A SHORT SERMON FOR A WINTER’S EVENING.
MARCH 1876 BY C. H. SPURGEON.
“And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals, for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.” — John 18:18.
WE note from this incident that it was a cold night in which our Redeemer agonized in the garden of Gethsemane See Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, No. 2,767, “Jesus in Gethsemane.” . A cold night, and yet he sweat! A cold night, and yet there fell from him, not the sweat of a man who earns the staff of life; but the sweat of One who was earning life itself. “His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” No natural heat of the sun, or of a sultry evening, caused this, but the heat with in his soul distilled those sacred drops. His heart’s throbs were so mighty that it seemed to empty itself, and his life-floods rushed with such awful force that the veins, like overfilled rivers, burst their banks, and covered his blessed person with gory drops. On such a wintry night as this, while you wrap your garments about you, I would ask you to remember the olive garden, and the lone Sufferer, all unsheltered, entering into the dread anguish by which he won our souls from death and hell. The sharp frost may be a useful monitor to us if it makes us think of him, and remember that dark, that doleful night, when all the powers of evil met, and, even unto blood, he strove with them for our sakes.
Now we will take you away from the garden to the high priest’s hall where the incident occurred which is regarded in the text, and we will make as good a use as we can of it. I suppose it was a large dark hall in which the soldiers, and the priests, and the rabble were gathered together. There may have been a few lamps lighting up the further end, where Christ was with his judge and his accusers; but the greater part of the hall would have no other light than the glare of the fire which had been kindled, — a charcoal fire, around which the band of men who had seized Christ, and the servants of the high priest, gathered, to keep themselves warm. We are going to make five observations upon that, and upon the fact that Peter was amongst, those who warmed themselves at that fire.
I. The first observation is this.THIS IS ATYPICAL INCIDENT AS TO THE MOST OFMEN. Jesus Christ was being tried. Some were very busy about it, being full of malice and burning with rage; but a great many more were indifferent, and in the presence of a rejected and maltreated Savior were carelessly warming their hands. It was not a matter that interested them, they did not care; whether he escaped or was condemned; it was very cold, and so they warmed their hands. Now, in a land like this, where Jesus Christ is preached, it is a sad circumstance that there are individuals who oppose him and his gospel. There is the infidel, who denies the gospel altogether; there is the superstitious man, who sets up another way of salvation; and there is the persecutor, who rages at Christ and his people. Yet these active enemies are comparatively few; the great bulk of those who hear the gospel are not open opponents, but like Gallio, care for none of these things. They know that there is a Christ, and they have some idea of his salvation, but it does not interest, them, or awaken any sympathy in their minds. “What shall we eat, and what shall we drink? “ — these are the great questions of their catechism, but as to who this glorious Sufferer is, and why he died, and what all the blessings which he bought with his precious blood, none of these things move them, and they forget, neglect, or despise the great salvation and the Savior too. They are full of the business of warming their hands! The death of Jesus may be important to other people, it may concern ministers, and clergymen, and professors; but it is nothing at all to them, they have other matters to attend to, and their own comfort is their main concern. Around that charcoal brazier the servants of the high priest warmed their hands, and so, in their temporal comforts, or in murmuring at the lack of them, the most of men spend their lives. To them it is nothing that Jesus should die; a rise in their wages, a fall in provisions, or a change in the money market is far more important to them.
If you think of it, this is a very terrible thing. Christ comes into the world to save men, yet men do not think it worth their while to turn their gaze upon him. He takes their nature, but his incarnation does not interest them; he dies that men may not perish, and men care not one whit for his great love. One tries away to his farm, and another to his merchandise; one has bought a yoke of oxen, and goes to prove them; and another has married a wife, and therefore he cannot come. They are eager for the bread which perisheth, but they make light of the meat which endureth the life everlasting; they think much of this world, but nothing of the world to come. Jesus is over yonder on his trial, and they are waning their hands.
I pray you think this over a few minutes, any of you who have been indifferent to the great realities of redemption, and see what it is and who it is that you thus, treat with discourtesy. It is the Son of God, the Redeemer of men, whom you neglect. Can you imitate those who rattled the dice-box at the foot of the cross, in utter hardness of heart, though Christ’s blood was falling upon them as they cast lots upon his vesture? Can you trifle in the presence of a dying Savior? Can you , did I say? Alas! some have done so for thirty, forty, fifty, and even sixty years; and unless the almighty grace of God prevents, they will continue to trifle still, — to sport, and play, and seek their own case in the presence of the bleeding Son of God, within earshot of his dying groans.
See, he dies, and they place his body in the sepulcher; but, on the third day, according to his promise, he rises again from the dead. That risen Savior is surrounded by the glory of promises unspeakably precious, for he has risen for the justification of his people, and as the firstfruits of them that slept, — the great pledge that all those who sleep in him shall rise as he has risen.
An august mystery, — a mystery which brought angels out of heaven, the one to sit at the head and the other at the feet, where his body had lain; and yet men eat, drink, sleep, and wake as if no risen Jesus had been here. In the presence of the risen Christ many only warm their hands, for it is gold.
The animal has mastered the mental; the body, which is the baser part of man, and cleaveth to the dust, has subdued the soul, and so the man allows himself to trifle in the presence of Jesus risen from the dead.
Nor is this all, for he that rose from the dead ascended after forty days. A cloud received him out of the sight of his disciples, and he rose into the glory, and now he sitteth at the right hand of the Father, reigning there head over all principalities and powers, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Men do not generally trifle in the presence of a king; if they have petitions to present, they put on an air of reverence. In the presence of the Royal Intercessor, who pleads for us day and night, one would think there would be some interest excited; but no, the multitude want their hands, and think nothing of him. In his presence, they forget his redeeming love, neglect his great salvation, and remain without God and without Christ. This is terrible! As I see the worldling, merely caring for his personal comfort while Christ is in the glory, I marvel, first, at the insolence of the sinner, and, secondly, at the infinite patience of the Savior.
The Lord Jesus is to come a second time to judge the earth in righteousness; when he shall appear, no man knoweth, but come he will, and before him every one of us must stand. If we he alive and remain, we shall join in that great throng, and if we fall asleep before his coming, we shall rise from the dead, at the sound of the trumpet which proclaims his advent, and shall all be judged of the Most High. The hour of his appearing is not revealed, in order that we may always stand a-tiptoe, expecting it to be to-day, or to-morrow, for he has said, “Behold, I come quickly.” Oh, how can you still be money-grubbing, pleasure-seeking, enjoying yourselves, living only for this world, living to got a competence, living to be what is called “respectable “, and to feed yourselves like, the beasts of the field? Have you no thoughts for the Judge, and the day of his coming?
Shall our immortal spirits spend all their energies on these trifling temporary things in prospect of that great tremendous day, when Christ with clouds shall come? Surely the solemnities of judgment should constrain us to think of something nobler than earth and time.
There was no harm in their warming their hands, neither is there any harm in our attending to the things of this life; indeed, they ought to be seen to, and seen to with care; but there is something higher,-something nobler and loftier for us to do than to serve ourselves; and as it was horrible that we should be so callous in the presence of the suffering Jews, so is the widespread indifference of sinners a terrible thing. I would to God that the unthinking portion of those who hear the gospel might be startled out of their groveling care for the things of this life, and each one of them be led to ask, “What have I to do with this Jesus of Nazareth? Is his blood sprinkled upon me? Has he cleansed me from my sin? May I hope for salvation through him?” Oh, consider ye these things, and give an answer to your consciences; and God do so with you as you shall think of Christ your Lord.
II. Secondly, we remark that,FOR ADISCIPLE TO MAKE HIS OWN COMFORT THE CHIEF THING IN THE PRESENCE OF HIS SUFFERING MASTER IS MOSTINCONSISTENT.
One does not wonder at the high priest’s servants making a fire of coals, for it was cold — and one is not surprised at their standing to warm their hands, for they knew but little, comparatively, of Christ. They had never tasted of his love, they had never seen his miracles, they had not been asked to watch with him in the garden of Gethsemane, they had never heard him say, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee:” the marvel is that Peter should stand there among them warming his hands. Why did he do so? Not because He was indifferent to his Master. Let us do him justice; it is plain that he was in a dreadful state of mind that night. He was so attached to his Master that he followed him up to the door of the hall, and stopped there till John came out, and admitted him. He went up to the fire because he thought he must act as others did, so as to escape suspicion, and as they waned their hands, he did the same, so as to appear as one of them. It so happened, however, that the light of the fire shone upon his face, and lit up his countenance, so that one said, “Thou art one of his disciples.” Then, to get away from observation, we find Peter passing into another part of the hall, where, I suppose, it was darker. The people were talking, and Peter must needs talk, for it was his weakness to do so, and, moreover, he might have been suspected again had he been silent. Then another remarked, “Thou also art of Galilee, for thy speech betrayeth thee.” He was discovered again, and so made for the door, but was known there also. He was all in a tremble. He did love his Master, weak as his faith was, and therefore he could not leave him, and yet he was afraid to confess him. He was worried and troubled, tossed to and fro between a desire to rush forward and do some rash thing for his Lord and a fear of his own life. He went to the fire, because nobody would think that a follower of Jesus could warm his hands while his Master was being despitefully entreated.
You see the gist of my observation, that for a disciple of Christ to make his own ease and comfort the main thing is most palpably inconsistent with the Christian character. Ah, dear brethren, our Lord had not where to lay his head; though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor; can it be consistent for the Christian to make the getting of money the main business of life? Is such a disciple like his Master? The Master gives up everything, shall the disciple labor to aggrandize himself?
Some warm their hands, not at the fire of wealth so much as at the fire of honor. They want approbation, respect, esteem, and they will do anything to gain it. Conscience is violated, and principle is forgotten, to gain the approbation of their fellow-men. Whatever happens, they must be respected and admired. Is this as it should be? Are they really disciples of the Nazarene? Is that their Master, despised and rejected, spit upon and jeered? Is he their Lord who made himself of no reputation? If so, how can they court the smiles of men, and sacrifice truth to popularity? What can be more insistent, — the disciple warming his hands, and the Master enduring the contradiction of sinners against himself? Dear brethren, every time our cheek crimsons with shame because of the taunts of the wicked, and we lower our colors because of the jeers of the godless, we are guilty at heart of the meanness of seeking to fare better than our Lord. Every time we check a testimony because it would involve us in censure, every time we stay from a labor because we covet ease, every time we are impatient at the suffering which the cross involves, every time we “make provision for the flesh, to obey the lusts thereof,” every time we seek case where he toiled, honor where he was put to shame, and luxury where he endured an ignominious death, we are like Peter amongst the ribald throng, warming our hands at the fire while our Lord is buffeted and shamefully entreated.
May the Holy Spirit keep us from this!
III. We now come to our third observation.IT IS MUCH BETTER TO BE COLD THAN TO WARM OURSELVES WERE WE ARE EXPOSED TOTEMPTATION.
Peter, if he had known it, was better off outside the door than in the hall. I suppose he had forgotten the Master’s warnings; for if he had thought of them, he would have said to himself, “Peter, thou hadst better go home.
Did not Jesus, in fact, tell thee to go home, when he said to those who came to seize him, ‘If ye seek me, let these go their way’?” It would seem to have been the path of humble obedience to have gone his way, and not to have pressed into the hall. Though no doubt the motives which led both Peter and John into the high priest’s house were commendable, Peter’s position among the soldiers and hangers-on around the fire was extremely full of peril, and offered no corresponding advantages. Did he not know that “evil communications corrupt good manners”? Did he not know that the men who had taken his Lord prisoner were not fit associates for him?
Should he not have felt that, though he might have his hands warmed, he would be likely to get his heart blackened by mixing with such company?
Brethren, I like to warm my hands; but if I cannot warm them without burning them, I would rather keep them cold. Many things are in a measure desirable; but if you cannot obtain them without exposing yourself to the smut of sin, you had better let them alone. I have known professors far too anxious to mix with what is called “good society.” Now, for the most part, good society, as things are nowadays, is very bad society for a Christian.
The best society in the world for me, I know, is to associate with my brethren in Christ. Title, rank, and wealth, are a poor compensation for the lack of true religion. Yet some professors covet the honors of the ungodly world, and they say, “It is not so much for ourselves, we are advanced in years; but we want to bring the girls out, and our young men, you know, our sons must have some society.” Yes, and for the sake of this dangerous luxury our churches are deprived of successors to godly fathers. Instead of seeing the younger members of Christian households drafted into our ranks, we have continually to begin again with new converts from the outer world. Full often, professors who God prospers in this world so train their children that they forsake the spiritual worship of God, and turn their backs on principles for which their forefathers dared to bleed and die. I charge you, brethren, remember that, if you cannot be admitted into “society” without concealing your principles, you are far better off without society.
Has not our Lord called us to go without the camp? Are we not warned against being conformed to this world? Deny yourselves the warm place around society’s charcoal brazier, for its sulfurous vapor will do you more harm than the cold.
