Imágenes de páginas

to the Harmony off the Coast of Labrador might have befallen her in the broad Atlantic, or near the shores of Britain, and an equal peril and a like disappointment might have been the result. The same remark is suggested by a reference to the only previous occurrence of a similar nature, which the annals of the Labrador Mission have to record: the failure of the Jemima to reach Hope-, dale in the autumn of 1816. That was likewise caused by the violence of the storm which overtook the vessel after her departure from Nain, on the 5th of October, and which brought her more than once into imminent peril, as she pursued her homeward course towards England. Thus powerfully and instructively have we been reminded, that it is from ordinary as well as from extraordinary dangers that we should seek, by prayer, exemption or deliverance; and that we can never too simply, fully, and practically acknowledge our absolute dependence on the will of our God, or too earnestly implore for the work committed to us, and for the servants and the vessel engaged in its performance, the protection and the help which He only is able to afford.

How graciously and marvellously these have been vouchsafed, will be evident on a careful review of the past history of the Labrador Mission, and of the ship dedicated to its service. Through how many difficulties has not this favored bark been conducted in safety,—what dangers has ;;he not escaped,—how often and in how many ways has she been preserved from destruction! In 1778 retaken and restored, after her capture by a French privateer; in 1797 and 1803 providentially rescued from similar peril; in 1837, 1850, and 1851, preserved from serious injury when striking on sunken rocks; in 1811, 1817, 1829, and 1836, wonderfully protected in conflicts with the ice, extending through successive weeks; and in 1834, 1841, 1851, and 1852, brought safely through the storms which more than once threatened to bury her in the deep. And now we have to record the experience of a similar token of the divine goodness and protecting care. May it dispose our hearts to gratitude and praise, and constrain us to a renewed dedication of ourselves and all that we have to His service.

In answer to the inquiry which will naturally be suggested, whether any measures have been adopted, or efforts made, to relieve the wants ot the Mission-families at the three settlements unvisited, it may be sufficient to make the following brief statement;—In conformity with the advice given by Rear-Admiral Sir Edward W. Parry, an old and tried friend of the Brethren's Missions, and confessedly the first living authority on Arctic matters, who was deck dedly of opinion, that no private effort would be of any avail at this advanced season of the year,—the Secretary and Treasurer of the Society sought and readily obtained an interview with Captain Hamilton, the Secretary to the Board of Admiralty. Their statement of the case was received by him with the kindest attention, and a willingness to recommend to the Board the adoption of the only expedient which appeared at all likely to be effectual, viz. the dispatch of a steamer from Halifax to the coast of Labrador. As this would, however, require an official application from the Colonial Secretary of State (Labrador being under the government of Newfoundland), Mr. Merivale, the Under-secretary for that department, was waited on, for the purpose of ascertaining whether such a favor might be looked for, in the event of its being considered necessary or expedient to follow up the hint thrown out by the Secretary to the Admiralty. Though the answer returned was as favorable as could be desired, it was thought only proper and reasonable, before proceeding further, to endeavor to ascertain, from the returns in the Treasurer's possession, what might have been the actual supply of the necessaries of life in the several Missionary households, at the period of the Harmony's arrival on the coast of Labrador. The result of this examination tended materially to relieve the minds of the officers of the Society, inasmuch as it shewed, that the stock of provisions of the more needful kind, such as flour, pork, bacon, &c., was, in all probability, equal to a year's average consumption. That, in consequence, no absolute want of the necessaries of life was likely to be experienced for the next twelve months, however great the privation of its comforts and conveniences. Such appearing to be the case, the Committee were of opinion, that, even should it be practicable for a steamer to reach the coast of Labrador, of which there was great doubt at so advanced a season of the year, it would hardly become the Society to ask or even accept a service at the hands of her Majesty's Government, which could not be rendered without serious risk both to the vessel and to the crew employed. They, therefore, declined to press the application, which had been made in the first instance, in the hope that effectual help might possible be afforded in some other way; and an answer to this effect was accordingby returned to the Secretary to the Admiralty, and the Under-secretary of State for the Colonies, with the expression of the warm-8' and most respectful thanks of the Society, for the kindness s courtesy wherewith they had received its representatives, the at tion they had paid to the statements laid before them, and the: diness they had shewn to render assistance in any way and to any extent compatible with duty and ability. Yet, though the hope of forwarding an additional supply of provisions and useful stores to the settlements in question was thus for a time abandoned, it was thought right to accept with thankfulness the obliging offer of Capt. Hamilton, to transmit to his respected brother, the Governor of Newfoundland (late Lieut-Governor of Barbadoes), a packet of letters for conveyance to Labrador, by an opportunity that might hereafter present itself. Should these letters be permitted to reach their destination, the anxieties of our dear brethren and sisters ■will be greatly relieved, though their wants may be but imperfectly supplied.


It only now remains for the Committee to commend the case, in all its details, to the prayerful and sympathising remembrance of their brethren and sisters, and christian friends, with the request, that they would unite with the members of the Society in fervent supplication at the throne of grace, on behalf of their unvisited yet not forsaken fellow-servants, that He who is the " Watchman, the Savior, and the Shepherd of Israel," may guard them from danger, hold and comfort them in adversity, and feed them with food convenient for them, both spiritual and temporal; causing them to experience, like His people of old, that "man doth not live of bread only; but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live" (Deut. viii. 3). Nor will the further petition, it is hoped, be forgotten, that the Great Master of the House may, by His Spirit, teach His feeble and failing servants the lesson which He would inculcate upon them by this trying providential dispensation, that He would enable them to exibit simpler and firmer faith in Him, and greater diligence and faithfulness in the discharge of their severally allotted duties, that so "the chastening, which for the present seemeth not to be joyous but grievous, may nevertheless afterwards yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."

