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on the rising generation? What the children educated in such Native Schools must become, in advancing to maturity, every one can tell. Thousands of these children, who would grow up, but for our exertions, in entire ignorance of all that is really good, are instructed in sound principles, and are thus training for the Kingdom of Heaven.
I would allude to another circumstance mentioned in the Report-I mean the benevolent spirit of the Christian Negroes collected in the settlements in Sierra Leone. It struck me, while hearing the statements respecting these lately-liberated Slaves, that if it had occurred in the pages of ancient Ecclesiastical History, that some traveller had lighted upon a people so anxious for religious instruction, and so devoted to their worship, that they attended daily in great numbers at Morning and Evening Prayers-that they exhibited their Christian charity in a way so remarkable, that, when some outcasts landed on their coast, they ran to them, pouring as it were oil and wine into their wounds, carrying them on their backs to their town, and supplying them with every necessary this would be a fact to which we should allude, as one of the most interesting which the page of history could produce. We should have said, "Happy are the people under the influence of a spirit like this! and happy are the spectators of scenes like these!" But, my lord, this is an event of our own day. There is now such a Goshen, where the inhabitants have light in their dwelling. There is an Oasis of this kind even in the deserts of Africa. It might, indeed, be thought that these people were naturally of very amiable character: but the Report states explicitly, that this was not the case; and that, previously to the introduction of Christianity among them, if some of their recaptured countrymen were landed on the coast, they would perhaps inquire if there were among them a brother, or a relative, or a friend, but were quite indifferent to the wants and sufferings of others: but we find, on the occasions stated in the Report, that they inquired not who is my brother or my friend, but they eagerly supplied the wants of all, and showed their love to God by their love to their fellow-creatures.
And I am the more forcibly impressed by this fact, from the contrast which it affords to the state of the slaves on board Le Rodeur, a French vessel, among whom, as she was crossing the Atlantic in 1819 with 160 slaves and a crew of 22 men, the ophthalmia appeared. From the slaves the disease reached the crew; all of whom, except one man, became wholly or partially blind. A question naturally arises, "Why did not the Negroes rise upon the crew?" as it is known, that such was their love of liberty, that when they could seize the opportunity they leaped into the sea. The real cause of their not rising was their mutual hatred. Consisting of different tribes, they looked upon one another with malice; and, though in chains, were ready to tear one another in pieces! Mark the contrast produced by the blessing of God on the residence of a few years at Sierra Leone.
And as a proof of the power of the Gospel, I would recall to your recollection the statement of the Report, that these Negroes had been under Christain instruction only for the short period of four years. Well might the Naval Officer who accompanied Sir Charles M'Carthy on a visit to Gloucester Town express his astonishment at this fact, as we have heard from the Report that he did; and well did Sir Charles reply, that this was the effect of Christianity, for no such effect could be produced by any other means.
I am very unwilling to trespass long upon your time; but I would say a
word upon the newly-adopted American Mission of the Society-a Mission on which I cannot enlarge; but I would state, that in no part of the world is the want of Missionaries greater, than among the wandering tribes of the American Indians-in no part of the world is there greater anxiety for Missionaries-in no part of the world are there greater facilities for carrying on the work in which we are engaged. But I would leave the detail; and earnestly recommend, that we should with gratitude lift up our hearts to Almighty God for His blessing on this Institution, and that we should unite in fervent prayer for His constant assistance and support: and sure I am, that if these be our feelings, when we consider the prospect opening around us, and the facilities which we now possess-facilities unknown to our forefathers-we shall exert ourselves in the propagation of the Gospel, under the influence of Christian Charity, and in entire dependence on the Holy Spirit, looking for the influence of that Spirit where it is not yet seen, and for more abundant supplies of His grace where it is in a measure already bestowed.
Lord CALTHORPE.-My lord, I rise to move the adoption of a Resolution which I will read:
"That this Meeting witnesses with pleasure and thankfulness the enlarged means and labours of the various Societies for extending the kingdom of Christ, both in the United Empire, and on the Continent of Europe, and in America; and anticipates the day when every Christian Church throughout the world will yield full obedience to the command of Christ to make known the Gospel to every creature."
My lord-After the unequivocal evidence which the Report, that we have this day had the satisfaction of hearing, affords of the degree in which this Society has commenced and carried on, now for several years, exertions for the promotion of the very objects mentioned in this Resolution-when we have reason to conclude, from the experience of this Institution, and, much more than from the experience of this Institution, from the invaluable promises of God, that this great object shall be finally accomplished-I cannot entertain a doubt, that every succeeding year will afford us the unspeakable satisfaction of passing Resolutions like this, with an increasing degree of encouragement, cordiality, and assurance.