Some whom I have known have ventured very far upon very dangerous ground to win the affection of a chosen object. There is no wiser precept in Holy Scripture than that which commands Christians to marry “only in the Lord.” It never can conduce to take comfort of any Christian man or woman to be unequally yoked together with an unbeliever, you had far better remain in the cold of your bachelor or spinster life than warm your hands at the fire of unhallowed marriage.
Not a few are tempted by the cleverness of certain literature to defile their minds with skeptical and even blasphemous writings. Such and such a “Quarterly” or “Fortnightly” is so very clever that you are regarded as a Philistine and an ignoramus if you do not read it. Yet, if you do read it, you are never the better, but very much the worse, for your pains; why then yield to its more than doubtful influence? Do you pray the better for such reading? Have you more faith in God after perusing such works? No; but doubts which would not else have occurred to you are sown in your mind, difficulties which only exist in ungodly brains are conjured up, and the time which ought to have been spent in devotion, and in growing in grace, and in bringing others to Jesus, you waste in battling for the very life of your faith, which you have needlessly exposed to assault. I do not believe it to be essential to roll in a ditch every day for the sake of proving the efficacy of the clothes brush, neither is it worthwhile to seek out infidel doubts in order so try our logical powers upon them. Some tell us that we must keep abreast of the times; but if the times run the wrong way, I see no reason why we should run with them. Rather let us leave the times, and dwell in the eternities. If I can be cheered and refreshed by good literature, and be the better and wiser for it, I am thankful; but if I must, in warming my hands, defile them with unbelief, I will sooner let them become blue with cold.
Perhaps, dear friends, our liability to be injured by that which renders us comfortable is one reason why God does not subject some of his best people to the trials of prosperity. Have you not sometimes wished that you were rich? I daresay you have; but perhaps you never will be. You did prosper once, but it came to an end. Once or twice the prize of wealth seemed within your reach, others seized it, and you are still working hard, and earning a bare crust. We do not know what you might have been if you had been allowed to succeed. In warming your hands you might have burned them. Many Christians have been impoverished by their wealth, and brought to inward wretchedness by outward prosperity. You have flourished best in the soil in which the Lord has kept you; anywhere else you might have run to seed. Some years since, when the first larch tree was introduced into England, the person who had brought home the specimen put it into his hothouse to grow. It did not flourish, and no wonder, for it delights in a colder atmosphere; the gardener therefore pulled up the spindly thing by the roots, and threw it upon the dunghill; and there, to everybody’s surprise, it grew wonderfully. It was created to flourish under trying circumstances, and perhaps you are of the same order. Learn you the lesson, and be content to be where you are.
IV. A fourth observation is this, —IF ACHRISTIAN ACTS INCONSISTENTLY,HE IS PRETTY SURE TO BE FOUNDOUT.
Here was Peter warming his hands, and he thought that nobody would know him, but his face, as we said before, was illuminated by the light of the fire, and one said, “Surely thou art one of his disciples.” The fire did not merely warm, but it threw light on him, and showed him up; and so, when it comes to pass that a Christian gets into association with the ungodly, and figures with them, his sin will find him out. I have noticed, in a very wide, sphere of observation, that bade me may do wrong for years, and not be discovered, and that hypocrites may contrive to carry on their hypocrisy half a lifetime without being unmasked; but a true man, a real child of God, if he shall only do a tenth as much wrong as others, will be certain to bet detected. Peter tried to look uncommonly comfortable and calm while at the fire, but he could not do it; he discovered himself by the twitches of his face, and the very look of him; and when he spoke, as we have already said, the tones of his voice betrayed him. A Philistine helmet will not sit well upon an Israelite, he wears it awkwardly, and is known though in disguise. Ah, Christian man, you had better keep to your own company; it is of no use for you to try to travel incognito through this world, for it will detect you. Never go where you will be ashamed to be seen, for you will be seen. A city set on a hill cannot be hid; a lighted candle must be seen. A speckled bird will be noticed where no note is taken of others. Worldlings have lynx eyes with which to spy out erring professors, and they are sure to publish your faults, for they are sweet morsels to them. “Report it! Report it!” say they. In vain will you try to pass yourself off as a stranger to Christ, your speech will betray you, and the finger of scorn will be justly pointed at you for your inconsistency; therefore, keep to your own company, and walk not in the way of the wicked.
