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REY, WILLIAM BISHOP. Died, on Monday, the 23rd inst., of para. lysis, in his 67th year, the Rev. William Bishop, nearly thirty-eight years pastor of the Independent church, Gloucester. His first attack took place in his own house on the first Sunday in May, when preparing to enter his pulpit. The necessary aid was instantly obtained, and he so far recovered as to administer the eucharist on the first Lord'sday in June. A second attack shortly followed early on a Sabbath morning, when he had purposed to preach. This attack enfeebled him greatly, and excited among his friends the serious apprehension that his ministerial duties were ended. A slight amendment, however, took place, and he again, and for the last time, administered the eucharist to his church on the first Sabbath in July, On Tuesday, the 17th inst., he was present at a special prayer-meeting in his own chapel, convened to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God under the scourge of Cholera, which had recently visited the city. He engaged in prayer, at considerable length, and with great earnestness. On the following Thursday, he determined to address the people of his charge. He was assisted, with considerable difficulty, into the desk; when, after engaging in prayer, he addressed the congregation, with peculiar feeling, from Psalm cxii. 7. “ His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." After proceeding for about fifteen minutes, his voice faltered, he fell back, beckoning for assistance, and was immediately carried into his house by one of his members, a powerful man, to whom he said, “ HAPPY-HAPPYHappy !" Every means that affection or medical skill could suggest, were employed to alleviate his sufferings; in the course of the night he became insensible, and, on the following Monday, expired, closing a life of great usefulness and piety. His loss will be long felt, not only in his own church, but in the churches of the county generally. L.
sustained with almost incredible fortitude. During the Monday and Tuesday, the family were led to cherish hopes, from some favourable symptoms of the disease, that the valuable life of Mr. W. would still be spared; but these anticipations were painfully disappointed, and during the whole of Wednesday the sufferer rapidly sunk, until, at ten minutes past ten o'clock on the Thursday morning, his spirit entered the mansions of eternal rest. On the Tuesday preceding his dissolution, his medical attendant, a pious member of the Church of England, expressed his surprise at the wonderful serenity and composure he mani. fested. He said, “ Mr. W., if you should recover, it will be entirely owing to the astonishing calmness of mind you possess.” The reply was, “ Yes, Sir, it is all peace within." On the last day spent by this holy man on earth, one of his Norwood members called to see him, and asked, “ How does your mind feel ?” He replied, with as much emphasis as his weakness would admit, “ It is in perfect peace.” This uninterrupted tranquillity of mind he retained to the last. And when he had waited his appointed time, he fell asleep, without a struggle or a groan, in the 59th year of his age. His remains were deposited in the burial-ground at Norwood, when the Rev. R. H. Shepherd delivered an impressive address over the grave. Mr. W. has left a widow and numerous family. the greater part of whom are dependent on their bereaved parent. He has left behind him two sons in the ministry. The elder son was ordained in December last, when Mr. W. delivered an affectionate charge, which was subsequently published in the Home Missionary Magazines for April and May. Amongst his papers has been found a charge prepared for delivery at the ordination of the other son. This, at the particular request of many of the TM friends of the deceased, will shortly be pubfrie lished, with a short Prefatory Memoir. Oh, that this mysterious providence may be blessed to them, and that they may be taught to work while it is called to-day, seeing the hour ap. proaches wherein no man can work!
REV. WILLIAM WILLIAMS. It falls to our painful lot to record the departure from this life of the Rev. William Williams, late pastor of the Inde. pendent church and congregation at Nor. wood, in the county of Surrey. This event, which has plunged his family into the deepest distress, took place at his residence in the King's Road, Chelsea, on Thursday, Aug. 2, 183ž. On the preceding Friday, Mr. W.was attacked with sudden illness, which increased notwithstanding every attempt of his medical attendants to check its progress, until it terminated fatally on the sixth day from its commencement. The sufferings from the disease were of the most painful nature, but were
REV, SAMUEL ROOKER. On the 9th of August died, aged 64, the Rev. Samuel Rooker, of Bideford. In 1807 he succeeded in the pastoral office the Rev. Samuel Lavington, the well-known author of several volumes of valuable sermons; having assisted him in his ministerial duties since 1795; and, till his death, he continued the beloved and highly esteemed pastor of the Independent church and congregation at Bideford. He departed this life in humble hope of salvation, through a crucified Redeemer.
