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MADAGASCAR. SINCE the date of our last number no additional intelligence has been received from MADAGASCAR. This is attributable to the interruption and almost suspension of intercourse between that island and Mauritius, from the tempestuous state of the weather, during the months of our winter and early spring. Should, therefore, no letters be received for the next two or three months, it need not create surprise or apprehension. In the meantime, from the facts already before us, we may indulge the most cheering expectations, redouble our exertions in behalf of our Christian brethren and their benighted countrymen, and sanctify all by fervent and dependent prayer that God would be pleased still to extend His Church in that favoured land in which His power and grace have been so wonderfully displayed.
Our readers will be gratified to find that the List of Contributions for the erection of the proposed Churches in ANTANANARIVO has been considerably enlarged during the past month, and now exceeds Six Thousand Pounds. This large amount has been raised by the liberality of comparatively fer donors, as, in consequence of the pressing and continued claims upon our Churches on behalf of the suffering multitudes in the Northern Districts, the Directors have felt it unsuitable hitherto to apply for Congregational Collections. But they hope that ere long the urgent calls of Madagascar may be presented by our Ministerial Brethren from their pulpits, and the object advanced by the general Contributions of thousands who, it cannot be doubted, would be willing to render aid according to their ability.
The important intelligence conveyed last month in reference to the number of Malagasy Christians found at great distances from the capital, and in different districts of the island, has induced the Directors to determine to strengthen the Mission by the appointment of four additional labourers, and we trust that in the course of the spring the Great Head of the Church may supply men of suitable qualifications and Christian devotedness for this sacred work.
tively few donors,es on behalf of the suitanguitable hitherto t
On the 22nd of December ult. the Directors gave expression to this deliberate purpose in the following Resolution, in which they feel confident they will share the deep sympathy and generous support of the friends of the Society throughout the country :
“ That the very interesting and encouraging intelligence received by Mr.
Ellis as to the number of Native Christians in distant parts of
But although it is necessary, and indeed essential at the present moment to increase the number of Protestant Missionaries, yet our hope for the evangelization of Madagascar rests mainly on the instrumentality of Native Christians. Many of these God has highly qualified for the service by spiritual endowments; men who, with suitable educational training will, we trust, under the Divine blessing, prove the most effective agents in diffusing the blessings of the Gospel among the millions of their unenlightened countrymen.
MISSIONARY HISTORY OF MADAGASCAR,
PAST AND PRESENT. We have much pleasure in announcing the publication of several interesting and instructive volumes, presenting the past history and the future pros. pects of the work of God in Madagascar. In addition to a small Publication which the Directors have issued, entitled, “MADAGASCAR, ITS MisSION AND ITS MARTYRS," they are gratified to announce the preparation of an interesting little work by Mes. ELLIS, styled, “MADAGASCAR, ITS SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS PROGRESS ;" and a third volume, published by Messrs. Seeley, Fleet Street, entitled, “ THE GOSPEL IN MADAGASCAR." Each of these productions, though the subject is the same, is written in varied style and form, and we most earnestly hope that they will be read by thousands with pleasure and instruction. Such publications are greatly required, for the history of the Martyr Church is comparatively little known. This can scarcely excite surprise, as its earlier events occurred more than forty years since, and the continued and aggravated sufferings of the Native Christians were unknown in their fearful variety and amount, until the removal of the late Queen. We trust, therefore, that the volumes enumerated will be attentively read, and familiarize multitudes with the sufferings and the triumphs of the Malagasy Christians, awaken devout thanksgiving to their Divine preserver, and lead to enlarged and vigorous exertions for the extension of His kingdom throughout the island.
WITH feelings of thankfulness to God, we bave received from three of our Missionary Brethren intelligence of the same cheering character--the renunciation of idolatry by three young Hindoos, and their public profession of the faith of Christ. These happy events occurred in different spheres of labour. The first, in CALCUTTA, the capital of India, is the result of the labours of our Brethren in the Bhowanipore Educational Institution. This young convert appears to have been influenced by what he had seen and heard in the conversion of a fellow pupil. The second youth was brought to the knowledge of the Saviour in the city of BENARES, in connection also with the educational labours of our Missionaries in that city. The third, a Brahmin, had been associated as a teacher in the Mission School at BangaLORE. Thus the good seed, widely scattered in different soils, and watered by the same Divine influence, brought forth good fruit. All the converts had to endure the same test of sincerity—the bitter reproaches, and even the personal violence, of their nearest earthly connexions. Yet they were able by Divine grace to prove that they loved their Saviour more than father, mother, or wife, or home, or lands, and, in obedience to His command, each youthful disciple took up his cross, and suffered the loss of all things that he might follow Christ. May they prove faithful unto death, and then receive from their Redeemer the crown of life!
*DEAR SIR,-On Sabbath morning, January 12th, I had the gratification of baptizing a young man at Cooly Bazaar Chapel, in whose history you may feel interested.
" Koilas Chunder Dass is about seventeen years of age. He was a pupil in our Institution when his cousin Nundolal Dass was baptized, five years ago. This occurrence, as usual in such cases, led to his removal, and he was sent to a school belonging to the Church Missionary Society, a short distance from us. After remaining there for about a year he returned to our Institution, where he continued two years, and then, after a brief interval, he obtained a situation in a Government office, wbich he still holds.
* The conversion of his cousin called his attention to Christianity, though he was then too young to act for himself in such a matter; it led him, however, to attend our Bhowanipore Bazaar Chapel, where he heard much instruction from our Native Preachers. One thing especially struck him. He often heard the Hindoos oppose the preachers, and call them opprobrious names, and he thought how much better it would be if they would rather go home and think over what they heard. He pursued the latter course, and often after he had retired to rest, reflected on the solemn truths he had heard. This deepened his desire for more religious instruction, and to unfold to some other heart the new-born wishes of his own; but he found it difficult to do this, and though he often followed the preachers as they retired from the Chapel to their homes, he never had courage sufficient to speak to them.
