PENNY READINGS; OR, A SNAKE IN THE GRASS.
IN the name of God all manner of mischief is perpetrated. The great moral truth, that we must not do evil that good may come, appears to be still unknown or ignored among masses of professors. Things which Christian men, as individuals, would scorn to invent or commit, when they once become a fashion, and are varnished over with the pretext of doing good, are run after with greediness; and when committees are formed, and emulation excited, matters are even pushed to extremes from which decorous non-professors had abstained. Given a dozen worldly professors, an ungodly society to please, and the pretense of serving the interests of religion as a cloak, and no one can guess to what length they will proceed; if they had but the means they would not only, like the witch of Endor, bring up Samuel from the tomb, but raise the arch-fiend himself to entertain the public: the interests of morality and decency would be far safer in the hands of decent deists than under the management of vainglorious Christian professors, who have the name to live, and are dead. We are led to these remarks by reviewing the many disgraceful facts which have been brought under our notice in connection with Penny Reading’s, and their association, not only with church clergymen and curates, but with our own places of worship. We have blushed for our common Christianity when we have observed the silly nonsense, the senseless foolery, the abominable absurdity, the loose and all but lascivious sing-song, the moon-struck sentimentality, which have been read, rehearsed, or sung, to congregations of our people in schoolrooms and lecture hails, with at least the implied sanction of the church, and its pastor and deacons, and sometimes with the evident sanction of them all. Manhood alone ought to have kept the performers and their admirers from sinking to the level of bathos which they have occasionally reached. What would not be tolerated at a secondrate theater, should hardly have gone down with men esteemed, at least by themselves, to be persons of position and education: there are amusements allowable in the nursery, which we should hardly have expected to have seen entertaining’ an assembly in which men of forty took a leading part.
We are among those who would defend and advocate the Penny Reading system, by itself and rightly conducted as a valuable means of educating our popularity, and making them acquainted with the great writers of our and; we even believe that a higher end might be answered if choice, tender, poetic, telling extracts from our devotional writers were read with accompanying anecdotes and illustrations; we do not therefore run a tilt against the whole thing as such, but we feel bound to say that the abuse of it is in many places so serious that it would be far better to give up the entire business than perpetuate its evils. Very far are we from decrying popular lectures upon subjects scientific, historical, moral, or political — -a good course of such lectures should, if possible, be provided by our religious societies in every town — and if the lectures maintain a Christian tone, much good will come of them; but lecturing and getting up courses of lectures for mere amusement sake, without end or purpose, is not to be tolerated by Christians. As to lecturers of known unsound views, who seize every opportunity to sneer at the gospel, their employment by Christian men, merely because of their cleverness, is a sin against the Lord. Penny Readings, or Popular Lectures, cannot be judged in the mass; they’ may, like Jeremiah’s figs, be very bad or very good; our lament is that in many places they have been “evil, very evil, they cannot be eaten, they are so evil.” We heard a wise and experienced father say, the other day, that in his town, if he designed to ruin his children’s souls, he should first give them a penny each to go to the readings, and then they would be quite ready to enjoy six-penny-worth of wickedness at the low music-hall, and the next step would be the play-house. Knowing what we do know, we thought him right. When the Penny Reading, or the lecture, is elevating in moral tone, let every right-minded man be thankful for it; but when it is a broad farce, a coarse comedy, a silly love-song, or worse, it is altogether out of place in connection with Christian men, their schools and associations. Let the church enter into rivalry with the theater, and we know which will get the better of it: on our side, such a contention would be all gain and no loss.
We would by no means interdict the use of wit and humor; far otherwise, we hold that their plentiful use is frequently justifiable and advisable; we should like to see a more abundant spice of them, not only in lectures, but in sermons and in religious books; but there must be an end and a purpose in the humor, or it becomes idle jesting, which is not convenient. To make men laugh at folly, at superstition, at meanness — -to pour ridicule upon contemptible motives and actions until men laugh them to scorn — is one thing; to keep an audience in a roar by a series of empty witticisms without moral purport is quite another. Against the cheerful, the genial, the humorous, there is no law; for the frivolous, foolish, and indelicate, there is no excuse. Between the moroseness which will not allow a smile, and the lawless levity which would turn our Zion into Vanity Fair, there is a wide difference. Will not all the managers of those societies which cater for the Christian public, look well to ‘this matter, and act upon the rules of Christi, an prudence in arranging their programs? Shall the world be allowed to entrench itself within the church itself? Shall folly deliver its delusive teachings from the chairs of our own prophets? Let the mischief die at once, and as the lecturing season now commences, let sweeping reforms be accomplished forthwith wherever they may be required, before the plague spreads further in the camp.
In some places great ,dissatisfaction is felt concerning past proceedings, and this smothered fire will break into a flame of discord if fresh fuel be put upon it; in others old heart-burnings have already led to divisions through this offense; before such ills shall fall upon other churches, let the accursed thing be sought for and put away. Honest, innocent, instructive, interesting entertainment’s are not so difficult to get up, that we are driven to ribaldry to help us; let us try again, and show the world henceforth that, even in their recreations, Israelites are not Egyptians, Christians are not men of the world.
JAMES HENDERSON, M.D. THE MISSIONARY PHYSICIAN AN EXAMPLE FOR YOUNG MEN.
THE home of James Henderson’s childhood was a little cottage, situated on the bleak muir of Rhynie, in the north of Scotland,’ and distant a mile and more from any other dwelling. There, on a dark day in the middle of the December of 1832, while a violent snowstorm was exhausting its fury, he was left an orphan when scarcely three years old. His father had been an honest and industrious laboring man, had married young, and his brief life had been a hard struggle to obtain a scanty subsistence for this family. Ten weeks before, he ruptured a blood-vessel in the lung, and the loss of blood then and on subsequent occasions, brought him to the brink of the grave.
At four in the afternoon of the day mentioned, the good man rallied a little; but as the darkness displaced the daylight, amid the last outbursts of the storm, his spirit took its flight to another world in peace. He had no riches beside his blessing to leave to his three little ones, and no legacy to his wife but the assurance that God, who feeds the young ravens when they cry, would take care of her, and provide her and her children with bread. The tender years of the orphan boy prevented him from realizing his great and irreparable loss; and while his two sisters sat silently near the fire, but faintly understanding the sad scene around them, he crept to a quiet corner, and slept as soundly as if joy were beaming on all within and without the lonely cottage. Wearied with the discharge of the last offices of affection to her husband, the new-made widow having sat herself down to rest, her eyes wandered to her sleeping son; and, as they rested on his happy countenance, wept for the first time at the prospect of that heritage of sorrow, and care, and toil, upon which she had entered. She turned to the Book of God and read its cheering promises, and spread her distress before-the Most High in prayer. From midnight to morning she prolonged these devout exercises, and as the day revealed the stern difficulties of her situation, she faced them with a calm and courageous heart.
In the succeeding March she removed to a small cottage offered by a farmer in the neighborhood, and there, by doing such work as she could find on the farms around, kept herself and her children. Her evenings were spent in teaching her two girls and their little brother to read, and in hearing them repeat the portions of Scripture and questions in the “Shorter Catechism” assigned during the day. This pious custom she never set aside, though she often returned jaded and worn out, after working from six in the morning, to go supperless to bed; or had to begin her labor on no better breakfast than a crust and cup. of cold water. Two years of her life thus rolled slowly away, embittered by many hardships and privations.
Her own and her children’s lot became more easy and comfortable when she went, after her mother’s death, to live with her father, who rented a small croft in the district. The old man was rude and rigid in his manners, yet bore a ‘warm and tender heart, in whose affections his grandchildren largely shared. His superior intelligence raised him in the esteem of his neighbors, and a plentiful supply of stories, gathered in his travels through the Highlands, rendered his company particularly entertaining in the long winter’s evenings. He loved the Bible, and often made little James, before he was seven years old, read whole evenings to him in the books of the Kings, and Chronicles, and Proverbs. At other times he would bring the boy to his side, and tell him to sing some ballad of the clans; and, as a daring exploit of the clan to which he belonged was sung with a deeper emphasis, his dim eye would kindle again with the clans-man wonted fire.
In a little while the old man was gathered to his fathers, and the widow was left in possession of the small farm. James was sent into the fields to lend his slender assistance in their cultivation. The summer kept him busily occupied, but the winter was a kind of long vacation, in which he roamed over the hills, and mightily terrified the timid rabbits and hares with an old gun, which only condescended to go off on certain occasions. His education was considered by his relatives complete with the ability to read the Bible and the” Shorter Catechism.” Writing and arithmetic were deemed superfluous accomplishments, and their necessity in that part of the country was never imagined. :For generations past his fathers, all honest and simple-minded men, had lived and died without a knowledge of these things, and why should the rising race seek to be wiser than they? Until he had gone half way through his teens, the only eminent and respectable literary characters whose acquaintance he had made were “Jack the Giant Killer,” and “The Forty Thieves.” It was only in his sixteenth year that he heard there existed such a country as China, or discovered how his own nation was governed. His faith was almost equally divided between the gospels and the current superstitions of the district; and it is duly authenticated that the most absurd story about the power of witchcraft was nothing more to the credulity of the people in. those parts than a shrimp to a hungry whale. From earliest infancy his mother trained him to keep holy the Sabbath. On the afternoon of that day, his chief enjoyment was to repair to the bank of some rivulet or mountain spring, where he would sit for hours reading and correcting to memory many portions from Genesis, the Gospels, or the Book of Revelation. At a little distance lay his constant attendant, a fine collie dog, who, when he saw his young master weep — which he often did over the tale of the Savior’s suffering and death — would come with great concern in his looks, and lick Ms hand, and try to comfort him.
From scenes like these, and with his mother’s dying words, ringing in his ears — “ Never forsake God, and he will never forsake you “ — young Henderson went to the feeling market to hire himself to, the farmer who would make the best offer for his services. He engaged for six months at a wage of twenty-five shillings, for which he had to tend fifteen herd of cattle, and do other work besides; “and, in fact,” he adds. “I had so much to do, that, at the end of six months, I was so thin and changed in my appearance that my old friends scarcely knew me. It was a hard-earned twenty-five shillings; but it was the first I had ever won. I had never been so rich before; for the largest sum I ever had was fourteen-pence, and this was all I possessed when I first left home, with one suit of half-worn clothes.”
