A PLEA PASTORS’ COLLEGE.
BY C. H. SPURGEON.
IT is of the utmost importance to the church that her ministers should be men fully equipped for their sacred work. Under God the church will generally be very much what her ministers make her; for the old proverb, “like priest like people,” may be transferred from priests to pastors, and it will still hold good. When we reflect upon the influence for good or evil exercised by the pulpit, we feel that were all Christian people to concentrate their prayers upon that one point the object would be worthy of all their earnestness. Yet how seldom do believers pray the Lord to send forth laborers into his harvest: it seems to be the very last petition which they will offer, though it ought to be among the first. Jesus in ascending thought it to be a worthy celebration of his triumphal ascent to bestow on his church the various gifted men who should be her preachers and teachers, but we, on our part, as a rule, think so little of these royal favors. that we will not even ask for them. Is it any marvel that as eminent ministers die, their successors are not forthcoming? Need we wonder that preachers of power are so few and far between? If we do not know how to prize the gifts of heaven, and do not even think it worth our while to pray for them, it is but justice that they should be withheld. If there be any one thing which above all others would be profitable to the churches, it would be universal and unanimous prayer for ministers: for those we have, and for the raising up of more. We would earnestly entreat every Christian, by the love of Jesus, and the needs of the age, to beseech the Lord to send us men of his own choosing to gather in the wanderers, and feed the flock of God.
True ministers of the gospel must be of the Lord’s choosing, endowing, and qualifying. Churches which supply their ministry by training unconverted men with a view to their taking the cure of souls are acting a suicidal part. They set wolves to watch over the Lord’s sheep, and children of the Evil One to sow the field of the kingdom. It is, besides, a most presumptuous intrusion into the office and work of the Holy Spirit for any man, or set of men, to think of making one of their fellows a minister of Christ. Both those who usurp the Spirit’s office and send, and those who submit to the imposture and are sent, may think themselves mercifully favored that they escape the immediate judgments of God; but they may be assured, beyond all hope, that no power of a divine kind ever will or can rest upon the ministrations thus inaugurated; for God will not own the messenger of man, nor set his seal to a commission which did not originally emanate from his throne. We believe that the illiterate prelections of a gracious man called of God from the plough-tail are infinitely more effectual for good than the most elegant utterances of an archbishop, should that dignitary be unregenerate and destitute of the Holy Spirit’s anointing. The universities can do nothing in this business to compensate for the absence of the divine power, neither can aught be accomplished by episcopal hands, and the chanting of appointed psalms. The unregenerate and uncalled put on the surplice, but the prophetic mantle falls not upon their shoulders; they use the sacred words by which devils are cast out, but the evil spirits defy them, crying, “Jesus we know, and Paul we know, but who are ye?”
Pure churches have in all ages recognized the great truth that the Lord must give pastors after his own heart, and they have in prayer looked up to the great Head of the church for such pastors; but they have not usually rested content with mere verbal prayer and passive waiting, they have proved the sincerity of their prayers and expectations by action fitting and appropriate. Care has been taken in various ways that godly youths of promise should be encouraged to exercise their gifts, should be enabled to devote much time to the study of Scripture, and should be associated with ministers of experience by whose example they might be impressed. In different ways provision has been made that each eloquent, but halfinstructed, Apollos should learn the way of God more perfectly. Pauls have gathered around them their Timothies, even as the prophets of old had their schools; and these Timothies in their turn have been anxious to commit the things Which they have learned to faithful men who would teach others also. It has never occurred to instructed and thoughtful minds that to give further education to men called to the ministry would be an intrusion upon the work of the Spirit: it is true, an extreme section have acted upon this supposition, but their own decline both in numbers and ability will ere long either convince them of their error or cause their extinction. The fact is that the Spirit of God will not do for us what we can do for ourselves. He has given us an inspired book, but he does not enable human beings to read it without having learned their letters, neither does he miraculously endow men with a knowledge of the original tongues. Unless men are actually inspired, and the inspiration is so complete that it exercises no function but the voice, and leaves the mind as passive as the wall on which the mysterious hand-writing was written, or as the ass which spake to Balaam, preachers must be instructed in some measure, and the only rational questions which can be raised relate to the measure, the manner, and the subjects of the instruction. Schools of the prophets were not inconsistent with the spirit of prophecy; no one thinks they were; why then should it be imagined that schools of the preachers must necessarily be subversive of the Spirit’s prerogatives in the gospel ministry?
Our Lord endowed his apostles with no mean measure of the Spirit, and yet for three years he instructed them as carefully as if he had not intended them to be his heralds among the nations; nay, all the more carefully because they were to be such. The illumination of the Holy Ghost which is vouchsafed to ordinary believers, does not by any means make them independent of the usual means of spiritual edification: they read, meditate, study the word and hear it preached; it would be singular indeed if those among us who are called to teach others should be released from this obligation, and should be allowed to inhale heavenly knowledge from the air, and idly breathe it out again in mere mechanical speech. To what end did the apostle exhort his young disciple in his absence to give attention to reading? Why did he bid him study, if all learning but that which comes by inspiration be a superfluity to a preacher of the word? Surely the time is past in which we need seriously to argue for the utility of mental and spiritual culture. We trust the church will never be duped into renewed faith in that conceited ignorance which is infallible in its own assertions, and therefore refuses all further light. We have had enough of “That lib’ral art, which costs no pains Of study, industry, or brains.
That voice which speaks through empty soul, As through a trunk, or whisp’ring hole.” When learning vaunts itself, and decries that teaching of the Holy Spirit by which men who never sat in her academies are made wise to win souls, we do not give place to her, no, not for an hour; and shall we after this allow ignorance to ride rough shod over us? If the idol of gold be broken, its pedestal is not reserved for an image of brass. God has no need of man’s wisdom, but he certainly has no need of his ignorance. We do not exalt the Spirit of God, but we do the very reverse, when we lead men to suppose that he is unable to influence educated minds, and that he can only work by men uncouth and boorish; he is surely able to achieve his purposes by a learned Saul of Tarsus, and a Timothy who has known the Scriptures from his youth.
We are not among those who make sport of the inspired cobbler, or even of the popular coalheaver; but the cobbler developed into the distinguished linguist, and even the coalheaver styled himself the Doctor. The tendency of godliness is to make converted men more prudent and thrifty in the things of this life, and by the same process the possession of the inner life leads men to prize intelligence and knowledge, so that if they do not always set about the improvement of their own minds, they almost invariably value the mental endowments of their fellow Christians; their new-born instincts teaching them that ignorance has kinship with darkness, and darkness is the congenial clement of sin, while true knowledge has affinity with light, and light is the joy of the holy. Now, it is impossible that the attempt to improve himself which is so commendable in a private believer can be censurable in one who is called to the ministry; and if it be plain that to help an ordinary Christian in his efforts for the improvement of his mind is a praiseworthy effort, it is utterly inconceivable that to assist a minister in the same direction can be other than a good work. Even those who pretend to despise education are displeased when men “banish the letter H from ‘ouse, and ‘ome and ‘caren ;” if this grosser ignorance jars on their ears, should they not have some sympathy for others who are equally afflicted with false pronunciations and grotesque blunders? But enough of this; it is more than probable that the majority of persons who need such reasoning as this are already too far gone to feel its power, and therefore we shall only waste our powder and shot, and excite renewed opposition where we hoped to create conviction. We are fully persuaded in our own mind, and believe that the vast majority of believers are of the same persuasion. Our assured conviction is that there is no better, holier, more useful or more necessary Christian service than assisting to educate young ministers.
The teaching given in institutions for the further education of the Lord’s servants should have for its one end and object the furnishing of them for their work. They are not to be warped into philosphers, polished into debaters, carved into metaphysicians, fashioned into literati, or even sharpened into critics, they are to be “thoroughly furnished unto every good work.” The Scriptures must be their chief class-book, theology their main science, the art of teaching their practical study, and the proclamation and exposition of the gospel their first business. With all knowledge they may intermeddle; but upon the knowledge of Christ crucified they must dwell. Books and parchments should be prized, but prayer and meditation should be supreme. The head should be stored, but the heart also should be fed with heavenly food. The tutors should be men of equal learning and grace, sound scholars, but much more sound divines, men of culture, but even more decidedly men of God. Such men will watch the opening mind with interest, but their keenest glances will be directed to the inner man; they will sedulously warn their pupils against pride of knowledge, and urge them to growth in grace as beyond all things the preacher’s first necessity.
The young men will under such guidance be kept from despising the less proficient, and preserved from estimating the gifts of nature above the priceless graces of the Spirit. Criticism of each other — an exceedingly valuable process — will not degenerate into fault-finding, but will be sanctified into zeal for the common advancement; the classes will not be a dreary routine, but cheerful conferences, such as they held of old who met at the wells to draw water, fulfilling the old proverb that “as iron sharpeneth iron, so doth a man’s countenance his friend by hearty counsel.”
Human studies should not only be subordinated to the divine, but they should be pursued in a devout spirit, so as to be elevated into branches of divinity, or at least consecrated, so as to be like the bells upon the horses, “holiness unto the Lord.” To lose in ardent piety what we gain in classical elegance is not to be educated, but despoiled; the process which produces such a result is not training, it might rather be called, if there were such words, the uneducating and untraining of the soul, and might be likened to the tearing down of the vine from its trellises, or the unharnessing of the colt to turn it loose upon the wild prairie. Such as Arabia was to Paul, and Patmos to John, ought the retirement of college life to be to students for the ministry: they should seek to abide with Jesus, to study with him, and to learn of him. Can this be realized? We have heard men rejoice that so they have found it to be. Many a minister has thanked us, and praised the Lord, that in the Pastors’ College he was no loser in zeal or spirituality, but a life-long gainer of the best form of wealth, quickened and not deadened in fervor of love to Christ by his tarrying with the brethren; and we believe that such grateful testimonies were not only true, but are common among those who have been our students. By no care or wisdom of tutors or president can it be so to all men; this must depend upon the man, and the supply of the Spirit; it is encouraging when it is so to many, and it leaves the responsibility upon the individuals themselves when it is otherwise.
Earnestly have we striven after this; it has been our ideal, and we are not content till we reach it more fully; wherein we have had success we give all glory to God: our failures humble us before him, and provoke us to more sedulous endeavors to reach the desired goal.
It is a happy circumstance for a college when it is associated with an earnest working church, and if it grows out of the church, and is mainly supported by it, so much the better. Isolation from the actual activities, trials, and successes of Christian life cannot be a benefit, and may prove a great evil to those whose future career is to be intimately connected with such matters, and to exercise an influence over them. We at the Pastors’ College are happy in our position, for we are connected with the largest church in Christendom, and are fostered beneath its wing. Our Institution is the beloved object of the care and generosity of the church at the Tabernacle; our students are members of that church and are expected to unite in its meetings for prayer, and to aid and assist in its operations. The method of church government comes as a matter of practical fact under each student’s eye if he be mindful to observe it, and this is no small privilege to him if he be wise enough to made good use of the opportunity.
In the revivals of the church he will naturally become a partaker, and in its joys and sorrows he will be found an intense sympathizer. He will be at no loss for Christian friends and counselors, and need never stand idle in the market-place for a single hour, for work of all kinds invites him. He not only learns homiletics, but hears sermons; he not only reads of pastoral oversight, but witnesses it; he not only acquires the method of dealing with men’s souls, but observes it in action. The method of placing a young preacher with an older one, that he may catch his spirit and learn from his experience, is identical with our plan, save only that the solitary student’s place is occupied by scores. An observant young man cannot fail to carry away with him ideas, plans, methods, and stimulating influences, which will perhaps unconsciously affect his whole future career. The plan is probably impracticable in the case of many theological academics; with us it has been, from a happy necessity of circumstances, one of the first elements of our existence.
The manner of College training, which brings many young men under one roof, and removes them from family life, has its advocates, and these have no difficulty in showing its advantages. We do not wish to enter into any controversy, but to us it has always seemed better that students should not be isolated from every-day existence, and placed in an artificial condition.
They will, in most instances, have to economize a small income, and they had better see how others do the same. Tendencies to levity are more likely to be indulged when they are always in the society of those of the same age; the sobriety’s of a household are beneficial, and the oversight of small companies is more easy and more constant than any which can be exercised over larger numbers. Our method has therefore been to board and lodge our students in selected families, and we have had no reason to regret our choice. We are thus able to receive as many or as few as may be accepted, and the whole of our College accommodation is available for teaching. If two hundred suitable men should be forthcoming, as the result of the present religious awakening, we are quite able to receive them; and if only forty or fifty should be sent to us of the Lord, we shall not have empty chambers to mourn over. We are free [o act as circumstances require.
With great pleasure we welcome brethren who have already acquired the ground-work of a good education; but it has always seemed to us most desirable that men of natural gifts and much grace should not be refused, because they happen to be extremely backward in knowledge, through the straitness of their circumstances, or other causes. The Pastors’ College has received men who knew no more than “their Bible true,” and Christ a precious Savior. Many of these have become eminently devoted ministers, and some of them have even overtaken the more cultured, and gained sufficient scholarship to come into the front rank. It is, of course, harder work for them, and their mistakes and early failures have been quoted against the College; but, if they can bear the labor, we can endure the discredit, knowing that the pleasure of seeing their future usefulness will abundantly repay us for the occasional pain of being taunted with their inefficiencies and crudities. To keep these men utterly silent for a time is no part of our plan, though policy suggests it; their immature utterances bring us into disrepute, but they are a part of the process by which the men become developed, and for their sakes we endure the evil for the sake of the far greater good. Muzzling these oxen would be very convenient but very cruel. We ask them to be careful, and if we cannot always induce them to be so, we believe that they will learn by experience, and the criticism they are sure to encounter will be one of their best monitors. They must preach; for this purpose were they born if they are the men we want. They have already preached two years or so before coming to us, and the fire is in their bones; they must not desist altogether, or the flame may be repressed, and thus the very force we wish to nourish may be weakened.
We are aware of the cost to the reputation of the Institution, but, as reputation is not our object, we have put up with the temporary consequences hitherto, and intend to do so still. No man finds our doors closed because he is poor or illiterate; if we can but be convinced that the Lord has called him to the work of the ministry, he is heartily welcome. His wants shall be supplied, his deficiencies shall be borne with, and he will suffer no contempt from his fellow-students, or harshness from his tutors.
To board, lodge, educate, and in many cases, to clothe, students, is an expensive business. In most of our colleges a man must have some means; in our ease, students who are absolutely penniless are taken, and this increases our outlay materially. Yet funds have always been forthcoming without waiting upon subscribers, or drawing from public funds. Our confidence is that the Lord will always find means for his own work, and that confidence is unshaken, for he has raised up a long succession of generous helpers who make the financial burden a light one. Chiefly the church at the Tabernacle, and the guests at Mr. Phillips’ annual supper, are the means of our sustenance, and we would tender our grateful acknowledgments to both. When our need is less our funds decrease, and when we need more they are sure to rise correspondingly, and therefore the measure of elasticity is adapted to the peculiarity of our condition: we cannot tell how many students may come to us next year, but we know of a surety that we need not reject a single individual on the sole ground of want of funds, for if the Lord meant us to take five hundred, he would cause proportionate funds to flow in.
If it were needful to speak of the success which the Lord has given to our young brethren, we should not fail for want of materials. The ministers who have gone from us are in the field, and several of them are very widely known; let the Christian public judge for themselves. To single out an instance of failure, and to measure all by that standard, would be so unfair that we do not suspect any Christian of such injustice: to expect that all should be as distinguished as some have been, would be unreasonable, but without vaunting, we can claim that as winners of souls, as founders of churches, and as workers in the ministry, the men from the Pastors’ College occupy, by God’s grace, no dishonorable position. May the Lord make them a thousand times more useful, and give the like blessing to all his servants of every college or no college.
A friend who has often aided us has just sent in £100, with the remark that as the result of such a revival as is now progressing we shall be sure to want more preachers, and therefore he is pleased to aid the Institution. Is it not so? The power of the Holy Spirit is being felt in almost every quarter, souls are yielding to the love of Jesus, and in flocks they are confessing their faith in the Savior; the area of hearing is being enlarged, and more men will be needed to proclaim the quickening word. God will send us these men, shall we welcome them? they may come forth with a deep experience and a ripe knowledge of the word, and if so, may the Lord direct them at once into the thick of the harvest, where their sheaves shall be plenteous; but they may also come forth with zealous hearts, and burning tongues, yet; with shallow knowledge and scant acquaintance with the Word; in this ease we should prove the cordiality of our welcome by being ready to assist them to obtain further instruction in divine things. The young converts brought out by the present revival will need teaching, and this can only be given them by those who are themselves well instructed in the truth as it is in Jesus. Evangelists need not the same stores of knowledge as pastors, these last should possess the keys of those granaries of truth wherein are laid up things new and old for the feeding of the saints.
Help us then in our effort to aid the progress of the future under-shepherds of the flock.
Nor is this all, there is yet very much land to be possessed. The masses of our countrymen have yet to be reached. Tens of thousands have of late gathered to hear our beloved brethren, Messrs. Moody and Sankey, but there are other hundreds of thousands who are not moved as yet. Hundreds of preachers are needed for crowded cities and benighted villages; our own land needs nothing so much as earnest heralds of the gospel, and America feels the same lack. Meanwhile the mission field calls eagerly for men; lands newly opened to the Gospel, such as Spain and Italy, demand faithful laborers. The fields whiten day by day, and cry aloud for sharp sickles.
More precious than a wedge of gold is a man, a live man, a man on fire with love divine; and wise is it on the part of the Church of God to care for such men when she gets them, and allow no stumbling blocks to lie in the way of their usefulness.
Our appeal is for the Pastors’ College, for in that our heart is bound up, it is dear to us as life itself; but we would with equal sincerity commend to the reader’s prayers and kind consideration all institutions with similar aims. Differing modes are of small consequence if the spirit be the same.
Where men are sharpening their swords to fight beneath the banner of truth, where trumpeters are practicing the notes which are to stimulate the battalions of Immanuel to the attack, where perpetual prayer goes up like pillars of smoke to heaven — there, even there, wherever it may be, may the Lord command the blessing, even life for evermore.
On April 27th our Primitive Methodist friends held their annual missionary meeting at the Tabernacle. They do not fill the house so full as they did at first, neither do they exhibit the same degree of enthusiasm. We hope our brethren are not growing respectable and losing their fervor. Their wild notes are the sweetest, and we hope they will never aim at polish and refinement, so as to lose power and energy.
We were glad to see the Baptist Union dining in our Lecture Hall, April 29th. The numbers attending, and the harmony exhibited, appear to increase every year. Our present Chairman, Alexander Maclaren, is a noble example of the cultured orator and the simple believer united in one. The influence of his inaugural address must be salutary to an immeasurable degree. We heartily rejoice in the choice of our esteemed friend, Dr. Landels, as Vice-Chairman. Two such mighty men are not often found in conjunction.
On May 3rd the Colportage Society held its annual meeting at the Tabernacle, and a very lively and intensely interesting meeting it was. The College has the chief place in our columns this month and the Colportage must come next month, but meanwhile we would express our delight at the work done by the colporteurs, and our earnest hope that funds will be forthcoming to a larger extent. It transpired in the report that although we have had this year our largest number of colporteurs, yet towards the close of that period some men have had to be dismissed from want of support.
This ought not to be. Will friends remember that £40 per annum will supply a district with a man? The stock and. management our society will supply.
Good, hardworking men are wanted for the Colportage, and they can apply to Mr. W. C. Jones, The College, Temple Street, Newington Butts.
On May 4th our beloved brother, Mr. W. J. Mayers, gave’ us a service of song for the Orphanage. He has a noble voice, and the service all through is a grand affair, and calculated to be very useful. We enjoyed it thoroughly, and felt sure that the Lord was blessing it. Happy are our friends at Bristol in having such a pastor, they will never be destitute of harmony. With our brethren Gange, Evans, Norris, and Mayers at Bristol we are strong in the west.
May 5th. In the morning we united with other ministers at the Bible Society’s annual meeting at Exeter Hall, and in the evening the Liberation Society met at the Tabernacle. It is well to have a change of air. The soft breezes of Christian love and the rough gales of Christian conflict must alternate in this world so long as we dwell among men in whom there is much to love but in whose position there is much to deprecate. Sincerely to love those whom we earnestly withstand should be our endeavor. It is not likely that they will understand us, but that we cannot help. While the Church of England refuses to revise its Popish Prayer Book, and takes’ up a position in connection with the State which no church ought to occupy, we cannot cease our protests; yet every child of God in it is our brother in Christ.
May 6. — Mr. George Muller, of the Orphan Houses, Bristol, preached for us at our usual Thursday evening service. It was a sermon long to be remembered. The wise and holy counsels then given were rendered the more weighty by the character of the man from whom they came. He has fought a good fight and kept the faith, and it is delightful to hear him in his hale old age bearing sweet testimony to the faithfulness of God, the power of prayer, and the pleasures of true religion. May our venerable friend be attended with the divine sunlight during his present evangelistic movements, and till the daybreak, and the shadows flee away.
May 7 and 21. — We preached at the Bow Hall, the immense area being crowded before the time appointed for beginning service. This effort is a most trying one, and we feel it for days afterwards, or we should have been glad to aid Mr. Moody oftener. We cannot too earnestly express our intense sympathy with the blessed work which our American brethren have been privileged to carry on. We wish they would keep in one place, for we fear that they must be wearing themselves out, and we are sure they are losing power by trying to be at two or three places at once. To work one huge place of assembly well will answer far better than to leave the public uncertain where to find them. However, that is a matter for their own judgment. We only hope THE SOUTH will have them constantly when they are with us, be the time long or short.
May 14. — The students from Harley House, Bow, came over to the Pastors’ College and spent the afternoon with us. This institution aims at training men as evangelists and missionaries, and has hitherto succeeded admirably. Dr. Barnardo is a beloved friend and adviser to this institute, but we were wrong in putting it down as one of the enterprises under his care.
Mr. Guinness is the founder and principal director, and our beloved brethren Frank White and Archibald Brown are his coadjutors. We had a very happy season, and were rejoiced to see how the soldiers of the two regiments fraternized. One spirit possesses us all, one faith in the power of the Holy Spirit, one love to the glorious gospel of the blessed God. We rejoice at the valiant way in which Mr. Brown is fighting the Lord’s battles in the east of London. He fears no man, and has no need to do so, for God is with him.
On Monday, May 17th, six new elders were chosen by the church at the Tabernacle, and prayer is requested for them that they may have grace to discharge their office as in the sight of God, to the benefit of the flock, the comfort of the Pastor, and to the honor of our Lord. On May 24, earnest supplications were put up for them by the brethren assembled for prayer.
May 24. — Mr. Spurgeon gave a tea to poor blind persons and their guides, and afterwards gave them an address. They were very happy and attentive. The blind and their guides numbered one hundred and eighty.
Mr. J. Hampton continues to devote himself to the care of the blind, but he is sadly hampered by the want of a larger room. When we can get the means, we intend to build a chapel or hall for the blind congregation which he has gathered. The work is one of the best in connection with the Tabernacle, and owes its existence to a working man. Mr. Hampton earns his bread as a painter.
We are glad to see that Mr. White of Enfield is building a chapel. He needs help in the work, and greatly needs it just now. ]Friends interested in Enfield should aid at once. We have sent on our donation of £50, and mention it to lead others to help.
At Southampton the church under Mr. Osborne enjoys much prosperity, fifty-three having been added to it during the year. Messrs. Charlesworth and J. T. Dunn have been visiting there and holding happy services. May the Lord continue to bless.
We hope to have a great day on June 18th, when we celebrate the Anniversary of the Stockwell Orphanage and the President’s birthday. The Earl of Shaftesbury has promised to take the chair at 6.30. Gates open at 3.
We hope to hear Mr. Brown’s drum and fife band at 3. Mr. DuncanS. Miller, and the rest of the Royal Osborne Hand Bell Ringers generously give their entertainment at 4. Tea at 5. Mr. Chown, Mr. Lewis, and other ministers will address the evening meeting, There will also be a sale of goods in the tent: friends who are going to send articles should do so a few days before the 18th. Special collecting cards can be had on application.
Friends will be glad to know that a legacy of £1,000 left to the Orphanage by the late Mr. Pedley has been joyfully paid by his executors, who are as hearty in the work as was the deceased.
God be thanked for this grand supply.
Our evangelist Mr. Higgins has been hard at work at Long Eaton, Stapleford, Tenterden, and Attercliffe. We have received several kind testimonies to his usefulness. He is an earnest and self-denying laborer. If we were helped in the support of this brother we would undertake another, and another, and so secure a small squadron of evangelists who would scour the country; but at present few seem to feel enough sympathy with the object to help us in it. We shall keep on as long as our means enable us, and we do not fear but what the experiment will ere long succeed so well that others will be glad one day to have a share in the work.
Our assistant, Mr. J. T. Dunn, asks us to insert the following appeal, and we do so with great pleasure, as we regard the work as our own, and must see it through. “The Richmond Street Ragged School was started in February, 1859, with four scholars; the number speedily increased, and finally we took the whole house, employed paid master and mistress, commenced a penny bank, clothing club, band of hope, week evening lectures for working people, Sunday and week evening open-air preaching, mothers’ meetings, lending library, secular classes, Bible classes, and temperance meetings, etc. At the latter end of 1871 we removed to larger ‘premises in Villa-street, Walworth. At the close of 1874 we were compelled to remove again, owing to expiration of lease, and we are now using Shaftesbury Street School-room, kindly lent to us by the Vicar of St. Peter’s, Walworth, Mr. Statham, but the tenure is only from month to month, to be used on Sunday, and not in the week. We have, consequently, been obliged to abandon nearly the whole of our work. This is a cause of much anxiety, but we must thank God for the past and take courage for the future. There are about five hundred children and young people in regular attendance on the- Lord’s-day, and fifty earnest teachers. Many of our former and present scholars. have been rescued from the paths of sin,. and are now in fellowship with the church of Christ. Several of the present teachers were formerly scholars. At the annual meeting of the Ragged School Union, held in May, thirteen scholars took prizes, having kept their situations over twelve. months. Great blessing is now resting on the teachers’ work, many young people are giving their hearts to Jesus. Only last Lord’s-day a poor girl expressed great desire to tell the whole school that she had found the Savior. She was permitted to do so, and the effect of her testimony was to bring many to tears, and it is hoped it will lead them to Jesus. We have taken the ground for a new building, and have raised, together with a kind promise of Mr. Spurgeon of £150, over £500 since September last. At least £300 more is required. Will the good readers of The Sword and the Trowel help us to clear this off? We are exceedingly grateful to the friends who have sent us help. We only want a little more effort and the thing will be done. May the blessing of many who are ready to perish rest upon every loving heart and willing hand.
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle, by Mr. J. A. Spurgeon. — April 26th, twenty-one; April 29th, thirty-three May 6th, five.