Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

difficulties of this Society, there has been for which to blush. I would throw a no diminution, but rather an increase, of mantle over her defects ; I would weep its labourers in India. In the name of because of her crimes; but I would that great country, I would beseech you rejoice that this Society has taken a to increase your labourers there. I quite stand there, that it sustains its position enter into the spirit of Dr. Coke, who, there, and is likely to carry out its benewhen he had done great things in the volent purposes in doing essential good western world, and amongst the West. even to that country. The Rev. DocIndia islands, remembering the com- tor, who addressed you in the last inmand of Christ, “Go ye forth and teach stance, has stated what has been done all nations, baptizing them in the name by a paralyzing and soul-destroying of the Father, and of the Son, and of superstition in a distant part of our em. the Holy Ghost," could not rest, until pire; but I can tell of superstition being he had turned his eyes to the east, until busy and powerful at home. And I do he had himself determined to go there, lament,-a British audience will bear if permitted, and sought to plant the with me when I speak the truth,—I do standard of the Cross in Ceylon and Jament, that Irish Popery has found so India. Increase your labourers in India, much sympathy among Englishmen. and look for the divine blessing. The Were it not for that, it could not have motion which I have to support has not effected what it has done in Ireland ; yet been read, although it has been were it not for that, the Gospel would moved and seconded, and I will there- have had a wider and more extensive fore take the liberty of reading it. It influence than it has had. But, Sir, I runs thus :

can tell you something good even of That the Report, of which an ab. Ireland. This Society has proved its stract has been read, be received and Missionary character, by taking posses. published ; and that this Meeting offers sion of some of the darkest, and, up to its grateful acknowledgments to Almighty that period, most neglected portions of God for the success which he has vouch- Ireland ; and in no place has it set its safed to the Wesleyan Missionary So. foot where the blessing of God has not ciety, in common with other Protestant rested upon its labours. Is it nothing, Missionary Societies, in various parts in a country like that, to be able to show of the world.

what the influence of truth can effect ? The CHAIRMAN then put the Re- We have not, as a body, had any partisolution, which was unanimously agreed cular countenance shown to us; for when to, as were the subsequent Resolu. has a religion essentially spiritual niet tions.

with smiles from the world ? No, Sir, The Rev. Thomas WAUGH, who we have been looked at coldly on the was next introduced by the Secretary, one hand, scowled at on another, and was received with loud cheers. He said, persecuted by some. But, notwithstand-If you, Sir George, are found theré ing all that, what is the fact ? We have in obedience to an authority which you been told that misgovernment produces felt to be binding, much more may I say ten thousand miseries ; but if we trace so; for, had it not been that I felt the these things to their source, the oppresrequest of the Society most binding, I sion of that misgovernment must have should not, under my peculiar circum- been general, must have been universal, stances, have stood before you at this must have operated upon all who have Meeting, on the present occasion. I not the smile of power. But I can show rejoice to see you still spared, by a gra- a population in that country, containing cious Providence, to occupy such a posi- tens of thousands, who, under all that tion ; and I rejoice again to look my alleged misgovernment, have been a friends in the face, who have entered so pious population, an industrious popula. heartily into a work to which my heart tion, in the midst of carelessness and has long cleaved, and for which it beats folly, a prosperous population, for they as warmly as ever. I scarcely know have grown even in worldly possessions,how to apply myself to the Resolution though they are not wealthy, they are that I hold in my hand. It has to do comfortable in consequence of having with various parts of the world ; but I embraced the religion of our Lord Jesus know it is intended that I should espe. Christ,—and they are a useful and a cially and chiefly speak of Ireland. On peaceable population, passing through coming to that subject, however, I feel the performance of their various duties, exceedingly perplexed. Not that I do a blessing to those with whom they are not love my country; but I have many connected, and doing good on the right things in connexion with that country, hand and on the left. If we have thou,

[ocr errors]

