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permanent place in which to continue the worship of God. Of these trials she wrote :

* December 25th.–We have had the honour of engaging in another battle with the opposers of the Gospel ; and God's hand hath brought us through victorious.'

A letter from Mrs. Webster, probably to the Superintendent of the Circuit, gives fuller details :

Prospect House, Saffron-Walden,

October 21st, 1826. DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD,

*Believing that you are not unwilling, that the Lord should make use of some of the weakest instruments, I address you in our present difficulties. The Lord has opened more doors than we can enter ; and we hope that you may be disposed to come to our help. Other service has been offered ; but, as we are old Methodists, while wish. ing well to all Christian communities, we prefer an enlargement of our own. There are two dark places into which our way has been directed, and both are very accessible to you. In one, about eight miles from Cambridge, several Dissenting Ministers have snccessively attempted to establish a cause ; but in vain, the last, as an old inhabitant informed us, being hooted and stoned out of the village. However, by the leading of Providence, my father went and spoke there, informing the people that, upon our return from London, we should pay them a visit. The Clergyman hearing this, secured the signatures of many of the most respectable inhabitants to a protest against our intention, and so sternly reprimanded the owner of the house in which we were to preach that he promised to close his doors against us. With difficulty, another room was secured ; and licensed ; but its owner also, under threatening, was ultimately constrained to refuse us further tenancy. But almost immediately upon this becoming known, other accommodation was offered, accepted and licensed. Our work has prospered so blessedly that the alehouse keeper is complaining, because the hope of some of his gains is gone, his custom having considerably fallen off, especially on Sunday nights. Our congregations are much too large for the room, necessitating open-air services in favourable weather ; and Prayermeetings are held three times a week. Our landlord has received a lawyer's letter, advising him that, if he do not eject us, proceedings will be taken as early as possible to eject him from his house. We have the first offer of two freehold cottages ; and are prepared to purchase, if you think it advisable to do so.

• Yours in the best of bonds,

*H. E. WEBSTER.' The fiercest battle had, however, to be fought by these good soldiers at Saffron-Walden, nearly a year after the Abington struggle; but, by many evidences of the Divine presence and favour, they had been made especially strong for it. A deeply-laid plan to compel them to relinquish their heavenappointed work in Walden began to show itself about September, 1827, and, in the early part of 1828, issued in wanton and intolerable persecution. The water-butts near the chapel were bored; trees in the garden were destroyed; stones were thrown across the yard, one of great size being so placed in the path that those who were going to, or returning from, the service would be likely to fall over it in the dark. Inside the chapel, matters were still worsc; for there rough boys behaved ludicrously ; drunken men talked loudly and profanely ; and certain lewd fellows of the baser sort 'acted with scandalous indecency. At this juncture it became necessary, according to the judgment and

request of many of the most respectable inhabitants of Saffron-Walden, that firm, repressive measures should be adopted. Accordingly, an appeal

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was made to the magistrates; and a very gifted representative of the Protestant Society for the Protection of Public Worship voluntarily watched the case for the complainants. This gentleman had previously, in his communications about the disturbances, written thus to the ladies : 'Surely your benevolent intentions and true Christian charity do not deserve the wrongs which you endure; and certainly myself and the Protestant Society will cheerfully assist you to obtain protection and redress. . . . All

your measures appear to have been legal and discreet. As to the offenders, they may be punishable by indictment either for conspiracy, or for riots and assault, or by proceedings under the last Toleration Act (52 Geo. iii., c. 155) for disturbing public worship in a registered place.' An urgent request, on the part of herself and friends, that the disturbers should not be prosecuted under the Toleration Act, because of its severe penalties, evidenced their united desire for nothing more than protection, Miss Berger's own particular attitude in this great anxiety may be seen from the appended notes :

*February 1st, 1828.—I arose early, and spread the business of the day before the Lord ; and obtained this gracious answer, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” At half-past nine in the morning we went, according to appointment, to lodge a complaint against some of those who have long disturbed our public worship with impunity, and latterly have gone to such lengths as to endanger the lives of the worshippers. While before the clerk to the magistrates, I lifted up my heart, and committed my case entirely to my Heavenly Master, Whom I silently addressed as “Wonderful, Counsellor.” Whereupon I immediately felt a Divine thrill through soul and body, and a full persuasion that all would be well. February 2nd. We trust that we shall be so directed, through this exercising circumstance, as to secure the permanent safety, quietude and comfort of the dear flock under our care.

