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neighbourhood, the ignorant instructed, the profligate reclaimed, sinners converted, the church enlarged, joy and happiness diffused around, and God glorified, would he not give, out of his plenty, or, if poor, out of his poverty, to maintain the agency by which such a work is carried on? Let him only see the work, let him see its progress and results, and its claim on him would be irresistible. No consideration of indulgence, or of penury, would prevent his practical interest in it: “Let my right hand forget her cunning," he would say, “and let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” But this work is as really going on by the agency of Missions, among the most depraved and barbarous and idolatrous of men, as if we saw it with our own eyes. The African, and the American Indian, are enlightened by the Gospel. The Feejee Islanders are won from their cannibal propensities, and are living in holy love and joy. The Singhalese and Hindoos cast away their idols. God's word has free course, and is glorified. In Jamaica alone three thousand five hundred persons have been received on trial, for Christian fellowship, since the awful visitation of the cholera in October last! Let it be known that many thousand persons are every year added to the living church of Christ on earth, on the Mission stations, to fill the places of those who are removed to heaven! Let it be known that the enlargement of this great work depends on the united aid of the members of the Societies and Congregations; and where is the man, or woman, or child, whose heart God has touched with His grace, who would not desire to contribute towards it? It is in the multitude of those who do not yet regularly contribute to the support of Missions that we see, not any cause of despondency as to the enlargement of Christ's kingdom on earth, but a reasonable ground of hope for its speedy and indefinite extension. We are inspired with the best anticipations for the future, by contemplating the vast number of good people yet to be brought forward to the help of the work of Missions. The world cannot remain as it is, when there is so large a reserve of the army of the church militant still to be brought up to the help of the Lord, “ to the help of the Lord against the mighty." The great Head of the church alone knows all the good effected by His servants all over the world. Some measure of it may be learned from the correspondence, at large, of all the Missionaries; to which few persons only can have access. A selection from this correspondence is published every month in the “ Notices," and once a quarter in the “ Quarterly Papers ;” but these publications are not generally read. There is not one person in ten, in our Societies and Congregations, who regularly reads the “ Missionary Notices" and “ Quarterly Papers,”-the records of the labours and trials and successes of the men who are fulfilling the command of the Saviour, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Here, then, is a great work going on; and you are ignorant of its details! Or, if you know them, you are letting others, who ought to be equally interested, remain in ignorance! The work is not seen : and from this cause, from the information of what is doing not being duly circulated, the Missions, which might be enlarged, and rendered twice as useful, are restricted in their operations. There are many thousand persons connected with Methodism who do not give so much as one penny a week, throughout the year, towards the support of the Missions. to go,
There are many such persons connected with almost every Society and every chapel. They do not subscribe, because they do not know the good that is done. Now, the object of this address will be accomplished, if all such persons will procure the “ Missionary Notices," and read them. There ought to be a large sale of this instructive and interesting publication. All persons who desire to know the work which God is now carrying on in many countries, should buy and read the “ Notices," and preserve them, together with the covers, which contain useful information, for future reference. And every collector is earnestly advised to begin afresh to lend the “Notices," not only to penny-a-week subscribers, but also to those who do not subscribe. Let the “Notices” be read, and information of the state and work of the Missions be diffused among those who fear and love God, and the Missions will be supported and enlarged.
It has been said, that contributions are given in sympathy with the Committee, and not in regard to the Missionaries and their work. This is not true, to any great extent. It is no wish of the Committee to appropriate to themselves the affectionate sympathy which should be directed to the Missionaries. The Committee, therefore, earnestly reiterate their recommendation, that the published letters of the Missionaries be universally read; and they have then no fear but that adequate means will be provided for sending out the men now ready
and for their support in the prosecution of the work of God to which they are devoted." The Mission-work cannot afford to lose any of its old friends and supporters; and it can justly claim, in addition to these, that all persons connected with the Methodist Societies and Congregations should read the information which is published, and should become regular subscribers to its funds. Should this object be to any great extent accomplished, by the united efforts of Ministers and officers and collectors, and by the kind acquiescence of every one who reads this address, there will be a glorious augmentation of the work of Missions, many dark places of the earth will soon be visited by the light of the Gospel, and the glorified and exalted Saviour will “ see the travail of His soul, and will be satisfied.”
