Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

70 COPIED FROM

AMERICAN CHURCH MISSIONARY REGISTER.'

opening they saw the figure of a little girl, with a tiny light in her hand; and behind her was the soft light of the inside of a cottage room, with a bright fire on the hearth. And while they looked on with wonder and astonishment, the little girl spoke to them, and said, “Here's a light! Here's a light to light your lantern with. I've heard all you've been saying, and I know about the message you are carrying. Make haste and light your lantern, and hurry on through the wood.”

This was little Paroula. She had sat still and listened in the cottage, till she could keep still no longer. Then she had sprung from her seat, and thrown open the cottage door, and so had appeared suddenly in the midst of the darkness, with the light in her hand, to the men who had lost their way. And you can easily imagine how glad the men were, how eagerly they came up to the cottage door and lighted their lantern again, and looked at the map, and the compass, and the marks on the trees, and so found out the right road.

You will understand from what has been said that there were some men in an adjoining town who had been condemned to death, and who were to be executed the next morning. And the men who had lost their way in the wood were messengers carrying a pardon from the king, to save the lives of the condemned men.

Then, with their lantern lighted, and feeling sure of the way, they pushed on in their journey. And on their way back through the wood they stopped at this cottage again. They told the old grandmother that they had reached the city to which they had been sent in good time. They had delivered the king's pardon, and so had saved the lives of the poor men who were condemned to death. “But,” said they, “we never should have been able to do this if we had not found the right road; and we never should have done this but for the help your granddaughter gave us, when she brought us the light we needed so much.

Here we see how much good was done by so little a thing as a rushlight; and there are several very nice Missionary lessons taught us by

this story.

In the first place, we have a good illustration here of the condition of the heathen. It is just like that of those prisoners. They were condemned to death; and so are the heathen. — “all under sin," and "children of wrath,” are the words in which the Bible represents the condition of all people till they learn to know and love Jesus.

And then there was a pardon for those prisoners, but they did not know of it. And in this respect the heathen are just like them. Jesus has died for them, and purchased a pardon; but they have never heard of His death, or of the pardon which He has purchased.

In the second place, we have a good illustration of the work that Missionaries have to do.

They are like the king's messengers spoken of in this story. A messenger is one sent; and this is just the definition of a Missionary. Those messengers were sent by the king to carry a pardon to men who were under condemnation. And this is exactly the Missionary's work.

It was necessary for those messengers to make haste, or the prisoners might be put to death before the pardon came. And so it is with the

MARGATE MISSIONARY SIHP.

71

Remember the

Missionary. “ The king's business requires haste." words of the hymn

" The heathen perish ; day by day

Thousands on thousands pass away.
O Christians! to their rescue fly:
Preach Jesus to them ere they die.”

It is good

MARGATE MISSIONARY SHIP. We have been favoured with an interesting account of the doings of our energetic friends at Margate in behalf of the great Missionary cause. The Rev. C. A. Gollmer, whose hand was on the African Missionary plough for twenty years, has kindly furnished us with the following details, which we place before our readers, that, as they peruse them, they may prove the truth of an apt saying, to which Mr. Gollmer refers“Draw near the fire and you will get warm.” Let us do so. in these days, when, because iniquity abounds, the love of mauy waxes cold, to draw near to the encouraging influence of a good example, and, as men feel its warmth, be stirred up to go and do likewise.

“This Missionary fire," writes Mr. Gollmer, “ has been burning in our south-eastern corner of the island for the last three years. The readings of the thermometer during these several years have been, 40, 100 and 146 degrees, and the golden ashes which we have raked together have realized no less than 2861." Truly a most handsome addition to the funds of the Society. May their example kindle a flame of Missionary love in all our hearts !

This special effort appears, from the information which we have received, to have originated with the Rev. H. Woods Tindall, who, remembering “how great a fuel a little fire kindleth," determined, with God's help, to give a healthy impulse to the interest in the Missionary cause, and to send a larger contribution from Margate to the Society's funds. Other friends were stirred up to a like resolve, and came forward to help in the work. Two pine trees, the largest standing seventeen feet high, were presented by a Kentish neighbour, which soon began to bend beneath the weight of various articles collected by Mrs. Tindall and others who were interested in the undertaking. On the 16th of February 1866. the trees were planted in the Assembly Rooms at Margate, and took kindly to the soil, for although their roots had been allowed but a short time to strike into the ground, a yield of 401. testified to their healthy and vigorous condition. Such was the result of the first year's harvest."

But, as Mr. Gollmer reminds us, there is no going without a growing. The effort increased. More friends came forward, and on February 8th, 1867, the trees were once more visited by about 700 persons, mostly juveniles, all eager to witness the success of this interesting experiment in the culture of trees; an instructive address upon Scripture trees being given by the Vicar, the Rev. Canon Bateman. In the evening the large tree was illuminated with Chinese lanterns, and the sale was briskly carried on until nine o'clock.

Now the produce of the preceding year having been so plentiful, we

72

MARGATE MISSIONARY SHIP.

could hardly have been surprised if the yield had somewhat fallen off, So far from this, it was more than doubled the sum realized, being 1001.

