« AnteriorContinua »
RELIGIOUS AND MISSIONARY INTELLIGENCE.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM MR. NEWSTEAD, METHODIST MISSIONARY IN CEYLON, DATED AUGUST, 1817.
WITH very much pleasure I address a line to you from the shores of Ceylon, assured that you will receive it with equal pleasure. When we formerly met together I could have little thought that we should ever exchange countries, that I should leave the western for the eastern world, from whence you came; but so has the God of Providence ordered it, and we cannot doubt it is for the best, since both of us, I trust, have the glory of God fully in view. It will afford you pleasure, I doubt not, to hear that friend preached from the bible which you presented to the new chapel in Colombo, for the first time, on Sunday August 3, from 1 Cor. i. 23. It was committed to my care across the great deep, and it so happened that, though I staid at Galle near three months after our landing, and brothers Osborn and Fox proceeded to Colombo before me, yet I had the pleasure to carry it to its place of rest; and after placing it in the pulpit with my own hands, in the evening I preached out of it for the first time, and I did not forget the giver. No, my dear brother, nor will our God forget this work of faith; it shall be acknowledged, I trust, in the great day, when motives are weighed, and men's actions brought to light. It was no small pleasure to our dear brethren here, to learn that I had met a long time in class with the giver of that Bible: your name is stamped on the cover, and will serve to remind every preacher who uses it, of the genuine influence of true Christianity on the heart of a native of India, and so to encourage him in his missionary work. You will rejoice to hear, that I am already engaged in preaching in a strange language-the Portuguese, (which is understood all round the coast,) and to the Cingalese through an interpreter. But you will rejoice more to hear that many are turning to the Lord.
We have an encouraging prospect in the establishment of schools, where vast numbers of native children are taught the principles of Christianity every day while learning to read; and every sabbath-day by hearing preaching, &c. At Colpetty, about a mile from the fort of Colombo, there is a good work begun in the school; the master, who was educated in our school
at Galle, is undoubtedly converted to God, and such is the blessing attending his prayers and exhortations, that five of the boys come earlier every day, that they may join the master in his prayers; and they go home in the evening and pray with and read to their parents. We have about eight classes round the coast, and I suppose nearly 2000 children under instruction. Mr. Lynch has established a mission also at Madras, to which he again proceeds.
I trust the Lord will bless us, and make us instrumental of much good. My own soul is exceedingly happy in God, and I have many most refreshing seasons from his presence. My voyage was delightful, as it respects safety and quietness, though we had many and great dangers, out of which we were delivered in answer to the prayers of our dear friends. You, my dear brother, have, I do not doubt, often prayed for me. Continue to pray, and God will hear and answer. I need your prayers, for here are many trials connected with the Missionary work. But withal I am very happy in the blessed employ of spreading abroad the Saviour's name; and I doubt not that I shall be more so when I am settled in a station, and get a circle of work assigned me. My kind love to all our dear Christian friends in Thetford.
I remain your ever affectionate
EXTRACT FROM LONDON PAPERS.
WE are informed, that among the various christian missions established in different parts of the world, those sent out by the Wesleyan Methodists continue to prosper abroad, and are gaining a large increase of support at home. Fifteen Missionaries have been sent out within the last twelve months, and the number now employed abroad is above one hundred. Their Missionarics in Ceylon are printing the new Testament in Cingalese for the Colombo Bible Society, and in that Island alone they have more than eleven hundred native children in their schools. Among the Namaqua Negroes of South Africa, and the slaves in most of the British West-India Islands, where thousands have been benefited by their ministry, they are successfully teaching both adults and children.
ACCOUNT OF THE DEATH OF MR. ANDREW MC KENNA.
DIED at Albany, August 29, in the 56th year of his age, our highly esteemed, and much lamented friend and brother, Mr. ANDREW MC KENNA.He had been for upwards of twenty years a respectable member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; most of the time he had served the church in the capacity of a Class Leader, and Trustee; in both of which offices he so demeaned himself as to give universal satisfaction. He had the confidence, and the affection of the church, of which he was a member; and also, as we have abundant reason to believe, the good will of the citizens generally, composing his extensive acquaintance, Our worthy friend was brought under serious impressions, at a prayer-meeting amongst the Methodist (at the house of our old brother Snyder, who then lived in the city of New-York), sometime in the latter part of the year 1794. The following spring he became more deeply concerned about the welfare of his soul; he joined the Methodist society as a seeker, and about midsummer he was happily brought into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
Before his acquaintance with the Methodists, nothing could be more distant from his mind than the knowledge of God, by the forgiveness of sins; but when the Lord had graciously liberated his soul, the delightful
theme of pardoning love was his joy, and perpetual song. Some time after this change took place in his views, he removed to this city, where he ended his useful life in the triumphs of faith.
