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those friends who may have business to transact with either, or all three Societies for British Missions. The Directors commend with much solicitude "Home, Ireland, and the Colonies," to the prayers and to the liberality of the churches. Greater effort, more prayer, and increased contributions, are needed for all; whilst peculiar circumstances have brought each to a crisis more than usually favourable for enlarged operations. They would, therefore, most earnestly appeal to all who feel concerned for the salvation of their "brethren, their kinsmen according to the flesh," to aid them in a degree never yet realized, but which the necessity of the case so imperiously demands.
HOME MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
COMMUNICATIONS constantly received deepen the conviction that it becomes increasingly important to care for "Home." The efforts made by those who are opposed either to our ecclesiastical polity, or our evangelical doctrine, are put forth with increased energy, exposing the very existence of our mission churches to the most imminent danger. The village chapel and the school are in many cases equally the object of attack. By intimidation on the one hand, or by bribery on the other, the poor are tempted to forsake the ranks of Dissent. In some instances they have strength of principle sufficient to determine them to endure any privation rather than abandon that truth which has been rendered the "power of God to their salvation." But there are cases in which the faithful missionary is discouraged by finding his fairest prospects blasted; and those whom he numbered amongst his "anxious inquirers" turned aside from their path, and walking no more with him. The Agents suffering disappointments like these ask, as they need, and as they deserve, the sympathy and the prayers of all the friends of liberty and truth.
sary. They are given to show to the friends of the Society, the difficulties with which the Agents have to contend, and the spirit with which they persevere in their self denying labours. Notwithstanding such determined hostility, it is highly gratifying to perceive to what an encouraging degree God is, in many cases, crowning the efforts put forth with his effectual blessing. The following is an extract from the last journal of the Rev. James Hargreaves, of Morecombelake, in the county of Dorset, who has for some years been most indefatigable in his labours, especially in the education of the young, both in sabbath and day-schools: "The annual sermons on behalf of our sabbath, daily, and evening schools were preached at Morecombelake, on the 19th May. At an early hour in the afternoon the village assumed a lively appearance, from the number and respectability of the visitors, who arrived to give their countenance and support to these important institutions. Public worship commenced at three o'clock, when a sermon was preached to young people by Rev. R. Penman, of Axminster; which was listened to with great attention by the crowded audience, and made a strong impression on the minds of the young. Tea and plumcake were given to the scholars, 174 in number. After the children's repast 160 friends sat down to tea. In the evening, the Rev. H. Quick, of Taunton, preached a stirring and powerful sermon. The occasion was delightful, the chapel crowded, and the collection good. The Rev. Messrs. Wyld, Newton, Horsecroft, and Griffith were present. In the three sabbath, two daily, and two evening schools, upon this station, upwards of 460 individuals have been under instruction during the past six months. The growing prosperity of these institutions must afford matter of joy to the friends of religious liberty, and free education." Mr. Hargreaves has laboured in this station with singular diligence and perseverance, amidst much clerical opposition, and God has eminently crowned his labours with success.
The following extracts from the journals of some of the Agents will confirm and illustrate the foregoing remarks. From a missionary, labouring in a southern county: "My station presents a chequered aspect of alternate cloud and sunshine; seasons of depression and exultation. The need of Home Missionary efforts is most apparent, whilst hostility to such exertions is even increasing. Still, however, many will hear the word, and its power is felt by some. At times it would seem as if we were about to be swallowed up whole and quick; and then again we are on our feet, and our feet upon a rock, and our song is, 'The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.""
From a Grantee in the west: "I have taken a house in the village of, at the annual rent of £8, and have had it furnished with benches, having backs to them, at an expense of £6. It will seat eighty people. I opened it for worship on Lord's day, the 16th May. I have also commenced a sabbath-school, which promises well. The villagers are agricultural labourers and very poor. There are three resident clergymen. Two of them, whose benefices are at a little distance, are quiescent; but the other, the perpetual curate of the church, is using every means to oppose us. However, if God be for us, who can be against us ?""
Such instances of opposition as this, could be multiplied almost indefinitely; but it is unneces
It is to originate and sustain efforts like those that the Home Missionary Society exists; and when such results are realized, the Directors feel most amply rewarded for all the anxiety awakened, and all the money expended; a feeling in which, they are persuaded, all the friends of the society will participate.
The following extract from the journal of a missionary who has occupied a station adopted about a year ago by the Directors, at the solicitation of the Association in the county in which it is situated, will be read with interest.
