ECCENTRIC BUT USEFUL. (SECOND PAPER) AS possibly some reader of this second paper may not have seen the former one, it may be well to repeat the observation that we do not record the eccentricities of our hero — Jacob Gruber — for imitation, but for information. He was a peculiar man, and accomplished a peculiar work; he who should think of imitating him would only make a peculiar stupid of himself. Our former article showed that Gruber was a man ready for stern self-sacrifice and hard labor; if this gives more fully the ludicrous side of his character, let the other be remembered in connection with it.
The Methodists have usually been more attentive to matters of dress than any other denomination except the Quakers. We all know the single piece of ribbon and the plain cut which were once as distinctly badges as ever were the broad brimmed hat and the collarless coat Gruber could not let the fashions alone, but declaimed against every departure from scriptural simplicity. We want some such vigorous reformer now to diminish the infinite vanity of female array. Here is an instance of his queer rebukes:- “About that time a certain article of dress, known among the ladies as the ‘petticoat and habit,’ came into general use; and as fashion will sooner or later have its way, it obtained among the young ladies of the Methodist church. Gruber was attending a camp-meeting in the neighborhood of Franklin, Pennsylvania. At this meeting there were several young ladies dressed after this fashion. Their appearance so thoroughly displeased him that, true to his instincts, he determined, if possible, to administer a public reproof. During a prayer-meeting some of these fashionables were grouped together, singing a hymn which was very popular in those days. This hymn, the chorus of which was — ‘I want to get to heaven, My long sought rest,’ they sang with great animation, and their animation increased as they saw the presiding elder advance and join them. It was discovered after a while that he changed the last line of the chorus, and instead of singing, ‘I want to get to heaven, My long sought rest,’ he sang, ‘I want to get to heaven With my long short dress.’ One after another, as they detected the change in the chorus, ceased singing until all had stopped, and Gruber was left alone. At this he sang more lustily than ever, so that all around could hear. The ‘long short dresses’ soon began to disappear, and the conscience of Gruber was not again disturbed on that score during the remainder of the meeting.” “At a camp-meeting on a certain occasion, where considerable difficulty was experienced in getting the people to observe order, from the number of young persons who were walking about, collecting in groups, and engaged in conversation, the presiding elder, in the most respectful and courteous terms, requested them to be seated. Not seeming to understand, or not caring to comply with the request, the young people paid no attention whatever to what was said, but kept up their walking and talking.
Gruber, who was present, felt greatly aggrieved, and rising in the stand he roared out, ‘ Mr. Presiding Elder, you called those young folks gentlemen and ladies, and they did not know what you meant!’ He then added, ‘ Boys, come right along and take seats here,’ pointing to the right; ‘ and you, gals, come up and take your seats here on the left.’ Earnest and peremptory as he was, yet so comical was his manner that their attention was at once arrested, and they came smilingly forward and took their seats.”
To us this mode of address would have seemed rude and irritating, and very unlikely to secure the desired end, but Jacob knew the people he had to deal with, and how to handle them. To some persons a polite address sounds like affectation, and, taking it to mean nothing they let it go in at one ear and out at the other; a plain, blunt, commanding mode of speech they see to be earnestly intended, and yield to it. Very much depends upon the character of the persons to whom we speak, and something also upon our own age and position: it would meyer do for a young minister fresh from college to address those of his own age as girls and boys, neither would such a style of admonition be acceptable to our educated young people even if the oldest divine so accosted them. The practical lesson is to have the thing done somehow, if it is right, and to use just such a method of speaking as will be best calculated to secure it. The dread of sinning against etiquette is as much to be avoided as the vulgarity which causes needless offense. The case in which Gruber acted so oddly will perhaps never occur to us, and, if it does, we must use our best judgment, and hope to succeed as he did. “At another time the same difficulty occurred. At the close of the prayermeeting, when the time had come for preaching, every effort of the elder failed to get the congregation orderly arranged. Quite a number were standing on the seats, and among them several ladies. Gruber again lifted up his voice, the squeaking German accent of which immediately arrested attention, and said: ‘ If those young ladies there only knew what great holes they have in their stockings they wouldn’t be standing on the bench where they can be seen by everybody.’ They all dropped suddenly as if they had been shot. Order was restored, and all was quiet. After the discourse was ended one of the preachers asked how he knew the young ladies had holes in their stockings. ‘ Why,’ said he in his quizzical manner, ‘ did you ever know stockings without holes in them?’” Now this is bad, altogether bad, if regarded as part of the service, but if viewed as the attempt of a brother to get the place ready for service, we see no harm in it. People must be got into order if any good is to be done, and he who can do this by a pleasantry deserves far more credit than he who scolds, or threatens to call in the police. View the speaker as a verger or sexton doing his best to get the young people into order, and the witty observation is more than excusable; but from a minister who is just about to discourse upon God and eternity it is out of all character, and not to be defended. Another story comes under very much the same category, but is rather better. “In that day it was often very difficult to control a certain class of persons at a camp meeting. It was particularly so in certain parts of Pennsylvania, where the ruder class not infrequently gave no little annoyance by their violation of the rules of decorum. On such occasions Jacob Gruber’s ready and biting wit often served a good purpose, and frequently succeeded in securing an end when all other means failed. A young gentleman once told me that a friend of his went to a certain camp-meeting, and it so chanced that he borrowed a shirt for the occasion, which shirt had a very liberal supply of ruffle. Like several others, contrary to the rules of the meeting, he mounted one of the seats to overlook the congregation. Some of the ministers from the stand requested him very politely to descend, but he paid no attention. After seeing their failure, Mr. Gruber took him in hand.
In quite a distinct and loud voice he cried: ‘ O brethren, let the young man alone; let him enjoy himself. Don’t you see he wants to show his fine ruffled shirt? and after all I dare say it’s borrowed.’ The young man instantly jumped down and made off, saying, with an oath, to a friend, ‘ How did he know I had a borrowed shirt on?’” “At a camp-meeting near Baltimore, after the trumpet had been blown announcing the time for closing the exercises in the praying circles, one of them, unwilling to stop, kept on singing and praying. Gruber, somewhat impatient, and evidently not pleased at their want of obedience to order, after standing near for a short time, shouted out at the top of his voice, ‘ That’s right, brothers, blow all the fire out!’” Often has the same thought occurred to our own mind when we have seen unwise brethren ranting on long after the “spirit of supplication” has been fully exhausted. Long prayers and long addresses blow out the fire which they are intended to increase.
Gruber’s later years were more calm and quiet, but they were not quite devoid of stirring incident. The sinners of his day were as eccentric as the preachers who sought to win them. If they were assailed from the pulpit with rough weapons, they knew how to be vigorously offensive in return.
Gruber says- “I was sent a second year to Dauphin circuit. Nothing extraordinary took place, only some fellows of the baser sort made an attempt to blow up our meeting-house in Harrisburg. On a Sunday night after preaching they got in at a window, put something under the pulpit with powder in it and a match.
It made a report like a cannon, tore up the pulpit, and broke the glass out of some of the windows. We soon, however, had all repaired, and pursued our course. My colleague this year was a poor thing hunting a fortune. He found out who was rich; but the girls found out that he was lazy, as they called it, so he had little success in winning souls, and none in getting a wife. He spoke to me about what he had better do; my advice was, if he meant to locate, to get married; if to travel a circuit, to keep single. It seems as though some young men think if they can only get married (the sooner the better) they will be at once in paradise; and some young women have an idea if they can only get a preacher they will have an angel for certain; but more than one has been disappointed very much. This is a world of trouble; man is born into it, and full of it all of his few days. But many of the greatest troubles and misery are brought on by Master Self; that self is a great disturber of peace, a great thief, destroyer, and murderer; happy indeed are they who deny self, mortify the deeds of the body, and crucify the flesh with the lusts and affections, and so escape for life, and live for ever.” “While in attendance at conference in Philadelphia, in 183O, he was appointed to preach in his old charge, St. George’s. He took for his text Psalm lxxxiv. 4: ‘ Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they will be still praising thee.’ Retaining a keen sense of the manner in which he was treated by some of the members of that charge, which resulted in his removal at the end of the first year, he felt doubtless disposed to let his hearers know it by some witty and cutting allusions. The sermon delivered on that occasion is thus reported by the Rev. J. L. Lenhart: ‘ It was well arranged, and the matter was in general very instructive. Under the head of “The Character of those who dwell in the House of the Lord,” I distinctly recollect three characteristics. “‘ 1. They are a humble people, willing to occupy a humble place in the church, indeed, any place so that they might be permitted to abide in the church; but there were some people who were so proud and ambitious that, unless they could be like the first king of Israel, from the shoulders up higher than everybody else, they wouldn’t come into the house at all, but hang about the doors. “‘ 2. They were a contented people. If everything did not exactly suit them they made the best of it, and tried to get along as well as they could; but there are many who are so uneasy and fidgety that they can’t dwell in the church, but are continually running in and out, disturbing themselves and everybody else. “‘ 3. They were a satisfied people, always finding something good, and thankful for it. Let who would be their preacher or preachers, they could always get something that would give them instruction and encouragement.
