Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE BIBLE.

“ Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

[ocr errors]

your fellow

as you

READER, does

your

heart respond from the rays of the sun, and from to this exclamation of the Psalm- the busy haunts of men. In the ist? Perhaps you will reply, I next apartment, which is equally think it does, for I love the Bible, cheerless and dark, lies a fellowI read it daily, and endeavour to creature, measuring out the tedious derive from it my principles of hours of day, like yourself, with action, and the motives to influence nothing to divert bis mind from its my daily conduct.' This is well, despondency. A kind friend sends but let me ask, Do you feel a strong you an entertaining book, and a desire that others may walk in that lamp to give light while you peruse light which you find so pleasant it. He also puts in your hands a and so safe? While this lamp similar present for your neighbour. sheds its clear and steady rays on You express great gratitude for the your path, so that you can avoid favour, and send many a message pitfalls, and snares, and discover to your benefactor, with thanks the way to your quiet home, care for his kindness, but forget or negyou

for the ten thousand other lect to present to wanderers that

through the sufferer the gift designed for him. storm, and the trackless desert, You may claim to be grateful for and the palpable darkness, are the gift to yourself, and think groping their way in search of nothing would tempt you to part some place of refuge and repose ? with it. You profess also to love Imagine yourself following the your fellow-sufferer

do cheering light, and conscious of yourself, and with this fallacy safety, even in the gloomy shades, you impose, not perhaps on tracing your way homeward, full others, but entirely on your own of joy and gratitude to him who heart. You see not the absurdity placed this lamp in your hands. of congratulating yourself on the Hear the song which goes up to possession of a good which you heaven from your grateful soul, how withhold unrighteously and unthrilling, how heartfelt ; imagine mercifully from him, while pre- : now some way-worn, bewildered tending to love him as yourself. traveller crosses your path, and Reader, you have the Bible, begs you will

will light his torch, and you say to its author, who which the driving tempest has ex- designed it for all mankind, “ Thy tinguished. You turn from him word is a lamp unto my feet, and coldly, leave him to the dangers a light unto my path.” But are and difficulties of the wild, and go you doing any thing to aid in on singing, as if you were the only sending this word to others ? and object of divine regard on earth, are you willing that what you do “ Thy word is a lamp unto my for this purpose, should be regardfeet and a light unto my path. ed as the measure of your gratitude Would you not doubt the sin- for its possession? O, how inconcerity of gratitude, which showed sistent, how selfish, for a Christian itself in such fruits? Think you to bow down with his family, and the song would mingle with the thank God for the light of life, and music of angel-harps, and be ac- yet not lift a finger to aid in the ceptable to heaven?

diffusion of this light among those Again : suppose yourself in some that are sitting in the “ shadow deep and dark dungeon, cut off of death ! ”

C. 0.

MISSIONS OF THE UNITED BRETHREN.

[ocr errors]

The following retrospect of the manifold dangers by land and sea, missionary labours of the Mora- and under innumerable hardships, vians during the preceding century, trials and difficulties. was delivered about two

years since. The origin of the brethren's I am not aware however of its being missions is to be traced back to a generally known in this country, time, when the motto of the conbut as it is calculated to afford gregation at Herrnhut was, as exinteresting information to many, I pressed in one of its early hymns -forward it for insertion, and am Joy in poverty and shame.' yours most truly;

The missionary spirit manifested G. R. itself as early as the year 1727,

and every opportunity was gladly O praise the Lord, all ye heathen!

embraced of yielding to its blessed Praise Him, all ye nations !

influence: on the 21st of August, This exclamation, which we re- 1732, the two first missionaries of peat in our solemn assemblies on the Brethren's church-Leonard each returning Lord’s-day, is, on Dober and David Nitschman-set this centenary anniversary of the out for the island of St. Thomas : commencement of our missionary on the 19th of January, 1733, work, uttered with fervour of heart three brethren-Matthew Stach, by thousands in all our congrega

Christian Stach, and Christian tions; and is joyfully re-echoed in David - burning with like zeal, our numerous missionary stations by took their departure for Greenland: tens of thousands of converted gen- John Toltschig and Anthony Seifftiles, who build with us on the same ath proceeded in 1732 to North foundation of faith.

