THE THREE THENS OF ISAIAH’S TEMPLE VISION A PRAYER-MEETING ADDRESS, BY C. H. SPURGEON, OUR subject calls us to Isaiah 6:1-8, where we find a vision granted to the favored prophet Isaiah — a vision of so grand a character, and exercising so great an influence over its beholder, that he records the exact date of it, — “In the year that king Uzziah died.” Such transcendently glorious manifestations come not every day, and therefore it is well to note their occurrence with a red letter. Perhaps the date was better fixed on his memory by a thought of contrast: Judah’s king was dead, and then the prophet saw the living King sitting upon his throne. That dead king had intruded into the temple; but the eternal King reigns there, and fills the holy place with his train.
Let us read the passage — “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
THEN said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
THEN flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid d upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? THEN said I, Here am I; send me.” Our one point just now is to mark the three “THENS.” The prophet commenced his narrative by a note of time, and he makes his time-bell ring again and again — striking then, then,
The first “THEN” occurs thus: — the prophet was led to feel his own uncleanness, and the uncleanness of those among whom he dwelt. When was that? For it is important for us to feel the same conviction, and we may do so by the same means. Was it when he had been looking into his own heart, and seeing its dire deceitfulness, and the black streams of actual transgression which welled up from that inward fountain of depravity? He might certainly have said “Woe is me” if he had been looking there; but he was not doing so on this occasion. Had he been considering the law of God, had he observed how exceeding broad it is, how it touches the thoughts and intents of the heart, and condemns us because we do not meet its demands of perfect obedience? Assuredly if he had been looking into that pure and holy law he might have well bewailed his guilt, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Or had he been turning over the pages of memory, and noting his own shortcomings and the sins of his fellows? Had he noted his own failures in prayer, or in service, or in patience? Had he watched himself in private and in public, and did the record of the past bring a consciousness of sin upon him? If so, he might well enough have lamented before the Lord and cried, “Woe is me! for I am undone.” I might even say, had he been carrying out self-examination for a single day of his life, and had that day been the Sabbath, and had he been acting as the preacher, or had he been sitting under the most stirring ministry, and had he been at the holy feasts of the Lord, he might have found reason for confession. I will not judge all of my brethren, but I will make this confession for myself, that if I examine the best day I have ever spent, and the holiest hour I have ever lived, I can see even with my poor, weak eyes enough of sin in my holiest things to make me cry, “Woe is me! for I am undone.” The best sermon I have ever preached is a sure proof to me that my lips are unclean, for when I come to examine it with care I discover a thousand defects.
But none of these things are mentioned here as the occasion for his humbling cry. When was it, then, that he had such an overpowering sense of his own unworthiness, and of the sinfulness of the people among whom he dwelt? It was “THEN,” — when he had seen the Lord. He had been permitted in vision to gaze upon the great King upon his throne, he had seen him in his infinite sovereignty, he had beheld his glory filling the temple, till the house was filled with smoke to veil the matchless splendor; he had heard in vision those sinless beings the seraphim, using their lips to cry in ecstasy, “Holy, holy “; and he had carefully observed that when they drew near to the awful majesty they each one used a fourfold vail with which to cover himself, — “with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet.” Even they did not dare to look upon his glory, or stand before him without a covering. What with their cry of “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory,” and their lowly posture while adoring, the prophet was humbled by their reverence, and wondered how or in what language he should ever speak with God.
John in his gospel tells us that Isaiah saw the glory of God in the person of the Lord Jesus. The posts of the door moved and trembled at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth, under the stress of those adoring cries which rose from an innumerable company of angels, of whom the seraphim may be regarded as representatives. It was the sight of the thrice holy God which made the prophet say, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips.”
Oh, my dear brethren and sisters, if you have never seen God, if you have never had a faith’s view of him, you have not seen yourselves: you will never know how black you are till you have seen how bright he is; and inasmuch as you will never know all his brightness, so you will never know all your own blackness. Learn, however, this lesson, that for you to turn your face away from God in order to repent is a great mistake; it is a sight of God in Christ Jesus which will breed humiliation and lowly confession of sin. Dream not that you are to stay away from Christ till you sufficiently lament your sin; it is a grave error and a grievous folly, for nothing makes sin to appear so exceeding sinful as a view of the glory of God in Christ Jesus. No, your face must be towards your Father’s house, and you must hopefully resolve to arise and go to your Father, or you will never cry, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight.” Yes, and I will venture to say that the nearer the prodigal came to his father the more he repented; and when his face was hidden in his father’s bosom, and kiss after kiss saluted him, then his repentance was deepest of all. O poor hearts, if you cannot come to Christ with repentance, come to him for repentance. If you want to feel “Woe is me,” come and see the glory of Jesus and the holiness of the great God, and then will your knee bow and your heart tremble. There is no road to repentance so short and sure as to remember your God, and enter spiritually into his presence. “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up,” “THEN said I, Woe is me!”
Now, is there any man here that says, “I bare had intimate communion with God”? Brother, we will listen to your speech and judge of your pretensions. Did I hear you say, “I am a man that lives very near to God. I walk in the light as God is in the light, and enjoy a higher life than other Christians”? Brother, your speech is as sounding brass and as a tinkling cymbal, for no man who has come fresh from God ever speaks in tones of self-congratulation. What said Job? “Behold I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5,6). This was the experience of a perfect and an upright man, one that feared God and eschewed evil; and if you have really entered into communion with the Lord the same humble emotions will fill your breast.
No man has seen the Lord, high and lifted up, if he exalts himself. When we are favored to know the Lord we are humbled then, and not till then.
You see the man trembling: in himself unclean, and conscious of it, and surrounded by a people as unclean as himself, and it is while he stands in that condition that we meet with our second “THEN.” “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin is purged.” “Then,” that is, not when this man was full of joy and rejoicing, but when he said “Woe is me”; not when he was living in the sublimities of boastful self-consciousness, but when he was crying” I am undone;” “then flew one of the seraphims.” When he was consciously unfit, the Lord commissioned him; when he felt his uncleanness, when he owned the ruin of his nature and the sad estate of his people, then it was that the seraphic messenger touched him with the living altar coal.
Brethren, do you so much feel your sinfulness that you are afraid that the Lord will never use you in the conversion of sinners? I am glad of it. Are you conscious that your lips are not worthy to speak for the holy God?
Then I know you feel that if ever God should save a soul by you, he must have all the glory of it; you feel that it is a wonder of grace that you are saved yourself, and if ever others are saved through your means, you confess that it will be a miracle of divine power. In all this I rejoice, for your hour of acceptable service has begun. I have noted in my own experience that whenever I have been most blessed in the winning of souls, it has generally been just after I have endured a thorough stripping in my own heart, or when by soul trouble I have been brayed as in a mortar among wheat with a pestle till I seemed ground into dust. Trial has preceded triumph. A wider field has been opened to me by the breaking down of my hedges. I have shrunk into self-oblivion, and then the Lord has moved me to speak in a burning manner to his glory.
I remember a foolish person coming to me once after I had been preaching, and he said to me, “You said you were a sinner when you were preaching.”
