Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

active church, and you will see that the meditation, and render useless any efforts chief workers are drawn from amongst to discipline the mind by reflection, and the young.

And besides every one is really put out of court the very question bound to serve Christ in some way or Fred

had raised? Turning this over rapidly other, and I think the sooner they get in her mind, she said, "I hardly see that, at it the better."

George, that is to say I see it, but I feel Undoubtedly, George: but what I that it needs another statement to complead for is that it should not be all work, plete it. Do not some Christians, for and certainly not all public work. I've lack of a little forethought or selfheard that in some parts of the country, acquaintance, engage in work for which in mines and lace factories, they take they are ill adapted, and neglect other what they call shifts.” One set of work they could do perfectly well? Are “hands” goes to work for several hours not others struggling through their serand then they rest, and another set is em- vice from week to week merely from a ployed. So in agricultural districts the sense of duty, whereas if they would young labourers have one day in the fields carefully ascertain what their gifts are, and another in the schools. Now I think what they can do, and what they cannot, we want something like that. I'm sure and would in addition take care to reserve it's not a good thing to devote every spare to themselves some time for private minute you have to visiting the sick, prayer and reflection, would they not get talking to children, and so on. One's to their right work, and do it with much time should be divided between that kind more pleasure ?" of activity and prayer and reflection. “Oh to be sure, Maggie! I don't disReflection, it seems to me, is to the soul pute all that. But what I'm afraid of is what eating is to the body. Always this, that some of these “reflecting eating and never taking exercise would Christians' should never do anything bring on all kinds of diseases, and soon else but reflect:' and by and bye go completely shatter the health. Always away from the world leaving it no better working and never taking exercise would, than when they cameinto it. “Reflection,' I need not say, soon carry us into the by all means; but work for God and grave. Health is necessary to good work, souls assuredly should only follow.” and plenty of it. If my blood is poor, “ You remind me," said Fred, “of an and strength gone, my work will be idea that came into my mind last Sunday slight in quantity and bad in quality. at chapel. Of course I ought not to have Reflection and prayer purify the blood, made a little sermon of my own while renew the strength and increase the our minister was preaching; but he health, and so more work will be done, sometimes starts trains of thought which and the work that is done will have more run away with me for a moment or two. real life and force in it."

It seemed to me that Christians look « Oh as to that I don't say it is neces- upon a Christian church as a large harp sary or wise to get to public work at of many strings which the preacher is to once. I quite believe that there is less keep always in tune; and twice a week danger and often more usefulness in he must touch with skilled fingers the quiet and retiring efforts to be useful, delicate instrument and make it break than in others that come more fully be- forth in sweet and harmonious strains of fore the public gaze. I was much struck praise to God. Now it is a harp: but it this morning with the act of Christ in is surely also a school in which the saying to his disciples after a hard day's minister is a sort of Usher under the work,'Come ye aside into a desert place Head Master, Christ Jesus, and has to and rest awhile.' It seems to me that train the whole nature, mind, and heart what we want, as Mr. Kingston often of the pupils for the service they are to says, is that all Christian work should render in the world.” be the fruit of Christian life. Not an “Good! Fred, but that's not all,” effort to get life, or to quiet conscience, said George, eagerly, “a church is but just the blossoming and fruit-bear- a workshop as much as it is a school : ing of the life of Christ within us;" and and a machine to be worked as well as a “ then I think seasons of meditation will harp to be played. We do not go to be looked for as naturally as we look for school always: we go to school so that dinner-time and bed-time.”

we may prepare to work afterwards." To Margaret that seemed to be right, “But is not this it,” Maggie chimed and yet hardly right. She could under- in, “if I may venture amongst your stand very well that the fruit of the figures ? If the church is a workshop, Spirit is love, joy,” and so forth; but did are not the young members apprentices not, she said to herself, George's way of who need the special training and discistating it do away with the need of special pline that Fred is contending for when

66

66

are

he talks about reflection? If it is a school are not the young in a training class whose special object should be to teach them to think, to know themselves, their hearts, their weaknesses, their defects, and their need of Christ Jesus in all His manifold relations. If it is a harp, are they not strings which the minister has to tune so that when struck they may not make any unpleasant discord in the music of the church."

Hear, hear! bravo !" exclaimed George and Fred, clapping their hands.

After they had sobered down a bit, and had wandered from the topic for a few minutes, Fred found his way back again by saying, “I think there is another side to this subject. Such habits of reflection, of forethought, or as Coleridge puts it, of dwelling at home,' would not only fit for work and improve its quality, but also give fresh zest to prayer and form a character regularly watchful. I've noticed this, that when I've failed to enjoy communion with God, it has been when I have commenced prayer without reading and meditation; and I believe that if you have ten minutes for prayer, five of those should be given to consideration of the soul's need, and to thought upon God and His word.”

“ And I'm sure," said George, with a tremor in his voice, imparted by recollections of his own experience, “that watchfulness, which is simply another way of putting the matter of reflection, is very necessary if you are to avoid stumbling, and to walk in wisdom towards them that are without. Off guard, temptation assails us, and we are overcome in a moment. "Error is wrought

for want of thought. In a moment we may thoughtlessly commit an act whose consequences will follow us for ever.”

“But how," inquired Maggie, you to get this reflective habit? I want to be able to keep my thoughts from wandering in time of prayer; to be able to think a subject out without feeling that I have to bring my mind back to it ever so many times.”

Ah,” said Fred, with a sigh, “that is hard work. Coleridge's VII. Aphorism is. In order to learn we must attend : in order to profit by what we have learnt we must think-that is, refiect. But I find this' attending' the great difficulty, Still I feel that it is a difficulty that can be overcome by hard work."

“Mr. Goodman once told me,” George answered, “that there were two aids to this work that he could thoroughly commend. The first was to get a good book 'and master it. Know all its ideas completely, as completely as if you had written the book yourself. Take a gospel, or an epistle, or join the class of our pastor for the study of Butler's Analogy of Religion. The second was to commit to memory a verse of Scripture every morning, and keep it before the mind as far as possible all the day.”

“Would it not be a good thing," asked Fred, " to try to get Coleridge's 'Aids to Reflection' adopted as the class-book, instead of Butler for the coming winter? so that we might master a part of it. I fancy nothing could be better."

It was agreed to recommend it at the forthcoming opening meeting of the “Mutual Improvement Society.”

JOHN CLIFFORD.

PAST AND PRESENT.

Stars silent rest o'er us, Graves under us silent;
But heard are the voices of worlds and the ages :

Choose well, your choice is brief and yet endless.”—GOETHE's Mason Lodge. Tis not a mere gleaming on graves of the slain, And shows the race near its glorious goal But credible light, and a world-beacon flame

For all who have served it with purpose of soul, That solemnly sacredly shines from the past With teachings and meanings no time can

As sacred to us are the places we tread o'ercast:

As Salem once was to her long sainted dead;

For everywhere Labour and Love are to tend And we for the moment the earth's latest born, Some duty divine for the world without end. As heirs of the past have a work to perform, Selecting the truest, the wisest, the best,

And never were nobler the men who have been And purging its legacy pure of the rest.

Than men who love God and despair not or dream,

But dauntless, determined to do or to die, Its good and its evil, its love and its hate,

Are obeying the laws of their Master on high. Have formed what we found as with fingers of

Such men are His prophets, His martyrs His Beware then, O brothers, the future will be

kings, As th' spirit that worketh in you and in me.

His soldiers, His builders of fire-during things,

And one with the crowned and all-conquering From what has been lost to the all we may gain

band The Past bids us help the weak world to attain, Who from the beginning march into His land. Ripley.

