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ther by day or by night, and acknowledge me, Ranavalomanjaka, I make my acknowledgments and offer thanks to you; for I have a father and mother, having you; therefore may you live, may God bless you. 3. And now, that being finished, this is my word to you, ye under heaven: Seeing that ye have not altered the word of Andrianimpoinimerina, and of Lehidama, and Rabodoandrianimpoinimerina, and Rasoheri-manjaka, but they four have been dear to you, and ye have maintained their bequest, and have not changed their word, may you live, may God bless you, ye under heaven. 4. And I give you encouragement, ye under heaven; for me has God appointed to reign in this island, to be the defence of your persons, and your wives, and your children, and your possessions; for he who has much possesses his own, and he who has little possesses his own. Therefore, be of good cheer; for I consider that you have father and mother, having me. And pray God above all things that I may govern you in uprightness and justice. Is it not so? 5. That being finished, ye under heaven, it is not I only who am responsible for this land, but you and I; for you have been appointed to me, and I have been assigned to you; therefore, if any one should covet this land which has been left by my predecessors, even to the extent of a single grain, I refuse that. Is it not so, ye under heaven? 6. And this being finished, ye under heaven, this is my word unto you; Behold I will read the law to you, and do ye all hearken; for, if you love yourselves, and your wives and your chiidren, and wish to enjoy peaceably what you possess, observe the law; for I do not love to make you guilty, and it is not I who give up a man's life to death; but observe justice, and regard righteousness, for peace is the end of that; for the law chooses not, and respects not men's persons, but is for the benefit of the country and kingdom; and ye and I will regard the law; for it is not I, Ranavalomanjaka, who condemn him who is guilty, nor is it you; but that which he himself has done condemns him, and we only treat according to the law him who transgresses; for the commandment is a torch, and the law is a light; for the law chooses not, but is the portion of him who accepts it. Is it not so? 7. And this also I say unto you: Here art thou, Rainilaiarivony, prime minister, for I made thee the chief of all under heaven in my kingdom; and you, too, ye men of honour, and the twelve royal ladies, and my kindred, and the judges, and the blood royal, and the chiefs of the land for you have I made fathers of all under heaven, leaders of the people, to teach them wisdom; and it rests with you to make them wise or make them foolish: therefore take good heed, for my land is at peace and my kingdom is settled; therefore, if in this state evil counsels be insinuated, to lead astray the wise, and to give encouragement to the foolish, and to raise tumult in my kingdom; and if any one relying on good service previously rendered, trusting in my conpassion and relying on my love, shall do evil to my land and kingdom, I condemn him to death, should there be any such. Is it not so? 8. And this also is my word to you, ye under
heaven, in regard to the praying: it is not en forced; it is not restrained; for God made you. 9. And this also is my word to you, ye under heaven: I have concluded friendship with my kindred beyond the sea; therefore observe well the treaty; for, if any one transgresses that, I hold him guilty. Is it not so? 10. And this also is my word to you, ye hundred thou sand men (the army); if the subordination appointed by Lehidama, and the pledges that ye have given to my predecessors shall be altered by any one and become obsolete, I condemn and put to death whoever does this. Is it not so, ye hundred thousand men ?" And, when the people answered, then the queen spoke again, saying, "Since such is thy answer, 0 chief, and your answer, ye under heaven, I take courage, for I have father, and I have mother. Therefore may ye live, ye under heaven; may God bless you. God bless the queen." "Rev. W. E. Cousins reports on the 30th October and 1st December: "We are glad to know how much interest has been excited at home by the cheer. ing news we have been able to send during the past few months. Another step in favour of Christianity was taken yesterday. There are in Imerina a number of weekly markets; and seve ral of these have hitherto been held on Sunday, much to the grief of the various Christian congregations near them. A proclamation was made in the large market here yes. terday, to the effect that markets that have been hitherto held on Sunday shall in future be held on Monday instead. This has given very great pleasure to the Chris tians in the several districts where Sunday markets have been held; and I do not think the heathen will feel much annoyed at the change. Many of them will doubtless begin to attend the chapels instead of the markets. You will also be interested to hear that on Sunday last a Christian service was held within the palace in closure, at which the queen, principal chief, and about a hundred of their attendants were present. This service will most likely be kept entirely in the hands of the natives. The inte rest recent events have given to our work is very gratifying to us; and we trust that; in an swer to the special prayers that have been offered on behalf of our mission, an abundant blessing may be bestowed upon Madagascar. The present is certainly a critical time in the history of Christianity here. Some will, doubt. less, attend religious services, because they see that the government is favourable to Christianity; and there is reason to fear, too, lest the government should wish to get the native churches too much into their hands."
