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field, who continued as its recognized Preacher for two or three years. After him another quondam Methodist Preacher, Thomas Charlton, preached here from 1767 to 1774. At first attired in a surplice, using the prayers of the Church of England, he afterwards became a Baptist,
Yet some hallowed reminiscences are associated with Mr. Wesley'e first chapel in Snowefields. Alexander Mather, one of the noblest, as he was one of the simplest, of the early Methodist Preachers, as yet a journeyman baker, tells how he aspired to be a Preacher, and how after being assured that “to be a Methodist Preacher is not the way to ease, honour, pleasure, or profit,' Mr. Wesley said : 'You may then make a trial to-morrow morning at Snowsfields Chapel.'
Tradition says that the pulpit of this chapel, then called Zoar, was formerly occupied by John Bunyan, the immortal dreamer, on the occasions of his annual visits to London, when vast crowds gathered to hear him warn men to flee from the City of Destruction. The pulpit was removed to the Methodist Chapel, Palace Yard, Lambeth, when the building was taken down,
Samuel Larwood, one of Wesley's early Preachers, for awhile occupied this ancient Zoar Chapel; and, though he bad separated himself from his father in God, received consolations in his dying hour from Mr. Wesley, who buried him and preached his funeral sermon, and afterwards held a solemn Watchnight at Zoar.
In March, 1757, Mr. Wesley officiated at Snowsfields, but feeling weak, and fearing he would not be able to go through the day, prayed that God would send him help at the chapel. The seasonable help came in the person of a Clergyman, just ordained as a Priest, the Rev. John Fletcher.
Excluded from the chapel at Zoar, Wesley soon found himself in a new one. This yet stands in Crosby Row; and is occupied by a congregation of Welsh Calvinistic Methodists.
Mr. Wesley writes, February 1st, 1772: I found an increase of the work of God even in Southwark. Those who so furiously opposed us some years ago... are now crumbling into nothing. Only the old chapel subsists, as a dull, useless, Dissenting Meeting-house.'
November 14th. - I saw, for the first time, the chapel at Snowsfield, full.'
When in his eighty-seventh year, he writes again : February 27th, 1790.I met the penitents for the last time (at Snowsfields). They quite filled the room; and God was in the midst of them.'
In 1808 the present Southwark Chapel was built, supplying greatly-increased accommodation to the dense population which now crowds the busy neighbourhood. Within the walls of this venerable sanctuary vast congregations have gathered to hear from the Princes of our Israel 'the glorious Gospel of the blessed God.' At one time upwards of one thousand members were in Church-fellowship in connection with Southwark Chapel Though often shaken and diminished by the storms which have swept over Methodism, the Society possesses elements of strength which give promise of healthy development.
To return to Mrs. Manwaring. On August 30tb, 1854, she writes concerning the members of her Class :
Teach me what to say to these precious souls committed to my trust. O Lord, increase my faith!'
We are not surprised to read against the date of the following day: «« Bless the Lord, O my soul,” we had a glorious Class-meeting last evening! Truly God was with us; each soal seemed more determined than ever to live near to God. Several have been afflicted, and feel the necessity of living prepared for eternity.'
Her chief concern was to build up her members in Christian experience. Alive to God herself, she strove to promote in others the elements and exercises of indwelling holiness.
A striking feature in the character of Mrs. Manwaring was her intense love to the means of grace, especially the public worship of God. She was a most attentive hearer of the word. Her Bible contains numberless marks attached to texts from which she had heard sermons. Below the name of the Preacher, and the date of the delivery of the discourse, she was wont to place some characteristic word expressive of the profit and pleasure which she had derived. In no instance in her plentifully annotated Bible does a depreciatory remark occur. The absence of any record or note of exclamation might assure the inquisitive Preacher that his discourse had not risen to her standard.
October 19th.-Bless the Lord I last evening we had a delightful Class-meeting. God was with us of a truth. Our number is increasing. Praise the Lord ! Surely I can say, “When I am weak, then am I strong." I felt much depressed before I went-felt so unable for such an important duty; but my God pitied my weakness and increased my faith. All my fears vanished, and I feel assured we all felt it to be a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. I felt abundantly blessed while listening to an excellent sermon from Mr. Prest on 1 Cor. x, 13:"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man."
‘October 29th.-Sabbath-day.—Throughout the week could keep my mind stayed on the precious promises, and had an increasing relish for the Word of God: Truly its promises were sweet to my soul. O that I could love God as I would !
