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on a Friday afternoon; on the following Monday, four individuals expressed their willingness to go, and offered themselves for the good work.
These persons were two young men, and the two young women to whom they were engaged to be married.
Mr Jackson, one of the young men, is twenty-seven years of age, and so light complexioned as hardly to appear coloured; He has had a varied life, as a slave, a soldier, a teacher, and student. He has earned and saved nearly £200 as a teacher; while at the same time aiding in the support of an aged grandmother. He entered the University in 1869. His wife (elect) was Miss Ella M. Hildridge, one of the Jubilee Singers.
Mr Miller, the other young missionary, is very dark, a coloured man indeed. He entered the University with a view to becoming a minister, and was to have graduated in May. He, also, by teaching, has earned and saved about £160, while pursuing his studies. His wife (to be) was Miss Ada J. Roberts, who entered the University in 1872.
Both the ladies have been teachers, and Mrs Jackson is a fine musician. These four students were among the oldest and best in that noble school, and were accepted on the commendation of the professors, who knew them thoroughly.
Within a fortnight from the time they first heard the request read out, their preparations were all made; and they were ordained, married, and on the way to the land of their fathers, carrying Eastward with them that blessed gospel of peace which came to them through the curse of slavery.
On Sabbath, February 17th, the ordination took place; and the solemn services were conducted by a goodly number of prominent ministers, missionaries, and professors.
Much deep religious enthusiasm was evinced at the various farewell meetings, held both in Nashville and in New York. The influences of the Spirit were felt, and its fruits largely manifested. Many
thought 'it is good to be here'; and were reminded of the sailing of Judson and his companions sixty years ago; for, the simple, child-like faith of these freed men and women of America was uttered in nearly the same words as were used by Judson, Mills, and Harriet Newell, in connection with that great movement which had its origin in the Mission Park at Williamstown, Massachusetts, among the Berkshire hills.
Africa is a vast field, with a great future before it; and its own sable sons and daughters, thus trained and equipped, would seem, under the blessing of God, to be the most fitting instruments for Christianising it. Let all who would aid so good and great a work, put their shoulders to the wheel.
Of these missionaries, the venerable S. S. Jocelyn said:—' I am perfectly satisfied that God has called them to go. He will go with them.'
Dr. Baird declared:—'We intend to have many more such missionary meetings, as these institutions which are among us will furnish us many more. We intend to make a move in Africa all along the line.'
At the farewell meeting of the students of Fisk University, the following resolution was adopted:—
'In consideration of the call of God of our brethren to labour in Africa, and in consideration of the many hours spent together in Christian communion,— Resolved, That we devote a portion of each Sabbath morning to prayer, especially for them in their labours on the African shores, that they may be abundantly blessed, both spiritually and physically, and enabled to do good work for the Master.'
Before sailing from New York, at an informal meeting of the committee and friends of African missions, each of the missionaries told the simple and touching story of God's call to engage in this work; and when the Rev. Mr Halliday, in his prayer, made use of the expression, 'Lord, Thou knowest that we love them,' every heart said, Amen! x.i.a.
WE now come to a couple of pictures of halls in a palace; let us look to-day at the first of them, which represents the banqueting-hall. Here you see a long table, at which a great many people are seated, as the guests of the King. They are of all sorts,—many of them very poorlooking to be found in a palace. As you look at them, you begin to fancy you know some of their faces. Surely this is Abraham, and that Moses. Here, again, is
certainly David; and there you see Elijah in his hairy garment, and Aaron in his high-priestly clothing. And yonder are Paul, Peter, and John, seated together, and near them the sisters of Bethany. Children are not awanting,—little Samuel, young Timothy, and many others. If the guests are various, so are the dishes which load the table. There is milk for the children, (1 Pet. ii. 1); strong meat for the grown men, (Heb. v. 14); honey for those
that like sweet things, (Psa. xix. 10); wine for the faint, (Pro. ix. 2); and bread for all, (Mat. iv. 4). At the head of the table sits the King Himself; and the attendants are angels, who are 'sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.' Over the picture you read, 'Thy words were found, and I did eat them.' And again, under it, 'I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.'
What a wonderful picture this is, and no less true than wonderful! Ever since God began to give His Word to His people, it has been their food in all ages. And inasmuch as you see the King Himself seated at the table, that is to remind you, that when He dwelt on earth, He lived by partaking daily of the food which He had provided for us, just as He conquered His and our enemies with the sword He had forged for our use.
Now, food is necessary to sustain life. You all know that, of course; and you would not expect to live long, if you took no food. But it is just as true of your soul as of your body; and the food to keep your soul alive, is found only in God's Word.
Again, food is necessary to ensure growth, and it must be wholesome nourishing food. Not long ago, in Edinburgh, a child was found by a policeman in a wretched part of the city. It was really three or four years of age, but it looked like a baby of a few months, and a very puny wretched baby too. Why? Because, instead of getting nourishing food, it had been fed all its life on whisky! Now, you may starve your soul just as that poor baby's body was starved; and that is why I remind you that you need 'the sincere (i.e., pure) milk of the Word' to ensure your growth. I dare say some of you have a baby-sister just now, of whom you are very fond. Suppose I were to come to see you five years hence, and find your little sister still a baby in the nurse's arms, unable either to speak or walk I I know, if such a thing were to happen, your parents would not rest till they found out what was wrong,
and how it might be set right. Ah! I fear our gracious Heavenly Father has children at present in Scotland who have scarcely grown at all, since they were 'born again' some years ago. If you are His child, remember His command to you is, 'Growin grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ;' and in order to do this, you must feed upon His Word.
Once more, good food is necessary to preserve health. In large cities, many of the children of the poor are sickly and subject to all sorts of diseases, just for want of a sufficiency of wholesome food. You know the Bible often speaks of diseases of the soul, and we read particularly of 'the well-beloved Gaius,' that his soul was strong and healthy. (8 John, ver. 2.) When you are not very well, and the doctor comes to see you, one of the questions he asks is, whether you have lost your appetite. If so, he pays particular attention to bringing it back, and probably gives you some bitter tonic to take. Now, there are times when God's children lose their appetite; and that is a sure sign that they are in bad health. Often, in order to bring back their relish for heavenly food, the Good Physician has to give them bitter medicine; that is, He sends some trial on them that makes them feel they cannot live without feeding on the Bible.
You all understand that when you are hungry, looking at food, or watching others eat, will not satisfy you. Just so with spiritual food; you must love the Bible, and study it for yourself, or it will not make you a strong, healthy child, in the Heavenly Father's family.
Now, I am going to tell you a story, and leave you to find out its meaning. A man went one day to a doctor, and complained that he felt very ill and queer. The doctor asked, among other questions, 'What did you eat for breakfast this morning?'— 'Oh!' said the man, lI ate no breakfast.'— 'Well, what did you eat yesterday?'—'I took no food yesterday.'—' The day before, then?'—The man thought for a minute, and then answered, 'To tell the truth, I've