Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Hophni and Phinehas, came under review, the preacher remarking that then as now an immoral priesthood soon told its own tale. Although it was Eli's duty to remove his sons from the high positions they held, he did not do so. The rev. gentleman in applying the text said they could draw many useful lessons from the life of Eli. It showed that grace was not hereditary; it could not be transmitted. A child might be brought up in a religious home and receive spiritual instruction, but however anxious its parents might watch over it, it might still be unsaved. It was a personal matter; they would have to seek the Lord for themselves. After referring to the necessity of parents giving their children a careful home training, he said that Eli's love for his sons overruled his judgment. He simply reproved them for their wickedness when he ought to have removed them from office. His affection was stronger than his judgment. Eli also showed them an example of submission, which Mr. Birks remarked was easy to theorise on, but hard to attain. When Samuel told him what the Lord would do concerning his house, he said, “It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth Him good.” The man was happy indeed who could say with all submission, “Thy will be done." Although Eli had failed in his duty, they had no reason for supposing that he was forsaken by his Maker. They should all cherish charity. Then, again, there was no feeling of jealousy on the part of Eli when he was told that Samuel was to be his guccessor. They also learned that unless they were very watchful their sun might set under a cloud. They should walk uprightly. Eli trembled for the ark of the Lord-he trembled for it. It was not for temporal matters that he was anxious, but for the ark of God.

The sermon was delivered with an easy flow of language.

Mr. Birks, who is apparently about thirty years of age, has no peculiar mannerism, and appears a sound, practical, and earnest preacher. He has a good voice, and although his utterances were somewhat rather low, especially towards the close of his sentences, one could hardly fail catching what was said. Mr. Birks, also officiated in the evening, when the attendance was considerably larger than in the morning.

On the following day a well-attended tea meeting was held to bid farewell to the Rev. Clement Linley and welcome the Rev. M. Birks, his successor. There was also a large number of persons present at the public meeting that followed. Mr. Matthew Goode, who presided, said that the prayers of many persons outside the pale of Mr. Linley's own church, as well as those connected with it, would follow him wherever he went. As a member of another branch of the Christian Church, he heartily welcomed the Rev. Mr. Birks to their midst. Mr. William Errington then presented to the Rev. Mr. Linley the following address, which was printed on satin :• Methodist New Connexion Church, Franklin Street, South Australia. To the Rev. Clement Linley. Dear Sir,- We, the officers, members, and congregation of the Franklin Street Church, desire to convey to you, on the eve of your departure from amongst us, the high estimation in which we hold the kind consideration you have ever shown towards us, and the help you have rendered to our Churcb, spiritually and temporally, during the four years you have laboured with us and for us, and we hope the seed sown in kindness, gentleness, and all faithfulness may, in God's time, bear fruit abundantly. Our earnest prayer that our Heavenly Father will safely guide you in your journey will ascend to the Throne of Grace; and we trust that by the voyage home and change of climate you will regain the blessing of vigorous health. And we also pray the Almighty that you may be spared many years to speak of His name, and that He will bless your labours for the extension of the cause of Christ our Saviour. We are, dear sir, yours very faithfully, on behalf of the Church." (Here were appended twelve signatures.) Mr. J. A. Bagshaw then, on behalf of the Church, presented Mr. Linley with an emu egg-casket, bearing a suitable inscription. The egg was mounted on a silver stand of ferns, with native grasses at the base, the whole being surmounted by an emu. Mr. Bagshaw said that they knew Mr. Linley was not favourable to a money testimonial, so they decided to present him with something which they hoped he would not accept for its intrinsic value, but as a token of remembrance. Mr. M. M. Maughan, on behalf of the Sunday school, also presented Mr. Linley with a gold pen and pencil-case. The Rev. Mr. Linley said he was taken by surprise, for until that evening he had no idea that the meeting would have partaken of the nature that it had. He had been suffering from ill-health for some time, and as he could not attend to his ministerial duties as well as he could wish he thought it would be for the good of the Church if he gave place to another. His successor had arrived, and he prayed that he would be far more useful than he had been. He had received great kindness from them as a Church and a congregation. He exhorted them to attend the services regularly, for if they would have health in their souls they should attend the Church when they had an opportunity. They should also contribute liberally towards the maintenance of the Church, and relieve the minister as much as possible of thinking of worldly things. He advised them to work together as a Church with their pastor, and not look out for imperfections. If they proceeded in harmony, a bright future was before them. He heartily thanked them for what had been presented him, and concluded by referring to the removal by death some time ago of one of the most devoted adherents of the Church-Mr. F. C. Curtin. Mr. J. A. Bagshaw presented the following address, written on an embossed card, to Mrs. Linley :-"Dear Madam, -We, the ladies of the sewing meeting pertaining to the New Connexion Methodist Church, Franklin Street, Adelaide, South Australia, beg your acceptance of the accompanying brooch as a mark of the love and esteem which the four years of your residence here and work for the Church has engendered within us. We desire you to look at it when at a distance more as a token of our affectionate regard than as a measure of it. With the sincere wishes of all the members of the sewing meeting for a pleasant and prosperous voyage to England, and for the continuance of the blessings of the Lord on you and your family, we are, dear madam, yours very faithfully, C. Maughan, E. Hitchcox, C. Dew." Accompanying the address was a large malachite brooch set in gold. The Rev. Mr. Linley, in replying for Mrs. Linley, said he had intended to say something in praise of South Australia, but it escaped his memory. When he went to England he could tell them that there was no place where a man could dwell under more advantageous circumstances than in this colony. Mrs. Linley would always remember with pleasure her sojourn in South Australia. The Chairman apologised for the unavoidable absence of the Revs. J. Lyall, James Way, and J. Goodwin. Mr. J. Pascoe, on behalf of the Church and congregation, heartily welcomed the Rev. Mr. Birks, and hoped that he would be blessed with health and strength to labour amongst them for many years. He hoped that they would all work together in harmony. The Rev. Mr. Birks said that he was sorry and yet glad to be amongst them--sorry that their pastor was compelled, in consequence of ill-health, to return to England, and glad that he had experienced a pleasant and prosperous voyage from the old country. As he was leaving England, his friends said they would pray for a safe voyage for himself and Mrs. Birks, but he begged of them to pray, not only for their safety while travelling, but also that the Divine blessing might be poured out abundantly upon the Church here. On arriving at Melbourne he preached at Richmond three times, and received a cordial welcome. With regard to the future he had not determined on any particular course. When he knew what he had to do he would lay his plans, and hoped that the Lord would give him strength to carry them out. He might tell them that he had no new gospel to preach to them, no new-fangled system of Christianity to present. He had the same good old truths to preach about, and he earnestly prayed that the great Head of the Church would give him

