Address to the New Zealand Emigrants
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New Zealand Emigrants,
October 11, 1840.
I CAN with the utmost sincerity assure you, that on appearing before you on the present occasion, few circumstances could afford me more satisfaction. As a proof of the interest which I take in your present situation, I need only add, that I have left my own parish in a distant part of the kingdom for no other purpose, and for no other reason, but those of accompanying to this spot several of the agricultural labourers of my own district, and of seeing with my own eyes what reception they meet with, and what accommodations they receive at the depot. And I candidly tell you, without the slightest reservation, that I have derived a lasting satisfaction from everything which I have seen in this place. You have been kindly--most liberally--treated, much beyond any expectations which I could have formed. I have
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visited you at your dinner-time daily, have partaken of your provisions--in quality they have been as good as they have been abundant in quantity; and from every officer in this establishment, to me the kindest feelings have been expressed in your favour, and from all I learn the utmost attention has been shown to you. It has gratified me beyond measure. I have visited, too, the several berths in the vessel in which you will embark in a few days for your future abode; and the same regard to your comforts, which have been evidenced here has been equally exhibited on board--nothing can surpass the accommodations with which you will be furnished during your voyage. You must, of course, however, make up your minds not to expect every thing as you would wish, or as you experience on shore. The voyage of life, whether by land or by sea, has its discomforts and inconveniences, and most of you know that the haven is not to be entered without baffling winds and tempestuous waves being encountered. There is no sailing to Heaven but over turbulent waves--no Christian ever travelled or got thither without having first borne his cross, and endured hardships by the road. I hope you have all of you so learned Christ, as to possess his mind, and to remember that the cross must be in the pathway, and in the sea-passage, 'ere the crown can be worn, or the port of everlasting calm and blessedness can be entered. I have just read to you a beautiful and instructive portion of GOD's word
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respecting the voyage of the Apostle Paul to Rome. Bear the whole of the wonderful narrative in mind--muse and meditate on it as you are passing over the mighty waters; and may the same GOD, who was Paul's life-preserver, be your GOD throughout your voyage. Have I any wish more strong and intense than another? Yes: on your accounts, that no damage may happen to your persons--that the vessel may sustain no shipwreck on the passage. Oh! my brethren, may the mighty GOD that ruleth the elements and governeth the storm be with you!
My good fellow Christians ! You are on the eve of leaving your father-lands. It is not to be disguised that, in quitting the scenes of your youth and the friends of your manhood, and the connections of your heart, many a tear must have been shed--many a pang must have been felt. I should not love you as I do, were it to have been otherwise; for the human heart is a tenement of many kindly feelings and affections, and the hour of separation from beloved objects is an hour of weeping and lamentation. Yes: even the very hills and valleys--the green meads and the favourite walks, to which the eye has been habituated from infancy and youth, are invested with a charm and influence, of which no distance of time--no change of circumstance, and no difference of residence can efface the recollection; and cold and callous indeed must be the heart which could be a stranger to such sweet and endearing associations! Every spot has its
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real charm--every object has its absorbing influence on the heart's affections, the final severance from which is felt, as it were, like the crash of the golden bowl, and the loosening of the silver cord! JESUS weeping at Lazarus' grave conveys to us a lesson of human sympathy, the indulgence of which is a tribute which may be paid over scenes that are left, and over objects dear and valuable that we love, without the slightest imputation on the vigour of our faith and the sincerity of our piety. But acquiescence in the ways and providence of GOD must succeed to the hour of weeping, and the day of mourning; and you have not yet learned Christ, if, in every dispensation, you cannot say, GOD's will be done, and that every arrangement, therefore, is made for the best. Now, I would wish you to have this feeling strong and vigorous in your mind at this moment--and let it be permanent. You leave your father-lands, it is true, my British, Scotch, and Irish friends; but you leave it for your good. You go to colonize a fine and beautiful country, where wages are high, where bread will be cheap, and where employment is uninterrupted and regular. From causes into which I enter not now, neither the one nor the others are the labourer's lot here--his renumeration is not high--his bread is not cheap--his employment is not regular and constant--his prospects are full of gloom and apprehension. Blast his strength, or render employment impracticable, what other resources has
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he but parochial relief, which he would abjure were it possible--or union-imprisonment, which he abhors as a pest-house? Then I do say, my dear friends, that your thanksgivings to the ALMIGHTY cannot be sufficiently strong, that a door of deliverance from these evils are opened to you by a free passage to a country--which I will not describe as one flowing with milk and honey, for our object is not to exaggerate its advantages, but to tell truth--but as one in which ample means of subsistence may be obtained, and even by habits of economy you may in time become your own masters, and board and save large sums of money. I conversed with a man the other day, who has returned from New Zealand. He went out without a shilling in his pocket--by industry and sobriety (and, of course, without these virtues nothing can be done for any man) he has amassed hundreds of pounds. One of the emigrants, who went out in one of the last vessels that sailed from this river to New Zealand, carried the virtue of economy to that degree, as that even out of the provisions furnished a-board, he reserved a little at the end of his voyage, by the sale of which, on his landing, he gained two or three pounds--a strong proof this, not only of the providence of the man, but of the ample provisions furnished by that generous Board, to whose liberality you are all so much indebted. A letter has just been received from one of the labourers lately landed at New Zea-
