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heathen countries which are the scenes of their operations, is to employ the instrumentality at their command in the planting of Christian churches, which shall ultimately become the means of extending Christianity in the regions around, and of perpetuating it to generations yet unborn. But those churches are not prepared at once to answer their providential designation. They require to be nurtured and sustained, until the Scriptures shall be translated, the art of reading communicated, and a competent Native Ministry raised; and were the Missionary Societies to throw the churches they have instrumentally formed too early upon their own resources, the danger would be that, unless Almighty God interposed as by a miracle, the light of Christianity might be again extinguished, or its truths become so debased by intermixture with heathen superstitions, as to lose their saving and elevating power. To support prosperous existing Missions, until they may be able to sustain themselves, and extend and perpetuate Christianity in the countries where they have been respectively founded, is thus obviously the first care of a Missionary Society; and any plans which it may contemplate for the enlargement of its sphere of operations should be considered with due regard to the obligations which it has already incurred. Recognising this principle, the Committee do not venture to recommend any new and extensive undertaking, until the present urgent claims of some of the Society's principal Missions be somewhat more adequately met. Opportunity ought to be taken of the present favour. able crisis in the affairs of our SouthAfrican Missions, to strengthen those Missions, and thus enable the Society to secure the vantage-ground which it has won. The glorious openings in Western Africa, and in countries leading into the central regions of that vast continent, cannot be neglected without incurring criminality, especially when it is considered that the elevation of the tribes and natives of Africa to the condition of Christian and civilised people, would practically set at rest the momentous question, "How shall the slave-trade that curse of Africa, and disgrace of civilised Europe-be suppressed?" The extraordinary work of Christianity and civilisation in the country which, a few years ago, was only spoken of as savage and cannibal New-Zealand, must not at this interesting juncture be left without adequate support. The importunate cry from dark and sanguinary Feejee, where
a noble band of self-denying Missionaries are sinking beneath the burden and heat of the day, and dropping one by one, worn down by excessive labour, into a premature grave, that thrilling cry for help cannot be disregarded. The peculiar and touching appeal of the WestIndian Missions, in this the season of their deep suffering-a suffering which, beyond all doubt, has been greatly aggravated, for the present, by the fiscal regulations which this country has been led to adopt, surely will not be made in vain. And what can the Society advance as its justification, if it do not greatly strengthen its Missions in Ceylon and India, and take its proportionate share of the work of imparting Christianity to the two hundred millions of idolaters in that still-extending portion of the British empire, all accessible to Missionary effort, and all possessed of the additional claim upon our liberality, arising out of the consideration that they are our fellow-subjects? The Society's path of duty, for the present, appears too obvious to admit of mistake. Strenuous and persevering exertions to augment the Annual Income are required; and when that noble spirit of liberality which the last year's income has exhibited shall have provided for the liquidation of the remaining debt, and afforded the necessary means for strengthening the existing Missions of the Society, then will the way be clear to enter upon some new and inviting field of Missionary effort; and the Society, in such circumstances, will advance with a firm and unfaltering step, sustained by the conviction that it is not seduced by the attractions of novelty into practical forgetfulness of existing engagements, but that it is following the guidance of that same gracious Providence which has hitherto safely directed its onward course, and honoured its practical responses to the calls of duty, with the encouraging sanction ever indicated by ultimate
The REV. ELIJAH HOOLE then came forward to announce a number of contributions, already received, in connexion with the present Anniversary, which, together with other amounts, received previously and subsequently to the Meeting, will be found in detail on the cover of the Number of the "Missionary Notices" for June and July.
The REV. DR. ALDER announced that several distinguished individuals, whose attendance had been expected, were prevented by duties of a public nature from being present. Sir Emer
son Tennent-who had rendered most valuable services to this Society during his residence in the island of Ceylon, (hear, hear,) where he had filled a high office in connexion with the government of that colony-had authorised him to state that, although unable to be present on this occasion, he hoped to attend the anniversary of the London District Society, at Great Queen-street chapel, on the 15th of May, when he would be happy to bear his testimony in favour of the Society's Mission to Ceylon. (Hear, and cheers.)........ From the Earl of Mountcashell he (Dr. Alder) had received the following note:-"I can assure you most sincerely that few things would have afforded me greater satisfaction, than to have had it in my power to be present at the Anniversary Meeting of the Wesleyan Missionary Society this year. It, however, unfortunately happens that I am engaged on a select Committee in the House of Lords, which I ought not to absent myself from; and this will render it impossible for me to attend your Meeting. On some other occasion I hope that no impediment will offer to prevent my taking part in the Christian and philan thropic labours of your Society." (Hear, hear, and cheers.) Mr. Charles Buxton also desired to express his regret that pressing business prevented him from being present; and for the same reason they were deprived of the presence and assistance of their valued friend, Mr. Joshua P. Brown Westhead, M.P. for Knaresborough; of the Rev. John Jordan, Vicar of Enstone, and others.
