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helpless monotony, are becoming willing to hear the Gospel ; are, indeed, inquiring after the truth, and in some cases receiving it with joy. What is more, God is raising up a native ministry, as he did in apostolic times. This is the most hopeful feature in the condition of China. Look at our own station. With 2 English missionaries we have already 3 native ones, 4 native local preachers, 1 native Biblewoman, 4 Bible colporteurs, and l native student. And now our brethren are reinforced with two more English missionaries, we may reaasonably expect many more native agents to be raised up. Mr. Innocent expressly says, “We believe the Lord will give us the men here, but we must look to our friends in England to give us the money; at least for the present. By-and-by the Chinese will learn to give of their substance.” They must, indeed, be taught at once the duty of giving; for people never so easily learn to be generous supporters of God's cause, as when their hearts are burning with their first love. Thus it was in apostolic times. Yet it cannot be expected that the few Christians in China can adequately support a cause of such growing magnitude, destined, as we believe, to spread ultimately over all that great country. Immense money will doubtless be saved by working largely with a native agency ; but, after all, a growing mission will require expanding funds. Ours is growing-growing in answer to our prayers. God is wondrously doing his part; and he requires us to do ours. He has proved his fidelity and mercy, and he calls upon us to prove our sincerity; and sincerity requires generous gifts as well as good wishes and earnest prayers. This great work must not be allowed to slackeu for want of funds. There is not a doubt but the extension of the cause now in progress, including the salary of the two additional missionaries, will require five or six hundred pounds annually more than heretofore. The truth is, we require a round sum of about £2,000 annually to sustain the Chinese mission with vigour. We must look on this as a duty, and meet it cheerfully. We can do it if we resolve upon it, and if we are faithful we shall do it; and in doing this we shall, as a religious Denomination, take an important part in inaugurating the brightest dispensation that has ever come to the land of Sinim. China is destined to become a great Christian nation, and the dawn of the day is come. The light is now tinging the orient hills, and the Sun of Righteousness is about to arise with healing in his wings. Who does not hail it, and say, Let thy chariot speed, Lord! Let the sweeping wheels, instinct with life, roll on, until the protracted night shall be changed into day, and the whole empire of China shall bask in the meridian beams of thy dominion !
It has been thought this would be a fitting time for offering special donations of gratitude, thus gratifying a pious sentiment, and aiding a glorious cause. We hear of one friend who offers £10, and two others £5 each, as special thank-offerings to God. We hope many others will follow the example.
LOVING AND CHASTENING. The worldling, under the influence of the degrading sin of covetous, ness, often goes on through a long
life in seeming prosperity, adding house to house, and land to land; and heaping up gold as if it could purchase a ransom for his
spirit in the day of reckoning. God looks on and keeps silence; the man has chosen his own way, and he suffers him to receive the desires of his heart, saying, “Let him alone."
But when the all-consuming passion gains entrance to the Christian's heart, it is far otherwise. The Refiner will not look quietly on, while the love of money is sapping the fountain of his joy, and hindering his communion with God. If he selfishly heap up gold, the Chastener will, sooner or later, overthrow it; if he line his nest with down, He will stir it up, that he may learn the lesson of earth's vanity. When our neighbour's children sin, we keep silence; but when our own rebel, we strive to win them back; and if entreaty and reasoning do not prevail, love impels us to chastise the dear transgressors. Thus does God deal with his own: he will not suffer sin upon them.
“Alas, all these things are against me!” exclaimed Mr. Hastings, as he entered his dwelling in an abrupt manuer, his face flushed with excitement. “I have felt all day as if I must cry out with Job, O that it were with me as in months past.'"
" What's new now, sir, please allow me to ask?” said a poor manof-all-work, who was at that moment heaping fuel upon the sitting-room fire.
“Why, Sam, there's enough new; the iron-grey pony has broken her leg, and that before I've had a pound's worth of service from her. It is forty pounds thrown away. She did it trying to leap a fence !"