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land. His account is faithful and encouraging. He writes his father and mother thus:-- "I am happy to say that we were received better than we expected. In the colony there is no fear of the natives; they are harmless as ourselves. I and all the other people have had plenty to do ever since we landed. I am glad to say I am put on as foreman to look over others, so that my wages come to 1l. 18s. per week, and the man whom you were in company with before he left England wanted me to come to work with him where I could have had eight shillings per day. The colony is a beautiful climate, or else a great many of the people would have been dead, for I was continually wet up to my middle in water looking after my things. We can buy pork at 4d. per lb. sugar 3d. flour 4d. tea 4s. We saved 124 pounds of biscuits on the voyage. We have had a most fatherly captain; he told us to save all we could, for he knew we should want it when we arrived. If you do come out, bring strong shoes with you. I expect to return to Old England in ten years, and, I hope, with plenty of money," &c. I could have made larger extracts from the letter. What I have read to you is very interesting; the more so, as proceeding from one of your own class--it is sufficient to give you confidence in your undertaking, and the prospect of bettering your condition, far more than you would have been able to do in England, Scotland, or Ireland--the countries from which so many of you have emigrated. But I must
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now fulfil the object for which I have chiefly come hither among you to-day. I must preach to you, after the instructive chapter you have just heard, and the prayers in which you have joined, a plain, and, I hope, improving sermon, on a most important passage of that blessed book, in which we are all believers, though, perhaps, there may be some little shades of difference between us. These, however, are but straws and trifles, when compared with the leading points on which all are agreed -- that, the LORD JESUS CHRIST is the only refuge and support of poor sinners like ourselves, and that the best of all knowledge is to know the only true GOD and JESUS CHRIST whom he hath sent--(John xvii. 3.) Yes, my brethren, this is life eternal; and for this it is my most anxious desire that, in your honest endeavours to better your worldly condition, and to improve your temporal concerns, you should make provision. I regard you in the light of missionaries, each carrying out in his hand the everlasting gospel of peace and salvation to the natives of New Zealand. In your intercourse with them, be cautious, yet be frank and obliging. Show them the superiority and excellence of your religion by the influence it has produced on your own minds and conduct. Let your knowledge be practical. Preach the LORD JESUS CHRIST by it. The absurd notion, so well refuted by an excellent friend of mine in his valuable little tract, of which I have dispersed copies among you (Wm. Curling Young), has got abroad
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that the natives are cannibals--man-eaters. They are no such thing. They are mild, generous, exceedingly fond of intercourse with strangers. Savages, indeed! We need not travel on the mighty waters to distant lands for proofs of what man is, whose mind is in an unconverted, and whose heart is in an unrenewed, state. You, if you cannot controul the outbursts of passion, and govern your tempers, are but in a state of nature--savages; and we need not go far to illustrate this by examples in our own countries. Be, then, cautious--be on your guard, and convert the natives by showing to them the power and the benign influence of your Christian faith in your temper and conduct. Be sober; never be overcome by that degrading vice--drunkenness, which sinks the man into the brute, and makes him a savage indeed. Fly from it as you would from the plague and the pestilence. Now this will go farther in recommending Christianity to the natives than all your fine speeches and long harangues about it. Let your Improved habits and sober lives teach it, that the natives, seeing your good works, may be won to glorify your FATHER which is in heaven, and be themselves among the remnant that shall be saved!
And now, after having delivered this preliminary address to you, I must proceed to offer some observations on a most important, and; as I think, the most appropriate portion of Scripture, of which I could have made a selection in the very short space of time
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allowed me for an exercise of this kind; for I only received my application at a late hour last evening, and have, therefore, had but little time to arrange my ideas, and to choose my topics. If, however, I mistake not, your minds were perhaps never in a fitter mood to receive religious impressions, and to attend to godly admonition, than at this moment. The place--the time--the occasion--the preceding address--the consideration that this, probably, is your last sabbath-day which you will pass ashore for some months, and on which you will join in prayer and communion with God and with your fellow-countrymen on British land, must have softened and affected you, as they have the heart of the preacher. I mingle my sympathy with yours, and I can with difficulty control my emotions, and say to myself, 'Weep not.' But I do weep internally for you, and never was interest more intense than that which has been awakened in my bosom on your account. I have you in my heart. But I must proceed with calmness to perform what I have undertaken, and to fit my mind to the occasion.
