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THE

MISSIONARY OBSERVER.

AUGUST, 1879.

The Annual Meetings.

THE ANNUAL MEETINGS of the Foreign Missionary Society were held at Halifax on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday evening, June 17th and 18th.

THE ANNUAL COMMITTEE MEETING was held in North Parade Chapel on Tuesday afternoon, and was largely attended. The chair was occupied by Mr. S. C. Colman, of Peterborough. In the first place, the minutes of the committee meetings held during the year, were read and confirmed. The Secretary presented the Annual Report, which was taken as read; and the Treasurer read the Cash Statement, remarking that the sum received for general purposes was larger than in any former year. From the Abstract of Accounts it appeared that the total amount of the Society's income was less than in the previous year, but this is accounted for from the fact that in the previous year there had been a special effort on behalf of the Rome chapel, and also from the small amount received as legacy during the current year. Then, again, the amount received in India for the maintenance of famine orphans is much less than formerly, and is becoming less every year—a circumstance which materially affects the total receipts of the Society. In comparing, therefore, the income of one year with another, the amounts received at home, and in India, should be carefully noted.

THE COMMITTEE FOR 1879-80—nominated by the Conferences, and elected at the Annual Meeting--are as follows: ALCORN, Rev. J., Old Basford.

JONES, Rev. J. C., M.A., Spalding. ARGILE, Mr. R., junr., Ripley.

LAMB, Mr. J., Derby. ATKINSON, Mr. C., Sheffield.

MARCH, Rev. W., Stoke-on-Trent. BALDWIN, Mr. B., Loughborough.

MARSHALL, Mr. T. W., Loughborough. BANNISTER, Mr. J., Burton-on-Trent. M'CREE, Rev. G. W., London. BAYLEY, Mr. G. F., New Barnet.

NEEDHAM, Rev. G., Barton Fabis. BISHOP, Rev. W., Leicester.

OaTEs, Rev. W., Birmingham. BRAMLEY, Mr. J., Halifax.

ORTON, Rev. W., Bourne. CHAPMAN, Rev. W., Vale, Todmorden. PAYNE, Rev. W. H., Lyndharst. COLMAN, Mr. S. C., Peterborough. PIKE, Rev. E. C., B.A., Birmingham. Cook, Mr. T., Leicester.

ROBERTS, Mr. C., Peterborough. DEAN, Mr. G., Derby.

SALISBURY, Rev.J., M.A., Hugglescote. Dyson, Rev. W., Halifax.

STEVENSON, Mr. G., Leicester. ELLIS, Mr. E. C., Derby.

TRUMAN, Mr. G. B., Nottingham. Evans, Rev. W., Leicester.

TURNER, Rev. J., Burnley. GOODLIFFE, Mr. A., Nottingham.

WHERRY, Mr. W. R., Bourne. HILL, Mr. H., Nottingham.

WILLIAMS, Rev. J. W., Derby, JOHNSON, Mr. R., London.

Winks, Mr. J. G., Leicester. All General Baptist ministers, that are members of the Society, are eligible to attend Committee Meetings.

The Sub-Committee, appointed to promote organization in the churches for Mission purposes, presented the following report:

To the Committee of the General Baptist Foreign Missionary Society. In presenting their Annual Report, your Sub-Committee have to record that the severe commercial depression of the past year has been felt in church finance as elsewhere. We are thankful, however, to find that in many cases the income of the Foreign Mission has not been allowed m lly to suffer; while, in some instances, more has been done than before.

We trust the time is not far distant when the whole of our churches will be aroused to the importance of each taking a part in the good work of helping to send the glorious gospel to the perishing heathen, and when no organization will be neglected which is calculated to help forward the work.

Most of the churches have been visited by deputations, many of whose reports are highly encouraging, and others give promise for the future. The contributions from the children of our schools are in many cases very gratifying; at the same time we believe that much has yet to be done by adults in the matter of regular and systematic collecting for the Mission; and that there are many whose rate of subscription would be materially increased, if the matter were only properly set before them.

Praying the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.

We remain, dear brethren, yours fraternally,
CHAS. ROBERTS.

S. C. COLMAN.
T. BARRASS.

T. H. HARRISON. G. F. BAYLEY.

W. R. WHERRY. June 9th, 1879.

W. HILL, Secretary. HELP FOR ORISSA.— The following minute was passed by the Committee :

That we are deeply impressed with the importance of strengthening the hands of our brethren and sisters in Orissa at the earliest possible moment, by sending one or two more missionaries to labour with them; and at the same time we are devoutly thankful that the income of the Society will justify our doing so.

The Rev. W. Miller, who has recently returned from Orissa through ill health, was introduced to, and cordially received by, the meeting. In his reply, Mr. Miller thanked the Committee for their hearty reception ; assured them of his increasing love for the Mission; expressed his regret at being compelled to leave the field; and his determination to return as soon as his health was sufficiently restored.

THE ANNUAL MISSIONARY MEETING was held in the Stannary Congregational Church, a spacious and most beautiful building; "the most beautiful chapel I ever saw,” was the general remark. Prayer was offered by the Rev. B. Wood, of Halifax. S. T. Midgley, Esq., J.P., Mayor of Halifax, presided, and there was a large attendance. “As thé chief magistrate and a Methodist, the Chairman said it was not only a great pleasure to him to take part in one of their Baptist missionary meetings, but he was especially glad to do so in a Congregational place of worship, as it showed the readiness of the members of the various denominations to work with each other for the common cause. He gave a hearty welcome to the various delegates attending the conference, and hoped they would return to their homes having received renewed strength and comfort for their work.

After an Abstract of the Report and the Accounts had been read by the Secretary and Treasurer, the Rev. W. Bishop, of Leicester, proposed, and the Rev. Hugh Stowell Brown, of Liverpool, seconded the first resolution, which was as follows :

That the Report, an abstract of which has been read, be printed under the direction of the Committee. That this meeting expressos devout thankfulness to God THE ANNUAL MEETINGS.

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for the liberal, and, in many instances, self-denying support—especially among the young-which the Society has received during the past year; rejoices in the additions made to the Mission staff; in the steady advance of the native churches in numbers, liberality, and self-support; and earnestly trusts that the necessary funds may be obtained for the enlargment of the Society's operations in Orissa and Rome.

In a carefully-prepared and well-delivered speech, Mr. Bishop drew a picture of the state of Greece and Rome before the rise of Christianity, and showed that Christianity had lived because it had proved its universal adaptation to the wants of the nations as no other religion had ever done.

In his remarks Mr. Brown dwelt, in his own peculiar style, upon the importance of attention and obedience to our Saviour's command, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” He said the churches at first set themselves to obey it, but after a time getting rich, they began building grand cathedrals and elaborating creeds, chiefly for the purpose of bothering and then of persecuting one another, and the great work of preaching the Gospel to every creature became suspended. A hundred and fifty years ago the idea of sending missionaries to the heathen would have been scouted. Then came the revival, and though he might be mistaken, he fancied it would not be difficult to prove that every good thing that had marked the social, religious, and political progress of the country during the past century; even the repeal of the Corn Laws, Parliamentary reform, and the abolition of slavery, could be distinctly traced to the revival of evangelical religion, one hundred and fifty years ago. Still, this command of the Lord did not appear to him to be accepted by all Christian people as having the force of a command. It seemed to be regarded more as a request, or piece of advice. There was not enough made of it; they made more of things which were not needed. A church would sometimes spend on an organ ten times as much as the annual amount realized for the cause of Christian missions. These things ought not to be allowed to take precedence, either in thought or munificence, of the great work the Lord had given them to do. He had known year after year, in which his Sunday-school had contributed a larger amount to the Missionary Society than was contributed by the entire church and congregation. That, however, was the result of well and wisely-conducted organization, which at that time they did not possess in the church and congregation. The work of preaching the Gospel to every creature was a great and honourable one, and was the carrying out of the command of Christ. His own church had now been organized for Mission work, the result being a large increase in the amount of contributions. He believed that, if their people were kept better informed about Mission work, if the subject were more frequently referred to by ministers in their sermons, their addresses, and their prayers, the people would contribute more liberally than they did at present.

The second resolution, proposed by Mr. Clifford, and seconded by Mr. Miller, of Orissa, was as follows:

That in view of the lengthened service and advanced age of half the number of our missionarios; of the urgent need of more men and women to occupy the old stations of the Society; also to enter upon aggressive work in vast districts altogether untouched by evangelistic effort; this meeting affectionately requests the pastors, deacons, local preachers, and members of our churches, to make the question of more labourers the subject of their serious consideration and importunate prayer.

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The eloquent and effective speech of Mr. Clifford will be found in another part of the Magazine, of which we would bespeak an attentive reading. Yes! the once unknown, neglected, and despised Jesus, is gradually making His influence felt throughout the continent of Hindostan; is finding His way into the homes, the hearts, and lives of the people, and Babu Kesub Čhunder says, India asks, Who is Christ ?

Would that India did.

Mr. Miller, in seconding the resolution, delivered a fraternal message from the churches in Orissa—referred to the vastness of the field and the fewness of the labourers, and urged the occupancy of Sumbulpore as one of the stations of the Society.

With votes of thanks to the Mayor for presiding, and to the trustees for the use of the chapel, the large and enthusiastic meeting was brought to a close.

And now, that the Annual Meetings for another year are over, it is hoped that, by God's blessing, all our friends, young and old, will gird themselves afresh for future service. With trade still depressed, it will require more effort than ever to prevent a decline in the annual income during the current year. May we request our pastors to see that the plan of regular and systematic collecting is adopted in their churches, and that they endeavour to awaken and sustain the interest of their congregations in Mission work, by bringing its claims before their notice. “ We never have Missionary Prayer Meetings, and our minister never refers to the Mission in his prayers or sermons," is a remark which no one ought to be able to make. Under such circumstances, no wonder that many of their people should feel uninterested in Mission work; or that so few should offer themselves for the Lord's service in heathen lands.

