WHOSE FAITH FOLLOW.
AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON TO THE MEMBERS OF MRS. BARTLETT’S CLASS ON THE SABBATH AFTER HER LAMENTED DECEASE. F7 My dear Friends, — On this occasion I will not try to comfort you, for I fear I might only aggravate your sorrow. I have already attempted the painful duty on two occasions, both at the time of the funeral and also this morning; but your wounds are too new and too deep. May the Holy Spirit exercise his chosen office of Comforter, and then your griefs will be assuaged. I shall rather endeavor this afternoon to make practical use of the life and character of our beloved friend. I am sure if we could hear her wishes from her own mouth she would say, “Weep not for me, but follow me so far as I followed Christ” and she would not forbid my speaking of her if thereby any of you might be benefited, for she lived only for your good. In that respect her desires are unchanged; even in glory she loves you still. Anything about her that would glorify Christ she would not wish me to withhold.
The Apostle Paul addressed the Hebrew believers in the thirteenth chapter of his epistle at the seventh verse, and said, on the behalf of teachers and pastors (and Mrs. Bartlett was both of these), “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God, whose faith follow.” Those last words shall serve me for a text, “WHOSE FAITH FOLLOW.”
I could, this afternoon, have held up our departed sister as an example in a great number of points of character, but in selecting her faith I halve chosen that which lay at the root of all the rest. “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” and therefore until we believe in the Lord Jesus none of those things which, are pleasing to God are to be found in us. Faith is the boring-rod which taps the great “deep which lieth under” and enables the fountain of grace to well up in streams of Christian virtue. With faith we must begin, with faith we must continue, and with this we must close; for, as the first sure token of salvation is faith as a grain of mustard seed, so its perfection is faith with the far-reaching boughs, beneath which the weaker ones find a shelter. “The just shall live by faith.” Hence the apostle in saying “Whose faith follow” means, in fact, that we are to follow them in every grace, only he points his finger expressly at that which is the center and kernel of all.
But; have you faith? Have you all believed in the Lord Jesus Christ? If you have not, why not? and wherefore? We are sometimes attacked by unbelievers, and they seem to think it will be difficult for us to justify our faith: we do not find it so, but, on the other hand, you unbelievers have a task before you which you will never be able to accomplish, namely, to justify your unbelief. Many of you know that the gospel is true, you know that Jesus is the Son of God, you know that his blood taketh away sin, and yet you are not trusting in the cleansing blood, you are not believers in the Son of God, but you remain still without Christ, unpardoned, unrenewed.
How can you excuse your unbelief? How will you excuse it at the last great day? You have no faith, and therefore you are “condemned already, because you have not believed,” and remaining as you are you must be lost; for ever. I would to God that this afternoon you might follow Mrs. Bartlett’s faith by resting as she did in the great sacrifice. Come to the Savior just as you are:, with all your sins and weaknesses, and tell him you are lost and undone without him, and that from his feet you will never go until he look upon you and say, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” Come without fear, for Jesus has sweetly said, “Him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out.”
There are some points about our beloved sister’s faith that I would urge you to follow, and the first relates chiefly to you who are young. Oh that you might follow her in the early birth of her faith. She was quite a child when the Holy Spirit wrought saving faith in her. I do not see many here so young as she was when she made a profession of her faith in our blessed Lord. I would urge upon you younger ones to pry in the language of the psalm, “O satisfy us early with thy mercy, that; we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” I have noticed that many of the most eminent saints were called early. Sin, even when repented of and blotted out, leaves a weakness behind, but when the sour is preserved from falling into the grossest sins through early conversion there is often developed by the Holy Spirit a character of peculiar beauty aria a piety of special excellence. Your Samuels, and Josephs, and Josiahs, and Daniels, are “men greatly beloved,” and young women who give their hearts to Jesus when they are young are most likely to grow up into Christians who shall be like Deborah, who was “a mother in Israel.” Those who give to God the morning of their youth shall find him doubly precious in the evening of their days. From seven to seventy makes a grand Christian life, and roughly speaking our beloved friend realized that joy. I am myself a living testimony to the sweetness of giving the dewy morning to Jesus. I was not vet; sixteen years of age when I was baptized into the name of the sacred Three, and I have never regretted that with my mouth I thus early made confession of the Lord Jesus. Oh that I had sooner believed: It is, quite impossible for us to find eternal life too soon. It were well to be so soon converted as to have no bad example to regret, no wasted years to mourn over, no formation of evil habits to lament, no memories of a conscience tampered with to embitter the future. Oh, you who are very young, dear Mrs. Bartlett speaks to you, and from her grave reminds you that those who seek the Lord early shall find him.
I would new say follow her faith in the continuance of it. During all those long years our beloved friend was kept by the grace of God standing on the same rock on which she put her childish foot, looking up to the same Savior whom she, had saluted in her girlish days as Christ her Lord, growing in grace, becoming rooted and grounded and built up in him. She continued walking in the same way — the good old way — abiding steadfast in the fulfill even unto life’s close. We have been so stunned by the blow of her unexpected death that we have, perhaps, forgotten that it was almost time for her to go home. She had reached her threescore years and ten, so that hers was not a life terminated before its time. She has been gathered like a shock of corn fully ripe that cometh in its season.
Throughout that life which, according to the rule of nature, may be considered to be a complete one, she was enabled to press forward in the heavenly race with undiminished ardor. True to the last hour to her lifework, she spent the last gasp of her breath in her Lord’s service. She was for years what She used frequently to call herself “a dying woman,” but site labored on to the end. She lived until her work was done; we are sure of that, for had there been more for her to do her Master, and ours, would have permitted her to remain to do it. Her work was finished; through divine grace and the power of the Holy Spirit it was finished: the last warning to you all she had. given, the last invitation to come to Jesus she had presented, the last prayer for you she had offered, and the last tear for you she had shed; and then she went home, and her Lord said to her, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Oh, my sisters, let us follow her faith in this. May we never be backsliders, never lose our first love, never turf. aside to crooked ways. If any of you have clone so, return I pray you. By the prayers and tears of her you loved so well, return, return! And may the Lord so restore you and stablish you in the faith that from this moment until you are summoned home you may never desert your post, nor slumber at it. “He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” Mrs. Bartlett stood firm to the last; let us gird ourselves also with the same mind. “Be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.”
Another point in her faith which I earnestly commend to this class, and all here present, was its unalloyed simplicity. Ever since I have known my beloved sister, now with God, I have admired the way in which she has kept to the simplicity of the gospel, both in her own experience and in her teaching. Many have come and gone, but we have always known where to find her. I remember her tremblings when certain novel views were introduced into the class by a good but unwise brother. Site came to. me and said, “ This will never do; those young people know nothing of those points, and do not need to know; they will be puzzled and led away from simply looking to Jesus.” I was of her mind, and rejoiced in her common sense, and in her holy resolve to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ and him cruel-fled. In her time she, with me, saw the rise and fall of many wise ones, who had found out something new: — oh, so new, so wonderful, so delightful! I have seen others go after these will-of-the-wisps until they have plunged into the mire, but none of these things moved her.
There she stood, knowing in her soul two things, herself a sinner and Christ a Savior. You have heard, I dare say, a good deal of talk about higher 1ife and perfection; you never heard a syllable from her concerning any higher life than the life of faith upon the Son of God, and vet if ever woman possessed the higher life she had it, and because she had it she could not see it in herself, and would never have been so vain as to assert that she exhibited it. The spiritually ugly see beauties in themselves; but the beautiful in heart mourn over their spots and imperfections. She knew that there is only one true life, namely, life in Christ, and there cart be nothing higher than that, for it is the life of God in the soul; and whoever strains after anything higher than that leaps at a shadow, and is in danger of missing the substance. Exalted views of their own spiritual attainments frequently crush men in despair when the bubble collapses. She kept to this — “I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him.” You never heard from her any “divers and strange doctrines.” I know that you have listened to everything that fell from her lips, some of you for many years, and you can bear witness that the end of her conversation was, as Paul puts it here, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and for ever.” If there was anything beyond Christ she did not seek it; if there was anything beside Christ, she did not desire it. Her motto was “Jesus only,” and this made her so safe a guide for young minds, and this made each one of you feel when you got anywhere under her lee like a ship in a quiet harbor. Now, dear young friends, and older friends too, imitate her faith in its simplicity. Be not dazzled with this or that. If any say, “Lo, here!” or “Lo, there!” say to yourself, and say to others too, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I commend to you the faith of your departed teacher for its intensity. She heartily and thoroughly believed, what she taught. Intense faith is not very common. We are very apt to take things at second-hand, and put them down as orthodox, and consider that we believe them. So to believe that when you are on the borders of the grave you can steadily gaze upon eternity without fear, this is faith. So to believe that, like my dear brother, William Olney, we can realize death and feel nothing but pleasure at the thought, because we shall so soon be with Jesus: riffs is to believe indeed.
