Page images
PDF
EPUB

66

commercial depression consequent on tend in doing the work of the Lord, three years of war, which again drove will not leave them without aid in the thousands to seek a home elsewhere. day of their adversity.

“The material prospect of this Letters are constantly being remining district is promising in the ceived which show that the missionhighest degree. No one is now scep- aries sent out by the Society are not tical as to the permanence of these only labouring with energy and fidelity, gold fields. They will, in all proba- but that their labours are fruitful of bility, become one of the richest quartz spiritual results. The following porgold mining districts in the world. tion of a letter from Bunbury, Western

“ In a few months at latest, an Australia, is a fair specimen :adjoining tract of country, known to Since my last letter I have been be auriferous, will, by arrangement privileged, through the good hand of with the native owners, be thrown God upon me, to continue my usual open, causing an increase of popu- labours in the enjoyment of excellent lation.

health, and, by the continuance of “The value of gold exported during Divine grace, with growing interest in the month of December was not less the work. han £50,000, and the production is I found the excessive heat of last teadily increasing.

summer very trying, especially when “In this colony there is no favour out on my preaching journeys, but I or affection to any sect or denomina- have passed through it without any ill tion, to each the way is open on equal effects. In December I visited Perth terms, and the voluntary principle is for Mr. Meadowcroft's recognition, and the only one recognised for the support found the change of scene and the of religion; in fact, circumstances com- services profitable to mind and body. pel colorists to follow, if not Congre- Concerning the work of God and gational principles, its methods of self- the cause of Independency here, I am government and reliance."

thankful to say we can report favourThe Committee of the Auckland ably. The preaching stations have Home Missionary Society says: “It been constantly supplied. As these is a source of pain and regret to us have been described in former letters, that Congregationalism has done so I need not here detail them. In addilittle to evangelise this land. It is tion to these, I have preached almost late in the field, its operations are on monthly since I wrote you last at a very limited scale, and there is no Busselton and Quindalup, places represent prospect of any great change. spectively: 31 and 44 miles distant During the last three years' the colony from Bunbury. There has been a has been passing through a period of great scarcity of Gospel preaching in unexampled depression, and Christian these places hitherto. At the lastChurches of all denominations have named place (Ouindalup) there have suffered greatly both in number and been only two sermons preached durmeans."

ing several years.

Since I began The Committee can testify that the visiting that district I have conducted the liberality of the New Zealand services in the school-room, and have Churches was not stinted in the day congregations of 40 or 50 persons. of their prosperity, and they are per- At Busselton (a little sea-port town) suaded that the Congregationalists of there is a 'Colonial Chaplain,' but it England, when they know the diffi

seems he does very little for the reliculties with which they have to con- gious instruction of the people. The

[ocr errors]

people are for the most part Episco- “A deeper interest in the prayerpalians, but we find a hearty welcome; meetings of the Church marks the and at Ouindalup, where there is the brethren lately; and several have been greatest interest manifested, the people revived and stirred up to pray in talk of erecting a small chapel. public.

“To return to Bunbury and vicinity, “ In order to reach the working-men you will be glad to hear that the who reside in, or visit the town, but interest formerly spoken of as charac- never enter a place of worship, I have terising the people has not declined. begun a special service, which we hold From time to time I meet with persons on Friday night, in the two boarding under concern about their souls. One houses alternately. I have received man, a native of Scotland, was deeply earnest assistance from several of my impressed a few Sabbaths ago while I people in conducting these services. was preaching on the subject of On the very first night of these meet• Parental Influence.' The words ings a person was brought into a were the means of bringing back deeper sense of his need of Jesus, and forcibly to his mind the instructions was shortly thereafter brought to of his pious mother, and the following happy decision for Christ; he has set Monday evening saw him in my study up the family altar, and gives hopeful an anxious inquirer. I am hopeful evidence, in many ways, that he is the concerning him. Hardly a week passes subject of a gracious change." without a visitor, desirous of having The Committee trust that their conversation, asking for books or present need of men and money will Bibles, or wishing to sign the pledge.' be promptly met by the Churches.

“The great hindrance to the Gospel Their expenditure has not been for I find here, as elsewhere, is drink. several years so large as it is at present, We have been compelled to suspend a and the immediate prospect indicates useful brother because of his intem- an enlarged rather than a diminished perance. I know several working expenditure-unless, indeed, the work men who would be regular in their of Christ, to which many voices are attendance at the chapel but for drink. calling them, is to be left undone. “Our Church membership in- They cannot imagine that the friends

Three applicants were ap- of the Society will brook this thought, proved at our last Church meeting; and they confidently cast themselves these bring up our numbers to 50. on their Christian feeling.

creases.

