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A LETTER TO CHILDREN ON BEHALF OF MISSIONS.
Dear Children,—You have often heard of the poor children over the seas, who worship idols, and do not know the true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent. You have heard that missionaries have been sent to some of them, and that they have cast away their idols, and have learned to read the Bible, and to pray to Jesus. You have heard how quickly they learn, how dearly they love their teachers, and how thankful they are to English people for sending them.
But do you know how very few those are who have had missionaries sent to them, and what a vast number have never seen a single Christian? That you may understand in how sad a state the greatest part of the world is at this time, you shall hear a few of the dreadful things that are done in all parts where God is not known.
Hundreds of thousands of little infants are criully put to death in heathen countries. This was the case in all the South Sea Islands before the Gospel was taken to them, and is so still in China, where our own Mr. Burns and Dr. Young are labouring. At a Meeting held in Raiatea, where many people had been converted, a venerable Chief rose and seemed to feel much while he told how all his family had died in the service of Satan, before the Good Word had come to them. Then he said also, "Great are my crimes: I was the father of nineteen children; all of them I have murdered; now my heart longs for them. But, while I was destroying them, no one stayed my hand, or said, 'Spare them.' No one said, 'The Good Word, the True Word is coming, spare your children;' and now my heart is repenting, is weeping for them!"
In Madagascar, if children are born on what is thought an unlucky day, they are strangled, or drowned, or buried alive, or laid on the ground and wild cows let loose to trample them to death. In Africa, besides many things of the same kind, Mr. Moffat tells us that, when the Bechuanas took their enemies captive, they used to throw the little children on the ground, cover them with brushwood, and set it in a blaze. In India, many little girls are left in the jungle, to be eaten up by the jackals, or to die for want of food. In China, many are drowned in warm water, and buried as soon as born. Numbers are thrown out every night in the streets of Pekin, and buried in the morning in one common hole. Some poor little girls in China have their eyes put out and are sent to beg. There are two little Chinese girls now in England who were made blind for this purpose. But they have now been taught to read the Bible with their fingers, and can read it as fast and as correctly as any of you.
It is the little girls who are chiefly treated in this way in heathen countries. Nobody loves them or speaks kindly to them; they
are hated and despised, if they are suffered to live.
Among some heathen nations, people are killed, and offered in sacrifice to the idols. In Ashantee, hundreds of human sacrifices are offered, and the poor people are dreadfully tormented before they are put to death. A gentleman, who visited that country, saw a little boy of six years old, who was going to be put to death in some cruel way. In the Goom Soor country, in India, a few years. ago, hundreds of poor children were found fattening for slaughter. It was the custom to cut pieces of the children's flesh, while they were yet living, and to moisten the land with their blood. The poor ignorant idolaters thought that this would please their gods, and make the land fruitful. Many things just as cruel are still done in other countries.
In many large islands, the people are cannibals, and eat one another. At one feast in the Feegee Islands, it is said that two hundred human bodies were baked and served up. A little girl, pining with hunger, begged a little food of her enemies, and they gave her a piece of her own father's flesh. During famine, the husband will sometimes devour the wife, and the parent the child.
Then there is that horrible slave trade, about which your teachers can tell you much. Many little black boys and girls are torn away from their fathers and mothers, and never see them again. Many die of grief, or in consequence of the cruel way in which they are treated. If the wicked men who catch them have more than they want, they kill them, or throw them into the sea. The rest are taken in ships to countries far away from all their dear friends, and made to work in irons, and to eat the bread of sorrow.
These are a few of the dreadful customs that prevail in heathen countries. Those who practise them do not know how wicked they are, for they have had no one to tell them. And think, dear children, what will become of their souls? Millions, millions, hundreds of millions of heathen children are taught to worship idols, and to be as cruel and wicked as their parents. They have no ministers, no teachers, no Bibles, no friends to show them the way to heaven—no one to tell them about Jesus Christ!
"Would not the Heathen listen if more missionaries were to go?" Oh, yes, but most of the Missionary Societies have not money to send them. The poor Heathen are beginning to beg very hard for missionaries—they say, "We perish, we perish, we all perish," but instead of sending any more, the Societies have been afraid that they must send for some back to England. Many young Christians have said, "We will leave our fathers and mothers, if we may be sent to the poor Heathen," but the Societies have been obliged to say, "We have no money with which to pay for sending you," and they have gone home with a heavy heart.
A great many Meetings were held in London lately, to consider what could be done. Some proposed one plan, some another, but all agreed about this, "We must set the children to work. If more and more letters keep coming from the Heathen every year, what shall we do? We are getting old, and cannot work a great many years longer. We must teach our children, that they may carry on the work when we are dead. Some of us did not begin to work till we were grown up, and we have only been able to do a little. We must teach them to work while they are young, that they may be able to do a great deal more than we have done."
"Then," said others, "we will not only teach them what to do when they grow up, but we can show them how they can help us now."
There are two ways in which we shall be thankful for your help. First, we ask you to pray for the heathen—to have little prayer meetings amongst yourselves for them. Ask God to send the knowledge of His dear Son Jesus into the dark places of the earth, which are so full of the habitations of horrid cruelty. Pray, dear children, for those who do not, and will not, pray for themselves.
In the second place, we ask you to collect money. When you have any money given you, or have found out a way to earn it, instead of buying fruit, and cakes, and toys, you can give it to the Missionary Society. If you were all to give only one penny of your own, it would amount to several thousand pounds. And if you were all to give a pennya-week, it would come to so much money that there might be twice as many missionaries, and twice as many schools for the poor heathen children as there now are. Some of you might take cards and collect, and some of you might have a missionary box, and ask your fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, to put in a little money every Monday morning. Your ministers and teachers can also tell you how you might form little missionary societies among yourselves, and hare secretaries, subscribers, and collectors, and even missionary meetings of your own.
I will tell you a little story of ancient times, which perhaps you have not all heard. There was once a great general and warrior, named Hamilcar, and he had a little son named Hannibal. When Hannibal was nine years old, he begged very hard that his father would take him to battle with him. Hamilcar consented, but, before they went, he made Hannibal place his hand on the altar of his idol gods, and swear that he would make perpetual war with the enemies of his country. Hannibal kept his word: he spent thirty-six years in fighting them, and at the end of a life of seventy years, he had not forgotten his vow.
Dear children, we want to see you come forward and pledge yourselves to a nobler cause. How rejoiced should we be if we could know that all of nine years old and upwards were saying in their hearts, "Lord Jesus, we give ourselves to thee! By thy grace assisting us, we will live to thy glory alone, and seek to make thy name known and loved throughout the world. If we gain wealth, wisdom, or honour, we will lay it at thy feet, or go at thy bidding to the ends of the earth. From this day forward, we are not our own, but thine!"
THE MAN WHO SAT BY THE FIRE IN THE HALL. Once the Son of God lived in this world. Is not that wonderful? He became a man, and he had a body and soul just as you have. Would you like to have seen him? I think you would. There were twelve men who walked about with him from place to place. They were called his disciples. One of them was named Simon Peter. He loved Jesus, the Son of God.
Someiimes Jesus used to say to his twelve disciples, "I shall soon die; wicked men will kill me; they will nail me on a cross, but I shall rise again out of my grave." The disciples were very sorry to hear their Master talk in this way; they could not bear to think that he should die. Once Peter said, " I will go to prison with you. I will die with you." Then Jesus said to Peter, "Will you do so? No, this night you will say three times over that you do not know me ; you will say so three times before the cock has crowed twice." Jesus was God, and he knew all that was going to happen. Peter could not believe that he would ever say he did not know his dear Master, but Peter did not know how much naughtiness there was in his heart.
That very night some wicked men came into a garden where Jesus was, and bound him with ropes, and took him to a great house. The judges were seated on high seats in that great house or hall. Peter was very sorry to see his Master taken away, and he went after him. He did not go with him, but he followed him some way off. There was a woman at the door, and she let him go in; then Peter sat by a fire, and warmed himself. Soon the woman who had let Peter in, looked at him, and said, "Are you not one of the disciples of Jesus?" Then Peter was afraid lest the wjked people should use him ill as they did hisMaster, and he said to the woman, " Woman, I know him not." That was a lie—a dreadful lie. Presently afterwards Peter left the hall, and went out into the porch. Then the cock crew. Did Peter remember what Jesus had said? No, he did not; he took no notice of the crowing of the cock. While he was in the porch, a man said to him, " You are one of the disciples of Jesus." Peter answered, " Man, I am not," and not content with telling this lie, he soon began to swear he did not know the Lord.
He returned into the great house. There his Master was. The wicked people were round him, laughing at him, beating him, and even spitting at him. Several persons came up to Peter, and said, "You are one of this man's disciples." Then he began to curse and to swear, and to say, " I do not know the man." While he was speaking in this wicked manner, the cock crew again, and Jesus himself turned towards Peter, and looked at him. Now Peter remembered what Jesus had said to him ; now he felt very sorry indeed for his wickedness. He left the hall, and began to weep very bitterly. He thought over all that had happened —how kind his Master had been to him, and how ungratefully he had behaved. Could he ever forget that look which Jesus had cast upon him? What sort of a look do you think it was—an angry look, or a sorrowful look? I think there was more sorrow than anger in it.
Did the Lord Jesus forgive Peter his great sin? Yes, he did. The next day Jesus was crucified and was buried. Hut he only lay three days in his grave. One morning very early he rose again. How glad Peter was to see him again! Jesus did not say to Peter, " I cannot love you any more, because you behaved so ill that night." No, Jesus said to him, " Do you love me?" And Peter said, "Yes, Lord, you know I do." Jesus asked him three times over if he loved him, and Peter said three times over that he did love him.
Jesus is now in heaven with God his Father, and Peter is there too. Jesus wants you to love him. He has been very kind to you; he made your body, for he is God. He died on the cross to save you from going to hell. Do you love him? How wicked it would be not to love him! It is very wicked not to love your father or your mother, but it is more wicked still not to love Jesus.
When you do wrong Jesus sees you, and if
Jou are sorry for your sin, and cry about it, esus sees your tears. Children who really love Jesus are very sorry when they have done wrong, but other children say, " I don't care." I am afraid lest they should go to hell. Did you ever cry because you had displeased God? You have often cried—what has it been about? Was it because you were cold and hungry? Was it because you had a pain in your head? Was it because a boy had taken away your things, or because he had struck you a blow? Was it because your father was angry with you, and was going to beat you?
I dare say you have cried for all these reasons. Have you ever cried about your sins? It is a good day when a boy or a girl sits in some corner and thinks over sins that are past, and feels sorry, and prays to God, and says, " O God, forgive me for the sake of Jesus who died uj(Bh the cross, and give me thy Holy Spirit to make me good."
You may read the history of Peter's sin in Matt . xxvi. 69 to end; Mark xiv. 66 to end; Luke xxii.54—62; John xviii. 15—27 —Tracts for Children.
VALUE OF ONE LEAF. There was once a caravan crossing to the north of India, and numbering in its company a godly and devout missionary.
As it passed along, a poor old man was overcome by the heat and labours of the journey, and sinking down, was left to perish on the road. The missionary saw him, and kneeling down at his side, when the rest had passed along, whispered into his ear, " Brother, what is your hope 1" The dying man raised himlelf a little to reply, and with great effort succeeded in answering, "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin," and immediately expired with the effort.
The missionary was greatly astonished at the answer; and in the calm and peaceful appearance of the man, he felt assured he had died in Christ. "How, or where," he thought, "could this man, seemingly a heathen, have got this hope?" And, as he thought of it, he observed a piece of paper grasped tightly in the hand of the corpse, which he succeeded in
getting out. What do you suppose was his surprise and delight, when he found it was a single leaf of the Bible, containing the first chapter of the First Epistle of John, in which these words occur. On that page the man had found the Gospel.—Cams Wilson's Children's Friend, July, 1846.
THE NOBLEMAN AND THE RAGGEDSCHOOL BOY. There was a poor boy who went to a Ragged School. The Ragged Schools have beenalready great blessings to the poor, and I hope many of you will yet help them. This boy had ragged clothes and a dirty face, because he had no one to take care of him. One day this little boy was very hungry, and a very rich man was passing by—a nobleman, what we call a lord—and the little boy looked up in his face, and said, "Your honour, I am hungry, please give me a penny to buy a roll." "Go away," said the lord; "don't tease me." "Ah, your honour, give me only one penny," said he. "Go away, go away," said the nobleman; he was not attending to what the boy said. At length, as the boy continued asking, the nobleman, taking out his purse, gave him a shilling. The boy thought that as he had asked only for a penny, he meant to give him only a penny, and that he should give back the difference; so he ran off, and changed the shilling. But when he came back the nobleman was gone. Now, you know how a great many boys would have felt; they would be very glad he was gone, and would spend the shilling. But this little boy, though poor, and often hungry, went and bought a roll for the penny; but the eleven-pence he put into a nice clean bit of paper, and every day he came to the place where he had met the nobleman, hoping he would meet him again. After about two months he thought he saw a man very like him coming up the street. "That's he," said the boy, and ran up to him, and said, looking quite happy, "Your honour, here's your money." "Go away," said the nobleman. "The change of the shilling your honour gave me." "What change?" said the nobleman. "Ah, don't your honour remember me? —you gave me a shilling." The nobleman stopped, and when he understood the boy, he said, " Where do you live ?—have you any one to take care of you?" "No, your honour." "Can you read?" "No, your honour, but I am learning." "Well," said the nobleman, "I will have vou sent to school, and taught, and fed, and clothed." That was what I call a right kind of lord, though he said, "Go away, go away," for some people will say, "Go away," and give a rough answer, though they may have big hearts, and a great deal of kindness in them. He sent the boy to school, and had him well taken care of; and he turned out a godly and virtuous man; and you know that is the right kind of man. When a man is godly, he is right towards God, and when he is virtuous, he is right towards man.
INDEX TO VOLUME I.
Aberdeen Gymnasium, 28, 414.
Address to Her Majesty, 166.
Alexander, Emperor of Russia, Conversion
Bakers, Journeymen, 28.
Bass Rock, the, 105.
Belgium, Evangelization in, 187.
Bengal, Mission in, 163.
Berwick, proceedings of Presbytery of, 60,
126, 248, 379, 506.
, our illustrated, 494, 530, 557.
Birkenhead Church, 28. , Statement of Proceedings
in Chancery regarding, 94.
60, 125, 378, 444, 506.
Presbyterian Church, 284.
Blessedness, the greater, 149.
Blyth, Northumberland, 163.
Book of Psalms, 365.
Books, notices of, 96, 258, 289, 319, 340, 386,
416, 446, 484, 514, 545, 560.
arrival in China, 56.
letters from, 122, 308.
Cambridge Education, 306.
Cape of Good Hope, state of Religion at, 13.
Central Fund, 86, 113.
Chalmers, Dr., Posthumous Works of, 76.
picture of, 287.
on the Doctrine of Universal
Children's Messenger, 546, 572.
————, Address to Children, 546.
Christ the best Comforter, 322.
Christ's imputed righteousness, doctrine of, 11.
Christian love among brethren, 143.
Christian experience and Infant Baptism, 525.
Church of England, Royal Supremacy in the, 79.
Church Property in Scotland, 255.
Collections and Donations, 22, 50, 85, 121,
College, the, 190, 246.
Committee, Report of, 171.
Confirmation, Rite of, 403.
Conversion of inveterate sinners, though diffi-
Corfu, 127, 344, 376, 504.
Mission, 216, 279, 466.
Cowper, William, Monument to, 501.
Cross, offence of the, 323.
Dangers, some of our, 496.
Damons— Da;moniac Possessions — Daemon
Eldon, Lord Chancellor, and the Bishop of
Falkland, Lord, character of, 208.
Flemish Church, opening of the first Pro-
Committee, Report of, 179.
Free Church of Scotland, 63.
Free Church Missions, 123, 159, 196.
and United Presbyterian Church,
Congregations in, 478.
Gambler's Victim, 510.
Giving the right hand, 139.
Giving to Christ the Believer's Privilege, 389.
Good Words, 64.
Guests, Clerical, 512.
Hamilton's, Rev. Jas., Lectures:—
To Sabbath-school Teachers, 1.
To Servants, 33.
Relations between Religion and Physical
To Working Men, 97.
To Heads of Families, 133.
Pietv and the Medical Profession, 197.
To Slen of Business, 229.
Religion and Literature, 261.
Pietv and the Legal Profession, 293.
To Young Men, 325.
To Students, 357.
National Jealousy and Sec-
Appeal to the Lord Chan-
Home Mission Committee, Reports of, 174,
I must pray differently, 368.
Infant's Grave, the, 567.
Innovation in Worship, 340.
Independents, something for, to answer, 430.
Insurrection at Edinburgh, 240.
Israel, the dew unto, 459.
Jews, Baptism of two, at London Wall
Justifying righteousness of Christ, 248.
Article of, 340.
Keith, Dr., on the Present Signs of the Times,
Labourer worthy of his hire, 268.
Ladies' Association in Aid of Missions, Report
for 1847-8, 185.
office-bearers of, 187.
Lancashire Presbytery, the, 288.
Lancashire, proceedings of Presbytery of, 59,
90, 125, 194, 282, 309, 406, 441, 505, 566.
Presbyterian College, 3d October, 1848, by
Professor Campbell, 333.
89, 124, 160, 194, 217, 247, 281, 309, 377,
406,441,477,505,565. Presbyterian Sabbath-school Union,
Macdonald, Rev. John, 486, 518.
Madrid, destruction of the Inquisition at, 235.
Man, the, who sat by the fire-side in the hall,
from Report of Committee on, 541.
Newcastle-on-Tyne, proceedings of Presbytery
High Bridge Presbyterian
Church, 346. Meeting of Sabbath School
Union, 381, 477.
of, 91, 161,345, 443.
Mr. Innes, of Canobie, 58.
Old Calabar, 64
Otago, Free Church settlement at, 404, 559.
Oxford and Cambridge in 1750, 38S.
Papacy, the, 96.
Pastoral visitation, common sense notions
Turn the Carpet; or, the Two Weavers, 75.
Coming late to Church, 56.
Speak no ill, 113.
Mutual Forbearance, 224.
The Believer, 224.
Eliza Field, the Needle Girl, 253.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus, 260.
Remembrances of a Scottish Sabbath, 2S9.
To Conscience, 289.
The Memory of Childhood, 319.
Thus, or Thus, 356.
To a Child sleeping on Sunday evening,
The Covenanter's Dream, 513.
. greater union among, 433.
Presbytery established in England, how far
after the Westminster Assembly, 421.