« PoprzedniaDalej »
of June, and was opened by singing the well-known hymn, “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott.” The 133rd Psalm and John xvii. were then read. 'Prayer by a Swedish brother, resident in England, followed, and an address from dear Brother Wiberg. Brother Oncken and I were next introduced. Brother Oncken addressed the meeting in English, which was interpreted; and I spoke in Danish, which the Swedish brethren so understood as to render an interpreter unnecessary. By the constitution of the Assembly, some necessary elections had to be made; while between the addresses and the business some beautiful choral hymns, in four parts, were sung. It would lead me too far to enter on a detail of the proceedings of the conference. Two general remarks, however, I would make here. First, only subjects of weight and practical importance were discussed ; secondly, po angry feeling was perceptible, though the long and often lively debates afforded occasion enough for it. I may also mention, that, in a discussion whether it was allowable to commit the religious education of their children to the unbelieving or fanatical teachers of the State Church, a pious man, though not a Baptist, who was present, offered to give 20,000 Swedish dollars to found a school on Baptist principles.
Lord's day, June 13, was a blessed season for edification, when we could worship Him to whom all power in heaven and on earth is given, who could therefore furnish a table before us in the presence of our enemies, and cause our cup to run
The iron laws of Sweden strongly forbid the assembling of such as have withdrawn from the State Church, and banishes them out of the country; while we, unmolested, meet with many friends, in the most public manner, in a large hall close on the street, and sing the praise of God so loud that they could hear us as distinctly in the street as in the hall. Already at morning worship, every place was full, not less than 400 persons being present. Brother Wiberg preached an impressive and powerful discourse from Mark xvi. 16. In the afternoon the hall was again crushed full up to the table, behind which the speakers stood on a little platform. At first Mr. Hinton, in very animated, clear, and decided (entschiedenen) language, spoke on heavenly mindedness, as implying a present fitness for heaven. The conversion of a soul was the precious fruit of that discourse, which bore perhaps more than is known. Dr. Steane then delivered an address on Luke xii
. 32; and, finally, I had the pleasure of presiding at the table of the Lord. With the commemoration feast of the sacrifice of Jesus closed this glorious day.
A plain mid-day meal in the hall brought many of the conference members together, with brethren and other dear Christian friends from Stockholm, to enjoy the pleasure of brotherly intercourse. One of the latter on another day had drawn to himself the brethren from England and Germany, with other friends in Christ, to a mid-day meal, which his kindness had furnished very liberally, but which the Lord furnished still more richly. At an aquatic excursion to the Thiér-garten, at some distance from the city,'I had an opportunity of admiring the beauty of nature in these high latitudes, and of seeing how the God of grace can call forth the glories both of nature and of the spirit where we least expect them. From what has been said, it is obvious that the Baptists in Stockholm stand in the most friendly relation to believers of other denominations there.
In Stockholm there are but few objects of interest worth visiting. Brother Oncken and I, however, did not neglect to take a view of the armour and other weapons and dress of the old Swedish kings. There we saw the thick coarse clothing of the celebrated and adventurous King Charles XII., also the horse stuffed which Gustavus Adolphus rode at the battle of Lutzen, with the complete harness he then wore, and in which he died.
At length, on the evening of June 16, the hour arrived that separated me from Stockholm and brother Oncken, as I purposed returning home through Denmark. The steamer by canal to Gotenborg conveyed me quickly from them. This canal, the most remarkable hydraulic work in the world, rises 108 feet above high water mark, cutting through Sweden from E. to S.W., and entering the sea at Gotenborg, To effect this, numerous locks—I counted fourteen in one place—have been formed ; the canal joins together a series of small and large lakes, of which two are so extensive, Wetter and Wener, that the shore can scarcely be seen from the middle. The scenery in this voyage is very attractive, for soon one finds himself in a deep forest through which the canal winds, catching occasional glimpses of a beautiful landscape. Suddenly he comes out upon a great body of water, land-locked by its nearer or more distant shores of great beauty. The grandest point was in the wildly romantic and rocky region of Froldhatte, with its thundering waterfall of overwhelming sublimity. A clear moonlight deepened the impression on my mind; but, indeed, the daylight extends till midnight, which is so bright that one can read distinctly at least in the open air. By this I was often beguiled of my time, thinking it only nine when it was already eleven.
