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putrid from the breath of a crowd of passengers in chains. If they be sick, and want you, let them be brought upon the deck. It will be equal folly to venture your life among the savage natives on shore, before their confidence has been in some degree obtained by the mutual good offices of others.-Remember, your business is Religion : mind that, and that only. Be careful of your health. Be careful of your life. Be careful of your conversation. Your gravity will condmand reverence, when any foolish conformities would procure contempt. The eyes of many at home will be upon you; and their hearts are, in the mean time, lifted up to the Lord. Their prayer is, that you may be instrumental in fulfilling an ancient prophecy in Psalm ii. 8. If you only lay the first stone, it will be worth a lifetime; and the LORD will send others after you to complete the building.
Many books will be put into your hands; and you may possibly need them for your entertainment. But The Bible - The Bible, must be your only delight; Faith your only strength ;-and Prayer your only weapon. O may the God of heaven and earth, the great JEHOVAH-Jesus, be with you, and go with you, stand by you, and greatly prosper you in the way you go. Many friends will give you good advice: I would wish to be among the first to pray for you, and to hear from you.
A change of climate and diet will try your constitution, and you will be upon your guard. Nothing can hurt you while the Lord is with you. 6 If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever." (1 Chron. xxyii. 9.) Go, dear Sir, in peace; and may the God of peace and love go with you ;-„bring you in safety and comfort to the place you go to ;-and crown you with ten thousand blessings there! I commit you to the grace and love of Jesus your Lord and Master; and am, with great sincerity and esteein, your affectionate Brother and Servant, ca
William Bull. To the Rev. —
: Chaplain to the Settlement in New South-Wales.
ON THE UTILITY OF DISSEMINATING RELIGIOUS TRACTS,
with some Account of the METHOD SUCCESSFULLY ADOPTED FOR THAT PURPOSE in the MaidSTONE CIRCUIT.
The distribution of Religious Tracts is generally and justly acknowledged to be one of the most efficient means, which the great , Head of the Church employs for the conversion and edification of our fellow-men. Religious Tracts are silent, but powerful preachers. They make forcible appeals to conscience, which, through the divine blessing, frequently produce lasting effects; and multitudes of persons, in this and other nations, gratefully confess, that they received their
divine truth, by means of Tracts, possesses this peculiar advantage, that the reader may peruse the Tract in solitude, or in the bosom of his family, unobserved. His pride is not excited to reject the im
portant truths, offered to his notice, by the presence of spectators. He has time to pause, and think, at the end of every sentence. He can review what he has read, give way to his feelings, and permit conscience to perform her office.
MR. WESLEY considered the dissemination of Religious Tracts as an important mode of reproving sin,-of checking vice,--and of communicating heavenly knowledge to the vicious and the ignorant. Impressed with this sentiment, he wrote short Tracts for distribution, such as A Word to a Swearer ;-to & Sabbath-Breaker ;---to a Drunkard, &c.; and was, perhaps, one of the first persons in this kingdom, who wrote Religious Tracts for gratuitous circulation. The MetiloDIST CONFERENCE, convinced of the utility of this plan, and desirous of amplifying it, in the year 1808, recommended the formation of a Religious Tract Society for the connexion. In the year 1811, the CONFERENCE recommended an extensive circulation of Religious Tracts; and advised every Superintendent to form a Committee in his circuit, for the purpose of disseminating them. Auxiliary Tract-Societies were formed in many circuits, which have undoubtedly been beneficial to many, as far as their operations extended ; but, unhappily, some of these societies are become almost extinct. It appears to me, that it would be a measure of importance to the spiritual welfare of the Connexion, if these dormant societies were roused into vigorous activity.
It is cause of rejoicing, that various denominations of Christians are employing their energies in spreading vital godliness, by the means of Tracts; and their labours of love have been attended with success. But there is much yet to be done. Multitudes of our countrymen are now in their sins,-are without a well-grounded hope, and without God in the world. In almost every town, and every village, individuals reside, whose lives are vicious and profligate, and who never attend any place of worship. These persons, wicked as they are, have souls for which Christ died,-souls susceptible of moral and spiritual improvement,-souls capable of being regenerated and eternally saved,-souls, that if not saved by grace, must pérish everlastingly. The only probable method of reaching many of these outcasts, in the first instance, and of being useful to their immortal souls, appears to be that of carrying Religious Tracts to their dwellings. Certainly, then, the love of CHRIST, so exuberantly mani. fested towards sinful man, should constrain every Christian, according to his ability and opportunity, to adopt this probable means of rescuing from sin and misery the many thousands of human beings, now perishing through ignorance of their Saviour.
