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warm affection to the missionary cause. For several years he was chairman of the Eastern Committee, and his careful study of details, his wise counsel, and his long experience, rendered his service to the Board of peculiar value. The number of students is, at the present time, thirty-six. Large as this number may seem, and not inferior to the number which has prevailed for several years, nevertheless, it is not equal to the demands made by the ever-extending fields of the Society's usefulness. The Society both needs a larger number of missionaries on its permanent staff, especially in India and China, and a larger number of students to supply vacancies, as well as to occupy new ground.
FINANCES OF THE YEAR. During the year the interest of the Society's friends in its varied work has been manifested in a variety of ways; and, as the year closes, its treasury has been able not only to provide abundantly for the service of the year,
but a balance remains in hand. The legacies of the year have exceeded the usual average, and have amounted to £8,814. In 1875, the ordinary inconie from subscriptions, donations, and collections, the best indicator of the Society's strength, amounted to £62,563, and was described as the largest annual contribution of the kind received by the Society up to that date. The income of the present year from the same sources has amounted to £61,761. During the year, a larger number than ever of services and meetings have been held, at which the claims of the Society have been pleaded, and its work has been described. The Directors again report with special gratification the continued and increasing earnestness exhibited by the young friends of the Society, especially in gathering the New Year's offering for the support of the two missionary ships. The amount of the offering for the present year has reached the noble sum of £5,515, and no less than 14,500 collectors have received a copy of the book entitled “Scenes and Services in Southern Africa.” In regard to the special fund for the proposed mission in Central Africa, the Directors have to report that they have received for it £5,459, including the gift of Mr. Arthington. As the money is not yet needed, they have carefully invested it in the public funds till such time as the commencement of the mission shall call for its expenditure. The Directors trust that it will soon be largely increased. The contributions for general purposes amount to £99,024 5s. 11d.; the contributions and dividends for special objects, £15,829 13s., making a total of £114,853 18s. 11d., or, with the balance of
year added, £118,183 13s. 6d. On the other side, the expenditure has been, on the general account, £105,907 10s. 10d. ; for special purposes,
; £9,545 1s. 2d., leaving a balance in favour of the Society of £2,731 Is. 6d.
The Mission In India.
During the past year the Indian Empire and its multitude of people have been brought in the most prominent manner before all eyes. The visit of the Prince of Wales has proved an occasion for displaying not merely the solidity of its resources, the spirit of its governors, and the reality of its progress, but has exhibited the intelligence of its people, the splendour of its princes, the courtesy and hospitality, and the loyal obedience of its countless multitudes, the fruit of which will endure for many a year to come. Who shall describe in fitting words the incidents of a visit fraught with such important consequences? The pencil of the artist, the pen of the writer, the researches of the historian, have all essayed worthily to illustrate and describe them. Contributions have been offered to the tale, but the full, rounded completeness of the whole is wanting still. From the first welcome at Bombay till the final farewell, every step of progress only brought into stronger light the greatness of the inheritance over which England has been called to rule, and the loyal spirit of its people. Once rebellion and mutiny did their worst, but now Brahmin and Pariah and Mahar, Buddhist and Brahmist and demonsvorshipper, Mahommedan, Parsi, and Christian, have gathered loyally around the son of their Queen; they have welcomed him with graceful reverence and courtly speeches; they have shown him their most precious possessions ; as memorials of his visit they have given him of their best; and not only England, but Europe and the world stand silent and amazed before the solidity, the magnitude, the splendour of that Indian Empire which God has given into English hands. They have done more than this. They have in the noblest way manifested their acceptance of English rule, with its all-important consequences. Their varied life, with its strange history, its marvellous forms, its stirring associations, is henceforth to be linked by a thousand ties to a nation and a civilisation vastly different from their own; not in all respects superior to it; and they know that restraints are involved, and that changes will follow, which it will not always be easy to bear. The feudal days, when the chief was everything ; when hill forts made each petty ruler independent of every other; the days when men were divided into classes by impassable barriers, and the low-born and the weak toiled for the strong, are passed away for ever. English counsels, an English army, and English courts secure and maintain order, safety, justice for all classes and all interests. The reign of law, firm, even-handed, sustains the rights of man as man, and lifts the peasant from the dust to : level with the prince. The reign of industry with its solid comforts, its
wondrous gains, is come, and is bearing abundant fruit. The old gives place to the new. The college and the school take the place of the little Brahmin seminary and the village class. English pushes aside Sanskrit and Arabic as the languages of the learned, and Shakespeare and Milton, Macaulay and Hamilton are the authorities of the student instead of Kalidasa, Veda Vyasa, and Kopila. Medical schools, English hospitals, and a multitude of dispensaries provide help for the suffering, which no previous aye has known. A deeper, stronger life for intellect and heart and hand is already stirring among the people of India ; a broader social union is springing from the ruins of the ancient narrowness of caste-life ; and, dimly conscious of the coming change, they silently accept it. If Englishmen in general have watched with eager eye the progress of this royal visit, tenfold more intelligent, more serious is the interest with which its incidents and its lessons should be viewed by the Christian Church. While the bitter suffering of the Indian mutiny produced a deep conviction of duty neglected and of wrongs inflicted in years gone by, and called forth the resolve that in the future the great trust (if renewed) should be more faithfully discharged, the incidents of the past year should deeply impress the Church both with the vast progress which the work of reformation has made, and the favourable conditions under which all Christian work is now carried on. With all the pomp and the glory, with all the solid weight and work, “a greater than Solomon is here.” It is on Christian progress that the true prosperity of the Empire must rest ; the great change must be a religious renovation; the Christian church, filled with willing worshippers, must replace the Hindu temple ; and only as religious men increase their efforts to bring the people of India to Christ will that prosperity be secured. That work must be done lovingly, and with gentleness. Placed under an authority against which it is vain to struggle, every appearance of compulsion must be avoided. Only through a complete enlightenment of the intellect and heart, by convincing the judgment, by drawing the affections, by the prayer of faith, and by labours of love should that great change be sought. The process may be slow, but the growth will be sure, and the victory prove more glorious in the end. But “What are they among so many ?” What are all our agencies among three hundred millions of people, with their great princes, their profusion of wealth, their richlyendowed temples, their ancient institutions, their lordly Brahmins and Moulvies, their countless worshippers ? The labours of Christian men have but scratched the surface of this vast field, the reward they have reaped is but a specimen and a first-fruit of the harvest they desire. In itself, Hinduism, with all its books, and priests, and wealth and history, is
no great antagonist to the Christian faith. The vastness of the field
the land for Christ.