The attention of the Committee has been particularly drawn to two circumstances connected with the failure of the present year. The one is the value of the regulation which has long subsisted, for the transmission, by post-kayaks, of all letters and otter documents to the stations for which they are severally destined, as soon as the ship reaches Hopedale. Owing to this arrangement, our brethren and sisters in Labrador have, also in the present instance, been furnished with the information they were expecting from their correspondents and from the church at home. The other points to the extreme importance of keeping the Mission-families supplied in advance with a full year's stock of provisions and other necessary stores, that, in the event of the non-arrival of the ship at any of the settlements, the pressure of actual want may, as far as possible, be averted.

Of the history of the Missions in Labrador, during the past twelve months, it will not be expected that the Society can furnish even an outline. The reports from Hopedale are, on the whole, of a gratifying character. The Esquimaux flock appears to have some increase both from within and from without, and to have made diligent use of the means of grace. Among the young people, the traces of spiritual life were more abundant and more encouraging than usual, and not a few were advanced in the privileges of the Church. At all the stations, the Missionaries are understood to have been blessed with a pretty good state of health, and the Esquimaux to have been preserved from any serious epidemic, at the same time, that they have had a sufficiency of food for their families.

The particulars of the visit paid by br. Kruth to the Esquimaux and half-Europeans dwelling to the southward of Hopedale, will be read with interest.

The new Mission-house at that settlement was nearly finished, and, it was hoped, would be ready for occupation before the close of another year.

The intelligence respecting the Jubilee of the British and Foreign Bible Society, was received with much interest by the brethren at Hopedale; and their proposal to appoint a convenient day for the celebration of it, will doubtless be seconded by their fellow-servants at the other stations. The 7th of March, the anniversary of the establishment of this noble institution is considered on every Account more suitable than the 12th of October, the latter occuring at a season when the majority of the Esquimaux are still absent at their hunting stations.

Br.Horlacher, who has been brought to England so unexpected* ly, has proceeded to Fulneck, in Yorkshire, where he will remain some months, for the sake of improving himself in the English language. Whether br. and sr. Btibser, who were appointed to the service of the congregation at Hopedale, have been able to reach that settlement, will, in all probability, not be known till the ensuing year.

It may be easily supposed, that the cargo brought home by the Harmony is small beyond all former precedent. That the expenses which the Society will have to incur in providing a double supply of provisions and stores for the stations left unvisited this year, and in the repair of the ship and her outfit for another voyage, will draw largely upon the resources which it has pleased the Lord within these last few years to place at its disposal, is equally evident. On His help and blessing its members desire to rely, in adverse as well as in prosperous circumstances, while they raise their grateful "Ebenezer," and gladly and devoutly exclaim) *' Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."

(To be continued.)


from. Brown's Discourses and Sayings of Christ.

"1 am the vine, ye are the branches, Every branoh in me that heareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." John 15. & 5.

It is quite plain that the vine is here the figure of the visible Church of Christ—of those who profess, and who, in consequence of professing, appear to be connected with him. Now it is with the mystical vine as with the natural vine. There are many branches in the natural vine which do not bear fruit—from some cause or other not receiving from the stock, fructifying sap,—or though receiving it, not capable of so elaborating it as to produce .fruit. There are many men, who, from a variety of causes, by profession connect themselves with the visible society bearing the name of Christ, who do not live holy, useful lives—whose character and conduct have no tendency to glorify God, or do good to mankind.

In many instances such unfruitful branches continue apparently in the vine, so long as they continue in this world. But every such branch is taken away at death. "What is the hope of the hypocrite, though he have gained, when God taketh away his soul?" Joh. 27, 8.

The great majority of us, my brethren, are component parts of the mystic vine. We belong to the visible church: and for this we have great cause to be grateful. But it is plain from the emblem used by our Lord, that every kind of connection with the 'Church, and of course with the Church's Head, does final safety. There are two kinds of branches of the vine planted in the vineyard of the Lord—branches which bear nothing but leaves, or at best blossoms; and branches that bear fruit. Branches of the former kind, unless they become fruitful, will assuredly be cut off and cast into the fire—burnt just as if they had been briars and thorns growing in the open field. The persons emblematised by them will be visibly separated from Christ's Churchvisibly; shown to have no vital connection with him—and be cast into hell, destroyed, .along with the openly wicked, who made no profession of the faith of Christ. Let us my brethren, seriously ask ourselves to which of these classes we belong. The test furnished by our text is a plain and easily applied one. By your fruits—or by your po fruits may you be known. The fruit-bearing branches are all of them much less fruitful than they might be,—* than they ought to be. But nothing short of fruit can prove vital connection with the vine; being in the vine will not do it—leaves will not do it—blossoms will not do it—nothing will do it but fruit.

If we would be fruitful in every good word and work, let us see that "the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom." Let us hide his law in our heart, that we may not sin against it. Let us bring our thoughts and feelings as much as possible into direct, habitual, permanent contact with the oracles of God, that we may "purify our hearts in obeying the truth through the Spirit." The reason why so many Christians are oomparitively unfruitful, is that they are so overgrown with the mass of worldlinesa; and the

« AnteriorContinuar »