A HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS
By Thomas Armitage
THE AMERICAN BAPTISTS
XIII. FOREIGN MISSIONS--ASIA AND EUROPE
Scarcely had the Baptists adjusted themselves to their new circumstances in the American republic, when a fresh element was thrown into their life by enlarging their conceptions of duty to Christ both in sending the Gospel to foreign lands and in doubling their efforts to evangelize their own country. American Baptists were called to foreign mission work in 1814 on this wise. In 1812 Rev. Adoniram Judson and his wife, Ann Hasseltine Judson, with Rev. Luther Rice, were appointed by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to establish missions in Asia. Messrs. Judson and Rice sailed in different vessels to India, and on their voyage, without consultation with each other, they re-examined the New Testament teaching on baptism. The result was that they both adopted the views of the Baptists, and, in loyalty to God's word, when they reached Calcutta, they were immersed on a personal profession of their faith in Christ. At once they made this change known to the world, and were cut off from their former denominational support.
Mr. Rice returned to the United States to awaken in the Baptist Churches a zeal for the establishment of missions in India, he was heartily welcomed, and measures were adopted for the temporary support of Mr. and Mrs, Judson. Mr. Rice traveled from Boston through the Middle and Southern States, and his addresses kindled a wide-spread enthusiasm, which resulted in the gathering of a convention, composed of thirty-six delegates from eleven States and the District of Columbia, who met in Philadelphia, May 18th, 1814, when a society was formed, called The Baptist General Convention for Foreign Missions. Dr. Furman, of South Carolina, was President of this body, Dr. Baldwin, of Massachusetts, Secretary, and Mr. and Mrs. Judson were adopted as its first missionaries. Rev. Dr. Baldwin, of Boston, was also elected President of a Board which was to conduct the operations of the Convention, which office he filled till his death in 1825, and Drs. Holcomb and Rogers were elected Vice-Presidents. Mr. John Cauldwell was chosen as Treasurer, and Rev. Dr. Staughton as Corresponding Secretary. Mr. Rice was chosen 'To continue his itinerant services in these United States for a reasonable time, with a view to excite the public mind more generally to engage in missionary exertions and to assist in organizing societies and institutions for carrying the missionary design into execution.'
The Convention itself came to be known as the 'Triennial Convention,' from the fact that it met once in three years, and the Board of the Convention was located in Boston. Mr. Rice collected a considerable amount of money, and in 1815 Mr. Hough, of New Hampshire, and Miss White, of Philadelphia, were appointed missionaries. The first triennial session of the Convention was held in Philadelphia, May, 1817, when Dr. Furman was re-elected President; and Dr. Sharp, of Boston, Secretary. At this meeting the Convention enlarged its work by appropriating a portion of its funds to domestic missionary purposes, and also by determining 'to institute a classical and theological seminary' to train young men for the ministry, which measures, as we shall see, diverted the Convention considerably from the primary intention of its founders.
Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Judson were driven by the intolerance of the government from Bengal and proceeded to Rangoon, to commence missionary work in Burma, where they arrived July 13th, 1813. Rangoon was the chief sea-port of Burma, and the most important center of Buddhism. A feeble attempt to establish a mission here had been made by a son of Dr. Carey, but it had been abandoned; and Mr. and Mrs. Judson found themselves in this heathen city, without an English-speaking helper, a grammar, a dictionary or a printed book. They began the study of the language, in which, twenty-one years later, Mr. Judson was able to lay the whole Bible, faithfully translated, before the Burman people. Mr. and Mrs. Judson celebrated the Lord's Supper alone in Rangoon, September 19th, 1813; but Mr. and Mrs. Hough joined them in October, 1816, and Messrs. Wheelock and Coleman in 1819. A zayat, or shed, for the preaching of the Gospel, was opened on the way-side in April, 1819. Though they had labored much privately, this was 'their first attempt at public worship. Their first congregation numbered fifteen, but was both inattentive and disorderly. Besides the Sabbath service, the missionaries used the zayat from morning till night every day in the week, to teach the way of salvation to all who came. The first convert, Moung Nau, was baptized June 27th, 1819; two others were immersed in November of that year.
As the laws of Burma made it a capital crime for a native to change his religion, Messrs. Judson and Coleman thought it prudent to visit the Emperor at the capital, that they might, if possible, secure toleration for the converts who had become Christians. They went up on this errand to Amarapura in December, carrying to the Emperor an elegant Bible in six volumes, enveloped, according to Burman taste, in a beautiful wrapper. A tract, also, was prepared and presented, containing a brief summary of Christianity. The Emperor read but two sentences of the tract and threw it from him in displeasure; he also declined to accept the Bible.
The missionaries returned to Rangoon to report their failure to the converts, dreading its possible effect upon their minds; but, to their surprise, these remained steadfast to their profession, and begged their teachers to abide with them until there should be eight or ten converts, at least. If then they should depart, one of the converts would he appointed to teach the rest, and so the new religion might spread itself. Mr. Coleman went to Chittagong, a part of India which had been ceded to the English Crown, to provide a refuge for the converts in case they should be driven by persecution to seek the protection of the British government, and he died while on this mission of love. Mrs. Judson visited England, Scotland, and the United States and awakened a deep interest in the work. Mr. and Mrs. Wade joined the mission; but, just as prosperity began to dawn on the missionaries' labors, the first Burmese war broke out, suspending their operations for nearly three years, and subjecting them to the gravest apprehensions for their own lives. The Burmans did not understand the difference between Englishmen and Americans, and arrested indiscriminately every person wearing a hat. An executioner was placed over Messrs. Judson and Wade, who, with bent heads and bared necks, awaited the fatal blow, the order having been given that the Burman executioner should strike off their heads the moment that a British shot should be fired upon Rangoon. The shot was fired, but the executioner fled in terror, and the two men of God escaped. After this, Judson was confined in various prisons for two years and three months, the victim of agonizing sufferings. Meanwhile, his precious manuscript of the New Testament was for a season buried in the earth under a floor, and afterwards sewed up in an old pillow, which was tossed about from hand to hand till the close of the war, too hard to tempt the head of the poorest by the thought that it was worth destruction.
During the war a native preacher remained in Rangoon; yet the converts were scattered, and the pastor suffered scourging, the stocks and imprisonment, for the name of Christ. In a short time after the war, however, the Church numbered twenty members, nearly all baptized by him. The terms of peace annexed a large portion of Burman territory to British India, and from that time the mission fell under British protection.
Not far from this period the KARENS first received the Gospel. They had long been oppressed by their Burman neighbors, and lived hidden in the hills and forests. It was, therefore, a thrilling scene when thirty-four of that people were baptized by Mr. Mason, in the presence of Mr. Boardman, their apostle. Up to that time there had been but twenty-two converts in fifteen years including the capital of Burma, Amherst and Tavoy. At the close of this baptismal scene, the first-fruits of Mr. Boardman's labor amongst the Karens, his joyful spirit ascended to its rest. This people seemed ripe for the Gospel from the beginning, while the prouder Burman race have received the Gospel slowly, only about 1,200 having become members of our churches down to this date; about 30,000 Karens have become Christians, and are now gathered into Gospel churches. For the general convenience of our Burman missions, the printing department, the Karen College, and the Theological Seminary are located in Rangoon. Mr. Bennett first established the press and had charge of it for more than half a century, accomplishing incalculable good thereby to all Burma. The Karen College was opened in 1872, with seventeen students, under the Presidency of Ray, Dr. Binney, in buildings endowed by the late Professor Ruggles, of Washington. The Theological Seminary was established by Dr. Binney, in 1859, though instruction had been previously given, at different times and places, by Dr. Wade and others, to candidates for the ministry. Rev. D. A. W. Smith, D.D., has presided over the seminary since the death of Dr. Binney, aided by four native Karen teachers, educated men, prepared for their office. It numbers about sixty students, and yearly graduates about one fourth of that number to preach to their own people. Dr. Smith has nearly finished a complete commentary of the Bible in Karen, and prepared and issued for the use of Karen students an elementary treatise on logic and Wayland's 'Elements of Moral Science,' and for several years he has put into Karen the 'International Sunday-School Lessons' for Karen Sabbath-schools. Besides superintending the Burman work in and around Rangoon, Dr. Stevens has instructed several Burman assistants. The first female convert in Burmah, Mah Menia, was baptized by torch-light, on the night of July 18th, 1820. Such has been the growth of the Burman missions that amongst the various peoples of the empire there are 98 missionaries, male and female, 118 ordained native preachers, and 25,371 members. The war of 1826 was followed by the death of the heroic Mrs. Judson, in Amherst, where she now sleeps in Jesus. After her death, her husband transferred most of his personal property to the missionary treasury.
MAULMAIN, the chief station of the British power in Burma, was thenceforward made the head-quarters of the mission. Work was begun there in 1827, between which time and September, 1828, twenty-one converts were baptized and a native Church was formed, numbering thirty members. In 1834 Dr. Judson completed the revision of the New Testament and finished the translation of the Old. A mission press was set up in Maulmain by Mr. Bennett in 1830, which was followed within a brief interval by three others. The printing of the Bible in four or five languages and dialects, besides tracts, school-books and other works, has kept the press--which in 1862 was transferred to Rangoon--constantly busy. Maulmain was the first seat of the Karen Theological Seminary and of Miss Haswell's school for native girls, established in 1867; which in five years numbered 103 pupils. Here also Dr. Haswell translated the New Testament into Peguan, and here he rests in hope of a blessed resurrection. A Baptist Church was formed here, in connection with the British army, and many English soldiers became the disciples of Christ. The native Christians are well trained in the art of giving for religions purposes. In seven years they gave over $5,000 in gold for the support of the Gospel and mission schools. In connection with the station at Maulmain there were reported in 1886 about twenty Churches and more than 1,100 members.
Dr. Judson did His last work at Maulmain. He had spent ten years at Rangoon, two at Ava, and a brief time at Amherst, after which he removed to Maulmain and continued there to the close of life, chiefly pursuing the work of translation; though he kept the oversight of the Burmese Church there. The last leaf of his translation of the Scriptures was finished on January 31st, 1831, and he put his revised translation to press in 1810. When His health became thoroughly broken, he left this place under the advice of his physician, on board the French bark Aristide Marie, bound for the Island of Bourbon, in the hope that the voyage might prolong his life. But nine days after his embarkment, when scarcely three days out of sight of the Burmese mountains, he began to sink rapidly. All that love and skill could do for him were done, but at fifteen minutes past four o'clock P. M., on the 12th of April, 1850, he passed to the bosom of Jesus, as peacefully as a child would drop asleep in its mother's arms. At eight o'clock the same evening, the crew, his two broken-hearted Burman assistants and Mr. Ranney assembled on the larboard part of the ship, and in reverent silence committed his body to the keeping of the Indian Ocean. No eye now rests upon the spot that closed over him but that of the true God. In latitude 13 degrees north, longitude 93 degrees east, God found a grave for one of His noblest sons on this globe. None can drop a tear or raise a shaft there, but His eternal monument lives in redeemed Burma. She glorifies God in him who to her was made the savor of life unto life.
TAVOY was the third of the Burman missions: its establishment being due to a suggestion of the first native Burman preacher, who proposed to make a missionary journey there in 1827. Here that great work amongst the Karens commenced; here the first Karen preacher was baptized, and near Tavoy Mr. Mason performed his first official act as a missionary in baptizing thirty-four Karens. It is nearly two hundred miles distant from Maulmain and thirty-five miles from the sea, on Tavoy River. Its population at the opening of the mission, April 18th, 1828, was about 6,000; it is in British Burma and a stronghold, of idolatry. Two converts soon formed the nucleus of the Church, and a missionary spirit possessed the converts, who visited many villages far and near with the word of life. The Karens of the vicinity held a tradition that at some time messengers from the West would bring to them a revelation from God. Hence, they were prepared to receive our missionaries with open arms and to accept their message. The printing-press was located at Tavoy for some time, and a chapel was built in the town, not far from the grave of Boardman. The Karen Church in the town is weak, but many Churches exist in the forest and jungle, some miles away. Mr. Morrow is the faithful missionary to the Karens there, and his wife, an educated physician, is his efficient helper. The Tavoy Association numbers 23 Churches, 950 members, 11 ordained and 10 unordained preachers, and 13 schools. The second war between Burma and Great Britain, 1852, was brief, but had an important influence on the missionary work. It resulted in the annexation of a large portion of Southern Burma to the British realm in India, which opened a wider field for preaching and relieved the converts from the fear of persecution by a heathen government; our mission in Burma, therefore, took a sudden expansion. New stations were commenced in Tonngoo, on the Sitang River, Henthada, and other places, and many triumphs crowned the labors of our brethren. Toungoo, one of the new stations, opened by Dr. Mason in 1853, was one of the most fruitful in converts. The zeal of Sail Quala, a native preacher, was awakened through a man from Toungoo, who had been converted three years previously. The second day after the beginning of the mission, a hundred Burmans called on Dr. Mason to inquire about the new religion, and in a few weeks found several disciples. Ill health compelled Dr. Mason to leave for the United States for a time; but the mission, left in charge of San Quala, seemed to be blessed with a new Pentecost. Active, faithful, wise and energetic, this native preacher took a broad field, planned prudently, superintended efficiently, and commended himself to all by his self-denying labors. In the first year of the mission 741 were baptized. Within a year and nine months he had administered the ordinance to 1,860 converts and formed 28 churches, while hundreds of converts were still waiting to be baptized. In 1856 zayats were erected in forty villages, where the people had renounced idolatry, and ten native preachers in the district were supported by the Maulmain Missionary Society. In a single month of 1857 Mr. Whitaker baptized 233 converts; two Associations were organized, and various Karen tribes were brought under Christian influences. Dr. Mason died in 1874. Mr. Bunker, Mr. Eveleth, Dr. Cross and others, had in the meantime, joined the station. Dr. Mason had translated the whole Bible into Sgaii Karen, and later, Mr. Brayton translated it into Pwo Karen. Dr. Mason, being a man of scientific tendencies, contributed largely to the knowledge of natural history in the Burman empire. The mission in and about Toungoo numbers 102 native preachers, 110 Churches, and 3,869 members. From this point the mission to the Shans began, and the Bible has been translated into Shan by Dr. Gushing. The statistics of 1886 give 144 churches, 4,788 members, and 84 native preachers.
