« PreviousContinue »
Testimony of a Foreign Minsionary to the value of Home Missionary efforts.
The following testimony of Rev. J. Perkins, missionary to the Nestorians, written during his late visit to this country, and addressed to the Secretary of the Massachusetts Missionary Society, is important "as placing in its proper light the connexion subsisting between Home and Foreign Missions; and—being the spontaneous utterance of the heart—and that, the heart of one of our most judicious and devoted missionaries to foreign lands—it has the warrant of impartiality." " Rev. J. S. CLARK.
Aug. 1, 1842. “ Dear Brother :- I preached yesterday at Ireland parish, in West Springfield. That you know, is missionary ground. I have never before been so deeply impressed with the oneness of your object and efforts and my own. This is my native parish. When I left the country, the Congregational church and society there were but a handful, and hardly that—and this small number were scattered and alienated like sheep without a shepherd. My leaving, appeared to wake them up and turn their attention to the subject of religion, as presented to them in a novel aspect.
* Brother S- had just come in to labor for this very feeble society, but the prospect seemed almost hopeless. He toiled on, year after year, cheered and aided by help from your society; and a gradual and happy change has come over the place through his instrumentality, under the divine blessing. A nice meeting-house has been built-a minister settled--a parsonage purchased by the parish-seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord have been enjoyed --temperance is beginning to prevail where before the evils of intemperance were appalling; and a thousand budding charities are putting forth, which are spreading over the once dreary scene almost the aspect of an Eden.
" At the close of our service yesterday, one individual slipped into my hand $25, not as his contribution-no contribution was taken up on the occasionbut as his special offering to the cause of Foreign Missions ; and while be evi. dently did not intend to let his left hand know what his right hand did, I feel constrained to bear this testimony in favor of Home Missions, in their bearing on the foreign cause, and hope I shall not be regarded as comunitting sacrilege on his modest desire to do good without ostentatious display, by mentioning the fact to you.
" In Ireland parish, dear brother, I see clearly the verdant margins of the * unseen rill, flowing from the Home Missionary source, which you mention in your last report. Similar instances doubtless exist in many other places ; but these arrest my attention and deeply interest my feelings, from the fact of their being in my native parish and having fallen under my own eye. I am sure that God will prosper such a cause as that in which you are engaged. And I regard it as one of the most hopeful signs of the times for the Foreign Missionary cause, in the broad sense of the term (as embracing Seamen's Friend efforts, and all of a kindred nature which reach beyond our own borders,) that you are doing so much to repair the waste places of our American Zion, and thus making the wilderness at home a fruilful place.
"Jf my statement of these few facts as they strike me, shall cheer your heart one tenth as much as the contemplation of them cheers my own, you will excuse me for intruding upon your attention in this informal manner.
“ Very truly yours,
“ JUSTIN PERKINS."
In the postscript, the writer adds : “ If things continue to prosper there as they seem to promise, you will have little more to do for them, but they will soon be refunding and more than refunding what they have received." By recurring to the statistics of that church in the last Report of the Mass. M. S., it will be seen that the first part of this prediction is already accomplished, while the latter is fast hastening to its accomplishment.
Correspondence of the A. H. M. S.
employed, it cannot fail of having a
powerful and salutary influence. From Rev. G. A. M. Renshaw, Greene
There are now fisty members in
The Platte Country. Mount Zion church. About half of them can meet together by travelling
Our readers have been apprised of the saless than 23 miles. The other half are|pid flow of emigration to the N. Western widely dispersed in all directions, dis parts of Missouri, known as the Platte Countant from my residence 6, 8, 10, and try, and the great demand for missionary la12 miles, and even farther; one living | bor. The following is from a missionary who 35 miles distant. My time has been made an experimental visit to that region. occupied at so many different places in this extensive field, that there has not I commenced my labors in Jackson been as much preaching in any one county, Missouri, in November, 1842, place, as would be desirable. These where I remained till the 23rd of Febsheep are widely dispersed over the ruary, excepting one week which I mountains, and it requires much labor spent in Platte county, on the oppoand suffering to feed them, especially in site side of the river. At the county the cold and stormy weather of the seat of Jackson, a little Presbyterian winter.
church was organized the week before During the first three months of the I arrived. It consisted of seven memyear, 1 preached every Sabbath but one, bers, which before I left was increased travelling sometimes 8, 10, or 12 miles, to seventeen. Four of the number adsuffering with extreme cold, remember. ded were received by leiter, the others ing that the Savior said, “ Feed my, on profession of their faith. We had sheep." I am glad I have done so-- no house of our own of any kind to that I am counted worthy to labor and hold our meetings in; but houses besuffer for my Divine Master.
