Page images
PDF
EPUB

Once there was a period when knowledge and refinement were far more rare, and on this account far more singular than vital religion at present is. Had Our fathers been deterred by the charge of singularity from prosecuting their researches and maturing their benevolent schemes, we should, at this moment, have been elevated very little above the rank of barbariaus. Let us not then fear the reproaches of a misguided and unthinking world. Religion, though accounted singular by an irreligious multitude, is by no means a singular thing in the universe of God. It has been patronized and practised, more or less, by the wise and the good of every age. It is still, we hope, exemplified in the lives of many who are ornaments to human nature, but of whom "the world is not worthy." It is practised, in all its extent, by those nobler orders of intelligent beings who fili the higher parts of creation. They are grieved to find, that to be a friend of Jesus, is considered as a singular thing; and they wonder at the perverseness of those who would assign this as a reason why the friendship of Jesus should be relinquished. Let us also derive consolation from the thought, that a period is fast approaching, when, even on earth, the knowledge and the service of God shall be universal. "The glory of God shall be displayed, and all flesh shall see it togeth

er."

It is not my design to specify all the corrupt maxims which the world is found, more or less, to recommend. Those which

I have stated may serve as a sufficient specimen, and they have been selected as being most generally prevalent. To one charge, and that of no trivial nature, they are all liable: Their genuine tendency is to lessen the influence of religious truth on the minds of men. They are all founded on principles altogether different from those of the Gospel; and they may be viewed as parts of a great system, which has been brought into competition with that of Christ and his apostles. To this system, whether it discovers itself in a cold and desolating scepticism, in a professed disregard to all religious principle, or in the adoption of expediency as the standard of duty, it becomes the enlightened Christian to be on his guard. For securing him against its pernicious influence, nothing is better adapted than the steady belief of those grand principles. which are comprehended in Evangelical Christianity. Let these be elevated to the rank of ruling and efficient power. Let them be allowed to influence the faculties, affections, and passions of the soul; and let them be resorted to as, the practical directors of ordinary life. They will constitute that divine armor, which may be found sufficient to resist alike the fiery darts of Satan, and the less observed, but no less deadly arrows, of generly prevalent ungodliness. Let the spirit of Christ dwell richly in us; and then shall we be enabled to "walk worthy of the vo cation wherewith they are cal、 led."

R. B.

RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.

ANNUAL MEETING OF THE [LONDON] another on the new. He felt much pleasure

MISSIONARY SOCIETY.

It is found that accounts of public meetings, for missionary and charitable purposes, are peculiarly interesting to the great body of readers. The following notices are taken from a London paper. We have published the sums in dollars and cents and made one slight abridgement. ED. PAN.

THE nineteenth General Meeting of the Missionary Society commenced on the 12th of May last. The meeting for transacting the business of the Society was held on Thursday morning at half past ten at Silver-street Chapel, which was very much crowded, and we believe the congregation, consisting of ladies and gentlemen was considerably larger than on any former occasion. WM. ALERS, Esq, having been called to the chair, the REV. JAMES HALL of Edinburgh, implored the divine blessing upon the Institution, when the Rev. GEORGE BURDER, the Secretary, read' the report of the direc tors, by which it appears that not only the exertions of the Society have been enlarged, but by the interest and liberality of the public the funds have been considerably increased; the receipts and disbursements from the 1st. April 1812, to the 1st April 1813, were as follows: Amount of Collections, Subscriptions, Donations, Dividends, &c.

$68,343 21

[blocks in formation]

in hearing, under the head of India, that the people in general were ready to hear, and to confess the folly of their superstitious customs. He admired the prudence of the Society, whose zeal was according to knowledge.

Rev. Mr. ALLEN of Exeter seconded the motion. He urged to greater exertions in the Missionary cause, and a continuance in prayer for its success. He hoped there was not minister present who would not furnish an Auxiliary Soeiety. He mentioned that two ministers in Devonshire, Messrs. COPE of Launceston, and COBBIN of Crediton, went thirty or forty miles to preach to the prisoners of war, and often spoke to three or four thousand at a time, with prospects of usefulness. He recommended to ministers to read the missionary accounts to their congregations.

Rev. Mr. COLLINSON moved thanks to the Directors. After hearing such a report, who would not feel interested in this cause? They had conducted the Missionary Car round the world. He could not mention, without the greatest respect, the names of Dr.VAN DER KEMP and Mrs. ALBRECHT, whose deaths they had to la ment. He was much gratified in observing the benefit resulting from Auxiliary Societies.

BENJ. NEALE, Esq. seconded the moton, and remarked that the Missionary Society never called in vain upon the Religious Public. Its object exceeds most others, and if they have not done more, it is because they have not had the means. There will be an additional call on this Society in India. If we do not work our children will reproach us. He also spe pealed to the generosity of the ladies present.

Rev. Mr. BeGUE, in proposing the new Directors, said it was never intended to have any sincere offices in the Missionary Society. Could we behold 600 mil. lions of souls perishing for lack of knowl edge and not assist them! How earnestly ought ministers now to pray for the influence of the Holy Spirit upon them! there was much cruelty in excluding so many millions of the human race from the blessings of Christianity. He could not however look upon such an act without horror' He blushed when it was asked whether the preaching of the Gospel would produce discord in India or not. Christ's religion says, let every soul be

[blocks in formation]

ROBERT STEVENS, Esq. seconded the motion, and mentioned a prisoner who had given six days provisions in a month for the use of a New Testament.

THOMAS PELLATT, Esq. proposed a vote of thanks to the Treasurer, which the Rev. JOHN TOWNSEND Seconded, and said he must ever look with sensible feelings of gratitude on one who, with such prudence, readiness and assiduity engaged in any benevolent service.

Rev. Dr. WINTER moved the thanks to the Secretaries which was seconded by Rev. Mr. HILYARD.

Rev. ROWLAND HILL moved thanks to

the Auxiliary Societies-by introducing some account of his tour last year, with the Rev. T. JACKSON, in aid of the Missionary Cause-and acknowledged the generosity with which the people in every part came forward to promote this

eause.

Rev. THOMAS JACKSON seconded the motion in an appropriate speech, testifying the kindness which was manifested towards them during their late tour. Considering the shortness of human life, and the length of time consumed, before we obtain any correct knowledge of huinan nature, he pressed upon their minds the importance of activity and diligence to work while it was called to day, for the night cometh in which no man can work. Rev. Mr. LEIFCHILD, of Kensington, and Rev. MATTHEW WILKS, also spoke on the occasion, and the business was closed by prayer.

MISSIONARY SERVICES.

The Religious Services of this Institution commenced as usual at Surrey Chapel. The Rev. Rowland Hill read the Liturgy of the Church of England; after which the Rev. John Brown, of Whitburn, son of the late Rev. John Brown of Haddington, Author of the Self-Interpreting Bible, &c. &c. offered up the prayer before the Sermon: the Rev. David Peter, Tutor of the Academy at Carmarthens preached a very excellent sermon from Psalm xxii, 27, 28, All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord, and the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord's and he is the governor among the nations. Rev. Mr. Garlic, of Painswick, concluded with prayer.

WEDNESDAY EVENING-TabernacleRev. Mr. Hartley, of Lutterworth, and Rev. Mr. Davis, of Swansea, engaged in

ayer be ore and after the sermon, hich was by the Rev. John Philip, of Aberdeen, from Zechariah iv, 6, Not by

might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts.

THURSDAY EVENING-TottenhamCourt Chapel-Rev. Mr. Slatterie, of Chatham, and Rev. Mr. Maslin, of Herts ford, prayed before and after a sermon by the Rev. Alexander Fletcher, minister of the Scotts Church, Miles'-lane, from Isaiah liv, 2, 3, Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations; spare not; lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

FRIDAY MORNING-A very large congregation assembled in the very noble and capacious building Christ Church, Spi alfields, where the Liturgy of the Church was read by the Rev. Mr. Fancourt, and the Rev. B. W. Mathias, A. M. Chap lain of Bethesda, and of the Lock Penitentiary, Dublin, preached a very striking and appropriate sermon from Matt. x, 8, Freely ye have received, freely give.

FRIDAY EVENING The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered to the Members and Friends of the Society, who are stated Communicants with Christian Church.

[ocr errors]

Sion Chapel, although a very large place, was filled two hours before the time appointed for beginning the service, and the numbers who could not gain admittance was considerable. The Rev. D. Bogue presided, and the Rev. Messrs. Hunt. of Chichester, Cockin, of Halifax, Griffith William, of London, Hillvard, of Bedford, Matthew Wilks and Rowland Hill, were engaged in the service, besides several others who distributed the elements.

Orange Street Chapel-This Chapel was also numerously attended. The Rev. John Townsend presided, and the Rev. Messrs. George Townsend of Ramsgate, Young, of Margate, Lewis, of Islington, Dr. Winter, and others, engaged in various parts of the service.

The Collections, which last year as mounted to 1400. this year considerably exceeded that sum. That at Surrey Chapel alone has, we understand, been increased since our last publication to about 500%.

ANNUAL MEETING OF THE [ENGLISH}

RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY.

THE account of the 14th anniversary of this Society is thus introduced in the Instruetor, a London paper, of May 19, 1813.

THE present age will be the subject of admiration and delight, of horror and pain,

to the historians of future generations. While the mind is occupied by scenes of blood, and the most awful destruction of the human species, at the same juncture, we observe the disciples of Jesus employed, with an ardor and affection, hitherto unexampled, devising innumerable schemes to meliorate the condition of the world to stem the torrent of human depravity, and to unfold the mysteries of that religion, which breathes peace upon the earth, and good will to mankind. The Reports of the proceedings of the different Societies, which have occupied our attention during the past week, have af forded us many pleasing and delightful anticipations of that period, when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the deep. We have endeavored to present our readers with a brief outline of the different meetings and speeches which were delivered. It was delightful to perceive the effects of that Missionary spirit, which has been excited in the present age; combining good men of all denominations in one fraternal cause the cause of humanity, and the cause of God.

Then follows an account of the annual meeting, which is as follows:

THE Annual Meeting of this Society, was held at the CITY of LONDON TAVERN, BISHOPGATE-STREET, on Thursday morning the 13th inst. Before six o'clock, the Company began to assemble; the Great Room was soon filled, and at seven o'clock, JOSEPH REYNER, Esq. was called to the Chair. Previous to the perusal of the Report, the Rev. Mr. COOKE, of Maidenhead, offered a short introductory prayer for the divine direction and blessing upon the Committee, and Friends of the Society. Rev. Mr. HUGHES, then proceeded to read the Report, which is replete with the most delightful intelligence to the heart of every Christian, detailing the circulation of their Tracts from the shores of the Baltic, to the Cape of Good Hope, through the whole of Europe, India, and even pressing upon the inhabitants of China, and that since the first Institution of this Society, no less than 13 millions of Tracts had been circulated by its agency.

After the reading of the report, Rev. Mr. ROBY of Manchester, addressed the Chairman. He said this report must be received with the greatest satisfaction; but he held a letter in his hand, which would considerably heighten that pleasure. This numerous and respectable assembly, will hear with delight of the accession of the Rev. LEIGH RICHMOND, to the office of Clerical Secretary to this Society. He

then read a letter from that Gentleman, to the Rev. Mr. HUGHES, declaring his readiness to accept the same, not as a sinecure or nominal title, but to unite his energies in that sacred cause-which he considered as the cause of God. He hoped that this triple cord might not be rent asunder, and moved that this report should be received, &c.

SAMUEL MILLS, Esq. observed, that this motion had his full concurrence. If the reading of this report excited pleasurable feelings in the persons present, it was not those natural feelings which would satisfy the wishes of the Committee. They wanted more. They wanted their personal and individual assistance. If it were possible for any one to read or listen to that report with indifference, it was much to be feared that he was destitute of the spirit and energy essential to the Christian character. But that thought, he would not indulge of any of the individuals present. He, therefore, moved that the report be received.

Rev. Mr. CHARLES, of Bala. He well knew that the success of every undertaking, depended in a great measure, upon the ability and exertions of those to whom the concerns of it were entrusted. It was apparent that great exertions had been used, and the most wonderful effects produced, and the success with which they had been crowned, was very much owing to the Officers, and Secretaries and Treasurers of that Society. These are characters well known, active and intelligent in every department, and their exertious in the past year had been considerably enlarged. He moved that thanks be given to the Secretaries, and Treasurer, and to intreat their continuance in those offices.

Rev. Mr. STEINKOPFF was requested for himself and the other officers, to return their most unfeigned thanks for the honor which they had just received, and which had been expressed in so kind a manner, yet they looked for higher ap probation-the approbation of conscience, and of God. We consider ourselves your servants for Jesus's sake. When I was charged last year, at the commencement of my Tour on the Continent, with the sum of 2001. for distribution, for purposes congenial with this Society, I considered it as a talent committed to my care, and not without frequent and fervent prayer for its proper use, and that it might gain two, or five, or even ten more. Throughout the whole of my journey in Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland, I found the people most grateful. Many thousands of all ranks, are stimulated by your exertions for the distribution of the Holy Scriptures, and the dissemination of Re

ligious knowledge: By one parish, 600,000 Tracts have been distributed, furnished by the Society at Stockholm. The Clergyman after preaching, used to request persons to stop, that were so disposed, to receive these Tracts. He (Mr. S.) mention d a Mr. Henderson, and a Mr. Pattison, who employed themselves in this delightful work, and that so earnest were the people to obtain them, that they used to crowd and follow after them with the greatest eagerness. He attended the Annual Meeting of the Danish Tract Society, and communicated what he had seen and heard in England, and left 201. for the increase of their funds. He saw how gratified these good men appeared, and what feelings of devotion it excited. He spoke also of an Honorable Countess in those parts, who had been confined to her bed for several years. She had written several Tracts, and diffused many thousands of them, with Bibles also, among the neighboring poor. Their hearts melted at the intelligence, and the relation of what so many thousand British Christians had done. A merchant, whose praise is in all the continental Churches, kept a large warehouse for the reception of Religious Tracts. He had many oppor tunities to distribute them; and, notwithstanding they had suffered much by War, possessing nine vessels, yet, by his exertions, he had distributed 500,000 Tracts. In Basle, a large company of Christians met. I was present when they bowed down their knees to the Father of Spirits, and implored the blessing of God upon British Christians Through many difficulties and dangers, he had been brought back from his Continental Tour, and he felt happy to continue his labors, in conjunction with his Brethren who had embarked in the same cause.

BENJAMIN NEALE, jun. Esq. professed himself not to be one of the old school, who were exclaiming the more we do, the more is wanted to be done the more Bibles we distribute, the more Missionaries are wanted, and the more Missionaries are employed, the more Tracts must be distributed, and so we wish to go forward, and let the present generation continue its exertions without intermission, until all shall know the Lord. It is not sufficient to distribute the Bible-the Bible requires explanation-sermons often require explanation-Missionaries and Tracts must be employed. Our present intercourse with Foreign nations, requires our most active exertions. England demands that every one should do his duty. Our intercourse with Russia is extremely favorable, and presents many facilities for this purpose. In some parts of that extensive territory, the Bible. cannot find

[ocr errors]

admittance; it does not please them; but the tracts are admissible. If you cannot do all the good you wish, you are requested to do all you can. Work while it is, called to day, for the night cometh in which no man can work. He recommended this subject to the consideration of London and Country Ministers, and if they would assist in forming Auxiliary Societies in their respective congrega tions, much night be effected. Something must be said also, relative to the Auxiliary Societies. They have rather been an incumbrance to our funds,than any advantage. Would it not be expedient to ask from these associations, a little of their assistance. Suppose that one fourth, or one third, or even one half of their funds were to be appropriated to the Parent Institution. This Society would then be followed by an increased force, with which it might proceed to the remotest corners of the world. While we are careful to provide for our Foreign reception, home is not to be neglected. One essential branch of this Society, is to attend to the wants of Great Britain. Much good has been produced by Tracts appropriated for hawkers, and if the Members of this Society were careful to keep alive this object, much more might yet be done, if they will not suffer little pamphlet shops in their respective neighborhoods, to be destitute of their Tracts. If they would leave a quire or two upon sale or return, very much good might be done. When these shops or hawkers find, that they can get as much for ten pence, as they can sell for four shillings, they will very soon find out the Repository in Paternoster-row. By this practice, you press the devil into your service. During the last two years, many presses that were wholly employed upon profane ballads and other abominable Tracts, have been broken up, and are now employed upon better subjects. then recommended a collection at the door, as a very good expedient to increase the funds on that day, and proposed the vote of thanks to the Committee.

He

THOMAS PELLATT, Esq. on behalf of the Committee, came forward to return their cordial acknowledgements. They had only done their duty. They could not sufficiently express the feelings of delight, which they enjoyed in their service, and hoped they should always be ready to obey their call, and to enter upon their duty.

Rev. Dr. WINTER. Every person has opportunities more or less, of promoting the growing prosperity of the kingdom of Christ, and of becoming a fellow helper in this great work. Who has not an interest in this cause? The efforts of every individual, however small, tend to the good

« PreviousContinue »