Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

| reputation on both sides of the Atlantic. It is written for a more juvenile class of readers than her former one; but those who wept over the "Wide, Wide World," (and they were not few,) will find an evening's rich entertainment in this volume of the Bookcase." Besides the numberless attractions which, from beginning to end, adorn it, it is pervaded by a true Christian spirit, and abounds with lessons of sound morality. The little volume is tastefully got up, and richly embellished with beautiful illustrations.

terested. We conceive the course sketched
out in this book well fitted to gain this very
important end, and we should rejoice at its
being extensively used for this purpose.
The Lord Jesus himself, who is the centre
of all glory, and the source of all blessedness,
is the subject of every meditation, whilst,"
from all parts of Scripture, resources are
drawn for the illustration of those various
points of view, in which the truth regarding
Him is presented to us in the Word.
Life in Death. A Sermon on the Death of
the Earl of Ducie. By SAMUEL THODEY,
Minister of Rodborough Tabernacle.
London Partridge and Co.

EARL DUCIE was not only a manly Protest-
ant, but a fervent Christian; and the large-
hearted freedom which found its instant
home in the midst of true piety, however
humble, endeared him to liberal-minded
men of all communions. We believe that
he was practically a seceder from the Church
of England; but it was on other and higher
grounds that his death was mourned in
many a Dissenting chapel. Mr. Thodey's
is an excellent discourse,-experimental,
instructive, and eloquent; and its authentic
details of Lord Ducie's last hours will be
read with lively interest. We hope to give
a few extracts from it in a future Number.
Ellen Montgomery's Bookcase: Mr. Ruth-
erford's Children. By the Authoress of
"The Wide, Wide World," &c. London:
Nisbet and Co.

THE gifted Authoress of this delightful little work has earned for herself a good

The Grand Discovery; or, the Fatherhood of God. By the Rev. GEORGE GILFILLAN. London: Blackader and Co. UNLIKE too many publications nowadays, we have here a title which indicates the nature of the work. Like the Author's other productions, it is strewed with beautiful, and, sometimes, noble imagery, and is full of freshness and originality of thought. But we must say that it contains some objectionable passages, which do not quite accord with our views of Divine truth.

[WE must correct a mistake into which we fell in our December number, when we named a relative of the late Mr. Robert Haldane as holding the responsible office of Editor of the "Record." We are assured on the authority of our printer, Mr. Macintosh, who is also the printer of the "Record," that the gentleman we named has no editorial connexion with that journal.]

Missions.

MR. JOHNSTON'S VISIT TO THE MISSIONARY INSTITUTIONS AT MADRAS.

THROUGH the kindness of Mr. Nisbet we It was on a Sabbath that our vessel are enabled to publish the following letter anchored in the roads of Madras, and, as it from the Rev. James Johnston, giving was past four o'clock, I hastened on shore an interesting account of his visit to to enjoy the privilege of attending the Madras, when on his way to China. It house of God, to return thanks for the was agreed that he should visit the Mission- goodness and mercy which had followed ary Institutions there, with the view of obme on my way out; and to take in my first taining practical information which might impressions in a heathen land, in the felbe turned to good account in future:-- lowship of that little company which God hath chosen to Himself from the dense mass of heathenism around.

Point de Galle,

Ceylon, October 15, 1853. DEAR MR. NISBET,-I cannot allow a post to leave without sending you some account of my reception at Madras, and my best thanks for your letter to Mr. Anderson, through which I met with such a hearty welcome, and Christian hospitality, on my arrival.

