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  • THE WESLEYAN METHODIST MAGAZINE,
    From The December, 1826 Issue


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    PART 16

    From The December, 1826 Issue of The Wesleyan Methodist Magazine

    SHETLAND ISLANDS

    [Again, this piece of Adam Clarke Miscellany consists of a letter originally sent to Adam Clarke, passed on by him to the editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine. This, and other portions of this collection of Adam Clarke Miscellany reflect his love and zeal for Methodist work in the Shetland Isles, and this is also seen in portions of the Adam Clarke biography by J. W. Etheridge. Readers of this material are referred to that biography, hdm0085.tex, for more on this subject. However, in the Etheridge biography of Clarke these isles are named the "Zetland" isles instead of the "Shetland" isles. Only once do I find them referred to as the "Shetland" isles in that biography. Readers of this material are also invited to read the entire biography of Adam Clarke, which will help place these disjointed items into their proper perspective relative to the various events of his life. Those interested in the life and writings of Adam Clarke are also invited to read the following works of Clarke that are in our HDM Library:: hdm0073.tex, A Letter to a Preacher -- hdm0074.tex, Adam Clarke's Autobiography -- hdm0075.tex, Clavis Biblica -- hdm0076.tex -Entire Sanctification -- and hdm0077.tex -- Salvation by Faith. -- DVM]

    To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine

    I have lately received several communications from the Shetland Islands, and am glad to find that the work of God is still increasingly flourishing. Mr. Lewis, on Oct. 4, 1826, writes thus:-

    "The last fortnight I spent in Sandwick and Dunrossness, and renewed the tickets, and found two hundred and twenty-six members in the two parishes, and admitted three more on trial. In every place the societies are in a prosperous state. I administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper at Dunrossness, to one hundred and twelve persons; it was a time long to be remembered: the people never before felt so much of the divine presence; many were quite overcome by the sacred influence then communicated. In Sandwick parish the chapel is by far too small, and how to enlarge it I know not, as we have no money. Mr. Hindson is going to build in the island of Yell, and I shall give him all the help I can. All the town has been asking for you: your visit to Shetland will be long had in remembrance. Mr. Langridge is about to quarry the stones for the chapel in North Mavin; indeed the men are already at work; but where is he to get money to pay them?

    Here, my dear Sir, I may remark, that the steady and munificent friend of the Shetland Isles, Robert Scott, of Pensford, near Bristol, not only gives 100 per annum for the support of the preachers on that mission, but also has promised to give 10 towards every chapel that shall be built in these islands, that shall have my approbation: and this sum he has given to every chapel that has been yet built: besides other private helps that he has afforded to this blessed work, which have been many and important. He has often advised me to try to get a few persons to join him, that the whole burden of this mission might be taken off the Contingent Fund, and nothing left to the Connection and Conference, but the spiritual concerns of the work. I should be glad to do this, but know not, in the present state of things, to whom I could successfully apply. Who knows but this simple notice may find out the men? God grant it!

    In a letter from Mr. Lowthian, dated Lerwick, Oct. 8th, are the following words:-

    "Mr. Langridge has begun to quarry the stones for the chapel in North Mavin: blessed be God, our prospects are as bright as ever, in every direction. The North is giving up, and the South does not keep back: peace reigns, and the word of the Lord prevails. I spent the last two Sabbaths in Lerwick with much comfort and satisfaction. The chapel was quite full, and I never saw the people here in a better spirit. In prayer before sermon, on the Sabbath evening, I was almost overcome with a sense of the divine presence; and many of the people wept aloud. I feel a thirst to bring souls to God, yea, more so than ever, though this body has lately complained a little. But I must hastily conclude, as I have the opportunity of sending this letter direct to London, by a Greenland whaler."

    The following is extracted from a letter received from the same, dated Oct. 17th, which is just come to hand by another whaler, on her return from the North Seas:-

    "I have often had my head lifted up by your animating letters; but never, never more than by that of the 5th instant, received on Saturday. I do feel, on behalf of the Shetlanders, the warmest gratitude to you for your incessant application to our affairs, and your labors of love for the bodies and souls of this people. When I think of your exertions among your many English friends in our behalf, by which so many naked backs have been covered, many hearts have been made to sing for joy, many houses built and opened for the worship of the God of heaven, many souls brought to God, several of whom are with Him now in glory, I am filled with amazement, and constrained to cry out, 'What hath God wrought!' May the everlasting God lengthen out your days, and crown all your labors with continued success!

    Through mercy, the great cause in which we are engaged continues to prosper. It never had a more thriving appearance than at the present. Our congregations in Lerwick have recently been unusually large; the people hear with deep attention, and some are joining the society. In Sandwick, the society and congregation are much increased. The chapel is too small for us; invariably so. The people wish to have it enlarged, and this is necessary, but where shall the money be obtained? You well know the poverty of the people. We are in great, in pressing want of a chapel in Dunrossness, but all our applications for ground to build on, have hitherto been in vain. I will try once more.

    They are thriving in Walls. Mr. Wears, the resident preacher there, has been lately in the Island of Toula, where he has spent nearly a week, but I have not yet heard the particulars of his visit. The prospects in Yell, and the other North Isles, are very cheering. Mr. Hindson is raising there an interesting society, with every prospect of a blessed and extensive work: his fellow-laborer, Mr. Macintosh, just now sent out, and with whom you conversed at Dundee, is very acceptable, and apparently well adapted for usefulness in Shetland. Both Mr. Hindson, at Yell, and Mr. Langridge, at North Mavin, are making preparations for building the highly necessary and long-intended chapels in both those places; and they will both want immediate pecuniary help.

    Will you authorize them to draw on your relation, Mr. R. Smith, (who has from the beginning been so great a friend to Shetland, though he would not permit us to menu on his bounty,) for some money, in a month or six weeks? I believe we have not mentioned to the Building Committee the chapels we have already built: this duty shall not be again neglected.

    We see by your letter, that some friend has sent 5 for the five poor widows, whose husbands were drowned in the same place and night, where you suffered so great a tempest, and from which, through the mercy of God, you escaped. Give directions how it is to be applied; the poor creatures are in the deepest distress; and the sooner they and their twenty-two orphans have this relief the better.

    You wish us to change with each other: I can say, that to do good I am willing to change with anybody, and to go anywhere, and at any time. I am happy to say, that Mr. and Mrs. Lewis are well: we live in harmony, labor in love, and have favor with the people; and God condescends to crown our work with success.

    O, cease not to counsel and pray for us! Please to let us know speedily, what help you can raise for the chapels at Yell and North Mavin, and for enlarging that at Sandwick. You know there is no cottage in all these districts that can hold our societies, much less our congregations. To build a small chapel in these islands, which may be raised at a comparatively small expense, would be a great charity and a great furtherance of the work of God. We are almost ashamed to urge you to further exertions on these points, after what you have already done; but you know our wants, you know our poverty, and you love this work. I am going off to Dunrossness this week."

    Dear Mr. Editor, -- You see from these extracts what our good Lord is doing in the utmost northern regions of the British empire, among a noble people, who receive the word with joy, and keep it, and are truly thankful to God for his unspeakable gift; and grateful to his servants for their "labor of love;" and to his people for their "work of faith," in their behalf.

    From one of the above letters, I find that the brethren have not duly applied to the Building Committee, for permission to build the chapels already erected. In a general way, I signified all this to them, and the Conference, at Bristol, in 1825; yet I know that the formal application should have been made, and permission obtained. This, I think, will not be neglected in future; but for the Committee's information, and your satisfaction, I have the pleasure to state, that I have taken care, that on all the six chapels that have already been built, and the large preachers' house for two families, that has been erected in Lerwick, not one pound of debt remains. My own particular friends, those of my own family, with Mr. Robert Scott, have enabled me to cover all those expenses; for which I am truly thankful to God and them. But who will come forward to help in the present necessities? The hand of his God be upon him for good!

    I hope to be able soon to draw up a general account of the Shetland Islands, and of my late visit to them; and am, my dear Sir, yours faithfully,

    Adam Clarke Nov. 4th, 1826.

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