« FöregåendeFortsätt »
his name, for the use of the church, which was speedily filled to overflowing. The church increased rapidly, till at one time it numbered seventy members. A flourishing Sabbath-school was established, and various useful societies formed. Mr. Pryce's labours were meanwhile incessant. His visits among the people occupied most of his daily hours, and various classes and meetings his evenings during the week, while his stated Sabbath services increased from two to three each day. For a year and a half, he continued his exertions with the most untiring zeal, and with various success. Occupying, as he did, so novel and trying a position, it will hardly be wondered at, that he had to encounter many difficulties, which, by one of his naturally keen sensibilities, were all the more acutely felt; or if he were found to commit some mistakes, which none more deeply lamented than himself. But under all his trials—and they were sometimes severe—he was sustained by the consciousness of being animated by a supreme regard to the glory of God and the good of man, and consoled with the assurance that he had not been left to labour altogether in vain. How far the expectations raised by the first flush of prosperity were realized, or how far they were blasted by subsequent occurrences, it is no part of our present purpose to relate. Borne down at length by the weight of grief and exertion, added to the pressure of disease, Mr. Pryce's labours, when just on the point of obtaining regular ordination to the pastoral office, were finally arrested by an illness from which he was destined never to recover. To one of Mr. Pryce's ardent temperament, it might seem no small trial to be called to undergo a lingering and lengthened illness. But, by the strength of Divine grace, the virtues of meekness and resignation now rivalled, with their milder lustre, those bolder qualities which had marked his active life; or, whatever signs of impatience he might occasionally betray in the earlier stages of his sufferings, were, long before the close, subdued to the most tender acquiescence. “He was happier," writes one who had the best reason to know, “under his two years of unspeakable suffering, than I had known him for a length of time." His ruling passion was still strong, and he would say, “How kind to lay me aside without depriving me of the desire to work! I never tired of it. Should He give me strength, I would travel the length and breadth of the land to proclaim the love of Jesus.” Though his sufferings throughout were very great, he never lost either his cheerfulness or his thankfulness, often repeating a verse or two of Watts's most lively hymns, and expressing his gratitude for the meanest comfort. His spirit of devotion
found, indeed, food in everything-whether in poring over the Bible, for which his love, always great, was now stronger than ever, or in regaling himself, during his occasional drives, with the beauties of nature, of which he had been always an ardent admirer. “They seem to bloom more fully, and smell more fragrantly,” would he say of the flowers in his garden, “just for my enjoyment; they are but an emblem of the flowers that never fade!” He had always enjoyed remarkably clear and simple views of the way of salvation, through the righteousness of Christ. This had been the constant theme of his preaching, and it was now the source of his abounding peace. More than once he said, “My salvation is sealed in oaths, and promises, and blood.” And he would express his confidence in the beautiful lines:— “Lord, I believe thou hast prepared, Unworthy though I be— For me a blood-bought, free reward, A golden harp for me.” It would be interesting to know with what feelings he now looked back, from the bed of death, upon his course in Berwick, and the trials he had met with. Referring once to the past, he said, “Well, I am at peace with all who have mistaken me, and been unkind at any time through my life, and especially during my Christian course. Now, in the near view of eternity, I can still say, my motives were good; and when giving offence to my fellow-creatures, I was aiming at the glory of God. I am bound to believe the same of them. I am at peace with all. May the Lord teach me to forget !” Feeling himself sinking fast, he desired that a few lines might be written to one of his valued Christian friends in Manchester, just to say, “he would soon be before the throne, free from sin, pain, and sorrow;” and entreating her prayers for patience to endure unto the end, he requested her to convey the message to other friends, as his last. He was not lest without the solace of some tried and valued friends nearer home. To one of these, who asked if his mind was in a comfortable state, he said, “It is peace within, peace without. I am all