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“All the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”—Proverbs iii. 15. IF King Solomon had written, “All the gratify and benefit themselves. But things thou hast are not to be compared religion teaches us to imitate Him who unto her”—that is religion—it would not “went about doing good.” And when, have been very striking language, for because we love Jesus, we have a desire boys and girls do not, as a rule, possess to be useful, He will point out a way. either very many or very valuable things. “I don't know what I should do if it Of course I am not alluding to our were not for that dear child,” said an parents and friends.
They are very old woman to me one day; “I can't read precious treasures. I refer to those myself, but, bless her, she comes twice a things which we are so fond of calling week and reads a chapter out of the dear “all my own.” I remember the days old Book, and then I get something to when I and my playmates used to carry think about.” Other children have been all our possessions in our pockets. Tops useful to their brothers and sisters, and and marbles, buttons and string, pop- school-fellows. And what they could do gun and pellets, were the companions of has been done so cheerfully and modestly, a whistle that would get choked, and a that they have commended their reknife that wouldn't cut. Valuable as ligion to all who knew them. And rethose things seemed, I suppose any one ligion will remain to sustain and comfort us of us would have sold his store for a when health has left us. A few weeks shilling. But if we could have had all since was requested to visit a little girl we desired to possess, pockets would have named Mary B- I had already had been of little service. One boy longed some conversation with her about Jesus, for a white elephant, another for and knew that she was seeking Him. I “Green's" balloon, and a third for a found her very happy, but so ill that no “ handsome pony!" Peter wanted a hope of her recovery could be entership that would carry him to Green- tained. But she did not fear death: the land; Walter, an island where he could sting was gone.
Jesus has forgiven be Robinson Crusoe the second; and me,” she said, and “I shall soon be with Edward a suit of armour and a battle- Him." Sometimes her suffering was axe. Our desires then were very large, very great, but I never heard the and became larger as we grew older. slightest murmur. “ Jesus knows best," Yet “all the things we desired were not she said one day. “I try to be patient.” to be compared unto religion.”
I am When I read to her the parable of the glad to be able to add that some of us prodigal Son, and talked of God's were led to desire that. We sought it, fatherly love, she exclaimed, “Oh! God and found it, and enjoyed it, and recom- has been so good to me.
I have come mended it to others.
back, and got a welcome,” I saw her Now some of the things which are again a few hours before she died. “You very generally desired are these :-health, will soon be with Jesus,” I said ; money, knowledge. Religion is of more “ does the thought give you much value than any one or all of them. pleasure?” “ Yes,” she answered, " very
much. I shall be very happy with 1. Religion is of more value than HEALTH. Him.” Just before she died her brother
If we have never been sick we scarcely and sister were brought, at her request, know the value of health. Oh!" said to say farewell, and she uttered a fervent a little lord, whose face was very white wish that they and her dear parents and thin, “I'd give my carriage and might come to her some day. And pony to be able to jump and sing like thus, with a calm trust in her Saviour, that happy plough-boy.” Let us be which had remained unbroken, she very grateful to God for health. Few passed away. I could not help saying things can be enjoyed if we do not pos- when, a little while afterwards, I saw sess that. I have seen sick children who her so still in death. “Let me die the have had the softest pillows, the choicest death of the righteous, and let my last fruit, and the most beautiful flowers. end be like her's.” Oh! how valuable is Gladly would they have given all for that religion which can give such peace health. Yet health is not the most pre- in the painful present, and such bright cious thing. It cannot ensure a useful, hopes of the future. and therefore a happy life—religion can. Healthy people, though they have many
2. Religion is of more value than MONEY. opportunities of usefulness which the Money, in the hands of wise and good sick do not possess, often neglect them, men, is a very useful thing. But we and live for no higher object than to are very liable to overvalue it; and to
But she could not understand how precious Jesus was to her; nor how love to Him fills us with gratitude. We shall not murmur and be discontented when we have the “new heart.” Oh! surely religion is better than money.