But there are some people who are never satisfied, but are always finding fault with their preacher; some preach too loud, and some too long, and some say so many hard and queer things, and some are so prosy and dull that they can’t be fed at all and are never satisfied. If the multitude that were fed by the Savior were like these people they never would have been fed. If one had cried out, “John, you shan’t feed me, Peter shall;” and another had said, “Andrew shall feed me, but James shan’t;” and another, “I want all bread and no fish ;” and others, “I want all fish and no bread,” how could they have been fed? Such dissatisfied people cannot dwell in the house of the Lord. If they are not turned out they will soon die out: they can’t live.’” The following “Hints to Young Preachers” were found among his papers, and as we do not remember having seen them in print, we think they are of sufficient importance to give to the reader. Though specially designed for Methodists, Baptists may study them to advantage : — “1. Let your eye be single; seek nothing but God; let your schemes, plans, and views begin and end in him. “2. Make not this man or that man your model; be yourself, and aim and reach toward the true model of all excellence, that is, Christ Jesus. “3. Avoid, as much as may be consistent with your duty, all conversation and unnecessary intercourse with the young, gay, volatile, and vain. “4. Fly from idleness, lounging, gossiping, etc.: your Bible and other valuable books, prayer and meditation, and your duty as a preacher, will leave no time to run to waste. Weeds, briers, and thorns take possession of uncultivated fields. “5. Remember, it is a great mercy that although you may be greatly useful in the church and instrumental in doing much good, yet all this is hid from your eyes, or at least you see no more than barely suffices as an encouragement to proceed in your work. It is a mercy, because if you saw much fruit it might prove a temptation of a most dangerous kind. Again, if you saw none you would doubt your call, be discouraged, and your spirit sink. Therefore it is good for us to aim high, strive to convert the world, and put out all our strength to pull down the pillars of Dagon’s temple. Yet be contented; indeed, rather pray to God that you may see but little in this world, but much in the day of eternity. “6. Do not forget a Methodist traveling preacher has every year, in every new circuit, a character to establish. The eyes of all are upon him. Do not say, nay; do not even think, I don’t care what people say of me. This is not the language of humility. They will indeed, it may be, think and say too much evil of you; but certainly you must be careful to give them no cause.
Remember, they that have great objects in view can sacrifice little things.