HENTHADA was opened as a mission station after the war of 1852. Mr. Thomas was the first missionary to the Karens of this mission, and Mr. Crawley to the Burmans. At first many of the natives, attracted by curiosity, thronged as visitors to the missionaries, who, after the Gospel was introduced, became zealous converts; for at the end of the first year the Karen department reported 8 churches and 150 members. At the end of ten years, the mission reported 751 Burman converts and five preachers. Mr. Thomas instructed a class of twenty or more native helpers every year, during the rains, and kept the charge of his field twelve or thirteen years, traveling in every part of his district, preaching and baptizing constantly, enjoying almost a perpetual revival.
At length, broken in health, for a time he changed his field for that of Bassein, and Mr. Smith took the post at Henthada. In a short time Mr. Thomas was compelled to return to the United States, where he died on the day after his arrival. His widow returned to Henthada, where she efficiently continued the work which her husband had begun; their son, Williston, joined his mother in 1880, and is still toiling in a spirit worthy of his parents.
ARRACAN, on the western coast of Burma, became a mission station in 1835, and, at different times, thirteen missionaries and their wives labored there with much success. A chain of mountains, parallel with the coast, divided Burma Proper from the territory which had been ceded to Great Britain. In many instances, the converts on the Burman frontier, having embraced Christianity, crossed the mountains into English territory, and being baptized, returned, to live a Christian life amongst their fellow-countrymen. The work prospered and multitudes believed. The names of Abbott, Comstock, Stilson, Ingalls and others, are a memorial in this mission. All of them passed away early, and the Arracan Mission disappeared; but out of it grew the mission in Bassein, one of the fairest portions of the Christian heritage in Burma. It has become one of the great centers of evangelical labor amongst the Karens. In 1872, a Burman preacher, supported almost wholly by native contributions, visited 540 houses, conversed on religious themes with 1,397 persons, and distributed 600 or 700 tracts. As early as 1848, there were 36 teachers and more than 400 pupils in the schools of the Karen department. Day-schools existed in nearly every village, and the native Christians sustained the preaching of the Gospel in their own neighborhoods. The plan of self-support has been effectively developed, and native Christians have contributed much to send the Gospel to others. A memorial hall, serving the double purpose of a place of worship and for higher education, spacious and provided with every facility, was dedicated at Bassein in 1878, on the fiftieth anniversary of the baptism of the first Karen convert. This building was paid for mainly by the liberality of the native Christians. In 1886 there were 99 churches, 8,490 members, and 97 native preachers.
PROME has ever been a scene of missionary interest, on account of the visit paid to that city by Dr. Judson in 1830, although for twenty-four years after that visit no missionary returned there. But the work was again taken up by Messrs. Kincaid and Simons, and still later by Mr. E. O. Stevens, son of the veteran missionary in Rangoon, and it has yielded good fruit. Four Churches connected with the mission are self-supporting, and there are now 11 native preachers, 4 churches, and 241 members. Many other stations in Burma have missionaries and native preachers, churches and schools, and are fully organized for Christian work. Thongzai, an exclusively Burman station, is remarkable for the labor of Mrs. Ingalls and a female associate, who have stood firmly at their post for many years. She has won the confidence and affections of the converts and of the heathen, and is held in high esteem by travelers of all ranks; for the railroad, extending between Rangoon and Prome, passes directly through Thongzai. In. 1877 Bhamo became a station of the Missionary Union, and since the absorption of Burma proper into British India, Mandelay, the capital, is also occupied by that body. All upper Burma is now included in the territory cultivated by the American Baptists. A recent enterprise has been entered upon in a station amongst the Karens at Chienginai, in northern Siam.
ASSAM was opened as a mission in 1836 by Messrs. Nathan Brown and O. T. Cutter, who had been previously stationed in Burma. The first station of the mission was Sadiya, 400 miles north of Ava, and about 200 from Yunnan, on the borders of China. But about a dozen stations are now occupied, mostly on the south side of the Brahmaputra, and are accessible by British steamers. A printing-press was established by Mr. Cutter, and the translation of the New Testament into Assamese was begun by Dr. Brown, Jan. 1, 1838. Mr. Bronson undertook to open a mission amongst the Nagas, in their hills, but on account of the insalubrity of the climate he changed his residence to Nowgong, where he baptized the first Assamese convert, June 13, 1841. The Nowgong Orphan Institution was for several years a fruitful part of the mission work, for in it many were converted and trained for usefulness. The school was dispersed after twelve years, but more native helpers were brought out of this school than from any other source. Other stations were occupied in succession by new missionaries, Messrs. Ward, Whiting, Danforth and others, whose labors were crowned by abundant blessings. In 1851 the second edition of the New Testament was issued, and revivals of religion, with large additions to the Churches, followed. In 1857, at the time of the Indian mutiny, much apprehension was felt; but the storm passed, and not a hair of the head of any missionary was touched.
The GAROS were first visited in 1857, and that movement opened one of the brightest chapters in the history of the mission to Assam. A torn tract, swept out of a building which had been cleaned and prepared for a new tenant, was picked up by a Sepoy guard and read. It led to his conversion; he became an efficient preacher to his tribe, and in 1867, a Church was formed amongst them, numbering 40 members. The next year the number increased to 81, and in 1869 to 140; from these sprang 5 native churches, 8 native preachers, and a formal School. The mission has conveyed the Gospel to tribe after tribe in the hills and on the plains adjoining the Brahmaputra. Two Assamese native preachers and one Garo have visited the United States, and the latter, who had learned English, spent a year in the Newton Theological Institution. The statistics of 1886 show, 30 churches, 1,889 members, and 27 native preachers, with 7 stations and 21 missionaries, male and female. The stations of the Assam Mission are divided into three Assam, three Naga, and one Garo, amongst which there are 72 schools and 1,229 pupils. SIAM was the second mission undertaken by American Baptists amongst the heathen inhabitants of Asia. Rev. John Taylor Jones was the first missionary, he had labored about two years in Burma, and had become so proficient in that language as to preach to the natives in their own tongue. He reached Bangkok in March, 1833, and the first converts were baptized in December of that year. They were all Chinese, which race form the majority of the people of that city. Dr. Jones translated the New Testament into Siamese and made much progress in preparing a Dictionary of the language, a grammar and other works. Mrs. Jones prepared a Catechism of the Christian religion. From the mission-press in Bangkok, much Christian literature was scattered abroad. Dr. Dean joined the mission in 1834; and devoted himself to the Chinese department; left Siam in 1842, and returned to Bangkok in 1864. In August, 1835, he preached his first sermon to 34 natives, and in 1841, formed a class of Chinese preachers, which he continued till he left for Hong Kong. Mr. J. H. Chandler joined the mission in 1843. He was not a preacher, but possessed remarkable mechanical skill, and largely through his influence the king became one of the most progressive native rulers of Asia. In the palace is a working printing-press, and one or more steamboats belonging to the government ply in the river before Bangkok.
