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The London Missionary Society, the Methodist Missionary Society, and the Bishops of New Zealand and Melanesia, have vessels at their command, for the purpose of visiting the numerous outlying islands and groups ; so that it may be boped that no inhabited spot in the Great Pacific will remain much longer in the wretchedness of heathenism.
THE NORTH PACIFIC.
The North Pacific.-Owhyhee, Hawaii, or the Sandwich Islands, in the North Pacific, were first evangelized by American Missionaries. The king has recently received an Anglican Bishop, who takes his title from the chief town, Honolulu.
AMERICA. Spanish America. The western shores of the Great Pacific Ocean are formed by the immense line of American coast which stretches from the north pole nearly to the south pole, from the Arctic circle to the Antarctic. On this line of coast bes California, which has its own Conference of the Episcopal Methodists of the United States. To the north of California is British Columbia, the seat of a Methodist Mission, which has been pushed from the banks of the river St. Lawrence, through the lakes and over the mountains of Canada.
South America was explored and colonized by Spain and Portugal, and is to a great extent nominally Christian. A recent traveller has afforded us some information concerning the degraded state of one part of South America, namely, Paraguay, a country once famous for being under the government of the Jesuits, but at present having a civil Governor or President of its own. Paraguay is on the same line of latitude as Fiji, and its inhabitants appear to be in a state little better than that of tbe uninstructed Heathen.
“The language of the country is the "Guarani,' an Indian dialect, that of the court being Spanish ; which, however, is not understood beyond the capital. The common people are evidently more of Indian than white blood, while no doubt the forner (African) slaves have contributed their share. There is also a race of pure Indians, by no means civilized. The opposite bank of the Paraguay is generally considered unsafe beyond a few hundred yards from the river side. A regular mail-packet, on her monthly trip, ran aground, and was attacked by wild Indians ; several of her crew were wounded by their arrows before she could be got off.
" As far as dress is concerned, little regard is paid to what we should consider the common rules of decency. In the country, the men seldom wear anything beyond a leather apron. The children disdain all clothing ; and the women wear only a light skirt of Manchester print.
“ I believe that in the country generally marriage is unknown. The first few families in the capital certainly consider marriage necessary ; but it is by no means general even there. The President discourages it himself, both by his own example, and by doing all he can to prevent it. I heard a story, that, shortly after I left Paraguay, five or six priests were brought to the capital, charged with attempting to overturn the constitution, by urging marriage on the people in the south-east districts of the republic! It was further reported, that one of them was made away with in prison. It is almost unnecessary to observe, that the immorality consequent on such a state of things is enormous, and must be prejudicial to the whole race."
Indeed, it may be doubted whether the moral and spiritual darkness of the Spaniards and Indians of the whole of South America is not fully equal to that of
the cannibals of Fiji, or of the Mohammedans and Fetisb-worshippers of the African continent.
Coneerning Paraguay, our traveller says, that " almost always the first question asked of him on his return was, . But where is Paraguay?'” So little is that part of the world cared about or known by Christian England. He continues : “ Surely a country now so rapidly advancing deserves to be better known by us, especially when it is availing itself largely of the services of our countrymen, in its endeavours to improve itself." *
Central America.—The Spaniards and Spanish Indians of America are nowhere reached by, the Methodist Missions, exeept at Corosal, Honduras Bay, Central America. The Rer. Richard Fletcher preaches in Spanish, and in Maya, the language of the Indians, who are said to number 700,000; and he has translated various tracts for their benefit. His truly important work ought to be sustained and enlarged. I
British Columbia.—At Vancouver's Island, and in British Columbia, many Indians are found within and outside the bounds of the colony. To these the Missionaries to the Colonists are directing their attention, as well as to the Chinese immigrants who have been attracted thither by the gold-fields.
Beyond the vast region recently explored by Viscount Milton and Dr. Cheadle, I are the
Indian Missions. On the Rocky Mountains of North America, along the banks of the river Saskatchewan, on the shores and islands of the lakes of Canada, and along the coasts of the northern sea, called Hudson's Bay, there are twenty-six Mission-stations among the Indians; and some of their lagguages have been reduced to writing. The late Rev. James Evans was the inventor of syllabic characters, in which the Holy Scriptures have been printed, as well as Hymn-Books, and other suitable publications; and very great has been the success which has rewarded the arduous toil of the labourers among these “ dwellers in the wilderness."
The Canada CONFERENCE extends its labours over a vast region occupied by thinly scattered settlements, which may well be regarded as Mission-ground. In like manner the EASTERN BRITISH AMERICAN CONFERENCE embraces NovaScotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Labrador, and the Bermuda Islands. A wide field for Missionary cultivation.