Often has Mrs. Bartlett in spirit skirted the casts of eternity, for she was frequently prostrated with pain, and by that extreme weakness which succeeds it, and at; such times she has never displayed the slightest sign of doubt or dread. Her heart was fixed, trusting in the Lord. Her intense faith yielded comfort to herself, but it also affected others. She spoke because she believed, and her confidence gave her power. This is an age of falsehood, and the good must expect to be abused, but I have never heard anybody hint that Mrs. Bartlett did not believe what she taught, or was not in earnest while teaching it: surely Satan himself dared not insinuate that.
Her pathetic pleadings have forced the tear from the eyes of strong, minded men, for she felt every syllable that she uttered, and made others feel it.
Through God’s Holy Spirit, her unstaggering reliance upon the Savior has led many of you to confide in him. You saw how she believed, you saw the joy which her faith brought to her, the calm rest and power which she obtained, and you were led to Jesus Christ, perhaps unconsciously to ourselves, very much through her example. She was a thorough and complete believer; downright in her convictions and rooted in her principles. She was immersed into the Lord Jesus, she had not, been content with a mere sprinkling of faith; and according to her faith so was it unto her.
Imitate her faith, next, in its activity. What a worker she was. Nobody will ever know until the books are opened at the last how much she did. Her Sabbath-day work was but a small portion of her holy toil: she almost looked upon it, as relaxation: her work continued all the day, and every day of the week. How many times she has come to me with the burden of your souls upon her, to speak of the tempted, the afflicted, and the backsliding!
How frequently, also, did she tell me glad tidings concerning souls awakened and troubled ones brought to rest in Jesus. Your despondency’s, your temptations, your failings, she carried them all on her heart. I do not believe that any mother in this place knows her children much better than she knew the members of this class; and, what is more, I believe that there are few children who would tell their inward feelings to a mother so frankly as many of you have unbosomed yourselves to her. There was about her a sympathy of heart and an affectionateness of manner, and. an absence of everything like reserve and haughtiness, which drew you towards her and held you fast. Her heart was large and her efforts incessant. If her son, Mr. Edward Bartlett, were to rise and tell you what she did, which I am sure he cannot do, he would have a long story to tell. He himself has been fired by his mother’s zeal, and is one of the most industrious workers among us, and may God spare him long to labor on. She was a worker who neither needed the pastor’s praise to encourage her, nor his exhortation to enliven her. She needed the bit rather than the spur, for she went beyond her strength, and when ordered to rest she only went away and worked elsewhere. It is well to remember this, for this will make us see how long she lived: if we measure life by work rather than by years she lived as long as the ancients before the blood. My dear sisters, are there not some among you who love the Lord who could be equally active for him? I do not think we shall find her equal in all respects for many, many a day to come, but every working sister must be after her own order, and if you consecrate yourself as perfectly as she did you may not be useful in her line of action, but you will succeed in some other. God will open a door of usefulness, and help you to enter in. Some of you who have the gifts and the graces qualifying you to lead, should give yourselves up to the Lord, and ask him to anoint you with fresh oil. Our ranks are thinned, close them up. A brave officer has fallen, let each private soldier see to it that; the fight does not falter. Be instant in season and out of season, and so follow her faith’s activity.
Again, imitate her in her self-sacrifice, though not exactly in the form it took. Few could rightly make so supreme a sacrifice as Mrs. Bartlett did When she first came among us she was in a good position, obtaining by her own efforts a considerable income, but when the class multiplied it; called for so much of her time and attention that she determined to give up all, and devote herself entirely to this work. Accordingly she east herself upon the providence of God, and the kindly support of her two loving sons: but, as in the order of God’s providence her sons did not prosper as we would have desired, she had much reason to regret the step which she had taken, and yet so possessed was she with the passion for soul-winning that I do not think such a thought ever crossed her mind. I marked her self-denial, and it. was my great privilege to help her in divers ways as best I could, always judging that anything I could[do for her was exceedingly well laid out. I rejoiced to know and help a woman who could, for Christ’s sake, relinquish everything, just; before she died, as you perhaps know, her son, whom God has greatly prospered in America, came over to this country.
She told me herself that he pressed her to return with him, as he could provide for her most comfortably in his adopted country; he also urged his brother to emigrate, for there would be good prospects before him. She told me last Sabbath week that she knew it would be for her temporal advantage, but she added, “How could I leave that dear class?” The mother would gladly have joined her son, but; the lover of souls was stronger than the mother, and she said, “How can I leave the class which God has given me? How could Edward leave his work at the Alms Houses? It is impossible for me to go.” I rejoiced in both the mother and the son, and thanked God that I had such helpers. I am sure it was to Mrs. Bartlett a deliberate giving up of earthly comforts for your sakes when she resolved to abide with you She could not tell then, of course, that she was on the doorstep of heaven at that very moment when making, once again, a supreme sacrifice for her Lord and Master. She could not have made a more complete surrender, even had she known that the Lord was so near.
Yet see how, in her self-renunciation, she after all was led to do the best thing for herself; for now she did not die on her passage across the sea, and she did not die in a strange land, but she fell asleep amid old and happy associations, just as she would have desired to do had it. been left to her choice. May we also be willing, if it be for God’s glory, to suffer the loss of all things that we may win Christ, and be found in him.
I am sure if all could be told — and I am not authorized to tell it, nor would it be right for me to do so — she would be reckoned among the most illustrious of consecrated women. “Whose faith follow,” my sisters.. “Whose faith follow,” my brethren. Reckon yourselves rich, not in proportion to what you have, but in proportion to what you can sacrifice for Christ. Reckon yourselves to be wealthy, not in proportion to what you can lay by, but in proportion to what you can give to the Master’s cause; for he is most honored who can most completely forget himself and live entirely for the Lord. May that blessed Spirit who enabled her to present herself as a living sacrifice enable each one of us to do the same.
Last of all, “Whose faith follow” in the consummation of it; for now her faith has attained its reward. We think a great, deal of the dying words of good men and women; but perhaps we go too far in so doing. Some professors ought to bear a, good testimony for Christ when they come to die, for they have never done so ,luring their lives. Sometimes God enables his feeble ones to say good things when they are dying, for the sake of their relatives, who might otherwise have been overwhelmed with sorrow. I have no ambition myself to sit up in my bed and gather a company around me, and talk as some dying Christians have done; I would prefer to bear my testimony while I live, as Whitefield did. A friend remarked to him, “I should like to be near you when you die, Mr. Whitefield.” “Why?” said the man. of God. The answer was, “Because you will bear such a testimony for Jesus.” “No,” said Whitefield, “I do not suppose I shall; there is no need for it, for I have testified to hundreds of thousands all the while I have been living.” I want you so to live that if your life should be, suddenly cut short your work would be finished. There are so many unfinished lives: as you look at them you lament over them as fragmentary and unsatisfactory. Oar dear sister’s life has long been such that had she been called home at, any hour she would have died in harness and gone from her post to her portion.
There was nothing particular for her to do when she reached her last; moment. I did not hear of her sending for anybody to ask their forgiveness, nor that there was anybody whom she had to forgive; nor did she need to send for a minister to cheer her, nor to say to those about her, “Have pity upon me, oh my friends, for the hand of the Lord has touched me.” She had but one thought which was at all distressing; it was concerning those she left behind, and very largely about you, and who would watch over you in her absence. Beside that she had nothing to do, and that really was no work of theirs, because no worker is called upon to find his own successor.
We must all be satisfied like Moses to work up to the point at which God calls us away, and then leave him to find the Joshua who shall crown the enterprise. Her work was finished. Standing here and. looking back upon it; as calmly as I can, I pronounce hers to be a finished life. To God be all the glory.
Your class is now like a vessel without a captain; but meanwhile the Lord will bless you. Follow the faith of the departed by believing in God, and not in flesh and blood: “Whose faith follow” by expecting a great blessing still.
Do not be discouraged. Be not afraid: “only believe.’” I recollect a time when for certain reasons this class became very thin, and its condition was unsatisfactory, but Mrs. Bartlett said to me, “Well, if they all go away, I will begin again and gather another class.” and she buckled to the labor with such indomitable zeal that very soon all was flourishing again. Now that this trial has come, we will not dishonor our God by unholy mistrust, but we will begin again by God’s good blessing; nay, rather, we will keep on where she has left us, and I am sure that God will certainly find for the class the teaching which you need. We will do our best, all of us resting in the power of God, and the work of her hands shall be established for many years to come.
As for her who is gone, if anything could make heaven more heavenly to her it would he if she could look down and see the class quickened with a divine ardor, passionately longing for the conversion of souls, keeping well together like a well regulated army, and continuing that, blessed warfare which she for so long a time carried on in this place. I charge you by the love of Jesus Christ and by the love you bear her, try to make this class in years to come all that it has been in the past. Regard it; as her living monument. While some are planting flowers over the graves of their dear ones, be you yourselves the flowers, and this class the little garden, which shall keep loving memories from dying out. Never let the class flag in numbers, in earnestness, in prayer, or in service. Pray for it; work for it; live for it; because if God has magnified himself in it, it ought to be very precious to us.
To her God, and my God, and your God I commend you. He ever liveth and ever worketh. We who minister among you are all passing away, but he is the same, and of his years there is no end. Look up, I beseech you, from the coffin and the grave to your risen Lord, and his abiding Spirit, and hear him say, Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
WE have this month received the largest amount, save one, ever entrusted to us at one time, namely, £10,000, being a legacy left to us last year by the late Mr. Matthews, and notified to the public at that time. One half is for the College, and upon the strength of it we have received thirty more students, and have entered upon new fields of labor. The other moiety is for the Orphanage, and will be invested, according to our general rule with legacies, unless our daily needs should cause us to draw upon it. When our capital becomes large enough to put the Boys’ Orphanage somewhat more off our hands, it may be the Lord will then enable us to build a Girls’ Orphanage too. Had there not been a sum given at the commencement, as an endowment, we might not have thought of one, but as that was the basis at the commencement we feel bound to increase it when legacies are given; using donations for our every-day expenses.
Mrs. Spurgeon requests us to say that she was very sorry to decline some applications for lectures, and that she is exceedingly grateful to those friends who have so generously enabled her to resume the distribution. ‘She has acknowledged these kind gifts personally, and would have printed the list, only she believes that the donors do not wish to have it so. Poor ministers, really ministers, and really poor, can now apply; and those declined before will be among the first attended to. As there must be some limit, it is thought best not to include local preachers, and others who have resources beyond the support given by their people. Mrs. Spurgeon is every day sending out books to needy brethren whom we ave selected for her, and it gives her intense pleasure to be thus of use to the Lord’s people.
She suffers very greatly, and this holy service cheers the tedium of sickness, and affords her great comfort. Those who have sent the means have roads us both very happy, and we earnestly pray the Lord to reward them. Very cruel is the poverty of many Baptist ministers. How can they feed the people when they never see a new book? To supply them with mental food is a boon, not to them only, but to all their hearers. We trust this beneficent service will be continued. We have named the work MRS. SPURGEON’ S FUND, and we believe that it will not soon come to an end, but will do great good.
The loss of our excellent Mrs. Bartlett, and the continued illness of Mr. William Olney, our right-hand helper in spiritual things, are subjects for much earnest prayer. We feel both these sorrows very greatly. Yet there are sweet alleviations in the love of our people and their zealous endeavors to supply every lack of service. Nothing flags. Converts are more numerous than ever, and the crowds at the Tabernacle so vast as to cause great difficulties as to modes of admission. We have done our best, and those who cavil at our plans little know what anxieties surround us on this account, or they would not judge us so severely. When everybody is overcrowded and inconvenienced, and those who suffer most from pressure bear it all patiently, it is a pity that a few should be so loud in their complaints, and throw abroad charges of discourtesy and so forth. If our friends could know how many conflicting claims we have to meet, they would see that ours is no ordinary case, and cannot be managed by ordinary methods. If this great pressure continues, a crowded house and an enormous church will lay burdens upon us which will make our position one of eminent trial. We and our worthy helpers at the entrances are all doing our best, but we claim the sympathy and aid of all who worship with us, and we ought not to be saddened by ungenerous remarks.
It was great delight to us the other evening to meet a numerous band of workers who have rallied round Mr. William Olney, junior, the eldest son of our worthy deacon. In one of the worst parts of Bermondsey he is carrying on a mission work, which for life, energy, and real results is second to none.
Our excellent helper Mr. Dunn has worked hard to erect a new mission house and school in a very poor part of Walworth, but he still needs £200.
We hope our Tabernacle friends and others will see this good work carried through at once, for it concerns our own neighborhood, and we must not neglect it. No debt should ever be thought of.
This cannot meet the eye of any blind gentleman, but we hope some wealthy blind friend will ‘near of it. We are very anxious to build a chapel for the poor blind. Mr. Hampton needs such a place for his noble efforts.
We think we can get a site, and as these poor people often bring their dogs with them, and as we have to provide them with tea, a separate well ventilated building is greatly wanted.
God has been very gracious to the Orphanage in the matter of health.
While epidemics have been raging we have had only one case of fever, and that by no means an aggravated one. The sad visitation at the noble Orphanage at Bristol made us tremble, and while we prayed for our brethren there, we also cried to the Lord to avert the scourge from us, and now we bless his name that he has done so.
A fourth teacher is needed for the Orphanage. A Christian young man would find a great sphere of usefulness among the boys. For particulars apply to Mr. Charlesworth, The Orphanage, Stock well, London.
Our Friend, Mr. Hayles, Hanover Street, Kennington, has very kindly painted and grained our Orphanage gates, and lettered the great board. We are very much obliged to him, and hope that other tradespeople, by following so good an example, of helping in their own line of things, will save the Orphanage much expense.
A friend, J. R., a draper, has sent a fine collection of dress materials, which have become unsaleable by change of fashion. Our worthy sister, Mrs. Evans, will be right glad to make them up for the daughters of our poor Baptist ministers. All sorts of material for garments will be turned to good account by her Home and Foreign Mission Working Society at the Tabernacle.
A friend who asks for information is informed that warm socks, shirts, collars, etc., are always acceptable at the Orphanage, whether in large or small quantities. We thank those who have it in their hearts to aid us by their own work.
Grand news comes from Reading of the bazaar to be held ‘there for the Orphanage. The stalls will be many, and the supply of goods promises to be abundant. We cannot tell how grateful we are for this. May every worker, donor, and helper have as much joy in it as we have. To help poor helpless widows and orphans is a work which angels might envy us.
We are very grieved to hear of the death of our friend Mr. Edward Webb, for twenty-five years the beloved pastor of the Baptist church, Tiverton.
Very ill can the churches afford to lose such a man. “O thou sword of the Lord, how long shall it be ere thou be quiet.” Our ranks are thinning sadly, and’ as yet we see not the men arising to fill the vacancies. Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to. send forth laborers into his harvest.
Since writing this we find that Mr.. Joseph Wilshire, of Derby, has also fallen, asleep and left a family of seven children totally unprovided for’. He also was one of our active brethren, and will be greatly missed. The death of that noble old man, and ripe scholar, Dr. Davies, of Regent’s Park College, is yet another irreparable loss. What repeated crashes are heard in the forest! Our cedars fall. How long will it be ere the fir-trees shall follow?
The noble Duke of Westminster has generously given some houses for the enlargement of the Baptist Chapel, Chester, where our friend Mr. Durban preaches. He has also opened his bazaar. May he. receive the reward of those who help the servants for their Master’s sake. Our denomination ought, after this, to carry Mr. Durban through his effort on the crest of the wave.
Mr. Oldring, who is laboring so hard at Burnley, we commend to the liberal aid of all our friends in that region.
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle By Mr. V. J. Charlesworth — July 22nd, nineteen; July 29th, sixteen. By Mr. J. A. Spurgeon: — August 16th, seventeen.
