Page images
PDF
EPUB

God, to send their children and slaves to be catechised. The children gathered in crowds round him; he led them to Church, taught them the creeds and practices of devotion, and impressed on them strong sentiments of piety and religion. The effect produced on the youth soon became manifest; the example began to spread ; the whole town was influenced to turn from sin. After a time Xavier preached in public, and visited the people in their houses : and a most extraordinary and universal reformation in their morals and habits ensued.

After six months spent in these successful labours, Xavier went among the Paravas, a people on the eastern coast of India, near Cape Comorin. Here he preached the Gospel with such success that these people were converted in thousands. His labours indeed were incredible; while he lived only on rice and water, like the very poorest of the people, he was able to devote his whole day and night, except three hours of sleep, to the exercise of his ministry and the duties of devotion.

Xavier had laboured for more than a year in the conversion of these people, when he was obliged to return to Goa for assistance and was then able not only to continue the instruction of his converts—but going into Travancore, in a few months almost the whole kingdom embraced Christianity. He afterwards sailed to Malacca-next preached in the Spice Islands, Amboyna, the Moluccas, Ceylon, in all parts of which he brought great numbers to the Christian faith. In this Mission he experienced many sufferings and dangers; but his zeal for God caused him rather to rejoice in those things. “The dangers to which I am exposed" said he, “and the toils I undergo for the interest of God only, are an inexhaustible spring of spiritual joys, inasmuch that these islands, bare as they are of worldly necessaries, are the very places in the world for a man to lose his sight through the excess of weeping—but they are tears of joy. I never remember to have tasted such inward delights; and these consolations of the soul are so pure, so exquisite, so constant, that they take from me all sense of my corporeal sufferings.”

Having returned to Goa, Xavier soon after sailed on a mission to Japan, where he arrived in 1549, and was received favorably by the king, who allowed him to preach the Gospel-and he applied himself with such extreme diligence to the study of the language, that in a few weeks he was able to translate the creed, and an exposition of it, together with a life of our Saviour, compiled from the Gospels and 'preached in public. Having laid the foundations of the Christian Church throughout Japan, he again embarked for India in 1552, and after a short stay there, was

once more on his way to preach the Gospel in China, when it pleased God, in 1552, to call away this great Missionary after ten years of labours and successes almost unparalled since the days of the apostles.—Abridged from Palmer.

PAST MISSIONS. Church history is full of accounts of holy men, who were sent forth as Bishops, and were Apostles of the nations to whom they were sent, and founded Churches, and converted great nations ; but there is not one account of persons going out of their own will, or establishing a Church without Bishops, or without having received a commission so to do from those who had inherited the power to give it, the Bishops of the Church.

The Maxim of the Apostolic age, “ do nothing without the Bishop,” was then acted upon, and the conversion of great and powerful nations, civilized and barbarian, proud of their might or their civilization, who bowed their necks under the humble yoke of Christ, attests God's blessing; compared with which, all modern efforts have been as nothing. And in later times, after many efforts had been made (in vain, because insulated) to convert the Germans, God raised up a countryman of our own, Winifred (known by the name of Boniface, “ the good doer," and since called the Apostle of the Germans,) who was sent forth as her Bishop. He lived to found there eight Bishoprics, received the crown of martyrdom in carrying the Gospel to a remote tribe, and is still recognized as the “father in Christ” of those, who since in Germany have lived and died in his faith and fear.

PRESENT MISSIONS. Let no man do any of those things which pertain to the Church without the Bishop.

Have regard to the Bishop, that God also may regard you.

Some indeed talk of the Bishop, but do every thing without him; but such persons do not appear to me to be conscientious. For as many as are Gods and Jesus Christs, these are with the Bishop.

When you are subject to the Bishop as to Jesus Christ, ye appear to me as living not according to men's rule, but according to Jesus Christ.-ST. IGNATIUS. BISHOPS OF THE COLONIES AND DEPENDENCIES OF THE

BRITISH EMPIRE. Nova Scotia.-Right Reverend John Inglis, D.D. Newfoundland.-Right Reverend Edward Field, D.D. Fredericton.-Right Reverend John Medley, D.D. Montreal.-Right Reverend George Jehoshaphat Mountain, D.D. Toronto.--Right Rev. John Strachan, D.D., L.L.D. Jamaica.-Rt. Rev. Aubrey George Spencer, D.D.

Barbados. --Right Reverend Thomas Parry, D.D.
Antigua.-Right Rev. Daniel Gateward Davis, D.D.
Guiana.-Right Rev. William Piercy Austin, D.D.
Calcutta.Right Rev. Daniel Wilson, D.D.
Madras.-Right Rev. George Trevor Spencer, D.D.
Colombo.-Right Reverend James Chapman, D.D.
Bombay.-Right Reverend Thomas Carr, D.D.
Australia.-Right Rev. William Grant Broughton, D.D.
New Zealand.-Right Rev. George Agustus Selwyn, D.D.
Tasmania.Right Rev. Francis Russel Nixon, D.D.
Gibraltar.–Right Rev. George Tomlinson, D.D.

THERE HAVE RECENTLY BEEN APPOINTED-
Cape of Good Hope.—Rev. Robert Gray, M.A.
Morpeth.-Rev. Robert Allwood, M.A.
Adelaide.-Rev. Augustus Short, M.A.
North Australia.—Rev. William Tyrell, M.A.

ON THE VISIBLE ASCENSION IN EACH OF THE

THREE DISPENSATIONS. It is remarkable, that in each of the three dispensations a visible ascension of the body has taken place,--some holy personage has been visibly taken up to heaven. In the first of these periods, between the Creation and the Deluge, Enoch was translated : “He was not,” say the Scriptures, “be did not die :" for “he walked with God, and God took him.” During the second period, from the Deluge to the Advent of our Saviour, Elijah was visibly taken up into heaven : “It came to pass as he and Elisha still went on and talked, that behold there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” During the third period, which has continued nearly two thousand years, in which we and the whole Christian Church now live, and which will be concluded only by the day of judgment, Christ our Lord, while in the act of blessing his disciples" and while they beheld, was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” He ascended into heaven, and He now sitteth, till He shall again come to judge the living and the dead, at the right hand of God. Whatever were the sundry ways and divers manners in which God, by His prophets, appealed to the Jewish world; whatever reception we ourselves may give to the precepts and the sanctions of His Evangelists and Apostles, who have more especially written for the Christian dispensation, this is undeniable, that God in every age, has made most abundant provision to demonstrate to all the certainty of another state of being. In the great mercy of our Almighty Creator, this solemn truth has been enforced by three visible ascensions into heaven, an earnest to the world of the certainty of that great day, when all the Church of God, from the days of Adam, till the sounding of the trumpet of the Archangel, shall assemble before the judgment seat of Christ. As surely as Enoch, and Elijah, and our Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into heaven, so also shall we ascend from our graves, to give an account of the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or bad.

Where is now the body of Christ, which ascended in a visible and tangible shape ? Wherever body exists, it must exist in rereference to place, and heaven cannot therefore be merely a state or condition. There must be, then, in some part of the universe of God, a place in which the glory of the Deity is more immediately and peculiarly manifest, where the body of Christ now is, the real “holy of holies.” There is the seat of that happiness which is peculiarly prepared and destined for the faithful followers of Christ. There is the abode of angels; there are the spirits of the just made perfect; there is God, the Judge of all. To that place, and to the state and condition of happiness which is enjoyed there, every son of man may arrive, to whom the invitation of divine mercy has been extended. There is our bome, here is our pilgrimage. There is our Father; here we are pilgrims and strangers. There is the Son of God, our Brother, and our Friend; here we live among fallen creatures, a cold and selfish world. There is peace, and repose, and rest; here is vexation, turbulence, and sorrow. Frail indeed is the veil of mortality which separates us from that holy mansion of God our Father; and pror and contemptible are tbe toys and follies that bind us to eartn, and prevent us from anticipating, with serene and rational confidence, the summons to the invisible world, that most assuredly awaits us. He that numbers the very hairs of our head, in whose book all our members are written, will not leave us nor forsake us in the graves. He will separate our corrupted and mouldering bodies from the confused mass of atoms by which they may be surrounded, with as much faithfulness and truth as the loadstone will draw to itself the smallest filing of steel, from the innumerable grains of sand by which it may be encompassed. Why then should it seem a thing impossible to you that Christ should raise the dead? The voice of inspiration has declared, “ Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. And the earth shall cast out the dead.” (Isa. xxvi. 19.) And that same glorified body which the disciples saw ascend, shall at the last day descend, and conduct us from the grave and gate of death to the glorious home of holiness and purity, to the new Jerusalem, the city of the living God.

Rev. G. TOWNSEND.

ON VISITING SCHOLARS AT THEIR

HOMES.

You have seen friends become cold, distant, and finally break away, and never again become reconciled to each other. You have seen husband and wife change, revile, and hate each other, separate, while every year only seemed to render their enmity more intense. The link once broken between husband and wife can seldom be mended. But you do not often see children and parents become enemies. Let the child be deformed and diseased, and it does not wean him from the love of his parents ; let him become an idiot, and their love will not change; let him become vile, and they will throw the mantle of charity over him and still encircle him in the brightness of hope ; let him leave his home and herd with the vile, and throw away all that is lovely or valuable, and they will still cling to him. And even when he is so degraded that he feeds with the swine in the field, on the first appearance of his return, however poor and wretched, the father sees him afar off, and runs to meet him, to fall on his neck, and to call him his son. It is hardly possible to wear out this heaven-planted love between parent and child. And it is the existence of this love which gives the Sunday School teacher such power. In committing his children to you, the father commits his highest hopes, the mother her richest treasure. It is like a deed by which they commit their all to you.

By having the children put into your

have a means of doing good to those parents and to their families, unspeakably great. You wish to know the influences under which this and that child have thus far been placed. A visit to his parents will help you to understand them. You wish to have this and that trait of character corrected. The parents

hands, you

Y

« PreviousContinue »