CONCERNING THE DROPPING OF HONEYCOMBS BY C. H. SPURGEON, TURN to the nineteenth Psalm, and tenth verse, and there read in our version,” sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” This is applied to “the judgments of the Lord,” which are “true and righteous altogether.”
The expression sets forth David’s esteem of the law of God, and we may fitly apply it to Holy Scripture. The Hebrew hath it, “sweeter than the dropping of honeycombs.” Whereupon good Mr. Brooks observes “It is sweeter, than those drops which drop immediately and naturally, without any force or art, which is counted the purest and the sweetest honey.”
There are texts of Scripture which are exceedingly sweet, and marvelously free in the giving forth of their sweetness, needing little study or meditation. Children have their drops and their little candies which melt away in their mouths, and even so certain Scriptures are prepared for the Lord’s little children: they have only to receive them by the mouth of faith and their enjoyment is great. Some words of the Lord are as nuts that need cracking, or grapes that need treading in the winepress, for their meaning lieth not upon the surface; but those to which I refer are ready for use: they are simple sweetnesses, prepared pleasures — in fact, drops of delight. To enjoy these one does not need to be a theologian or a grammarian, much less a philosopher or a mystic. The honey of the meaning flows out of the comb of the words as fluid consolation, liquid love, pure joy, and perfect truth. The student does not need to pore over his book, or the preacher to consult his library, or the hearer to collect his knowledge, the dainty comfort offers itself to the palate, and goeth down sweetly, spreading its savor over the whole inner man without effort.
I should like, as the Holy Spirit opens up the word to me, to give my friends every now and then a drop of honey out of the rock, by dwelling upon certain easy texts as they yield themselves to my heart. I would not so much think as enjoy, and then give to you that which has been precious to my own heart. There are some preachers whose main business seems to be to lead people among the thorns, where they are torn with perplexities; it is mine on this occasion to run by way of the plain, along the level road of evident teaching. On the Sabbath it is well to rest the mind as well as the body. We do not so much want deep problems to make our heads ache as holy consolations to quiet our hearts. Those who use such long words that they cannot be understood without a dictionary go very near’ to breaking the Sabbath themselves, and compelling their hearers to do the same. At any rate, on these occasions I shall neither perplex my readers nor cause them any mental labor, honey-drops are for pleasure, not for labor; and they are for children rather than for students. Many a sweet truth in God’s word is so very simple that it does not need excogitating so much as enjoying. When you get a honey-drop you just put it in your mouth. and let it lie there, or turn it round with your tongue till it dissolves. Let us do this as occasion offers with several simple passages, and just now with these words from the Book of Genesis, fifteenth chapter and first verse. Bees, and their hives and combs, are very plentiful in Palestine, and here we have good store of sweetness. The one sentence which I have pitched upon is full, and rich, and simple, and we will try to enjoy it. It is God’s word to his servant Abraham. “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. ” “Fear not, Abram.” Alas, fear is an ague which haunts these marsh.-lands.
When shall we get to higher ground, and dwell above? Fear is a complaint common among the Lord’s people; we might be sure that it, was so when we learned that Abram suffered from it for he was ‘the most vigorous of believers. Does Abram need a “fear not”? Then we may be pretty sure that we require it too. I am afraid that wherever there is faith there will also be a measure of fear; though the less of it the better. How tenderly the Lord quiets the fears of his children. “Fear not, Abram.” As much as if he had said — You are all. alone; but fear not, for I am with you. You are in much labor; but fear not, I will help you. You have no portion in this strange land; but fear not, for I am your God. Do not fear in the present; do not fear in the future. Fear neither the failure of friends nor the fury of foes. Be brave, calm, hopeful, trustful, joyful. “Fear not, Abram.” You have just been fighting the kings: you felt yourself to be a man of peace, and not accustomed to the deadly strife, but I have given the plunderers like driven stubble to your bow, and you have thought back Lot and all his train of servants that were taken prisoners. You need not even fear for your relatives; I will bless them for your sake. Beside that, you have not touched a thread or a shoe-latchet of the King of Sodom’s goods, but you have borne yourself in a right royal manner, therefore fear not to enjoy your success, you shall be safe from all attacks, and you shall live in the respect of the great ones around you. This blessed “Fear not” was a quietus to every form of alarm which might come near the man of God.
But the Lord seemed to think that after his conflict, and his victory Abram might begin to sink; such is often the case with bold men: it was so even with Elias, the prophet of fire. Men are not afraid when the battle rages, their spirit is equal to the danger and the struggle; bull when all is over then a reaction comes, and they greatly need the Lord’s” Fear not.” Have you never felt yourself strangely supported under the direst afflictions, so that they seemed not to be afflictions at; all? When pressure has been removed you have been ready to faint, like Samson after he had slain the Philistines.
Fear is apt to be, greatest when the reason for it is smallest. We are often quiet in a storm, and distracted in a calm. We are singular beings, mysteries to ourselves, and riddles to our neighbors. Our constitution and disposition are made up of odds and ends, and gatherings from all manner of beasts, and birds, and fishes, and no one can understand us except the Lord; but, blessed be his name, he knows us altogether, and therefore he brings forth the right consolation at the right moment, saying; “Fear not,” in the instant wherein we are most likely to fear. “Fear not, Abram.” Were there not two things about which the patriarch might have feared? First, about his own safety. This was met by the assurance, “Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield.” When he had no other guard, Abraham was shielded by his God. He was like a sheep in the midst of wolves, a one stranger surrounded by hostile nations; but a spell was upon the Canaanites, for the Lord had said, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” The protected of the Lord needed not to wear armor, nor bear a sword, for Jehovah had said, “I am thy shield.” Abraham possessed no fortress, he commanded no army; he did not even dwell in a house, and yet he was safe enough. His tents were no defense, and yet no one ever broke into them, or dared to threaten those who dwelt within: no assassin waylaid him. no marauder attacked him; he dwelt at ease behind the broad shield of the Almighty. He was as safe as if he had been enclosed within walls that reached to heaven. The armor of God covered him from head to foot. So, dear friends, when we seem to have nothing visible to protect us, what a blessing it is to know that; we are guarded by the Invisible and Omnipotent God! The visible must always of necessity be finite, but the invisible God is infinite, there is no searching of his understanding. You are infinitely safe if you are a believer in the living God, — your beginnings and your endings, your wakings and your sleepings, your journeyings and your restings, your sufferings and your doings, your slander or your honor, your pore. try or your wealth, your all for ever and ever is most secure when the Lord is your keeper, and your shield upon your right hand. Be it ours to leave our cares, and give our hearts up to the repose of faith Come, sing with me that verse of the beloved Toplady : — “Inspirer and Hearer of prayer, Thou Shepherd and Guardian of thine, My all to thy covenant care I sleeping and waking resign.
If thou art my shield and my sun, The night is no darkness to me; And fast as my moments roll on, They bring me but nearer to thee. ” ‘We are safe if God be with us.. We may be in the midst of cruel adversaries, but no weapon that is formed against us can prosper if God be our shield. Please to notice that the Lord does not say, “I will shield you,” but I, that am the Almighty, I am your shield; it is not alone my power, my wisdom, my love, which will protect you, but I myself will be your shield.
Then Abram may have thought, “I shall be protected, but after all shall I not spend my life in vain?” He might have feared for his success, lie led the life of a gipsy, roaming through a land in which he owned no foot of ground; therefore the Lord added, “I am thy reward.” Do see, he does not say, “I will reward you,” but he says, “I am thy reward.” Dear brother ministers, if souls are saved, they are a form of reward to you; but, nevertheless, rejoice not in them, but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven. I have quoted an old text, first spoken to chosen men who had healed the sick and cast out devils in Christ’s name. Yes, dear brethren, if many receive our word it is our joy that they have received it; but still we may be disappointed in our estimate of conversions, and at the best our success will not, equal our desires. The only reward that a Christian carefully that, was reward enough, was it not? It is wealth enough to a believer to possess his God, honor enough to please his God, happiness enough to enjoy his God. My heart’s best treasure lies here: “This God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even unto death.” “Oh, but people have been so ungrateful to me.” True, but your God does not forget your work of faith and labor of love. “Ah, sir, I am dreadfully poor.” Yet you have God All-sufficient; and all things are yours. “has! I am so ill.” But Jehovah Rophi is the Lord that healeth thee. “Alas! I have no friends left to me.” Yet the best of friends changes not, and dies nt.
Is he not better to you than a host of other friends. How great is your God?
He filleth all things. Then, what more can you seek? Would you have two persons occupying the same place? If God fills all, where is there room for another? Is not God’s grace sufficient for you? Do you bemoan a cup of water which has been spilled at your feet? A well is near. Did I hear you cry, I have not a drop in my bucket”? A river flows hard by the river of God, which is full of water. O mournful soul, why art thou disquieted?
What aileth thee, that thou shouldst fret thy life into rags?
Very fitly does the Lord say to Abram, “I am thy exceeding great reward.”
He is infinitely more as a reward than we could ever have deserved, desired, or expected. There is no measuring such a reward as God himself.
If we were to pine away in poverty it would be joy enough to know that God gives himself over to us to be our portion. The tried people of God will tell you that in their sharpest sorrows their joys have reached floodtide when they have known and felt that the Lord is their Covenant God, their Father, their all. Our cup runs over when faith receives Jehovah himself as the crown of the race, the wages of the service. What more can even God bestow than himself?
Now you see what I meant at the beginning, by honey-drops. I have not strained after novel thoughts or choice words; but have persuaded you to taste the natural sweetness of the Scripture. Receive it as God gives it, and go your way, and let the flavor of it fill your mouths all through the week.
Fear not, Mary; fear not, William; fear not, Sarah; fear not, John. The Lord saith to thee, even as to Abraham; — “ I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.” No Scripture is of private interpretation; you may take out the name of Abram, and put your own name into the promise if you are of Abraham’s spiritual seed, and do not stagger at the promise through unbelief. “If children, then heirs,” applies to all the spiritual family. The ground whereon thou liest the Lord thy God has given thee; if thou canst rest on this word, it is thine to rest upon. The Lord is thy Defender and Rewarder, and by the double title he shuts out all fear, making thy rest to be doubly sure. Wherefore, cease thou from all anxiety. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him. This day he bids thee dwell at ease, and delight thyself in HIM.
RELIGION NOT MELANCHOLY.
Look at old Mr. Blank! Why, he is the picture of melancholy! I tell you that religion is a damper to a man’s spirit, and makes life dull and dreary.
Holy men are always moping.” So said a youth who wanted to excuse himself for attending to the concerns of his soul. I called him to me, and bade him stand still a while, and hear how well I could practice the art of reasoning after his own manner. Then I said to him, “I know a florist, who just now wears deep mourning for his deceased wife; therefore flowers are wretched objects, and all florists are widowers. I know a draper who for a time carries his arm in a sling; therefore silks and cottons have a withering effect upon the limbs, and all mercers are men of one arm.” The ingenuous youth could bear it no longer. He cried, “Nonsense!” Yet I had only ploughed with his heifer, and used his own logic. I could have proved a great number of absurdities in the same way, but he had not the patience to endure more of it. The fact is, that some few believers are of a gloomy constitution, or are in peculiar trial, or have declined in grace, and these are sorely sad; but the rule remains that the way of godliness is the way of peace, and he that labors to be holy is in the road to being happy. The excuse made by ungodly men, that religion would make them miserable, is so bad an excuse that it is worse than none. To excuse our rebellion against God by slandering his people, and libeling his service, is to add sin to sin.
C. H. S.
FAITH’S ARC DE TRIOMPHE IN the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paul erects a triumphal arch to the honor of Faith. It did not require much labor to make a selection of brave deeds to be engraven upon the monument; for faith’s prowess has been shown in so many fields, and it has wrought such varied marvels, that when long lists of its deeds are mentioned far more are left. Time would fail to tell of the achievements of faith, but its record will never come to an end for lack of matter. It is somewhat striking that no such trophy has ever bee raised to himself. None such could be raised, for it has done nothing worthy of remembrance. Subduing kingdoms, working righteousness by stopping the mouths of lions, and so forth, are quite out of its line, and it knows nothing of “a better resurrection.” But it might have tried its hand at founding hospitals, erecting orphanages, and other ordinary fruits of a belief in Christianity. Why has it not done so? It is altogether negative, destructive, sterile; and is therefore by no means the principle upon which to build a life if a man designs to make it useful and honorable. Show us the value of your skepticism by its purifying influence upon the characters of skeptics, and the fruitfulness of atheism by the beneficence which has proceeded from its constraint, and we will consider the matter. But as yet we question whether any one of the human race was ever raised to anything noble, spiritual, or unselfish by the force of unbelief.
The doubt which is nowadays cried up with as much noise as that of the craftsmen of Demetrius when they shouted for the space of two hours “Great is Diana of the Ephesians,” is a dead idol as far as any working out of good is concerned. Be it our, to be actuated by a principle tried and proved in all ages by the saintly and the heroic. Let those who prefer it choose to doubt; be it ours to believe. No man has ever had the hardihood to preach “Doubt and live; ” but “Believe and live ” is the essence of the message from heaven. — C. H.S.NOTES ON
Tuesday evening, September 30, the annual meeting ofMR.DUNN’ S BIBLE CLASS was held in the lecture-hall, under the presidency of PastorC. H. Spurgeon. Addresses were delivered by the Chairman, and Messrs.
Dunn (President of the class), Boulter (Treasurer), Adams, Bullivant, and Creasey; while the rest of the evening was pleasantly filled up with singing and recitations by friends of the members. The report presented by the Secretary, Mr. Hudson, was an exceedingly interesting one. Our Tabernacle friends have discovered the art of making reports which are anything but sleep-producers, and it has been quite a treat to listen to several of them recently. There are 145 members on the roll of the class, and the average number in attendance has been 103. The study of the Scriptures in the class has strengthened those who were believers, and has been the means of the conversion of others. The brethren who are thus associated seek to do good as well as to get good. During the year they have subscribed £15 for the College, and £33 for missionary purposes.
These amounts were presented to the Pastor at the meeting, and very gratefully acknowledged by him. The members also undertake a considerable amount of evangelistic work, and have preaching stations of their own, where their efforts have brought salvation to many during the past twelve months. All particulars concerning the meetings can be obtained of Mr. Dunn, or at No. 12 class-room on Sunday afternoons, at o’clock. Classes which meet only for secular improvement usually degenerate into Amusement Clubs, and even religious classes soon lose their interest unless they have holy work to do outside of themselves.
Selfish religion dies of heart-disease, but love to souls brings life and health with it. All Bible-classes should practice what they read.
On Monday evening, October 6, additional interest was given to the prayer-meeting at the Tabernacle by the presence of several young men who were about to engage in the work of the CHINA INLAND MISSION. Mr. Hudson Taylor has yet another regiment of Missionaries to go to China, thus making a grand addition to the workers in that country. Will not our readers remember this increasing work in their prayers? Will they not also help it when they are dividing out the Lord’s money? Pastor Thomas Spurgeon also gave a cheering report of his visits to Scotland, the Eastern Counties, and other parts of England, where he had preached and lectured on behalf of the Auckland Tabernacle Building Fund, with most encouraging results.
On Friday evening, October 10, the annual meeting of the METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE EVANGELISTS’ASSOCIATION was held in the lecture-hall.
Pastor C.H. Spurgeon occupied the chair. Notwithstanding unfavorable weather, there was a large attendance, and the whole of the proceedings were hearty and enthusiastic. Mr. Elvin, the untiring Secretary of the Association, presented his report for the year in a manner which many times compelled us to laugh, but which also constrained us to thank God for the great amount of earnest work which had been accomplished, in spite of serious difficulties and discouragements. The Chairman spoke of the characteristics of men whom the Lord usually blesses in his service.
Pastor Thomas Spurgeon delivered an address on “Fireworks and Fruit,” which is published in the present magazine. Messrs. Britton, Pavey, Cox, A. Curtis, and C. Stanley, and Dr. Thain Davidson gave accounts of the work of the Association, and the choirs or members from the various mission-stations sang sacred songs, anthems, etc.
There are seven mission-stations entirely under the care of the Association, and another is about to be added to them. At these stations 477 Sunday services have been held during the year, in addition to 383 open-air gatherings on Sundays, and 170 on week-nights. There are also 51 other mission-stations where 523 services have been held; the members of the Association have gone as pulpit supplies 378 times; they have held special evangelistic meetings on Sunday evenings, and 263 on week-nights; and have conducted 771 other services, making a total for the twelve months of 3,093. The year’s expenditure for rent, gas, traveling, printing, advertising, postage, etc., has been about £220, towards which PastorC. H. Spurgeon has given £85, collections have realized £53 15s. 7d., and donations £73 10s. 9d. We do not know where the Lord’s stewards can find a better investment for their Master’s money than in such work as this, which aims directly at the evangelization of this vast city of London. The workers receive no remuneration, and do not work against the churches, but for them, and in the midst of them. Any churches desiring special services can apply to Mr. Elvin at 30, Surrey Square, Walworth, S.E.
On Monday evening, October 13, the annual meeting of the
METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE MATERNAL SOCIETY was held in the lecturehall.
Short speeches concerning the work of the Society were delivered by Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, and Messrs. B. W. Carr and J. W. Harrald, and a number of the Stock-well Orphanage girls sang very sweetly some sacred songs. Daring the year 243 poor women have been relieved by this useful agency, and it is hoped that some of them, at least, have been benefited spiritually as well as temporally. The expenditure has been about £84, and a balance of £6 6s. 10½d. was due to the Treasurer, but this was more than defrayed by the Pastor’s donation of £10. The working meetings are held in the Ladies’ Room at the Tabernacle on the Tuesday after the second Sunday in each month, and additional workers and subscribers are always welcome. The poverty of London is appalling, and to help poor women at the time of their confinement is a charitable work in which imposition is scarcely possible.
At the prayer-meeting, in the Tabernacle, the same evening, there was again a large attendance, and the spirit of supplication and thanksgiving was richly manifested. The orphan girls helped in the service of song; Mr. Chamberlain once more thrilled us with holy emotions as he sang, “When the mists are rolled away,” and “Show me thy face”; Mr. Thomas Spurgeon deepened the impressions already made by expounding the words, “Now are we the sons of God”; and Mr. Harrald narrated an instance in which prayer offered in the Tabernacle at the request of a Christian woman in Suffolk, had been answered by the conversion of the son for whom the petition had been presented. Altogether, it was a night long to be remembered. Indeed, this might be said of every Monday evening. No two meetings are ever alike, nothing is stereotyped, but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit our weekly gatherings for prayer are times of great refreshing from the presence of the Lord.
On Tuesday evening, Oct. 14, Pastor Thomas Spurgeon delivered his
“BRIGHTER BRITAIN,” in the Tabernacle, in aid of the building fund of his new Tabernacle in Auckland. The chair was taken by his father, who had occupied a similar position on the previous Wednesday, when the lecture was given in the West Croydon Baptist Chapel. On that occasion, through the loving exertions of Pastor J. A. and Mrs. Spurgeon, and the liberality of several of their generous helpers, the Auckland Tabernacle Fund was increased by the noble sum of one hundred guineas. At the Tabernacle there was a good audience, so that a considerable amount will be realized towards the house of prayer which is rapidly approaching completion. We had on view the large and handsome clock which has been presented by Pastor C. Spurgeon and the church at South Street, Greenwich, for use in the new Tabernacle, in addition to £76 contributed when Mr. T. Spurgeon preached and lectured in his brother’s chapel.
Several friends at the Tabernacle have subscribed a portion of the cost of a communion service, and we expect the whole amount will be given before our son sails for his distant field of labor.
As to the lecture itself, it must be heard to be appreciated, for no description could convey a fair idea of the information, instruction, and humor which the lecturer manages to impart to his audience in the space of an hour and a-half. October 19 and 20, being the days set apart for universal PRAYER FOR SUNDAY-SCHOOLS, were observed by our schools at the Tabernacle as a season of special supplication. On the Sunday morning the Pastor preached from 1 Kings 18:12, a sermon which is published under the title of “Obadiah; or Early Piety Eminent Piety.” At the prayer-meeting, on the Monday evening, there was an unusually large attendance, and the petitions were mainly on behalf of the young. Some pleasing testimonies were given by the parents of children who have been converted, and have joined the church at the Tabernacle; and the Pastor delivered an address to teachers upon some of the qualifications for successful service.
Another party of missionaries, on this occasion all ladies, who were about to leave England in connection with the CHINA INLAND MISSION, were commended to the Lord in prayer. Altogether, the meeting must have been exceedingly helpful and encouraging to all who are engaged in Sundayschool and mission work.
Mrs. Evans asks us to mention that she has very gratefully received from our Brother Potter, at Agra, a large and useful parcel of clothing for the Poor Ministers’ Clothing Society. Other contributions, either of money or materials, will be heartily welcomed, as many applicants are seeking the help of the Society. The Colporteurs’ Clothing Society also needs assistance. Donations and applications should be addressed to Miss Hooper, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, S.E. The working meetings are held in the Ladies’ Room, on Monday afternoons, alternately with the Orphanage working meetings. Both poor ministers and colporteurs are aided by these two societies, and money is made to go a long way by the skill of the lady-workers. The time draws near when it is peculiarly seasonable to gladden these poor servants of the Lord with boxes of useful things. We do not ask for mere rubbish; but good second-hand clothes are acceptable, and better still, new articles of apparel which have become a little out of fashion. Our draper friends do great good when they send on what they have not been able to sell during the season. Our clients are not very careful about the novelty of the cut.
— Mr. H. H. Driver, who came to us from the church at Auckland, New Zealand, has completed his term with us, and has arranged to return with our son Thomas at the end of this month, or early in December. He leaves us with the heartiest good wishes of the President, tutors, and students, who all unite in commending him to the brethren at the other side of the globe.
Mr. G. J. Dann, of James’ Grove, Peck-ham, has been selected by the committee of the Baptist Missionary Society for the post of pastor of the church at Allahabad, India. By the time these “Notes” are in the hands of our readers he will be on his way to his new sphere of labor, where we trust he will be greatly useful.
Mr. John Stubbs, who was obliged through failing health to come home from Allahabad, has now so fully recovered his strength that he has prevailed with the committee to send him out again for mission work in India, where his heart has been ever since he was compelled to return.
Mr. A. McCaig, of Streatham, is going to Brannoxtown, Ireland, to occupy the place vacated by Mr. Stubbs; and Mr. T. L. Edwards, of Luton, succeeds Mr. Wainwright as pastor of the church at Stockton-on-Tees.
Our friend, Rev. J. M. Hewson, has sent the following lines In Memoriam of our student, Mr. Frank Snell : — Taken by a Father’s hand, Taken to the better land; Taken to the home of love, Taken to the rest above.
Taken in the bloom of life, Taken from a world of strife; Taken up from faith to sight, Taken into God’s own light.
Gone from all his friends so dear, Gone from those he loved to cheer; Gone from earth — beyond the sky, Gone to join the saints on high.
Gone from fellowship below, Gone the utmost bliss to know; Gone from serving Jesus here, Gone beyond all doubt and fear.
Away from sorrow, sin, and pain, Away the heaven of love to gain; Away to join the pure and blest, Away with Jesus Christ to rest.
Away from College, class, and friend, Away where pleasures never end; Away while work was but begun, Away to hear his Lord’s “well done !”
— During the past month Messrs. Fullerton and Smith have been in Belfast, where large numbers have attended the services, and many have received the truth as it is in Jesus. The evangelists will continue in Belfast for part of November, and they will afterwards visit several other towns in the North of Ireland. They are fully engaged for many months to come. Mr. Burnham has been at Swanage and Wareham lately, and this month he is to be at Wood Green and Melton Mowbray. Mr. Russell’s visits to Attercliffe (Sheffield) and York Road, Leeds, were productive of much good. At both places the evangelist found several of his heartiest helpers in those who were converted at his services last year.
Pastor R. Ensoll reports that at Attercliffe a week of special prayer and house-to-house visitation prepared the way for the meetings, which were large and enthusiastic from the very first; and night after night anxious inquirers were pointed to the Savior. Among the many who have professed to be converted during the mission there are nearly all the members of one of the young men’s classes. Mr. Russell has since conducted a series of special services at New Whittington.
The secretary of the Evangelists’ Association, in connection with the North Frederick Street Baptist Church, Glasgow, writes that the fortnight’s mission held by Messrs. Mateer and Parker resulted in the quickening of Christians, the reclaiming of backsliders, and the bringing in of many who had been without Christ. On the second Sunday evening the National Hall was crowded with an attentive and interested congregation. This month our brethren are to visit Trowbridge, Hanwell, and Margate.
— We are happy to announce that the gold watch mentioned in last month’s “Notes” has been sold for £15, the price we wished to get for it. The friend who purchased it, who is one of the collectors for the Orphanage, says that he would like a good gold Albert chain to match the watch, and if anyone will make the institution such a present he will be pleased to buy it. We cannot do less than make his wish known, and it is possible that some generous giver will enable us to gratify it. We have not yet received an offer for the engravings of Sir Noel Paton’s pictures, “Thy will be done,” and “The Man of Sorrows.”
The Collectors’ Meeting is held too late in the month to be reported in the present magazine, but the lists of the amounts brought in will be published in our December number.
Mr. Charlesworth, and his choir of singers and bell-ringers, start on November 6th for their northern tour. They are to visit Lincoln, Barnsley, Sheffield, Scarborough, Huddersfield, Bradford, Halifax, Leeds, York, and Hull. After a few days at home, they start again for Bournemouth, Salisbury, Lymington, Newport, Cowes, Gosport, Portsmouth, Worthing, Brighton, Hastings, Ashford, Folkestone, Dover, Deal, Margate, Sittingbourne, and Chatham. Will all our friends do what they can to make the meetings successful ?
— Attention has recently been called in “The Church Congress” to the importance of providing good literature, and seeking to adopt some method of dealing with the unhealthy publications now so prevalent. No mention appears to have been made of the necessity for some agency for promoting the circulation of the large quantity of wholesome and interesting reading now provided. To some extent it finds an outlet in the ordinary trade channels. This usually means that books are sold to those who ask for them; but by means of the colporteurs a whole neighborhood is systematically and regularly visited, with the express object of calling attention to the evils of reading bad books, and by the display of an attractive and well-selected stock of moral and religious books, and suitably illustrated periodicals, the people are persuaded to purchase that which shall be of lasting benefit to their minds and hearts.
Slowly the Christian public are beginning to realize the value of this agency, which combines the bookseller with the evangelist, and works on unsectarian lines.
We are pleased to announce that, in addition to the two new districts reported last month, others will shortly be opened at Epping and Launceston, for each of which £40 a year has been guaranteed, while the matter is under consideration in other districts. Will any friends who did not see the Secretary’s letter in the August number of The Sword and the Trowel kindly read it there? It will be sent by post on application, also Reports and Collecting Books, or any information. Subscriptions are much needed to maintain the General Fund from which assistance to the various districts is constantly drawn.
— We cannot spare space enough for notices of many interesting cases of the usefulness of our printed sermons which have recently come before us, but we must find room for the following instances, of which we received information by the same post, although the writers are far removed from one another : — One of our Colporteurs, laboring in an English country town, says that he has been specially requested by a confirmed invalid, who is suffering greatly from paralysis of the spine, to express her sincere thanks for the spiritual food that she finds in the sermons, by which she was first brought to the Lord. “A Presbyterian, County Donegal, Ireland,” writes : — “ I have received peace through reading a sermon of yours, entitled ‘Sight for those who see not.’ (No. 1798.) Although you do not know me, nor I you, personally, I thought it might help to cheer you in your work for the Master, and encourage you in preaching plain, simple, gospel sermons — few, too few, of which we hear. I have to thank you, dear sir, for that sermon; it was printed for me.” The following comes from Afghanistan : — “I write this letter just to inform you what an immense deal of good your valuable sermons have done to my soul; and, I am certain, to the souls of thousands, of which on are not aware, and cannot be aware. I knew a man who, for a long time, never went to any place of worship, but he took a great delight in reading aloud your sermons, all by himself, at his own home, just as if he were preaching them. He told me that he liked them better than any others he had ever heard or read. You may judge, therefore, that the Holy Spirit was working in his heart.”
Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle. — September 25, fifteen; October 2, fourteen.