Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

calculated to give, as to announce that its will elevate their character, and which will details are highly satisfactory and encou- smooth their difficulties ; by giving to them raging; and if they be satisfactory, as I increasing fitness for their important and have no doubt they will be, to every one who sacred functions. I am well convinced that hears them, how much more to those who the nearer they can approach to the learnhave connexions, friends, and relatives in ing of Wesley and of Clarke, the fitter distant regions, and whom I could well will be their intellectual, without disparagefancy transporting themselves in imagina- ment to their spiritual, qualifications and tion to the scenes of the labour of those --(the remainder of the sentence was lost in who, they will hear from that Report, have loud and continued expressions of approbanot laboured in vain! That delight I trust tion from all parts of the Hall.) Spiritual they will feel in perfection to-day ; because fitness is undoubtedly indispensable ; but I do not know any thing more satisfactory wherever that exists, it is entitled to "all to the mind of a friend, than to hear that appliances and means to boot," in order to those who are in distant climes, or inhos. give it energy and effect. The Missionary pitable regions, endeavouring to spread the is unquestionably entitled to our highest knowledge of the Gospel of peace, are suc admiration; but it would be ungenerous, ceeding in their efforts; for their success is it would be ungrateful, to forget the admiraof the greatest importance, and pregnant tion called into exercise by the prudence, with the greatest happiness, to those discretion, and fortitude of her whom he amongst whom they labour, and to whom finds to be a “help meet" indeed. I shall they are sent. To be sure, it is not at all never forget the interest with which I listtimes that we can look upon the picture ened, last Christmas-day, when presiding exactly in this light. Sometimes the friends over an important Auxiliary of this Society, of the Missionary are doomed to hear, that to the plain, unvarnished, but most striking, he who, they fondly expected, was destined statement of Mr. William Shaw, late your to carry to the dark corners of the earth the Missionary in South Africa, when detailing, light and life of the Gospel, has been unes with feeling and affection, the courage and pectedly and prematurely taken away, and constancy with which his wife upheld his has fallen a sacrifice either to the intensity spirit. Christian women of England, what of his zeal, or the insalubrity of the climate. do not you owe to those heroines, who have When this event happens, as rarely (I am displayed on such occasions, and under snch happy to say) it does, it is a severe dis difficulties, a magnanimity which, in spite appointment, unquestionably, to the Soci of the admitted physical weakness of your ety; it is an afflicting bereavement to sex, has vindicated its claim to an equality, friends ; but it is one, be it remembered, if not to a superiority, of moral fortitude which admits of the highest consolation, and energy, when compared with ours ? the consolation, that He who doeth all And you, Christian men of England, are things well has thought proper, in his own bound to do honour to those females who good time, to take the object of solicitude to have gone forth, cheering and consoling the the reward of his work of faith, and labour Missionary, and who, at the moment when of love. Such a death, when a Missionary be might have otherwise drooped and dethus falls, is unquestionably, and must ap- sponded, have, by the mild enthusiasm of pear at all times, premature,-premature their characters, kept up his spirits, and to the expectation of friends,- premature, urged him on in his career. This is the when we look at the spiritual necessities of cause which calls for your attention to-day ; those for whom his ministrations were in the cause into which, as I perceive, from tended ; but it cannot be said that it was the scene before me, both men and women premature to him, to whom it has opened enter heart and hand. the portals of everlasting happiness. O let - The Rey. JABEZ BUNTING read an it be a material part of our business to-day, abstract of the Report, which presented a to compare the little we do in this hallowed general view of the present state of the cause, with what is done by the labours of Missions, and detailed the recent operations those men who, in distant regions, and on of the Society, both foreign and domestic. inhospitable shores, are spending and being The Right Hon. LORD MOUNTSANDspent, for the purpose of making known to FORD then rose, and said, Mr. Chairman, those who are in darkness the knowledge of ladies, and gentlemen, I came here, I will their Saviour! I cannot figure to myself not say by accident, for I trust the Lord led any encouragement which the zealous and me hither, to hear one of the most interestdevoted Missionary is not entitled to; and ing Reports I have ever heard read. The I am happy to take this opportunity of ex- approbation of that Report is marked in pressing the pleasure with wbich I contem- every countenance now before me, and I plate the exertions and plans now carrying return to Almighty God my grateful acinto effect for the purpose of securing to knowledgments for the opportunity I have your Missionaries those qualifications which thus enjoyed. When I left home this morning, I did not know that I was coming circles; whether they are Pagans, Mohamto this place; but, as I bave said, the Lord medans, Jews, or Infidels : it breathes has led me bither; and I trust that what I good-will to all, and “wills that all men have heard will sink deep into my heart, and should be saved, and come to the knowbring forth the fruits of a holy and religious ledge of the truth." It is in this spirit that life, so that I may be able, for the future, I am desirous to sustain the Resolution to do all that can be expected of me in my which has been placed in my hand. I neighbourhood, in my own dear country, presume that I am chiefly surrounded by Ireland. I will not detain you longer, as members of the Wesleyan community. there are so many to address you, who will Will they accept, through you, the assurspeak to you with more advantage than I ances of my cordial, my fraternal, regard ? possibly can do ; but will merely move the Will they receive my assurances, that I am Resolution which has been put into my happy to blend my better sympathies with band,“ That the Report, of which an ab- them to-day, and how delighted I have been stract has now been read, be received and to hear the Report of their successful Misprinted."

