THE SOUL-WINNER'S REWARD A PRAYER MEETING ADDRESS, BY C. H.SPURGEON.
ON my way to this meeting, I observed upon the notice-board of the police-station a striking placard, offering a large REWARD to any one who can discover and bring to justice the perpetrators of a great crime. No doubt our legislators know that the hope of a huge reward is the only motive which will have power with the comrades of assassins. The common informer earns so much scorn and hate that few can be induced to stand in his place, even when piles of gold are offered. It is a poor business at best.
It is far more pleasant to remember that there is a reward for bringing men to mercy, and that it is of a higher order than the premium for bringing men to justice; it is, moreover, much more within our reach, and that is a practical point worthy of our notice. We cannot all hunt down criminals, but we may all rescue the perishing. God be thanked that assassins and burglars are comparatively few, but sinners who need to be sought and saved swarm around us in every place. Here is scope for you all; and none need think himself shut out from the rewards which love bestows on all who do her service.
At the mention of the word REWARD, some will prick up their ears, and mutter "legality." Yet the reward we speak of is not of debt, but of grace; and it is enjoyed, not with the proud conceit of merit, but with the grateful delight of humility.
Other friends will whisper, "Is not this a low and mercenary motive?" We reply that it is as mercenary as the spirit of Moses, who "had respect unto the recompense of the reward." In this matter, all depends upon what the reward is; and if that happens to be the joy of doing good, the comfort of having glorified God, and the bliss of pleasing the Lord Jesus,—then the aspiration to be allowed to endeavor to save our fellow-men from going down into the pit is in itself a grace from the Lord; and if we did not succeed in it, yet the Lord would say of it, as He did of David's intent to build a temple, "It was well that it was in thine heart." Even if the souls we seek should all persist in unbelief if they all despise and reject and ridicule us, yet still it will be a divine work to have at least made the attempt. If there comes no rain out of the cloud, yet it has screened off the fierce heat of the sun; all is not lost even if the greater design be not accomplished.
What if we only learn how to join the Savior in His tears, and cry, "How often would I have gathered you, but ye would not!" It is sublimity itself to be allowed to stand on the same platform with Jesus, and weep with Him.
We are the better for such sorrows, if no others are.
But, thank God, our labors are not in vain in the Lord. I believe that the most of you, who have really tried, in the power of the Holy Spirit, by Scriptural teaching and by prayer, to bring others to Jesus, have been successful. I may be speaking to a few who have not succeeded; if so, I would recommend them to look steadily over their motive, their spirit, their work, and their prayer, and then begin again. Perhaps they may get to work more wisely, more believingly, more humbly, and more in the power of the Holy Spirit. They must act as farmers do who, after a poor harvest, plough again in hope. They ought not to he dispirited, but they ought to be aroused. We should be anxious to find out the reason of failure, if there be any, and we should be ready to learn from all our fellow-laborers; but we must steadfastly set our faces, if by any means we may save some, resolving that whatever happens we will leave no stone unturned to effect the salvation of those around us. How can we bear to go out of the world without sheaves to bear with us rejoicingly? I believe that the most of us who are now assembled to pray have been successful beyond our expectations. God has blessed us, not beyond our desires, but yet beyond our hopes. I have often been surprised at the mercy of God to myself. Poor sermons of mine, that I could cry over when I get home, have led scores to the cross; and, more wonderful still, words that I have spoken in ordinary conversation, mere chance sentences, as men call them, have nevertheless been as winged arrows from God, and have pierced men's hearts, and laid them wounded at Jesus' feet. I have often lifted up my hands in astonishment, and said, "How can God bless such a feeble instrumentality?"
This is the feeling of most who addict themselves to the blessed craft of fishing for men, and the desire of such success furnishes as pure a motive as could move an angel's heart, as pure, indeed, as that which swayed the Savior when, for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame. "Doth Job serve God for nought?" said Satan. If he could have answered the question in the affirmative, if it could have been proved that the perfect and upright man found no reward in his holy living, then Satan would have caviled at the justice of God, and urged men to renounce a service so unprofitable. Verily there is a reward to the righteous, and in the lofty pursuits of grace there are recompenses of infinite value. When we endeavor to lead men to God, we pursue a business far more profitable than the pearl-fisher's diving or the diamondhunter's searching. No pursuit of mortal men is to be compared with that of soul-winning. I know what I say when I bid you think of it as men think of entering the cabinet of the nation, or occupying a throne; it is a royal business, and they are true kings who follow it successfully.