I did not know whether Mr. Anderson was at Madras, or away recruiting his health, as was expected when I Was in Scotland. And, accordingly, I went on shore in some doubt, and felt for a moment somewhat helpless, when I found my luggage seized by as many naked

savages as could by any possibility lay hand upon a rope, each appropriating as much as he could, with an eye to the reckoning, when Dorey, as they see fit to call us, should come to claim his own. I thought at one time that Dorey himself would become the prey of contending parties, when I found myself carried, shoulder high, through the surf. But it was Sabbath, and I shall not give a ludicrous description of my position; suffice it to say that, notwithstanding the disadvantage of numbers, and ignorance of the language, I succeeded in getting all my luggage into one conveyance, and was about to take it to the custom-house, when Mr. Anderson's servant found me out, with a note from his master, saying that I was looked for at the Mission-house; and presently Venkutormuld made his appearance with a conveyance, in which I was soon taken to the premises, after meeting Mr. Campbell on the way, who remembered seeing me in Edinburgh. And now what a change from the noise and bustle on the beach; here all was still and orderly-there selfishness and greed set all the worst pas sions in exercise; here the divine rule of disinterestedness and charity had got its seat in the heart of many and exercised its influence over all. On the beach I was regarded as the lawful prey of all-here, within a few hundred yards of the same spot, I found myself the member of a family, each member of it aiming to add to my comfort and enjoyment.

It would be impossible to give you any adequate conception of this wonderful establishment, and of my reception in it. At the door I was met by Mr. Anderson, whose reception was of that unequivocal kind, that leaves no doubt on the mind. He is not only very kind, but possesses what too few Scotchmen can boast of-the power of letting even a stranger know it, and enjoy it. On our way to the room, which Mrs. Anderson and he occupy, we met a band of young converts, to whom I had the pleasure of being introduced; and a real pleasure it was to see such an exhibition of the transforming power of the Gospel, as was manifest in their appearance and deportment, and, as I afterwards found, in intelligence and consistency; and on the roof of the house I found fifteen girls who enjoy the maternal care of Mrs. A., and of these I found some of the older ones who had a very intelligent acquaintance with the Word of God, and most of them could repeat Psalms and Hymns very beautifully in English, and the little ones could have said some in Teloogoo, if I could have understood them. It was very delightful to hear the Saviour's name from the lips of those young persons who had

been early taught to lisp the praises of their false gods, which indeed are devils and not gods. When I was in the midst of the Christians of this Mission, I felt it difficult to believe that they had once been worship. pers of those gods I saw when going past the temples. The rejection of everything savouring of idolatry is so complete; and that, owing to the thorough uncompromising nature of Mr. Anderson's principles, and from his starting with those principles at the outset. When I visited some churches I could see marks of a compromise, by which the heathen were conciliated: and that, not only amongst Papists and German Lutheran Churches, but even amongst denominations where more might have been expected-but amongst whom the false principle had been introduced at the first by their predecessors; and now the most devoted and decided of missionar es cannot get rid of these odious distinctions without cutting off their members en masse When the English Church positively ordered all caste distinctions to be abolished, some years ago, their converts left them in hundreds, and went over to the Germans; some even preferred to return to heathenism. But they were firm in their discipline, and although some of the members may still keep up the distinction in secret, without the knowledge of the missionary, they will reap the fruit of their consistency in those who are in future admitted to the Church, though it will, in all likelihood, prevent many from coming forward to join them.

sum

to

On Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting all the converts of the Free Church, and their families, at tea, in the large room of the Mission premises, where they were assembled to receive the small though all that their father, Mr. Johnston, had to leave to his children: it was only ten rupees to each family, and a volume from his library to each of them. They seem prize the little token of affection far above its value in silver, as they know it was the mark of an affection of no ordinary kind; which, indeed, almost all of them could remember, from personal experience of his prayerful attention. I too had a prize given me, as a memorial of that night,——a small Latin Testament, with Mr. Johnston's name written in his own hand, when yet a young man, as it was dated 1821. often used it at church, as it had the Psalms in it, and seemed to be a favourite book with him. I thought of you when in the midst of that company of eighty, young and old-some with grey hairs, and tottering on the brink of the grave, others scarce entered upon that life which is highly favoured above that of their parents; born, as these little ones were, in the

He

bosom of the Christian Church, nursed at her breasts, and borne upon her sides; whilst their fathers and mothers, whom I saw tending them with such care, and training them with such wisdom in the "good ways of the Lord," had been born in the kingdom of darkness, and dedicated to devils, and not to God: many of them having on their forehead the mark of their god, indelibly written there with a pen of iron, which nothing can efface,-the only mark of their former idolatry, which I could see in them, and that, instead of being any compromise of their principles, seemed only to make them walk more circumspectly, that by their lives they might be known and read of all men to be followers of the Lamb -even that mark shall be effaced; but not until they have passed through the grave, and rise to meet their Lord as when He comes in the clouds to meet all who have his Father's name written in their foreheads. But I have not time to describe, as the steamer from China is come in, and the post will close immediately.