THE PUNJAUB. On the 11th January, the committee of the Church Missionary Society adopted the following minute with reference to the lamented decease of sir Herbert Edwardes, K.C.B., a vice-president of the society: "In receiving, with deep and affectionate regret, the announcement of the death of sir Herbert Edwardes, K.C.B., one of the vice-presidents of the society, the committee record their convic tion that the society has thus lost the services of one who was no less eminent as a soldier and servant of Christ than as a soldier and servant
of the crown. In advocating by word and deed the cause of Indian missions, his courage and ability were as conspicuous as in the field of Indian warfare; and his example remains as a monument of the extent to which active service under an earthly sovereign can be combined with the higher service of a heavenly Master. Having identified himself with the society's work wherever he might for the time be resident in India, sir Herbert Edwardes rendered very essential service to the society at home. He greatly enkindled the missionary zeal of the society's supporters by the eloquence, force, and power of speeches delivered, not only at the anniversary meetings in 1860 and 1866, but also at influential meetings in many large towns; and he frequently, especially when questions connected with India were under discussion, took part in the deliberations of the committee, or, if unable to attend, he communicated his views in writing, as when, recently, the locality of the proposed institution for educated natives in North India was to be determined, he transmitted a minute on the document presented to the committee. The committee feel that it is impossible to enter upon the many services rendered by sir H. Edwardes to the society, and request the president to transmit this brief minute to lady Edwardes, as some indication of the affectionate estimation in which they held her lamented husband."
WESTERN AFRICA: ABBEOKUTA.-The latest advices show that there is still a strong party in this town opposed to the return of the white missionaries, and that at the head of this party are certain Sierra-Leone emigrants, who have worked themselves into influential positions. In fact, the Sierra-Leone emigrants in Abeokuta may be viewed as divided into two parties, the Ake party and the Ogbe party; the former of these disapproving of what is called the Egba board of management, the members of which are chiefly persons of the latter party. The retrograde party carried with them at first the main influence of the heathen authorities, and the white missionaries were expelled; but, carrying matters with too high a hand, the wrecking and plundering of the Christian churches and mission-houses never having been contemplated by the Egba chiefs, a reaction has taken place, which has afforded the native Christians a locus standi. Of this they have availed themselves, acting in a body, and with considerable boldness; and now, instead of being dealt with as an insignificant fragment of the population, it is felt that they have weight, and are deserving of consideration. We further learn that the adversaries of the mission, some Sierra-Leone men, who are the bitter enemies of the gospel, had ulterior objects. They expected that the expulsion of the European missionaries would so discourage the native Christians, that they would abandon their Christian profession and backslide into heathenism. It was a critical period in the history of the mission. Native Christianity was about to be tested as to whether it had strength to stand alone. It was, moreover, disadvantaged by the withdrawal of several of the native agents who followed the missionaries down to Lagos. A statement of
the rev. W. Moore, the native pastor of Oshielle, will show that, thus left to itself, the native Christian element did not die out, but, quickly recovering itself from the heavy blow which it had received, showed that it was not so dependent on extraneous aid, as to be paralyzed by the withdrawal of the European missionaries, and rendered incapable of action. The Christians gathered together for mutual counsel, support and prayer; and, as the churches were closed, and public worship forbidden, they met in private assemblies for such purposes. Even baptisms were not suspended; and, in these dark days, new converts were added to the church; and, if some had hoped to eradicate Christianity, the numbers of the native Christians, and the tenacity with which they adhered to their Christian profession proved the hopelessness of such an undertaking. In May, of 1868, a letter from the parent committee was received by the native agents at Lagos, inviting them to return without delay to the charge of the flock at Abeokuta, a summons which was promptly obeyed; and the mission, in spite of many hindrances, is, we are happy to say, reestablishing itself satisfactorily.