think that none but the rich are happy. Now many rich men are very happy. But it is not their money, it is their religion which makes them so. It is better to be contented than rich. It may please God to give us money, especially if we determine to be industrious and honest. But we should seek religion. That is the best thing. Money cannot keep us from doing wrong. It does not make us hate sin. A little ragged boy may steal because he is hungry, and he is hungry perhaps because his mother is poor: but then boys who are not cold and hungry and poor are sometimes dishonest. Indeed there is no sin from which money can preserve us; but religion can preserve us from every kind of sin. It is like the shields which the soldiers used to carry into the battle field to protect them from the arrows of their enemies. When we are tempted to be envious, or untruthful, or disobedient, it is religion which leads us to resist the temptation, and say, “how can I do this great wickedness and sin against God ?" And money cannot make us gentle and kind. Of course we may be both rich and kind. But men are not kind because they are rich. I know some rich men who are like angry hedge-hogs or stinging nettles. They never comfort anybody. I am afraid they often wound people by their rough and unkind words. They have a kind of serve-you-right, or get-out-of-the-way manner which is very disagreeable. Now real goodness makes us gentle, and sympathetic, and loving. Jesus was in
3. Religion is of more value than KNOWLEDGE.
Now we must not undervalue knowledge. It is a good thing to know something about the world we live in, and the men who have lived in it: something about birds and flowers, and stars and stones. Knowledge is of great service both to ourselves and to others : and it may become a great source of pleasure. I am always sorry for a great lazy dunce. He does not know what he is losing every day. You boys and girls have rare opportunities of getting knowledge in these days. Make real use of them. Don't rub your eyes red with your jacket sleeves when you come to a difficulty. Don't fold your hands and say, “I can't."
“If at first you don't succeed,
Try, try, try again.” Perseverance wins the race. And knowledge is worth running after. But knowledge cannot comfort us in trouble ; religion can. This is a bright and beautiful world, but we are sure to meet with troubles in passing through it. We may have to follow our dear friends to the grave.
We may meet with unkindness. We may be deceived by some whom we have loved and helped. And all this will be very hard to bear if we do not love God. Travellers who have seen half the world, clever men who have made wonderful instruments and machines, and others who have written very valuable books, have been unable to bear their troubles because they did not look to God. But God helps all who love Him to bear their burdens, and makes all their troubles work together for good to them. And knowledge cannot secure for us a place in heaven. It is not the clever—it is the good who are welcomed there. The good, whether they be young or old, rich or poor, learned or unlearned—the good will wear the white robe and sing the song of joy. The good will take the place of honour, and live and reign for ever. The good will see the face of Jesus, never sin.”
Oh! was not Solomon right when he said, “all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto religion !" Seek that, my young friends. It is "the principal thing.” It is the “one thing
“Gentle Jesus, meek and mild.” How kind He was to little children, to sick men and women, and to those who repented of their sins and wanted to be good. He turned to them when others turned away from them. When those who knew Him were in trouble they would say, “Oh! if Jesus were here He would help and comfort me: and they would send to Him from Galilee and Judea ; and He never told them that they troubled Him or that He was tired of helping them-He was so kind. Let us try to be like Him. And money cannot make us grateful to God for our mercies. We may have health, and friends, and houses, and land, and jewels, and money, and yet be ungrateful. But if we love God, every blessing we receive from Him, even the very smallest of them, will make us thankful. A poor woman was once heard to say, « all this and Christ." A lady who heard her was astonished to find that all this” was only a piece of bread and a cup of water.
needful.” Seek it while you are young. You will never have a more favourable opportunity. Every year of neglect makes the work harder. Will you offer
this short prayer-“Dear Lord Jesus, help me to hate sin, and to love and serve Thee ?"
