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Sword and the Trowel;
COMBAT WITH SIN AND OF LABOUR FOR THE LORD.
EDITED BY C. H. SPURGEON.
"They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, iki those that laded, every
AND ALL BOOKSELLERS.
WE again salute our friends as another year sinks to its rest. It has been to the editor of The Sworil and The Trowel a period of unmingled mercy, for he has learned, by experience, to count his sore sicknesses as his choicest blessings. Though we might sing of mercy and of judg. ment, we are not now inclined to do so; our harp resoundeth love alone. It is no superfine sentiment, or high-raised enthusias'n, which makes us say this, we write soberly and in quiet earnest, our soul has found affliction sweet, and the cross so richly profitable, that it is but bare justice to regard it as a richly paternal blessing. Sooner might the iree complain of the spade which by loosening the earth sets the roots at liberty to suck the fatness of the soil, or the mown grass murmur at the clouds which renew its verdure, than our heart speak one injurious word of pain and depression, which work in us the comfortable fruits of righteousness. We can wish our readers no richer benediction than the sanctification of every providence to their soul's highest good.
Having thanked the God of all consolation, our next duty is to confess our obligations to many of his servants, for their most fraternal sympathy and efficient aid. Their kindness has not been shewn in word only but in deed. The Pastors' College has, from time to time, received support, as also the Stockwell Orphanage; and, in some degree, the Colportage Association. Without the monies sent in to us, we could not have carried on these important works. We ventured upon them by faith, and by faith they still are carried on; but, though the Lord is our treasurer, and we bless him first, we must not be ungrateful to his stewards who, often with their portion of gift, also send a few lines of spiritual heart-cheer, and so prove their union to us in a double manner. Trials our faith has had, but none of a severe order. Here, in our work as in our personal experience, our song has for its sole key note, the loving kindnesses of the Lord. He hath done great things for us whereof we are glad.
Casting our eye around upon the churches, we confess to feeling some alarm and much distress. On all hands there appears to be a breaking up, a craving for novelty, a weariness of the once honoured truth. The church seems to be coquetting with Infidelity, while, at the same time, she is toying with Ritualism. Of the two lovers between whom apostate churches are wavering, we know not which to abhor the most; ihey are both arrant knaves and seducers, and those whose hearts are true to the Lord Jesus will utterly detest them. Yet all the religious world seems to have gone after them in some way or another, and those who are not overcome by their enchantments, are accounted unenlightened, bigoted, and out of date. Our flag bears no doubtful motto; we depart not from the things which of old were surely believed
among us; for our conviction is that there is nothing new in theology but that which is false, and even that is not new, for a lie is very oldold as the serpent himself
. Our sword will never rust for lack of enemies to smite; they multiply like the race which sprang of the dragon's teeth ; this is their hour and the power of darkness. A recoil will come as surely as men live; the fickle fashion of men's thoughts will take another form, and then we shall be as much pestered with hypocrites as now we are with heresies. Meanwhile, the foundation of God standeth sure; the Lord knoweth them that are his.
We should be very greatly obliged if our readers would endeavour to increase the circulation of this magazine. Our work upon it is never light, and therefore we should be glad to have double our present constituency, and we might have it at once, with a little exertion from each subscriber. Not that our number has declined, or that we have any cause of complaint, but still our area for doing good would be so much the larger if our readers were twice as numerous. If we have ministered unto the edification of some, it is our duty to wish to be useful to more, and equally the duty of those benefited to assist us in so doing.
Our works continually require the offerings of the Lord's people, and they are capable of great extension. A Girl's Orphanage would be of the utmost value ; for now we can only help those poor widows who have boys; besides, our gallantry sometimes blushes when we are accused of caring only for the male sex. Somewhere or other there is a steward of God, laying by a large sum to build the girls' houses, and in due time the secret will come to light; at least, we hope so. True, we have enough to do already, but he who sends the work will give the strength. Our sole and only aim is to glorify God, and serve his poor people. All the world knows that from none of our enterprises do we derive a farthing, but the reverse: nevertheless, those who insipuate that we are well paid for all we do are quite correct, only they mistake the sort of coin.
The magazine being not altogether of temporary interest, we provide a suitable cover for binding. Former volumes are some of thein still on sale, and we shall be proud to see them on our friends' bookshelves. May grace, mercy, and peace abound towards our friends throughout another year;
may the Lord soon turn again the captivity of Zion, and send a great revival of pure and undefiled religion. With this earnest prayer, we launch our seventh volume upon the stream of time.
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