No denomination of Christians possesses greater facilities for putting Religious Tracts into extensive circulation than the People called Methodists; and if their energies are brought into general operation, their Tracts may easily be disseminated through the land. If TractSocieties were formed in every circuit, connecting the country places with the head of the circuit, and these societies regulated by judicious plans, to keep the spirit of the institutions in persevering activity, it appears highly probable that, under the blessing of God, they would prove a mighty instrument of extending the REDEEMEU's kingdom. According to the views I have on this important subject, the most eligible and efficient plan is the following: 1. To choose a Committee, Treasurer, Secretary, and Librarian, to manage the business of the Society. 2. To lend the Tracts, which seems the most likely means of ensuring a reading. 3. To divide the principal towns in the circuit into districts, comprising fifty or sixty houses in each district; and also the villages, and parishes in which the villages are situated. The districts in the country-parishes cannot comprise so many houses as a town-district, because the houses are farther distant from each other. 4. To appoint a distributer or distributers, male, or female, for each district, to visit each house or family, in his or her district, once a week, leaving a fresh Tract, and receiving that which was issued in the preceding week. This plan supplies constant materials for reading; and if the Tracts be issued at the same hour in the day, the Tract left in the preceding week will generally be at hand for the distributer to receive. 5. To appoint one or two persons in each of the country-towns, or villages in the circuit, as members of the General Committee for the Tract-Society of that circuit, whose office should be that of dividing the town, village, or parish where they reside into districts, appointing Distributers, a Se. cretary, and Collector, and managing the regular issuing of the Tracts. 6. To require that each distributer issue one kind of Tract only (say No. 1,) in his district each week, which Tracts, when received back again, will supply another district for the following week; thus the same Tracts may go through as many districts as may be formed in a town or parish. Supposing a town be divided into twenty districts, fifty or sixty Tracts of No. 1. will be ,in circulation for twenty weeks, and twenty kinds of Tracts will keep the whole town supplied for the same period of time. An exchange, also, may be made between two or more towns or villages, so that Tracts, which have passed through the districts of one, may be issued in the districts of the other, providing the Tracts are kept tolerably clean. By this means, an extensive circulation may be kept up, at a comparatively small expence,-confusion will be prevented, and it will be easily ascertained what Tracts have been issued in each district. 7. The Secretary should have books, properly ruled, stating the No. of the district, the distributer's name, the No. of the Tract, the number of Tracts issued, and the number of Tracts returned by each distributer weekly. 8. To keep the spirit of the institution in activity, it would be necessary for the Committee to meet monthly to manage the business of the Society; to which meeting the distributers may be constantly invited, that they may give a detailed account of the success which may have attended the distribution in each district during the preceding month. Particular cases of usefulness may be given in writing to the Secretary, to be inserted in the Minute-book, for the encouragement of the Society.