THE TESTIMONIAL TO MR. SPURGEON. F8 IN January last the church members at the Tabernacle presented the senior pastor with a beautiful calligraphic testimonial, the words of which are as follows : — “Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. The Baptized Church of Jesus Christ meeting in the Metropolitan Tabernacle, assembled in its Annual Church Meeting on Friday, January 8th, 1875, resolved unanimously, — “That we desire as a church to record our devout gratitude to. our Heavenly Father that he has sustained our dear Pastor C. H.SPURGEON through twenty-one years of faithful, loving, and eminently successful ministry in our midst. Beyond all precedent in the history of the Lord’s people has been the result of the preaching of the word of God, as manifested in the gathering in of the saints, and the maintenance of Christian fellowship and ordinances among us. For this the Lord’s name be praised. “To you our dearly beloved Pastor we desire to express our growing attachment and increasing love and esteem. With you we rejoice over the issue of the twenty volumes of sermons, in the hearing and perusal of which so many of us have found salvation, and all of us instruction, stimulus, and comfort. Fervently do we pray that many thousands of readers may be by them refreshed, quickened, and guided into all truth. “Our hearts share your joy because the good hand of God has enabled you to erect and open free from debt the New Buildings for the Pastors’ College. Our desire for you is that for many years you may be permitted to train up there a goodly band of preachers, who shall faithfully maintain those truths which you have so eloquently preached to us. The conjunction of these three striking events in your life has led us thus to address you in this testimonial. “We commend you and your many works of faith to the great Head of the Church, and assure you that we esteem it a priceless privilege to follow in your steps, to listen to your ministrations, and cooperate with you in all your services for God. “May all grace be yours to sustain you in your afflictions, to prosper you in all your labors, and bless you in yore’ person and in your family. “Praying that in the years to come we may see yet greater things than these, we are your loving people in the fellowship of the Gospel. “JAMES A.SPURGEON, Co-Pastor. “Signed on behalf of the Deacons,WILLIAM OLNEY.
“Signed on behalf of the Elders,JOHN WARD.”
Our friends at home and readers generally may be glad to learn that the above has been copied in fac simile by the Woodbury process of photography, and may be had of Mr. E. Marshall, 1, Crown-buildings, Queen Victoria-street, London, and of Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster, 4, Paternoster Buildings. When framed this work of art is quite suitable for any drawing-room, and its execution has already called forth the highest encomiums of the press. There are three sizes, the smallest corresponding with the ordinary cabinet album portraits, whilst the middle and the largest sizes make tolerably large pictures. The prices are one shilling, half-a- crown, and four shillings. It should be added that portraits of Mr. C.H. Spurgeon and Mr. J. A. Spurgeon, taken expressly for the purpose, embellish the border of the Testimonial. These are not in the original, but they add interest to the copies.
MRS.SPURGEON has been able to distribute a large number of parcels of books to ministers whom she knew to be in need. Several friends have sent sums of money, to these she tenders her sincere thanks. We trust that from time to time others will do the same. One gentleman has sent a number of exceedingly good books for the same object. We have on several occasions in days past received parcels consisting of old magazines and the sweepings of libraries, and we have concluded that the donors thought we kept a butter shop; but this friend sent really standard volumes which will, we trust, be a boon to some poor preacher. This good work of providing mental food for poor preachers ought never to cease till the incomes of all ministers are doubled. May “Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund” become a permanent source of blessing to ministers and churches. Mrs. Spurgeon is still able to give a copy of “Lectures to my Students” to all poor ministers who apply to her.
We are now working the College upon an enlarged scale. We have some ninety-two men, and the weekly payments cause our cash in hand to melt like snow in the sun. Having received a large sum, and finding that the dearth of ministers increases, we resolved to refuse none who were suitable, however great our expenditure might be. We have, however, now gone very nearly to the end of our tether, for the present expenditure is very large. Our students are continually going forth to fill vacant pulpits; in fact, from the camp at the College a line of warriors never ceases to march forth. Friends, do not forget us in your prayers, for the work is a very responsible and anxious one. Who is sufficient for these things.?
Mr. Gammon, of our College, has been accepted by the Baptist Mission for Turk’s Island. Mr. Martin, who has long led the College as its secretary, has settled over the church which he has gathered in Erith, Kent. We believe that with God’s blessing Mr. Martin has a life of great usefulness before him. Mr. A. E. Johnson has also accepted the pastorate of the church at Mount Zion, Swansea.
