« PreviousContinue »
ANNIVERSARIES OF ROME CHAPELS.
incomparably the most important place we could select for a new station. The district contains a population of one million one hundred and fifty-two thousand souls, but a Missionary located there would, from its distance, and being difficult of access a great part of the year, necessarily be much more isolated than our other stations. Two other things appear to me important to be noticed. We do not wish to injure any other station for the purpose of benefiting Sumbulpore; and if we begin we should like to have a fair prospect of permanence. I wish, dear friends, I could cherish greater confidence in you all than a remembrance of the past seems to warrant; but you may be sure of of this, that there is little prospect of permanence unless the present Mission staff be not only maintained but increased. Let me recall to your attention what is said in the best of books in the only text where the phrase occurs, “preaching the gospel in the regions beyond”; “having hope when your faith is increased that we shall be enlarged by you,” &c. À solemn responsibility rests on you as well as on us—a responsibility, the faithful discharge of which, involves sending holy and faithful men and women as well as passing Minutes. At the same time I am sure that all the friends of the cause will earnestly desire and hope that if Mr. Pike be able to go this year, the rich blessing of our gracious Master may abundantly prosper
his work. (To be continued).
Anniversaries of Rome Chapels. DEAR MR. HILL, It has been suggested to me that the time has arrived when an intimation should be given of my intentions with reference to an excursion to Rome for the anniversary of the opening of our chapel; and certainly the February number of the Observer will not be too soon for such intimation, B I not wish to restrict my aims and plans to the one object that engaged our attention, chiefly, though not exclusively, a year ago. There are now three distinct Baptist interests in Rome, each having an excellent chapel and minister's residence; and two of these chapels were opened at the same period of the year-Mr. Wall's, in the Piazza in Lucina, at the end of March, 1875 ; ours on the Monti, in the Via Urbana, on the last day of March, 1878; to which has since beeen added the chapel of the American Baptists, opened in November, in the Via Teatro Valle, in connection with the ministry of Dr. George B. Taylor, a very worthy representative of the Southern Baptists, Richmond, Virginia. That chapel, with minister's residence over it, has cost an amount about equal to ours on the Monti, and liberal efforts
have been made in America to pay for it, and to sustain the Mission of Dr. Taylor and his Evangelists.
Churches have been organized by Mr. Wall and Dr. Taylor ; but as yet the members gathered from the Monti, under the ministry of brother Grassi and others, are numbered with the one hundred and odd enrolled in the church book of Mr. Wall. I believe about thirty of these may, with propriety, be dismissed to form the nucleus of the church, the formation of which is contemplated by Mr. Shaw, as soon as he is able to speak to them, in prospect of which he is making good progress. It is hoped that by the end of March this joyful event may be realised, and that the formation of the church may constitute the chief attraction of this year's anniversary excursion. But it will be an additional charm to have a series of united meetings of the three churches; to which may also be added the possible erection of the Hall
for Mrs. Wall's Mission to the beggars of Rome, for which funds have been collected. The Pope, the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, and the Jesuits, are leagued against these varied operations, and the Popish Press denounces the buildings as Infernal Halls,” the ministers “Missionaries of Satan,” and their church rolls “ Tablets of Perdition.” The Paris correspondent of the Times, under date December 22, telegraphs the following paragraph :
“The Vatican organ, the Voce della Verità, declares that after eight years' expenditure and efforts by British and American Protestants, and notwithstanding the motley elements to be found in Rome, with its 286,000 inhabitants,' these missionaries of Satan have scarcely inscribed 700 persons on their tablets of perdition, while in other Italian towns the failure has been even greater.'