V. The fifth point is this, — and you all know it to be true, —IT IS A
GREAT DEAL EASIER TO WARM YOUR HANDS THAN YOURHEARTS. A few coals in a brazier suffice to warm Peter’s hands; but even the infinite love of Jesus did not just then warm his heart. O sirs, what was the scene at the end of the hill? Was not that enough to set all hearts aglow? It was a bush that burned with fire, and was not consumed. It was the Son of God smitten on the mouth, and vilely slandered, and yet bearing it all for love of us. O sirs, there was a furnace at the other end of the hall, — a furnace of love divine! If Peter had but looked at his Master’s face, marred with agony, and seen upon it the mark of his terrible night’s sweat, surely, had his heart been right, it must have burned within him. One marvels that, with such a sight before him, — if Peter had been Peter, — if he had only been true to that true heart of his, he would have braved the malice of the throng, placed himself side by side with his Lard, and said, “Do to me whatever you do to him. If you smite him, smite me. Take me, and let me suffer with him.” If he might not have done that, one would not have wondered if Peter had sat there and wept till he broke his heart to see his Master treated so. But, alas! the sight of his Lord, accused and betrayed, did not warm Peter’s heart.
My brethren, we sometimes wish that we had actually seen our Lord, but seeing Christ after the flesh was of small service to Peter. It was when the Holy Spirit used the glance of Jesus as a special means of grace that Peter’s heart was thawed, and his eyes dropped with tears of repentance. O Lord and Master, though a bodily sight of thee would not warm us, if thou shouldst walk up these aisles, and shouldst show thy pierced hands in this pulpit; yet, if thy blessed Spirit will come upon us to-night, we shall see thee by faith, and the sight will make our hearts burn within us, winter though it be. Come, sacred Spirit, shed abroad the love of Jesus in our souls, and so shall our love be kindled, and burn vehemently. Grant it therefore, we pray thee, for thy love’s sake! Amen. “I’LL PAY” WHEN men meet together at a tavern or alehouse, upon jovial occasions, by way of kindness to drink together, then happy is that man, when the reckoning is brought, that can be rid of his money first. “I’ll pay,” says one; “I’ll pay,” says another. “You shall not pay a penny,” says a third, “I’ll pay all,” etc.; and so it grows sometimes very near unto a quarrel, because one man cannot spend his money before another. Thus in works of worldly fellowship and merry makings: but come to a work of mercy, how is it then? Is the money upon the table? Is every man ready to throw down, and make it a leading case to the rest of the company? No such matter: one puts it off to another; “Alas, I am in debt,” says one; ,,r have no money about me,” says another. Then every finger is a thumb, and it is such a while before anything will be got out, that it would trouble any one to behold it. Then the question is not, Who shall be first? but, Who shall be last? A sad thing! that in way of courtesy or indulgence any man should be thus free; and yet when it comes to a work of mercy, he is thus bound up. — From an old Sermon. Date 1642.
Jas. 21. The open-air preachers of London came to the Tabernacle, and were addressed by C. H. Spurgeon. It was a great joy to have so intelligent, earnest, and enthusiastic an audience, but it was the reverse of a pleasure to see he w several of the papers reported our remarks. The method adopted seems to be to pick out every sentence in which there appears to be a funny observation, and leave out all the rest. By this means the utmost absurdity is foisted upon the speaker, and the address itself is slandered rather than reported. One friend actually writes to upbraid us for having ridiculed the open-air preachers. HeWAS NOT THERE. We did our best to give a hearty practical word of advice, and we believe we had the thanks of all present, but it is not a little discouraging to find oneself caricatured in the papers by persons who are supposed to report you, but really misrepresent you. Some of the religious papers employ respectable, educated reporters who give fair resumes of speeches or lectures, but we shall one of these days be compelled to indicate by name certain penny ventures which insert reports from men who can scarcely spell, and whose ignorance is so great that they mistake the most common theological terms and names. The daily secular papers are usually well-conducted, and so are some of the older religious journals, but certain of the newer issues are scandalously managed in the matter of reporting. However, we hope this will be a great year for open-air preaching, and that in every town, and village, and hamlet Christ Jesus will be preached to all around. Young men who read the Sword and Trowel, this is work for you. Lift up your voices under every green tree, wherever men and women can be got together. Be at it as soon as the cuckoo has proclaimed the weather to be fit for al fresco speeches. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand.