When I came away, Mr. Anderson insisted on coming down to the beach to see me off, as he said Mr. Nisbet, my friend, had gone to the coach to see him off. I was sorry to find that he was far from well, but he has a spirit which will carry him through any thing while his master permits him to remain on this side the grave. He forgets the body whenever he comes in contact with souls, either dead or living; if dead, his efforts to awaken them in the name of his God are more earnest than those of any missionary I have met with. He often hurts himself by it, as he did that first Sabbath when he saw a number of Brahmins at the evening service. After the sermon was preached by Mr. Blyth, he got up, and for half an hour or three quarters, he spoke to them with all the fire and affection of a Boanerges and Barnabas combined-if we may be allowed to compare our modern missionaries with the sons of thunder and of consolation. It was a glorious opportunity, and he could not let it pass. May God prosper him, and have mercy on these interesting youths. On the following Sabbath, when I preached in the evening, there was a number of high-caste Brahmins from the Government School there, who can follow an English discourse with ease. felt it peculiarly interesting to address them, and longed for the day when I might have a similar audience in China. I often had an opportunity of speaking to these youths, and found them always willing to listen, and some of them to assent, to the truth of the Christian religion; but to confess Christ, that is another thing altogether. Oh! how hard that is to a Hindoo! May God pour of his Spirit upon them, and

many will start to life who are already well taught in the saving truths of the Gos pel. * * *

I have enjoyed good health in Madras, but find that I shall need a rest in Ceylon before starting, and will be compelled to take it, as the steamer will not be ready for a week.

I am, dear Mr. Nisbet,

Ever yours, JAMES JOHNSTON.

We append another extract from a letter by Mr. Johnston to Mr. Matheson, giving further accounts of his visit to Madras:

"I suspect that China must, for a long time, stand alone in its natural characteristics, even although it may very soon be bound up with other civilized countries, by the overthrow of its ancient exclusiveness, and the means by which it is to be educated, must, like its singular people, be somewhat sui generis. And, accordingly, while the end to be accomplished was long ago fixed and definite, the method by which it is to be attained I have purposely refrained from fixing or defining. My aim has been not to have plans formed, but to have principles fixed. And I feel all the more free to form my own plans, from having seen the many different, and sometimes diverse plans pursued by others; and, much as I honour and love many of those learned men from whom I have gained so much, I purpose to exercise my freedom as God shall give me ability. So free do I hold myself, that I have not yet made up my mind whether my efforts shall be directed to education of youth, or preaching to adults, or a system of Bible and tract distribution, or to a combination of two or all of them.

a

"You know well how cordially I agree with the Committee as to the desirableness of establishing an Institution for training native and the wisdom of devoting agency, all one's energies, which in a tropical climate are limited enough, to the prosecution of one object (one thing I do.) But we cannot tell what the exigencies of China may require, and for these I desire to be prepared, as God may grant me ability, and the Church may give me the means.

"It was in this state of mind that I reached Madras on Sabbath, the 25th Sept. II set to my work of investigation on Monday morning.

"I cannot at present give you the details of a tithe of what I saw during my visit; that I must endeavour to do another time; suffice it to say that I visited ten distinct schools of all kinds-many of them repeatedly-and of varied characters; from the dozen little naked boys, with their native teacher, sitting and singing their alphabet under the verandah of a house

facing the public street, to the finely-attired Brahmin youth under European professors in the Government Institution; and from the missionary institution, with its object of converting the scholar openly expressed, to the heathen college erected on purpose to perpetuate Paganism, and supersede the missionary of the cross. I may say, to the credit of these hostile institutions, and also of those which are neutral as to religious teaching, that their superintendents gave me every facility for becoming acquainted with their systems and their results, although I made no secret of my intentions in visiting them, and told them that my object was to fnd the best way of teaching and converting the Heathen to Christ. Instead of describing these schools, or the different plans pursued by Episcopalians, and Independents, and Methodists, and American and Scotch Presbyterians, I shall in a few words give you some of my impressions of the Free Church Institution, formed after I had spent days in examining the schools at Madras and Triplicane, both in company of Mr. Anderson and alone, and after seeing all the different modes of operation in prosecuting this one great object.