strength to do so. He asked them all to co-operate with him ; if that were done their success would be sure. The Revs. J Henderson and James Bickford spoke in highly eulogistic terms of the Rev. Mr. Linley's worth as a minister, and expressed their sorrow at his departure. They also cordially welcomed the Rev. Mr. Birks to their midst. During the evening the choir sang several anthems very creditably.

THE JUBILEE OF OUR MISSIONS. THEschemefor the establishment of the Methodist New Connexion Missionary Society was propounded in 1825, but the enterprise was actually entered upon at the Conference of 1826, when the first “Superintendent of the Irish Mission” was appointed. This year, 1876, will therefore be an interesting one to very many in the Denomination, as one of the historical marks of our Connexional work, and it should have some worthy commemoration.

Ireland had, indeed, been a part of the field of our operations ever since 1799, but rather as an ordinary Circuit than as a Mission. At the end of those twenty-eight years there were about 500 members, and these formed the commencement of the new society in 1826. Since that time the inconstant and in many ways exceptional nature of Irish affairs has been reflected in our returns, the membership reaching in 1841 to as many as 1401, and in 1859 coming down to as few as 503. Nevertheless, a great amount of eternal good has been accomplished through our agencies. During the past few years our numbers have steadily increased, the last year's return being 706.

So far back as 1816, a “ Home Mission " was set on foot, which was liberally sustained for awhile, and did work which remains until now. But the society failed to retain the practical sympathy of the Connexion, and ceased to be. The effort was renewed in '59 and has been carried on down to the present time.

Between the beginning and ending of this half century of Connexional history we have gained and lost a colony. The Rev. J. Addyman was appointed to Canada in 1837, where, with the Divine blessing, he established a most thriving branch; and in 1874 the 7991 holding our name and principles, constituted themselves, in conjunction with the Canadian Wesleyans, a separate community, on a basis of liberal Church government.

We have been struggling since 1862 to take some part in the evangelisation of another colorry of vast extent and rich resources. In that year we began to mission Australia, with blooming promises of plentiful fruit, which it is only candid to admit have not been fully realised at present.

In the very same year that the Home Mission was recommenced (1859), the Conference for the first time entered upon strictly Foreign Mission work. In the prescience of its Christian faith it selected the empire that contains one-third of the entire population of the globe--China. God has beyond our anticipation honoured that holy ambition and consecration, in the regeneration of men. The success of our efforts (through our devoted Missionaries) is without equal in the history of Chinese Missions, and it is not improbable that Providence points by that very success to the line we should still pursue. It is questionable whether in any other part of our Connexion whatever we could show such progress as there. Ten years ago sixteen members were reported, now TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX, and forty three on trial.

The income of the society at these different stages is a matter which the Connexion may look upon with some pleasure and thankfulness. Fifty years ago the income from the Euglish Circuits was £313 11s. 10d. In the next eleven years that sum was trebled (£980). In twenty-two years again the income had increased four-fold (£3614). In six more years it had gone up fifty per cent. The lowest rate of increase has been during the last ten years, in the course of which the advance has been about £600. But it

should be remembered that about £1000 a year, formerly included in the general account have, since 1868, been reported separately as the Home Mission Fund. But, with that consideration, the rate of increase has not been equal to that of the prior periods. This is not what one might have expected considering the great prosperity of the country, and leads one to think there is room for great development in this department.