JAMES HEALD, Esq., M.P., who was loudly cheered, said,-Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen, I can scarcely justify to myself, and therefore I think it will be very difficult to justify to you, my acceptance of the first Resolution, which I have been called upon to submit for your consideration and for your adoption. In submitting my own judgment and feeling to the judgment of men whom I have from my youth up been taught to respect, I am giving what I consider a personal illustration of that submission which is due to authority. (Hear, hear.) I have not had one moment's personal communication with any gentleman on this subject. I have not asked that the reasons should be assigned which have induced the Secretaries or Committee to place me in this highly honourable position. I received, late on Saturday evening, a request that I would undertake this duty; and, being perfectly satisfied that no such request
would have been preferred to me, or any other gentlemen, but under the influence of reasons convincing to the minds of the officers of the Society, I felt it my duty as a humble member of the Society,-but one as sincerely attached to it as any of its most honoured members, to accept this office, and to render the best service in my power on an occasion which I regard to be one of the most interesting in its nature, and the most important in its results, to our section of the Christian church, and to the common interests of that world which our Saviour Christ has given us to bring under the saving power of Gospel truth. (Hear, hear.) Having, therefore, accepted this post, I should feel it a violation of all propriety if I were to presume to occupy much of your attention; and, as a reason to justify my craving your indulgence, I will promise not to abuse it. I will at once proceed, therefore, without wasting your time in making anything like an apology or useless preface. I am satisfied that I shall fully express your sentiments and feelings when I convey to our Right Hon. Chairman the sense of obligation under which he has placed us, as your cordial and hearty cheers have testified, by the honour and service he has done us in accepting the office of our President on this occasion. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) I trust I may also venture to express on your behalf, as well as on my own, that I think it a matter of no small importance that we are favoured with the presence of a member of the Free Church of Scotland in our chair to-day. (Renewed cheers.) I can most cordially reciprocate the sentiments which he has so kindly and generously uttered in reference to the Wesleyan body, with sentiments of regard and affection for that most interesting section of the Christian church, of which our Chairman is so worthy a member. I have always considered, from the first separation of the Free Church from the mother Church, that there was a peculiar similarity and analogy between the circumstances of that Church, and the rise, progress, and present position of the section of the Christian church to which it is my privilege and honour to be attached; (hear, hear;) and I venture to say, that if it shall please a gracious Providence to swell the amount of success and prosperity by which hitherto the first efforts of that Church have been distinguished, -to swell the stream into a full floodtide of success, we shall not be vexed on that account. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) We trust, also, that if similar
distinguishing tokens of the favour of our heavenly Father continue to be vouchsafed towards our section of the church, our friends of the Free Church of Scotland will still retain towards us all those feelings of common and Christian brotherhood which we now so cordially reciprocate. (Hear, hear.) I am always anxious, when I attend Meetings of this nature, and, in the country, it is frequently my privilege to be summoned to occupy one post or another, I am always anxious that they should, in the very outset, be marked by an earnest and clearly expressed desire to supplicate and obtain the blessing of God on every part of their proceedings. But, Sir, you have justly called our attention to the fact, as I ventured to do two years ago, when I had the honour of occupying that chair on a similar occasion, that it is most important in this great metropolis, and at one of the earliest of a series of Meetings which follow in rapid succession every day of the present month, that the keynote sounded in this Hall should be eminently one of profound homage to Almighty God; (hear, hear:) that our proceedings should begin under a simple and supreme conviction that we are his servants, in his presence, engaged in his work; that there is no influence that is adequate to sustain, to control, to guide, and to succeed us, but that which the baptism of his own Spirit supplies. I conceive that, on an occasion of this kind, we should meet in that spirit which actuated the disciples in the city of Jerusalem, when they came together looking out for, and waiting for, and earnestly supplicating, in all the strength and confidence of faith, the influence of that Spirit which alone can give life, power, and success to our efforts. trust that such have been our convictions and feelings on this occasion; and I congratulate you, Sir, I congratulate this Society, and I congratulate all those great interests of our common race which are so much depending upon the result, that the deliberations and discussions of such assemblies as this are characterized by so much earnest and devout attention as we have witnessed hitherto to-day. (Hear, hear.) The Resolution I am called upon to move is,
"That the Report, of which an abstract has been read, be received and published; and that this Meeting offers its grateful acknowledgments to Almighty God for His continued sanction and blessing vouchsafed to the Wesleyan Missionary Society, and other similar Protestant and Evangelical Institutions."
