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just when he begins to do a little, he dies, or is obliged to remove, and thus the work is left exactly where he found it. Stations could be named, where, from this cause, the work has not advanced one step farther than it was twenty years ago, and if the same is continued, may be in a similar state for a hundred years to come.*
The Rev. H. Baker, Jun., in a paper read at the Ootacamund Conference, gives the following specimen “ of a large class of stations":
“In a large cantonment of European and Native troops perhaps it is an Hindu city, one or two Missionaries are stationed, with no other Protestant Missions within several hundred miles, At the Mission Chapel or Church there are two English weekly services, the spiritual wants of the European and East Indian community attending it, must be attended to. There is a large English School for boys, a Boarding School for girls, a few Day Schools in the Vernacular in the outskirts of the town, a class of a few young men preparing to be teachers, perhaps an Infant School or Orphan Asylum. There are some sick, and a small native congregation of 75 or 100 souls to be taught, and frequently every single member is dependent for daily bread upon the Mission. There may be preaching stations in the town, at least there is the daily exposition and prayer in the Mission compound. All this machinery has continued at its present ratio, for years past : the Missionary is scarcely alive, he simply vegetates after a sort, bis spiritual feelings have become blunt from want of sympathy. If he has a coadjutor, there is some question respecting precedence between them, of authority despised; they are cold toward each other, all the Mission people catch the infection and progress is at an end. Is this overdrawn in any respect ? How many reports published confirm its every item. But this is by no means the fault of the poor Missionary, but of them who tempted or allowed him to waste his powers on a multiplicity of objects. While he is struggling without a hope of release from his burdens, his strength is decaying, his mind vacant; and then his supporters wonder that he is slow to notice where improvements are needed, and that his Mission does not flourish. Time for reading, Christian society, and the opportunity of testing our own work by seeing that of others, and of taking counsel with brethren is essential to success with a Mission; and this is far more necessary to the individual character of the man himself, otherwise, even if mind and body do not fail, the Mission:ry may soon become a narrowminded autocrat, with respect to his people and neighbours."
* Letters on India, p. 35.
The following resolution was passed at the Ootacamund Conference:
“That the system of stationing one or two Missionaries at large central and populous places, each of these being surrounded by still larger masses of people, and at great distances from each other, is, in a country like India, a most unsuitable plan, and, if persevered in, can only end in disappointment and comparative failure; and that, therefore, it is high time this unwise scattering and waste of power should give place to more concentrated and vigorous efforts. In order to accomplish this it is highly desirable that, wherever possible, isolated Missions, if they cannot be fully occupied, should be relinquished in favor of these Societies which may have stations in the vicinity, and not abandoned altogether, as that would be a proceeding which the Conference could not approve in these days of the universal diffusion of the Gospel.”—Proceedings, p. 303.
With perhaps the exception of the recently established Mission of the United Presbyterians in Rajputana, and one or two large towns, the above condemnation applies to every Mission in India north of the Vindhya Mountains. The American Presbyterian Mission in 1862 had 16 Stations, forming a line about 1,000 miles in length, occupied by 25 Missionaries. The American Methodist Episcopal Mission had 17 Missionaries, at 10 Stations, among 10 millions of people. Were it not that periodical famines in North India throw occasionally into the hands of Missionaries large bodies of children, who are baptized, the visible results in the majority of cases would, thus far, be very small. The Rev. J. Gregson in his account of the Missionary Conference held at Benares in 1856, says,
“ To us, we confess, an air of sombreness appeared to overshadow the whole, as of an assembly of men long engaged in an arduous and difficult enterprise, who were constrained to acknowledge that their efforts had not been attended with the success they once anticipated or hoped. Still there was no sign of despondency.
It would be satisfactory if the Societies had seen the error of the system of isolated stations; but with one or two exceptions, they go on to the present time as heretofore.
