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have greatly aided the brethren. One of them, directed in Providence to the chapel, on his arrival from the interior of China, was impressed by the sermon on regeneration he then heard, and has become "quite as valuable," says Mr. Evans, Leangafa.' A greater number of Chinese have been baptized at Malacca during the last year, than in any preceding one. There are now nearly thirty at that station. Their knowledge of Scripture is extraordinary; and they are ready to go forth at once as preachers of the gospel to their countrymen.
PULO PENANG, or Prince of Wales' Island, was visited by Dr. Milne; and, in 1819, Mr. Medhurst, who had previously assisted him at Malacca, obtained the use of a Chinese temple as a schoolroom, and distributed a considerable number of tracts. Mr. Beighton afterwards opened two Malay schools, and was followed by Mr. Ince. The books he distributed were received with apparent pleasure and thankfulness, and the Chinese requested that he would sit down with them, to drink tea and partake of their beetel nut.
On one occasion this missionary went to witness the great idolatrous festival of Shaou and Tseaou, which is considered as a feast of pure benevolence; being celebrated on the behalf of those poor bereaved spirits who have no relations to mourn for them; to supply them with clothes, money, and other necessaries; to rescue them from Tartarus; and to exalt them to higher and more felicitous regions. On Mr. Ince's arrival at the temple, he found it surrounded by a vast concourse of people, whose general appearance reminded him of the crowds which usually attend a fair in England.
On one side of the temple was a large paper idol, of a most uncouth form, and about fourteen feet in height, with uncommonly large glass eyes, and painted with various colours. Immediately before this hideous deity, was a long table, set out with all kinds of provisions, interspersed with small paper idols. At one end of the table were some carpets spread on the ground, on which sat half a dozen priests, worshipping their god, chanting an unintelligible jargon, and bowing themselves to the ground. There were many other smaller paper idols, represented as riding on animals of the same material; and the whole scene was illuminated by a profusion of lanterns and candles. Behind the great idol was a large quantity of pieces of paper, many of which were covered with gold leaf. These papers were burned by the idolaters, under a firm persuasion that they are transformed into money in the world of spirits.
After remarking to some of the persons around him that there was but one true God, and that such things as these were displeasing in his sight, Mr. Ince inquired what their god was made of. Without hesitation, they replied, " Paper." He, of course, expressed his astonishment at the folly of worshipping a piece of painted paper; adding, that the deity they were worshipping had eyes, but could not see; ears, but could not hear; hands, but could not handle; and feet, but could not walk. The truth of these remarks they candidly acknowledged, and as ingenuously confessed, that when the feast was over, their idol would be committed to the flames. Yet so completely were they blinded by the power of Satan, that they were unable to discover the absurdity of idolatrous worship, and were
indisposed to ask, "Is there not a lie in our right hand?" On a second visit to the same festival, Mr. Ince observes, "Thousands of people were assembled, and the noises made by the beating of drums, gongs, &c. were of such a horrid description, that it appeared as if the gates of the lower regions had been thrown open, and all the infernals had issued forth at once, to terrify mankind. These
people spare no pains nor cost in the worship of their idols; but if they are so zealous in the cause of error, what ought christians to be, in the glorious cause of truth!"
Heathens are unmerciful. Of this the following is a proof: "While I was talking," says Mr. Ince, some of the boys belonging to the school came up, and pointed to a poor creature, who lay only about ten yards distant from the place where we stood, but whom the jungle had prevented us from seeing. I immediately went to the spot, when an object presented itself which chilled my blood; the body of the man being completely covered with sores. I asked him whence he came, why he remained in that place, and why he did not go to the general hospital. He said he felt himself cold, and therefore had come thither, that he might lie and warm himself in the sun. I offered to send him to the hospital, but he said he had a home, and had only come out for fresh air. What a miserable wretch was here!-a man with his body eaten up by disease; only a step between him and death; and no hope beyond the grave! I was obliged to leave him lying on a broken pillar of the ruined fabric, and returned home affected to illness with the sight."
In 1821, Mr. Medhurst visited a dilapidated
temple, where he found the altar neglected and the idol removed. On inquiring why this sacred place had been deserted, he was told that the god had selected another spot for his residence; and when he urged the impossibility of a log of wood exercising any choice, or expressing a desire to any one, his informant stated, that there was no difficulty in the case; for when they were carrying the deity round the village, in his chair of state, which was usually borne by four persons only, it suddenly became so heavy, that twenty men could not have removed it from the spot which the idol had evidently selected as the place of his future residence! The person who made this assertion did not pretend to have witnessed the fact, but he evidently believed what he related, notwithstanding its monstrous absurdity.
A few days after this conversation, a person applied to the missionary for some medicine; and, on being asked whether he ever thought upon the family which he had left in China, he replied in the affirmative, and added, that he intended, in the course of the ensuing year, to return and visit them; as he had three sons, and one daughter, who was married. "I had another daughter," he observed, "but I did not bring her up.' "Not bring her up!" exclaimed Mr. Medhurst; then did you do with her?" "I smothered her," he replied;" and on hearing, by letter, that another daughter was born, I sent word to have that smothered also; but the mother has preserved it alive." "I was shocked at this speech," says Mr. Medhurst," and still more at the horrid indifference with which he uttered it. 'What,' said I, 'murder your own children! Do not you shudder at
such an act ?' "O no!' he replied, it is a very common thing in China. We put the female children out of the way, to save the trouble of bringing them up some people smother five or six daughters.' My horror was increased by his continued indifference, and the lightness with which such crimes are perpetrated in China, with impunity, which must be the case when they are related without fear of detection, as the common occurrences of life. I felt that I had a murderer by my side, who, without repentance, must inevitably perish; and I told him plainly, that he had committed a most dreadful sin, and was in danger of eternal wrath. But though I said this with the greatest seriousness and earnestness, he at first only laughed, and it was some time before he would acknowledge that he had done wrong; however, afterwards he seemed to feel a little concerned, and I hope affected. What an awful view does this present of the celestial empire,' loaded with crime, deluged with blood, and ripe for destruction! O that God would translate its inhabitants from darkness to light, and from the power of sin and Satan unto himself!"
Referring to the general aspect of the mission, Mr. Dyer recently says: "Never, in my judgment, was it more pleasing than at present. The increasing adaptation of books to the wants of the people, especially in Mr. Medhurst's Harmony of the Gospels, and the publication of the most simple tracts, encourage us greatly." The numerous applications for the Scriptures and tracts afford evidence that the books are read.
In October, 1819, Mr. Milton removed from Malacca to Singapore, to a population of Chinese,