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“Pray, then, get it me, doctor, and I'll give you anything you please.' “Yes," he said, “if you will promise me one thing, I'll bring it you; and that is, that you will read it over carefully; and if you should not see much in it at first, that you will give it a second reading. She promised faithfully that she would. After coming two or three times without it, to raise her curiosity, he at last took it out of his pocket, and gave it to her.
This book was the New Testament. When she looked at it, she said, with a flirt, “Pooh! I could get that at any time." Why, miss,” said he, “so you might;" but, remember, I have your solemn promise that you will read it carefully. “Well,” said she, “though I never read it before, I'll give it a reading". Accordingly, she began to read it, and it soon attracted her attention. She saw something in it wherein she had a deep concern ; but her mind now became ten times more uneasy than ever. Not knowing, what to do, she soon returned to London, resolved to try again what the diversions there would do to dissipate her gloom. But nothing of this kind answered her purpose.
She lodged at the Court-end of the metropolis, where she had with her a female companion.. One saturday evening she had a remarkable dream, which was, that she was in a place of worship, where she heard a sermon; but when she awoke, she could remember nothing but the text. This dream, however, made a deep impression on her mind; and the idea she had of the place, and of the minister's personal appearance, was as strong as if she had been long acquainted with both. On the Lord's-day morning, she told her dream to her companion, and said, that after breakfast she was resolved to go out in quest of the place, though she should go from one end of London to the other. They accordingly set out, and went into several churches as they passed along ; but none of them answered to what she saw in her dream. About one o'clock they found themselves in the heart of the city, where they dined, and afterwards again commenced their search for this place of worship.
Being in the Poultry about half-past two o'clock, they saw a great number of people going down Old Jewry, and she determined to see where they went. Mingling with the company, she was con. ducted to the meeting-house in the Old
Jewry, where Mr. Shower was then minister. As soon as she entered the door, and surveyed the place, she turned to her com. panion, and said, with some surprise, * This is the very place I saw in my dream." She had not been long there before she saw Mr. Shower ascend the pulpit stairs, and looking at him with greater surprise, she said, “This is the very man I saw in my dream; and if every part of it hold true, he will take for his text, Psalm cxxi. 7: “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.”
When he arose to pray, she was all attention, and every sentence went to her heart. Having finished his prayer, he took that very passage which she had mentioned for his text, and God was pleased to make the discourse founded upon it, the means of her saving conversion;
and thus she at last found what she had so long sought elsewhere in vain-rest to her soul. And now she obtained that blessing from God, the Fountain of peace, which good Mr. Rogers so many years before had so solemnly and fervently im. plored on her behalf.
Is not the pleasing and powerful mani. festation of Divine Almightiness in these incidents remarkable ? The prejudice of of the judge in favour of rites and ceremonies founded only in the vain ideas of men, and enforced upon the observance of the ministers of that time by an unright. eous law-begat in him an antipathy to the scriptural form of worship conducted by faithful men, who consulted God's will in the matter of worship, as all should do. This antipathy resulted in a malicious feeling towards them ;- but at the very moment when he was about to vent his rage upon their innocent heads, Divine omnipotence secured, by a most unlikely agent, the protection of his faithful servants.” Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain." Psa: lxxvi. 10. But let us learn to distinguish between prejudice and conviction — the former is the result of an uninformed mind, in other words, ignorance. The judge was ignorant of the important declaration of our Lord Jesus Christ. “God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth,” John iv. 24; and “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,” Matthew xv. 9. It is a fearful thing to be ignorant of These perse
God's will—we are blessed with many opportunities of learning it, then let us search for ourselves, lest we, too, be led away with the multitude, and follow the blind ritualists of the present day, for conviction is the result of testimony received and considered. cuted men were convinced by the plain teaching of God's Holy word, that all vain ceremonies prescribed by men are “ will worship," and, consequently, nothing less than an insult to the Divine majesty. Let us guard against prejudice, with its attendant evils, in all things.