Concentration of Effort.-Dr. Chalmers, it is well known, was a strenuous advocate for confining one's efforts to a limited manageable field. Dr. Duff shows how this is doubly applicable to India :
* The vast superiority of the localising system over every other in point of efficiency, solidity, permanency, and pervasiveness, has been demonstrated by a redundance of evidence, by the most eloquent of living men. And if, in a land where not one in ten with whom we meet is other than a friend, this system has been proved to be fraught with the mightiest momentum of aggressive power as regards existing heathenism, and the mightiest vis inertiæ of conservative power as regards existing Christianity, how much more must it be so in a region where not one in a hundred with whom you meet is other than a determined foe?"*
It has been stated in a previous chapter, how much the Hindus are cemented together by their system of caste. To produce any impression, all the available force must be brought to bear upon a limited surface. Dr. Winslow thus describes the system which should be pursued >
“ Perhaps, in the occupation of a large field, the wisest plan is to form several Missions in different sections of the country, each embracing several stations; so near together that the Missionaries can frequently see each other, and give mutual counsel and aid in carrying forward their operations, and at the same time so far apart, that each one may have his own distinct sphere, in which he can move without coming into colli. sion with others. Each separate Mission thus controlling itself
* India Mission, p. 315.
, and each station or department of labour being directed principally by an individual, more energy is infused into the system; while the check which the members of the Mission have on each other, and the dependence of the parts on the whole, serve to prevent any erratic movements, and secure harmony. If stations too remote from each other are connected together, the Missionaries must travel too far for mutual counsel, and then decide on each other's proceedings with too little information ; and if single stations or Missionaries are left without any control, except that of the distant Society or Church which supports them, there will be too much danger of indolence or irregular action."*
The Missions in Tinnevelly, Travancore, and some other districts, are conducted on this plan. It has been carried out to a considerable extent by the American Board. Dr. Mullens remarks,
"The wise system adopted by the American Board during the decade, of so re-arranging their stations that each shall support the others, and shall, by combination, effectively co-operate in the impressions they produce, together with the signal success which has followed that re-arrangement, indicates clearly a principle upon which other Societies may examine the position of their own Missions, with a view to secure the same action and the same happy result.”+
The Rev. H. Malcom points out another advantage of the above system :
“ It seems hard to keep sending men to countries already entered, while whole kingdoms and tribes are left to perish. But it had better be thus. Only thus can the work be done. Only thus will the Church be able to see clearly and impressively how much land remains to be possessed, and feel the inadequacy of her present operations.'
Cities versus Villages.—It has been justly remarked that great cities and towns" by their superior intelli
* Memoir of Mrs. Winslow, p. 336, + Ten Year's Missionary Labour, p. 79.
gence, wealth and activity, naturally hold the reins of native opinion, and direct the principles and movements of the country at large.' In the early times of the Church, missionary labours were confined to them to so large an extent, and were so successful, that pagani, villagers, became synonymous with heathen. In India the opposite has been the experience with regard to conversions-by far the largest success has been met with in rural districts. Dr. Mullens observes, “ The peasantry in the interior of the country are generally found to be simple and more candid in their reception of the truth than the sharp but hardened dwellers in the great towns ; they cavil less; they are more willing to bear; more courteous in their demeanour; more open to conviction.”+
The following remarks are extracted from an article on the Tinnevelly Missions by the Bishop of Calcutta :
“One difference which prevails between the system they have followed and that which prevails in North India is this. They have laboured, not in large cities, but in the heart of the country, and in the midst of the peasantry. Now in towns the personal influence of the ablest and most devoted Missionary is as nothing when compared with that of the Brahmans and the power of caste. We believe that frighiful persecutions have often been set on foot to prevent conversions to the faith of Christ in a large town or thickly populated district of India. But in Tinnevelly the Missionary has had a fairer field, he has taken up bis abode among the peasantry, made himself acquainted with their wants and feelings, and so gradually taught them to respect his character, to place confidence in his friendship, to value his advice, to regard him as a teacher sent from God. Personal influence, important in the prosecution of any good work, is among the Hindus all-powerful, and in Tinnevelly the influence of the Missionary and his family has happily soon been followed by that of the small congregation, by the sight
* Memoirs of Lacroix, p. 283. + Memoirs of Lacroix, p. 284.