BY C. H. SPURGEON.
“A month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home.”— 1 Kings 5:14.
IT was right that when a temple was to be built for the Lord God of Israel the Israelites should take their fair share in the building of it. Therefore a levy was made, and a certain number of men were chosen to work in Lebanon. It was, however, most fitting that work for a gracious God should be joyful work; not the bondage of slaves, but the delight of sons.
Solomon did not demand that any Israelite should toil in the mountains and quarries for years together, and leave his own fields to lie waste; but he decreed that the workers should have one month in Lebanon at work for the temple, and two months at home for their own affairs. Our God is not a taskmaster, and sacred service should not sour into forced labor. Selfsacrifice is the soul of true religion; but we must not; demand of others that which would turn religion into slavery. Solomon knew that the common people would grow weary, of working even for Jehovah himself, if they were taken away from their own families and inheritances altogether; and therefore in his wisdom he put it so — “ One month in Lebanon, and two months at home.”
I am about to draw from this text two lessons. They are these — first, that you and I ought to be rendering service to the Lord our God, and assisting to build up his spiritual temple; but secondly, that while we labor abroad, we must be doubly careful to watch over our own households and our own souls. Marthas must also be Maries. We are bound to serve, but we must not be cumbered with much serving. We must work with Martha and yet sit with Mary at the Master’s feet: there must be one month in Lebanon, and two months at home.
First, then,WE ARE BOUND TO DO SERVICE FOR OUR KING —service for the living temple of our God. It is not enough for us to say, “I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore I am saved;” that is not the end of it all, else religion were a grand piece of selfishness. Our souls may not be hooped in within our own ribs. Absorption in our own safety and neglect of others would betray a spirit directly opposite to that of Jesus and his true disciples. No, brethren; as the Father sent his Son into the world, even so has he sent us into the world, that we may be made a blessing to our fellows. Our life-work is to prepare living stones which may be built upon the one foundation to be a habitation of God through the Spirit. We are to be hewers of timber and squarers of stones for the house of our God.
Lay home to your hearts, your obligations to the Lord Jesus Christ ’. “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price ;” therefore no man liveth unto himself. Your own salvation is of the utmost importance to you; but an essential part of it is salvation from selfishness. If you begin and end with your own interests, you are the servants of self and not of the Lord Jesus. We owe our all to the blessed Lord Jesus Christ, and henceforth his business is our business; and what is his business but to seek and to save that which was lost? We are now the life long servants of him “who, though he was rich, yet for our’ sakes he became poor.” Shall we grudge our month in Lebanon? Nay:, rather will we not see to it that the whole twelve months of the year are dedicated to temple-service, since he has called us to be priests, and therefore we always dwell in his house?
Remember also our obligations to others. H ow were we converted? Was it not through the instrumentality of some Christian man or’ woman? Directly or indirectly it was so in every case; for those who have gone to glory long ago have left us debtors for the knowledge of the gospel which they handed down to us. Most of us were blessed by direct agency: a good book was quietly placed in our way, a kind word was gently spoken, an earnest sermon was aimed at us; a holy example was set before us: by such things as these we were drawn. By the tears and prayers of others we were brought to the Savior’s feet. Some owe their conversion to their parents, others to Sabbath-school teachers, others to preachers of the word: the bulk of us were brought to Jesus by some one instrumentality or another.
Pay your debt, then. You also are to bring another to Jesus as a recompense to his servants. A certain generous man used to give liberally to the poor, but he did it in this fashion: he said to each one, “I only lend this money to you, and you are to pay it back to me, when you are able to do so, by giving as much as this to some other poor person.” That is the method of our Lord Jesus Christ: he grants us a knowledge of his gospel under bond that we tell it to others. Brethren, we are debtors; if we are built up a spiritual house, let us gladly give our month in Lebanon that other stones may be builded into the heavenly temple.
Besides, there is a life within every Christian which is the best prompter to holy service. My brother, if you are born again, you cannot be idle, for the life of God is never sluggish. Did not Jesus say, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work”? If you are not diligent in sacred service, you will soon be afflicted with doubts and fears, for this disease attends on spiritual sloth. The month on breezy Lebanon is for your soul’s health. To be idle is to sicken; but to serve God is health and delight. It is like swimming to a strong swimmer, he delights to breast the waves. It is like flight to the condor of the Andes, who joyfully spreads his wings towards the sun. Tell the eagle that it is a toil to mount into the ether., and his joyful flight replies, “Toil to me to fly? I was made on purpose to dart among lightnings, and to be at home amid tempests. My eye can even dare to gaze upon the sun.” ,Oh, brothers, it is not slavery to serve Christ: even when it involves stern effort, the labor brings its own refreshment. The more we can do for Christ, the more are we indulging those sacred instincts which regeneration has implanted in us. Let us shoulder the ax and spend our month in Lebanon. Felling trees is fit work even for premiers, and preparing stones for the spiritual temple would be an honorable occupation for angels.