Encouraged by this success, our Margate friends became yet more enterprising. Pine trees were found to grow far too slowly to keep pace. with growing interest in the Missionary cause; and in the third year they determined to launch a ship upon the wide waters of Christian sympathy.

Now, as Mr. Gollmer remarks, Missionary ships require more time for loading than ordinary vessels, and, accordingly, five months' notice was given to friends far and wide, with a request that they would send a valuable contribution to the cargo. The invitation met with a ready response. In due time, bales, boxes and parcels arrived from all parts of England, containing a varied assortment of goods. A bill was issued by Mr. Tindall, the originator of Missionary ships, in which the following important announcement was made to the expectant public

“The Missionary ship is signalled to arrive (D.v.) at the assembly rooms on Thursday, February 6th, 1868, when all who wish her a safe entry into port, and a quick discharge, are requested to meet and welcome her. After the proceedings have been opened, the ship will commence to unload her varied and well-selected freight, valued at nearly 1501., and will continue to discharge cargo to all purchasers until five o'clock : at seven o'clock she will be illuminated from stem to stern, to enable her to clear out all goods until nine o'clock.”

Let us enter the large hall on the morning of the 6th. A bright sun seems to shine its approval upon the proceedings of the day. The Missionary ship, a pleasure-boat twenty feet long, which has been turned into a three-masted, full-rigged ship by the help, gratuitously given, of Margate sailors, stands upon the floor of the Assembly Room, laden with a valuable cargo.

Some 600 juveniles and about 200 adults have assembled to see the launch at twelve o'clock; the Rev. Canon Bateman takes the chair, and after a hymn and prayer, the Rev. Henry Johnson, an African clergyman, delivers an interesting address on the Society's work at Sierra Leone, quaintly observing that he presents himself before his hearers as a receipt for their contributions to the Missionary cause. At the conclusion of the address, a hymn, “The Gospel Ship,” is sung, and the ship begins to unload. At seven o'clock it was illuminated tastefully by Chinese lamps, and had discharged its cargo by nine P.M., the amount realized for the benefit of the Church Missionary Society being 1461., making a total of 2861. in the course of three years.

We have thought it well to present these facts to our readers, as well to stir up their zeal, as also in some measure to guide those who

may feel disposed to embark upon a similar Missionary speculation.

There is a Greek proverb, “The beginning is the half of the whole.” This is very true. Let us set our shoulders to the wheel. Once set it going, and it is surprising how smoothly it will roll along. Let us only make a beginning, remembering that “what is well begun is half done.”

[ocr errors]

GOOD NEWS FROM CHINA. CHINESE scenery is in some parts exceedingly grand and beautiful. The high ranges of mountains, the rivers which force their way through ravines and valleys, gathering contributions as they flow

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

74

GOOD NEWS FROM CHINA.

onwards, until at length, emerging into the plain country, they become a broad stream, present beautiful contrasts, and lead the mind onwards to encouraging expectations, for surely that God of love who has impressed upon the land the stamp of His beauty will not forget the people.

Nor has he done so. The feet of our Missionaries are beautiful on these mountains as they go forth publishing peace, and saying to the cities of China, Behold your God. Not only on the sea-coast, but in the interior, they go forth sowing beside all waters. In native boats along the stream of broad rivers, they penetrate to reniotę districts and cities, where a European never has been seen before, and there preach Christ.

And God is blessing his work. Eyes that have long been closed in heathen darkness, open to the light, and men and women of all ages, convinced of their sin, come to Jesus for salvation.

Some instances of this blessed work which is gladdening the hearts of our Missionaries in far off China, may be introduced into our pages. They are taken from the journals of our Missionary, the Rev. J. R. Wolfe, of Fuh-chau, and will, we doubt not, cause the hearts of those, who had not previously heard of these things, to lift up their hearts in gratitude to God.

I visited Ming-ang-teng for the first time three years ago : I was then hooted and laughed at. There was not a Christian there at that time, nor one who knew any thing of Jesus Christ. Now, when I am weak and sick, from the very place, and from among this very people, comes a message of affectionate sympathy, and an assurance that continued prayer is offered on my behalf at the throne of grace by a goodly number of, I believe and hope, earnest and sincere brethren and sisters in Christ. “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me praise and bless His holy name ! Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give praise.” The first of these women who believed, and who was the means which God employed in bringing the rest to a knowledge of His salvation, is over sixty years of age. Before her conversion to Christianity, she belonged to the sect of vegetarians in connexion with Buddhism. A great many women joined this sect, and are supposed to practise with greater preciseness the religion of Buddha than the ordinary adherents of that form of idolatry. Indeed the greater proportion of this confraternity is composed of the female sex, and oftentimes show a zeal, and a devotedness worthy of a better cause. This woman first heard the truth in our little chapel, into which she was attracted one day as she passed by, seeing a large crowd about the door listening to the earnest exhortations of the catechist Ling-cheng-sing (called Timothy by the English chaplain). She sat and listened for a long time. God opened her heart to attend unto the things which were spoken by Sing, and she returned home determined to know more of the strange but joyful tidings which she had heard that day for the first time. She spoke to her friends of Jesus, of His death, of His power to save sinners, and of all that she heard from the catechist. These also were interested, and all came to the chapel

« AnteriorContinuar »