Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

I am even more sorrowful, more dejected than before I read it. Shall I tell you why? I am led to look back on my past life with horror, and the dreadful idea suggests it

|

But musical as is Apollo's late,
Perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets,
Where no crude surfeit reigns.

"It is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.”

self. Is it not probable that my sins brought on my child his awful catastrophe? Oh! my God, was I indeed the cause of all he suffered in life and death? I can only weep abundantly-divine grace must do all for THE YEARLY EPISTLE OF THE SOCIETY

me.

[ocr errors]

The Countess addressed to her a letter of an encouraging nature, opening to her the fullness and freeness of the gospel; it was thus acknowledged :

"Your letter has made me weep much, but do not repent of having written it, for the tears were the gentlest and kindest I ever shed. My heart is rivetted to that one phrase, able to save to the uttermost.' I thank you, I thank you, for having shed such a drop of balsam on my wounds. I want to talk with you on my sorrows, and my hopes; if you can believe that I ought to have any hopes. Oh! yes, yes, I have indeed hope, although it is mingled with sorrow; but, mercy! mercy!"

Here terminates the correspondence, but not the intercourse; the Countess had an interesting interview. She found that the Spirit of God had indeed begun the good work, and was gradually leading her mind into all truth. Grief and despair on the loss of her son, had given way to a strong anxiety to understand the word of God. This new study absorbed the whole soul of the mother. She said she read it incessantly, but without knowing how far she properly understood it; but when she met with a passage she did not understand, she returned to the place where she had comprehended the sense and continued her reading till she again encountered the difficulty, and then she uttered her first prayer, "O Lord, give me light that I may know thee!" She remained at that point witbont attempting to proceed until she had obtained a knowledge of the passage then said she, "I often find more force, and beauty, and information in that, which had just confounded me, than in all I had understood before." She said also, this book is my nightly comfort, as well as my daily occupation. When I cannot sleep, I desire my female servant to bring me my book, and place the candle at my pillow, and so the night becomes no more tedious nor gloomy.

OF FRIENDS.

DEAR FRIENDS,

We address you in the love of the Gospel, and have to acknowledge that we have felt it a privilege again to meet in this our annual assembly, and to be united in religious exercise for the welfare of our Society, and the prosperity of the kingdom of our blessed Lord and Saviour. Brotherly barmony and love bave prevailed in the many important deliberations with which we have been occupied : our coming together has tended to the confirmation of our faith; and humble gratitude has been raised to our heavenly Father, for his numberless and unmerited mercies.

Our dear brethren in Ireland, and on the American continent, have been afresh brought to our remembrance, by epistles from all their yearly meetings. We take comfort in the persuasion, that, although locally distant from each other, we are united in the faith and hope of the Gospel. In the great and sore trials among Friends in America, which have ended in the separation of many from our Society, a large proportion remain, who have been strengthened to stand firm in their allegiance to our holy Redeemer.

Reports of the sufferings of our members, which amount, including the costs and charges of distraint, to upwards of fourteen thousand six hundred pounds, and are almost exclusively for ecclesiastical demands, have been read in this meeting. We renewedly desire that our ancient and well-known testimony on behalf of a free gospel ministry, and against all the demands made upon us to uphold a system from which we conscientiously dissent, may be maintained with christian consistency, and in the spirit of meekness.

Dear Friends, we are again made sensible that we cannot meditate on a subject more fraught with instruction and comfort, than the coming of the Son of God in the flesh, and the many blessings which through Him Attempts were made by her sister to lead have been conferred on the human raceback this interesting woman to the darkness the coming of Him who, being born of a and despair of the infidel philosophy, but virgin, "was made in the likeness of men;" in vain; she reads the Bible, and scarcely" who, being in the form of God, thought it any thing else, and lives to adorn its doctrines.

How charming is divine philosophy!
Not harsh and crabbed as dull fools suppose,

not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant." He "was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." He ascended on high,

he led captivity captive, he received gifts for men, yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. He " sitteth on the right hand of God," making intercession for us. He is made unto us of God, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption;" and unto him we must look as our mediator and advocate with the Father. He emphatically describes himself as "the good shepherd." He is our lawgiver, and solemu indeed is the declaration, that we must all appear before his judgment-seat, to receive our reward according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or bad.

