Page images
PDF
EPUB

After singing and prayer, the CHAIRMAN said, It is pleasing to see you assembled so orderly. You have read in the Old Testament of the Jubilee of ancient times, and you have now come together to hear of the Jubilee of the Baptist Missionary Society. When the Society was formed, I was a youth, just leaving

school. I then took great interest in this Society. I have since grown old and become grey-headed, but I feel more pleasure in its welfare now than I did when young. Before we sent Missionaries out we had received sad accounts of what was going on in foreign countries. Perhaps there are some of you here who do not know what idolatry is, and your curiosity may be awakened to know what it is that the people are worshiping. I have before me a box in which there are fifteen or twenty heathen gods, and when I have shown you them, I will then tell you of the wickedness and cruelty of idol worship. [The esteemed Chairman then exhibited a number of idols, from various parts of the world, and pointed out the attributes assigned to them; showing that idolatry was a system of fear, not of love; of cruelty, not of benevulence.] In reading the Old Testament, he went on to observe, you must have been struck with the cruelty that was connected with idolatry in those early times. Children were sacrificed by their parents to Moloch; they were put into the breast of the hollow brass image and burned to death.

[merged small][graphic]

In England, the Druids in former times made a figure of wicker work, and they put 101) or 200 children into it, and then set fire to it; thus they were all destroyed, and presented as a sacrifice to the false gods. And wherever idolatry now exists, the lives of children, to a very great extent, are sacrificed. You do not know the advantage of being English children: your parents pay you every attention; if you are sick, every thing that can be, is done to preserve your life ; but not so in many parts abroad. I was reading only yesterday an account of a sailor who was shipwrecked on one of the Tonga Islands. While he was there the king was unwell, and he sent for an idol priest to know what he should do to recover his health. The priest told him that one of his children must be sacrificed. The mother, aware of what was going on, concealed her child, but they found it, and brought it before the king. The little creature smiled while they were putting the cord round its neck, thinking it was an ornament; but they strangled it while still smiling, and then carried the body and presented it before various idols. The king, of course, was no better for it, it was impossible that he should, and in a few hours afterwards he died. Another heathen king had entered one of the temples and was said thereby to have profaned it. It was felt that he must do something to appease the god, and he was told that he must sacrifice one of his children, and this was done before his own eyes. Thus, wherever there is idolatry, there is cruelty and a disregard of human life. Thousands upon thousands of children are destroyed year by year, some strangled immediately on their birth, others thrown into the Ganges, others given to tigers and crocodiles, and others buried alive; and before the gospel was sent to the South Sea Islands, more children were destroyed in some of them than were allowed to live.

JUVENILE MISSIONARY JUBII EE.

Mr.Williams, in his Missionary Narrative, gives an affecting account of a school examination in one of the islands, in which there were 600 children. The king was present, and though he was much pleased with the progress of the children, he was deeply affected, and at last he broke out: “Oh, Mr. Williams, that the gospel had been sent here twenty years sooner, then my nineteen children might have been learning in this school, but I sacrificed them all to false gods.” Idolatry, wherever it exists, is a cruel religion. This Society, besides sending out preachers, has sent out schoolmasters, in order to teach the children, and the grown up people too. There are in the schools belonging to this and other Missionary Societies, not less than 150,000 children, who are being instructed in the fear of the Lord, and many, under the Divine blessing, have turned from the idolatry of their parents and are become the disciples of Jesus Christ. They have been made happy by religion, and are desirous of making others happy. In Calcutta, youths have been educated, who go out with the Missionaries, taking their New Testament and reading it to the people, and talking to them about Jesus Christ, and many of them are preparing to become ministers. There are many blackandbrown children who cannot speak of the love of Jesus Christ without tears. I hope you will value the Gospel yourselves. What an awful thing it would be if, after having

been the means of sending the gospel to them, your own souls should be lost, and the privileges you possess should rise in judgment against you.

The Rev. S. A. Dubourg (of Clapham) said, This is called a Jubilee service, and reminds us that fifty years ago our fathers began to think about the poor perishing heathen, and resolved, in the fear of God, to send them the gospel of Christ, in order to their conversion and everlasting happiness. But I have often felt more sorry than I can tell, that our fathers did not begin this work sooner. It is only fifty years since they thought of the black, the red, and the brown children, and said, “Let them have the bread of life.” But thousands of the heathen are sorry too. They regret that their fathers died before the gospel of Christ came to them —they say,

“O teacher, why did not the good men of your bright land send you sooner to ours? Our children, where are they? We have stained our hands with their blood !" No doubt you have heard these things before, and

hearts have been sad; and I have no doubt that many of you have had this thought: “Oh, that I were old enough, that I were wise enough, that I were good enough to be a missionary! You are not old enough to be missionaries, but you will be older; you are not wise enough, but you are learning; the grace of God may not be in your hearts, but God can send it there. When Christ is your Saviour, and salvation your glory,

your

« PreviousContinue »