Imágenes de páginas

" I bave spent my time in this great city, with as much quiet and retirement nearly, as if I had been in a desert. I am lost in the multitude of people by whom I am surrounded, and admire the greatness of that God, who can take care of all these creatures, and supply their wants."

Two days afterwards, he and MR. DUMBLETON, another Missionary, were ordained, which he describes as a season of great solemnity ;on the 15th of November they arrived at Portsmouth ;—and on the 17th, sailed from Portsmouth-Point to Mother-Bank, where, he says, “we got on board our ship, bound for Antigua, joined our fellow-passengers, and wished each other a prosperous voyage." After being detained by contrary winds for several tedious weeks, not far from the British shore, they encountered a dreadful gale from the east, on which occasion Mr. BROWNELL writes as follows:

" It lasted three days, and reduced almost every ship to a wreck. Two or three were entirely lost, and nearly the whole of them parted with their cables. We lost two anchors, and the violence of the waves broke our tiller four times. The ship sprung a leak, and our Captain, with despair in his Jooks, informed us, that he expected we should run ashore. I do not imagine, that any thinking man could be in such a situation without fear. To me it was exceedingly awful. The sea roared, and dashed over the ship's bow; the wind whistled through the shrouds; the ships belonging to the fleet were tossed about like corks on the surface of the water; the surge lashed the rocky shore, and returned white like cream; the men laboured incessantly at the pump; the ship cracked as if she would fall in pieces; guns were fired as signals of distress in all directions, from the ships belonging to the fleet; and all this was heightened by the extreme darkness of the night. I was unwilling to die ; having set my heart upon preaching the Gospel to the Negroes in the West Indies, my bosom swelled with hope, and the prospect of contributing to the happiness of my fellowcreatures rejoiced my soul ; and with these feelings the fear of death was associated. I trembled and prayed until my spirit failed within me, and then went into the great cabin, and desired my fellow-passengers to unite with me in supplication to God. They were almost dead with fear, and readily consented. We all kneeled down, and pleaded with God for deliverance like men under sentence of death ; and then parted to our respective cabins, scarcely expecting to see each other's faces again till the last trump shall sound. I soon felt a strong confidence in that God whom the winds and seas obey, that he would deliver us. About ten o'clock on that evening the wind changed, and I praised God most of the night. Glory be to God for all his mercies. May my lengthened life be wholly devoted to him!”

After these disasters the ship in which MR. BROWNELL sailed weighed anchor, and stood for Plymouth, where they arrived in safety; their last cable being nearly cut in two. At Plymouth MR. BROWNELL and his companion found in the Rev. William PALMER, who was then stationed at that place, an affectionate and sympathizing friend. Having also experienced much kindness from several members of the Society during their stay, our Missionaries again embarked. Of their voyage, their arrival in the West Indies, and the

[ocr errors]

commencement of MR. BROWNELL's missionary labours there, some interesting particulars will be found in the following extracts from his Journal.

“ We left Plymouth," says MR. BROWNELL, "on the 15th of February, 1795, with a fair wind, after a delay of seven weeks, mostly spent in great anxiety and trouble. The painful circumstances in which I have been placed, have nevertheless been to me a school of great instruction. I have acquired a greater knowledge of human nature, and especially of my own heart. I feel myself to be comparatively destitute of the requisite qualifications for a missionary life. My knowledge is very scanty; and my mind ever ready to start aside from suffering. Alas! how small is the portion of grace that I possess! O my God, I am ignorant and vile; be thou my teacher, and wash me throughly from my

sin. “ The last place of British ground my eyes beheld, was Dead-men's Point. The grand feet, consisting of thirty-six line-of-battle ships and ten frigates, with about four hundred sail of merchantmen, and their respective convoys, present a truly magnificent appearance upon the surface of the water. For the first four days we had a fair wind, but in crossing the Bay of Biscay I was deadly sick. Never did I experience any thing equal to this. A brisk gale, and a heavy head sea, almost took away the little life that remained. I lay in my cabin while the sea washed in upon me, and was unable to rise for several hours. Yet, amidst the roaring of the wind, the tossing of the ship, and the dashing of the waves, I have had some delightful prospects and anticipations of the great work which the Lord will carry on in the West Indies by the instrumentality of the Methodist Missionaries. My soul seems so deeply interested in that work, and so intent upon its advancement, that I think I can consent to live and die among that people, whom I have never yet seen. O blessed Jesus, may my zeal for thy glory be tempered by knowledge, and equal in its intensity to that of the first propagators of Christianity.

