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BOMBAY PRESIDENCY. REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE BOMBAY SEAMAN'S FRIEND ASSOCIATION, FOR THB
YEAR 1832. The Committee rejoice to state that the attendance of the officers and men belonging to the lodian Navy, at Divine worship in the Floating Church, continues to be considerable, and that latterly there has been a small increase in the number of seamen who form the crews of Free Traders visiting the Port of Bombay.
A European, engaged by the Committee, boards every vessel on her entering the port, and offers to send boats every Sunday at the expense of the Society, for the conveyance of the crew to Church. The offer is, however, too often disregarded, though kindly received, and the practice of giving the men leave to go on shore on Sabbath, and of discharging and taking in cargo on that sacred day, continues to be (with a few Christian and honourable exceptions) the greatest hindrance to the labours of the Society.
Twenty-nive vessels arriving from Great Britain and the United States have been visited in the harbour during the past year hy members of the Committee, twenty-one of which were furnished with one of the Society's lending Libraries, and 17 Bibles were sold to Seamen on board, beside a few others from a Box kept in the Floating Church, for that purpose. The reception given by the officers and crew of the vessels visited, has uniformly been polite and satisfactory.
A few of the Society's printed Addresses are delivered personally to the Boatswain or other petty officers, for distribution among the men; and a notice is given, that a Reading Library is placed on board by the Association, for their use, with the permission of the Captain. The Committee are encouraged to hope that these Libraries have been beneficial to many of the seamen, and they have much pleasure in inserting the following testimony extracted from a private note from the Captain of a vessel lately in the harbour :-" The box of Books afforded the ship's company mach instruction and amusement. I used to distribute them every Sabbath after Church to all who felt disposed, and very few indeed were those who did not apply for them. I think they are of great service on board.”
The contents of one of the Society's Book-cases is appended ; and as the cost of each (the Books included) averages scarcely 20 Rupees, the Committee are inclined to hope there can be but one opinion as to the usefulness of increasing their lending Libraries, which they earnestly trust they shall be enabled to do, to a considerable extent, in the course of the ensuing year.
The Committee return their sincere thanks to the friends of the Society who have contributed to their funds. An acknowledgment of various sums received in 1832 being made in a statement of the receipts and expenditure subjoined to this report ; they beg also to acknowledge a handsome donation of Religious Books, suitable for their lending Libraries, from Rev. J. Wilson and Rev. C. Stone, and Captain Molesworth, as well as fifty Bibles in the French language from the Edinburgh Bible Society.
As the balance in the Treasurer's hands is reduced to Rs. 343 1 50, the greater part of which has since been paid for Books for the lending Libraries received from England, and the Committee lrave authorized the Rev. D. 0. Allen to send from America a fur: ther supply, to the extent of 3 or 400 Rupees, of such Books as are published at a cheaper rate in America, and a balance is still due to the Merchant Seamen's Bible Society in London, further donations are respectfully solicited.
In conclusion, the Committee would remark, that although the sale of Scriptures to the Seamen bas been small, and the attendance at Divine Worship below their hopes, yet the willing reception of the Libraries, and the character of the Books, encourage them to believe, that the Word of Eternal Life, which it is the aim of the Association to impart, has been received by many throngh the instrumentality of the Society; and they solicit the earnest prayers of all its friends to that God who can alone crown their efforts with future and enlarged success.
SCOTCH MISSION, BOMBAY. The following account of the operations of the Scotch Mission in the Bombay Presidency, extracted from the Oriental Spectator, will be read with interest by all concerned in the salvation of the Heathen.
REPORT OF THE BOMBAY STATION OF THE SCOTTISH MISSION POR 1832. The following extracts are from a letter addressed by Mr. Wilson to Mr. Laurie, the Secretary of the auxiliary Society in Bombay.
In discharging the duties of my office, I endeavour, as far as circumstances will permit, to direct my attention to all classes of the native community; and Hindús, Mussulmáns, Parsis, Jainas, Jews, Roman Catholics, and Converts, share in my Ministry. 1 address them both at stated places and times, and at occasional and varied meetings, public and private; and I am happy to report, that there appear among not a few of them an increasing knowledge of Christianity, and a growing interest in the consideration of its claims. They generally listen with much freedom; and some of them are not disinclined to admit, that our system must sooner or later prove victorious. I shall notice a few circumstances connected with them in the order in which I have mentioned them.
Hindús.-Much attention has been devoted to this class of natives during the past year, and there are, perhaps, more promising circumstances connected with it, than with any other.
In the month of March last, I published an Exposure of Hinduism in English and Muráthi, in reply to Mora Bhatta Dandekara, whose pamphlet I noticed in last report. In offering it to the natives, I asked the cost price of each copy; and many of them shewed the greatest readiness to procure it on this condition, which was considered the best calculated to secure its preservation and perusal, and to promote economy. Upwards of 1,200 copies have been sold ; and there is reason to believe that they have been read*. The demand has not ceased, and it may probably continue. Some of my positions were disputed in the native newspapers ; but no regular reply has yet appeared. My opponent' has been engaged in writing an answer ; but his labours are represented as not having hitherto proved satisfactory either to himself or his friends. . As an excuse of his failure, he remarks in conversation, that God, to shew his judgments on this wicked generation of Brahmans, expressly causes the worse to appear the better reason! His theory is not inconsistent with his religion, which avers that several Poránas were framed with this object in view; but he will have some difficulty in persuading his countrymen of its accuracy with regard to the subject before him. Several of my European acquaintances have brought before my notice some cases in which a conviction of a very opposite kind has been made ; and it is consistent with my own observation, that they are not unfrequent. To that of one well-educated and influential native, I may allnde. He told me lately, that I had been instrumental in destroying his faith in the religion of his fathers, and observed, that when he got superior to the fear of his fathers, he would not hesitate to expose their delusions. He is now in some degree engaged in this work ; and Providence seems to favour his efforts by granting him facilities which few enjoy.
Mussulmáns.-The Muhammadan population of Bombay, as you know, is very considerable ; but only a small portion of it has yet been in any degree brought under the influence of Missionary operations. The foreign Mussulmáns, from their superior edacation, and love of inquiry, are at present the most promising, and will probably be the instruments of exciting their brethren to religious investigation. One of their number, Haji Muhammad Hashim, of Isfahan, as was stated in last report, addressed to me a long letter, which he published in Gujarathi and Persian, and in which he very ingeniously defends the Islamic faith. Shortly after its appearance, I translated, with some modification, the remarks of Grotius on Muhammadanism into Hindustani, as a partial reply: and they have been published in that language by the Bombay Tract Society, along with an excellent Persian Version by Messrs. Rowlandson and Money. They have been read with good effects by many : and two highly respectable individuals of the class for whose benefit they are intended, admit that they make out a satisfactory case in behalf of the Christians. I do not view them, however, as a sufficiently fall reply to the Haji, and, for several months past, I have been engaged in preparing an express rejoinder, referring both to the doctrines of the Kúrän, and the tradition of the followers of its author.
Parsis.- In the letter which I last year addressed to you, I stated the origin of a controversy with some of the followers of Zoroaster, and expressed my belief that it would not soon terminate. My anticipation has been verified. The Parsis continued for some time to defend their system; and, in reply to their observations, I entered upon an investigation of the doctrines and precepts of their sacred book, the Vendidad Sadé, and published my remarks in Gujuräthi in one of the native newspapers at intervals daring five months. I accompanied them with a brief statement of the doctrines and evidence of Christianity ; and I hope soon to be able to republish them in a consolidated and permanent form. Mach encouragement is afforded to me by the admissions of some of my Pärsi acquaintances, and by the doubts respecting the “ Mission" of Zoroaster which are now said generally to prevail.
