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brother Reed, whom I respect for his father's sake, as well as for his own—I say, I envy him the pleasure—I would not make his less, but I should like for myself to have enjoyed a similar treat, in witnessing what he witnessed there. I do rejoice and congratulate him on the pleasure of having met with others from our own country in the assembly that was holden in Paris. I retort upon his Majesty the Emperor. It was said, when certain visitors and delegates from Franco attended our recent exhibition, that the invasion of England had after all come off, and that his Majesty was obliged to the persons who had conducted it with so friendly a feeling, and with such good results. I say, we havo in this case, invaded France. Your Sunday schools are cohorts, destined every day to increase, not diminish; and I see in them for the throne of that empire a far better protection than was provided for Paris when Louis Philippe surrounded it with batteries and walls, and pointed his guns, measuring their range so that none should touch the Tuileries, but should sweep the city within a short reach of its gardens. Oh, yes; he, with all his warlike preparations, was obliged to flee. Let Louis Napoleon nourish his Sunday schools, for they will make him strong against the world. Equally pleased was I to notice in that report tho advance of your labours in Switzerland. I have always loved the thought of those regions,—yes, they are dear to mo, and I do not like a superficial reference to them or to France. I cannot forget that from the time of Ireneus, an associate of the apostle John, down to this very age, in the south of France and in Switzerland the great struggle for scriptural truth has advanced, first against original heathen hostilities, and then against popery. I cannot forget that through the bloody siege of Toulouse, the massacre of St Bartholomew's day, the mighty persecutions arising out of the crusades against the Albigenses, the struggle for scriptural truth has been steadily maintained, and Christian principlo has stood firm as those hoary Alps, defying all tempests and stemming all adversity. I seem to see tho great prophetic soul of Milton looking.for the fulfilment of his prediction, when he gazed upon the suffering people of those regions, and exclaimed in reference to the massacre of Piedmont,—
"Avenge, 0 Lord, thy slaughtered saint*, whose bones
The Talcs redoubled to the hills, and they
Shall I ask yon thus to reverence tho great principle I have so briefly defined, whilst these mighty struggles are advancing over these scenes of ancient heroism? But if you hesitate, we will walk right over tho Alps, and step down into the basin of the Po, and watch where at Turin and Milan the ancient heroes of our principles struggled against the early growth of popery. I rejoice to see that there the long-depressed spirit of a peasantry who have ever loved and laboured for the truth, is beginning to reassert itself; that Sunday schools are being established there, giving hope that tho old time of struggle for Protestantism may be restored, and the comfort and hope of the gospel be recnjoyed. Go on, my brethren, goon; I long to see you occupy those Alps, east and west, and north and south, from the Friulian range round to the Graianof France, making them the great bulwarks of your position, and then in columns rush right in across the Po and advance upon Florence, and still onward to Rome. Surround them with a bold assault, and with one heart, one soul, one spirit, one faith, persevere in the attack, until the red and rugged monster, popery, shall sink beneath the ocean of advancing light, and truth and glory."
The Rev. Benjamin Field was the third speaker. This highly esteemed Wesleyan Minister, will be remembered as having moved the vote of congratulation to the Foreign brethren at the closing Public Meeting of the Convention, in September last, and we were glad again to hear his voice. His address mainly consisted of affectionate and heart-stirring appeals addressed "to the teachers. The following is a specimen:—
"It seems to me, that the one thing that is needed in connection with our Sunday school enterprise at the present time, is intense earnestness. Wo have numbers—witness this hall; we have influence—witness this platform; we have organization—witness the operations of that establishment just opposite the Old Bailey. I say, we seem to have everything of that kind; but yet, do we not want some of that spirit of mighty zeal which is awakened at the cross of Christ, and is maintained by fervent and continued prayer? Oh, sir, if I see a Sunday school teacher crawling into the room some twenty minutes after the service has begun; if I see him sit down, half asleep, in his class, yawning in the presence of his dozen children—not even knowing where the lesson for the time is to be found—my feeling is, and I do not think myself unmerciful in indulging in it, that I wish the superintendent and secretary and teachers of that school would rise as one man and scout him out of the room. Why, with a work like yours, and responsibilities like yours, and prospects of success like yours, every heart should be kindled, and there should be found in every one of us a burning zeal for souls. Do you want an example? Let me point you to a poor deluded Jesuit, a man who consecrated the vigour of his understanding, and the fire of his affections, and the riches of his intellect, to what he thought would be the conversion of India to Christ. Said Zavier, when they were