Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

"prey," as before, to my own fears and sorrows. The whole barracks now rang of the new “ Methodist."

I had gone almost to every man in the regiment inquiring for a Bible, but no Bible was to be found. An officer hearing I was in search of a Bible, sent me word to call upon him, and he would give me one. My heart leaped for joy, and without delay I waited upon the officer to receive it. He sat for a time staring at me, then handed me a small package, carefully wrapped up and sealed, with the inscription, “ Holy Bible,” written upon it. I thanked him, praised the Lord, and hasted back to the barrack-room. You may imagine what was my disappointment and mortification, when, upon opening the wrapper, I found, instead of a “Holy Bible," a dirty pack of cards! This act of an officer emboldened my enemies, and the room rang with shouts of "Well done,”

;" “Served him right,” “ Just as it should be, my boys,” &c.

As a retreat from my persecutors, I now spent much of my time in the woods, under the bush where I first heard the missionary preaching to his black congregation, and where, in my supplications to God, I prayed to be directed where I might find a Bible! You may judge of my surprise, when, one day, on coming to my bush, I found under it a new Bible! Overcome with joy, I fell upon my knees, and thanked and praised God for the gift. When I had finished my devotions, I heard a rustling among the bushes, as if some one approached me ; I looked whence the noise proceeded, and, to my great joy, saw the missionary. He informed me that, on a previous occasion, while waiting for his congregation, he overheard me praying to God to direct me where I might obtain a Bible-he had brought me one, and had listened, with pleasing emotion, to the thanksgivings I had rendered to God for it. It is needless to say, that he inquired into my history and the state of my mind, all of which I told him, and that I received from him such instruction and advice as encouraged and somewhat comforted my drooping and disconsolate spirit. He also prayed with me, and frequently afterwards did we pray togeI continued to attend his ministry, therein seeking for and waiting upon the Lord; nor was it long till he appeared for my help. “ Faith came by hearing," so that I could adopt the language of the apostle, and say, “ Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And it was, indeed, a peace passing all understanding, staying and keeping the heart, and filling it " with joy unspeakable, and full of glory."

ther.

The great questions now were, “ What shall I render unto the Lord ?” “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? “ How can I best glorify thy great name, and do others good ?” For this purpose I commenced, evening after evening, reading my Bible in the barracks. This was met by great opposition. To drown my voice, some sung songs, others cursed and swore, and many laughed and mocked ; a few, however, night after night, gathered around me, and listened with attention to the word of God; nor did they hear, I hope, in vain, as it was not long before, with pleasure, I saw the tear drop from the eye of one, and another, while some in silence retired to pray.

For some time I suffered greatly for my religion ; persecution ran high against me, and those who could and should have shielded me, took pleasure also to vex and trouble me. But in the Lord I had a “friend that sticketh closer than a brother," and “ making his grace sufficient for me,” till by steadfast, unflinching, and upright Christian conduct, I put persecution to shame-I might say at an end.

Finding that neither their frowns nor threats could territy, nor their smiles allure me from the path on which I had entered, and that they never set upon me for that purpose but they had to retire foiled, and with a deeply wounded conscience, the Lord assisting me to speak his word with all boldness, they let me alone, apparently more afraid of my attacking them, than manifesting any disposition to attack me. So completely did persecution cease, that while some appeared to fear me, I found almost all ready to do me a kindness.

Such had become the happy state of things when the

regiment received orders to return home. We were soon embarked, and when we reached our native country, I sought and obtained leave of absence to visit my father. To have an opportunity to fall at his feet, to confess my sins against him, and to obtain his forgiveness and blessing, had long and ardently been desired by me.

Filled with deepest contrition and fondest hopes, I hastened home. At length the “natal village," afar off, appeared to view, bringing with it many a guilty and painful reminiscence. It was at last reached and entered, and my father's house appeared in the distance. With a heart filled with remorse, and impatient of an opportunity to give expression to its sorrows and regrets, I hasted on to fall at his feet.

I had not proceeded far up the street, when I met a funeral; and recognising a near relative walking by the head of the coffin as “chief mourner," I inquired whose

funeral it was, and was told, alas, alas, that it was my sainted father's!

