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God, who has caused us rest upon his w d and guided us all our journey through, will
never leave us nor forsake us.
LIFE IN PRISON.
COMMUNICATED BY MARY ROBERTS.
could have healed my broken heart, it would have been my reception there. It seemed as if all ranks and descriptions of people vied with one another in showing me the utmost kindness. To the naval and military commanders-in-chie especially I am under the greatest obligationsadmiral sir John Laforey, and general Leigh; to governor Milne likewise, and our early friend colonel Este; to Mr. Rose, the paymaster-general as well as many others, whose kindness is deeply engraven on my heart. Mr. Rose received m into his house, or rather resigned it for my accom
put into effect those means which restored me t happiness. An inmate of his house, and indebted to his brotherly attention for all the comfort I wa capable of receiving, he was immediately mad acquainted with my extreme affliction, and encou raged my hopes of ultimate deliverance to my husband. Many and various schemes did I devise. Some of them sufficiently chimerical, but they served to keep me from despair; and, when, som scheme having failed, I was ready to sink int despondency, my excellent friend devised som fresh plan for my husband's release. Very man did I suggest to the commander-in-chief, whic to his better judgment seemed impracticable.
Two weary months passed heavily within the deso-modation; and to him I chiefly owe the having late walls of a gloomy prison, till the arrival of so many unfortunate persons who had been captured by the French induced Hugue to send away all such as could not oppose him in arms. Men, accordingly, who were neither soldiers nor sailors, with their wives and children, and ladies of some rank, companions in misfortune, were suddenly commanded to make ready; with the agreeable intelligence that vessels were prepared to convey them to Martinique, the head-quarters of the British army. Agreeable indeed was the intelligence to many, but sad to others; and, while some could hardly control the joyous feelings that filled their hearts, and hurried to and fro with cheerful countenances, calling upon their companions to rejoice with them, others wept bitterly in the thought of leaving the dearest objects of their affections, who still remained in the gloomy prison-house, with faint hopes of deliverance. "Such was my case," wrote Mrs. Shipley in the narrative," because, in leaving my miserable sojourn, I was about to separate from the father of my children, that dear friend, with whom I could willingly have remained a captive, the author, under heaven, of all my earthly happiness. Driven almost to distraction, I hurried, in a moment of despair, to Hugue, although I had never before dared to address him, and implored him to look on my second child, who lay in my arms with a burning fever, precursor of the measles. I besought him to consider that our separation, under the most favourable circumstances, would indeed be dreadful; but that, at the moment when my child was so heavily afflicted, the alternative seemed intolerable. I entreated him not to think of me as belonging to a hostile nation, but as a woman-a mother, entitled to compassion and protection from every feeling heart. I prayed that my husband might be permitted to accompany us with the flag of truce, on his parole, to return in the same vessel, after having had the satisfaction of seeing his wife and family under the protection of our commanderin-chief. But Hugue deigned not to hear me. An English gentlewoman, during the reign of Robespierre, was considered utterly unworthy of an answer. Turning to one of his aide-de-camps, he said, "There is no honour in the breast of an Englishman moreover, her husband is the friend of that rascal Vaughan.' Tell the woman that a vessel is under weigh, to carry her to Martinique, and let her go down to the beach.' Alas! three months' endurance had taught me submission, and I was taken on board, after having seen, as I then feared, the last of him who was justly entitled to my utmost affection. We arrived at Martinique the 7th of July; and, if ought of human kindness
The violation of our flag, offensive language officers, and cruelties toward prisoners, hither unknown in the civilized world, compelled th admiral to suspend all communication, except b arms; and, in consequence, at least three mont of my sojourn at Martinique elapsed witho receiving intelligence from Guadaloupe. Mo dreadful was this suspense; for, in the space of short time, one thousand British prisoners we ascertained to have perished in the prison-ships Pointe-à-Pierre, occasioned by the want of nece sary food, and shelter from the heat of a vertic sun. My worst fears were, in consequence, co tinually excited; yet still I was mercifully su ported; and hope, the soother of our sorrows, w upheld within me. God tempers the wind the shorn lamb'; and, so far as our attempts a laudable, the mind generally rebounds from th pressure of affliction. Most fervently did implore the Author of my being to strengthen n fortitude and direct my steps, for a scheme pr sented itself to my secret thoughts which seem to promise success; and, while solemnly conside ing the difficulties of the undertaking, I set agai personal danger the delight of being the honour instrument to release from a loathsome captiv that brave man, whose country required his s vices-my husband, the father of our children soldier, and friend. Never can I forget the fe ings of the moment, when the thought first ar within me; my weakened frame seemed una to support the excess of happiness; and yet, that revulsion of feeling which belongs to mysterious state of being, new strength seen to flow into me. Imagination recalled to m all his worth, the numerous instances of his voted attachment, the many years he had ma me the object of his tenderest care, his inexpr sible importance to his family, and my own d obligation. Then my children came before me their innocence and helplessness; and I felt t the moment was at hand when I might pr myself not unworthy of his love; and I det
mined at all hazards to attempt his restoration, | launched upon the deep with my strange comthough I might perish in the attempt.
"Thus resolved, I entreated the commander-inchief to forward my undertaking by giving me in charge a French officer of equal rank to major Shipley, with three or four individuals of the same nation; having in this selection an especial reference to my husband's professional situation as commanding engineer to the West Indian army, and entertaining the most sanguine hopes that I should be enabled to make an amicable arrangement with Victor Hugue. Consideration for my safety gave rise to many objections; but I would not be put aside; and at length my request was granted. A vessel was prepared, and the prisoners whom I requested were made ready for the voyage, viz., the captain of the Superbe, French corvette, taken prisoner by the Vanguard, with four other seamen. Short time sufficed to make ready, and on the 10th of October, 1795, I embarked on this memorable enterprise. And here I would pause to say that I felt totally unworthy of the praises that were heaped upon me, or the astonishment that my undertaking excited; for, truly, not an hour had passed over my wretched head, during the three months which I had spent at Guadaloupe, without bringing with it such a load of anguish that I felt death itself to be preferred to a continuance of sufferings such as I was fated to endure. It is needless to speak concerning the violence of opinion which then prevailed, or the horror with which the contending armies regarded que the other; or respecting the deeds of cruelty that were perpetrated on prisoners during this dreadful conflict. They are too well known to need description. Most families, indeed, who were connected with the army, had to lament the loss of some dear friend, a victim to the unequalled fury of these fearful times. It was not, therefore, perhaps, surprising that the inhabitants of a colony, composed chiefly of French royalists, should look with amazement at a woman thus setting forth, without even a flag of truce, without a friend to protect or comfort, without a single line of introduction from either of the commanders-in-chief, to venture unattended upon the ocean with five republican seamen and only one black female; to return to an enemy's country, and address herself to its ruler, whose severity she had bitterly experienced; and who, at that period of the murderous conflict, was the terror of the West Indies. At this moment methinks I hear them exclaim, with uplifted hands, What a woman! Well does she deserve success in such a perilous undertaking! But alas! the man she seeks is destitute of all sentiment; and, in the attempt to restore a father to her children, she will but too certainly deprive them of both their parents.' And, doubtless, heavy thoughts did occasionally pass across my mind; but, nothing daunted, I committed my children to the care of Mr. Rose and an old and faithful servant, with sealed instructions relative to their disposal, in the event of my not being permitted to return. My mind being thus made easy on their account, as far as circunstances and the bitterness of separation with these poor innoents would allow, I left Port Royal, trusting to the protection of heaven-for I had no other support-and attended by the prayers and good wabes of all who witnessed my departure. When
panions, hope revived, and I was enabled to look forward with renewed confidence and much calmness of mind to the object of my undertaking; but suddenly dark clouds appeared on the horizon, which gradually overspread the heavens, and the night proved one of the most boisterous I had ever witnessed. The thunder was loud and dreadful, lightnings flashed over the troubled deep, and the rain fell in torrents; while at times the wind, sweeping by with extreme violence, caused our small vessel to reel and groan beneath its fury. Death seemed inevitable: we were tossed hither and thither, now on the crest of a wave, while the fierce lightning showed the yawning abyss on either side, and again in the depth of the watery ravine, black, horrible, uncertain. Thus passed several hours of that dreadful night: we dared not to hoist a sail, and knew not whether the next wave might overwhelm us.
"Over the slaves of Satan in heathen lands, who, not outwardly only, but in spirit and in truth, have been made the servants of Christ by the power of the grace wherein we ourselves stand, if indeed we stand, we may rejoice with those who have won such souls to their ministry, and with the angels of God... In every individual case of the real conversion of a soul to God, we have a work for eternity" Bishop of Ossory and Ferns' Anniversary Sermon for the Church Missionary Society, May 5, 1851).
BAPTISM OF CONVERTS.-Seychelles Islands, March, 1851.-A letter from the rev. G. F. Delafontaine, who has been eight years a missionary in this island, says: "I have much satisfaction in stating that, however slowly the good work seems to advance, its progress is not less steady. The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; and the voice of God is not in a strong wind, nor in an earthquake, nor in the fire;' but it is a still small voice' (1 Kings xi. 12). My people have just sustained a great trial. A capuchin friar, sent hither by a Roman bishop, in partibus infidelibus, residing somewhere in Egypt, arrived three weeks ago, and was the cause of a great effervescence among the whites professing the Roman faith. Much zeal was publicly, and with great bustle, manifested in the friar's favour; and great endeavours were made and bribes employed to persuade the members of my flock to go and bow down before the popish altar. But, God be praised, excepting one or two persons placed under a bad influence at home, and in spite of the histrionic Roman ceremonies, performed for the first time among us, my people remained firm and faithful. The capuchin was a missionary of the propaganda in Abyssinia. He left two days ago for Mauritius, to ask the governor permission to settle here, backed by a petition numerously signed, and a return of a large number of baptisms, which he indiscriminately administered to everybody who was presented to or urged before him. Thus were christened many women of notoriously bad life, and hundreds of Mozambiques and Malgaches, who do not know a single Christian word, and live like heathens.
Such is the mode of Christianity or proselyting |
SWITZERLAND.-Out of the whole population there are as many as 971,820 Romanists, according to the census of March, 1850. The greatest number in any one canton is that in Lucerne, 131,280; and next in order stand Tessino, 117,707; St. Gallen, 105,370; Argovia, 91,096; Freiburg, 87,753; Wallis, 81,128; Solothun, 61,556; Bern, 54,044; Schwyz, 44, 103; the Grisons, 38,039; Geneva, 29,764; Unterwalden, 25,110; Thurgovia, 21,921; Zug, 17,336; Basle, 14,560; Uri, 14,493; Appenzell, 12,105; the Vaud, 6,962; Zurich, 6,690; Neufchatel, 5,370; Glarus, 3,932; and Schaffhausen, 1,411. The largest proportional increase of Romanists during the last eleven years has occurred in Geneva, where it has amounted to 3 in every hundred, while the protestants have not increased at the rate of more than one in every hundred. In the cantons of Freiburg, Thurgovia, and Tessino a number of rich monasteries and convents have been dissolved, and others are to fall in after their present inmates have died out. In Thurgovia alone the property acquired to the state, out of which the income of a fourth is to be appropriated to Romanist purposes in the canton, is estimated at £200,000 and upwards. On the whole, 37 religious confraternities and 700 monks and nuns, form the decrease during the last eleven years, by which means the number of the latter has been reduced from 2,500 to 1,800. Besides this, the Jesuits have been expelled from the cantons of Freiburg, Lucerne, Schwytz, and Brieg.
CHINA. A German papal missionary, the Abbé Schöffler, was cruelly put to death in Cochin-China on the 1st of May last. He, together with eight native priests, had been despatched on a mission to the north-western part of that country; and they had no sooner reached it, than their object was made known by some perfidious medium to the mandarins. He was tracked and seized, conveyed to the capital, and at once condemned to death. At the place of execution he was guarded by two regiments of foot-soldiers, and horse and elephants were also kept in readiness, as an attempt to rescue him, on the part of the Christian portion of the population, was apprehended. The missionary was preceded on his way to execution by a soldier, who bore a flag, on which was inscribed, "In defiance of the rigid prohibition issued against the religion of Jesus, Augustine, a European priest, has come to these parts secretly for the purpose of teaching that religion, and seducing the people. After he had been seized he made a frank confession of every thing. His crime has been established. Wherefore Augustine's head is to be struck off, and thrown into the river. In the fourth year of the reign of Tu-Diu, the first day of the third month." Schöffler, loaded with fetters, was surrounded by soldiery: he was constantly engaged in prayer. An immense crowd thronged to the spot. As soon as the victim
reached the place of execution, he knelt down and prayed fervently, threw off his upper vestments and, throwing back his collar, bared his neck Having implored the executioner to make haste the mandarin in command cried out, "No! no wait for the signal given by the cymbals, and d your duty when it has sounded three times." The signal was given; but, in his trepidation, the exe cutioner failed at his first two blows; at the third the unfortunate missionary's head was se vered from his body, and afterwards cast into the river.
CHRISTIAN LOVE. In August, 1850, a missionary, labouring in the colony of Surinam, accosted a negress, and began preaching the gospel to her. She burst into tears. There was not an individual in the colony who had evinced greater enmity to the Christian religion, or uttered greater blasphemies against its ministers. The missionary having expostulated seriously with her on her conduct, she expressed a desire to be received into communion, declaring that her heart had undergone a complete change, and that she had of late wept bitterly over her own condition while at work in the field. He inquired what had led to the change? She replied, "I have observed how dearly the Christians love one another; how anxious they are to help and provide for one another: they always call one another brothers and sisters; but we heathens care not at all the one for the other. It was a sight my heart could not resist." And "My soul was full of joy and thankfulness," says the missionary, "at this testimony to the power of Christ's word." "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if love one to another" (John xii, 35).
THE GABOON, WESTERN AFRICA.-"The dif ference between this climate and the north of the bight of Benin is certainly great: from the many inquiries and the few observations which I have been enabled to make since arriving in Africa, I think there is no place on the coast more healthful than this. The French, English, and Americans number about thirty; yet there has been but one death from the climate, and there has been but little fever, within two years. The condition of African females is beyond description deplorable. The women are bought and sold, whipped, worked, and despised. No one can appreciate it without seeing it; even to one visiting the coast, it does not appear without careful study. Unquestionably they become surly, malicious, and perverse; and, under the detestable system of polygamy which prevails everywhere, they are perfectly faithless to their husbands, whom they torment by their perversity while they stay with them, and often desert without very good cause. They are our most bitter enemies, bearing a great dislike to religion; and this they communicate to their children. They are here, as mothers are everywhere, the instructors of the young; and early in life they fill the young mind with the most foolish and debasing superstitions, and foster, by daily example, the worst passions. I am convinced that the first efficient movement in undermining the systems of false religion must be in the way of female training" (Dr. Ford).
CAUCASIA.-A letter from Tiflis, says: "Many distorted vestiges of Christianity still subsist
among the Mohammedan portion of the people inhabiting the territory about the Caucasus. Independently of the national festivals, which bear much similarity to the Christian, distinct rites and festivals in honour of the virgin have survived the influence of Mohammedanism and paganism. Some of the tribes, for instance, celebrate the feast of the annunciation on the 7th of April, which goes among them by the name of 'The feast of gifts of fresh flowers.' The women, young and old, proceed in companies on this day to gather flowers in the fields, which they present to one another. If you inquire for the origin of this custom, they will all tell you that it has come down to them from their forefathers, in remembrance of the angel Gabriel, who presented the virgin with a flower on the day of annunciation. They have another festival to her honour, which they style the feast of the daughter of God,' or of our Lord.' On this occasion every maiden brings a hen to their house of prayer, where a meal is set out for the common people, and mutual gratulations are exchanged. And this is succeeded by a fast in honour of the virgin, which lasts for a whole week, and is wound up with a grand banquet, which they call the festival of the mother of God.' The day is commemorated by the following hymn to the virgin : O mother of the great God! O puissant Mary! O Mary of high repute and exaltation! Gold is thy adorning: the morn is thy crown; the sun thy robe.' They have many other hymns in praise of the virgin, which the Circassians sing. The Russians are endeavouring to preserve them."
CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.-We observe, by the report of this society for the year 1850-1851, that the total amount of the jubilee fund has been £57,847. Nineteen individuals, in connection with the society, were admitted last year into deacon's orders, viz., 8 students from the Islington institution, 2 native catechists in western India, 3 candidates in the bishopric of Madras 5 native catechists in the bishopric of Calcutta, and 1 native catechistin that of Rupert's Land.
education is given to the rising generation. I am thankful to find the rev. J. S. Robertson reporting to the Church Missionary Society: "My firm impression is that heathenism is decidedly losing ground among all but the Brahmins in this city (Bombay), and in the country on all sides. And even the Brahmins themselves, from having fallen into such disrepute with the other castes, begin to appear anxious to find a livelihood in some other more creditable way than in performing those religious rites which begin to be so little appreciated in comparison with former ages. The lower castes seems very much to be in the same mind with respect to the pretensions of the Brahmins as the common people in England were with respect to the monastic orders immediately before the great Reformation."
GERMANY.-The 66 Gustavus Adolphus Association," whose object is to afford assistance to the poor protestant communities in all parts, especially Germany, has, between the years 1842 and 1849 inclusive, expended a sum of £53,110 in aid of 410 such poor communities. And last year it devoted £6,620 to the same excellent purpose: in many instances it has been the means of raising a ministry and founding schools, of which the protestant laity had been previously destitute. I observe that, between the years 1842 and 1849, the association afforded aid to as many as 119 flocks of protestants in the Austrian dominions, and to the extent of £22,160. It has equally given aid to protestant communities in Belgium, about £750; in France, £2,870; in Sardinia, £430; in Portugal, £230; in the United States, £283; as well as to Algiers, Switzerland, New Zealand, &c.
TUSCANY IN 1851.-The Tuscan cabinet has not altered its views or procedure with regard to those who have forsaken the church of Rome, and every conceivable plan is adopted to check the spread of protestantism. The Jesuits, who until now have never been allowed to settle in Tuscany, are at length beginning to thunder forth their diatribes against protestantism from the pulpits. The burning of a bible by priestly hands is BOMBAY.-It appears by an official statement not an unfrequent occurrence. The dread lest the that the island of Bombay, with a population of people should be contaminated' by reading even 564,281 souls, does not number more than 7,456 single sentences of the word of God will appear native professors of Christianity, including pro- to be very strong indeed on the minds of the testants, Romanists, and Armenian-Greeks. The priesthood, from what follows: Some years ago small proportion of native Christians constitutes count Guicciardini was appointed by government a greater reproach to the Christian name, when it curator of the funds of the church of S. Felicita is considered that Bombay has been in the pos- in Florence. The walls required painting and resession of Christian governments ever since the pairs; and the count, wishing to make known some year 1550, and under British rule since 1661; and portions of God's truth to his countrymen in their that there are in it 5,088 resident Europeans and native tongue, applied to the old prior of the 6,750 East Indians, that is 11,838 persons pledged church (now dead) for permission to paint in fresco by their baptism to "hold forth the word of Life" some passages from scripture on the walls. The in a dark world. Out of the 7,456 native Chris-permission was given, the work was executed, tians only between 200 and 300 professedly belong to the protestant faith; the rest being members of the Oriental or Roman sects. It should be stated, as some encouragement, that the small band of native protestant Christians is the fruit of the labours of the last few years; that there are at present in Bombay 9 ordained missionaries belonging to 4 different societies, together with ative and European assistants, labouring to dispel the darkness around them; and that there are at least 60 protestant schools, in which a Christian
and many read on those walls the words of life. After Guicciardini's apprehension, the number of visitors to S. Felicita greatly increased; and the watchful priests observed that those who read copied too. No time was lost in putting down this species of bible reading: the painter with his brush was sent for to obliterate all the passages with whitewash; and so thoroughly has the task been fulfilled that the traveller now visiting S. Felicita would scarce suspect it would 'such a tale unfold.' Count Guicciardini has had his re
venge-just such a revenge as a Christian may enjoy; for the secret press has lately sent forth a little pamphlet, in which the whole story is made public, and the texts given, with an exact description of the place which each occupied on the walls of the church. So that what would have been originally seen by few, is now seen and read by thousands, on whose minds the transaction has brought home the conviction that the priests consider the bible their deadliest foe. Arrests still continue to be made wherever there is a suspicion that a religious meeting is being held" (Religious Liberty in Tuscany in 1851).
TRIPOLI (SYRIA). "The Greek church claims that her clergy are the sole legitimate successors of the apostles, possessing all the power and authority of those holy men. This claim we have often had to encounter; but we found upon trial that arguments were not very effective; and we finally said, if these men are really successors of the apostles, let them do the work of the apostles by preaching in their church. We urged this upon them; and our vice-consul called upon the bishop, and brought the subject before him in the presence of four or five priests and others. He said to them: 'Since you are the lawful successors of the apostles, there is no escape from it: you must preach. Was not preaching the business of the apostles?' The bishop acknowledged that it was; but he said that he did not know the Arabic well enough. Though a foreigner, he has been in the country some ten years. The viceconsul then turned to the company of priests, and said, You have no excuse; you know Arabic; you must preach.' A short time afterwards one of them undertook to preach; and he did so three or four times. Some of the people professed to be pleased; but others stood out boldly against it, and were exceedingly exasperated that they should be subjected to such a painful infliction through the influence of two or three protestants. One of the priests took part with them. At present the opposition party seems to be prevailing, and the preaching has ceased." At Aleppo, "Our intercourse," says the same correspondent, "has been instrumental in weakening the bonds of superstition, and shaking the yoke of spiritual bondage from many souls. Especially is their faith shaken in the miraculous virtue of the pictures with which their churches were filled, and which they have worshipped for centuries. Some of these pictures were held so sacred that they conceived whosoever should touch them would have his hand withered. But now they have seen them all torn in pieces, trampled under foot, and burned by the enemies of their religion; and what can they say? Perhaps there will be a large increase of infidelity and irreligion, as the immediate result; but we hope that the ultimate results will be good, and the true gospel take the place of these vain superstitions" (Missionary Herald).
THE JEWS-an object for the Christian's prayers."It is our duty (as missionaries to the Jews) to scatter the lively oracles of God, and discuss with them; but it is, I believe, the special duty of Christians at home to see that prayer is daily made to the Lord of the harvest, not only to send forth labourers into the harvest, but also to pour out his Spirit on the dry and thirsty land,
and make their labours effectual. And, until the Christian public is made to feel' this, I cannot expect a blessing. Like Elijah's altar, the stones may be arranged in order, the wood, the meat for the burnt-offering ready; but the fire must fall from heaven before it bursts forth into a flame, and an odour well-pleasing to the Lord. As in the case of Elijah too, that fire is ready, and only waits for the prayer of a prostrate people and a prostrate church; and great shall be the increase of Immanuel's land" (Rev. J. G. Lord, Smyrna, Oct. 2nd). H. S.
INCOMPREHENSIBILITY OF GOD.-He to whom
the existence of his own spirit is a riddle can never search to any fruitful purpose into the mystery of the divine Spirit. And he who cannot comprehend how a tree rises out of the earth, how can he comprehend how the world came forth from God, or how his own being is in himself ?—Hase.
THE FIRST NIGHT IN THE TOMB. (For the Church of England Magazine.) BY THE REV. G. BRYAN, M.A.
THE first night in the tomb
Just out of sight, and near,
Far off as in a hemisphere
A million miles away.
We mourn, no tender gaze, Kind missive, word, or vow, Though fresh as in our living days, Can reach the slumberer now.
The many things of earth
They shared with us before
Too late, O, all too late,
To sabbath-homes above.
When shall we pass the bourne? And when our brethren see, Shining in heaven's eternal morn? And with, and like, them be?
O, haste the wheels of time; And let the kingdom come That mourns not 'neath disease and crime, And shines without a tomb!
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