« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Extracts from the Indo-Chinese Gleaner, No. II. Aug. 1817.
SOUTH SEA ISLANDS.
By accounts lately received from our brethren in Eimeo, the affairs of the Mission seem to be prospering greatly-362 persons had requested to have their names registered as candidates for christianity-and their schools contained 660 scholars. An attempt had been made by the idolatrous chiefs, to exterminate all who had renounced Heathenism, by a general massacre, (on the night of the 7th July) but their purposes were mercifully disappointed. The Rev. Mr. Marsden, senior chaplain of New South Wales, bears testimony to the patience, perseverance, and constancy of the Missionaries, feeling confident of their final success. Nine additional Missionaries have embarked for Eimeo, acquainted with several mechanical employments;-and the Directors of the Missionary Society have it in agitation, to introduce the sugar-cane, cotton, and hemp into the islands, for the purpose of promoting the civilization, and exciting the commercial spirit of the natives.
The Rev. John Gordon, from Vizagapatam, was at Madras, in May last, revising the Gentoo Translation of the Gospels, and intending, if possible, to print them there.
In the schools, at Madras, there were about 250 native, and 150 Portuguese and Country-born children, under the care of our brethren. The Rev. Messrs. Knill and Mead were labouring hard at the Tamul.
At Roya-Pettah, the Rev. Mr. Render has, under his charge, 160 children.
For the sake of those into whose hands-"The Missionary Circular,”
for lighting up the place of worship, and other necessary expenses.
ROMAN CATHOLIC ZEAL.
It is rather remarkable, that among the many opulent christians in India, and in England, so very few have aspired to the honour of supporting a Mission at their own individual expense.
A rich Roman Catholic gentleman at Madras, has, it is said, sent to Goa, for six PRIESTS, to come and teach the Roman Catholic religion to the natives. He intends to support these Priests himself. This is an example highly worthy of being imitated by opulent Protestants in India.
BRITISH OFFICERS IN INDIA.
The daily increase of pious Officers in the army in India, and the truly laudable manner in which some of them employ their influence and talents, are things calculated to afford pleasure of the most refined nature to the lovers of truth. In the army, the cold sneer of infidelity, is now seldom met with; and not a few in it are the warm and judicious friends of the Gospel. Many of them being persons of liberal education, and well acquainted with the languages of India, are capable of rendering great service to the cause of christianity. By letters from various quarters, it appears that some engage in translating parts of the Holy Scriptures-others in correcting and revising former Versions. Some assist in superintending the education of native children-others liberally contribute to their support. Some illustrate the history and customs of the countries around them by their writings, and thus furnish a collateral auxiliary to the spread of divine knowledge; others encourage the instruction of the children of Europe an soldiers. Some take the lead in Bible Associations ;-others have several schools, taught under their own personal inspection, and supported solely by themselves and their families; there is one instance in which three schools, containing 300 children, are superintended by an Eng lish Officer-We cannot but observe, with delight, the pious LADIES
also, the wives of these officers, employing their talents in writing useful tracts and books for children,engaging in the superintendance of native schools and schools of indus try, as well as in visiting the cottages of the poor, administering to their bodily wants, and endeavouring to conduct them to the knowledge of JESUS CHRIST.
To persons who are anxiously-observing the progress of christianity in India, these are circumstances of no ordinary interest; and the Minister or Missionary, who has such useful co-adjutors planted around him, in the scene of his labours, may truly, say "The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places !"
RECENT ANNUAL MEETINGS.
The Massachusetts Congregational Charitable Society held its annual meeting, on Monday, 25th May, at 11 o'clock, A. M. at the Vestry of the First Church, Chauncy-Place.
Officers rechosen, with the exception of Levi Hedge, Esq. Secretary, in the room of the Rev. Dr. McKean, deceased.
Hon. Peter C. Brooks was elected a member of the Society in the place of the Hon. Judge Wendell, and the Rev. John Pierce instead of Rev. Dr. McKean.
Tuesday 26th May, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the Society for promoting Christian knowledge, piety and charity held its eleventh annual meeting at Chauncy-Place. The Rev. Jacob Flint, of Cohasset, delivered a discourse on Moral Freedom, from Isaiah lxi. 1. "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me," &c. A collection was then taken. Officers chosen for the present year-Rev. W. E. Channing, Rev. Dr. Bancroft, Rev. Joseph Allen, Rev. N. L. Frothingham, Rev. J. Tuckerman, Dea. Samuel May, Rev. John White, Rev. Dr. Harris, Trustees-Mr. Elisha Clap, Treasurer.
In the evening, the nineteenth anniversary discourse was delivered be fore the Massachusetts Missionary Society by the Rev. Ebenezer Porter, D. D. Bartlet Professor of Sacred
On Thursday, at eleven o'clock, the Rev. Henry Ware, D. D. Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard University, delivered the Convention Sermon from John xx. 31. "These things are written, that ye might believe," &c. at the Church in Brattlestreet. There was then a collection of $493 06 for the relief of destitute widows of Congregational ministers.
