AN ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE TABERNACLE PRAYER MEETING, BY C. H. SPURGEON.
WE have great reason to bless God for the rich mercies we have enjoyed as a church and people for many years, in the unity of the brotherhood, the zeal of the workers, the number of conversions, the success of all our enterprises, and the growth of the whole body. It is on my heart to say a word upon another subject — a subject which presses heavily upon my heart. I beseech you, by the mercies of God, and by the love of Christ Jesus, your Lord, that as members of this church you do nothing which would grieve the Spirit of God, and cause him to depart from among us.
Remember how Israel suffered defeat because of Achan. One man only, and one family only, had broken rite divine rule, but that sufficed to trouble the whole camp. Achan had taken of the accursed thing and hid it in his tent, and all Israel had to suffer defeat because thereof; how much more may a people suffer if sin become general among them and is allowed to walk abroad unrebuked. At this time I am greatly mistaken if the church of God is not suffering grievously from the sin of its own members, sin in its own midst.
As I look abroad I am grieved and have great heaviness of spirit at what I see among professing Christians, not here and there, but almost everywhere. Many Christians nowadays do not order their families with godly discipline as becometh saints. I am thunderstruck to hear of Christian men who allow their sons to drink, to keep late hours, and even to swear, while their daughters are dressed as gaudily as the gayest of the gay. It grieves me that some professors have no family prayer, and have no command over their children whatever, but seem as if they thought that the duty of a father was to let his children have their own way in all things, and make him their slave. We have too many of the race of Eli, who perhaps say, “Do not so,” but exercise no authority, and put no real check upon the sins of their sons. This is a great source of evil. The Lord said, “I know Abraham that he will command his children and his household after him,” and where households are not ordered aright we cannot expect that the Lord will show special favor to the parents. A husband is the king of his household, and if he allows everything to be in a state of anarchy he must blame himself in some measure. A husband cannot always govern his wife, for here and there a Jezebel is to be met with, but there are certain things which he should never permit in her if he be a Christian man, and if he fails in his duty of preventing and forbidding sin God will certainly visit him for it. In ourselves, and in our partners, children, or servants, evils are not to be winked at, but put down with a strong hand. May God grant us wisdom and strength of mind to discharge our duty at home! To show piety at home is to show real piety. Time was when there was not a professing family without family prayer, but now there are scores in which it is never offered. You can some of you remember that, if your father was absent on business, your mother carried on the daily sacrifice; and when mother was sick there was found a boy or girl who would read the Scriptures and pray, so that the holy fire was not allowed to go out. If there be no gathering together for prayer in the morning how can we expect to be prospered in the duties of the day? If there be no meeting for prayer at night how can we expect the Lord to guard the tents of Jacob through the night watches?
If prayer be neglected in our families, how can we hope to see its spirit pervading our churches?
Another very serious matter concerns the amusements of professing Christians. I see it publicly stated by men who call themselves Christians that it would be advisable for Christians to frequent the theater, that the character of the drama might be raised. The suggestion is about as sensible as if we were bidden to pour a bottle of lavender water into the great sewer to improve its aroma. If the church is to imitate the world, in order to raise its tone, things have strangely altered since the day when our Lord said, “Come ye out from among them, and touch not the unclean thing.” Is heaven to descend to the infernal lake to raise its tone? Such has been the moral condition of the theater for many a year that it has become too bad for mending, and even if it were mended it would corrupt again. Pass by it with averted gaze, the house of the strange woman is there. It has not been my lot ever to enter a theater during the performance of a play, but I have seen enough when I have come home from distant journeys at night, while riding past the play-houses, to make me pray that our sons and daughters may never go within the doors. It must be a strange school for virtue which attracts the harlot and the debauches. It is no place for a Christian, for it is best appreciated by the irreligious and worldly. If our church members fall into the habit of frequenting the theater, we shall soon have them going much further in the direction of vice, and they will lose all relish for the ways of God. Theater-going if it become general among professing Christians will soon prove the death of piety. One finds the taste for such things increasing on all hands, insomuch that we cannot enter places of entertainment once dedicated to science and art without finding ourselves before long in the presence of something like a theatrical performance. I do not doubt that these things, which may be in themselves harmless enough, have tended to create and foster the taste which leads ultimately to the theater and its surroundings. Who can suppose amusements surrounded with the seductions of vice to be fit recreation for a pure mind? Who could draw near to God after sitting to admire the performances of a wanton woman, and I am told that some who have dazzled London society are such. When manners are growing every day more lax and licentious, shall the Nonconformists of England cease from their godly protests and lower the standard of their lives? If they do so their spiritual power is departed, and their reason for existence is gone. If there ever could be a time when Christians might relax their rigidity, it surely is not now when the very air is tainted with pollution and our streets ring with the newsboys’ cries vending filthy papers and abominable prints. It is sad to hear how people talk about acts of sin nowadays; how young men and women without blushing talk of deeds which deprave and destroy, as though they were trifles, or themes for jests. It is a thousand pities that the ends of justice should require the publishing of unsavory details. I suppose there are grave objections to certain cases being heard more privately, otherwise it would assuredly be better for public morals. As for those who not only commit lewdness, but take pleasure in those who do it, — “Oh, my soul, come not thou into their secret.” My heart often cries, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove, that I might fly away and be at rest.” It will, indeed, be ill for the church of God if her members should become impure. In these days we must be doubly strict, lest any looseness of conduct should come in among us. Actual sin must be repressed with a strong hand, but even the appearance of evil must be avoided.
My dear brethren and sisters, be ye pure; whatever you are not, be pure in heart, and lip, and life. Never indulge an evil imagination, much less speak that which is unclean: let it not once be named among you as becometh saints. A lascivious glance, a doubtful word, a questionable act must be earnestly avoided; anything and everything that verges upon the unchaste must be eschewed. Only the pure in heart shall see God. We are all subject to human passions, and this wretched flesh of ours is all too easily fascinated by those who would minister to its indulgences, and before we know where we are the soul is led into captivity. Watch unto prayer; watch especially in these evil days. Cry, “Lead us not into temptation,” and if the prayer be sincere you will keep far from doubtful haunts. Make a covenant with your eyes that you will not look upon that which pollutes, and stop your ears from hearing of licentiousness. Pray God to keep your heart pure and holy. Watch your lips lest they spread corruption when speaking of sin.
I do not fear so much your going into gross open sin as your doing that which will take you a little way upon the road to it. I think it is Augustine who tells a story of a young friend of his who had the greatest horror of everything connected with the Roman amphitheater. A heathen friend tried to persuade him to enter the Colosseum, and as he was very hard pressed and was under some obligation to that friend he determined to go just once, but to keep his eyes and ears closed all the time. It would seem to be a very small risk to sit there as one who was blind and deaf, but in the middle of the sports the people so loudly applauded a certain gladiator who had pleased them that he opened his eyes and ears to discover what it was all about. From that moment he was spell-bound; he looked on, and enjoyed the sight, and though before he could not bear the very mention of it, he came at last to be a regular frequenter of the cruel sports, and a defender of them, and after a short time he abandoned his profession of Christianity. Beware of the leaven of worldly pleasure, for its working is silent but sure, and a little of it will leaven the whole lump.
Keep up the distinction between a Christian and an unbeliever and make it clearer every day. Have you never heard of the minister who complained of the devil for running off with one of his church-members? The fiend replied, “I found him on my premises, and therefore I claimed him.” I, also, may say, “Stop!” to the arch-deceiver, but it will be of no use if he finds you in his domains. Every fowler claims the bird which he finds in his own net. This is the argument, “I caught him in my net, and therefore he is mine.” We shall in vain try to dispute this right of property with the archenemy, for possession is nine points of the law.
Avoid the appearance of evil. “But we must not be too rigid,” says one.
There is no fear of that in these days. You will never go too far in holiness, nor become too like your Lord Jesus. If anybody accuses you of being too strict and precise do not grieve, but try to deserve the charge. I cannot suppose that at the last great day our Lord Jesus Christ will say to anyone, “You were not worldly enough. You were too jealous over your conduct, and did not sufficiently conform to the world.” No, my brethren, such a wrong is impossible. He who said “Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect,” has set before you a standard beyond which you can never go. “Well, but,” says one, “are we to have no enjoyments?” My dear friend, the enjoyments which are prepared for Christians are many and great, but they are not such as savor of sin and folly. Do you call vice and folly amusements? Then I do not grudge your mirth. When I go down into the country I see the farmer’s men carrying out great big pails of hog’s-wash for the swine, and I never grudge them their dainty meal. I never protest against their having a full trough twice over. But do I partake with them?
Not I. Not I! I have no taste that way. Do I therefore deny myself?
