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Sabbath. Now, to what is this to be attributed? Various agencies have been employed; but there are three which I will specially refer to. One is the preaching of the gospel; another, the circulation of God's word; and the third, Sabbath school teaching-a threefold cord that cannot be broken. During the last ten or twelve years, we have had trials and difficulties to encounter in carrying on the work of God in Jamaica, which time would fail me to set before you; but I have no hesitation in saying this-and I believe that nearly all my brethren of every denomination in the island will bear me out in it-that it is mainly owing to our Sabbath schools that the work of God has been carried on up to this time. We have, I think, upwards of 25,000 children in the various Sabbath schools of the different denominations in the island; and these Sabbath schools now supply nearly all the members who are received into the various churches. As I cannot better give you an account of the position of affairs there than by referring to myself, you will, perhaps, permit me to do so. It is now twenty-four years since I landed on the shores of Jamaica. Previous to that time, I often attended meetings of the Sunday School Union, and I commenced my missionary work as a Sunday school teacher at Rose and Crown-court, near Bishopsgate-street-a place which, perhaps, you are well acquainted with; and if I have been at all useful to the cause of God in Jamaica, I consider it is mainly owing to the training I got, as a teacher, in that school. When I went to my station, I found a chapel half built; and a considerable congregation was gathered about the chapel yard, seeking shade from the burning sun, and the greater part of them had the first class books of the Sunday School Union in their hands, from which they were attempting to learn to read. They had been stimulated to this by one of the noblest offers ever made by that most noble institution, the British and Foreign Bible Society. It has been said that good thoughts come always from God; and I believe it was a good thought from God which led a clergyman on this platform to propose that, prior to the act of emancipation, a copy of God's word should be sent to every negro in the colony who would be willing to receive and read it. Our people were diligently employed in learning to read. In some cases, where the children had got on with great rapidity, they were teaching their parents and grand-parents; and soon I was obliged to send for spectacles, to enable the old people to see to read their Bibles. I gladly complied with their request; and in the course of a year or two, we had as many as 800 scholars in our Sunday school. Our place would not hold them, and we were compelled to break out right and left, and form five or six others. I could not but observe this, that those who learned to read the Bible, and tried to understand its meaning, their intellectual capacities were increased; there were signs of intelligence in their faces, which were not visible in others: thus proving to us that the entrance of God's Word giveth life, and light, and understanding to the simple. We have continued these Sunday school operations to the present time; and it is with gratitude to God I record this fact-that during the last fifteen or sixteen years, it has been my happiness to receive 500 young people from our Sunday school into the Christian church, who have proved, for the most part, consistent and faithful disciples. When a proposition was made by Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton to send an expedition to Africa, I think twenty or more of our Sunday school people came forward, and expressed their willingness to go to the land of their fathers. The plan having failed-or, at least, not having been carried out-in connection with our own missions, some of them went out to Africa, and there laboured with steadiness and zeal, adorning the gospel by their consistent and holy lives, and doing good to others; and I am happy to say that five young men, who have gone out from our Sunday school are now ordained ministers of the New Testament. I do not exactly remember how many, but a considerable number, are employed in day school teaching, and also, Sabbath after Sabbath, in instructing others. I was much
cast down, some time before I came here, partly by affliction and other trials; but there was one thing that cheered me, though it caused me to leave the station for a while with regret. It is with gratitude to Almighty God that I state, between thirty and forty of the young people from our Sabbath school came to me, inquiring what they must do to be saved? and wishing to join themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant. And I am not alone in this case. Many of my brethren of other denominations, who are labouring in Jamaica, could give similar statements. God has blessed our Sunday school operations, and they are the hope of our churches. But I will not lengthen my address. I thank you most cordially for all that you have done for Jamaica and other parts of the West Indies; and I implore you for a time to