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I A WELCOME LETTER. | The following letter has been received by the i Rev. G. LI. Williams, from the Rev. G. Hughes, | who is a missionary at Barisal. No doubt it will interest many of our Chapel-going friends I, Mission Hall, Barisal. "Jan.2nd.1893. My dear Mr. Williams, Better late than never.' I write to wish you and the readers of the ]» rZ,y.v Herald a happy and prosperous New Year. My conscience pricks me a good bit, for not having written oftener, but as Repentance has set in you can hope for better things in future. Mention has been made once or twice in the Herald to my indisposition. I have suffered a good bit during the year, but for some time now I have been enjoying very good health. I owe much of it to Davies and Bevan and Mt;ldah. The genial companionship of the Brethren, and the more bracing climate of the district put me on the way to recovery. It was my Bethesda the water was troubled and the Brethren threw me in. I spent a very happy month with them. Our mornings we spent in study, our evenings in preaching. Every day about 5 o'clock we marched off to the Bazaar, and delivered our message of light and love to big crowds of people. We*sang Bengali hymns, sold Bengali gospels, and preached the gospel of our Blessed Redeemer with as much 9 Hwyl as the language would permit. Hundreds of gospels were sold, indeed I believe that more gospels have been sold in one year in Mal lah than in any station in Bengal. Sometimes we went out in a small boat to a neigbouring village. We would tramp the streets offering g-ospels for sale, and would preach at the principal corners. On each of these occasions some 60 of 70 books were sold. Thus Christ's command is being obeyed. The gospel is being preached, from the lips, in song, and by printed books. The journey to these places was always terribly hot, but the homeward journey, with the tide, in the cool of the evening* breeze, was delightful. Together we would lustily sing jolly old hymns, and talk of dHS of long ago. with loving memory, and not a little longing. Is this weakness ? No, I don't think so. By decision of Conference I have been trans- fered from Madariport to Barisal. So the original brood have left the old nest. and are separated far from one another. James is there still, not alone, I am glad to say, for loneliness in Madaripore, is loneliness, indeed. He has three young" men with him, and soon with God's permission he will have more pleasant com- pany still. The work I am deputed to do here is itinerating. Just the work I long to do—carrying the Gospel to the heathen. I shall live in a small boat, and be out among the people, as much of my time, as climate and health will permit. The field I have mapped out is confined to two large islands. The larger one is called Dakhin-Shabax- pur, and contains about 200,000 inhabitants. The Gospel has .been preached to them at very rare intervals, and somewhere among them are supposed to be 13 Onristians. Doubtless, are now swallowed up in the big mass and Heathendom. The people are poor. ignorant, and superstitious, but ex- perience from the early days of Christianity up to the present teaches us, that the poor are the favoured subject of the Grace and Love of God." The second island is much smaller, and is named Hattyah. On this island, it is said the word of truth has never been preached. I would ask the readers of the Herald to be with me in their prayers. May they wrestle with the master of the harvest, uutil a blessing, rich and full fall upon these dark places. r,* just a word about Christmas in Barisal. Mr. Carey is now away, attending the Decennial Conference, at 'Bombay,' so h's work has fallen into' my hands. There are in Barisal something like 2.000 students, all craving for a knowledge of English, and a fair piopoitioa of them knowing English very well. They are prepared up to the B.A. and B.L. standards. Among these Mr. Carey works. It is & splendid field of labour, as they are always prepared to listen, and are largely amenable to reason. One splendid advantage is the fact that they are stationed here for years, and the work 0-lee commenced can be carried ca, Many come to us because they are anxious to learn English, others come because the spirit has created in them a thirst for things Heavenly. There are among those of my acquaintance frank, open-iiearted young men whom I love very much. They come to me almost daily with their diffi- culties, aud have gone away with tears in their eyes, gripping my hand, but unable to say a. word. Whatever may be said of this work. this much is true, that under the influence of Christian instruction these young men are evincing a nobler spirit than those who shun us. Their conduct and their daily life is of a higher order altogether, and I am prepared to expect great things" from among the pupils of Barisal. Numbers leave us annually with broader views and larger sympathies, and with many prejudices removed. Further, they carry with them a fair knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. J have written you before of the Bible School held for these students, so I need but say that it still flourishes. On Christmas Eve I conducted two Bible Classes, and the spirit dis- played by the boys enc&ura-ged me not a little to prepare for the next day. Ou Christmas morning I delivered a lecture to a splendid congregation of students on the Decision of the Shepherds '—Luke v., 15. One of the glaring weaknesses of the Bengali is his lack of courage to grapple with the truth and fight it out. He seems to know intuitively to where the fight will lead him, and he fears the coaseqoenee. So you can easily understand how I was able to weave into my address comfort for these boys. In the afternoon we held our Bible School. We had three English classes and two Bengali. Our Lesson was the Birth of Christ,' and the boys seem to enjoy the fact that the Son of God had come down to save them from sin, and death and hell. After this service, as well as after the morning service, we gave a Christmas card to each one present. Mrs Carey, Mrs. Williamson, Miss Moore, and Miss Finch have written Christmas greetings on each card, and had tastefully decorated the hall. At 6 p.m. I delivered another lecture on 4 Full Salva- tion.' The room was well filled with just the class of men we wanted, and a good time was expe- rienced. The ladies above-mentioned sano- several Gospel hymns, to the delight of those assembled. In the Bengali Ciaoel Mr. Spurgeon preached twic. and had the pleasure in the afternoon of baptising two young men—one the son of Christian parents, the other a convert from Mahommedanism. On Monday prizes were given to the scholars of the Christian girls' school. The prizes reminded us of home and home folk, because they all came out from friends in. England and Wales. If the donors could see how much joy their gifts give to those little girls they would be amply re-paid for the trouble and ex- pense they had gone to. One of the fir6t girls in the school, and a general favourite, was married by Mr. Spurgeon to one of our young preachers, by name Probhat. He is a splendid young fellow' full of energy and honest piety. He is much liked by all who know him. This prayerful spirit and confidence in God is pleasant to behold. Of course, a marriage feast was given, and I can ass,tre that all present did justice to the good things provided. The ladies very kindly presented the young bride with many useful articles where- with to commence house-keeping, and the mis- sionaries ar,-l_ native Christians did not forget Probaat. A.md honest sorrow and genuine regret they left us LO take up Evangelistic work at a place called Twrc; mid-way betwi e i Barisol and Madari- pore. We also arranged a cricket match between heathen boys of our Bible schools. They thoroughly enjoyed the game, and we rejoiced in their pleasure. We have also started a cricket club to be called the Bible School Cricket Club. It will cement the affection of the boys to each other and teachers, will link them more compactly to the schooi, and will help them to build up healthy houses for their souls to live in. Thus we en- deavour to help them on physically, mentally. morally, and spiritually and there are signs of growth in grace evident. With us, pray that this good work may be abundant blessed of God, and that the labourers here may rejoice in seeinr precious souls gathered in to swell the ranks ef the King's own. In haste, with much love and fond remem- brances, from your brother, GEORGE HUGHES.





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