CLOSING THE YEAR THE old question, “Watchman, what of the night?” comes to us from many anxious hearts at the close of the year, even as it has done aforetime. The watchman’s reply is given in a hoarse voice, for the fog has damped him, and the cold thank God, the central fire is burning on. He does not place great faith in his own judgment, and answers with trembling accents.
Perhaps a younger and nimbler guardian of the night would give a merrier answer, but he who is muffled up to keep a little warmth within him, and feels the frost in every limb, is not likely to exaggerate in the direction of cheerfulness. Those “waits,” across the road, who are being inwardly execrated by sleepy householders, may sing their carols, and blow their curious mixture of brazen nuisances, but the watchman’s tone does not pretend to be musical, its only excellence is that it is gruffly honest. Truth to tell, the watchman is growing weary of the night and of all that comes of it, and is longing for the everlasting morning when he will exchange “watch and pray” for “rest and praise.” “Still, watchman, what of the night?” Well, the night is a mixture, — stars and clouds, glimpses of the moon and hidings of all light; winds, showers, cold gusts, and interludes of silver shining. It is not all well nor all ill. At best there is nothing to make a man covet the watchman’s place, and at worst there is nothing so terrible as to drive the weather-beaten watcher from his post. Times have been worse, and it were well if they were better.
The happy signs are by no means hard to see, and therefore we leave them to be dwelt upon gratefully by fluent tongues. Our side of the has entered unto the outer coats of his soul, though as yet, task shall be that which is least pleasing, and therefore least likely to. be attended to. It is the watchman’s duty to mention two things which seem to him to bode no good to the church of God. One is the abounding doubt among professing Christians, and mainly among a certain class of ministers who aim at being thought “intellectual.” Young men from college, for lack of whiskers, display their critical ability as an evidence of their manliness, and that ability runs mainly in the line of evaporating the gospel from every text which contains it. Afraid of being unnoticed, they affect disdain of the oldfashioned truths which fed their fathers, and endeavor to win distinction by repeating at third hand the sophisms of skeptics who have been dead and buried for half a century. Older men have in some cases set them an ill example, but the youths have generally outrun their leaders, and having no discernment have leaped into the ditch from which wiser runners have started back.
It is not that there is in the churches an anxious investigation of the meaning of Scripture and a desire to conform all creeds to the Word of God: that were a hopeful sign indeed. But the foundations are assailed, the Bible is itself attacked, and its inspiration more than questioned. Once let this go, all is gone. Our great sheet anchor is the infallibility of divine revelation. Hence the vital importance of certain controversies in the Free Church of Scotland. It is not that a professor has said this or that of Holy Scripture, or that sundry expressions used concerning inspiration are to be deplored; but the weight of the sorrow lies in the spirit which could treat the sacred book irreverently, and lay it down upon the critical block to be chopped up. as though it were a carcase from the shambles. When tutors set before young men the example of judging inspired Scripture as though it were the product of Burns or Byron, there will not come much good to the church of God from the institutions over which they preside. Most of the mischiefs of the churches commence in the colleges. These can be fountains of orthodoxy or sinks of heresy; and much will depend upon those who teach. O that in all denominations this matter were laid to heart!
Bereft of the very basis of truth, stripped of faith, and tormented by’ teachers of doubt, the church will soon be in a sorry plight unless her Lord shall visit her by his Spirit and give back to her the simple confidence in his word which is her strength. May those who know the truth stand fast, and this evil will yet be overcome.
A second and equally serious omen of ill, is the worldly conformity of the present day. We hear of dancing parties in Christian families, and we are told of indulgence in frivolities of the vainest order; it is even darkly whispered that among certain Dissenters the card-table and the theater are no longer judged severely as once they were. If these things be so, the glory has indeed departed. Thank God, there is a remnant whose raiment is clean, but it is to be feared that many have defiled their garments. “Come ye out from among them! Be ye separate,” is an old-fashioned text which some even among Nonconformists do not regard: they act as if they were eager to be conformed to the world, and to taste of as much of its pleasures as possible.
