A RECORD OF COMBAT WITH SIN AND OF LABOR FOR THE LORD.
EDITED BY C. H. SPURGEON. 1881.
“They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.”—Nehemiah 4:17, 18.
KIND READERS,—Throughout another year you have sustained satisfaction, and few, if any, have favored me with a compliant, I feel encouraged to believe that you have been pleased with my monthly issues.
It was once observed in my hearing by a friend who wished to account for my fulfillment of numerous duties, that, as for the magazine, it was a merely nominal thing to be the editor, for few editors ever saw their magazines till they were in print, However this may be as a rule, it does not contain a spark of truth in my case, for I have personally superintended every page, and I do not think a single line of the magazine has passed through the press without having been. read by me. Whether I succeed or not, I certainly do not delegate my task to others. If I had more leisure I am sure I could do better, and it is with unfeigned satisfaction that I find my subscribers contented with what I can procure for them.
The SWORD AND TROWEL has been the happy means of uniting in gracious service a band of gracious givers and workers, who now for these 17 years have joined to aid the institutions which, though they locally surround the Tabernacle, are really the offspring of a congregation which is found scattered throughout all lands. By means of this warm-hearted brotherhood the -Pus/ors’ College has been sustained from year to year, until some six hundred ministers have been educated in it, the most of whom are still faithfully preaching the old-fashioned gospel in which they have been trained. In connection with this enterprise three brethren have been supported as evangelists, and their itinerant labors have been signally successful. Testimonies that churches have been aroused, and sinners converted by their means, have been plentifully sent in, and these pages have been increased in interest thereby. Hundreds of thousands have heard the gospel through this instrumentalist..
The Stockwell Orphanage originated through an article in this magazine, and from time to time its support has been mainly supplied by its readers.
During the past year the houses for the girls’ side have been completed an, partly furnished; and at the present time the first detachment of little ones has entered into occupation. More remains to be done by way of furniture for other houses, and the further contracts for the infirmary, baths, and outbuildings have to be met, but it is a great comfort to have seen the project so far in progress, and to feel assured that all that is yet required will be forthcoming in its season. The Bazaar which is so soon to be held will, we hope, secure the amount needed to bring the enterprise up to thenext stage, and then we may lay our plan for the final outlay on the chapel of the Orphanage, and a few other necessaries. All that has been done has been accomplished without personal solicitation, or the allotment of votes, or the dissemination of heartrending appeals: it has sufficed the magazine; and as very many of you have expressed your to lay the case before the Lord in prayer, and then to mention it to his people in plain and earnest terms, and the funds have come in with marvelous regularity, the larger amounts having been timed to meet the hour of need as exactly as if the whole went by clockwork. The hand of the Lord is in this thing, and to him be glory. That this institution has brought honor to God is plain enough, for many a time those who would have abused our ministry have admitted that; a good work has been wrought, and have had no heart to revile.
There is a something about orphan work which wins the sympathy of the most careless, and none can tell till the last great day how many have been by this means led to think well of the gospel, and next to hear it and experience its power. The Colportage Association has held on its most useful course. It has been sustained with difficulty, for somehow it does not chime in with the tastes and views of large donors, but its influence for good is second to no existing agency. Where there are not enough Dissenters to support a minister, or where ministers are unable to cover large and scattered districts, the colporteur makes his way with his pack, and speaks word for Jesus at every door, either by personal conversation or by leaving a tract.
Besides this, he preaches by the roadside or in village chapels, gets up temperance meetings, visits the sick, and above all sells good books. This society, and several other useful works, report themselves in these pages, and enlist good friends thereby. Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund quietly pursues its beneficent course. It is putting sound theology just now upon the shelves of many a poor curate and ill-paid minister, and this it does so largely that it would be a miracle of a strange sort if it did not greatly affect the ministry of the day. That the sermons distributed and the “Treasury of David” furnish material for preachers is saying very little: that they hi, ye evangelized the tone of many has been confessed in numerous instances, and is true of far more.
Brethren and sisters, you have aided me so far in a benevolent enterprise of no small dimensions, and I hope I have in no degree lost your loving confidence. Continue, then, to bear me up in your prayers, and to sustain me by your contributions. More can be done, and more should be done.
Every living work is capable of growth; every work which has God’s blessing upon it is under necessity to advance. Our watchword still is
Possibly we cry forward more often than pleases those who lag behind. Some time ago I asked for men and means to send evangelists to India; one man only offered, and that one man was sent. Up till now I have had sufficient money, and I believe that when more men offer I shall have larger funds; but here is room for prayerful up-looking to the Lord.
Brethren, pray for us. I would fain live to the utmost of my own life, and I would draw out from all my brethren more and more for God’s glory by the propagation of the gospel, the alleviation of suffering, and the arousing of the church. Thanks to all helpers, and a thousand blessings, From their hearty friend, C. H.SPURGEON. December, 1881.
A DESPAIRING SOUL COMFORTED THERE lived lately at Tilbury, in Essex, a gentleman who was a long time under such an eminent degree of despair, that he rejected all comfort that was tendered to him by any hand, and would not suffer any to pray with him; nay, he sent to the ministers and Christians that lived near him, and desired them, that as they would not increase his torments in hell, they would cease praying for him. He would not suffer any religious services to be performed in his family, though formerly himself was much in the use of them. Yet, God gave him at last such inward refreshings, and by degrees filled him with such abundance of heavenly comforts, that he told all who came to him that it was impossible for any tongue to utter, or heart to imagine, his joys, unless they had felt them. At last God gave him “the new name, and the white stone, that none knows but he that hath it,” Revelation 2:17. He lived about three-quarters of a year, enjoying heaven upon earth, and then breathed out his last in the bosom of Christ.—THOMAS BROOKS, 1608—1680. [We quote this, not to excuse despair, but in the hope that some one who has long been shut up in the iron cage may take heart and believe that the bars can yet be broken. Jesus can set free the prisoners.—C. H. S.] YOUNG PREACHERS ENCOURAGED A SHORT ADDRESS, DELIVERED TO THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE COUNTRY MISSION, BY C. H.SPURGEON.
ACERTAIN venerableminister once told me that when his young people took to preaching he did his best to choke them off of it. Whether he was right or wrong is not a question which I shall now discuss: I can only say I have acted upon the opposite, principle, and have endeavored not to choke but to cheer those who try to speak for Jesus. I am not old enough to have forgotten the struggles of my own early days, or the influence of a cheering word upon my young heart, and so I take a loving and lively interest in those who sincerely endeavor to do their best for their Master, even though that best be raw and uncouth. “Would God that all the Lord’s servants were prophets,” and that far greater numbers of laborers were sent into the harvest of the great Householder.
Let all who have gifts for the work open their months and preach Jesus, for the gospel cannot have too many faithful heralds. At this time I will only dwell upon one truth, that for men to speak of Christ to others is a great blessing to themselves. Brother workers, the endeavor to win souls by preaching Christ is a grand means of grace to our own hearts. The apostle Paul thought preaching to be a high privilege and a means of good to himself; for he said” Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” It is a token for good to us when God employs us, nay more, the holy service is the channel of incalculable benefit to us. So far as I am concerned, I scarcely know how I could keep alive spiritually if I did not refresh my own heart by preaching the gospel to others. So is it with my brethren. Many are warmed by holy exertion who else might have been cold; many are cheered who else would have been despondent; many are instructed who else had been ignorant; many are made to grow who else had been stunted. The first blessing is to be saved yourself, but the next in value is to be the means of saving your neighbors. Salvation from sin includes salvation from selfishness, and this is in a large measure effected by our beginning to care for the souls of others, and showing that care by earnestly speaking to them. The man whose first and last concern is about his own safety is not half saved yet, if saved at all. It is wretched work to be for ever prying into the vault of one’s own inner feelings and spying out in the murky darkness new causes for disquietude; better far to look around on dying men, and spend the divine life within you in trying to glorify God by proclaiming his infinite love. By morbidly brooding over self you will hatch new griefs, but by blessing others you will open fresh sources of rejoicing. Public speech for Christ helps to develop us. I believe it, is as good for young men to try and preach the gospel as it is for children to attempt to walk. How they tumble about! — I mean both the preachers and the children. As for the children, their battered noses and broken knees are part payment for the privilege of ultimately walking on two legs; and who regrets the bruises in after days when it is his joy to run without weariness?
The break-downs of young speakers are much the same, they pain them for the time, and perhaps leave a bruise in the form of a story which makes them wince when it is repeated, but by these things men learn to speak without fear, and the preacher is trained to ready utterance. If there were no miserable defeats there would be no happy successes. Preachers are like the sycamore figs of Amos, they must be bruised by failure before they will ripen and sweeten into great usefulness. I like to hear of men beginning to speak for Jesus; they remind me of young eagles stretching their callow wings and taking their first venturous flight: they will in due time soar into the heavens, none the less surely because now they can scarcely wing their way from one point to another. I recollect my own beginnings, and I know how tremblingly, and yet how trustingly, I took each tottering step. Some of the holiest feelings of our renewed nature are called into action at such a time: I could wish that in after years we were as prayerful and dependent as at that season. The effort arouses the noblest part of us, and gives it a chance to indulge its aspirations, and so far it must be good.
It is an admirable thing for young men to begin early to preach the truth, for it is the best way of learning it. My college course was after this fashion. I was for three years a Cambridge man. though I never entered the university. I could not have obtained a degree because I was a Nonconformist; and, moreover, it was a better thing for me to pursue my studies under an admirable scholar and tender friend, and preach at the same time. I was, by my tutor’s often expressed verdict, considered to be sufficiently proficient in my studies to have taken a good place on the, list had the way been open. “You could win at a canter,” said he to me. I had, however, a better college course, for I studied theology, as much as possible during the day, and then at five in the evening I became a traveling preacher and started into the villages to sell out what I had learned. My quiet meditation during the walk helped me to digest what’—I had read, and the rehearsal of my lesson in public, by preaching it to the people, fixed it on my memory. I do not mean that I ever repeated a single sentence from memory, but I thought my reading over again while on my legs, and thus worked it into my very soul. I must have been a singular-looking youth on wet evenings. During the last year of my stay in Cambridge, when I had given up my office as usher, I was wont to sally forth every night in the week, except on Saturday, and walk three, five, or perhaps eight miles out and back again on my preaching work, and when it rained I encased myself in waterproof leggings and a mackintosh coat, and a hat with a waterproof covering, and I carried a dark lantern to show me the way across the fields.
I had many adventures, of which I will not now speak, but the point is, that what I had gathered by my studies during the day I handed out to a company of villagers in the evening, and was greatly profited by the exercise. I always found it good to say my lesson when I had learned it; children do that, you know, and it is equally good for preachers, especially if they say their lesson by heart. No better means of fixing knowledge can be devised. My dear brethren, who are young preachers, will learn their theology while preparing their sermons and while delivering them if the Spirit of God be much sought and depended on. To translate the ideas of your own mind into language which others can understand and receive is a fine lesson both in thinking and in speaking.
I am glad to see the men in our churches attempting to preach, because it is likely to give them a deeper sympathy with their ministers, and we need the sympathy and love of all around us. Some thoughtless persons imagine that the preacher stands up and opens Ms mouth and sermons leap forth; they know nothing of the intense study and wear and tear of mind which are necessary to maintain freshness and vigor from Sabbath to Sabbath.