"Twelve months have passed away since at the request of the Board I came to this place. In forwarding to the Directors some information respecting the station, it may be proper to review the past as well as to survey the present. Death has deprived us of two of our number, one of whom might with propriety be termed the father of the church. Indeed, when I think of the losses we have sustained by death and removals, together with the strong tide of hostile influence which has set in against us, I wonder that we have been able to maintain our ground. But I am most thankful to say that notwithstanding all that seemed so adverse we ars still in a position to report some progress. The chapel, which, when I came to it was very thinly and irregularly attended, soon became too strait for the increasing congregation. Two
side galleries were, therefore, erected, the expence incurred being defrayed, and the additional seat-room secured entirely occupied. Upon a fair calculation, I think we may say the congregation is double the number of what it was when I came to it. In our sabbath school we have 120 children, but the average number in attendance is little more than 100; being all agriculturists, many of them having to work on the Sunday among cattle. Very great efforts have been made by the clergyman to get our children from our school, but at present he has not succeeded in a single instance. I think the school may fairly be said to be double the number in regular attendance to what it was when I came to. It has also improved in efficiency; for at the commencement of my labours it was all confusion and disorder, but we have at length succeeded in reducing it to something like system. I fear we shall soon reap the bitter fruits of the late Parliamentary interference with education, the ground is now staked out, and a National school contracted for, and great preparations are making for its speedy erection. I am fully prepared, therefore, to see many of our school children taken from us; but I for one will sooner lose my school than pollute my hands with the offered bribe.
"To the church eleven members have been added during the year, and two more stand proposed for fellowship. There are several others in the congregation of whom I entertain hopes; their very regular attendance on the means of grace, and their serious attention in the house of God, as well as their improved habits and morals at home, convince me that I have not laboured in vain. And though they make no profession of religion at present, I think there is encouragement to expect that they will be brought to the acknowledgement of the truth as it is in Jesus Christ.
"I preach at — morning and evening on Sunday, conduct a prayer meeting and a Bible class on Monday evening, conduct a Bible class and deliver a lecture on Wednesday evening. On Friday evening, I preach upon Downs, to the cottagers, where I hope God has in two instances blessed my labours. At nine o'clock on Sunday morning I preach at in the open air, the people very willingly attend, and have hitherto behaved themselves with great propriety. At half past one o'clock on the Sunday I preach also in the open air. I have hitherto had large congregations and no molestation. The people seem to be very thankful to me for coming, but are very much frightened for fear the clergyman or squire should hear of their coming. It will be next to an impossibility even to force and maintain a permanent entrance at ―― the whole parish is as completely under the clergyman and squire as it is possible to conceive a parish to be. I very much question whether the serfdom and mental thraldom of the inhabitants of Siberia is more complete than what is to be found at, and its neighbourhood. You will see by what I have said above, that I preach four times on the sabbath day. I could not possibly do this, were I obliged to walk from place to place, consequently, I laid the matter before the church, showed them how desirable it was that we should take the gospel to them on the Sunday, as they are in the field at this season until quite night, and they agreed at once to hire a horse for my use on the sabbath day. Upon the
whole, I think there is much in the past to excite gratitude. much in the present aspect of the station to encourage labour, and much in the future to excite hope, remembering that diligence never fails of its reward."
IRISH EVANGELICAL SOCIETY. THE Committee continue to receive most affecting accounts of the condition of the poor, multitudes being still in a state of destitution and wretchedness the most fearful and appalling. They are not, it is true, literally dying of starvation, as a short time since they were by thousands; but they are still suffering from hunger and disease, to a degree which incapacitates them for labour, where employment can be procured. Under these circumstances, the Committee have continued to make remittances to their own agents and others, which have enabled them to minister to the necessities of the crowds of men, women, and children, who daily implore the exercise of their benevolence. This supply will still be afforded until the harvest shall be gathered in, and food be obtained from the produce of the soil.
The famine and disease which have so awfully prevailed, and the extensive aid which British Christians have so generously afforded, have created a willingness, and in many instances an earnest desire, to receive evangelical instruction, which the Committee are exceedingly anxious to be in a position to supply. In almost every part of the country they could introduce the faithful missionary or Scripture-reader, did they possess the necessary funds to sustain them. But they are deeply grieved to be obliged to state that, instead of increasing the number of their agents, unless they receive much more ample funds, even the small number at present employed must be reduced. Will our British churches consent to this? Have they exhausted all the means at their disposal in feeding the bodies of their fellow-creatures, and have they nothing to spare to save the souls that are ready to perish? The Committee cannot bring themselves to believe this; but would encourage themselves to hope that, if not before, yet at the period for the simultaneous collections for British Missions, an effort will be made for the spiritual benefit of our sister country, as general in extent, and as liberal in its character, as that which has been made for her temporal salvation.