INDIA.-Visit of the Governor and Lady Napier.-While his excellency was at Mengnanapuram, the lofty spire of the beautiful and spacious Gothic church there, built by the senior missionary, Mr. Thomas, was completed. The latter gives the following interesting particulars of the occasion: "On Friday, the topstone was put into its place on the spire, in the presence of the governor and lady Napier; and there were, I should think, five thousand persons present, who shouted, 'Glory be to God!' There were eleven hundred children present of the vernacular schools assembled in church; and the party came to see them. Afterwards we had a short service, Te Deum, &c., when 2,700 people were present. The catechists and schoolmasters read an address to his lordship: the native clergy and all made salaam as they passed. His lordship examined both boarding-schools, went round the village, visited the houses of the people, and, last of all, he went up into the spire. Lord Napier, in his tour through the Tinnevelly province, after visiting six of the missionary stations, arrived at Palamcotta on Wednesday morning, the 14th October, aud, being pressed for time, was able to devote only that day to visiting the several educational establishments of the Church Missionary Society at this station. It was truly pleasing to see the painstaking interest which his lordship and lady Napier took in every department of the work. Starting at eleven o'clock, they went first of all to the Sarah-Tucker Institution, which is designed chiefly for the training of schoolmistresses, and saw all the arrangements which are there made for so important an object. After this they visited the Church Missionary Society's native English school. His lordship examined the highest class in history and geography in a way to them rather new, but thoroughly sifting; then the second class in Euclid and arithmetic; after which, one of the native masters read an ode, composed by Mr. Cruickshanks, the head-master, on the visit of lord Napier to the Tinnevelly
province. After this, the governor went over the printing-office, then to church, where were assembled some few hundred children from the mission-schools in the town of Tinnevelly and the neighbourhood. Then the party adjourned to Mr. Sargent's house, where, after a short repast, the governor's party was amused for a little time by the exhibition of five or six native instruments of music of the less noisy kind, such as the guitar, &c., by native performers. I regret that I cannot afford space for the other very interesting circumstances attendant upon lord and lady Napier's visit to the Tinnevelly mission they are given at length in the "Church Missionary Record" for February.
A PLEA FOR THE SEA BIRDS.
Our readers will remember that the wanton destruction of these beautiful and harmless creatures was the subject of animadversion at the recent meeting of scientific men at Norwich; and we now learn from a letter by the rev. F. O. Morris to the "Times" that the discussion then and subsequently has borne good fruit in a movement in the East Riding for the obtaining an act of parliament to stop the destruction of the harmless gulls during the breeding season, and also that a petition will be sent round to support the bill when before the house. Mr. Morris appends to his letter the following elegant verses from the scholarly pen of the rev. Richard Wilton, rector of Londesborough.
Stay now thine hand. Proclaim not man's dominion Over God's works, by strewing rocks and sand With sea-birds' blood-stained plumes and broken pinion.
O, stay thine hand.
Spend not thy days of leisure
In scatterring death along the peaceful strand For very wantonness, or pride, or pleasure.
For bird's sake, spare:
Leave it in happy motion
To wheel its easy circles through the air, Or rest and rock upon the shining ocean.
Raised against God's fair creature,
The spider seems to understand, or, at least, to act upon, the idea contained in those simple lines:
If at first you don't succeed,
Twice or thrice though you should fail,
If at last you would prevail,
When you strive, there's no disgrace,
Let the thing be e'er so hard,
Time will surely bring reward,
That which other folks can do,
This is just what the spider does. And if we only learn to do this well we shall be sure, with God's blessing, to succeed in every right thing we undertake. The old proverb says, "Perseverance conquers all things."
RIGHT AND WRONG.
"The way by which to judge whether anything is right or wrong is to ask what the will of God is concerning it. God cannot will or order any. thing wrong; and, whatever God does will and order, you may be sure is right. It would not be honest or right for you or me to get our living by robbing our fellow-creatures, because this is contrary to the will of God. His command to us is, "Thou shalt not steal.' 'Do violence to no man.' But is not it honest for the fisherman to throw his line, or net, into the river or sea, and get his living by catching the poor innocent fish? Certainly it is. God made the fish for this pur pose. It is his will that they should be caught and eaten; and this makes it honest and right for the fisherman to get his living by catching them. Is not it honest and right for the butcher
to take the ox, or the sheep, to the slaughter-velopment among Adam's grandchildren, might house and kill him? Certainly it is. God made we not conclude, that in their case, 'to till' imthem to be eaten. It is the will of God that they plied more than to work the surface? The very should be killed for our food; and this makes it circumstance itself, that the use of coals, iron, honest and right for the butcher to get his living and lime, is implied in the arts practised by the by killing them. And, just so, God made the immediate descendants of Cain, will convince us flies for the spider to eat. It is the will of God that the eager restless spirits sprung from the that he should eat them. And, therefore, when elder branch of Adam's family had truly 'tilled,' he employs his industry and perseverance in had made the earth yield service to them for their spreading his web, and catching flies, he is service of work in her; and again we see the adgaining an honest living by it. An honourable justment completed. The limestone had been place and an honest living are the two things formed in the ancient carboniferous seas, or in which the spider gains by these qualities so the inland lakes of the period. The ironstone worthy of our imitation" (rev. J. Newton). had been prepared by most elaborate and complicated processes of natural chemistry; and they all waited for man to take them and apply them to the purposes for which they had been stored And how could the tabernacle
A pair of sparrows, which had built in the thatched roof of a house, were observed to continue their regular visits to the nests long after the time when the young birds ought naturally to have taken flight. This unusual circumstance continued throughout the year; and, in the winter, a gentleman who all along observed them determined on finding out the cause. He therefore placed a ladder, and, on mounting, found one of the young ones detained a prisoner by means of a string or scrap of worsted, which formed part of the nest, having become accidentally twisted round its leg. Being thus disabled from procuring its own living, it had been fed by the continued exertions of the parents.
TILLING THE GROUND.
"We read in Gen. ii. 5, There was not a man to till the ground'; to till, that is, to work and make it yield to him its treasures, to 'serve' the ground, in order that a profitable return may be gained. This word is applied, in the first place, to the preparation of the surface soil, in order to its continued fruitfulness. But we learn from the sacred narrative that it soon came to have a wider import. Meanwhile, notice the very arrangement which has been pointed out in regard to the vegetation of the coal measures has its illustration here. The present order of things was brought about: the sun shone out in his strength. God made the stars also there was day and night. Land and water had been definitely separated. The land was stocked with forms of land life: the belt of the ocean was now life-teeming. The herb and tree flourished luxuriantly. He, who, at former epochs, had delayed the coming, by direct creation, of him who was to be made likest to his Creator, and become unlikest, might at this period, also have put man's appearing far off. But this was not in the divine purpose. The time determined from eternity had arrived. God looked on the results of each day; and all seemed very good.' Link after link had been formed; but now the last rivet for the last link must be brought forth. All is good'; but there is not a man to till the ground: there is not a man to make all the past answer to my high behest and purpose; not a man to lay his hand on the soil, and to rest his heart on me, that past creations may show forth my glory. Let us make man; and the Lord God formed man; and man became a living soul.' Now, if we associate with this view the remarkable fact that the industrial, mechanical, and fine arts sprang into full de
and the temple have been set up, but for the material prepared thereto ages before, by him of whose revelation in a true body the tabernacle and temple spake? The sword which wounded the side, and the nails which pierced the hands of him who has become to us our hope and joy, 'the ocean to the river of our thoughts,' were formed of that substance which the Creator intended to serve high ends, in connexion with the verted it, and used it against God's dear Son. social comfort of our human race. Man per'Him have ye taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain'" (Prof. Duns, D.D.).
THE LILIES OF THE FIELD.
"Any one, who will, at this our Savour's bidding, consider the lilies of the field,' cannot fail to be struck by the remarkable evidence in every feature of the creation, that God is chiefly manifested in mercy and goodness and love, and that his divine power finds happiness and expression in creation, and in providing bountifully with beauty, health, life, vigour, and comeliness everything that he creates. And so it is that our widening knowledge of science continually reveals new beauties and fresh perfections in the commonest, as well as the rarest, objects of this earth. Thus, too, it is that shores on which man has never landed are strewed with millions upon millions of shells; fields where man's foot has never trod are adorned with the most beautiful and fragrant flowers; ocean-depths unfathomed are filled with stores of pearls; and caverns where man can never enter are radiant with the most brilliant gems. Thus, too, alas! it seems, it is why man himself is gifted with talents, powers, capacities, which he receives but to waste, and enjoys but to misuse. God made all things for himself; and consequently we find traces of beauty, which must have bloomed unobserved by man in all the various parts of crea tion. Often we may wonder why a little flower, which with its colours and graceful petals surpasses the highest conceptions of man's device, should be left to 'waste its sweetness on the desert air,' upon some old ruined church tower, for instance, in uninvaded solitude, or upon the projecting height of some lofty mountain; and, while we make all allowance for the delight with which the bees and other winged creatures of the air hover around its honeyed stores, and confess that we know not what charms it may have for beings of the unseen world, still, if we
do not remember that for himself God created | all things, we should at once be baffled and disappointed in our inquires into his divine work upon earth" ("The Quiver").
NEW ZEALAND: THE MAORIES AND THE PRAYER-BOOK*.