Golden Words for Busy people.
MEROPS.

well might man himself be called a “I have a question to put to you,"

Merops, since he wonld be only too

glad to fly to heaven, without losing said a young eagle to a deep-thinking owl of great erudition. “ They say

sight of earth for a moment." that there is a bird called Merops,

THE HIGHEST HONOUR. which, when it rises to the clouds, It has been accounted a high object flies with its head turned downwards of ambition to win a name and place to the earth. Is that true ?"

among the great and titled of this “Ah, no!” said the owl; “it is one world. A coronet, a patent of nobility, of the silly fabrications of man. But an admission to the aristocracy of a

remorse.

nation, has kindled the zeal and enter. in a jest; the infidel Home died with prise of thousands. The great naval pitiful jokes about Charon and his hero of England, Lord Nelson, is said boat; Rousseau, with language of preto have exclaimed on the eve of a sumptuous boasting; Voltaire, with memorable battle, “A peerage, or a mingled imprecations and sopplicagrave in Westminster Abbey!” and tions; Paine, with shrieks of agonising this might be taken as the motto of

Multitudes die with sollen. his life ; and not of his only, but of ness, some with blasphemies faltering thousands more.

on their tongue. But, brethren, the But what is the aristocracy of wealth humble Christian would die praying. or rank to the aristocracy of faith ? Well says the poet:What is the record of a name in the

“Prayer is the Christian's vital breath, peerage of England to the record of a

The Christian's native air ;

His watchword at the gates of death, name in the Book of Life? What is the

He enters heaven with prayer.” favour of a king or president to the

“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”– covenant love of the King of kings ?

American National Preacher. What is the boast of noble descent to the assurance of the humblest believer

HOW MANY POUNDS IN A Ton? who is warranted to say, “ My Father,

A youthful correspondent (twelve God ?”— American National Preacher.

years old) calls our attention to the fact PRAYER IN DEATH.

that there are 2,240 pounds in a A Christian should die praying. “Christian ton,” not 2,000 as was said Other men die in different ways, ac- in our last. We are much obliged to cording to their character and temper. him. We should be sorry to teach Julius Cæsar died adjusting his robes, “ Christian” dealers to abstract 240 that he might fall gracefully; Augustus pounds from every ton they sell. died in a oompliment to Livia, his wife; Whether the mistake was

burs or the Tiberius, in dissimulation ; Vespasian, printer's we cannot say.

Pages for our young friends.

A TALK WITH CHILDREN ABOUT BEING CHRIST'S EPISTLES.

By the Reb. George Stewart, Newcastle. DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,-I shall suppose of the South Sea Islanders to worship that you are sitting down to read these in, he went to his work one morning pages, or to hear some one read them to without his square; so he took up a you on Sunday, and that you want to chip, and wrote upon it with a piece of find here what will not only interest charcoal a request that Mrs. Williams you, but what may help you to be as would send him that article, and he good as God, who has given you the said to a chief standing by, “ Friend, Sunday, wants you to be. Do you ever take this ; go to our house and give it think how wonderful it is that, by writing to Mrs. Williains.” “Take that!” the on a piece of paper, you can tell persons chief answered, “she will call me a fool who are far away from you, what your and scold me, if I carry a chip to her.” thoughts and wishes are ? If

you

had The missionary was, however, in real never known of such a thing till now, earnest, and seeing this, the chief said, how surprised at it you would be ! as he took the chip, “What must I say?" When our martyred missionary, John He was told that he had nothing to say, Williams, was building a chapel for some that the chip would say all that was

Christ to little children.

“ What a strange thing!” you say ;

we have heard of a little child who once wrote a letter to Jesus Christ and put it into a post-office; but we have not heard of Christ's letters to little children." Ι have also heard of very little children, into whose minds it came to write letters to Christ. I remember once picking up a tiny envelope with these words on it, “ This is to Jesus, my dear Saviour." Inside were the words of that sweet little hymn

“Dear Jesus ever at my side,

How loving must Thou be, To leave Thy home in heaven to guara

A little child like me.”

necessary. He thought that it was a very foolish thing to do; but as he did not like to displease his good friend, he went off with the little piece of wood to Mrs. Williams, who, as soon as she had read what was on it, threw it away. Having brought him the square, and told him that she knew that this was what her husband wanted-for the chip had told her so—the man picked up the wonderful piece of wood, and ran off with it as fast as he could, holding up the chip in one hand and the square in the other, as high as his arms could reach, and shouting as he went, “See the wisdom of these English people ; they can make chips talk! they can make chips talk !”

Many of the South Sea Islanders can now read and write letters, and a little while ago I read a beautiful one from some of them, begging Mr. Powell, their missionary, to go back to them.

