« AnteriorContinuar »
sume the ungodly fires of sectarian bit. the best interests of that people; and terness and jealousy, and we shall have to try at least for once fairly whether but this one rivalry of love, who shall there could not be the introduction of be most zealous in the cause of God's an European population, and the grasalvation and the world's peace.
dual amendment of the native populaThe Rev. S. D. WADDY, of Shef- tion, without that destruction to which field, after some preliminary observations, I have adverted, and which we must said, -Sir, it seems to bave been received, all deplore. I am inclined to think, in although it is a most fearful conclusion, reference to the heathen world, that that the aboriginal population of these there is one Scripture consideration distant countries must of necessity fade which we frequently quote, but the force away before the European. There is no of which we do not admit, or else lose question that the numerous causes of sight of. The heathen world is looked difference which arise between the set- upon as a sort of uninclosed and uncultitlers in distant lands and the inhabitants vated common, on which every man is of those countries, must, except under at liberty to mark out a portion, which very powerful control, sooner or later he may take to himself, and there carry lead to war. In war the advantage is out his own principles and institutions ; always found on the side of civilization; or any number of men, forming themits arms, its skill, its perseverance. selves into a company, may take these Whatever may have been, in the first unreclaimed and waste lands from their instance, the real success of the invaded uninstructed population, appropriate against the invaders, in the end the set- them to themselves, to promote their tlers bave gained the ascendancy, and pecuniary interests. All these views, the population has faded away before representing the heathen world as open, them. The New Zealanders have offered as in the market, to be bought up by any no exception to this hitherto fearful state speculator, leave out altogether the great of things ; although it did appear, from scriptural truth,—that the heathen world the organized opposition that was made, is not a saleable, not a disposable comthat they were not likely so speedily to modity ; that it forms a great part in the become victims to European encroach- covenant under which we dwell,—the ments as the natives of some other colo. promise that Jesus shall have the Heanies. I am quite confident, in my own then for his inheritance, and the utter. mind, that no number of examples, most parts of the earth for his possesarising from the history of past times, sion; and all schemes not based on the in which such depopulations have taken advancement of His glory, must sooner place, will justify a Christian assembly, or later fail.
It is not for us to say or Christian men, in believing that it is through what changes of war or comthe intention of the Most High, that merce, or what philanthropic systems, whole races of the human family should other countries may have to pass before be swept away, before the approach of a they come to their ultimate destination ; more civilized people. We cannot for a but to that ultimate destination they moment entertain the belief, and must must come. Christ has suffered for look on the results which have attended them, and to him their knees shall bow, the colonization of these countries, as and their tongues shall confess. I have arising, not from some great necessity, no doubt that, if this principle were but from some fearful want of a proper recognised, if all the attempts made in understanding as to the mode in which reference to these barbarous portions of such colonization should have been com- the world were made upon a Christian menced and continued. I most heartily basis, if we were to look upon Christi. participate in the expression of thanks anity not as an advantage secondarily to which have already been proposed by be introduced,—something wbich comthe mover of the Resolution; and which merce might bring in her train, somewill, no doubt, be conveyed to the dis- thing which probably may be sown in tinguished individual to whom we feel the country after the ravages of war indebted for his communication on the have subsided,—if we were to look on matter in question. The treaty made in Christianity as the great basis, (and that 1840, which was designed to secure to is the great object of Missionary Soci. the New Zealanders the possession of eties and of their success, seeking first their own land, while it gave up the the kingdom of God, and allowing other dominion of the island to the crown of things to be added,) instead of seeking this country, was a treaty which, in the commercial advaritages, and leaving maintenance of it, was likely to promote Christianity to be brought in at a remote period as a contingency doubtful and ligations under which we are labouring; uncertain, we should see that these por- and I feel, Sir, before we can entertain tions of the world might be evangelized, the question, whether we have or not and might be civilized ; and that there done a fair proportion of this great work, did not exist the fearful necessity of ex- we must go further than we have done. terminating the inhabitants to make Let us aim, at all events, to make up the room for & Christian population. I contributions in Great Britain forthwith heartily concur in the sentiment of the to the sum of £100,000 ; and then, perResolution, which I have no doubt will haps, we may look round and consider be passed unanimously. In making one how much farther it is necessary to go, or two further observations, I would beg to fulfil our duty and quiet our conto direct your attention to the Report. sciences on this important matter. But I must say, that I concur mainly in the if a hasty consideration of the Report is observations made by my excellent friend calculated to give an exaggerated view of and brother, (Mr. Arthur,) as to the un- your contributions, I do not think it can desireableness of debt; and although I present to us an adequate idea of the would not sound a note of discord, and amount of success with which it has express despondency where all appears pleased God to bless the labours of the to be the rejoicing of cheerful antici. Society. The Report confines itself to pation, yet I think it quite possible we facts; those things which can be put may imagine we are doing more in the down as statistics, and presented in a way of contributions than we really are. palpable and tangible form. Your ReI do not suppose the items to which I
port can present very little of the prorefer have escaped your observation, but gress of sentiment and feeling. It can they have perhaps escaped serious consi- report any distinct case of the abandonderation. It has been announced, that ment of idolatry, but it cannot report the the contributions during the past year process by which that abandonment has amount to £103,600. Now I have a been preceded. With respect to India, strong conviction that, although we have the nature and constitution of society is heard the amount contributed for the such, that a very extensive under-current past year, we have not given sufficient must be moving and moving long before attention to that statement.