I replied, “Yes, I did, and I meant it.” His answer was, “What right had you to preach if you are a sinner?” “Well,” I replied, “my right to preach lies in the Lord’s command, ‘Let him that heareth say, Come,’ but I think little of right, for I preach because I cannot help it, and I preach to sinners because I am a sinner myself, and feel a sympathy with them. If any man needs to be daily saved by Christ, I am that man, and therefore I delight to describe the salvation which is so dear to me. Sometimes, when I have been myself in bondage, I have preached in chains to men in chains, but made music with my fetters, by commending Christ when I could not have said a good word for myself.” Why, methinks that a man who has taken medicine and has recovered is the very man to extol it to others; yea, and if he still feels that in some measure the disease is upon him though its deadly power is taken away, and if he feels that every day be must drink the healing draught and wash in the healing bath, he is the very man continually to tell of the abiding power of that ever-precious heal-all which meets his case. Even when we walk in the light with God, still the precious blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, and still we declare from our own experience its gracious power.
My dear brethren and sisters, I want this to encourage you, if you feel unhappy in your work for the Lord. If you feel very much cast down, and are crying, “Woe is me!” do not, therefore, cease from your service. If you did not get on last Sunday, when you tried to preach, if you blunder every day with those unclean lips of yours, if you have been unsuccessful in working among the people with whom you dwell, or if you have not succeeded with the children in your class, or with your own children at home, now is the time to seek the blessing, now is the time to pray for it in hope. “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar.” The seraph does not come with live coals from off the altar to men of pure lips who never were undone, for such are exceedingly satisfied without altar coals; but when the chosen servant of the Lord is deeply conscious of his unworthiness, then shall the Lord inspire him from above. It is his delight to fill empty vessels, and to put his treasure into caskets which contain nothing of their own.
Very briefly let us now speak of the third “THEN.” “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Hear ye not to-night the voice which never ceases to cry in the church, “Whom shall I send. and who will go for us?” O that we may be ready to respond to it! Alas! we feel reluctant to answer, “Send me,” because we feel that we are undone, and our lips are unclean; but oh, beloved, if while sitting here the angel shall bring the live coal from off the altar, one of those coals wherewith our Great Sacrifice was consumed, and touch each lip with it, and say, “Lo, this hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin is purged,” then we shall leap to our feet and cry, “Here am I.” Knowing that we are now clean in the sight of God, through that altar which sanctifies all that it touches, we shall have all our fears removed, and then will grateful love burst out into the cry of fall surrender and complete consecration. “Here am I; send me.” Here is a man fall of leprosy, and there is a healing bath. Jehovah Rophi cries, “Who will go and publish the news of healing, sure and effectual?” He makes no answer because he is himself still full of disease; but the moment he has stepped in and perceives that he is cleansed, he shouts, “Eureka, I have found it,” and begins at once to publish the joyful tidings. He longs for opportunities to tell his story. He rests not day nor night, but incessantly publishes salvation. “Then I will teach the world thy ways; Sinners shall learn thy sovereign grace; I’ll lead them to my Savior’s blood, And they shall praise a pardoning God.” “Here am I; send me.” Who among you will say this in reference to missions abroad, or holy works at home? I expect to hear it come from those who love much because they have had much forgiven. The coal which purges will also fire your lip and burn the bonds which restrain your tongue. The love of Christ constraineth us. How can we be silent? The beam out of the roof and the timber from the wall would cry out against us if we did not witness for our Lord. Others may be able to be silent; as for us, we must cry out, “Here am I; send me.” I could most heartily wish that more of you deeply felt your unworthiness till it filled you with anguish, and that you felt anew the altar’s purifying flame, for then would you be fired with fervor and enthusiasm, and a great work would be done for my Lord. Fresh from a sense of sin, you would pity careless sinners; newly blessed with a sense of sacrificial cleansing, you would earnestly point men to the Savior, and the fire which kindled your life would communicate itself to many hearts.
These are the three “thens”: “then,” when I had seen God, I said, “I am undone”; “then,” when I felt I was undone, the seraph brought the burning coal and touched my lip; and when that lip was touched, and I was purged, “then” I said “Here am I; send me.” May this be a word in season to many, then will they be blessed, then will we rejoice together, and then will God be glorified.
BAPTISMIAL regeneration is one of the most baneful heresies contained within the covers of the Prayer Book. Subtle theological explanations or evasions are sometimes offered by theologians of this doctrine, but they are caviare to the multitude. It is our mournful and settled conviction that millions have been misled into the most fearful and hurtful superstition by the language of the baptismal service. There is no need to introduce the odium theologicum into the discussion of any abstract subject; but none the less do we submit that, in view of the practical heathenism which has resulted from the inculcation of this dogma, moral indignation is emphatically called for. Let any evangelical at least recall the spiritual condition of hundreds of English hamlets; let him ponder over the dim, dark notions of salvation and God which thousands of the peasantry cherish; let him multiply in imagination the picture which Tennyson draws in the “Northern Farmer,” until he has some faint conception of the widespread darkness which this teaching has produced, and if he is not angry with righteous wrath he will have reasonable ground to doubt the depth and sincerity of his own beliefs. This is not a doctrine which may be handed over to the transcendental region of spiritual metaphysics; it is eminently potent and practical, and, as we think, for little but evil. It behoves all lovers of the human race to fight a hocus pocus rite of this kind to the death, for it contains within it the essence of the narrowest sectarianism and schism. Baptismal regeneration tries to determine the eternal and primal fact of man’s divine sonship by what may be an accidental ceremonial; and by implication it leaves millions of the human race, for whom Christ died, starving in the cold of utter estrangement. The very statement of its essence, namely, that a child of God is made by the application of water in a Christian sacrament, is as shocking to the understanding as it is opposed both to the intuitions of the enlightened heart and to the broad purposes of the gospel. The intrinsic superstition of this doctrine is by itself a full justification of the stand made by Nonconformists in repudiating the Book of Common Prayer as an authority for Christian truth and teaching. — From Samuel Pearson’s “Assent and Dissent.”
AT last Nonconformists have gained the exercise of their right to bury their dead in the national grave-yards. The concession was so long in coming that there remained no room for grace in making it, and no opportunity for thankfulness in receiving it. That has been yielded which could not have been withheld, and this is the sum of the matter. However, the struggle is over, and we are grateful for it: one less cause of stumbling now remains among Christian men.
Our earnest desire is that in no instance may anything be said or done at the grave which would be unworthy of our principles, or contrary to Christian charity. We cannot enter the grave-yard with the tramp of victors, for our dead are with us and must be borne along at a more solemn pace. In the tombs of our brethren let us bury the past; let Englishmen sleep side by side upon the lap of earth, and in their sacred quiet rebuke the foolish fears which have hitherto divided every cemetery into two hostile camps.
Controversial subjects are out of place amid the chastening sorrows of bereavement: they may be wisely left for more seemly occasions. It would be wise on the part of every Dissenting minister to officiate in the churchyard exactly as he would have done in the plot of land near the meeting-house. Let him make no allusion to the parliamentary conflict, but act as though he felt himself at home in the enjoyment of what has always been his right. Let him seek the comfort of the mourners, the conversion of the careless, the edification of believers, the glory of God, and nothing else.
Here and there wild spirits will indulge in taunt and sneer, but we feel confident that from our brethren, as a whole, the clergy will receive nothing uncourteous or unkind. We would render this change so little unpleasant that our Episcopal brethren may desire greater ones. We are not Red Indians or Nihilists, and we can lay our deceased relatives in the tomb without wantonly insulting those from whom we differ, ay, and without causing them a single justifiable regret at our presence in their consecrated enclosure. Our hope is that the civilities of the grave-yard may lead on to courtesies, and these to intercourse and knowledge, and these again to esteem and Christian union; and these to happy times in which strifes between Christians shall be impossible. C. H.S. REVIEW OF OUR WORK When in the quiet of our sink room we read of such work as this which is recorded above, done in Australia in connection with our son and our students, our courage revives. The splendid generosities of the Gibson family, and others of our helpers in various parts of the world, are cheering evidences that the Lord knows how to provide for his own work. God bless these noble helpers, and make them partakers of our joy! All along the line we see wonderful progress, and work done which fills our soul with holy delight. We have enough success to fill the cup of a hundred servants of God to the brim, and yet we have not a drop which we could waste in self-glorying.