His next situation, where he remained eighteen months, afforded him greater advantages, though it at first brought him less remuneration. He became groom to the village surgeon, who treated him with the utmost kindness, and obtained the services of the schoolmaster to instruct him in writing, spelling, and arithmetic. Instructive books were within his reach, and he: learned to lay aside his erroneous conceptions of the world in which he lived, and to think of other lands and people than the narrow spot and slender few to which both his thoughts and observations had hitherto been confined. Yet the reminiscences of the last twelve months spent in this place were the saddest that he gathered from any season of his life, not because of any suffering endured, for that only lends a zest to present enjoyment, but because of the sins and youthful follies into which he was led. His time not being fully occupied, he gave way to habits of idleness, and soon became the companion of those of whom, he says, he ought to have been ashamed. But for all these things conscience exacted a heavy penalty from him in his moments of retirement and, stimulated by the faithful sermons of Mr. Nichol, brought him every Sabbath evening in terror to his knees.
The scale was not yet turned in favor of the Savior; and he longed for gayer scenes and wider scope for pleasure. At this crisis of his rife, he was directed to the service of a gentleman under whose roof religion dwelt and flourished. The whole management of the establishment was in the hands of a pious butler, who, daring a period of twelve years, had proved his fidelity to his master; this man was, by education, far above his present sphere; by humility and benevolence of heart, prepared for any undertaking that would benefit his fellow men or glorify the Savior. So brightly did the beauty of the gospel shine in his light, that Dr. Henderson says of him in after years, “Among all the devoted and excellent men I have known. I never saw a finer or purer example of the follower of Christ.” The reign of undefiled religion was not altogether unpleasant to the boisterous stripling from the country. It fostered those desires of reformation which he had often secretly felt, and at the same time put a firm restraint upon those follies to which he was prone. The consistent daily life and pure conversation of James England prepared the way, and in a little while led to an entire change of heart and life.
What can I do, he anxiously asked, to extend the kingdom of Jesus? A voice: from within replied, endeavor to become a minister of the Established Church of Scotland, break through the barriers in the way, for whatever has once been done by man, may be done by man again. Not so, answered a multitude of voices from without, and more loudly than the others, the voices of those when held the sacred office. To them it seemed next to impossible for him to climb from his present poor and rude condition, over the extended difficulties of an eight years’ curriculum, to that high point of education fixed for her ministers by the Presbyterian church. As if the project had originated in some frenzied mind bordering on insanity, each counselor in succession strove to take its life away, by pelting it with the sad tales of the miscarriages of others who had made a similar attempt. One told him of several excellent young men who gave up their occupations in order to study, but it would not do, and they were obliged to return to their old work and position, having lost health, time, and money, and, worse than all, were so disheartened that they could never hold up their heads again. Another mentioned one or two instances he had known of young men who, by dogged perseverance, coupled with an iron constitution, had succeeded in gaining educations; but they had to subject themselves to the most trying privations, such as living upon three penny rolls a day, taking in a garret at eighteen-pence a-week, and working twenty hours out of the twenty-four. No one appeared to have the most distant idea of the preparation necessary for the classes of the University, of the best way to prepare, or the probable expense of a University education. Yet, none of these things moved him: he meant to advance: only the direction of his progress was changed by this churlish treatment. After clinging for five years to his original purpose of becoming a minister, he abandoned it, and decided on devoting his energies to the study of medicine.
As we see the young man of twenty-five enter Surgeons all, Edinburgh, and take rank among the leading spirits of the classes, we are constrained to inquire how he has obtained the necessary means, and the educational qualifications for entering upon the higher branches of study. A few sentences will suffice to answer both these queries, and bring!into the foreground the rugged path by which he reached the position he occupies at this stage of our brief narrative. Under the instruction of James England, he acquired a fair knowledge of the English tongue, and attempted the elements of Latin. When his friend’s stock of Latin was exhausted, he applied to the parish schoolmaster:, who gave him periodical lessons till the close of the five years which he remained in Mr. Grant Duff’s service.
Dissatisfied with the pace at which he was progressing, he resolved to give himself up exclusively to study as long as his previous savings would last.
For this purpose he went to live at the small town of Macduff. Every evening he received lessons in mathematics, Latin, etc, and from morning to midnight toiled daily over his studies. In five months he removed to Edinburgh, and obtained employment from a lady who in every possible way helped forward his designs. His duties being slight, he could freely spend a large portion of each day in supplying the defects of his education; and so abundantly were his diligence and self-denial re- warded, that he could afterwards say, “Before I was twenty-five years old, I could write Latin more correctly than I could write English when I was eighteen.” His scale of living during these years is a curious specimen of economy and frugality:- “For nine months before I left Mr. Grant Duff’ I had subjected myself to take only two meals a day, and had enjoyed excellent health; this plan I carried on at Macduff, and I had now been accustomed to it for fifteen months; I determined to continue it, and every month when I received my wages and board wages, I deposited all in the bank except ten shillings — namely, two shillings and six- pence per week for my food. But for the benefit of others, I may say that it is not easy to live on half-acrown a week in Edinburgh, and I should not like to go through the same course of regimen again; but like some other men I have heard of, in leading a forlorn hope, I was determined to carry out what I had view, or perish in the attempt. My motto was, ‘ If I perish, I perish.’ It may seem rather strange too, that, on entering college I took comfortable lodgings, and began to live like other people, and this after submitting myself to comparative fasting for three years.” It was about the middle of his curriculum when he resolved, in twenty-four hours after hearing at a public meeting of the good done by medical missions, to join the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society. He was unanimously accepted, and soon became distinguished both by his industry in study, and deep interest in the spiritual welfare of his fellows. After the close of his studies, he practiced for awhile at Rhynie, waiting for an opportunity to go abroad. In 1859, the London Missionary Society engaged him as one of their medical agents in China, and after spending six months in reading theology with the Rev. S.S. England, at Walthamstow, and having obtained his degree of M.D. at St. Andrew’s, Dr. Henderson set sail in the Heroes of Alma for Shanghai.
On his arrival, he immediately took the superintendence, of the Chinese Hospital at that port. This was the work for which Dr. Henderson had hitherto lived and labored; and by this work he was speedily cut down. His own words best describe its varied character and extent, and prove the wisdom of uniting in the same mission the skill that can alleviate man’s bodily sufferings with the truth that can restore to his spirit the life divine.
Dr. Henderson says:— “Although China has reached what some are pleased to call the highest deuce of civilization of which a nation is capable without the gospel, it presents, I believe, more physical mitering, for want of medical knowledge, than any other nation on the face of the earth. The multitudes of sick, and lame, and blind, which crowd the streets of this and other cities, are ample evidence of her deplorable condition in this respect. In an institution like this, a good surgeon may almost every day of his life make the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the deaf hear, and the paralytic whole; besides brining hundreds together under the most favorable circumstances, to have the gospel preached to them. I might be allowed to give one example of the influence which even one successful case exerts, not only upon an individual or a family, but upon a locality or neighborhood. Last spring I operated on a been able to distinguish day from night, light from darkness. Three days after the operation he was able to read the ordinary character, and on the fifth day he left the hospital, He was a boatman, and lives about half-way to Blankin, on the Northern bank of Yang-tsze river. Two months afterwards he arrived again in Shanghai with his boat, and brought six blind people to the hospital, five men and one woman, from his own neighborhood, and they not only wanted to have their sight restored, but made inquiries about the Christian religion, which they said their friend who brought them had told them about One man,” continues the doctor in another report, “a shopkeeper, who had been blind for three years, readily submitted to the operation for cataract. I need not say that he was much delighted when, on the twelfth day after it, he was able to read the New Testament character with facility. This man left the hospital in very high’ sprats,’ ‘declaring that he would make known the gospel doctrine to all has friends and neighbors.
The method pursued in the discharge of the daily work of the hospital:, is thus described by Dr. Henderson, in his first report:- “At half-past eleven o’clock the hospital bell begins to ring for patients to assemble; at a quarter-past twelve the native preacher, belonging to the hospital, begins the religious services in the hall where the patients meet; he reads the Scriptures, and preaches till one o’clock, concluding with prayer. I begin to examine the eases at one o’clock, by taking first ten women into the dispensary, where they sit down, and each is prescribed for separately; ten men are then admitted in like manner: thus ten women and ten men are admitted successively until all are seen. Any case requiring a surgical operation is put aside till all the others are prescribed for.
Cases of accident are admitted at all hours.”
Then, having bestowed high praise upon the character of Chin Foo, his apothecary and house surgeon, Dr. Henderson proceeds: — “Chin Foo’s brother, Keih Foo, is the native preacher at the hospital, and is very attentive to all his duties. After I begin to see the patients in the dispensary, he commences to distribute tracts to all who can read, and to converse with those who are waiting on the all-important truths of Christianity. Soon after my arrival here, I had fifteen thousand copies of a small tract printed in Chinese, containing within a short space an epitome of the gospel; each patient who can read, and very many can, receives a copy of this: and thus, during the past year, large numbers from different parts of the country have heard the glad tidings of salvation through the Redeemer.”