telling him of the difficulties of the task, and beseeching him with the eloquence of tears to care for his safety and his life, 'I dare to tell you that, whatever torments and whatever death they can prepare for me, I am ready to endure that, and a thousand times more, for the salvation of a single soul.' But you have another example: it is that of a man who, just twelve months ago to-day, was lying on the pillow of his last couch, in Southern Africa, surrounded by his weeping friends. Looking up with his sunken eye, and referring to the work in which the energies of a long life had been engaged, he said, 'Oh, glorious work j if I had ten thousand lives, and ten thousand years for each, I would devote them all to the cause of God!' Sunday school teachers, there is an example for you; and I do implore you, by everything that is precious in the souls of your dear children—by all that is tender in the Redeemer's love—by all that is glorious in that heaven which you hope to share, never go to your class in the Sunday school without bowing at tho mercy-seat, and asking the blessed Jesus for some of His own love. Oh, that is what we want—the baptism of the Holy Ghost, inflaming a fire which shall burn within us with a quenchless ardour, till the whole of our children shall be converted to Jesus and safely folded within the Christian church. Mr. Chairman and Christian friends, the time is short, and eternity is near, and, for myself, I have formed this resolution. I met, some time ago, in one of our popular periodicals, with a motto, which it was said that a Christian female servant had adopted as the motto of her life, and I have adopted it as the motto of mine,— 'I must be useful.' In every sermon which I preach, in every address which I deliver, in every journey which I take, in every meeting which I conduct, I must bo useful. And oh, I wish it were possible for me just to collect you all together, that we might sign our names, each one of us, as in the presence of God, to the adoption of that glorious motto. Come, Sunday school teachers, Bhall it not be this? Shall we write it up in our dwellings? Shall we get it written in our workshops? Shall we ask the Eternal God to write it upon the fleshly tables of our hearts ?—' I must he useful.' Cannot you say that, though my circumstances are low, though my talents are few, though my sphere of usefulness is small—I must be useful. Let the flesh cry out never so loudly let my friends oppose never so warmly, let Satan tempt never so fiercely—I must be useful. Though I work for my bread, though my pockets are empty, though my name is unknown—I must be useful. I was born to be useful; I was redeemed to be useful; I was converted to be useful, and, I must he useful. I will take the Lord Jesus for my copy—He who went about doing good,—and the day iu which some good has not been done or attempted to be done by me, shall be a day mourned over, wept over, and this black sentence written down against it in the calendar of my life,—11 have lost a day.' So help me God! and the vow that I make on earth, let it be ratified In heaven."
The Rev. J. P. Chown, began bis speecb by referring humorously to the fact that the tune fixed to the hymn sung at the opening of the meeting was "Bradford," the name of the town where he resided.
"I felt at once considerably relieved in my mind, and knew that my dear old northern town would not be unworthily represented in this meeting. I saw that she would be all right among the tunes, however she might stand among the speeches, and that however it might be with the speaking of her son, the singing of her four or five thousand friends would be sure to be a success. And may I be permitted, Mr. Chairman, to say how sincerely I rejoice in thi9 part of the plan of the directors, that makes music so important a part of the proceedings, and gives us a glorious public meeting, because a good part of it is actually done by the public themselves, the only difference being that your part of it is poetry set to music, while that of the speakers has to be such plain talk and common prose as we may be enabled to set before you. And I like to thiuk that your Committee) Mr. Chairman, are willing that we should learn from this matter the importance they attach to music in conducting Sunday school operations generally—a matter whose importance, when rightly looked at, it would be difficult to over-estimate. Our Saviour tells us that the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light; and I am not sure that this matter of music is not an illustration of it. Millions are lured from virtue into the paths of sin, and down to everlasting ruin, and especially among the young, by music; and why should not we use the same power to
draw them upward, and lead them to heaven, whose noblest spirit is one of song, and whose most glorious exercise is thanksgiving and praise? I have read in the work of an old writer, that in time past music had been used to cure diseases. I do not know how far a prescription left by a musical man—I say it with all respect for the profession—which directed 'four bars of two-four time, with instrumental accompaniment, to be administered every three hours,' would answer in the place of the usual 'tablespoonful every hour;1 but this I do know, that music has a wonderful power over the mind and body too, and I believe there are some very excellent friends of my acquaintance, and in whose fellowship 1 rejoice, who would not need nearly as much medicine as they do in their bodies if they had a little more music in their souls."