there shall be any extensive manifestalabouring under the delusion, that the tion on the surface. There must be a Wesleyan-Methodist churches of Great very wide-spread system of dissatisfacBritain have, during the past year, con- tion with things matured for centuries, tributed £103,600 towards the conver- before any extensive departure from sion of the heathen world. If such be the old system is adopted. If, in days your impression, it is an erroneous one ; of old, many were Christ's disciples, and the error is likely to exert a para- “ but secretly, for fear of the Jews,” so lyzing influence on your exertions during in our country, and especially in others the ensuing year. If we really had where there is not the religious freedom raised that amount, considering our num- and liberty which we possess, there will bers, considering the many things we be many secret disciples exerting more have to do, considering the claims of our or less of influence. I would not prelocal charities, considering the special tend to defend that secrecy, or say that and peculiar claims for the support of they ought not to come forth at all risks your own Ministers and the erection of and proclaim themselves believers in the your chapels and schools,—if we really Lord Jesus ; but, without presuming to had raised £103,600, there might be judge them in this matter, without some ground to imagine that we had knowing the precise circumstances in raised a tolerably fair proportion for one which they are placed, or how much object. But we have not raised that they actually have endured for the sake money. If you deduct the amount con- of Christ, there must be a very wide tributed by foreign Stations ; if you con- and extensive diffusion of the truth as sider the amount under the head “Mis. it is in Jesus, before they could make cellaneous," including
which any great external manifestation. We have been returned, having been ad- are too apt, in turning our attention vanced on loan in other times, you will to the success of Missionary operations, find the amount contributed is but to confine that attention to mere details. £82,000 by the Methodist churches of We must have them. They cannot be Great Britain. This sum, I am confi- prepared with too much care, or predent, is not equal to the claims and sented with too much accuracy. I should necessities of the institution, nor the ob- protest against any interpretation of the
remark I am now making, which would throw into this movement the elements leave the impression that I disregard the of mischief and misery? Will there positive success of our Missions in any not be the most constant attempt to bring department. I dare not speak slight that about which is erroneous and deingly of the salvation of a single soul. Structive, when there is a movement in Our great object is to save the souls of which the saving of man is designed, by men; and where one is saved the end is casting down all the barriers in the way so far accomplished. And there have of the progress of truth? Whatever now passed before us, into the skies, may be the immediate aspect of parhundreds and thousands of those who ticular countries of Europe, he who behave been brought to God through the lieves in the prophecies and declarations instrumentality of our Missions; and the of God, and he who has attempted to see, success in their case is abundantly suffi. in a religious light, the bearing of these cient to warrant all you have given and things on the great religious institutions done. While I would impress upon you of the world, must see the hand of God the importance of details of positive in them, especially in the removal and and palpable success, I would neverthe- exclusion of Popery. There can be no less say, that the great success of Mis- doubt that the vial of indignation is sionary operations should be looked at poured out upon Popery : whatever other as bearing on the whole Missionary result there has been, one is the upscheme,-the great purpose of Jesus rooting of Popery, and the destruction Christ in bringing the world to himself. of its power. Who could have antici. The limit of our existence on earth is con- pated so glorious a thing as the banishfined. The longer we live, and the more ment of the Jesuits even from Rome seriously our minds become impressed itself ?-banished from Rome, and held with the importance of our duties, the up to the universal infamy of all nations, more we are likely to be brought under by an advocate of their own, for in nó the influence of Missionary zeal. The other light can I understand the ex. whole Christian work is not committed pressions used by Lord Beaumont the to this generation, nor to any distinct other night in the House of Lords. He church. It is the work of the world's says there are but two nations, Turkey age, it is the work of the world's history, and England, in which the Jesuits can it is the great work which Jesus Christ find refuge ; and that we are not to came to perform. Only one single scene judge of the Jesuits in England by of the great drama, it may be, is that in the enormities they have committed in which we are permitted to appear and other countries. It amounts to this, play our parts; and we must pass away, that the Jesuits have been expelled from and give the work, perhaps in a different all other countries for their enormities, form, to those who, in their generation, and that we are to attribute it to Enga and with the obligations under which land being England, and not to themthey are laid, shall carry it on to a selves, that they are not as bad here as greater extent, and with greater success. anywhere else. I concur in the remark, The question with us is, Are we, in our that England is regarded as a place of