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In no year since the organization of the Board, has so large an amount been contributed by the churches to the education of candidates for the ministry.
BOARD OF FOREIGN MISSIONS.—TWENTY-FIRST ANNUAL REPORT.
The receipts from all sources—including a special contribution of $18,112 57 to repair losses in India-have been $223,977 79. The expenditure has been $207,051 51; the sum specially donated for India, $18,112 57, being reserved, leaving a balance against the Board of $1186 29. Thirty missionary labourers have been sent out during the year, twelve of whom were returned missionaries, and ten others are waiting opportunities to embark for the fields to which they have respectively been designated. Under the direction of the Board there are nine missions among the Indians, one to the Jews, and one to the Chinese in California, within the boundaries of the United States; two in South America; two in Western Africa; one in Siam ; three in China; two in India, embracing fifteen stations, and extending over a region of country of more than a thousand miles in length; besides which, pecuniary aid has been extended to the Evangelical Societies of Belgium, Paris, Geneva, and to the Waldensian Synod. Connected with these various missions there are one hundred and seventy missionary labourers from this country; fifty-four native helpers; fifty principal stations and out-stations; twentytwo organized churches, and nearly five thousand native youths under Christian training in the schools connected with these missions. A general survey of the missionary work during the past year brings to view facts and events both of a painful and cheering nature; the former call. ing for sorrow and humiliation, and the latter for praise and thanksgiving
Under the former head stands out painfully conspicuous the sad disaster at Futteghurh, in which the lives of eight beloved and valued missionary labourers and two children were sacrificed to Sepoy violence; the removal by death, in other parts of the field, of five other valued missionary labourers; the destruction of a large amount of missionary property in India; the partial interruption of the work at one of the principal stations in China; and the withdrawal of a considerable number of labourers from the field, either temporarily or permanently, on account of the failure of health. These are occurrences that call for deep humiliation, and they ought to awaken in the heart searching inquiry why these reverses have been permitted to befall this great work." On the other hand, there are facts of an encouraging nature that are equally deserving of the grateful consideration of God's people. Among these may be mentioned the merciful preservation of the health and lives of the great body of our missionary brethren and their families in India during all the trials and dangers to which they have been exposed; the noble testimony which the martyred brethren were enabled to bear to the truth in the immediate prospect of a cruel and violent death, and the heroic fortitude with which their Christian couverts endured persecution, and in some cases met death, forming together a lesson that will be rehearsed from generation to generation in India, and will long be cherished by the Church of Christ as a sweet and precious memorial.
BOARD OF PUBLICATION.-TWENTIETH ANNUAL REPORT. I. In the department of PRODUCTION. The Publishing Agent reports that 55 new works have been issued, of which 45 are new volumes. Of these new volumes, there have been printed 85,750 copies. In addition to these, 24,000 copies of nine new tracts have been issued, and 30,000 copies of the Presbyterian Almanac, making in all 139,750 copies of new publications. Besides these, there have been published 326,750 copies of works before upon the Board's Catalogue.
The total number of copies issued during the year has been 466,550 copies.
The total number of copies issued since the organization of the Board to March 1, 1858, has been 6,819,938.
II. In the department of DISTRIBUTION. The publications of the Board reach the hands of the people chiefly through three channels :
1. The regular trade sales at the Publishing house have been during the year 191,993 volumes, a decrease of 1583 volumes on the sales of the preceding year.
The sales of tracts at the Publishing-house have amounted to 706,963 pages, an increase of 229,522 pages on those of the year preceding.
2. The Executive Committee have granted, in response to appeals made to it, to Sabbath-schools, feeble churches, humane institutions, and to individuals, for gratuitous distribution, 3724 volumes, and 246,395 pages of tracts.
3. By colportage, a most important amount of divine truth has been put in circulation, and the results of the year, considering all things, have been in the highest degree favourable.
The number of Colporteurs in commission during the year has been 263, being an increase of 9, notwithstanding the recent curtailments found to be necessary. These have been distributed into 29 States and Territories, besides all the British Provinces of the North. The total distribution of the year has been as follows: By sales at Publishing-house,
191,993 vols. 66 by Colporteurs,
123,924 Given by Colporteurs,
17,905 Granted by Executive Committee,
Total of volumes,
Sold at Publishing-house, .
2,508,827 being a decrease, for reasons explained in the Report, of 271,
III. In the department of SUSTENTATION. The Treasurer's Report shows an aggregate of receipts for the year of $126,960 28, which is an increase of $7,639 25 over the receipts of the preceding year. The total
of expenditures has been $106,801 68, leaving a balance in the Treasurer's hands of $20,158 60.
The amount received from sales of books, tracts, and Sabbath-school Visitors has been $80,812 86, being a decrease of $6,581 52 on the sales of the previous year.
The Colportage Fund. The amount received from all sources for this Fund has been $21,369 76, a decrease of $3,453 86. This decrease, it is pleasant to observe, arises not from decreased church contributions, but from diminished receipts from legacies and miscellaneous sources. The sum received from the churches has been $17,150 92, an increase from this source of $1,761 67. The receipts from legacies and miscellaneous sources have this year been only $4,218 80, while last year they were $9,434 37.
