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to Hayti. Mr. Lewis, who sailed in 1845 for Ceylon, has been directed to proceed to the continent of India, to strengthen the hands of the brethren there. Mr. Page, from Stepney College, is about to proceed to Madras. Another Missionary has also been accepted for India, on condition that the funds of the Society will allow of his being sent out. The Mission in India was reported to be in a prosperous state. larger number of volumes of Scripture have been printed than for several previous years. 3,000 volumes in Sanscrit, 69,000 in Bengalee, and 12,000 in Hindu have been issued from the press; 79,549 tracts and 40,029 portions of Scripture have been distributed at eleven stations alone. The additions to the churches in India have amounted to 331,-a larger number in one year than the Mission has ever known. The total number of members in India is 1,842. The children in attendance, 4,390. The financial state of the churches is also encouraging. In Africa, the last year has been one of grievous trial. In addition to the death of Messrs. Thompson and Sturgeon, four of the teachers from Jamaica have returned, and all have suffered so seriously in health, that it is feared some must retire for a season. One of the most serious trials of the mission in Africa had arisen from the conduct of the Spanish Government, who, at the end of 1845, sent a Consul-General to Clarence with instruction to send off the Missionaries, unless they would consent to reside in a private capacity only, and without preaching. With this condition they declined to comply, and some of them have removed to Bimbia, on the main land. Since Mr. Sturgeon's death, Dr. Price has taken charge of the church at Clarence; the total number of members at Clarence is eighty. At Bimbia, a missionary settlement has been formed and houses erected; and Mr. Merrick has advanced in the translation of the New Testament into the Isubu tongue as far as the end of Mark. At Cameroons, Mr. Saker has made a first and second-class book for the
taught in day-schools, 8,696; and of children taught in sabbath-schools, 12,481. The total receipts for all purposes are £28,223 118. 7d., being an increase as compared with the last year of £1,924 128. 10d.: of this amount £1,000 is a special contribution for Madras, and has been invested in the funds. The expenditure, including the above investment, has amounted to £26,399 28.; the balance has been applied towards the reduction of the debt, which now amounts to £3,711 98. 11d.
use of the young. A deputation has visited Jamaica during the year, and the expenses incurred by the visit and an additional sum of about £2,000 to aid stations absolutely requiring relief, have been guaranteed by one of the Treasurers of the Society,-no part of the funds of the Society being devoted to the object. The total number of stations is about seventy-five; of ministers, thirty; and members about 30,000, -600 have been added to the churches during the past year. The Sunday-schools have an attendance of 10,000. The Theological Institution at Calabar is in a more promising condition than it has ever been. With regard to Honduras, the Committee have nothing very satisfactory to report. In Brittany, at Morvia, the chapel recently built has proved of great service. 8,000 tracts in French and Breton, have been circulated during the year; and Mr. Jenkins has printed in Breton a Sunday-school Lessonbook. The Religious Tract Society have aided in printing the Breton tracts. Mr. Jenkins has finished his translation of the New Testament into Breton. The total number of members added to all the churches during the past year is 1,207, the total number of members in all the churches, including Jamaica, being 36,463. There are 249 stations and sub-stations, and 233 agents, not including Jamaica. The total number of day-schools is 156; of children
The Report having been ably moved by Mr. Katterns, and seconded by Mr. Stock, the Rev. C. M. Birrell stood forth to rehearse the results of the West India Deputation, which will be read with intense interest. After some introductory observations, he said, "It is well-known that the population of Jamaica,-to refer at once to the island to which the principal part of our attention was directed,-is now passing through an economical change of the deepest interest. There never was, perhaps, so remarkable an experiment performed on human society as that which is transpiring at present in that country. We are concerned in it at this meeting, only so far as it affects the state of religion, and, even in that department, its consequences are not the least marked and momentous. It is, of course, well remembered, as I judge by the numerous references to it to-day, that both before and after the period of emancipation there was an unusual attention to personal religion, and vast accessions to the church. Now, besides the influences of the Spirit of God, which were undoubtedly richly enjoyed in those days, it must be remembered that there were some external and secondary causes which considerably contributed to that result. Among these, perhaps, might be the mere love of excitement, which found gratification in large weekly assemblies, together with that tendency to imitate and to ⚫ take the complexion of the society in which they happen to mingle, so characteristic of the negro race and, I suppose, of all races precisely in their condition; but still more powerful was there in operation a desire to possess the approval and consequent protection and advice of the white man. They had no friend, no guardian, no counsellors but the