The watchman’s heart is heavy as this last cloud chills him. He more and more abhors the hypocrisy which would serve Christ and Belial. Let men be one thing or the other. If they love the world, let them follow after it, and not pretend to be Christians; and on the other hand, if they serve Christ, let them not put him to an open shame by their inconsistencies. The line of demarcation between the church and the world cannot be too definite, and he who goes about to shift it is doing the devil’s business. Ye pastors, do your duty! Warn the flock, and make it uncomfortable for the wolves! Ye deacons and elders, cease not by your holy conversation to keep the young from dangerous pastures! Ye that love the Lord, see to it that ye grieve not his Spirit.
The watchman ends his husky talk by wishing at the close of 1880 to all who hear him, PEACE FROM THE GOD OF PEACE!
HYMN OF SPECIAL THANKSGIVING FOR 1880.
O LORD, we glorify thy grace, So rich, so full, so free:
Who in their trouble seek thy face Thy power and love shall see.
Wide o’er the land a heavier cloud Came year by year to lower, And late our hearts with fear were bowed Of yet a darker hour.
In opening spring our hope was bright, ‘Twas bright in summer’s bloom; Then followed storm, and flood, and blight, And shaded all with gloom Thy mercy with thy judgment strove, But mercy won the day:
Against thy wrath rejoiced thy love, And death for life made way.
Lord, when thy hand is lifted up The scoffers will not see; And when thy bounty crowns their cup They bring no thanks to thee.
But we will bless thy glorious name, Thy patient care we praise, And to extol thy matchless fame Our joyful anthem raise.
Enthroned beyond the starry host, Amidst thine angels strong, O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Accept our grateful song!.
Hopton Rectory, Thetford, Henry Downton. 4th Sept., 1880.
REMOVING WE have often been advised to rise from Nightingale Lane to higher ground, to escape a portion of the fogs and damps which hang almost always over our smoky city. In the good providence of God we have been led to do so, and we are now upon the southern heights. We did not seek out the place, but it came into our hands in a very remarkable manner, and we were bound to accept it. We have left the three-windowed room on the right, which has been so long our study, and the delightful garden where we were wont to walk and meditate. Not without many a regret have we transferred our nest from our dear old home to the Hill of Beulah.
What a type of our departure out of this world is a removal from an abode in which we have lived for years! Many thoughts have thronged our mind while we have been on the wing from the spot where we have dwelt for more than twenty years. Our musings have worked out the parallel between our change and “the last remove,” and here are the notes of it.
On such a day we must quit. There is no altering it; we mast leave all the dear familiar chambers, and the cozy nooks, and comfortable corners. The matter is settled, and there is no altering it; therefore, take another look round, and prepare to say farewell. Just thus shall it be when the inevitable decree shall go forth, “Arise ye and depart, for this is not your rest.” There will be no evasion of the order, no lingering, even for an hour, beyond the time. We are summoned by an authority which must be obeyed.
The warning being given, the dwelling becomes a mere lodging, a place in which we are no more inhabitants, but transient visitors. The whole character of the house is altered, and we ourselves act a different part; the freeholder becomes a temporary tenant, and the child at home changes into an expectant traveler. Were we fully alive to the fact of our approaching death, our position in this body and this world would be far other than it often is; we should no longer regard ourselves as fixtures, but as strangers and sojourners, soon to be removed.
When the actual flitting is near, the furniture begins to be packed up, stores are arranged in cases, and all things are set in marching order. We have scarce a table to eat at, or a chair to sit upon, for we are on the move. So will our last hours call for a setting of the house in order, and a preparing to depart. Small comfort will earthly gear afford us then; in fact, there will remain nothing which we can rest upon, nothing will abide in one stay. Our hearts must cherish a good hope of a new and better mansion, or they will have a wretched time of it in the hour of departure.
We are going, and we leave the dear old house with keen regrets; it would he a pity if we could do otherwise, for it would appear as if we had been unhappy in our abode. It is natural that the soul should be loth to quit the body in which it has resided so long. “For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey, This pleasing, anxious being e’er resigned, Left the warm precincts of this house of clay, Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind!” The joy of the believer is that he will be no loser by his removal; he has elsewhere a house not made with hands, eternal in the heaven,;; he will not be houseless, but will enter into his everlasting habitation. Away there, on the hill-tops of glory, stand the mansions which Christ has prepared for them that love him. Shall we dread the hour when we shall take possession of our palace? Nay, rather let us look forward with joyful expectancy. This, indeed, is a notable par; of removal experience, this looking forward to the new home. Our minds are up and away in the house which we are to occupy for the future, and this takes away regret at leaving the old abode.