Bearing the banner onward before a great host we find hand, heart, and head all taxed to the utmost; sometimes, indeed, beyond their power of healthy endurance. What is it when the crippled leader lies prone in desperate pain, and absolute mental inability! Then, indeed, we cry out of the depths, and our voice is as of one in great agony.
At such times the shortness of funds and the failures of individuals become sources of worry. Of course, men will disappoint us, but faith in God will prevent our making too much of the occasional calamity. As for lack of money, the enemy hisses in the ear, “What will become of the College and the Colportage? They are not cared for by your friends as once they were, and one of these days you will find students and book-hawkers looking for their weekly moneys and none will be forthcoming!” Such a moment fell on us the other day, and forebodings fashioned themselves in horrible forms; but on a sudden we sat up in bed and laughed — fairly laughed. We saw springs rising in a desert. All around us we marked the smiling water leaping upward, and rippling to the music of silver bells. God’s resources are unfailing. He has never failed a believer, and he never will. How we reveled in the thought of sure supplies, which we knew were on the way!
They have not come yet, but they are on the road. Faith sings, “My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Therefore do we bless God for all things, and out of weakness we are made strong.
C. H. S.
STRANGE NOISES IN NEW HOUSES.
In entering a new house of the modern order it takes time to get acquainted with all its pipes for water and gas and sewage, and all its arrangements for working bells and bolts and ventilators. One is apt to be alarmed at the flow of water in a direction which is perfectly correct, and to be in trepidation because gas will not turn off where it was never meant to do so.
Many of the fears and tremblings of new beginners in the divine life spring from a similar cause. Everything is new to them; emotions and desires which are perfectly natural to their young life are quite surprising to them, and though calculated to give confidence to the instructed they arouse suspicions in new beginners. They don’t know the working of spiritual apparatus yet, and are confused and confounded by the simplest inward movements. They had better not be in too great a hurry to condemn themselves, but wait till they are more at home in the heavenly life, which is all plain to him that understandeth and safe to him that trusteth in the Lord.
C. H. S.
A JOURNEY TO MENTONE WITH MR.
SPURGEON BY JOSEPH W, HARRALD (CONCLUDED) JANUARY 12. — This morning three of our company took advantage of the continued bright weather (our diary notes that we have now had forty fine days in succession) to ascend to Castellare, a little city set on a hill. On our way up we passed Villa Mount Carmel, but saw neither the prophet Elijah nor any cloud even as large as a man’s hand. As we came in sight of the mountains that shut in Mentone on the north, we noticed that wherever there was a little spot unreached by the rays of the sun the snow that fell several weeks ago remained unmelted. So, thought we, is it with hearts unwarmed by the Sun of Righteousness, they continue cold, hard, and dead. — During our climb this morning we saw and heard more birds than we had done before since we left home. The merciless or mercenary sportsmen apparently cannot endure the sight or song of the sweet little creatures that are the charm of our English woodlands and forests. A writer who has spent several winters in the Riviera says: — “The poor little birds have a bad time of it in the South of France. Many a day have I felt grieved, when walking through the market, held until 11 a.m. in the town, at seeing robin-redbreasts, linnets, doves, pigeons, blackbirds, and thrushes all lying mingled with snipes, woodcocks, and pheasants, on the stalls.”
The only hope of their being preserved from extermination lies in their withdrawal to higher regions, and more secluded groves than those frequented by the man with the gun. This was the plan that the Lord adopted for himself, and recommended to his disciples when persecutors sought to destroy them. When the people of Nazareth would have cast him down headlong from the hill on which their city was built, he passed through the midst of them and went to Capernaum to do there the mighty works which he could not perform in his own country. Some of the early Christians would have been wiser if they had remembered the words of the Lord Jesus, “When they persecute you in this city, flee ye to another”; for some of them seem to have been so anxious to be enrolled in the noble army of martyrs that they did not exercise common prudence, and in certain instances went out of their way to court persecution. There are times when it is necessary for a Christian to stand like the brave, with his face to the foe, determined to die rather than fly: but it is well for him to recollect that it is one thing for him to be cast into the den of lions as Daniel was, and quite another to hunt up the old roaring lion or one of the lesser beasts of prey, and imitate the performer at the menagerie by putting his head inside the animal’s jaws. Being sent forth as sheep in the midst of wolves we are to be “wise as serpents” as well as “harmless as doves.” Jan. 13. — The weather to-day was illustrative of a frequent experience of the Lord’s people, for while a hot sun shone brightly overhead a piercingly keen wind was blowing all around us. How often do believers who are basking in the light of God’s countenance feel at the same moment the cutting blast of affliction or adversity, temptation or persecution! — In the afternoon we visited the quaint little town of Roquebrune, which, according to the local legend, was built on the top of the hill which now forms its most efficient rear-guard. but slipped down one night in a huge solid mass, the houses, churches, castle, gardens, and everything on “the brown rock” remaining intact, only some hundreds of feet lower down in the world. Like most other legends this needs to be taken with a good many grains of salt. — Over the door of one of the houses we observed a rough painting of the Virgin Mary with a serpent writhing under her heel, the substitution of the mother of Jesus for her divine Son and Lord being the result of the Romish version of Genesis 3:15, “She shall bruise thy head,” a version which, we are sorry to be informed, has long had the great weight of the British and Foreign Bible Society’s support in many Popish countries. We trust that this venerable society will yet see its way to refuse help to all but the purest versions. Why not? Jan. 14. — While waiting for friends outside Dr. Bennet’s garden this morning we picked up some crystals of peculiarly fine formation. One of them especially we wished to take home, but feared it would be too heavy; so Mr. Spurgeon suggested that we should weigh it in the scales which we had at the hotel, to see whether such an addition to our luggage would be permitted without extra charge. As these scales were only intended for letters not exceeding an ounce, and the stone weighed several pounds, they were of no use. This simple illustration reminded us that it is impossible to weigh infinity in our tiny thought-scales; it can only be done by him who hath “weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance,” whose “understanding is infinite.” Jan. 15. — Taking advantage of another “morning without clouds,” we drove to the little principality of Monaco, “the rock of joy,” name sadly suggestive to many of the joy they have lost through visiting the gamingtables, which enable the Grimaldi princeling to take rank side by side with the millionaires and monarchs of Europe. When we reached the plateau before the prince’s palace, we found that the mistral was blowing so fiercely that we were glad at once to return to a calmer and purer region. — On our way back, we noticed some terraces that, through neglect, were falling down, and so not only destroying the vines and fig-trees planted upon them, but also endangering the terraces above, which leaned for support upon them. It is thus, too, in the moral world; the effects of evil are cumulative. He who neglects salvation ruins others as well as himself.