The preacher, for the next year, is the Rev. Abiel Holmes, D. D. of Cambridge. In case of failure, the Rev. Aaron Bancroft of Worcester is chosen his substitute. The Rev. Francis Parkman of Boston, was chosen Treasurer, and the Rev. John Pierce of Brookline, Scribe.
On Friday, 29th May, the Massachusetts Society for the suppression of Intemperance held its fifth annual meeting in Chauncy-Place. The Rev. William Ellery Channing delivered a discourse from Luke xxi. 34. "Take heed to yourselves, lest, at any time, your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness;" &c. Officers-Hon. Na
Died-In Cambridge, Caleb Gan net, Esq. aged 73.
In Boston, Samuel Salisbury, Esq. aged 78.
In Portsmouth, Col. Wm. Brewster, aged 77.
In Worcester, W. C., White, Esq. aged 41.
In Frankfort, Ken. Col. C. Greenup, aged 69.
At Roxury, Mrs. Abigail Williams, relict of the late Dr. Thomas Willian s, aged 80.
In Weare, N. H. Mr. Thomas Folansbee, aged 82.
In Richmond county, N. C. Thomas Hitchcock,aged 125. He left a numerous family of children, one a ged 93, another 16.
ERRATA IN MAY NUMBER.
Page 154, line 22 for "less an swerable" read less censurable.
Page 159, line 34 for "always" read almost.
DR. DAVID RITTENHOUSE.
THE Philosopher whose name is now before us arose to great eminence and usefulness without the advantages of a college education. A sketch therefore of his life. and character may be adapted to encourage others, who like him are denied those advantages. It may stimulate them to the best improvement of their mental faculties and of such means as a gracious providence shall place within their reach. It may also serve as a seasonable reproof to those who have possessed great advantages, but through indolence or dissipation have failed to rise above the common level of unlearned men, and who sink to insignificance when compared with a Rittenhouse.
For the facts relating to Mr. Rittenhouse we are indebted to Dr. Benjamin Rush; and as the Doctor was a good writer we shall not scruple to make a free use of his language in the present article. At the request of the American Philosophical Society, of which Mr. Rittenhouse had been for several years the President, Dr. Rush delivered a Eulogium on the 7th of December, 1796. This Eulogium is the principal source of Vpl VI. No. 7.
our information respecting this American philosopher.
Dr. Rittenhouse was born in Germantown in Pennsylvania on the 8th of April, 1732. His ancestors migrated from Holland near the beginning of the last century. The early part of his life was spent in agricultural employments. But the plough, the fences,and even the stones of the field in which he worked, were frequently marked with figures which denoted the bias of his mind and talent for mathematical studies. On finding that the delicacy of his constitution unfitted him for the labors of husbandry, his parents consented to his learning the trade of a clock and mathematical instrument maker. In acquiring the knowledge of these arts he was his own instructer; and they affordedhim great delight, as they favored his disposition for philosophical inquiries.
During his residence with his father in the country, this extraordinary youth made himself master of Sir Isaac Newton's Principia. There also he became acquainted with the science of fluxions, and believed himself to be the author; nor did he know till several years afterwards, that
a contest had been carried on between Sir Isaac Newton and Leibnitz for the honour of that discovery. "What a mind was here! Without literary friends or society, and with but two or three books, before he reached his 24th year, he became the rival of the two greatest mathematicians in Europe !"
In this retired situation, and while he pursued his trade, he planned and executed an orrery, in which he represented the revolutions of the heavenly bodies in a manner more extensive and complete than had been done by any former astronomer. His character now became more known and admired, and he was urged to remove to Philadelphia, to enlarge his opportunities for improvement and usefulness.He complied in 1770; but still continued his trade for several years. About the time of his removing to Philadelphia, he became a member of the American Philosophical Society.
As a member of this Society he was very active and useful In 1775 he was appointed to deliver the annual oraion before the Society. The subject of it was the history of astronomy. "It was deliv ered in a feeble voice and without any of the advantages of oratory; but it commanded the most profound attention, and was followed by universal admiration and applause from a crowded and respectable audience."
Besides this oration Dr. Rush has given a list of six
teen publications of Mr. Rittenhouse, contained in the volumes of the Society's Transactions, which had then been published; and four other communications which were then in the press. After giving this list the Dr. observes, "Talents so splendid, and knowledge SO practical in mathematics are like pieces of precious metals. They become public property by universal consent. The state of Pennsylvania was not insensible of the wealth she possessed in the mind of Rittenhouse. She claimed him as her own, and employed him in business of the most important nature."
In 1791 he was chosen successor to Dr. Franklin as President of the American Philosophical Society. In this elevated situation he commanded esteem by the modesty, propriety and dignity of his deportment. But his talents and knowledge were not limited to mathematical material objects; his mind was a repository of the knowledge of all ages and countries. Inventions and improvements in every art and science were frequently submitted to his examination, and were afterwards patronized by the public according as they were approved by him. His name became known and respected in foreign countries as well as in America.
"The degree of Master of Arts was conferred on him by the College in Philadelphia in 1768-the same by the College of William and Mary in Virginia in 1784. In 1789 he