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Let it never be forgotten that the Lord's Supper is especially designed to help and strengthen us, to revive and quicken us to greater diligence and faithfulness in making our calling and election sure.' It is one of the great means of carrying on the new life begun within us, and which has made as yet but little progress towards maturity.
And since he has said, 'Do this in remembrance of me,' we must needs enquire what it is to remember Jesus in his word and his works, in his sympathy and sufferings, in his death and resurrection for us, with all the hopes, privileges, and blessings which flow to us, and will for ever flow to us from his cross. And as he, the author and finisher of our faith, for the joy set before him, enduring the cross, despising the shame,' so in looking to him, and believing in him, we gain strength to endure and to suffer, to watch and to pray, animated by the hope set before us of entering into the joy which our dying and risen Lord has already won for us.
The real value and efficacy of the Lord's Supper, as a means of grace, must depend upon our own sincerity and earnestness. If we are cold, inconsiderate, and unprepared, it will be but an idle ceremony. If our attention is lively and our hearts tender; if by suitable thoughtfulness, prayer, and self-examination, we come with a temper prepared to receive the grace and the Spirit of the Lord, we shall go away strengthened, comforted, and refreshed from communion with him.
Our Lord took the most common and wholesome things as symbols of his redeeming love, thus teaching us that his mercy and grace do not flow to us in rare and costly appointments, difficult to be had and hard to be understood. Bread and water are ever found where hunger and thirst urge sinful and needy creatures to seek his grace.
Our union with the Lord unites us in a close and vital relation to the Lord's people. Ye are members one of another.' All true love is service, living for others. Neither high nor lowly station can release us from responsibility to the Church; nor should any member feel that he can, from any pretext, withdraw himself from taking part with his fellow-believers in Christian fellowship and Christian work. An attentive study of the twelfth chapter of the first of Corinthians fully instructs us on this point. 'There are,' indeed, as the apostle says, diversities of gifts, but the same spirit; differences of administration, but the same Lord; diversities of operations, but the same God which worketh
all in all.'
As the body is one and hath many members, all the members of that one body being many, are one body:''the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee, nor the hand to the foot, I have no need of thee; much more then members of the body which are more feeble are necessary. And the members should have the same care one for another; if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it: or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now are ye the body of Christ, and members one of another.'
St. Paul plainly teaches that the gifts of God and his grace are not bestowed upon believers for their own individual good solely, nor only for the honour and glory of their Divine Giver, but that they are held, as it were, in trust for others, and that in thus using them, they strengthen and sanctify the whole.
The principle of union is love. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,' said the Lord, if you love one another.' And the office of love is to promote peace and harmony; to root out strife, division, jealousy, exclusiveness, and neglect-to unite and not divide. It teaches us also to submit to the order and discipline of the Church, and to weigh well both our motives and our acts, if they oppose its requirements.
We can all understand the pain of a true father's heart over the refractory conduct of a self-willed child; much more grievous must it be to the heart of our heavenly Father to find indifference, coldness, and alienation among his children, and to see them so absorbed in their own separate and selfish ends as quite to forget each other.
It is a bad sign for us to forget or neglect the 'power of welcome.' 'Come' is the sweetest word which fell from the lips of Jesus-the first full utterance of the love which came to bless us. Let us always keep in mind that this love is not only the life of the Church, the badge of discipleship, but also the conquering power of the people of God.
In our Lord's prayer for all who should believe in his name, we find this striking petition: That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.' A body of people under every diversity of condition and character, breathing the Spirit and living the life of Christ, must be a most powerful argument for his divine and redeeming work.
The world, it is true, has not yet seen this argument, as it some time will. The oneness of God's people is yet to be apprehended as a victorious power. When all that is separating and hindering shall drop away, the Church will arise and shine in her glory and strength.
May the Lord hasten that time, towards which all true hearts are yearning, for which all true hearts are praying, and to which all true work is tending.
Metropolitan Tabernacle Colportage Association.
HE COLPORTEUR.-Can nothing be done to meet the evil which is being wrought in England by the cheap pernicions literature which finds so ready a sale at the present day? This question must have occurred to everyone who has observed the enormous increase of late in the number of sensational publications circulated among our youth of both sexes, and of which the chief attraction is the vice portrayed therein and disguised under the specious name of heroism. These, together with several weekly newspapers, which consist for the most part of records of crime and licentiousness, and thousands of obscene prints and photographs, are working incalculable injury to the nation, and without exaggeration may be said to be one of the greatest curses of our time, the debasing effects of which are but too apparent around us.
Encouraged by the success of Colportage in Scotland in supplanting this injurious literature, and substituting for it pure and good reading, the Metropolitan Tabernacle Colportage Association was commenced six years since with the view of carrying out the same plan in our more southern counties, and at the same time of providing a means of evangelization which is so much needed among our rural population.
