign Missions, was formed in 1810. A generous legacy of 30,000 dollars was received from a lady; others threw their gifts into the Lord's treasury, and five beloved missionaries, Judson, Hall, Newell, Nott and Rice, were ordained and sent with their wives to India.* Much perplexity attended them on their arrival. The government ordered them to return. Mr. Newell in endeavouring to plant himself in the isle of France, was called to see his lovely wife close her eyes in death. Messrs. Judson and Rice unexpectedly avowed a change on the subject of baptism, and withdrew from the services of the Board. After many trials, Newell, Hall and Nott, commenced labour at Bombay.
June 21, 1815, a new mission was fitted out for the East. Four missionaries were sent to Ceylon. Nor were the board unmindful of the wants of the heathen on their own continent. They sent Mr. Kingsbury in 1817, to the Cherokee country by whom a foundation was laid for extensive establishments both among the Cherokees and Choctaws. In 1820, a large and valuable mission was sent to the Sandwich Islands, in the Pacific ocean. The religion and morals there were not dissimilar to those of the Society Islanders ; though, through a wonderful providence, just before the arrival of the Missionaries, they had renounced all their idol gods. The next year,
* The beloved Samuel J. Mills was devoted to the same mission, but was detained at home by providence, and became a great instrument in exciting the American churches to the formation of some of the noblest institutious of the age. He died on a passage from Africa, June 16, 1818, aged 34, whither he had been in the service of the Colonization Society which lay near his heart,
the attention of the board was directed to the countries about the Mediterranean Sea, particularly Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and two missionaries were sent out to explore and estab. lish a mission.
The zeal and success of the Board roused to action the friends of Christ in New York and its vicinity; and in 1818, they formed a society, denominated the United Foreign Mis. sionary Society. Two large establishments were made by them among the Osage Indians. Missionaries were also sent by them to the Indians in New York, in the Michigan Territory and in Ohio, and to the coloured people in Hayti. But, in the summer of 1826, an union was formed between this society and the American Board, and these stations were transferred to the care of the Board.
Since its institution the American Board has been blessed with a constantly increasing patronage from the American churches; and though it has been called to weep over the ear. ly extinction of many of the bright lights which it has planted in regions of darkness, yet it has had the happiness to find others, burning with equal brightness, to place in their stead, and to behold all dispelling, to an amazing extent, the thick darkness of paganism.
In Bombay, Newell, Nichols, Frost and Hall, have successively fallen before the King of Terrors. But through the labours of these men and their companions, the New-Testament and some part of the Old have been faithfully translated and printed in the vernacular tongue of 12 millions of people, and 100,000. Christian publications have been put into circula. tion, and many children have been taught to read and know something of the true God and of Jesus Christ. A chapel has been erected at Bombay. This mission “has struck its roots deep in the native soil.”
On Ceylon, God has remarkably poured out his Spirit, and the mission church contains not less than ninety native mem. bers who give great evidence of sound piety. Some have become preachers of the gospel.
At the American stations Brainard, Eliot and Mayhew, (named after the distinguished friends of the heathens in former times) some of the natives have exhibited bright examples of piety and benevolence. The children, in numerous schools, have shewn much intelligence and industry.
The success of the Sandwich Island mission has been similar to that of the London mission to Otaheite without its