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Instruction of the Negroes.

543

INSTRUCTION OF THE NEGROES,

The following extract is part of a letter from a gentleman who accompanied the Bishop of Barbadoes in his visitation, which he commenced a very few days after landing in the island. The account is truly cheering to all who pity the state of the poor African slaves, or who are anxious to see them brought to the knowledge of the “true God, and of Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent."

“ We drove on to the school and chapel for the slaves, which have been erected by the zeal of Mr. Pinder (who is chaplain on the estate,) and the unbounded liberality of the excellent society which has the management of the funds. I wish it were in my power to communicate to you the feelings which this scene excited. The little black children were all dressed as nicely as a painter could wish. They read a chapter in the New Testament quite as well as any class in any National School in England; there was the same emulation, the same eagerness to correct errors, the same precision.

The teacher, Mary Douglas, had managed the whole school with perfect propriety during the illness of the school-mistress. The chapel, on the brow of a cliff, is beautiful indeed; and, when we were about to descend to the college, which lies in the valley below, Mary Douglas came to beg we would come and hear them sing. We went into the school, and they, and all of us, sung the old hundredth Psalm."

How strange it is that some persons should believe tbat the blacks are incapable of receiving instruction so as to be raised much above their present degraded state! Give them the same opportunities as others, and their progress will most probably be the same.

V.

BISHOP SPRAT'S ACCOUNT OF A FUNERAL, There are few people who bave studied the service of our church, without seeing that it contains the true spirit of the religion of Christ. Most of those who differ from us in our forms of worship are willing to acknowledge this. There are some, indeed, among the Dissenters, who have adopted our Liturgy with very little alteration. Others, who have been taught to prefer a service where there is no written form of prayers, cannot be expected to think well of ours, or of any other. We cannot be surprised that such persons should know but little of what our Prayer-book contains. We may well believe this without any reflection on those who differ from us, or without any uncharitable feeling whatever. There was a time, indeed, when Nonconformists felt a bitterness against our established worship, which is happily not often seen in our own days.

Bishop Sprat relates the following anecdote. 5 It was immediately after the restoration of Charles II. that a leading man of such a party was to be buried in one of the principal churches of London. The minister of the parish, being a wise and regular conformist, well knew how the friends and relations of the deceased were set against the Book of Common-prayer, and how they shunned all oppor. 'tunities of becoming acquainted with it. The minister wished that the corpse should be buried in such a way as to give satisfaction to the friends who attended, and yet he felt it his duty not to betray his own trust. There was a large crowd assembled, of persons whose opinions were like that of the deceased. The minister began the service. He used no book, but spoke in a steady and devout manner, what seemed highly suitable to the occasion. The people were indeed .strangely surprised and affected, professing they had never heard a

Bishop Sprat's Account of a Funeral. 542 more suitable exhortation, or a more edifying exercise, even from the best and most precious men of their own persuasion. But they were afterwards much more surprised when the minister assured the principal men amongst them that not one sentence of all that he had spoken was his own, but that it was, word for word, out of that very book which they had been taught to despise. He thus shewed them that they laboured under a great prejudice in admiring that very discourse, when they thought it unprepared, which they would have despised had they known it to have been written." Wė

may add to this account, a faci which occurred under our own immediate observation. A truly devout and pious woman, who had been brought up by dissenting parents, and who was now advanced to a late period of life, felt one day inclined to atiend the worship of the church, with a view of hearing a clergyman who had lately come into the parish. She would go, she said, to hear the gen. tleman. She seemed, by this expression, as if the sermon was all she thought of, and as if the prayers were nothing; a mistake which many of ourselves are too apt to fall into. When service was over, she said to a neighbour, " How noble are the prayers of the Church! I never gave them any attention before! I was not aware that there was so much in them. How grand and how solemn it was to hear the minister offering up a prayer, and then the people all exclaiming together, “We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord,' as if they were sensible that they were really begging for Divine help, and as if they really felt that God was with them of a truth."??

EXTRACT FROM BISHOP HALL.

Isaac's life was not more retired and quiet, than Jacob's was busy and troublesome. In the one I see the image of contemplation, in the other of action. None of the patriarchs saw so evil days as Jacob; from whom justly hath the Church of God therefore taken her name. Neither were the faithful ever since called Abrabamites, but Israel. ites (from Israel, or Jacob). As an emblem of his future lot, he began his strife in the womb : after that, he flies for his life, from a cruel brother, to a cruel uncle. With a staff goes he oyer Jordan alone, doubtful and comfortless, not like the son of Isaac. In the way the earth is his bed, and a stone his pillow; yet, even there, he sees a vision of an gels. Jacob's heart was never so full of joy, as when his head lay hardest. God is most present with us in our greatest dejection; and loves to give comfort to those that are forsaken of their hopes.

THE TWO ROSES.

Being with my friend in a garden, we gathered each of us a Rose. He handled his tenderly, smelt to it but seldom and sparingly. I always kept mine to my nose, or squeezed it in my hand; whereby, in a very short time, it lost both its colour and sweetness : but his remained as sweet and fragrant, as if it had been growing upon its own root.

“These Roses," said I, "are the true emblems of the best and sweetest enjoyments in this world; which, being moderately and cautiously used and enjoyed, may for a long time yield sweetness to the possessor of them: but, if once the affections seize too

Which was the greatest Fool? 549 greedily upon them, and squeeze them too hard, they quickly wither in our hands, and we lose the con fort of them; and that, either through the şoul's surfeiting upon them, or the Lord's righteous and just removal of them, because of the excess of our affections.”.

“ It is a point of excellent wisdom, to keep the golden bridle of Moderation upon all the affections we exercise on earthly things; and never to let slip the reins of the affections, unless when they move towards God-in the love of whom there is no danger of excess."-From Flavel's Husbandry Spiritualized.

CLERICUS.

WHICH WAS THE GREATEST FOOL ?

In a sermon preached by Bishop Hall, upon his eightieth birth-day, he relates the following story:

There was a certain lord, who kept a fool in his house, as many a great man did, in those days, for his pleasure ; to whom this lord gave a staff, and charged him to keep it, till he should meet with one who was a greater fool than himself; and, if be met with such a one, to deliver it over to him.

Not many years after, this lord fell sick; and indeed was sick unto death. His fool came to see him; and was told by his sick lord that he must now, shortly leave him.

“ And whither wilt thou go?" said the fool.
• Into another world," said the lord.

" And when wilt thou come again?-within a month?"

56 No." • Within a year ?" • No.” 6. When then ??? ro Never.”

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