Page images
PDF
EPUB

the course of ages, undergone great changes, of a sense of personal interest in the “truth and some very important systems of philosophy as it is in Jesus," as well as a clcarer percephave been entirely revolutionized by the pro- tion of its glory. gress of discovery. What were once deemed Many of the sciences are so difficult of atundeniable facts, have been found at length to tainmert, so far above the reach of ordinary be egregious mistakes, till the whole system, minds, or so remote, even in their elements, from and even system after system, has been re- the opportunities of ordinary research, that it versed. Of this we have striking demonstra- cannot be expected they should be appreciated tions in regard to astronomy, chemistry, and or known. How few, comparatively, could read geology : and even at the present period, every the Principiæ of Newton, or comprehend the ! year exhibits the uncertainty of human wisdom calculations of La Place! Conimon persons in the new forms, relations, and evidences that would soon be utterly bewildered, not only in occasion philosophical controversies; so that the intricate labyrinths of investigation, but in if anything momentous in our moral condition what might seem, to intellects of a superior ordepended upon the accuracy of our physical der, even the plainest paths of science; and unresearches, the mind could not but be agitated accustomed to such pursuits, everything would with trepidation and anxiety.

appear to them enigmatical and confused. But the great realities of Christianity are But of Christ it is recorded that, in imparting in this respect quite dissimilar to the disco- the truths of his religion, “the common people veries of human reason and research, or to heard him gladly;" and in his own devotional theories capable of change by the perfecting appeal to Heaven, he thus expresses himself : process of observation. In them is to be dis- “I thank thee, O Father, that thou hast heard tinctly seen a revelation from God, which is me; and that thou hast hid these things from: stamped with pre-eminent authority, and admits the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them of no correction. “Holy men of God,” in the unto babes.” If there be value in the highest transmission of this heavenly light through the reaches of science, that value is somewhat di! medium of speech and language, “spake as minished by the fact that comparatively few they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” If any can ascend to them. If there be value in the thing be true, this communication from above knowledge of Christ, that value is in a sense must be truth. It is indubitable and unalter. enhanced by its universal attainableness. It able, as being the mind of the Spirit. It em- comes down to the depths of the meanest unibraces immutable doctrines and eternal prin- derstanding. It is comprehensible by all. The i ciples. It is not a branch of science that needs truths of the Gospel can be anywhere and to be trimmed up, completed, or adjusted to to any one proclaimed—to the prince and to some generally received rule or axiom; it is the peasant--to the learned and the illiteratewisdom itself—the “wisdom of God in a mys- to men of every grade and of every clime. tery.” Jesus Christ is “the faithful and true They intelligibly express the love, and are the witness;" to “know him,” consequently, is, in a light of Heaven. spiritual sense, to "know all things."

(To be continued.) II. Another observation to be made, in the comparison exhibited between science and NOTES ON WESLEYAN-METHODISM. Christianity, is, that the knowledge of Christ is

BY DR JOHN B. BENNETT, LONDON. accessible to all classes of mankind-to men of every order of intellect and capacity. It is of IV. THE INSTITUTIONS OF WESLEYAN-METHODISH–IT: ineffable importance that the doctrine which is intended for the spiritual benefit of all, should has been referred to in a previous paper, but its

THE WESLEYAN-METHODIST Missionary SOCIETI be intelligible to all. In the simplicity and great importance amongst the Connexional instiexplicitness of the communication, “the wis- tutions entitles it to more particular notice here. dom that cometh from above” is adapted to Like the Church with which it is connected, it every gradation of intellect. When the Apostle has grown from small beginnings to great of the Gentiles, in the passage of Holy Writ to magnitude, so that now it employs a greater which we have referred, prays

number of missionary ministers, and receives know him,” he refers not to any supposable society in existence. Its executive direction

a greater income, than any other missionary measureless profundity of the knowledge, so is confided to a committee of ministers and much as to that experimental feeling of which laymen, in conjunction with four general se desired he a deeper consciousness, that increase cretaries (Revs. Dr Bunting, J. Beacham, Dr

FUNDS_CONCLUSION.

[ocr errors]

that I may

NOTES ON WESLEYAN-METHODISM.