* December 3rd.— I do think I am making some progress in the Divine life. I feel more delight in reading the Word of God. New light seems to spring up in my mind : its blessed promises seem more sweet to my taste. My beloved Class-mates seem dearer to me than ever. We seem cemented by true Christian affection, and I trust are "striving together for the faith of the Gospel.” I feel I have an interest in their prayers. May I ever prove worthy of their prayers.
*June 20th, 1855.—Yesterday had my dear Class to tea. We had a most blessed meeting—a truly spiritual feast of love.
'September 3rd. I am desirous to be fully conformed to all the will of God. Yet feel so much dulness about me and stupidity of spirit. I long to be holy in heart life. O, my Jesus, still plead for me at Thy Father's right hand !
'March 23rd, 1859.--We have a Revivalist among us-Mr. Richardson from Lincolnshire. He is a happy man indeed, so full of the love of God. Our chapel has been well attended every night-mady a hard heart melted-many a dead soul quickened
many a believer stirred up to increased diligence, Glory be to God ! my soul has been greatly blessed under his heart-searching ministry.
'September 15th.-We had to-night one of the best Class-meetings I ever experienced. Every soul seemed alive to God. The mighty power of God did indeed come down upon us.
March 29th, 1865.—I am thinking much about my much-loved Class. I tremble lest I should not be faithful, yet they want gentle leading, guiding by Thy love. Thon knewest my weakness, and canst strengthen me for every duty. I cast myself upon Thee. Hear and help one of Thy feeblest creatures, who depends alone on Divine strength !
• April 3rd.—“Bless the Lord, O my soul,” for the blessed Sabbath! Yesterday I had a feast of love. Jesus was near all day. All worldly trials were left behind.'
Mrs. Manwaring was no stranger to severe trials.
• June 20th.-Outward things are all dark ; but God is ever nigh to all that call upon Him.
September 28th.-Had a glorious Class-meeting last evening : a goodly number present. All the elder ones seemed filled with the Spirit. The Leader felt her soul happy and lightened of her load of temporal cares, by casting them all upon God, Who careth for her.
September 30th.-Be pleased, O Lord, to grant me more of Thy gracious presence ; more tenderness of conscience and fear of offending Thee ; more humility, stronger faith, and more entire devotedness to Thy cause. Enable me to leave my temporal concerns entirely with Thee, and run with patience the race set before me, looking unto Jesus. He is my all in all! Amen.
October 20th. — How grieved I am to see sack a light and trifling spirit in professors of religion. O Lord, make me more watchfal over my own conduct that others may see no cause for censure in me!
January 10th, 1866.-I feel assured that my Heavenly Father will supply me with bread and water ; but other weights press heavily upon me. Lord, Thou knowest, and Thou knowest, too, that I would suffer anything rather than bring a reproach upon Thy blessed cause. Undertake for me.
* April 4th.-As the veil which now separates me from eternity may soon be drawn aside and the realities of a future state burst on my soul, it becomes me, therefore, to live in daily expectation for an event which is of tremendous moment,
• May 3rd.—Glory to God for a day of sunshine after so many months of darkness! Still help me and mine to confide in Thee. Delays are not denials. I will yet plead in faith, nothing doubting.
· August 7th.-Precions Sabbath-day! I have again been favoured to go to the House of God, and heard words of encouragement from a good Local Brother. God spoke through him to my soul. His text was : “And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.” God demands my time, my talents, and my affections, and I bless Him I have no desire to make any reserve.
December 15th.--I have of late experienced a growing deadness to the world, a deeper consciousness of my insufficiency, and a firmer reliance on Christ.
On being presented by the members of her Class with an album containing their likenesses, Mrs. Manwaring wrote: 'No present could have been more gratifying to me than to have my beloved Class to look at when laid aside.'
March 29th, 1874.–The Lord has laid me aside, but I have felt it so sweet to rest in Jesus, although at times so powerless that I could scarcely lift my heart in prayer. But the everlasting Arms were round about and underneath, to strengthen and sustain me.
• March 2nd, 1875.—I have this day attained the age of seventy-three. I am now laid aside, but my mercies abound. I never felt more my need of the infinite Sarion,
and His Atonement. I rejoice that He does not cast off or forget His old servants where their strength fails. Lord, keep me very near to Thee, humble and watchful at Thy feet, waiting for the summons from earth,
* July 20th.–What a comfort religion brings to the soul in leading us to forget the sorrows of the present in the bright contemplation of the future world !