Certainly not! It never struck me that there was anything desirable in their rich mixture. I have no doubt that it has a fine flavor to the creatures for whom it is prepared; at least, it is very sensational, and seems to be highly appreciated. So, when persons can enjoy the pleasures of the world and sin, let them have them: poor souls, they have nothing else to enjoy, they have no paradise for their hereafter, they have no Jesu’s bosom to lean their heads upon for the present, let them have that which makes them happy while they can be so. But when I am talking to the children of God I adopt another tone, since for you these things have no charms if you have, indeed, tasted the high delights of fellowship with God. “But,” say you, “I should greatly enjoy a little of the pleasures of sin.”
Judge yourselves, then, to be falsely called children of God. “He that is born of God doth not commit sin,” by which is not meant that he does not fall into sins of infirmity, but that it is not his delight to commit sin, it is not the way of him, he is a new creature, and he finds his joy and pleasure in living as near to God as possible. “How far may we go in conformity to the world?” is a question that is frequently asked in men’s hearts, if not in so many words. Have you never heard the story of a lady who wanted a coachman? Two or three called to see her about the situation, and, in answer to her inquiries, the first applicant said, “Yes, madam, you could not have a better coachman than myself.” She replied, “How near do you think you could drive to danger without an accident?” “Madam, I could go within a yard of it, and yet you would be perfectly safe.” “Very well,” she said, “you will not suit me.” The second one had heard the question upon which the other had been rejected, and therefore he was ready with his answer, “Danger! madam, why I could drive within a hair’s breadth, and yet be perfectly safe.” “Then you will not suit me at all.” When number three came in, he was asked, “Are you a good driver?” “Well,” he replied, “I am careful and have never met with an accident.” “But how near do you think you could drive to danger?” “Madam,” he said, “that is a thing I never tried, I always drive as far away from danger as ever I can.” The lady at once replied, “You are the kind of coachman I want, and I will engage you at once.” Get such a coachman as that yourself, to guide your own heart, and lead your own character. Do not see how near you can go to sin, but see how far you can keep away from it. If you do not take that advice, and if the Spirit of God does not work in you purity of life, by-and-by the church will have to hold up its hands and say, “Who would have thought it? These were the nice young people of whom so much was expected; these were the good people who used to say, ‘You must not be too strict,’ and where are they now?” To avoid the worst keep clear of the bad.
As for your Lord’s work, be bound to the altar of Christ and be united for ever to him, and I am sure if such be the case you will not find that you are losers by giving up worldly pleasures. The Lord’s ways are ways of pleasantness, and all his paths are peace. There is a safe and sweet pleasantness in holy living, and the pleasantness lies very much in the fact that an abounding peace springs from it. God grant us grace to keep in these peaceful paths, even though others should call us Puritans and ridicule our holy fear of sin. Amen.
NOTICE ON BOOKS
“WITHIN THE PALACE GATES”:
A TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL. BY THE REV. CHARLES BULLOCK. 1, PATERNOSTERBUILDINGS. AKING’ S daughter has gone from us, a woman altogether consecrated, and having much to consecrate. All the church mourns the silencing of this sweet poet’s song, second to none among the tuneful sisterhood. Mr. Bullock has done well to cast an immortelle upon the grave where an immortal spirit has left its clay till the resurrection morn. Her hymns, which were all for Jesus, shall be sung wherever the gospel is preached, “for a memorial of her.” THE EARLY YEARS OF CHRISTIANITY: A
COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY OF THE FIRST THREE CENTURIES OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. VOL. IV. BY E. DE PRESSENSE, D.D.
HODDER AND STOUGHTON.
THE four volumes of this work are a splendid addition to our stores of church history. We might not in all points agree with our author in his views, but we are greatly indebted to him for his facts; and we so highly appreciate the book that we place it among those which every student should possess. It fires the soul to read of great deeds set forth in such stirring words: it is a special means of grace to come under the influence of such an author when he is handling such a theme. The volumes in the cheap edition are 7s. 6d. each, and this is a very moderate price for a production which has cost so much time and labor. Miss Harwood-Holmden, so far as we can judge, has admirably executed the translation. We suggest that every minister should have these four volumes presented to him by some wealthy hearer. THE CLASSIC PREACHERS OF THE ENGLISH CHURCH.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JOHN EDWARD KEMPE, M.A. JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLESTREET.