When these young men open their mouths, they find that instructive matter does not flow forth spontaneously; they discover that the same thing is very apt to come .over and over again, or that they are too embarrassed to say anything at all. They are perplexed and worried to know where to find themes, and thus they learn the need of searching the Scriptures, and storing their minds. This is good for them. Better still, they find that they must pray over their subjects, and get their hearts into a right state before God, or else they cannot discourse to profit. They soon perceive that minds are not always fresh and fertile, and they learn to bear with a dull sermon, caused by a headache or a sleepless night. Those who have preached themselves will pray for those of us who have all the year round to instruct huge congregations, and to make the old, old story new and attractive to the same people throughout a lifetime.
I am sure, too, that it keeps men out of mischief to set about spreading the knowledge of Christ. The most useful members of a church, re usually those who would be doing harm if they were not doing good. They cannot be chips in the porridge, they must flavor it one way or another. I know very well if I was not always at work I should be sure either to worry myself or others, for my brains will not imitate the dormouse, and take a long sleep. To have nothing to do would kill some of us outright.. Activeminded idlers are a curse to any community. Lazy members of churches, if they have restless dispositions, become critical hearers, grumblers, gossips, heretics, or schismatics. The\’ find pleasure in giving pain. It is fine to see a sluggard lean over a rail and find fault with those who are hard at work in their shirt-sleeves; he says they are out of order, and ought to wear dress coats. It would be better if they would dress his coat for him. On a very hot day it is very pleasant to sit in a boat and find fault with the two fellows who are rowing so hard that they drip with sweat. I know some who enjoy this delight in a spiritual sense, and also add to it the further joy of criticizing the way in which the rowers feather their oars. If the workers should turn round and say, “Try and do better yourself,” they would be justified in the observation, and I wish the idle gentlemen would accept such a bit of practical wisdom. Now, you with fault-finding tongues, use your mouths for a better purpose, and we shall be less troubled by you.
Spare energy soon runs wild if it be not yoked to the gospel plough. Vines which bear little fruit go all to wood, and many of the branches run over the wall.
It is a good thing for our young brethren to begin to preach, because it arouses their natures. They discover points in themselves that they never knew were there; frequently these discoveries are not flattering, but humiliating, and this greatly benefits them, for anything is good which lowers self-conceit. Other discoveries comfort and encourage them, for they find out faculties and talents which were unperceived while they were silent. No one knows what he can do till he has tried, nor even what he cannot do till he has made the attempt. When a man begins to agonize for souls, to persuade, and entreat them to come to Christ, he discovers his own weakness, and his need of the Holy Spirit; while further on, when the Lord blesses him, he gladly perceives what great strength can be put into him, and how much his very infirmities may be overruled to the glory of God.
Though a man cannot preach at all, it may do him great good to make the attempt, if he has any strong impulses in that direction; for if ha be a man of sense the clear evidence of his inability will satisfy his conscience, and enable him quietly to attend to more suitable work. We’ cannot all preach, and there is no need we should, for it cannot be desirable that the church should be all mouth, since that would amount to its being one great vacuum, a sort of cave by the sea, famous for nothing but contending noises. There must be ears to hear the gospel as well as lips to preach it; and it is not an ill thing for a man to have attempted to preach when his failure leads him to become a good hearer, and a diligent laborer in service more suitable to his abilities.
It is good for young men to begin to preach because it is from among their ranks that the ministry must be recruited, and lay-preaching associations are often the means of raising up and qualifying men who become able ministers of the new covenant. Many a small church has been a nursery of preachers. The very need of the people has compelled them to search out and encourage native talent. When a man stands up in the street to preach, or talks to a dozen people in a cottage, he is putting out his pound to interest as his Lord desires, and it grows by being thus employed, till one talent becomes two, and two become five, and five become ten. By exercising his gift the chosen servant of Christ goes from strength to strength. Some of those who now occupy the foremost pulpits, and are doing the greatest good, owe their capacity under God to the constant habit of preaching, which commenced at first in a very small way. How many times I have enjoyed preaching the gospel in a farmer’s kitchen, or in a cottage or in a barn. Perhaps many people came to hear me because I was then a boy; but I owed my earliest opportunities to the Cambridge Lay-preachers’ Association, which placed me upon its plan, and kept me in constant work, till I became a village pastor. I, therefore, advocate such societies, and wish to see one of the like in every town.
In my young days I fear I said many odd things and made many blunders, but my audiences were not hypercritical, and no newspaper writers dogged my heels, and so I had a happy training-school, in which by continual practice I attained such a degree of ready speech as I now possess. There is no way of learning to preach which can be compared with preaching itself, if you want to swim you must get into the water, and if you at the first make a sorry exhibition, never mind, for it is by swimming as you cart that you learn to swim as you should. Hence we ought to be lenient with beginners, for they will do better by-and-by. If young speakers in Cambridge had been discouraged and silenced, I might not have found my way here; and therefore I hope I shall be the last to bring forth a wet blanket for any who sincerely speak of Christ, however humble may be their endeavors. If we slay the striplings, where shall we find our veterans?
The fear of there being too many preachers is the last which will occur to me. I rejoice in that passage of the psalm—” The Lord gave the word, great was the company of those that published it.” Go forth, young men, and proclaim among the people of this vast city all the words of this life.
Among these millions you will all of you be few enough. The Lord make you to be all good men and true. I pray him to anoint you with his Spirit; fill your baskets with living seed, and in due season bring you back laden, with many sheaves. My heart is with you, my soul rejoices in your successes, and I look to the great Head of the church through your means to gather in his blood-bought ones.
GRATEFUL THOUGH SORROWFUL.
SEEING that all our troubles and afflictions come from God, we ought to humble and submit our hearts and minds unto him, and to suffer him to work in us according to his most holy will and pleasure. If unseasonable weather should hurt the corn and the fruits of the earth, or a wicked man should misreport us or slander us, why should we murmur and grudge against the elements, or seek to revenge us of our enemy? for if we life not up our minds, and consider that it is God that layeth his hands upon us, and that it is he that striketh us, we are even like unto dogs, which, if a man cast a stone at them, will bite the stone, without any respect to who did cast it ....
Pliny the Second, an heathen man, when he would comfort a friend of his, whose dear spouse was departed out of this world, wrote after this manner: “This ought to be a singular comfort unto thee that thou hast had and enjoyed such a precious jewel for so long a time: for forty-four years did she live with thee, and there was never any strife, brawling, or contention between you, nor never one of you once displeased the other. ‘ Yea,’ but now thou wilt say, ‘so much the more ]oath and unwilling am I to be without her, seeing I lived so long a time so pleasantly with her. For we forget soon such pleasures and commodities as we have proved and tasted but a little time only.’ But to answer to this, take thou heed that thou be found not unthankful, if thou wilt only weigh and consider what thou hast lost, and not remember how long thou didst have and enjoy it.”
So if we will not set and weigh the one thing against the other, we are like unto children, who, if any man happen to disturb or hinder their game a little, or take any manner of thing from them, will by-and-by cast away all the rest also, and fall to weeping.—Saltmarsh.
NOTES IT may interest our personal friends to know that on January 8 we shall reach our twenty-fifth wedding-day. We had a figurative silver-wedding with the Church two years ago, and now we have literally reached that event of domestic joy. We unite with our beloved wife in deep gratitude for a quarter of a century of great happiness, and we beg our friends to aid us in praising God’s name. In all probability the Church at the Tabernacle will have a special meeting on Monday, January 10, to congratulate the pastor and his wife.
On Sunday, Dec. 5th, no less than 109 persons were received into church fellowship at the Tabernacle. This is a cheering addition with which to close the year. “The Lord hath been mindful of us, he will bless us.”
Abiding in peace, and love, and earnestness, the church is made to rejoice in the presence of the Holy Spirit, giving power to the Word and saving men. We have dismissed a company to form a church in Tooting, and we are organizing a colony in the Old Kent Road, under Mr. Briggs. Thus the vineyard is enriched by offshoots which become vines, and bring forth fruit unto God’s glory. Some of the workers among us are eminently blessed in bringing souls to Christ, and the increase to the church is not alone from the pastor’s labors, but from the efforts of brethren and sisters whose names are written in heaven.
The joy of our heart in the success of the Orphanage Cornish tour is very great. It is not only the help received, but the warm affection exhibited in the doing of it, which has cheered us greatly. Baptist friends led the way, but Methodists were thoroughly hearty too; indeed, everybody helped the orphans, and many sent personal words of love to the President. Thank you, warm-hearted friends of Cornwall and Devon: the Lord recompense your kindness a hundredfold.
On Monday evening, Nov. 29th, the Tabernacle prayer-meeting was specially on behalf of the COUNTRY MISSION.
Several members of the mission prayed or spoke, and the pastor delivered the address which appears in another part of this magazine. We have often commended this work, and therefore need not say much about it now. It is one of the most useful of our agencies for the spread of the gospel in the heathen districts round the metropolis, and it could be greatly extended if we had the funds with which to hire rooms and pay expenses.
On Wednesday evening , Dec. 1, a meeting was held at the Tabernacle to help Mr. Murrell to secure the usual amount from the WEEKLY OFFERING for the College, which through Mr. Spurgeon’s illness had somewhat suffered, A large number of friends assembled to tea, and afterwards many more came into the meeting. Three of the students, Messrs. Simmons, Harrison and Ward spoke of the benefits derived from the College, and Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Frisby’s choir sang some of their sweet songs of Zion; but most of the time was occupied by a recital of “Personal Recollections,” by the pastor. It was an enthusiastic meeting, proving the love of the congregation to the College and its conductor. The sum of fifty pounds was by this means added to the offering. We believe that £1880 will be reached, but it will need a special effort during the last few days of the year.
Friends of the College are requested kindly to note that the Annual TEA AND PUBLIC Meeting will be held at the Tabernacle on Wednesday evening, -Dec. 29th. ‘-The President is to take the chair, and “John Ploughman” is to exhibit dissolving views painted from the pictures in his new book, and give readings explanatory of them.
On Friday evening, Dec. loth, it was once more our privilege to attend the annual meeting of the COLLEGE EVENING CLASSES, and in the name of the members to present to Mr. Johnson, one of the tutors, Chambers’ Encyclopedia, in 10 volumes, handsomely bound, as a well-deserved mark of esteem for himself, and appreciation of his labors. Several of Clue students spoke of the advantages which they and others had derived from attending the classes, and Mr. Ferguson and the secretary, Mr. Kirk, both testified that the attendance was never so large as it has been during the present year, and that at no time has the work been more successful than it is now. If any other Christian young men wish to join the classes they can write to Mr. Kirk, 24, Gilbert-road, Hurley-road, Kennington, S.E. We are training in this Working-men’s College some two hundred brethren who pursue their callings all day, and then study in the evening. Of former pupils many now occupy places of responsibility in the church, in the press, or in business houses,—and they are Christian men who would have had no chance to rise had it not been for these classes. Mutual instruction ends in frivolous entertainments, but classes with good tutors. are the most efficient agencies for developing the gifts and fostering the piety of young men.
— Mr. C. W. Townsend, who was one of our orphan boys, has completed his college course, and settled at Inskip, Lancashire; and Mr. Jno. Doubleday has accepted an invitation to Sittingbourne, Kent. Mr.E. Isaac has sailed for Australia, where he hopes to labor as an evangelist. He is worthy to be received right heartily.
