« VorigeDoorgaan »
nitor, down to the present hour, with such near onr own doors; and thanks all their skill, and all their eloquence, be to God your Christian charity found and all their piety, to do justice to and fed many such during the last my text. Yea, 'could I be allowed-winter. Yes, you sought out, and poor, wretched, sinful man as I am- you relieved many of your poorer breto address myself to angels, and hum- thren in their distress; and held out bly to present to them my suit and to them a brother's hand, and showed service, that they would take this to them a brother's love. Your mi. glorious text—that they would let nister will not, cannot forget those us hear from heavenly voices, and in works of faith and labours of love, and heavenly language, those things that (not in his own name, but in his Great are felt in another world, connected Master's name) he blesses you for it. with this subject, sure am I, that not Nor he alone, for the blessing of many one among them all, not only the sons who were ready to perish came upon of the earth, no, but of the sons of hea- you, and shall be upon you. ven, could do justice to such a theme And yet there are some extraordi. as this. Here, then, is the glory of nary occasions when extraordinary God, and the love of God in its mani- exertions are called for. Of such a festation. It was shown in what it description is the present distress in suffered—it was shown by what it | Ireland. I know not what would gave up-it was shown by what it have become of our Christian characendured-it was something more than ter, if we had refused to have a ser. words—as if to teach us all, that when mon for our poor starving brethren, we talk of the love of God we should in the sister country. Yet was it be overwhelmed, and overpowered, some little time before this thing and cast into the dust, and made to could be fully determined upon. We acknowledge, and made to feel, that heard of other Christians exerting God only knows the love of God. He themselves, and at length we listened only understands, or can understand to the call which many of you made it, in its length, and breadth, and upon us, some in one way and some depth, and height; and it is mystery, in another, to collect your Chrisan unfathomable mystery into which tian alms to our poor starving Irish the angels themselves desire to look. brethren. It is proper, however,
But having noticed the love of God that you should be informed that and its manifestation, I come, in the the only cause of our delay was our Second place to consider
having fixed for sermons for another THE SUFFERINGS OF OUR BROTHER
work of charity. We were intending
about this time to have made our anYou will notice that the Apostle goes nual appeal on behalf of the National directly and joins these two things to- Schools in this parish. Those Nagether, “Hereby perceive we the love of tional Schools, and our appeal for them, God, because he laid down his life for we now set aside, though but for a us: and we ought to lay down our lives short time. British mercy and Chrisfor the brethren. But whoso hath this tian feeling demand that we should. world's good, and seeth his brother With this demand we have complied, have need, and shutteth up his bowels and we come this day to bring before of compassion from him, how dwelleth you our suffering brethren in Ireland, the love of God in him.” In a world and the claims which they have upon like ours we need not go far to find our Christian sympathy. Could I this a suffering brother.
We may find | morning bring into this church some
--AND HOW THEY ARE TO BE MET.
wretched Irisu lamily, in their desti-, litic, have a mutual and tender care the tution, and in their misery, scarcely one for the other, that the body receive covered with clothes, and manifestly damage in nothing. Does any limb of in a state of starvation, some (though this great empire suffer ? Let all the I hope but a few) might possibly be body feel the pain, and share the sufready to exclaim, “do you call us to fering; or if possible, relieve, and at acknowledge, as a brother, that poor length, by God's blessing, remove it. wretched creature in his rags and de- And this brings me directly to that gradation?” Yes, verily, I do so call appeal which I have this day to make upon you. I demand that you do so on behalf of poor suffering Ireland. consider and regard him. The same You are, perhaps, ready to require of God who made him made you. The the preacher, that he should give same atoning blood which redeemed you a short statement of the matter, you redeemed him ; and if ever either together with some of the facts of the you or he attain to glory everlasting, case, that you may know how to act, it will be owing to the pity and grace and what to do on this occasion ? of that God who is no respecter of Your request shall no sooner be known persons; whese tender mercies are than complied with. Hear then-the over all his works, and who hath facts are few and simple. They are made of one blood all the nations of these :-" The accounts which men which dwell in all the world. daily arriving from the sister island
But I think there are not a few present a picture of aggravated sufamong you who, were you to behold fering which loudly calls upon us to such a wretched family, would be stand forward in behalf of the starving ready instantly to recognize its con- population. The almost total failure nexion with yourselves, not merely by of the potato crops, through the inthe ties of nature, as made by the same cessant rains, and a succession of vio. God, and by those of grace as re- lent gales of wind; the partial loss of deemed by the same Saviour, but as the oats as well as of the hay, and living under the same laws, as subjects these calamities aggravated by the deof the same crown; and though in a struction of the turf, and the consedistant part of the empire, yet united quent scarcity of fuel, have united in to you by bonds which ought never to producing a degree of misery which it be broken.