Sam gave the shortest possible groan, and, taking the long-handled brush, swept the white ashes from the hearth, and blew the smoking embers into a blaze.
" Who left the stable-door open, sir, so that she's got out ? ”, asked Sam, a gleam of conscious innocence lighting up his dull eye.
"Why, I suppose I did it myself; but tbat don't make the loss any easier to bear. It is only, as I said, one link in the chain of my mis. fortunes; and what the end will be, I cannot tell."
"After all, James," replied a soft voice, “the losses are small in com
parison with what we have left. These things are trials to the temper; but we must learn to endure them patiently. It was far better that the lightning struck the barn than the house last summer. Then, when the freshet carried away the mill, how much easier to bear that than a void such as death might have made in our little flock. It is no small blessing to look on six rosy faces, all in healthful sleep. Oh, if one only were missing from the pillow, we should know then, as we haye never known, what sorrow is."
“Yes, yes," thoughtfully replied the business man, a little softened; "I know it, and I know I do not leurn patience from all these crosses as I ought; for that is doubtless their design."
“One design, no doubt," replied the good wife, whose busy needle flew as if to atone in some degree for their misfortunes.
“One design! What other do you see in the lesson ?" asked the husband.
" This is not our rest; We have here no abiding city ; 'Lay up for yourselves treasures where moth and rust do not corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal.'”
“But, my dear, you don't think that I need to learn these lessons now. I have a hope in Christ which floods cannot carry away; a hope worth more to me than all the riches of the earth."
"I know you have; but your worldly neighbours won't believe it. They point to you and to several brethren, saying, "What do these more than others ? "
“Well, really, my dear, I looked for more sympathy from you. I have just been down to Deacon Evans, and he hinted that perhaps I was covetous, and God was showing me that he had power to scatter faster than I could gather. I thought it an exceedingly unkind insinuation. I believe I could part with everything I own, if God required it, and I could see the good it was doing elsewhere; but to see hundreds consumed by fire, carried away by flood, or destroyed by accident, is more than I can comprehend! Squire Brown never gave away a pound note in his life, and everything he puts his hand to prospers !"
“Our neighbour is having bis good things in this life. I thank God that he is not leaving us to the same fate," said the good wife.
“If I could only understand it !” ejaculated Mr. Hastings.
"You don't want to understand it, sir," came in sbarp tones from the outside of the sitting-room door, which poor simple Sam had left ajar. " You don't, you won't understand it, though the Master is tellin' you in words plain enough for even poor
Sam had just enough sense to forbid his standing by the fire and listening to the conversation of his superiors; but not enough to prompt him to go away altogether. So he had placed his ear to the crack, and stood listening to what so deeply interested him. “ 'Taint no mystery to me," he added, almost unconsciously. “I'se been watching the Lord, how he was managin' you ever since you were converted. I see just what be means."
“Well, come in, then, and let's hear your judgment of the matter, my poor friend," said his master, in a softened tone. "What does all this mean?"
“It means, sir," said the simple creature," turn right about; stop lovin' money, stop making it for yourself; but earn it as fast as you can for the Lord. If you'd 'a sold the hay we didn't need, without waitin' in hopes 'twould rise, 'twouldn't 'a been burnt in the barn; so, too, with the meal you had stored in the lofts, when the flood came and carried away our mill. So again with the new borse ; we didn't need him no more nor we want a fifth wheel to the wood-cart; and the forty pounds, if you'd given it away, would 'a been a savin'; for then it wouldn't eat nothin'! But though there aint no wood here to keep Widow Blake's fire burnin', nor no meal to prevent Brown's motherless children from starvin', there's lots of everythin' to keep a fancy horse on, just to look at, and to make poor folks stare and hate you as you ride
along to church. They say if you was a Christian, you'd be more like Christ, who humbled himself and tried to raise other folks. Last night, when I went to the saddler's shop to git the harness mended, the men in there was talkin' 'bout you. Smith said,“'Twas like pullin' teeth to get his wages from you;' and Jones said, "You'd never get into heaven, 'cause you wouldn't try, 'less you could take the mills and farm with you.' And so on they abused you. They call you awful selfish for a rich man."