The following brethren have removed during the past mouth:—Mr. R.F. Jeffrey, from Kingsgate-street, Holborn, to Folke-stone; Mr. W.S. Llewellyn, from Bowden to Ogden, near Rochdale; and Sir. J. Hillman, from Hunslet to Hampden Chapel, South Hackney.
— Messrs. Smith and Fullerton have been at Grecnock during the past month, and the services are still being continued while we write. Notwithstanding very unpropitious weather the average week-night attendance has been about one thousand persons, while the noon meetings. have been good, and the Saturday evening “Song Services” very successful. On Sunday evenings it is estimated that the congregations have numbered between three and four thousand, while hundreds have been unable to gain admission. Best of all, many have professed to find the Savior during the meetings. Pastor J. Dann and several other ministers have labored heartily with our brethren.
During the early part of the present year the evangelists are to visit Halifax, Annan, and Sheffield, and later on they are to come to London for a long campaign.
Mr. Burnham, though still far from well, has conducted very successful services at Lincoln, Eelbeach, and Churlton Kings. The pastors in all these places testify to the blessing received through our brother’s visit.
— Friends who send presents for our orphan boys or girls will greatly oblige if they will address them to Mr. Charlesworth, Stockwell Orphanage, Clap-ham-road, London. On several occasions recently we have had to pay carriage on parcels sent to our house, and as we live at a considerable distance from the Orphanage additional expense has been incurred in getting the articles to the institution.
After their return from their tour in the West, the Orphanage choir gave a service of song at Mr. Medhurst’s chapel at Land-port. Members and friends of the pastor’s Bible-class had collected £55 8s. 6d. for the institution, and the collection after the concert realized £25 5s. 6d., making a glorious total of £80 14s., which we have received since the lists were closed. On the morning of Christmas-day a service will be held at Mr. Newman Hall’s church, Westminster-bridge-road, when a collection will be made for the Orphanage. Some of the children will sing at the service.
The following extract from a letter from our son Thomas explains an item of £50 in the accounts, for which we thank the Sydney friends, and bless the beloved preacher:— “Sydney, Oct. 20, 1880. “My very dear Father,—Yesterday being my last Sunday in Sydney, I took the opportunity, at the suggestion of some kind friends, and notably of our Brother Hibherd, to make a collection at the Theater Royal on behalf of the Orphanage. I had some handbills printed, giving a concise account of the work, abridged from the annual report. These were given to the folks as they assembled. I preached from ‘In thee the fatherless find mercy,’ and tried to preach the gospel, and at the same time draw a parallel between the orphanage of my heavenly Father and that of my earthly parent. Among other things I endeavored to show that the qualification for admission to each is destitution, that the reception is gracious, that gratitude is the necessary result, ‘ So will we render the calves of our lips.’ I pleaded earnestly that they would remember the good they had received from your preached and printed sermons. I urged a still more potent plea. ‘For Jesus’ sake.’ Then I read that short notice in The Sword and the Trowel for September about the boys eating like caterpillars, and not spinning cocoons. The audience’ responded liberally, contributing £46 17s., and I find that by contributions from friends at Paramatta I am able to remit you a draft for £50. Dear father, I can’t tell you how glad I am to do this. You will be pleased, I know, but not more than I am. Thousands here are deeply interested in you and your glorious work, and would doubtless help it oftener but for the long distance and local claims:. However, they have eagerly seized on this opportunity of manifesting their esteem and love. I am rejoiced to see it. You will be delighted to hear it, and to receive their gifts, and they are pleased enough to help the orphans for the president’s sake. I would have had the collection for the College, but that I felt I could appeal to all for so undenominational a work as the Orphanage. The College must ever hold first place with me, as it does with you, and I think the people would have given to it gladly enough, and perhaps as liberally, but I wanted to make sure, and get a good amount. I had quite set my heart on £50, and prayed the Lord we might realize that amount by one means and another. He has answered prayer. To his name be endless praise.”
— Since last month the Committee have been much cheered by an application for the appointment of a second colporteur in a district in Staffordshire, adjoining one where the present man has so commended himself and his work to the confidence of the friends that they want another just like him. A new and very promising district has also been opened under the superintendence of our friend, C. F. Allison, Esq., at Orpington, in Kent.
A lady generously sends £100, but wishes the acknowledgment to be anonymous. This aid was specially acceptable, as the amount received during the month without it was less than that received for some time, and far below the necessities of the Association. Will other kind friends help by forwarding a subscription for the new year?
The colporteurs themselves keep working away. One man writes:—” I find I have made 2,267 sales during the past three months, for which I have taken £65 15s. 3d. I have also delivered on the Sabbath 2l sermons or addresses. I have also worked 822 hours, not reckoning Sundays.”
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle.— November 29th, nine; December 2nd, eighteen.
PASTORS COLLEGE, METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE.
STATEMENT OF RECEIPTS FROM NOVEMBER 14TH TO DECEMBER 14TH, 1880.
Giver £ s. d Mr. W. Ladbrooke 1 0 Part of Communion Collection by Church in Plum Tree House 0 15 Mr. E. Isaac 3 0 Mr. J. H. Gould 1 1 Miss M. Neath 5 0 J. W. L., a Thankoffering 5 0 Mr. James Rayne 0 10 Executors of the late Mr. Samuel Willson 5 0 Mr. William Gourlay 21 0 A despairing one 0 10 H.R.W. 5 0 Free-will Offerings at our Mission Hall per Mr. A Ross 6 5 0 “A Friend in Scotland” 25 0 H.I., Malta 2 0 Mrs. Ellis 0 10 A Student, per J. A. 2 2 Mr. F. W. Brackett 1 0 Miss Bradford 0 2 An aged Christian, per Pastor’ T. D. Cameron 10 0 Dr. MacGill 1 1 Mrs. Kennard 0 10 Pastor George Hearson 2 2 Mercy and Grace 1 1 Mrs. James Smith... 1 1 Part Collection at Penge Tabenacle, after Sermons by Rev. C. H. Thomas 5 0 THE INN BY C. H.SPURGEON. Of all the images which set forth this mortal life there is perhaps none more apposite or instructive than that of an inn. Our own three months’ sojourn last year at the Hotel de la Paix at Mentone may well represent a somewhat lengthened and peaceful life. Archbishop Leighton thought so much of the image that he desired to die at an ran, and providence answered his desire: we feel no such wish, though we fully agree with the good bishop’s view of the analogy.
We arrived at our inn, where we had for a short time been expected, and were welcomed by those who were already on the spot. So came we into the world to those who received us gladly. Among the very poorest people, the addition of a new member to the family may be a meager joy, because it divides the scanty loaf into smaller rations, and yet there can hardly be a parent who is not glad at the birth of a child. In the great majority of cases, “Welcome, welcome, little stranger,” is no mere empty compliment.
Our own welcome at our inn was a very hearty one: we found all things ready for our lodging, comforts provided by forethought, and promises that whatever else might be wanted should be promptly supplied. Happy those who can look back on their first days in this world, and see that the lines fell to them in pleasant places. Here are our sitting-room and our sleeping-room, arrangements for converse and for refreshment, and much more than the bed and table and candlestick which the Shunammite of old provided for the prophet. So come we into the world, and find loving hands ready to minister unto us, and full many a comfort and necessary provided without our care and forethought. We are too apt to forget the mercies of our early hours in this great caravanserai; but it should not be so.
All the while we tarried, everything in our rooms was our own; we might use chair, and couch, and glass, and table most freely, and yet nothing was indeed our own, but only lent us. Neither the house nor a single article in it was ours: we held nothing in the place, no foot of land was ours. Neither did we in other respects lose the sense that we were sojourners in a strange country, whose citizenship lay elsewhere. Some of those who waited upon us spoke a different language from our own, and could not fully comprehend us, neither could we readily enter into their speech. We confessed that we were strangers and pilgrims, and had no desire to be regarded as natives of the country. We never concealed our nationality, nor wished to change it: France was our lodge, but England was our home.
Letters came to us from home, and we were sending perpetual messages back again, and we took more interest in these than in the decrees of the Republic under whose shadow we tarried. We were very comfortable, and yet it was not home; nor did the inn ever rival our own loved home, and thus often we remembered that “this is not our rest,” and that our true abiding-place was on the other side the flood. Besides which, we were often thinking and speaking of the time of going home, and referring to the almanac to see how many days would intervene before the end of our stay.
We had dear companions, but the nearest and dearest of all were divided from us by fall a thousand miles, and their absence rendered it impossible to forget that we were exiles in a strange land, fair as that land might be.
There is no need to denote the parallel, the simile is clear as crystal.
The inmates of the hotel were perpetually changing. We formed friendships, and spent happy evenings, and made excursions together, and then we bade good-bye, never to see those friendly faces any more. The hotel forgot them, and others came to fill their places, and were welcomed in the same manner. The look of the table somewhat changed, seats were empty for a little while, and then were filled up by others: yet there were the same daily meals, and the routine of the hotel went on the same whoever came or went. The most important guest was, after all, nothing in particular. He made a stir at coming or going just for an hour or so, and then all went on as if his name had never been inscribed on the tablets in the hall. The hall-keeper would probably keep up the name for a week or two after he was gone, for certain documents might come when he had departed; but this, like posthumous fame, was soon over, and an old yellow-looking letter inside a glass case was all that remained to show that he had ever climbed the great staircase, or entered the drawing-room.
Among the guests there were little circles of acquaintance, and some show of gradations, though all met at the same table, and dwelt under the same roof. You were drawn to one, and repelled by another. There were warm greetings, and cold nods, for all the world like those one meets with in the greater inn of society. Yet, whoever the guests might be. they were always on the move. A few stayed long and became old inhabitants, but the majority were more distinctly birds of passage, and indeed all were such, for the long stayers talked of “the season,” and when they would be going, and always owned that it was only a matter of a few weeks, and they, too, would be gone. The constant adding of new faces at the end of the table, and the disappearance of others made it appear as if death had taken away some, and birth had brought in fresh ones to supply their places.
The dwellers in the hotel were of all ages. We could hear the merry laugh of Children on the stairs, and see them romping in the passages; and there were old men and elderly women who talked wisely and soberly, and spent their days very carefully, afraid of the wind, the cold, and the draughts. So in the world we see a great mixture, and it is well it should be so. A table at which all are very old is not a pleasing sight: we want buds and blossoms as well as mellow fruits.
We saw a variety of dispositions as well as of ages, and these shifted frequently. If one visitor was a little grumpy and unneighborly, he was soon gone; and alas? if another was very cheerful, and shed a light over the whole party, he or she would be gone too, and leave a gap which we all deplored till another filled it. We saw the omnibus at the door, and waved our handkerchief with farewells to the departing, and anon we heard the bells ring, and saw a rush of servants to the front doors, for there were new comers to occupy the empty rooms. Everything changed, nothing continued in one stay for any length of time.
The luggage, too, is an instructive item. What trunks—we had almost said, what portable warehouses?—some visitors brought with them. We can honestly say that we pitied them heartily. They could not get all their lumber into their rooms, and their huge boxes and portmanteaus half blocked up the corridors. Sensible people rather made fun of them, and wondered why they burdened themselves with such mountains of rattletraps.
We think we know other travelers who heap together riches, and load themselves with cares, and make their life-journey a misery. Could they be content with less, their happiness would be far greater. The spiritually wise would smile at the eagerness of many to be rich did they not see stronger cause for weeping over the folly, so injurious in the present, and so ruinous in the future.