During the next ten years Messrs. Davenport, Goddard, Jencks and Ashmore, with their wives, joined the mission, and Miss Harriet H. Morse, the latter to labor in the Siamese department, the others in the Chinese. Dr. Jones died in 1851. A decree was issued tolerating Christian worship, and by authority of the king the ladies of the mission were invited to the palace daily to teach the court ladies English. After the death of Dr. Jones, the Siamese work was continued by Mr. S. J. Smith, who, with his wife, has remained until this date, to superintend a school, to prepare and distribute tracts and to teach the people the knowledge of the true God.
Mr. Smith supports himself and his work by secular employment. Messrs. Lisle, Partridge and Chilcott and Miss Fielde have labored in the Chinese department. In the year 1874 there were large additions to the number of converts, two new Churches were formed and two native pastors ordained. Eleven were baptized at one station, seventeen at another, twenty-five at a third, and eighty-four at a fourth. In 1877 there were six churches, 418 members, and sixty-one were baptized during the year. Dr. Jones labored in Bangkok eighteen years, Dr. Dean more than twenty-five, Messrs. Davenport and Telford, nine years each; Dr. Ashmore and Miss Morse, seven years each; Miss Fielde six years, Mr. Partridge four, and Mr. Chilcott one. About thirty missionaries have been connected with this mission. Its latest statistics report five churches and one hundred members. Many of those who have been baptized, being but temporary residents of Siam, have returned to China and been numbered with the disciples of Christ there.
THE TELUGUS. This Indian mission has been amongst the most successful and renowned in modern times. The Telugu nation numbers about 18,000,000, residing mainly in India, west of the Bay of Bengal, and between Calcutta on the north and Madras on the south. The mission was commenced in 1836, by Messrs. Day and Van Husen. Its jubilee was celebrated with great joy at Nellore, in February, 1886. The 'Lone Star,' as it has been often called, has expanded into a constellation. For the first twenty years the work was discouraging and many proposed to abandon it, but a few pleaded for its continuance and prevailed. The first permanent station of the mission was Nellore. Rev. Mr. Jewett joined the mission in April, 1849, and preached his first sermon in Telugu in December, eight months after his arrival. At the close of 1852 he and his wife, with two or three native Christians, visited Ongole, and, before leaving the place, they ascended a slope of ground overlooking this village, since named 'Prayer-meeting Hill.' and while kneeling together there, prayed that a missionary might be sent to Ongole. In the meantime the work of preaching, teaching and tract distribution was continued, and a few converts were gathered as the first-fruits of these efforts. In 1858 several were added to the Church, and twelve years after the prayers on Prayer-meeting Hill, Rev. J. E. Clough formed the mission and planted his standard at Ongole. On the 1st of June, 1867, eight members formed a church at Ongole. Divine influences have been wonderfully shed abroad amongst this people. After the Week of Prayer; in the beginning of January, five days were spent in a tent-meeting devoted to reading the Scriptures, prayer and preaching; at the close twenty-eight asked for baptism. In 1868 when Mr. Timpany joined the mission, twenty-three were baptized in Xellore and sixty-eight in Ongole. More than eighty villages, in a circuit of forty miles around Ongole, had heard the word of life.
Mr. MeLanrin came to the help of the missionaries in 1870, when 1,000 villages had heard the Gospel. This year a Church was organized in Ramapatam, and the number of baptisms reported for the year was 915. The Theological Seminary for native preachers, was opened here in 1872, with eighteen students, a body that has increased to more than 200 members. Mr. Downie arrived in 1873, and Mr. Campbell in 1874. Then came a year of famine, a year of cholera, and still another of famine. During these years the government came to the help of the perishing people by employing them in digging canals for the development of the country. Mr. Clough took contracts for certain portions of this work, and paid good wages to the starving natives of his district, and while they labored for their bread, his native preachers laid before them the Gospel.
Many asked for baptism, but he refused to baptize any while the famine lasted lest they should profess Christianity from wrong motives. When the three years of pestilence and famine were over, he offered baptism to all true believers. In one day 2,222 were immersed upon the profession of their faith. He detailed the process to the writer with great care, stating that there were six administrators; three of them immersing at a time, as the candidates were brought to them into the water, and when they became weary the three rested while the others proceeded with the baptisms. Everything, he said, was done with perfect deliberation, the Gospel formula was carefully pronounced over each candidate before his burial; that he stood by and superintended the administration, but baptized none himself, and that only about eight hours were passed in the great baptism. From June to September, 9,147 were immersed, and the numbers increased until 17,000 had been immersed on their profession of faith in Christ. The church register in Ongole alone contained, in 1881, more than 16,000 names. During the first half of the year 1881, 1,669 were baptized, and from June, 1878, to June, 1881, the total number reached 16,846. For years the native preachers had faithfully preached throughout the district, and the American missionaries were delighted to see them thus honored of God in their labors. The Ongole Church having become the largest in the world, the multitude was organized into fourteen Churches for convenience. The whole number of members reported in 1886 is 26,389, the church at Ongole still numbering 14,890. In the mission, at the same date, there were 287 stations, 40 missionaries, male and female, 160 native preachers, 46 churches, 292 schools, and 4,270 pupils.
CHINA. The Missionary Union has two missions in the empire of China, the Southern and the Eastern. Mr. Shuck and Mr. Roberts founded the Southern mission, being followed by Dr. William Dean, who readied Hong Kong in 1842. Mr. Lord readied Ningpoo in June, 1847, and Mr. Goddard went from Bangkok to Ningpoo in 1849. There was a temporary station at Macao, where the first Chinese convert of the mission was baptized. A chapel was built in Victoria and another in Chekdiee. Thirty-three services were held every week in Chinese, and in 1844 nineteen were baptized. In 1848 Mr. Johnson joined the mission, and in that year 20,000 tracts were distributed; also, Dr. Dean's ' notes on the Gospel of Matthew and the Book of Genesis.'
Mr. Ashmore joined the mission in 1858, and in 1861 the seat of the mission was transferred to Swatow. The Church there numbered thirty members in 1863, but suffered great persecution. A literary graduate, however, confessed Christ; two Chinese preachers were ordained in 1867 and became pastors of churches. Miss Fielde and Mr. Partridge were transferred to Swatow; the former prepared a synopsis of the Gospels in Chinese and a dictionary of the Swatow dialect. In 1876 forty-nine were baptized, and the next year 169, making the number of members 512. Mr. McKibben labored largely amongst the hill tribes, answering to the Karens in Burma; the statistics of 1886 give 36 out-stations, 1,433 members, 36 native preachers, 14 missionaries, 11 schools, and 175 pupils.