This work is most beneficial to Ourselves. Those Christian people who do nothing are usually troublesome, for they are at leisure to find fault With those who are doing their best. Many can see exactly how it ought to be done, and yet do nothing. They discover where the worker fails; they detect the little crochets and peculiarities which reveal themselves in his service. The minister would preach so much better if he did it in the patent way which his critics have invented. Why do not these fellows attempt the work themselves? No, they are too fine for that; their high vocation is to review the defects of their brethren. I am sick of them. Is not their Lord weary of them, too?
Working for the Lord necessitates prayer, and this is a great blessing to us.
If a man wholly gives himself to soul-winning, he must be much in prayer, for he will be all at sea without help from heaven. If he tries to comfort the downcast penitent, how readily will he be baffled! How soon will he cry to the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to do the work effectually. Every grace which a Christian man possesses is bettered by’ its use in heavenly service.
The practical value of the gospel will soon strike you if you labor among the fallen, the ignorant, the infidel. Does anybody know how precious the gospel is till he has seen it light up the eye that was dim with despondency?
Does any man know How the joyful sound of the name of Jesus can charm a heart till he, has seen the smile of newborn faith? I do not see how our coming memories eau minister to our eternal happiness unless we earnestly labor to bring sinners to the Savior. Let us up in earnest and win jewels for Jesus and happy reflections for ourselves. Will it not enlarge our heaven to see those in glory who were saved by our word? Was Rutherford wrong when he said, “Oh, to see the people of Artworth in heaven shall be seven heavens to me”? I can truly say of my hearers that the heaven of each one shall be another heaven to me. For this joy let us each one gladly take his month in Lebanon. Let those who have begun to loiter arouse themselves.
It ill becomes any of us to be hearers of the word for ourselves, and never publishers of it to others.
It remains that I now remind you that if we take our month in Lebanon in active service for the Lord’s houseWE MUST TAKE SPECIAL CARE TO SPEND OUR TWO MONTHS AT HOME. Our own households must have special attention. The first duty of a Christian man is within his own heart, the second is within his own house. Teach child-ten? Yes, by all means, but begin with your own. Convert sinners? Yes; but labor first to win those who are round about you. Religion must begin at home. The apostles were to begin at Jerusalem, because Jerusalem was their home. If we care not for our own households, we shall be worse than heathen men and publicans. I am afraid that many professing Christians will have the doom of Eli pronounced upon them. Eli’s sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. He said a gentle word to them — “ Do not do so, my sons;” but he did not put his foot down, and tell them plainly, “This shall not be done in my house. You shall not profane the sanctuary of God by open sin if I can prevent it. I am resolved upon that.” The end of his indulgence was their destruction, and you know how sorrowfully the old man ended his days, and what a curse fell upon his household in aftergenerations.
God grant that it may never be so with one of us. If anybody should ask me whether I know an Eli, I fear I could put my finger on several. I do not say that I can see one here — I will not look that way, but let each one ask, “Lord, is it I?” Rest assured that all our talk about religion, and all our public labors will go for very little if our own families run wild. It is a horrible thing in Israel when the children of godly men are the sons of Belial. Such cases do occur, and then they say to me, “It is written, ‘ Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it :’ how do you make it out when So-and-so’s son is such an open rebel?” I answer, whenever I have been able to lift the veil, I have invariably found a reason for the children’s non-conversion in the mismanagement of the household, or in the inconsistent conduct of the parents. I suspect that we may generally say, “Is there not a cause?” I will not say “always, ” because singular things do happen; but yet if God gives his people grace to walk uprightly before him, and they pray for their children, and instruct them, and set them a godly example, the children usually follow in their father’s footsteps.
Take heed, then, that you spend your two months at home. Do not offer to God the sacrifice of public service smeared with the blood of your home duties. Do not diminish your care in your own house; for the neglect of domestic piety will prevent the acceptance of your public service.’ God forbid that when, you talk to outsiders they should reply, “Look at your own children. Our own offspring must be prayed for; and we must do more than that — we must correct them for sin, instruct them in the Scriptures, and pray with them personally till we weep over them. Family prayer must be maintained in a devout and interesting manner, and our young people must go with us to the sanctuary and be trained to treasure up what they hear. I know the Spirit of God alone can renew their hearts, but he is not backward to bless the means.