FOR SEPTEMBER, 1832.
LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
Subscriptions and Donations in aid of the Funds of this Society will be thankfully received by the Treasurer or Secretaries, at the Mission House, 26, Austin Friars, London; in Edinburgh, by Mr. George Yule ; in Glasgow, by Mr. William M'Gavin ; and in Dublin, by Messrs. J. D. La Touche and Co., or at 7, Lower Abbey-street.
SOUTH SEA MISSION.
The interest which continues to be manifested by the Christian public, in the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom in this quarter of the world, renders it desirable to furnish, from time to time, so far as the communications from the missionaries supply the necessary information, a brief notice of the circumstances of the churches connected with the stations and out-stations, and of the general aspect of the whole mission. This appears to be the more requisite, at the present time, as a number of charges, though repeatedly refuted, have been recently mixed up with new grounds of accusation, and again put into circulation.
The great object which, from their first arrival in the islands until the present time, the missionaries have sought to accomplish, has been the spiritual benefit of the inhabitants—their conversion to Christianity--progressive sanctification and meetness for the purity and enjoyment of the heavenly state. In subordination to this, a number of minor objects have engaged their attention. Their endeavours to improve the temporal circumstances of the people, to communicate the blessings of education, and to promote the increase of knowledge, have been pursued in conjunction with the more sacred duties of their vocation ; but on account of the formidable difficulties with which they have had to contend, the progress of the people has been less rapid than their friends have expected and desired, and the missionaries themselves have aimed to secure. They have, notwithstanding, solid and cheering grounds of encouragement. Though the most partial view of the progress of the mission must convince every individual, of ordinary discernment and candour, that the disadvantages under which the work has advanced have been of no ordinary kind.
One great impediment to the outward prosperity of the people has been the difficulty of sup. plying those wants which a more regular and comfortable mode of life has introduced, and in this respect they are placed in circumstances less favourable than those of the New Zealanders and Sandwich Islanders. The adaptation of the soil and climate of the former to the growth of the potato, the valuable timber, and the native flax, which are both indigenous, furnish to them the means of advantageous commerce, which the latter find in the sandal-wood, growing without culture, in great abundance, on their native mountains. But neither of these, nor any equivalents, are possessed by the inhabitants of Tahiti and the adjacent islands. The spontaneous productions of their country yield to them, with the exception of a few vegetables and the means of raising live-stock for the supply of shipping, no articles of profitable barter with foreigners. The introduction of implements of iron, and of other manufactures of civilized countries, so essential to the improvement of the people, having been in proportion to the returns they were able to make, has been exceedingly limited. Another fertile source of difficulty has been found in their previous irregular and indolent habits of life. A state of society more dissolute and opposed to steady application and industry than that which prevailed among them prior to their renunciation of idolatry cannot well be imagined ; and although the general and outward VOL. X.
operation of those propensities, which heathenism had nurtured and matured, was restrained, almost universally, when the Islanders first professed Christianity, numbers were influ. enced only by the excitement of feeling, in favour of the new religion, which then appeared to pervade all classes, and have remained destitute of every thing connected with Christianity, excepting its name. These afterwards found, as might be expected, their former inclinations too strong to be restrained by the feeble resistance which public opinion interposed ; and though they did not revive the worship of the idols or the cruelties of human sacrifice, they returned, in a great degree, to their former indolence and vices. To enable a people, whose resources scarcely ever exceeded the demand for the supply of their daily wants, to obtain the means of realizing the conveniences and comforts of comparatively civilized life-to induce them to substitute kindness for the most relentless cruelty-integrity and virtue for the practice of every degree of iniquity and fraud-and habits of persevering application and industry, for a life of perpetual idleness and change—was part of the work which the missionaries attempted, and in which, though, as already noticed, in very many instances they have met with bitter disappointment, they have, in others, been cheered with the most encouraging success.
That a number of the natives are still ignorant and improvident, vicious and indolent, and consequently destitute of the means of personal and domestic comfort, and that some exhibit all the deformity of iniquity which European profligacy has ingrafted on their aboriginal vices, is not denied; and the fearful extent to which th s would have prevailed, but for the conservative influence of Christianity, cannot well be imagined. Yet the entire community is not composed of such individuals as some, who, in their claims to veracity, draw largely on the credulity of their readers, would have us believe ; nor do they form the majority, any more than the most abandoned and profane may be said fairly to represent other communities in which Christianity is professed.