207

Alder, and E. Hoole), and two general trea- in several instances translations of the Scripsurers (Thomas Farmer, Esq., and Rev. John tures and of religious books and tracts into the Scott). One of the “ Laws and Regulations native languages have been effected by the mis- i| requires that a special committee should also sionaries. Towards the expenses of one of these he convened previous to each Conference, in translations, that of the Bible into the Caffre the town where the Conference is about to language, which was fourteen years in process,' assemble. To this a number of leading friends the British and Foreign Bible Society has refrom different parts of the country are invited.cently contributed £1,000. The affairs of the Society for the preceding For the last few year the funds of the So- i year are reviewed, and the best modes of fur- ciety were sadly inadequate to meet the outlay, | ther advancing its interests considered. All and a heavy debt gradually accumulated. This its concerns, however, are under the control of did not arise from any declension in the libethe Conference, by whom the committees and rality of the supporters of the institution, for officers are from year to year appointed. the income steadily increased; but from the

The efforts of the Society are partly directed augmenting numbers of members and hearers, to the revival of evangelical truth in some of and the consequent need of an augmented prothe lands which, though called Christian, are vision of pastors and teachers. It was an emyet largely pervaded by unscriptural errors ; | barrassment arising out of prosperity. It rebut chiefly to the introduction of the Gospel in quired strenuous efforts to meet the emergency; Heathen countries. In the most spiritually desti- and large sums were raised for that special obtute districts of Ireland, it employs 25 mis- ject. But it is only just now that the end has sionaries (some of whom can preach in the been attained. The annual meeting was renative language), and maintains 63 day-schools, cently held, and the treasurers found themin which are 4,500 scholars. Its other Euro- selves in the agreeable and novel position of pean stations are in Germany, France, Swit- being able to report that the Society was zerland, and Gibraltar. In the foreign fields out of debt, and had even a few hundred its agents labour in the southern and northern pounds in hand. An expedient devised at first districts of Ceylon, and on the continent of as a temporary help in the difficulties of one India; in New South Wales, Australia Felix, year was a juvenile Christmas and New Year's Southern and Western Australia, Van Die- offering, the children being asked to give or men's Land, New Zealand, the Friendly Islands, collect one shilling or upwards each. This and Feejee ; at the Cape of Good Hope, Al- scheme was entered into so cordially, that it bany, Caffraria, the Bechuana country, and has been permanently adopted. The juvenile other parts of Southern Africa ; at Sierra offering for 1845–46, has produced more than Leone, the Gambia, the Gold Coast, Ashante, £4,000, without interfering, with any other Badagry (the Slave Coast), and other parts of source of supply. The total income for 1845 Western Africa ;* at numerous stations in the exceeded £112,000. West India Islands, amongst the negro popu- The business of the parent Society is translation, of which some of the earliest and most acted at the “ Wesleyan Centenary Hall and signal successes of the Society were vouch- Mission House,” Bishops-Gate Street Within, sated; in Canada, both amongst the Colonists London-a building in all respects most suitand the Aborigines; in the Nova Scotia, New able, which was presented by the Connexion to Brunswick, and Newfoundland districts, and the Society from the proceeds of the memorthe territories of the Hudson's Bay Company. able Centenary Fund. Throughout the counThe general summary of the whole in the last try, auxiliary and branch societies are everyAnnual Report is as follows : Central or prin- where formed. The converts on the mission cipal stations, called circuits, occupied by the stations also aid according to their ability. It Society in various parts of the world, 288; is an interesting fact that nearly one-tenth of chapels and other preaching places at those the whole income of the Society is derived from stations, so far as ascertained, 1,865; mission- its foreign auxiliaries. aries and assistant missionaries, 382; other paid The Society publishes periodically, in addiagents, as catechists, interpreters, day-school tion to its Annual Report, monthly Missionteachers, &c., 1,608; unpaid agents, as Sabbath- ary Notices,” containing extracts from the school teachers, &c., 5,104; full and accredited communications received from missionaries; Church members, 102,750 ; on trial for Church “ Quarterly Papers," usually occupied by a membership, 4,956; scholars in the mission sketch of the history and condition of some schools, 65,431. Seven printing establishments one mission or station; and a miscellany of are maintained on the foreign stations; and, missionary information for the young, called It is not too much to say that the most extraordinary

“ The Wesleyan Juvenile Offering." opening presented in modern missionary enterprise is that The WESLEYAN THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTION is in Western Africa, through the instrumentality of the Wesleyan missionaries, especially of the Rev. Thomas B. properly a College for the improvement of junior Freznan. It would require an er tire paper of the length teachers, although the less ambitious de junaof the present to givc a view of it; but it possesses an in- tion of Institution has been chosen for it. From ferent which migh: well be called tumantic, if it were not too deep and too high to be described by such an epithet.