What a dreadful thing is passion! It is a temporary madness! Under its influence we lose all control over our. selves, and are prepared for the very worst acts against ourselves and others. Our great enemy, Satan, is ever watchful to stir up a passionate spirit. But Divine omnipotence is superior to our wicked passions. The rage of the rulers and the multitude that followed them, against Jesus of Nazareth, was so controlled by divine omnipotence, that Satan, their leader, was defeated by his own acts—for,“ Christ triumphed over him in the Cross,” Col. ii. 16. The passionate child's wicked threat was overruled by Divine omnipotence, in influencing so powerfully the mind of the malicious judge with fear, that he dared not carry out his wicked design of injuring God's servants.
Even in the quiet slumbers of the night, Divine omnipotence is graciously exercised mand in dreams our minds and spirits
What a privilege to be under the care, and in the enjoyment, of the favour of an omnipotent God!
Do our young readers desire this privilege? His holy Word encourages them to seek it. Our new year's wish for them is that divine grace may enable them to say, God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our Guide even unto death."
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS. LUKE ix. 27 (See last month's Family Circle.) G. M. says, that the one event referred to in this verse is the “ Destruc. tion of Jerusalem." M. F. W. thinks it is “The Transfiguration of our Lord.” The former supposition coincides with the opinion of commentators; the latter, although that event follows in close connection in the narrative in other gospels, is not understood to be meant by our Lord in this verse.
ur Sabbath Schools.
DACRE PARK, LBE, S.E. The twenty-eighth anniversary of this school was celebrated December 10th. About 120 friends partook of tea. An enjoyable meeting was subsequently held, presided over by Mr. Williams, of Pontypridd, Wales. One of the teachers having Offered prayer, the chairman encouraged the labourers to persevere,-his lively, pithy, and seasonable sentences being much appreciated. Mr. Short, secretary to the school, then read the report, which furnished ample proof of the Divine blessing resting upon the efforts of the teachers daring the past year. Many interesting particulars were embodied in the report. Since the formation of the school, 1,472
scholars have received religious instruction through its agency. Not a few have now become preachers. The school register contains the names of 140 scholars the average afternoon attendance being 130. During the past year, three additions were made to the church from the school. Two substantial Bible - class rooms have been added to the school, at a cost of £140, the whole sum being paid before they were used. The Lord has been verily mindful of us. Putting forth His saving energy amongst the young, He has made some His own. The promise is still full of encouragement, “ Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.”
The meeting was diversified and enlivened with recitations, well-rendered by the scholars. The choir sang appropriate pieces in an effective manner, reflecting credit on the conductor, Mr. Cole, who spared no pains to make this agreeable part of the service a success.
Short addresses were delivered by the superintendent, Mr. Whittaker, and by one of the oldest teachers of the school, Mr. Dallimore, who is now engaged in the ministry:
Votes of thanks were accorded to all who deserved them, when this cheering and animating meeting was brought to a close. To God be all the praise.
Prizes are awarded to those whose answers have gained a certain proportion of marks for correctness and intelligence.
The plan has been fairly successful in stimulating study and thought by our young friends, which, while calculated to impress the young minds with Divine truths, we fervently pray God to make of lasting advantage and spiritually profitable to them.
OLD BRENTFORD. A VERY interesting and encouraging meeeting was held on Tuesday, November 30th. About 120 friends sat down to tea in the school-room.
The public meeting was presided over by Mr. J. Parsons, pastor. The secretary read the annual report, from which it appears that the school has 228 scholars, and has been established 47 years.
The treasurer's accounts showed a deficit of 98. 83d.
Hymns were heartily sung by the scholars, and some very good recitations were given by seven of them.
Lively and appropriate speeches were made by Brethren Lawrence, Martin, and Higham, who addressed, respectively, the friends and workers, scholars and parents.
The chapel was quite full, and the meeting seemed to be thoroughly enjoyed by old and young.
Soho CHAPEL, OXFORD-STREET. With the view of promoting and encouraging a thoughtful habit on the part of our young friends in the classes of our Sabbath schools, we have adopted as an experiment the plan of giving for study a portion of scripture containing some historic record, doctrinal truth, or preceptive teaching comprised in three four chapters; or, when brief, a whole book of the Old Testament, or Epistle of the New.
This is done twice a year, a month, or even more, being given to the scholars to make themselves acquainted with the subject. The pastor then provides three lists of questions, suited to the three grades into which the school is divided, for the purposes of the examination, according to age. The questions of the 3rd, or highest grade, being adapted to the larger capacity of our bible classes and senior scholars; the 2nd and 1st to those of younger years, who are able to write.