I have had to pass through many an appalling scene, and to witness many a distressing sight in my time, and such as might even shake the firmest nerve, and unman the most undaunted spirit. It once was my daily occupation to visit the sick and aid the dying in their preparation for another and better state of existence--a duty comparatively light and
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easy, and by many reflections felt, not as the drudgery of a task to be undergone, but in the light of a luxury to be enjoyed--the luxury of doing good where the sympathy is well repaid and is doubly blessed! But other scenes, less cheering in the reflection, and less easy in the performance than these, have passed aforetime under my eye. I have had frequent intercourse with criminals in their prisons, and with the condemned in their cells. With such as have been convicted of murder and other crimes, I have been locked up, and have spent the last hours of their existence, and have passed the whole of their last night with them, 1 and I have accompanied them to, and on the scaffold, and have received there their parting
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thanks and farewell! But I remember no occasion on which my self-possession left me--my strength and nerves never failed me for a minute of time; and I can aver, without the slightest approximation to a morbid, false, and fanatical feeling or state of mind, that I always found my GOD a very present help in the time of need and in the hour of duty; and I may add, I trusted in him and I was not confounded! But now, I know not how it is--unless it can be explained in this way, that as we advance in years our minds can less encounter these excitements; --I feel I must take up the prophet Jeremiah's words, and, though in a different sense, apply them to myself,
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that for you, my dear brethren, "my head is as water, and mine eyes a fountain of tears."
I have said this passage is the most appropriate of any which occurred to me at the moment. The words are to be found in a prayer of the utmost solemnity, addressed by our divine LORD and MASTER to our FATHER which is in heaven, and uttered but a short time previous to his taking up his cross, and bearing the ignominy and the torture of that cross for you and for your salvation. Hear ye the words--"This is life eternal, that they might know thee; the only true GOD, and JESUS CHRIST whom thou hast sent." (2 John xvii. 3.) Ransack--sift--search the sacred volume throughout, and where will you find words of deeper meaning and of more solemn import? They contain the sum and substance of my creed--of all that I believe as necessary and essential to salvation; and I add, happy would it be, did it contain that also of every one that names the name, and profiles to be the disciple, of JESUS CHRIST? Have we attained to that knowledge, simple yet profound--the lowest and yet the highest? Then happy are we, for Life Eternal is ours. My fellow-countrymen and friends: You are about to embark on the mighty ocean, and to emigrate to a distant portion of the British empire. You carry thither a competent knowledge of your respective trades and occupations. You know what it is to be good mechanics and good agricultural labourers. There is not an adult who hears me but
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is himself either the one or the other. Whatsoever your hands findeth to do, in a worldly sense, you know how to do, and to do it well. In other words, therefore, you know how to make provision for the life temporal--to get your daily bread, and to support yourselves and wives and children by the sweat of the brow, by the ingenuity of the head, and by the labour of the hand. Such knowledge is excellent-- it is above all praise. In you, my brethren, New Zealand will acquire invaluable mechanics and industrious labourers; and you go thither, bearing with you, from your respective employers, not only these satisfactory recommendations, but the still stronger and more efficacious recommendation of good characters in a religious and moral point of view. At least, such written testimony has been required 2 and furnished, than which none can be more indispensable. It is not with the scum and the refuse of England, Scotland, and Ireland, that the Board of Directors would freight their vessels, but with a bold and industrious peasantry--a nation's pride--they seek to colonize the land, and to fertilize the soil, of that fine and beautiful country, which, in the mind's eye, I regard--centuries perhaps hence-- as a land of civil freedom, and a nation of great and mighty heroes and legislators--and to afford to the aboriginal or native inhabitants thereof, samples of its best and richest productions--I mean, minds which
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have been initiated in Christian faith and enlightened by Christian knowledge, and hearts, which have been humanized by Christian feelings, and habits and morals which have been formed on Christian principles. 3 These, my brethren and sisters--that is--that faith--those hearts--and those habits--that moral conduct, you must carry out with you thither, and let then be, as it were, the glass in which the natives shall behold with open face the glory of the LORD and happily be changed, in process of time, and by the SPIRIT of GOD, into the same image, from glory to glory. For I add--and how can I repeat it too often and press it too much--that to make your religion
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welcome, to render your knowledge useful, and to cause your principles to have a benign and engaging influence on the natives, they must see the image, and the beauty, and the lustre of its reflection in the best and most polished of all mirrors--your disciplined tempers and your ameliorated and bettered habits. These are the moral charmers that will ever charm them wisely, and be the best moral teachers to lead them out of the darkness of heathenish superstition and error into the light of evangelical truth and purity. They will be won and enchanted by your good lives far more than by all they will see in temples reared by human hands, or hear of words pronounced by human lips; and passing on from one good feeling to another--from praise to imitation, the road being short and efficacious by what the eye can
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see 4 --examples of loveliness and beauty, they will exclaim, as the pagans of old did, when they marked the conduct of the primitive Christians, "Lo, how these disciples of this new faith live; up to their faith and love one another!" Pagans, my brethren, may be unenlightened; but they have mind and intellect sufficient to know the utter absurdity and hopelessness of introducing amongst them a religion which holds up to them its founder--CHRIST, in one hand, while its emissaries and professors retain anti-Christ in the other; or, which is the same thing, deny him by the scandal and licentiousness of their lives. Christianity, I fear, since the cessation of miraculous powers, has had but little fair play among the nations of the earth, through the austerity and intolerance of some, the want of judgment and discretion in others, and the inconsistencies and hypocrisy of many of its promulgators. And it is this very consideration that urges me on, and makes me pray internally to my GOD, that your knowledge of that GOD and of his Son JESUS CHRIST may be carried out into practice, and guide you by his HOLY SPIRIT to lead a sober and godly life among such as are sitting in darkness, and want to see the lamp of Christian truth continually burning and blazing, that they may walk by its light, and direct their feet into the ways of peace and salvation!
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Now in every situation of life, and, one would hope, in every quarter of the globe, character is strength; and if in one part of the world more than in another, it is, and ought to be, so in a new colony. To obtain employment either in England, or Scotland, or Ireland, what would be my first enquiry, if I wanted a labourer to cultivate my fields, or perform some mechanical work? My first inquiry would be--Does he bear a good character? If that character be satisfactory, where and how is its strength manifested? By his immediate employment in my service; and his good character would give strength to the conviction, not only as to his perfect competency to perform my work, but that what he undertook to do, he would do with diligence and integrity. Now, my friends, you are living exemplifications of the truth and strength of character. You would not have been at this depot--you would not have eaten of the bread and meat of this establishment--you would not have been treated 5 with the consideration and kindness which you have all experienced--you would not have obtained a free passage out, nor a liberal main-
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tenance on board, but for the passport which you have received, or, in other words, but for the good character which has preceded you. It is a
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strength, yea, it is more--it is a blessing to you--it is a double blessing, for it not only is a blessing to yourselves, but a blessing, if consistently sustained, to others whither you are going. It will be a blessing to those with whom you will form associations and co-partnership when you arrive out. I will just tell you how your good character, if maintained, will be a blessing to them--it will pave the way to their worship of your GOD, and to their embracing of your
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SAVIOUR. And what can I add more? It will be Life Eternal! for in good time they, seeing your good works and your virtuous conduct, will come to the knowledge of the true GOD, and JESUS CHRIST whom he hath sent.
I have dwelt much at length on this topic--the influence and importance of character---of religious character, and of moral conduct; and the more so because, I regret to add, I have heard within these
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few days that the conduct of some who have settled in New Zealand has been anything but what it should have been, and that those even who profess to teach the Gospel, have not lived, as they should have done, of the Gospel. 6 I fear that from the authority from which this report has proceeded, there is but too much reason to believe it. to be founded in truth; though no part of the statement can apply to the emigrants who have embarked in the vessels belonging to this Society; for the report was circulated before the arrival of those who have hence preceded you as settlers in the islands, and of whose conduct, therefore, no account could have reached us, and no representation could have been given. The report applies, then, to preceding settlers, whose only motive in going thither was to prey on the simplicity, and to
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make merchandize of the property of the natives, and whose unprincipled and flagrant violation of every law, human and divine, was quite sufficient to extort the remark from one of the most intelligent of the New Zealand chiefs, Pomare:-- "Englishmen give us blankets, powder, and iron pots for our land; but we soon blow away the powder, the iron pots get broken, and the blankets wear out; but the land never blows away or wears out!" It is no wonder that religion should make but little way, and get but few converts, when the new-comers among the natives place such stumbling-blocks in their paths; and I am not surprised, therefore, when I am told that the number of the baptized is only to be counted by hundreds, instead of thousands, as it would be, were the practice of the settlers to be otherwise, and their conduct did not act as a sort of repeller to the introduction of Christian feelings, and the establishment of the Christian faith. Caution, therefore--the extreme of caution, my dear brethren, is rendered even the more imperative upon each of you, lest you should be identified in the slightest degree with these followers of Baal and these walkers with Sodom and Gomorrah, who, in the last day, shall rise in the judgment against them and condemn them: and in their blasphemies and evil doings, you will be looked upon as partakers and abettors, if you shall fail to put your shoulders to the wheel, and by the main force and energy of the good principles you carry with you
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thither, you do not roll away the rock of offence which these opposers of the Cross have put in the path-way of the simple and unmolesting natives of New Zealand! And how are you to do this? By carrying thither and sustaining there, your knowledge of the true GOD, and of his Son JESUS CHRIST. Now it is just possible that you have never, in all its mightiness and its height and depth, weighed what Life Eternal is. You may be good in all the points for which you have received credit--good as labourers and mechanics, and good in respect to religious and moral character: yet still it may be, that there has been the want of deep and serious and heartfelt consideration on this most concerning point which contains the "root of the matter," and is the foundation of all religion, as well as of Christian faith. The foundation of all religion is laid in the knowledge of the true GOD, and the foundation of Christian faith is laid in the true knowledge of the SON whom GOD hath sent: and as if to throw around this knowledge; a greater degree of weight, and to invest it with a higher air of solemnity, it comes conveyed to us, not in a familiar discourse, in which the teacher was instructing his pupils and hearers, nor in a friendly address such as that which I am now engaged in delivering to you; but in what I may almost term the death-prayer of him who was just on the point of being led out to the slaughter, and to die the common criminal's death on the cross for us and for our sal-
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vation, and when from his guileless lips nought but heavenly truth could be distilled--nought but words of saving knowledge could proceed, then, and as ever, he spoke as never yet man spake! Now have you ever sufficiently turned these things in your minds, and have fully thought on the debt which each of you have contracted by the infinite condescension of CHRIST, in being sent, and his patient endurance of these unparralleled sufferings, and what you owe to him for the clear quittance, liquidation, and extinguishment of that debt, which he alone could have paid, and by which a full and perfect satisfaction and atonement have been made for the peace, as well as the sins, of the whole world! Is your knowledge of this kind? has it wrought this impression and settled down into this conviction? The foundation then is good, and the building will stand. But had it been otherwise, or is it otherwise with any one, believe me, the whole building must be razed to the ground, another foundation must be sought, and another superstructure must be reared. Every thing will have to be begun anew: new thoughts--new views --new impressions; in other words--your knowledge must make you new creatures in CHRIST JESUS. Now this is the knowledge which I hope and trust that, to a certain point, you possess, and for which most assuredly, in its amplest sense, and to its fullest extent, I should give you credit, if it has led you, after a most arduous and diligent search after truth, to JESUS
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CHRIST, and in him have found it! And certainly if his be the words of gravity and soberness, we have his own express declaration, that it is to be found in him; "for I (says he) am the truth," "the way," "the life," "the sanctification, justification, and the redemption" of every believer.
Though I have had but a moment's preparation, as it were, to address you; yet I should reproach myself exceedingly, were you to be dismissed from this room without hearing a few observations from myself on this leading point of Christian doctrine; though it is not my intention now to preach to you a formal discourse on this or on any other point. The wish near my heart is, that you should regard the whole of what I have said, and shall say, rather in the light of one continued, kind, and affectionate address--all as a direct and personal application to yourselves, as though your LORD and MASTER were personally addressing you, saying to each of you, This is Life Eternal, that you might know your FATHER which is in heaven as the only true GOD, and myself whom he hath sent to perfect that knowledge, and make one and all of you wise unto salvation through faith in me. You have hitherto given a very marked attention to my words. I think I have even descried in your very looks a desire to be improved. I am but like, in one point, an apostle who can only water and plant--One above can alone give the munificent increase: and O, may he give it abundantly
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to one and all of you, and render this as not one of the least improving, as it is the most affecting, of your sabbath-days.
The ALMIGHTY, in times past, and at sundry seasons, has been pleased to reveal himself to the nations of the earth; but the most important revelation in which you and I have the utmost concern, is that in which he was manifested in the person of his Son, JESUS CHRIST--GOD manifest in the flesh. Ample provision was made that this last revelation should be full and satisfactory. When, therefore, he sent his SON into the world, he poured out the divine SPIRIT upon him without limitation and measure. He no longer gave it sparingly, as he had heretofore done to the prophets of old, who were but as heralds to prepare and precede the Saviour's mission. By him he has declared everything which is most conducive to the most perfect knowledge of himself. Such knowledge as it is best for us to acquire in this world, and the best and most necessary for us to possess, with a view to a better and purer state of existence, which has been prepared for all who by faith appreciate his salvation, and by practice adorn his religion. In one of the most beautiful and heart-soothing passages of Scripture, to this better and purer abode reference is made; and mansions, it is said, are prepared in heaven for them that love and obey him. All this is plain and intelligible revelation--it is knowledge of the sublimest and
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most satisfactory kind. The most unlettered, and the least informed, can embrace and understand it. Distract not your minds--perplex not your understandings, by things mysterious and unrevealed. Pry not into mysteries, which it is in vain to penetrate, and impossible, therefore, to be understood. Be content with the plain revelations of GOD; --they are sufficient to guide the faith and to regulate the practice, and happy and tranquil in mind will you be, the more you muse upon, and the more you live up to, those revelations of GOD's will and wisdom; and be assured, that where there exists a teachable mind and a meek spirit, there will never be wanting aid from above to strengthen that which is weak and to confirm that which is feeble. The ALMIGHTY never frowns upon any such, nor repels them by saying, seek ye my face in vain. His dealings with his people are far otherwise: he never breaks the bruised reed of a penitent soul, nor quenches the flax of a devout and praying spirit. I need not here detain you by dwelling on the scheme upon which the ALMIGHTY fixed for removing his own SON, JESUS CHRIST, into heaven, after he had fully accomplished the object for which he was sent upon earth--that, chiefly, of communicating to man the knowledge of life eternal. On his resumption of the glory which he had in common with the Father, and on his ascension again to the right hand of GOD, as our Advocate, to plead our cause, and to sue for our
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pardon through the all-sufficiency of his atonement and undertakings, his chosen ministers and attendants were inspired to preach his word, and to propagate his faith throughout all the islands and nations of the globe, that each might become the kingdom of our LORD, and of his CHRIST. The work of evangelising a benighted world, was not left, however, to their personal endeavours and apostolical labours. What the lips of their divine MASTER uttered, the words that he spoke, as well as the miracles he performed, and all that appertained to a distinct and saving knowledge of himself and the principles of his religion, were written in the sacred volume now in my hand; and for this end, that all men, as long as the present scene lasts, might know where true knowledge is to be sought, and the only way that leads to heaven and all its glories and beauties is to be found. And here are both the one and the other in this blessed book--the treasury of all wisdom--the great charter of a Christian man's perfect freedom, since it emancipates him from the galling and festering yoke of sin and corruption, and makes him free to enter and to walk in the city of the living GOD--the New Jerusalem, and to associate with JESUS and all the spirits of just men made perfect. Thus to begin that communion on earth, the full enjoyment of which he hopes to realize in heaven, but of which the participation can never be his but as he lives up to and treasures this charter
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of his liberties, the book of GOD, in his life and soul. Prize this precious volume, then, my brethren; read, and search, and study it, and always with this earnest solicitation at heaven's mercy-gate, "Make me, O Lord, to know and understand the wondrous things contained in thy Book; write them on the tablet of my heart, and let them be a continual lamp to my feet, and an ever-burning light to my paths!"
If, then, you would know GOD, and JESUS CHRIST whom he hath sent, you must know them as they are revealed in the pages of this precious volume. All the trash of speculative opinions, and all the standards of imaginary duties must be rejected; and the truth, as there revealed, must be received in all its majestic simplicity--in all its unadorned loveliness and beauty. Avoid the rock on which many a vessel has foundered and many a soul has been wrecked--that of receiving, as the commandments of GOD, the traditions and theories of men. Receive nothing as truth--believe nothing--follow nothing, but the things which are clearly revealed in the Bible. Have but one teacher, and let that teacher be JESUS CHRIST, whom thoroughly to know and practically to follow is life eternal.
We have varieties of sects and differences of worship amongst us. These things should not be, for real Christians should be all of one mind: but the reason why they are is plain enough--one calls himself an adherent of Paul, and another a hearer
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of Apollos; and they range themselves under the teaching of this or that man--a mere worm of the earth--the subject of many vanities, and the plaything of many caprices; while all forget that there can be but one truth, one LORD, one SAVIOUR of us all! Trust in him alone, and all will be in your minds, like that beautiful sea on which you will in a day or two be sailing, in its calmest and most unruffled state; there will scarcely be a ripple on its waters to disturb their serenity and discompose their smoothness. But lean upon man as your instructor, and there is not a heaving up of the waves of the ocean, nor a gathering up of the storms of the heavens, but are fit emblems of a mind reeling to and fro with this or that wind of doctrine, and staggering like one at his wit's end, unstable and unsteady in the path he has taken, and restless and dissatisfied in the part he has chosen. If you would that the storm should be hushed into a calm, and the waves be still, and all be quiet within--if you would that you should be brought to the desired haven, and anchor in peace and safety therein, you have but one pilot in whom your trust should be reposed, and your happiness and salvation should be centred. That pilot is JESUS CHRIST, and his directions, and his alone, are plainly written out and easy to be understood in this volume. And this book contains the whole of what is necessary for salvation. You must not hearken to any thing
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besides, were an angel from heaven to preach it to you. Whatever is fit for you to know, or necessary for you to believe, is there and there only to be found. You will but entangle and perplex yourselves if you seek for truth elsewhere. The precious stone is not to be explored in the quarries of human teaching, nor to be found amid the wranglings of human disputants--the disputers and theorists of this world. These but minister to questions vainly curious and quite impossible to be solved; they do but impair the brain, and contract the charities of the heart, and render men, instead of being the friends in kindly affections, the aliens and enemies, in most unbrotherly and unchristian feelings, one towards another. Cease ye from man and his teaching, then, but yield implicit obedience to that most important injunction of your LORD and SAVIOUR, "Search the Scriptures, for in them ye have eternal life." What words can be more express--what more cogent than the reason for which you are enjoined to sift and examine the written Word? Nothing can be more clear and explicit than the direction; and when you are told to search, you perfectly understand what is meant--that it is to find something of benefit to yourself and others. But here the word is of singular meaning in the original. I do not say that it has been incorrectly rendered, but perhaps it might have been more forcible, had the translation have been, Scrutinize
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the Scriptures--examine, investigate, what you have found. And there is another reason for doing so---CHRIST tells us, they testify of him. Then the Scriptures are of immeasurable value; they transcend all mathematical and arithmetical calculation; and I regard any attempt to evade the force, and explain away the plain letter, of this injunction, as nothing more nor less than an attempt to put out the light of truth, and to place the candlestick of information under a bushel. We know that such an attempt has been made; and what it has cost, and how much blood has been shed already to keep the leaves of this book open and its truths from being concealed. And, be the consequences what they may, we must rush into the hottest of the battle, and jeopardy our lives even unto the death, that this may never be again a sealed book nor a gospel hid. But then consider the mighty reasons why they should not be closed from hourly and daily scrutiny--for our meditations on it should be those of night and day --in them is eternal life--the very knowledge of which I am now aiming to press on you the importance, that you may carry it out in all its amplitude and breadth whither you are going.