minister under whose banner they had ranged themselves; all their sorrows and difficulties-and these neither light nor imaginary-they came and spread at his feet, in the certainty of obtaining sympathy and perhaps deliverance. Who could wonder then, that this consideration should come to the help of their religious conviction, and perhaps in some instances should even be the only real impulse to a religious profession? And who is there prepared to say, that the Missionary was capable of so analysing these motives as infallibly to determine upon the existence of the one class or the other, or to assign its proper strength to each, if both were acting in combination ? The only thing a man could do after the most earnest prayer, and diligence, was to proceed upon the principle which Mr. Knibb, in one of the letters included in his Memoir says was his own maxim, not to wait till he obtained all the evidence he could desire, but till he obtained so much that he dare not incur the responsibility of refusing the application. (Hear, hear.) Now nothing but the speed of time, and the operations of new circumstances could fairly test the character of the churches so formed;-that test
has come with greater rapidity, and perhaps in a severer form than many anticipated. It is now acting in its full power, and the results are developing themselves every day. It is now no longer necessary for the black man to have a white protector-(hear, hear)-no longer necessary for the labourer to appeal from his employer to his spiritual teachers; and consequently, one mighty impulse to a religious profession is removed. But on the contrary, there is positive reason for reluctance in taking that step. There is not only the absence of an impulse, but the presence of an obstacle. religious profession involves to some extent pecuniary liability. The funds which sustain the services of religion, are drawn with the most trifling exception, not from the general congregation, but from the inquirers and the church, and for these funds their new condition has opened up modes of application of which formerly they were ignorant. Clothed and fed, and guarded like children in the days of slavery, like children they spent all the money they had, and that the moment after they obtained it, upon their favourite object, which then was the cause of religion. But now, required to clothe, to feed, to guard, and to elevate themselves, they find it necessary to ponder before they part with the pecuniary fruits of their industry. That a certain amount of such caution is right, will be granted; and that it should sometimes be carried to excess, we should be the last people to wonder at. There is, perhaps, no severer trial to the piety of our own churches, than that which arises from this cause; and we cannot be surprised that, coming so suddenly, and so powerfully on churches so young, so inexperienced, of such slender attainments, it should make a rapid separation between the chaff and the wheat. Accordingly, not only our own churches, but those of every other evangelical communion, mourn over a somewhat general langour. It must not be concealed, that multitudes who were formerly full of piety and zeal, are now engrossed with the world; and not a few of whose piety they had the most decided conviction, they have been obliged to detach from their fellowship; while the numbers seeking to avow themselves soldiers of Christ, form a striking and touching contrast to the exceedingly great armies of former times. It is undoubtedly a sad thing to contemplate this state of comparative depression; but who can be surprised that it should come; and now that it has come, who would give way to despondency? It is my decided conviction, that, with all the deductions which must be made, these churches have not reached a state of religious feeling far beneath our own. (Cheers.) The attendance at public worship has not, on the average, very greatly diminished. They still travel many miles under their scorching skies to the house of God. Whenever, in the course of our tour, we fixed a public meeting, we met with a prompt response. In our own agricultural counties, under the best circumstances, it is hard to obtain a meeting, even in the evening, when all the labour of the day is over. But what would be thought of a proposal to give up a whole day, and to go, not only to lose that day's remuneration, but to contribute something to the object presented; yet this was done repeatedly in our journey; it signified not on what day of the week, or at what hour of the day we summoned the gathering,—
it was there before us. (Cheers.) The mountains poured down their torrents of independent settlers, and the plains contributed their companies of the humbler labourers, that still seek their sole subsistence on the estates. The ground around the chapel quickly shook with the trampling of a hundred horses-(cheers,)— and the air with salutations which-if loudness be any index of cordiality-must have proceeded from the very abysses of the heart. But the moment the service began, all was unbroken silence, and a propriety of demeanour quite delightful; and he must have been an intolerable speaker who was not quickly greeted with flashes of the eyes and teeth, or with the deep "Amen," which bespoke devotional sympathy. (Cheers.) And, although I have spoken of their pecuniary contributions, there is still left among them a degree of liberality not unworthy of imitation. Let us remember that all their ministers and all their schools are supported by themselves; and we did not hear, in any part of the island, a single wish breathed to fall back again upon the pecuniary bounty of the British churches. (Applause.) Without at all pretending to distinguish between the donations which arise from principle, and those which spring from other causes, it deserves to be mentioned, that last year, which was on many accounts the least prosperous, twenty-four pastors, representing about 24,000 members, raised not less than £10,000, which, you perceive, is nearly, on an average, 10s. a piece; and, at this moment, on all the property connected with the Mission, amounting to about £130,000 in value, the whole remaining debt amounts to a sum somewhat under £4,000. (Applause.) And, when we are able to announce such a fact with respect to England, I think we shall demand a jubilee. (Cheers.) But not only has the present depression some mitigatory features; there are connected with it some things which mark a positive improvement. There is not only a greater searching of heart amongst all genuine Christians, but also a deeper conviction, on the part of all the Missionaries, of the necessity of a more accurate knowledge among the people. They now perceive more distinctly than they ever did, that the season for scattering the seed with a bold hand over hill and dale, has given place to that in which they must address themselves to the less exhilarating but essential toil of casting up the furrows, confirming the roots, and displacing the choking thorns, that they may have, not only the green blade and the tall stem, but the full corn in the ear. Many churches which had extended themselves beyond all possibility of pastoral superintendence, and even instruction, except of a most partial and infrequent kind, are becoming divided into separate communities, each with its own minister. (Cheers.) In most of these churches Bibleclasses are taught by the pastors and their wives; and I would say, that we found none of them a whit behind the very chiefest of the apostles (cheers)-and in some churches, the congregations have salaried Scripture readers, who devote their whole time to the work which their names indicate. That important class of men, too, to whom a great amount of success is to be attributed, are those called leaders, now undergoing a steady improvement. I cannot pass by these good men without giving expression to my conviction of their faithfulness. The
propriety of their very existence, as officebearers, has been questioned; but nothing could indicate a greater want of acquaintance with the circumstances that called them forth. Nothing could have been done without them; and, accordingly, we found every denomination bringing them into requisition; Wesleyans, Independents, Presbyterians, Moravians, and evangelical clergymen, all employ them, although variously naming them helpers, rulers, elders, Scripture readers. Nothing in the West Indies gave us greater pleasure than to witness these good men devoting so much of their time, and of the energies of their mind, to the superintendence, and, as far as they could, to the instruction of the people. If you were to enter the cottages of some of them, you would see stretched across the rafters, under the rude palm thatch, a number of forms, generally of their own construction, which are brought down and made to occupy the whole of the floor, two evenings in the week, for the general meetings of the districts; and every morning, before the sun is high enough to light their way or to chase the dew from the dripping trees, you would see the devout people all coming in to hear the Scriptures read, to offer their morning praises, to supplicate help for the day's conflict, and then to issue forth to their labours on the estates and provision-grounds. (Cheers.) What could the missionaries do for these remote dwellers in the glens and in the rocks without such guidance ? That these poor men are unlearned, except in that lore which angels desired to look into, is no fault of their own. That not more (as I confess I was a little surprised to find that one-third) of their number can even read the Scriptures, seems but as a memorial of that Egyptian darkness in which they spent their youth, and from which they were delivered only by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. These men, who sustained unshaken the first shock of persecution, and received in their bodies the marks of the Lord Jesus, and who must always be regarded as the confessors of the first age of that sable church, are already assuming the signs of advanced life, and are passing to their reward, while missionaries, with scrupulous regard to their feelings, and yet with a proper consideration of the requirements of the new state of society, are assisting them in and supplying their places with men of more varied qualifications, likely to secure a wider influence over the instructed youth; and if their most earnest endeavours for this purpose meet with success, one great essential stone is laid in the foundation of their sacred temple. (Cheers.) Besides these, there are others on whom they are fixing their anxious attention, with a view to the duties of the ministry. The necessity of pastors for the people, of their own colour and lineage, is becoming every year more urgent; the Missionaries have never neglected that work, although many in England have greatly wondered they should have made so little progress. I acknowledge myself to have been one among that number. Never till I reached the spot, had I had a just appreciation of the difficulties in the way; never till then did I so clearly perceive the extent to which the education of the people in civilized countries has been carried on in the persons of their ancestors,-the extent to which qualities which we deem natural and innate are the result of subtle influences in society, the