“ He was in this state when a year ago Jodunath was baptized, and since Jodu had been his class-fellow, this strengthened his interest in Christian truth, and he felt an earnest desire to visit him and enquire into his views of religion. After three or four visits, Jodunath said to bim on one occasion, "What are you doing about religion? See what Nundolal has done. Why don't you do the same?" He replied, 'I intend to do as you and Nundolal have done.' With the zeal of a new convert, Jodu wished at once to introduce him to some of our Christians, that he might be instructed in the way of God more fully.“. From that time he was under the guidance of our Native Preachers until December, when an anonymous letter was sent to his uncle, stating that Koilas visited the Christians, and read in secret their books, and this, of course, led to the adoption of means to prevent our further intercourse with him. Had they pursued a moderate course we might have still kept Koilas as an inquirer, seeing him whenever we could ; but when they designed to remove him from his situation and from Calcutta, that he might be beyond the reach of our influence, we felt it necessary to prevent such a step by receiving him at once. Nor, indeed, had we any strong reasons for delaying his baptism. He had always exhibited an earnest, sincere, and intelligent state of mind. His views of Christian truth, though not deep, were sound and clear, and his general conduct was such as quite to satisfy us. Mr. Payne had much more intercourse with him than I had, and it was his encouragement and instruction which finally introduced Kvilas into the visible Church of Christ.
" I remain faithfully yours, “Rev. Dr. Tidman."
(Signed) “E. STORROW.
“18th Sept. 1862. “MY DEAR SIR,-In our last Report Mr. Sherring mentioned two very hopeful enquirers, one a teacher, the other a pupil in the Central School, who seemed 'ready to give up all for Christ; but just as they were about to take the step, the fear of man prevailed over their better feelings and held them back,'
HOPE AND FEAR REGARDING THE ENQUIRER. When I returned to Benares from Mirzapore and resumed my work in the school, I found that the latter had returned to his class ; and though deluding himself by putting off his public confession of Christ, still professed to be a believer in the Divine mission of the Saviour. He was often faithfully spoken to both by Mr. Sherring and by me, and I believe often prayed for. The Native Christian brethren also endeavoured to lead our young friend to decision for Christ, and this had a most beneficial influence upon him. God was evidently not leaving him to himself, but still there was always something in the way when I spoke to Shir Gobind. A short time before our week of special prayer, he was again most earnestly and affectionately warned of the danger of delay. He told me that the only difficulty was leaving his wife behind, as he felt that if she did not accompany him before he was baptized, he had little hope of rescuing her afterwards. Prayer was our only refuge.
TRIAL OF FAITH. "Everybody who knows Benares knows that it is the most difficult thing to get a Foung woman out of the midst of it, when giving up Hinduism, without causing a serious disturbance. But God, our Father, helped us. After the week of prayer Shir Gobind seemed to have strength given him to dare all for Christ. He came to me on Saturday, the 6th of September, and told me his intention to make an attempt to bring his wife out of the city, as she was perfectly willing to accompany him. He was unable to do anything on Saturday or Sunday, but on Monday, the Sth, to our great joy, he drove into our Mission compound with his wife, having, Fithout the least disturbance, been able to get her quietly conveyed away in a close carriage.
DECISION AND BAPTISM. " As soon as they arrived I summoned all our Native brethren to our place of wor. ship, and after a most solemn and refreshing service of prayer and praise, in which Mr. Hewlett and our senior Catechist took part, I baptized our young brother. This was the first convert from Hinduism I had ever baptized, and I must not attempt to describe my feeling of gratitude to Almighty God for this great privilege.
PARENTAL GRIEF AND VIOLENT OPPOSITION. "But ourjoy was not to be unmixed; before the day closed we had much to try our faith. Within an hour or two after the baptism the widowed mother of Shir Gobind, and the parents of his wife, with others, came to the Mission House, and used entreaty, violence, in fact everything in their power, to move us to give up at least the wife of our friend. She had not been baptized, and they thought that if they got possession of her they might still prevent her from becoming a Christian. Mr. Hewlett and I, aided by our Christian brethren, did all we could. As sons we felt for these mothers, and could hardly keep from weeping with them; but still our duty to Christ and to these converts was plain. We did all we could ; but reasoning, &c., seemed all thrown away. The mother of Shir Gobind, a great stout woman, of strong passions, acted in the most violent manner. She not only employed her tongue but also her fists, in a most unwomanlike way, using the most abusive and vile language to us Missionaries, and striking some of our Native Christians. Finding that nothing we could do or say was of any avail, and feeling that we were likely to have people collecting from the city, we asked the aid of our dear Baptist brethren, who are nearest to us of any Missionaries, the Rev. Messrs. Heinig and Parsons, and our Christian friend, Dr. Lazarus, that we might be strengthened by their presence and prayers. For hours our brethren endured with us, most patiently, an amount of bad language, which for vileness, &c., they had, though old Missionaries, never heard equalled.
APPEAL FOR PROTECTION TO CIVIL AUTHORITIES. " As the evening was closing we all felt that it was necessary to do something to prevent a breach of the peace, as numbers were collecting about us, and the brethren thought it was our duty to seek the aid of the police. I accordingly applied to the officer in charge of the military police, who immediately sent a subordinate European officer to inquire into the matter. This gentleman came to our place and investigated the whole business. Though willing to aid us, he seemed, through misunderstanding of a few sentences in our new penal code, to think it was his duty to give the wife up to her parent, as her lawful guardian,