peace.” To another, who had expressed his sorrow to see him so reduced, he replied, “It is all in love. My Saviour does not lay upon me more than he enables me to bear. Oh I it is all lovel I would not be without one stroke He sees I need.” He was particularly soothed by the visits of his venerable friend, Mr. Kirkwood, the Baptist minister; and so highly did he value them, that, on being told Mr. Kirkwood had called while he was asleep, he said with energy, “Oh, always rouse me when he comes. I would rather never sleep again than lose one of his prayers. I can hardly pray for myself now. What should I have done had this been put off till a dying bed! Oh! could I depend upon death-bed repentance 2 How sweet to have a found Saviour to rest upon I need it all !” Over the devoted attentions of a more tender watcher we must draw a veil. “One evening,” writes that watcher, “shortly before his end, he sat up longer than usual, but in silence. Fearful of disturbing him, I sat mute also, watching the glowing expression of his countenance, till at length he exclaimed, as if involuntarily, “How happy I am In all my enjoyment, I never felt anything like this.' He was asked the cause of his happiness. ‘Oh, nothing new,’ he said; “it’s Christ, and Christ alone ! I see nothing now but Christ. I see his arms open to receive me. I could depart this moment in triumph. Oh, what love l’” He had not long to stay; but a few days before his departure, God crowned his earthly wishes, by the visit, from a distance, of his dear and tried friend, Mr. Thomson, of Haymount. His gratitude for this unexpected
kindness broke forth in many expressions. “This,” said he once, “is another proof that my Heavenly Father unites me with his people—unworthy!—unworthy!” But that friend had come to witness and soothe his end. On the evening of Monday, 16th November, 1846, as his afflicted wife and Mr. Thomson were standing at his bedside, he looked at each with peculiar animation, and shutting his eyes, as if to avoid the expression of grief their countenances too legibly wore, he made an effort to speak. She bent her head to catch the words—the lips closed upon them—without a sigh the spirit took its flight. So gently did the king of terrors come to him, as to seem an angel sent on the most benignant errand. He literally “fell asleep in Jesus !”
NEW Asy LUM For INFANT ORPHANs. A special general meeting of the subscribers to this Charity was held at the London Tavern, on Monday, January 19th, the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor presiding. After a little discussion, an alteration was made in one of the rules of the Institution, which will have the effect of providing for the orphans, after the period of childhood, without forcing them to seek the aid of a second asylum. It was accordingly resolved that the future name of the Society should be “The New Asylum for Fatherless Children.” It was proposed by the Rev. G. Smith, seconded by the Rev. Dr. Campbell, and resolved unanimously, to admit at once two orphan children of men who perished in the ill-fated Amazon. An election of ten children took place. After suitable addresses had been delivered by several gentlemen, and a vote of thanks presented to the Chairman, the proceedings of the day terminated.
pleasure he felt in presiding on that occasion, and stated in a very appropriate manner, the great importance he attached to erecting suitable places of worship in the great metropolis. The Rev. T. Davies, one of the Secretaries, read the Report, which began with announcing sincere regret at the retirement from office of the late valued Secretary, the Rev. J. G. Gallaway, M.A., and then proceeded to give a very interesting account of the Society's operations during the year. The meeting was efficiently addressed by the Rev. Dr. Leifchild, D. W. Wire, Esq. (Alderman), Rev. G. Smith, S. Morley, Esq., Rev. J. Stoughton, and Rev. J. G. Gallaway M.A. After a cordial vote of thanks to the Chairman, the proceedings of the evening were concluded with singing and prayer.
wARDouR CHAPEL, LoNDoN.
THE Rev. John Eyre Ashby, formerly pastor of the Independent church at Arundel, and afterwards lecturer on Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Chemistry, at the Brighton school, received in November last a unanimous invitation to become the pastor of the Independent church worshipping at Wardour chapel, Oxford-street, London, which he accepted, and entered upon his pastoral engagements on the 14th of December. He has removed to 12, Mornington-road, Regent's Park.
The Rev. Edward Bewlay, of Cirencester, having received a unanimous call to the pastorate of Bethel chapel, has accepted it, and entered upon his stated labours there the first Sunday in January last, with cheering prospects of comfort and usefulness.
