Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

CHRISTIAN SPECTATOR.

In say

The year, bustling and exciting as it thereof; the world, and they that dwell has been, is drawing near to its close. therein;" who will allow no dominion The subjects which have so moved the to him, except that which may vaguely public mind, as to leave few individuals be called so, as signifying his power unaffected, are passing into forgetfulness. operating in established and unchangeTrite as is the remark, yet is it as im- able physical laws. But such notions portant as it is true, that, although we fall immeasurably short of the plain and may be, for the time, most strongly evident meaning of those scriptural de. moved by questions of secular concern. clarations which assert and describe the ment; yet, like all objects of earthly reign of God. And it is moral governperspective, their visible magnitude di- ment, administered by a moral governor, minishes as the spectator recedes from founded on moral principles, observing them, while those which he beholds when and enforcing moral rules, and direc'ed looking upwards, remain always the to moral objects and purposes.

Nor same in their appearance, and are known ought the Christian believer by any to be always inconceivably larger than means to lose sight of the great fact, they appear. Morals have what are some- that it is the God of Zion who reigneth ; times called their common-places.” that it is on the shoulders of the Child And this is equally the case with reli- born, the Son given unto us, that the gion. But it is only carelessness that government rests ; that the Mediator is thus speaks. We may give to the truth Sovereign, and that himself has de& verbal acknowledgment in passing, clared, “All power is given to me in while we refuse its entrance to the inner- heaven and earth.” In the midst of most sanctuary of our nature.

the throne” which God, whose “ kinging to it, “Hail !” we may only think dom ruleth over all," hath “set in the of the honour we do to ourselves by this heavens,” is “the Lamb,” who is the passing, and often unmeaning, homage “ Prince of the Kings of the earth,' of our lips: to the throne of our hearts “King of kings, and Lord of lords ;” it is seldom conducted. Our language that Providence is evangelically to it may be complimentary, for such administered : and, mysterious as its language is cheap ; but the claimed proceedings frequently are to short, totality and supremacy of its dominion sighted and short-lived man, yet, as one are practically rejected.

of its ultimate earthly objects is, the fulBut He whom we forget is not unob- filment of the declaration, “The kingservant of us. “ The kingdom is the doms of this world are become the kingLord's; and he is the Governor among doms of our God and of his Christ,” so the nations.” And such declarations one of its most important rules is, “ Beare not to be considered as possessing no hold, the eye of the Lord is upon them meaning beyond something titular and that fear him, upon them that hope in his honorary. It is a government of per- mercy ; to deliver their soul from death, sonal observation and administration. and to keep them alive in famine." And it is this which men, even profess. And they whose “soul waiteth for the edly Christian men, are so disposed to Lord,” and who say, “ He is our help deny. The philosophy of Epicurus is and shield,” have received the command, deeply rooted in human nature; and is “ Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay found extensively in the very precincts your vows unto the Most High; and and inclosures of the visible church, call upon him in the day of trouble : he Many are not unwilling to allow that will deliver you, and ye shall glorify “the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness him.” Of the obedient subjects of this

VOL. II.-FOURTH SERIES.

[ocr errors]

4 I

kingdom, therefore, it is an unfailing thority, have always felt it to be their characteristic, that THEY GIVE THEM- bounden, and at the same time most SELVES UNTO PRAYER.

grateful, duty, when they have witnessed We have endeavoured to speak expli. fruitful seasons and abundant harvests, citly on this subject, not only because of thankfully, and in their public religious its great importance at all times, but services, as an integral portion of their because present circumstances render it worship, to acknowledge, that " He specially so : not only because there causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, always exists a proneness in some, prac

and herb for the service of man ; that he tically at least, to overlook it, and in may bring forth fruit out of the earth ; others, to deny it altogether ; but be- and wine that maketh glad the heart of cause, at the present day, if it be not man, and oil to make his face to shine, forgotten by them whose acknowledged and bread which strengtheneth man's duty it is to remember it, the tendency heart.” We are thankful, therefore, to its denial is manifested with a fearful that in the “ Book of Common Prayer,” strength and clearness of developement. recognised by law, provision made for Never were Christians called more im- the constant acknowledgment of this our pressively than they now are, both to constant dependence on the divine bouncultivate, and practically to exhibit, ty, by the brief, but significant, petition, sound views of the evangelical provi- That it may please thee to give and dence of God. A scarcely disguised infi- preserve to our use the kindly fruits of del philosophy reasons against it; while the earth, so as in due time we may by too many, even in the high places of enjoy them ; WE BESEECH THEE TO the land, where the affairs of the nation HEAR US, GOOD LORD.” are investigated and directed, it is only But adversity is in Scripture referred mentioned to be mocked, and that with to Providence, as well as prosperity, and scoffings as bold and shameless as they is equally to be acknowledged. “I are bitter. There are times, as even have given you cleanness of teeth in all Seneca could perceive and acknowledge, your cities, and want of bread in all when not to do impiously, is considered your places. I have smitten you with to be great piety. A verbal confession blasting and mildew: when your gara of Providence, at all times insufficient dens and your vineyards and your figby itself, is now most especially so. trees and your olive-trees increased, the This is required from us; but it is now palmer-worm devoured them : yet have particularly required, also, to be una- ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.” bashed, unshrinking, and practically This concluding language, which consistent. In proclaiming to the earth readers will, we doubt not, recollect is that the Lord reigneth, the church must repeated after each statement of particumake it evident, beyond the possibility lar infiction, indicates, beyond the posof doubt, that she believes herself. It is sibility of honest doubt, the character of perhaps that portion of the once-deli- the infliction itself, as occurring in the vered faith that is most immediately in course of the morally-providential godanger : it is the portion, therefore, vernment of God, and the object which which calls for immediate and courageous it sought to secure. We are therefore defence. Tell it out among the Hea- commanded both to “ trust in Him at all then, that the Lord is King; and that it times, and to pour out our heart before is He who hath made the round world him,”