" Who can

America: others in 1735, to Suriutter the mighty acts of the Lord ?” nam and Berbice, while in 1736, “ Who can shew forth all his George Schmidt proceeded to the praise ?” Who can rehearse the Cape of Good Hope. wonders which he has wrought, All these missionaries through the instrumentality of the either artisans or husbandmenchurch of the brethren, for the spread men of simple manners, few wants, of his gospel ? The contemplation of and for the most part inured to toil, the missionary work committed to and hardships. It gave them little us fills us with amazement! On our concern, whether they would have part that work was, in its com- to perform a long or a short jourmencement, "sa work of faith,” ney--whether that journey was to such it has continued to be during be undertaken by sea or by land, its blessed progress; and such it and would lead them to a sultry still remains, extended as it is this or a frigid zone. They were not day, over many regions of the able to form extensive plans: their globe. The Lord has been pleased, wbole mind was exclusively bent throughout a centenary period, to on winning souls for Christ ; and grant success to the labours of the the salvation of but one soul they brethren, which were begun, and esteemed so inestimable a prize, have hitherto been carried on that, like Leonard Dober, 'they with the eye of child-like confi- were willing to give their liberty, dence, directed toward him, the yea, their life, in exchange for it. author and finisher of our faith ; Thus, the first missionaries in notwithstanding the insufficiency Greenland admonished and cheered of the means and the imperfections each other in their spiritual songs, of the instruments employed, amidst with words like these:

FEBRUARY 1835.

were

I

*Lo! through snow and ice we press- Lawrence Drachart, and Stephen
One poor soul for Christ to gain,

Jansen.
Glad we bear want and distress
To set forth the Lamb once slain.'

In the year 1756, the mission in

Barbadoes took its rise; and the Thus also, the messengers of the first settlement was formed in 1767 gospel, who had bent their steps by Benjamin Brookshaw-in 1775, to Berbice, declared that all their that in St. Kitt's by the brethren toil would be amply compensated, Birkby and Gottwald-and in if they could bring but. one of the 1790, that in Tobago, by brother Arawak tribe to “ the knowledge J. Montgomery: this was afterof the truth as it is in Jesus." wards suspended, but was renewed Their faith was not put to shame: in 1827. the Lord has been pleased to grant In the year 1792, the mission at success, far exceeding their utmost the Cape of Good Hope was hopes and expectations.

renewed by the brethren H. MarsDuring the ten years which fol- weld, D. Schwinn, and J. Kühnel ; lowed the period now alluded to, and in subsequent years was greatly the missionary spirit lost much of enlarged. The inspection of the its energy. Some errors in doc- leper hospital was also committed trine, and extravagancies in prac- by government to the brethren. tice had found their

way

into the In 1828, our missionaries in South church : and as they were calcu- Africa ventured to go beyond the lated to lead the mind astray from boundary of the Cape colony, into the simplicity of the gospel, the the country of the Tambookies, a observation of the late Bishop Caffre tribe; and the settlement Spangenberg, concerning the re- of Shiloh has, in a short time, laxation of missionary ardour at obtained an unexpected increase home, appears to be a very just from the surrounding population. one; namely, that we

" must con- On this festive day we see 209 sider it rather as a subject of gra- brethren and sisters diligently emtitude to God, that, under such ployed on 41 missionary stations, circumstances, less zeal for the in sowing the gospel seed ; and conversion of the heathen was count upward of 40,000 Greenmanifested than had before pre- landers, Esquimaux, Indians, Nevailed.

groes, Hottentots, and Caffres, Another period of ten years now including about 17,000 communisucceeded of a different

cants, whom we are favoured to plexion : and during the same, new call our brethren and sisters in the doors were opened by the Lord, Lord. And how

many

thousands for the extension of our missionary are already standing before the labours, chiefly in the English throne of the lamb, who while here West India Islands.

below, were turned by the minThe mission in Jamaica was istry of our brethren, “ from darkbegun in 1754, by Zachariah ness to light, and from the power George Caries; and that in Antigua of Satan unto God." in 1756, by Samuel Isles. Both At the time of the commencethese missions were, in the sequel, ment of the Brethren's missions, crowned with the most encourag- the Protestant church on the coning success. Neither was the wild tinent of Europe had no missionand inhospitable coast of Labrador aries in her employ, with the forgotten at that time, though the exception of a few devoted men, establishment of a mission among who had been sent by a society the predatory and murderous Es- at Halle, in Saxony, to the Danish quimaux could not be effected till possessions in the East Indies, and 1770, by the brethren Jens Haven, of the venerable Hans Egede, who

com

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

had been labouring zealously for to the Christian slaves in that pirathe conversion of the natives of tical state the consolations of the Greenland from the years 1721 to gospel. Several brethren exerted 1736. How wonderful and en- themselves in vain to obtain encouraging is the change which has trance for the truth

among

the been effected within the centenary numerous company

of Jews residing period now elapsed! The various at Amsterdam; especially Leonard Protestant churches have sent forth Dober and S. Lieberkühn, about into all the world, multitudes of 1738 and 1760. A fruitless atEnglish, American, Dutch, Swiss, tempt was made in 1739, by D. and German missionaries, to preach Nitschman, jun. and Frederick among the gentiles “the unsearch- Eller, to establish a mission in able riches of Christ,” and in wes- Ceylon. The missionaries stationtern and southern Africa, in the ed at the settlement called the West India Islands, yea, and in • Brethren's Garden,' in Tranquethe islands of the southern ocean, bar, began in 1759, by G. Stahltheir labours have been crowned man, persevered for many years in with glorious success.