At length I reached Gotenborg, which is finely situated, and has nobler streets and buildings than the Swedish capital and royal residence. It owes much of its magnificence to the granite-built canals which intersect it. But, while in Stockholm we breathed freely in the Lord's service, here it is sedition, and exposes us to open violence. I found four baptized sisters here, who stand true to their profession, though they seldom enjoy the opportunity of strengthening their faith by hearing the word or holding fellowship with their brethren. I preached to them on Lord's day, June 20, with bolted doors, and we had just broken and partook of the bread, when a knocking at the door obliged us to remove the table and all its contents, ere we opened, lest the intruder should be an officer of police. It was, however, only a person having business with one of the company. After he left, the door was again barred, the table spread anew, and we partook of the blessed cup together in peace. On the morning of the same day I had heard a good discourse at the German church.
I sailed by steam from Gotenborg to Copenhagen. As we passed up the Sound a whole fleet of large vessels swept majestically by, with all sails set. So grand a sight I had never enjoyed before. Ať Copenhagen I was received with fraternal affection; and for all I enjoyed during my stay in the circle of old friends and brethren I must ever feel grateful to the Lord; his goodness maintaining the most cordial feeling between me and the Danish brethren.
Lord's day, 27th June, I was privileged to preach twice in Danish, and afterwards to administer the Lord's Supper; the attendance was good. Although the fullest religious liberty is allowed in Denmark, the gospel makes far less progress there than in Sweden. May the Lord pour a stream of new life upon Copenhagen, and revive his cause, as in days that are gone. In the churches of West Zealand, whose pastors I also visited, all is very pleasing, and the Lord is ever adding to them of those who shall be saved. On the whole the cause of God makes progress in Denmark, and foretells a glorious future.
I reached home, by way of Hamburg, on July 2nd, with a heart humbled and grateful that the Lord had brought me through safely in so gracious a manner. He forsakes not his children who serve him. That truth is verified ever anew !
THE ASSOCIATIONS. We resume our analysis of the reports of the various associations, and extracts from their circular letters.
THE LANCASHIRE AND CHESHIRE Association, comprising 49 churches, with an aggregate of 5,226 members, reports 363 baptisms during the year, giving a clear increase of 279. Their annual report gives, in addition, the statistics of the Yorkshire Association as follows:-total number of members, 7,279 ; addition by baptism, 707; clear increase, 483. The circular letter on The Character and Work of Ministers who have a scriptural claim to the efficient support of the Churches, is by the Rev. J. HARBOTTLE.
be successors of the apostles as eye-witMuch has been said in our times about nesses of the resurrection of Jesus. We supapostolical succession, as alone giving the pose that the meaning attached to this term rightful claim to spiritual authority, and, by many amounts to little or nothing more consequently, to efficient support. But we than receiving imposition of hands from one ask, what is meant by the term ? It will that had received the same from others, in not be pretended that any now living can succession down from the days of the apos
TRUE APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION.
tles. We object not to the laying on of faith, in purity." These may indeed be hands as a solemn and scriptural form of acknowledged as workers together with invoking the Divine benediction, and set- God. They possess an essential part of ting apart to the service of God. But what the character required to claim, or at least can the outward form avail to men that have to deserve, the efficient support of their forsaken the spirit, the doctrine, and theprao- brethren. tice of the apostles ? “What is the chaff to the wheat ? saith the Lord.” If it were even
HOW TO SUPPORT A MINISTER. poesible to trace the succession through We have little to add, except to remind thirty bishops and three hundred popes, up you again that “ EFFICIENT SUPPORT nearly to the apostolic era ; and in addition ought not to be confined to the mere pecuto bring the mouldering relics of all hands niary sense of the words. The churches of thus laid on all the heads to attest the fact, Christ are compared to candlesticks. They of what use could this be? If the spirit, support those burning and shining lights the doctrine, and the practice of the apos- which the Holy Spirit has kindled to scattles have been deserted, the succession is ter the world's darkness. That you may lost. The whole thing becomes a lifeless "efficiently " aid your ministers, we exhort pántomime, an exhibition of mouldering you, brethren, be careful not, by any part of bones, a scene of putrefaction and death. your character or conduct, to throw hin.
