relief to their people. I hope none of you have become quite so mechanical; but I know that some are heavy and yet not weighty, solemn and yet not impressive. My brother, I want you to be alive from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head, alive in brain and heart, in tongue and hand, in eye and ear. The living God should be served by living men.
Labor to be alive in all your duties. John Bradford, the martyr, used to say, “I never go away from any part of the service of God till I feel thoroughly alive in it, and know that the Lord is with me in it.” Carry out this rule conscientiously. In confessing sin, go on confessing till you feel that your tears have washed the Savior’s feet. In seeking pardon, continue to seek till the Holy Spirit bears witness to your peace with God. In preparing a sermon, wait upon the Lord until you have communion with Christ in it, until the Holy Spirit causes you to feel the power of the truth which you are to deliver. “Son of man, eat this roll.” Before you attempt to give out the word to others get it into yourself. Is there not too much dead praying, and dead preaching, and dead church work of all sorts? Do you not know churches which are like the ghostly ship in the legend: the captain, the mate, and all the crew are dead men? “The mariners all do work the ropes As they’ve been wont to do; They raise their limbs like lifeless tools— They are a ghastly crew.
The body of my deacon’s self Stands by me knee to knee:
The body and I pull at one rope, But nothing of life have we.” This is a grim business, but I have beheld such a sight, though never have I seen a ghost. I recollect being years ago in a church which was almost defunct externally, and altogether defunct internally, and after sermon, during which I felt a terrible chill of soul, I went into the vestry, and there I saw two important persons leaning heavily against the fire-place. I said to them, “Are you the deacons of the church?” They answered, “Yes, sir.” I replied, “I thought so!” I did not explain further. These pillars of the church evidently needed propping up. Sluggish ease will not do! Brethren, we must have life more abundantly, each one of us, and it must flow out into all the duties of our office: warm spiritual life must be manifest in the prayer, in the singing, in the preaching, and even in the shake of the hand and the good word after service. I delight in these Conferences because they are living assemblies; the room does not feel like a vault, nor do you salute each other like a set of living skeletons without hearts, or a company of respectable mandarins fresh from the tea-shops, who nod and bow mechanically. I cannot endure meetings where the only exhibition of life is seen in heated discussions over points of order, amendments, and movings of the previous question. One marvels at the little things over which an assembly will waste hours of precious time, contending as if the destiny of the whole world and the fate of the starry heavens depended upon the debate. How the mountain heaves, but how small a mouse is born!
Brethren, may you be alive, and keep alive, and disseminate your life. We read in Plato that the Egyptian priests and concerning the Greeks, “You Greeks are always youths, there is not an old man among you.” Neither, sirs, is there an old man among us at this hour; we are full of youth even unto this day, and if you want to see one whose vigor and cheerfulness prove that his grey hairs are all external, there sits the man [-pointing to Mr. George Rogers-]. It is a grand thing to be perpetually renewing your youth, never getting into the ruts, but making new tracks with your glowing wheels. Those who are old when they are young, are likely to be young when they are old. I like to see the liveliness of the child associated with the gravity of the father; but especially do I rejoice to see a godly man keep up the vivacity, the joy, the earnestness of his first love. It is a crime to permit our fires to burn low while experience yields us more and more abundant fuel. Be it ours to go from strength to strength:, from life to more abundant life.
Be full of life at all times, and let that life be seen in your ordinary conversation. It is a shocking state of things when good people say, “Our minister undoes in the parlor what he has done,, in the pulpit; he preaches very well, but his life does not agree with his sermons.” Our Lord Jesus would have us perfect even as our Father who is in heaven is perfect.
Every Christian should be holy; but we are laid under a sevenfold obligation to it. God help us so to live that we may be safe examples to our flocks: how can we expect the divine blessing if it be not so? In such a case life will go out of us to others. The man whom God uses for quickening is the man who is himself quickened. May we and our people become like those ornamental waters which we have seen while traveling in foreign parts; the water leaps up as a fountain, and descends into a basin; when that basin is full the crystal runs over the brink in a sparkling sheet and rolls into another basin, and the process is repeated again and again till the result charms the eye. At our Conference, my brethren, may the living waters flow into us, and then flow from us till thousands shall receive a blessing, and communicate it to others “He that believeth in him, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” God fill you to the brim, and cause you to overflow. This is essential: life we must have. If among us there is a slumbering brother, who does everything in a slow way, let him wake up. If anyone among us performs his duty in a lifeless manner, as if lie were paid by the pound, and would not give half an ounce over, let him also wake up. Our work requires that we serve the Lord with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind, and with all our strength. Ours is no place for half-heartedness. Go, ye dead ones, take a chaplain’s place at the cemetery and bury your dead; but work among living men needs life—vigorous, intense life. A corpse among angelic choirs would not be more out of place than a lifeless man in the gospel ministry: God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
V. The last thing, but not the least important, is LOVE.
Assuredly we must abound in love. It is a hard thing for some preachers to saturate and perfume their sermons with love; for their natures are hard, or cold, or coarse, or selfish. We are none of us all that we ought to be, but some are specially poverty-stricken in point of love. They do not “naturally care” for the souls of men, as Paul puts it. To all, but especially to the harder sort, we would say, be doubly earnest as to holy charity, for without this you will be no more than sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. Love is power.
The Holy Spirit for the most part works by our affection. Love men to Christ; faith accomplishes much, but love is the actual instrument by which faith works out its desires in the name of the Lord of love.
Brethren, love your work. You will never preach well unless you are enamored of it: you will never do well in any particular charge unless you love the people, and I would almost say the village and the meeting-house.
I would have you believe that Slocum-in-the-Marsh is a gem among villages. Think that London may be all very well as a city, but as a village Slocum bears the palm. Even your chapel, with all its plainness, should have charms for you: be of opinion that the Tabernacle is very well in its way, but that it has great deficiencies about it; that it is too big for one thing—at ]east, too big for you. Your meeting-house holds only three hundred and twenty; but in your judgment that is quite as large a number as one man can see after with any hope of success; at least, it involves a responsibility quite as large as you desire to bear. When a mother’s love to her children leads her to believe that they are the sweetest in the parish, she takes more care in their washing and their dressing; if she thought them ugly, troublesome beings, she would neglect them; and I am sure that until ‘we heartily love our work, and love the people with whom we are working, we shall not accomplish much. I can truly say that I do riot know anybody in all the world that I would like to change places with. “Ah,” say you, “that is very likely, for you have a fine position.” I am quite of that opinion; but I thought just the same of my little pastorate at Waterbeach, and it was with the utmost reluctance that I removed from the first to the second. I still retain the belief that there were people in my first congregation whose like I shall never see again, and that as a position of usefulness there are great attractions about that Cambridgeshire village. It is a rule to which I know of no exception, that to prosper in any work you must have an enthusiasm for it.
You must have also intense love to the souls of men, if you are to influence them for good. Nothing can compensate for the absence of this. Soulwinning must be your passion, you must be born to it; it must be the very breath of your nostrils, the only thing for which you count life worth the having. We must hunt after souls, even as the Swiss hunter pursues the chamois because the spirit of the chase has mastered him. Above all, we must feel an intense love to God. Our dear brother who led us in prayer this morning rightly spoke of the power which girds us when we burn with love to God. Why is it we tell children and young people, “You must love Jesus in order to be saved “? This is not the gospel. The gospel is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” We are careful to state the matter correctly to the grown people; why give it inaccurately to the young? If we make a difference at all it will be wiser to tell the children to believe, and the old people to love: the error will be less injurious, for love is the great lack of most men. The holy grace of love needs to be more preached among us, and more felt by us. “Oh,” said a woman when she was speaking of the Lord to her minister, “He has heard my prayer many a time, and I can have ‘what I want or’ him, for by his grace I am very thick with him.” She meant that communion had wrought sweet fellowship, and so her prayers were heard. O that we lived on familiar terms with the Wellbeloved, and felt his love within our bosoms always. Love to God will help a man to persevere in service when otherwise he would have given up his work. “The love of Christ constraineth us,” said one whose heart was all his Master’s. I heard one say the other day that the “love of Christ ought to constrain us.” This is true, but Paul did not so much speak of a duty as of a fact; he said “the love of Christ constraineth us.”
Beloved brethren, if you are filled with love to your work, and love to souls, and love to God, you will gladly endure many self-denials, which else would be unbearable. The poverty of our country brethren is very trying, and ought by all means to be relieved; but we may well feel proud that so many men are forthcoming who, for the sake of preaching the gospel of Christ, are willing to leave remunerative callings and endure hardness. Other denominations might pay theta better, but they spurn the golden bribe, and remain faithful to Christ and to the ordinances as they were delivered. All honor to those lifelong martyrs who put up with sore privations for the sake of Christ and his church. The devil once met a Christian man, so I have heard, and said to him, “You call yourself a servant of God. What do you do more than I do? You boast that, you fast, so do I; for I neither eat nor drink. You do not commit adultery; neither do I.” The fiend mentioned a long list of sins of which he is incapable, from which he could therefore claim exemption. The saint at last said to him, “I do one thing which thou never didst; I deny myself.” That; is the point in which the Christian comes out: he denies himself for Christ’s sake; believing in Jesus, he counts all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, his Lord. Brethren, do not leave your charges because the stipend is small. Your poor people must: be looked after by somebody. Do not despair when times are hard, for they will be better byand by; and meanwhile your heavenly Father knows your needs. We have heard of men who have remained in plague-stricken cities when others fled, because they could be of service to the sick. Abide, then, with your people when work fails them; be as faithful to your God as many a man has been faithful to his philanthropy. If’ you can anyhow manage to tide over the present distress, stick to the people. God will help you, and reward you, if you have faith in him. May the Lord confirm your confidence, and comfort you in your tribulation.
Go on, brethren, go on preaching the same gospel; but preach it with more faith, and preach it better every day. Do not draw back: your place is to the front. Qualify yourselves for larger spheres, you that are in little places; but do not neglect your studies to look after better positions. Be prepared for an opening when it comes, and rest assured that the office will come to the man who is fit for the office. We are not so cheap that we need go hawking ourselves in every market; the churches are always on the look-out for really efficient preachers. Men whose fitness for the ministry is doubtful are at a great discount nowadays; but for men of ability and usefulness there is great demand.
You cannot hide a candle under a bushel, and you cannot keep a really able man in an insignificant position. Patronage is of the smallest importance; fitness for the work, grace, ability, earnestness, and a loving disposition soon push the man into his place. God will bring his servant into his true position, if he has but faith to trust in him. I put this word at the tail-end of my address, because I know the discouragements under which you labor.