On Jan. 26th prayer meetings were held in the evening at the houses of friends connected with the Tabernacle church. Some sixty meetings were thus commenced at the same hour, and from the letters received there appears to have been a general manifestation of the spirit of prayer in these household gatherings. The advantages are many in thus collecting small companies in private houses: friends are encouraged to pray before others who would never have done so in large assemblies, and the ice being once broken, they are prepared to take their turn in public another time; the members of the church are also brought into personal contact with each other where their intercourse need be under no restraint; and the young people of the families where the prayer meetings are held are led to take an interest in the proceedings of the church. Many good results have followed from this way of encouraging church prayer. We print a list of the houses open, send a student to each, and under direction of the elders the whole business is a glad and joyful one. Once a quarter would be better than once a year for these HOUSE PRAYER MEETINGS. We must try it.
On Friday, Jan. 28, the President of the College met the evening classes to tea, with a meeting afterwards. It was a bright occasion. Under the earnest tutor-ship of Messrs. Fergusson and Johnson, with very. efficient officers, the evening classes have become a strong body. Nearly three hundred names are on the books, and some two hundred are in regular attendance.
These are all men engaged in business by day who seek to improve their gifts for the service of God by study in the evening. From this hive come teachers, preachers, missionaries, and workers of all kinds. Those friends who help us by sending funds for the College may fitly rejoice with us that this branch of our work is producing the very best results. With infidel teachings on all sides, under the name of science, it is no small matter to cut the ground from under the enemy’s feet by training a band of men in the Word of God, and in that true science which is full of witness to the divine presence and power. The evening classes have a loan library of growing dimensions, and they have already organized various works of usefulness on their own account. Dear reader, ask the Lord to bless this work.
The College Conference begins April 3. We entreat the prayers of God’s people that’ this may be a holy convocation unto the Lord.
The COLPORTAGE works well, but the gold and the silver come in very very scantily.
The College annual tea meeting came off on Feb. 7, and was a most hearty gathering. No work ever commanded warmer supporters than the work of the Pastors’ College. Week by week the Tabernacle friends sustain it (they gave £1,875 last year), and others from a distance send in aid as it is required. Just now funds are running out and very small currents are flowing in, but the balance will hold out for awhile.
Mrs. Spurgeon has been rendered very happy by a number of sums of money contributed to her Book Fund by several considerate friends, whom we are requested to thank; and we do me not only officially but personally.
The article in Last month’s magazine has been remarkably fruitful in encouraging applications for books. These have come in thick and threefold, and are rather embarrassing our beloved one, for she will have to keep some of her petitioners waiting fill she has the time and strength to attend to them, and worse still, till the pecuniary means shall be equal to all demands. No doubt all in good time everything will be right, but at present the receivers are more numerous than the givers.
Some years ago friends at the Tabernacle determined to raise a sum of money with which the College could be wound up in case of the Pastor’s decease; with the subsidiary object that the amount should be loaned out without interest to aid in clearing debts from new chapels. By a strong effort the sum of £4,363 was reached, but this fell short of the £5,000 originally intended. A short time ago a friend greatly delighted us by writing that provided we would not disclose his name he would give onehalf of the amount now deficient as soon as he knew that the other half was paid. We beg to inform that generous donor that the moiety is promised already, and will be in hand in a day or two, and we are ready for his cheque for £318 10s. We thank him, and bless God for this completion of a noble work.
We beg to thank thoughtful donors for many useful presents to the Orphanage. All goes well with us there. We purpose holding a Bazaar all day at the Orphanage on June 20th, when we celebrate the President’s forty-second birthday, if all be well. Will the unwearied friends of the orphan lend a hand again and make this a success?
The Islington Gazette, Feb. 15th, contains a letter which should make parents careful as to where their children are allowed to go. A father says — “My daughter, who is now sixteen years of age, went some months ago to an evening party, at the home of a Christian family, where it appears there were two young men, Papists, lodging. There was a good deal of fun and some flirtation going on. One of these young men, in all subsequent visits paid by my daughter to this family, insisted upon seeing her home.
Poor, giddy, thoughtless girl; she said on one occasion, she rather liked the Roman Catholic religion. ‘ Well,’ said the Romanist, ‘ I will introduce you to one of our clergymen.’ She is introduced by him to Father Smith, of 39, Duncan-terrace. He puts the young girl into the hand of the nuns living at No. 40, on the other side of the chapel, who proceed to instruct her. Mark you, these visits to Father Smith and to the nuns are entirely unknown to us, her parents. Last Saturday afternoon this Father Smith baptized the child into the Popish faith.” Thus may our young ones be seduced, and we may only know it when the mischief is done. A pretty church this must be which practices kidnapping after this fashion.
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle by Mr. J. A. Spurgeon: — January 31st, thirteen; February 3rd, fifteen.