,” “ in everything by prayer and so fast that it cannot be moved ; supplication with thanksgiving to make how that he shall judge the people righ- known our requests unto God;" and of teously.”

one of the most beautiful and instructive Acting on the principles thus derived of the songs of Zion, the frequently. from the explicit teaching of the Scrip- recurring burden is, “ Then they cried tures, all who have sincerely and con- unto the Lord in their trouble, and he sistently acknowledged their divine au- delivered them out of their distresses,

our

and

We

O that men would praise the Lord for nor that, by the essential constitution of his goodness, and for his wonderful the country, divine Providence is expliworks to the children of men !”

citly recognised. Lord John Russell, In the year 1845, it was ascertained Her Majesty's Prime Minister, in conthat the potatoe-crops, especially in Ire- junction with his colleagues, has advised land, through a new and mysterious the Queen to direct, through the Archdisease, had very extensively failed, and bishop of Canterbury, that special prayer great distress even then ensued in many be offered to God, that he may have places. It was hoped, however, that it

mercy on us and help us. That Her would be only a temporary visitation, Majesty would receive this advice gladly, and that plenty would return with the we are fully persuaded ; but as, if it had coming year. To plenty we have been not been given, we should have blamed, so accustomed, that it is almost regarded not the Sovereign, but her unfaithful as matter of course, and even temporary Counsellor, 8! now that it has been interruption occasions great alarm. In given, we are thankful to have this the present instance, so deep were the opportunity of acknowledging the truly apprehensions awakened in the country, wise and Christian patriotism of the that the whole mass of public feeling noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's was moved ; and by the disease of a Government. We should have been small root not only was British legisla- glad had a day of fasting and prayer tion directed into a new course, but a been appointed. We believe that the powerful, and in many respects a popu- solemnity of the occasion would have lar, ministry, were obliged to surrender warranted the appointment, and that the office to their opponents.

vast majority of the nation would have But the potatoe disease still continues, approved of it. But his Lordship, we and is, both in its ravages and its locali- doubt not, has acted for the best. ties, far more extensive than it was last can readily conceive that there were year.

Great distress is thus occasioned ; difficulties in his way, and we are far and, in Ireland, the cry of famine is more ready to thank him for going so already heard, though the harvest has far, than even to whisper censure for not been so lately completed. By the fail- having gone farther. We are glad, ure of one crop, a larger number of per- too, because he has thus taken a step in sons have to be fed by other crops, and the right direction. His present position these, comparatively, have afforded a sup- is one of much difficulty. He has great ply considerably below the average quan

evils to overcome ; and to devise the tity. The consequence is, that provision- proper remedy would seem

to be a prices have greatly advanced, and some harder task, than carrying it into effect if persons fear that they may be higher still. it were known. We wish that he may be And all this at an early period of the food- as successful as we believe he desires to year. The weather is gradually chang- be; and therefore we are glad that he ing; but winter has not yet commenced. has come forward, and called on the Seldom, certainly not for many years, nation to acknowledge the providence of has the approach of winter been invested God, by prayer and supplication. God with so much of gloom, or connected himself has promised to direct the paths with so many fears. It has, therefore, of those who acknowledge him in all given us unfeigned and hearty satisfaction to find, not only that the Governa And, as we have already intimated, ment is fully aware of the impending we are the more thankful for this nacrisis, and is taking the steps which pru- tional step, because the doctrine opposed dence dictates to lessen, as far as possi. to it is seeking to spread itself through ble, the magnitude, and diminish the the land. In many minds it has obextent, of the evil; but that its members tained complete establishment. We have not forgotten that they have to could give instances that would, we are direct the affairs of a Christian people, satisfied, surprise our readers. We will,

their ways.

