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DUBLIN
WILLIAM CURRY, JUN. AND COMPANY.

SIMPKIN AND MARSHALL, LONDON.

FRASER AND CO. EDINBURGH.

MDCCCXXXV.

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VI L L E R O I.

CHAPTER I.

God doth not need
Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best ; his state
Is kingly, thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean, without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.

MILTON.

It is well known that throughout England, and in many parts of the rest of the united empire, there are meetings held on the first Monday of every month, where Christians assemble to supplicate the Divine blessing upon missions, and to pray that the time may be hastened for the fulfilment of that promise, when the Lord “shall pour out of his Spirit upon all flesh,” and “the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.”

B

It happened that on one of these occasions, in the handsome and populous town of Brighton, on the southern coast of England, a family were present of the name of Villeroi, descended from an ancient and respectable Hugonot of that name, who had escaped from France after the repeal of the edict of Nantes, and had found shelter on the hospitable shores of Great Britain.

Few persons in the town bore a higher, or more estimable reputation for piety and consistency of conduct, and for liberality of mind, than Mr. Villeroi. He possessed a considerable fortune, acquired by industry and commerce, and though, on principle, attached to the communion of the church of England, he' regarded as brethren, all those who appeared to be true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and gave with a bounteous hand assistance to every work, which he thought conducive to the honor of his Master, or the interest of his government upon earth. Upon the occasion we have alluded to, Mr. Villeroi was present, with his wife and all his surviving children, a son and three daughters. The person who presided at this missionary meeting, and led the religious exercises, was a man of much animation and ability. He made a short but ardent address to the feelings of those present—upon the necessity of missionary exertions, upon the forward state of preparation in which many heathen nations seemed now to be for the reception, of the good news, like “ fields white to harvest”and

upon the lonely state of the reapers, who were not in the proportion of one to twenty thousand souls. He then made a tender and affecting allusion to some who had laid down their lives in this blessed work—those who had ploughed up the soil, like Brainerd-faithful, persevering, heavenly-minded Brainerd! who had perished when scarcely the green shoot of the seed he had sown was beginning to appear :

: and him of kindred spirit, whom the Persians dignified with the title of an Elijah, “the man of God," who had toiled and had suffered tribulation, and had kept the faith, even until death. And still later, the meek and exemplary Johnston, who had nurtured so long the infant churches of Sierra Leone, and watched over his charge, like a faithful shepherd, unmindful of the pestilential blast of its shores, till he became its victim. He proceeded, from a detail of their labours and their sufferings, to expatiate upon the glorious outline of the happiness of the saints, as contained in the word of God; of those, particularly, who had overcome temptation-“who had borne, and had patience, and, for his name's sake, had laboured, and had not fainted-even, to be made pillars in the temple of God, to go no more out; where he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell

among themwhere they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat, for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.'

* Rev. ii, 3-iii, 12-vii, 15, &c.

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