age, considering the work as it exists, refuge and protection, and in the expresendeavouring all we can to accomplish sion of confidence that it will remain so. the purpose God has placed in our hands, It is, however, a different thing to open and to do that part of the great work a door for the protection of the houseless which has been assigned to us ? Pro- wanderer, and to allow him to come here phecy has predicted its triumphs, and and plant his institutions on our soil. history has recorded some of them. I I regard the coming of the Jesuits with was delighted with the remark of my great jealousy, and feel that they ought friend, (Mr. Arthur,) that there seems to be subject to great watchfulness and to be a general impression on the minds Whilst on this subject, I will just of the men of France, that there is an make one remark with reference to overruling power, and that God has to Popery. I think we are much to blame do with these things. What is now in exaggerating their successes, and depassing is a mere instrument in the hand preciating our own. I confess my own of God, who is overruling and guiding mind has been considerably hurt, when and regulating all things according to I have seen in the religious newspapers his will. It is not necessary that we of the country such frequent and detailed should defend everything, and say every- accounts of conversions to Popery. It thing is right. Is it possible, that the has been trumpeted forth as a matter of great foe of God shall not attempt to some importance, when some romantic
and poetical young persons have turned days, and then very rarely, and the over to the Church of Rome; and the numbers who do attend of the other six Christian church has been called on to are exceedingly small : they are infidels deplore another defection, the defection already. It is not the abandonment of of persons who are of no consequence to Popery that makes them infidels, but it any body but themselves, and whose ex- is the taking away an external and ample no man in his senses would fol. formal religion, which has been imposed low. We hear nothing of the progress upon them by political restraint and of Romanism in Papal countries ; but conventional usage ; and when you take we hear of entire villages there turning away that veil, you merely expose to the from Popery to Protestantism. The world what they previously were, and converts to Protestantism from Popery what had previously been hidden from are a hundred, if not a thousand, to one, your view. There may be, however, a as compared with converts from Protest- much longer time required for the buildantism to Popery. There are a few in ing up and establishment of a right our own country, here and there ; but faith, ihan for the destruction of a wrong look at the Continent at this time, one. One is speedily and easily done. They are turning, in almost uncounted Men feel the oppression of the tyranny numbers, from the errors and supersti- under which they are labouring ; and tions of Popery. I would leave all the when the opportunity is presented to successes of Popery to be chronicled in them, with one mighty heave they cast the “ Tablet " among its congenial trash; the tyranny from their shoulders. Who but let not the religious press of this does not see, that you must give some country give a temporary dignity to the time for the adoption of right principles, names of individuals who were destined and the embracing of a true and correct by Providence never to escape from ob. faith? And even if it were the case, scurity. I also wish to say, that I can- which it is not, that infidelity must of not exactly concur in the opinion which necessity succeed, it would only for a appears to be pretty generally received, time, and that for a very short time, that the abandonment of Popery, even succeed the abandonment of Popery by in the Swiss cantons, and other parts of those who have been led astray by it. the south of Europe, is of necessity pro- They would embrace the truth ; one ductive of infidelity. That is the no- truth after another would flash on their tion,-a notion which is by no means understandings ; and they would rise up warranted by the mere fact, that you in the glorious liberty “wherewith find infidelity where previously Popery Christ makes his people free.” It is to existed. There is a great fallacy in this. my mind a great consolation, in conLet any man look at this time at Italy; templating the present state of Germany let him go to the very city of Rome; I and other countries,,I have a convicsay nothing whatever at this moment of tion on my own mind, which to me is the Swiss cantons; but I go where cheering and satisfactory,—that men Popery exists in all its pride, and pomp, will, by and by, lay aside their heresies, and power. If Popery were to be de- as they have laid aside their great and stroyed in Rome to-day, you would have leading errors; that truth will supersede a city of infidels ! Why? Because falsehood; and that they will be brought, the men have been infidels for the last as Luther was in his day brought, to the century. Go through their churches, acknowledgment of the truth as it is in you do not find a man in their congrega- Jesus. tions, except on some of their festival
We are reluctantly compelled to conclude our report of this most interesting and influential Meeting. The remaining Resolutions were severally proposed and supported by the Rev. John Jaffray, Secretary of the Missionary Board of the Free Church of Scotland ; Revs. Thomas Waugh, Robert Young, Thomas Jackson, John Scott, the President of the Conference, John Nelson, and John Martin ; also Samuel Ilill Smith, Peter Rothwell, and Thomas Farmer, Esqrs.
LONDON: PRINTED BY JAMES NICHOLS, HOXTON SQUARE.