the earliest days of Methodism such an esta

blishment was contemplated, the subject having near Leeds, established in 1801. Boys are been started at the Conference of 1744; but the received at the age of eight years, and kept in difficulties then seemed insuperable. In 1823, the schools till they are fourteen. In addition a report respecting it was prepared by a com- to a general committee having the control of mittee, and adopted by the Conference, but both, there is for each school a local committee even then the way did not seem open for a of ministers and laymen ; and in each case the practical application of the principle. But in internal arrangements are placed under the October 1833, a committee arranged a plan superintendenceof a minister called the “Gover. which was approved of by the ensuing Confer- j nor.” An allowance in money is made annually ence, and has since been brought into prosper- during the same term of six years for the eduous operation, having lived down the opposi- cation of the daughters of Wesleyan minister, tion with which-chiefly through mistaken and of such of their sons as are not received views, though partly, it is to be feared, through into the schools. The school fund is supported factious feelings—it was at first assailed. None by private contributions, and by public collec

are admissible as students but those who have tions made in the month of November, yearly. // successfully passed through the regular trials Sabbath Schools.--Immediately after God was

preparatory to entrance on the probationary pleased to bring into operation, through Robert ministry. Before each Conference, all the can. Raike's instrumentality, that scheme of Sabbath didates recommended by the respective disc school instruction, the blessed results of which trict meetings in May are summoned to Lon. only eternity can unfold, Mr Wesley published don, and subjected to an additional examination in his magazine an account of Mr Raike's plan, before a special committee appointed for the and recommended the adoption of it by his purpose; and according to the report of this societies. The advice was taken, but it was not committee, it is decided which of them shall till 1827 that the Conference issued a forinal be admitted into the Institution, and which code of regulations for the Sabbath schools of left on the president's list of reserve for im- the Connexion. The fundamental principles of mediate service. The “ Theological Institu. this code are, that Sabbath schools must be tion,” thouglı spoken of as one, and placed under strictly and entirely religious institutions, and the superintendence of one president (the Rev. that, therefore, instruction in writing or anyDr Bunting), consists of two branches--one lo- thing else merely secular, and (as far as pos. cated at Richmond, near London, where its sible) the bustle and excitement of ordinary affairs are conducted in a building the archi- school business should be excluded from them; tectural beauty of which renders it one of the and that they ought to be in avowed connermost striking monumental memorials of the tion with some particular branch of the Church “ Centenary year;" the other at Didsbury, near of Christ. Accordingly the Conference Cate: Manchester. In addition to a “ General Com-chisins and the Wesleyan Hymn Book are mittee" for “the Institution," there is a “Local used in them. The number of Sabbath schools, Committee of Management” for each branch; as reported by the “Committee of Education" and, in the internal arrangements, each branch in 1845, was 4,013; of teachers, 81,577; of has a theological tutor, a classical tutor, and pupils, 417,903. Day Schools.--The importance a house-governor-all of whom are ministers of establishing week-day schools had been reof the Connexion. By lectures and otherwise, peatedly stated and urged by the Conference; the students are advanced in their acquaint- but it was not until 1813, that any vigorous ance with theology, Biblical literature and cri- and general effort was made to work this iuticism, pastoral duties, and general knowledge. strumentality with an efficiency corresponding On the Sabbaths they are regularly engaged in to that exhibited by the Wesleyans in other preaching At the date of the last Report fields of exertion. The success of the opposi(1845), there were seventy-four students in the tion to the Factories' Education Bill, to the de. Institution--forty at Richmond, and thirty-four feat of which the Wesleyans contributed their at Didsbury. The foundation of its funds was full share, impressed them with a deepened a bequest of £1,000 left by an Irish gentleman sense of their own responsibility in the matter (Mr Mason) for the promotion of the improve- of public education; and, in November 184., ment of the junior teachers in Ireland, which a numerous and influential meeting was held was transferred to the Institution with an un- in London, at which it was resolved, that it derstanding that a certain mber of Irish stu- should attempted to establish, within seven dents should participate in its benefits. It is years from that date, at least seven hurdred supported by voluntary subscriptions, dona. week-day schools, in addition to those then in tions, and legacies. Each branch has a library, operation. In various parts of the country, which receives frequent additions by gifts of endeavours to carry this resolution into efiect books from liberal friends.

are now in progress. At the date of the las: EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.— Two schools are report, there was in England, 332 schools, conmaintained for the education of sons of minis- taining 30,686 scholars. The desire of the Conters--one at Kingswood, near Bristol, com- ference and the committee of education is, that, menced in 1748; the other at Woodhouse Grove, while secular education is duly attended to reNOTES ON WESLEYAN-METHIODISM.

