« AnteriorContinuar »
with delight; but there is one feeling, in which you cannot unite with me I have the pleasure of being a foreign Director in my native land !"
Rev. Mr. James addressed the meeting to the following effect : “Sir,--At this advanced state of the proceedings of this interesting meeting, when our time and strength are exhausted, though our patience is not; when dazzled by excess of brightness, our intellectual vision is aching with those successive flashes of eloquence which have been darted upon it; when our hearts are trembling with emotion, and almost longing to be at resi-it would be unpardonable in me to detain you long; and yet I cannot content myself with simply reading the resolution in my hand. That individual must be either more or less than human, who can have seen what we have seen, and heard what we have heard, and not have felt to the very bottom of his soul. Our smiles and our tears, like sun-beams in the rain, have been mingled together, and, like the vernal showers which fall on the earth, are intended, in a moral sense, to make it bring forth and bud. It would be quite unnecessary for me to dwell upon the great object in which this society is engaged. I shall only state a little aneedote which fell under my own notice.
“ Travelling in North Wales about four years ago, in this most excellent cause, with a gentleman of the principality, he suddenly arrested my course to relate a circumstance which had taken place in that vicinity. One morning, said he, four children went out to gather wild berries on the mountains ; toward noon three of them returned to the village, but the fourth was missing : the agonized parents immediately proceeded in search of the little wanderer, but he was not to be found. They then applied in their distress to me. As the best expedient which suggested it. self at the moment, I ordered the village bell to be rung, and called the inhabitants together. Being assembled, I briefly stated the circumstance of the lost child. Eighty persons immediately volunteered their services to go in quest of the babe. They were so arranged, in different parties, as to search the whole of the mountains and valleys in their different routes. They met at dusk; but no traces of the little wanderer had been found. They assembled again the next morning, and renewed their search, but still to no purpose ; for on meeting again in the evening we heard the melancholy tidings that the dear babe had not been discovered. I exhorted to perseverance ; and the next morning they again proceeded on their search, and after several hours lrad elapsed, the child was found fast asleep in that gulley, said my friend, pointing to the spot, down which a mountain tor ront rolls in winter, but wlrich is dry in suinmer. He was brought back in triumph to his parents, whu received him with delirious joy, and the whole village was glad as at the tidings of a victory.
Now, sirs, we should all despise the marble-hearted monsters
who would say, What! all this concern about child of four years old ? But every parent's heart, and every feeling heart, will justify their solicitude, and sympathize in their sorrows and their joys. Now then, what is the object of this society? Has one individual of the human race wandered from his Father's house, and strayed on the dark mountains of idolatry and sin, where he is in danger of being eternally lost? And are we assembled this morning from almost all parts of the kingdom, all denominations of religion, and the four quarters of the globe, to send out messengers to explore every mountain, and every wood, and every valley, lo find this single wanderer and bring him back to God ? Surely every heart that is impressed with the value of she soul would go with us in this work; and there is not an angel in glory who would not say it was an object worthy of our exerLions. But it is not the loss of one soul, nor a village of lost souls, nor a city of lost souls, nor a country of lost souls, but a WORLD of lost souls, whose wretched, ruined state, we are assembled to commiserate and relieve !-Had this little Cambrian perished upon the mountain top, it would have been to him the mount of ascension for his youthful spirit to the realms of immortality; and instead of returning to the village of his parents, he would have been borne on angels' wings to the city of God; but souls that die in sin are lost for ever to heaven, to happiness and hope. What a motive to exertion in relation to our object !
" Where is the man that can lay his hand upon his heart, and say, before the omniscient God, that he has done all he could do, and all he should do in the great cause? What we have seen and heard of religious zeal as yet, is but the twilight of the Missionary Society, not the twilight of the evening, which is soon to be followed by the shades of night, but the twilight of the morning, which is to shine brighter and brighter till the perfect day.
“We are called then, sir, to fresh energy in the cause of missions. There is not an individual here who ought not to go home and consider what he can do more than he has done in this cause. I may here be reminded perhaps, that these are not the times to call for fresh exertions of a pecuniary nature; but, sirs, it has been the glory of this society that it has flourished in bad times. Our bark was launched in a season of national tempest, which it was supposed it could hardly outlive : we heard the winds howling around it, and saw infidelity, like the fury of the storm, mocking all our efforts : but we have beheld it pursuing its career in triumph amidst every scene of danger, and shall we now begin Lo fear?' 0, no! The friends of missions are not to be appalled in their minds, or checked in their zeal, by the cry of bad times. I may be told by some, that this is the mere declamation of enthusiasm ; if so, it is the same enthusiasm as glowed in the bosom of the Son of God when he undertook the redemption of the world; which inflamed the zcal of apostles; marshalled
the noble army of martyrs ; nerved the soul of Luther and the reformers; and in such company we need not blush-I am not to be frightened by a term so plastic. Give me a spirit that will subvert the foundation of error, and overturn the system of idolatry; that will hush the groans of creation, and dry up its tears ; that will beckon the virtues of one world to advance till they meet the felicities and glories of another, and men may call it Beelzebub if they will, but I know that its origin is in heaven, its father is the eternal God, and its work the salvation of the human race.
“But some persons may suppose that their situation in life is sufficient to exempt them from doing more than they already do in this cause; but in this case ingenuity should supply the place of affluence. I know a lady of high connexions, distinguished piety, and eminent talents, who, from the moment she became the partaker of divine grace, was only desirous of living to the glory of God, and of promoting his cause in the world. What can I do, thought she, to extend the sphere of my exertions for the honour of Him who hath done so much for me? Having a correct knowledge of the art of painting, she determined to employ her talents at the pencil, and copied in miniature some of the portraits of the most distinguished artists, in order to dispose of them for religious purposes. One of them sold for 30 guineas; 10 of which she immediately gave to this society, and 20 to other institutions. The produce of all her productions is to be devoted in the same manner.
