« НазадПродовжити »
From the “Statistics of the Churches” it appears that at the close of last year 134 churches were connected with this Mission, comprising eightynine in Germany, one in Austria, twenty in Denmark, one in Holland, three in Switzerland, five in Poland, thirteen in Russia, one in Turkey, and one in King William's Town, Africa. The number of members in each church is given as from four to 1170, the aggregate of the whole being 26,656 church members.
The number of pastors, teachers, missionaries, and colporteurs attached to these churches amounts to about 300, with 1497 stations, Sabbath-schools 314, teachers 874, scholars 11,813. Amount contributed to “ Benevolent Objects" about £13,200. This, it is presumed, does not include salaries to pastors, teachers, &c., which, by no proper use of the words, can possibly come under the term “ Benevolent Objects," being payments in acknow.
ledgment of work done and therefore not benevolence which implies charity.
When we consider the origin and progress of this work, how the Lord called a poor sugar baker in London, about sixty years ago, and furnished him with grace and gifts to preach His gospel, sent him back in His providence to his own country, Germany, to do so ; how He enlightened his mind with clear scriptural truth, so that he, with six others, were baptized, and founded the first of these churches at Hamburg, in the year 1834, which have now so greatly increased, we are constrained to say, " What hath God wrought !" Be it remembered that these churches are of the primitive fellowship as to communion, and very evangelical as to their doctrine. Do we not see in all this an earnest and a pledge that the kingdom of our blessed Lord shall come, and that He shall reign and triumph over all His adversaries.
METROPOLITAN ASSOCIATION OF STRICT
BAPTIST CHURCHES. The half-yearly meeting of this association was held on Tuesday, October 12t, at Zion Chapel, Heaton-road, Peck. ham Rye.
About 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the delegates and ministers assembled for business. There were about thirty-five delegates present, and the following ministerial brethren: Messrs. Hazelton, of Clerkenwell; Anderson, of Deptford; Shepherd, of Hill-street, Dorset-square; Box, of Soho; Brown, of Notting-hill; Clark, of Heaton-road; Griffith, of Bethnal-green; Reynolds, of Islington, &c. In the absence of the esteemed president, Mr. J. L. Meeres, the chair was taken by the vice-president, Mr. G. Shepherd. After singing and prayer, the honorary secretary, Mr. J. Box, read the minutes, which were unani. mously confirmed. A brief statement of the present condition of the association was next rendered by the secretary, which statement was very encouraging, showing that real work had been done during the half-year. Several causes have been
helped, and the loan fund has now reached the amount of about six hundred pounds. An increased interest is evi. dently taken in the association, and, with the Lord's blessing, great success may be anticipated. On the recommendation of the committee, it was unanimously resolved to receive into the association the church worshiping at Forest-lane, Stratford, under the pastoral care of Mr. J. H. Lynn. The nomination of the officers for 1881, was next proceeded with. It was unanimously resolved to nominate Mr. Shepherd to the presidential chair; Mr. W. H. Evans, of Camden-town, to the vice-presidency: With thanks for their past services, the following officers were re-nominated to their respective offices : the secretary, treasurer, solicitor, committee, and auditors.
In answer to the chairman, Mr. Hoddy, editor of the Gospel Herald, said that the magazine, since it had become the property of the association, had just paid its way, there being neither loss nor profit. Various suggestions were thrown out by some of the delegates for the improvement of the magazine. After the subject
had been well ventilated, the secretary signates our Lord as inan, who, when made some very wise and practical sug- upon earth, increased in wisdom and gestions. It was then resolved, on the stature like others; yet a man whose motion of brother Topley, seconded by every word and act bore the stamp of brother Reynolds, that the matter, to- purity, integrity, and earnestness. He gether with the secretary's suggestions, distanced all others, and why? Because be referred to the committee.
He is a complex person — two natures About five o'clock, tea was prepared in compounded, but not confused. (3.) the school.room, when between eighty Christ-the anointed. This name des. and ninety friends sat down.
cribes the Mediator's three-fold office : At half-past six, a devotional service Prophet, Priest, King. He received Hig commenced in the chapel. There was a credentials from heaven; He was apfair attendance, considering that Heaton- pointed by the Law-giver. Here is con. road, Peckham-rye, is far from being a solation for those who trust in Christ. central position for our churches. But II. SOMETHING IN PARTICULAR MENwhatever inconvenience the delegates may
BY THE SPEAKER.-Some would have experienced in getting to the place be offended in Him. Could this be posof meeting, they were most certainly re- sible? Was it His look, so tender, and paid by the kindness of the friends who full of calm dignity, which gave offence ? entertained them.
Did his words, so gracious and ioving, The devotional service commenced by offend those who listened? There were the singing of a hymn, after which, many offended at Him when on earth. brother Shepherd, who occupied the The offence of the cross has not ceased. chair,.called upon brethren Wakelin, of This is the offence of–(1.) His Person—the Keppel-street, and Topley, "of Deptford, cry being still raised, " Is not this the carto engage in prayer. The chairman then penter's son? (2.) His Doctrine — the read a part of Philippians ii., and offered teaching of Christ is still too distinguish. some profitable comments thereon. After ing for proud man.
Christ says, the singing of another hymn, brother man can come unto Me except the Father, Reynolds, of Islington, sought the Lord's who bath sent Me, draw him;" but proud blessing. Mr. J. Box, of Soho, then man cries, “ You can come if you
like, entered the pulpit, and delivered a dis. and just when you please.” (3.) His course based upon the following words: Ordinances—which so many slight. Bap“ And blessed is he, whosoever shall not tism is the way to the Lord's Table, and we be offended in me,” Luke vii. 23. We regret have no right to alter Divine appointments
. that we are unable to give a verbatim re- III. AN AFFIRMATION MADE BY THE port of this excellent discourse. The fol- SPEAKER.—“Blessed,” &c.
This affirmlowing brief sketch must suffice :
ation indicates that there are some who Commencing with a well-arranged ex- will not be offended in Christ. ordium, our esteemed brother directed our indicates that there are thousands who mind to
delight in Him. Amongst those who I. SOME THINGS IN GENERAL CONCERN- are blessed because they are not offended ING THE SPEAKER.-Referring to the ex- in Christ we may notice: (1.) The Broken. cellencies of Christ's person, the preacher hearted—to whom God is nigh. (2.) Beshowed how adapted they were to our lievers in Christ who are exhorted not to refreshment and strength on our pil- cast away their confidence.. (3.) Fighting grimage. The names or titles of Christ Saints, who are blessed in their extremity are descriptive of His glories. Taking-up with the promise, “My grace is sufficient the three-fold name of our Redeemer – for thee."
(4.) Joyful Saints - whole Lord Jesus Christ-we had a title which cups are so full sometimes they described His personal and official quali- know how to hold them. Such, rejoicing fications. (1.) Lord-a name of rank, in Christ, make their brethren glad, and which included a reference to His essen- demonstrate the fact that all the world tial Divinity. The despised Nazarene is posseses is but vanity. Lord of all; a Prince who controls all An appeal for a good collection brought potentates, and guides all powers; a this soul-stirring sermon to a close. Bemajestic being, on whose thigh is written, tween five and six pounds were
collected, King of kings, and Lord of lords." which will go towards defraying the (2.) Jesus-a name given to the human working expenses of the association. nature He assumed. This name de.
The Gospel of Reigning
AN EXTRACT FROM ABRAHAM BOOTH.
The genuine gospel will always appear like an insult on the taste of the public. Wherever it comes, if it be not received, it awakens disgust and provokes abhorrence. Nor can it be otherwise. For its principal design is to mortify the pride of man, and to display the glory of grace; to throw all human excellence down to the dust, and to elevate even to thrones of glory the needy and the wretched; to show that everything that exalteth itself against the knowledge of Christ, is an abomination in the sight of God; and that He who is despised of men is Jehovah's eternal delight. 'Isaiah xlix. 7. The ancient gospel is an unceremonious thing. It pays no regard to the academic because of his profound learning ; nor to the moralist on account of his upright conduct. It has not the least regard to the courtier because of his pompous honours; nor to the devotee for the sake of his zeal or his righteousness. No. The potent prince and the abject slave, the wise philosopher and the ignorant rustic, the virtuous and the infamous, stand on the same level in its comprehensive sight. Its business is with the worthless and miserable, whomsoever they be. If these be relieved, its end is gained. If these be made happy, its Author is glorified. Towards these it constantly wears the most friendly aspect, and rejoices to do them good. But the self-sufficient of every rank are treated by it with the utmost reserve. The hungry it filleth with good things, but the rich it sendeth empty away.
These considerations may serve to show us the true state of the case, as it. stood between Paul and his opponents. Nor will the apostolic doctrine ever fail to be attended with strenuous opposition and foul reproaches, while ignorance of its real nature, and legal pride prevail in the hearts of men. But however the doctrine of reigning grace may be despised by the self suficient, it will ever be revered by the poor in spirit. For by it they are informed of an honourable way of escape from the wrath to come, which they know they have justly deserved. To the sensible sinner, therefore, it must always be a joyful sound.
Grace in its proper and strict sense always presupposes unworthiness in its objects. Grace and worthiness, therefore, cannot be connected in the same act and for the same end. The one must necessarily give place to the other according to that remarkable text; "If by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace; but if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.” Rom. ii. 6. In the apostle's view of things, works and grace are essentially opposite. Besides, the persons on whom the capital blessings of salvation flowing from divine grace are bestowed have no claim to those benefits, but quite the reverse ; they had incurred a tremendous curse, and were justly exposed to eternal ruin. Grace is the eternal and absolutely free farour of God manifested in the vouchsafement of spiritual and eternal blessings to the guilty and the unworthy. According to this definition, the grace of God is eternal, agreeably to the import of those reviving words ; "I have loved thee
; with an everlasting love." It is divinely free and infinitely rich ; entirely de
No. 576.- DECEMBER, 1880.
tached from all supposition of human worth, and operating independently of all conditions performed by man, it rises superior to human guilt and superabounds over human unworthiness. Such is the eternal origin, such the glorious basis of our salvation !
Yes reader, this is the inexhaustible source of all those inestimable blessings which the Lord bestows on His unworthy creatures, in this or in a future state. It is this which, in all that He does or ever will do for sinners, He intends to render everlastingly glorious in their eyes, and in the eyes of all holy intelligences. The indelible motto inscribed by the hand of Jehovah on all the blessings of the unchangeable covenant is, to the praise of the glory of His grace.
Divine grace as reigning in our salvation not only appears, but appears with majesty; not only shines, but triumphs: providing all things, freely bestowing all things necessary to our eternal happiness. Grace does not set our salvation on foot by accommodating its terms and conditions to the enfeebled capacities of lapsed creatures; but begins, carries on, and completes the arduous work. This matchless favour, lays the foundation and rears the superstructure; it not only settles the preliminaries, but executes the very business itself. Would we, then, view grace as reigning, we must consider it as the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end of our salvation, that the unrivalled honour of that greatest of all works may be given to the God of all grace.
What think you, reader, of this reigning grace, this wonderful favour? Is it worthy of God? Is it suitable to your case ? If you are burdened with sin and harrassed with clamorous fears of being cast into hell, if sensible of your native depravity and your absolute unworthiness; oh remember that grace has erected her throne; not on the ruins of justice, not on the dishonour of the law, but on the blood of the Lamb. The inconceivably perfect obedience, and the infinitely meritorious death of the Son of God form its mighty basis. Here grace is highly exalted; here grace appears in state, dispensing her favours and showing her glory. Remember, disconsolate soul, that the name, the nature, the office of GRACE ENTHRONED, loudly attest that the unworthy and sinful are the only persons with whom grace is at all concerned. This is amazing, this is delightful !
The compassionate proclamation issued from the throne of grace by the eternal Sovereign* is expressive of the fresh favour and the richest grace, including offenders of the worst character, publishing pardon for sins of the deepest dye, and all ratified by veracity itself.
It is acknowledged that this doctrine of reigning grace may be held in licentiousness by those that profess it. But it is confidently maintained that whoever holds it in unrighteousness never received the love of that sacred truth, or experienced the power of it. For to have a bare conviction of divine truth in the mind, and to experience its power on the heart, are very different things. The former may produce an outward profession, the latter will elevate the affections, turn the currupt bias of the will, and influence the whole conduct; for such is the sanctifying influence on the hearts of men of the Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God.
* Isa. lv. 1, 2, 3; Matt. xi, 28 ; John vi. 3 and 7—37; Rev. xxii, 17.
[Good Mr. Booth the author of the work, whence the above extract was taken, vzi. “ The Reign of Grace," was a distinguished minister of our denomination in his day at Little Prescott-street Chapel, Goodman's-fields, London, where he was pastor. 37 years. His decease took place Jan. 27 1806, in the seventy-second year of his age, having been in the ministy about 55 years, his first pastorate commencing before he was nineteen years old. The book referred to was written in early life, whilst he was pastor of a small church at Sutton Ashfield, in Nottinghamshire, and working at his business, a stocking weaver, to supply his daily wants, the church of his care being too poor to maintain him. Mr. Booth was the first utterer of the noted saying If error be harmless, truth must be worthless;" this was spoken in a sermon he preached from the words, Buy the truth, and sell it not—when with an elevated voice he declared that every partizan of the innocency of mental error is a criminal of no common atrocity, but guilty of high treason against the majesty of Eternal Truth,' The church over which he so long presided in London dates from the year 1633, September 12, being thus commenced in very troublous and persecuting times. It is believed to have been formed on strict communion principles, and to remain so to the present day. It now meets in Commercial-street, Whitechapel, having been compelled to remove from Prescott-street to make room for the Blackwall Railway some forty years ago.
Mr. Booth's book, "The Reign of Grace,' the writer of this note may perhaps be permitted to mention, was very much blessed to his soul at the commencement of his Christian career nearly fifty years ago. A kind Christian relative put it into his hand, hoping the perusal might prove a blessing. This it was to a very considerable extent in opening up to his mind the fulness, freeness, and sovereignty of divine grace. The chapter on Election was particularly useful in clearing away the difficulties previously felt in regard to that important truth of God's most holy word. It is to the reading of this book that under God's blessing he owes much of the peace and joy in believing, that from that time to the present he has been mostly privileged to realize. R. H.]
PRACTICAL HINTS BY THE WAY. no man shall see the Lord, while the
redeemed become practically righteous THE RULE OF FAITH AND PRACTICE. through the regenerating and sanctify
ing grace of the Holy Ghost, whose “ Thy Word is very pure."
sacred power and energy applies the THE Holy Scriptures, written by blood of Christ to purge the conscience, divine inspiration, are able to make and leads the feet into the paths of us wise unto salvation,” through faith righteousness and peace. in Christ Jesus: and our way through Thus the Bible gives a threefold this world is directed and cleansed by view of a sinner's justification. The taking heed thereto according to God's doctrinal view of justification before word. Whatever the Bible teaches we God is set forth in the words, “Being are bound to believe ; whatever it com- justified freely by His grace, through mands, we must observe and do; what the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. over it condemns, we are under the
Who was delivered for our deepest obligation to avoid and shun. offences, and raised again for our
It contains doctrines, experiences justification.” See Rom. ii. 24, and and precepts, each and all of which iv. 25. must be regarded as divinely im- The experience of this great truth is portant. Nor dare we set one before thus described in the verse that immethe other, much less divide or sepa- diately follows:
“ Therefore being rate them. • What God hath joined justified by faith we have peace with together, let no man put asunder." God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Without faith it is impossible to And again, we read of the righteousplease God; but faith without good ness of God, which is “ to all and and holy works is “dead, being alone.” upon all them that believe.” Without the shedding of the precious But there is also a practical aspect blood of Christ there could be no re- of justifying righteousness; for James mission of guilt, and without holiness assures us that “by works a man is