sionary operations during the past year ? The Rev. J. CLAYTON, jun., spoke Is there a person who may by possibility as follows :- Mr. Chairman, and respected have entered this spacious hall, who is disfriends, I step forward with cheerful readi- posed to advance towards me, and say, “ Be. ness to second the Resolution just moved hold, Eldad and Medad prophesy in the by the Nobleman who has taken his seat. camp ?" Is there a narrow-minded and I feel, Sir, a deep conviction that, “ though envious group who would, if they had the I speak with the tongues of men and angels, power to do so, suppress or obstruct the and have not charity, I am as sounding efforts of these useful labourers, and bid brass and a tinkling cymbal.” It is with them cease from their work ? To all such, this sentiment that I am solicitous to carry this is my prompt, (I will not say my indigforward, at the request of your Committee, nant, but) my warm reply, “ Would God the interesting transactions of these reli- that all the Lord's people were Prophets, gious hours. With this sentiment I wish and that the Lord would put his Spirit every heart to be imbued ; that no ele- upon them all!” O my friends, it is when vated rank, no brilliant gifts, no costly this holy, this catholic, inspiration shall sacrifices, no herculean labours, no flaming replenish the entire aggregate of the Miniszeal, can give substantial value to our ters and disciples of Christ, that we shall efforts in the cause of God, if they are not see far greater things than we have ever yet prompted and regulated by a principle of beheld; greater triumphs over the selfishholy love. Unquestionably, its highest ex- ness and perverseness of our fallen nature, ercises must relate to God. A sense of greater talents, greater successes, greater obligation to a divine Saviour will constrain exertions, and a mightier combination of us to live, not unto ourselves, but unto him; them, to bring the whole population of the will impel us to shrink from no labour, to globe under the enlightening and transgrudge no sacrifice, to repine at no priva- forming influences of the Gospel of the Son tion and suffering, if we can but promote of God. Then, amidst the scenes of light, the interests and glory of Him who gave and liberty, and peace, and joy, which will himself to sprinkle and redeem many animate the vast community, there will be nations. But the subordinate exercises of seen, indeed, one singular funeral, but this Christian virtue will respect our fellow without attendant gloom, when bigotry, increatures. It will glow with fervour to tolerance, and uncharitableness shall be those who bear the image of God. It will conveyed to their sepulchre, and not a dictate the unfeigned wish, “Grace be with mourner be left to go about the streets. all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ in Then, the pictured representations of ansincerity ;" and while its subject will sympa cient prophecy shall be realized in fact, thize with them in their cares and sorrows, when Ephraim and Judah shall cease to he will heartily rejoice in the success with vex and envy one another; when all the which their exertions may have been crown evils of man's dire apostasy shall gradually ed, in the diffusion of the Gospel through disappear; and this world shall exhibit a the world. This divine charity, too, will fair type of heaven, where knowledge, not only cement our attachment to our purity, freedom, and bliss, eternally reign. Christian brethren in general, but, expan. In immediate reference to the motion now sive as the heavens whence it descends, it before the Chair, and about to be presented will reach over the whole family of man. to this crowded Meeting, it is really needIt will not inquire whether the objects of its less that I should say more than a very few benign regards belong to this or the other words, partly because it has been approquarter of the world; whether they are of priately referred to by his Lordship who dark or fair complexion ; whether they are preceded me, and principally because the placed in burning or frozen zones and Report contains so strong a recommenda

