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less than 106 had been Band of Hope traffic is so often greater than the members, and only thirty-one who Sunday school ; and moreover, that were not protected by the safeguard Bands of Hope have been so sigand influence of the Band of Hope. nally instrumental in adding to the

I will not weary you with illustra- churches, let us, my brethren, give tions and facts from the other side the utmost encouragement to the of the question. Suffice it to say formation and sustentation of this that a very large proportion of the novement; and may the day soon criminal population have been Sun- come when every Sunday school in day scholars, and most of whom are the conference shall have a Band of free to confess that strong drink has Hope assisting it in its blessed work been their ruin. Since then, the of leading children to Jesus. power and influence of the drink

OUR COLLEGE: LACK OF STUDENTS, AND THE

REASON WHY.

SEVERAL letters have come to hand the souls of men, and exhibit not only a since the issue of our August number, desire, but a special fitness for the great endeavouring to account for the pain and important work of the ministry, ful lack of students for the ministry should take them under his special care of the Word of God amongst us; but and tuition, do all he possibly can to there is such a marked agreement of assist them in their preliminary studies, opinion that it will only be necessary to secure opportunities for them of preachgive quotations from two or three of ing, and so do something towards supthem to indicate the views which obtain in plying the great and urgent need of our different parts of the denomination on churches. If this was done by all our this subject. One of the most outspoken, pastors right through the General Bapsigning himself, “a Layman," writes : tist denomination, with the determina

“There are many young men who burn tion to keep up our required staff of stuwith a love for the work, but they are dents, we should no longer hear of the not taken by the hand, and encouraged paucity of young men at our training by the pastors of the various churches to institution." which they belong. I have been engaged A second, from that well-beloved friend for ten years or more preaching to the of editors,

A Constant Reader," sugvarious churches just round this city, gests " that it is the duty of our churches who are without ministers, but during to look out young men and to give them the whole of that time, the question has every facility to prepare themselves for never been put to me by the pastor or so noble a work: that churches should anyone else, as to whether I had any de- make it a subject of special prayer: and sire to enter the ministry. A friend of that the conditions of admission should mine who is connected with another be stated in the Magazine.”* From church here, has experienced the same another quarter we learn that young coolness on this question. We have never men are to blame for their "over-eagerbeen asked how the churches have re- ness to obtain wealth and their want of ceived us, how the work was going on, love to souls ;" whilst a fourth maintains or whether the various causes

" that the standard of admission has not making any progress. There has been, been wisely framed; or if wisely framed and is now, a manifested indifference and

has not been sagaciously used.” The coolness in these matters which has been reason why” then, in the judgment of keenly felt. There is a very large ma- our correspondents, is manifold, and the jority of the members of our churches same feature characterised the discussion who know nothing of the “lights and of this subject in the Assembly at Notshades” of a lay preacher's life. But tingham. however this may be with them, it certainly ought not to be so with the pastors * The Rev. Dr. Underwood, Chilwell College, of those churches. I think, sir, a pastor Nottingham, or Rev. T. Goadby, B.A., Derby, will

supply these conditions and any information having young men connected with his

needed about the preliminary examination most church whose souls burn with love for

cheerfully to any applicant.

were

Of course, the ministers are to blame. “I can be as useful in business as in the I am eager to admit that. I always take ministry. Does not the world need men it for granted that anything wrong in who shall sanctify commerce, and make the church, or the institutions of the gain in trade for Christ and on Christian church, is due, somehow or other, directly principles ?” altogether unconscious at or indirectly to the pastor. Sin of omis- the time, perhaps of any influence from sion or commission is at his door. He is the knowledge of the hardships of a minthe sin-bearer for the whole church. It ister's life, the certainty that he will have is best, I, at least, have found to accept to contend with many difficulties, and the this position and set about correcting the prospect of an old age in which he will wrong with all the assiduity of a man be cast upon the pity and the plenty of who feels that the fault is wholly his. God. Admitted that the “ministers of Brethren, I think it possible some of us the New Testament” should be most unare really guilty: but probably most of selfish, unworldly men, prepared to enus would say we are not. Let us not dure hardness as good soldiers of Christ, quarrel about that, but look out young resolved to stand fast to their work, men, and guide them with all kind- through poverty and suffering: yetought ness and sympathy and wisdom to the not the churches, and specially the deawork of winning souls by the preaching cons of our churches, to do all they can of Christ. There are two grand things to weaken the pressure of these difficul. to do in the world ; one is to build up ties, and to diminish the force of this hinliving, powerful men, as messengers of drance, by taking care that those in the Christ; and the other is to build up ministry shall not have to chafe and fret houses of prayer in which these living about making both ends meet, and to men and their successors may work from close their eyes against the approach of generation to generation. Blessed is he age because the vision is so fraught with who has part in both these glorious works! possible evil to himself and his family.