O to have one’s heart and mind in heaven? Let us already sit in the heavenly places with Christ Jesus, for this he has raised us up together with himself.
Reader, when you have to remove from earth, have you a dwelling place in heaven? You are only a tenant at will to the great Lord of all, and you may have notice to quit at any time; if such notice came to-day, where would you go? Have you ever considered this question? Or will you take a leap in the dark? If you have no mansion above, is it not time you considered your latter end, and the dread alternative of endless joy or misery? A little thought may save a tempest of remorse, therefore sit still a while and consider the world to come. Remember, that both for this world and the next your best friend is Jesus, and that if you trust him he will surely save you. No time can ever be better for the beginning of that trust than this very instant.—From Spurgeon’s Almanac for 1881. The Gentle Heart: a second series of “Talking to the Children.” By
ALEXANDER MACLEOD, D.D. Hodder and Stoughton.
ALIVING and devout spirit breathes in every page of this book, and makes it fragrant with the richest perfume. The sweet odors of the Rose of Sharon float about the atmosphere as soon as you begin to read it. It is no less valuable for its literary merits—it is not only the product of a devout heart, but also of a refined and scholarly mind. We have been fascinated with the originality and beauty of its thought, charmed with the simplicity and elegance of its language, enriched with the store of its illustrations, and blest in spirit through its abundant manifestations of “the truth as it is in Jesus.” It is meant for children, and the good Dr. has caused his doctrine to drop as the rain, and distill as the dew; but others beside children will read it to great profit. There are here topics for teachers, subjects for preachers, and lessons for all. Doom Eternal: The Bible and Church Doctrine of Everlasting Punishment. By Rev. Junius B.REIMENSNYDER. Philadelphia: NelsonS. Quincy.
AN admirable work. Nothing can. be more orthodox or more convincing.
We should like to see the book issued by an English publisher. For clear, solid reasoning we hardly know its equal upon this tremendous theme. The Popular Commentary on the New Testament. Edited by Dr.PHILIP SCHAFF.VOL. 2:T. and T. Clark, Edinburgh.THE second volume of the “Popular Commentary” is as good as the first. The work promises to be truly useful to the mass of readers who cannot labor through the huge tomes among which some of us live and move and have our being. The illustrations and maps are excellent, and as far as we have been able to judge by reading here and there, the comments are sound and instructive.
The best of authors here unite to give information helpful to the general reader. Each volume is 18s., and there will be four to the New Testament.
The books are handsomely and strongly bound. Jenny and the Insects; or, Little Toilers and their Industries. With Illustrations by GIACOMELLI. T. Nelson and Sons.
FINER illustrations could not be produced. The subject is one which needs to be made familiar to children, for they know so little about insects that boys torture them, and girls scream it’ one of them comes within a yard.
Anything is good which teaches our savage race to love all things that live.
We thank Mr. Nelson for introducing us to bees and beetles, crickets and caterpillars, not as pests to be exterminated, but fellow-creatures to be known and admired. Like all Mr. Nelson’s productions, the book is elegantly got; up and splendidly printed.
NOTES The Editor has little to record of work done by himself, for he has again had to lie in the trenches instead of going down to the battle. Still, all is well. In answer to prayer health is returning, and his hope is that he shall be able to labor on through the winter wit]sent going abroad.
We cannot help recording our obligations to Mr. Sowter, of the Hydropathic Institution, Beulah Spa. He is our next door neighbor, and we have had his careful attention in the use of Turkish, vapor, and chemicoelectric baths. Others who are similarly afflicted would find it to their advantage to come under Mr. Sowter’s care.
We may, perhaps, by mentioning this fact, save some of our friends the trouble of writing to us about remedies of all sorts; it is very kind of them, and we are very grateful, but we cannot try a hundred things at once. For the present we give these baths such attendance as we can.
Mrs.SPURGEON’ S BOOK FUND is distributing hundreds of volumes of our works among poor ministers of the Church of England, and we are rejoiced greatly to find them so glad to receive them, and so heartily pleased with them. It is no small thing to feed those who have to feed. others.
Our only trouble about this blessed work is the continued slackness of means for making the distribution. Our beloved wife looks up expectantly, but for some few weeks her faith has been tried. Usually with the demand comes the supply; but just now many ministers are craving for books, and the stores are very short. Still, there is no total drying up of the stream, and the distribution does not cease, for which let God be praised. He will doubtless take care of his own work.
On Monday evening, Nov. 15, the annual communion in connection with the London Baptist Association was held at several centers in the metropolis, and one of these was the Tabernacle. Most of the Baptist ministers of the district met for tea before the public gathering, and held a fraternal experience meeting, cheering each other, and entering into most loving fellowship. The attendance at the service was considerably affected by the excessive storminess of the weather, but there was, nevertheless, a large muster. Mr. Spurgeon was able to preside, and to address the assembly upon the subject of the separateness of believers from the world.
Many neighboring ministers took part in the proceedings of the evening, of which we have heard believers say, “the Lord was there.” The more of holy, happy, hearty intercourse among the servants of God the better for them all.
COLLEGE,—Mr. W. J. Taylor has been accepted as a preacher in connection with the Evangelization Society; and Mr. C. E. Stone has accepted the pastorate of the church which now worships in the Laminas Hall, Battersea. He hopes soon to build a new chapel, and there is both room for it and need for it, for Battersea increases at a marvelous rate, and is not adequately provided for as to religion.
Mr. W. J. Dyer has removed from High Wycombe to Bridgnorth; Mr.W. H. Smith, of Tenterden, to Beccles, Suffolk; Mr. R. P. Javan, from Warkworth to New Basford, Notts; Mr. D. E. Evans, from Wolverhampton to Lodge-road, Birmingham; Mr. A. H. Collins, from Milton, to Selly Park, Birmingham; and Mr. E. Spanton, from Caxton, Cambs., to Dawley, Salop.
On Friday afternoon, Oct. 29, Mr. J. Gelson Gregson gave an address to the students on his proposal for the evangelization of the English-speaking population of India. Mr. Spurgeon stated his anxious desire to send then to India, and his bitter regret that he had not the means to do so, a legacy which he had hoped to spend in that direction being now a matter of litigation. The English and half-caste people of India present a fine field, full of promise; but without means what can be done? Men, also, fit for this service are scarce.
Our colored brother, Mr. T. L. Johnson, has safely reached America, and commenced work in soliciting help and exciting sympathy for missions in Africa. Mr. and Mrs. Richardson are still plodding on at Bakundu.
Mr. Hamilton is building his new chapel at Cape Town. As he will have to pay the builder £200 per month he writes that he will be glad of the help of English friends. Any amounts entrusted to us will be duly forwarded. The work of God in CapeTown in building up a vigorous Baptist Church in so short a time is marvelous in our eyes, and we cannot but believe that the silver and the gold will follow where the hand of God has led the way.
Mr. S. Fairey, late of Gawler, S. Australia, has removed to Parkside, one of the rapidly growing suburbs of Adelaide, where, inconjunction with Mr. C. H. Geede and other earnest Baptists, he has formed anew church, and erected a chapel to seat 400 persons. He tells us that at the annual meetings of the South Australian Baptist Association, recently held, our brethrenW. C. Bunning, of Geelong, and ‘F. Hibberd, of Sydney, attended as delegates from the Victorian Baptist Association and the New South Wales Baptist Union, and Mr. Fairey adds, “right nobly did they acquit themselves. They remained in the colony for two weeks, preaching in our churches, and speaking at our meetings. They have done a good work, and gained the esteem, and confidence, and admiration of all. We are all better for their visit, and they profess to have received flora us like good. . . . There were some nine Pastors’ College men taking part in the meetings, and men of whom, I venture to say, the College need never be ashamed.”
EVANGELISTS. — Messrs. Smith and Fullerton have been at Leamington during the greater part of the past month, and there, as in other places they have visited, the chapels and halls were too small for those who wished to hear them, and many received the truth sung or spoken by our brethren. On the second Sunday of their stay they had 1000 working men at the afternoon service, every one of whom received one of our sermons on leaving. The experiment was so fully appreciated that at the request of the men it; was repeated on the following Lord’s Day. The noon prayermeetings and afternoon Bible-readings have been largely attended, and the spiritual results are expected to be most cheering. Three meetings were held daily, and on. Sunday, 14th ult., no less than nine services were conducted by one or other or both of the Evangelists. They report that they hope to send up a large thank-offering, which will be very acceptable, as the receipts for the Evangelization I work recently have been much below the expenditure. Just as we are making up the notes Pastor S. T. Williams sends us the following telegram:— “Glorious finish here! Nine meetings by Evangelists. Numbers turned away at each service. Many saved. Local expenses all met. A thank offering beside. Praise God!”
Mr. Burnham recommenced work on Oct. 17, by preaching to a crowded congregation at Fivehead, where he was formerly pastor, and where he had baptized his late wife. He believes the service was not in vain. On the following Sunday evening our brother ministered to the church in our house at” Westwood.” From Oct. 25 to 31 he was at Chiswick, where in spite of unfavorable weather many met to hear the word, and some received it with joy. Mr. Burnham conducted a very successful series of services at Thurleigh, Beds., from Nov. 7 to 12. So earnestly had the Christians prayed and worked that the Evangelist found both chapel and schoolroom filled with eager listeners, who had been attracted from no less than seven different villages. Pastor G. Chandler bears testimony to the blessings received by saints and sinners, and adds, “Our dear brother has won all our hearts, and his visit has been greatly blessed to the cider branches of my dear family.”
This month Mr. Burnhan is engaged at Charlton Kings, Highgate, and Winslow.
— The quarterly Collectors’ Meeting was held at the Orphanage on Friday, Nov. 12th. The President had intended to have been present, but found as the time approached that it would not be safe to venture out. We learn that there was a large attendance of collectors and friends, and that a very enjoyable evening was spent in listening to the recitations and singing of the boys and girls, and an address from Mr. Charles-worth, who presided over the evening meeting. The collectors brought in about £150, for which we are very grateful, as our general contributions recently have been small, although our expenses have increased rather than diminished; and when the houses for the girls are completed they will be nearly double what they are now. Christmas at the Orphanage.—Please, dear friends, do not forget to send special donations for Christmas. We like to break up the monotony of the year by here and there a holiday, and Christmas is the special festival of the twelve months. The expenditure of that day has hitherto been always met by loving gifts from those who like to see children enjoy themselves, and we beg to put them in mind that Christmas is coming on very rapidly now.
All sorts of good things will be gratefully received at the Orphanage, or money to buy them can be sent re, Mr. Spurgeon, Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood. Services of Song by the Orphanage Choir.—On Wednesday evening, Nov. 10, the orphan boys gave a service of song at the Baptist Chapel, Southend-on-Sea, and as the result Pastor J. G. Wilson has sent us a cheque for £18. This is grand help, and we are truly thankful for it. Other congregations might do the same without the slightest loss to themselves.
On Nov. 16 Mr. Charlesworth and his choir started for a fortnight’s tour in Devon and Cornwall. They are to hold meetings in Exeter, Torquay, Plymouth, St. Austell, Truro, Falmouth, Helston, Penzance, Liskeard, and Taunton. On Dec. 14 an evening of song is to be given at Mr. Brock’s chapel, Hampstead. Thus our young friends are doing their best to help themselves.