Having unfolded that which appears to me the most eligible plan, I now proceed to give a history of the Tract-Society, which we have recently established in the Maidstone Circuit. On December 7, 1820, we formed it in the public congregation, and elected our Committee, Treasurer, Secretary, and Librarian. Immediately, the
Secretary entered upon his office by taking down subscribers' names, and receiving their subscriptions in advance for the coming quarter. The Committee met in a few days. We divided the town into districts, appointed distributers, and a collector, and began to issue the Tracts on December 16. The town, with its vicinity, is divided into thirty districts. In the country places, the parishes are divided into five or six districts each. In the town are issued, weekly, 1720, and in the country places, 787, making a total of 2507 Tracts weekly issued. Supposing thać we allow three persons to each family, which does not appear too great a number on an average, then we have 7521 persons in this circuit weekly reading our Tracts, and hope soon to increase the number. We have purchased upwards of 20,000 Tracts. Our subscriptions amount quarterly to the sum of £7. 10s. which, for this small circuit, is considerable, and proves that our people's hearts are in this good work ; and our income is on the increase. The Tracts are issued on the Lord's-day, principally in the morning, which is considered the most advantageous time, as the families are then generally at home together. The Distributers meet monthly with the Committee, and relate the success of the preceding month, which excites peculiar interest, and imparts increasing life and vigour to all engaged. Before they commenced, the distributers were trembling, expecting to meet with insults and scoffs ; but in making the experiment, they have been happily disappointed. The
Tracts are most gratefully received. Not more than four families, upon an average, in each district, refused them; and some of these have since solicited the favour of reading them. Numbers of families, not satisfied merely with receiving the Tract, kindly invite the distributer into the house to converse with them on divine things; and as the distributer reads the Tract himself before he issues it, or before he receives it back, he is prepared to give answers to any question that may be asked relative to the Tract read, and to impart that religious instruction which he considers necessary. The distributers soon become known and much respected in their districts, and greatly rejoice in their work.
The divine blessing has, in this short period, greatly prospered the dissemination of the Tracts. Persons who attended no place of worship, now attend religious ordinances. A spirit of religious enquiry is produced. Our congregations have been considerably increased in the town and country places through the distribution. Many have been brought under serious impressions by reading them, and perhaps seven, or eight, who received their first impressions by reading the Tracts, are truly converted to God, which affords us great encouragement to proceed.
It may be gratifying to give a specimen of the observations made by some of the persons who have read our Tracts.
M. J. observed, with much apparent thankfulness, “What a good thing it is that these little books are carried about; I wish I had had them sooner. Being able to read but little, I read the Tract
No. 4, The Great Assizethree times over, and thought I should have broken my heart over it. A neighbour called in, who read it to me and my husband. What a good thing it must be for the people, that these little books are left them to read."
J. H., on receiving the first Tract, manifested great indifference; but, after receiving a second, was anxious to converse with the distributer, and earnestly enquired what was the meaning of being born again ? Conviction seemed to fasten upon his mind, and he assured the distributer, that as his present employment occupied him on the Sabbath, he would look out for another situation, that he might have the Sabbath for himself, and attend public worship at the house of God.
W. R. and his wife were much affected by reading the Tract, No. 4. They mutually determined to seek the LORD. They came to chapel, were deeply convinced of sin, both found mercy, and are living together in the fear and love of God.
J. J. was convinced of sin by the Tract, No. 47, called The Swearer's Prayer. He felt the wrath of God hanging over him, and saw, that if he died in the state in which he was, he must be consigned to everlasting ruin. He went to a prayer-meeting in a friend's house, and in the anguish of his soul cried for mercy. The Lord for Christ's sake graciously heard him, and soon filled his heart with joy unspeakable. He arose from his knees, took several play-tickets from his pocket, and cast them into the fire in the presence of the people. He is steadily pursuing the path of piety.
There are instances of persons, who were accustomed to employ the Lord's-day in washing, drying clothes, scolding, and various acts of wickedness,-clothed in their dirty apparel,-attending no place of worship ; but who, through reading the Tracts, are now clean on the LORD's-day, and attend the ministry of the word. Such Tract-Societies, formed in every circuit, might be powerful auxiliaries in extending the work of God. They might be useful in breaking up new ground, by preparing the way for preaching the gospel ; and might prove highly advantageous on missionary stations. • Maidstone.
REVIEW The Rights of God and Cæsar, a Discourse on Matt. xxii. 15—21,
by Adam CLARKE, LL.D. F.A.S., &c. &c. pp. 32. 8vo. Divine PROVIDENCE ILLUSTRATED in the Ordination of Political Government, a Discourse on Rom. xiii. I, by David M-NICOLL. pp. 44. 8vo.
We connect these Discourses in our Review, because they are on the saine subject. The latter was preached on the death of his late Majesty, and ought to have been noticed and recommended by us at an earlier period. The former has recently been issued from the press.
To political sermons we are aware that many objections have been made; and a few words on the subject of the duty of a minister as to those questions which will be continually arising between the governed and their governors, in the agitations to