operations of which we cannot tell whence they come or whither they go. Of all these hereditary advantages the people of those lands are destitute; the entire population stands intellectually at Zero. Every man must rise in his own person from that point,-a circumstance which renders the process of elevation more tedious, but has a tendency-and he who wonders at that tendency is, I fear, but partially acquainted with himself-to overcharge the individual so distinguished from the surrounding multitude with so much vanity, and so materially to interrupt his usefulness. Until the standard of education be raised universally, there will be strong obstacles in the way of a highly-qualified race of native pastors. Yet a beginning has been made, and well made. Upon the brow of the green mountain, surrounded by scenery lovelier, I should not wonder, than the Academus celebrated in classic song, there stands our college for the education of a native ministry. It is presided over by a highly-qualified individual-(cheers)—our oldest missionary in the West Indies. Every year the class of young men improves. Those at present studying there-and some of them are examined previous to their admission-appeared to us in the highest degree hopeful. At the ordination of one who had finished his course we attended, and the confession which he read, in point of language, of consecutive statement, and of comprehensive thought, I have never heard surpassed at any similar service in this country. (Cheers) When I think of the good manners and intellectual aspect of these Academicians, I cannot but say that the notions which most of us have derived from the nursery pictures, of the appearance of the negroes, is altogether erroneous. We figure them-I once did and may still do-as men of no foreheads, of extravagant mouths, of preposterous nostrils,-when such cases are almost as rare as they are in England. A large majority are men of the noblest mould. (Hear, hear, and applause.) But with respect, last of all, to that elementary, popular education, which in one sense lies at the basis of all permanent improvement, I regret to say that the missionaries appear to have considerably over-calculated the estimation in which the people would hold it. They thought, by building excellent school-rooms, and bringing over from England teachers, male and female, highly qualified, they would speedily spread the blessing. But in that they were mistaken, and now they find-what I am afraid we, in this vexed England, are doomed to find-that a splendid educational apparatus is one thing, and the disposition of an ignorant population to avail themselves of it, quite another. They find, now that their school-rooms are miserably filled, and the great majority of their schoolmasters occupying the situation of pastors, that instead of relying upon one sudden stroke, they must call into operation an agency which no legislation can produce, of which the part shall be to enter the homes of the peasantry, and to track the footsteps of the children wherever they roam, perpetually and patiently endeavouring to awaken the desire of improvement, and alluring to habits of application. Of course, there is little in this to excite or bewitch the imagination, little that is akin to that magical rapidity with which we now aspire to accomplish everything. (Hear, hear.) But it is the penalty which, in all coun
tries, is exacted by centuries of neglect, and the only condition upon which ignorance will relapse her death-grasp. That agency is rapidly come into operation; and in some years, perhaps in another generation, if we have reasonable patience to work, we shall find the work accomplished. I must not detain the meeting from the more valuable statements of my esteemed friend; but I must express the conviction in which I know he will unite, that we have just reason for gratitude for the results of missions among this interesting people. When I compare them with those of their own race in the republic of St. Domingo, what I saw during a deeply interesting visit to that island, which I dare not now ask the meeting to permit me to describe, and above all, when I compare them with those miserable captives whom we together saw in the capital city of Cuba, in the streets and squares of which our ears were for the first time assailed by the clanking of chains, and with what was, in some degree, even worse-for the chain is somehow associated with the decisions of justice-with the sound of the whip, the horrid symbol of oppression, and the dehumanization of men, then no language could utter our estimate of that work of mercy, in which we have been permitted to take so large a part. I have not attempted to conceal the present state of religion, but to speak honestly, although not despondingly. For who can question that the churches have sunk under this wave of trial, only to emerge in greater purity? (Cheers.) If the ministers are united in counsel and in selfsacrifice, and there never was greater union among all religious denominations in this land than at present-(cheers)-if the British churches continue their sympathy and their prayers,now, if possible, more indispensable than ever, -it is not permitted us to doubt that the conflict now begun, and only begun, will end the conquest, and that the promise, that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church," which has been already so nobly fulfilled in the past annals of that people, shall meet with a still more signal accomplishment. (Long-continued cheers.)
We regret that space prevents our giving the speech of Mr. Angus, which worthily succeeded that of Mr. Birrell. The Baptist meetings this year, as a whole, have been highly satisfactory.
BRITISH JEWS' SOCIETY.
THIS excellent Society is making way. After a manly and suitable speech by the President, J. P. Paul, Esq.,
Mr. YONGE (the Secretary) then read the Report. It stated, that, during the past year, the agents of the Society had been engaged in the delivery of lectures on the Lord's day evenings; that they had extensively circulated the sacred Scriptures; and that it had been their delight to visit their Jewish brethren, studying with them the Word of God, and persuading them to fiee from the wrath to come. At the last anniversary nine agents were thus engaged; two of whom had withdrawn,-one to become the chaplain of a convict ship, on board of which he had been made extremely useful. The present number was thirteen, eight of whom were occupied in London, and enjoyed the advantage of being placed under the superintendence and instruction of Mr. Davidson. One laboured in
Manchester, one in Bristol, one in South Wales, one partly in Somersetshire, one visiting the Jews in the neighbourhood of Frankfort. Holland had claimed the attention of the Committee. A correspondence had been opened up with parties there, and tracts printed and Bibles distributed. The Society had, however, for a season retired, in consequence of the friends in Holland having formed a Netherland Friends of Israel Society, and therefore taken the work upon themselves. One of the missionaries lately sent forth by the London Missionary Society to China belonged to the Stock of Abraham. The Society was about to send a supply of tracts to Southern Russia. The Report then referred to the establishment of the Jewish Missionary College, and the advantages that would accrue from it. The Committee had not yet had the agony of witnessing the declension of any of those whom they believed were really converted to God. The missionaries were, with one exception, Hebrew Christians. Upwards of 150 Auxiliary Associations, or single collectors, had been formed. During the past year, one of the missionaries visiting the Principality of Wales, had, in the course of a fortnight, established thirteen Auxiliary Societies. The Quarterly Prayermeetings, on behalf of this Society had been well attended. Several extracts were then furnished from the journals of the missionaries, showing the progress of their work, and detailing various encouraging instances of usefulness. The Report concluded by an appeal for the continuation and increase of support, and a wider diffusion of influence in favour of the Society.
The Ladies' Report was then read, from which it appeared that they had met with great success. They employed one Scripture female reader, who continued to be engaged in her work. The sum handed over by the Ladies' to the Gentleman's Committee amounted, during the year, to £1,171 48. 6d.
The CHAIRMAN then presented his accounts, as Treasurer, from which it appeared, that the total receipts of the Society during the year, including a balance in hand at its commencement amounting to £369 98. 4d, was £2,286 114d. The disbursements amounted to £2,255 188. 8d.; leaving a balance in hand of £30 2s. 3d. A subscription, the Chairman observed, of 1s. per annum from every church member feeling an interest in this cause, would furnish the Society with ample means for carrying on its operations with great vigour,
The meeting was ably addressed by Drs. Leifchild, Beaumont, Messrs. Dibdin, Redpath, and others.
CHRISTIAN INSTRUCTION SOCIETY. AFTER a very excellent speech from the Chairman, THOMAS CHALLIS, Esq., Alderman and Sheriff, the Secretary then read the Report, which stated: That an urgent necessity existed in London for efforts to gain the attention of the people to the glad tidings of the gospel, was but too evident a fact. The moral and spiritual destitution of a large portion of the inhabitants was but little (as concerning practical and saving knowledge) better than that of the far distant heathen. One single illustration of this might be adduced in the well-ascertained fact, that out of a population of more than two millions, there
lar; the attendances were orderly, and many appeared to be interested in the services. A course of fourteen lectures to young persons, on interesting and important subjects connected with sacred history, were delivered, during the winter months, at Claremont Chapel. The Committee had continued to receive applications for help in the formation or support of associations in the country, to which they had always readily afforded all the assistance in their power. It concluded thus: "Your Committee, in conclusion, would further ask the assistance of those churches with which their associations stand connected, in supporting the general objects of the Society by pecuniary as well as personal co-operation. The state of the Society's finance is a matter of constant regret. The constitution of the Society, untrammelled by party or denominational restrictions, would enable it to prosecute many valuable schemes of Christian benevolence, had it at command the necessary funds for the payment of incidental expenses. A small annual contribution from each of the associations, or a congregational collection from each of the churches in every alternate or third year, would readily supply this deficiency. The Committee cannot believe that the pastors and churches of the metropolis will be insensible to the claims of this Society."