Parents often inflict irreparable injury upon their children, as well as upon themselves, by their indifference or opposition to religion. Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, not only did evil in the sight of the Lord, but he also made Israel to sin by the idolatrous example which he set both for his subjects and his successors. Jan. 17. — Walking through the town this morning, we were deeply affected by the sight of the burden on the head of a poor Mentonese woman. She had been out gathering fuel for her fire, and was returning home bearing a bundle of withered vine branches. As we looked upon them we were reminded of our Savior’s solemn words,” and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned;” and we prayed, “Lord, cause us to abide in thee, and do thou abide in us; so shall we bring forth much fruit, and glorify the Father who is in heaven, and thus shall all men know that we are living branches, vitally united to the true Vine.”
Graceless professors, like fruitless vine-branches, are good for nothing but to be burned. Jan. 19. — Yesterday a fine breeze sprang up, and soon the paths of the sea seemed crowded with ships, though for several days previous not a sail had appeared upon the unruffled waters. This afternoon, however, dark clouds overspread the sky, and the wind became so boisterous that quite a little fleet of vessels ran for shelter to Mentone. Thus do sinners, when conscious of their danger, seek to enter the harbor of refuge for souls in distress. So long as all is fair or calm, they have no thought of fleeing to Christ; and some do not seek a shelter until the storm of divine wrath breaks upon them, and they find that they have waited until it is too late for them to escape. Others beside the Jews have realized the meaning of the Savior’s terrible prophecy, “Ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins.” It will be in vain to look for a hiding-place when the thunders of the day of judgment burst upon the guilty and unbelieving. — Some days elapsed before the ships above-mentioned were able to put to sea again, and their enforced idleness taught us that sometimes the truest progress will be secured by the observance of needful rest. If the vessels had left the harbor while the wind was unfavorable, they would have test time, and they might have been driven on the rocks, or sunk in the depths of the sea; and Christian workers and warriors will often gain more by standing still to see the salvation of the Lord than by starting on an enterprise when circumstances are inauspicious. When temptation is howling around us, like a raging storm, our safety will consist in lying within the harbor of refuge, trusting to our anchor to preserve us from drifting into danger.
Occasionally the sailor must go to sea in the teeth of the tempest; and there are times when the child of God must dash forward in spite of all opposition, or he will be counted unworthy of the name he bears. Doing this, he shall have the special presence of his Lord, and extraordinary grace shall be given to supply his unusual need while he sings — “Fearless of hell and ghastly death, I’d break through every foe; The wings of love, and arms of faith, Should bear me conqueror through.”
Jan. 21. — To-day our quiet retreat was disturbed by the noise of the young men who had been chosen by the conscription for military service.
They marched or drove about the town, beating drums, waving flags, and singing and shouting as though they were returning from victory, forgetting the old soldier’s caution, “Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.” After all, they had not much cause for glorying, for they had only attained to the dignity of becoming possible targets for an enemy’s bullets, or of being themselves participators in the wholesale slaughter of their fellow-creatures. Had we been liable to the conscription, we should have rejoiced if the lot had not fallen upon us: our happiness would have consisted in our being preserved from apprenticeship to “the gunpowder and glory business”; but the Mentonese conscripts were of another mind, they were even proud of the bonds with which they were bound, like those who are led captive by the devil at his will, who glory in their shame. Jan. 27. — The finest day during our stay in the sunny south was spent in driving to Castiglione, the mountain city of which we had a distant view from the top of Castellare. The ascent was so circuitous that at one time we could count no less than eight different roads, over which we had traveled As we saw the zigzag track by which we had reached the far-away town, we had a faint idea of the feeling we shall have when we arrive at the celestial city among the everlasting hills, and, looking back upon the devious windings and twistings of our pilgrim path, exclaim, “He hath led us by the right way to the city of habitation.” — The higher we ascended the purer and stronger did the air become; and, in the same way, the nearer we are to the summit of the mount of communion with God the sweeter and clearer is the atmosphere in which we walk. — From the wall of the old town we had a magnificent view of the snow-clad mountains of the Maritime Alps. Jan. 30. — This evening a telegram arrived from the deacons asking Mr. Spurgeon to delay his return for another week, as the weather was so dreadfully bad in England. Most providentially the Pastor was induced to consent to this proposal, for the last week in Mentone was a season of unbroken sunshine, while in our island home it proved to be the worst and last of the long winter, so that when we did come back there was little or no risk of another relapse. The change was so remarkable that we could only bless the Lord for so graciously caring for his servant, and bringing him once more to his loved work under such happy auspices. Jan. 31. — To-day we drove through Ventimiglia, and some distance up the valley of the river Roya, to view the wonderful rocks that rise, like a colossal fortress, some hundreds of feet above the level of the sea. The road had been so much mended that it was exceedingly difficult to travel over it, and reminded us of the way that the “modern thought” gentlemen have cut up the gospel track until it is scarcely possible for any poor sinner to travel over it to reach “the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” — While walking along the side of a little stream we discovered maiden-hair ferns and violets growing in rich profusion, although it was the last day of January. The violets betrayed their presence by their sweet perfume, just as Christians should make themselves known by the fragrance of their graces, and by their resemblance to the fairest flower in all the universe, the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the valleys. — Before we returned we went to inspect the village church. For some time we could not find an entrance, until, passing round to the back of the building, we saw a key hanging upon the door, and thus obtained admittance. We thought at once of Bunyan’s key of promise, which is as effectual for opening the gate of mercy as it was for unlocking the door of Doubting Castle. On coming away we hung up the key, so that those who came after us might find it, and let themselves in as we had done. This little church, so easily accessible to all who wished to enter, seemed to be an emblem of the Savior, and brought to our mind Dr. Bonar’s hymn commencing — “I heard the voice of Jesus say, ‘Come unto me and rest.’“ Sunday, Feb. 1. — This afternoon Mr. Spurgeon preached in the French Protestant Church to an audience almost as mixed in nationality as that which the apostles addressed on the day of Pentecost. In the evening we had a short service at the hotel, for the purpose of bidding farewell to our friends who had to leave for England on the morrow. We had hoped to have accompanied them, but under all the circumstances we were well content to wait a little longer ere we took our long journey. Feb. 4. — While we were sweltering in the heat the news came from home that our dear ones there were pinched with frost and enveloped in fog. We could sympathize with them, for in days gone by we had experienced the inconvenience and discomfort; but the Mentonese could understand very little of what our friends were enduring, for their sunny shores are seldom visited by fogs and frosts. Just so, Christians cannot sympathize with their fellow-believers in their trials and temptations unless they have themselves felt the same. This is the glory of our sympathizing Lord that “in all things it be-bored him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” — We were amused at some of the newspaper notices and letters concerning the fog.
One correspondent suggested that people should light their lamps in the day-time, and leave their blinds up, so that the poor wayfarers in the streets might not be altogether lost. This would be a new and very useful way of letting our light shine before men; perhaps some people will try it when the fogs come on again. — Some one described an incident which we commend to the notice of all Christians who think their talents and opportunities are so small that they cannot do anything for Jesus. A gentleman was standing close to Hyde Park afraid to venture across it to his usual place of business, and asked aloud if anyone could lead him to the spot to which he wanted to go. “Oh, yes,” said a blind man, “I can, and I shall be pleased to do it. The fog makes no difference to me, I can see as well to-day as when all is bright and clear; come along with me, and I will take you across in safety.” If a blind man can lead one who can see, surely there is not one child of God too weak to be of service to others who just need the help be can give. Feb. 5. — Dr. Bennet gave us this morning a good illustration of the need of a pilot to those who are sailing over life’s stormy sea, hoping to reach the port of eternal glory. During the Crimean war a French troop-ship sailed from Toulon with twelve hundred men on board, but without a pilot.
In trying to pass through the Straits of Bonifacio the vessel ran aground, but not a life was lost. There are strong currents running in these straits, and at various points the wind at times sweeps down- with great force, and unless the captain knows the track very well, or has a pilot who can tell him where to seek shelter, he is almost certain to get into difficulties. The men who had been wrecked were taken back to Toulon, and a month afterwards another large vessel was fitted out and sailed, this time with fifteen hundred men, but the captain was foolish enough to go again without a pilot; and the result was that just at the spot where the former ship was lest this one struck, and went to pieces, and not a man was saved. — After this recital Mr. Spurgeon, Dr. Hanna (the Scotch Free Church Bishop, whom we were privileged to hear most Sunday mornings during our stay abroad), Dr. Irving (Secretary of the American Presbyterian Board of Missions), and three other friends took a pilot, and went by sea to pay a farewell visit to Mr. Hanbury’s wonderful garden and palace. Two of us preferred to go “afoot,” as Paul went from Troas to Assos. Before we started we were told that if we kept close by the shore we should find the old Roman road very pleasant and comfortable, although some of our informants were a little in doubt as to whether it would take us all the way that we wanted to go. It certainly was a good hard road for a short distance, but soon the track was more fitted for the feet of wild goats than for human beings, however clear their heads or steady their nerves; and further on the only path was up in the air or down the face of a precipice, the first sight of which was quite enough for us. As speedily as possible we retraced our steps, and clambered up over rocks, stones, bushes, and other obstacles until we reached the high road near the cross to which we have several times referred. Our experience taught us that in other things beside religion, “the old Roman road” is a very dangerous one, and that the best path for all to take is the King’s highway, which leads those who tread it past the Cross to the heavenly paradise and palace whither they are bound.
In a company which comprised the son-in-law of Dr. Chalmers, a learned American doctor of divinity, and the Editor of this magazine, it will be readily believed that words of wit and wisdom flowed as freely as water from a mountain spring. As, however, there was no “chiel present taken’ notes,” the record of the day’s proceedings cannot be “prented;” but we must find room for Dr. Hanna’s story of the good old lady who on her death-bed was asked, “What would you say, if after all God has done for you, he should let you drop into hell?” “E’en as he likes,” was the reply, “but if he does, he’ll lose mair than I’ll do,” meaning that he would lose the glory of his name by the failure of his word. — Just outside Mr. Hanbury’s garden we saw some specimens of the Bombyx Processionalis, or processional caterpillar, a most destructive little creature. The moth deposits its eggs on branches of fir, lime, or other trees, and when they are hatched, the caterpillars spin a cobweb nest, in which they can live during the day in safety from their feathered foes. At night they sally forth and attack the defenseless tree which has afforded them shelter, and unless their depredations are discovered in time, soon destroy it. When they have done all the harm they can, or have been disturbed, they move off in procession to another spot, where they repeat the same process of nest-building and tree-devouring. As soon as they are detected, the branch on which they have settled should be cut off and burned, and in doing this care must be taken not to handle the caterpillars, or the fine, sharp hairs which cover their bodies will cause much pain and irritation. The sharp measures necessary for the saving of trees assailed by these insects remind us of the command of our loving Lord to cut off the offending hand or foot lest it should cause the ruin of the whole body and soul for ever. Feb. 6. — To-day we again visited the Gorbio Valley, but did not repeat our Christmas-day experience, for the day was long as well as bright. Close by where we halted for lunch, a man was ploughing a little plot of ground, a few feet wide and a dozen yards long, with a couple of oxen. As we looked upon the heavy burdens upon their shoulders we felt that their owner could not say as our Master did, “My yoke is easy;” and we realized something of the meaning of the passage, “I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.” We saw also what Paul meant by the expression, “true yoke-fellow,” and the command, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” When oxen are yokefellows, they must be thoroughly of one mind, they must take equal steps, they must work together and rest together, they must share their burdens, and in all things sympathize with one another. — On our way back we noticed a house that was intended to be painted blue, but the artist evidently had not color enough to complete it as he commenced. At the bottom it was a dark indigo, in the middle it was azure, and the top was like diluted London milk, thus resembling some professors who lay on religious coloring very thickly at first, but gradually weaken it until they appear in their own naked ugliness True Christians “grow in grace”; and “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Sunday, Feb. 8. — This afternoon we had some difficulty in finding a convenient resting-place near at hand, although we need not have troubled ourselves at all about the matter, for close by was a beautiful garden, which the kind owner had placed at Mr. Spurgeon’s disposal whenever he chose to make use of it, and nearer still was a pleasant olive-garden belonging to the hotel, where we might have gone every day if we had liked, but which we had never entered until this afternoon, being thus a type of those Christians who do not live up to their full privileges as believers until they are about to depart to their distant home. — Our farewell communion service was attended by twenty-five brethren and sisters in Christ. It was good to be there. Feb. 9. — A little before noon we started on our long journey home. For several hours we had the pleasure of passing by daylight through the fine country which we had before traversed, much to our regret, in the dark.
We now saw what delightful scenery we had missed, and were glad that we had another opportunity of admiring its loveliness. A pleasant ride brought us to Antibes, which we have since learned was the scene of a terrible railway accident eight years ago, because “in the darkness of the evening the danger signals were disregarded by the engine-drover. How many souls are lost through disregard of the danger-signals held forth by the Lord’s servants, and by God himself in his word! — On a hill close by stands the Hermit’s Chapel, which will always be associated in our mind with a saying of Frere Richard, the old monk in charge of the place, — “I would go anywhere to build organs for the glory of God.” What a grand sentiment, if it were always connected with a worthy object! “I would go anywhere to glorify God.” — Near Cannes we had a magnificent view of the islands of Marguerite and Honorat, the latter being named after the holy man who founded a celebrated monastery there. In this school of the priests, St.
Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, was trained, and according to tradition the patron saint of the Emerald Isle learned amongst other things from good St. Honorat the art of banishing serpents, vipers, and other noxious reptiles from his adopted country. Would to God that all viperous spirits could be banished from the island which our Hibernian friends still claim to be the “First flower of the earth, First gem of the sea” Two inscriptions in the abbey are worth preserving. In the lavatory, upon a marble slab, in Latin, is the following: — “O Christ, let thy right hand, which cleanses inside and outside, cleanse within what this water cannot cleanse.” In the monks’ refectory is this modern but model motto: — “Leave all for God, And you will find all in God.” At Frejus we were greatly interested in the Roman remains, which carried our thoughts back to the days of the early Christians, some of whom may have been martyred in the amphitheater, of which only the ruins are now to be found, while the faith for which they died is daily winning its way among all nations under heaven. — For a considerable time we rode along through the Esterel mountains, whose red porphyritic rocks and brilliant green pine forests were a charming contrast to the somber silvery olives with which we had become so familiar and friendly. At one time these Esterelles formed an almost impenetrable lurking-place for the escaped convicts from Toulon, and other evil-doers from the neighboring country, but all that has been changed since Stephenson’s iron horse found its way into this region. — While we have been writing our steed has been rushing along, and here we are at the end of the first stage of our journey, Marseilles. Since we were here before we have met with an illustration of the old saying, “‘Tis better to bear the ills we have than fly to others that we know not of.” Here it is — “The unpleasantness of the harbor of Marseilles is well known, but it may not be as well known that this very ill odor of the waters prevents a great danger to the shipping which has escaped the perils of the Mediterranean. Some fifty years ago an effort was made to purify the waters of this port; and the Marseillais delighted in the fragrant sea-odor, so unwonted and strange to them. Alas! ere long swarthy sea-captains began to perceive that the hulls of their ships were being perforated by thousands of sea-worms, whose ravages the foul water had kept at a distance; and the danger to the vessels lying in the port became so great that at last the purification of the harbor had to cease, and the foul waters returned to taint the atmosphere, but to banish the destroying worms.” Feb. 9 — 11. — Our long story is nearly at an end. When we left Marseilles the last trace of daylight had disappeared, so we had to occupy ourselves as best we could by the light of the carriage lamps until we turned in for the night. The temperature of our sleeping-car taught us another lesson. Our friends who returned a week before we did wrote that, notwithstanding the large fire which was kept up all night, the cold was so intense that ice was formed on the windows. The attendant did not seem at all conscious that a great change had taken place in the weather, and as a consequence he heated the air to such a degree that Mr. Spurgeon was scarcely able to breathe. It is just thus with some who are supposed to minister to our comfort spiritually, they have zeal without discretion, they take no thought of changing circumstances, they pile on their elocutionary fuel until we are almost roasted alive, when we ought to be calmly resting, or else they go to the other extreme, and because somebody wanted a window open on a hot summer’s day, they let out the fires and fling wide the doors in the middle of a winter’s night. “To everything there is a season.” — When we reached Paris at ten the next morning, it was so fine that we did not stay as we had intended, but crossed the city, and pushed on at once to Boulogne. After a good night’s rest there, our usual experience in crossing the channel, and a quick run from Folkestone to London, we arrived at home greatly benefited by our three months’ experience as traveling companion to our beloved Pastor and President.
NOTES THE Editor has been haunted by the fear that no magazine could be prepared for October, for he has been racked with pain, and mentally unable to attend to any duties requiring thought. Seizing little intervals of comparative ease, page by page the work has been done in a broken sort of way. Friends must be pleased to overlook blunders and shortcomings, having compassion on their willing servant whose utter incapacity has been his deepest grief. Oh, for power to pursue our work: Troops of orphans, students, colporteurs, and evangelists seem to march through our poor brain both sleeping and waking. All must be left with the Lord. Where could they be better?
Heartily do we welcome the Baptist Union to spend its autumnal session in London. May the Lord be in the midst of all its assemblies. The first engagement of the Union is to visit the Stockwell Orphanage. It was most kind of the Committee so to arrange. On Monday afternoon, Oct. 4, at 2:30, Mr. George Palmer, M.P., will lay the memorial stone of the Reading House of the Girls’ Orphan. age. The town of Reading has led the way in constant kindness to the Orphanage. At one time it gets up a bazaar, and year after year it gives the children a fete. The pastor of King’s-Road vies with his leading helpers in aiding us, and the great firms of the town, such as Palmer and Sutton, are equally hearty in the cause of the orphan.
Our beloved brother, Mr. Hugh Stowell Brown, is at the same time to inaugurate the Liverpool House. By his means Liverpool has done grandly for us. We hardly think Mr. Brown would like us to tell what big, brotherly, whole-hearted deeds he has done for us. He has acted magnanimously. God bless him! Bless him in resting as well as in working.
It was meet that he should in some way or other be manifestly linked with this work, since in the most quiet, unostentatious manner he has always done more than his share of it.
Now that our Baptist brethren are corning to the Orphanage, will they please note that the money given to the Boys’ Orphanage by the denomination has procured shelter for 21 ministers’ sons, and it may be worth their consideration whether some such interest might not be wisely secured in the Girls’ Orphanage. At any rate, beloved brethren, you are expected at the Orphanage with great delight, and though the sick President may be denied the joy of seeing you, his heart will be crying, “Welcome, welcome!” Oh that the good Physician’s hand may give us back our limbs again, free from anguish and weakness, and then we shall weep for joy at the sight of the rising wails of the Girls’ Orphanage.
All goes well at Stockwell. Never so many children in residence before; never better in health.
THE BOOK FUND.
— We hope that the quiet, but eminently useful, work carried on by Mrs. Spurgeon is not forgotten by our friends. The bookneeding minister is always writing, and book-parcels are always going out; but friends have been sea-siding and continental-tripping, or hay-making and harvesting, and so Book-funds and. other good things have not been remembered. When they are all home again friends will say, “Let us see how that admirable Book-fund is getting on.” The needs of ministers in other matters besides books have pressed heavily just lately on our beloved wife, whose personal afflictions have made her tender for the trials of others.
On Friday evening, Sept. 3, the Annual Meeting of THE GREEN WALK MISSION was held in the Tabernacle Lecture-Hall. A letter from the pastor was read regretting that an attack of rheumatism kept him away. Earnest prayer was made for his speedy recovery. In his absence Mr. William Olney presided. A report of the last twelve months’ work was read. The following is a short summary of it: — The year has been one of much spiritual blessing. It has been the exception to hold a service at which some new case of the Spirit’s work has not been discovered. The particulars of from forty to fifty persons, who have seen the president of the mission as inquirers have been recorded. Many other hopeful cases are known to other workers. Most of these persons have joined the church at the Tabernacle. Several of the sons and daughters of the workers have professed faith in Christ. The report recited a week’s work in the mission, consisting of Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evening services in the Concert Hall, Green Walk; and gave particulars of the Sunday-school, Mothers’ Meeting, Tract Society, Open-air Services, Dorcas and Benevolent Societies, etc. It mentioned the encouraging attendances both indoors and out. The people help in supporting the work, and the weekly offering is well sustained. Our admirable fellow-worker, Mr. W. Olney, jun., conducts this work splendidly. The great want is a fit place to meet in.
In Bermondsey there are hundreds of thousands who never enter a place of worship, and are altogether untouched by religious agencies, This brother and his workers can touch them, and could move them if he had a place whereon to plant his lever. Christian merchants of Bermondsey, will you let the people perish in utter heathenism? If you cannot preach, can you not provide a large, plain building for those who can preach?
On Friday evening, September 17, the annual meeting of our home
EVANGELIST’ASSOCIATION was held in the Tabernacle Lecture-hall. We had hoped to have presided, but the return of our illness prevented us, and our place was ably supplied by our good friend and deacon, Mr. Murrell.
We are informed that the meeting was the largest the Association has held, and that it was very successful in every respect. Mr. Elvin, the energetic secretary, reported that during the year 1448 services had been conducted by members of the Association on the Lord’s day, and 1135 on weeknights, or a total of 2583, whereas last year the number was 1767, and in 1878 it was 1084. These figures show that the Association is getting a largo share of the confidence of the churches of the metropolis, and supplying a great need. There are 118 speakers and singers, more or less engaged in this work, and they have spoken or sung 3448 times since the last annual meeting. The total cost of all this good work has been £ 141 6s. 2 1/2d., towards which, with the help of various friends, we have contributed £100. As the work continues to grow it is very necessary that the income should increase in the same proportion. Donations may be sent to Mr. G. E. Elvin, 30, Surrey Square, Walworth, S.E. We cannot imagine an agency which does more gospel preaching in proportion to its expenditure, and we are pleased to bear witness that it is no uncertain doctrine which is taught, nor is it proclaimed by cold hearts. We rejoice in this Society, and shall always be glad. to help it personally, and to be the channel for the help of others.
— During the past month Mr. T. Whiteside has been accepted by the committee of the Home Mission for work in Athlone, and Mr.H. Wallace, for St. Heifer’s, Jersey. Mr. J. Scilley is going to Coleraine; Mr. W. Gillard to Appledore, Devon; Mr. G. H. Kemp to Alford, Lincolnshire; and Mr. W. Thorn to Loose, Maidstone.
Mr. H. E. Stone is removing from Arthur Street, Gray’s Inn Road, to the Nottingham “Tabernacle,” and our earnest prayer is that he may prove a great blessing to that town; Mr. W. Hobbs from Norwood New Town to Hamilton Road, Lower Norwood; Mr. G. D. Cox from Sittingbourne to Melton Mowbray; Mr. R. Herries from Consett to S. Shields; Mr. J.J. Irving, formerly of Swadlincote, has settled at Maidenhead; Mr. J. Foster, late of Wick, at Waterbeach; and Mr. H. W. Taylor, late of Redruth, at St.
Mr. F. A. Holzhausen, of New Basford, has sailed for Canada; and Mr.N. Rogers, late of Stratton, has become pastor at Jamestown, S. Australia.
Mr. A. J. Clarke, of West Melbourne, continues to send us good tidings.
He has baptized 69 persons, and has received 87 into the church since he arrived; and his chapel is about to be enlarged so as to seat 950 people. As we should expect with such a pastor, all kinds of evangelistic work are prosecuted with great vigor. He also reports well of Brn. Bunning at Geelong, Marsden at Kew, Clark at Ballarat, and Garrett at Brighton, all of whom are having much success in winning souls. Our son Thomas was at Melbourne on July 18, when the Town Hall was crowded, and Mr. Clarke says, “hundreds could not gain admission.” Sad news from Jamaica. — Our readers will have seen from the denominational and other papers accounts of the terrible hurricane which recently swept over a great part of Jamaica. Many of the stations of the Baptist Missionary Society have suffered most severely, and amongst others Mount Hermon, where our Bro. J. J. Kendon and his newly-married wife were on the eventful night of Aug. 18. We have received the following letter, which will speak for itself: — “It was a hurricane of more than usual violence. Our dwelling at Mount Hermen was a part of the chapel partitioned off. I did not for a moment think the storm would last as long or rage as violently as it did; and accordingly went down often into the chapel to fasten up windows, doors, etc. I did not advise Mrs. Kendon to dress (she had gone to bed early, as the day was so dull and gloomy), but she got up and put on a thin dress, thinking all would soon be over. Daring the evening two of our servants were driven into our dwelling. The out-houses were wet through, and had fallen down on one of them. The storm continued to increase, so, not knowing how soon the ceiling would be down, I delayed no longer, but, taking Mrs. K. by the hand, went forth, not knowing whither I went. The wretchedness of that hour pen cannot describer We went through sleet and wind to an under part of the dwelling, between two massive walls. I found there two young men, terror-stricken. They cried, ‘Massa, pity us’. Lord, save us! with such earnestness as they had never manifested before. All round was open, we could see the lightning, and feel the wind. I expected every moment some flying splinter would strike us, and to go out into the open was, I knew, sure destruction. After some time we heard shouts, ‘Minister, minister, where are you?’ and, between the gusts, we went forth through pools of water and long wet grass to a little house four feet square, strong and compact, and into that we gathered for shelter. I was surprised at the calmness I felt then — no fear. We sang, with trembling, quivering voices, ‘Safe in the arms of Jesus.’ That has grown common and stale in English ears, but let them once view a hurricane of that nature, let them sit on a cold, wet bench, with garments dripping wet and feet clad only by thin slippers filled with water, let them hear the snapping of boughs, the roar of thunder, the crash of stones falling and rolling all around, and then the reality of faith will be seen. Old-fashioned hymns will have a fresh halo, and become doubly precious. For five hours we could not move. I was tolerably well protected, but Mrs. K. was badly off. At last daylight came; never more eagerly desired and welcomed. I went round the premises, and found the chapel destroyed, two walls down, the roof shattered, pulpit smashed. A part of the house (a lean-to) was standing, but filled with sand and plaster and water; we cleared these out, lit fires, dried clothes, and thus began as well as we could to throw off the ill effects of such a night. Three of our members were buried in the ruins of their houses and killed, and I hear on every side accounts of houses by scores demolished, and families rendered homeless. All provisions are destroyed, and without immediate help many must starve. England must come to our help. I shall take a list of all our people who have houses down, and I think from report they will number one out of every five or six. To-day our service was exceedingly solemn and impressive, we began and ended with the doxology. The people are ruined. It will be years before they reach the state of comfort of former times. England never knows such scenes. She should show her gratitude by helping those who do suffer thus, and this I trust she will do. Pray for us that we may bear patiently the heated furnace.
From yours in gospel bonds, “J. J.KENDON.”
Our brother, Carey B. Berry, who is over in England for the benefit of his health, also informs us that three of the chapels connected with his station, — Sligo-ville, Passage Fort, and Kitson Town — have been completely destroyed: and Mr. James Tilley, a former member of the Tabernacle church, writes that his chapel and house at Oberlin are in ruins.
We shall be very glad to receive contributions for either of our brethren who have suffered in this terrible time of visitation. The calamity is of sufficient dimensions to call for a national subscription, but meanwhile we ought to be helping at once cases which are so well I known and so closely bound to us as these are.
— Messrs. Smith and Fullerton’s services at Galashiels have been a great success, the whole town seems to have been moved, and many were led to decision. Just in the midst of the meetings unusual solemnity was given to the services by the arrival of tidings of the death of the absent Pastor, Brother Chas. Hill, who had gone to Saltcoats for the benefit of his health, but was suddenly called home to be for ever with the Lord. We are greatly grieved to add that he leaves a widow and five children unprovided for. What is to be done? The Orphanage can no doubt find a home for a boy, but much more is wanted. What painful want comes before us, and when our best is done how much sorrow remains!
Our Evangelists have since visited Sel-kirk, Dunoon, and Wick; and this month they go to Paisley.
Mr. Burnham has been laboring among the hop-pickers in Kent during the past month until summoned to what proved to be the death-bed of his wife.
From our inmost heart we sympathize with this beloved and useful brother.
May the comforts of the Spirit abound towards him! He asks us to say that he is fully engaged up to June next year.
Mr. Parker has been preaching and singing in Dublin. Thus England, Scotland, and Ireland have been simultaneously visited by members of our College Society of Evangelists.
— The total amount received or promised for the Girls’ Orphanage Building Fund to Sept. 14 is £10,416 3s. 7d.
The quarterly meeting for collectors, which we had intended to incorporate with the stone-laying, will be held a little later in the year. Full particulars shall be duly announced. We have decided not to hold the proposed bazaar in aid of the furnishing of the new institution until next year. We shall then want it well done, and therefore we announce it now, that the time may be long enough. If we live till Christmas, 1881, we hope to see a great help given to our funds by a Bazaar, and it will be at the tune when we anticipate pressing needs!
— Last month we reported seventy colporteurs actually at work, and we are glad to say that the following additional districts have been added to the list: — Norwich, Islington, Sunderland, and Swaffham (Cambs). Some difficulty is found in getting men qualified for the work.