But more than this, if indeed more can be said, these very Scriptures are "they which testify of me," saith CHRIST. Then they are beyond all price and beyond all calculation in value, as I have just said. But how, and in what particulars do these Scriptures
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testify of CHRIST? And are there any particular portions of them, in which it may be alleged that they do so more than others? Assuredly; and I make the assertion on the authority of our blessed TEACHER himself--"All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me! Then, these are the parts of the Old Testament, to which special attention must be paid, and of which you would do well, during the voyage of life, and to the end of time, to increase your knowledge from day to day. The law must be read, the prophets must be consulted, and the psalms must be studied, and every portion of each must be scrutinized. And why? because they give out testimony and furnish forth evidence of the truth as it is in JESUS--of his forth-coming from eternity--of his god-head with the Father--of his pre-figurement in types and sacrifices--of his supernatural birth--his pre-eminent endowments--his unmatched excellencies--his unparalleled sufferings -- his unmerited treatment before, and his lingering tortures on the cross--his death, burial, resurrection, and his re-investiture of all his regal dignities and of all his celestial honours.
Now all these must be consulted--the law, the prophets, and the psalms, because they each speak concerning JESUS. Of what consequence, then, are the scrutiny and examination of these special portions of the written word! and what a loss would
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you sustain, were you by any calamitous visitation to be deprived of the privilege and the blessing of reading them, of sifting for yourselves the evidence they furnish, and of improving your knowledge of JESUS CHRIST, whom to know is life eternal to every humble, to every candid, to every rational investigator of the truth as it is to be found by searching in him!
It is unnecessary here to enter into any nice and curious distinctions; but I am anxious to say a word or two on the character of that knowledge which is indispensable to be possessed by every true Christian. It may seem strange that so great a stress should be laid upon the mere knowing of GOD, as to have eternal life proposed for its reward. "This is life eternal, that they may know thee." Now, how are we to understand what this kind of knowledge is? Knowledge is an act of the understanding only; and yet we are told that GOD expects to be served with the will and the affections likewise--with all the faculties of the mind and with all the homage of the heart united. Now it is quite true that a man may be furnished and accomplished with a large stock of knowledge, and yet, for want of acting up to what he knows, may not only fall short of the happiness and salvation proposed for his acceptance in this book, but be doomed to have his portion where "the worm dieth not, and the fire is never quenched." Our Lord himself tells us so, and he gives us an in-
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stance of the fate of a person, who, notwithstanding that he knew his master's will, was beaten with many stripes. His knowledge was sufficient to a certain point; but it was not sufficient enough--it was not operative--it did not product; the only infallible proof by which we can judge of the soundness of knowledge--it wanted the test of its fruits; he did not do his master's will, therefore, he was adjudged to be beaten with many stripes: in other words, to undergo punishment. And this case is left on record for our instruction, and is mentioned for our guidance, that we should bear in mind that to knowledge, which of itself profiteth nothing, there should always be added godliness. If in these two we abound, we are not barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord JESUS CHRIST. The knowledge, mentioned in Scripture, is of two kinds--the one, active and efficient; the other, languid, and without any life or efficiency whatsoever in it. The character of the former is this--it does not evaporate in bare speculation, out moves and animates the will and the affections, and excites the man to action; when it commands the assent of the understanding, and gives life and energy and employment to the bodily organs, so as to bring forth faith and obedience, and a prompt and ready submission to GOD's will and dispensations. The character of the latter is, when it is a mere act of the intellect--a mere perception of that which is good without a suitable operation as the necessary result;
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when all that we apprehend ends in mere motion; which plays around the head, but never reaches the heart, and, of consequence, is never productive of vital godliness and of sanctified fruits. In both of these senses, the word knowledge is often used. In the former sense it is so in almost every chapter of the book of Proverbs, in which knowledge is to be understood only as another word for the fear of GOD, for which I have no difficulty in substituting the word Wisdom in every passage in which it occurs. Thus the prophet Jeremiah, speaking of Josiah, one of the good kings of Judah, hath these expressions: "He did judgment and justice--he judged the cause of the poor and needy--was not this to know me, saith the Lord?" St. Peter likewise tells us of some who escaped the pollution of the world by the knowledge of GOD, and he adds this impressive, remark: "If they again get entangled therein; it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it," meaning by it, the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, "to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." And St. John observes "that he that loveth not knoweth not GOD, for GOD is love." Now the knowledge mentioned in each of these passages, and in others which might have been enumerated, is joined with effect, and implies such a knowledge of GOD as gives us a true conviction of his divine nature and perfections--his purity--his ab-
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horrence of sin--and his power in the performance of what he has promised, and in the execution of what lie has threatened. If this knowledge has the effect of engaging us to a life of holiness, and of deterring us from the practice of sin and from habits of iniquity--if it leads to true humility of soul, an inwrought conviction of sin, and a thorough dependence on CHRIST--then it may be pronounced an operative and saving knowledge; and our Lord has declared that such is the knowledge of eternal life.