We would bear in prayerful remembrance the other Missionary Societies who are co-workers with us in this great enterprise. We heartily wish them “God speed;" but we would not be the less mindful of our own duty to take our full part of the conflict against idolatry, Popery, and scepticism ; and against every other form of antichrist which now seeks to obtain ascendancy, and enslave and ruin the souls of men.
“We, then, as workers together with God, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain."
JOHN BEECHAM, President of the
Conference. THOMAS FARMER, General JOHN SCOTT,
LONDON: PRINTED BY JAMES NICHOLS, HOXTON-SQUARE.
MARCH 25th, 1851.
In the present exceedingly critical state of our country, we cannot forbear to remind our readers and the public in general, that the Wesleyan Tract Society has published a considerable number of Tracts upon Popery, showing the iniquity of the system, and the baneful effects which it produces wherever it prevails. We trust that the Committees of the various Branch Societies in the Connexion, and those friends who desire the welfare of their Romanist countrymen, will not lose this most suitable opportunity of exposing error and disseminating truth. It will be seen from our present Reporter, that the Tracts published by this Society have been instrumental in the conversion of some, who were formerly the adherents of this most corrupt and degrading superstition.
St. George's, Third London Circuit, Tract Society, 1851. We have recently held our Annual Meeting of the Tract Society connected with this chapel; and a more interesting anniversary it has seldom been our lot to attend. The Secretary, whose attention to the Society has been most exemplary, reported an increase of six Distributors since the last anniversary, all of whom had been actively engaged during the year in promoting the objects for which the Society was first established. The Rev. P. M'Owan, Superintendent of the Circuit, presided ; and, in the course of the evening, a Visiter stated, that some years ago his district embraced a neighbourhood where some buildings were occupied as police-barracks. He occasionally met with rough usage here; and the parties on whom he called often refused to take his Tracts. “ But," said he, “ I never forgot what my mission was; and when they would not take my Tracts, I thrust them under the door. I had one day been talking to a policeman,” he continued, “who was a Papist, when I went to an upstairs apartment, which was occupied by a single man, to whom I could never gain access. On this occasion, however, I was invited in, that the parties who were in the room might see, as they said, what sort of a fish I was. I entered, and found this policeman with a soldier, who was paying him a visit that afternoon. They were both more than half-drunk, and asked me if I was not ashamed of myself, to be running about on the Sunday, telling lies to my neighbours; alluding to the conversation which I had had with the Papist, and to which one or both of them had been listening. I left them; and found, on my next visit, that this very Papist had been greatly impressed by my last
LONDON :-Published by John MASON, Wesleyan Conference Office,
14, City-road; and sold at 66, Paternoster-row.
conversation, and was now an earnest inquirer after truth. I invited him to come to St. George's chapel. He said that he should rejoice to do so, but that his duty interfered. I then proposed to call on his superior officer, to get the time of his patrol altered ; but he objected to this on the ground that, though his superior was a gentleman, and very kind, yet he would make no alteration for the sake of religion. 'Never mind,' said I, let me try.' I accordingly went early on the following morning; and, to my great surprise, found that the officer was engaged at family prayer. He told me that he was not a professor of religion, but that having been trained up in the observance of family worship, he could not give it up, and enjoyed its exercise. I stated my object in calling, and he said he would get the alteration effected; but,' he added, the man, you know, is a Papist.' I then told him of our conversation, and of the man's earnest desire to be acquainted with the truth; upon which he shook me by the hand, thanked me in the name of the whole force, and said, I wish your people would attend to all our policemen.' Next Sunday the poor Papist came to St. George's. I then invited him to class. He soon believed the truth, and became truly converted to God. For two years he maintained a consistent profession in the same society, and was then removed to Deptford. Before going, however, he came and begged me to get him a note of removal. I thought, . This man is sincere, or else he would not want a note of removal; he would like to slip out of our hands now that he is going away.' So I got him a note; and for two years more he let his light shine at Deptford, at the expiration of which time he went to America : but while he was at Deptford, if ever he had a holiday, he used to come and spend it with me, because of the good he had got.”