E. H. JACKSON.

fate;

[ocr errors][merged small]

The open

To describe our Appual Assembly is not a very easy task. To most of us these meet. ings are so familiar that description is unnecessary. To those who, unhappily for themselves, do not frequent “ Our Feast of Tabernacles," no description can do more than convey a faint idea of its character and value. The meeting of friends, the brotherly communion, the frapk, friendly, and forceful debate, the public services, the push of work, reports, committees, resolu. tions, amendments, riders, instructions, majorities, &c. Well, it is with this as it is with other good things, "none but he that's there, can know.” It was a large association. Over two hundred and thirty representatives signed the book, and of visitors we had a good number. On Wednesday afternoon the attendance was more pume. rous than at any previous gathering of the kind. The annual meeting of the Chilwell College subscribers was held on Monday afternoon, T. W. Marshall, Esq., the trea. surer, in the chair, and this enabled a larger number than usual to be present at the openipg devotional service in the evening. This is a thing to be perpetuated, as far as possible ; because when the opening service is well attended, voices are heard in prayer that we only hear at associations, and it does us good to see and hear each other at the same loving father's footstool. Let us endeavour, as far as may be, to have Monday evening always free and sacred to devotional exercises. The service was conducted by Rev. T. Ryder, and an address of “welcome,” which struck a happy key note, was delivered by the Rev. W. R. Stevenson, M.A.

An early service was held in Broad Street Chapel, on Tuesday morning, conducted by the Rev. W. Gray, and a paper read by Rev. W. Sharman, 6 Our Village Churches.” This elicited a warm though friendly discussion, and the writer was requested to send the substance of his paper for publication in the Magazine.

At ten o'clock, after devotional exercises, in which several brethren took part, the Chairman, the Rev. John Clifford, M.A., LL,B., B.Sc., delivered his Inaugural Address. The subject chosen, was “ Jesus Christ; and Modern Social Life."

The ex-president, Rev. I. Preston, moved, and F. Stevenson, Esq., of Nottingham, seconded, the thanks of the assembly to the chairman. The address was ordered to be printed, not only in the Minutes, but separately for more general circulation. This was done without delay; and before the close of the meetings hundreds of copies had been disposed of. It consists of forty-four pages, and may be had of the

publishers of our Magazine at threepence a copy, or 28. 6d. a dozen.

The Association was then duly consti. tuted, and the following officers were chosen :-Mr. Councillor Hill, of Derby, vice-chairman, and the Rev. Watson Dyson, of Old Basford, assistant secretary. The appointment of several committees, to pre. pare resolutions and report on Thursday, closed the morning session. committee of the Foreign Mission met on Tuesday afternoon. The treasurer reported that more money had been raised for general purposes this year than ever before; still a balance of over £350 was shown against the society. Earnest attention was given to the enfeebled state of the Orissa Mission, and a determination was expressed to increase its European strength in India as soon as possible. It was also decided to appeal for funds, promised for five years, wherewith to send a missionary to Rome. The annual Home Missionary meeting was held in Mansfield Road Chapel, the chairman being F. Stevenson, Esq., and the speakers Revs. J. Harcourt, H, B. Robinson, H. Cross, E. H. Jackson, R. Silby, and T. E. Rawlings. It was thought by some to be one of the best Home Mis. sionary meetings held for years past. “Uni. fication of effort in home mission was the theme.

The devotional service at seven on Wednesday morning was conducted by Rev. B. Wood; and an address on “ The Prayer meeting” was delivered by Rev. W. H. Allen. At nine the annual Sunday school Conference met in Broad Street Chapel, under the presidency of H. Jelley, Esq., of Yarwell. A most interesting and instructive paperon Sunday school work was read by Mr. G. F. Bayley, of Barnet; and an animated discussion was opened by Mr. R. Argile, jun., and joined in by Revs. J. C. Jones, S. Allsop, J. C. Pike, E. C. Pike, J. Wilshire, Messrs. B. Baldwin, J. Wallis Chapman, and others. At eleven the spacious chapel in Stoney Street began to fill, and soon & very large congregation had assembled for morning worship. The Rev. R. Kenney, of Wheelock Heath, now one of the fathers of the Connexion, opened the service. The Rev. C. Clarke, B.A., of Ashby, preached the first Association sermon, an admirable expository and timely discourse from John xvii. 20—23. The Rev. J. Lewitt, of Scar. borough, offered the closing prayer.

At three the Lord's Supper was celebrated. Rev. T. Ryder presided, the Rev. E. Bott delivered a most suitable and touching address, and the Revs. W. Gray, E. C. Pike, and B.Wood offered prayer. The collection, which is annually devoted to the fund for

on

the widows and orphans of our missionaries, was £20, The Foreign Missionary meeting was held at 6.30 p.m., Charles Roberts, Esq., of Peterborough, presided, and introduced the business of the evening in an excellent and most appropriate speech, historical, financial, and practical. An abstract of the Fifty-fifth Report of the Society was read by the Secretary; and Revs. J. Wilshire, T. Bailey, G. Taylor, Messrs. R. Johnson, T. Cook, of Leicester, delivered addresses. The last gentleman spoke much and well on the desirability of a mission to Rome. Collection, £30.

The Second Association Sermon was preached at Mansfield Road Chapel by Rev. W. Evans, the Rev. J. Fletcher opening the service. The text was 2 Cor, xii. 9. The sermon was greatly enjoyed. At nine business was resumed, the College taking precedence. The treasurer showed a good balance in hand; and the reports of the examiners told that tutors and students had done their session's work well. Much regret was expressed that we have so few students. Various statements were made as to the possible causes, and resolutions were passed with a view to secure the ad. mission of any eligible candidates who might offer themselves at once.

The Centenary Fund came on next; and, though the general fund for chapel building and home missionary purposes has not yet reached the sum desired and intended, it was shown that something approaching to £20,000 has been spent by various churches in commemoration of the cen. tenary year. The sum of £5000 must and will be raised. The reports of Hymn Book Trustees, Magazine, Ministers' Reception Committee, Board of Advice and Arbitration, and other connexional institu. tions were presented; the Rev. J. Clifford was heartily thanked for his able conduct of the Magazine, and re-appointed for 1873; and £100 were voted by the Hymn Book Committee for the Centenary Fund. A resolution condemnatory of the working of the Elementary Education Act of 1870, and adopting the platform of the Manchester Conference : and another conveying our entire and prayerful sympathy with Mr, Miall in his efforts for religious equality, were unanimously passed, About £1200 were granted from the Building Fund to various churches now engaged in building chapels or schools, or for the relief of some heavily pressed by debt. Nothing can be more satisfactory than the working of this fund: would it had been established twentyfive years ago ?

The Secretary's report was again sadly incomplete. Returns came in at the eleventh hour; and in some cases threequarters of an hour later, and some have not come in at all. We have 1100 baptized :

about 20,800 members : and a clear increase of nearly 300. Some noble sums have been raised for Sunday schools, especially in Yorkshire. Sheffield has baptized the greatest number : and seems to have had a large blessing. Other churches, though not much behind, do not come up to the same

number. The writer wonders whether if we had amongst us a man of the highest type of an Evangelist, who could and would visit our churches, be would not be the instrument of stirring them up to love and good works. Some churches complain of their ministers being out so much; but is it not well sometimes to hear another voice than the old familiar one? Oh ! if such men as Henry Varley and Charles Spurgeon and Alexander McLaren, and Charles Vince, could take a tour amongst our churches, not to preach anniversary sermons and make collections, but to seek, by God's blessing, to stir up the dead sea of order and routine, not to say of formalism and worldliness, would it not be a blessing to many? We want a Paul and Barnabas to come amongst the churches, and “see how they do."

The letter of this year was by the Rev. G. Hester, of Sheffield. The writer showed that the real and only way “to make our churches more effective as centres of useful. ness" is to possess and display more of Christ; His mind, spirit, and conduct. As one of the speakers at the Conference remarked, the letter furnished the key to the success and blessing enjoyed at Sheffield during the past year.

The Association would have been wel. come to London: but two or three intimations, of a hearty welcome northward, especially from Burnley, led to the decision to go there in 1873. The chairman elect is the Rev. Samuel Cox. The preachers are to be Revs. W. R. Stevenson, M.A., and W. Lees. The letter is to be written by brother Chapman on • How to increase and develop the number and efficiency of our lay preachers.”

Hearty and unanimous votes of thanks were accorded to both the preachers, to the ladies who had worked at the bazaar, to our friend Mr. Cook, for his liberal and enthusiastic aid, to our many kind and generous hosts, and to the officers of the year, especially to the president. If he were not editor of this Magazine ...

The business was brought to a close by eight o'clock on Thursday evening; and for three-quarters of an hour a free conference was held. Prayer was offered, and brief addresses delivered by many brethren, and," the end crowned the whole."

Much beside what is here written was * But he is, and this will account to my attached friend, the writer of this paper, for the absence of all those portions of his MS. referring to him.-ED.

*

252 Open-air Services at our Associations.-More Students Wanted.

done; and will be found in the Minutes, or Year Book, the official chronicle of the connexion for 1872.

Perhaps we attempt to crowd too much into the three-and-a-half days during which we meet. Nor at present can we see any chance of improvement in this respect. But though a busy week it is a most joyous and profitable one.

One thing more we delight to chroniclethe Bazaar. The large room in the Mechanics' Hall was very tastefully set out, and seven stalls, representing five districts -Yorkshire two, Nottingham two, and Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, and Derby. shire one each-were well supplied with useful and ornamental articles. In addition to these Mr. Thomas Cook furnished

& stall on which a large number of Eastern curiosities were displayed, and most of which were sold. This is not the first time Mr. Cook has thus generously helped his General Baptist friends.

Only one minister has died during the year—the Rev. R. Pedley. He died in a good old age, and his end was peace. We can scarcely expect such a slight diminution of our ministerial number another year. Who next may fall God only knows. But let us work for our Saviour and His truth. His cause is dear to us, and deserves our best. And soon He will call us to our reward ! Lord may we be ready-our work done-and then. Come Lord Jesus-come quickly.

S. S. ALLSOP.

OPEN-AIR SERVICES AT OUR ANNUAL ASSOCIATIONS. TO THE EDITOR,

I write to ask, that in every future Asso* Dear Sir,--It may not be generally known ciution it be an understanding that two that the Committee appointed by the three open-air services be held, (weather permit. churches in Nottingham, to arrange where ting), and that we may not clash with any the various services should be held, em. other meetings, would suggest that we hold powered a smaller committee to hold two one on Monday, and the other on Thurs. open-air services for the masses, one on day evenings, both to commence about 8. Tuesday, the other on Thursday evening. The preparatory devotional service on Speakers were obtained, and the place for Monday to begin at 6.30 and close at 8. Tuesday selected ; but owing to the rain If this compels us to devote Friday we had to give both up. Some hesitancy morning to business or even the whole of was also felt in the matter, lest we should Friday, so be it. Better sacrifice the pic injure the other meetings on those nights. nic than not obey the Master, “Go ye out

I believe the suggestion as to the hold. into the highways and hedges.” ing of these meetings, was yours; but my- Or it might possibly be met by giving up self and others have long felt that wherever the Thursday morning preaching, and the our annual gathering is, there we ought to business usually transacted on Thursday be hold open-air services. It seems scarcely began then, and finished so much earlier. necessary to show the desirability of these I merely throw out this as a suggestion ; meetings, when it is an acknowledged fact " where's there's a will there's a way.and one often mentioned in the various Let us try to make the Association meetaddresses last week, that many of the work. ipgs less self-gratifying, more self-denying, ing men will not come to our places of wor. if by so doing we can better serve the Masship, and that to reach them we must go

ter.

I remain yours, sincerely, out to them.

H. F. Cox.

MORE STUDENTS WANTED. Of the various subjects that came up for may obtain the necessary fitness, apply at discussion at the Association, the most im. once? The Lord has need of you. Let not portant was the paucity of students in our the severity or even the unwisdom of the College. We have not room this month to tests employed keep you back. If you have enter fully into this question. We wish tried, try again. The college course does now briefly to call attention to one or two not ask for perfected and developed power : points. First, to the fact that some appli. but merely for power, capacity of heart and cants who have been rejected by us, have brain for the work of God. Young men, developed into most creditable and useful there is no nobler work to which you can preachers, a circumstance which does not consecrate your lives : no greater or richer need to have its lesson pointed. Next to gains than those of the Christian ministry. the special committee appointed at the Brother ministers! let us look out young Association to consider and act upon appli. and capable men, direct them in their precations made immediately.

liminary studies, secure opportunities for men who burn with a divine ardour to them of preaching, and so supply the urgent preach the gospel of Christ, and who are needs of our churches. And let us do it at ready to undergo any work, so that they once,

J. C.

Will young

« НазадПродовжити »