Inmoro, or the Eastern China mission, has its principal station at Ningpo. It has been occupied from 1843, when Dr. Maegowan opened a hospital. In eight months of the next year 2,139 cases were treated. A chapel was opened in 1846, and a congregation of from eighty to one hundred attended, some also being baptized. In 1853, Mr. Goddard, who had joined the mission at Ningpo, completed an independent version of the New Testament, pronounced by competent judges the best Chinese version that has been made. Mr. Knowlton joined the mission in 1855, and various outlying stations were established, so that, in 1859, nineteen were baptized, two of them literary-men, and an unusual number of females. Two women became Bible-readers, and the Church at Ningpo supported its own pastor. Five young Chinamen became candidates for the ministry, and in December, 1872, the first Baptist Chinese Association was formed there, numbering six Churches, twenty-three delegates being present, members of Churches 219, and native preachers fifteen. Dr. Barchet re-established the medical work in 1877, and Mr. Jenkins issued a Reference Testament. Sometimes sixty cases of disease were treated in a day, and many of the pupils were able to recite, word for word, the whole books of Genesis and Matthew. At this time, 1886, the Churches of the Eastern China mission number seven; members 246, native preachers thirteen, Bible-women four, schools six, pupils 184.
JAPAN. This mission was commenced by the appointment of Dr. Nathan Brown, once missionary to Assam, in May, 1872. He arrived on his field in February, 1873. Japan was just awakening from the slumber of centuries, and its persecuting edicts against Christianity were, about that time abandoned by imperial proclamation. Mr. Arthur and wife joined the mission in October, and, while studying the language, found numbers of young men who had forsaken the gods and were ready to listen to the Gospel. A Church of eight members was formed at Yokohama in 1873. Mr. Arthur stationed himself at Tokio, the capital, and several Buddhist priests offered him quarters in one of their temples. A Scripture Manual in Japanese was prepared by Dr. Brown, for the use of schools, and put in circulation. The first baptism in Tokio was in October, 1875. At Yokohama a daily Bible class was established and a Sabbath-school; a native preacher labored, and by 1876 the Church numbered twenty-two members, while at Tokio, the same year, the Church had thirty-six members. Mr. Arthur died in 1877. Within three years the mission printed more than 3,000,000 pages of Scriptures and tracts, and the first Gospel ever printed in Japan was printed at the Baptist mission press. In 1878 twenty-eight converts were added to the two Churches, and Dr. Brown's translation of the New Testament was issued in 1879. Dr. Brown was one of the loveliest men ever known to the writer, and one of the best scholars. Before his death, in 1886, he translated the New Testament into the language of two heathen peoples: the Assamese and the Japanese. A Catechism of forty-eight pages, by Mr. Arthur, remains as a precious memorial of his literary labors for the Japanese. Rev. Thomas Poate joined the mission in December, 1879. He was formerly a teacher in the Imperial College of Japan. In a journey to the north he found the Japanese remarkably open to Christianity, and during 1880 baptized twenty-six and organized three Churches in that part of the empire. In 1886 there were five stations, four Churches, 409 members, fifteen native preachers and 215 pupils in schools.
AFRICA. The mission to the continent of Africa was commenced almost simultaneously with that in Burma, and several devoted missionaries sacrificed their lives in that inhospitable climate. The mission, begun in MOUROVIA, LIBERIA, was continued with indifferent success and under many discouragements, until 1856. The labors of Messrs. Lott Carey (colored), Skinner and others, were amongst Africans restored to their own country from America, and the Bassa tribe in the vicinity. Mr. Clarke, one of the missionaries, prepared a dictionary of the Bassa language, and nine Bassa young men were converted. One native came to the United States, was baptized here, learned the printer's trade, and was about to return to his own people when he died. So many of the missionaries died after a brief period on the field that the mission was suspended in 1856; in 1868, the work was renewed, and Robert Hill (colored) appointed a missionary; he never reached his field. In 1869-70, 153 were baptized, and the mission reported 218 converts; in 1871 two Churches were organized and a place of worship dedicated. Two years afterwards, 19 Bassas cast off idolatry and embraced Christ, but aside from several heroic Biblereaders, who were on the field in 1880, the work is in a languishing state, in the absence of trained missionaries.
THE CONGO MISSION, in Central Africa, was first sustained by Mr. and Mrs. Guinness, of London, and much money was expended, largely out of their own possessions, in buildings and the maintenance of a steam-boat to ply on the river Congo and its branches, with other provisions for prosecuting mission work. They proposed to turn over to the American Baptists all the mission property in the Congo country, including land, buildings, the steam-boat and the missionary force, on condition that the work be carried forward on the principles of the Missionary Union. In 1885 this proffer was accepted, and the work undertaken. On grounds of expediency, some of the stations were transferred to another society laboring near them, and arrangements were made to bring the work into line with the general methods of work pursued by the Union. In 1886 five stations were reported, thirteen male missionaries, of whom three are married, and two single women. One missionary and wife have been sent from the United States, and two colored missionaries will soon be added to the force. At present, this noble enterprise is in its infancy, and although several converts have been baptized, the fruits of the mission. have been largely the anticipation of prayerful hope until very recently. Intelligence is received that a powerful work of grace is in progress at Banza Manteka, where more than 1,000 converts have been baptized, two of the king's sons being amongst them. At Mukimbungu about 30 have been converted, and the work of God is spreading in various directions.
EUROPEAN MISSIONS. Efforts to establish missions in Europe have been put forth by American Baptists. In France in 1832, in Germany and adjacent countries in 1834, in Greece 1836, in Sweden 1866, and in Spain 1870. Some of these efforts have met with but limited success, while others have been very largely blessed. The mission was commenced in FRANCE by Messrs. Wilmarth and Sheldon. Mr. Rostan, a native Frenchman, had previously made explorations, which awakened hope for the success of the undertaking. In May, 1835, a Baptist Church was organized in Paris, and later, Mr. Willard instructed a few young men in studies preparatory to the ministry. Messrs. Wilmarth and Willard returned to this country, and the work in Paris was left mainly in the hands of native ministers. From 1840 to 1872 the Church there struggled hard for existence. In the last of these years a costly chapel was built in the Rue de Lille, in which the Church still worships. There are also several small Churches in other parts of France, so that, as nearly as can be ascertained, there are 13 native Baptists laborers in France, male and female, with about 770 communicants.