Slow as the advance of Christian truth in India may appear to be, even to its most sanguine friends, nevertheless every thoughtful mind will allow that that advance is real. The moral progress of the empire also has been unspeakably great. The heart of idolatry has been eaten away ; education has spread widely; the Scriptures and Christian books are carefully studied at home, the power of the living Spirit is everywhere at work. It is moulding the opinions and the faith of the masses; but it affects more deeply individual minds. Here and there men and women are converted; large congregations listen intently to the story of the Cross ; multitudes of Hindu boys never become idolaters at all; the landholder reads his Bible at home, and quietly drops caste observances; the Brahmin student sent to the city to learn English for a livelihood, after hard struggles, becomes a Christian ; and the merchant and the shopkeeper purchase Christian books, and study them ; churches are slowly gathered ; congregations increase ; a Christian community is formed; the native convert becomes a preacher; the preacher converts others, and wins souls for Christ; Christianity is securing a native home in India which it will never leave. The air is full of change, and restlessness, and progress. Life is stirring everywhere; the life of the seed, the life of the sapling, the life of the wheat grain, priceless in value, which encloses within its tiny sheath the germs of mighty harvests in the days to come.
It is good that the victories we long for should not come too soon or with too much ease. It is good for all true workers to rightly estimate the difficulties of this mighty enterprise ; that facts like those which the year has brought before us, should make us pause and hold our breath as we contemplate these populous nations, these splendid pageants, these religious systems so richly endowed, so strongly sustained by multitudes of followers. It is good to remember that the mighty reformation of opinion and of life at which we aim must be wrought not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord. It is good that we toil with energy, that we labour with hope, and fix our eye on the great days to come.
presents no nobler fields of conflict to the Church. Where shall the Redeemer win a nobler triumph? The idols He shall utterly abolish. Deities whose names have thrilled the heart of nations for a hundred generations, in whose sacred fanes successive ages have gathered multitudes to vow and offer, and hold high festival, shall fall prostrate, and their mighty temples be given to the screech-owl and the bat. The great shrines of Southern India, with their vast halls and their rich offerings; the towers of Jagannath, with their marble throne; the temples of Benares and Muttra, the mosques of Delhi and Lucknow, the golden shrine of Umritser shall crumble and perish. Caste, books, and priesthoods, festivals and philosophies shall die. The dead past shall bury them. A new and a divine life shall flow in the heart and work and faith of its mighty peoples, shall waken them to Divine purposes, and stir them to noblest deeds. Light, truth, and peace shall elevate and sanctify them all. The mighty cities, with their countless populations and strange industries, shall pour forth their rejoicing crowds to give their Redeemer welcome.
THE MADAGASCAR MISSION.
The numerous re-arrangements and extended plans adopted by the Board for the improvement of the Madagascar Mission, as the result of the visit of the Deputation, have nearly all been carried into effect during the past year. At once a wider work has been taken up in the education of the young, and more systematic efforts have been adopted to supply suitable preachers to distant country congregations. The missionary brethren have gone to reside in the new centres of effort to which they were appointed ; visits have been paid to new localities; and life and earnestness have been infused into the Christianity there found to be at work.
But on many points of detail with regard to these matters the Directors are without information. The Madagascar mails, always irregular in the winter, have recently been more irregular than ever, and only a small number of Annual Reports have as yet reached London.
THE MISSION IN CHINA. The work of the society in China has not been marked by any striking results during the past year. But the nine stations have been well occupied. The missionary staff is very complete. Good work has been quietly and steadily carried on, and, as might be expected, the annual reports, though quiet and unromantic in their tone, show solid and satisfactory results. It is just this stendy, patient toil which is needed in the vast empire, and time must be allowed for the work to grow before a full harvest can be reaped.