sands in our Irish Connexion, who are our efforts produce emulation. I will thus characterized, what is the rea. mention one spot particularly, (and there son that the whole land is not so ? are very many such,) which, for generaOf those to whom I allude, you cannot tions, was neglected. A Wesleyan chapel lay your hand upon a single individual sprung up there, and now five places of who has been brought to the bar of worship have been erected,—a church, a his country, or suffered as a criminal. Presbyterian meeting-house, a Roman Is there no piety there? Is there no Catholic chapel, and a Dissenting meet. purity there? We are exposed to the ing-house belonging to some other class. common temptations ; but here you I do not regret this, Sir George, as to find a community fearing God, honour- the multiplication of Protestant places of ing the King, and having nothing to worship. I rejoice in it. I was once do with those who are given to change. rather puzzled to know what the Apostle What, Sir, has done this? The Gos- meant by rejoicing that the Gospel was pel, the Gospel of God; and when poli- preached even through contention. But ticians have tried their little best, it now I begin to see, that wherever the must come to this : if that country is Gospel is preached, some persons are to be redeemed, it must be redeemed reached who might not otherwise have by the power of that truth which has heard the truth ; and all we require is, been maligned, and scorned, and per- that those who come after us will treat secuted, and condemned. That Gospel the squatters ” kindly. Again, Sir, is performing its work; for it has ga- I must lament that there is not that thered all those—from whence ? It is union of feeling which ought to exist. said, “O, you are very wise in your Twelve or fourteen years ago, there was generation, and you go to this church, a much greater degree of Protestant and to that community, and select those union than now exists; but I can safely who have been trained by them, and you say, that not the slightest portion of secure their best and purest members.” that fault lies at the doors of the Wcs. There is nothing of this kind there, leyan body. This Society has been, Sir George. They have been gathered from first to last, in the best sense, “the out of the world, out of a wicked world, friend of all, and the enemy of none.” out of a corrupt world. And let me It has been said that, two hundred years ask you, whether, if the Gospel had not ago, when great convulsions took place reached them, the confusion and misery in this country, and civil war pervaded with which Ireland is plagued would the land, there were Jesuits in the guise not have been materially increased. We of Puritanic Ministers. In my heart I know that good has been done to a believe there is some such movement certain extent; but who can say how

with us.

How else can we account for much evil has been prevented by those many, who the other day professed to who have been brought under the in- love Protestantism, exerting themselves fluence of the truth? It has been said, to establish a kind of ecclesiastical caste? and truly, that our work is a Mis

--the same thing in spirit which we are sionary work. It has been such from endeavouring to destroy in India. They the beginning. It has been peculiarly have done it to a certain extent. This so in Ireland. I believe there is one has told upon the tone and temper of character that belongs chiefly to Ame- men, whom I love as true and genuine rica, that some of us in Ireland can servants of Christ. They are afraid of lay claim to ; and that is the character losing their caste; and what has thus of “ squatters.” Some gentlemen here taken place, has prevented that union of know what that means. We have looked effort which is more called for there than round to the places that have been un- in any other portion of the empire. We occupied, that have been unpossessed, do lament this ; and we lament further, that have been overlooked by others; that there are those who suffer themand there the Wesleyan Missionary has selves to be led into such courses as placed himself, he has built his hut, he interfere with that oneness. I can trace has made his lodgment good, and com- the convulsions that have injured our menced his description of farming in a country to the efforts of a superstitious way that best suits his circumstances. Church to gain supremacy, to exercise a He soon attracts notice; and others tyranny and coercion which have characthink there is something fertile in the terized that Church wherever it has pos.. soil he has chosen, and thus he obtains sessed power. The Presbyterian Church neighbours. There are many religious ought to be treated kindly; and we cancolonies, who have grown up to maturity, not but deeply regret what has lately by our "ósquatting; " and the fact is, that taken place to its great annoyance in the north of Ireland. (The Rev. gentleman there for the purpose of taking the life of was understood to refer here to the Pres. the Preacher, was dead! I do not atbyterian Marriage question.) 0, Sir, tempt to account for the thing ; but the this oppresses to the heart every man fact is unquestionable. The three lawho loves Protestant truth, and who bourers had been attracted by the stag. loves Ireland as connected with that gering of the man, whose object was to truth; and it oppresses the heart of commit an injury; but the removal of every man who loves his country. It is that man struck such a damp on the most uriaccountable, that the matter was minds of those who might have been not taken up at once.

In that country,

inclined to give opposition, that it ceased those who fear God are anxious to be from that hour, and all has since theu quiet, and to mind their own business, gone on prosperously. We greatly vaalthough we have strong temptation to lue our connexion with your Society; and, the contrary ; for agitation is at such a amidst all the confusion that plagues our premium, that even quiet men have a land, as a people we never were more strong temptation to strike in, and the thoroughly one. We are united by the notion is beginning to be entertained, best of bonds, nor does a jarring string that nothing can be had except by those exist among our people. We are as who have the power and the inclination much attached as ever to the old-fashionto be troublesome. We, however, who ed thing called “ conversion to God." are connected with this Society, will, We look on nothing as eventually valuI trust, go on quietly, and guard against able, that falls short of that; and, blessed every thing of that sort ; taking our in- be God, his power and presence are still structions from that book, which has felt in the midst of us. We feel as been not only maligned, but, to a cer. grateful to you as ever; for you continue tain extent, sacrificed. It is not a thing to smile upon us, and give us that supof yesterday, that the Wesleyan body port which is essential, in order to carry should engage in spreading the truth in out the true bond of union between the the remotest parts of Ireland. Our ve. countries; and we feel fully inclined to nerable father in the Gospel, the late aid you in supporting our good cause. Mr. Wesley, had his attention directed, On the other side of the water, although about the year 1785, to a district thickly our numbers are not very large, and peopled, but which till then had been although our means are not very abund. totally neglected from the time of James