If to this I add an abstract of the numbers so treated, it may serve to suggest an idea, perhaps a very vague one, of the wide range which the influence of the hospital might be supposed to take. In one day the patients have numbered 217; the monthly attendance has fluctuated between 1,716, 3,512, and 4,701, according to the changes of the seasons, while in a year the astonishing number of 38,069 have been prescribed for. Dr. Henderson’s influence for good was not bounded by the precincts of the hospital. The reports of his work spread, interested the surrounding merchants, and secured their active sympathy. With all his native energy, he investigated every subject coming within the reach of his science that affected the well-being of the Chinaman. His papers on “Climate,” and the “Medicine and Medical Practice of the Chinese,” enjoyed a wide popularity; and by his “Shanghai Hygiene; or, Flints for the Preservation of! Health in Shanghai, he conferred a lasting boon upon the inhabitants of that city. A pure motive and single aim directed and sustained his varied undertakings. When asked were the Chinese grateful for what, was done for them, how high the principle revealed in his reply! “I never came to China to gain the people’s gratitude, but to try to do them good, and the man who expects gratitude from the Chinese will be woefully disappointed.” His genial manners won the esteem of the English settlers; and often when a clergyman dare not name religion, he could say a good word for his heavenly Master. With the young merchants from England he lived’ on the terms of the closest intimacy. Beyond the observation of friends and the restraints of Christian society, they were exposed unarmed to the vilest and most seductive practices of a heathen city. He brought them to his own home. On Sunday afternoons he read with them the Scriptures, and not a few owed their first serious thoughts about the Savior to his kind and faithful conversation. But while the widest waves of his usefulness were spreading, when to human eye he seemed most needed upon earth, the divine voice called him away. It is not ours to murmur, but our hearts were very cold did we not mourn over so sudden a termination of a life so ardently active, so actively good. On the third of June, 1865, he was utterly prostrated with a slow fever of a typhoid character, and though removed to Nagasaki, he returned not to convalescence, but gradually sank till the 30th July, when he peacefully fell asleep in Jesus. The elder of his two little ones had gone before — the younger in a little while after followed to the better land. So universally diffused was the fame of his good deeds and stainless character, that when the news of his death reached Shanghai, the city lamented the loss of a public benefactor, and its inhabitants a beloved friend. Belonging to-a short-lived race, and knowing that he could not extend the duration of his days, he had endeavored to expand their compass by a multiplicity of labor utterly destructive of the strongest constitution. He had fought too fiercely the battle of life to continue the struggle long; but the great achievements of his brief career will form powerful persuasives to similar devotedness, and throw a bright and cheering ray around those who toil and well nigh faint along the upward way to usefulness.
Among the readers of “The Sword and the Trowel,” are there no believing young men who, by God’s grace, will solemnly resolve to hew their way to positions of usefulness? They need not have the early difficulties of James Henderson to contend with, for the Pastor’s College will gratuitously assist them in their education if they are really called to the ministry; but would it not be a noble thing to take rank as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, doing valiantly for the Lord? Surely, among the heather, or the cornfields, or the coal-pits, or the factories, or the marts of Britain, the Lord has hidden friends; let them come forth, for the Lord’s cause, hath need of them.
HELIGOLAND BY C. H. SPURGEON.
HER Majesty’s smallest foreign possession is the is and of Heligoland. this little jewel in the British crown sparkles in a setting of liquid emerald, at the foot of Denmark, out in the North Sea, between the mouths of the two great German rivers, the Elbe and the Weser. Three or four hours’ steam from Cuxhaven, or eight from Hamburg, brought us off this remarkable triangular rock, and twelve Hamburg shillings, value one shilling English, given to one of the sturdy boatmen, secured each of us a landing on the shingly beach which forms the lower part of the island. There lies our steamer in the channel to the right, and our landing-place is opposite to the building with a wooden tower, and a flag-staff, which the reader sees in the engraving. What a landing for a poor limping invalid longing for quiet, and come to sea to find it! All the visitors and half the population stood staring, up. on the new comers with all their eyes, and some of them with quizzing glasses in addition. Between two lines of more than ordinarily curious and inquisitive observers, all new arrivals had to run the gauntlet, the whole of the two clouds of witnesses gazing as intently as if they had never seen one of Adam’s race in all their lives before. Well-bred ladies and gentlemen, no doubt, these staring humanities esteemed themselves to be, but another opinion found a supporter in one of the victims, who growled inwardly at the whole mob, and would have growled more savagely if he had not remembered that this is after the manner of all seaside societies, whether German or English; the sea-side being the licensed arena for the display of the natural boorishness of those pitiful superficialities whose gentility lies in their apparel, and not in their nature. The humble cottager, Whose unaffected modesty would shrink from staring into a stranger’s face, is a far truer lady than the girl with a truss of somebody else’s hair at the back of her head, whose forward manners betray the absence of genuine good breeding. The world’s politeness is at its best a dancing master’s postures, but when its citizens follow their natural modes and manners, it is a barbarous world, or little better. Jesus of Nazareth is the teacher of the true gentle life, and those who know him and receive his meek and quiet spirit are, without learning rules of etiquette, from mere: force of nature, the true gentlemen; but with all their Lord Chesterfields and dancing academies, and calisthenics, many of the fashionable classes remain essentially and in their inmost souls vulgar, and low, and brutish. Something after this sort our thoughts foamed and raged within us as we paraded ourselves before the crowd: hundreds of miles away from the place, we think our grumbling were very nearly correct, and therefore set them down in print. Happily we are out of the thick of the crowd, but where are we going? It is ascertained in a minute or two that all the hotels are full; our’ friend and counselor Mr. Oncken is equally well informed that lodgings are few and far between. He is off to the top of the rock to the upper town, while our friend Mr. Passmore is scouring the lower regions, and we too lame and ill for locomotion, sit down with our best earthly companion upon a bench, thinking of the traveler at Gibeah, of whom it is written, “And when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city; for there was no man that took him into his house to lodging.” The boys of Heligoland ought to remember us if we visit the island fifty years hence, for they gathered around us, and for half an hour or more interested and amused themselves with minute observations upon the two unfortunates who had not where, to lay their heads. Their interest in us, however, was eminently practical; they were evidently most willing to give us all the help they could, with a view to the shillings which might be forth- coming, addressing us alternately in German, in Frisian, and in something pretended to be En gli sh, expressing most unmistakable desires to carry our luggage off to the utmost verge of their green isle, if we would but tell them in which direction to move. At last a good clear voice with the accent of the sea, delighted us with the inquiry, “Do you want lodgings?” “Yes, Mr. Bluejacket, that is the one desire of our hearts; let us see what your accommodation is like.” Glad enough we were when the said lodgings were found to be clean as a new pin, and so situated that if we had been allowed the choice of every place in the is and, we could not have bettered’ ourselves. Blessings on those bare-legged urchins and their never-ceasing tongues; they had no doubt spread the information of our desolate position, and brought tidings to the good man of the house that wayfarers were abiding in the street. Down in the lower town close to the sea, with our windows looking upon the wide ocean, we took up our abode for the next week with the most kind, attentive, clean, and good-tempered people that it was ever our lot to see. Our little trivial discomfort this occasion was a gentle reminder to our hearts that there is always some good thing provided for us if we will but wait and watch; God will not leave us out in the cold; he will be. better to us than our fears, and after brief’ intervals of trial we shall sing of goodness and mercy. The style of living on, what a writer in “Household Words,” calls this very tight little island, is a great improvement upon the lodging-house system of English watering-places: you do not feel called upon to have your food spoiled by’ the people of the house; but you adjourn for breakfast, dinner, or tea, to a restaurant, where you can feed at discretion at your own hours. The particular restaurant which we patronized provided us viands of every variety, of the best quality, cooked in the best style, at the most moderate prices; we should like to seen similar establishment at every seaside resort. In this one respect, if not in some others, Heligoland is quite up to the mark in the race of progress.
We get up early on the island, Germans generally do; and out here in mid ocean, except under certain circumstances, the air is so delicious that it wakes you up and keeps you awake. Then when breakfast is over, or if you like before, the boats are ready to take you over to Sandy Island, where everybody goes to bathe. The long sandy islet about half a tulle off, which the natives call the Dune, is the faithful satellite of Heligoland, and helps to fill the pockets of the islanders. The boats carry from twenty to thirty passengers each, and with oars or sails, and sometimes with both, the bather skims over a sea which for clearness must surely be unrivaled, since in fine weather stones and sea plants, and zoophytes, may be clearly seen upon the ocean’s bottom far below. Never was there such a sand to bathe upon, or a bath so pellucid; never more obliging servants to minister to your comfort, while using those neat little bathing machines. If you did not get your breakfast before your plunge, Sandy has one habitation which is a restaurant, and in the company of scores of sea nymphs, fresh from the brine, you may feast upon the fat of the land. The landlord has lived in America, and will understand you well, even though you call say no more German than “yah, yah.” Sweet is: it to the weary in mind and body to wander over the sand island, and to find at last a corner out of the sun, where one can lie down in the sand and listen to the deep mysterious murmur of the main. When all the visitors and boatmen have returned to their homes, solitude may be enjoyed in all its charms, and silence with all its solemnity. Walk round the islet, and you remark tokens of frequent wrecks — shore blessings as they were called in the old barbarous days: in one place lies a bark breaking up at every tide, and in another almost a mountain of spoiled grain, once the freight of some good Baltic vessel.
Saddest of all is a little enclosure in the sand, for the islet is all sand and pebbles, in which are three graves of nameless individuals, one grave being marked by a black cross, bearing the initials J.P, which were found upon the lady’s linen, and the motto, “The earth is everywhere the Lord’s.”
Better theology this than that uncivilized, unchristian, infamous teaching which walls off a bit of land, calls it consecrated, and then forbids the burial of the unbaptized within the select enclosure. How far more like the free spirit of the gospel, to believe that the whole earth is consecrated by the Lord’s presence, than to imagine that some peculiar holiness belongs to plots of soil, dedicated by superstitious rites for the interment of ourselves and our fellow secretaries! He who sleeps amid the soft sand of the Divine, having his requiem sung by winds and waves, rests as blessedly as any one of all the company over whom priests have muttered, and consecrated clods have been laid. Returning to the mother island, we will give the reader in a few words an idea of it. Imagine a sand-bank lying under a red cliff, said sand-bank covered with houses, almost every one of which is either a shop, an inn or a lodging-house; forenamed houses arranged in two or three streets, the chief of which are paved with wooden planks — this is the Unterland, the lower town. Here is the Regent Street of the island, and here also is the Grand Parade in front of the sea, but upon the same scale as St. Paul’s Cathedral carved out of a cherry-stone; and lastly, here also is the Conversations-haus, with its balls and concerts, and worse; so that though lower geographically, the Unterland is by no means the inferior part of the island. Walk on the planks in the evening, and see if our lower town cannot show as much foppery and frivolity as any place of its size. Observe the dresses such as Chinese and Japanese artists depict upon rice paper with glowing colors, and note especially the heads of the ladies, some of them growing out behind like double potatoes, and others piled aloft with heaps of hay or horsehair, till they become like pyramids! Now, who shall dare to insinuate that our little town on the lowland cannot be as insanely fashionable as Brighton itself? Let us not, however, do the natives of the island so great a wrong as to let it be imagined that we are describing their apparel, for there is nothing to complain of in their neat attire, in which, indeed, the only conspicuous item is the bright red petticoat, bound with a broad band of still brighter yellow.