Do not be afraid of hard work for Christ; a terrible reckoning awaits those who have an easy time in the ministry, but a great reward is in reserve for those who endure all things for the elect’s sake. You will not regret your poverty when Christ cometh, and calleth his own servants to him. It will be a sweet thing to have died at your post, not turning aside for wealth, or running from Dan to Beersheba to obtain a better salary, but stopping where your Lord bade you hold the fort.
Brethren, consecrate yourselves to God afresh. Bring hither new cords.
Bind the sacrifice again to the altar! Struggle as it may, anxious to escape the knife, fearful of the fire, yet bind it with cords, even with cords, to the horns of the altar; for until death, and in death, we are the Lord’s. Entire surrender of everything to Jesus is our watchword this day. Only may the Lord accept the living sacrifice, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
NOTES We have lately felt more than ever the burden of souls, and a strong desire for a special visitation of grace to our churches. Our heart wanted vent.
Hence we begged those of our friends who could snare the time to come together an hour before the week-night services to pray for a blessing.
Before the lecture on Thursday we have had some of the most real and intense prayer that we have ever known. Perhaps some brother minister may take the Lint, and see whether his people would not assemble with much enthusiasm to pray for a blessing upon their pastor and the service about to be held. Where regular prayer-meetings flag it is well to hold others, at different hours. Better get the people together a; dead of night than let them fall into a dead condition.
In answer to many inquiries, we are glad to speak of improved health. No summer holiday will be taken, for the many Sundays spent in the sick-room forbid any further absence from home. Neither can we travel far afield, for home work is so pressing. What with managing everything, preparing the weekly sermon, editing the magazine, and writing books, we are not doing badly when we fill up our weeks as we do. Here is a specimen week in which we did no more than ordinarily, but a little more than usual was visible to the common observer:—Five sermons, three prayer-meetings, chair at two public meetings, speech at a third, one communion, one College afternoon of two hours’ lecturing. Some of these occupied far more time in preparation than in the actual doing of them. We are thankful to be able to work. Oh that we could accomplish far more. We need the prayers of all loving friends that God would give us more of his divine blessing. What is all that we can do without his Spirit?
With regard to the Revised New Testa ment, in answer to many inquiries we are only able to go thus far. It is a valuable addition to our versions, but it will need much revision before it will be fit for public use. To translate well, the knowledge of two languages is needed: the men of the New Testament company are strong in Greek, but weak in English. Comparing the two, in our judgment the old version is the better.
On Monday afternoon July 4, between one and two hundred of the Baptist pastors, church officers, and members in the South of London accepted an invitation, issued at the suggestion of Mr. Baynes, the secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society, to a tea and conference at the Tabernacle. The special object of the meeting was to consider the desirability of appointing some brother or sister in each church whose duty it should be to keep the members well supplied with the latest information concerning foreign missions, to endeavor to increase the number of both large and small subscriptions, and in general to act as the connecting link between the Society and the church. Our beloved friend and senior deacon, Mr. William Olney, will represent us at the Tabernacle, and he will doubtless take every opportunity of fulfilling his office of Missionary Remembrancer. PastorC. H. Spurgeon presided, addresses were delivered by Mr. Baynes and the Rev. G. H. Rouse, and the following brethren took part either in the conference or the prayer-meeting which followed;—Pastors W. Alderson, W. P. Cope, W. Howieson, and J. A. Spurgeon, and Mr. W. Olney. Many churches are no doubt collecting for missions in a business-like way, but to those who are not doing so we would earnestly suggest the immediate setting apart of a brother, and perhaps a sister also, for the special work of ingathering the offerings made to this portion of the Lord’s work. Very much is lost for want of baskets in which to gather up the fragments. ‘We are not doing all we ought to be doing for the perishing millions of heathen. Stall we always murder their souls by letting them die through our negligence? The very least thing we can do is to make arrangements for the flow of the stream of liberality in the right direction, We know a church which two years ago had only one or two subscribers to the Mission, which now by a single effort sends in some £200 of private donations, because a brother takes the pains to gather them in. COLLEGE.
— Mr. J. G. Williams, having completed his College course, has joined the Evangelization Society; and Mr. F. Potter has gone for three months to Nash’s-street, Frome, to endeavor to re-establish the church, which has fallen to the lowest ebb. The following brethren have removed:— Mr. J. Kitchener, from Liskeard to York-road, Leeds: Mr.B. Speed, from Milns-bridge, to Lindsay-road, Sunderland; Mr. It. Charmer, from Sarratt, to Sutton-on-Trent: Mr. G. Pring, from Southbank, to Wolsingham, Durham; Mr. J. Ney, from Amersham, to Church, Lancashire: and Mr. G. Monk, from Thetford, to Bures St. Mary, Suffolk.
We believe that in each case the change is one for which there are excellent reasons, and that the kingdom of Christ will be advantaged thereby.
The students of the College will re-. assemble on Tuesday, August 9th. We beg for much prayer, that holiness and sound doctrine may abound, and that by all their studies the men may be made abler minis-tots of the New Covenant. Oh for more soul-winning preachers of the Word! We beseech our beloved friends not to forget this College work, which is fraught with eternal results to the church and the world.
— In another part o:! the magazine we have given an account of Messrs. Smith and Fullerton’s work at Sheffield. After a month’s rest they intend invading London, going around the suburbs, and closing up at the Tabernacle. Those churches which desire a visit from them should write speedily to Mr. Charlesworth, for the arrangements will soon be made. How we wish that the ministers of London would combine like those of Sheffield, and so secure a grand universal movement of the church: then might a great blessing be expected from the Lord himself.
The following letter is a specimen of what we receive from many places visited by Mr. Burnham: — “Morley, Leeds, “June 23, 1881. “My dear Mr. Spurgeon,—You will be pleased to hear that the visit of Mr. Burnham to Morley has been accompanied with most blessed results. “He has been staying at our home, as we have no one who could entertain him, and - the Lord has so graciously blessed his words that both my daughters, aged respectively twelve and fourteen, with the servant, have been led to decide for Christ, with a great many more from Mrs. Davis’s Bible-class and the congregation. Our hearts are too full for utterance when we think of our own being led so early to be Christ’s disciples. God bless you, dear sir, is our prayer for sending out such men. “With very kind regards, “I am, yours very truly, “R. DAVIS.
“Rev. C. H. Spurgeon.”
— The Annual Fete, in celebration of the President’s fortyseventh birthday, was held on Wednesday, June 22, and proved in every respect a great success, for which we are devoutly thankful, first to our loving Lord., and next to the thousands of faithful friends who once again came to encourage and help us in our work of caring for the widow and the fatherless. Our long columns of receipts testify to the unflagging interest in the institution, and the kind wishes that accompanied the gifts, whether presented in person or through the post, expressed the same delightful feeling. Altogether the proceeds of the day amounted to between £1,400 and £1,500, most of which, as the figures will show, was wisely given to help the general fund for maintaining both boys and girls. We are glad our subscribers did not rob Jack and Tom to help Mary and Maggie; but we should like all friends to remember that a considerable sum is still needed Before the houses, which are approaching completion, can be fully furnished. The President had great pleasure in announcing that, with the help of a legacy left by the late Mr. Vickery, he would be enabled to furnish all the fittings for the school-rooms at a cost of about £300.
In the evening two large public meetings were held in the open-air, the principal one Being under the presidency of Hugh Mason, Esq., M.P., who not only spoke most lovingly of the President, and enthusiastically of the Orphanage, but gave the noble donation of a hundred guineas as a practical proof of his sympathy. The other speakers were the President, and his brother J. A. Spurgeon, and son, C. Spurgeon, and the Revs. A. G. Brown, W. Cuff, Arthur Hall, Newman Hall, LL.B., Hugh Price Hughes, M.A.,E. Maclean, and T. V. Tymms, most of whom rendered us a double service by speaking at both gatherings. The afternoon’s proceedings were greatly enlivened by the excellent performance of the band from Dr. Barnardo’s Home; and after the meetings were over the members of the Southwark Choral Society, under the efficient leadership of Mr. Courtnay, discoursed sweet music to a large, audience. The commissariat was, as usual, managed in first-rate style by Mr. Murrell and his little army of helpers, to all of whom we again present our hear(test thanks. The day will come when it will be seen to be a greater honor to have had a share in blessing the fatherless than in winning victories over vanquished nations. A Word to Collectors. — We still find some difficulty in getting in tell collecting boxes and books, and therefore we very kindly remind all collectors that we shall be glad if they will at once forward the amounts they have received, whether they are large or small, and get fresh boxes and books, as the old ones are not available after the annual meeting, and should not ‘be used for collecting unless they have been returned and reissued. How about the Bazaar? Christmas is coming, and will be here before we are ready for it unless we make the most of the sunny hours while they last.
Oar friends at Mansfield-street Sunday-school write that they are determined to make their stall one of the best in the Bazaar. Two generous helpers have agreed to send about £60 worth of goods from their stock, and the teachers and scholars hope to collect an equal amount. Their representative says, “There is very little difficulty in collecting articles for fife Bazaar, as the work of helping the fatherless and widow commands the sympathy of all. Unsold goods will remain the properly of the Orphanage.”
Mr. Pearce reports that the Tabernacle Sunday-school teachers have set apart Tuesday evenings for work, and that they and their scholars will do their utmost to make the Bazaar a success. Many other helpers are, doubtless, equally in earnest, but they have not yet sent us word what they are doing.
Please pay special attention to the advertisement on the last page of the Orphanage report.
One of our “old boys” writes us from New Zealand a very cheering let(or.
Our readers may be glad to see what he says of the Orphanage after seven years absence:—”I should like to know how the Orphanage is going on now. I expect there are none of the boys whom I knew so well now left there. I often think of the time when I was there too, and feel grateful to God for the way he has led me, for it was owing to the religious instruction I got there that I was led to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We have no Baptist church here yet, but steps are being taken now to form one, and I intend joining it as soon as it is formed. I am now connected with the Wesleyan church rind Sunday-school, and have a class of little boys of whom I am very fond.” The writer is just out of his apprenticeship to the painting and sign-writing business, and sends £1 for the institution which in his hour of need befriended him.
