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suppose the Americans did it themselves ;” “I suppose that it was the British Government, while the connection lasted between the two countries. How few recognize in this Society the apostleship, not only of the United States of America, but of Canada, New Brunswick, and the Archipelago of the West India Islands? How few are aware that the first of that noble array of bishops, whose efficiency is felt throughout the United States of America, was a missionary from this Society !"
We know that the day is fast approaching, when every child of the Church of this great nation, the homes of whose sons are now to be found in all lands, will be taught the deeds which through God's strength, have been effected by this great Missionary Arm of our Church. And it is our hope
that the pages of this Manual may be made the means of į contributing to this end, by detailing from time to time, some of its past and present operations, and thus attracting the interest of our readers to the work which the Church of England is carrying on through this instrument, for the maintenance and spread of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.
It should never be forgotten, that this Society seeks to spread abroad the Gospel among the Heathen, maintaining its profession amongst our British Colonists. This distinctive feature of its operations is well stated by Dr. Hinds, in the following extract :
"Its first purpose is to preserve the institutions of our Church, and the light of the gospel as cherished through them, among the Colonists who are continually quitting Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. But, as these colonists settle themselves in countries inhabited by Heathen men, a regard for the conversion of the Heathen has always entered largely into the Society's plan. The peculiarity of its missionary character, however, is this-It connects the conversion of the Heathen with the colonization of their country by Christian men-it follows the stream of civilization that is pouring into their country, and sends them the Ark of God on that stream-it seeks to bring to the aid of the solitary missionary whom it sends to those benighted men, the influence of the enlightened community which is settling, and spreading, and pressing on them, for good and not for evil, as it must other
wise be it seeks, in short, to infuse that purifying principle into the colony which shall make it a missionary instrument, and without which the mere individual missionary's work cannot but be hindered and frustrated.”
A comparison of the two publications to which we have referred, affords gratifying proof that the Divine blessing has signally attended the efforts which the Church of England has made to carry out this principle of Missionary action, although those efforts have fallen far short of her solemn responsibilities as the Church of the greatest commercial nation of modern times.
In 1703, the Society appears to have had fourteen Clergymen and Catechists upon its list of labourers—in 1846, the total number of Clegy alone on its list amounted to 373; while upwards of 310 Schoolmasters, Catechists, and Readers are also supported by it, chiefly in its Missions among the Heathen.
The sphere of the Society's labours in its first Report, is described as consisting of all the English Dominions on the continent of North America, from N.E. to N.W., with the Indian Missions bordering upon them—some American Islands under the English Government, with two English Factories in Europe, at Moscow and at Amsterdam.
The colonies enumerated under these heads were, New England or Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, the five nations of Irroquois or praying Indians of Canada, and the Yammonsea Indians ; together with the Islands of Newfoundland, Rhode Island, Long Island, Jamaica, Antigua, and Montserrat.
Of these the North American Colonies, it will be perceived, have long since transferred their allegiance from the British Crown, and now form the West Members of the great confederacy of the United States. But though the ties of political union have long since ceased to connect these states with the old country, it is refreshing to remember that multitudes of their inhabitants are still united with us, by the bond of a spiritual fellowship in the Church of the common Saviour. “ There are now” we are told in the Summary Account for 1846, “Twenty-nine Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, and upwards of
1,300 Clergy, who with the flocks committed to their charge, estimated at 2,000,000 in number, may be said to owe their organization as a Church, under God, to the earliest efforts of this Society.
If from the list of the earlier Colonies of Great Britain, we turn to those which at present demand the fostering care of the Church of England, we are reminded in the most emphatic terms, of the Missionary responsibilities of the present generation,
In British American there are Canada West, Canada East, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, the Bermudas.
In the West Indies, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and the Leeward Islands, the Bahamas, Demerara, and Berbice.
In India, the Presidencies of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay, together with the Islands of Ceylon, with their 100,000,000 of heathen inhabitants, are occupied by a scattered band of less than 50 Missionaries.
In Australia, we find the whole of that vast Island, containing the independent Colonies of New South Wales, Port Phillip, South Australia, and Western Australia, together with the adjacent Islands of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand.
Nor must we omit from this catalogue three most important possessions, which are to be viewed as more in hope than in fact, as spheres of the Society's missionary labours ;-the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, and Hong Kong in China.
Another subject for comparison between these two epochs in the missionary history of our Church, is suggested by one short sentence in the report for 1703. “ N.B. There are earnest addresses from divers parts of the continent, and islands adjacent, for a Suffragan, to visit the several Churches; ordain some, confirm others, and bless all.”
To the long continued refusal of the British government, to listen to these earnest addresses of the American colonists for the blessing of a resident episcopacy, we may confidently attribute the loss of the United States. And if so, we may surely look forward with brighter hope to the future history of our present noble colonies, and when we see that they already form the Dioceses of seventeen apostolic Bishops, and
read the encouraging announcement that three new bishop rics in Australia, and one for the Cape of Good Hope, have just been formed, which will make the number of the missionary chief pastors of our Church not less than twenty-one.
We read in the report for 1703 :-“An unknown lady has cast in lately £1000 into the treasury of the Society.” Not an unpleasing parallel is afforded in the commencement which has been made, that two of these newly founded bishoprics owe their endowment to the munificence of one christian lady.
The income of the Society in its first year, was £800 in subscriptions, and £1700 in donations. In 1846, the total receipts of the Society, including one-third of the triennial Queen's letter, was £78,000.
Hereafter we shall hope to enter more into detail respecting the past and present operations of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The following sentence from the interesting historical notices of its missions, by the Rev. E. Hawkins, will not inappropriately close the general comparison which we have been instituting between its first and latest exertions. This sentence affords a comment upon the weighty remark which accompanies it. “Whatever be cast into the soil of a new country, be it seed or tares, will take root and spring up with an abundant harvest.
“At the time when the Church established its first mission on the shores of New England, in 1702, the total population of the American colonies may be computed at 250,000 ; at the declaration of Independence, it was about 3,000,000, it amounts now to 17,000,000 : and should the same ratio of increase continue, it will in one more century be between two and three hundred millions."
MISSIONARY PAPER. No. 3.
THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH. How many and how great are the controversies with which the English Church in these days (A. D. 1790) is harassed; and how powerful and how bitter are the enemies by whom she is surrounded we all see and painfully feel; but we are not surprised, since we are well assured that this has been the constant and continued lot of the true Church of Christ wherever she has been situated. In the whole course of Church histories, from the Apostles'
times down to our own, we shall find no period at which the Catholic Church has not been molested, either by heretics or schismatics, or by both at once. For in the field of the Lord tares have been sown together with the wheat, and both will grow together till the harvest. But this we also see in the records of the past, that such is the love of the Lord towards His field, such the loving kindness of our Almighty and merciful God towards His Church, that He has never suffered the wheat to be choked with tares,—the true gospel doctrine to be overborne by heresy, or gospel discipline by schism. And therefore we have no reason to fear, but that our Church will abide against the attacks of so many adversaries, sustained by Almighty God, as a pure and sound branch of His universal Church.
But indeed, the more pure, the more sound, the more acceptable to God our Church is, so much the more and more stubborn the enemies she has among men; adversaries on either side, who set themselves entirely against her, and if they cannot destroy her life, endeavour at least to disturb her peace. On one side, the Papists, on the other, the Sectarians, are trying all their arts, whether by saying or doing, by combined assault, petty annoyance, or public agitation, to thrust upon us their new doctrines and ceremonies, and either utterly to undermine the foundation of our Church, or to corrupt her integrity of faith and discipline.
We, in the meantime, trusting in the protection of God, appeal to the universal Church; and against all the darts of our adversaries, be they what they may, hold forth boldly this shield of the Apostle, “We have no such custom neither the Churches of God." There is no need of any thing more to maintain our cause, for this is the prime argument by which all the Church's adversaries may be at once confuted.
But let our labour bestowed upon the Church be made effectual by good works, without which it will profit nothing. It is my prayer and exhortation that all who engage in this service, as they hope for the favour of immortal God, and their Saviour Jesus Christ, as they desire the welfare of the Catholic Church, should live as becomes the sons of so holy a Mother. Let the adversaries see and admire the excellent holiness of the Anglican Church, in the holiness of life in the men she brings up: and thus shall we obtain not only the favour of men but of God, who first built up the Church, and has restored it when it was fallen; wbo can defend it from the madness of fanatics, from the deceit of papists, from the fury of evil spirits, and from the cunning of Jesuits themselves, and preserve it to ages yet unborn.-Bishop Beveridge.