Abraham could give up his son, and Jephthah his daughter; you are therefore to give up all little things. Your dress, your food, your company, your very looks and whole deportment must all say to all men, I am crucified with Christ. Therefore for a man who has thus solemnly devoted himself to God to make a fuss about his food, be nice and particular in his dress, to show a fondness for a fine horse and gaudy trappings about his horse, furniture, etc., to sleep and doze away his mornings and evenings when in health, or to be surly, tart, crusty and hasty in his conversation, all show a little, vain mind, and want of grace or want of understanding, or both. “7. Feed your horse, clean your boots (you may have this done by others in some families; when and where, you may easily see), help the family make the fire, be courteous, humble, condescending; let love sparkle in your eyes, expand your heart, give agility to your feet, tune and oil the organs of your speech, and let all your words and works show that your heart and conversation are in heaven. “8. Call no man master, yet reverence, respect, and greatly venerate men of holy lives, especially the old prophets of the Lord; yet no man’s ipse dixit is to be your creed. Think for yourself; speak modestly; yet sometimes you must do this firmly in matters of great moment; and a man may maintain a firm, unshaken mind, when at the same time his words and manners may be all meekness, humility, and condescension; and this, in fact, is the very spirit and temper of a Methodist preacher if he has the spirit of his station.” “Though he was sometimes severe in his criticisms on young preachers, he always entertained for them a fatherly affection, and sought only to correct their errors. At a certain place he preached in a house which was occupied part of the day by ministers of another denomination. The parties had an understanding that they were not to preach on any disputed points of doctrine, or to interfere with each other’s sentiments or usages. One morning a young preacher held forth, and, forgetful or regardless of the mutual agreement, made an onslaught on Methodism, and was very bitter in his denunciations, as well as false in his representations. His sermon was a caricature of Methodist doctrines and usages. Gruber was present and heard him, and was invited at the close of the sermon to offer the concluding prayer. He accepted the invitation, and addressed the throne of grace in his usual manner, praying for the people and the various objects of Christian effort, as well as for a blessing upon the various Christian churches in the land. As was customary he also prayed for the minister, saying: ‘ O Lord, bless the young preacher who has discoursed to us this morning, and in thy mercy make his heart as soft as his head, and then he will do some good.’ “A young preacher, desirous of improving his style as a pulpit orator, and having great confidence in Father Gruber, who, we believe, at the time was his presiding elder, wrote to him for advice. The young man had contracted the habit of prolonging his words, especially when under the influence of great excitement. Deeming this the most important defect in his elocution, Gruber sent him the following laconic reply : — “‘ Dear Ah! Brother Ah! — When-ah you-ah go-ah to-ah preach-ah, take-ah care-ah you-ah don’tah say-ah Ah-ah! Yours-ah, “‘JACOB-AH GRUBER-AH.’ “To reprove Jacob Gruber or to criticize his doings was rather perilous. On one occasion, on rising in the pulpit to give out his text, he found the leaf of the Bible containing the chapter torn out. He there.-fore quoted from memory, and quoted it incorrectly: ‘ Beloved, now are we the children of God,’ etc., 1 John in. 2. A young preacher, not lacking in self-esteem and confidence, said, loud enough to be heard: ‘ “Sons,” Brother Gruber; “:Now are we the sons of God.”‘ Instantly he replied, ‘Yes, I know that very well, but I didn’t want to leave the sisters out.’ The congregation was delighted, and the young minister somewhat crestfallen. “But one of the oddest reproofs I ever knew him to administer was on a larger scale, and proved not less effectual. In a certain church the congregation had an unseemly practice of turning their backs on the pulpit during a certain portion of the singing. One Sabbath Mr. Gruber conducted the service, and, as usual, the whole congregation simultaneously turned round, presenting their backs to the preacher. Instantly the preacher, to be even with them, turned round also, presenting his back [o the congregation. When the time for prayer came, at the close of the hymn, the congregation were astonished to find the preacher turned from them and gazing at the wall. The hint was enough; they did not repeat the objectionable practice.”
Mr. Martin thus describes the closing scene of Gruber’s life : — “He was taken suddenly worse on the evening of the twenty-third of May, having several attacks of fainting or swooning, and no doubt the work of death began at that time, as he gradually grew weaker and weaker, until fortyeight hours afterward the scene closed. It was matter of regret to me that my appointments required me to leave on the morning of the twentyfourth, and I was thereby deprived of the privilege of being with him in his last hours. His attentive neighbor, S. V. Blake, however, had the mournful satisfaction of ministering to him even to the last, and his unwearied devotion to the bedside of the venerable man is worthy of all commendation. From him I have learned the particulars connected with his death. Brother Gruber was perfectly conscious that his end was rapidly approaching, and sighed for the happy release. He requested Brother Blake, it’ it could be ascertained when he was about to die, to collect a few brethren and sisters around him, that they might (to use his own words)’ See me safe off; and as I am going, all join in full chorus and sing : — ‘“ On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand.”‘ A few hours before he died he asked Brother Blake whether he could stand it another night, and was answered that in his judgment he could not. ‘ Then,’ said he, ‘ to-morrow I shall spend my first Sabbath in heaven! Last Sabbath in the church on earth, next Sabbath in the church above!’ and with evident emotion added, — ‘ “Where congregations ne’er break up, And Sabbaths never end.”‘ Brother Blake, perceiving that he was fast sinking, and could only survive a few moments, asked him if he felt that he was even then on the banks of Jordan; to which he replied, with great effort, and these were his last words, ‘ I feel I am.’ He was exhorted to trust in Jesus, and not to be afraid, but to look out for the light of heaven, his happy home; and then, in accordance with his request, the hymn he had selected was sung; but ere it was concluded his consciousness was gone.