From the introductory remarks in the last Annual Reports of the Freewill Baptist Benevolent Societies, we give and commend the following extracts. The writer says ::

The only true way, it seems to us, to improve the figures relating to our missionary operations, is to lay the fresh facts oftener before our people, thus moving them to think more, and consequently to give more for this great work.

The home department calls for its share of attention in this report, and perhaps this is after all the more important department, so far as our home churches are concerned. We cannot expect the faith or the zoal of those churches in India to exceed that of these American churches, which have planted them and thus far sustained them. The stream cannot rise above the fountain head. So the surest and most effective way of making the Foreign Mission strong and successful, is to become strong and successful at home. But God has so ordered it that the very effort to give the gospel to the heathen produces a powerful reflex influence for good upon the home church.' So that we may justly and emphatically say that the home church needs the foreign mission no less than the foreign mission needs the home church; each cannot thrive without the other; and the sooner this truth is apprehended and acted upon, the better for both parties.

Without re-enforcement, our work in India cannot but suffer serious loss. Continual conquest is the only successful method of Christian warfare; except ours be a growing mission, it must be a dying one; God help us to make it a growing one in the best sense. If the pastors will inform their people about our work in India, if they will teach them to pray for its prosperity, if they will educate them to cheerful, systematic and liberal giving for its increasing needs, and, moreover, if they will be ever on the watch for the right persons for missionary service; if all the pastors will do these things, a brighter day will dawn on our Foreign Missions; but without these things, the toils of a handful of men and women, poorly provided with working allowances, can avail little. Could we reach the ear of overy member of our Zion, we should 'say, Don't play at missions, but let us all in hearty earnest take hold of this work, and push it on for Jesus Christ's sake, and the sake of perishing millions.

The Rome Mission.

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In a letter dated 15th June, Mr. Shaw says, " Thank you for the word in the Magazine on behalf of the harmonium. I have not much news at present to send you. The power and influence of the priests have shown some signs of revival here, and in Italy generally, of late. Mr. Wall and two friends were only saved from violence, while on a Bible tour last week, by the intervention of the police. A poor woman, who was seized while making a disturbance in our Sala the other evening, confessed that the priest had paid her to do it. We have tough fighting awaiting us in future, but the battle is the Lord's !””

A recent telegram from Rome states that a circular has been addressed to the Bishops throughout the Catholic world, calling on them to promote a monster clerical pilgrimage to the Eternal City for the next feast of Epiphany. The circular, it is said, drops a hint to the intending visitors to ensure themselves a welcome, by making to themselves friends of the mammon of unrightousness.

The following communication from Mr. Shaw, in reference to the nature, the spirit and devices of popery, and to the difficulties in connection with its overthrow, will be read with painful and prayerful interest. He remarks :

Six months of residence in Rome has deepened our sense of the importance-we had nearly said necessity-of our Mission here, and has added greatly to our knowledge of the difficulties with which we have to contend.

We were often inclined, when in England, to regard the Papacy as a somewhat maligned institution, having much more of good in it, and much less of evil, than Protestants were willing to admit. But in Rome, and by a mind not infected with the indifference of the age, such a view is untenable. Roman Catholicism, judged by its works and its spirit, proves itself to be, not only the worst possible form of paganism, but an evil so gigantic that its proportions can scarcely be exaggerated. This monstrous growth of iniquity-whose evil fruits are all around us here—is all the more mischievous and hateful because of the scripture truth it has assimilated with its substance. What we have seen and heard of it forcibly brings to mind Luther's strong saying: “If there be a hell, Rome is built above it: it is an abyss whence issues every kind of sin.”

The state of the people who have been brought up under the influence and teaching of the Papacy is such as cannot well be described, and we hesitate to attempt a description of the vice, beggary, misery, and want of conscience which so largely prevail, lest the picture should be thought by some too dark to be true, and by others to be drawn by an unloving hand.

In this sad moral state of the people will be perceived one of our great difficultios. Another is the ignorance of the peoplo-although called Christians-respecting Bible truth. Even the forms of Protestant worship are not easily accepted by those who have been accustomed to stroll into a sacred edifice at any hour, bow the knee, cross themselves, and walk out again. We have seen somo poor creatures, even in our Sala, per force of habit, kneel or curtsey to the desk on entering or going out. Very large numbers who come cannot be persuaded to sit down, and the continual coming and going is a source of disorder and noise which greatly interferes with the efficiency of the preaching, and the profit of those who are seated and remain.

The present Pope seems determined to leave no stone unturned in opposing the progress of Evangelical truth, which has been sufficiently great, in spite of difficulties, to alarm him and his coadjutors. All through this month there has been great commotion, in consequence of the attempt to rouse the populace against us as haters and blasphemers of the Virgin Mary. Placards have appeared everywhere with the following words: “Viva! the Virgin Mary, blasphemed by the impious !” and handbills have been widely distributed, calling on the people to show their reverence for the

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