Зображення сторінки
[ocr errors]

man, and other friends. The services were continued on the following Sabbath, when the Rev. J. Williams preached in the morning, and the Rev. Benwell Bird, of Stourbridge, in the afternoon and evening. On Tuesday evening, January 5th, the opening services were

concluded by a sermon from the Rev. Hugh Stowell Brown, of Liverpool, to a large congregation. The whole of the services were better attended than was anticipated, and the collections, including donations from absent friends, amounted to upwards of £50.

LITTLE WILD STREET, LONDON.-On the 1st of January a valedictory service was held in the above place, on the retirement of the Rev. C. Woollacott, who has held the pastoral office during the long period of fifty years. Mr. Woollacott commenced the service by reading the well-known hymn, “I my Ebenezer raise,” &c. E. J. Oliver, Esq., an old friend of the pastor's, prayed. The chairman, Robert Lush, Esq., Q.C., in appropriate terms, introduced the business of the meeting; when the senior deacon (Mr. Balchin) addressed the pastor in the name of the church, and presented him with a handsome purse, containing Dearly £100. Mr. Woollacott, in kindly words, acknowledged the gift ; after which, addresses, marked alike by their eloquence and kindness, were delivered by the Revs. William Lundels, Philip Dickerson, W. Williamson, E. Wi George Wyard, and W. Brock. Other ministers, and a numerous assembly, testified their respect for the aged pastor by their presence, and by the deep interest which they evinced in the proceed. ings of the meeting.

TRINITY ROAD, HALIFAX.-On Christmas Day the teachers and senior scholars of the Baptist Sabbath-school, Halifax, held their annual tea. party, after which a meeting of a very interesting character took place, the large school-room being nearly full. During the evening Mr. Lockhead made a presentation to the superintendent of the school, Mr. W. T. Posgate. The testimonial consisted of a very handsome silver inkstand, along with Macaulay's “ History of England,” complete in eight volumes, bound in calf; and the inscription in the books stated that they were presented “by the officers, teachers, and senior scholars of the schools, as a token of their high appreciation of his efficient and valuable services as superintendent during the past eight years.” Mr. Posgate acknowledged the gift in kind and appropriate terms. Many interesting speeches were made during the evening, all bearing on the interests of the Sabbath-school.

WEST HARTLEPOOL.-The Rev. John Charter, formerly a member of Bewick Street Chapel, Newcastle-on-Tyne, was ordained, on Wednesday, December 16th, pastor of the Baptist church meeting in this town. The Rev. W. Bontems, the founder of the church, commenced the services by giving out a hymn and offer prayer. The Rev. P.W. Grant, of Darlington, delivered a discourse on the principles and polity of the Baptists. The usual questions were asked by the Rev. W. M.Phail, of Hartlepool, and answered by Mr. Charter in a most satisfactory manner. The Rev. W. Leng, the senior minister in the Association, offered up the ordination prayer. The Rev. W. Walters, of Newcastle, Mr. Charter's late pastor, gave the charge to the minister, and the Rev. W. Bontems, of Middlesborough, addressed the church. The service was well attended, and excited much interest.

BEAUMARIS.-On January 1st Mr. Isaac James, of Pontypool College, was ordained pastor of the Baptist churches at Beaumaris and Llangoed, Anglesea. Sermons were preached by the Rovs. W.

Morgan, D.D., of Holyhead, J. D. Williams, of Bangor, J. Thomas, of Amlwch, and W. Thomas, of Liverpool. Dr. Morgan proposed the usual questions, which were satisfactorily answered by Mr. James. Dr. Morgan then offered up the dedicatory prayer, with the laying on of hands ; after which Mr. Williams preached to the newly ordained minister, and the Rev. W. Thomas to the church. The services were well attended, and excited much interest.