however, only mention one. In a series nexion, perhaps, with some favourite of very respectable publications, exten- political doctrine ; because we are thanksively circulated, and in many respects ful to see our rulers thus acting suitably of much value, occur the following sen- to their character as rulers of a country tences. We give them in illustration of whose constitution is essentially Christhat which many regard as the only true tian ; but especially because we believe philosophy :-“But so far is meteor- that this public call to prayer will be ology from being, liké astronomy, in the heard through the land, and responded to condition of positive science, that prayers in conformity with its intention,—and that, for dry or rainy weather are still offered therefore, according to the merciful proup in churches ; whereas if once the mise of our most merciful God, blessings laws of these phenomena were traced, shall come to us from Him who in all there would no more be prayers for rain, ages shows himself to be the hearer of than for the sun to rise at midnight.” prayer; we rejoice to put the fact on And as thus we are to get rid of prayer, record, that because a scarcity of provi80 likewise of all reference to providence, sion has been apprehended, and in some as personal, living, wise, and moral. measure felt, by public authority the naThus, a page or two after, we read, tion has been called to address prayer “When we see so great a writer as and supplication to the God and Father Niebuhr unable to give any other expla- of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of nation of the stability and progress of nature, providence, and grace, beseechthe Roman people, than that of destiny, ing him to hear us and help us. We -unable to read any signs but those of trust that while the reasons for such the ' finger of God,'-it is high time to special prayers continue, the prayers bestir ourselves to rid the world of this themselves will continue; that, in fact, supernatural method of explaining they will not cease till the gloom has facts.”

been dispersed, and that they then cease Because we know that such mischiev

only by issuing in praise ! ous principles as these are insidiously London, Oct. 21st, 1846. spreading themselves, often in

con

[blocks in formation]

WESLEYAN MISSIONS :

OR, INTELLIGENCE ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE OPERATIONS OF THE WES

LEYAN MISSIONARY SOCIETY, AND ALSO OF THE STATE AND
PROGRESS OF THE GOSPEL IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD
UNDER THEIR DIRECTION : EXTRACTED CHIEFLY FROM THE

MISSIONARY NOTICES," AND FROM OTHER SOURCES PUBLISHED
BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARIES.*

WESTERN AFRICA. MACARTHY'S ISLAND, RIVER GAMBIA.—Extract from the Journal of the Rev.

George Parsonson, Macarthy's Island, River Gambia. WEDNESDAY, January 21st, 1846. bantang. After spending much time On Monday Mr. Chapman and myself and breath, we procured three, to whom left for Ngabantang, and arrived there we agreed to give a knife each, and, early yesterday morning. We found leaving many things in the care of a William Sallah, our native Teacher, very native trader, we proceeded, by the light ill. The mind of the King is still to- of a beautiful moon, to Ngabantang. wards us : the people still attend, and We were fifteen in number; and as the are willing to have a Missionary reside roads in Africa are only wide enough for among them. They are a very degraded one person, we had to walk in a line. people, and truly need the Gospel of the Nothing broke the stillness of the night, Son of God. There are many Foulahs excepting now and then the cry of a in the neighbourhood. They call them- night-bird, or the voices of the men, selves Pŭla, and their language Pŭl. until we came near to a town called

28th.--At Macarthy's Island I am Mbāro, when the barking of dogs fell very much depressed in spirit this even. upon our ears. The stillness of the

ng. I rode to Fattota, and unded nig favoured meditation, and my mind Luke xi. 1-13. I then rode home, and dwelt on the greatness of the work in met the candidates for baptism, with which I was engaged, the state of the whom I was much blessed and encou- people to whom I was going, and the raged, while endeavouring to make them power of my divine Master. understand the first principles of our We reached our destination about holy religion.

one A. M. ; and this morning the people February 9th. — Yesterday I filled the house, all anxious to see us, in blessed while taking leave of the society order to get what they could from us. at Fattota. On my way home I was They are, indeed, like the horse-leech, much encouraged by a conversation I ever crying, Mei ma, mei ma, had with John James, one of our mem- me, give me ;” but never saying, Ham, bers. Blessed be God, we do not labour ham, “ Take, take.” May God make in vain, nor spend our strength for me a blessing to them! They are nought.

was

bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, To-day I am to leave for Ngabantang. and all power is his. O may God arise, I have been much encouraged at the give energy to his truth, and save these throne of grace.

souls ! 10th. We arrived at Nyanimārā 11th.—The King and people are will. about ten P.M. yesterday. Accompa- ing that we should stay and build a nied by Mr. Sallah, I went immediately house, chapel, and school. The King to the Alcaid, for the purpose of procure promises to come to hear the word, but ing men to carry our luggage to Nga- leaves his people to choose for them.

66 Give

* Our readers are earnestly requested to avail themselves of the opportunity to procure the entire copy of the “ W'esleyan Missionary Notices,” published by the Secretaries of the Society, and sold at the Centenary-Hall, Bishopsgate-street, and at 66, Paternoster-row, London. Our selections from this invaluable record of the progress of the Gospel in heathen lands must, of necessity, be brief: we are there. fore very desirous that the “ Notices” should receive an extensive circulation among all classes of the religious public.

« AnteriorContinuar »