At last our own time came to depart, and there were many hand-shakings, and adieus, and “God-bless-you’s,” but the time was up, and we must needs go. Some wished that we would remain longer, but it must not be: the dearest friends must part. Indeed, the friendships of the hotel had never been formed with any idea of continued residence in the same house; we had met casually, and we parted without any violent wrench, for, after all, we were only dwellers in an inn, and were none of us at home, and therefore the partings were not very sorrowful. If we had the same clear view of the temporary character of all earthly relationships we should be spared a thousand sorrows. Our children were not born immortal,—what wonder if they die? Husbands and wives were united only till death should them part,—how can they hope to be together for ever?
Our rooms are not empty now. Perhaps some worthier guest is there, and the hotel may be all the more fall of life because an invalid middle-aged gentleman and his friends have gone to their home across the sea; and so, when we leave this world, we may be missed a little while, but, as the poet said, “Other bards will walk these dells, And sing your praise, sweet evening bells;” so will other voices carry on the solemn worship of God, and other pastors feed the flock redeemed with blood.
In reading a book which interested us greatly during our sojourn we stumbled on the following passage:—” In the anecdote books of our boyhood used to be told the story of an Indian Faquir, who entered an Eastern palace, and spread his bed in one of its ante-chambers, pretending that he had mistaken the building for a caravanserai or inn. The Prince, amused by the oddity of the circumstance, ordered, so can the tale, the man to be brought before him, and asked him how he came to make such a mistake. ‘What is an inn?’ the Faquir asked. ‘A place,’ was the reply, ‘ where travelers rest a little while before proceeding on their journey.’ ‘Who dwelt here before you?’ again asked the Faquir. ‘My father,’ was the Prince’s reply. ‘And did he remain here?’ ‘No,’ was the answer. ‘ He died and went away.’ ‘And who dwelt here before him?’ ‘His ancestors.’ ‘And did they remain here?’ ‘No; they also died and went away.’ ‘Then,’ rejoined the Faquir, ‘I have made no mistake, for your palace is but an inn after all.’” The Faquir was right. Our houses are but inns, and the whole world a caravanserai. Under what sign are we living? We like our own sign of
PEACE.DE LA PAIX has a soft sound to our ear. Others prefer to have their hotels called “the Splendid,” or “the Royal,” or “the Imperial;” let us dwell in PEACE, and we shall be content. It was said of old concerning our Lord and Master that “there was no room for him in the inn:” if it be so in any house, peace will be courted in vain; but make room for Jesus, and all will be well, for “he is our peace.”
LIFE AND LETTERS OF HORACE BUSHNELL THIS book is an affectionate tribute to the memory of an American clergyman greatly beloved among a wide circle of friends. Lively reminiscences, etched by various contributors, supply us with a series of portraits as he appeared in the successive stages of life — a child in his father’s house; a student at Yale College; a settled minister gradually rising to distinction among his contemporaries as a preacher and an author; and, at length, a venerable sire, whose declining age was radiant with many virtues. The entire story is skillfully woven together with diffuse selections from his correspondence, in which he is allowed to speak for himself, and so to become in a measure his own biographer. We hardly anticipate, however, that this voluminous volume will obtain any wide popularity on this side of the Atlantic. It is too much padded with trivialities. In our busy age, with its accumulation of books, we cannot afford to be bored with long stories about Horace Bushnell’s mother and grandmother, the “homespun” dress he wore in his school-days, the letter he wrote to his wife’s mother, Mrs. Apthorne, when his baby-boy was born, in which he speaks of him as “the little gentleman,” the romps he used to have with his children, and the facetious remarks he made when he was talking to his friends. The shelves of our library are pretty well loaded now, but if such a fashion were imported from the United States to the old country, “I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” And what was Horace Bushnell? Well, he was a typical thinker of rather a narrow type. The good man had a little genius. His originality consisted in a slight divergence from the school of thought in which he was trained. To the heaven-inspired faith of the old Hebrew prophets he made no pretensions. Of the enthusiastic missionary spirit of the Christian apostles he was not a partaker. His idiosyneracies can all be traced to earthly influences. The soil on which he was planted will account for the stature to which he grew. A thoughtful propensity, a sensitive temperament, and a fertile imagination supplied the raw material of a selfreliant, positive, and withal a persuasive preacher, who would never fail to challenge notice. As for the phases through which his mind passed, they must be interpreted by the shadows that were cast on it. tie appears to have always ranked himself among orthodox believers, though he frequently announced his orthodox convictions in such a manner as would soothe Unitarians and Freethinkers, while it startled the members of his own fraternity. He evidently found agreeable excitement in first alarming his evangelical friends, and then quietly allaying their fears. This kind of sport we look upon as dangerous, if it is not sometimes deadly, to unstable souls.
His lectures on “The Divinity of Christ,” and “The Atonement for Sin,” delivered, the one at: Newhaven, the other at Cambridge, U.S., might have been regarded as efforts to conciliate rather than to combat adversaries of the faith. When he combined them in one volume he prefaced it with “a dissertation on language” so ingenious, not to say so sophistical, that it puts his arguments out of the pale of criticism, because, as old words are acquiring in his estimation a fresh meaning, we are not yet educated up to his modes of expression, and cannot, therefore, be sure of what he means.
Disciples of modern thought would probably greet this as a fine mist on a fresh morning, which augurs a bright day for this dark world. We are not exactly of their persuasion: they groan over fossilized dogmas, while we grieve over ossified hearts. This nineteenth century is not more notable for the unbelief of its wise men than any other century of the Christian era, although recent science has minted new apologies for skepticism. But the tree of life is no fossil;:it yields leaves and fruits as healing and nutritious as ever it did. The faith of the gospel has not lost its soul-saying power, nor have our creeds and catechisms exhausted their virtue; they still supply wholesome nourishment when properly digested. Absorbed into the system they feed and strengthen the tuner man. Ere long there will arise men who will thunder out the old theology, and cause the world to forget the chirping crickets of heterodoxy, who now believe themselves to be the voices of a perfect age. Schools of philosophy are not exactly a fit soil for the production of stalwart Christians. In vain we look to them for successors of the apostles, or even for Sunday-school teachers. Their learned professors are prone to prefer their own inductions to divine inspiration, and this is their weakness for practical usefulness. Of this we are quite sure, that preaching would be shorn of all its power if it failed to speak ‘with authority. Call those pulpit exercises by some other name than preaching—call them essays, discourses, arguments, orations, or whatever else you like, which aim at shadowing forth suggestions which scarcely assume any definite form. “Thus saith the Lord,” said the ancient seers. “Verily, verily, I say unto you,” said Jesus, and “he spake as one having authority.” “The things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God,” writes the apostle Paul, and then he adds, on behalf of himself and his fellow-laborers in the ministry,” which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.”
How else would you define a sermon but as a discourse founded on some text or passage of Scripture, the absolute truth of which is accepted as an axiom? One of the most friendly and apologetic of Dr. Bushnell’s American critics thus explains his position: Though he had denied none of the cardinal doctrines of Christianity, he had ventured to express his faith in them under formulas and philosophic explanations some-what different from those which were assumed to be canonically settled for all time.” We are very confident ourselves that the simple Scriptures, as they have been handed down to us, will survive all the strictures of scientific minds, and we are equally sure that the philosophizing upon them which did Bushnell no good will do others great harm.
The volume before us will be better liked than any of the books which Horace Bushnell published in his lifetime; for it is obvious enough that those who knew the good man most intimately, the peculiarities of his thought were completely overshadowed by the piety of his heart and the purity of his conversation. He established a reputation among his fellowcitizens, which they appropriately perpetuated by calling a park at Hartford, U.S., after his name. But his admirers expect too much of us if they think that on this side of the Atlantic we can classify him among “first magnitudes.” Jonathan Edwards was a theologian whose treatises stand the test of time. William Ellery Channing was a philanthropist whose moral instincts were so fine and his sense of justice so keen that his words touch the very core of our common humanity. But of Horace Bushnell what can we say except that he started a problem which he seems to have never solved to the satisfaction of himself or of anybody else. He trod on treacherous ground, and he detected his mistake before he ,died.
Protestantism always appeals to piety in efforts to reform or to mould back on primitive models: no less surely does it procure the suffrages of profanity when it attempts to pioneer a new path through undiscovered continents. Bushnell’s speculative proclivities appealed to the wrong party: they have won him little confidence from believers, and the questionable honor of being admired by “the advanced school.”
USE YOUR EYES RIGHTLY AN Italian bishop who had endured much persecution with a calm unruffled temper, was asked how he attained to such a mastery of himself. “By making a right use of my eyes,” said he. “I first look up to heaven as the place whither I am going to live for ever. I next look down upon earth and consider how small a space of it will soon be all that I can occupy or want.
I then look round me and think how many are far more wretched than I am.”—From Bishop Horne’s Aphorisms and Opinions.
NOTICES OF BOOKS We regret that through the great abundance of books sent in at this season of the year we are in arrears with the publishers. This is not due to any neglect on our part, but to the slender space which we can afford for the review department. We always do our best to make these notices interesting, and they always express our frank, unbiased opinion. Publishers may rest assured that we will use our best diligence, so that all their productions shall have some sort of notice, however brief. We will always be as prompt as we can be, but delay is unavoidable where columns are so crowded. John Ploughman’s Pictures. By C. H. SPURGEON.
Passmore and Alabaster.
Is a few months this work has reached its seventieth thousand. The review of these thousands is far more striking than any review by an individual.
This book for the people has evidently become the people’s book. Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. Vol. XXVI.
Passmore and Alabaster.
Is this volume better or worse than its predecessors? If the reader prefers to .judge for himself, he can purchase the book for seven shillings. To us it is a theme for deep gratitude that all these years we have been able to find readers for our discourses. God bless them to all who study them. The Sword and the Trowel. Volume for 1880. Passmore and Alabaster.
ABOOKSELLER’ S catalogue calls this “a really standard magazine.” We believe that the volume, for five shillings, contains as much interesting and valuable information as can possibly be procured for the money. Modern Scottish Pulpit: Sermons by Ministers of various Denominations.
Edinburgh: James Gemmel. Scotch Sermons are not all bad, though the name has gained an unenviable notoriety, for here are discourses “as sound as a bell.” Sydney Smith called Scotland” the knuckle-end of England;” but, as to gospel preaching, we have always regarded it as the choicest part of the three kingdoms, and so it is, and so it shall be by the grace of God. This is a valuable collection of sermons, containing one discourse from each of such brethren as A.A. Bonar, Moody Stuart, Hugh Martin, David Brown, and the like. We must write to the publishers for Vol. 1. The Protestant. One penny weekly. East Temple Chambers, fleet-street.
WE wish every success to this and similar endeavors to raise up a barrier against the perpetual inroads of popery. Noon-Day Meditations; being a Reflection upon a Scripture Text for ever:/ Day in the Year. By the late ELIZABETH SERLE, James Nisbet and Co. WE do not care to criticize this book, for it is gracious and consolatory, and it will be read with much pleasure by many experienced believers; but yet the style is inaccurate and the matter rambling to the last degree. Those who love the doctrines will readily overlook literary faults; those who do not had better leave these “Meditations” alone. The work is somewhat after the manner of Dr. Hawker’s “Portions,” but it cannot for a moment compete with that famous volume. Word of Comfort for the Weak in Faith. By M. J.U. W. Mack, 4, Paternoster-row.
