Imatges de pàgina

The Presbyterian Education Society, a co-ordinate institution, has now four hundred and seventy-one students in seventy-one seminaries of learning. During the year past one hundred and sixty-two have been received, and twenty-five have been licensed to preach the Gospel. No worthy applicant has ever been refused the benefactions of the Society, and both Boards have pledged themselves never to refuse one. They are already educating men in nearly every section of the United States, and are labouring to excite the zeal of their patrons to extend their operations until it can no longer with truth be said, “the harvest is plenteous but the labourers are few.” In view of the indispensable necessity of an increase of well-qualified ministers, in order to carry forward all the great enterprises of benevolence, and execute the command of the risen Saviour, “Go ye into all the Forld and preach the Gospel to every creature," the Assembly would earnestly commend the Education Cause to the prayers and liberality of the Churches.

The American Sunday School Union is going forward in its noble work. During the last three years it has secured the establishment of four thousand two hundred and forty-five schools in the valley of the Mississippi, embracing probably more than two hundred thousand scholars. The number of Books put in circulation in that part of our country by this enterprise is estimated to exceed half a million. The Society however consider what has been done as only a good beginning of the work that ought to be done, and proposes to carry forward a systematic course of effort to advance this cause in that part of the land. It has also undertaken the establishment of a Sabbath school in every neighbourhood in the southern states, where it is practicable, within the period of five years. Special efforts are making to enlist the churches in its aid, and the plan of their proposed operations is published in their report, which we recommend to the notice of those who love the cause of the religious education of the rising generation,

Want of space forces us to leave out much more that is interesting. Many look with misgivings on the spirit now at work in the American Church ; but if the standard of Christ be indeed the true standard, “ By their fruits ye shall know them;" then these fruits plainly show that the spirit is the spirit of the Lord. Are not its effects, love, peace and good will to men ?

VII.-Rev. MESSRS. LOWRIE AND REED. We believe that the following extract from a Philadelphia newspaper will be interesting to many in this city.

A meeting was held on Tuesday evening, May 28th, in the Second Presbyterian Church in this city, in anticipation of the embarkation of the Rev. Messrs. John C. Lowrie, and William Reed, with their wives. The exercises were introduced with singing and prayer by the Rev. Dr. Green. Each of the Missionaries then made an appropriate and impressive address on the subject of Missions, after which, with their partners, they sang a Farewell Hymn, to which many seemed to listen with strong emotion. The Rev. Dr. Alexander then addressed the assembly, on the duty of Christians towards the Heathen, in a pungent and earnest manner ; when, after an appropriate Anthem, and the taking up of a collection in aid of the Mis: sion, the services of the evening were concluded with prayer by the Rev. Dr. Ely. It had been suggested before the close, that the Missionaries would, after the be. nediction, address such as might choose to remain, and a large number continued

After a few words from the Missionaries, and the Rev. Mr. Dwight, of Massachusetts, a relative of Mrs. Reed,--the Hon. Walter Lowrie, Secretary of the United States Senate, and father of one of the Missionaries, rose, and spoke of the feelings with which he was about to part with his eldest son, and tbe sentiments which he entertained in respect to the enterprise. It would be im. possible in this brief notice to give any idea of this address ; of the manner in which it was spoken, or the effect which it produced. Of the whole exercise on this most solemn and delightful occasion, it may be said, that it constituted one of the most interesting Missionary meetings which was ever beld in this city. Long may the impression continue, and rich and abundant be its fruits in increased effort and prayer in behalf of the perishing

Heathen !

in their seats.

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August, 1834.

1.- Religion and Government of Manipur, with some Remarks on the Manipuri Alphabet, and its Adaptation to the Roman

Character, by Lieut. Gordon. [In our June No. appeared a general description of Manipur, by Major Grant, with some remarks on the state and influence of Hinduism in that country, by Capt. Pemberton. We have since received much valuaable information from Lieut. Gordon, an active and a useful friend to the cause of improvement in the East. From his letter, Manipur seems to present a most promising field for education and for missionary exertions. The people have already changed their religion at the command of their Rájá: Hinduism, if they believe in it, sits very loosely on their minds: and it seems probable, that their present prince (an infant) will receive a sound English education. In short, if we were to theorize out for our. selves the best circumstances of time and opportunity for the regeneration of a country, we could scarcely have discovered a fitter time, or a more suitable field. This will be evident at once from Lieut. Gordon's clear and interesting account of the comparative power and influence of government and religion on the minds of the people.-Ed.]

