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who is troubled for the future, * were meant especially for you, and have as much particular directness of appeal as if spoken in confidence to you alone. You may say, “I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh on me;" and you are present to his thought, not as one leaf in the forest, one wave in the sea, or one poor human unit in the aggregate of life, may
be present to the generalising and indiscriminate thought of man, but as a child is present to the thought of his father. Since it is
and since God's proinised help no longer comes through miracles but through appropriate means, use what means may be accessible, and “whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might." We are to cast, not our work but our care upon the Lord, for he careth for us ; " and if he careth for thee," says Leighton, “ be thyself at rest, for why shouldst thou care, and he care too ?"
Sometimes disquieting thoughts will arise, not from fear of want, but from doubt as to the true path of duty. The pilgrim is perplexed with by-paths and cross-paths, and is frequently brought to a stand where many paths meet. There are times when truth looks like error, and error like truth; and “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is death." Must I, at this crisis, speak, or be silent; stand still, or go forward; be active, or passive ?” These are inquiries which rack the spirit with perplexity, and the question which demands immediate decision we are unable to decide. “A sound heart is the best casuist,” says Mr. Cecil, but this can only be maintained by communion with God. His constant presence will impart to your spirit a delicate holiness of feeling-a faculty of perception, fine, sensitive, and accurate as instinct-which will be sure in the main to lead you right, and thus God will be your guide. Be at rest, for though you may take a wrong step, you will not take a wrong course. Be at rest, for although your way may be rough, it will be right. Be at rest, for even though you are blind, and can but slowly feel your way, the all-seeing Spirit is with you, “ leading the blind by a way they know not.” There is a mountain-pass in Switzerland over which the traveller is conducted blindfold. He might lose his footing if he caught but one bewildering glimpse of the chasm below. In like manner, a wise love conceals from us those circumstances that might distract our attention from the immediate line of duty, and withholds the knowledge that might occasion bewilderment and a fall. We are led along by sympathetic contact with God's own spirit ; and our safety depends not on our clear vision of the way, but on our firm grasp of the guiding hand; for “we walk by faith, and not by sight." Let us then be at rest.
The presence of God with us now is the pledge of perfect rest in the next life. Our present rest, though real, is not perfect. The presence of God has a tendency to create it, but we are in the presence of a thousand other elements which have a tendency to interrupt it. It is soothing to know that “there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,” but it is the rest of the justified, and not yet the rest of the glorified. It is soothing to live under the sway of his Holy Spirit, but the calming powers of grace are not yet allowed to operate alone and unimpeded; "there is a law in the members warring against the law in the mind," and the spirit has only the rest of convalescence, not of overlasting health. It is soothing to say “ The Lord is our portion,”
* Luke xii.
and to feel that it is now our right to enjoy God in all things, and all things in God; but through the sin " that dwelleth in us” we are contented with only partial appropriation of our right, and our rest is, therefore, but the calm of endurance, not the fulness of joy. It is soothing to feel that he is with us in every society, however uncongenial, and in every solitude, though lonely as the Dead Sea shore-to know that he will supply our need from his glorious riches, and guide us on our way to his celestial city,—but still there is a want of harmony between the lot without and the life within; we are yet in the enemy's landthe land of disasters, of temptations, and of blighting cares—and rest on the march-rest on the field of holy war, is not like rest at home. Besides all this, there must be the weariness arising from the frail constitution of our mortal nature. The body was not born again when the soul was, and made by the same wonder-stroke of regeneration a renovated instrument, finely balanced and exquisitely toned, to suit the renovated soul. Spiritual as we may be, we are still in the “natural body," which is only the suitable vehicle for the “natural man.” The soul is redeemed, but we still wait for the "redemption of the body." At present, the frame through which the spirit acts, has infirmities which check its aspirations and detain its flight. When Christ summons us to watch and pray, though “the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.” Owing to an imperfect organisation, mere atmospheric influences, and trifles in themselves as insignificant as the insects of a summer-day, sting the spirit with agony, cloud it with gloom, or vex it into convulsions of impatience. Many sins only reach it through the senses, many fiery darts of temptation first fall and kindle there; and trembling in every fibre of our being, tired out with “the weary strife of frail humanity,” the Christian is ready to cry with Paul, “ Oh! wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death !".
We are only “delivered from this body" by the act of dying; and when Christ is with us, this is all that we mean by dying. That part of our nature which believes in Jesus, can never die. Sickness cannot dissolve, nor fever waste, nor fracture mutilate, thought, fidelity, and love. “Strike on, strike on; thou canst not touch Anaxarchus !" So said the sage to the executioner who was commanded to destroy him with the strokes of an iron mace; and so we may challenge Death. The ship may be broken on the rocks, but the passenger will live and reach the shore; the tent may be levelled to the dust, but the tenant will survive; the believer, when he drops the burden of the flesh, though "absent from the body, is present with tbe Lord.”