From the balance-sheet it appeared that the receipts for the past year amounted to £715 188.; the expenditure, £779 48.; leaving a balance against the Society of £63 68.
The meeting was then vigorously addressed by Dr. Morison, Rev. J. Kennedy, Mr. Branch, Mr. Fraser, and others.
was not, on any service of the Lord's day, in churches and chapels of all denominations, a greater attendance than one-fifth, or about 400,000 persons. If inquiry was made as to the occupation of the rest, the crowded state of steam vessels, railway carriages, public houses, tea-gardens, club, and even gaming-houses, would furnish a melancholy reply. Such a desecration of the sabbath, in its influence on the sabbath-breaker, and example on others, was sufficient to prepare the way for the dismal catalogue of crimes which the moral statistics of London brought under public notice. The ordinary means of public religious instruction were inadequate to meet the circumstances of those who had no thought of God, and who will not attend his house. The operations of the Society in the several districts of the metropolis had been as follows:-Associations, 98; families visited, 50,867; number of visitors, 2,084; prayer-meetings, 80. It then went on to give from the reports of the agents some most gratifying instances of usefulness, at the same time that it exhibited an appalling amount of spiritual destitution in the metropolis. It had always been a leading object in the operations of this Society to induce the poor to attend the public worship of God and the preaching of the gospel. The returns of the past year stated that 1,033 persons have been prevailed on to observe this duty; but few churches and chapels provided suitable accommodation for the humble poor. To meet this, services had been held in schoolrooms, and in the apartments of the poor themselves, at which the families under visitation were invited to attend; such services had been conducted at eighty stations during the past year, in some instances weekly, and in others more frequently; and in connection with which many pleasing results had been witnessed. During the summer months religious services had been conducted in the open air, and many thus heard the gospel who could not be induced to enter even an apartment in their own neighbourhood for that purpose. The labours of the visitors of this Society had proved auxiliary to the religious instruction of children. 1,748 have been obtained during the year for the sabbath, infant, or day-schools, and local schools had been opened in several cases in the sections under visitation. An old stable had been taken and fitted up by the Association at Mile-end New town, for a Ragged-school, which, when completed, would accommodate from 180 to 200 children; the present attendance was about 120. The visitors have been instrumental in promoting the distribution of 1,759 copies of the sacred Scriptures (either Bibles or Testaments.) The Report then states: "The past winter was a season of much suffering among the poor, and the sympathies of the visitors were called into lively exercise by the scenes of distress which they witnessed. A Report from the Islingtongreen Association states, "The condition of the people living in our district is most deplorable; Ireland itself could not exhibit scenes of greater wretchedness and destitution. The people are literally starving; the visitors have a most selfdenying task. In the quarterly returns furnished to the Committee, 2,699 cases of distress are reported to have received relief through the interference of the visitors." The tents of the Society were erected, during the past summer, at Kennington, Peckham, Gravesend, and Pop
The condition of this pre-eminently excellent Society is very unsatisfactory, and for years it has been gradually becoming worse. Fifteen or sixteen years back it was in great favour, and its anniversaries attended by interested crowds. Would it were so now! Something, we trust, within the present year, will be attempted with a view to its revival. The present apathy among the churches is depressing to the worthy secretaries, and discouraging to all concerned.
WESLEYAN MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
THE Report, after a detail of some matters relating to Europe, proceeds to Ceylon and Continental India. As to Ceylon it is statedThe Missions among the Singhalese population in the Southern District, and among the Tamul people and the Veddahs, in the Northern and Western parts of the island, in all the departments of the work, are in a state of useful efficiency, and vigour; in the Southern part of the island, the Missionaries report an increase of thirty-seven members, besides thirty-five members in the Kandyan Provinces, which have not been taken into account. The printing press is employed on the Singhalese translation of the Scriptures, and in the multiplication of useful school-books and tracts. The Native Normal Institution has prepared thirty students, which are about to be sent throughout the country to take charge of schools under the patronage of Government.