The New Zealand Evangelist
Local Intelligence.—River Hutt
Local Intelligence.—River Hutt.
Annual Festival of the Wesleyan Sabbath School.
—On Tuesday, the 9th January, the children of the above school, received their annual treat from their patronsand friends. At an early hour in the afternoon they mustered in considerable force, every eye beaming with delight, every countenance betokening anxious expectation. Although the day was lowering and foretold heavy rain, the Superintendent and Teachers marshalled them into procession order, with a banner at their head, intending to march them up the Hutt Road, singing as they went. They set off in high glee, but had not proceeded many yards above the bridge, before the rain, regardless of new frocks and jackets, came down in pitiful torrents, causing their very speedy retrocession to the Chapel, not in the beautiful order in which they started. They were then subjected to an examination, by the Rev. J. Watkin, as to their Scripture knowledge, which done they, nothing loth, sat down to an abundant provision of buns, bread and butter, and tea. The appetite they evinced was astonishing, proving very satisfactorily that the gloomy day did not prevent their enjoyment. About 150 boys and girls, all healthy and vigorous, in every grade of age and size, were regaled; being nearly the whole number on the books of the school. When the youngsters had been feasted to their heart's content, the parents and friends, including a goodly number of visitors from Wellington and the country, sat down to tea. But as the number, about 200 was twice as many as was expected, sufficient quantity of crockery &c., was not at hand, though there was no lack of eatables and drinkables. Happy they who secured a seat at table and a cup and saucer. However, every one appeared determined to be happy, and it would seem that they succeded; for a more joyous and satisfies set of countenances it has seldom been our privilege to witness.
In the course of the evening addresses were delivered and re marks on the great advancement made in the District, not only it matters temporal, but also in their Educational and Religious con cerns, by the Rev. Messrs. Watkin and Ironside, also by Mr C Hunt, and Mr. Poad, the Superintendent of the School. The pecuniary results of the festival were about sixteen pounds, which after defraying expenses, will be appropriated to the purchase of suitable Reward and other Books for the children of the School.
Wellington.—Lecture on Temperance.
On the evening of Monday the 15th Jan., the Rev. Frederick Miller, President of the Hobart Town Total Abstinence Society page 191 delivered a lecture on this subject in the Scotch Church. The church was filled with a highly respectable audience, who listened with marked attention throughout the whole of the lecture, which occupied about an hour and a half. Mr. Miller introduced his subject by shewing the necessity of union for gaining important objects; adverted to the origin and progress of the temperance reform; and shewed that abstinence from intoxicating drinks is to all persons in health, not only safe, but decidedly advantageous and beneficial to health, intellect, and morals. He answered the objection that total abstinence is contrary to the Bible, the use of wine being allowed and approved of in scripture. The use of wine, he said, is permitted, but not enjoined in scripture, except as a medicine, and in the Lord's Supper. The scripture wines were all very different in quality from those in common use, so that little can be said in favour of strong brandied wines from what is said respecting the weak wines of Judea. He met at some length the objection that total abstinence is at variance with the spirit of the Gospel. He regarded total abstinence as the practical application of the great gospel principles of self-denial and brotherly love. It is the cutting off of a right hand, and the plucking out of a right eye, because these are offending or ensnaring. The use of intoxicating drinks is insensibly leading multitudes into a state of perilous temptation. Paul says, “It is good neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth or is offended or is made weak.” Love to our neighbour, he said, should lead us to deny ourselves the use of liquors which do so little good at the best, can be dispensed with so safely and so advantageously, and whose regular use is followed every where and among all classes with such fearful consequences to health and morals,—to body and soul. Total Abstinence is not religion, but it is intimately connected with the success of religion, and he eagerly longed to see every total abstainer a Christian, and every Christian a total abstainer. He illustrated his arguments by many striking cases.
It was a clear, calm, eloquent, and effective address, and highly calculated to promote the cause of temperance.
Mr. Miller, who was here on a visit for the benefit of his health, preached with much acceptance, on the Sabbath before, to the Presbyterian, Independent, and Wesleyan congregations. Our prayer is, that he may be restored to his family and his flock, with his health confirmed, his mind invigorated, and his spirit refreshed.
On Monday, the 22nd, the anniversary of the settlement was observed at Karori as usual by a Tea-Meeting. It proved one of the largest and most agreeable that has ever been held there. The chapel which has been recently much enlarged was completely filled. A number of friends were present from Wellington; and page 192 certainly those who preferred the “bush” to the “turf,” rural scenery to “rural sports,” and the sweet smiles of nature to the horrible “grinning” advertized on Te Aro, — those who preferred the beverage that “cheers but not inebriates” to those drinks that produce woe, sorrow, and babblings; or the “feast of reason and the flow of soul,” to the uproarious mirth in the neighbourhood of the “booths,” did not return home disappointed. The arrangements were well conducted, several interesting addresses were delivered, psalms and hymns were sung at intervals, and all present must have felt, that “Wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”
On the day following, an equally interesting Tea-meeting was held in the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Thorndon Flat, under the auspices of the Committee of the Evangelical Alliance. We were much pleased to see the number of young people present at both these Meetings. These are safe places for the young. The character of the amusements that men get up, or follow after, are generally a surer test of their real character than the graver pursuits of life in which they are engaged; the one is the result of choice, the other may be the force of circumstances. Nature is stronger than any accidental force. True to nature we always choose the greatest apparent good; that, which upon the whole appears to offer the greatest amount of pleasurable emotion; though many mistake glittering tinsel for yellow gold, prefer momentary mirth to endless felicity, and furnish indubitable evidence that they are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.”