-April 11th. - When I awoke this morning, and looked up to the Lord with reference to next Tuesday, the day fixed for the sessions, and on which we expect to appear in court, these words were clearly applied to my mind : “ The battle is the Lord's.”- -Wednesday, April 16th. I feel my soul all turned to praise, for the Lord has helped us beyond our expectation, bringing us through our difficulty with a high hand, O God !

“ Thine arm hath safely brought us

A way no more expected,

Than when Thy sheep

Passed through the deep,

By crystal walls protected." The court opened at 12 p.m., and was soon crowded to excess. We sat on the seat of judgment, in a line with the Recorder, Lord Braybrooke, the Mayor, the deputy Mayor and other Magistrates. The advocate from the Protestant Society acted with great propriety and excellent judgment ; and Lord Braybrooke spoke admirably on our behalf and in reprehension of the disturbers. Two of the offenders were convicted, while the others only escaped through a manoeuvre which confused the witnesses. When the court broke up, Lord Braybrooke, in the most affable manner, came to us and said, “You will have no more of it.",

Peace having thus been restored, Miss Berger and her companions gave themselves undistractedly and gratefully to the cultivation of personal piety and the prosecution of their public duties for the benefit of mankind. Of the state of mind of the two friends at this time the following letters give evidence :


Saffron-Walden, July 5th, 1828. MY DEAR BROTHER, 'In my approaches to God in prayer, and especially when I have seasons of more than ordinary union and communion with Him, I urge my plea for a brother whom I dearly love. I had such a season on the 2nd inst. My mind had been much impressed with the two following passages : “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will ”; and, "Be filled with the Spirit.” I copied these words out, and placed them where they would be almost continually before my eyes, that they might remind me of the purpose which I had conceived : to "pray without ceasing” for their abundant fulfilment, in my own ex. perience....I am privileged to draw upon the bank of heaven to an infinite amount. How great may my possessions be! The honouring of these two bills, which I am now presenting to the Divine Majesty, will enrich me more than if I were entitled to draw on an earthly bank to the amount of millions, because here are the “ durable riches." At another time, when meditating on the words : The glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams,” my mind reverted to you ; and I prayed, "Give him to feel, O Lord, what I now feel of Thy transcendent excellency, Thy inexpressible tenderness and love!” Well might the poet write, when spending a night on the Alps :

“ By me, when I behold Him not,

Or love Him not when I behold,
Be all that e'er I knew forgot ;

My pulse stand still, my heart grow cold ;
Transformed to ice 'twixt earth and sky,

On yonder cliff my shape be seen,
That all may ask, though none reply,
What my offence hath been?"
• Your affectionate sister,


December 31st, 1828. DEAR SIR, 'I know it will afford you pleasure to hear that we enjoy this winter what we have not been privileged with for several years past—uninterrupted tranquillity in our Sabbath-evening meetings ; and that some who were disturbers now attend our services with becoming seriousness. What a contrast between last Watchnight and the one we hope to spend to-night! I well remember then beholding, from the window of the room in which I was compelled to remain as an invalid, quite a crowd of persons who had evidently come to disturb the worship ; but I now calculate upon spending the last hours of the departing year with a quiet solemnity suited to the occasion. O that we may be enabled to view our life in the solemn reality of its brevity and importance !

"Every moment brings us near

Vast Eternity's frontier ;
And the next may land me there :
Up, my soul, this hour prepare !,"

'I remain, etc.,

H. E. WEBSTER.' (To be concluded.)




THE STARRY HOSTS,'' ANIMAL FUTURITY,' ETC. How unlike is Christ's 'glorious body' to poor human nature as we are accustomed to behold it! And yet, amid all this glory and majesty, Christ's humanity is not obliterated. “I saw, 'says John, 'one like unto the Son of man.' That is the first touch in the description, for that was the first impression made upon the Apostle's mind—that Christ still was man. The human identity was there, mysteriously but unmistakably blended with all that is glorious and Divine. It was Christ's glorious body which John was privileged to behold.

