Page images
PDF
EPUB

calculated to

not leave a lasting impression on all those yet completed, although they had already who had the privilege of hearing it. done so much. The time might come

“At the conclusion of the afternoon when these galleries would be necessary, service a collection was made, which for the population of Ealing was very amounted to over £43.

rapidly increasing; and in addition to “About seven o'clock a public meeting this work, they hoped to build a schoolwas held in the chapel, presided over by room and vestry. He hoped that it J. T. Olney, Esq. The meeting was would not be more than three months opened with singing and prayer, the before the school-room would be comlatter being most fervently engaged in me

menced, for this, of all other things, was by the respected pastor of the chapel, much needed. Mr. Fergusson, one of the tutors of Mr. “Mr. Rogers, tutor at Mr. Spurgeon's Spurgeon's College.

Training College ; Mr. W. Isaac, Con“In the course of the chairman's open- gregational Minister, of Ealing ; Mr. ing remarks, allusion was made to the Foster; and Mr. Varley, of Notting two rows of iron hooks which were seen Hill, addressed the meeting. to protrude from the side walls. These “ The chairman announced the gratihooks had been judiciously inserted to fying fact that he had that day, in adallow of a subsequent addition, if neces- dition to the afternoon's collection, sary, of galleries. The hooks, the chair- which amounted to £43, received bank man remarked, had been put there for notes and cheques to the amount of another object besides this—which was nearly £40.

[From a pressure of matter, Revčews are postponed until next month.]

Pastor's College, Metropolitan Täberwacle.

..

0

[ocr errors]

0

0

1

..

0

0
0
0

PRESIDENT-C. H. SPURGEON.-NUMBER OF STUDENTS, 91. Amount required for Students during the year, about £5000; the rest will be devoted to

building Places of Worship.
Statement of Receipts from July 19th, to August 18th, 1865.
£ s. d.

s. d. Collection at Witchwood Forest, after

First Fruits, A. and E. Denny

0 0 Sermons by Mr. Spurgeon 24 0 0 A Friend at Palace Gardens Chapel

0 0 Mr. J. Craddock 2 6 Mr. Danzy Sheen

0 0 Mr. J. Griffiths

10
Miss C. Woodstock

2 0 0 Mr. Hanks' Catechumen Class 15 0 0 Mr. and Miss Brown, Freemantle

1 0 0 Proceeds of Tea Meeting at Tabernacle 70 0 0 Mrs. Hodge, Padstow

5 0 0 Mr. Vickery

1 0
J. Thorne

0 2 6 Mr. J. Balls 3 0 Collected by Miss Conder

3 16 3 First Fruits, M. M.

1
G. T.

10 0 0 Mr. W. Wright, Birmingham 5 0 A Friend

70 A Liverpool Disciple

1 0 0 Moiety of Collection at Woodstock, Collection at Oddington, after Sermons

i after Sermons by Mr. Spurgeon 15 16 0 by Mr. Spurgeon 15 0 0 H. F...

10 0 0 Mr. Dransfield

2 2 0 Collection at Palace Gardens Chapel, The Misses Dransfield

4 4 0 after Sermons by Mr. Spurgeon 26 0 Miss Hadland

0 10 6
A great Sinner

0 10 A young Friend 1 1 0 Mr. J. Challis

0 0 A little Girl

0 60 Collection at Great Easton, by Mr, Young Friends 0 13 0 Tubb

3 0 0 Mrs. Stacey . 0 15 0 Mr. W. Jones, Upstreet

0 10 0 Mrs. Tiffin

0 5 0 Weekly Offerings at Tabernacle, July 24 10 11 W. T., Birmingham 0 5 0

31 25 4 7 Mr. H., Kerridge 0 10 0

Aug. 7 23 90 Quartus 0 5 0

14 20 3 11 Collected by Miss Banting

0 10 0 Mrs. Maria Butlin.. -02 6

£318 13 3 A Friend, Miss C...

0 10 0
Subscriptions will be thankfully received by C. H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan

Tabernacle, Newington,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

..

6

[ocr errors]

12

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

S

UPERSTITION is to religion what fiction is to history. Not

content with the marvels of providence and grace which truly exist around us, fanaticism invents wonders and constructs for itself prodigies. Besides being wickedly mis

chievous, this fabrication is altogether unnecessary and superfluous, for as veritable history is often more romantic than romance, so certified divine interpositions are frequently far more extraordinary than those extravaganzas which claim fancy and frenzy as their parents. Every believing man into whose inner life we have been permitted to gaze without reserve, has made a revelation to us more or less partaking of the marvellous, but has generally done so under protest, as though we were to hold it for ever under the seal of secrecy. Had we not very distinctly been assured of their trustworthiness, we should have been visited with incredulity, or have suspected the sanity of our informants, and such unbelief would by no means have irritated them, for they themselves expected no one to believe in their remarkable experiences, and would not have unveiled their secret to us if they had not hoped against hope that our eye would view it from a sympathising point of view. Our personal pathway has been so frequently directed contrary to our own design and beyond our own conception by singularly powerful impulses, and irresistibly suggestive providences, that it were wanton wickedness for us to deride the doctrine that God occasionally grants to his servants a special and perceptible manifestation of his will for their guidance, over and above the strengthening energies of the Holy Spirit, and the sacred teaching of the inspired Word. We are not likely to adopt the peculiarities of the Quakers, but in this respect we are heartily agreed with them.

It needs a deliberate and judicious reflection to distinguish between the actual and apparent in professedly preternatural intimations, and if opposed to Scripture and common sense, we must neither believe in them nor obey them. The precious gift of reason is not to be ignored; we are not to be drifted hither and thither by every wayward impulse of a fickle mind, nor are we to be led into evil by suppositious impressions; these are misuses of a great truth, a murderous use of most useful edged tools, But notwithstanding all the folly of hairbrained rant, we believe that the unseen hand may be at times assuredly felt by gracious souls, and the mysterious power which guided the minds of the seers of old may, even to this day, sensibly overshadow reverent spirits. We would speak discreetly, but we dare say no less...

The two following incidents, however, accounted for by others, have but one explanation to the writer; he sees in them the wisdom of God shaping his future in a way most strange. The first story needs a little preface to set it forth; pardon, therefore, gentle reader, trivial allusions. When I was a very small boy, I was staying at my grandfather's, where I had aforetime spent my earliest days, and as the manner was, I read the Scriptures at family prayer. Once upon a time, when reading the passage in Revelation which mentions the bottomless pit, I paused, and said, “Grandpa, what can this mean?” The answer was kind, but unsatisfactory: “Pooh, pooh, child, go on.” The child, however, intended to have an explanation, and therefore selected the same chapter morning after morning, and always halted at the same verse to repeat the inquiry, hoping that he should by that means importune the good old gentleman into a reply. The process was successful, for it is by no means the most edifying thing in the world to hear the history of the Mother of Harlots, and the beast with seven heads, every morning in the week, Sunday included, with no sort of alternation either of psalm or gospel: the venerable patriarch of the household therefore capitulated at discretion, with,

Well, dear, what is it that puzzles you?" Now the child had often seen baskets with but very frail bottoms, which, in course of wear, became bottomless, and allowed the fruit placed therein to drop opon the ground; here then was the puzzle, - if the pit aforesaid had no bottom, where would all those people fall to who dropped out at its lower end?-a puzzle which rather startled the propriety of family worship, and had to be laid aside for explanation at some more convenient season. Queries of the like simple but rather unusual stamp, would frequently break up into paragraphs of a miscellaneous length the Bible-reading of the assembled family, and had there not been a world of love and license allowed to the inquisitive reader, he would very soon have been deposed from his office. “ As it was, the Scriptures were not very badly rendered, and were probably quite as interesting as if they had not been interspersed with original and curious enquiries. On one of these occasions, Mr, Knill, late of Chester, and now of the New Jerusalem, whose name is a household word, whose memory is precious to thousands at home and abroad, stayed at the minister's house on Friday, in readiness to preach for the London Missionary Society on the following Sabbath. He never looked into a young face without yearning to impart some spiritual gift; he was all love, kindness, earnestness, and warmth, and coveted the souls of men as misers desire the gold which their hearts pine after. He marked the case before him, and set to work at once. The boy's reading was commended--a little judicious praise is the sure way to the young heart; and an agreement made with

a

the lad, that on the next morning, being Saturday, he would show Mr. Knill over the garden, and take him for a walk before breakfast; a task so flattering to juvenile self-importance was sure to be readily entered upon. There was a tap at the door, and the child was soon out of bed and in the garden with his new friend, who won his heart in no time by pleasing stories and kind words, and giving him a chance to communicate in return. The talk was all about Jesus and the pleasantness of loving him, nor was it mere talk, there was pleading too. Into the great yew arbour-cut into a sort of sugar loaf-both went, and the soul-winner knelt down with his arms around the youthful neck, and poured out vehement intercession for the salvation of the lad. The next morning witnessed the same instruction and supplication, and the next also, while all day long the pair were never far apart, and never out of each others* thoughts. The Mission sermons were preached in the old Puritan meeting-house, and the man of God was called to go to the next halting-place in his tour as a deputation from the Society, but he did not leave till he had uttered a most remarkable prophecy. After even more earnest prayer alone with his little protégé, he appeared to have a burden on his mind, and he could not go till he had eased himself of it. In after years he was heard to say that he felt a singular interest in me, and an earnest expectation for which he could not account. Calling the family together, he took me on his knee, and I distinctly remember his saying, "I do not know how it is, but I feel a solemn presentiment that this child will preach the gospel to thousands, and God will bless him to many souls. So sure am I of this, that when my little man preaches in Rowland Hill's Chapel, as he will do one day, I should like him to promise me that he will give out the hymn beginning,

“God moves in a mysterious way,

His wonders to perform." This promise was of course made and was followed by another, that at his express desire I would learn the hymn in question and think of what he had said. The prophetic declaration was fulfilled, and the hymn was sung, both in Surrey Chapel and in Wooton-under-Edge in redemption of my pledge, when I had the pleasure of preaching the Word of life in Mr. Hill's former pulpit. Did the words of Mr. Knill help to bring about their own fulfilment? I think so. I believed them, and looked forward to the time when I should preach the Word: I felt very powerfully that no unconverted person might dare to enter the ministry; this made me, I doubt not, all the more intent upon seeking salvation and more hopeful of it, and when by grace enabled to cast myself upon the Saviour's love, it was not long before my mouth began to speak of bis redemption. How came that sober-minded minister to speak thus of one into whose future God alone could see? How came it that he lived to rejoice with his young brother in the truth of all that he had spoken? We think we know the answer; but each reader has a right to his own: so let it rest, but not till we have marked one practical lesson. Would to God that we were all as wise as Richard Knill, and habitually sowed beside all waters. On the day of his death, in his eightieth year, Elliott, “the apostle of the Indians," was occupied in teaching the alphabet to an Indian child at his bedside. A friend said,

[ocr errors]

66

Why not rest from your labours now?” "Because," replied the man of God, “I have prayed God to render me useful in my sphere, and he has heard my prayers; for now that I am unable to preach, he leaves me strength enough to teach this poor child his letters." To despise no opportunity of usefulness is a leading role with those who are wise to win souls. Mr. Knill might very naturally have left the minister's little grandson on the plea that he had other duties of more importance than praying with children, and yet who shall say that he did not effect as much by that act of humble ministry as by dozens of sermons addressed to crowded audiences. At any rate, to me his tenderness in considering the little one was fraught with everlasting consequences, and I must ever feel that his time was well laid out. May we do good everywhere as we have opportunity, and results will not be wanting.

Soon after I had begun to preach the Word in the village of Waterbeach, I was strongly advised to enter Stepney, now Regent's Park College, to prepare more fully for the ministry. Knowing that solid learning is never an incumbrance, and is often a great means of usefulness, I felt inclined to avail myself of the opportunity of attaining it: although I might be useful without a College training, I consented to the opinion of friends that I should be more useful with it. Dr. Angus, the tutor of the College, visited Cambridge, and it was arranged that we should meet at the house of Mr. Macmillan, the publisher. Thinking and praying over the matter, I entered the house exactly at the time appointed, and was shown into a room, where I waited patiently' a couple of hours, feeling too much impressed with my own insignificance, and the greatness of the tutor from London, to venture to ring the bell

, and make inquiries as to the unreasonably long delay. At last patience having had her perfect work, the bell was set in motion, and on the arrival of the servant, the waiting young man was informed that the doctor had tarried in another room until he could stay no longer and had gone off to London by "train. The stupid girl had given no information to the family that any one had called, and had been shown into the drawing-room, and consequently the meeting never came about, although designed by both parties. I was not a little disappointed at the moment, but have a thousand times thanked the Lord very heartily for the strange providence which forced my steps into another and far better path.

Still holding to the idea of entering the collegiate institution, I thought of writing and making an immediate application, but this was not to be. That afternoon having to preach at one of the village stations, I walked slowly in a meditating frame of mind over Midsummer Common to the little wooden bridge which leads to Chesterton, and in the midst of the common I was startled by what seemed a loud voice, but may have been a singular illusion, which ever it was the impression was most vivid; I seemed very distinctly to hear the words, " Seekest thou great things for thyself, seek them not!” This led me to look at my position from another point of view, and to challenge my motives and intentions; I remembered the poor but loving people to whom I ministered, and the souls which had been given me in my humble charge, and although at that time I anticipated obscurity and poverty as the result of the resolve, yet I did there and then solemnly renounce

a

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »