Imagini ale paginilor

it, but that is not the love; desire and hope are the fruits of it, but these are not the love. It seems to be the delight of the whole soul in God from a perception of his unutterable beauty and glory. As this beauty and glory are made manifest most resplendently in Christ, it is the delight of the soul in Christ.

"All my capacious powers can wish,
In Thee most richly meet;
Nor to my eyes is light so dear,

Nor friendship half so sweet."

For other expressions illustrating the nature of love to God and Christ, taken from the experience of inspired writers, and the fruits of love, the reader may consult Psa. lxxiii. 25, 26, "Whom have I in heaven," &c. Lam. iii. 24, "The Lord is my portion," &c. Phil. i. 20-23; iii. 7, 8, "But what things were gain to me." &c.

Upon the whole, Mr. Editor, while I do not adopt C. L.'s description in toto, I think my dear brother Scott has not expressed himself with his wonted care in saying that purely disinterested love to God has no existence, except in "a disordered imagination ;" and then in a few sentences after, in saying "christians often feel ardent love to God, when at the time they have no distinct reference to benefits and blessings which they have received, or which they hope to attain." This seems to me to be saying a thing cannot be, and yet may be. Love to God is a fruit of the Holy Spirit; and "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

Finally, the consistency, with this view of religion, of presenting "the joys of heaven and terrors of hell, as motives to a religious life," or how far this course is compatible with this view? Mr. Editor, all the doctrines of the gospel, and the affections and acts which, under God, they produce, are but several links in one chain. They arise from each other, and mutually aid each other. Take one away, the rest fall. For illustration,-the doctrine of human guilt and exposure to wrath, the necessity of the new birth, justification of grace by faith in Christ. Now one of these cannot be taken away without throwing down the others. Other doctrines might have been added to them. So it is with the affections and acts which they produce,-faith works by love; joy, peace, fear, hope, &c., follow. Take one of these away, and the chain is broken,without the fruits there is not the Spirit, without the Spirit not the fruits. Hence, as appears to me, the effects of "the joys of heaven and terrors of hell," as described in God's word, are not opposed or unfavourable to religion as consisting in love, but both aid it, and are the fruits of it. Hell is not only an unutterably miserable, but an


inconceivably wicked place, and all its misery is the sole effect of its wickedness, and in proportion to it. Are not these facts peculiarly adapted to impress us with the awful nature of sin, the dread of sinning, as well as of the misery to which sin leads; to produce a desire to be saved, and to lead the poor perishing soul to Christ? Need we be afraid of an excess of such feelings as unfavourable to love? Verily the christian, in proportion to his love to God, will say, "Oh! apart from its miseries, I could not live in hell. Heaven is an unutterably holy, as well as happy state; and happy, solely because holy. The view and hope of it, therefore, prompt us to love." 1. John iii. 3, "And every man that hath this hope," &c. Wirksworth.



A CORRESPONDENT asks, "Is it best to read the Scriptures at our Sabbath morning and week night prayer meetings, or to have all prayer and singing?" We say at once in reply, that the reading of the scriptures, in our judgment, is suitable at all meetings for religious and social worship. A well selected Psalm, or chapter from the Old or New Testament, adds to the interest and usefulness of our religious exercises. When we pray we speak to God: when we read, God speaks to us. The word of God gives to us materials for prayer; its precepts, promises, and revelations may thus be inculcated on our hearts. Any religious exercise, in which the word of God is overlooked has ever appeared to us defective. The habitual neglect of the Scriptures at prayer ings, has often been complained of by thoughtful christians. Even in domestic worship, the regular reading of the Scriptures is of great importance. How else are our families to become familiar with And if its devout and the word of God? regular perusal be neglected, how can we expect those around us to acquire that reverence for the holy book, which is essential as the basis of true and enlightened piety?




Is it obligatory on christians to receive the sacred volume as the production, in all its parts, of an infallible Intelligence? Vide 2 Tim. iii. 16. DUBITOR.


WHAT Would be a proper and scriptural

B. Y.

mode of treating a member who had taken, and feelings discourage the timid and the benefit of the insolvent debtor's act, enquiring? and who, on the plea of necessity, pays no dividend, and retains his goods? B. Y.


WOULD a G. Baptist be justifiable in withdrawing from a P. Baptist church and joining a G. B. church some miles away, on the following grounds:-He is rendered uncomfortable by disputes about doctrines, and by the display of an anti-missionary spirit, amongst some of his fellow-members, and he feels that the same habits


Is it consistent with our principles as Baptists for a deacon of a Baptist church to collect "church rates?" What discipline should be exercised towards a person who for worldly ends so far violates his professed principles? A BAPTIST.

WE respectfully invite the attention of our correspondents to the above queries, and shall be glad of concise and cogent replies.-ED.


THE INFANT CLASS IN THE SUNDAY SCHOOL. An Essay to which the Committee of the Sunday School Union adjudged the first prize. By CHARLES REED. Sunday School Union, 40, Paternoster Row.

18mo., pp. 136.

WHO can estimate the importance of the Sabbath School in Great Britain? How many blessings it has diffused; how much and valuable instruction it has imparted; how numerous are the evils it has averted; and how great an influence it has had, and is destined to have on the interests and well-being of this empire, and through it on the whole world, none can calculate. It takes the young under its gathering care. It is a father to the fatherless. It is an instructor of the ignorant. It remembers the forgotten. It draws the little ones from the ways of the world, and leads them to the sanctuary of God. It is a nursery for the church, and for heaven. Nor are its benefits to be looked for only amongst those who are the recipients of its favours, those who live and labour for its support and prosperity are themselves partakers of its blessings. Who can contemplate the kind of agency which is brought into operation from Sabbath to Sabbath without profound interest? Here are the thoughtful and benevolent in our churches employing their best energies, as teachers, superintendents, visitors, &c; and under their guidance the rising and pious youth of both sexes, giving their early hours to teach the young and to lead them in the right way; and thus, while doing good, obtaining often a delightful reward in their own bosoms, both from the character and success of their labours, and from the beneficial influence which those very toils exert on their own hearts. Who can despise the Sabbath-school? have seen the Sunday School Institution


[ocr errors]

spring up from nothing, till it comprises 250,000 teachers, and 2,000,000 scholars, with an average of five years schooling for each child."* We have seen its humble and unpretending efforts remove ignorance, prevent crime, enlarge the church, and give a tone to the character of multitudes which is the security of our land in times of danger and peril. We hope to see the perfecting and enlargement of its operations, until not a child in all this land shall be without its benefits, and not a young person shall be found who has not received some gracious influence from its hallowed power.

Our grateful admiration of its immense benefits, should not cause us to overlook any defects which it may present. It should rather stimulate us to use every means in our power to remove them. One very common defect in Sabbath schools, as it appears to us, arises from the comparative neglect of them by the more intelligent and influential members of our congregations. In some cases, friends of this order feel it to be an honour and a privilege to give their labours to the Sunday school, and the benefit derived by the school and the church from this source is apparent. But in too many, this class keep themselves and their highly educated sons and daughters from the school-room, either from an erroneous conception of the wants of the Institution, or from a mistaken sense of dignity. Would to God that every christian was properly sensible of the honour God confers upon him in making him “a teacher of babes," and of the real importance attaching to large and correct intelligence in those who are thus employed!

Another defect, and one it is the purpose of this well-written essay to exhibit and

* Baines.

remove, is the want of what may be called the infant class in connection with the Sabbath school. The distinguished hon our conferred on this essay, by the Sunday School Union Committee, render any commendation of ours superfluous. We do, however, most earnestly solicit all our readers who are Sabbath school teachers to give this essay a patient and candid perusal. We are assured that this will lead to some good result, and may tend to the adoption of some plans which will increase the efficiency of the Sabbath school. We have read the volume with delight, and on laying it down, the question at once prompted itself, "Why not at once attempt the formation of an infant class in all our schools ?"

The Essay is divided into ten chapters. The first removes objections to an infant class: the second shews the arguments in favour: the third shews the requisites: the fourth how to work: the apparatus required, the teacher at work, various means of usefulness, discipline, &c., fill up the remainder. The book is well-written; the subject is important; and we shall be thankful if this notice induces our teachers to give the work and its suggestions their best attention.


The "boy brothers," (Cain and Abel), is happily conceived. The narrative keeps well to the Scripture text, and the imagination thrown around it is simple, natural, and evangelical. The introduction of a drama-like poetical conversation, between the Father of us all and his docile boy, Abel, is happy, and the verse is decidedly Shaksperian. The next part, No. II, gives "the boy of promise," (Isaac) the history of whose progenitors, and the narrative of whose birth and early training, is very happy. In this, as well as in the preceding part, there is a piece of dramatic composition, representing the conversation of Abraham and Isaac, when he was offered up for sacrifice; which in deep, touching interest and truthfulness to nature we

have seldom seen surpassed. We should be glad, had we room, to give the whole scene. We shall be most happy if the future numbers of this work fulfil the promise of the present. Each number is embellished with an engraving.


Rev. J. B. Pike of Bourne, is preparing for publication, "The Curse of Christendom, or the system of popery exhibited and exTHE BOYS OF THE BIBLE. Parts 1 and 2. posed." From the prospectus now lying

Winks, Leicester.

The title of this beautifully printed book at first startled us, like Gilfillan's "Bards of the Bible," as being somewhat curious and quaint, but the perusal of these parts has made it a very favourite. Mr. Winks, the author and publisher, has happily hit "his own vein," and the mine which he will thus lead the boys and girls in our families to explore, is rich and productive. We are so delighted with the book that we should be glad to see it in every family and among every boy's first book stores.

before us, and from the known capacity of the author, we are assured the work will be both able and opportune. The cruel despotism of popery, its debasing influence on the mind and heart, and its blasphemous theology, combined with the gigantic efforts now making for its extension and revivification in our land, render all efforts to expose and resist it, highly worthy of encouragement. We shall be happy if Mr. Pike speedily obtains a large list of subscribers. As soon as 1000 are obtained at 3s. 6d., the work will be sent to the press.


JOSEPH BIRCH was born at Old Basford, near Nottingham, March 30, 1806. His parents were of good repute, though not truly pious. When six years of age he was sent to the Sabbath-school in connection with the Established Church. He says in a little journal which he kept,—" I continued to attend the Church-school for upwards of six years, and made some proficiency in reading, but am sorry to say that in this school no religious instruction was given. As my parents did not attend any place of worship, and I being of retired

habits, I generally spent my Sabbaths at home, reading every book that came in my way. By this means I acquired considerable knowledge; but alas! I was entirely ignorant of the Bible, not having a copy in my possession. I continued in this state for several years until, blessed be the God of all grace, I was invited by the teachers of the General Baptist Sabbath-school to assist them in their labours. I complied with this invitation, and entered the school "This was in October, 1823." He says, the commencement of a new era in my ex

istence. The order of the school, the singing of the children and the prayers of the superintendent, all operated very powerfully upon my mind. Never shall I forget the emotions I experienced when one Sabbath morning at the opening of the school, the children sang,

'Give us, O Lord, the attentive ear,

And teach our hearts to pray.'

I believe then that the light of heaven beamed upon my soul."

His connection with the school brought him under the sound of the gospel. Mr. Stephen Taylor, then of Carlton, visited Basford, and our departed friend seems to have enjoyed much instruction under his ministry. About this time he says, "I became deeply convinced of my state as a sinner before God; I sought his mercy through the death of his Son, and I believe, experienced his forgiving love. I could rejoice all the day long." He laments that he did not open his mind to some christian friend whereby he might have enjoyed advice, sympathy and comfort. Like many others he neglected to cultivate a spirit of watchfulness and prayer, gave way to temptation, and like Bunyan's christian, lost the roll of his acceptance out of his bosom. The means of grace were not wholly given up, so that the invitations and promises and threatenings of God's Word were heard again and again. Conscience became quickened and he became alive to his perilous condition.

On May 7th, 1826, he says, "Heard Mr. Whitehead of Castle Donington preach from 1 Cor. i. 23. This was a memorable day, a day to be retained in my thoughts even in eternity. I was enabled to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for the pardon of all my sins."

On June 11th, "Heard Mr. Fogg preach from Luke xxiv. 46, 47. It behoved Christ to suffer,' &c Then I experienced such an overflowing of peace and joy that language can scarcely describe. I could then say with Paul, God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."" He then began to meet with a few friends for mutual improvement, and in a short time had sufficient courage to assist in conducting the prayer-meeting, and even to give a few words of exhortation.

sed my Lord and I was privileged to sit down at his table." Our friend then became a tract distributor, and shortly after he was invited by the preachers connected with Stoney-street church to assist them in supplying the village pulpits. He says, "I preached my first sermon at Hucknall on Oct. 5, 1828. The text was, 1 Tim. i. 11. -The glorious gospel.' I can truly say that the only motive by which I was influenced was love to the Saviour and love to precious souls." Thus, the talents of our brother were encouraged and cultivated. His name was entered upon the preachers' plan, from which it was never removed until his body was consigned to the grave, a period of twenty-three years. He was beloved by his brethren on the plan and evidently sought their comfort and usefulness as well as his own. He was, emphatically, in the church of Christ, a man of peace. During the latter part of his life he was seldom at home, as a situation had been procured for him as traveller for Dr. Holloway, of the Strand, London. This kind of life was too fatiguing for his feeble constitution, and he was ultimately obliged to give it up. He never did possess much physical energy, but that which he did possess seemed all but exhausted.


After his return home, he did not seem to enjoy that peace and tranquillity of soul which at all times are desirable, but especially so when in the furnace of affliction and in the prospect of death. The visits of christian friends-a renewed application to the word of God and the throne of grace, brought him, by the power of the Holy Spirit, into the sweet enjoyment of that peace which passeth all understanding. In addition to this there were indications that the good Spirit of God was at work upon the hearts of some of his children. tended very much to calm his mind. His confidence in Christ was strong, and his hope of eternal life truly animating: Jesus was all and in all to his soul. He loved to talk of him, and longed to see him. He often said, that his only wish to live was, that he might be able, in some feeble way, to promote the interests of the church with which he had been identified for twenty-five years. The decree of God was otherwise. His work was done. A few days before his death he told his pastor that he was convinced that he could not be long here, and

On March 4th, 1827, he says, "I was baptized in Stoney-street chapel, Notting-hoped that he would improve his death ham, and united with the church in that place. My father and mother, and the young person who afterwards became my wife, were all baptized at the same time. Mr. Ayrton, then a student, now of Chesham, preached in the morning, and I was received into the church by Mr. Pickering in the afternoon. Without shame I confes

from 2 Tim. i. 12, "I know whom I have believed, and that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day." He also said that it afforded him great pleasure to give him the name of one of his children to take to the church meeting for baptism and fellowship. There was another of his children who had sought

and found mercy, but he was not aware of it. He was not permitted to see his dear child baptized and admitted amongst the Lord's people; but if departed saints are permitted to witness the scenes which take place in the church of Christ on earth, it must have afforded his spirit, as it did those of the seraph and the cherub, great joy to behold the church of the Lord Jesus increased from the circle of his fatherless family.

On the day that his earthly career terminated, he sent for his minister that he might, as he said, "take his farewell before he left." Death was doing his work. His countenance indicated that the foundations were giving way. He expressed his confidence in Jesus as his rock and refuge.

He read a portion of Scripture, but being
exhausted he requested one of his children
to finish the chapter. After a short time
he rose from his seat-walked into the
kitchen, but life was fast ebbing; Mrs.
Birch hastened after him to support him,
and in a few seconds he breathed his last,
leaning upon her shoulder. Thus died
our friend on Nov. 3rd, 1851, in the forty-
fifth year of his age. His death was
improved according to his request, to a
large and attentive congregation, in Stoney
Street chapel. Our friend had considerable
talent for writing poetry. Many of his
pieces are excellent, and in their spirit
truly pions. May all his beloved children,
with their dear mother, follow him to hea-
H. H.



righteousness; a meeting for inquirers was also appointed, and serious persons were invited to attend; sometimes twelve or fourteen have attended at one time, and have been met, as opportunity permitted, by the ministers, between the public services of the Lord'sday. The word of the Lord has been glorified; serious impressions have been made, and many have feelingly inquired after the way of salvation.

CHESHIRE CONFERENCE.-Mr. Editor,-I and pleasing indications of the fruits of take the liberty, through the Repository, of informing the churches in this district, that the Cheshire Conference will meet at Stockport, all being well, on Good Friday next, (and not at Audlem as formerly announced). All the other arrangements remain unchanged, viz., R. Stocks of Macclesfield, to preach in the forenoon; meeting for business in the af ternoon; and a public meeting in the evening. I hope our Stockport friends will inform us, through the medium of your April number, of the locality of their usual place of meeting for worship. Yours truly,




THURLASTON. Baptism and Revival of Religion. The G. B. Church Thurlaston had for a considerable time previous to the last Association been under a spirit of great apathy. Though the congregations were regular, and the ordinances of religion duly administered, yet the word of the Lord did not seem to produce any beneficial effects. A gloomy calm hung over the services of the sanctuary, while several of the members most painfully manifested a worldly disposition; SO that the state of affairs was far from being either satisfactory or safe. These sentiments were presented in the last annual report, which brought the state of the church more seriously before the members. This excited a spirit of inquiry, and it was resolved to devote one Lord's day morning in the month, for the purpose of relating their experience to each other, also to offer special prayer to Jehovah for his blessing. The promise of the Lord was speedily fulfilled; the windows of heaven were opened and blessings abundantly bestowed. A better state of mind was apparent,

On the 10th of August, four persons were baptized and added to the church, and one other in about two months afterwards. The work of the Lord still goes on; congregations are exceedingly good, and a growing seriousness pervades the whole.

On Jan 25, the nature and proper subjects of baptism were discussed, in a discourse addressed to a crowded congregation, from Acts viii. 38, after which seven persons were baptized, on a profession of their faith in

Christ. In the afternoon the doctrines of the General Baptists were briefly stated, illustrated and enforced, from Acts ii. 42; the newlybaptized were then received by the right hand of fellowship, and the ordinance of the Lord'ssupper administered to a large assemblage of communicants amidst many tears of sacred joy.

There are now waiting for communion with the church five approved candidates, and a

pleasing list of hopeful inquirers. May the Lord continue to prosper Zion !

S. R.

LONDON, Commercial Road.-On Thursday evening, Jan. 29, our pastor baptized ten persons, who with nine others from sister churches, were received, on the following Sabbath, to our fellowship in the usual way; and we are happy to state there are many more waiting to obey their Saviour's command. Some of the above were from the

« ÎnapoiContinuă »