ant, yet we do a good deal. In the I., by Presbyterians and Episcopalians. hearing of your Treasurers, I will say, They were shut up towards the Atlan. that, during the last year, we have paid tic by a mighty ridge of mountains, and in more than £100 a week; and that, had little access to the rest of the world. considering how we are circumstanced, is The ignorance that might be supposed something. I would say a word or two to result from their being thus isolated on this subject, if I were not trespassing was increasing, when our excellent

on ynur time. I looked the other day Founder fixed his eye on a soldier, a into our monthly Periodical, and I saw man who had been converted to God, recorded, for one month, seventy-five an active and pious man. He gave him deaths. These persons, whose hearts five guineas, and said, “Go to that had been long enlisted in this great country, and see what you can do." cause, and some of whom were amongst He crossed the mountains, took posses- the most active of our members, and sion of the land, became an instrument perhaps the most liberal contributors to of great good to those who were there, it,—these persons had been called into and at this moment three of our Mission- eternity : and if they have been called to schools are in full operation in that dis. their eternal reward, ought we not to feel, trict. Perhaps you will pardon me for as did the Negro, of whom we heard in mentioning one fact relative to the his- the Report, that we are dying, and latory of that soldier. The only opposi- bour to make up that which will be defition which he received was given by a cient if renewed efforts be not made by strong, wicked, athletic man, who swore those who are left? Under these cir. he would murder “ the Preacher.” On cumstances we should double our dili. the riext morning, the Preacher left the gence and exertions for the purpose of place where he had spent the night, and increasing the funds of the Society. We having topped the mountain where he are as successful in our school-societies expected to see his opponent, his atten- as ever ; and that is a department to tion was attracted to three persons, who which our attention ought to be zea. were standing by another who was lying lously directed. We ask no child, “To on the ground. This man, who went what denomination of Christians do you

belong?" but we say, “ There is a cer- matter in such a Meeting as this. I say tain system of scriptural instruction, so in all seriousness, because for some and whoever comes here must submit years past, having a general acquaintance to that." Do we lack scholars ? No; with the labours of the Society, I look but we lack funds. We have four with anxiety for the tidings of its progress thousand children in the schools. Give throughout the world, and I wish there us the means, and there will soon be were more of us of the mind of one, with forty thousand. There is no disinclina- whose humble history many here present tion to receive Christian instruction, in must be familiar, -I mean William the best sense of the word, on our side of Crister, the Wallsend Miner. It is the channel; and if obstacles have been stated that such an evangelical zeal ex. raised, it is by those who ought to have isted in him and his subterranean comendeavoured to remove those obstacles panions, that the tidings they looked for which were already in existence. But were not tidings of political events or we are as much attached to what we be- military movements, but of the progress lieve our path of duty as ever. We are

of the cause of Christ; and frequently, in determined to endeavour, in the midst of going home from his work, he would all our confusion and misery, to do our ratule at the windows of some of his duty in that state of life into which it companions, and exclaim, “ Glorious has pleased God to call us. We leave news, my friends! there has been a great events with Him, in whose hands they religious awakening at Sheffield.” Now may be safely intrusted. It is now time the tidings which we desire at these for me, following the example of those anniversaries, are tidings, on a large who have gone before me, to read the scale, like those which delighted him; Resolution after the speech bas been and the very fact of your having come made. It runs thus :

together for such a purpose makes me That the beneficial results which feel, that it would not give umbrage 10 have attended the labours of the Wes- the Meeting, were I to read at length leyan Missionaries, especially in Ceylon, those passages in the Report which Africa, the West Indies, and Western justify that Resolution. But as a few Canada, during the past year, call for words spoken, even although labouring special thanksgiving; while various other under the disadvantages of not having parts of the Society's widely-extended accurate or written statements, are usufield of operations afford encouragement ally more acceptable to such audiences, I to continued and still more strenuous will allude to four parts of the world endeavours."