"Sam, did you listen to all that, and never speak a word for me? Couldn't you deny it? Couldn't you tell them I had a large family, and that I must lay up something for them?”
“No, sir, no, sir; I couldn't say, 'he minds not his own things;' be bears other people's burdens; he gives from one hand as fast as God puts into the other; I couldn't tell 'em you must lay up for the children, for they may die 'fore you. I couldn't say nothin'; but I'll tell you what I thought. 'Long time my master slipped on pretty easy, as if there wasn't anybody but himself in the world. Then he was nobody's child, and nobody looked after him ; but by-and-by God took him into his family; and now he's gettin' attended to. God will show these men soon whether he's a Christian or no.' One loss has come after another, and I watched you, master, to see if you woke up to what he was doin'. I'se been tremblin' lest you'd fly up some day and say to your soul, Curse God and die ;' but you haint yet. But I'll tell you, sir, God bears long, aud saves a house or a city for the sake of one righteous soul;" and Sam turned his eyes towards the meek woman, who, doubtless, stood between the wounded Saviour and her offending husband.
“Sam!” exclaimed his master, “do people really call me a covetous man ?"
“Yes, sir," replied the candid hireling, without any softening comments.
“I covetous ! Do you hear that, my dear? I a reproach to the cause I love! It cannot be !"
But it was, for all that; and the Lord who loved him did not remove the chastening hand until he saw, confessed, and forsook his sin. This mighty victory over selfishness was not accomplished so easily as by the removal of produce and mills. These were but the beginning of the process of weaning from the world. For a season they had their effect, but it was only as the early cloud and the morning dew. He was often reproved; but, plunging again into the world, he hardened his heart, and forgot God's hand in his prosperity But, for all that, he waz not cast away, but was still alternately wooed by mercies and chastened by julgments. True, for the time it was not joyous but grievous, but in the end—and that was not till his sun was well-nigh set-it brought forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. It was not until much of his treasure had been spent for medical attend. ance, for coffius and graves; not until the bright little heads were missed one by one from their prayer. hallowed pillows; not until four mounds were covered with fresh sod in the little family cemetery, that he really believed that he was indulging in "covetousness, which is idolatry." And even then he tried to compromise with conscience by giving a little more now, and promisiug a great deal when he should die; but it was of no avail. God had begun to break down the unhallowed gold spirit in his heart; and he never leaves his work half done.
It is the last stroke that breaks the rock. This poor earth-laden brother had always one refuge, one arm of flesh to lean upon when smitten. He seemed to feel that his wife-the pure in heart-dwelt securely in the “ cleft of the Rock," and that, for her sake, and in answer to her prayers, he should be guarded through life and upheld in death.
This last strong support failed him; a fifth mound was raised beside the rest; and he then felt that he was alone, so far as earthly succour went His two youngest boys still claimed his care; the rest of his loved ones were safely folded above, free for ever from sorrow, sin, and death.
Much of his treasure had flown, as God had said it would ; and as he looked back upon the past, he mourned that his life had been so nearly useless, and that the gold he had lost had not been secured in the Bank of Heaven. Frail and selfish as he had been, he rejoiced to believe that he should yet come off conqueror; often quoting, for his own comfort, “ Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."
Better far to devise liberal things, and to execute generous deeds, that we may ever walk beside and imitate Him who "giveth liberally and upbraideth not." The converted victims of covetousness shall be saved so as by fire,” but they lose much of the heaven begun below.- Mrs. J. D. Chaplin. A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF
PASSING EVENTS. Sad and melancholy was the close of 1866 to numbers of families in West Yorkshire and North Staffordshire. Though some weeks have passed since the dread disaster, yet to keep up our continuous jourual of events it must have a permanent record in our pages.
