CHILDREN OFFERED TO MOLOCH — A MODERN PRACTICE BY C.H.SPURGEON.
IT is difficult to gauge the depth of depravity which led men in old time to pass their children through the fire to Moloch. We shudder as we think of such cruel homage to a fiend blasphemously dignified with the name of “god.” We can hardly imagine that there now lives upon the face of the earth a human being who would attempt to justify so immeasurable a crime. This seems to have been the culmination of Manasseh’s enormous mass of sin: “and he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom.” Nothing can be conceived of more atrocious, and though the king himself repented, and obtained mercy of Jehovah, yet in after ages this great sin of Judah’s ruler, connived at by his people, was laid to the nation’s charge, and therefore were the people removed into all kingdoms of the earth.
Now, a crime which can no longer be committed in one form may still be perpetrated in another: the essence of the transgression may abound long after one form of it has been utterly abolished. It is so with this immolation of children to Moloch: it is practiced still; practiced by many who wear the Christian name. We grieve as we write, but the rebuke must not be withheld. Too many professors sacrifice their children’s souls to the Moloch of the world. What means the placing of boys in godless families as apprentices? Why are lads placed, for business advantages, where their morals are tainted, and their souls defiled? In sadly too many cases the great question as to religious example is not even asked, but the one and only consideration is to g. et; the youth into a large firm, where, by push and energy, he may rise into a position. True, he may be initiated into the foulest vice: but what of that? The principal is irreligious, and cares nothing about godliness, or even about morals; and the house might readily be known to be a hotbed of every form of evil: but what of that? The boy is doomed to go through the Moloch-fire, and the father, though a member of a Christian church, pushes his boy into the flames with a hypocritical prayer that he may not be too badly burned. Perhaps his son does make a business-man, and an infidel, or a debauched young, man: but what of that?
How can parents avoid such calamities? We hesitate not to say that the damnation of many a son has been directly contracted for by his own father when he signed the boy’s indentures. It would be idle if we threw our child over a precipice, to kneel down, and devoutly pray that he. might arrive safely at the. bottom;, his mangled carcase would grimly mock our detestable supplications; but when parents place their offspring under the influence of graceless employers, to live with youths of licentious character, it is just as absurd for them to talk of their pleading for their dear boys that they might be kept from the evil of the wicked city. Ghastly falseness! They thrust them into the fire, and cover their infamous act with the loathsome unction of a prayer that they may come out of the burning, fiery furnace unharmed. Nebuchadnezzar never went the length of such impiety The girl, too, is not safe from the cruel kindness of her parents, and in her case the mother is often much to blame. The Moloch of society shall have her for its victim. Of course she must be dressed like a vain woman of the world, and taught to dance, and set to sing songs which are not those of Zion. Would you keep her out of society? She must be introduced to frivolous acquaintances, and allowed to attend questionable amusements.
Why not? She will by-and-by be picked up by some graceless fellow, who will make her a handsome husband, and most probably devour her substance, laugh her out of every pretense of religion, and make her a miserable woman: but again we ask, What of that? Society must have its victims, and it seems that she must kidnap them from Christian families, and Christian men and women must act as executioners of their own children, aiding and abetting their giving up of their souls to the most heartless and most foolish of all the world’s idols, called society. Alas! that the society of saints should be so dull, the ways of God so desolate, that to give the dear girls a little “life” they must be led over to the world’s transparent lies, and taught to find happiness amid its base enchantments.
Upon both boys and girls this immolation is frequently practiced under the pretense of giving them a first-rate education. At home, a school is selected only because of its fashionable reputation; and at next vacation time the young people have already learned so much that they ask why they may not go to the theater, for they have greatly enjoyed private theatricals; and soon it oozes out that they are schooled in all kinds of evil through the zealous tutorship of their schoolfellows, for which no antidote has been found in the holy warnings of earnest teachers, for the teachers have also helped them as far into worldliness and gaiety as they decorously could.
But the fashion is to send young people abroad to learn modern languages, and with these they learn a great many vices and errors, both ancient and modern. It is a Catholic school. What of that? What of anything, indeed? If not a Popish school, the teaching is tainted with German unbelief: what of that? These are only sparks of the Moloch fire. Can we have a burning without smoke and black? These Puritan scruples are old-fashioned.
The young people must know French and German, even if they go to Topher in the process. And this is the silent thought of church-members, deacons, and, must we add, ministers? It is even so. Surely the prayers of such saints for their children’s salvation must make even pandemonium laugh. Such a fine farce, such a rare comedy, must be an entertainment such as the prince of darkness could not readily get up for his royal delectation in the Opera Comique of hell if he had not the help of Christian professors. When worldlings do thus with their children none can blame them; but this from men and women who talk of holiness and communion with the Lord Jesus! This from those who aspire to be soul-winners! Why, it must seem to Beelzebub to be too much of a good thing.
This mischief may be detected in another form, in the too common drinking customs, which are still cherished in a few families. Children are taught to drink, encouraged to drink, and praised for drinking; the glass is even made a reward for good conduct. It will be little wonder if they grow up to equal, and surpass their seniors, when precept and example are pointed by contemptuous jests aimed at abstainers. We have heard Christian people declare that if their children acquired a taste for strong drink it should be in after life, but they would not bear the responsibility of training them in it; and we have thought this to be true common sense. But what is that spirit which leads a professed believer in Christ to put the bottle to his neighbor’s mouth, nay, to his child’s mouth? What is that spirit which has induced some to trample upon the scruples of the little one, and exclaim in anger, “I will have none of such nonsense. Are you going to teach your parents, and set up to be better than they?” Thousands of boys are the victims of Bacchus, for their fathers train them to take their share of beer; this is mostly among the working-classes; but are there not too many in all ranks of society who in other shapes offer their children upon the altar of the fiery fiend? Let the careful parent think this matter over before he further countenances wine at juvenile parties, or at holiday festivals. It may seem a trifle, and in itself it may be so; but when the son becomes a sot, it will afford his father no pleasure to remember that he told him to “stick to his beer,” or taught him how to know a glass of fine old port. If men will resolve to be the slaves of sin, it is not of necessity that the sin should be intoxication, which exerts so baneful an influence upon those around them, and so fearfully opens the door to other vices. Yet it is to this most groveling of idols that multitudes of the young are offered up a living sacrifice; and the question is — shall this be done by those who claim to be members of the body of Christ? Oh, that the answer might be a negative, — emphatic, unanimous, decisive! Murder is a deed most foul.
Soul-murder cannot be put into a secondary class of guilt. The soul-murder of our own children must be a crime which reeks to heaven. Will not every one, who fears that he may have been chargeable therewith, cry out before the Lord, “Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation”? As it will be our crown to win souls, so will it be a dishonor and a blot to cause a soul to perish. The Lord hold us back from so grave a crime. Amen.
DOING AND PLANNING.
AUSEFUL man to Stonewall Jackson was old Miles, the Virginia bridgebuilder.
The bridges were swept away so often by floods, or burned by the enemy, that Miles was as necessary to the Confederate army as Jackson himself. One day the Union troops had retreated, and burned a bridge across the Shenandoah. Jackson, determined to follow them, summoned Miles. “You must put all your men on that bridge,” said he;” they must work all night, and the bridge must be completed by daylight. My engineer shall furnish you the plan, and you can go right ahead.” Early next morning Jackson, in, a. very doubtful frame of mind, met the old bridge-builder. “Well,’ said the general, “did the engineer give you the plan for the bridge?” “General;,” returned Miles, slowly,” the bridge is done. I don t know whether the picter is or not!”
We want a few more men of the Miles order. In fact, we could do with miles of them. They do not plan but work. While others debate they perform. A committee has met six times, and has at last appointed a subcommittee to consider the cheapest place to buy a box of matches; but our practical brother has lit the fire, dried the poor creature’s clothes, given him a basin of soup, and sent him on his way rejoicing, — yes, done it a hundred times over before the great match, discussion has verged upon a decision. In the name of all the humanities, let us have fewer plans and more bridges, shorter red-tape and longer bits of flannel; and if possible, less bitter cry and more wool on the poor people’s backs. Measureless oceans of talk are not equal to a single cup of cold water really given in Christ’s name.— C. H.S.THROUGH DEATH TO LIFE
HAVE you heard the tale of the Aloe-plant, Away in the sunny clime?
By humble growth of a hundred years It reaches its blooming time; And then a wondrous bud at its crown Breaks into a thousand flowers; This floral queen, in its blooming seen, Is the pride of the tropical bowers; But the plant to the flower is a sacrifice, For it blooms but once, and, in blooming, dies.
Have you further heard of this Aloe-plant, That grows in the sunny clime, how every one of its thousand flowers, As they drop in the blooming time, Is an infant-plant, that fastens its roots In the place where it falls on the ground; And, fast as they drop from the dying stem, Grow lively and lovely around?
By dying it liveth a thousand-fold In the young that spring from the death of the old. You ‘have heard these tales; shall I tell you one, A greater and better than all?
Have you heard of him whom the heavens adore, Before whom the hosts of them fall?
How he left the choirs and anthems above, For earth in its wailings and woes, To suffer the shame and pain of the cross, And to die for the life of his foes?
O Prince of the noble! O Sufferer Divine!
What sorrow and sacrifice equal to thine!
Have you heard this tale — the best of them all — The tale of the Holy and True?
He died, but his life, in untold souls, Lives on in the world anew.
His seed prevails, and is filling the earth As the stars fill the sky above; He taught us to yield up the love of life For the sake of the life of love.
His death is our life, his loss is our gain — The joy for the tear, the peace for the pain.
Now hear these tales, ye weary and worn, Who for others do give up your all; Our Savior hath told you the seed that would grow Into earth ’s dark bosom must fall — Must pass from the view, and die away, And then will the fruit appear; The grain that seems lost in the earth below Will return many-fold in the ear.
By death comes life, by loss comes gain; The joy for the tear, the peace for the pain.
THE UNUSED UMBRELLA A YOUTH was lately leaving his aunt’s house after a visit, when, finding it was beginning to rain, he caught up an umbrella that was snugly placed in a corner, and was proceeding to open it, when the old lady, who for the first time observed his movements, sprang towards him, exclaiming, “No, no; that you never shall I I’ve had that umbrella twenty-three years, and it has never been wet yet; and I’m sure it shan’t be wetted now.” Some folk’s religion is of the same quality. It is none the worse for wear. It is a respectable article to be looked at, but it must not be damped in the showers of daily life. It stands in a corner, to be used m case of serious illness or death, but it is not meant for common occasions. We are suspicious that the twenty-three years’ old gingham was gone at the seams, and if it had been unfurled it would have leaked like a sieve. At any rate, we are sure that this is the case with the hoarded-up religion which has answered no useful turn in a man’s life C.H.S.
HOW NOT TO TALK, ACONTEMPORARY says: “A Frenchman is teaching a donkey to j. talk.
What we want in this country is a man who will teach donkeys not to talk.”
This is unvarnished truth. The need is conspicuously seen in the House of Commons, but it is fell in a measure in all other houses, The art of holding the tongue deserves to be placed at the head of all acquirements. Silence is golden. The other day, when six women were driving along at full speed, they suddenly paused, and we thought we heard music: we had to rub our eyes to make sure that we were not among the angels: the quiet was more sweet, than harpers with their harps.
At a public meeting, how deliciously the brethren speak when they’ are short! Their tones grow more and more melodious as they near-the close, and their last sentences are sweet beyond compare. Let them hurry on, and let us have those last words, which are their best words. Blessed is he who knows when to leave off! More blessed is he who never begins to talk till he has something to say! Most blessed is he who does not speak at all, because the time is far spent, and. the friends are quite as tired as they need be.— C. H.S. JOHN’S PRIVILEGES AND PECULIARITY THE beloved Apostle John was in four remarkable ways honored above his brethren; yea, even above the first three 1. He was nearest to the Lord at the Table, leaning upon Jesus’ bosom. His communion was ‘very close and tender, suited to his character as “that disciple whom Jesus loved.” 2. He was nearest to the Lord in his passion. He fled as all did, but soon returned, and entered into the high priest’s house, and gained admission for Peter also the stood at the foot, of the cross with the holy women, and faced the cruel soldiery and the ribald herd of mockers. Fellowship with Christ in his sufferings is a high attainment. 3. He accepted the guardianship of the Virgin-mother, when her Son and Lord in his last moments said, “Son, behold thy mother!” It is no small thing to be trustees for Jesus, of his gospel, his honor, or his people. 4. He was favored with the brightest and fullest visions of his Lord in the Isle which is called Patmos. He was a seer, and the chief of all the seers. The vials of God was unveiled before his eyes.
Whence these peculiar indulgences? Of course, they spring from grace, for we are no longer under the rule of law and the principle of debt; but what grace was there in John which wrought in him these glories? Was it not that John was, of all the disciples, the most like his Lord? He was holy in behavior, and over all his holiness there shone the mild radiance of love, which is just the one peculiarity of Jesus which all men must perceive, if they have eyes at all. John was the most striking picture of Christ that could be found among the twelve.
Now see our question answered. Who should lean upon the bosom of the Well-beloved but the loving follower? Who should be a close eye-witness of his. Master’s deadly griefs but the tender one who could enter into them? Who should be appointed to care for the widow and the bereaved but he who was all affection? And who should behold the glory of God, whose name is love, but the Apostle who, beyond all others, lived only to love? Our communion, constancy, service, and illumination will all be measured by our holy resemblance to Jesus in a truly loving carriage and deportment. The name of John is common enough. Oh, that more of us possessed his character! Truly, this is “the Gift of God.”— C. H. S. Infidel Objections Considered and Refitted. By the Rev. F. E.WHITMORE.
J. Nisbet and Co.
Tins is a valuable compendium of evidences in favor of inspiration and gospel truths, in opposition to the avowed sentiments of modern skepticism. It proceeds upon the right principle of looking first at the reasons for a proposition, and then at the objections against it. Apparently unanswerable objections may be made against a truth for which overwhelming proofs may be adduced. Nearly one half of this book is made up of extracts, because this was needful for the accomplishment of its design. It would doubtless have been far easier for one so thoroughly acquainted with his subject to have written an independent treatise upon it than to have selected extracts from a variety of authors, and made suitable comments upon them. By renouncing the literal for a geological inter relation of the first chapter of the Bible, the author has, we think, invalidated his own subject, and hindered his own purpose. If the Bible begins with an allegory in the form of simple narrative, without any intimation to that effect, who shall say what in the sequel is to be literally or what is to be allegorically understood? With this exception we commend the volume as a complete exposure of the fallacy and dishonesty of the infidel pretensions by which many are led astray in the present day.
IT has often happened, when we have been laid aside by painful affliction, that the Lord has moved his stewards to send in specially large sums of money for the various institutions under our care; and during our recent illness this happy experience has been repeated. To the honor of our gracious Lord we desire to make a public record of his fatherly kindness.
Just about the time that our sufferings commenced, one dear friend, who has long helped us most generously, forwarded £200; this was almost immediately followed by £6250 from another liberal friend; the next day £500 came from a Christian lady who has oft refreshed us; and within about a week another honored sister in Christ gave us a similar amount.
Some of these sums were left at our disposal to appropriate where the need was the greatest, and thus we were able to repair the walls where there was any sign of weakness.
While we were still confined to the house we received the news, which in various forms has been published in the newspapers, of a legacy left by a Leicester gentleman. Under the provisions of his will the Orphanage will receive £1000; but there is no truth in the statement that a large fortune has been bequeathed to Mr. Spurgeon personally. The residue of the testator ’s personal estate goes to the Leicester Infirmary, while his real estate is charged with the payment of debts, funeral and testamentary expenses, and certain legacies. All that can be said at present is that there will, probably, be a balance to come to Mr. Spurgeon. It was generous and thoughtful of the testator to make such a bequest, but he little dreamed how much would be made of it by the tongue of rumor. We merely mention this that our friends may not restrain their help to the various societies, and to prevent disappointment to intending applicants, who are anxious to relieve us of the large amount which they erroneously suppose is coming into our hands. Had the rumor been correct we should have been able to dispose of the largest amount with ease, since we have just now several localities before us in which churches ought to be formed, and places of worship erected; but we have not the means with which to aid in the desirable works. God will send what he pleases, how he pleases, and when he pleases; and his withholdings will be as much for his glory as his givings.
On Monday erecting, Feb. 25, Mr. J. Hudson Taylor came to the prayermeeting at the Tabernacle to ask for special supplication on behalf of four female and two male missionaries who were about to leave for China.
Pastor J. A. Spurgeon presided, in the enforced absence, through illness, of his brother, and many fervent petitions were offered for the suffering Pastor and the missionary band, several of whom briefly spoke of the manner in which they had been led to offer themselves for the work of the China Inland Mission. It was a holy convocation, the influence of which will long be felt by those who were thus publicly commended to the care and blessing of the Lord; and we believe that one effect of the words spoken and the prayers offered will be that others who were present will in due season respond to the divine call, “Who will go for us?” by crying with the prophet of old, “Here am I, send me.” China needs and deserves the choicest spirits from among our churches. There are many such among our readers. Will there not be volunteers?
On Monday evening, March 3, both the Pastors were too unwell to be present at the prayer-meeting, but the Lord was there, and so were many of his suppliant saints. The last half-hour of the meeting was profitably occupied by members of the Students’ Missionary Association. Several brethren prayed for the success of missionaries both abroad and at home, and Mr. Warren delivered an address on “The crying need of Africa.” The other prayer-meetings of the month have been well sustained, but there has not been anything calling for special mention here. It is our joy and delight that the people do pray. Here is the power of a church. The minister may be feeble in body, but he cannot be weak in testimony with a pleading church behind him. What need be feared when saints abound in supplication? What can be hoped when the meetings for prayer are thin and cold?
One of the greatest disappointments during the. past month was the unavoidable absence of Pastor C. H. Spurgeon from the opening ceremonies of HADDON HALL and the substantial block of buildings erected for the perpetuation of the work hitherto carried on by Mr. Wm. Olney, jun., ‘and the workers of the Green Walk Mission, Bermondsey. With this exception, the dedication of the new premises has been most satisfactory.
The first sermon was preached on Wednesday, March 5, by Pastor J.A. Spurgeon; the Lord Mayor presided at the luncheon which followed; and Mr. Samuel Barrow occupied the chair at the public meeting in the evening. At the close of the day the Treasurer was able to report that the whole amount, about £6000, needed for the erection and furnishing of the buildings, had been raised. We are anxious still to secure the balance required to meet the ground-rent of £45, so that all contributions received in the Hall may be devoted to purely missionary purposes, A poor people ought to have no burden beyond the needful expenses of aggressive effort.
Another thousand pounds would lift this stone out of the road.
Since the opening day, sermons have been preached; public meetings have been held in connection with the Mothers’ Meeting, the Mission Workers, and the Gospel Temperance Movement; and the Sunday-school, the Bible Classes, and the various agencies have settled down in right good earnest to their work in the new quarters. Every night that the Hall has been opened it has been crowded, and many souls have found the Savior during the first fortnight’s special services.
On Tuesday evening, March 18, the twentieth annual was held at the Tabernacle. Between seventeen and eighteen hundred men enjoyed a hearty meat-tea in the Lecture-hall tad ;School room, and two hundred of the master-butchers and their wives were entertained in the College buildings.
A large number of other persons joined them for the evening meeting, at which the Tabernacle was nearly filled. Mr. J. Herbert Tritton presided; addresses were delivered by Messrs. Henry Varley and Richard Weaver, and the singing was led by Mr. Frisby’s choir. This meeting affords a good opportunity for the clear presentation of the gospel to a great company of working-men, and also for the utterance of plain words of warning and expostulation concerning the vices in which certain of them have indulged.
Cases of conversion, as the result of these gatherings, have been met with, and it is hoped that many have been permanently benefited by the good advice to which they have listened.
On Wednesday evening, March 19, the second annual meeting of the
TABERNACLE TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY Wits held in the Lecture-hall, after about two hundred of the members and friends had partaken of tea in the School-room. In the unavoidable absence of Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, who was obliged to content himself by sending a letter, the chair was taken by the Rev. J P. Gledstone, of Streatham; prayer was offered by Mr.W. Bowker; addresses were delivered by the chairman, Pastor C. Spurgeon, Dr. Barnardo, and Mr. J. W. Harrald; and the singing was under the direction of Mr. Chamberlain and the Blue Ribbon choir. Mr. Smithers, the Secretary, read the report, which contained the pleasing information that during the year no less than 1,200 persons have signed the pledge, while many have been led. not only to give up the use of intoxicants, but also to accept Christ as their Savior. ‘ The Elephant and Castle Theater Services have also been blessed to many. Help has been rendered by speakers from the Society at the meetings on Sunday evenings in the South London Palace. The expenses of the work have amounted to about £150, and the balance of £4 15s. 7d. in hand will need to be supplemented by special subscriptions unless the work is to be crippled for want of funds.
Poor MINISTERS CLOTHING SOCIETY.— Mrs. Evans asks us to say that she is very grateful for a valuable box of clothing from A D. COLLEGE.
— Mr. J. S. Hockey has become Pastor of the church at Brentford. Mr. J. Bateman is removing from Hatston, Cambs., to Tue Brook, Liverpool; and Mr. J. McNab, from Great Broughton, to Millore, Cumberland.
Mr. M. Baskerville, who has done a good work at Caxton, Cambs., during the past three years, is leaving for the United States, where we trust he will soon find a suitable sphere.
The following extract from a letter, written by- the doctor who attended our late student, Mr. A.. Stewart, at Ventnor, will be read with deep interest by many friends :— “One gets pleasure and profit in coming into contact; with a nature and heart like your late student’s. I shall not forget the fine lesson, in submission he gave me four or five days before he died. Till then the proverbial hopefulness of his malady had shown itself strongly, and I at last met it definitely by saying that medical art would no longer avail, and that time grew short. He looked at me to make sure of my earnestness, then smiled, bowed his head very low (he was sitting up in bed), and said, ‘Well, then, let the Lord do as seemeth to him good.’ Under the circumstances, there was something inexpressibly fine in the words, and face, and manner of the man.”
The half-yearly meetings of the Students’ Missionary Association have been held recently. On February 15, Mr. W. Olney presided, and addresses were delivered by the Rev. James Smith, of Delhi, on Mission Work in India, and by Mr. T. L. Johnson, who pleaded the cause of Africa. On March 7, the Rev. W. R. Skerry, of Wood-berry Down Baptist Chapel, spoke with much power upon the words, “Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
During the past; month a new church has been formed at Aldershot, where Mr. J. R. Cooper, one of the students, has been preaching for about a year.
At the recent anniversary meeting it was reported that one gentleman had given a valuable site for the erection of a chapel, another generous donor had presented £100, a friend had promised 10,000 bricks, and about £90 had been received m: promised towards the Building Fund. Altogether, the enterprise has been started most hopefully, and we trust many liberal helpers will enable the project to be caused through speedily and successfully. We ought to have a good Baptist church in Aldershot, both for the civilians and soldiers, and we hope before long this desirable end will be attained.
Evangelists — Messrs Fullerton and Smith ’s services at Edinburgh are still being continued while these “Notes” are being written, so we must postpone a full report of them until next month. We have, however, already heard sufficient of the beginning of the mission to make us very thankful for the large numbers who have listened to the gospel from the lips of our brethren, and for the blessing which has already rested on the message they have delivered.
Mr. Burnham, with the help of Mr. Broad, as he was not well enough to take all the services, had a most cheering work at Long Buckby. He has since visited Melbourne, Cambs., and Swanage, Dorset; and this month he goes to Swansea, and next month to Carlisle. He wishes us to mention that he is free for engagements after May 25th. Messrs. Mateer and Parker report great blessing upon their labors at Stockport, and also at Allorton, Bradford.
We have received from the pastors and delegates of the North Staffordshire Baptist Association a letter conveying their hearty thanks for Mr. F. Russell ’s services in the Potteries during January and February. In it they say, “Our brother has commended himself to the Christian love and esteem of all the churches visited. There was the true ring about his preaching, and it proved to be the power of God unto salvation.” During the past month Mr. Russell has been at New Whittington, where many have received the message of life as he has spoken it. ORPHANAGE.
— All the places mentioned in last month’s Magazine were duly visited by Mr. Charlesworth and his choir. The whole of the meetings were very largely attended, and in some instances hundreds were unable to gain admission. In nearly every case earnest requests have been presented that, as soon as possible, a second visit may be arranged. Financially the tour was very successful; and we most heartily thank all the generous donors, and the kind friends who undertook the work of organizing the meetings. We pray that they may be abundantly rewarded by the Father of the fatherless.
The following engagements have been booked : — May 3 to 7, Luton, Cambridge, and Waterbeach; May 20 to June 9, Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Torquay, Plymouth, Liskeard, Looe, St. Austell, Falmouth, Helsion, Penzance, Hayle, Redruth, Truro, and Devonport. Our friends in the east and the west will doubtless do all they can to make the meetings successful.
On Friday evening, March 7. the Orphanage Sunday- school prizes were distributed, Messrs. Nisbet and Co. and Messrs. Shaw and Co. having supplied the books at half-price, the special discount being a donation to the Institution. The children and their teachers spent a very pleasant evening together, Mr. Lambert Gore contributing to their enjoyment by a recital of “Lost Gip” and three scenes from “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
The Annual Fete of the Orphanage will be held on Wednesday, June 18th. ‘Country friends, please make a note of the date.
Friends willing to collect contributions, to be brought in at the annual fete, can have books or boxes by writing to the Secretary, Stockwell Orphanage, Clapham Road. Colportage. — A review of the working of the Colportage Association for the past year shows that there is every reason for thankfulness and hope.
The colporteurs, as a whole, have worked well and made very fair sales.
Their visits have been welcomed, and in many instances useful; and the literature sold has in some cases displaced that which was doing harm to its readers. Thousands of gospel addresses have been given, and the utility of colportage, as an efficient evangelistic agency, has been acknowledged by all who have tried it. A gentleman, who has jointly supported two colporteurs for several years, writes: — They are both doing an increasingly useful work. The spiritual condition of our country districts, and the lamentable absence of life in the pulpit both Of churches and chapels, is so fearful that! am amazed that you are not asked for more men than you can find, especially as the cost is so moderate, and the workers so efficient, and evidently owned of God.” This is the testimony of a member of the Established Church, and at once shows the unsectarian character of our colporteurs’ work, and urges upon others its wider adoption. Twenty more men could easily be added to the seventy-two new at work, if as many new districts would furnish £40 a year each, which is all the expense they would bear towards the colporteur’s support. The Association will gladly supplement local subscriptions of £40, but cannot undertake the entire support of a colporteur, which usually costs as much more. A wealthy person, unable personally to work for the master, can thus secure, at a small cost, the efficient visitation of a district by a Christian man, who will scatter God’s seed of truth all around, and do a valuable evangelizing work. Ministers and churches may employ a worker who will supplement all their regular agencies, and go to “the regions beyond”; or any energetic worker may collect the £40, and so get a man to work his district.. Further information will be gladly furnished, and remittances thankfully acknowledged, by W. Corden Jones, Colportage Association, Temple Street, London, S.E.
— The editor of the American edition of the Christian Herald writes to us from -New York as follows : — “ I think it will cheer you to learn that we have recently heard of some very remarkable cases, in which very wicked and desperate characters have given up their revolvers and bowie knives mid have become like children in spirit, through the blessing of God on your sermons published in our columns. ‘One aged reprobate, sixty years old, died last week, whose last two years were in startling contrast to all his past life. The transformation was the wonder of the neighbor-hood for its completeness. From being a public terror he became a public blessing, as gentle and as kind as a woman. Pie was delivered from drunkenness, profanity, unchastity, and blood-shedding. On his death-bed he desired that you should be told this, as he owed his conversion, under , to a sermon of yours which he read in a stray copy of the Christian Herald, which some one brought into the Ranch and left behind. He quaintly said that ‘he should tell Jesus about you.’” Another instance of blessing through the same agency, in the State of Illinois, is thus described by the man benefited : — “Through the influence of strong drink I had broken the law of our land, and was for nearly five months confined in a county jail. I became convicted of sin, and for about four months I was in darkness, and at last in despair, when there came to me a Christian Herald, containing your sermon, “Knock, and it shall he opened unto you.” (No. 1,723, “Knock.”) It gave me courage, and I redoubled my efforts, and renewed my pleas; and, thanks to the grace of God, I am to-day standing on the solid Rock, Christ Jesus. Do you wonder, dear Sir, that I want to thank you? I cannot tell you half I would like to, or express half that is in my heart; but as this letter goes out, over the mountains and plains, and across the sea to you, I send a prayer up to the Father that he will keep you and bless you... “Thankfully yours, A. friend in Scotland, in sending a donation for the Orphanage, wrote :—” Perhaps it may cheer you to know that, in a letter I received recently from an officer on board an Indian-trading merchant-steamer, he says, ‘ I have been getting Spurgeon’s sermons sent out, and really they are sweet. Next to God’s Word, there is nothing I like better to read.’” The writer adds—” For myself I cannot tell you how much my soul has been profiled by the ministry of your pen.” A Queensland correspondent writes: — “Believing that ministers are deserving of encouragement in their work, I give you a reminiscence or two — “(1) I roam back in memory to 1858, when I was farming in Victoria. We lived in ‘the Bush,’ and, as you may imagine, church-services were somewhat scarce, and somewhat mediocre when we did get any. But it was scarcely fit that we should be heathens ‘a’thegither,’ so my plan was to get my men and household together on Sunday evenings for worship. Some of our lads, bred in Scotland, could sing a little, so we raised a ‘lilt’ after the true ‘auld’ Presbyterian fashion. By-and-by came the sermon, and what came so handy as one of Spurgeon’s? I invested in a heap of ‘Spurgeon’s,’ pamphlet fashion, and read to the folk assembled. On the night now visible to my memory the text was, ‘ Walk about Zion, etc.’ (Psalm 48:12,13.) I preached away with all my might, being deeply interested in the subject, when, happening to lift my eyes off my paper, I caught ‘ Jock’ looking as though he was staring at a Punch-and-Judy show. I put on more steam, and as I reached the end of a stirring passage, ‘ Jock’ brought his fist down on the table with a bang, and sang out, ‘ Weel, weel, did anybody ever hear the like o’ that? ‘ “(2) A Presbyterian clergyman thought it wise to beat up our quarters, so we met him half way at the school-house. He was a queer fellow, and has since worked ‘muckle ill to the kirk.’ ‘ Our minister gave us a grand sermon the day,’ said a newting hearer, well up in criticizing sermons; ‘ w agn’t it grand?’ ‘ Yes,’ I replied, ‘ it wasna that ill, and if you’ll come over to my house, I’ll show it t’ye in print, for I read it to my men last Sabbath evening.’ It was Spurgeon on. ‘ The Three Raisings.’ “(3) Picture yourself now in Queensland. Imagine a sugar-planter’s house, surrounded by a spacious verandah. At one end sit the men Of the plantation, all sedate and orderly. A few Chinamen fringe the back seats, possibly to see what is going on. In front stands the organ, with my daughter ready for her part. Nearer sits the head of the, house, with her brood around her, like a ‘ white tappet hen ‘; and further away is a readingdesk, with cushion and cloth, all en regle . Standing there is the writer, with his ‘ ‘specs’ on, for age is telling, and small print is trying to his eyes. A psalm is sung, prayer offered, the Scriptures read, more staging, and then one of Spurgeon’s sermons, another hymn, and then the benediction. Many are ready to say in this land that the lamp has gone out, and, truth to tell, it flickers very low; yet there are those who hive not bowed the knee to Baal.
Those who have known that the Lord is gracious, and that Jesus is their Savior, help to keep the flame burning. Thank God, my dear Sir, that you have, by your sermons, been in some measure the means of letting the glorious gospel light shine on the hills of Queensland; and though at times you may be brought low, and be unable to see results from your labors, yet ever remember that there may be some, in this dark land, who may have reason to be thankful to you for sending’ The lamp that never fails To these dark and sinful shores.’
It is Saturday afternoon, so I must go and hunt up a ‘Spurgeon’ that will please reader and hearer to-morrow, so good-bye. Excuse the liberty I have taken, and “Believe me, “Yours ,truly, Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle :-February 28, nineteen.