Table of Contents

Title Page
Chap 1. A RECORD, PREFACE, 1877
Chap 4. APRIL, 1877 – A CHURCH WE KNOW OF.
Chap 5. MAY, 1877 – INAUGURAL ADDRESS f3
Chap 6. JULY, 1877 – “FEED MY SHEEP.”
Chap 12. A RECORD , PREFACE., 1878.
Chap 16. MAY, 1878. – A VOICE FROM THE SEA.
Chap 17. SEPTEMBER 1878. – FISHING.F8
Chap 21. A RECORD, PREFACE, 1879
Chap 23. SEPTEMBER, 1878. – FISHING.F11
Chap 28. OCTOBER, 1879. – “PRECIOUS FAITH.”

Title Page






YEARS: 1877-1878-1879


VOLUME ONE: YEARS 1865-1866-1867
VOLUME TWO: YEARS 1868-1869-1870
VOLUME THREE: YEARS 1871-1872-1873
VOLUME FOUR: YEARS 1874-1875-1876

These materials are photographically reproduced from the original publications, unabridged and unedited. A few items were not written by Spurgeon himself but do pertain to his life and work. Table of contents and page numerals are supplied.


VOLUME 5 — YEAR: 1877

Index to Texts of Sermons (S & T, Vols. 1-13)
Preface to 1877
A New Year’s Wish
How the Book Fund Prospers (Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon)
The School Board Victory
Charles H. Spurgeon and His Work
False Conversions
“To Seek and to Save that which was Lost”
Scales Taken from the Eyes (sermon)
The Two Doors
Notes of the Editor’s Trip to Mentone
Letter from Mr. Spurgeon
A Church We Know of
The Palm Tree
The Stage
The New Version of an Old Hymn
Inaugural Address — 13th Annual Conference of the Pastors College
Advertising for the Devil
The College Report for 1876-77
The College Report for 1876-77 (continued)
A Thought for the Believer
The Confessional
The Refiner’s Fire (J. Berridge)
Notices of Books
Notices of Books
Feed My Sheep (sermon)
Social Converse (Hall)
Annual Report of the Stockwell Orphanage
How the Book Fund Prospers (Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon)
“I Never Cared for Their Souls”
An Earnest Warning Against Unbelief (sermon)
Notices of Books
Some Memorable Conversions
Earnestness in Ministers (lecture)
Preaching on Unprofitable Subjects
Notices of Books
Earnestness in Ministers (lecture; continued)
Straining at gnats (Spalding)
Our Lord’s Preaching
“Great Cry and Little Wool”
“Do Not Sin Against the Child” (sermon)
“Good News from a Far Country”
A Message to Former Students of the Pastor’s College
Notices of Books

YEAR: 1878

Index of Texts of Sermons (S & T, Vols. 1-14)
Preface to 1878
The Voices of Our Days (New Year’s Meditation)
Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund
The Last Days of Dr. Johnson (excerpt)
Notices of Books
An Address for Sad Times
Placing Out the Boy
The Rod that Budded
Periodical War Madness
Too True (excerpt)
The Great Builder and His Work
A Voice from the Sea
“Calling Out the Reserves”
More Good News from a Far Country
(Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon)
Annual Paper — The Pastor’s College
Floods in the Streets
Clear the Road
More Good News from a Far Country (Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon)
Notices of Books
The Vine of Israel (sermon)
An Interruption Improved
Fishing (sermon)
Give Truth Time
The Autumn Congresses. What Will Come of Them?
Soul Humbling
Choosing Our Crosses
“Trespassers Beware”
Windows in Sermons
Notices of Books

YEAR: 1879

Index of Texts of Sermons (S & T, Vols. 1-15)
Preface to 1879
Twenty-Five Years Ago
What’s Your Persuasion? (R. MacDonald)
Pastorless Flocks
Eternal Punishment
Why Negroes Are Baptists (excerpt)
“Tempted of the Devil” (sermon)
Notices of Books
Fishing (Part two)
Incidents of Travel Clustering Round a Text
Peril from the Pulpit
Under the Apple Tree (sermon)
The Mule
Interviews with Three of the King’s Captains
Notices of Books
What is Eccentricity? (lecture)
The Serpent in Paradise: or, Gambling at Monte Carlo
A Sermon for Sermonizers
Army Discipline and Regulation Bill
Timely Cautions (sermon)
“Precious Faith” (sermon by Thomas Spurgeon)
The Best Conduct Towards Unbrotherly Brethren
Much Ado About Nothing
What Is It to Win a Soul? (lecture)
What Is It to Win A Soul? (continued)
Be Not Discouraged
The Colportage Association — Twelfth Annual Report
The Stockwell Orphanage — Annual Report

Chap 1. A RECORD, PREFACE, 1877












“They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.” — Nehemiah 4:17-18




IN this magazine the reader has not only the history of those religions and charitable agencies which have found their center at the Tabernacle, but an outline of the religious condition and activity of the period. This we would now summarize. At no time was so much being done in so many ways for the spread of religion of one kind or another; the reign of stagnation has ended, and everywhere things are on the move as to spiritual matters. This is so far good, for anything is better than lethargy; but we are naturally anxious to discover the result of all this stir: does error flourish, or does truth prevail? This, then, is our judgment, formed from observing our part of the spiritual world. Rome compasses sea and land to make one proselyte, and she snatches up here and there a pauper or a peer, but we do not believe that she gains so many as she loses. Our own observation can readily be corrected by that of others, but it leads us to the opinion that Popery pure and simple is not making much headway in England. We once lost a member to the Church of Rome, and we are informed that he has now deserted it: we cannot remember another instance, but we have baptized many Catholics who have not only escaped from the errors of their former creed, but are most decided and established believers in the great doctrines of grace. In fact, before the steady preaching of the gospel, and in the neighborhood of an earnest church, the hold of Popery upon the mind is in many cases relaxing, and in not a few it is gone for ever. There is far more reason to fear the Ritualistic party in the Anglican Establishment: these double-faced gentlemen are making good their ground in the English Church, and are becoming more firmly planted every day. They gain both by their defeats and their successes, and advance none the less surely in places where apparently they are repressed. It is their connection with the National Church which is their strength, allowing them, under the prestige of authority, to lead men astray. Our Episcopalian neighbors at first disliked the Popish revival, then they tolerated it, next they excused it, and now to a large extent they admire it. It seems incredible that in so short a space a body of daring men should have set up the old idols, and brought back the entire Romish paraphernalia; if within the next ten years the church should reunite with that of Rome we should not be one whit astonished — nothing but the secular interests involved therein, and the dread of disestablishment, appear to us to prevent it. The National Church is drunken with the wine of Rome’s abominations, and reels towards the confessional and other filthinesses.

Where are the Evangelicals? Where are the Evangelicals? Fraternizing with the High Church. What more can be hoped for from them? They capitulated at Croydon, and the enemy exult in the surrender.

What of the Dissenters? The morning cometh and also the night. To our view there is a predominating faithfulness to the gospel among our brethren, but there are spots of rationalism which should cause great searchings of heart. We cannot be made to believe that Scotch Presbyterianism is largely affected, but we know a denomination in England which is sadly gangrened with a pseudo-intellectualism which counts it manly to doubt, and reckons the believer in the orthodox faith to be a weak-minded creature, worthy of their sublime pity. If this thing goes on, the prospect for those who indulge therein is none of the brightest; their fine notions will alienate the people and make many feel that even superstition is better than cold negations and the chill of perpetual questioning. Where this modern thought comes, it is the hand of death, and all things which are worth preserving wither before it. However, the truth lives and influences millions, and we believe that its profession is more vital and more extensive than ever it was. It cannot be frowned down or sneered down; never did it more prevail than now. Never had we a firmer hope or a brighter expectancy.

Concerning our own work, we render thanks that we have had a year of great mercy in connection with every department of it. Both in men and means the College has grown; the Orphanage has been blest with sufficient supplies, and the orphans have enjoyed remarkable health; the Colportage, though greatly crippled and straitened for money, has made progress; Mrs. Spurgeon’s Fund has scattered happiness among the poor pastors more plentifully than before, and the church has steadily increased and all its agencies have been strengthened: in fact, all things have prospered with the increase of God. Blessed be his holy name for evermore.

One word only. Old and faithful friends have gone home, and we need new helpers. Our donors have decreased in numbers lately, and had it not been that the amounts given have been larger, we should have had a deficiency. We do not like losing the love and the prayers of the small givers. Where are they? Is this the work of the Lord? May he not, therefore, design that the reader whose eye now glances over the page should become a helper in our labor of love? It is a great enterprise — read our shilling “History of the Tabernacle” and see for yourself — and it needs many helpers. The Lord will direct them to us. Is he now directing you?

Dear reader, we have done our best for another year, and now beg a continuance of your patience and good will for the time to come.


Chap 2. JANUARY, 1877




“But my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:19

THE Philippians had several times sent presents to Paul, to supply his necessities. Though they were not rich themselves, yet they made a contribution, and sent Epaphroditus with it, “all odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing unto God.” Paul felt very grateful: he thanked God, but he did not forget also to thank the donors; he wished them every blessing, and he did as good as say, “You have supplied my need, and my God shall supply yours. You have supplied my need of temporal food and raiment out of your poverty: my God shall supply all your need out of his riches in glory.” As he says in the eighteenth verse, “I have all and abound. I am full,” so, he adds, “my God shall supply all your need.” You have sent what you gave me by the hand of a beloved brother, but God will send a better messenger to you, for he will supply all your need “by Christ Jesus.” Every single word sounds as if he had thought it over, and the Spirit of God had guided him in his meditation, so that he should to the fullest extent wish them back a blessing similar to that which they had sent to him, only of a richer and more enduring kind.

Now, on this New Year’s day I would desire, somewhat in the spirit of Paul, to bless those of you who have supplied according to your abilities the wants of God’s work in my hands:, and have given, even out of your poverty, to the cause of God, according as there has been need. I count myself to be personally your debtor though your gifts have been for the students, and the orphans, and the colporteurs, and not for myself. In return for your kindness, after the manner of his gracious love, “my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

This verse is particularly sweet to me, for when we were building the Orphanage, I foresaw that, if we had no voting, and no collecting of annual subscriptions, but depended upon the goodness of God, and the voluntary offerings of his people, we should have times of trial, and therefore I ordered the masons to place upon the first columns of the Orphanage entrance these words, “My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” The text therefore is cut in stone upon the right hand and upon the left of the great archway. There stands this declaration of our confidence in God, and as long as God lives we shall never need to remove it, for he will certainly supply the needs of his own work. While we serve him he will furnish our tables for us.

The text might suggest to us a field of gloomy thought, if we wished to indulge the melancholy vein, for it speaks of “all your need.” Behold A GREAT NECESSITY, — all your need. What a gulf! What an abyss! “All your need.” I do not know how many believers made up the church at Philippi, but the need of one saint is great enough: what must many need? It would not be possible to tell the number of God’s children on earth, but the text comprehends the need of the whole chosen family — “All your need.” We will not ask you to reckon up the wonderful draught upon the divine exchequer which must be made by all the needs of all the saints who are yet on earth: but please think of your own need; that win be more within the compass of your experience and the range of your meditation. May the Lord supply your need and all your need.

There is your temporal need, and that is no little matter. If we have food and raiment we should be therewith content, but there are many of God’s people to whom the mere getting of food and raiment is a wearisome toil; and what with household cares, family trials, sickness of body, losses in business, and sometimes the impossibility of obtaining suitable labor, many of God’s saints are as hard put to it as Elijah was when he sat by the brook Cherith. If God did not send them their bread and meat in a remarkable manner, they would surely starve; but their bread shall be given them, and their water shall be sure. “My God shall supply all your need.” You have, perhaps, a large family, and your needs are therefore greatly increased, but the declaration of the text includes the whole of your needs personal and relative.

After all, our temporal needs are very small compared with our spiritual needs. A man may, with the blessing of God, pretty readily provide for the wants of the body, but who shall provide for the requirements of the soul? There is need of perpetual pardon, for we are always sinning; and Jesus Christ’s blood is always pleading and cleansing us from sin. Every day there is need of fresh strength to battle against inward sin; and, blessed be God, it is daily supplied, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s. As soldiers we need armor from head to foot, and even then we do not know how to wear the armor, or how to wield the sword, unless he who gave us these sacred implements shall be always with us. Warring saint, God will supply all your need by his presence and Spirit. But we are not merely warriors, We are also workers. We are called, many of us, to important spheres of labor, (and, indeed, let no man think his sphere unimportant,) but here also our hands shall be sufficient for us, and we shall accomplish our life-work. You have need to be helped to do the right thing at the right time in the right spirit and in the right manner, your need as a Sundayschool teacher, as an open-air preacher, and especially as a minister of the gospel will be very great: but the text meets all requirements — “My God shall supply all your need.” Then comes our need in suffering, for many of us are called to take our turn in the Lord’s prison-house. Here we need patience under pain, and hope under depression of spirit. Who is sufficient for furnace work? Our God will supply us with those choice graces and consolations which shall Strengthen us to glorify his name in the fires. He will either make the burden lighter, or the back stronger; he will diminish the need, or increase the supply.

Beloved, it were impossible for me to mention all the forms of our spiritual need. We need to be daily converted from some sin or other, which, perhaps, we have scarcely known to be sin. We need to be instructed in the things of God, we need to be illuminated as to the mind of Christ, we need to be comforted by the promises, we need to be quickened by the precepts, we need to be strengthened by the doctrines. We need, oh, what do we not need? We are just a bag of wants, and a heap of infirmities. If any one of us were to keep a want-book, as I have seen tradesmen do, what a huge folio it would need to be; and it might be written within, and without, and crossed and re-crossed, for we are full of wants from the first of January to the end of December: but here is the mercy, “My God will supply all your need.” Are you put in high places? Have you many comforts? Do you enjoy wealth? What need you have to be kept from loving the world, be kept from wantonness, and pride, and the follies and fashions of this present evil world. My God will supply your need in that respect. Are you very poor? Then the temptation is to envy, to bitterness of spirit, to rebellion against God. My God shall supply your needs. Are you alone in the world? Then you need the Lord Jesus to be your companion: your companion he will be. Have you many around you? Then you have need of grace to set them a good example, to bring up your children and manage your household in the fear of God: “My God shall supply your need.” You have need in times of joy to be kept sober and steady: you have need in times of sorrow to be strong and quit yourselves like men; you have needs in living, and you will have needs in dying, but your last need shall be supplied as surely as your first. “My God shall supply all your need.”

Come, then, brethren, and look down into this great gulf of need and exultantly say, “O Lord, we thank thee that our needs are great, for there is the more room for thy love, thy tenderness, thy power, thy faithfulness, to fill the chasm.”

That first thought, which I said might be a gloomy one, has all the dreariness taken out of it by four others; equally true, but each of them full of good cheer. The text not only mentions great want, but it mentions also a great helper — “ My God;” next, a great gift — he “shall supply all your need; “thirdly, an abundant store out of which to draw the gift, — “according to his riches in glory;” and lastly, a glorious channel through which the supply shall come — “by Christ Jesus.”

First, then, for our enormous wants here is A GREAT HELPER: My God shall supply all your need.” Whose God is that? Why, Paul’s God. That is one of the matters in which the greatest saints are no better off than the very least, for though Paul called the Lord “My God,” he is my God too. My dear old friend who sits yonder, and has nothing but a few pence in all the world, can also say, “and he is my God too.” He is my God, and he is as much my God if I am the meanest, most obscure, and weakest of his people, as he would be my God if I were able, like Paul, to evangelize the nations. Is it not delightful to think that my God is Paul’s God, because, you see, Paul intended this; he meant to say, “You see, dear brethren, my God has supplied all my wants, and as he is your God he will supply yours.” I have been in the dungeon in which Paul is said to have been confined, and a comfortless prison indeed it is. First of all you descend into a vaulted chamber, into which no light ever comes except through a little round hole in the roof; and then in the middle of the floor of that den there is another opening, through which the prisoner was let down into a second and lower dungeon, in which no fresh air or light could possibly come to him. Paul was probably confined there. The dungeon of the Praetorium in which he was certainly immured is not much better. Paul would have been left well nigh to starve there, but for those good people at Philippi. I should not wonder but what Lydia was at the bottom of this kind movement, or else the jailer. They said, “We must not let the good apostle starve;” and so they made up a contribution, and sent him what he wanted; and when Paul received it he said, “My God has taken care of me. I cannot make tents here in this dark place so as to earn my own living; but still my Master supplies my need, and even so when you are in straits will he supply you.” “My God.” Now, it has often been sweet to me when I have thought of my orphan children and money has not come in, to remember Mr. Miller’s God and how he always supplies the children at Bristol. That God is my God, and I rest upon him. When you turn over the pages of Scripture, and read of men who were in sore trouble, and were helped, you may say, “Here is Abraham, he was blessed in all things, and Abraham’s God will supply all my need, for he is my God. I read of Elijah, that the ravens fed him: I have Elijah’s God, and he can command the ravens still if he pleases.” The God of the prophets, the God of the apostles, the God of all the saints that have gone before us, this God is our God for ever and ever. It seems to be thought that God will not work now as he used to do. “Oh, if we had lived in miraculous times,” say some, “then we could have trusted him. Then there was a manifest declaration of God’s existence, for he pushed aside the laws of nature, and wrought for the fulfillment of his promises to his people.” Yet that was a rather coarser mode of working than the present one, for now the Lord produces the same results without the violation of the laws of nature, it is a great fact that without the disturbance of a single law of nature prayer becomes effectual with God, and God being inquired of by his people to do it for them does fulfill his promise and supply their needs. Using means of various kinds he still gives his people all things necessary for this life and godliness. Without a miracle he works great wonders of loving care, and he will continue so to do.

Beloved, is the God of Paul your God? Do you regard him as such? It is not every man that worships Paul’s God. It is not every professing Christian that really knows the Lord at all, for some invent a deity such as they fancy God ought to be. The God of Paul is the God of the Old and New Testament — such a God as we find there. Do you trust such a God? Can you rest upon him? “There are such severe judgments mentioned in Scripture.” Yes, do you quarrel with them? Then you cast him off; but if, instead thereof, you feel, “I cannot understand thee, O my God, nor do I think I ever shall, but it is not for me, a child, to measure the infinite God, or to arraign thee at my bar, and say to thee, ‘Thus shouldest thou have done, and thus oughtest thou not to have done.’ Thou sayest ‘Such am I,’ and I answer ‘Such as thou art, I love thee, and I cast myself upon thee, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of thy servant Paul. Thou art my God, and I will rest upon thee?” Very well, then, he will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Just think of that for a minute. If he will supply you, you will be supplied indeed, for God is infinite in capacity. He is infinitely wise as to the manner of his actions; and infinitely powerful as to the acts themselves. He never sleeps or tires; he is never absent from any place, but is always, ready to help. Your needs come, perhaps, at very unexpected times; they may occur in the midnight of despondency or in the noonday of delight, but God is ever near to supply the surprising need. He is everywhere present and everywhere omnipotent, and he can supply all your need, in every place, at every time to the fullest degree. Remember that omnipotence has servants everywhere, and whenever God wishes to send you aid he can do it without pausing to ask, “How shall it be done?” He has but to will it, and all the powers of heaven and earth are subservient to your necessity. With such a helper what cause have you to doubt?

The next point in the text is, A GREAT SUPPLY. “My God will supply all your need.” Sometimes we lose a good deal of the meaning of Scripture through the translation, in fact, nothing ever does gain by translation except a bishop. The present passage might be rendered thus, — “My God will fill to the full all your need.” The illustration which will best explain the meaning is that of the woman whose children were to be sold by her creditor to pay the debts of her late husband. She had nothing to call her own except some empty oil-jars, and the prophet bade her set these in order and bring the little oil which still remained in the cruse. She did so, and he then said to her “Go among your neighbors and borrow empty vessels not a few” She went from one to another till she had filled her room full of these empty vessels, and then the prophet said, “Pour out.” She began to pour out from her almost empty cruse, and, to her surprise, it filled her largest oil-jar. She went to another, and filled that, and then another and another. She kept on filling all the oil jars, till at last she said to the prophet, “there is not a vessel more.” Then the oil stayed, and not till then. So will it be with your needs. You were frightened at having so many needs just now, were you not? But now be pleased to think you have them, for they are just so many empty vessels to be filled. If the woman had borrowed only a few jars, she could not have received much oil, but the more empty vessels she had the more oil she obtained. So the more wants and the more needs you have, if you bring them to God, so much the better, for he will fill them all to the brim, and you may be thankful that there are so many to be filled. When you have no more wants (but oh, when will that be?) then the supply will be stayed, but not till then. My God will fill up to the brim all your needs, according to the riches of his glory by Christ Jesus. How gloriously God gives to his. people! We wanted pardon once: he washed as, and he made us whiter than snow. We wanted clothing, for we were naked. What did he do? Give us some rough dress or other? Oh no, but he said, “Bring forth the best robe and put it on him.” It was a fortunate thing for the prodigal that his clothes were all in rags, for then he needed raiment, and the best robe was brought forth. It is a grand thing to be sensible of spiritual needs, for they will be supplied. A conscious want in the sight of God — what is it but a prevalent request for a new mercy? We have sometimes asked him to comfort us, for we were very low, but when the Lord has comforted us, he has so filled us with delight that we have been inclined to cry with the old Scotch divine, “Hold, Lord, hold! It is enough. I cannot bear more joy. Remember I am only an earthen vessel.” We, in relieving the poor, generally give no more than we can help, but our God does not stop to count his favors, he gives like a king. He pours water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground.

We must pass on to the next thought, and consider for a minute or two THE GREAT RESOURCES out of which this supply is to come. “He will supply all your needs, according to his riches in glory.”

There, the preacher may sit down now, for he cannot compass this part of the text. God’s riches in glory are beyond all thought. Consider the riches of God in nature? Who shall count his treasures? Get away into the forests: travel on league after league among the trees which cast their ample shade for no man’s pleasure, but only for the Lord. Mark on lone mountain and far reaching plain the myriads of flowers whose perfume is for God alone. What wealth each spring and summer is created in the boundless estates of the great King. Observe the vast amount of animal and insect life which crowds the land with the riches of divine wisdom, for the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Look towards the sea: think of those shoals of fish, so countless that when only the fringe of them is touched by our fishermen they find enough of food to supply a nation. Mark, too, the sunken treasures of the ocean, which no hand gathereth, but that of the Eternal. If you would see the wealth of the Creator, cast your eye to the stars: tell ye their numbers if ye can. Astronomy has enlarged our vision, and made us look upon this world as a mere speck compared with innumerable other worlds that God has made; and it has told us that probably all the myriads of worlds that we can see with the telescope are a mere fraction of the countless orbs which tenant infinite space. Vast are God’s riches in nature. It needs a Milton to sing as he sang in “Paradise Lost,” the riches of the Creating God. The riches of God in providence are equally without bound. He saith to this creature “Go,” and he goeth, and to another “Do this, and he doeth it,” for all things serve his bidding. Think of the wealth of God in grace. There nature and providence stand eclipsed, for we have the fountain of eternal love, the gift of an infinite sacrifice, the pouring out of the blood of his own dear Son, and the covenant of grace in which the smallest blessing is infinite in value. The riches of his grace! “God is rich in mercy,” — rich in patience, love, power, kindness, rich beyond all conception. Now, you shall be supplied according to the riches of nature and the riches of providence and the riches of grace: but this is not all; the apostle chooses a higher style, and writes “according to his riches in glory.” Ah, we have never seen God in glory. That were a sight our eyes could not behold. Christ in his glory when transfigured was too resplendent a spectacle even for the tutored eyes of Peter, and James, and John. At the too transporting light darkness rushed upon them, and they were as men that slept. What God is in his glory do ye know, ye angels? Does he not veil his face even from you, lest in the excessive brightness of his essence even you should be consumed? Who amongst all his creatures can tell the riches of his glory, when even the heavens are not pure in his sight, and he charged his angels with folly?

“Riches in glory.” It means not only the riches of what he has done, but the riches of what he could do: for if he has made hosts of worlds he could make as many myriads more, and then have but begun. The possibilities of God omnipotent who shall reckon? But the Lord shall supply all your need according to such glorious possibilities. When a great king gives according to his riches, then he does not measure out stinted alms to beggars, but he gives like a king, as we say; and if it be some grand festival day, and the king is in his state array, his largesses are on a noble scale. Now, when God is in his glory, bethink you, if you can, what must be the largesse that he distributes — what the treasures that he brings forth for his own beloved. Now, according to his riches in glory, he will supply all your needs After that, dare you despond? Oh, soul, what insanity is unbelief! What flagrant blasphemy is doubt of the love of God! He must bless us; and, blessed by him, we must be blest indeed. If he is to supply our needs according to his riches in glory, they will be supplied to the full.

Now, let us shut up our meditation with the fourth remark, and that is — THE GLORIOUS CHANNEL by which these needs are to be supplied. “According to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

You shall have all your soul’s wants satisfied, but you must go to Christ for everything. “By Christ Jesus.” That is the fountain-head where the living waters well up. You are not to keep your wants supplied by your own care and fretfulness, — “Consider the lilies, how they grow.” You are to be enriched “by Christ Jesus.” You are not to have your spiritual wants supplied by going to Moses, and working and toiling, as if you were your own Savior, but by faith in Christ Jesus. Those who will not go to Christ Jesus must go without, for God will give them nothing in the way of grace except through his Son. Those who go to Jesus the most shall oftenest taste of his abundance, for through him all blessings come. My advice to myself and to you is that we abide in him, for since that is the way by which the blessing comes we had better abide in it. We read of Ishmael, that he was sent into the wilderness with a bottle, but Isaac, dwelt by the well Lahairoi, and it is wise for us to dwell by the well Christ Jesus, and never trust to the bottles of our own strength. If you wander from Christ Jesus, brother, you depart from the center of bliss.

All this year I pray that you may abide by the well of this text. Draw from it. Are you very thirsty? Draw from it, for it is full, and when it is pleaded the Lord will supply all your need. Do not cease receiving for a minute. Let not your unbelief hinder the Lord’s bounty, but cling to this promise, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” I know not how to wish you a greater blessing. If you are enabled by the Holy Spirit to realize it, you will enjoy what I earnestly wish for you, namely —



A NUMBER of intimate friends being at dinner together, on the Lord’s-day, one of the company, in order to prevent improper discourse, said, “It is a question whether we shall all go to heaven or not.” This plain hint occasioned a general seriousness and self-examination. One thought, “If any of this company go to hell, it must be myself,” and so thought another and another; even the servants who waited at table were affected in the same manner. In short, it was afterwards found that this one sentence proved, by the special blessing of God upon it, instrumental to their conversion. What an encouragement is this to Christians, to give a serious turn to the conversation, when in company! It should be observed, however, that the Lord’s-day was not instituted for the visiting and entertainment even of Christians. How is their conduct, who make a point of meeting and feasting on the Sabbath, to be distinguished from the Sunday parties of the profane? Our place of meeting, on that day, is the house of God; and our feast, the rich provisions of the everlasting gospel. How we wish that all professors would remember this!


IN the camphor tree every part is impregnated with the precious perfume; from the highest twig to the lowest root the powerful gum will exude. Thus grace should permeate our whole nature, and be seen in every faculty, every word, every act, and even every desire. If it be “in us and abound” it will be so. An unsanctified part of our frame must surely be like a dead branch, deforming and injuring the tree. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name” — when praise is truly spiritual it pervades the whole man.



“A RECORD OF COMBAT WITH SIN, AND LABOR FOR THE. LORD.” These words on the cover of our magazine startled me the other day as I sat thinking over my work and what I should say about it. I felt almost ashamed of my audacity in presuming to ask a place again amidst these pages, seeing that I am not strong enough to bear a “sword,” and my “trowel” is such a very little one that it can only hope to gather enough mortar to supply some few of the laborers who build up the living stones. But I remembered with exceeding comfort that, when the wall of Jerusalem was repaired, in Nehemiah’s time, the work of the daughters of Shallum was as faithfully recorded as the labor of the princes and the priests.

So I take courage to tell again of the Lord’s great goodness to me, and how marvelously he has continued to help and bless the “Book Fund.” As certainly as if he had stretched forth his hand from the heavens and given me a written commission for the service, so surely do I know that this work came to me through his indulgent love, and from the first moment of its existence to the present, he has guided and supported and blessed it, and every atom of the glory shall be his. He sent me the needful funds to carry it on, by moving the hearts of his people to help me, for not one penny of that £926 was solicited except from him. And he has heard and answered the prayer that a great blessing might follow the books into the homes of his dear servants, comforting their hearts and refreshing their spirits, as well as aiding them in their preparation for the pulpit. I have two great heaps of letters from them, so heavy that I lift them with difficulty, and if all the joy and gratitude to God therein expressed could be written out it would fill some volumes. Knowing how deeply interested in these letters the readers of The Sword and the Trowel have hitherto been, I propose in this paper to give a series of extracts from them, (When the writers of these letters recognize their own compositions they need have no fear of betrayed confidence, for with my own hands I have prepared all the copy for the printer, so that their names might be unknown.) a set of word pictures as it were, which I shall call —


Years ago, when I had the felicity of sharing my dear husband’s annual holiday, one of our chief pleasures consisted in visiting the picture gallery of every continental town we entered. There, “walking circumspectly” over the shining, treacherous floors, we spent many happy hours, and enjoyed to the full the works of the grand old masters, but I am not ashamed to confess that I at least used to linger longer and more lovingly over a “Dutch Interior” by Teniers or Ostade, than I cared to do over any “Madonna and child” that Raphael or Rubens ever painted. These latter never stirred any devotional feelings within my soul, and failing this, they ceased to interest, and even grew tiresome by constant repetition. But it was charming to be absorbed in the “little beautiful works” (as an authority on painting calls them), which the Dutch masters loved to draw with such wonderful and tender minuteness of detail. The interior of a fisherman’s hut, with its quaint wooden cradle, and its basket of freshly-caught fish, would on close inspection reveal unsuspected objects of interest, and the picturesque farm kitchens with their glittering array of bright pans, their wealth of delf ware, their chubby children, and their comely Vrows, were so homelike and so natural that the more one gazed at them the more vividly real they became, and it was an easy task to weave a tale of family joy or sorrow around each glowing canvas.

But now I want to show my friends, by pen in lieu of pencil, some scenes of English home-life where the tale of gladness or of suffering is even more plainly pictured, and needs no effort of the imagination to unfold it. A hasty glance into a parlor, at the moment when a gift from the “Book Fund” has arrived; a peep into a study where the four portly volumes of the “Treasury of David” have just enriched the scanty store of books; a glimpse of a figure with bowed head and clasped hands, pouring out a heartful of gratitude before his God, — these, and such as these, tell their own story, and as we pass from one picture to another will only need a word or two from me to introduce them. I could show some where tearful faces gather, and a little coffin occupies the foreground, but these are veiled, and my hand dares not withdraw the covering.

The first “interior” which I point out to you is shining with the brightness of domestic love. The little room may be poorly furnished, and the bookshelves I know are sadly bare, (how can they be otherwise when the minister’s income has the very uncomfortable habit of oscillating between £40 and £60 a year?) but you can see with what intense delight that kind and happy wife is assisting to unpack the treasure of new books which will cheer her husband’s heart and make him feel a richer man for some time to come. There is a “Sword and Trowel” lying on the table, and…. but you shall look for yourselves —

“The receipt of your communication this morning was a surprise. A pleasing and agreeable surprise; for I had no idea that my kind, good wife had written to you. Often have I seen the ‘Treasury of David’ advertised, and have secretly desired to have it. But in order to be happy I am compelled to nip my desires in the bud, lest they should grow to be troublesome. My soul’s desire for books has to be slain, which is wearisome work, so that some passages of Scripture, in an improper sense, have a secret meaning to my soul. ‘My soul is weary because of murderers.’ ‘Happy is he that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones’; but in this case I have to thank you and my dear wife that my desire for the ‘Treasury of David’ has not perished with the rest; a little Moses saved, and I trust will prove a blessing. Please accept my hearty thanks. May the Lord abundantly bless you in your mission, and move the hearts of his children to contribute. Much pleased to see a sketch of your lemon plant, and to find it flourishing: I have often thought and wondered whether the little thing was still alive. No one but the Lord, and the partner of our joys and sorrows, knows the struggles of a minister. Thank God for a good wife. Minster churchyard, in Kent, has a monument to the wife of a minister, of whom it is recorded. ‘She cheered him with her smile, sustained him with her counsel, and aided him in his ministry for thirty-six years.’ And she is not the only one. After examining the work, I am constrained to write again and express my high appreciation of it. I am impressed with the immense amount of labor which must have been expended in its production — the mines of truth it contains. It is indeed a treasury of things new and Old — to me a treasure indeed. Others have labored, and I am favored to enter into their labors. It is the most valuable work I have, the Bible, of course, excepted. The whole church owes Mr. Spurgeon a debt of gratitude, not only for his own thoughts, but also for bringing up from the past of the thoughts of the thoughtful of other ages. It will, it must, be a lasting benefit to thousands, and ought to be on the shelf of every minister. Yours is a noble work, to distribute to those who cannot afford to purchase. Pardon me for writing a second time. If I were to hold my peace the stones would cry out.”

There is so much homely yet pathetic grace in the next picture, that it must attract all eyes, and hearts also, I hope. How true to nature, and how touching is the chief incident — the evening stroll down the brightly lighted streets of the town, the unmistakable gravitation of the poor minister’s mind and body towards the fatal bookstall, and the overwhelming anxiety of the tender wife to avert the threatened peril to her scantily-filled purse!

“Being the wife of one of those ministers whom God has put it into your heart to help, I feel that I owe you a debt of gratitude, and as my heart is too full to hold all it feels, I pour it out before God and you whom he has chosen to carry out a work so noble. A thousand thanks for your timely aid …. I am the mother of seven children — six are yet with us — the eldest is fifteen, the youngest, just over eight. While rearing these children up to now, mine has been a life of hard work and self-sacrifice. Our salary in the past has been much lower than it is now, but still we have to struggle to make ends meet as family wants increase year by year. My husband is a great lover of books, and I am almost ashamed to confess that when walking in town with him I have very carefully avoided going into the streets where the book stores were kept, knowing it would be hard work for him to pass them by. Many times after receiving our quarter’s salary it has puzzled me to know how to divide it — the quarter’s school bills nearly due, one must have a new suit of clothes, another a dress, the twin boys must have new boots, caps, etc. I assure you that to spare a little for my husband’s library I have had to be servant, tailor, and dressmaker, and very frequently have my hands been in the dye-pot in order to send my family out respectable.”

We cannot help saying “Well done! good wife, good mother, the Lord reward thee in that day!”

Now we come to a small but choice picture. The minister sits in his study (a cozy one), and we rejoice to see his shelves moderately stocked with books; he has just had the pleasure of adding the “Treasury of David,” and “Watson’s Body of Divinity” to his store; he is writing rapidly, and this is what he says: —

“This evening I have received the four much-desired vols. Heartily, I thank you, and unfeignedly bless the Lord, joining in the prayer so kindly recorded in Vol. 1 that the precious contents may avail me. Here is a mine of gold — I hope to dig up nuggets for my people. How the cream of the gospel stands thickly on this unadulterated milk! Prayer and meditation shall churn it into butter; nay, shall I not give them butter and honey till they all know how to refuse the evil flesh-pots of Egypt, and choose the good things of the land where David dwelt, where milk and honey flow? Your noble efforts for ministers will be a blessing to both mind and body. It is rather trying to the nerves to be clearing the ground with a borrowed ax, carving wood with one’s fingers, and working at the pump when the sucker is dry. But now, through Mrs. Spurgeon’s loving work, poor men whose thoughts stand still for want of gear-oil will have heart and mind set spinning like the ‘Chariots of Amminadib’!”

There is one difficulty I experience in arranging this little gallery of home scenes, which arises from the loving gratitude of the sketchers themselves. Some of the most interesting and touching letters I receive contain so many gentle and gracious personalities that I am obliged to conceal them from public view, and for this reason many a bright picture enshrined in the privacy of my “sanctum” can never leave it to touch other hearts as it has touched mine. I hope, however, that those I am able to present to my friends will interest them greatly, and next in order I place two stereoscopic views which need no comment.

“For nine full years I have toiled along as pastor here, my salary having generally been £80. I married soon after settling in this place, and have now five children besides one who is gone to the “better land.” I have been obliged to eke out my scanty means by taking a few pupils. My library I need scarcely say is, for a minister, ridiculously small. It is impossible for me to purchase books which I should greatly value, and the possession of which would be a benefit not to myself alone, but also to the people to whom I minister.

“It is indeed kind of you to send me so munificent a present. I wish to express my very best thanks and to assure you that I shall value your generous gift very highly. Nor shall I alone reap the benefit; those to whom I minister are sure to participate in the blessing. I must tell you that yesterday was my birthday, and today is the birthday of my eldest little girl — six years old — so that your kind gift comes as a most seasonable present.”

It is several long years since I have been able to replenish my small library with a new volume. With the strictest economy we find it is all that we can do to keep up an appearance suitable to our station and pay everyone twenty shillings in the pound, which, thanks to our heavenly Father, we have done. My stipend is £62 a year, with a house. I have had a great deal of affliction in my house — five have passed away by death, and now my wife is ill and has been under medical care for eighteen months, so that, what with doctors bills and extra expenses, new books appear to be among the last things I can find money for. A grant ever so small will be thankfully received.

“When opening the parcel and beholding its precious contents I cannot express to you the emotions of my soul, nor will words convey to you the thanks I wish to express. I can only say that I happened to my study, and on bended knee poured out my gratitude to my heavenly Father, who has Supplied my need. Nor did I forget to invoke the benediction of heaven upon the kind donor.

The next picture has two aspects — winter and summer — for thanks to the kindness of dear friends, I was able, for a time at least, to make the sun shine in the hitherto cheerless prospect. Would to God I could do more, not only for this “good wife,” but for the many others who I know have terrible reason to be “afraid of the snow, for their households.” Just think of the dear little children patiently lying in bed while their scanty clothing was being washed!

“Forgive me for troubling you with a statement of our poverty. Many times I have felt prompted to ask if you have a fund for supplying poor ministers’ wives and children with clothes. If so, I sincerely trust you will have compassion on us, for we are in great need. My husband has been in the ministry more than twenty-six years, and has never received more than £5 per month. We are seven in family, and I am such a sufferer from rheumatics that I cannot do the housework, and as we cannot pay for hired help, our eldest girl, who was in a situation, is obliged to come home again. If you can help us in any way, it will be very, very acceptable, for the winter is near, and firing and house-rent are high, and my dear husband’s clothes are getting as bare as our own.

“I am going to try to drop you a few lines, but do not know how sufficiently to thank you and dear friends for your great kindness to us. We were all of us overjoyed; it is an old saying that it is always darkest before the dawn, and we found it is so, for when your present came to hand the dear little ones were in bed, that we might wash their clothes, as we had not change of raiment for them. But you may depend there was no more sleep for that day when they were told that Mr. Spurgeon had sent money to buy them new warm clothes. Since then we have received a cheque from Mr.____, and a box of very valuable clothing from Mr.____ which we feel sure is through your sympathy….. We sincerely hope that none of the kind friends who have helped us will ever know one-tenth of the trouble that we have had, yet we never had so much joy as this week has brought us!”

One more picture I must give which has just come into my hands. This time not an “English Interior,” but a French one. A night-scene evidently, for the midnight-oil is in full flow and the earnest student be-comes so fascinated by his studies that the early dawn finds him still input upon his treasure. There is a great dearth of theological literature in France, and this good pastor having acquired somewhat of the English language, ardently desired to enrich his mind and feast his soul on the fat things of English divinity. He wrote to Mr. Spurgeon asking for the “Treasury Of David” at a reduced price, and of course I gladly sent it as a gift from the Fund. His gratitude is intense, but he is far from being satisfied. His appetite is whetted, and he hungers for more of such substantial food. In the latter part of the following letter, which I have translated for my readers, he not only announces his determination to obtain the two volumes of “Treasury” (which alas! do not yet exist) but also begs to be informed what would be the cost, of the twenty-one volumes of the “Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit,” which he thinks a necessary part of the equipment of every Christian pastor. I wish I could give them to him.


“I must tell you that I felt utterly amazed when I found that these precious and valuable volumes were actually a present to me, a perfect stranger! It is impossible for me to express my gratitude; but I do thank you with all my heart, and I wish I could see my greatly revered brother, to tell him with my own lips how much I owe him. Assure your dear husband, madam, that his books will be a real ‘treasure’ to me, and not to me only, but also to the people whom the Lord has confided to my care. I received the parcel at eight o’clock in the evening, and I spent the whole night in devouring the contents! I shall pray earnestly that Mr. Spurgeon may soon accomplish the work so successfully commenced, and that then every English-speaking Christian may be the happy possessor of the ‘Treasury of David.’ I dare not ask you to think of me when the work is completed, that would be abusing your kindness, but I shall not fail (though I am very poor) to procure the other vols. for myself as soon as they appear, and appear they will I am certain, for the Lord would not allow so precious and useful a work to remain unfinished.”

Although I have scores more of such letters, I am afraid I must close my collection here lest I tire my readers’ patience, and trespass too far on my Editor’s precious pages. It has been a joy inexpressible to minister even in the least degree to the crying needs of the pastors who have sought the aid of the “Book Fund,” but I cannot forget that there are hundreds still unsupplied, and if the Lord permit and spare me, I hope to do more this year than was accomplished in the past. I depend wholly on the Lord to move the hearts of his people to help me, and I know he “will not fail me,” nor “forsake the work of his own hands.” The amount of work already done stands thus —

4,967 volumes distributed. Of these 1,950 were “Lectures to My Students.” 1,346 volumes “Treasury of David.” 820 volumes of “Sermons.”

And the remaining 851 volumes comprised works by other authors, some valuable secondhand books presented to me by friends, and the lesser writings of Mr. Spurgeon. 701 ministers have received grants of books (varying from 4 to 8 volumes each) and as I am corresponding secretary, as well as treasurer, manager, etc., my friends can imagine I have had full employment. The only part of the work delegated to another is the packing of the parcels, and this service is always performed as a “labor of love” by the willing hands of the dear friend to whose devoted affection I already owe so much. Who should be my “director in chief” and my “referee” in all perplexities but my dear Mr. Editor? To him I run in search of counsel, comfort, or wise advice, and need I say I always find it?

Let me direct the attention of contributors to the fact that the only expenses incurred in this work are the carriage of books and the postage of “Lectures” (at 3d. each). These two items are heavy, but fully justified, for I consider the prepayment of parcels and books as part of the present, and think the gifts would be robbed of half their grace if they did not reach the recipients franked and free! The postage of the many letters written is more than covered by a donation of £610 from my beloved husband.

Dear friends, farewell. As on former occasions, so now I must beg that the effort to place before you some details of my work may be viewed with lenient and indulgent eyes. “John Ploughman’s Wife” may well be forgiven when she humbly acknowledges that the “pen of a ready writer” is not to be wielded by her feeble fingers; yet, notwithstanding conscious inability and weakness, she confidently hopes that some “honor, and glory, and blessing” will be laid at the Lord’s feet by this tribute to his wonderful lovingkindness, shown so manifestly in the continued prosperity and rigor of the “Book Fund.” —




WHEN we saw the polling lists for the London School Board we confess that we were as much astonished as delighted. The victory for the undenominational party was so complete, so universal, so far beyond the most sanguine expectations, that we could only look at the list again and again, and then thank God and take courage. We have from the first differed from the Birmingham platform, for we feel that if Government may educate at all it ought not to leave out the essential element of religion. The reading of the Scriptures from day to day we hold to be of the utmost importance if teaching is to have any moral influence whatever, and it is mainly upon the ground of moral influence that the nation educates at all. Moral teaching apart from the Bible we have no faith in, and education without moral teaching will not answer the design which the State aims at, namely, the production of intelligent and orderly citizens. In London we have no question about the use of the Bible in the schools; that is regarded as settled, not only by the authority of the Board, but by the practically unanimous consent of the parents. The contest therefore was not between the Church party and the secular party, but between the Church with the Prayer-book, and the Old School Board with the Bible: the issue is to us all the more pleasant, and to true Christians in the Establishment it ought to be all the less disagreeable. The people have decided that the truly National System, which knows nothing of sects, should not be held in fetters in order to leave space for the sham National System, which is in truth only the adjunct of the Episcopal denomination. This decision has been given, not in London alone, but in almost every constituency, and it will be wise on the part of our opponents to accept the verdict, and never raise the question again; but we fear such wisdom can hardly be expected of them.

The Nonconformists of London did not desire to make the School Board the arena of controversy. Upon this last occasion the conflict was forced upon them, and they entered upon it with the resolve to do their best, but with grave fears as to the result. The common opinion among the voters in Lambeth was that we should be defeated, and there was some talk of accepting the situation and allowing the Anglican candidates to walk over the course. A compromise which would have divided the representation would have been cheerfully accepted; indeed, that was the only result aimed at or desired. But no, the opposition felt itself to be exceedingly strong, and must have four out of six representatives at the very least, and so they marched on with heads aloft to a defeat so overwhelming that the mere naming of it grieves some of them as much as the mention of a rope vexed the man whose father was hanged. They find to their amazement that their despised antagonists could easily have returned four members, and might possibly have even secured five. We do not care to “sound the loud timbrel,” but we do wish to gather up the lesson: let us know our strength and never give way to discouragement. Better far to fight well when things look dismal, and so gain an unexpected victory, than to glory before the event and meet with defeat; but it is best of all to be hopeful and daring from the very first. The fact is that Nonconformists do not know their own political strength, and consequently do not put it forth as they might; they will do well henceforth to feel their feet and take up their position without hesitation. We can do more if we will. In Parliament, as well as upon the School Board, if we have candidates who truly represent us, we can return them in scores of places where mere Liberals will fail, because they excite no enthusiasm, and have at present; no essential principles to maintain.

It has been said since this late election that the contest was not between Church and Dissent: it may be that it was not altogether and purely so, but; had the event been different the Established Church would have claimed it as a victory peculiarly her own. We do not care to claim it, because we have it; still it was made very distinctly an ecclesiastical conflict. Else why did even our evangelical brethren hang out the boards of the denominational candidates upon the railings of their churches? And what was the meaning of the handbill, “Churchmen, VOTE FOR — ?” Why did a bishop and several canons go off so loudly at public meetings? They knew what they were at; they saw the education of the people slipping out of their hands, and they meant to stop the evil, for otherwise the masses might grow up unbiased to their peculiar views. This was their one concern, and the talk about economy was only a means to an end. The election did not declare for Dissent. God forbid that any election ever should be asked so to declare; we want no political favors, we only want equality; but it did thunder out the verdict of Englishmen that they do not intend to leave the education of their children in the hands of any sect, nor to allow a great national system to be hindered and thwarted by the partisans of a favored denomination. We never asked to have the children, we are content to see them read the Bible, and have no wish to intrude a book which would teach our special views. All we have ever asked is equality, not preference; our Episcopal friends must have favors, and the public have told them once for all that they do not intend to yield to their demands.

More than this, the polling lists of the School Board are in some districts not very far from the truth as a census of Church and Dissent. We are not in the minority, as we feared. So many churches have been erected, and the Establishment assumed such airs of greatness that we almost believed ourselves to be going back, though we could hardly tell how it was. High churchism boasted of its revival, and of the numbers crowding its churches, and we thought — surely the current has set in towards Rome, and pure religion will soon be hard to find. Our own churches are multiplied, enlarged, and greatly encouraged, but an undefined fear was upon us that after all we were not making headway. This did not dishearten us in the least, for it makes no difference to the truth of a cause whether its adherents are few or many, but we felt that we lived in “the day of small things,” and must be content to plod on and hold our own as best we could. Our view of matters is now altering. Upon inquiry we find that it is far easier to build a new church than to get a congregation, far easier to hold daily service than to secure more than the parson’s family, the sexton, and two ladies as a regular audience. We hear of huge churches in London, not in the city, where such things are general, but on our own side of the water, where, instead of a thousand hearers, there are not fifty. By means of endowments places are kept open long after they are resorted to, and thus the apparent strength of the Anglican system is far in excess of the reality. We have been informed by many witnesses that numbers of the edifices which were for a short time crowded by means of the scenic displays of the Ritualists are now miserably attended. We do not wonder at it, for what can there be in mere ceremonialism to retain a congregation; but we confess we are glad to hear that the decadence of the system has come so soon. Evangelical churches, where the preacher has any ability, are still full, and we have no doubt will remain so, a feature of the case which gives us unfeigned satisfaction; but there are plenty of parochial edifices in which a heartless service has by degrees alienated the people, and made them forget that such a building exists, except as the right place for being married in. We do not wonder that Episcopalians object to a census of attendance at places of worship. It is the fairest test of the religious character of the people, but it would reveal too fully the nakedness of the land, and therefore it is not to be borne with. Let us also have an account of the communicants if the attendance at worship is not thought to he a sufficient index. In either way, we believe that the numbers will be such as to show that the favored denomination does not occupy the position which it thinks it does.

If Nonconformists will but look well to the spiritual condition of the churches, maintain earnest piety, and proclaim sound doctrine, they need not be under any apprehension as to their ultimately gaining their full civil rights. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” If we have the divine blessing resting upon us, we may look forward with confidence to the future. Among an educated, reading people our principles will have a fairer hope of success: the increase of light is in our favor. The more free the masses become to inspect and examine for themselves the better for us, for we court the most rigid inquiry. The eddies of public thought may tend every now and again towards the maintenance of superstition, but the set of the main current is in the right direction. God is abroad among men, the influence of truth and justice is being more and more felt, and by God’s grace, if we are but true to our convictions the times of victory for the fight shall be hastened on.



WE know hardly any record of Christian work more worthy of perusal than that furnished in a shilling pamphlet, entitled “The Metropolitan Tabernacle, its History and Work, by C. H. Spurgeon.” The history of the Baptist congregation now represented by that worshipping in the Tabernacle is traced in the earlier chapters, from the time of the first Stuart kings of England, to a period, now twenty-three years ago, when Charles H. Spurgeon first preached in New Park Street Chapel. Soon after his settlement there as pastor it was found necessary to enlarge and improve the building, to accommodate the crowds who thronged to hear the young preacher. Whilst these alterations were in progress Exeter Hall was used as the place of worship, and the preacher’s fame was yet more spread abroad by the caricatures published about him. Some of these are transferred to the volume before us. After various changes the Tabernacle was erected, and entered upon as a place for public worship in the spring of 1861. It cost £31,332 4s. 10d., and was opened free from debt. It accommodates about 6,000 people without excessive crowding.

The membership of Charles Spurgeon’s congregation was at the close of

1854 — 313
1859 — 1,332
1864 — 2,937
1869 — 4,047
1875 — 4,813

Around the Metropolitan Tabernacle have sprung up an important group of auxiliary institutions. The Pastors’ College receives men who are believed to have received a call from the Holy Ghost for preaching the Gospel, and gives them a training to equip them better for the work. Upwards of £5,000 annually is expended on the Pastors’ College. The Stockwell Orphanage is another outcome of the Christian zeal of the Metropolitan Tabernacle congregation. Two hundred and forty boys are clothed, fed, and instructed, at a charge of £5,000 per annum. The Colportage Association was started under the conviction that the sale of bad books is most effectually counteracted by the diffusion of good ones. Forty-five men, under the direction of a secretary, are engaged in carrying literature — cheap, popular, and healthy in tone — from house to house in various districts of England and Wales. The colporteur is often missionary and preacher as well as hawker. Three hundred thousand visits annually, chiefly amongst our rural peasantry, must be an evangelistic agency of great power, irrespective of the permeating influence of the literature that is sold.

Bible classes, book funds, missions to the Jews, missions in various parts of London; services specially for the blind, for mothers, for ladies; Sunday schools, with 1,000 children in regular attendance; benefit societies, loan tract societies, are but a selection from the long list of affiliated agencies that cluster round the Metropolitan Tabernacle.

In the seventeenth century the Friends and the Baptists said many bitter things of each other. Yet their acts were often better than words. It is a beautiful episode in the dreary story of Nonconformist persecution, that John Bunyan owed his release from Bedford Jail to the kind offices of George Whitehead and other Friends. As time has passed the two denominations have often found it wiser to dwell on the many points in which they agree than on those in which they differ. Our last number contained an interesting notice of a breakfast given by the Mayor of Birmingham (George Baker) to some of the Baptist ministers who had been attending the autumn, meeting of their Union., The catholic tone of the meeting is echoed in last month’s Sword and Trowel. C. H. Spurgeon says: —

Oct. 6th — A number of leading Baptist ministers breakfasted with the Mayor of Birmingham, who happens to be a member of the Society of Friends. All the speeches went to show how near akin are the Baptists and the Quakers. One common fear of priestcraft, sacramentarianism, and ecclesiastical domination over the conscience possesses both bodies; and though herein others are partakers, none are so sensitive upon these points. Several ministers said, “If I were not a Baptist I must become a Quaker, and we believe this to be the general feeling; certainly it is ours.”

In view of the priestcraft and sacramentarianism rife on every hand, it is impossible to regard without deep thankfulness the work carried on by Charles H. Spurgeon, and not to desire that grace, strength, and wisdom may continue to be largely bestowed upon him.

It is, too, a question of the highest interest — Wherein doth his great strength lie? In the volume before us we read the following words: —

“We remark at once that at the Tabernacle we have no written code of laws but the Book of Inspiration, and we unhesitatingly assert that all such printed rules, as some have desired and others adopted, are only fetters at the best of times, and snares and traps in periods of dispute and difficulty. We have faith in sanctified common-sense, resulting from an application to the source of all wisdom by prayer and reading the Scriptures. Acting in things temporal after a truly business principle, and in things spiritual as God’s word and Spirit dictate, no formal system of rules, in our opinion, will ever be required. Certain recognized courses of procedure, from which, without cause assigned, no deviation shall be made are certainly necessary for mutual cooperation and peace in any Church; but for emergencies, special action should be adopted to suit the exigencies of the case, and no rules or traditions must forbid the course which wisdom suggests, even though it should be, contrary to all the precedents of the previous history of the Church. A general understanding of leading principles, and an elastic interpretation of them as cases may require, will be all the rule, outside of the Scripture required in churches where confidence abounds between pastors, officers, and members; if this be wanting, no rules, human or divine, can make them work harmoniously together. We must have faith in each other’s intentions and integrity, or we shall loosen the pins of church action, and all will lapse into confusion and conflict.”

In this passage we have the clue to much of Charles H. Spurgeon’s strength. His sermons f2 (of which more than a thousand have been printed, and millions of copies sold) tell the old, old story, much as Paul of Tarsus told it. He tells it with deep earnestness; he tells it with living faith in its power; he tells it in words ever seasoned with the grain of salt that prevents insipidity. He uses homely English speech. He has a voice that, without straining, makes itself heard through every part of the Tabernacle. His addresses possess that indescribable authority that arises from spiritual unction. It is not often that these qualifications are combined in one man, who also possesses the faculty for organization, and a homely practiced sense, which would have made him successful as a railway manager or as the Home Secretary of State. He handles the trowel as deftly as the sword.

In the phraseology of Friends, the purpose of this article is not the exaltation of the creature.” It were an easy task to prove that the treasure is in an earthen vessel, It were easy to find, in the teachings of C. H. Spurgeon, views that do not commend themselves to our apprehension of Divine truth. It is easy to urge that he has nothing to say on some of the perplexing problems of nineteenth-century thought. So be it; and yet we repeat with confidence that few phenomena in the Christian life of our day are more teaching than the career of C. H. Spurgeon. The order of his mind is, in the best sense of the word, Friendly. His special talents are of a class that have been common amongst Friends, and are so at the present time, but which almost always find spheres of action other than that of Congregational edification and development. Why this should be so, it is simply impossible now to discuss.

The present writer once found himself in the Metropolitan Tabernacle instead of his wonted seat at meeting. The day was wild and stormy; the building was comfortably full; two-thirds of the congregation were men. The preacher’s text was, “Ye serve the Lord Christ.” His discourse — admirably fitted for any congregation in England — was a powerful appeal for a spiritual, a practical, an every-day religion. As we wended our homeward way through the streets of Southwark, where there are now but few Friends to testify to these great truths, we could not but rejoice that so powerful a teacher had been raised up, in an age that is too prone to forget them. “The true way to serve the Lord in the common acts of life,” said Charles Spurgeon on the occasion referred to, “is to perform them as unto Himself; and this can be done with everything which it is lawful to do. God forbid we should maintain, as some do, a broad, unbending distinction between things secular and religious. This wicked age must, forsooth, have its holy place and its holy days. What is this but a confession that most of its buildings are unholy, and its days unholy too? Of heaven it is written, ‘I saw no temple therein,’ and we get nearest to the heavenly state when all superstitious notions about sacred places and sacred substances shall be swept away once for all. To a man who lives unto God nothing is secular, everything is sacred. He puts on his work-day garment, and it is a vestment to him; he sits down to his meal, and it is a sacrament; he goes forth to his labor, and therein exercises the office of the priesthood: his breath is incense and his life a sacrifice. He sleeps on the bosom of God, and lives and moves in the Divine presence.”


GETTING into a hammock is an art. I have seen a stranger attempt it and succeed so well that in getting in on one side he has fallen out at the other. It is an amusing sight to see how simultaneous are the getting in and the tumbling out, but the sight suggested to us a sad parallel. Conversions are thought to be easy things by a certain enthusiastic school, and truly they ought to be, for they are soon over. We have known men converted just long enough to become apostates, — a week sooner and they could not have so dishonored the church, for they had not then been found in the inquiry room. Conversion is something more than this. It is a divine work. “Turn us, O God, and we shall be turned.”


WE have been most savagely assailed for praying the Lord to preserve peace, and if our rulers would not learn wisdom, to remove them. We fail to see any reason for altering the prayer, and only trust that it may be heard. To us mere party politics are nothing; but when we see war threatened on behalf of a detestable tyranny, contrary to all the dictates of humanity and religion, we cannot do otherwise than implore the Judge of all the earth to save us from such an astounding wickedness, and to remove from office the man whose rash bravados give rise to our fears. It is ours to pray, but it is ever with the deep feeling that the Lord of Hosts will accomplish his own purposes in his own way, and if the form of his servant’s prayers should not be answered yet the spirit of them will be acceptable with him. Many of the persons who have written us abusively have not signed their names, and we are glad that they did not, for there is hope that some sense of shame remains in them. Did they know how little their fierce language annoys us they would save their paper and postage. One such note as the following from Slavonia makes amends for a thousand scurrilous epistles; we do not give the writer’s name because we have not asked his permission, but he is engaged in relieving distress among the fugitives from Bosnia. We suppose he alludes to our former prayer, that the Lord would break the power of the oppressor —

“Palcratz, Slavonia, Austria.

“Dear Sir, — I think it will interest you to know that the little quotation from our prayer which has appeared in the English papers has been translated into German and Serbian, and has been in most of the newspapers in those languages. While to the persecuted Christians of Turkey, and their brethren in race, language and faith, of other countries, the attitude of the English Government is so incomprehensibly hostile, a token of sympathy and pity, and the evidence that they are not despised and forgotten by the English people, is doubly precious. I write that you may have the pleasure of knowing that your words have cheered and comforted many sorrowful hearts. Oh, may they but be heard! and the thousands now groaning in slavery and exile, the victims of Turkish barbarism, be delivered from the hand and power of the wicked. I am sure I need not ask you to be unceasing in your supplications for them.”

FUNDS — Thanks be to God, we have no longer to watch the ebb. The Lord has stirred up a host of kind friends, and the Orphanage exchequer, which was more and more closely nearing a condition of vacuum, has now been replenished. We have seldom had such a number of donations in so short a time. Our heart is full of gratitude to God and to the donors. We have a wish, and we take leave to express it to those who take a loving interest in our work. We hope to go to the South of Europe in a few days, and we shall, if the Lord will, be absent for six Sabbaths. We should like to leave enough bread and butter in all the cupboards for orphans, students, colporteurs, and the poor blind, so that we need not even think about them while we are among the olive groves of the Mediterranean Sea. Our rest under such circumstances would then do us the maximum of service. The Colportage, the Blind, and the Orphans are the most in need.

We go to press before Christmas-day, but already we see tokens that the orphans will not be forgotten. Not by any means enough has come in as yet, but there is a beginning made. We intend next month, if all be well, to get Mr. Pike to describe our Christmas festivities. The poor boys are merry indeed on that day.

COLPORTAGE — With the new year additional districts will be started at Sittingborne, Cardiff, Coseley, Dudley West, Cradley, also Hadleigh in Suffolk. Several other districts promise fairly, and we expect to send colporteurs soon. Increased attention is being manifested towards the work, not only in fresh places, but also in existing districts. The General Secretary has visited Bacup during the past month, where he addressed several hundreds of the colporteurs’ friends, who had previously taken tea together. The owner of a cotton mill who presided said that he had sought the services of a colporteur because of the large number of injurious publications he observed in the hands of his employees, and much good had been done during the past year through the agent’s work. Our balance at the bank is very low, and we have heavy publishers’ accounts to meet in a few days. In this department the “ebb” continues, but must soon have reached the worst, for there will be nothing left.

Tuesday Dec. 12th — We preached twice in Mr. Silverton’s new place in Nottingham, called Exeter Hall. Of all places we have ever preached in it is at once the most compact, easy for speaking and comfortable. We recommend all who are building to see it. The cost was the lowest we have ever heard of for a building of such capacity, so substantial, and so elegant. It seats two thousand, and cost £4,700, apart from the site. Common sense is the characteristic of Mr. Silverton, and he has shown it in this case. The amount raised during the day was £500, and the giving and hearing were of the most enthusiastic order.

Friday, Dec. 15th — The men of the Pastors’ College accepted the fraternal invitation of their brethren of Regent’s Park College to spend the afternoon and evening with them. There was very hearty intercourse between the students and tutors of the two Colleges, and much enjoyment in consequence. Mr. Spurgeon spoke upon culture, and Dr. Angus upon go. With prayers, hymns, addresses, and speeches the time passed away very pleasantly. The words of wisdom of Mr. Rogers, “the old man eloquent,” will probably abide in the memories of all present for many a year to come. May the two Colleges prosper with the rich blessing of God. and may the men while in training, and when actually in the field, never forget that “all we are brethren.”

From our College the following brethren have gone forth to pastorates, Mr. G. Dunnett, to Newcastle-under-Lyne, Mr. N. T. Miller to Huraley, Wotton-under-Edge, Mr. T. H. Smith to Shefford, Mr. C. Joseph to Small Heath, Birmingham, where a new interest is in process of formation. Mr. Davis to Ottery St. Mary, Mr. Blaikie to Irwine, Mr. Bloyto Forncett, in Norfolk, Mr. Sumner to Brentford.

Mr. Hamilton, who left us to form a Baptist church at Cape Town, has been well received, for we have met with the following paragraph in the Cape Times:

“The Rev. Mr. Hamilton has preached for the last two Sundays, at Temperance Hall, to the Baptist congregation which is now forming in this city. The building is not large enough for the number of attendants, and it is now the object of the congregation to obtain a more commodious place of meeting. Mr. Hamilton is said to be an able and earnest preacher, and it would appear that, as a student in Spurgeon’s College, he has caught something of the master’s tact and power. The Baptists consider themselves very happy in having Mr. Hamilton’s ministrations, and we hope that they will succeed in procuring a more suitable tabernacle.” Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle by Mr. V. J. Charlesworth: — Nov. 27th, seven. By Mr. J. A. Spurgeon: — Nov. 30th, sixteen.



PERSONS may be so lost on land or on sea as to need saving and not seeking; but we were spiritually lost, so as to need both saving and seeking too. I heard a little while ago of a party of friends who went to the lakes of Cumberland and endeavored to climb the Langdale Pikes. One of the company found the labor of the ascent too wearisome, and so resolved that he would go back to the little inn from which they started. Being a wiser man than some, in his own esteem, he did not take the winding path by which they had ascended. He thought he would go straight down, for he could see the house just below, and fancied he should pitch upon it all of a sudden, and show the mountaineers that a straight line is the nearest road. Well, after descending, and descending, leaping many a rugged place, he found himself at last on a ledge from which he could go neither up nor down. After many vain attempts he saw that he was a prisoner. In a state of wild terror, he took off his garments and tore them into shreds to make a line, and tying the pieces together he let them down, but he found that they reached nowhere at in all the great and apparently unfathomable abyss which yawned below him. So he began to call aloud; but no answer came from the surrounding hills beyond the echo of his own voice He shouted by the half-hour together, but there was no answer, neither was there anyone within sight. His horror nearly drove him out of his wits. At last, to his intense joy, he saw a figure move in the plain below, and he began to shout again. Happily it was a woman, who, hearing his voice, stopped, and as he called again she came nearer and called out “Keep where you are. Do not stir an inch. Keep where you are.” He was lost, but he no longer needed seeking, for some friendly shepherds soon saw where he was. All he wanted was saving; and so the mountaineers descended with a rope, as they were wont to do when rescuing lost sheep, and soon brought him out of danger. He was lost, but he did not want seeking; they could see where he was. A month or two ago you must have noticed in the papers an advertisement for a gentleman who had left Wastwater, some days before, to go over the hills, and had not been heard of since. His friends had to seek him, that, if still alive, he might he saved; and there were those who traversed hill and moor to discover him, but they were unable to save him, because they could not find him. If they could have found out where he was I do not doubt that, had he been in the most imminent peril, the bold hills’-men would have risked their lives to rescue him; but, alas, he was never found nor saved: his lifeless corpse was the only discovery which was ultimately made. This last is the true image of our deplorable condition; we are by nature lost, so that nothing but seeking and saving together will be of any service to us.

Let us see how our Lord accomplishes the saving. That has been done, completely done. My dear friends, you and I were lost in the sense of having broken the law of God and having incurred his anger, but Jesus came and took the sin of men upon himself, and as their surety and their substitute he bore the wrath of God, so that God can henceforth be “just, and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” This blessed doctrine of substitution, I would like to die talking of it, and I intend, by divine grace, to live proclaiming it, for it is the keystone of the gospel. Jesus Christ did literally take upon himself the transgression and iniquity of his people, and was made a curse for them, seeing that they had fallen under the wrath of God; and now every soul that believeth in Jesus is saved because Jesus has taken away the penalty and the curse due to sin. In this let us rejoice. Christ has also saved us from the power of Satan. The seed of the woman has bruised the serpent’s head, so that Satan’s power is broken. Jesus has, by his mighty power, set us free from hell’s horrible yoke by vanquishing the prince of darkness, and has moreover saved us from the power of death, so that to believers it shall not be death to die. Christ has saved us from sin and all its consequences by his most precious death and resurrection.

“See God descending in the human frame,
The offended suffering in the offenders name;
All thy misdeeds to him imputed see,
And all his righteousness devolved on thee.”

Our Lord’s saving work is in this sense finished, but there is always going on in the world his seeking work, and I want you to think of it. He can save us, blessed be his name. He has nothing more to do in order to save any soul that trusts him. But we have wandered very far away, and are hidden in the wilds of the far country. We are very hungry, and though there is bread enough and to spare, what is the use of it while we are lost to the home in which it is so freely distributed? We are very ragged; there is the best robe, and it is ready to be put on us; but what is the good of it while we are so far away? There are the music and the dancing to make us glad and to cheer us, but what is the use of them while we still tarry among the swine? Here, then, is the great difficulty. Our Lord must find us out, follow our wanderings, and, treating us like lost sheep, he must bear us back upon his shoulder rejoicing.

Many need seeking because they are lost in bad company. Evil companions get around men and keep them away from hearing the gospel by which men are saved. There is no place to be lost in like a great city. When a man wants to escape the police he does not run to a little village, he hides away in a thickly populated town. So this London has many hiding-places where sinners get out of the gospel’s way. They lose themselves in the great crowd, and are held captives by the slavish customs of the evil society into which they are absorbed. If they do but relent for a moment, some worldling plucks them by the sleeve and says, “Let us be merry while we may. What are you so melancholy about?” Satan carefully sets a watch upon his younger servants to prevent their escaping from his hands. These pickets labor earnestly to prevent the man from hearing the good news of salvation lest he should be converted. Sinners therefore need seeking out from among the society in which they are imbedded; they need as much seeking after as the pearls of the Arabian Gulf.

The Lord Jesus Christ in seeking men has to deal with deep-seated prejudices. Many refuse to hear the gospel: they would travel many miles to escape its warning message. Some are too wise, or too rich to have the gospel preached to them. Pity the poor rich! The poor man has many missionaries and evangelists seeking him out, but who goes after the great ones? Some come from the east to worship, but who comes from the west? Many more will find their way to heaven out of the back slums than ever will come out of the great mansions and palaces. Jesus must seek his elect among the rich under great disadvantages, but blessed be his name he does seek them.

See how vices and depraved habits hold the mass of the poorer classes. What a seeking out is needed among working-men, for many of them are besotted with drunkenness. Look at the large part of London on the Lord’s day: what have the working population been doing? They have been reading the Sunday newspaper, and loafing about the house in their shirt sleeves, and waiting at the posts of the doors — not of wisdom, but of the drink-shop. They have been thirsting, but not after righteousness. Bacchus still remaineth the god of this city, and multitudes are lost among the beerbarrels and the spirit-casks. In such pursuits men waste the blessed Sabbath hours. How shall they be sought out? Yet the Lord Jesus is doing it by his Holy Spirit.

Alas, through their ill ways men’s ears are stopped and their eyes are blinded, and their hearts hardened, so that the messengers of mercy have need of great patience, it were easy work to save men, if they could but be made willing to receive the gospel, but they will not even hear it. When you do get them for a Sabbath-day beneath the sound of a faithful ministry, how they struggle against it. They want seeking out fifty times over. You bring them right up to the light, and flash it upon their eyes, but they willfully and deliberately close their eyelids to it. You set before them life and death, and plead with them even unto tears that they would lay hold on eternal life; but they choose their own delusions. So long and so patiently must they be sought that this seeking work as much reveals the gracious heart of Jesus as did the saving work which he fulfilled upon the bloody tree.

Notice how he is daily accomplishing his search of love. Every day, beloved, Jesus Christ is seeking men’s ears. Would you believe it? He has to go about with wondrous wisdom even to get a hearing. They do not want to know the love message of their God. “God so loved the world” — they know all about that, and do not want to hear any more. There is an infinite sacrifice for sin: they turn on their heel at such stale news. They would rather read an article in an infidel Review, or a paragraph in the Police News. They want to know no more of spiritual matters. The Lord Jesus, in order to get at their ears, cries aloud by many earnest voices. Thank God, he has ministers yet alive who mean to be heard and will not be put off with denials. Even the din of this noisy world cannot drown their testimony. Cry aloud, my brother; cry aloud and spare not, for, cry as you may, you will not cry too loudly, for man will not hear if he can help it. Our Lord, to win men’s ears, must use a variety of voices, musical or rough, as his wisdom judges best. Sometimes he gains an audience by an odd voice whose quaintness wins attention. He will reach men when he means to save them. That was an odd voice, surely the oddest I ever heard of, which came a little time ago in an Italian town to one of God’s elect ones there, He was so depraved that he actually fell to worshipping the devil rather than God. It chanted one day that a rumor went through the city that a Protestant was coming there to preach. The priest, alarmed for his religion, told the people from the altar that Protestants worshipped the devil, and he charged them not to go near the meeting-room. The news, as you may judge, excited no horror in the devil-worshipper’s mind. “Ay,” thought he, “then I shall meet with brethren,” and so he went to hear our beloved missionary who is now laboring in Rome. Nothing else would have drawn the poor wretch to hear the good word, but this lie of the priest’s was overruled to that end. He went and heard, not of the devil, but of the devil’s conqueror, and before long was found at Jesus’ feet, a sinner saved.

I have known my Lord, when his ministers have failed, take out an arrow from his quiver, and fix upon it a message, and put it to his bow, and shoot it right into a man’s bosom till it wounded him; and, as it wounded him, and he lay moaning upon his bed, the message has been conned, and felt, and accepted. I mean that many a man in sickness has been brought to hear the message of salvation. Often losses and crosses have brought men to Jesus’s feet. Jesus seeks them so. When Absolom could not get an interview with Joab, he said, “Go and set his barley-field on fire.” Then Joab came down to Absolom, and said, “Wherefore have thy servants set my barley-field on fire?” The Lord sometimes sends losses of property to men who will not otherwise hear him, and at last their ears are gained. Whom he seeketh he in due time findeth.

Well, after my Lord has sought men’s ears he next seeks their desires. He will have them long for a Savior, and this is not an easy thing to accomplish; but he has a way of showing men their sins, and then they wish for mercy. He shows them at other times the great joy of the Christian life, and then they wish to enter into the like delight. I pray that, at this hour he may lead some of you to consider the danger you are in while you are yet unconverted, that so you may begin to desire Christ, and in this way may be sought and found by him.

Then he seeks their faith. He seeks that they may come and trust him; and he has ways of bringing them to this, for he shows them the suitability of his salvation, and the fullness and the freeness of it; and when he has exhibited himself as a sinner’s Savior, and such a Savior as they want, then do they come and put their trust in him. Then has he found them and saved them. All this does his Holy Spirit work in men for their eternal good.

He seeks their hearts, for it is their hearts that he has lost. And oh, how sweetly does Christ, by the Holy Spirit, win men’s affections and hold them fast. I shall never forget how he won mine, how first he gained my ear, and then my desires, so that I wished to have him for my Lord; and then he taught me to trust him, and when I had trusted him and found that I was saved, then I loved him, and I love him still. So, dear hearer, if Jesus Christ shall find you, you will become his loving follower for ever. I have been praying that he would bring this message under the notice of those whom he means to bless, I have asked him to let me sow in good soil: I hope that among those who read these pages there will be many whom the Lord Jesus has specially redeemed with his most precious blood, and I trust that he will appear at once to them, and say, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” May the Eternal Spirit open your ears to hear the still small voice of love. By grace omnipotent may you be made to yield to the Lord with the cheerful consent of your conquered wills, and accept that glorious grace which will bring you to praise the seeking and saving Savior in heaven.


With profound gratitude to God we record not only the ceasing of the ebb in our funds, but the continuance of the flood. We also with warmest love thank the many generous friends by whose united contributions we are now placed at ease with regard to the College and Orphanage. They have relieved the care of one to whom care is just now as a poison, and we hope that now our rest will be real, and therefore the more beneficial, because we leave all in good trim. By a little thought such another great drain may be avoided in the future. Occasional help given with regularity would furnish all that is needed for these works of the Lord.

The Colportage, however, still needs capital, and is worked under great disadvantage. One friend gave £100, and another £50 towards the £1,000, which is absolutely needed; but this, though we are very thankful for it, is not a fifth part of the real need. How are we to go on with sixty colporteurs with no more capital than when we had ten? We cannot stop the work, but what are we to do? Can any friend show us how to make bricks without straw?

Our friends will be gratified to learn that the great wish of our beloved wife’s heart was granted, and the contribution list of the Book Fund made up to a thousand pounds on Saturday evening, December 20th, 1876. She intends having the list printed, and thinks that in the form of a nice little book it will be welcomed and read with interest by every contributor.

We are charged to make a special offer to ministers who were formerly students of the Pastors’ College, and to them only, of six volumes of the “Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit,” as a little help towards completing their sets. They may be obtained by writing to Mrs. Spurgeon, and mentioning the number of volumes already possessed.

“G. B.” who sent some really good second-hand books, and desired an acknowledgment in The Sword and the Trowel, is hereby warmly thanked for the gift.

December 22 — The College Evening Classes met to hold their annual meeting. A grand work is being done in these classes in the education of about 200 men, who remain at their trades, but thus become equipped for various branches of the Lord’s work. The President was ill and unable to be present, but his two sons did their best to make up the deficiency. The meeting was good throughout.

Tuesday, Jan. 2 — was the Annual Meeting of the College. The ladies of the Tabernacle again gave the tea, the friends came up in great numbers, Mr. Mayors sang, and Mr. Silverton and Mr. J. A. Spurgeon spoke nobly. We also gave such a lecture as our weary brain could concoct. There are now 380 ministers actually in the field who were trained in the College. What hath God wrought! Our heart is very rejoiced to see how our Lord has made this good and needful work to prosper.

Jan. 5 — We met our Church Officers to tea and conference on the Lord’s work, and had a most joyful season. Never church had better elders or deacons; never pastor so valuable a co-pastor. Never was any body of workers so hearty, so unanimous, in the work of the Lord. Points were discussed frankly and earnestly in such a spirit of love that it brought tears to our eyes to be one of such a band of true brothers. No heart-ache ever comes to us through our friends in office, they do us good and no harm all the days of their lives.

The same evening three friends gave a meat tea to 450 hard-working men, coal-heavers and others. They were the real sort, as any one could see at a glance: not regular hearers of the gospel, but outsiders. The singing of Mr. Evan Edwards of Wynne Road, and the various gospel addresses, riveted their attention. We never saw a more hopeful meeting. We liked to see men in their working clothes, and to talk to them in working man’s language. More of such meetings ought to be held. All sorts are willing to come, and eager to listen: we could have had ten times the number without an effort. We cannot expect them to hear on an empty stomach, and the cost of the food is a trifle compared with the joy of getting them to listen to the gospel. We felt equally at home with Stock Exchange gentlemen and coalhearers, and hope to find many more such opportunities of going outside all regular congregations. By the way, we did not tell our friends that on December 4th we addressed more than a thousand gentlemen of the Stock Exchange in the Pillar Room of the Cannon Street Hotel. It was a very cheering opportunity. Our address can be had of our publishers for twopence.

Tuesday Jan 9 — C.H. Spurgeon addressed the prayer-meeting of the Evangelical alliance at the Wesleyan Centenary Hall. There was quite a convocation of Wesleyan ministers, and we are bound to thank them for their hearty reception of their Calvinistic friend.

Wednesday, Jan. 10th — was the Annual Church Meeting at the Tabernacle. All accounts, having been duly audited, were read to the great host there present: the College accounts among them, as usual; for the College is part and parcel of our Church work. The Trust Deed of the College Buildings was signed in the presence of all, and that noble pile is now in the hands of trustees, with a sufficient sum of money to pay insurance, taxes, and repairs. Time has been taken to make the trust deed carefully, but, long ago, the Pastor executed a temporary instrument for fear his death might occur, or he might seem to wish to retain public property in his possession.

There are grave reasons why none of the great philanthropic works of the day should vest property in one person: everything ought to be in trust, and nothing should be done in a corner. Everything has been in the hands of trustees all along with the Orphanage; and at the first moment when we could frame a deed to which our wiser brethren could perfectly assent we have made it so with the College property. No person ought to give money for buildings which are not to be put in trust, and we wish all donors would see to this, making it a sine qua non No matter how zealous and faithful a man may be he ought not to be the sole holder of public property in any case one moment longer than is absolutely needful. We have grave reason for saying that the Christian public may yet see serious reason to regret having in certain cases neglected the ordinary rules of prudence, and allowed single individuals to hold its property in their own name.

Our friends are probably aware that the College is built upon ground held from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for a long term of years, These gentlemen have with great courtesy agreed to sell us the freehold, and we are now in process of completing the purchase. As we often hear of instances of refusal to sell to Dissenters on the part of the great ones of the earth, it is only right to let it be known that the conduct of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to us has been all that could be desired. We pay a handsome and adequate price for what we purchase of them, but they might have refused to sell had there been any intolerance towards us. In a few days we hope the Trustees will hold the College free and unencumbered for the service of God’s church till the Lord himself shall come.

The statistics of the Church at the Tabernacle are as follows —


By Baptism


From other churches


Profession by persons already baptized




TOTAL                                                                                                     474




Joined other Churches






Other causes




            TOTAL                                    –                                                                     328

Net increase 146. Number on Church Books 4938

Thursday, Jan. 11 — In the afternoon we had great pleasure in addressing the clerks engaged at Messsrs. Peek and Frean’s Biscuit Works. We have since received a very hearty letter of thanks from those gentlemen. These special occasions will, we feel sure, produce great results.

Tuesday, Jan. 1 — The London Baptist Association met at the Tabernacle and enjoyed a festival of brotherly love. God is with us in London and our churches are growing.

A gentleman sends us three different reports of one of our addresses, and asks which is correct and what are the public to do? We answer, no one of the reports is exactly accurate, and not one of them quite so faulty as usual. As to what the public should do, we are sure we do not know. It would be wicked to shoot all the incompetent reporters, and till this is done newspaper reports will generally be incorrect. Only one thing we ask our correspondent not to do, and that is, do not make us responsible for anything we are reported to have said. We will abide by our own utterances, but not by any reporter’s notes, unless we know our man.

ORPHANAGE. Special thanks are due for the hosts of friends who loaded us with favors at Christmas. “God bless you all,” says the chairman, and the boys join in with, “And so say all of us.”

To Cambridge friends a shower of thanks: for two good collections after sermons by Mr. Charlesworth, for entertaining a choir of hungry boys, for paying to hear the aforesaid boys sing in the Guildhall, for sending them home as happy as sand-boys and for making up in all £75 for the Orphanage. Old friends are sometimes the best of friends, and in this matter our Cambridge brethren have earned unto themselves a good degree. We would mention names, but perhaps we had better not, but return our thanks in the lump. Cambridge friends, we feel your kindness, and bless you for it.

COLLEGE — Mr. Herries has left us for Consett, Durham, with our best wishes and prayers for his success. Mr. G. Samuel has accepted the pastorate at Penge, from which Mr. Collins lately removed to Bedford Row.

Colportage Report — The secretary writes — “While I have nothing special to report this month, the work is steadily progressing. To encourage the colporteurs, and to obtain from them the best statement as to the need, value, and success of their work four prizes have been offered to them for the best Essays upon the subject; and it is hoped that much valuable information will thus be afforded to justify and extend colportage in England. We still need energetic Christian workers who have the business tact necessary to sell good literature, combined with some experience in Christian work and an earnest desire for the salvation of souls. Any such should apply to the General Secretary, Mr. W. Corden Jones, Pastors’ College, S. E., who would also be very glad to receive the names and addresses of additional subscribers for the new year.”

Friends will please note that Mr. Spurgeon is now absent for rest, and will be glad to be considered as having gone beyond reach for a season.

Will friends please note that our contribution list closes early this month, so that many sums may not be acknowledged in print till March. Will donors be a little more particular in sending correct addresses. We have many receipts returned by the Dead Letter Office.

Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle by Mr. J. A. Spurgeon: — December 28th, twenty-three; January 1, nineteen; 4th, sixteen.

Chap 3. APRIL, 1877


APRIL, 1877


NO. 3205



“And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales.” – Acts 11:18.

THIS means that the film upon Saul’s eyes was comparable to the scales of a fish, or else that it fell off as scales might fall. When the blinding film was gone, light broke into the darkness of Saul. In different men, sin manifests its chief power in different parts of their nature. In the case of many, sin is most apparent in their eyes; that is to say, ignorance, error, and prejudice have injured their mental sight. Some have the withered hand of conscious inability, others have the deaf ear of mental obtuseness; but there are far more who hear the joyful sound, and display much energy, but they hear without understanding, and are zealous without knowledge, for they are blind. This was Saul’s condition. He was thoroughly honest: we might say of his heart, when; it was at its worst, that it was always true to its convictions. He was no deceiver, and no timeserver. He went in for what he believed to be right with all his might; lukewarmness and selfish policy were alien to his nature. He dashed with all his might against the doctrine of the cross because he thought it to be an imposition. His fault lay in his eyes, and so, when the eyes were set right, Saul was right. When he perceived that Jesus was, after all, the Messiah, the man became just as earnest a follower of Christ as before he had been a persecutor.

We will talk about scales falling from men’s eyes. I want to address those who would be right if they knew how; who are earnest, but it is in the wrong direction, for they do not see the truth. If the Lord, in his infinite mercy, will but touch that sightless eyeball, and remove the film, so that they discern the right way, they will follow it at once. May the Lord remove many scales while we are proceeding!

First, we will speak of scales which men fail to perceive, because they are inside. Secondly, we will show what makes these scales come to the outside so that men do perceive them; then, thirdly, what instrumentality the Lord uses to take these outside scales away; and, fourthly, what did Saul see when the scales were gone?


Saul had scales upon his eyes when he was on the road to Damascus; but if you had looked at his face, he would have appeared to have as bright an eye as any man. Scales on his eyes! Why, he was a sharp-sighted philosopher, a Pharisee, and a teacher of others. He would not have believed you for a minute if you had said to him, “Saul, you are blind.” Yet blind he was, for his eyes were shut up with inside scales, — the worst sort of scales that can possibly becloud the sight. Saul had the scale of self to darken his eye. He had a great idea of Saul of Tarsus. If he had written down his own character, he would have begun it, “a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee,” and then he would have gone on to tell of countless good works, and fastings, and prayers, and have finished with, “concerning zeal, persecuting the church.” He was far too great in his own estimation to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. How could the Rabbi who sat at the feet of Gamaliel become a follower of the despised Galilean? Poor peasants might follow the man of Nazareth, but Doctor Saul of Tarsus, — a man so educated both in the knowledge of the Hebrew literature and of the Greek philosophy, — it was not likely that he would mingle with fishermen and peasants in adoring the Nazarene. This is the reason why a great many people cannot see the beauties of Christ, and cannot come to him that they might have life, namely, because they are so great in their own esteem. Ah, my lord, it might have been a goad thing for you if you had been a pauper! Ah, good moralist, it might not be amiss for you if you would sit by the side of those who have lost character among men, and discover that after all, there are not many shades of difference between you and them! Great “I” must fall before the great Savior will be seen. When a man becomes nothing in his own estimation, then Jesus Christ becomes everything to him; but not till then. Self is an effectual darkener of the windows of the soul. How can men see the gospel while they see so much of themselves? With such a noble righteousness of their own to deck themselves with, is it likely that they will buy of Christ the fine white linen which is the righteousness of saints?

Another scale on Saul’s inner eye was ignorance, and learned ignorance, too, which is by far the worst kind of ignorance. Saul knew everything but what he ought to have known; he was instructed in all other sorts of learning, but he did not know Christ. He had never studied the Lord’s claim and character; he had picked up the popular rumors, and he had thought them to be sterling truth. Ah, had he known, poor soul, that Jesus of Nazareth really was the Christ, he would never have haled men and women to prison; but the scale of ignorance was over his eyes. And how many there are in this city of London, in what we call this “enlightened” nineteenth century, who know a great deal about a thousand things, but nothing about the one thing needful! They have never troubled to study that; and so, for lack of knowledge, they grope as the blind.

With ignorance generally goes another scale, namely, prejudice. The man who knows nothing about truth is usually the man who despises it most. He does not know, and does not want to know. “Don’t tell me,” he says, “don’t tell me.” He has nothing but a sneer for you when you have told him the truth to the best of your ability; the man has no candor, he has made up his mind, he has. Besides, his father before him was not of your religion, and do you think he is going to be a turncoat, and leave the old family faith? “Don’t tell me,” says he, “I don’t want to know anything of your canting Methodism,” or “Presbyterianism”, or whatever it is that he likes to call it. He is so wise! He is wiser than seven men that can render a reason. O prejudice, prejudice, prejudice, how many hast thou destroyed! Men who might have been wise have remained fools because they thought they were wise. Many judge what the gospel ought to be, but do not actually inquire as to what it is. They do not come to the Bible to obtain their views of religion, but they open that Book to find texts to suit the opinions which they bring to it. They are not open to the honest force of truth, and therefore are not saved by it. Oh, that this scale would fall from every eye which it now closes.

Saul’s soul was also darkened by the scale of unbelief. Saul had seen Stephen die. If he saw the martyr’s heavenly face, he must have noticed the wondrous peace which sat upon his countenance when he fell asleep amid a shower of stones; but Saul did not believe. Though no sermon, is like the sight of a martyrdom, yet Saul was not convinced. Perhaps he had heard about the Savior more than he cared to remember, but he did not believe it; he counted the things rumored concerning him to be idle tales, and cast them under his feet. O brothers and sisters, what multitudes are being ruined by this cruel unbelief towards Christ! Some of you, too, whom I have been addressing for years, are believers in the head, but unbelievers in the heart, not really putting your trust in Jesus. Who can see if he refuses the light? Who shall find salvation if he will not trust the Savior for it? Unbelief is as sure to destroy those who are guilty of it as faith is sure to save believers.

Then the scale of habit, too, had formed over Saul’s inner eye, for he had been for a long time what he then was. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” If so, then he that is accustomed to do evil may learn to do well. They say that use is second nature; and when the first nature is bad, the second nature is like the first, only it goes further in wrong. Ah, dear friends, some of you have been so accustomed to refuse the gospel, so accustomed to follow after the pleasures and the vices of the world, that it does not seem possible that you should follow after Christ. Habits of secret sin are peculiarly blinding to the soul. May this scale be speedily made to fall!

Another scale is worldliness, and Saul had that upon his inner eye, for he loved the praise of men. He had his reputation to maintain, for he had profited beyond most of his brethren, and was reckoned to be a most hopeful and rising teacher of Israel. It was not likely that Saul would believe in Jesus Christ, for then he would have to lose, the esteem of his fellow-countrymen. The fear of man, and the love of man’s applause, how they prevent men from seeing the truth about Jesus, and recognizing him as the Son of God! “How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another?” How can men bow themselves before Jesus Christ when, all the while, they are bidding high for the homage of their fellow-sinners? The love of adulation, which is a form, of worldliness, blinds the eye; and so will any other love of things beneath the moon. Let but the heart be set upon this blinding world, and there will be little sight for things divine.

II. These scales were upon the inside of Saul’s eyes when he was on the way to Damascus, but now we have to notice them BROUGHT TO THE OUTSIDE. Those outside scales revealed in type and figure what had always been the matter with Saul; they were the material index of the spiritual mischief under which he had long labored, only now they were brought outside so that he knew they were there, and others could perceive that they were there. Now there was hope that they would be removed from the eye; now that he was conscious of them, the evil was half cured. What brought those scales to the outside, and made Saul know that he was blind?

Well, first, it was the exceeding glory of Christ. He says, “About noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me,” and he adds, “I could not see for the glory of that light.” Let my Lord Jesus Christ only manifest himself to any of you, and you will be well enough aware of your blindness, and you will say to yourselves, “What a strangely blind being I must have been not to have loved such beauty as this, — not to have yielded myself to such grace as this, — not to have trusted myself to so complete a Savior as this!” Oh, the glory of Christ! It has even laid the saints prostrate when they have seen it. Those who dwell nearest to their Lord are frequently overcome with the exceeding brightness of his glory, and have to confess with those favored three, —

“When, in ecstasy sublime,
Tabor’s glorious steep we climb,
At the too-transporting light,
Darkness rushes o’er our sight.”

So it is with the sinner when he gets his first view of a glorious Christ, the inrush of the glory makes him mourn his native blindness; he perceives that he has had no perception, and knows that he has known nothing.

Another thing which made the scales pass to the outside of Saul’s eyes was that unanswerable question, “Why persecutest thou me?” That brought home to him a sense of his sin. “Why?” That was a “why” for which Saul of Tarsus could not find a “because.” When he discovered that the man of Nazareth was the glorious Christ of God, then, indeed, he was “confounded.” He could make no reply to the demand, “Why persecutest thou me?” Oh, that the Lord would fix such a “why” in some of your hearts! Why should you live in sin? Why are you choosing the wages of unrighteousness? Why are you hardening your hearts against the gospel? Why are you ridiculing it? Why do you sneer at the servants of God? If the Holy Spirit drives that “why” home to your heart, you will begin to say, “What a blind fool I am to have acted as I have done, to go kicking against the pricks, fighting against my best friend, and pouring scorn on those whom I ought most of all to admire!” The why from the lip of Christ will show you your blindness.

The scales were on the outside of Saul’s eyes now, because his soul had been cast into a terrible bewilderment. We read of him that, when his eyes were opened, he saw no man; but, trembling and astonished, he asked the Lord what he must do. Some of us know what that experience means. We have been brought under the hand of God till we have been utterly astonished, — astonished at our Savior, astonished at our sin, astonished that there should be a hope remaining for us, astonished that we should have rejected that hope so long. With this amazement, there was mixed trembling lest, after all, the mercy should be too great for us, and the next word from the Lord should be, “You have kicked against the pricks so long that, henceforth, the gates of mercy are shut against you.” May the Lord fill some of you with trembling and astonishment, and, if he does, then you will perceive the blindness of your soul, and cry for light.

I have no doubt the scales became all the more, perceptible to poor Saul when he came to those three days and nights of prayer; for, when you get a man on his knees, and he begins crying for mercy, he is in the way of being more fully taught his need of it. If relief does not come at once, then the penitent cries more and more intensely; his heart all the while is aching more and more and he perceives how blind he must have been to bring himself into such a condition. It is a good thing, sometimes, when the Lord keeps a man in prayer, pleading for the mercy, and pleading, and pleading, and pleading on and on, until he perceives how great his need of that mercy is. When he has bitterly felt the darkness of his soul, he will be exceedingly bold in bearing light to his fellowmen. May God bring many of you to agonizing prayer; and if that prayer should last days and nights, and you should neither eat nor drink for anguish of spirit, I warrant you that you will learn your blindness thoroughly, and the scales upon your eyes will be painfully evident to yourself.

III. Now thirdly, and here I should like to stir up the people of God to a little practical business; — we have seen Saul with the scales outside his eyes: he now knows that he is blind, though he did not know it before when he was a proud Pharisee; he can see a great deal better now than he could when he thought he could see; but, still, there he is, in darkness, and we long for the scales to be removed; WHAT INSTRUMENTALITY DID THE LORD USE TO GET THE SCALES AWAY?

It was not an angel, nor was it an apostle, but it was a plain man, named Ananias, who was the means of bringing sight to blind Saul. We do not know much about this useful brother. We know his name, and that is enough; but Ananias was the only person whom the Lord used in taking off the scales from this apostle’s eyes. Dear brethren, dear sisters, too, there are some of you, if you be but alive to it, whom God will bless in like work. Perhaps this very night, though you are unknown and obscure Christian people, he may make you to be the means of taking the scales from the eyes of somebody who will be eminently useful in future years. The Holy Spirit blessed the great apostle to the Gentiles by Ananias, and he may lead another of his mighties to himself by some obscure disciple.

Ananias was a plain man, but he was a good man. You can see that Ananias was a thorough man of God. He was one who knew his Lord, and recognized his voice when he said to him, in a vision, “Ananias,” and he was a man whom the Lord knew, for he called him by his name. “I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine.” The Lord will not send you on his errands unless you are sound, and sincere, and living near to him; but, if you be that, no matter how feeble you may be, I beseech you be looking not, even to-night, for some blind soul to whom you may be as eyes.

Notice, that this Ananias was a ready man, for when the Lord spoke to him, he said, “Behold, I am here, Lord.” I know many professors who would have to answer, “Behold, I am anywhere else, Lord, but certainly not here.” They are not “all there” when they are in Christ’s work; the heart is away after something else. But, “Behold, I am here, Lord,” is a grand thing for a believer to say when his Lord bids him seek the wanderer. It is well to say, “Behold, I am here, Lord, ready for the poor awakened one. If he wants a word of comfort, I am ready to say it to him; if he wants a word of direction, here am I, as thou shalt help me to speak it to him.” My brother, be thou like Ananias was, a ready man.

And he was an understanding man, for, when the Lord said to him concerning Saul, “Behold; he prayeth,” he knew what that meant. He well understood the first indication of grace in the soul. Beloved, you must have a personal experience of the things of God, or you cannot help newborn souls. If you do not yourself know what it is to pass from death to life, and do not know the marks of regeneration, you are useless.

At the same time, he was a discerning man, — an inquiring, discriminating man, for he began to say, “Lord, I have heard by many of this man.” He wanted to know a little about Saul, so he inquired of the great Master as to his character, and whether it was a genuine work of grace in his soul. It will not do to pat all people on the back, and give them comfort without examining into their state. Some of you must know by this time that indiscriminate consolation does more hurt than good. Certain classes need no consolation, but rather require reproof. They want wounding before they can be healed; and it is a good thing to know your man, and especially to wait upon the Lord, and ask him to tell you about your man, so that you may know how to deal with him when you do come to him. Use all diligence to know the case as Ananias did.

But when once he had made his inquiry, he was an obedient man. He was told to go into a house where I do not suppose he had ever left his card in his life; but he did not stop for an introduction, but went off at once to the house of Judas, and inquired for one called Saul, of Tarsus. He had divine authority; the Lord had given him a search-warrant, and so he entered the house.

“Thus the eternal mandate ran
Almighty grace, arrest that man.”

Ananias must be the sheriff’s officer to go and arrest Saul in the name of the Lord, and so away he went.

And you will notice what a personal-dealing man he was, for he did not stand at a distance, but, putting his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul.” Ah, that is the way to talk to people who are seeking the Lord; not to stand five miles off, and speak distantly, or preach condescendingly, as from the supreme heaven of a sanctified believer, down to the poor sinner mourning below. No, go and talk to him; call him brother. Go and speak to him, with a true, loving, brotherly accent, as Ananias did, for he was a brotherly man.

Ananias also was a man whose subject was Christ. As soon as ever you do speak to the sinner, let the first thing you have to say be, “The Lord, even Jesus.” Whatever you say next, begin with that, “Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus.” Have something to say about Jesus, but say it personally and pointedly, not as though you were alluding to persons living in Australia seven hundred years ago, but as referring to Brother Saul, and intending the word for him.

Among Christian people, there are mighty hunters before the Lord, who strive after souls, but I wish that a hundred times as many really cared for the souls of their fellow-men. Some church members never speak to anybody about spiritual things. You come into your pews, and you like two sets if you can get them; like gentlemen in a first-class carriage, you want a compartment to yourselves; and then, after service, no matter who is impressed, many of you have not a word to say. Should it be so, brethren? We should always be on the look out to seat strangers comfortably, and afterwards to drive home by personal remark any truth which may have been advanced. “Ah! says one, but I may speak to the wrong person.” Suppose you did, is it such a mighty misfortune to miss your mark once: Ah, brethren, if you were to address the wrong person fifty times, and ultimately meet the right one once in a year, it would well reward you. If you were to receive rebuffs, and rebuffs, and rebuffs, and yet at last you should find out the Brother Saul who is to have the scales removed by you, and by none but you, you would be well rewarded. A plain common-sense word from a common-sense Christian has often been the very thing to set some able critic at liberty. Some man of profound mind — a Thomas of abundant doubts and questions, — has only just wanted a simple-hearted Christian man to say the right word, and he has entered into peace and liberty. You must not think that learned personages, when the Lord touches them in the heart, want to be talked to by doctors of divinity. Not they! They become as simple-hearted as others, and, like dying kings and dying bishops, they ask to hear a shepherd pray, because they find more savor, more plainness, more earnestness, more faith, and more familiarity with God, in the humble expressions of the lowly than in the language of courtly preachers. Do not, therefore, Brother Ananias, say, “I cannot go and talk to anybody. I have never been to college.” Do not, sister in Christ, keep back because you are a woman, for oftentimes the Lord makes the sweet and gentle voice of woman to sound out the music of grace. God grant that many of us may be the instruments of taking the scales from men’s eyes!


The first person he saw was Brother Ananias. It was a fine sight for Saul to see Brother Ananias’s Christian countenance beaming with love and joy. I fancy he was like one of our elders, a fine old Christian man, with love to souls written on his face. When Saul opened his eyes, it must have done him good to see just such a face as that, — a plain, simple man full of holy zeal and intense anxiety for his good. Dear friend, if the Lord opens your eyes, you will see the brotherhood of Christians. Perhaps you will enjoy that among the first delights of your Christian experience; and, for a little while, your faith, it may be, will hang upon the testimony of an instructed Christian woman, and your confidence will need confirmation by the witness of a more advanced brother in the Lord. But, my fellow-worker, the saved one will never see Brother Ananias unless Ananias goes to him, and becomes the means of opening his eyes; but if you will go and do that, you will win a friend who will love you as long as life lasts. There are some of you between whom and myself there are ties which death cannot snap. I will find you out in heaven if I can and I know you will desire to meet me. The Lord gave you to me as my spiritual children; and if it should come to pass that earthly fathers should not see their children in heaven, yet the spiritual father will see his children there praising and blessing the Lord. One of the next joys to knowing Christ yourself must surely be that of leading others to know him. Seek after this bliss.

The next thing that Saul would see would be a Savior in Christ, for Ananias said to him, “The Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight.” Now he would see what an opener of the eyes Jesus is, what a mighty Savior for sinners. And, oh, this is a blessed sight, — to see Christ as a Savior, as my Savior, opening my eyes, so, that I can say, “One thing I know, whereas I was blind, now I see.” This is a heavenly sight. May you help many to gaze upon it!

Right speedily he saw the Spirit of God waiting to fill him: “that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” Ah, dear soul, when thou hast come to see Christ, then the blessed Spirit will become dear to thee, and thou wilt rejoice to think that he will dwell in thee, to sanctify thee, to enlighten thee, to strengthen thee, and to make thee a vessel of mercy unto others.

One more thing that Saul saw, when his eyes were opened, was what some do not see, although their eyes are opened in other aspects. “He received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.” He saw the duty of believed baptism, and he attended to it directly. You who believe in Jesus should confess Jesus, and you who have confessed Jesus should gently bestir the memories of those very retiring young converts, who are afraid to put on Christ in baptism. You know right well that salvation lies in the believing, but still how singularly the two things are put together, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” The two things are joined together by Christ, so let no man put them asunder. Surely, dear friends, wherever there is a genuine faith in Christ, there ought to be a speedy obedience to the other matter. I once met a man who had been forty years a Christian, and believed it to be his duty to be baptized; but when I spoke to him about it, he said, “He that believeth shall not make haste.” After forty years delay, he talked about not making haste. I quoted to him another passage: “I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandment,” and showed him what the meaning of his misapplied passage was. Now, soul, do not delay. As soon as Saul’s eyes were opened, straightway he took upon himself the outward badge of the Christian faith, and arose, and was baptized. Now, I call upon you who love the Lord Jesus Christ not to play the coward, but come out, and own your Lord and Master. You that are truly his disciples, confess it. I like to see the soldier wearing his red coat; it is the right thing for him to wear his regimentals. It is the same with the soldiers of Christ. What are you ashamed of? Be ashamed of being ashamed, if you are ashamed of Christ. “Oh, but, I am afraid I might not hold on my way!” Whose business is it to make you hold on your way? Is it not his business who has bidden you to take up your cross, and follow him, and who has said, “Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven; but whosoever shall deny me, before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven”?

I pray the Lord to bless the feeble words of mine. O souls, O souls, it does seem to me so dreadful that so many of you should come here continually, and yet be blinded! I try to talk plainly about your souls need, and about Christ Jesus as able to meet that need; how long must I repeat the old story? Once again, I beseech you, think upon my Lord and Master, and see what a Savior He is, and how suitable it is for you. I would entreat you to delay no longer, but to close in with the invitations of his mercy. I think, sometimes, that my Master deserves that we should do more than invite you. We command you, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth to bow before his scepter, for he is the King. Own his dominion, and let him be your Savior, for this know, — that his gospel comes with divine authority as well as with gentle persuasion, neither can men reject it except at the peril of their souls. He whom I preach to you to-night will shortly come to be your Judge; and if you will not trust, him, on his cross, you must tremble before him on his throne. Oh, come to him! Simple trust is the way to come to him. Believe in him, and he is yours, and his salvation is yours.


OUR hotel stands upon the side of a hill, and so has two entrances, one in the usual position, and the other on the second floor; so that to meet some friends we who live upon the first story have to go down, and to speak with others we have to go up. This is the position of the average Christian; he has to come down to the weakness and scant spirituality of many of his brethren, but he must climb to have fellowship with better developed children of God. We allowed a friend to pass us the other day at the higher level, but by running down stairs we overtook him before he had passed our front door on the beach; and thus when you are unable to have communion with a brother in his high joys you can meet him upon the lower platform of his trials and infirmities. Some cannot understand the joys of the saints, and others cannot tolerate their griefs; it is well to have a porch on each of the two levels, so as to “weep with them that weep, and rejoice with them that do rejoice.”


As we are unable to furnish particulars of anything done in the Christian world, or in our own little domain at the Tabernacle, and are altogether over the edge of public life, we can only fill up our space with notes of our journey in search of health and rest. Some of our friends take such a personal interest in the Pastor himself that they have asked for this, and we do not profess to have modesty enough to refuse their loving request.

MONDAY, JAN. 22 — We left Charing Cross at 10:45 in company with our beloved deacon, Mr. Joseph Passmore, and two gentlemen whom we have long regarded as our country deacons, Mr. Teller, of Waterbeach, and Mr. Abraham, of Minster, near Oxford. The day was cold, the sea smooth, and the journey from Boulogne to Paris about as dull as other traversers of that monotonous piece of country usually find it: but the yoke was removed from the shoulder, and pleasant companions were with us, and the time sped away. The next day was bitterly cold, and there was a piercing wind, but we saw some of the old sights over again, rode into the Bois de Boulogne, and tried to forget those burdens which have of late seemed so heavy to our soul. We lingered long in the Sainte Chapelle, that glorious vision of azure and crystal. We almost dreamed there of the unclouded skies where the weary are eternally at rest. We should like to gaze upon that gem of purest ray serene every morning in the year; one would surely never tire of such sweetness of light. Verily God maketh man a creature exceeding wise; what must his own wisdom be? By God’s blessing the change of scene made our nights more refreshing than they have long been. O sleep, what a boon thou art!

WEDNESDAY, JAN 24 — We had eleven hours of cold ride to Lyons. The ground was all white with frost, but the country very pleasant to look upon, our track following the course of rivers, and running through many towns with historical associations. We are not going to inflict extracts from Murray upon our readers, or we could spin out a long description. The land is well tilled, and abounds in vineyards and corn lands. It was odd to see a woman driving a plough with two horses, but she seemed well at home at the work, and probably would not thank us for our pity. Mountains in the distance covered with snow made us glad that our iron way was unobstructed, and we sang, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.”

Lyons was, as we have generally found it, sweltering in fog, and we were glad before eleven at night to be housed at the Hotel de l’Univers, close to the station, though not much aided in our slumbers by the roaring of lions and the trumpeting of elephants confined in a traveling menagerie in the square. We tried to see something in Lyons on Thursday, for there really is a good deal to be seen, but as the fog was too thick for us to do more than dimly discern the opposite banks of the rivers we made but small discoveries, and waited patiently till we felt strong enough for another day’s journey. Lyons was no improvement upon London as far as damp and cold were concerned. We had come far and fared no better, but then we knew it would be better on before. We cheerfully traverse weary ways when we have a sunny clime before us. Life itself is such a journey to the land

“Where everlasting spring abides,
And never-withering flowers.”

FRIDAY, JAN. 26. — We were off soon after seven for nearly nine hours more of rail. We had a coupe, and so could see all that was to be seen, and could there be more? From the land of vines we glided into the region of mulberries, and on to that of olives, with here and there an orange to mark the neighborhood of a still sunnier clime. The Rhone was almost constantly in view, rushing between two walls of rock, backed by giant mountain masses, and the views were sublime. We were in the country of the Camisards and other heroic strugglers for our holy faith against the outrageous tyranny and sevenfold persecutions of Popish monarchs, — there was Valence still the headquarters of the Reformed Church in the South, and Orange, aforetime a city of refuge for the persecuted Huguenot. The blood of saints has bedewed all that fruitful region, and watered the neighboring desert with its priceless drops. There, too, stands the monstrous dungeon-like pile of Avignon, the perpetual refutation of Rome’s lying claim to apostolical succession, and perpetual unity and catholicity. Within these gloomy walls reigned successive Antipopes, making the Papal church a two headed giant, each head cursing the other with equal vehemence and infallibility. We dined beneath the shadow of the palace walls, and found no terrors in the cave from which Giant Pope has gone to bite his nails, and grin at pilgrims whom he is no longer able to devour. On we went till the blue waters of the Mediterranean informed us that the day’s journey was nearly over, and we were near the city of Marseilles. The wind was blowing terribly, and in walking through the streets we were scarcely able, to keep upon our feet. So far we had gained in warmth but to no very great degree: damp, however, was gone, and so one factor of rheumatism had disappeared.

SATURDAY, JAN. 27, — we were on our way to Hyeres, and found on the road that great coats were an encumbrance, for we were in the heat of an average June day. At Hyeres beneath a cloudless sky, with a blazing sun, we thought we had found the golden isles at last, and could count on a summer holiday in mid-winter. There were avenues of palms, hedges of blooming roses, oranges, and pepper trees, and gardens all in full bearing, and withal a little town as quiet as a country village, just the spot for a Sabbath’s halt. In the evening the temperature fell so much as to make the blazing pine logs on the hearth a real luxury, and in cheerful chambers we spent the evening, and at night our sleep was exceeding sweet to us.

The Sabbath was luxurious, no sky could be clearer, no created sun could bear more healing beneath its wings. We thought of beloved ones far away, and as we broke bread together in our chamber in memory of our dying Lord, we had fellowship with the saints at home, yea, and with the whole family in heaven and on earth, and best of all with the ever glorious Head of the One Church “above, beneath.” In an olive garden we also whiled away a couple of hours, lying in the blessed sunshine, almost too warm to bear, and speaking together of the goodness of the Lord which we had each experienced.

This is a very cheap spot to sojourn in, the charges being little over five shillings per diem for lodging and three good meals a day, for those who take up permanent residence and do not demand the very best rooms. We cannot imagine a more delightful dwelling place if it were not for one exception, which is not a little one. The sun went down on Sunday night amid great splendor, and the full moon made the scene wondrously clear and lustrous, and all was after Herbert’s mind, “so calm so bright”; but the next morning saw a notable change. The sun was equally bright, but the mistral was abroad, a terrible wind, which is similar to our east wind with its worst qualities made yet more vicious. How it howled and raved, and raged, and tossed the palms about and bowed the trees and worried everybody! This one could bear; but the dust! Well, it seemed to cut the eyes, fill the hair, and make the teeth grind grit, besides demanding one’s hat and lifting the body as if the feet must no longer touch the ground. We gave up the unequal contest and remained indoors on Monday, resolved to remove our tent to Cannes and see whether the boisterous wind was equally abroad on the other side the Estrelles. Thus readily can the Lord stir up our nest, and make us say of the most dainty abode, “Depart ye, depart ye, this is not our rest.”

JAN. 30. — The railway journey to Cannes was delightful; every inch of the road is a picture. Among the olive gardens which look so quiet and solemn and old-world-like, the locomotive seems out of place. The contrast took another form when we paused within a stone’s throw of an ancient Roman amphitheater, and saw the remains of fortifications, city gates, and arches of aqueducts. From the age of pagan civilization to the present, very imperfect though it be, what a stride! Could the victims of the arena have foreseen a period like this, they would have called it the age of gold as compared with their own.

Cannes, stretching out its wide arms to embrace a beautiful bay, is quite a different place from Hyeres, not only because it has the seaside element, but because the many villas of the wealthy give it an aristocratic character. It is none the better for that, but it is all the handsomer. The bay is lovely indeed, and the isle of St. Marguerite helps to shut it in and make it the more picturesque. Alas, we had not yet escaped the mistral. In a somewhat quieter mood it had followed us from Hyers and cast dust upon us as before. Resolved, however, to gain health and strength by exercise, we pushed along the shore to the garden of the Hesperides, where a vast number of orange trees, still loaded with fruit, well justified by their golden apples the name of the garden. What a sight a well-kept garden presents when in full bearing! Here is the reward for abundant labor and expense. Our Lord’s garden, for which all has been done that can be done, should be of all others the most fruitful: and truly a church when it yields plenteously its works of faith and labors of love is a sight comparable to Paradise of old, and her ministry becomes as apples of gold in baskets of silver.

We were weary with the day’s riding and walking, but found our sleep sweet to us, and our mind like a bird let loose. Blessed be the Lord, who resteth our soul

JAN. 31 — The wind blew still, and the day was by no means pleasant till a little before noon, when there came a sudden lull and then the gale ceased, and the soft balmy atmosphere comforted us. We took carriage to Grasse, a town above Cannes, more among the mountains, a place where essences, liqueurs, perfumes, and candied fruits are manufactured. The road ascended through fields of roses and forests of olive trees, and all along presented pleasant views; but the climax of the journey was the elevated esplanade of Grasse itself from which the far reaching scene is extraordinary, even for a land of beauty. We saw a sea of olives, dotted with villages like islands, and then, beyond all, the Mediterranean. We gazed in delight and wished that we could have lingered the livelong day, Our sojourn, however, was necessarily short, for the day was advanced, and it was needful to reach our hotel before the cold of evening could seize upon us. We observed rose-leaves and violets preserved as sweetmeats after the cunning manner of the confectioner, and for the first time we tasted violets and found them as sweet to the mouth as to the nose. Our friends need not be alarmed, we can assure them that our speech will not become flowery, we did not consume sufficient for that. Crack went the whip, and with the skid well on, we descended towards Cannes, dogs rushing out perpetually to bark at the hastening wheels. Cannes and canis must have a mysterious connection, for assuredly no town can boast such a canine population. There are dogs everywhere, and such curs as we never remember to have seen before. We never thought so badly of the canine race before, and are inclined to believe that the hard oriental feeling towards dogs so frequently shown in the Bible must have arisen from there being so many of them in eastern cities, and those of the worst breed.

In wandering through the markets and streets we were pleased to meet the colporteur with his Bibles, and to notice a little square watch-box, by courtesy called a kiosque, upon which some good body had pasted pictures, scriptural cards, and pieces of religious literature. As an indication that a true heart was doing what it could we welcomed this laudable attempt to publish the gospel, but if its author wishes to attract attention the little business should be done a little more artistically, and with somewhat of the common sense which a tradesman would show when displaying his goods. That which is done for Jesus deserves to be done in the best possible style. It is well, however, when we see work done at all, for a voice for Jesus has power in it even if it be not accurate in melody.

We basked in the sun, and watched the waves hour after hour, having no wish for exciting scenes, or picture galleries, or museums: rest, sweet rest, was all we sought, and, finding it, we were content. Cannes abundantly justifies the partiality of Lord Brougham, who here spent his later years; it is a choice spot, even in a land which is the favorite of the sun.

FEB. 2 was a day which we shall not seen forget, for we had a sail past the island of St. Marguerite, in whose gloomy prison once dwelt the man in the iron mask, and, what is more to our purpose, where many Protestant pastors pined away in that terrible period which succeeded the revocation of the edict of Nantes. In later days Marshal Bazaine made his escape from the island in 1874. One would imagine that some back door must have been left open, and that sentinels winked very hard, or the bird would not have flown. Our voyage took us to the island of St. Honorat, which in early times was to this region what Iona was to Scotland, an island of saints. Honorat, in the opening years of the fifth century, retired to this little isle, and attracted around him a number of students, many of whom became such famous missionaries that the Romish church has enrolled them among her saints. The best known to our readers will be Patrick, the evangelizer of Ireland. Christianity was then almost as pure as at the first, and we can well imagine the holy quietude in which hundreds of good men spent the years of their preparation for future ministry among the rocks of this sea-girt isle. It must have been a Patmos to them, with constant meditation and prayer, and when they, left its holy shores, they went forth, full of zeal, to cry like John the divine, “the Spirit and the bride say come, and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.” In all ages it has seemed good unto the Lord to gather men around some favored instructor, and enable them, under his guidance, to sharpen their swords for the battle of life. Thus did Honorat and Columba in the olden time, and so did Wycliffe and Luther and Calvin in the Reformation times, train the armies of the Lord for their mission. Schools of the prophets are a prime necessary if the power of religion is to be kept alive and propagated in the land. As we sat under the umbrageous pines by the calm sea, and gazed upon the almost more than earthly scene around, our heart swelled with great desires, and our prayer went up to heaven that we also might do something to convert the nations ere we go hence and be no more. If God wills it we may yet commence new missionary operations, and we mean on our return to call our men together to pray about it. Perhaps there are warm hearts at home which may be moved to pray with us, and something may yet come out of our meditations among the pines of St. Honorat.

FEB. 3 saw us safely landed at Mentone, our delicious haven of rest. VALE.

Mr. Morison Cumming has accepted a call from the church at New Barnet, N. The chapel is one built by the London Baptist Association during the Rev. F. Tucker’s presidency.

Another brother, Mr. A.E. Spicer, has also just settled in Cornwall, having accepted an invitation to the church at Hayle.


BELOVED FRIENDS, — I have heard with the utmost satisfaction of the enthusiasm with which the special services have been taken up by so many of you. It is a token for good which encourages my largest expectations. The anxiety of the church for conversions is in a very distinct manner connected with the desired result: for that desire leads to increased prayer, and so secures the effectual working of the Holy Spirit, and it also inspires an ardent zeal which sets believers working for the salvation of those around them, and this also is sure to produce fruit. I look there- fore for the conversion of many with as much confidence as I look for the ships to arrive at their haven when a fair wind is blowing.

To those who are thus earnest for the Lord’s glory I send my heart’s gratitude, and for those who are not as yet aroused to like ardor, I put up my fervent prayers that they may no longer lag behind their brethren. Our children are growing up around us, our great city is daily adding to its enormous bulk, and our cemeteries are being gorged with the dead; so long as one soul remained unsaved and in danger of the unquenchable fire, it behoves every Christian to be diligent to spread abroad the healing savor of the Redeemer’s name. Woe unto that man who conceals the light, while men are stumbling in the darkness. Woe unto him who keeps back the bread of life in the season of famine. Beloved, I am persuaded better things of you, though I thus speak.

Persevering, quiet believers, who in secret implore the divine blessing, and then regularly give their aid to the continuous worship, service, and intercession of the church, are the strength of the brotherhood, the main body of the hosts of the Lord. Let all such rejoice because their labor is not in vain in the Lord.

But we need also dashing spirits who will lead on in continually renewed efforts: thoughtful, practical men and women who will suggest and commence aggressive movements. We have such among us, but others need to be pressed into the service. One should canvass for the Sabbathschool, another should break up fresh tract districts, and a third should commence a cottage service, and a fourth should preach in a court or alley which has not been as yet visited. Brethren, we must all do all that can be done for Jesus, for the time is at hand when we must give in our account, and our Master is at hand.

Beloved in the Lord, my joy and crown, walk in all love to each other, in holiness towards God and in uprightness and kindness toward all men. Peace be with you all.

May those who have heard the gospel among us, but have not as yet felt its power, be found by the Lord during the services which have been held in my absence. If they have escaped the net when I have thrown it, may some brother fisher of souls be more successful with them. It is very hard to think of one of our hearers being lost for ever, but how much harder will it be for them to endure in their own persons eternal ruin! May the great lover of men’s souls put forth his pierced hand, and turn the disobedient into the way of peace.

I am most grateful to report that my health is restored, my heart is no longer heavy, my spirits have revived, and I hope to return to you greatly refreshed. Loving friends in Christ, I beg to be continually remembered in your prayers. I send my love to my co-pastor and true helper, to the deacons, elders, and every one of you in Christ Jesus.

Yours heartily, C. H. SPURGEON.

Mentone, Feb. 13.

Chap 4. APRIL, 1877


APRIL, 1877



APTNESS to discover and report faults is a very common gift. A good nose for heresy and a quick ear for slander are very ordinary endowments. In the Book of Record there are innumerable entries concerning the worldliness, discord, and general declension of the churches, and some of these are as full of lamentation as the prophet’s roll. If it be faithfulness to publish failures and sins on the part of God’s people, there has certainly been no lack of faithfulness in these last days; it even strikes us that the virtue has been a little overdone. Wise men and fools have been alike eager to try their pens at writing bitter things against the degenerate church of God. One could have wished that there had been more plentiful traces of tears blotting the record, and that the penman’s hand had quivered a little with sorrowful emotion; but still the memorial has been made with stern fidelity, and nothing has been extenuated. A ruthless severity which has never fallen short of the truth has drawn the indictment, collected the evidence, and commented thereon unsparingly. Well, there may have been a need for all this; at least it will be wisest for the church to receive it all in the spirit of the saint who said, “Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness, and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil which shall not break my head.” At any rate let us, hope that those who penned the charges and reported the evil deeds were themselves all the easier when they had relieved their minds.

Let the way of the faithful faultfinders shine with honor: we have, however, no wish to follow in their track while speaking of a church and people that are just now in our thoughts, and we could not if we would, for it would require us to be false to facts and untrue to our own heart. If all churches were as a church we know of, if all manifested the same unity, concord, and zeal, the very smallest drop of gall which ever entered into the composition of ink would be far too much to write out the complaints of a century. The reader may accuse us of partiality, but we cannot help it: if others have taken leave to vilify dissenting churches, both in the measured language of distinct accusation and by the sneering caricatures of fiction, we also will have our say and give forth our opinion and experience concerning the one church of which we are better able to judge than any other living man. Facts are facts, and ought to be as freely stated to honor as to dishonor. Is detraction necessarily more impartial than praise? Must justice of necessity condemn? Is it not as faithful to praise the good as to censure the evil? So far as we can judge, the popular part is that of the censorious critic, while he who praises will certainly be suspected and will probably be condemned as a flatterer, or an injudicious partisan. We accept the difficult and unenviable position, and will speak the truth come what may of it.

The pastor of a church which we know of was weary in mind and needed rest. He had but to intimate the need, and he was urged to seek repose at once. He felt that he could not leave his post just then, but no tie held him to his work except such as he himself felt to be binding. Not a whisper laid a constraint upon him. All his friends wished him to do as he judged best, and what is better, they furnished him with the means to make holiday whenever he pleased. Quietly and unostentatiously this was attended to as a matter of course, but it was none the less gratefully received. No one had any wish but that the pastor whom they loved should find refreshment from mental strain, and come back full of the blessing of the gospel of peace.

In due time the pastor was gone — what then? Did matters flag, congregations fall off, and prayer-meetings decline? Far otherwise. Of course there was less of a crowd of outsiders at Sabbath services, but the people, the flock, did not wander; it was their point of honor to fill the house, and let the good men who occupied the pastor’s place feel that they were appreciated. Good old Dr. Liefchild used to tell a merry story of his chapel-keeper, which is worth repeating. “Ah, Doctor,” said the old lady, “there is one point in which I admire you above all the preachers I ever knew, for the most of them when they go away fill up their pulpits with any sticks they can find, but you never do that. I was only saying the other day that you never go out but what you sent us a better preacher than yourself.” The pastor we are writing of always endeavors to imitate Dr. Liefchild in this point, and if he does not elicit quite so outspoken an eulogium he at any rate tries to deserve it. Yet even with the best substitutes, certain fickle ones will not be kept at home, and therefore it is the more pleasant to meet with a church which is free from this fault. Nothing can be worse than to see a people scattered hither and thither because their elect preacher is unavoidably absent; it looks as if the work depended upon a single life, and it raises the suspicion that the faith of the hearers stands rather in the force of human teaching than in the power of the Holy Ghost. If ever a church member should vacate his seat it should not be in the minister’s absence, for it sets an ill example and tends greatly to the discouragement of the servant of the Lord who has undertaken to minister temporarily in the congregation. The people of whom we write escape all just remark on this score, though from the absence of the strangers and the mixed multitude of curiosity-hearers some have taken opportunity to offer ungenerous and untruthful insinuations.

But what of the prayer-meetings? The church which is now in our mind’s eye has always been given to prayer, and its assemblies for supplication constitute its main peculiarity and its source of strength. Some have hinted that interesting addresses are the potent attraction and that the presence of the pastor is a lodestone to many. How then did the preacher’s absence tell upon the gatherings? Did the numbers dwindle down? No, they were greater rather than less. The praying people felt all the more their responsibility to sustain the sacred work of intercession, and therefore they mustered in full force; they would not desert the junior pastor, and the deacons and elders, rather did they feel that they must rally round them, and make the meetings for supplication more hearty and more prevalent. The senior pastor was prayed for with all the greater freedom because of his absence, and all his helpers were also the more fervently commended to the divine keeping because of the extra duties which devolved upon them. The Holy Spirit gave life to the supplications, and the praying brethren being many, and well led by earnest officers, the prayer- meetings were memorably excellent, and full of refreshment.

But it will at least be imagined that special efforts would slacken, or perhaps be suspended. Cruel sneers at the “one-man ministry” are often backed up by the question, “If the one man were gone, what would you do?” The church of which we are now writing is a fair specimen of this much-decried one-man ministry, and what is its fruit, what are its capacities when the despised “one man” is out of the way? Why, it is so soundly vital, so universally at work, so independent of any one individual, that it of its own accord selected the period of the senior pastor’s vacation for the holding of special services that there might be no call upon him for extra exertion, and that there might be an additional hold upon the young people to compensate for his absence. Those services under the divine blessing were attended with the best results. At the very commencement interest was excited, and very soon enthusiasm was amused; the officers were punctually at their posts, and the members who are addicted to soulwinning were there too; speakers were found among themselves, and, supplemented by brother ministers, sufficed to arouse and sustain the revival spirit. Week after week the services went on with growing energy, backsliders were restored, saints quickened, and sinners converted. The brethren, as one man, put their necks to the work of the Lord, and labored with double diligence. Beloved leaders were to the front, but there was no lack of the rank and file. The people needed no eloquent appeals or pressing exhortations, they had a mind to the Redeemer’s glory, and therefore each one conscientiously took his place and filled it, and the Lord smiled on the united and earnest work of his people. No one could ascribe honor to the one man in the conversions wrought during his absence, and at the same time there was no fear of his instrumentality being despised among so attached a people, and therefore it seemed good unto the Lord to bless the efforts of his servants very remarkably. What a joy is this to the minister! How deeply he loves, and how greatly he honors the brethren who have thus dealt faithfully to the great Head of the church! What union of heart he feels with his noble band of helpers! God is very gracious in having raised up such men, and in having made them able to go in and out before the Lord’s people with zeal and discretion clothed with the divine power.

Content, yea, delighted, to consecrate their substance and their gifts to the common cause, some of them labor more abundantly for the church than for their own secular business, while others to whom worldly possessions are denied do not envy their fellows, but heap up such things as they have upon the altar of the Lord, and by the unceasing sacrifice of time and toil for the good of the church earn unto themselves a good degree. Strife as to which shall be the greatest is altogether banished, but a sacred emulation as to which shall best conduct his own department still remains. Imperfect tempers, and erring dispositions are kept in check by the divine Spirit, and a powerful public sentiment of love and unity rules the little commonwealth, so that incipient evils are nipped in the bud. The Lord has done it, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Poor human nature could never compass a score years of peaceful fellowship, but a baptism into the one Spirit has accomplished it, and works mightily still to the same end. Glory be to God for it.

But did no work flag? None. The over-looking eye doeth much; did not some things drag when in some measure let alone? No, not so much as one. The workers were more than ordinarily diligent, and the various agencies were rather quickened than retarded. Contributions did not fall off, the weekly offering was up to its general average; in fact, in the direction of liberality certain special matters were devised, arranged, and carried through with peculiar promptitude, and were reported to the pastor only as accomplished facts. The watch-man’s eye fails to detect a failure anywhere, and it is lifted to heaven in adoring gratitude because “all is well.”

These things are not written to magnify man, nor out of mere personal affection, but that they may stimulate others. This church prospers with the increase of God, and do you wonder? Where there is little love between pastor and people can the good work succeed? Where everything depends upon incessant whip and spur can there be real prosperity? Where the work of the Lord is official business, and the members find little else to do except to gossip, dispute, and quarrel, can the Holy Spirit dwell with them? There must be the graces of love, unity, zeal, or we cannot expect to see the hand of the Lord stretched out in power. We are afraid that there are churches still in existence where every church-meeting is anticipated with anxiety lest it should be made a season of debate, where family feuds poison the springs of Christian fellowship, and where differences of opinion upon vital doctrines effectually prevent any approach to spiritual unity. Under such conditions edification may be sighed for in vain, and the conversion of sinners may be regarded as most improbable. Surely there has been enough of that scrupulosity which wars a fierce warfare about microscopic points, and it is time to turn our care and energy into a more profitable direction. To remove everything which genders unto strife, to overcome evil with no weapon but love, to be eager to do service to the least of the Lord’s people, and to be on a blaze with zeal for his cause — this is far, far better than cold decorum and watchful suspicion. Whatever else is lacking in a church, love must be present, or the best sign of blessing is absent. How sweetly does the inspired poet rehearse the praises of fraternal unity! But his warmest expressions are justified by experience.

“Behold how good a thing it is,
And how becoming well,
Together such as brethren are
In unity to dwell.”

Let churches do less in criticizing their minister, and do more in praying for him; let them expect less from him and more from God; let them, as a whole, arise and put on strength; let them have no strife but which shall best serve the brotherhood to edification, and they will yet see the windows of heaven opened and a blessing poured out upon them unspeakably beyond their largest hopes. “The same God over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” He is a sovereign, but yet he acts according to recognized rule, and when a people are loving, living, laboring, and longing for his presence, that presence will be vouch-safe. When church fellowship is not a mere name, but a blessed, joyful, active reality, when those who are called “brethren,” are really so, then may we look for the blessing which maketh rich. Only the Lord can give to a church the condition requisite for success, but when he gives it he will not fail to send the corresponding increase. Churches need to be more loving within if they would be more powerful without. They must be more hearty, and more like a family; the shepherd and the flock must be on more tender terms, and brotherhood must be brotherhood indeed, and then shall we see greater things than these.

We have not space to give the letters which the pastor from Sabbath to Sabbath addressed to his loving people, but one telegram which he sent and the reply are worthy to be remembered, as they fairly express the mutual love and esteem which fills their hearts. The telegram from the pastor ran thus: — “To my beloved church. John’s Second Epistle, third and twelfth verses.” This, when written out in full, reads as follows: — “Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink; but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.”

The answer sent was as follows: — “Yours to hand. Our reply. To our beloved Pastor. We give thanks always to God for you, making mention of you in our prayers. Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope, in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.”



When staying at Mentone the visitor is sure to observe a sunny promontory which juts into the sea at the extreme east. It is so constantly bright, and catches the sun so long after the shadows have fallen elsewhere, that it is quite impossible to avoid noticing it, and inquiring its name. “That is Bordighera,” is sure to be the prompt reply; and if you take a carriage and go to the aforesaid Bordighera you will find it to be like Jericho, the city of palm trees; plenteously endowed no doubt with those noble plants because it basks so continually in the beams of the sun. There are forests of palms around the town, supplying such a spectacle as can be rarely seen out of the West Indies. Other towns along the Riviera possess a few stately date, palms and boast in them, but in Bordighera they abound, and mark: out the spot as altogether peculiar. The grand ceremonials of Palm Sunday and Easter at Rome require many leaves of the palm, and to Bordighera is given the honor of supplying St. Peter’s and the Pope’s Chapel. We were happy in seeing the palms before their fronds had been stripped off for papal uses; but had we been there after the stripping we should have been somewhat compensated by the story which is told of the way in which Bordighera obtained its peculiar Easter privilege. We had heard the anecdote told concerning a British tar, but that is an invention of our national vanity, the truth being as we now tell it. An immense multitude had assembled in Rome to witness the raising of a huge obelisk. Silence was enjoined upon all, on pain of death, while a host of laborers tugged at the cables of the lifting machinery. There was a suspense, the stone would not settle on its base, all the strength applied to it seemed insufficient, and yet the work was so nearly accomplished that the hitch was all the more deplorable. There was a sailor in the throng who saw it all, and knew the remedy; but the sentence of death held him in prudent silence. All men grazed with excitement while the monolith still resisted all force, and it seemed probable that the strain must be relaxed and the task abandoned. At last, death or no death, our sailor friend could restrain himself no longer, but shouted with all his might, “Wet the ropes!” It was done, and the obelisk was in its place, but the seafaring man had been seized by the papal guards, and was now to answer for his daring breach of infallible rule. He turned out to be a man of Bordighera, and being pardoned for his offense was also rewarded for his courage and common sense by being allowed to ask any favor he chose. He only asked that his native town might be favored to supply his Holiness with palms; upon what terms we know not, but from the fellow’s shrewdness we may be sure that they were not to be disposed of without money and without price. Our inference from the legend is, that he who knows how to do the right thing at the right moment is the man who will bear the palm. Many men have wit, but they have left it at home; they know that the ropes should be wetted, but they do not happen to think of it at the time.

Of course at Bordighera the palm is grown more for ornament than for use, and a most stately adornment it is to any street, or garden, or plain, where it may be found; but it is in other lands famous beyond measure for its usefulness. Beauty and utility are nowhere more completely united than in the date palm. In Kirby’s “Chapters on Trees” we read, “The blessings of the date palm are without limit to the Arab. Its leaves give a refreshing shade in a region where the beams of the sun are almost insupportable. Men, and also camels, feed upon the fruit, and sweet liquor is obtained from the trunk by making an incision. It is called the milk of the palm tree, and by fermentation it becomes wine.

The wood of the tree is used for fuel, and as a material for building the native huts; and ropes, mats, baskets, beds, and all kinds of articles are manufactured from the fibers of the leaves. The Arab cannot imagine how a nation can exist without date trees; and he may well regard it as the greatest injury that he can inflict upon his enemy to cut down his date trees.

“There is rather an amusing story told of an Arab woman, who once came to England in the service of an English lady, and remained there as nurse for some few years. At length, however, she went back to her own country, where she was looked upon as a great traveler, and a person that had seen the world. Her friends and relations were never tired of listening to what she had to tell them, and of asking her questions. She gave such a glowing account of England, and the fine houses, and rich people, and grand clothes she had seen, that the Arabs became quite envious, and began to despise their own desert land, with its few villages scattered here and there. Indeed, the effect of the conversation was to make them very low spirited, and to wish they had been born in England. But happily this state of things did not last. The woman chanced to say as a kind of after- thought, that one thing was certainly a drawback in the happy country she had been describing. In vain she had looked for the well-known date trees, and she had been told that not one single tree grew in England. It was a country without dates. ‘Ah, well!’ said her neighbors, much relieved, and their faces brightening up, ‘that alters the case. We have no wish now to live in England!’”

The Israelites were very fond of calling their daughters Tamar, or palm tree, the stately beauty of the tree appearing to be peculiarly symbolical of a queenly woman. What a sight must Tadmor or Tamar in the Desert have been! The Greeks rightly turned the Hebrew name into Palmyra; it was a palm city in the center of the wilderness where the caravans halted on their journey between the luxurious East and the needy West. Scarcely would the two thousand five hundred columns of pure white marble, all gleaming in the brilliance of an eastern sun, have rivaled the glory of the palms which lifted their pillar-like trunks into the air two hundred feet, and then threw out their graceful fronds, light as the feather of the ostrich, yet strong to resist the storms from heaven. Alas, the watercourses which feed the gardens of that magnificent city are broken up, the tanks which supplied the caravans of the merchants have been destroyed by war or by earthquakes, and, since the discovery of the passage by sea from Europe to India, the march of the caravans in that direction has ceased, there is no one to repair the stations of the desert, to dress the gardens, or to renew the palms.” In vain do we mention the names of Solomon, and Zenobia, Adrian and Aurelian, the palm-treed city of the wilderness is dead, and the Bedouin prowls around her tomb. Have we not seen flourishing churches also pass away in the same manner? Neglect, forgetfulness of the sacred irrigation of prayer, failure of spiritual life, and other causes, have caused the glory to depart, and made the city to become a heap, and the garden a desolation. May such evil never happen in our day, but may we see the Lord’s hand stretched out still to prosper his people.

We did not commence writing with the intention of saying all that can be said upon the palm tree, for many have been over this ground before us, and have brought out a vast variety of useful lessons; ours is but a leisure paper of odds and ends, perhaps not quite so well known to our readers as other matters about the palm may be. We have seen them growing in the Bordighera nurseries, and have borne upon our shoulder weighty branches pulled from growing specimens; we have also seen the male, or barren tree planted where it could fertilize its fruit-bearing neighbors; we have marked the little ferns growing upon the decayed ends of the fronds, and watched the happy lizards sporting in the crevices, and we seem now to be at home with palms, at least as much so as a man can be who has never been in Egypt or Persia. Probably there are as many instructive uses in the palm tree as there are actual uses in its material, but we are too idle to work them out just now, and so we open a book written at Calcutta by the Rev. J. Long, and transfer a page to our magazine to let our readers see what an Indian missionary makes out of this oriental tree. He, says, “The righteous are like the palm.”

1. “The palm tree grows in the desert. Earth is a desert to the Christian; true believers are refreshed in it even as a palm in the Arabian desert, so Lot amid Sodom’s wickedness, and Enoch who walked with God amongst the antediluvians.

2. “The palm tree grows from the sand, but the sand is not its food; water below feeds its tap roots, though the heavens above be brass. Some Christians grow, not as the lily, Hosea 14:5, by green pastures, or as the willow by the water-courses, Isaiah 44:4, but as the palm of the desert. So Joseph among the cat worshippers of Egypt, Daniel in voluptuous Babylon: faith’s penetrating root, reaching the fountains of living waters.

3. “The palm tree is beautiful, with its tall and verdant canopy, and the silvery flashes of its waving plumes; so the Christian virtues are not like the creeper or bramble, tending downwards, their palm branches shoot upwards, and seek the things above, where Christ dwells, Colossians 3:1; some trees are crooked and gnarled, but the Christian is a tall palm as a son of the light, Matthew 3:12; Philippians 2:15. The Jews were called a crooked generation, Deuteronomy 32:5, and Satan a crooked serpent, Isaiah 27, but the Christian is upright like the palm. Its beautiful unfading leaves made it an emblem of victory, it was twisted into verdant booths at the feast of tabernacles, and the multitude, when escorting Christ to his coronation in Jerusalem, spread leaves on the way, Matthew 21:8. So victors in heaven are represented as having palms in their hands, Revelation 7:9. No dust adheres to the leaf as it does to the battree; the Christian is in the world, not of it, the dust of earth’s desert adheres not to his palm leaf. The leaf of the palm is the same — it does not fall in winter, and even in the summer it has no holiday clothing, it is an evergreen.

4. “The palm tree is very useful. The Hindus reckon it has 360 uses. Its shadow shelters, its fruit refreshes the weary traveler, and it points out to the pilgrim the place where water may be found. Such was Barnabas, a son of consolation, Acts 4:36, such Lydia, Dorcas, others, who on the king’s highway showed the way to heaven, as Philip did to the Ethiopian eunuch, Acts 9:34.

5. “The palm tree produces fruit even in old age. The best dates are produced when the tree is from thirty to one hundred years old; three hundred pounds of dates are annually yielded; so the Christian grows happier and more useful as he grows older: knowing his own faults more, he is more mellow to others; he is like the setting sun, beautiful, mild, and enlarged; or like Elim, where the wearied Jews found twelve wells and seventy palm trees.”

This is very good, and has somewhat of freshness in it. It reminds us of what Dr. Thomson says in “The Land and the Book,” upon the text, “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.” He says, “The palm grows slowly but steadily, from century to century,” uninfluenced by the alterations of the seasons which affect other trees. It does not rejoice overmuch in winter’s copious rain, nor does it droop under the drought and the burning sun of summer. Neither heavy weights which men place upon its head, nor the importunate urgency of the wind can sway it aside from perfect uprightness. There it stands, looking calmly down upon the world below, and patiently yielding its large clusters of golden fruit from generation to generation. They bring forth fruit in old age. The allusion to being planted in the house of the Lord is probably drawn from the custom of planting beautiful and long-lived trees in the courts of temples and palaces, and in all ‘high places’ used for worship. This is still common; nearly every palace and mosque and convent in the country has such trees in the courts, and, being well protected there, they flourish exceedingly. Solomon covered all the walls of the ‘Holy of Holies’ round about with palm trees. They were thus planted, as it were, within the very house of the Lord; and their presence was not only ornamental, but appropriate and highly suggestive. The very best emblem, not only of patience in welldoing, but of the rewards of the righteous — a fat and flourishing old age — a peaceful end — a glorious immortality. The Jews used palm branches as emblems of victory in their seasons of rejoicing, and Christians do the same on Palm Sunday, in commemoration of our Savior’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. They are often woven into an arch, and placed over the head of the bier which carries man to his ‘long home,’ and speak sweetly of victory and eternal life.”

We were thinking of the way of climbing a palm tree, and noted how easy it would be to step from the notch of one departed frond to another, but we could not see our way clear to read the lesson of the physical fact till, turning to good Moody Stuart’s “Song of Songs,” we found him thus sweetly expatiating upon the eighth verse of the seventh chapter: —

“I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof.” This is for the purpose of gathering the fruit, or rather it is the grasping of the fruit itself, for the laden boughs of the palm are little else than vast fruit-stalks. No tree presents a more beautiful picture of abundance; the single, branchless, untapered stem, the magnificent crown of branching leaves at the summit of the stem, and beneath the leaves the boughs or fruit-stalks, each of them clustered round with innumerable dates, and sometimes hanging downward not far from the outstretched hand. The fruit of the palm is so abundant that in some of the oases of the great African desert, it is said to form the principal food of those sons of Ethiopia, ‘who will soon stretch out their hands to God,’ and pluck living fruit from a nobler palm. In these last days we sometimes look back with desire on the patriarchal infancy of the church ere the palm tree had attained its present height, and when our fathers in the faith gathered the ripe fruit from the low summit of its still slender stem.

“Sweet were the days when thou didst lodge with Lot,
Struggle with Jacob, sit with Gideon,
Advise with Abraham, when thy power could not
Encounter Moses’ strong complaint and moan;
Thy words were then, Let me alone.
One might have sought and found thee presently,
At some fair oak, or bush, or cave, or well.” — Herbert.

But if the tree has grown taller, its fruit is more abundant, in words of life multiplied tenfold to us and to our children; its thickened stem is more easily grasped, and is notched round year by year with helpful footsteps by the very gathering of the laden boughs. Each successive produce of the tree both prepares for a greater, and leaves like the palm a permanent step in the ladder by which we may reach the ample fruit, all the past a handmaid to the future.”

Our musings and gatherings must now end. We must go from the palm trees of a sunny clime to the oaks and elms of Old England, which also have their teaching, and one of these days we may perhaps put it into words for our readers.


THE Bishop of Manchester, whose manliness compensates for many faults, may nevertheless do a great deal of mischief if he continues to endorse the stage. Surely he cannot be so dazzled by the virtues of one or two eminent performers as to forget the manifest tendency of the whole institution. His grace need not go inside a theater in order to correct his present opinions; let him only pass by a playhouse between the hours of eleven and twelve and see what he shall see. If he should be in need of a housemaid, or a cook, or a butler, would he select a person whose character was endorsed — is a frequent attendant at the theater? Would the bishop in his heart think any the better of a young man for becoming an habitue of the pit? Would he wish his own daughter to become a prima donna, or would it gladden his heart for his son to become lessee of a royal opera? His grace has spoken upon the boards of two theaters — will he now introduce Mrs. Fraser and family to the ladies and gentlemen of the green-room, requesting the latter to feel themselves under no restraint whatever? Has the Right Reverend Father in God found grace and holiness promoted among his flocks by the plays they have seen? If so, would he be so good as to publish the titles of the dramas? Will communion with God, and likeness to Christ be most promoted in renewed hearts by tragedies or comedies? Dr. Fraser ought some times to think before he speaks; and not only to have the courage of his convictions, but convictions worthy of so much courage. C.H.S.


THE following hymn has been sung at the Tabernacle with remarkable effect. We print it in the Sword and Trowel because we hope that other congregations will be glad to use it. They can have it of our publishers for sixpence per hundred. Of course the eighth verse can only be sung where there are orphans, but all the rest, if only the voices mentioned are allowed to join in their appointed verses, will go very sweetly, and make up a charming variety of praise unto the Most High.




1 All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown him Lord of all.

2 We who compose his court below,
And wait his gracious call,
In marshall’d ranks before him bow,
And crown him Lord of all.


3 Let men and sires loud praises bring
To him who drank the gall;
Adore their now ascended King,
And crown him Lord of all.

4 Lo, in our strength and vigor we
Would crowd his royal hall,
Bring forth our sweetest minstelsy,
And crown him Lord of all.


5 Now to the Lord, of woman born,
Who slept in Bethlehem’s stall,
Matrons and maids lift up their song,
And crown him Lord of all.

6 For unto us a Son is given,
To save from sin and thrall;
We join the angelic choirs of heaven,
And crown him Lord of all.


7 Because he suffers babes to sing,
And smiles on children small,
We make our loud hosannas ring,
And crown him Lord of all.

8 We who had else been fatherless,
Our Jesus “Father” call;
and by his care his name we bless,
And crown him Lord of all.


9 Now in one glad exulting song
We at his footstool fall,
Unite with all the bloodwashed throng,
And crown him Lord of all.



OUR sojourn at Mentone has greatly refreshed us mentally, but the extreme cold of the mistral at Marseilles laid us up with rheumatism, and has caused us intense pain and weakness. Will friends accept our thanks for their great kindness, but will they be so good as not to send us any more remedies: we know now of at least fifty infallible cures, and are embarrassed with medical riches which, like the miser, we hoard up for the benefit of others. We had hoped and expected to be able to fulfill all our engagements, and work at high pressure, but it is now evident that home work is all that we shall be able to attend to.

A learned M. D. writes to the Christian World to complain of our theology and science, because we believe that our affliction, which was the result of a cold wind, was also of the Lord’s sending. Now it so happens that the error, both in science and theology, lies at the door of the M.D., and not at ours. We believe that the mistral wind is sent for some wise end, but certainly not for that which Adelphos, M. D. supposes. It is the scourge of Province, and is neither the friend of fruits nor flowers, but is regarded as the enemy of man, beast, and plant. However, let that be as it may, even if the wind be sent to promote vegetation, yet this by no means prevents its answering other divine purposes as well. A special providence, even in the lighting of sparrows, and in the number of the hairs of our head, is the doctrine of the Bible, and it is also matter of fact. While winds blow for great, far-reaching purposes the infinite Jehovah also sends them for special and individual designs. We, like the M.D., do not see how art unchanging, loving God can ordain ill weather to afflict his servants, but we do not want to see, we are quite able to believe it, and do not for a moment doubt that he does all things in love. The fact that wind and weather can be scientifically predicted, and that they are produced by fixed laws we know quite as well as M.D.; we are quite scientific enough for that: but this by no means opposes the grand doctrine that the hand of the Lord ordereth all things. Fixed laws do not operate apart from divine power; the hand of God is as certainly present in the ordinary operations of nature as in what we call miracles. True science teaches more truths than one. The unscientific inferences belong to M.D. and not to us. We trust we are not less reverent and scientific when we behold God in everything than those are who see him only here and there. When we testify to our faith in God’s love it is hard to be accused of representing God as a capricious and vindictive ruler. Adelphos, M.D., writes in too friendly a spirit to have intended so scandalous an accusation. No, blessed be the name of the Lord, though he slay us yet will we trust in him. We loathe the very idea of calling our God vindictive.

COLLEGE. The Annual Conference of the ministers educated at the Pastors’ College will be held during the week commencing April 9. Our longing is for the manifest presence of God. If the brethren shall all return to their churches full of the Holy Ghost we may expect great things for our land. We earnestly entreat the prayers of the Lord’s people that it may be so. Mr. Phillips will give his usual supper, and we trust the Lord will incline the friends to furnish the funds as on former occasions.

Mr. Gooding, from our College, has settled at Burnham, Essex.

We are delighted to hear of conversions and baptisms in connection with Mr. Silverton’s work at Nottingham.

Mr. Cuff is hard at work with his proposed Shoreditch Tabernacle. The place is terribly needed, but the friends are poor and must be aided from outside. If rich churches do not help striving societies in poor localities, how are the masses to be evangelized? The best way to benefit the crowded parts of London is to help earnest churches rather than mere personal enterprises.

We have received interesting accounts of the first baptism in Cape Town by our friend, Mr. W. Hamilton, who left us to form a Baptist Church in that colony. The work has from the beginning attracted attention, gathered to itself a goodly band of helpers and enjoyed the divine blessing. We should rejoice to hear of other colonies, cities, or towns, whether far or near, where there is need for a church after our order. If even a few brethren get together to form a nucleus, we are prepared to help during the commencement of the cause. There is very little enterprise abroad, or surely our principles would spread far more rapidly.

ORPHANAGE. — We understand that a person is going about selling picture cards and stating that the profits or proceeds will go to the Stockwell Orphanage. As no person has bean authorized by us to do this, and as we believe the plan to be a fraud, we shall be glad of information which may enable us to call the party to account. All goes well with our orphan boys. Health excellent.

We hope our friends will be as gratified as we have been by the following testimony of the inspector from the Local Government Board. It is something to have an Orphanage, but it is far more to have it in a condition which secures such approbation: —

Report of F. J. Mouat, Esq., M. D., of the

Local Government Board.

“March 16th, 1877

“I have today visited for the second time the Stockwell Orphanage, and examined into the system of training and education pursued in it, with special reference to an inquiry in which I am now engaged, regarding the pauper schools throughout the country. In many important particulars this institution is well in advance of most kindred establishments which I have yet seen. The plan of feeding and clothing in particular is excellent, and the instruction of the class rooms is conducted with intelligence and life. The boys look healthy and happy, and I shall only be too glad if I succeeded in transplanting some of the advantages of this place to the pauper schools, in which they are much needed. I have seldom enjoyed a visit to any school more thoroughly than that of which I am now leaving this most imperfect record.

“(Signed) F. J. Mouat, M. D.,

Formerly Secretary to the Council of Education, Bengal.”

COLPORTAGE. — The work of the Colportage Association still progresses, and friends connected with various denominations apply for men, while sometimes a united local committee support the colporteur. The accounts received from the various districts are full of encouragement. Families are united in villages where otherwise the ritualistic priest would have full sway. The written word finds its way where the living voice cannot get the opportunity to speak, and will do its own work. Above all, numerous cases of conversion are reported. As the Annual Meeting will be held during the first week in May, and some of the colporteurs will then give details, we forbear to do so at present. Another £100 has been given by a friend towards the £1,000 needed for capital to work the society, and about £80 in smaller sums, for which we are very thankful, and trust that other friends will be moved to contribute the remaining £650. The need of this capital is really very urgent, and some of the Lord’s stewards will, we hope, consider the matter. How are we to enlarge this work on credit? It is not a right and safe principle to go upon. Additional colporteurs have been appointed to the following districts: — Walsall, Staffordshire, Sevenoaks, Kent, Nottingham, Notts; Shildon, Yorkshire.

MRS. SPURGEON’S BOOK FUND. — During our absence our beloved one has managed to get through a large amount of work, for a glance into her carefully kept records shows that she has distributed one thousand three hundred and eighty-eighty books since January 1, 1877. These are grand outgoings, and we trust that a like prosperity and success may attend her efforts during the entire year. An interesting little “Report” of the Fund has been printed and sent to every contributor whose address is known, and Mrs. Spurgeon will gladly post one (on application) to any friend interested in the work.

There have long labored at the Tabernacle as general managers of our tea department an excellent couple, Mr. and Mrs. Pasfield. They did their work for the love of it, and nothing came amiss to them. We all feel under immense obligations to them, as humble, laborious, useful, and yet almost unseen servants of the church. To the intense sorrow of us all our aged sister was struck down while in the very midst of her labor, preparing for a large Sunday School tea in the midst of all the arrangements she died upon the spot. Who could wish to die in better case? In the full service of the church of God. No long illness, no enforced idleness, no sense of uselessness, but active to the last. We hope our dear brother Pasfield will be comforted concerning his departed one.

Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle by Mr. J. A. Spurgeon: — March 5th, seventeen; March 15th, twenty.

Chap 5. MAY, 1877


MAY, 1877



BELOVED friends, allow me to welcome you all most heartily. I have already received a blessing in the prayers which have been offered; and we have all, I think, enjoyed the earnest of a divine refreshing during the first hallowed hour of our meeting. Let us continue in the believing confidence that he who has already deigned to visit us will tarry with us until the time shall come for us all to say, “Let us go hence.” I can hardly indicate in a few words the run of my address; you will discover its subject or range of subjects as we go along, but if one line could contain it, it would be: —


So far as I remember, every year has been an exceedingly critical period, and so far as I can see in history, almost every six months some fervid spirit or another has written about “the present solemn crisis.” There are persons who always believe in the imminent peril of the universe in general and of the church of God in particular, and a sort of popularity is sure to be gained by always crying “Woe, woe.” Prophets who will spiritually imitate Solomon Eagle, who went about the streets of London in the time of the plague, naked, with a pan of coals on his head, crying, “Woe, woe,” are thought to be faithful though they are probably dyspeptic. We are not of that order: we dare not shut our eyes to the evils that surround us, but we are able to see the divine power above us, and to feel it with us, working out its purposes of grace. We say to each of you what the Lord said to Joshua in the chapter we have just read, — “Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Our trust is in the living God, who will bring ultimate victory to his own cause. Still, it is a wise thing to admit that these days have their own peculiar perils and trials. The kaleidoscope shifts, the scenes presented to our gaze are changed, whether for good or evil; good has infinite varieties, and so, has evil. We are not troubled, as our Puritan forefathers were, by persecution and oppression such as would take from us our civil rights and our liberty to worship God. Evil has assumed quite another form with us, and we must meet it as we find it. The battle front is altered, but do not imagine that the conflict will be less severe. I look for a sterner struggle than we have ever yet engaged in, and we must be prepared for it. During the progress of a battle, the Duke of Wellington was observed riding along the lines to a certain part of the field, and a soldier said to his fellow, “There goes the Duke, and there’s sure to be warm work.” Brethren, we have evidence that the Lord Jesus is with us, let us therefore set the battle in array. He is not a general who rides about for mere parade, he means fighting wherever he comes, and we may expect warm work! When he girds his sword upon his thigh, and rides forth on his white horse, you may rest assured that his sword will smite heavily, and his arrows will fly thick and fast, while on the other hand his enemies will furiously rage.

First among the evils of the age we must notice the return of superstition. Ritualism has sprung up among us, and spread as most ill weeds do. It is, I suppose, distinguishable from Romanism by omniscience, but it is also probable that omniscience sees more of its likeness to Romanism then we do. It is sadly spreading, spreading everywhere. It suits our evangelical brethren in the Church of England to speak of “a noisy minority practicing ritualism,” and to remind us that each denomination has its difficulties; but to us, who are impartial onlookers, it seems that the most vital and vigorous part of the Anglican Church is that which is tainted with this error. The difference in the two parties is most marked, for the ritualists are brave as lions, and the evangelicals are timid as hares. You have only to go into the churches immediately around us, or into those of large towns, such as Brighton, to see the strength, the force, the determination, in a word, the detestable vitality of ritualism. Every doctrine of Romanism is preached by these men except the infallibility of the pope, and perhaps the celibacy of the clergy — the presence of certain rosy-cheeked boys and girls in the rectory garden proving many Anglicans to be soundly Protestant upon that point. I am persuaded that there are many priests in the Church of Rome who preach more gospel, and understand it better, than do these pretended priests in the Church of England. The worst of it is that the growth of sacramentalism in the Established Church is not like that of the mistletoe or a fungus upon an oak, it is a real and legitimate branch of the parent stem. There is no man living, and there never was a man, and never can be one, who believes the whole of the Book of Common Prayer in its natural signification. The only way in which it can be done is by some such device as that of the two nuns who had borrowed a mule which would not go without being sworn at. As neither of them could be so profane as to swear, one good sister pronounced the first syllable of the French word sacre and the other finished it, and thus between the two the mule was made to go. So must it be with belief in the Prayer-book, no one man can believe it all; possibly high church, low church, and broad church can manage it between them. But if I were driven at the point of the bayonet to certify that one of the parties was a grain or two more consistent with the Prayer-book than the others I must declare in favor of the high church party. It is true that the articles are against them, but what are the articles? They are only read over perhaps once in a lifetime. The mischief is in the catechism and the service book which are in constant use. We have not to deal with a parasitical evil, but with a natural off-shoot of the national vine, which will remain as long as the Book of Common Prayer is unrevised; and when will it be revised? Then, too, this mischief is carried on by men who mean it. They are in downright earnest. I believe there is among them a remnant who, despite their ceremonialism and their mummeries, are true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. With them there is a host of mere believers in postures, masquerading, and drapery, and all that kind of rubbish; but there is, nevertheless, a gracious company whose sweet spirit breathes in holy hymns and in devout, Herbert-like utterances concerning our Lord, which we should be sorry to have missed. As a party they are earnest, they compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and great are the sacrifices which they make for the cause which they have espoused. This system, my brethren, is well entrenched, and you have to dislodge it.

This superstition, too, is in harmony with the innate idolatry of the human heart; it offers gratification to the eye and to the taste, it sets up a visible priest and outward symbols, and these man’s fallen heart craves after. It offers to save men the necessity of thought by offering an outward service, and furnishing a priest to do your religion for you but alas it takes man off from the real and spiritual, it consoles hint without true regeneration, and buoys him up with hope though he has not submitted himself to the righteousness of Christ.

A second, and what I regard as an equally terrible, evil, is abounding unbelief. I am not speaking now of that coarse kind of infidelity which rails at the Scriptures, and blasphemes the name of the Lord our God. There is not much mischief in such a devil as that, he is too black, too plainly a fiend of hell! There is a more dangerous spirit now abroad, entering into Nonconformist churches, climbing into their pulpits, and notably perverting the testimony of some who count themselves somewhat, and are regarded as leaders by those who reckon themselves to be men of culture and intellect. Macaulay rightly said that theology is immutable, but these are for ever contradicting that opinion in the most practical manner, for their theology is fickle, as the winds. Landmarks are laughed at, and fixed teaching is despised. “Progress” is the watchword, and we hear it repeated ad nauseam. Very far are we from denying that men ought to make progress in the knowledge of the truth, for we are aiming at that ourselves, and by daily experience, by study, and by the teaching of the Holy Ghost we trust that in some humble measure we are gaining it. But words need interpreting — what is intended by progress in this case? Which way does it go? It is too often progress from the truth, which, being interpreted, is progressing backwards. They talk of higher thought, but it is an ascending downwards. I must use their terms and talk of progress, but their progress is a going from, and not a going to, the place of our desires. Evidently it is progress from usefulness. They invite us to follow them in their advance towards a barren Socinianism, for thither the new theology tends, or to something worse. Now, we know at the present time certain ancient chapels shut up, with grass growing in the front of them, and over the door of them the name Unitarian Baptist Chapel. Although it has been said that he is a benefactor of his race who makes two blades of grass grow where only one grew before, we have no desire to empty our pews in order to grow more grass. We have in our eye certain other chapels, not yet arrived at that consummation where the spiders are dwelling in delightful quietude, in which the pews are more numerous than the people, and although an endowment keeps the minister’s mouth open, there are but few open ears for him to address. It is pretty certain that Christ is not lifted up there, for he does not draw all men unto him. There is no attractive force, no power, no influence for good; it is a frost-bound religion, and we are not at all desirous of making an excursion to that sea of ancient ice. “Gentlemen,” we say to them, “you are immensely clever; we often wonder how one small head can carry all you know, but for all your cleverness we cannot give up the old, old gospel, for the results of your preaching do not fascinate us. Where are your converts? Where are your hearers? Where will your churches soon be found?” Handel on one occasion played the organ in a country church, and at the close of the service he gave a voluntary of such a sort that all the people lingered to hear it. The old organist was indignant, and said, “Now, let that alone, you can’t play the people out; let me do it.” These progressive gentlemen certainly can play the people out. Their gifts of dispersion are amazing. Put them down in any warm-hearted Christian community and see if they will not scatter and divide it; place them in any town you may select, and though they may be at first attractive (for some are attracted by any novelty, however erroneous), yet after a short time, there being no life, there will be no power to retain the people. We remember the experiment of Daventry, under that eminently godly man, Dr. Doddridge, and we are not inclined to try the like under any circumstances. That worthy man did not dogmatize to the “dear young men” who came to his college, but adopted the plan of letting them hear the argument upon each side that they might select for themselves. The result was as disastrous as if error had been taught, for nothing is worse than lukewarmness as to truth. Dissent became enervated with a fainthearted liberalism, and we had a generation of Socinians, under whom Nonconformity almost expired. Both General and Particular Baptists have had enough of this evil leaven, and we are not inclined to put it again into the people’s bread.

Besides, we are invited to follow the guidance of men who are not qualified to be leaders. I have waited with a good deal of interest to see whether modern thought would be capable of producing a man, a man of mark, of profound mind, and philosophic genius; but where is he? Where is the man who will found a school and sway his fellows; a man for the orthodox to tremble at, a great Goliath, head and shoulders above his fellows. Truly there are some who think they have power, and so they have amongst those young gentlemen whose moustachios are on the point of developing, but they have no influence over those who read their Bibles, have had experience, and are accustomed to try the spirits.

The great lights are the literary men who produce articles in certain reviews which are the oracles of the elite, or of those who think themselves so. I wonder how many these precious reviews sell, but that of course is of small consequence, because the quality of their readers is so high. See what airs a man gives himself because he reads a review! Are these things so very clever? I am unable to see it. I used to hear that evangelical writers produced platitudes; I believe they did, but surely they never wrote more watery trash than is produced in the present day in opposition to the orthodox faith, but then you see it is given out in such a latinized jargon that its obscurity is mistaken for profundity. If you have the time and patience to read a little of what is written by the modern-thought gentlemen, you will not be long before you are weary of their wordspinning, their tinkering of old heresies into original thought, and their general mystifying of plain things. It only needs a man of power to smash them up like potters’ vessels, but then the result would only be pieces of pottery. “Show us a man worth following,” say we, “and when you do we will not follow him, but fight with him: at the present we are not likely to leave Calvin and Paul and Augustine to follow you.”

We are invited, brethren, most earnestly to go away from the old-fashioned belief of our forefathers because of the supposed discoveries of science. What is science? The method by which man tries to conceal his ignorance. It should not be so, but so it is. You are not to be dogmatical in theology, my brethren, it is wicked; but for scientific men it is the correct thing. You are never to assert anything very strongly; but scientists may boldly assert what they cannot prove, and may demand a faith far more credulous than any we possess. Forsooth, you and I are to take our Bibles and shape and mold our belief according to the ever-shifting teachings of so-called scientific men. What folly is this! Why, the march of science, falsely so called, through the world may be traced by exploded fallacies and abandoned theories. Former explorers once adored are now ridiculed; the continual wreckings of false hypotheses is a matter of universal notoriety. You may tell where the learned have encamped by the debris left behind of suppositions and theories as plentiful as broken bottles. As the quacks which ruled the world of medicine in one age are the scorn of the next, so has it been, and so will it be, with your atheistical savans and pretenders to science. But they remind us of facts. Are they not yet ashamed to use the word. Wonderful facts, made to order, and twisted to their will to overthrow the actual facts which the pen of God himself has recorded! Let me quote from “Is the Book Wrong?” f4 by Mr. Hely Smith, a pamphlet worthy of an extensive reading.

“For example, deep down in the alluvial deposits in the delta of the Nile were found certain fragments of pottery. Pottery, of course, implies potters, but these deposits of mud, Sir Charles Lyell decreed, must have taken 18,000 years to accumulate, therefore there must have been men following on the occupations of civilized life at least 7000 years before the creation of man as recorded in Scripture. What clearer proof could be wanted that the Book was wrong? For who would presume to suspect Sir C. Lyell of making a mistake in his work? A mistake, however, he had made, for in the same deposits of mud, at the same depth in which this ‘pre-Adamite pottery’ was discovered, there also turned up a brick bearing the stamp of Mahomet Ali! [Yet we were bound to shift the Bible to suit that ‘fact’ — muddy fact!] Again, some curiously-shaped pieces of that were discovered in 1858 in what has been called ‘the famous cavern at Brixham.’ It was at once decided that the flints showed signs of human workmanship, and as they were found in company with the bones of extinct animals, it was also at once considered proved that man must have existed in immensely remote ages, and the evidence was said to have ‘revolutionized the whole of Western Europe on the question of man’s antiquity.’ The history of these flints is remarkable. For fourteen years they were kept under lock and key in the rooms of the Geological Society, but public curiosity was gratified by plaster casts shown at the cavern, and by illustrated descriptions published in an imposing volume. According to the evidence thus afforded to the public, there seemed no doubt left but that these flints bore the marks of the mind and hand of man, thus associating man with a pre-Adamite race of animals. The cause of truth owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. Nicholas Whitley, hon. secretary of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, for the acuteness which led him to suspect that there was something wrong, the perseverance with which he followed up his suspicions, and the boldness with which he made public the result, which was simple but suggestive. The plaster casts, the drawings and descriptions, were not the casts, drawings, or descriptions of the real flints found in the cavern! The originals were, with one or two exceptions, evidently purely natural specimens of flints; and persons who have seen the landscape stones and the marvelous likeness of human faces on inaccessible rocks, will not be disposed to overthrow the whole of revelation because of one or two curiously-shaped stones found in company with the remains of extinct animals. If the cause had not been so weak, what was the necessity for trying to strengthen and supplement it by presenting the public with false statements? With regard to all these supposed that implements and spears and arrow-heads, found in various places, it may be as well to mention here the frank confession of Dr. Carpenter. He has told us from the presidential chair of the Royal Academy that no ‘logical proof can be adduced that the peculiar shapes of these flints were given them by human hands.’”

So the bubbles go on bursting, and meanwhile more are being blown, and we are expected to believe in whatever comes, and wait with open mouth to see what comes next. But we shall not just yet fall down and worship the image of human wisdom, notwithstanding all the flutes, harps, sackbuts, psalteries, dulcimers, weekly papers, quarterly reviews, and boastful professors. Show us a man of science worthy of the name, and then we will not follow him if he dares to oppose revealed truth; but show us one in whom the next generation will believe; at present there is not one alive worthy to be compared with Newton and other master minds reverent to the Scriptures, compared with whom these men are mere pretenders. See, my brethren, we have unbelief, scientific and otherwise, to contend with, and we must meet it in the name of the Lord.

Another manifest evil of this our time is not so serious, but it is exceedingly annoying, I refer to the spirit of disintegration which infects portions of the church of God and causes much heartburn and discord in certain quarters. Years ago, when a man was converted, he used, as a matter of course, to unite with that church with which he most nearly agreed, and work for the Lord in connection with it; but now a brother does not like to go to the place where most of the Christians in the town or village assemble, but he prefers to hold a meeting in his own room, in order to show that he dislikes sectarianism, and believes in Christian unity. Not caring to work with any recognized organization, because it is denominational, he feels bound to form a little denomination of his own. We would not in an angry spirit forbid these brethren because they follow not with us, but we cannot conceal the fact that by thus working alone they are injuring themselves, weakening our churches, and robbing us of those who ought to be our most efficient helpers. I fear that some are bitten with the notion that work outside the church is more useful than regular efforts; but a little experience will, I hope, teach many of them better. Christian labors disconnected from the church, are like sowing and reaping without having any barn in which to store the fruits of the harvest; they are useful but incomplete. I trust the evil of Ishmaelitish enterprise will gradually cure itself, but meanwhile it goes on, and loving, earnest people are decoyed away from our fellowship. On the other hand, it is a good thing for some brethren who “count themselves something though they be nothing,” to have the opportunity of finding a sphere of activity, where they will probably be less troublesome to us than they would have been nearer home. Some persons distinguished by a kind of piety which might be called mag-piety, are happiest where they can talk most. They are fond of hearing themselves speak, and can sing, “How charming is the sound” such are best accommodated in assemblies of their own convening. We have this to deal with, and to some brethren it is a cause of heart break, and has bowed them down with grief of soul. Many an earnest pastor can testify to this.

The fourth evil is one to which I call your very earnest attention, the growth of wickedness in the land, especially in two forms, which we ought not to overlook. One is the growing worldliness among professing Christians. They are indulging in extravagance in many ways, in luxurious habits, dress, equipages, feastings, and so on, and wasting the substance of which they are stewards. When a man is giving liberally to the cause of God I count it very foolish to forbid his spending liberally in other ways, for men usually spend by scale. It would be absurd to hold up a wretched miser who gives nothing either to God or man as an example to a liberal spender: but there is too much of ostentatious extravagance abroad which wastes the Master’s money in worldly pleasurable and doubtful amusements, yes, and amusements worse than doubtful. Some who are called ministers of Christ have in these days even defended amusements which moralists have felt bound to abandon, but let us hope that such ministers will not repeat the mistake. We must be careful, wise, and yet decided in our dealings with this growing evil, or we shall lose all spirituality from the churches. But, beside this, have you not noticed with horror the increase of the national sin of drunkenness throughout the land? Only look at the bill for intoxicating drinks! That amount cannot be expended annually without producing a terrible record of drunkenness, crime, disease, and death. Ten years ago it is pretty certain that men drank quite enough: to what must we impute this ever-growing consumption? The evil is positively appalling. I look upon the law permitting the sale of wines and spirits at the grocers as one of the most mischievous pieces of modern legislation. To my grievous knowledge the sin of intoxication among women has been suggested in some instances and promoted in others by this easy and respectable method of obtaining strong drink. For women to drink is loathsome even to men who can freely indulge in it themselves. Is it really more shameful that women should be drunken than men? It has that appearance, and the frequency of the evil among them proves that the drink cancer is getting nearer to the heart of the body politic. I was in France, at the Carnival at Mentone, and I remarked again and again that I saw no sign of intoxication. All day long the peasants and townspeople amused themselves with masks, and music, and comfits, amusements fit for little children, but I saw no drunkenness, and do not think there was any. Yet France is a Popish country: do we not blush to think that it should excel us in so ordinary a virtue as sobriety? One of my friends said to me, “If this Carnival had been held in England, these people would have been all drunk before they started the procession.” Several years ago when staying on the island of Heligoland I noticed with regret a regulation that no more than four English sailors should come ashore at one time, and then each one must be attended by a soldier till he returned to the boat. I saw hale and hearty sailors come to the little town and walk up the street, but how differently they reeled back, and how difficult it seemed to get them safely away. Are our fellow-countrymen to become the scorn of mankind for their drunkenness? The world will begin to cry shame upon the Christian church unless something is done in this matter. Consider the suffering and poverty which arise out of the waste of money involved in this vice, and the crime which is its inevitable result. The whole land reeks before the Lord, and is corrupt with this sin. If Christians do not labor to stay this evil who will do it? If ministers do not seek to the utmost of their ability to apply a remedy, the world will think that their outcry against unbelief and other evils is not very sincere. He who does not cry out against the wolf cannot surely be at enmity with the lion.

These are the mischiefs. Now for the REMEDY. What are we to do to meet this superstition, and this unbelief, and this disintegration, and this growing drunkenness? I have only one remedy to prescribe, and that is that we do preach the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in all its length and breadth of doctrine, precept, spirit, example, and power. To give but one remedy for many diseases of the body is the part of an empiric, but it is not so in the affairs of the soul, for the gospel is so divinely compounded as to meet all the evils of humanity, however they may differ from one another. We have only to preach the living gospel, and the whole of it, to meet the whole of the evils of the times. The gospel, if it were fully received through the whole earth, would purge away all slavery, end all war, and put down all drunkenness and all social evils; in fact you cannot conceive a moral curse which it would not remove, and even physical evils, since many of them arise incidentally from sin, would be greatly mitigated and some of them for ever abolished. The spirit of the gospel, causing attention to be given to all that concerns our neighbor’s welfare, would promote sanitary and social reforms, and so the leaves of the tree which are for the healing of the nations would work their beneficial purpose. Keep to the gospel, brethren, and you will keep to the one universal, never-failing remedy. You have read of sieges, in which the poor inhabitants have been reduced to skeletons, and fevers and diseases scarcely known at other times have abounded: when the city has at last surrendered, if you wished to give the people what would meet all their wants, you would begin with giving them food. Hunger lies at the bottom of the fever, hunger has caused the other diseases, gaunt and grim, and when the constitution is again built up by food it will throw off most of the other ills. Give the bread of life to the multitude, and the maladies and diseases of fallen humanity will be divinely removed. I am sure it is so. It is evident enough that the gospel meets superstition. In the Revelation we read “Babylon is fallen, is fallen,” and we see her cast like a millstone in the flood. But was it not because a little before we read “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth.” Between the fall of Babylon and the flight of the angel there was an intimate connection. If you were to enter a ruin and could not bear the hooting of the owls and the presence of the bats, and wanted to disperse them, if you could let the blessed light shine into the deserted halls, the bats and owls would soon find their wings. Let the flambeaux blaze in every corner and the creatures of darkness will quit the scene. Do you wish to put an end to baptismal regeneration, the lie of lies? Procliaim spiritual regeneration by the Holy Ghost, and exalt the work of the Spirit of the Lord. Would you make men see through the sham of Romish and Anglican priesthood. Proclaim the everlasting priesthood of the Great Melchisedec. If you would end belief in sacraments, proclaim the substance, of which ordinances can never be more than the shadow. You will find men turn away from the husks when you set before them solid food, God by his Spirit being with you to give them the wisdom to discern between things that differ.