The testimony of its agents has amply confirmed the value of such efforts, both in increasing the sale of good literature and in carrying the gospel to the very homes of the people. It is but too true that multitudes of our fellow countrymen and women lack not alone the grace of salvation but the opportunity of hearing of it. "As sheep without a shepherd" is but too faithful a description of the condition of the inhabitants of most of our villages and many of our towns. "No one ever visits us," is the complaint of many to the Colporteur, while, alas, in too many of the places of worship within their reach, the power of Christ to save, though nominally the subject of discourse, is but rarely actually so. In the best of neighbourhoods, however, in town or country, there is opportunity and need of service which none can supply better than the Christian Colporteur. The books he carries are selected as those that speak of the weightiest matters under heaven, and often has the word of God contained therein been blessed to the soul's salvation.
Were this only an effort to extend the sale of purer reading, it would surely be deserving of the earnest support of all well wishers to the truth.
The Colporteur, however, does not only sell, he gives a tract at many doors; but better still, warm loving words of comfort to the troubled, warning to the
careless, and direction to the seekers after God. He goes where others could not; his pack of books being his introduction, he can freely visit at the cottage or the mansion, in the field or on the highway; and passing by no door without a call, is the best known man in all the district round. What opportunities he has of reading with the sick, inviting to a cottage meeting, or the house of God, or offering in the market-place the truth that sets men free! The books he sells are as seed sown for Christ; and, far from hindering his mission work, help to maintain him, make his visits regular, and open the way for him to speak the truth in unlikely places.
During the last six years twenty-five districts have thus been worked by this Association, but not all at one time, for lack of funds has limited the number; and though thirteen districts are now in operation (the largest number yet maintained), unless contributions are more freely forthcoming it is feared they must be diminished before the end of the year.
The expense of management is but small; all the officers giving their time freely to the work, and most of the districts assist by local subscriptions; but still there is a large deficiency to be made up. All who know the work feel its value, and are most anxious to see it extended. Scotland has upwards of 200 men thus engaged. Ireland and America recognise the usefulness of the Colporteur, while each year sees fresh men thus employed upon the Continent. England alone is without the agency to any great extent. Shall it remain so? This is not a Baptist Association, but seeks to serve the cause of Evangelical truth without regard to sect or party.
In order to multiply the number of Colporteurs, two things are needed. First, a guaranteed subscription of £40 a year from the district to be supplied; and for this purpose individuals or churches may unite, or local committees be formed as is the case at present in some districts; and secondly, by increased subscriptions and donations to the general fund, which if sufficiently large to enable the opening of fresh districts, will lead the way to a future guarantee.
Several friends of the Association who have already contributed most liberally, have offered to repeat their donations if others will assist to raise such a sum as will enable the Committee to extend the work, and it is confidently hoped that, the need and value of the agency having been stated, this appeal will not be made in vain.
The following are the Districts at present supplied by the Association :—
Ely, Cambridgeshire: A. SMEE.-A very successful district for sales, which amount to upwards of £250 a year. The Agent visits some fifteen villages, and is heartily received by the people.
Eythorne, Kent: R. MARSHALL.-One of the longest established, the guarantee for which is given by the Baptist Church at Eythorne. The Colporteur supplies one or two preaching stations, and his work is much appreciated.
Haydock, Lancashire: JOHN VARNHAM.-A mining district, needing constant and earnest effort. The Agent here conducts frequent open-air services, night schools, and cottage meetings, and many souls have been won for Christ through his instrumentality.
Warminster, Wiltshire: S. KING.-The Agent here travels as much as twenty miles from his centre, very often accomplishing the journey on a velocipede, and his visits are eagerly watched for and highly valued by many of God's aged people, while his testimony to sinners has not been in vain.
Haroldwood, Essex: A. E. INGRAM.-The Colporteur here in addition to his rounds has the charge of a small chapel. The population of the district is sparse, but a fair attendance is secured, and the worshippers assist in the support of the Agent. Bushton, Wiltshire: B. SUMMERSBY.-Rather an extensive district like that at Warminster, but equally successful; the Colporteur being assisted in his journeys by a pony and cart. Many souls have been blessed in this district.
Minster, Isle of Sheppy: W. BAKER.-This Colporteur has been greatly used of God in the conversion of souls. Several meetings weekly are held in various parts of the Island, and are well attended and much blessed, especially the Bible classes held by the Agent at his own house.
Burnley, Lancashire: JOSEPH POWELL-A manufacturing population, among whom the last Agent laboured with success. The present Agent is only recently appointed, but writes encouragingly of the prospects of the work.
Ross, Herefordshire: W. HORWOOD. The local Baptist Union subscribe for the support of this district, which comprises a large number of villages regularly canvassed, and several services conducted therein.
Arnold, Nottinghamshire: D. J. WATKINS.-A manufacturing district, recently commenced and partly maintained by a Bible class at the Tabernacle. This promises to become a very successful agency.
Sunderland, Durham: R. AYERS.-A good sphere for a Colporteur. The Agent here will labour in connexion with a Mission Church situated near the Quay, where an earnest band of Christian working men welcome his co-operation.
Cosham, Hampshire: H. C. ALGAR.-This district consists of a number of villages in the neighbourhood of Portsmouth. The labours of an earnest man are much needed here, and it is hoped that the Colporteur may be much blessed.
