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Hundred and Nine Thousand Pounds, or about Two Thousand Pounds less than that of the preceding year; and more than Two Thousand Five Hundred Pounds less than the income. So that, the old debt accumulated during the years 1847 and 1848 will be happily reduced by the amount of nearly Two Thousand Five Hundred Pounds. These blessed results call for humble and devout thanksgivings to Almighty God, and for warm and grateful acknowledgments to the numerous and attached friends of this great cause, by wbose efforts they have been instrumentally accomplished. The strenuous continuance of those efforts, during the now current year, is most earnestly and affectionately requested, in the name of that Lord and Saviour “to whom our more than all we owe.” And we respectfully but urgently suggest, that these efforts for 1850 should be systematically commenced without delay. It is in various ways most impolitic and injurious to defer them to the later months of the year. In this case, the well-known proverb is eminently applicable, —“He gives”—practically—“twice, who gives promptly." The liabilities and expenditure of the Society begin when the year begins, and are constantly and successively accumulating. The income ought, as far as possible, to correspond with the same principle. The early payment and immediate remittance, through the usual channels, of the regular annual subscriptions is, in this view, particularly desirable. This subject would form one of the most legitimate and useful topics for the consideration of the next Quarterly or other Meetings of the several Local Auxiliary and Branch Committees.
To the Ministers and other excellent friends, who may be called to take part in the Local Anniversaries about to be held, a careful perusal of the Missionary Foreign Intelligence contained in this Number, pp. 438–447, as well as in recent former Numbers, will furnish, it is presumed, ample texts and topics for interesting and important statements and amplifications. We are persuaded, from long and extensive observation, that the general diffusion of Missionary information, in connexion with the earnest and constant inculcation of great Missionary principles, will most effectually serve our good and glorious
Let us all, in our own several departments, " thank God, take courage," and resume, in the spirit of prayer and piety, our allotted labours. “Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord shall find so DOING.”
DEPARTURE OF MISSIONARIES. On the 2d of March, Mr. George Douglas embarked at Southampton, in the “Medway," Captain Symons, for Bermuda; and Mr. John Wood, in the same vessel, for St. Vincent.
ARRIVALS. We have received the gratifying intelligence, that Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Hardey, Misses Drewett, Elliott, Harris, and Watson, and Mr. and Mrs. Little, have safely arrived at Madras.
LONDOX: PRINTED BY JAMES NICHOLS, HOXTON-SQUARE.
MEMOIR OF MR. JOHN AUSTIN,
BY THE REV. CHARLES CLAY. MR. JOHN AUSTIN was born at Holmes-Chapel, in Cheshire, in 1781. From early childhood he attended his parish church. During a few months he received instruction in the Sabbath-school connected with that place; and he subsequently applied himself with great diligence to the pursuit of entertaining and useful knowledge. At the age of eighteen be joined the army. In his new circumstances it was evident that he had derived great benefit from his early religious opportunities. His conduct was marked, in some good degree, by reverence for God and regard for the holy Sabbath, as well as by filial duty. He shunned the company of the profligate, and yet won their regard by an inoffensive and orderly deportment. To the forms of prayer which he had used from the time he was first able to read, he was strongly attached ; and he went with pleasure to church. But, notwithstanding the general esteem in which he was held at this time among his associates, the recollection of manifold deviations from the right way gave him sorrow in many subsequent years. The favour and confidence of those who knew him had served to screen him from various provocations; but he frequently alluded to one occasion, when (against their usual custom) some of the soldiers had once and again addressed him in taunting language, and he had wickedly uttered an oath. Having done this with a knowledge of its sinfulness, he was deeply wounded in spirit; and ever afterwards he carefully guarded against any repetition of the sin which planted a sting within him, and which never passed away from his memory to the day of his death.
There was something in the conduct of Mr. Austin, even before his conversion, strongly reproving to many professors of religion. But, when he held the lamp of Divine truth in his hand, he was astonished and alarmed by the discovery of fearful blemishes in his conduct and impurity in his thoughts. Now he found a depth of depravity existing in his own heart, which he had previously believed to have place in none but the most abandoned. The absence of spiritual life, the burden of a conscience at length aroused from its
VOL. VI.-FOURTII SERIES.
guilty sleep, the felt strengthlessness of a sinner exposed to the vengeance of eternal fire, and the fierce inward struggles against that
grace " which sought to “reign through righteousness,”—all served to show that in him dwelt "no good thing." The attention of his alarmed and trembling spirit was called to the unwelcome truth, that, unless totally renewed, he must be delivered over to the tormentor, to suffer in unquenchable fire. It was because he knew he was a sinner deserving eternal death, that he began earnestly to pray that God would mercifully stretch out His hand and save him from impending ruin. A multitude of neglected duties were brought to his knowledge, and threatened to appear as witnesses against him on the day of trial. He saw himself covered with stains of deepest crimson ; but by faith he plunged into the fountain that is open for sin and uncleanness. All the good actions for which he had been praised by men, did not constitute the ground of a single hope. His soul could find no refuge but in Christ; and he approached the Father in that availing name. He now saw Christ “the way, the truth, and the life;" the one foundation which God has laid in Zion. And, because he knew that, unaided by God, he could not run the race set before him, stand in the evil day, or avoid drawing back unto perdition, his first prayer for mercy was followed by habitual supplication for the strengthening and sanctifying grace of the Holy Ghost.
It was at Colchester, and in the twenty-third year of his age, that Mr. Austin began to know the things belonging to his peace. There, for the first time, he attended a Wesleyan-Methodist place of worship. An apparently trivial circumstance induced him to go. The important result may teach us, nevertheless, the duty and blessedness of “sowing beside all waters." A fellow-soldier, finding Austin reading in the barrack-room on a Sunday evening, invited him to chapel. He complied ; and, being favourably impressed, repeated his visit on the following Sabbath. On this latter occasion his soul was thoroughly awakened under the preaching of the Rev. Richard Waddy. On the third Sabbath evening Mr. Austin waited in vain for his companion, but was sufficiently in earnest to return the call he had first received. Finding his friend now indisposed to go, he dared to be singular, and went alone to worship with a people whom his comrades, thoughtless and ignorant, were apt enough to ridicule. It deserves mention that he attended chapel at a vacant hour, so that no military regulation was at all infringed.
An affecting reason may be assigned for the change in the man in whom Mr. Austin had hoped to find a Christian friend. This individual refused to accompany him the third time to the house of prayer, not because he disbelieved what he heard, but because he lived in unrighteousness. The voice of warning had indeed such an effect upon his mind, that he felt almost compelled either to yield bimself to God, or to keep away from the place in which bis conscience was aroused to testify against his evil deeds. With much of the truth he was surprisingly familiar ; and he was seldom unprepared to defend the doctrines which he could not bear to hear publicly