Any man is safe who commits himself to such a Resolution. I never felt a moment's hesitation, after perusing the abstract of the Report which has been read, and a copy of which one of the Secretaries did me the honour of sending down to me on Saturday night,-I never felt a moment's hesitation in undertaking to submit to you this Resolution. Sir, our Society is not receding; (cheers ;) its influence is not diminishing; (cheers ;) its friends are not withdrawing. (Renewed cheering.) The evidence of that is to be found in the fact that its funds are increasing. (Cries of "Hear, hear," and cheers.) But, more than that, Sir, survey the entire Missionary map,-proceed from Europe to the East; take a circuit embracing Australia, Polynesia, and the Friendly Islands; visit the continent of Africa, and examine the state of the Missions in the south and west of that continent; take into view, too, those important and growingly-interesting Missions in the British North American colonies, and in all you find symptoms of life, of power, and of growth. (Hear, hear.) You see Missionary Stations the centres of a sanctifying and regenerating influence; and the circles over which that influence extends are widening in every direction. But to us it must be a matter of extreme interest to examine what is the Missionary progress reported in all our great colonial possessions. It strikes me as a very singular indication of the guidance and overruling providence of Almighty God, that our Missions are just now striking their roots the more widely wherever the great tide of emigration is setting in. Australasia and Polynesia, the districts of Southern Africa, that interesting colony, especially, which is springing up at Natal, which possesses such abundant resources, and from whence specimens of cotton have already been received in Lancashire, all have been brought under the influence of Missionary operations. We may, also, look with interest and hope at the Missions at Cape-Coast, in Western Africa. I travelled last week with the President of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and, in talking about the Gold-Coast Mission, and the openings into Dahomi and Ashanti, that gentleman informed me that the first bale of cotton had been received in Lancashire from the kingdom of Domonasi ; and he said, "I think we are now learning the secret how the slave-trade is to be effectually put down." (Hear, hear.) "Teach the rulers of these African kingdoms, that the mechanism of their sub
jects' hands, and the power and energy of their minds, may be appropriated to useful industrial labour; and conduct that labour in the right direction, and the Kings of these countries will then learn that their subjects are more valuable when retained on African soil, producing a raw material, saleable to the manufacturers of Great Britain, than sold to slavers." (Hear, hear.) This may, then, be a part of that instrumentality which, by the blessing and providence of Almighty God, will ultimately lead to the destruction of the slave-trade. (Cheers.) I wish, before I sit down, to give expression to another sentiment which has fastened upon my mind, and, I have no doubt, upon the feelings of the Meeting. I have, Sir, endeavoured feebly to express our sense of obligation to you for coming among us and presiding here this day; but I wish to add that you have greatly increased that obliga tion by the key-note which you struck in your opening observations. Sir, the time has come when we must make up our minds to this great principle, that it is revelation, and not reason, that is the sufficient and safe guide for the government of the world. (Hear, hear.) I see that a contrary hypothesis is agitating the minds of men. Now, I do not fear the minds of men being agitated, if the moral influence and power which we possess is only made to bear upon the awakened mind of the world; but it would be an awful state of things if the first seed thrown into the opened furrow were anything contrary to the clear and incontrovertible testimony of the word of God. It is the characteristic of this day, as it has been of all former days, for unsanctified human nature to resist authority. [Cheers, and some hisses from the body of the Hall, met by renewed cheers; the interruption preventing Mr. Heald from proceeding for some moments.] Allow me to say, that although others may have something in their minds that does not bear upon the direct subject of our Wesleyan Missionary Anniversary, I entertain no feeling of the kind. I have no reference whatever in my mind to any matter that is in dispute. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) It is a fact that you cannot controvert; and I am quite certain, if you will hear me, you will admit it, for there is not an individual present who would think for a
moment of attempting to controvert it, that the unsanctified nature of man is per se opposed to Divine authority. (Loud cries of "Hear.") The Bible is the book which contains the law; and if you attempt to substitute reason for revelation, you attempt the subversion of that law, and, as far as in you lies, the benevolent and gracious purposes of Almighty God. That is my position. (Hear, hear.) That principle ought to be carried out by Societies, and by corporate bodies, as well as by individuals, and in domestic life; and we should be jealous of everything that would prevent its right, proper, and successful maintenance. Our Chairman has indicated that the world is awakening to this conviction, that Governments can never expect to find any permanent basis that does not rest its authority on the book of God, (hear, hear,) any more than churches can, (loud cheers,) or than Societies can, or than individuals can in any relation of life. (Renewed cheers.) I am glad to see such a conviction arising, especially after the examples which have been lately set before us on the continent of Europe. You, Sir, have referred to the state of France. A fortnight ago, in the House of Commons, a nobleman, known to most of you, and whose name all would honour were I to mention it, read an extract from the last report of the Minister of Education in France; and what is the testimony borne by that Minister on this subject? It is that all experience proves this,-and the history of France especially illustrates the principle, that if knowledge is to benefit the people, if it is not to be not merely worthless but dangerous, education must not only be based upon religion, but religion must be the top-stone of education. (Hear, and cheers.) Now, this and other similar Protestant and evangelical Societies, wherever they move, are proclaiming this principle. Do you object to it? (Loud cries of "No, no," and cheers.) I am certain it is the principle we all acknowledge by our presence in this Hall; and it is one which, in every situation in which it may please God in his providence to place me, I will endeavour to maintain as faithfully as, I trust, I have so far shown myself an attached member of the Wesleyan Missionary Society. (Hear, and cheers.) I beg, Sir, to move the first Resolution. (To be concluded in our next.)
LONDON PRINTED BY JAMES NICHOLS, HOXTON-SQUARE.