— The work of the Colportage Association is very encouraging just now. From the commercial point of view the results recorded represent a large amount of plodding hard work by the Colporteurs. During the last three months the value of the sales effected was £1851 18s. The greater part of this was realized by the sale of Bibles and testaments and small periodicals and books, ranging in price from a halfpenny to a shilling. These have often been delivered under very discouraging circumstances—flooded roads, long and wet journeys, and people needing much persuasion to buy, and having little money to spare, are obstacles surmounted which add to the estimate formed of such a fair measure of success achieved. The seed of the gospel has thus been scattered broadcast in 73 different districts in England and Wales, some at once taking root, and some, like the lighter seeds which are borne by the wind to more distant fields, to bear fruit which shall be found after many days. Beside the immense good which the distribution of such numbers of Bibles, books, etc., must accomplish in pro-riding an antidote to the evil literature which abounds, and creating a taste for better reading, there are not wanting instances of direct conversion to God in the several departments of Christian service connected with the valuable work of the Colporteur. “A word spoken in season, how good it is,” and the Colporteur is always ready to speak such words. One writes:—”The word is blessed by the wayside. I always carry tracts with me, and give to the people I meet on the road, and speak a word where I can. A man overtook me the other day with a horse and a wagon. I put my box (knapsack) on, and walked by his side, and read the book by Mr. Spurgeon, called ‘ The Bible and the Newspaper,’ explaining its contents, how it spoke of the terrible sight of seeing souls ushered into eternity without a moment’s warning, and how important that we should believe on Jesus Christ, etc.
The man seemed deeply touched, he bought the book and asked me to call at his lodgings at any time, and he would buy others. I asked Lira to give his heart to Jesus Christ.” Another Colporteur writes:—”I am happy to say in my district the circulation of impure literature is decreasing. One woman has given up ____ and _____, and has begun to take the monthlies from me instead. The “Christian Age” is being taken and read by a young man instead of _____. A song book has been given up by a young girl, and a hymn-book used instead. A man to whom I gave a tract has been led to Jesus. Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons have been made a blessing to an aged man who has recently died in my district. I am glad to say that our chapel here (in which the Colporteur preaches) is always nicely filled, and great attention is given to the Word of God.” No agency surpasses Col-portage for meeting the special necessities of a district. The book-selling is an introduction, to the people, and the details of the work can be arranged according to circumstances. But it must ever be borne in mind that it is a missionary enterprise, and while it accomplishes a large amount of work for a small expenditure, cannot be self-supporting. Hence the need of constant and regular subscriptions to the general fired, which will be thankfully received. There are several districts in which a good work is carried on by the Colporteur, but the people are poor, and sufficient local aid cannot be obtained. It will only be by additional help to the general fund that the committee can continue some of these, and they await the assistance of friends of the work, who they feel sure will not allow any restriction in its operations.
METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE UNITED CHRISTIAN BROTHERS’BENEFIT SOCIETY.
— This Society has been for some time duly registered according to the Friendly Societies’ Act, but we did not like to recommend it, as so many similar societies had been broken up after continuing for several years. Having now submitted the rules, terms, etc., to the judgment of a competent actuary, and received from him a very satisfactory report upon them, we are pleased to be able to say on his authority that the Society is based upon sound financial principles, and if carefully managed there is no reason why it should not go on for any number of years. It may be well to state that it is not available for persons in the country; it is only intended for those who live in London. All particulars can be obtained of the Secretary, Mr. B. B. Blake, 76, Queen’s Road, Peckham, S.E. PERSONAL NOTES.—”A Lay Visitor” has sent to The Montreal Daily Witness the “Touching Story” of a young Scotchman who recently died it. the General Hospital in that city, after suffering from an internal disease which baffled the skill of the doctors. He says it was a delight and a privilege to visit and converse with the sick man, for salvation through faith in the Crucified was the theme he most loved to talk about. The “Visitor” then adds “The one and only matter of his reading, next to the Bible, was Charles H. Spurgeon’s sermons: of these he near tired. Biographies of eminent Scotchmen, like Norman Mac Leod and William Arnot, were taken to him, but as he put them aside he would say, ‘Spurgeon is always the same, but always satisfying, for he makes you forget himself as he holds up Him who is fairer than the children of men.’“ One of our subscribers writes from Essex:—” I cannot help telling you that I have long taken your sermons, and my dear husband, who is now seventy-two years old, has read them, and the Lord has blessed them to him. He is suffering from chronic bronchitis, so that he cannot attend any place of worship. It is his greatest pleasure to read a sermon every Sabbath morning, and I believe he is, through reading them, a new creature in Christ Jesus.”
