« PreviousContinue »
A fierce persecution was raised against them by the Mahom medan Zemindar, whose domains are divided from the Christian village only by a deep trench. To prevent the hamlet falling into his hands, (for it was for sale,) the committee purchased it. A beautiful church with a tower forty feet high has been built; and, standing as it does on the edge of the Goria Khal, is seen for several miles off. I think this is the most promising part of this mission.
It is at present divided into seven circles, (eight if we include Diggeeparah,) containing fifty-three villages, occupied by a population of thirteen hundred and sixty-one converts and catechumens. Two Puckha churches, made of brick, and many thatched bungalows afford accommodation for divine service. From Altaberriea, the extreme north, to Kharri, the extreme south, it extends about forty miles in a direct line.
Divine service is performed daily at Barripûr both morning and evening, and at the village stations on Sundays; and sometimes on week days when pastoral visits are made. Readers are stationed at all the principal villages to teach the Christians and assemble them for prayers.
Of difficulties, discouragements, and opposition, we have had (as what missionary has not ?) our full share; but the greatest discouragement or the most formidable difficulty is that which is caused by the evil walk of some, and coldness and indifference of others among the Christians themselves. The very worst opponents are those, who, after having given up caste, and enlisted themselves in the ranks of the Christians, fall away again ; and although they cannot regain their position among their former connexions by reason of having “ lost caste," still keep themselves aloof from us, become more hardened than the
heathen, turning away with contempt from any attempt to recover them from their dreadful state of apathy and deadness to the things pertaining to their everlasting peace.
Of active opposition, too, we have had some instances. On one occasion, Mr. Moore and myself were hemmed in the chapel at Audermanic by a large gang of heathen people armed with clubs, led on by an apostate Christian, and had to stand an active seige of more than two hours, terminated happily by the tardy arrival of the police, whose assistance we had on the first appearance of violence sent to call. And again, when on the occasion of the conversion of a Brahmin of high caste, the Mission house was beset for two days by large parties of heathen, instigated by the Zemindar; and at night the huts of several Chris
tians on the compound were fired, and reduced to ashes-the attempt to burn the school having proved abortive.
But these ebullitions do not last long, and are only exhibited when any circumstance of great excitement occurs; and even then the storms of passion soon subside, and a strong reaction in our favour succeeds.
During the time I have been engaged as a Missionary, but one case of apostacy has occurred, and this every one must feel as a subject for heartfelt thanksgiving; and, in even this solitary case, the apostate, after a short but miserable career, (shunned by the Christians, looked upon with mistrust by the heathen, a prey to remorse of conscience—"the worm that dieth not”-and, as he himself once described it, feeling himself an outcast from his father's house, especially on the Lord's-day, when the gong tolling for service, and the Christians passing his house, made him envy the contentment and quiet they seemed to enjoy,) became overwhelmed with shame, and sought to be restored to the Church. He was for long time kept on probation, and voluntarily underwent the penance prescribed—both as a mortification of his own proud spirit, and an example and warning to the rest. He went to a different chapel on each Sunday, and remained out in the verandah during the service, as unworthy of a place in his father's house. After being restored to communion, his conduct was, for a long time, all that I could have wished; and I would I could stop here and draw a veil over his subsequent conduct; but candour compels me to proceed, and state how, when about a year afterwards he petitioned to be restored to his former situation, (he had been a Reader of the third grade,) but found that I set my face against it, he left the Church and joined a dissenting sect; and I hear that he has recently left it also to join the Romish Church.
The Mission has been visited by our Right Rev. Diocesan three times. On the last occasion, which was in February, 1842, the first confirmation at Barripûr was held in the temporary church, when 193 candidates were confirmed. On the 13th January, 1843, the first stone of the Barripûr Church was laid by the Reverend the Principal of Bishop's College ; and it has pleased God to permit us to see the completion of it. The building having, through His blessing, been sufficiently advanced for that purpose, the 6th of May was fixed for performing divine service in it for the first time. The Venerable the Archdeacon addressed the people on the 1st chapter of the Prophet Haggai and 8th verse, his address being done into Bengalli by my coadjutor, the Rev. Mr. Moore. The church is called St. Peter's Church.
The opening of the first church in a Mission is an occurence of no ordinary interest-it is quite an era in Missionary annals. May He grant us grace that we may continue to show ourselves thankful unto Him, for this and all other His mercies; so that His holy name may ever be glorified by and through us, and His blessed kingdom enlarged.
MISSIONARY PAPER.-No. 5..
THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH. Men, Brethren, and Fathers,
Give me leave to speak freely to you, of the Church you live in: a Church not only in its doctrine and discipline, but in all things else, exactly conformable to the primitive, the apostolical, the Catholic Church. For was that no sooner planted by Christ, but it was watered by the blood of Martyrs ? So was ours. Hath the Catholic Church been all along pestered with heretics and schismatics? So hath ours. Have, they endeavoured in all ages to undermine and so to overthrow it? In this also ours is but too much like unto her. And it is no wonder: for the same reason that occasioned all the disturbances and opposition that the Catholic Church ever met with, still holds good as to ours too, even because its doctrines are so pure, its“ discipline so severe, its worships so solemn, and all its rules and constitutions so holy, perfect and divine, that mankind, being generally debauched in their principles and practices, have a natural averseness from it, if not an antipathy against it. They would willingly go to heaven, but are loath to be at so much pains for it, as our Church out of the Word of God, prescribes; and therefore would fain persuade themselves, because not suiting forsooth with their humour, interest, or depraved indictions. But all their little objections against her, are grounded either upon their ignorance of what she prescribes, or else upon their unwillingness to perform it. There are very few, either of the Papists or Sectarians, that know what your Church is, and therefore all their zeal against it, must needs be without knowledge. And they that have some general notions of it, would never set themselves in good earnest upon the observance of what she commands, and therefore cannot know wbat advantage it would be to them.
Whereas, let any one that hath a due sense of religion, and a real desire of happiness, let such a one but make trial of our Church but for one year; let him constantly read the Scriptures, in the method she prescribes; let him constantly use the Common Prayer according to her directions; let him constantly observe all her Fasts and Holy Days; let him receive the
Sacrament as often as she is to administer it, and perform whatever else she hath been pleased to command; let any man, I say, do this, and then let him be against our Church if he can. I am confident he cannot. But our misery is, that none of those who are out of our Church, and but few of those who are in it, will make the experiment; and that is the reason that those are so violent against her, and these so indifferent for her.—Bishop Beveridge.
FRUITS OF FAITH IN THE CHURCH.
MARTYRDOM OF RIDLEY. Being commanded to make ready, with all meekness he obeyed, and taking off his gown and tippet, gave them to his brother Shipsid. Then standing at the stake upon a stone, lifting up his hands towards heaven, he prayed ; “O Heavenly Father, I give unto Thee most hearty thanks, for that thou hast called me to be a confessor of Thee, even unto death ; I beseech Thee, Lord God, take mercy upon the realm of England, and deliver the same from all her enemies."
Next the smith took an iron chain and brought it round his middle, then they took a fagot ready kindled and laid it at Dr. Ridley's feet: to whom Latimer said, “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England, as, I trust, shall never be
When Ridley saw the fire flaming up towards him, he cried with an exceeding loud voice, “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. O Lord, receive my spirit.” The fire was so ill managed by piling too many fagots over the furze, that it first burned beneath, being kept down by the wood, which when Ridley felt he desired them for Christ's sake to let the fire come to him, but they heaping more fagots upon him, made the fire and mouldering beneath so intense, that it burned all his nether parts before it once touched the upper: this made him desire them to let the fire come to him, saying, "I cannot burn.” Yet in all this torment, he forgot not to call upon God, saying, “Lord, have mercy on me;" intermingling between whiles, “Let the fire come to me, I cannot burn." Thus he continued crying out until he was consumed; and thus died this worthy martyr of God, and the glory of the English Reformation; nor did he die in vain.
PAST MISSIONS. INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY INTO IRELAND.
England, rather than any other country, must be looked to for the first Missionaries to the Irish coasts. The period of
their arrival is very likely to have been the early part of the fourth century, when British christians may have sought refuge in Ireland from the Diocletian persecution.
The attention of the Roman Bishop was at length attracted to the spiritual destitution of Ireland, and he ordained and sent PALLADIUS to be their chief Bishop. The mission of Palladius was unattended with success, and it now fell to the lot of St. PATRICK, (who was born A. D. 371) to enter upon an undertaking that was likely to be attended with much danger and little success.
He was in the north west of Gaul when the failure of Palladius's mission became known to him. A Gallican bishop admitted him to episcopal orders, and he soon afterwards set forth for Ireland, accompanied by some priests and deacons who had been ordained along with him. The missionary party arrived in Ireland in the year 432. They went on their way with light hearts and high hopes, for St. Patrick already had a foretaste of the success that was to attend his mission. During his brief sojourn in Wiclow, he succeeded in bringing over to the faith, Sinell, the son of Finchadd, who was the first of the Irish whom he baptized. He also converted Dicho, a northern chieftain, who bestowed the place on which his barn was erected upon St. Patrick, as a site for a Church; and its ruins are still to be seen at Saul, in the county of Donr.
In the year 433, he changed the scene of his labours, with a view to visit Tara, then the capital of Ireland. Tara was situated in the county of Meath, and was known from the most remote antiquity as the royal residence of the monarchs of Ireland. It was Easter eve when St. Patrick arrived here; and having ignorantly violated one of the religious privileges of the Irish (heathen) chieftains-Leoguire, the Irish monarch, set out at once to put the unknown offender of his laws to death, but in this he was disappointed.
He relented, and even invited Patrick to the palace of Tara. With eight compauions, and a young boy named Beniguus, afterwards his successor in the see of Armagh, St. Patrick appeared before the king and his chieftains upon the following day, which was Easter-Sunday; and notwithstanding the opposition of the pagan priests, his preaching was most successful. He gained over to the gospel several converts. It is even said that Leoguire himself, although at first he withstood him, crying out with tears : “It is better to believe than to perish;" was added to the number of the faithful.--Abridged from Todd's History of the Ancient Church in Ireland.