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It follows, from this statement, that a larger proportion of the whole population in Sierra Leone and in New Zealand profess their faith in Christ, by their attendance upon Divine Worship, in connexion with the Church of England, than in two of the most favoured districts of the Metropolis of this great Christian Empire. And if Christian love and zeal are to be estimated by the test of obedience to the last and dying command of our blessed Saviour, in the celebration of the Lord's Supper, the comparison is in favour of the Missionary Districts in Heathen lands.
In this comparison the calculation has only been made in respect of the Public Worship of the Church of England; but, if the Places of Worship which are not in communion with the Established Church had been taken into the account, the result would have been still more in favour of Missionary Districts; as the Missions of the Wesleyan Methodists alone, both in Sierra Leone and New Zealand, nearly approximate, in their magnitude, to those of the Church Missionary Society.
If it should be suggested that the population of our large cities and suburban parishes is confessedly inadequately supplied with religious instruction, and that a more favourable result might be obtained if the comparison were made with rural districts in England-it may be replied, that the population in Freetown, Sierra Leone, consisting of above 14,000, is in the condition of large towns in England; whereas the villages of the Colony exhibit, as in the case of England, a far more favourable aspect: so that the comparison is, on the whole, fairly made.
One other point of comparison remains to be noticed ; namely, the proportion between the number of Christian Instructors and the population over which their labours are extended. The following is the result of such a comparison,
In the City-of London District there is one
to 2,636 souls. In Islington there is one Clergyman
to 3,500 In Sierra Leone, one Missionary or Catechist . to 3,000 In New Zealand, one Missionary or Catechist . to 3,600
If the results which have now been stated be viewed in connexion with the comparatively short period during which Missionaries have laboured abroad, and with the great disadvantages arising from the imperfect acquaintance with the language, and the want of elementary books of instruction, and of all the subsidiary helps which exist in a Christian country, it may be inferred that a more abundant blessing has attended the labours of Missionaries, in the midst of a Heathen population, than of pastoral Ministers at home. The Lord has answered the prayers, which have been earnestly offered up of late years to a throne of grace, for an outpouring of His Holy Spirit, to the Infant Church abroad, in a fuller measure than to the Church of this land.
V.-GENERAL AND INDIRECT RESULTS OF MISSIONARY LABOUR.
It has been already remarked, that the actual conversions to Christianity form only a part of the success of Missionary operations. A large amount of positive good, which cannot be exhibited by a tabular view, has been achieved. The Missionaries of the present day are acting as Messengers of the Lord in preparing His way, even among the great body of the Heathen in India. The testimony of all intelligent observers is to the effect that Heathenism is not what it once was ; that it has not the same deadly and debasing hold on the minds of its victims; and that a general impression in favour of Christian Truth is diffused around every Missionary Station as a radiating point.
A few testimonies may be given to illustrate that statement.
1. In Ceylon, the success of the Mission in respect of actual conversions, and the number of Communicants, has been less than in other India Missions; yet, even in this field, the Rev. W. Adley, one of the oldest Missionaries of the Society, thus describes, among other instances, in a letter dated Dec. 21, 1843, the result of twenty years of Missionary experience:
“ The Seminary then contained seven boys. So great were the prejudices against Christianity, that there was no small difficulty in obtaining boys of respectable parentage to reside at the Mission Station. To secure those already received, a bond was necessary, obliging the parents or guardians to pay the whole of the expenses if the boys should be removed before a certain term of years was completed. At present, almost any number of youths might be obtained. Were there adequate means, the whole of the rising generation of Ceylon might be placed under a course of education and Christian Instruction."
2. Another illustration is afforded by a circumstance which lately occurred at Benares. A wealthy Brahmin gave up his son into the hands of one of the Missionaries of the Society, with these remarkable words: “I feel convinced, Sir, after reading your holy Shasters, that they contain the true Religion. I have not the power to come up to the purity of its precepts; but here is my son : take him as your child, feed him at your table, and bring him up a Christian.” At the same time he made over the sum of ten thousand rupees (£1000) into the hands of the Missionary, to defray the expenses of his son's education.
3. Another illustration of the state of public feeling in India, in respect of Heathenism, is found in the violent and systematic opposition to Christianity which is now arising in the minds of bigoted Hindoos. They have established Societies, in different parts of India, with the avowed intention of checking the progress of the Gospel, and guarding their fellow idolators against its advancing power. Nothing but a real and pressing danger could ever have aroused the torpid minds of Hindoos to enter into such active combinations.
4. The recent accounts from the Province of Tinnevelly represent the state of that population to be so prepared for the reception of Christianity, that, to employ the words of an eyewitness, the Rev. J. Tucker, B.D., Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Secretary of the Madras Corresponding Committee of the Society,
“ The subdividing the (present Missionary] Districts, and locating a faithful Missionary in each subdivision, is the one great human means to be used for the advancement of true Religion among those now under instruction, and—the Lord alone blessing His servants in their work—the entire and speedy conversion of the whole body of the village population of the southern part of Tinnevelly, and the gradual conversion of that of the northern part, and of the Brahmins and other inhabitants of the larger towns."
The Bishop of Madras gives a similar testimony, at the close of his late Visitation in that District ; stating, that every faithful Missionary, who might be placed in any of the unoccupied parts of the province of Tinnevelly, would at once have 1500 or 2000 fresh inquirers gathered around him, who would lay aside their idolatry, and submit themselves to Christian instruction.
VI.-APPEAL FOR INCREASED EFFORTS FOR THE ENLARGEMENT
OF THE MISSIONS.
If a review be now taken of the direct and visible results which have attended the preaching of the Missionaries, as well as of the indirect and less definite, but perhaps far more momentous, effects of their labours, it will be evident that a great and blessed work has been accomplished, of rapidlyincreasing magnitude and importance. And why should not the same measure of a sevenfold success be anticipated, for the next ten years, which has been graciously vouchsafed during the last ten years ? According to this calculation, there would be no fewer than half a million brought under Christian instruction ; and at the end of a period equal to the length of the Society's past labours, they would amount to the whole population of British India. If this calculation appear to be extravagant and incredible, it must be because the Church of Christ will not rise to the occasion, nor put forth that measure of faith, zeal, and love, which would be required to achieve so mighty a result. The experiment has been tried with success upon a sufficiently large scale; but the persons on whom the burden has rested have been few: and the fear is, that the Church at large is not prepared to make the necessary sacrifices for so vast an enlargement of its borders. All India lies open to Christian effort. The possibility of its evangelization has been proved, even in the present generation, through means and agencies which God has already so signally blessed as to justify the expectation. And are, indeed, the zeal, and love, and faith of the Church too weak to put forth the neces
sary effort ?
It has been sometimes asked, why we may not look to a Native Ministry, and to native resources, to carry on the work.
The Church Missionary Society has long given its most earnest attention and most strenuous support to plans for preparing and educating a Native Ministry, and for introducing a self-supporting principle into the Native Churches. But all their experience tends to prove that the efficiency of Native Agency depends upon European superintendence and cooperation ; and that, in proportion as the one is increased, the