The Committee feel it due to their agents to bear testimony to the indefatigable zeal they have displayed in this season of their country's distress, and the diligence with which they have availed themselves of the opportunities which have been presented to preach the gospel to those to whom they were ministering the "bread which perisheth." They have shown themselves worthy of the confidence of their brethren, and the churches in this land, who feel an interest in their efforts. Some of them have laboured for many years in the service of the Society amidst many discouragements. The following letter has recently been received from one of them, which the Committee think will be read with pleasure and satisfaction by the friends of the Society :
"GENTLEMEN,-I have now been connected with the Irish Evangelical Society for a period of more than thirty years. I was admitted a student of the Manor-street Theological Academy, Dublin, on the 4th November, 1816. The
Society was founded in the year 1814, but did not get its arrangements into operation till about the middle of 1815. It therefore appears that I have been connected with it during nearly the whole of its active existence. Of my classfellows and seniors I am the only one in Ireland employed in the service of the Society. My life, although not very eventful in the annals of time, will, I trust, be found not unimportant in the records of eternity. I hope to meet in the realms of bliss a goodly number of the fruits of my ministry. I have laboured in the provinces of Munster, Leinster, and Ulster, and scarcely a place where I officiated has been found wanting in seals to my ministry. But my last days appear to be my best days, as at no former period did the work of God prosper more in my hands than at the present time. When I first came to this village no one knew me, no one would stand by me in raising the cause for God. I met with nothing but discouragement. After due notice of preaching having been given, all who could be prevailed on to attend, and that too on a Lord's-day, were fourteen persons. The place of our meeting, the only one that could be procured, was in a back yard, in the midst of dunghills, cow houses, and pig-sties, where we had to climb a ladder to a small loft. Yet I havs lived to see a neat house erected for God, that house having a tolerably good stated attendance, and a church consisting of fifty members. To God be all the praise! My duties have often exposed me to severe and inclement weather; but during five and twenty years of my ministry-in which I have often been drenched with rain, and beaten with the tempest-I have not been incapacitated for attending to my duties by bodily indisposition for a single Lord'sday, and I never was more strong and healthy than I am at the present moment.
Several families, including a number of the members of the church, intend to emigrate immediately to America. To any infant cause this is trying; but it is peculiarly so to me, situated in a rural district as ours is, where the population are so scattered. But God is all-sufficient. Though it is trying, very trying, to part with those for whose salvation we laboured, whom we had the pleasure of receiving into the church, and over whom we anxiously watched in the establishment of their principles and the formation of their characters,-yet our God, in whom we trust, can supply their place with others. On him we roll our burdens.
"My connection with the Irish Evangelical Society has been to me an exceedingly happy one. To the Christian courtesy and kindness of the several Committees and office-bearers of the Society I owe a deep and lasting debt of obligation. And while I feel bound, in justice and gratitude, to make grateful mention of the several successive Secretaries of the Society, I must crave permission to name two in particularthe Rev. Arthur Tidman and the Rev. Thomas James. The consummate tact and ability, together with the gentleness and urbanity of the former, entitle him to a place in my highest esteem; while the affectionate gentleness towards myself, and the untiring attention to the cause of poor, blind, and wretched Ireland, of your present Secretary, claim for him, not only the unfeigned gratitude of Englishmen, whose wishes he is carrying out, but the devoted attachment of thousands and thousands of the sons of Erin. I feel towards him all the respect that is due to a most hard-working and active servant of Christ, and all the tender affection and lively gratitude that I am capable of towards a most kind and affectionate brother. The only way I can think of by which to discharge the debt of gratitude which I owe to you, Gentlemen, is, to endeavour to devote myself more than ever to the God-like work of the salvation of souls. To this I have the amplest encouragement: my field of labour is wide and open; in any direction around me people are willing to listen to the gospel message. There is, however, an event, a series of events, about to take place, of a painful and trying nature.
"As I have already intimated, the cause of God in my hands affords some promise at the present time. I trust we are advancing steadily, though but slowly. We have recently received about as many families into the congregation as those who expect shortly to leave us. But then we are receiving the world instead of God's professed people. However, the gospel, the glorious gospel of the blessed God, in the hand of the Holy Spirit, can make them all that we want; we will ply them with that, in the exercise of faith and prayer.
"The country stations, eighteen in number, are nearly all very encouraging in their attendance. It is most pleasing to go amongst a people when one is everywhere well received. Such is my happiness. To God alone be the glory!"
COLONIAL MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
PROCEEDINGS FOR THE COMMENCEMENT OF A SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES.
New South Wales is an extensive and important Colony-Sydney is one of the most flourishing cities in the Colonial possessions of Great Britain, and Dr. Ross is among the most honoured and successful of the ministers sent forth by the Colonial Missionary Society. It will therefore be cheering to the churches of the fatherland to receive good tidings of progress in that section of the great Colonial field.
The following extracts from the correspondence of Dr. Ross, with the aid of a few explanatory remarks, will form an interesting report of our cause in some of the chief Australian settlements. The Doctor writes from Sydney under date, the 10th of December last; and first gives the following account of a visit he had recently paid to the churches in Port Philip and Van Diemen's Land :
"About a fortnight ago, I returned from a visit to the churches in Melbourne and Van Diemen's Land, which occupied me two months. The expenses were generously borne by my deacons, assisted by one old and stanch friend who, on the morning of my departure, presented me with a mark of affection towards myself, desiring also that if my visit should be of any advantage to the churches in the South, it might be without charge to them.
"At Melbourne, I was exceedingly gratified with the state of the church under Mr. Morison. All is peace, and harmony, and united co-operation there. The congregation is good. The church numbers about seventy members. They have two day schools, one near the chapel, and the other at a distance from it, attended by up
wards of one hundred and sixty boys and girls, besides their Sunday-schools. Their debt is £300, which they hope soon to pay off. Steps are being taken for enlarging the accommodation, and improving the front of the chapel. Mr. Morison is highly respected by many of our denomination, and promises to be a very useful and successful minister of the gospel.
"With regard to the churches in Van Diemen's Land, I need not say much, as you are well acquainted with them. I was pleased with the standing of our ministers there, the influence they possess, the sincere desire they manifest to be useful, their harmony with other religious bodies, and their zeal to promote the gospel of Christ. I am now sending down to them, at their own request, a very talented young man, who was lately invited by my church to give himself up to study for the ministry, that he may occupy for a season some of their missionary stations there, and thus be prepared for a more important and stated pastorate at a future time. His name is Ewing. He kept an academy, is possessed of superior talents, and gives promise of great future usefulness. I should have liked to keep him here, but means were wanting, and perhaps his intended itinerant labours may be after all the best preparation in his case for the ministerial office. He is quite a student."
This visit of Dr. Ross, "fell out for the furtherance of the gospel," in a way not contemplated when it was undertaken. It led to new efforts and advance in Sydney; and proved the occasion of originating a second church in that city, as the Doctor proceeds to explain :
"During my absence the Rev. J. Beazley, of Greenponds, Van Diemen's Land, who had brought Mrs. Beazley to Sydney for the benefit of her health, supplied my pulpit. His services were exceedingly acceptable-so much so that many of my people, before he left, determined to make an effort to secure him for Sydney altogether. Upon my return they consulted me. I conversed with Mr. Beazley, and, finding his mind favourable to the proposed movement, called a meeting of the members of the congregation, and other friends of Mr. Beazley, to make arrangements for accomplishing if possible the object. Such a meeting was held last night, when resolutions were unanimously adopted."
The resolutions of the meeting were to the effect-that it was the duty of the Congregationalists of Sydney to originate a second church in some principal suburb of their populous and rapidly extending city-that the Rev. Joseph Beazley should be invited to undertake the ministerial labour and conduct of this enterprisethat upon his consent land should be forthwith purchased on which to erect a suitable chapelthat a subscription should be then and there commenced for this effort-that Mr. Beazley's support for three years should be guaranteed.
"All these resolutions were passed unanimously, after which the subscription list was opened, and in a short time about £700 were promised, chiefly by my own people. The three first names on the list were for £100 each. Is not this generous, considering what they have had to do for their own chapel? To all this I append a petition. Help us. Not to build. That we will do. But help us with Mr. Beazley's salary. Give us fifty pounds a year for three years. You cannot refuse. My people have done nobly. They have relieved you of my
support ever since I came among them, except the first quarter of a year. They deserve encouragement. Give it, and we will not stop
To this application the Committee of the Colonial Society sent forth a prompt affirmative -which in due course will be now very soon in the hands of Dr. Ross. The zeal and enterprise of Dr. Ross and his people cheered the Committee, and it is hoped that the ready willingness of the Committee in assisting in their undertaking will cheer them in return. A subsequent letter from Dr. Ross, dated Sydney, 13th February, and 10th March, reports successful progress in this movement to the following effect:
"Immediately after posting my letter to you, of 10th December, your very welcome epistle of the 22nd August arrived. I have delayed replying to it until now that I might be able to communicate the result of our movement regarding Mr. Beazley. The resolutions of the public meeting, a copy of which I sent you, were transmitted to him, and in reply he states that, after consultation with his friends in Van Diemen's Land, he had been led to comply with the invitation sent him; and to remove to Sydney as the scene of his future ministerial labours. We immediately purchased an excellent piece of land, in a very suitable and central locality in the southern suburbs for upwards of £300, where there will be large space for the erection of school-rooms. After advertising for tenders we accepted one for a chapel without galleries, capable of containing 500 sittings, but without including the pulpit or pewing, for about £1,100. The building operations will immediately commence, and in seven or eight months we hope the chapel will be ready for occupation, before which time, most probably, Mr. Beazley will have arrived here.