But there is nevertheless AN APOSTOLICAL drances in the way of success. Even wSUCCESSION of immense importance, and to kind or captious remarks concerning their which all must belong that can rightfully preaching (when it is perhaps really true claim “efficient support." All such ought and scriptural) may greatly injure the mind indeed to be successors of the apostles, in of an inquirer. Take the stumbling blocks the meaning of Paul's injunction : out of the way. Observe and encourage “Brethren, be followers together of me, hopeful inquirers. Tell to others what you and mark them which walk so, as ye have remember of the sermons which you hear. us for an example.” “For our conversation This may induce them to attend; and if is in heaven.” ** Giving no offence in any not, you are thereby holding forth the word thing, that the ministry be not blamed. of life. Give spiritual attention to the wel But in all things approving ourselves as fare of the young, particularly those of your the ministers of God, in much patience, in own families or kindred. Manifest a beneafflictions, in necessities, in distress," &c. volent concern for the sick, the aged, or “By pureness, by knowledge, by long-suf- infirm; the widow and the orphans; and fering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by especially when such are brethren or sisters love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by in Christ, or belonging to those of the the power of God, by the armour of righ- household of faith. Observe how Paul teousness on the right hand and on the left.” showed by example and enjoined by precept
, Ministers who have fully imbibed this given to the elders of Ephesus, that “so apostolic spirit, belong to the apostolic labouring ye ought to support the weak; succession in the best sense; and be- and to remember the words of the Lord come “examples to the believers in word, Jesus how he said, It is more blessed to give in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in than to receive."
The Devon Association comprises 31 churches, reporting a total of 2,474 members. The additions have been, by baptism, 153; by profession, 58; the clear increase on the year, 166. The circular letter by the Rev. E. Webb, is on The Weekly Offering; or, the Divine Method of Giving. As the subject is very important, and exciting great interest among the churches at large, we hope speedily to reproduce the whole of the very able letter in our pages, and therefore make no extracts from it now.
Tue Essex Association includes 13 churches, with an aggregate of 789 members. The baptisms during the year are 63, giving a clear increase of 57 during the year. The circular letter, by the Rev. W. C. Ellis, is on The importance of Personal Effort and Organisation in the Cause of God.
Saviour's disciples. That union is strength
is a self-evident proposition, and has long The importance of personal effort in the been recognised; oneness of heart, effort
, cause of God cannot possibly be over-esti- and aim, on the part of Christians, in their mated, as without it no inroad can be made resolve to conquer the world and Satan, is on the works of darkness ; still the effective as requisite to victory as the skill, valour, ness of individual labour may to no incon- and mutual co-operation of every branch siderable extent be abridged through the of an army to its triumph. lack of combination on the part of the However desirous a man may be to
THE VALUE OF ORGANISATION.