Now you all know that Paul was a missionary to the Corinthians, and that when he had left them for some time, he wrote and sent to them two long. letters, called " The Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians." So you quite understand that epistle is another word for a letter. But Paul in one of his letters talks about the epistles or letters of Christ. What does this mean? You never hear your minister say, “Let us read now in the epistle of Christ;" though you often hear him say, “Let us read in the epistle of Peter, or of John." Christ's letters! Where are they? Are they in the Bible? Where did He write them from from Nazareth or Jerusalem ? To whom did He write them?

Are there any copies of them to be found ? Would you like to see some? I know many people who are curious to see some of the letters the Duke of Wellington wrote; and many persons in my town tell me as a thing they are very proud of, that they have seen the beautiful letter that the Queen sent to the poor widows, who lost their husbands in the Hartley colliery pit, some years ago. But some of the letters I am talking to you about are sent by

Then, too, there were a few words of love to Jesus, written as a very little child would write them, and these words in very small writing, “I will lock this up in my little desk and keep it for a very very long while.”

Perhaps am keeping you too long from my secret, and so I must tell you that what Paul meant when he was speaking about Christ's letters was, that good and Christ-like people are like letters from Jesus Christ. The Apostle, when he first went as a missionary to the Corinthians, found them idolaters, wicked people; but he lived with them, and taught them about Christ, and many of them came to change their lives so utterly that instead of being very unlike Christ, they became very much like Him; so that when Paul went away from them and wrote to them, he could say, “It is plain enough for any

to see that you are epistles of Christ."

So now you understand what I mean when I say that, because Jesus often sends Christian people to you, he sends you some of his letters.

I hope many of you may be called letters from Christ.

What does a letter show if it be good for anything? It shows the mind and heart of the person that sends it. You can tell the temper, love, and feeling of the writer. Well, Jesus Christ does not

one

write his letters on paper, but on the contain secrets that you do not want any heart; and by the way in which a one else to know. At the time of the christian child acts, you may see Christ's mutiny in India, when it was very im. temper and spirit.

portant that the orders sent by the A good letter, whatever else it may Government from Jellalabad should be be, will be truthful—full of truth. kept secret from the enemy, our officers People often write in their letters a could not be sure that, if they sent å great deal more than they really mean; letter, it might not fall into the hands of but a good letter shows the true mind their foes, and let them into the secret and heart of the person who sends it. plans of our generals; and, therefore, When a dear father sends a letter to his some of the most important orders were child, the child says, “That is just like written with rice-water, and then rolled my kind father to say these things to up and placed in a quill. Why were the me.” So when I see a good child, who letters written with rice-water ? Bealways speaks the truth because he cause when this writing is dry it cannot wants to be like Christ and to please be seen. So that if a rebel had picked Him, I can say,

« Jesus Christ is speak. up the quill with the piece of paper in ing in that child-he is an epistle of it, he would have said, “O, it is only a Christ, and, through him, Jesus Christ piece of paper!” and would have thrown is sending a little message to other it away. But the persons the secret children, saying 'Learn of me, and speak orders were sent to, knew that, if they the truth.'” Or, when I see a child washed the paper over with a solution teazed by other children, and perhaps of iodine, all the rice-water writing would greatly wronged by them, yet taking it appear and turn to a violet colour. all patiently-not because if he has been Christ Jesus does not want his little struck, he is not strong enough to give epistles to be like these secret letters, blow for blow, but because he wants to butrather like those CorinthianChristians be like Christ, who, when he was treated of whom Paul says, that they were like unkindly and could have taken ven. letters from Jesus, “ Known and read geance, yet did not and would not return of all men.Our conduct is to be seen evil for evil,-I say, “ See, that child is to be Christ-like. Just as we say of one of Christ's letters, and this meek the Epistles of John that the Spirit conduct of the child, is like a page of of Christ is in them, and that by His the letter to me, where He says, 'Learn Holy Spirit He taught the apostle to of me for I am meek and lowly in write those letters; so people are to be heart!"" Or, again, when I see a child able to say of you that the ten:per-the ready to forgive another who has been Spirit of Jesus breathes in your lives, unkind to him, and ady to do this and that He teaches you to live as because he wants to be like Jesus, I say, that child is a little letter from Christ Now, I will suppose that there are to brothers and sisters; and his being three or four letters lying before us, and so ready to throw his arms round his will tell you what they remind me of. naughty playmate and to kiss him- First of all these four letters are only this is the page of the letter where Jesus things; they are not alive; they cannot says

to me, Learn of me and forgive think; they don't know that they are those who are unkind to you."

letters, don't know what messages You know that envelopes are generally they carry--if they did, perhaps the fastened, not only to keep the letters white paper on which they are written from falling out, but also to keep people would turn very red at the things it is from reading them; for whom they were made to say,-but they don't know what not meant. When the postman brings messages they carry, or whether they you a note, part of your pleasure is in carry any messages at all. Christ's opening it for yourself, because it may little letters are alive, and know what

you do.

« PreviousContinue »