Fruits of Toil in the London Missionary Society Part 5

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Long has the night of heathenism and of wickedness ruled over the world. "Darkness has covered the earth, and gross darkness the people." But the gun has fired and "THE MORNING COMETH." The nations once wrapped in gloom are waking to life and truth. Divine light is quickening all the pulses of human thought; the heart beats more warmly; the eye looks upward, and the great world is drawing nearer to its Father. The Gentiles are coming to the light, and kings to the brightness of His rising. And when at length the Sun of Righteousness shall rise in power, His new creation, "with verdure clad, with beauty, vigour, grace adorned," shall give Him loving welcome; and He shall shine, to set no more, on "the new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."


Extension of our Missions.

One valuable result has followed the recent revision of the Society's missions, which was scarcely expected when that revision began. The Directors already find themselves able to contemplate an extension of our missions into new localities long crying out for aid. They are moving in the following direction:--

For several years past the SOUTH SEA MISSION has taken up but a small quant.i.ty of new ground. Small groups like the Ellice group, the Lagoon Islands, and the Tuamotus, with a few hundred people, have been instructed. But since Niue and the Loyalty group were evangelised, nearly twenty years ago, not a single large island has been occupied. Meanwhile the Theological Inst.i.tutions have been training native students in considerable numbers, and many are now ready for evangelistic work. The Directors therefore are anxious to commence such work in new localities without delay; and they have arranged that, during her next year's voyage, the _John Williams_ shall visit the large islands of the northern New Hebrides, together with the Kingsmill and other groups, in order to establish new missions among the thousands of heathen which they contain. The Directors hope that not less than thirty competent and devoted native evangelists will go forth on this expedition. In due time English missionaries will follow: and three of our valued brethren on the spot have already volunteered for the service. In Eastern Polynesia the brethren in Tahiti and the Leeward Islands will complete on system the efforts which they have recently commenced in the Tuamotu or Pearl Islands. For this desired extension funds have been already provided or offered by two of the Society's warm friends.

The Mission towards CENTRAL AFRICA suggested by Mr. Moffat and Dr.

Livingstone, was zealously commenced eleven years ago. Successfully established, notwithstanding many disasters, it has continued to hold its ground. When their revision commenced, the Directors proposed at once to strengthen this important mission. Several new stations have been named by the missionaries which the Directors hope in due time to occupy. During the last two years three new missionaries have been added to the former staff of labourers, and two others will join them next summer. The missionaries north of the Orange River will then be thirteen in number, of whom nine will be engaged in direct missionary work. This increase, required by our duty to the tribes waiting on our instructions, is entirely dependent upon the Society's general funds.

Many years ago the MONGOLIAN MISSION, which had been carried on by our honoured brethren, Messrs. Swan and Stallybra.s.s, near the Siberian edge of the Tartar deserts and among the Buriat Mongols, was broken up by the Russian Government, and our brethren were withdrawn. The Directors have not forgotten that mission, nor lost their interest in the Mongol tribes. Recent enquiries have shown that the effort may be renewed with excellent prospects, on the China side of Mongolia, and that the city of Peking will form a suitable base of operations. Among their present missionary students the Directors believe that they have found a suitable man; and he will proceed in the spring to Peking to take up his new position. The funds necessary at the outset have already been provided in the generous gift of Mrs.


Generally in INDIA and CHINA the Directors have been enlarging their operations by the completion and filling in of existing agencies.

New chapels at Tientsin; a chapel and dwelling house in Wu-chang; two houses in Canton; a school and dwelling in Almorah; a house at the newly-founded station of Ranee Khet; a new High School in Benares; a medical missionary in Singrowli; an additional house in Calcutta; additional missionaries in South India and Travancore; all have been asked for: and the greatness of the requirements bears testimony to the importance of the sphere and of the opportunities which are open to the Society in these Eastern Empires. Several of the buildings have already been provided or have been sanctioned: others are under consideration. But any solid extension of these two great missions must for the present be deferred.

The needs of MADAGASCAR cannot be overlooked. The call of G.o.d's providence and grace is so clear that the Directors have not hesitated to arrange for a decided increase of the English staff.

Five ordained missionaries will proceed to the Island early in the coming summer; and one, if not two, medical missionaries. The Betsileo province has long waited for help, and it is proposed to place, if possible, four ordained missionaries and one medical man amongst its important and populous towns. The mere sending of these brethren will cost a sum of 1,500 pounds; their maintenance will require 2,000 pounds a-year. The Directors however cannot hesitate to offer this aid to the churches and people among whom the Spirit of G.o.d is so powerfully at work: and they do it in the faith that the Lord to whose call they listen will prompt his people to provide the means by which the brethren shall be sustained. They have had great difficulty in finding suitable medical missionaries, and they ask their friends to make it a matter of earnest prayer that the Spirit of G.o.d will touch the hearts of the right men to offer their service to His cause.

The Directors adopt these moderate measures for the extension of the Society's usefulness in hope. From every quarter they continue to receive gratifying proofs of the increased interest taken in their work. The attendance at the autumn gatherings of country auxiliaries has been large, and the spirit that has been displayed was generous and earnest. At Birmingham and Bristol; at Hastings and Halifax; at York and Leeds this spirit was specially manifest: the Bristol meetings, always warm and earnest, were this year enthusiastic. And everywhere the missionary brethren testify to the kindly manner in which they are received and heard.

G.o.d is giving us the means of usefulness. He is also bringing a steady supply of suitable men. But the fields are "white unto the harvest,"

and we must pray the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers to reap in his name. To extend our work larger means are required; and the friends of the Society will see that all additions to the present income will be available for the extension so desirable. Never were the exhortation and prediction more applicable: "Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations; SPARE NOT, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes." "And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, THAT THEY ARE THE SEED WHICH THE LORD HATH BLESSED."


_November, 1869_.

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Fruits of Toil in the London Missionary Society Part 5 summary

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