— Mr. W. Cordon Jones, the General Secretary, writes:— “Dear Mr. Spurgeon,—The direct results of Colportage as an evangelizing agency are not often so forcibly illustrated as I have seen them during the present month in the district of Malden, Essex, where our colporteur, Mr. J. Keddie, has labored with much blessing for about five years. Besides regularly visiting a wide district, and making a fail’ sale of books, etc., many open-air services have been held, and cottage-meetings conducted. A former colporteur, Mr. Pearce, opened a cottage for preaching, and I had personal conversation with some who attributed their conversion to his labors there. After Mr. Keddie took up the work, the place soon became too small, and the people had to go away for want of room. This led to their making an effort to build a mission chapel on a piece of land let to them at a peppercorn rent. By the assistance of friends, a beautiful and convenient place has been erected, and on Thursday, 7th July, I had the privilege of preaching at the opening service, when the chapel was quite full. In the evening, the mayor of Malden presided at a meeting in a large barn, and stated that the building, which cost about £130, was practically free from debt.”
This case is a confirmation of a part of the report of the Southern Association, just issued, which says: — “There is one distinct characteristic of this colportage work upon which your committee lay especial stress, and because of which they would urge the importance of maintaining and even extending it. It is its home-mission and evangelistic character. It is not’ merely the selling of literature of a healthy moral tone, or of copies of God’s word; there is also the utterance by the living voice of the words of eternal life, in the visits to the homes of the people, and by the bedside of the sick and dying; there is the teaching in the Sabbath-school and in Bible-classes for adults; and there is, further, the public preaching of the gospel; for everyone of your colporteurs engages in this work, and most of them every Sabbath day. Besides these, there is the employment of other means, the influence of which is favorable to the interests of true religion. Your committee are the more concerned to emphasize this feature of colportage, because of the readiness in some quarters to regard it exclusively as a book-hawking agency, altogether ignoring, if not denying, its missionary and evangelistic character.”
The Lancashire Association has just taken a colporteur on in the Accrington district, and we hope that other friends will avail themselves of this very efficient agency, and apply for a colporteur. The committee are still able to appoint men to a district where £ 40 a year is guaranteed. If any friends wish for further information he annual re-pert can still be had on application to the Secretary. The work is prospering, but we need funds to maintain it and extend its blessings.
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle:—June 2nd, thirteen: 27th, nineteen; 30th, ten.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE 1880-81.
WHO ARE ALSO
MANAGERS.C. H. SPURGEON,
WILLIAM P. OLNEY. THOMAS H. OLNEY.
JOSEPH PASSMORE. B. WILDON CARR.
WILLIAM C. MURRELL HENRY SMITH.’
WILLIAM MILLS CHARLES F. ALLISON.
HON. CONSULTING PHYSICIAN.
HENRY GERVIS, ESQ., M.D.
HON. CONSULTING SURGEON.
J. COOPER FORSTER,
HON. CONSULTING OPHTHALMIC SURGEON.
J. C. WORDSWORTH, ESQ., F.R.C.S.
W. O. HINCHLIFF, ESQ.
WILLLAM SOPER, ESQ., M.R.C.S.E., L.S.A.
THOMAS C. PAGE.
HEAD MASTER SECRETARY.
VERNON J. CHARLESWORTH, FREDERICK G. LADDS.
THE STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE FOR BOYS AND GIRLS.
Application for the admission of destitute Fatherless Children, between the ages of six and ten, should be addressed in writing to the Secretary, and full particulars given . As the number of candidates is largely in excess of the accommodation, the Trustees may decline to issue a form; for if; would be useless to cause trouble when there is no prospect of success. If a form be granted, it must not be regarded as any indication that the application will succeed. The questions upon the form must be fully and frankly answered by the applicant, and the form returned as soon as possible. The slightest untruthfulness will necessitate the immediate rejection of the ease. Unhealthy, deformed, and imbecile children are not eligible. Only children born in wedlock can be received. Under no possible circumstances can exceptions be made to this rule, as the trust is definite and unalterable.
If the case is entered on the list of candidates, the Trustees appoint a visitor to make personal inquiries . Should these be satisfactory, the child will appear before the Committee in due course, and if among the most needy and deserving at the time, it will probably be recommended for admission to the Institution, as soon as there is room . Friends who are only acquainted with the case in which they are specially interested must not be surprised at its rejection by the Trustees at, any stage if it is proved by them to be less necessitous than others; nor must they wonder if the child is declined because of unsuitability, for the Institution is not a Hospital, or a Reformatory, or an Idiot Asylum. The election of children not being determined by subscribers’ votes, the Trustees maintain the strictest impartiality while considering the claims of the various applicants, and the greatest need always has the loudest voice with them. Applicants are requested not to call upon the Trustees privately , as they are bound not to attend to them otherwise than officially. Cases will be considered on their own merits, and they will derive no advantage from personal solicitation. Mr. Spurgeon cannot personally see any applicants, and should not be written to . All letters on this business must be addressed to the Secretary, Stockwell Orphanage, London, S.W . The Institution is mainly supported by spontaneous gifts , a number of donors sending as regularly, year by year, as if they were pledged to do so.
An increase to the number of subscribers would greatly cheer the President’s heart. Now that girls are coming in the income needs to be doubled. Will not the reader of this Report become a helper?
Subscriptions, large or small, will be gratefully received by C.H. SPURGEON, Westwood, Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood, S.E . Gifts of Food, Stores, Clothes, Books, Toys, and useful articles are always welcome, and should be directed to
VERNON J.CHARLESWORTH, Head Master, The Orphanage, Stockwell, London, S.W. NOTE.
— Letters requiring an answer should contain a stamped, directed envelope
With profound gratitude to our heavenly Father we issue the Twelfth Report, of the Stockwell Orphanage, and our gratitude will be shared, we doubt not, by all who have given of their substance towards the maintenance and development of the Institution. We, therefore, invite all our readers to “Rejoice with us,” in the tokens of the divine favor which have crowned our labors during another year. “The Lord hath been mindful of us: He will bless us.”
When we remember how this gracious work began by the consecrated thought of a holy woman, and then grew into an actual gift from her hand, and further developed, by the large help of others, into houses, and schools, infirmary, and dining-hall, and all manner of provision for destitute children, we feel bound to cry, “What hath God wrought!” Our God has supplied all our need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. The story of the Stockwell Orphanage will be worth telling in heaven when the angels shall learn from the church the manifold wisdom and goodness of the Lord. Incidents which could not be published on earth will be made known in the heavenly city, where every secret thing shall be revealed, How every need has been supplied before it has become a want, how guidance has been given before questions have become anxieties, how friends have been raised up in unbroken succession, and how the One Great Friend has been ever present, no single pen can ever record. To care for the fatherless has been a work of joyful faith all along, and in waiting’ upon God for .supplies we have experienced great delight. The way of faith in God is the best possible. We could not have carried on the work by a method more pleasant, more certain, more enduring. If we had depended upon annual subscribers, we should have had to hunt them up, and pay a heavy poundage, or perhaps fail to keep up the roll; if we had advertised continually for funds, our outlay might have brought in a scanty return: but dependence upon God has been attended with no such hazards. We have done our best as men of business to keep the Orphanage before the public, but we have desired in all things to exercise faith as servants of God.
Whatever weakness we have personally to confess and deplore, there is no weakness in the plan of faith in God. Our experience compels us to declare that he is the living God, the God that heareth prayer, the God who will never permit those who trust in him to be confounded. The business world has passed through trying times during the last few years, but the Orphanage has not been tried; men of great enterprise have failed, but the home for the fatherless has not failed, for this enterprise is in the divine hand; an eye watches over it which neither slumbers nor sleeps.
Let the people of God be encouraged by the fact of the existence and prosperity of the Stockwell Orphanage. Miracles have come to an end, but God goes on to work great wonders: the rod of Moses is laid aside, but the rod and staff of the Great Shepherd still compass us.
The son of an old Puritan rode some twenty miles to meet his father who came a similar distance to the half-way house. “Father,” said the son, “I have met with a special providence, for my horse stumbled at least a dozen times, and yet it did not fall.” “Ah,” replied the father, “I have had a providence quite as remarkable, for my horse did not stumble once all the way.” This last is the happy picture of the Orphanage for some time past, and indeed throughout its whole career: we have never had to issue mournful appeals because of exhausted resources, and in this we must see and admire the good hand of the Lord.
We now enter more fully upon a fresh stage of our existence; we shall need to double the amount of our present income, and we shall have it from the ever opened hand of the Lord our God. Friends will be moved to think of our great family, for our great Remembrancer will stir them up. The duty of each Christian to the mass of destitute orphanhood is clear enough, and if pure minds are stirred up by way of remembrance there will be no lack in the larder, no want in the wardrobe, no failing in the funds of our Orphan House.
We labor under one great difficulty: many people say, “Mr. Spurgeon will be sure to get the money, and there is no need for us to send.” It is clear that if everybody talked so, our President’s name would be a hindrance instead of a help. He will be the means of finding money for our Institution, for the Lord will honor his faith and hear his prayers, and be glorified in him; but there will be no thanks due to those who fabricate an excuse for. themselves out of the faithfulness of God. This difficulty, however, does not distress us: we go forward believing that when we have twice our present number of children the Lord will send us double supplies; we cannot entertain the suspicion that the girls will be left without their portion, for we, being evil, care as much for our daughters as for our sons, and our heavenly Father will do the same. It is well, however, to remind our friends of this, that each helper of the Orphanage may try to interest another generous heart, and so enlarge the circle of our friends. It may be that by such means the Great Provider will supply us; for we know that when our Lord fed the multitude he first said to his disciples, “Give ye them to eat.”
After having made these observations, we will allow our report to pursue the usual tenor of its way. The reader will be interested by it if he is already interested in it.
The growth of the Institution will be seen in the following table of figures:— 1 From Aug., 1867, to March, 154 154 6 6 2 From April, 1870, to March, 42 196 7 13 3 From April, 1871, to March, 38 234 9 22 4 From April, 1872, to March, 21 255 15 37 218 5 From April, 1873, to March, 36 291 38 75 6 From April, 1874. to March, 63 354 42 117 7 From April, 1875, to March, 28 382 29 146 8 From April, 1876, to March, 46 428 52 198 9 From April, 1877, to March, 51 479 47 245 10 From April, 1878 , to March, 48 527 38 283 11 From April 1879, to March, 41 568 41 324 12 From April, 1880, to March, 42 610 44 368 Number of Girls received—36. Left—2. In residence—31.
Total number of Children received—646. Number in residence, April, 1881—276.