If we are but assured of his presence with us now, by the earnest of his Spirit and the tokens of his love, although a prophet were commissioned to say to each of us, “ This year thou shalt die !' we know that we should only die into immortality; and death to us, would be but the death of sin, the death of temptation, the death of every alarm and every calamity, and would be the introduction to perfect and eternal rest. "For there remaineth a rest for the people of God.”
Christians ! we may all have rest if we will, for God has said so. Only let us have a clear understanding of what he means; for perhaps, after all, he does not mean what you mean by rest. He will not gratify a mere love of ease ; a mere indolent wish to be quiet ; a readiness to steal moments from duty, that you might give them to self-indulgence; a weak desire to turn your piety into a contemplative dream, and your experience" into a delicious haze of mystic meditation. Your life is not
to be typified by the lake-bird, which seeks the stillest waters, lives but to compose its snowy plumage, floats in its solitary calm, is rapt in the reflection of its own beauty, and sings itself to death.” The rest which God has to give, is not a selfish and a useless thing, but a thing eminently noble and practical. It is that sedate patience, that tranquil strength, that grand, patrician calm peculiar to those who live every day in the best society, not of earth merely, but of heaven, and who acquire, through their walk with God, power to see things calmly, to do things calmly, and to bear things calmly. Seek it, that you may give your undivided powers to the service of the Redeemer, and that, through the enjoyment of more rest, you may put forth more efficient action. Try, in your measure, to be like those blessed spirits who combine the profoundest repose with the divinest activity ; who “rest,” but “rest not;" and who cry day and night with all the powers of life as well as language, “ Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come!" Camberwell.
JAMAICA NATIVE TEACHERS AND PREACHERS.
BY THE REV. D. J. EAST, PRESIDENT OF THE CALABAR INSTITUTION. A Few years ago we were spending a few weeks in some of the mountains of Jamaica, when, having heard of a public examination of a Native school, con. ducted by a black teacher, about twelve miles distant, we resolved to attend it. Accordingly, accompanied by a white friend and two or three black brethren, we set out on the journey. The first part of our road was through a large settlement of labouring people on rented land, composed, as is usually the case when the land is not freehold, of very inferior dwellings, but planted to their very doors with sugar-canes and plantains, covered with mountain dew, and waving in richest luxuriance before the cool early morning breeze. A way then opened upon an extensive cattle-pen, the rich pastures of which, abounding in grass, and wooded here and there with magnificent trees, among them the cedar and mahogany, presented a lovely and park-like appearance. Now we began to ascend the steep mountains by narrow roads, along which in some places lofty cliffs, hundreds of feet in height, and thickly wooded to their very summits, arose on one side of us, while we looked down precipices as deep on the other. The vale below was filled with forests of trees, festooned with creepers of every shade of green and variety of form.
After about three hours' ride we reached the school-house, situated nearly at the top of the mountain ridge,-a temporary erection of " Spanish walls," with roof of rude rafters thatched over with the "thatch palm " beautifully plaited, and effectually resisting even the heavy mountain rains. More than a hundred children of these black mountaineers were already gathered, but as their examination had not yet commenced we entered the teacher's house for rest and refreshment. The teacher himself welcomed us with great cordiality and politeness,—a black young man about four-and-twenty years of age, quick of utterance, with bright sparkling eye and animated features. His cottage was sufficiently humble, comprising only a small sitting-room and bed-room ; but it was furnished with a small library on which we looked with interest. There were “Barnes's Notes on the Gospels," beside an English Bible, a Greek Testament, Histories of Greece and Rome, and, among a number of elementary school-books, Greek and Latin Grammars, Lexicons, &c., &c.
While resting in the teacher's cottage we made inquiries about his school, and had the satisfaction of gleaning some particulars which were exceedingly gratifying. We found that it was both supported and managed by the people themselves. A number of these black brethren, concerned to obtain an education for their children, had united to form a society, the condition of membership being a payment of three shillings, either per month or per quarter (we forget which), which entitled them to send their children to school. The members annually met to elect a committee of management, with treasurer and secretary. By this committee the teacher was employed, and paid a salary of £20 per annum, in addition to a supply of ground, provisions, and the use of the cottage in which he lived.