For several years before his departure, he had his mind greatly exercised about the welfare of his fellow creatures, which led him frequently, on proper occasions, to exhort them to flee from the wrath to come.
A number of villages and neighbourhoods lying contiguous to the city. formed a suitable field of action, connected with his more domestic circles, to express his ardent love for souls, and vent his desires in their behalf. His labours on such occasions were owned of God, by being rendered a blessing to many, both saints and sinners.
He often returned to his house and family much fatigued with his labours, expressing himself at the same time, that, though weary in the work, he was never weary of it; but such were his expressions of joy and peace as convinced all who knew him that it was his supreme delight, to do, and suffer the will of God.
Though he loved all the followers of Christ, it might be said of him, that he in a peculiar manner, "loved our Israel:" his house, his hands, and his heart were open, as all who were intimate with him well know :-his absence will be very sensibly felt, both by his family and the church. But we believe "to die is gain" to him,-be "rests from his labours."
For several months before he was confined to the house, he was sensible that his health was on the decline, and in June he made an excursion for the purpose of breathing the sea air, think. ing it probable that it might be the means of his restoration; but returned
home with symptoms more unfavour- break out in extatic raptures, ascrib able.
He applied to those he judged most skilful in the healing art; and they, no doubt, did all in their power to restore: but a lurking disease had so corrupted his blood, and scattered the arrows of death through the whole tenement, that all their faithful endeavours were rendered abortive.
I believe it was thought for near forty days nothing passed through the system, in the ordinary course of digestion; added to this a very large imposthume had collected in the hollow of his thigh, which was finally laid open by surgical operation.
Through all these sufferings, which were of the most severe description, he was not heard to murmur, or wish his sufferings less; but calmly said, "the will of the Lord be done."
He was often asked, in the course of his confinement, the state of his mind, and he always gave the most unequivocal evidence of his acceptance with God; frequently uttering, "Jesus has done all things well."
"Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are, While on his breast I lean my head, And breathe my life out sweetly there."
A number of times, in conversation, he broke forth in acclamations of praise and glory to God that he had graciously kept him so free from temptation during his ill health.
As long as his strength would admit, it was very common whilst we were at prayer with him, to hear him
ing "glory and hallelujah to the Lamb that was slain for us;" and when his strength was so exhausted that he could scarce speak to be heard above a whisper, being asked if he saw his way clear, he answered, “Yes !O yes! perfectly clear,—all is well with me, whether I live or die." His concluding scene was so perfectly calm and serene, that those who sat by his bed-side could not tell the precise moment when the spirit took its fight; every feature of his countenance remained composed as in a state of heayenly contemplation.
So died our valuable friend. His funeral rites were performed on the following day, in the afternoon. I was requested to deliver a sermon on the occasion, before the interment; and for convenience the corpse was removed to our church; and if the number who attended, and the respectful attention paid, should be a rule by which to form an idea of his real worth in public estimation, our conclusion must be truly favourable; for, could our house have held hundreds more, it is probable they would have been there, for vast numbers came to the gate, and could neither get in, nor hear, and were obliged to be disappointed for
want of room.
It affords real comfort in the midst of bereavement, to hear it so often said, "he is gone, but he was truly a good man, and an ornament in the house of God." "The memory of the just shall be blessed." It is said "Devout men carried Stephen to his burial." The devout and venerable were his pallbearers.
FOR NOVEMBER, 1818.
EVIDENCES OF THE TRUTH OF THE CHRISTIAN REVELATION.
Extracted from the new Edinburgh Encyclopædia.
(Continued from page 369.)
135. THERE is another essential part of the argument, which is much strengthened by this obscurity. It is necessary to fix the date of the prophecies, or to establish, at least, that the time of their publication was antecedent to the events to which they refer. Now, had these prophecies been delivered in terms, so explicit, as to force the concurrence of the whole Jewish nation, the argument for their antiquity would not have come down in a form as satisfying, as that in which it is actually exhibited. The testimony of the Jews, to the date of their sacred writings, would have been refused as an interested testimony. Whereas, to evade the argument as it stands, we must admit a principle, which, in no question of ordinary criticism, would be suffered for a single moment to influence our understanding. We must conceive,
that two parties, at the very time that they were influenced by the strongest mutual hostility, combined to support a fabrication; that they have not violated this combination; that the numerous writers on both sides of the question have not suffered the slightest hint of this mysterious compact to escape them; and that, though the Jews are galled incessantly by the triumphant tone of the Christian appeals to their own prophecies, they have never been tempted to let out a secret, which would have brought the argument of the Christians into disgrace, and shown the world, how falsehood and forgery mingled with their pretensions.