Indolence, from the force of habit, and the warmth of the climate, &c., is still one of the greatest barriers to the rapid improvement of their temporal circumstances; but it is not too much to affirm that the average amount of labour is double, and, in many instances, four times greater, than it was while they were heathens. More land is cultivated, and a number of articles, useful to the natives, and valuable in barter with foreigners, have been added to those formerly grown in the islands. Among these may be mentioned-without enumerating several kinds of edible roots, vegetables, and fruits--a superior sort of cotton, coffee, indigo, and Indian corn. The latter, it is true, has not been cultivated to any great extent, but is now to be found among the productions of the islands.
The attempts to introduce the manufacture of cotton have not succeeded so well as was anticipated ; neither have they entirely failed. A number of the natives, it is stated by the missionaries, are capable of spinning the cotton grown in the islands, and weaving it into cloth. The people at some of the stations have also been taught to make soap and salt, to prepare tobacco, and to manufacture sugar. Though these articles have as yet been produced only in small quantities, it is probable that, as the population increases, and their habits become more industrious, they will hereafter be furnished in far greater abundance, and may become valuable commodities of trade for articles of apparel, or other European manufactures.
Besides a knowledge of rope-making, turnery, carpentering, and the art of working in iron, in which a number have made a creditable proficiency-and some have been employed by European traders, and at regular monthly wages, as smiths--the preparation of lime, and the construction of more neat and comfortable dwellings, they have been instructed in the art of boat and ship-building, after the European manner. This, being a species of occupation peculiarly suited to their circumstances and taste, has been followed with great avidity; and, though attended with some failures, as was to be apprehended from the paucity of materials for their construction and scanty means of keeping them in profitable employ, the natives have exhibited a degree of improvement that has excited the admiration of many, and convinced all, who have compared their present vessels with those which they formerly
used--that they possess abilities, and are capable of a measure of perseverance, which warrant the anticipation of very respectable attainments in this valuable branch of practical knowledge. The missionaries were the first to teach them this art, and to their enterprise, and the labours of those whom they have employed, they are chiefy, if not entirely, indebted for their means of subsequent improvement,
In order to increase their resources, useful animals have been taken to the islands, and some of them thrive well, especially goats and cattle. The latter were introduced and preserved by the missionaries, and for some time belonged exclusively to them, or those immediately connected with them ; but they are now possessed by the greater part, if not all, of the chiefs, and many of the people, who appear exceedingly fond of them, and render them remarkably tame. They are now so numerous that it is stated ships may be supplied with fresh meat at the moderate price of three pence per pound. This, while it will prove a great benefit to the natives, will be peculiarly advantageous to the masters of vessels visiting their ports for refreshments, on the obtaining of which the health of their crews, and the consequent success or failure of the voyage, so greatly depend. Horses have also been taken to the islands, and, though not numerous, are possessed by a number of the chiefs.
The difficulties that attended their improvement, by means of education, have been equal to those which have retarded their outward prosperity. The same natural indolence and restlessness of disposition which rendered them so averse to steady labour, with the spade, the saw, or the hammer, made the confinement and application requisite to acquire even the first rudiments of education equally irksome. These difficulties, the patience and perseverance of the missionaries have, in a great measure, overcome; and, without entering into details, it may be confidently stated, that throughout the Georgian and Society Islands, with the exception of those who are in the early stages of childhood, and those who were far advanced in years when Christianity, was generally professed, and perhaps even without these exceptions, the majority of the inhabitants are able to read all the books that exist in their language. That language, it will be remembered, the missionaries had first to acquire, to construct its frame-work from the very foundation, arrange it in regular order, and present it in a written form to the people, with scarcely any aid besides what they derived from the frequently uncertain and perplexing oral explanations of the natives, to whom, at the time, the design and use of letters was utterly incomprehensible. The books in the Tahitian language do not afford much variety of subject, but they include some that contain the foundations of all profitable wisdom-viz., the whole of the New, and some parts of the Old, Testament; and though many, who formerly sought these with apparent eager. ness, now neglect them, by multitudes they are highly prized.