The harvest of godly service is not yet: "we do with patience wait for it;" but we have earnests of our wage, refreshing pledges of that which is laid up in heaven for us. Partly, THIS REWARD LIES IN THE WORKITSELF.
Men go hunting and shooting for mere love of the sport; surely, in an infinitely higher sphere, we may hunt for men's souls for the pleasing indulgence of our benevolence. To some of us, it would be an unendurable misery to see men sink to hell, and to be making no effort for their salvation. It is a reward to us to have a vent for our inward fires. It is woe and weariness to us to be shut up from those sacred activities which aim at plucking fire-brands from the flame. We are in deep sympathy with our fellows, and feel that, in a measure, their sin is our sin, their peril our peril. If another lose the way, My feet also go astray; If another downward go, In my heart is also woe.
It is therefore a relief to set forth the gospel, that we may save ourselves from that sympathetic misery which echoes in our hearts the crash of soulruin.
Soul-winning is a service which brings great benefit to the individual who consecrates himself to it. The man who has watched for a soul, prayed for it, laid his plans for it, spoken with much trembling, and endeavored to make an impression, has been educating himself by the effort. Having been disappointed, he has cried to God more earnestly, has tried again, has looked up the promise to meet the case of the convicted one, has turned to that point of the divine character which seems most likely to encourage trembling faith,—he has in every step been benefiting himself. When he has gone over the old, old story of the cross to the weeping penitent, and has at last gripped the hand of one who could say,—"I do believe, I will believe, that Jesus died for me;" I say, he has had a reward in
THE PROCESS THROUGH WHICH HIS OWN MIND HASGONE. It has reminded him of his own lost estate; it has shown him the struggles that the Spirit had in bringing him to repentance; it has reminded him of that precious moment when he first looked to Jesus; and it has strengthened him in his firm confidence that Christ will save men. When we see Jesus save another, and see that marvelous transfiguration which passes over the face of the saved one, our own faith is greatly confirmed. Skeptics and modern-thought men have little to do with converts: those who labor for conversions believe in conversions; those who behold the processes of regeneration see a miracle wrought, and are certain that "this is the finger of God." It is the most blessed exercise for a soul, it is the divinest ennobling of the heart, to spend yourself in seeking to bring another to the dear Redeemer's feet. If it ended there, you might thank God that ever He called you to a service so comforting, so strengthening, so elevating, so confirming, as that of converting others from their evil ways.
Another precious recompense is found in
THE GRATITUDE AND AFFECTION OF THOSE YOU BRING TOCHRIST.
This is a choice boon,—the blessedness of joying in another's joy, the bliss of hearing that you have led a soul to Jesus. Measure the sweetness of this recompense by the bitterness of its opposite. Men of God have brought many to Jesus, and all things have gone well in the church till declining years or changing fashions have thrown the good man into the shade, and then the minister's own spiritual children have been eager to turn him out of doors. The unkindest cut of all has come from those who owed their souls to him. His heart was broken while he has sighed, "I could have borne it, had not the persons that I brought to the Savior have turned against me."
The pang is not unknown to me. I can never forget a certain household, in which the Lord gave me the great joy to bring four employers and several persons engaged by them to Jesus' feet. Snatched from the utmost carelessness of worldliness, these who had previously known nothing of the grace of God were joyful confessors of the faith. After a while, they imbibed certain opinions differing from ours, and from that moment some of them had nothing but hard words for me and my preaching. I had done my best to teach them all the truth I knew, and if they had found out more than I had discovered, they might at least have remembered where they learned the elements of the faith. It is years ago now, and I have never said as much as this before; but I feel the wound much. I only mention these sharp pricks to show how very sweet it is to have those about you whom you have brought to the Savior.
A mother feels great delight in her children, for an intense love comes with natural relationships; but there is a still deeper love connected with spiritual kinship, a love which lasts through life, and will continue in eternity, for even in heaven each servant of the Lord shall say, "Here am I, and the children whom Thou hast given me." They neither marry nor are given in marriage in the city of our God, but fatherhood and brotherhood in Christ shall still survive. Those sweet and blessed bonds which grace has formed continue for ever, and spiritual relationships are rather developed than dissolved by translation to the better land. If you are eager for real joy, such as you may think over and sleep upon, I am persuaded that no joy of growing wealthy, no joy of increasing knowledge, no joy of influence over your fellow-creatures, no joy of any other sort, can ever be compared with the rapture of saving a soul from death, and helping to restore our lost brethren to our great Father's house. Talk of ten thousand pounds reward!