ALTHOUGH ourauthor looks upon preachers from a standpoint very different from our own, we have been right glad to know his views of the classic preachers of the English church, and to find ourselves, in general, agreeing with him. The sketch of Donne is admirably drawn. With Wilson, that true bishop of an extinct order, we were greatly pleased. Andrewes, too, in the second volume, is most excellent. In fact, for ministers the two volumes are the best known to us upon their special subject, and we feel refreshed by having read them.
Sunday evening, Aug. 10, the regular hearers at the Tabernacle once more vacated their seats to allow strangers to occupy them. If the building had been twice as large as it is it would have been none too spacious for the crowds that sought admittance. As it was, we packed in as many as we possibly could, and preached to them with all the power that the Lord gave us. The sermon is published (No. 1,489. The Plague of the Heart), and may be still more widely blessed if Christians will circulate it where it is likely to be useful.
This special effort was preceded by earnest supplications at the regular prayer-meetings, by the pleadings of a meeting of chosen soul-winners held in the afternoon, and by the united prayers of the pastor and deacons in their private vestry. It was delightful to observe the discipline voluntarily kept up by the Tabernacle friends; for none of them wore present, nor thought of being so. There are generally a few crooked folks who will never fall into rank, or agree to anything which approves itself to others, but we saw no specimens of these irregulars, and we are under the impression that we have no such individuals at the Tabernacle. The idea of giving outsiders an opportunity of hearing their pastor commends itself to the universal conscience of the people, and therefore all carry it out cheerfully. The pastor appreciates this loving unanimity, and takes this opportunity of rendering his hearty thanks to one and all. Few ministers have to thank their hearers for stopping away, but we do so most heartily, accepting the action as one of the surest tokens of intense unity of heart in the Lord’s work.
The visitors for that evening were a remarkable mixture, comprising the workman in his usual garb, the west-end gentleman in the height of fashion, the sober Friend and the solid man of business, and all other kinds of people. The higher and lower ranks were equally well represented; men were, as usual, much in the majority, the clergy were in force, soldiers blazed in red here and there, and the usual church-going middle-class element filled in the picture. It was a great crush, and the atmosphere was dense and drowsy, but the attention was unbroken and the feeling deep. At the close our spiritual sharp-shooters gathered up each one his share of those wounded by the word. Results, however, are better seen after an interval than immediately after the service. So it has ever been with our ministry. The converts do not rush excitedly into an inquiry room, but they think over what they have heard, and where the arrows have entered the soul the convinced ones come forward in due time.
— The following students have accepted pastorates since the last notice. Mr. J. Rankin settles at Guildford, Surrey; and Mr. J. C. Brett will endeavor to resuscitate the Baptist church at Welling. ton, Salop; we bespeak for him the aid of our good friends in that region. Mr.T. Napoleon Smith takes charge of the churches at Monks Kirby and Pailton, Warwickshire; Mr. E. S. Hadlet succeeds Mr. Pope at Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex; Mr. W. Clatworthy goes to co-operate with our esteemed friend,J. Hannington, Esq., at Fishersgate, Sussex; and Mr. J. Taylor begins work at Campden, Gloucestershire.
Mr. Timothy Harley, who has been for some years pastor at Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A., has returned from America, where he was tried by the yellow fever, and has accepted an invitation from the church at John-street, Bedford-row. Mr. D. Asquith has removed from Brixton to Clarence. street, Landport; Mr. W. A. Davis from South Shields to Melton Mowbray; and Mr. John Clark from Dartmouth to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Mr. W. Miller has fallen asleep during the past month. He was a good brother, though he lacked firmness of mind. After leaving the Baptist denomination to become for a while a Free Methodist he returned to his first principles, and was restored to the College Conference a month or two before life ebbed out. His tender, gentle, holy spirit is now free from the troubles which were too many for his heart to bear.
We have lately received quite a batch of foreign letters from various ministers connected with our College Conference, and the tone of most, if not of all of them is very cheering. Mr. White writes from Japan to tell us that he has opened his new preaching station. It is only a room, but as soon as it is filled the movable front is removed, and the people in the street hear the preacher’s message. He mentions that he had just received the good news that a thousand persons in one of the inland provinces were asking to be baptized. He hopes soon to translate some of our sermons into Japanese.
From Calcutta we have an earnest appeal for more Christian workers in India. Mr. Blackie is doing what he can, for beside his pastorate at the Lall Bazar he has been teaching native boys and girls in the mission schools, he is secretary and treasurer of the Benevolent Institution, and secretary of the Baptist Indian Mission, and the Calcutta Temperance League. He is hoping soon to be able to labor entirely amongst the natives.
Mr. Dyke sends us a long and interesting account of the work of our brethren in Canada. He specially mentions the help they have rendered in connection with the new Home Mission and Systematic Beneficence schemes. He sends us tidings of Messrs. Grant, Forth, Lennie, Willis, Holmes, and Cook, all of whom seem to be doing thoroughly well. Our beloved brother, J. A. Spurgeon, hopes to see all these brethren during the months of September and October, and we hope his presence will inspirit them and all the Canadian friends. Particulars of his trip we hope to give in our magazine.
Mr. Kendon has arrived safely in Jamaica after a very pleasant voyage, and has now settled down to work at Old Harbour. Mr. Berry expected to baptize twenty-five persons this month, making seventy-five for the year.
Mr. Downing, of Brisbane, and several of our brethren in America, have also written us very encouragingly of their progress and prospects. Let the name of the Lord be praised.
The students re-assembled August 12th, and are now in full work. We have a larger number of men than ever before, and yet we have refused a host of applicants. Our venerable tutor, Mr. Rogers, having retired through age, his place is for the time occupied by Dr. Davis and Mr. Wrench. Our young men are throwing their hearts into their studies, and several of the older men are men of special promise. Of more than thirty new men whom we have admitted we shall write with more confidence after a few months’ trial. The readers of The Sword and the Trowel have not, we hope, forgotten that we have more than one hundred men to support. The income just now is very small. The donations received this month are old promises made at Mr. Phillips’ supper, and donations given at the Weekly Offering: apart from this nothing has come in, or next to nothing, for the friends have been thinking of the Girls’ Orphanage. This, however, does not stop our expense of some £140 per week for this College work alone. God’s blessing on the work will be seen by our latest tablet of results — .
Ministers who have been educated in the College, 470; New Churches formed, 132; persons baptized, 36,123; Students in the College, 110; Students in the Evening Classes, 200.
For carrying on this great work we have no resource but God, and he will not fail us, but will issue commands to his good stewards to see that this work never flags for want of the silver and gold.
— During the time set apart for their holiday, Messrs. Smith and Fullerton conducted special services at Paisley and Dumfries , and in both places much good appears to have been done. On the 9th ult. they commenced at Blackpool, where they were to remain until the 25th. The hot weather seems to have prevented them from having such large congregations as usual indoors, but in the open-air great numbers gathered to listen to them. It takes time to arouse a town fully, and we hope that by this time even the blackest pool in Blackpool has been stirred. These brethren, it seems, find it a holiday to go on preaching, and we are glad they find it so; but we should feel all the easier about them if they would pull up and rest hard at vacation times: it would be true economy.
This month, from the 7th to the 21st, they are to be at Burnley. We hope that all believers in that town will unite to seek of the Lord a revival by their means. The sole aim of our evangelists is to win souls, and they are by no means of an exclusive spirit; all may help them and feel safe in so doing.
We wish to remind all friends who desire the services of our two brethren during the year commencing March, 1880, that applications must be sent to the Committee, Society of Evangelists, Metropolitan Tabernacle, not later than the first week in the present month.
Concerning our other evangelist, Mr. Burnham, who works single-handed, Mr. Tidman, the pastor of King Street Baptist Church, Blaenavon, writes as follows: — “A week of special prayer prepared the way for Mr. Burham’s coming. Arrangements were made so that every house should be visited, and that a personal invitation to the meetings should be given. A lively interest was maintained throughout the week, the attendances were good, the power of God was manifested in each meeting, and anxious inquirers were conversed with at the close of each service. .... We hope to send you a thank-offering to help your Evangelists’ Fund.”
This is the way to profit by an evangelist: to prepare for his coming by prayer, maintain him while present by prayer, and follow up his work by prayer.
Mr. Bairnham has been resting during the past few weeks, and this month, from the 5th to the 26th, he is to be among the hop-pickers at Goudhurst, in Kent. Our regular readers will remember the interesting report that; he wrote for us after his visit to the hop-gardens last year.