Of the 44 boys who left during the year, 32 were sent to situations, 8 were returned to their friends; 3 were dismissed on the re-marriage of their mothers, and 1 was removed by death. The story of the little boy who died forms No. 6 of the Stockwell Orphanage Tracts, price one halfpenny, or 3s. per 100, which are useful/’or insertion in letters.* No difficulty is experienced in finding situations for the boys as soon as they are ready to leave the Institution, merchants and tradesmen accounting it a privilege to assist us in this important branch of our undertaking. In several instances the relatives of the boys have been able to procure situations for them in their own locality, and have very properly assumed parental oversight and control.
The sanitary condition of the Orphanage has been all that we could desire.
Considering that so large a proportion of the children come to us in a delicate condition, and some with the taint, of hereditary disease, it is a matter for devout thankfulness that their general health is so good, and that so few deaths have occurred. Oat of the entire number who haw left, only one boy was unable to enter upon a situation, in consequence of an enfeebled constitution. ‘We owe it to an ever-watchful Providence that, during the prevailing epidemic, not a single case of fever or small-pox has occurred in the Institution.
The Institution being open to ALL CLASSES of the community, the following table shows the wide range of its operations as to the parentage of the children, to the end of March, 1881:— Mechanics Laborers and others Shopkeepers and Salesmen Manufacturers and Tradesmen Clerks Ministers and Missionaries Mariners and Watermen Commercial Travelers Schoolmasters and Teachers Railway Employees Policemen Accountants Merchants and Commission Agents Cab Proprietors and Coachmen Farmers Postmen Surgeons and Dentists Solicitors Journalists Fireman Soldier Gentleman TOTAL 646.
Poverty is a relative term, and it often happens that the severest pinch of it is felt by those children who, during the lifetime of the father, were in circumstances of comparative affluence. In many cases the savings of years have been exhausted during a protracted illness, and the life insurance has been eaten up before it was due to keep the wolf from the door. It will be observed that we have received a large proportion of the children of the more necessitous classes of the community with hour, however, excluding those of other grades All class distinctions are ignored in the arrangements of the Institution, and the children are dressed in a manner to avoid the monotony of a uniform badge of charity.
The following table illustrates the catholicity of the Institution as to the parentage of the children admitted to its advantages:— Church of England Roman Catholic Baptist Brethren Congregational Moravian l Wesleyan Bible Christian l Presbyterian Not specified TOTAL 646.
All sections of the Church are thus laid under obligation, and we record with thankfulness the fact that members of every communion contribute to the funds of the Institution. This is as it should be, for it would be a calamity to be deplored were theological differences allowed to mar so beneficent a work as that of assisting the widow and the fatherless. Our supreme aim is not to advance the interests of a sect, but to minister to those who are consigned to the care of the Church by Him who said, “Leave thy fatherless children unto me,” and we desire to realize, in all our arrangements, that we are called upon to act “in God’s stead!”
Family worship is conducted twice daily, before the morning and evening meals, by the Head Master or his assistants, the service being taken occasionally by the President, or a Member of the Committee, or a visitor to the Institution who may happen to be present. The Word of God is read and expounded, hymns sung, and prayer offered, and the whole of the boys repeat a text selected for the day. A service is conducted for the elder boys every Wednesday evening, by Mr. W. J. Evans, when addresses are given by ministers and other friends.
On the Lord’s-day morning the elder boys attend the service at the Tabernacle; a second detachment is accommodated at the Wynne Road Chapel; a third attends the Stockwell Chapel, South Lambeth; and. a suitable service is conducted for the rest at the Orphanage by Messrs.
Bartlett and Daniels. Mr. W. J. Evans still superintends the Sunday School in the afternoon, assisted by a staff of 25 earnest teachers, when the international lessons arranged by the Sunday School Union are studied, and Mr. C. Carpenter presides over the Evening Service. All these good friends, who labor with commendable zeal to win the children to Christ, have been connected with the Institution from its commencement. By these arrangements the members of the staff, who are with the boys all the week, find a welcome relief, while the influence of our earnest voluntary helpers is of the most salutary kind. Those boys who give evidence of a change of heart are formed into a “Young Christians’ Band,” and meet twice a month.
During their term of residence in the Institution all the boys are total abstainers, no alcoholic liquors being allowed except by order of the doctor, but most or’ them are pledged abstainers, with the approval of their friends. Band of Hope meetings are held every month, when the children receive instruction from competent speakers; and lectures are given at intervals during the winter months.
In July the whole of the children and the staff enjoyed an excursion to Erleigh Park, Reading, by permission of Mr. J. F. Hall, the railway expenses being defrayed by Mr. Martin J. Sutton, and other friends providing the necessary refreshments for the day. As “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” the kind donors must have been enriched with a holy joy, for the delight of the children was beyond their power: to express. All honor to the many generous friends in Reading who have so warmly espoused the cause of the Orphanage!
The operations of the Institution reveal to the managers the widespread necessity which exists. The cry of the orphan comes from every part of our beloved land, and the plea of the widow for Christian sympathy and help is restricted to no one class of the community. Faces once radiant with smiles are saddened with grief, for the dark shadow, which death casts, falls everywhere. How true are the lines of the poet There is no fireside, howsoe’er defended, But has one vacant chair!”
It is a constant joy to the president and the committee that they are able to mitigate, to such a large extent, the misery and need which are brought under their notice; and it must be an equal joy to the subscribers to know that their loving contributions furnish the sinews for this holy war.
Children are received from all parts of the United Kingdom, no patronage being necessary to secure their admission.
TABLE OF TOWNS AND COUNTIES From which children have been received.LONDON.
Balham 5 Humpstead 2 Paddington Barnsbury 2 Hayerstock Hill 1 Peckham Battersea 6 Holborn 7 Pentonville Bayswater 5 Holloway 5 Pimlico Bermondsey 52 Homerton 2 Poplar Betlanal Green. 4 Hornsey 1 Shadwell Bloomsbury 2 Horselydown 4 Shoreditch Borough 7 Hoxton 8 Soho Bow 13 Islington 18 Southwark Brixton 18 Kennington 4 Spitalfields Camberwell 22 Kensington 2 Stepney Camden Town 2 Kentigh Town 6 Strand Chelsea 6 Kilburn 6 Streatham Clapham 5 Kingsland 2 Stockwell 2 Clapton 2 Lambeth 50 Stoke Newington l Clerkenwell 6 Lewisham 3 St. John’s Wood...
Dalston 1 Limehouse 3 St. Luke’s Deptford 4 Marylebone 12 St.
Pancreas Dulwich 2 Mile End 5 Sydenham Finsbury 2 Newington 10 Walworth Hackney 11 New Cross 51 Wandswor th.
Haggerston 1 Norwood 4 Westminst er Hammersmith 3 Netting Hill 5 Whitechap el Total It is worthy of note that of the children received from London, the poorer districts furnished the larger proportion during the earlier period of our history. The metropolis absorbed the main part of the benefit, but now that the Institution is more widely known, candidates from the country are more numerous, and they are not crowded out by Londoners. Of recent admissions about one half were country cases.
It will be seen that 117 provincial towns, representing 32 counties, have participated in the benefits of the Institution by sending 170 children.
Distance is a matter which has to be considered, for rite coming of children from afar is a great expense, and frequently becomes a practical prohibition through the poverty of the friends. It is natural and right that orphans should be taken into institutions as near home as possible; still we, as an Institution, know no boundary, but are willing to receive orphans from any and every place stay long as we have room.
SUMMARY OF ADMISSIONS.
London Country Scotland Wales Ireland 646 As Candidates are selected by a Committee who are pledged to accept only the most needy and deserving, children are admitted only upon full consideration of their relative need. Applicants who are unsuccessful have, at least, the satisfaction of not having been put to any trouble or expense in canvassing for subscribers’ votes, and of knowing that others more necessitous have secured the advantages offered by the Institution. In some instances, when a number of Candidates have come before the Committee, poor widows have requested to be allowed to withdraw their claims in favor of others whom they themselves deemed more necessitous from what they heard in the waiting room. With only a limited number of vacancies to fill every year it is impossible to admit all who apply, but the Committee have the satisfaction that, as far as they are able to judge, none but cases of urgent necessity succeed in gaining admission.
The Educational arrangements are the same as in former years, the object being to impart a sound English education and a religious training. In addition to the ordinary subjects the children are instructed in Shorthand, Drawing, and Elementary Science, and they are examined in the two last named subjects by the examiners appointed by the Science and Art Department, South Kensington. The returns of the last examination are as follows:— SCIENCE AND ARTCLASSES.DRAWING FREEHAND, GEOMETRY, AND MODEL.
Presented for Examination, March, 1880 ......... Number of failures ..................... Passed 189 Of these there were passed with satisfaction to the Examiners.. Number who obtained Certificates Prizes and Certificates Total The amount, granted by the Department for examination in aid of the Classes was £15 5s. 2d.
MAGNETISM AND ELECTRICITY.
At the first examination in May, 1880, 50 boys passed successfully two of whom gained Queen Prizes.”
This rear an additional class has been formed for the study of Physiography, and the boys give promise of more than average success in all subjects.
The amount gained by the examination is granted to the teacher for his valuable services.
As our Sunday School is affiliated to the Sunday School Unions. we allow the boys who desire to do so to sit for examination. Or the Candidates who were successful at the last examination,3 gained prizes, 12 First Class Certificates, and 38 Second Class Certificates.
During the year the boys took part in the Crystal Palace Musical Festivals arranged by the Band of Hope Union and the Tonic-Solfa Association.
In order to make the character and claims of the Institution more widely known, the Head Master and the Secretary have held meetings in London and the Provinces, and the success which has crowned their efforts is. of a very gratifying character. The boys who accompany them to sing and to recite furnish a powerful appeal by their appearance and conduct, and commend the Institution to which they owe so much. The local papers speak in terms of the highest praise of their services, and thus a most effective advertisement is secured without any cost to, the Institution. So far as the boys are concerned these trips have an educational value, fin’ they get to know a great deal of the products and industries of different parts of the country, besides securing the advantage of being brought into contact with Christian families where they reside during their visit.
During the year Services of Song have been held as under:—METROPOLIS.
Acton; Bermondsey (Green Walk Mission); Camberwell (Masonic Hall, Denmark Place Chapel, and Camberwell New Road Congregational Church); Hampstead; Ross’s Mission (Old Kent Road); Islington (Salter’s Hall Chapel); Victoria Park (Tabernacle and Grove Road. Chapel); and Westbourne Grove Chapel, Bayswater.
Cambridge, Dunstable, Exeter, Falmouth, Helston, Liskeard, Penzance, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southend, St. Austell, Taunton, Torquay, Truro, Willingham, and Woburn.
The amount realized during the year, after defraying all expenses, is £ 644: 10s. 2d., and our thanks are hereby tendered to all who assisted in any way to secure such a splendid result. Friends in other places, willing to assist the Orphanage by arranging for a visit from the Choir, should apply to Mr. Charlesworth. Our funds might be helped in a pleasant and efficient manner if’ friends would invite the choir to their localities.
The Committee record witch thankfulness that there has been no lack in the funds contributed for the efficient maintenance of the Institution. friends prefer to give donations rather than pledge themselves to send annual subscriptions, and the benevolence thus manifested is purely; spontaneous.
The admirable custom of making shirts for the boys is still continued by the young ladies of an educational establishment, who send in a supply of shirts every year. Their efforts are supplemented by several working Associations, but the supply is not yet equal to the demand, and we cordially invite the co-operation of others, to whom we shall be glad to send samples and patterns.
The Orphanage Acre at Waterbeach produces more than the average yield of flour and potatoes, under the skillful farming of our friend, Mr. Toiler.
Another farmer in Kent has sent us a portion of his potato crop, and several millers have forwarded a sack of flour occasionally. Puddings and potatoes form such important articles of ,diet, that we shall be glad if other Christian farmers will remember our Orphan children from time to time. A good friend at Reading has dedicated a pear tree to the Orphanage, and sends either the fruit or the money realized by its sale.
It would be impossible to enumerate all the presents sent by generous friends, but they have been duly acknowledged every month in The Sword and the Trowel. They are all received with gratitude, and we take this opportunity of repeating our thanks. It is a cause of grief, to us when friends do not receive a prompt acknowledgment of their gifts, but in almost all instances where this has occurred, the donor has failed to send name and address with the parcel. We are too grateful for any help, however small, to risk giving pain or offense to those who remember us, and we respectfully request to be informed of the transmission of presents at the time, and their receipt shall be duly acknowledged.
The work of caring for the widow and the fatherless is specially mentioned by the Holy Spirit as one of the most acceptable modes of giving outward expression to pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, and therefore the Lord’s people will not question that they should help in carrying it out. Will it need much pleading? If so, we cannot use it, as we shrink from marring the willinghood which is the charm of such a service.
The work is carried on in dependence upon God, and as His blessing evidently rests upon it, we are confident the means will be forthcoming as the need arises. While commending the work to our heavenly Father in prayer, we deem it right to lay before the stewards of His bounty the necessities and claims of the Institution.
The year 1880 will be a memorable one in the history of the Institution, and we record with gratitude the fact that the foundation stones of the first four houses for the Girls’ Orphanage were laid on the 22nd of June, when the President’s birthday was celebrated. It was a joy to all present that Mrs. Spurgeon was able to lay the memorial stone of “THE SERMON HOUSE, the gift of C. H. Spurgeon and his esteemed publishers, Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster.” The memorial stone of another house, the gift of Mr. W.R. Rickett, and called “The Limes, in tender memory of five beloved children,” was laid by C. H. Spurgeon, who made a touching allusion to the sad event thus commemorated. Mrs. Samuel Barrow laid the memorial stone of the house called “The Olives,” the amount for its erection having been given and collected by her beloved husband. The Trustees of the Institution having subscribed the funds for the erection of a house, the Treasurer, Mr. William Higgs, laid, in their name, the memorial stone which bears the inscription, “Erected by the Trustees of the Orphanage to express their joy in this service of love.” Several friends have rendered substantial help in kind. Mr. G. F. Dean and Messrs. Wills and Packham, of Sittingbourne, each sent a freight of bricks, and Mr. Arnold, of Woolwich, a quantity of flooring. The late Mr. R. May provided the slating of two houses, and Mr. G. M. Hammer has offered to furnish one of the schools with desks.
The plans of the Orphanage were drawn for six houses, but it was not deemed expedient to proceed with them all until the necessary funds were forthcoming. “H. E. S.” generously gave a thousand pounds, and other amounts being subscribed, we were able to lay the memorial stones of the two remaining houses on the 4th of October. The President felt that, as the friends in Reading and Liverpool had rendered substantial help to the Institution from time to time, it was most appropriate to record the fact on the memorial stones, which were duly laid by George Palmer, Esq., M.P. for Reading, and the Rev. Hugh Stowell Brown, of Liverpool.
At the present moment the buildings of the Orphanage form a great square, enclosing a fine space for air and exercise. Visitors generally express great surprise at the beauty and openness of the whole establishment. Much remains to be done before the Institution is completely accommodated; there is needed an infirmary for the girls, and till that is built one of the houses will have to be used for that purpose, thus occupying the space which would otherwise be filled by thirty or forty children: this should be attended to at an early date. Baths and washhouses will be urgently required for the girls, and we propose to make them sufficiently commodious for the girls to do the washing for the entire community of 500 children, thus instructing them in household duties, and saving a considerable expense. We have not yet settled upon the working plans, but they must either include a place in which all our great family can worship at one time, or else a new hall in which they can assemble at meals: our moot question is whether we shall turn our present dining-hall into a chapel and build a new hall, or leave matters as they now are, and erect a new place for divine service. In either case the cost will be very considerable, and we shall again have to call for the stream of liberality to flow towards Stockwell. Two esteemed friends, husband and wife, have already given £1,000 towards the needful outlay, and we doubt not that other friends, hitherto unknown, will be called out by the great Father of the fatherless to aid us in putting the topstone to this great work. We would not spend a sixpence needlessly. No money has been wasted in lavish ornament, or in hideous ugliness. The buildings are not a workhouse or a county-jail, but a pleasant residence for those children of whom God declares himself to be the Father. The additional buildings which we contemplate are not for luxury, but for necessary uses; and as we endeavor to lay out money with judicious economy we feel sure that we shall be trusted in the future as in the past.
Are there not friends waiting to take a share in the Stockwell Orphanage Building? They cannot better commemorate personal blessings, her can they find a more suitable memorial for departed friends. No storied urn or animated bust can half so well record the memory of beloved cues as a stone in an Orphan House. Most of the buildings are already appropriated as memorials in some form or other, and only a few more will be needed.
Very soon all building operations will be complete, and those who have lost the opportunity of becoming shareholders in the Home of Mercy may regret their delay. At any rate, none who place a stone in the walls of the Stockwell Orphanage will ever lament that they did this deed of love to the little cues for whom Jesus cares. Honored names are with us already engraven upon the stones of this great Hostelry of the All-merciful; and many others are our co-workers whose record is on high, though unknown among men. Who will be the next to join us in this happy labor?
We hope to have the houses furnished and ready for occupation in the autumn of the present year. As funds come in we shall erect the dining hall, gymnasium, and swimming-bath, and a house for the head master. When the u hole of the buildings are complete, the Institution will afford accommodation for 500 children, and prove a memorial of Christian generosity and of the loving-kindness of the Lord.
As it is most, important to comply with legal conditions in order to secure the validity of a legacy, we append-the necessary form. Very serious risks are run by persons deviating from such form. It cannot be too clearly understood that bequests of land or houses for charitable purposes are null and void. Those are wisest who are their own executors and distribute their money in their own life-time, but if this cannot be, they should at least make their wills and see that they are properly worded. FORM OF BEQUEST. I Give and Bequeath the sum of_____ pounds sterling, to be paid out of that part of my personal estate which may by law be given with effect for charitable purposes, to be paid to the Treasurer for the time being of the Stockwell Orphanage, Clapham Road, Surrey, and his receipt shall be a sufficient discharge for the said legacy; and this legacy, when received by such Treasurer, to be applied for the general purposes of the Orphanage.
A SERMON TO MINISTERS AND OTHER TRIED BELIEVERS BY C. H. SPURGEON.
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”—1 Peter 5:7.
THIS season of depression in trade has brought great care to many a house and heart, especially to village pastors and their flocks. Their troubles have been heavy, and I am afraid their cares have not been light. Few have escaped the pinch of these hard times: the most prosperous have to catch the ebbing tide, and ask—How long shall these things be? The subject will be seasonable to us all.
A very good preface to any sermon is the connection; let us look at the passage before us. The verse preceding it is, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” If we are truly humble we shall cast our care upon God, and by that process our joy will be exalted. We are slow to submit to the hand of God, and oftentimes our care is fretful rebellion against our heavenly Father’s will.
We determine to carve for ourselves, and so we cut our fingers. I saw upon a cart only yesterday the name of a tradesman who calls himself” Universal Provider”: do we not aspire to some such office? There is a Universal Provider, and if we are humble under his hand we shall leave our matters in his hands. Oh for more humility, for then shall we have more tranquillity.
Pride begets anxiety; true humility gives birth to patience.
The verse which follows our text is this—”Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Cast your care upon God, because you need all your powers of thought to battle with the great enemy. He hopes to devour you by care. Cast all your care upon God, for if you are worried you cannot be sober or watchful. Satan rides on the back of carnal care, and so obtains entrance into the soul. If he can distract our minds from the peace of faith by temporal cares he will get an advantage over us.
The preface allowed of expansion, but I have compressed it with stern economy of time. I must condense with equal rigor all through my discourse. We will first expound the text, and then enforce it.
I. First, let us EXPOUND the text —” Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” It is noteworthy that in the Greek the two words for “care” are different: hence the Revised Version reads, “Casting all your anxiety upon him; because he careth for you.” The care which you are to cast upon God, is wearing you out, and you are to cast it upon God because, in quite another sense, “he careth for you.” The word used in reference to God is applied to caring for the poor, and in another place to the watchfulness of a shepherd. Our anxiety and God’s care are two very different things. His care, though tender and comprehensive, causes no anxiety to him, for his great mind is more than equal to the task; but our care ferments within us and threatens the destruction of our narrow souls.
You are to cast your care, which is folly, upon the Lord, for he exercises a care which is wisdom. Care to us is exhausting, but God is all-sufficient.
Care to us is sinful, but God’s care of us is holy. Care distracts us from service, but the divine mind does not forget one thing while remembering another.
If our care is to be cast upon God we are hereby led to make a distinction; for there is a care which we could not dare to cast upon God, it would be blasphemy to attempt it. Anxiety to grow rich; can we impart, that to God?