It is nothing at all, one might easily spend that amount; but one cannot exhaust the unutterable delights which come from the gratitude of souls converted from the error of their ways.
But the richest reward lies in pleasing God, and causing the Redeemer to see of the travail of His soul. That Jesus should have His reward, is worthy of the Eternal Father; but it is marvelous that we should be employed by the Father to give to Christ the purchase of His agonies. This is a wonder of wonders! O my soul, this is an honor too great for thee! A bliss too deep for words! Listen, dear friends, and answer me. What would you give to cause a thrill of pleasure in the heart of the Well-beloved? Recollect the grief you cost Him, and the pangs that shot through Him that He might deliver you from your sin and its consequences; do you not long to make Him glad? When you bring others to His feet, you give Him joy, and no small joy either. Is not that a wonderful text,—"There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth"? What does that mean? Does it mean that the angels have joy? We generally read it so, but it is not the intent of the verse. It says, "There is joy in the presence of the angels of God,"—that is, joy in the heart of God, around whose throne the angels stand. It is a joy which angels delight to behold,—what is it? Is the blessed God capable of greater joy than His own boundless happiness?
Wondrous language this! The infinite bliss of God is more eminently displayed, if it cannot be increased. Can we be the instruments of this? Can we do anything which will make the Ever-blessed glad? Yes, for we are told that the great Father rejoices above measure when His prodigal son that was dead is alive again, and the lost one is found.
If I could say this as I ought to say it, it would make every Christian cry out, "Then I will labor to bring souls to the Savior;" and it would make those of us who have brought many to Jesus instant, in season and out of season, to bring more to Him. It is a great pleasure to be doing a kindness to an earthly friend, but to be doing something distinctly for Jesus, something which will be of all things in the world most pleasing to Him, is a great delight! It is a good work to build a meeting-house, and give it outright to the cause of God, if it is done with a right and proper motive; but one living stone, built upon the sure foundation by our instrumentality, will give the Master more pleasure than if we erected a vast pile of natural stones, which might only cumber the ground. Then go, dear friends, and seek to bring your children and your neighbors, your friends and your kinsfolk, to the Savior’s feet, for nothing will give him so much pleasure as to see them turn unto Him and live. By your love to Jesus, I beseech you, become fishers of men.
TWO MORE TABERNACLE PRAYER-MEETINGS.
evening, Oct. 9, Pastor C. H. Spurgeon occupied the chair, and before the meeting was over the area and first gallery of the Tabernacle were nearly filled. What a pleasure to see such numbers gathering to pray!
Hymn 281, commencing — “Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,” was sung, and the Pastor said that the cross was to furnish the key-note for the whole meeting. Prayers would be offered for a revival of the pure doctrine of the cross, for the exhibition of the pure life of cross-bearing, and for a revival of that earnestness and consecration which are the true outgrowth of the cross of Christ. One of the elders prayed, and especially pleaded for those workers for Jesus who were depressed because they did not see success attending their labors. This led the Pastor to mention an interesting incident, which is described more fully in this month’s “Personal Notes,” and to ask those who had derived benefit from the preaching of pastors or evangelists to encourage the preachers by telling them of the usefulness of their words. We still kept near the cross while we sang hymn 275 — “O sacred head, once wounded,” and also while prayer was presented by Mr. Mountain, the Secretary of the Tabernacle Sunday-school, and Elder Hill, whose supplications were steeped in a sweet sympathy with the crucified Lord.
Hymn 303 — “Once it was mine, the cup of wrath,” having been sung, the Pastor read the following requests for prayer: — One of the ministers educated in the College had arranged for an evangelizing brother to hold special services in his chapel, and desired that the work might be remembered at the throne of grace. Within about nine months he had lost twenty per cent. of his members, and most of the officers of his church, by removal, and he felt that he needed special help from above. Another friend wished for prayer for a youth who was undecided, and for himself that he might be guided aright in an important matter. These letters the Pastor asked Mr. Harrald to spread before the Lord, together with one from Suffolk which had been put into his hands.
Before praying, Mr. Harrald explained that on the previous day, while preaching at Bury St. Edmund’s, he had referred to a remarkable instance of the immediate answer of a mother’s prayers for one of her children. At the close of the service a good woman came to him, and asked him to join her in prayer for her son, the only unsaved one out of a family of thirteen.
Much sympathy was felt as the particulars of the case were made known, and many joined in the petition that the promise might be fulfilled in this instance as it has often been before, “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children.”