glorify his Lord, who stands aloof from order, and organisations springing from others in the same service, his amount of and animated by a living spirit are the success cannot be expected to be as propor- mechanism which give effect to the powertionably great as if they had placed ful energies which move them, and that to “shoulder to shoulder," and moved down be worth anything they must be continupon the foe with a community of purpose. ally at work or they will soon drop into The Church of Christ ought not to be like their constituent elements, or in other a disbanded army; division of labour and words, a Church to be prosperous must strict discipline are as necessary here as with be one in which its members are the highest military power in the worla. active. Organisation (by which is understood
NEED OF PERSONAL EXERTION. various parts co-operating with and subservient to each other) is a natural as well Associations must not be substitutes for as spiritual law. All the forces of nature personal exertion : names and subscripare organised in securing any one result ; tions will not themselves avail anything and the church must have a certain discip- without the unreserved consecration of the line and organisation as well as other heart. God looks for unswerving devotion societies, and must so far resemble the in every grade of his grand army; he loves kingdoms of this world, because like them to bless willing instrumentality, however it requires that every thing in it be done feeble in itself, that he may magnify his own
decently and in order ;" and the Church power. Our piety grows in proportion to should ever be the most perfect of all or our usefulness, and the more untiring our ganisations; for here is found the soul of efforts are for the enlargement of Zion, the power, and an effective method must be at nearer we shall approach to the bliss of tained before success can be realised ; and heaven; inasmuch as "faith without works this organised and systematic effort for is dead,” work for Christ brings its own rewhich we plead, is in no degree hostile to ward ; if we labour in the spirit of faith, that Christian liberty which to us all is and with the soul of a man, not anything so dear. We are to " strive together for will discourage, our own power to do good the faith ;" our weakness lies in disunion; will not be underrated, and God will send we must draw close together with the con- comfort like sunshine into the heart of the viction that subordination is the spirit of earnest worker.
THE LATE REV. J. J. DAVIES. Few men have passed away into another world whose memory will be more fondly cherished than that of the late Rev. J.J. Davies. The event mantled with gloom the scene of its occurrence—the scene likewise of his recent labours; and the intelligence of his demise will fall, like tidings of disaster, in the different circles in which he was wont to move. It is due, therefore, to his memory and his worth, as well as to his sorrowing friends, that we present our readers with some sketch of his life and character.
He was a native of Cardigan, the son of highly respectable parents, intended by them for the ministry of the Episcopal Church, but was led to adopt Nonconformist principles and to associate himself with the Baptist body. He entered Bristol College, where he prosecuted his studies preparatory for pastoral work, and is still remembered there by the president and many of the committee of that institution as an urbane, devout, and highly promising man. Those who were his compeers cherish his memory as one whose clearness and range of thought were in harmony with the transparency of his character and the elevated order of his piety.
His first engagement with a church located him in Bath, whence he removed to Tottenham, where he spent upwards of seventeen years of great usefulness, not unchequered by much sorrow. His heavy trials and great labours, combined with his intense solicitude for the spiritual good of those favoured with his ministry, greatly prostrated his energies and necessitated his resting for a season. He temporarily resided at Bootle, where he recruited his health and nursed to a state of considerable vigour a new interest based on thoroughly catholic principles. Finding himself again equal to the demands of a larger sphere, he removed to Luton, in 1849, where he laboured for upwards of eight years with great devotedness and success. Failing health again compelled him to relinquish his favourite work. This time disease had made such rapid inroads upon his constitution--never a robust
one—that it speedily succumbed. Having wintered in Jersey, he returned to Eng-
Faith, perseverance, zeal,
Language of light and power,
Love prompt to act and quick to feel,
Marked thee till life's last hour.
INCREASE OUR FAITH! “(He) said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief."- Mark ix. 24. GREAT Saviour! help our unbelief! Oh! Man of sorrows, Man of grief!
We stray too soon from out thy Help us to bear our little load; fold,
We tire along the dusty road, Nor heed thy voice, which else would And only thou canst give relief. hold
Our spirite faint, our faith is weak; Our feet from falling, hearts from grief.
Our courage flags before 'tis tried ;
We hunt for corners where to hide, Teach us to know thy tender care
Or in presumption danger seek.
If doubts and fears bedim our sight-
Fears of defeat, and doubts of heaven
Surety by prayer to faith is given, We must be humble to be pure,
Prayer makes the Christian's armour bright.
Jesus ! Salvation's mighty chief!
If patient we with thee abide,
And confident quit not thy side, Learning with patience to endure. Thou then wilt help our unbelief. Enfield Highway, 1858.
E. S. JACKSON.