The balance in which the Colportage Fund was overdrawn, March 1st, 1858, was $8,788 46.
CHURCII EXTENSION COMMITTEE.-THIRD ANNUAL REPORT.
Receipts and Expenditures. The appropriated balance in the treasury of the Church Extension Committee, April 1, 1857, was $8,634 58. The receipts from April 1, 1857, to April 1, 1858, from all sources, were $24,741 15, of which $14,3+1 48 was from churches, $9,094 50 from individuals, and $253 13 from Sabbath-schools. The available resources of the year were, therefore, $33,375 73.
The expenditures of the year, as shown by the Treasurer's statement appended to the Report, were $24,381 03, leaving in the treasury, April 1, 1858, an appropriated balance of $8,991 70. There were, however, unpaid at that date, appropriations to fifty-six churches, amounting to $16,475.
The liabilities of the Committee consequently exceeded their means on band, April 1, 1858, 87,483 30. For sixteen of these unpaid appropriations, amounting to $7,100, the Committee were not, however, immediately liable on that day, as by the terms on which they were granted, they did not become due until after April 1, 1858. The immediate liabilities therefore of the Committee, at the close of their fiscal year, exceeded their means at hand $383 30.
The receipts from all sources during the year ending April 1, 1858, exceed those of the previous year nearly $1500; less, however, than half this excess is from donations.
The number of contributing churches named in this report is 518. The number named in the preceding report was 502. These results have been reached in the midst of the hard times, without any salaried collecting agent, and are as gratifying as they were unexpected.
The sum paid out to churches this year is in advance of the sum paid out to them last year, over $7000.
The amount appropriated to churches this year is in advance of the amount appropriated last year, nearly $10,000.
The applications received from April 1, 1857, to April 1, 1858, may safely be said to ask for $12,000 more than those filed during the preceding year.
INTERCESSION OF THE SPIRIT.
When the Spirit maketh intercession for us, it is not by any direct supplication from himself to God the Father, on behalf of any one indi. vidual ; but it is by pouring on that individual the spirit of prayer and supplication. The man whom he prays for is, in fact, the organ of his prayer. The prayer passes, as it were, from the Spirit through him who is the object of it.
These groanings of the Spirit of God, which cannot be uttered, are those unutterable desires wherewith the heart is charged, and which can only find vent in the ardent but unspeakable breathings of the one who first feels bis need, and longs to be freed from it; who hath a strong and general appetency after righteousness, and yet can only sigh it forth in ejaculations of intense earnestness. These are called groanings of the Spirit of God, because it is in fact He who awakened them in the spirit of man. When he intercedes for a believer, the believer's own heart is the channel through which the intercession finds its way to the throne of grace.-Chalmers.
A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE.
A MOTHER teaching her child to pray, is an object at once the most sublime and tender the imagination can conceive. Elevated above earthly things, she seems like one of those guardian angels, the companion of our earthly pilgrimage, through whose ministrations we are inclined to do good and turn from evil.
BENEFIT OF ADVERSITY.
A SMOOTA sea never made a skilful mariner. Neither do uninter. rupted prosperity and success qualify man for usefulness or happiness. The storms of adversity, like the storms of the ocean, rouse the faculties and excite the invention, prudence, skill, and fortitude of the voyager.
A CERTAIN king, who had been conquered by another, was made to kneel before him. He begged that it might be done in private. A tent was erected for the purpose, but the moment the conquered king bowed on his knees, the tent was removed, and he was exposed to the gaze of the whole army, We may now conceal our deeds of iniquity, but in a moment, we little suspect, they will be exposed to the universe, and we stand confounded.
CAUSES OF ANXIETY TO YOUNG MEN IN REFER
ENCE TO THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY.*
The consideration of some of the CAUSES OF ANXIETY TO YOUNG MEN AND CANDIDATES, who think of entering upon the work of the ministry, may result in good to all who are called upon to consider the subject. The discussion must be necessarily brief, and in the nature of hints and suggestions, rather than of a full and exhaustive exhibition of the topics brought to notice.
I. THE WANT OF SUFFICIENT PIETY often painfully affects the mind and conscience of an ingenuous youth, in contemplating the Christian ministry as his vocation. Such a consideration may well lead to jealous self-examination and importunate prayer. All the aims of the ministry, its sources of strength, its duties, its consolations, its rewards, are spiritual in their nature. The highest religious qualifications are demanded in an office which concerns the souls of men and the glory of God. The Church can never be sufficiently awake to the necessity of earnest piety in her ministers. Nor can her ministers and candidates ever deplore enough their moral deficiencies, or prostrate themselves in sufficient humiliation before the throne of grace.
On the other hand, it is possible for the plea of "insufficient religion” to degenerate into morbid sensibility, or into impatience with the Divine methods in the sanctification of sinners. The conscientious student, who truly laments his low attainments of piety, may derive some relief from meditations like the following.
i. Imperfection belongs to all human instrumentality. God • Part of the Annual Report of the Board of Education, 1858, prepared by the Rev. C. VAN RENSSELAER, D.D., Corresponding Secretary.
VOL. VIII, No. 9.