ANYWHERE FOR JESUS BY C. H. SPURGEON.
GIVE me a knife and fork, and a chance,” says the man of appetite. Grant; his petition, he carries everything before him, and speedily creates a plenitude within. A man with true appetite for Christian service is much in the same condition. The true worker for God and for the good of men simply says, “Give me an opportunity, and the means of availing myself of it and I ask no more.” lie asks only what is absolutely necessary. Even Archimedes must have a fulcrum for his lever, and of course he must have a spot of ground on which the fulcrum can rest; but this given, his lever proceeds to lift everything to which it is applied.
Some brethren are for a large portion of their lives looking for a sphere, and during the rest of their existence they are mainly engaged in looking out for a better sphere; and so their twelve hours run away in seeking a part of the vineyard where they may use their tools. Had half the thought thus vainly spent been put to the practical purpose of immediate service, something could and would have come of it. If these gentlemen had begun by qualifying themselves for a position, the position would have come to them in due time; and if they had continued to improve themselves in the place whereunto they had attained, and had they perseveringly made the best of all opportunities, they would have accomplished something, and would in all probability have risen to a higher plane of action. It seems to us to be of the very smallest consequence where a man begins a useful life.
Give a Cod-sent preacher a pulpit and a covered building to protect the people from wind and rain, and he will make his own way. Should he be surrounded at the outset with all possible aids, he ought to succeed, and therefore he ought not to be self-satisfied, but should aspire to something more arduous; for opportunities of self-development are evidently all the fewer where encouragements are many and everything lies ready to hand.
Should a man commence life where everything is against him, ‘where others before him have seriously failed, where there are all the disheartening omens which predict, defeat to himself, it will be all the more to his credit if he prospers, and in the process of prospering he will acquire strength and wisdom, which will be even more valuable to him than the success itself.
We have known ministers who have begun with the smallest and poorest of village churches achieve a grand lifework; yes, and so have others who have commenced with no church at all, and have had the honor of upbuilding everything from a foundation of their own laying. Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties. The hard rock which they have quarried has been engraven with their names, and has rendered them immortal. Oberlin has left a famous name among pastors; but it is possible that if he had been appointed to a city church, and had addressed a congregation of wealthy burghers in Strasburg, he might never have been heard of. But for the very reason that the Ban de la Roche was so barren, so secluded, so untutored, he had opportunities of proving the civilizing and elevating power of the gospel upon his flock among the mountains. We question if there could have been an Oberlin, as he now exists in public memory, if there had not been a wild Ban de la Roche, to be the dwelling of a refined and spiritually-enlightened congregation. Let a young minister believe that difficulties are the raw material of a glorious life. With the Bible in his hand, love to God in his heart, and the Holy Spirit as his power, let him regard nothing as impossible.
The very things which would keep off an idler are attractions to the active and earnest servant of the Lord Jesus. It was a new thing in the world when Fletcher went to Madcloy, refusing a far better living because he wanted more work and less pay; yet had he not made that choice, Fletcher might have always been a saint; but the peculiar saintliness embodied in “Fletcher of Madeley ” might never have perfumed biography He who would bless the world most fully must cultivate its waste places, and cause its deserts to blossom as the rose. This, if it be believed, will make the competition less keen for the apparently advantageous positions, and cause the thoroughly consecrated to make small account of where they shall labor, in comparison with how they shall give out their strength to promote the greater glory of God.
A man takes the position of head-gardener where horticulture has been carried to the utmost perfection. He reckons upon the honor of taking the place of one who made the garden renowned by taking every prize at floral exhibitions. He ought not to forget that he has that renown to keep up. It will need daily diligence to maintain the garden in its present high-class condition; he will be continually subject to comparison with his eminent predecessor, not always to his own credit; and he must be an extraordinary man if he really goes beyond the accomplishments of the man whose place he has taken; yet this will assuredly be expected of him. He ought to make sure of his ability before he enters upon ‘.such a post. Yet many young men would like to take a pastorate where everything is specially prosperous, where: the preaching has been of the rarest order, the church-work of a model kind, and the spiritual tone of the highest pitch. Where better men shrink from entering, the worse are eager to climb up. Competent brethren cry, “nolo episcopari, ” and must be thrust into the position by those who are convinced of their qualifications; but there are others who bid for the place itself, and fancy that the qualifications will come with it. They will have their work cut out if they are able merely to maintain in going form the admirable work of those whom they succeed, and they had need put themselves through many heart-searching examinations before they venture upon the serious task. We all know what became of Phaeton when his rash hands ventured to grasp the reins of the chariot of the sun.
On the other hand, a working gardener takes a position at the head of affairs where every part of the domain has been neglected: general mismanagement and ignorance have ruined alike trees, and shrubs, and flowers; walks and lawns are all in disorder. We judge his task to be comparatively easy, and its immediate reward to be manifest. Everything that he dots by way of improvement is seen at once; the hoe and pruningknife work wonders. The order which he introduces strikes the attention of his master, who smiles as he sees every day a measure of delightful progress. He has the benefit of contrast with his predecessor, and probably wins more praise than he actually deserves. When rich crops reward his toil they are enhanced by the remembrance of past years of failure ;; and he himself finds no small pleasure in seeing how readily nature answers to his touch, and rewards his careful attentions. His forlorn sphere contained within it all the elements of hope, and he should count himself fortunate to have chosen it.
Of course, the result is not uniformly the same in either case. The successor of the eminent horticulturist may strike out a new path, and by God’s blessing achieve as much as had been done in former days, and even more; and in the other case the garden so sadly neglected may go from bad to worse, till the owner may even regret the slovens whom he has discharged.
We have seen both cases illustrated in churches and ministries. A young brother, modestly daring, has proved to be in God’s hands the equal of him who fell asleep amid universal regret; and great has been the joy of the people and the glory of the Lord. Alas I we have also seen gross incapacity followed by yet deeper uselessness, and the new-comer has gained nothing by the failure of his predecessor except the power to do still greater mischief. Such men are out of place altogether, and remind us of the witty remark of one who was asked, “What do you think of our minister’s preaching?” “Why, I think he did much better four years ago.” “How can that be? He was not a preacher then, but a shoemaker.” “Just so. That is what I meant. He did much better then.”
Our first business is to become vessels fit for the Master’s use. This being done by the quickening and sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, our next endeavor should be to wait upon \he Lord, saying, “Show what thou wouldst have me to do. Should no work be laid upon us immediately, it is ours obediently to wait; not with our eyes shut, certainly, but without that wearing anxiety which is pretty sure to blunder into a position which it will ere long blunder out of. We are not called upon to break open doors; but when the open door is set before us,. we should be prompt to enter. To run before we are sent may involve our having to come back again at a slower and more sorrowful pace; but to watch for the sound of the going in the tops of the mulberry-trees, ready at once to bestir ourselves, is the posture of wisdom and safety. Our waiting upon God must be true and real, and not a mere pretense. We must not be looking out for that which is pleasing, but for that which is fit. We are to go where God appoints, and not where we desire. Picking and choosing with fastidious haste, according to preconceived notions of what is due to our noble selves, will end in ignoble loafing. We have all heard of the man in the wood who wanted a stick, and saw many good ones, but concluded that if he walked on further he would still see many equally suitable, and perhaps one better than all; and so he hesitated until he came to the end of the wood, and then must needs limp all the rest of the way home for want of a start. Vain men have thrown away opportunities in the past for which they would give their eyes to-day.
As profligates have lived to hunger for their former leavings, so have workers longed for the humble spheres which aforetime they despised.
Some of God’s Jonahs would be glad to go to Nineveh now if the Lord would but send them. He who once dreamed that he was an Isaiah would now be right glad to be an Amos, but his own pretentiousness has shut him out. As — “There is a tide in the affairs of men Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune, ” so in the sublime affairs of life eternal, in the service of the Ever-blessed, there is a tide which bears a man to usefulness; and this once missed, the man may lie at his moorings till he rots away in very wastefulness of fruitless complaining and regret. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” O servant of the Lord, work for thy Master in some form or fashion, as best comes to thee!
The first thing that comes to hand may not be the greatest, but it may be the fittest to begin upon. Work with energy and full-hearted zeal, trusting in the Lord for present help for the present burden Give thyself to this which God gives thee, and thy Lord and his people will see what thou art doing. If thou art wrongly in the lowest room, the Master of the feast will soon bid thee come up higher. The church: this day needs thorough-going men as much as ever. In spite of all that is said to the contrary, the thorough-going, devoted worker will not long be left in a corner. The swan does not remain for life in the duck’s nest. The man shall not wait long for his hour, though many an hour is waiting for its man. Enter the ranks of the Lord’s arm as a private; it is the only way to obtain promotion in the heavenly service. Neither purchase nor patronage will be found available in the real warfare of life. Outward ecclesiastical rank may seem to come of such outward help, but advancement according to the commission of the King of kings comes only of his grace as the reward of service done, or hardness borne. The only way upward in the sight of the Lord is to go downward. He who descends to complete self’ abnegation has ascended to true honor. He who makes himself the least is already the greatest. The lowliest service, the gentlest forbearance, the tenderest sympathy, the fullest self-sacrifice, the deepest humility — these are those qualifications for “the first three” which we ought all to cultivate, for without them a place among the mightiest will prove a fatal honor.
BROTHER PITY: BUY A BUN!
HE was prosperous in business, and held a good position in the church of which he was a member, but, suffering a reverse of fortune, he suddenly disappeared. His loss was a matter of regret to his brother officers, and a good many conjectures were suggested as to his fate.
Having lost, his capital, and not wishing to be a burden to his friends, he removed into very humble apartments in a poor neighborhood, and established himself as a vendor of cheap pastry. If he could not regain his fortune by his new enterprise, he could, at least, maintain himself by honest industry, and thus preserve his independence. Willing to work, he preferred the reward of his own industry to the gratuities of his friends — an example to many able-bodied pensioners!
Passing along a by-street one evening, a friend, who had known him in his prosperity, recognized him in spite of his altered costume, and ventured to speak, but the interview was not agreeable to either party. The dignity of the traveling pieman was touched by the patronizing tone of his friend, and he could scarcely conceal his wounded pride; not that he was ashamed of his new vocation — he was fully satisfied of its honesty, and the conviction was his solace.
It was with some degree of impatience he listened to the affected condolence of his friend (?), who addressed him thus — “My dear brother, I am so sorry to see you in this position: from my heart I pity your” Seizing the first article from his barrow which came to hand, he held it up, as a salesman proud of his wares, and exclaimed, in tones which expressed the grief of a wounded spirit, “BOTHER PITY: BUY A BUN!”
Whether the challenge was accepted or not we do not know, but of this we are certain — the expenditure of a penny would have been a more welcome expression of a genuine sympathy than the indulgence of the mere language of regret. Anyhow, the pieman has our profound respect for his prompt and effective expedient to test the sincerity of his friend. The moral of this story lies so near the surface that none should miss if., and it; is capable of many applications. This only we are concerned to say to our readers — Never consider a brother is degraded by any honest calling, however humble it may be; and do not let your sympathy spend itself’ in mere words if you meet a brother in adversity. Remember, , A little help is worth a great deal of pity.” “BUY ABUN!” V J.C.
ENCOURAGING SUPERSTITION THE following story is related in a book entitled “Round my House: Notes on Rural Life in France in Peace and War.” By Philip Gilbert Hamerton. (Seeley, Jackson, and Halliday.) The author says that he tells the anecdote because of its deep significance, and because of the light it throws upon the relation of the Church of Rome to popular superstition. “A peasant girl, called Annette, who lived on a farm quite close to our house, was in the habit of drawing water at a well which happened to be situated near a lane. ‘As this lane serves for a communication between several farms, and also connects them with the high road, a good many people use it. Well, this girl was drawing water at six o’clock on a very misty October morning, when some one gave her a hearty slap on the back, said ‘ Bon jour, Annette! ’ in a cheery voice, and immediately disappeared in the misty twilight. What inference would the reader draw from this incident? He will conclude, at once, that some lad, belonging to a neighboring farm, who knew Annette, had amused himself by giving her this greeting, and by disappearing in the mist before she could discover who he was. The vigorous slap on the back is evidence enough that the greeting came from a living human being, and not from an impalpable shade. This, however, was not Annette’s interpretation of the incident..
She told the story with evident accuracy as to the facts, but interpreted them as follows: the person who had said ‘ Bon jour, Annette! was not a living human being, but a ghost, the ghost of her own father, and the reason why he came to say ‘Bonjour! ’ in such an unexpected manner was that he was very uncomfortable in purgatory. This made the girl quite wretched. My wife tried to reason with her, adopting the obvious line of argument that, in the first place, the greeting had nothing of sadness in it, and, in the next place, that it had been accompanied by a good slap on the back, which a living lad might easily give, but a ghost not so easily. These arguments, however, proved utterly vain. The girl remained inconsolable all day, and in the evening went to seek comfort from the parish priest.
Now the priest, ‘instead of taking the rational side, and correcting the absurd superstition of which the girl was a victim, instinctively preferred to take the superstitious side. He accepted the incident as a real visitation from the dead, confirmed the girl’s interpretation of it with the immense weight of his ecclesiastical authority, and told her that as she had now plain proof that her father’s soul was unhappy she ought to have masses said for its repose.”
When religious guides encourage superstition it is a grave fault. There is enough of the natural ore in most ignorant hearts, but it is a great pity that either priest or minister should go mining for it. If teachers smile upon miracles, they will soon have miracles to smile upon. We have heard of an instance of an ecclesiastic in high places, who said to a friend, “We shall have no miracles this year;” meaning that for certain reasons he intended to set his face against them, and so put an end to them. No doubt the crop of Papal wonders depends entirely upon the gentlemen with shaven crowns.
There is room even in England, and among Protestants, for a word or two upon this subject. Our own observation makes us sadly aware that a superstitious belief in dreams, and visions, and voices, is not yet extinct; and we fear it will not be while some who should know better give a measure of encouragement to it. Not so very long ago, we were asked, to interpret a good lady’s dream, which struck her as very important. Its principal feature was a man whose head she could not see, but she could hear the dropping of blood. When we placed the ridiculous vision in its true light, as the result of a nightmare, or of indigestion, we fell in her esteem from the position of a prophet to that of an ignoramus. We heard afterwards that her own minister had given her a highly spiritual interpretation of the nonsense, and thereby raised himself in the lady’s esteem. He was a, no, we will not mention the denomination to which he belonged; but we are half afraid that in that body there are not a few brethren who are prepared to endorse popular superstitions, or at least to utilize them for good purposes, smiling while they do so. The less of this the better. The error may seem trivial, but the outgrowth of it may be most mischievous. The belief in witchcraft would not still linger in our villages if all preachers of the gospel set their faces like a flint against it. We may never feel safe with regard to the inflammable material of superstition which, remains in the human breast even in times of skepticism; at any horn: it may serve as tinder for a new Mormonism, or some other form of wild fanaticism. There are not lacking portentous signs at this moment.
What some have hailed as hopeful we have had reason to dread. Once or twice within the last dozen years the church at large has escaped from a fever of fanaticism by a hair’s breadth, and the peril ought not to be perpetuated by unrebuked ignorance C.H.S.
AT THE PRAYER-MEETING; OR DEAD A FEW WORDS SPOKEN AT A TABERNACLE PRAYERMEETING BY PASTOR J. A.SPURGEON.
IHAVE justlost one of the members of my church at Croydon. When I first went there she was an intemperate woman; and the sad part of her life’s story would be very painful indeed. It must be now some ten years ago that, completely poverty-stricken through her drinking habits, though she had a little amount coming in regularly, she was almost starving She had reduced herself to the utmost want, and then she resolved, very wisely, that she would become a teetotaler. Signing the pledge, she became a new woman; she came to the house of prayer, the grace of God reached her heart, and from that time she was always at the chapel whenever the doors were opened. I used to tell her that I thought she really lived on the premises.
There never was a prayer-meeting held without Mrs. W___ being present.
Whether I was there or not, she was. Once, about six months ago, she was absent; but when I asked her where she had been, she said, “I came there, and put the books down, although I could not stop to the meeting.” She had come to the chapel, and reported herself, and then gone off to see some one who was ill. That was the only time I ewer knew her to be away from a prayer-meeting until last Sunday evening, when I missed her again. I asked my deacons if they had seen her, or heard anything of her, and they said, “We do not know where she is, but she was not with us last Friday night, at the prayer-meeting.” I said that I was sure she was dead, for if she had been alive she would have been certain to have been at the prayermeeting. Nobody questioned what I said. All felt with me that she would not have missed two consecutive prayer-meetings unless she had been dead, or too ill to leave her house. During the evening service one of the deacons went off to where she lived all by herself, and, not being able to make anybody hear, he obtained assistance, and broke into the house.
There he found just what we expected; she was there, upon her knees, dead, in her little parlor, and she must have died in great suffering, and in the act of praying to God. She was a remarkable character. She visited and gave away tracts in the worst street in Croydon, and she had a singularly happy way of getting hold of very wicked people, to whom she would tell the story of her own life, and say that she used to be just like them, but by the grace of God she had been converted, and that grace which had don so much for her could do the same for them. There is a story told as an instance of the pranks that used to be played upon her. A young man thought that he would frighten her; so he dressed himself up as nearly like the devil as his imagination enabled him to do, and when She knocked at his door, he opened it, and called out, “I am the devil,” and began to shout at her. Without being at all alarmed, she quietly put on her glasses, and looked him up and down, and said, “You ain’t the devil, you are only one of his children.” I thought the old lady had the best of it that time. I asked her if she ever saw him again, and she replied, “Oh dear, no! He just put his head in, and went off.”
We shall sorely miss her; our prayer-meetings will have a blank through Mrs. W — ‘s absence that we shall not easily make up. I hope some of you will be such constant attendants at the prayer-meeting that if’ you are absent twice we shall say of you, “I am sure our brother or sister must be dead,” although we do not want to have you departing from us so suddenly as did our good friend at Croydon.
QUESTIONABLE INGREDIENT OF POPULARITY
“ONE-THIRD voice and personal presence, one-third selection of sensational topics, and one-third heresy,” according to the Boston Journal, are the ingredients’ for making “a popular preacher.” We are very much afraid that this is true in certain regions; and we are quite sure that some young preachers think so. The last third is the ,easiest ingredient to obtain, and so they make it secure. Any pretender can be heterodox: you need neither study, nor think, nor pray in order to surpass all others in this line.
Notoriety can be gained at once by just being singular, and setting up to know better than those around you. Everybody will talk about you at once, and you can impress yourself upon their memories by saying something very cutting and impudent, and as nearly blasphemous as you dare to make it. But is this a noble ambition? Can this be the course of a man of God?
We think not. Perish the popularity which comes by any doctrine but the truth, or by any means but that of solemn, earnest well-doing! Empty sensationalism perishes like the green herb, and heresy dies like a noxious weed; but the faithful preacher of the word shall be had in everlasting remembrance.—C. H.S.IMPORTANT TRIFLING.
Dr. Shaw, the naturalist, was one day showing to a friend two volumes, in the British Museum, written by a Dutchman, upon the wings of a butterfly. “The dissertation is rather voluminous, Sir, perhaps you will think,” said the Doctor gravely; “but it is immensely important.”
Immensely important to butterflies, and those of like character! So have we seen elaborate essays upon insignificant topics, marvelous discourses upon nothing. “Narcissus is the glory of his race, He talks of nothing with a flowing grace. ” Would preachers who waste Sabbath hours by ornate discussions of trivialities give themselves time for reflection, they would be ashamed of thus throwing away their hearers’ best wealth. We have something better to do than to listen to prettinesses on the Lord’s-day. It is all very well for crickets to chirp when earthquakes are destroying cities, but for ministers to be polishing sentences when souls are being damned is horrible. We are overdone with butterfly-writers and butterfly-preachers at this Lime, and have need of more pens and voices consecrated in downright earnest; to the awful needs of immortal souls. — C. H.S. NOTES MR.SPURGEON rejoices to have been in better health for the last month, and to have been able to attend to his home work. More, however, he cannot undertake, and he would be glad if so many would not besiege him for services which he cannot render.
THE PASTOR’ S JUBILEE.
— The erection of the Jubilee House, at the back of the Tabernacle, has been rapidly proceeding. This is the first object; to which contributions given to the Pastor on his fiftieth birthday will be devoted. The inscription upon the memorial stone is as follows : — “
Erected by a loving people to commemorate the attainment of his fiftieth year by Pastor C. H. Spurgeon. Psalm 118. 15,16, 17, 18.’ It has been found to be impracticable to complete the arrangements for the Jubilee celebration before the College Conference, but early this mouth a meeting will be held, and our friends will doubtless soon receive an intimation of what is decided. It is hoped that this house will be paid for readily by the gifts of friends at the Tabernacle, so that it may be free before June 19.
There will be a public meeting in the Tabernacle on Thursday, June 19, when the Earl of Shaftesbury will be in the chair, if alive and able to move.
He writes that, even should he be weak and ill, he shall be there if powers of locomotion remain.
As to the great preparations which are announced in the papers, they are quite unknown to us. We have made no preparation whatever. All that is done on the day must be spontaneous, for we are not going to use the slightest pressure. If friends desire to make an offering on our birthday there are four admirable objects: — The Jubilee House, the Almshouses Fund, the Colportage, and our son Thomas Spurgeon’s Chapel in Auckland.. Mr. Spurgeon expects to be at the Tabernacle all day to meet with those who will call upon him. The usual Orphanage Fete will not be held on the Wednesday, but at some future date. MR.WILLIAM OLNEY.
— We little thought that so soon after providing a Mission-hall for Mr. W. Olney, jun., we should be called to part for a season with his father. Our senior deacon is one whom we can ill spare.
Ever ready to speak for his Lord in a warm-hearted and stirring manner, he has long been the Pastor’s constant helper in all sorts of ways, but specially at prayer-meetings and church-meetings. He is going to New Zealand, upon business, for six months. May God grant it may not be for a longer time. The church sends him forth perfumed with her prayers. Our hope is that he will be of good service to the churches which he will visit. We advise them to make much use of him. His presence ought to be a great help to them, for his absence involves a great loss to us.
PASTOR A. A.REES,OF SUNDERLAND.-This devoted brother has suddenly left us for the church triumphant above. It is but the other day that he was in our house, and though verging upon seventy, he seemed to have years of work in him. He was a good man, and true to the core. Among those who have left the Church of England to unite with Nonconformists we know of none more useful, more stable, more thorough. He was one who followed the Lord fully according to his light, and that with most scrupulous care. In his church work he was singular, because he aimed at exactness, and would do nothing which did not strike him as scriptural. He baptized believers, and broke bread every Lord’s-day. He kept himself somewhat aloof from denominational meetings and movements; not out of a sectarian spirit, but from the very reverse. We know other choice spirits who feel themselves happiest in treading their own path, and never mixing up with that kind of religious policy which grows out of committees and their deliberations, denominational bodies and their aspirations. They certainly have the best of it in the matter of comfort:, and if they thereby become less responsible for the declensions of the age they are to be commended. For our part, we have lived in close fellowship with several of these free-lance and we have never felt it incumbent upon us to draw them out of their isolation, for we have almost felt that their position was best for themselves, and perhaps for others. All Sunderland will miss our beloved brother. He was a power for good in many ways. His church will suffer immeasurable loss, and we beseech our Lord to consider her in her bereavement, and find her a good man and true to carry on the work which has been so well conducted hitherto. On Wednesday evening, February 27, the annual meeting of the workers in connection with RICHMOND -STREET MISSION,WALWORTH, which is one of the Tabernacle branches, was held under the presidency of Mr. J.T. Dunn. There were one hundred and twenty workers present, to whom reports of the following agencies were presented: —Ragged - school, Sunday - school, Flint-street Sunday-school and Children’s Services, Mothers’ meetings, Penny Bank, Mutual improvement Society, Pure Literature Society, Band of Hope and Temperance Society, Evangelists’ Society, Tract Society, Christmas Dinner Fund (by which five hundred and fourteen persons were provided with a substantial dinner at their own homes), Excursion Fund (which enabled seven hundred and forty-four teachers and scholars to spend a happy day in the country, and provided a winter-evening’s treat for three hundred of the younger children), Young Christians’ Society, and Children’s Special Services. The total amount contributed for these various objects, including £224 16s. 10d. paid into the Penny Bank, and £28 2s. 0d., collected for the Stockwell Orphanage, was £609 6s. 5d. The above statement conveys only a very imperfect idea of the great work for the Lord that is accomplished by the dear brethren and sisters in Christ who voluntarily labor in connection with this Mission in a district where their services are much needed. On Monday evening, March 24, Mr. J. Hudson Taylor again came to the Tabernacle prayer-meeting to enlist the sympathy and prayers of the church for two sisters who were about to sail for China. One of them was going out for the first time, but the other had already been engaged in the work for some years, and the congregation was greatly interested in the account of the blessing that had accompanied the gospel message she had delivered. ay the express benediction of Almighty God rest on our brother Hudson Taylor, and upon the whole of the remarkable, work of which the Lord has made him overseer.
On Tuesday evening, March, 25, the annual meeting of the TABERNACLE SUN-DAY-SCHOOL was held in the Lecture-hall, which was quite crowded with the teachers, parents, and friends of the scholars. Pastor Spurgeon presided, and delivered an upon trusting in the Lord at all especially applying the text to Sun-school work. Mr. W. Mountain, the secretary of the school; Mr. S. R. Pearce, Superintendent; Mr. T. H. Olney, the ; and Mr. J. F. Shearer, one of the students of the College, also spoke; and a choir of about one hundred of the scholars, under the leadership of Mr.S. Wigney, sang several anthems and sacred songs very creditably.
From the report presented at the meeting we learn that there are in the school at the Tabernacle 109 teachers and officers, all of whom are churchmembers, and 1,413 scholars, of whom 106 are church-members, having joined during the year. There are children’s services on Sunday mornings and evenings, weekly and monthly prayer-meetings for scholars and teachers, and four Bible-classes, which have been greatly useful. The library contains about 1,000 volumes, and is well used; and in the magazine department 300 volumes have been gratuitously bound. The Home and Foreign Missionary Society has raised during the year £157 7s. 11 1/2d., of which £25 has been given for Zenana work, £25 for Mr. Guyton, of Delhi, £25 for Mr. Easton, in China, in addition to £50 annually contributed by Mr. Wigney’s Class, £40 for Colportage, and £20 for Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund. The general expenses of the school have amounted to £61 ls. 0d., the cost of a new harmonium being de-frayed by the Pastor. The report also gives particulars of the Young Christians’ Association, Band of Hope, Dorcas Society, Bible-reading Union, Mutual Improvement Society, and Sunday-school Stall at the Bazaar in aid of the Green Walk Mission.
The figures above given refer only to the home-school held in the rooms at the Tabernacle and College. There are, in addition, nearly twenty branch or mission-schools, which would bring up the total number of teachers to between four and five hundred, and of scholars to between five and six thousand.
On Monday evening, March 31, the annual meeting of the LADLES’
BENEVOLENT SOCIETY was held in the Tabernacle Lecture-hall, PastorC. H. Spurgeon being in the chair. Addresses were delivered by the Chairman, and by Pastor J. A. Spurgeon, and Messrs. B. W. Carl J. T. Duma, andJ. W. Harrald; and a small company of the Orphanage girls sang very sweetly some sacred songs, which they afterwards repeated in the Tabernacle. The members of this Society make up clothing for the poor, and also relieve them with pecuniary help, endeavoring at the same time to benefit them spiritually by Christian sympathy and instruction. About £100 is annually expended upon this most needful work, and much more could be bestowed upon worthy applicants if the Society’s funds could be increased. Any of our lady friends, who are able to help at the working meetings, will be heartily welcomed at the Tabernacle on the Thursday after the first Sunday in each month.
At the prayer-meeting in the Tabernacle, the same evening, the Pastor was greatly rejoiced to be again present, after several weeks’ enforced absence through illness. All the prayer-meetings during the month have been largely attended, and the spirit of prayer has been graciously poured out upon those ‘who have met together. The Thursday evening congregations have been almost as numerous as ever, and on Sundays the Tabernacle has been crowded. Best of all, the word preached has been blessed to the conversion of souls, and many are coming forward to confess their faith in Christ.
Prayer is asked that the health of the Pastor may ‘be continued, for a thousand things call for his personal and active presence.
MRS.SURGEON’ S SERMON FUND FOR FOREIGN MISSIONARIES — In return for the very kind interest which friends have taken in my new work of sermon distribution in distant lands, and the practical help they have given to the furtherance of the scheme, I have begged a little sp. ace in this month’s magazine that I may give them a glimpse of its success and progress.
There are now 885 sermons sent out monthly; these numbers being always on the increase, as fresh names are suggested, or new applications are made to the fund. 215 copies go to China, and the managers of the China Inland Mission have very graciously relieved me from the expense of postage by enclosing the sermons in the monthly package despatched front the Mission. This is a great boon, and enables me to send out larger quantities, and, as they are securely wrapped in nice strong envelopes (provided for the purpose by the same generous, friend who supplies all my needs in this line), they can easily bear the somewhat rough usage which is sure to befall them in their after transmission to the remote stations of the Celestial Empire.
Very warm welcome the sermons have received from all quarters of the globe; delightful responses have been given to my inquiry, “Shall I send the sermons you?” No greater encouragement in a blessed work could be desired than that which the pile of letters now lying before me contains. Let me give a drop or two of honey from a perfect hive of sweetness. A brother in China says, “: We always read one of the sermons on Sunday evening after the day’s work is over; we would rather go without a meal than miss this spiritual food.” From South India comes the message, “We missionaries are constantly surrounded by the deadening influences of heathenism, and we need something like “Spurgeon’s Sermons” to stir us up, and keep us spiritually alive. I have richly enjoyed those you sent, and shall be delighted to receive them constantly.” A Missionary to the Maories, in New Zealand, scarcely knows how to express his gladness, “They will be thrice useful,” he says, and I trust a hundred-fold blessed.
They will refresh my. own soul, they will serve me for translation for our Maori paper, and then I shall leave them at isolated houses where the inmates seldom see a friend, or hear a word of gospel truth.” A Pastor in Ceylon, heartily appreciating the gift, remarks, “After reading them ourselves, we find them most useful to lend to friends in the wild jungle district. You will not wonder to hear that Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons have already found their way into planters’ bungalows in the remote coffee districts of the island, where they help to spread spiritual light and power amongst our neglected countrymen. Mr. Spurgeon’s hearers are to be found in every corner of the earth.” From Agra, North Forest Province of India, I received the following testimony: “I think the new work, to which you have just set your hand, is a most important one, and that it will, under God’s blessing, bring forth much good fruit. The regular supply of your honored husband’s sermons to missionaries will be of immense advantage to them, for, in their constant contact with error, it will prove a great safeguard to have the grand old truths of the gospel presented to them in such a clear and forcible way. I know I shall find them of great benefit in my private study for the pulpit, and when I have done with them myself, they will be most acceptable /’or distribution in the Military Hospital which I visit weekly.”
A sweet little letter in English comes from Saragossa in Spain. “I send to you most expressive thanks,” says the writer; “the sermons are highly appreciated and useful. The ‘ Renewing Strength,’ which I read today, especially has come like dew to my heart. Please God employ Mr. Spurgeon s talent for his glory, in Spain as in England.” I fear I must not take up any more space in these pages, though I have material enough to encroach upon them seriously. Let my dear friends imagine the quotations I have given to be indefinitely multiplied, diversified, and intensified; they will then have some notion of the charming echoes which have been called forth from all parts of the world, by the hand which first struck this loud chord of loving sympathy and help.
One fact with which to conclude: it tells its own tale, and in so doing it lays a petition at your feet. The sermons and their postage never cost less than £3 12s. per month.
SUSIE SPURGEON. COLLEGE.
— Mr. H. J. Dyer has removed from Kilmarnock to Rickmansworth, Herts.; and Mr. W. Sumner, from Hull, to Sion Church, Armley, Leeds. Mr. W. Norris, who returned a year or so ago from Calcutta, has become pastor of the church at John-street Chapel, Bedfordrow; and Mr. J. E. Oates, who has been tutor at Mr. Guinness’s College at Hulme Cliff, has accepted a pastorate at Bury, Lancashire. Mr. W. Mann, who was for atime co-pastor at CapeTown, has settled at Keynsham, near Bristol.
Our son Thomas having written to us to send a pastor for the church at Cambridge, Walkate, New Zealand, we have selected Mr. J. G-. Wilson, of Southend. He has arranged to leave London in the steamship Doric, on April 24th. We trust that his labors at the Antipodes will be; greatly blessed. By the Way, the Auckland Tabernacle Fund will soon be needed, as the chapel is commenced, or commencing, and we should be glad to make it more. These colonial churches will be great centers in the future, and our son’s church will be one of the most important of them.
We have been very grieved to hear that Mr. J. W. Hartley, who only went out recently to the River Congo, has died of fever before he was able to commence his work in Africa. This is a heavy stroke.
While these “Notes” are in the hands of the printers, the twentieth Annual Conference of the Pastors’ College Association is being held. The meetings are just too late for us to give a report of them in this month’s magazine, or to publish the amounts which will be presented at the annual supper for the friends and subscribers of the College.
— Dr. D. A. Moxey sends us the following cheering report of Messrs. Fullerton and Smith ’s Edinburgh mission :— “Dear Mr. Spurgeon, — The visit of your two evangelists has been quite an event in the inner Christian circle of our city. I say inner circle, because the members of it are always on hand whenever soul-winning work is going forward: the outer circle comes out strongly when a phenomenal evangelist, such as Mr. Moody, appears on the Scene. To ‘ the true and the tried ‘ of our workers the advent of these honored brethren has been a memorable epoch; and, although we could have wished for more countenance from our ministers, and although, like all good evangelists, our brethren missed their co-operation, still the meetings got on without them, and increased in power and fruitfulness The Young Men’s Christian Association must have been greatly refreshed and encouraged in their labors by the month’s campaign which closed on April 6; and it is to be hoped that the many conversions of young men may result in a substantial addition to their membership. The starting of a daily prayer-meeting at eight A M., in the Young Men’s Christian Association Hall, by those who could not, in consequence of business engagements, attend the noon meeting, may, I hope, continue as a memorial of our dear friends’ visit to the Scottish metropolis. “Rather unfortunately, as it seemed to us, though it may prove not to have. been so, the large hall in which the meetings began and ended was engaged for a week of the time, and the work was transferred to a smaller hall, on the south side of the city. This place never having been associated with soul-winning work, the attendance fell off, and the facilities of the wellknown Free Assembly Hall were conspicuous here by their absence. Still, even in this untoward soil the Lord’s word did not return to him void.
Anxious souls were dealt with every evening, and on the last night the hall was crowded to its utmost capacity. “During their visit, the evangelists conducted the noon prayer-meeting, which was a distinct gain both to themselves and to the meeting. We are very apt to get stiff and formal in Edinburgh, and Mr. Fullerton has an easy, unconventional way with him, that first seemed to make the dear praying ones open their eyes, but which, I believe, ultimately won universal approval. Many of our brother’s epigrammatic sayings, about what we thought were well-worn texts, have found a grateful lodgment in many a heart; and not a few lonely lives have been cheered and solaced by the blessed truth so quaintly presented. “Brother Smith is a good story-teller. Hence, as might be expected, he is peculiarly acceptable to children. His management of a children’s meeting is admirable, and his two addresses to the Band of Hope were voted by the young folks ‘ first rate.’ “Mr. Fallerton’s addresses reminded us of the Pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle; but when we came to examine the point of resemblance, we found it was neither in the manner nor the intonation, but in the fact that both preachers had evidently drunk at the same Puritanical fountain. Mr. Fullerton is no imitator, but a preacher of exceptional originality and power: and from the human standpoint may fairly be classed among such men as Moody, Whittle, Pentecost, and Hammond. “From beginning to end of their month’s campaign the work extended in interest, and deepened in spiritual results, Night after night the large hall was dotted all over with groups of workers and anxious inquirers, and on the last two Sabbaths the crowds seeking admission could only be accommodated by having two separate meetings, at 5 for women, and at for men, and admitting them by ticket. The number who rose for prayer on these occasions was exceptionally large, and all the workers had their hands full. Christians have been much quickened by the faithful word of our dear brethren at the early Sabbath meetings; the Saturday night Song Services, with the precious sentences interjected by Mr. Fullerton between the songs, must have reached many a heart that otherwise might have remained untouched; and in the Evangelistic meetings there were often a solemnity and power that compelled the procrastinators and hesitators to decide for Christ, and sent many a careless one away with the arrow of conviction in his heart:. “Wherever they may go, we wish our dear brethren God speed, and we thank you for your recommendation of them — a recommendation that has been fully justified by the blessed results of their visit.”
Since their return to London, our brethren have held a short series of services at Haddon Hall, Bermondsey; and afterwards attended the meetings of the College Conference. This month they are to be at Cardiff, and in June they go to Dundee.
Mr. Higgins writes hopefully of Mr. Burnham ’s visit to Melbourn, Cambs., while the Evangelist, on his part, gratefully acknowledges the benefit he derived from his intercourse with the Pastor. The friends connected with the Swanage Congregational Church had prepared the way for Mr. Burnham’s services by prayer and house-to-house visitation, and in consequence the meetings were blessed to many right from the commencement. Among the converts a large proportion consisted of middle-aged and young men. Before the services closed arrangements were made for another visit in October. After a successful mission at Swansea, Mr. Burnham returned to London for the Conference, and he is now at Carlisle, where he will be until the middle of May. Mr. Russell has recently held Evangelistic Services at Woodchester, Chalford, and Eastcombe, Gloucestershire, and in each place many have gathered to hear the word, and not a few have been led to the Savior Messrs. Matter and Parker have also had great blessing in their services at Bury St. Edmund’s. After the Conference they will go to help our Brother Genders, at Portsea, and afterwards will conduct a mission at Taunton.
— On Easter Monday the relatives or friends of the Orphanage children brought in the amounts collected by them towards the support of the orphans. Including the contributions of those who were unable to be present, it was anticipated that at least £100 would be in this way added to the funds of the Institution. Helpful as this sum is, the gratitude of the collectors makes it worth far more.
On the 20th of this month Mr. Charles-worth and his choir start for their West of England tour, which will keep them fully occupied until June 10th.
We need scarcely bespeak for them a hearty welcome in every town which they will visit between Bath and the Land’s End, for we have already proved on many occasions that the Orphanage has nowhere truer friends and helpers than in that charming region. Children and young people in various parts of the country find out different methods of helping the Institution. We have just received £2 5s. 0d. as the proceeds of an amateur entertainment by a few young friends in one provincial town, and 13s. from two country children, six and eight Tears of a e. who obtained that amount of the sale of texts which they had illuminated, and sold for the benefit of the Orphanage.
SPECIAL NOTICE. — Will all our friends kindly note that The Orphanage Fete will not be held, as announced, on June 18th, but some time in July, of which due notice will be given. June 18 and 19 will be set apart for the Jubilee celebration of the President’s birthday at the Tabernacle.
— There is nothing new in connection with the Colportage Association this month, but attention is called to the Annual Meeting, which is to be held in the Tabernacle, on Monday, May 19, when the president, C. It. Spurgeon, is expected to preside, and addresses will be given by Dr. Green, one of the Secretaries of The Religious Tract Society, and some of the colporteurs. This is usually a most interesting meeting, and it is hoped that there will be a very large attendance.
— The Statesman and Friend of India, for March 14, contained a full reprint, paid for as an advertisement, of our sermon, “Number 1500; or, lifting up the Brazen Serpent.” We suppose this has been inserted by the generous friend who has done the same thing before.
Al-we are not personally acquainted we thank him heartily for thus the usefulness of the sermons, with him in praying that the blessing of the Lord may rest upon the effort to make the truth known to the English-reading population of India.
The native Pastor of an Evangelical church in Egypt, writing to thank Mrs. Spurgeon for a gift from her Book Fund, says: — “I feel indebted to Mr. Spurgeon for several benefits I have got from his writings. These have been the means of grace and edification to me. I often pray for him that he may continue to be a great instrument, as he has been, and as he is now, in the hands of the Master for the good of the church and the world; and that he may be preserved in health; and that a long and prosperous life may be granted to him. I always like to read his writings; they are full of Christ and his gospel. How I do wish to see him face to face, and to hear him! I believe that, if I am privileged to go to London at any time, the first thing with me will he to go and see Mr. Spurgeon, and spend a Sabbath at the Tabernacle.”
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle:-March 27th, ten; April. 3rd, twentythree.