We feel that it is not a light matter thus to advert again to the various offices of the Son and sent of the Father; and we beseech all whom we are addressing, to contemplate these solemn truths with due reverence; yet frequently to meditate thereon, seeking for the assistance of the grace of God, to direct their understandings aright. As this is done with humble and believing hearts, the conviction will increase, and ultimately become settled, that it is a great mercy to know individually that we have not a high priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, but who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

[ocr errors]

But blessed be God, he has not only provided the means of reconciliation unto himself through the sacrifice of Christ; he hath also, through the same compassionate Saviour, granted unto us the gift of the Holy Spirit. By this, the patriarchs and the holy men of old, who lived under the law, walked acceptably before God. Its more plenteous effusion, and its powerful and lifegiving effects, were distinctly foretold by the ancient prophets. Christ himself declared, that it was expedient that he should go away, that he might send the Comforter, the spirit of truth, who should guide into all truth; in allusion to whose coming he also said, "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." To be guided by his spirit is the practical application of the Christian religion. It is the light of Christ which enlightens the darkness of the heart of man; and by following this light, we are enabled to enjoy and maintain communion with him. The children of God are led by the spirit of God; and this is the appointed means of bringing us into that state of holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. It is not a doctrine of mysticism, but one of practical piety. The great office of the Holy Spirit, we firmly believe to be, to convince of sin, to bring the soul to a state of deep and sincere repentance, and to effect the work of sanctification. A holy and constant watchfulness is required, to preserve the mind alive to the guidance of this divine teacher; who, if diligently sought

after and waited for, will be found to be a swift witness for God in the soul, producing that tenderness of spirit, and that quickness of understanding in the fear of the Lord, which are essential to our growth in grace. It is through Him "whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood," that we obtain pardon for sin; and it is through the power of his spirit working mightily in us, that we come eventually to experience freedom from sin.

You know, beloved friends, that faith in the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit has been an important part of our Christian profession, from the origin of our Society to the present day. And it is at this time our renewed desire, that, from early life, an acquaintance with this power may be inculcated and cherished. We affectionately exhort parents, and all who have the care of children and of young persons, constantly to bear in remembrance the great value of a tender conscience; and to turn their attention to the secret instructions of divine grace, reproving for evil, and bringing peace for doing well. Be concerned, dear friends of this class, early to subject the wills of those entrusted to your charge; encourage them to fix their affections on things which are eternal; set before them the necessity of being converted from the evil of their own hearts, and kept clean from the sin which abounds in the world; impress them with a sense of the holiness aud purity of God and of his righteous law; and whilst we would exhort you to continue to instruct them in the invaluable truths of the Bible, may you lead them to seek after the practical application of these precepts and doctrines under the influence of the Holy Spirit. By such a course of religious care and christian instruction, carried on in simple, hunible dependence upon God, you will perform the great and incumbent duty of bringing them up in the nurture and admo. nition of the Lord.

It is, in our apprehension, of the highest moment, that faith in the operation of the Holy Spirit, and a humble reliance on its guidance, should regulate the lives and conduct of all who profess the Christian name. By the power of the Spirit of God, inwardly revealed and obeyed, we are raised from our fallen and undone condition, and prepared to inherit that place in the kingdom of Christ, to which it is his gracious design that every one of us should come. We are called to walk in the light: we are called to purity. O then, that we may all seek to be brought low before the Lord-to be laid prostrate at the footstool of his throne-to be contrited and broken in his holy presence. Let us not value ourselves on any esteem that we may think we have amongst men; or place our trust upon what we may have done of

ourselves, or may have been enabled to do ; | Christ in sincerity. This love will lead us

but acknowledge in sincerity, that all that we have, and all that we are, is of the free and unmerited goodness of God. Let us each be concerned, through the help of the Holy Spirit, to experience true repentance, and to put away the evil of our doings from before the Lord; day by day pressing after an entire deliverance from the world, the flesh, and the devil; remembering that "all unrighteousness is sin," and that "to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

