« AnteriorContinuar »
tigations far, before he arrives at a point to pious parents to continue their instruc. beyond which he cannot proceed ; and tion and prayers for the salvation of their indeed, with all our boasted scientific know children ; being assured that “ though they ledge, what more do we possess than a sow in tears, they shall reap in joy." mere superficial acquaintance with the phe Concerning his whole course as a man of nomena of nature. The same is equally business, it will be sufficient to state, that true of the moral government of God. The he everywhere acquired the cbaracter of great plan, according to which he deals being conscientious and indefatigable. In with his creatures, as well as many of the this course he continued for several years reasons of that plan, are known only to after his heart had been changed by Divine Him who "seeth the end from the begin grace. At length, however, his thoughts ning." It is the happiness of the Christian, were directed into another channel. Long however, to feel assured, that the God of had he felt a desire to do good, but now love, in whom he trusts, will permit no that desire had become so much the ruling event to befall any of his people but such passion of his soul, that his deep feeling as infinite wisdom and goodness approve. and energetic spirit could no longer brook
These thoughts have been suggested by the restraints of business. His soul panted the recent death of a faithful missionary of for a scene of labour, where he might emJesus Christ, who has fallen in the prime ploy all the energies of his body and mind of manhood, and a brief history of whose in the cause of Christ. The wide waste of life we now present to the reader,
immortal spirits presented itself to his view William Flower, second son of the Rev. --the claims of the heathen irresistibly John Flower of Titchfield), was born at arrested his attention. Could he not do Botley, in Hampshire, on the 16th of August, something for their salvation ? Might not 1810. Of the days of his childhood we he aspire, without presumption, to the have nothing particular to record, save exalted honour of being a missionary of that he early gave evidence of possessing Jesus Christ? Influenced by such senti. an energy of character, and a vigour of ments he sought to the throne of grace, and intellect, for wbich he was distinguished prayed for direction. His desires became through life. Having creditably fulfilled deepened, the voice of God appeared to be his term at the Congregational School, speaking to him from within. He made Lewisham, he was apprenticed as a draper, known his wishes to his friends, and at the house of Messrs. Fisher and Son, of obtained their consent; and after a time, Blandford, in Dorsetshire. Here he soon his services having been accepted by the acquired a good knowledge of the business, Directors of the London Missionary Society, and gave great satisfaction to his employers. and his collegiate course at Exeter being Aster he had been in this situation for two or concluded, he was ordained at Above-bar three years, it pleased the Lord to teach him chapel, Southampton, on the 6th of Februthe importance of those truths with which he ary, 1838. The next day he was married had been familiar from his infancy. “God, at the same chapel, to Elizabeth, second who commanded the light to shine out of daughter of Mr. Fletcher, of Southampton, darkness, shined into his heart;" so that he and on the following April they embarked became a "new creature in Christ Jesus.". for India. In order to show the motives If it be asked what led to this result? The which led him to devote himself to mismost satisfactory answer may be furnished sionary labours, we may extract a passage in his own words. Writing soon after to from a letter written to his parents before his parents, he said
his departure. Having alluded to a letter "You gave me to God in my youth ; you of theirs, expressive of those feelings with have daily prayed that I may be a blessing ; which they naturally regarded so distant a as my mind unfolded itself, you rejoiced ; separation, he adds, as depravity was exhibited, you were grieved ; "I respect your feelings; I thank God for my conversion to God you toiled, and for the love you bear me, and which is, I am prayed, and fasted, and wept. Your prayers sure, reciprocal; and you will not for one came up as a memorial before God. He moment doubt, that were the choice my heard your vows, he saw your tears. His own, I should as decidedly have preferred arm, omnipotent to save, was extended, and to remain in England, above going to India, you rejoiced over your son, as over one as I should prefer pleasure above pain-alive from the dead. An impressive con- | that to amass the riches of Europe, of the versation with my dear mother, long before universe, I would not leave you-that no. I went to Lewisham, never entirely lost its thing but the paramount conviction that it influence; and I believe, at that hour, seed is the will of God, could render me capable was sown which will bring forth, and has of rending the bonds which unite me to my brought forth fruit unto God-fruit unto country, my brothers and sisters, and my life eternal."
