« ZurückWeiter »
travelling expenses, printing, postages, &c. Yet the
William Arnot, St Peter's, Glasgow.
1. That they preach sermons to children collected to hear them, either in doors or out of doors, pressing on them the acceptance of the gospel in their youth.
2. That they should impress on the Sabbath-school teachers and others in any parish, the importance of having a census of the parish taken up (by subdividing it, and then going from door to door), and getting the untaught of whatever denomination brought to the existing Sabbath-schools, or to others to be opened. They were likewise requested to urge on Christians the duty of coming forward as teachers.
3. That they should take such steps as might seem necessary to them when on the spot for improving the existing Sabbath-schools.
The Soldiers' Missionary Meeting in India. Not long ago, on the banks of the Indus, on their way to the Punjaub, and in the midst of all the confusion and excitement attendant upon a march, several pious soldiers of the army in India held a meeting together in an officer's tent, for the purpose of celebrating, by prayer and reading of the Scriptures, the jubilee of one of our missionary societies at home. How excellent an example, and how loudly does it testify against the cold indifference and neglect of many professors, who, amid all the comforts and attractions by which such meetings are surrounded here, habitually refuse to countenance the great cause which they are designed to promote !
CHILDREN'S MISSIONARY RECORD
Free Church of Scotland.
By authority of the Board of Missions and Education.
Letters about the Highlanders.
Y DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,—It is now some
months since the first letter about the Highlanders was addressed to you. In hopes that you found it interesting, and are now wishing to hear something more about them, I sit down to write you a
second. Most of you are aware that there are a number of islands scattered to the north and west of Scotland, which contain many thousands of inhabitants. There, as well as in some of the barren districts of the mainland, the people are very poor. Hundreds of families, when they rise in the morning, do not know where they are to find a breakfast. Some of the men go to fish; the children go to the rocks and the sea-beach to look for shell-fish, and a particular kind of sea-weed which they use for food; whilst the women spin wool, by which they earn a few pence in the week to buy meal. Notwithstanding all they can do, they are often very hungry; still they do not complain, but patiently submit to the will of God. What we have principally to set before you, however, is their spiritual destitution and I only mention these facts of their deep poverty, to show you how utterly unable they are to provide for their own spiritual wants, and how much they need help from us. In the Western Highlands, there is one large district of country, said to be about 300 miles in extent, near Fort William, and containing 20,000 inhabitants, without one Free Church minister. In one of the larger islands, where there are twelve congregations, there is but one ordained minister, with two young assistants, to minister to them; and in some of the other islands, where there are hundreds and thousands of souls, there are no ministers at all! It is for the benefit of such destitute places as these that a nice little vessel called “ the Breadalbane” has been provided, to carry about any Gaelic minister who can be spared for a few weeks to go and preach to these people occasionally. It is a joyful sight to the poor Highlanders when the white sails of the Breadalbane are espied off their coasts. Whatever day it may be, or whatever time of the day, they leave their employments and hurry down to the beach, men, women, and children, in hopes that the minister may land and give them a sermon; for their souls are hungry
- very hungry for the bread of life. Last autumn, some friends of mine were living for a short time on one of these islands where there is no Free Church minister. One day the joyful tidings were brought, that on the following Sabbath a minister would come and preach one sermon to them; but as he had to preach on the mainland in the morning, he could not be with them before twelve A.M., when Gaelic service would commence. It was also intimated that at two P.M., a short address would be given in English. On the Sabbath morning, as early as five or six o'clock, hundreds of the people began to assemble on the cliffs overhanging the sea, and commenced their look-out for the little vessel. By twelve, when the Gaelic service was to have commenced, hundreds more were to be seen on the beach, besides those on the cliffs, straining their eyes in the direction that the Breadalbane was expected to come; whilst many others, chiefly the old people, were assembled in a large boat shed-their only place of worship-some sitting in the boats which were in it, and others sitting on the ground. At two o'clock my friends, accompanied by
some English-speaking servants, repaired to the place of meeting to avail themselves of the benefit of the address in English, when they found the Highlanders still waiting and longing for the minister, who had never arrived. They took their places in the boat-house amongst the people, when, after waiting about half an hour, an old woman, who had been sitting up at the end of the shed from whence she had a view of the sea, gave an alarming scream, and, jumping up with the aid of her stick, she hurriedly made her way towards the entrance, over the people and dogs who were crowded together on the ground; for you must know, that in the Highlands the dogs accompany their masters to worship, and behave very well too. “ What is the matter with the old woman?” said one of my friends. “Oh! Flora sees the Breadalbane coming," answered a Highlander, “and she is away down to the shore to welcome the minister,” Now I must tell you that the minister was quite a stranger to old Flora and to the rest of the people; but he was a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ's, coming with a message of salvation to them, and that was enough to make him right welcome to these simple-hearted people, Stormy weather on these dangerous coasts had caused the delay in the arrival of the vessel, Indeed, it was with difficulty that the Breadalbane had made out the voyage at all; and now that the minister was come, he was so faint and ill, that he had to be assisted from the shore up to the shed, and some doubts were entertained as to whether he should be able to preach. However, after a time, he revived sufficiently to commence worship ; this he did by reading out a psalm, first in English, and then in Gaelic, after wbieh he made a few remarks on it in English, when all joined in singing it; and if the Gaelic manner of singing sounded wild and uncouth to English ears, we doubt not but that it was joined with much melody of heart, and that it was a song of joy and praise which entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.* The English part of the service being con
* Some of our readers may not be aware how very different the Gaelic singing is from what we are accustomed to. There are only siz tunes used among them; and these are of a very singular character. The effect produced on a Lowlander, when first hearing this singing from the lips of thousands of worshippers, is overpowering. At the loverness Assembly in 1845, n.any