Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

cheapest substitute. The country was without roads or bridges; and drovers driving their cattle had to swim the rivers along with their beasts. The chief track leading into Caithness lay along a high shelf on a mountain side, the road being some hundred feet of clear perpendicular height above the sea which dashed below. Sir John, though a mere youth, determined to make a new road; the old let-alone proprietors, however, regarding his scheme with incredulity and derision.

But he himself laid out the new road, assembled some twelve hundred laborers early one summer's morning, set them simultaneously to work, watching over their labors, and stimulating them by his presence and example; and before night, what had been a dangerons sheep track six miles in length, hardly passable for led horses, was made practicable for wheel carriages, as if by the powers of magic. What an example of energy and well directed labor! He then proceeded to make more roads, to erect mills, to build bridges, and to enclose and cultivate his waste lands. He introduced improved methods of culture, distributing premiums to encourage industry ; and he thus soon quickened the whole frame of society within reach of his influence, and infused an entirely new life into the cultivators of the soil, Caithness became a pattern county for its roads, its agriculture, and its fisheries. In Sinclair's youth the post was carried by a runner only once a week, and the young baronet then declared that he would never rest till a coach drove daily to Thurso. The people could not believe in any such thing, and it was common to say of any utterly impossible scheme, “Ou ay, that will come to pass when Sir John sees the daily mail at Thurso!” But Sir John lived to see his dream realized, and the daily mail established at Thurso. He improved the quality of British wool, imported 800 sheep from all countries at his own expense, and established the British Wool Society. The result was, the introduction into Scotland of the celebrated Cheviot breed, and in a few years there were not fewer than 300,000 Cheviots diffused over the four northern counties alone.

The value of all grazing land was thus enormously increased, and Scotch estates, wbich before were comparatively worthless, began to yield large rentals. Sir John was returned by Caithness to Parliament, in wbich he remained for thirty years. Mr. Pitt, observing his persevering energy in all useful projects, proposed his assistance in any object he might have in view whereupon Sir John asked and received Mr. Pitt's assistance in the establishment of a National Board of Agriculture.

One Arthur Young laid a bet with the baronet that his scheme would never be establishld, adding, “ Your Board of Agriculture will be in the moon.' But he went to work; he roused public attention; the Board was established, and he was appointed President. The result of its action need not be described, but the stimulus which it gave to agriculture and stock-raising was shortly felt throughout the whole United Kingdom, and tens of thousands of acres were redeemed from barrenness by his operation.

sense.

I offer no comment on such a man, such a character, for he must be fully appreciated by my intelligent hearers. Success in business depends not on brilliancy of genius, but on common

Notwithstanding all that is said about “lucky hits," the best kind of success in every man's life is not that which comes by accident.

Promptitude in all kinds of business “ pays well.” Punctuality saves our own time and that of other people, and what an invaluable commodity is time.

Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lỏst knowledge by study, lost health by medicine; but lost time is gone forever. Self-respect is another great means of success in business, and in all the avocations of life. To think meanly of one's self is to sink ourselves in the estimation of others; for if we undervalue ourselves, our conduct will be correspondingly mean.

If a man would rise, he must look up. It is truly a noble sight to see a poor man hold himself upright amid all his temptations, and refuse to degrade himself by low actions. We can elevate the condition of labor by associating it with noble thoughts, which confer a grace on the lowliest as well as the highest rank; for no matter how poor or humble a man may be, the great thinker of these and other days may come in and sit down by him.

-000

ASHMUN INSTITUTE, OXFORD, CHESTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.

At the commencement of the seventh session of the Ashmun Institute the trustees wish to present a few facts to its friends and patrons, and to the friends generally of colored men.

There are twenty-six new applicants for admission, most of them highly recommended as young men of piety, desiring to enter the ministry, and willing to labor anywhere among their own people. Some of these have lately obtained their freedom, and have been commended to us as promising, when properly educated, to be very useful to their race. We have the means, as yet, only for the support of six of their number, which, added to those previously in the Înstitution, give us fifteen with which to commence the present session. We regret to refuse so many, but what can we do? They come with nothing in their hands, and yet sometimes they are singularly met with the means necessary for their support. A day or two ago one presented himself who had been a preacher in the African Methodist church. After close questioning we became deeply interested in him, and he was told to remain, and we hoped Providence would open some way by which he might be sustained., A few moments after a letter was handed us from the post office, containing $100 for the Institute, just the amount of his session bill for ten months. We could not resist the conviction that although we were greatly in need in other respects, the money was designed for him, and was so appropriated. In another letter from an excellent brother, enclosing

a

cause.

[ocr errors]

a similar donation, he makes the remark, “This is one of the most interesting causes that can be presented. You should not shrink from making it known to the friends of the colored man. Our best wishes are with you.” Such ready offerings and words of encouragement prompt us to open the door even at the risk of admitting more than we can sustain, but we believe that neither our Divine Saviour nor his Church will permit these people to stretch out their hands to them in vain. We never felt so much encouragement to labor in this

There have been dark days, but they seem to be passing away. So many offering themselves as students; such appearance of piety and mental ability, and other signs which cause hope for them; while there appears to be a readiness, from indications noticed, to give the means needed if we will ask for it. In the name, therefore, of these numerous applicants, this we sincerely and earnestly do. We present these men before you, offering themselves as ambassadors for Jesus to benighted Africa. If you help they shall go; if you do not, the probability is they cannot go. Among the grounds of encouragement we would state that two young men of the last class have received license from their respective Presbyteries, and are usefully employed. There is much more confidence manifested by them in the elevation of their race. Formerly they prided themselves upon a light complexion, but their feelings have changed, and now the black skin and the deep African blood seem to be held in high honor. It is now something with them to be an African, and an ambition to aid in the redemption of Africa. They have resumed their meetings for prayer with much interest. They appear to be thankful for their privileges, and give us encouragement to hope they will make progress in study during the session. One of our first graduates, now a missionary in Africa, mentioned lately when at home on a visit, that he had gone to a spot near the Institute to see a stone beside which he had kneeled, devoting himself to the service of God, and asking that the way might be opened for him to receive an education and become a missionary; but the stone was not to be found, and upon inquiry he learned that it had been placed in the foundation of the Ashmun Institute. Does not God hear prayer? And will he despise the prayer of the destitute ? Report of the Board of Education to the General Assembly, upon

the Ashmun Institute, at the Meeting in Peoria, May, 1863.

This Institution has for its object the preparation of colored men for the ministry, and for general usefulness among their own people in Africa and in this country.

The following reasons, among others, seem to urge its importance:

1. The great readiness with which the colored race everywhere receive the Gospel encourages us to furnish them with an educated ministry. Nore are more willing to be taught, or attend more generally upon religious worship; and as it is only by the Gospel of the

Son of God that they can be civilized and saved, we have great encouragement while we discharge an imperative duty.

2. They need an institution of their own; other schools or colleges do not invite them, nor would their admission be pleasant or profitable generally to themselves. Habits, progress, temperament, position, all encourage a separation, and none who visit Ashmun Institute and notice the cheerful performance of duty by the pupils can doubt that their situation is favorable to their improvement, and equally so to their comfort and peace.

3. It has been carried on uninterruptedly for six years under the care of the New Castle Presbytery, with an average number of fifteen students, and has already accomplished much good. Three of its graduates are missionaries under the care of our Board of Foreign Missions. Many of them are preaching the Gospel, principally in connection with the African Methodist Church, licensed ministers from which having availed themselves for one session or more of its gratuitous theological instruction; and some are teaching successfully. Experience has been gained in the management of such an institution, so that it is no longer an experiment; and comparing it with other seminaries as to diligence in study, cheerful obedience, and tone of piety in those professing religion, it is worthy of confidence in an eminent degree. It is aided by our Board of Education, and is becoming a channel through which benevolent persons are seeking to benefit the African race.

4. The signs of the times-Divine Providence has evidently great purposes in reference to this people their past and present relation to our country, and also to Africa, render it evident; and the one great benefit which, as a church, we by God's blessing can confer upon them will be to give them from their own race, properly qualified religious teachers. This is to us, in some measure, a new field of labor. It puts us in connection with the mission work to the heathen; it offers a participation in that work while at home, with all the facilities for carrying it on in our own country, and with an immediate bearing upon a foreign field. Does it not seem to be a đuty urged upon us to sustain such an institution ? Does it not accord with the spirit and practice of the Presbyterian Church? Wherever there has been a purpose to evangelize, has it not been accompanied by great exertions to provide seminaries of learning? Shall it not be so for the negro race? There is no people to whom we owe more than we do to them. They have been our bondservants, and have done for us much labor. We would make them a return; many of them are emigrating to the land which God seems to have given them as their own. What parting gift can have such value as proper Christian training for those who will go before them as their teachers ?

We give a few sentences from an address delivered at the opening of the Ashmun Institute, by the lamented Rev. C. Van Rensselear, D. D., Dec. 31, 1856 :

[ocr errors]

“In the name of the God of Ethiopia, and our God, the foundations of a Christian institution have been laid with pious care. The issues of the enterprise are committed to Him; the grace of His Spirit is invoked, and the aid of Providence is supplicated. The promotion of His glory is sought. "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be -upon us, and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea,

the work of our hands establish thou it." “The general theme of my discourse on this occasion is, God Glorified by Africa. The particular form in which I shall attempt to unfold it is, by showing that the African race in this country is to be a great instrumentality for signal displays of God's goodness, grace, and glory in Africa."

[ocr errors]

*

*

*

*

*

“Our discussion is ended. It has aimed to show that the Provi. dence of God, which has been exercising its benevolence for many years towards the colored race in this country, now points to Africa as the chief scene of its high and influential action. However long delayed, the period of Africa's redemption will come.

• The night is far spent; the day is at hand.' Morning beams already play along the coast, and streaks of sunrise in the tropics’ cast their tints upon an increasing moral vegetation. The valleys begin to sing Gospel culture will convert Central Africa into a garden of the Lord. The blood of Christ was shed for the four continents of the human race, and is offered to all in the great commission to 'preach the Gospel to every creature.' Prophecy declares the things that shall be: "The whole earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Every land shall become Immanuel's, and in holy union with tribes and people of every tongue · Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands unto God.' Thus the return of the barbarian bondmen as Christian freemen will be made the occasion of great displays of the Divine goodness, grace, and glory to a benighted continent, and God will be glorified by Africa.

“A practical injunction of the discussion is the importance and necessity of African education in our own country. Institutions of learning like the Ashmun Institute possess the sanction of a providential command. To be guided by the pillar and the cloud is only less glorious than to dwell in the light of the Shekina. A greater or more interesting work was never committed to the Church than that of elevating the children of Ham to their true social and religious condition on their own continent and among the nations of the earth. Privileged is the land and the age that shall behold enlarged efforts for the moral and political recovery of Africa.

"The Ashmun Institute is national in its claims. It invites cooperation from every section of the Church and from every lover of his country and of Africa. Its relations are wide-spread, and of intense interest. It seeks to realize the great maxim of Ashmun, 'to accomplish the most possible good in the least time. It aims at a connection with God's great providential plans. May it flourish for

« ForrigeFortsæt »