— We beg to repeat the special notice we gave to collectors last month. We shall be glad to receive all collecting boxes and books, on or before Wednesday, October 1st, when the next quarterly meeting will be held at the Orphanage. We hope to give a lecture on “Incidents connected with Hymns,” which our good friends, Mr. Duncan S. Miller, and the Royal Poland Street Handbell Ringers, have kindly offered to illustrate with their bells. A meeting will probably be held at the “Hawthorns” in the afternoon, but full particulars will be announced as soon as we can make definite arrangements. We hope to make of the meeting an opening fete for the Girls’ Orphanage, and our country friends will not be disappointed if they come up and rejoice with us. Proceedings will commence at three.
The Boys’ Orphanage is so full that the trustees can issue no more application forms till next March. Will friends also note that the boys continue to send up their plates for more, and also to wear their trousers out at the knees, and we should therefore be glad if the subscriptions would come in more freely. We are glad that so many help us to build for the girls, but please don’t starve the boys. To rob Peter to pay Paul is very bad, and to starve John to feed Mary is quite as bad.
— Once more we have to adore the lovingkindness of our faithful and blessed God for having marvelously supplied the wants of the work to which he has called us. Our friends know that we bought a house and grounds called the “Hawthorns” for £4,000. This we needed the means to pay for. For various reasons the payment of the purchase-money for the “Hawthorns” was delayed until July 30th, and on that very morning we received a letter telling us that a gentleman had died and left £1,500 for the Girls’ Orphanage, thus bringing up our total to within a very small sum of the amount required. The whole £4,000 is now all secured, including this legacy, and the property is our own, and in the hands of the whitewashers and painters. Heartily do we endorse the expression of the friend who sent us the good news, “The Lord has wonderful ways of using people to get together means for his work.” The story of that legacy and of other gifts is a very remarkable one, and may some of these days be told. It illustrates the wisdom and faithfulness of the Lord, and tends greatly to strengthen our faith.
Now that the house and grounds are our own we shall at once make a beginning, and as soon as the furnishing is completed shall be prepared to take about fifty girls. Applicants and their friends are particularly requested not to write to Mr. Spurgeon, or any of the trustees, but to direct all applications to the Secretary, Stockwell Orphanage, Clapham Road, S.W.
None but fatherless girls, who are really destitute, and between six and ten years of age, will have any chance of admission. Further information will be sent upon application to the secretary.
We have now the promise of seven houses when we are ready to commence the new buildings. What hath God wrought! Schoolrooms must be built and an infirmary, so that there is still an opportunity for large donors to take a portion of the work and finish it outright. We have given as a frontispiece a picture of the “Hawthorns,” but it may so happen that we shall not long use the house itself for an Orphanage. We purchased it for the sake of its grounds, and when we have built on the garden it may be thought wise to let the house or to dispose of it advantageously. Possibly also we may have to exchange our site for another, if the owner of the plot of land which intervenes between the Orphanage and the “Hawthorns” does not allow us to purchase upon reasonable terms. Of this our “Notes” will inform our readers from time to time.
We shall need donations to furnish the house with, and then we shall want increased help to feed all the boys and girls. Our special friends could help us much if they would let us send them collecting books. We want to get a little band of helpers who would correspond with us personally, and help us regularly by collecting in different towns and villages. among their friends.
— Will all our readers examine carefully the annual report of this society, and give it all the help they can? No more needful or efficient agency exists, and yet we have to live from hand to mouth in reference to it from lack of capital and shortness of funds. Even in this, however, the good Lord does not leave the work actually to fail, but finds us just enough in the hour of emergency to prevent the machinery from actually standing still. Surely if some of his stewards were to consider this good work and its needs we should soon cease to be in fear of straits.
MRS.SPURGEON’ S BOOK FUND.
— Our clear invalid continues her good work of supplying poor ministers with books. The demands are as numerous as ever, and the gratitude felt by the receivers is exceeding great.
Those who have taken part in this gracious work would be indeed gladdened if they knew the good accomplished by helping poor pastors to feed their own minds.
Mr. Bartlett wishes us to say that he has a number left of his mother’s memoir, which he will be glad to sell. Those who remember that eminently useful lady, and would be pleased to see what her son says of her, may order the little volume of our publishers, Passmore and Alabaster. The price of the book is 2s. 6d.
PERSONAL NOTES. — A brother minister, who signs himself “A daily petitioner at the throne of grace on your behalf,” sends us the following note: “About September, 1869, I attended the Tabernacle in company with my wife on a Thursday evening. Your text was, ‘And Lot . . . pitched his tent toward Sodom.’ As I listened to your earnest appeals, especially to Christians, my soul was stirred to its depths, and I could not but bedew the seat in the gallery with my tears. I felt a new baptism of love for souls, and returning home we both dedicated ourselves afresh to God, to spend and to be spent for those who know not the Savior. I can truthfully say I have a measure of that power with me up to the present time, and since that memorable occasion I trust I have been enabled, both in the open-air and in chapels, to win many souls for my Master, some of whom are gone home, and others are on the journey. To him be all the praise!”
A friend in Jersey, in sending us a donation for the Girls’ Orphanage, writes: “I have been a reader of your sermons these seventeen years or more, having had sent to me monthly the Australian papers in which they appear weekly. God has been graciously pleased to bless them to the salvation of my soul. I had almost begun to think my Savior had forgotten me. I knew I had long ignored him. I have lately found out the way to procure them in any number, and have gladly availed myself of it. I think I have now near six hundred of them. I lend them out in books of fifty. I prize them above every other means of grace save the Book. As you so frequently want money for the good works in which you are always engaged, I thought you would not despise my trifle. I wish it were fifty times as much .... Receive my sincere and heartfelt thanks for the unspeakable good your sermons have afforded and still afford me.”
A friend in Glasgow, who signs himself, “Your loving son in Jesus,” gives us the following particulars of blessing received from one of our sermons: — “About two years ago a sermon of yours entitled ‘The Search Warrant’ appeared in the Christian Herald. I had been anxious long before, but the Wednesday evening that this sermon came I went away into the country to read it. Oh! I was in earnest that night. When I was sure I was alone I stood and cried to God in prayer. In this prayer I was led to ask but one thing, viz., that Spurgeon’s sermon might be the means of saving my soul that night. I opened the paper, and read it with great attention. The Spirit was with me, and when I got half-way through brought home to me the words, ‘the very simplicity of faith makes the difficulty.’ I had always been searching for some dark, mysterious, hidden thing. Back I went to the beginning, with a firm resolve to read it simply. Then I saw how one thing after another was cast down, and Faith herself was made a standing-ground on which to place the only thing that I could see left in the whole sermon, the beautiful, glorious, ‘altogether lovely’ form of our wounded Emmanuel. Christ was everywhere, and even myself had vanished, for I was a new creature ....Thank God for a Spurgeon to preach ‘The Search Warrant’!”
A friend writes from Manchester to tell us that her father, who has been a great drunkard for many years, has become a believer in the Lord Jesus, and has recently joined a Christian church. She says, “It is all through reading your ‘Seven Wonders of Grace.’” The following is an extract from a letter of one of the missionaries of the China Inland Mission: — “We stayed over the Sabbath at Tsong-ko-bu .....
In the evening, after reading Mr. Spurgeon’s sermon on ‘The Hiding of Moses by Faith’ (No. 1,421), I gave the substance of it in Chinese to our native pastor and the preacher at the above place, and then with deep-felt earnestness I prayed God to spare dear Mr. Spurgeon to the church of Christ, and to the world, for many years to come. The Chinese cannot pronounce ‘Spurgeon’ correctly, so we call Mr. Spurgeon in this quarter ‘Sze Pah-jing,’ i.e., ‘The Successor or Continuator of a Hundred Virtues’ — the word ‘hundred’ in Chinese stands for an indefinite number.”
From Natal we have received a cheering letter, which contains the following references to our sermons: — “In 1860 I emigrated to South Africa, and on board the ship ‘John Masterman ‘I received the first of your sermons I ever saw, and during our voyage they were read every Sabbath for divine service for the Presbyterian part of the passengers. I so loved your sermons that if I only got a spare leaf of one I treasured it, and put it away. .... I have a wife and eight children. I live on a small farm twelve miles away from my place of worship, and I have established a school on the farm, and with my own family, the schoolmaster, and some of the children, we muster a small band of from fifteen to twenty-two on the Lord’s-day evening to read one of your loved and highly appreciated sermons, and we seem to be as familiar with your name as if we met every Sabbath at the Tabernacle. I write this to let you know that even in this far away place you have hearers that you knew not of. At the same time I take the opportunity of sending you the small sum of £5, which you can appropriate wherever it is most needed.”
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle-May 1st, nineteen; May 26th, twenty. four; May 29th, seventeen; June 23rd, sixteen; June 26th, sixteen; July 3rd, nineteen; July 28th, ten; July 31st, fourteen.