1.- Peculiar State of Hinduism in Manipur. Hinduism here, as detailed by Major Grant, is blended with the business, and more particularly with the amusements of the people, to a degree which exceeds any thing I have met with in Hindustan; yet still I do not think it has by any means taken an equally deep root in their minds. Taking their cue from the court, they seem to follow Hinduism more because it is fashionable, gratifies their vanity, and affords many opportunities for amusement and display, than from any inward conviction of the truth of its doctrines, or of the necessity of following its precepts as a means of attaining happiness in a future state. A strict observance of Hinduism they term lém-é, or genteel. Eating animal food, eating without bathing, or in any other way breaking Hindu observances, they term chop-é, or vulgar. People who unfortunately lose caste are not here, as in Hindustan, perpetually excommunicated. Several men holding high situations, and in every respect admitted to the society of their equals in

rank, confess to have stuck at nothing in the shape of animal food during the time of the Burmese, and some who were Mus. sulmans in Bengal are here recognised as Rájputs. The process of purification in this case is rather curious: the candidate for re-admission to caste being obliged as a preliminary step to live and eat with the Nágas for twelve months. Even Kabas and Nágas find little difficulty in becoming Rájputs, although Hindús of inferior caste seldom or never do so. I have seen several Kabas who have taken up their residence in Manipur since the cession of their country to the Burmese, sporting the Rájput string and tilak ; and the late Rájá, whose mother was a Kaba, acted as guru to one or two even while residing in their own country, and thus converted them into Rájputs. Nága slaves soon assume the family names of their masters and their caste too, and on acquiring their freedom, which many do, set up as regular Rájputs ; indeed a considerable proportion of the population, and several of the first families in the country, are well known to be so descended. Many old people, who find constant bathing in all weathers unpleasant, give up the observance of Hinduism altogether, and yet continue to reside with, and to be respected by, their families who do not. Many of the observances of the religion they professed before the adoption of Hinduism are still practised, and they have a regular set of priests and priestesses unconnected with the latter.

II.-Form and Influence of the Manipuri Government. The government of this country differs widely in many respects from that of the native states in Hindustan, and in its internal arrangement appears to me most to resemble a large family, of which the Rájá forms the head, his relations and connexions the members, the chiefs the stewards, and the whole people the servants.

These last are divided into numerous classes, all of which are in some way or other employed in administering to the state and comforts of the royal family. Some provide grain, others salt, others cloth, others silk, others grass, timber, earthen pots, &c. &c. ; in fact, some people, in greater or smaller numbers, are set aside for providing every article that can possibly be required: each set has its sirdars, who, after deducting their own allowances, and the shares apportioned to other men in power, make over the remainder to the head steward, who sells the surplus for his own and his master's benefit, when he does not receive payment directly in cash, as is some times the case. All the above-mentioned classes are termed tributaries, considered inferior, and, except in very particular cases, do not give personal attendance ; and when they are, as is sometimes but not often the case, required on military expeditions, they generally act as porters.

Then comes the next great division of the people of Manipur, called the Punna, or those who give personal attendance at the rate

of ten days in forty. These are also divided into many classes, of which the sepoys form the most numerous ; then come horsemen, spearsmen, sword-bearers, messengers, body-servants, housebuilders, grooms, doctors, barbers, and in fact every description of people who are required for the defence and police of the country, and for the state and comfort of the royal family and men in office. Not only are all the sirdars to all these classes appointed by the Rájá, but he has also the power of removing any man he pleases from a respectable to a disreputable class, and vice versa; and when I tell you besides, that every man must continue through life to be in some way or other a servant of government, and that no man here can resign in disgust, you

will at once perceive that the power of the ruling

prince, be it for good or evil, must to an unusual degree be great. . In fact, the whole people look up to their government, not only as the source of all honor and emolument, but also as the authority on which all through every grade continually depend for the station they hold in society, and to which they look up as the model by which they form their manners, fashions, and religious observances.

It was the command and example of a prince of Manipur which first introduced Hinduism. The authority of another at once caused the discontinuance of the observances of the sect first followed, and the adoption of those now in practice: and to the influence and example of the government is to be attributed the universal prevalence of the observances of one particular sect in Manipur, which contrasts so strongly with the numerous differences existing amongst the Hindus I believe every where else. I hope therefore Major Grant and I may not be considered too sanguine in predicting, that the civilization of the prince will be rapidly followed by the moral and political improvement of the people of Manipur, and through them of the numerous surrounding tribes; and I cannot but think it to be the duty of Government, in their character of regenerators of India, to spare no reasonable expence, and to leave no means untried which may be likely to prove successful in bestowing a good education on the infant Prince of Manipur, and thus avail ourselves of the only opportunity we may ever have of enlisting in the service of the Great Cause, one who has the prospect of acquiring an influence, as regards his own dominions, greater than that possessed by, perhaps, any other individual in India*.

[We have no doubt, from the liberal and benevolent character of the present Government that this appeal will be listened to, and such measures taken as may be best fitted for securing such grand, such truly noble results. The mother of the young Rájá has expressed her decided intention to have her son taught English, as soon as he can speak; and the chiefs, and people in general, seem well inclined to the proposal.]

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