May we all, dear friends, avail ourselves of the great privilege of drawing nigh unto God in prayer-of asking the assistance of his grace to help in time of need-of looking unto him as our merciful Father who is in heaven: assuredly believing, that as he is approached in reverence and faith, he will graciously answer our petitions, and supply all our need, in and through Christ Jesus. As this sacred duty, so forcibly enjoined in holy scripture, is correctly understood and performed aright, parents will become so sensible of its great value to themselves, that they will feel the importance of turning thereto the attention of their beloved offspring; and as they seek for wisdom and strength to act rightly herein, they will be assisted by Him to whom they should desire that they and their children may be wholly

dedicated.

As we are concerned to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, the mind is elevated above the fading objects of this life; it acquires more solidity and vigour, and its eager pursuit is not after those things which perish with the using; we feel that the fashions, the maxims, and the pleasures of the world, are to be renounced by all who would follow a crucified Redeemer; and as we follow on to know the Lord, that true simplicity which the Christian religion requires, and to which our profession has peculiar reference, marks the general demeanour; and the heart is at times enriched with the incomes of heavenly peace-of that peace which passeth all understanding. The more we are brought under the influence of the Spirit of Truth, the more are the holy scriptures, those sacred records which were given forth under its divine authority, truly felt to proceed from God, and to direct the soul unto him: we shall then come to know what it is to meditate upon his precepts with great delight. And, whilst thankful for the blessing of living under the gospel, the dispensations of Divine Providence under the law will be more fully acknowledged and understood, to our instruction and benefit.

to pity those whom we see involved in distress, or others who are pursuing the paths of folly and vice; and with active and willing hearts to promote those measures which tend to diminish the sum of human woe.

In this meeting, we have been deeply affected in reflecting upon the numerous evils and the great misery which attend the improper and immoderate use of ardent spirits, now lamentably prevalent in this country. The continuance of slavery in the British colonies, and of the slave trade under foreign governments, has impressed us with deep and renewed sorrow. We have also earnestly desired that our legislature may proceed in mitigating the severity of the criminal code of our beloved country, and thus make its laws more conformable to the spirit of the Christian religion. We would encourage our members individually to take a part with their fellow-countrymen, in the efforts which are now making for the removal of these evils; we desire that they may act with energy and perseverance, yet with that love and respect towards all men, and more especially towards our rulers, which become our profession as Christians. At the same time, we feel an affectionate solicitude that they may not be unduly anxious as to the fruit of their exertions; but constantly bear in mind, that in whatever way we may be engaged in the cause of Christ, that cause is not ours, but his. It is for us to be found in a meek and quiet spirit, endeavouring to do our duty, and thus to fill up the measure of usefulness designed for us by our heavenly Father.

True christian love has no limits: when it governs and takes possession of the heart, it leads us to consider every country as our country, and every man as our brother. Under, we trust, some sense of its heavenly influence, and of the inestimable blessings of the gospel of Christ, we reverently desire that it may please the Lord to hasten the coming of that day, when from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, his name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto his name, and a pure offering.

by

Sigued in and on behalf of the Meeting,

JOSIAH FORSter, Clerk to the Meeting this year.

ORDINATIONS, &c..

BISHOP'S STOrtford.

Be entreated then, dear friends, to press after true Christian piety: endeavour to shew forth, in your daily intercourse among men, that you really love the Lord Jesus pine was ordained (over the Baptist church

On Tuesday, Sept. 21, Mr. James Gal

in Bishop's Stortford. Mr. Webb of Lang- | nation prayer. The charge was delivered ley read the scriptures and prayed; Mr. by the Rev. T. S. Crisp, President and Wilkinson of Saffron Walden, delivered Theological Tutor of the Academy, Bristol, the introductory address, and received the from 2 Cor. v. 11; and the closing prayer confession of faith; Mr. Woollacott, of was offered by the Rev. J. B. Cox, of Westminster, Mr. Galpin's pastor, prayed Hatch. the ordination prayer; Mr. W. Shenston, of London, gave the charge; and Mr. Finch, of Harlow, addressed the church. Messrs. May, Hanson, Tyler, Clark, and Driver, read the hymns; and Mr. Chaplin, Independent minister of Stortford, concluded in prayer.

