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standing equally in need of His mercy. Their principle was, that "one is your Master even Christ, and all ye are brethren." As brethren they were bound to love, cherish and assist each other, and were enjoined to love their neighbor as themselves. Consequently they could not recognise the distinction of clergy and laity. Still they maintained order, regulation and ecclesiastical government. Strict principles and discipline, Deacons, Presbyters and Bishops. But no office conferred elevation, and none were above general control. With these possessions they were endowed with liberty. Liberty, such as is consonant with obedience to the commands of God, which is the only true liberty.
The government of the church was not committed to an individual, but was vested in controlling boards, having appeal from one to the other and whose members were periodically chosen from among the brethren. From time to time, and as occasion seemed to require Synods of the church were convened, on which occasions the members were invited to express their opinions on all points concerning its welfare, and its wants, that matters be so arranged as to meet a change of times and circumstances, and adapt them to exigencies of the time being.
One of the most distinguishing, and prominent features, important in its consequenoes, was the use of the Lot. Wishing to conform to the instance of the Apostles, believing that they had their authority and example for its adoption, and that thereby they would obtain the direction, decision and blessing of the Lord, they interwove this principle in all their (important proceedings. They felt that this would be a bulwark of liberty, and prevent despotism and priest craft from arising among them. Although the brethren had forsaken lands and wealth when they sought an asylum in Herrnhut, still in time, property from various sources was acquired and accumulated, not as an individual possession, but as the estate of the church, for the sustainment and promotion of religion. It was also employed as a capital and a basis of various trades and manufactories, and for farming* and agricultural purposes; each class forming a separate Diacony. The income and profits arising from these sources were for the sustentation of the general church establishment. It built the churches and residences,—supported the ministry and in a considerable degree enabled the church to establish and maintain its vastlv extended missionary operations. The ministry derived support from it, and from it their children were clothed, boarded and educated, and the sick, the widow and the superanuated were comfortably maintained. In the education of youth, their moral and religious training were carefully attended to, and thus were fitted for the ministry or the missionary service. Ministers were not called, but were appointed to fill the various stations and fields of labor.
To guard as much as possible against the introduction of worldly motives as the love of gain and of riches, all establishments were placed under the superintendence and direction of ordained men, even to the schools, stores and manufactories, and changes from one to the other, and from spiritual to secular pursuits, even to the most distant parts of the world, were of periodical occurrence. These were some of the chief features which characterized the Brethren's Church, though by no means all.—
Governed by these characteristics, the Church, in what is called its renewed form, has continued for upwards of 125 years, a period sufficiently long to have tested thoroughly the utility and wisdom of its system of government, its various institutions, the quality of its clergy, its principles, rules and regulations. The results of a century and a quarter are before us, and may be made profitable for reflection, for instruction, and for correction in churchpolity and doctrine. During this period the church has spread from Herrnhut, where the Mustard-seed was planted in faith, watered by tears, and nourished with prayers, till it has spread in its missionary work over most parts of the heathen world, where the outcast and the wretched find comfort and rest in its branches, and it has planted many colonies in Europe and the United States where people of many nations, kindred and tongues find spiritual life and refreshment under its peaceful and protecting shade.
A. B. C.
(From "Periodical Accounts.")
Before the present number of the Periodical Accounts comes into the hands of our readers, it will be generally known, that the voyage of the Harmony to the coast of Labrador has this year been marked by a very serious and distressing failure. Of the four settlements to which her commission extends, she has been able to reach but one,—Hopedale, the most southern; the remaining three Nain, Okkak, and Hebron, being left unvisited. This may justly be considered the severest calamity which has befallen the Mission on that coast during the eighty-three years of its existence, and the consequences, there is reason to fear, will be long and painfully felt. By the non-arrival of the vessel, on which they are mainly dependent for the necessaries and comforts of life, the missionaries are deprived not only of the annual supplies intended for the use of their household and store, but also of the means of communion' 118
ting with the Mission-Board, to which they are responsible, the
Society which cares for their temporal support, and the relatives, and friends in Europe who are longing to hear of their health and well-being. Besides all which, they are involved in the most distressing uncertainty as to the safety of the ship and company, and of their youthful fellow-servant br. Horlacher, who, after a short service of two years at Hopedale, has been brought a reluctant passenger to England, when he was expecting to proceed as a willing laborer to Hebron. That the Society and its numerous friends are thus disappointed of much interesting intelligence which they had hoped to receive, and that the former will be subjected to a heavy pecuniary loss, are considerations, which, however important, are felt to hold a very secondary place. It is to the trials and privations and anxieties of their esteemed fellow-servants, and to the embarrassments and difficulties likely to attend the progress of their labors, that the Committee of the Society would direct the* attention of their brethren and friends; it is for these that they would specially claim their christian sympathy and remembrance at the Throne of Grace.
Nor would they, in so doing, indulge the feelings or adopt the language of complaint, or even of discouragement. They would rather cherish a spirit of devout resignation to the will of their Heavenly Father, and in their own name and in that of their much tried brethren, exclaim with the suffering Patriarch "What! shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" Like the Psalmist, "they would consider the days of old, the years of ancient times," and in the midst of their trouble, and notwithstanding their infirmity, "they would remember the years of the right hand of the Most High." And surely if any Institution, or any Mission at present existing, has cause to sing of the mercy and faithfulness, the delivering grace and power of the Lord, it is the Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel, and the work in. Labrador, to which it has the privilege of ministering in temporal things. Our intercourse with our brethren in Labrador, has, it is true, been seriously interrupted, and we grieve over it; but how great should be our thankfulness, that it is the first time during a period of above fourscore years, that such an interruption has taken place, with the single exception of the year 1816. The Harmony has indeed failed to reach three out of the four settlements to which her commission extends; and from those stations we have no direct intelligence: but we record with gratitude, that she was not permitted utterly to fail in the important object of her voyage, and that not only have all our dear fellow-servants been thus put in possession of the information of various kinds they were so eagerly expecting, and the absence of which would have been so grievous an aggravation of their trials, but that the means have becaa provided for eeaveying to us a general assurance of their wellbeing. The temporary loss of one fellow-laborer will doubtless be attended with inconvenience; but how much less than was experienced in 1816, when four were withdrawn from service under similar circumstances, to the no small distress of those, who were left to continue the work with fainting spirits and weakened hands. And finally and chiefly, the protection afforded to the favored bark which for eighty-three years has maintained uninterrupted the connection of the Society and the Church at home with the Mission in Labrador,—a protection which has been shared by all on board, and which was never more signally vouchsafed than during the voyage just concluded,—is a token of the undeserved goodness and the marvellous power of our God, which calls for our warmest and most devout thanksgivings. For the continuance of His mercies we would humbly pray and earnestly hope, not in the spirit of presumptuous expectation, that "what has been, must be," but in the believing confidence, that He to whom we address our prayer,
abundantly above all that we ask or think. May He so increase our faith, while He pities and puts to shame its weakness, that we may be rendered willing and able both to do and to endure all things.
and home.—The vessel sailed from Horselydown on the 10th of June. After leaving the Downs, she had a tedious passage down the Channel, owing to contrary winds, and to a heavy gale which %he encountered between the Lizard and the Scilly Islands. The same kind of Weather, Varied with occasional fogs, continued to prevail during the greater part of the voyage across the Atlantic the wind being ordinarily from the N. W. or N. N. W. After the 0th of August, the weather was mostly fair, and the wind favorable, -and there being little ice on the coast to impede the ship's progress, sire entered Hopedale-bay on the 25th of that month. Here she remained about ten days, her outward cargo being delivered, and the homeward taken on board by the 3rd of September. Within twenty-four hours of ber quitting Hopedale, she was, however, assailed by a Violent storm from the N. and N. N. W., which toted four days, and drove her neatly 400 miles from the land. The
file "moderating, the captain determined to make for Okkai^ but e had hardly approached about 100 miles nearer to the coast, when the N. W. wind began again to blow, and with greater violence than ever. In spite of the utmost efforts of himself and his crew, several of whom were disabled by sickness, he Was again driven off the coast by the ftiry of the tehipest, which was accompanied by a heavy fall of snow, and was at length compelled, though most reluctantly, to give up the attempt to reaoh either of the northern settlements, and to bear away for England. Tbi* procedure he felt to be justified by the state of the ship, Whieli
and in whose grace and power
had already received serious injury from her conflict with thd ele** ments, as well as by a regard for the safety of those on board.* After a rapid run of about a fortnight, sufficiently attesting the Violence and continuousness of the north-western gales, which had rendered the coast of Labrador inaccessible, the Harmony reached the English Channel On the 28th of September, and Horselydown on the 11th of October.
In considering the circumstances attending the failure of the present year, it is impossible not to be struck with the fact, that it is to be traced instrumentally to none of those features of an arctic voyage which constitute its peculiar peril. Neither ice-bergs nor ice-fields were there to endanger the safety of the vessel, or to bar her progress; nor was it the intricacy and difficulty of a navigation among craggy islands, and over sunken rocks, which prevented her reaching the desired haven. It was the fury of the element, which rages alike in the frigid, the temperate, and the torrid zone, which carries desolation over the land as well as over the sea, and approves itself the swift messenger of Jehovah, for the destruction of man's mightiest and His own fairest works. What happened
* The following is an extract from Captain White's letter to the Treasu-< rer, written on the 28th of September, off the coast of Cornwall, and giving an account of his voyage after leaving Hopedale on the 4th of that month. It will be found not undeserving of the character ascribed to it by that distinguished officer and first of Arctic explorers Rear Admiral Sir Edward W. Parry, who speaks of it as "Capt. White's simple and evidently truthful letter." There is, indeed, every reason to consider it as the report of a man, intent upon the faithful performance of his duty, but remembering, that there are interests more important even than those involved in his reaching the port to which he was bound :—
"After leaving Hopedale, the wind freshened on the morning of the 4th of September, and, in the afternoon of the same day, came to blow very strong from the N. and N, N. E. (qu. N. N. W.) In a short time, it increased to a furious gale, which lasted four days, with a tremendous sea from the northward. When the gale abated, I found I was 378 miles from land. The wind moderating, I made all possible sail for Okkak, and in a short time had approached 103 miles nearer the coast. Then, however, the wind veered round once again to the N. W., and blew more furiously than ever, accompanied by a heavy fall of snow. I now kept the ship reaching by the wind under two close-reefed top-sails. On the 12th of September, I found we were 300 miles distant from Okkak, and no sign of any abatement of the storm. The ship was opening all round on the water-ways, and most of the butt-ends of the deck planks had started, and some knees and carling beams of the deck had worked loose. Two of my men were sick and unfit for duty, and another unable to do anything, owing to an abscess under his arm, and worse than all, there seemed no prospect of gaining the land again. I was therefore compelled, out of regard for the safety of the ship and all on board, to leave the coast of Labrador and make the best of my way to England with a heavy heart. Had Labrador been a mountain of gold, the ship my own, and I bound thither for a cargo, I could not have done more than I have done, nor should I have felt half so disappointed and distressed as I did when I bore up for England."