If the Lord helps us to be earnest with our children, what a blessed reward awaits us! “I have no greater joy than this — that my children walk in the truth,” every Christian parent may say this of his offspring. Oh, the delight it is to look upon sons and daughters all in Christ! — to hear and know that they are as earnest for the Redeemer’s kingdom as we are! All the honor must be given to the sovereign grace of God; but the comfort is ours. I am sure that when my mother pleaded with me she was doing better than if she had addressed large assemblies. I am equally sure that when my father knelt down with me alone and pleaded witch God for me, and besought me to pray for myself, he was doing a better day’s work than when he was preaching, though in that he has had great blessing. Who knows what your son may be? Who knows what usefulness God may give to your daughter? Surely, if Dr. Bushy used to take off his hat when he went into the schoolroom because he did not know who the boys might be, for they might turn out to be great statesmen or judges, you might take off your hat to your children, for you cannot tell what God may make of them.
Pray for grace to look well to the ways of your household, that they may bring no discredit upon the cause of Christ. Use well those two months at home.
Lastly, I change the run of thought to reach another point. There is a home that is nearer home than our own homes; and that is the state of things within our own breasts. If we give a certain care to the service of God publicly, there must be double attention to the work of grace within. We must not neglect the cultivation of our own heart. We must watch our own growth in grace, our own communion with Christ, our own faith, our own hope, our own love; for if we do not, we shall be in great danger. I fear that many Christians are busy here and there, and their own spiritual life is withering. They accomplish little because their spiritual money is put into a bag which is fall of holes. They work hard, but take no fish because they never mend their nets. If we neglect our private prayers, we shall not “so run that we may obtain.” In some cases the neglect will prove to be fatal. I do not mean in the case of the genuine child of God, but I do mean in the case of many whom we take to be such. They keep the vineyards of others, but their own vineyard they have not kept. They urge repentance, but they have not themselves repented: they teach faith, but they have not themselves believed. The work of the Holy Spirit within them they forget in their zeal for their own fussy endeavors to outdo others. If you neglect your own souls, and hope that you will get right by performing Christian duties, you are grievously mistaken. If you try to shine and have no oil in your vessels with your lamps, your lamps will go out, and you will die in the dark. If you try to tell others what; you do not know, and speak to them of a Savior in ‘whom you have never trusted, your life will be a dreadful failure. You will preach and teach your own condemnation; what else can come of it? I)o see to it that if you go up to Lebanon the ax is first laid to the root of your own sins.
Supposing the professor to be a real and true Christian, yet, if he is always active and never contemplative; if he spends much time in working and none in prayer and Bible reading: it will be very weakening to himself and damaging to his work. A weak hand may wield a good tool, but it cannot do much with it. When you are sickly, ailing, out of sorts, as to body, you cannot do your work well. It would be a foolish thing to put a poor consumptive man to labor like a strong navvy on the railway; he would weary himself and do little with great pain. Fussy’ work that is done for Christ without communion with Christ comes to nothing because it is not wrought in the strength of God. O, my brethren, nothing can come out of us if it is not first wrought in us by the Holy Ghost. It is essential that a Christian worker should himself’ be the workmanship of God. If we would heal, we must be healthy. If’ we get out of fellowship with Jesus, it will lead to innumerable evils; and the more we try to do, the more those evils will show themselves. We shall grow proud of our doings, and we shall censure others till we grow unbearable. We shall become self-confident; and the more we attempt, the more self-confident we shall become. Or else we shall take to murmuring and grow displeased because God does not prosper our work; and feel like Cain when the Lord had no respect to his offering. You must walk in the light as God is in the light if you are to enlighten a dark world and glorify your Lord.
Especially let me say to you, dear friends, there must be the two months at home as to prayer. Do not forsake the mercy-seat. Be in the frequent practice of prayer, and — what is better — be in the spirit of prayer always. May the Holy Spirit lead you to baptize every duty into the pure stream of grace, and to do the same in every lesson in the school, every sermon you deliver, and every tract you give away. Pray over the whole business. Prepare for the one month in Lebanon by the two months at home, spent in pleading with God for a blessing.
Be much in Bible reading. We do not read the Bible half as much as we should. Look how the Puritans searched it from end to end. How familiar they were with every book! What blessed family prayer there must have been in the household of Philip Henry since it led Matthew Henry to write that famous commentary! Oh, that we had more Bible searching and Bible preaching! Talking about the Bible is well enough, but searching the Scriptures is better. Feed on the word yourselves, or else your teaching will be thin and watery.
