A SPUR FOR A FREE HORSE “PLOUGH WITH AN OX WHICH WILL NOT MISS A FURROW.”
IT is the desire of every right-minded believer in the Lord Jesus, not only to be useful, but to be more useful than ever. There is a Six in the date of this year instead of a five, and therefore we should all make an advance in our work for our blessed Master. There are a few of us who could scarcely do more than we are doing of our own regular order of work, but there may yet be spare moments for little extra efforts of another sort which in the aggregate, ha the run of a year, might produce a great total of real practical result. We must, like goldsmiths, carefully sweep our shops, and gather up the filings of the gold which God has given us in the shape of time. Select a large box and place in it as many cannon-balls as it will hold, it is after a fashion full, but it will hold more if smaller matters be found. Bring a quantity of marbles, very many of these may be packed in the spaces between the larger globes; the box is full now, but only full in a sense, it will contain more yet. There are interstices in abundance into which you may shake a considers the quantity of small shot, and now the chest is filled beyond all question, but yet there is room. You cannot put in another shot or marble, much less another cannon-ball, but you will find that several pounds of sand will slide down between the larger materials, and even then between the granules of sand, if you empty pondering there will be space for all the water, and for the same quantity several times repeated. When there is no space for the great there may be room for the little; where the little cannot enter the less can make its way; and where the less is shut out, the least of all may find ample room and verge enough. Now the diligent preacher may not be able to preach more sermons; his engagement book is crowded. He may not be able to offer more public prayers, or to search the Word of God more constantly; there is as much time occupied with these things as could well be given to them. Still there must be stray moments, occasional intervals and snatches, which might hold a vast amount of little usefulness in the course of months and years. What a wealth of minor good, as we may think it to be, might be shaken clown into the interstices of ten years’ work, which might prove to be as precious in result, by the grace of God, as the greater works of the same period. Little fishes are sweet, and these little works might possess in blessing what they lacked in bulk.
In Switzerland, where land is very precious because rock abounds and the rugged soil is chary in its yieldings, you see the husbandman looking after a little tuft of grass growing on one of the edges of a lofty cliff. From the valley he had caught a sight of it and thought of clambering up to where it grew, but the rock was all too steep. From a ledge nearer the top of the precipitous wall he looked down, but could see no pathway to the coveted morsel of green. That arm-full of grass would feed his goat, or help to fill the cottage left with winter fodder for the cow. Every armful is an item, and he cannot forego that tempting clump. He looks, and looks, and looks again, but looks in vain. By-and-bye, he fetches his bold boy who can follow wherever a chamois can climb, but the boy after a hard scramble comes back with the tidings, “Father, it cannot be done.” Father’s answer is, “Boy, it must be done.” It is only an arm-full, and would not be worth a farthing to us, but to the poor mountaineer even a farthing or a farthing’s worth is precious. The grass waves its flowers in the breeze and scorns the daring climbers from below; but where there is a will, there is a way; and what cannot be reached from below may be gained from above. With a rope slung round him, or firmly grasped in his accustomed hand, with a stout stake or tree to hold it up above, the Switzer is let down till he gets to the jutting crag, there he stands with his sickle, reaps the grass, ties it into a bundle, puts it under his arm, and climbing back again, joyfully returns with his little harvest. Poor pay, you think, for such dangerous toil; but, fellow-worker for Jesus, I wish we were as venturesome for souls, and as careful of them, as these poor peasants are concerning miserable bundles of grass. I wish that we sometimes looked up or down upon apparently inaccessible spots, and resolved to reach immortal souls who are to be found there; and pined to bring them to Christ. Do you catch my thought?
For fear you have not, I will enlarge. In my own case I have a broad field to work in; I can go on reaping, reaping, reaping from morning to night, and I shall never reach the end of it. Constantly addressing vast assemblies, I have a great work to do for God in the public preaching of the gospel; but there are certain little spots where the reaper in the great field never comes, for his work ties him to the many, and prevents him in a great degree from looking after the twos and threes. There are servants in families who cannot get out at the them when public services are held, and the preacher therefore does not touch them. There are persons living down back courts, or in narrow alleys, who never wear a Sunday suit, and do not know what the inside of a place of worship is like: half-clad, hunger-bitten relics of humanity, they are’ very seldom visible along the wider streets:, except when the Princess Alexandra rides through them in state, or some other grand show draws even the dwellers in the depths of poverty to the surface for an hour; these receive but little benefit from the preaching of the Word, for they never hear it. It is mournfully interesting now and then, when a thief is caught; or a fire occurs, to see what a turn-out there is from our courts and slums—alas! the preacher’s heart is sick as he sees that the influence of the gospel has never reached these. Now and then I see men and women glide along the pavement like ghosts, wearing clothing which even the rag-merchant would not buy; poor, broken-spirited:, begrimed, gin-cursed beings, who have not even spirit enough left to beg, but flit along the street, looking like owls in the daylight, as if they were out of their haunts, and were uneasy till they were back again. Give them a sixpence, and they look at you with surprise, and almost with alarm; and before you can say a word, they vanish as mysteriously as if they had descended through the pavement. Even City missionaries cannot always get at these people. There are depths so low, that some of you have no more idea of them than you have of the holes of the rats in the great sewers’; and yet in these depths lie God’s pearls: who can get at them?
I have been wondering whether some of us are not so situated in business that in spare moments we might manage to reach these out-of-the-way people, and others in the same apparently inaccessible condition. When your merchant sends home your coals in sacks; an economical Paterfamilias likes to count the sacks; a grimy fellow comes to bring in the coals; cannot’ you have a word with that man about Jesus as well as about coals? Perhaps you have a printed sermons, or a tract, lying by on the shelf which the man might like to read. Fetch it down, hand it to him, and have a little talk upon the best things, for perhaps, he has never heard the message-of salvation before in all his life. Mind you give him the expected coppers as well as the good Word, for a little liberality will help his memory wonderfully. At another time you may run under an archway in a shower, and the crossing sweeper is there too; it will not waste your time to tell him of Jesus till the rain is over. Even a breakdown in a cab, or a railway accident, may bring you into contact with somebody you never saw or dreamed of before, and so afford you an unusual opportunity which may never occur again either to you or the person thrown in your way. In going along our busy streets, we frequently notice a crowd gathered round a fallen horse or a wagon with a broken wheel. It is odd how soon a crowd gathers when there is an attraction; there may not have been a dozen people in the street before, but there will be scores if not hundreds within five minutes if a couple of boys are fighting. Only stand and stare at a smoking chimney-pot yourself for a few minutes, and see if twenty other simpletons will not come and gaze their eyes out with curiosity to know what you can be looking at. Might not stoppages in a crowd give us rare chances Of reaching strange people?
As you are surrounded by the mob you readily discover that the rascal on your right greatly admires your watch. Well, as you see that he is evidently much interested in your valuables, why should you not be sufficiently interested in him both to prevent his thieving, and to give him a precious jewel or two from the old treasury of heaven? It would be so novel a thing that it might never be forgotten if you were to deal out to the thief a little gospel truth. The gospel is of such a plastic character that it can be molded in a form to suit everybody, and be in keeping with all sorts of circumstances. If you acquire the happy art of using choice opportunities, you will often find yourselves drifting into a position in which God’s minister, the Bible woman, or the City missionary never comes, and you will be sent of God just at that particular moment of time to be made a blessing to some soul.
We are not wide enough awake in doing good. Pardon the reference, but remember the lesson I would teach; it shall be borrowed from Dr. Marigold’s cart. When a Cheap-Jack has a little knot of people round his van, he eyes them all, and feels sure that the man who is standing over there is a butcher, and that yonder young lad has more money than brains, and that the girl near him is out with her sweetheart and is soon to ‘be married; now mark, he will hold up the exact articles which are likely to attract these customers, and in his harangue, he will have jokes and telling sentences which will turn butcher, and lad, and lass into purchasers. He cares not a jot for elegance, but very much for force. He knows that his trade will be better pushed by homely remarks and cutting sentences than by the protest preciseness which were ever delivered; and he gains his end, which is more than those of you will do who talk to people about their souls with as much richness of diction as — “The girl who at each pretty phrase let drop A ruby comma, or pearl full-stop, Or an emerald semicolon.” Dr. Marigold is sharp and shrewd:, because self-interest makes him so, and his extemporary observations are so partly uttered and adroitly arranged that he wins the attention of all, and the custom of many. Would to God that preachers and other workers for God had a tithe as much. commonsense as Cheap-Jack, and were half as earnest to bring men to Jesus Christ as Cheap-Jack is to bring them to buy that tea-tray and set of real china!
Oh! that we were as wise to win the ear anal heart of the particular case with which we have to deal, as he is in extorting a laugh and compelling the attention of the passer-by! For this there is required not merely tact and energy, but a humble willingness of mind to condescend, if need be, to men of low estate. No Christian work should be too menial for the follower of the Lamb. It were well if we were as willing to labor for the Lord in any way as some of our poor countrymen are to toil for us, in any form or shape, so that they may but earn their bread. I recommend “The Lay of the Laborer” as a song for each of us to sing in a spiritual sense. “A spade! a rake! a hoe!
A pick-ax, or a bill!
A hook to reap, or a scythe to mow, A flail, or what ye will— And here’s a ready hand To ply the needful tool, And willing enough, for lessons rough, In Labor’s rugged school.” “I do not think I could ever be useful for anybody,” says one. Now, dear friend, let me venture a little personal inquiry and admonition, or perhaps I may put myself into your place, and speak as I think you should do. “I do not know what I have left undone, but I walk a mile to work every morning, and a mile back every night; now supposing I resolve in my mind that every time I do this I will drop down a kitchen, or carry into a Shop, a silent testimony for Christ Jesus; I will give away some little tracts, which I can afford to buy, for I can get a hundred of one page for sixpence; but they shall be good ones, or I will not distribute them; they shall have the simple gospel in them, and I will pray God to bless every one.” Have you ever thought how many you might thus give away in the course Of the year? Supposing you left only one each time you went to and fro your labor, that would be two a day, which would make over seven hundred during the year! If God should only give his blessing to one, it would be an eternal reward, and would surely be worth the winning.
This is a very common and easy method of doing good, it will be better if you resolve, “God helping me as I go to work, I will speak out for Jesus. I trudge along to the workshop, or ride in an omnibus to the city with somebody or other; sometimes I walk with So-and-so, who is a thoroughly irreligious man; I will try to-morrow morning if I cannot twist the conversation round and say something to him about the way of peace.”
Perhaps you will scarcely know how to begin, but do not be very much alarmed about that. You may if you like first observe, “Our minister said a very odd thing the other day,” and you will be pretty certain to ensure a conversation. Almost any preface will do, as for instance, “Have you ever heard Mr. So-and-so? Have you seen that new book ‘? And so poor old Smith is dead!” etc, etc. If you were to address in a personal manner one individual every day, that would be three hundred and sixty-five in the year, and in eleven years you would have spoken to four thousand souls. I will be held to bail for what I am about to say till this day next year. I do not believe that you will speak to one person every day during this year affectionately and prayerfully without having a reward in the conversion of one at least. I do not believe that you will labor so constantly in vain. A man may throw the net once, twice, thrice, and catch nothing, but he will hardly do so three hundred and sixty-five times in vain. We may toil all the night and take no fish, but not all the year. The Master will in that time guide us to cast the net on the right side and we shall find. At any rate it is ours to speak for Jesus whether we succeed or no, and we may do well to reflect upon the weighty saying of Ambrose, that as we shall have to account for idle words:, so shall we also for idle silence. “And with whom would you have me begin?” Begin with the next person, you see. We frequently dream that we could do things so much better if we were in a different position. All! friend, if you cannot do good where you are you will do good nowhere. Some of our young members get the idea into their heads that they would make most noble missionaries in India, Madagascar, or Central Africa. They picture themselves standing under a banyan tree, emulating Carey or’ Moffat, the admired of all admirers, addressing black people adown whose cheeks the tears are streaming, while they listen meekly to the proclamation of the gospel. The picture quite enchants them! When they come to me under the influence of this delightful vision, I have no wish to discourage them, but a great desire to try the genuineness of the call. I therefore say, “Yes, there is an excellent street-corner down ‘the Old Kent Road, or away by Finsbury Square; go and try our abilities next Sunday.” Very frequently the task is declined. Do you believe that a crowd of Hindoos are more accessible to the gospel than a company of Englishmen? You are very greatly mistaken if you do. There is no sphere of usefulness in the world superior to that which our large cities offer to zealous laborers. If you want to work for God, you need not wait till you have learned Hindostance and eaten curry; you need not tarry for black faces, for you will find black hearts enough, even though the faces may be white. Do not fall into a spiritual Don Quixotism, and neglect usefulness within your reach in. order to dream, over imaginary wonders of heroism. If you feel a call to India; seek to prove it by working successfully at home first, for India stands in no need of men who would be useless in England.
We must come back to our point, which is not to urge all of you to give yourselves up to mission-work, but to serve God more and more in connection with your daily calling. I have heard that a woman who has a mission makes a poor wife and a bad mother; this is very possible, and at the same time very lamentable; but the mission I would urge is not of this Sort. Dirty rooms, slatternly gowns, and children with unwashed faces are swift witnesses against the sincerity of those who keep others’ vineyards and neglect their own. I have no faith in that woman who talks of grace and glory abroad, and uses no soap and water at home. Let the buttons be on the shirts, let the children’s socks be mended, let the roast mutton be done to a turn, let the house be as neat as a new pin, and the home be happy as home can be; and then when the cannon balls, and the marbles, and the shots, and even the grains of sand are all in the box, even then there will be room for those little deeds of love and faith, which in my Master’s name I seek of you who look for his appearing. Serve God by doing common actions in a heavenly spirit, and then if your daily calling only leaves you cracks and crevices of time, fill these up with holy service.
To use the Apostle Paul’s words — “As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men.”
Let it be added, that it is well, if we can, to do good in all ways. We can help the poor, the needy, the fatherless, and widow. It is wonderful how well a tract is read when it is wrapped up with a loaf of bread. It is really marvelous how much better you find a word about Jesus Christ go down when there is a little soup with it. Dorcas was a wise woman to blend grace and garments together. The old clothes in your wardrobes must be looked out, and given to the naked; bread and coeds must be forthcoming from those who have gold and silver which is running the risk of cankering. It is true we ought not to hold out loaves and fishes in the way of bribery to make proselytes, but we may still remember that the Master used them, and they gathered. the people round about him, some of whom, doubtless, would not otherwise have come, and might not have had the blessing if it had not been first true — “Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” Use every means, any means, and all means; be at it, all at it, and always at it.
Again, I would plead for the forgotten and unremembered classes of whom I spoke. They may be few, but for this very reason they escape attention. If there should be a large class of any one sort, it is sure to become the object of some society of good people. When true religion was revived, the street Arabs of London very soon had ragged-schools provided for them, and though they are not half sufficient, still those schools offer much assistance to the little sinners in tatters. The soldiers, the sailors, the cabmen, the policemen, and others have those who care for them. Harlots and thieves have their earnest friends and advocates, because they constitute classes large enough to make their fields inviting to reapers; but who will care for the small knots, half-dozens and tens? These are as the grass growing on the rocky ledge. Who reap these? Who will gather up the fragments, that nothing may be lost? Who will look after the waifs and strays, the odds and ends of humanity? Ye who will espouse this work shall meet a reward for which you looked not. Bright jewels have been found on dunghills ere now. Still is it true that “Full many a gem of purest ray serene, The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear.” Cannot we try this year to gather in yonder waving grass on the jutting crag? Will we not cull the handful and win the few? Bold hearts and clear heads to the rescue! He ye who have been crying “Excelsior” till we almost wish that Longfellow had never been born, here is a spot on which to plant “that banner with the strange device, Excelsior”! Up let your untiring energy conduct you! Up where dying souls invite you to their aid! Climb up those rocky ledges which promise so little, and may the Master grant that you, my brethren, may come again rejoicing, bringing your sheaves with you. Anna Shipton’s “Whispers in the Paints” give me a verse to close with, and then the Lord help you to practice what you have learned. “Work while the daylight lasteth, Ere the shades of night come on; Ere the Lord of the vineyard cometh, And the laborer’s work is done.
Work in the wild waste places, Though none thy love may own; God marks the down of the thistle The wandering wind hath sown.
On! with thy heart in heaven, Thy strength—thy Master’s might, Till the wild waste places blossom In the warmth of a Savior’s light.” * * This address by Mr. Spurgeon will be reprinted as a little book, with a cover, price 1d.
REVIVAL OF THE LORD’S WORK IN TO MY BELOVED CHURCH AND CONGREGATION.
DEAR FRIENDS, MY brethren, the Deacons and Elders unite with me in an intense desire to promote your spiritual good. As a rule, the love and zeal of the members of the Church is most cheering to witness; we desire to meet the earnest; workers, and tell them how heartily our souls are one with them in all their efforts. Your children lie very’ near your hearts, and we would unite with you in importunate, prayer that all our little ones may be the Lord’s. There are some who flag in the heavenly race, for whom we solemnly fear that they have a name to live and are dead; we must plead for such, that they may yet be delivered from impending destruction. Our great house is crowded Sabbath after Sabbath by a vast host of immortals; we would excite your increasing compassion by reminding you of their sad state by nature, and their terrible doom unless the grace of God shall pluck them as brands from the burning. We have need of renewed intercessions. It is by mighty prayer that the cause of God has been maintained in its rigor among us so long, and only by the same vehement pleading will the Divine blessing be retained. He who worketh all our works in us first teaches us to pray, and then grants us the desire of our hearts. With the view of raising the glow of our fervor to a greater heat, and in the hope that the Lord Jesus will work through our humble means, we have arranged the following meetings, and hope to receive your most cordial cooperation in carrying them out, so far as you feel that in any one or all of them you eau be of service. May the Holy Spirit, without whom we can do nothing, assure our beloved Church, and the great congregation among whom we labor, of his abiding presence among us, by giving gracious tokens of his power.
Yours for Christ’s sake, C. H.SPURGEON.
LIST OF MEETINGS.
Lord’s-day, February 4th.—The Pastor will endeavor to preach upon some subject, having a direct tendency, ‘by God’s grace, to arouse the slumbering, whether saints or sinners. Come up to worship with much prayer for a blessing. Monday, February 5th.— The Church Officers will meet at five, to seek a blessing upon their own souls, that they may be prepared for the shower of mercy which they trust is coming. At seven, we shall hold a prayermeeting, at which we trust you will make a point of being present yourself, and it will greatly cheer us if you will bring a party of friends with you. It would be a hopeful beginning if the house could be filled at this meeting by ourselves, just as on former occasions it has been filled by the United Churches. As perhaps your friends will be more willing to come if assured of getting in, we stroll issue tickets, which you can obtain on application at the close of the usual services. Tuesday, February 6th.—The Deacons and Elders invite the unconverted, of the congregation to meet them at seven. Whether under concern of soul or not, we pray you come, and let us talk to you of the things which make for your peace. Wednesday, February 7th.—The Pastor and Officers invite the young people of the congregation to tea at five o’clock, that they may afterwards hear-a loving invitation to look to the Lord Jesus, that they may be saved.
This is a meeting not for young members, but for the unsaved! Tickets will be distributed by the elders and deacons at their discretion. To them application can be made by parents and friends interested in the rising race. Lords Day, February 11th.—Deputations from the Church Officers desire to visit in the afternoon the class conducted by our friend, Mrs. Bartlett, and those classes presided over by Mr. Dransfield, and Mr. Croker. The Lord has given prosperity to these works of love, and we trust a good word may be attended with a blessing. Monday, February 12th.—The Church will meet for thanksgiving, breaking of bread, and prayer, in /;he area of the Tabernacle at seven o clock: and the congregation Who are the objects of our anxious care are invited to fill the galleries. We desire, as a Church, to let our united and importunate cry go up to heaven. Should members of other Churches desire to commune with us on that occasion they can correspond with our friend Mr. Thomas Cook, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, S. The members will kindly show their Communion cards. Tuesday, -February 13th.—The Deacons and Elders a second time invite the unconverted, that they may again uplift the Lord Jesus Christ before them. This meeting will commence at seven o’clock. Wednesday, February 14th.—The Pastor and Officers invite the Sunday School Teachers to tea, including in the invitation not only the Teachers at Tabernacle and New Park Street, but all Members of the Church who are at present engaged in Sabbath school or Ragged school work. Tea ready at half-past five o’clock. Meeting afterwards for fellowship in prayer and exhortation. Tickets from Messrs. Thomas Olney and William Olney, Tabernacle. Friday, February 16th.—At five o’clock, the Pastors and Officers will meet the Tutors and Students of the College to tea, hoping that the Ministers who were once Students and are now laboring in or near London, will also join them. Much prayer is requested that this important class of laborers may receive good from our visit. Lord’s Day, February 18th.—Deputation from the Elders Will meet with the class conducted by our friend Mr. Hanks, and with the senior classes of the Sunday school. Monday, February 19th.—Prayer meeting at seven, for the unconverted, with brief exhortations by the Pastor, Deacons, and Elders. Tuesday, February 20th.—Tea at half-past five for Tract Distributors, Evangelists, Missionaries, Bible women, and other workers, who are members of the Church, not included in the meeting on the 14th. Tickets to be had of Mr. Cook, Tabernacle. Wednesday, February 21st.—Prayer meetings at the various houses of the members, which will be open for the occasion at seven. Lists will be issued of all the houses so soon as we have received the names. Meanwhile, we ask those friends who have rooms large enough for meetings of twenty or more, and are willing to open them for the evening, to write to Mr.W. Olney, Tabernacle, who will prepare the lists and answer inquiries. We pant for a great blessing on these household assemblies.
The series will close on Monday, February 26th, with a meeting for praise, for mercies which faith now anticipates, but which will ‘then be actually received. O Lord, send now prosperity. This notice is published in “The Sword and the Trowel” as a request for the prayers of believers everywhere, and with the design of suggesting to others to follow similar plans.
OUR MORNING READINGS WE have had our new work entitled “MORNING BY MORNING” most elegantly bound that it may be attractive, and we have issued it at a price so low that the booksellers in the “Row” complain of its being too cheap, our desire being to do good among many rather than to make a profit for ourselves. We beg to call the attention of our readers to the following kind notice from the pen of Dr. Angus, of Regent’s Park College:— “Morning by Morning: or, Daily Readings for the Family or the Closet.
By C. H.SPURGEON. 3S. 6d. Passmore and Alabaster, 23, Paternoster Row. “It augurs for us a day of grace when we begin betimes with God: the sanctifying influence of the season spent upon the mount operates upon each succeeding hour. Morning devotion anchors the soul so that it will not very readily drift far away from God during the day; it perfumes the heart so that it smells fragrant with piety until nightfall; it girds up the soul’s garments so that it is less apt to stumble, mad feeds all its powers so that it is not permitted to faint. The morning is the gate of the day, and should be well guarded with prayer. He who rushes from his bed to his business and waiteth not to worship, is as foolish as though he had not put on his clothes, or cleansed his face, and as unwise as though he dashed into battle without arms or armor.’ “Such are the weighty words with which the Author of these Readings defends morning devotion—Reading, Prayer, and Praise. Nor is there a thoughtful Christian who will scruple to say Amen to them all. ‘True hearts spread and heave Unto their God as flowers do to the sun; Give him thy first thoughts then, so shalt thou keep Him company all day, and in him sleep.’ “Those who have learnt the value of morning devotion will highly prize these helps. The volume contains three hundred and sixty-six Morning Readings, each founded on a verse of sacred Scripture.’ The texts are striking and suggestive; the comments pithy and varied. The writer evidently holds that duty without doctrine is like morality without principle, unstable and valueless; and that doctrine without duty is practical antinomianism. He, therefore, gives us both, and enforces both with sympathies ever quick and, strong for God’s truth, and for human weakness. It is in short the old-fashioned Puritan teaching, which must be in substance the teaching of all who would do Christ’s work on earth, however the form or language may change. “Appended to the Readings are short three-verse hymns for week days and Sundays. The Prayers are wisely left to the promptings of devout hearts, and of that blessed Spirit who is ever ready to help our infirmities. “All who love a full-orbed gospel, vigorous, varied thought, and a racy style, will appreciate this volume, which is to be followed, we are glad to see, by a similar one for Evening Reading. May God speed them both! “J. ANGUS.”
“BLESS the Lord, O ray soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name.”
This is the text which is uppermost in our mind. Goods poured in. for the bazaar from every quarter, and when, the stalls were all arranged in the School-room and Lecture Hall, such a sight was presented to the beholder as is seldom seen. The area of the stalls was so immense as to be equal, at least, to four or five very respectable bazaars, such as we have seen elsewhere. Good and useful things, at moderate prices, found customers all the week; red at the end so much was left, that the sale was continued in the Lecture Hall only for another week. During the whole time’ we saw nothing of which the most fastidious should complain. The grand total of money taken amounted to 1,860, from which, however, very considerable expenses must be deducted. We hope next month to announce the net proceeds. The sum is large, very large, but when compared with London’s needs, it is so little as to be a mere drop of the bucket. Thanks a thousand times to friends, ours and our Master’s. The Lord reward them all. Into their own bosoms may the blessing return most richly. As we spend the money in houses of prayer for London, we will report progress.
Nichols Series of Commentaries. Edinburgh: James Nichol. London: James Nisbet and Co. Dublin: G. Herbert.
These volumes, of which six have already appeared, deserve a more extended notice than our limits will allow. We may, however, express our admiration of them in few words; and this we do most cordially. All that tends to bring the vast stores of the good old Puritan theology within the reach of men of ordinary means, comes so closely home to us who take special interest in students for the Christian ministry, that it has our hearty concurrence and cooperation. We hail all who are making best efforts for this purpose as helpers with us in our College-work. There is little amongst all the: theological productions of modern times that we can put into the hands of students when they leave the College as stores of thought, examples of pointed illustration, or incitements to devotional fervor, for future use. We are glad, therefore, to be able to give them access to the more ancient fountains. Never perhaps could it be more significantly said than in recent times, “The fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?” Where are they? They are in their writings, we reply, and in these they do live for ever. Modern interpreters have not superseded them, nor will they be altogether superseded to the end of time. Every age has its own. peculiarities in relation to theological as well as other pursuits.
The Puritan age was one of great erudition, unwearied application, deepfelt experience, and unbounded veneration for the authority of the Divine Word. It wanted the generalizations and disfusiveness of modern times; and wanted them, simply because the opportunities were denied. But if without us could not be made per-much less could we without them.
Without them, we lose in depth what we gain -in breadth; with them, we shall have both breadth and depth, and our theology, however much extended, will still be the deep, deep, sea.
Commentaries may be used too much, but they may also be used too little.
Many speak against the commentaries of others merely to recommend their own. What are sermons but commentaries? At least, they ought so to be.
To understand the Bible thoroughly, we must thoroughly understand each book at a time. The close, critical, exhaustive investigation of one part best qualify: for a similar examination of another and thus the labor is continually diminishing, and the pleasure continually increasing. To a young minister such a course of study is indispensable; and in this the commentaries before us provide him with the most valuable help and stimulus. We reset to say so little upon a subject on which volumes might be written. Puseyism the, School of the Infidels, or “Broad Church” the offspring of “High Church,” with a few Words to the Evangelicals. By ALAYMAN of the Established Church. One Shilling. A. Miall, Bouverie-street, Fleetstreet.
THIS pamphlet is from one within the Church of England, who knows and loves the truth, and at the same time clings to the venerable ecclesiastical Mother with the sincere affection of a child. We are rejoiced to read such frank, daring, and clear utterances as these from an Episcopalian. There is hope among the laity that hone? Protestantism will still live in England.
Dissenters could not do better than distribute this treatise, for it may do noble service in clerical circles where Non- conforming writers would not win a hearing. Our battle is not against, but for all true Evangelicals in the Church; and when we speak severely of their inconsistent position, it is that they may be nerved to leave it, or roused to demand alterations, which will make it honestly tenable. The spirit of the pamphlet before us may be gathered from the following extract :— “I love the Church of England as she is by law established, not as I see her commonly now in practice. I entered her as the Tractarians would say, ‘at the font,’ have well-nigh traversed the nave of life, and hope to rest under her shadow at last; but if she or her Prayer-book, or any other thing becomes her watchword instead of Christ, that thing becomes a hindrance and not a help towards God, and ought to be pulled down and called ‘Nehushtan ‘ a mere little bit of brass,’ or ‘a mere little book of man’s making,’ or any other mere man’s arrangement, which can never claim to have a place beside that which is Divine.” Spiritual Songs from the Canticles, from the German of Gustav Jahn.
Translated by ANNA M. MAy Morgan and Chase.
Books which truly breathe the spirit of the Song of Loves we never criticize, but pray over them, and thank the Bridegroom that virgin souls still love him. We are grateful for every warbling note which reminds us of him, and earnestly pray that by souls enamored of our Beloved the voice of the turtle may be heard in our land by means of this beautiful little volume. Old Jonathan.
W. H. Collingridge, City Press, 117 to 119, Aldersgate Street.
Few periodicals are better adapted to the times. It is suitable in every respect for the reading populace. The benevolent who are able would do well to purchase it for circulation amongst their poorer neighbors. Old Merry’s Annual Jackson, Walford, & Hodder, 27, Paternoster Row. FOR attractiveness of art and composition, of instruction and entertainmerit combined, and of external appearance, this may rank among the foremost of the Annuals for 1866. It is too romantic for our taste, but we commend it for the end it has in view. The British Workman . 9, Paternoster Row. ‘The Annual Part of this -periodical for 1865 is very attractive. Its engravings show the wonderful improvements in that art in modern times.
Both in sentiment and good writing it is highly commendable. In its annual form it is fit for the tables of the rich as well as of the poor.