Or these poems Horatius Bonar said, “Thank God for your sweet hymns.
They are fragrant with the name of the Lord and Master, and will help to refresh and quicken souls.” This witness is true, and this little book requires no eulogy from our pen. The poems have been written by a greatly afflicted sister, and we gladly commend them to the sorrowful Christian as full of gold tried in the fire. The poems, with God’s blessing, will comfort; and enrich those who are in tribulation. The book is neatly got up, and is cheap—Is, and ls. 6d. We wish it a large circulation among those for whom it is especially intended. Deep unto Deep: an Inquiry into some of the deeper Experiences of the Christian Life. By Sir Emilius Bayley, Bart., B.D. London: Hatchards, Piccadilly.
HERE we have a series of twenty-two sermons, or chapters, of more than average merit, specially adapted to tried believers who are passing through the deep waters of tribulation. The author has not followed the silly fashion of making a motley volume of discourses or poems carry the patronymic of the first paragraph, but he has been true to his title-page all the way through. We cordially recommend this book to young pastors, for we are persuaded that there is far more need to study the pathology of the Christian soul than many of them wot of. The sore straits through which some saints are called to pass, and the depths of anguish that others have to endure, make no small demand upon the sympathy and the knowledge of every faithful minister of the gospel. Physical infirmities and social bereavements, for example, may appear very common afflictions, though they plunge the soul into deep grief, but the influence they produce on sensitive minds is often so peculiar that each case requires specific attention. The tortures that some experience, when old sins haunt their memory, even after they have had a sense of forgiveness; and the horrors that overtake others through the temptations of Satan, are not to be lightly thought of by those to whom Christ has committed the oversight of any church or congregation. Of’ course we have a choice little stock of old authors, whose charts we highly prize: there are Augustine, Luther, Bunyan, Gilpin, Brainerd, Edwards, and, we might say, William Huntingdon. These were men much tossed about on the stormy main: men of God, moreover, who knew how to tend sea-sick souls in every stage of their sad complaints, whether staggering to and fro, or brought to their wits’ end. None the less are we gratified to greet a new book on an old subject. The old books are a wee bit obsolete. The devil may be as personal in our belief, but he is not quite so present to our senses as he was to some of our predecessors. We should not think of throwing an inkstand at his head nowadays. With the same faith we travel on fresh lines.
We are pleased with Sir Emilius Bayley’s parable. He has read Captain Maury’s “Physical Geography of the Sea,” and Professor Wyville Thomson’s “Depths of the Sea,” and the: “Voyage of the Challenger,” and his acquaintance with modern discovery has helped him to find illustrations of a problem that is started and solved in the sacred Scriptures.
This is just the time for New Year’s gifts. You will have to pay a visit to your bookseller: include “Deep unto Deep” among your purchases, and be sure you give a copy to your pastor. A Catechism of Geology and Sacred History for Young People. By E, A. PEAKOME.
THIS is an attempt to explain the Scripture statements of the creation by the infant science of geology. We reckon it moderately successful, but think that when science has done her utmost, there will still be mysteries in the word of God that must be accepted as revelations rather than understood as the results of reasoning. We are not so afraid of faith as to fear asking for its exercise even in receiving the statements of the Scriptures; what we fear much more is the attempt to reduce everything to the dead level of judgment by carnal reasoning. Christian Rationalism—forgive the contradiction —is very much the fashion just now. The organization of our Sabbath Schools. By Rev.DAVID MILLER, D.D.
Edinburgh and London: William Black-wood and Sons.
This book contains an interesting sketch of the Rev. David Blair, the writer’s predecessor at Brechin, who instituted the first Sabbath-school in Scotland, in the year 1760, and also a review of the rise and progress of the Sunday-school system in England. The writer’s aim is to point out some defects in the present system, and to suggest, in lieu of the usual prizes, certificates of merit ascertained by examination in the subjects taught. A good deal may be said for the scheme proposed, and teachers will do well to give it their consideration. What Church? And the only Faith and Fold: Romanism and Anglicanism Tested. Correspondence with Archbishop Manning. By Rev. C.BULLOCK, B.D. London: “Hand and Heart” Publishing Office.
IF Romanism were capable of refutation and conviction by argument, this pamphlet would surely reveal to it its errors and follies; but when a system relies; on its traditions and prejudices rather than upon Scripture authority or common-sense arguments for its existence, what can be done to overthrow it? This little book may be of service in extricating those who have not yet been completely entangled in the Anglican or Romanistic web; but those are just the persons who will not be likely to read it. We believe that the best testimony against Romanism and Anglicanism is a sturdy Nonconformity that knows nothing of priests, or liturgies, or saving ceremonies, and believes in deed, and not merely in word, in the headship of Christ over his church. The Gospel in Leviticus. ByJAMES FLEMING, D.D. Morgan and Scott. WE have inadvertently passed by this last work of our friend, Dr. Fleming.
Those who knew this beloved minister while he was laboring in Kentish Town will not need to be told of his earnest, evangelical spirit, and of the savor which rested upon all his teaching. “The Gospel in Leviticus” is all of a piece with the rest of Dr. Fleming’s testimony, and is a most fitting close to a life of holy teaching. Good Thoughts in Bad Times, and other papers. ByTHOMAS FULLER, D.D. Hodder and Stoughton.
FULLER’ S face would have betrayed his humor even if he had tried to conceal it; wit sparkles on the arches of his eyebrows. The portrait prefixed to this admirable reprint we are sure is a good one; there is a something about it so like the Thomas Fuller of the book that we are quite certain of our man. We feel that we could try a quaint conceit with him on the spot were there any need, but all pretense for such a procedure is taken away by the presence of the work to which his face is the worthy frontispiece. Good gentlemen of 27, Paternoster Row, ye do well thus to give us “olde bookes mayde newe.” Handmade paper and clear old type help us to dainty reading when Fuller finds the sentences, and spices them with his wit. he who loves great thoughts, pressed into quaint expressions, like rare foreign fruit into fine carved boxes, and withal bedight with joyous humor as with Christmas flowers, will thank us for bidding him go get himself these “Good Thoughts in Bad Times.” Years ago we made this the companion of certain leisure days, and were the wiser and the better for it, at least for the time. The Panoply; or, “The whole armor of God.” By the Rev. F. BOURDILLON, M.A. Hatchards, Piccadilly.
Full of experimental and practical teaching. We have found much pleasure in fellowship with Mr. Bourdillon at Mentone, and now in reading this instructive little book happy memories are revived. Our friend here gives twelve most striking lectures on the famous passage in Ephesians 6:10—20. Gurnall did this work is extenso long ago, and no one is likely ever to rival him: but Mr. Bourdillon gives us much in a little, and his lectures will enter where the bulky Puritan would not be admitted. The Evangelical Revival and other Sermons: with an Address on the Work of the Christian ministry in a period of theological decay and transition. By R. W. DALE.
Hodder and Stoughton. WE cannot bring our mind to review this volume of discourses. It manifests the author’s great ability and honesty, but to our mind it is unsatisfactory, and to our heart it is saddening. Mr. Dale says,” Mr. Spurgeon stands alone among the modern leaders of Evangelical Nonconformists in his fidelity to the older Calvinistic creed.” If it be so, we are sorry to hear it, and we pray God that it may not long be true. There is an indefiniteness and uncertainty about these sermons which distresses us. They are not after our heart, and we are the more disappointed because Mr. Dale is a typical person among Independents, and a fine man in all respects. Songs for Little Singers in the Sunday-school and Home. Composed by Henry King Lewis. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
As a book for infants, or children of an older growth, this is not at all to our mind. Solos, with difficult accompaniments, and four-part music for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, can scarcely be said to be suitable for the little ones, although they are “intended to indicate the writer’s idea of the function of song and music in the education of children.” Out of the thirtyeight compositions in the volume there are less than a dozen which we should regard as falling within the range of a child’s capacity. Awkward intervals; and difficult progressions should be absent from “Songs for Little Singers.” Studies in Worship — Music, chiefly as regards Congregational Singing.
By J. Spencer Curwen. London: J. Curwen and Sons, 8, Warwick-lane.
The subject of this volume is of considerable interest and importance, and Mr. Spencer Curwen was just the man to deal with it. In treating the subject historically, he has succeeded, after painstaking research, in tracing the progress of congregational music in England, from its introduction by the refugees who returned after the accession of Elizabeth down to the present time. The second part of the book is practical, and contains many valuable facts on the. subject of instruments, congregational harmony, vince-training, and congregational singing. Then follows a seines of descriptive chapters on the musical service in the principal places of worship in London in the present day. Mr. Curwen says, “The beauty of the Tabernacle singing is religious and spiritual”; and when he speaks of the singing at the Presbyterian Church, Regent-square, he says, “i have always been in favor of organs, but a Sunday at Regent-square is enough to shake one’s faith in them. The organ gives a .great deal of pleasure, but, after all, it is a sensuous pleasure. We worship when we send up aspirations and feelings of adoration, prayer, and joy to God.” We are glad to note that Mr. Curwen’s judgment is not overmastered by the modern custom of “syllabic tunes, many of which are utterly without individuality.”
He very truly says, “The congregations want more variety, more outlet for the feelings, tunes they can remember and enjoy.” With the great increase of musical capacity it is a disagreeable fact that the singing is less hearty and general than it was thirty years ,ago, and the reason is not difficult to discover. Dreamy, contemplative compositions have pushed out the older hymns of jubilant exultation and praise; and fugal tunes, with a very pronounced melody, have given place to musical combinations of chords.
Precentors who were dependent upon a pleasing air for their success in leading the congregation have been sent packing, and organists have been substituted to accompany a choir, with little or no sympathy with the ordinary worshippers. A reaction in favor of the older style is inevitable, and we shall welcome the change when it comes. The service of song in the house of the Lord should be the vehicle of praise, not the stalking-horse of musical composers. We commend Mr. Curwen’s book to all who are interested in the subject of which it treats, and wish for it the large circulation its merits demand. Poems and Hymns. ByJOHN LIVINGSTONE.
Johnstone: Alexander Hood, Rankine Street.
PLEASING versification, more suited to the Scotch than the English ear. We should not be surprised if the young songster sings again and again, and each time better, for there is hopefulness in his strain. The Chain of Life in Geological Time. By J. W. Dawson, LLD., F.R.S., F.S.S., etc. With numerous Illustrations. Religious Tract Society.
GEOLOGY handled by a devout man. Our thoughtful readers who are weary of the countless spawn of religious fiction would find the study of the rocks a delightful exercise for the mind, a change from more direct Biblical learning, and an assistance in controversy with the evil scientists of the day.
Ground which Hugh Miller found so fruitful cannot be barren to any righthearted man. Dr. Dawson’s book might serve as an introduction to that wide domain which “coucheth beneath.” Vignettes of the great Revival of the 18th Century. By
EDWIN PAXTON HOOD. Religious Tract Society.
Though this marvelous piece of history has been repeated in many forms, it always thrills the reader. Mr. Hood in his own vivid, dashing ,style rehearses the whole matter from beginning to end; and as his pages are well adorned, and the book is most tastefully bound, we expect to find that the work will become specially popular. Mr. Hood always secures ore’ delighted attention, and we are glad to meet with him in the fertile fields which belong to Whitefield and Wesley. Heavenly Arithmetic. Addresses by S. A.BLACKWOOD, Esq. Nisbet.
