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TO THE GOVERNOR, DEPUTY GOVERNOR, AND DIRECTORS,
NEW ZEALAND COMPANY
JOSEPH SOMES, Esq. Governor.
THE HON. FRANCIS BARING, M.P., Deputy Governor.
VISCOUNT INGESTRIE, M.P.
HENRY A. AGLIONBY, Esq., M.P.
JOHN ELLERKER BOULCOTT, Esq.
JOHN WILLIAM BUCKLE, Esq.
RUSSELL ELLICE, Esq.
JAMES ROBERT GOWEN, Esq.
JOHN HINE, Esq.
WILLIAM HUTT, Esq., M.P.
STEWART MARJORIBANKS, Esq.
SIR WILLIAM MOLESWORTH, Bart., M.P.
ALEXANDER NAIRNE, Esq.
JOHN PIRIE, Esq., Alderman.
SIR GEORGE SINCLAIR, Bart., M.P.
JOHN ABEL SMITH, Esq., M.P.
WILLIAM THOMPSON, Esq., Alderman, M.P.
HON. FREDERICK J. TOLLEMACHE, M.P.
EDWARD G. WAKEFIELD, Esq.
SIR HENRY WEBB, Bart.
ARTHUR WILLIS, Esq.
GEORGE FREDERICK YOUNG, Esq.
The Following Address
TO THE EMIGRANTS
IS, WITH PECULIAR PROPRIETY, AND WITH MUCH RESPECT, INSCRIBED, BY THEIR OBEDIENT SERVANT,
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THE following is an extract from a letter with which I have been favoured from one, who is not more respected for the exalted station which he occupies in the Church, than he is venerated for the Christian virtues which abound in his life-- meekness--gentleness--charity--forbearance, but the greatest of these is charity, in which, as in every other grace, he is blameless, and affords a living exemplification of that beautiful character of a Christian Bishop, sketched by the discriminating mind and the eloquent pen of a Chrysostom:
semnos kai atifos--foveros kai prosinis--arhikos kai koinonikon--adekastos kai therapeutikos--tapeinos kai adoulotos, sfodros kai imeros, pros apanta tauta eukolos mahesthai dinitai kai epitideios meta pollis tis auftis exousias, kan apantes anti piptosi, paragein kai ton ou toiuton meta tis antis exousias, kan apantes sumpneosi mi prosi esthas, alleis en monon oran tin Ekklisiastikin oikodomin kai miden pros apehtheian i harin poiein.
In the pious and benevolent wish which it breathes, he will be joined by every one, in whom the love
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for his countrymen exists, not as a cold and heartless sentiment, but as a warm, and generous, and fraternal passion, and who, therefore, would rejoice that, whatever be the land to which a fellow-countryman emigrates, he should there exhibit the practical influences of Christian faith and of religious knowledge:--
"I CONCEIVE THAT ALL WHO WERE PRESENT MUST HAVE FELT THE IMPRESSION OF YOUR ELOQUENT AND AFFECTIONATE EXHORTATION, AND TRUST THAT IT WILL NOT BE WITHOUT ITS EFFECT, IN CONSOLING THEM DURING THEIR VOYAGE, AND DISPOSING THEM ON THEIR ARRIVAL AT THE PLACE OF THEIR DESTINATION TO PRACTISE THE CHRISTIAN VIRTUES WHICH YOU SO FEELINGLY RECOMMENDED."
It was designed that the Lady Nugent, in which the emigrants were to embark for New Zealand, should leave the Thames on Saturday, the 10th of October. Had this arrangement been fulfilled, they would not have passed the following Sabbath day at the depot at Deptford. This accounts for the late hour at which I received the application to address the emigrants, and to perform divine service at the depot. When I received it, I was at dinner with one of my old parishioners, the late Member for Teignmouth,
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himself one of the Directors of the New Zealand Company. I did not leave his house till late in the evening. I then retired to my chamber, and wrote the following address, almost verbatim et literatim, as it now appears; and it would have been delivered on the following morning but for a previous engagement to preach once more at Limehouse Church, the desk and pulpit of which I had occupied, with few exceptions, for more than twenty years, and in the parish of which I had passed by far the most pleasant, and by much the most valuable, portion of my life, previous to my residence on a country living. The place, therefore, is one to which I am much endeared by old associations, and by former friendships. But what changes the removal of some and the deaths of others have wrought, since my first connexion with the place! With few exceptions there is scarcely a pew in the church but has a new occupant, nor a house in the parish but has a fresh tenant. But such is human life! One generation of human beings passes away, to which another succeeds; and in a few short years the second will be like unto the first, and be as the flower of the field, over which the wind goeth and it is gone, and the place thereof shall know it no more. Such is the tenure upon which these
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earthly tabernacles of ours are leased out and tenanted! for it is but vain and profitless talk-- it does but bewilder the judgment and carnalize the affections, and render irregular and anomalous the conduct, for us to speak of continuing in one place, and of abiding in one habitation. There are no such things on earth as houses that shall continue for ever, or dwelling places to all generations. Like the shepherds' tents, our removals are sudden and frequent; and to hear that we never continue in one stay is to learn a lesson of practical wisdom on the brevity of our existence, and on the certainty of our passing away hence like a shadow, and of being cut down like a flower!
Every repeated visit to spots endeared to us by old habits and fond associations prompts such reflections as these. They will find a response in every reflecting mind, and the expression of them here will, it is hoped, meet with an apologist in every generous heart.
With respect to the style and matter of the following Address, I would add a few words. As to the former, it was my object to select the most familiar terms, and adopt the plainest language, as most suited to the class of hearers before whom it was to be delivered; and knowing that they belonged to different communions, I chose
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for their serious consideration matter upon which no diversity of opinion can by any possibility exist among such as call themselves Christians. There were upwards of two hundred emigrants at the depot, and among them I knew, from previous intercourse, that some were members of the Church of England, others of the Churches of Rome and Scotland, and a few of other denominations. Any thing touching on points of controversy or modes of faith would have been sadly out of place there. I question much whether it be not sadly out of place every where, particularly in the pulpit. What is a sermon? Nothing but a personal address from one to many of human beings of the like flesh and blood, and is, or should be, nothing more or less than a mild and persuasive provocation of the hearers to purity of morals, and the stirring them up to a remembrance of the godliness and the brotherly kindness, in which they should live and abound towards God, and one another, and all the other Christian virtues, such as diligence in their vocation, temperance in their habits, patience in their tempers, and holiness in all manner of conversation. From these, the most cardinal points of all sound teaching, and the most precious fruits of the knowledge of the true GOD, and JESUS CHRIST whom he
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hath sent, controversy has no other tendency but to withdraw the mind and to ruffle the feelings, or, as a French divine has expressed it well, "leur donner des idees embarassees, et meme fausses dela theologie;" or, if I wanted to convey my meaning in the purest and most vigorous language, I would do so in the words of the most inimitable prayer ever composed by man, "While it shall please thee, O LORD, to continue us in this world, where much is to be done, and little to be known, teach us, by thy HOLY SPIRIT, to withdraw our minds from unprofitable and dangerous inquiries--from difficulties vainly curious, and doubts impossible to be solved. Let us rejoice in the light which thou hast imparted; let us serve thee with active zeal and humble confidence, and wait with patient expectation for the time in which the soul which thou receivest shall be satisfied with knowledge."
Nov. 10, 1840.