I turned about, and followed after it as I could. At the grave

I threw myself on his coffin, scarcely conscious what I did, or what I said. Those in attendance not having before seen me in my military costume, and not suspecting but I and my regiment were yet in the West Indies, were some time in recognising me; but no sooner did they, than I could hear it murmured around, “ He has brought down their gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.”

“ Miserable comforters !" Oh, that their accusation had been false! But alas, alas, it was too true. It is minethe guilt of the premature death of both my dear parents.

“ Tell it unto sinners—tell,

I am-I am out of hell!” And tell them more-infinitely more-that I," through grace”-grace reigning through the righteousness of God my Saviour unto eternal life, though “ chief of sinners," can say, as Saul of Tarsus, “ Yet I obtained mercy."

MISSIONARY REMINISCENCES.

A BROWN MAN SKETCHED.

“I will give you a description of some of the sons of Ham, physically, mentally, and morally. I begin with my excellent teacher. His name is John Isaacs. He is brown, with woo!ly hair ; about my own height, make, and age.

: A Jew is his father, and his mother a black woman. Shem and Ham may dispute their right in him. However, I am certain he is no disgrace to the one, and a much better man than the other. When a very little boy he manifested a desire for good things, and also to be taught to read. He was long a slave in a gentleman's family. After the Act of Emancipation was passed by the British Legislature, he entered the family of one of our English Missionary schoolmasters, and was engaged by him in cleaning knives, shoes, and other household work. Our good English brother soon discovered his attachment to books, and was glad to make reading, spelling, and writing, a part of his daily routine. In this way he learnt to read in his family; he gained an astonishing knowledge of the Bible ; so much so, that you could begin scarcely any text which he could not finish. His knowledge of the Scriptures is remarkably developed in his prayers. Whatever the subject of petition, you may hear him introducing the most appropriate Scriptures-s0 appropriate as to convey to one's mind the impression that all had been committed to memory. Every one soon saw that the lad was very promising, and having a naturally good disposition, he became more like a brother than a servant. True religion elevates. It made Onesimus a runaway slave, a brother beloved even by an apostle himself. I should have mentioned that one of our Missionaries, Mr. Barrett, was the means of his conversion. Christ would not permit the devil to hold in his possession, and to employ in his service, such a promising youth. He took his seat one day with the spectators, to witness the celebration of the Lord's Supper, The missionary looked at them, and asked them why they

a

a

were not showing forth a Saviour's love. The question went home like a sword to the heart of the young lad, whose countenance seemed to say in language which the young Israelite put to his parent, when he saw him sprinkling paschal blood on the posts of the doors, and eating the herbs—“What mean ye by this service ?" He soon sought for admission into the church, and to him, no doubt the Redeemer said—“Eat, О friend, drink, yea drink abundantly, O beloved !" He afterwards lived with some of our missionaries, who gave him instruction, until, at last, a few months at the Mico Institution in Kingston, qualified him to engage in the instruction of the young. He has been with me two years, and is much beloved by all. There he stands before you, what do you think of him ?

Glorify God in him, and see here a pledge of what all the rast millions which people the plains of Africa shall become, when Ethiopia stretches out her hands unto God. His salary is 501. per year. This would be about 231. in England-a little less than ten shillings per week. I have to raise nearly the whole of this salary by personal exertion, as the directors only allow me the school fces. Will you not do something for our schools ? Try.

WHEELER.

HIS WIFE,

Ee has been lately married. This will give me occasion to speak of the young brown woman he has made his wife. She is a little older than himself, and is a very pious working female. She was once a slave, and with her mistress visited England, Ireland, and Scotland. She returned to Jamaica, and attended Shortwood Chapel, where she received her first religious impressions. She was the second individual I received into the church. She has made great sacrifices to support the cause of God. She generally collects 51. a year for the Missionary Society, by setting a Missionary hen, and gives nearly that sum towards my support. In fact, she does more than hundreds of members, as individuals, do at home, who are moving in independent circumstances. The Lord hasten the day

« AnteriorContinuar »