We need an assistant schoolmaster at the Orphanage. A young man who loves the Lord Jesus, and feels at home in teaching children, might here find a suitable sphere.
Our friend, Mr. Toiler, at Waterbeech, Cambridgeshire, who always sets aside an acre of ground for the Orphanage, reports — “ Wheat threshed; yield poor. Potatoes now being taken up, quality good, but crop light. All shall be sent in a day or two. This is a bad year, the worst I have ever known; next year may be the best.” Mr. John Saunders has done the same as Mr. Teller. but we hope his crop is better. If we had an acre in every county the yield would probably be an average all round. Cambridgeshire is well represented, who will see to another county for next year? To support poor orphans is the business of all-true Christians, and not ours alone. We trust that without needing to beg our treasury will not be suffered to fail.
The Collectors for the Orphanage are invited to meet Mr. Spurgeon to tea, at Stockwell, on Friday evening, October 22nd. Views of the Thames will be exhibited.
Friends in Berkshire and vicinity will please note that through the noble exertions of the friends of the orphans at Reading a grand bazaar will be held there, October 12th, 13th, and .14th. Mr. Spurgeon will open the bazaar at 12 o’clock on Tuesday, and preach on the Wednesday. Very earnestly do we thank those who have made the effort, and we trust the result will be such as to gratify them. Reading is the town which beyond every other, except perhaps Liverpool, has always helped the Stockwell Orphanage.
Our orphan boys would gladly give a Service of Song for the Orphanage in any London chapel which may be lent to us. This way of helping us would burden no one, and yet promote our object greatly. The season for such things is now beginning, and arrangements should now be made. Mr. Charlesworth also is ready to lecture for the same object any Tuesday evening, and he can do it.
August 20. — A most interesting meeting was held at the Tabernacle of the friends who work with Mr. William Olney, Junior, in Bermondsey. This earnest company of workers carry on missionary operations in a very destitute district with very remarkable success. Mr. William Olney, our beloved deacon, was present, but we regret to add that his health is not improved, and he is not fitted for any public service. O that the Lord would restore him to us. Meanwhile we rejoice that his son follows so diligently in his father’s footsteps.
September 16. — Our beloved brother, Mr. Orsman, baptized at the Tabernacle twenty-one persons, whom the Lord has lately called by grace, out of the region of Golden Lane. These are only a part of a larger band who are yet to come. Our readers know something of this mission among the costermongers and the poorest of the poor. Glory be to God, it is not in vain.
Sept. 17. — Mr. C. H. Spurgeon presided at a meeting of the Tabernacle Evangelists’ Society, and was delighted to hear of the zealous efforts of the brethren and sisters in street preaching and the holding of cottage meetings. Our people are alive, and the neighborhood is made to hear the gospel of Jesus.
The meeting of the Baptist Union commences at Plymouth October 4th.
The prayers of believers should ascend to heaven that the gatherings may be a great means of blessing to the denomination and the town.
Mr. Hampton’s work among the blind goes on admirably in all aspects but the pecuniary one. The funds have run out, and we have had to make him an advance. Yet these poor blind people must have the gospel, we are persuaded it is the Lord’s will, and we are confident he will send the means for getting them together to hear the word.
The Colportage Association also drags somewhat heavily in money matters. The Lord has been very gracious to relieve us from all anxiety upon some parts of our work, but he somewhat tries us as to other portions of it. Nevertheless, we are sure he will not suffer his own work to want. God only knows what we have to do, and how tempted we are at times, but our faith is firm that he will not fail us nor forsake us. “John Ploughman’s Talk” has now reached to the surprising number of 230,000, and still it goes. John begs us to say that his Sheet Almanac for 1876 is almost ready.
Our usual Penny Illustrated Almanac will be issued in a few days.
Friends making wedding or birthday presents would find our “Interpreter” in its best dress a suitable gift. It would be a very plain suggestion to a newly married couple of the desirableness of having family prayer, and also a grand help to them in carrying it on.
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle: By Mr. J. A. Spurgeon: August 25th, 22; Sept. 2, 22. By Mr. W. J. Orsman: Sept. 16th, 21.