From this it will be seen how much the brethren in Rome need the sympathy of British and American Christians—a good number of whom it is hoped will go to cheer them in the last week of March ensuing. The excursion of last year, by careful manipulation of expenses, yielded a profit of more than £100, which I had the pleasure of giving to the Building Fund and furnishing expenses of the Monti; and I purpose again appropriating all personal realized profits to the interests of the Baptist churches in Rome. I cannot at present give the exact programme, but I may
intimate my intention of leaving London on the morning or evening of Monday, March 24th ; leave Paris on Tuesday evening, the 25th, and work our way through the Mont Cenis Tunnel to Turin, Genoa, Spezia, and Pisa, to Rome, by the end of the week; then visit Naples and Pompeii, and return to Rome for the first Sunday in April (Palm Sunday), and have five or six days in Rome, allowing any who choose to stay over Easter Sunday. But, as before, arrangements can be made for such as wish to spend shorter time in Italy. The return from Rome will be by Florence, Venice, and Milan. I hope in the March Magazine to give full details of time, places to be visited, and expense. My aim in this early notification is to suggest preparation, especially by churches that may be disposed to aid their ministers in “going over to Rome” to add strength to their Protestantism.
I may just add that Mr. Shaw and his family are now comfortably domiciled in seven rooms on the first floor of the “parsonage;" Signor Grassi, his wife, and son-in-law, occupying the second floor, where a fourth room has been constructed as a study. The congregations keep up well, and Grassi preaches with great earnestness, and my last report says "he is very happy.'
About the proposed excursion, I shall be glad to receive any communication personally addressed to me at 59, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London; or at Thorncroft, Stonygate, Leicester. Leicester, Jan. 12, 1879. ,
THOMAS COOK. P.S. I wish it to be distinctly noted that all details of the arrangements for the Select Party will be under my own exclusive supervision, and I wish for all correspondence to be addressed to me personally as indicated above.
Journey to Rome.
BY REV. N. H. SHAW.
The following letter from Mr. Shaw, our first English Missionary to
You will be pleased to hear that at length we are safe in Rome. We arrived here on Saturday, the 23rd ult., after a journey of course toilsome, and not without adventure,—but, on the whole, very agreeable. When we left Dover, the “White Cliffs of Albion” were wrapt in mist, and it rained heavily; but the rain soon ceased, and the sun shone brightly as we neared the French coast. Nature and history combined to deeply interest us; and patriotism gave our last loud protest as we took our last look at old England, and reflected that we were not going on a visit, but to reside abroad. How often had I sung: "Hail: land of my birth, brightest spot upon
earth, Shall I leave thee for others ? no, never! Where e'er I may roam, still thou art my home
Old England, my country, for ever !" And now I was transferring my home (if it were not abandoning home altogether) to Italy,—but God willed it, and I was quite content.
To avoid sea-sickness I performed a feat which I havɔ never heard of Captain Webb performing: I walked across from Dover to Calais. It was not a great miracle, because I only trod the deck of the steamer. By this means I maintained my dignity. My wife proved a good sailor, but our children and servant were
as not to degrade and perpetually pauperise the people, as I fear soine systems of so-called charity do. Besides these agencies the poor are visited in their homes by the Evangelist and the ladies, and large numbers of Bibles are wisely distributed. Most touching stories were told me of the greatest success of the work, and the grateful appreciation of it by the people.
It was with tears of gladness in my eyes that I left the place; thankful that God had put it into Miss De Broen's heart to do such a work for a people who havo suffered so fearfully in and since the dark days of 1871.
I should like to advise all readers of the G. B. Mag. to procure a little book called “Mission Work in Belleville,” in which Miss Clayton gives an account of Miss Do Broen's noble work. It only costs 2s. 6d.; and I am sure the reading of it will not only awaken the best emotions, but also inspire with hopefulness all them that are engaged in hard work for the Master and men.
