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We will only add that Bishop Crowther's career, from the day of his consecration to the present time, fully vindicates the wisdom and propriety of his elevation to the episcopate. From being a modest missionary, sheltering himself under the wing of the Church Missionary Society, and yielding the precedence in everything to the European Missionaries, he at once rose to the individual responsibility which his office now imposed upon him; which he thus modestly expressed in taking leave of the Committee upon his return to Africa :—
"The more I think of the present position to which I have been called, the greater seems its weight and responsibility. In days past, when I went forth as a West-African Missionary, it was my duty and my delight to give account to my brethren: my present position is different. I need, therefore, much spiritual snpport, and without strong confidence in the sympathy and prayers of the Church, I feel it would be impossible to go on. In taking this office upon me, I have not followed my own will, but what I believe is the will of Almighty God. I can only promise to use the best of my judgment, prudence, and zeal for the promotion of His glory, relying on His help and strength. I know that my new position sets me up as a kind of landmark, which both the Church and the heathen world must needs behold. I am aware that any false step taken by me will be injnrious to all the Native Churches; yet, if God keeps me steadfast, the mouths of the adversaries will be silenced, and the Society be encouraged to go forward, not in their own strength, but in the strength of the Lord. All I ask is prayer for me. May I go back to the dark places of idolatry and superstition supported by the fervent and continual supplications of the Church, and leaning on the promise of the Saviour, 'Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.' May an abundant blessing ever rest on the work of the Society."
As soon as he touched the coast of West Africa his mind seemed to expand and grasp the full import of his commission to stir up Africa's sons to be themselves the evangelizers of Africa. The following is the substance of an address he made to the native pastors of Sierra Leone :—
"My dear Brethren,—Accept my thanks for your kind feelings and expressions of respect towards me.
"The present state of West Africa Mission presents to the Church of Christ a very encouraging aspect, when we look back to its beginning, and compare it with the stage at which, through God's blessing, it has now arrived.
"When we look back to the commencement, we find the Mission
cellent Majesty, to undertake the good a native Bishop for a native Church,
work of a Bishop among his own we would encourage with all hearty
Him, therefore, thus devoted and Him I present to you to be admitted
consecrated to the work of establishing, to the Honorary Degree of Doctor of
cherishing, and ruling a new Diocese, Divinity.
took its beginning among a heterogeneous mass of people, brought together in the providence of God from many tribes of this part of Africa, out of whom, through the zealous, faithful, and persevering labour of the early Missionaries, arose devout congregations of faithful and sincere Christians. After a time the Mission produced a Native Ministry; then a self-supporting Native Pastorate; and latterly, out of the Native Ministry, a humble step onward was taken in faith, to introduce a Native Episcopate in Missions beyond Her Majesty's dominions. Here we may pause and raise our Ebenezer to God's praise. Hitherto the Lord has helped us.
"This onward progress seems to be an indication from God beckoning to us to come forward, put our shoulders to the wheel, and ease our European brethren of the great work which they have so nobly sustained alone from their predecessors for fifty years, many of whom had sealed the testimony of their zeal with their lives; their graves at the burial grounds are existing monuments of their faithful obedience to their Master's command—' Go and teach all nations.'
"Whether called to their rest, or whether beaten back from the fields of their labour through ill health, and forced to retire, or whether still labouring among us, it is our bounden duty, in gratitude, to remember and esteem them highly in love for their works' sake, of which we are the fruits.
"We must exhibit theMissionary spirit ourselves, and encourage it among our congregations, if we are imitators of Missionary enterprises. If, as Timothy knew Paul, we also have known their manner of life, purpose, doctrine, and their zeal, we should endeavour to preach the Gospel in the regions beyond the Colony.
"To extend our line of usefulness, we must seriously impress on our Christian countrymen the necessity of exhibiting the spirit of liberality, after the example of the mother Church, whose spirit they should imbibe, not only to support their own pastors and school teachers, keeping in good repair their churches and other buildings made over into their hands, but also to contribute, according to the means God has blessed them with, to send the Gospel into countries beyond them which are yet destitute of the blessings of its light.
"But above all, we must be followers of Christ, the great Shepherd of His flock, and of the example of His Apostles in the habit of prayer for help from above. This is the weapon which prevails most in the work of the Ministry. When we feel our weakness and insufficiency for the work to which God has called us, we must constantly go to the throne of grace to ask divine aid. We are better fitted for the work when we feel our incompetency to change a sinner's heart. This will drive us to apply to the Fountain Head for a quickening Spirit from above, which He has promised to all who ask Him; then we shall be encouraged to go on in this our might:—has He not sent us ¥
"Samuel A. Ceowther,
"Freetown, August 12th, 1864." "Bishop."
We close this Article with an annual letter just received by the Archbishop of Canterbury from Bishop Crowther, and which his Grace kindly permits us to insert as the latest intelligence of the Bishop's Episcopal labours:—
"My Lord Archbishop,— "Lagos, June 1, 1869.
"It has been my practice to write an annual letter to our much lamented late Archbishop Longley, giving a condensed account of my missionary operations in the Niger Territory.
"In the first place 1 must sympathize with your Grace and the Church on the occasion of the removal, by death, of your late predecessor, in the midst of very arduous struggles to oppose the revival of Ritualism in Protestant England, from which the Church was gradually freed since the last 300 years, on account of its unprofitableness, to hold the simplicity of the faith of the Gospel as is tanght in the New Testament. The late Archbishop had zealously accomplished the work assigned him as a faithful champion of Christ's Church militant here on earth; now he is called to his rest to receive his glorious reward from our compassionate Redeemer. May the Spirit of Christ rest on your Lordship to follow up the combat, to maintain the purity of the Church from unedifying innovations. The great head of the Church has given His assurance that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. Though the struggles are mighty, yet our Lord is mightier. In His infinite wisdom He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
"My last visit to the Niger was in every respect one of hope mingled with much anxiety; hopeful from the firmness of the Christians in time of persecution, though they had to pay heavy fines laid upon them by their malicious persecutors. Much anxiety arises lest their enemies be more enraged by their determination to abide by the truth of the Gospel they have been taught, and become more severe in the punishment they had invented. Such an unsettled state of a Church cannot but create, in one concerned, much anxiety as to the extent to which it may go. I am just being initiated into the feelings of St. Paul, when he said, 'Besides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the Churches.' It has pleased God to appoint persecution as a test of His true and faithful people, we must therefore look to Him who has assured us they shall come out like silver purified seven times in the furnace.
"A spacious mud church had been commenced at Onitsha station at the Niger, which was nearly completed when the persecution broke out in September last; but as the king has put a stop to the persecution, and repealed the law against church-going, and promised protection to the converts, I hope by this time it is available for service.
"Lokoja, our next station at the confluence of the Kwarra and Tshadda branches of the Niger, has been impeded in progress from disturbance of war between the rival brothers for the kingship of that district, as well as from a party of pirates who attempted to plunder the merchants' trading establishment last year. Notwithstanding all these agitations, our Mission agents have continued the routine of their weekly services find day schools, though not with increased numbers.
"Masaba, the Mohammedan King of Null, has been visited by naval officers with presents from Government, on which occasion I took the opportunity of accompanying them, and took the King a present of a copy of St. John's Gospel in Arabic characters, and another to the Sultan of Sokoto through him, both which were thankfully received. It is a matter of much thankfulness that we have unrestrained liberty to teach Christianity in those parts of Masaba's dominions which we now occupy.
"The Bonny Mission in the Bight of Biafra was originated by a letter written by late King Pepple in 1864, to your Lordship when Bishop of London, which letter you first sent to the Rev. H. Venn, and you ultimately sent it to me, the result of which was the establishment of that Mission. This is the fourth year of its operations, and every year holds out to us encouragement to persevere. Some fifty children have been pat to school, for whose education £2 each is paid per annum by the fathers and guardians. The school examination this year was most gratifying, not only in point of general education, but also in Scriptural knowledge, which has so influenced the hearts of some of the elder boys that they have applied for baptism, and entreated me to prevail on their heathen fathers and guardians to exempt them entirely from working on Sundays, that they might be able to keep the Lord's Day holy, as Christians should. Our encouragements are not limited to the elder boys only; some male adults are also becoming more serious. Two of them have already given up their domestic idols to one of the Mission agents, and got him to cut down some young trees planted for a future idolatrous grove, as tests of their earnestness. Moreover, we have free access to all classes, to speak to them of the one thing needful, to which they give attentive ears. Church attendance has much improved. A Sunday School has been opened for those who are desirous to acquire the art of reading, which is taken advantage of by many. Reformation from some general absurd superstitious practices is gradually taking place. The King has proclaimed a law against the destruction of twins, which extensively prevails in those parts of the country. Though it will take some time before the law can be put in full force, yet I am thankful a boginning is made in the right direction.
"At Brass River, in the same Bight, a Mission has been lately commenced. The people here are acknowledged cannibals, and deluded worshippers of a snake—the cobra, a kind of boa constrictor. Even here, also, upwards of forty children have been put to school, under the pay system as at Bonny; and a congregation of nearly 100 persons regularly attend the means of grace on the Lord's Day, some of whom are coming forward as inqnirers after the truth, and are enlisted as candidates for baptism, receiving special instruction.
"The Akassa Station, at the mouth of the Nun River, the main entrance into the Niger, is rather more backward than other Stations, but not without some fruits. A baptism of four adults took place here at the end of the year, and the improved attendance at service on the Lord's Day stimulates me to take steps to improve and enlarge the chapel.
Vol. 08.—No. 381. 4 0
This summary statement of the Niger Mission will give your Grace some idea of the ground we have occupied, and the progress which has attended our efforts, which encourage us to work on in faith in this dark land, believing that in due time we shall reap if we faint not.
"I regret that the Bishop of Sierra Leone has suffered so much from ill health since his return from England, which prevented his visit to Lagos to perform episcopal duties. He had promised to send me a commission to act for him, should he not be able to visit this place j but I fear he was too ill to write, or to attend to such duties; therefore, having his wishes expressed in writing, I have arranged to act for him here this month, to hold an Ordination, to admit a few candidates to Holy Orders, to meet the immediate wants of the Mission, leaving out other duties of a more general character till further arrangements, which may be made by Bishop Beckles, through the Secretaries of the Church Missionary Society.—I remain, my Lord Archbishop, &c.,
(Signed) "S. A. Crowther,
"Missionary Bishop, Niger Territory."
D'AUBIGNE'S HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION.
Histoire de la Reformation en Europe au temps de Calvin. Par J. H. Merle D'Aubigni. Tome V. Angleterre, Geneve, Ferrare. Paris. 1869.
History of the Reformation in Europe in the time of Calvin. By J. H. Merle D'Aubigni, D.D. Vol. V. England, Geneva, Ferrara. London: Longmans, Green, and Co. 1869.
It was in the year 1817, on the occasion of his visit to Eisenach, at the celebration of the third Centenary of the Reformation, that Dr. Merle D'Aubigne" conceived the design "of writing the history of that great renovation." The volume which lies before us is the tenth volume of the History of the Reformation of the sixteenth century, and the fifth of that series which is designed to include the years intervening between the Confession of Augsburg and the triumph of the Reformation in various parts of Europe. There are few writers who have displayed so great a persistency of purpose through the lapse of more than half a century as Dr. D'Aubigne', and, we may add, still fewer whose labours have been crowned with so large a measure of success. We entirely agree in the opinion expressed by our author, that there is no country of which a faithful history of the Reformation is more necessary at the present time than that of England; but those who are best acquainted with the materials out of which alone such a