"The first thought that occurs in going into the Institution-and it is deepened by repeated and constant observation of all its departments-is, Here there is life-intense life. The first form in which it presents itself is in the obvious physical activity which pervades the schools; not manifesting itself in the playground, or in idle pranks in the class, but strictly subordinated to the work in hand, which, however intellectual, seems to require the whole mass to be alive and in exercise. The teacher, instead of sitting in dignified ease in an armchair, as we found elsewhere, was generally on his feet, and, in some cases, moving from one part of his large class to the other, with such agility as to endanger the bare toes of his eager scholars, as they passed near him to hear or give their quick replies; while the class would in general be found standing the greater part of the time, not from there beng any rule for their doing so-on the contrary, they were often ordered to sit down-but from that activity of the mind which requires the body to be in unison, and the desire of each to be ready with his answer; all this was in perfect subordination to strict order.

"This, however, was only the least form of life; on closer examination we found that it was the busy mind that was the moving spring of this outward activity. This may in part be accounted for from the natural quickness of the native mind, which is both acute and precocious; but it accounts for it only in part. We saw many instances in which it was suppressed or entirely stifled,

by a defective or pernicious method; here the natural sharpness is taken full advantage of, and the precocious mind is strengthened and stablished. I cannot now tell you how this is done, in all the classes; it would require to be seen, and intensely interesting it is to all who see it. I particularly admired the Bible training, and its effects in improving the mental powers. I am convinced that a thorough Scripture education would call into active exercise every one of the faculties of the soul. I believe it might be made a substitute for all science and all literature; here, however, it is not made a substitute, but a subsidy. And as Robert McCheyne once said to a young friend, when urging him to study mathematics, 'There is nothing like a sight of Christ for making a difficult proposition in Euclid intelligible,' so may we say from what we have seen, not only at Madras, but elsewhere, there is nothing like an hour's study of the Word of God, for making all other studies pleasant and profitable."

MR. CHARTERIS'S VISIT TO
ATHENS.

IN one of Mr. Charteris's former letters he intimated his intention of visiting Athens. We give a few extracts from an interesting account of his journey, lately received by the Treasurer of the Ladies' Committee, dated November 10, 1853

"How glad should I be were there the same thirst for education among the Ionians which exists among the Athenians, and all over Greece. The provincial schools are in a very flourishing state, and in many of these the Scriptures are not only a schoolbook, but are very well taught; while in Athens the university is attended by about seven hundred youths, from all parts of Greece,—the islands, Ásia Minor, and the Ionian Islands. The classes seemed very full-the students very orderly and attentive-the professors zealous, able, and popular. I could have wished for a longer stay, that I might have formed a more mature opinion; but, judging from that of others,--for example, of Dr. Hill, Dr. King, Mr. Arnold, &c.,-I have reason to believe that Greece is making great progress in, at least, intellectual attainments; and that, ere long, Edinburgh may have to question whether or not she ought to demit her assumed title of Modern Athens. The lectures which I heard, those of the more popular professors, were very elegant, and showed much careful preparation and research.. If I might venture to criticise, they were rather too much in the French piquant style. Indeed, the French style seems to influence very much the modern Greek literature, though not quite so much now as formerly. The building assigned

for the College Library is very extensive. The furniture is not yet quite completed, the shelves in all the departments are not full, but they are being filled from year to year. Already the number of volumes, I was told, amounted to 70,000. There is a department for works of all kinds, both ancient and modern, and also for all languages. Those in the French language predominate, but I was glad to see a goodly number in our own more massive English.