The school examination now commenced, presided over by a black man, and conducted according to a programme which the teacher had carefully prepared, the whole having been arranged with an eye to dramatic effect. And most effective it was. We remained for about three hours, during which the attention of at least two hundred people, parents and friends of the children, some sitting, some standing, some inside the building, and some crowding around the doors and windows, was kept up with unwearied interest. The smallest children, on the lowest forms, were seated in front, and were first brought forward to show their ability to read the alphabet ; and then by a graduated scale we were taken upwards to the highest standard which these young literati of African race had attained, the most forward working with facility sums proposed to them by their teacher in the compound rules of arithmetic. But the part of the examination which interested us most was in the Geography of Jamaica, and of Scripture. The teacher had himself constructed a map of the island ; and its relative position in the Caribbean Sea, its length and breadth, its counties and its parishes, the peculiarities and productions of each, were stated, in connection with their situation on the map, with astonishing quickness and correctness. In Scripture Geography a map of the journeyings of the Israelites was set before the elder scholars; and now a boy or girl stepped forward, traced the way from one station to another, and then recited the particulars of the march, in the very words of Scripture with a fluency and accuracy which amazed and delighted us. The lessons were interspersed, and the attention was relieved throughout, by the singing and recitation of some of the most pleasing school-songs and poetical pieces.
This was a mountain school, under the superintendence of a black teacher, sustained entirely by the black and coloured population, and managed in every respect by a committee and officers chosen by the people themselves. It is still carried on; and when, only a few months since, we were passing through the same district, we found a number of men employed in preparing the frame of a larger and more substantial school-room. The teacher being a man of eminent piety and consistency of Christian character, and showing himself possessed of gifts qualifying him for the Christian ministry, was called to the work by the church of which he is a member, and was received about a year and a half ago, as a theological student, into Calabar Institution.
Suppose for a few moments our readers now transport themselves to this humble school of the prophets, which has supplied twelve or thirteen native pastors, eight or nine schoolmasters and assistant preachers, and sent one missionary to Africa, the land of his fathers. We find the Institution at an elevation of about five hundred feet above the bay of Rio Bueno, on the north side of the island, nearly equidistant from its eastern and western extremities—the very centre, therefore, of the majority of our largest and most flourishing Baptist Churches. It stands upon an irregular and rough area of "honey-comb rocks, which, it was once said, would produce nothing but the deadly nightshade. But we now see it laid out in pleasant walks, with a pretty flowergarden and vinery behind, and flourishing guinea-grass pastures all around. It commands a beautiful view towards the east of the mountains of St. Ann's, with pleasant peeps of the ocean on the north. The orange, the sour-sop, the lime, and the pomegranate, with other tropical trees, here and there meet the eye; while the giant cotton-tree, towering to an enormous height, spreads its magnificent canopy of bright green foliage, casting a shadow as from a great cloud upon the ground beneath. The buildings make no pretensions to architectural beauty, and comprise the dwelling-house of the tutor, with the studieshall and studies on the one side, and the servants' outoffices on the other. The entrance to the house opens into a spacious room which forms the library, comprising about 2,000 volumes. The students meet in class from seven o'clock in the morning, till twelve at noon, or till two p.m. The Institution may not have accomplished all that its more sanguine friends may have anticipated ; but, in the judgment of all who intimately know its working and results, it kas realised all reasonable expectations. Here we meet young men preparing for the great work of the Christian Ministry, and others training for the hardly less important duties of day-school teachers. And just now we observe the carpenter and the mason fitting up a new suite of rooms to receive nine or ten lay pupils, the sons of thriving men of colour, who promise one day to form the middle-class of society in Jamaica, and whose friends are willing to meet the cost of their education by the payment of stipulated fees.
Journeying from Calabar along the sea-side, in a westerly direction, a distance of about seventeen miles, we arrived at Falmouth. Our readers may imagine themselves inside Mr. Knibb's spacious chapel, calculated to seat 1,500 or 2,000 people. It is evening; the building is well lighted; an Anti-Slavery meeting is being held during the sittings of the Jamaica Baptist Union. The house is full to the very doors ; the congregation comprises persons of every shade of colour, but the vast majority are black. The platform exhibits the same variety,-the white, the black, and the brown pastor are there sitting side by side, united in one common cause the cause of human liberty. About the middle of the proceedings a black young man, formerly a student at Calabar, and recently ordained as a minister, comes forward to second a resolution. It has been moved by a European missionary, and has reference to certain charges which had been made in the London “ Times” against the labouring population of Jamaica. Our black brother rises to vindicate his countrymen. There is a facetious smile upon his countenance, which shows that he feels he has the mastery of his subject, and no very difficult task to perform. Jamaica black men had been called “BEASTS." Yes ! “ beasts.” This is the charge which our friend intends to take up. “ So they say we are beasts. Well, if we are, I suppose it must be in one of two senses :-we are beasts because we are not men, or because we conduct ourselves like beasts. Now I do not think any man in his senses will deny to us the attributes of humanity; it must be intended, therefore, that we conduct ourselves like beasts.” And now our brother goes on to admit that “ Quashie" is often found guilty of doing beastly things ; and he enumerates and condemns some of the beastly things he does. But then, he asks, “How comes he to do these things ? Who taught him? Who was