where the labours of the Society have The Rev. JAMES HAMILTON, Mi. been most usefully employed,Ceylon, nister of the Scotch Church, Regent- Africa, the West Indies, and Western Square, London, who was loudly ap- Canada. What delighted me in Ceylon plauded, said,- It will not be easy, my was, the progress of education. EducaChristian friends, to make out a very tion is making such progress, that it is good case in support of this Resolution common for the Coolies, or farm-servants, in the absence of the whole Report. The in going to their work, to carry a book Resolution is founded on that Report; under their arm ; and, during the leisure and it is so interesting, that I wish the hour at noon, which is allowed for Meeting had heard it all. Will this refreshment, one of them will frequently assembly forgive me, if I say, that I have sit down and read to his companions sometimes been rather sceptical as to the recumbent around him, until the exeffects that follow from convocations like piration of the time allowed them. A this ? Not that I doubt that good may thirst for information, for reading, for ensue, but I have sometimes thought that intelligence, has been awakened there, it was mingled good ; and once, in putting and the consequence is seen in their the question to a friend, was it really bringing in their elephant-headed idols, needful to have so great a gathering every and breaking them asunder, and pulling April or May? his answer was, “We down the huts in which those idols were must have it, though it were for nothing formerly kept and worshipped. And as but to get up the steam.” Now, it is education spreads in Ceylon, so, in the very difficult to get up the steam when opposite hemisphere, Western Canada, you have an empty boiler on the fire. we find a remarkable increase of the The Report is the pabulum, from which Mission Church. That seems to be one the steam must be elaborated; and I of the most largely blessed, among the Sofeel that this Meeting has lost a consi- ciety's stations, with the accession to it of derable portion of a very important docu- “such as shall be saved.” During the past ment, and to me the most interesting year, nearly seven hundred members have been added to the church. The inter our specific days for other purposes. esting feature from Africa is, the efficacy We have days set apart for thanks. of native agency. In Caffraria, the giving, and humiliation ; and I think it native agents are doing some part of that quite in keeping with such usage, that work which the European Missionaries we should set apart a day, at least anonce were alone able to effect. And nually, in the metropolis, on which we while there is in the Report an account may assemble, in this or some other conof this very rapid and interesting pro- venient place, for the very purpose of gress there, it is chiefly attributable, un- stirring up one another to love and to der the divine blessing, to native agency, good works. There never was a period which has been brought into more sys- when it was so important as at the pretematic operation during this year than sent day, that “zeal should be according formerly. In the West Indies, the gra- to knowledge." I frequently have had tifying feature is this, that there is a that passage of holy writ thrown at me, prospect of your churches being self- somewhat sarcastically, in the way of sustaining churches ; and not only self- reproving the exhibitions of zeal which sustaining, but, in their turn, Missionary are afforded by my friends, and some. churches. We find them in Jamaica times by myself.

I agree with such declining to accept the whole of the parties, that our zeal should be according grant which the Society had resolved to to knowledge; but when it is according appropriate them.

Instead of taking to the amount of knowledge concerning the £2,500 which had been voted for the cause, which we may obtain if we the support and maintenance of the only industriously apply ourselves to it, Missionaries there, they resolved that the exhibition of our past zeal will be £1,500 would suffice, and the rest they but as child's play compared with what would make up the island ; and they is forthcoming in the church of Christ. are actually re-paying the loans which We have only touched this hallowed have been advanced for the building of cause, at present, with the tips of our Mission chapels and Mission premises. little fingers; and it will be necessary to Now, it is not only the growth of educa- set both hands to the work before the tion, and its consequent civilization, in cause will have justice done to it. The one quarter, and the remarkable advance literature of the present day, bearing of vital religion in another, that are on the Missionary question, is most imgratifying ; but it is such facts as this, portant, and attention to it ought to be that native Ministers are now able to do urged on our young friends especially. work that it required European Mission. Of all the annuals which I see, from aries once to do, and they will relieve us house to house, spread upon the tables of the burden of sending out so many of my friends, I confess the “ MisEuropean Missionaries. Had you not sionary Reports” appear to me to be supplied the West Indies so abundantly the most excellent. There may not be with Christian agency, you would not quite so much skill manifested in the have had self-supporting churches there getting-up, but there is quite sufficient at this day. This should be a cheering for the object for which they are put consideration with the supporters of the forth. We can afford the absence of Society, to think, that the more plenti- such typographical excellence, and such fully they pour in their contributions, at skill of the engraver, and such beauty the present instant, the more rapidly will of binding, as are exhibited in the more that day come round, when they will be ornamental works, when, on taking up altogether relieved of the burden of send- these annuals, we find that God's glory ing the Gospel abroad, if burden they is advancing in this redeemed but can deem it.

wicked world. Sir William Jones, to The Rev. GEORGE MACDONALD, whom reference has already been made, who was warmly received, spoke nearly was wont to refer his very ardent love as follows :-[ agree, Sir George, en- for study to the reply which his intellitirely with the authority to which Mr. gent mother made him, when, as an Hamilton has referred, that there is a inquisitive child, he was frequently askpropriety in having an Annual Meeting, ing for explanations of different matters: like the present, for the specific and -" Read, my dear," said she, “and you avowed purpose of what he called "get- will know.” Now, Sir, I do not think ting up the steam,”—which means, sim- that we can impress upon the minds ply and literally, and without figure, for of our friends, on occasions like this, a the sake of stirring up our souls to more sentiment more important in its applithan ordinary zeal and devotedness to cation to the Missionary question,this great and glorious cause, We have Read, and you'll know." If it comes

« VorigeDoorgaan »