I confess, my lord, that, for myself, I do contemplate the labours of this Institution with peculiar satisfaction, and I may say with delight. There is something in it so congenial to the spirit of that Church to which it is my high privilege to belong, and to that principle of love which breathes throughout her Services, that I am perfectly persuaded that every instance of success which attends its labours must be hailed by the sincere Members of that Church, not merely as affording them fresh proofs how closely it is founded in the spirit of Him who is the great Author of our faith, but as adding a fresh link and bond to our affection.
My lord-I cannot help hailing, with great satisfaction, the labours of this Institution, not merely on account of the immediate and direct effects which it produces, but on account of that reflect influence which the success of these labours has upon ourselves. Our Missions accomplish no insignificant purpose, if, by the evidence which we have from facts of the constant faith, hope, and love of those who are converted by their labours, a sort of reflux tide is poured back on ourselves, and we are awakened to gratitude, consolation, and
assurance, and are even enlightened and instructed.
Rev. THEOPHILUS BLUMHARDT.—I might justly fear, my lord, to intrude upon the precious moments of this Assembly, if it had not been made to me a sacred duty, by the Protestant Missionary Society on the continent, publicly to express to you the feelings of respectful gratitude which animate the hearts of its members toward your Institution, with which we have the honour to be intimately connected.
Six years have elapsed, my lord, since our smaller Institution began. Admiration of the glorious success with which the Lord had been pleased to crown the operations of British Christians, and the spirit of Christian zeal to take a share in this great and wonderful work of our times, kindled a desire among a small number of Christian friends at Bâsle; and, under the Divine influence, they felt themselves inclined to begin an Institution for training Missionaries. In the year 1816, memorable for its distressing drought, this Institution was commenced with two pious young men, who are now engaged under your direction in India. Soon after, eight others joined us; and the goodness of God provided for them in the days of famine.
It was your Society, my lord, which first came forward in support of our small Institution. The number of our continental friends began to increase; and we beheld, in a short time, united by the bonds of Christian charity, an increasing number of cheerful supporters of a cause for which their hearts were concerned. Thus we were enabled to double the number of our students.
But our Institution was not to stop here. What we had scarcely deemed practicable, considering the geographical situation of the Protestant Churches on the continent, being encouraged by the striking appearance of a mysterious Providence and cherished by an impulse from your Society, our friends on the continent resolved to attempt. They determined to unite themselves into a Missionary Society, and so to take a part in this great and glorious work of the Lord. In Switzerland, in the southern and northern parts of Germany, in Prussia, and among the Protestants in France, Auxiliary Missionary Societies arose in multitudes; and what we had scarcely ventured to indulge in imagination, we beheld realized before our astonished eyes, with the deepest emotions of gratitude to the Lord, whose name is wonderful. We beheld servantmaids, and widows, and orphans, offering with the greatest cheerfulness their little savings, young ladies their trinkets, and careful matrons their longcherished bridal ornaments, to support our Christian Society; and so we have been enabled, by the hand of our God and Saviour, to send out seven Missionaries into the countries bordering on the Black and Caspian Seas.
The publications of your Society, my lord, have furnished the principal materials by which this holy flame has been kindled among thousands and tens of thousands of our brethren on the continent. May the Almighty Head of the Church abundantly bless your Society! and crown the work of your hands with large success, through the unsearchable riches of His grace! May it be lasting as the rocks of Albion; and long continue to cheer and animate Christians on the continent, as those rocks do the approaching mariner, when, after a dark and tempestuous night, his enraptured cyc beholds them rising from the deep, irradiated by all the glories of a morning sun!
WILLIAM WILBERFORCE, Esq. M.P.-My lord, I obey your Lordship's call the more willingly, because it comes from one with whom my heart is used to vibrate in unison, whenever he touches the string.
He was thought to be a wise observer of human nature, who described it as
the character of man, in his advancing years, to be fond of dwelling on the events of his youth, and of extolling the scenes of former days. But, my lord, I have lived, in my pretty long life, to a period in which I cannot but look on our present circumstances with delight, and with expectations still more delightful.
