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English House of Commons, and dic- heretics in religion and Goths in tated politics to the rest of Europe. ignorance. In such plight they And now we are in our own day. would have looked around for com
But what a change has taken place panionship and sympathy in vain, since we were boys ! And what had it not been that the positive side changes have passed over the G. B. of their position in the controversy Connexion in the same time! And furnished a bond of union abundantly how shall we estimate them? We strong and sufficient, not only for the have noted somewhat of the general exigencies of debate, but even of decourse of change outside the body ; sertion, opposition, and persecution. what have been the specific changes It has often been said, and perhaps going on inside during the same with some truth, that dissent and time? To estimate them correctly protest, per se, being themselves it seems necessary, first, to define negative, furnish neither a substanwhat were the special characteristics tial bond of union nor the requisite of our position at the commencement forces for progress. This, however, of the period; and then we may, by depends entirely upon the character appreciation of the altered mood of, of the principles against which the circumstances external to it, arrive dissent, or the protest, is directed. at a correct realization of the present In this case they were directed relations of the Connexion and the against the negative or privative community. Laying it down, once elements in the creed of their oppofor all, that we have no idea of tres- nents, and therefore they derived passing on the ample field or the from the positive alternatives which manorial rights of the highly re- their opponents had rejected, all spected author of the "History of a the strength and fertility which the Hundred Years,” but only intend to broadest and most emphatic affirmachronicle the personal recollections tive principles could supply. Sacerof less than half a century, we may dotalism implied that certain high proceed to state that the most palpa- spiritual privileges and functions ble feature of the situation of the were the exclusive prerogative of a founders of our body was one of iso
limited number of individuals, to lation. This arose necessarily from whom they were communicated under the fact that the theological com- very restricted conditions of time, plexion of the sentiments by which place, law, and ceremony. In oppothey were actuated was that of sition to this, our ancestors contended intense Protestantism. This Protest- that the richest grace and highest antism was directed in two different, gifts of spiritual life and service were and as it frequently happened, oppo- freely open to the acceptance of all site quarters. It turned itself in full mankind by the direct and uncondiforce against sacerdotalism in one tional benevolence of God; and that direction, and against the restrictive neither priest nor kaiser found a tenets of Calvinism in the other. more favoured place within the holy This position placed our founders in a of holies than the humblest believer. cross-fire, and made them at once the Calvinism wore
as its distinctive object of persecution on the part of mark the special selection of a few the Establishment, and of aversion, favoured individuals from among the not unmixed with contempt, on that millions of depraved humanity, while of the respectable and educated Dis- the immense majority of mankind senters. Church people looked upon were delivered over to those uncovethem as fanatical and seditious, and nanted mercies which made it such a proper subjects for the stocks, while terrible thing “to fall into the hands Independents and Baptists faintly of the living God.” General Bap
oncealed their horror of them as tists, on the other hand, asserted
with a pellucid clearness and energy the highest gifts of God to man were of statement which was only equalled limited by sacerdotal or selective by the faultless spirit of charity and restriction; their own position, that reverence in which it was uttered, they were the equal and common that there was no restriction nor heritage of all humanity. The priest reserve in the offers of Divine
mercy, said, You cannot have salvation that salvation was the universal heir- unless I give it you ;” the Calvinist loom, which nothing but intentional said, “You cannot have it unless you rejection could alienate; and that it are one of the elect;" the General was as derogatory to the infinite per- Baptist said, "All men can and will fections of God as it was fatal to the have it, unless they intentionally dearest interests and hopes of men
In the fulness of these to admit the contrary. They were, truths and the richness of these therefore, in their relation with these consolations they were strong. The two sets of combatants, on immea- word of God was, they believed, insurably broader ground than that fallible; the reason and conscience occupied by their antagonists, in of mankind were in their favour ; their contest with whom, in the lapse why should they despair ? Who had of time, they were sure to find the a better right to expect eventual countless masses and overpowering victory? They felt the energy of influence of all rational and consci- undaunted assurance, and worked entious humanity with them. The wonders. position of their opponents was that
“Possunt quia posse videntur."