tion of itself. I have been marking down has crossed a large part of the course, and with my pencil several points to which I expects shortly to gain the prize. Thus, a wish to advert, but I know not how to make retrospect and prospect of success should my selection. I am astonished at its various urge us onwards in our career of Missionary and ample contents, and dazzled by the zeal, until the erisis arrives, when earth's blaze of the shining detail. Suflice it to millions shall roll the rapturous acclamation say, that it has touched every quarter of to the skies, “ Now is come the kingdom of the globe. It has told us, that the Hindoo God and of his Christ, and he shall reign is breaking his caste; that the African has for ever and ever!” burst his chains; that the North American The Resolution was then pat frem the sarage is losing his wildness, and sitting in Chair, and carried unanimously. calm serenity of mind at the feet of Jesus; SIR ANDREW AGNEW, BART., M.P., and that some even of the superstitious in moving the next Resolution, said, Haviag sons of civilized Europe are feeling after been requested to do that by which I conGod, and beginning to taste that liberty ceive myself much honoured, to move the wherewith Christ makes his people free. second Resolution in this Meeting, I could It has revived us, also, with some domestie not possibly decline, however incompetent I intelligence, that the Gospel is producing feel myself to undertake the task. Sir, it has salutary impressions upon the inhabitants been quite unexpected on my part that I should of a sister island-on Ireland,--on whose be permitted to have this honour; and, in condition I must not expatiate at this time, the absence of ideas of my own, I will and in this place; and in reference to which take the liberty of borrowing one of yours, subject, therefore, I will resolve all my You remarked, Sir, how vast was the difsentiments and feelings into a prayer. May ference between the situation which we oethis be the dawn of a brighter day on the cupy this day, and that which those admirinhabitants of that dark, deluded, suffering, able persons, the Missionaries of the Sobut noble, portion of the British empire ! ciety, occupy in foreign lands. Sir, we So multiplied and exhilarating have been have met here to enjoy a mental treat, I the statements of the Report, (read by one hope also a spiritual feast. We have met of the veterans in the sacred cause,) that I here, according to the annual usage, to rewill not attempt to follow them, but concludejoice with and to congratulate one another. by saying, that there are three exercises of How different is the situation, how vastly mind which its exhibitions should awaken different are the circumstances, in which First, that of ferrent gratitude to God. Be the excellent men are placed, who carry it ours to imitate the first Missionaries sent forward the work of your Society! To us, out by the Saviour, who returned with joy, at least to myself, it is altogether inconand said, “ Even the devils are subject to ceivable, on merely human principles, how us through thy name;" or, to copy the men can carry forward, year after year, Master himself, who, in the hour of his holy their vast, their admirable labours, amidst triumph, exclaimed, “ I saw Satan falling so many difficulties and so many discoulike lightning from heaven.” Associated ragements as they must necessarily meet with our thankfulness, let us cherish deep with. But an explanation can be given of humility. If once we indulge a contrary the fact : it is, that it can only be because spirit, and tread in the footsteps of the they rest upon the arm of God; it can haughty eastern Monarch, who stalked only be because they are convinced of the forth on the walls he had raised, and uttered truth of the simple Scripture statement, the soliloqny, “ Is not this great Babylon that His strength is made perfect in human which I have built, for the glory of my weakness. The circumstances in wbich majesty ?" God can soon send us into they are placed must, above all others, be the miry swamps, to mortify our pride, and calculated to impress them with the conteach us a lesson of dependence. The rains viction of the universal sovereignty of Alof heaven roll off the summits of lofty mighty God. Your Report, Sir, this day, mountains, and glide into the lowly rales, certainly, is admirably calculated to satisfy which they cover with beautiful verdure us, that we should not despise the day of and abundant fruitfulness. And then, gra. small things. I would not attempt to add a titude and humility should be accompanied word to this idea, which has been presented and followed by a firm resolution, in de- to my mind by the admirable Report, empendence on the succours of the Spirit of bracing as it does the whole habitable globe, God, to make more vigorous efforts for the and describing the now extensive operaadvancement of the Redeemer's canse. tions of a system which originally emanatThe husbandman puts forth fresh strength, ed from one individual, who cherished the when he has gathered many sheaves from benevolent notion of evangelizing the whole the field, and anticipates the speedy com- world, -tbat individual being John Wespletion of the harvest. The racer bende ley. "The Resolntion I am called upon to forward with his utmost stretch, when he more is confined to one ohject,- perhaps the most interesting which this Society is bath-question, than to the exertions of the now called upon to contemplate,-the ef- Wesleyan Methodists. fects produced in the West Indies by the The Rey. THEODORE DURY, A.M., emancipation of the slaves. Allow me to VICAR OF Keighley, in Yorkshire:- Mr. congratulate you, in doing which perhaps Chairman and Christian friends, The ReI have a selfish pleasure, (though the part solution which I am called to second reI took was in a much humbler degree than quires but very little recommendation from your own,) on the manner in which you any speaker. It relates to the cause of exerted your eloquence on that subject in the negroes; and there is one remark another place. And it surely must give which has been suggested to me, that the us all very great satisfaction to have heard emancipation of the negroes has been very from the Report, that the Art which was principally owing, under God, to the zeal, passed for the purpose of elevating the the perseverance, and the firmness of the character and condition of the black popu- Methodist societies in this country. My lation has, through the blessing of God, heart rejoiced when I came to that part of tended immediately to elevate in that coun the long tour which I have been taking try, in many instances, the moral tone and with you to-day, while listening to the feeling of the white population also, in re Report, beginning at Stockholm, going ference to the great duty of encouraging through France, Germany, and Spain,-the religious instruction of the emancipated to the very antipodes where the people negroes. I have to move the following stand feet to feet with us,-through CeyResolution :

