The New Zealand Evangelist
May Meetings — Wesleyan Missionary Anniversary.
Wesleyan Missionary Anniversary.
The Wesleyan Missionary Anniversary services in London during the last week in April and on Monday, May 1st, appear to have been largely attended and very effective, equal to, if not beyond, any in former years. The sermons before the society were preached by the Rev. R. Young, of Truro, the Rev. S. D. Waddy, of Sheffield, the Rev. the President of the Wesleyan Conference, and the Rev. Dr. Urwick, of Dublin. Mr. Young's text was I Cor. 15. 5—8—“'Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, &c.” In a sermon, characterized by the Rev. gentleman's usual ardour, energy, and fidelity, he powerfully exhibited the character of the Missionary undertaking,—the success which had been vouchsafed to it—and the duties now urgently devolving on the Church in relation to it. Mr. Waddy's discourse was founded on Acts 2. 39—“For the promise is unto you,” &c. Having shewn that the” promise” referred to the “gift of the Holy Ghost,” he pointed out the necessity that Ministers, and individual Christians, should be instructed, guided, and sustained by that Divine influence; and urged that—while personal religion should be our first concern, and that next to our own salvation we should strive for the salvation of our families, and friends—it is netwithstanding a duty and a privilege to carry the Gospel to those who are “afar off,” either geographically or morally,—even to “as many as the Lord our God shall eall”—a elause of the text which the preacher ably argued did not limit, but rather extended its application. Where-ever the Gospel was proclaimed, there the call was given, and there, by all who-heard it, might its blessings be realized. The sermon of the President, the Rev. S. Jackson, was from Matt. 14. 15—21—the parable of the loaves and fishes. With much skill he adapted the various ideas suggested by the passage to the Missionary work, making the discourse in all its parts a thoroughly Missionary Sermon. The effect upon the hearers appears to have been deep. Dr. Urwick preached from Psalm 19, part of verse 11. “In keeping of them there is great reward.” He argued, with great perspicuity and force, that conformity with law is, through page 115 the whole range of existence, accompanied by benefit and enjoyment. In several particulars, he pointed out the advantages which those who engaged in Missionary enterprise receive in their own souls, and in their Church. He bore testimony, from his own personal observation, to the good effected by Wealeyan Missionaries, and deelared his conviction of the need of continued and ingreased agency. Although his sermon was read, and although the reading occupied two hours, it was heard with unabated and increasing attention and interest to its close.
The General Annual Meeting in Exeter Hall on Monday, May 1st, was as respectably attended and as crowded as on former occasions. James Heald, Esq., M.P., for Stockport, a worthy member and a Local Preacher of the Wesleyan Society, was in the Chair. The speakers on the occasion were G. A. Hamilton, Esq., M. P. for Dublin University, John Henderson, Esq., of Glasgow, one of the originators of the Evangelical Alliance Movement, the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel, Dr. Urwick, Rev. W. Bevan, Official Secretary of the Alliance, the Rev. John Jaffray, of Edinburgh, Secretary of the Free Church Missions, the Rev, Drs. Hannah, Bunting, and Newton, and Messrs. Waddy, Young, Nelson, Arthur, &c. &c. Although the Report of the Society embraced the world, yet the special attention of the Meeting was directed to France and Switzerland, to South Africa, and to New Zealand. Regarding France, Mr. Arthur, who was from Paris, having been there during all the commotions and disturbances of the Revolution, said” the reign of order appeared now to be complete—his own impression was that the liberties of the country were seecure.—? The Communist tide of feeling was not prevalent. The vast majority of the French people were convinced of the need of a religion, they believed Christianity to be Divine, but that French Christianity was rich in abuse and absurdity. ‘Very many,’ said he, ‘are aware, that Christianity in itself does not imply either abuse or absurdity. But even those most enlightened as to the errors of Rome, prefer even that to Infidelity, and I believe, never since the days of the Huguenots, was the public mind in France so near the truth as it is this very day. That is my conviction,’” There appeared to be great facilities for the preaching of pure Christianity in France and on the Continent. And it would seem that all Evangelical Christians have great responsibitities pressing on them to advance to meet the increased wants, and enter the doors which are opening on every hand.
After a very protracted meeting, the numerous audience retired greatly edified and impressed.
One fact connected with the Anniversary is worthy of special mention as showing the spread of Catholic feeling in an unlocked for direction.—One of the popular Clergymen of the English Church in the Metropolis, the Rev. Thomas Mortimer, B. D., had thrown open his church and preached a sermon in it on Wednesday, May 3rd, in aid of the funds of the Wesleyan Missionary society.—May such instances of Catholic Christian feeling be multiplied!