THE Church Missionary Society, for Africa and the East, was established above nineteen years ago—its 19th anniversary was May 6, 1819. The society was formed with the view of contributing to the diffusion of Divine truth throughout the world. It is conducted by members of the church; and it endeavours to promote among heathens and Mahometans the knowledge of the Saviour of the world, and the use of the primitive modes of worship.—The number of stations which the society occupies, including the schools dependent on the Tranquebar mission, amounts to upwards of forty-five. In those stations there are above 80 christian teachers, of the various description of missionaries, readers of the Scripture, &c. They pay especial attention to the education of the young, and have about 3,000 children under their care, of whom at least 400 are wholly supported at the expense of the Society. Besides those children there are many adult scholars, and the Gospel is regularly preached to thousands of heathens.
It publishes monthly a Missionary Register, indeed it employs the press very widely. It extensively promotes translations and editions of the Scriptures. The new Testament in Susoo and in Bullom is proceeding. The Rev. Mr. Lee, the society's orientalist and "the second Crichton" in learning, having finished an edition of the Syriac New Testament, for the use of the Syrian christians of Travancore, commenced with the Old Testament; and he was carrying through the press editions of the Malay Bible, of Martyn's Hindoostanee New Testament, &c.
The annual receipts of this society are about 20,000l.; but its expenditure, for the year ending in 1817 was upwards of 22,000l.
A Missionary Ship Fund is mentioned in the society's report for 1817 in these terms:—"The magnitude of the society's undertakings in western Africa, and the difficulties to which its settlements have been exposed for want of a regular intercourse with this country, led some zealous friends to open a separate fund; for the establishment and maintenance of such intercourse, a ship, to be named the "William Wilberforce." It added, that upwards of 3,000l. had already been collected for this purpose.
The Wesleyan Missions were first commenced by the Rev. John Wesley, the Rev. Dr. Coke, and others. They are now carried on under the direction of the Methodist Conference. The operations of this association are amazingly great ;—they extend to the four quarters of the globe. In Africa, America, and the British colonies, the influence and missionaries of this society are found in activity :—and in these labours 20,000l. a year is expended. There are missionaries stationed at three places in Europe-nine in Asia—four in Africa—and fifty-nine in America (chiefly in the West Indies, the Canadas, and Newfoundland.) At several places two, three, and four missionaries are stationed.—The total number of members in society in foreign stations, according to the report for 1817, was 20,057; the increase for that year being 1,960. The number of missionaries was 101, besides four supernumeraries.
Source: Leigh's New Picture of London. Printed for Samuel Leigh, 18, Strand;
by W. Clowes, Northumberland Court. 1819