Anxiety to be famous, to live in luxury, to avenge an injury, to magnify myself; can I ask the Most High to bear such an anxiety for me? If any of you are vexed with such care, I charge you to fling it off, for it is like the poisoned tunic of Hercules, and unless you can tear it away it will burn into your very soul. All cares of covetousness, anger, pride, ambition, and willfulness must be cast to the winds, it would be criminal to dream of casting them upon God. Do not pray about them, except that God will redeem you from them. Let your desires be kept within a narrow circle, and your anxieties will be lessened at a stroke. “Casting,” says the apostle. He does not say “laying all your care upon him,” but he uses a much more energetic word. You have to cast the load upon the Lord; the act will require effort. It is no child’s play to cast all our care upon our Lord when there are six little children, shoes worn out, cupboard empty, purse bare, and the deacons talking of reducing the scanty salary. Here is a work: worthy of faith. You will have to lift with all your soul before the burden can be shifted, and the anxiety cast upon the Lord: that effort, however, will not be half so exhausting as the effort of carrying your load yourself. Oh, the burden of watching and waiting for help which never comes; depending on the help of man, who is altogether vanity. Oh, the weariness of carrying a heart-breaking anxiety, and yet standing up to preach. We have all seen statues of Atlas bearing the world on his shoulders, but we can hardly conceive of his preaching in that attitude. It would be better to make one tremendous effort and have done with it, rather than groan under a perpetual weight. If the fox is eating into our bowels, let us pluck it from our bosom and kill it at once.
Note the next words: “Upon him.” You may tell your griefs to others to gain their sympathy, for we are bidden to bear one another’s burdens; you may ask friends to help you, and so exercise your humility; but let your requests to man be ever in subordination to your waiting upon God. Some have obtained their full share of human help by much begging from their fellow Christians; but it is a nobler thing to make known your requests unto God; and somehow those who beg only of God are wondrously sustained where others fail. What a pleasant story is that in which we recount the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and tell how “this poor man cried, and the Lord heard him.” Quiet, patient believers have come under my notice who have carried their cross in silence, waiting upon the Lord alone. How they endured their trial I cannot tell, save that “they endured as seeing him who is invisible”; but their necessity became known, it leaked out they knew not how, and they were helped, and helped better than they would have been if their appeal had been to man. I am condemning no appeal to our fellow believers; many are willing to help, and they cannot do so if the need is unknown; but do not place anyone in the office and throne of the great God, who alone is the Care-taker and Burden-bearer of his people. I am afraid that sometimes in our care not to alienate this great man who does so much for the cause, or that excellent lady who takes halfa- dozen sittings in the chapel, we may grieve the Lord and lose our true Helper. Cease, then, from man; cast all your care upon God, and upon him only.
Certain courses of action are the very reverse of casting all your care upon God, and one is indifference. Whatever virtue there may be in stoicism:, it is unknown to the true child of God. “I don’t care” may be an excellent thing for an atheist, but it is not suitable for a Christian: it may sound well, and the man who utters the defiant word may think himself some great one, but it is an evil word for all that. I am afraid some brethren’s “don’t care” is very sinful, for they get into debt, and don’t care; they break their promises and engagements, and don’t care. Brethren, such men ought to care. Every man is bound to care about his life-duties, and the claims of his family. He that careth not for his own household is worse than a heathen man. Casting: care upon God is the very reverse of recklessness and inconsiderateness.
It is not casting care upon God when a man does that which is wrong in order to clear himself; yet this is too often tried. Under pressure some men do very unjustifiable things. We ought to be slow to condemn, since we ourselves also may yet be tempted in the same way and may err in like manner; still, faith ought to be able to win every battle. He who compromises truth to avoid pecuniary loss is hewing out a broken cistern for himself. He who borrows when he knows he cannot pay, he who enters into wild speculations to increase his income, he who does aught that is ungodly in order to turn a penny is not casting his care upon God. An act of disobedience is a rejection of God’s help, that we may help ourselves.
He who does the right thing at all hazards practically casts his care upon the Lord. Acts are with us, but their consequences are with God: our care should be to please God, and all other care we may safely leave to him. How, then, are we to cast all our care upon God? Two things need to be done. It is a heavy load that is to be cast upon God, and it requires the hand of prayer and the hand of faith to make the transfer. Prayer tells God what the care is, and asks God to help, while faith believes that God can and will do it.. Prayer spreads the letter of trouble and grief before the Lord, and opens all its budget, and then faith cries, “I believe that God cares, and cares for me, I believe that he will bring me out of my distress, and make it promote his own glory.”
When you have thus lifted your care into its true position and cast it upon God, take heed that you do not pick it up again. Many a time have I gone to God and have relieved my care by believing prayer, but, I am ashamed to confess that after a little time I have found myself burdened again with those very anxieties which I thought I had given up. Is it, wise to put our feet into fetters which have once been broken off? My brethren, there is a more excellent way, a way which I have tried and proved. I have at times been perplexed with difficulties; I have tried my best with them and I have utterly failed, and then I have gone with the perplexity to the throne of God, and placed the whole case in the Lord’s hands, solemnly resolving never to trouble myself about the aforesaid matters any more, whatever might happen. I was quite incapable of further action in the matter, and so I washed my hands of the whole concern, and left it with God. Some of these cares I have never seen again, they melted like hoar frost in the morning sun, and in their place I have found a blessing lying on the ground Other troubles have remained in fact but not in effect, for I have consented to the yoke, and it has never galled my shoulder again. Brethren, let the dead bury their dead, and let us follow Jesus. Henceforth let us leave worldlings to fret and fume over the cares of this life; as for us, let our conversation be in heaven, and let us carefully abstain from carefulness, being anxious only to end anxiety by a childlike confidence in God.
II. Accept this little contribution towards an exposition, and let us now proceed to ENFORCE the text. I will give you certain reasons, and then the reason why you should cast all your care upon God.
First, the ever blessed One commands you to do it. We need no other reason. The precept is akin to the gospel command, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” It is a blessed privilege, and it is also a command. He who bids us cease from idolatry, also bids us cease from care. The law of Sabbath-keeping is not more divine than that of resting in the Lord. He whom we call Master and Lord bids us take no anxious thought; his bidding has all the authority of law. Say to yourself, my anxious brother, “I may roll my burden upon the Lord, for he bids me do so.” If you do not trust in God you will be distinctly sinful; you are as much commanded to trust as to love.
Next, cast all your cares on God, because you will have matters enough to think of even then. There are sacred cares which the Lord will lay upon you, because you have cast your care upon him. When he has broken your painful yoke you will have his easy yoke to bear. There is the care to love and serve him better; the care to understand his word; the care to preach it to his people; the care to experience his fellowship; the care so to walk that you shall not vex the Holy Spirit. Such hallowed cares will always be with you, and will increase as you grow in grace. In a sense we may cast even these upon God, looking for his Holy Spirit to help us, for it is he that worketh in us to will and to do of his own good pleasure; yet not without our care and zeal doth he operate upon us, and this is one reason why you are not to allow lower ends and designs to inundate your mind. Your spirit has another vineyard to keep, another capital to put out to interest, another master to please, and it cannot afford to yield its thought to meaner pursuits Ministers are shepherds, and must care for the sheep. “The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep “; but you have the care of churches laid upon you daily, and it is peculiarly needful that you be not occupied with carnal care.
And, next, you must east your care upon God, because you have God’s business to do. It is a dangerous thing for a merchant to employ a man who has a business of his own, because sooner or later the master’s business will suffer, or else the man’s own concern will die out. “No man that warreth,” saith Paul, “entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” There is sure to be a clashing of interests when a brother goes into business, unless he does it as Paul did, that he may not be chargeable to the church; for then he attains to double honor. Paul carried his needle and thread with him wherever he went, for everybody had a tent in those days, and he was ready for work at any moment either upon small family tents, or tents to cover a great assembly. When he had finished preaching, he could turn to tent-mending, and so earn his own living, and preach the gospel freely. Paul did not make his preaching a stalking-horse to his trade, but he made his handicraft a pack-horse to his ministry, so that he could say,” These hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.” That is a very different thing from a minister deserting his charge to make a larger income by some other calling. The less we have to do with other business the better, for all our care is needed by the church. Queen Elizabeth bade a notable merchant in the city of London go to the Continent on royal business. “Please your majesty,” said he, “who will attend to my business while I am away?” The queen replied, “If you will go abroad, and see to my business, I will see to your business.” I will be bound to say it would not suffer if such a queen took it in hand. Just so the Lord says to us, “You attend to my work, and I will take care of you and your wife and children.”
The Lord pledges himself to do it; bread shall be given us, our water shall be sure. The testimony of many among you will bear me out in this! I come of a line of preachers, and though some of them have had to endure straitened circumstances, yet none of them were forsaken, nor have their seed been seen begging bread. The Lord has cared for us, and we have lacked nothing.
You ought to do it not only for this reason, but because it is such a great privilege to be able to cast your care upon God. If I am plunged in a lawsuit, and some eminent law officer would offer to undertake it all, out of love to me, how glad I should be! I should worry no longer. I should say to all who troubled me on the matter, “You must go to my solicitor; I know nothing about the matter.” Do this to your cunning enemy, the devil, who is always glad to see you anxious and fretful. Let us say to him, “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee.” What a the that is for the old viper to break his teeth upon! Chosen! chosen! And if chosen shall we not be cared for?
Let me add, that you ministers ought to cast all your care upon God, because it will be such a good example for your hearers. Our people learn much from our conduct, and if they see us fretting, they will be certain to do the same. You preach faith, do you not? How. sad it will be for you to be convicted of unbelief! Our own words may condemn us if we are anxious. Once when I was unduly depressed, my good wife said to me, “I have a book here which I should like to read to you.”:It did me good to hear her read, but I felt myself rebuked by every word. I half suspected what was coming when she said, “That is your own, recollect.” She had been giving the doctor some of his own medicine. What a many things you have said, my brethren, that will condemn you if you do not trust God! Is it, after all, mere talk? Did you mean what said, and is it true? Or have you merely been repeating official dogmas in which you have no personal confidence? Is the providence of God a myth, or a living, bright reality? “Here,” said a quack in the market-place, “is a medicine that will cure coughs, colds, consumptions the fellow coughed horribly at this point]. It is of such efficacy that it would almost restore the dead. [Here he coughed again.] Nobody need remain a sufferer—he has only to buy a box of these pills”—[here the quack’s own cough prevented him from speaking]. Ah! laugh on, laugh on, brethren, only mind that nobody laughs at you fordoubting while you extol faith. We must show in ourselves that faith in our God is a healing medicine, or men will not believe us; we shall make Christ himself seem to be a pretender, unless we practically prove that we have been healed by him. Let your people see in you what comes of trusting Christ; let them see what cheerfulness, what hopefulness, what buoyancy of heart come to those who trust Christ, and cast all their care upon him.