So, too, as to self-examination — a duty much neglected; let us not fail in it. How few there are that look over the actions of the day before they fall asleep at night; but how well it would be to revive the practice! Repentance, too, that sweet grace with the diamonds in her eyes — sweet tears of holy grief for all that has been amiss — is not this pushed on one side? This must not be.
And faith, also, the constant trusting the Savior — should we not exercise it more continuously? Oh! to have times of quiet for the exercise of faith and the growth of love!
As for communion with God — oh, that we lived in it always I But we do not get time enough. We do not take time enough to get near our God. We are like men who eat their meals in a hurry, for business calls them away. If a man has no regular meals, but gets a snack here and a snack there, he soon gets out of sorts. He needs time for regular food and its mastication and digestion. We want the same for our holy feasts upon the heavenly food, and to this end I would urge Solomon’s rule — one month in Lebanon, but two months at home. A word to the wise is enough, and therefore I say no more.
NOTES IN answer to anxious inquiries from some friends who feel themselves aggrieved, and from others who go further, and are greatly indignant, I can only say that I think they have grave Cause for their regrets. With the heartiest wish to see all things in a favorable light, I must confess that I cannot interpret certain parts of the sayings and doings of the Baptist Union at Leicester.
The welcome given to a denier of our Lord’s Godhead, I am informed by the best authorities, was accidental, and it is distinctly repudiated, if it be called an act of the Union itself!. So far I unreservedly believe the statements of those most concerned, and I am silent, after’ earnestly protesting against any construing of the matter into a fraternizing with those who reckon our Lord Jesus to be no more than man, if even a perfect man.
It is also asserted, by brethren in whom great reliance may be placed, that the loudness of loose thinkers in the meetings was no index of their number or their weight: and this I hope is correct, but no one can be sure. Certainly the bonds of unity have suffered a severe ‘strain. In all Christian associations there should be sufficient opportunities for differences of opinion upon matters not essential; and I trust that I should be the last to complain of the unrestrained use of this liberty; but when truths which are viewed as vital by a large portion of any society are trifled with by others, there is so far an end of fellowship, or else of conscientiousness. I, for one, have no Christian fellowship with those who reject the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, neither will I pretend to have any.
Every one in a society must be prepared to bear and forbear; but it should always be remembered that this is a lighter task for those who have no fixed principles than for those who are firm in their convictions. It is not always easy to balance the requirements of charity to men with those of faithfulness to truth. This much is very clear to me, — there is a point beyond which association may not be carried, lest it become a confederacy in disloyalty. This point can be speedily reached, if it be not felt by all that the unwritten law of the Baptist Union takes it for granted that its members adhere to those grand evangelical truths which are the common heritage of the Church. We cannot remain in union on any other basis. Creeds are of little use as bonds; for men have learned to subscribe to words and to interpret them in their own sense; but there can be no real union among Baptists unless in heart and soul we all cling to the Lord Jesus as our God, our Sacrifice, and our Exemplar. We must be one in a hearty love to the gospel of his grace, or our unity will be of little worth.
It is my own personal belief that no number of men under heaven are heartier in love to Christ crucified, and to one another, than the great majority of our brethren of the Union: with them I am heartily at one, and in writing these lines I fear lest I may cause them pain; but I can say no less if I am to bear a conscience void of offense towards God. I may only add that these lines are not written without much careful thought and earnest prayer. God grant that they may for the present suffice as a protest not for myself alone, but for the many who share my anxiety.
In the death of Mr. John Houghton, of Liverpool, we have lost one of our kindest friends and most liberal helpers. Hundreds of the poor and needy will miss him, and there is scarcely any part of the Lord’s work which will not suffer through his departure. His bereaved wife and children have our loving sympathy and prayers. Our deceased friend was 71 years of age. He was a merchant, a philanthropist, an eminent Christian, and a minister of the gospel. There are few such. He took the chair at our last College meeting. He seemed then to be failing, but we did not think that he was so nearly home. The Lord has done it. “It is well.”
In the month of June last we received the following letter from Mr. Houghton, and it is too good to be lost : — “I have read the story of the Old Sexton, in The Sword and the Trowel of this month, with pleasure and profit. Truly there is power in the consistent walk of Christians before the world and the church. Unbelievers say, ‘ Whence comes this power? ‘ They are abashed, and ofttimes many are converted, as in the case of the lawyer referred to, while lukewarm Christians are ashamed, and led back to their first love. Such testimony is always needful, particularly in the present day; for while many souls are being led to Christ by the earnest teaching and preaching of godly ministers and evangelists, many are likewise won by the holy and consistent lives of the Lord’s people in every sphere of life, rich and poor. As Dr. Watts beautifully says : — ‘ So let our lips; and lives express The holy gospel we profess; So let our works and virtues shine To prove the doctrine all divine. ’ It is like Zion awaking and putting on her beautiful garments, attracting the world by the loveliness of her attire, and many are drawn to Christ saying, ‘ We will go with you, for we, perceive that the Lord is with you. ’ O my soul, seek earnestness for Christ with the adornments of the Spirit.”
On Tuesday evening Sept 25, the annual Conference of the pastors and church officers connected with the London BAPTIST Association was held in the Tabernacle Lecture-hall. Pastor J.P. Chown presided, and Joseph Tritton, Esq., the esteemed treasurer of the Baptist Missionary Society, introduced a discussion upon the present position and claims of the foreign work of the church. Pastor C. H. Spurgeon and other speakers followed, and a profitable evening was spent. It was an exceedingly happy, hearty, and holy meeting, and the speeches were full of practical hints for helping the divine work of missions. Mr. Tritton’s address was so chaste, so gracious, so intense, that it struck the right key, and gave a hallowed tone to the whole meeting. Oh, that all the churches owned the claims of the heathen, and practically responded to them! The heathen are perishing!
Shall we let them perish?
On Friday evening, Sept. 28, the annual meeting of the Metropolitan
TABERNACLE EVANGELISTS’ASSOCIATION was held in the Lecture-hall, under the presidency of Pastor C. H. Spurgeon. This Association is quite distinct from the College Society of Evangelists, the brethren and sisters who preach and sing the gospel in connection with this branch of our church work being all unpaid, and as a rule their services are limited to London or ifs immediate neighborhood. Some idea of the work accomplished by the 109 members of the Association during the past year may be formed from the following statistics : — 560 Sunday services have been held at the mission stations under the control of the Association, and 730 at other mission stations; 459 supplies have been sent to various churches, 459 special evangelistic meetings have been conducted, open-air services, 14 children’s services, and 955 that are described as “miscellaneous,” making a total for the twelve months of 3697—an increase upon the previous year of 370. It is impossible to estimate the blessing that must result from such continued and wide-spread sowing of the good seed of the kingdom. The year’s expenditure for traveling expenses, rent, gas, printing, postage, etc., has been only £227 4s. 8d. — rather more than one-half of which has been contributed by the churches visited, or by donations and collections, and the balance of £100 has been provided by the Pastor. Various agencies are constantly needing help from us, and we are glad, therefore, when the Lord’s stewards entrust funds to our discretion.
Pastors J. Chadburn, of Trinity Chapel, Poplar, and F. A. Jones, of Crossstreet Chapel, Islington, gave very generous and grateful testimony to the usefulness of the Evangelists who had visited their churches. Addresses were delivered by the chairman, and Messrs. Elvin, Shurmer, Howard, and Biss. Hymns and choruses were sun. g by representatives of the various mission stations. Altogether, it was a grand meeting, full of fire and fervor, and yet at the same time free front all unhealthy excitement. We cannot see how money could be better expended than in supporting such an agency as this, which is often hindered by lack of funds from extending its beneficent operations. The Association is ready to undertake missions in any churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. Any contributions will be gratefully received, and all information will be gladly furnished by Mr. G. E. Elvin, 30, Surreysquare, Walworth, S.E. This worthy elder of our church not only arranges all the work of the Association with consummate skill, but he takes a large share of it himself.
Or: Monday evening, Oct. 1, Mr. J. Hudson Taylor, the director of the
CHINA INLAND MISSION, came to the Tabernacle prayer-meeting to ask the prayers of the church for two brethren and one sister who were about to sail for China, and also for several others who had already left for their field of labor in the Celestial Empire. It was stated that during the months of September and October twenty missionaries would be going to China in connection with this one mission. ;: vet what are they among so many millions who know not the name of Christ? Brethren, pray for China.
We rejoice that one of our brethren has been moved to give £500 to the Baptist Mission on the Congo. It seems a fitting sequel to the going forth of our brother Comber from our College.
The numbers attending our Monday prayer-meetings continue to increase, and the interest of the gatherings is well-sustained. We calculate that from twelve to fifteen hundred are present at the ordinary meeting for prayer.
