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dren of tiod, with the sick, the poor, the naked and the prisoners; and is again strengthened and enabled to warn, to direct, to comfort, to relieve, to feed and to clothe, ought we not to rejoice and bless the Lord that He has deemed us worthy to uphold a work like unto this ?—The cause has been successful.—There has been gathered a little company of believers, who statedly meet for divine worship; and we can assure the Christian reader, that we, who have often seen them collected on sacramental occasions, have been filled with heartfelt gratitude to the Lord and with a burning desire to do more for this cause, when we beheld their solemn attention, their brotherly union, thair tears of joy and thankfulness; when we heard our noble German hymns harmoniously sung uot only with the voice, but with "the understanding also," and perceived that the kiss with which these brethren parted was indeed the kiss of peace. But the number of souls actually brought together, ought, by no means, to be a standard whereby to estimate the success of our efforts. Each single word, spoken by the home missionary, that gives comfort to an afflicted heart, each individual soul by him induced to look to the Savior for eternal life, is a triumph for our cause. The kingdom of God, as the missionary very properly remarks in the now following report, is "within" men. No one of us can tell the real amount of good which has been done. The day of judgment alone shall reveal how much of the seed now faithfully scattered brought forth fruit, how many sheaves of good wheat ripened on our Home Mission field. We earnestly commend the work to the fervent prayers and to the material assistance of all those who desire the increase of Christ's, and the decrease of Antichrist's kingdom. There is a project before the Society to send out a second missionary, and if we can raise the requisite funds, it would be a good and a great thing. But our number being limited and our income small, we would require the active co-operation of all our friends. There would be no trouble in finding a missionary, for we have a brother in the German congregation, who would, in every respect, be an able and a faithful one. The field is large and broad and wide, the harvest is plenteous; "pray ye therefore to the Lord of the harvest" that He would enable us to " send forth laborers into His harvest."
Report Of The Missionary.
Dear brethren and sisters :—Mysterious and wonderful are the ways of the Lord, but ever sure and ever tending to a glorious end. This has again been my experience throughout the past year. Our faithful Savior who "trieth the hearts and reins" often leads his servants on paths which they are not accustomed to tread, paths of humiliation which teach them entire dependence upon Him. When first they go forth into the gospel-field, he makes them to sow ia tears, but then, in His own good time, there comes a reaping season of joy. Thus it has been with me. When I began the missionary work to which I have been called, I was sometimes greatly discouraged, for I saw no fruit of my labors. This was a want of faith. I looked for immediate results, whereas nature itself should have taught me, that a husbandman cannot reap, as soon as he has sown. During the past year, more than ever before, I have made the experience that my own strength is as nothing, but that the Savior's grace is all-powerful; and so I let His grace work in the hearts of men, and ascribe unto Him all the honor and glory. Our labor is comparatively easy, as soon as we have learnt to say, in sincerity of heart, "Not unto us, 0 Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory!" 1
With this confession on my lips and in my heart, I think I can safely say, that our Home Mission work, in the last year, has not only prospered, but that more has been done than in all the previous years taken together, I can state no great facts, nor make a startling array of figures, in order to prove this assertion; but it is nevertheless, the conclusion at which I arrive on taking a general review of the past.
The nature of my city labors, and the principles according to which I conduct them, have fully been described in my last annual report. The work of the past year has been of the same kind and has been carried on according to the same principles; but it has increased to such a degree, that I find it impossible to do all that could be done. Invitations to visits are constantly multiplying. At present I visit from six to ten families daily. Mindful of the Savior's word, "they that are whole need no physician, but they that are sick," I go to see the latter more frequently than the former. Conscious though I am of many insufficiencies, yet can I humbly say, I have done what I could. The Lord alone knows the abiding fruits which these visits have brought. The kingdom of God is "within" men; and, therefore, we cannot measure it with the rule, nor calculate it with figures. I have had dealings with various classes of men, and have met with almost every conceivable shade of opinion. It has been the great aim of all nry conversations to show, that opinions will save no man, but faith alone, faith in Christ Jesus and Him crucified. This faith "all men have not;" great is the opposition with which it meets. To convince men that spiritual poverty is the beginning of true Christianity, that miserable and blind and naked sinners must go to the cross of Christ; this is a hard thing, a labor of much time and of unwearied patience. Did not the Holy Spirit come to our aid we could accomplish nothing.
The experience which I have made teaches me, that no class of men do the Christian religion more harm, and none more shamefully disgrace the Savior's cause, than those, who, with words have made a profession, but, by their deeds deny it. Unbelievers are continually on the watch, and make it a standing reproach, that Christians do not live up to their doctrines.
I have again had the privilege of pointing many a soul to the Savior. The Lord grant that my conversations and exhortations may not have been altogether in vain! They certainly have not, if I am to judge of the pressing invitations, to repeat my visits, received from those with whom I spoke of divine things. I have also anew preached Jesus unto the infidels! Of them, however, I can say nought save what Isaiah said: "let favor be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness." These people are determined to remain unbelievers and all arguments seem to be of no avail.
In the course of the year the Lord granted me a more encouraging success among the Roman Catholics, than heretofore. Five Catholic families have been supplied with Bibles, and other five are regular subscribers to the American Messenger. I once gave a Messenger to a Catholic woman, and, on a later occasion, asked her to become a subscriber. She at once assented and has now received it for the last two years. Some time ago she said to me: "If I were not a Roman Catholic I would join the American Tract Society, I like its principles." This woman is, at heart, more of a Protestant than of a Catholic; but her evangelical faith is not yet strong enough to induce her to separate from Rome.
During my last year's missionary tours, I have distributed 36 Bibles and Testaments, 59 publications of the American Tract Society, 6470 Messengers and a still larger number of tracts.
My labors among the emigrants at the railroad depot have been continued. Every new day I there found a new congregation to serve. I distributed tracts and Messengers, and as often as I could, spoke religiously with the people. This field of labor has grown very dear to me, because I meet with many souls open to the influences of the gospel. The emigrants, on landing in this country, frequently fall into the hands of unprincipled men, who eheat them in every possible way; hence they are glad to find those from whom they hear a word of friendship. It is my constant endeavor most earnestly to warn my countrymen against the pernicious doctrines of the infidels, who are ever on the alert, ready and anxious to instil their poison into the minds of men. I cannot of Course, report any good results of this part of my labors, for I never see these emigrants again. Yet I feel confident that the word of the Lord will not return unto Him void.
My monthly visits in the Moyamensing prison have again been regularly paid. I confine my labors to the German prisoners, distributing good books amongst them and speaking with them concerning the salvation of their souls. I have the satisfaction of knowing that, in one case, my humble endeavors have graciously been blessed. A young man, whom I had visited for the space of eighteen months, at last came to a saving knowledge of the Truth. The first time that I entered his cell, he received me with words of mockery and with derisive laughter. I repeated my calls, and every successive time found him more willing to listen to my conversations. Soon he began to read the Messenger with attention, and to search the Scriptures with a seeking spirit; until it became evident that a change was going on within his heart. On occasion of my last visit (for he has now been liberated,) he took my hand and pressing it with great cordiality, thanked me, with tears in his eyes, for the visits which I had paid him and besought my pardon for all his former abuse. The Lord who hath commenced the good work in him, will also complete it.
Last summer the Lord opened a new "door of utterance" in Riverton, New Jersey. A number of Germans reside in that neighborhood, who are, as to spiritual things, entirely neglected. There is not a single German Church within a circuit of ten miles. I was invited to pay a visit to these countrymen of mine. I did so; and, at their request, commenced to minister unto them as often as I could In this work I was faithfully assisted by one of our German brethren in the city, br. John Praeger. One of us went to Riverton every second Sunday. Our services were held in a farm house, and were attended, on the average, by twenty hearers. Now that the steamboats have stopped running on Sundays, we cannot reach the place and must, therefore, wait until Spring, when, the Lord willing, we hope to continue the work.
Our little flock in town has gone its silent, peaceful way. We meet for divine worship, every Sunday evening, and our meetings are well attended. Twelve communicants were added to our number, in the course of the year; so that we now have thirty four full members. Our monthly missionary prayer-meetings have been continued and were also well attended. These meetings are conducted in this way; I first deliver a discourse on the importance of the missionary cause, then missionary accounts are read, and afterwards one or more prayers offered up. After the service, there is a collection. In the last year the sum total of all these collections amounted to $65. Of these $30 were for the Foreign, and $35 for the Home Mission. This latter amount has been handed the treasurer of your Society.
In the course of my city tours I meet with many families and individuals, who are in very indigent circumstances. Such I have assisted to the best of my ability, dividing, as conscientiously as possible, whatever I received towards their support. My receipts in aid of the poor fund have been as follows: Firstly, in money, the sum of $45 02. Of this amount $15 were voted by the Home Mission Society, and $30 02 were obtained from Christian friends and from the collection which we take up after each German communion; Secondly, donations of coal and clothing from br. A. Seip, city missionary of the American Tract Society.
From all that has been stated you will perceive, that progress has been made. Those only who know the magnitude of the difficulties with which the Missionary has to contend, will be able fully to appreciate this progress. We are sure that one single soul is worth more than all the treasures of the earth, and even if only one had been gained, it would be an equivalent for all our labor; but now there have been won more than one. Did "the kingdom of God come with outward show" then indeed we would have remained far behind the mark, but the kingdom of God is concealed from the natural eye. It would be a very easy thing outwardly to increase the number of our little flock, were we, at once, to receive as full members all those who might be persuaded to join, but in that ease we would certainly have more tares than wheat. It is necessary to be cautious in admitting persons to onr small congregation, jest its harmony be disturbed, and lukewarmness appear, and the pure light of true faith be dimmed.
I am sorry that circumstances prevent me from annexing as many details from my monthly reports, as you would perhaps desire. You will, I trust, kindly be satisfied with the very few which I am able to give.
Visited an old woman who has known the Savior for many years. After having had a short conversation with her, on general topics, she addressed me as follows:—" I want to ask you a question about a matter which gives me much trouble. Heretofore, whenever I prayed, I always addressed my prayers to the Savior. This I did, in simplicity of heart, and the thought never occurred to me, that it was wrong. But now a certain person has told me that it was not right, that I must pray to the Father, who heard prayers for Christ's sake. If this is really the case, then during my whole past life, I have not even prayed aright. What is your opinion on tho subject?" I answered: "You have not done wrong, but have acted in strict accordance with the word of God; for the Savior says, Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and J will give you rest. We are directed by the Father to go unto the Son, and it is an incorrect idea that by praying to the Son, we neglect the Father. Whosoever honors the Son, honors the Father also, and whosoever prays to the Son, prays to the Father also, for Christ has said: I and my Father are one. Our spiritual communion is with the Savior, through whom we must attain to a full measure of faith and of godly life. The Father worketh all things by the Son." She was rejoiced to hear this explanation.
Met a man who is not religiously inclined. He asked me the reason of the great opposition which is manifested by so many against the Christian religion. I said to him: My friend, these