But is there not some weight in the Young men thinking of the pastorate second charge? Have not our churches of our churches are not likely to be altoas churches failed to regard the work of gether unaffected by the temporal prosincreasing “the company of those that pects before them; and the higher we publish the word” as their work, their go in the social scale in quest of men, own work. They have established an the more shall we find these considera“ institution,” and expected it to move tions operate. Greater fairness to the regularly and perfectly as though it were existing ministry would be one way of a machine, merely providing oil for the increasing the number of those waiting wheels once a year in the shape of a col- for admission into its ranks. lection and a few subscriptions. Prayer The way in which mistakes may be for the raising up of ministers—have you made in the admission of students to our heard one since the last collection day? colleges is this. Good men, who care Solicitude for the future ministry-who more for quality than quantity, and think feels it? Is there a single church amongst that the ministerial market” is already us, whose members feel that they are as overstocked with incapables who would much under obligation to develop stu. be much better engaged in measuring dents for the ministry as they are to find silk, sawing wood, or selling tea, easily teachers for the Sabbath school, distri. fall into the error of mistaking cultivabutors of alms to the poor, and of tracts tion and polish for power, and of throwto the ignorant? Christ says to us still, ing away a diamond because of the rough“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the ness in which it is cased. labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the come to pass that the doors of our training Lord of the harvest that He will send institution are closed against some who forth labourers into His harvest.”

are exactly the men we need. We ought The third “reason why” is more com- not to ask for cultivated capacity only; plicated than either of the two above. but for capacity. We want the stuff out The gains of commerce are great: and the of which an able minister may be; the fascinating prospects of competence, ease, material, raw, if we cannot have it in position, and wealth, after a few years any other state.

Young men of real of hard and strenuous toil, may possibly force of brain and heart and will, who may have induced some young men to stifle have had no early advantages, who have the utterances of conscience, and to mis- been cradled in poverty, and have made read the summons to the ministry God their way through the English grammar has given them in their abilities, in their at meal-times, and stolen from sleep the usefulness, and in the audible voice hours in which they have acquired a within the sanctuary of the Spirit. Rea- knowledge of the history of their land soning with themselves they have said, and the geography of the world, and who

So it may

may not acquit themselves to the satisfac- should be not acquirements merely, but tion of a critical town congregation when power to acquire. Better methods of placed on that worst of gridirons a trial- testing men and of discovering their fitsermon; such young men should receive ness for God's work would greatly help a warm welcome. Every applicant should in increasing the number of students in not be made to pass precisely the same our college. This and other aspects of examination. Regard should be had to the subject must be reserved for another circumstances, and the determining fact occasion.

J. CLIFFORD.

GENERAL BAPTISTS SINCE 1824.

NO. VII.

ONE of the reasons which go to explain our slight success may be found in the mode of admission and the tone and peculiarities of the society which form our church communities. In the first there is combined much of what is offensively inquisitive in a disagreeable private interview, with what is formidable in a public examination. But steep and thorny as is this road into the church, the unhappy experiences of the pilgrim do not always end when this inclosure, supposed to be consecrated to perpetual peace, is reached. If there is the liberty, there is also the rudeness of democracy in the church; and her public transactions too often reveal the dark and angry passions which agitate the bosoms of her members. The modest and retiring member often shrinks before the loud pretensions of his officious friends, and the honest and unsuspecting open their eyes in blank astonishment at a subtlety and a policy which they had imagined foreign to this commonwealth, and known only in the dominions of the Serpent. The pity is that the most sensitive natures, being often not the least gifted, are apt to feel pain and receive discouragement from this source, where persons of coarser temperament are insensible of annoyance, or would recognize only the ordinary friction of business, which takes no account of idiosyncracies or fine feelings. But when it is remembered that religion is not only

“One of the privatest of men's affairs,” but that its devotional aspirations and its avowals of experience are among the most delicate flowers that ever bloom in the human heart, we cannot fail to regret that rude handling, or stormy passions, or the sarcasms of “wicked wit," should ever bring untimely, even though unintended, blight upon its petals, More than all is this to be lamented when it happens within the atmosphere of the church. The warm, but generally very sincere, though sometimes injudicious, enthusiasm of the youthful disciple; the attempts at public usefulness

which break down from excess of diffidence, the first buddings of that scepticism which is destined in the future to bring a black harvest of doubt to the conscientious thinker, cannot be too tenderly recognized, and even sympathized with. From mistaken rigour in the treatment of these cases of inevi. table early experience the writer fears we may date the gradual alienation from our churches of some who were once among the most promising recruits, but who, soured or chilled by upbraiding or derision, have left our ranks and are now in widely distant quarters of the field, or carrying arms in the camp of the enemy. There was, probably, a time when a few kind words, the exhibition of genuinely appreciative and friendly feeling, or even the frank expression of an honest share in the same difficulties, would have won them back. But it is too late. The weapon with which the mother sent her son to the battle has been brought back and plunged into her own bosom. Even now, when the sanctuary mourns the lack of rising talent, and the pulpit is fain to hide its head before the press, we fear there are some ready to repeat the suicidal error. We conjure them not. Let no inquiring or too ingenuous acolyte, whose head has been rudely bruised by the eternal censures of the old and the cold, have to complain, when smarting under ecclesiastical chastisement“ Not so does Nature heal

Her wandering and distempered child"And, turning his eyes to the sky and fields, and stretching his hand to his new spouse, Natural Religion, while he turns his back upon the church, exclaim,

"Nature never did betray The heart that loved her ; 'tis her privilege Through all the years of this our life, to lead From joy to joy : for she can so inform The mind that is within us, so impress With quietness and beauty, and so feed With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues, Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all The dreary intercourse of daily life, Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold Is full of blessings.”

An incidental, though not accidental, and selects partners in religion and (because it is a natural circumstance in society whose personal qualities are more the development of our civilization) attractive to him. Though this must cause of loss to us has been the social not be blamed with the harshness due to disintegration, if I may so term it, which a vice which has not its excuse in nature, attends the increased locomotion and there can be no doubt that the result of intercourse of the present generation, its operation has been detrimental to the compared with the one or two which numerical growth of our body; and, have preceeded it. The stream of popu- perhaps, even more to the rise in quality, lation which has set in from the country which is as important an element of to the town, the rapid enlargement and strength as numbers. The more proincrease of population in the latter, the longed education enjoyed by the minisgreater freedom of intercourse, the ters of some other bodies during their stricter but quicker modes of doing college course, the leisure which well. business, the substitution of acquaint- conditioned people of good sense often ances for friendships, the sacrifice of improve by spending it in study, the secondary considerations in business to greater refinement of manners, and the the primary one of profit, the ampler command of social privileges and amenifield of selection from which one may ties which prevail in wealthier commuchoose one's companions, all these cir- nities of Christians, have no doubt to cumstances tend to weaken and ulti- answer for not an inconsiderable number mately dissolve many of the ties of of defaulters from our membership, neighbourliness and business connection whose defection frequently dates from which, in a more sequestered state of their removal from a smaller to a larger society were correlative with and assisted town. It is not creditable to set off as a to sustain denominational intimacies. make-weight against this the discontinuJohn Clearhead and Thomas Broadheart ance of those specimens of the tempest lived in a village, and being members of in a tea-pot and petty offences between the same church never thought of giving inhabitants of the same street who are their custom to any but a General Bap- at the same time members of the same tist butcher, baker, grocer, &c. And, church, which sometimes scandalize moving to London or Birmingham, fully rural communities, who almost always expected to keep up the old shop rela- betray a sympathy with mischief, and tion along with their former friendship. an appetite for slander, in the inverse But, to their surprise, though still good ratio of their population. friends at heart as ever, they find them- But by far the most potent cause both selves miles apart in their new home, of obstruction and aberration from a and chapels and worthy Christians and religion which endeavours to enlarge its excellent ministers in the next street. boundaries only by use of the honest In two years time John and Thomas find, means of argument and example, is the what neither of them would for a moment existence in the midst of the community have listened to without indignation of an institution whose power of corrupwhen at Barton, that one is a class tion and perversion is greater than that leader among the Wesleyans, and the of any other force in society. We refer, other a superintendent of a Particular of course, to the Established Church. Baptist Sunday school! Truly, Tempora Though our poet laureate boasts that mutantur et nos mutamur cum illis ! The we live in a land in which obvious probability arising from this is “A man may think the thing he will,” that the denominations that had already English society is permeated from base the largest proportion of the population to summit, and from side to side, by an before, will increase most largely by these influence, the constant tendency of chance additions. The tendency of it is which is to warp the honest line of to make the large connexions grow larger thought, to vitiate motives, and to and the small connexions smaller still. weaken, corrupt, and deteriorate the

Besides, in the close union of village whole tone of conviction on religious church fellowship many members may subjects throughout the country. To naturally be supposed not to have been the abstract philosopher, or the simple s0 congenial to Clearhead and Broad- patriot, the idea that the government of heart as is desirable: but being welded a country should select from its various together by the pressure of sectarian forms of religious belief one which it obligation, they may not choose but be patronizes, endows, guarantees, and indifferent friendly. But now the string places in invidious and tyrannical aswhich bound them together in one cendancy over all the rest, is simply and society is removed, each flies apart in inexpressibly monstrous. That this is obedience to his spontaneous inclination, so in England is not only true in bald

and naked fact, but that we are so com- There is an old proverb that, “a disparatively unconscious of it, is merely senter never drives his carriage for three owing to the completeness of its triumph, generations.” Literally translated, the and the absolute acquiescence of society meaning of the aphorism is, that the inin the victory over conscience and truth fluences of seduction towards an erroit has attained. To the wounded piety neous and corrupt, though established, and stifled convictions, which are the profession of faith, rise in power with price of this general equanimity, the the social position of those upon whom public at large is profoundly indifferent. they are brought to bear; and the Among the many considerations which

power of perversion is seldom resisted render this enormity obnoxious to all long enough to span the interval from a sense of public honour, is the circum- grandfather to his grand-child. So unistance that its exceptional privileges are versal, so constant is the action of the chiefly claimed by the classes who least corrupting agency, which forms our need the assistance of the state, and social atmosphere. There is a sentiment, who insult the honest members of the call it a weakness, if you will, which is community by the blended offences of by no means the least powerful in naarrogance and dependency. It is the tures of high and sensitive organization, rich, the learned, the titled, the aristo- which renders the profession, habits, cratic and the proud, who clutch, with and connexions of family a strong ininsatiate grasp, the good things of “the fluence in the regulation of daily life and poor man's church.” The meanness of religious association. Now, when these these people who, when they can get it, have happened to be on the right side are content to have their religion pro- they are a great advantage to the facilivided for them by the parish, is in- ties for honesty and uprightness. A describable in decent terms, and richly man is expected to be as his ancestors. merits the most caustic contempt which The blameless life, the unambitious a liberal and indignant literature can virtue, the sturdy independence of his pour upon it and them. After having sires, when it re-appears in him, awakens for generations, and even centuries, no surprise; passes, without observation denied the blessings of learning to all it may be, but also without opposition. but themselves, and used all the re- So much gained, we naturally suppose, sources of ruthless power and priestly to the cause of virtue. We predict a artifice to keep the people in benighted more splendid meridian from the unignorance, it starts in alarm when it sees clouded morn, a more brilliant victory the day of enlightenment inevitable, and from the unimpeded race. But when, in stealthily crouches, like an assassin, to spite of the exemptions thus obtained in poison the stream of education which it favour of a course of rectitude, we find can no longer seal up at the fountain. a youth of study and of promise conIt is in harmony with all the principles summated in a manhood of defection, of depravity which infest human nature, we stand aghast at an example of turpiand willingly accepts all the contribu- tude which, out of mercy to the inditions which the most contradictory forms vidual, we explain by referring to the of vice so freely provide for it. It has superlative depravity of our common evasions for the dishonest, pomp for the nature. Although it is vain to suppose haughty, unlimited pretensions for the that when the solemn obligations of reself-righteous, indulgences for the sen- ligious consistency have ceased to retain sual, and a covering of ecclesiastical de- the government of a character, the feebler corum for every sin which would wither impulses arising from personal affection in honest society and blush in open day. and family tradition would restore the That an institution, however, which lost control, “still the wonder grows”' avowedly accepts fashion in the place of that in the same man we should meet religion should occupy a favoured place with a temperament equally insensible in conventional estimation is perhaps to the disgrace which is the inevitable not so very surprising. Besides being penalty of the apostate and the contempt the congenial home of the openly irre- due to a renegade. Such, however, ligious, it becomes the ready resort of while we scatter ashes upon our heads those whose principles are too super- and wrap our limbs in the sack-cloth of ficial to bear adversity, or even exposure.

humiliation, we must confess, is the But the strange phenomenon is that ignominy which brands the descendants some, and not a few, even of those whose of a few of the most zealous and gifted early instructions have revealed its cor- of the early members of the General Baptist ruptions to them are found in after life Denomination. “The gold has become reposing within the baleful shadow of dim, the fine gold is changed." The its pale. How is this?

wail we now raise over their fall, if heard

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