dear, ever dear parents. I call on you, then, What an encouragement does this afford | my beloved parents, to rejoice that God has rendered my path so obvious--that he through the Gujurat district, with a view of has revealed his will, and disposed me to attempting to dispel the moral darkness obey it-yea, torejoice in obeying it, notwith which hovered over that extensive territory standing all I must leave in effecting it." -a darkness which had never before been
Having arrived at Surat, be eagerly en- | penetrated by one ray of gospel light. By tered upon the difficult task of learning the his journal, it appears that, in this tour, he language. But it was not long permitted preached in thirty-six villages, and to about him to be thus engaged, before domestic 3,570 people. circumstances arose to impede his progress. On the 27th of November, 1843, he It pleased God to make Mrs. Flower the re-entered the marriage state, by union subject of severe affliction, which rendered with Jane, youngest daughter of the late it necessary to seek a change of air. They Mr. Fletcher, of Henley-on-Thames ; and went to Poonah, where he left her, that the at the close of the year he made a second interruption to his duties might not be tour through the Gujurat district, and was greater than was absolutely necessary. In frequently gratified by baving patient and the course of a few weeks he returned to attentive hearers. As the result of these Poonah, wherę, after much suffering, the labours, à spirit of inquiry was excited object of his ardent affections was taken among the people. Far different, however, from him by death. (See Evan. Mag, for was it with respect to Surat ; there, neither May, 1842.) Under this severe trial, how the preaching of the cross nor the awful ever, he was mercifully sustained by the judgments of God seemed productive of much consolations of the gospel; and in obedi- good. The city still remained wholly given ence to that principle of our nature which to idolatry, and the missionaries appeared leads us, under depressing circumstances, to be labouring in vain. These circumto seek relief by greater application to the stances having been represented to the duties of our calling, he again applied him. Board in London, after several communica. self, with increasing zeal, to the acquire- tions to and from Surat, it was finally dement of the language-in which he made termined to remove the mission to Baroda. such rapid progress, as that he was soon This resolution was a source of extreme able to preach to the heathen “the un. | gratification to Mr. Flower; and he looked searchable riches of Christ." This diffi-|| forward to years of labour and much suc. culty being surmounted, an immense field cess at and around that new station. But lay open before him. On every hand he the God in whom he trusted, “whose way beheld sin reigning, vice deified, and reason is in the sea, and his paths in deep waters," lost ; and knowing, as he well did, that it had otherwise determined concerning him ; was the gospel, and the gospel alone which for at the end of the rainy season his health could restore reason to her deserted throne, began to decline. Here was the commenceand bring man into fellowship with God, he ment of that disease which has since termidetermined, with the apostle Paul, “to nated in death. Having retired for a time, know nothing among men save Jesus Christ first to the Mahabalishwur Hills, and suband him crucified."
sequently to the salubrious climate of Cey. Shortly after their arrival at Surat, he lon, where he wrote many tracts, and negand his brother missionary, Mr. Clarkson, lected no opportunity of usefulness,-he at established an institution for the education length, on the 25th of October, 1845, reof young men; hoping that, by combining moved to Baroda, with invigorated health. secular and religious instruction, they might His former desires and hopes returned with induce, in the minds of their pupils, a desire increasing brightness, and excited him to for farther acquaintance with Divine truth. | labour in season and out of season, which But after a time they were compelled to soon brought him apparently to the borders abandon the undertaking, in consequence of the grave. of a Government school being established, It would be easy to relate much which which exerted so unfriendly aod powerful would be interesting concerning him, during an influence, as soon to deprive them of his illness at Baroda ; but our limited space their pupils. (See Miss. Chron. for March, forbids our mentioning more than one or 1842.) His labours in this department two things. That he did not lose his interest being thus terminated, he diligently applied | in the work, when unable personaliy to himself to the translation of the gospels, exert himself, is evident from the fact that and of Bunyan's “ Pilgrim's Progress," he desired to have the believers' prayer. the last sheet of which he received from the meeting in an adjoining room. “I could press just on his departure from India. not," he said, “hear much, but I should
In the latter part of the year 1842, ac- | be refreshed by the sound of their voices." companied by his sister,* he made a tour On another occasion, having expressed a
+ Soon after the death of his wife, his sister Mary | ried to the Rev. Wm. Clarkson, her late brother's had promptly yielded to his call to go out to minis
fellow-labourer. ter to his necessities. She has recently been mar-1