The same Visiter related, by way of admonition, that he could never think without great distress of the unhappy case of an exceedingly wicked man in bis district, who had invariably insulted him when he went with his Tracts, but who, being taken ill, desired to see the Tract-Distributor. The Visiter saw him on the Sunday, and promised to go again the next night; but something prevented him. On the following evening he suffered himself to be hindered again ; and when he went on the Wednesday, he learned that the man was dead, and that his last words were, “ The Tract-Distributor has not come yet.” “ It went," said he, “like a dagger to my heart, and it is as though that dagger was there still."
EXTRACTS FROM TIE SECRETARY'S REPORT. One of the Distributors says:"In the district in which I have been engaged during the past year, the Tracts, upon the whole, have been very well received. I have had refusals only in five instances, and in four out of the five the people were Romanists. One person was so impressed with the Tract entitled, 'Sure of Heaven,' tliat she requested it might be given her; which was accordingly done."
Two female Distributors report:"During the past year we have visited upwards of sixty families weekly, fifty-three of whom have received the Tracts, and many of them thankfully. Several have been induced to attend the house of God who had not previously done so. One person, who had been a backslider for the last fourteen years, has been prevailed upon by our solicitations to attend the means of grace regularly, and for the last five months
has been meeting in class. She seems earnestly desirous to have her backslidings healed. We feel encouraged to persevere in this work of faith and labour of love, knowing that in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
By one of the Distributors the following incident is related :-One Sabbathmorning, a few weeks since, as he was going to a distant part of the town, and distributing Handbills as he went along, a young female met him and offered him a paper, asking if he would accept of it. “O) yes," he said, “and thank you too; and I'll give you another in return for it." On opening it, it turned out to be an invitation to an Independent chapel in the city. Finding that they were fellow-labourers in the same service, they entered into conversation, and she asked him where he belonged to. He replied, “St. George's.” "Ah!” she said, “I was brought up in St. George's Sunday-school, and was converted to God through reading one of their Tracts.” “Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days."
And now that the Distributors are about to enter upon another year of exertion in this hallowed cause, they earnestly ask an interest in the prayers of their fellow-Christians. They feel that, as messengers from the church to the guilty and the lost, and thus in an emphatic sense standing between the living and the dead, they have a right to ask for this; and they feel assured, too, that it would be followed by a marked and manifest display of divine power. Let the cause of Tract-distribution be earnestly and believingly pleaded in our sanctuaries, at our fireside-altars, and in the closets of our people, and we should soon see an impression made upon the mass of ignorance and vice around us; and many a penitent hastening to Jesus, and finding rest beneath the shadow of His cross. And if ever there was a time in the history of the militant church when it became the people of God to be anxious for the spread of the Saviour's kingdom; surely it is the present. All the forms of error which are multiplying around us, seem to embody the spirit of earnestness; while ingenuity and invention are taxed to the utmost, and art is well nigh exhausted, to find new forms of fascination wherewith to deck the pathway of destruction. And when it is remembered that Christians are, in the providence of God, scattered up and down through the land, for the purpose of exerting a counteracting influence, the conviction forces itself upon the mind, that they, of all men, ought to possess the spirit of activity, watchfulness, earnestness, and zeal; lest it should still be true that the children of this world are in their generation wiser, and therefore more effective, than the children of light. The members of this Society entreat not only the prayers and sympathies of their brethren and sisters, but also their active co-operation; and gladly will they welcome amongst them any who, impelled by love to the Saviour, and compassion for the souls that are ready to perish, are willing to join them in this enterprise of mercy. “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;" and their earnest prayer to the Lord of the harvest is, that Ile would raise up and qualify, and send forth, many, very many, more labourers into His harvest.
Extract from the Report of the Dundee Wesleyan Tract Society, 1851. This Society was formed in consequence of a conversation which took place among some of our friends about the work of God, and the best means of promoting it. The Lord directed us to the distribution of Tracts. Accordingly,