Applicants are numerous, but really suitable men are rare. The tact and ability requisite for gaining access to all classes of the people, and making good sales among them, combined with such experience in Christian work, as will enable a man to utilize every opportunity for acting as an evangelist, are only occasionally met with. Men who fail in other kinds of business, or who look upon colportage as a stepping-stone to some higher post, are unlikely to succeed in this laborious and most difficult work. But a man full of zeal and love to Christ, who sees the evil of the hurtful literature which abounds, and the advantage and importance of trying to substitute that which is good and helpful, and who longs for the opportunities to work for Christ which are presented by colportage, and for which previous experience has qualified him, may apply for appointment as a colporteur, with hope of success. Should there be no vacancy when the application is made, we are glad to have the names of such men recorded against they are needed.
The quarterly reports received from the colporteurs this month are unusually interesting and encouraging, and speak of sinners brought to Christ both by the written and spoken word. Good has been accomplished both by the roadside and in the field; in the cottage, and chapel, and also in the open air. Think of over seventy men at work every day whose sole business it is to scatter the truth and speak to men about the interests of their immortal souls! Pray for them, for they ask your prayers; help us by your gifts, for they are needed, and will encourage us in the work.
The following is a brief extract from the letter of our colporteur in a recently-started district: — “One village where I have been three times only, the people seem almost ready to eat me, pack and all. It is a very poor place indeed, but the last time I was there I sold three Bibles and four Testaments, besides a few other things, and have hymn books and Bibles to take next time. A poor old man told me the other day he was very thankful to God that I had come to visit him. He showed me a tract that I had given him two months before, which had led him to Jesus; he had entirely defaced it with using it so much. I am glad to tell you that our services are well attended, the chapel is almost packed, and men who have never been before are coming regularly to hear God’s word.”
We are at this present moment so ill supplied with funds for the general work that we are slowly but surely eating up the capital, and unless we have increased subscriptions the President will feel burdened in spirit. This lead he desires to cast upon the Lord, whose glory is the one aim of the society. Surely the Lord’s people will be moved to keep this work going; or must we step by step retreat, abandon station after station, and leave many villages with their last light quenched? It must come to this before long if we fall to enlist the sympathy of our brethren in this enterprise. And yet — No, it cannot be.
PERSONAL NOTES. — A missionary to the Karens, who is the editor of a monthly paper circulated in Burmah, is commencing the translation of our sermons for the Karen Christians, of whom he says there are now 20,000 baptized believers. The first to be translated is “The Unknown Ways of Love.” (No. 1293).
A friend who was staying at Buxton recently tells us that two ladies who were there had distributed more than a thousand of our sermons to the visitors, workmen? and servants whom they met. Only one person refused to accept the sermon offered, giving as a reason that his physician would not allow him to read it!
Our son Thomas writes: — “I received a visit in Geelong from a man who produced from his pocket a torn and discolored copy of the Australasian, dated June, 1868, which contained a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon, entitled, ‘The Approachableness of Jesus’ (No. 809). To this sermon my visitor attributed his conversion. He lived alone about twenty miles from Geelong, and had not entered a place of worship more than four or five times in twenty years, and had taken to drink until delirium tremens seized upon him. When partially recovered, with not a human being near, his eye lighted on the newspaper. Then he read the sermon, which went to his heart, and ‘Sir,’ said. he, ‘I’ve never touched the liquor since. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to your father, but I thought the best way for me to do honor to the father was to tell his son of the blessing the printed word has been to me.’ The good man told us that he had lent the paper a good deal, but it seems almost past it now, its yellow pages hardly hold together. Almost daily am I hearing such happy testimony as this. It did Bro. Bunning and myself so much good that I thought the preacher would like to hear it too, and Sword and Trowel readers can share the joy.”
A brother in Christ in Massachusetts writes to us: — “A gentleman gave three volumes of your sermons to an Irish boy; he gave them to a friend of mine, and this friend was anxious that I should read them. I did not want to read the dry stuff, but she pleaded so hard that I took one to please her. I had only read a few lines when I was convicted of sin, but I was about two years before I received the assurance of forgiveness. One day, as I was reading your sermon on ‘The Blood’ (No. 228), light came, I understood what faith was, and I believed, and was saved. I do all the good I can with your sermons by lending them to others, and praying to the Lord to bless them.” “A poor hard-worked, underpaid country evangelist” writes: — “ I have a wife and four children, and an income of £60 a year. When I received my month’s salary I sat down quite disconsolate, for I had a doctor’s bill to pay, as well as bills for provisions, coals, shoes, etc. I was indeed under the shadow, but I took up your magazine, The Sword and the Trowel, for March, and, in reading your short sermon, ‘Under his Shadow,’ the dark cloud seemed to pass away. My heart was cheered in the fact that he who has been my help will shelter his family beneath his divine wings.”
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle — August 19th, fifteen; 30th, eighteen; September 3rd, thirteen.
PASTORS’ COLLEGE, METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE.
STATEMENT OF RECEIPTS FROM AUGUST 15TH TO SEPTEMBER 14TH, 1880.
Giver £ s. d A friend, per Rev. W. Thorn 0 2 Mr. A. C. Apperly 2 0 Mrs. De K 0 10 A friend, per Rev. G. Wright 5 0 Collection at Rugby Baptist Chapel, per Rev. H. T. Peach 5 12 Mr. T. W. Smith 1 1 Mrs. McIntyre 0 2 A sister, Bankhead 0 2 Stamps, from Glasgow 0 1 0 Mr. Edward Dyer 0 10 Mr. Charles Ball 10 0 Mr. Henry Speight 0 10 Mr. Johnson, Abingdon, per Mr. A. Wood 1 0 The Misses Dransfield 2 2 Mr. Herbert Trotman . 2 0 Collection at Clarence-street, Landport, per Rev. D. Asquith 1 15 Mr. and Mrs. Penny 2 0 Mr. Charles E. Tidswell 0 15 Mr. A.H. Scard 0 2 Rev. S. N. Honan 2 0 A friend in Scotland 25 0 Mr. F. W. Lloyd 10 10 Mr. Holdron 1 0 Miss E. Antliss 0 6 Mrs. Stone, per Mr. G. H. Carr 1 1 Collected by Rev. J. T. Almy, Ryde 2 0 Mr. F. W. Brackett 0 5 Weekly Offerings at Met. Tab. — August 15 35 6 August 22 40 0 August 29 45 8 September 5 30 0 September 12 30 7 6 — 181 2 £258 11 STOCKWELLORPHANAGE.STATEMENT OF RECEIPTS FROM AUGUST 15TH TO SEPTEMBER 14TH, 1880.
Giver £ s. d Mrs. Mundy, per Mr. G. Cox, Bath 1 1 Collected by Miss Walker from friends at New Cross, per Rev. D. Honour 1 5 Master Frank Oakley 0 2 From friends in Eskdalemuir 0 5 M. Bloxceidge 0 1 Per Rev. W. V. Young, Tring Collected by Miss L. J. Smith 12 2 Collected by Miss Mead ... 7 9 Collected by Mrs. Chapman 1 8 Mrs. Lawman 1 0 Miss Lawman 0 10 Mrs. Hayter 0 2 Collected by Mrs. Vernon Peskett 0 16 “Staines” 0 2 Box at Tabernacle Gates, per Mr. Murrell 2 6 “Asympathizer for the orphans” 0 1 6 “Yorkshire Crown,” per Mr. Hyde Mr. Richey Lundy, per Rev. W. Fearon 1 0 Mr. Thomas Lewis 2 2 E.H.G. 2 0 Mr. A. Thomson 0 5 Mr. P. Bainbridge 0 10 Collected by Mr. G. Anderson 1 3 A Sermon Reader 0 2 Mr. G. Steele 0 10 0