I HAVE been twice round the world, and in my voyages have seen the blessing this society has been to sailors and emigrants. In several storms which we experienced, the comfort de rived from the use of the works thus distributed has been very apparent. One instance I may mention of an old Highlander, in New Zealand, who came out as an emigrant: when laid on his death-bed at the advanced age of 86, his daughter brought him a book of prayers belonging to his church. He was a presbyterian. He said the prayers in that book did not seem to meet his case, nor to go home to his heart, and desired her to bring a book given to him on board the ship which brought him to New Zealand. That book was one given by this society, containing a selection of prayers from our beautiful liturgy. He said, "Read to me some of those prayers for the sick." He listened to them with deep attention; and they were the last he heard; and he died in peace. Here is one instance showing that the benefits derived from distributing these books does not end with the voyage, but is carried on wherever the parties go. But this does not apply to our own countrymen alone. I may also refer to the New Zealanders, amongst whom I have laboured, having been thirty-two years from my native land. Shortly before I left New Zealand I journeyed to a very remote part of the island. On entering the house of a native teacher, he spoke to me of the comfort he had derived from God's word, and especially alluded to the prayerbook. Before I went away, I said, "What can I do for you? Is there any book you would like to have in the New Zealand language ?" He said, "I have a copy of the New Testament, and also of the prayer-book, in Maori, but there is one work I particularly wished for." What was it? I asked. He said, "It is the prayerbook with scripture references. I have seen it, and find that every passage in our prayers is taken, almost word for word, from scripture." "But," I said, "it is not in the Maori language." He replied, "That does not signify: I can find out the references in my native bible." I promised him one; and, with great, difficulty, when I got to Auckland found a single copy, which I purchased, and sent to him.
It was stated that the natives, during the first war, did not value the prayer-book, that they cast it on one side. This was not true, so far as I have been able to learn by the visits I paid them. It was affirmed that they even made use of the prayer-book as cartridge-paper. On one occasion I went to them, and said I had come to * From "An Address at the late Anniversary of the Prayer book and Homily Society, by the rev. R. Taylor, late mis
sionary in the island.
have prayers with them. They welcomed me. I said I had not brought my prayer-book with A native immediately pulled out a bag, and from it drew forth his own prayer-book. Afterwards I inquired where they got their cartridge-paper from. The chief, Mamaku, said, "If you will enter my hut I will show you." I did so, and found a large file of the "Times" newspaper. He said, "This is the cartridgepaper we make use of." The prayer-book has been of considerable use to us in our contro. versies with Romish priests. On one occasion, when detained on the sea-coast by the tide, till it went down sufficiently to allow me to proceed, I found a number of natives who had turned over to the Roman-catholic church. The reason assigned was that they could trust to the priests because they owed no allegiance to the queen. I told them that that was not a very good one. But they said there was an other; that their's was the true church, the mother church; that ours was a wicked adul terous church. I said, "How do you prove that ?" They replied, "O Martin Luther and Henry VIII. were wicked men, and they were the founders of your church." I said, "What does the prayer-book tell you? Does it say that all these sins are allowed by our church? Does it not, on the contrary, tell us, before we become members of it we must promise to renounce the devil and all his works? Now your priest cannot have learned his catechism properly: he does not know our prayer-book." They promised that they would show him this passage. The natives here have not lost their love for the prayer-book. On the contrary, they make use of it constantly to this day. Be fore I left I heard them in their own homes using it, and holding their evening service. I overheard them devoutly repeating many of our prayers. Bishop Suter, in making application to this society for prayer-books, has noticed the way in which they utter the responses. This would be an example even to some of our English congregations: they all make the responses with one voice. I have found that to be the case in every part of the island. Indeed the prayer-book is valued, and will continue to be so, I am persuaded, as long as a single New Zealander remains.
The war, indeed, has been raging; and many have taken up arms in what they thought a justifiable cause for the independence of their race. They said it was not from a desire to cast off their allegiance, but to hinder their being made slaves, and treated as an inferior race. In my last journey along the coast with sir George Grey, a number of prisoners were brought in; and they took the oath of allegiance. But I was extremely pleased to find that they had not forgotten their duty towards God. They entreated that they might have books given them; which I promised they should have. In fact, I am persuaded that the evil we have suf fered from is only a temporary one. In the last letters which I have received since I came to England, I have been assured that there is an evident reaction taking place amongst the natives, and that they are now busily employed in repairing their churches. I feel assured,