“March 2d. We have a delightful day. The wind and weather are fine, and we are recovering our health and spirits. How exquisite is the enjoyment of a calm after a storm. We forget past dangers in present comforts; our disagreeable sensations vanish with the events that caused them, and hope prompts us to believe that our severest troubles are past. On the Sth, we had a clear view of the Island of Palma. It appeared at first like a black cloud in the horizon ; but when we came nearer, we found that its top was higher than the clouds. The sea was smooth, the sky clear, a gentle breeze wafted us toward our destined port, and all were happy.

“ March 30th. -We anchored in Carlisle Bay, in the Island of Barba does, after a passage of six weeks and one day. I felt strong sensations of joy as we drew near the shore. When we landed at Bridge-Town, I was ready to wish myself at home again. The oppressive heat of the burning son, tbe total absence of cleanliness from the half-naked Negroes, the offensive effluvia that issued from them, and the death-like appearance of many of the white people, all concurred to inspire me with feelings of discouragement. We soon found the Methodist Chapel, where MR. D. received us kindly. We stayed all night, and addressed an exhortation to the people who were assembled together.

"March 31st. We went aboard our ship again, and saw a large shark,

[ocr errors]

and two whales, play in the water very near to us. The shark raised his head to seize some offal which we threw to him, and presented a terrific appearance. These formidable animals spouted up the water into the air, which, at a distance, appeared like smoke.

“We left Barbadoes on the first of April, and on tbe third, arrived at Martinique, which has lately come into the possession of the English. This day being Easter Sunday, we went on shore at Port-Royal, and visited the Popish Church. Here a new scene was presented to our view. The holy water at the entrance ; the ringing of bells during service; the chanting of the prayers; burning candles in the day-time; praying in the Latin tongue; elevating the bost; and several quick marches, which were played by the English band, all seemed strange things to me, We preached both on Sunday night and Monday morning, in a large building occupied by invalids and soldiers' wives. The meo formed part of a regiment of free Blacks, who had been eplisted in America; and several of them are members of our Society. These poor creatures did truly feed upon the word. They wept aloud for joy. They had left their native land at the conclusion of the war, and had been wandering from island to island ever since. Several of their comrades had been killed in different engagements.

“On the sixth we arrived at St. Pierre's. This is reputed the finest town in all the Caribbean Islands : streams of water run murmuring down the streets ; the shops display great brilliancy and taste; and every object reminds one of wealth and affluence. One circumstance occurred in tbis place, which we shall not soon forget. There was a heavy swell of the sea beating against the sbore. We had a large boat, and only two ignorant boys to manage it: and as soon as we approached the beach, we were dashed against it by the surf, and our boat broken. We escaped with a wetting, by which our clothes were spoiled. But our Admiral appearing, and a gun being fired as the signal for our departure, the ships began to get under weigb. Having had the misfortune to lose our companions, we could not make the people understand what we wanted. We searched all around for a boat with the greatest anxiety ; but every one was deaf to our entreaties, till a negro who spoke the English language offered us a little coble. It was too sinall to allow me and my companion to sit down. In this I seated myself, apprehending no danger. My friend also stepped in; the negro then put it down into the water, when it instantly filled, and we had a very narrow escape. We leaped into the water, and scampered up the beach ; and afterwards got off in the boat belonging to our ship.

“On the 7th, we left St. Pierre's for Antigua, passed by Guadaloupe, and arrived at the place of our destination late at night. Mrs. BAXTER, the excellent wife of the Missionary there, received us with great kindness. On the 11th, MR. BAXTER came from the country, and received us as an honest Englishman receives his friend. He gave us a hearty welcome, introduced us to many persons who were friendly to the mission, took us into the country, and showed us the kindest attention.

"May the 20, 1796, I arrived at the island of Nevis, and was affectionately received by the Society, who are a few poor and pursecated people. The Planters would not permit any Class-meetings to be held on their estates; those only, therefore, who met in town could be considered as in Society: the number of such persons was less than one hundred. The regular contributions anjounted to about two dollars per week, out of which I was to keep my horse. The quarterly collection was about four pouvds ten shillings; por was there much prospect of its augmentation. A small apartment, about ten feet square, served as a parlour, a chamber, a storeroom, a study, &c. I felt my need of courage, of fortitude, and of patience; but my God supplied them all.