There is a constant variety in the form assumed by the meetings, but we never leave them without blessing God for the spirit of prayer that has been poured out, and for the evidence that those who meet to pray expect to receive gracious answers to their petitions. Our Thursday evening prayermeeting for one hour before the preaching-service is very sweet, and full of pleading power: the congregations at the Lecture are most ‘wonderful for numbers, while on Sundays the crowds are greater than ever. On Monday evening, October 15, the annual meeting of the
METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE MATERNAL SOCIETY was held in the Lecture-hall. A large number of ladies met for tea, and afterwards addresses were delivered by Pastors C. H. and J. A. Spurgeon, and Messrs.
W. Olney and J. W. Harrald. According to the report, 234 boxes, each containing 28 articles of clothing, have been lent during the year, and more than 400 articles of clothing have been given, in addition to £37 8s. 6d. presented in money to the poor women relieved by the Society. This help has been greatly appreciated by the recipients, and in many instances has just saved them from absolute despair. The total cost of the year’s work has been under £90, and the small balance in hand will soon be expended.
If any Christian ladies are looking out for a field of usefulness they cannot do better than present themselves at the Ladies’ Room on the second Tuesday after the first Sunday in each month, and ask what they can do in furtherance of this generous ministry.
At the prayer-meeting in the Tabernacle the same evening there was a pleasing presentation to our esteemed elder, Mr. G. Goldston, in memory of seven years’ valuable service as President of the SATURDAY EVENING TRAINING-CLASS, for the members of the Evangelists’ Association and Country Mission. He has been obliged, on account of ill-health, to resign his position. The members of the class, therefore, presented him with an illuminated address, expressive of their gratitude. Mr. Elvin, who has taken the post of President, read the address; the Pastor, after referring to the assistance rendered by Mr. Goldston in the formation of new churches in various districts, presented the testimonial. Many who are now useful preachers of the word have been greatly benefited by attending the class. MR.SPURGEON’ S PROTESTANT PICTURES. —Since the exhibition was closed at the Orphanage, the collection of engravings, etc., illustrating the history of the Reformation, has been on view at South-street Chapel, Greenwich, and during the past month at Gipsy-road Chapel, Norwood, where Pastor W. Hobbs and his friends have received a large number of visitors. All who have examined them have been pleased and instructed with this unique pictorial representation of the great struggles of the Reformation. From Norwood the gallery has been removed to Southend, from there it comes to Kilburn, and from November 5 to 8, the pictures will be on view at the PASTORS’COLLEGE.
They are then to be exhibited at
EXETER HALL, under the auspices of the Luther Commemoration Committee, from November 10 to 14, after which they are promised to friends in Middlesbrough, Stockton, and Grantham. The pictures return to London for the last few weeks in the year. On Sunday evening, November 11, Pastor C. H. Spurgeon will take his share in the Luther Celebration by preaching a special sermon to Young Men at Exeter Hall, his place at the Tabernacle being supplied by his son Charles, from Greenwich.
COLLEGE. —Mr. E. Dyer, who has been the means of forming a new church at Hornchurch, Essex, has now completed his College course, and settled at Atherton, near Manchester.
Mr. W. Townsend is removing from Enfield Highway, to Canterbury; and Mr. J. A. Brown, M.R.C.S., formerly of Drummend-road, Bermondsey, has become pastor of Cottage Green Church, Camberwell.
From Australia we learn that Mr. Harry Wood has become pastor of the church at Longford, Tasmania; and that Mr. McCullough, whom he succeeds, is devoting himself to evangelistic work in the same colony.
Messrs. Harrison and Isaac have been visiting several of the Victorian churches with most gratifying results, and Mr. A. J. Clarke is doing the work of an Evangelist with marked success.
Mr. Stead, by whose earnest, self-denying labors the church in Worthing was commenced, is about to travel in the southern part of the United States, and we commend him to the Christian courtesy of our brethren in that region.
Our Baptist friends at Eastbourne are greatly in need of a better chapel.
They have been worshipping for the last twelve years in an iron building, which is too small for the work of the church and school, and most unsuitable as a place for worship. The chapel which Mr. Osborne and the friends are about to build will cost at least £3,000, towards which the Duke of Devonshire has generously promised £100. The building will not be commenced until half the amount has been subscribed. East-bourne should possess a comfortable Baptist chapel, both for the sake of its greatlyincreasing population, and for the benefit of visitors. -The members of the church and congregation are doing what they can, and earnestly appeal to other Christian friends to assist them. Donations will be most thankfully received by Pastor W. Osborne, 89, Pevensey road.
On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, September 25 and 26, Mr. Thomas Cooper, our venerable Professor of Apologetics, delivered two farewell lectures to the students of the College and Evening Classes. The first evening Mr. Cooper’s subject was “Charles Darwin” whose theory of “natural selection”-was conclusively refuted. The next night the lecturer discussed the question:, “Is life worth living?” sad answered it in the affirmative. All the brethren who had heard Mr. Cooper before were glad to renew their acquaintance with him, and those who had not previously listened to him regretted that in all probability it was the last as well as the first time they could sit at the feet of such a valiant champion of the faith.
May the closing days of our honored brother’s life be bright with the coming glory.
— Messrs. Fullerton and Smith have now completed their three months’ tour in Lancashire. We referred last month to the beginning of the work at Bury . At the close of the mission there we were delighted to receive the following cheering letter : — “Bury, Sept., 1883. “Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, “Dear Sir, “As members of the Bury Ministerial Union we desire to express our warm appreciation of the services conducted in our town by Messrs. Fullerton and Smith. “The gospel has been faithfully and earnestly proclaimed by them, and the good hand of our God has been upon them, so that our churches have been quickened, the halting led to decision, and indifferent ones to inquiry. “We have much reason to thank God for their labors, and would also express our gratitude to you as the means of their coming. “May we hope that the day is not far distant when we shall be favored with another visit from our brethren, in which case they would receive more hearty help both from ourselves and the members of our churches. “We are, dear Sir, “Your brethren in Christ Here follow the signatures of nine ministers.
Pastor M. H. Whetnail writes concerning the services at Blackburn :— “A week prior to the coming of the Evangelists we sought to obey the Master ’s word, ‘ Prepare ye the guest-chamber.’ As a church, we desired that the Master of the house should be present in our meetings, and as individual Christians we longed for more of his presence in our hearts. Our gatherings for prayer were seasons of great refreshing, and our expectations were raised very high...
The meetings have been well attended, and large numbers have been brought to decision. Not only has our own church been enriched with blessing, but many belonging to other congregations in the town have professed to find the Savior during the mission. The brethren have endeared themselves to many by their desire to set forth the Lord Jesus.
The clear, striking, and effective manner in which the way of salvation has been shown, has not only been blessed to the unsaved, but also to those engaged in Christian work. One said to me, ‘I am so glad of the addresses of Mr. Fullerton. I am sure my teaching will be more pointed, and scriptural, and successful than it has been. I seem to have such a grasp of the gospel as I never had before.’” The work at Burnley was especially interesting to the Evangelists, as that town was the first they had ever revisited. Our good friend, Mr. A. Altham, who resides there, has been the Treasurer for the whole of the meetings of the district, and Pastor J. Kemp has acted as Secretary, and while they have done their best for their neigh-bouts, they have not neglected their own corner of the field. The ground was so well prepared before the Evangelists arrived that they started under most favorable auspices, and the interest was maintained until the closing Sabbath, when no less than seven crowded services were held. Mr. Kemp says:—”Mr. Fullerton has preached the gospel with great clearness and force. He has been enabled to ring out grandly the old doctrines of salvation by the grace of God. I am not sure that this has pleased everybody, but it seems to have pleased the Lord, for believers have been refreshed by it, careless ones have been compelled to pray for mercy, and not a few have, we trust, been quickened into newness of life. Mr. Smith is a great favorite with the children. and, indeed, his singing is pleasing to all, while his racy and instructive talks add not a little to the interest of the meetings.” Mr. Altham confirms Mr. Kemp’s testimony to the spiritual results of the services, and on behalf of the committee sends us the noble thankoffering of £200, one half of which is from Burnley, and the balance from the other towns visited during the three months campaign. This grand contribution has come just at the right time, for the funds of the Evangelists’ Society were nearly exhausted. We are thus saved from the slightest anxiety as to the support of the brethren who are in this way so greatly owned of God wherever they go; and we are deeply grateful to Burnley friends, and all others who have thus for a season removed the burden that would otherwise have rested upon us.
This month is to be spent by the Evangelists with our good Brother Medhurst, at Portsmouth, and next month they go to St. Leonards and Hastings.
We have received the following note from Pastor J. J. Kendon, of Goudhurst, concerning Mr. Burshera ’s work among the hop-pickers : — “Dear Sir, — Will you kindly allow me to thank you for sending Mr.J. Burnham to help our evangelistic work among the hop-pickers in Kent?
We have had a most blessed series of services, which were continued all through the month of September. These. services were attended by large numbers, many of whom never hear the gospel except at these hop-pickers’ meetings. In all the villages around, open-air services were held every night in the week, and a great spirit of hearing was manifest in every assembly.
On Sundays the meetings were held at the hop-pickers’ camps, Mr. Burnham and a band of helpers going from one to another during the day, and finishing up with a large open-air service. Very many have been seen to weep as ‘The Old, Old Story ‘ was told or sung by Mr. Burnham and his co-workers. We have been greatly encouraged by the funds which you so kindly sent to help us, and we should like to tender through you our hearty thanks to all who have aided us in this blessed and much.-needed work.”
Mr. Russell has recently held successful services at Great Grimsby, and has also done good work at some of the village stations connected with Mr. Stone’s church at Nottingham. This month he goes to Leeds and Attercliffe. Messrs. Mateer and Parker have conducted missions at Newcastle-under- Lyme, Rushden, and Sutton-in-Craven, and in each place large numbers have gathered to hear the word preached or sung, and many have professed to find the Savior.
— Our good friend, Mr. James Toiler, of Waterbeach, has again sent up the proceeds of the “Orphanage acre.” This year the yield is three tons of potatoes, and three sacks of flour. We are very grateful for this regular and welcome help for the commissariat of the institution, and our joy would be doubled if we could hear of another acre consecrated in the same way. We had the produce of this acre when we had only boys in our Stockwell family: surely there is, somewhere or other, an acre of good land that might be set apart for the girls’ side of the household. Do not all write at once, dear friends in the country, but do not all miss this golden opportunity of serving the Lord by helping the widow and the fatherless. On Friday evening, October 12, a large number of the collectors brought in their boxes and books, with the amounts contributed; and after tea assembled in the dining-hall for a meeting, at which the President occupied the chair. There was an interesting program, consisting of recitations and singing by some of the children: music by the Orphanage hand-bell-ringers; addresses by the President, and Messrs. Charlesworth and Harrald; and the presentation of Bibles to the first girl who was leaving the institution to go to a situation, and to three boys who were also beginning life on their own account. Before the proceedings closed, Mr. Ladds announced that the total brought in during the evening amounted to £86 6s. 10d., or about £16 less than the receipts at the corresponding meeting last year. The President said that if anyone present wished to make up the deficiency he would be most happy to accept it, and one generous lady promptly contributed the required amount.
Several friends who could not be present sent their amounts by post, and others are, we trust, keeping their boxes and books until they have done a little more begging. There is still room for additions to our collectors ’ list.
Boxes or books, leaflets, and all information will be gladly supplied by the Secretary, Stockwell Orphanage, Clap-ham-road, London.
COLPORTAGE.— Arrangements are nearly complete for an additional colporteur to begin work at Aughten Moss, near Liverpool; and another has already commenced Operations in the neighborhood of Peckham and East Dulwich. The Colporteur on Board Ship.—William Salter, colporteur in Cowes district, Isle of Wight, has, through the liberality of a friend, been provided with a boat, by means of which he is enabled to visit the various ships lying in the harbor. He reports that he has been well received by the sailors. He found a demand for the Scriptures in French, German, and Norwegian.
May this work be as “bread east upon the waters, found after many days.”
The ingenuity of some of the colporteurs is very great in adapting their remarks to the passing circumstances of the people. One recently asked at a cottage door for a drink of water, and with the cup in his hand discoursed to the cottager upon the water of eternal life, “for which,” the writes, “she seemed to be thirsting as much as I was for the natural water.”
Another writes that he and several young men went to a neighboring village where no Sunday-evening service of any kind was held. They got 150 to 200 people at their open-air services to listen to the gospel. He concludes his report thus : — “What is to be done for the people in the winter I know not, as there is no chapel and no house large enough to hold them. One man offers to give a piece of land to build a chapel upon, but we cannot see our way clear as to what we ought to do. Will the readers of The Sword and the, Trowel remember us in their prayers to God that he will bless us very richly?”
We want to see at least one hundred colporteurs at work. Who will help to extend our operations? All information can be obtained from the secretary, Mr. W. Corden Jones, Temple-street, St. George’s-road, London, S.E. - ‘ On the first Sabbath of October fifty-five persons were received into church-fellow-ship at the Tabernacle, and there are so many coming forward to confess Christ from week to week that we expect a like addition in November. The pastor feels that he will be pretty well worn-out by the time of his retirement for rest, and the weather will also have become severe enough to try him, so he has arranged to leave for six Sabbaths in December and January.
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle :— September 27. seventeen; October 4, twenty-six.