209

the last year.

ligious training should have its rightful promi- the services of numerous and zealous members nence; and that, while exclusivism and bigotry of the Church. are to be avoided, the religious instruction should A few words on the funds of Wesleyanbe denominational, so far as to shut out every ap- Methodism, so far as they have not been i proach to that latitudinarian indifference to spe- already adverted to, will be necessary to bring cific instruction in evangelical doctrines which out that view of the economy of the system has so many more or less covert advocates in the which it is the object of these papers to present. present day. As regards the mode of training, The Contingext FUND.-This is one of the oldthe Glasgow system has the distinctly expressed est and most important funds of the Connexion. preference of the Conference and the Com. It was formally appointed at the British Conmittee of Education. The masters trained ference of 1756. Grants are made from it to under the direction of committee have always supply the deficiencies of circuits in Great Bribeen sent to Glasgow. Perhaps it should be tain and Ireland, which are unable to meet the added, under this head, that there are two pro- expenses of their own ministry, and to cover prietary schools—one at Sheffield, and the the cost incurred by ministers through afflic. other at Taunton-designed for the Wesleyan tion or other unexpected circumstances. The education of the children of such Wesleyan fund is supported by the “ Yearly Collection” parents as can afford to pay the rate usually made in all the classes, the “ July Collection” charged at respectable schools. These are not, made in the congregations, and a portion of properly speaking, Connexional schools ; but the profits of the book-room. the Conference recognises them so far as to The Children's Fund.—The principle of the appoint ministers to be their governors and Wesleyan financial economy is to give each chaplains. A school, on the same principles, minister enough, and no more. The single man : " governed” by a minister of the Irish Con- is kept upon a single man's stipend, wherever nexion, has been established in Dublin within he may be stationed. When he marries, as his

expenditure must necessarily be increased, his The Book ESTABLISHMENT.—Mr Wesley be- means are increased ; and so he receives a queathed his rights in this concern to seven certain allowance for each child, from its birth persons,“ in trust, for carrying on the work of to the age of twenty. Here, again, the ConnexGod, by itinerant preachers, in connection with ional constitution of the Church operates adthe Conference." The“ book-room,” has since vantageously. In former times, each circuit undergone various modifications and improve was responsible for the payment of the allowments, and is now an important source of in- ance for all the children of the ministers stacome, the probable proceeds of which are esti- tioned in it; and thus men with large families mated at each Conference, and appropriated to were liable to be objected to on merely finanthe different funds. The standard works of cial grounds. Now, the total probable number Wesleyan-Methodism, and many other religious of children to be provided for is estimated at and moral publications, are issued from it. An each Conference, and it is calculated how many editor (Rev. George Cubitt), an assistant members ought to provide for one child; and editor (Řev. J. S. Stamp), and a book-steward the demands upon the districts and circuits are (Rev. John Mason), are appointed by the Con- arranged, not according to the number of childference; and all the affairs of the concern are ren that may happen to be located within their subjected to the supervision of a “ book-commit- bounds, but according to the number of their tee,” who meet monthly. Here are published the members. At the last Conference it appeared Connexional periodicals; the Wesleyan-Metho- that one hundred and thirty-four members dist Magazine, the Youth's Instructor, the Chris- should provide for one child. Thus, the Lon. tian Miscellany, and Early Days. The two last don district, having twenty-five thousand eight named publications have succeeded the Cottager's hundred and forty-six members, was required Friend and the Child's Magazine, formerly issued to raise the allowance for one hundred and from the book-room, and are published in com- ninety-three children; the Edinburgh and Aberpliance with the prevalent demand for cheap deen district, having only three thousand and periodical literature. Although the change was twenty-four members, was charged only with made only a few months ago, the number of the provision of twenty-three children. This the Christian Miscellany now printed is not plan obviously equalizes the taxation on just much less than forty thousand, and the circu- principles. lation of Early Days has already reached fifty GENERAL CHAPEL AND EDUCATION FUND.thousand. It is observable that the sale of This, under its present title, and for its present the other periodicals of the Connexion has, at purposes, is a new fund. A “Chapel Fund” the same time, not only not diminished, but for the relief of chapels encumbered with debt, actually increased. Many thousands of re- was in existence since 1818, and produced most ligious tracts are also issued annually; and, on beneficial results. But, at the Conference of the Methodistic principle of finding some sphere 1844, it was found that the engagements of the of useful exertion for everybody who desires “ General Chapel Fund” were so far removed, to be useful, the distribution of tracts engages that a portion of its income might be made available for some other Connexional purpose. ing immediate attention, or requiring prompt It was resolved, therefore, that while one moiety communication with the Government or with should be retained for the relief of embarrassed Parliament.” The course of legislation recentchapels, the other should be applied to the ly pursued has given this committee ample emestablishment and maintenance of Wesleyan ployment, as with reference to the (defeated) day-schools. The fund is supported by private Factory Education Bill of 1843; the (unhappily contributions, and an annual public collection successful) Dissenters' Chapels Bill of 1844, and in the congregations.