GERMANY. Hase, the Church historian, pronounces the German Baptists 'after the American type of Christianity,' and Mr. Oncken, their apostle, demands notice here as, under God, their honored founder. He was born at Varel, in the Duchy of Oldenburg, Jan. 26th, 1800, and while young went to England, where he became a Christian. In 1823 he accepted an appointment from the British Continental Society as a missionary to Germany. He preached on the shores of the German Ocean, chiefly in Hamburg and Bremen, till 1828, when he took an agency for the Edinburgh Bible Society; being, meanwhile, a member of the English Independent Church at Hamburg, under the pastoral care of Mr. Matthews. In the winter of 1830-31, Captain Tubbs, master of the brig Mars, and a member of the Sansom Street Baptist Church, Philadelphia, found his vessel ice-bound at Hamburg, and while detained there made his home in the family of Mr. Oncken. During his stay, Tubbs and Oncken spent much of their time in examining the New Testament, and the captain explained to him the doctrines and practices of the American Baptist Churches. Oncken was convinced that these Churches were modeled after the Gospel pattern, and expressed his wish to be immersed on his faith in Christ. When Captain Tubbs returned to Philadelphia, he reported these things to Dr. Dagg, his pastor, and to Dr. Cone, of New York. In 1833 Prof. Barnas Sears, of the Theological Institution at Hamilton, went to Germany to prosecute certain studies, and while there fell in with Mr. Oncken and six others who had embraced the same views, and on April 2nd, 1834, immersed the seven in the River Elbe at Altona, near Hamburg, and on the 23d they were organized into a Baptist Church with Mr. Oncken for pastor. When this became known, there was no small stir in Hamburg. The Established Church, Lutheran, was in arms at once; and the old 'Anabaptist' skeleton was brought out from the cupboard promptly, the upper room where the little band worshiped was surrounded by a mob, its doors and windows broken, and Oncken was dragged before the magistrates and thrust into prison. This at once gave flame to the movement throughout all Germany; the clergy raged, the mob threatened, and the magistrate punished, but it all amounted to nothing. For a time, they were driven from place to place, and Oncken says that his citations to appear before the police averaged about one a week for a time, but 'the threats only gave me a greater impulse.' He was fined as well as imprisoned, his goods were seized, and he says: 'It happened that the Senator Hudtwalker, who, at that time, stood at the head of the police, was an esteemed Christian, who, although no Baptist, considered my religious activity as fraught with blessing. . . . He was pressed hard to proceed against us, but he was not able to reconcile with his conscience the persecution of Christ in his members.' Mr. Oncken detailed to the writer, in his own house at Altona, some of the arguments by which he moved this chief of police. One was so novel that it must be repeated here. He said: 'Mr. Senator, the law of Hamburg provides that no lewd woman of the city can ply her wicked calling until she brings a certificate to the authorities, from the clergyman of her parish, stating that she was baptized in infancy, and is now a communicant in good standing in the State Church; then a license is given to her, to protect her from all harm in her wickedness. But if we persuade her to renounce her evil life and turn to Christ, and baptize her for the remission of her sins, as Peter taught at Pentecost, we are thrust into prison with the penitent woman for the crime of saving her!' This argument had weight with Hudtwalker. But says Oncken: 'His successor in office (who, however, afterwards became our friend, and has shown us much kindness), declared to me, at that time, that he would make every effort to exterminate us. When I reminded him that no religious movement could be suppressed by force, and said to him, "Mr. Senator, you will find that all your trouble and labor will be in vain," he answered: "Well, then, it will not be my fault, for as long as I can move my little finger I shall continue to move against you. If you wish to go to America, I will give you, together with your wife and children, a free passage; but here, such sectarianism will not be endured."'
This state of things continued for years, but the word of God prevailed, and the work of grace spread all through the German States; and from Hamburg it has spread to Prussia, Denmark, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Russia and Turkey. Within a little more than four years from its commencement, there were 4 churches and 120 members under Oncken's direction. In 1844 he had sent forth 17 preachers, organized 26 Churches, and their communicants numbered 1,500 members. The true prosperity of the mission, however, only began to be felt after the great Hamburg fire of 1848. At that date the Baptists had control of a large warehouse in the city, three stories high, where they received and distributed food and raiment amongst, and gave shelter to, the homeless poor. Here many were saved from death, and for the first time heard the Gospel, and the Government felt itself a debtor to those whom it had persecuted.
In May, 1853, Mr. Oncken visited the United States and remained for fifteen months. Out of 70 Churches in Germany, only 8 had regular chapels built for the worship of God, and the American Churches aided them in erecting a number, $8,000 a year being promised to him for five years. During the last twenty-six years, the Hamburg Church has had additions yearly, the smallest number being 5, and the largest 121, making a total of 1,317, an average of nearly one every Sabbath for the entire period. The largest Church connected with the Mission in 1867 was at Memel, In Eastern Prussia, numbering 1,524.
Two missions were supported by the German Churches at this time, one in China and another in South Africa, and still later, one in the region of Mount Ararat, besides a number which they planted in the United States and South America. The Theological School at Hamburg, having a four-years' course of study, is a constant source of supply for the ministry, twenty students having graduated therefrom in 1886. The Churches are gathered into Associations, and the Associations into a Triennial Conference. The Churches within the territory of Russia, which have sprung chiefly from the German Churches whose preachers have traveled into Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania and Siberia, have recently formed the 'Union of Baptist Churches in the Russian Empire.' Dissent from the Greek Church in Russia is relentlessly crushed out, yet in many places little bands of Baptists have sprung up numbering in all about 12,000 persons. Itinerant missionaries in many provinces, such as Esthenia, are successfully winning men to Christ. In St. Petersburg, Mr. Schiewe has gathered crowds of people in his own house, until the authorities have forbidden their further assembling on the pretense of danger to health. Within two years he has baptized above four hundred converts there and elsewhere. But these men of God pay a great price for the privilege of saving their fellow Russians. One of them has been imprisoned more than forty times for preaching the Gospel. An old man of seventy years was put in chains and compelled to walk sixty English miles for this crime, the blood running from his ankles and wrists. In one town the preacher and all who listened to him were imprisoned, and few Baptist preachers in Russia have escaped the prison. Mr. Schiewe says:
'I, also, have not been free from it, having been imprisoned seven times for the Gospel's sake, and was forbidden the country for the same reason. In the year 1869 I was imprisoned for the first time; during the year 1872 five times, and in the year 1877 I was taken away by the police from my brethren and from my wife and children, and, together with five other brethren, was conducted over the frontier by guards armed with revolvers and side-arms, and banished into exile.'
The amount contributed by the Missionary Union in 1885, in behalf of the German Mission, was only $5,400, and no American missionary has ever been engaged in the work in Germany. The statistics of this mission, in 1886, give 162 Churches, 152 chapels, and 32,244 members. Thus, in love, is God avenging the blood of the old German Baptist martyrs.
SWEDES. As the German mission was an outgrowth of a Baptist Church in Philadelphia, through the captain of a sea-going vessel, so the Swedish mission was directly the outcome of the Mariners' Church in New York, through a common sailor. This Church for Seamen had been recognized as a regular Baptist Church by a Council of Churches, December 4th, 1843, and Rev. Ira. B. Steward became its pastor. About two years after, Mr. Isaac T. Smith, one of its members, found a Danish sailor at the Sailors' Home, and brought him to the service of this Church. The man became interested, and came again about a year after, walking with a crutch, for he had then lost a leg. After lying in the hospital in Charleston, S. C., he had debated on the choice of returning to his home in Denmark, or to New York, but decided on the latter course. After his baptism, his brethren procured for him an artificial leg, thus enabling him to walk easily, he soon manifested great zeal in missionary work. In 1848 he was licensed to preach, and soon the ladies of the Bethel Union sent him as their missionary to Denmark. There, meeting another sailor who had lost a leg, he constructed one for him like his own artificial limb, and his fame soon spread amongst the wounded and crippled of the navy. The king sent for him and offered to set him up in that business in Copenhagen, if he would cease preaching and furnish legs for the disabled of the royal navy. But F. L. Rymker, for this was his name, concluding that it was bettor for his brethren that they should enter into life maimed, determined to preach; which he continued to do in Denmark for seven or eight years, when he went to labor in the north of Norway. The result of about ten years' labor there was the formation of five or six churches, the ordination of two preachers, the employment of five unordained, and the conversion and baptism of between one hundred and fifty and two hundred Norwegians, scattered over a territory of two hundred miles in length. This was the condition of things there in 1868.
Right here we begin to trace the origin of the Swedish Mission to the same Church. Not long after Rymker had united with this body, Gustavus W. Schroeder, a young Swedish sailor who had Just landed at the wharf in New York, came to the meeting on a Sabbath morning. He had been converted on his voyage and intended to unite with the Methodist Church, but another sailor invited him to attend the service with him that day at the Baptist Bethel. During the service Mr. Steward immersed two converted sailors on their faith in Christ. This was the first time that young Schroeder had seen the ordinance, and he was deeply affected, and said: ' his is the way that the Lord Jesus, who redeemed me with his blood, was baptized, and now, it would be ungrateful for me not to follow him.' This decided the matter; he, too, was immersed, and soon after sailed for Grottenburg, Sweden. There he fell in with Rev. Frederick O. Nelson, a Methodist missionary of the Seamen's Friend Society, who must here tell his own story. He says, that through the instrumentality of
'The dear brother Schroeder, the Lord has been pleased to awaken a spirit of inquiry in my mind on the subject of Baptism and the ordinances of God's house. The result of the inquiry has been that, after a long and sore conflict with myself, I have at last been obliged to submit to and receive the truth. I was baptized in July, 1847, by the Rev. Mr. Oncken, in Hamburg; and on the 9th of September, this year, my wife and four others were baptized by a Danish brother by the name of Foster, a missionary of the Baptists in England. Thus the Lord has been pleased to commence a Church on New Testament principles even here in Sweden, the spiritual Spain of the North. . . . We expect great trials and suffering for our principles; and we have had thoughts of leaving the country, but our consciences would not suffer us, till we were driven out by the authorities. . . . If we are punished according to an existing law, it is a question if we do not suffer death.'
Again, under date of March 5th, 1848, Nelson writes:
'We have now twenty-eight Baptists! mind, twenty-eight Baptist believers in Sweden. Two years ago, as I and my wife were talking about Baptist principles, we said to one another; ''Yes, it is right; if the Bible is true, the Baptist principles are the only Apostolic, the only true ones; but no one in Sweden will ever embrace them besides ourselves. . . . Just as we were about in good earnest to prepare for emigration to America, some persons began to inquire, and to listen to our reasoning from the New Testament, for as yet we have had nothing but the Holy Scriptures by which to convince people. We are, however, not all in one place. In Gottenburg there are four brethren and two sisters. In another place, thirty-six English miles from town, there are three brethren and six sisters; about eighteen miles from there, are six brethren and seven sisters; making altogether twenty-eight.' Ten days later he wrote, that he had baptized another 'in the sea; 'but on the 24th of April he says: 'The truth has begun its course and is making disturbance in the enemy's camp. We are now thirty-five Baptists in Sweden,' and some of his brethren had been arrested because they refused to have their children christened. On July 4th, 1849, Nelson was brought before the Court of Consistory, in Gottenburg, on the charge of spreading 'religious errors,' when the presiding Bishop demanded: ' Do you, Nelson, acknowledge that you have been in such a place, at such a time, and there preached against our Evangelical Lutheran religion, and enticed people to join the errors of the Baptists; and that you, even there, baptized several persons? To this he replied: 'I have often, there and elsewhere, spoken the truth according to the word of God; but as to the charge that I have enticed any one to embrace errors, I could not assent, as I always proved every thing I said by the Bible, and directed the people to the Bible to search for themselves. I also acknowledge having baptized persons.'
At that time the punishment for forsaking the State religion was banishment, and for inducing others to leave it, a fine of two hundred thalers silver and banishment for life. In 1853 Nelson and his Church were banished, and they came to America. About this time, another Mr. Nelson was banished from Sweden for becoming a Roman Catholic, and the friends of religious liberty in England sought relief for the oppressed ones through Lord Palmerston, who, at the time, was Premier there. Dr. Steane, of London, opened a correspondence with a Committee in New York who sought to influence the Swedish government in the interests of religious freedom, through the American government. Dr. Gone and the writer were members of that Committee, and earnest appeals were made to the Swedish government, through Lord Palmerston and General Cass, Secretary of State, at Washington, from 1857 to 1860. The correspondence was of a most interesting character, showing the British Minister and the American Secretary to be the firm friends of religious liberty. These letters were laid before the London and New York Committees, and their contents showed that his Majesty of Sweden was quite willing to sign a bill giving toleration to his subjects, but he was hedged in with difficulty. Indeed, he had introduced a measure in the Diet, in favor of enlarged religious liberty, but it was rejected. The case stood about this way: 1. The laws of Sweden recognized all its subjects as born religiously free until they took religious vows upon them to support the State religion. 2. Every parent was required to put his child under those vows within a month of its birth. 3. If these vows were ever cast off, the penalty was banishment. 4. This law could not be altered without the joint consent of the Houses of Peers, Commons and Bishops, three separate bodies, and the royal assent. 5. Under the appeals of the English and American governments, aided by the rising popular opinion of Sweden, a bill for larger religious freedom had twice passed the Peers and Commons, but the House of Bishops had defeated it before it reached the king, who was prepared to give it signature. In time, however, Nelson's sentence was revoked, and he returned to labor in Sweden. Shortly before Nelson's banishment a Mr. Forsell and a small company in Stockholm had seen the need of a holy life, the abandonment of infant baptism, and a Gospel order of things; and further north still, Rev. Andrew Wiberg, a clergyman of the State Church, had reached the conclusion that unregenerate men should not be admitted to the Lord's Table. While in that state of mind, he visited Germany in company with Mr. Forsell. At Hamburg they consulted Oncken, but Wiberg held fast to his infant baptism and returned to Stockholm. On leaving Hamburg, some brother presented him with 'Pengilly on Baptism,' and on full examination he adopted Baptist principles. Accordingly, he was immersed in the Baltic by Mr. Nelson at eleven o'clock on the night of July 23d, 1852, in the presence of many brethren, and sisters. In quest of health he came to New York, united with the Mariners' Church, was ordained by advice of a council March 3d, 1853, and in due time returned to Sweden, where his labors have been greatly blessed. This interesting fact is connected with his return to his native land: At the Baptist anniversaries in Chicago, 1855, a letter was read dated from 'a cell in Stockholm Prison, January 25th, 1855,' and signed by a pastor, telling of the imprisonment of fifteen brethren and sisters, on bread and water diet, for taking communion outside of the State Church. The reply of the American Baptists was the appointment of Mr. Wiberg as a missionary of the Publication Society to Sweden. During his absence, fourteen pamphlets had been published against the Baptists, the court preacher had entered the house of Forsell with a policeman, and by force had sprinkled the forehead of a six-months' child. [Was he a Pedobaptist fanatic?] In another place two cows had been seized and sold for the fees of a priest, who had christened two children against the protest of their parents, and a Bishop had given the solemn decision that the Baptists might exist, but they must not increase. Still, one of our brethren had visited Norberg, and the owner of the iron works let his men stop work to listen, and afterwards came with his superintendent 120 miles to Stockholm to be immersed. Returning, he built a chapel, and Wiberg found 23 persons there ready for baptism. A converted Jew came to Stockholm for baptism in May, 1858, and returned to labor in the island of Gottland, and by the close of the next year there were six Churches, with 373 members on the island. A Baptist preacher was sent to Stockholm with a set of thieves, where he was imprisoned for preaching. He not only preached in prison, but, summoned from court to court, he traveled 2,400 miles to obey. Yet he was careful to hold 144 meetings and baptize 116 converts on the journey. One night he was put in a cell, where he preached all night through a wall to a prisoner in the next cell, and in the morning they bade each other good-by without having seen each other's face.