If this year of Jubilee could be signalised by doubling the ordinary income it would be a laudable expression of our Christian faith and gratitude, The joy that would fill our minds would be a true and blessed festival; and the amount would be a mark which would tend very much to bring up the regular contributions of succeeding years to a higher point than the present one.

The mere fact of this being the Jubilee would probably not be enough of itself to excite any very general enthusiasm. Some definite, spirited and practical scheme would have to be set before the Connexion, but such a programme would meet with a cheerful and liberal response.

Whether our present Foreign work shall be at once largely strengthened, or a new field entered upon, or our Home Mission mightily helped forward, our position and the present occasion are eminently favourable to success. The condition of the funds, the addition of a “Missionary Jubilee Fund," and the excellent Missionary spirit which is now largely taking hold of our people, would warrant a line of policy as vigorous as any that has hitherto characterised this department; and when once entered upon, the hands and hearts of the Connexion may be trusted to sustain it, as they have the China Mission. Scarcely £2000 were specially raised to give the China Mission & start eighteen years ago; the Mission has been sustained, and the treasurer has a large balance in hand.

The " iron” may be said to be “hot” again, and it only requires the skilful and vigorous " strike."

D. HEATH.

BIRMINGHAM, Dec. 3, 1875. TO THE EDITOR,

Please allow me a line to acknowledge the receipt of £50, free of duty, from the Rev. Thos. Swallow, of Egremont, and J. Mellor, Esq., of Huddersfield, trustees of the late Mrs. Groves of York, in favour of our Beneficent Society.

The above has been sent as part residue of the estate of our departed friend, and cannot fail to be duly appreciated by the ministers and friends of the Connexion, who will, I am sure, concur with me in this expression of our thanks to the Executors for their kindness.-Yours very truly, WILLIAM BAGGALY, Treasurer of the Beneficent Society.

Notices of New Books.

Theology of the Old Testament. By Dr. Gust. FR. OEHLER. Vol. II.

T. and T. Clark. 1875. In our notice of the first volume of this work we spoke of it in terms of warm appreciation. We again very earnestly commend it to the attention of our ministerial readers. Its study will give to many a new character to Old Testament teachings, and enable them as well-instructed scribes to bring forth things new and old out of this Divine treasury.

Biblical Commentary on the Proverbs of Solomon. By FRANZ DELITZSCH,

D.D. Translated by M. G. EASTON, D.D. Vol II. T. and T. Clark.

1875. This volume completes Dr. Delitzsch's learned commentary on the book of Proverbs. But its learning need not deter the English student from consulting its pages. He may do so to his great benefit, as thereby he will be able to gain a clearer insight into these “words of the wise, and their dark sayings."

Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Gospel of John. By H. A. W.

MEYER, Th.D. Translated from the Fifth Edition of the German.

Vol. II. T. and T. Clark. 1875. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Epistles to the Philippians and Colossians.

By H. A. W. MEYER, Th.D. Translated from the Fourth Edition of

the German. T. and T. Clark. 1875. BIBLICAL students of the original text will be glad to see the issue of these volumes.

The Living Wesley, as he was in his Youth and Prime. By J. H. Rigg, D.D.

Wesleyan Conference Office. 1875. DR. Rigg informs us that five-and-twenty years ago he cherished the hope that some day he might write the life of Wesley and the history of Methodism. In the latter aim he has been anticipated with such competency by Dr. Stevens and Dr. George Smith that now the utmost he can hope would be to elucidate some points of Methodist history, especially between 1780 and 1800, and from 1848 to the present time. The periods here referred to are fraught with interest to the Methodist student, and if Dr. Rigg can throw any additional light upon them, all minds ought to be sufficiently unbiassed and impartial to receive it thankfully. . He does, however, think that even after Mr. Tyerman's exhaustive volumes there is yet room for an original and standard life of Wesley, “shorter, and in some respects more satisfactory-clearer, and more discriminating as to some matters of primary importance.” Fearing an opportunity may not occur to him to produce such a biography, he seeks in this small volume " to do something toward furnishing a true portraiture of John Wesley, in his human affections, in his intellectual character, and in his gifts and power as a preacher."

We sincerely thank Dr. Rigg for his little work. Its worth is not to be measured by its size. The introductory reviews of Wesley's biographers and critics we think is written with great fairness, and supplies to the general reader a large amount of interesting and useful information. The subsequent part of the work discusses Wesley's character and opinions in his earlier life to the period of his Evangelical conversion ; and then he is considered as he was after his conversion and in the maturity of his powers.

Not only every Methodist, but, as it seems to us, every Christian must take an interest in the life of such a man as Wesley, and it is of the utmost importance that he should be rightly understood. Considering the results that have flowed from his labours, as Dr. Rigg remarks, “it is no wonder that the present age has waked up to an eager curiosity as to the character

« AnteriorContinuar »