AN ADDRESS AT THE LORD’S SUPPER, DELIVERED AT MENTONE, BY C. H· SPURGEON.
“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” — 1 Corinthians 10:16,17.
IWILL read you the text as it is given in the Revised Version - “the cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a loaf which we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ? seeing that we, who are many, are one loaf, one body: for we all partake of the one loaf” the word “loaf ” helps to bring out more clearly the idea of unity intended to be set forth by the apostle.
It is a lamentable fact that some have fancied that this simple ordinance of the Lord’s Supper has a certain magical, or at least physical power about it, so that by the mere act of eating and drinking this bread and wine men can be made partakers of the body and blood of Christ It is marvelous that so plain a symbol should have been so complicated by genufiexions, adornments, and technical phrases. Can any one see the slightest resemblance between the Master’s sitting down with the twelve, and the mass of the Roman community? the original rite is lost in the superimposed ritual. Superstition has produced a sacrament where Jesus intended a fellowship. too many, who would not go the length of Rome, yet speak of this simple feast as if it were a mystery dark and obscure. they employ all manner of hard words to turn the children’s bread into a stone.
It is not the Lord’s Supper, but the Eucharist; we see before us no plate, but a “paten”;: the cup is a” chalice,” and the table is an “altar.” these are incrustations of superstition, whereby the blessed ordinance of Christ is likely to be again overgrown and perverted.
What does this supper mean? It means communion: communion with Christ, communion with one another.
What is communion? the word breaks up easily into union, and its prefix corn, which means with, union with. We must, therefore, first enjoy union with Christ: and with his church, or else we cannot enjoy communion.
Union lies at the basis of communion. We must be one with Christ in heart, and soul, and life; baptized into his death; quickened by his life, and so brought to be members of his body, one with the whole church of which he is the head. We cannot have communion with Christ till we are in union with him; and we cannot have communion with the church till we are in vital union with it.
I. the teaching of the Lord’s Supper is just this — that while we have many ways of COMMUNION WITH CHRIST, yet the receiving of Christ into our souls as our Savior is the best way of communion with him.
I said, dear friends, that we have many ways of communion with Christ; let me show you that it is so.
Communion is ours by personal intercourse with the Lord Jesus. We speak with him in prayer, and he speaks with us through the Word. Some of us speak oftener with Christ than we do with wife or child, and our communion with Jesus is deeper and more thorough than our fellowship with our nearest friend. In meditation and its attendant thanksgiving we speak with our risen Lord, and by his Holy Spirit he answers us by creating fresh thought and emotion in our minds. I like sometimes in prayer, when I do not feel that I can say anything, just to sit; still, and look up; then faith spiritually descries the Welt-beloved, and hears his voice in the solemn silence of the mind. thus we have intercourse with Jesus of a closer sort than any words could possibly express. Our soul melts beneath the warmth of Jesus’ love, and darts upward her own love in return. think not that I am dreaming, or am carried off by the memory of some unusual rhapsody: no, I assert that the devout soul can converse with the Lord Jesus all the day, and can have as true fellowship with him as if he still dwelt bodily among men. this thing comes to me, not by the hearing of the ear, but by my own personal experience: I know of a surety that Jesus manifests himself unto his people as he doth not unto the world.
Ah! what sweet communion often exists between the saint and the Wellbeloved, when there is no bread and wine upon the table, for the Spirit himself draws the heart of the renewed one, and it runs after Jesus, while the Lord himself appears unto the longing spirit! truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. Do you enjoy this charming converse?
Next, we have communion with Christ in his thoughts, views, and purposes; for his thoughts are our thoughts according to our capacity and sanctity. Believers take the same view of matters as Jesus does; that which pleases him pleases them, and that which grieves him grieves them also.
Consider, for instance, the greatest theme of our thought, and see whether our thoughts are not like those of Christ. He delights in the Father, he loves to glorify the Father: do not we? Is not the Father the center of our soul’s delight? Do we not rejoice at the very sound of his name? Does not our spirit cry, “Abba, Father”? thus it is clear we feel as Jesus feels towards the Father, and so we have the truest communion with him. this is but one instance; your contemplations will bring before you a wide variety of topics wherein we think with Jesus. Now, identity of judgment, opinion, and purpose forms the highway of communion; yea, it is communion.
We have also communion ‘with Christ in our emotions. Have you never felt a holy horror when you have heard a word of blasphemy in the street?
Thus Jesus felt when he saw sin, and bore it in his own person: only he felt it infinitely more than you do. Have you never felt as you looked upon sinners that you must weep over them? those are holy tears, and contain the same ingredients as those which Jesus shed when he lamented over Jerusalem. Yes, in our zeal for God, our hatred of sin, our detestation of falsehood, our pity for men, we have true communion with Jesus.
Further:. we have had fellowship with Christ in many of our actions. Have you ever tried to teach the ignorant? this Jesus did. Have you found it difficult? So Jesus found it. Have you striven to reclaim the backslider :? then you were in communion with the Good Shepherd who hastens into the wilderness to find the one lost sheep; finds it, lays it upon his shoulders, and brings it home rejoicing. Have you ever watched over a soul night and day with tears? then you have had communion with him who has borne all our names upon his broken ;heart, and carries the memorial of them upon his pierced hands. Yes, in acts of self-denial, liberality, benevolence, and piety, we enter into communion with him who went about doing good.
Whenever we try ,to disentangle the snarls of strife, and to make peace between men who are at enmity, then are we doing what the great Peacemaker did, and we have communion with the Lord and Giver of peace. Wherever, indeed, we co-operate with the Lord Jesus in his designs of love to men, we are in true and active communion with him.
So it is with our sorrows. Certain of us have had large fellowship with the Lord Jesus in affliction. “Jesus wept”: he lost a friend, and so have we.
Jesus grieved over the hardness of men’s hearts: we know that grief. Jesus was exceedingly sorry that the hopeful young man turned away, and went back to the world: we know that sorrow. those who have sympathetic hearts, and live for others, readily enter into the experience of “the Man of sorrows.” the wounds of calumny, the reproaches of the proud, the venom of the bigoted, the treachery of the false, and the weakness of the true, we have known in our measure; and therein have had communion with Jesus.