the Maynooth Endowment Bill of 1845, and Worx-out MINISTERS AND MINISTERS' Widows' | the Charitable Trusts' Bill of the present sesAUXILIARY FUND,– From an early date, an sion. Annuitant Society had been in existence, to And now, in concluding these “ Notes," the which the ministers contributed, and from which candour of the reader is appealed to, to excnse small annuities were paid to them in old age, a meagreness which the necessary limitation and to their widows after their decease. But the of space rendered inevitable. If any points people did nothing for the support of their liave been lightly touched on, some have been

worn-out ministers or ministers' widows, be- altogether omitted. It is hoped, however, that yond the maintenance of a scanty “ Auxiliary the general object of the outline has been at- ! Fund," from which small grants were made in tained. To those who desire to know more on cases of special distress. In the centenary year the subject, we may recommend, as a popular (1839), however, a scheme was devised to meet and elegant narration of the life and labours the obvious claims of duty in this matter; and of the founder of Methodism, “ Watson's Life it was arranged that each member should be of the Rev. John Wesley;" as a succinct stateexpected to contribute--on an average of the ment of the rise and progress of the Wesleyan whole societies-sixpence annually for the pur. Church, “ Jackson's Centenary of Wesleyanpose. The plan is now coming into general Methodism;" as faithful expositions of Wes. operation, and it is likely that the benevolent leyan doctrine, “Wesley's Sermons," and and just intentions of its framers will be accom- “ Watson's Theological Institutes;” and, as the plished.

authorized Code of the Connexional Laws, the From these Notes, brief as they are, it will yearly “ Minutes of Conference.” appear that the ecclesiastical organization of the Wesleyan system, however complicated and

TO THE LILY OF THE VALLEY. diversified it may seem to be, is really simple, harmonious, and effective. Under God, the

“A beauteous tender flower." inoulding of that organization, in its adaptation

Lowly lily of the vale, to the more recent circunstances of the Wes

Drooping, modest, meek, and pale leyan body, are to be ascribed, in no small

Pure in heart ! O thus to be degree, to the efforts of one master-mind. It

“ Clothed with humility!" is not easy to speak of a living man as he

'Neath thy shrouding veil of leavc3, merits; but in papers designed for readers, the

Cowering like a soul that grieves, majority of whom are, no doubt, members of

Bent with tear-drops, trampled, torn, other Churches, it would be wrong to omit at

Lowly lies thy graceful form, least a passing reference to the fact (which

Like that lovely One who lay does not need to be stated to the Wesleyan

Weeping in Gethsemane; Church), that-however great and valuable the Spotless as “that tender flower," services of other men may have been, and un

In temptation's darkest hour, questionably were--the consolidation of Wes- Who 80 pure, so fair as he ? leyan-Methodism on its present basis has mainly

Model of humility. been effected by the sanctified wisdom and un

Heaven's unassuming child, wearied energy of Dr Bunting. There are many Delicately fair and mild; names which the Wesleyan Church should em

In no garden's sunny shade balm in perpetual remembrance; but if there Lifting loftily thy head; be one human name which, next to that of John Meekness breathing in thy mienWesley, should be engraven on its heart, it is

Odour full, thy heart sereneassuredly the name of Jabez Bunting.

Looking ever to the earthNo place has presented itself for a notice Speaking more of tears than mirth of the Wesleyan “ Committee of Privileges,” Bending, trembling, still it sighs but we must not conclude without some re- 'Neath the blight of paradise ference to it. Its object is to guard the rights Like a soul in prayer bent, and privileges of the Connexion; and including

Grace its only ornament. as it does many of the best-known and most- Who has brought thee bere to die, respected ministers and laymen, it possesses And record my spirit-sigh? srcat influence in the Wesleyan body. Some Meekness may I learn from thee, of its members have lately been specially ap

Emblem of humility. pointed to act in “ cases of exigency, demand

Marion AIRD.

« PreviousContinue »