| longing to other denominations were In this south-western portion of our kindly offered us when vacant, so that state, there is a widely extended field, we were accommodated every Sabbath occupied partly by Meihodists, Baptists, but two; one of which I spent in Platte and Cumberland Presbyterians, and and the other in a remote part of Jackpartly by Campbellites, and in some son county. I usually preached twice places they have no preaching or reli- on the Sabbath at the county seat, and gious meetings of any sort whatever. once during the week four miles and a I am the only Presbyterian minister, half from town. My congregation on except Cumberland Presbyterians, in the Sabbath varied from 75 to 100 pera field 200 miles long and 80 miles sons. The audience was attentive and wide. Our bretbren of different de serious. When I leít ten or twelve nominations have done much good in were deeply concerned for their salva. this field; but a great inany more la- tion, of whom four or five were indulborers are needed. We cannot do ging a trembling hope. In addition to without the aid of the A. H. M. Society. the meetings mentioned above, we held Whenever men of the right kind are is a weekly prayer-meeting which was at. tended by a large number. We had a | meet other appointments, and thus give Union Sabbath School of about 80 time for all the impressions made, to scholars, well attended and well con- pass away without any beneficial reducted. A temperance society had sults. Often, the prayer is sent up been organized at the county seat of from these wide-spread plains, that about 100 members ; 30 more were ad- more laborers may be sent forth into this ded during the winter. I organized a harvest. I cannot but be solemnly imtemperance society eight miles from pressed with the idea, that extensive town, of eighteen members, sixteen of and powerful revivals of religion, might whom subscribed the pledge of total be realized in every part of my field of abstinence from all that can intoxicate, labor, should these efforts be followed for the first time. It was my intention up, though it were for but a short pehad I remained, to have gone into all riod. the settlements of the country, and But this cannot be done. My time, done likewise. I visited and conversed under God, belongs to 3 churches, oras a minister, with about 100 families. Iganized by me, and placed under my
I earnestly hope and desire to con- care by the Presbytery. My time must tinue to labor in some portion of this be divided among them. To do this, I wide and destitute field. Wherever must travel not less than 180 miles I have been, there is a great lack of the every three weeks. It is a matter of . word of life and the means of grace. gratitude to God, that under all these Although the number of those who call discouraging circumstances, the powers themselves Christians is very great, and of darkness seem to be giving back, the number of preachers is not few, yet the dawn of a brighter day seems to there seems to be but little piety, and have risen. there was never, perhaps, more need of men who should devote their whole time Can you not send us more help? to the ministry. The people are poor, as to any present ability, to sustain the I am so much of my time from home, ministry. I frequently find Presbyte- my beloved wife may be considered alrian ministers who are laboring with most in a state of widowhood. When their own hands to supply their daily I consider her infirm state of health, wants. Money is now scarcer than last see her borne down with care and labor, year, and the wheat crop bas been win- and, on the other hand, see poor souls ter killed.
perishing for lack of vision, I am overwhelmed, and am ready to ask, “ Who is sufficient for these things ?”
I have thus unbosomed myself to you, From Rev. A. Jones, Deepwater, Henry believing that by this means, I shall Co., Mo.
at least share in your sympathy, and
prayers. The work is great.
I have preached as much as time and
other circumstances would permit, and Since the 1st of January, I have had have been greatly encouraged in almost three churches under my care. There is every effort. Salem Church, which I such a hungering and thirsting for the organized about a year since with 9 word of life, that I find it impossible to members, now numbers 38. Seventeen supply the wants of this dear people. of this number, have been received I cannot say that in consequence of since the date of my commission. Six this, the graces of the churches lan- have also been received to the Deepguish, but on the contrary, a coming up water Church. The most of these have to the help of the Lord is manifest. My been received upon profession of their congregations are increasing in number faith. The cause of temperance flourand interest. To see a whole congre- ishes. Between 2 and 300 have signed gation moved under a single sermon, is the pledge since the first of January not uncommon. Under circumstances last. like these, it is very trying to leave them We have one deeply interesting Sabfor 3 or 4 weeks-to hurry a way to bath school.
I have just returned from a protracted || think of our circumstances, and if posmeeting on the Little Osage. It was a sible send forth more laborers into this precious season. Quite a number were part of the vineyard. hopefully converted. I scarcely, if ever, witnessed a scene of deeper interest. Though in these ends of the earth, we are not removed beyond the Divine in- From Rev. J. J. Tucker, Hannibal, Mo. fluence.