Meditating upon the cross, our thoughts had gradually mounted to the throne, so that the subject of the next hymn was “the glory of Christ in heaven,” No. 337 — “Oh the delights, the heavenly joys,” which was followed by a prayer from the Pastor, who pleaded that fresh glory might be brought to Christ by the salvation of sinners, and the fuller sanctification of saints. At its close, mention was made of the sore sickness of two beloved officers of the church, Deacons Higgs and Mills; and in the name of the whole assembly earnest supplication on their behalf was offered by one of their fellow-deacons, Mr. Allison. We then passed from our Lord in glory to the grand doctrine of his second coming and glorious reign, Hymn 353 — “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed,” was sung, and the Pastor delivered a short address upon certain matters that he had occasionally found troubling many of the Lord’s people. One of these was the difficulty that Christians experienced in their endeavors to be always thinking of God, and things divine. It was pointed out that it was quite possible to be really giving all our thoughts to God even while it was needful to think upon other things, just as a man making a journey for a friend has to consider his horse, and the road, and the inn, and yet in doing all this for his friend he is really thinking of him only. “Whether ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God,” is thus a command which may be obeyed. Some friends are a great deal troubled because they are not absolutely perfect, but these were assured that such perfection is not seen among men. The speaker declared that, of all the professedly perfect people whom he had met in his life, there had never been one who had a right to make such a profession, but they had all been most questionable persons; while amongst those whom he considered to be as nearly perfect as well could be, he had never found one who did not mourn over imperfection, and lament that he fell so far short of what he ought to be. All ought, however, to aspire after perfection, and to hate sin, and seek to destroy it. We are not to do as the Israelites did with the kings when they shut them up in the cave, but as Joshua did when he dragged them out, and hanged them up to die. Sin is not only to be imprisoned by self- denial, but to be executed through death with Christ. The Pastor then offered a few words of direction to those who seek the Savior. Prayer for the conversion of sinners was offered by Brethren Healy and Watkins; the Pastor pleaded for some sick friends who were believed to be near death, and for others whose cases had not been specially described; and so concluded another most hallowed season of fellowship with one another, and with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Eight brethren had spoken with the Lord on our behalf, five hymns had been sung, and several short addresses given, and the hour and a-half was gone, all too quickly. Monday evening, October 16, was the time set apart by the Sunday-school Union and other allied organizations for special universal prayer on behalf of Sabbath-school work. Additional interest was given to the meeting at the Tabernacle by the attendance of many Ragged-school teachers, who had been invited to listen to an address from Mr. Spurgeon. It was a very wet night, and consequently the gathering was smaller than usual. There were, however, several hundreds present, and as most of them were earnest Christian workers they probably made up in quality what they lacked in numbers. Pastor C. H. Spurgeon presided, and in opening the meeting explained the special object for which prayer would be presented.
Wesley’s joyous hymn, “Oh for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer’s praise!” was sung to a jubilant tune, and gave a happy key-note to the evening’s proceedings. Prayer was then presented by Elder Pearce, the Superintendent of the Tabernacle Sunday-school, and by Mr. John Kirk, the Secretary of the Ragged-school Union. As representative men they brought us into sympathy with the two classes of teachers present, and led us in supplication for the children committed to the care of their fellowlaborers.
We next sang the first and last verses of hymn 983 — “Met again in Jesu’s name,” and prayer was offered by the Pastor, and Mr. Wigney, the conductor of the separate services for children on Sunday mornings.
At the Pastor’s request Mr. Pearce then gave an account of the Tabernacle Sunday-school, in order that the friends present might understand the nature and extent of the work, and so pray the more intelligently for a blessing to rest upon it. He said that there were upon the books of the home school the names of about one thousand five hundred scholars, and one hundred and ten teachers and officers. After the teaching on Sunday mornings Mr. Wigney conducts a children’s service, and in the evening Mr. Waters has a similar meeting in the College. On Monday evenings, at the close of the prayer-meetings in the Tabernacle, the teachers assemble to plead for guidance and success in their work; Tuesday evenings are devoted to working-meetings, at which clothes are made for poor children, when there is not a Bazaar to be helped. On Wednesday evenings the Young Christians’ Association meets for the purpose of helping the young converts in Christian life. The school collects funds for the support of missionaries in China, India, and Africa, maintains a colporteur of its own, contributes to Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund, and carries on quite extensive home mission operations, and so does more than many regularly-organized churches. At the close of Mr. Pearce’s remarks the Pastor read the list of the schools connected with the Tabernacle, and Mr. Newman Hall’s church. In the schools connected with the Tabernacle there are about seven thousand children.