The Rev. James Roberts, late of Truro, has accepted the unanimous invitation of the church and congregation at Potten, Beds, to take the oversight of them in the Lord, and entered on his pastoral and ministerial duties, with pleasing prospects, on the 8th February, 1852.
On Wednesday evening, the 28th of January, the Rev. W. Williams, Caledfryn, delivered an excellent lecture on the “Signs of the Times,” in the Calvinistic chapel. The Rev. M. Lewis, of Holywell, was in the chair. The chapel was filled by hearers. The produce of this lecture is towards erecting a new Independent chapel in this populous town, because the old one is too small to hold the congregation at present.
Aw FUL CATASTROPHE AND LOSS OF HUMAN LIFE AT HOLMFIRTH, YORKSHIRE. No accident, in modern times, has been more fatal in its consequences than that which has taken place recently in the Valley of the Holme, by the bursting of the Bilberry Reservoir. More than eighty human beings have perished by the tremendous inundation; while property of all descriptions has been swept away, and, in many instances, utterly destroyed. By this dire and unexpected calamity not a few wealthy and respectable families have lost their all, the poor have been reduced to beggary, and multitudes of the industrial classes have been thrown out of employment. Nothing can exceed the sensation of alarm and distress which has been created. In such painful circumstances, it has been gratifying to perceive to what a happy extent the public sympathy of Yorkshire has been roused and called into action, on behalf of the bereaved and destitute sufferers. This is the glory of our country, that, when any great catastrophe occurs, there are never wanting those who are ready to take the lead in some great struggle for the relief of suffering humanity. At Holmfirth, Huddersfield, Leeds, and other places, large meetings have been held, and munificent subscriptions raised. At the time this is written, the Holmfirth subscription amounts to £1050 10s., and the Huddersfield, the largest ever raised in that
town on any occasion before, to upwards of £6000. The Chairman of the Huddersfield meeting, John Brook, Esq., headed the subscription by a donation of £500.
So awful is the loss of property, and the consequent destitution produced by this melancholy event, that it would be a disgrace to our country if it were not made a national question. The beautiful Valley of the Holme, with its busy mills, and its verdant, populous glades, is now a fearful desolation. We are happy to find that the earnest Christian men of Yorkshire are now, as they ought to be, the foremost advocates of the claims of humanity.
MissionARY ORDINATION AT MILLseAT,
ON Wednesday, the 28th January, a very interesting service was held at the Rev. Joseph Morison's chapel, Millseat, Aberdeenshire, when the Rev. John Chalmers, A.M., of King's College, Aberdeen, and of Cheshunt College, was ordained as one of the London Missionary Society's agents to China, in connexion with Dr. Legge. The chapel was crowded to excess, and a deep impression seemed to be made upon the minds of all present. The Rev. Mr. Lind, of Whitehill, of the United Presbyterian church, in his own kind and catholic spirit, opened the service, by reading suitable portions of Scripture, and offering solemn prayer to God. The Rev. J. Kennedy, from Benares, delivered a very powerful discourse on the claims of Christian Missions, which will long be remembered. His text was: “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord.” It was quite a masterpiece, as all present would testify. He went into the grounds of Missionary labour under all dispensations, with great ability, and was listened to, for more than an hour, with breathless silence. The usual questions at the ordination of a Missionary were proposed to Mr. Chalmers, by the Rev. J. Murker, of Banff, and were answered briefly, but very satisfactorily, by the young Missionary. The ordination prayer was presented to God by the Rev. Mr. Forbes, of Fraserburgh, and partook of his usual comprehensiveness and affectionate earnestness. The charge was delivered by the Rev. Joseph Morison, to the young Missionary, then about to be united in marriage to his second daughter, and was founded on Rev. ii. 10. It was full of pathos, and was followed by a concluding prayer, breathing much of the spirit of affection and faith. May the Lord smile on the Mission of this youthful Missionary and his beloved wife!
RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION. ExPULSION OF Free Church. MISSIONARIES From HUNGARY.
SINCE 1841, when a mission to the Jews was commenced, in Pesth, by the Church of Scotland, the Rev. Messrs. Wingate and Smith have laboured peaceably, inoffensively, and successfully in that place. “ Their mission, from the first, having embraced the supply of religious ordinances to British residents, they have preached every Lord's-day to those residents, numbering, at the commencement, about four hundred souls, though now greatly reduced by causes known to the British Government:-but by the recent proceedings of the Austrian Government, this, which was the only Divine service in the English language, in Hungary, has been suppressed. They have also preached in German to the converts from Judaism, who have, however, formed no new church, but have been received as members of the sanctioned Protestant communities. They have distributed Bibles and other religious books in Hebrew and other languages; but in so doing have adapted their proceedings to all existing laws, and under their care a large school has sprung up, superintended by a Jewish convert, and attended by three hundred and fifty children, about three hundred of whom are Jews, the rest Protestants, and no Roman Catholics.
“In these circumstances, after ten years peaceable residence, which, by the law of the country, entitles a stranger to be treated as a citizen, Messrs. Wingate and Smith were, on the 15th of January, summarily, and without cause assigned, dismissed from Pesth and the Austrian dominions, after six days' definite notice; it having been intimated to them, that if they did not depart on the prescribed day, they would be forcibly expelled. They are both married, have children of tender age, and both presented medical certificates, attesting that a journey over so great a breadth of country in the depth of winter, and in the sickly state of several members of their families, would be attended with danger to health and life. This brief warning amounted to a virtual confiscation of a great portion of their property; but this loss they regarded as trifling, when compared with the risk incurred by their families, for whose sake even a short respite would have been welcomed as an inestimable boon, but that was cruelly denied to them.”
To represent the facts of this tyrannical expulsion, the fruit of priestcraft and despotism, a deputation, consisting of representatives from the Free Church of Scotland, the Pro
testant Alliance, and the Scottish Reformation Society, waited upon Earl Granville, at the Foreign Office. The Earl of Shaftesbury, in introducing the deputation to his Lordship, said, that although several of the gentlemen were not members of the Free Church of Scotland, yet they all sympathized with the object of the deputation, and were anxious to bring before his Lordship the particulars of this act of persecution, seeing that, if such things were allowed to go on unnoticed, the effects would be injurious to the interests and progress of vital Christianity. The Rev. A. Moody Stewart then read a memorial to his Lordship, from which the preceding facts have been extracted. Lord Granville received the deputation courteously, expressed his attachment to the principles of religious liberty, and intimated that he had communicated with Lord Westmoreland, on the subject of their application. We fear, however, there will be no redress, unless it may be in the matter of property. We shall heartily rejoice if the new Foreign Secretary should show himself resolute in the maintenance of the liberties of British subjects in Hungary. But who can venture to hope that Popery and despotism will not prevail? Then we do fear that Statesmen will trouble themselves but very little with the liberties of Christian missionaries. Let the case of Tahiti be accepted as proof of this. Much will depend upon the view of our Scottish brother's position taken by Lord Westmoreland. Nothing would gratify us more than to see our country a little more respected. The spirit of liberty and Protestantism can alone produce this. God forbid that we should go back upon the dial by a temporising statesmanship! THE JEWS IN BEY RouT. Ertracts of Letters from Mr. Manning, Agent at Beyrout for the British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews. Communications may be forwarded to the Secretary of the Society, 1, Crescent-place, Blackfriars. Beyrout, December, 1851. I AM thankful to say that I am happy in my work, and in excellent health. On my travels, I gave you an account of the success that appeared to be attending our blessed cause, and since my return I have had great reason for thankfulness in the increasing numbers both of Jewish and Gentile inquirers, and also of the young people in the schools, thus encouraging the hope that the word of salvation is spreading. If my labours resulted in nothing more than the conversion of the young man, Joseph, whom I have before mentioned, it would be an abundant reward for my toil. Like most young converts, he is very anxious to impart it to others, and labours both in season and out of season. His concern, especially for his own deluded family, knows no bound. Immediately on our return, and without saying anything to me, he commenced an evening school, at the house of a friend outside the town, near his father's, for the purpose, as he has since told me, of getting his two younger brothers to come and read the Scriptures. And he has the satisfaction of seeing a great deal of prejudice, on the part of his parents, removed, and his brothers committed to his care, and allowed to come every day to the school. Who can tell but that we may be made the instruments of the salvation of the whole family But I must tell you our troubles as well as our joys. In consequence of the failure of the periodical rains, occasioning great distress, water in the town is very scarce, very dear, and of very bad quality; which was, I believe, the cause of our late sickness. This week a silk factory, belonging to an Englishman, employing nearly one hundred hands, has been stopped, to allow the water to pass on for the use of the town. Should the drought continue, it will be dreadful; and you must not be surprised should you hear that I am gone down to Egypt; for the Father of the Faithful, and his son, and his grandson, were not able to abide the terror of a famine and its attendant evils. But I hope things will not proceed to this extremity. Beyrout, January 1st, 1852.