lon, India, New Zealand, and the Friendly That this Meeting contemplates with Isles, over to South Africa, touching heartfelt satisfaction the important change Western Africa, and going on to the West which has taken place in West Indian Indies, where I rejoice to hear you have society since the last Anniversary ; that seventy-six Missionaries; and I pray God the peaceful and orderly conduct of the that those seventy-six may speedily be a negroes in general, in their transition hundred. I must be permitted to mingle from bondage to freedom, has afforded my congratulations with yours, and my evidence that they know how to appreci- thanksgivings to Almighty God with yours, ate, and are prepared rightly to improve, that, although the times have been perilthe inestimable boon which British justice ous, yet Providence is guiding your Misand philanthropy have at length bestowed; sionaries, and the blessing of God is deand that the gracious influence which has scending on their labours, on their persons, been so extensively exerted upon the minds and on their families. They have been geof the negroes, disposing them to aspire nerally protected, they have been invariafter a higher liberty and nobler privi- ably blessed, in their most important laleges than those which are merely tempo- bours. I do rejoice to hear that you have ral, is to be regarded as a proof that 48,000 members under the care of your Negro Emancipation was acconplished Missionaries. O may God increase them, under the special guidance and protec- and make them a hundred times as many tio of Divine Providence, and as a more! Indeed, when I consider the numpledge that, if vigorously followed up by ber of persons who attend the preaching of an application of adequate religious means, the Gospel by your Missionaries, I think I this great national measure will lead to may say, that above 100,000 persons are the elevation of the negro race into benefited by your exertions. Besides, a Christian, civilized, and happy com mu- when we recollect the vast number of nity."

children that crowd your schools, forming, I can only add my prayer : May God of indeed, a goodly number, (37,000,) there his mercy grant, that through the merits is certainly a call upon you for thanksof Christ, and by the influence of his Holy giving, and fixed determination to go on Spirit, such may be the happy results of and increase in this labour of love. Some your labour! Before I sit down, I will say, little attempts have been made to underthat I never regretted more than on the mine the Society ; but see how God works, present occasion, my inability to address at even as he did of old. When the children length, and in adequate terms, so large of Israel were coming out of Egypt, their and so respectable a Meeting as this. Had hearts were failing them; as, perhaps, the I the power, I should feel myself bound in hearts of some of you, my Christian brethgratitude to do it: that feeling of grati- ren and sisters, were ready to fail you, tade bronght me here, because, if I ever when you thought of the recent base and be at liberty for a moment to digress from cruel attempt to take away the bread of the the immediate subject of our present Meet- Missionaries, who are employed in dising, I would say, that to no part of the pensing the bread of life to perishing sincomiaunity have I, in another place, been ners. But in the day when the people of more indebted, in reference to the Sab- the Lord cried out, and their hearts failed

them, what was the announcement from heaven? “Let them go forward, and the Lord will fight for them." But why are these times of trial permitted ? If there were no perils, no dangers, there would not be the same opportunities afforded for courage and perseverance. If there had been no storm in the Lake of Gemnesaret, the disciples would not have waked the Saviour; and they would not have seen his miraculous power in producing the great calm that followed the mighty tempest. And O may the little storm that has been passing over your heads, in a few places, break in blessings upon you! I have lived in a place now for nearly twenty years, in harmony, friendship, fellowship, and Christian love with your society; I hare seen the good it has achiered; I know the great benefits it has conferred upon my native land; and I should be, indeed, ungrateful, if I did not bear testimony to the blessings it has secured. Only take the town of Leeds, where, perhaps, yon have six or seven thousand members in your society : what a great moral benefit is conferred on that town alone by your religious Connexion! And when I see the benefits you have conferred on society at home, and the blessings yon have been the means of scattering, I can only say, May the Lord prosper you : may the Lord go with you, and bless you in your work!

The Resolution was carried unanimously.

The Rev. James Dixon, of Liverpool, said, Sir, I cannot commence my speech, without very humbly and sincerely thanking this great assembly for their kind sympathy with me, on my appearance before them. I feel that I continue to live at least in the affections of some of my London brethren ; and if they could not love me for my own sake, I am quite sure they would esteem me for the cause I this day advocate. I feel almost insurmountable difficulties in standing before you to-day, because I feel how utterly impossible it is for me to stretch my mind to the length of my theme, or to raise my soul to the elevation which it ought to occupy when I speak on a subject the most holy, the most hea venly, and the most sublime in the world. But there are some things which greatly relieve me. I rejoice that we are assisted on this occasion by a Clergyman of the Church of England. I rejoice that we are assisted by an eloquent friend, the Minister of a Dissenting congregation. I rejoice that we are assisted by the noble, disinterested, and patriotic parliamentary leader of the great Sabbath-day question, And in the presence of such a phalanx of friends and advocates of our great cause, I trust and hope I shall be supported whilst I attempt to address you for a very

few moments. Sir, you have announced me as coming from Liverpool. Now, I am glad to inform you, and to acquaint this great assembly, that although our vessel at Liverpool has been overtaken by a storm, yet she still rides securely in the midst of the waves. Sir, at Liverpool we went, about a fortnight ago, at the Anniversary of our Auxiliary, into the great Missionary question. I, at least, being accustomed to feel timidly in difficult circumstances, did so with a good deal of trepidation. We, however, came out of our Missionary Meetings with great joy. We never had better Meetings. The Spirit of God, and the spirit of true Christian charity, I trust, never more eminently rested upon our assemblies, And, notwithstanding all the threats we have had on the subject of stopping the supplies, we happen to have raised a greater amount of supply this year than we even did last year. It is a great consolation to religious men, to know that in all states and circumstances, winds and weathers, they have their Christian principles to retire upon; and I trust, and indeed feel greatly confident, that the principles on which our noble institution reposes will sustain her, be the outward circumstances in which she may be placed what they may. What are those principles ? Generally, of course, those of Christianity. We give to the distant nations of the world the same Bible we read ourselves. We present to them the same cross we ourselves adhere to for salvation. We exhibit the same mode of acceptance with God, which we ourselves have been taught by the Bible and by our fathers. Whatever Christianity is, and what. ever the Methodist form of Christianity is, it is such as we ourselves embrace, and which we believe we fairly, frankly, fully, and without any reservation, give to others. That, Sir, is oar leading principle. But there is another. If it is a right principle, to honour and dignify human nature, then we do so; for, instead of spurning any man as a brute, we treat him as a brother. Instead of philosophically judging whether he is fit for the Gospel, by his having woolly or lank hair, a black or a white skin, a Roman or a Negro nose, it is of no consequence to our argument, because whereever we find man, we find mind; where we find mind, we find a religious capacity ; and where we find a religious capacity, we desire to give religion, because we hold, that man is to be honoured as man; and I trust and hope that the proceedings of this day, and especially the statements of the beautiful Report that has been read this morning, will, at least, go to prove that we have honoured one class of our fellowcreatures, hy assisting this great country

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »