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The following pastoral has been issued by the Primate in connection with th< Marsden Centenary:— Dearly Beloved in the Lord, —Although the outbreak of war, with its disturbing consequences, has rendered it impracticable to carry into effect the scheme laid down by the General Synod for celebrating the centor.arv of the introduction of Christianity into New Zealand, wo nmst all feel that the first preaching of the Gospel in New Zealand cn Christmas Day. 1814/ and the Christian heroism of Samuel Marsdeu in waking his way to New Zealand at that i date are events, most worthy of commemoration. The Church still celebrates the advent of S. Augustine to England, though 13 centuries nave rolled by since that • event, and Samuel Marsden, the lonely and intrepid missionary, is in several resjjects e till more worthy of remembrance. Doubtless sermons will be preached throughout this land on Christmas Day from Marsden's text. “ Behold, I bring you good tidings," but merely to allude in a sermon to Marsden’s work is no adequate memorial of such a man or hia services to Christianity. We must consider the raising of a suitable memorial as only de- 1 ferred, not given up. Marsden’s text. In effect, means the communication of Christian knowledge. The General Synod therefore did well in resolving that a thanksgiving fund should be raised “to found - and foster religious education in the Provirce.” This great object must stQl be pursued. It was determined to give large assistance to the Bible-in-Schools League. r The work of this league has still to be carried on, and should opposing forces prevail to prevent the attainment of its patriotic and God-fearing object, there will be the greater need of such a fund to promote the farther establishment and sopport of distinctively Church schools throughout the Province. A further and most important wort to which such a fund could be applied would be the assistance of our diocesan divinity schools in the preparation of candidates for the sacred ministry, either by grants in support of such institutions, or by bursaries to enable suitable students to be maintained therein A very slight observation suffices to show that the existing activities of the Church depend in great measure upon these theological colleges for their continuance, and there is scarcely any prospect for other agencies for the additional supply of clergy bo very urgently needed to meet the development of the country by it© ever-increasing population. I write, therefore, as the President of the General Synod, and on behalf of your bishops, to urge yon, beloved brethren, not only to thank God on Christmas Day for the bright example'of His messenger as a preacher of ,th© Gospel of Peace, but to earnestly determine that when the opportunity shall come you will, as fellow-ser-vant© of the man we so proudly commemorate, stir your own wills to the rendering of a similar sacrifice by large gifts to a - fund which is designed to commemorate his work to succeeding generations by the more effectual teaching and preaching of the “ good tidings ” which he was the first to proclaim in this land. And I remain, ever your servant in Christ. ■ S.T. Duiteijiv, Primate. Biahopsgrove, Dunedin, December 10. 1914. , 1 ’

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THE MARSDEN CENTENARY, Issue 15684, 24 December 1914

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THE MARSDEN CENTENARY Issue 15684, 24 December 1914

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