The labours of the printing-presses in the islands are increased, and become every year more important. They are superintended by the missionaries at the stations in which they are established, but worked by native printers, who have been taught to perform, with credit and dispatch, the mechanical part of the operation. By these means the demand of the original mission is supplied ; and books are also furnished, with comparative facility, for the use of the inhabitants of the numerous and populous islands among which the native teachers are labouring. The extent to which this is done will appear from the circumstance that Mr. Darling, during a recent voyage to the islands in the south and east of Tahiti, distributed books to upwards of a thousand applicants in three islands only. And Mr. Barff observes, in communications recently received, that before commencing his voyage to the west he had printed 8000 copies of a small book in the Rarotoa dialect, a series of arithmetical tables for the use of the schools, and an edition of 13,000 copies of an elementary work for the use of the out-stations connected with the Leeward Islands. These had been completed during the year ending December, 1831.
Schools are still maintained, and regularly attended both by adults and children, though
not so punctually as at first, especially by the latter. On the part of the adults, and many 6 of the children, this arises from the necessity they now find of devoting a greater portion of their time to the cultivation of their lands, or from their natural opposition to the moral principles inculcated in the instructions they receive. The irregular attendance of the latter is sometimes occasioned by their accompanying their parents to their plantations, but chiefly by their impatience of continuance at one occupation for any length of time, their love of rambling, their native indolence, fostered by the warmth of the climate, the facility with which the bare means of subsistence may be obtained, and the inclination numbers of them manifest towards the habits of dissipation which so many efforts have recently been made to revive in the islands. In allusion to this subject, Mr. Davies, in one of his recent letters, observes, “ The schools and different meetings are well attended, though few of the youth seem seriously inclined, which is a source of grief both to their parents and myself; but means for their improvement are not neglected, and many prayers are offered in their behalf." *
It now only remains to notice the state of religion in the several churches and among the people generally. To undermine and destroy religion, the preservation of which, in its purity and efficacy, has been attended with the greatest difficulties, the enemies of the mission have put forth their most determined efforts. Hence the misrepresentations, tending to invalidate the evidence of its reality and effects, which have been most frequently and in. dustriously circulated. That attention to the observances of religion and a regard to its precepts, in the ordinary affairs of life, are not so general and conspicuous as they were im. mediately after the first reception of the gospel by the people, has been repeatedly stated. The profession of religion-endeavours to learn to read and the possession of a copy of such portions of the Scriptures as were printed in their language, were, at that time, with a few solitary exceptions, universal. Theft, licentiousness, drunkenness, and other crimes, were, for a time, either discontinued or carefully concealed. The habit of private prayer and domestic worship was uniform and generally maintained. On the Sabbath there was a total cessation from all kinds of secular employment, and an appropriation of the hours of the day to reading and religious services. Society appeared at the time in a state in which it is presumed it had seldom been seen, even in communities where far greater advantages have been enjoyed; but it would have been folly to suppose that all was what it appeared to be. Many, undoubtedly, from a variety of considerations and others without considering the subject at all, declared themselves Christians ; numbers wore the mask of religion, professed what they did not feel, publicly abstained from vices, a desire for the gratification of which they still cherished, and practised observances, in which inwardly they felt no pleasure. But this state of things, to whatsoever anticipations it might give birth, could not last. Some hastily threw off the disguise ; others retained it for a longer time; until numbers have shown that their Christianity was nothing more than empty form. But, though all this has occurred, there were from the first a goodly number who acted from the firm conviction of their judgment, and the strong bias of their affections, who were moved by pure and scriptural mo. tives, and who, from the influence of that divine benediction to which they ascribe the first change in their minds, have, notwithstanding all the contempt and reproach that has been heaped upon them by the malice of ungodly mon, and all the violence of temptation by which they have been assailed, and all the natural imperfections of character, remained steadfast in the ways of religion, and have maintained their profession unshaken and unsullied by the heresies which have risen to perplex and the pollutions with which it has been sought to inundate the germs of virtue which Christianity had implanted in the bosoms of any of the people.
Those whose religion is, we have reason to believe, grounded in principle now form a distinct class; and, though they compose but a minority of the entire population, yet those who profess Christianity, and regard most of its outward observances, still constitute a great majority over those who have cast off all regard to its requirements and sanctions. The withdraw.
th Extract from a letter to Mr. Ellis, dated June 1, 1831.