belief which he then felt, that he should, During the lovely months of autumn he not permanently recover, he remarked, visited friends in various parts of the coun“How many mercies has God given us, to try, and appeared to be gaining strength so mitigate the suffering which sin has caused ! fast, that sanguine hopes were cherished by It is sin that has done all this—but the many, and revived in his own bosom, that blood of Calvary has washed it all away; he should again be permitted to return to -some of the effects only remain for a little India. When winter, with its stern severity, time." In a letter written at this season came on, at the advice of his physicians he to his parents, the following passage occurs : retired to Ventnor in the Isle of Wight. —“If our Divine Lord was perfected There he was seized with a severe attack of through suffering, so must be the members | inflammation of the liver, whose fatal inof his body—the Church. If he, for the fluence rapidly spread throughout his frame. joy which was set before him, endured the As soon as circumstances permitted he cross, despising the shame, then surely we returned to Titchfield, to realise a wish may also account these as light sufferings, which he had oft expressed “to end his and not worthy of mention; which work days at home.” out for us a far more exceeding and eternal On the Sunday previous to his death, he weight of glory. Alas! I find it least easy was conveyed to chapel, but was obliged to of almost anything, to be really and truly be carried down the aisle on his return, thankful to my heavenly Father for all his having entirely lost the power of walking. acts and works of goodness and grace; yet The next day it was evident to all that his who than I has greater cause for gratitude ? little remaining strength was rapidly giving The whole course of my history has beenway, and on Tuesday he was unable to leave marked by love unspeakable. A Father's his bed. On the evening of this day, his pity, a Mother's tenderness, a Brother's father said to him, “ My son, are you afraid sympathy-yea, and more than all these, of the consequences of death, or have you have not failed me for many years. But any fear of dying ?" He replied with firmwhy do I tell you, who have so much longer ness, “ Not in the least." A little after, than I tasted his compassion, and lived when unable, from the difficulty of breathing, upon his tenderness and care ? You know, to exert bis voice, he wrote on a slate, “I love, and rejoice in Him. How loud must have much in my heart to say to you all, be our Hosannah, when at length
but I have not strength for speaking. You He who loves has borne us through,
must not think me unhappy because I do And made us more than conquerors too.'" not sing, or forgetful of my first love, the Shortly after writing this letter, on the spring of all my joys, because I do not tell 10th of February, 1846, he and his beloved of his grace and faithfulness. God has partner left Baroda, with the intention of promised,--that is my confidence. He has visiting the Cape; but his physician at Bom. told me I am His, and none can pluck me bay strongly urged him to take a voyage to | out of my Father's hand. This is my secuEngland, which he accordingly did. Let rity; the peace of God KEEPS my heart." those who know by experience what it is The following day, a few hours before he to have their fondest and fairest hopes dis died, addressing his beloved partner through appointed, just as they were beginning to the same medium, he said, “ Flights of realize them, sympathise, if they can, with imagination, attended with fervid delight, those feelings which possessed his heart, as are not religion ; they may, and often do, he left Baroda, which was so peculiarly accompany it,-but religion is the indwell. endeared to him, and India, his adopted ing of the soul in God—the trust, the conland. Let it not, however, be supposed fidence in His faithfulness, truth, and love, that he murmured against Providence-far which bring to the soul the peace of God. from it; be had given himself unreservedly Such, my beloved Jane, am I blessed with, to the Lord, and was prepared to live or and if my God be still with me, and keep die in his service, according to his will ; and me from the Evil One, such may I continue thus, when suffering with a severe attack of to enjoy. Commit your way to him ; you hæmorrhage of the lungs, he said —" If this have done so. He will not forsake you, bleeding discontinue, 1 may get pretty well but bring us all to heaven at last, lean on again—but about this I have no wish. It is his arm, his word, his love-nought can the Lord, let him do what seemeth him fail." good."
Thoughout the evening he remained comOn the 15th of last August the vessel paratively comfortable; but about ten o'clock anchored off Gravesend, and in a few days a violent paroxysm returned, wbich indicated after te returned to the parental roof. The the near approach of death. A few minutes voyage had evidently been beneficial to him, after, a peaceful smile enlivened his counfor he was considerably stronger tban when tenance. It was the smile of victory. be embarked; still, however, he was in a Death, his last enemy, was destroyed,- be very debilitated state on his arrival.
slept in Jesus.
“ So fades a summer cloud away;
Reader,—The hour of death awaits you. So gently shuts the eye of day;
When it comes, will it find you trusting in So dies a wave along the shore !"
Christ for salvation ? Are you now living a In a letter addressed to bis parents just life of faith on the Son of God? He of before leaving England for India, he had whom you have been reading thus lived, said, " Jesus is mine, at his command I go, and therefore it was that lie could die under his banner I fight, and if I fall in the triumphantly. Oh! if you have not " sought conflict, he will receive me, not to the joys and obtained pardon of God," seek it with. of a Mahommedan paradise, but into ever- out delay; then may you labour in the lasting babitations." This which was then Lord's vineyard, be instrumental in saving the language of faith he has now realized. others from eternal death, and at length Having fallen in the conflict, he has received hear the welcome, "Well done, good and a crown of righteousness, and is now rejoic. faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of ing in the presence of his Lord.