A very good state of religious feeling Concerning the meeting referred to in the abides in my church ; I say abides, for foregoing letter, another correspondent writes since our last winter's revival, the as follows:
standard of piety has evidently remain
ed at a higher mark than previously. The meeting was deeply interesting Within the last quarter I have been into both saints and sinners. Christians stalled as pastor of this flock, an event were, during the meeting, aroused from of interest, and, I trust, of lasting good a state of lethargy, by the influences of to my congregation. the Divine Spirit-and as I humbly trust, All our
customary religious services they came up to the help of the Lord are attended with promptitude and soagainst the mighty. The place became lemnity. Though no very marked "sweet and awful,” on account of the movement of the Spirit is apparent at presence of the living God. Many, present, the work of grace is evidently who came to the meeting careless and going forward steadily. A very large indifferent with regard to the salvation proportion of my congregation is made of their souls, were brought to inquire, up of professing Christians. What must we do to be saved ? And Without your aid this year, I could some, perhaps 8 or 10, by the sovereign not have remained on the ground. With grace of God, were brought, as is hum- it, I am here, have enjoyed a delightful bly hoped, out of darkness into the revival, and am pastor of this interest. light.
ing charge. Some, that were rather skeptical in Vur town is rapidly increasing its their views, were brought to feel, and population and business; and by anothat seriously too, that their skepticism ther year, we shall doubtless, not only would not serve in the eternity to which be able to take care of ourselves, but also they were fast tending.
to aid in supplying the destitute. Our hearts are in the cause of Home Missions. Our hands shall lend it our as
sistance just as soon as they are untied. Who will come to our assistance
This country is a moral desolation. Error is propagated almost without con
IOWA, tradiction. Every species of vice and immorality stalks abroad. The holy From Rev. W. W. Woods, Iowa City. Sabbath is desecrated; the name of God is profaned; the institutions of It will, no doubt, rejoice your hearts heaven are neglected, and who will come to know the Lord has been with us du. to our assistance, to teach the people ring the last quarter. Attention to the better. A large number of counties means of grace has been on the in. within the bounds of the Harmonycrease during the latter part of the winPresbytery are entirely destitute ofter and spring; and increased earnesPresbyterian preaching. The most of ness in prayer has distinctly marked them have rising villages at their coun- our weekly meetings. On the last ty seats, and their population is gene- Sabbath in May we administered the rally rapidly increasing. Now, could sacrament of the Lord's supper. there be a minister placed at each of series of meetings began on the Thursthese county seats, where could there day preceding, under the most disconbe a greater prospect of usefulness ? 0, 1 raging outward circumstances. A com. pany of comic actors arrived in the city with the little church just formed there ; on the same evening, and there was a and the other had not yet indulged hope, performance on every evening of the but is very anxious, and I think in a meeting. A meeting in opposition to promising state. He was convinced by them was got up by some of the citi. brother R.'s discourses on the inspirazens; and these meetings attracted tion of the Scriptures. I think that the attention of the more thoughtless. judicious lectures on that subject, are Neither of them felt disposed to oppose highly important in these parts, where the meetings we were holding. They there is so much infidelity arising from censured one another for the distur- ignorance and perverted views of truth. bance each other's carousing must be to religious worship. Notwithstanding The way the enemy contests the all, our meetings were well attended :
ground. six were received to the communion of the church, one only by letter. But
Last Sabbath, in the forenoon, I had what gave me greatest joy, was, to wit- an appointment 6 miles distant; and ness in our church a humiliation before Mr. D., a local Methodist preacher, had God, and an apparent coming with a re.
an appointment at the school-house, the newed sense of dependence to the only place of worship. A wicked dismercy seat. Many of the unconverted affected man made an appointment for a were evidently deeply impressed during Mormon to interfere with the Methodist; the exercises. Now, it is not for the ' but as the Morinon did not come in sea. addition of six to our number, nor the son, he introduced Abner Kneeland, humbling of the church before God, who occupied the time to which Mr. D. nor the evidence of the Spirit's presence had a right. At 12 o'clock the Mormon on an occasion like this, that I present came, commenced preaching at two, you as an item of news—but it is that and finished just before 4-the time of these things have occurred on the mar- my appointment. These manæuvres, it gin of civilization, at an outpost indeed, was thought, would, on the whole, and in a population unlike any you may operate against the actors. ever have seen. This is the first meet.
Views of the field. ing I have held, or that I have known to be held in this city, in which the
My general impression respecting general impression was, that God the importance of this field have not was there reviving his work. We pray much changed by actual sight. Intellithat this may be as the drops before a gent preachers, who can adapt them. plentiful shower. We are doing all selves to the condition of the people, we can to erect a place for public worship for ourselves, and then we shall be done, in inost cases, is that of pio
are exceedingly wanted. The work to have a better opportunity to bring the neers. The self-denial, however, is not Gospel to bear on the minds of men.
as great as I expected. I hope my younger brethren will not be frightened from the field by its hardship. They
need not be, if they don't suffer imagiFrom Rev. A. Dullon,* missionary in nation to magnify it.
WISCONSIN. At B- I found two infidels just Generalsarfnce of the Mining District reclaimed-men of considerable mind
of Wisconsin. and influence. One of them had united
The following graphic description of this
region, is taken from a series of sketches * Mr. D. was for many years pastor of the which are appearing in the Grant Co. (Wis.) church in Guilford, Con., and visits the west to ascertain if it be practicable for an old Herald. man to sustain the toils from which so many of his juniors have shrunk.
We shall commence with the bluffs