The congregation was large, the service exceedingly solemn, and many who were present united in the prayer of David, saying, "Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity!"

GORING HEATH, OXON.

On Tuesday, July 6, 1830, Mr. William Benson, late a member of the Rev. J. Upton's church, Blackfriars-road, was publicly set apart to the pastoral office, over the Baptist church at Goring Heath, Oxon. The services were commenced at eleven o'clock, by the Rev. John Coles, of Oakingham, reading suitable portions of scripture and prayer; after which the Rev. J. Tyso, of Wallingford, stated the nature of a gospel church, asked the usual questions, and received Mr. Benson's confession of faith; the Rev. J. Upton, Mr. B.'s late pastor, prayed the ordination prayer, and gave Mr. B. a solemn and affectionate charge, from 1 Cor. xiv. 12. last clause, "Seek to excel," &c. and closed in prayer.

In the afternoon, at three o'clock, the Rev. J. Howes, of Goring, (Indep.) began by reading the scriptures and prayer; Rev. J. H. Hinton, of Reading, preached to the church from Phil. i. 27. first clause, "Only let your conversation," &c. and closed in prayer.

In the evening, at half-past six, the Rev. J. Upton, sen. preached to the congregation from 1 Pet. iv. 18. "If the righteous scarcely are saved," &c.

Appropriate hymns were sung, and the services of the day were truly delightful.

BRIDGWATER.

On Tuesday, Nov. 2nd, 1830, the Rev. Henry Trend, from Bristol Academy, was publicly recognized as pastor of the Baptist Church, Bridgwater. The Rev. E. James, (Indep. minister of Bridgwater,) read the Scriptures and prayed; the Rev. T. Price, of Montacute, delivered the introductory discourse, and proposed the usual questions to the church and minister; the Rev.-Lewis of Glastonbury, (Indep.), offered the ordi

In the evening the congregation assembled at Sion Chapel, which was kindly lent for the occasion, when the members of the church were addressed by the Rev. Robert Hall, A.M. of Bristol, from 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. The devotional exercises of the evening were conducted by the Revs. Taylor of Kingston, (Indep.), and T. Price of Montacute.

An unusual degree of interest was excited by the great celebrity of the preachers, and the chapels were in consequence crowded to

excess.

OPENING OF CHAPELS.

TELLINGHAM, ESSEX.

On Tuesday, Sept. 28, 1830, at Tellingham, Essex, a Baptist Church was formed consisting of thirty-five persons, dismissed for that purpose from the church at Burnham, a village seven miles distant, when Mr. George Wesley was ordained their pastor, and two of their number called to the office of deacons.

Mr. C. R. Blacket of Southminster, (Indep.) commenced the service; Mr. King of Halstead, delivered the introductory discourse and asked the usual questions; Mr. W. Shenston, of London, prayed the ordination prayer; Mr. Pilkington of Rayleigh, delivered the charge from 1 Tim. iii. 1—7. Mr. Francis of Colchester, addressed the church from Phil. i, 27; and Mr. Howell of Chelmsford, concluded. Mr. Fletcher of Southend (Indep.), preached in the evening.

A minute account of this infant cause in its origin and progress, has been furnished, the outlines of which will be gratifying to those who admire the sovereignty of divine grace.

Mr. Garrington, the pastor of the church at Burnham, to the blessing of God, upon whose labours the church at Tellingham owes its origin, was returning from London by coach in July 1816, when he became acquainted with a Baptist friend who was going to Bradwell on business. Their conversation turned principally on the state of religion in that neighbourhood, and the next day being the Sabbath, this friend witnessed with sorrow the total destitution of every thing like the gospel of Christ, and Satan reigning uncontrolled, which so affected his mind, that he took an early opportunity

The writer of this brief account expects the perusal will excite in the breast of every Christian friend adoring gratitude, and lead them to sing

"Wonders of grace to God belong."

Any person desirous of forwarding books to Mr. Wesley, or tracts for the school, or money for the support of the cause, or toward building a new place of worship, may send such contributions to the Rev. W.Shenston, 16, Bedford Square, Commercial Road, or to Mr. J. Rose, Church Court, Old Jewry.

NORTHAMPTON-STREET, ST. PANCRAS.

of going to Burnham and urging on Mr. | to speaking in such an inconvenient place Garrington the necessity of introducing the gospel there; promising some pecuniary assistance. This led Mr. Garrington to pray for divinedirection, and to look out for a room, and one was opened Nov. 1817. The sermon on that occasion was founded on Mark xvi. 15. Here the preaching was continued for two years by Mr. Bailey, and after his removal, by Mr. Haynes, employed by the Essex Itinerant Society. Those who were converted by the ministry were added to the church at Burnham, among whom was Mr. Wesley, who is now pastor of the church formed at Tillingham. He was first induced by curiosity, to go, as he termed it, "to have a little fun," but it pleased the Lord to send the word with convincing power to his heart, and he who went to scoff remained to pray. Before this period he had been ringleader in wickedness, "the worst of the bad," as he states it. After Mr. Haynes had left, the clouds appeared to gather thick and dark indeed. He had been owned of God for good, and greatly beloved, and there was no prospect of any successor to live among them, in consequence of their inability to support a pastor. This was the time of Jacob's trouble, but Jacob's God was nigh. A short time after Mr. Haynes had left them, Mr. Garrington was taken ill and for some months remained so much indisposed as to be unable to visit this part of his flock either to preach or administer the ordinance of the Lord's Supper to them, but during this loug affliction he was often cheered by intelligence wonderful and pleasing, that the people assembled regularly, that brother Wesley led their devotions and preached, to them with great acceptance. This led to Mr. Wesley speaking before the church, who by their unanimous voice called him to the Christian ministry. He has now been engaged about four years preaching five times a week, during which period between twenty and thirty persons have been called to the knowledge of the truth, and to fellowship with the church. The place overflows with bearers, and their list of Sunday school children is 180.

As the people are now formed into a distinct church, the rules of the association will prevent their rendering them the assistance they have hitherto done, and as they are all poor, aid will be needed for the support of their pastor. He is of a studious turn and is much in want of books, and it is absolutely necessary a better residence and place to preach in should be found. He was stout and healthy, but is become pale and thin owing, it is believed,

We are happy to state that a new chapel has been recently opened in the Baptist denomination, in Northampton-street, (near the Small-pox Hospital,) St. Pancras, where an interesting church has for some time been formed, and a flourishing Sunday school and Christian Instruction Society established, but whose asefulness was much retarded from the want of a proper place of worship, having only the use of a room. The friends, however, of the cause, impressed with the importance of the station they occupied, being situated in a large and populous district, without any place in the immediate neighbourhood where the poor could hear the gospel preached and desirous of improving to their utmost such a valuable and extensive field of usefulness, exerted themselves to obtain a suitable and commodious place of divine worship. This, after much perseverance, has at length been accomplished, but in the prosecution of this desirable object, a considerable debt has been incurred, of which, after every effort on their part bas been made, 2451. still remains undefrayed. An earnest and respectful appeal is therefore made in their behalf to the friends of the gospel, to aid them in the liquidation of the remainder of the debt; which is done with the greater confidence, from a conviction that they have no other object in view than the promotion of the kingdom of the Redeemer, in a district sadly destitute of the means of grace, and the opportunities of receiving religious instruction.

We are authorized to state, that any donation or subscription will be thankfully received by the following gentlemen :—Mr. J. Inglis, 32, Myddleton-square, Pentonville; Mr. D. Dewar, 6, King's Arms-buildings, Wood-street, City; Mr. G. Rait, 57, Fore-street, Cripplegate.

« AnteriorContinua »