MINISTERIAL CHANGES. The Rev. John Howard Hinton, M.A., having resigned the pas torate of the church meeting in Devonshire Square Chapel, commenced his stated labours at Barnsbury Hall, Upper Street, Islington, in con. nection with the proposed new chapel at High. bury Hill, on Sunday, January 3rd.---The Rev, D. Jones, B.A., of Folkestone, has accepted the cordial and unanimous invitation of the church and congregation assembling in the Baptist chapel, Brixton Hill, and commenced his ministry there on the first Sunday in January.-The Rev. E. Jones, formerly of Broseley, Salop, has accepted_from the church assembling in Bethesda Chapel, Trowbridge, Wilts, after a twelve months' ministry, a cordial invitation to the pastorate.-The Rev.J. B. Lockwood has accepted an invitation to the pastorate of the church at Nantwich, Cheshire. The Rev. C. F. Vernon has resigned the pastorate of the Baptist church, Coleham, Shrewsbury, and does not intend becoming the pastor of another. The Rev. A. C. Thomas bas been compelled, by reason of ill-healtb, to resign the pastorate of the church at Cross Street, Islington.-The Rev. J. Hirons, late of Brixton Hill, has accepted the una. nimous invitation of the church in George Street, Hull, and entered on his pastoral office with the commencement of the new year.-Mr. D. Russell, of the Metropolitan Tabernacle College, has accepted the invitation of the church at Lower Edmonton to become its pastor.-Mr. George Reaney, late of Regent's Park College, has received a unanimous invitation to the pastorate from the church at Falmouth, and entered on his ministry the second Sabbath in January.The Rev. John K. Grant has resigned the pastorate of the Eyemouth Baptist Church, previous to entering upon a permanent connection with The Elgin Courier newspaper.-Under the auspices of the Baptist Irish Society, and in consequence of the unanimous invitation of the infant church in Portadown, the Rev. John Douglas, late of the Independent College, Manchester, and not long since baptized by Mr. Carson, of Tubbermore, has undertaken the duties of the pastorate.-Mr. C. B. Sawday, of the Metropolitan Tabernacle College, has accepted the pastorate of the church meeting in Vernon Chapel, Pentonville, London.-Mr. J. H. Gordon, formerly lecturer for the Leeds Secularist Society, has, after a course of study in Cavendish College, Manchester, received and accepted a unanimous call to the pastorate of the Baptist church at Astley Bridge, near Bolton, Lan, cashire.- Mr. J. W. Nickolas, from Pontypool College, has received and accepted a unanimous invitation from the Baptist church at Newbridge, and intends commencing his ministry there this month.-The Rev. W. 8. Barringer, formerly of Blandford Street, having recently returned from America, is now desirous of a pastorate over a liberal Baptist church. Address, Cranley, near Guildford. --The Rev. Robert Thomson, for seventeen years pastor of the Baptist church at Dunfermline, will close his labours there by the end of the present month.


[MARCH 1, 1864.


“Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the

chief corner-stone."

MARCH, 1864.


BY THE REV. W. T. ROSEVEAR. Are not the temptations of business men to-day greater than they have ever been in former ages, is a question uttering itself in the heart of thousands who never put it into words. There is a kind of assumption in many minds that we cannot be pre-eminently spiritual, because the century is so secular. So much is not said in plain language. It were too bold a thing to assert, that in consequence of the new temptations crowding around us, and fighting against our spiritual life, the Church must not be expected to wield the power

which belonged to her in the days of the English Puritans, the German reformers, or the first apostles of our Lord. What we vaguely assume would, if put into distinct language, have a startling sound. It would, in effect, say, that in proportion as our century gathered up and applied to good and practical uses the best gifts bequeathed to it by the master thinkers and workers of the past; that as it entered further and further into the field of knowledge, laid its hand upon the powers of nature, and yoked them into the service of man; that as it woke up the nations out of their old slumbers, breathed into them its own spirit, and led them onward into those paths of science and engineering which Divine providence had marked out for them; in a word, that in the same proportion in which the century was doing, and doing well, the mechanical and commercial part of the work asigned it, it was tearing itself away from the guiding hand of Christianity

, leaving her no alternative but to lay down her power and withdraw from the world. But while such a thing could not be, and while the assumption in question need only be stated for its fallaciousness to be seen, yet, if we allowed it to remain in our minds as a vague unspoken feeling, which we never summoned forth to give an account of itself, it would paralyze our spiritual life. Like some fell but subtle disease, it would mow down the holiest aspirations of our manhood, remaining all the while undetected. Eminent godliness would not be aimed at: the very desire after it would die.

Business men, with every power taxed to the utmost, feel how difficult it is to maintain spirituality of mind. Whirled on in the great rush of things, it is only natural, perhaps, that they should sometimes turn sadly towards the authors and preachers who undertake to teach them, and say, You do not half understand us, nor the difficulties of our position. It is easy enough for you, in your quiet study or pulpit, to set up that heavenly standard of character; but here, here, where it is so hard to shake off the iron grasp which is dragging w and the very creation itself down to the feet of Mammon, who can keep his life

up to that standard P Who can be religious here! Who can see God, or hear his voice, or keep his law, or build up his quiet temple in the heart, while We are all day long swaying to and fro with these crowds : We have scarce


breathing-time to look with deliberate thought and prayer into our Bibles. Business tracks us and finds us out everywhere, even in our leisure and the hours of worship on Sundays, it scarce allows us an opportunity anywhere to be entirely alone, that we may balance ourselves and take a steady aim at the true end of life. Now if this be indeed so, if modern business stands between man and that spiritual world for which man was made, thrusting him back and chaining him down to a mere earthly life, then modern business is man's greatest enemy;

it is the curse of our century. But modern business, so far from being a curse, is, if rightly viewed, a blessing. It is born of beneficent powers. It is the offspring of those intellectual dis. coveries and inventions,—themselves the indirect product of Christianity,—to which the world owes its advancement. It taxes the brain rather than hand and limb. It shifts the greater burden of its work on from the physical to the mental powers of the workers. The world, as it advances, lays the pressure of its common business more and more upon the mind. This is inevitable. To complain of this, to wish it otherwise, would be to complain of the steam-engine and telegraph-wire, and to wish the work of centuries undone. There is a strangely antediluvian sound in this outcry against the enterprise of modern commerce, as if it must needs be a foe to religion. How much wiser it would be to regard it as one of the Divinely appointed conditions of human life in this century! Providence is calling men to compete with men as they have never before done: they must be diligent in business, or die. They must keep pace with the progress of the world, and move with increasing speed in that very direction of secular enterprise which so many assume to be incompatible with spirituality of mind.

And what then? Let them cheerfully accept the condition which providence has imposed upon their century. Let them not turn from it as from some “strange thing," but accept it as that in which lies no small part of their allotted training for heaven. Former ages had their hindrances to the spiritual life, and we have ours, and it does not appear to me that ours are at all greater than theirs were. Greater they unquestionably are in some respects, but then they are less in others; and I know of no past age which, if we had power to bring it into the present, would contain on the whole, less of hindrance and more of encouragement than our own. Would you exchange it for the age of persecution, with the axe and the faggot and the terrors of the Holy Inquisition facing you if you dared to serve God according to your own conscience ? Except to a few rare minds, who sheltered themselves in dens and caves of the earth, or who rose to the height of martyrdom, and became the moulds into which new eras were cast for the future, the age persecution must have been all but fatal to the spiritual life of the people. And are we sure that it would not be fatal to our spiritual life? With so little in us. of the material out of which martyrs are made, would it not be easier for us to be godly in an age of freedom, when we are called to move amidst the fires of steam-engines, than in an age of persecution, when our character would be tested by the fires of martyrdom ? Or would you exchange the mental activity of this time, running, as it often does, into wild and erroneous speculations, for the old times of mental quietude and inaction? Have these old times a charm for you? Would you have been an inhabitant of the world when it was sleeping its deep sleep through the dark ages, and what of movement there was in humanity was the leaden, staggering,

aimless movement of a somnambulist led about by a few wily priests ? Would that have been favourable to godliness! Surely, it would be easier to be spiritually minded amidst the waking-up, and bustle, and stir of our own time. The waking world, though ever restless, crowding, rushing, bounding forward into new paths, is more helpful to personal godliness than the sleeping world of some of the past centuries. Or would you choose, in preference to this practical


much of God's

century, the times of idle controversy over nonessential points of religion, or those times when the belief prevailed that in order for a man to be spiritual he must cease to be a citizen of the world ? It is easier to be heavenly minded in earthly work than in the seclusion of the cloister. Work of some kind is man's appointed calling, and it were strange indeed if in that work to which God summoned him he could not live to God. The regeneration of his soul is Frought out, not by fleeing from the world, but by enabling him to realize God in that branch of business to which he is called, and by strengthening him to bring the temptations inseparable from his lawful calling under the dorainion of a regenerate will

. Deadlier temptations stole in upon the monks in their selfmade retreat than ever agsailed men striving to live uprightly and to obey God in their daily business. For that, too, is a school of stern religious discipline, a field for the performance of high religious duties. All round about men in their daily business there is a great context of Divine providence, revealing

purpose to them and their families. That context they dare not rend

. In that lot of life they are to stand ; in it God has placed their probation: they may not, like the monks, transfer the scene of it elsewhere. And care I am that if we occupy the ground on which He has set us in this generation with watchfulness and prayer-open and exposed, high and perilous, as it confessedly is, alive with the temptations of the multitude seeking to draw us down into the broad way to hell-it is, nevertheless, safer and holier ground alike for body and soul than the monks' retreat. The Christian merchant, who is Scarce ever out of the din of Cheapside, being where God placed him, would find it easier to vanquish Satan, and to lift up his

heart in communion with the quiet heavens

, than the monk who spent his days pacing leisurely up and down within the stone walls which he had built between himself and the tempting world. Stone walls

, which shut men out from their duties, shut men in with their vices and the enemy of their souls. They gave up their leisure, not to God, but to the devil, who used them, as all history proves, to carry out his most subtle designs. The eccessive leisure of the slow musing ages appears to me to have been a greater hindrance to the growth of true manhood

than the excessive occupation of this fest ege

. And then it should be borne in mind that we have positive helps which many former generations had not. We have a translated Bible, civil and religious liberty

, and forms of instruction and influence created by these, which appeal to us of all sides and in ways exactly adapted to our peculiar wants. Here

, as elsew here in God's world, there is a beautiful balancing of forces one

thing set over against the other. “There hath no temptation taken

you but such as is common to na; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are Diapossess then your mind of the idea that the temptations of this secular sze aze, all things considered, more hindering to the spiritual life than those of former ages. They may be greater if you simply look at them in themselves; bet to measure accurately the force of temptation in any age you must take into account the character and energy of the people on whom they act. The temptations characteristic of the nineteenth century do not assail men with the business habits and aptitudes of the ninth century, They would be a strange

thing" to such men, but not to us with the spirit of the century in our ires. We are born equipped, as it were, for the encounter. It is a fair and Fen-handed battle we are called

to fight. The

conflict is intended to be severe: herein lies much of our spiritual discipline,--that which makes us feel our need Christ's strength, that which leads us to seek it of Him in earnest prayer. The more thorough and able men are in business, the

more self-possessed

and per and brave they will be to hold Christian principles steadily before then in all its competition and tumult. And there are men full of the spirit of their esztury, fall of its business energy, its method, its tact, its bold enterprise,



who are acquitting themselves most honourably in that conflict. There are mer among us who carry the New Testament standard of Christian character into their daily pursuits ; men who strive to set it up as high in their own aim, sur rounded with the cares and grasping competitions of business, as it stood in the eyes of apostles fresh from the visions of their Lord. Nor do they strive in vain. In them we see at least how possible it is for men to move in the very focus of secular life, and at length to occupy a place with the great leader of the age, and yet to have conquered its temptations and added to their ow spiritual stature. Moreover, it is these men, thus conquering the world, who with most of enterprise and on the largest and boldest scale, use the world fo spiritual purposes. It is they who propagate Christianity in ways most i accordance with the wants and demands of the century.

But let me bring out the truth implied in these statements. While I mair tain that we are peculiarly fitted to cope with the peculiar temptations of or century, I do not suppose that that inherent fitness of ours will count for muc in the actual warfare unless we are armed with the power of God's Spirit in or hearts. That Spirit is the greatest need of our century, and they are its wise guides and helpers, whose words, written or spoken, are breaking through tł religious commonplaces of the time, and carrying in some portion of th: Spirit's influence upon the living soul of the people. That influence is nigh u and not afar off. For while man is always shifting his ground as he moves throug the ages, the Christian religion is always following man and adapting itself him in each new stage of his progress. Always old,

yet always new, it is bringi home to the Christian of this century new supplies for new wants, new shielt for new dangers, new strength and wisdom for new duties, new armour for ne conflicts. It could not be more emphatically the Gospel for the century if it hi singled it out from all the others as the only one upon which to pour forth i Divine fulness. Christianity is not a limited mechanical force, exhausting its as it advances, but a spiritual force, every moment deriving a fresh

momentu from the personal life of Him who fainteth not, neither is weary. Hence it h not spent itself in fighting its way through the past. Hence it has not come in the present old and feeble and worn out. It comes into the centre of this ne age armed with all the sovereignty which belonged to it in the old days wh the paganism of Europe fell dead at its feet. It points with its sceptre to eve part of this modern world, and it says, This is mine. I am here to make it ali to regenerate the life of its busy crowds, to make it God's minister. I bring you supernatural power, to enable you to overcome all your temptations and discharge all your duties. Is this indeed so ? Then let us clothe ourselves the might it brings, for the conflict to which we are summoned. So equipp our greatest hindrances will prove our greatest helps : they will add robustn to our Christian manhood. There had been no Hercules had there been no me sters to grapple with. Just as the fabled giant was born as it were of the eff of subduing the monsters, so there is a sense in which Christian manhood con to its full height and sovereignty by subduing the temptations which assail and by bruising the great enemy himself under its feet. Even if your ten tations are greater than those of former times, the wiser way would be to I upon your century as a stage for the reception of a larger supernatural influer and the display of a nobler spiritual manhood than sufficed for the past. infinite reserve of grace is treasured up in Christ, always waiting in readiness come out and meet the needs of each new epoch in the world's progress.

With this truth in view it matters but little what may be the number or fo. of the temptations which confront us. We see how we are more than match for them. Even admitting that they rose higher than those of forn centuries, that they reached up like impassable mountains to the very clou blocking up and darkening our way, and keeping us back from the gold

« НазадПродовжити »