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"ABIDE WITH us:' the evening hour draws on,
And pleasant at the day-light's close,
The traveller's repose !
Thy words, O blessed stranger, have dispellid
The midnight gloom in which our hearts were held.
But thou to us hast words of comfort given
Of Him who came from heaven.
While thou the sacred Scriptures didst unfold,
Lest unto us the cloud of fear return,
When we are left to mourn,
O teach us more of what we long to know,
And knew not He was walking by their side
Who on the cross hath died.
Then saw they who had deign'd to bless their board,
And, in the STRANGER, haild their risen Lord!
Compass'd with doubt, and bitterness, and dread ;
He trusts the word, yet fears lest from his heart
He, whose discourse is peace, too soon depart.
Take home the heavenly Guest.
And thou shalt taste the bread of life, and see
The Lord of angels come to sup with thee.
Say, shall we hear thy voice, and let thee wait
All night before the gate,
O strike the fetter from the thrall of pride !
WITH US, O LORD, ABIDE,"
Relating principally to the FOREIGN Missions carried or under the
Direction of the METHODIST CONFERENCE.
ANNIVERSARY OF THE WESLEYAN MISSIONARY
SOCIETY. The entire “Missionary Notices” for June and July, containing the Report of the Annual Meeting at Exeter-Hall, April 29th, occupy the whole of three sheets; whereas, two sheets are all that we can possibly allot to them, three sheets and a half being already, now that we come to the “ Notices," printed off. We are obliged, therefore, however reluctantly, to omit a considerable portion of a document which, under other circumstances, we should have been glad to give without abridgment. But our regret is lessened by one circumstance. The abstracts of the Financial Report, and of that of the foreign operations of the Society, form a large portion of the “ Notices.” These will appear, and be perpetuated, in the Annual Report, which will speedily be published. To this, therefore, as well as to the unabridged “ Notices," we earnestly direct our readers' attention. We have thought that, as something must be omitted, it would be better to omit that which will have its place in the Annual Report, than the speeches, which, of course, cannot be inserted there. Our references to the Meeting in another place, likewise, have the speeches as their principal object; and we do think, after much and anxious consideration, that we shall best fulfil the wishes of our readers, and, at the same time, answer the just claims of the speakers, by devoting what space we can afford, to the speeches of the Meeting, merely omitting such as, from the circumstances connected with their delivery,--as being towards the close of the proceedings, and referring merely to the appointment of officers, and similar matters of business, --have not the importance of those which were directed to the great subject of the day.
Again referring the reader to the unabridged “ Notices," we now only say that every part of the Hall was well occupied before the regular proceedings commenced, and that, soon after eleven o'clock, the Rev. Dr. Alder gave out the hymn, “Before Jehovah's awful throne.” When this had been sung, the Rev. John Scott, President of the Conference, engaged in prayer.
THE RIGAT HONOURABLE SIR logy, at least some explanation, in order GEORGE Rose, K.C. H., late M.P. that I may not be accused of presumpfor Christchurch, on taking the chair, tion in presenting myself before you on according to previous announcement, this occasion, and charging myself with spoke nearly as follows :—My Christian duties which I have undertaken under a brethren, there are reasons for which I cogency I felt to be irresistible, but which feel that I ought to offer, if not an apo
I am ill able to fulfil. I say, with per. Vol. XXIII. Third Series. JUNE, 1844.
fect earnestness, and with Christian vinced that, in the present state of the truth, that I cannot excite your zeal and world, we can ill spare anything of energy by eloquence-if, indeed, you Christian co-operation among Protestwere to be led by human eloquence. But
afford even to be it is the eloquence of holy writ which nice; and any over-refined or captious has led you, under a sense of duty, to feelings ought to give way to the urgency engage in this Christian undertaking. of our position. The present times are My voice, which is far from strong, is at marked by extraordinary dangers and difthis time rendered almost inaudible by ficulties; and I am anxious to contribute local indisposition; and I fear, there. all the aid in my power towards bringing fore, that I shall scarcely be heard at the into cordial co-operation those who, if not distance of half a dozen benches from the separated, have at least been disunited. place where I now stand. I have long One of the last reflections which preceased to attempt to address audiences sented itself to my mind to-day was this, in this Hall; but I could not, in the --that a singular providence of God is expresent case, resist the commands which hibited in the fact, that whereas it genewere put upon me.