The fact may thus be taken as indisputable that our Lord's human body is now glorified. But at what period did this wonderful change take place ? On this point two opinions have been held, each beset with its own peculiar difficulties. Let me state briefly these two opinions, and the difficulties by which each is encompassed, and then see if I can contribute anything towards a reasonable solution of the question.

The first theory is, that Christ's body was glorified at the time of His resurrection. The obvious difficulty inseparable from this view, is to explain Christ's subsequent fleshly appearances. If He was glorified at His resurrection, yet He showed Himself afterwards to His disciples, and they recognized His familiar features. Not only that, but to convince them that He was not a spirit, but real 'flesh and bones,' He invited them to handle' Him. On one occasion at least He ate with them, to remove any lingering doubt as to His true physical identity. How would all this comport with the idea that He had at those periods really assumed the glorified body ? Such are the difficulties that pertain to the idea of our Lord’s being glorified on rising


from the grave.

The other, and only alternative, is to hold that He was glorified at the time of His ascension. This view effectually disposes of the difficulties to which I have referred. There would, then, be nothing remarkable in our Lord's appearing after His resurrection, for His body had undergone no change as yet, that change being reserved for that eventful day in Bethany when He was parted from His disciples, and went upward in a cloud. But if this view disposes of one difficulty, it raises another. If Christ retained the fleshly body till the period of His ascension, the difficulty then is to explain where He spent and how He employed the interval of forty days between His resurrection and His ascension. And this is no chimerical difficulty. A mystery evidently hangs over the period between His resurrection and His ascension. It is clear that He did not go in and out with His disciples as formerly. He appeared to them but very seldom, and always but for a short time. He presented Himselt, too, always suddenly and mysteriously, and as suddenly and mysteriously withdrew. No man now asked Him, • Where dwellest Thou?' for His nearest friends seemed to feel that the



fleshly bond of union with Him was dissolved, and that He was no longer a citizen of this world. Such facts seem to favour the opinion that from the time of His resurrection, notwithstanding His occasional appearances here, He must have been in a glorified state. Thus we see that those who hold that His ascension was the time when the natural body was transformed into the spiritual are surrounded with difficulties, as well as those who believe the great change to have occurred when He burst the bands of death, and rose triumphant from the tomb.

Which of these views is the correct one I regard as no vain enquiry. Everything connected with the Saviour, and especially everything connected with His humanity, possesses the highest interest. But apart from this, I think we should better realize the fact of His glorification, if we could fix the time of it. And to feel that we have a peculiar interest in realizing that fact it is only necessary to be reminded that so surely as He was glorified so shall all His saints, and after the same manner that He was glorified so shall they be ; for He shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.'

Of the two hypotheses which have been stated, I incline to the first, that is, that Christ assumed the spiritual' or glorified body at the period of His resurrection. I am thus placed under the necessity of explaining, or at least in some degree accounting for, His fleshly appearances after His resurrection. It is not, of course, to be expected that anything like a demonstration on this point can be furnished either from reason or Scripture. It is enough if any reasonable supposition can be advanced, calculated to reduce the difficulty to a minimum, or even show the view I espouse to be more reasonable and credible than the one to which it is opposed.

The supposition which I would put forward to meet the case is this : that the glorified body is endowed with the capacity of transforming itself at pleasure into the natural body, and indeed of assuming any form or appearance that

may be desirable. That this is not a mere gratuitous invention may appear when we look at the matter a little more closely.

On different occasions when Christ presented Himself to His disciples after His resurrection we have the striking intimation that the doors were shut.' Now there can be no doubt that it was His fleshly body in which He appeared; but how could His fleshly body gain an entrance when the doors were shut and secured ? Nothing is easier than to suppose a miracle to account for such a phenomenon; but perhaps it may be even doubted whether such a miracle as this would not be in the nature of the case inconceivable. But the difficulty disappears if we suppose that Christ had now assumed the spiritual body, that He entered the room in that spiritual body to which bolts and bars would be no impediment, and that then He assumed the fleshly body by which alone His friends in the flesh could recognize Him. This would account both for His apparently miraculous entrance, and the suddenness of His appearance, and, of course, equally for His sudden disappearance, when the fleshly body changed again into the spiritual and was lost to sight.

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