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The New Zealand Evangelist

Sabbath Notes At Otago

Sabbath Notes At Otago

March 26.—Our first Sabbath on the shores of New Zealand. Public worship on board ship at Port Chalmers. Our thanks giving to Almighty God for his many mercies, his abounding loving kindness shewn toward unworthy us during our prosperous voyage. What cause for gratitude to the giver of all good—all whom our good ship John Wickliff had borne far from home and hearth, were spared to see the long wished for Haven. We cannot sum up the mercies of the voyage—and what the amount of gratitude in return? Let the future tell, and mark the Ebenezers.

April 9.—The Sabbath at Dunedin. Preached, in the forenoon, at the emigration barracks, from Acts iv. 12,—and again, in the afternoon, on the small mount adjoining the “Wickliff Pier,” or landing place, from Psalms cxix, 9. The first Presbyterian Minister to proclaim my master's message on the shores of this beautiful Bay. The elements were at rest—the air was mild and genial—the waters were without a wave—and could scarcely mutter the slightest murmur. The expansive firmament, above and around as, was our great Temple of praise. What a scene for a Hollowed Sabbath! Dunedin may it be said of thee,—“Thy tabernacles are amiable—thy Sabbaths smile with heavenly loveliness—thy present day is a day of small things, when shall we hear of the great things?” The answer to this will depend upon the remembrance of thy day of Grace.

April 16.—The Sabbath at Port Chalmers, Preached to the people on board the Philip Laing, (the Clyde emigrant ship which arrived only yesterday.) Mr. Burns had gone up to Dunedin to preach there. My congregation was a large one, something like a congregation in the country at home. Old and young assembled themselves to worship the God of their fathers in a strange land, and to rear their first altar of gratitude on the shores of their adopted home. The Lord make every heart a temple of gratitude and praise, and by a loving obedience may they ever show that they are living in the constant remembrance of Him who has led them hitherto. My auditors were most attentive and seemed all alive to the sanctuary services. The songs sung were the songs of our Zion, and they were all the sweeter in a foreign land, so far away from the beloved sanctuaries of our fatherland.

“They shook the depths of the desert gloom
With their hymns of lofty sheer.”

Port Chalmers—Sabbath the 23rd day of April, was a lovely day on these shores, and a day to be remembered by me and mine. Our dear son was this day dedicated, by Baptism, to his father in Heaven. The Rev. Thomas Burns preached on board the John Wickliff, and baptised. The services were solemn and interesting, the Church in the ship, and on the calm waters of the peaceful page 92 Bay. O Lord, I trust that thy Free Spirit was poured out on the occasion. To Thee, O my Father, I look for the blessing!

Auckland.—From the April number of The Foreign Missionary Record for the Free Church of Scotland, we learn that the Rev. Mr. Panton, late of Heriot's Hospital, Edinburgh, has been appointed to the Church of Auckland. Of that edifice little except the scaffold poles are yet visible, and should the Minister speedily arrive, he will certainly find a congregation eager to receive him, but unless greater diligence be used, a Kirk only in distant perspective. We congratulate the Presbyterians of Auckland that their spiritual wants are likely so soon to be relieved. We trust their Pastor will prove a steadfast and shining light.—New Zealander.