It is most instructive and encouraging, my lord, to see how the purposes of the Almighty are carried into execution; and in what way it pleases Him to bless benevolent designs, so as to make them produce their beneficent effects-effects which were not in our contemplation. We sent, for example, some wretched outcasts to a distant country, as criminals not fit to live any longer in our own-we constituted a community of convicts! But, blessed be God! there was that degree of attention to religion in our nation, that we did not send them without sending chaplains to instruct them; that, when no longer in the career of vice, but humbled aud brought low, they might listen to the truths of the Gospel. And what has been the issue? The chaplains have not only been a blessing in the scene which they were appointed to occupy; but how has the present principal chaplain of New South Wales been honoured, as a chief instrument of establishing the Gospel in some of the Islands of the Southern Seas, and in obtaining a firm footing for our own missions in the vast islands of New Zealand!
But it is time that I should call the attention of the Meeting to a Resolution which I mean to propose. It is this :
"That this Meeting, on a review of the progress of the Gospel in the liberated-Negro towns in the colony of Sierra Leone, to whose rapid improvement decisive testimony has been received from persons to whose statements their character and official situation give peculiar weight-cannot but record its gratitude to Almighty God, for the way in which it has pleased Him thus to prosper the labours of the Society, in a Mission which has been attended with peculiar discouragements and trials."
My lord, when the history of this Society shall come hereafter to be read, and the history of these times to be reviewed, and it shall be considered what was our former intercourse and what is our present connection with that country to which this Resolution refers, I know not any thing which will tend, in so signal a degree, to establish the truth of Christianity, and to call from our descendants the most grateful acknowledgements for our being the instruments of effecting that blessed change which we witness. Not many years have passed since the claims of the wretched natives of Africa to the character of men was denied they were declared to be of an inferior species, like the ouran-outang of their forests: but now, under the blessed influence of Christianity, they can establish the highest claim of man; and can lisp, even in our tongue, however imperfectly, their grateful praises, which, united with those in higher ranks of life-for the heart speaks but one language to the Author of its being-are received by angels, and carried to heaven itself, where they join with accordant voices.
It was, indeed, delightful to hear a friend of mine, I forget who it was, quoting that striking passage of Scripture, in which the Divine Being, claiming his own prerogative of sovereign power and unsearchable wis
dom, declares that the wrath of man should praise Him; that is, that even those purposes which may be deemed to be the most in opposition to Him,-purposes formed in fraud and cruelty,-should be rendered subservient to His glory.
How strikingly is this the case, in the instance of those poor creatures who were the victims of the slave-trade! How little did THEY think, who planned the expedition to carry these oppressed people from their native villages into distant bondage, that they should be made the instruments of bringing these people to Sierra Leone, in order that they might be raised to the high character of Christians, and made partakers of our greatest blessings! Truly may it be said, in this instance, the wrath of man shall praise God!
And we find that even those, whose attention has not formerly been called to objects of this nature, are lost in wonder. It has pleased God to give us, in that country, a governor of benevolence unexampled; who seems, from morning to night, to forget the nature of the climate and his own period of life, and to be as active as the youngest man in the most healthy country has ever been found: Sir Charles MacCarthy has been overcome, as it were, by the triumphs of religion; and he thinks, as indeed he well may, that no power on earth could produce such effects. We have the same testimony, too, from Sir George Collier-not in conversation merely, but in an Official Report, in which he states that he had been present at religious assemblies in many countries in different parts of the world, but that he never saw religious worship performed with greater seriousness and solemnity than among these Christian Negroes.
When we consider these blessed triumphs, how can we but rejoice that it has pleased God to give us any share in this good work-how can we but go forward, with still greater efforts, to produce more widely these beneficent effects!
It is most encouraging to hear that our funds, instead of diminishing in the present time of difficulty, are still augmenting-indicating, we may hope, that our countrymen have been rendered, by the sufferings which they have experienced, more sensible that this world is not our home, and that it is our duty to render to others the means of salvation. Thus will the very evils which we experience here, increase our sum of happiness, and prove a blessing to the world.
And it is a still more delightful circumstance, that the augmentation of our funds is not produced by the diminution of the funds of kindred Societies; but, on the contrary, they also increase. I rejoice in this fact, which our Report states with pleasure: but I know not if I do not rejoice still more in the expression of satisfaction with which it was stated. It is delightful to hear ourselves thus called on, in the true spirit of Missions and the true spirit of Christianity, to rejoice together, and all to form one concert of praise to the Giver of all Mercies. It is an honour, I think, bestowed on the times in which we live, that Christians have been more filled with divine wisdom and heavenly love. Nay, even in political and commercial relations, there has appeared a system of wisdom: nations have learned that each is not to look for its own success or advancement in depreciating others, but to seek its own prosperity in the prosperity of its neighbours, and, like a world of brothers, in the common welfare of man!