One incident of the journey from Paris occasioned us some difficulty and delay. Arrived at Modane, close to the mouth of the Mont Cenis Tunnel, we were informed that we could not proceed further. An avalanche, on the other side of the tunnel, had blocked up the way for two hundred yards with snow one hundred yards deep, which would take four or five days to remove. As no beds were to be had in the place, we first telegraphed, and then went back to St. Michel, perhaps twenty miles. Behold us then in the dark, in the rain, and through the mud, trudging from St. Michel Station, our little boy in my arms, and our little girl led by the hand by Mrs. Shaw, to the best inn in the place. An inn! it ought to be called a barrack. Passing through a largə kitchen, which stank abominably of garlic, &c., &c., wo ascended thirty-six stone steps, into a corridor, fifty yards long and two wide, on each side of which were the chambers, carpeted only with dirt. Then I suppose there was a fight between contending parties--of course not with fists—for
While in Paris, I went to see Miss De Broen's Mission to the Poor in Belleville, and was delighted with the work which is being done by that good young lady and her worthy assistants for the worst district in Paris. There is a Dispensary for the sick poor. There is an iron room, in which an earnest Evangelist preaches successfully to delighted hearers, and in which a certificated teacher conducts a good school for girls. These girls sang for me one of their beautiful hymns-of course in French-full of true evangelical sentiment. Miss Do Broen is also having a large house fitted up as a hospital, and for other missionary purposes.
Poor women come twice a week to sew, for which they receive a little food and money, as well as kind sympathy and instruction,—the arrangement being such
beds; but happily I, like the kings of the earth, had my fighting done for me. It was amusing to see the two maids and one man rushing about to light fires, gesticulating wildly, and shouting a jumble of Italian and French.
It was difficult to get anything to eat that did not turn the stomach; but, that feat accomplished, wo managed, though with shawls and cloaks for night dresses, to sleep sweetly; and about ten o'clock next morning, found, to our joy, that the accounts of the fall of snow had been exaggerated, and that the way would be open before the evening.
We had a magnificent reception at Rome. The station was festooned with flowers, and all was excitement. In the evening, and
the two following evenings, the city was grandly illuminated. Of course there are ignorant people, who say that all this was to welcome home the King and Queen, after the attempted assassination of His Majesty, in Naples. Alas for their ignorance ! They do not know, as I do, how fond General Baptists are of illumination.
It was Saturday when we arrived. Next day (Sunday, 24th) we worshipped in the morning, in the Piazza, in Lucina, Mr. Wall kindly introducing me to his congregation and interpreting a few words from Mr. Cooke and me. In the evening we went to the Monti, and were pleased to see Signor Grassi preaching, with apparent power, to a good congregation. After the service I ascended the platform, and, through a friend who interpreted, I addressed the people, telling them the purpose and views with which I had come and assuring them of the love and sympathy of brethren in England. They seemed to be very pleased; and my wife and I had afterwards to do an amount of hand-shaking which would knock some people up. I have heard Grassi preach several times since, and on each occasion have been pleased with what I saw, though I could not judge of what I heard. The room has generally been full before the service has closed; and once I was startled by the people clapping and shouting their approval of something our brother said.
One glance is sufficient to see how necessary it is that there should be an English hand and eye exercised; but that one glance is sufficient to inspire hope. Our first impressions are, on the whole, favourable. If some things slightly disappointed us, there are others whici were better than we feared. On the whole we like the people. We shall find
it easier to love them and labour for them than I feared we should ; and with God's blessing, I am sure we can do good work among them by and by. At present it is painful to feel our impotence. Our hearts are eloquent—but our lips are dumb.
Moreover, it is hard work to superintend workmen, and to go about buying furniture, &c., without any acquaintance with the language.
We spend hours over the dictionary at night picking out words for use next day, and then when we go to let off wbat we have charged ourselves with, we
too frequently find that we are like a man who has prepared a speech for a meeting, and then found that the meeting and its demands upon him are quite different from what he expected, and that his speech is quite useless. Such has been our work lately; and though very laborious, it will, doubtless, prove very helpful, and is better for us than if we accepted the kindly proffered help of friends who speak both languages.
We have done no sight-seeing here yet, and have no desire to at present. We are so absorbed with our own affairs that we have walked up and down the steps of the Capitol, and past the Forum, as unimpressed almost as if we had not read a line of Roman History, and were not living in the almost most famous city in the world.