Jainas.-When the Jainas have first an opportunity of hearing a discourse, they generally express their assent to a great deal of what is said. They are delighted to find that we have no confidence in the Puranas, and that we disapprove of the prevail
Copies of the Exposure, in English, are sold at three rupees each in boards, and in Muráthi at one rupee, bound, and half rupee stitched. Application to be made to Narayana Shankar, at the Scottish Mission House, Ambrolie.
ing religious practices of the Hindús. When they learn, however, our particular belief respecting the Divinity, and the mode of obtaining his favonr, they immediately commence disputation. They violently contend for the identity of life as existing in the elements, in vegetables, in brutes, in men, and in God; and they represent their own hie as regulated by fatality, to the exclusion of all which we are accustomed to view as essential to responsibility. I generally oppose them by shewing, that their doctrines lead to practical atheism, and by directing their attention to the ignorance, sin, and suffering manifested among men, to the difference which exists between men and the lower animals, and between the lower animals and inanimate objects, and to the wisdom, power, and other attributes of God, which are revealed by His works. I also unfold some of the contradictions of their Sútras, and the unbecoming narratives connected with their Nathas. In a very few of them I discern something like a spirit of inquiry, which by the divine blessing may issne in their good. It is much to the regretted that no books intended for their benefit have yet been prepared by Christians. The languages spoken in Bombay, with which they are most familiar, are the Marwadi and Gujnrathi. Those who are resident in the villages are in some degree acquainted with Marâthi.
Jews.-With both the Foreign and Native Jews in Bombay, I have had pretty frequent intercourse during the past year. The Hebrew and Muräthi Grammar intended for the latter class was published in March last, and a considerable number of copies have been disposed of, and gone into use". It will probably accomplish the object I had in view in preparing it. I am acquainted with several 'Israelites who have advantageously used it. I have found them and their friends more disposed than other persons of their tribe to listen to the doctrines of the Messiah, whom their fathers crucified. A few of them, who were accustomed to read the Old Testament in Hebrew, without understanding a single word, are now able to translate the Historical portions into Murathi, their vernacular tongue, with considerable ease.
Roman Catholics. I have a weekly service directed more specially to this class of professed Christians; but it is not well attended. I am encouraged, however, to persevere, from the avowed readiness of several persons to renounce the errors of Po. pery, and from the actual renouncement of them by a respectable individual. The two Portuguese schools connected with the Mission afford facilities for diffusing a knowledge of the Scriptures among the Indo-Portuguese.
Converts. The individuals who have been admitted by my brethren and myself into the Church are, of course, the objects of my anxious care. They have regular oppor. tunities of hearing the Gospel when the heathen are addressed; and two services are weekly conducted for their special benefit. It is my opinion, that in general they are growing in grace and usefulness; but it is also my experience, that they require the closest superintendance. Appa Tukarama, the first individual baptized by our Mission, was publicly excommunicated by me several months ago. There is every reason to believe that, from his first connexion with the Mission, he had practised a course of hypocrisy and deception.
I'wo adults and two native children, have been received into the Church since I last addressed you. One of the adults is the Brahman named Grimaji Appä Joshi, whose baptism was noticed in the Oriental Christian Spectator for November last. The Inquirers were encouraged by his case, and ere long, perhaps, some of them may follow bis example.
A schedule of the various Schools connected with the Mission was lately forwarded to the Directors. A copy of it is annexed to this report; and it appears that they were attended in October last by 1,269 children. Of these 1,093 are boys, and 176 females. The readers amount to 800+. Those of them who peruse the Scriptures, and commit the catechisms to memory, meet regularly at the mission house on Sabbath mornings, for examination and special instruction. The teachers were formed into a Bible class about eleven months ago, and the exercises in which they have been called to engage, and especially their cross examinations, have essentially contributed to their improvement. They meet regularly once a week at my house, and assemble with the same frequency at the house of the native catechist.