In reference to the importance of the work committed to the teacher, Mr. Chown observed :—
"And then there seems to come another voice, which whispers to one's soul from out this vast assembly, and shows again the great importance of this work, and it seems to say, 'Remember those amongst whom wo are working, and on whom our power is employed.' And so I do. I know that you seek to influence the young, to lay hold of the tree of the next generation while it is but a sapling, and train it so that it may grow to be as the tree of life, whose fruit shall be good for all, and the very leaves of which shall be for the healing of the nations. You labour among those for whom Satan is waiting and watching, casting his lures before their eyes, and his entanglements around their feet— those who will in all probability be the possession in years to come of those who have them now; for those who can keep the young are generally those who will have the middle-aged and the old. You have committed to your charge those who are the hope of the world and the church too. It is said of an old Roman general, that on a great procession day in Rome he stood amongst the multitudes, and as the aged passed by with their robes wrapped round them, he heard their about, * We have been brave!' and the old man sighed, and said, 'When they can no longer go to battle, who will take care of the country?' Then there came the young men, proud and stalwart, and they shouted, ' We are bravo!' and again the old man sighed, and said,' Alas! these, too, will soon be gone, and who will take care of the country then!' After awhile it was said,' Here como the children.' The old man leaned over his staff, and listened to catch their about; and at last he caught it as it was wafted on the breeze, and as their clear loud voices rung out, it was in the cry, 'We will be brave 1' And then the old man's heart leaped up within him, and the fire flashed from his eye, as he said, 1 It is enough,—my country is safe.'"
It is unnecessary to add any comments. The extracts thus given, will serve to recall to those of our readers who were present at the meeting, the impressions then made on their minds; and they will enable those who were not so favoured, to share to some extent in the pleasure and profit which it so largely yielded
Missions In Western Polynesia: being Historical Sketches of those Missions, from their commencement in 1839, to the present time. By A. IF. Murray, Twenty-five years a Missionary in Polynesia in connexion Kith the London Missionary Society. London: John Snow. pp. 489.
This handsomely printed and illustrated volume is a fitting companion to the " Nineteen Years in Polynesia," of the Rev. Dr. Turner, reviewed in our volume for 1801, page 264. The works both relate to the same field of labour, and embrace, to a great extent, the same period of time, and yet they differ considerably in their character. Dr. Turner's narrative referred more especially to the Mission on Tanna, an island of the New Hebrides Group, aud to Samoa, the native name of the group of volcanic islands in Central Polynesia, commonly known as the " Navigators," where the labours of the London Missionary Society have been so greatly blessed, and from which Gospel truth has been spread to so great an extent through the islands of these southern seas. But the great interest of Dr. Turner's work consisted in the large information it conveyed as to the manna's, customs, and mythology of the native tribes of Polynesia, and which furnished many interesting Scripture illustrations. Some of these have found a place in our pages, and have no doubt been read with interest.
Mr. Murray's work is devoted to a somewhat full detail of the progress of the Gospel in Western Polynesia, especially in the group of islands called the New Hebrides, extending about 400 miles N.N.W., and S.S.E., discovered by Quiros in 1606; visited by Bougainville in 1768, but only fully explored by Cook in 1774. The group comprises thirty inhabited islands, two of which are about 200 miles in circumference.
In contemplating the results of missionary labour in these islands, we are first struck with the savage character of the inhabitants, of which this volume affords many examples, and which, revolting as they are to our feelings, ought to be known, in order that due honour may be done to the men and women who, under the influence of love to the Saviour, undertook the perilous service of mailing known the Gospel, and that devout thankfulness may ascend to Him who has made their labours and self-sacrifice so productive of good.
Thus in the island of Aniteum,—
"The horrid practice of strangling is still carried on to a fearful extent There have been much sickness, and several deaths among the natives of late; and many poor women have fallen a sacrifice to a most revolting and barbarous superstition. In one case threo women were strangled on the occasion of one man's death. Often the first intimation of a man's illness, is the information of his death, and that of his wife. A few mornings ago, as we sat at breakfast, a dead body slung upon a long_ pole, and borne by a number of people, was carried past our door. In a few minutes another body, carried in a similar manner, made its appearance. These were the bodies of a man and his wife: the former having died, and the latter having been strangled. They had been brought from tno interior of the island by an inland tribe to be buried in the sea.—pp. 68, 69.