An evening being appointed for the purpose, those who have signified their wish to be examined, assemble in the school.room, and, being furnished with the questions prepared, of which they have no prior knowledge, proceed, without their bibles, to answer, in writing, to the best of their ability.
To insure justice being done by the examiners, the secretary places a number on the paper of questions given to each child, corresponding to the name of such child on a paper in his custody—the examiners, two or three in number, being in entire ignorance of whose paper they are judging.
LITTLE ALIE-STREET: The seventy-fourth anniversary of Sun. day-school was held on November 18th. The usual tea provided. Pastor presided. The following brethren delivered appropriate addresses :-Messrs. P. Dickerson, (late pastor) Saunders, Anderson, and Chapman. The secretary, Mr. S. G. Ince, read the report, which stated that above ten thousand scholars had passed under instruction since its formation, with what results the Great Day would declare. It was theirs to labour on, depending on the promised power of the Holy Ghost for success. T'hank God they knew, in very many instances, they had not laboured in vain.
December 13th.—Annual tea and public 'meeting of the Tract Society-pastor in the chair.
Secretary, Mr. Hider, jun., read the report, which clearly showed a quiet but good work was being done in this densely populated neighbourhood. Several members of the church, brethren W. Hider, Vestey, Boswell, Stevens, De Costa, W. Archer, and Godfrey, gave stirring speeches. May the distributors be encouraged still to persevere in scattering the seed of God's word, and be abundantly watered with the dew of heavenly blessing.
TESTIMONIAL. An interesting reunion of the teachers, and some other friends connected with Keppel-street Sunday-school was held on Wednesday, December 1st, at the house of the superintendent, Mr. I. R. Wakelin, 30, Robert-street, Hampstead-road. After some time had been pleasantly and profitably spent, the pastor, Mr. W. J. Styles,
rose and, claiming silence, proceeded to draw attention to a very handsome tea and cotfee service, which he was called upon to present to Mrs. Edward Ash, who, as Miss E. Daynes, rendered so kindly and efficient aid in the school, that it had seemed appropriate that her recent marriage should be made the occasion of requesting her acceptance of the token of regard that lay before him.
Short addresses were also delivered by Mr. I. R. Wakelin and Samuel Toone, Esq., of the Sunday-school Union. And the testimonial was acknowledged in appropriate terms by Mr. Ash, who warmly responded to the expressions of esteem, both for himself and his wife, to which utterance had been so cordially given.
Notices of Books,
Break of Day in the Eighteenth Century :
A history and specimen of its first book of English sacred song. Three hundred hymns of Dr. Watts', carefully selected and arranged, with a sketch of their history. By CYPRIAN T. Rust. Pp. 264. London and Ipswich : Hunt & Co.
The writer of this book, a clergyman, was formerly a Strict Baptist minister, having been born, so to speak, and brought up in our denomination. In his early Christian associations he was highly esteemed as an amiable, kind-hearted, and gifted young man, and early in the year 1837, having first exercised his gifts before the church of which, at that time, he was a member, was “sent out” by it to preach the Gospels wherever God, in His providence, should call him. He became settled, in the following year, as pastor over a large Strict Baptist Church at Colchester under very promising circumstances; but after a few years of somewhat successful labour, physical debility, as was stated at the time, obliged him to relinquish his charge. The effort of preaching in a large chapel, to a large congregation, it was said, was too much for his powers of speech, which were never very strong. Subsequently, however, he joined the Established Church, and was ordained by the Bishop of Norwich as a minister of that institution, without, so far as is known, informing
the religious public of his reasons for such a remarkable change of position. When Tiptaft and Philpot, impelled by the force of divine truth on their consciences, came out of the episcopal church and joined our denomination, like true men of God, they, in a manly and outspoken manner, gave their reasons for so doing. Their subsequent labours were greatly blessed of God to thousands of His people, and by their learning, talents and zeal, as exerted in unremitting labours, both in the pulpit and by the press, they helped, in no small degree, to strengthen, enlarge and improve, in various ways, that section of our body to which they attached themselves. The Blessed Spirit, thus setting His seal to the step they had taken, as being glorifying to God and greatly to the advantage of His cause. Not so with Mr. R. Whether or not the very solemn asseverations which, as before a heartsearching God, ministers of the Church of England have to make before being permitted to exercise the functions of their profession, were really made by him in all honesty
and godly sincerity, is best known to his Maker
and to himself. But during the thirty-five years, more or less, that have transpired since he entered the Establishment, no adequate apparent proof has arisen that the step was sanctioned by Him whose eyes are as a flame of fire, and who directs the movements of His own servants by a special guidance to their several spheres of usefulness. See Acts xvi. 6, 7.
However, after many years of seclusion, Mr. R. appears again before the public as an author. Many years ago, he wrote an able and telling pamphlet, respecting the “ Brethren,” exposing their follies and refuting their errors, but hardly making fair admission of the amount of scriptural truth to be found in their system and belief. Whether right or wrong in their respective views, however, the “Brethren" are always ready to give a reason for their sayings and doings, and indeed have most abundantly furnished the world with publications to that effect. Why did not Mr. R. adopt a similar course when he so widely diverged from the lines of his early training and position? Since the pamphlet against the “ Brethren,” pubin 1843, he has not, so far as we are aware, published any work, excepting one respecting the Higher Criticism that appeared a short time ago, being a pamphlet directed against German semiinfidel critics, who employ their learning and vain philosophy in futile attempts to undermine the Book of eternal truth.
The present work dates from last year, and is, he declares, a necessity in the interests of true religion, there being according to him,-extraordinary as the statement may appear to most people,a danger of the complete banishment of Dr. Watts' Hymns from. Divine Service, owing to the great multitude of new hymns. Divine Service here means, however, service in Ritualistic Churches, for there is not the smallest probability of Watts' hymns being banished from either chapels or churches where the precious truths of the glorious gospel of the Blessed God are loved, maintained, and held forth. Watts' hymns never were sung in Popish places of worship, and now this testimony of their being banished from churches more Popish than Protestant, is an additional proof, if proof were wanting, how very near of kin Ritualism and Romanism are.
As to the danger of the hymns of our beloved poet being "completely banished from Divine Service," where the God of grace is loved and adored, let the following statement show: In the New Congregational Hymn Book, used by nearly all the Independents, there are 387 of Watts' hymns ; in the three books mostly used by our open communion Baptist
brethren, from 200 to 300 in each ; in the books used among ourselves as sole hymnals, they appear to the number of about 200; in many of our churches the whole book is in use in conjunction with Selections : in the Wesleyan Hymn-book a considerable number appear, likewise in the English Presbyterian Hymn-book. As to Church of England selectionsKemble's, used in 1000 churches, has 127 of Watts hymns. “Songs of Grace and Glory," a capital selection by a clergyman lately deceased, containing all the highest doctrinal hymns to be found in Stevens' or Gadsby's, and which has met with a ready acceptance amongst the most heavenly-minded church people, sixty-one of Watts' compositions are included. The innumerable selections used in parish churches in England are said to be largely indebted to them; and on the whole it may be safely said that two-fifths of the hymns in use in public evangelical worship, presented in the English tongue, are by Watts. In the United States of America, about one-half of the whole number of hymns in use are said to be by Watts. If Mr. Rust's present effort be at all helpful in preventing their banishment from semi-Romish “Divine Service” in this country, his labour will not have been in vain; this, however, it is not at all likely to do. So much for the need of this book as a Hymnal for public worship; excepting in Mr. R.'s own church, where, we are told, hardly any body attends; it is not at all probable that it will ever be anywhere used as a book of congregational worship, for which purpose the “ 300 hymns” are arranged. The sketch given of the history of Watts' Psalms and Hymns, although not free from inaccuracies, is very interesting; and the “Notes," added at the end of the volume, are variously informing, some of them a little amusing. The 306 hymns are selected with care and judgment, and are undoubtedly the cream of the whole number contained in the original volume. The “ arrangement” of the present selection, is after the order of the “ Christian year," so called, meaning the order of the Prayer Book year, which presents an arrangement of Sundays not mentioned by Him who is the Lord of the Sabbath, nor by His Apostles in the New Testament, unless derived from which, no institution can rightly be called Christian. Of these 306 hymns, the actual number thus ar