Riddings, Derbyshire: J. RICHARDS.-This Agent, formerly of Burnley, has not yet commenced the work here, but will do so very shortly, and will find a promising sphere.
N.B.-The five last named districts have only been commenced this year.
The money value of the sales last year by nine Colporteurs, amounted to £1,173 03. 4d., and consisted of
1,206 Hymn Books.
743 Bunyan's Works.
Talking to the Children.
11,664 Miscellaneous Books.
4.768 Temperance Magazines
A total of 57,573 publications.
FREDERICK A. JONES, Hon. Sec.
By ALEXANDER MACLEOD, D.D., author of "Christus Consolator." Hodder and Stoughton.
Ir is not an easy thing to preach to children, or even to talk to them upon divine things, in a really profitable manner. Those who can do so should cultivate the gift, and use it as often as they can. Dr. Macleod has a large proportion of this rare ability, and we trust that among the juveniles he may be a power for lasting good. "Talking to the Children" is such a book as boys and girls may read on the Lord's-day, and be both interested and profited; indeed, it matters not what the day is, they will do well to dive into its pages. We give as a specimen a story about William Carey, which every Baptist boy ought to know already, but we are afraid many do not; for our part it was, we must confess, quite new to us.
Golden Hours, edited by Dr. W. M. WHITTEMORE and published by Macintosh, makes a gorgeous volume, abounding with engravings and teeming with tales. We can't think where all the tale-writers come from; the tale-readers must be legion, or there would be a glut in the market.
The Sword and the Trowel, new volume, can be had of Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster, The articles being most of them of permanent interest, may be read in years to come.
The Tabernacle, and its Priests and
WE are glad to see a second edition of
Old Paths for Young Pilgrims. Religious Tract Society.
CONTAINS much excellent advice for young disciples. It has hardly enough of a free grace savour to be quite to our taste, but it is wisely and zealously practical, and likely to prove useful to the inexperienced convert. Elsewhere
we insert the chapter upon "Confessing Christ."
Daniel: Statesman and Prophet. Re
ligious Tract Society.
A VALUABLE addition to the popular literature of the book of Daniel. Objections to its authenticity and inspiration are met, and the assaults of infidels are made to bring out the evidences of divine authority with all the greater clearness. We are delighted with the book, which is, in addition, beautifully got up. Every student and minister should have a copy.
The Story of Daniel: for the Use of
Young People. By the late Professor Louis GAUSSEN, of Geneva. Johnstone and Hunter.
WE remember well the venerable Gaussen, and shall never forget the delight we felt in being entertained by him in his own residence. This book breathes his spirit. It is such a work as the young need, solid but not dull, really instructive, and earnestly evangelical. Daniel is in a fair way of being well interpreted. The British Workman. The Band of Hope Review. The Family Friend. The Children's Friend. The Infant's Magazine. The Friendly Visitor. Partridge and Co.
Each one of these is so surpassingly excellent, in its own way, that we do not see how it could be better. The production of such a collection of popular serial literature is not only a work of philanthropy, but a feat of genius seldom equalled. The engravings in these works are beyond all praise, and are worthy of the admirable letterpress. We are glad to see that the large engravings of the "British Workman" can be had as pictures for the wall at the nominal price of One Penny.
The Mother's Friend (Hodder and Stoughton) is hardly so good, but still it follows close in the wake of the preceding.
THE Various Christmas Annuals are exceedingly good this year, or else, owing to being so long upon our back, we have had more time to look into them. Although intended for reading on Christmas-day, the stories are worth reading at any time all the year round. Good Words blossoms with a capital sixpenny-worth of Good Cheer. The Sunday Magazine branches into an entitled, equally fascinating extra,
One New Year's Night; and The Christian World Magazine, by the help of Miss Worboise and Maggie Symington, even more than keeps pace with its compeers by producing a Round of Stories for Christmas Circles. Many of the stories are not merely attractive reading, but have an elevating tone and a holy air about them.
Our Own Almanack and Christian Counsellor for 1873. By WALTER J. MAYERS. James Paul.
THIS is a tasteful, useful, and gracious companion for the new year. Our friend does his work well, and charges only twopence for it.
The Baptist Almanack, by R. BANKS, Racquet Court, is a guide to London Dissenting chapels.
The London Almanack and Diary, by C. R. H., is a very beautiful neat, and handy pocket-book, bound in roan, at 1s. 6d.; or morocco, 2s. Shaw and Co. are the publishers.
The Religious Tract Society also issues several capital pocket-books, such as the Scripture and Young People's. We see no room for improvement.
The first number of the Interpreter has appeared; we hope our readers will use it in their families.
Christian Confirmation: or, Apostolic and Modern Confirmation contrasted. A Sermon. By H. KIDDLE. Jarrold and Sons,
A suitable pamphlet to distribute in villages where the farce of episcopal imposition is about to be practised. Gift Books for the Young. Sunday School Union.
FOUR very attractive threepenny books, in a striking case. There is plenty for the money; we do not know a better shilling's worth.