About eight months ago, I was called upon by a very interesting young man, apparently under depression of mind, by the name of Abraham, who said that he had heard of my kindness in giving instruction in the doctrines of Christianity, and expressed a desire to be admitted with those whom he knew attended me for that purpose. He said he was ashamed of the liberty he took, as he understood I took nothing for my trouble, but if I would accept anything, he was most willing to pay me, for he was in circumstances to enable him to do so. But I told him I was not in need of anything; that all my necessary wants were supplied by the liberality of others, who would rejoice with me in the opportunity of doing him good, and which would be a sufficient reward for us both. Accordingly, he attended, embracing other opportunities, besides the appointed periods for our meetings, and he very soon evinced a spirit of inquiry, which left it beyond a doubt that he was sincere. Our course of reading was, I remember, first one of the gospels, which I am always desirous that all should read at the beginning, that they may be made acquainted with the history of our blessed
Lord ; and which, though it may appear strange to you that such should be the case, there are, I assure you, many in this country who bear the Christian name, and even bishops and priests, who are entirely ignorant of it. Afterwards we read the Acts of the Apostles, and some of the Epistles, and the Revelation, and subsequently some of the Prophets—as Daniel, for instance—comparing it with the latter book of the New Testament; and it was delightful to see how wonderfully the light seemed to break forth. Thus we continued, having various discussions on this subject and others, until I took my journey, for which he was very sorry, and expressed his regret that his occupation prevented him accompanying me. But he frequently found means while I was away to communicate, either by word or letter, with my companion, the schoolmaster, and the young man, Joseph, whom I have mentioned before, entreating them to persuade me to hasten my return. At length, when I came back, he immediately came to me with a rejoicing heart, as the cheerfulness of his countenance indicated, and he told me had— blessed be God!—passed under a surprising change since I had been gone. That, in his loneliness, and feeling deeply my absence, he had pursued the course I advised, viz., to read the Scriptures with diligence and earnest prayer for illumination, believing the promise of the Saviour, that whatever we should ask the Father in his name “He would do it.” He said he clearly saw now the whole plan of redemption ; how that God could maintain his character for justice and holiness, and yet pardon the sinner, however great, on account of the infinite sacrifice that he himself had provided; and he also said that he hoped that he had experienced something of that change which our Lord assured Nicodemus was indispensable for every one that would enter the kingdom of heaven, that is, if the hating of the things which he once loved, and a desire to give himself, and all he had, to Him who had ransomed him with such a price was an evidence ; and indeed his conduct bears striking testimony to the sincerity of his profession; for, being engaged as a superintendent in a large factory in the neighbourhood, where there are about one hundred young men employed, all belonging to the several denominations of the so-called Christian churches in these parts, and they are confined to the premises during the working days of the week, that is, from Monday morning till Saturday night, and this opportunity my young friend avails himself of to labour for their conversion, and the evenings he especially devotes to reading the Scriptures and tracts to them, and teaching such of them as are disposed to learn to read; and this, as may well be supposed, has brought