MIDSUMMER HALF-YEARLY DISTRIBUTION OF PROFITS TO
THE WIDOWS OF PIOUS MINISTERS, FOR 1847. Ar the January Distribution, on the 5th of that month, the sum of 8631. mas distributed among 103 Widows of pious Ministers, Episcopalians, Calvinistic Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists; and at the Midsummer Distribution, on the 6th of July, 418!. among 49;-making a total for the present year of 1,2811. voted to 152 Widows. This is surely a noble argument for the support of a work which for more than half a century has thus been cheering the hearts of the widow and fatherless.
75 55 70
58 | 79 1 70
E. W. 55 8
| J. R.
53 1 6
IRISH CASE. | 69 | 8 |
A. G. M...1
THE APPROACHING ELECTION.
It would be worse than foolish to expect
that the ordinary run of candidates for seats On the eve of a General Election, we in Parliament should be able to comprehend feel that, as religious journalists, we should the spirituality of Christ's kingdom : but is fail in our public duty, if we did not give it too much to require them, in the present expression to some of the painful convic. advanced state of public opinion, that they tions, wbich recent events have forced upon will resist all further extension of the Estaus. To us it is matter of undoubted cer- blishment principle ? that they will leave tainty that the Statesmen of the day have churches to provide and manage their own determined on a new course of legislation resources ? that they will vote against all in reference to religion. Formerly, the two religious grants and endowments of every leading parties in Parliament, however di- kind ? that they will neither help Church vided on other matters, were agreed in this, inen nor Dissenters ? and, above all, that
to throw the whole weight of their influ. they will not strengthen the hands of Ro. eace into the scale of the Established manists in their crusade against that Pro. Church, and to grant nothing to Dissent, testantism to which we owe all our national eren in the form of redressing grievances, stability, liberty, and glory? that was not absolutely extorted from them. We say to all who think with us on these From this absurd and unjust position, the points, that they have a solemn duty to perpoliticians of our times have been driven form, at the ensuing Election, which they by the stern voice of public opinion ; they cannot neglect without incurring tremendous feel that the old doctrine of Church and guilt. They are not responsible for the State will not sustain them in a condition success of their efforts; but they are re. of society where Dissenters and Church. sponsible for the use of all constitutional men are well nigh numerically balanced. and Christian means, to secure, in the best But what has been the result? Why, sense, a reformed House of Commons, that that Whigs and Conservatives, Radicals and will not trifle with the religious feelings of Tories, have now combined to stifle, if the nation, nor adopt principles of legispossible, that very protest against State lation which create wide-spread animosity Establishments which has enabled them among the people, and, what is still worse, to venture on their present course. The give prodigious influence to the Popery and clamour of Irish Romanists is now to be semi-Popery of the day. hushed, by the Endowment of their Theo. Christian Electors ! be at your posts to logical Seminaries, and, if majorities in the do your utmost to counteract the Erastian House of Commons favour the project, by spirit of the age. taking the whole staff of Popish Priests into the pay of the State. Wesleyans and sturdy Nonconformists are to be coaxed into Educational Measures, which, if accepted by them, must compromise all of their number
To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine. who have hitherto, though it may bave been Permit an old friend to address you upon calmly and as good citizens, objected to any a subject which he earnestly desires to be aid from the State in the teaching of Re. considered, and practically observed, by LIGION, whether to children or adults. We | your correspondents. The neglect of it do not feel that we are calumniating the deforms and disfigures many otherwise valuStatesmen of the age, when we say that able papers, to which you have given in. such is the new state of society they are sertion. aiming to create in England. And who It is the duty of Definiteness and can deny that there is an air of liberality in ACCURACY in references to books and their the course which these matters are taking ? authors, wbich are adduced as evidence of Yes, and not a few of whom better things assertions. might have been expected, are entangled by The defectiveness, clumsiness, and altothe specious device. But, we ask, in all gether upscholarlike manner, in which such seriousness, Is not the new course of poli- references have often been presented, are tics more objectionable than the old ? If it exceedingly annoying to those who love the bas more of liberalism in it, has it not far EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE, and therefore less of principle ? Has State-patronage cannot bear to have it dishonoured. been so benign in its influence upon reli- One class of those deformities is produced gion, that the thinking men of this age are by a most inexcusable cause, the careless prepared for an increase of it? Or ought handwriting in which many persons indulge not rather the events and lessons of history themselves ; some even seem to take a pride to have taught public men, that State-con- in it. It is, however, not only a silly sort nections in religion must, one and all, be of pride, but in no small degree a moral abandoned, if states are to flourish and evil. Upon this wrong, and therefore sin, vital Christianity is to prevail.
Mrs. Hannah More, many years ago, pubVOL. XXV.
HINTS TO AUTHORS AND EDITORS.