The singing ceased, a deathlike stillness reigned, only broken by his occasional respiration. An overwhelming sense of the presence of God melted every heart. A minute more and his happy spirit winged its way to its long-sought rest, in the seventy-second year of his age. “So calmly, so peacefully did he fall asleep in the arms of Jesus. Oh, it was a privilege to be there. To see so aged a servant of God finish his course with such confidence, such composure, such firmness, such blessed hope of glory beaming from his countenance, was a privilege indeed, the grandeur of which we will not attempt to describe.”
If any judge too severely the personal peculiarities of such a man, we would urge them to do better; but to us it seems more than probable that were preachers more in earnest we should see more of what are called eccentricities, which are often only the ensigns of real zeal, and the tokens that a man is both natural and intense. If a fisherman can catch fish with silk lines and artificial bait let him be thankful; but if with a superior tackle he is unsuccessful, it shows a very proud spirit if he indulges in harsh criticisms of the style and manner of brethren who succeed better than himself in winning souls for Christ. “Every man in his own order” is a good rule. Apollos may be polished and Cephas blunt, but so far as they are honest, prayerful, and true to the Gospel, God will bless them both, and it ill becomes them to pick holes in each other’s coats. We would never say to a man “Be eccentric”; but if he cannot help being so, we would not have him otherwise. The leaning tower of Pisa owes much of its celebrity to its leaning, and although it certainly is not a safe model for architects, we would by no means advise the taking of it down. Ten to one any builder who tried to erect another would create a huge ruin, and therefore it would not be a safe precedent, but there it is, and who wishes it were other than it is? Serve the Lord, brother, with your very best, and seek to do still better, and, whatever your peculiarities, the grace of God will be glorified in you.
C. H. S.
A STRONG CHURCH.
“IS it a strong congregation?” asked a man respecting a body of worshippers. “Yes,’,’ was the reply. “How many members are there?”
Seventy-six.” “Seventy-six.” Are they so very wealthy. “No, they are poor.” “How, then, do you say it is a strong church?” “Because,” said the gentleman, “they are earnest, devoted, at peace, loving each other, and striving together to do the Master’s work. Such a congregation is strong, whether composed of a dozen or five hundred members I” And he spoke the truth.
IN connection with the Tabernacle the most interesting event has been the opening of the new buildings for the Pastors’ College. This very convenient and commodious structure is not yet quite completed, and has not been occupied by the students for regular class work, but being sufficiently advanced for public meetings the opening services have been held. On Friday afternoon, August 28th, the President gathered around him all the students in the Lecture-room, and after praising God for finding the means for the building, he gave an address, and then the brethren united in pleading that the instructions given and received in that room might be attended by the divine blessing, so that able ministers of the New Testament might be there equipped for service. The meeting then moved into the room set apart for Prayer and the Communion, and there supplicated the Lord to be ever attent unto the voice of our cry, and make us men of prevailing power in prayer. The next adjournment was to the large hall, where the College public meetings will be held, and there, prayer was presented on behalf of friends and helpers, that they might be blest in return for their kindness, and encouraged to help us still. Moving once more, the brother. hood met in the Common Room, where the men meet in free conversation before and between classes, and there all united in the petition that in our leisure moments, in our lighter communications, none of us might grieve the Spirit of God. Thus with prayer and song four important parts of the house were set apart for their holy uses. Much power was felt, and a sense of acceptance in prayer enjoyed, and therefore we know that we have the blessings which we then sought for.
In the evening of that day the pastor had invited the sisters who form Mrs. Bartlett’s class to tea, and he availed himself of the opportunity to invite them into the New College. They came with much delight, and each one brought an offering, enclosed in a paper, and marked with her name. The giving was done with great order and quietness, with perfect unanimity, and with eager joy; no one held back, and no one needed the slightest approach to pressing. We had a lively, earnest, spiritual meeting, an earnest of the expected blessing. The immediate conversion of souls was aimed at, and one at least found joy and peace through believing. Thus the Lord set his seal to the consecration, and made the place the very gate of heaven.
To Mrs. Bartlett and her loving children we would express our thanks, not merely in passing words, but upon this more enduring page. With scanty means, and many calls, these godly women brought in upon the spot £64, or more, and, not content with this, others gave afterwards: and some even came again and again to the subsequent meetings, bringing an offering each time, for in no case did any one appear before the Lord empty.
With this help, and including all former donations, the President reckoned that he would still need £2,000 to finish his work. Some of the papers speak of that amount being needed to remove the debt; but we have never had a debt, or thought of such a thing; we have paid all demands on the spot, and shall be able to do so to the last penny; for if anything cannot be paid for, it cannot be had. We cannot be said to be in debt until the time to pay an installment arrives, and down on the nail we have paid each portion hitherto, and have no fear as to the rest. There are other stewards of the Lord who will yet be moved to send us help, and we shall not be left at the last any more than at the first.
The following circular was issued to the church and congregation at the Tabernacle, who were divided into four portions and invited on four successive evenings. “Aug. 24. “Dear Friend, — Notwithstanding the gracious help sent to the College by the Providence of God I still need at least £2,000 to complete the whole of the work, and perhaps more. I should feel it a special token of our fellowship with each other if every seat-holder and member of the church would have a share in finishing this holy work. To give all an opportunity I intend asking the friends to tea in parties, earnestly hoping that each one will bring a personal offering. “If you can come, please bring the enclosed ticket, and if not please return it to the friend who will come round to your seat. This will save us much trouble. “Yours most truly, “ C. H. SPURGEON. “THE EVENING WILL BE SPENT IN THE NEW COLLEGE BUILDINGS.”
In response to this, a goodly company met on the evening of Sept. 8th to tea, and brought in with gladsome readiness the sum of £292, to which Mr. Greenwood added £130, in the hope that the amount might on each evening reach £400, and thus, leaving only £400 for outside friends, the whole £2,000 would be raised at once. This suggestion was not carried out, but it showed the noble spirit of the proposer. It was not the President’s wish to put on any pressure, or perhaps the thing would have been done; but it was well to leave the entire matter to the free, spontaneous movement of the people, and they did nobly. What loving words they gave their pastor! Their grips of the hand he will never forget, and the messages of respect and affection written within the papers and envelopes were as precious as the gifts they enclosed. Brethren W.S. Lewis, Francis Tucker, Dr. Burns, C. Kirtland, and W. Orsman addressed us, and tendered fraternal congratulations; the friends circulated through the rooms, and one of the happiest of evenings came to a gladsome, praiseful close.
On Friday, 11th, the rain came down in torrents, and we wondered that so many weathered the storm. Our numbers were smaller, but the spirit of hearty love was the same, and £126 was freely offered. We had a noble platform, including Drs. Brock and Landells, with our brethren Clifford, Bailhache, Cuff, Rogers, J. A. Spurgeon, and Bernard. It was another evening of the presence of God. The tithes were brought into the storehouse, and the blessing began to be poured out, and will yet come in greater abundance.
On Tuesday, 15th, a large number of our friends came to tea, and still more to the meeting in the College Hall. The contributions, amounting to £301, were given in with the same cheerfulness as on former occasions, and the same kindly wishes were uttered. Our friends Dr. Underhill, Pastors H.S. Booth, Newman Hall, and David Jones, Mr. Carr, and Drs. Fish and Yerkers, from America, gave us hearty words of good cheer, and our hearts were made glad. If anything in this world could afford perfect content it might be found in a pastor’s heart when he found himself so generously supported in a work most clear to him.