It is now nearly a rally happens that when the nearest and quarter of a century since I first con dearest human friends seriously disagree, ceived a warm and zealous interest on they are of all men most unforgivingbehalf of the Wesleyan Missionary So the dearest friends becoming the most ciety. I have always avowed my at hitter enemies; the most kind and kin. tachment to that institution; I have dred feelings have existed, and do yet, avowed it, here and elsewhere, when my to a considerable extent, exist, between voice was much more audible than it is the Wesleyan society and the Church now; I have avowed it in print, ap of England. I conceive it is, at this pending my name to the document, time, of the utmost importance to the and I challenged contradiction of my highest and dearest interests of Chrisstatements ; but they were not ques tianity, that that kind feeling should be tioned. It pleased the successors of cultivated and cherished as far as possithose distinguished men who were at the ble. The cause in which we are enhead of the Wesleyan Missionary So gaged is the common cause of the whole ciety when my acquaintance with it com Christian world—common at least to all menced, to request me, I have no doubt those who have thrown off the superstifor valid reasons—to occupy the position tions which enthralled our ancestors prein which I am now placed. I am una viously to the time of the Reformation. ble to form a due estimate of the power Our object to-day is to maintain the and extent of those reasons; but when great Missionary cause; and if that the request was made, I felt that I ought cause be not nurtured and supported by not to hold back; for the strength of all those who call upon the name of God is often exhibited in man's weak Christ, and who bow the knee to him,
Those excellent men at whose then are their professions of Christianity command (I call it a command, because but little worth. Our first and highest I acted upon it as such) I appear here, duty is the cultivation of personal holi. probably thought that the testimony of ness ; but the instant we step beyond an individual who is considerably beyond that duty, I know not one so imperathe allotted age of man; who entered tive as the communication of the word Parliament in 1794, and has only quitted and kuowledge of God to those it now in 1844 ; who has been employed to whom that word has not been ima good deal in the public service at home parted. How is the glory of God to and abroad; and who is not a member be supported ? What was the song of of your religious body; might not (so the angels at the Saviour's birth ? “Glory far as human testimony is worth any to God in the highest." If this our thing in such a case as this) be wholly first duty is neglected, we may be assured destitute of weight. That testimony that no other can be discharged acceptI most sincerely, anxiously, and warmly ably to God, and for the promotion of his tender on behalf of this Society. I am honour.
It may seem strange that the happy as a member—and I hope a faith Fathers of the Reformation were engaged ful one-of the Church of England, to in no Missicnary enterprises. It may declare here what are the feelings which be said, “ How comes it that these men, thousands and hundreds of thousands of who had a surprising knowledge of God's the members of that Church—and I will, and the understanding of his dis. speak of many of its most eminent men pensations, and of the mysteries of the entertain towards this important and Gospel, had no Missionary institutions useful Association. We must be con whatever ?" It may be worth while to
refer to this subject for a moment, to that in the West Indies; for, as I am rescue them from imputation, and our. unfortunately connected with them by selves from difficulty. They had a inheritance, I possess some local knowpainful and a dreadful struggle to endure ledge on the subject. I have been an in Spain, in Italy, in Portugal, in Ger earnest actor—though constantly a baffled many, and, above all, in France. They onc-in the endeavour to promote the had to wage a physical, a moral, and a diffusion of the Gospel in the Westreligious warfare; and they had no leisure India islands. I thought it my duty to to engage in enterprises of a Missionary attest, in a pamphlet, what I know, and character. It is, however, a curious what I have seen, of the operations of the fact, and it appears to be distinctly Wesleyan Missions. I declared that I traced, that the Waldenses (who do saw morality, industry, a peaceable and not accept the name of Protestants be- orderly disposition, and a tendency to cause they tell us, and I believe with promote whatever is good, and to distruth, that they never entered the Church courage whatever is bad, uniformly and of Rome) had, for centuries previous to conspicuously the fruit of the labours the Reformation, Missionaries through- and exertions of the Wesleyan Missionout Europe, engaged in scattering the aries. I may be permitted, I trust, to word of truth. From this source, pro. cite one single example in proof of the bably, arose our own Lollards and Wick- efficacy of their labours, and, what is of liffites; and to it may be traced the origin far less consequence, in justification of of the Christian churches in Bohemia. my opinion. There is a small GrenaAt that time also, we must recollect, dilla island, which consists only of a there were few opportunities of commer single estate. One of the great evils cial intercourse, especially on the part of attending slavery was, that in the Westthe Protestant powers.
We must also India islands, even in the magnificent bear in mind that, however strong the island of Jamaica, the population was Missionary spirit might have been, there not maintained. The Negroes generally were no persons who could bave been were not ill-fed ; they had land to cultisent out as Missionaries, though the vate ; the climate to them was genial ; Church of Rome possessed, in its religi- but still the law of human nature was ous orders, an expeditionary army for violated; the population was receding. the propagation of its faith; and at the The precepts of holiness of life in. time of the Reformation none but Roman culcated by the Wesleyan Missionaries Catholic powers of Europe (Spain, and were most repugnant to the white popu. Portugal) possessed colonies beyond its lation generally; and that accounts for precincts, or traded extensively beyond the strong opposition with which the its seas.