THESE addresses are scriptural and sterling. The speaker is forgotten in the subject, and everywhere the authority of the Word of God is assumed or insisted on. The style is vivacious, crisp, and illustrative to a high degree, and we cannot conceive of any man with head and heart reading them in vain. May Mr. Blackwood deliver many such addresses. Keeping open House. By Mary W. McLain. (Isaiah 6d.) J.F. Shaw & Co.
ASTAPLE but pleasing record of the visitors supposed to have come to four little maidens in the course of a year. The story will not be in vain if some who read it take notice of those who seek admittance into their Heart Castles, in order that, like these girls, they may welcome the good, and keep out the evil ones. The Unseen, and Songs in Trial. By
J. M. BAMFORD.
London: Wesleyan Conference Office.
THOUGH not of the highest poetic order, these songs are sweet, musical and pious. We have seen much worse jingle called poems. Ada; or, the Memoir of a Consecrated Young Life. By W. J.M. London:
ASWEET record of a charming young life, which was sanctified by great love and devotion to the Savior. May the history of this lamb lead many others to follow her footsteps. Missionary Work in connection with the Society of Friends. BySTANLEY PUMPHREY. Philadelphia: Office of “Friends’ Review.”
ALITTLE book giving a most succinet account of the missionary work undertaken by the Society of Friends. Full of information, and apostolic in its exhibition of transparent earnestness: it has quickened our soul, and we believe will create new interest in all missionary operations. Talk of romance, missionary work is more romantic than any fiction could be, and this is a worthy record of one section of it. Christian Manhood: or, Memorials of a Noble Life. Being Biographical Sketches of the Rev. R. S. Blackburn. By T.MITCHELL.
London: Bemrose and Son. APART from the padding which has swollen this book, it is a very interesting record of a devoted life, early cut off in the service of Christ.
Primitive Methodism has never wanted fire and zeal, and Mr. Blackburn seems to have been full of flaming earnestness.
With a good deal less moralizing and a simpler way of stating facts this biography might be made a very powerful one. There is a constant effort at “preachment,” which we do not care for in a professedly biographical work. Miss Margaret’s Stories. By a Clergyman’s Wife. National Temperance Publication Depot, 337, Strand.
VERY pretty little temperance tales that must do good wherever they are read. Miss Margaret’s own story may be a warning to any young lady who is engaged to a man who “drinks.” The cover of the book is embellished with a silver fountain and lake, and a golden swan, symbolical, we suppose, of the purity and beauty of the temperance which the authoress inculcates. New Map of Palestine, showing the Travels of Jesus in Chronological Order. By Rev. A. P.STOUT, Indianopolis, Indiana, U. S, A. THIS map seems to have been carefully prepared. It is well executed, and likely to be of much use to Bible students. Bristles for Brooms. ByWALTER J.MATHAMS (“ Blunt Robin “).
Haughton and Co. MR.MATHAMS writes very pleasantly, and always with an admirable aim.
He has not, however, quite mastered the Blunt Robin style which he has chosen, but too often mixes with it words and phrases not congruous therewith. Many of the sentences which are meant for aphorisms lack salt and point. After making this abatement there still remains enough of good sense and piquancy in the book before us to make it tasteful to a considerable number, and these as they read will be profited. We are greatly obliged to Mr. Mathams for the following paragraph about the Orphanage, which we quote because it is a good plea and also a fair specimen of his manner “Then there is Charles Spurgeon’s fold of hungry lambs over at Stockwell.
Can’t you give him something in the way of food or clothing, or cash? lie will soon put it into use, and bring down the blessing of the orphan and the orphan’s God upon your head. Anything is grist I’ve heard that comes to his mill. Articles of jewelry and all sorts of queer stuff have been put in and come out in the shape of good wheaten flour. If’ you were to send him a whale he would turn it into food for his bairns, not by cooking it though.
So don’t be ashamed to do a good turn to the orphan through him. And, by-the-by, he is just starting an orphanage for girls, and consequently needs more than ever the liberal offerings of his friends. Just give him a lift. in that direction, so that the dear little lasses (God bless ‘era) may have a happy home and plenty to eat.” Bessie Blach’s Wager.
BY CLAIR WILLIAMSON.
Glasgow: John S. Marr and Sons. WE took this book from quite a pile uniform in style and price, its a sample: we hope it is not a fair sample, but the very worst of the lot, by a long way; for it is a “story” we would carefully avoid putting in the way of a child. The scene is laid in an “English Industrial School,” and the actors, or actresses rather—Bessie Black and her companions—a set of coarse, incorrigible girls, who, in the attempt to get free from control, conceive and carry out the diabolical plot of setting fire to the institution. As a setoil’ to this atrocity, or (if the writer prefers to have it put otherwise) as the Christian teaching of the story, we have the pious influence of one good little girl so blessed to the incendiary that almost simultaneously with the crime she repents and confesses, and the next day begins her prison course “with a peaceful heart,” and comes forth to be “the heroine of the village.”
Children can learn coarse language and sinful ways without our buying lesson-books for them; and to manufacture such stories, even with the intention of illustrating the mercy of God, is not to glorify God, but to do evil that good may come. These books at sixpence are really so handsome and cheap that, after preparing the above, we thought we would read another in the hope of being able to commend the rest of the series; but, alas, this time we hit on a tale about two little ,girls running away because they did not like their stepmother. The books are intended to do good, but we fear they are more likely to do harm. The idea or’ sixpenny gift-books, nicely bound, with two drawings in each, is a very liberal one, but the tales ought to be much better written. Three Naturalists. Stories of Linnaeus, Cuvier, Buffon. 66, Paternoster Row. IT is well for our young folks to know the lives of Linneus and Cuvier and Buffon, but we hope they will never imitate the last, who seems to us; to have been everything that is despicable. This is a tiny book, but interesting. Glenwood: a Story of School Life. ByJULIA K.BLOOMFIELD.
Wesleyan Conference Office.
AUSEFUL book for school-girls who think more of beauty and dress than of brains and grace. No harm would have been done it’ the story had been told in a more lively manner, and we should have liked a little less about certain church ceremonies, and a great deal more of genuine gospel. The religious teaching of the book is good as far as it goes, but it is very imperfect, and is apt to give false notions concerning God’s way of peace. Caught in the Toils. A Story of a Convent School. ByEMMALESLIE.
Sunday School Union.
THIS little story is written with the laudable desire of warning Protestant parents against the dangers and beguilements to which they expose their daughters when, from economical or other reasons, they allow them to finish their education in a Continental school. The subject is one of grave importance, and might worthily employ an abler pen; but even in this simply-told tale we see abundant evidence of the deadly peril with which young and tender minds are surrounded when brought under the subtle and infamous influence of priests and nuns. The inducement of fluently acquiring the French language is a poor excuse for imperiling the soul, and English parents will do well to ponder this solemn question of eternal profit or loss before they send their boys and girls to be “finished” for the Pope and the devil. Babylonian Caps: or, Behind the Scenes. By a Special Commissioner.
With Preface byII. W.WILLIAMS, M.D. E. W. Allen, 11, Ave. Maria-lane.
This is a dreadful book, and, worse still, it is, we fear, no more terrible than true. The “Special Commissioner” was in formed that those who are determined to procure intoxicating drink can obtain it in London at every hour of the twenty-four, week days and Sundays too, all the year round, lie says that the statement is quite true, for he has taken pains, and sometimes run considerable risks in order to prove that the present very imperfect licensing laws are systematically violated or evaded. Ills revelations of ladies’ public-houses, Sabbath desecration on the river, the road, and the rail, and other scenes over which he is obliged to draw a veil, ought to teach Christians, abstainers, and all patriots, that there is no place in all the world which more needs the gospel than the metropolitan city, which is continually growing, and attracting to itself’ the best and the worst of all nations. At any rate, somebody ought to see that the laws which are on our statute-book are not deliberately set aside for the purpose of steeping our countrymen and countrywomen still deeper in vice and sin. The writer of this book evidently does not believe that the police will stop the illegal sale of liquor, for he states that while making his investigations he continually found what he calls “our cerulean, guardians” drinking spirits at the liquorseller’s expense. The Prophet Jonah. By the Rev.SAMUEL CLIFT BURN.
Hodder and Stoughton.
THESE lectures will not add much to what is already known concerning Jonah, but they will spread among another constituency the facts which are to be found in other works. Mr. Burn has attained a respectable mediocrity as a writer, and the work before us is made up of discourses of fair average merit, not very deep or fresh, but still far too good to be found fault with, except by a critic who has not yet eaten his breakfast. We like this second book better than his first, which was “A Humble Companion to the Pilgrim’s Progress.” In form and general get-up the volume on Jonah does credit to the publishers. Hours with the Bible; or, the Scriptures in the Light of Modern Discovery and -Knowledge. From Creation to the Patriarchs. ByCUNNINGHAM GEIKIE, D.D. S.W. Partridge and Co. MAY the learned author persevere in the enterprise which he here commences, and give us at least a dozen such instructive books. His plan is similar to that of Kitto’s Daily Bible Readings, but the chapters are more full and detailed. If carried out after the style of this first part, the work will be recognized as a standard piece of Scriptural literature. Dr. Geikie is occupying a minor position in Paris; but if the Church of England knows how to reward a laborious writer, some patron will soon put him in a place where he can have large leisure for his writing, and a sufficient income to enable him to utilize the national stores of learning. We abominate the whole system of patronage:: but as it does exist, we should like to see it used for the aid of one of the best religious writers of the age. Sunday: its Origin, History, and Present Obligation. The Bampton Lectures for 1860. ByJAMES A.HESSEY, D.C.L. Fourth Edition. London:
Cassell, Petter, and Galpin.
THIS is a cheap reprint of a well-known book of very loose views on the Sunday question. Surely it is “carrying coals to Newcastle” to advise men to disregard the outward observance of the Sabbath. As we have no desire to return to the “Book” of Sports” of infamous memory, nor to see the infidelity and profligacy of a Continental Sunday introduced into England, we shall be old-fashioned enough to prefer the day as at present we try to keep it. Apart from its opinions, the book is well got up, and is cheap. Popery and Puseyism, Twin-Demons with one Soul: or, Ritualism Unmasked. By R. M.GURNELL.
London: F. Southwell.
THE form which the Papacy assumes in England is of so mild a type compared with the Continental that few Englishmen believe in the venom of which this serpent can be capable: but in this trenchant treatise the author shows the horrors which it perpetrates in the name of religion when uncontrolled. If to be forewarned is to be forearmed, none who read this pamphlet will ever be found tolerating either Roman Catholicism or its twin-sister, Ritualism. Smithfield’s fires would be lighted again to-morrow could our priests have their way. May that day never come. Sin and its Penalty, Present and -Future. ByJOSHUA HAWKINS.
ANOTHER of the miserably sentimental effusions of the “restoration” school of theologians: who teach that, because they so dream, wish, and hope, the vilest sinner and most hardened unbeliever will, after a term of punishment, ultimately enter heaven. But we believe—notwithstanding this pompous little book —that there is, and ever will be, an eternal difference between washing and whitewashing. We had sooner believe in a God who annihilated the ungodly than in a God who should send us into the world to tell men that, unless they accept the gospel, they will be lost, and all the while had a backstairs to heaven by way of a bastard purgatory. No? no?
Mr. Hawkins, your molluscous Deity is not the God of the Bible, if we read it aright, and you may write a library, and then—well—we won’t believe you. Universal Instructor, or Self-culture for all. Fully illustrated. Parts I and II.
Ward, Lock, and Co. MESSRS.WARD AND LOCK are doing great service to the cause of popular education by preparing this Encyclopedia of Learning. The parts at sixpence each are marvels of cheapness; indeed, it seems to us that the char in No. 1 is worth all the money. The articles are carefully prepared, and the matter is well condensed. The work, so far as we can judge, would seem to be as thorough in execution as it is comprehensive in plan. We seldom give an opinion of a book from seeing small parts of it; but in this instance, as much depends upon the sale in parts, we depart from our usual rule.
Should the quality of the articles, illustrations, and materials be kept up, this will be one of the best popular instructors ever prepared. No one can be excused for being ignorant while the means of knowledge are thus brought to his door, and proffered at so small a cost. The Eastern Archipelago: a description of the Scenery, Animal and Vegetable and Physical Wonders of the Islands in the Eastern Seas. By the author of “The Arctic World,” etc. The Lake Regious of Central Africa; a Record of Modern Discovery. By
JOHN GEDDIE. T. Nelson and Sons. WE put these together because they are of the same type. Here we have excellent writing, full of accurate geographical information, and fascinating in style; first-class illustration and plenty of it, a fortune spent in engravings, and binding congruous with the subject, chosen with admirable taste. Nelson and Sons are never excelled as publishers; they have a masterly method of production, of which we cannot speak too highly. The works before us are of thrilling interest, and should be in every library in the land. to be read alike by young and old. The Prayer—meeting and its improvement. By Rev. L. O.THOMPSON.
Hamilton, Adams, and Co. WE should not advise anyone to follow Mr. Thompson’s suggestions in all points: his book is American, and across the water many things are done which we hope will never be tried here; our island is not large enough for such big things. But, with all abatements, this is so good a book that we wish we could afford to give a copy of it to every young minister. We love the prayer-meeting dearly. Revive your prayer-meetings, and the churches will be revived. These meetings are the furnace by which the church-engine is supplied with power, and if the motive force fails, work will not be done; hence poor prayer-meetings mean a poor pastorate, a poor deaconship, a poor school,—universal poverty, in fact. Mr. Thompson says some capital things in a telling manner, and as his pages are full of fire and gunpowder we hope certain old, worn-out things among us will be exploded, and good things set on fire. A brother who has this book handy will be helped to lead lively meetings, conducting them in varied ways, and expatiating on different topics, so as to keep up freshness, and avoid monotony and dullness. Four editions have been called for in America, and we have little doubt that a like number will be needed here. Baptist Doctrines: being an Exposition in a series of Essays by representative Baptist Ministers, of the distinctive points of Baptist faith and practice. Edited by Rev. C. A.JENKINS, of North Carolina. St. Louis:
Chancy R. Barns.
ASERIES OF vigorous and talented discourses upon the distinguishing doctrines of Baptists. Coming from our American brethren, we find, as we expected, that close communion is insisted on. In other respects the sermons are greatly to our liking; and we are greatly refreshed by such forcible denominational teaching in these days, when speaking out is hardly allowed unless you utter some sugared platitude from which even the evil spirit could hardly differ. Messrs. Trubner, of Ludgate Hill, would, no doubt, get this book for any who desire it. We are gratified to find that our sermon upon “Baptismal Regeneration” is included in the series: we forgot this when we said that the discourses were talented. Preaching: its Ideal and Inner Life. ByTHOMAS ARMITAGE, D.D.
Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society. DR.ARMITAGE is a master in Israel among the Baptists in America. It was not possible for him to lecture upon the work of his life without saying some good and wise things; and accordingly he has said them, and here they are alive and vigorous. Some of them are not so big as they look, but others are worthy of their parentage, and likely to instruct those who receive them. The lectures must have been fine hearing, with the living man at their back speaking them to living men. As printed, they only add one more to a heap with which this subject is getting overdone, choked up and buried. Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. “The Household Library of Exposition” series.
ByMARCUS DODS, D.D. Edinburgh: Macniven and Wallace. DR.DODS is learned and instructive, but as to unction or spirituality he is as dry as the bones in the valley of vision. He seems to have a desiccating faculty, for whatever his theme may be his magic pen extracts from it the least trace of savor. In this he resembles many of the Germans, whose powers in this direction are so great that they would turn a cluster of Eshcol into raisins in five minutes, and leave the pomegranates of Syria. dry as the apples of Sodom in half a second. Such scholars have their uses, and, certainly, the writings of Dr. Dods are by no means to be despised, for he presents his readers with much excellent information. Every man cannot be an oil merchant: a dry-salter is a very useful person in his way; and so every man has not evangelical dew and warmth, but he may yield us a dry light in which some things are best seen.
The design of the Household Library of Exposition has our heartiest sympathy. We are glad to see that another work by Dr. Maclaren is in preparation. Notes and Extracts on Misunderstood Texts. By Mrs.MACLACHLAN, Sen.
James Nisbet and Co. Yes, there are, no doubt, many misunderstood texts, and if we do not greatly misunderstand Mrs. Maclachlan, she, also, misunderstands them. The Letter H; Past, Present, and Future: a Treatise with Rules for the Silent , etc. ByALFRED LEACH.
Griffith and Farran.
Those who aspire to understand the aspirate will here find assistance in their aspirations. In a few pages we hear all about that awful letter H, which so cruelly betrays the power of early associations and the deficiencies of cockney education. A Violet in the Shade. Dolly’s Charge. A Rose without Thorns. Light on the Lily. Our Laddie. Ursula: a Story of the Bohemian Reformation.
James Nisbet and Co.
Six pretty little presents for papa to purchase for Philip and Phillis when they deserve a prize for good behavior. The Preachers’ Monthly (Lobb and Bertram, l, St. Bride-street, Ludgate Circus) is a capital sixpennyworth. Some of the outlines are rather grander in words than in meaning; but, take it as a whole, no magazine for preachers ever opened more hopefully. If it can be kept up to its present point it will be a great boon to weary ministers.
NOTES VERY PERSONAL. I have been very ill for more than five weeks, and during that time I have been brought into deep waters of mental depression, yet on the whole I have had more quiet of heart than aforetime. I beg specially to acknowledge the tender thoughtfulness of a host of friends. As if they felt it good to send cheer when God was sending chastisement, they have poured in letters of sympathy, backed up with tokens of love in the form of contributions to my various institutions. I have been sustained by overflowing kindness. A growing sense of unworthiness bows me down, and compels me to mingle wonder with my gratitude. Theft this continuous kindness to me should result in benefit to my Orphanage, and the other works for God, is cause for unmingled satisfaction. It is doubly blessed to be beloved when the fruit abounds to the glory of God and the good of men. What thanks I owe to God and to my numerous friends? To HIM my heart can speak in silence, but to men there must be voices, and where shall I find them? I can do no more than say to the long list of donors and comforters,—The Lord recompense into your own bosoms all your loving thoughts and deeds towards his unworthy servant.
Our beloved wife has prepared the Report of her work for ministers during the year 1880. In order that many friends may see it, and become interested in her needful service, she has, desired Mr. Passmore to publish it; and it can be had by order of any bookseller for sixpence. I think it is a very interesting record, and very likely to benefit the whole class of poor ministers in many ways. The work itself, though it costs our beloved all her time and much careful thought, is one of the most blessed which can be imagined, since it puts sound theology where it will not only be studied, but published to congregations. Some people imagine that in a very short time all needy preachers can be supplied with books. Alas, there has not been one helping all round yet, and meanwhile the hunger for thoughtproducing books comes on again, and Oliver “asks for more.” And preachers must have more, or their flocks will look up to them and look in vain for food.
A protest from Christian brethren in Holland in reference to the Transvaal has been forwarded to us, and to other prominent ministers. What reply can we make? We understood that the Transvaal was annexed by the will of its inhabitants; but if it was not so it was a piece of oppression ‘and robbery, against which we heartily protest, and we hope that some means may be found by which the Boers may be allowed to enjoy their liberty and govern themselves according to their own laws. It is said that these good people maintained a kind of slavery within their own borders, and if so their demand for freedom loses much of its force. The religious sentiment of England will ask liberty for the Boer, but it will also demand freedom for the Black. On Friday, Dec. 17, Mr. and Mrs. Guinness and the tutors and students from Harley House, Bow, returned the visit which we and our students paid them earlier in the year. Our esteemed deacon, Mr. C. F. Allison, presided at the afternoon meeting, at which, after prayer by Professor Ferguson, Mr. Guinness delivered a most earnest address on the need of missionaries to the heathen, showing that the home field is overdone as compared with the foreign, which is grossly neglected. The President of the Pastors’ College followed with a description of the kind of sermons likely to be blessed to the winning of souls. Our communion was intensely hearty, for the Colleges are of kindred spirit, and aim distinctly at evangelistic work and soul-winning. Mr. Murrell provided a substantial repast in his usual excellent style, for which he was thanked by representatives of both Colleges.
The evening was spent by the two Colleges very profitably in a devotional meeting, at which Professor Gracey took the chair, as we had to, leave in order to preside at the public examination of our Day School At this examination we were delighted with the results of the instruction given to the children. We have seldom spent such a happy afternoon and evening; but, alas? our joy was of short duration, for the following night we were suddenly seized with the first indications of the illness from which we have not yet recovered. In consequence of our affliction the College annual meeting, and the Silver Wedding congratulatory gatherings had to be postponed. Both of these we look forward to as pleasures to come. The dreary gap has been filled up by the diligent labors of others, and it will be joy indeed to be to the front again. Will our readers ask for us health, and a continuance of it, if it be the Lord’s will? Dec. 31.—Messrs. Smith and Fullerton conducted the usual WATCHNIGHT SERVICE.
The power of God was present in the vast assembly, and the fruit will be seen for man)’ days to come.
— Since our last notice Mr. F. E. Blackaby has settled at Stowon- the-Wold, and Mr. E. H. Ellis at Wellington Road, Stoke Newington; Mr. Potter has been accepted by the Baptist Mission for India; and the following brethren have removed:-Mr. H. J. Dyer from Gainsborough to Kilmarnock; Mr. W. Smith from Calling-worth to Arthur-street, Gray’s Inn-road; Mr. A. Harmer from Chatham-road, Wands-worth Common, to Dolton, Devon; Mr. W. Osborne, late of Bristol, to Eastbourne; and Mr. A. Knell, late of Ridgmount, to Walsham, Suffolk. Mr. W. McKinney, late of Port Jervis, has serried at Kingston on the Hudson, New York.
Mr. Kendon writes from Jamaica expressing great gratitude for the £50 which we sent him from a friend, but adding that twenty times that amount will be needed to repair what the hurricane destroyed. He and his people have erected a room for temporary services, and they intend soon to rebuilt the chapel. Amid all his troubles he has much to rejoice over, for during the year he has had 250 additions to the church list of inquirers and members, over forty backsliders have been reclaimed, and a deep work of awakening seems to be going on.
The church at Madras, under the care of Bro. Maplesden, reports steady progress in each department of its work, although the pastor has been absent through sickness part of the year. The Lord bless this beloved brother more and more, and send gracious help to all our brotherhood in India.
Mr. R. Spurgeon writes that, at the request of the Missionary Conference, he has removed from Dacca to Barisaul, “the most important mission-field in Bengal,” where, in connection with Mr. Martin, he is to commence a class for the training of native evangelists to take charge of native churches. After speaking of the success of our brethren, Norris and Hook, at Calcutta, Brother Spurgeon adds:— “It is a joyful thought to me that so many of our brethren are filling the pulpits of our great Indian cities; but why are they not occupying our mission stations also? I cannot understand how it is that I only have this honor of all our brethren. We are in as great need of men now as ever; and I feel sure there are many to cry, ‘Here am I; send me.’” If there are any of our brethren who are thus ready to respond to the divine call for missionaries, “Who will go for us, and whom shall I send?” we shall be glad to hear from them, for we have been looking about for months for suitable men to Jill important posts in India, but at present without success.
Some who would have bean the very men for the work in other respects have not the physical constitution necessary to endure the hot climate; but we hope that in our regiment of more; than five hundred soldiers of the cross there will be found some whom the Lord has ordained and specially qualified for this work.
We greatly rejoice that at last we have been able to secure a brother who will take charge of the work at Darjeeling. Mr. H. Rylands Brown, who has for thirteen years been pastor of the church at Shooter’s Hill-road, Blackheath, and who has long desired to give himself to foreign mission work, has felt called of God to enter this important sphere of labor, and we earnestly pray that he may be made a great blessing both to the residents in the district, and the large numbers of persons who resort to this Indian Mentone in search of health or rest.
We are glad also that there is a slight indication that the Lord approves of our proposed evangelistic mission to the English-speaking populations in .India, for he has begun to move his servants to contribute to this object, though at present the amount received is exceedingly small compared with what will be needed if the scheme is to be carried out. A contribution of £10 for this fund from a friend in Australia. greatly cheered us. The sending out of Mr. H. Brown will cost far more than we have in hand at present.
Our beloved son Thomas sends us a characteristic account of the services at the opening of the Tabernacle at Deloraine, Tasmania, and says that the following week he was to be at; the opening of the Tabernacle at Longford.
Mr. D. M. Logan reports the safe arrival of himself and wife and family at Melbourne, after a somewhat similar experience to that of Brother Mann in going to Cape Town. They were first wrecked in the Hydaspes off Dungeness, when they lost everything but their lives; and the second vessel in which they sailed, the Sorata, ran aground on the Australian coast, and put them to considerable inconvenience for more than “a night and a day.”
On the whole, our brother writes cheerfully, although he has not yet found the right sphere in which he can imitate the great apostle, who supported himself by working with his own hands, and at the same time, whenever he had the opportunity, preached among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.
— On Sunday, Jan . 9, Mr. Smith commenced a series of services at Halifax. As Mr. Fullerton was preaching at the Tabernacle on that day, his place was occupied by Mr. Charlesworth, but on the following day he joined his fellow-worker. Three crowded services were held on the first day in Trinity Road Chapel, and at night a large music-hall was filled long before the hour of commencing the service. So many were unable to gain admittance that it was deemed advisable to secure the Drill Hall, where the meetings are still being held with great success.
Since writing this paragraph we are grieved to hear that, owing to the prevalence of fever, our evangelists have abruptly closed their services at the request of the Mayor. This, too, when crowds were gathering? Truly the way of the Lord is in the sea.
From Dec. 13 to 19 Mr. Burnham was at -Highgate. Of the services held there our Bro. Barnard writes, “They have been a great refreshing to us all, and the means of reviving the spiritual life of the church. It is also our joy to know that some unsaved and undecided ones have been awakened and impressed.” At Winslow, from Dec . 30 to Jan. 7, Mr. Burnham had, as on a previous occasion, a most gracious season of blessing. He specially mentions the usefulness of a short Bible-reading in the vestry at the close of the service each evening, when many anxious ones, who would not have come alone to speak with the Evangelist, accompanied others, and heard words whereby they were saved. Our brother has since conducted services at Cranswick (where a former visit awakened such interest as to necessitate the pulling down of the old chapel and the erection of a larger one), Searborough, and Sheepshed, and this month he commences a visitation of the village churches of York, hire, under the auspices of the Baptist Association of that county, an engagement which, with needful rest, will occupy him until the summer.
Mr. Burnham has hitherto been supported by a single subscriber, for whose help we are most grateful, ‘but that gentleman finds himself giving rather more than he thinks prudent, and, therefore, in future Mr. Burnham must come upon our General Fund unless some other brother should come forward and offer to support him. At any rate, his labors shall not cease from want of support. We trust that for the present our Yorkshire friends who have his services will remember that the laborer is worthy of his hire.
ORPHANAGE.— Christmas Festival. Although the poor President was obliged to be at home and in bed all Christmas day, the orphan boys and girls were as merry as ever. Through the kindness of our ever faithful friends donations in cash and kind were on the most liberal scale, and right heartily did the youngsters enjoy the good things provided for them. Our son Charles once more presided in our absence, and several of the Trustees attended to assist in satisfying the wants of our large family. Mr. Charlesworth reports that everything passed off most satisfactorily, both at the children’s gatherings and the usual supplementary meeting of mothers and the inmates. The surplus of the Christmas Fund runs into the daily expenses, and makes quite an item of importance. Girls’ Orphanage Buildings. —. In the preface to the volume of The Sword and the Trowel for last year we wrote two months ago that all the money had been promised or given for the first contract, and added” We shall need several other buildings to render the whole of the girls’ houses available as dwellings and schools. Infirmary and dining-hall must be built, and a large building is needed to serve us on our great days of public meetings, and to be on ordinary occasions the chapel for the whole of the children, their teachers, and other friends. It may be that some one friend will give this or that building, and if not, a bazaar, at the end of 1881, will go far towards it.” The words which we have italicized caught the eye of two generous friends who desired to have a hand in this good work, for while we were lying in bed in great pain a lady and gentleman called at our house, and intimated their desire to pay for one of the “other buildings” needed to complete the institution. We have been too ill to ascertain the final decision of these noble souls as to which building they will prefer to erect as a memorial of their love for us and our orphan charge, but we understand that their gift will not be less than £1000. Will other friends begin working for the Bazaar? I t will be seen from our cash accounts that we have during the past month received the legacy of which notice reached us on the morning that we paid for “The Hawthorns,” in which our first batch of fatherless girls has been housed. Two other noble donations have also come to hand in redemption of promises made for the building fund; and, as the lists show, the general contributions have been both considerable in number and large in amount. For this we devoutly thank God, who through his steward thus continues to provide for a work which is peculiarly his own; but friends will please note that the large stuns have been already reckoned upon and accounted for, and are not therefore new items to the good; indeed, the legacy comes out of court £250 less than we expected.
— The Secretary writes:—” I have nothing special to report this month. no new districts have been opened except Pembroke Dock, where we have made arrangements with the colporteur engaged, hoping that the friends in the locality, when they see the value and importance of the work, will subscribe the £10 a year required, so that we may employ him permanently in the regular way. I think it should be publicly acknowledged that we are very thankful to Mr. W. H. Stevens, of Brixton Road, for a very handsome stove kindly presented to the Association, to warm our offices.”
The colporteurs will in most cases be snowed up at this time, and the people will have few pence to spare when the thaw comes, but this is an affliction common to us all.
One of the colporteurs says— “I am generally, engaged every Sunday and every evening in the week in preaching. Every time I go to each place, whether on Sundays or week-days, I get the rooms not only filled, but often crowded, and great blessings hay,; attended my humble labors, for at nearly every meeting that I have conducted during the last two months, there have been evident signs of conversion, and I have also got many to sign the temperance pledge. The sale of the books has not been without good results. One woman has been brought to the Savior through reading the book called, ‘The Dying Savior and the Gipsy Girl,’ and a lady friend who buys a great many books to give away has told me of several cases of a decided change through the books read.”
METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE EVANGELISTS’ASSOCIATION.
— Mr. Elvin sends us very cheering reports of services recently held by some of his helpers. We have only space to mention one out of many. During a week of meetings in the new chapel erected on the site of the Tabernacle, Moorfields, twenty-five persons professed conversion; and Mr. Elvin adds, “The minister (Mr. Morgan), deacons, and all friends were highly delighted. They were full of thanks to everybody belonging to the Association, and more than all to you for starting and sustaining such an agency.” As a practical proof of their appreciation of the work they had a collection on behalf of the Association, although none had been announced. This is as it should be, and if all our churches that receive blessing through the visits of these unpaid evangelists will do the same Mr. Elvin will not find so much difficulty as he now does in keeping the expenditure of his society within the limits of its income. The Association aims at the evangelization of London, through existing churches of all denominations, and already many parts of our great city have to bless God for what it has accomplished.
POOR MINISTERS’CLOTHING SOCIETY.
— Y. J. W. is very gratefully informed that the “suits of gentlemen’s clothing, good, and suitable for a poor minister” will be very thankfully received if sent to Mrs. Evans, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, London. The donor’s address should accompany the parcel, that it may be plainly acknowledged.
— Mr. Chowrryappah, Baptist Missionary at Madras, has just sought and obtained permission to translate some of our sermons, tracts, and “Evening by Evening,” into Tamil. He says that this work will, beyond a doubt, benefit thousands of his countrymen.
The following is an extract from a letter recently received from a ministerial brother: —” Your first sermon in Belfast caused me to decide finally to enter the ministry. Since then I have given ten years to mission work in Damascus, where I built the first church ever erected for the spiritual worship of the true God in that city. I built two churches on Mount Hermon, ‘red in these churches again and again I have preached your sermons in Arabic. I preached one of your sermons on the top of Mount Hermon at a picnic given to our different villagers.
One of our elders writes: “In common with everybody, I am deeply grieved at your illness and pain, and I wish I could alleviate your sufferings in any way. I did suffer vicariously for you the other evening. At a meeting in S— -I was laid hold of by a big, burly fellow, more than six feet high, and broad in proportion, who had a paw in proportion, too. and with this paw he laid hold of my poor hand. He did not get hold of it fiat, but all of a heap and did not he give me a squeeze? I thought I had not deserved such a reception, and was not surprised that I was getting it for year sake. e man who held me told me that seventeen years ago he was one of the worst characters in S——, but out of curiosity he wont to hear you, and you preached from the text ‘ Why sleepest thou?’ You woke him up. He could not rest, and was obliged to come again to hear you. I forget what text you preached from on the second occasion, but he found Christ that day, and since then he has been earnestly working for the Master. He said he had often walked to the Tabernacle and back in clays gone by, and had thought nothing of it, but now his feet would not carry him; neither had he had an opportunity of shaking hands with you, and as he still kept hold of my hand, he gave me another vice-like grip to show how he would shake your hand if he could. My hand did ache. He is a good fellow, though, and I rejoice that the Lord gave him the word of salvation by you.”
Our beloved brother, J. A. S., tells us he was greatly delighted on visiting a sick man lately to hear how he found the Savior. He said that a few days before we preached at the Crystal Palace,, in 18o7, we went down to the building to arrange where the platform should be placed, and while trying various positions we cried aloud, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” This man was at the time at work in the Palace, and the text spoken under these unusual circumstances went with power to his heart, convinced him of sin, and led him to the sin-atoning Lamb. How well it is to utter great gospel texts, even when we are not preaching, for they are arrows from the quiver of God, and will not fly abroad in vain.
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle.— December 30th, 1880, eleven.