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It is but a small abuse, say they, and it may be easily amended;
The people will not bear sudden alterations; an insurrection may
But good King Hezekiah would not be so blinded; he was like to Apollos, fervent in spirit. He would give no ear to the blanchers; he was not moved with these worldly respects, with these prudent considerations, with these policies; he feared not insurrections of the people; he feared not lest his people would not bear the glory of God, but he (without any of these respects, or policies, or considerations, like a good king, for God's sake and for conscience sake) by and by plucked down the brazen serpent, and destroyed it utterly, and beat it to powder. He out of hand did cast out all images, he destroyed all idolatry, and clearly did extirpate all superstition. He would not hear these blanchers and worldly wise men, but without delay followed God's cause, and destroyed all idolatry out of hand. Thus did good King Hezekiah; for he was like Apollos, fervent in spirit, and diligent to promote God's glory.
And good hope there is that it shall be likewise here in England; for the king's majesty is so brought up in knowledge, virtue, and godliness, that it is not to be misdoubted but that we shall have all things well, and that the glory of God shall be spread abroad throughout all parts of the realm, if the prelates will diligently ply their plough, and be preachers rather than lords. But our blanchers, which will be lords, and no labourers, when they are commanded to go and be resident upon their cures, and preach in their benefices, they will say, Why? I have set a deputy there; I have a deputy that looketh well to my flock, and he shall discharge my duty. My duty, quoth you, I looked for that word all this while. And what a deputy must he be, think ye? Even one like himself; he must be a canonist. That is to say, one that is brought up in the study of the Pope's laws and doctrines; one that will set forth Papistry as well as himself; one that will maintain all superstition and idolatry; and one that will nothing at all, or else very weakly, resist the devil's plough. Yea, happy is it if he take no part with the devil; and where he should be an enemy unto him, it is well if he take not the devil's part against Christ.
But in the meantime, the prelates take their pleasures. They are lords, and no labourers; but the devil is always very diligent at his
plough. He is no unpreaching prelate. He is no lordly loiterer from his cure; but a busy ploughman. So that among all the prelates, and among all the pack of them that have cure, the devil shall go for my money, for he still plyeth his business. Therefore, ye unpreaching prelates, learn of the devil. And if ye will not learn of God, nor shame.' good men, for shame learn of the devil. 'I speak it to your If you will not learn of God, nor good men, to be diligent in your office, learn of the devil. Howbeit there is now very good hope that the king's majesty, being by the help of good governance of his most honourable counsellors, trained and brought up in learning, and knowledge of God's word, will shortly provide a remedy, and set an order herein; which thing that it may so be, let us all pray for him. Pray for him, good people; pray for him. Ye have great cause and need to pray for him. Amen.
Results of the American Revival.
It is so natural to build our expectations on our experience, that an event which does violence to our experience is always treated by us with suspicion or incredulity. And yet this is an age in which experience itself is constantly teaching us the lesson 'to marvel at nothing, and to consider nothing impossible.' But this even being admitted, it still remains with him who avers the marvel to give such a clear and simple account of it as shall be sufficient to remove doubt from reasonable minds. This I propose to attempt, premising that having just returned from a residence of some years in Canada, I have become tolerably acquainted with the facts of the American revival.
Let me begin by answering some objections which I find made by my fellow-countrymen to the probable genuineness of this movement, for I feel that if I can gently disarm their prejudices I shall have done much to enlist their sympathies. The main objections seem to be these:
First. It was too sudden in its commencement.
In answering these objections, let me reverse the order in which they stand, and, first, that it is unfruitful.' This means that slavery is untouched by it; that moral evils and political abuses are still rife in the land; that men cheat, lie, steal, blaspheme; are proud, cruel, selfish, impure as before. Now all this I grant, and yet I deny that the revival has been unfruitful. Moral evil is still rife in the land, simply because those who are brought to a knowledge of the truth bear so trifling a proportion to those who are not. It is just a question of numbers. Will you, for one man saved, claim that twenty be
reformed? All that can be demanded is, that the men converted shall become holy. To ask for a national purification is monstrous.
But, if it be asked, 'Is there less vice in America now than before the revival?' I reply, 'Just as much less as the number and class of individuals converted warrants us in expecting.' The truth is, that numerically it may be said to be no revival at all; the mass is yet scarcely touched. What are a hundred thousand to millions?
The fact that there are no great or immediate results is one of the strongest evidences of the genuineness of this movement; this is nature; the operation of the leaven is concealed from the eye, but surely and swiftly assimilating to itself the mass in which it is apparently lost. Has not our surprise at the unaccustomed rapidity of this process betrayed us into an unreasoning impatience for still greater expedition? Why this haste ?-this sudden demand for harvest? Eat, brother, drink and sleep, rise up, and take rest with the husbandman; do not quarrel with the seed, even if, like him, thou know not how it grows. This is the blade; the ear and the full corn in the ear by and bye.
Secondly. It has been unnatural in its development. It is noisy, importunate, demonstrative; there is a morbid and unhealthy excitement about it; it talks and cries at prayer-meetings; it scampers from house to house; it holds people by the button-hole at the corners of the streets.' Very true; and may I add, Very good?' I accept the description, all but the terms 'morbid and unhealthy;' and I say, 'Just what it ought to be.'