Wo see and hear some things that are thoroughly English, or at least we think
There are roses blooming as if it were June. There are daisies and buttercups, violets and forget-me-nots, and mothers kissing their babies as if their hearts were in the work. And, thank God! there is the communion of saints, though under considerable difficulties at present, which, if not English, reminds us of England and loved ones there.
I must not close this letter without testifying of the great kindness of Mr. Cook. I fear he would not like me to speak of all his kindnesses, and so I forbear; but I may say that he has been to us just what they who know him best assured us he would be. By his thoughtful care, and generous as well as practical sympathy, he has justly entitled himself to our life long gratitude.
May God grant that he, and all the friends of the Mission, may be rewarded with the most complete success of this new effort at Rome. Resolved to labour hard for this, and trusting in the wisdom and might of our loving Lord, who I doubt not, has sent me here.
Progress of Missions.
BY THE REV. W. FLEMING STEVENSON.
FIFTY-ONE years ago Japan was hermetically sealed from the Gospel; Dr. Morrison was allowed to enter China, but as the servant of the East India Company, and there was no missionary besides; Judson and his wife were prisoners in Burmah, were there were just eighteen Christian natives; in India, even Heber was compelled to decline baptizing a native convert, lest he might “excite the jealousy of those whom it was desirable to conciliate.” From India to Syria there was not a missionary of the Cross; Turkey was without a missionary, and the Sultan had issued an anathema against all Christian books; two or three missionaries were along the west coast of Africa, two or three more in the south; Madagascar had scarcely been entered; the Church Missionary Society was rejoicing over its first convert in New Zealand; and only the first fruits were being slowly gathered in the South Seas. Outside Guiana and the West Indies there were not 6,000 Christians in the whole heathen world.
Now, in China there are thirty Christian churches at work, and the number of Christians is increasing sixfold each decade. Japan welcomes every Chris. tian teacher, and proclaims the Christian Sabbath as the weekly festival. For every convert that there was in Burmah, there are now a thousand; there are 350 churches, and nine-tenths of the work is done by native missionaries. There are 2,500 missionary stations in India, and nearly 2,000 of them manned by native labourers, while the Christians are increasing by more than a hundred thousand in ten years. There are self-supporting Christian congregations in Persia and on to the Black Sea; there are 5,000 communicants gathered into the mission churches of Syria. Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Liberia have powerful Christian communities aggressive upon the neighbouring heathen with the aggression of the gospel; there are 40,000 communicants in the churches of South Africa, and 45,000 children in the schools; Moffat waited years for a single conversion, and he left behind him populations that cultivate the habits of civilized life, and read the Bible in their own tongue; there are 70,000 Christians gathered into the churches of Madagascar; Polynesia is almost entirely Christian. There are 500,000 church members among the heathen, and, probably, not less than two millions connected by ties more or less loose with the Christian settlements, where 2,300 missionaries labours; and this is the result of only fifty years.
A Max-eating Alligator in Orissa. .
A CORRESPONDENT, writing from Chandbally to an Indian paper, gives some particulars of a man-eating alligator :-“The rivers of Orissa are infested with alligators, and every now and then one of these creatures acquires a reputation as a man eater, and is then hunted down. Early last week information was brought to Mr. Chapman, Inspector of Police at Chandbally, that a man had been carried off. It appears the poor fellow was lying in his boat with his feet hanging over the side, when the alligator made a snap at his feet, pulled him into the water, and made off. On receiving this report, Mr. Chapman manned his boat and set off to the Damrah river, some miles from Chandbally, in pursuit. After several hours search, the mugger was seen crossing the river, and was allowed to gain the opposite bank. After crawling up the bank, it proceeded to make a meal off its victim, and whilst so engaged, was, by a lucky shot, killed on the spot. The Inspector had it cut open, and there was found in its stomach twenty-six pairs of brass anklets and bangles, weighing no less than thirteen seers, i.e., twenty-six pounds. There were also two sets of gold earrings, and a number of toe-rings. It is supposed this alligator must have devoured four women, five children, and an unknown number of persons who wore no jewellery. Mr. Chapman deserves credit for his promptness.”