« FöregåendeFortsätt »
In dealing with convicts, it is necessary that our minds be constantly under the influence of these views. We cannot too completely set aside self as nothing-less than nothing-sinful dust and ashes ; nor too deeply feel that it is utterly impossible for us to impart to the mind of a fellow-sinner a single truly spiritual idea. We must consent to become as the rough unpolished horn of the priests before the walls of Jericho, and, as it were, to be merely spoken through, to our fellow-sinners, by the Spirit of all truth and grace. And we cannot put too much confidence in God, that he will give efficacy to his own Word; nor too earnestly plead with him, in humble and scriptural prayer, on behalf of those whom at his command we seek to bring to himself. Proceeding thus, we are warranted to expect that the God of all mercy will, through our humble instrumentality, speak to the heart of the convict, and, by the moral renovation of his nature and principles, ensure the conformity of his life to the spirit and precepts of the gospel, as well as to the laws of the land : “Not unto
us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.” (Psalm cxv.)
Examination of the schools—Farewell address previous to debarkation.
The names of all the pupils, in the order of their respective schools, each school having the name of its teacher at the head, are entered in a small book provided with four columns, which anticipate four special examinations of the schools during the voyage, about a month intervening between each. In the first column is stated the date of the first examination; and the progress made by each pupil. The two following columns are filled up in like manner.
In the expectation that the prisoners will all be able to read the Scriptures before they debark in the colony, I provide, before the embarkation of the guard at Deptford, a sufficient number of copies, in addition to the Government allowance, to enable me to send every man and boy on shore in possession either of a Bible or Testament; and as I have always found the “ London Primers," which are usually supplied, so unsuitable to the purpose as to cause a painful loss of time, I take care to lay in a sufficient stock of a sort more likely to facilitate the progress of the pupil, and which I have generally purchased from the Sundayschool Union.
On the evening preceding the debarkation of the prisoners, the whole of them assemble in the main ward for the exercises of devotion, and to receive their
After tracing the gracious providence of God, in any circumstances of the voyage which may afford occasion for special thanksgiving, I proceed nearly as follows:
Our eventful voyage has come to a close, and our interesting sojourn together on board this transport terminates with to-morrow's dawn. The time which has been thus occupied forms a most important period. of your existence. The providence of God has been conspicuously and graciously exercised towards you. You have been collected from all quarters of the British empire—some of you from foreign nationsand placed for four or five months under a course of instruction, the grand object of which is, to restore you to the knowledge, favour, and likeness of God, and to fit you for serving and enjoying him for ever!
There is not among you, to the best of my knowledge, a man or a boy who has not declared, in the Divine presence, that he believes himself to be a guilty, lost sinner, and JESUS to be the only Saviour from sin and from the wrath to come. The question now is, What has been secretly transacted between your own
hearts and God? Have you felt the enormity of your guilt? Have you been made deeply sensible of the depravity of your nature ? Have you been humbled to the very dust under a just apprehension of your crimes, committed against your country's laws, against society, and against God? And have
very deed, come, in deep contrition of heart, to “the Fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness"-even the fountain of the blessed Redeemer's atoning bloodand, by washing in that fountain, have you had your sin all taken away, and obtained deliverance from its wages and its power?
Think now on all the truth which has been declared to you; think on the tenderness of your heavenly Father's love, the unsearchable riches of Christ's redeeming grace, the faithful and gracious strivings and long-suffering of the Holy Spirit; think on the blessedness you secure by receiving the salvation published in the gospel, and the ceaseless wretchedness which, by your rejection of the Saviour, you deliberately choose.
I have endeavoured, though in much weakness, to declare unto you the whole counsel of God; and have kept back from you no truth which he hath revealed for your instruction and salvation, and which time and ability have permitted me to declare, invariably intreating you to bring all I have said to the test of his Word; thereby to “prove all things;" rejecting whatever is at variance with its spirit and precepts, and holding fast only that which is in accordance with the
Divine mind revealed. I humbly trust that “I am free from the blood of all ” of you as it respects your instruction. With Jesus Christ set before you in the Scriptures, and the command of God that you should believe in him for salvation, addressed to you—if you perish, you perish! But know that you perish in the wilful rejection of God's deliverance !
Let us remember, that a fearful responsibility attaches to us all: I am responsible for my fidelity in teaching you the way of life; and you for the use you make of all the truth that has been set before you, because it is written (Luke viii. 18), “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required;" —“Take heed what ye hear,” (Mark iv. 24.) Oh, take heed how you treat the Son of God! Not one of you can go on shore as you came on board : You all disembark to-morrow morning, either improved in character or fearfully hardened. All of you have had the salvation of Christ fully and freely pressed upon your acceptance; and every one of you leave this vessel in the character of one who has either accepted or rejected it! Oh, let me beseech you to lay this to heart, and to remember, that you carry along with you that Bible, according to which you shall be judged at the last day!
You, who have professed to embrace Christ as all your salvation and all your desire, I most earnestly beseech to be very watchful over your future conduct. . Recollect that you are not your own, but bought with a price, and are under the highest obligations to serve