continue to us your sympathy and aid, and, above all, your prayers. I alluded just now to the difficulties we have had to encounter; for these additions to our numbers barely make up for the losses sustained by the death of elder members. We long for a richer outpouring of God's Spirit upon our Sunday schools; and when you pray for your schools at home, don't forget those in the West Indies. Do not forget the poor negro. Pray to God to bless the labours of His servants among them, so that soon Ethiopia may stretch out her hands to Him. But I cannot conclude without a few words of exhortation to you. I have often had my hands strengthened and my heart cheered by attending meetings of this Union in days gone by. Never, however, have I felt a deeper interest in any as I have felt in this and never have I received more benefit than I did at the Conference this morning. I there learned some things which I hope I shall carry back with me, and be enabled to put in practical operation, and that the result will be the increased efficiency, the enlarged prosperity of our Sunday schools, and the glory of God. O, my brethren and sisters, you are engaged in a great and glorious work. Live near to Jesus Christ; work in close and intimate fellowship with him; sympathise with him in his compassion for dying sinners; and O, may the love of Christ constrain you, that your hearts may burn with love for the dear children under your charge. Seek their conversion, and do not be satisfied until you see them turning to the Lord God. I have had reason to thank God sometimes, on beholding the results of Sunday school teaching in the dying hours of some who have been scholars. Well do I remember visiting one old woman, upwards of seventy years of age, who had learned to read the Bible in the Sunday school. That book was a priceless treasure to her. She loved it dearly; and sometimes in the school, when she had read one verse, would say, "Massa, this is so sweet, let me read it again." And she died, trusting to that Saviour whom that book reveals, and rejoicing in the hope of everlasting life. I remember another, too, who had also learned to read in the Sunday school, and when between seventy and eighty years of age, met her death with hope and joy. When she could no longer, speak, she pointed with her finger to heaven, in order to assure us she was about to go to that Saviour whom she loved. I have been with some of our young people, too, the young lads who have been taught in our school, and I have had the happiness of seeing them in the time of trial and affliction, and in the struggle of death, at peace with God, and looking forward to an abundant entrance into his everlasting kingdom. And, my brethren, God will thus reward you for all your labours in his cause, and you will have the joy at last to meet before his throne, many of those whom you have been instrumental in bringing to Christ, to unite with you in singing the praises of him who loved both you and them, washed you from your sins in his own blood, and made you kings and priests unto God.
The Rev. ROBERT ROBINSON seconded the resolution. He said, I am quite sure when I tell you that I have been confined to my bed during the greater part of this week, you will excuse my not addressing you to-night. I would not hesitate for a moment, if I felt physically competent, for my heart is so thoroughly in this work,
that I could have thrown myself into the engagement with all my energy, but I have not strength of body this evening. God sparing me, I shall be happy on some future occasion to say something on this great matter, in which my sympathies have been enlisted for some years, and which I love with a stronger affection now than I did when I entered, as a little boy, into the sabbath school, thirty-nine years ago. I beg, most cordially, to second the resolution.
The motion was submitted to the meeting by Mr. WATSON, and cordially adopted. The CHAIRMAN acknowledged the vote. He said, I beg most sincerely to thank you for the kind manner in which you have received this resolution. But I will not say one word to weaken the effect of the last address by our friend from Jamaica. I trust that the solemn words of advice that he has addressed to us will remain in our memories and influence our hearts. I am quite sure that you will allow me, as the organ and mouth-piece of this meeting, to convey your thanks to the gentlemen who have so ably addressed us this evening, to express your sympathy with Mr. Robinson in his indisposition, and your hope that next year he will be able to take a more active part in our proceedings. I very cordially thank you for the way in which you have received my services.
The third hymn having been sung, the Rev. WILLIAM BROCK pronounced the benediction, and the proceedings terminated.
Sun and stars, in wondrous flame,
God, in love and skill, designed
Love, from his parental heart,
In a manger once reclined,
I HEAR thee speak of the better land;
"Not there, not there, my child!"
Is it far away, in some region old,
Is it there, sweet mother, that better land! "Not there, not there, my child!"
"Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy!