« ПредишнаНапред »
that the means of instruction should be placed within reach of the people; which, at present, is not the case. Only let fit instruments of their own communion be offered to their acceptance, and British Christians in the East will soon avail themselves of the benefit. A suitable number of clergy, possessing the proper qualifications for the place and society, will be gradually furnished by the wants of the people, by the representations of the Bishop or his Representative, and by the inquiries of the Societies at home, who shall be in correspondence with them.
In regard to the supply of clergymen for those settlements of the English abroad, for which Government can make no suitable 'provision, the individual who offers himself must go out under the express patronage of one of the three Societies of the Church, but under the implied expectation, that the Christian community among whom he is to officiate will eventually contribute to his maintenance, and exonerate the Society. In general cases, the Society can only engage for the support of the Clergyman for a limited time. He ought always to be a man of learning, good temper, and approved piety; one, whose correspondence would interest the public, and throw light on the dark region which he inhabits. If his religious zeal produce no fruit either as a writer or practical preacher, the sooner the Society dissolves their connection with him the better.
In cases where Government appoints an inadequate stipend for the Clergyman, representations may be made to his Majesty's Ministers on the subject*; or the stipend may be enlarged by the Societies for specific purposes; as, for translating the Scriptures; for printing new editions of the Scriptures, or of useful Tracts; for organising schools on the new plan of teaching; and for instructing the natives. To occupy the situation of Chaplain to a Factory or Military Station abroad, is, in general, a very dull and unprofitable state of existence. But correspondence with literary characters at home, encouragement from superiors in the Church, and a commission from a public body to expend money for useful purposes, will greatly alter the scene, and will often alter the man himself.
* When the Societies have established a clergyman in any place, which appears to derive evident advantage from his labours, and there is little probability of his obtaining a sufficient subsistence from the contribution of the inhabitants, it will be their duty to represent the circumstances of the case to his Majesty's Ministers, in the hope that Government will assign a small permanent stipend.-Perhaps it may not be generally known, that, “ besides the salary “given by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel “ in Foreign Parts,' which is generally 501. per annum to a
newly-erected mission, Government allows to thirteen of o the missionaries in Nova Scotia, 701. and 75l. per annum; “ to six in New Brunswick, 100l. per annum ; and to four in “ the Bahamas, 701. each ; and the same bounty may be “ expected, when another Missionary shall be sent to those “ islands, which is now in contemplation.” See Bishop of Sa. lisbury's Sermon before Society in 1793. Note, p. 18.
These gratuities for Christian Missionaries commenced not long ago. The bounty thus displayed by Government in our Western possessions, will, we hope, be extended also to the East, whenever a proper representation shall be made by the Societies of the Church-the official patrons and advocates of their fellow-subjects in remote lands, who are destitute of the consolations of Christianity,
It remains, that we explain how the Societies should be able to bear so large an expense. A Representative of the Church in any part of the world, ought certainly to be supported by the Church; that is, by the Societies belonging to the Church. The Church itself has but an inconsiderable fund which could be applied to such purposes. But the Societies are dependent on the members of the Church in general, and it may always be expected “that the contributions will
ever bear a just proportion to the importance " and manifest utility of their undertakings, and
to the zeal, liberality, and public spirit of the smembers of the Society themselves.” To present the Word of God to a heathen, in his own language, or to a Christian in a heathen country, is a great blessing; so great, in some cases, that it cannot be appreciated. But to send forth a Preacher with it, who can say,
“ Hear the word of the Lord,” is a blessing incalculably greater.
The exertions of Missionary Societies, however, at this period, ought not, in general, to refer so much to the heathens, as to those multitudes. who already profess to be Christians in various lands, but know not what Christianity means; who have heard of the Bible, but never saw the Bible. This seems to be the order of Provi. dence: but it is not so agreeable to the infirmity of the human teacher; who loves a novel scene, would seek an exclusive interest in the converted, and is scarcely content unless they be called by his own name.
THE OFFICE OF CONFIRMATION,
The necessity of Episcopal Superintendance in the British Dominions abroad, will be evident from the following consideration alone. Through the whole of the West and East Indies, our Church's ordinance of CONFIRMATION, or “lay"ing on of hands upon those that are baptised " and come to the years of discretion," is utterly unknown.
That institution, which is so rational in its nature, and so necessary to young persons just entering into life, to recal their thoughts to their holy baptism, and to renew their purpose and vow to go forth “as soldiers of Jesus Christ, to
fight under his banner against the world, the " flesh, and the devil;”-that primitive institution, in which our Church professes, that the laying of hands on the young persons dedicated to God, is “after the example of the holy Apostles;” and which rite Christians of every narne adopt, on the same principle, when they would consecrate any person to a holy service or life ; that institution, which is plainly adopted in the spirit of it by those Christians who practise adult