Last May we inserted eight notes of in. stances of the usefulness of our sermons which had come under the notice of one of our evangelists. He has sent us the following additional items, from which, as before, we omit names and dates:— (9.) Mr. P—, a farmer, whose guest I was near N—, told me that he had for years been a secret disciple. Twenty years ago he heard Mr. Spurgeon at Cheltenham. During the discourse Mr. S. referred to some Christians who seemed ashamed to come out boldly and own themselves on the Lord’s side; then in pathetic tones Mr. S. looked straight at Mr. P , exclaiming, “Is this thy kindness to thy friend?” This completely broke down friend P , who wept like a child under it; and led him at once to return and confess Christ by baptism, and unite with the church, of which he is now a deacon. (10.) At M____ I asked an old man if he was on the Lord’s side? “Oh, yes; eighteen years ago I found the Lord through hearing Mr. Spurgeon preach on ‘ Repentance.’“ (11.) At E—, during his address at our service, Bro. B—, of E. instanced the case of a man, who, the week previous, called him in to see his dying wife. The dear old soul was very peacefully passing away. Expressing her joy at seeing Mr. B—, she said, “I am very happy; I have no fear; it is all gone; all is well. A good old man connected with your church used, before he went to heaven, to call weekly, and leave me Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons to read; and through reading these, I was led to feel myself a poor lost sinner, and to trust in Christ as my Savior: and now he is with me, and all is well?” (12.) When at E—, Bro. H and I were out distributing tracts and handbills in the neighboring village of O . One old lady asked us in, and commenced blessing and praising God for answering her prayers, etc. We wished to know the meaning of her words, and she said, “Oh, sir, I am too old and feeble to get out, and scarcely ever does anybody come to see me. I live hero alone, except for the company of my heavenly Father. Well, this morning I did earnestly ask him to send me some spiritual help by the way to-day, and he has sent you, bless his dear name? And do you get no comfort and no spiritual food now you are debarred the public means of grace? Oh, yes, sir; bless the Lord! I have a feast every week indear Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons. I read them over and over again. I should not know what to do, and should never get a crumb if it were not for these sermons; and they are feasts to my soul.” (13.) At D____, a Primitive Methodist minister recently said to Brother W___, “If Spurgeon were to die I should suffer a tremendous personal loss, an irreparable loss.” “Indeed; why? Do you know Mr. Spurgeon? Is he a personal friend of yours? .... No, I have never seen him, never written to him; never heard from him; yet I seem to know Mr. Spurgeon, to love him, to hold constant intercourse with him through his weekly sermons. I regularly read Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons the last thing before going to preach on Sunday mornings, I have done so for years; and to lose them would be an irreparable loss.” (14.) At A____, the church clerk has got tired of hearing the same sermons year after year from the parson, who turns the pile annually, so he takes in Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons regularly, for Sunday afternoon reading: he is the only man in A who takes them in. (15.) At W— , the most energetic man in Christian work is Mr. A——. He has been the means of doing an immense amount of good. He was brought to a knowledge of the truth through reading Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons, “Heaven and Hell” (Nos. 39—40), twenty years ago, on Hackney Downs.
Recently, on his birthday, Mr. Abought one thousand copies of these sermons, and scattered them for miles about here. These have gone into distant parts, and remote corners, that his hardly likely he can ever know here the real good done by them; but he has heard already of two or three conversions through them. (16.) Here is an extract from a letter from E—:—”Just a line to tell you that I am very happy again. The ‘ plague of my heart’ is gone this very morning. It has been depressing me for weeks, and I had begun to think that there was no hope left for me; but that I should carry it to the grave.
The Lord be praised!’ The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.’
Please excuse this hurried note now, as I want to write out that which has done me so much good, namely, Mr. Spurgeon’s sermon,’ The Plague of the Heart’ (No. 1489). He little thinks what joy it has given one this morning. Oh, how I thank the Lord for putting it into his heart to preach such a sermon? “The writer also enclosed £1 as a thank-offering for the Evangelists’ Fund, ‘, From one recently saved.”
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle.— October 28th, thirteen; November 1st, twenty-three; November 4th, eleven.