Dariug the past year an English School for the instruction of the natives, which is entirely supported by local contributions, and by payments made by the boys who at
This work is sold at four rupees per copy, bound. + The following General Summary is given in the schedule: Total number of Protestants,
4 Total number of Hindus,
1075 R. Catholics,
" Scholars, " Jainas,
tend it, has been instituted. It is conducted under my own eye, on the Mission Premises, and is taught by a Hindu and an Indo Briton. I anticipate much good from it. It is attended by a considerable number of respectable young men, and it is to be hoped that, conducted on Christian principles, it will exercise a happy influence over them.
Five Female Schools have lately been united and formed into a Central School by Mrs. Wilson. She expects that this arrangement will promote the greater efficiency of the mission. The children are under a more direct Christian control than formerly, and the time which was devoted to their separate visitation is now more advantageously employed in promoting discipline and communicating instruction. Difficalties have been experienced; but it is hoped that they will diminish.
The Second School on the Mission Premises is supported by local contributions raised by a Committee of Ladies, who kindly take the management of it. It is devoted to Destitute Native Girls, who are supported by Christian bounty ; and it promises to be useful in redeeming some of them from misery and destruction.
Some of the Native Gentlemen, who have seen the Girls of the different Schools go through their exercises, have expressed their approbation.
Connected with the English School, a Library of useful and entertaining Books, in religion, science, and history, is in the course of being formed. There are 15 native subscribers to it at present, who eagerly peruse many of its volumes. Most of these are in the babit of meeting with a few friends for couference on Geography, Astronomy, &c. They profit more by this mode of instruction at present, than by formal lectures. The Litho. graphic press of the Mission is now in Bombay. Editions of the following works base been printed at it since its arrival from Hurvee.
500 Extracts from Tracts,
500 Translation of English Instructor, No. II. 128
33 1 000 Bombay School Collection, Part Ist.
40 The Elementary Catechism, was lately transferred by me to the Tract Society, and the edition here mentioned is published at the expense of that institution.
During a part of the past year, I laboured under very considerable indisposition; and with a view to the improvement of my bealth, and the general proclamation of the Gospel, I set out in the beginning of November last on a long tour. I was joined at Poona by Mr. Mitchell, to whom I was indebted for valuable aid during the monsoon. We have enjoyed many precious opportunities of preaching, and circulating portions of the Scriptures, and tracts, in many towns and villages, in the territories of the Honorable Company, Shindia, Holker, and the Nizam. Amongst other places, we have visited and laboured in Poona, Alandi, where there is the principal shrine of the god Jnanoba, Ahmedabab N. W. of Godnadi, Párner, Wâmbári, Jảmgaum, Sonai, Hiwara, Prawara, Sangam, Toka, Shápura, Ellora, Roza, Aurungabad, Jilgaum, Jälna, Paithan, Ahmednugger, &c. &c. At several of these places unusual attention was excited; and we trust, that, by the divine blessing, the knowledge which has been communicated may prove a rich blessing to it possessors.
REPORT OF THE HORNEE STATION OF THE SCOTTISH MISSION. Mr. Mitchell commences the report of the Konkan Mission by noticing the death of his excellent and much lamented partner, and the departure of Mr. Cooper, to Scotland.
By these distressing occurrences, he observes, I am left a solitary individual in the Mission. May the Lord send help out of Zion, and raise up in His own good time, a multitude of labourers !
Preaching. The illness of Mr. Cooper, and the care of my motherless children, he observes, were a great barrier to my labours during the first six months of the year. I could seldom go from Hurnee except to attend to the monthly examination of the Schools, from which I was under the necessity of returning as soon as possible. I indeed_made one tour for preaching the word of life as far as Chiplun. At that place and Parashuram I spent a few days, and circulated upwards of a thousand books and tracts. Had it pot been for the great kindness of Mrs. Malcolm, Mr. Cooper's motherin-law, who on these occasions took all my children under her care, and who constantly had my youngest child and her nurse with her, I could not even have accomplished what I did. I would have been under the necessity of abandoning all the Schools er. cept two or three in the neighbourhood of Hurnee, and of preaching in that, and the immediately surrounding villages only. The Schools were, however, in the hope of Mr. Cooper's recovery all kept up, and the Gospel was on occasion of their visitation preached in most of what was reckoned the Hornee district. I had also the pleasure of being able to preach in English once a fortnight at Dhàpoli, there being now no chaplain at that station, which I have continued to do when at home up to the present time. I have also during the year had, when at Hurnee, worship in English twice a day on Sabbath, and when at Dhàpoli once a day, for such of the men and officers of the European invalids at the station as are inclined to attend. During the year when I have been able to attend to them, the inmates of the Hurnee Poor's Asylum have had. the Scriptures daily read and expounded to them.
On Mr. Cooper's leaving Hurnee, I accompanied him to Bombay, with my children, in order to make arrangements for their being sent home to my relations in Scotland by this, to them, most desirable opportunity. After they had sailed, when I should have otherwise returned to the Konkan, I was requested by the Corresponding Committee to remain for some time in Bombay to aid Mr. Wilson, who was then unable to attend to the various duties of the Mission in that city on account of indisposition. I consequently remained there till abont the middle of September, engaged in the various departments of Missionary duty. I had far greater opportunities of preaching to the natives than I could possibly have had in the Konkan, during that period of the S. W. monsoon; the violence of the rains would have shut me up almost entirely in Hurnee, where the population is small, and not at all inclined to attend to religions matters. In fact, in the Konkan, unless a missionary is in circumstances that permit him to move about from village to village, he can be of very little use. He is in a great measure lost to the canse in which he is engaged. Small villages are evidently not the situations that should be selected by Missionary Societies in order to commence operations in a country like this—there are a thousand means of usefulness enjoyed in large cities not there possessed.
I then returned to the Konkan, and was again engaged in visiting the Schools and preaching, as formerly mentioned, till about the beginning of October, when I returned to Bombay for a short time, and among other duties, preached the Annual Sermon for the Auxiliary Society.
After having again examined the Schools in the Konkan, I joined Mr. Wilson at Poo. da on the 17th November, in order to unite with him in a preaching tour in the Deccan, and which is not yet completed. We first attended a jaitra at Alandi, where we met with large audiences, and distributed a considerable number of books. From thence we proceeded leisurely towards Aurangabad, preaching the Gospel in a district of conntry very populous, and not formerly visited by any missionary. Our reception and audiences were on the whole very encouraging. From Aurungabad, we proceeded to Jaulna, where we also preached the Word and distributed books. We have already circulated on this tour about seven thousand tracts and portions of Scripture.
Schools.--The ten (10) Schools connected with the Mission are now in the following places :2 in
Baraundi. It would be desirable to have these schools, or any schools that may be kept up in the Konkan, speedily put under a more vigorous system of oversight and inspection than I as a Missionary am able to keep up, as one and all of the teachers, except one Purtuguese, are still addicted to idolatry, and are in short professed Hindús.
Printing:- The lithographic press belonging to the Society was removed to Bombay in the month of May last, as it was conceived that it could be employed there to a much greater advantage. Before its removal there had been printed at it,
3,000 of the Elementary Catechism.
2,000 of the Inquiry concerning the True Way. The last two are among the publications of the Bombay Tract Society, but as we could not obtain supplies of them, as that Society was not in a condition to print them for us, and as our own press was unemployed, we threw off the above numbers at the expense of the Mission, the paper being supplied by the Tract Society.
Converts. There have been no admissions into the Church from among the heathen during the year. One Hindu and Portuguese, however, have been for some time past applying for admission into the Christian Society, and have consequently been taken under particular instrnction; and it is hoped that at no distant period their wish may be complied with. A child of one of the native members, admitted to the Church by Mr. Stevenson at Poona last year, was baptized by me on this tour. He is in the ser