Quebec used to be a sad place for fires. Your readers will remember that it has been twice nearly destroyed. Well, we got such a dread of this element at last, that a cry of 'fire' turned out the whole city; such scampering and hurrying; such intense excitement; such individual energy and activity; no peace or rest, either for the watcher at home or the worker abroad, till the fire was thoroughly extinguished. And why was this so? Because we knew what fire was, and dreaded it. Pictures of burning streets and flying crowds flashed upon our memories; the cries of parents for lost children, and the wail of rescued infants, drowned in the roar of the flames and the din of the terrified and despairing multitude, rung afresh in our ears; and quieter, but sadder, the after-scenes of ruin and desolation again ached upon our sight. Excited were we? And had we not cause to be so? Now, I have not the least hesitation in attributing this so-termed 'excitement' in the American revival to a more vivid realization of the truth of religion.
But, 'the revival has been too sudden; it has broken out in a new and unaccountable way, without any apparent cause; we cannot trace it back to any adequate source or occasion.'
Now, this is simply want of information, and, by supplying a few facts, I hope entirely to remove this objection. The recent commercial disasters were nowhere more severely felt than in the United States; the aggregate of suffering and distress there was heart-breaking, and it was a remote cause of the religious awakening. While men were
thus led to feel that they had been leaning upon a broken reed that they had been pursuing a shadow and letting the reality go, Christians met together to concert measures for earnest and united action; among other things they pledged themselves to speak to every man they met on the great topic of salvation by Christ. They faithfully pursued this course, and, by the blessing of God on their labours, many thousands were brought to a knowledge of the truth; and this simple, but efficient, instrumentality of religious conversation is, I believe, quite sufficient to account for the suddenness of the American revival. As at the time of Pentecost the disciples were of one accord in one place; so here, by a divine impulse, suddenly every man had become a missionary, and the results were as glorious as unexpected. American Christians at once gave themselves up to their work; some of them closed their shops in order to give themselves more entirely to it; they visited from house to house; they urged the claims of the gospel on all around them. So general was the practice at last, that one man, speaking to his brother, would overhear another doing the same thing.
But this practice of speaking to everyone about us on the subject of their salvation makes in truth little demand upon our time; the opportunities for saying a few words without any interference with business are innumerable; nor is the disposition to listen either cold or unattractive. I speak from experience; if any one doubt the truth of these statements, I only ask him to put them to the proof. Let any man, even in the midst of his business, earnestly desire to speak of their eternal welfare to others, and he will find ample opportunity; the man he overtakes as he walks, his companion on the railwayplatform or in the car, his neighbour on the top of an omnibus, the shopman who serves him, the mechanic who takes his order. Add to these the opportunities afforded by domestic life and the courtesies of society, and you have an aggregate at once large and significant. All that is really needed in the way of opportunity is two things, 'the man and the minute.'
Suppose a being unacquainted with our globe should visit it at midnight, it would appear to him a world of darkness and death; silence and solitude would seem to be its normal condition. But, by and bye, if he waited, he would see a streak of grey in the east, and, presently, a door or a shutter would be opened, and early people would be going about their business, and the stir and activity would increase, till at last, as the full tide of day covered the earth with life and motion, he would exclaim, 'What a surprising revival.' And yet to us it seems the most natural thing in the world; and so it is. And it is not only natural, but inevitable, that people should wake with the day. Men only sleep at night. This death-like slumber in the midst of boasted light it is that is morbid and unnatural. So with a newer life and a higher hope shall you hail the Sun of Righteousness.
Tahiti under the French.
THOUGH the once-famed Tahiti has for many years been almost a terra incognita, the name is too much associated with the earliest triumphs of Christianity in the South Seas, and the angry disputes which, some fifteen years ago, threatened to involve France and England in war, not to awaken interest in the bosoms of Englishmen. It was in this beautiful island that the fruits of many years of patient missionary labour first became visible. Here the standard of the Cross was first unfurled, and became the banner of queen and people alike. Tahiti was the centre of gospel light and civilization to the thousand islands of the Polynesian Archipelago some time before John Williams arose as a bright star to eclipse the glories of the honoured men who pioneered the way in that field of missionary labour. Tahiti is England's daughter in the Christian faith. Whatever she has of religion and civilization is owing, under God, to British agency. She has also a moral claim upon our sympathies, inasmuch as the refusal of the Protectorate by the British Government in times past rendered possible French aggression and usurpation. Though France is able to exercise the power of a step-mother over the native population, England after all stands to them in the relation of natural parent.
For fourteen years Tahiti has been, to all intents and purposes, a French possession. The Protectorate' is but a fiction for complete subjugation. What has been the result of this lengthened rule of Europeans over an indigenous South Sea population-of the supremacy of a Catholic power in a Protestant island? The question is one of curious interest at a time when France is not only endeavouring to extend her influence in that remote region, but is casting a longing eye upon Madagascar—another scene of Protestant missionary success —and is proclaiming herself in the eyes of the world as the foe of Papal oppression. Though Tahiti is not sealed to the foreigner, it is only occasionally that the veil is lifted from her doings in the South Pacific. The reports of the London Missionary Society, and occasional extracts from the letters of missionaries who labour in that region, have hitherto formed the only available information. At length, however, we have been supplied with testimony-not, perhaps, more authentic, but more detailed and connected-of the result of fourteen years of French rule in Tahiti. A pamphlet has lately appeared from the pen of Mr. Salmon, an English merchant,* long resident in the island, who has been for some time past in England, and has only just left on his return to Tahiti. This gentleman has, we believe, certain private grievances against the French authorities in the island, which have been laid before Lord Malmesbury, and are at present the subject of correspondence between the two Governments. Mr. Salmon was authorized by Queen Pomare to lay before the emperor the wrongs that she and her people suffer at the hands of
* 'Lettre concernant l'Etat Actuel de Tahite, addressée à Sa Majesté Imperial Napoleon III.' Par Alexander Salmon. London: Effingham Wilson.