YOUR BEST ALWAYS BY C.H. SPURGEON SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS was one of the most distinguished painters of his day and, in answer to the inquiry, how he attained’ to such excellence, he replied, By observing, one simple rule, viz., to make each painting the best. Depend upon it that the same thing is true in the service of God. He who wishes to preach well should endeavor each time to preach his best. the audience may be small, and the hearers illiterate; but the best possible sermon will not be thrown away upon them. It may be that the minister is invited to make one among several speakers at a tea-meeting. Never let him talk mere nonsense to fill up the time, as so many have done in days past; but let him use the occasion as an opportunity for quietly uttering most important truths. It is for the preacher’s own good that he should never descend into mere dribble. Beyond all expectation, he may be accomplishing a great work, when his only idea is that he is doing a little one as well as he can. Our firm opinion is that we often accomplish most when the occasion appears to be the least favorable.
Well do we remember a young man who was called to preach on a certain week-day morning, at the anniversary of a village chapel, He was Somewhat surprised to find that only eight persons were present in a spacious edifice; but he gave himself up, heart and soul, to the service as thoroughly as if eight thousand had been gathered together. It was a time of refreshing to the eight, and to the preacher himself, and so nine were benefited! What was the result? In the evening the audience filled the place: the rumor of the morning sermon had been industriously spread by the villagers, the scantiness of the audience being a factor in the singularity of the news; and every available person was mustered to cheer the poor young man, who was such a singular preacher. What was far better, there were memorials of good having been accomplished in the salvation of souls. A brother minister, who was present in the morning:, because he was the preacher of the afternoon remarked that if it had been his lot to conduct that morning service the slender congregation would have taken all the life out of him, but that he saw the wisdom of always doing one’s best under all sorts of circumstances, for it would be sure to lead up to something larger by-and-by. Let every young speaker think of this, and throw all his energies into a discourse in a cottage to a dozen old ladies. It is an old saying that, when the farrier’s name is up, he need not take care how he makes his horse-shoes; but it is a gross and wicked falsehood; for the more a man has succeeded, the more is it incumbent upon him to do better, and still better, that his reputation may not become a falsehood, and that younger men may not find in his example an excuse for trifling. He who can do best should still do his best: the best of the best is no better than our God deserves.
Perhaps there is no greater evil under the sun than “a great sermon..” which people speak c f as “quite an intellectual treat;” and yet, in another sense, every sermon should be great, and every address should be solid. the toleration of slight work in the service of God shows a want of reverence for his holy name. If Dr. Johnson was right’ in his proverbial saying, that “Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well,” with what emphasis should we accept the sentence if the work is to be done for the Lord of hosts. How dare we offer to him that which costs us nothing? How dare we think that any workmanship which has been performed in a slovenly manner is fit to present before the infinitely glorious One? A high respect for the Lord God should be the leading motive for holy carefulness in every service, but, new to this, self-respect ought to urge us to thoroughness. Let us do nothing unworthy of servants of the Lord Jesus. We treat ourselves with contempt when we perform inferior work: we ought not to condescend to such drudgery. We are; the children of a God who puts all his heart into the creation of a tiny moss or a microscopic insect. He does nothing by “contract-work,” nor should those who are “‘imitators of God, as dear children.” trifling should be left to worldlings, for whose little day it may suffice as an ignoble pastime; but to immortal men earnest, hearty work is alone suitable. Let us put all our hearts even into a conversation with a little child, or a talk with a peasant, or the writing of a letter to a friend, if we feel called upon to seek usefulness by, any of these methods.
Let “thorough ” be our watchword, and let all that we attempt for God and truth be carried out /in such style that we may not be ashamed to see it all again by the light of the Great White throne. No “scamping” should ever be dreamed of by those who are building in the New Jerusalem, — building in prospect, of the fire which shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
ANECDOTES FROM THE PULPIT.
A LECTURE TO THE COLLEGE, BY C. H. SPURGEON.
It is pretty generally admitted that sermons may wisely be adorned with a fair share of illustrations; but anecdotes used to that end are still regarded by the prudes of the pulpit with a measure of suspicion. they will come down low enough to quote an emblem, they will deign to use poetic imagery, but they cannot stoop to tell a simple, homely story. they would, probably, say in confidence to their younger brethren, “Beware how you lower yourselves and your sacred office by repeating anecdotes, which are best appreciated by the vulgar and uneducated.” We would not retort by exhorting all men to abound in stories, for there ought to be discrimination.
It is freely admitted that there are useful and admirable styles of oratory which would be disfigured by a rustic tale; and there are, honored brethren whose genius would never allow them to relate a story, for it would not appear suitable to their mode of thought. Upon these we would not even by implication hint at a censure; but when we are dealing with others who seem to be somewhat, and are not what they seem, we feel no tenderness; nay, we are even moved to assail their stilted greatness. If they sneer at anecdotes, we smile at them and their sneers, and wish them more sense and less starch. Affectation of intellectual superiority and love of rhetorical splendor have prevented many from setting forth gospel truth in the easiest imaginable manner, namely, by analogies drawn from common events.
Because they could not condescend to men of low estate they have refrained from repeating incidents which would have accurately explained their meaning. Fearing to be thought vulgar, they have lost golden opportunities. As well might David have refused to sling one of the smooth stones at Goliath’s brow because it came out of a common brook.
From individuals so lofty in their ideas nothing is likely to flow down to the masses of the people but a glacial eloquence — a river of ice. Dignity is a most poor and despicable consideration unless it be the dignity of turning many to righteousness; and yet divines who have had scarcely enough of real dignity to save themselves from contempt, have swollen “huge as high Olympus” through the affectation of it. A young gentleman, after delivering an elaborate discourse, was told that not more than five or six in the congregation had been able to understand him. this he accepted as a tribute to his genius; but I take leave to place him in the same class with another person who was accustomed to shake his head in the most profound manner that he might make his prelections the more impressive, and this had some effect with the groundlings, until a shrewd Christian woman made the remark that he did shake his head certainly, but that there was nothing in it. t hose who are too refined to be simple need to be refined again. Luther has well put it in his table-talk: “Cursed are all preachers that in the church aim at high and hard things; and, neglecting the saving health of the poor unlearned people, seek their own honor and praise, and therefore try to please one or two great persons. When 2 preach I sink myself deep dozen. ” It may be superfluous to remind you of the oft-quoted passage from George Herbert’s “Country Parson,” and yet I cannot omit it, because it is so much to my mind: “the parson also serves himself of the judgments of God, as those of ancient times, so especially of the late ones; and those most which are nearest to his parish; for people are very attentive at such discourses, and think it behoves them to be so when God is so near them:, and even over their heads. Sometimes he tells them stories and sayings of others, according as his text invites him; for them also men heed, and remember better than exhortations; which, though earnest, yet often die with the sermon, especially with country people, which ‘are thick and heavy, and hard to raise to a point of zeal and fervency, and need a mountain of fire to kindle them, but stories and sayings they will well remember.” It ought never to be forgotten that the great God himself, when he would instruct men, employs histories and biographies. Our Bible contains both doctrines, promises, and precepts; but these are not left alone, the ‘whole book is vivified and illustrated by marvelous records of things said and done by God and by men. He who is taught of God values the sacred histories, and knows that in them there is a special fullness and forcibleness of instruction. teachers of Scripture cannot do better than instruct their fellows after the manner of the Scriptures. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the great teacher of teachers, did not disdain the use of anecdotes. to my mind it seems clear that certain of his parables were facts, and, consequently, anecdotes. May not the story of the Prodigal Son have been a literal truth? Were there not actual instances of an enemy sowing tares among the wheat? May not the rich fool who said—” from the life? Did not Dives ‘red Lazarus actually figure on the stage of history? Certainly the story of those who were crushed by the fall of the tower of Siloam, and the sad tragedy of the Galileans, “whose blood Pilate had mingled with ;heir sacrifices,” were matters of current Jewish gossip, and our Lord turned both of them to good account. What HE did we need not be ashamed to do. that we may do it with all wisdom and prudence, let us seek the guidance of the Divine Spirit which rested upon him so continually.
I shall make up this present address, by quoting the examples of great preachers, beginning with the era of the Reformation, and following on without any very rigid chronological order down to our own day.
Examples are more powerful than precepts, hence I quote them.
First, let; me mention that grand old preacher, Hugh Latimer, t he most English of all our divines; and one whose influence over our land was undoubtedly most powerful Southey says, “Latimer more than any other man promoted the Reformation by his preaching”; and in this he echoes the more important utterance of Ridley, who wrote from his prison, I do think that the Lord hath placed old Father Latimer to be his standard-bearer in our age and country against his mortal foe, Antichrist.’ If you have read any of his sermons, you must have been struck with the number of his quaint stories, seasoned with a homely humor which smacks of that Leicestershire farmhouse wherein he was brought up by a father who did yeoman’s service, and a mother who milked thirty kine. No doubt we may attribute to these stories the breaking down of pews by the overwhelming rush of the people to hear him, and the general interest which his sermons excited. More of such preaching, and we should have less fear of the return of Popery. the common people heard him gladly, and his lively anecdotes accounted for much of their eager attention. A few of these narratives one could hardly repeat, for the taste of our age has happily improved in delicacy; but others are most admirable and instructive. Here are three of them : — THE FRIAR’S MAN AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. “I will tell you now a pretty story of a friar to refresh you withal. A limiter of the grey friars in the time of his limitation preached many times, and had but, one sermon at all times; which sermon was of the ten commandments.
And. because this friar had preached this sermon so often, one that heard it before told the friar’s servant that his master was called ‘Friar John ten Commandments’: wherefore the servant showed the friar his master thereof, and advised him to preach of some other matters; for it grieved the servant to hear his master derided. Now, the friar made answer saying, ‘ Belike, then, thou canst say the ten commandments well, seeing thou hast heard them so many a time.’ ‘Yea,’ said the servant, ‘I warrant you.’ ‘Let me hear them,’ saith the master; then he began, — ‘ Pride, covetousness, lechery,’ and so numbered the deadly sins for the ten commandments. And so there be many at this time, which be weary of the old gospel; they would fain hear some new things: they think themselves so perfect in the old, when they be no more skillful than this servant was in his ten commandments.”
S. ANTHONY AND THE COBBLER.
“We read a pretty story of S. Anthony, which, being in the wilderness, led there a very hard and strait life, insomuch as none at that time did the like. to whom came a voice from heaven, saying, ‘ Anthony, thou art not so perfect as is a cobbler that dwelleth at Alexandria.’ Anthony, hearing this, rose up. forthwith, and took his staff and went till he came to Alexandria, where he found the cobbler. the cobbler was astonished to see so reverend a father to come into his house. then Anthony said unto him, ‘ Come and tell me thy whole conversation, and how thou spendest thy time.’ ‘ Sir,’ said the cobbler, ‘ as for me, good works I have none, for my life is but simple and slender; I am but a poor cobbler. In the morning, when I arise, I pray for the whole city wherein I dwell, specially for all such neighbors and poor friends as I have. After, I set me at my labor, where I spend the whole day in getting of my living, and keep me from all falsehood; for I hate nothing so much as I do deceitfulness: wherefore, when I make to any man a promise, I keep it and do it truly; and so spend my time poorly with my wife and children, whom I teach and instruct, as far as my wit will serve me, to fear and dread God. this is the sum of my simple life.’ “In this story you see how God loveth those that follow their vocation, and live uprightly without any falsehood in their dealing. this Anthony was a great and holy man, yet this cobbler was as much esteemed before God as he.”
THE DANGER OF PROSPERITY.
“I read once a story of a good bishop, which rode by the way and was weary, being yet far off from any town; therefore seeing a fair house, he went thither, and was very well and honorably received: there were great preparations made for him, and a great banquet; all things were in plenty. then the man of the house set out his prosperity, and told the bishop what riches he had, in what honors and dignities he was, how’ many fair children he had, what a virtuous wife God had provided for him, so that he had no lack of any manner of thing; he had no trouble nor vexations, neither outward nor inward. Now this holy man, hearing the good estate of that man, called one of his servants, and commanded him to make ready the horses: for the bishop thought that God was not in that house, because there was no temptation there: he took his leave and went his ways. Now when he came a two or three mile off, he remembered his book which he had left behind him; he sent his man back again to fetch that book, and when the servant came again the house was sunken and all that was in it.
Here it appeareth that it is a good thing to have temptation. this man thought himself a jolly fellow, because all things went well with him. But he knew not S. James’ lesson: Beatus qui sufferet tentationem, ‘ Blessed is he that endureth temptation.’ Let us therefore learn here, not to be irksome when God layeth his cross upon us.”
Let us take a long leap of about a century, and we come to Jeremy Taylor, another bishop, whom I mention immediately after Latimer because he is apparently such a contrast to that homely divine, while yet in very truth he has a measure of likeness to him as to the point ‘now in hand. they both rejoiced in figure and metaphor, and equally delighted in incident and narrative. true, the one would talk of John and William, and the other of Anaxagoras and Scipio; but actual scenes were the delight of each. In this respect Jeremy Taylor may be said to be Latimer turned into Latin. Jeremy Taylor is as full of classical allusions as a king’s palace is full of rare treasures, and his language is of the lofty order which more becomes a patrician audience than a popular assembly; but when you come to the essence of things, you see that if Latimer is homely, so also Taylor narrates incidents which are homely to him; but his home is among philosophers of Greece and senators of Rome. this being understood, we venture to say that no one used more anecdotes than this splendid poet-preacher. His biographer truly says, — “ It would be hard to point out a branch of learning or of scientific pursuit to which he does not occasionally allude; or any author of eminence, either ancient or modern, with whom he does not evince himself acquainted. He more than once refers to obscure stories in ancient writers, as if they were of necessity as familiar to all his readers as to himself; as, for instance, he talks of ‘poor Attillius Aviola,’ and again of ‘ the Libyan lion that brake loose into his wilderness and killed two Roman boys.’” In all this he is eminently select and classical, and therefore I the more freely introduce him here; for there can be no reason why our anecdotes should all be rustic; we, too, may rifle the treasures of antiquity, and make the heathen contribute to the gospel, even as Hiram of Tyre served under Solomon’s direction for the building of the temple of the Lord.
I am no admirer of Taylor’s style in other respects, and his teaching seems to be at times semi-popish; but in this place I have only to deal with him upon one particular, and of that matter he is an admirable example. He lavishes classic stories even as an Asiatic queen bedecks herself with countless pearls. Out of a single sermon I extract the following, which may suffice for our purpose :- STUDENTS PROGRESSING BACKWARDS, “Menedemus was wont to say, ‘ that the young boys that went to Athens, the first year were wise men, the second year philosophers, the third orators, and the fourth were but ‘plebeians, and understood nothing but their own ignorance.’ And just so it happens to some in the progresses of religion; at first they are violent and active, and then they satiate all the appetites of religion: and that which is left is, that they were soon weary, and sat down in displeasure, and return to the world, and dwell in the business of pride or money; and, by this time, they understand that their religion is declined, and passed from the heats and follies of youth to the coldness and infirmities of old age.”
THE PROUD MAN WHO BOASTED OF HIS HUMILITY.
“He was noted for a vain person, who, being overjoyed for the cure (as he thought) of his pride, cried out to his wife, ‘ Cerne, Dionysia, deposui fastum; ’ ‘Behold, I have laid aside all my pride.’” DIOGENES AND THE YOUNG MAN.
“Diogenes once spied a young man coming out of a tavern or place of entertainment, who, perceiving himself observed by the philosopher, with some confusion stepped back again, that he might, if possible, preserve his fame. with that severe person. But Diogenes told him, Quanto magis intraveris, tanto magis eris in caupona: ‘ the more you go back, the longer you are in the place where you are ashamed to be seen.’ He that conceals his sin still retains that which he counts his shame and burden.” (TO BE CONTINUED.)
WE are not greatly surprised to find that a certain society, many of whose members claim to have reached perfect holiness can at the same time issue orders to its leaders which are anything but straightforward. Professing themselves to be wise, men become otherwise; boasting that they are rich, braggarts betray their poverty. there! there, good friend! we will hear about your holiness after we have seen you give up acting the part of” the Artful Dodger.” You are to allow Christians to help you till you can do without them, and then you are to get rid of them, so your “General” tells you. We will hear about the holiness of your character when we have seen the common honesty, not to say charity, of such a line of procedure. You are taught to get people to pray that you may discover their notions upon religious subjects. this may commend itself to the worldly wise, but ordinary Christians who make no pretense to perfection would shudder at the idea of using the throne of grace as a means of spying out the land.
Fine holiness this!
Holiness includes obedience to the laws of Christ; and when these laws are ignored, and other regulations are preferred, the name of holiness may remain, but the thing itself has gone. Perfect men would never use cunning and concealment as a part of their mode of doing good, Holiness courts the sunlight, and walks according to truth, and not according to the secret rules of an underhand policy. If a band of tradesmen were to form a society for trade purposes, and were to issue rules approximating to those found in “the Orders and Regulations, ” we should hear them denounced on all sides. Sad, indeed, it is that holiness should be mentioned in connection with craft. Christ’s battles are be fought with the weapons of truth.
NOTES It is one of the disadvantages of the early preparation of monthly periodicals that notices must sometimes appear late. Friends must pardon the lateness of an in memoriam note concerning James Harvey Esq., of Hampstead. He was for many years one of the most liberal helpers of the work which the Lord has entrusted to us: and we hear that he has left a legacy of £500 to the Orphanage. We may not mention many of the things which were done of him in secret; but we may say that he was the donor of the house on the boys’ side of the Orphanage, which is known as “the Merchant’s House.” this he gave without a request., or even a hint from us.
He was a man of mark: independent, yet ready to learn; lenient towards doubt, but himself a firm believer. His views of truth were his own, and would not be parallel in all points with those of anybody else; but we always felt at one with him, and even where we judged him to be mistaken we were glad to lore him just as he was. Our personal loss is very heavy, and, hence, we can the more tenderly sympathize with the esteemed mourners who have lost father and brother. We shall not soon look upon his like again. Are there not other merchants who love our Lord, and will be baptized for the dead, filling up the vacancies caused by these many deaths, and taking thought that the cause of Christ shall know no lack? We commend to all our readers an extract from Mr. Brock’s admirable sermon — the sermon itself can be had of J. Hewetson, Hampstead : — “While in good health he was exemplary for punctuality at the service of God; and on very rare occasions was he absent from his place. ‘ I am come,’ he said to me, the very Thursday evening before his fatal illness, when! expressed surprise at seeing him, ‘because I am able to go to business, and I do not think I ought to be absent from the churchmeeting.’” Our beloved and lamented deacon, Mr. William Higgs, left by his will £500 to the Orphanage, £500 to the College, and £500 to the poor of the church. this last donation is peculiarly valuable, as the expenditure upon this item is very great and growing. Our church contains within it an unusually large proportion of the Lord’s poor, and as the Almshouses’ endowment is not found to be sufficient for the widows who dwell in the rooms, this occasions another draft upon our funds, which tends to weigh them down. this legacy will help us for some few years to meet the annual deficiency, and before it is all spent we hope some donor will more fully endow the Almshouses.
A Petition for closing public-houses on the Lord’s-day has some time ago received the full sanction of most of the religious bodies, and we gladly express our hearty sympathy with its prayer. It may be questioned whether the people of London are ripe for it; but, at any rate, a trial could do no harm to anybody, not even the drink-sellers. ‘Where Sunday-closing has been tried the best results have followed to the morals of the people and the quietude of the neighborhood. Perhaps if our fellow-citizens w ere driven to the horrible necessity of going without alcoholic liquors for one day in the week they might lose some of their present dread of total abstinence, and try it during the other six days. If that cannot be., they may at least be taught a little forethought by having to get in their precious cordials on a Saturday night: even this would be greater providence than some of them have as yet exercised. If harmless articles may not legally be sold on the Sabbath we fail to see why the Sunday trade in intoxication should be under national sanction. We do ‘not care much for sobriety by Act of Parliament, but we do care for anything which promotes order, lessens drunkenness, and helps to tranquilize neighbor-hoods where Sunday night becomes the terror of all quiet families.
Friends are reminded that the annual meeting of the Liberation Society will be held at the tabernacle on the evening’ of May 2. the present state of the Church demands fresh efforts on the part of those who would see it freed from vassalage to the State,.
On Monday evening, March 5, the annual meeting of the LADIES’
BENEVOLENT SOCIETY, was held at the tabernacle. the report, read: by Mr. Harrald, contained particulars of several very distressing cases that had been relieved during the year, and pointed out the need for additional workers and fresh subscribers to carry on the work efficiently. the balancesheet showed that the total expenditure had been £99 18s. 0d., and that the balance in hand was £4 11s. 6d. Addresses were delivered by Pastors C. H. and J. A. Spurgeon, and Deacons W. Olney and B. W. Carr. Ladies who are at liberty on the Thursday after the first Sunday in each month will be heartily welcomed at the working-meetings. the more of benevolent work our churches can perform the better for themselves, for it is a healthy thing to care for the sorrows of others. Well-to-do people nowadays are almost universally quitting the poorer neighbor-hoods to live in the suburbs, and who can blame them? But should they not keep up their subscriptions to the charities which are intended to relieve the poorer districts? Will they leave the poor to the poor? Will the wealthy attempt to live by themselves, and forget the sorrows of those whose lot is daily toil? If so, the worst results are inevitable. Irreligioin will be fostered by the indifference of professors, want will fester into anarchy, and poverty will pine to starvation. Hence we wish to see all our benevolent societies greatly strengthened.
On Sunday evening, March l1, the regular tabernacle congregation stayed away to allow strangers to come to the service. It was a very wintry night, so that there was not quite so large a crowd as usual outside, but the building was well filled, and probably four-fifths of those present were men. Special prayer was offered that the word might be blessed, and many friends were on the watch for anxious souls. Here may be the place to remind our country friends that they can find seats in the tabernacle right readily on Thursday nights at seven; and that on the Lord’s-day, if they are bona fide strangers, they can always obtain admission by stating their case to the appointed officer at the door, who will supply them with the means of entrance. Many fear to make a trial of getting to the tabernacle because they may not find room; but we hope they will now venture, since they can be reasonably sure of entrance if they are from the country.
On Tuesday evening, March 13, the sixteenth annual BUTCHERS’FESTIVAL was held at the tabernacle. the master butchers and their wives partook of tea together at the College, and afterwards between seventeen hundred and eighteen hundred of the men employed in the Metropolitan Meat Market sat down to a substantial meal. the quantity of provisions consumed on these occasions is enormous; but it is all paid for by the willing subscriptions of the masters. After tea the men adjourned to the tabernacle, where a meeting was held under the presidency of t. A. Denny, Esq., and addresses were delivered by Mr. Henry Varley, Mr. J. Ward, of Croydon, and Pastor C. H. Spurgeon. Prayer is requested that the testimony for Jesus thus given may be effectual for conversion. the men are rough, but there is about them that honest heartiness which is characteristic of good soil. telling words were uttered as to drinking, gambling, swearing, and the like vices; but Jesus was lifted up as the Savior from sin, and this was the main theme of the addresses. Oh, for the Spirit’s power to water the good seed, and bring a harvest from it! Mr. Varley has long been the prime mover in this business, and the tabernacle has been gladly put at his service: he will be specially glad to see more abundant results from this great effort.
On Wednesday evening, March 14, the anniversary of the formation of the
METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY was celebrated. Between 400 and 500 persons were present at the tea in the Lecture Hall, and afterwards a large assembly met in the tabernacle. the chair was occupied by Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, several anthems were sung by a special choir, the annual report was read by the secretary, Mr. A.E. Studhers, and gospel temperance addresses were delivered by the chairman, the Revs. Newman Hall, L.L.B., G. M. Murphy, G. W. McCree, and W. J. Mills, and Messrs. G. Thorneloe and J. T. Dunn, as the result of which seventy-five persons signed the pledge. Prom the report it appears that during the past year, in addition to more than 12,000 new pledges taken during Mr. Booth’s mission in September, 1183 persons have signed the pledge at the weekly meetings of the society, 2634 at the gospel temperance services at the Elephant and Castle theater on Sunday evenings, and 280 at ether special gather-tugs. Exclusive of the mission receipts, the income of the society has been £141 3s. 6d., and the expenditure £126 4s. 9½d. It is a great joy to us to know that the gospel is kept well ‘to the front in the whole of this work, and. the consequence is that many have been, not only reclaimed from drunkenness, but also converted to Christ, and are now living as consistent Christians. the friends who manage the society do not intend it to become a temperance work with a little gospel tagged on; but they are resolved to put as much as possible of Christ and free grace into all efforts on behalf of sobriety and abstinence. It is something to wash the blackamoors of drunkenness, but our hearts can never rest till grace makes them white once for all. We wish it were possible to keep on the Sunday services at the Elephant and Castle theater, but the expenses are some £5 per week, and the funds are not equal to such a strain. Crowds pass the doors on Sunday nights, and many look in: it is a means of grace to a crowded neighborhood, but it will be closed for lack of funds unless some friend is raised up to help.
— Mr. A. Cooper has settled at Batley, Yorkshire, and Mr.H. P. Gower at New Mill, Tring. Mr. W. Clatworthy has removed from Kingskerswell to Helston, Cornwall, and Mr. E. P. Riley from Spennymoor to Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire. May these settlements and removals be under the divine approval.
The Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Pastors’ College Association will (D. V.) be held in the week commencing April 10th. Will. all our readers pray that a rich blessing may rest upon all who will be present?
Deacons of churches, whose pastors belong to the Conference, would be a wise and kind thing if they helped their pastors to come up. ‘Some miss the blessing because they cannot afford the traveling expenses.
When the London brethren met to arrange for the Conference we were rejoicing that the hand of death had not been laid upon any of our number during the year. Our brother W. Mummery, of Chatham-road, Wandsworth, was with us then, but he has since been called suddenly to his rest and reward, leaving a widow and three children. On Friday evening, March 2, about sixty of the London ministers educated in the College met at the tabernacle for a conference upon the moral and spiritual condition of the metropolis. the President occupied the chair, and delivered a short address; after which brief but able reports of the districts with which they were acquainted were presented by the following brethren: — W. J. Orsman, C. B. Sawday, T. Greenwood, W. Townsend, W. Olney, Jun., J. Wilson, and A. G. Brown. From the information supplied to us it is evident that there are the greatest possible contrasts between the various divisions of our four-million-peopled city; in some parts there appears to be adequate accommodation for those who desire to worship God, and the people are outwardly religious; while in others, and especially in the East of London, the poverty, misery, and vice are absolutely appalling. We left the meeting feeling that there was little that we could do to affect the multitudes around us except to preach the gospel clearly, simply, earnestly, and faithfully, and to pray to the Lord to raise up from amongst his people a band of men and women who would carry his word to the homes of the hundreds of thousands who will not come out to heat’ it. the testimony of our brethren confirms our own conviction that the much-vaunted ultrasensational methods that some adopt do. not really reach “the lapsed masses,” but rather that they attract to their services those unstable ones who have been members of our churches, and are anxious for something new. to these the result is evil rather than good. After awhile the truly gracious come back, but those who are for ever seeking some new thing go from one delusion to another. the testimony to the mischievous results of noisy demonstrations in the street was intensely strong; those who most admire open-air preaching are the most distressed at this out-of-door carnival. Many ministers with whom we meet protest earnestly against the disturbance of their services, the enticing of their school-children into the streets, and the general spirit of disorder, and irreverence which is being spread among the populace. “Our streets are rendered unsafe, and our homes unendurable by a constant Pandemonium under the name of this Army and the other, ” — so have brethren from certain regions complained to us again and again. the mob is being taught the art of rioting and disturbing public worship: taught it by those whose own conduct is the example.
— Messrs. Smith and Fullerton have continued their services at Liverpool during the whole of the past month. After three weeks of meetings at Pembroke Chapel they spent a week at Soho-street with our Brother Waiters, and another week at Byrom Hall with our good friend, John Houghton, Esq. they also conducted services at the Rotunda - Hall and the Circus, and closed their mission by paying a farewell visit to Pembroke Chapel. the Pastor, R. Richards, has been so considerate as to write concerning their work :— “Dear Sir, — I feel constrained to send you a brief intimation in reference to the gracious work that has been wrought among us during the past three weeks through the instrumentality of your Evangelists, Messrs. Fullerton and Smith. the traditions of ‘Pembroke’ were not in favor of such a special evangelistic movement as we have just witnessed, and some of our older members were gravely shaking their heads and doubting the wisdom and propriety of the project when first mooted; but I can now safely say that the common sentiment of all in regard to the work done is, ‘ It is of the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes.’ Many lost ones have been found; many anxious ones have been brought to peace; many prodigals have returned home; and (not the least blessing) very many of the Lord’s people have been stirred up to unwonted zeal for the salvation of souls and the extension of their Master’s kingdom. the attendance throughout the meetings has been wonderfully good: at some — notably at the ‘ Men’s meetings,’ on Sunday afternoons, and at the ‘ Song Services,’ on Saturday evenings — the chapel has been densely crowded. Some of the older members wept tears of joy at seeing the ancient glories of ‘ Pembroke ‘ revived; and both the effective singing of Mr. Smith and the plain, practical pleadings of Mr. Fullerton were felt to be’ with the demonstration of the Spirit and with power.’ Moreover, these two brethren have so endeared themselves to us, not only by their earnest and faithful work for our common Lord, but also by their genial bearing and kindly disposition towards all around, that we could not help pleading with them for a renewal of their visit before they leave Liverpool. At a meeting called last week upwards of one hundred attended to testify to special blessing received during the mission. the Lord grant that these one hundred cases may represent much permanent addition of strength and usefulness to his church, that so his name may be glorified. Believing that you would be interested in some little account of the work done, I have hastily penned you this, and will send you a few further notes when the Liverpool campaign is ended, should, you desire it.”
Messrs. Moody and Sankey’s Committee gave our brethren a pressing invitation to remain and assist the American Evangelists, but they were unable to stay, as arrangements had been made for services at Hull, commencing April 1st. Will all our friends in that town rally to the work?
Mr. Burnham reports good services at Wintoun-street, Leeds , better at New Whittington, and best of all at Long Buckby. On his arrival there he found that a prayerful interest in the work had been already awakened, and consequently from the commencement the meetings were very successful. this month Mr. Burnham is to be at Great torrington, Lyme Regis, Enfield Highway, and Sheffield. He asks us to state that he is not fully engaged for June and July. His address is 24, Keston-road, East Dulwich-road.
Mr. Frank Russell will also have some vacant dates after the Conference. the county of Surrey does not appear to be ripe for evangelistic effort, and he is therefore ready to go elsewhere. Brethren would do well to write at once if they desire either of the evangelists to come to their help. Mr. Russell’s address is 33, Wyndham-street, Bryanston-square.
ORPHANAGE.— Mr. Charlesworth and his choir have held a very successful series of meetings recently at Norwich, Swaffham, Dereham, and Bury St.
Edmund’s. In each place large numbers of friends assembled, interest in the institution was either created or increased, and a good substantial amount was added to the funds. We are very grateful to all who in any degree contributed to this happy result. God bless you, dear friends, and send you a rich reward.
— In reporting upon the Col-portage work during another month we are very glad to say that a friend, who prefers his name to be unpublished, has sent the £10 required for the needy district which was in danger of being discontinued. We are very thankful to him, as this ensures the continuance of the work during the whole of 1883, and it is hoped that extraneous aid will be forthcoming for the future when required. the secretary has been preaching during the month at Market Harborough, where the colporteur is doing a good work. He visits regularly 45 villages, and supplies more than 300 monthly magazines, besides preaching at East Lungton on the Lord’s- day. home mission meeting was held on the Monday evening, at which it transpired that a considerable proportion of the amount required for the support of the colporteur was subscribed in weekly pence regularly collected by about half-a-dozen young ladies connected with’ the Congregational. ,Church’ If others would “go and do likewise there is hardly any limit to the extension of this most useful work.
We marvel every day that this holy service is not taken up on all hands. We will not weary our readers and ourselves by arguing the matter again.
A new district has been opened in the neighborhood of Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, where there is scope for a good work to be accomplished. the Association is still desirous of opening up other districts where £40 a year can be subscribed for a colporteur. Reports and full information will be gladly sent on application to the secretary, W. Corden Jones.
SCOTCH NOTES AND DRAFTS. — D. M., whose kind contribution of £2 has been gratefully placed to the funds of the College, asks us to say in the Sword and the Trowel whether it costs much to change Scotch notes. Our bankers always charge one penny in the pound for commission on Scotch and Irish note; but on drafts t hat are not payable in London, t he commission is much larger:, generally amounting to one shilling on all sums not exceeding £5. If friends have to pay for obtaining the drafts they will find it cheaper to purchase post-office orders, which, of course, we can cash without any deduction.. PERSONAL NOTE. — A correspondent, writing to Joyful News, says : — Reading of the recent work at Nottingham brought to my recollection a circumstance which happened while I was traveling there. I was asked to go to a public-house, and see a woman who was dying. I found her rejoicing in the Savior. I asked her how she had found the Lord. ‘Reading that,’ she replied, handing me a torn piece of newspaper.! looked at it, and found that it was part of an American paper, containing an extract from one of ‘ Spurgeon’s Sermons,’ which extract had been the means of her conversion. ‘Where did you get this newspaper from?’ I said. She answered, ‘It was wrapped round a parcel which was sent me from Australia.’ talk about the hidden life of the good seed! think of that.
Sermon preached in London, conveyed to America, an extract reprinted in a newspaper there, that paper sent to Australia, part then tom off (as we should say, accidentally) for the parcel, despatched to England, and, after all its wanderings, conveys the message of salvation to the woman’s son.
God’s word shall not return to him void,”
RICHMOND-STREET MISSION,WALWORTH. — the annual meeting of the friends engaged at this mission was held on Wednesday even ing, Feb. 28.
After tea, at which ninety friends were present, Mr. Dunn presided, and was supported by Messrs. Barr, Llewellyn, Northcroft, Williams, Woollard, Johnson, and many other sympathizers with the work. Seventeen reports of the various works carried on at the Mission were read or delivered. Every department of Christian work represented at this offshoot of the tabernacle is in a healthy and flourishing condition both financially and religiously, the money required for carrying on each department being subscribed by the workers themselves. there are at least one hundred friends engaged in this Mission, most of whom are members of the tabernacle church. two young men, old scholars of the school, were present, and gave their testimony to the benefits they had individually received. One of them, who is now engaged in the Lord’s work in another part of London, stated that, when he first came to the school, he tried all in his power to break his teacher’s leg, but the Lord broke his heart. the other, “who was ready to fight anybody,” found the Savior before he left the school, and a few years ago joined her Majesty’s Navy, and we believe is a power for good among his shipmates. Many cases similar to these could be mentioned. All who are engaged in this work rejoice to know that they are not laboring in vain in the Lord.
The Mission has the willing services of 100 Christian men and women, and comprises Ragged- schools, Sunday- schools, Young Men’s and Women’s Bible-classes, Children’s Services, Mothers Meetings, Penny Bank, Band of Hope, Young Christians’ Association, tract Society, Pure Literature Society, Mutual Improvement Society, Evangelists’ Association, Libraries, etc., etc. It caroler be carried on without considerable expense, and the committee, therefore, appeal for additional subscriptions, which will be gladly received by the treasurer, Mr. Russell, 231, Walworth-road; or the president, Mr. Dunn, 65, Boyson-road.
Baptisms at Metropolitan tabernacle :-February 22, nineteen; February, thirteen; March 1, nineteen.