« EelmineJätka »
labourers for preaching to the negroes, but Dr. Coke was always ready to make representations to Government, and often succeeded in arresting the hand of the oppressor. He was an uncompromising advocate of the freedom of the slave, and ever denounced slavery, both in America and at home.
To sustain the missions abroad, our veteran superintendent begged all over the Methodist societies. The cause, in a great measure, depended on his personal appeals. But he never wearied. Disposed to give very liberally himself, he had no scruple in soliciting the aid of others. “He stooped to be the very drudge of charity, and pleaded the cause of a perishing world from door to door," is the eulogium pronounced upon him by the author of the “History of Missions.”
His great undertaking was a mission to Ceylon. In this he long stood alone. Conference feared the expense, and was slow to acquiesce in it. He pleaded with great earnestness that it might be taken up. "I am dead to Europe, and alive to India,” were his words. Toward the close of the day the case assumed an unfavourable aspect. The doctor went home with depressed feelings. He spent the night in prayer. Next day he renewed his appeal. He offered himself, though sixty-four years of age, to the work, and, if necessary, £6000.
Few spectacles in Church history are more sublime or moving than this. Conference could resist no longer. The Indian mission was organized, and Dr. Coke, with six associates, appointed to Ceylon. He prepared for embarkation with all speed, and sailed on December 29, 1813. He preached at Portsmouth a farewell sermon, from these words, “ Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God.” In that discourse he said, “We can appeal to Heaven for the purity of our motives, and we look to eternity for our final reward. Full of this conviction, we trust that God, having made us instrumental in turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, will give us our part in the first resurrection, that on us the second death may have no power.” During the voyage he was busy at his studies, and full of his grand purpose. He loved the leisure. “Yet,” he wrote, “I cannot repent of the thousands of hours which I have spent in at once the most vile, the most glorious drudgery of begging from house to house. The tens of thousands of pounds which I have received for the missions, and the beneficial effects thereof, form an ample compensation for all the time and all the "labour.” He felt clearly called to go to Asia ; but only the will was accepted. God left the labour to other hands, and Dr. Coke's voyage from England was to Emmanuel's land. On the 3d of May 1814, the lifeless body of the great evangelist was on the cabin floor. He was buried in the sea, and his body was left to float amidst the waves—whose restless motion, in their bene ficent work, are the fittest emblems of the life he consumed and the missions he established for evangelizing the world. His fellow-labourers were appalled by the providence ; but amidst many trials, unexpected and unprovided for, God led their way to Ceylon; and now, of the 500 Buddhist temples in Batticaloa when they began their work, there are only fifty remaining, and these going also to decay. The mission was of God, and many saved souls bless the memory of Dr. Coke.
joined an ample fortune to his for the advancement of the cause of Christ. She was taken from him by death in 1811. He afterwards married again, but it was only a year until death left him alone. His consolation under such bereavements was the work of the Lord, to which he seemed to give himself over. In this his liberality was princely. His fortune was about £1200 a-year, but he sacrificed it in the cause he loved, in travelling, in chapel-building, in yearly subscriptions to missions, and in publishing. But his whole soul and body were laid on the altar, and “he traversed the world,” says Dr. Etheridge, to make the children of the earth hear the tidings of redeeming mercy, and through his efforts, directly or indirectly, vast multitudes had heard, and heard to salvation. In England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, his agency and influence had greatly contributed to build up and invigorate for a world-wide beneficence the religious communion to which he had plighted the devotion of his life ; while by his successful appeals in private and public in creating funds for the work, and amid the dangers and privations of foreign travel, as the pioneer or companion of the missionary, he had carried the institutions of the gospel to the broad regions of the Western continent, from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in the bleak north to the southern savannas of Georgia and Carolina.” To the Channel Islands, France, Sierra Leone, the West and East Indies, he conducted missions, and it may be said that one of the noblest and most beneficent institutions of the modern Church, the Wesleyan Missionary Society, is the monument of Dr. Coke.
What though the spicy breezes
Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle,
Though every prospect pleases,
And only man is vile?
The gifts of God are strewn;
Bows down to wood and stone.
Shall we, whose souls are lighted
With wisdom from on high,Shall we to men benighted
The lamp of life deny ?
The joyful sound proclaim,
THE REV. JOHN KENNEDY OF KILLEARNAN,
HE religion of Christ, though everywhere the
same, because it proceeds from one fountain,
yet reveals itself in varied aspects, according to the character and circumstances of a people. The Asiatic Christian manifests something different from the European. The Saxon differs from the Celt. In Wales and in the Highlands of Scotland, evangelical piety has taken large possession of the Celtic people, and some of the finest illustrations of its graces have been given in “a great cloud of witnesses.” Highland godliness is, however, least known to the Church at large. Locality and language have shut it out from the cognisance of the Christian world. We shall endeavour to make our readers familiar with some of its features as exhibited in “a burning and shining light,” who embodied the piety while he adorned the ministry of his Highland home.
Ross-shire was late in being blessed with the Reformation from Popery. Priest and chief long kept the people in darkness and serfdom. Even in the seventeenth century, the records of the Presbyteries testify to the fact of animal sacrifices being offered on the 25th of August to Mourie, an object of devotion, whether pagan or Papist