AUSTRALIA. Australia.- Returning to our position in the Great Pacific Ocean, we have on our left hand the great Australian Continent and Islands, where Methodism has grown into a Conference and Connexion, co-extensive with the several colonies, having its own Missions among the immigrant Chinese, and rendering assistance to the Moravian Missions among the Australian aborigines. A little farther north are the large islands of New Guinea, to whose wretched inhabitants a Mission has been proposed, but not yet carried into effect. In the
* David Powell; Galton's Vacation Tourists and Notes of Travel, 1862–3. + Honduras, by the Rev. Peter Samuel. Missionary Report and Notices. | Times Newspaper, November 30th, 1864.
Hudson's Bay Mission, by the Rev. John Ryerson. The Ojebway Indians, by the late Rev. Peter Junes.
Bomeo has an Anglican Bishop, and there is some Christian teaching under the Dutch rule in Java and Sumatra ; but, for the most part, the inhabitants of the many islands of the Eastern Archipelago have yet to be won to Christ : so also have the natives of the remote islands of Japan, and of the still larger empire of China, containing one-third of the entire human family.
Cking.— The Missionaries in China avail themselves of the civilization and learning of that ancient people, and are slowly but surely introducing among them a bigoer moral standard and a better religion than they received of old from India and Thibet. Commercial treaties and political convulsions have helped to prepare the way of the Lord in China. The valley of the Yang-tze is exalted to the high privilege of having Christian Missions among its seventy-five millions of inhabitants ; and the mountains of the capital cities of the empire are humbled and made low from their high heathen exclusiveness, so as to receive the Lord's messengers, the preachers of the Cross. But what are the Society's Missions at Canton, Fatsban, and Hankow, or the Missions of all the Societies, among a people so Dumerous and in a region so vast ? May the miracle-working Saviour, by His blessing, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost, so multiply the bread of life distributed by His disciples, that these spiritually destitute and famishing multitudes may all eat and be filled !
Jatia.—Passing westward through the empire of Burmah, where the American Missionaries have been favoured with remarkable success, we come to India.
Providential circumstances directed the attention of the Methodists to India as a field of Missions very early in their history. Subsequently, the whole Christian world awoke to the duty of attacking idolatry in its most ancient seat; and after India was opened to Missionary effort, it became the battle-field to which all Protestant churches in Europe and America have sent their representatives.
** India is the noblest trust ever committed to a Christian nation. A population of two hundred millions, consisting of twenty-one distinct peoples, speaking bfty-one languages and dialects, providentially placed under our Government, claims at our hands the word of life.”
At a levee, recently held by Sir Thomas Lawrence, as Viceroy and GovernorGeneral of India at Lahore, there were present more than six hundred native kings and chiefs.
The success of Missions in India is not to be estimated by the number of hearers, converts, or scholars under tuition ; nor by the number of Bibles, portions of the Bible, tracts, &c., in circulation ; but also by the movement in heathenism itself against the absurdities of the old idolatry.
The " Brambo Samaj,” or “Spiritual Worshippers," a sect originating in Bengal, is spreading itself among the more educated of the Hindus ; and the “Truth Society," in Western India, is a sign that Hinduism has to accommodate itself to modern intelligence.“ Anything,” says a native newspaper, published in Marathi, " is preferable to this utter and senseless sticking to the old ways."
In Bengal, Oudh, the Deccan, and the Carnatic, regions famous for superstition and idolatry, the true light now shines from many a Mission-centre, and, by God's
blessing, will continue to shine, until the nations come to the light, and kings to the brightness of the rising of the Sun of righteousness.*
Leaving Thibet in the north, where the Moravian Missionaries are preparing grammars, dictionaries, and translations, and are thus facilitating the future progress of the Gospel, and proceeding by the Punjaub, Scinde, Bombay, and the Missions of the Malabar Coast and Cochin China, Travancore, and Tinnevelly, we arrive at
Ceylon.—In South Ceylon the best possible proof of the success of Missionaries is afforded by the opposition which their labours encounter. A Budhist Missionary Society has been formed by the Priests ; agents are sent to explain and defend Budhism against the teachings of the Christian Missionaries, and periodical and other writings are diligently circulated, attacking the Christian Scriptures, toward the support of which the richer natives give liberally. Ceylon being regarded as the head-quarters of the atheist superstition of Budhu, it is anticipated that the fall of Budhism in Ceylon would be the signal for the decline of Budhism throughout the Eastern world. t
Passing by the Mauritius, where the Wesleyan ‘Mission was discontinued thirty years ago, and the majestic island of Madagascar, the scene of success and sufferings on the part of the London Society's Missionaries, we proceed rapidly to
Africa.-From Zanzibar in the East, (not forgetting Dr. Livingstone's Zambesi,) by the way of Natal and Kaffirland, and the Cape Colony, and the more northern Bight of Benin, as far as the Gambia, Africa is skirted at intervals along its shores with Christian Missions, and in all its parts has been penetrated for some hundreds of miles by faithful men, who have testified against idolatry and the slave-trade, and have introduced a knowledge of the Gospel. Great has been the sacrifice of valuable life, especially in Western Africa, within the last half century. In the first twelve years of the Church of England Mission in Sierra-Leone, thirty Europeans died. The Wesleyan Missionary Society have in their burial-ground the graves of above forty Missionaries and their wives. But great also has been the success of Missions in Africa. Together with the sad distinction of containing some of the eminently dark places of the earth, Africa has the advantage of being so near to Europe that it is almost a home field of labour, especially in the north, and west, and south. The constant steam-packet service enables the Missionaries to return home at intervals with great facility, in order to recruit their health, and refit themselves for their work."