If such corresponding effects are not produced, knowledge profiteth not; and it will be found, that, at the day of judgment, it can and will be of no avail. I have thought it necessary to add these few remarks, and to make these brief distinctions: and I trust they have not appeared either unimportant to the subject, or unsuitable to the occasion.
The moment is now approaching in which I must take my farewell of you as a preacher, "with melting heart and brim full eye," but never as friend; for I shall bear you in my heart, and "think, much and often of you" when far awa'," not only while you are afloat and sailing on the mighty waters, but when you have arrived at the end of your voyage-- have landed from the vessel, and are engaged ashore in those various pursuits and occupations in which it is my cherished hope, my confident trust, and my most ardent prayer, that you will realize all your expectations, and be amply recompensed for all your
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labours. O benign and merciful GOD! open thou thine ear to hear my supplication, and stretch forth thou thine arm to preserve these my countrymen both by sea and land! It is thou alone that canst still the raging of the waves, and calm the turbulence of the storm: and do thou, in thy unspeakable goodness, vouchsafe protection to their persons, and safety to their vessel. Bless them in their honest pursuits and their lawful occupations. May they enjoy the blessings of the land; and do thou realize to them the fruits of their labours. And for every mercy which thou shalt vouchsafe, may they, the living, the living--praise thee. May the Holy Ghost descend upon them, and be their Comforter in distress, their Succourer in difficulty, and their Strength in temptation. May their knowledge of Thee, and of thy Son whom thou hast sent, be as life eternal to them; and may it produce temperance in habits, sobriety in conduct, and godliness in living; and may the good fruits, which others shall behold in them, be enriched to the conversion of the heathen, and the salvation of themselves. O Lord! grant that not a hair may fall from the head of any of them while at sea, nor on land. Finally, my dear friends, farewell. Bless you--bless you--bless you, now and for ever. So be it.
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To remove all doubts as to New Zealand being a colony of the British empire, an accurate copy of the London Gazette of Tuesday, Nov. 24, 1840, is here given:--
"Downing-street, Nov. 20.
"Her Majesty has been pleased, by letters patent, under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, to erect the islands of New Zealand into a distinct and separate colony: and to appoint John Hobson, Esq., Captain R. N., to be Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Colony of New Zealand."
NEW ZEALAND is nearly as large as Great Britain, but in soil and climate far superior, neither too hot in summer, nor severe in winter. In this fine country (which was visited by Captain Cook about seventy years since, and on which he resided for five or six months, viz., from October 6, 1769, to March 31, 1770, for the purpose of sounding and exploring the coast,) vegetation is luxuriant, and verdure almost perpetual. The valleys produce fern of the utmost luxuriance, and every thing that meets the eye conveys an accurate idea of the richness of the land and the mildness of the climate. Those who have explored the interior, give a most favourable account of the beauty of the scenery, and the capability of the soil. No instance has yet occurred to the settlers of the failure of the crops for want of rain. Droughts are wholly unknown; and there is abundance of
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wood and water. The soil is peculiarly suited to the cultivation of flax, of which I have a specimen by me, and which can scarcely be exceeded, in the opinion of competent judges to whom I have shown it, for the strength and fineness of its fibre, and its singular flexibility. It constitutes already the principal production of the colony, and flax dressers are consequently in great demand, and earn greater wages than other labourers. As to the natives, Captain Cook found them "naturally of a good disposition, and had not a little humanity;" and the testimony of the present settlers is equally favourable. One of the emigrants writes: --"I found the New Zealanders grossly misrepresented in England, and for the last two years my property has been equally safe, both in my dwelling-house and in my stores, with the doors wide open night and day, as they would have been if secured with iron bolts." Of the price of provisions, another equally accurate settler thus writes: Pork 4d. per lb., sugar 6d., tea 3s. potatoes 2s. 100 lbs., and flour 4d. The latter will be much cheaper in time, when more hands are obtained to cultivate the soil, &c. Upwards of 1,100 persons left England last year to settle in New Zealand; several vessels have sailed this year for the same destination, full of emigrants, and there are now between five and six thousand labourers and purchasers of land settled in the islands; and it may not be improper here to record that, among the
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latter are sons of Lord Petre, the eldest son of Sir George Sinclair, Bart., and a brother of Sir William Molesworth, Bart., the latter of whom, in a letter I have just received from him, says-- "You will do much good by sending as many emigrants as possible to New Zealand." I am happy to be able to add, that only yesterday very favourable accounts were received from the colony.
25 Nov. 1840.
WILLIAM EDWARD PAINTER, STRAND, LONDON, PRINTER.
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In Two Volumes, 8vo. Second Edition,
Price £1. 1s.
LECTURES ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS,
BY JAMES RUDGE, D. D., F. R. S.
Also, lately, by the same Author,
INCREASE OF POPERY,
And Errors of the Romish Church.
Price 2s. 6d.