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infidel. Light is, however, breaking through the darkness. A concession has been granted in favour of a depôt of our British and Foreign Bible Society, and from this centre rays of celestial light are penetrating the city, and even into the darkness beyond. Groups of Viennese visit the shop daily, that at its window they may read the page wbich is turned daily for them. Here many purchase the heavenly treasure. A staff of colporteurs carry it into the towns and villages round about. Last week our Tract Society also opened a depôt (of course with permission) and are already doing a trade in German books, as their style of printing, and the pictures, are far in advance of any. thing of the kind published here. These are good signs, and let us hope that one etfect of the Exhibition will be an increased scattering of that truth which sets both individuals and nations free.—I remain, yours faithfully, May 12th, 1873.
J. M. WEYLLAND.
THE REV. JOHN WILLIAMS. UR readers will have heard already—not without sorrow-of the death by
Accident of the Rev. John Williams, the well-known minister of the Baptist Church, Dunedin. Mr. Williams was on his way to Lawrence to render a friendly service to the Wesleyan Church there, by preaching anniversary sermons, when the coach in which he was a passenger was overturned, and he received such injuries as resulted, two days later, in his death. It is with feelings of deep pain that we record in these columns an event so calamitous. The blow is a heavy one, and it will be widely felt beyond the denomination upon which the loss more especially falls.
It was in the year 1817 that he was born, at Pembroke in Wales. His parents were in humble circumstances, but able to provide their only son with the best educational advantages the town afforded, while from his earliest years. he was impressed by them with the true profit of godliness. Sternly Calvinistic in their creed, the same principles were instilled into his mind, and became the source of many a mental conflict in after years. Mr. Williams was less Calvinistic in his views than we could have wished, but he preached Cbrist aud Christ honoured him.
When fifteen years of age he was apprenticed to a carpenter, and thrown into the company of profligate fellow workmen ; but a year later, he made full surrender of himself to the Holy Spirit, whose gracious strivings had hitherto kept him from open sin. Immediately upon his conversion, he commenced to preach in the neighbouring villages, frequently devoting three or four evenings in the week to this work, and continuing so to do until his twenty-first year, when, his term of apprenticeship having expired, he entered the Baptist College at Bristol.
While his course of study here was yet incomplete, his heart was fired by the earnest appeals of the Rev. Wm. Knibb, the devoted and persecuted friend of the West Indian negroes. Mr. Williams bad long entertained a desire for mission work, and was now most anxious to respond to Mr. Knibb's appeals, but was deterred from offering himself as a labourer by the fear that he might grieve his much-loved tutor (Mr. Crisp), by curtailing his college course. While he yet hesitated, his doubts were removed by the action of the tutor himself, who sent for him and urged him to take the very step he meditated. Thus prompted and encouraged, he, with his newly-married wife, set sail for Jamaica in February, 1841.
The voyage proved a tedious one, extending over a period of nearly nice weeks, and was rendered painful by the utter godlessness of all on board, Mr. Williams's offers to conduct service being contemptuously rejected, and his many efforts to press the clairns of Christ being apparently unsuccessful.
In marked contrast with this indifference of his fellow countrymen was the .conduct of the negroes when he landed. Thousands assembled to hear him preach, and as he neared the more immediate scene of his projected labours, he was met by multitudes, on horses and mules as well as on foot, while audible thanksgivings where offered for the new minister."
For a few months all went well. The missionary loved his work and met with abundant encouragement, but very shortly he was seized with fever that never really left him so long as he remained in the island. Twice his life was despaired of; again and again he was assured by medical men that he must leave; and after three years' fruitless struggling, he reluctantly withdrew from a work entered upon with high hopes, and returned to England. It was many years before he abandoned the hope of returning to Jamaica, renewed medical warning alone preventing the fulfilment of the project.
In August, 1843, he accepted a unanimous invitation to the pastorate of Hunslet, near Leeds, and in August, 1845, he removed to Walsall, where he remained for nearly seven years. In each of these he had reason to believe that he had been the means of doing much good, but it was of his next chargeGlasgow—that he used to speak with the greatest pleasure. For eleven years he laboured in that city, his congregation ineeting in the Trades' Hall until a church was built in North Frederick-street. During seven years of this period Mr. Williams was in the habit of holding summer services on “The Green," when large congregations assembled, and numerous testimonies to the efficacy of these services were proffered even after his arrival in New Zealand.
From 1862 to 1868 he laboured in Newport; and while suffering from illhealth, induced by over-exertion, he received a request from Messrs. C. H. Spurgeon, W. Landels, and W. Brock, that he should take charge of the church in Dunedin, for which they had been commissioned to seek a pastor.
The offered change of clime induced him to comply readily with their request, though his departure was lovingly opposed by his people, and on the second of May, 1868, he landed in Dunedin.