“March 30.- preached to a small congregation, and began my mission by preaching rest to the soul, from Heb. iv. 9. In the afternoon I endeavoured to number the benefits which the Lord hath bestowed upon us. -O Lord God, I perceive that this is a land of wickedness. Sin stalks abroad like Goliau, rears its head, and sets even thee at defiance. Give me wisdom to speak in thy name, and accompany the word with convincing and saving power.

« June 12th. I have time to breathe, and to examine the state of the people by whom I am surrounded. If St. Paul had lived seven years in this place, he could not have given a more exact description of the character of many of the inhabitants than he has done in the following words: "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.' (2 Tim. iii. 24.) Ignorance, stupidity, and wickedness, compose

the character of the uninstructed negro. Sept.- I have now been engaged in the duties of my mission for the space of four months, and find that my labours are severe, especially in a climate like this. I preach, or deliver exhortations, twenty-one times in every fortnight; besides riding several miles in the burning sun, and often during the heavy dews of the night. I see that every principle of nature must be laid on the cross, and that contempt from superiors, and insults from others, must be patiently borne.

“ Sept. 241h.-I am now afflicted with an intermitting fever, which has almost taken away my remaining strength. My inability to travel from home bas given me an opportunity of observing the conduct of the members of our Society, and of forming a more correct estimate of the good which has hitherto been done in this place by missionary exertions. The best of our members cannot, as yet, be considered established Christians. * Their religion seems to consist in the observance of the Sabbath, attendance upon the public worship of Almighty God, a conviction of right and wrong, and some experience of the drawings of the Holy Spirit. These points, bowever, are great when we reflect upon the degraded state of these people before they heard the truth, the small number of Missionaries that have been employed in this extensive work, and the numerous difficulties they have had to encounter. Alas, how often do worldly customs, and maxims, and persecution for Christ's sake, like a rapid current, carry away much of the good which has been done, and lead the people back again to their former practices and habits !

“ Dec. 19th.—We had this day a smart shock of an earthquake, which lasted nearly a minute. It seemed to threaten us with destruction : but by the tender mercies of God we are spared a little longer. The inbabitants were much terrified; but the impression soon wore off. The President proclaimed a day of public thanksgiving, and led the people to the Church to acknowledge the divine goodness in our preservation."

* The Reader will recollect that this was written twenty-seven years ago, and at a very early period of the Mission. [Evitor.]

(To be continued.)

THE SUBSTANCE OF A SERMON Preached in the City-Road Chapel, London, before the Wesleyan-Methodist

Missionary Society, on Friday, April 26, 1822:


1 CORINTHIANS, I. 21. For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not

God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe.

CORINTH was a city of great trade and opulence; which, by too natural a consequence, led the inhabitants into luxury and all kinds of rice. Their sin, like that of Sodom, was pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness. Philosophy, falsely so called, found easy access to such a people. It always begins with the rich,—with those who have much leisure ; and the poor follow, after some time. Religion proceeds in a totally opposite direction. It always begins with the poor, and the rich follow. The Lord informed his Apostle, that He had “ much people in that city,” and encouraged him to labour there, notwithstanding the unpromising appearance. The Gospel had to struggle, not only against the idolatry of the inhabitants, but against a more than ordinary degree of “the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, and the pride of life;" yet it gained a victory in many, who learned from it to prefer the “simple life divine,” the happiness of God, “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

There were, however, some who seemed not to have this “wisdom from above," and they infected others. It had pleased the Lord to “ enrich them in all utterance, and in all knowledge, so that they came behind in no gift;" and by this a glory was given to the faith, which operated against the high philosophical pretension. The generality, however, came deplorably short of the great design of the Gospel, -"Love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned." The Apostle was embarrassed among them, and was constrained to inform them, in this Epistle, of the cause of his embarrassment. “I could not,” says he, “speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not with meat ; for ye were not able to bear it: neither yet now are ye able.” The LORD, after much long-suffering, smote them with the hammer of his word;—“Awake,” says his Apostle, “ to righteousness, and sin not: For some have not the knowledge of God; I speak this to your shame."

Yet, according to ancient pretension, and a pretension which, as belonging to fallen man, has come down to us, they might have known God. If it be true, that we may “look through nature up to nature's God," the Corinthians might have thus gloried. But I am afraid that there is much of atheism in that popular sentiment.

« AnteriorContinuar »