Up the stairs we must now ascend to the Oberland; there are nearly two hundred broad steps, with a needlessly small rise; two at a time is a trifle too much, but one is too little for a nimble foot. In the “Transatlantic Review,” we read,” when the summit is reached one stands upon the real island, for the sand bank below is an accident and an intruder. Heligoland proper may be described as a precipice-plateau, containing a small cluster of houses, a lighthouse, various pole-nets, springes, and other contrivances for catching woodcocks in their migratory flights, and a few miniature potato and corn fields. The extent. ,of this plateau is not quite equal to that of Hyde Park.” Of course, the inhabitants have no need of railways or stage coaches, when ten minutes’ walk takes them from one end of the land to the other; indeed, there are no beasts of burden, no roads, and nothing upon wheels except, perhaps, a barrow or two. There is a legend that the governor keeps a cow, or did keep one, but we were never fortunate enough to see so much as a born of the animal: as an Irishman would say, all the cows we saw were sheep, which are tethered each one to its owner’s scanty plot, and milked three times a day; although sheep’s milk is but poor stuff, it is doubtless far better than none. Potatoes are the staple production of the rural part of our island, and exceedingly good they are, though seldom larger than a pigeon’s egg, so small indeed that we should never cook them at all. A German friend told us that he wondered at the English eating such large, coarse potatoes, and that in his country they gave the large potatoes to the pigs; but upon watching the turning up of several hills of potatoes on the island, we thought the pigs must receive but a very small share of the produce, for we did not see so much as one root which could by exaggeration have been accused of being large. Every one to his taste, we make small potatoes the measure of what we think of a man who’s very low in our esteem, and our neighbors on the other hand, count the smallest of their earth apples to be the. best.
The narrow alleys which form the streets of the upper town might be pleasant, if it were not that on. either side the filthy drainage flows along, reeking with abominable odors, exposing its foulness both to eye and nose.
The glorious sea breezes which God sends to make us all healthy and happy, might turn away in disgust from the laziness or stupidity which allows the sewage of so. small a population to become a gigantic nuisance, not only to be smelled by those who walk in the narrow paths between its double streams, but constituting the source of a horrible effluvium, which taints the air of the lower town, and. is discernible and. Loathe some even out at, sea. When the wind blows from that corner of, the island over which the sewage is poured, it, is difficult to conceive of the rank and sickening odor. Fortunately, the visitors for the most part accept the declaration of the natives that it. is the seaweed, a declaration, to which they all adhere most unanimously, adding that it is good for the health.
Poor seaweed, what an action for slander might be raised on thy account, and every unsophisticated nostril would be thy witness, that such a stink (reader, we cannot help it, there is no other name for it), never’ came from any growth-of Neptune’s dominions, where “every prospect pleases and only man is vile!” To call the reek of sewage seaweed, is a specimen of man’s craft, which he uses in every place wherein it is unprofitable to call things by their right name all the world over verbal aprons of fig-leaves are manufactured to cover the nakedness of human wrong doing; sin is imprudence, rebellion against God is a fine high spirit, and lasciviousness is the pardonable sowing of wild oats. Mephistophiles must surely smile as he sees how thoroughly his pupil, man, has become master of the art of shuffling words. We did not find in the case in. hand that by the sweeter name the noxious exhalation smelled one whit the sweetest; and glad enough were we when the colors on the flagstaff blew in another direction, and real seaweed-sniffs and whiffs from the pure blue ocean came in at the window with the west wind. O men of Heligoland, have ye any noses? Are ye afraid that, the air will be too fresh and pure for fallen humanity? It may be true that as the fox is not killed by the foulness of his own hole, so you are not hurt by the effluvia of your own drains; but as ye value the good red gold of English visitors, and would fain tempt them to your lovely islet, reform, purge, purify! Set up a Sanitary Board, and knock it. down again if it does not drain your he uses within a month.
The school-house is the largest structure in the place, and reflects a credit upon the public spirit of the island. We inspected the school vicariously through a lady friend well versed in scholastic matters, and speaking German to boot, and upon her report we award the schools most honorable mention. The bigger children were necessarily away, as the parents needed them during the visiting season; but all the long winter the children are regular in their work, and make good progress, although they labor under the unusual disadvantage that all the teaching is in German, which is not their mother-tongue; and the little ones have to pick up the language from their schoolfellows before they can understand the teacher.
The church externally looks as though it required some one to take pity upon it; it stands much in need of a frequent replenishment of the box for repairs, which is placed at the gate, with a reminder- that the spire points to heaven, and that it would be well to keep in order the house where men meet to worship God. Inside it is quaint enough, the gallery front being enriched with paintings by Van Daub, or some other rustic notability. The font, like nearly all ancient specimens, is large enough for immersion; the ancient candlesticks upon the altar are the gift of Gustavus Vusa; the seats are adorned upon their backs with the names of the owners of the pew behind, painted in all the colors of the rainbow: from the ceiling hangs a ship with three masts, in full sail, a votive offering from a grateful mariner; and, as for the pulpit, it is right glorious to behold: so huge is the screen in which it is set, and so elaborate is the whole concern, that the minister looks like a fly in amber, or a miniature portrait in oil, set in a frame of mahogany, six feet deep all round. We suppose the natives go to church in winter, but we can bear personal witness that they do not overcrowd the edifice in summer; there was enough to form a quorum, truly, and the minister was not quite reduced to Sydney Smith’s small assembly, which he addressed as “Dearly beloved Roger? but the worshippers were few and far between. It was sadly odd to see the young men when they entered, put their hats over their noses and stare about to see who was there; all the while, we suppose, professing to be seeking a blessing in silent prayer.
Query: Is not that putting the hat over the eyes one of the present ensigns of hypocrisy which genuine believers should utterly renounce? “Ms, why does Mr. Black always smell his hat when he comes into church?” was the very natural question of a youngster not yet trained in the fashions of Phariseeism. Where there is least of the kernel there is usually most of the shell.
Lutheran worship is plain and unpretentious, and would have reminded us of the conforming Puritans, if ‘the specimen before us had not been rather too grotesque. We sung more than twenty verses to the same tune (if a tune at all), accompanied by the organ and some boys, one of the boys having a voice which, for screeching power, excelled all the curlews and seams in the universe; this was an accident, and to be borne with, but the semen was an evil not to be remembered without sorrowful indignation.
By-the-way, the minister gave us a specimen or two of intoning, solo singing, nasal whining, or whatever may be the proper name of the noise which is now so popular among the High Church brethren; whether he was praying or singing we do not know, but upon the whole, ‘we should say it was a successful attempt, if he intended it to be funny; if he aimed at solemnity, it was as dead a failure as if he had read us one of “Ingoldsby’s Legends.” Not that there was any lack of solemnity in the gentleman’s face, and hands, and prayer-book, and gown, and bands, and bowing, and lifting of the eyes and hands, of this there was enough leaven to leaven a thousand German miles, of clergy, but it was the masquerading solemnity which, takes. in the superstitious and ignorant, but makes manly revolt into laughter or scorn. When will preachers lay aside attempts to look devout?
Why can they not serve God in truth, and not give themselves holy airs and make sanctimonious faces? When men take bitter physic, they screw up their physiognomies as much as to say, “We don’t like it;” but no one has to set his countenance in order when he takes a draught of the clear crystal, and is refreshed thereby; it is because men- do not enjoy religion that they make pious faces, and try to be anything but themselves. All faults of manner, however, are pardonable; but the matter of the sermon was beyond all bearing from a Lutheran. The theme was the young man whom Jesus loved, who claimed to have kept the commandments from his youth, but could not bear the crucial test of giving up all to follow Jesus; and the strain of the preacher was to the effect that many go a long way in religion, and stop short somewhere; but that; if we would be saved we, must go still further; we must be perfect — we could be perfect, and that was the way of salvation. Nothing’ about the sin-cleansing blood of Jesus, or the power of the Holy Spirit, or the value of precious faith, but much crying up of the creature and his perfection. Alas! for a people doomed to hear such unscriptural teaching. Well may they stay away from church when such husks are poured from the pulpit. Happy they who sit under a ministry which deals with gospel truth honestly and with heavenly unction; let such be very grateful, and do their utmost to help every earnest effort to educate sound preachers, praying that the Master may send forth many such into his harvest. We wished heartily that Martin Luther could have risen from the dead, and come into that church, he would not have heard the priest read half his sermon before he would have shouted to him to come down, and then the burly old reformer might have repeated his memorable protest upon the article of justification : — - “I, Martin Luther, an unworthy preacher of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, thus profess and thus believe: that this article,THAT FAITH ALONE WITHOUT WORKS,CAN JUSTIFY BEFORE GOD, shall never be overthrown neither by the emperor, nor by the Turk, nor by the Tartar, nor by. the Persian, nor by the Pope, with all his cardinals, bishops, sacrificers, monks, nuns, kings, princes, powers of the world, nor yet by all the devils in hell.
This article shall stand fast whether they will or no. This is the true gospel.
Jesus Christ redeemed us from our sins, and. he only. This most firm and certain truth is the voice of Scripture, though the world and all the devils rage and roar. If Christ alone take away our sins, we cannot do this with our works: and as it is impossible to embrace Christ but by faith, it is, therefore, equally impossible to apprehend him by works. If, then, faith alone must apprehend Christ, before works can follow, the conclusion is infragable, that faith alone apprehends him, before and without the consideration of works; and this is our justification and deliverance from sin. Then, and not till then, good works follow faith, as its necessary and inseparable fruit. This is the doctrine! teach; and this the Holy Spirit and church of ,the faithful haw delivered. In this will I abide. Amen.”
Dismissing the thought of the spiritual barrenness of the land with a fervent prayer for a reformation, and the hope that our friend Mr. Outken may be able to send an evangelist there for a season, we are reminded by our churchgoing of the abundant fish which enrich the surrounding sea: lovers of fish will find a perfect paradise in Heligoland. By the way, the inhabitants, pronounce it Helgoland, and they ought to know the name of their own country. Turbot, haddock, brill, lobsters, all sorts of good sea creatures beside, reward the venturous fisherman. But why did the church service remind us of the finny tribes? Answer. Because they were prayed for by name. First came her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Alexandra, and all the Royal Family, then the Governor and then four sorts of fish. “God bless them and multiply them exceedingly, and send a good catch of them to our bold fishers;” that was, we suppose, the spirit of the petition; and a very proper petition too, and one in which we should, be all likely to agree. far’ more so than if the prayer had been about the weather. “I recollect,” says Mr. Cradock, in his “Memoirs,” “a very worthy rector, possessed of a great living in one of the Midland Counties, who informed; me that, on his induction to it, he had met with a particular difficulty; for an enclosure had just taken place, and half of his parish petitioned that he would, pray for rain, that their quickset hedges might grow; and the other half that he would intercede for fair weather, as they were in, the. midst of their hay harvest.”
Fish is frequently brought to the. island for sale by English fishing boats belonging to Hull, Yarmouth, and other ports; and in connection with this business we learned a most saddening fact. There are six English soldiers upon the island, and in conversation with them we learned that they are stationed there because of the drunkenness and consequent riotous conduct of our fellow countrymen, who come on shore from the fishing smacks.
Riots had been caused by them, and once the whole place was likely to have been in flames; hence an order has been made that there shall be only six on shore at the same time, and each of these is attended by a soldier armed with a cutlass. We were thoroughly ashamed to hear the drunken maudlin song of a poor intoxicated fellow countryman, who staggered along with a soldier at his side; and we felt the more heart-sick, because the noble appearance of the fine hardy fellow when he landed in the morning, called forth expressions of admiration. What must be the estimate formed of Englishmen when our representatives abroad are so addicted to drunkenness, that they must be shut out from an island over which the Union Jack proudly waves? Should any laborers for the Lord in our eastern ports read this article, we wish they would take note of it, and inquire how it is that the fishing boats are left in such a state. Our friend Mr. Passmore gave his own Bible to one man, who said that in the ten boats with which he sailed, there was not a single copy of the word of God. Believers of Hull, Grimsby, Lowestoft, London, is there no method of evangelizing this bold race of men? Is there no method of redeeming them from the disgraceful drunkenness which makes them a terror where they land? All are not so. “There are bad and good of all classes,” said one honest Jack: to us, and his face bespoke him one of the good; but what a pity that so many should belong to the bad! The place has many temptations doubtless, for since everything is untaxed, wines, spirits, and tobacco, are marvelously cheap; but for all this, since we do not hear of Germans, or Danes, or Frenchmen, needing to be watched over by a military escort, this indulgence in drink is a special disgrace to us as a nation, and this particular case calls for the vigilant and vigorous efforts of earnest Christians in our ports. There are some, we know, in the port of Hall who will look after this.
Another evil also requires speedy rectifying. At the Conversations-haus the roulette table and rouge-et-noir are in fall operation. When the German princes are many of them putting down the gambling tables, why is gambling allowed and sanctioned in our only German possession? We are loud talkers of morality, but in this instance our example speaks very loudly in contradiction of our words. Cowper argued, “We have no slaves at home, then why abroad?” and the reasoning is to the point here. A gambling saloon would not be tolerated in London, then why in Heligoland? Voices will not be wanted in the House of Commons to ask why the evil is not abolished. England cannot afford to give gambling shelter beneath her flag when even petty German princelets are washing their hands of it. The Heligolanders have their own motives for desiring to see the tables permitted, but their reasons cannot have enough weight to exonerate our authorities, if they defer to so unrighteous a demand. Down with licensed gambling, even though the islanders should then have to pay a trifle to raise the interest of their debt, or discharge necessary expenses.
The home government should be always just and generous, but it should not tolerate a known evil, even to please three thousand Heligolanders.
Our readers scarcely care to hear of the politics of this little state. The governor is surrounded by two assemblies of constitutional representatives, and the regime is liberty itself. For all that, there are conservatives and reformers, and party spirits, and diplomacies, and policies, and all the other inventions of governments; in fact, a man may be as eminent a politician in Heligoland as in England, if he aspires to become master of the science. It suffices us to know that if the people are not satisfied, they ought to be, and that in no respect could they expect to be better treated, should the Claw of the Prussian eagle tear them from the Brittanic grip. In the old French wars, the place was exceedingly valuable as a depot for our’ manufacturers, which were smuggled from hence into Europe, in defiance of the old Napoleon; and even now it may be valuable as an out station, but there is room for difference of opinion upon that matter; it is to be hoped that it may never become a bone of contention between us and Prussia, and if it ever should, it might be well to yield so small a bone at once. Whoever may be its master, let us hope that the red, white, and green flag will always wave over a free and happy people. Red is the strand, White is the sand, Green is the band — These are the colors of Heligoland.
There is a telegraph station on the island, but much cannot be said for it, when we are told that the cable is broken both ways, so that you can neither communicate with England nor Germany. It will hardly pay to send a message to the sea-serpent, for his address is uncertain; but we may at least get a moral from the useless telegraph station, if it remind us of the utter uselessness of mere formal prayer, unless the communication be maintained between our soul and heaven, no result is achieved.
Before we take our leave, we must row round the red island, to note its giant caves, its huge rifts, its enormous detached rocks, its many-colored hands, and its pure sea waves. Echo answers to-our joyous shouts. Let us sing a hymn, and what can be more appropriate than “Rock of Ages, cleft for me”? How sweetly blended voices sound upon the water! even the ourplash is in tune, and all around and above are is unison with the praises of the Son of God.
Grand old rock, farewell! The beams which flash from thy towering lighthouse have saved many a good ship, while thy sunken rocks have sent many a shipwrecked mariner to his watery grave. Evil and good blend in thee as in us all. May the good become supreme. Sentinel of the Elbe, stand fast for ever. Peace be to thy sons and daughters, and grace from the God of peace. God send thee his best blessing, the gospel of his Son, and his Holy Spirit to give power thereto.
A SHORT AND SIMPLE SERMON UPON A HYMN BY. C. H. SPURGEON.
“Jesus, the sinner’s Friend, to thee, Lost and undone, for aid I flee; Weary of earth, myself, and sin, Open thine arms and take me in. Pity and heal my sin-sick soul; ‘Tis thou alone canst make me whole; Fallen, till in me thine image shine, And lost I am till thou art mine.
At last I own it cannot be That I should fit myself for thee:
Here, then, to thee I all resign; Thine is the work, and only thine.
What shall I say thy grace to move?
Lord, I am sin, but thou art love:
I give up every plea beside, Lord, I am lost — but thou hast died!”
MR.CHARLES WESLEY was a true poet, and one of the best of hymnwriters, more especially from an experimental point of view. He has, in his many sacred odes, pictured the human mind in all its phases, from the first stage of spiritual life in the lowly vale of penitence right up to the most elevated point upon the glorious mountains of communion with Jesus. The hymn before us very sweetly and exactly describes the emotions of most converts when they come to Christ; and I should very gravely question whether any man has passed from death unto life if he cannot, to a great degree, join in the words before us, and feel their spirit to be such as he longs to possess.
Observe, dear friends, the choice title by which the penitent sinner is here supposed to address the Savior: “Jesus, the sinner’s Friend.” “Jesus” is, of all his names, the most encouraging to the lost, to the sinful, to those; who desire salvation, since that golden title, like a costly casket, encloses within itself all the comfort which they need. Here is a door of hope for the most hopeless, since a Savior is come into the world with power to deliver: “Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” Despair has become sinful since God has provided a Savior; away then with rebellious despondency’s. What pensioner need despair when the King has appointed an almoner, and laid a charge upon him to seek out and relieve the destitute? You desire to be saved from your sins; this heavenly Joshua is commissioned by God to save you. It is his business and his life-work, his meat and drink to save. It is the will of him that sent him; it is his own will that sinners should live; let the name, Jesus, ring the death-knell of your fears. “The sinner’s Friend!” Here is another silver bell ringing forth a wealth of consolation to sinners; hear it, my friends, and rejoice in its celestial music. “This man receiveth stoners” was thrown at our Lord as a reproach; it is at once his b rightest, glory and our richest consolation. Jesus has befriended the vilest of sinners; he, still befriends all sinners who come to him: “Him that cometh unto me I w. ill in nowise cast out” is his promise,’ and to accept all who come to him is his habit. Men say that there is no rule without an exception; but herein they err, for’ this rule has no exception whatsoever, and never shall have. Will there be no one who shall in after days read these lines whom this hymn will give a gleam of comfort? Fair title of SINNERS’FRIEND, thou ‘wilt surely woo and win some hearts to the bosom of the faith! Eternal Spirit! cause the Star of Bethlehem to dart its, cheering rays upon some benighted mariner, tempest-tossed and ready to perish in the thick darkness of despair; and may the words before us be his guide and his light to conduct him to the port of peace. “Jesus, the sinner’s Friend:” the sinners only friend, who alone can give the needed help; the sinner’s faithful Friend, who never breaks his word; the sinner’s able Friend, “able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him ;” the sinner’s tender Friend, who upbraideth not; the sinner’s meek and lowly Friend, who tenderly carries the lambs in his bosom; the sinner’s everlasting Friend, who will uphold him in the hour of death, and defend him at the bar of judgment; the sinner’s present Friend, waiting to he gracious at this moment to thee, even to thee, thou trembling seeker. “Jesus the sinner’s Friend, to thee, Lost and undone, for aid I flee.” Here is the sinners’ description of himself. He is lost. He has lost his God, and therefore be is himself lost; he has lost his way; he hast lost his life; he has lost the truth; he has lost happiness; he has lost hope; he has last all; he has lost himself; and, unless grace prevent, he will be lost for ever, beyond all hope of restoration. Lost!, That is a terrible word! It makes the ear to tingle! lit curdles the blood in the veins. We think of the lone raft at sea, the child in the wood, the traveler upon Sahara’s strand, the miner in the closed-up pit. Lost! lost! lost! A castaway! A forlorn, forsaken, hopeless waft, for whom no man cares. O lost one, join in the verse before us and take heart, for is it not written, “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost?” Your case is exactly the case of those whom Jesus, the sinner’s Friend came to succor; trust in him at once and you cannot die. Then the sinner owns that he is “undone”. We say of some ruler when they prosper in the world, that they are “made” their success has made men of them.” But here is one who is “undone” like a piece of woven stuff unraveled, untwisted, rent, and undone; or like some work of the seamstress over which she has been toiling for weary hours, but the thread has broken and her work is undone. The man’s heart is woe-begone; his hope is perished; his good works are gone to tatters; his confidence is swept away like a spider’s web; in every respect he is undone! O piteous spectacle of disappointed hopes and withered joys! and yet even here free grace can work a transformation more wonderful than a dream. Friend, do you feel this to be your case? Do you bemoan yourself as one who is altogether lost and undone? Then repeat the lines softly, solemnly, and from your heart — “Jesus, the sinner’s Friend, to thee, Lost and undone for aid I flee.” “I never should have fled to thee if I had not been lost; I should not have come to thee unless I had been undone; but now that the power of thy Spirit has shown me my nakedness, my poverty, my ruin, under a deep sense of unworthiness, I come to thee.” The next lines are beautifully descriptive : — “Weary of earth, myself, and sin, Open thine arms and take me in.” “Weary of earth ;” weary of earth’s joys — finding no content where once there was so much satisfaction; weary of earth’s sorrows — broken down under them, feeling that God’s curse comes ‘with them; weary of earth’s vanities — finding them to be nothing but mere froth, with nothing solid at the bottom, mere husks, on which the soul cannot feed. The awakened heart is weary of earth in all its shapes. Reader, do you feel this uneasiness and spiritual discontent, this unrest and disquiet? Do you turn away from earth and say, “Ah! it will not do for me; at once could build my nest here, but I cannot now, for I am ‘ weary of this changing world’“? Then you will also add, “I am weary of myself;” I am: aweary, I am aweary, I am a weary of my sinful, false, and feeble self.” :Does it not sometimes seem too much weight to live, a burden to exist, because of fears within, tremblings without, a sense of coming woe, and a remembrance of the iniquity which is past, which God has sealed up as in a bag? Have you come to this, to be weary of yourself — weary of that righteous and amiable self which once promised so much content? weary of your knowledge? weary of your own good sense and wisdom? weary of your self-righteousness sick of it, feeling it to be the greatest of all shams, the most miserable of lies? If it be so, I rejoice that you are being taught of God. Then comes the other word — weary of “sin.” O that many more of my fellow men were weary of sin!
Alas! they are wearying God with their transgressions, so that the Lord might say as in the days of Amos, “I am pressed down under you-as a cart that is loaded with sheaves. O that all my readers would become weary of their sins, then should we see a harvest of souls indeed. Would to God that all who shall read my words were tired of every form of sin, whether gross or refined; sick of the pleasures of sin as well as alarmed at its penalties.
What a mercy it is to be thus weary, because Jesus Christ has bidden all those who ‘labor and are heavy-laden to come to him! When, like Noah’s dove, we grow so weary that we can hardly enter into the ark, Christ will do with us as Noah did with the dove, he will put out his hand and pull us into, the ark and place us in the bosom of his love. “Open thine arms and take me in.” That is what the sinner says, and what he thinks, but it is not quite correct, for the arms of Jesus are always open. Our Lord Jesus might well reply, “O sinner, my heart is not closed; open thy heart, and take me in by being willing to be saved by me; let thy heart yield itself up to me — it is not my opening my’ arms that is wanted; I opened them upon the tree, and to show thee how wide open they were, I had them nailed so far apart that they could not be opened wider; my very heart ‘was pierced until it ran with streams of blood, to show that my whole self is open to every guilty, needy, weary sinner that shall come to me for rest.” The prayer is good, but its wording arises from unbelief. Pray it, however, if’ it rises from your heart, and may the Lord hear it. Please go back to the hymn, and quietly, word by word, repeat it as a prayer to the Lord Jesus, the sinner’s Friend.
Pass on to the second verse : — “Pity and heal my sin-sick soul, ‘Tis thou alone canst make me whole.” Observe that the seal is conscious of its sickness, it desires restoration, and it clearly perceives that there is but one Physician who can heal it. That man is not far from eternal life who feels that none but Jesus Christ can help him. When all other hopes are cast down, then our hope in Jesus shall lift us up. It is a great thing when the mind is clean divorced from every ground of confidence except the Lord Jesus Christ;. I would admonish every soul that is seeking mercy to be quite clear about this second line : — “‘Tis thou alone canst make me whole.” You cannot heal yourself, nor can your fellow creature help you; your tears are insufficient, your prayers cannot of themselves avail; Jesus alone must be the physician of your sin-sick soul; he, and he only, can restore a soul from going down to the pit.
Follow now with the next two lines : — -” Fallen, till in me thine image shine, And lost I am kill thou art mine.” We were ,born in the image of our first father Adam, which is a debased and fallen image; fallen we are, and fallen we must be until the first image shall be taken from us, and the image of the second Adam shall he put upon us. May the apostle’s words be fulfilled in us, “As we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Our redemption will not be completed in us until we shall bear upon our hearts the glorious image of Christ, and shall be like him, seeing him as he is.
Meanwhile, awakened, troubled soul, you can never’ be restored from the ruins of the fall except though bearing the image of the second Adam: that you wants that you shall receive as a rich gift of grace. Seek it and be not afraid. “And I lost I am till thou art mine:’ Lost you are indeed, quite lost, completely lost, finally lost, eternally lost, unless you lay hold upon Christ Jesus. No matter what else you have, though you even feel a sense of sin, yet” lost you are till you look alone to the crucified One.” Though! pray, though repent after a sort, yet “lost I am till thou art mine.” Though I attend a place of worship; though I give up all my outward sins; though I amend my life, yet “lost I am till thou art mine’ You must distinctly confess, my dear brethren, that Jesus is your only he, and if you do know and feel him to be so, I congratulate you. ‘I thank God that you have learned this heavenly wisdom. Once again I would lovingly request you to read this second verse over calmly and deliberately, and make its confession year own. The third verse is singularly full of meaning : — “At last I own it cannot be That I should fit myself for thee.” I could scarcely desire a more suggestive text for a sermon. Notice the words, ‘“ At last,’ as if the soul did not acknowledge its helplessness until fairly driven to it. We fight long and hard against the truth of our own utter powerlessness and unworthiness. We will have at least a finger in the business of our own salvation if we can. Granted that Jesus must save us, yet we dream of fitting ourselves to be saved. We are very loath to come to Jesus with our smutty faces and our black hands; and, therefore, we try to wash ourselves a little, and so grow blacker than ever. We want to enter mercy’s door as respectable sinners. But this is not the way to come to Jesus. “‘Tis perfect poverty alone That sets the soul at large; While we can call one mite our own, We have no full discharge.” We must come just as we are, precisely as we stand in our condemned state. Before men can be brought to this, they need much hewing with God’s word, and ploughing by his Spirit. Like the feel of whom Solomon speaks, we need to be brayed in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, before our foolishness will depart from. us. The hymn says, “At last,” as though God had struck many blows at our pride, and yet it was only killed at last by his putting forth the full power of his grace. “At last I own it cannot be That I should fit myself for thee.” I thought I must make myself a sensible sinner; I thought I must be awakened; I thought I must be prepared; I thought I must have horrible dreams; I thought I must see visions, and that I must put myself through a sort of purgatory, to wait a little, and grow somewhat better; but, Lord, I see it all now. know now that it cannot be that I should fit myself for thee.
And now, Lord, help us to feel the next two blessed lines : — “Here, then, I all to thee resign; Thine is the work, and only thine.” When the sinner gives up all hope in self, and rests in Jesus only, then he is saved. When he sees despair written across the brow of self, and beholds all his carnal hopes to be struck with mortal disease, and finds that now he cannot so much as lift a finger in the matter of his own salvation, then it is that he has eternal life. We must confess at the feet of Jesus that he is all our salvation. “Jesus, it is thine to wash me, thine to clothe me, thine to keep me, thine to bring me safe from heaven.” Take care, young converts, that you do this work thoroughly; I mean this work of doing no work.
Take care that you are clean swept out of all confidence in self. “Till to Jesus’ work you cling By a. simple faith, ‘Doing ‘ is a deadly thing, ‘ Doing’ ends in death.
Cast your deadly ‘ doing ‘ down, Down at Jesus’ feet, Stand in Him, in Him alone, Gloriously complete!” I am afraid many who are converted need further light upon this point, for they do not appear to have given up self-confidence in every shape, shade, form, and degree. Our friends who entertain constantly the fear that they shall not persevere to the end, and think that their perseverance is a thing depending upon themselves, have not made so clean a riddance as we could wish of all self-confidence.! do believe that our holding out to the end no more depends upon our own power than did cur- first salvation by Jesus; for every step to heaven we must take through Jesus’ merit, and not in our own strength. Jesus is Alpha and Omega, Jesus is not to be Alpha, and then self to be Beta, then Jesus Gamma, and self Delta, and so turn and turn about right on through the alphabet to Omega. The A of the gospel alphabet must be Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ next, and Jesus Christ next; and as for me, where am I to be? I am to be less than nothing. To feel myself to be nothing is my happiest, my safest, my best possible position; to be in complete subservience to my Lord’s will — to work out my own sanction with fear and trembling — not because I can do anything at all in the effectual working of it, but because God himself most gloriously worketh in me to will and to do of his own good pleasure, this is my joy. If the Lord works it in us we can well work it out, but unless he works it in, no man living can work out what is not within. Dear friend, carefully and prayerfully repeat the words of this verse, and if your heart enters into item, you are saved.
Now we come to the last verse. The sinner inquires — “What shall I say thy grace to move?” Have you never felt this want of argument, this unutterable longing, when you have been in prayer? “O Lord, if I knew what would touch thine heart, I would plead it! Oh! if I did but know what sort of knocking opens heaven’s gate! O that I could so implore and beseech the God of heaven that the infinite mind would have compassion towards me, a worthless, weary sinner!” You perceive that the seeking sinner is shut up on every side, he has no way of escape, he has nothing to plead bat the one thing, and being driven to that one thing, he pleads it before God. Oh! it is a blessed thing to be thus shut up to God’s one way of mercy : — “Lord I am sin but thou art love.” Here is the whole matter in a nutshell. “I have nothing of my own but sin, hell-deserving sin, which might well destroy me for ever and ever, and divine justice might have been magnified in my destruction; I am sin essentially; I am not only sinful, but I am a great black lump of sin through and through; I am nothing else but sin; but, Lord, thou art nothing else but love; and oh! when love and sin come into contact through a Mediator’s blood, how sin departs! Even love itself cannot tolerate sin; but when love looks with her dove’s eyes through the red glass of the sacrifice of Christ, then she sees “no sin in Jacob, neither iniquity in Israel.” “Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, unto whom the Lord doth not impute sin.” “Lord, I am sin, but thou art love.” Cast yourself, then, sinner, upon the love of God in Christ Jesus, feeling your sin, and coming as a sinner. Do not come in any other shape or way, but as an unworthy, undone, worthless, sinful rebel, whose only plea is mercy. O come to your God, for God is love. Make this your only plea: — “I give up every plea beside, Lord, I am lost, but thou hast died” If I ever had any other plea, I renounce it. There is a legal process in which a person pleads before the court in what is called informa pauperis, that is, he pleads as a poor man, he pleads his poverty; and there are certain privileges allowed to those who thus plead in forma pauperis which are not accorded to the wealthiest persons in the land. This is the only successful way in which to plead with God: we must come as paupers, having nothing of our own; giving up every pretense of right or claim of deserving. We must cry, “Lord, I am lost.! I am lost! I am lost! but thou hast lived and thou hast died; thy life, thy sufferings, thy griefs, thy groans, thy death, all these were for those who needed such a sin-atoning sacrifice, and on that sacrifice by blood I rest; I cast myself, lost and ruined, upon the work which Jesus Christ has done for me!”
I would to God that some who have been wandering up and down, trying to find reset for the sole of their foot, would make a full surrender of themselves to Jesus at this moment. Why do they delay? They may come now. No preparation is needed. O that you who are needy would come at once. “Let not conscience make you linger, Nor of fitness fondly dream; All the fitness he requireth.
Is to feel your need of Him; This he gives you; ‘Tis his Spirit’s rising beam-” For the last few weeks there has been one or two men in London whom I do not know, but whom have constantly seen, and thought much about.
How I carne to see them is this: whenever I look out of the little window of my vestry I almost always see them or their work. I first saw them about a month ago, when I noticed something rising above the houses which looked to me like a noble obelisk, but now it has changed its shape, and has developed into a very tall chimney. These men are working at the top of it. I do not know what the men is like; they are too far off for me to judge, but I have thought of them, and have even prayed for them as I have seen them looking down upon us all from their elevated position. There has been no communication between us, but as I have noticed the whole thing going up to the sky, and the builders getting daily nearer the sky, I have thought to myself, “Ah! my dear fellows, you must come down before long; I am sure you must, you cannot stop up there; if you want ,rest and comfort, you will not find it on the top of your towering handiwork.’ How wonderfully like this is to some of you. You continue building up your good works and prayers, and so on, and you think perhaps that your Babel-tower will reach to heaven, but be assured that if ever you are to find joy and peace, you will have to come down. You will never obtain a place of rest by all your building, you will need a better ground of acceptance than anything which you can do. ‘When you have done your best, you will only build a chimney which will pour forth the foul smoke of your proud self-righteousness, and you yourself will have to come down to the foot of the cross for salvation. Come down now, and rest upon the solid ground of that foundation which God has laid in Zion, namely, the work, the finished work of the Son of God, which he performed for us when he said, “It is finished,” and gave up the ghost.
THE STOCKPILE ORPHANAGE.
THIS month we report further progress. On Monday afternoon, August 9th, the first stones of three of the houses of the Orphanage were laid, under most auspicious circumstances, and as most of the daily and weekly newspapers have given full accounts of the proceedings, ours will be no more than a mere epitome. The grounds, which are situated in the Clapham Road, were opened at three o clock, and in a short time between three and four thousand persons had passed under the banner of Welcome, along a splendid avenue of flags and standards, waving merrily from lofty tricolored masts. All of these had either collected for the Orphanage or had purchased a ticket. The scene presented at the commencement of the ceremony of laying the stones was an exceedingly picturesque one. A number of men climbed the trees, in order to gain a good view of the proceedings, and we noticed that some of these persons sang with as much gusto as the congregation below, while balancing themselves on what seemed at; the distance to be rather weak branches. Fears were entertained of the satiety of some of the more venturesome, and one man especially seemed in a most dangerous position, as he hung like a monkey with his two arms on a branch, and his legs dangling against the trunk of the tree.
Everything passed off well, however, excepting when Mr. Spurgeon was commencing his address, numbers of persons, were standings, on a temporary fragile structure, which gave ay, and precipitated several young men. No one was hurt, however, and Mr. Spurgeon remarked, amidst considerable laughter, “Our friends Were told not to go there. They did not come down of their own will, and therefore providence arranged it.” A hymn was sung, and Mr. Spurgeon gave, an account of the origin of the undertaking, and announced, what had before been unknown, amidst vociferous cheers, that the donor of the £20,000, was Mrs. Hillyard, who would lay the stone of one of the houses. The tackle having been placed to the wrong house, Mr. Spurgeon was obliged to begin. This house is to be called the Silver Wedding House,” and the circumstances which led to the noble gift were detailed in’-the last number of our magazine. The stone of the second house was laid by Mrs. Hillyard, amidst great applause. This house is given by a merchant in the city “Whose name,” said Mr. Spurgeon, “is not to be mentioned now nor at any other time.” It will be called the “Merchant’s House.” The third house will be known as the “Workman’s House.” The workmen in the employment of Mr. Higgs, agreed at a meeting to build a house, the materials being found by Mr. Higgs. The workmen will no doubt faithfully redeem their pledge, but thinking it would be a long time before they could work their, money out, Mr. Higgs has advanced the whole in the shape of a commodious and elegant wooden shed, which will be occasionally reed for public meetings, and as a covered playground for the boys. It was also mentioned that the beloved family of the Olneys had given a cheque for 500 for another house to commemorate the memory of their sainted mother, to be called “Unity House: At each stone, appropriate verses were sung, and a prayer offered.
The afternoon proceedings terminated with singing of the doxology. At capital band of the boys of Lambeth Workhouse enlivened the company with their cheerful music Tea was then served at a monster table, 330 feet in length, and was partaken of in a picnic fashion. We took it as a very gracious token of the bountiful’ providence of God, that a friend unknown to us before, Mr. Trotman, of Southwark Bridge Road, came forward spontaneously, and at his own cost manufactured for us a boiler and cistern, by which 300 gallons of boiling water could be supplied every quarter of an hour; without this kind assistance the work could scarcely have been accomplished. God has indeed raised up many able friends for the orphan, and it is not their desire that all the names should be mentioned, or we could say much more. The long table and the awning above it were most elegantly decorated by the aid of Mr. Dillon, the decorator, Mr. Fowle, the florist, and Mr. Donne of the city. Our esteemed friends, Messrs. Phillips and Murrell, did their part of the work in a right masterly style, sad the display excelled anything ever seen by us on any similar occasion. It was a festal day indeed. Unfortunately, the sunshine which gilded the pleasant scene gave way to black clouds, and tea was scarcely finished when a gentle shower betokened a heavier downpour of rain. The rain soon came down handsomely, and the people ran into the shed and marquee for shelter. Hundreds were unable to gain an entrance, and had to assemble in the refreshment shed, or to return home. The public meeting was held soon after six o’clock. Mr. Spurgeon was the first speaker. He referred to the enterprise they had publicly commenced that day as ‘being thrust upon him in the name of God, and upon them also. Did they not all feel that if any Christian sister could give the major part of her property to such a work, they could not refuse to give their help? To this the audience answered with loud and prolonged cheering. He referred to the other works of the church — the College, which under no circumstances must be allowed to suffer, and their provision for widows in the almshouses at the Elephant and Castle. In a church numbering-so many members, there must be a large number of fatherless children, and it had become absolutely necessary to make some provision for them, and they ought to be thankful to their sister for enabling them to make it, and at the same time to offer the same boon to others. They would require £80,000 to finish and permanently to endow an Orphanage for 200 boys, but there Was no absolute need that it should be endowed in full, as annual subscriptions would be always forthcoming. Mr. Archibald Brown, of Stepney, Mr. Wilkinson, the curate of St. Michael’s, Stockwell, Mr. J.A. Spurgeon, Mr. John Spurgeon, sent, Dr. Hugh Allen, Mr. W. Olney, Mr. Murphy, and other gentlemen also addressed the meeting: Mr. J.A. Spurgeon, observing that the lady who had given the £20,000, though a widow of a Church of England clergyman, was now a Baptist, and had been for many years separated from the Establishment. It would be understood that though the Orphanage was to be conducted by Baptists, it would not be a denominational institution, since the trustees did not care to what denomination the parents belonged, when they considered the cases brought before them. Our valuable and indefatigable brother, Mr.W. Olney, announced that the sum of :6’2,200 had been brought in that day, by collecting cards and subscriptions, and that the whole of the £3,000 required for the payment of the freehold land was now in hand; the land had been purchased, and four houses would be built without touching either principal or interest of Mrs. Hillyard’s :620,000. Our actual financial position roughly stated, is as follows: we have received about 5,500 in donations, and after paying for land, the houses, and other matters, have about £220 to keep house with, and to act as a nest-egg for the schoolhouse fund.
The houses of which the stones have been laid, are the three fast of a terrace to consist of eight houses. Each house contains a large sitting-room and lofty bed rooms for the boys, and a sitting-room, kitchen, and bedroom for-the persons in charge of: the house. :Each house will average about fifteen boys he exterior will have scarcely any ornament except that arising from simple and picturesque arrangement of parts. May the Lord send his blessing upon the whole enterprise. Thanks to every donor, worker, collector, and thanks above all to the great Giver of all good. We do not wish to humid more houses just at present, our next work must be the school-house, and the general cooking and dining establishment. We shall have sixty children in the four houses when they are complete, and we shall have no school accommodation for them unless we prudently get ready our plans, and our heavenly Father graciously sends us the means.
Moreover, we have the drainage to arrange, architect to pay, roads to make, furniture to purchase, and seven children to maintain, which will absorb a considerable sum. It will be best, therefore, if the liberality of friends should run rather in the direction Of our general funds and he school-house, than to any more new houses for the next few months. There is one exception however to this remark, our Sabbath-school children are raising money for a Sunday-school house, and have already paid in 150, and as that’s, a special. and delightful design, we hope all our schools will without fall have a hand in it.
BISHOPS! BISHOPS! BISHOPS!
IF bishops be, as certain ecclesiastics appear to think, the panacea for all the ills of the church, the church in London ought to be in the soundest condition, for the town swarms with bishops as Egypt once swarmed with frogs. English, Scotch, Irish, Colonial, American, all the varieties are abundant, and make their appearance in public too, in processions, and sermons; indulging humanity with beatific visions of lawn and ‘black silk.
Now that they are all here, there is one question which we should like to ask them. Dr. Watts asks the youthful catechumen, “Can you tell me, child, who made you?” Now, your grace of Oxford, Nassau, Quebec, Graham’s Town, never mind which, can you tell me who made you? Who made you bishops? Who gave you prelatical power over the ministers of the gospel?
Who anointed you to be lords where Jesus says that all are brethren? That the Holy Spirit did it, is impossible, for much as sanction anything like a prelate; indeed, the office lives in defiance of all inspired canons.
Moreover, my lords, to make short work of a long story, you know as well as any of us, that Lord Palmers on and other prime ministers, made the most of you; indeed, they created all of your Britannic graces; axed you ‘know equally well, that election by your brethren, and your special call ‘by the Spirit, were all a matter of course, after Caesar’s representative had resolved to frock you. ‘You cannot say with the apostle that your office is “not of man, neither by man;” you are the creatures of the civil power, and owe your crowns, of. rejoicing, in other words, your pontifical miters, to a decree, of the. rulers of this world. Another questions. we might also trouble you with. We have ‘heard of your being enthroned, in fact, in cathedrals we have seen your thrones; can you tell us where the apostles, pastors, or evangelists appointed by Jesus of Nazareth, were ever enthroned upon is earth’? My lords, these men who were not lords, nor prelates, waited for their thrones in heaven, but rested upon far other seats on earth. Your throne is here below, as your dominion is of the earth earthy, but they looked for another kingdom, invisible and eternal. Did it ever strike you what Bible-reading Christians must think of you and your claims, or what the great Judge of all will say to your: pretensions at the last great day? “Right Reverend Fathers in God,” when you have to stand like common mortals before the judgment-seat, how will those infamous words of flattery grate, in your ears! It will be a dread scene indeed, if the great mercy of God does not forgive you for your arrogance, when your graces will have to give an account for having tolerated such titles as addressed to your sinful selves. You have lived long enough in your sinful dignities, lay them down, drop your titles of pride, go on with your work wherein it may be good, walk humbly before men, and then you may hope to rest in peace.
This is far too much to expect from their lordships, and we do but hint at the path of duty, knowing that; it will not be followed. We have a great respect for same of these dignitaries personally, although their office we hold in utter abhorrence, but we must confess to some little amusement, when we found one of them, last Sunday, September 15, magnifying his office at a rate the most surprising, and in a manner the most novel. It is a fact not generally, known, that the revolt of the American states from British rule was-mainly caused by the absence of bishops in America, in those benighted times; ands, moreover, the United States as a nation, is not at all what it might have been if bishops had been there from the very dawn, of colonization If any should doubt this new historical fact, ‘we refer them to the infallible testimony of a bishop, and who can ask for more convincing evidence?” The Bishop of Louisiana, according to the daily paper, ‘“spoke of the manner in which the work: of the church was advancing, in the colonies and dependencies of the British crown, a matter in which he said he had much experience. If the same had been done for America in days gone by, it might have been a greater and a better country than it was now. For a hundred years there existed in America an Episcopal church without bishops, and the church which had government protection was that which° was left without any organization. In vain that church pleaded with the government of England for redress. Archbishops and bishops pressed the matter upon the attention of the crown, and year after year the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel made strenuous efforts to remedy the evils; but while it was allowed to the Roman Catholic Church to have what bishops she pleased in her discretion, the sons and daughters of the Church of England were left without the ministrations which were pledged to them at their baptism. Nothing so much as this strengthened the Americans for their struggle against this country; nothing induced them more than this to look with interest upon the struggle for independence, and to delight in seeing the secular power scattered into fragments, until at length it entirely disappeared.”
He who doubts must be a heretic indeed. Receiving the episcopal statement for truth, we see the proper method of securing our colonies to us for ever.
Should Australia grow perverse, or Canada become restive, our government cannot do better than double or treble the dose of bishops- We shall heartily concur in the plan of sending off Oxford, and Salisbury, and others, to Botany Bay, and hope they may prove a blessing abroad, for they are the reverse at home. But no, we are supposing what cannot possibly occur; these colonies never can grow rebellious, for they have imbibed the specific, they are blessed with bishops; even Natal has its Colenso.
We venture to predict that when the Christian church” returns to her pristine purity, it will be difficult for her young members to believe the profane history in which the existence of officers, such as those meeting at Lambeth, will be recorded. The unsophisticated mind of an enlightened Christendom in another two or three centuries, if time keeps on its axles so long, will tie staggered at the possibility of the past existence of many things in our professedly. Protestant church, but at nothing more than at the creation of prelates, and the reverence given to such unscriptural lordlings by avowed believers in the lowly Jesus. If all Christians will at this present, search the word of God as to the true position and office of a Christian bishop, the present swarm of bishops may not have come together in vain. Otherwise, we can only repeat the answer which we gave the other day to the question, “What will be the end of this synod of bishops?” We ventured to predict that it boded no good to anybody, and was only one wheel in the machinery by which it is hoped to re-establish a universal popedom, under certain modifications. First the fusion of all Anglican episcopacy, then union with the Greek church, and then with the Roman; this we suspect to be the full program, not perhaps endorsed by all, but clearly in the minds of those who pull the strings, that is to say, the Ritualists, to the music of whose pipes of Pan the broad church, and many of the evangelicals, are made to dance. May the Lord deal with them and their maneuvers according to his wisdom.
THE UNCERTAINTY OF RICHES.
THOUGH thy crooked heart is not willing to yield, yet thy judgment cannot choose but be convinced of this, that great riches are unprofitable, and not; worth a rush. Wealth is uncertain. It is like a run agate servant, a fugitive, a plain vagrant, which, though he be big boned and strong and skillful, and able to work, yet no man greatly cares for, because he will be gone when a man hath most need of him, and, perhaps, also take something away with him that was worth more than all his service. So wealth will take its heels when a man hath most use for it, and carry contentment away, too, which is more precious than all the false happiness that, it could procure whilst it remained with us. This wealth hops from man to man, and place to place, as a light-winged bird from tree to tree. And no man can say where it will roost at night. The Holy Ghost hath compared it to a wild fowl, most swift of wing and strong in flight, saying, “Riches takes to itself Wings, and flies away,” not like a cock or hen, or some tame house-bird that a man may follow and catch again, no, nor like a hawk that wilt show where ,;he is by her bells, and be called again with a lure; but like an eagle that mounts aloft past sight, and is carried away with so much haste that nothing will recall her. And where is the man that can clip the wings of an eagle, when it is in his own custody, that it shall not be gone from him when he thinks least of it? If it could procure any benefit to your lives, you see it were not yet worth your wishes, your toil for it, it departs when you Should use it, and that without taking leave; and then, as he that riseth from a stool and thinketh to sit Clown again, the stool being removed, takes the more dangerous knock, so the mind that relies on wealth, when it misseth it, is more tormented with vexation by the untrustiness thereof. The Holy Ghost calleth it a lie, because it will play him such slippery pranks, that hath confidence in it (as every man hath in that measure he desires it), and a shadow because every cloud that flies over the sun may irrecoverably cut it off. — A Sermon preached at St. Paul’s Cross by Mr. Wheatie, 1589.
Short Arguments about the Millennium; or, plain proofs for plain Christians that the coming of Christ will not be pre-millennial : that his reign will not be personal. By B.C. Young. Second thousand. Elliot Stock.
Those who wish to see the arguments upon the unpopular side of the great question at issue, will find them here; this is probably one of the ablest of the accessible treatises from that point of view. We cannot agree with Mr. Young, neither can we refute him. It might tax the ingenuity of the ablest prophetical writers to solve all the difficulties here started, and perhaps it would be unprofitable to attempt me task; yet me perusal of this work might be very useful to those dogmatical prophets who think that they are masters of the whole matter, when in fact there are great mysteries surrounding it on every hand. Only fools and madmen are positive in their interpretations of the Apocalypse. Essays and Discourses on Popular and Standard Themes . By T.W. Tozer. Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row.
Tar. subjects of this book are various, and for the most part, with no direct connection with each other. Some are of social and others of religious interest.