But the reason of reasons is that contained in our text—” He careth for you.” After all, what a small matter it must be to God to care for us, since he provides for the commissariat of the universe; the feeding of the cattle on a thousand hills, and the wild beasts of the plains. Think of those myriads of fish, those armies of birds, those enormous multitudes of insects! What a God must he be who cares for all. Compared with the demands of all these our little wants are soon supplied. We want but little, and that little is scarce a crumb from the table of the Lord our God. Surely if God says, “I will care for you,” we need not give another thought except to sing, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” It does not need two of us for this small matter, and certainly not two when one is infinite in wisdom and power. Even if we were wise the Lord would not need our help. With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, when he built the earth, and piled the mountains, and spanned the sky? Let us, therefore, stand still and see the salvation of God. The Lord thinks about us, plans for us,. arranges for us, studies to make things right for us,—these are poor words with which to describe his care, for he does more than that, he loves us. That great, boundless, mighty heart loves us. This is fit matter for a heavenly song I Because he hath set his love upon us we can surely cast our care upon him. He has given us Christ, will he not give us bread? See, he has called us to be his sons, will he starve his children? See what he is preparing for you in heaven, will he not enable you to bear the burdens of this present life? We dishonor God when we suspect his tenderness and generosity. We can only magnify him by a calm faith which leans upon his word.
There, dear brothers, there is my word from the Master for you. I should like to have hammered out that little grain of gold so that you might have gilded your lives with it; but, please do it for yourselves. Now will you carry your cares away, or will you bow your heads in silent prayer, and throw them all off? Holy Spirit, the Comforter, lighten our darkness, we beseech thee.
NOTES THE special prayer-meetings before our week-evening lecture have not only been well sustained all through the past month, but have increased in number and grown in fervency, and we are already reaping the firstfruits of what will, we trust, prove a good harvest of souls. The Monday evening prayer-meetings have been seasons of unusual power; and this fact makes us quite sure that a blessing of an unusual extent is on the wing. Requests for prayer have continued to come in large numbers from almost all parts of the globe, and not a few requests for praise because former supplications have been answered. These have tended to keep the meetings real and earnest, for there has been actual business to do with the Lord that heareth us. Each meeting differs from every other, but all are remarkable seasons of fervent devotion. Frequently there are fifteen hundred persons present. On August 1 a missionary address was delivered by Mr. Gogon Chunder Dutt, of Bengal, and by the evangelists who had just come home; on August 8 our three newly-elected elders, Messrs. Johnson, Bantick, and Copsan were introduced to the members present, and commended to the Lord in prayer; and on August 15 the Pastor gave an address upon the words, “Ye have not because ye ask not.” Have we not here the key to the non-success of churches, and the small progress of individuals? It is a pity to be deprived of a blessing because we are too idle to ask for it.
On Wednesday August 10, it was our privilege to preach an open-air sermon in connection with the opening of a new chapel at North Cheam.
Some members of the METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE COUNTRY MISSION have held services in the neighbor-hood for a year or two, and their labors have been so greatly blessed by God that it has been necessary to erect an iron building, which has been purchased at a greatly reduced price. About £250 will be needed to pay for this building, of which up to the present about £60 has been contributed, in addition to £50 which we have promised. We shall be grateful to any friends who feel moved to help this work, and the erection of three other chapels which are now fix hand. Our suburban districts, and our growing towns, must be occupied speedily for Christ, unless they are to be left as strongholds of priestcraft or indifference. The people on the spot are frequently careless about the work, and we have to arouse them to care about their souls. Those who love the truth are at the first few and feeble, and unless helped from the outside they cannot get a building to meet in. We are at this moment treasurer for four rising places. The first is this little place at Cheam, for which we. need at least £150: could not some friends see to it that we are not burdened by this? By a little effort Tabernacle friends could clear this place. Then comes New Brompton, near Chatham, where the chapel is just commenced. Some £700 or more will be wanted before we have ‘finished, and we only see our way to half of it. Thirdly, Gipsy Road, Lower Norwood. We have £1,000 in hand or promised, but the friends have entered upon some £4,000 expense. Mr. Hobbs, the minister, will carry it through; but meanwhile we feel anxious about it. Fourthly, the village of Horn-church, Essex: a friend has given ground, and we have some £150 in hand, but the friends are hard pressed for a place to meet in, and want to build before winter. No one knows be many cares which come upon us in connection with the work of extending our churches in needy districts.
Large sums could be advantageously used, but they do not come. Our own purse is not spared, but the work is great and the demands large, and yet not so large but that a few wealthy persons could make it easy. We sometimes sink in spirit as we see how little the souls of men are cared for by those who call themselves the Lord’s. If growing London is not provided with the means of grace coming generations will blame us. As the Lord enables us our utmost shall be done. MayHE provide for his own work in his own way.
On Wednesday evening, August 17, the eleventh annual meeting of THE SPURGEON’ S SERMONS TRACT SOCIETY was held in the Tabernacle lecturehall.
The chair was occupied by C. F. Allison, Esq., prayer was offered by Mr. Harrald, and addresses were delivered by Messrs. Murrell, Dunn, Penstone, Perkins, and Pullen. The report, read by the honorary secretary, *r.
C. Cornell, stated that the object of the Society is to make known the way of salvation by means of the distribution of the pastor’s printed sermons as loan tracts. During the past year 23,000 have been circulated in fifty-two towns and villages in the United Kingdom, making a total of 140,000 since the work was commenced. Great blessing has resulted from this method of sowing the seed. The Society’s income for the year has been £81 16s. 5d., and the expenditure for sermons, covers, printing, carriage, etc., £78 Os. 10d., leaving a balance of £3 15s. 7d. in hand. All information about the work of the Society can be obtained of Mr. Cornell, 60, Hamilton-square, Borough, S.E., who will be happy to receive contributions towards the extension of its operations. To get the sermons lent round in districts which are devoid of spiritual teaching is a soul-saying work. These discourses are attended with a blessing when heard in the Tabernacle, but their beneficial influence when printed is vastly greater, as abundant facts are daily proving. As tracts, it is found that persons will read them even when they will throw aside other religious literature. Hence this Society, by providing a stock of the sermons for friends to start loan societies with, is doing a missionary work, which supplies a weekly ministration of the gospel to thousands.
— Mr. J. A. Ward settles at Clay Cross; Mr. T. Armstrong has accepted the pastorate of the Lower Baptist Church, Chesham; and Mr.J. T. Mateer has left us to continue his work in Ireland as an evangelist.
Mr. J. Stubbs, who was obliged on account of ill-health to return from India, has accepted the pastorate of the Church at Brannoxtown, Ireland.
Mr. W. Ewens has removed from Uley, to Liskeard; and. Mr. G. H. Kemp from Alford, to Langham, Essex. Mr. A. Bird, late of Penzance, is seeking to raise a new church at Sundown, Isle of Wight. Will friends there take this notice, and rally to the standard? Mr. J. H. Dean, one of our medical missionary students, has gone to Blantyre, Central Africa.
Mr. J. Wilkins, late of Maidenhead, has settled at Charlestown; and Mr.G. H. Trapp, late of Mundesley, has safely reached the United States, where he hopes to find a suitable sphere of labor. Sir. Trapp is a worthy man: a treasure to any godly people. We are glad also to learn that Mr. Burton arrived at Melbourne in May, and that the doctor says there is no reason why It,’, should not be permanently cured. He desires to be remembered in prayer by all his brethren. Australian papers just to hand give most cheering reports of the evangelistic services held at Geelong and West Melbourne by our brethren Harrison and Isaac. Our soil Thomas has had a happy season in Dunedin, and has gone on to Auckland.
On Tuesday, August 9th, the students reassembled after ‘the vacation, by kind permission of Joseph Tritton, Esq., at “Bloomfield,” Upper Norwood.
The proceedings of the day commenced with a short devotional service, during which the wind blew threateningly. The new students were introduced by the President, and then the brethren dispersed over the grounds. The usual outdoor amusements were heartily enjoyed, and Mr. Murrell superintended the commissariat department to everybody’s satisfaction. In responding to a very cordial vote of thanks, Mr. Tritton expressed the pleasure he had felt in placing his grounds at the disposal of the brethren. May this session be rich with benediction, and the College do the best work it has ever yet accomplished.
EVANGELISTS— We have received the following resume Messrs. Smith and Fullerton’s mission in Sheffield:—The mission in Sheffield was brought to a close on July 26th. The work has surpassed the most sanguine expectations of those who commenced it. A powerful stimulus has been given to the spiritual life of the churches which took part in the movement; large numbers of Christians belonging to various denominations have been most hearty in their co-operation and goodwill; friends have come forward at every demand, spontaneously offering to provide whatever seemed helpful to success; and hundreds of those formerly attending no place of worship have been induced to attach themselves to some congregation, many of them giving evidence that they have been won for Christ. A valuable contribution has thus been made to the solution of the important question, How can we evangelize our great towns and centers of population? Many points connected with this question have been seen in a new and clear light by those who have been privileged to watch over and take part in the work as it has progressed. It may be well to place on record some of the peculiar features of the work, as carried through in Sheffield, for the consideration or guidance of workers who may be contemplating a similar mission in ,other towns. (1.) The evangelists came at the unanimous invitation of all the Independent and Baptist ministers in the town; and worked throughout under the direction of a central committee, composed of representatives of the churches concerned. The ministers as a whole took part in the work, many of them identifying themselves by their presence on special occasions, and some of them throwing all their strength .and influence into the movement from the first. A few who were a little disposed, at the outset, to hold the movement at arm’s length, because of former experiences with evangelists, became the most demonstrative and earnest in clasping it to their hearts, when they came to know our brethren personally, and when the meetings were being held in their own neighborhood. (2.) The meetings were held in chapels, and every effort was made to keep the whole movement in close union with existing churches. The town at the outset was divided into six districts, on an average two weeks being given to each. The meetings were held in the largest and most convenient chapel of each district. Christian workers were, therefore, always at hand belonging to the neighborhood where the meetings were held, to see inquirers, to follow up good impressions in the hearts of friends, and to visit at their own homes those who had been brought to spiritual concern.
For special meetings it became necessary to go elsewhere. The Albert Hall was used every Sunday afternoon for a meeting of men only; the Circus became the headquarters during Whitsun-week, and the last fortnight of the Mission. The Albert Hall was the only building large enough for the allday meeting and the united communion service. But, as a rule, the chapels were found convenient, and sufficed for the work. (3.) There have been no collections, but boxes have been held at the doors to receive thankofferings after every service. Both the evangelists have always brought this matter before the people in the most frank and independent way, and those who were able and glad to give, have been asked to do so; and as the financial result, after all expenses are paid, at the close of a mission extending over nearly four months, we expect to have the pleasure of sending up to Mr. Spurgeon, towards the maintenance of the Evangelists’ Society, a balance of £300, which, indeed, by the generosity ,of a friend, we hope to make 300 guineas. This has been accomplished with perfect ease, without anyone being pressed. Indeed, the cheerful way in which “the common people” have given of their means has been, perhaps, the most reliable proof of the healthy and sterling nature of the work. The heap of copper after some of the largest meetings was a sight to see, and a lead to carry! (4.) As to the spiritual results of the Mission, unquestionably that which can be tabulated is in some measure always unreliable, that which cannot be shown in any statistics is the most precious. Great care has been taken to avoid setting any seal or imprimatur, in the name of the evangelists or the committee, on the religious experiences of those who have been impressed. The word “convert” has been as little used as possible, for fear of misunderstanding or misuse. It was resolved that the last meeting of all should be for those who had received special spiritual benefit in the services, admission to be by ticket, only, for which personal application had to be made during the last two days. Every applicant was seen by one of the ministers, and briefly questioned, and the name and address was taken of each to whom a ticket was given. In this way we gained a list of more than six hundred men, women, and children from all parts of the town, who not only rejoiced to testify to the good they )tad received, but were so much in earnest that they were willing to take this trouble, and bear this personal test. We are well aware that some of these names may prove worthless, but against this we have to set the fact that very many who received lasting blessing were, for some reason or other, not able to comply with these conditions. Those who attended the final meeting were urged to connect themselves with some congregation at once, and were asked to fill in a form stating what place of worship each wished to attend.
These papers have been conveyed to the clergymen and ministers concerned. (5.) Much attention has been drawn to the private study of God’s word.
Mr. Fullerton’s Bible-readings have been throughout well attended. The Berean Bible Union has gained already eight hundred and thirty members, and in several of the churches special meetings are arranged, which will practically be public or private Bible-readings. (6.) The prolonged stay of the evangelists in the town has been a very great advantage to the work. The first meeting was on April 10th; the last on July 26th; and the movement has gained momentum continually as it has gone round the districts in order. Our brethren came altogether unknown; now their names have become household words in the thickest parts of the population, and have been even made the occasion of good-tempered remarks in the local papers. The meetings during the last week at the Circus were crowded every night; and on the Sunday so intense and widespread was the desire to gain admittance that every inch of standingroom was packed an hour before the time announced for the beginning of the service; and an hour and a half after the doors had been closed the crowd outside reached across the street. All the Christian workers taking part in the Mission felt that the spiritual power realized in these closing meetings was far greater than in any that had gone before. The intense interest and overwhelming solemnity of the last evangelistic service will never be forgotten. We have reason to believe very many that night gave their hearts to Christ. The last public meeting was a united communion service at the Albert Hall, when nearly two thousand members of the various churches united to “show forth the Lord’s death”; the remaining space (a top gallery holding five hundred) being filled with spectators. The whole service was singularly impressive. Mr. Fullerton’s address on Cant. 1:4, “The King hath brought me into his chambers,” and Mr. Smith’s singing of “Rock of Ages,” were especially touching, winning the hearts of all. Many striking instances of direct personal blessing might be given if time allowed. Take one as a sample of scores. A man was seen leaving the Circus one night in great haste and under deep emotion. A good brother on the watch overtook him, and asked him if he would not stay to the end of the service. “No, I’ve had enough, I can stand it no longer,” was the answer. On further conversation our friend got a promise that the stranger would go with him to chapel the next Sunday morning if he called for him.
On Sunday morning the call was made, but the man was unwashed and unshaven at the appointed time, and had made up his mind not to go. “Never mind,” said our friend, “I’ll wait until you are ready.” No finally induced the man to go with him, and both arrived, of course, somewhat late. That man had not been to a place of worship for more than twenty years; but already he has taken a sitting, and has not missed a service. Such is the work as it has been carried on here. It will be cherished in the grateful memories of all who have taken part in it, and will remain a “savor of life unto life” in the experience of hundreds of backsliders who have been reclaimed, of careless who have been brought to conversion, and of penitents who have been led to Christ. Those who have seen and known most of what has been accomplished join most heartily in thanking God. that ever our brethren came to Sheffield, and in praying that such proofs of divine power may attend their ministrations wherever they may labor.
The cheque for £315 has since arrived. Our brethren’s arrangements for the opening of their London campaign are as follows: — Early this month they commence work at Mr. Cuff’s Tabernacle, at Shore-ditch; next they go to Mr. Sawday, at Pentonville, then to Mr. Stott, at St. John’s Wood, Mr. Charrington, at Mile End-road, Mr. Edgley, at Bow, and early next year they hope to visit our son at South-street, Greenwich, and then to come to us at the Tabernacle.
Mr. Burnham wishes us to say that he hopes to spend the whole of this month, as usual, among the hop-pickers. He specially asks all readers of the Magazine to look up “Brother Mayo’s excellent paper on the work in The Sword and the Trowel of last December by way of refreshing their memories with regard to the special claims of this work on their practical sympathy and prayers.” Mr. Burnham adds—” May I particularly call attention to Brother Mayo’s closing appeal for the loan of a horse and van for the mouth’? They would be well cared for and not over-worked, and would be a wonderful help to us in our open-air services in the surrounding villages. Some earnest Christian who has successfully garnered a good harvest may feel it on his heart to return his thankoffering in this practical way, and lend us his horse and van to assist in the grander spiritual harvest ‘“
— Various friends, who have not gone into the country or to the sea-side, have sent us word that they are working for the Bazaar for the Girls’ Orphanage. We suppose others are doing the same, and that; when the summer holidays are over all our friends will set to work in real earnest, At present we have not received such assurances of help as we looked for.
Friends, will you let this flag? Shall anything be allowed to drag heavily?
This work for orphan girls must be a labor of love, and be accomplished to a joyous song. Suffer it not to become a burden. For the sake of the orphans’ Father help us through with this.
The next quarterly collectors’ meeting will be held at the Orphanage, on Friday, September 30, when we shall be glad to receive all collecting boxes and books. Mr. Spurgeon hopes to be present; and to do his best to make an interesting and.’ happy meeting.
— The work of the association is being carried on as usual, but there are no new features of special interest, excepting that arrangements are pending for the appointment of a new colporteur in a fresh district, under the superintendence of Rev. J. E. Cracknell, of York Town, Surrey. Being holiday-time our funds come in slowly, and we need £250 to make the amount given to the General Fund equal to that of the same period in last year. As decrease in the General Fund means a contracting of the sinews of war, we trust our friends will rally to the help of the work once more, that at least the present amount of work may be continued, and if possible more new ground be broken up. The work is so good that we sigh over the indifference of so many to it. If it were a questionable experiment we should not marvel, but that its excellence should be admitted and yet that it should not be efficiently supported is a matter of lamentation to our heart. Surely the Lord will appear for his own work.
— A fisherman in Scotland sends us the following pleasing account of his conversion:—” I remember a colporteur coming to my mother’s house, and he asked me if I would buy a book. ‘ Yes,’ says I, ‘ if you have got any ballads,’ that is, Scotch songs. So he says to me, ‘If you give me a piece of fish I will give you something that will do you more good than ballads.’ I saw he desired my good, so I gave him half a codfish, and he gave me one of your sermons. The text was, ‘ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.’ (‘Sovereignty and Salvation,’ No. 60.) While reading that sermon the blessed Spirit of God enlightened my understanding, and I saw Jesus set before me as my Savior. Blessed hour! Happy day! Jesus washed my sins away.”
The Secretary of the China Inland Mission writes:— “This morning I received from one of our missionaries in China, a letter, from which the following is an extract: ‘ I just want to tell you one thing, which is the principal object I had in writing you this time. In China’s Millions, of December, I think it is, you mentioned at one of the farewell meetings held on behalf of Messrs. Cooper, Protheroe, and Thompson, that besides Cooper there was another in China (Hunnex, I presume,) who had been led to offer himself for the work through Mr. Spurgeon’s sermon, “The Divine Call for Missionaries” (No. 1,351). It was that “call” that led me to offer myself to the C. I. M.; previous to that I had thought(D.V.) of applying to the London Missionary Society; but that call gave me no rest nor peace of mind, till I had applied to the C. I. M., till I had read the Millions sent down for my perusal, till I had again applied, filled up the form, and gone to London. So there are three working in connection with the C. I. M. who were led to give themselves for work in China through Mr. Spurgeon’s sermon.’ “A minister from Tennessee recently bore the following personal testimony: Nine years ago I was a wild young man, but I was converted through reading one of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons, and I am now the minister of a large and influential church. The Lord’s name be magnified.”
One of our students recently received an application for baptism from a young Swiss lady, who gave this testimony: My parents were members of the Protestant Established Church in Switzerland; but though I attended the ordinances, and observed the ceremonies. I always felt that I was a hypocrite, for I never believed in them, but desired some-thing which I could not get in the church. When I came to England I read a sermon by Mr. Spurgeon, which did me good. John Ploughman’s Talk, though funny, was made a great blessing to me. I then bought his sermons, and read them, and I am now happy to say that I am trusting in Jesus. When I return home I shall distribute these sermons which have been so blessed to me.”
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle — July 21st, sixteen; August 1st, twenty-one; 4th, eighteen.
PASTORS COLLEGE, METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE STATEMENT OF RECEIPTS FROM JULY 15TH TO AUGUST 14TH, 1881.
Giver £ s. d C. S. Gzowski 0 8 Mr. P. VanAlstuie 2 0 Mr. Meggat 1 10 Mrs. Watson 2 0 Mr. R. Wilkinson 5 0 Miss Spliedt 2 0 A Friend, Belfast 0 10 Mr. S. Ormrod 0 12 Mr. Pratt 1 0 Mrs. De Kavanagh 0 2 Mr. A. H. Seard 0 5 Mr. A. Hall 0 5 A Thankoffering From the sea-side 0 10 W. Hill 1 1 Dr. Beilby 3 0 Miss Bailey 0 5 “A Friend in Scotland” 2 50 Mrs. E. Raybould 2 0 Collected by Miss Jephs 1 5 0 Lizzie 1 0 A Friend 10 0 Mr. and Mrs. Sutcliffe 1 0TOTAL— 156 9 Weekly Offerings at Met. Tab:— July 16 14 July 24 34 2 July 31. 35 6 August 7 30 6 August 14 40 0TOTAL — 217 3 4