A young nobleman, Mr. Drake, a graduate of the State Church ministry, at the University of Upsala, was converted and baptized in 1855, when the people set him down for a lunatic. In 1880 this solitary convert met a Baptist Association in the same town, representing 38 churches and 3,416 members. Mr. Wiberg found 24 Baptists at Stockholm. Soon their place of worship could not contain the people. His work on baptism, an octavo volume of 320 pages, had been published at Upsala, he started a semi-monthly paper, called the 'Evangelist,' and, in 1861, he was obliged to visit England to collect money for a new church edifice. There he raised ?1,100; then he came to the United States for the same purpose, and now in Stockholm there are three Baptist Churches. The house of worship here spoken of is large, seating 1,200 persons, built of light colored stone: it is well situated, very conveniently arranged, cost about $25,000, and is paid for. This church is known as the 'Bethel Kappelet;' its communicants number about 2,400; they appeared to the writer to be of the middle and working classes. They sustain several stations in the outskirts of the city and are active in foreign mission work, helping to support a missionary in Spain and, perhaps, some in other countries. Also in Stockholm is the Theological Seminary, of which Rev. K. O. Broady, a former student of Madison University, is president. It has sent out at least 250 ministers, and now, in its beautiful now building, has from twenty-five to thirty students. Rev. J. A. Edgren, D.D., for some time principal of the Scandinavian Department of the Theological Seminary at Chicago, and Rev. Mr. Truve, formerly a student at Madison, who worked in this field with Messrs. Drake, Brady, Wiberg and others, created an evangelical literature for Sweden which is working wonders. The work has crossed the Baltic and entered Finland. Six or seven Churches have been formed in Norway; one of them in Tromsoe, north of the Arctic Circle, and the most northerly Baptist Church on the globe. Here our brethren find no more difficulty in immersing believers once, in January and February, than the Greek Church does in dipping babes three times; and, in 1874 they reported a Laplander amongst the converts. In 1866 the Swedish Mission was transferred from the Publication Society to the Missionary Union. The statistics for the present year, 1886, give this aggregate: 131 Churches, 28,766 members, 478 preachers, the number immersed in 1885, 3,217, and the appropriations from the missionary treasury in Boston for that year, $6,750.
The Swedish Baptists are yet the victims of cruel laws. The government still holds the absurd theory that all Swedes are born in the National Church, and that they cannot be legally separated therefrom. Yet the trend of modern public opinion has compelled it to make some provision for dissent. Under the pretense of relief it made a Dissenter law in 1860, full of obnoxious restrictions, and in 1873 amended it, under the further pretense of removing them; but still it exacts from them conditions to which they cannot yield and retain their self-respect. They must apply to the King in order to be recognized by the State, laying their creed before him and certifying their intention to leave the State Church; if he grants them the right to exist as a Church, they must give notice to the civil authorities, that the pastor may be held responsible for their worship according to the creed; all change of pastors and the internal affairs of the Church must be reported as a matter of information to the civil authorities; no person can unite with a Baptist Church till he is eighteen years of age; no person can leave the State Church to unite with Baptists without notifying the priest of his parish two months before doing so; they shall have no schools for their children who are under fifteen years of age, for the teaching of religious truth, without special permission of the King in individual cases, under a fine of from 5 to 500 rix dollars; a public officer who joins the Baptists shall be dismissed from office; a royal decree may revoke the freedom of worship at any time, under the pretense that it is absurd, and noncompliance with these provisions subjects the pastor or Church to heavy fines. By a comical construction of the law, the State holds them all as members of the State Church, unless they comply with these provisions. Our brethren ridicule their forced legal constructions, and leave the authorities to classify them as they please, but go not near the State Church, receive no support from it, and have no respect for its pretensions, but stand alone. They yield no promise to be governed by the Dissenter law; they consider Christ the King of their Churches, and the demands of the State and the King to manage or take cognizance of their internal Church affairs a usurpation. They claim that believers under eighteen years of age have the right from Christ to think for themselves, and they also claim the right to teach their own children under fifteen the Gospel of Christ in Sunday-school or any other school. For these and other reasons they say that if they placed themselves under the Dissenter law they would make a State Church of themselves, with the King at their head and the civil authority for their rulers. Thus, keeping a clear head and clean hands, it is a matter of indifference to them whether the law counts them in or out of the State Church. The result is that in Stockholm and other large towns, where the sentiment of the people is opposed to the enforcement of the law of 1873, its enforcement is not attempted. But, in more remote districts, fine and imprisonment are still frequent. If our brethren stand firmly, freedom to worship God must in time be their inheritance.
SPAIN. This mission grew out of the temporary residence in that kingdom of Professor W. J. Knapp, formerly of Madison University, afterwards of Yale College. Previous to 1869 he had established himself as an independent missionary in Madrid, and the work grew upon his hands until he was obliged to ask aid of the Missionary Union. In 1870 eighteen of his hearers asked to be baptized, and a Church of thirty-three members was formed in Madrid, another in Alicante, one in La Scala, and one in Valencia. At Linares forty-one were baptized, and several native preachers were raised up. But Mr. Knapp was obliged to return to the United States, political changes connected with the government occurred, and much of the work ceased. Mr. Eric Lund, an earnest Swedish minister, sustained for a time by the Baptist Churches in Sweden, was adopted as its missionary by the Missionary Union, and is its only laborer now in Spain. He resides in Barcelona, and gives much attention to the Swedish seamen who visit that port. A colporteur evangelist holds weekly meetings at Figueras, and a monthly service at La Scala; a monthly evangelical paper is also issued at Barcelona by Mr. Lund.
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