Nor this alone: we have been. with our divine Master in his joys. I suppose there never lived a happier man than the Lord Jesus. He was rightly called “the Man of sorrows”; but he might with unimpeachable truth have been called “the Man of joys.” He must have rejoiced as he called his disciples, and they came unto him; as he bestowed healing and relief; as he gave pardon to penitents, and breathed peace on believers. His was the joy of finding the sheep, and taking the piece of money out of the dust. His work was his joy: such joy that for its sake he endured the cross, despising the shame. the exercise of benevolence is joy to loving hearts: the more pain it costs the more joy it is. Kind actions make us happy, and in such joy we find communion with the great heart of Jesus.
Thus have I given you a list of windows of agate and gates of carbuncle through which you may come at the Lord; but the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper sets forth a way which surpasses them all. It is the most, accessible and the most effectual method of fellowship. Here it is that we have fellowship with the Lord Jesus by receiving him as our Savior. We, being guilty, accept of his atonement as our sacrificial cleansing, and in token thereof we eat this bread and drink this cup. “Oh!” says one, “I do not feel that I can get near to Christ. He is so high and holy, and I am only a poor sinner.” Just so. For that very reason you can have fellowship with Christ in that which lies nearest to his heart: he is a Savior, and to be a Savior there must be a sinner to be saved. Be you that one, and Christ and you shall at once be in union and communion: he shall save, and you shall be saved; he shall sanctify, and you shall be sanctified; and twain shall thus be one. this table sets before you his great sacrifice. Jesus has offered it; will you accept it? He does not ask you to bring any-thing — no drop of blood, no pang of flesh: all is here, and your part is to come and partake of it, even as of old the offered partook of the peace-offering which he had brought, and so feasted with God and with the priest. If you work for Christ, that will certainly be some kind of fellowship with him; but I tell you that the communion of receiving him into your inmost soul is the nearest and closest fellowship possible to mortal man. the fellowship of service is exceedingly honorable, when we and Christ work together for the same objects; the fellowship of suffering is exceedingly instructive, when our heart has graven upon it the same characters as were graven upon the heart of Christ: but still, the fellowship of the soul which receives Christ, and is received by Christ, is closer, more vital, more essential than any other. Such fellowship is eternal. No power upon earth can henceforth take from me the piece of bread which I have just now eaten, it has gone where it will be made up into blood, and nerve, and muscle, and bone. It is within me, and of me. that drop of wine has ,coursed through my veins, and is part and parcel of my being. So he that takes Jesus by faith to be his Savior has chosen the good part which shall not be taken away from him.
He has received the Christ into his inward parts, and all the men on earth, and all the devils in hell, cannot extract Christ from him. Jesus saith, “He that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” By our sincere reception of Jesus into our hearts an indissoluble union is established between us and the Lord, and this manifests itself in mutual communion. to as many as received him, to them has he given this communion, even to them that believe on his name.
II. I have now to look at another side of communion,—namely, the: FELLOWSHIP OFTRUE BELIEVERS WITH EACH OTHER. We have many ways of communing the one with the other, but there is no way of mutual communing like the common reception of the same Christ in the same way.! have said that there are many ways in which Christians commune with one another, and these doors of fellowship I would mention at some length.
Let me go over much the same ground as before. We commune by holy converse. I wish we had more of this. time was when they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; I am afraid that now they more often speak one against another. It is a grievous thing that fall often love lies bleeding by a brother’s hand. Where we are not quite so bad as that, yet we are often backward and silent, and so miss profitable converse. Our insular reserve has often made one Christian sit by another in utter isolation, when each would have been charmed with the other’s company. Children of one family need not wait to be introduced to each other: having eaten of this one bread we have given and received the token of brotherhood; let us therefore act consistently with our relationship, and fall into holy conversation next time we meet. I am afraid that Christian brotherhood in many cases begins and ends inside the place of worship. Let it not be so among us. Let it be our delight to find our society in the circle of which Jesus is the center, and let us make those our friends who are the friends of Jesus. By frequent united prayer and praise, and by ministering the one to the other the things which we have learned by the Spirit, we shall have fellowship with each other in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am sure that all Christians have fellowship together in their thoughts. In the essentials of the gospel we think alike: in our thoughts of God, of Christ, of sin, of holiness, we keep step; in our intense desire to promote the kingdom of our Lord we are as one. All spiritual life is one. the thoughts raised by the Spirit of God in the souls of men are never contrary to each other. I say not that the thoughts of all professors agree, but I do assert that the minds of the truly regenerate in all sects, and in all ages, are in harmony with each other, — a harmony which often excites delighted surprise in those who perceive it. the marks that divide one set of nominal Christians from another set are very deep and wide to those who have’ nothing of religion but the name; yet living believers scarcely notice them.’
Boundaries which separate the cattle of the field are no division to the birds of the air. Our minds, thoughts, desires, and hopes are one in Christ Jesus, and herein we have communion.
Beloved friends, our emotions are another royal road of fellowship. You sit down and tell your experience, and I smile to think that you are telling mine. Sometimes a young believer enlarges upon the sad story of his trials and temptations, imagining that nobody ever had to endure so great a fight, when all the while he is only describing the common adventures of those who go on pilgrimage; and we are all communing with him, When we talk together about our Lord, are we not agreed? When we speak of our Father, and all his dealings with us, are we not one? And when ;re weep, and when we sigh, and when we sing, and when we rejoice, are we not all akin? Heavenly fingers touching like strings within our hearts bring forth the selfsame notes, for we are the products of the same Maker, and tuned to the same praise. Real harmony exists among all the true people of God:
Christians are one in Christ.
We have communion with one another, too, in our actions. We unite in trying to save men: I hope we do. We join in instructing, warning, inviting, and persuading sinners to come to Jesus. Our life-ministry is the same: we are workers together with God. We live out the one desire ‘thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
Certainly we have much communion one with the other in our sufferings t here is not a poor sick or despondent saint upon the earth with whom we do not sympathize at this moment, for we are fellow-members, and partakers of the sufferings of Christ. I hope we can say’- “Is there a lamb in all thy flock, I would disdain to feed?
Is there a foe, before whose face, I fear thy cause to plead? ” No, we suffer with each other, and bear each other’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. If we do not, we have reason for questioning our own faith; but if we do so, we have communion with each other.
I hope we have fellowship in our joys. Is one happy? We would not envy him, but rejoice with him. Perhaps this is not so universal as it should be among professors. Are we at once glad because another prospers? If another star outshines ours, do we delight in its radiance? When we meet a brother with ten talents, do we congratulate ourselves on having such a man given to help us, or do we depreciate him as much as we can? Such is the depravity of our nature that we do not readily rejoice in the progress of others if they leave us behind; but we must school ourselves to this. A man will readily sit down and sympathize with a friend’s griefs, but if he sees him honored end esteemed he is apt to regard him as a rival, and does not readily rejoice with him. this ought not to he; without effort we ought to be happy in our brother’s happiness. If we are ill, be this our comfort, that many are in robust health; if we are faint, let us be glad that others are strong in the Lord. thus shall we enjoy a happy fellowship like that of the perfected above.
When I have put all these modes of Christian communion together, no one of them is so sure, so strong, so deep, as communion in receiving the same Christ as our Savior, and trusting in the same blood for cleansing unto eternal life. Here on the table you have the tokens of the broadest and fullest communion. this is a kind of communion which you and I cannot choose or reject: if we are in Christ, it is and must be ours. Certain brethren restrict their communion in the outward ordinance, and they think they have good reasons for doing so; but. I am unable to see the force of their reasoning, because I joyfully observe that these brethren commune with other believers in prayer, and praise, and hearing of the word, and other ways: the fact being that the matter of real communion is very largely beyond human control, and is to the spiritual body what the circulation of the blood is to the natural body, — a necessary process not dependent upon volition. In perusing a deeply spiritual book of devotion you have been charmed and benefited, and yet upon looking at the title-page it may be you have found that the author belonged to the church of Rome. What then? Why, then it has happened that the inner life has broken all barriers, and your spirits have communed. For my own part, in reading certain precious works, I have loathed their Romanism, and yet I have had close fellowship with their writers in weeping over sin, in adoring at the foot of the cross, and in rejoicing in the glorious enthronement of our Lord. Blood is thicker than water, and no fellowship is more inevitable and sincere than fellowship in the precious blood, and in the risen life of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here in the common reception of the one loaf we bear witness that we are one: and in the actual participation of all the ,chosen in the one redemption that unity is in very deed displayed and matured in the most substantial manner. Washed in the one blood, fed on the same loaf, cheered by the same cup, all differences pass away:, and “we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
Now then, dear friends, if this kind of fellowship be the best,LET US TAKE CARE TO ENJOY It. Let us at this hour avail ourselves of it. Let us take care to see Christ in the mirror of this ordinance. Have any of you eaten the bread, and yet have you not seen Christ? then you have gained no benefit. Have you drunk the wine, but have you not remembered the Lord?
Alas, I fear you have eaten and drunk condemnation to yourselves, not discerning the Lord’s body. But if you did see through the emblems, as aged persons see through their spectacles, then you have been thankful for such aids to vision. But what is the use of glasses if there is nothing to look at? and what is the use of the communion if Christ be not in our thoughts and hearts?
If you did discern the Lord then be sure, again, to accept him. Say to yourself, “All that Christ is to any he shall be to me. Does he save sinners?
He shall save me. Dose he change men’s hearts? He shall change mine. Is he all in all to those that trust him? He shall be all in all to me.” I have heard persons say that they do not know how to take Christ. What says the apostle? “the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart.” If you have something in your mouth that you desire to eat, what is the best thing to do? Will you not swallow it? that is exactly what faith does. Christ’s word of grace is very near you, it is on your tongue: let it go down into your inmost soul. Say to your Savior, “I know I am not fit to receive thee, O Jesus, but since thou dost graciously come to me as bread comes to the hungry, I joyfully receive thee, rejoicing to feed upon thee. Since thou dost come to me as the fruit of the vine to a thirsty man, Lord, I take thee, willingly, and I thank thee that this reception is all that thou dost require of me. Has not thy Spirit so put it — ‘As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, ,even to them that believe on his name’?”
Beloved friends, when you have thus received Jesus, fail not to rejoice in him as having received him. How many there are who have received Christ, who talk and act as if they never had received him. It is a poor dinner of which a man says, after he has eaten it, that he feels as if he had not dined; and it is a poor Christ of whom anyone can say, “I have received him, but I am none the happier, none the more at peace.” If you have received Jesus into your heart, you are saved; you are justified. Do you whisper, “I hope so”? Is that all? Do you not know? the hopings and hoppings of so many are a poor way of going; put both feet clown, and say, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” You are either saved or lost; there is no state between the two. You are either pardoned or condemned; and you have good reason for the highest happiness or else you have grave causes for the direst anxiety. If you have received the atonement, be as glad as you can be; and if you are still an unbeliever, rest not till Christ is yours.
Oh, the joy of continually entering into fellowship with Christ, in such a way that you never lose his company! Be this yours, beloved, every day, and all the day! May his shadow fall upon you as you rest in the sun, or stray in the gardens. May his voice cheer you as you lie down upon the sea-shore, and listen to the murmuring of the waves; may his presence glorify the mountain solitude as you climb the hills. May Jesus; be to you an all-surrounding presence, lighting up the night, perfuming the day, gladdening all places, and sanctifying all pursuits. Our Beloved is not a friend for Lord’s-days only, but for week-days too: he is the inseparable companion of his loving disciples. those who have had fellowship with his body and his blood at this table may have the Lord as an habitual guest at their own tables: those who have met their Master in this upper room may expect him to make their own chamber bright with his royal presence. Let fellowship with Jesus and with the elect brotherhood be henceforth the atmosphere of our life, the joy of our existence. this will give us a heaven below, and prepare us for heaven above.
SICKENING OF SIN AMAN mad with brandy leaped into the harbor at Boulogne. A fisherman plunged in, and lifted him out. In a few minutes the poor lunatic repeated the act, and was again rescued. this did not suffice, for he was over the boat’s side again, and more than ever likely to be drowned, He who undertook to save him this third time was a wise man, and therefore saved him on a better system than before. He ducked him beneath the waves again and again, sousing, saturating, and filling’ him with the brine, so as to give him a sickening of it. thus have we seen your easy converts return to the danger from which we hoped they had escaped: but by deep convictions, and a sense of divine wrath, the Holy Spirit makes surer work of those upon whom he operates; for thus he sickens men of venturing again into the deep. fro? which they have been drawn with difficulty. Any true conversion is good, but we confess our liking, to the old-fashioned Bunyan-like experience. A little drenching and half-drowning in terror nauseates men of iniquity, and this is a great point gained.—C. H.S.MAKE ALL SURE BY C. H. SPURGEON.
AHOUSE had been rapidly run up. It was six stories high, and built of stone, with thick walls. All had proceeded without hindrance, and the roof was being placed upon the structure. It was, however, wretchedly put together, and the foundation was bad. What mattered? It looked substantial. Plastered over it would make an attractive hotel, for it was admirably situated; and if it did not stand for ages yet it would serve for immediate use, and bring in a good return, and then it could be sold, and the new comer would have to look to repairs. So thought the builder, and he was no more of a rogue than others are who think only of themselves and the immediate present. Had all gone smoothly so might it have been; but things did not go smoothly, for there came a waterspout upon the hills above the town, and the rain fell in tropical abundance upon the town itself.
A flood rushed into the streets, and swept by the wall of this new Fabric with tremendous force. It lasted scarce half-an-hour, but it was a torrent, four feet deep, of mud and water, driven with great velocity, and it did a vast amount of mischief in that space, even to the drowning of six or more human beings. When we saw the fine new hotel that was to have been, it was shored up with immense timbers, for the foundations were giving way, and the walls were ready to come down in a heap. Everybody said, “It must be taken down.”
This is after the fashion of many a man’s religion. It is a fine pile, and promises great usefulness to the man himself, and possibly to others. true, it is somewhat of the kind known as “a contract job,” yet it is fairly well put together. Not much cement of grace, no solid foundation upon eternal verities — such things are rather old-fashioned; but in lieu of these substantial matters a good deal of stucco and plaster of Paris has been used, composed of charity to all denominations, and broad views on spiritual subjects. the lofty edifice might have stood a lifetime at least if the weather had been propitious, but alas! an unusual temptation happened, and in a few minutes the structure would have gone to the ground if it had not been propped up with extra hypocrisy and cunning deceit. As it is, it will have to be taken down sooner or later, and it will be better sooner than later.
The hotel is a wretched object now, and hardly safe for those who pass by; it must come down. But what a waste of labor I What ruinous expense in putting up, taking down, and putting up again.. the like is the case of the badly-built professor; his condition after has late temptation by no means commands respect. to what purpose has been his waste of professional zeal! What cost yet awaits him! Getting up the name of a Christian man, repenting of the deceit, and clearing one’s self of the falsehood, and then going to God in sincerity so as to get upon the true foundation: all these make up a lengthened process. How much better for the professing man to have taken heed to his building at the first! Solidity turns out to be economy. truth pays best. Wood, hay, and stubble may be cheap at the moment, but before long they prove to be more costly than gold, silver, and precious stones. When the fire comes, see how they are whirled away in clouds of smoke, while the poor builder loses his all. Mark how in another case the flood saps and mines the lower tiers of stone, and makes the wall heave, and shift, and bulge till great is the fall thereof. Let us learn from the follies of others. Fires and floods will come to us also, and we shall be doubly blamed if they find us unprepared; for as we are forewarned we ought to be forearmed. God grant we may be.
Take heed to thyself, good master, and do thy work for eternity, for anything less lasting will bring thee misery, Dig deep; build firmly, and be prepared for the unexpected. The motto of the Armorers’ Company in the olden time is a wise counsel for every man among us. Leave nothing uncertain in thy soul’s affairs, but—MAKE ALLSURE. CALL TO THE MINISTRY JAMES,” said a motherly woman to a young man whose first sermon she had just heard, “James, why did you enter the ministry?” “I had a call from the Lord,” said the young man. And then came the reply, “But are you sure it wasn’t some other noise that you heard?”
We wish this “motherly woman” had been near when certain good men, whom we will not further indicate, first went up the pulpit stairs. But as providence did not so arrange it, we beg to state that we know of a fatherly man who longs to see the aforesaid brethren receive a divine call to go back to the plough, the needle, the awl, the yard-measure, or the scales. Is it not better to attempt something you cab do, than weary people with what you can’t do? Is it not better to be a genuine penny than a sovereign that everybody refuses to take? It must be more glorifying to God for a man to build the walls of a barn than to pull down those of a church. Better sew cloth than rend a congregation. Better feed sheep than starve souls.
Nobody likes to say this to any one individual, but it were a consummation devoutly to be wished if the right persons would be so good as to think it for themselves. Kindness, benevolence, admiration, can in some cases do no better thing than gently say, “Dear good brother, do give yourself a fair chance of serving God. Leave off being a poor tongue, and be a dexterous hand, or a watchful eye.” Is there not something in the observation?—C.
TO THE BIBLE-CLASSES AT MANSFIELDSTREET SOUTHWARK A LETTER FROM PASTOR C. H.SPURGEON. DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,-,the wheels of my mind have been revolving without grinding anything, because I could not find the grist for the mill in the form of a subject. At last I have found one very near home in the name of the classes to which you belong. You are members of BIBLE-CLASSES, and therein lies much that is worth considering. the Bible is the best of studies; may you be the best of students. It deserves at your hands reverence, attention, meditation, obedience, and imitation: if these be rendered to it, the Bible will render hack to you a choice return. the warning of our Lord concerning hearing the word is equally true of the reading of it; he said, “take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you; and unto you that hear shall more be given.”
Certain insects assume the color of the leaves they feed upon; and they are but emblems of a great law of our being: our minds take the hue of the subjects whereon they think. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
Readers of trash become trashy; lovers of skeptical books become skeptical; and students of the Bible, who are in real earnest, become biblical, and display the qualities ,of the Bible. If you read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the word of God, the qualities of that word will be displayed in you. A man fed on Bibline is a man indeed. In the history of heroes, there are none who show so much moral muscle and spiritual sinew as those who make the word of God their necessary ‘food.
At this time I would remind you of one of the most striking characteristics of the Bible, namely, its holiness. On the back of nearly every copy of the Sacred Scriptures we read the words HOLY BIBLES. It is not the only holy thing or holy book in the world; but yet the Bible is pre-eminently holy, because of its holy Author, its holy subjects its holy spirit, and its holy tendency. It is a book for holy men, and a book to make men holy. You are, then, members of Holy Bible-classes; may the classes be holy as well as the Bible, and may you all be holy members of Bible-classes.
Hard-by this word Holy Bible lies my subject; indeed, it grows out of it. I want you to exhibit holy happiness. t he devil has cunningly persuaded many young people that holiness means mopishness and misery. No falsehood is more entirely baseless than this; and yet it is commonly accepted, and works a world of mischief. For youthful minds are fascinated by the idea of happiness, and frightened with the notion of melancholy; and therefore the evil one tries to blacken the fair face of holiness with the ‘smoke of this slanderous suggestion —that godly people are gloomy people. the fact is that true holiness is the only source of real happiness. No man can be thoroughly and lastingly happy unless he is holy; and if he be holy, no man can be utterly or lastingly miserable. Holiness and happiness are so joined together by the hand of God that they never can be long apart. through various causes they may for awhile be sundered; but they are so wedded that they are sure to meet again. I desire greatly that all of you who are believers in the Lord Jesus may prove by your happy and holy lives that this is the case. I would have the warmth of your zeal for God attended by the light of your joy in God. I would have the sharp sword of your convictions adorned with the golden hilt of your delight in the Lord. this will cause you to honor God, and make you useful to others. I have heard that of old they would smear the wings of a dove with delicious perfume, and thus attract flocks of others to the dove-cote. Joyful Christians are attractive Christians, and my prayer is that all of you may be such.
You will see clearly that holiness and happiness must walk hand in hand if you will remember that the most holy being in existence, namely, the Lord our God himself, is also the happiest of beings. He is the blessed God because his name is “. Holy,. holy, holy!” We may be sure, then, that those who become like God in holiness will become like him in happiness.
Holiness draws them near to God, makes them enjoy more of the love of God, and makes them more full of God, and hence it gives them fellowship with the bliss of God, in whose presence there is fullness of joy. the next happiest beings are holy angels: and these are supremely happy because they are wholly sanctified unto God: they have harps in their hands and hallelujahs on their lips because they have holiness in their hearts. My observation proves to me that the happiest of men are those whose lives are “holiness unto the Lord.” they have sorrows and trials which the wicked do not share; but, they have also an exceeding store of happiness with which the ungodly cannot meddle. Certainly there are no people in this world that I have ever envied except those whom I have known to be remarkable for their holy lives. I have never longed to be a king, nor wished to be an emperor, but I have sighed, and cried, and prayed to be like the excellent of the earth, in whom is all my delight.
Next, it must seem highly probable to you that God would have created us so that obedience to himself would yield us satisfaction, and disobedience would bring with it disquietude and sorrow. And, indeed, he has constituted us upon that principle, so that righteousness is peace to a man, and sin is misery. This order has been greatly disturbed by the Fall, and by the existence of wicked men; and hence it occurs that apparently the wicked have the, best of it, and the gracious are sorely tried: still it remains true that when we are in accord with the Lord our mind enjoys peace, and when we quarrel with him we quarrel with ourselves. In this lies the essence of happiness or misery, for if there be peace within the bosom, no outward trouble can disturb our joy; and if there he no rest within, no external comforts can cheer the heart. Conscience is a deadly foe to happiness when men indulge in sin. Folly full often bears with it a temporary pleasure like the crackling of thorns under a pot; it yields a passing gratification as the meteor flashes for a moment; but, after all, the utmost enjoyments that come of sin are so short- lived and so mean that they are not worthy of immortal man. Pleasures which we share with swine are but of small account. the deep content which springs from being right and doing right is a jewel worth more than all the mirth which ever stirred the soul of the gayest of the gay at the height of their hilarity. the human mind cannot find a quiet anchorage except in the roadstead of full fellowship with God: it is so formed and fashioned that as long as it is sinful it is like the troubled sea which cannot rest. If you have ever come home at night from a place of questionable amusement, I am sure you have felt much disquiet when left alone; you have forgotten all your merriment when your companions have departed, and in the pain of reflection you have made a resolve never to go again. How different your thoughts upon returning home from a Bible-class, or a prayer-meeting, where you have enjoyed the presence of God! You have felt a deep repose of heart, and a true joy, which needed no noisy company or boisterous shouting to keep it up. this is the happiness which I wish you always to feel—a joy which can be weighed in the scales of judgment, tried by the tests of reason, enjoyed in solitude, ay, and enjoyed on a dying bed. God, I say, has so made you that happiness comes to you through holiness. Believe me, except you are holy, you shall never know what real happiness means. Again, it would appear to be according to the universal rule of nature that a man who obeys the laws of God should be happy, and that he who rebels against them should find it hard to kick against the pricks. Outward nature teaches us that harmony is produced by obedience to law. Sun, moon, and stars, and all the elements are invariably obedient to their Maker’s will. Since the hour when he established the heavens and the earth they have kept his ordinances without a single breach, and consequently they have continued to stand fast and abide in their places. If there could be a planet uncontrolled by gravitation, what would become of it? Now, if a man sets himself in opposition to the course of creation and the custom of the universe, must he not in many ways come into collision with God. and with the forces under his control, and so meet with damage and injury? For my part, I find my rest in being at one with the one God, and in being a loyal subject of the blessed and only Potentate. I like to look up to the silent stars and feel that the God who made them all is my Friend, and that! desire to order my life in accordance with his will. this gives me great happiness; but if I were compelled to confess myself the enemy of that Allwise and Almighty One, who rides upon the wings of the wind, and makes the clouds the dust of his feet, I should feel. that I had entered upon a contest for which I am altogether unequal, and that it would surely involve me in pains and penalties which I am not able to bear.
Those who talk of holiness as being necessarily mopishness have no reason by which they can justify their statement. What is there in a gracious life that should involve misery? A holy man is pardoned: is there anything in the forgiveness of sins to produce distress of mind’? A holy man is changed in heart: is there anything g to be deplored in a new heart and a right spirit?
A holy man is a child of God, beloved of his heavenly Father, guarded by holy angels, comforted by the Holy Spirit, made an heir of God, and joint heir with Jesus Christ: is there anything in all this to excite sorrow? A holy man knows that all his present affairs are in the hands of God, that even his trials and afflictions are sanctified to his good, and that God will never leave him, nor forsake him, world without end: what is ;here in this state of things to make him feel unhappy? the Christian is on his way to a peaceful death, a glorious resurrection, and an eternal life of immeasurable felicity, — will such an outlook make him wretched? to my mind there are ten thousand times ten thousand reasons why every genuine Christian should be happy as the days are long; and there is not one single reason in holiness why a man should ever exhibit a doleful countenance. Alas! it is our unholiness Which troubles us: it is because we cannot be as holy as we wish that we are not as happy as we wish. When we shall be perfectly holy we shall be perfectly happy.
But it is not a matter of mere argument and supposition. I have seen for myself, ay, and enjoyed for myself, the happiness which comes of holiness.
I have seen very poor Christian persons far more happy than rich worldlings, because they have walked with God. I have visited bed-ridden persons, full of pain and near to death, who have been almost as happy as the angels in heaven, and have sent me out of their bed-chambers refreshed with their psalms of delight. Yes, and I have seen, dying with consumption and other diseases, young people like yourselves, who have displayed in the hour of their departure far more exquisite joy than I have witnessed at wedding-feasts. When I have myself been able to plead successfully with God in prayer, when I have overcome a temptation to evil in my own heart, when I have been able to do the work of the Lord Jesus Christ faithfully and truly, — then have I felt that holiness is happiness; and therefore I speak positively upon this point.
If any of you still entertain a doubt, I would say, “0 t aste and see that the Lord is good!” As Samson brought the honey in his hands to his father and mother, so would I tell you of my happiness, that you may enjoy the like.
No knowledge is so sure as that which comes of personal experience: why should we not obtain such knowledge, each one for himself? Hasten by humble prayer to the Lord Jesus, and put your trust in him: his atonement is the lifeblood of holiness. His Spirit will create in you that clean heart which is the well-spring of a holy life. thus washed and renewed you shall go forth with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into slurring, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
I am rejoiced to hear that some of your number have been converted to God, and have lately put on Christ. to you I would more especially say — let your holiness be always clothed in the silken garments of happiness. Be pictures of Christ in your lives, and let the pictures be hung in the golden frames of cheerfulness. Be not frivolous, but be joyful; gravely, heartily, deeply joyful. Is it not written, Let the righteous glad; let them rejoice before God; yea, let them exceedingly rejoice “? Happiness is the light which flashes from the glittering armor of righteousness. If holiness be the priest, let happiness be the ephod of blue, and scarlet, and fine-twined linen, hung with bells and pomegranates, which he wears for glory and for beauty. Spend your days, not in sighing over the present, but in singing about the future; not in finding fault with others, but in finding help for them; not in moaning and groaning over your hard work or your ill-health, but in praising and blessing God for the comforts of your station, and for the possibilities of glorifying his name. Be most happy when you are most engaged in holy service: then is the time for the high-sounding cymbals.
Have happy Sundays, happy Bible-classes, happy prayer-meetings, and happy school-addresses. May all these be preludes of that happiest of days when you shall see the face of the happy God, and be with him for ever and ever.
Yours very heartily, C. H.SPURGEON.
THE POPULAR AND BROMLEY TABERNACLE, BRUNSWICK ROAD, POPLAR THE accompanying engraving is a representation of the tabernacle which was opened, on the 13th of September last, for the ministry of PastorW. T. Lambourne, who entered the College in 1872. It has been the lot of Mr. Lain bourne to serve the Master in one of the most needy quarters of the metropolis, and the completion of this new building shows in what degree his persevering labors have been successful. He began with scarcely any congregation at all; but there is a fair prospect of the new building—which will seat over eleven hundred persons — being fairly filled from Sabbath to Sabbath. The cost will be £3,700, and about a fourth part of that sum will have to be raised before the debt is finally extinguished. the energy which the pastor has thrown into the work deserves to be cordially recognized; and much is it needed in his vast and religiously destitute district. there are miles upon miles of streets, and a teeming population, in Poplar, and churches and chapels appear to be almost as scarce as trees in a sandy desert. the chapel is so constructed that an additional gallery can be put in when required, and we trust that this will speedily be the case. the present schoolroom is not half large enough to accommodate the children who attend, and a sum of (pounds)1600 is required to double the space, by raising the roof and putting in another floor. this work will not ‘be begun until the main building is out of debt. Mr. Lambourne has gathered his own congregation; and there is room for other brethren who have the ability to build upon their own foundation. the harvest is vast indeed in the East End; where are the laborers? London grows at an amazing rate, and there are few that lay its needs to heart. It threatens to become the citadel of heathenism, for attendance at places of worship grows less and less from year to year; and houses of prayer do not multiply as the people do. the struggle to build a new chapel is something terrible: men fail under it. Yet this need not be, and should not be. If men of wealth gave as they should there would remain no great difficulty; but, alas, few think of their stewardship, and many care only to increase their hoardings. A curse is on the gold which is withheld at the price of blood, — reserved to the ruin of souls. The Roman; or, On the Wings of the Morning. A tale of the Renaissance.
By D. Alcock. T. Fisher Unwin.
WELL intended, but heavy. When we had, as a matter of duty, read this volume we felt utterly wearied, and came to the conclusion that the game did not pay for the candle. Five minutes of history or three minutes of theology would have conveyed to us far more instruction than an hour of such elaborate story-telling.
NOTES OUR personal record for the past month may be summed up in the words of the Psalmist, “I will sing of mercy and judgment.” Never did we enjoy better health and more sweet repose than at Mentone up to December 18th. All the time of our sojourn in the south the mind had been clear and vigorous, and much good work was done. Such happiness was enjoyed that we considered it to be the forecast of coming trial, and the preparation for it. the remark was made to our ,dear friend and secretary, JosephW. Harrald, that such enjoyment must surely be followed by tribulation. So has it proved. We reached home on December 19th, and on Sunday, Dec. 24th, Mr. Harrald’s wife suddenly sickened and died, leaving him with four little ones. On that day an attack of rheumatism was upon us, and though the preaching was carried on, we could not rise from the conch on Christmasday, the 25th. It was no small sorrow to find our companion so sorely bereaved, and to be unable to unite with our dear orphan family in their joys. this was the dawn of the dark day. While we were still ill, and unable to visit him, our dear and valued friend and deacon, William Higgs, was called to his rest, January 3rd. In him his family have lost the best, of fathers, we have lost a loving helper, the church a valued counselor, and the Orphanage its treasurer and a wise trustee. He was buried at Norwood, amid a great representative assembly, who all lamented him. At that very hour the hand of the Lord was stretched out again, and a second greatlyesteemed deacon fell down in paralysis, never to recover consciousness again. William Mills, our faithful helper, fell asleep January 12th, leaving us all to mourn his loss. In him the poor of the church have lost a kind and careful guardian, and all of us a hearty friend, Other friends, less known but much esteemed, also had passed away a little before these blows at the first staggered, not only the pastor, but all the circle of workers. Blessed be God, he has helped us, he has sustained the bereaved, and enabled us all to say — “ the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
May we not beg for a special share in the prayers of the Lord’s people in this hour of our need? Surely. these clouds mean rain. A great blessing ;s on its way, and these trials are the shadow of its wings. God grant it may be so. Ministers die, deacons die, but Christ lives; and his church must live also. the Lord will provide men for his work; for are they not his ascension gifts for the perfecting of his church?
We beg to record with unutterable thankfulness the great kindness of many friends, who have offered us their sympathy and their aid; and especially we would note the goodness of the Lord in leading so many to send in liberal help to the Institutions at a time when any care in that direction would have added to our burden. the addition of girls to the Orphanage has much increased the need, but we joyfully believe that the Lord is in proportion multiplying the number of our helping friends. thank you, dear helpers, one and all. You are true yoke-fellows. If the day of sorrow should come to you also, may cups of cold water be handed out to you when your souls are athirst for sympathy.
Here, too, we must make public record of our boundless debt of gratitude to our brother, J. A. Spurgeon, who has borne far more than his share of burdens, with that unwearied love and endurance which he has ever shown to his weaker brother. His spirit dwells in all our beloved church-officers, and is found in the whole circle of our helpers. the Lord reward him and them.
We gird up our loins for work to come. the Lord of hosts is with us. the God. of Jacob is our Refuge. “the Lord is good, a strong-hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
On Monday evening, January 8, special interest was given to the tabernacle prayer-meeting by the attendance of several clergymen and ministers and their friends, who had assembled for united prayer, in response to the invitation of the South London B ranch of the Evangelical Alliance. three incumbents, and three times as many ministers, took tea together, and spent a happy season in prayer and communion before the public gathering. It was good to be there. Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, and the Revs. Burman Cassin, of St. George’s, and J. McKenny, of Lambeth, addressed the meeting. Many prayers were presented at the throne of grace, and it would have been hard to tell who was the Wesleyan and who ‘the Calvinist, who the Churchman and who the Dissenter. The saints in prayer appear as one In word, and deed, and mind; While with the Father and the Son Sweet fellowship they find. ” On Monday evening, January 15, the Pastors, and Deacons, and Elders of the tabernacle church met for tea, prayer, and communion before the regular prayer-meeting, in order to unitedly recognize the hand of God in the removal of the two deacons who had been called to their reward, and also to seek divine guidance in the season of sorrow. Old men were there past fourscore years, and the younger brethren who have more lately been ordained to office: none were absent of the whole number save four whose sorrow it was to be unable to come, and these were there in spirit. It was a solemn, holy, hopeful gathering of men chastened in spirit, and the Holy Spirit made it full of spiritual benefit to all present. the Lord was known among us in the breaking of bread. the Pastor’s heart was comforted. At the public assembly in the tabernacle a very large congregation met together, and the spirit which had pervaded the officers’ meeting manifestly rested upon the greater company. there was much solemn heartsearching, deep submission to our heavenly Father’s will, and an earnest desire that his glory might be increased by the dark experience through which we were passing; and we believe it will be so. Joyous hope is visible, like clear shining after rain. The Bazaar in aid of the fund for the erection of the New Mission Hall for Ber mondsey was a great success. the first four days’ sales realized £1,800, and so many articles remained unsold that it was decided to re-open the bazaar, after the necessary interval, during which we attended to the mournful duty of burying our beloved deacons, W. Higgs and W. Mills. the stall-keepers were again at; their posts on the 17th ult., and a considerable amount was added to the fund. the Pastor heartily thanks those indefatigable friends who have worked so cheerfully under Mr. Murrell’s lead, and accomplished this grand result; and also those devoted followers who came from far to help in this effort. A good deal remains to be done to complete the Bermondsey Hall; but the worst; of the work is over. this great enterprise will he inaugurated most hopefully; by the help of a few more givers the matter will be put out of hand. Another well opened in the wilderness! the Lord be praised!
Mrs.SPURGEON’ S BOOK:FUND. — the seventh annual diary of the Book Fund and its Work is now ready, and can be obtained of Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster, post.-free for seven stamps, or through any bookseller for sixpence. Next month we hope, to give extracts from this fragrant annual.
Meanwhile, in our impartial, critical judgment, we declare this Report to be equal to any of its predecessors; what more could be said?
— From son tom comes the following letter:— Auckland, New Zealand, Monday, Dec. 4, 1882. My very dear Father,-I know not how to thank you for the great interest you have taken in our cause and work. We shall have a vast deal to thank you for before you have done, I can see. Up to the present! have received only the October Sword and Trowel , and were this letter penned a week hence I should, doubtless, have to acknowledge a far larger amount than that records. Sight demands much gratitude, and Faith says, “Make it more.” I beg, therefore, to thank you, and through you the kind donors, for the material assistance rendered to us. Many of the names in the Magazine list I recognize as belonging to dear friends to whom I would gladly write, but that too much time would so be occupied. Please thank them on my behalf. this is my opportunity, also, for acknowledging the loving gifts of those who have been working for our bazaar. the goods will be here in time, though they are not yet to hand.
Such friends, as well as yourself, will rejoice to learn that we have lately had many encouragements. A gentleman who is not a member with us has given us £100, and from several of my colonial friends we have had some substantial aid. By March next we hope to have paid for the site (£3200), and to possess the value of old property as a nucleus for actual building operations. this, I think, is good work in a short time, and the best of it is that nothing has been stinted — rather have we had extraordinary expenses connected with church work. We want (“if possible,” some add) to pay our way, and avoid debt. it is possible — we must make it possible — so I say, and cry, “It shall be done.”
We have no doubt that when we receive a picture of the proposed chapel, and the work has commenced, friends will give ample help to our son.
— During the past month Mr. t. Perry has settled at Lordship Lane, Dulwich, and Mr. F. Potter at Thaxted, Essex. Mr. A. Greet has removed from Quorndon to Little King’s Hill, Great Missenden, Bucks; and Mr. C. Wilson Smith from Carbondale to Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pennsylvania.
Mr. A. Fairbrother has arrived safely in Auckland, and has commenced his mission work among the Maoris. Our son, Thomas Spurgeon, has firm confidence that we have sent the right man. Oh for the seal of the Holy Spirit upon his labors!
— Messrs. Fullerton and Smith commenced, under very hopeful auspices, a series of services at Hitchin, on the 14th. ult., at the close of which they are to visit Luton t he reports sent to us concerning their meetings at -Ross and Hereford, at the, end of last year, are exceedingly encouraging. We cannot find space for all that we should like to publish, but we must insert the following letter, with grateful thanks to the venerable writer for his valuable testimony : — “Dear Mr. Spurgeon, — Although the correspondence that, every day claims a share of your attention must be enormous, yet, as the oldest nonconformist minister, in age and service, holding a charge in this city, I cannot refrain from very warmly thanking you for the services of the two honored brethren, Messrs. Fullerton and Smith. their visit to this city has been truly a blessing. Not only have many come forward to declare themselves on the Lord’s side, but I have good reason to hope, from what I have already seen, that the members of our churches have received a quickening which will issue in permanent results. Our dear brother, Mr. Fullerton, preaches the gospel with a clearness and power I have never heard surpassed; and Mr. Smith has the happy gift of throwing over the audience such a mellowing influence that minds unconsciously open, like the flower to the sun, to receive without prejudice the solemn things they listen to. Night after night we have had overflowing congregations and inquiring souls. I wish to say that during thirty-six years of ministerial life I have never attended a series of Evangelistic services which have commended themselves so entirely to my intelligence and heart as those we have just been privileged with. With many thanks to you and the dear brethren, and with all my heart wishing them ‘God speed’ everywhere, “I am, “Faithfully yours, “J.O.HILL.” “Minister of Eignbrook Chapel Hereford.”
Similar testimony is borne to the usefulness of Mr. Burnham’s services at Peterchurch, Hereford, where quite a revival of religion has been experienced. Mr. Frank Russell has begun his work in connection with the Surrey and Middlesex Association by holding services at Richmond, which appear to have been productive of much spiritual benefit. Just as we are making up the “Notes,’ he is conducting meetings at St. Margaret ’s near Twickenham. We beg for much prayer for this our fourth evangelist.
ORPHANAGE.—the Christmas festivities passed off as happily as usual, although the President was, almost at the last moment, prevented from being present through an attack of rheumatism. the long lists of contributions of money and mate rinds for the children’s merry-making testify to the unfailing kindness of many generous helpers, to all of whom we desire to express our heartfelt thanks, and the boys and girls unite With us with “three times three.”
Some friends continue their liberality all through the year, and even year after year, and to these our gratitude is proportionately great. For instance, Messrs. Freeman and Hillyard have for years supplied all the bakingpowder required for the institution, ;red they still send us sufficient for all our wants. May all such liberal souls be abundantly rewarded by the Father of the fatherless! Notice to Collectors.. — the next collectors’ meeting will be held at the Orphanage on Friday evening, February 9th. Will all collectors try then to bring in their boxes or books, or send in the amounts they have collected?
Friends willing to help the Institution by collecting funds can obtain books or boxes on application to the Secretary, Stockwell Orphanage, Claphamroad, London.
COLPORTAGE. — the present number of colporteurs employed (67) is rather under the average, and the Association is ready and anxious to occupy more districts if the friends in desirable localities will only try to raise the very moderate sum of £40 a-year to enable the committee to send them one of these valuable workers.
The colporteur is the bearer of light amid the darkness of ignorance, of truth where the errors of sacerdotalism and skepticism prevail, of medicine to counteract the ‘unhealthy productions of the press, and of the tidings of salvation to a lost and guilty world. His work is thorough, aiming at the visitation of every home; undenominational, seeking only to make known Jesus, and the way of salvation; varied, speaking by books, conversations, and public addresses; economical, t he profits on the sales helping to pay his wages; and approved by long experience.
Surely, there are many districts where friends can be found, who will either support a man, or aid others to do so! A few ladies would easily collect the amount in most districts, and collecting-books or boxes will be gladly sent.
We gratefully note that a friend sends a donation of £100 for the General Fund, and another sends £5 towards the £15 required to continue the poor district for which an appeal has been made in these columns. Another £10 will keep the district open during this year.
One of the colporteurs thus writes in his last quarterly report : — “If t he people in the villages, at least many of them, do not have the gospel brought to them, either by personal contact with them, or else by their perusal of books brought to them, I do not know how they are going to get much of it. In so many villages, at the one place where the Bread should be dealt out to the hungry, there it is not dealt out to them; and many of them either dare not go elsewhere to seek for the Bread of life unless they are prepared to give up the bread that perisheth, or else they are prejudiced through erroneous teaching, and they will not go anywhere else. the ‘ woe ‘ that Christ renounced upon the lawyers of his day for entering not into the kingdom of God ‘themselves, and preventing them that were entering, is surely hanging over the heads of scores and hundreds in our own land and day in many villages. But, thank God, we are taking them back the key of knowledge, and some are using it and entering the kingdom, and many, we trust, yet win enter. One occasionally gets dispirited, but I often think and feel that I would not give up the work of colportage for any occupation in the land; and if I were a rich man I would still be a colporteur, because of the blessed privileges and opportunities one has of dealing personally with people about their souls and salvation.”
Personal Notes.—John Ploughman ’s Almanac for 1883 has brought in many contributions for the Orphanage, but, better far even than that, it has been the means of leading a soul into light and liberty. A poor widow, in delicate health, left with six young children, had been for some time past anxiously seeking the salvation of her soul, when, taking up the new Almanac, her eye rested on the motto for June 24, Salvation comes by faith, not by feeling, and the message brought peace to her troubled spirit. the Lord’s name be praised. The Free Church Monthly for December contains an account of a visit paid to the lighthouse-keepers on the Skerries rock. On the little island there are four families, comprising sixteen individuals. Being almost entirely isolated, they have few religious privileges, but “every Lord’s-day,” so says the Monthly, “they conduct a service among themselves, reading one of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons. thus the words, to which thousands in London listen every week, and which are read in every corner of the world, are feeding and comforting the sixteen inhabitants of a lonely rock beaten by the fierce waters that surge in the Pentland Firth.”