"The Gymnasiums, or Secondary Schools, are also prosperous. There are besides several flourishing schools of a private kind. You will be, moreover, especially delighted to learn that the education of females, long neglected by the Greeks, is now creating much interest. Under Mrs. Hill's able management there is a poor girls' school, maintained by friends of education in America, which, at present, numbers between three and four hundred pupils, who are taught the Scriptures, and receive a sound secular instruction. This school has spread over Greece several thousand educated females, the mothers of so many existing or future families. It has also been no doubt the germ of other female schools. A rich, patriotic Greek, still, I believe, living, has built and enclosed, at his own expense, a very large building, for a female school. It has just been put in operation, and accommodating about 500 girls. Mrs. Burt, the talented partner of the American Baptist missionary at Piræus, conducts a numerous dayschool, and has also a nice Sunday-school, for both boys and girls. The Corfuites were blind to their own interests when they so rudely drove Mr. and Mrs. Burt, ten years ago, from their shore. But the loss of the Ionian Islands has been the gain of Greece. As one door was shut another opened to them.

"Mrs. Burt told me an interesting fact of a young man who lately came to her Sabbath-school, who was formerly her pupil, but who had for several years been in another part of the country. He showed, by his earnest and ready answers, an enlarged acquaintance with Scripture; and, on Mrs. Burt asking him who had been his teacher, he replied, "The Bible you gave me several years ago.' Thus is the good seed being sown by many hands, and we may warrantably trust that the sower will gather in his sheaves in his own time, from the arid soils of Greece.

"Resting at Nanplin, on the Lord's-day, we sailed in the evening for Piræus, where we landed on Monday morning at daybreak, and immediately drove up to Athens. "Mr. McDuff left the evening of the same day for Constantinople, to which I resolved not to proceed, as I should have

[ocr errors]

had to endure eight days of sea voyage, and would have been able to remain only four days there. A few days afterwards Mr. Lowndes arrived from Malta, on Bible Society business. As Albania, which he wishes to visit, is in a critical state at present, Mr. Lowndes confined his operations to Greece. As he had received from some benevolent individuals in Malta, about 57. to distribute among the more destitute poor of Thebes, which in September last was almost wholly ruined by a dreadful earthquake, we resolved to visit it. We made up a party of five, consisting of Mr. Lowndes, Mr. Green, a Londoner, Mr. Clyde, from Dumfries,-who has resided in Athens a year, and is now on his way homewards, after qualifying himself to speak Greek as well as his native tongue,-myself, and one lady-Mrs. Allen, mother of Mrs. Arnold. Mrs. Allen had braved the dangers of the Atlantic and Mediterranean a short time before, in order to visit her daughter, and did not fear a land journey of fifty miles. We set out in a carriage and four on the morning of the 21st October, at six o'clock

crossed the plain of Attica-entered by the pass of Daphne, on the Thoracian plain, past Eleusis, and not far from a village called Mandra, or the sheepfold, we began to ascend a mountain, and anon to cross valleys without intermission, until, having gained the highest peak of the ranges, we descended by a circuitous road, cut in the rugged mountain side, to the plain of Thebes, which lay extended before us, probably twenty miles in length and twelve in breadth-appearing level from the height, but really of an undulating surface covered with beautiful grass or the green braird of wheat. We saw large flocks of sheep and goats-also herds of fine fat cattle, mostly dun coloured, browsing upon

it.

We crossed the Asopos, a sluggish stream that winds through the centre of the plain, and is one of the five rivers of Greece that is not dried up six months of the

year.

Wild geese were hovering about its banks, very little disturbed by our appearance. About three miles from the river we reached the fountain of Janarius, which by an ancient aqueduct supplies Thebes with excellent water. This aqueduct had been broken down in several places by the earthquake. Arriving in Thebes at six in the evening, we drove up to what was the largest and best inn. The landlord stood in the street, and being asked if he could accommodate us, shrugged his shoulders pitifully, and said we were welcome if we wished, but we might judge for ourselves. We acordingly traversed his whole houseof which the upper story was quite empty, the roof in many places broken, the walls shattered, the floors twisted. This place

« FöregåendeFortsätt »