One more evening remained; and making our preparations on the same scale as before, we looked for about the same number of friends, but Wednesday, 16th, exceeded all other nights. The number present filled our hall to its last inch, and as we sat receiving the people’s gifts, there seemed to be no end to them. The sums were smaller, but the heartiness of the gifts was rather greater than less. The wish was expressed by scores that they could bring a hundred times as much. Heaping up their little parcels on the table, they made such a hillock that a large basket had to be sent for to contain it all. Never was greater enthusiasm or warmer zeal expressed in any cause. The people gave willingly, for they had a mind to the work.
Though no large donor mingled in the willing throng, the amount rose to £163, and thus the four evenings, with subsequent ingatherings, supplied the £1,000 for which we asked at the first. It only remains by a good bazaar, and the help of our readers, to put the other £1,000 into the treasury, and this blessed labor will have been joyfully accomplished. To God be all the glory. We must not omit to say that the speakers on the last occasion were our valued brother Pastor W. G. Lewis, who thus, like Mr. Rogers, put in a second appearance, Mr. Harley, from Savannah,W. Olney, and Mr. Harry Brown. Each speech was fired with the general fervent feeling, and all went on with a zest and a swing not often seen at public gatherings.
The bazaar for the last stone of the College will be held immediately after Christmas, and we beg for the hearty cooperation of our friends in the final effort.
On Monday, Sept. 21, we had the great joy of baptizing our two sons, in the presence of an immense assembly of our beloved flock, who again displayed their hearty union with their pastor and his family in ways most touching to our heart. The Lord has dealt well with us indeed. It was a crowning joy that their long-suffering mother was able to be present for a few moments to see her two boys yield themselves to be buried with Christ in baptism.
The month has bean full of spiritual blessing as well as other mercies. Many are coming forward to confess their Lord, a spirit of prayer abounds, the prayer-meetings and week-night services are unparalleled in number, and the crowds on Lord’s days eager to hear the word are greater than ever.
All glory be unto the Lord, who prospers his own truth. If Satan should roar again we shall not be at all surprised; it will be the decisive token that good is being done.
We are pleased to see how much Mr. Crabb is beloved by the church in Rothe-say, who have given him a handsome testimonial in token of their respect for him, and of thankfulness at his election to remain with them rather than remove to a more remunerative sphere of labor.
Mr. Jeffery, a much beloved student, has settled over the church in St.
Paul’s Square, Southsea. May the richest prosperity attend him. Our dear brother Mr. Mayers will, we trust, strengthen the hands of the brethren in Bristol; his place in Battersea is ably supplied by Mr. Bax, of Faversham.
Mr. Davidson has removed to Chipping Sodbury. Mr. Williams has finished his studies with us and commenced at Clay Cross; Mr. Rotham has settled over the church at Stourbridge; Mr. W. Townsend at En-field Highway; Mr. Soames at Crook, and Mr. Kitchener at Walsingham, both in Durham; and Mr. Askew at Burton-on Trent.
The Colportage Secretary reports that new agents have, during the past month, been sent to Sheffield, Evesham, and Downton; making in all thirtyfive colporteurs now at work in connection with our Society. We were afraid that this society would turn out to be one child too many, but it grows finely, and will, by God’s blessing, do a grand work for this priestridden land, if the sinews of war are still forthcoming. Forty pounds a year will secure an agent in any district, so long as our funds hold out. No other agency is so cheap or more effective.
We are very grateful to a friend who has again sent a pig to the Orphanage, and to another who has sent some fowls, and we are also much obliged for an offer of a truck of coals. We hope other farmers, coal owners, gentlemen, and ladies will follow the good example. Gifts in kind are very gratefully received at the Orphanage, and when they are articles of food they pleasantly vary the diet. Our funds are low at present. We hope friends will not imagine that we have received a large legacy and need no more aid; the legacy is not paid yet, nor can we expect it to be, and while the wheat is growing boys need bread. Not that we have any fear, only we are bound to keep the orphans’ friends well posted up as to their needs .
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle, by Mr. J. A. Spurgeon: — August 27th, twenty-three; September 3rd, twenty-one. September 21st, by C.H. Spurgeon, two .