"This is the beginning of aggressive move. ments to be carried on here. We have sold our old chapel to the Free Church for £1,250; when they have paid this sum there will remain a debt of only about £1,000 upon our new chapel, but this will cause us little difficulty. When we have set Mr. Beazley going we shall soon pay it off, and then direct our energies and resources to new quarters.
"The more I know of the colony, the more I am persuaded that our present duty is not to employ itinerating ministers in rural districts, however much such itinerants may be needed. We have not, and are not likely soon to have, strength enough for this agency. But if possible we ought to have a congregation collected in such of our principal towns-in these to strike our roots, and from each as a centre to spread out into the surrounding districts. I have no doubt that with the right men we might succeed in almost every case. I enclose a letter from Newcastle applying for a minister, which I received the other day. Had there been here a properly qualified minister willing to go, I would have sent him at once, but was in fact obliged to reply, 'I am here alone, and cannot leave my post. There is no minister here available, and I can give you no help.' Newcastle is a very important place, and in a few years will be surrounded by one of our most populous and flourishing districts."
Thus the work grows, and might advance far more widely and rapidly, were we but able to seize the opportunities and answer the calls continually presenting themselves.
Theology and Biblical Illustration.
REVIVAL OF RELIGION.
THE very expression speaks of life-of life possessed, or of life offered-but of life decaying, or gone from where it once was, or not found where it should be. The quickening to newness of life where life has once been, and been in vigour, is therefore the first and most obvious meaning of a revival, and that which ordinarily first marks its approach to any place or church. It is a just and true saying amongst the people of God, that a revival must begin in their own souls; and although we are not to limit the Holy One of Israel, yet beyond all question, ordinarily, as we have said, a revival first appears there. When the church is made to hear the voice of the Lord, Strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die,"-"Behold, I come quickly; be zealous therefore and repent ;"-when she is led to mourn over her past deadness, and turn again to the Lord her God—when a new power and life is felt in secret, in family, and in public prayer-when enlarged views of Divine truth are opened up, and an enlarged experience of its reality is possessed by them, then is there a revival begun.
Beyond the people of God, the living members of the church, and as it were around them, and yet betwixt them and the more openly careless and contemptuous, there is a cold and dreary region, not only of decay, but of death- an outer ring of darkness, under the cloud of which souls are passing in countless numbers to eternity. The shadows of life indeed are on it-the imitative aspect and acts of life are there the dry bones are gathered together, and clothed with sinews and with flesh; but death reigns still-death all the more hideous for these very acts and attitudes of imitative life. These are they who have a name to live while they are dead"-a profession of religion, but not its living principles-a form of godliness, but not the power of godliness-on whose dark and stiff eye-balls the light shines, but the darkness comprehendeth it not. Now when that light not only shines on the darkness, but enters in and chases it away--when the breath divine breathes on these cold and dead ones, and they become living souls; and when thus those who have long been satisfied with such an empty formal profession find its vanity, feel its sin, see its danger, and seek the reality—then it is that the second great feature of revival appears-the exchange of the form of godliness for its living power-the coming of life where life has never been, notwithstanding the long and fond profession of it.
But beyond this dark and cheerless domain of “living death" there is a still darker circle, outwardly at least, exhibiting more of that night of eternal death into the blackness of which it is ever delivering its awful burden of lost souls-the world that lieth in the arms of the wicked one; baptized, it may be, but as unbaptized by the Spirit as the veriest heathen; calling themselves by the holy name of God, but in works dishonouring and denying him. Alas! this kingdom of acknowledged death is a wide-spread domain indeed. But when the light of life enters there also-when the secure are shaken in their refuges of lies-when the contemptuous are brought to the despised ministers of Jesus, saying, "What shall we do?"-when the careless or profane come to the house of God, and hear as for eternity-when, in a word, "the wicked is turned from his wickedness, and the unrighteous man from his thoughts," then the third great feature appears which may serve to direct us as to the nature of revival in religion. But not every instance, nor every number of instances of such things, can be looked upon as a revival. Wherever the gospel is faithfully preached-wherever there are those who, after "they