FAMILIAR TALKS WITH YOUNG CHRISTIANS. *
No. I.-On Getting a Clear Start. GEORGE MOSTYN had recently shown so good than wealthy, Christ-like than sucmuch earnest thoughtfulness about the cessful, true and right than famous; adoption of the Christian life as to give where the name and the love of God his friends bright and pleasant hopes of entered freely into the household conhis speedy consecration to Christ. He versation, and the joy of God filled the was naturally a light-hearted youth, heart of at least three of the inmates, ready for any quantity of innocent mis- father, mother, and Maggie, and flowed chief, a little too much given to teasing over, bathing with its refreshing influhis sister Maggie, keen in his relish for ence the whole domestic life. Fortusuch sports as cricket, rowing, skating, nately, too, George had a good Christian football, and the like, ambitious to excel master, of thorough business habits and in his business, but hardly ever free
ching integrity, who had never from the conviction that he ought to be learnt to lie in order to shelter himself a Christian, and never entertaining any from blame, or to put bad wood or bad other idea than that some day or other work into a "job” because he had erred he should be one. His associations were in his contract. All these favourable cirmostly of a healthy sort, fitted to foster cumstances were, by the blessing of God's good desires and godly resolutions, and Spirit, doing their work; and as Mr. Kinglikely to help in the formation of a sound ston, his teacher, said, it was clear that and thorough religious character. He George was more than usually anxious had attended the Sunday school from the and prayerful in his consideration of the day he was able to master the journey, meaning and claims of the religious life. and his parents had regularly trained It has been my lot to see so many him to worship God with them in their youths like him, that I at once underloved sanctuary That privilege which stood this to be a delicate and critical no youth can prizė too highly, a godly period of his life, requiring the wisest home, was also his; a home where it was treatment and the most careful attenalways held to be a better thing to be tions. The deepening intensity of his
* This series of papers is intended to follow up the "Familiar Talks” which appeared in this Magazine in 1871, and which have just been published by Mr. Stock, Paternoster Row, in an elegant binding, and with two additional chapters, under the title of "Starting in Life," price 28.
religious feelings, the growing solemnity delighted in Him. He was "altogether and importance of beginning life, in its lovely," the chief of all her joys. Just truest and richest sense, the special as bread satisfies hunger, or water thirst, wakefulness in observing the spirit and so Christ satisfied the deep and wide conduct of those who profess to be Chris- cravings of her spiritual nature. As a tians and guides of others, the fearful well-made key fits into its lock, so the possibility of injuring for years by Lord Jesus met all the demands of her thoughtless words or inconsiderate deeds active conscience, her great mental needs, the feeble germs now struggling towards the intensity of her religious ardour, and growth, made me very anxious that he her resolve to make her life really noble should have a clear start, and so make and useful. She revelled in the overflowmore solid and satisfactory progress in ing fulness of the satisfaction she found thorough practical godliness than many
in the Christ of the gospels; her young whom I have known. Some Christians, and trustful spirit found its perfect it seems to me, are weak and irresolute heaven in the sweetness of His love. all their days because they do not begini “And have you no doubts at all, Magwell. They set out with false expecta- gie?” said George one day, in the course tions, unreasonable hopes, and erroneous of a long conversation. notions; and therefore make ill-directed “Doubts,” she said, “how dare I doubt efforts to reach a goal they do not see,
the love of ONE who has died for me, and and obtain a blessing they do not under- who, if it were necessary for my good, stand. They have no clear ideas of “the would die for me again to-day? Instead way of salvation,” no definite principles of doubting, I feel I cannot trust Him of life, no accurate Biblical knowledge, enough; and I almost pant for opportuno perception of the simple conditions of nities in which the strength and simplispiritual health and vigour; and hence, city of my trust may be tested, and so just as a child that is badly nursed and increased.” ill-trained at the start, gets ricketty, has “But have not such questions as these scarcely a well-shaped or strong limb, ever disturbed your peace-Am I really and goes all its days with the marks of a Christian? Am I deceiving myself ? its bad training upon it, so some Chris
Is all this real, or am I being led away tians «
go mourning all their days ;" by my own excited feelings poss never stand straight, have no moral “Of course, George, I've been tempted principle, and no religious power, simply occasionally, but it has only been for a because they have been suffered to make moment; for I have at once recalled the so bad a beginning. In the Christian words of Jesus, 'He that believeth on life the old proverb has much truth, the Son hath everlasting life,' and 'He “To begin well is to end well.” Many that cometh to me I will in no wise cast “failures” are directly traceable to want out;' also the saying of John, The blood of sufficient wisdom and care at the start. of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from
George Mostyn's condition was pro- all sin ;' and the temptation has been bably a cause of less solicitude to me, vanquished, and in the victory I have because I knew that his sister Margaret,
had another occasion for thanksgiving. I or Maggie as she was familiarly called, know very well that my salvation does and who was about a year and a half his not depend upon my state of feeling, senior, was, though altogether different whether it is happy or sad, but upon my in character and in religious experience, simple acceptance of God's Son." well fitted in some respects to aid him
“And, Maggie, do you really say you in his early efforts. She had an ardent have no recollection whatever of the enthusiasm, and had formed a passionate hour in which you became a Christian? ideal of life. She yearned to be and to Can't you name the day or the circum. do something really effective. She used stances ? Didn't you feel any sudden to say, with all her strength of convic- and decided change?”. tion, quoting the words of the poet:- “No, George. As I told our pastor “'Tis a vile life that, like a garden pool,
when I became a member of the church, Lies stagnant in the round of personal loves,
it always seems to me as though I had That has no ear save for the tickling lute gradually and almost unwittingly grown Set to small measures,-deaf to all the beats
up into the Christian life, just as the Of that large music rolling o'er the world; A miserable, petty, low-roofed life,
seeds of the sweet-williams and nasturThat knows the mighty orbits of the skies tiums grew into leaf and flower. God Through nought save light or dark in its own
set me in a good soil; the warm beams cabin.
of his love have been kindling about me And all these yearnings of her young
and all my life, the gentle dews of parental love-filled heart centred in her Saviour. prayer have softened my heart, and kind She did not merely receive Him; she arms have protected me from many of
the evils of the world, and I have slowly niel, meditating on the Hebrew Scripbecome a follower of Christ. Or I may tures under the fig-tree, is asked by say it seems to me like this: our dear Philip to come and see' Jesus of Nazafather and mother are both beautiful reth, and his prejudice is conquered by mirrors of the Saviour's gentleness and learning that the Nazarene is omniscient. grace; have been looking therein for The woman of Samaria finds Christ when at least half a score years, and gradually she sees in the Stranger at the well one I have been changed into the sameimage, who tells the secrets of her life as fully as by the Spirit of the Lord. Certainly as if he had known her all her days. I have had no sudden shock, no special Saul of Tarsus does not cease his rebel. revelations; I can't say on such a day, lion and start for the cross till he is in such a place, I was converted; but as struck down on the road to Damascus I look back I can see God has led me as by lightning. The chart of experience along just as a mother does a child, from is covered with roads, every one of which the days when it is so feeble that it can- leads to the Centre, Christ Jesus. There not walk, and when it has life but is not is the road beginning at the godly home conscious of it till its strength is firm of Eunice and Lois, and going through and its step steady, so He has guided the scriptures. Another road starts from me until now, when I can say with the Sunday school, another through the joy, "To me to live is Christ.' He is Bible class, another is correspondence or the perfect ideal of my life, my blessed converse with Christians, another is sorSaviour, my all in all! I love Him, and and another disappointment; indeed I want to be like Him and do His will the roads are numberless, but each one from day to day; and I sometimes think, may conduct to the presence of the Lord dear George, that if you were but a Jesus, just as all the roads of the Roman Christian, my joy would be complete.”. Empire led straight to the seven-hilled
“Ah, well!” said he with a sigh; "I city. The main thing is to get to the Cenwant to be a Christian, as you know, but tre, Christ Jesus; the road along which I find no end of difficulties in the way. we go is only of secondary importance." I feel as if I couldn't get a clear start “There, George," said Maggie, as she any how; and I won't profess anything laid down her note-book, “ doesn't that I do not really feel. There is enough of make it clear that you ought almost to that in the world without my adding to expect to have a different experience it. But what puzzles me more than a from mine in beginning the Christian little is, that what was so easy to you is life? You know how we differ in our so very difficult to me.”
tastes, in our ways of looking at things, But, George, surely you haven't and in no end of matters; and surely you forgotten the sermon of a few Sunday ought not to be puzzled and surprised evenings ago, on "Take my yoke upon if we differ in this.” you and learn of me.' Don't you remem- “Yes! well, I can see that; but it is ber the passage showing that God does not only from you I differ, but from so not lead us all to Christ along the same
My case seems altogether line and in precisely the same way ?” peculiar. Fred Wilson, who was baptized
Indeed, I can't call it to mind just last month, told me that he was converted now. What was it?"
within an hour. He was at the prayer “I'll quote as much as I have of it
meeting, and during one of the prayers in my notes, for I believe it meets this he felt like Bunyan's Pilgrim, as if the difficulty of yours exactly.”
load had gone from his back, and he And away went Maggie in her eager could rejoice in the liberty of the chil. zest to her desk, and brought out a small dren of God. And here I've been brought note-book, in which she was in the habit up in a pious home, and amongst Chrisof writing all that she could remember tians all my days, and yet seem as if I of her pastor's sermons. Having found can't make a beginning. the place, she said, “Here it is. The “But, George, you often say no two subject of the introduction is the diffe- faces are alike, no two trees are alike, no rent modes in which faith in Christ is two crystals even are exactly alike; why started in the souls of men. These are should'nt the same thing be true of the only my notes of it, and of course they beginnings of the Christian life p»s are very brief.”
“If so, which I suppose I must admit, “Men are not all converted in the what is the use of Christian experience same way, though by the same Spirit. and Christian biography, which you say Though all are led to Christ, yet they is such very helpful reading ?” are not led along the same lines of expe- “This, that it shows you in what all rience. Peter hears the invitation of beginnings' agree, and so makes known Jesus, and is soon by His side. Natha- what is essential in a beginning. For
instance, it is very clear that in every “There, Maggie, you start another of case of spiritual life, be it of young or my difficulties,
in using that word faith. old, and of either sex, and of any train- I am constantly hearing it, and words ing, there are these things—faith in the like it; and I know that I believe a great Lord Jesus Christ, bringing pardon for deal, and a great deal, too, about Jesus sin and joy in God; dissatisfaction with Christ, and yet this question of 'saving and sorrow over the past, and an ardent faith' troubles me; and so I go on from aspiration towards a higher life in the one difficulty to another.” future; followed by an honest and sted- “Well, George, I think I must stop, for fast endeavour to have the same mind it is nearly prayer meeting time. Let me that was in Christ, and to live a similar
arrange for you to see our friend Mr. Longlife to His. These facts you will find in ford about that matter, for I am sure he different degrees of strength in every could explain it much better than I.” young Christian life. Some believe and With this understanding, George and trust more fully than others, some aspire Maggie went to get ready for the weekmore, some work more; but all believe, evening prayer meeting. aspire, and work.”
PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE CHAPEL ALBUM.
No. 1.-Mr. William Rutty, Senr., and Miss Wedderburn. “You look at human beings as though they were merely animals with a toilette, and never see the
great soul in a man's face.”—Middlemarch, p. 25. WHEN I saw you the other day, Mr.' are pastors and deacons, Euodias and Editor, you said you should like to have Syntyches from the chapel; fathers and a few of my photographs for insertion mothers and children from the home ; in your Magazine, and though with that stockbrokers from the market; students pliability which has often led me into from the colleges; ugly, repulsive, and trouble, I consented, yet I have doubted unbearable bachelors from nowhere ; the wisdom of my promise ever since. -fair, attractive, but hard and harsh For really I have such a host of them, damsels from the wide deserts of rejecand they differ so much, not only, as of tion; heroes from the lonely garret and necessity in subject but also in the de- the splendid palace; saints of the purest gree of skill with which they are exe- beauty from the various walks of life : cuted, that I positively do not know indeed, a multitude which few clerks where to begin, or which to select. More could number, and no writer, not even than a quarter of a century I have been an artist, fully describe. What am I to engaged in this captivating art, and I do then? I can't bear suspense. It is am so devoted to it that I never take worse than gnawing hunger to me. I'd any journey without my apparatus, or rather fight a dozen foes than be imgo into any company without trying to paled for five minutes on the horns of get "a picture,” even though I may either a dilemma or a trilemma; and have to imitate Hogarth, who used to therefore at once I seize the CHAPEL sketch the rough outlines of faces on his ALBUM, fondly hoping that I may catch thumb nails; in fact I feel as if the the attention of most of your readers for camera and the chemicals were a part of a few moments, and interest them by myself, and I could no more live happily setting forth its contents, whether they without them than my dog Sancho with- worship in the calm Sabbath quiet of out his bone. Hence I have, as you the Pew, or work from that throne of the know, a large, strange, and miscella- preacher, the Pulpit. neous collection of portraits. Some of I suppose you, sir, would naturally them were taken almost in an instant, expect me to begin my list with a selecunder a bright summer sky, with a full tion from the Pulpit; but in my humble and clear light, and on a well prepared judgment as speakers always say when sensitive surface; others were slowly they are about to utter their most dogged printed in the dark and murky atmo- and obstinate opinions—in my humble sphere of cities and towns in the closing judgment, the pulpit often gets too much months of the year. Even by the fire- honour. It is always first; and therefore side, at the genial tea-table, on 'Change, I mean to reverse the order of proceedin railway carriages, at home and abroad, ing for once at least. Some men imagine my familiar lens has done its work, in- that the world is the wrong way up, and creasing my pictorial stock; so that here that chaos will soon come again if every.