“ And are there not some here, who by the exercise of a little ingenuity may contrive some means of employing the gifts which the God of nature has conferred upon them, to promote his cause and glory in the world? There are many, sir, who owe to religion, not only all they hope for in the future world, but all that they enjoy in the present life. I have heard of a man and his wife, still living, who in the ardour of their gratitude to God for his grace, thought it was their bounden duty to express their obligations by some signal act of zeal. They accordingly went to a gentleman, whom they thought capable of advising them, and who is well known in the religious world, and said, Sir, we are under infinite obligations to divine grace, we have been thinking what we can do for the cause of God, and desire to employ this sum for the purpose ; at the same time putting some notes into his hand. He turned up the corner of one of them-it was 10001, bank note-another, it was 10001.--another, it was 10001.--another, 5001.-another, 1001.-making 36001, given as an expression of their gratitude for the salvation of their souls, and for the promotion of his glory. The gentleman hesitated about taking it ; but they replied, Sir, if you don't take it some one else shall, for we have devoted it to the cause of God. They were both in one tale, though in a better cause than Annanias
and Sapphira. The circumstances of their case were inquired into, it was found they could spare it; accordingly a chapel was built with the money, in their native village, and the gospel preached where the joyful sound was unknown before.
“ This cause has been urged by the respected member for Dover, upon the attention of the country ministers present, and I hope with effect; but I would just ask, sir, whether the London ministers have done all that they might have done in this cause? I am happy to find that Warwickshire has increased her contributions the last year no less than 4001. and I have the honour of being well acquainted with one congregation which, in addition to 40001. raised to erect their own chapel, collected nearly 3001. for missionary objects. We are willing to do all in our power, but we want to see a little more metropolitan benevolence to encourage us in our work in the country.”
Rev. Mr. Cope, of Launceston, said "I hope as Cornwall has increased its subscriptions, like most other parts of the country last year, it will still go on to increase. We perceive in that country some important effects which have followed the visit of our friends to collect for you last year.--A very poor man came and desired to speak to one of the gentlemen, I wished to know what was his business, lest he should have any improper design. He then gave me five pounds for the society, with a bit of paper stating it to be the produce of one year's economy. One of our friends observed that ingenuity ought to be exercised in this cause, and I believe we do not yet half so much as we might. From the great ignorance that still remains in Cornwall, I feel a little of what a missionary ought to be ; for if there is so much darkness even in England, what must be the darkness of those distant regions to which our attention has been directed. Since efforts have been made for the Missionary Society among us, there has been a very visible increase of spirituality, both among the preachers and the congregations.”
Rev. R. Hill said—“The beauty of this society is its union, and the beauty of all Christian union is union with Christ. I am happy to see the union subsisting between us this day. We have had high walls hetween us, but I am glad to see that these walls are lower, and if we cannot get over them, we can at least reach over them, and give each other the right hand of Christian fellowship."
Mr. Hill observed, that it appeared to him that his work was nearly done, and expressed his hope that his blessed Master would admit him to his presence. “ Yet, said he, I have this morning almost wished that my life might return back for 50 years; for I do believe, that in 50 years more, far greater things will be seen than ever. One word more. I want to feel, as that dear young man said, a holy tenderness for souls, that I may yearn over them in the bowels of Jesus Christ. The glory of
bringing souls to Christ, is the grandest glory that can adorn the character of man! You young minister's who are here, let me charge you to become bishops, and to imitate the primitive Episcopacy, in going about to do good. You feel your own weakness and insufficiency, but the excellency of the power is not of you but of God.”
EXTRACT. When the Maker of the world becomes an author, his word must be as perfect as his work: the glory of his wisdom must be declared by the one, as evidently as the glory of his power is by the other; and if nature repays the philosopher for his experi. ments, the scriptures can never disappoint those who are properly exercised in the study of them.
REVIEW. American Popular Lessons, chiefly selected from the writings of
Mrs. Barbauld, Miss Edgeworth, and other approved authors. Designed particularly for the younger classes of children in schools. New-York: S. Heustis, 235 Broadway. 18mo. pp. 252.
The selections in this little work are judiciously made, and the original matter, which makes nearly half the book, deserves the praise of being at once sensible and suited to children. Those teachers who will adopt it, will relieve their pupils from the dreadful and hurtful drudgery of reading and spelling what they cannot understand.
“ Is certain that it will introduce new ideas to children, and give them pleasure. If they do not derive from it the pleasure which elates little hearts, when the memory has mastered all the syllables of " Phar-ma-co-pe-ia, and “ Het-er-o-ge-ne-ous," and the best speller has won the medal—they will have the gratification to discover, that hard words mean common things; that anatomy' is the history of their own bodies; and metaphysics of their own minds; tható fermentation' means the rising of the bread; and alkali’ is the pearl-ash that softens the water, and sweetens the milk.
“ In every lesson they will recognize some agreeable truth, will ascera tain some new fact, or be led to some new association, and extended train of thought."--Int. p. 13.
We are very anxious to see an improvement in the general mode of instructing children. Why should they be occupied with mere sounds, instead of those numerous ideas which they are able to receive, and which would interest, and occupy, and improve their little minds? Is it because we would make them hate their books, their schools, and their teachers ? or be obliged to buy their love with sugar-plums and medals ? Indeed, if by