July 23rd, 1876. I have not had the power to write a word in' my book for some weeks, but this day I have had my soul abundantly blessed in the house of God. The word was sweet to my taste. Immediately after the morning service the Sacrament was administered—an old custom renewed. It was a great blessing to me, and I doubt not to many others. I returned home with my spiritual strength greatly renewed, and my heart filled with love Divine. I keenly felt sympathy with Him when He said, “ This do in remembrance of Me.” Lord, may I never forget Thy dying love. I often feel very near my end. All I want is that I may wake up to see Jesus face to face,'
The hand which for many years continuously recorded the manifold operations of the Spirit in the heart soon forgot its cunning: In a few weeks after making this record, on September 15th, 1876, her spirit was dismissed from the toils and sorrows of this life to enter upon
rapturous service of the heavenly temple. In the same week the remains of this sainted woman and her husband were interred in the same grave to await the resurrection unto eternal life. When nearing her end Mrs. Manwaring wrote: 'I am but dust, but I have at times delightful anticipations of heaven: of enjoying there a full draught of that living water, of which I have only had a taste.'
For about a quarter of a century Mrs. Manwaring filled with much acceptance the responsible office of a Class Leader at Southwark Chapel. Equipment for service and a faithful discharge of the duties of the office became her paramount passion. Evidence of much preparation of heart and intellect remains in numerous short, pithy, appropriate sentences, written in anticipation of this weekly meeting for Christian fellowship. A lively interest in the welfare of each member of her Class was maintained by a course of frequent visitation and occasional correspondence, · In much bodily weakness, and often at great bazard to her health, she proceeded with her work, and was abundantly blessed therein. Her heart aglow with gratitude, accustomed to communion with God, in prayer she pleaded and prevailed. To each member she gave 'a word in season.' For many years to come her name will be 'as ointment poured forth.'
EXTEMPORANEOUS PREACHING :
BY THE REV. H. W. HOLLAND. Both intellectually and religiously the Christian pulpit of our day occupies a powerful position in the mind and heart of the nation. Tens of thousands look to it for weekly religious influence and direction, and whatever may be said of pastoral visitation and subordinate Church-organizations, the pulpit will always be the central and most influential of Christian institutions. The
Minister with great preaching talents, rightly tempered, is one of the mightiest men of his time, and his contributions to the conscience and character of his country are invaluable.
Most people have something at stake in the Preachers of their time, and are helped by sermons in a greater or less degree, according to the fitness of the discourses for their needs. It is impossible with an institution more than eighteen hundred years old to have no variations in methods, means and appliances; and though, owing to its sacredness, fewer experiments have been made with the pulpit than with any of the other great human forces of the world, men are by no means confined to one method of preaching, nor are all discourses of the same general character. Sermons, like all other human things, have taken more or less the colour of their time, yet certain essential features have run through all the temporary shades and hues of the changing ages. The variations have extended to something beyond passing drifts of thought and changing forms of expression: there has been and there still is considerable variation as to the method and manner of Preachers in the preparation and delivery of their discourses. What shall I preach about ? how shall I preach? what shall I aim at? These are questions which have caused no little anxiety and mental conflict to thousands of Preachers ; for though some Ministers easily fall into the existing ruts, and give themselves no concern whatever beyond the merest perfunctory discharge of their duty, it is not so with all.
The majority of Ministers in every Church are anxious to be of religious service to mankind, and strive to be so according to their goodness and their light.
The three general methods of preaching are reading, memoriter, and extemporaneous ; and though these three methods somewhat run into each other, and are associated with many varieties, they are sufficiently distinctive for the purposes of a practical classification.
If only one method of preaching is chosen as the subject of this article, it must not be imagined that nothing can be said in favour of the other two. Each of the three methods has its votaries and defenders, and the historic names of illustrious Preachers stand for ever associated with the reading, the memoriter, and the extemporaneous method.
In discussing the merits and difficulties of extemporaneous preaching, it will not be necessary to enter into ang essential question of conduct, theology or devotion ; more especially as there is no creed which cannot be taught by the extemporaneous method, and there is no Church which forbids its use to her Ministers. Preaching has its human as well as its Divine side, and the human element may be investigated all the more freely by the exclusion of those sacred elements which affect the profoundest welfare of mankind. A reverential silence is not inconsistent with a fixed belief.
There are many mistaken notions on the subject of extemporaneous preaching which it is necessary to sweep away in order to a clear apprehension of the exercise. Extemporaneous Preachers have been credited with the most absurd practices by those who were either ignorant of, or opposed to,