The occurrence of two appalling calamities in one week, thrilled the heart of the nation with sorrow, and called forth the deepest sympathy on behalf of the multitude of bereaved ones. Frequent as colliery explosions unhappily are, that which occurred at the Oaks pit, near Barnsley, has far surpassed, as to the loss of life, every similar calamity of modern times, and, so far as we know, of any time, in English history. Even the sudden blocking up of the New Hartley pit, through the breaking of the engine-beam, in January, 1862, by which 204 colliers met with an untimely end, was not very much more than half as fatal as this terrible explosion. More than 350 of our fellow-creatures were severed from all they held dear on earth, and hurried into eternity by the sad catastrophe. To add to the distress, about a score of brave men, who descended the mine in the hope of rescuing some from death, were also sacrificed by succeeding explosions
which set the mine on fire, and excluded all hope of rescuing the sur. vivors. Several of these volunteers were men of position, as viewers, stewards, and engineers of various collieries. Many of the bodies are still in the pit. To complete the sad catastrophe, only some five or six of those extricated from the pit are now alive, and it is doubtful whether any of these will ultimately recover. Many of the bodies found were dread. fully mutilated; but some had died from suffocation, and were not disfigured. Some were found locked in each other's arms; others seemed to have been stryck lifeless whilst bidding a last farewell to each other; and not a few, thank God, were in the attitude of prayer, thus showing that they did not forget, in this over. whelming extremity, to cry for the Divine mercy. The most intense and painful excitement prevailed through out the locality, and the most heartrending scenes took place on the pitbank, on the roads leading thereto, at the bomes of the bereaved, and at the funerals of the recovered bodies. The accident near Kidsgrove, North Staffordsbire, was similar in character, and scarcely less fatal, it is stated, in proportion to the number in the pit. Nearly a hundred lost their lives, and a considerable proportion of them were married men with families. These startling tragedies unlocked the charity of all classes throughout the length and breadth of the land. The Queen manifested her wonted sympathy and benevolence by heading the subscriptions with a band some donation; and ample funds for the support of those who have been made widows and orphans by these sad calamities have been promptly supplied. May God succour and comfort the bereaved !
The Ritualistic controversy goes on. There is much said on the subject, both from the pulpit and through the press. Several bishops have, in their charges, spoken out tolerably plainly against ultra-ritualistic practices, and these practices are denounced and condemned, not only by the religious, but by the secular press generally. Still, Anglican. Popery is not abashed. It lifts up
its head, and does its best to defend itself against its assailants. Dr. Pusey has lately taken up, in the columns of the Times, the defence of “Auricular Confession and Direction," as a part of the discipline of the Church of England, and has said enough to make every healthy mind in England revolt against the practice." S. G. O.," who, by his able and vigorous letters, is doing good service to the cause of Protestantism, belabours the doctor, both with logic and facts, in a way that is evidently anything but pleasant or agreeable to his antagonist. We doubt not but good will come out of the discussion.
We entertain a very high regard for the Earl of Shaftesbury. His ability, his sound Protestantism, his benevolent labours, his connection, more or less, with almost all the great Christian institutions of our country, command our profound respect and admiration. We are always sorry when we have to differ from him, as is sometimes the case. An instance of this kind has recently arisen. In a letter in the Times, his lordship states that he holds that the Established Church is the grand and only effective bulwark for the maintenance of the Reformation against the unceasing efforts, the indissoluble combinations, and methodical eucroachments of the Papal See; and he expresses his firm conviction that, if the Establishment were swept away; or, in other words, the Church separated from the State, the most disastrous and ruinous consequences, as to religion, would follow. Highly as he appreciates “the zeal, learning, talent, and principle of several of the Nonconformist bodies," he thinks they would be quite unable to present an effectual barrier to the insidious encroachments, the policy, and the ultimate ascendancy of Popery. We must beg to dissent from his lordship's views in toto. We venture to assert that the Establishment is no bulwark at all, either against Popery on the one hand, or infidelity on the other. Is not this, indeed, a transparent fact? Is it not as clear as light that the Establishment is harbouring both