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PRINCIPAL RAINY’S VISIT., Issue 7991, 21 August 1889
PRINCIPAL RAINY’S VISIT.
WELCOME BY THE PRESBYTERY. A special meeting of tbe Dunedin Fre by tery was held at noon to-day to formal'y ex tend a welcome to Principal Rainy, There wa a large attendance of bjth clerical and lay mem bers, and representatives of other Synods wer also present, as well as tbe theological students Devotional exercises over, Tho Rev. Dr Stuart said that he hud ver] much pleasure in introducing Principal Rain; to the Presbytery. Though living faraway fron Edinburgh, they were all familiar with thr noble work which, with God’s help, Principal Rainy had been instrumental in carrying on, and would all pray that ho would bo spared to cany on that work to completion.—(Applause ) The Moderator conveyed the welcome tc Principal Rainy, The Rev. W. Will spoke of the pleasure it gave him to see Principal Rainy among thorn, and went on to refer to the early hiatoiy ot the Otago Church when he (Mr Will) and Mr Burnerman were sent out together. They found Dr Burns all alone. A Presbytery was formed, and since then the work bad gone on so well that they now had a Synod, and no less than five Presbyteries, and upwards of sixty congregations. The church had not perhaps succeeded as it should have done, but it had b&n a factor in the settlement of the country. Those present were glad to see Principal Rainy for his own sake, and as representing the grand Free Church of Scotland, It might seem strange to a visitor that the church in New Zealand was not yet one ; but Priooipa' Rainy would understand that state of affairs better before he left the colony. Practically there was bat one; there was the most friendly and brotherly inteicourse between the two churches ; and the oaly difficulty in the way of union was one of a purely geographical character. He (Mr Will) hoped that Principal Bainy would live to see tbe day whin there would be one Presbyterian church throughout all Scotland. Too address tint he (Mr VVill) had been appointed to present was as follows : To tbe Rev. Robert Rainy, D.D., Principal ot the New College, Edinburgh. Dear Sir,—lt is with unfeigned pleasure that we, tho members of the Dunedin Presbytery, welcome you, ai the accredited delegate of the Free Church cf Scotland. To tbe oburch wbicb yt u represent we, aa a constituent part ot tho Presbyterian Lburcb ct Otago and Southland, are bound by the ra et sacred and tender ties. Ottr church, in its beginnings, cannot be described as other than a direct offshoot from the parent stem of the Free Church o< Scotland, Tbe original ministerial members of our infant church were either ordained ministers or licentiates of the Free Church And to a very large extent the office-bearers and members, to whose zsri and services this church owes so much, also reckoned the Free Church their mother both in a spiritual and ecclesiastic J sense. The ties thus early for.i cd hive never been weakened but rather strengthened by the c mtiauous benefits and sympathy on the tide of your church, and, we believe, by filial regard on our part. Although ia the course of time our church, both in its membership and mini (try, has boen largely recruited from all the branches of the Presbyterian Cbuich in Great Britain and Ireland, we are hippy to say that we can and do regard tho heroic traditions of your church as not the least inspiring part ot our ehnrch heritage. The progress ot our church may make us leas dependent than heretofore on tbe Home churches for the supp'y cf our pulpits, but wa venture to say that this will neither dnl our affection for the*o churches nor lessen tbe influence which they hive exerted and still exert on tho thought, life, and action ot our church. Your own mission, as also that of Dr M'Grogor, the delegate of the Established Church ot Scotland, has therefore been pecu'iariv gratifying and encouraging to us, and we take the liberty of saying that, had circumstances permitted delegates from the nth t b inches oi tho Presbyterian Church in Great Britain and Irriind to vlri; us, we would have welcomed them with equal cordiality. May we therefore ask you formally to convey to your church tho deep sense of grattflcatich which your mission has excited, and our heartfelt desire and prayer that God mav bless and prosper your churcb in the great end for which it exists. Permit us also to express our hearty wi-h that your own sojourn in these colonies may be refreshing to your spirit, and that you may be long spared to serve your Master in the church which cWes so much to you. On behalf of tho Dunedin Presbytery, Wv. Win. Dunedin, August 21,1889. The presentation was accompanied by enthusiastic applause. Principal Rai.st tbankid the Presbytery and Mr Will veiy heaitily_ for the warmhearted recaption they had given him, both in referenca to his personal position and in greater reference tn the church from wh'oh ho cvme. He had had a kind experience in all the colonies through which he had too hurriedly passed; but certainly no warmer welcome bad anywhere been extended to him than in Dunedin, and la shou’d long cherish pleasant recollections of the greeting he bad met with, of tho beaut ful country, and of tbe splendid climate, for even the climate itself seemed to have put ea its best aspect during his stay.