At this stage of the meeting Mr. Chamberlain sang that touching solo, “Show me thy face,” the rendering of which always brings us to a brighter vision of the face of our ever-blessed Lord. Where there are godly men with good voices, a holy song, psalm, or hymn, sung as a solo, greatly adds to the charm of the meeting.
Mr. Kirk then read the following kind letter explaining the absence of the noble and venerable Earl of Shaftesbury, who, had hoped to be at the meeting: 24, Grosvenor-square, W. “October 13th, 1882. “Dear Kirk, — If you have an opportunity, pray read this letter to the meeting to be held at Mr. Spurgeon’s Tabernacle on Monday, 16th. I am much grieved that I am unable to be present — my attendance at the Quarter Sessions for the County of Dorset is required on the following day; and it is an official duty that I cannot well set aside. I am grieved because there is no man in the country, whose opinion and support in such matters I prize more highly than those of my friend, Mr. Spurgeon. It would give me singular pleasure, after nearly forty years of work in the Ragged-school cause, to have the testimony and counsel of so valuable a man. Few men have preached so much, and so well; and few ever have combined so practically their words and their actions. I deeply admire and love him, because I do not believe that there lives anywhere a more sincere and simple servant of our blessed Lord.
Great talents have been rightly used; and, under God’s grace, have led to great issues. “Yours truly, “SHAFTESBURY.”
Speaking of the present position of Ragged-school work in London, Mr. Kirk stated that on Sundays two hundred and three afternoon or evening schools were held, at which thirty-six thousand seven hundred and thirtyfour children were taught by three thousand one hundred and fifty-seven volunteer teachers. On week-nights, about five thousand boys and girls above the School Board age are gathered into one hundred and fifty-five schools; nearly the same number meet in the day ragged-schools; while two thousand seven hundred and thirty-three are cared for in sixty-three industrial schools. Altogether it is calculated that at least three hundred thousand children have been taken off the streets of London through the agency of the Ragged-school Union.
In delivering the address that had been announced, the Pastor urged the necessity for the continuance of Sunday and Ragged-schools, because of the irreligion, poverty, wretchedness, sin, superstition, and evil literature that still remain to injure vast masses of the population of London. Instead of there being any cause for discouragement at the apparent results, it was pointed out that a great change for the better had been wrought in the moral habits of the people, and a large share of this was to be attributed to the influence of the teaching imparted to the young in Sunday and Raggedschools.
The teachers were, however, exhorted to improve the character of the instruction given to their scholars, to look after them during the week, and to make such entertainments as they prepared for the children subservient to the great end of the salvation of the children’s souls. In closing, the Pastor referred to what had been a mystery to him in his childish days, namely, the presence in a bottle of an apple much larger than the neck through which it must have passed. The riddle was solved when he saw a bottle in which was a very tiny apple still growing on the tree. So if we mean to secure the working men and women of London as attendants at the house of prayer, we must get them in while they are little, and one way of doing that will be to make our Sunday and Ragged-school teaching so bright and cheerful that the children will be attracted to Christ by the loving, winning, happy way in which his gospel is set before them as the one thing they need for the life that now is, and for that which is to come.
The time for departing having arrived, the Pastor offered a short petition; and so brought to a close a meeting which must have refreshed and benefited many weary workers. The plan of having prayer for some special part of church work is a ready method for securing interest and variety. On the following Monday the praying people heard about the Loan Tract Society, and then pleaded for a blessing on it; and on the next they had the Green Walk Mission before them, and, after being interested with its detaits, the godly were all the better able to invoke a blessing upon it.
Many a church would revive its prayer-meeting by this method. Alas! that any prayer-meeting should need reviving.
NOTES WE call attention to the series of handbills by our son Charles, of Greenwich. We have inserted a specimen that our friends may know what they are like. Our son has had a happy and useful time in the United States, and is now on his way home. During his absence the chapel in South-street has been renovated. It is impossible to enlarge the meeting-house, though increased accommodation is greatly needed.
We write this paragraph in France, to which we have gone for rest. Will our friends kindly know that we are not taking a holiday because we are ill, but to prevent illness? The mind was growing weary with all the care of many ministries, and it needed to lie fallow for awhile that better fruit might come of it by-and-by. One year we stayed at home, and then had some sixteen weeks of sickness: we believe it to be a truer economy of lifeforce to pull up in time, and refresh. Years are beginning to sow our hair with grey, loosen the teeth, and dim the eye, and we must with care obey the warnings of prudence, lest we aid in cutting short our own career below.
The editor has left home as free from care as well can be; for the large donations of Y. Z., and other items, place nearly every work in a good position as to finances for a few weeks, and after that the subscription season begins, when many friends of the more constant class send in their aid with loving regularity. The Lord himself has given to his servant this rest. To be concerned about money matters would be to lose the benefit sought by the vacation.
On Monday evening, October 23, the annual meeting of the
METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE LOAN TRACT SOCIETY was held in the Tabernacle in conjunction with the usual prayer-meeting, at which Pastor C. H. Spurgeon presided. From the report presented by Mr. G. Woods, the secretary, we learn that during the past year about four thousand families have been visited by the distributors, who every week leave the printed sermons as loan tracts; and that twenty-four cases of conversion have been reported, while many aged saints and invalids have been blessed through reading the sermons. The visitors found so many cases of poverty and distress in the houses where they called that they started a -Relief and Sick Fund, without which the leaving of a tract would have often seemed almost a mockery. A Mothers’ Meeting and Maternal Society have been for some time in operation, and under Miss Miller’s able leadership have contributed largely to the comfort and edification of the poor women in the district.
The balance-sheet was presented by Mr. Harrald, the treasurer, who reported that the year’s expenditure had been about £36, and the balance in hand was under £5. He also read the accounts of the Mothers’ Meeting, which was nearly £10 in debt, and of the Maternal Society, which had £3 in hand.
In referring to the various agencies that had grown out of the tractdistribution, the Pastor spoke of the many ways in which the people visited were likely to be benefited. The visitor’s call at the house, the opportunity afforded for personal testimony for Christ, the sermon left for those who pleased to read it, the invitation to children to attend the Sunday-school, and to parents to the worship of the sanctuary, the relief afforded to those in great need, and the temperance and evangelistic and mothers’ meetings all helped to exercise an influence for the permanent good of the neighborhood.
Just before the close of the meeting the Pastor mentioned the pleasing fact that the sons of Pastors T. W. Medhurst and C. Chambers, who had in years gone by been students, had been received into the College, and he called upon them to pray; and when they had done so he gave thanks for the fulfillment to Messrs. Medhurst and Chambers, and many other parent, of the promise, “Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children.” He then pleaded for increased blessings to rest upon all the ministers educated in the College, and upon the students now in the institution.
Many instances of conversion through the tracts left in the houses are known to the visitors, and some have come under the Pastor’s own notice.
The general report is that people say they are tired of tracts, but they will read the sermons.
On Monday evening, October 30, prayers of faith and works of love were again blended by the union of the regular prayer-meeting with the annual gathering of the workers connected with the GREEN WALK MISSION, Bermondsey. Mr. William Olney, jun., the leader of the mission, gave some interesting particulars of the success already achieved, and proved the sad and urgent necessity which exists for the continuance and extension of the work. Mr. William Olney, sen., and Mr. E. Crisp testified to the need of the new mission premises that are to be erected shortly, and the Pastor heartily commended the scheme to all present. We have a fine site in Bermondsey, and the plans are now ready for the building, of which we hope to give an engraving very speedily.
The following evening, Oct. 31, the annual meeting of the COLLEGE was held in the Tabernacle. The President, C. H. Spurgeon, presided, and spoke briefly of the history and work of the institution; the Vice-president, J.A. Spurgeon, read the list of brethren who have settled since the Conference; and addresses were delivered by Pastors W. Williams (Upton Chapel, Lambeth), and E. G. Everett (Dorking); Mr. C. Cole, who has been preaching at the Presbyterian Church, at Amsterdam, for the last eighteen months; and Mr. T. Perry, a student still in the College. Although the assemblage of friends was not quite as large as usual, the proceedings were of a very enthusiastic character, and the speeches of the brethren were most heartily received.
The second part of the program consisted of readings from “John Ploughman’s Pictures,” illustrated by dissolving-views photographed from life-models by Mr. York, Lancaster-road, Nottinghill, and exhibited, free of cost, by Mr. Oakley, 202, Grange-road, Bermondsey. At the close of the meeting “John Ploughman,” in the name of the whole church, spoke a few words of loving welcome to the junior pastor and his bride, and then on his own account said “good-bye,” and asked the prayers of all that his season of rest might be a time of blessing.