H. BERESFORD ROBINSON.
THE CHURCH AND ITS DOOR. We have received a lengthy epistle from upon the guidance of an enlightened and a thoughtful correspondent objecting to far-sighted expediency. The right place the mode adopted by some of our churches for every Christian is the church of Christ. of appointing deacons, or others, to ex- That is clear. The door, therefore, must amine applicants for church member- not be so strait as to keep out the feeble ship. We have not space for the inser- and timorous, or you will injure them: tion of the whole document, and there- nor so broad as to admit the hypocritical, fore briefly condense its statements. The insincere, and scheming, for they will writer supports his objection by the fol- injure you. We ought not to have any lowing assertions. (1.) The mode is not hard and fast line, rigorously to be folscriptural. Clearly the 3,000 were not lowed in all cases; but to adapt our so admitted on the day of Pentecost. mode of admission to the condition, (2.) The judges themselves, though character, and disposition of the appligood men, may err; and so serious in- cants. With some nervous, shrinking jury result to the spiritual life of the spirits, an interview with the pastor, or applicant. (3.) The judges may be any one of the officers of the church, faulty in character. (4.) It fails to followed by private inquiry as to habit accomplish its avowed purpose; that of of life, should be enough: others will keeping the church pure. (5.) Lastly, enjoy telling “what the Lord has done this is “one of the great reasons why for them” to a dozen fellow believers, or the Baptist denomination does not in. to a hundred. Let these have their joy. crease in numbers.” The conclusion The law is that every child of God should reached is, that the writer can never be inside the family home; every worker enter a Baptist church by this door. in the vineyard; every Christian in the Cases are given illustrating the evil church of Christ; and church members, effects of the present method.
elders, deacons, and pastors, should work A paper of such signal ability and together to smooth the path of the fearsound sense appeared in this Magazine ful and diffident by friendly counsel and last year from the pen of the Rev. W.R. real sympathy, to “ cast up the stumbStevenson, M.A., (page 259) on this sub- ling-stones," and make a clear road lest ject, that we feel strongly inclined to “the lame be turned out of the way," refer our correspondent to that, and to lead up to and through the door of the there leave the matter. But two or church the shy and distrustful, so that three words may be added. (1.) Of the
all the children of God may enjoy the reasons assigned against the expediency ordinances of His house, delight in the of the present practice all are valid to communion of saints, and perform the some extent, except the fifth. That is duties and enjoy the privileges of the clearly out of court, for on the one hand fellowship of believers. A Christian outthe Baptist denomination is on the in- side a Christian church is a right man crease in numbers; and on the other, in a wrong place, and no pains should be the same door will be found in some In- spared to get him where he ought to be. dependent and other progressive denomi- During a fourteen years pastorate in nations. (2.) Moreover, is not the objec- which the above elastic method has been tion often rather to the way in which the adopted, and an average of 69 persons work is done, rather than to the work received into fellowship every year, we itself. There is severity in some cases have never had one case that was too where there ought to be the greatest much for us; only one that deceived us, tenderness; the demand for an advanced and in that instance the utmost care was Christian experience in “babes in Christ” taken in vain; but not a few of the “chilwhere nothing more should be required dren of God” now with us would have than the faintest signs of real life; and been outside our communion if the “red the investigation of “frames and feel- tape” of officialism, or of inflexible rules, ings” rather than of habits of life. We had fast bound our church door. Let the must distinguish between a plan of ac- church that has our correspondent within tion and the ways of working it. (3.) reach (or any one like him) get him But the chief thing to be remembered is, speedily into what seems his proper posithat the church has no law on this subject tion, that of a working and useful memin the New Testament, which is her ber of the church of Christ. statute-book, and therefore she is thrown
quickness of perception, and with much more than his usual felicity and richness of illustration. Children will greatly en. joy these words: and they are sure to be profited as they are pleased, and strength. ened as they are charmed. Nor would “children of a larger growth" find them. selves out of place if they were to sit on a quiet Sabbath afternoon in the Rabbi's school and receive his wise and thoughtful teaching.
RABBI AGUR'S SCHOOL;
ITS FOUR TEACHERS. By Samuel Cox. Religious
Tract Society. RABBI AGUR's school is Mr. Cox's first attempt to engage the attention of that largest of all reading audiences—the young. The book consists of five addresses : the first four being devoted to the illustration of the lessons taught by the Ant, the Hyrax or Coney, the Locust, and the Lizard, as stated by the Son of Jakeh, in the book of Proverbs, xxx. 24-28: and the fifth is occupied with the enforcement of the beautiful words of the Saviour about Birds and Lilies. The subjects are chosen with great skill, they refer to visible, familiar, and living things, and children lis to no teachers so eagerly as to those which run, burrow, creep or lay, swim or fly. They learn most readily with their eyes; and Mr. Cox has opened his school and made it attractive to his learners by putting in it things they may see. These topics are treated with the author's usual thoroughness, simplicity of speech, and
HEAVENLY LAWS FOR EARTHLY HOMES.
By E. Dennet. Stock. This manual of the relative duties is ad. mirably calculated to further domestic peace and happiness. It is a practical and sensible guide to home-duties, keeps close to the regulations of scripture as to husbands and wives, parents and children, and masters and servants; sets forth in a forcible way the grounds of the several obligations, and the advantages that will follow compliance. It is worthy of a place in every home.
Church Register .
THE FORTHCOMING ASSOCIATION. DEAR MR. EDITOR.
Will you give me space to request the ministers or secretaries of our churches to be as prompt and early as possible in returning the “Schedules" for statistics this year. Last year a good many came to hand during, and some after, the Associa. tion; and as the Secretary's report is ex. pected to be ready on Tuesday morning, in order to its accuracy and completeness it is necessary that none should be later than the 14th, or 15th, of June. May I also ask that this year, instead of postage stamps, Post Office Orders, costing 1d., may be used for remitting the contributions towards the expenses of the Association. Forms will be inclosed with the Schedules, which will be issued in May.
SOLOMON S. ALLSOP, Secretary.
of the above Committee, that their pames may be duly eprolled on the list of minis. ters in the Minutes for 1872. All applications, testimonials when needful, &c., should be in Mr. Stevenson's hands by the second week in June. Brethren are directed to the Minutes of 1865, or the Magazine for 1870, page 145, for further information; or it will be cheerfully fur. nished by, SOLOMON S. ALLSOP,
Association Secretary. March, Cambs, April 1lth, 1872.
COMMITTEE. Association at Nottingham, June, 1872. THOSE ministers who, from other bodies of Christians, have taken charge of any of the churches in the General Baptist Associa. tion during the past year, are respectfully requested to communicate with the Rev. W. R. Stevenson, M.A., who is the Secretary
GENERAL BAPTIST ASSEMBLY. TO THE EDITOR.-
Dear Sir,—The usual advertisement of our Assembly appears on your cover this month, together with a notice of the Com. munion Service connected with it, which we desire should not be denominational but catholic; a brotherly commemoration of the love of Him whom we all revere as our Lord and Saviour.
We shall be glad to have, both at the Assembly and the Communion, as many of our brethren of the New Connexion as can manage to be with us.
JOSEPH CALROW MEANS. 21, New North Road, London, N.
business the subject, "Claims of the Home Mission Work on the Churches in this Conference.” WILLIAM MARCH, Sec.
CONFERENCES. The next LINCOLNSHIRE CONFERENCE will be held at Peterborough on Thursday, June 6. Sermon in the morning by the Rev. J. R. Godfrey. A Home Missionary meeting will be held in the evening.
WILLIAM ORTON, Sec. The LONDON CONFERENCE will be held at Tring, on Wednesday, May 29. At 2.30 p.m. business, and a paper by the Rev. J. G. Pike, on “What to do with our small churches.” In the evening a sermon by the Rev. J. H. Atkinson. J. SAGE, Sec.
The half-yearly CHESHIRE CONFERENCE met at Nantwich on Easter Tuesday, April 2. Rev. R. Kenney presided at the business meeting in the morning; the Conference sermon was dispensed with in order to facilitate the arrangements of the Nantwich friends in laying the foundation stone of their new chapel in the after. noon. Baptized since last Conference, 5; candidates, 2. Owing to inclemency of weather the attendance was small com. pared with what was expected by the Nant. wich friends to witness the laying of the foundation stone.
1. The Home Mission Committee, stated that Rev. T. E. Rawlings had consented to remain at Congleton, at the request of the friends, who are laudably trying to become more self-sustaining.
II. The following resolutions on the Education Question were unanimously carried, copies of which were to be for. warded by the Secretary to Mr. W. E. Forster, the Minister of Education :
1. That in the opinion of this Confer. ence, certain clauses of the English Education Act, are framed in defiance of the con. scientious convictions of very many of Her Majesty's faithful subjects, and that nothing short of the absolute repeul of the 25th, and amendment of the 74th, clauses, will remove the injustice and oppression under which we labour; that their operation will provoke much opposition to, and violation of the existing law, in the proper regard for the higher law of conscience.
2. That in the opinion of this Conference, any measures tending to establish a system of denominational teaching, in the schools of Scotland and Ireland, whereby Presbyterianism in the
case, and Roman Catholicism in the other, would receive the sanction and favour of Parliament, would be alike unjust and wrong, opposed to conscience, truth, and equity.
IlI. That the next Conference be at Wheelock Heath, on the first Tuesday in Oct, and that Rev. I. Watts, be the preacher, or in case of failure Rev. W. March.
IV. That the Home Mission Com. mittee introduce for discussion at close of
The WARWICKSHIRE CONFERENCE was held at Longmore Street chapel, Birming. ham, April, 2. In the morning an able paper was read by the Rev. J. P. Barnett, of Longford, “On the Best Methods of making our Church Meetings as promotive of the Spiritual Interests of the Church as possible.” Conversation followed, in which several brethren took part. A cordial vote of thanks was given to Mr. Barnett for his paper, and he was requested to forward it to the Editor of our Magazine.
In the afternoon the Rev. L. H. Parsons took the chair. Thirty-seven were reported baptized, and forty candidates.
1. It was unanimously resolved, “That a most cordial vote of welcome be given to the following brethren-Rev. E. C. Pike, B.A, of Lombard Street, Birmingham ; Rev. W. Salter, of Netherton; and Rev. G. D. Richardson, of Union Place, Longford; and we pray that they may be abun. dantly successful in their different spheres of labour.”
II. That the churches be advised to take into consideration the desirability of upiting with the Midland Baptist Union.
III. A letter from the London Confer. ence respecting the working of our Home Missions having been read, it was resolved : “ That this Conference recommends to the consideration of the Association the ques. tion, whether there cannot be, with advan. tage, a greater concentration of effort in respect to Home Mission work."
IV. The next Conference to be held at Coventry in October. Rev. W. Salter, of Netherton, to preach. The paper, to be read by Rev. E. C. Pike, B.A., the subject to be left in the hands of brethren Barnett, Lees, Pike, and Cross.
V. Brethren Barnett and Carpenter of Longford, Lee and Cross of Coventry, were appointed as a Committee to prepare the business for the next Conference.
In the evening the Rev. W. Lees, of Walsall, preached an earnest sermon from Rev. ii. 1, “Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks."
H. Cross, Secretary.
CHAPELS. ALLERTON.-On Saturday afternoon, March 31st, the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of a NEW CHAPEL at allerton, was performed by Mr. A. Illingworth, M.P. The site on which the building is to be erected occupies a very central position in tl e village. The proposed building will contain school-rooms and class rooms in the basement. The chapel will contain