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WESLEYAN TEA MEETING AT THE BLUE SPUR.

A tea meeting, in connection with the Wesleyan chapel, was held in the school room, Blue Spur, on Tuesday evening, the 7th instant, to welcome the Rev. Mr. M'Nicol, as the pastor of the Wesleyan chapel. The attendance being very large, it was found necessary to have two services of tea, the one following the other. The ladies who had the providing of the tea deserve very great credit for the abundant provision made for the occasion, as we noticed as much removed from the tables after everybody was supplied and satisfied, as might have done for another service. After tea was finished the tables were removed, so that all present might have a comfortable seat. Mr. Clark was then called to the chair, and in addressing the meeting said that he thanked them for the position in which they had placed him— it was not always an easy position making long speeches. He was very fond of tea meetings, and he had looked forward to that meeting with interest to welcome their minister amongst them. They tad a similar meeting not so long ago ,to welcome Mr. Oliver, but Mr. M'B^^P^was appointed by Conference, and tney could IotST upon him as their own. If they lost him, it would be their own fault. They must aid him by their prayers and their liberality. * He would say with all confidence th# they welcomed him to Tuapeka. They wanted somebody to look after them ; they, however, must work with BBn, and if they did so they would see tVrelr place of worship filled. He was thinking the other day that he had not a minute to spare. A modern writer says "We have no leisure now-a-day3— that has passed away with the stage coaches." It is really the case — work, work, work, is the order of the day— and if it were not that change of labor is a kind of rest, he did not know how we could manage to get on ; there is first our daily occupation, then there are domestic duties, lectures to attend, books to read, friends to visit, and friends to visit us, and a number of other tilings. But labor after all is a great blessing, it adds to our pleasure, and makes our hearts lighter. "In all labor there is profit," is a greattruth. Let us then never flinch from our birthright, but manfully struggle — for it is better to wear out than to rust out. After all is done very few will be able to say with their master "It is finished." The chairman then said he would call upon an esteemed brother who had greatly helped to keep the place alive when they had not a minister. Mr. Bloxam then delivered an eloquent address on the faithfulness of the Almighty to his threats and his promises. Mr. Tucker was then invited to address the meeting, but he had disappeared. The chairman said although they had not been short of Tucker that night, he thought the meeting could have taken a little more. (Laughter.) The chairman then introduced their well known and well respected friend, Mr. M'Lelland, who said he would not attempt to introduce himself in the old stereotyped method, that he was not prepared, he would have preferred had some one else been appointed to address them, &c, &c. He would rather hear a man say he had got something to say, and he was determined to say it. He asked what they would do without a gospel preached? Some good men were of opinion that man has got enough light within himself to guide him. He was not of that opinion. Take away their Sabbaths, their churches, and their schools, and they would be worse than the heathen. In the good providence of God they were called upon to welcome Mr. M'Nicol. For himself he welcomed him heartily, not on his own account, but he congratulated the whole district. But it was not his (Mr. M'Lelland's) intention to preach to them on that occasion. He liked a little joke now and then. The qnestion with them wa«» this — what support were they prepared to give their minister ? It was the case with some that they would put their hands in their pockets, as with a tooth comb, and rake out the very smallest coin they could find, others would shuffle sideways out of the church as if by a sidewind, to avoid passing the collection plate. Such persons mi^ht be said to get their religion on the cheap, j but his belief was if a man would try in this manner to get his religion on the cheap, he would also try to get his bread on the cheap. If a man pays his minister well 10 to 1, he is a good customer to his baker. They were aware that Mr. Oliver was taken away from them : he had some sort of idea why Mr. Oliver left. It rested with them if they onld make Mr. M'Nichol's cUim pay. It was true that pounds, shillings, and pence, would not compensate tnr etn.p-fcv pews it W&S A great drawback to a minister to compose a sermon for them, and they not present to hear it. It was easy finding an excuse if they did not wish to go to church. There mi^ht be a black cloud in the distance—it was going to rain. A black cloud, however, would not prevent them from going to .their claims if 'they wished to wash up. 'Let" them then give their, minister their' determined support. They were not come to that state of things, whew, if they asked for a pound, they would receive two. There was to be a roj^rtion to payoff » debt ef L3O, and

he hoped they would try to' encourage their minister and the local preachers by their liberality. If they want five shillings, give them ten. Mr. Matthewß was then called upon to address the meeting, and in the course of a very appropriate address, he said that he was delighted to see so many happy face* around him. He could always enjoy himself afr * tea meeting. The last time they met in a similar manner was to welcome Mr. Oliver, and now they have met to welcome Mr. M'Nicol, who seemed to be a good shepherd. We certainly need a shepherd here — there are many stray sheep running about the Tuapeka hills and gullies, and a good many woolley ones that require clipping, and he hoped their shepherd had his shears in good trim to- give them a good clipping. Mr. Matthews then drew a very happy analogy between the water races which so numerously skirt the hills around them and the various Christian denominations. There was the Independent race, the Presbyterian race, the Episcopalian race, the Wesleyan race, the Baptist race, and others. They were all flowing in one direction, and into one ■ ocean, and thus by accomplishing one grand object, the abstraction of the gold from the dross, they flow on together in one stream, and at last unite in one vast boundless ocean of a Redeemer's love. The Chairman then introduced the Rev. Mr. M'Nicol, as the guest of the evening. On rising, Mr. M'Nicol said, he need hardly say he rejoiced to meet them. The faces were nearly all strange to him. They knew the effect of meeting strange faces. A few weeks ago, he was present at a similar meeting in Christchurch ; but there he knew every person. He trusted they would know each other better soon. One of the speakers had referred to apologies as being out of date. He had just been reading the story of Dean Swift, who, on one occasion, was the guest of a lady at dinner. A most sumptuous dinner was provided : every delicate dish imaginable was brought in, and an apology prefaced each one — she was sorry it was not so-and-so ; but it was the best she could get. That having been repeated so often, and with so little ceuse for it, Swift could bear it no longer. " O yes," he said, " it is a dreadful dinner. I'll go .home and eat six penn'orth of herrings !" From that time, the lady referred to made no more apologies for her dinners. As a guest, he would not be expected to say much. He was that day asking himself the question, what was a tea meeting ? — what was its origin ? The Ancient Church combined eating and drinking with their religious services. He instanced the case of Isaac before he blessed his son. He believed these meetings had met with their success because they combined the religious and the social elements of our nature together. At church, it was purely religious ; at home, purely domestic ; but in tea meetings they were all combined. He had been at tea meetings of all denominations. Religious people were sometimes held not to be loyal ; but, to prove the contrary, he would propose that they sing " God save the Queen" before they part. A remark had been^gpjgn^gu.t about tract distributing. {Hhl^l would be well if the meetn^^^TO?^^-some practical results of that des^^tion. Hore Mr. M'Nicol told several anecdotes, illustrative of the good that had resulted from the distribution of tracts, after which he said that he now entered upon his first circuit. He saw many friends before him, some of them old enough to be his father. He did not think he was covetous. He remembered writing an essay against covetousness; and curious enough, afterwards he found his grandfather at one time had written an essay on. the same subject. He had not the slightest fear but that as he must preach the gospel he would live by the gospel. He was not afraid but that he would make his bread and butter ; and he asked for no more. Mr. Bloxham then proposed "A vote of thanks to the ladies for their valuable services on the occasion." He hoped the young ladies would shun Mr. Uric, as he was certain it was not through bashfulness, as he had any amount of " cheek." Mr. Oliver seconded the motion, which was carried by acclamation. Mr M'Lelland proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, Mr. Clark. They would all endorse the opinion that he made a good one. Mr. Bloxham would couple with that resolution a vote of thanks to the School Committee, for the use of the Schoolroom, coupled with the name of Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams, on behalf of the School Committee, stated that they would be glad to give the use of the Schoolroom at any time. Mr. Clark responded by saying he had I only done his duty.* The proceeds of the meeting were a3 follows : — Tickets sold .. .. £11 18 9 Donations 9 7 0 Collection 2 13 3 £23 19 0 As the tea was provided by the friends of the Church, the expenses to be deducted irom this amount is trifling. Apologies were offered for the absence of Dr. Copland and the Rev. Mr. Martin. The National Anthem was then sung, and the benediction pronounced, after which the meeting separated.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TT18680411.2.8

Bibliographic details

WESLEYAN TEA MEETING AT THE BLUE SPUR., Tuapeka Times, Volume I, Issue 9, 11 April 1868

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1,868

WESLEYAN TEA MEETING AT THE BLUE SPUR. Tuapeka Times, Volume I, Issue 9, 11 April 1868

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