Special prayer was offered for the senior Pastor at the Communion on Nov . 5, which prayer has been already answered in a remarkable manner. Loving people find a joy in the outpouring of their heart for one who is very dear to them for his work’s sake.
— Mr. H. Trotman has accepted the pastorate of the church at Blisworth; Mr. R. J. Beecliff, late of Bradford, has gone to Castle Donington; Mr. W. L. Mayo, late of Chepstow, has settled at Bury, Lane.; Mr. E. S. Neale has removed from Exeter to Stanningley, Yorkshire; and Mr. Jesse Gibson, of Plattsville, Canada, has become pastor at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Mr. J. Wilkins, who went from Maidenhead to the United States, has returned to England in the hope of settling down on this side of the Atlantic. He is a brother worthy of the notice of any church seeking a pastor.
The Surrey and Middlesex Association having accepted our offer of help towards the support of an evangelist to labor in the two counties, Mr. Frank Russell has been selected for the work, for which we believe him to be eminently suited.
Our brethren continue to leave the old country to serve the Lord in the regions beyond the sea, and thus the College becomes increasingly a training-school for foreign missionaries. Mr. R. Wallace, whose health has not been very good for some time, has gone to Canada in the hope that in the bracing air of the Dominion he may be fitted for his life-work of preaching the gospel. Mr. J. S. Harrison, who, during his stay in England, has been greatly blessed of God in the winning of souls, has resolved to return to Australia by the S.S. Sorata, which leaves London on Nov. 30, ashe cannot keep in health in our changeable climate. We feel sure that many friends at the Antipodes will give him a warm welcome, and find him opportunities of exercising his gifts as an evangelist or pastor. Mr.M. Morris, who has won a high position in the esteem of his brethren during his twelve years’ labor in the north of England, sails from Glasgow on November 29, with his wife and family, in the S.S. Warrawcra, which is bound for Melbourne. We trust that some vacant church will speedily secure our brother’s service as pastor, and that the colonies will be all the better for every man from the College who goes out to labor for the Lord at the other side of the globe.
We are continually cheered by reports of our brethren’s progress in all quarters of the earth. Mr. C. Dallaston has sent us a photograph and description of the fine new “church” that he and his friends have erected at Christchurch, New Zealand. Dining his five-and-a-half years’ ministry there four hundred and twenty-seven persons have joined the church, and the congregations have increased so much that the new building, which will accommodate eight hundred persons, was greatly needed. Mr. J. Blaikie writes that he has quite recovered his strength since he landed in Australia.
He has accepted the pastorate of the church of which our late Brother Marsden was the pastor; at Kew, near Melbourne.
— Later reports of Messrs. Smith and Fullerton’s services at Bath are even more encouraging than those we published last mouth.
Mr. Baillie, the Pastor of Manvers-street Baptist Church, writes: “We are indeed grateful for the visit of these two brethren. Mr. Smith inspires our enthusiasm with his rousing music, and his buoyant confidence.
It is, indeed, a means of grace to see him, and to hear his remarks on Christianity in home-life. I had an opportunity of hearing him at the meeting for women last Wednesday afternoon, and I am sure his words were very refreshing to the hundreds of mothers who were gathered to listen. “The simple force and the striking pointedness of Mr. Fullerton’s gospel addresses make some of them quite models for regular ministers. I have heard him each evening, and I could pray so earnestly, ‘Lord, let that shaft strike!’ and many were praying in like manner. With such clear, simple, yet faithful preaching, backed up by earnest prayer, I was not surprised when I saw so many anxious souls at our after-meetings.”
Our brother Hamilton, who invited the Evangelists to Bath, writes just as hopefully; and Mr. Tarrant, the minister of Argyle Chapel, where Mr. Jay used to preach, gives similar testimony. He says: “They have left a sweet savor behind them in this city. Last night about one hundred and fifty of their converts met for thanksgiving and testimony. Very joyous was the assembly I believe among the results of their mission will be the elevation of the spiritual temperature, and the increase of unity in the churches.”
During the past month the Evangelists have been laboring at Gloucester, and this month they are to be at Hereford.
Mr. Burnham’s visit to Luton was blessed to the conversion of many souls, but his services at Collingham were even more greatly owned of God. The Primitive Methodists were holding special meetings at the same time, so Mr. Burnham united heartily with their Evangelist, and the result was that both churches were much profited. The whole village seems to have been stirred to an unusual extent by the public services, but many were met with and led to the Savior during Mr. Burnham’s house-to-house visitation. He says the Sunday’s work was the hardest and happiest he has ever had; and everyone seemed to regret that he could not remain longer. Mr. Burnham’s work in Knighton and Weston-super-Mare has also resulted in much blessing to many souls.
— We scarcely need to remind our friends that Christmas is coming, and that we always try to make the orphans more than usually merry at that festive season. We shall be glad, therefore, to receive the good things in which the little ones delight, or special contributions that we can lay out on their behalf without touching the general funds of the institution. The President expects to spend Christmas day at the Orphanage, but whether he is present or absent the children must not go short, so please help, kind people, as you have done in former years: only remember that we shall need more than ever this year, as our family has been so largely increased. Do not let the girls and boys go without their plum-pudding. Each little boy says, “Please remember Christmas, sir. It comes but once a year.” All moneys should be addressed to C.H. Spurgeon, Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood; other gifts to Mr. Charlesworth, Stockwell Orphanage, Clapham Road. A flood example. — A friend writes as follows: — “The president of a Bible-class consisting of fifty or sixty members has taken up the cause of the orphans, and has set his young men collecting for its funds. Having secured a collecting-book, it is supplied to each member of the class in turn for a period of one week, and there is a very laudable rivalry as to which shall secure the largest amount. The book, with the money collected, is brought in at each meeting, and the progress duly reported. At the end of the year it is proposed to call a meeting, and hand over the money to Mr. Spurgeon. The example is such a good one that I thought if it were mentioned in The Sword and the Trowel others might be led to initiate a similar movement, and thus augment the funds of the Institution.” [With the ever-increasing demand for the maintenance and education of our orphan family, we are thankful for every new method by which the sympathy and cooperation of our friends are manifested. — ED.] Here is another note just to hand with seventeen penny postage-stamps: — “ For Stockwell Orphanage, seventeen hasty tempers at a penny — 1s. 5d.
Dear at that rate.” If all “hasty tempers” were thus taxed, and the impost sent to us for the Orphanage, we should have a large income.
Several friends carried out the suggestion contained in John -Ploughman’s Almanack for November 1st, — The Orphans remember the first of November, and amongst others a postical friend sent a contribution with the following lines: — “I am asked to remember, this first of November, The case of the Orphan once more; I send my subscription to those in affliction, The same as I’ve sent it before.”
POOR MINISTERS’CLOTHING SOCIETY.
— Mrs. Evans desires us to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of one dozen jackets from “old stock.” Applications for clothing come in from poor ministers as numerously as ever, and contributions of money or material will still be acceptable. Surely there should be found an overflowing supply of raiment for the Lord’s own servants. What is “old stock” to many a draper would be new apparel for a poor family.
— Just as we were going in to a recent meeting at the Tabernacle, two gentlemen came up to speak to us, and one of them told us the following interesting narrative, tie said that at a certain place on the Amazon River there was a Liverpool Irishman who had committed a murder, for which he was condemned to death. Our informant stated that he visited the poor man in prison, and on one occasion he found him deeply penitent, and afterwards very happy. On inquiring what had brought about the change in his manner, he replied, “I have found mercy through the blood of Christ, through this,” holding up one of Spurgeon’s printed sermons. He was not executed, but is now living a truly godly life.
The morning after the meeting above mentioned, we received a note from Buenos Ayres, stating that the writer had derived great benefit from reading our sermons, and wished for information as to believers’ baptism.
He wanted to know whether God required him to give up his business, and come to England to be baptized, as he was not acquainted with any Baptists in Buenos Ayres. He was evidently quite prepared to make the sacrifice, if we could show it to be necessary. We informed him of a nearer place where he could obey his Master’s command. What a lesson this should teach to some Christians at home who allow slight obstacles to prevent them from obeying their Lord’s commands!
A letter signed “Pro Bono Publico” appeared in The Statesman and -Friend of -India, of September 7th, suggesting the desirability of “adopting the Australian custom of publishing Spurgeon’s Sermons as advertisements in newspapers as a counterblast against the injurious consequences of the visit of the Salvation Army to India.” In proof of his sincerity the writer enclosed the money to pay for the insertion of one of our sermons as an advertisement, and accordingly in the paper that contained his letter there appeared a full reprint of No. 1642, “Verily, verily.” Without expressing any opinion of the reason he assigns for his action, we heartily thank our unknown friend, and unite with him in the hope that others will follow the good example he has set them. The publication of the sermons in the Australian papers has produced very pleasing results. Oh, that like blessings may attend them in India!
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle: — October 26, twenty-three; October 30, sixteen; November 2, twenty-four.