The New Zealand Evangelist
Wesleyan Society.—Valediction of Rev. Mr. Aldred
Wesleyan Society.—Valediction of Rev. Mr. Aldred.
The Wesleyan community of Nelson and its district assembled on Wednesday, March the 7th, for the purpose of taking leave of their late Minister, now removed to Wellington; the occasion was one of great interest to them, and of intense feeling—the connexion thus severed was one of long continuance, and of mutual love and good understanding. It was hard to say “that last sad word, farewell” to both parties. We subjoin a copy of an address presented by the office bearers of the Wesleyan Church to Mr. Aldred, and also a copy of his reply, and join in the hope that the change will be for the better, and not for the worse.
At the meeting something was said about the propriety of Christian Churches in New Zealand supporting their own Ministers, and of that Church in particular doing so. This is a doctrine we cordially believe, and shall be glad to see it carried into practice both there and in other places. The ministry among us page 236 ought to be supported by us, and not by the liberal minded Christians of the Mother Country.
Nelson, March 7, 1849.
Rev. and Dear Sir,—
The time is come when we must bid you farewell.
We are persuaded that your present movements are ordered by a Superintending Providence, and are in accordance with the wise system of Itinerancy practised by the Wesleyan Methodist Ministers; but yet we feel the parting salutation to be painful.
We take this opportunity of testifying our sincere and unabated affection towards you. We do highly esteem you in love for your works sake. You have ever gone in and out among us as the true and faithful Minister of Jesus Christ. You have been “In labours of,” and in prayer unceasing for our spiritual welfare; and you have the satisfaction of knowing that “your labour” has not been “in vain in the Lord.” Many souls have been given for your hire. The Lord has added many seals unto your Ministry. We bow to the call of Providence and the Church in your removal; but though absent from us in person you will always live in our affections, and have an interest in our prayers.
That God may preserve you in health and bless you with much peace and joy in all your journeyings, and make you the honoured instrument in his hands of still grenter success among your future charge, is the earnest wish and prayer of, Rev. and dear Sir, your bumble and devoted servants in Christ Jesus.
Signed in the name and behalf of the Wesleyan Methodist Society, Nelson.
Bernard Gapper, Circuit Steward; John Riley, Steward and Leader; William Hough, Leader; Adam Jackson, Leader; G. W. Lightband, Chapel Steward; Benjamin Jackson; John Hewitt; Archibald McEachen; William Higgins.
To the Rev. John Aldred.
To the Stewards and Leaders, representing the Members and Friends of the Wesleyan Methodist Societies of Nelson Circuit:
After a long period of labour amongst you, it has been decided by our Annual District Meeting that in accordance with our connexional usages I shall be removed. Accordingly, my successor has arrived and I therefore no longer stand related to you as your Pastor.
Few there are who fully know the closeness of that tie which binds a minister to his charge: and still fewer there are who can duly estimate his sorrow as he is severed from the same. The trial of wishing you farewell, which in a short time awaits me, has never been equalled but on the morning of that sorrowful day when I tore myself from the embrace of one of the tenderest of mothers, and sailed for this distant shore. But in defiance of this grief of mind, produced by our approaching separation, I do feel reconciled.page 237
It is with gratitude I say, that my sojourn with you has been to me a period of more than ordinary happiness. The kindness and forbearance you have ever shewed me in health—your sympathy in the day of sickness, are deeply engraven on the fleshly table of my heart; and to you, my dear friends, I now most feelingly present my warmest thanks, and if in any measure I have been successful in the great work which, of all others, I most love, this has been in part through your prayerful co-operation, but above all through the Spirit of our God: and to Him alone let the praise redound.
On resigning my official connexion with you, I look with much pleasure, and with high expectation upon your new minister. By me he is highly esteemed, and dearly beloved. In him you will ever find a ready counsellor, a warm friend, and a faithful Pastor. Let him have your unceasing prayers.
And now, dear brethren, “I commend you all to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” This is the prayer of