As to the unbelieving business, my brethren, I bear my witness that the preaching of the gospel confronts it well. I was speaking to a brother minister concerning the number of young men who fall into one form or another of false doctrine. When I told him that I was very little troubled in that way he replied, “I don’t suppose you are. Calvinism drives them away, it does not allow them enough scope. A man of that kind would not come to hear you many times.” Now I am bold to say that in some preaching dovecotes are provided for the birds of doubt, and I am not surprised that they fly in clouds, and as doves to their windows. Preach the doctrines of grace, dear brethren, and those who like not your Lord will either be changed themselves or change their minister. Preach the gospel very decidedly and firmly, no matter what people may say of you, and God will be with you. Some would like us to treat the Bible as if it were a peal of bells sounding forth from a church steeple which we can make to say whatever we please: rather let us sound forth Scriptural truth like a trumpet, giving a certain sound that people may know that there is a meaning in it, and may learn at the same time what that meaning is.

I give the progressive gentlemen a motto to be engraved on their escutcheon, for which I hope they will be very grateful, it is this — “Ever learning.” It is their boast that they are ever learning. Accept it, gentlemen, but take the whole of it, “and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7. They themselves confess that they do not come to definite knowledge, for they are always telling us that what they teach today they may repudiate tomorrow, for a process of development is going on, so that having commenced with the oyster of Calvinism they may yet reach the superlative manhood of atheism, for where else will it stop? Preach the truth with all your hearts as God teaches it to you, and this plague will be stayed.

As to disintegration, I know of no way of keeping God’s people together like giving them plenty of spiritual meat. The simple shepherd said that he tied his sheep by their teeth, for he gave them such good food that they could not find better, and so they stayed with him. Be this our custom as the Holy Spirit shall help us. Let us also labor by our preaching to make church fellowship a great deal more real. Have we not many times heard the remark, perhaps a pardonable one, “I will never go to another church meeting.” Why should it be so? An old story furnishes me with an illustration. A clergyman was burying a corpse, and not knowing whether to use the word “brother’” or “sister” in the service, he turned to one of the mourners and asked, “Is it a brother or a sister ?” “No relation at all, sir,” was the prompt reply, “only an acquaintance.” We are always talking about beloved brethren and sisters, but on examination how much of real brotherhood is there in most churches? Does it not amount to this — “No relation at all, only an acquaintance.” Do you wonder that people start a little meeting of their own where they hope that there will be a little more communion? Try to make church fellowship full of life and love by preaching and living the gospel of love and brotherhood. Be to your people like a father among his children, or an elder brother among his brethren, that you may be the means of blessing to them, and at the same time meet the evil of disintegration. As to that terrible matter of drunkenness, I believe there are many palliations for the disease, but I am equally certain that there is no complete and universally applicable cure for it except the gospel. The best way to make a man sober is to bring him to the foot of the Cross. It is a practical question, well worth your pondering, whether in order to bring him there it may not be necessary to get him sober first, for we cannot hope to see men converted when they are drunk. You may find it wise to use with rigor all the appliances which the temperance movement has so amply provided, but whether you personally agree to do so or not, if you see others earnestly warbling with the demon of drink, even though they use weapons which you do not admire, do not despise them nor treat them otherwise than as allies. Let your own personal habits be such as shall tend to overthrow the evil, and to encourage those who are laboring to that end. Let the current and tone of your conversation be always friendly to the man who fights this foe, even if he does not come upon your platform, for the enemy is so strong and so all-devouring that no honest helper may be scorned. But, after all, the gospel is the needle-gun of the conflict. If you could make every man in England sign the pledge of total abstinence you could not secure sobriety for any length of time, since pledges are too often broken; but if men’s hearts are changed, and they become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, then the stamina of principle will by divine grace be given to the mental constitution, promises will be kept, and vices will be forsaken.

So far you have followed me in the general truth, I will now give a few practical exhortations. The old, old gospel is to be preached, it is not to be ground out like tunes from a barrel organ, but to be preached in the very best way, and by God’s blessing we are so to work up the church that both ourselves and our fellow members shall confirm the witness of the gospel, and be hearty and unanimous in spreading it.

To begin with, we must have more knowledge of the gospel. It is not every minister that understands the gospel: many ministers who understand its elements have never attempted to grasp and to preach the whole of it, and even he who knows most of it needs to understand it better. You must preach the whole of the gospel. The omission of either a doctrine or an ordinance or a precept may prove highly injurious. Even points which others think trivial must not be trivial to the man who would make full proof of his ministry.

Do not, for instance, fail to be faithful upon believers’ baptism, for if that part of your testimony be left out, an ingredient essential to meet superstition will be wanting. Though it may seem at first sight as if you might very well leave out a minor doctrine without mischief, do not so, for since the God who put it into the word is supremely wise, he is not a wise man who would leave it out. Fulfill the whole of your commission: “teaching them,” says your Lord, “to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Preach the gospel north, south, east, and west, but be sure you preach the whole gospel as far as God has taught it you, and nothing else.

To accomplish this we are bound to search and study in order to know more and more of the inspired word. Have you not found that. the precious gospel is like a cavern into which you must enter bearing the torch of the Holy Spirit, who alone can show you all things? Were you not astonished as you stood in the first chamber and saw its clear soft silver light? What treasures were all around you, for all its walls were slabs of silver, and the roof was hung with filigree of the precious metal. “I have found it! I have found it!” cried you for very joy. But just then one of the shining ones touched you on the shoulder and said, “Come hither, and I will show thee greater things than these.” You passed through a portal hitherto unobserved, and lo, there opened up another chamber more lofty and more spacious than the last. The floor, the roof, and the pendant stalactites were all of gold — pure gold, like unto transparent glass; and then you said, “Now have I entered the inner most shrine of truth.” Yet was there more to be seen, for again the shining one touched you, another secret door flew open, and you were in a vast hall, where every form of precious stone flashed forth upon you: rubies and jaspers, and emeralds, and amethysts emulated each other’s beauties, while all in a blaze of light the terrible crystal and all manner of choice gems made the cavern to shine like a thousand firmaments crowded with stars. Then you marveled indeed. And now, perhaps having seen such treasures, you are of opinion that nothing more remains, but God’s glory as yet no mortal hath fully seen, and the divine Spirit waits to lead you by study and prayer to a yet clearer vision of the deep things of God. In order to preach the gospel well we must have such a knowledge of it that we are practically conversant with it. We must have it in our hearts, and also, as the proverb has it, at our fingers’ ends. We must be rich that we may scatter treasures. We must be scribes well instructed that we may be apt to teach. Let us see well to this, dear brethren; and if any of you have at all slurred your private studies and your communion with God, and your deep searching of the word, I pray you do not so; for you may get on a little while with the stores you have on hand, but they will be soon spent, or become moldy. Gather fresh manna every morning; gather it fresh from heaven. Manna is all very well out of a brother’s omer if I cannot go where it falls, but God’s rule is for each man to fill his own omer. Borrow from books if you will; but do not preach books, but the living word. Get much inward knowledge, and then deal it out.

Secondly, we must seek after a deeper and more experimental acquaintance with the gospel. The word “experimental” is one which theology has manufactured; and it is not correct, for true religion is no experiment. Surely it is a well ascertained fact, a force the result of which may safely be predicted, for no cause more certainly ensures its effect. But we mean “experiential,” or that which groweth out of experience; pardon the uncomely coinage. Does a man know any gospel truth a right till he knows it by experience? Is not this the reason why God’s servants are made to pass through so many trials, that they may really earn many truths not otherwise to be apprehended? Do we learn much in sunny weather? Do we not profit most in stormy times? Have you not found it so — that your sick-bed — your bereavement — your depression of spirit, has instructed you in many matters which tranquillity and delight have never whispered to you? I suppose we ought to learn as much by joy as by sorrow, and I hope that many of my Lord’s better servants do so; but, alas, others of us do not; affliction has to be called in to whip the lesson into us. Brethren, a minister who handles the word of God as one who has tried and proved it is known at once by his congregation. Even the unconverted know the touch of the practiced surgeon of souls. If a woman who never nursed anybody before were to come to your bedside to attend to you during an illness you would find it out without being told. But mark the skilled nurse. Note the wonderful way in which she makes up your pillow! What an art she has in putting on the bandages! How downy are her fingers when she touches the wounded flesh! And if she has ever been afflicted as you now are how pleasantly she says, “Ah, I know how you suffer. I understand that feeling; for I have felt the same.” Why you feel that nurse to be the very one you needed. There is a way of talking about the gospel and its privileges and duties in a style which does not come home to the heart at all. I once read the following criticism upon a certain preacher. I do not think it was at all just as applied to that minister and so I shall not mention his name, but the remarks were as follows: — “He preaches as if you had no father or mother, no sister or brother, no wife or child, no human struggles and hopes; as if the great object of preaching was to fill you with Biblical pedantry, and not to make the man better, wiser, stronger than before. Perhaps it may be, because this is the case, that the church is so thronged. You need not tremble lest your heart be touched, and your darling sin withered up by the indignant denunciations of the preacher. He is far away in Revelation or in Exodus, telling us what the first man did, or the last man will do; giving you, it may be, a creed that is scriptural and correct, but that does not interest you; that has neither life, nor love, nor power; as well adapted to empty space as to this gigantic Babel of competition, and crime, and wrong, in which we live and move.”

Such a criticism would justly apply to many preachers. They do not treat the gospel as a practical thing, or as a matter of fact which immediately concerns the people before them. If the gospel referred only to certain unclothed humanities in the bush of Australia, they could not themselves appear to be less interested in it. A pleading experimental sermon from them we could not expect, nor even the simple gospel, except so far as they may occasionally condescend to men of low estate by abusing themselves from the serenity’s in which their highnesses exist in order to consider a few of the depravities of the lower classes. This will never do. No, we must have personal experience of the things of God. As to our own depravity we must feel it and mourn it; and as to the glorious power of the grace of God and the wondrous riches of Christ, we must go on to realize these in our own souls more and more, if we are to preach with power and meet the evils of the times.

I have to say, thirdly, that we must keep to the gospel more continually. I do not know any audience to whom there is less need to say this than to the present; but, still, let us “stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.” It is worth while stirring up that which is pure, the impure will be best let alone. Seeing that ye have these things, let me excite you to have them more abundantly. Often, very often, ought we to teach the simple rudiments of the gospel. It is astonishing, after all the preaching that there has been in England, how little the gospel is understood by the mass of men. They are still children, and have need to be told the A B C of the gospel of Christ. Keep most to those themes, brethren, which are most soul-saving — to those which are practically useful to the people. Keep close to the cross of Christ. Point continually to the atoning sacrifice and to the doctrine of justification by faiths, which, when preached aright, are never preached without the divine approbation. Every truth is important, let it have its due place; but do not suffer many secondary truth to take you away from the first. Aristotle, in his wonderfully unnatural natural history, tells us that in Sicily the herbs in the woods and fields smell so exceeding sweetly that the dogs lose all scent of their prey, and so are unable to hunt. Let us beware of such herbs. There is to our minds — to mine, I know — a great fascination in poetry, in true science, in metaphysics, and the like; but you, I trust, dear brethren, will prove to be dogs of so keen a scent that the perfume of none of these shall prevent your following closely after the souls of men, for whom you hunt at your Master’s bidding. No doubt many are taken off from the main pursuit, and think, when they have taken to frivolous philosophizing, that they have outgrown their fellow Christians, but be not ye of their mind.

A woman was once very busy in fetching out of her burning house her pictures and her choicest pieces of furniture. She had worked for hours at it, toiling hard to save her little treasures, when on a sudden it came to her mind that one child was missing. One child had been left in the burning house, and when she rushed back again that chamber had long ago been consumed, and the child had, doubtless, perished. Then did she wring her hands, and bitterly bewail her folly. Every bit of furniture that she had saved she seemed to curse, and wished that she had not saved it, because by looking after such poor stuff she had lost her child. Even so every little piece of curious learning and quaint proverb, and deep doctrine that you manage to save from the fire will only accuse your conscience if you let men’s souls perish. We must have them saved, and it is infinitely better that fifty of those admirable discourses upon a difficult point should lie by till we are dead than that we should bring them out and waste fifty Sundays when precious souls are waiting for the good news of mercy. I have often wondered what some sermons were preached for, what design the preacher had in concocting them. I would not suspect the preachers of wishing to display themselves; what else they meant I do not know. Caligula marched his legions with the beating of drums and sounding of trumpets, and display of eagles and banners down to the sea-shore, to gather cockles. And there are sermons of that sort: beating drums and sounding trumpets and flaunting flags, and cockles. A beautiful story is told of the famous Bernard. He preached one day to a congregation with marvelous eloquence and poetic diction; he charmed them all; but when the sermon was done, Bernard was observed to walk away disquieted. He wandered into the wilderness and spent the night alone, fasting because of sadness. The next day, at the time for preaching, he was ready, and delivered himself of a common-place discourse which the great gentlemen who had listened to him the day before thought nothing of, but the poor of the people understood his words and drank them in, and though he heard the censures of the critics, he was observed to walk away with a smile upon his face, and to eat his bread with a merry heart. When one asked the reason, he said, “Heri Bernardum: hodie Jesum Christum.” “Yesterday I preached Bernard; but today Jesus Christ.” You, my brethren, will feel happy when you have preached unto them Jesus, and, whoever frowns, your sleep will be sweet to you, for your Master has accepted you.

Keep to the gospel, then, more and more and more. Give the people Christ and nothing but Christ. Satiate them, even though some of them should say that you also nauseate them with the gospel. At every meal set out the salt without prescribing how much. If they do not like it (and there are creatures that cannot endure salt), give them all the more, for this is your Lord’s mind.

I would add that in our preaching we must become more and more earnest and practical. That paragraph which I read to you just now concerning a certain divine, must never be true concerning us. We must preach as men to men, not as divines before the clergy and nobility. Preach straight at them. It is of no use to fire your rifle into the sky when your object is to pierce the heart. To flourish your saber finely is a thing which has been done so often that you need not repeat it. Your work is to charge home at the heart and conscience. Fire into the very center of the foe. Aim at effect. “Oh! oh!” say you, “I thought we ought never to do that.” No, not in the perverted acceptation of the term, but in the right sense aim at effect — effect upon the conscience and upon the heart. Some preachers remind me of the famous Chinese jugglers, who not long ago were everywhere advertised. One of these stood against a wall and the other threw knives at him. One knife would be delivered into the board just above his head, and another close by his ear, while under his armpit and between his fingers quite a number of deadly weapons were bristling. Wonderful art to be able to throw to a hair’s breadth and never strike! How many among us have a marvelous skill in missing! “Be not afraid,” says the preacher, “I am never personal, never give home-thrusts.” Stand quite still, my friend! Open your arms! Spread out your fingers! Your minister has practiced a very long while, and he knows how to avoid troubling you in the least with truth too severely personal. Brethren, cultivate that art if you desire to be damned and your hearers also; but if you desire both to save yourselves and them that hear you, cry to your Lord for faithfulness, practicalness, heart-moving power. Never play at preaching, nor beat about the bush; get at it, and always mean business. Plutarch tells us of two men at Athens who were nominated for a public office. One of them was famous for his oratory, and to gain the election he gave a description of what he could and would do if the citizens would choose him. He would have charmed them with his fine promises, but they knew him too well. His rival was a man of few words and simply said, “All that this gentleman has said I mean to do.” Now, be ye of that kind, not speakers of the word only, but doers also. Have you not heard scores of sermons about the gospel, and about what the gospel is to do? Is it not a grand thing at a public meeting to give a glorious description of what the gospel has accomplished and what it will accomplish, though you have contributed nothing to the grand result? But of what avail is it to preach about the gospel, let us preach the gospel itself. Hope not to alarm the foe by a description of a Krupp-gun, but wheel up your artillery and open fire. Don’t be content with describing conviction of sin, but labor in the power of the Spirit to produce conviction at once. Don’t satisfy yourself by picturing the peace which follows upon believing, but preach the truth which men are to believe, so that they may actually obtain the peace which you describe. We want more of what I call the “doing” preaching, and less of the “talking” preaching. Set yourselves steadily to labor with men even to an agony. Show men their sin. Set it out before them, and say, “Sinner, is not this sin? Are you so blind that you cannot see it. If you cannot see it I will mourn your blindness and pray the ever-blessed Spirit to open your eyes. And do not you see Christ, sinner? I have seen him! It was the most blessed sight I ever beheld, for his wounds are my healing and his death is my life. I have nothing to show you but Christ my master, but a look at him will save you. I will pray the Holy Spirit to illuminate you, but if you do not understand, it shall be the fault of your mind and not of my language.” We have heard sermons preached in which the minister prayed God to save souls, but unless he had departed from his usual laws of procedure it was not possible for the Almighty God to use such discourses for any such purpose, for they have consisted of mere trifling with words, or an exposition of some minute point of opinion, or a philosophizing away of the mind of the Spirit. Pray the Lord to save your hearers, and then drive at them as though you could save them yourself. Trust in God, and then employ such logical arguments as may convince the judgment and such pathetic appeals as may touch the heart, so that if effects depend upon causes you may see them produced, God’s hand being with you.

I need scarcely add to you, brethren, that we must be more and more simple and clear in the preaching of the gospel. I think we are pretty clear and plain already, but sometimes young men are fascinated by some famous preacher whose style is grandiose, sublime, or involved. They see the thing done very splendidly, and as they look on they marvel, and by degrees think they will try that, too; and so they put on the seven-league boots, large enough for them to live in, and the result is ridiculous, nay, worse than that, it is spiritually useless. When a man tries to do the magnificent, with elaborate sentences, and pompous diction, and grandeur of manner, it must and will come to nought. There is also a tendency among some young gentlemen to go off into excessive quotation of poetry. There are fine young men who probably were born with a rose between their lips, and with a nightingale singing above their bed when first their infant cries were heard, and these are for ever consecrated to the sublime and beautiful. Every breeze wafts to them from the mountains of Araby the sweet odors of poetic thought.

“They scarce their mouths can ope
But out there flies a trope.”

Very fine! very fine, brethren; but do not be beguiled with it. As much as ever you can avoid all artificial oratory, or what simpletons now-a-days mistake for eloquence. The word is shamefully used, but in the common acceptation of the term the most detestable thing is eloquence. Speak from your heart and never mind eloquence. Do not speak after the manner of oratory; speak as a lover of souls, and then you will have eloquence, real eloquence. The oratory which allies itself with the dancing-master, and practices before a looking-glass, and is fond of classical geography, and obscure verses from unknown poets, is for ever to be abhorred by you. Perishing sinners do not want your poetry, they want Christ. If you are poetical ride on the back of your poetry, but do not let it ride you. What you have to do is to be the means of saving souls, and look you well to that. If soldiers can win a battle and sing sweetly at the same time, by all means let them sing, but if it so happens that while regarding the harmonies they miss a cut at their enemies, let the singing come to an end at once. There, young warrior, give over your crotchets and quavers and vault into your saddle. I Regard your pulpit as your steed, and dash into the battle like Khaled of old, smiting right and left with dauntless valor; and when you come back you will have more honor from your Master than he who stayed at home to arrange the plumes of his helmet, and then at length rode out bedizened to admiration only to come home like that glorious hero of old time who “marched up a hill and down again.”

I must hasten on to notice that if we are to make the gospel meet the evils of the time, we must be quite sure to exemplify it in our lives when out of the pulpit. I thank God I know, in the case of numbers of brethren here, that the gospel which they preach is illustrated in their lives by their selfdenials and self-sacrifices. It charms me when I hear a brother say, “I left my position to go to one where my income would be twenty pounds a year less, for I felt that there was a wider sphere of usefulness before me, and that I should not be building on another man’s foundation, but conquering new territory for Christ.” I glory in God’s grace as shown in many of you, because of your zeal, your endurance of poverty, and your faith in God. The Lord will bless you. It delights my soul to think that the spirit of the apostles and martyrs is in many of you. You make sacrifices for Christ and say nothing about them, content to do grandly though none proclaim it. Go on, my brethren, in the name of the Lord. I hope you will not have to suffer more than needs be, but where there is a needs be take you the suffering joyfully. If we cannot conquer without the loss of a few men, do not let us hesitate for a moment. If we cannot take this Malakoff without filling the trench with dead bodies, let us leap in. Let us never shrink from poverty, rebuke, or hard labor; but determine that the old flag shall be carried to the top of the fortress, and, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, error shall be trodden under foot as straw is trodden for the dunghill. Ah, it is a cause worthy of your utmost zeal, if you could spill your blood in a thousand martyrdoms a day the cause deserves it. It is the cause of God, the cause of Christ, the cause of humanity. Preach the gospel, brethren, preach it all, and preach it with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, and you shall yet save this perishing world, but may God help you to live in the spirit of the gospel, or you will fail.

I am afraid that there are some ministers who get into a pulpit, intending there to stick. There is no moving them, and they never move the people. It is sometimes remarked to me, “Some of your men move about a good deal.” “Yes,” I say, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” I like the self-sacrifice of a man who feels that he can move and will move when he can do more good elsewhere. Never move or stay for selfish reasons, but hold yourself at your great Captain’s beck and call. An old Scotch minister, as he was riding along, saw, according to his own description, something coming which greatly alarmed him. It was a gypsy riding aloft upon an ass which he had loaded high with fagots. The beast which the minister was riding was alarmed as well as its rider, set its feet down very firmly, and put its ears back, after the manner of amiable horses! “And,” said the minister in describing it, “I prepared myself for a fall, so that I fell somewhat more easily.” “But,” said a friend, “I should have got off.” That idea had never crossed the worthy man’s mind. So it is with some ministers, they prepare themselves to be dismissed by their people, but never propose to remove of their own will. It is within my knowledge that a brother, not of our Conference, said to his people, when they were in a most earnest manner endeavoring to get rid of him, “it was the Spirit of God that brought me here, and I shall never go till the Spirit of God leads me to go away, and that will be a very long while.” The last sentence cast suspicion on all that preceded it, for, surely, he could not foretell what the mind of the Spirit might be. Stay or move, brethren; go to Africa, or America, or Australia, or flit from John o’Groat’s house to the Land’s End, only do accomplish your mission and glorify God. Be holy, be gracious, be prayerful, be disinterested, be like the Lord Jesus: thus only will your lives be consistent with your ministries.

One thing more, and it is this. Let us, dear brethren, try to get saturated with the gospel. I always find that I can preach best when I can manage to lie a-soak in my text. I like to get a text and know its meaning and bearings, and so on; and then, after I have bathed in it, I delight to lie down in it and let it soak into me. It softens me, or hardens me, or does whatever it ought to do to me, and then I can talk about it. Become saturated with spices and you will smell of them. You need not be very particular about the woods and phrases if the spirit of the text has filled you. Thoughts will leap out and find raiment for themselves, a sweet perfume will distill from you and spread itself in every direction — we call it unction. Do you not love to hear a brother speak who abides in fellowship with Jesus. Even a few minutes with such a man is refreshing, for, like his Master, his paths drop fatness. Dwell in the truth and let the truth dwell in you. Be baptized into its spirit and influence that you may impart thereof to others. If you do not believe the gospel do not preach it, for you lack an essential qualification; but even if you do believe it, do not preach it until you have taken it up into yourself as the wick takes up the oil. So only can you be a burning and a shining light. Personally to me the gospel is something more than a matter of faith: it has so mingled with my being as to be a part of my consciousness, an integral part of my mind, never to be removed from me. If stretched upon the rack I might be weak enough in the extremity of pain to say that I did not believe the truth; but I could not help believing it still. Faith in the old orthodox creed is not a matter of choice with me now. I am frequently told that I ought to examine at length the various new views which are so continually presented. I decline the invitation: I can smell them, and that satisfies me. I perceive in them nothing which glorifies God or magnifies Christ, but much that puffs up human nature, and I protest that the smell is enough for me.

“Should all the forms that men devise
Assault my faith with treacherous art,
I’d call them vanities and lies,
And bind the gospel to my heart.”

I hope the truths of the gospel have become our life: experience has incorporated them with our being. Be laid low with pain, and nothing will then suffice you but gracious realities. Bind philosophy around an aching heart, and see if it will relieve the agony. Take a draught of modern thought, and see if it will cure despair. Go to sick beds, where men are looking into eternity, and see if the principles of the skeptical school can help the sick to die in triumph.

Brothers, I beseech you keep to the old gospel, and let your souls be filled with it, and then may you be set on fire with it. When the wick is saturated, let the flame be applied. Fire from heaven is still the necessity of the age. They call it “go,” and here is nothing which goes like it, for when it kindles upon a prairie or a dry forest all that is dry and withered must disappear before its terrible advance. May God himself, who is a consuming fire, ever burn in you as in the bush at Horeb. All other things being equal, that man will do most who has most of the divine fire. That subtle, mysterious element called fire — who knoweth what it is? It is a force inconceivably mighty. Perhaps it is the motive force of all the forces, for light and heat from the sun are the soul of power. Certainly fire, as it is in God, and comes upon his servants, is power omnipotent. The consecrated flame will, perhaps, consume you, burning up the bodily health with too great ardor of soul, even as a sharp sword wears away the scabbard, but what of that? The zeal of God’s house ate up our Master, and it is but a small matter if it consume his servants. If by excessive labor we die before reaching the average age of man, worn out in the Masters service, then, glory be to God, we shall have so much less of earth and so much more of heaven. And suppose we should be abused, misrepresented, and slandered for Christ’s sake, then glory be to God that we had a reputation to lose for his sake, and blessed be our Lord who counted us a worthy to do it. Be on fire within yourselves with perfect consecration to God, and then you will blaze in the pulpit.

There are the evils, brethren. I have tried to set them forth; you will not forget them. But we have only one remedy; preach Jesus Christ, and let us do it more and more. By the roadside, in the little room, in the theater, anywhere, everywhere, let us preach Christ. Write books if you like, and do anything else within your power; but whatever else you cannot do, preach Christ. If you do not always visit your people (though I pray God you may not be blameworthy there) yet preach. The devil cannot endure gospel preaching, nothing worries him so much as preaching. The pope cannot bear it, nothing makes him so ill as preaching. Preaching is our great weapon — use it perpetually. Preaching is the Lord’s battering-ram, wherewith the walls of old Babylon are being shaken to their foundations. Work on with it, brothers, work on. Preach, preach, preach, preach, preach, preach, till you can preach no more, and then go above to sing the praises of God in heaven, and make known to the angels the wonders of redeeming love.


THERE are many well-meaning people in the world who do a good deal of gratuitous advertising for Satan. They seem to doubt whether anything is settled until they settle it; and so they go to work disputing with unseen opponents, and confuting in the pulpit theories which, to most of their hearers, are as unknown and unintelligible as Sanscrit.

A minister expressed great surprise at seeing an objectionable book on the table of a friend, but was informed that his curiosity was excited by the minister’s denouncing the book on the previous Sunday, and at once he went and bought it.

We shall do well to remember that our harvest depends upon the amount of wheat which we sow, and not upon the number of tares which, we pull up. We may work ourselves to death in trying to undo what Satan has done, and we shall find him at last too agile for us to overtake him. We shall do better to work for God with all the energy of devout and devoted hearts, trusting him to bless his own Word, and bring to naught the devices of evil men and devils.

An earnest writer has well said: “Teachers have better work than to advertise the devil’s nostrums.” The best way, as a rule, to preach down error, is to preach up truth. Fill the mind and saturate the soul with the truth of God’s word, and there shall be no room for error. Seldom attack error directly; but if you throw down the gauntlet to the devil, be sure you give him a deadly lunge. Error is a plant of such prolific growth, that the more you try to pull it up by the roots, the more you will cause them to sprout. Sow ‘the good seed of the kingdom’ in every spot of the ground, and you will choke out and keep out error by the presence of truth. We have paid too much respect to Satan. We owe him nothing but contempt and disobedience. Let us stop abusing the devil and the pope, and begin in good earnest to teach God’s word. If that word abide in us richly, if we teach it fully, we shall have little occasion to mourn over the power of error.

“Never before has God more signally honored his own Word. Never before was the Bible more bitterly opposed; never before was it so tenderly loved and widely read as now. Never before was prayer more questioned; never before was prayer more graciously answered. Truth is mighty; as God lives it will prevail. Let us believe it, teach it, and live it. Let us fill the minds of our children with the truths of God’s word; and by his blessing, new trophies to redeeming grace shall be won in every class.” — From the Boston “Christian.”



IT becomes more difficult every year to prepare a Report for our friends, because we have already said all that can be said, and said it in several ways. Our College is now in middle life, and this is at once the most laborious and the least romantic period of existence. We are quietly plodding on, doing nothing new, but persevering in downright hard work. Very prosaic, but at the same time very fruitful, is the history which can be thus summarized. We have gone on now for twenty years, aiding our young brethren to preach the gospel more intelligently, and we are by no means weary of the work, or shaken in our conviction as to its extreme necessity; but, on the contrary, we are more than ever wedded to the service, and are resolved so long as we live to continue in it. Our plans and methods are the same as at the first, because we have not been shown any reason for altering them, but have accumulated proofs of their efficiency. Instead of drawing back or changing our course, we are taking counsel for the continuance of the Pastors’ College when we shall have ended our own personal career; and there are indications that the Lord will enable us to place the institution upon a permanent footing for generations yet to come.

Although there is nothing in mere plodding perseverance which can furnish matter for a sensational report, yet there is sterling value in it. Many can start an institution (for we have seen it done), but they lose their breath after a little running, and either let the work die, or turn it over to others, and try something newer and more dazzling. It has been our privilege to be associated with brethren who are not given to change, but are endowed with patient continuance in well doing, and so the College holds on its way without faltering. It is our duty to render praise to God for this, for whoever the laborers may be, he only can establish the work of our hands upon us. He only could have raised us up so many generous and faithful friends by whose liberality we are enabled to carry on the work, and he only could have sent success to the men who have gone forth. To him be grateful praise.

During the year the number of students has been greater than ever; it constantly varies, but it has reached at one time as many as one hundred and ten, but the funds have increased in like proportion, and there has been no lack. Men have been forthcoming in such large numbers as to enable us to make a very careful and jealous selection without fear of running short of accepted students. The men now with us are equal to any former body of brethren we have ever had, and many of them are preachers of great promise. Our brother and all the tutors have been spared to us in excellent health, and everything has worked as we could desire.

The Evening Classes, in which men who desire to serve the Lord can obtain a gratuitous education, have been very efficiently conducted, have gathered up large numbers of young men, and have been a great source of supply to the College, besides sending out colporteurs, city missionaries, lay preachers, Sabbath-school teachers, and workers of all sorts. Between two and three hundred names are on the books of this Christian Working Men’s College, and a fine spirit prevails among them.

We have now been able to purchase the freehold of the College, which was before held upon lease for eighty years, of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and we have put the property in trust, together with a sufficient sum to pay the rates and keep it in repair. This is a very glad event to the President, and he begs his friends to unite with him in gratitude to God. No debt, no rent, and virtually no rates: the College is thus housed by the gracious Lord, who has removed all difficulties and sent all supplies in answer to prayer. Our trustees are the brethren who conduct the Orphanage, and are at our side in every good work — in fact, the deacons of the church at the Tabernacle.

An old friend of the College sent us the other day the following remarks, which he thought should be incorporated in the Report, although he wished us to put them into other language. We shall not, however, hammer them on our anvil, but give them just as we received them, for we could not improve them.

“The wisdom and grace of God in the institution of this College are increasingly manifested every year. Such a necessity for its existence could not be foreseen by its first promoters. That there was some need for its origin for a better provision for the plain preaching of a plain gospel was seen and felt, but little did they think that a departure from the true faith would have proceeded so rapidly as to render this College so needful for the preservation of the old gospel as it has now become. ‘This is the Lord’s doing, it is marvelous in our eyes.’ It was the Lord’s doing that the President was led to the idea of a Pastors’ College. It is the Lord’s doing that young men in exact conformity with that idea have been provided. It is the Lord’s doing that they have zealously and unitedly acquiesced in the instructions that have been given them. It is the Lord’s doing that spheres of usefulness have been presented to them. It is the Lord’s doing that they have faithfully adhered, almost without exception to the doctrines for the maintenance of which this College was raised up both by God and man. It is the Lord’s doing that those doctrines have been preached by them with unexampled success, and in few, if in any, instances in vain. Some have ranked among the foremost for distinction and usefulness in the denomination, the majority are increasingly influential and of solid worth, and the humblest of them are not less qualified for their own particular spheres. ‘This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working.’

“It is wonderful indeed that such a gospel should have been provided for lost and helpless men, and that it should please God by the foolishness of preaching (not by foolish preaching, but, by what to wise men after the flesh may seem foolishness), to save them that believe; but having instituted this method of salvation it is not wonderful that this alone should receive the divine sanction and blessing. It is not wonderful that the plain and earnest preaching of a pure gospel should have the greatest influence upon the minds and hearts of men, because it alone comes within the promise for that end. Effects there may be of a certain intellectual and moral worth from other preaching, but in proportion as they are the result of real gospel teaching, in that proportion only will they give real peace to the soul. It is by confining themselves almost exclusively to the fundamental doctrines of the gospel that the students from this College have awakened unusual interest, and have been favored with unusual success. They owe their prominence in no small degree to the omissions of others. With or without learning and eloquence, they have shown what are the truths that are most blessed for the conversion of sinners and the consolation of the saved. Presented as living truths in their own experience, they have been received as such by others. Such, we are thankful to say, have been the results of the College, and such they continue to this day.

“Hitherto the College has been gradually increasing. Last month it was twenty years old, and it may now be considered to have nearly attained its full growth. There is a certain size for everything, in which it becomes most complete and most conducive to its own ends, It is so with flowers and trees, with animals and men, with families and nations, and communities of every kind. It is not less so with colleges. Universities do not furnish the best examples for religious purposes. The amalgamation of dissenting colleges has not answered the expectations that led to its formation. The Pastors’ College is limited by its accommodation and its relation to a single pastorate, and, having come up to those limits, may be considered providentially to have arrived at its full growth. No great advance of its funds will be henceforth required, but only that they be well sustained. Already its supply of pastors is in excess of all the other Baptist colleges combined. It has outlived the jealousies and fears awakened by its first appearance, has gained the confidence of kindred institutions, and been recognized as an established power for great good both in the church and the world.

“If such have been the achievements of its youth, much more may be expected from its manhood. What if all that has hitherto been done by its instrumentality were undone! Where would the majority of the 380 men have been who have now successfully engaged, and some for many years, in the Christian ministry? No provision was made for them in other colleges, so that in all human probability they would have remained in the same private capacity, and upon the same level from which they came amongst us. Where would the many chapels have been that have been erected for their use, the new churches which have been formed, and the old churches which have been revived by their instrumentality? Where would the many souls have been if all that has been effected through their instrumentality were now to be undone? How many would have to quit their glorious high thrones in heaven, put off their spotless robes, lay down their golden harps, resign their crowns, and leave their blest abodes for regions of sorrow and despair? How many thousands of rejoicing pilgrims to the heavenly Jerusalem must go back to the world of sin and sorrow from whence they came? How many who have been comforted by their ministrations must resume their old burdens, and return to their perplexities and fears? How many awakened by their faithful appeals must return to their former indifference, without God and without Christ in the world?

The change would be felt by many in all lands, and when to these considerations we add the saving benefits which these many thousands may have conveyed, or may hereafter convey, to others, the blessings resulting from the College are incalculable. It is not an unfair method of argumentation thus to suppose all that has been done by the College to be undone. If we would know the benefit which the earth derives from the sun for a single day, we have only to suppose its light for that one day to be withheld; or the benefit of refreshing showers in a time of drought:, we have only to suppose all their quickening and reviving influence to be withdrawn. To know the value of health, and outward mercies of any kind, we have only to think what we should have been, and where we should have been, without them. Why may we not judge in the same way of all spiritual good, with all the additional force it acquires from that good abiding for ever? Should the college now in its twenty-first year expire, it will not have lived in vain; but it has, we trust, a long life of a yet more vigorous and effective manhood before it, and its past benefits will prove but the dew of its youth in comparison with the showers of blessings which are stored up in it for many ages yet to come.”




WHILE diligently considering how we could give variety to our reports it occurred to us that it would be a new feature to print extracts from the letters which we have received. Our joy in reading the budget of epistles from all parts of the earth has been very great, and we hope that our thousands of donors will share therein. We feel deeply grateful to all our brethren who so kindly sent in accounts of their work. To print all would need a large pamphlet, and as we cannot afford that, we have picked a little here and there, leaving quite as good behind.

We shall intersperse our own notes and remarks as we cull from these letters.

It is with much pleasure that we see our beloved but much afflicted brother Archibald Brown still prospering abundantly in the great house which he has been enabled to build, and we are glad to see that London has gained other successful workers from our ranks, some of whom occupy leading positions. Mr. Cuff is urging on his great enterprise at Shoreditch, Mr. Collins has come to John Street, Bedford Row, and Mr. Bax to Salters’ Hall, while such brethren as Mr. Tarn, of Peckham, Mr. White, of Talbot Tabernacle, Mr. Sawday, of Pentonville, Mr. Inglis, of Victoria Park, are a few among many soul-winners who are favored with memorable success in our great city.

The ancient church of Broadmead, Bristol, has had a season of great prosperity under Mr. Gange; a few sentences will show what material progress has been necessitated by the spiritual advance.

“We are enlarging Broadmead for the second time since my pastorate commenced. ‘The old chapel remained for over 200 years the size it was when built. We enlarged it five years ago, and are now spending 2,500 upon it. This will bring the old, long-hidden meeting-house out into a public street, so that Broadmead is now visible for the first time; and it will give us 400 more sittings, making ours one of the largest chapels in the provinces.”

Other churches in Bristol have their song to sing, and we only omit mention of them from want of space, but the good secretary of the church in Thrissel! Street has sent us such an excellent account of God’s blessing upon Mr. Osborne’s pastorate there, that we must give it entire.

“It is with great joy and thanksgiving that we send this our first report to you, and though we have for many years ‘lien among the pots,’ yet we can rejoice that God has indeed been mindful of us, and, like the dove, our wings are receiving the sprinklings of gold and silver. Thrissell Street Chapel, the only Baptist cause in a district containing 40,000 inhabitants, has for many years been in a very dead and desolate condition, but we bless and praise our heavenly Father that, in the answer to the prayers of some of his children whose minds were stirred up with anxiety concerning the state of this cause, there has been a grand revival. The Pastor, who had been settled here over thirty years, resigned a little more than two years since, when the few, who had for a long time sorrowed and moaned over their condition, immediately set themselves to prayer that God would cause the light of his countenance to shine upon them, which prayer was answered by his sending amongst us our present beloved Pastor, the Rev. W. Osborne, a choice for which we have not had cause, to regret but to abundantly praise and give thanks. In the first place, our present Pastor came to a church in which there was no organization, certainly there was a school, but it was far from being in a working and satisfactory condition. Twelve months since one of our present deacons was led to take the leadership of the Bible Class which at that time numbered only twelve, but which now, by the blessing of God, numbers over 100, and out of which twenty have been received into the church. Another one of our deacons was led to organize a Tract Society which now is in thorough working order, and tracts are every week distributed in between twenty and thirty districts. Our next anxiety was concerning the School, but after much prayer we were able to see our way clear, difficulties were removed, and one of our earnest working brethren was led to take the superintendence of this agency, the result of which gives us great cause for thanksgiving, and we are rejoicing in the fact that not a few are deeply anxious concerning their souls eternal welfare. For several years previous to Mr. Osborne coming into our midst the baptistery had been closed, but at the end of the first month it was opened, and since that it has been regularly opened every month, with but two exceptions, which were owing to repairs and cleaning. As you will see by the Report, seventy-six fresh members have been added to the church. We have also been enabled to thoroughly clean and renovate the Chapel and Schoolrooms, and, instead of being a dead church where all seem sleeping, we have a church full of workers, anxious for the salvation of sinners. Our Pastor’s earnestness and zeal in his work, together with his geniality, seemed to have sent an electric current, through the church, and to such an extent has God blessed him in his work that every Tuesday evening he is kept from 8:30 till 10 seeing inquirers. We feel now we want more room, and this is a matter which is occupying our minds at the present, and about which we are earnestly praying for guidance. In none of these things, however, do we take glory to ourselves, but bless and praise God for his mindfulness of us, and to-day we seem to hear his voice saying to us, ‘For this my son was dead and is alive again; and was lost and is found.’”

Many letters of similar character have been read by us, and have made our heart leap for joy, and if we do not print them all, it is not from want of appreciation, but lack of space. The extraordinary success of Mr. Silverton, at Nottingham, the steady work of Mr. Medhurst and other brethren at Portsmouth, and other tempting matters might call for notice, but we forbear.

The smaller churches often receive a larger proportionate blessing than those of greater size: here is a letter from Mr. Smith, Malton, Yorkshire, a brother in feeble health, and, like most of the brethren, with but small income.

“When I came down here I found the chapel empty and forsaken by all, with the exception of a few members. For the last ten years the place has been going down. Some could remember a baptism seven years ago of one person, but since then no members were added, and the church had become so low that they came to the conclusion they could not keep open any longer, but the Lord willed it otherwise. I was sent to preach for two Sabbaths as the last trial. I left the Tabernacle with our beloved President’s blessing and his promised prayers. When I arrived at Malton I found, with all effort in posting bills, announcing a student from Mr. Spurgeon’s Tabernacle, only twelve persons were present at the morning service. At the close, I invited all who could to join me and help in an open-air service before the service in the evening. At the time appointed five persons came, and after much earnest prayer for divine help, we took our stand at a point where I could be seen and heard in four of the main streets in the town. We commenced by singing one of Mr. Sankey’s hymns, and to our surprise the people came from every quarter until by the end of our meeting not less than three hundred persons were present. We closed and invited all who did not attend a place of worship to come with us. Our friends led the way and the crowd came too, and that night the Baptist chapel was full, and not only was the chapel filled, but the Lord filled our hearts. We had a good meeting, and good was done. Many stayed behind for counsel and prayer. I could give you many most interesting and wonderful answers to prayer, and conversions; but I know your limited space, and therefore send you the result of our labor. I have been here one year and a half. Many have found the Lord. I have baptized over fifty persons, and they are useful, active members. We commenced a Bible class; five on the first Sunday, now over a hundred attend every Sunday afternoon. We had a Sunday-school numbering twelve, teachers included. Now we have two hundred and twelve teachers, etc., Our schoolroom is so small, we are hoping to get a new and larger one. Our congregation has not fallen away, but is growing, and at the commencement of this winter some had to go away from want of room. We commenced improvements and enlargements. This has been done and nearly all the sittings let, and we have paid £200 for alteration, cleaning, and repairs. We have £30 yet to pay. When we have done that other things must be done. We commenced a mission station at Old Malton; and it has been very successful, many have been saved there. This year we commenced a local paper called “The Malton Monthly Magazine.” We had four hundred copies monthly; next month we hope to increase to five hundred. We hold thirteen meetings in the week, all well attended, and growing in interest and blessing. We give our heartfelt thanks to the Lord our God who has blessed us and made us a blessing, and pray that we may still go on to glorify his holy name.”

Very interesting is the news from Eastcombe, near Stroud, as showing what can be done in the villages if ministers have spirit and zeal. Mr. Brett and his excellent wife have done grand service to Nonconformity and to the gospel by their united endeavors.

“We are surrounded with High Churchism, and the only elementary school was connected with the High Church party. The children who attended were compelled to be ‘christened,’ or refused admittance, and told that they were heathen children. In view of this state of things, my wife and myself resolved to commence a day-school on the British and Foreign School system. We commenced it and taught the children ourselves.

The Lord greatly blessed the effort, and now we have the joy of seeing the matter taken up; and a master has been engaged, who commenced his duties on the 1st inst. We have about seventy scholars, which has left the opposition with about sixteen. We all look to this as a future source of strength to the church and the cause of truth. We shall be tried this year, as funds are low. The preached word has been blessed to the conversion of sinners. Besides those received into the church during the past year, there are several persons waiting for baptism, and we have hopeful signs of may others. The congregation steadily increases. The week evening meetings are very well attended. There is evidently a spirit of hearing amongst the people. The Sunday-school is in a prosperous condition. During the past two years it has increased in numbers about forty, The church during the same period has increased by nearly fifty members. We have a night school, which has done much to check the influence of the Conformists. The temperance work in which we have engaged has given us more influence with the people, and has made many homes happier. We have been enabled to clear off nearly all the debt of about £200, besides paying for a new heating apparatus, and repairs done to chapel, etc. We bless God for what we have been enabled to do for him. Our strength has been sorely tried sometimes with meetings every evening during the week, Saturday inclusive, and always five meetings on Sunday; but our heavenly Father has been faithful, and has given strength equal to our day. We feel, after all, but very little has been done compared with what is to be done.”

Villages where there are living churches and an earnest ministry become themselves centers of influence for the hamlets around, but the village bishop’s office is no sinecure, as witness the work needed to carry on the operations of the church at Eythorne, in Kent. “To write a complete record of the work here during the year would be to write a small volume, as will be seen by a simple statement of the various agencies in operation amongst us. First on the list is the work in Eythorne itself, with three Sunday services, Sunday-school, and prayer meetings. Next may be mentioned the chapel at Ashley, at a distance of two miles, where preaching services, Sunday-school, and week-evening meetings are regularly conducted. We have also a chapel at Eastry, four miles distant, where preaching services, Sunday-school, prayer-meetings, and various classes are most successfully carried on. Then, seven miles off, is our chapel at Barnswell, where Sunday services and school are constantly maintained. In addition to the work at these Chapels we have regular Sunday and week-evening services at Barfrestone, two miles off; Adisham, five miles; and Woodnesborough, seven. Though the increase in the membership of the church has not been large during the year, the spirit of hearing is greater, the congregations being much larger at most of the chapels, and especially at Eythorne. We have a good earnest brother constantly working as colporteur, who is also an acceptable supply at our village stations, taking his turn with the pastor and the local preachers in the church. Many interesting facts might be mentioned in connection with the work, but, fearing to trespass on the President’s valuable time, a simple outline of the sphere of labor must suffice.”

Churches in a low estate have been greatly revived in scores of cases, and this is almost as difficult and quite as important a work as to found new interests.

Here is a letter which refers to Mr. West’s work in Boston:

“If our statistics are to me unsatisfactory, yet we have had a year of what my people call ‘great prosperity.’ [The people are quite right, for there is a clear increase of thirty-one.] When I settled in January last year the cause was very low, not more than forty people meeting together in the morning, and the high pews rendering them almost invisible. We have since repewed the chapel, and substituted a platform for the old pulpit, in which I felt too near the skies to be in sympathy with the people; and now we have a comfortable place of worship. Our congregations have greatly increased, and in the evening our chapel is filled. The spiritual condition of the church is much better, and although we are still very imperfect, yet we are getting into some- thing like working order. We have had several conversions and baptisms; amongst others three men and their wives.”

The following is from Smethwick:

“When I came here, in July last, the church was in a very low condition, and consisted of fifty members, the average congregation being about the same. This was exceedingly distressing in a large population of about thirty thousand souls, and especially as this is the only Baptist church representing that vast number of people. But although our numbers were small, yet there were some warm and earnest hearts among the people who mourned over the low state of the church, and longed for its increased prosperity. For some few weeks matters did not seem to improve, until one Thursday night I preached from the words, ‘Though thy beginning be small, yet thy latter end shall greatly increase.’ This seemed to be the dawn of brighter days to our church, and after the service I met together with some earnest brethren, and organized a house to house visitation, as we knew that more than one-half the population attended no place of worship. This was successfully carried out in direct answer to prayer; our congregation began greatly to increase, and many came forward to offer themselves for baptism. Since that time the church and congregation have steadily increased, and the number of additions reported on the accompanying form (namely, 49) does not nearly represent the direct evidence which we have had of God’s blessing. There are many now who are still waiting for baptism, and a large number are anxiously inquiring. Amongst other special efforts that have been made there is one that has been particularly blessed, that is, a special service in the Public Hall for working men. We there had a congregation of nearly 700 of the working classes, the majority of whom attended no place of worship, and they listened earnestly and attentively whilst I preached very simply and plainly upon the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. We have had many tokens for good resulting from that service, and I shall be under the mark if I say that it was the means of a permanent increase to our congregation of 50 of the working men. There is a great deal of interest now amongst the people in reference to the subject of baptism, that point never having before been brought prominently to the front. It is then with much joy that I can speak of the work here, and there is only one thing which is a serious drawback to us, that, is, we have not sufficient accommodation for our services. We have no school-room, consequently the Sunday-school is compelled to be carried on in the chapel. We have nearly 200 children, and if we had accommodation the number could at once be increased to four or five hundred. The chapel also is much too small for the congregation; it seats about 850, and generally on Sunday evenings we have 500 people there, as the aisles and every available place are occupied; even then many are often unable to gain admittance. We have decided to erect both chapel and schools, the former to seat about 800 people, but our great difficulty is want of funds.”

Our brethren have been remarkably successful in raising new churches, but we can only give one typical instance, which will show how much the operation of breaking up new ground calls for liberal help from Christian friends, for at the first the young churches are seriously tried by financial difficulties, and we often marvel as we see them weather the storm. If friends would come forward with means, we know of scores of towns where we are as yet unrepresented, and where the presence of Baptists would be a means of benefit to all the other communities, stirring them up to greater zeal, if nothing else. Where are the Lord’s stewards who will aid us in home and foreign missionary operations? This is the case we have selected.

“You will doubtless remember that in 1873, Mr. H. C. Field undertook the joint pastorate of Burslem and Newcastle, with the object of working both places up to the position of independent support, i.e., for each church to have a pastor entirely to itself. This object has been reached this year, Mr. Field settling here entirely in July; Newcastle having just secured the services of Brother G. Dunnett from the College. In this we gratefully rejoice, having realized our object in three years’ time. During the same period our progress in other matters has been very encouraging. In 1873, at Burslem, we had only 24 members and a small iron chapel, which would only seat 120 at the utmost, and which place was only worth £55 when it came into the market; now we rejoice over a membership of 59 and a beautiful tabernacle in course of erection, to seat 400 persons, at a cost, with land, of £2,200, half of which sum we have raised. The foundation was laid, and the ceremony took place, on September 5th, the receipts of the day being £150. We are worshipping until the new tabernacle is finished in the Wedgwood Institute, and can rejoice over increased congregations; our increase to church this year has been 18, and after deducting losses by death, dismission, etc., we have a clear gain of 13. The Newcastle church while in union with us was enabled to reduce its debt of £600 to £320, and to raise its membership 24 to 51.

In many cases the reports are quietly worded, but mean very much, as those friends know who are upon. the spot. We know of no work more solid than that done by Mr. Lauderdale, at Grimsby, and by Mr. Durban, at Chester. Here are the simple records.

“The church at Grimsby is abiding in the blessing of God. A deep interest in the work is very manifest. We have not seen all we desire or hope to see, but do not believe for a moment that we shall be disappointed in our expectation, for our expectation is from Him. We are erecting a new chapel in the chief street, and in a most eligible position, which will accommodate about 400 more than the one we now worship in. The latter will be retained, if possible, for school-room and lecture-hall, a want long felt. We have 600 scholars, but with the larger space we could have as many more. Toward the chapel our own friends have contributed nearly £2,000 during the past year, and the ladies are working hard to increase the funds. The entire cost will be about £5,000. The whole of our attention therefore must of necessity be centered in this great work. Help is much needed.”

“The Baptist church at Chester, under the pastorate of W. Durban, is now well and fairly established, the membership being steadily on the increase. We are newer without some happy conversions, and the church is among the most harmonious of communions. A new chapel is likely to be built this year, and altogether the prospects are full of promise and encouragement.” [The Duke of Westminster has given the ground, his architect has prepared the plans, and the building will be a credit to the denomination.]

Thus could we fill page after page, but these specimens will suffice. During the year we have sent out Mr. Hamilton to the Cape of Good Hope, where no Baptist Church existed, and his success has greatly cheered us. He says: “On Nov. 29, 1876, we began the church with 22; now we have 44, and 5 more applicants. Our Sabbath-school has 50 children, and 10 teachers. The attendance at all the services is good. There is a meeting for prayer or preaching every day of the week.”

At the request of the friends in Christchurch, New Zealand, we sent them Mr. Dallaston, who has been received with open arms, and has the happiest prospects before him.

Our brethren in America, who are now numerous, appear to be usefully and successfully engaged, but they find as many difficulties in the States as others do at home. Letters of the most cheering character have, however, come from some of them.

The Australian brethren are doing well, and are not unmindful of “the old house at home.”

During the year the brethren settled over the poorer churches have again participated in the bounty of a friend “unknown yet well known,” who counts it a great pleasure to aid those who labor among a poor people. Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book-fund has also been eminently helpful to the libraries of many who, without its assistance, would have no new reading to keep their thoughts fresh, and inspire renewed zeal. Our friends, when they find their exchequer in a healthy condition, cannot do better than assist our beloved wife in this most useful department of service. To give a preacher new books is like putting fuel upon a fire, or watering a drooping plant.

We end abruptly, but not without again praising the Lord, who has used a feeble instrumentality to produce results exceeding abundant above what we asked or even thought.


“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgression from us.” — Psalm 103:12.

RUMINATING upon this text the other day, it came to me with a peculiar sweetness after this fashion: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from” — himself? Yes, that is true, but the text says, “from us,” from us. And this was what passed through my mind — “Then my sin is gone away from me, from me! Here am I, fretting that I am not what I should be, and groaning and crying before God about a thousand things; but, for all that, there is no sin upon me; for, ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.’ From ourselves our sins have gone; from us, as well as from his book, and from his memory, they have been removed. “But I committed them,” says one. Ah, that you did. Your sin was yours, yours with a vengeance! It was like that poisoned tunic which Hercules put on, which he could not drag from him let him do what he might, but which burned deep into his flesh and bones. Such were your transgressions. You could not tear them off. But God has taken them off — every one of them — if you have believed in Jesus; and where is that tunic of fire now? Where is it? It shall be sought for, but it shall not be found, yea, it shall not be, saith the Lord. It is gone for ever. I sometimes see believers troubling themselves as if all their sins were laid up like a treasure in an iron safe in some part of their house. It is not so; it is not so. Your guilt is carried to an infinite distance, and will never be charged against you. The eternal God has removed your sins, and they are removed; be ye sure of this. They are all gone; gone for ever; Satan may stand and howl for accusers, and say, “Come forth and accuse the child of God!” and you yourself may inwardly fear that they will come, and therefore you may put on your filthy garments, and go in before the great judge, and stand there like a wretched criminal about to be tried. But what does Jesus say when he comes into the court? He says, “Take away his filthy garments from him!” What right has he to put them on; for I have taken them away from him long ago with my precious blood? Take them off! Set a fair miter on his head. This is one whom I have loved and cleansed: why does he stand in the place of condemnation, when he is not condemned and cannot be condemned, for there is now no condemnation?

Ah, we many times go down into the hold of the vessel and there we lie amongst the cargo, and the ship-men put the hatches on, and there we are, half stifled, when we might as well come up on the quarter deck and walk there, full of delight and peace. We are moaning and fretting ourselves, and all about what does not really exist. I saw two men, yesterday, handcuffed and marched to the prison-van to be taken off to gaol. They could not move their wrists for they were manacled. Now, suppose I had walked behind them, holding my wrists in the same way, never opening my hands, nor stirring them, but crying, “I once had handcuffs on.” And suppose it was said, “Well, but are they not taken off?” and I were to reply, “Yes, I have heard that they are gone, but somehow, through habit, I go about as if I wore them still,” — would not everybody say, “Why, that man must be insane!” Now you, child of God, once had the handcuffs on; your sins were upon you; but Jesus Christ took them off. When you believed in him, he took the fetters away; why do you go about in bondage? “I am afraid!” say you. What of, man? What of? Are you a believer and afraid of your old sins? You are afraid of things which do not exist. Your sins are so gone that they cannot be laid to your charge. Will you rise to something like the truth of your position? You are not only pardoned, but you are an accepted child of God. Go to your Father with joy and thankfulness, and bless him for all his love to you. Wipe those tears away, smooth those wrinkles from your brow: take up the song of joy and gladness, and say with the apostle Paul, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” — C. H. S.


ACCORDING to the papers a certain reverend “curate in charge” in the south has recently alluded to the subject of confession in the following select and instructive terms. He says: — “Let them come boldly to God’s appointed priest to receive absolution. They did not know what a tender tie would soon spring up between themselves and him — a tie more lender than ever existed between husband and wife or any other relation.” This is very frank language and deserves to be well weighed. We do not dispute the truth of the assertion, but, on the contrary, believe it to be only too true. Who are the husbands whose wives are to be bound to the reverend father by this tender tie? With this warning before them are they going each one to march down to the church with his wife on his arm and see the good gentleman who intends to form this tender tie. Will the fathers and brothers of England also contemplate this tying process with cool satisfaction? Is our nation, given up to a deadly lethargy upon the matter of popery, and will they allow these false priests for ever to go on from one thing to another till they fetch over the Pope and his cardinals, red hats and blazing stakes and all?

We are among those who would as warmly defend the liberty of a Catholic as we would our own, but liberty is not license, neither does liberty give leave to a servant to act as a master. The clergy are bound to do the religion of the nation in the way which the nation prescribes, and it has never yet, either by an Act of Parliament or by any other mode of expression, agreed to the practice of auricular confession. Summon the men of England and put it “yea” or “nay,” “Shall your wife and daughters confess to the parish clergyman, who calls himself a priest?” and it would be carried in the negative amid much enthusiasm and waving of horsewhips. Why then are the Ritualistic gentlemen allowed, in the name of the national religion, to carry on a loathsome practice, which has only to be mentioned to excite universal execration? The peace of families can never be maintained while the confessional exists, the word home may as well be left out from the Englishman’s vocabulary when the women of the household have other confidants for their most secret thoughts besides their natural guardians.

The bishops appear to care very little what the papistical party may next proceed to do, legislative enactment’s are also impotent to restrain them; our servants have become our masters, and refuse to perform their functions according to order. What then? Would it not be better to give these gentlemen a quarter’s salary and their full liberty to find other situations? At any rate if we close the Establishment to which they belong if they continue at their pranks they will not then have the national authority to back them up. This “tender tie” business is not to John Bull’s taste, we are quite sure. In the barbarous days of the past a sour apple tree and a less tender tie would have been the reward of any man who tried to “confess” Mr. Bull’s daughters. Happily that period has passed away; but we hope that Paterfamilias will find gentle but equally efficacious ways of protecting the easily beguiled, and will in some way or other put an end to this very “tender tie” business. One of the best ways will be to refrain from entering Anglican mass-houses, and attending only at places where the gospel is preached without the admixture of popish rites. Too many attend Tractarian performances merely to see the embroidery, floriculture, and posturing; but from seeing the softer sort go on to admiring, and thence to accepting. Better cut the connection at once before any of these tender ties are formed. — C. H. S.


“He is like a refiner’s fire.” — Malachi 3:2

NO sorrowful cross
Of sickness or loss,
Has in itself virtue to purge away dross.

One furnace alone,
With breath of grace blown,
Can soften and hallow this heart of a stone.

With delicate Skill,
And fuel at will,
The Savior refineth and purgeth us still.

His love never tires,
But kindles new fires,
To burn up, our idols and paltry desires.

The dross that will stay
In flames of to-day,
More fuel tomorrow shall melt it away.

As Fresh scums arise,
Fresh faggots he tries,
And ever keeps melting, and thus purifies.

Where flesh can’t survive
Grace gets a revive,
And in a bush burning will crackle and thrive.

Thine heavenly art,
Great Chemist, impart,
To separate tinsel and dross from my heart.

And let me not dread
The furnace to tread,
But conquer the world through Jesus my Head.

— John Berridge (altered).

The Faith once Delivered to the Saints; or, Doctrinal, Experimental, and Practical Godliness Vindicated and Enforced, and the Errors of the Times Exposed. By the Late John Fox. Elliot Stock.

THE late John Fox must have had a very odd notion of what is meant by cordiality, for he says of his little book, — “To the people, and to the ministry or servants of the various sectarianisms of the present day, this work and labor of love is cordially dedicated by the author.” Grim cordiality this, which begins by describing the churches as “the various sectarianisms.” Equal cordiality towards Baptists and Calvinists will be found all through the book; but the revisers of the work, who knew the author personally, assure us that “any acerbities of expression found in this book were not written in a spirit of bitterness or vindictiveness.” We quite believe it, for it often happens that, persons who write fiercely are among the meekest of men when the pen is out of their hands. We hope that the miniature portraits taken by the late excellent John Fox were more successful as works of art than this volume as a piece of theology. The good man’s portrait of a Calvinist is so far from the truth that we are glad that we never sat to him, for he would probably have depicted us with horns and hoofs. It is among the ironies of history that this book is printed by a firm of sound Calvinistic Baptists, so that it is probable that all the good which will ever come from the production of the miniature portrait painter’s book will fall to the share of one of the men whom he most vehemently denounces. Peace to his ashes! Calvinists can bear such assaults as his with unruffled serenity.

Central Truths. By the REV. CHARLES STANFORD. Hodder and Stoughton; and Power in Weakness, by the same author and publishers.

THE issue of these volumes in plain stiff covers at two shillings and eighteen pence will, we trust, bring them within the reach of many poor men who have hitherto been unable to procure them. The books themselves are too well known to need our commendation. Their chaste style and mellow tone have long ago placed them among the Christian classics.

Winds of Doctrine. By CHARLES ELAM, M.D. Smith, Elder, and Co., 15, Waterloo-place.

THE most absurd theories will have their admirers if they come from men of great scientific attainments. Their speculations will be taken upon the credit of their actual discoveries. But as real wealth often leads to ruinous speculations, so real scientific knowledge often leads to more than ordinary folly. Those to whom we should look for real acquisitions and clear reasonings in natural science are the first to overleap its boundaries and to substitute their own reveries for established facts. They may reason themselves into the descendants of apes and lobsters and material molecules, but have no right, we think, to do so for others. As from nothing man gradually came — so we are required to believe — to nothing he gradually returns. “If this doctrine,” says the book before us, “as now held by a large and powerful section of the scientific world, does indeed, as it professes, afford the only plausible solution of the various problems of ontology, then it follows naturally and of necessity that matter is allsufficient, and that man is an automaton without spirit or spontaneity. Then is our immortality a dream; volition, choice, and responsibility are mere delusions; virtue, vice, right, and wrong are sounds without possible meaning; and. education, government, rewards, and punishments, are illogical and mischievous absurdities. Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall be carbonic acid, water, and ammonia.” We are thankful for the author’s scientific refutation of such errors, and are yet more thankful that our own common sense upon these subjects still remains.

After Work. A Magazine for Home Reading. WILLIAM POOLE, 12A, Paternoster Row.

A WELL-MEANING magazine, advocating temperance and virtue. It may be useful among working people, but it does not exhibit any very remarkable ability.

The Holy War by John Bunyan versified. By E. J. James Nisbet and Co., Berners Street.

IT has often occurred to us that Bunyan’s “Holy War” has received far less attention than it deserves. In metaphysics it is not surpassed by other works upon mental philosophy; nor in experience by other writers upon experimental Christianity. It might have even taken the place of “Pilgrim’s Progress” if it had come out before it. Both allegories are powerfully descriptive of a type of true godliness from which, it is to be feared, the church is fast receding. This poetic version will serve, we hope, to direct fresh attention to the “Holy War.”


OUR notes this month will be very few, for our College Address occupies all the space. We have to apologize for the great length of our first article, and of the accounts; but it was unavoidable, and we hope our friends have sufficient interest in our work to bear with it.

The College Conference, though a trying occasion to the President, who was incessantly occupied, was one of the most joyful seasons of our life. The brethren met in great numbers with increased enthusiasm; every meeting was good, for the Lord was there. At Mr. Phillips’ supper more help was given than ever, amounting to over £2,200; and we are most grateful to God, and to all his servants, specially to our bounteous host, and to the generosity of the chairman, and another friend, who gave £200 each. What hath God wrought! We do not look to money power; still money is needed and it has come, and the divine blessing with it.

Of our students Mr. Short, late of Sittingbourne, has gone to Marlborough Crescent, Newcastle: Mr. Ney, Mr. Burt, and Mr. Edgerton from the College to Amersham, Mildenhall, and Beccles. Our brief reply to the Bishop of Manchester has created no little amusement in the North, for we spoke of the bishop’s wife and daughters, and it appears that the worthy prelate is unmarked. We really are not to blame for that, nor for making the mistake; for on the ground that “a bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife,” it was not a wild flight of imagination, suppose that the worthy prelate was married. One ferocious writer charges us with gross ignorance for this error, and wonders at our presumption in trying to teach otters: well, we are afraid that upon the important matter of the bishops’ wives and families we are somewhat at sea, and perhaps our critic will direct us to a work which will furnish us with all particulars, with the latest additions.

Any Independent church needing an old-fashioned gospel minister, and an experienced pastor, would we think do well if they were to hear our beloved father, who is at this time without a pastorate. He can be addressed Mr. John Spurgeon, Mount Pleasant, Barnsbury Square, Islington. We insert this without his knowledge, because we hope that some of our Independent readers may know of a suitable sphere for him.

Mrs. Spurgeon has handed us the following letter in reference to her Book Fund, and we beg special attention to it:

“My very dear Mr. Editor, — I am able to report the Book Fund ‘very prosperous,’ so far as the distribution of books is concerned, for as the work becomes more widely known the demands increase in number and urgency, and are met by a glad and speedy response; but I regret to say that the funds do not show a corresponding activity and energy, in fact, they are, as our City friends would express it, ‘very dull and greatly depressed.’

So assured, however, am I that the work is the Lord’s, and that he will not suffer it to fail, that I am full of expectancy, and am looking out every day for some fresh proof of his goodness in inclining the hearts of his people to help me in this sorely needed service. Not in vain did I stand by your side when, some time since, you were ‘watching the ebb,’ for I hope I then learned a lesson of patient waiting for the Lord’s good time, which will sweetly avail me in this my hour of need. If you think fit to let our friends know how busy yet how bankrupt I am, it may be the Lord will send me help by the hands: anyhow, in the comfortable confidence that aid will come speedily,

I remain,

Your very happily,


Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle. By Mr. J. A. Spurgeon: — March 26th twenty-one. By Mr. V. J. Charlesworth: April 5th, eight.

Advance Thought. By CHARLES E. GLASS. Trubner and Co., Ludgate Hill.

ADVANCE thought may be in error as well as in truth, and there can be little doubt in the minds of those who understand the difference between them to which the advance here belongs. It is an advance from revelation to reason, and from reason to spiritual medium-ship, as it is here called. The author professes to be inspired as much as the penmen of the sacred oracles. Be it so, but certainly not with the same Spirit. He speaks of “the immense influence which leading minds like that of Jesus, or in our own time that of Thomas Carlyle or J. S. Mill, exercise over mankind,” which may suffice to show that he is not one to whom “discerning of spirits” has been given. We should advise him to beat a retreat rather than advance any further.

The Highway of Salvation. By H. K. WOOD. Hodder and Stoughton, 27, Paternoster Row.

AMID so many books pointing downwards, we gladly welcome every addition to those which point out the way upwards to life eternal. The highway of salvation is clearly delineated in this little volume. Elementary as it may be, it may attract some by its numerous anecdotes, both new and old, whose interest might not be awakened by any other means.

Memorials of the Life and Work of the Rev. William Johnston, M. A., D.D., Limekilns. William Oliphant and Co., Edinburgh.

THIS same Dr. Johnston was one of the notables in Scotland of the 19th century. He was not a Chalmers, or a Macleod, or a Guthrie, but he was not unworthy to be mentioned in connection with them. He was preeminent both in his pastoral influence and in his public career. He was little known in other countries, but well known in his own land. He was ever in advance of the above-named divines in advocating the most liberal measures of his own times. His memoir, and specimens of his sermons and speeches upon public occasions, are here comprised in one volume. Young ministers will do well to peruse it for the promotion of their own piety and zeal.

Our Social Relationships and Life in London. By Rev. WILLIAM BRADEN. James Clarke and Co., 13, Fleet St.

IT is not from what these discourses are, so much as from what they are not, that they are not in full sympathy with our ideas of a gospel ministry. We could not afford to give up so large a portion of our public teaching almost exclusively to social relationships, and especially in the early part of a ministerial career. Judging from the place which the duties of social life occupy in the teachings of Paul and of Peter, and the instructions given to Timothy upon the subject, and the motives by which they are enforced, excellent as these discourses may be, there is a still more excellent way. Men do not want to know what their social duties are so much as to be instructed in the gospel principles from which they will spontaneously flow.

The Three Caskets, and other Essays. By Miss E. J. WHATELY. W. Hunt and Co., 12, Paternoster-row.

A curious title of fabulous origin is here applied to three principal schools of theology in the present day. The connection between the things and their name is not, we think, very clear or very interesting. This, however, is but a small part of the volume. The essays that follow upon Christian doctrines and duties have that clear ring of gospel truth which will find an echo in every renewed heart. This lady is a better theologian than the majority of preachers in our day. Nor is it for want of ability to comprehend, or of culture to appreciate the various phases of modern thought that the old paths are preferred to the new, for she is fully aware of all the novelties and their arguments. The two chapters upon “Thoughts on Prayer” cannot fail to be helpful even to those who are most familiar with the subject. The composition will bear comparison with our first-rate authors.


We do not make these notes a record of the news of the churches, because all that kind of information our readers have already met with in the weekly papers, and they will have the “cauld kail het again” in several of our contemporaries.

The first week of the May meetings belonged to the Baptists, and it was as happy and enthusiastic a feast of brotherly love as could be well looked for this side heaven. Owing to great changes in the arrangements of our Societies, several brethren were removing from offices long occupied with honor, and therefore there was an unusual amount of thanking and testimonializing, but this was quite unavoidable from the peculiarity of the circumstances and quite unregretable from the excellence of the persons who were the recipients of our denominational honors. It is far better to have too much congratulation than too much contention.

It was a great joy to and that Dr. Landels and his coadjutors had obtained promises of £52,000 towards the Annuity Fund. The proper course will, we hope, be followed promptly, namely, to strike while the iron is hot and get in £80,000, for all will be needed to keep aged ministers from starving. We know the need; facts upon our memory are almost too bad to be written. Our friends who hold the promises would do well also to remember that they will probably lose 10 per cent. of them. Deaths, removals, failures, and so on, render any subscription which extends over five years, among the best of people, a matter requiring heavy discount. We are delighted to think that the fund has been so far established, and we both hope and believe that it will be of essential benefit in binding the brethren together; the greater have herein helped the less, and given a pledge to do so in other matters also. The Baptists are no longer a heap of units; we are coming together, cohering and uniting in one, and in all this ultimate designs of God for the spread of his truth are manifesting themselves. Never were the signs more hopeful. God is with us; and the whole brotherhood feel the value and need of that presence. We see everywhere the true evangelic spirit in happy contrast with other quarters where intellect is idolized and novelty of doctrine sought after.

April 26th. The Annual Meeting of the Baptist Missionary Society at Exeter Hall was thoroughly good, and well sustained throughout. The Society’s income has increased, and part of its debt is gone, but it is still in arrears. Annum subscribers of a guinea, or half-a-guinea, are wanted to increase the reliable income. There must be many well-to-do Baptists who are not subscribers, and the heathen are perishing. All through our churches there is a sound missionary spirit but the fire needs stirring. Brethren! sisters! can we let our mission remain in debt? By the love we bear to our Lord, it must not be. Write Mr. Alfred Baynes, Baptist Mission House, Castle Street, Holborn, London.

May 1st. We had the pleasure of preaching for our friend Dr. Landels at Regent’s Park, and of speaking at a meeting, during which Sir Robert Lush, in the name of the church and congregation, presented our good brother with £1,000. It served him right. Few can conceive how hard he has worked during the past years for the Annuity Fund, and how he has concentrated all his faculties upon the accomplishment of the benevolent purpose. His church has had to put up with a good deal on this account, and it has not only done so most patiently, but, to crown it all, shows its appreciation. of its pastor in this royal fashion. May the happiness of pastor and people abound yet more and more.

It has long been our desire to speak with the merchants and gentlemen of the City of London upon the weighty concerns of religion. The way opened through our being invited to address members of the Stock Exchange at Cannon Street Hotel. The meeting was so successful that we looked round for place to repeat the service, but could find none except the Friends’ Meeting House, Bishopsgate. To the honor of these brethren, conservative as Quakers are apt to be, they lent us their largest meeting-house very freely, and on May 2nd, at one o’clock, we found the house filled with city notables, to whom we spoke of the Claims of God. A few earnest friends had quietly given away tickets, and an audience of 1,000 or 1,200 was thus secured without a single bill or advertisement. On May 8th we had a second assembly of like character, only the feeling was deeper and more evident. It was a grand sight to see those city men — men only, streaming in to the moment, and then listening with discriminating earnestness as we pleaded for faith in Jesus. Brethren in Christ of all denominations surrounded us and begged us to continue such hopeful work. We have arranged for two addresses in June, but, alas, our physical strength has failed us, and while we write this we are laid by the heels in the Lord’s prison-house, whereof the north-east wind is the jailer. The kind brotherliness of the Society of Friends affects our heart; some in that Society are very dear to us. Will brethren in Christ seek for a blessing upon this effort?

May 2nd. Liberation Society Meeting. “Politics at the Tabernacle,” said one. Yes, politics, or anything else when duty calls. While the crown rights of Jesus are insulted by a church taking her laws from Caeser it is not for the world to protest, but for the people of God. Reforms in social arrangements may be left to that common sense of justice which still lives in many, but ecclesiastical crimes are not readily judged by carnal men, and it needs that spiritual men should speak out emphatically where Jesus and his glory as head of the church are concerned. This is not a matter to be left to skeptics and worldlings. We hope that in Scotland the question will be fought out upon religious grounds only, and the keen sense and theological acumen of the people will soon settle the controversy. The meeting at the Tabernacle was enthusiastic to the utmost possible degree; our friends are reckoning upon easy’ and speedy victory — we are not, but victory for the truth will come all in good time, and we are content to struggle on.

We hail with great satisfaction the advance towards a settlement upon the Burials Bill. The subject is not appropriate for party strife, and we do not wonder that the Archbishops felt that to maintain the exclusiveness of the past was not desirable, either from a Christian or ecclesiastical point of view. Dissenters must see to it that whatever is done is done thoroughly to prevent future heart-burnings. Although we are not among the sensible dissenters who accepted an invitation to Lambeth Palace, we are nevertheless fully confident that the Archbishop of Canterbury desires to conciliate his Nonconformist brethren, and has quite faith enough in them to leave the conducting of services at the grave to their discretion; but this is not the question: we must not leave the humble village pastor to the mercy of the pompous rector, whose dignity at home, where he is a little pope, it is not easy for those to conceive who only see him during his visit to town, where he resides among ordinary mortals as one of themselves.

May 7. — The colporteurs were many of them brought up from the country to have a few days of prayer and conference. We spoke to them in the afternoon, and were pleased to see, so fine a band of Christian men. The Tabernacle Colportage Society is doing a world of good. Its peculiar agency suits the condition of affairs,, and meets the case of sparse populations. It is wrong to wish for riches, but if we could stumble on a gold mine we would at once multiply our agents by ten, and the sixty should become six hundred. Instead, however, of finding treasure in that wholesale way, we have to mourn that comparatively few friends encourage this grand work. The general funds are sustained with difficulty. The capital fund still needs £400 even to go on with, and for enlargement, which is our aim and desire, we shall need still more. How can we trade without capital and keep on in and in our case, it puts us to all sorts of trouble. The responsibility, however, lies not with us but those of God’s stewards who withhold their help. Mr. Corden Jones, Colportage Society, Metropolitan Tabernacle will be happy to send a Report to any address, and also to hear of likely young men with consecrated hearts, who will undertake Colportage work.

On Sabbath, May 13, the Tabernacle was open in the evening to all comers, the congregation having been requested to stay away. To our great delight our regular attendants were all absent; never surely were people more hearty and unanimous in carrying cut the wish of their pastor; but then that wish commends itself so thoroughly to their judgments that it is the less wonder that they yield to it. We want to bring in outsiders, and when we looked at our audience, crowded to the last deuce of endurance, and saw also the great masses who had to be turned away as soon as service began, we saw more than ever the need of these clearings out of the saved ones to let the uncalled ones come within hearing of the gospel. We had help from on high, and we look for many converts as the result of the evening’s work. At the close of the service we felt the fell stroke of our bodily enemy, and went home to learn for some few days the varied forms which pain is able to assume. Brethren, pray for us that the fiery furnace may be of essential service by fitting us more completely for our Master’s service.

Baptist and Independent Churches should never choose a minister without inquiring as to his standing among the people with whom he last labored. No church would willfully choose an unworthy person as pastor, but we know a man who has gone from church to church and disgraced himself again and again. Even now he is seeking a pastorate, and will probably get one if he can manage to keep the deacons from inquiring as to his previous career. We were shocked the other day to see a man announced as a newly recognized minister whose character is of the foulest. Of course, as soon as matters are made known the pretender is discharged, but meanwhile what evil is done, and what dishonor is brought upon the cause of God. Our organizations are more than sufficient to enable the churches to protect themselves, but if they will neglect the most ordinary precautions they are themselves rest blameworthy should they find their pulpits profaned by unholy men. In the cases of men claiming to belong to the Pastors’ College, it will always be well to write to us for the list, and if the name is not there the fact will be instructive.

Mr. James Wilson of our College has become pastor of the church at Shotley Bridge, Durham.

We rejoice to find that our Tabernacle young ladies have taken up with vigor a Flower Mission. Flowers are given away at the hospitals with texts of Scripture appended to them. Country friends can help by sending flowers, carriage paid, so as to arrive on Wednesday, directed, Secretary of the Flower Mission, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

ORPHANAGE. The annual fete day will be held on the Pastor’s birthday, Tuesday, June 19th. Will country friends please take this as an intimation to send on goods for the sale which will be held on that day, and also to come up themselves and see the buildings and the boys.

Chap 6. JULY, 1877


JULY, 1877


NO. 3211





“He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” — John 21:16.

THIS commission was given at a suggestive time. After Pete and his companions had dined with their Lord, and enjoyed the most intimate intercourse with him, he said to them, “Feed my Sheep.” My sermon comes after dinner; for you have all feasted, not only with one another in brotherly fellowship, but also with your Master in heavenly communion; so now that you are refreshed and able to bear it, it is right that you should listen to his word of command.

Those whom the Lord addressed, and especially Simon, had become fishermen. “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes.” In the early part of your career most of you were fishermen, or men-catchers, and, truly, to be fishers of men should be your ambition all your lives; but you have now become something more, the fisher has developed into a shepherd. The fisherman represents the evangelist who casts the net into the waters and draws the fish to land, but it is not to him that Christ says, “Feed my sheep;” that is reserved for those of greater maturity and experience. Many of you have now for years been settled in one sphere, and while you will continue to fish, I trust that more and more you will remember that you now have other duties, to perform; you have to feed as well as to fish, to handle the crook as well as the net. We now leave the sea, wherein we were drifted to and fro, and we abide among our own flocks, standing and feeding in the strength of the Lord: we cease not to do the work of an evangelist, but we pay special attention to the duties of the pastor, for he who once said, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship,” now saith to us, “Feed my sheep.” I am addressing disciples to whom the Lord hath shown himself; may he now at this happy season commission us anew, and send us home with the word which he spake to Peter resting in our hearts.

I. This was a sort of ordination of Peter to the pastorate. He needed to be publicly recognized, for he had publicly offended; and his ordination commenced with AN EXAMINATION BEARING ON THE WORK. “Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” Our Lord does not admit any to the oversight of his flock without first of all questioning them as to their inner condition; neither should any man dare to accept such an office without great self-examination and searching of heart. Many questions, should be put to our hearts, and answered as in the sight of God; for no man rightly taketh this honor upon himself but he that is called thereunto, neither is every man fitted for the work, but he alone who is anointed of the Lord. You will observe that the examination was directed to the state of Peter’s heart, and so it touched the innermost spring of all his religion; for if love be absent all is vain: the heart of goliness is missing where love is lacking.

Love is the chief endowment for a pastor; you must love Christ if you mean to serve him in the capacity of pastors. Our Lord deals with the most vital point. The question is not “Simon, son of Jonas, knowest thou me?” though that would not have been an unreasonable question, since Peter had said, “I know not the man.” He might have asked, “Simon, son of Jonas, knowest thou the deep mysteries of God?” He did know them, for his Lord had called him blessed for knowing that which flesh and blood had not revealed to him. Our great Bishop of souls did not examine him with regard to his mental endowments, nor upon his other spiritual qualifications, but only upon this one, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” If so, then, “Feed my sheep.” Does not this plainly show us that the chief endowment of the pastor is to love Christ supremely, only such a man as that is fit to look after Christ’s sheep. You will fulfill that office well if you love Jesus: your love will keep you in your Lord’s company, it will hold you under his immediate supervision, and will secure you his help. Love to him will breed a love for all his sheep, and your love for them will give you power over them. Experience testifies that we never gain a particle of power for good over our people by angry words, but we obtain an almost absolute power over them by all-enduring love; indeed, the only power which it is desirable for us it have must come in that way. I have had the high pleasure of loving some of the most objectionable people till they loved me; and some of the most bitter I have altogether won by refusing to be displeased, and by persisting in believing that they could be better. By practical kindnesses I have so won some men that I believe it would take a martyrdom to make them speak evil of me. This has also been the experience of all who have tried the sacred power of love. My brethren, learn the art of loving men to Christ. We are drawn towards those who love us; and when the most callous feel “that man loves us,” they are drawn to you at once; and as you are nearer to the Savior than they are, you are drawing them in the right direction. You cannot look after God’s people, and properly care for them in all their sins, temptations, trials, and difficulties, unless you love, them; you will grow sick and weary of pastoral work unless there be a fresh spring of love in your heart welling up towards them. A mother tires not of watching by the bedside of her sick child, because love sustains her; she will outlast the paid nurse by many an hour; love props her drooping eyelids. Even so, “the hireling fleeth because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep,” but “the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” If you really love the sheep, you will be ready to spend your life for them or even to lay it down for their sakes. Love, then, I take to be the chief endowment of the pastor; although having that, I trust you will not fall short in any other respect but be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. Do not forget what you have been told about study and culture, but remember as the same time that the heart has more power in pastoral work than the head. In this ministry, a humble, godly, ill-educated man with a great, warm, heart will be blessed far more than the large-headed man whose heart is a little diamond of rock-ice which could not be discovered without a microscope, even if he were dissected.

The Lord Jesus Christ connected his examination upon the matter of love with the commission “Feed my sheep,” because our work in feeding the flock of God is the proof of love to the Lord. Do we not tell our people that love must be not in word only but also in deed? We judge whether any man has love to Christ by testing what he will do for Christ. What suffering or reproach will he endure for him? What of his substance will he consecrate to his service? What of himself will he use for the Lord? We can tell which of us, as a minister, is proving his love to Christ by ascertaining who is really shepherdizing Christ’s flock, and laying out himself for the benefit of the Lord’s redeemed. The man to whom Jesus said, “Lovest thou me?” was the same who before had said “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Some among us would readily venture upon that water-walking, for it would be something extraordinary and brief, and this would suit us, for we are not given to plodding perseverance. Our zeal is great, and we dash off as Peter did, though soon, like him, we begin to sink. Note well that Christ does not say, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Go and walk the water.” The Master seems to say, “You have done enough of that in your young days, now go and quietly feed my sheep. It is hard, tiring, quiet work: and if you have no love to me, you will soon weary of it. ‘Feed my sheep,’ ‘Feed my sheep,’ ‘Feed my sheep;’ three times I bid you do it, that you my continue in the work as long as you live, for thus will you have given proof of the reality of your affection for me.” Brethren, go back to your flocks, and feed them well, and so give fresh evidences of your love to your Lord.

This pastoral work for Christ is the craving of love in every heart that is set apart for it of the Lord. Every soul that truly loves him longs to do something for him: it cannot do otherwise, love must serve its beloved, it yearns to go and lay its offering at his feet. No pressure was needed to make the forgiven sinner wash Christ’s feet with her tears, and wipe them with the hairs of her head, and anoint them with precious ointment; her heart suggested it, and she hastened to obey; and if you, my brethren, are true pastors, you cannot help looking after the wandering sheep, you naturally care for your people, you have a sacred instinct which compels you to be lovers of men’s souls. You see how little girls, as if it were in them naturally to act as nurses, will kiss their dolls, and fondle, caress, dress, and care for them as mothers do for their children; and just so we have seen mere lads converted to Christ, and intended by the Lord to become pastors, who, before they have been out of their teens, have begun to speak of Jesus to their little friends and companions. The Lord has caused them even from their new birth to feel a shepherd’s propensities strong within them. It was so with some of us, we could not have helped preaching even if we would, we were born to preach when we were born again; let us then indulge the sacred passion to the full.

Brethren, since we have been at this work, it has been to us the stimulus of love. The way to love another more is to do more for him. When a man has done a kindness to you, he will love you; the receiver may be unmindful of the favor, but the giver has a better memory. There is no fear of our Lord’s ceasing to love us, since for us he has suffered even unto death; the supreme sacrifice made once for all renders it impossible that he should do otherwise than rest in his love. Even so, if we labor and pray, and practice self-denial for others, we are sure to love them all the more. Then, too, as you go on feeding Christ’s sheep, building up his people, and cheering his discouraged ones, you will love your Master more, and your love for him will act again upon you, and cause increased love to the people, and so on evermore. Those over whom you have most agonized have delighted you most when at last they have been converted; your joy has been increased as you have waited for the realization of your hope.

This feeding of the sheep is to the love which is the matter in question a sphere of communion. “Feed my sheep” unites us in service with Jesus. Love longs to be with Jesus, and in fellowship with him. The Lord was about to ascend to heaven when he said to Simon, “Feed my sheep,” and Simon could not as yet go with him; but if he would accompany his Lord while abiding here, he must follow on his Lord’s work, and abide with his Lord’s flocks. If we will undertake labors of love, for those whom he has redeemed, if we will go wherever his sheep are lost, seeking, —

“With cries, entreaties, tears, to save,
To snatch them from the fiery wave,” —

we shall soon find ourselves where Jesus is. He is always at that business, he seeketh poor sinners still; and if we are engaged in the same search, we shall be with him, we shall enter into his feelings, we shall share his desires, and feel his sympathies. When thus with him, we shall witness his heart breaking throes, and almost see his bloody sweat streaming down when he was agonizing for souls, for we shall in some feeble measure feel the same. You cannot understand your Lord till you have wept over your congregations; you will understand him then, as you see him weeping over Jerusalem. If you feel towards your hearers that you could die to save their souls, you will then have fellowship, with the death of your Lord. In grief over backsliders and joy over penitents you will commune with the Redeemer in the most practical manner. You must feel a shepherd’s feelings, and give practical proof of it by daily feeding the flock, else will your fellowship with the great Shepherd be mere sentiment, and not a fact.

So much about the previous examination of the candidate for the pastorate. But it is worth noting that the examination is often needed in after life, for we need to be kept right as well as to be made so. Our Lord comes to us this morning with the old question, he pauses at each man, and questions him just as at the first. He seems to say, you have read many men’s books, do you still love me? You have heard many conflicting opinions, do you still love me? You have been very poor and hardworked, do you still love me? Your people have treated some of you very badly, you have had to go from place to place, you have been slandered, reviled, maligned, do you love me still? You have been sorely put to it to find discourses; I have sometimes left you, as you thought, to make you own your weakness, do you still love me?” Imagine that he changes his tone, and says, “Simon, son of Jonas, you have not been all that you promised. You thought you would go to prison and to death with me, and you never dreamed that you could have been so cold-hearted in my service as you have been, and have lived at so great a distance from me as you have done; but do you still love me? If so, remember that in going back to your ministry, you must gather renewed strength from renewed love. Love me more, and then feed my sheep.” We rejoice as we listen to his gracious voice, and each one of us answers, “Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee; and I will feed thy sheep.”

II. Secondly, let us LOOK AT THE PERSON EXAMINED IN RELATION TO THE WORK. Perhaps he may bear the same relation to you as he does to me. Painfully do I know myself to he a successor of one of the apostles; — not of Judas, I hope, but certainly of Peter. I could have wished that it had been John whom I had succeeded; but although it is only Peter, it is some consolation to know that he also was “an apostle of Jesus Christ” notwithstanding his terrible fall. Why did the Savior examine Peter rather than any other? Because Peter was in peculiar need of a re-ordination. Had he not received it from his Lord, some would have said in after days, “Was he really an apostle?” and others would have replied, “He thrice denied his Master, surely he is not one of the twelve.” We cannot help feeling that blindness has seized the church of Rome when she boasts of the commission to feed Christ’s sheep having been given to the apostle Peter, when with half an eye anyone can see that our Lord addressed these words to Peter because at that time he was the least of the twelve. He had denied his Master, the others had not, and, therefore, he was the one concerning whose apostleship distrust was most likely to arise. The sheep would in all probability have refused to recognize him; they might have said, “We cannot receive food at your hands, for we remember how you were frightened by a silly maid, how you denied your Lord, and supported your denial with oaths and curses.” Therefore, came the voice to Peter, who needed it. If there is one with us now who feels like conscience-stricken Peter, let him hear the text. Dear friend, if you have any doubt about your call, and even if there should be as grave cause for that doubt as there was in Peter’s case, yet still, if you feel that you love the Lord, hear him again commission you with “Feed my sheep.” In your present condition, which its rather that of the weeping penitent than of the assured believer, it will be well to go to your work very steadily, for it will comfort you, deepen your piety, and increase your faith.

Our Lord called Peter to this work because it would be peculiarly beneficial to him. He knew how sincere was his repentance, and how hearty was his grief on account of his great sin; and, therefore, lest he should be overtaken with too much sorrow, he said to him, “Feed my sheep.” If nothing had been spoken personally and specially to him, he might have mourned heavily, saying, “Alas, I denied my Master, I swore that I never knew him;” and when the Lord was gone up again into glory, instead of standing up as he did on the day of Pentecost to preach that, ever-memorable sermon, he might have been found at home weeping; instead of going up to the temple with John at the hour of prayer, he might have kept in his chamber, and there mourned all the day. Grief is best expelled by other thoughts; when you have been cast down, it is well when some important engagement has called off your attention from your trouble, and I think the compassionate Master raised Peter out of what might have grown into a morbid condition of continual grief by bidding him feed his sheep. He seemed to say, “Come hither, my dear disciple. I know you are sincerely penitent, and I have fully forgiven you for denying me as you did. Mourn no longer, but go and feed my sheep.” Then, as the Lord fed the sheep by him, and blessed him to the conversion of others, he would feel certain that his Lord did not remember his faults, and thus he would learn how perfect was the pardon he had received. I do not know that there is a brother with us this morning who is in the condition of Peter; but if I did know such an one, and could read his heart, I would go out to him, and say, “Come, brother, we are not going to cast you out; we consider ourselves lest we also be tempted. You have been converted once as a sinner, you must now be converted as a minister; and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren. Yes, my brother, go back to your Lord and Master, and then, with all your soul inflamed with love for him, feed his sheep, and the Lord bless you in so doing!”

Dear brethren, in Peter’s case we see a man zealous for his Lord, but of imperfect character, and we see how his failure had been overruled by God to prepare him for is life-work of feeding Christ’s sheep. John did not want such preparation, and the other nine did not require it. It was only Peter who needed to be thus rebuked by a display of his own weakness. This man was too great, too self-confident, too much Peter, and too little a disciple; and he must therefore, come down. Probably nothing could have brought him to his true bearings like his being left to see what was in his heart. We speak with bated breath when we say that, to some men, a painful break-down has been the making of them. They became from that, time free from their former self-esteem, all were as cleansed and emptied vessels, fit for the Master’s use. A deep sense of our weakness and a humbling consciousness of unworthiness form a considerable part of our qualification for dealing with Christ’s sheep. Because you are a sinner, you will deal lovingly with sinners; because you know what backsliding means, you will be very gentle and forbearing with backsliders because you have broken your own bones, you will be very careful how you handle those who have broken theirs.

You see, then, that this feeding of the sheep, as I have already shown you, would benefit Peter in the particular condition in which he then was, and it is not hard to see that it would benefit him by keeping his rashness in check. I know some beloved brethren who are impetuous, and, God bless them, I love them none the less for that, especially when they know how to bridle their impetuous spirits, and only allow them to dash out against evil; but some are rashly impetuous and strong-headed, and it will need considerable discipline to make them into useful, workable men; but when the Lord has done this, they will become those determined, independent, resolute men of mark and mind who are so valuable to the Church of God. Such brethren want the education of a pastorate at once to curb and to develop them. You did not know how foolish you were till you had to deal with fools, and found that you could not suffer them gladly. You did not know how passionate you could be till you had to meet with quick tempered people like yourself. You did not know how rash you could be till you fell into the society of a dozen rash men like yourself, who egged you on in your fool-hardiness. You have now discovered that, where you fancied there was a great deal of strength, there was a vast amount of weakness. I believe that the Peter of the Epistles grew out of the Peter of the sea of Tiberias and the Peter of the denial, by means of the grace given, him, while feeding the flock of God. Peter was a bigoted, narrow-minded Jew, and could not readily believe that any others beyond the chosen nation were to be saved; but when he mixed with mankind, and was sent to the house of Cornelius, his heart grew larger, although it was not as large as it should have been till Paul boldly withstood him to the face because he was to be blamed. “Feed my sheep” is, therefore, beloved, a commission intended for your own good as well as theirs.

It touched me very much to find our Lord addressing Peter by his old name of Simon, son of Jonas. I do not know why he should not have said, “Peter, lovest thou me?” John writes “Jesus saith to Simon Peter.” Why did not our Lord call him so? Was it not, in the first place, to remind him of his natural weakness? He is not called Petros, the stone, the rock; but the son of Jonas, the son of a timid dove; and it is under that name that he is commissioned to feed the sheep. Brethren, if this morning you are filled with a consciousness of your own weakness and unworthiness, the Master says to you, “Still go and feed my sheep.” If you are not in your own opinion fit for the work, still let the sheep be fed. Do not let them suffer because you are not in a right state of mind and heart. These sheep, what have they done; Why should they starve? It is only too true that you have sinned, but let not that sad fact rob the people of a full display of the gospel next Lord’s day. “Feed my sheep.” Go as Peter, if you can; but when you cannot do so, go as “Simon, son of Jonas.”

But I think there was a deeper reason, and one which touched me more, why our Lord said, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” This was his old name before he was converted, for when Jesus first saw him, he said, ‘Thou art Simon, the son of Jonas.’ Nothing will help you to feed the flock of God, brethren, like recollecting the time and circumstances when you were first brought to Jesus. If it were possible, which it is not, I should like to be converted every Sunday morning before preaching. At any rate, I should like to feel just that tenderness of heart, that admiration for my Savior, that all-absorbing love, to my Lord, and that wonderment at the grace of God toward me which I felt when I was converted. There may have been another reason why Jesus said, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Perhaps it was because, when Simon had discovered that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, his Master said to him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” By repeating that name, our Lord made Peter recollect, in addition to his conversion, the many happy seasons which he had enjoyed, in which the Lord had manifested himself to him as he does not unto the world. We are bound to preach of the things which we have tasted and handled. If, like John, we have been in Patmos, let us not cease to talk of him that walketh among the golden candlesticks. Come down from the mount to tell of what you have yourself seen there. Be filled with recollections of all the blessed intercourse you have enjoyed with Christ, and then speak about him to others, thus the joy of the Lord shall be your strength. You will have no doubt then of your call to the ministry, but you will say, “that which was from the beginning, which we have seen with our eyes which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life, declare we unto you.” “We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen.”

III. In the third place, I must confine myself to giving you a mere outline of THE WORK ITSELF, as our time is flying so fast. What have we to do, then? “Feed my sheep.” In the English, you have the command three times over, “Feed my sheep.” What are we to do with the sheep? Feed! Feed! Feed! That seems to be the whole of our business, “Feed my sheep.” Truth to tell, the middle Greek word properly means shepherdize them, guide them, lead them, go before them as a shepherd does. The first and last words are the same, feed. In each of the three sentences there is a minute difference, but twice out of three times in the original the word is feed. If I mention nothing else but feeding as the pastor’s duty, it will be the very best lesson I could have given you, even if other valuable duties are cast into the shade. Wherever you are weak, be strong in the pulpit. Give the people a good hearty meal whenever you preach. They will put up with a great many defects if you will only feed them. An Englishman is in a good condition if he is fed. Feed him, and he will be all right; but if you dress him, and do not feed him, he will not care for the clothes you put on him however fine they are. You may wash him if you like, but you must feed him. There is an inward, powerful persuader which convinces a man that to be happy and healthy he must be fed. Now, God’s people are the hungriest people in the world, they never seem to be satisfied. If you watch a flock of sheep feeding in a clover field, you will be surprised to see how they will eat: they eat, and eat, and eat; and so God’s people are a hungering, craving people. It is written, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” They “shall be filled;” it does not say, they shall have a nip and a bite, and then be driven away; and therefore we are to treat them as God would have them treated, — feed them, feed them to the full. Never be afraid of being too free with the food, or of giving them too much sound doctrine and gospel provender.

Some want to drive the flock, but that will never do; we must feed, not drive. We will lead them, say you; that is very good but do not lead lean sheep; feed and fatten them, and then they will follow gladly. Perhaps you wish to govern them, well, the middle word does mean govern after the gospel fashion; but if you somewhat govern, yet give two supplies of feeding for one of ruling. You will be sure to succeed if you keep to the feeding. Blessed be God, you have not to invent a new food for his sheep; it is written, “Feed them,” but it is not written, “invent food for them.” God has appointed the proper food for his sheep; hand that out to them, and nothing else. The Pope of Rome, who claims to be the lineal successor of the apostle of whom we are speaking, attempts to feed in a strange manner. I wonder how many of the sheep are able to feed on his allocutions, and other specimens of cursing. He seems to be mainly engaged in uttering maledictions upon the wolves; I see no food for the sheep. How is it that he has founded no Bible Societies in Rome for the circulation of the pure Word of God? One of his predecessors has called the Protestant version “poisonous pastures.” Very well, then, why not circulate a pure version: Why not spend a part of Peter’s pence in distributing the Epistle to the Romans? Why not exhort priests, cardinals, and bishops to be instant in season and out of season, preaching the gospel according to the commission of the Lord? Verily, Peter at this day is crucified head downwards at Rome. The tradition is symbolic of the fact, for the apostle is placed in a wrong position, and exalted to honors which are a crucifixion to him.

Brethren, you have to feed Christ’s sheep. Our Lord says, “Feed! Feed! Feed!” He begins with “Feed my lambs.” My little lambkins, or young believers, — these need plenty of instruction. “Feed my sheep” comes next; feed the middle-aged, the strong, the vigorous: these do not require feeding alone, they also need to be directed in their Christian course, and to be guided to some field of earnest service for Christ, — therefore shepherdize them. Then, in the last “Feed my sheep” you have the gray-headed believers in Christ. Do not try to govern these, but feed them. They may have far more prudence, and they certainly have more experience than you have, and therefore do not rule them, but remind them of the deep things of God, and deal out to them an abundance of consoling truth. There is that good old man, he is a father in Christ; he knew the Lord fifty years before you were born; he has some peculiarities, and in them you must let him take his own course, but still feed him. His taste will appreciate solid meat, he knows a field of tender grass when he gets into it; feed him; then, for his infirmities require it. Feed all classes, my brethren, that is your main work; mind that you not only get good food for the sheep, but feed them with it. A farmer one day, after he had listened to a simple sermon, which was the very opposite of what he generally heard, exclaimed, “O Lord, we bless thee that the food was put into a low crib to-day, so that thy sheep could reach it!” Some brethren put the food up so high that the poor sheep cannot possibly feed upon it. I have thought as I have listened to our eloquent friends, that they imagined that our Lord had said, “Feed my camelopards.” None but giraffes could reach the food when placed in so lofty a rack. Christ says, “Feed my sheep,” place the food among them, put it close to them.

Take care also that you feed yourselves. “Who rules o’er freemen should himself be free;” we will alter the line into “Who feeds Christ’s sheep should feed on Christ himself.” A preacher who is starved in soul will be likely to starve his hearers. Oh, fatten yourselves on Christ, dear brethren! Ask to have the promise fulfilled, “I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord.” May the Holy Ghost work this in you!

Having fed them, your work should also comprehend all the rest that a shepherd does for his flock. Neglect none of these things. Go before them, set them an example, encourage them, and direct them in difficulty. Let your voice ever be familiar to them, carry the lamb in your bosom, gently lead those that are in circumstances of pain and peril, care for all the flock, be tender with any that may wander, seek after them, and bring them back.

Now what does all this involve? Knowledge. You must “feed them with knowledge and understanding.” Watchfulness. No shepherd can afford to slumber; and at one part of the year he must be up all night, for the lambs are being born. When you have a lambing time on, or, in other words, a blessed revival, you will need to be especially watchful; and, as the wolf comes not only at lambing time, but as all other seasons, you should be always vigilant against him.

One of the chief qualifications of a true pastor, and one that is not very common, is a great deal of patience. Perhaps you say, “These people are so sinful, and erring, and foolish.” Yes, they are like sheep; and if they were not so, they would not need you or any other shepherd. Your calling would be abolished if all Christ’s people were strong, and able to instruct others. Be very patient with them, as a nurse is with the child committed to her to watch, and love, and teach. What an honor this office puts upon you! To belong to the College of Fishermen with Peter, James, and John, is a great honor; but the work of the pastor is nobler still. Well did they speak of old of shepherd-kings, for the shepherd’s business is such as is worthy of a king; indeed, amid his flock he is the truest of kings. What a line of shepherds can be traced right through the Word of God! Your business is one which the first martyr followed, for Abel was a keeper of sheep: stand like him in the midst of your flock, ready to sacrifice life itself at God’s altar. You are following the business of Jacob, who said to Laban, “In the day the drought, consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.” Yours is the calling of Joseph, who even when exalted to a throne, was still “the shepherd and stone of Israel.” Whatever your position may be, brethren, be shepherds still. You are following the trade of that noblest of woman born, I mean Moses, who kept the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, in the desert, and there beheld the bush on fire, out of which God spoke with him. He who led the people like a flock all through the wilderness was ready like a true shepherd to lay down his life for the flock, even asking to have his name blotted out of God’s book if by that means they might live. You are following the occupation of the men after God’s own heart. If a man in these days is after God’s heart, let him be a shepherd of the flock. “He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: from following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.” I hope, my brethren, that like him in your youth you have slain both the lion and the bear, and that if an uncircumcised Philistine comes in your path, you will defy and destroy him in the name of the Lord. You are following the trade of God’s only-begotten Son. The Lord had but one Son, and he made a Shepherd of him. Imitate that good Shepherd of the sheep, who loved them, and laid down his life for them. Trust that great Shepherd of the sheep, whom “the God of peace has brought again from the dead through the blood of the everlasting covenant;” and by-and-by you shall see the chief Shepherd, and “shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

Never forget that it is Christ’s sheep that you have to feed. Jesus says, “Feed my sheep.” Many find fault with the churches of the present day, and the easiest work in the world is to find fault, but, my dear brethren, bad as I know some of the churches to be, I know no better people than God’s people, and with all their faults I love them still. I find my choicest companions and my bosom friends among them. I love the gates of Zion, for, —

“There my best friends, my kindred dwell,
There God my Savior reigns.”

I always feel, in reference to my own people, that if they can put up with me, I can very well put up with them. They are Christ’s people; therefore love them, and feel it to be an honor to do anything for those who belong to Jesus.

Much honor lies in the fact that our Lord says to each of us personally, “Feed my sheep.” I think that I see him here among us; he of the pierced hands and the marred countenance, with the thorn crown about his brow, stands in this hall, and speaks to us. Or, if you will, with all his glories on he comes among us, he looks on us all, and even on me also, my dear brethren; and he says to each of us, “Do you see those poor tempted people? They are my sheep. I have loved them from before the foundation of the world; will you feed them for me? I have called them out of the world by victorious grace, will you feed them for me? I have provided abundant pasture for them, will you feed them for me? I have bought them, with my blood, behold the memorials of my purchase in my hands and my feet, my head and my side; will you feed them for me? I have loved you also, and you love me; will you feed my sheep for me? I will feed you, will you feed them? Your bread shall be given you, and your water shall be sure; will you feed my beloved ones for me? I have gone to prepare a place for them in my own sweeter pasturages on the hill-tops of glory. Will you feed them till I come again? I will feed them through you by the Holy Spirit, will you be my instruments?” Do we not all reply, “Beloved Master, we think it our highest honor to be privileged thus, and cost us what it may, we will spend our lives in feeding thy sheep”? Brethren, say not much by way of vow, but say much by way of prayer. Lord, help us all henceforth to feed thy sheep! Amen.


I DO not find where Jesus was ever bidden to any table and refused. If a Pharisee, if a publican, invited him, he did not hesitate to go, not for the pleasure of the dishes, but to do good. . . . If he sat with sinners, he converted them; if with converts, he confirmed them; if with the poor, he fed them; if with the rich in substance, he made them rich in grace. At whose board did he ever visit and left not his host a gainer? The poor bridegroom entertains him, and hath his waterpots filled with wine. Simon, the Pharisee, entertains him, and hath his table honored with the public pardon of a penitent sinner, and with the heavenly doctrine of remission. Zaccheus entertains him; salvation came that day to his house with the Author of it. That presence made the publican a son of Abraham. Matthew is recompensed for his feast with an apostleship. Martha and Mary entertain him, and, besides divine instruction, receive their brother from the dead. — Bishop Hall.

The Apostle of the Gentiles: a Handbook on the Life of St. Paul. With Notes, critical and illustrative. By B. P. PASK. Special Notes on Ephesus; by J. T. WOOD, Esq., F.S.A. Sunday School Union.

WHAT can the man do that cometh after the king? What can B. P. Pask accomplish after Conybeare and Howson? Yet we are bound to confess that Mr. Pask’s volume has a peculiar adaptation for its own purpose, and contains more new and interesting information than we could have thought it possible to gather upon Paul and his travels. To Sabbath-school teachers who cannot afford to buy larger and fuller works we recommend this hand  book, for it will answer all practical purposes and be a great assistance to them in preparing for their classes. The book is very properly got up in that neat and sober style which becomes expository writings. It will be a valuable addition to the teacher’s library.

Beacons and Patterns: or, Lessons for Young Mens. the REV. W. LANDELS, D.D. Hodder and Stoughton.

WE are glad to see these “lessons” in the third thousand. The beauty of the style will commend to many reader the weighty instructions of the preacher, and all young men and women who read his earnest admonitions will feel that they have been in contact with a warm heart and a wise mind. Dr. Landels is intensely practical, and aims at winning the soul for Jesus and for holy living: may the best of blessings rest upon his efforts, both with tongue and pen.

Whose Dog is it?” or, the Story of Poor Gyp. S.W. Partridge and Co.

A clever antivivisection tale. We felt ourselves shivering while reading the little book; but it ends pleasantly, and so we recovered our equanimity.

Philological French Primer; with a Classified Vocabulary and familiar Phrases and Dialogues. By A. Cogery, B.A., L.L. Relfe Brothers.

M. COGERY teaches French in our day-school, and does his work very efficiently. We are glad to see that his conversation book is in the second edition, for it is carefully prepared.

Education Progressive through Life.

Essays for Students. By HENRY TRIGG. Elliot Stock.

VERY respectable essays. Young men who will read them with care will not regret doing so, for they contain wise advice put in a scholarly form.

The Word of God on True Marriage. [Anonymous]. Trubner and Co.

THIS book will meet with no readers on this side the Atlantic. It proves what we all believe, namely, the Scripturalness of Christian marriage and the unholiness of Mormonite polygamy; but it goes further, and asserts that Biblical authority neither sanctioned nor tolerated a plurality of wives among the people of Israel. The author is greatly in earnest against the admission of the territory of Utah into the Union, and well he may be so long as the Mormon abomination remains, but the evil is too gross to live.


DURING the early part of the past month we were called upon to suffer the Lord’s will rather than to do it. Engagements at Liverpool, Norwich and Maze Pond were unfulfilled through inability. Friends must excuse our refusing for some time to come to make any promises, since we have no power to perform those already made. We are just able to do the home work, but no more at present. The choice seems to lie between being laid aside pretty frequently with depression of spirit and pain of body, and steadily keeping on with home duties; we prefer the second, because we hope that the comparative quiet may bring greater strength for future endeavors.

COLLEGE. Mr. Harrington leaves us for China-man’s Flats, Victoria, and Mr. Hancock settles at Tonbridge, in Kent.

Here, perhaps, we may be allowed to notify to our Australian friends that our son, Thomas Spurgeon, left us for Melbourne, on June 16, taking a voyage in the Lady Jocelyne for his health. We shall be grateful to any friends who will extend kindness to him. He will be willing to preach as opportunity may occur.

Messrs. Clark and Smith, two worthy students of our college, will commence evangelistic work next August. We have engaged to find them a maintenance, that they may go through the length and breadth of the land and preach Christ. They are very lively and able speakers. Mr. Smith is a singer, and also plays upon a cornet, by which means he not only fetches in the people to the service, but interests them when they are gathered together. We have made him a present of a new silver trumpet, upon which is engraved a verse from the Psalms, “With trumpet and sound of cornet, make a joyful noise before the Lord the King.” Both Mr. Clark and Mr. Smith have been greatly useful in conversions, and we send them forth in the name of the Lord, with high hopes of blessing. Their appointments from time to time will appear in the Sword and Trowel. Our friends may confide in these brethren, and feel quite safe in helping them. They go first, we believe, to Hartlepool and the northern towns. The expenses will be considerable, and therefore we shall be willing to be assisted in this effort by any who would like to have a share in the enterprise. Both the evangelists are authorized to receive subscriptions, but no one is asked to give.

May 22-24 — A number of friends some time ago united with Mr. Coxetor to accept the vote of the London Baptist Association of £1,000, and erect a new chapel at High-gate Road. Mr. Coxeter generously gave the ground. The chapel is opened, and work has hopefully begun. Knowing that the little band were striving nobly, and had a heavy debt, C. H. S. invited Mrs. Coxeter and her friends to bring the remainder of her Bazaar to the Tabernacle. Friends came up to the mark to help, though the Pastor was absent from illness, and the very useful sum of about £250 was realized. It is a healthy thing, even when we are loaded with home service, to lend a hand to brethren in whose enterprise we have no selfish interest; thus the purest Christian feeling is brought into exercise. Thanks are tendered to the ladies who got up a Tabernacle stall on the shortest possible notice, and carried on its operations with so much vigor. Indeed, the whole incident caused the Pastor great pleasure, as remarkably illustrating the willingness of the people to aid in every good work.

June 4. — The Annual Meeting of the Home and Foreign Missionary Working Society, was held before the prayer meeting. The pastors were present, and both spoke in high praise of this association. Many boxes of clothes have been sent to poor pastors during the year, for themselves and their wives and children. Very grateful letters were read. Mrs. Evans, at the Tabernacle, would be very glad of half-worn garments, remnants of material, and other gifts which could be used by families. Many ministers are very poor, and the clothing of large families is a heavy expense; a box from this society is a great blessing, and as the ladies work up the materials, the outlay is much less than the value of the goods distributed. Are there not many drapers and others who have materials which are out of the fashion, which they could well spare? If so, send them on, for we do not care about the fashion so long as the poor ministers’ children are clothed. Boots and shoes, and garments of all sorts and sizes can be all utilized, and cash too. There is serious distress in many a poor minister’s home; let us relieve it. Address Mrs. Evans, Tabernacle, Newington Butts.

June 6 — Although we are quite forbidden to take any services beyond our home work, we felt able to go down and lay the foundation stone of a school-chapel near our own house in Nottingham Road, Upper Tooting. Here a little band of true-hearted believers have formed a church, and given generously to build a place wherein to worship. We had great pleasure in helping them, and as they will need about £400 more, we shall be glad if others will help them too. Any sums sent to us will be duly appropriated. Baptist friends in London ought to know that these good people have not gone round to them, or received a penny from the Association, but have helped themselves as God has enabled them. We hope that there are at least a few who will admire this effort of a very slender band and send them aid without being waited upon. Such giving would be of the very best kind. Note that this is not our sons’ chapel. It is near it, but in quite another district, with a common between. Friends can help both, or either, and we shall be equally glad. Partiality might have made us wish to see our sons raise their amount first, but in the Lord’s work we know no such feeling.

We find that we have given offense by saying that there was no Baptist Church in Tooting. We really thought so, but we are informed that there is a small one, and therefore we heartily apologize to our brethren for appearing to ignore them; for whatever their views, or however obscure the site of their chapel, we would not willfully overlook any member of the family. We have been through the little town scores of times, but have never seen the building: may our friends increase and multiply, and come to the front. We ought to have a large and influential church in Tooting, where there are many Baptists who remain unattached, or travel for miles to worship, showing that they do not feel that they are provided for. A movement is on foot for a church of the same faith and order as that at the Tabernacle, and there is plenty of room.

June 11 — Our Almshouse Sunday School gave a tea to the parents. We are greatly gratified at the success of the many operations carried on in our Almshouse premises. The efforts there form an important branch of our work.

June 18. — At the prayer-meeting some of the preachers of the Baptist Country Mission gave accounts of their stewardship, which were particularly pleasing. Churches have been formed at Putney, Carshalton, Walthamstow, etc. We never attended a better meeting. Our young brethren visit villages and country towns near London and labor to raise new churches in them. One of them has already commenced in Tooting, of which we wrote in a former paragraph. These earnest evangelists are ready for more work. If they were informed of destitute suburbs, where a few resident helpers would throw in their strength, this society would soon send a man to preach the gospel on the green, or in a room, and raise a Baptist Church. Address Mr. Bowker, Elder, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington Butts.

The Tabernacle Evangelist’s Society is another organization altogether, which finds speakers for special services in London, and works in connection with the churches. Thus much good is done in co-operation with settled agencies. Mr. Elvin, the secretary, may be addressed at the Tabernacle. His workers do not restrict themselves to any denomination, but are willing to aid all pastors who are willing to accept their help for a short series of meetings. Besides this they carry on open-air preaching and lodging-house visitation.

Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund is rich in opportunities for doing good, but it is very poorly off as to the means of meeting those opportunities. A fine vein of Primitive Methodist applicants has been opened, and very large numbers of books have been sent out; but it does not happen that any wealthy Primitive has been eager to contribute. Our dear suffering one never doubts that the Lord will send in what he intends her to send out, but requests from needy pastors are very numerous and urgent, and she hopes that she will not have to say them nay. Many needy preachers in Ireland are now applying, and it is important that they should be supplied: but where are the means? Our beloved begged us to express her thanks for valuable books to Mr. Hodge and Mr. Gibson, of Glasgow, and to Dr. Carson and Mr. Robert Haldane, and others; but, alas! ere we can thank Mr. Haldane our Lord has called him home. One of his last acts was to send Mrs. Spurgeon a number of the works of the famous Mr. Haldane.

June 19 — This was a very happy day for the friends of the Orphanage who were able to gather to the fete, but most of all for the Pastor, whose forty-third birthday was thus celebrated. Nearly 3000 persons in all came to the Orphanage grounds, and all seemed delighted, and especially were all unanimous in congratulating the Pastor, who was overwhelmed with their love. The sermon in the afternoon was from Genesis 30:27: “I pray thee, if I have found favor in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake;” and the Pastor dwelt upon the fact that he had received countless blessings through his faithful people, and he hoped that they would all continue with him for many a year to come. The Public Meeting in the evening was held in the open air, and was enthusiastic throughout. Our good friend Thomas Blake, Esq., M.P., worthily occupied the chair, and was well supported by the speakers. C.H.S. mentioned that he had that morning received 71 letters of congratulation, all containing help for the Orphanage, amounting to about £70, together with £43 from a friend, to tally with the number of his years, and the same from a trustee. To all these thoughtful friends he tendered his warmest gratitude. He also mentioned that no praise whatever was due to himself in managing the Orphanage, but to his beloved brother and the other trustees who so regularly conduct the business, and to Mr. Charlesworth and the very efficient staff who do the actual work. All glory is due to God, but it is right that any need of honor given to men should be justly distributed. The Orphanage is so well conducted by its officers as to cost its President the minimum of care.

On the fete day the public saw for the first time the very handsome fountain presented to the Orphanage by our esteemed friend Mr. B. Vickery. It is a very useful present, and an enduring memorial of his deceased wife. We thank the donor in the name of the trustees, but more especially on the behalf of the two hundred and forty thirsty boys, who appreciate it much during the hot weather.

Thanks are due to Mr. Murrell and the friends who helped to refresh the vast assembly. So admirable were the arrangements that there was no inconvenience experienced by a single person, so far as we could learn, but “all went merry as a marriage bell.” God was very gracious in sending so fine a day, and our friends in their thousands not only enjoyed themselves, but one another. They little know the thought and labor which was expended to carry out such a day’s proceedings: our invaluable deacon, Mr. Murrell, labored like twenty men rolled into one; and his staff of helpers seemed fired by his example. We cannot tell the exact net proceeds of the day, but they cannot be much under £400. The small bazaar realized a nice little sum, but if more friends would send us goods somewhere near the time we could largely increase the income from this department. All sorts of things can be sold, especially useful articles, and those who cannot afford money might help us in this way. We notice in the auditing of the accounts that our subscriptions were less last year than the year before. Friends will not allow any failing off — will they? Our heart is cheered, and we begin another year of our life with more pleasure than we can express. Yet earnestly do we thank our kind friends, the best any man ever had. More solemnly do we bless the Lord who has dealt so graciously with us, and will do so evermore.

The churches at Walworth Road Chapel and Park Road, Peckham, have both made collections for the Orphanage without being solicited, to do so; we are greatly gratified by this unsolicited kindness.

Mr. Cuff wishes us to report progress with regard to the Shoreditch Tabernacle, which is so greatly needed. He has obtained promises of £6000 out of £8000 which he desires to raise this year. He has heavy work before him: he has to build an immense house for a poor people, in a poor neighborhood, and unless wealthy friends from other regions help again and again the work will hardly be accomplished. It is to be done, and will be done, the Lord being our friend’s helper.

Our short article upon the Confessional has gone the round of the papers, and we are glad it should. The more that detestable matter is looked into the better — it is so filthy a business that no decent person could write the whole of what he knows about it: it ought not to be tolerated in civilized society. The questions which we have read with our own eyes fastened up inside the confessional boxes in Italy were so loathsome that we would not like to give a hint as to their subjects. Anglican confession shows strong leanings towards the same putridity. If we must have an Established Church we hope our spiritual pastors and roadsters will keep their house as sweet as they can, for at present there is an odor of something rather high. Parents write to us about children decoyed by Popish devices, and we are grieved that families should be liable to such invasions; but, whatever we may have to put up with from Romish priests, there can be no reason why we should breed a second set of these creatures inside the church which the nation favors with its partialities.






C. H. SPURGEON, President                –                 J. A. SPURGEON, Vice-President
MRS. A. HILLYARD                               –               WILLIAM HIGGS
WILLIAM OLNEY                                  –             WILLIAM C. MURRELL
B. WILDON CARR                                 –               JOSEPH PASSMORE
THOMAS R. PHILLIPS                         –                 WILLIAM MILLS
THOMAS H. OLNEY                              –                THOMAS GREENWOOD





















REPORT 1876-7

THIS Orphanage, originally founded by the self-sacrifice of an esteemed sister in the Lord, is conducted by C. H. Spurgeon, assisted by his brother, and a body of Trustees. It receives destitute Fatherless Boys, without respect to the religion of the parents. The buildings are arranged for the accommodation of Two Hundred and Fifty Children, who are eligible for entrance between the ages of six and ten. Orphans received without putting the mothers to the trouble and expense of canvassing for votes: the Trustees themselves selecting the most needy cases. The family system is carried out, the boys living in separate houses under the care of matrons, and not in one vast building like a workhouse. The great object is to train the boys in the fear of the Lord, hoping that by God’s blessing they may be truly converted before they leave us: at the same time the Institution provides them with an education which fits them to take good positions in the world.

The Institution is mainly supported by spontaneous gifts, no Collector being paid, and no Subscriber being waited upon to pay year by year, although a number of donors send as regularly as if they were expected to do so. The Lord alone supplies the needs of the work by means of his people’s generous gifts, but he sometimes tries the faith of those who conduct it. Upwards of £10 per day is wanted to pay for the Board, Lodging, Clothing, and Education of the Boys.

In presenting the Eighth Report, the President and Committee have to record again their testimony to the goodness and lovingkindness of the Lord, by whose gracious help they have been sustained during another year, and by whose bounty the necessities of the Institution have been supplied. “They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness,” suggests at once the duty and the privilege of those who have received, “from the beginning of the year to the end of it,” daily manifestations of his love. That the Institution enjoys the smile of “the Father of the fatherless” is seen in many ways, and the gratitude we feel finds expression in the language of the Psalmist — “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”

I — STATISTICAL. The growth of the Institution will be seen in the following table of figures: —






Total Removal

In Residence


From Aug., 1867, to March, 1870







From April 1870 to March 1871







From April 1871 to March 1872







From April 1872 to March 1873







From April 1873 to March 1874







From April 1874 to March 1875







From April 1875 to March 1876







From April 1876 to March 1877






It will be seen that a greater number than usual left during the year, and although at the close of the year the average number of inmates was reduced, there are, at the time of issuing this report, a larger number in residence than at any previous period of our history.

Of the 52 boys who left, no less than 47 were supplied with situations and received a good start in life; 1 entered the Marine Society’s Training Ship for the sea; 2 were removed by friends whose improved circumstances enabled them to support them; and 2 were dismissed on the re-marriage of their mothers.

It is gratifying to be able to report that in many instances the employers who have taken boys from the Institution apply for others as vacancies occur in their establishments. In one large house in London no less than 12 boys are now engaged, all of whom are steadily rising in their respective departments.


The general conduct of the boys is praiseworthy, and the moral tone prevailing is excellent. Fewer troubles have arisen by the admission of new boys than in any previous year, although many of the new comers had suffered in many ways from the disadvantages and evils incident to orphanage and poverty. Until our new recruits fall in with the general discipline of the Institution they are a source of anxiety, as only a lengthy residence fully reveals the moral taint which they have incurred, and manifests their disposition, which is so difficult to eradicate or control, if bad, and foster and develop if good. An earnest Christian spirit prevails amongst all the workers, who endeavor, in a thousand ways, to compensate as far as possible to the boys the loss of those natural privileges which their bereavement implies.

Family worship is conducted twice daily, before the morning and evening meals; by the Head Master and his assistants. The service is occasionally taken by the President, or a member of the Committee, or a visitor to the Institution who may happen to be present. The Word of God is read and expounded, hymns sung, and prayer offered, and the whole of the boys repeat a text selected for the day. A religious service is conducted for the elder boys every Wednesday evening, when addresses are given by ministerial and other friends.

On the Lord’s-day morning the elder boys attend the service at the Tabernacle; a second detachment is accommodated at the Wynne Road Chapel; and a suitable service is conducted for the rest at the Orphanage, by Messrs. Bartlett and Daniels. Mr. W. J. Evans still superintends the Sunday School in the afternoon, assisted by a large staff of earnest teachers, and Mr. Macgregor presides over the Evening Service, assisted by Mr. C. Carpenter. All these good friends, who labor with commendable zeal to win the children to Christ, have been connected with the Institution from its commencement.

Some of the boys who give evidence of a change of heart are formed into a “Young Christians’ Band,” which numbers, at the present time, 92 members. During the year several were admitted to the fellowship of the Church at the Tabernacle.

The annual meeting was held in June to celebrate the President’s birthday, and the annual excursion took place in September when all the boys and the staff were kindly entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Richard May, in their grounds at Dulwich.

During the MidSummer holidays, friends were found to take several of the boys who, but for such generous kindness, would not have been able to leave the Institution. We shall be glad to receive the names of those willing to receive one or two boys for the whole or part of the time between July 25th and August 22nd of the present year.

The Christmas season was a joyous time, friends from all parts of the country kindly sending all sorts of good things for the boys. Mr. William Harrison sustained the precedent of former years by sending a box of figs for each boy, and was again the medium for conveying 240 new shillings, fresh from the Mint, from a friend who chooses to be known only by two initials, “J.D.” The old boys, as usual, mustered in good force, and were the heroes of the day. Through the kindness of the President all the members of the staff received a useful present, and “Christmas at the Orphanage” will always be a precious memory it the history of all who participate in its festivities.

During their term of residence in the Institution all the boys are total abstainers, no alcoholic liquors being allowed, except by order of the Medical Officer. A Band of Hope is conducted under the presidency of Mr. A. Dunn, which numbers at the present time 152 members, who are enrolled by their own free will, and with the approval of their friends. The elder boys attend the monthly meetings, and all are present at the lectures which are given from time to time.

A goodly number of the boys who have left the Institution are engaged in Sunday Schools, and others assist in Evangelistic Services at Mission Stations and in Lodging Houses. “We have no greater joy than to know that our children walk in the truth,” and adorn the doctrines they profess, by devoutness of spirit, consistency of conduct, and earnest Christian labor in the Lord’s vineyard.


The Schools have been efficiently maintained, and the progress of the boys in the subjects of an ordinary English education is alike creditable to both teachers and pupils. The extra subjects are French, Drawing, and Music. The French classes are conducted gratuitously by Madame Blim, an accomplished French lady, who devotes two afternoons a week to her classes. Mr. F. G. Ladds (formerly a boy in the Orphanage and now one of the teachers), and Mr. F. Simmonds, one of the masters, have given instruction in vocal music, and Mr. Smith has continued his class for the harmonium.

Drawing is taught by our own teachers, all of them being qualified to present the boys for examination in connection with the Science and Art Department.

We presented 186 boys for examination in Freehand, Geometrical and Model Drawing with the following results: — 61 gave satisfactory evidence of having been taught drawing; 78 obtained certificates for proficiency; and 42 secured prizes for excellence. The sum earned was £15 5s. 6d., apart from the value of the prizes. A lower scale of payment has been adopted this year, which considerably reduced the grant. The progress indicated by this report is most encouraging, for, notwithstanding the higher standard of merit adopted, the boys obtained 28 more certificates, and 21 more prizes than last year. Only four boys failed to satisfy the examiners.

The object being to give a useful rather than an ornamental education, the success achieved by the boys who have passed through the institution fully justifies the methods pursued and the limits prescribed.


During the past year a wide-spread epidemic prevailed, and although several isolated cases of small-pox occurred in the Institution, we are thankful to report that, with the blessing of God upon the measures which were promptly taken, the disease was arrested without a second individual taking it from another.

No death has occurred in the Institution for three years, a fact which, while it calls for special thanksgiving to God, may be accepted as an evidence of the sound sanitary condition of the Institution. The visit of Dr. Mouat, from the Local Government Board, who is engaged on an inquiry into the various systems adopted for the maintenance and education of the children of the poor, elicited the following report, which is of the most encouraging nature: —

“I have today visited for the second time the Stockwell Orphanage, and examined into the system of training and education pursued in it, with special reference to an inquiry in which I am now engaged, regarding the pauper schools throughout the country. In many important particulars this institution is well in advance of most kindred establishments which I have yet seen. The plan of feeding and clothing in particular is excellent, and the instruction of the class rooms is conducted with intelligence and life. The boys look healthy and happy, and I shall only be too glad if I succeed in transplanting some of the advantages of this place to the pauper schools in which they are much needed. I have seldom enjoyed a visit to any school more thoroughly than that of which I am now leaving this most imperfect record.

(Signed) F. J. MOUAT, M.D. Formerly Secretary to the Council of Education, Bengal.”

There has been no falling off in the funds; donors sending as regularly as though they were pledged annual subscribers. Gifts in kind have been as numerous and varied as in former years. The young ladies of Miss Dransfield’s educational establishment, the Ladies’ Working Association, of the Wynne Road Chapel, and the Juvenile Dorcas Society in connection with New Cross Chapel, have sent their usual supply of shirts, thereby saving the Institution a considerable sum. Miss Winslow has enlisted the co-operation of her pupils in knitting woolen comforters for the boys during the winter months. It would be impossible to enumerate all the presents sent by generous friends, and which are duly acknowledged every month in the Sword and Trowel; they are all received with gratitude, and we take this opportunity of repeating our thanks. It is a cause of grief to us when friends do not receive a prompt acknowledgment of their gifts, but in almost all instances where this has occurred, the donor has failed to send name and address with the present. We are too grateful for any help, however small, to risk giving pain or offense to those who remember us, and we respectfully request to be informed of the transmission of presents at the time, and their receipt shall be duly acknowledged. As the work is carried on in dependence upon God, and as His blessing evidently rests upon it, we are confident the mean will be forthcoming as the need arises.

The work is of the Lord, and therefore the Lord’s people should help us in it. Will it need much pleading? If so, we cannot use it, as we shrink from marring the willinghood which is the charm of such a service. No collector shall ever draw a commission from us for dogging unwilling subscribers, nor will we press and squeeze niggard gifts from reluctant hands. God will see to his own work, and though we do not use the method of sitting still and waiting without action, but rather stir up the minds of the Lord’s stewards by way of remembrance, yet we are sure that he who feeds the ravens will give his children bread.

Subscriptions large or small, will be gratefully received by C. H. SPURGEON, Nightingale Lane, Clapham, London, S.W. Gifts of Food, Clothes, Books, Toys, and other useful articles, are always welcome, and should be directed to MR. CHARLESWORTH, Head Master, the Orphanage, Stockwell, London.


Applications for the admission of children should be addressed in writing to the Secretary, and full particulars given. If the case appears eligible, a form of application is sent, the questions on which must be answered by the applicant, and the form returned as soon as possible. The slightest untruthfulness will necessitate the immediate rejection of the case. After the case is entered on the list of candidates, the Trustees, as soon as convenient, appoint a visitor to make personal inquiries into it. Should these be satisfactory, the child appears before the committee and the doctor, and, if duly elected, enters the Institution as soon as there is room. As the number of most necessitous candidates is largely in excess of our accommodation there is no difficulty in supplying vacancies as they occur. The Trustees, therefore, issue forms of application very sparingly, as they consider it unwise to encourage hopes which are not likely to be realized. Friends, who are only acquainted with the case in which they are specially interested, must not be surprised at its rejection by the Trustees, if it is proved by them to be less necessitous than others. The election of children not being determined by subscribers’ votes, the Trustees endeavor to maintain the strictest impartiality while considering the claims of the various applicants, and the greatest need has the loudest voice with them.

In every case certificates of the marriage of the parents, the death of the father, and the birth of the child will be required. The cases of illegitimate children are not within the scope of the Institution.

Applicants are requested not to call upon the Trustees privately, as they are bound not to attend to them otherwise, than officially. Cases will be considered on their own merits, and they will derive no advantage from personal solicitation. MR. SPURGEON cannot personally see any applicants, and should not be written to. All letters on this business should be addressed to the Secretary, MR. CHARLES BLACKSHAW, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, London, S.E.

The Orphanage is open for the inspection of the public on the afternoons of Tuesday and Thursday in each week. At other times an order is necessary, which can be obtained of MR. SPURGEON, or any of the Trustees. All letters requiring an answer must contain a stamped envelope.

Chap 7. AUGUST 1877





FOR many weeks past I have had a great desire in my heart to write out the gracious details of the Lord’s dealings with the Book Fund during the present year, but almost constant pain has fettered both head and hand, and rendered the fulfillment of the heart’s wish well-nigh impossible. But even the “school of affliction” has its “holidays”’ (true holy-days these), and as the “good Master” has granted me one such today, I will consecrate it to his honor and glory by telling what great things he hath done for me and my work since I wrote last. The commencement of the new year was marked by an offer of six volumes of the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit to every minister who had formerly been a student of the “Pastors’ College” and so enthusiastically was it responded to that in three months’ time 164 of our own old students had received 980 volumes! I had intended this effort to be an extra one, and extend over the entire year, but the Lord had more work for me to do than I knew of, so he would allow of no lingering, but graciously gave me strength to accomplish easily what at first sight seemed a formidable task. During this time the usual work of the Book Fund was not neglected, all applications being cheerfully responded to, one notable feature of interest being the sudden and simultaneous awakening of Primitive Methodist ministers to the fact that they could have the “Treasury of David” by asking for it. Nearly 100 of their “traveling preachers” have received the four published volumes since January last, and if God grant his blessing on them (as he certainly will) we may look for a hundred-fold harvest from such seed sown in such soil. Very poor in this world’s goods, these brethren are rich in good works, and as a rule labor more abundantly than any of their brethren. They must urgently need books, and it is certain that their terribly small allowances cannot procure them, and therefore it is a true Christian charity to relieve their mental need. A good book given to an idler is a doubtful speculation: to a worker it is a sure benefit.

For a short time during the months just flown by it seemed as if the Lord were trying my faith by sending me more “needs” than “supplies,” but I am almost ashamed to speak of fears which then possessed me, they have been so utterly routed and destroyed by subsequent favors. Now I see that the Lord only brought a cloud over the sun to veil its brightness, lest the heat of labor should overpower his weak child, and cause her to faint under the burden of the day. So, blessed be his name, he “leads on softly” as “we are able to bear it.” Turning over the pages of my “day-book” I cannot but rejoice to know that already nearly 3,000 volumes have been distributed since the beginning of this year, and though this number falls woefully short of supplying the need which exists, yet I thank God and take courage. The few following extracts from letters will show that the intense appreciation and loving eagerness with which these gifts were at first received has not abated one whit. The first letter, written by a venerable pastor, a true “bishop” in his district, runs thus: —

“My dear Mrs. Spurgeon, — Last night I received the parcel of books, and what shall I say? I hardly know how to express my thanks to you and your excellent husband for such generous and Christian kindness. As I could do nothing else, I asked the Lord to bless you and reward you most amply for such a valuable gift. I can say it is to me better than thousands of silver and gold could be; for I could never get from earthly riches what I this morning obtained from reading Mr. Spurgeon’s comment on Psalm 23. The books may well be called the ‘Treasury of David;’ I shall keep it as a ‘Treasury’ for my own use, and will never let it go out of my family, the Lord so helping me. You cannot tell What a nice show the volumes make in my little library; and while I am quite proud of the outside I delight myself with the thought of what I shall find within, both for my own comfort and I trust for the benefit of others. I am quite a book-worm, I assure you, and it pleases me beyond expression to find so many good old authors quoted in the ‘Treasury.’ I pronounce it one of the most useful works a minister can have in his library. When I think of such Herculean labor as this, together with so many other things, I am lost in astonishment as to how Mr. Spurgeon pushes through all as he does. But a passage comes to my mind which solves the mystery — By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.’”

“My dear Mrs. Spurgeon, — Though I have watched with interest and pleasure, the birth, growth, and usefulness of your ‘Book Fund,’ I little thought I should ever be so deeply indebted to you as I find myself today. The nice parcel you so kindly sent came as ‘cold water to a thirsty soul,’ and judging from the feelings of gratitude and delight produced in my own breast I feel your work of love has made not a few pastors’ hearts to ‘sing for joy.’ I rejoice also to know that the work yields such sweet solace of joy to you in your affliction; I really think it must be one rose at least on this sin-blighted earth ‘without a thorn.’”

What this dear brother says is perfectly true. The Book Fund is the joy of my life, and ever since the Lord gave the sweet service into my weak and unworthy hands he has led me by green pastures and beside still waters, and crowned me with lovingkindness and tender mercies. The next letter is from a much-tried servant of God, who, with a wife, invalid daughter, and four young children to support (there are nine children living) on eighty pounds per annum, may well be “unable to buy books.”

“My dear Madam, — Most gratefully do I beg to acknowledge the receipt of the four volumes Of the ‘Treasury of David.’ The gift, I can assure you, is a most acceptable one. Often when at the homes of my brethren I have seen the work, and longed for its possession, deeming the desire however quite Utopian, seeing that the purchase of such books is altogether beyond the limit of my slender income. Ten years have elapsed since my return from ____, where for a long time I labored, and those years have been one long protracted struggle for bare existence. Blessed be God, that is not all; for if my tribulations hare abounded, so also have my consolations, ‘Hitherto the Lord hath helped me.’ The Psalms of David are ever a tower of comfort to tried saints, and your honored husbands work is to my mind the best book that I have seen, in that it brings out the marrow and fatness of the text. Again, I thank you most deeply and sincerely for the gift, as also for the good wishes by which it was accompanied.”

The foregoing letter (and, alas! I have hundreds like it) reminds me of a few sentences which I read the other day, translated from the German of Pastor Harms, of Hermannsburg. They are so quaint, and so much to the point, that I cannot resist quoting them. He says, speaking of a representative country minister in the “Fatherland,” “With temporal goods, however, this pastor is not specially well provided and, were it not that he has a living God in the heavens, he must many a time grow anxious and dispirited, which, in truth, he does not always escape, as he himself humbly confesses. For if you have a small benefice, a large family, and a couple of children at school to boot, sometimes that gives even a believer the headache; though, indeed, there is no need for that, were faith but strong and prayer simple enough.”

The two letters which follow are from a “Methodist” preacher and a “Baptist” minister, both being charming expressions of a glad and grateful heart. When I receive such epistles I always wish they could be passed round to every kind friend who has contributed to the “Fund,” that they might catch glimpses of the abounding happiness which they thus bestow on others.

“My dear Mrs. Spurgeon, — The parcel containing four vols. of ‘Treasury of David’ arrived all safe yesterday. I had been rejoicing over my good fortune in getting as I supposed, one volume of Mr. Spurgeon’s great work; but the receipt of such a gift was a surprise for which I was wholly unprepared. I am entirely at a loss to express all I feel respecting such kindness; but I beg to offer my heart’s deepest gratitude, and my earnest prayers that heaven’s richest blessings may come down upon yourself and upon all through whose disinterested generosity you are able to carry on such a work of love.

“This is a gift indeed! May God help me to use it for his glory. One may, I think, justly feel proud of having four such volumes in his library, and the aid they will afford in my work no one can fully realize but myself. Probably there are hundreds of grateful hearts lifted up from day to day in prayer for yourself and your indefatigable husband; if my feeble prayers can be of any possible advantage, most gladly will I pray daily that in your affliction the Lord will impart a large measure of his soothing grace, that your soul may always be filled with the brightness and peace of the Savior’s presence, and that you may long be spared to continue the noble enterprise, which has already sent relief, joy, and light into hundreds of homes, and brought blessings into probably thousands of minds.”

“Madam, — The very handsome present which you have so kindly sent me (Mr. Spurgeon’s’ ‘Treasury of David’ four vols.) arrived quite safely about half-an-hour ago. It has come upon me as a pleasant surprise, for your kindness has much exceeded my expectations. I thought you might send me one volume — I never even hoped, so far as I remember, for more than two; and yet here are the whole four! A valuable present, truly, in more senses than one. I have already been tasting its quality with relish, and feel certain that I shall find it, as you kindly wish, ‘a treasure indeed.’ Thank you very, very, very much for it; and for your letter with all the kindness of heart which it reveals. Whatever may be the needs and privations of some village pastors, you, at all events, are trying to minister to their joy, and to make them more efficient in the service of the Master. And you know, without my suggesting it, that he will give reward. Again I thank you with earnestness which increases as I continue to look into the volumes.”

The Book Fund has received this year some splendid additions as gifts, to its stores of works by other authors, and I have rejoiced greatly to have at my disposal such standard volumes of divinity as the works of the sainted brothers Haldane, Dr. Hodge, and others. But the fact becomes more and more evident to me every day that unless already possessed of the “Treasury of David,” our pastors look upon no other volumes as my gift with complete satisfaction, and that in applying to me for books they fix their heart’s desire upon the “Treasury’ or the “Sermons” as the “summum bonum” of their happiness. And I think this is very natural and very proper, so long as the management of the Book Fund rests entirely in these feeble hands; but I trust that some day when all the churches, awaken to a sense of the urgent need there is that “the poor minister’s bookshelf” should have plenty of books upon it, many a noble volume, both ancient and modern, will take its place beside the “Treasury of David.”

As to old books which sometimes come to me troublously fast, I am obliged to smuggle them in with the coveted works of my dear husband, and but a very faint echo of any welcome they receive ever reaches my ear. I really fear that some people think that anything in the shape of a book will do for a minister, or they would scarcely send such things as “Advice to Wives and Mothers,” “Essays on Marriage,” or “Letters to a Son” as aids to pulpit preparation!

On looking over the list of contributors for last year, I find a falling away of some old friends, which somewhat grieves me, for the work is more deeply needed than ever. The famine is sore in the land — not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water, but a deeply felt and widespread need of mental food, by those under shepherds who have to “feed the flock of God” and I had hoped that all the friends who had so generously aided me at the commencement of my work would have “continued with me.” To the many who have done so I tender my most heartfelt thanks: “God bless you,” dear friends, and return into your own bosom some of the joy, and gladness, and gratitude with which you have filled mine. New friends, too, are cordially welcomed to cooperation in the blessed work, and every gift that comes for the Book Fund is offered to the Lord as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. I am just now rejoicing over the fact that the Lord has inclined the heart of a dear friend to whom I am already greatly indebted to give me a large donation for the purpose of supplying all the Presbyterian ministers in Argyleshire with the “Treasury of David,” and I have another sum of money given by one who is a great sufferer, set apart for the distribution of the same precious volumes in Ireland. So, for the next few months, dear friends, you may know that the “work of the Book Fund” will be in the full swing of business, and I pray you to remember that you can truly and tenderly help me by asking the Lord to set the seal of his blessing on every book sent out. Does any one care to know that my lovely lemon tree is in vigorous health and perfect beauty? I have not dared to count its leaves lately, because I feel it has far outstripped the proportions with which my fancy fettered it; yet I never look upon it or think about it without blessing God for making it grow so wonderfully in my sick room that winter, where it heralded, and illustrated, helped forward, and finally became the emblem of the “Book Fund.”



A MINISTER will never, I should think, forget his earliest converts. He lives to see hundreds begotten unto God by his means, but of these who were the children of his youth he still treasures delightful memories, for are they not his firstborn, his might, and the beginning of his strength? I can recall at this moment, though a quarter of a century has passed, the form of an elderly woman who had found peace with God through my youthful ministry, and especially do I recollect her wail of woe as she told of the days of her ignorance, and the consequent godless bringing up of her children. Her words were somewhat as follows, and I write them down for the good of mothers who labor hard out of love to their dear ones, and provide them with all necessaries for this life, but never think of the life to come. “Oh, sir,” said she, “I should be quite happy now, only I have one sore trouble which keeps me very low. I am so sad about my children. I was left with eight of them, and I worked hard at the wash-tub, and in other ways, morning, noon, and night, to find bread for them. I did feed and clothe them all, but I am sure I don’t know how. I had to deny myself often both in food and clothing, and times were very hard with me. Nobody could have slaved worse than I did to mend and clean and keep a roof over our heads. I cannot blame myself for any neglect about their bodies; but as to their souls, I never cared about my own, and of course I never thought of theirs. Two of them died. I dare not think about them. God has forgiven me, but I can’t forget my sin against my poor dears; I never taught them a word which could be of any use to them, poor dears. The others are all alive, but there is not one of them in the least religious. How could they be when they saw how their mother lived? It troubles me more a good deal than all the working for them ever did; for I’m afraid they are going down to destruction, and all through their cruel mother.”

Here she burst into tears, and I pitied her so much that I said I hardly thought the was cruel, for she was in ignorance, and would never intentionally have neglected anything for her children’s good. “Don’t excuse me,” said she, “for if I had used my common sense I might have known that my children were not like the sheep and the horses which die, and there’s an end of them. I never thought about it at all, or I might have known better; and I feel that I was a cruel mother never to have considered their souls at all. They are all worldly, and none of them goes to a place of worship, year in and year out. I never took them there, and how can I blame them?

“As soon as I was converted I went down to my eldest son, who has a large family, and I told him what the Lord had done for me, and entreated him to come here with me to the services; but he said he wondered what next, and he had no time. When I pleaded hard with him he said he was sure I meant well, but ‘it was no go’ — he liked his Sunday at home too well to go to hear parsons. You know, sir, you can’t bend a tree; I ought to have bent the twig when I could have done it. Oh, if I had led him to the house of God when he was little! He would have gone then, for he loved his mother, and so he does now, but not enough to go where I want him. So, you see, I can do nothing with my son now. I was a cruel mother, and let the boy go into the fields or the streets when he should have been in the Sunday-school. Oh, that I could have my time back again, and have them all around me as little ones, and teach them about my blessed Savior. They are all beyond me now. What can I do?”

She sat down and wept bitterly, and I heartily wish all unconverted mothers could have seen her and heard her lamentations. It was very pleasant to know that she was saved herself, and to see in her very sorrow the evidence of her genuine repentance; but still the evil which she lamented is a very terrible one, and might well demand a life of mourning. Young mother, do not, as you love your babe, suffer it to grow up without divine instruction. But what am I saying, — how can you teach your child if you do not know the Lord Jesus yourself? May the good Lord lead you to give your heart to Jesus at once, and then you will train your dear little ones for heaven.


PULPITS hate much to answer for in having made men awkward. What horrible inventions they are! If we could once abolish them we might say concerning them as Joshua did concerning Jericho — “Cursed be he that buildeth this Jericho,” for the old-fashioned pulpit has been a greater curse to the churches than is at first sight evident. No barrister would ever enter a pulpit to plead a case at the bar. How could he hope to succeed while buried alive almost up to his shoulders? The client would be ruined if the advocate were thus imprisoned. How manly, how commanding is the attitude in which Chrysostom is usually represented! Forgetting his robes for the moment, one cannot but feel that such a natural posture is far more worthy of sublime truth than that of a person crouching over a sheet of paper, looking up very occasionally, and then revealing no more than his head and shoulders. Austin in his Chironomia f6 very properly says, “Freedom is also necessary to gracefulness of action. No gestures can be graceful, which are either confined by external circumstances, or restrained by the mind. If a man were obliged to address an assembly from a narrow window, through which he could not extend his arms and his head, it would be in vain for him to attempt graceful gesture. Confinement in every lesser degree must be proportionally injurious to grace; thus the crowded bar is injurious to the action of the advocate, and the enclosed and bolstered pulpit, which often cuts off more than half of his figure, is equally injurious to the graceful action of the preacher.”

The late Thomas Binney was unable to endure a platform, and was known to fetch gowns and other materials to hang over the rails of an open rostrum, if he found himself placed in one; this must have arisen solely from the force of habit, for there can be no real advantage in being enclosed in a wooden pen. This feeling will no doubt retain the close pulpit in its place for a while longer, but in ages to come men will find an argument for the divinity of our holy faith in the fact that it survived pulpits.

Ministers cannot be blamed for ungainly postures and attitudes when only a very small part of their bodies can be seen during a discourse. If it was the custom to preach as Paul did at Athens public speakers would become models of propriety, but when the usual method is modeled upon our woodcut of “The Reverend Dr. Paul preaching in London” we cannot marvel if the ungainly and the grotesque abound. By the way, it is interesting to note that Raphael in his representation of Paul at Athens evidently had in his mind the apostle’s utterance, “God dwelleth not in temples made with hands, neither is worshipped with man’s hands”: hence he delineates him as lifting his hands. I am indebted for this hint to G. W. Hervey, M.A., who has written a very able and comprehensive “System of Rhetoric.” F7

Remarkable are the forms which pulpits have assumed according to the freaks of human fancy and folly. Twenty years ago they had probably reached their very worst. What could have been their design and intent it would be hard to conjecture. A deep wooden pulpit of the old sort might well remind a minister of his mortality, for it is nothing but a coffin set on end: but on what rational ground do we bury our pastors alive? Many of these erections resemble barrels, others are of the fashion of egg cups and wine glasses; a third class were evidently modeled after corn bins upon four legs; and yet a fourth variety can only be likened to swallows’ nests stuck upon the walls. Some of them are so high as to turn the heads of the occupants when they dare to peer into the awful depths below them, and they give those who look up to the elevated preacher for any length of timers crick in the neck. I have felt like a man at the mast-head while perched aloft in these “towers of the flock.” These abominations are in themselves evils, and create evils.

While I am upon pulpits I will make a digression, and remark for the benefit of deacons and churchwardens that; I frequently notice in pulpits a most abominable savor of gas, which evidently arises from leakage in the gas-pipes, and is very apt to make a preacher feel half intoxicated, or to sicken him. We ought to be spared this infliction. Frequently, also, a large lamp is placed close to each side of the minister’s head, thus cramping all his movements and placing him between two fires. If any complaints are made of the hot-headedness of our ministers, it is readily to be accounted for, since the apparatus for the purpose is arranged with great care. Only the other night, I had the privilege, when I sat down in the pulpit, to feel as if some one had smitten me on the top of my head, and as I looked up there was an enormous argand burner with a reflector placed immediately above me, in order to throw a light on my Bible: a very considerate contrivance no doubt, only the inventor had forgotten that his burners were pouring down a terrible heat upon a sensitive brain. One has no desire to experience an artificial coup de soleil while preaching; if we must suffer from such a calamity let it come upon us during our holidays, and let it befall us from the sun himself. No one in erecting a pulpit seems to think of the preacher as a man of like feelings and senses with other people; the seat upon which you are to rest at intervals is often a mere ledge, and the door-handle runs into the small of your back, while when you stand up and would come to the front there is often a curious gutta-percha bag interposed between you and your pulpit. This gummy depository is charitably intended for the assistance of certain deaf people, who are I hope benefited; they ought to be, for every evil should have a compensating influence. You cannot bend forward without forcing this contrivance to close up, and I for my own part usually deposit my pocket-handkerchief in it, which causes the deaf people to take the ends of the tubes out of their ears and to discover that they hear me well enough without them.

No one knows the discomfort of pulpits except the man who has been in very many, and found each one worse than the last. They are generally so deep that a short person like myself can scarcely see over the top of them, and when I ask for something to stand upon they bring me a hassock. Think of a minister of the gospel poising himself upon a hassock while he is preaching: a Boanerges and a Blondin in one person. It is too much to expect us to keep the balance of our minds and the equilibrium of our bodies at the same time. The tippings up, and overturnings of stools and hassocks which I have had to suffer while preaching rush on my memory now, and revive the most painful sensations. Surely we ought to be saved such petty annoyances, for their evil is by no means limited by our discomfort; if it were so, it would be of no consequence: but, alas! these little things often throw the mind out of gear, disconnect our thoughts, and trouble our spirit. We ought to rise superior to such trifles, but though the spirit truly is willing the flesh is weak. It is marvelous how the mind is affected by the most trifling matters: there can be no need to perpetuate needless causes of discomfort. Sydney Smith’s story shows that we are not alone in our tribulation. “I can’t bear,” said he, “to be imprisoned in the true orthodox way in my pulpit, with my head just peeping above the desk. I like to look down upon my congregation — to fire into them. The common people say I am a bould preacher, for I like to have my arms free, and to thump the pulpit. A singular contretemps happened to me once, when, to effect this, I had ordered the clerk to pile up some hassocks for me to stand on. My text was, ‘We are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed’ I had scarcely uttered these words, and was preparing to illustrate them, when I did so practically, and in a way I had not at all anticipated. My fabric of hassocks suddenly gave way; down I fell, and with difficulty prevented myself from being precipitated into the arms of my congregation, who, I must say, behaved very well, and recovered their gravity sooner than I could have expected.”

But I must return to my subject, and I do so by repeating the belief that boxed-up pulpits are largely accountable for the ungainly postures which some of our preachers assume when they get out of their cages and are loose upon a platform. They do not know what to do with their legs and arms, and feel awkward and exposed, and hence drop into ridiculous attitudes. When a man has been accustomed to regard himself as an “animated bust” he feels as if he had become too long when he is made to appear at full length.


NO. 3217




“And to whom swear he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. — Hebrews 3:18, 19.

ALL the histories of Scripture are written for our ensamples, but especially the story of the Israelites in the wilderness, which is given to us at a length far exceeding the value of the narrative except it be intended for purposes of spiritual instruction; for it occupies four books of the Old Testament, and those by no means short ones. These things were written that we might see ourselves in the Israelites as in a glass, and so might be warned of dangers common to us and to them, and be guided to a worthier use of the privileges which we enjoy. Always read Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy with this view, — “This is the story of the church of God in the wilderness: I would see how God dealt with them and how they dealt with him, and from this learn lessons that may be useful to me in my own pilgrimage to the eternal rest.”

The great promise which was given to Israel was Canaan, that choice land which God had of old allotted to them. “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.” He made Palestine to be the center of worship, the joy of all lands, the seat of his oracle, and the place of his abode. In the wilderness, the tribes were journeying towards this country, and it was a very short distance from Egypt, so that, they “might almost at once have taken possession of the land,” and yet it “cost them forty years’ traveling. If you trace their journeyings, you will see that they ran a perpetual zigzag, backward and forward, to the right and to the left. Sometimes they were actually journeying away from the promised rest, plunging into the deeps of the howling wilderness; and all, we are told, because of their unbelief. The land itself flowed with milk and honey: it was a land of brooks and rivers, a land upon the surface of which all choice fruits would grow, and out of whose bowels they could dig copper and iron. It was the choicest of all lands, and will yet again become so when there is an end of the accursed rule which now makes it desolate. Once more, under decent, settled rule, and properly irrigated, it will again bloom, and become such a country as all the world besides cannot match. This was the promised land, and into it they were to enter, and therein to multiply and increase as the stars of heaven, and to be a nation of kings and priests unto God. But “they could not enter in because of unbelief.” This alone shut them out.

Brethren, Canaan is a type to us of the great and goodly things of the covenant of grace which belong to believers; but if we have no faith, we cannot possess a single covenant blessing. This day, in the proclamation of the gospel, the demand is made of faith in God; and if there be no faith, no matter how rich the gospel, how full its provisions, and how precious the portion which God hath prepared, none of us can ever enter into the enjoyment of them.

Some of you, because of unbelief, have not entered into the rest which God giveth to his people even here below (“for we which have believed do enter into rest;”) and into the rest which remaineth, the blessed Sabbath of the skies, you will not be able to enter because of unbelief. This pains and troubles me, but so it is. Moses wrote a mournful Psalm which began, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations,” and then he went on to weep and bewail the transitory nature of man’s estate. He wrote it while he was seeing forty funerals, at the least, every day, for it required an average of forty deaths per diem to carry off all the people that came out of Egypt in the forty years. Their days were spent in bewailing the dead so that it was true of them as it is not true of us, “All our days are passed away in thy wrath.” They had to mourn and sigh, with Canaan but a little way ahead. They might have been laughing in its glades, sunning themselves in its plains, feasting on its figs and grapes and corn; but, instead there they were pining and dying, digging graves and expiring, for they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Many, many, many this day are tormenting themselves with needless despondency, shivering in fears they need not know, and vexed with plagues they need not feel, because they fail to rest in Christ through unbelief. Alas, myriads more are descending into the lake, that burneth with fire, and know no rest, and never shall know any! For them the harps of angels never sound, for them the white robes are not prepared, because the unbelieving must have their portion in the fiery lake. Oh, that God would now deliver them from this dreadful sin of unbelief!

I have only three remarks to make, and the first is, that these were a highly-favored people, yet they could not enter in because of unbelief; secondly, that the sole and only thing, according to the text, which shut them out was unbelief; and that, thirdly, there were other people, their own sons and daughters, who, being delivered from this unbelief, did enter in. That must have made the case more clear against them, because their little ones, who they said should be prey, were nevertheless permitted each one to stand in his lot. God’s purpose was not frustrated because of man’s unbelief. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”


Mark you, this was not said of Egyptians Amorites, Philistines; no, it was said of Israelites who occupied the position of those who, in the New Testament, are called the “children of the kingdom”, many of whom will be cast out. These are the persons to whom it may be truly said, “Be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” The dust of the feet of God’s servants will be shaken off against you, but yet you have heard the message of mercy, and you have been as highly-favored as Bethsaida and Chorazin when they heard the word which, through its rejection, wrought for them a more intolerable doom.

Now, think of it. These Israelites had seen great wonders wrought. These men were in Egypt during those marvelous plagues. What times to live in, when they heard of miracle after miracle, peals of God’s great thunder when he made his storm to beat about the head of proud Pharaoh! These men had seen the waters turned into blood, and the fish floating dead upon the stream; they had seen the murrain on the cattle, and the great hailstones which destroyed the harvest. They had been in the light when all the Egyptians were in the darkness that might be felt. They had seen the plagues of locusts and of lice, and all the terrors of the Lord, when Jehovah took arrow after arrow out of his quiver, and shot them against the hard heart of Pharaoh. They had all eaten of the paschal lamb on that dread night when Egypt wept sore because the chief of all their strength had been smitten in all the dwellings of the sons of Ham. They had gone out with their kneading-troughs in haste to escape from the land of bondage, brought forth with a high hand and an outstretched arm. These very men had been with Moses when Pharaoh pursued them, and when that lifted rod affrighted the Red sea, and Israel found an open channel where of old the waves had perpetually rolled. They had marched through the depths as through the wilderness; and they had seen the eager waters leap back again into their place, and drown all Egypt’s chivalry. They had heard the song of Miriam, “Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” Yet “they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

And, oh, brethren, there are some among you who have seen great marvels wrought by God! You have known the gift of his dear Son, so as to be assured of the fact, and to see it with your mind’s eye, though you have not believed unto salvation. You know what God has wrought for his people, you know how he delivered them, and saved them by the blood of his Son. You have been present when the power of the Lord has swept through the audience as the wind sweeps through the forest, and breaks the cedars of Lebanon. You have known the mighty works which God has done in the midst of the congregation, and your eyes have seen them, and your fathers have also told you of the wondrous things which he did in their day and in the old time before them; and yet, with all this before you, and your mother in heaven, and your sister in the church of God, and your friends saved, you yourselves cannot enter in because of unbelief. Ah! the Lord will not have mercy upon you because of what you have seen, for so much light is but an aggravation of the guilt of your unbelief; and, instead of pleading in your favor, it demands justice on those that believe not after all they have seen.

To these Israelites great things had been revealed, for during their sojourn in the wilderness, they had been scholars in a gracious school. You yourselves have marveled that they did not learn more. What glorious marchings those, were through the wilderness, when the mountains saw thee, O God, and they trembled, when Sinai was altogether on a smoke! To what other people did God ever speak as he spake to them? To whom did he give the tablets of divine command, written with his own mysterious pen? Where else did he dwell between the cherubim, and shine forth with glorious majesty? Where else did he reveal himself in type and shadow, by priest and sacrifice and altar? Where else was heard so sweetly holy psalm and daily prayer? Where else smoked the morning and the evening lamb, God teaching by all these? And yet, when they heard, they did provoke; when they were taught, they refused to learn; when they were called, they went not after him. Their hearts were hardened, and they believed not the Lord their God.

We too, have enjoyed a clear revelation. We have heard the gospel more plainly than the Israelites ever did. This blessed book has more light in it than Moses could impart, and the preaching of the gospel, where it is done affectionately and earnestly, and by the help of the Spirit of God, is a greater means of grace to the soul than all the sacred rites of the tabernacle. Shall it be with us as with them? “They could not enter in because of unbelief”; shall we labor under the same disability? Sharers in solemn feasts, and yet their carcases fell in the wilderness! Partakers of countless blessings, favored with the light of God, and yet shut out from Jehovah’s rest because they believed not! Will this be our portion also?

Remember also, that, they were a people with whom God had great patience. Has it ever struck you — the great patience which must have been exercised in forty years of provocation? I put it to any man here who has a good temper, and is very calm and cool, and singularly forgiving; how long could you stand provocation? Brother, if they did always provoke you intentionally, willfully, and repeatedly, how long could you bear it? Ah, you would not be provoked one-half so long as you think you would, without, at least, coming to blows. When Jesus said to his disciples that, if a brother should trespass against them seven times in a day, and seven times in a day should turn and say, “I repent,” they should forgive him. The very next thing we read is that the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith,” as much as to say, “Flesh and blood can never attain to that Lord, thou must increase our faith if we are to do that.” But forty years’ provocation, what think you of that? Some men bear provocation well because they cannot return it, on the principle mentioned in Cowper’s ballad, —

“So stooping down, as needs he must
Who cannot sit upright.”

But when a man knows his power to end the provocation, and to deliver himself, he is not so slow to ease him of his adversary. See the gentleness of the Lord. Forty years is he provoked! One would have thought that, surely, in that time these people would turn and repent. Moses himself, I think, in the greatest agony of his prayer, could only have said, “Lord, give them twelve months in which they may mend their ways.” That gracious intercessor who is mentioned in the parable of the fig-tree only said, “Let it alone this year also.” That was all. But this was forty years! A fruitless tree standing for forty years! Why cumbereth it the ground? Oh, the stupendous mercy of God! But they could not enter into his rest after all. Will it be the same with you who have heard the gospel for many years? What is to becomes of you? When so much patience is lost upon you, what, must happen next? I scarcely feel as if I could pity you, I seem as if I pitied God that he has borne your indifference so long as the only return for his great love. In what manner has he acted that you should so ungenerously treat him and continue still to provoke him? I fear it will ere long be said of you, “they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

Once more only on this point. These people had also received great mercies. It was not merely what they had seen, and what they had been taught, and the longsuffering they had enjoyed; but they had received very remarkable favors. They drank of the rock which followed them; and the manna fell every morning fresh from heaven for them. Men did eat angels’ food. They had a cloudy pillar to guide and shield them by day; and that same pillar at night became a light of fire, and so lit up the canvas city all night long. The Lord was a wall of fire round about them and a glory in their midst. Will you think, dear friend what God has done for you from your childhood until now? Mayhap you found yourself upon a mother’s lap, and she was singing of Jesus; and as you grew up, you dwelt in a family circle where that dear name was a household word. By-and-by, you were led to a godly teacher to be taught more about Jesus; and since then, you have heard from the pastor’s mouth a message which he tries to steep in love whenever he delivers it. Then think of the lord’s gracious providence. You have been fed and cared for. Perhaps you have been, brought very low, but you have had food and raiment. Others are pining in the workhouse and you have, probably, a competence, or you are in health, and are able to earn your livelihood, and in times of sickness, God hears you, and keeps you from death. You have been preserved incident, and here you are, kept alive with death so near. Will you not turn unto the Lord? For if not, he will not always spare you. Earth feels your weight too much for her, and almost asks God to let her open a grave for the wretch who refuses to love his Creator. Time itself is getting impatient of your sin, and hurrying on the hour when your allotted span will be over, and you will be forced into a dread eternity. O soul, soul, highly-favored as thou art, it seems so sad a thing that of thee it should be said, “He could not enter in,” or “she could not enter in” — “because of unbelief.”

II. And now a few words upon our second head. NOTHING BUT UNBELIEF SHUT THEM OUT. They could not enter in because of unbelief.”

It was not through great sin in other respects although they were a sinful people. God was ready to forgive them everything else but unbelief; and had they but been willing and obedient, the times of their ignorance he would have winked at. He had provided sacrifices on purpose to take away sins of ignorance, and multitudes of sins besides; but nothing takes away the sin of unbelief, so long as it remains in the heart. Ye must be believers, or the blood of Jesus Christ itself shall never be sprinkled upon you to your cleansing. However great your sins may have been, all manner of sin and iniquity shall be forgiven unto you if you believe. The greatness of his sin shall shut no men out of heaven; unbelief alone, will stop the way.

Neither, my dear brethren, would their other evil tendencies have kept them out of Canaan. God knew what they were. They had been a race of slaves in Egypt, and it is not easy for a nation long in bondage to rise to the dignity of freedom: the Israelites in the wilderness were people of a low type, much degraded by slavery, and God was therefore lenient with them. Many laws he did not make, because he knew they would not keep them; and there were some things which he permitted them which could not be permitted to us. “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to put away your wives,” said Jesus. The Lord was very gentle towards their moral weakness, and bore with them as a nurse with her children but when it came to unbelief, — a doubt of him who was so clearly God — a denial of his power, his faithfulness, his truth, then they were shut out of Canaan as with an iron gate.

My brethren, they were not unbelieving from want of evidence; yet they had not more than you have, because most of you have abundant evidence of the truth of the gospel. The Bible to you has been God’s Book from your childhood and you take its inspiration for granted and you are therefore inexcusable if you do not trust Christ. If a man’s skepticism includes a doubt of the existence of God, or the truth of Scripture, we will talk to him another time; but with most of you there are no such questionings, and the Lord Jesus might well demand of you, “If I tell you the truth, why do you not believe me?” If before the judgment seat of Christ a man shall be forced to confess, “I believe the Bible to be God’s Word,” I cannot imagine the apology which he can frame in his heart for not having believed in Jesus Christ. To you, then, there is no lack of evidence; and if you are shut out of heaven, your own willful unbelief must bear the blame.

The Israelites were not unbelieving from want of encouragement for as I have already shown you, the Lord sweetly encouraged them to believe in him by the great things he did for them, and by his gentle dealings day by day. Most of you have been gently persuaded and encouraged to trust in the Lord Jesus. How blessedly the word of God has worded its invitations so as to suit the timorousness of poor trembling sinners; and as a preacher I can honestly say that I lay out all my wits to think of truths which might cheer desponding souls! God, who abounded to me in all goodness and mercy is bringing me tenderly to his feet, has made me long after souls that I may bring them to him! If you have not believed, it has not been for want of invitations, and expostulations, and encouragements, and words of consolation. No, you will not be able to blame the Bible or the preacher; but unbelief of the most wanton kind will be chargeable upon you, and will shut you out of God’s rest.

Nor would it have been true if the Israelites had said that they could not enter in because of difficulties. There was the Jordan before them, and when they entered the land, there were cities; walled to heaven, and giants before whom they felt like grasshoppers. Yes, but that did not hinder, for God divided the Jordan, made the walls of Jericho to fall flat to the ground, and sent the hornets before them to chase out the giants. Israel had little more to do than to go up and take the spoil.

Now, soul, there is no difficulty between you and eternal life which Christ either has not removed already or will not remove as you believe in him. As for your iniquities, when you believe, they are gone — the Jordan is divided. As for your inbred sins, he will surely drive them out little by little, when you believe in him. As for your old habits, which are like the high walls of the Canaanitish cities, they shall fall down at the sound of the ram’s horns of faith. Only believe, and thou shalt enter into rest. Trust in God, and impossibilities shall vanish, and difficulties shall become a blessing to thee. Nothing hinders thee except, that thou will not believe; and if thou wilt not believe, neither shalt thou be established. “If ye believe not,” says Christ, “that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light.” This is the sin of which I pray the Spirit of God to convince you, “Of sin because they believe not on me.”

III. The third head was that SOME DID ENTER IN. These were their own children, and I have been wondering whether, if I should preach in vain to a whole generation of those who reject Christ, I might yet hope that their children would rise up to call the Redeemer blessed. Dear young man, do not follow in your unbelieving father’s footsteps. Dear girl, do not imitate the indecision, the halting between two opinions, which you have seen in your mother. If her carcase must fall in the wilderness, there is no reason why yours should. Is it not a great mercy that the Lord does not reject us because of the sins of our fathers? Though you were a child of shame, yet you may be a child of graces; though your pedigree, were dishonorable, your end may be glorious. If the history of your ancestors is full of unbelief and rejection of the Lord, yet this need be no reason why you should perish with them.

Look at the effect of this upon the fathers, as they looked upon their sons, and said, “That boy of mine will have a house and home in the holy land, but I must die in the desert, That girl of mine will be among the merry wives that make joy in Eshcol, and that go up to the house of the Lord in Zion; but I must be buried in this waste of sand, for the Lord has sworn in his wrath that I shall not enter into his rest.” Fathers and mothers, how do these things suit you? I am sure, if it were my lot to see my boys rejoicing in the Lord while I was myself an unbeliever, and could not enter in because of unbelief, I could not bear it. I could not bear it. How I wish that your children would entice you to Christ! I have known it happen by the influence of dear departing infants. Many a time, the Lord has caught a babe away from its mother’s breast, to her grief at first, but to her salvation in the end. The shepherd could not get the sheep to follow till he took up its lamb, and carried it in his bosom, and then the mother would go wherever he liked. Perhaps the Lord has done that with some of you on purpose that you may follow him. Do you want him to come, and take another little one? Ah, he may, for he loves you! If one is not enough, he may take another, till at last you follow the Shepherd’s call. If you will not follow Jesus you cannot enter where your babes have gone. Mother, you shall not see the heavenly field wherein your little lambs are resting; you are divided from them, for ever. Unbelieving father, you cannot follow your sons; your believing offspring are with God, but you must be cast out from his presence. Can you endure this?

O impenitent sinner, do you not know that God’s purpose shall not be frustrated? If you will not have Christ, others will. If you will not come to the banquet of his love, he will gather the wanderers and the outcasts, for his wedding shall be furnished with guests. As surely as the Lord liveth, Christ shall not die in vain. Heaven shall not be empty, and the sacred orchestra of the skies shall not lack musicians. If you count yourselves unworthy, others whom you have despised shall be welcomed to the feast of love. Harlots and outcasts, his mighty grace will save, and you, the children of the kingdom, shall be cast into outer darkness, where weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth are heard. Can you bear it? Can you bear to think of it? If you can, I cannot. When I think of any of my hearers perishing I feel like Hagar when she could not help her child, and therefore laid him under the bushes, and went away saying “Let me not see the death of the child!” One of you lost! One of you lost! It is too much for me to think of! Yet to many of you the gospel has been preached in vain, for the bearing of it has not been mixed with faith. The Lord have mercy upon you!

To me it is especially appalling that a man should perish through willfully rejecting the divine salvation. A drowning man throwing away the lifebelt, a poisoned man pouring the antidote upon the floor a wounded man tearing open his wounds: any one of these is a sad sight, but what, shall we say of a soul putting from it the Redeemer, and choosing its own destruction? O souls, be warned and forbear from eternal suicide. There is still the way of salvation “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt he saved.” To believe is to trust. I met with one the other night, who had imbibed the notion that saving faith was simply to believe that the doctrines of the Word of God and the statements therein made are true. Now faith includes that, but it is much more. You may believe all this Book to be true, and be lost notwithstanding your belief. You must so believe it as to act upon it by trusting. “Trust what?” say you. Let us alter the question before we answer it. “Trust whom?” You have to trust in a living person, in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died as the Substitute for those who trust him, and lives to see that those whom he bought with blood are also redeemed from their sins by power, and brought home to heaven. Trust Jesus Christ, soul. Have done with yourself as your confidence, and commit your soul unto the keeping of the faithful Redeemer.

Have you done so? Then, even if the clock has not ticked once since you believed in Jesus Christ, you are as surely saved as if you had been at saint these twenty years, for he that believeth in him is not condemned. This declaration makes no stipulation as to time. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” God grant that you may obey the heavenly precept, for Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.


Reading Covers for Spurgeon’s Sermons. Passmore and Alabaster.

FRIENDS who wish to keep their sermons clean can have very neat cases for them for one shilling. These covers are really very useful articles.

Northern Lights: Pen and Pencil Sketches of Modern Scottish Worthies. By Rev. JABEZ MARRAT. Wesleyan Conference Office, and 66, Paternoster Row.

IT was a happy thought to gather together a number of memoirs of great Scotchmen under so brilliant a title; and it somewhat amuses us that our Wesleyan friends should have carried it out. What can be more pleasant than to see Arminians gazing upon Calvinists with admiration, and regarding them as “northern lights”? This is as it should be. Here we have miniatures of Sir Andrew Agnew and Sir James Brewster, Chalmers and Irving, the Haldanes, Guthrie, James Hamilton, and many others. The style of the writing is by no means first-class, but as a whole the book is of the right sort, and the more of its class the better. We have given our readers the life of David Sandeman as a specimen.

The Atonement in its Relations to the Covenant, the Priesthood, and the Intercession of our Lord. By HUGH MARTIN, D.D. Edinburgh: Lyon and Gemmell.

SOMETHING like theology. We wish our young divines would feed upon such meat as this, and we should hear no more of the modern sham redemption. Dr. Martin teaches a real substitution, and an efficient atonement, and has no sympathy with Robertson, and those of his school. We thank God for Scotland, and trust that she will ever nurse for us a host of sturdy Calvinists, for whom the boastful schemes of the “modern thought” men will have no charms. We are that told many Free Church ministers are going over to the Broad School, but we do not believe it, and will not till we have far more evidence than at present.

Israel in Canaan under Joshua and the Judges. By ALFRED EDERSHEIM, D.D., Phil. D. Religious Tract Society.

DR. EDERSHEIM is producing a series of Bible Histories, of which this is the third volume. Each one is complete in itself, and replete with information and godly uses. To Sabbath-school teachers and junior students of the word of God these works will supply much important instruction. Few authors possess so much knowledge of Jewish manners and modes of expression, and with none may the orthodox feel more safe than with the worthy doctor.

The Evangelistic Hymn Book. Compiled for J. Manton Smith and Alfred J. Clarke. With a prefatory note by C. H. SPURGEON. Price One Penny. Passmore and Alabaster.

OUR two evangelists will use this collection of one hundred and forty hymns, and we hope others will use it too. We believe it to be one of the cheapest hymn-books extant, and one of the best. It contains good doctrinal hymns as well as the popular pieces used at revival meetings; and we beg our friends who are holding special services to try it before they purchase others. The profits will go to our evangelistic enterprise, which will be costly and needs all the help we can obtain. The hymns are choice and the variety great: our esteemed brother, Mr. Charlesworth, made the selection and executed it with great pains.

Poems, Lectures, and Miscellanies. By ADAM B. TODD. Edinburgh: John Forsyth, Guthrie Street.

FARMERS in Scotland are often well-read, literary men, and we suppose that along the Border there are more minor poets among them than in any other region. Mr. Todd writes in a very capital style, with much poetic feeling. His work is not quite in our line of things, nor could we endorse all he says, but we doubt not that many will while away an hour pleasantly with his poems and lectures.

Commentary on the Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes. By FRANZ DELITZSCH, D.D. Translated from the German, by Rev. M. G. EASTON, D.D. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark.

THIS work, like most of Messrs. Clark’s series, is intended for scholarly readers, and if any others should purchase it they would make but little out of it. We have given elsewhere an extract from Dr. Delitzsch’s introduction to the Song of Songs: his theory commends itself to us far more than any other we have seen, though we think that its first, and not its second subject, is the love of Christ and his church. The Commentary is mainly critical, and though dry, as nearly all German works are, it is sound, and likely to be of great assistance in discovering the literal sense. It is pleasing to know that evangelical teaching is now in the ascendant in the German universities. Our learned English brethren will much value this exposition of Dr. Delitzsch.

The Martyr Graves of Scotland. Second Series. By the Rev. JOHN H. THOMSON. Edinburgh: Johnstone, Hunter, and Co.

WE do not wonder that Mr. Thomson has issued a second series of papers describing is visit to the martyrs’ graves: it must have been a pleasant occupation for him to travel to those sacred spots, and certainly his notes are full of interest to the lover of heroic memories. The materials which Mr. Thomson has gathered are usually taken from larger works of Scottish history, but his descriptive notes place these details in a more vivid form before the reader. On both sides of the Tweed this volume deserves to be widely read.

Seven Wonders of Grace. By C. H. SPURGEON. Being No. 2 of Spurgeon’s Shilling Series. Passmore and Alabaster.

To set forth some of the “Wonders of Grace” this little book was prepared. Come, reader, and see the various characters upon which grace operates, and it may be, if you are unsaved, you will find here a something to arouse or to encourage you.

Pendower: a Story of Cornwall in the time of Henry the Eighth. By M. FILLEUL. T. Nelson and Sons.

POPISH persecutions in Cornwall are here worked up into a considerable volume, and those who give works of religious fiction to their young people will find this to be one of the best and safest.

Mariner Newman; a Voyage in the good ship “Glad Tidings” to the Promised Land. By DUNCAN MACGREGOR. Hodder and Stoughton.

TIME is a very precious commodity with us, or we should have given a lengthened notice of this evidently interesting allegory. For the present we are saving it for a season of quiet, when we can read it through and review it at length; which we should not purpose to do if we did not think very much of it. Our young readers especially will find here much that will instruct and at the same time gratify them. If half the talent wasted on stories had been sanctified to nobler ends and spent as Mr. Macgregor has spent his, we should not, perhaps, have had more “Pilgrims” like Bunyan’s, but we should have had a number of charming allegories.


THIS has been a vacation season, and we have shared in it and have therefore but few jottings for our memoranda; we are, however, right glad to have received a letter from Dublin as to our two evangelists, Messrs. Clarke and Smith. The opening of the campaign looks well. Let us pray for increasing blessing.

“Dear Sir, — Messrs. Clarke and Smith, so recently delegated by your College to evangelistic work, are here amongst us. They have come at the instance of our ‘United Services Committee’ to hold a series of meetings in connection with a Tent Mission carried on each summer in our ‘ Liberties.’ The ‘Liberties’ used to be the best part of our metropolis. In them wealth and religion had their abode. Weaving factories, gentlemen’s residences, churches, and meeting-houses abounded. For a century, however, the locality has been steadily degenerating, and as it has sunk in the social scale it has passed more and more into Romish hands. It saddens a visitor to see all through this district, amid its present misery and barbarism, the relics of a vanished civilization. Large houses apportioned to several poor families, yet still bearing expensive carvings and adornments indicative of ‘the pride of former days.’ The narrow streets where lived the Huguenot Latouches, Lefroy, Delacherois are now out of the circulation of the city’s traffic, and almost blocked up with stalls for old clothes, furniture, vegetables, fish, meat, etc. Here the stench on a hot day, or after a sudden shower, is sometimes dreadful. it is this locality which gives Dublin its sad preeminence on the mortuary list. The Coombe and its adjoining streets and lanes are the St. Antoine of our city. Squalor, ignorance, drunkenness, and the crassest superstition abound. To evangelize this district, to cause the pure stream of the water of the River of Life to flow through its purlieus, is the problem of Dublin Christianity. And a door of hope is still left; for while Romanism has almost entirely possessed this neighborhood, yet there are some spots in its very heart still conserved to Protestantism. On one of these rises annually the snowy awning of a commodious Gospel Tent. Here Messrs. Clarke and Smith have resolved to minister in speech and song. “These brethren arrived on Saturday, the 7th instant, and, though scarcely recovered from the nausea of a rough passage, presented themselves that evening at the preliminary workers’ meeting. It was large and enthusiastic. Mr. Smith and Mr. Clarke, each in his department, cheered the audience to the onset. On Sunday they both conducted the valedictory services in the Metropolitan Hall: this structure — dear to Dublin Christians as the scene of many blessed seasons during ‘59 and ‘60, and also, as the common religious center of our city — is to come down to make way for buildings in connection with the Y. M. C. A. Your evangelists awoke up its old walls to their final echoes by earnest commendation of Him, the ‘Wonderful.’ In the evening, at a numerously attended young men’s meeting, Mr. Clarke impressively pointed out the blessings of forgiveness. On Monday, the 9th instant, Mr. Clarke addressed the Monday meeting, and Mr. Smith sang with much effect, ‘Waiting and Watching.’ They started that afternoon for Bray to hold ‘a week of meetings.’ Bray is a popular watering place situated in our beautiful Wicklow. The meeting on that evening was so interesting that it was thought advisable to appoint a noon prayer-meeting in the town. Both noon and evening meetings increased in numbers and interest as the time went on. Many instances of impression and usefulness were mentioned. Take an example — a lady observed a stranger girl at the hotel where she was stopping. She brought her to the meeting. On returning she had some earnest conversation with her protege on the subjects Mr. Clarke had been pressing.

“Soon after she bade her adieu for the night. During the night she was summoned to see the person in whom she had taken such an interest, and found her truly anxious. Prayerfully and perseveringly she pointed her to the Atoning Sacrifice, and in the brightening of that summer dawn there is reason to believe that a sinner became “a child of light and of the day.” It is said that some who wished to hear the preaching, but dreaded its being known, got stowed away into a small recess before the audience gathered, and remained there within earshot till all was over. Friday’s meeting was the last. About three hundred were present. The lingering groups and affectionate and oft-repeated farewells attested the interest all felt in our brethren’s labors. ‘God bless you, sir, and we wish you had been staying with us longer,’ said a poor woman to Mr. Clarke at the terminus, and this was the general sentiment.

“Next evening (Saturday, 14th) they came once more to Dublin. The Bray meetings had been but a preliminary skirmish. The special conflict was to come off in the ‘Liberties.’ Brother Smith met his choir at eight o’clock. Then, when all had been arranged, with what solicitude the workers looked forward to the first service. The Lord’s Day came, but what a day! Rain pouring and incessant. Scarcely a churchgoer to be seen. A cab here and there, rari nantes in gurgite vasto, of Dublin mud. About half-past three about one dozen people were under the dripping canvas of the tent, and the service commenced at four. A prayer-meeting is held, asking the Lord to encourage the evangelists under the depressing circumstance. We have scarcely risen from our knees when the crowds begin to pour in, and soon after the hour for commencing the tent is nicely filled — about eight hundred being present. Mr. Clarke spoke of Jesus as the hiding place, the covert, and the rivers of water. Mr. Smith gave “Sweetly Resting” as a solo, and thus concluded a most orderly and attentive meeting — an excellent augury of a successful campaign. In the evening the evangelists both addressed the young men’s meeting The unusually hearty singing of the hymn, “Only Trust Him,” showed the presence of a good spirit in the audience. Now Messrs. Clarke and Smith have really entered on the tug of war. There are meetings of some sort for every day for the next three weeks. May the Lord’s people support them in prayer.

“Yours truly,

“R. K. ECCLES, M.D.”

Since the letter arrived we see that the Romish newspapers have begun to abuse our brethren in the usual style, and we are greatly encouraged to hope that much good will come of the work. Merrion Hall is, we are informed, to be bought for £7,000. We never were so much tempted to wish that we were rich as on this occasion. If we could get this fine hall and supply it with our best men we might, under the divine blessing, build up a Baptist church in Dublin which would influence the whole of Ireland for good. It is ours to be willing, but when the means are not in our reach we can do no more, but must pray that some other of our Master’s servants may be able to save the noble edifice and hold the fort.

COLPORTAGE. We have several times mentioned our great straits for capital for the Colportage, and explained that the increase of our colporteurs necessitated enlarged stock. We hoped that some few friends would have made up the £1,000 which we asked for our Lord’s work, but this has not been done, and now we have even more men and the need is greater. What we asked for a year ago is not enough now; but we shall be glad of it as an installment. Since we have left town we have had an offer from a generous helper in London to give one half of the £450 which is needed out of the £1,000, if other donors will give the rest. He will pay as others contribute. We thank this kind friend very much, and now leave the matter with the Master’s stewards. We cannot carry on this work properly without means; it is a good and needful work, and it is as much the duty of other Christians to carry it on as it is ours, perhaps more, for we have enough of other service. Therefore we leave the case with those who have been entrusted with the means to help, and simply say — judge whether you should help or no, and act accordingly.

Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle: By J. A. Spurgeon — June 21, fourteen; June 28, eighteen.

Chap 8. SEPTEMBER , 1877




THE account which Richard Baxter gives of his own conversion has often been quoted as a testimony to the power of good books. When Richard was about fifteen years of age a certain day laborer known to the family lent them “an old torn book” called “Bunny’s Resolutions,” and the reading of this became a means of enlightenment. What happened farther goes to show the value of colportage, though colporteurs as an organized band were not known in England until centuries afterwards. A peddler, whose pack contained some indifferent wares, as well as others of sterling merit, one day halted at the Baxters’ house and sold a copy of Sibbes’s “Bruised Reed.” That book was the instrument used to confirm Richard in the faith: though, as is sometimes represented, it was not the means of his awakening. “The Bruised Reed” has in reality taken the honor due to the “old torn book” of the poor day laborer.

In the era of the Reformation it appears that educated men were frequently converted despite their former prejudices, if not in opposition to their prayers. Prince George of Anhalt was of this description; for after reading the books of Luther from mere curiosity, and not without inward misgivings as to his own weakness, he embraced the reformed faith and built up the church. Even more striking was the case of Vergerins, legate of the pope in Germany, and whose eminent services to the Roman see “His Holiness” purposed to reward with a cardinal’s hat. There were those about the court, however, who counseled a becoming caution; for having been so long absent from the center of orthodoxy, some suspected that Vergerius at least smelled of Lutheranism. On learning how matters stood the ecclesiastic was more than a little chagrined, being conscious of his own integrity and devotion to the church. He resolved to prove his sincerity by writing down the Reformation, in a book to be entitled “Against the Apostate Germans,” and he retired to a suitable retreat for that purpose. He set himself industriously to work at the task of reading the books of the enemy, but this reading was blessed to his conversion. He went to his brother to tell him what had occurred, and that brother likewise renounced popery. They both of them became zealous preachers and pillars in the Protestant church.

A Turk, who was baptized at St. Paul’s church in Covent Garden, in 1658, under the new name of Richard Christophilus, owed his conversion to a singular train of circumstances, which plainly showed the leading of Providence. At Constantinople he had served the Porte in a high official station, and by embracing Christianity he became liable to such torture and death as are characteristic of the Turkish rule. It happened that he had a slave who was a devout Christian, and this man could not be prevented by any of the ill-usage to which he was subjected from pressing upon his master the claims of the gospel. Though again and again repulsed, this procedure was at length successful; a breach was made in the great man’s Mahomedan bigotry, and he began to suspect that Christ was the Messiah and the prophet of Islam an impostor. At once resigning every brilliant prospect in life, he fled to Paris; but after seeking instruction at the hands of the Romish priests the fugitive felt disappointed, thinking that if such things were the doctrines of Christ there was some reason to return to Constantinople. Hearing that there were other sections of the church in the city the poor man determined to find them, and thus he was instructed in the truth by the Protestant pastors during a space of six weeks. He soon became happy in the faith, and renounced the abominations of Islam before the congregations of the church in London, where he was received into communion.

The Puritans believed that persons might be brought into paths of righteousness by severe dealing. An atheist, and a profane swearer, named White, was said to have been converted through seeing the devil at his bedside in the form of “a great ugly man,” whose smile was more repulsive than his frown. He was one of those commonplace boors who look upon hell and demons as names invented by interested parsons, and only by a terrible vision of the night was he cured of his illiterate belief.

A beautiful story illustrative of some of the very finest traits of the Christian character belongs to the family of Sergeant Granvil. The sergeant had two sons, and unfortunately the elder, on whom it was hoped the estate might be conferred, was a fast liver, and he promised soon to squander in waste and riot the property of which he was utterly unworthy. As neither entreaty nor threatenings sufficed to bring about a reformation the father at last, in self-defense, settled the inheritance on the younger brother, who was of a more tractable disposition. After the good father’s death the youthful renegade sat down to meditate on his folly: he grew melancholy, but at length, perceiving that he had forfeited an earthly estate, he determined to lay hold on a better inheritance in heaven. The brother beheld the change with admiration, the evidences of its reality being quite convincing. Soon afterwards the friends of the family were invited to a great feast, at which the rejoicings suddenly took an unexpected turn. A dish was placed before the elder brother, and this on being uncovered was found to hold a pile of deeds transferring the whole of the property into his possession. The younger intimated that in so acting he had only done what their father would have done had he lived to see the blessedness of the change they themselves were privileged to witness.

The conversion of Mr. Studly, whose father was a Kentish lawyer who hated aught savoring of Puritanism with fervent hatred, presents many points of interest, and is besides illustrative of English life when Charles the Second reigned at Whitehall. Reared in the faith and practices of a cavalier, the younger Studly was no better than his tutors until he was arrested in his course of sin by a surprising adventure in the streets of London. Having on a certain occasion sat late at night with some roystering companions, he was returning homeward the worse for liquor, when he fell into a cellar which opened on the pathway, and lay at the bottom partially stunned, but with a dreadful suspicion floating in his mind that he had fallen suddenly into the infernal regions. Fortunately the shock was one which did not vanish as the morning dew on the return of consciousness. The habits which had occasioned the catastrophe were forsaken, the young man became subject to fits of melancholy, he took to reading, and sought by prayer to remove the burden which oppressed him. This change in the current of the young man’s life was not relished by the father, who at once adopted means to extinguish all this Puritan enthusiasm, such as dealing out rough treatment, and obliging the youth to engage himself with horses or worldly employments. When it was discovered that he read at night, candle was denied, but so long as fire-light sufficed for a substitute the want was scarcely felt. In the hope of curing what he supposed to be a religious distemper the father resorted to other means; he sent his son to France, expecting that the frivolous society of gay people would have the desired effect. All things turned out quite different from these expectations. A lodging was taken in the house of a godly Protestant pastor, who in due time returned to England with his young friend, though on the pastor’s character being discovered he was not permitted to remain in the home of the squire. As the youth still remained Puritanically inclined, a situation was obtained for him at Whitehall, where as gentleman-in-waiting to a lady of high station it was hoped he would forget his religion. It turned out precisely contrary; instead of conforming to the world he contributed to the reformation of those about him, and to the lady’s extreme satisfaction such order reigned in her establishment as she had never known before. Still perplexed as to what he should do next, but determined to carry his point, the elder Studly thought that marriage might probably win the victory where everything else had failed. A neighboring gentleman of wealth and position had a beautiful daughter who would in all respects make a desirable match, and it was determined that the incorrigible young Puritan should be united with this lady. This was the final attempt, and the penalty for not acceding to the paternal wish and returning to the world was forfeiture of the family estate. The young man so far yielded that he consented to woo the lady, and in order that no unnecessary obstacles might obstruct the way, loose, profane conversation or immoral doings were for the time, as far as was practicable, suspended in the household. The family wore masks as it were until their true characters were concealed; but at the wedding dinner, which occurred soon afterwards, this mask was suddenly laid aside. Wine and profane talk were largely indulged in, and amid the riot the bride was heard to utter an oath. Horrified and humiliated, the bridegroom left the table, went to the stable to saddle his horse, and, unobserved, left the yard. In an agony of mind he now condemned himself for not having sufficiently sought the counsel of God in a momentous affair of life; but as the die was cast, and there was no path of retreat, he resolved that he would plead earnestly for the conversion of his wife. In the most solitary part of a neighboring wood he spent the afternoon in prayer and tears, and. the cry of his soul was the language of faith. While thus employed in quiet seclusion, the scene at the house was one of consternation and uproar. The bridegroom had mysteriously disappeared, and mounted horsemen were scouring the country in a wild and fruitless search. At length the missing one quietly returned, sought his wife in the solitude of her chamber, and in reply to her reproaches acquainted her with the occupation of the afternoon as well as with the story of his life experience. He spoke of God’s grace having led him this way and that way, till at last the lady’s curiosity was excited to ask the meaning of so singular a phrase. Still more surprising and welcome was her question: “Is there no grace for me, who am so wretched a stranger to God ?” “Yes, my dear,” replied the husband, “there is grace for thee; and I have been praying for it this day in the wood.” He believed, moreover, that his petition was heard, and now proposed that they should pray together. After such exercises, they presented a singular appearance before the ribald company at supper. Their eyes were red and swollen with weeping, though their features were staid with heavenly peace. “I beseech you, father, swear not,” said the bride, when her sire, according to custom, talked profanely, thus testifying to the miraculous change which had come over her since noon. The table was soon in a blaze of discord. “What!” said the elder Studily, rising in a consuming rage, conscious of being defeated at this final stage by a power which was irresistible, “What? is the devil in him? I would rather set fire to the four corners of my fair-built house than that he should enjoy it.” The old lawyer did according to his threats; for when he died, soon after, the estate was willed away, and the son received only ten pounds. The bride fared likewise, being denied her dowry on account of her Puritanical religion; but having £200 pounds of her own, they were able to take and stock a farm, the once fine lady cheerfully undertaking the many duties of a farmer’s wife. After prospering in this manner for a time, the tenants on the estate unexpectedly discovered that, after all, Mr. Studly was their legal landlord, as the father had no power to will away the property. Thus the good man altogether regained what he unmurmuringly surrendered for conscience’ sake.

The case of Saint Augustine, the greatest of the Christian fathers, is sufficiently interesting to be included in the category of remarkable conversions. He was born in the year 354, his father being a pagan at the time of his son’s birth, while his mother, Monica, was a model of Christian unselfishness and devotion, a worthy mother of an illustrious son. Being naturally inclined to pleasure and love of the world, Augustine in youth resisted the importunities of his mother to embrace the Christian faith, and following the example of his father, drank deep of earthly pleasures. He was an ardent lover of the stage, and in a day when, as a writer in the Encyclopoedia Brittanica tells us, “one of the most significant signs of a man having become a Christian was his habitual absence from the theater. No one was more emphatic on this point afterwards than Augustine himself, and as the result of his own experience, he seems to have doubted whether, apart from the gross immoralities of the pagan stage, the indulgence in fictitious joys and woes is a warrantable excitement.” On renouncing idols, he embraced the heresies of Manichaeism, which, however, he soon relinquished for a better creed. He left Carthage, where he had lived as a student, glad to escape from its pagan abominations, and settled at Milan, where Ambrose was at the height of his fame and usefulness. In the preaching of the great bishop, Augustine found the light he had long needed, though the perfect peace of faith in Christ came not all at once into his soul. As he studied the Epistles of Paul, the inward struggles of his soul were prolonged and severe. One day he lay on the ground beneath a fig tree in his garden, overcome with groans and tears, longing for relief; and at the height of the conflict he imagined he heard these words coming from an invisible person: “Take up and read, take up and read.” His companion Alypius, who sat a short distance off, had the Scriptures in his hand, and in the Epistle to the Romans Augustine read: “Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.” That was the moment of the victory of grace when, according to Augustine’s own confession, peace streamed into his soul, and the shades of doubt were chased away by heavenly light.

It is charming thus to see the same variety in grace as in nature. The Lord does not cause the new creature to come forth in one set form and fashion. The Holy Ghost is called by David “thy free Spirits” and so he is; working after his own sweet will, and not according to some invariable standard. He uses ordinarily the appointed instrumentality of public ministry, but sometimes he does without it, and calls in his chosen by other means; and this doubtless that we may not place our confidence in men, or dream that any agency is necessary with the Lord. This should inspire us with hope even for those who are beyond the reach of common means. Let us pray for them, for they are not beyond the reach of the Lord. Though the sinner may wander beyond the range of our voice, our eye, or our pen, yet not beyond gunshot of grace, nor beyond the omnipresence of eternal love.




IF I were asked what, all other things being equal, is the most essential quality for securing success in winning souls to Christ, I should reply, “earnestness:” and if I were asked a second or a third time, I should not vary the answer, for personal observation drives me to the conclusion that, as a rule, real success is proportionate to the preacher’s earnestness. Both great men and little men succeed if they are thoroughly alive unto God, and fail if they are not. We know men of eminence who have gained a high reputation, who attract large audiences, and obtain much admiration, who nevertheless are very low in the scale of soul-winners: for all they do in that direction they might as well have been lecturers on anatomy or political orators. It the same time we have seen their compeers in ability so useful in the matter of conversion that evidently their acquirements and gifts have been no hindrance to them, but the reverse; for by the intense and devout use of their powers, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, they have turned many to righteousness. We have seen brethren of very scanty ability who have been terrible drags upon a church, and have proved as inefficient in their spheres as blind men in an observatory; but, on the other hand, men of equally small attainments are well known to us as mighty hunters before the Lord, by whose holy energy many hearts have been captured for the Savior. I delight in M’Cheyne’s remark, “It is not so much great talents that God blesses, as great likeness to Christ;” In many instances ministerial success is traceable almost entirely to an intense zeal, a consuming passion for souls, and an eager enthusiasm in the cause of God, and we believe that, in every case, where other necessaries are present, men prosper in the divine service in proportion as their hearts are blazing with holy love. “The God that answereth by fire, let him be God”; and the man who has the tongue of fire, let him be God’s minister.

Brethren, you and I must, as preachers, be always earnest in reference to our pulpit work: we must resolve to bring it to the highest point of excellence. Often have I said to my brethren that the pulpit is the Thermopylae of Christendom: there the fight will be lost or won. To us ministers the maintenance of our power in the pulpit should be our great concern, we must occupy that spiritual watch-tower with our hearts and minds awake and in full rigor. It will not avail us to be laborious pastors if we are not earnest preachers. We shall be forgiven a great many sins in the matter of pastoral visitation if the people’s souls are really fed on the Sabbath-day; but fed they must be, and nothing else will make up for it. The failures of most ministers who drift down the stream may be traced to inefficiency in the pulpit. The chief business of a captain is to know how to handle his vessel, nothing can compensate for deficiency there, and so our pulpits must be our main care, or all will go awry. Dogs often fight because there is a scarcity of bones, and congregations frequently quarrel because they do not get sufficient spiritual meat to keep them happy and peaceful. The ostensible ground of dissatisfaction may be something else, but nine times out of ten deficiency in the rations is at the bottom of the mutinies which occur in our churches. Men, like all other animals, know when they are fed, and they usually feel good tempered after a meal; and so when our hearers come to the house of God, and obtain “food convenient for them,” they forget a great many grievances in the joy of the festival; but if we send them away hungry they will be in as irritable a mood as a bear robbed of her whelps.

Now, in order that we may be acceptable, we must be earnest when actually engaged in preaching. Cecil has well said that the spirit and manner of a preacher often effect more than his matter. To go into the desk with the listless air of those gentlemen who loll about the pulpit and lean upon the cushion as if they had at last reached a place of rest, is, I think, most censurable. To rise before the people to deal out commonplaces which have cost you nothing, as if anything would do for a sermon, is not merely derogatory to the dignity of our office, but is offensive in the sight of God. We must be earnest in the pulpit for our own sakes, for we shall not long be able to maintain our position as leaders in the church of God if we be not so. Moreover, for the sake of our church members, and converted people, we must be energetic, for if we are not zealous, neither will they be. It is not in the order of nature that rivers should run uphill, and it does not often happen that zeal rises from the pews to the pulpits; it is natural that it should flow down from us to our hearers. The pulpit must therefore stand at a high level of ardor, if we are, under God, to make and keep our people fervent. Those who attend our ministry have a great deal to do during the week. Many of them have family trials, and heavy personal burdens to carry, and they frequently come into the assembly cold and listless, with thoughts wandering hither and thither; it is ours to take those thoughts and thrust them into the furnace of our own earnestness, melt them by holy contemplation and intense appeal, and pour them out into the mold of the truth. We must regard the people as the wood and the sacrifice, well wetted a second and a third time by the cares of the week, upon which, like the prophet, we must pray down the fire from heaven. A dull minister creates a dull audience. You cannot expect the office-bearers and the members of the church to travel by steam if their own chosen pastor still drives the old broadwheeled wagon. The world also will suffer as well as the church if we be not fervent. We cannot expect a gospel devoid of earnestness to have any mighty effect upon the unconverted around us. One of the excuses most soporific to the conscience of an ungodly generation is that of half-heartedness in the preacher. Men tacitly draw from the indifference of the minister the conclusion that the subject is of no great consequence. “Surely,” say they, “if the person whose business it is to warn us of the wrath to come felt that his message was really true, and if he believed that there was but one way of escape from the terrible danger, he would not speak to us in any but the most hearty and moving terms.” If the sinner finds the preacher nodding while he talks of judgment to come, he concludes that the judgment is a thing which the preacher is dreaming about, and he resolves to regard it all as mere fiction. The whole outside world receives serious danger from the cold-hearted preacher, for it draws the same conclusion as the individual sinner: it perseveres in its own listlessness, it gives its strength to its own transient objects, and thinks itself wise for so doing. How can it be otherwise? If the prophet leaves his heart behind him when he professes to speak in the name of God, what can he expect but that the ungodly around him will persuade themselves that there is nothing in his message, and that his commission is a farce?

Earnestness in the pulpit must be real. It is not to be mimicked. I have seen it counterfeited, but every person with a grain of sense could detect the imposition. To stamp the foot, to smite the desk, to perspire, to shout, to bawl, to quote the pathetic portions of other people’s sermons, or to pour out voluntary tears from a watery eye will never make up for true agony of soul and real tenderness of spirit. The best piece of acting is but acting; those who only look at appearances may be pleased by it, but lovers of reality will be disgusted. What presumption! What hypocrisy it is by skillful management of the voice to mime the passion which is the genuine work of the Holy Ghost. Let mere actors beware, lest they be found sinning against the Holy Spirit by their theatrical performances. We must be earnest in the pulpit because we are earnest everywhere; we must blaze in our discourses because we are continually on fire. Zeal which is stored up to be let off only on grand occasions is a gas which will one day destroy its proprietor. Nothing but truth may appear in the house of the Lord; all affectation is strange fire, and excites the indignation of the God of truth. Be earnest, and you will seem to be earnest. A burning heart will soon find for itself a flaming tongue. To sham earnestness is one of the most contemptible of dodges for courting popularity; let us abhor the very thought. Go and be listless in the pulpit if you are so in your heart. Be slow in speech, drawling in tone, and monotonous in voice, if so can best express your soul; even that would be infinitely better than you make your ministry a masquerade, and yourself an actor.

But our zeal while in the act of preaching must be followed up by intense solicitude as to the after results; for if it be not so we shall have cause to question our sincerity. Here, I think, I cannot do better than allow a far abler advocate to plead with you, and quote the words of Dr. Watts: — “Be very solicitous about the success of your labors in the pulpit. Water the seed sown, not only with public but secret prayer. Plead with God importunately that he would not suffer you to labor in vain. Be not like that foolish bird the ostrich, which lays her eggs in the dust, and leaves them there regardless whether they come to life or not (Job 39:14-17). God hath not given her understanding, but let not this folly be your character or practice; labor, and watch, and pray that your sermons, and the fruit of your studies, may become words of divine life to souls.”

It is an observation of pious Mr. Baxter (which I have read somewhere in his works), that he has never known any considerable success from the brightest and noblest talents, nor from the most excellent kind of preaching, nor even when the preachers themselves have been truly religious, if they have not had a solicitous concern for the success of their ministrations. Let the awful and important thought of souls being saved by my preaching, or left to perish and be condemned to hell through my negligence, I say, let this awful and tremendous thought dwell ever upon your spirits. We are made watchmen to the house of Israel, as Ezekiel was; and, if we give no warning of approaching danger, the souls of multitudes may perish through our neglect; but the blood of souls will be terribly required at our hands (Ezekiel 3:17, etc.)

Such considerations should make us instant in season and out of season, and cause a zeal for the Lord’s house to eat us up at all times. We ought to be all alive, always alive. Our ministry must be emphatic, or it will never affect our times; and to this end our hearts must be habitually fervid, and our whole nature fired with an all-consuming passion for the glory of God and the good of men.

Now, my brethren, it is sadly true that true earnestness when we once obtain it may be easily damped, and as a matter of fact it is more frequently chilled in the loneliness of the village pastorate than amid the society of warm-hearted Christian brethren. The devout Adam once observed that “a poor country parson, fighting against the devil in his parish, has nobler ideas than Alexander the Great ever had;” and I will add that he needs more than Alexander’s ardor to enable him to continue victorious in his holy warfare. Zeal also is more quickly checked after ten years of continuance in the same service than when novelty gives a charm to our work. Mr. Wesley says, in his fifteenth volume of “Journals and Letters,” “I know that, were I myself to preach one whole year in one place, I should preach both myself and most of my congregation asleep.” What then must it be to abide in the same pulpit for many years!

Earnestness may be, and too often is, diminished by neglect of study. If we have not exercised ourselves in the word of God, we shall not preach with the fervor and grace of the man who has fed upon the truth he delivers and is therefore strong and ardent. An Englishman’s earnestness in battle depends, according to some authorities, upon his being well fed; he has no stomach for the fight if he is starved. If we are well nourished by sound gospel food, we shall be vigorous and ardent. An old blunt commander at Cadiz is described by Selden as thus addressing his soldiers: — “What a shame will it be, you Englishmen, who feed upon good beef and beer, to let these rascally Spaniards beat you that eat nothing but oranges and lemons!” His philosophy and mine agree he expected courage and valor from those who were well fed. Brethren, never neglect your spiritual meals, or you will lack stamina and your spirits will sink.

Zeal may, on the other hand, be damped by our studies. There is, no doubt, such a thing as feeding the brain at the expense of the heart, and many a man in his aspirations to be literary has rather qualified himself to write reviews than preach sermons. A quaint evangelist was wont to say that Christ was crucified beneath Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. It ought not to be so, but it has often happened that the student in college has gained light but lost heat. He has gathered fuel, but lost the spark which is to kindle it.

True earnestness may be greatly lessened by levity in conversation, and especially by levity with brother ministers, in whose company we often take greater liberties than we should like to do in the society of other Christians. There are excellent reasons for our feeling at home with our brethren, but if this freedom be carried too far we shall soon feel that we have suffered damage through vanity of speech.

We shall often find ourselves in danger of being deteriorated in zeal by the cold Christian people with whom we come in contact. What terrible wet blankets some professors are! Their remarks after a sermon are enough to stagger you. You think that surely you have moved the very stones to feeling, but you painfully learn that these people are utterly unaffected. You have been burning and they are freezing; you have been pleading as for life or death, and they have been calculating how many seconds the sermon occupied, and grudging you the odd five minutes beyond the usual hour, which your earnestness compelled you to occupy in pleading with men’s souls. If these frostbitten men should happen to be the officers of the church, from whom you naturally expect the warmest sympathy, the result is chilling to the last degree, and all the more so if you happen to be young and inexperienced: it is as though an angel were confined in an iceberg. “Thou shalt not yoke the ox and the ass together” was a merciful precept: but when a laborious, ox-like minister comes to be yoked to a deacon who is not another ox, it becomes hard work to plough.

Frequently the audience itself, as a whole, will dishearten you, You can see by their look and manner that the people are not appreciating your warmheard endeavors, and you feel discouraged. Those empty benches also are a serious trial, and if the place be large, and the congregation small, the influence is seriously depressing: it is not every man who can bear to be “a voice crying in the wilderness.” Disorder in the congregation also sadly afflicts sensitive speakers. The walking up the aisle of a woman with a pair of pattens, the squeak of a new pair of boots, the frequent fall of umbrellas and walking-sticks, the crying of infants, and especially the consistent lateness of half the assembly: — all these tend to irritate the mind, take it off from its object, and diminish its ardor. We hardly like to confess that our hearts are so readily affected by such trifles, but it is so, and not at all to be wondered at. As pots of the most precious ointment are more often spoilt by dead flies than by dead camels, so insignificant matters will destroy earnestness more readily than great trials. Under a great discouragement a man pulls himself together, and then throws himself upon his God, and receives divine strength: but under lesser annoyances he may possibly worry, and the trifle will irritate and fester till serious consequences follow.

Pardon my saying that the condition of your body must be attended to, especially in the matter of eating, for any measure of excess may injure your digestion and make you stupid when you should be fervent. From the memoir of Duncan Matheson I cull an anecdote which is much to the point — “In a certain place where evangelistic meetings were being held, the lay preachers, among whom was Mr. Matheson, were sumptuously entertained at the house of a Christian gentleman. After dinner they went to the meeting, not without some difference of opinion as to the best method of conducting the services of the evening. ‘The Spirit is grieved; he is not here at all, I feel it,’ said one of the younger, with a whine which somewhat contrasted with his previous unbounded enjoyment of the luxuries of the table. ‘Nonsense,’ said Matheson, who hated all whining and morbid spirituality; ‘nothing of the sort. You had just eaten too much dinner, and you feel heavy.’” May it not be very possible that dyspepsia has on other occasions been mistaken for backsliding, and a bad digestion has been set down as a hard heart? I say no more; a word to the wise is enough.

Long continued labor without visible success is another frequent damp upon zeal. Quaint Thomas Failer observes that “herein God hath humbled many painstaking pastors, in mulling them to be clouds, to rain, not over Arabia the happy, but over Arabia the desert and stony.” If non-success humbles us it is well, but if it discourages us we ought to look about us with grave concern. It is possible that we have been faithful and have adopted wise methods, and may be in our right; place, and yet we have not struck the mark; we shall now feel heavily bowed down and feel scarcely able to continue the work, though if we do so we shall one day reap a ripe harvest, which will more than repay us for all our waiting. “The husbandman waiteth for the precious fruits of the earth”; and with a holy patience begotten of zeal we must wait on, and never doubt that the time to favor Zion will yet come.

Nor must it ever be forgotten that the flesh is weak and naturally inclined to slumber. We need a constant renewal of the divine impulse which first started us in the way of service. We are not as arrows which find their way to the target by the sole agency of the force with which they started from the bow, nor as birds which bear within themselves their own motive power; we must be borne onward like the ship by the instant; and constant power of the heavenly wind, or we shall manifest no speed. Preachers sent from God are not musical boxes which, being once wound up, will play through their set tunes, but they are trumpets which are utterly mute until living breath shall cause them to give forth a certain sound. We read of some who were dumb dogs, given to slumber, and such would be the character of us all if the grace of God did not prevent. We have need to watch against a careless, indifferent spirit, and if we do not so we shall soon be as lukewarm as Laodicea herself.

[To be continued.]


AT Mentone the shepherds bring their flocks down to the beach among the stones. What can be their motive? Not a green blade is to be seen: there is surely nothing to eat, yet the poor sheep regularly traverse the hard shingle. Is this the reason why the mutton is so hard? But this strange habit of the shepherds can be paralleled at home. Do not certain preachers bring their people to consider dry, unpractical, worthless themes, as barren of all food as the stone of the Mediterranean shore? So we have been informed by some of those lean sheep which look up but are not fed. What can be their motive for conducting their flocks to such waste places? Is this the reason why they find the people so hard in heart when it comes to supporting the cause?

Our Good Shepherd never conducts us to the stony shore. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters.”

The Hidden Life. Thoughts on Communion with God. By Rev. ADOLPH SAPHIR. John F. Shaw and Co.

SWEET evangelical doctrine always flows from Mr. Saphir’s tongue and pen. Unction is his prevailing characteristic rather than depth or variety; but that one quality will always make his works precious among the more spiritual of the Lord’s people He often bring out the choicest thought from passages of the Word which had not struck us before in the light in which he sets them. In the present instance the theme is one of great importance, and is handled with much spiritual power. His admirable power of arranging texts is well set forth in the opening passage of the book, which we subjoin.

“There is a hidden wisdom. The apostle Paul writes: ‘We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory’ (1 Corinthians 6:7). The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him. In the hidden center of their being God makes them to know wisdom (Psalm 51:6). They have an unction from above, which teacheth them of all things, and is truth (2 John 2:27). ‘Knowest thou where wisdom is found? and where is the place of understanding?… The depth saith, it is not in me: and the sea saith, it is not with me’ (Job 28:12, 14). But Jesus declares that the Father hath revealed it unto babes (Matthew 11:25).

“There is a hidden glory. It is manifested, and yet only faith can behold it. Jesus changed the water into wine at the marriage of Cana, and showed forth his glory. Men saw, and yet did not see; but his disciples believed in him (John 2:11). Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. There were many witnesses, yet only they who believed saw the glory of God, and the Son of God glorified: (John 11:4, 40). The glory of God is beheld by faith in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3); and Jesus Christ is known only by those who know the mystery of his cross and resurrection (Philippians 3:10), and are waiting to be glorified together with him (Romans 8:17).

“There is a hidden life far, far away — high, high above. It is life hid with Christ in God; life born out of death; as it is written, ‘For ye have died, and your life is hid’ (Colossians 3:3). It is mysterious in its commencement. ‘The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou heareth the sound thereof, but cause not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit’ (John 3:8). It is mysterious in its progress: ‘I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me’ (Galatians 2:20). It is mysterious in its consummation — the marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7, 9). We shall be for ever with the Lord.

“There is a hidden manna. We have meat to eat which the world knows not of (John 4:32). ‘There is an unseen river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God’ (Psalm 46:4; Revelation 22:1). Only God’s children see it, and know the Source from whence it cometh, and the Ocean whither it is flowing. It is impossible to deny the mystic character of Christianity when we consider such passages as these: ‘If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him’ (John 14:28). ‘Christ will manifest himself unto us, and not unto the world.’ ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.’ ‘The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.’ ‘Christ dwelleth in the heart by faith.’ ‘labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.’

“If we know these hidden things, then are we ourselves hidden ones, who shall be made manifest when Christ, who is our life, shall appear.”

Brighter days for Working Men. By WILLIAM GLENN. John Kempster and Co.

A WELL intended mass of rhymes upon teetotalism and other worthy subjects. We wonder if anybody will ever read it through; if so, we venture to quote from it, and say:

“I’m very glad that he’s held up so brave;
I’m sure he’s worked as hard as any slave;
With wholesome food and coffee there’s no fear
That he’ll knock up for want of Fleece’em’s beer.”

Mrs. Bartlett, and her Class at the Tabernacle. By her son, EDWARD H. BARTLETT. With a preface by C. H. SPURGEON, and a portrait. Price Halfa-crown. Passmore & Alabaster.

IT was most meet that some memorial of Mrs. Bartlett should be written, and who more fit to prepare it than her own son, who has succeeded to her work? There might have been found more tutored and accustomed pens, but none could know so well the life of this earnest woman, or so well understand the spirit which animated it. All who knew our departed helper will, we feel sure, be glad to possess this unpretending tribute to her memory. It is stimulating, and unveils much of the inner life of the Tabernacle Church. We were requested to correct and revise it, but we thought it better not to do so, but to let it be the son’s own memorial of his mother; and hence it comes forth to the world in all simplicity, with some things which the critics would have omitted, but which other folk will rejoice in.

A Peep Behind the Scenes. By Mrs. WALTON. Religious Tract Society.

EVERYONE knows what to expect from the authoress of “Christie’s Old Organ.” Our lady reviewer tells us that it is a darling book, full of gospel and full of life. It is the story of child who lived in a traveling cart. “There now,” said the lady “if ever you do praise a tale, be sure to say the kindest things possible for this story, for it is one of the sweetest and most gracious ever written.” Our readers will clear out a whole edition after seeing this.

The Pentateuch and Hebrews analyzed and illustrated. By the Rev. JAMES DAVIDSON, M.A. Edinburgh: A. Elliot, London; Simpkin, Marshall, and Co.

A VERY commendable attempt at an analysis of the Pentateuch and the Hebrews, somewhat resembling the headings of the chapters inserted in the authorized version. The writer aims at bringing out the general structure of the books of Scripture, and the train of incident in their narratives or lines of argument. There are many maps, and the author has spared no pains, but we are afraid, that there will be few readers. The result of much thought is not a book, but an outline table of contents, with brief explanations, not at all likely to be extensively consulted.

The Worship of Bacchus a great Delusion. Illustrated by Drawings, Diagrams, Facts, and Figures. James Clarke and Co.

VERY sensible, popular teaching upon the inutility of alcohol as a source of nutriment. It will furnish the temperance advocate with many forcible illustrations when pleading with those who consider beer and porter to be necessary to give them strength for labor. No fallacy can be more transparent, but none is more prevalent.


THIS month we commence another phase of work for the Lord by sending forth Messrs. Clarke and Smith as evangelists. Last year we supported Mr. Higgins, who moved about among the Churches and did much service, but he has now settled, and we have found two brethren in all respects fitted for the work, who will go together. They commenced August 14 at the Tabernacle, and had good meetings throughout the week, Mr. Smith’s silver trumpet is very useful in attracting people from the street, and then Mr. Clarke and himself knows how to address them in a lively, earnest manner. The evangelists are going first to Stockton, Hartlepool, and neighborhood, where they will remain a month or more. We are sure they will make a stir, and by God’s blessing souls will be gathered in. They will send us monthly reports, which we hope to condense and insert in these columns. A friend from Scotland so heartily approves of the idea that he sends £10, and another brother has sent £3. As the cost of such a work must be considerable, we are willing to be helped by those who believe that evangelists are needed, and that they occupy a very useful place in the work of the church; but if no one unites in the service we shall carry it on, for our mind is made up that regular evangelists, in connection with the churches, and not mere free lances, would be a great blessing in these times.

August 7 — The men of the College mustered at Mr. Coventry’s fields, which were kindly lent to us by that gentleman. A day’s outdoor exercise secures the men’s coming in time to begin the hard work of the session. It rained hard, but we were very happy under the tent with Professor Hodge, and Messrs. Smith and Pigott from India, Our father, and other good friends. We have now 113 men: the paying out is very rapid for so many, but he who sends the mouths will send the bread, though our receipts occupy small space this month.

While we were writing the above paragraph, we received the deeply painful information that our beloved brother in Christ and son the faith William Priter, of Middlesborough, had fallen asleep. What a loss he is, his people know best, but we mourn him deeply. He was one who feared God above many, a true gospel preacher and a great winner of souls. All who know him will lament his early departure, for beside what the Lord had already wrought by him he was a man of such superior talents and remarkable ripeness in prudence that we looked to him as one who would occupy a still more prominent position and become a leader in our Israel. We insert the following notice from the local journal, which is in no single expression overstrained. These are our sorrows, but we have great joy in having been favored to lead this dear brother to Jesus, and in having aided his endeavors to go forth equipped for the fight, here is the extract: “It is our painful duty this morning to inform our readers that the Rev. William Henry Priter, of Middlesborough, died at his residence, Linthorpe-road, at a few minutes after seven o’clock yesterday evening. The announcement will be received with the deepest regret by all the inhabitants of Middlesborough who had the slightest acquaintance with him. Since he came to-labor amongst them his devotion to his pastoral duties has won the esteem and affection of the members of his church and congregation, while the action he has taken in public matters has rendered him quite a favorite with the general public, he was universally regarded as a young man who, possessing considerable ability, was always ready to do what he could for the good of his fellow-townsmen, and the regret that a life which appeared so full of promise has been cut short at so early a stage will be widely felt. The rev. gentleman was born in Devonshire in 1851, and he was therefore but twenty-six years of age. While but a youth he became a student in Mr. Spurgeon’s Pastors’ College, and when nineteen years of age he received the call, and was appointed pastor to the Baptist church, Park-street, Middles-borough. He succeeded the Rev. M. Bontems, and found the Baptist church then composed of about sixty members, and worshipping in the rooms in Park-street, now used as a Sunday-school and lecture rooms. Some idea may be given of the zeal with which he has labored during his residence in Middlesborough when we remember that at the last church anniversary he referred in terms of thankfulness to the fact that since his appointment to the church he had baptized over five hundred persons, and there are now on the church books three hundred and eighty members. He also set himself to work to build a place of worship which should be quite equal to the growing demands of his congregation. The site chosen was in Newport-road, the back of the church adjoining the schoolrooms in Parkstreet, and in March, 1874, he had the satisfaction of seeing opened a large and commodious place of worship, which will remain a lasting monument of the zeal which he brought to bear on his work. He was more than once offered charges, but he declined to be lured away from his first appointment merely for the sake of pecuniary advantage. In 1875 he went on a tour to Rome, for the purpose of recruiting his health, as he was then suffering from weakness, the result of overwork. He returned somewhat strengthened, but had not long been amongst his people when he burst a blood vessel, and was unable to undertake his duties as pastor for six or seven weeks. Since then he had enjoyed tolerable health, though he could never be described as a strong man, until about three weeks ago, when he called in his medical attendant, Dr. Williams. He was suffering from congestion of the lungs, but afterwards appeared so fully recovered that Dr. Williams felt justified in going on a journey to Wales, leaving him in the care of his assistant. But on Friday last Mr. Priter was suddenly taken ill, and from that time had been confined to his bed. Hopes and fears had succeeded each other until yesterday forenoon, when Dr. Hedley and Dr. M’Cuaig were called in, and consulted with Dr. Williams’s assistant, and the conclusion that was then arrived at was that it was but a question of a few hours. During the afternoon the rev. gentleman, who was conscious to the last, turned on his side and said that soon he felt he would get rest, and at seven o’clock he passed away. The deceased gentleman was unmarried. The rev. gentleman was a member of the Middlesborough School Board, his views being decidedly unsectarian. During the last two or three years he has taken an interest in all public matters, and when the public meeting was held in Middlesborough condemning the Bulgarian atrocities committed by the Turks he delivered a speech in which his strong and manly condemnation of the perpetrators of the outrages made a favorable impression upon his hearers. He also took great in interest in the Middlesborough Sunday School Union.”

Our friend, Mr. B. Vickery, has made the Orphanage a handsome present of a drinking fountain, which causes great delight among our thirsty boys. It is really a beautiful object, and a pretty ornament to the grounds. Our good friend gives it in memory of his deceased wife, but we shall use it in remembrance of himself and his frequent kindnesses. He first gave us light by putting new burners and glasses all over the Tabernacle, and now he gives us water: may his light never be dim, and his joy always overflow.

We have also received from “The Southwark Society for the Improvement of Men employed in Manufactories” the whole of their Library and other property. Upon winding up the association the members voted their stock to the Orphanage, and thus we have gained 1,300 volumes to our library, with cupboards to keep them in, and also a magic lantern, which will not be allowed to rust. We thank those who thought so well of us as to make us their legatees; best possible use will be made of the bequest.

A thousand thanks to all friends who received our poor orphans for a holiday. May God reward them a thousandfold. Friends at Reading have invited all down for a grand holiday on August 28, and promise to pay all expenses. That town has acted in a princely manner to our Institution; it seems to be full of great-hearted people. We mention no names, for fear of giving offense to modesty, but there is a pastor there whose love to his College, and its grateful President, seems to be unbounded, and he fires others with the same feeling.

On Tuesday, Aug. 14, we opened the little chapel which has been built for our sons at Bolingbroke Grove. The friends filled the house, and afterwards took tea upon our grounds. There will be no debt upon the chapel, for enough was given to pay everything within £30, and we believe that several who meant to give only need the intimation that the time is come, and they will quite complete the work.

August 19. — On this Sabbath all seat-holders at the Tabernacle vacated their seats in the evening, and though no bills had been used, and the fact was only announced in the papers, the crowds began to assemble an hour before time. The house was soon packed in every corner by a congregation in which the male element very far predominated. The audience was singularly mixed a large number being persons from the West End, while others were evidently new to places of worship. In the judgment of our most reliable brethren, it was the best service we ever had; to God be all the glory. Some two or three hundred remained, professedly in an anxious state, and many more were conversed with by our workers, who were dotted here and there all over the place. Several confessed Christ, and rejoiced in his salvation, and we hope fruit will appear in days to come, as well as on the spot.

During the evening, addresses were given in the grounds of the Orphanage, where a large and interested open air meeting was held. Some were Tabernacle friends, but many were residents in the neighborhood. The Evangelists’ Society, under our Elder Elvin, supplied two earnest speakers.

On the same day services were held in a tent pitched along the front gardens of some houses in Bermondsey. This tent has to be erected on Saturday night and removed early on Monday morning. In Bermondsey, very few of its many thousands attend any place of worship, and our heart is touched at the consideration of the condition of the people. Mr. Wm. Olney, has an eminently practical and living mission in Green Walk, and is doing great good, but what is all that can be done in this way among so many? Messrs. Olney, Smith and Clark conducted services on the Sabbath, and many heard who never heard before. We hope that this effort, which will last four Sundays, will lead on to some further permanent and extensive mission work. London will become a great danger to the realm if the working people are not Christianized. In some localities the streets are the same on the Sabbath as on the week-days. All shops are open, and trade is even more brisk than on the week-days. The men neglect religion altogether. There are churches and chapels with miserable congregations; and many of their preachers are very well fitted for their own people, but quite incapable of talking “market language,” and getting at the outlying heathendom all around. O Lord, how long! It is time that dwellers in our great city began to cease from being content with being saved themselves, and thought about others in a practical manner. Awake, awake, O Zion.

COLPORTAGE. — The Society is in full work, and we have two agents traveling expressly to try and extend its operations. Our efforts have been rewarded by applications for Colporteurs in the following new districts: — Bulwick, Northampton-shire; Whitchurch, Shropshire; Neston, Cheshire; Kidderminster, Worcestershire; Widnes, Lancashire. There are many districts where the Colporteur is greatly needed, and would do an immense amount of good, but local funds cannot be obtained, owing to the poverty of the neighborhood. Colporteurs might be sent to some of these if friends would subscribe specially for the purpose. The total of our Fund for increased capacity is now £601 actually received, so that we still need £200, and then a generous friend has promised to give the other £200, to make up the £1,000. There are 62 agents at work at present.

Good news continues to come from the Cape of Good Hope of the success of our student there. The brother went out in simple faith, depending upon God and the people whom he might gather, and without seeking aid from us he has preached the Word, gathered a self-supporting church, and led them on in evangelizing to their utmost the outlying population. When more doors open men are ready. We have several brethren waiting to go for missionaries, but our society has not the means for further extension, nor do we know what to do. We have just paid the passage money of Mr. Blackie, who goes out to Delhi with Mr. Smith, not depending upon the Missionary Society’s funds, but hoping that when he is prepared to preach to the heathen he may be commendeth to their notice; or that some English church in India may desire his services, so that he may ultimately labor in that great country. O that he may prove the pioneer of many more. There is a missionary spirit in the College, and much prayer is offered that doors may open, but work among the heathen on present plans is expensive, and we cannot yet see how we are to get at it. If the Missionary Society had mere means it would be glad enough to undertake new work; but how can bricks be made without straw? We almost sigh for access to those deep, unconsecrated purses which swing at the sides of many professed Christians, while the heathen are perishing.

Chap 9. OCTOBER, 1877


OCTOBER, 1877.





REMEMBERING then, dear brethren, that we must be in earnest and that we cannot counterfeit earnestness, or find a substitute for it, and that it is very easy for us to lose it, let us consider awhile and meditate upon the ways and means for retaining all our fervor and gaining more. If it is to continue, our earnestness and be kindled at an immortal flame, and I know of but one — the flame of the love of Christ, which many waters cannot quench. A spark from that celestial sun will be as undying its the source from whence it came. If we can get it, yea, if we have it, we shall still be full of enthusiasm, however long we may live, however greatly we may be tried, and however much for many reasons we may be discouraged. To continue fervent for life we must possess the fervor of heavenly life to begin with, — have we this fire? ‘We must have the truth burro into our souls, or it will not burn upon our lips. how understand this? The doctrines of grace must be part and parcel of ourselves, interwoven with the warp and woof of our being, and this can only be affected by the same hand which originally made the fabric. We shall never lose our love to Christ and our love to souls if the Lord has given them to us. The Holy Spirit makes zeal for God to be a permanent principle of life rather than a passion, — does the Holy Spirit rest upon us, or is our present fervor a mere human felling? This should lead us to be seriously inquisitive with our own hearts, pressing home the question, Have we the holy fire which springs from a true call to the ministry? If a man can live without preaching, let him live without preaching. If a man can be content without being a soul-winner — I had almost said he had better not attempt the work, but I had rather say — let him seek to have the stone taken out of his heart, that he may feel for perishing men. Till then, as a minister, he may do repetitive mischief by occupying the place of one who might have succeeded in the blessed work in which he must he a failure.

The fire our earnestness must burn upon the hearth of faith in the truths which we preach, and in their power to bless mankind when the Spirit applies them to the heart. He who declares what may or may not be true, and what he considers upon the whole to be as good as any other form of teaching, will of necessity make a very feeble preacher. How can he be zealous about that which he is not sure of? If he knows nothing of the inward power of the truth within his own heart, if he has never tasted and handled of the good word of life, how can he be enthusiastic? But if the Holy Ghost has taught us in secret places and made our soul to understand within itself the doctrine which we were to proclaim, then shall we speak evermore with the tongue of fire. Brother, do not begin to teach others till the Lord has taught you. It must be dreary work to parrot the dogmas which have no interest for your heart, and carry no conviction to your understanding; I would prefer to pick oakum or turn a crank for my breakfast, like the paupers in the casual ward, than to be the slave of a congregation and bring them spiritual meat of which I never taste myself. And then how dreadful the end of such a course must be! I How fearful the account to be rendered at the last by one who publicly taught what he did not heartily believe, and has perpetrated this detestable hypocrisy in the name of God.

Brethren if the fire is brought from the right place to the right place, we have a good beginning; and the main elements of a glorious ending kindled by a live coal borne from off the altar by the winged cherub with the sacred tongs to our lips, the fire has begun to feed upon our inmost spirit, and there will it burn though Satan himself should labor to stamp it out.

Yet the best flame in the world need is renewing. I know not whether immortal spirits, like the angels, drink on the wing, and feed on some superior manna prepared in heaven for them; but the probability is that no created being, though immortal, is quite free from the necessity to receive from without the sustenance for its strength. Certainly the flame of zeal in the renewed heart, however divine, must be continually fed with fresh fuel. Even the lamps of the sanctuary needed oil. Feed the flame, brother feed frequently; feed it with holy thought and contemplation, especially with thought about your work, your motives in pursuing it, the design of it, the helps that are waiting for you, and the grand results of it, if the Lord be with you. Dwell much upon the love of God to sinners and the death of Christ on their behalf, and the work of the Spirit upon men’s hearts. Think of what must be wrought in men’s hearts ere they can be saved. Remember, you are not sent to whiten tombs, but to open them. Meditate with deep solemnity upon the fate of the lost dinner, and, like Abraham, look towards Sodom and see the smoke thereof going up like the smoke of a furnace. Shun all views of future punishment which would make it appear less terrible, and so take off the edge of your anxiety to save immortal souls from the quenchless flame. If men are indeed only a nobler kind of ape, and expire as the beasts, you may well enough let them be unpitied; but if their creation in the image of God involves immortality, and there is any fear that through their unbelief they will bring upon themselves endless woe, arouse yourselves to the agonies of the occasion, and be ashamed at the bare suspicion of unconcern. Think much also of the bliss of the sinner saved, and like holy Baxter derive rich arguments for earnestness from “the saints’ everlasting rest.” Put these glorious logs of the wood of Lebanon upon the fire: it will burn freely and yield a sweet perfume as each piece of choice cedar glows in the flame. There will be no fear of your being lethargic if you are continually familiar with eternal realities.

Above all, feed the flame with intimate fellowship with Christ. Man was ever cold in heart; who lived with Jesus on such terms as John and Mary did of old, for he makes men’s hearts burn within them. I newer met with a half-hearted preacher who was much in communion with the Lord Jesus. The zeal of God’s house ate up our Lord; and when we come into contact with him it begins to consume us also and we feel that we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard in his company, nor can we help speaking of them with the fervor which comes out of actual acquaintance with them. Those of us who have been preaching for these five-and-twenty years sometimes feel that the same work, the same subject, the same people, and the same pulpit, are together apt to beget a feeling of monotony, and monotony may soon lead on to weariness. But then we call to mind another sameness, which becomes our complete deliverance; there is the same Savior, and we may go to him in the same way as we did at the first, since he is Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. From him we drink in the new wine and renew our youth. He is the fountain, for ever flowing with the cool, refreshing water of life, and in fellowship with him we find our souls quickened into newness of life. Beneath his smile our long consumed work grows new, and wears a brighter smile than novelty could have given it. We gather new manna for our people every morning, and as we go to distribute it we feel an annointing of fresh oil distilling upon us. “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” Newly come from the presence of him that walketh among the golden candlesticks, we are ready to write or speak unto the churches in the power which he alone can give. Soldiers of Christ, you can only be worthy of your Captain by abiding in fellowship with him, and listening to his voice as Joshua did when he stood by Jordan, and inquired — “What saith my Lord unto his servant?”

Fan the flame as well as feed it. Fan with much praying. We cannot be too urgent with one another upon this point: no language can be to vehement with which to implore ministers to pray. There is for our brethren and ourselves an absolute necessity of prayer. Necessity — I hardly like to talk of that, let me rather speak of the deliciousness of prayer — the wondrous sweetness and divine felicity which comes to the soul which lives in the atmosphere of prayer. The devout Mr. Hervey resolved on the bed of sickness — “If God shall spare my life, I will read less and pray more.” John Cooke, of Maidenhead, wrote — “The business, the pleasure, the honor, and the advantage of prayer press on my spirit with increasing force every day.” There should be special seasons for devotion, and it is well to maintain them with regularity, but the spirit of prayer is even better than the habit of prayer; to pray without ceasing is better than praying at intervals. It will be a happy circumstance if we can meet frequently with devout brethren, and I think I ought to be a rule with us ministers never to separate without a word of prayer. Much more intercession would rise to heaven if we made a point of this, especially those of us who have been fellow students. If it be possible, let prayer and praise sanctify each meeting of friend with friend. But, for all that, to fan your earnestness best it will need to seek after the spirit of continual prayer, so as to pray everywhere; and always; in the study, in the vestry, and in the pulpit; praying right along, when sitting down in the pulpit, when rising give only the hymn, when reading the chapter, and while delivering the sermon; holding up one hand to God, empty, in order to receive, more with the other hand dispensing to the people what the Lord bestows. Be in preaching like the conduit pipe between the everlasting and infinite supplies of heaven and the all but boundless needs therein. Pray for them while you preach to them; speak with God for them while you are speaking with them for God. Only so you can expect to be continually in earnest. A man does not often rise from his knees unearnest; or, if he does, he had better return to prayer until he feels the flame descending upon his soul. Adam Clarke originally said, “Study yourself to death, and then pray yourself alive again”: it was a wise sentence. Do not attempt the first without the second, the neither will the second be honestly accomplished without the first. Work and pray as well as watch and pray; but pray always.

As a subordinate but very useful means of keeping the heart fresh, I would suggest the frequent addition of new work to our old engagements. I would say to brethren who are soon going away from the College to settle in spheres where they will come into contact with but few superior minds, and perhaps will be almost alone in the higher walks of spirituality, look well to yourselves that you do not become flat, stale, and unprofitable. You will have a good share of work to do and few to help you in it, and the years will grind along heavily; watch against this, and use all means to prevent your becoming dull and sleepy. I find it good for myself to have some new work always on hand. The old and usual enterprises must be kept up, but somewhat must be added to them. It must be with us as with the squatters upon our commons, the fence of our garden of our most roll outward a foot or two and enclose a little more of the common every year. Never say “it is enough,” nor accept the policy, “rest and be thankful.” Do all you possibly can, and then do a little more. I don’t know by what process the gentleman who advertises that he can make short people taller attempts the task but I should imagine that if any result could be produced in the direction of adding a cubit, to one’s own stature it would be by every morning reaching up as high as you possibly can on tiptoe, and having done that, trying day by day to reach a little higher. This is certainly the way to grow mentally and spiritually, “reaching forth to that which is before.” If the old should become just a little stale, add fresh endeavors to it, and the whole mass will be leavened anew. Try it, and you will soon see there is virtue in breaking up fresh ground, invading new provinces of the enem., and scaling fresh heights to set the banner of the Lord thereon. This, of course is a second expedient to those of which we have already spoken, but still it is a very useful one, and may greatly benefit you. In a country town, say of two thousand inhabitants, you will, after a time, feel, “Well, now I have done about all I can in this place.” What then? There is a hamlet some four miles off: set about opening a room there. If one hamlet is occupied, make an excursion to another, and spy out the land, and set it before you as an ambition to relieve its spiritual destitution. When one place is supplied look to another. It is your duty, it will also be your safeguard. Everybody knows what interest there is in fresh work. A gardener will become weary of his work unless he is allowed to introduce new flowers into the hothouse, or to introduce new beds upon the lawn in a novel shape; all monotonous work is unnatural and wearying to the mind, therefore it is wisdom to give variety to your labor.

Far more weighty is the advice, keep close to God, and keep close to your fellow men whom you are seeking to bless. Get into close quarters with those who are in an anxious state. Watch their difficulties, their throes and pangs of conscience. It will help to make you earnest when you see their eagerness to find peace. On the other hand, when you see how little earnest the bulk of men remain, it may help to make you more zealous for their arousing. Rejoice with those who are finding the Savior, this is a grand means of revival for your own soul. When you are enabled to bring a mourner to Jesus you will feel quite young again. it will be as oil to your bones to hear a weeping penitent exclaim: “I see it all now! I believe, and my burden is gone: I am saved.” Sometimes the rapture of newborn souls will electrify you into terrible intensity. Who could not preach after having seen souls converted? Be on the spot when grace at last captures the lost sheep. Be in at the death with sinners. Be able to lay hold of them and say, “Yes, by the grace of God, I have really won this soul;” and your enthusiasm will flame forth. If you have to work in a large town I should recommend you to familiarize yourself, wherever your place of worship may be, with the poverty, ignorance, and drunkenness of the place. Go if you can with a City missionary into the poorest quarter, and you will see that which will astonish you: the actual sight of the disease will make you eager to reveal the remedy. There is enough of evil to be seen even in the best streets of our great cities, but there is an unutterable depth of horror in the condition of the slums. As a doctor walks the hospitals, so might you to traverse the lanes and courts to behold the mischief which sin has done. It is enough to make a man weep tears of blood to gaze upon the desolation which sin has made in the earth. One day with a devoted missionary would be a fine termination to your college course and fit preparation for work in your own sphere. See the masses living in their sins, drinking and Sabbath-breaking, rioting and blaspheming, and see them dying sodden and hardened, or terrified and despairing. This would kindle expiring zeal if anytiling would. The world is full of grinding poverty and crushing sorrow; shame and death are the portion of thousands, and it needs a great gospel to meet the dire necessities of men’s souls. Go and see for yourselves. Thus will you learn to preach a great salvation, and magnify the great Savior, not with your mouth only, but with your heart; and thus will you be married to your work beyond all possibility of your leaving it.

Death-beds are grand schools for us. Surely they are intended to act as tonics to brace us to our work. I have come down from the bed-chambers of the dying, and thought that everybody was mad, and myself most of all. I have grudged the earnestness which men devoted to earthly things, and have said to myself, why was that man driving along so hastily? Why was that woman walking out in fine dress? They were all to die so soon; and nothing seemed worth doing but preparing to meet one’s God. To be often where men die will help us to teach them both to die and to live. M’Cheyne was wont to visit his sick or dying hearers on the Saturday afternoon, for, as he told Dr. James Hamilton, “Before preaching he liked to look over the verge.”

I pray you, moreover, measure your work in the light of God. Are you God’s servant or not? If you are, how can your heart be cold? Are you sent by a dying Savior to proclaim his love and win the reward of his wounds, or are you not? If you are, how can you flag? Is the Spirit of God upon you? has the Lord anointed you to preach glad tidings to the poor? If he has not, do not pretend to it. If he has, go in this thy might, and the Lord shall be thy strength. Yours is not a trade, or a profession. Assuredly if you measure it by the tradesman’s measure it is the poorest business on the face of the earth. Considered as a profession, who would not prefer any other, so far as golden gains or worldly honors are concerned? But if it be a divine calling, and you a miracle-worker, dwelling in the supernatural, and working not for time but for eternity, then you belong to a nobler guild, and to a fraternity that is higher than any that springs of earth and deals with time. Look at it aright, and you will feel that it is a grand thing to be as poor as your Lord, if like him, you make many rich; you will feel that it is a grand thing, to be as unknown and despised as were your Lord’s first followers, because you are making him known whom to know is life eternal. You will be satisfied to be anything or to be nothing, and the thought of self will not cross your mind, or only cross it to be scouted as a meanness not to be tolerated by consecrated men. There is the point. Measure your work as it should be measured, and I am not afraid that your earnestness will be diminished. Measure it by the light of the judgment day. Oh brethren, the joy of saving a soul on earth is something very wonderful; you have felt it, I trust, and know it now. To save a soul from going down to perdition brings us to a little heaven below; but what must it be at the day of judgment to meet spirits redeemed by Christ, who learned the news of their redemption from our lips! We look forward to a blissful heaven in communion with our Master, but there is the added joy of meeting those loved ones whom we led to Jesus by our ministry. Let us endure our cross and despise the shame for the joy which Jesus sets before us of winning men for him.

One more thought may help to keep up our earnestness. Consider the great evil which will certainly come upon us and upon our hearers if we are negligent in our work. Oh, the horror of the doom of an un-faithful minister! And every unearnest minister is unfaithful. I would infinitely prefer to be consigned to Tophot as a murderer of men’s bodies than as a destroyer of men’s souls; neither do I know of any condition in which a man can perish so fatally, so infinitely, as the man who preach a gospel which he does not believe, and assumes the office of pastor over a people whose good he does not intensely desire. Do let us pray to be found faithful always, and ever. God grant we may!


“Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” — Matthew 23:24

THE note on this in the “Pictorial Bible” is valuable: — “In the East, where insects of all kinds abound, it is difficult to keep clear of insects liquors which are left for the least time uncovered; for which reason it was and is usual to strain the wine before drinking, to prevent insects from passing into the drinking vessel. Beside the common motive of cleanliness for this practice, the Jews considered that they had another and more important one — that of religious purity. For as the law forbade them to eat ‘flying creeping things,’ they thought themselves bound to be particularly careful in this matter . . . The Talmud contains many curious explanations and directions relating to it. Thus, ‘One that eats a flea or a gnat is an apostate, and is no more to be counted one of the congregation.’ It seems, however, that a person doing this might, under certain circumstances, escape further consequences by submitting to be scourged. ‘Whosoever eats a whole fly, or a whole gnat, whether dead or alive, is to be beaten on account of the flying creeping thing.”

The resemblance between modern and ancient Ritualists is remarkable and somewhat amusing, as appears in the “Directorinto Anglicanum.’ After having ordained that “if by any negligence any of the Blood be spilled upon a table, the priest officiating must do penance forty days” (p. 90), it proceeds: —

“But if the chalice have dripped upon the altar, the drop must be sucked up, and the priest must do penance for three days.

“Also if anyone by accident of the throat vomit up the Eucharist . . . if he be a cleric, monk, presbyter, or deacon, he must do penance for forty days, a bishop seventy days, a laic thirty.

“But who does not keep the Sacrament well, so that a mouse or other animal devoured it, he must do penance forty days”. (p. 91).

Modern ritualists breathe the same spirit as their Jewish predecessors; but they very discreetly prefer penance to scourging. — From Spalding’s “Scripture Difficulties.”

Answers to Prayer as Recorded in the Old Testament Scriptures. Samuel Bagsruer and Sons.

A PAMPHLET upon a choice subject, simply continuing the texts and the incidents which they set forth. Here a preacher will find ready to his hand a splendid series of discourses. Answers to prayer such as many of us can tell may be questioned; but these are recorded by the divine Spirit himself, and are the surest possible evidence. Verily there is a God that heareth prayer, and the Scriptures not only reveal Him, but establish our faith by giving many instances of holy men of old time who have tried and lived the faithfulness of the prayer-hearing God.

The Hidden Mystery; or, the Revelations of the Word. Being thoughts Suggestive and Practical upon Psalm 19:1-6. By ROBERT BROWN. James Nisbet and Co.

A FINE volume in outward appearance, containing a great many good things within it; but what the end and drift of it all may be is indeed “a hidden mystery.” one cannot read a page without finding rich evangelical doctrine and deep experimental instruction, but the connection of it all with the nineteenth Psalm and the jewels of the high-priest’s breast-plate is what we fail to perceive. The author is evidently a man of extensive reading, and his work is full of savor and earnest piety, and yet we do not believe that many persons will ever read it through, for it seems to us to hang together by too invisible a thread, if indeed, it bangs together at all. It is a great pity that such a heap of good bricks could not be built into a house.

The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe. Fourth Edition. Revised and corrected, with Appendices, Glossary, and Indices, by the Rev. JOSIAH PRATT, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Vicar of St. Stephen’s, Coleman Street, London; also an introduction, Biographical and Descriptive, by the Rev. John Stoughtoa, D.D. In eight volumes. Royal 8vo. With plates. 50s. the set. Religious Tract Society.

IT is very brave of the Society to issue so heavy a work, and we have our fears as to the number likely to be sold. Still, the great history of Foxe ought to be in all large libraries, especially in all congregational libraries. Earnest Protestants should see that their ministers have every one of them a copy. The heroic sufferings of our forefathers ought to be held in perpetual remembrance, and nothing can better ensure this than the wide distribution of old Foxe’s work. The price seems very little for so large a work, but we have not yet seen a copy so as to judge of the plates and the general appearance of the edition.


The following note was found upon our study table. We cannot fulfill the loving request which it contains one half so well by any words of ours as by inserting it just as we received it:

My very dear Mr. Editor, —

“Among your ‘Notes’ for the coming month, will you kindly sound one, clear and jubilant, of grateful blessing on behalf of the Book Fund? Nay, a ‘note” will scarce suffice me, I need psalms of praise, and symphonies of sweetness wherewith to make melody unto the Lord for his great goodness. Tell the dear friends who read the Sword and the Trowel that my mouth is filled with laughter, and my tongue with singing at the remembrance of the gracious love which continues to give support and sustenance and success to me in my beloved work. I am impatient to speak of his mercy, and cannot wait for the close of the year, when the report must be written, but feel constrained now to call on all who love the Lord to rejoice in my joy, and aid me in magnifying his dear name. It is only two years since this sweet service was gently and graciously laid on my heart and hands, and yet during that time the Lord has enabled me, though compassed with infirmity, to send forth, like seed corn, many thousands of volumes to aid the toiling laborers in the gospel field. More than £2,000 have been received and expended; the money coming fresh from the mint of heaven,’ for God has sent it all: as the dear friends through whom it reaches me must very well know, seeing that I never ask them for their loving gifts. Just as the olive trees in Zechariah’s vision constantly and silently shielded their rich streams to feed the lights of the golden candlestick, even so, as divinely and mysteriously does the Lord send me the means to provide ‘oil, beaten oil, for the lamps of the sanctuary.’

“Ah dear Mr. Editor, sound the notes of praise for me! I want God’s people to know how very good he is to unworthy me, that they may take comfort and courage from my experience of his tenderness and love. I would I had Miriam’s timbrel in my hand to-day to ‘sing unto the Lord’ withal, and lead out others to sing also, but as that cannot be, I pray you, lift up your voice for me, and ‘praise the Lord before all the people.’”

“Yours with true love and ‘reverence,’


In all this delight we join, and in the praise which thus ascends to heaven. How many poor ministers’ hearts are singing too! Surely our Lord Jesus accepts this service his needy servants as specially rendered unto himself. To the Ever Blessed be the glory, world without end.

COLLEGE — We have in the College an earnest and able brother who is anxious to go to Japan to preach Christ. We hope that the Baptist Missionary Society will give a grant in aid, but shortness of funds prevents their taking the brother altogether to their staff. If a few friends would join us in giving £10 a year the thing might be done at once. The brother appears to be eminently qualified. Here is the account of himself which he wrote us at our request a few days ago. He has been with us about a year: —

“Herewith I send you a brief account of myself while I lived in Japan.

“I first landed in that country in May, 1871, and left for England in July, 1876. During nearly five years of this time I was engaged as a teacher of English in Japanese schools, and the last year and a half was a teacher in the English Department of the Imperial College. Thus my position brought me into immediate contact with the Japanese people.

“For some time I held a Bible Class on Sunday afternoon in my own house, to which I invited my scholars. In this class I generally explained the Scriptures, keeping to those portions which contained gospel invitations, as I found those easier to explain. Several of my pupils who attended these, classes have since become believers in Christ, the last of whom is a lad by the name of Anyoji, who since my leaving Japan has joined himself to the Presbyterian church at Yokohama. Owing to opposition from the directors of my school I was obliged to discontinue these classes, and content myself with private conversation with my scholars, in which I endeavored to lead them to the Lord Jesus Christ, and I believe that in several instances God blessed this unassuming work.

“At the outset of my Christian life, I had a strong desire to enter the ministry and become a missionary, but a feeling of unfitness for the work led me to give up the thought of it, and hence I remained out of the path of duty; but God, whose ways are often mysterious, in his wisdom saw fit to take from me my dear wife, to whom I had been married for the short space of seven months. This he used as the means of bringing me into my present position. It was seemingly a hard way of the Lord with me, but now I bless and praise his name that even in this way he has led me to give myself up entirely to his service. From that time of trouble I resolved to devote myself to the Lord’s work in Japan. The old feeling of unfitness for the work of preaching again came over me, and I determined to study medicine and prepare myself for medical mission work. At once I commenced a course of preparatory study. Some time after, Dr. Palm, a medical missionary, writing to me from Nugata respecting medical mission work said, ‘If I had had more faith in the power of the simple preached word I should not have become a medical missionary.’

“At once I saw my mistake; I saw that it was by the foolishness of preaching that sinners should be led to the Savior. After much prayer I made up my mind to come home, and with the little money I had saved go through a course of theological study, in order that I might be better fitted to preach the gospel to the Japanese. Dr. Palm gave me a letter of introduction to Mr. Lewis of Bayswater, who very kindly asked you to receive me into your College; you did so, and I thank God for it. And here, sir, allow me to thank you most heartily for all the kindness you have always shown towards me, and especially with regard to the work in Japan, for I feel in debt to the Japanese; and until I have faithfully preached to them the gospel of Christ I feel that debt will remain upon me.

“In going forth from the Tabernacle and the College I have an exceedingly great encouragement in that I know the prayers of the Tabernacle and College will follow me, and having such, I feel doubly sure the Master will be with me to bless the word wherever it is preached.

“Praying that God’s richest blessing may rest on you and yours,

I am,

“My dear Mr. President,

“Yours affectionately and respectfully,


The settlements from the College are as follows: Mr. Holmes, to Belfast; Mr. G. Smith, to Bexley Heath; Mr. Petramo, to Herne Bay. Mr. Bacon also, having honorably finished his course with us, has left to pursue his studies at Edinburgh.

We are very much obliged to a worthy friend who has sent us the following account of the labors of our two beloved evangelists at Stockton: —

“Dear sir, — In a note in the September number of The Sword and the Trowel, you promise condensed reports from the evangelists, Messrs. Clarke and Smith, so recently set forth, and who have now commenced their labors in Stockton. Perhaps a short report of the work from a visitor may be acceptable.

The invitation to Stockton was given in connection with the Evangelistic Mission, commenced about three years since by Mr. E. P. Telford; and the Exchange, the largest public building, was secured for the services.

On Friday, August 24th, a Workers’ meeting was held in the Mission Room and was packed with earnest souls on fire with zeal for the work, and many a heartfelt prayer arose for a great blessing upon the town. The presence of the Lord was felt, and a firm confidence that he was about to work mightily in our midst.

The hearts of many of the Lord’s people have been stirred up of late to ask for great things and at no time since the commencement of the Mission has the spirit of earnest, believing prayer been so greatly felt. One feature of the present work has been the large number of specific requests for prayer which have been sent to prayer-meetings, and which have received immediate answers, not a day has passed without a note of praise being heard for answers to definite requests — ‘What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.’

The daily noon prayer-meeting, held in the Young Men’s Christian Association rooms, has been well attended. Many working men have hurried from their work to spend a portion of their dinner hour at these meetings, and their petitions for the salvation of relations and shop-mates have shown how much they desire that others should be saved. Often, too, has the petition gone up for grace to withstand the scorn and derision of those with whom they have to work. The population of Stockton being so largely composed of men employed in the iron works, ship building yards, etc., and of the class who rarely, if ever, attend any place of worship, the meetings held in the Marketplace are of great importance. These have usually been held each evening for half an hour before the meetings in the Exchange, and great numbers have been attracted to them by Mr. Smith’s cornet, and many become sufficiently interested in the singing and short addresses to follow into the hall.

The Exchange meetings have been held twice on Sundays, and once on each week-night, except Saturday, the congregation varying from about 800 to 1,900. The interest in the meetings has evidently deepened as they have gone on, and the blessing also has continued to increase. At first but few would remain to the after-meetings, but as the same people came again and again under the preaching of the gospel, the Lord’s power was manifested, and every night some are found deciding for him.

A service of song on Saturday evening attracted many to the Exchange who probably would have been found at the various places of amusement. The singing was varied by short addresses from Mr. Smith.

On the 10th, instead of the usual evening service, an experience meeting was held in the Hall, at which many who had been brought to the Lord in the mission during the last year or two gave an account of what he has done for them.

Two or three of the cases which show the complete and striking change in the lives of these men may be of general interest.

One said that he had been one of the most notoriously bad characters in Stockton, ready for anything bad, but the Lord Jesus had found him and made him a new creature, so that now his great desire was that, whereas he had been a faithful servant of the devil, he might now be found a faithful servant of Christ.

Another who had been a drunkard and a betting man was upon his conversion soon told by his companions that it would not last, but he said, “I cannot keep myself; the Lord keeps me, and has done ever since.” Speaking of his racing habits he said that now he had got on the grand stand. The consistent lives of these men are a constant annoyance to many of their companions who are opposed to the gospel, but many others are probably thus led to seek for a like blessing.

During the fortnight of Messrs. C1arke and Smith’s meetings about one hundred persons have given in their names as having received blessing, and as the services will not be concluded until Sunday, the 16th, a continued blessing is earnestly desired, and that many more may decide for Christ.

In the whole of the work Messrs. Clarke and Smith evidently desire to be guided by the apostle Paul’s injunction, “Whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God;” fully realizing that their labors are quite useless unless they have the continued blessing of God and the power and direction of the Holy Ghost in all that they say and do.

On Monday next, a week of meetings will be commenced at Middlesborough in the Baptist chapel erected by the late lamented Mr. Priter, and the intended meetings at Hartlepool will consequently be postponed.

May there be a great blessing resting upon these also, and many be found accepting the gift of God eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”


Leaving Stockton, our two brethren, though nearly exhausted by their toils, have been to Middlesborough. We joy and rejoice in their success; but we would again remind our friends that the whole expense rests upon us personally, and that it is natural that we should hope that those who see good accomplished, especially in the towns where they live, should aid in bearing the charges, for surely the laborer is worthy of his hire. If we were helped with these brethren, we would assist two others, and so the band of regular, approved evangelists would grow. Their engagements at present stand as follows: — Barking, Oct. 14 to 21; Bristol Oct. 28 to Nov. 5; Reading, Nov. 25 to Dec. 16. In 1878 Landport, Jan. 6 to 13: Southsea, Jan. 14 to 27; Metropolitan Tabernacle, Feb. 1 to 28; Newcastle-underLyes, March 11 to 30: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, April 16 to May 10; Bishop’s Stortford, May 14 to 30; Red Hill, Surrey, June 3 to 24; in July, rest

August 22. — The church at Farsley, near Leeds, through its estimable pastor, Mr. Parker, gave two collections to the Stockwell Orphanage, and gave them so heartily as to make them of double value. We were happy to be well enough to preach. We wish our friend Mr. Parker great success in his new position as head of the Baptist College in Manchester. May that institution vie with our own in sending out men who hold to the oldfashioned and now much-despised theology of the Puritans. There is good need; for the mildew of philosophy has fallen on the good wheat, and is marring the harvest of the Lord.

Aug. 29. — Our orphans were entertained at Reading in a right royal manner. It was one of the happiest days of our life. The boys were the objects of universal kindness. We do not know how to thank the friends sufficiently; they not only gave all that was needed for the treat and the traveling, but a handsome surplus remained. Truly God is good to find us such helpers.

August 31. — We met the workers who, under the leadership of Mr. Wm. Olney, junr., are evangelizing in Bermondsey. It was very refreshing to see their zeal for the Lord, and the hearty manner in which all sorts of people worked together to reach the ungodly around them. While one preaches in the street, many help to gather the people by singing, and others distribute tracts. O that the salvation of God were come out of Zion! The millions perish and few lay the matter to heart. Benmondsey needs a great many workers like these who unite with Mr. Olney. Are there none to commence similar enterprises? Young gentlemen of education and position could not better glorify God, nor more surely secure to themselves a good degree in the church of God than by consecrating themselves to evangelistic works in needy districts. Look at our brother Orsman, in Golden Lane, and Mr. Hatton, in St. Giles — their names are honorable where honor is best worth the having. Mr. W. Olney has our loving thanks for all that he does so faithfully for his Lord.

September 7. — We had an evening with Mr. Perkin’s class, and a very happy one too. The brethren manifested love, life, and light, and spoke admirably, testifying to the good received in the class. Their esteemed president received a well-earned testimonial from them; we had a handsome sum from the College, and the whole proceedings were full of hearty enthusiasm. Our visit to this band of young men revived us. We saw that the Lord is gloriously at work at the Tabernacle, and is not withholding the blessing, as our eager anxiety sometimes makes us fear he may do. Young men are rising up, and by diligent study of their Bibles are preparing themselves for future usefulness. There is a large attendance of interested friends

September 14 — The evening of this day was spent among the Evangelists of the Tabernacle, who mustered in good force under their worthy leader, Mr. Elvin. The friends of the work came up very numerously, and the meeting was all alive. We shall never forget some of the details of lodging house visitation. Work in low London is far more interesting and romantic than your genteel lover of propriety would believe, and it is refreshing to hear details. The men have shown great courage, tact, and zeal in their ministrations among the worst parts of our neighborhood, and good must have resulted from testifying to the gospel in street corners and in the haunts of the poor and the fallen. Our young men make our heart leap for joy. We are often heavy, for our charge is great, but when we see their ardor and industry we feel more than rewarded, and leap to our work again. Mr. Elvin was also most fittingly testimonialized by his little army; he is a brother whose steady working and organizing ability are an invaluable gift to our church.

OUR FUNDS. — We hope that friends are not forgetting us. The week ending Sept. 22, when we are writing these lines, has been the dullest we have known for a long time. Donors great or small have been so few as to be counted on our fingers and the cash is going out as usual. Still there is no actual want at present, nor can there be, since the work is the Lord’s, and we have in all things endeavored to carry it on in all simplicity of heart for his glory.

AUSTRALIA. — Urgent invitations have come to us to go Australia for a tour, and we beg publicly to thank the churches for doing us this honor. Having well weighed the matter, we feel that we cannot at this time leave our post, if indeed we shall ever he able to do so. Our numerous institutions must be watched, the great congregation must he kept together, and the weekly sermon must continue to be published. These all require us to be at home, and our absences must be brief ones; otherwise we should enjoy beyond measure a trip to the Southern Sea. It is not indifference to our friends abroad, but a conviction of duty which keeps me at home. We wish every blessing to those who in so loving a manner have invited us to their shores.

COLPORTAGE. — Progress still continues in the work of opening up new districts, and hence the need of renewed and continued aid to support the colporteurs sent out. Our friends in the Southern Baptist Association find the agency to work so satisfactorily that from one agent they have now increased to five, and Colporteurs will commence work for them at Michaelmas at Salisbury and Poole. Chester and Preston, too, have new colporteurs now at work. The great evil of unhealthy literature, with which colportage mainly seeks to grapple by supplying something better, has latterly become so prominent as to call for notice in parliament, and has had to be dealt with in our law courts. One of the prisoners arrested for the Blackheath highway robbery had a number of vicious publications in his box, and similar occurrences constantly crop up. The vilest productions of the press are surreptitiously hawked about all over the country, and nothing can satisfactorily cope with the mischief except a personal house to house canvass by Christian men, presenting a supply of good and attractive reading accompanied by prayerful endeavors to lead men to Christ. This our society is doing in upwards of sixty districts in England and Wales. Will not some of the Lord’s servants ponder the vast importance of wielding the immense power of the Christian press? It carries the gospel far beyond the limited number of hearers which can at the best listen to the preacher’s voice. Colportage supplements and extends the work of the church to a large extent, and should therefore be welcomed and employed on a much larger scale. Our work is thoroughly unsectarian, supplying laborers in connection with any Christian church or churches who will subscribe towards their support. Sometimes a wealthy individual subscribes the whole £40 per annum required, and a colporteur is sent into some needy district where otherwise the funds cannot be obtained. Why should we not have one hundred men at once? The secretary will be glad to correspond with friends in any neighborhood who would be willing to cooperate to raise £40 a year to start a colporteur. Please address W. Cordon Jones, Colportage Association, Metropolitan Tabernacle, SE.

Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle by J. A. Spurgeon: — August 27, four; 30th, eighteen; 31st, one.

Chap 10. NOVEMBER, 1877.





“The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted” — Isaiah 61:1.

OUR Lord’s anointing was with a special view to his preaching. Such honor does the Lord of heaven and earth put upon the ministry of the Word that, as one of the old Puritans said, “God had only one Son, and he made a preacher of him.” it should greatly encourage the weakest amongst men, who are preachers of righteousness, to think that the Son of God, that blessed and eternal Word, came into this world that he might preach the same glad tidings which we are called to proclaim.

We may profitably note how earnestly our Lord kept to his work. It was his business to preach, and he did preach, he was always preaching “What,” say you, “did he not work miracles?” Yes, but his miracles were sermons; they were acted discourses, full of instruction He preached when he was on the mountain, he equally preached when he sat at table in the Pharisee’s house. All his actions were significant; he preached by every movement. He preached when he did not speak; his silence was as eloquent as his words. He preached when he gave, and he preached when he received; he was preaching sermon when he lent his feet to the woman that she might wash them with her tears and wipe them with the hairs of her head, quite as much as when he was dividing the loaves and the fishes and feeding the multitude. He preached by his patience before Pilate, for there he witnessed a good confession. He preached from the bloody tree; with hands and feet fastened there, he delivered the most wonderful discourse of justice and of love, of vengeance and of grace, of death and of life, that was ever preached in this poor world. Oh, yes, he preached wondrously, he was always preaching; with all his heart and soul he preached. He prayed that he might obtain strength to preach. He wept in secret that he might the more compassionately speak the word which wipes men’s tears away. Always a preacher, he was always ready in season and out of season, with a good word. As he walked the streets he preached as he went along; and if he sought retirement, and the people thronged him, he sent them not away without a gracious word. This was his one calling, and his one calling he pursued in the power of the eternal Spirit; and he liked it so well, and thought so much of it, that he trained his eleven friends to the same work, and sent them out. to preach as he had done; and then he chose seventy more for the same errand, saying, “As ye go, preach the gospel.” Did he shave the head of one of them to make him a priest? Did he decorate one of them with a gown, or a chasuble, or a biretta? Did he teach one of them to say mass — to swing a censer to elevate the host? Did he instruct one of them to regenerate children by baptism? Did he bring them up to chant in simplices and march in processions? No, those things he never thought of, and neither will we. If he had thought of them it would only have been with utter contempt, for what is there in such childish things? The preaching of the cross — this it is which is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us who are saved it is the wisdom of God, and the power of God; for it pleaseth God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Nor at the close of his career had our Lord lowered his estimation of preaching, for just before he ascended he said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” His last charge in brief was — preach, preach even as I have done before you. He lived the Prince of preachers, he died and became the theme of preachers, he lives again and is the Lord of preachers. What an honorable work is that to which his servants are called!

Now, as you have seen that our Savior came to preach, now notice his subject. “The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek.” And what good tidings did he preach? Pardon, pardon given to the chief of sinners, pardon for prodigal sons pressed to their father’s bosom. Restoration from their lost estate as the piece of money was restored again into the treasury, and the lost sheep back to the fold. How encouragingly he preached of a life given to men dead in sin, life through the living water which becomes a fountain within the soul. You know how sweetly he would say, “He that believeth in me hath everlasting life.” “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” “Like as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” He preached a change of heart, and the need of a new creation. He said, “Ye must be born again,” and he taught those truths by which the Holy Ghost works in us and makes all things new. He preached glad tidings concerning resurrection, and bade men look for endless bliss by faith in him. He cried, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” He gave forth precepts, too, and threatenings in their place, — some of them very searching and terrible, but they were only used as accessories to the good news. He made men feel that they were poor, that they might be willing to be made rich by his grace. He made them feel weary and burdened, that they might come to him for rest; but the sum and substance of what he preached was the gospel — the good spell — the glad news.

Brethren, our divine Lord always preached upon that subject, and did not stoop to secular themes. If you notice, though he would sometimes debate with Pharisees, Herodians, and others, as needs must be, yet he was soon away from them and back to his one theme. He baffled them with his wisdom, and then returned to the work he loved, namely, preaching where the publicans and sinners drew near together “for to hear him.” Our business, since the Spirit of God is upon us, is not to teach politics, save only in so far as these immediately touch the kingdom of Christ, and there the gospel is the best weapon. Nor is it our business to be preaching mere morals, and rules of duty; our ethics must be drawn from the cross, and begin and end here. We have not so much to declare what men ought to do, as to preach the good news of what God has done for them. Nor must we always be preaching certain doctrines, as doctrines, apart from Christ. We are only theologians as far as theology enshrines the gospel. We have one thing to do, and to that one thing we must keep. The old proverb says, “Cobbler, stick to your last,” and, depend upon it, it is good advice to the Christian minister to stick to the gospel and make no move from it. I hope I have always kept to my theme; but I take no credit for it, for I know nothing else. I have “determined to know nothing among men, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Indeed, necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel. I would fain have but one eye, and that eye capable of seeing nothing from the pulpit but lost men and the gospel of their salvation: to all else one may well be blind, so that the entire force of the mind may center on the great essential subject. There is, certainly, enough in the gospel for any one man, enough to fill any one life, to absorb all our thought, emotion, desire, and energy, yea, infinitely more than the most experienced Christian and the most intelligent teach, or will ever be able to bring forth. If our Master kept to his one topic, we may wisely do the same, and if any say that we are narrow, let us delight in that blessed narrowness which brings men into the narrow way. If any denounce us as cramped in our ideas, and shut up to one set of truths, let us rejoice to be shut up with Christ, and count it the truest enlargement of our minds. It were well to be bound with cords to his altar, to lose all hearing but for his voice, all seeing but for his light, all life but in his life, all glorying save in his cross. If he who knew all things taught only the one thing needful, his servants may rightly enough do the same. “The Lord hath anointed me,” saith he, “to preach good tidings”: in this anointing let us abide.

But now notice the persons to whom he especially addressed the good tidings They were the meek. Just look to the fourth of Luke, and you will read there, “The Lord hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor”: the poor, then, are among the persons intended by the meek. I noticed when I was looking through this passage that the Syriac renders it “the humble,” and I think the Vulgate renders it “the gentle.” Calvin translates it “the afflicted.” It all comes to one thing. The meek, a people who are not lofty in their thoughts, for they have been broken down; a people who are not proud and lifted up, but low in their own esteem; a people who are often much troubled and tossed about in their thoughts; a people who have lost proud hopes and self-conceited joys; a people who seek no high things, crave for no honors, desire no praises, but bow before the Lord in humility. They are fain to creep into any hole to hide themselves, because they have such a sense of insignificance and worthlessness and sin. They are a people who are often desponding, and are apt to be driven to despair. The meek, the poor: — meek because they are poor: they would be as bold as others if they had as much as others, or as others think they have; but God has emptied them, and so they have nothing to boast of. They feel the iniquity of their nature, the plague of their hearts; they mourn that in them there dwells no good thing, and oftentimes they think themselves to be the offscouring of all things. They imagine themselves to be more brutish than any man, and quite beneath the Lord’s regard; sin weighs them down, and yet they accuse themselves of insensibility and impenitence. Now, the Lord has anointed the Lord Jesus on purpose to preach the gospel to such as these. If any of you are good and deserving, the gospel is not for you. If any of you are keeping God’s laws perfectly, and hope to be saved by your works; the whole have no need of a physician, and the Lord Jesus did not come upon so needless an errand as that of healing men who have no wounds or diseases. But the sick need a doctor, and Jesus has come in great compassion to remove their sicknesses. The more diseased you are, the more sure you may be that the Savior came to heal such as you are. The more poor you are, the more certain you may be that Christ came to enrich you; the more sad and sorrowful you are, the more sure you may be that Christ came to comfort you. You nobodies, you who have been turned upside down and emptied right out, you who are bankrupts and beggar’s, you who feel yourselves to be clothed with rags and covered with wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores, you who are utterly bad through and through, and know it, and mourn it, and are humbled about it, you may know that God has poured the holy oil without measure upon Christ on purpose that he might deal out mercy to such poor creatures as you are. What a blessing this is! How we ought to rejoice in the anointing, since it benefits such despicable objects. We who feel that we are such objects ought to cry, “Hosannah, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

We must now consider our Lord’s design and object in thus preaching the gospel to the poor and the meek.

It was, you observe, that he might bind up the broken-hearted. “He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted.” Carefully give heed, that you may see whether this belongs to you. Are you broken-hearted because of sin; because you have sinned often, foully, grievously? Are you broken-hearted because your heart will not break as you would desire it should break; broken-hearted because you repent that you cannot repent as you would, and grieved because you cannot grieve enough? Are you broken-hearted because you have not such a sense of sin that you ought to have, and such a deep loathing of it as you perceive that others have? Are you brokenhearted with despair as to self-salvation; broken-hearted because you cannot keep the law; broken-hearted because you cannot find comfort in ceremonies; brokenhearted because the things which looked best have turned out to be deceptions; broken-hearted because all the world over you have found nothing but broken cisterns which hold no water, which have mocked your heart when you have gone to them; broken-hearted with longing after peace with God; broken-hearted because prayer does not seem to be answered; broken-hearted because when you come to hear the gospel you fear that it is not applied to you with power; broken-hearted because you had a little light and yet slipped back into darkness; brokenhearted because you are afraid you have committed the unpardonable sin; broken-hearted because of blasphemous thoughts which horrify your mind and yet will not leave it? I care not why or wherefore you are brokenhearted, but Jesus Christ came into the world, sent of God with this object — to bind up the broken-hearted. It is a beautiful figure, this binding up — as though the Crucified One took the liniment and the strapping and put it around the broken heart, and with his own dear gentle hand proceeded to close up the wound and make it cease to bleed. Luke doesn’t tell us that he came to bind up the broken-hearted: if you examine his version of the text, you will read that he came to cure them. That is going still further, because you may bind a wound up and yet fail to cure it, but Jesus never fails in his surgery. He whose own heart was broken knows how to cure broken hearts. I have heard of people dying of a broken heart, but I always bless God when I meet with those who live with a broken heart because it is written, “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” If you have that broken heart within you, beloved, Christ came to cure you; and he wilt do it, for he never came in vain: “he shall not fail nor be discouraged.” With sovereign power anointed from on high he watches for the worst ,f cases. Heart disease, incurable by man, is his specialty! His gospel touches the root of the soul’s ill, the mischief which dwells in that place from whence are the issues of life. With pity, wisdom, power, and condescension he bends over our broken bones, and ere he has done with them he makes them all rejoice and sing glory to his name. Come then, ye troubled ones, and rely upon your Savior’s healing power. Give yourselves up to his care, confide in his skill, rest in his love. What joy you shall have if you will do this at once! What joy shall I have in knowing that you do so! Above all, what joy will fill the heart of Jesus, the beloved Physician, as he sees you healed by his stripes!



OUR friend Hodge does not seem to be making much of an out at shearing. It will take him all his time to gel wool enough for a blanket and his neighbors are telling him so. But he gets plenty of music of a sort; Hullah’s system is nothing to it, and even Nebuchadnezzar’s flutes, harps, sackbuts, and dulcimers could not make more din. He gets “cry” enough to stock a Babylon of babies, but not wool enough to stop his ears with.

Now is not this very like the world with its notions of pleasure? There is noise enough; laughter, and shouting, and boasting; but where is the comfort which can warm the heart, and give peace to the spirit? Thousands have had to weep over their mistake, and yet it seems that every man must have a clip at his own particular pig, and cannot be made to believe that like all the rest it will yield him nothing but bristles. One shears the publican’s hog, which is so fond of the swill tub, and he reckons upon bringing home a wonderful lot of wool; but everybody knows that he who goes there for wool will come home shorn himself: the “Blue Boar” is an uncommonly ugly animal to shear. Better sheer off as far as you can. Another tries greediness, and expects to be happy by being a miser. That’s a very clean hog to clip at. Some try wickedness, and run into bad company, and give way to vice. I warrant you, they may shear the whole styful of filthy creatures, and never find a morsel of wool on the whole lot of them. Loose characters, silly amusements, gambling, wantonness, and such like, are swine that none but a fool will try his hand on. I don’t deny that there’s plenty of pig music, — who ever expected that there would be silence in a piggery? But then noise is not enough to fill the heart or cheer the soul.

John Ploughman has tried for himself, and he knows by experience that all the world is nothing but a hog that is not worth the shearing: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” But yet there is wool to be had; there are real joys to be got for the asking, if we ask aright. Below, all things deceive us, but, above us there is a true friend. This is John Ploughman’s verdict, which he wishes all his readers to take note of —

“‘Tis religion that can give
Sweetest pleasures while we live;
‘Tis religion must supply
Solid comfort when we die.”

From John Ploughman’s Sheet Almanack.



WE rejoice to hear on all hands that the meetings of the Baptist Union at Newport, Monmouthshire, have been among the best that have ever been held. An infusion of Welsh enthusiasm set the whole thing on fire, and the meetings were crowded throughout. Our heart was with our brethren, and we rejoice to hear of all that was done. If brotherly love continues and increases; if evangelistic truth has universal sway, and it humble dependence upon God is maintained, there is a future for the Baptists which shall well repay all the waiting and the watching of the centuries.

The Church Congress at Croydon was a model of quietness, but all lovers of divine truth must mourn to see her delivered into the hands of her enemies. The evangelicals seem eager to sell their birthright, so long as they may but continue to eat of the pottage. Surely there will be some protesting voices! Is the cry of “Peace, peace, where is there no peace” to be taken up by all the professed lovers of the Protestant faith? We are pleased to note a line or two in the “Hand and Heart” indicating that Mr. Bullock sees no possibility of united action with the Romanizing party, and we are even more glad to see brave old Hugh McNeile sounding a vigorous alarm in the Times. But what ailed the evangelicals at the congress? It is the fear of disestablishment through internal strife which has hushed honest protest, and produced a hollow truce. May the great God of truth save his weak children from the ensnaring influences which now entangle them, and make them prefer honest poverty to their present false position.

Our review department occasionally gets us into hot water. We must, however, assure all good people whose views are not advocated, or are even opposed, that we cannot discuss matters with them. If they do not like our opinions they can state their own as publicly as they please, but we do not intend to enter into argument on all the topics which arise; we have neither the time nor the ability. Of course the secretary of a society, who lives to advocate the views of his associates, is fully justified in drawing his sword to defend his favorite principle, and we are very pleased to see his courage and zeal; but when he has been studying a subject all his life, it is not quite so brave a thing as it looks to challenge a busy man who has other fish to fry to come out and fight. However, if it does brethren good to be able to feel that we are afraid of them, our benevolence leads us to rejoice in their gratification. It will be quite safe for another dozen or two to challenge us.

Another matter needs a word. We deliver what we think an earnest, sober address, and lo, in some one or other of the newspapers which are rather sharp set during this hungry season, we come upon what profess to be a report of our speech. A sentence culled here and there, a tale ill told and a remark set up on the wrong end, are jumbled together and called a report, and then friends send a flight of letters asking if the report is correct. Now, once: for all, let us say “No.” We will not be held responsible for the caricatures of what we say which are sent out to the public as our productions. In many late instances we can appeal to every man, woman, and child in the audience, except, perhaps, the penny-a-liner himself; and they will unanimously say that their impression of what they heard was as different as light from darkness from that which the so-called report was calculated to produce upon the reader.

Three members of the Tabernacle church sailed for the Indian Mission with Mr. Smith, of Delhi: — Mrs. Brown, Miss Kemp, and Mr. Blackie of our College. It is very probable, that Mr. Blackie will minister to the church in the Lal Bazaar, Calcutta. We rejoice to see the missionary spirit thus alive among us. There art more willing to go.

Our friends who have offered aid to send forth Mr. White to Japan, and to support him there, will we trust send their donations to the Baptist Mission house, Castle Street, Holborn, for the Society has generously seen fit to undertake the mission. May the Lord prosper the effort. The remark in our last number upon medical mission work will not, we trust, prejudice a single reader against medical missions. We believe most in the man who gives himself wholly to the ministry of the gospel, but the other form of usefulness is not be despised, for in some cases it is a most suitable agency.

COLLEGE. During the month Mr. Abrahams has settled at Redruth, Mr. Hewlett at Shepton Mallett, Mr. Whetnail at Ulverstone, and Mr. D. Sharp at Bath. Our brother Winter has gone to his home above to the sorrow of us all.

ORPHANAGE. Collectors Meeting will be held at the Stockwell Orphanage on Friday evening, Nov. 9. Will our young friends be sure to bring in their collecting books, and we trust they will have good amounts to pay in, for subscriptions are rather scanty at this time.

Friends who have any of the Lord’s money in hand could not expend it better than in helping our hard-working brother, Mr. Honour, of Olivet Chapel, Deptford. Some years ago we helped his friends to buy a piece of ground in the midst of a dense population. We aided them to build a schoolroom on the back of the land, leaving a good site in front for a chapel. The time has now come to build the house, but the people are poor and need help. Unless the rich help the poor, how can London be evangelized?

During the summer our students have gone forth two and two into the villages and towns around London, preaching, as the Lord gave doors of utterance, upon the green, or at the street corner. The season now forbids such labors, and we shall be glad to hear of openings for the hire of rooms, etc., under cover in and around London. In many a district a new church might be raised if those on the spot would only get together, and then send on to us. We would at least do our best for them.

COLPORTAGE. — Two gentlemen, who do not wish their names mentioned, join in making the Association a very generous offer towards the support of twenty new colporteurs for one year, if the whole number is at work before the end of this year. To enable us to accept this challenge, and permanently profit by it, a large increase in the amount of yearly subscriptions to the General Fund is necessary. The committee, therefore, most earnestly appeal to the readers of the Sword and Trowel to help them by becoming annual subscribers, and will thankfully accept any amount however small. During the month of November only the committee will be glad to receive applications for the appointment of colporteurs at a reduced rate from the usual £40 a year required for the partial support of a colporteur. Application from new districts for the reduced rate should be prompt, as immediate action will be taken to start colporteurs in the whole number of districts. Earnest Christian workers who are members of some Christian church, have good physical strength, and possess tact as salesmen, can apply for employment to the secretary, 5V. Cordon Jones, Colportage Association, College Buildings, Metropolitan Tabernacle, S.E., to whom all communications should be addressed.

Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle by Mr. J. A. Spurgeon: Sept. 27, nineteen; Oct, 1, six; Oct. 4, twenty.

Chap 11. DECEMBER, 1877.




NO. 3237



“And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child, and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.” — Genesis 42:22

A Sermon by C. H. Spurgeon, upon the same text, is No. 840 in the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, also entitled “Do not Sin against the Child.” It was delivered as preface to a series of services for children conducted in the Tabernacle, in the year 1868, by the late Mr. E. Payson Hammond.

You know how Joseph’s brethren, through envy, sold him into Egypt; and how ultimately they were themselves compelled to go down into Egypt to buy corn. When they were treated roughly by the governor of that country, whom they did not know to be their brother, their consciences smote them, and they said one to another, “We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, who he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.” While their consciences were thus accusing them, the voice of their elder brother chimed in, saying, “Said I not unto you, Do not sin against the child?” From which I gather that, if we commit sin after being warned, the voice of conscience will be all the more condemning, for it will be supported by the memory of disregarded admonitions, which will revive again, and with solemn voices say to us, “Said we not unto you, Do not sin against the child?” We who know what is due to children will be far more guilty than others if we sin against their souls. Wiser views as to the needs and hopes of the little ones are now abroad in this world than those which ruled the public mind fifty years ago, and we shall be doubly criminal if now we bring evil upon the little ones.

The advice of Reuben may well be given to all grown-up persons, “Do not sin against the child.” Thus would I speak to every parent, to every elder brother or sister, to every schoolmaster, to every employer, to every man and woman, whether they have families or not, “Do not sin against the child:” neither against your own child, nor against anybody’s child, nor against the poor waif of the sweet whom they call “nobody’s child.” If you sin against adults, “do not sin against the child.” If a man must be profane, let him have too much reverence for a child to pollute its little ear with blasphemy. If a man must drink, let him have too much respect for childhood to entice his boy to sip at the intoxicating cup. If there be aught of lewdness or coarseness on foot, screen the young child from the sight and hearing of it. O ye parents, do not follow trades which will ruin your children, do not select houses where they will be cast in evil society, do not bring depraved persons within your doors to defile them! For a man to lead others like himself into temptation is bad enough; but to sow the vile seed of vice in hearts that are as yet untainted by any gross, actual sin, is a hideous piece of wickedness. Do not commit spiritual infanticide. For God’s sake, in the name of common humanity, I pray you, if you have any sort of feeling left, do not play the Herod by morally murdering the innocents. I have heard that when, in the cruel sack of a city, a soldier was about to kill a child, his hand was stayed by the little one’s crying out, “O sir, please don’t kill me; I am so little!” The feebleness and littleness of childhood should appeal to the worst of men, and restrain them from sinning against the child.

According to the story of Joseph, there are three ways of sinning against the child. The first was contained in the proposition of the envious brothers, “Let us slay him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” “Shed no blood,” said Reuben, who had reasons of his own for wishing to save Joseph’s life. There is such a thing as morally and spiritually slaying boys and girls, and here even the Reubens unite with us; even those who are not so good as they should be will join in the earnest protest, “Do not sin against the child, “— do not train him in dishonesty, lying, drunkenness, and vice. No one among us would wish to do so, but it is continually done by bad example. Many sons are ruined by their fathers. Those who gave them birth give them their death. They brought them into the world of sin, and they seem intent to bring them into the world of punishment, and will succeed in the fearful attempt unless the grace of God shall interfere. Many are doing all they can, by their own conduct at home and abroad, to educate their offspring into pests of society and plagues to their country. When I see the member of juvenile animals, I cannot help asking, “Who slew all these?” and it is sad to have for an answer, “These are mostly the victims of their parents’ sin.” The fiercest boasts of prey will not destroy their own young, but sin makes men unnatural, so that they destroy their offspring’s souls without thought. To teach a child a lascivious song is unutterably wicked; to introduce him to the wine cup is evil. To take children to places of amusement where everything is polluting, — where the quick-witted boy soon spies out vice, and learns to be precocious in it; where the girl, while sitting to see the play, has kindled within her passions which need no fuel, — to do this is to act the tempter’s part. Would you poison young hearts, and do them lifelong mischief? I wish that the guardian of public morals would put down all open impurity; but if that cannot be, at least let the young be shielded. He who instructs a youth in the vices of the world is a despicable wretch, a panderer for the devil, for whom contempt is a feeling too lenient. No, even though thou art thyself of all men most happened, there can be no need to worry the lambs, and offer the babes before the shrine of Moloch.

The same evil may be committed by indoctrinating children with evil teachings. They learn so soon that it is a sad thing to teach them error. It is a dreadful thing when the infidel father sneers at the cross of Christ in the presence of his boy, when he utters horrible things against our blessed Lord in the hearing of tender youth. It is sad to the last degree that those who have been singing holy hymns in the Sabbath-school should go home to hear God blasphemed, and to see holy things spit upon and despised. To the very worst unbelievers we might well say, — Do not thus ruin your child’s immortal soul; if you are yourself resolved to perish, do not drag your child downward too.

But there is a second way of sinning against the child, of which Reuben’s own proposition may serve as an illustration. Though not with a bad motive, Reuben said, “Cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him.” The idea of many is to leave the child as a child, and then look him up in after days, and seek to deliver him from destruction. Do not kill him, but leave him alone till riper years. Do not kill him, that would be wicked murder; but leave him in the wilderness till a more convenient season, when, like Reuben, you hope to come to his rescue. Upon this point I shall touch many more than upon the first. Many professing Christians ignore the multitudes of children around them, and act as if there were no such living beings. They may go to Sunday-school or not; they do not know, and do not care. At any rate, these good people cannot trouble themselves with teaching children. I would earnestly say “Do not sin against the child by such neglect.” “No,” says Reuben, “we will look after him when he is a man. He is in the pit now, but we are in hopes of getting him out afterwards.” That is the common notion, — that the children are to grow up unconverted, and that they are to be saved in after life. They are to be left in the pit now, and to be drawn out by-and-by. This pernicious notion is sinning against the child. No word of Holy Scripture gives countenance to such a policy of delay and neglect. Neither nature nor grace pleads for it. It was the complaint of Jeremiah, “Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.” Let not such a charge lie against any one of us. Our design and object should be that our children, while they are yet children, should be brought to Christ; and I ask those dear brothers and sisters here present who love the Lord not to doubt about the conversion of their little ones, but to seek it at once with all their hearts. Why should our Josephs remain in the pit of nature’s corruption? Let us pray the Lord at once to take them up out of the horrible pit, and save them with a great salvation.

There is yet a third way of sinning against the child, which plan was actually tried upon Joseph: they sold him, — sold him to the Midianite merchantmen. They offered twenty pieces of silver for him, and his brothers readily handed him over for that reward. I am afraid that some are half inclined to do the same now. It is imagined that, now we have Schoolboards, we shall not want Sabbath-schools so much, but may give over the young to the Secularists. Because the children are to be taught the multiplication table, they will not need to be taught the fear of the Lord! Strange reasoning this! Can geography teach them the way to heaven, or arithmetic remove their countless sins? The more of secular knowledge our juveniles acquire, the more will they need to be taught in the fear of the Lord. To leave our youthful population in the hands of secular teachers will be to sell them to the Ishmaelites. Nor is it less perilous to leave them to the seductive arts of Ritualists and Papists. We who love the gospel must not let the children slip through our hands into the power of those who would enslave their minds by superstitious dogmas. We sin against the child if we hand it over to teachers of error.

The same selling of the young Josephs can be effected by looking only to their worldly interests, and forgetting their souls. A great many parents sell their children by putting them out as apprentices to men of no character, or by placing them in situations where ungodliness is the paramount influence. Frequently, the father does not ask where the boy can go on the Sabbathday, and the mother does not inquire whether her girl can hear the gospel when she gets out; but good wages are looked after, and not much else. They count themselves very staunch if they draw a line at Roman Catholics, but worldliness and even profligacy are not reckoned as barriers in many cases. How many there are of those who call themselves Christians who sell their daughters in marriage to rich men! The men have no religion whatever, but “it is a splendid match,” because they move in high society. Young men and women are put into the matrimonial market, and disposed of to the highest bidder: God is not thought of in the matter. Thus the rich depart from the Lord, and curse their children quite as much as the poor. I am sure you would not literally sell your offspring for slaves, and yet to sell their souls is by no means less abominable. “Do not sin against the child. “ Do not sell him to the Ishmaelites. “Ah!” say you, “the money is always handy.” Will you take the price of blood? Shall the blood of your children’s souls be on your skirts? I pray you, pause awhile ere you do this.

Sometimes, a child may be sinned against because he is disliked. The excuse for undue harshness and severity is, “He is such a strange child!” You have heard of the cygnet that was hatched in a duck’s nest. Neither duck, nor drake, nor ducklings could make anything out of the ugly bird; and yet, in truth, it was superior to all the rest. Joseph was the swan in Jacob’s nest, and his brothers and even his father did not understand him. His father rebuked him and said, “Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?” He was not understood by his own kin. I should fancy that he was a most uncomfortable boy to live with, for, when his elder brothers transgressed, he felt bound to bring unto his father “their evil report.” I doubt not that they called him “a little sneak”, though, indeed, he was a gracious child. His dreams also were very odd, and considerably provoking, for he was always the hero of them. His brothers called him “this dreamer”, and evidently thought him to be a mere fool. He was his father’s pet boy, and this made him even more obnoxious to the other sons. Yes that very child, who was so despised by his brothers, was the Joseph among them. History replicates itself, and the difference in your child, which now causes him to be pecked at, may perhaps arise from a superiority which as yet hasn’t found its sphere, at any rate, “do not sin against the child” because he is singular, for he may rise to special distinction. Do not, of course, show him partiality, and make him a coat of many colors; because, if you do, his brothers will have some excuse for their envy; but, on the other hand, do not suffer him to be snubbed, and do not allow his spirit to be crushed.

I have known some who, when they have meet with a little Joseph, have sinned against him by foolish flattery. The boy has said something rather good, and then they have set him upon the table so that everybody might see him, and admire what he had to say, while he was coaxed into repeating his sage observations. Thus the child was made self-conceited, forward, and pert. Children who are much exhibited are usually spoiled in the operation. I think I hear the proud parents say, “Now do see — do see what a wonderful boy my Harry is! “Yes, I do see; I do see what a wonderful stupid his mother is. I do see how unwise his father is to expose his boy to such peril. Do not sin against the child by fostering his pride, which, as it is an ill weed, will grow apace of itself.

In many cases, the sin is of quite the opposite character. Contemptuous sneers have chilled many a good desire, and ridicule has nipped in the bud many a sincere purpose. Beware of checking youthful enthusiasm for good things. God forbid that you or I should quench one tiny spark of grace in a lad’s heart, or destroy a single bud of promise! We believe in the piety of children; let us never speak, or act, or look as if we despised it.

“Do not sin against the child,” whoever you may be. Whether you are teacher or parent, take care that, if there is any trace of the little Joseph in your child, even though it be but in his dreams, you do not sin against him by attempting to repress the noble flame which God may be kindling in his soul. I cannot just now mention the many, many ways in which we may be offending against one of the Lord’s little ones; but I would have you recollect that, if the Lord’s love should light upon your boy, and he should grow up to be a distinguished servant of the Lord, your conscience will prick you, and a voice will say in your soul, “Said I not unto you, Do not sin against the child.” And if, on the other hand, your child should not become a Joseph, but an Absalom, it will be a horrible thing to be compelled to mingle with your lametations the overwhelming consciousness that you led your child into the sin by which he became the dishonor of your family. If I see my child perish, and know that he becomes a reprobate through my ill teaching and example, I shall have to wring my hands with dread remorse and cry, “I slew my child! I slew my child! and when I did it, I knew better, but I disregarded the voice which said to me, ‘Do not sin against the child.’”

Now, dear Sunday-school teachers, I will mention one or two matters which concern you. “Do not sin against the child” by coming to your class with a chilly heart. Why should you make your children cold towards divine things? Do not sin against them by coming too late, for that will make them think that punctuality is not a virtue, and that the Sunday school is of no very great importance. “Do not sin against the child” by coming irregularly and absenting yourself at the smallest pretense, for that is distinctly saying to the child, “You can neglect to serve God when you please, for you see that this is what I do.” “Do not sin against the child” by merely going through class routine, without really teaching and instructing. That is the shadow of Sunday school teaching, and not the substance, and it is in some respects worse than nothing. “Do not sin against the child” by merely telling him a number of stories without setting forth the Savior, for that will be giving him a stone instead of bread. “Do not sin against the child” by aiming at anything short of his conversion to God through Jesus Christ the Savior.

And then, you parents, “do not sin against the child by being so very soon angry. I have frequently heard grown-up people repeat that verse, “Children, obey your parents in all things.” It is a very proper heart, very proper text, and boys and girls should carefully attend to it. I like to hear fathers and mothers preach from it; but there is that other one, you know; there is that other and, — “Likewise, ye fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Do not pick up every little thing against a good child, and throw it in his or her teeth, and say, “Ah, if you were a Christian child, you would not do this and you would not do that!” I am not so sure about that; you who are heads of families do a great many wrong things yourselves, and yet I hope you are Christians; and if your father in heaven we sometimes to be as severe with you as you are with the sincere little ones when you are out of temper, I am afraid it would go very hard with you. Be gentle, and kind, and tender, and loving.

At the same time, do not sin against any child by over-indulgence. Spoiled children are like spoiled fruit, the less we see of them the better. In some families, the master of the house is the youngest boy, though he is not yet big enough to wear knickerbockers. He manages his mother, and his mother, of course, manages his father, and so, in that way, he rules the whole house. This is unwise, unnatural, and highly perilous to the pampered child. Keep boys and girls in proper subjection, for they cannot be happy themselves, nor can you be so, unless they are in their places. Do not water your young plants either with vinegar or with syrup. Neither use too much nor too little of rebuke. Seek wisdom of the Lord, and keep the middle of the way.

In a word, “do not sin against the child,” but train it in the way it should go, and bring it to Jesus that he may bless it. Cease not to pray for the child till his young heart is given to the Lord. May the Holy Spirit make you wise to deal with these young immortals! Like plastic clay, they are on the wheel. Oh, that he would teach us how to mold and fashion their characters! Above all, may he put his own hand to the work, and then it will be done indeed!


KNOWING full well that many of our readers will “rejoice with us in our joy,” even as we are sure they would weep with us in sorrow, were we called upon to endure it, we have determined to lift for a moment the veil which usually covers our home circle, and introduce them to our fire-side, while some portions of the letters from our dear son in Australia are being read. Verily, “goodness and mercy have followed him” every step of the way he has taken, and the kindness of Christian friends has been displayed in a marvelous manner. All listeners are eager to hear the pleasant news, and every now and then you would see, if you were present, the handkerchief slily steal to the eyes, and you would notice that the voice of the reader occasionally grows hoarse with emotion, and her eyes are dimmed by glad tears, as she unfolds page after page of the “manifold” mercy which “his father’s God” has shown to the young sojourner in a strange land.

By printing any parts of the letters of our own boy we run the risk of being thought egotistical, and so on; but we had rather suffer under this charge than be deemed ungrateful, as we fear we shall be if we pass over all in silence. The brethren in Australia have placed us under everlasting obligations by their great kindness to the father through the son. We are overcome by their exceeding goodness, and if we do not mention all their names it is not because anyone is forgotten, but because the list is too long to be written.

Our son’s voyage out was speedy, prosperous, and pleasant: companions few, but occupations many and varied, so that time seems rarely to have hung heavily on hand. At the request of our esteemed friend, Captain Jenkins, our son held services every Lord’s-day while on board, and sometimes amid very much disorder and difficulty, consequent upon being at sea. Of these services he thus writes: — “I am sure you are very anxious to know all about Sundays, and I am glad to report pretty favorably of our Sabbaths on the ocean. The second Sunday on board was anything but a pleasant day, as far as the weather was concerned, the sea was very rough, and the rain fell constantly. The bell for church commenced to ring about half-past ten, and not having far to travel, the audience soon arrived. It was not an easy task to stand, but after a while I succeeded in wedging myself between a table and the back of a seat, and presently forgot circumstances and inconveniences in the glory of my subject. Unfortunately many of my hearers were not so successful, for their white faces grew whiter every moment, and at last they were compelled to leave…… I think I may say that every other Sunday was much more pleasant than the one just described. The next week we were near the tropics, and enjoyed fine weather. I determined to have two services. In the evening it was dreadfully hot, but we had a good time. Sunday, July 15th, is recorded as the happiest Sabbath spent on board. Both meetings were better attended than ever, and in the evening there were nearly sixty persons present. When you remember that there were so many Roman Catholics on board, a band of men “on the watch,” and many who preferred sleep to service, besides several absentees through sickness, you will see that this was a most encouraging audience. I bless the Lord for inclining them to come, for making them so wonderfully attentive, and for so graciously aiding me in speaking. I spend much time in making sure of my sermons, for I preach without notes, one reason being that at night the lights are turned down on account of the heat. The sailors came in great force to the meeting, and plainly showed they felt the word, by hoping for opportunities to hear it in Melbourne. I ought, indeed, to be thankful for help and blessing on those days. Many a time, despite outward circumstances, I enjoyed preaching, and have been encouraged often. I feel sure the seed, though thus ‘cast on the waters,’ must be found again ‘after many days.’ The 29th July was about our roughest Sunday. With little wind to steady the ship, the rolling was very considerable and very inconvenient. During service it was difficult for some to retain their seats and for me to maintain my post. It, was not easy either to sustain the thread of the discourse, for swinging trays, and an audience ‘moved’ in anything but a desirable way, are not conducive to retention of ideas, or expression of thought. That evening our largest congregation met, and, best of all, the Lord was there. Yet I cannot disguise the fact that I have felt loneliness today as regards the services. I sadly miss the encouraging looks of eager listeners at home, and there is a want of life and interest which saddens me, but I am not cast down about it, for the one great source of aid is with me, and after all ‘tis welcome trouble if it drive me close to him.’”

Evidently God was teaching his youthful “hands to war and his fingers to fight,” in anticipation of future battles. Three months preaching to the same audience amid the rolling of the sea is an admirable preparation for addressing crowds on shore. The discouragements especially which the young preacher met with were specially calculated to train him for the far greater hardness which awaits the good soldier of Jesus Christ. On the 12th of August, after giving an account of interruptions to the service by the frequent entrance of a large dog, he thus writes, “I was grieved to see the audience completely disturbed by the intruder. Rats running across the saloon and persons passing the doors were further hindrances to worship, and altogether I certainly stood greatly in need of the help God so graciously gave.” The last Sunday on board ship he addressed the assembly from the appropriate text, “So he bringeth them to their desired haven,” and he says, “Oh, that some who listened would accept Jesus as the true pilot who brings us to the desired port of peace. Join with me in blessing God for making Sunday life on board this ship so different to what it often is, and pray that the word spoken under such circumstances may be blessed.”

His reception at Melbourne was most gratifying and enthusiastic. On the pier a crowd of friends awaited him, almost vying with each other as to who should claim the young stranger as their guest. “I seemed to keep on shaking hands,” he says, “and which of the many offered will be my home I cannot tell, but God seems to be arranging everything most graciously.” After a brief stay of two or three days at Melbourne with Mr. Wade, of the Religious Tract Society, who has long been a friend of ours through correspondence, though unknown by face, he removed to Geelong. To Mr. Wade and other brethren at Melbourne we all at home render most sincere thanks. At Geelong Tom took up his quarters with our dear friend and former student, Mr. Bunning. Here he has met with kindness which stirs our hearts to their depths. His first sermon in Australia was delivered on Sunday evening in the chapel of his good friend, Mr. Bunning. He writes, “I did not intend preaching on my first Sunday ashore, but as I expect to be at Ballarat next Sabbath, I seized perhaps my only opportunity of helping our dear brother. We had a grand time, the beautiful chapel was thronged, and God was in the place. I do not know the number of persons whom I have seen who knew dear father, or have received benefit from his sermons. I am overwhelmed with their stories, and it gladdens them to tell them to me. By this means I believe I have the way open to many hearts in this colony. I have seen them weep when I spoke, I suppose because of the recollections that are raised. If God will guide me where I shall go, and tell me what I shall say, I hope to be able to do great good. God give the youthful mind prudence and discretion. Yesterday I received a telegram from Adelaide, ‘Please preach in Town Hall, or Wesleyan Chapel, Adelaide, October or November. Letter coming.’”

After speaking at a large meeting on behalf of the Young Men’s Christian Association, the young traveler took a journey to Ballarat, and visited a gold mine, of which he gives a most interesting description, too long to insert in this brief paper. Here he preached for Mr. Clarke, another old student of the Pastors’ College, and we give in his own words the details of the service. “We had a grand time on Sunday night. Dawson-street Chapel is a fine building, seating, I suppose, about seven hundred persons. It was crammed long before service time, and when we commenced the large platform was crowded, and the pulpit besieged, while all the forms in the place were in use. We had such a sweet service. The Lord of hosts stood by my side, and helped me mightily. (2 Chronicles 15:2.) I cannot tell the number of persons who came to shake hands with me. During the week I have attended the noonday prayer-meeting and addressed a children’s class, in which Mr. Clarke takes especial interest, and bade farewell to the people at the Wednesday evening meeting. Mr. Clarke has been as kind and as generous as Mr. Bunning, and Mr. Allen the same, so that I have had the A B C of kindness.

From Ballarat our son journeyed to Stawell, a mining town about seventysix miles from Ballarat. Here again he was initiated into the mysteries of search for gold in the bowels of the earth, and his amazement seems great at the difficulties which everywhere attend the discovery of the precious metal. New friends, fresh hospitalities, and unvarying kindness await the young voyager. He is feted and made much of, and treated in quite a princely fashion. How we can ever thank friends for all this we know not, but two warm hearts feel this kindness very deeply.

Of the services in Stawell, he says, “Sunday up here was a very pleasant day. I took the morning service in the Baptist chapel, and in the evening the town hall was crammed; to all appearance it would have been the same had the space been doubled. We had a blessed meeting. I felt God’s help most certainly, and the hearing ear was assuredly listening.”

We must pass over a very glowing account which he gives of a day’s picnic in the Grampian Hills, some thirty miles from Stawell, to follow him back to Geelong, where, in the society of Mr. Bunning and his people, his twenty-first birthday was to be spent. Little could he have anticipated the loving welcome which awaited him, or the splendid gift which liberal hearts would devise and tender hands bestow on him that day. We will let him tell in his own words the story of that ever memorable epoch of his life. “I was glad that my twenty-first birthday should be celebrated at Geelong, but it never occurred to me that it would be done on so great and magnificent a scale. No sooner had I risen in the morning than I was presented with a beautiful pair of slippers from Mrs. Bunning. A new Union Jack waved in the breeze next door, and a bunch of violets hung over the fence for ‘the son of John Ploughman.’ A little daughter of one of the deacons came with good wishes and splendid flowers, and a Mr. V. had previously sent a folio of Geelong views. I was overwhelmed with kindness. About 10:30 Mr. W. took us a lovely drive to his house, where there was a feast indeed. A good many friends, most of whom I had seen before, gave me a hearty welcome. At dinner the first toast was the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, and dear mother was very affectionately remembered by all. Then ‘our’ guest,’ who tried to reply. [Tom is a life abstainer, and therefore the toasts need shock no teetotaller, however scrupulous.] The walls were decorated with greenery and mottoes, ‘The Lord bless thee and keep thee,’ ‘Many happy returns of the day,’ etc. were appropriately interspersed. But the half has not been told you. I learned that there was to be a tea meeting in the evening, but they tried to keep particulars from me most mysteriously. At length it all came out. At the tea there were some two hundred persons, and such a tea I never saw before! The provisions both in quantity and quality proved it to be something out of the ordinary way, and charming flowers were numberless. At the after meeting, which was held in the new chapel, there were about 500 people. The affair had not been made public, except by a short announcement that got into the papers, nobody knows how. This paper was, of course, jealously guarded from my sight. Well, as the newspaper accounts will inform you, I was presented with a gold watch. Are you not wonder-struck? After the presentation had been made, Mr. Banning most considerately said, ‘Now we will sing a hymn, to give our young friend an opportunity of getting himself together.’ I can assure you I was glad of the pause, and when I did get up I felt all anyhow. I thanked them as best I could, but remained astonished at their liberality. During the meeting I was greatly touched by the receipt of a telegram from the Collins Street Church, in Melbourne, congratulating me, and cordially approving of the meeting. Was not this kind? Are you not thankful I have found such good friends out here? How I wish you could have heard the prayers that were offered up by all of us, especially by dear Mr. Bunning and Mr. Clarke, at morning and evening worship. Oh that they may be answered for you and every member of the family. What a thing it is to have a father so admired and loved!”

All this may be trifling to outsiders, but to us it causes a sort of sinking of heart that so many people on the other side of the globe should take such loving interest in our son. He well deserves their confidence; but such earnest and superabundant kindness, rendered to him for our sake, is too much. We would gladly express our gratitude by writing privately to each one of the friends, but when they come to be numbered by the hundred we must return thanks in another form. These loving deeds have been done in public, and therefore we must render thanks in public too. Returning to our dear boy’s letter, we find him telling of a sorrowful parting from his dear friends at Geelong, and giving an account of some services in Melbourne itself. He says “Mr. Varley is drawing wonderful crowds, and great good is being done.” Of his own doings he thus writes: — “Some one told me last evening that I must give a ‘glowing account’ to you of Sunday evening last (Sept. 23), but this would scarcely be within my province, as I was so prominent in the affair. You will rejoice with me, however, in the fact that I had another glorious opportunity of preaching the gospel. Albert-street Baptist church (Mr. Bailhache’s — Thanks also to this good friend.) is comparatively new, and built in the amphitheater style. The seats rise tier above tier, and form a semicircle round the pulpit. I have told you how other places have been crowded, but nothing equaled this. It was with great difficulty that I gained the vestry, and the pulpit was harder still to reach. Unfortunately that evening I had a cold, and had not been speaking five minutes before my voice failed me, and it was a great exertion to continue. Those who had listened before could plainly tell I was not talking in my ordinary voice. This was a great drawback, and consequently I did not get on as well as usual. However, the people seemed pleased, and I trust were profited.” A week after this painful experience he writes again: “We have had another very happy Sunday. I preached at Collins-street Baptist church. I felt at home, and, with the message of freedom through the Son, it was glorious indeed to speak to so large and attentive an audience. Yesterday I received an invitation to Dunedin, New Zealand. Churches here seem to be prospering, I wish I could find time to write an article for The Sword and Trowel…. God bless you all. My mind now thinks of every one. Dear home is before me. God bless the inmates, help father in his work, mother in hers, and all the rest in their different spheres. I trust this news will make you glad.”

It has made us glad. Will our friends when they read this be so good as to pray for both our sons: Charles who is working hard in the College, and is preaching with all his might, and Thomas, who, though preaching and traveling, is not strong in health. We beg also to be mentioned at the throne of grace ourselves. C.H. & S.S.



MY DEAR FRIENDS. — You know that “History repeats itself.” This trite saying has been so well worn lately, that I am almost ashamed to reiterate it, yet it just came handily into my head as my fingers grasped the pen. And, being but a ploughman’s poor wife (not a poor ploughman’s wife, don’t mistake me), I am glad enough to catch at any stray thought which may help me in “saying my say,” or give me the faintest possible chance of clothing my “Message” in some of the “goodly words” which were Napthali’s promised blessing. We are assured that the old saying is as true as it is trite, and I am inclined to put it to the test, and see whether at my bidding the desired repetition will take place. The bright little bit of “history” which I am very wishful should “repeat itself,” occurred at the beginning of this present year, when at my request you all wrote to me, accepting, with great delight, my offer of six volumes of Our President’s sermons towards the completion of your sets. Ah! what a busy time it was! And how happy! Your letters came streaming in, their loving words and hearty good wishes flooding my heart with joy, and almost making me forget my pain in the sacred pleasure of ministering to your necessities. One hundred and ninety of you availed yourselves then of the proffered boon, and assurances of the most grateful and fervent nature have not been lacking that the Lord’s blessing manifestly accompanied the volumes. Perchance there is a plentiful spice of selfishness in the longing which now possesses me for a renewal of this bright spot in my history. These last few months my work has seemed to lie away from “mine own people,” and I have sorely missed the tenderness of the mental atmosphere which always surrounds me when dealing with those loving hearts. Come then, dear friends, let us mutually comfort and refresh one another as heretofore. Again I offer you six volumes of the sermons which the Lord has so greatly blessed, and which I know are most precious and useful to you in your work for Him. God will be glorified by the gift, if the study and prayerful perusal of these books should rekindle your zeal, and inflame your love, and make you more than ever determined to preach nothing but “Christ and him crucified” to poor perishing souls; and my hands will be strengthened, and my spirit braced for further work, by the encouragement and blessing which are sure to return to me from the over-flowing of glad and grateful hearts. It may not be out of place if I tell you here a choice little bit of “history” touching these same precious sermons. It came to me the other day from Ireland; and, after reading it, I think you will join me in praying that it may “repeat itself” indefinitely. My correspondent writes thus: “The town in which Mr.___ labors is densely and fiercely Popish, — the people wholly under the thumb of the priest, — his heel rather, for he does not scruple to use physical punishment to compel them to do his will! A Presbyterian shopkeeper, a grocer, tries to do good by means of your husband’s sermons. Of course the Romanists dare not buy them. It would be as much as their salvation is worth to be known to have anything to do with such heretical publications. But when they come to buy a loaf, this good grocer wraps it in one of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons, and of course there is no harm taking it that way! He finds they read it, too, and when they come back for another loaf, he sees them looking anxiously, though furtively, to see whether they are going to get another sermon as well! So they are being circulated and read among these poor people, and who can tell how God may bless them!” Will you take note of this touching incident, and remember poor dark Ireland in your prayers for Christ’s sake? Returning to the business of this letter, I should like, if God spare and enable me, to begin the New Year with this proposed sweet service for you: this month I have to prepare and write the “Report” of my work for the past twelvemonths, and nobody knows how very hard I shall have to “cudgel” my poor brains to get THAT out of them in anything like a comely fashion. Letters can be sent to me before January, if any one so please; but, pending the “cudgelling’ process just spoken of, they must be laid aside, and await my attention till the commencement of 1878, when, all being well, I shall with the greatest delight respond to all applications in the order in which they will have been received. You are aware, dear friends, of my entire dependence on the Lord for all I need in carrying on the work which he has given me to do. May I ask you to “speak for me to the King,” when it shall be well with you; that He would graciously “remember me for good,” “fulfill all my petitions,” and “give me the desire of my heart” in His service. Blessed be His name, the “history” of His love, and His grace, and His faithfulness, “repeats itself,” in one continual song of praise on the lips of those who have been “redeemed from among men by His blood.” With hearty Christian love, and delightful anticipations of future service,

Very truly yours, SUSIE SPURGEON.


The Bible for the World: a Lecture. By the Rev. A. N. SOMERVILLE, D.D. Morgan and Scott.

IT was a good thought to preserve this almost valedictory speech of Dr. Somerville, delivered on the eve of his departure to Australia. We have given elsewhere a lengthy extract, which will show the author’s poetic power. The doctor’s mission has been of the utmost service to the southern world.

Kind Questions; or, “Speaking the Truth in Love.” By A. M. STALKER. Second Edition. Elliot Stock.

WE hope that this work will always be kept in print. We ought to have a dozen good manuals of baptism, but there is a sad lack of such books. Mr. Stalker’s is in every way admirable, and we hope it will go through a score editions.

By Land and Ocean; or, the Journal and Letters of a Young Girl who went to South Australia with a Lady Friend, then alone to Victoria, New Zealand, Sydney, Singapore, China, Japan, and across the Continent of America Home. By FANNY L. RAINS. Sampson Low and Co.

THIS book scarcely comes within our range, for our review department mainly deals with religious works, while this is true to its title in keeping to land and ocean: the writer, however, is “with us,” and therefore might without difficulty, have risen above her present theme. Miss Rains has gone round the world all alone, and has returned to interest her family with her adventures. She has shown marvelous fortitude and common sense, and has evidently gone about with her eyes open, and therefore her book will command readers. She has a flowing style, and a pen which we hope will be used again. The favorite expressions of young ladies occur pretty often, but then the writer is a young lady, and as kind and good, and withal as brave a young lady as we know. Those who want to know how the world looks to an “unprotected female,” who is not of an uncertain age, but very young and full of spirit, will find their desires fulfilled if they read “By Land and Ocean.”

The Flowers and Fruits of Sacred Song and Evangelistic Hymns. Edited by VERNON J. CHARLESWORTH and J. MANTON SMITH. Prefatory note by C. H. SPURGEON. Passmore and Alabaster.

THE penny edition of this hymn-book will be very suitable for gospel services, and the shilling edition, with the music, will be welcomed in the family as well as in the choir. Both books are marvelously cheap. Intended for the use of our evangelists, Messrs. Clarke and Smith, they will, we trust, commend themselves to other leaders of congregational singing. Mr. Charlesworth, of our Orphanage, is both poet, composer, and singer, and therefore is eminently calculated to edit the work with Mr. Smith. If our readers buy the shilling edition with music they will find some beautiful new pieces and the best of the old ones.

Christmas Carols. Music and Words arranged by W. H. Essex, Organist. Religious Tract Society.

A MIRACULOUS pennyworth. We ought to have carols enough next Christmas. Here are more than a score, with the music in the tonic sol-fa, for a penny. How is it done ?

The Sunday School Teacher’s Pocket Book and Diary for 1878. Sunday School Union.

WE have for years found this a very handy pocket-book, and feel sure that to teachers it must be of great service.

The Baptist Magazine fights its way gallantly under difficulties. The General Baptist is full of vigor. The Gospel Magazine contains good spiritual matter, but is at times rather prosy. The Baptist Messenger is a full pennyworth. The King’s Highway means well, but to our mind it ministers more to spiritual pride than to true holiness. The Appeal is a very useful halfpenny periodical for general distribution: at fifty for a shilling the back numbers make good readable tracts. The Presbyterian Monthly only began in November, price 6d. It represents orthodoxy, and has its armor on, and its sword drawn. We hope it will outlive the enemy it defies.

Devon’s Theology. By a Ploughboy. Or, A Voice from the Downs of Freshwater. Printed for the Author.

THIS is a comment upon the catechism of the Council of Trent, principally with a view to show that Romanism, with all its pretensions to infallibility, has not always been the same. The ploughboy is quite capable of reasoning with Romanism if Romanism would listen to reason, but if it will not, he fighteth as one that beateth the air, and so wastes his own strength without producing any effect upon others.


FIRST and foremost, — Christmas day at the Orphanage. We have had very particular and special injunctions not to forget a little bit in the magazine, to beg our friends to provide the roast beef and plum pudding, oranges, and so on, so that the orphans may have a high day at Christmas. Of course the boys see no reason why the festivities of the season should ever be forgot; and we confess that we see eye to eye with them in the grand doctrine, that as Christmas comes but once a year, our friends will be sure to remember it. Does not the president dine with all the matrons and the masters, and the boys, and when he comes there shall the cupboard be bare ? Now is the time to replenish the general funds of the Orphanage, and we hope it will be done so well, that when the president is away on the Continent he may not have one careful thought, or be like the old lady in the shoe, feeling that he has so many children he does not know what to do. Special gifts for Christmas should be accompanied by the information that they are so designed, as they go to a separate account.

NOV. 9. — Our young friends, the Collectors, had a happy evening at the Orphanage. It was quite a family gathering. We wish many more would take cards, to be brought in next March, when we hope to have another evening together. The boys of the Orphanage were all made very happy by good Mr. Lobb, who sent them each a copy of his “Uncle Tom.” Thank you, Mr. Lobb, for this and many other kind acts. What with this presentation, and the bell-ringers, and the boys’ mimic drum and fife band, and the fireworks, which some friends gave us, we were a very merry party of young folks; and we hope next March to be equally so, if we are alive and well. So let the boys and girls collect, and then bring in their moneys for the orphans.

NOV. 11. — This day the Tabernacle was open to all comers; but the night was as dreary, windy, and wet as can be well conceived. Notwithstanding the boisterous weather the house was filled by a congregation mostly of men, and the Lord was with the Word.

NOV. 14. — We had great delight in opening a new chapel at Streatham, which has been presented by the sons of our late friend, Mr. Caleb Higgs, as a memorial of their departed father. What better form can be given to a monument ? It is precisely such as our departed friend would have approved. Here is an example for others. The chapel is a remarkably beautiful specimen of the taste and common sense of our deacon, Mr. William Higgs, who carried out the work.

NOV. 19. — This day was spent as a day of prayer by the church at the Tabernacle. There were four gatherings. The first from 7 to 9 was for the early risers; the second from 12 to 2 enabled many to sanctify the dinner hour; the third from 4 to 6 gave an opportunity to persons of leisure; and then from 7 to 9 we welcomed the members of the other Baptist churches in our district, with whom we united in prayer and breaking of bread. Owing to the extremely bad weather our meetings were smaller than usual, but in the evening, when the rain had ceased, the number assembled far exceeded any previous occasion. The Lord was with us, prayer was wrought in us by the Spirit was heard and will yet more fully be answered.

COLLEGE. — Mr. Paige has accepted the pastorate at Truro, and Mr. Coller leaves us for Melbourne, owing to feeble health. We commend him to the churches there. More young men than usual are offering themselves to the College just now with the view of becoming missionaries. We have as many as we think it wise to take upon the funds, but this does not seem to keep the men back, for quite a number have come forward who offer to support themselves. The missionary spirit is increasing, and will, we trust, continue to seize upon gracious men and women. Last month we were in error in mentioning Miss Kemp as in membership at the Tabernacle, she belongs to the Baptist church at Rochdale. So many of that beloved family have been with us for a season that we reckoned her still as ours. May many young ladies be moved to follow her noble example, and devote themselves and their all to the service of the Lord.

COLPORTAGE. — The secretary bewails the fact that we have an offer of part support for twenty new men, but the amounts needful to meet the offer are not forthcoming. Shalt God’s work be hindered for lack of the gold which is in the possession of his own children? Colporteurs can at once be appointed to some twenty places, on application to Mr. W. Corden Jones, the College, Temple-street, Newington. He will be happy to furnish terms. Men who volunteer for Colportage work should apply to the same person.

Our notes are short this month, for we have placed some matters in the magazine as little articles which else would have figured here. Perhaps we have occupied too much space in that way, but the last month of the year is a sort of clearing up time; we hope to do better in January.

Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle by J. A. Spurgeon: — November 1st, twenty-one; November 15th, nine.

Chap 12. A RECORD , PREFACE., 1878.





“They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.” — Nehemiah 4:17, 18.



AS we close the fourteenth volume of The Sword and the Trowel we also complete the first twenty-five years of our ministry in London. How swiftly time has fled, and how like a dream the retrospect appears! Yet it has been no dream, but a blessed and wonderful reality, for which may the name of the Lord be magnified.

Twenty-five years ago we began this work for the Lord with a slender handful of friends, so slender, indeed, that it is easy enough to make a list of them. A few poor, godly people were the nucleus of the present great host. They were, however, as good as they were few. Having been for some years discouraged and disappointed, they were delivered from all unpractical squeamishness, and were ready to join heartily with their young leader in an effort for restoring their church and increasing the kingdom of Christ. Prayer was made unto God without ceasing for prosperity, and the prosperity came suddenly, like the bursting of a great rain cloud, but it did not pass away, or even abate. Year alter year there was still the sound of abundance of rain. The feeble folk at New Park-street soon felt strong enough to attempt an aggressive work by holding services at Exeter Hall, and, when this turned out to be more than a success, future progress was forced upon them rather than selected by them. From Exeter Hall to the Surrey Gardens, and from the Surrey Gardens to the Metropolitan Tabernacle has been an advance in which there has been the freest action of simple faith and honest common sense, and yet those who have been behind the scenes know that there has really been no choice at all, but the Lord has shut his servants up to one way and one method, and all they have had to do has been to go forward in his strength.

College, Orphanage, Colportage Association, Society of Evangelists, might any one of them be regarded as works of Christian inventiveness, but it would be by far the smaller half of the truth to view them from that point of view. These enterprises have succeeded each other by a natural rule and order of Providence as inevitably as the links of a chain follow each other. We have heard kind friends speak of “genius for organization” and “great practical common sense” as abiding in the leader of these various works for the Lord; but, indeed, it would be far nearer the truth to say that he followed with implicit, and almost blind, confidence what he took to be the intimations of the divine will, and hitherto these intimations have proved to be what he thought them. At the close of twenty-five years we see a vast machinery in vigorous operation, in. better working condition than ever it was; and, as to means and funds, perfectly equipped, although it has no other resources than “My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Gratitude bows her head, and sings her own song to her Well-beloved, to whom it belongs. What are we to see in the years which remain to us? It is not ours to supply an answer. Few and feeble the years may be which shall complete our pilgrimage here below. They may be but as seven lean kine, which shall eat up the fat kine that have gone before. Let the reader pray that such a wretched supposition may not be realized. Otherwise may we read the lines of destiny. According to the riches of his mercy our Lord will fulfill the promise, “Thou shalt see greater things than these”: and if spared for another quarter of a century each branch of the work will be stronger, the whole enterprise far more widely developed, and many new ends and objects hitherto unattempted will have been carried out to the glory of God.

At any rate, with all our heart we thank the thousands of friends who have helped us during these twenty-five years. Our chief gratitude is due to the Most High; to him be it paid: but it would by no means be pleasing in his sight that we should be ungrateful to those of his friends and servants who have been our fellow-helpers. What could we have done alone? We are the debtor of all. There have been the regular contributors with their small amounts coming in constantly; these have been sweet as daily bread. There have been the occasional donors whose gifts have been special thank offerings of mercies received; these have been pleasant dainties. And there have been the brethren, true stewards of the Lord, who every year in dividing out their substance have made an item of each branch of our work, and have sent us large sums, so that the cause of God might not lack; these have been royal providers. Upon helpers of all sorts may the dew of the Lord descend; may they have their full share of the comfort which cometh of doing good. We should be willing, personally, to surrender our own portion of the pleasure if we could send it on to some heavy-hearted subscriber who needs good cheer at this moment.

Brother, if you have helped by the College to teach many a young Apollos the way of God more perfectly; or if in the Orphanage you have provided for the widow and the fatherless; or if by the Book Fund you have helped the impoverished servant of God; or by the Colportage have joined in sending pure literature into the dark spots of your own country; or by the Society of Evangelists have enabled the earnest proclaimer of the gospel with his silver trumpet to sound out the word of life — if you have helped in any one or all of these works, let us rejoice together; let us give a grip of hearty fellowship, and with a song in our mouth and a prayer on our tongue let us go on our way till the end shall be.


Chap 13. JANUARY, 1878





“I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.” — Job 32:7.

IN the discussion between Job and his three friends Elihu was present, but though by far the wisest man he remained quiet. Sometimes a still tongue proves a wise head. In our text he gives his reason for refraining from speech. He felt inclined to deliver his mind, but being the younger man he modestly said “These gray-headed men ought to know better than I. Perhaps if I speak I shall display my ignorance, and they will say, ‘Be silent, boy, and let your fathers teach you.’“ Therefore he said to himself, “Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.”

Elihu had, however, been disappointed. His words plainly say that he had heard but little wisdom from the three ancients, and he added, “Great men are not always wise, neither do the aged understand judgment.” He was not the only man who has been disappointed when looking to his seniors for wisdom, for it is a sorrowful truth that the lapse of years will not make us wiser apart from the grace of God. Though width the teaching of the Holy Spirit every year’s experience will make the Christian riper, yet without that teaching it is possible that each year may make a man, not more ripe, but more rotten. Among all sinners the worst are those who have been longest at the trade; and among saints he is not always the best who has lived long enough to grow cold. We have known some exhibit ripeness of experience in their very youth through divine teaching, and by growing on the sunny side of the wall of fellowship; while others who have been far longer on the tree are still sour, because they hang out of the blessed sunlight of the divine presence, in the cool shade of worldliness. You cannot measure a man’s wisdom by the baldness of his head, or the grayness of his hair; and yet if the Spirit of God were with us to sanctify each day’s experience it ought to be so. “Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.”

This. then, is our new year’s theme — the teaching of our years as they pass over our heads. What are we learning from them?

Our first remark shall be that DAYS HAVE A VOICE. Elihu said, “Days should speak.” Every day, as a day, has its own lesson. “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.” The sun never breaks upon the earth without light of a superior order for those who have intelligence, and especially for those who have the Holy Spirit. For instance, the mere fact of our beginning another day teaches us to adore the mercy which kept us alive when the image of death was on our faces during the night, An extraordinary mercy indeed: for sleep is near akin to death, and waking is a rehearsal of the resurrection. When the day begins it tells us that God has already provided us with mercies, for there are our garments ready to put on, and there too is the morning meal. Each day in its freshness seems to hint that the Lord would have us attempt somewhat new for him, or to push forward with that which we have already commenced, or to draw nearer to him than we have ever been before. The Lord calls us to learn more of him, to become more like him, to drink more fully into his love, and to show forth that love more clearly. Every hour of the day teaches us its own lesson, and till the shadows fall the voices speak to us if we have ears to hear. Night, too, has its teaching. Does it not bid us pray the Lord to draw a curtain over the day and hide the sin of it, even as he draws the curtain across the sky, and makes it more easy for us to fall asleep? Do we not delight, as we go to our beds, to ask to be unclothed of all our sins, even as we are stripped of our garments, and should we not pray to be prepared to fall asleep, and lie in our last bedchamber, till the everlasting morning breaks upon us and we put on our glory robes? Did we but exercise sanctified thought, each day would bring its precious dower of wisdom, and make us better acquainted with the Lord.

What a message do our Sabbath-days bring to us! To those who toil all the week long the light of the Lord’s-day seems fairer and fresher than that of any other day. A person at Newcastle who had a house to let took an applicant for it to the top of his house, spoke of the distant prospect, and added, “We can see Durham cathedral on a Sunday.” “On Sunday,” said the listener, “and pray why not on a Monday?” “Why,” said he, “because on the week-days great furnaces and pits are pouring forth their smoke, and we cannot see so far; indeed, we can scarcely see at all; but when the fires are out our view is wide.” Is not this a true symbol of our Sabbathdays when we are in the Spirit? The smoke of the world no more beclouds the heavens, and we see almost up to the golden gates. Such days do speak, indeed, and tell us of the rest which remaineth. They sing in our ears with soft and gentle voice, and tell us that we shall not always need to bow like galley slaves, tugging at the our of this world’s work, but may even now look up to the place where our home awaits us, and the weary are at rest. These peaceful Lord’s-days call us away to the top of Shenir and Hermon, whence we may view the land of our inheritance. They cry to us, “Come up higher.” They beckon us to commune with “him whom, having not seen, we love; in whom, though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” All days speak, but Sabbath-days speak best, — they are orators for God! These resurrection days, these days of the Son of man, these have angel voices. he that hath ears to hear let him hear.

While each day speaks, some days have peculiar voices. Days of joy speak, and bid us bless the Lord and magnify his name. Days of sorrow speak and cry, “Depart ye, depart ye, this is not your rest, for it is polluted.” Days of communion with God speak, saying, “Abide with me”; and days of lost communion cry in warning, “Are the consolations of God small with thee? Is there any secret thing with thee?” Days of health say, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might”; and days of sickness say, “In the day of adversity consider.” Each day, whether bright or dim, clear or cloudy, festive or desolate, has its own tone and modulation, and speaks its message. Some of these days are great preachers, and from them we have learned more than in months before. Solemn days of decision when sins have been abandoned, joyous days of manifestation when Christ has been precious., triumphant days of victory in which God has been exalted — these speak indeed, and like prophets claim a hearing in the name of the Lord. Whether common or special, each day is to us a new page of sacred history, a new window into the truth, another halting place in the march to the celestial city.

Here let us add that all our days have had a voice to us. There were youthful days, and we thought they said, “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and we listened all too eagerly; yet we misunderstood those voices. Had we hearkened to the end of their sermon we should have heard them say, “But know that for all this God will bring thee into judgment.” To some of us our youthful days were full of blessed teaching, for they called us to seek him early in whom we have rejoiced and found our all in all. Days of middle life have a voice, which we hear as we buckle on our harness for stern fight, and find but little space for rest, and none for selfcongratulation. What do these days say to us but “Work while it is day, for the night cometh when no man can work.” Those gray hairs scattered upon our brows warn us that our sun will not remain at noon for long. I hear a voice which cries to me, “Quick! quick! quick! The night cometh.” As to those later days, to which our text more pointedly alludes, they say to you, dear brothers and sisters, who have reached them, “Make sure work for eternity. Hold time loosely. Lay hold on eternal life.” The declining strength, the teeth long gone, the limbs trembling, the eyes needing the optic glass to aid them, the hair snowy with many winters — all these are messages of which the purport is, “Be ye also ready, for the Bridegroom cometh.” Knowing our frailty, each day sounds in my ear the trumpet call, “Boot and saddle. Up and away. Linger no longer. Press on to the battle.” One of the loveliest sights in the world is an aged believer waiting for the summons to depart. There is a lovely freshness in the green blade; the bloom upon the ripening corn is also fair to look upon, but best of all we delight in the golden ears drooping down from very weight of ripeness, expectant of the sickle and the harvest home. We have some among us who are so lovely in their lives and heavenly in their conversation that they seem like shining ones, who have lingered here a little late; they ought to be in heaven, but in mercy to us they tarry here to let us see what the glorified are like. I have heard of stray sunbeams, and these are such. It is well when our old age is such a voice from heaven, but with the unconverted man or woman how different are all things! To them we must tenderly but faithfully give warning. “You must soon die. The young may die, but you must: you know you must. Be wise, therefore, and prepare to meet your God.” The eleventh hour with iron tongue calls to you, hear it, or you will have to hear it sound your condemnation for ever.

Our days all have a voice, and those which mark the different stages of our life and the flight of time have voices which demand special attention. Birthdays, as often as they come, have a chiding voice, if we are lingering and loitering; and they have also a voice appealing to us for gratitude for years of mercy past. They have a voice calling to us for more strenuous exertions, and bidding us draw nearer to God than before. There is always a buoyancy and gladness about the first days of the year, they speak of thankfulness, and call us to devote ourselves anew to God, and seek new grace to make the coming year more holy than the past. The dying hours of the last day of the year are well kept as a watch, for by their fewness we see their preciousness. There are also last days to a lift; and it will depend upon what that life is whether they will be rang out with joyous peals or knelled with despair. Let days speak, then, for they have much to say to us.

The next thing in our text is, that INCREASING YEARS SHOULD INCREASE OUR WISDOM — “multitude of years should teach wisdom.” A man ought not to be at this moment; as foolish as he was twelve months ago. He should be at least a little wiser. Christian men ought to learn several things by the lapse of years.

We ought to learn to trust less to ourselves. Self-confidence is one of the commonest faults of the young: they judge themselves to be better than their fathers, and capable of great things. Untried strength always appears to be greater than it is. For a man to trust himself in the beginning of his Christian career is very unwise, for Scripture warns him against it; but for him to trust himself after he has been twenty or thirty years a Christian is surely insanity itself — a sin against commonsense. If we have spent only a few years in the Christian life, we ought to have learned, from slips, and follies, and failures, and ignorances, and mistakes, that we are less than nothing. The college of experience has done nothing by way of instructing us if it has not taught us that we are weakness itself. To rest upon yourself, or upon any particular virtue which you possess, or upon any resolution which you have formed, is vanity itself. Brother, has that spider’s thread already failed you so many times, and do you still call it a cable? Has reed after reed broken beneath you, and do you still rest on them as though they were bars of iron? Are you an aged Christian, and yet self confident? Surely this cannot be.

Age should teach every man to place less and less confidence in his fellow men. I do not mean that we are to lose that legitimate confidence which we should place in our fellow Christians, and in the moral integrity of those we have tried and proved, but I refer to that carnal confidence which makes flesh its arm: this should be cured by age. When we begin the Christian life we are like feeble plants needing a support. We cling to our minister, and everything he says is gospel; or we follow some superior person, and place our admiring confidence in him. Alas! it often happens that helpers fail, and unless we have in the meantime learned to do without them the consequences may be very serious. In the course of time I think most Christians had their idols among men broken before their eyes. They at one time said, “If such a man were to fall, I should think that there was no truth in Christianity;” but they have learned better now. God will not have us make idols of his saints or ministers, and years prove to us that those are cursed who trust in man; but he is blessed that trusteth in the Lord.

We ought to learn, again, that there is no depending upon appearances. Have you not found out, as far as you have now gone, that the direst calamity that ever overtook you was our greatest mercy? And have you not found that what you thought would have been a choice blessing would really have been a terrible danger to you if it had been bestowed? You have judged the Lord by the outward manifestation of his providence according to your folly; have you not now learned to believe in his tried fidelity, and to trust him at all times, let him do what he may? In this, age should instruct us. We ought not to be afraid because the day is cloudy, but remember that, if there were no clouds there would be no rain, and it no rain, no harvests. Surely it is time that we had done judging each inch of time by itself, and began to see things upon a broader scale. We should neither be too much depressed nor too exultant, because of our immediate present condition, if we knew that things are not what they seem.

Years also should teach us greater reliance upon the divine faithfulness. It ought every day to be easier for a Christian to trust in God. The young believer is like a young swimmer who, for the first time, feels his feet off the bottom, and scarcely knows what will become of him; but the old swimmer feels like a fish in its native element, and he is not afraid of drowning. The little waves which, in his boyhood, he thought would swamp him, he takes no notice of whatever, and even if huge billows roll he mounts them like a sea bird. Oh, it is a grand thing to be established in the faith, grounded and settled, so as to be able to say, “Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed.’ So it ought to be with us. “Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.”

And truly, dear friends, we ought to attain a deeper insight into the things of God, as every year rolls over our heads. The conversation of mature Christians is always very delightful. Young Christians sparkle most, at old Christians are diamonds of the first water. You shall get good fruit from a young and earnest Christian, but it lacks the mellowness and full flavor of the ripe believer. I love to talk with aged Christians, even when they are uneducated people. Many holy women may be met with among the poor of the church who know a world of sound divinity; and if you will but listen to them you will be surprised. They do not deal in theories; they tell you matters of fact. They do not explain points like the school men, but they illustrate by their experience what else seemed dark. They have been instructed by living near to God, by feeding upon truth, by lying in Jesus’ bosom like the poor man’s ewe lamb, which did eat of his bread and drink of his cup: this makes men wise unto salvation, and, in such cases, years sanctified by grace teach them wisdom.

I shall have to speak long if I have to show in what respects Christians ought to grow wiser. They ought to grow wiser with regard to themselves — to be more watchful against their besetting sins, more intent in that particular department of service for which they find themselves most qualified. They ought to be wiser towards Satan, more aware of his devices, and of the times when he is likely to assail them. They ought to learn how to work better with others; to manage more easily people with queer tempers; to get on better with those who are under them, or with them, or above them. They should be learning how to deal with trembling sinners, with hard hearts, and with tender consciences; with backsliders, with mourners, and the like. In fact, in all things every year we ought to be more fully equipped; and, under the blessing of God’s Spirit, years should teach us wisdom.

Brethren, we ought to learn, if we remember who it is that has been teaching us, if we are Christians. It is the Holy Ghost himself. If your boy goes to a school two or three years, and does not make progress, you do not feel satisfied with the master. Now, you cannot, in this case, blame the teacher. Let the pupil take much blame to himself then. “Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom,” since the Holy Ghost dwells in us who are converted to God. Let us remember how sweetly he has taught us by means of the choicest mercies. They used to teach their children the alphabet in the olden times by giving them A B C on pieces of gingerbread, and when the boy knew his letter he ate the gingerbread for a reward. That is very like the way in which we have been taught doctrine: it has been sweet to us, and we have learnt it by feasting upon it. I know it has been so with me. The mercy of God has been a divine instructor to my soul. “Thy gentleness,” says one of old, “has made me great.” With such sweet teaching, kind teaching, loving teaching, forbearing teaching, we ought to have learned something in all these years.

And then, sometimes, how sharply the Holy Ghost has taught us. I have heard say that boys do not learn so well now, because the rod is so little used. I should not wonder; but in God’s school the rod never has been put aside. Some of us do not go long without a stroke or two; and if you have been very much tried and troubled, and yet have not learned, my dear brother, my dear sister, what can be done with you? What with all this smarting, with all this sickness, with all these losses and crosses, and yet no profiting? O vine, with all this pruning, are there so few clusters? O land, with all this ploughing and harrowing, is there so slender a harvest? Let us mourn before God that it should be so. And let us remember again how much teaching we have had front the ministry, under the blessing of God’s Holy Spirit. I should not wonder if some Christians do not profit, because their Sabbaths are very dreadful days to them. All the week they are hard at work, and on Sunday there is nothing to feed upon in what they hear, and they come home from public worship dissatisfied and troubled. Now, if your souls have been fed, — if you have often said, “Surely, God was in this place, and I knew it,” and you have gone home with your souls fed with the finest of the wheat, should there not be some wisdom to show for it? Consider the position which some of you occupy as teachers of others, as heads of families and instructors If you do not learn, how are you to teach? And if there is no learning with you, you cannot wonder if your scholars make no progress under your instructions. With God as our teacher, if we do not learn we cannot blame others if they do not learn from us who are but men and women. May God grant that instead of losing time in frivolities, or “killing time” as the world calls it, we may seek to increase in the knowledge of God and in likeness to Jesus, so that every day we may be better heirs of heaven.

My last word shall be a short one, and it is this: according to my text, THOSE WHO HAVE WISDOM SHOULD COMMUNICATE IT TO OTHERS. “I said, days should speak” — not be silent, “and multitude of years should teach wisdom;” that is to say, those who have days and multitude of years should try to teach the younger folks what they know. Now, it is a fault with some of our brethren that they do not teach us young people enough. They are too quiet. I should not like them to die and go to heaven without having told us all they know: and yet when a venerable saint is buried who has been very reticent in speech, and has never used his pen, what a mint of teaching is buried with him! It always seems to me to be a pity that anything should be lost through the hand of death; it should rather be a gain. There are some of us who have. told people all we know, and we are always repeating it, so that if we die no secrets will sink into oblivion; but there are others of the opposite sort, a great deal goes into them, and there must be a. deal of wisdom in them, for none ever comes out. Doubtless many believers have been walking with God and enjoying the means of grace for so long a time that they are quite able to teach others, but they are of small service to us because they are so retiring. I never like to see a Christian like an old-fashioned money-box, into which you put the money, but from which you cannot get it out again unless you break the box. It ought not to be so. Does not our Savior tell us that the well of water in us is to become rivers of water streaming out from us? As we receive we should give. The more we learn the more we should teach; and if God teaches us it is because he expects us to instruct others.

Now, brethren, I presume to speak to those who are older than I am. Try and teach somebody, dear brethren; ask yourselves how did you learn what you know? You were taught. Return the blessing by teaching somebody else. You were taught. Did your mother teach you? Are you a mother yourself? Then teach your own children. Did you learn from your father? Then, father, be not ungenerous to your family. Hand on the inheritance: what your father gave you, pass on to your sons, that they may teach the same to their heirs. Or did you learn from a Sunday-school teacher? Be a Sunday-school teacher yourself, and teach the rising generation. Remember that according as you have ability you are a debtor to the church of God, by whose means you received the truth, and to the church of God pay back, in the shape of instrumentality, the teaching which you have received by teaching those around you.

Note, next, that you are bound to do it, for without this the truth cannot be propagated in the land. There is not a tree that stands at this moment leafless and bare in the winter’s blast but what has within itself preparation for casting its seed into the earth next year. Take off a bud, and you will find concealed within it the flower and everything preparatory for the creation of another tree like itself when the fullness of time shall come. The violet and the foxglove in the bank are waiting for the time to cast seed abroad, that the species may be continued on the face of the earth, each after its kind. In like fashion should each believer, by making known the truth of God, secure a succession of the faithful among men. Are those of ripe years among us attending to this as they should?

Again, remember that the devil is always teaching, and his servants are always busy. When the sons of Belial invent some new blasphemy their lips ache to tell it. Let but a loose song be sung in any music hall in London, and before many hours it will have a thousand voices occupied with it. The devil has his missionaries ready to teach iniquity wherever they go, and they neither lack for zeal nor courage. And shall Satan have such busy servants and Christ’s cause languish for want of agents? God forbid! If you have learned a great truth, go and tell it. If you have found out something that is fresh to you, concerning the Lord and his love, do not wait till the morning light, but tell it at once. If you have found the Savior, tell about him; tell about him; tell about him with all your might whenever you have opportunity, and spread abroad the gladsome news of his salvation. Remember that to tell to others what you have known is often the very best way of deepening and increasing your own knowledge. Holy occupation is one of the most important things for our spiritual health. If you see a church sinking low the last persons to leave that church are the Sundayschool teachers, and others, who are practically occupied with serving God; and the first to go are those fluffy professors who are neither use nor ornament, but cling to a church like dust to your coat. Very largely will you find that, in proportion as you serve Christ, Christ will serve you; therefore seek you to feed his lambs, and he will feed you.

At the beginning of this year I would urge each one of you to say, “Cannot I make next year better than this? Can I not pray more, believe more, love more, work more, give more, and be more like Christ?” Was last year an improvement upon 1876? Whether it was so or not, let 1878 be an advance upon 1877. It ought to be, for it is a year which lieth somewhat nearer heaven than its predecessors. If you have lived up till now without a Savior, end that dangerous state. Listen to the gospel message — “Believe and live.” Ere New Year’s Day is over look unto Jesus Christ, and be saved. He will have glory and then shalt have happiness, and thus shall you begin aright another year of our Lord, and his Holy Spirit will make it to you a year of grace.



A VERY excellent little book to give to young people of Socinian tendencies. The arguments used appear to be fair and conclusive, though, like the most of such dialogues, the discussion is necessarily all on one side, and one wanders what the Unitarian could or would have said if he had been well drilled in Socinian reasoning. Whatever he might have said would not have destroyed the force of the statements on the right side, and therefore the book is quite as well as it is.


MR. PALMER has handled his subject as a devout and thoughtful man would do, and the result is an able treatise. We do not, however, care for speculations as to whether the human soul of Christ was in his earlier days conscious of its union with his Deity. It is a question which was originally started by a certain foolish and presumptuous unbelief, which went the length of asserting that our Lord was not divine till his baptism; and to meet this it is proposed to concede that he may not as man have known his own Deity. Faith would never have raised the point, and is instinctively shocked at the concession proposed. It is to deprive the sacred manhood of all reason, and almost of consciousness, to conceive that it was not aware of its union in one person with the Divine Word. We wish good men would not rush in where angels fear to tread. The high mystery of our Lord’s nature is not a fit subject even for devout speculation, for the line of reverence is so soon overpast. We have indicated a fly in the pot of ointment, but there is sweet ointment left after all.


IN this fashion the Proverbs may be more handy for reference, but we scarcely think that there will be much demand for the work. The arrangement is elaborate, and must have involved much careful thought, but we like the Proverbs best as they are.


AT the time for making up the magazine Mr. Spurgeon is completely laid aside and in a condition of pain which prevents his doing anything: hence the notes are few and rough.

EVANGELISTS. We have an excellent report from our friend Mr. Anderson of Reading: — “Our brethren Messrs. Clarke and Smith have been in Reading and the surrounding neighborhood for three weeks. You will doubtless be pleased to have some account of their meetings. Their work among us began with a Christian workers meeting which, though necessarily smaller than the others, formed a fitting introduction to them. The time was mainly occupied in stirring up believers to seek conversions, counseling them how to deal with the anxious and in making appeal to the King of kings for blessing. We could not help hoping that the connection between the upper room and the day of Pentecost might among us receive some parallel. The few first meetings were less numerously attended than we had anticipated. This was fully accounted for by the stormy state of the weather and the biscuit factory, which gives employment to several thousands, working overtime. Even this however worked us good, as it led to greater fervor of prayer and effort. Towards the close of the first week much power was felt in the meetings and several professed having found the Savior. On Monday night you, dear sir, visited and preached to us. Long before the time advertised for the opening of the doors crowds from the neighboring towns and villages, as well as from Reading, gathered in the street, and afterwards, as a policeman at the gates remarked, ‘More people went away than got in.’ Several cases of quickening among Christians and conversions have come to our knowledge as the result of the sermon then preached on ‘the angels hastened Lot.’ On Thursday evening about thirty of the Stockwell Orphanage boys sang at the service, and Mr. Charlesworth, in conjunction with the evangelists, addressed the crowded congregation. Tears of joy gathered in the eyes of many as they looked upon the happy home-like appearance of the boys and thought of what they might and indeed would have been but for the Orphanage. The meetings of our brethren in Reading closed on Sunday night with a crowd which overflowed the chapel, filled the large schoolroom, and even then many had to go away. At the close of the service the chapel remained full to the prayer-meeting, and afterwards many inquirers came into the vestries, several of whom profess there to have closed with Christ. Two crowded children’s services and two Saturday night men’s meetings were addressed by Mr. Smith in a bright, racy, gracious manner, which could not fail to effect great good, while the earnest, solemn and heart-searching appeals made and truth spoken by Mr. Clarke night after night will we feel sure yield yet a still larger harvest than even now appears. Services were also held with similar success in Wokingham, Henley and Pangbourne. Again thanking you for so generously helping us, and praying for the prosperity of your many works. I am, yours, etc., W. ANDERSON.”

COLLEGE. The following brethren have gone forth from the College: Mr. W. Hobbs to Norwood New Town, Mr. McNab to Great Broughton, Cumberland. Mr. Dean also leaves us to study medicine at Glasgow, for medical mission work.

Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle by Mr. J. A. Spurgeon: — Nov. 26th, sixteen; 29th, twenty; 30th, one.


OUR readers have all along taken such a hearty interest in Mrs. Spurgeon’s endeavor to replenish the libraries of poor ministers, that we feel it to be their due that they should read a portion of her new Report, which will be sent to all subscribers, so that they may see the money duly acknowledged, the balance-sheet properly audited, and the number of books distributed set forth in detail. Twelve hundred and eighty odd pounds, all given without personal solicitation, make up the account for the year, and with this amount (less the balance) six thousand three hundred and forty-eight volumes have been purchased and sent carriage paid to pastors’ libraries. Almost all the Christian denominations, including the Church of England, have shared in the division. Our own students have very properly led the way, but Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists have had no stinted share; in fact, all needy ministers who have applied have received a grant; and we trust that for many a day there may be no need to deny any hungry applicant a portion of mental meat. Personally we thank all the donors for their kindness, and having said this, we leave the extracts from the Report to speak for themselves. — C. H. S.


The Book Fund aims at finishing the bare bookshelves of poor pastors of every Christian denomination with standard works of divinity by various authors; books full of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, the study of which shall enrich their minds, comfort their hearts, quicken their spiritual energy, thereby enable them to preach with greater power and earnestness “all the words of this life.” How deeply needed this service of love has long been, what an urgent and painful necessity it has become, is fully proved by the intense eagerness shown on every hand to obtain the proffered boon. The writer could point to many a faithful servant of the Lord, who, toiling on in secret poverty for years, has not even seen a new book (except in the shop windows), till a grant from the Book Fund tilted his heart with joy and his lips with thanksgiving. “These books have brightened my hope, and quickened my faith,” writes one such pastor, “I will not trouble you with my difficulties for want of a commentary to stimulate and guide my poor thought, they are too sad to tell, but they have helped me to appreciate your gifts.” Those whose resources enable them to enjoy without stint the luxury of a new book, can scarcely realize the longing and craving which gnaws at the heart of a poor minister when he sees beyond his reach — the help and refreshment he so sorely needs. His brain is weary with producing unaided thoughts; his mental powers are flagging for want of stimulus and encouragement; his spirit is burdened with the pressure of cares, which stern poverty brings upon him; and yet, though a few sterling, solid books would be a specific for much of this misery, the purchase of such blessed potions is as impossible to him as would be the acquisition of the “Elixir of Life” itself! Many a one has told me that the books sent seemed to “put new life” into him, and it is not difficult to read in those three words a sad and sorrowful story of mental faintness and famine. “Read good suggestive books,” says the President of the Pastors’ College in his “Lectures to my Students,” “and get your minds aroused by them. If men wish to get water out of a pump which has not been. lately used, they first pour water down, and then the pump works. Reach down one of the Puritans and thoroughly study the work, and speedily you will find yourself like a bird on the wing, mentally active and full of motion.” But what if there is no water at hand to coax the up-springing of the living stream? or rather, what if the bookshelves are bare, and no Puritans can be reached down? This is a question which the Book Fund seeks to answer in the only satisfactory manner, by placing as a free gift in the hands of poor pastors that nourishment for their brains which is as absolutely necessary to mental vigor as food for their bodies is essential to physical existence. “Ten thousand, thanks,” said a dear brother, writing lately, “for sending the books when you did. Their coming brought deliverance and salvation to my mind. I was in an agony of spirit — at my wits’ end for a text. I opened one and found, ‘ The Lord liveth, and blessed be my rock.’ This was just what I wanted; it took hold of me, and the Lord helped me to take hold of it.” “I have very little to spend in books,” says another. “My salary is only £60 per annum; so that when a new book comes, it is like bread to the hungry. I do not say this to make you think I am a martyr — if so, I am a very happy one, for I have chosen willingly Christ’s service, and my very wants are a means of grace to me.” Again, another pastor writes, “I cannot tell you how much the receipt of these useful and suggestive volumes cheered me. The sight of a refreshing spring never more gladdened a weary traveler.”

No one who knows anything of the position and means of our country pastors can doubt that the “object” of this Fund meets, and, as far as it is able, alleviates a sadly overlooked evil. After more than two years’ daily correspondence width ministers all over the land, the writer feels that she speaks with sad and serious certainty on the matter, and she is grieved to know that everywhere the want is felt, and the same cry is heard. “Oh for some books to help me in my pulpit preparation,” says one, “I have to preach before the same people three, perhaps four times a week, and though the Lord has promised that my ‘branch shall not wither,’ it sometimes gets very dry.” “I know we should depend upon the Spirits aid;” says another — “and so I do, but if I could read some of the burning thoughts which are recorded by God’s earthly seraphs, my lips, too, might glow with holy rapture, and give forth ‘goodly words.’ I never dare now to think of a new book,” writes a third, “two or three times I have begun to save a little money towards the purchase of a long-coveted work, but every time it has gone for something else; Johnny and little Harry and Walter must have boots, or mother is ill, or the girls’ frocks are getting shabby, and so the precious volumes are still unattainable.” And yet a fourth most touchingly says: “When I witness the self-denial, and hard unremitting labor to which my wife so cheerfully submits herself to keep our household moving comfortably in the sphere God has given, I cannot, with any pleasure add to her difficulty by purchasing the books I often covet, though this doubtless hinders the freshness and variety of my ministry.”

Dear Christian friends, these are no fancy pictures which I am painting, these are no silly tales of fiction, told for the purpose of exciting emotions as worthless as they are weak, but I write of living, suffering realities of flesh and blood, our brethren in Christ, and men moreover who claim and bear the title of the “King’s ambassadors,” and I ask, “Ought they to be thus treated?” I want you to ponder for a moment the sad fact that throughout the length and breadth of this dear England of ours there are hundreds of Christ’s ministers so poor that they can scarcely find proper food and clothing for themselves, their wives and their little ones, out of the miserable pittance which is called their “salary!” Books, which ought to be “common things” with them, littering their rooms in “most admired disorder,” crowding each nook and corner with mute but matchless companionship — are, through their poverty, unattainable luxuries, vainly coveted blessings, the very thought of which must be laid aside, lest the longing should lead to repining, and the desire deepen into distress. Such things ought not to be, but unhappily they are, and till the churches of Christ shall awaken to a sense of their responsibility in this matter, and their moral obligation to provide their ministers with mental food, I will rejoice that my Book Fund does at least lighten a little the pressure of the famine. I read the other day a description of the late Bishop Thirlwall’s library at St. David’s, and among other things the writer says: “It was a little room very plainly furnished with mahogany and horsehair, but it was literally covered with books. They were everywhere — on the chairs, on the window-sills, on the mantel-piece, on the coal-scuttle, by the fireplace, even inside the fender! Still he knew where to find any book that he wanted.” I am afraid I thought with almost jealous pain of the ludicrous contrast which would be presented, could the “bare bookshelf” of a poor Baptist pastor’s parlor be brought for a moment into comparison with any bishop’s overflowing library! Perhaps the pain at my heart was not harmful, for it brought the prayer to my lips, “Oh Lord, give me greater strength and larger means to continue and extend this urgent work which thou hast given me to do.” Happy will the day be both for pastor and people, when “books for the minister” shall be as acknowledged necessaries as his daily bread, and when both the study and the dinner-table shall be more liberally provided for.


“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.”

The Book Fund has been nourished and fed from the King’s Treasury, and I must “make my boast, in the Lord” that all needful supplies for the carrying on of the work have plainly borne the stamp of heaven’s own mint. I say this because I have never asked help of any one but Him, never solicited a donation from any creature, yet money has always been forthcoming, and the supplies have constantly been in the due proportion to the needs. Once only during the year did the Lord try my faith by allowing the grants of books to outnumber the gifts of money, and then it was only for a “small moment” that a fear overshadowed me. The dark cloud very speedily passed away, and fresh supplies made me more than ever satisfied with the resolution I had formed to draw only on the unlimited resources of my heavenly Treasurer. None of the friends whose hearts have “devised liberal things” on behalf of my work will reproach me with ingratitude towards them when I lay my first loving thanks at his feet; they will rather join me in praising him for so sweetly inclining their hearts to help his needy ones, and will joyfully say: “O Lord, of thine own have we given thee!”

I recall with glad satisfaction the very first donation which reached me, “for sending books to ministers.” It came anonymously, and was but five shillings worth of stamps, yet it was very precious, and proved like a revelation to me, for it opened up a vista of possible usefulness and exceeding brightness. The mustard seed of my faith grew forthwith into it “great” tree, and sweet birds of hope and expectation sat singing in its branches. “You’ll see,” I said to my boys, “the Lord will send me hundreds of pounds for this work.” For many a day afterwards mother’s “hundreds of pounds” became a “household word” of good-humored merriment and badinage. And now “the Lord has made me to laugh,” for the hundreds have grown into thousands; he has done “exceeding abundantly above what I asked or even thought:” and faith, with such a God to believe in and depend upon, ought surely to “smile at impossibilities, and say ‘it shall be done.’”

After praising him “from whom all blessings flow,” my loving thanks are due to the friends who, by their generous gifts, have co-operated with me in this blessed work. Money has come to me from all quarters, and always with congratulations and good wishes. Many dear personal friends have liberally aided me; some of my dear husband’s constant and devoted helpers have been pleased, when sending him a check, to make it a little larger for the “Book Fund,” while quite a number of strangers (though strangers no longer), whose names were previously unknown to me, have sent very considerable donations to my beloved work. God bless them all! And if only a tithe of the happiness their gifts have secured to me and my poor pastors be returned into their own hearts, their cups will be full to overflowing, and their joy will abound. Oh! how sweet some of these sums of money have been to me! Real “Godsends” I may truly call them, for the gold has seemed to lose its earthly dross when consecrated to him and has often shed a light as from heaven’s own “golden streets” upon my pathway! Coming sometimes in seasons of great pain and suffering, these gifts have been like precious anodynes to soothe my weary spirit, and hush my restless thought, for they plainly showed the Lord had not “forgotten to be gracious.”’ They have almost charmed away my sorrow by teaching me to plan for others’ joy, and ofttimes they have been truly, “means of grace” to me, leading to blessed commerce with heaven, by supplying frequent occasions of prayer and praise. Surely, after so much mercy past, if I did not bless his name, “the very stones would cry out.”


Judged by the benefits and blessings it has conferred, its success will be best told by extracts from letters received in acknowledgment of gifts, and as the “Book Fund” has become entirely unsectarian in its operation, it will perhaps be interesting and pleasant to introduce some “kind words” from ministers of different denominations who have joyfully accepted this service of love. It has been no easy matter to restrain my hand in making these selections from the many hundreds of letters I possess; I have felt a veritable embarras de richesses, and most unwillingly have omitted many a passage brimful of joy and gladness, lest I should weary my readers; but when they have perused these thankful, loving words, they may rest assured the “half has not been told” them. Having commenced the year by offering six volumes of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons to all ministers formerly students of the Pastors’ College, first speech is accorded to two of their number.

“My dear Mrs. Spurgeon, — I feel deeply grateful to you for the six volumes of sermons which reached me this morning. When I opened the parcel I experienced such a rush of emotion as made me kneel down instantly and thank God for his goodness to me, as well as to pray for his blessing to descend upon you. Many times when a few brethren have met together at my house, or I have gone to theirs, have we mentioned, your work in our prayers, and the best expression of my gratitude, I feel, will be in the fervency and faith of my petitions. I trust you will accept my thanks, though they are so imperfectly conveyed. My heart glows, but my pen fails.”

“The six volumes that you sent me last February were a precious boon. They were most opportune to my moral and spiritual state; for I was racked with doubts on many matters, and my spiritual life was low. When those volumes came they brought to my remembrance the joyful seasons I used to spend at the Tabernacle, and I could not refrain from crying out in agony of soul, ‘Oh that I were as in months past.’ Then I said I will see what my old teacher says, I will apply my heart unto his instructions; so for weeks I read the sermons, and studied them hard to see if I could find an answer to the questions which vexed my soul and weakened my grip of gospel truth: and, blessed be God, I have found an answer. I have found peace, satisfaction, increasing delight. The truths which those sermons contained have been marrow and fatness to my soul. They have kindled my zeal, they have directed my energies, they have strengthened my arm for the fight. Such a change as this affected my preaching. It made me more earnest, more decided, more affectionate in my appeals, more importunate in entreating men to accept Jesus as their Savior. Many persons noticing the change came to thank me for the gospel truth with which my sermons were charged, and to join me in earnest prayer for the conversion of souls. Our prayers and desires have been answered in the increasing congregations we get, and in the deep attention they give to the preached word. We labor on, believing the blessing will come according to the promise. The members of our church display a quickened zeal in the service of Christ, and we are now watching for souls as those who must give an account. I have thus, my dear Mrs. Spurgeon, told you briefly and very poorly the good I have received from the volumes you have sent me, and the good which, by God’s help, I have been able to do. Should you be able to send me some more, I can promise you a very attentive reading, and an ardent study.”

The extract next subjoined is also from an old student, but it claims special notice because the writer is one of those who are laboring in a distant land, and a gift of books to such is truly “as cold water to a thirsty soul.” It is not often that the opportunity is afforded of ministering to their necessities, on account of the heavy expense of transit; but when friends are found to take charge of a parcel, we have the rare pleasure of receiving, in due time, such answers as these: —

“Dear Mrs. Spurgeon. — I have to acknowledge, with gratitude and pleasure, the receipt of six volumes of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons, which you so kindly forwarded by Mr.—— of this village. May the Lord reward you a thousandfold for this great, and I might almost say, unexpected kindness to a stranger in a strange land. When settling here rather more than three years ago, I often found an American volume of the sermons, well worn, and highly appreciated; and I assure you they made me feel more at home than otherwise I should have done in this rugged country You can scarcely imagine the joy I felt in receiving the sermons fresh from England; but this you may rest assured of both yourself and your dear husband were prayed for that night with more than usual fervor and feeling, and special thanks were given to him ‘from whom all blessings flow.’“

If space permitted I could give extracts of letters from France, Sweden, Spain, Nova Scotia, Nebraska, Cape of Good Hope, Sydney, Adelaide, Bengal Jamaica, Barbadoes, and many other “strange lands,” which would delight and interest my readers, but I must content myself and them with the following much-prized communications from Church of England missionaries, one on leave of absence for awhile, the other just starting to his work in that country, India. The first-mentioned writes thus: —

“Many MANY thanks for the four volumes of the ‘Treasury of David,’ I prize them much. I doubt not that, if not already, these volumes will soon become standard works on the Psalms. Every one knew and felt that there must be a feast of fat things for mind and soul in the Psalms, but Mr. Spurgeon has dished them up in a way so superior to what anybody else has ever done that both mind and soul receive lunch more from his ‘Treasury’ than from any other work. I am thankful to find the books in the libraries of Church of England clergymen at D—— and K——, with less dust on them than ‘Browne on the Articles,’ or theological works akin to ‘Den’s Theology,’ etc. The day of Christ will reveal the great good the Lord has been doing through Mr. Spurgeon’s instrumentality. When a student at —— College I used to visit some of the Irish courts around the neighborhood. In one of these dens of villainy and iniquity there lived a man who was my terror, and who more than once sent me flying out of the court, pushing me by laying his hand to the hack of my neck. My heart sank every time I entered the place if I met this man. He was all that was wicked and iniquitous. One day, to my surprise, instead of cursing me, he asked me to his filthy darkroom. I entered it with fear, not knowing what was in store for me; but, thank God, it was to tell me that he had found Jesus, and had resolved in his strength to follow him. The message of love, and mercy, and peace had been conveyed to this man’s heart by the lips of your good husband. He heard Mr. Spurgeon preach in some public place or other, and there Jesus met him and called him. From that day till his death he lived the life of a Christian, and died glorifying the depths of Jesus’ love. I do not think you can hate ever heard of this case, and there must he many unknown to you who on the great day will welcome your dear husband as the one who was the means of leading them to the feet of Christ.”

“Dear Madam, — The books arrived safely on Saturday night. May God bless you for your kindness and liberality to a perfect stranger. I have long been under deep obligation to your honored husband, since it was through reading a passage in one of his books in South India that I was first awakened out of a sinner’s natural self-complacency to cry, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ Though we may never meet on earth, and may differ on minor points, ever shall my prayers ascend to God for you both, and we shall assuredly meet where partings are unknown.”

I may just say here that many missionaries of different denominations, have, on leaving England, applied to me for the “Treasury” to carry with them to their distant stations (Damascus, Madrid, China, the Punjanb, Ceylon, Delhi, Lagos, and Timbuctoo, recur to my mind at this moment, but there are many more) and it has given peculiar satisfaction to grant the requests of these dear brethren, and to receive from them assurances of the great comfort and refreshment they have derived from the perusal of the precious volumes when toiling far from home, and friends, and country.

About the middle of the year an unexpected and most delightful impetus was given to the “Book Fund” by a very kind and generous friend, who desired that all the ministers in Argyleshire should possess the “Treasury of David,” and entrusted the writer with funds to carry out his wishes. We wish we had space for some of the grateful letters which acknowledged the gift.

This year, too, Ireland has been a sharer in the benefits of the work: many Presbyterian and Wesleyan ministers there having hailed with enthusiasm the offer which I was enabled to make to them by the kindness of a lady, whose generosity has often made my heart to sing aloud for joy.

Returning to home-work, I will quote a letter from a Congregational pastor, a specimen of hundreds, for my Book Fund has had the privilege of ministering to very many in the Independent denomination.

“Dear Madam, — I am at a loss for words wherewith to express my gratitude to you for your kindness in forwarding to me the ‘Treasury of David.’ But I can commend you and your work to my Father in heaven, praying that he may abundantly enrich you with the treasures of his grace, and that he may so bless and prosper you in your work of love, that you may be enabled to make the hearts of hundreds of my brethren beat for joy as mine did when I received your present. The volume will certainly be a ‘treasure’ to me. I have already feasted my soul upon the precious words which are contained therein, and am looking forward to many such occasions as I carry out my intention of reading the books through again and again. None but myself and God can know what a help the ‘Treasury’ will be to me in my labor. May the Lord enable me to use the gift to his glory.”

Being fearful of over-taxing the patience of my readers, I must pass without notice the epistles received from Evangelists and Home Missionaries, some of which would certainly vie in interest and pathos with any that have been already given, and I will introduce but one other letter, making it do duty as the representative of kind and appreciative words from the many divisions of Methodism, Wesleyan, Primitive, and so forth. It is from the pen of a “Bible Christian” minister, and it tells the same “old story” of deep need of books and utter inability to procure them.

“Dear Madam, — Your very valuable and welcome present came duly to hand, and positively made my heart leap for joy, and outflow with a thousand blessings upon the kind donors. I can never express in words the deep feelings of gratitude I am the subject of, for your great kindness in thus shedding sunshine upon the difficult pathway of one who is trying, amid all his unworthiness, to serve his generation faithfully and to do the work assigned him by the Master; but what I cannot put into language I can breathe in heart at the heavenly throne, that Jehovah’s benedictions in ever-increasing richness may fall upon you and your honored husband, until taken to the eternal home. The Psalms have always been my favorite resort for meditation and exposition, and I should long ago have purchased the ‘Treasury of David’ had I been able, but a salary of £80 a year allows but a very small margin for books, and though my mind often craved for them, the luxury was not enjoyed.”

It is not easy by culling extracts to give a fair idea of a report which has been carefully written, but if the above passages should assist in creating, maintaining, or increasing an interest in the mind of a single reader we shall be exceedingly glad. An appeal for bread and clothing touches the hearts of all, but it needs a measure of mental and spiritual culture to appreciate the dire necessities of a bookless preacher; to those who possess such power to sympathize we commend our dear wife’s earnest effort. From all those who wish to see our poorer pastors helped, and especially to see their mental furniture improved, we expect continual aid for the indefatigable worker who has the holy task in hand.


IT appears that it was a letter from the Rev. Mr. Winstanley, Rector of St. Dunstan’s in the East, which was the instrument permitted by God to bring his mind to a quiet trust. In answer to the anxious question written to Mr. Winstanley by the dying moralist, — “What must I do to be saved?” Mr. Winstanley wrote, “I say to you in the language of the Baptist, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’” That passage had been often read by him, and had made but a slight impression, but now being pressed home by the gracious Spirit, it went straight to his heart. He interrupted the friend who was reading the letter, “Does he say so? Read it again.” He then earnestly begged that the writer might be sent for that he might hear from him a confirmation of the truth. The state of Mr. Winstanley’s health and nerves made an interview impossible, but he wrote enforcing the truth. We have no doubt that this was well for Dr. Johnson’s mind. He whose life had been passed among men; who had derived his chief pleasure from their society and had leaned upon their friendship, was taught that he must look for comfort in religion from a different source; and that as Christ only was the Mediator, the Spirit of God alone could be the Comforter. A little before he died Dr. Johnson turned to Mr. Brocklesby with great earnestness. “Doctor,” he said, “you are a worthy man, but I am afraid you are not a Christian. What can I do better for you than offer up in your presence a prayer to the great God that you may become a Christian in my sense of the word.” Instantly he fell upon his knees and offered up a fervent prayer. When he rose he caught hold of his hands with great earnestness and cried, “Doctor, you do not say amen.” The doctor looked foolish, but after a pause said “amen.” Johnson said, “My dear doctor, believe a dying man, there is no salvation but in the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.”

With that witness he died. With his reason unclouded, he gave this remarkable testimony to a simple faith in Christ, a testimony specially valuable at the time it was delivered. — The Christian Observer, January, 1859.


THE annual volume of this deeply interesting magazine is now to be had all gloriously arrayed. It would be a worthy work if some wealthy Christian were to present a copy to all our great merchants and rich professors and let the book plead for China’s millions. How vast the area, how profound the need, how urgent the claims of that great empire.” The Christian church has net begun to think of it yet in a thoroughly earnest spirit. Widen will the wail of the dying millions be heard?


A WONDERFUL set of periodicals, all owing their existence and maintenance to the genius and zeal of one man. No society has been able in excel the British Workman, or to rival the Weekly Welcome. Whichever of this sevenfold series we select we can do no other than extol it: whether for children or adults, the matter is sure to be suitable, attractive, and practical. These serials are their own best advertisement and recommendation.


If this good man does not want heaven to be his home, he, is quite at liberty to tarry elsewhere; but we would respectfully remind him that he may go further and fare worse. His book is mere dreaming. There is nothing either in his style or in his matter to deserve our readers’ attention.

Were half the ink thus vainly spent
In sober extortation spent,
Reviewers’ tasks would tighter be
And readers’ time press pleasantly.


A LOVELY note book, well suited to bear upon its page memorials of the Lord’s goodness. Ladies, for once take our advice and buy this dainty morsel; it you use it to record special mercies it will become a treasure indeed.


THIS is an extraordinary volume, worthy of a palace. It seems to us to be perfection in all respects — letterpress, engraving, and binding. The subject is a wide one, and is well set forth. As though we were sailing on the sea itself, we glide by the sunny shores of Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Egypt, and Africa always entertained with condensed history, pithy anecdote, and pleasing information. Those who think of making the tour of the Mediterranean, or even of visiting a portion of its shores, should be sure to carry with them this unrivaled guide.


“Now, Arthur, why are we sure that this is not a dry book?” “That’s no riddle at all, my learned brother, for the book may be all the drier because its author is Moister. Mark you, I don’t say it is so; but what’s in a name?” The narratives are mostly in connection with Wesleyan missions, and are many of them very charming. Christians of any denomination are all the better for being well acquainted with the doings of their brethren in other churches, and therefore we should advise those who are not Methodists to read these missionary stories and put them in their Sunday School libraries. The book is prettily bound and well illustrated.


EXCEEDINGLY well-told stories. Very affecting to tender hearts. The first story, entitled “Sam,” sets forth the evils of “treating” in an unusually vivid manner; and truly the evil of making others drunk out of generosity or custom is a very grievous one. Prettily got up, and touchingly written, this little book is worthy to be read in my lady’s boudoir, and in his lordship’s lounge.


THERE, young man, you have Milton in as neat a from as you can desire well edited and printed in a fair, clear type, for three shillings and sixpence. What would you have more? We do not know a handier form of Milton, and yet it is tit for a library; nothing can be cheaper, and yet there is no touch of meanness about the volume.


THE author is evidently of the Church of England but truly of the Church of Christ. Teachers will thank us if we induce them to buy this helpful little book. Its theme is “Jesus Himself” its style is pleasing, its spirit devout, its teaching sound, its manner suggestive. Its twenty-five lessons would furnish a sensible teacher and his class with half a year’s rich instruction.


HERE is Mark Guy Pearse at it again! He never ceases to tell his tales. But he is not a bore; not a bit of it. He and Daniel Quorm will live for ever and a day; and those who buy this lot of tales will laugh and cry, and say — May Mark Guy and Mister Horn and his friends have plenty of delighted readers.


LIKELY to be very helpful to Bible-class teachers. It is a lively commentary, and adorned with many a fitly chosen illustration and well-selected explanation. It belongs to an order of works of which the more the better: not standard and first class, and therefore above ordinary comprehension, but plain and popular, and therefore useful to the thousands.


Worn out with weariness of brain Mr. Spurgeon has left home for a period of rest, and asks the prayers of his many considerate friends that he may soon recover, and may be permanently strengthened for his work. Certain symptoms, which recur each year with painful force, appear to indicate that the strain upon the mind must be lessened or the periods of rest lengthened. Steps are being taken to remove some of the burden, to other shoulders. It is a great mercy that when weary the pastor is at this time able to leave without being burdened with care as to provision for any of his enterprises: all funds are in a healthy state, and loving hearts and hands will keep them so; above all, the great Lord will provide.

The annual church-meeting at the Tabernacle is a great event in the commonwealth which finds its head quarters there. It was held January 9th. A large number of members met for tea at 9, and then at 6.30 the business meeting began. All accounts, having been audited by two appointed brethren, were read before the church and ordered to be passed, and entered on the minutes. The statistics of the church were as follows:


By Baptism


By Letter


By Profession






By Dismission


Do to form new Churches


Joined other Churches without letters




Names removed for non-attendance etc.






Leaving a net increase of 100. Number at present on our Church Books 5045.

It is remarkable how large a gross increase is needed to make any clear increase. As a church grows older this difficulty increases, and great work must be done for but little statistical result: still souls are saved, and whether other churches on earth or the hosts triumphant above are the gainers it is equally matter for rejoicing.

The pastors and officers who spoke were received with such hearty enthusiasm as can be seldom witnessed. Love has not every day full opportunity to express itself, but on this occasion the cheers and other demonstrations of loyal affection were such as cannot easily be forgotten. We are not frozen together, but melted into one mass by the fire within. The pastor mentioned that he had virtually completed 24 years of his ministry; and had held office, not perhaps de jure, but certainly de facto for that period, for his preaching had been continuous, and though not actually elected till April 19, yet there had never been any doubt about the matter, and he had been from January, 1854, the actual shepherd of the flock. It was proposed and heartily carried by all that the deacons should consider how best to celebrate the pastor’s silver wedding when the 25th year should close, if God should spare the senior pastor to that time. Mr. Spurgeon then reminded the church that its heaviest burden was the Almshouses, which having been scantily endowed for 6 aged sisters, now accommodated 17 and made a heavy drain on the Sacramental Fund. It appeared from the balance sheet that the alms given away to the poor annually exceeded £1000, and, from the great number of the poor members, it had been needful for the pastor to find £120 and for other friends to give privately in order to balance the account. This was principally due to the large item for support of almswomen, and Mr. Spurgeon requested that if friends would make an effort to raise about £5000 this part of the church work would be put into proper shape, and he should regard it as a fit way of celebrating the anticipated event. He remarked that it was comparatively easy to carry the lead now, but that he should not like to leave such a heavy burden for his successor. Should he himself be suddenly called away, the church might find it no great cause for blessing Mr. Spurgeon’s administration if it found that houses had been built for the aged widows to starve in, but that their daily bread had been forgotten. He remarked that the good ship was in trim condition from stem to stern with this exception, and he would like to see the matter done, and done well. From the enthusiasm of the meeting there is little doubt that by many hands the needful amount will be brought in on or before January, 1879. The deacons meantime will deliberate and arrange, and report progress in The Sword and the Trowel: they are not men to let grass grow under their feet.

EVANGELISTS. — Messrs. Clarke and Smith have continued their useful labors, and the most pleasing accounts have reached us from Reading, Trowbridge, and Landport In Mr. Medhurst’s large chapel great multitudes assembled, inquirers were numerous, and the Lord’s blessing was evident to all. We can hardly print the high praises which have been privately sent to us of these two brethren, whose fitness for this special agency is very remarkable. Without excitement the Lord works by them mightily, and the churches are refreshed and the outside world is impressed. A friend has promised help for two more evangelists; and if the right men are found, we shall not hesitate, for the need of such workers in connection with the churches is more and more apparent to us. This important branch of service has been left to unattached amateurs with serious results to church work; although the blame of this fact does not rest on the men themselves, but upon the slumbering churches, which did not soon enough perceive the need of the agency, and upon the officialism which frowned at anything like innovation. Evangelists in full harmony with the churches will be a great blessing, and prevent the disorder which arises out of the present disorganized mode of doing or pretending to do the work.

COLLEGE. — We have worked during the last twelve months at double pressure, having had far more than our usual number of men. We have been obliged to keep many eligible candidates waiting till next August, for though at the present moment we have a considerable sum in hand, as the balance of a legacy, we do not see it right to spend it all in one year, but deem it best prudently to regulate the outgoings. We never had a better or mere diligent set of students, and we Lope by their means to open up new spheres, both in England and elsewhere. Since last report the settlements are: Mr. Pope to Thorpe le Soken, Essex; Mr. Foster to Braintree, Essex; Mr. Hobbs to Norwood New Town; Mr. McNab to Great Broughton, Carlisle; Mr. Hutton to Hawick. Mr. Dean has left to study medicine at Edinburgh, preparing for a medical missionary.

We have been greatly gladdened by seeing that our brother, Mr. Gammon, has formed a church and commenced building a chapel at Puerto Plata, San Domingo. We hope the Baptist Mission will now have great joy in this work.

A very kind letter from the church in Lal Bazaar Chapel, Calcutta, rejoices us with the welcome given to our late student Mr. Blackie, who has become their pastor. Truly our young brethren are spread abroad all over the world. God bless them all.

ORPHANAGE. — The boys enjoyed their Christmas very greatly, and we thank all the generous friends who made it a merry day. May God bless them all, especially the princely donor of the shillings and boxes of figs. Mr. Newman Hall and his congregation began our Christmas for us in a new way by a collection at Christ Church, which amounted to £50. A party of the boys attended the service and assisted in the singing. Mr. Hall writes us that the appearance of the boys and their behavior and singing were much approved by all Alas, for the President of the Institution, he was debarred the pleasure of joining in the mirth of his great family; but the trustees and the esteemed master saw that all was in order. Our aim has been to make the boys happy as well as orderly, and nowhere in the world are there more open countenances, joyful faces, or more obedient children than at the Stockwell Orphanage. The success in life of many who have gone out from the institution causes us un-feigned deight: the young men cling to their orphan home in a right loyal manner, and already donations from them are coming in. All friends who have assisted to make up our grand list of presents are hereby personally thanked by the President on his own account, and in the names of the trustees, and especially on behalf of the boys, whose hearty cheers might have been heard for many miles if the telephone had been in operation.

COLPORTAGE. The work of the Colportage Association increases and extends rapidly. Availing themselves of the liberal offer from two gentlemen, alluded to in a previous number, the committee set to work energetically, and with the commencement of the new year twenty additional districts were opened and colporteurs at work. Ten of these labor in connection with the Town Mission in and around the important town of Birmingham. The Great Yarmouth Town Mission have also employed an agent, and other towns would do well to follow their example. The agency being entirely unsectarian is admirably fitted to cooperate with mission efforts. Associations of Christian churches, too, might employ colporteurs with great advantage, the written and spoken word being thus presented together.

These extended efforts will require increased pecuniary aid, which we trust will flow in as needed. By the end of February upwards of ninety districts will be occupied by men fully devoted to the work. We ask our readers to remember the colporteurs in their prayers. They distribute thousands of tracts; and parcels of gospel tracts for gratuitous distribution by them will greatly aid the Association. We append a list of the twenty districts.

New Districts opened January, 1878 — Oxfordshire — Oxford and Chipping Norton; Suffolk — Haverhill, Thurlow; Wiltshire — Chippenham, Bower Chalk; Lancashire — Southport; Essex — Tiptree; Nottinghamshire — Longeaton; Devonshire — Newton Abbot; Wales — Haverfordwest, Rhyl. Ten around Birmingham, as follow: — Smethwick, Shirley, Erdlington, Worst Bromwich, Yardley, Stichford, Minworth, Hampstead.

Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle by J. A. Spurgeon: December 31st, eighteen; January 3rd, ten.

Chap 14. MARCH, 1878.


MARCH, 1878.



DAVID in his sixty-first psalm prays, “When my herart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” It is a very wise and appropriate prayer. He is in great sorrow, and asks to rise above it; he has great faith and therefore is sure that there is a safe refuge for him; and he is conscious of great weakness, for he does not speak of climbing the rock of safety by himself, but implores divine leading that he may come to it. His prayer wilt well befit the lips of men like ourselves who dwell where troubles rage and toss their waves on high.

By many forces the heart may be overwhelmed. A sense of guilt may do it. Carelessness and indifference are swept away when the Holy Ghost. works conviction of sin upon the conscience, reveals the justice of God, and leads a man to see that he is in danger of the wroth to come: then heart and flesh fail, courage and hope depart, and the man is overwhelmed. Such a season is the fittest time for crying, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” If you can but find shelter in the rifts of the Rock of Ages what security will be yours! The rock of atoning sacrifice rises higher than your sin, and upon it the most guilty may stand far above the surging billows of vengeance. Led by the divine hand to cling to the great Redeemer and Substitute, the utterly shipwrecked soul is safely landed and may sing because of his escape.

Sometimes, however, believers in Jesus, though quite secure from divine wrath, are, nevertheless, overwhelmed with trouble. They should not be so, for if their faith acted as it ought no fear would fasten upon them; but through the infirmity of the flesh, and, partly, also through inbred sin, unbelief comes in like a flood and drenches and deluges the anxious heart. At times also the trials of life roll onward like enormous Atlantic billows, and toss our poor barque till we reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man. The ship becomes waterlogged, and does not answer to the helm of reason; she drifts with the adverse current whithersoever it pleases to hurry her, and eternal shipwreck seems near at hand. It is good for a Christian then to cry, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I;” for though a rock is to be avoided in a natural storm, yet in our spiritual tempests there is a high rock which is to be sought unto as our shelter and haven. Truly that rock is higher than we are, and its very height is our comfort. God, the infinitely high and glorious, is not troubled nor dismayed, his purposes are far above and out of our sight, and they are also far beyond the operation of evil; hence by confidence in God we leave the storm beneath us and smile at the hurly-burly down below.

To me, my brethren, the most overwhelming thoughts do not come to my heart from my own personal sin, for I know it is forgiven, nor from worldly trouble, for I am persuaded that all things work for my good; but I am deeply distressed by the present condition of the church of God. Men who are called of God to care for his flock are grievously bowed down when the signs of the times are dark and lowering. Moses carried the whole people of Israel in his bosom in the wilderness, and they were sometimes a heavy load to him; and thus each true minister bears the church upon his heart, and is often sorely burdened. At this moment I can sorrowfully cry with Jeremiah, “My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart. I cannot hold my peace.”

It is overwhelming to my spirit to see the growing worldiness of the visible church. Many professed Christians — the Lord alone knows whether they are true believers or no — give us grave cause for apprehension. We see them tolerating practices which would not have been endured by their fathers: my blood chills when I think of how far some fashionable professors go astray. There are families in connection with our churches in which there is no household prayer; but much luxurious eating and drinking and extravagance. I have my suspicions that there are among professors a considerable number who attend the theater, spend their evenings in card playing, read the most frivolous and foolish of books, and yet come to the Lord’s table. If they differ from the world it is hard to see how or where. Neither in their dress, nor in their speech, nor in their mode of trading, nor in their habits at home are they at all superior to the unconverted. Is not this an evil under the sun? When the church descends to the world’s level her power is gone. Yet we cannot root up these suspected tares; we are even forbidden to do so lest we root up the wheat with them. If false professors were more open in their conduct we should know them, but their evil is secret, and therefore: we are obliged to let them grow together with the wheat: yet sometimes the sorrowful husbandman goes to the great owner of the farm and cries, “Didst thou not sow good seed in thy ground? From whence, then, hath it tares?” The answer is that “an enemy hath done this,” and we are overwhelmed in spirit because we fear that our sleeping gave the enemy the opportunity.

I look again and see numbers of professors apostatizing altogether. In this great London persons who were members of churches in the country fall into the habits of their neighbors, and absent themselves altogether from the means of grace, or treat the worship of God on the Lord’s-day as if it were optional, and when they attend to it they go tripping from one place of worship to another, and forget the duties of Christian fellowship. Many others are content to hear noted preachers, not because they preach the gospel but because they are reputed to be “clever men.” Once men were esteemed for soundness, unction, and experience; but now men crave after popularity and cleverness. Some who call themselves Christians make fine music their grand requisite. If they need that gratification why do they not content themselves with a week-day concert in the proper place for such displays? God’s house was never meant to be made a hall where tweedledee and tweedle-dum may vie with each other in pleasing man’s ears. Not a few choose their Sunday resort because the “church” is an imposing structure, and the congregation is composed of “very respectable people.” If they seek society, let them go where the elite may fitly gather, and keep themselves select; but in the worship of God “the rich and poor meet together, and the Lord is the maker of them all” It is an ill sign when God’s poor saints, are despised; but so it is in this day. If tradesmen save a little money they grow too great for the assembly in which they were once at home and must needs make part of a more fashionable congregation. These things also cause my spirit to be overwhelmed, not because in one single instance it has happened to members of my own church, but because the fact is open to the view of all and is the subject of general remark. Equally grievous to the heart is it to see the spread of superstition. You can hardly go down a street but you will pass some popish joss-house, called an Episcopal church, where self-styled priests entice silly women to the confessional, and amuse them with masses and processions. Vile impostors! Clergy of an avowedly Protestant church, and supported by this nation, they are yet ravenous to eat out the very vitals of Protestantism. Fools enough are found to believe in these priests, and bow before their crucifixes, and their stations of the cross and the like rubbish, and the abomination evidently spreads like the leaven among the meal as described by our blessed Lord. Heaven alone knows where this England of ours is going, and he who loves his country feels his spirit overwhelmed within him.

Nor do I think this to be the worst sign of the times. All around us there is growing up in tangled masses the ill weed of “modern thought,” which is nothing better than an infidelity too cowardly to wear its proper name. There are preachers in Christian pulpits who deny the authenticity of various books of the Bible, and reject plenary inspiration altogether. There is not a doctrine of the gospel which is not denied by some “thinker” or other, and even the existence of a personal God is by the more advanced regarded as a moot point; and yet the churches bear with them, and allow them to pollute the pulpits once occupied by godly preachers of Christ. After having denied the faith, and plunged their daggers into the heart of vital doctrines as best they can, they still claim to be ministers of the gospel, and ask to be received into union on the ground of some peculiar inward virtue which exists in them apart from all doctrinal belief. Men who might justly he prosecuted for obtaining property under false pretences by violating the trust-deeds of our churches may well wish to abolish creeds and articles of faith, because these are perpetual witnesses against their knavery. I would not care what became of the pelf if the churches Were saved from error. I see this leaven of unbelief working in all directions, and many are tainted with it, in one point or another; it eateth like a cancer into the very soul of the churches. God deliver us from it! It is hard to know what to do, for no one wishes to suspect his fellow, and yet a pest seems to be in the very air, so that it penetrates into the best guarded chambers. We hear of this man and then of another breaching strange notions, and those who were thought to be pillars suddenly become rolling stones. Who next? And what next? In the midst of this confusion our heart is apt to be overwhelmed within us. Is there not a cause? It is not our household, it is not our estate, it is not our bodily health which is in danger, or we would bow in silence and bear it; but it is the household of God, it is the estate and kingdom of Christ, it is the church of God on earth, which is thus suffering; and well may those who love the Lord and his Christ and his truth tremble for the ark and feel a holy jealousy burning within them. At such a time the prayer of David is priceless, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Let us see how this petition meets the case.

First, let us remember that God lives. Glorious thought! The Lord sitteth upon the floods, yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice. Still he effects his purposes and accomplishes his will. It would be very childish if we were afraid for the moon because dogs bay her when she walks in her splendor; it would be very absurd to fear for the eternal mountains because the winds blow upon their granite peaks, and it would be equally idle to tremble for the truth of God. The stable things will stand, and those which cannot stand are better gone. God liveth, and everything that is of God liveth in his life. On this rock let us rest.

“Error must die, and they who love her most,
And suck the poison from her venomed lips,
Will find her vaunted strength an empty boast,
And share the horrors of her last eclipse.

“But truth is strong, and worthy of our trust,
And truth shall stand when time no more shall be,
And man is leveled to his native dust,
For God is truth to all eternity..”

Next, let us remember that God’s truth is still the same. It does not matter whether fifty thousand espouse its cause, or only five, or only one. Truth does not reign by the ballot box, or by the counting of heads: it abideth for ever. All the tongues of men and angels cannot make truth more true; and all the howlings of devils and doubters cannot transform it into a lie. Glory be to God for this! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. The eternal verity hath its deniers in derision, for they are as the chaff which the wind driveth away. “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”

Another rock may also afford us shelter, namely, the high doctrine that, the Lord will save his own. The much despised truth of election stands us in good stead in troublous times. We sigh and cry, because so many worship the deity of the hour, but the Lord answereth, “Yet, have I reserved unto myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Even so then at lifts present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” The words of the apostle are true at this moment, — “The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded, according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this day.” I bow before the awful sovereignty of God, and the clamor of the people comes not into mine ears. Jehovah’s purpose shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure. No drop of the redeeming blood shall be spent in vain, no line of the everlasting covenant shall be erased, no decree of the Eternal shall be disannulled. This angers the adversary, but in its divine truth we find our consolation while the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing.

A rock that is higher than I may be useful not only for shelter but for elevation. If you stand upon high ground, though you may be a dwarf, you can see farther than the tallest man who remains below; and now, standing upon the high rock of God’s word, what do we see? Look! Clear your eyes of doubt and mist, and look! Forget the present far awhile and gaze through the telescope of faith. What do we see? Systems of error broken in pieces, superstitions given to the moles and to the bats, the clouds vanishing, the darkness of night disappearing, and the beasts going back to their dens, for the Sun of Righteousness a rises with healing beneath his wings. A day of the triumph of the truth must dawn. If it do not come before the advent of our Lord it shall come then, to the confusion of his adversaries and to the delight of his saints, and there shall be “new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.” If this old earth will still reject the truth, and the old heavens still look down on a reign of error, they shall be utterly consumed with life, and on this very earth on which we stand, renewed and purified, there shall be placed a throne as glorious and terrible as the cross of Christ was ignominious and shameful. The blood of Jesus has fallen on this word and guaranteed its redemption from the curse, and one day, when he has delivered the subject creation, our Lord will dwell here, and reign amongst his ancients gloriously. We can afford to wait, for eternity is on our side. We can afford to see the ranks of the Lord’s army pushed back awhile, we can afford to see the standard fluttered by the rough winds, we can afford to hear the “Aha! Aha!” of the Philistines, for when the Prince cometh they shall know his name and the power of his might. If they will not yield to him now and kiss his scepter silvered with love, they shall bow before him when they see the naked iron of hits rod breaking them in pieces like potters’ vessels. Oh to be on God’s side! The whole matter lies there. If a man knows that his heart and soul are given to the cause of God and truth, he is entrenched within an impregnable fortress, and he shall find in the eternal verities munitions of stupendous rock. He shall be steadfast “though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.”

What then are we to do? We are to give all diligence: to make our calling and election sure. See to that for, though some denounce such holy care as selfishness, our Lord and Master knows best, and he charged his servants not so much to rejoice in their power over devils as in the fact that their names were written in heaven. Watch over your own spirit, and east not away your confidence. Then zealously in dependence upon God do the little you can do; do it well, and keep on doing it. You and I are not; called upon to regulate the world, nor to stay the raging sea of human sin. Let us not attempt to wield the divine scepter; it: befits us not. Naturally you would like to set all people right, and make all preachers orthodox. But, my brother, the task is beyond you. Be careful to be right yourself in your own life, and be resolute to bear your complete, honest, obedient testimony to all the truth you know; and there leave the business, for you are not responsible beyond your possibilities. No one of us is much more than an emmet on its little hill. Now, if yon tiny ant were to indulge in serious reflections upon the state of London and forget to assist in the labor’s of the insect commonwealth, it would be a foolish creature; but if it will let those great matters alone and go on doing its ant-work, as an ant, it will fill its little sphere, and answer the purpose of its Maker. A mother teaching her little ones, and doing all she can to bring them up in the fear of God; a humble village pastor with his score of two of people around him; a teacher with her dozen children; a quiet Christian woman in her domestic circle bearing her quiet godly testimony; a young man speaking for Jesus to other young men; — there is nothing very ambitions about the sphere of any one of these, but they are wise in the sight; of the Lord. Leave the reins of the universe in the hand of the Maker of the universe, and then do what he has given you to do in his fear and by his Spirit, and more will come of it than you dare to hope. We are like coral insects building each one his minute portion of a structure far down in the deeps of obscurity. We cannot, as yet war with those vaunted ironclads which sweep the ocean and hurl destruction upon cities, and yet — who knows? — we may build and build until we pile up a reef upon which the proudest navies may be wrecked. By the steady, simple, honest, Christian upbuilding of holiness and truth — defying no one, attacking no one — we may nevertheless create: a situation which will be eminently perilous to the boastful craft of falsehood and skepticism. A holy, earnest, gospel church is a grand wrecker of superstition and of infidelity. The life of God in man, patience in suffering, perseverance in well-doing, faithfulness to truth, prayer in the Holy Ghost, supreme zeal for the divine glory, and unstaggering faith in the unseen God — these are our battle-axe and weapons of war, and by the aid of the Holy Ghost we shall win the battle ere the day comes to its close. Till then, O Lord, when our heart is overwhelmed, lead us to the rock which is higher than we are.



ONE of the most critical periods in a boy’s life is the time when he leaves home to become an apprentice or to take a situation. Parents should be specially upon their guard in the selection of new homes for their sons, for on that choice may depend their entire future. Placed with a firm, kind Christian master a young man may happily develope powers and faculties which might have remained dormant in the less stimulating atmosphere of home. Self-reliance and manly courage have been gained by removal from the too tender care of a fond mother, and the struggle of life has been commenced under more advantageous circumstances by emerging from the narrow limits of home affairs. If our boys could be for ever bound to their mother’s apron strings it might be safe for their morals, but it would be fatal to their growth. They must go out into the world as their fathers did before them, and it is for their good that they should do so; but care must be taken that they are not subjected to needless risks in the operation. A lad should not be sold into temporary slavery by being bound to a brutal master, nor driven into duplicity and cowardice by subjection to a morose employer, nor tutored in vice by being located in a godless and immoral household. All this is clear enough, and yet it is not always considered: the business is a good one, or the premium is small, or the master is a distant relative, and so the child, tenderly reared under godly influences, and altogether unused to the world’s courser mood, is thrust out into the chill blasts of sin, and made to bear the unfeeling rudeness of vulgar natures, and the result is at first misery, by-and-by defilement of conscience, and ultimately depravity of life. Of course the grace of God may interpose, but that is no excuse for the want of thought which placed the young mind in such peril. “Lead us not into temptation” should be cur daily prayer, and we should carefully remember the precept which it suggests. To tempt a child is infernal, and to place it where it will be tempted is next door to it. We would not place our sons or daughters in a lion’s den or near a viper’s nest, and yet we do worse if we commit them to the care of ungodly men and women, whose whole spirit and conduct will have a corrupting influence.

We have been led to make these remarks by reading a passage in the lately published Life of our friend William Brock. His experience was a very bitter one: he records it in his own words.

“I had been forced as a schoolboy to rough it — roughing was still to be my lot, and such roughing, that I remember it almost with dismay. My master was illiterate and profane, His wife was ill-favored, ill-bred, illmannered, and ill-disposed; a wrangler with her husband, and with all who came within her reach. My fellow-apprentices were ignorant, boisterous, and debased, knowing nothing more about literature or religion than the beasts which perish. Until I entered the house I do not believe there was a book within its walls. Whatever talk there was, either in the shop or at the table, never rose above vulgar twaddle, The domestic arrangements were beggarly and bad. Neither food nor beverage was tolerable in quality or sufficient in amount. I had to sleep on the stairhead for years. Of the commonest; conveniences there were hardly any; of the ordinary comforts there were none at all. The material and the moral wretchedness of the place was complete. It troubles me to remember it, I have not overcharged my representation in the least.

“For a while it was more than I could bear. To my mother I wrote piteous complaints. She sent me the means to buy some necessary food; and ones she interfered. By degrees, however, I became inured to the domestic hardships, and things which I could not help I tried to bear as best I could. As I remember, unto this day, it was trying to bear it, but the discipline, I dare say, did me good.

“By the moral wretchedness which surrounded me, I was especially distressed. When Sunday came, I found that neither Mr. nor Mrs. B. was going to church. Mr. B. was going to the belfry to chime the people into church, but he was afterwards coming home again. This I found to be the general rule. In no way whatever was there any recognition of God. It had been arranged that I should attend the services, in the Independent chapel, the only place in the town with whose minister or congregation my mother had any acquaintance. Mr. Ward was then the minister — a good minister of Jesus Christ. I went on the first Sunday, both morning and evening, spending the intervals of service in the way that I knew my mother would approve. The next morning I was christened, as they told me, ‘Parson Brock,’ a designation, by the by, which adhered to me all through my Sidmouth life. Banter and chaff I might have borne easily enough, but it turned out that banter and chaff were to be by no means all. Mr. B. distinctly attempted to annul the arrangement for my going to chapel. ‘He wouldn’t have any of the saints about his place;’ and then he swore. My follow apprentices joined in the swearing and in its denouncings. ‘Trust them for making the place too hot to hold me, unless I would give my religion up!’ Correspondence a little mended matters, and, so far as violence went, I was to be let alone. One think, however, was carried out, and that was the determination that I should have none of my reading and praying, either in getting up or in going to bed. I was warned never to try that again but as I did not exactly see any reason why I should not, I just did what I had been went to do before getting into bed that night. Away came S’s shoe from his hand to my head, with an emphatic warning that, as often as I said my prayers like that, so often the shoe would be flung; and the harder it hit me the better should he be pleased.”

Now, it could not be right to expose a lad to all this; and if the result was not fatal to his youthful piety, the credit was not due to those who placed it in such serious jeopardy. Where is the use of our keep-ins our children out of evil company while they are with us at home and then thrusting them into it afterwards when we are no longer near them to advise or console? Fathers should not only see that their sons are allowed the full privileges of the Sabbath, but should look out for masters who care for such matters for themselves. Of course there must be an eye to the secular advantages of the trade and to the peculiar recommendations of the particular shop or establishment; but it, is must not be all in all, nor the first thing. For others as well as for ourselves we should seek first the kingdom of God and whom righteousness; for our own flesh and blood, the offspring whom God has given us. we must deliberately elect the service of the Lord in preference to all earthly gain. If we do not act thus in the case of our own children, it will heroine questionable whether we have chosen the Lord for ourselves. If we do not wish to see our own sons grow up to be earnest servants of the Lord, we may justly doubt our own conversion; but how can we honestly desire such a result if we place them for years under influences which must powerfully work in the opposite direction.

It is not only upon grave questions of morality that parents should exercise thought, but also upon minor details of comfort and association, which may lead up to the weightier matters. We remember a well-behaved and hopeful youth who early fell into sin, to the deep horror of the honest, godly family to which he belonged; and yet when we learned that he had eaten his meals, and spent the brief hours after shoptime, in the sole company of the one domestic servant, in the kitchen of a little general shop in a country village, we were not at all amazed: the offense was very grievous but had the youth been received at his master’s table, and had he been provided with fitting associates, it might never have been committed. In London the custom still lingers, even in some large, and well-known establishments, for the young men to sleep on and under the counters in the shop. Of course, all sense of comfort and a considerable portion of the delicacy of decency vanishes under such a condition of things; and when loose talk leads on to loose living who is to wonder? In certain shops the assistants are expected to be more sharp than honest, and to stick at a round lie would involve their dismission no Christian parent or guardian should permit a youth to live under such regulations. These rules form an unwritten code, but are none the less rigidly binding on those subject to them, and a toad under a harrow has not a more uneasy life of it than the youth who is troubled with scruples. Very long and late hours ought also to be considered by those who are seeking situations for lads. We are not men those who would go to an extreme in crying out against hard work, for to some young men the most arduous labor is a far less evil titan the temptations of a leisure which they have not the sense to improve; but we feel certain that in many young people the seeds of consumption and other diseases are sown, and made to develop rapidly, by weary hours of standing in hot shops in the midst of dust and stagnant air, and sometimes amid smells and exhalations, from which they are not allowed a moment’s escape till the shop is closed. Can it be right to place our boys where they will be slowly murdered? Nor is injury to health the only danger, for, fagged and languid, the young people have no spirit to use aright the late interval after the shutters are put up and the stock cleared away: and therefore amusements which excite the baser feelings seize upon their condition of mind, and drag them down as by an iron chain. We could say a great deal more, but we forbear. There are trades or professions which suggest gambling and drunkenness, and are to be shunned at once, and yet we have known professing Christians offer their children to Moloch by placing them in such occupations. This is sad indeed!

Parents cannot discover much about the internal condition of families in which they place their sons and daughters, but they ought to learn all they can, and act with decision and prudence. A tyrant master can ruin a lad’s temper, break his spirit, and reduce him to a semi-imbecile; on the other hand, a negligent, easy, unscrupulous head of a house can, without intending it, place a thousand temptations in the way of youth, make vice easy, and dishonesty almost inevitable. Dangers lie on all sides, and how can they be avoided? Certainly not by negligence, or leaving the boy to take his chance, as some say.

The hour is critical for the young man, and full of responsibility for those who are his guides; let it be a season of doubly earnest prayer: and let it be postponed a score times sooner than once done in a manner which the Lord would disapprove. The boy’s temperament and character should be studied, and a thousand points taken into the reckoning, and it will be better to endure a dozen sleepless nights to arrive at a right decision, than to judge hastily and repent for a lifetime, and make our child mourn long after we are in our grave. “It is better,” said a statesman. “to spend six millions now in preventing war, than six hundred millions afterwards upon the evil itself”: as to the particular instance to which he referred we may debate upon his statement but the general fact is self-evident, and its moral is exceedingly applicable to the point in hand. Plant a tree carefully if you would have it flourish, and place out your son anxiously if you would see him prosper in the fear of the Lord.


PAUL JOANNE ascribes amazing fertility to the soil of Mentone, and backs his assertions by a story which reads like a legend. He says that a stranger coming to pay a visit to his Mentonese friends stuck his walking-stick into the ground and forgot it. Coming back some days afterwards to seek his cane, he was surprised to and it putting forth leaves and young branches. He declares that the little tree has grown vastly, and is still to be seen in the Rue Saint Michel. We have not seen it, and are afraid that to inquire for it in the aforesaid Rue would raise a laugh at our expense.

We may believe the story or no as we please; but it may serve as an emblem of the way in which those grow who are by grace planted in Christ. All dry and withered like a rod we are thrust into the sacred soil and life comes to us at once, with bud and branch and speedy fruit. Aaron’s rod that budded was not only a fair type of our Lord, but a cheering prophecy of ourselves. Whenever we feel dead and barren let us ask to be buried in Christ afresh, and straightway we shall glorify his name by bearing much fruit. C.H.S.


It is very difficult to write notes of work while one is altogether absent from the scene of action, and pledged to be as quiet as possible; but as our readers expect a little personal gossip we must give it.

We are thankful that no religious papers reach us here, for they are usually the least satisfactory of publications, and certain of them are among the heaviest afflictions of the church of God. Happily we do not here refer to either of the two Baptist papers. We do not at this present know what new heresy has been started during the last month, but we expect to find that “modern thought” has undergone some fresh development, and has produced another batch of falsehoods. When we left we heard on all sides the intelligence that the punishment of sin in the next world would be a mere trifle, and would soon be over, and some even went further and reported that all those who live and die without Christ were to be in due time admitted into glory; perhaps by this time the opinion may have been started that the devil himself is God. We venture no guess upon the subject, for theological hypotheses are now as wild as they are abundant, and no man living can tell where the advanced gentlemen will end. We are glad to get away from the continual smother of their deceitful teachings, and to have our Bible to read by sunlight. The more we turn to that volume the more are we confirmed in the old, creed, and the more certain are we that the modern spirit is deadly to grace, fatal to zeal, and hostile to the truth of God. Our first article will show how we felt when our heart was heavy, and now that we are in brighter spirits our impressions are not less solemn.

The daily papers have been welcome, for they have helped to answer the countless rumors with which from day to day the English colony in this place has been tortured. One day we heard that war was proclaimed, on anther it was only the Russians in Constantinople, and there again our ambassador was recalled from St. Petersburg and all Europe was in a blaze. “Wars and rumors of wars” have been the daily talk, and only by the somewhat greater sobriety of letterpress could we tell where we were. Far away from home report seems more busy than even in London, and it certainly lies at an astonishing rate — fifteen to the dozen, as the old ladies say. Amid all this hurly-burly Christians ought to learn that all the boasted influence of commerce and civilization in causing wars to cease is mere fiction, and that nothing but the kingdom of Christ can drive out the demon of war. We are also called upon to watch for the Lord’s coming: not to prophecy that he will come at once, or begin to cast up figures and guess at dates; but to be ready, because he will surely come when men look not for him. “Wars and rumors of wars” are warnings to keep us from slumber. “Awake, thou that sleepest.”

From home we have received letters from a large number of our students, all of them most pleasing. We cannot help giving an extract from one of them, because it is very much a sample of other testimonies

“I cannot express my gratitude for all the benefits I have received during my two years at the College. It has been a precious two years to my soul: and instead of dryness and barrenness to my soul, as I almost feared, it has been a time of sweet refreshing and joy to my heart. I cannot say what a delight the College prayer meetings have been — times when I could say with the psalmist — ‘My cup runneth over.’ Although as you so kindly told us when first we saw you in the College, that it would take two years to show us what fools we were, is literally true in my case, yet I feel it has made me, if there can be such a thing, an intelligent feel. The last two years have been the happiest in my life, and the College has seemed more of a home than anything else, where it could be truly said, ‘one is our Master, even Christ, and all we are brethren.’ And it has been marvelous to me how much he helps. It seems quite a joy to learn a Greek lesson for Jesus, and even the verb is comparatively easy when learnt with him looking over one’s shoulder.”

Our evangelists, Messrs. Clarke and Smith, have been holding special services at the Tabernacle, and up to the time at which we write they have enjoyed marvelous success. Feb. 11, our good deacon, Mr. Murrell, sent us a telegram announcing a marvelous children’s service on Sabbath afternoon, Feb. 10, with 4,000 children and about 1,000 adults present, although, as the superintendent of the school afterwards informed us, “there was from morning to night nothing but gloom over the whole city, accompanied by dripping rain without intermission, and the streets were ankle deep in mud and slush.” It must, from all accounts, have been a very wonderful occasion.

Wednesday, February 13, brought us another telegram: — “Enthusiastic meetings. Tabernacle full on Tuesday night. Monday largest prayer- meeting ever held in Tabernacle.” This was as oil to our bones, and though rapidly gathering strength it was a better tonic than the wisest physician could have prepared, and none the less efficacious because it contained no trace of bitterness. The Lord’s name be praised that all goes well, and that for us to rest is no loss to his work.

Our beloved brothel J. A S., invaluable at all times, has proved himself a priceless gift from God to us, by bearing all our burden, and throwing all his energies into the work at home while we are forced into the rear rank. The zealous aid of all our officers, and the loving prayers of our own people, and numerous friends, have all worked together to secure us perfect peace of mind, and, by the divine blessing, to lift us up to renewed health.

On Feb. 14 we received a loving letter from our deacons, requesting us to prolong our rest for two weeks more. This is brotherly forethought, and tender love, and we are very grateful to God: and to our brethren, but we hope that one out of the two weeks may suffice. We like to write down and publish these Christian courtesies and deeds of love, because such things are not universal, and there have been cases where pastors have been treated in a very different manner. If we ever die of grief it will not be caused by unhappiness at home or unkindness in the church, unless the whole of our past life should be succeeded by its exact reverse. Our deacons are remarkable men, not only for kindness to their pastor, but for individuality; one of them has preached in our absence on one occasion and made strangers inquire if the deacon preaches like this, what must the pastor be?” Another makes us smile while he writes. “My advice would be, take not only the two weeks, but twelve if necessary. Get thoroughly sound before returning to work, and when you do, take it as easy as you can. My experience has been that seven or eight weeks is not sufficient time to recover after being so thoroughly overworked. It was the case with my old horse, ‘Major,’ a good bit of stuff as ever lived, but too free (very like yourself) would overdo himself if he had the chance, and at last got queer in the legs and giddy in the head. A three months’ run on a suitable soil brought him round wonderfully, and on being sold he fetched the original price.”

The most cheering news has reached us from our son in Australia. He has been preaching incessantly to full houses in the region around Adelaide. Here also is cause for thankfulness. Personally we have experienced special mercy in restoration to health. We seem to get better every five minutes. Mentone is still to us a charming retreat, unsurpassed for its warmth, sunshine, and scenery. Nor must any one imagine that it is a spiritually barren spot; for we have seldom known a more happy fellowship. Here are ministers of Church and Dissent forming a practical Evangelical Alliance, besides esteemed brethren and sisters in Christ of no mean order. M. Delapierre, of the French Church, and his assistant minister and evangelist are doing much, not only for the visitors but also for the Mentonese, and they are always glad to manifest a loving interest in members of ether churches. One could readily work in Mentone as much as at home, for requests to visit the sick, preach, etc., are of constant occurrence. No one who is ill need fear coming to this place under the notion that they will find no friends and no opportunities for usefulness: if they should come here and make that complaint it will be their own fault.

ORPHANAGE. — Mr. Charlesworth’s report is as sweet as it is short. “All well at the Orphanage.”

Chap 15. APRIL, 1878


APRIL, 1878



A FRIEND who was some long time ago prostrated by African fever assures us that he still feels it once a year. The enemy was repulsed in its first assault, but it annually resumes the attack, and will probably do so as long as our friend survives. This curious phenomenon has its parallel in the moral world, for certain evils may be subdued and apparently driven out of a man and yet they return with great fury and resume their former sway. The like is true of races and nations. At intervals the world goes mad and mad in the very same direction in which it had confessed its former insanity, and resolved never to rave again. England, at set seasons, runs wild with the war lunacy, foams at the mouth, bellows out “Rule Britannia,” shows her teeth, and in general behaves herself like a mad creature: then her doctors bleed her, and put her through a course of depletion until she comes to her senses, settles down to her cotton-spinning and shop-keeping, and wonders what could have ailed her. A very few months ago it would have been difficult to discover an apologist for the Crimean war, and yet in this year of grace 1878 we find ourselves surrounded by a furious crowd whose intemperate language renders it almost a miracle that peace yet continues. If they do not desire war, they are mere bullies; but if they do desire it, they certainly go the right way to bring it about.

One stands amazed at the singular change which has come over the populace, who, if they are faithfully represented by their journals, have learned nothing by experience, but long to thrust their burned hand again into the fire. The mistakes of former days should minister to the wisdom of the present generation, for history is a nation’s education; it is, therefore, to the last degree unfortunate when the people relapse into their acknowledged errors, and repeat the blunders of their sires. If our country has been fairly depicted by the advocates for war, its condition is disappointing to the believer in progress, and alarming to the patriot who gazes into the future. We are still pugnacious, still believers in brute force, still ready to shed blood, still able to contemplate ravaged lands and murdered thousands without horror, still eager to test our ability to kill our fellow men. We are persuaded that a large portion of our fellow citizens are clear of this charge, but the noisier if not the more numerous party, clamor for a warlike policy as loudly as if it involved no slaughter, and were rather a boon to mankind than an unmitigated curse. A mysterious argument, founded upon the protection of certain mythical “British interests” is set up as an excuse, but the fact is that the national bull-dog wants to fix his teeth into somebody’s leg, and growls because he does not quite see how to do it. The fighting instinct is asking to be gratified, and waxes violent because it is denied indulgence.

It is cause for gratitude that the cool heads among us are now sufficiently numerous to act as a check upon the more passionate. We are not now all mad at the same time, nor are quite so many bitten by the ban-dog. When last our people barked at the Russian bear, Messrs. Cobden and Bright and a small band of sensible men entered a protest which only enraged the fighting party; but now, thank God, the advocates of peace are heard, and even though abused, their power is felt. They may be unpopular, but they are certainly influential; their opponents have to stand upon the defensive, and exhibit some show of apologetic argument, whereas aforetime they laughed the peace-man to scorn as un-English, fanatical, and idiotic. Though our people have not advanced as we could desire, yet there has been progress, and that of a solid kind. Statesmen are now found who forego considerations of party to obey the higher dictates of humanity; ministers of the gospel now more frequently denounce the crime of carnage and pray for peace; and among the masses there are juster ideas of the lamentable results of war. We are bound to be thankful even for small mercies, and on that ground we rejoice in the faintest sign of advance towards truthful estimates of bloodshed; but we are sorry to temper our rejoicing with a large measure of regret that our fellow countrymen, aye, and fellow Christians are still so far from being educated upon this most important subject. Many who did run well apparently, and were theoretical lovers of peace, lost their heads in the general excitement and went over to the enemy; some of them, fearful lest English prestige, alias British swagger, should suffer; others afraid that Russia, by capturing Constantinople, would block our road to India; and a third class, carried away by unreasoning sympathy with the dominant feeling around them. Times of feverish excitement test our attachment to great principles, and are probably intended by providence to act as a gauge as to their real growth; viewing the past few months in that light, there has been cause for congratulation, but greater reason for regret.

What is the cause of these periodical outbreaks of passion? Why does a peaceful nation bluster and threaten for a few months, and even commence fighting, when in a short time it sighs for peace, and illuminates its streets as soon as peace is proclaimed? The immediate causes differ, but the abiding reason is the same — man is fallen, and belongs to a race of which infallible revelation declares “their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace they have not known.” Wars and fightings arise from the inward lusts of the corrupt heart, and so long as human nature is unrenewed, battles and sieges, wars and rumors of wars will make up the history of nations. Civilized man is the same creature as the savage; he is washed and clothed, but intrinsically he is the same being. As beneath the Russian’s skin you find the Tartar, so the Englishman is the savage Briton, or plundering Saxon, wearing broadcloth made from the wool of the sheep, but with a wild fierce heart within his breast. A prizefight a few years ago excited universal interest, and would do so again if it exhibited gameness and pluck, endurance and mettle. As a race we have these qualities and admire them, and it is idle to deny that if we were unrestrained by education and unrenewed by grace, there is not a man among us but would delight to see, or at least to read of, a fair stand-up fight, whether between fighting men or fighting cocks. We are not cruel, and therefore the brutal contests of Roman gladiators, or the disgusting scenes of Spanish bull-fights, would never be tolerated among us; but we are a fighting nation, and are never better pleased than when we see an exhibition of spirit and courage. Doubtless some good runs side by side with this characteristic of our countrymen, and we are far from wishing to depreciate bravery and valor, but at the same time this is one of the difficulties which the peace advocate must not fail to recognize. A tamer people might more readily adopt our tenets, not from conviction, but from force of circumstances; we find a warrior race slow to learn the doctrine of “peace on earth, good will toward men’: nor may this discourage us, for such a race is worth instructing, and when thoroughly indoctrinated will be mighty to spread abroad the glorious truth. Rome covets England because she knows it to be the center and pivot of the world, and we covet it also for the self-same reason: let Great Britain once declare from her heart that her empire is peace, and the whole earth shall be in a fair way to sit still and be at rest. We are far from this consummation at present, nor need we wonder when we remember the hearts of men and the passions which rage therein, and especially when we note the peculiarly warlike constituents of which our nation is composed. Observe the bold dash of the Irish, the stern valor of the Scotch, the fierce fire of the Welsh, and the dogged resolution of the English, and you see before you stormy elements ready at any time to brew a tempest.

What, then, is to be done? Shall we unite with the clamorous patriots of the hour and sacrifice peace to political selfishness? Or shall we in silence maintain our own views, and despair of their ever being received by our own countrymen? There is no need to take either course: let us believe in our principles, and wait till the present mania comes to an end. We would persuade all lovers of peace to labor perseveringly to spread the spirit of love and gentleness, which is indeed the spirit of Christ, and to give a practical bearing to what else may become mere theory. The fight-spirit must be battled with in all its forms, and the genius of gentleness must be cultivated. Cruelty to animals, the lust for destroying living things, the desire for revenge, the indulgence of anger — all these we must war against by manifesting and inculcating pity, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, and goodness in the fear of the Lord. Children must be trained with meekness and not with passion, and our dealings with our fellow-men must manifest our readiness to suffer wrong rather than to inflict it upon others. Nor is this all: the truth as to war must be more and more insisted, on: the loss of time, labor, treasure, and life must be shown, and the satanic crimes to which it leads must be laid bare. It is the sum of all villainies, and ought to be stripped of its flaunting colors, and to have its bloody horrors revealed; its music should be hushed, that men may hear the moans and groans, the cries and shrieks of dying men and ravished women. War brings out the devil in man, wakes up the hellish legion within his fallen nature, and binds his better faculties hand and foot. Its natural tendency is to hurl nations back into barbarism, and retard the growth of everything good and holy. When undertaken from a dire necessity, as the last resource of an oppressed people, it may become heroic, and its after results may compensate for its immediate evils; but war wantonly undertaken, for self-interest, ambition, or wounded pride is evil, only evil, and that continually. It ought not to be smiled upon as a brilliant spectacle, nor talked of with a light heart; it is a fitter theme for tears and intercessions. To see a soldier a Christian is a joy; to see a Christian a soldier is another matter. We may not judge another man, but we may discourage thoughtless inclinations in the young and ignorant. A sweeping condemnation would arouse antagonism, and possibly provoke the very spirit we would allay; while quiet and holy influence may sober and ultimately overcome misdirected tendencies. Many of our bravest soldiers are on the side of peace, and in the present crisis have spoken out more boldly on the right side than we might reasonably have expected of them. This must be duly acknowledged and taken into account, and we must speak accordingly, Rash advocates mar the cause they love, and this also is not to be wondered at, since a portion of the same fighting nature is in them also, and leads them to be furious for peace, and warlike on behalf of love. The temptation to fight Christ’s battles with the devil’s weapons comes upon us all at times, and it is not marvelous that men speak of “fighting Quakers,” and “bigots for liberality.” We must guard our own spirits, and not lend ourselves to the service of strife by bitter contentions for peace; this, we fear, has not always been remembered, and the consequences have been more lamentable than would at first sight appear: opponents have been needlessly created, and prejudices have been foolishly confirmed. Let us profit by all the mistakes of zealots, and at the same time let us not become so extremely prudent as to lose all earnestness. The cause is a good one, let us urge it onward with blended rigor and discretion.

Seeing that the war-spirit is not slain, and only at the best wounded, we must in quiet times industriously inculcate the doctrines of peace. The work begun must be deepened and made more real, and where nothing has been taught we must begin in real earnest. It is wise to keep the evil spirit down when it is down. We had better shear its locks while it sleeps, for if once the giant awakes it snaps all arguments as Samson broke the new ropes. As a drunkard should be reasoned with in his sober intervals, and not when he is in liquor, so must our nation be instructed in peace when its fit of passion is over, and not when it is enraged. Have we well and wisely used the period since the last great war? Perhaps not: and it may be that the late ebullition has come to warn us, lest we beguile ourselves into the false notion that a millennium has commenced, and dream that men are about to beat their spears into pruning-hooks. Peace teaching, which is but another name for practical gospel teaching, must be incessant, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” must resound from our pulpits, and be practiced in our homes. “Let us love one another, for love is of God,” must be more in our hearts and lives. Above all we must evangelize the masses, carry the truth of the loving God to their homes, preach Jesus and his undying love in their streets, and gather men to his fold. All soul-saying work is a blow at the war-spirit. Make a man a Christian and he becomes a lover of his race; instruct him, and he becomes ashamed of blows and battles; sanctify him, and he sweetens into an embodiment of love. May the Holy Ghost do such work on all sides among our countrymen, and we shall see their outbursts of rage become less frequent and less violent, for there will be a strong counteracting influence to keep down the evil, and to restrain it when in a measure it breaks loose.


IT is to be feared that an immense amount of time and money is wasted in these days upon mere schemes. The clergy are ready to rely upon everything rather than upon the substantial claims of their message. One party takes to new dresses, banners, and processions; another to penny readings, political lectures, and concerts. They change from one thing to another day by day, and the result is only a weary waste of their own time and the creation of a certain amount of social feeling, which might equally be produced without the supernatural influence of the church and religion. Religious truths, if they are what they are believed to be, cannot need all this trivial machinery to recommend them; and religious convictions, which are to be of any value, must be produced and maintained by more simple and permanent means, If we may judge by the history of the church, both in early and modern times, a man of true religious feeling needs nothing but a room and a Bible, in order to produce the greatest results. The one thing essential is not new plans, new experiments, and daily changes, but a belief in the power of the permanent truths of the Christian religion, and a devotion to these and to these alone. — The Times.


SPEAKING of that enormous mountain peak known as the Matterhorn, which is the universal admiration of Alpine travelers, a writer says that the materials of which it is composed are remarkable, and he goes on to give us the following description: “Few architects would like to build with them. The slope of the rocks to the north-west is covered two feet deep with their ruins, a mass of loose and slaty shale, of a dull red brick color, which yields beneath the feet like ashes, so that, in running down, you step one yard and slide three. The rock is indeed hard beneath, but still disposed in thin coarses of these cloven shales, so timely laid that they look in places more like a heap of crushed autumn leaves titan a rock, and the first sensation is one of un-mitigated surprise, as if the mountain were upheld by miracle; but surprise becomes more intelligent reverence for the Great Builder when we find, in the middle of the mass of these dead leaves, a course of living rock, of quartz as white as the snow that encircles it, and harder than a bed of steel. It is only one of a thousand iron bands that knit the strength of the mighty mountain. Through the buttress and the wall alike the courses of its varied masonry are seen in their successive order, smooth and true as if laid by line and plummet, but of thickness and strength continually varying, and with silver cornices glittering along the edge of each, laid by the snowy winds and carved by the sunshine.”

Now, all this suggests a parable. The church of God, that glorious mountain of his habitation, is apparently built of very frail materials. The saints are, to all appearance more like “a heap of crushed autumn leaves than a rock,” and beneath the feet of tyrants and persecutors they seem to yield like ashes; and yet the church defies the storm and towers aloft, the obelisk of the truth, the eternal pillar of almighty grace. Faith, with eagle gaze perceives the thousand iron bands which prevent the disintegration of the mass, and the central foundation harder than a bed of steel upon which the colossal fabric rests. The church abideth for ever: infinite love, faithfulness, and power sustain her, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. C. H. S.


A CERTAIN growling critic affirms that we make too much of the Tabernacle and its affairs. This is a sin which we fear he is never likely to commit towards any good work. It may suffice us to say that our pages from month to month prove that our sympathies extend to every form of holy service in all Christian denominations. Those notes are specially intended to set forth our own portion of the work which is done for our Lord, and we cannot see any objection to their being so occupied. Other agencies and communities have their own organs and reports, and this is ours; and if we keep very much to home affairs, our friends are, we find, all the better pleased. The Lord is making much of our work, and though we have passed through, great personal trial he is blessing us mere than ever and raising n p princely friends to help us; therefore the growler may growl on.

The weekly religious papers have already given full accounts of the remarkable work of grace which has been going on at the Tabernacle during the pastor’s absence, and therefore we will not repeat stale news; but we must at least declare our grateful praise and cry, “What hath God wrought?” A very gracious influence is upon our church and people. The believers around us are, evidently greatly quickened, which is a most important point; and all are on the lock out for souls, which is equally a matter to rejoice in. Love and unity are conspicuous, as will as joyful energy. Our evangelists, Messrs. Clarke and Smith, have done a noble work among us; and let the Lord be glorified for it. They have gone to Newcastle-under-Lyne, and are having marvelous times. Everywhere we trust they will now find open doors, for they are worthy. On our return the crowds were almost terrible; two Tabernacles might have been readily filled on the first Sabbath. The eagerness to hear was remarkable, even for a place where crowding is constant. We have always been heartily welcomed when returning from a vacation, but never so warmly as on this occasion. Every outward token showed that the people were joyous not because of mere natural feeling, but because they had been aroused and awakened, and were hungering to hear the Word of Life from the lips which have fed them in former times.

On Monday evening, March 18, the new converts, more than four hundred in number, were invited to tea together with the evangelistic choir and the singers. What a happy meeting it was! We were all overjoyed. Then came the great prayer-meeting at 7. The Tabernacle was almost entirely filled, and both praying and singing were carried on with a spirit and enthusiasm such as, even among our naturally warm-hearted people, we have never seen excelled. Eighty-four had been added to the church on the previous Sabbath, and this encouraged us to look for greater things.

COLLEGE. The College has largely shared in the visitation of grace with which the Lord has favored us. A whole day of prayer was kept by the men in preparation for the services, and then all threw themselves into the work with the utmost zest. Many of the students had the great privilege of leading individuals to Jesus by personal conversation, and nothing can better conduce to joyful encouragement than such blessed success. To be in union with a living church is a great part if a young minister’s training, and to be actually engaged with inquirers is a splendid preparation for after service. All goes well with the College; and those friends who have helped us in this our well-beloved work would be rewarded a thousand times could they hear a tenth part of the good news which often gladdens our heart. We do not make too much of this work; we have never spoken of it as we might have done, for we prefer to leave it to speak for itself. We do have failures, and some men who were very hopeful turn out to be weak; but can it be otherwise while we have to deal with imperfect beings? Those who are mighty soul-winners, and these are not a few, shall be our advocates. Our only desire is to send out men who will hold to the old faith, and preach it with some measure of intelligence, and above all with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. How far the Lord has made the effort a success eternity will reveal, and we await the verdict without fear. Meanwhile, we are having such sweet letters from our men in foreign lands that we brush the tears from our eyes to see how they love us, and how they love the gospel, for which we would live and die. There are some four hundred of the men preaching now; God bless every one.

The following account from our former student, Mr. Gammon, now an agent of the Baptist Missionary Society, will interest our readers, and show that our College men are doing a good work in foreign lands.

“Puerto Plata, San Domingo,
West Indies, Feb. 22, 1878.

“My dear President, — My report for last year, whilst being very far from what I could wish, is a slight improvement on the previous one; we have baptized forty-nine persons, on a profession of their faith in Christ, at the different stations, and there have been but few cases calling for exclusion from the church.

“With regard to my new work in San Domingo, so far, it has been very rough and discouraging; however, the small church we have formed has given us some encouragement, and the few members we have are very faithful to their duties; several months of the short period during which we have been resident in Peurto Plata, have been taken up by revolutions.

“On Sunday, January 13th, we opened our new Iron Chapel, seating four hundred persons, but that very morning fighting commenced in town, and since then — five weeks — very little has been done besides visiting the sick and wounded. I have keen obliged to send my wife and child away, for from the beginning of the year we have been surrounded by the rebels; and often just as one sits down to write or study the firing will commence. and all work is over for the time being. When it will end we cannot tell, for both the Government and the rebels seem determined to hold out. We are in a very unpleasant position, for our houses are of wood, and the Remington rifle balls go through them like paper. Many rencombatants have thus been wounded and killed by stray balls. There are about forty wounded soldiers in the hospital now, and they very eagerly received the Spanish tracts and books which we give them. I should be very glad if some kind friend at the Tabernacle would send me a supply of tracts, but especially of your sermons, both in English and Spanish for distribution among the people; my poor, weak voice cannot be heard everywhere, but these silent messengers of the gospel may prepare the way for me, and even do the work I am unable personally to accomplish; any parcel of books sent to the Baptist Mission House, under care of Mr. Baynes, will be forwarded to me by him. This is the port from which most of the people from the interior ship their tobacco, mahogany, etc., which is brought in by them on horses so that it is plain what an amount of good might be done by giving them SPANISH tracts, gospels, and Testaments.

“Hoping to be able to give you a much better and more detailed account next year,

“I remain, my dear President
Yours very sincerely,

The news from our son, Thomas Spurgeon, in Australia, continues to be of the most delightful character. The exciting kindness of friends is almost more than we dare to think upon; we thank the brethren in the various colonies, one and all. Brightest of all to our heart is the fact, that from various quarters we hear of conversions which probably our dear son has not been informed of. Christians at home tell us of sons and brothers abroad who write to say that they have been brought to the Savior by hearing our son’s sermons. A grand presentation at Adelaide has evidently touched Tom’s heart as it has done ours. Mixed with it all the father and mother at home get their share of loving remembrance from friends. Things of this sort come to us, and as they are genuine words, though we do not feed worthy of them we must give a specimen: —

“Ballarat Ministers’ Association,
November, 1877.

“Resolved unaminously, — That in giving a hearty welcome to Mr. Thomas Spurgeon, on the occasion of his visit to Ballarat, the Association would avail themselves of the opportunity thus afforded of putting on record their deep sense of the services rendered by his father, the Rev, C. H. Spurgeon, to the cause of Christ throughout the world, and not least to Victoria, through the influence of his printed sermons: their hope that the father may be long spared as a watchman on the towers of Zion: and their earnest; prayer that the son may prove worthy of so noble a sire, and may be increasingly blessed as a worker for God”

We have had so many of these kind messages that we might appear to be indifferent to them if we did not take some public notice of them. We have needed them all, and each one has come opportunely. In times of sickness and depression of spirit the Lord often employs human sympathy as a cordial and restorative, and we have found it so. Generous aid to our work, and affectionate words of thanks, have often made labor light and suffering endurable.

ORPHANAGE. Our friends will have read Mr. G. D. Evans’ interesting paper as to the orphans’ visit to the west. Everyone seems to receive our orphans kindly, and we thank them. The beloved lady who founded the Orphanage should be remembered in our prayers. May she enjoy in her own heart the Lord’s gracious smile as she sees her substance accepted by him and used to his glory.

Mr. Latimer, the first youth from the Orphanage to enter the College, has passed through his course of instruction with great satisfation to us all, and now settles at Willingham, Cambs, with the unanimous and hearty vote of the church and congregation. This is a noteworthy fact in our Orphanage history. Another Orphanage student is now in the College, and very many are in positions of respectability and trust. The condition of the Orphanage is good.

Our valued friend, Mr. Vickery, who so generously presented the Orphanage with a very handsome drinking fountain, desires us to mention that it was manufactured by Messrs. W. and T. Allen & Co.. 2, Somerset Buildings, Lambeth Hill London, E.C. It certainly does great credit to the firm.

The Post Office authorities have not removed our residence but they have altered our postal description. All moneys and letters sent to us should be directed, C. H. Spurgeon, Nightingale Lane, Balham. It is more convenient to us to have letters so addressed than to have them sent to the Tabernacle. If sums of money fail to be promptly acknowledged we should be glad if friends would write us at once, for some mistake may have occurred, and by a timely notice it may he rectified. Friends writing about matters which do not concern us, but are merely for their own information, should not expect us to pay postage: it is growing to be a heavy tax. A large part of our daily toil arises from letters which ought not to be written, but which we try to answer, and do answer, as a rule, though it makes life a slavery. If postal labor increase, as they threaten to do, it may come to this, that, courtesy or no courtesy, we shall have to decline answering; for life is not long enough for us to be perpetually writing explanations of hard texts, giving names of books, replying to people seeking situations, refusing requests for loans of money which we cannot spare, answering questions upon degrees of affinity, church government, medicine for gout, hotels at Mentone, and so on ad infinitum. Certain people never seem happy until they have a pen in their hand with which to torture a public man. It will be needful in self-defense to declare that we will answer nobody unless they have a right to an answer, and this implies that the letter is short, sensible, about some important matter, and has a stamp enclosed. If a man asks me a question in the street, and I am to pay a penny if I reply to him, he cannot reasonably expect me to answer unless he pays the penny himself; why then should a person be expected, to pay a penny for the great privilege of giving advice gratis, for which he uses his own stationery and gets no thanks? Letters which are to the purpose shall always have a reply, but we cannot promise to answer every epistle; indeed, we do not intend to do so much as we have done in that direction.

COLPORTAGE. The Secretary sends us the following report: — “The Report of the Colportage Work, which we have now to offer, is most encouraging; and will, we trust, stimulate others to help us in a still further extension of this valuable and economical agency. Since the end of December, 1877, no fewer than thirty additional agents have been added to the staff of the Association, and are now actively engaged working in new districts. Through the liberality of two most generous and tried friends of Colportage all these districts have been commenced with a lower rate of subscription from local friends than we usually require, which is £40 a year. But this has been done in the full hope that during the first year the work will so commend itself, that Christian friends in the district will become sufficiently interested to subscribe the full amount for the second year. About ninety of our agents are now at work in England and Wales. Will friends remember them in prayer? Ninety godly men all day long traveling from street to street, and from door to door in our towns and villages, sowing the seed of God’s word, by the printed page, by the pointed appeal, and by the daily life. More than a hundred pounds worth of Bibles and Testaments alone are sent out every month, besides Bible parts and a variety of religious periodicals and books, and sound, instructive publications. Help is much needed just now to provide the Colporteurs with a sufficient and suitable supply of Tracts for gratuitous circulation. Many Christians have not much time to distribute tracts; here are ninety distributors at hand, whom they can supply with gospel messages. Parcels will be thankfully received and acknowledged if sent to the depot, and dressed to Mr. W. Corden Jones, Seceretary, Colportage Association, Pastors’ College, Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, S.E. Subscriptions or donations for this purpose, or for the General Fund, will be duly acknowledged in The Sword and the Trowel. The Annual Meeting will (D.V.) be held early in May, when, as usual, several of the Colporteurs will give an account of their work, and the Annual Report will be issued.”

Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle by Mr. J. A. Spurgeon: — March 4th, twenty-one; 7th, twelve; 11th, eleven; 14th, eighteen.

Chap 16. MAY, 1878.


MAY, 1878.



“Yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.” — Isaiah 29:5.

“The Lord sent out a great wind into the sea.” — Jonah 1:4.

ABOUT four o’clock in the afternoon of Lord’s-day, March 24th, the inhabitants of London were startled by a sudden hurricane which all at once brought with it darkening clouds of dust, and for a short season raged furiously. Sitting in our study in quiet meditation we were aroused and alarmed by the noise of doors and windows, and the terrible howling of the blast as it swept upon its headlong course. Unhappy were travelers across heath and moor who were overtaken by such an overwhelming gust, for it gave no warning, and allowed no time to seek a shelter. It was soon over, but it was followed by cold and dreary weather, and it would seem to have been a token that winter meant to make another struggle to assume his ancient throne. His Parthian arrow was driven forward with intense force and left its mark in ruin and death.

Just at the moment when landsmen were terrified by the threatening storm, her Majesty’s training ship “Eurydice,” which had returned from a cruise to the West Indies, was rounding Dunnose headland, off the Isle of Wight, with all plain sails, and also her studding sails set. Those on board were all naturally anxious to reach their homes, and having only to round the coast and to anchor off Spithead, they were making the best of the wind. The noble frigate was plainly seen from the lovely village of Shanklin; but one who was watching the fine vessel suddenly missed it and wondered why. She was hastening along with all sails set except her royals, and her ports open, when in a moment the fierce wind pounced upon her. It was in vain that the captain ordered sail to be shortened; the ship lurched till her keel was visible, and in less time than it takes us to write it the ship capsized, and more than three hundred brave seamen perished. Well might her Majesty’s telegram speak of “the terrible calamity of the ‘Eurydice.’” What mourning and lamentation had that one cruel blast scattered over the hind! How swift is the swoop of death! How stealthy its step! How terrible its leap! In the midst of life we are on the verge of the sepulcher. This lesson is preached to us by those three hundred men who lie enshrouded in the alldevouring sea, with a gallant ship as their mausoleum.

“Toll for the brave!
The brave that are no more!
All sunk beneath the wave,
Fast by their native shore!”

Great is the peril of the ocean, but there are also dangers on the land, and at any moment we also may be summoned to appear before our God. Since this cannot be questioned, let each prudent man foresee the evil and prepare himself for it.

Another lesson which lies upon the surface of this sad event is this — never feel perfectly safe till you are in port. Many awakened souls are almost within the haven of peace, and are at this time rounding the headland of thoughtfulness, with the sails of earnest inquiry all displayed to the breeze. Their condition is very hopeful but it is not satisfactory to those who are anxious about their eternal welfare, nor should it be satisfactory to themselves. They are steering for the harbor, they enjoy favoring winds, they have all sails set, but still they have net quite believed in Jesus, nor surrendered themselves to his grace. We who watch them can see that their ports are open, and we dread lest they should be overtaken by a sudden temptation and should suddenly be overturned at the very moment when our hopes are at their best. Is the reader in such case? Then let us beseech him not to be content till he has found Christ and so by faith has anchored in the harbor of “eternal salvation.” Do not be happy, dear friend, till you are moored to the Rock of Ages, under the lee of the everlasting hills of divine mercy, through the stoning blood. It seems very wonderful that a ship which had been to sea so many times and had just completed a long winter’s cruise in safety should at last go down just off the coast in a place where danger seemed out of the question. It is doubly sad that so many men should be within sight of a shore upon which they must never set their foot. To perish in mid ocean seems not so hard a lot as to die with the white cliffs of Albion so near: to die with the gospel ringing in our cars is still more sad. Never reckon the ship safe till it floats in the haven: never reckon a soul safe till it is actually “in Christ.” The “almost persuaded” are often the last to be fully persuaded. Aroused, impressed, and moved to good resolutions, to tears, and even to prayers, yet men postpone decision, and by the force of Satan’s arts are lost, — lost when we all hoped to see them saved. O that seekers were wise enough to be distressed until they are thoroughly renewed. Any position short of regeneration is perilous in the extreme. The manslayer would have been cut down by the avenger had he lingered outside the walls of the refuge-city; it would have been all in vain for him to have touched its stones or sheltered near its towers: he must be within the gates or die. Seekers after salvation, you are not safe till you actually close in with Jesus, place all your confidence in him and become for ever his. Shall it be so now, or will you abide in death? Rest not an hour. Trifle not for another moment; for death may seize you, or a spiritual lethargy may come over your soul from which you may never again be aroused. Give no sleep to your eyes nor slumber to your eyelids till your anchor has entered into that within the veil and you are saved in Christ Jesus.

A further lesson should be gleaned from the scant wreckage which as yet has floated up from the sunken vessel. Let us all take warning, and remember that we cannot tell when fierce temptation may assail us.

“Be watchful, be vigilant, danger may be
At an hour when all seemeth securest to thee.”

As the wind bloweth where it listeth, and we cannot tell whence it cometh, our want of foresight keeps us in constant jeopardy, and should therefore induce unceasing watchfulness. The gale may burst upon us either from the north or from the south, and if we make ready for an easterly breeze we may be assailed from the westward instead. He who has sailed upon the sea never trusts it; he who has been at the mercy of the wind never depends upon it.

Beloved believer, you have had a long stretch of fair sailing; let a brother whisper in your ear, “keep a good look-out.” Those who are familiar with spiritual navigation know that there is never more likelihood of storm than when the barometer stands at “set fair.”

“Whene’er becalm’d I lie,
And storms forbear to toss;
Be thou, dear Lord, still nigh,
Lest I should suffer loss:
Far more the treacherous calm I dread
Than tempests bursting o’er my head.”

The danger of a foreseen tempest is comparatively little, for your ship with close-reefed sails, and bare poles, is ready for whatever comes; but the perils of the calm lie in the temptation to security, and the liability that sudden temptation may find us unprepared. “What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch”: for if the good captain of the ship had known at what hour the storm would come he would have lowered all his sails, and have weathered the gale. He did all that a brave man could do, but all was little enough, for the huge ship was tossed over and sucked down, and but two remained to tell the tale. Be ye always ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the danger will be upon you.

One other warning let us collect from the wreck while yet it lies beneath the wave. Always be most afraid of sudden temptation when all sails are filled with a fair wind. Personal experience teaches some of us that our gladdest times attract perils to us. The temper of the placid may readily be ruffled when they have newly come from solitary communion with God: the rude shock of the world’s rough speech tells most upon a mind which has been bathed in heaven. Even the love of Jesus may lead us in the heat of our spirit to wish that we could invoke fire from heaven on his foes. Great power in prayer, unless we guard ourselves well, may be followed by a fit of depression, even as Elijah fled from Jezebel very soon after his wrestlings upon Carmel. High and rapt enjoyment may be followed by fierce temptation, for the enemy watches for loaded vessels when he allows the empty bark to escape. Even our Lord found but a short interval between the testimony from heaven at his baptism and the temptation from hell which beset trim in the wilderness. Our full sails tempt the prince of the power of the air to rage with more than his usual malignity. It is right that, all sail should be set when the wind is favorable. Why should we not avail ourselves of everything which may speed us on our way? Still, let us never forget to watch unto prayer, or our happiness may be our danger. Brother, mark well your steps in coming down from the mount of communion, for at the foot of it you may meet mocking Pharisees, dispirited disciples, and perhaps one possessed of an evil spirit of the kind which goeth not out save with prayer and fasting.

Let the self-exalting professor specially beware; but remember, dear brother, that you may soon become such a character. When your sails are big with the wind, and you are flying over the waves, clap your hands if you please and hope soon to have perfected your voyage, but take care to have all hands ready for an emergency. Perhaps one of the best things that could happen to you would be that when you are sailing along so bravely, confident and at ease, your topsails of pride should be carried away; you would be all the better for losing such lofty gear. Plenty of ballast must be stowed away or our royals may be our ruin. Better have our glory rent to ribbons by the gusts than for the ship itself to be blown over. Mark this.

Are you prospering in business? Keep your eye on the weather, and do not flatter yourself that you will never be moved. Is all going well with your family? Be grateful, but rejoice with trembling. Is every desire gratified? Thank God, but do not fold your arms, or suffer the watch to go below. Are you progressing wonderfully in the spiritual life? Doubtless Satan has told you that you are somebody now, strong in faith, exceedingly earnest, wonderfully busy, and altogether an example to others! Do you not see that the storm-fiend is near you, and do you not know what a wind he can raise? Remember how he slew Job’s children by a wind which smote all the four corners of the house. He saves up those four-cornered hurricanes for men in high estate as Job was; therefore beware Brother, take in those sails, for the weather is very gusty just now and cannot be relied on for five minutes. As you would dread shipwreck, cultivate a holy jealousy, maintain godly fear, and evermore look to him that keepeth Israel. He never slumbers nor sleeps, for he knows that his children always need his watchful eye.


“Reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war.” Job 38:23.

ON the evening of April 1st, the Lord Chancellor read a message from the Queen, stating that

“Her Majesty has thought it right to communicate to the House of Lords that her Majesty is about to cause her Reserve Force and her Militia Reserve Force, or such part thereof as her Majesty shall think necessary to be forthwith called out for permanent service.”

Might not some such message from the King, who is in the midst of Zion, be just now very seasonable, if the Holy Spirit should convey it to all the churches? There should be no reserves in the hosts of the Lord; but alas, through the lukewarm condition of many, these reserves form a numerous part of our membership, and need a great many calls from their officers before they will obey. Perhaps if they felt that the King himself ordered that they should be “forthwith called out for permanent service,” the love of Christ would constrain them, and we should see them marching forth to war. “I pray thee have me excused” has been upon their lips for a long time, or else they have said, “I go, sir,” but they have not gone. The word of Moses to the children of Gad and Reuben is exceedingly needed by many at this time, “Shall your brethren go to war, and ye sit still?” The reserved forces are so terribly numerous as compared with the active army of our great King that our holy war is sadly hindered and the Canaanites are not subdued. Among these inactive professors there are many who are commonly known as “very reserved people.” These must no longer sit at ease, but must summon up courage enough to come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty, lest the curse of Meroz fall upon them. Others are idle, and allow their armor and their weapons to rust. Many are busy here and there about inferior things, but forget their allegiance to their Lord. Very much time, talent, and opportunity is held in reserve for various reasons, and ought at once to be brought forth and consecrated actively to the Lord. What meanest thou, O sleeper? What aileth thee, O sluggard? There is much to be done, why doest thou not thy part? Every man has a place appointed him in the battle, what excuse can be accepted for those who are at ease in Zion, and stir not a hand for their Master and his cause. Nor is it in men alone that a sinful reserve is made, but great treasures of gold and silver belonging to Christians are laid by to canker while the Lord hath need of them. Men talk of loving Jesus so as to give him all, and in their hymns they say that if they might make some reserve, and duty did not call, their zeal would lead them to a total sacrifice, and yet the financial reserve of the church of God is probably a hundred times as great as that which is expended in the Lord’s service. Your own judgments will confirm this statement. The funds actually in the hands of professed believers are immense, for many Christians are enormously rich, and yet we hear daily appeals for money, till one might conclude that all professors of the Christian faith were poor as Lazarus, and that nowadays no holy women were able to minister to the Lord of their substance, and such persons as Joseph of Arimathaea were no longer disciples of Jesus.

There is a great deal of reserve time, and reserve talent, and reserve energy and fire, and we would in the name of Jesus call it all out. Why, some men when engaged in the service of God seem to be only the tenth part of men compared with their zeal in their business pursuits. It would take nine of some church members to make one real praying man, and twice that number of some preachers to make a downright earnest minister of the gospel. Is this judgment too severe? Are not some men mere apologies for workers, even when they do pretend to be up and at it? Verily it is so. Oh, if they would but be aroused; if all their manhood, all their heart, and soul, and mind, and strength, were truly engaged, how differently they would act; and if they sought strength from on high, what grand results would follow! I long to see the Holy Spirit filling us all with ardor, and causing every man and woman among us to yield himself or herself fully unto the Lord.

When the reserves are called out matters look very serious, and we expect to see war. Every lover of peace shuddered as he read the Queen’s message, for he felt that at last war was really threatened. God grant it may not be so. But with regard to the church of Christ, when the reserves are called out, the world believes that it really means war for Christ. At present the world despises many a church for its inactivity, but when all Christians come forth it will know that we are in earnest. While the regular workers are marching to and fro like a standing army going through its regular drill, very little is done beyond mere defense, but when the reserves are called out, it means defiance, and the gauntlet is thrown to the foe. Our Lord would have us fight the good fight of the faithful, and go forth in his name conquering and to conquer, but the elect host is hampered and hindered by the suffers and camp-followers who hang about us and work us serious ill. If all this mixed multitude could be drilled into warriors, what a band would the Son of David lead to the war! Once get the reserved members of this church praying, working, teaching, giving, and the enemy would soon know that there is a God in Israel. These is too much playing at religion nowadays, and too little of intense, unanimous, enthusiastic hard work. A part of the church is all alive, but a far larger portion is as a body of death, by which the life of the church is held in bondage. Once find the whole body tingling with life from head to foot, from heart to finger, and then you shall have power over the adversary and prevalence with God. When all the people shout for joy and long for the battle, the Philistines will be afraid, and cry out, saying, “God has come into the camp.” O that my eyes could once perceive the signal! Zion travailing is the sign by which those who know the times will be able to prophecy concerning Zion triumphant. O for the universal agony, the inward throes of deep compassion and consuming zeal; for when these are felt by the whole body, the joyous hour is come.

The Queen’s message reminds me of a great and comforting truth. God himself, blessed be his name, has forces in reserve which he will call forth in due time. Remember the Lord’s own language in the book of Job: “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hall, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against; the day of battle and war?” He represents himself in the language of his servant Joel, as calling out innumerable locusts as a part of his host: “The Lord shall utter his voice before his army; for his camp is very great.” The hiding of his power we cannot estimate, but we know that nothing is impossible to him. Whatever the church may have seen and experienced of divine power there is yet more in reserve, and when the fit moment shall come all restraint shall be withdrawn, and the eternal forces shall be let loose to rout every foe-man, and secure an easy victory. For the moment our great Captain puts his hand into his bosom and allows the enemy to exult, but he is not defeated, nor is he in the least disquieted. “He shall not fail, nor be discouraged.” His time is not yet, but when the time comes he will be found to have his reward with him and his work before him. Let us never be daunted by the apparent failures of the cause of God and truth, for these are but the trial of patience, the test of valor, and the means to a grander victory. Pharaoh defies Jehovah while he sees only two Hebrews and a rod, but he will be of another mind when the Lord’s reserves shall set themselves in battle array and discharge plague upon plague against him. Even the doubling of the tale of bricks, and the wanton cruelty of the tyrant, all wrought towards the divine end, and were no real hindrances to the grand design; nay they were reserved forces by which the Lord made his people willing to leave Goshen and the fleshpots.

Today, also, the immediate present is dark, and there is room for sad forebodings; but if we look a little further, and by faith behold the brilliant future which will arise out of the gloom, we shall be of good cheer. My eye rests at this moment somewhat sorrowfully upon the battle field of religious opinion; truly, there is much to rivet my gaze. It is a perilous moment. The prince of darkness is bringing up his reserves. The soldiers of the devil’s old guard, on whom he places his chief reliance, are now rushing like a whirlwind upon our ranks. They threaten to carry everything before them, deceiving the very elect, if it be possible. Never were foes more cunning and daring. They spare nothing however sacred, but assail the Lord himself: his book they criticize, his gospel they mutilate, his wrath they deny, his truth they abhor. Of confused noise and vapor of smoke there is more than enough; but it will blow over in due time, and when it is all gone we shall see that the Lord reigneth, and his enemies are broken in pieces.

Let us watch for the coming of recruits divinely prepared. Let us be eager to see the reserves as they come from the unlikeliest quarters. There may be sitting even now by some cottage fireside, all unknown, the man who shall make the world ring again with the gospel, preaching it with apostolic power. The orthodox advocate, born to cope with subtle minds and unravel all their sophistries, may even now be receiving his training in yonder parish school; yea, and even in the infidel camp, like Moses in the palace of Pharaoh, there may dwell the youth who shall act the iconoclast towards every form of skepticism. Jabin and Sisera may reign, but there shall come a Deborah from mount Ephraim, and a Barak from Kedeshnaphtali. Let the Midianites tremble, for Gideon who threshes wheat in the wine-press will yet beat them small. The Ammonites shall be smitten by Jephtha, and the Philistines by Samson; for every enemy there shall be a champion, and the Lord’s people shall do great exploits. I for one believe in Omnipotence. All other power is weakness, in God alone is there strength. Men are vanity, and their thoughts shall perish; but God is everlasting and everliving, and the truth which hangs upon his arm, like a golden shield, shall endure to all eternity. Hither come we, then, and bow before the face of the Eternal, who reserveth wrath for his enemies and mercy for them that seek hire; and as we lie at his feet we look up right hopefully, and watch for the moment when all his reserves of grace, and love, and glory shall be revealed to the adoring eyes of his chosen people world without end. C.H. S.




“DEAR MR. EDITOR,” said a coaxing voice the other morning, “do you think you could find room in next month’s magazine for a few further particulars, telling how the dear boy gets on in Australia?” “Foolish little mother,” says the Editor, putting on as solemn a face as he knows how, “do you think people care to hear anything about your boy?” “No, perhaps not,” says the voice demurely, “but they think ever so much of your boy, and . . . and God is so good to him and to us.”

“That he is!” comes from the depths of the father’s heart. “Well, we’ll see,” presently replies the Editor; “have you there some extracts from his letters?” “Yes,” (this very meekly), “they are woven together in rather a rough fashion, but friends are so indulgent, and ‘Good news from a far country’ was received so warmly and drew forth so much tender sympathy that, instead of fearing criticism, one longs to renew the sweet experience of touching such harmonious chords. Will you please let it pass the editorial chair?” What was that dear Editor to do, good reader? Surely he will be pardoned for having said “Yes,” and placing before his friends a record which aims simply and only at magnifying God’s mercy and tender care over one of his little ones.

The thread of the story is taken up where Mr. Bunning laid it down on their return from the Bush.

Mr. Bunning’s charming paper “Out in the Bush” leaves nothing more to be said about that journey, except that the kindness received by our dear son from the master and owner of Quambatook has deeply touched our hearts, and will be remembered with the warmest gratitude and love while life shall last.

Returning to Melbourne he renewed the busy life which has been habitual to him since he set foot in the colonies, preaching continually, attending meetings, traveling hither and thither to help some struggling cause, and everywhere receiving a genial welcome and a full share of that splendid hospitality which flourishes so grandly on Australian shores. “All the people are so kind and friendly,” he says, “that you have not been in their society for half an hour before you feel quite at home with them.” A visit to Kyneton, a stay at St. Kilda, a few days at Pt. Henry, “where we did enjoy ourselves,” and then he is away to Adelaide, of which place and its people we will allow him to speak for himself.

“I am writing from Adelaide, a much quieter and smaller place than Melbourne, and therefore in some respects preferable. Friends are as numerous and as kind in South Australia as in Victoria, and I anticipate a very pleasant stay. We are located in a splendid house, situated among the hills, commanding a view of Adelaide, the sea beyond, and the peninsula beyond that. Host and hostess are kindness personified, and we have everything that heart can wish. My first Sabbath here, Nov. 18, was indeed a happy time. I preached the anniversary sermons of the Norwood Baptist Chapel (Mr. Lambert’s) and once again had the pleasure and honor of telling the way to heaven. The place is comparatively small and was densely packed, the ample lobbies and vestries being both morning and evening crowded with eager listeners. Not expecting to have to preach twice, I had nothing prepared for evening service, and did not feel justified in delivering an old sermon. Then I found the Lord to be ‘a very present help,’ and more than I have ever done before I realized that the ‘Spirit helpeth our infirmities.”

The first Sabbath in Adelaide was succeeded by a week which he describes as “teeming with mercy and full of blessing.” Monday night was devoted to a meeting at Flinders-street Chapel (Mr. Silas Mead’s), and Tuesday to a tea and public meeting in Norwood Baptist Chapel. Then on Wednesday his kind friends planned an excursion which gave him much pleasure, and is thus described “we drove to the very top of Mount Lofty, nearly 3,000 feet high, and pic-nic’d there. Lovely scenery delighted us as we ascended. Rugged chasms and steep gullies opened up as we wound round the hills by easy gradients, while the broader valleys had pretty houses peeping from the green trees, and gardens flourishing with oranges and cherries, and rich with the perfume of flowers and strawberries. Far, far up the hills were villas, whither the wealthy owners resort to catch the breeze, and to escape the scorching heat of the plains below. Arrived at the summit, a panorama most extensive and delightful lay before us. Like the city of Jerusalem, there stood Adelaide, a perfect square, with towers and spires, and trees surrounding it, lacking only the hills to make it exactly like views I have seen of the ‘City of David.’ We could plainly see the ‘Port’ with its smoking chimneys, and the winding channel leading to it. Just beyond Adelaide lay the Bay of Glenelg, a favorite sea-side resort only four miles from the city. Landwards and to the south stretch a series of hills not so high as Mount Lofty, but richly timbered and extending to the Murray.”

A few “little outings” similar to this pleasant one, were enjoyed all the more that they were sorely needed, for constant excitement and public speaking were trying to the not very robust frame of the young visitor, and the most grateful thanks are due to the dear friends at Glen Camend who took an almost parental interest in our beloved boy. The following Sunday is thus described: “Another Sabbath has gone by. One just as full of blessing as its predecessors. I was glad to listen to a sermon in the morning, a most appropriate and helpful one, on the highest motive for serving Christ, and the best stimulus in doing so,— ‘For my sake.’ In the evening a very large Wesleyan Church was crowded. Before six o’clock the yard at the side and back was filled with vehicles which had brought the people, and 2,500 listened to the Word. A very deep slanting gallery goes entirely round the building; the pulpit stands nearly as high as the gallery, and is reached by a winding stair. When with no small difficulty I had succeeded in gaining the steps, I was surprised at my elevation and at the mass of people. I had to conduct all the service. The heat was very trying, but it made my heart glad to receive those hearty thanks for the sermon as I left the building. Today I feel as tired as possible, but have to speak at a meeting in the same place tonight.”

The following week was spent in an excursion to Moonta, some 100 miles from Adelaide, a trip enjoyable, though tiring. Here he preached in a large Wesleyan Chapel, and as most of the congregation were Cornish Methodists, his audience was not “by any means dull.” Then, “On to Kadina, where bills, distributed in the morning only, announced —



No Collection.’

The crier too, had gone round the little township, and about 800 souls attended. Back to Adelaide Friday morning. A more tedious journey than before — hot, dusty, jolting, anything but pleasant. One of our wheels got red hot, but having neither oil nor water we were obliged to continue on our way. At the first inn we came to, we succeeded in cooling it down, but it had been smoking and burning so long that the wonder is no accident happened. On this trip I have seen one of the most celebrated mines in the world, but best of all I rejoice to know that several persons found the Lord through the services.”

Yes, dearest son, this is the goal and climax of our hopes and desires for you, that God would give you “souls for your hire.” None can doubt your “high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” to be an ambassador for him, if you carry with you such credentials as these. The Lord increase them “an hundredfold how many soever they be.” On Sunday, December 2, we find him preaching again in Flinders Street Chapel, but “suffering from the effects of the tiring trip to Moonta and Kadina.” He says, “Concerning that service, and several others both in town and country, I have received most encouraging news. The Lord has blessed me to the conversion of souls, and to the upbuilding of saints more in South Australia than anywhere else — at all events I hear of more good done. To his name be all the praise!”

On Monday, Dec. 3, our son and a large party of friends took train northwards, intending to spend ten days in what they call the “Area,” — a vast tract of newly-cultivated land, where fields of wheat are waving for miles and miles. For ten days they journeyed on and on, Tom preaching four times and finding it “rather hard work after a long ride.” The weather was dreadfully hot, and the flies an intolerable nuisance, while worse enemies than flies were constantly being exhibited to landlords of hotels as “spoils taken in the night.” One bright spot in this journey was a pleasant Sabbath spent at Fort Augusta, where he met with a companion of his childhood, a son of our esteemed deacon, Mr. Olney. The two young men seem to have been delighted to grasp hands once again and talk over “old times,” but farewell had soon to be said, and our dear son had to go on his way. After this journey preaching engagements multiplied, and we note one of which he thus writes: — “On Sunday, December 16, I preached in the open air a few miles from Adelaide. The advertisement of the meeting would have amused you. After the usual announcements came the word ‘MOONLIGHT.’ People drove in from considerable distances and moonlight aided their return. We had a blessed season beneath a clear Australian sky amongst the gum trees. I found it to be rather an effort, and have had a slight cough ever since. Still I have the same news to tell of happiness and blessing, and though I have not been quite so well lately, feeling weak, as I used to do after services at home. I believe I shall soon be right again. What rejoices me most is to know that I am not laboring in vain. By God’s blessing the churches are profited and souls are saved. I have ever so many kind letters encouraging me, and though adverse criticisms appear occasionally, they usually come from the atheistical papers. If God owns my endeavors to serve him, I can need no earthly commendation, yet it is very encouraging to get a kindly word, and both ministers and people give it to me. The waters were not crossed in vain, dear parents; you were not bereft of your son for nought.”

The letter from which these latter extracts are taken gave fond hearts at home some deep anxiety, for we feared the dear boy’s strength was too heavily taxed by incessant work and excitement. But subsequent news calmed our fears and caused us to bless the “hand unseen” which was directing “all his steps.” A delightful “lazy week” followed the time of weakness and weariness, and seems completely to have restored his failing energies. A party of friends was formed for a trip to Victor harbor, and he gives a very lengthy and detailed description of the pleasures and prospects of this most enjoyable excursion. We have, however, only space for a very condensed account of it. Leaving Adelaide on Tuesday, Dec. 18, their way lay over the hills to Battunga, from whence they turned aside to attend an anniversary meeting at Macclesfield, where one of the party was to deliver a lecture, and of course the good people could not let Tom off without a speech. The next day “Strathalbyn” was reached, “a small town as pretty as its name,” boasting a “Scotch kirk with considerable pretensions to architecture, and a bridge in front of it, spanning a delightful little stream skirted with willow trees.” This seems to have been quite a refreshing sight to him, after the “bare and desolate places” to which he had been accustomed up north. From Strathalbyn they went by tramway twentyeight miles, and of this part of his journey he shall himself speak:—

“The ride was most monotonous, for miles ahead one could see the straight line of rails piercing direct as an arrow through the wretchedest scrub imaginable. Right glad were we to regain our friends and get a scramble on the rocks, and a ramble on the sea-shore in the afternoon. Here between Port Elliott and Port Victor we went, literally, on a ‘wild goose chase,’ and caught two of the birds. They seemed to be a species of swan, and had, I presume, got washed down the Murray, out to sea, and then again ashore. That same evening we took a delicious stroll along a jetty, half a mile long, to Granite Island, where wild ocean billows dashed in furious grandeur on the rugged rocks; . . . At twelve o’clock we reached the mouth of the Murray. This, the largest river in Australia, navigable for over 3,000 miles, has a mouth so narrow, and so blocked by land, that it is very rarely a vessel ventures through it. This very fact makes it worth inspection. We saw the whirling eddies of tide contending with opposing currents: round the numerous sand banks, where pelicans flourished, the wild waves surged, driven on from bank to bank, twisted and turned, now here, now there, in vain endeavor to reach the sea. Just one solitary buoy danced in smoother water, just one solitary flag-staff stood in front of the solitary hut on an island opposite, and everywhere else, land-ward and seaward, was utter desolation.” Less than an hour sufficed them there, and they traveled back to their last starting place, from whence they took another line of tramway to Goolwa, a port of the Murray. Here they propelled to interview some natives, and the result is thus described: “On the way we met the king and his ‘lubra.’ His majesty wore a large, thick Mackintosh, a fur cap was on his head, and a short pipe protruded from his mouth. Over his back was a swan in a sack, for which he wanted two shillings. We were anxious to see a corobaree, or native dance: but when we gained the camp we had the greatest difficulty in persuading them to gratify us in any way. Only one woman and an old man took pains to interest us. The lady referred to collected some pieces of flannel or rag, and made a hard pad of them, which she placed between her knees, and then commenced beating it with her skinny hand, at the same time rolling her head and eyes about, shrieking, moaning, yelling, groaning, and producing a combination of sounds more hideous than words can tell.” They had to pay pretty literally even for this questionable exhibition, and left, without having induced the “black fellows” to give a demonstration of their satisfactory movements.

Next day they commenced their homeward journey, and after sundry adventures reached Adelaide on Friday night, blessing God for a “ most enjoyable holiday.” On the following Sabbath our son preached in the evening in a beautiful church in North Adelaide, and says, “I was mightily helped.” Passing over Christmas, of which he himself says very little, possibly because just then a sharp attack of home sickness overcame him, we find him at Gawler and Lyndock Valley, two stations occupied by former students of the Pastors’ College, where he was received with open arms and a true brotherly welcome. We give in his own words his impression of the place and people. “Gawler is a little more than an hour’s slow traveling from Adelaide. It glories in the name of the ‘modern Athens,’ though this can have no reference to its architecture, and is the second town in the colony. The advantage of possessing two rivers is in summer somewhat nullified by the fact that the bed of one of them can be driven over without wetting the horse’s hoofs, and that at the other, if you wish to obtain a bucket full of water, your patience must enable you to hold the pail for half-an-hour. Of course in the winter season matters are very different, and at nearly every creek we heard of teams being washed away and drivers drowned only a few months back. At Gawler Station we were met by Mr. Morgan. whose appearance in silk coat and white helmet, seated in a four- wheeled ‘buggy,’ behind two rough steeds, was as unlike one of ‘Spurgeon’s Students’ as one could have imagined. The warm grasp of the hand meant something uncommon between us, however, and the very horses seemed so pleased that I think the reins must have conducted the excitement from the driver into their legs, for they dashed along in fine style.” “Our first halting place was the home of the ‘Faireys.’ Here was no enchanted glen, no star-tipped wands and magic scenes, but on a hill overlooking the pretty town, and standing in a newly-planted garden which promises to be a cool retreat when grown, is the manse of the Baptist Bishop of Gawler (Mr. S. Fairey). He too was rejoiced to see the son of him whom he still calls ‘President,’ and gave me a hearty welcome. We had nine miles further to drive to Lyndoch Valley, the scene of the pastoral labors of my companion, Mr. Morgan. I feel an intense joy in seeing and helping these former students of dear father’s College, they have a claim on me which I am delighted to recognize, and in serving them I am truly happy. My present host is indeed a good specimen of a hard-working pastor He takes three services on the Sunday and has a considerable journey from one to the other, in fact he is rarely out of the saddle or trap, except to preach or prepare for another service. Pleasant conversations about the Tabernacle and its Pastor, the College and its tutors, the Orphanage and its President delighted him and comforted me, and when the Sabbath came I know not which was the happier. There were about two hundred people in the little chapel, and amongst them hearts as loving, and souls as earnest as I have ever met with. Saturday was hot, but Sunday was hotter still, it seemed to take the life out of everything but the flies. As the heat becomes greater their coolness increases, and they most persistently annoyed me while preaching. Old colonists do not seem to mind them much, but I unfortunately am not sufficiently acclimatized to allow them to fly down my throat and stop up my ears unrebuked. After service on the Sunday morning we had the Lord’s Supper, and one good brother did pray so fervently for my dear father and for me, that I felt sure my loved ones at home would have a happy day, brightened like mine by the outpourings of so loving a heart. That same evening I preached in a large Wesleyan church at Gawler, the place was lent, the collection given to the Baptists and a right joyous time we had. Everyone was so kind to me, that I was quite sorry I had to leave so soon, but I was advertised to take the watch-night service at Norwood, so was obliged to hasten back to town (Adelaide). New Year’s Day was spent with some friends “who almost worship father.” Anon he is off to Mount Barker, where he preached in the Baptist chapel and spoke at a meeting of the Bible Society. Again returning to Adelaide, the kind and generous friends who first welcomed him there (Mr. and Mrs. F.) had arranged for him to visit them at Glenelg, the sea-side resort of Adelaide’s inhabitants. About this time the intense heat tried him greatly, and the mosquitos were a constant annoyance. He says, “It is stated that Adelaide is the hottest city in the world inhabited by Europeans, and only once have they had it hotter than it is now. I should not mind the heat by day so much, if the mosquitos would let me sleep at night, but all our efforts to defy their malice seem in vain. One night we managed the net arrangements so deftly that the wretches could only look through the lattice at me, and sing their mournful ditty outside, but alas, the next night the net slipped, and through the meshes of the covering they had their will of me, and bit me from head to foot.” On the Sunday after his return from Mount Barker he preached to young people in Flinders-street Baptist church, and had a large and attentive congregation. Receiving just then letters from home, counseling a little less work and excitement, he remarks, “You seem exactly to anticipate my situation, and my desire to do all I can. I felt quite sad you should be anxious about it. I have done my best to get strong consistently with work for the ‘Master.’ If during the months I have been ashore I had been rusticating all the time in one or two places, I doubt not I should be stronger than I am, but God called me to something better. ‘Not to overwork,’ you say. No, my darling mother, but this I have not done as yet, and under God’s guidance shall not do. ‘Hitherto, the Lord hath helped, me,’ and I can truly say that I enter on no engagement without first I ‘take it to the Lord in prayer.’

We are now drawing near the close of his happy stay in South Australia, and must hasten on to let him tell of the farewell meeting and the beautiful presentation by which his generous friends sought to testify their love and interest in him. The last Sunday in Adelaide was exceptionally hot, and he felt thoroughly prostrated by it. Nevertheless, he preached in the evening in the Town Hall to an overflowing audience, and by God’s gracious help surmounted all physical obstacles which lay in his path. After the sermon the people crowded round him. “I should like to have shaken hands with the whole two thousand,” he says,” and I believe that there was not our who would not have been glad to do so for my dear father’s sake.”

(To be continued.)


MANY things must be omitted this month in order to give space for a summary of the Conference proceedings, but we must not crowd out the gathering of butchers.

The Butchers’ Annual Festival was held at the Tabernacle on Tuesday, March 26. 2,100 of the London butchers and their wives were entertained in the rooms below the Tabernacle, and 600 of the masters and their wives, and other friends, had tea in the College Lecture Hall. To feed this great multitude the committee provided a ton of meat, 71/2 cwt. of carrots, 600 lbs. of cake, 200 loaves of bread, and a half chest of tea, at a total cost of £150, which, was defrayed by subscriptions amongst the master butchers and their friends. The feeding of all this great multitude was accomplished by our marvelous deacon Mr. Murrell, without a trace of disorder or a moment’s delay, How he and his assistants do the work so merrily we can hardly imagine. He might be general of an army, so well does he organize. Mr. Farmer, a city missionary in Camberwell, obtained gratis from the publishers sufficient periodicals to give all the men and their wives at least one each. After tea, or “supper,” the butchers, masters, and their wives adjourned to the Tabernacle, where they were entertained with music and singing by our evangelist, Mr. J. Manton Smith, and the evangelistic choir, until the time for commencing the public meeting. Meanwhile, the Tabernacle was rapidly filled by the general public, about 5,000 persons being present. The order and attention of the men was all that could be desired, even had they been peers of the realm. The chair was taken by C. H. Spurgeon, who addressed the men on their need of civility, morality, humanity, and true religion. We do not give a report, because so many of the respectable daily and weekly papers have already issued very fair accounts of the speech, while a number of ethers have abused us in their ablest style, their writers being rather hard up for a subject. Earnest addresses were delivered by our brother Alfred. J. Clarke; Mr. Dennis, a meat salesman, who read a letter from Mr. Henry Varley; Mr. Varley, jun., and Mr. Lambourne. Mr. Dennis quoted the following definition of a letter, which is worth preserving.


“A silent language uttered to the eye,
Which envious distance would in vain deny;
A tie to bind where circumstances part,
A nerve of feeling stretched from heart to heart;

Formed to convey, like an electric chain,
The mystic flash, the lightning of the brain;
And bear at once along each precious link
Affection’s life pulse in a drop of ink.”

These meetings, besides creating and fostering a good feeling between masters and men, are calcutated to be of great service by letting working people see that the church of God cares for them, and aims at their good. Our Lord fed the multitude as well as preached to them, and thus for ever placed this mode of operation beyond the reach of criticism. What a blessing to be able by means of the Tabernacle and College to accommodate so vast a company and make “a great supper” for more than two thousand.

The fourteenth annual Conference of the Pastors’ College Association was held during the week commencing April 8th, and a wonderful season it has proved to be.

On Monday afternoon, at three o’clock, a preliminary prayer meeting was held at the College, that the fire might he burning on the hearth when the guests arrived. At 5:30 about 150 ministers and students were entertained at tea at what is best known as Baptist Noel’s Chapel, Bedford Row, by invitation of Mr. Collins, the pastor, and his friends, to whom a cordial vote of thanks was passed by the brethren, who rejoiced to see one of their number in so honorable a position. There were many happy greetings in the schoolroom, and the President appeared to be happiest of all as he saw his clan mustering for the week. At seven there was a public meeting, at which C. H. Spurgeon occupied the chair. Addresses were delivered by the chairman, and brethren Bateman (Leicester), Chambers (late of Aberdeen), Gange (Broadmead, Bristol), and Tarn (Park Road, Peckham). The meeting was full of life, power, and joy from beginning to end, and was a fine beginning of the Holy Week. At the same hour a prayer-meeting was held at the Tabernacle, at which Vice-President J. A. Spurgeon presided, and brethren Medhurst (Portsmouth), and Norris (Bedminster), gave addresses.

Tuesday morning, April 9. At the College the President presided, warmly addressed a few word of welcome to the brethren, and prayed for a blessing on the whole Conference. After a season of wrestling prayer, and great melting of heart, the President delivered his inaugural address, which was intended to promote self-examination and lead to a calm review of our life-work, arguments being drawn from the commission, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that Believeth not shall be damned.” Searching questions were suggested by the letter and authority of the commission and by the spirit in which it would be carried out. Action and result were also made contributory to he heart-searching work. The address will be given in a future number, so that no description is needed in this place. Never was audience more responsive to a speaker’s words, and especially when adherence to the old truth was declared and modern innovation denounced.

After a recess, business was transacted, the principal items of which were very touching references to the deaths, during the past year, of our brethren Priter, Sparrow, and Winter. The reception of forty-one students into the roll of the Conference; the unanimous re-election of the President, Vice. President, and officers, and the report of the Conference Benevolent Fund, of which Mr. Greenwood was most cordially asked to become treasurer. By this fund assistance is rendered to subscribers at the death of wife or child. A levy of five shillings was made for the coming year, and members of conference who have not handed in that amount are reminded that they will have no claim upon the fund unless they send at once: the benefit of last year’s subscriptions having ceased on April 80.

Dinner was served at the Tabernacle, and tea at the dining-hall of the Orphanage, which in the evening was filled for a soiree. This was a festive social season, a true feast of love. Mr. J. Manton Smith and the orphans led the singing, and an “all alive” paper was read by Mr. Durban, B.A. “The Bishop of Chester,” on “Pains and Pleasures of Pastoral Life,” which the President said he should like to print, that all might read it with the care and attention it deserves Mr. Latimer was called to the platform that he might receive £10 worth of books which had been subscribed for by the trustees, masters. teachers, matrons, nurses, and everybody at the Orphanage, on the acceptance of the pastorate of Willingham by the first student who had entered the College from the Orphanage. After Mr. Latimer had briefly and feelingly acknowledged the pleasing presentation, the President said he believed the day was not far distant when he should begin to strike out for the Girls’ Orphanage. He had been waiting for a long time, but there were now certain premonitions that the Lord meant him to take up the work. All was ready for action, and he only waited the signal. Brethren Gange and Mealhurst spoke of the great joy that had been felt when the orphans visited Bristol and Portsmouth, and recommended other pastors to invite them to their places. We trust the hint will be taken, for in this way the Orphanage might be helped without anyone being burdened. The boys sing remarkably well.

Pastor Frank H. White then presented to the President, for Mrs. Spurgeon, a beautifully framed Illuminated Testimonial, as a token of the gratitude of the brethren for her abounding kindness to them in connection with her Book Fund, and in other ways.

“An address to Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon.

“Dear Mrs. Spurgeon, — The return of our much valued College Conference affords us another opportunity of learning from each other of your continued kindness in replenishing the libraries of many of our brethren, by means of your Book Fund. We, therefore, offer you our warmest thanks for all your generous acts, kindly words, and gentle sympathies. It is a marvel to us that you are able to put forth such efforts; but we know your ministry is one of love, and can only pray that our gracious Father may continue to strengthen you, and that you may long enjoy ‘the luxury of doing good.’ Your name is already engraved on every page of our history as a College. Our beloved President has put upon record how much he owed to your sympathy and cooperation in the work, when its burdens were heavier, and its friends were fewer than now. As for ourselves, we have had many proofs of your interest in our welfare, and we feel assured of a constant place in your prayers. We join you in heartfelt gratitude for the restoration of our more-than-everloved President; and for him, and for yourself and your worthy sons, we desire all happiness, peace, and usefulness. May the smile of God refresh you, the hand of God guide you, the word of God instruct you, the heart of God compass you, and at last the Son of God address you with a welcome to the heavenly home, We are,

“Dear Mrs. Spurgeon,

“Yours ever gratefully on behalf of the Pastors’ College and Conference,

“Frank H. White,        Archd. G. Brown,
E. J. Silverton,            Walter J. Mayers,
T.W. Medhurst,           Win. Anderson,
E. G. Gange,                 J. Alex. Brown.”

The President and Mr. C. Spurgeon, junior, acknowledged the gift for Mrs. Spurgeon, who was too ill even to receive a deputation from the Conference.

Our colored brethren, Johnson and Richardson, who are accepted by the Baptist Missionary Society as missionaries to Africa, “the land of their fathers,” sang in a most touching manner the hymn, “Africa,” which Mr. Johnson has composed to express his longing to preach the gospel to his own race. After prayer this most delightful meeting closed right joyously.

Wednesday morning, April 10, at the College, the President in the chair, a hallowed season was spent in prayer specially for the brethren in distant lands, of whom the President presented a general and cheering report. The Vice-president then read a valuable soul-stirring paper on a subject which appropriately followed his two previous ones — “The Christian principle: how both to be and to do.” This was followed by two extraordinary papers, the first by brother C. A. Davis (Manchester), on “Jesus, the preacher’s model”; and the other by brother W. B. Haynes (Stafford), on “Loyalty to King Jesus, as the soul reigning influence.” Often did the whole assembly weep during the reading. Towards the close of the second paper there was a most thrilling scene. Mr.. Haynes, in the course of his reading, quoted the first verse of Perronet’s grand hymn, “All hail the power of Jesu’s name,” and the whole assembly, without a signal or the least premeditation, rose as one man and sang the verse with grand effect. Many will never, while reason holds its throne, forget this season, for the Lord Jesus was conspicuously in the midst of his servants, and communed with them till their heart burned within them. Probably few there had ever been more under the divine power. It was good to be there. Dinner was provided again, about 350 sitting down each day. The task of feeding so great a number every day was performed by our good deacon, Mr. Murrell, and his helpers, in a masterly style. Not a hitch or a moment’s delay.

In the evening, the College subscribers were entertained at tea, and afterwards adjourned to the College Hall for the annual meeting, over which John Kemp Welch, Esq., presided. Dr. McEwan offered prayer, the President presented a resume of the annual report, addresses were delivered by the chairman, and our venerable tutor, Mr. Rogers; Messrs. Latimer, T. L. Johnson, A. J. Clarke, J. Manton Smith, I. A. Martin (Erith), A. G. Brown, J. Edwards, and William Olney, all gave a good word. Brethren Smith, Johnson, and Richardson contributed to the happiness of the evening by their sweet sacred songs. The large company then retired to partake once more of Mr. Phillips’ generous hospitality, and at the close contributed to The College funds about £1,600, a sum which is somewhat less than usual, but is still a grand help towards another year’s campaign. To God be abounding thanksgiving.

Thursday morning, April 11, at the College, the President in the chair, the first hour was spent in the utterance of a succession of brief pointed petitions of one or two sentences, in which more than twenty brethren followed each other with very stirring effect. Two papers were then read, the first on “Paul’s one aim,” by Mr. W. J. Dyer (High Wycombe), and the second on “Evangelistic Work,” with special reference to the labors of our brethren, A.J. Clarke and J.M. Smith, by brother G.D. Evans (Bristol). Reports of the evangelists’ visits to Portsmouth, Bristol, Reading, and other places were given by ministers from those towns, and an interesting discussion followed. The success of the first year’s labors of the evangelists has been so great that as soon as funds are forthcoming others will be started if the right men, offer themselves from our own body.

Again the Conference dined, but this time in the College lower hall, for the great rain had caused a flood, and the basement of the Tabernacle was a sheet of water. By energetic measures the waters were assuaged, and at 5.30 a large number of friends assembled with the ministers and students for tea in the Lecture Hall.

In the evening the Tabernacle witnessed the enthusiasm of the annual public meeting. The President was still in his place, and after prayer summarized the report, and addresses were delivered by Messrs. Fergusson, T L. Johnson, Mackey (Southampton), Bax (Salter’s Hall Chapel), and the Vice-President; and sacred songs or solos were sung by the evangelistic choir, and brethren J M. Smith, Mayors, Burnham, Johnson, and Richardson: sweet singers all, even as were Homart and Asaph of old.

The ministers and students then adjourned to the Lecture Hall, where they were sumptuously entertained by Mr. Phillips, who together with Mr. Murrell, Mr. Greenwood, and Mr. William Olney, replied to the hearty thanks and cheers which were accorded them. What a day it had been! What a happy meeting in the Tabernacle! What affectionate meetings of College friends!

Friday morning, April 12, the last and best day of the feast, the President still in the chair, a theme of moral thankfulness, since he has on former occasions been quite disabled before the week came to an end. The morning was a season of sacred communion with God Amongst others, prayers were offered by the President’s son, brother, and father; and the following letter from Mrs. Spurgeon to the assembled brethren was read:

“To the Ministers attending Conference of 1878

“Friday, April 12, 1878

“My very dear friends, — It will give you some joy to know that the distant echoes of the silver trumpets of your solemn feasts have penetrated even to my sick chamber and filled my heart with joy and gladness, The Conference of 1878 has been one which we shall all remember as long as we live. You have been favored with the presence of the Master in so remarkable a manner, that whether in the body or out of the body you could scarcely tell. Oh, how my heart ‘burned within me’ when I was told how he ‘manifested himself unto you as he doth not unto the world’ during these days of heaven upon earth! How ardently I longed for a crumb from your table, or a drop from the full fountain where you were slaking your seals’ thirst. But though I, like poor Thomas, ‘was not with them when Jesus came,’ he has not left me desolate; the recital of your wonderful experience of a present Savior has lifted the veil for me also, so that I too have seen ‘his hands and his feet,’ and heard him say, ‘Peace be unto you,’ and have answered, ‘My Lord and my God.’ As for the kindness which, both individually and collectively, you have shown to me this Conference, I hardly know how to speak of it. Your handsome present was a great surprise and pleasure to me. and the loving words of the ‘address’ went straight to my heart, and will ever abide there. I did not NEED this costly expression of your affection and interest, to convince me that such feelings existed on your part towards me, but as I am sure it has given you unfeigned delight to put this on record in so graceful and gracious a manner, I am rejoiced to accept it at your hands with heartfelt thanks, and shall always feel as proud a pleasure in it as is compatible with my deep sense of unworthiness of it.

“Fare well, dear friends, may the solemn joy and gladness of this week refresh and revive you for many months to come. You have seen your Lord, and you must carry home with you some trace of his presence: the clay caught the sweet perfume of the rose by being near it; and if only ‘the smell of his garments’ has passed upon you, your people will recognize and enjoy the blessed fragrance of your renewed consecration of heart and life to his service. Before another conference comes some of us may ‘see the King in his beauty,’ and ‘go no more out from his presence for ever’! So ‘farewell,’ again, dear servants of the Lord, heaven is our meeting-place! Heaven is our home!

“Your loving and grateful friend,


A thoroughly characteristic paper on “College Friendship” was read by dear old Father Rogers; and then, after a short interval, we gathered around the table of our Lord for the communion and farewell. C.H. Spurgeon preached a sermonette on our Savior’s words, “I thirst.” Here was his substitutionary pain, his longing for communion with his people, his longing to save multitudes. All partook of the bread and wine, and remembered that love divine which shone in the great sacrifice. The blessing of the President, “The Lord be with you,” was responded to by the heartfelt utterance of nearly four hundred soldiers of the cross as they said with one voice, “and with thy spirit”, and then with linked hands the Scotch version of Psalm 122, was sung to the tune Martyrdom, three grips were given as we remembered our triple unity in “One Lord, one faith, and one baptism”; and so closed the formal gatherings of the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the pastors’ College Association.

At the farewell dinner our faithful remembrance, brother Frank White, reported that 130 pastors had sent up £435 during the year to the College funds; the President presented Bibles to Mr. Phillips and Mr. Murrrell, both of whom again addressed the assembly; hearty cheers were given for Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon and their sons: thanks were accorded to all the willing workers, for whom Mr. Allison responded; and the meetings were finally closed by the doxology, sung by all present, “The Lord hath been mindful of us, he will bless us.”

COLLEGE. Since our last report, the following brethren have accepted pastorates: Mr. E. P. Riley, Middleton-in-Teesdale; Mr. K. S. Latimer, Willingham, Cambs.; Mr. G. C. Williams, Mill-street, Bedford; Mr. W. Hackney, Commercial-road, Oxford; Mr. T. Breewood, Mark-housecommon, Walthamstow; Mr. J. J. Ellis, Gosberton, near Spalding; Mr. F. A. Jones, Cross-street, Islington; Mr. W. Compton, Western-road, Hove, Brighten; and Mr. C. A. Fellowes, Keynshum, near Bath. Mr. W. J. White is returning to Japan as an agent of the Baptist Missionary Society.

At considerable expense we give our readers the bulk of the College Report, because we are anxious that all who have subscribed should share our joy in the success which has attended the effort. Perhaps some who have known but little of us may be interested and led to help for the future. This report only touches London; another relating to the country would be equally cheering.

COLPORTAGE. The secretary writes: “This month we are busily preparing for our forthcoming conference and annual meeting of colporteurs to be held in the Tabernacle on Monday, May 6. This is always a most interesting meeting, as the colporteurs speak of the actual results of their labors during the year. We should much like to see a greatly increased attendance at this most important meeting, and are glad to know that you hope to be with us. As full information will then be given, a full report now is unnecessary.

“We thank one friend who responded to our appeal for tracts last month and brought a parcel, also another who sends a donation for the purpose. Will more friends think of this matter, and help to circulate the gospel of Jesus?”











Mr.E. Bitbray




R. M. H








Mr. Robert Gibson




Thankoffering, per Rev. A. A. Rees




Mrs. Harriet Elias




Miss Couch




L.C.W. and J. W




Mrs. Ellwood




Mr. Dowsett




Mr. H. P. Wright




Mrs. Berry




Mr. John Lewis




Miss Dransfield




Mr.J.G, Cumming




Mr. J.G. Hall




Collected by Miss M. A. Jephs




MrW. C. Parkinson




Mr. R. S




Mr. Balne




Faulconer Miss Steedman




Mr. Turner




A. T




Mr. and Mrs. Outland




Readers of” Christian Herald”.




Mr. W. Williamson




Mr. and Mrs. D. Stirling




Mr. T. Stone




J. and E. C




Mr. W.C. Price








Mr.B. Venables




Legacy, late Miss Chilton




Mr. J. E. Tresidder




Mrs. J. Robertson Aikman




Mr. H. Keen




C. S. F




Mr. H. Burgess








Mr. and Mrs. Startin








Mr. W. Payne




Mr. and Mrs. C. H Spurgeon




Mr. W. Edwards




Mrs. T




Rev. T. King




Dr. Angus




Mr. H. McKay




Mr. W. R. Selway




Mr. G. Gasttell




Mr. Winter ’ s Bible Class Richmond-street, Walworth













C. H. SPURGEON, Nightingale Lane, Balham.


J. A. SPURGEON, White Horse Road, Croydon.



MR. WILLIAM OLSEY, 9, The Paragon, New Kent Road, S.E.
MR. WILIAM HIGGS, Bedford Road, Stockwell, S.W.
MR. JOSEPH PASSMORE, 4, Paternoster Buildings, E.C.
Mr. W. C. MURRELL, The Lawn, South Lambeth, S.W.
Mr. T. R. PHILLIPS, Quarry Farm, Bletchingly, Kent.
Mr. T. H. OLNEY, 1, Fountain Court, Aldermanbury, E.C.
Mr. WILLIAM MILLS, 392, Old Kent Road, S.E.
Mr. W. PAYNE, 350, Kennington Road, S.E.
Mr. B. W. CARR, 24, Wiltshire Road, North Brixton, S.W.
Mr. T. Greenwood, 113, Loughborough Park, S.W.



J. A. SPURGEON.           W.C. MURRELL.


Mr. C. BLACKSHAW, Metropolitan Tabernacle.

The work of the College has for many years been adopted by the church at the Tabernacle as its own. The accounts are audited with the accounts of the church by appointed auditors, and are read and passed at the Annual Church -Meeting in the first month of each year.




YEAR by year we have presented our subscribers with a Report or the Pastors’ College, until we begin to fear that we shall tire them with our repetitions. Paganini is said to have produced exquisite music upon a single string, but we do not possess his melodious secret, and therefore find it difficult to harp upon one subject without falling into monotony. We will therefore summarize our report of the College by saying once for all, that the blessing of God is resting upon it, that it has a plentiful supply of students, that the tutors remain as they were, their funds have not been lacking, and that everything works well. Our heart is often heavy within us with sore travail in supervising all the various agencies which have been formed around us, and were it not that we can take our cares to our heavenly Father we should sink: but yet so great has been the loving favor of our God in affording direction in hours of dilemma and supplies in times of need that we are right happy as we adore and magnify our gracious Lord. Bound to persevere, and yet trembling under the responsibility, we feel like Gideon’s men when they were “faint, yet pursuing.” We are thankful, but we are not satisfied wish what has been already done, feeling an increasing hunger to see our great city thoroughly permeated with the gospel. The population grows far beyond our power to overtake it, and all we do seems as a drop in the sea to its awful need of holy influences, and its grievous ignorance of the true God. Thank God, others are working too, and reaping their reward; but this only makes us the more eager to do our full share.

We tarry a moment to express our deep gratitude to many generous friends who have from time to time assisted us, and to the great Disposer of all heart, who has led them so to do. Mr. Phillips’ supper and the Weekly Offering are our chief channels of supply, and these yielded right plentifully last year. Our many donors will never know how much of benefit has been bestowed upon the sons of men through the instrumentality of the men educated by the College, until eternity shall reveal all things. Then will it be seen what multitudes have been instructed, awakened, and decided by the earnest appeals of those who have been trained for their life-work in our beloved institution.

This year we purpose reviewing the work of the College in the metropolis; this will give a measure of variety, and perhaps set results in a clearer light than usual. We ought to have something to show, as the outgrowth of years of giving, working, and praying; and we think we have. The success of our men both in England and abroad has been very encouraging, and would vie with the London work in importance and interest; but at this time we make no mention of it, reserving our space for the recapitulation of the work done in and around our great city. Even upon this we cannot enter into full particulars, but must for the most part keep to cases in which chapels have been built or purchased, and churches formed, or raised from the brink of destruction; adding only a mere summary of pastorates occupied by our men over churches of older date.

A large amount of very earnest evangelistic work results in the conversion of souls, but does not produce any church organization: this, however, is by no means labor in vain, for thereby our Lord sees of his soul’s travail, whether we see it or not. We could not, however, write much upon this point, unless we were to descend to the tabulation of professed conversions; and this we dare not do, for such statistics are very unreliable and unsatisfactory, and are generally best omitted. Our College men have carried on open-air preaching in divers places, besides assisting regular pastors when desired; and halls and rooms have been taken for a. time and then. dropped when there seemed no hope of permanent success. Our policy has been to imitate the florist, by planting a large number of slips, in the hope that some of them would strike. In the process a great many prove to be failures as to any church result, but they are not failures in other respects, and inasmuch as Christ has been preached, we rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. On this occasion we confine ourselves to operations which have been successful in forming, saving, or greatly increasing churches of Christ. If our successes in this direction had been much fewer we should not have been disappointed; for the difficulty of founding churches, and especially of building chapels, can only be known by those who have experienced it. Societies have existed, and have I not been able to accomplish much even by long continued efforts; and this makes us the more grateful that our God in his great mercy has enabled our men to achieve very marked results, such as materially affect the spiritual provision for our teeming population, and the growth of the Christian body to which we belong.

Often under very difficult circumstances a brother has labored on under hardship and discouragement, and only after a considerable period has perseverance been rewarded. The plan is generally to begin in a hall or other hired building, to get together a few people, to gather converts, and to struggle on till a small church is formed: then commences the labor of collecting money to build a schoolroom or part of a building, or to erect an iron chapel, and, this accomplished, the chapel is undertaken. This has in some cases proved too small, but the smaller one has housed the people until they have been strong enough to erect a more commodious structure. Thus by degrees with slender funds a new house of prayers opened and Christian activities set in motion, and despite the prejudice of some good men against regular places of worship, we are at a loss to know what London would have been if these permanent centers of gracious influence had not been maintained among us. No amount of occasional evangelistic services will ever render needless the abiding work of organized Christianity; in fact, in proportion as special efforts are of use, our churches will become the more necessary. The larger the harvest, the more need of barns.

The College funds, aided by private friends, have largely assisted in building operations, and, whatever we have personally possessed has been cheerfully given; yet the Christian public, and especially a few noble givers, who appear to help every deserving cause, have had to be relied upon. Therefore we by no means claim for our College all the credit of the work done, nor indeed do we ask for any credit at all, but simply wish to give an account of our stewardship to our subscribers, and most heartily to lay whatever of honor there may be resulting from it at the feet of the Ever Gracious One. The credit of some of the chapels mentioned is due mainly to the London Baptist Association, and it is the furthest thought from our mind to rob it of a single atom of its need of praise, for it has done noble service to the metropolis, and deserves the growing confidence of the denomination which it represents. If we include in our Report any portion of Association work, it is simply that we may express our gratitude that it has consented to work with us so often. Other denominational organizations have also been our hearty friends, and we trust will ever remain so. We have no object distinct from that of the church of Christ at large; the new churches melt into the community to which we belong, and will be found to be doing Christian Work in perfect harmony with churches before established. It is no concern of ours to keep the new spheres for our own men, and when more fitting preachers come forward we have never expressed any regret at the fact, nor have we been conscious of feeling any. The pulpits are there, and let the best men fill them whether they hail from our College or from another, or from none at all. The churches must choose for themselves, and although we are glad that they, as a rule, feel a grateful tie binding them to the fostering mother, yet if they see reason to go elsewhere they do not find us repining at this use of their Christian liberty.

Should there be any errors in our account, they may arise from the fact that we have had to collect the details with considerable difficulty, and they are mere extracts from materials prepared by a willing hand, but digested by an overwrought laborer who cannot spend time in examining the minute accuracy of every line. We trust that nothing has been overstated, for we have endeavored in every case to be below rather than above the truth, and we do not believe that any one of our brethren would mislead us. Still, some men are sanguine, and see everything through magnifying glasses, and if it be found to have been so in any one case we can only assure our readers that we have not sinned in that direction in compiling our record, but have rather inclined to the other side. The ministers themselves may even discover cause for complaint that we have unduly toned down their reports; we must therefore assure them that we have never done so because we doubted their word, but in order that all might be under rather than over the mark.

Our fear is that there may be omissions of acknowledgments to others, which they might reasonably expect. If so, they must excuse this fault, for space is limited, and this paper is not prepared with any idea of saying; all that could or even should be said. To obviate all misunderstandings on this score, we would say in one word that nothing has been done by us alone, but that in many cases the work may as fairly be ascribed to other people as to ourselves, and all we intend by mentioning certain enterprises in this Report is neither more nor less than this — the work has been done, in connection with the College, under the leadership of our young brethren, an we are rejoiced to have had even the humblest share in it. If we tread on any one’s corns after these somewhat lengthy apologies we shall have the consolation of having done so unintentionally.

Only one other fact requires to be mentioned, namely, that from the commencement our plan was not only to train students, but to found churches. Our subscriptions have been received after due announcement that all sums not needed for the education of young men would be used for the work of God in connection with them, and this has all along been done. Hence our expenditure is not all for the men themselves, and no estimate of the cost of each man deduced from our balance-sheet can be correct if it omits this consideration. On the other hand, the large sums which we have supplied for buildings have in almost every instance been either the gift of a generous helper who insists upon being anonymous, or they have come from our own private purse, which is now so thoroughly drained that we could wish that some brother of wealth were moved to come to our assistance. This said, we enter upon our record of labor for “the Master” in London.


I. — EAST HILL, WANDSWORTH, Was the first scene of our endeavors. In the year 1859 the Assembly Rooms of the Spread Eagle Tavern were hired, and one of our then very little band of students, Mr. J. W. Genders, was sent to preach the gospel. After three months, the youthful preacher and nine other believers were formed into a church. A great blessing followed the ministry, and at the end of four-and-a-half-years’ labor in the Assembly Rooms the church had increased to about 150 members.

In May, 1863, Mr. Spurgeon opened their new chapel, capable of accommodating nearly 700 persons, and costing £3,000, towards which he contributed a considerable amount.

After a successful ministry of ten years, Mr. Genders removed to Luton, and Mr. F. G. Marchant, a former student, accepted the pastorate in 1870. He has lately become pastor of a church at Hitchin.

A large amount has been expended, upon school and class rooms and improvements, by the friends at East Hill.


The eminent success of our beloved brother, Mr. A. G. Brown, late President of the London Baptist Association, is too well known to our readers, and indeed to the Denomination, to require more than a brief notice.

The Church was originated in 1858, by the efforts of one of our early students, in a small chapel in Grosvenor Street, Commercial Road. This place proving too strait for the numbers attending, the Hall of the Beaumont institution was hired, and ultimately a commodious Chapel erected on Stepney Green, at a cost of £3,500, towards which we gave largely, and our Loan Fund voted £500. This was in 1864.

In November, 1865, our brother, Mr. T. Ness, took the oversight of the church, but though favored to see increasing spiritual prosperity, he was obliged within twelve months, through failing health, to relinquish his work and go to Australia for a season.

In January, 1867, Mr. Brown entered upon the duties of the pastorate. Of his work in his previous sphere, undertaken while yet a student in our College, an account will be found under Number V. Speedily the Chapel at Stepney was thronged Sabbath after Sabbath; aisles, vestries, platforms all densely crowded; and every Lord’s-day evening large numbers were turned away from the doors, unable to gain admission. Necessity being thus laid upon them, the Pastor with his earnest and united people encouraged themselves in their God and determined to build. While their new building was in progress they negotiated with friends of the Primitive Methodist connection for the sale of the Stepney Green Tabernacle, and received a fair price for it, which amount was paid to the new Chapel Fund.

On February 22nd, 1869, the President of the Pastors’ College opened the new sanctuary: a noble pile indeed, which he described as “a Dissenting Cathedral, plain, massive, immense.” It contains 2,724 sittings, and has cost about £12,000. Bat for the princely generosity of the builder, Mr. Higgs, the expense would have been far greater; but on this occasion, as upon many others, he has used the office of Deacon well, and earned unto himself a good degree. From the first the noble building has been well filled, and frequently overcrowded, and, best of all, the spiritual results have been in the highest degree satisfactory. The church now numbers 1,753 members: the tide of blessing has never ebbed.


Mr. Benjamin Davies, who at an early age was an acceptable preacher of the gospel among our Baptist brethren of the Strict and Hyper-Calvinistic order, after several short pastorates, was called to the pastorate of the church in Bridge-street, Greenwich, in 1858. The College was then in its infancy, and our friend, feeling his need of the advantages it offered, sought our help and was heartily welcomed. A change taking place in his views as to the mode in which the gospel should be presented to the unconverted, he resigned his charge, and was about to proceed to Natal to take the oversight of a church, when large numbers of people called upon him urging him not to leave Greenwich, as his ministry had been greatly blessed to their souls. This led to the Lecture Hall, at Royal Hill, being rented; and Mr. C. H. Spurgeon, who greatly assisted and encouraged the undertaking, preached the opening sermons in February, 1859. Then followed years of patient and unwearied toil — preaching, lecturing, and collecting for a chapel. At length, mainly by the liberal aid and timely activity of Mr. John Olney and Mr. Huntley, the church and its hard-working pastor saw their long-cherished hopes fulfilled; and the noble sanctuary in South-street, with inimitable class and school accommodation, was opened by Mr. C. H. Spurgeon on the 21st day of March, 1872. For a few Lord’s-days only after the opening services was Mr. Davies permitted to serve his Master upon earth, for after a few days’ suffering, from what at first was thought to be but a trifling ailment, he fell asleep and entered into rest on May 11th, 1872. This pulpit is not now occupied by a brother from our College, but we none the less wish to the church an abundant blessing.


Our beloved brother Mr. Frank H. White, who is now at Talbot Tabernacle, Notting-hill, was sent in the early days of our College to Paradise Chapel, Chelsea, situated at the end of a most unsavory court in a very low neighborhood, where the friends were often insulted as they passed to and fro. Despite these difficulties, Mr. White’s efforts led, by the divine blessing, to the ingathering of many, and after several years a handsome chapel was erected in the main road at a cost of £1,500, towards Which Sir S. Morton Peto generously gave £2,000. We contributed £750 to the work, and also a loan from our Building Fund.

The Lord greatly prospered the church under our dear brother’s care for some years, till failing health forced him to resign and seek rest. The church then passed through a series of vicissitudes, and was brought very low. At length our former student, Mr. Knight, removed from Lowestoft at the call of the church, in October, 1876, since which time there has been a continual improvement. The church now numbers 261 members, 69 of whom were added during the past year.


The Baptist chapel at Bromley, Kent, is the result of the work commenced by one of our earlier students, Mr. T. Harley, at the first by open-air preaching, and by services in the old market-house. Little, however, remained when Mr. Archibald G. Brown, then a student with us, entered the town and left his mark upon it. We once heard the following story concerning our brother’s first Sundays at Bromley in 1862. On the Monday following his second visit, in reply to an inquiry as to “how he got on,” he answered that his sermon had some effect, for the congregation of 18 persons on the first occasion had come down to 12: he had evidently “moved” half-a-dozen. The next Monday he reported further progress in the same direction, for he had had but 6 hearers on the third occasion, and he remarked that it only required another Sunday to finish the work. Full of youthful pleasantry, our dear brother was also full of zeal for God’s glory, and prayer and faith soon caused the tide to turn; the meeting-place was filled, and the White Hart Assembly Rooms had to be taken to accommodate the numbers anxious to hear the young preacher. It was soon necessary to admit the regular attendants by ticket. A church of about 30 persons was formed in 1863; many of the members were the seals of his ministry. The little community rapidly increased by the addition of converts from among the eager listeners, and a house became needful for the growing family. Mr. Brown gave himself to the enterprise with all his heart, and consequently he succeeded.

In July, 1864 Mr. C. H. Spurgeon laid the memorial-stone of the present chapel, and preached the opening sermon in July, 1865. As will be seen by reference to the history of the East London Tabernacle, Number II., Mr. Brown removed to Stepney, and another of our former students, Mr. A. Tessier, of Coleraine, was chosen pastor in May, 1867, and has the happiness of ministering to an earnest and united people.

During the past year extensive alterations and improvements have been effected in the building at a considerable outlay, towards which the friends have raised nearly £400.


Ealing Baptist Chapel has sprung up, not from the efforts of a student, but from the ministry of our esteemed tutor, Mr. Fergusson, whom it was a great pleasure to assist in this work by a grant of £100. Our friend and fellow-member Mr. John Olney also lent his very efficient aid, and Tabernacle friends espoused the cause. The chapel accommodates a healthy and earnest church, which values its pastor’s thoughtful preaching. The debt is gone, and large schoolrooms have been erected. The membership numbers 127.


In the year 1863 a few of the members of the Metropolitan Tabernacle church residing at Deptford formed themselves into a church, and hired a large room at the Lecture Hall. Students from our College ministered to the little community, but as each brother neared the close of his College course, he had to seek a self-supporting sphere of labor, and vacated his temporary place of service for a permanent pastorate. These changes greatly interfered with the progress of the work. For the past eleven years, however, the church has been favored with the earnest ministry of our friend Mr. D. Honour, who has borne much and worked hard, and the result is that he now sees ground of hope that a numerous church will be gathered as soon as he has a house to hold the people. We helped our friends years ago to build the schoolroom in which they now worship, and we have promised them £200 towards their long-needed chapel; most earnestly do we commend their appeal to the prompt and generous aid of all who wish to see the working classes evangelized. Both minister and people are worthy of help if industry and perseverance constitute a claim. This is an effort among the working classes, and is one of a kind which we would gladly see multiplied. The people have supported their pastor and have done their best to find funds for a chapel; this is far better for them than if a missionary effort had been made by others, and the people had been pauperized. Help in erecting their chapel is the safest and best mode of aiding a working-class church: once let these good people have their chapel built and free from debt, and by God’s grace they will need no more help from outside. Mr. Honour would be delighted to receive subscriptions.


The building, in the above road, then known as St. Paul’s Episcopal Chapel, came into the possession of our denomination in the year 1864, under the following circumstances. A small but increasing congregation had been gathered by the zealous efforts of Mr. G. Hearson, in a large carpenter’s shop In an out-of-the-way place near the Vauxhall Railway Station, and a more suitable meeting-place became a necessity. When the ritualistic congregation vacated St. Paul’s chapel for a more architectural building, Mr. Hearson’s friends, acting with Mr. Spurgeon, secured the chapel on lease, and a considerable sum was expended on necessary repairs and improvements. Mr. Hearson joined the College and carried on pastoral work at the same time. He still remains with the church doing a good work:, and ministering, like the apostle of old, to his own necessities.


Here a church has been gathered and an iron chapel erected through the persevering endeavors of Mr. R. R. Finch. The freehold site has been purchased and the whole property is free from debt, Mr. Spurgeon having given five per cent. of the money as it was collected. Having worshipped for about fourteen years in the iron chapel, the inevitable wear and tear of such a structure will compel the congregation to erect a more permanent building; but for this they will require much aid from friends beyond their own circle, and they must be content to work on year by year till their means shall increase. We wish the friends every success in their project, but we wish their were stronger, or had a smaller task before them.


Students of our College having for some time preached the word in a schoolroom in Mill Lane, the nucleus of a Baptist church was gathered. In August, 1865, the pastor of the Tabernacle church laid the foundationstone of a chapel in the new neighborhood of the Drummond Road. This was entirely a missionary effort, and we and our friends at the Tabernacle raised £1,270 of the cost and lent £500 free of interest. A church was soon formed and a considerable congregation gathered under the ministry of our student Mr. J. A. Brown. In 1870 the growing needs of the earnest church rendered necessary the erection of far larger premises for the schools. These buildings quite eclipse the chapel, and are the scene of a very gracious work among the children, who number 655. The dew of God’s blessing has continued to rest upon our brother’s labors from the first day until now. The present membership is 258.


This interest originated about 1865 in the labors of a person to whom we had for a while accorded the benefits of the College Classes, but who turned out to be far more zealous than wise. Without our sanction or knowledge he contracted liabilities and proceeded to erect a chapel, and finding that disaster would follow, we helped to save the building from being sold by giving £250. The originator of the unwise enterprise disappeared very speedily, and the buildings, was burdened with debt. Mr. Edgley, one of our students, took up the work after a time, but the pecuniary difficulties proved so great that he resolved to leave the building and to erect another chapel in the Berkley Road. This the church its own responsibility, and the wisdom or otherwise of the course remains with them. In our opinion they were only creating another difficulty, but in their judgment they were following the right path. We gave them aid after the deed was done, but we had no hand in the doing of it. Certainly the Berkley Road building is a great advance upon Peniel, and is incomparably better as to situation. The first chapel, however, was still used by a portion of the congregation, who invited Mr. E. W. Thomas to minister to them, which he has continued to do with successful results till within a short time since. The present pastor is Mr. R. T. Sole, of our College; but the chapel is badly situated, and the task of raising a church in it will remind the preacher that Peniel was the place where Jacob wrestled hard.


This chapel, referred to in the preceding paragraph, was opened in 1871, and Mr. Edgley was favored with a fair measure of success until his removal to Swindon in 1873, when Mr. E. Leach, the present pastor, succeeded him. His esteemed brother is fighting gallantly an uphill battle, and we pray that the divine blessing may crown his endeavors. There is room for both the churches, and even for others, if the people could but free themselves from the burden of debt, which is severely felt, and is no doubt a great hindrance to the cause. When our men run before us they usually run into debt, but when we have controlled a movement we have either cut down the expense or waited till the funds came in to pay the cost.


This was an entirely new work. In the year 1865, Mr. J. M. Cox commenced preaching in the lower rooms of a small house in Penge, which soon became inconveniently crowded. A church was formed, and within twelve months it grew to the number of 41 members. With great generosity the friends connected with the Wesleyan body lent their Baptist neighbors their temporary chapel, and they migrated from their hired house. A project for a chapel was set on foot, and the little band worked with a will, and we rendered them substantial help. On June 4th, 1867, the chapel, which cost about £1,200, was opened by us free of debt with the exception of £300 granted as a loan free of interest by our Loan Building Fund. Upon the removal of its first pastor, the church cordially welcomed our dear friend Mr. John Collins, now of John Street, Bedford Row, to be their minister, and by the divine blessing much spiritual prosperity was the result of the union. In 1869 first-class schoolrooms were erected and soon paid for. Mr. G. Samuel is now the pastor. Peace and prosperity reign in the midst of this people.


About the year 1865 a few friends left Park Chapel and endeavored to raise a new interest; they were soon after formed into a church under the ministry of Mr. Walter, a student of the College. When persons, seceding from other churches, apply to us, we always try our best to induce them to make peace; but when they altogether refuse to do this, and feel that they can do better by themselves, we do not think it right to let them drift, but endeavor to see how far they can be used for the increase of the church. We believe that in this case good has resulted from this new interest, though we were sorry that it sprung up at first. The present members of the church are not those by whom it was set on foot, but are nearly all new comers. On Mr. Walter’s removal Mr. W. Smith was sent by us, and continued with the little church until his removal to Malton. How he suffered and labored, and endured poverty, is written in the book of the record of the living martyrs for the faith. Mr. W. Sumner, the present pastor, sends the few particulars which we subjoin: —

“My predecessor was Mr. Smith, who left in June, 1875, and is now settled at: Melton, Yorkshire. He labored here for several years with remarkable zeal and self-denial. I followed him as a student in July, 1875, and the Lord greatly blessed me in preaching the gospel; but in the December of the same year the church received notice from the Directors of the Town-hall, wherein the friends had worshipped for nearly ten years, that they would be obliged to raise the rent of the Hall. The church considering it impossible for them to stay, betook themselves to prayer, and the Lord graciously interposed. Just at this time two Congregational bodies amalgamated, leaving, as a consequence, the Albany Chapel, in High Street, which holds nearly 400 persons, unoccupied. Upon leaving our prayer-meeting we heard of this, and hired the Chapel at once at £25 per annum. Thus, instead of giving the Directors more money, we were enabled to give them notice, God in his good providence having provided a better place for us. We took possession of Albany Chapel in March, 1876, and our first business was to make a baptistery. The good work went on, and the church called me to the pastorate in January, 1877. The Lord has continued his blessing, and upwards of 40 have joined our fellowship. The church now numbers 72.”


About the year 1859 a few members of a neighboring church residing in this village commenced holding Sunday-evening services in one of the cottages; but the increasing attendance rendered larger accommodation necessary, and the friends hired a larger cottage, and converted it into a mission-room, where, in December, 1865, they formed themselves into a church of 15 members, and regular Sabbath servicers and schools were conducted. Mr. E. E. Fisk, of the College, was invited to minister to them, and he was favored to see souls saved and added to the little company. By the help of one of their number, who gave much time and labor to the work, a pretty little chapel, with baptistery, vestries, and all needful accommodation, was erected at a cost of £600, towards which some £200 had been collected. Mr. Fisk removing to a larger sphere of usefulness in 1868, another student, Mr. Walter J. Mayers, took his place, and God greatly prospered his work during his short stay. He removed to the new chapel, Battersea-park, in January, 1870, and students were sent to supply the church at Cranford, which ultimately chose Mr. Young as pastor, who soon after went to labor in Scotland, where he died. This is one of the smaller village churches; but these are as needful as larger ones.


In the latter part of the last century some Christian people erected a small wooden building as a preaching-station in Greyhound-lane. The history of the little community, like the wheels upon which we are told that the little meeting-house once stood, is lost in obscurity. This dilapidated building fell into the hands of Mr. Spurgeon, who rented it of a clergyman. Student after student preached here during their College course with varying success. A small church was formed in 1867, and Mr. Lauderdale became the minister; but the place was extremely small, low, hot, and uninviting: many a barn is much more attractive.

About the year 1870, Mr. W. Coombs, of our College, was induced to stay with the little church through the liberality of an esteemed Christian lady in the neighborhood, in the hope that a suitable chapel would soon be erected, as our revered friend Mr. Caleb Higgs (now with God) had purchased a freehold site for the purpose. Through domestic affliction Mr. Coombs left without seeing his hopes realized. The church then invited Mr. J. L. Keys to become their pastor, and we were enabled, with the help of our beloved deacon, Mr. W. Higgs, to erect a neat iron chapel in the rear of the site; this was opened free of debt in February, 1874, by our brother and Co-pastor J. A. Spurgeon.

On November 14, 1877, we had great delight in opening a new chapel erected on the ground in front of the temporary iron structure. It is a remarkably beautiful specimen of the taste and common sense of our deacon, Mr. W. Higgs, who carried out the work; it was presented by himself and his brothers, as a memorial of their departed father, Mr. Caleb Higgs. What better form can be given to a monument? It is precisely such as our departed friend would have approved. Here is an example for others.

Mr. J. Johnstone; from our College, is the present minister.


Our much esteemed brother, Mr. J. O. Fellowes, succeeded Mr. W. A. Blake as pastor of the church at Shouldham-street in 1865, where he labored with success until 1868, when he and his friends obtained possession of the noble chapel in John-street, which had originally been erected for the congregation of the late Mr. Ridley Herschell. The Word was with power, and the people came in numbers to hear it, and were saved. Thus in the providence of God a small impoverished church has advanced to the front, and now numbers 571 members. This is a clear gain to the denomination, for Shouldham-street Chapel still remains as before.


After the larger church which we have just noticed this is but a small affair. The church meeting in Chiswick-lane is one of those which owes its origin to the Pastors’ College. The chapel was for some years in the hands of our brethren the Congregationalists. Under the ministry of the late Mr. Millar, a much respected and devoted servant of God:, the cause was prosperous. After his death it declined, and in the year 1867 Mr. Spurgeon took the place, and sent a student to conduct services and preach the gospel on the Lord’s-day. The brethren from the College continued to sustain the work for some years, during which time congregations were gathered, and a Sunday-school put into working order. The preaching of the Word was owned of God, souls were saved, and a small church was formed. Many students have worked here with varying success, for the place is a difficult one. About a year ago Mr. Lynn, formerly a student of the College, was invited to become the pastor. During the past year fifteen members have been added to the Church, and there has been a considerable increase in the attendance. The church and congregation are for the most part composed of the working classes, but they contribute liberally in proportion to their means in support of the cause. We trust God will answer prayer, send down his Holy Spirit in rich abundance upon all the efforts of the church for his glory, and magnify his grace in the salvation of many souls. The church is one of the weaker sort, but it has “held the fort” very bravely, and we cannot doubt that a brighter future awaits it.


A case in which the help of a wealthy brother would be very valuable: especially if he would build the people a chapel very soon, for otherwise all available ground will soon be covered. A company of believers banded themselves together in the year 1866 to form a new interest in this crowded locality, and worshipped for some time in the Claremont Rooms, under the leadership of Mr. J. Spanswick, of the College. Mr. E. Morley succeeded his fellow-student, and the Lecture Hall in Carter Street was hired for the Sunday-evening services. It was found necessary by the little church to secure a permanent home, and two railway arches were leased and fitted up at considerable expense, the one for public worship and the other for Sunday-school purposes. Mr. Aabington, of the College, labored here as pastor with satisfactory success until his removal to Eastbourne. As this is a struggling cause in a very poor neighborhood, and could not afford support to a minister, the pastors have, after leaving College, been compelled to remove to congregations which could maintain them, so that the little church has had special difficulties to contend with; and, moreover, converted railway arches do not form very attractive homes or “quiet resting-places.” Mr. Childs, another student, has been for some time pastor of the church, and under him there has been a time of great happiness and blessing. He has had many opportunities to remove, but he loves the people, and will abide by them as long as ever he can. A fund has commenced for the building of a chapel, but it is the day of small things as yet. Who will help?


Mr. D. Paterson, one of our students, labored very strenuously in the neighborhood of Kingsland Gate for several years to raise a Baptist Church; and about the year 1866 he and his friends obtained a short lease of the old Congregational Chapel, which had been occupied by the church under Dr. Aveling. Mr. Paterson removed to Oxford, where after a short pastorate he fell asleep in Jesus. Mr. A. Bird, another student, then went to Kingsland, and at Luxemburg Hall, Dalston, carried forward his late fellow-student’s work. After a time his people erected a noble building near Daiston Junction, at a cost, including land, of £5,300. With this last enterprise our College has had nothing to do, as we judged the scheme to be beyond the means of the people, and therefore imprudent. However, substantial friends have appeared upon the scene, and have carried on the work with mingled zeal and wisdom, and we now believe that the enterprise will be carried through. We were sorry to differ from our brethren, who were more venturesome as to borrowing money than we have ever been, and we join with them in congratulations as to the hopeful future which lies before them. At the moment of writing we are informed that our friend Mr. Burton, of Kingsgate Street, has been invited to the pastorate, and should he accept it we look forward to great things, the Lord being his helper.


About the year 1866 some gentlemen in this neighborhood, mourning over its spiritual destitution, determined to erect a Baptist Chapel. After considerable difficulty this was done. The cause thus started at first bade fair to be a success, but after some time declined so much as to become almost extinct. However, in August, 1868, one of our students, Mr. W. Priter, took up the work while continuing his college duties. This brother, who so lately died, to our intense distress, left a name behind him in the north of England which will not soon be forgotten. Under his earliest direction the work of the Lord prospered; within twelve months 30 persons were added to the church, and much blessing continued to rest upon his labors until his removal to Middlesborough in 1871. Several changes have since taken place at Barnes, and but little progress has been made until within the past eighteen months. Signs of returning prosperity cheer the hearts of the friends under the ministry of Mr. F. Brown, of our College, who baptized 28 believers last year, and is evidently raising the church into a healthy, self-supporting condition.


In December, 1866, a small room was opened in this district, and Mr. Asquith, of the College, was sent to see what could be done towards raising a new cause. The friends obtained the loan of a joiner’s shop, where they held services until September, 1867. By that time, through the generosity of Mr. Spurgeon, who gave £50, and the still more efficient assistance of Pastor A. G. Brown, a small chapel was erected. A church of eight members was soon afterwards formed, which within eighteen months was increased to sixty. The crowded state of the little chapel and the rapidly increasing Sunday-school rendered a much larger building necessary, but the attainment of this would have been utterly impossible to so poor a people had not the Lord moved one of the members of the Tabernacle generously to secure suitable property close by, and to erect at his sole expense a convenient chapel to seat 500, with house for the minister This with some adjoining houses is the property of the Stockwell Orphanage, who let the chapel and house to the church and minister at a nominal rent; such being the wish of the donor. The arrangement is a very useful one, as it gives to a small church an efficient board of reference in case of any dispute out of which scandal might arise. Thus helped, the friends have appropriated the smaller chapel to Sabbath-school purposes, and are carrying on their work without the burden of a debt. On the generous donor may every blessing rest.


Cheam is a small village in Surrey. Our students commenced here, and in the neighboring village of Ewell, in the open air. The two lower rooms of a cottage were hired and made into one, and here, in a most self denying manner, our students continued to preach. At last a new chapel was erected under the leadership of Mr. W. Sullivan, who is partially occupied in the post office, and is thus enabled to render service to the little community without being a burden to it.


In this growing town Mr. W. Norton erected a small chapel, and upon his removing we purchased it of him for £400. A congregation was gathered and a church formed, which, after paying us £300 for the chapel (ourselves giving them the remainder), has removed into a better position in the High Street, where they have erected part of a more ornate structure, and are going on to raise funds for the completion of what will evidently be a handsome and suitable chapel. Under the able pastorate of Mr. Bergin, this community is increasing in power and usefulness. This esteemed brother is not of our College, but we are none the less interested in Sutton, where from the character of the population we hope that a strong church will grow up. The first chapel is now used as a schoolroom.


This chapel is situated on the old road which from time immemorial has run from London to the sea at Dover, traversed, in all probability, by the Roman legionaries as well as by the Canterbury pilgrims, and in later days by the stage coaches. Near the chapel are two distinct neighborhoods, the one consisting of handsome suburban villas, and the other of a large working-class colony known as Sunfields.

It was in a little mission chapel in Sunfields that the Baptist church now worshipping in Shooter’s Hill Road Chapel was first organized. This mission chapel was built by persons of various denominations, and was to be used for the preaching of the gospel without any sectarian basis. This scheme resulting in a congregation of less than half-a-dozen, a few Baptists living in the neighborhood took up the cause, the original promoters having abandoned it, and applied to Mr. Spurgeon for a student to supply the pulpit. The present pastor, Mr. H. Rylands Brown, was sent. After much anxious toil and many discouragements a church numbering ten members was at length formed. Circumstances then occurred which rendered the building of a new chapel imperative. In the good providence of God a most eligible site was secured in the main road, and the present chapel was opened, Mr. Spurgeon preaching one of the sermons.

The church has steadily grown both in numbers and power, especially in earnestness and oneness of purpose, internal disputes being practically unknown. There are at present 137 on the church books, 28 having been added since January of the past year. There is now no debt upon the property. The church was assisted by a loan of £200 from the Tabernacle Loan Fund; and by a gift from Mr. Spurgeon of £250. From the advent of the pastor, upwards of ten years since, the interest has been self-supporting.


In July, 1867, Mr. W. Clarke, now of Ballafat, was sent from the College to open a preaching station at North Finchley. The services were held in the front room of a dwelling-house. At the beginning of the following year a building known as the “Cottagers’ Chapel” was secured, and a church formed. A good congregation was gathered during the time of Mr. Clarke’s ministry, but in the early part of 1870, having accepted an invitation to the pastorate of the church at Ashford, he severed his connection with Finchley.

During the next two years a variety of circumstances combined to scatter the congregation, and in August, 1872, the brother who had supplied the pulpit for the space of about a year joined himself to the Plymouth Brethren, a number of those who had been associated with him following his example.

A very small company of worshippers was left in possession of the chapel, but at the invitation of these friends Mr. J. Chadwick, then a student in the College, who had on several occasions conducted the Sabbath services, agreed to take the oversight of the work. The church was reorganized in October, 1872, and consisted of ten members, with Mr. Chadwick as pastor. He labored with them continuously during the two years remaining of his term in College, and then went to reside permanently amongst them. From the beginning of his ministry the work has greatly prospered: the congregation soon increased so as to fill the room, and the church has now a membership of nearly a hundred, while it has won for itself through God’s blessing the sympathy and esteem of the various churches in the district. Further progress, however, is impossible so long as the church remains in its present place of meeting. The “Cottagers Chapel,” originally a stable, is a low, dilapidated, and in every way inconvenient building, incapable of enlargement or improvement, and as the recent extension of railway facilities is bringing to the district a continuously increasing population, the members of the congregation feel that the duty is thrust upon them of providing a meeting-house that shall not only meet their present requirements, but shall be suited to the wants of a growing and attractive neighborhood.

Rather more than two years ago a most eligible site was purchased at a cost of £450, and vested in trustees. Plans have been prepared by Morton M. Glover, Esq., and accepted by the committee. They are designed ultimately to accommodate, with galleries, 850 persons; but for the present the building is so arranged as to provide 400 sittings on the ground floor, while under the same roof there will be vestries, class-rooms, and a lecture or schoolroom for about 300 children. The estimated cost, including land, gas fittings, etc., is £4,000, towards which a large amount is already promised.

The President of the College has very warmly commended this cause to the sympathy of the churches, and has himself contributed £100 towards the cost of the undertaking.


Early in the year 1867, a few friends of Baptist principles resolved, after serious and prayerful consideration, to commence a Baptist cause at Enfield. Accordingly a deputation waited upon the President of the College, who promised to render all the assistance in his power. A large room, known as the Assembly Room, adjoining the “Rising Sun” publichouse, was forthwith rented and opened for public worship on the 24th of March, and students from the College conducted the services. On Whit Sunday of the same year a church consisting of 12 baptized believers was formed by four of the deacons and elders of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, and a building fund commenced. The success of the work soon excited a considerable amount of prejudice and opposition, and the landlord of the “Rising Sun,” doubtless finding that the preaching of the gospel on his premises was not the most likely method of increasing his business, summarily gave the friends notice to quit. This involved them in an unexpected difficulty, as no other suitable place could be found. However, assured that the work was of God, they determined without delay to erect a temporary building, and on the 3rd of December an iron chapel was opened by Mr. J. A. Spurgeon. From that time the cause rapidly increased, and the church found itself able to support a pastor. Accordingly, in 1868, Mr. D. E. Evans, of the College, was invited, and labored for upwards of two years with most cheering results. Upon the resignation of Mr. Evans, in 1870, Mr. George W. White — who during his College course commenced the church at Shoreham, Sussex — accepted the pastorate. Early in his ministry it became evident, owing to the increasing congregation and the inadequate accommodation in the iron chapel for the advancing agencies of the church, that a more suitable and substantial building would be required. And in December, 1872, an enthusiastic meeting was held and a building scheme inaugurated. For two years the friends worked unanimously and heartily to raise the necessary funds, after which the committee felt justified in commencing operations, and on the 16th of June, 1875, the memorial stone of the new tabernacle was laid by W. Fowler, Esq., J.P. In the following September the building was opened for public worship, Dr. Landels preaching the first sermon. The total expenditure, including freehold site and accommodation for Su