SHBURTON PRESBUTERIAN CHURCH.
ANNUAL TEA MEEING. The annual oongregational gathering of our Presbyterian friends took place last evening iv the Oddfellows' Hal", and was >ne of the most successful if not the moat luccissful of a Ion 3 eeriea of these p'e^sant events . Members, adherents and friends cam a fiom far aad near, among the latter being a g~od number of representatives of other demoniaaiionq who sho > ed by tieir presence on the platform, among the musical pjr formers and among .the audience that there is a healthy and happy spirit of kindly co-operation pervading the various branches of the Christian Ohuroh m thiß town and district. As always, the proceedings commenced with a tea meeting for whicti nine rows of tables were invitingly Bpread with appetising dainties, and prettily decorated with flowers, these bsing furnished by and presided over as follows :— Old Maidg Table, presided over by Misaaa Kidd and Allan (Men), assiste t by Miss L. Qrubb. ; the Choi* I able, presided over by tie Mis tea Arthur (2j, and Mrs Keanedy; Mrs Andrew Orr'a Table, presided over by that lady, assisted by Misfe Orrand Mra H. Gates, the remaining tablea being furnished and presided over by tbo following ladies, via., iVfrti Rule, assisted by the Misses Bale (2), and Miss Anderson (Greenßtreet), Mrs D. Wi liamson, assisted by Miss Smith and the Misses Williamson (2), the Misses Jamies >n (2). Wakanui ; Mrs S, Scott and Mrs John Oochrane, assisted by Miss Scott, Misses Stringfel'ow and Bagelsom ; Mrs Rutherford and Mrs Lea, assisted by Misses Fleming and Be>ttie j and tbt Bachelors Table, pr-oided over by Misses Leggett (2) ; Barrett and Tnlly. A blessing having been asked by the Rev the pastor of the thnroh (Ber A. M. Beatiio, M.A.), the guests who were no numerous that the tables were twice filled, proceeded to discuss the good things provided, between 400 and 500 persons, old and young?, partaking of tea. The H*ll was then arranged for the after meeting, whloi ommeDoed tbont eight o'olook, there being folly 400 persons preheat. Oa the platform wre the Rets A.M. Baattle (who occupied the ohalr), Gordon Webster (St Andrew 1 !. Ohrlatchoroh), P, J. Riddle (Raka(a), A. Btaka (Tiuwald), A. B. Sootfc (Sfc Stephen's Anglican Oiiuroh), and J. N; Buttle (Wealeyaa Ohuroh), and a strong oholt and orohertra comprising some forty voioaj and Instruments under tha baton of Mr X nth An overture (pUno Mibb Kidd. organ, Miss On) hay* tng been given In excellent time and nnlaan, prayer wes offered by the Be? Chairman who then In a short address Bald that thla was their tenth anniversary meeting shoe he came to Ashbuiton, Looking back over those ten years they noted many ohacg i>, but it was a cause for think 'ul oongratulaiion that their Ohuroh had during the year jaat paat been aa auoaassfal, healthy and hearty oa m any format yaw, sad «* the general pioopeots were r O w bright and promising they oould look forward to the future with hope and oorcfidanoe. As tha ye>» went by ho felt hlouelf drawn stlil closer to hU people, and a* be went m and out among them expsrlanoed a growing attachment to them* They knew beet themselves whether or not that feeling of aff otlon was mutual. He felt that he had his failings and shortcomings and they had borne with him when soms time ago bia health w^s Impaired and he was not able to be as active as he wished, but be was, he was happy to say, now as stroDg and vigorous as he ever felt In his life, and hoped to oitry on his work In the futnre with greater zoal and earnest* new. He was glad to sic so good an attendance that evening and among them many friends of other denominations to whom he desired to off ar a moat hearty welcome, and he appreciated very highly the kindly feeling they had displayed In oomlng to enjiy a sootal evening with them, An there were a nnmber of gentlemen present, who would address them m the ooutaa of the evening he woold not detain them by speaklug at greater length and would now oall upon the Ohoir for the first item on the programme. The anthem " O Praise the Lord " was then very pleasingly given, and wsa followed by a uolo from Mendelsohn's "Elijah" glvau by M<- Korse?, after whloh Tha Rv. Mr Bottle ' addressed the meeting, remarking that it appeared to him that the olerlcal gentlemen present had been called npon as It were to form a backbone to the programme, whlob, however, contained so many attractive musloal items that he felt sure that if they made their addresses as short as possible thft audienoe would ba all the better pleased « They were met together as members of a congregation to celebrate their anniversary— as it were their Oharoh birthday, and he repioed with them m their success, and oongratnlated them with all -his heart, and heartily wished them God speed. He felt more and more as tha years rolled on that the lines of division bttween seotlons of Christ's Ohuroh were becoming fainter and points of difference moulded down, and as their Christian feeling deepened and broadened, as they ctained more common sense, and more of the spirit of the Master he felt that there would be more nnlty among them than m days gone by. The Ohuroh of Christ had a very Important duty to discharge, and should not be content merely to teach sound doctrine, out to train up the people In right morals— to parry the Influences of those doctrines into their daily life. He Instanced' the spirit of gambling which was abroad aa one of the evils agalnat whloh the efforts of the Ohuroh should be directed, and re* ferrlng to the olroular letter of the Colonial Secretary which had appeared In that day's papers on the subjeot of the total!sator, expressed his firm oonvlotlon' that gambling m that form or In any form was morally wrong, and hoped that a sufficient number of our members of Parliament would show their attachment to all that was right and true and good by rejeotlng a Bill whloh sought to uphold the betting machine, and voting for any BUI which proposed to do away with it. He also alluded to the cable news with reference to the arrests made on Sunday morning last of wealthy and titled gentlemen In. London, and argued' that the law against gambling thoold be made to apply as well to wealthy raolng clubs. It was not only Incumbent upon the Ohuroh to set befqre the people their duty In matter* like these, but also In regard to religious observances. It was their duty to pray, but there was often a great deal of misqonoßptlon on the subjeot of prayer, ft was right that they should go to God and. ask Him to bless them and to give' them, health and strength for their work, bus they had no right to expeqt God to answer that prayer, unleu .they on- their part fulfilled, the conditions of God's laws. It was their duty to adhere to the laws of health and it was wrong to ask God to save them from epedemlos if they allowed uncleaniness and filth, and it was mockery to ask that the plague be stayed while they let stinking gutters run through their streets. Let them set themselves to do m these things as m all others their own part and thpn God would nqt with,-: hold his blessing, Let them first obey God's ooramandmenta and if they did that whloh wai right thoy had Christ's own authority for the assurance that they should then know of the doctrine whether it be of God or no Mr and Mrs Flower then aang very ► pleasingly Fair Shepherd, and Harp song, from "David" and Miss Barratt gave a finished rendering oC "Oh ye Tears." Tua Rev E. A Scott next addressed the meeting congratulating them upon having for oroe, contrary ha thought to ail precedent, a fioe evening for tneir anaual gathering^ jThen, taking fg> thja Vfrfa\
ay .1111 - — — —a— the little words, i« Yea 1V and " N T o " he ■aid that maDy people failed m life, failed as business men and failed hb Christians because they had no moral backbone, or baokbonet as pllani as india-rubber and •were enable to pay 'No " to temptations ; to idleness, extravagance and eio. He ■rged upon h(i hearers that they should learn to give an honest str»lghtfo'*ard 11 No " when asked to speud what they , OOnld nok »fford, to say " No" firmly to , Invitations to gamble and to drink, and showed how many youog men mined, not »ot ooly their own happiness bnt tho i hßppinesi of others, by not having the) O"urage to cay "I cannot, afford thtc, oc "I will not do that beonure It i« wrong." The Rev gen tleman next alluded to tbo halfholiday movement, whloh had bis hearty support, and be called upon tbe ooontry people present to help the employees of the town, and expressed the hope that If the Wednesday half-holiday was started and it happened that a few places of boslntei were kept' open, ooantry settler wbo might be aeked by his wife to get a bag of angat or a few yards of oloth on a Wednesday afternoon would promptly s»y '• no. 1 * Passing on to a deeper eubjeot be •poke eloquently of the pow^t cf prayer and urged tbem all to aeek through prayer the help of tbe Spirit of God, that mysterious personal influence wblob moved thelc hearts, aa the mysterious influences of Nature otuaad the saed to grow and the corn to ripen, end whiob, oooalt as to its origin, waa plain In lt» ; resnlte In the moulding of the life and charaoter. The Obolr then gave excellently the old ftvorlte glee " Hail Smiling Morn," Mr Lane following with << David's Chant to Baul," Mrs Crisp next ftving "KUlarney," and Misses Kldd and Barratt "A Sailor's Sigh." Tbe Rev. Gordon Wsbater humorously declared it to be a bo mew hat novel experience to find himself aa It were sandwiched m the middle of what has essentially a muaioal programme between •• A Sallor'a Sigh " and " Hark the Lark," •nd felt that ha waa soarcely to the manner bcro. He congratnlated tbe Aabbarton -people upon breathing a purer air than that of the Cathedral City, and like tbe Inhabitants of a ooast town m tbe Old Ooantry from which he came, they had the sea air on the one haod and tbe bill air on the other, and occupied a happy mediate position between the •e(e)rioQß and the hill-air- ions. (Laughter) He had been very pleated by the general aspeot of the plso3, and had formed a very favorable opinion of the people of Ashbnrton. Their chnroh was m a very healthy prosperous and hopefol way, and be was exceedingly pleased to hear their paator after ten yeara experience speaking with 10 mnoh vigour and hopefulness. He felt while among them a sense of progress, and oonld not held feeling that there were bright and good times before them. Among other plaaslng things he had noticed while taking duty m their Obiiroh on Sunday waa tbe large number of men In the pews. la Ohvlstohureh lately there had been ieferenoes m the 'newspaper preea to the different Obnroher, and It had bein asked "Where are the men?" the coDgrbgatlons being described at mostly women and ohlldren, and it was undoubtedly true that there were many men who ncf attend Ohuroh. Bat the eritlelsm on this point waa a little overdone, and it wsa a mistake to suppose that men were worse chnroh goers now than la ilmea past, m proof of whloh the speaker quoted from Dean Ramsay an inatanoe of a vWit by tbe Rev Sydney Smith to Edinburgh, on which oooaslun, finding the Ohuroh filled principally with women and ohildten, he took for bia taxt " O that M»r would praise the Lord." At 8t Andrews Ohuroh, as well as here, there were large numbers of men to be aeen m the pewi, and he was very glad of it, aa It was a good sign ; not, however, that it was a reproach that tbe churches were attended largely by women or that women were to be regarded »s inferior to men. On tbe contrary, he endorsed the estimate of the great Bard wbo hailed from the same county as himself — Ayrahlre, wbo, speaking of tbe works of Nature said : Her prentice han' she tried on man And then she made the lasßies O. In all good words and works they depended greatly on the aid of " tbe laeates O," and the Ohuroh of Christ had m all the ages owed much to Its pious, loving, devoted, consecrated women. Such women were admirably represented m Aabburton, and be was once moro v ajlad to be able to congratulate them upon their vigor and prosperity as a Church. Iheir present meeting was a great buocobb because they all had taken a hearty aotive interest m making it a sucpeis, and this led him to aßk why all their Sabbath services ahrnld not be a like bhccgbs, and he felt th *t they might be made so if they *il took the same interest m them "Bark the Lark" was then very pleasingly given by the Choir and Orchestra, after which? Miss Bteel sang " Fair Inez," Mr Fleming gave a violin •010, "The Last Roeerof Summer," and ]fr Miller sang "The Last Muster." Tfce Key Mr Kiddle then spoke briefly, taking for his text aa anecdote of a Church Committee which having sent out ofroulars for subscriptions to pay ofiE th« Church debt, received from one of the addressees Instead of a cheque (put into the wrong envelope) a laconic epistle Intended fox the sender's steward, m whiob. bs was enjoined (1) to mend the fences (2) to plough deep (3) to grease tbe big wheel and (4) to chain up the big bull. These tbe Committee a/ter much puzzling interpreted to mean that they were aeked (1) to aeek to keep those within ttie fo.'d from staying and the wolf from getting m: (?) to dive deep into their own pockets before asking help from others (3) to ■trengthen the pastor's hands by their sympathy and prayer and (4) to endeavor to restrain their adversary the Dcvi ; which several matters formed the subjeot of tbe apeaker'a remarks, special prominence being given to the benefit whisb, they would themselves derive from praying for bod's blessing upon the labors of their Minister. Mr P. Williams then sang "The Lighthouse " after which beaity votes of thanks were pasted, on the motion of tbe fiev Mr Blake (who said that some present Sight live to asßist at the jubilee of the ay Chairman) to the ladies and the oho r; on the motion of the Chairman to the ladies who had provided the tea; and on that of Mr Jenkins to the speakers; and tpe Anthem '' I will lift up mine Eyes," choir and orchestra, followed by the benediction pr.mounced by the Bey Mr £oattie, biouftht a must pleasaut evening j to'aclosa. In concluding onr report we should meptfou that Miss ICidd and Mr Kneen | jtindly acted as acoompanyistß on the pfano and that the organ a superior instru meat of sweet tone was kindly lent by Mr Proctor. It should also be remarked that the floral deoorations on some of tbe tables and on the platform were much admired, the display of choice flowers owing much to the splendid assortment of ehryaan heinuma scut from Mr John Goohnne'a garden
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