LECTURE BY REV, MR LA WRY.
The anniversary tea meeting of the Ashburton Wesleyan Church was held in the chapel last night. There was not. so large an attendance as usual, although the body of the Church was well filled. The Rev 8. La wry asked Mr John Orr to take the chair, and then laid before the congregation the financial position of the the Church which was fairly satisfactory. He said the membership roll in March, 1891, stood at 78, at the end of March, 1892, it had reached 82, after making allowance for removals and defections. Mr Liwry then made reference to the proposed removal of the Church building from its present site to the new site next the County offices, and said that though £100 was the minimum they, had thought to raise in collections,a nd of this they ha' in pron.ises most—of which had been re-deemed-—£B7 17s. If they had £203 they would know what to do with every penny of it in the scheme for shifting the Church and building a new Sunday School, The congregation had not been half canvassed yet, and he trusted that there would be no need to borrow the other hundredtha* would be required. The children had raised £40 out of the £60 promised to wards the cost of building the new school, and those who were present in the Church on Sunday afternoon and saw the large crowd of children who came to the service then, would have seen the necessity there was for increased accommodation for Sunday scholars. In giving to this fund now they were giving less for the need? of the Church ofto-daythaninaidingthebuilding up and strengthening the Church of the future, for it was from amon^r these little ours who were now attending Sunday school that the Church member 5 and workers of the future were to come. Mr Lawry closed this address with a stirring appeal to the members of the Church, especially to young men, to lay up in st jre for this scheme of the Church as Gcd had prospered them, so that the work could be done without having to borrow any money. After »i anthem by the choir the Chairman introduced the Rev S. Lawry again, who delivered his promised lecture on " Happy Homes and how to make them," He said that not long ago an unsexeo 1 female in Cincinnati, rose up in a freethought meeting and said " We must get rid of these vile, miserable, loathsome, rlens called homes." He did not think his audience looked upon their homes as vile loathsome, and miserable dens. They believed in their homes becau c lit mes had ever been the most important factor'
in the developmant o humanity. There were three essentials o£ a home. First, it was " the abode "; second, it was the centre of family life ; and third, it was a place in which we had a rightful possesf ession. The lecturer gave a quaint illustration of this in a well told anecdote and went on racily to say what home was not. Four-square walls did n«t make it, otherwise a prison or a stable would be a home. It was not made up of a " teapot, a cat, and a biby " as had been said. A bachelor's hall was not » home, it was only a dwelling, and the lecturer gave a description of a not very inviting room in which a bachelor he knew lived and called, but with little truth, his home. Neither were loggings home, however comfortable they ma} be; for the benign influences of kindness, integrity, sympathy, etc., that were the very soul of home could not be bought for money, any more than could the blessing of God. The improved condition of society had improved the homes, and the improvement of the one would go on with the improvement of the other. Larrikinism would never be got rid off by the efforts of the police. The movement, to be successful must begin at home, with the exercise of proper home influence. People's efforts in this direction were often frustrated by the malign influence of homes in which proper home influence was not exercised. In illustration of this the lecturer related an instance in which a man with a good moral character devoted nearly every evening of his week to attendance at meetings in coHnection with his church, or some other church ; and attended every service on Sunday from morning to night. He was seldom indeed at home. As a result his boys became the worst larrikins in the place, and when the fact same home to him that they were really fullblown larrikins he was ready to pray over them. That man's fir«t duty should have been to his home and his family. Had he fulfilled that duty himself, he would have been able to do much to counteract the effect of evil influence outside his home, and the evil influence upon other homes of his neglect of his own would have been minimised, for his boys would not have been larrikins themselves, and so could not have helped to make larrikins of others. When happy at home, the home influences were an inspiration to goodness. The lecturer then went on to point out several important factors in the happiness of homes, dwelling at some length on each. Among these were faithfulness to all the family obligations, which required both husband and wife to spend much of their time at home. Happiness speedily, withered when the husband spent time that was due to the home in the bar room or the gambling saloon, or devoted too much tima to either public or private business ; so did it also speedily wither if the wife preferred outside enjoyment to that which every wife and mother ought to tind in tne bosom of her family. There ought to be no secrets to interfere with the confidence that ought to subsist between man and wife. Many a man had baen on the verge of financial ruin while his wife knew nothing of the fact, and when the crash came, and the house of cards fell, she was more than astonished. She might have been able to help him, but she had no chance as she knew nothing of his affairs. Jealousy and deceit were also the destroyers of confidence. The lecturer touched upon the powerfulness of a mother's influence, and illustrated the case of a hardened Scotch criminal, who, in the condemned cell, would listen to no ghostly counsel, but was won to penitence by the visiting clergyman singing to him the 23rd Psalm, to one "of the quaint old minor tunes so common in the Scotch churches. The psalm reminded the prisoner of his mother and her teaching. (The lecturer sang the psalm in illustration ) And a father's influence wag only second to this. Uaeso L.f! lences wore i !l,i;. coj of love, but they were not to be disassociated from discipline. Then tha courtesies oi home— what the French called the minor moralities -ought to be observed, i'ouno; nieti and ysung women who were only courteous to people outside their own tiomes, usually made husbands and wives who were not courteous to each other. The lecturer then dealt with the value of music, good reading, good games, etc., as promoters of happiness in the home, but aboveallheld up religion as the true basis of happy homes, which were the types and preparations for the home not made with hands, external in the heavens. After the lecture, tea and coffee, etc., were partaktm of by those present. The choir during the evening san^ ■several anthems very sweetly, and a duet "Hearts and Homes" was delightfully sung by the Misses Alcorn, Miss Mary Alcorn taking the alto part in the refrain. The usual votes of thanks concluded the meeting.
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Wesleyan Anniversary., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIII, Issue 2660, 4 May 1892
Wesleyan Anniversary. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIII, Issue 2660, 4 May 1892
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