But even years after the period Missionaries had to contend. One of of which I am now speaking the Mis the most decisive tests to which the sionary spirit slumbered. We learn Wesleyan Missions can be subjected, from a recent publication,—and it is a would, in my opinion, be this,-the remarkable fact that when the institu- effects which the labours of the Missiontion of the venerable Society for the Pro- aries, when brought into full play, propagation of the Gospel was proposed in duce upon the population of a particular the reign of King William the Third, the estate. The fact I am about to relate leading men in Church and State held I ascertained from a great West-India serious consultations as to whether it house, which is wholly unconnected with would not be a society of a most danger. any Missions, Church of England or ous character-one that must produce Wesleyan. The proprietor of this island most mischievous results. This fact had upon his estate about two hundred ahows how little men's minds were pre slaves. A Wesleyan Missionary was at pared, at that time, for such a state of the island for some months, and inthings as exists at the present moment. structed the people in the truths of the It is the blessing of the Wesleyan body Gospel ; but he was subsequently obliged that the mind of their Founder (whose to direct his steps elsewhere. One of the character and principles are more strongly natives, a man of singular aptitude of impressed upon his followers than those mind, and warmth of heart, who had emof any uninspired man that ever lived) braced the truths of Christianity, became embraced the whole extent of Christian a sort of apostle to the people of the duty. He was the institutor of those island. The proprietor, discovering the Missions which you have to-day assem- excellent qualities of this man, bestowed bled to support. I may be allowed, upon him his entire confidence; and perhaps, to make a few observations under his management the estate prosas to one of your Missions in particular, pered as it had never done before. He
was almost like Joseph in the prison, was not all; for the Government of the all confidence and trust were placed in his island voted towards the rebuilding of hand. This man required that all illicit the chapel the sum of £100. I feel connexions should cease among his fel. that I have considerably exceeded the low.countrymen, and that the rite of mar limits within which I ought to have conriage should be observed. He had ob fined my observations; but I may be tained a form of marriage, consonant with allowed to refer for a few moments to a what he had learnt from his Teacher; and subject in which the Wesleyan body take he performed the ceremony. On one oc the deepest interest, and which was casion some gentlemen went to visit the brought prominently under public notice estate, and obtained a holiday for the last year,—the subject of education. I can Negroes. The gentlemen expected that, attest that, when the fearful disclosures of according to the general custom, a dance ignorance and vice which prevailed in would take place. The proprietor sent to this country were made to the House of the man I have mentioned to know what Commons last year, but one feeling of was to be done. “I have no dancing, horror and dismay pervaded the Members master,” replied he; “but I have five of that House and the country generally: marriages to make.”
The gentlemen we thought that some immediate and pow. were astonished: they went and beheld erful remedy ought to be applied to such the performance of the marriages, and an extensive national evil; we felt as if heard an excellent address from the man some fearful chasm had opened, full of inculcating conjugal obligations and du awful disclosures. I am perfectly conties. The population on that estate vinced from the intercourse I have had increased in a short time from 200 to with those who last year proposed a mea350. There is, as you are aware, a small sure of national education, that they did West-India island called Dominica, not bring forward that measure with any which was for a long time under the in unkind feelings towards the Wesleyan Auence of the Roman Catholics, and to body. They acted to the best of their which the access of the Gospel was most judgment and understanding; for an difficult. You will probably remember earnest desire was felt to make, if possible, the dreadful earthquake by which the a combined effort of all the Protestants West Indies were visited in February of the nation against this most alarming last, which almost annihilated Guada evil. I differed from them ; for I believe loupe, and seriously injured the island of I knew the Wesleyans better than they Antigua, destroying thousands of lives. did. But I should not fulól my duty We feared that Dominica, where I have if I did not state my decided belief that, a small property, must have been greatly in the proposition of that measure, they injured, if not destroyed ; but, by a won were not influenced by any unkind or derful act of God's mercy, it was scarcely ungenerous feeling towards you. I diftouched, and that only at the end of the fered from them, however, on this ques. island where the Wesleyan chapel tion ; I should have voted against the which was destroyed -- was situated. The Bill if it had not been withdrawn; and chapel was in a part of the island where I presented all the petitions from the malaria was very prevalent, and the Wesleyan body against the Bill which Missionaries had frequently suffered were intrusted to my care. I am well from its effects. Indeed, the chapel was aware of one of the great causes of the on the point of being abandoned at the alarm entertained by the Wesleyans. I time it was destroyed. Under these cir trust, however, by God's blessing, that cumstances, the people of the island came the apprehensions which they then felt, forward in a manner which contrasted if not entirely removed, have been at most strongly with the conduct of the least in some degree mitigated. A mepeople of Barbadoes, some sixteen years phitic blast stole upon us from some ago, when they destroyed the Wesleyan fissure in the great volcano of Romanism; chapel in that place. It was determined but I venture now to hope_and I men. to rebuild the chapel ; and by the libe tion it here because I am sure you will rality of the Hon. David Stewart Laid. regard it with satisfaction—that the law a new and suitable site was obtained. strong public feeling which has been The foundation-stone was laid by Mr. manifested, and the address which was Laidlaw, who is the President of the presented from thousands in the land to island, and is a valued friend of mine, the authorities of Oxford, have produced who has the charge of my property, and a beneficial effect, and will, I trust, into whom I have often had occasion to ex sure the inculcation of that sound docpress my high opinion of the labours of trine which the fathers of our Church the Wesleyan Missionaries. But this maintained. I may, perhaps, be allowed