The Missions in Greece, in Egypt, and in Malta, were given up many years ago ; the latter in favour of the Mission to the Gold-Coast.
* Hoole's Personal Narrative. Arthur's Mysore. Roberts's Oriental Illustrations. Indian Year-Book, 1861. Ten Years' Missionary Labour in India.
+ Jubilee Memorials of the Wesleyan Mission in South Ceylon, 1814, 1864, by the Rev. R. S. Hardy, Hon. M.R.A.S. Harvard's Ceylon and India. Robinson's Daughters of India,
# Journals of a Visit to Ashanti. Missionary Travels in Western Africa. Reminiscences of a Mission to the Gambia, by the Rev. John Morgan. Missions to the West Coast of Africa, by the Rey, William Fox. Notes on South-African Affairs, by the Rev. W. B. Boyce.
Therefore, leaving Northern Africa, and, on the left, Turkey and Persia, we proceed to
EUROPE. Italy.—This newest Mission of the Society is remarkable as being carried on in a Popish country, at Milan, Naples, and other centres, and reaching to the gates of home itself, which will soon open, it is anticipated, to the humble successors of the Apostle of the Gentiles, who there suffered martyrdom.*
Spain.—This country has hitherto successfully resisted the efforts made to introduce public evangelical teaching, either by way of Gibraltar or Cadiz.t
France, Switzerland, and Corsica.—The Protestants of France and Switzerland have welcomed the labours of the Wesleyan Ministers for more than forty years. The results of those labours are wide-spread, among Romanists as well as Protestants, and are acknowledged with thankfulness beyond the bounds of the Societies under the care of the French Conference.
Germany.—The reviving influence of Methodism has been accepted among the Lutherans of the kingdom of Wirtemberg.
Scandinavia.—The results of the labours of the Swedish Mission are still happily existing and spreading in Sweden, Norway, and Lapland.
Ireland.—The Missions in Ireland are conducted and mainly supported by the Irish Conference.
THE WEST INDIES.
West Indies.—Modern Missions found the West Indies occupied by a population chiefly pagan. Whether any remains of Obeahism and idolatry still lurk in secret corners of Jamaica or the other islands, we do not know; but, outwardly, the whole population professes Christianity. So recent are the labours and successes of the Missionaries in the West Indies, that one aged saint, at least, still survives in Antigua, who remembers John Baxter, the minister first appointed by the Rev. John Wesley to labour in that island, in 1785. The West Indies will always occupy a prominent place in the annals of Methodist Missions. I
METHODIST FINANCE. Whilst we glorify the grace and mercy of God, as manifested in the conversion of the Heathen, we may be allowed to rejoice also in the spirit of liberality which has been given to them. In the Fiji and Friendly Islands, the financial system of Methodism has bad a fair trial. No rival churches have disturbed the usual economy. There have been no other Missionaries besides those of this Society and a few Popish priests. The result has afforded favourable testimony to the Methodist order of church management. The converts have built their own places of worship ; they have supported their own schools, and the training colleges for schoolmasters and catechists. Chiefs and common people, in their classes, and in public congregational collections, have cheerfully contributed sufficient funds for the support of their pastors and preachers, both European and native, from year
* Missionary Notices, Watchman, and Recorder newspapers. 1864. † Memoir of the Mission to Gibraltar and Spain, by the Rev. W. H. Rule, D.D.
History of the West Indics, by the late Dr. Coke. Life of Dr. Coke, by Rev. Dr. Etheridge. Scenes in the Caribbean Sea, by the Rev. Henry Bleby. Death Struggles of Slavery, by the same. Missionary Memorials, by the Rev. William Moister. Missign to Jamaica, by the late Rev. Peter Duncan.