Of his career here it is needless to say much. The hopeful words spoken at the recognition soirée have not been belied. The church under his care has been increased and strengthened by his labours, while other denominations have shared the benefits of his toil. One feature of his character deserves that special prominence should be given to it; it was noticeable in his conversation, it was a marked characteristic of his diary, and was manifest in the hour of death, namely, that self was largely hidden from his thoughts. His was not the Christianity that could care for personal salvation, while leaving the world to struggle on as it may. Of his own experience he said but little; not that he was a stranger to spiritual enjoyment, but that he was absorbed in desires for the salvation of others. “Greedy for souls" was the expressive phrase made use of by one who preached his funeral sermon. The same greed was manifested in his last hours, and at the entrance to the “dark valley” he offered no prayer for light or comfort for himself. With the firm persuasion of one who “knew in whom he had believed,” he could afford to forego all selfish petitions, that he might the more earnestly plead for his people. No expression of peace could have been half so expressive as this absence of personal allusion. It was a fitting climax to a life of self-surrender.
Allusion has already been made to the sense of universal loss with which news of his death was received, and to the respect paid to his memory by all denominations. This, too, was as it should be. In life he had ever sought to promote unity between the various folds of one flock. His funeral was the occasion of a gathering such as New Zealand had probably never witnessed before. It is doubtful if so many representatives of different branches · of the church in Dunedin had ever united so publicly in one act of worship, and none could fail to feel that this was a service which would have enlisted the warinest sympathies of him whose memory they had met to honour.From New Zealand Wesleyan.
A Letter from
To the Editor of “ The Sword and the Trowel.” Dear Sir,—May I take the liberty of bringing before the readers of your magazine, the following remarks regarding India ?
It is well known that India obtains a shockingly small amount of attention from Englishmen in general. An Indian topic is truly described as the “ dinner bell” of the House of Commons. Christians in England do certainly not only give attention to Indian affairs, but their money and their prayers as well. Still, they do not give too much of these, and it is quite possible that they give far too little of either. It would conduce very much to the stability and the permanence of British rule in India if British Christians would give a more loving regard to India. The nation in Europe that has had dominion in India, has always been the greatest and richest in the world. The history of Venice, of Portugal, and of France, prove this. But when Venice and Portugal lost India, they fell from the height of glory to the lowest degradation that could overwhelm European nations. France's loss of Indian power preceded its ruinous revolution. And there is some slight fear that if England does not send more missionaries and Christians to India, and refrain from persecuting the few Christians who are in the country, in that quiet, polite, refined, but cruel and cowardly way, that makes everything of education, but nothing, or less than nothing, of virtue, morality, and faith in Christ, God may see fit to entrust India to some other nation. The late Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel, whose book on India seems almost to have been written by inspiration, draws particular attention to the emphatic declarations of two who filled the post of Governor-General-Lord Wellesley and Warren Hastings. The former said, “ To fix and establish sound principles of religion and government in the minds of the sertants of the East Indian Government at an early period of life, is the best security that can be provided for the stability of the British power in India.” And Warren Hastings wrote to the Court of Directors the memorable words, “ It is on the virtue, not the abilities of their servants, that the Company must rely for the permanency of their dominions."
The competition-wallahs, while far better educated than the old Hailey bury men, are far less liberal than they; and missions, in consequence, have neither the moral nor the pecuniary support they once had. Good men are beginning to be despised. The tone of morality, instead of rising, seems to be falling. But there are two public immoralities that seem to call for particular attention on the part of Christians—these are the opium trade, and the character of state-paid chaplains. The former iniquity leads to the murder of at least three millions of the Chinese annually. The latter leads to all kinds of ritualistic tomfooleries in edifices nominally dedicated to the service of God. Formerly chaplains were evangelical, and kept their ecclesiastical pretensions in the background, when they united with missionaries in mission work; now they are mostly Ritualists, and blasphemously assume the power to forgive sins. Hard times have come to India with a vengeance. But while Dissenters find it difficult to keep their churches and chapels open, they have to be taxed for the support of state chaplains, who would indeed be a blessing to the country if they taught men to praise God, for then the earth would yield her increase, according to the word—“Let all the earth praise God, then shall the earth yield her increase," and the Government would be able to afford their salaries. As it is, however, chaplains spend a large part, if not the whole of their time, in ritualistic pastimes, in quarrelling with Dissenters, with their own congregations, and in telling people that if they will not become Episcopalians, it is much better that they should become Armenian or Greek Christians, rather than Baptist, Congregationalist, and Free Church heretics. (Have not Armenian and Greek Christians something like bishops among them, and are they not in consequence
something like half-cousins to the Apostolical successioners ?) The facts in reference to this, which have come under the writer's notice, are such as would astound even Dissenters in England.
About three weeks ago, there appeared a letter in the Englishman, which is one of the best conducted and influential papers in Bengal, and though hostile to Christianity, yet its editor seems to have a very correct notion of an "Englishman's love of fair play." This letter was evidently written by a Christian under the name of “A Scotch Dissenter," and it showed up in pretty plain terms, the gross injustice of Dissenters being taxed in these awfully hard times for the support of state chaplains. It proposed that the Dissenters of Calcutta should get up a petition to the Viceroy against the longer continuance of a state-paid church in India. The Viceroy, however, has lately sent home a despatch to the Secretary of State, calling upon him, contrary to the wise policy that seems to have been inaugurated in London, to fill up all vacancies in chaplaincies, and not to let them lapse, as was intended. This shows that it is the Secretary of State, not the Viceroy, that Dissenters ought to appeal to.
We have here in India much of the form of godliness, but little of its power. We have many churches, chantings, vestments, and other ecclesiastical things, but few individual Christians, and small subscriptions to hospitals, missions, and orphans. So also we have the form of national prosperity without its power-a large cash balance, remission of the obnoxious income-tax, and the adjustment of finances (by the help of seven millions of blood-money from Chiua). But we have desperately little individual comfort, and individual prosperity. Hard work, no leisure, and utterly insufficient, though highsounding pay, correctly describe the conditions of life that are forced upon honest men in India. They must sustain an incessant and painful struggle to keep out of debt. The price of everything has risen so much of late, and the demon of retrenchment has been so busy, that men, in high or low situations, cannot afford to marry. The dishonest rush headlong into debt: the honest find it very difficult to keep out of it; and they have to pay for the conduct of the dishonest, for tradesmen treble and quadruple the prices of their goods, knowing full well that a large per-centage of their bills will never be paid. We are being swamped by the arrival of hosts of Darwinians, Comtists, and Millites, who are certainly well educated, and who expect, by various theories of political and kindred economies, to do much for the country, but who do not seem either able or inclined to exalt it by righteousness. The conduct of Europeans in India, not the policy of Government, is to blame for this sad state of things. The present illiberality of Government is largely to be accounted for by the increasing illiberality of individual Englishmen; for in India, Government is what its European subjects are.
In reference to all these things, might I ask the readers of your magazine to make the following subjects matter of private and of united prayer:
First. That the opium trade with China may be speedily abolished, and some kind of compensation made to the Government of that country for the vast injury done by it.
Second. That the state church in India may speedily be disestablished.
Third. That the righteous in India may prosper, and that true Christians may come in large numbers to India, so that Solomon's words may be fulfilled. "When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.” “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice : but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” “When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory : but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.” “When the wicked rise, men hide themselves : but when they perish, the righteous increase."
Fourth. That the Christian education of women may be widely and rapidly extended.
The fourth is added because female education in India seems to make little or no progress. In the district in which the writer lives, it has woefully
retrograded within the last three years. Where there were two prosperous Zenana missions, there is now not one. The want of funds has been the cause of this. Even Government bewails the decline of female education. The present Lieutenant-Governor, the Hon. Mr. Campbell, has a very wise and correct theory in reference to it, on which I believe he acts. He holds that Government can do little or nothing towards the education of females, because it cannot teach religion. And women educated without religion would be dangerous to society. This policy of Government I consider quite correct. But if Government cannot educate women, there is all the more reason why Christians should do it. For every nation, since the world began, was, is, and ever will be, till the end of time, only the reflex of the character of its women.
It might be advantageous for those who will remember these four things in their prayers to do so, on the first four days of every month, and as prayer without effort is hypocrisy, let them use all the means in their power to bring about the ends for which they pray.
A FRIEND OF INDIA.
A Searching word.
BY c. H. SPURGEON. M HOU sayest, “ I have faith." I will ask thee a second question. Does that
1 faith make thee obedient? Jesus said to the noblem an, “Go thy way," and he went without a word; however much he might bave wished to stay and listen to the Master, he obeyed. Does your faith make you obedient? In these days we have specimens of Christians of the most sorry, sorry kind ; men who have not common honesty. I have heard it observed by tradesmen, that they know many men who have not the fear of God before their eyes, and yet are most just and upright men in their dealings; and on the other hand, they know some professing Christians who are not positively dishonest, but they can back and hedge a little; they are not altogether lame horses, but every now and then they jib; they do not keep up to time if they bave a bill to pay; they are not regular, prompt, scrupulous and exact; in fact, sometimes—and who shall hide what is true ?--you catch Christians doing dirty actions, and professors of religion defiling themselves with acts which merely worldly men would scorn. Now, sirs, I bear my testimony as God's minister, too honest to alter a word to please any man that lives, you are no Christian if you can act in business beneath the dignity of an honest man. If God has not made you honest, he has not saved your soul. Rest assured that if you can live in disobedience to the moral laws of God, if you are inconsistent and lascivious, if your conversation is mixed up with things which even a worldling might reject, the love of God is not within you. I do not plead for perfection, but I do plead for honesty; and if your religion has not made you careful and prayerful in common life; it you are not, in fact, made a new creature in Christ Jesus, your faith is but an empty name, as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
I will ask you one more searching question about your faith, and I pray you answer it. Thou sayest, “I have faith.” Has thy faith led thee to bless thy household ? Good Rowland Hill once said, in his own quaint way, that when a man became a Christian, his dog and his cat would be the better for it; and I think it was Mr. Jay who said that a man, when he became a Christian, was better in every relation. He was a better husband, a better master, a better father, than he was before, or else his religion was not genuine. Now, have you ever thought, my dear Christian brethren and sisters, about blessing your households ? Do I 'hear one saying, "I keep my religion to myself?" Do