—(Laughter.) Ho had her n greatly interested in the narration by Mr Will of the early beginnings and the growih of the church in Otago. It seemtd to him that what most struck a stranger here was the evidence of rapid groxth in these colonics, and certainly the church had not been behindhand in this respect. There must have been a singular degree <f courage and faith animating its founders and those who were carrying up the building so rapidly and securely. He had come here to exchange greetings, _ to receive impressions, and to receive instruction that might be useful to tbe church which he represented, and he f it already that he bad seen much mote than he had anticipated before ha came into contact with the facts of which there was so much to learn. He hoped that the impressions ho had received would be useful tn the church from which he crma. He Lad alroidy a lively sense of tbe importance of the work in this colonial field, and had never been able to understand how it was that this work did not attract the best of our young men. No doubt the church here had difficulties ; there were difficulties even in the Old Country (laughter)—but they were made f:r tbe purpose ef being overcome. Tbe church in her special enterprise had this comfort and asturanco: that it was under the great Captain cf the’r salvaMon. and what they were called on to do was to seek to attain to something of the courage and high-heartedness that became tho soldiers of Christ Jo:-ns. Tho ad-d-ess referred touchingly to one matter that was extremely welcome to him. He was aware that they were in the happy position of holding e qnal relations with all the churches- It was the right position to occupy; still, blood was thicker than watr r. and the memories and traditions connected with tho Home church would br as warmly cherished here as at Home. The Free Church bad had great losses. It was so rich that it was able to hear great hs-ea. As one recounted the lam-’s of those who had passed a*ay a sort of tragic feeling came ever one’s mind. At the same time God had been very good to them. They were still enabled to do a great work in Scot land, and a great work in the mission fields also. They were still liherrily and greatly supported by the pcop’e Their funds were never so high as this year, notwithstanding tho depression felt by all classes. Their Home Mi sion woik was carried on with just as much courage aa it ever wis; nn 1 there was a larze supply of students of theology. No church had so large a supply, and he thought the quality was quite ss good as the quantity. Their difficulties were trying, but there was no need to be discouraged Reference had been made to a desire for a basis of reunion c f tho Church in Fcotland. Ho could not understand any man who was a Christian and a patriot who did not desire that. Unhappi'y. they were not all agreed as to the road to that reunion. He could not go into the subject without goirg into matter that at Home, at least, was a subject of controversy, and as he had no desire to raise controversial matter he would refrain from enlarging on the point; but he might say that the desire for union was strong, and all who r’cs'red the welfare of tho church could not hut pray that the lord would hasten that event. The people at Home would be glad to hear of the union of the church in New Zealand. It would add dignity and force to the church- The qu r stiou wis a different one to that of churches that occupied the same ground, and ns to tbe rase in this colony reunion wa ; : mere a matter of progress and additional means of communication, and things rf that sort, than with the churches in the Old Country. There sh-uld be no Customs frontiers between the churches, It seemed tn him that one of tbe difficulties of church life in the colonies was that there was a wonderful activity among ell the people. They were energetic wrrkers, end it seemed to him that there must be at the tame time an energetic development of worldliness. He had heard reference to that, as a matter of fact, and bad seen something of it. Tho great qupdion for them, then, was how the Church of Christ was to match itself against this evil and master it. He thougnt that all must feel with reaard to this matter that whac was needed was a high spiritual and moral temperature in the church itself. The more this was felt, the li'ghcr tho church’s aspirations, the more single-hearted her servants, tho more completely was she armed for the fight. Much depended on the raising up of men of high ability and great dcvotedness, n"t only in tho ministerial rinks, but among the laymen—good, splendid, devoted Christian laymen who would have tho effect of putting the ministers on their mettle, and mike them feel that if they were to be officers they must be worthy to go to the front. The rev. gentleman concluded by giving a few words of encouragement and advice to the students, and on resuming his seat was loudly applauded. The Rev. Mr Finlatson mov d a vote of thanks to Dr Rainy, which was carried by acolamarion. The Rev. Dr Stuart agreed with the motion so hatmonious’y passed. He had sat with Principal Rainy in the same class in 1847 and 1848, and was especially glad to renew the acquaintaioce. perjhapa .the church would yet see timrway cle&r tb send out Dr White for a
holiday. 5 bat great preacher and ardent worker in the cause would receive a hearty welcome also if be came. Lr Dunlop, Dr Watt, and the Ret. J, M. ■ Sutherland (the latter as representing the • students who had studied under Principal i Rainy) also addressed the Presbytery, and the ■ meeting broke up at 1.10 pm. THE LUNCHEON. About 110 ladies and gentlemen sat down at the luncheon given this afternoon at the City Hotel. Dr Stuart occupied tbe chair, sup* ported on the right by the guest, Principal Rainy, and on the left by Bishop Nevill, while the vice-chairmen were Messrs B. B, Cargill and A. W. Morris. Archdeacon Edwards and the Rev. A. North (Baptist), and the Rev. W. Baumber (Wesleyan) were also present, in addition to representatives of the Dunedin, Oaraaru, Southland, and Clutha Presbyterie '. while among others v ho sat down we noticed Messrs T. Brown, R. A. Lawson, J. Davie, W. Dytnock, Walter Hislop, G. Bell, H. Clark, A. C. Begg, K. Ramsay, R. Chisholm, G. L. Denniston, J. T. Mackerras, A Wilson, P. G. Pryde, W. Hutchison, Professor Sa’raotd, J, Wilkie, and J. H. Morrison. The edibles having been done justice to, The Chairman said: I em very pleated to see so large a representation of citizens cf Dunedin, and indeed of Otago, not oniy because I deem it a compliment to Principal Rainy,..but also to the Pretbyterian Church, May J, perhaps, remind some of the younger friends that Presbyterianism is not quite a young plant in this fair land. In 1858 the New Zealand Company, the wisest of the colonising agencies that worked for the settlementef this country, ask cl the Church of Scotland to assist in this work. Members of the church in Glasgow and the west of to tland took up tho work, and in October of 1839 despatched the Bengal Merchant from ihe Clyde with 150 passenger i to form the nucleus of "the First Scotch colony for New Zealand.” Their departure was celebrated by a great dinner, attended by about 200 of the m rchants and ministers of G asgow, and presided over by Htmy Dunlop, of Oraigton, Lord Provost of Glasgow, Tho chief speaker was Dr Norman Macleod, primus, and Sir Archibald Alison, tho historian. The speeches were able, especial y that of Sir Archibald, which was published by the New Zealand Compiny a d circulated broadcast in England. The emigrants were accompanied by their minister, the Rev, Mr M Farianc, pteviou*ly minister of Martyr’s Church, Paisley, The friends of the enterprise having learned that female servants wore in demand off-, red a free passage to young healthy women of Christian character. In due course “the first Scotch colony f.>r New Zealand” reached Wellington. Tho emigrants were persons of character, while several of them were men of education and position—as Mr Maijoribanks (who afterwards returned to Scotland, and for years rep.e.onted Berwickshire in Parliament and became lord Tweedmouth), Dr John Logan (a naturalist of eminence), Dr Graham Todd, Mr Strang, and their wives. Those who settled in Wellington built St. Andrew’s Church, where their eloquent minister preached for many years. The controversies of ' the times respecting the Headship of Christ, non intrusion, and patronage, so engrossed the mind of the nation that the Scotch colony was overlooked and the stream of emigrants interrupted, The New Zealand Company observing that the Free Church, which came into existence in 1843 amid soro travail, had mad* care for Presbyterian emigrants a plank in her platform, approached her with the proposal to colonise Otago. The offer was accepted, and, through the assistance cf the said association, which was called into existence for this object in December, 1847, the John Wickliffo sailed from the Thames with Captain Cargill, the Moses of tho colony, and ninety chosen settlers, and the Philip Laing, with Dr Burns its Aaron, Mr Blackie its schoolmaster, and 250 emigrants—all good and true. The church and school, which were contemporaneous with the settlement, have down the yens labored for its instruction ia righteousness and useful knowledge. It is no news to say that the Free Church has taken a direct and personal iut rest in its progress through its colonial fcommittce. Sume ye-irs ago shp commissioned the late Dr Begg to assume us of her unabated interest in our work, and nobly did he discharge the duty. He to k H ime a report of our churches and schools, n"d also of our roll heritage, which profoundly interested the fathers who matured the enterprise. She has? now renewed her kindnees by commissioning Principal Rainy, her ablest and most trusted son, to visit the churches of our order in this fair land, and bring ns words of cheer and instruction. Her messenger is tho successor of Chalmers, Cunningham, and Cardlinli in the New College and in the As embly. Dear Princrp ri, though laboring in the Gospel at the ends of tbe earth, we ere familiar here with your services to our common frith. You will be glad to know that nono among us has sought to introduce the divisions which mar the churches of uur order in the Home land. Men and ministers Dora all of them are in our c mmunion, and I can say they are alike earnest in the diffusion and defence of the faith. But this broadening of our ways has no: lessened our affection for the mother that sent us away with her blessing and followed us with her prayers. Representatives of sister churches—as Biriiop Nevill, Archdeacon Edwards. Revs. North and Baumber—are at this table to join us in < ff .-ring you welcome, and in asking God to watob over you and your wifo in your wanderings by sea and land, and take you home in health and comfort. I have now the greatest pleasure in introducing to you Principal Rainy. Principal Raint spoke of tho wealth of greetng with which people from the Old Country were welcomed to these shores It was not, however, surprising, considering that we had a community of frith and interest with those who had kept at Home. It was to him most intere'ting to watch the growth cf the sisterhood of communities to be found in tbe colonies—communities very much like each otler, and yet free to work out their experiments aethey chose. The spco.'aclo waste him a wonderful one, and he did not know where a parallel to it was to be found in history. Ho regarded it as a good sign that the people here were departing frem the notion of being mere emigrants, and were instead building up a New Zealand patriotism. The opportunity for deve'oping the church was a very great one, but ho thought that our public life should _bo protested from ovcr-worldlinesi by hedging it about with high Christian principle. He did not think wo were likely to agree as to the exact amount of influence the fctate should exercise over tho c urch, but all would bo at one in thinking that the churches might work together to present the State with high ideals. The Christian churches m : ght not perhaps bo able to do much officially, but it was the duty of the members of those churches to see thifc Christian ideas exerted their propsr influence on pub’ic affairs (tee important matter was that of tho education ef the children in onr schools. He thought that means shou’d be taken to secure that the children shall b -come acquainted with the outlines of Bible story, and be imbued with some knowledge of these cardinal paints of Christianity about which all Christians were agre( d. Bishop Nevill was glad of the opportunity of expressing his appreciation cf tho wise and statesmanlike remarks to which Principal Rainy had fiven utterance. It was gratifying to find such views entertained by men of l : ght and leading. The influence of Dr Rriny upon the social and moral questions of the day made him a man of the Fmnire as well as a leader of the Presbyterian Church, and they who belonged to the English Church had always recognised in him a man of large and liberal hear!. Dr Dunlop pronounced the benediction at 415 p.m.
An orchestral society, under the conductorship ot Mr G. P. Austing, and hjo 1 ding practice meetings every Monday evening in tho Presbyterian Church Hall, has recently been formed in Mornington, and is now in a flourishing condition.
PRINCIPAL RAINY’S VISIT., Issue 7991, 21 August 1889
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