is appalling to contemplate.” Mark My dear brethren, if Christianity uni- the extent of this evil and sufferversally prevailed throughout this great ing. " The distress extends more or kingdom, you would see men united less along the whole of the northfar more closely to one another in holy west of Ireland, from Galway Bay to compacts, in bonds of Christian bro- Loch Swilly, including the counties of therhood, such as nothing on earth Galway, Mayo, Sligo, and Donegal, could break. It is the glory of the comprising a line of two hundred and Gospel, at least one point of its glory, forty miles of coast, and in many parts that it makes every member of Christ's penetrating into the interior. The pochurch to feel an interest in the other pulation of these counties may be estiif one member suffer all the members mated at six hundred thousand souls ; suffer with it--and if one member be and in Mayo alone it appears, by very honoured, all the members rejoice recent returns made on oath to the Cenwith it. Now we are members one of tral Committee of that county, by intelanother, and as such let each part of ligent and respectable persons, that the the body spiritual, or of the body po- greatest distress prevails in forty-two parishes, and that no less than one hun- hundreds round my house seeking redred and forty-eight thousand and forty- lief. I cannot describe adequately the one persons are now suffering under the depth of misery and utter destitution agonies of hunger. The total number that almost covers the whole face of in a state of actual want and starvation Conemara: two-thirds of the populamust therefore, at the most moderate tion are in actual want-several procoinputation, be three hundred thou-tracting existence on the shell-fish and sand; and when it is remembered that sea-weed they pick up on the strand; the new crops will not begin to come I know not where to turn, that the into use for nearly two months, it is most agonizing distress does not stare obvious that there is a loud call for the me in the face,- some old men, who most prompt and energetic exertions." | have once been in decent circum
Here, then, you have the origin of stances, are crying with hunger, as I sit this distress you have further, the down to write this letter. The people places where it is felt—the line of are quite patient, to a degree beyond country or coast along which it ex- all praise; here, in the midst of starving tends--and you have further, the re- people, my outward doors are not turns made on oath to the Central locked or barred at night. I cannot Committee, of the number of persons but admire the resignation with which in one county alone in a state of des- they bear their sufferings, though, I titution and starvation. Let me bring must admit, my own patience is often forward further testimony on this put to a severe trial.” point. The Inspector General of the But let me for a moment alleriate Coast Guard for Ireland is the next your sorrow by stating, that in one authority I would quote. He observes, case a communication was addressed in a communication recently made, to the committee, which stated as folthat " at this moment there are hun- lows : “ Hundreds, by your bounty, dreds of human beings nearly dying have already been saved from death!" from starvation; many are living on Do any ask, then, this day, where is sea-weed, and such shell-fish as they the collection going? We reply, going can procure; and should warm wea- to save from death our poor starving ther set in, I have little doubt but that brother. And, verily, my beloved fever will follow, and carry off thou. | flock, it is worth all that you will sands. The snow remained an un- give this day, to feel a good hope, usually long time on the ground, the that not a few, by your bounty, also fodder was soon exhausted, and the shall be saved from drath. And yet cattle are now dying by hundreds ; it must be mentioned, that though one person I know lost the week be much already has been done, yet uo. fore last twenty-five head of black less British Christians exert them. cattle.”
selves upon an increased scale, and Another person, a minister of our that without delay, the difficulty and holy religion, writes thus—and awful danger cannot be met ; for it is exindeed is that scene of wretchedness pressly stated, “Let it be remembered, (the wretchedness be it remembered of we have two months of the worst time our brethren) which he depicts :-“Ito come.” This letter, indeed, is dated am placed in a situation of extreme June 9th, and let us hope that only pain; from an early hour in the morn- one month of this worst time still reing until late at night, my time is mains. It may serve further to enwholly occupied in this cause. When courage you, and ought, that, as special Iget up in the morning, I have some mercy from God, in those parts where the greatest distress abounds, the crops often cheered the heart of your miniseem particularly fine, and likely to be ster in moments of despondency; nor singularly productive. And does not will I conceal from you, that this is a this circumstance seem to speak and to most anxious day to him who now adsay, silently but pointedly, “Ah, cruel dresses you, for he has this day to see man! whether you care for your whether your Christian principles are starving brother or not, I care from producing their legitimate effect-in heaven, my dwelling-place; whether other words, how far your faith workyou think of him or not, I behold him eth by love. in his sufferings, and will send him, I have but one thing more to state, after a while, corn to eat, and to be and that by way of conclusion, and thankful, and to bless the name of the then after mentioning one single fact, Lord. Your suffering brother shall I shall leave you to do as the Lord not cry to heaven in vain.”
may put it in your hearts to do. I It is, however, incumbent upon me have indeed ventured to express my to point out to you the care with which confident hope concerning you, that your alms will be admivistered, and through God's mercy, you will this to show that nothing will be lost, but morning reach one hundred pounds at that every thing will be made to go as least. I may have been mistaken-I far as it can. In a letter from the may have miscalculated either your Rev. Sir Francis Lynch Blosse, secre- means or your inclination, or both: tary to the Mayo Relief Committee, he though I am not ashamed to say, I besays, “ If we can get only twopence a- lieve I have not miscalculated neither, head daily for our wretched people, and, in truth, have the fullest confinone shall perish from famine.” dence in you all. I trust you will show
CHRISTIANS, WHAT DOES ALL THIS this day that you have not forgotten SAY TO YOU? It speaks for itself. the words of that text on which I Our brother has need. But what if have grounded my appeal on this ocwe shut up our bowels of compassion casion. from him ? or refuse to help him? or The fact I promised to mention is, treat it as only a fiction ? and turn away if well authenticated, as I believe it to our eyes from seeing our brother's be, one of the most distressing things, misery in this the day of his calamity. I will not say that I ever read of in Why, then, the text declares we have modern times, but that I ever rememnot the love of God in us. It does ber to have heard of in times either not say, we have not common hu- ancient or modern. In a poor Irish manity; we may have that, but yet family during this misery, the father not have the love of God in us; even awoke in the morning, and what did that love which led to exertion, and to he see in his wretched cabin ? His enterprize, and to sacrifice.
wife dead beside him, and his little But I press not the matter further. child at her breast sucking, instead of Oh, well is it declared in the text, a mother's milk, a mother's blood, that we ought to lay down our lives but unconscious that its mother was for the brethren. I never found you dead, and wondering that it could not needed pressing; if I had, I should obtain its usual supply from the breast, always have stood before you an un- yet glad to obtain anything. Oh, for willing advocate on charitable oc- a father to see a wife and a mother's casions, and should have delegated breast bleeding, and his child sucking that task entirely and exclusively to its mother's blood !! It is enough to others. Your Christian liberality has melt a heart of stone, and I am de. ceived in you if you can send away | joy and with a lively air, and with a poor wretched Ireland, when poor prayer for our gracious Sovereign, Ireland appeals this day to your Chris (whom God preserve to us!) but me. tian mercy. "Whoso hath this world's thinks we may now retire from this good, and seeth his brother have need, place, rather with feelings of sorrow and shutteth up his bowels of compas- and mourning, when misery and death sion from him, how dwelleth the love seem thus painfully presented to our of God in him? My little children, notice. my beloved people, let us not live in word and in tongue, but in deed and
his good taste in playing them out with a in truth.” We began this service* with
solemn and mournful air, which seemed
completely in unison with the feelings ex• It being the King's accession, the people cited by the distressing anecdote with which were played into Church with the National the sermon concluded. The collection exanthem. The organist, however, shewed ceeded one hundred and twenty-two pounds.
DELIVERED BY THE REV. W. DALTON, M.A.
AT ST.JOHN'S CHAPEL, BEDFORD ROW, IN AID OF THE MORAVIAN MISSIONS, JUNE 10,1831.
Acts, x. 34-44.--" Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceire that
God is no respecter of persons : but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the chil dren of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ ; he is Lord of all; that word, I say, you know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached : how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power ; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil: for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did, both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem ; wkom they slew and hanged on a tree. Him God raised up the third day, and skewed him openly ; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, eren to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he com. manded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him gire all the prophets titress,
that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." This is a very short but a most com- the Gospel, presenting in a few verses prehensive sermon delivered by the every truth important to the souls of special power of the Holy Ghost, and men ;-as Gentiles, because it was the blessed to many souls, both those who first sermon preached to the Gentiles. heard him then, and those that have Cornelius was the first fruits among read it from generation to generation. the Gentiles, and then, and not till May the Lord give us this night the then, the Apostles saw for themselves same Spirit, and we shall be able to that God was no respecter of persons, value and rejoice in this message of but that He had his chosen people in peace by the Lord Jesus Christ.
every nation, tribe, and tongue, and The sermon of Peter ought to be that every one who feared God and specially valuable to us, as Christians, worked righteousness by his grace as Gentiles, and as persons occupied in must be accepted of Him. And the the missionary work;—as Christians, sermon is valuable to us, as persons because it contains a short epitome of engaged in the missionary work, be.