However their unproductive labours among different in some respects may be the Hindoos; and endeavoured the views and the practice of these from thence, amidst continued perils missionary bands, yet all have but of their lives, to maintain a mission one object in view, and one inher- in the Nicobar islands. An attempt, itance above; and all are the ser- by the brethren Hocker and Rüffer, vants of one only master, even in 1747, to penetrate into Persia, Jesus, the Lord of all.

in order to visit the Gebri, or It is on this day a subject of Gaures, was frustrated. Several thankfulness and joy, that the Lord bretbren laboured for years among has hitherto raised

up

brethren and the Copts in Egypt; but the way sisters, who were willing to give into Abyssinia, whither they were up their worldly prospects, their most desirous to proceed, remained native land and connexions, their closed against them. The settlepersonal comforts, yea, their health ment of Pilgerhut in Berbice had and life, to engage in that mission- to be given up; neither could the ary work, which He himself has

station among the Arawacks and graciously entrusted to our Church. free negroes in Surinam be mainDuring the past century, 1,199 tained. The attempt so eagerly persons, (740 brethren, and 459 made, and so often renewed by the sisters,) have been employed in the brethren in Sarepta, to convert the

Calmucks to Christianity, remained In this number are also included for a number of

years
without

any those brethren and sisters who en- success; and just at the time when gaged in missionary enterprises, the most cheering hopes began to which had to be ultimately relin- dawn, that entrance would at last quished. Such were the attempts be found among that nation, this to preach the gospel among the door was suddenly and peremptoLaplanders, in 1734, and again in rily shut, under very distressing 1741, by the brethren Behr and circumstances, in 1823. Ostergreen-the negroes in Guinea, At the present time, there are in 1737, by Charles Protten, a mu- 57 superannuated, or retired mislatto, and H. Hukuff-the

negroes sionaries, who reside in our Gerin South Carolina, in 1739, by P. man, English, and American conBoehler, and G. Schulius -- and gregations, and are either wholly or the Creek Indians in Georgia, in partially supported by our mission 1803, Brother Abraham Richter fund; constituting a charge on this repaired to Algiers, to administer

fund of about £1,200, on an average

same.

of several years past. The allow- conversion of the gentiles appears, ance to a married missionary in re- by the divine blessing, to have tirement does not therefore exceed been almost hereditary. The ve£35; and to a widow £12.-an nerable John Beck, one of the first economical provision, to which it missionaries in Greenland, was fawould be impracticable to adhere, voured to contribute two sons to were it not for the peculiar advan- the service of this blessed cause; tages afforded for this purpose by and one of these was, in turn, perthe settlements of the brethren

espe- mitted to see a sou and a daughter cially on the continent of Europe. similarly employed.

In these congregations the chil- Yet still the harvest truly is dren of our missionaries also re- great, and the labourers are few : ceive their education. The expense darkness yet covers the greater of this education may be stated at part of the earth; and few and about £16, for each child, in- feeble, comparatively, are the cluding the gratuities given or the efforts which have been made to partial support allowed in the case shed the saving light of the gospel of such as are apprenticed to various amongst its benighted inhabitants. trades.

Millions in Asia, and Africa, in Not a few of those who were born America, and in the isles of the in our missionary stations have ocean, are without God and withblessedly followed the footsteps of out Christ in the world, and awfully their parents.

In the year 1830, ignorant of their lost condition. Let there were twelve brethren and us then pray the Lord of the harsisters employed in various sta- vest, that He would also, in time to tions, who were themselves the

come,
raise

up

faithful and devoted children of missionaries.

servants, and send them forth as missionary families, zeal for the labourers into His harvest.

In some

CAST THY BURDEN UPON THE LORD.

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."--PSALM lv. 22.

How very imperfectly do Chris- little knowledge of the human tians realize their great and un- heart affords an answer-'tis unbespeakable privileges ! how feeble lief;--the latent infidelity of the our faith! and how far short do heart; and yet, has the merciful we come of enjoying those conso- Creator left a single possible cirlations of real piety which the cumstance in the life of a believer Gospel offers to us! Reflections without a promise? Then, if we like these have often struck me really and heartily believed these forcibly, when I have seen and things, should we ever murmur, experienced in myself and others doubt, or repine ? If we are in trousuch great deficiencies. How can ble of any kind, and a fellow-creawe honour the author of our faith ture comes to us with promises of more, than by implicitly trusting assistance and sympathy, what efhim with all our concerns ? Chris- fect is produced ?

Our fears are tians profess unhesitating trust in dissipated, and our anxieties are Him, and yet when called upon lulled to sleep; but alas ! how difto prove its reality, what do we ferent is our conduct with regard to often behold? Doubt! unhappi- the Almighty; although the former ness! nay, sometimes despair! is a finite being, limited in all his What can this arise from ? A powers, and the latter infinite in

« EelmineJätka »