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AT EASE IN ZION.-How often have we seen persons in a very short time after their public profession of Christ lose all the zeal and love of which they gave evidence while enquirers, and settle down in a kind of ease and self-security. With them the vineyard of Christ is not a place for work, but for repose; they give no evidence of the spirit by which Paul was actuated, and which, in the glowing utterances of his heart, he expressed to the Philippians. They rather give evidence of the spirit of self-sufficiency and of consequent indolence, charged by our Lord upon the church at Laodicea. With them, being in the church, is something like what a state of retirement from the toils of public life is to the man of business, the merchant, and the statesman. In relation to things spiritual and eternal we look in vain for any indications of energetic thought and pursuit. Nothing, must be the answer returned to the enquiry, What do they more than others? It is true they attend the services of the sanctuary on the Lord's-day, contribute towards the support of the ministry, and maintain a respectable moral bebaviour; but many who make no pretensions to personal religion do this. If all acted like them, the prayer-meeting would be yoknown in our churches; the weekly gathering around the throne of grace is a work of faith in which they take no part; the poor and the afflicted are but rarely, if ever, cheered by their presence, and expressions of sympatby ;-they have a name to live, but are fearfully dead to all those fiae christian feelings which would make them social and useful. It being their determination to live at ease, they carefully shut out from their calculations, that in each of the millions perishing in sin, the spirit of a brother lies crushed beneath the power of the destroyer. They forget, though it is a truth proposed to us in a very emphatic way, that "he who converteth a sinner from the error of his ways, shall save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins." Hence, no Sabbath school teacher, or collector for missions, is cheered by their smile, and strengthened by their earnest and practical exhortation to go forward. If there be no additions to the church with which they are connected, even this gives them but little concern. Any effort to extend the sphere of christian operation is sure to be met coldly, if not opposed, by those at ease in Zion. And the existence of such persons in our churches is one of the most serious obstacles to success with which we have to contend. Very frequently they are to be found amongst the more respectable of our members, as to station and influence in the world, and, therefore, their example is all the more potent for mischief. They look upon themselves as " pillars," but in reality they are more like great Upas trees, whose shadows are poisonous and fatal to spiritual life and activity; or, to use another figure, dead weights upon the struggling energies of the church - The Rev. E. Edwards, of Chard.
The SAINT OF CALVARY - We know not by what name his eternal life is recorded in
the book of the Lamb, but we know by the promise of the dying Redeemer, that believing at the eleventh bour, he was numbered among the saints of God, and had his dwelling in Paradise. In the brief history of the Evangelist of his translation from death unto life, we have all the marks of a true conversion, and the memory of the thief on the cross is ever associated with the thought of a saved soul, and a house in glory. Convicted of sin in the hour of his agony, he acknowledged his sufferings to be all just, and reproving his companion in guilt for his bitter revilings, proclaimed as his opinion the greatness and purity of the Saviour's character, saying, “This man hath done nothing amiss." Then, beholding in Him the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, he at once appealed to Him for an interest in that salvation which he was now so richly sealing with his blood. The promise is given, and he who had grace to cast the whole hope of salvation on the crucified One, crying in agony and earnestness of spirit, “Lord, remember me," had faith to rest with undoubted trust in the promise, “To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” He knew in whom he had believed, and that He was able to accomplish all He had spoken; and he feared not, for Jesus had been revealed to him the hope of glory. Truly God's thoughts are not as our thoughts, nor his ways as our ways. Had the disciples known that one would go up with Christ from Calvary to heaven,-that the Saviour was about to take with him a companion to glory, they would have looked upon the beloved John with thoughts of farewell in their bosoms; but the poor thief on the cross was a mightier trophy of grace than he whose head had been pillowed upon the heart of Jesus. He who had shared in the suffering, should also share in the glory : the last called here, should be first with him there. The great sacrifice of atonement is impressed with the seal of salvation; God accepts the offering made for sin, and gives his token as a witness. If the thief had not been pailed to the cross, he would probably never have obtained salvation. Little did he think, as he ascended mount Calvary, that every step was leading him to Paradise ; in the morning, perhaps, he was envying the released Barabbas; in the evening, singing with the redeemed in glory.
"TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR TO-MORROW." -“If the most anxious and unbappy men of the world,” says Dr. Chalmers,“ were examined as to the ground of their disquietude, it would be found, in nine hundred and ninety-pine cases out of every thousand, that the provision of this day was not the ground of it. They carry forward their imaginations to a distant futurity, and fill it up with the spectres of melancholy and despair. What a world of unhappiness would be saved, if the things' of the day, its duties, employments, and services, were to occupy all our hearts ; and as to to-morrow, how delightful to think that we have the sure warrant of God for believing, that
called Ould alle who
by committing its issue in quietness to him when the future day comes the provisions of that day will come along with it. What I would like to press upon all who are beset with anxieties about the future days they are likely to live in this world is, that daily bread is one of the objects it is agreeable to the will of God that we should ask, for it is the very petition which the Son of God taught his disciples. We have a full warrant, then, for believing that we shall get it, and according to the faith of our prayer, so will it be done unto us."
A CANDID CONFESSION,In a beautiful little town in Western New York, a delightful revival of religion took place in the winter of 1849-50, when some scores of sinners were turned from darkness to light,-from the power of Satan to God. In the solemn daily services of worship, the Congregational, Methodist, and Baptist ministers were actively engaged, and it was agreed among them that during the time conversions were going on, little should be said of denominational peculiarities. After a season, as less of conversion was witnessed, it was felt to be of importance to collect the lambs into the fold of the Great Shepherd and Bishop of souls. One of the Pædobaptist brethren proposed, that each of the ministers should preach on baptism and church fellowship, in the presence of his brethren. The plan was adopted, and the houses of worship were filled with attentive audiences, while the Congregational and Methodist brethren insisted on infant baptism as a scriptural rite and duty. It will be scarcely supposed that the audience or the interest would be less when the Baptist brother, with less of learning than his brethren, should have to meet and reply to the arguments and the learning which, for the
last two evenings, had been placed before
which now return 2 members ; making 62 The New Reform Bill is the first great
vacant seats, to which the 4 seats now domestic fact. Our general opinion of it vacant being added, will make 66 in all may be briefly expressed. First, it is an of these, 46 are allotted in giving a thirdexcellent measure for strengthening the member to counties, and divisions of couus old whig or conservative - whig party. ties, containing a population of more than Secondly, it leaves the working man but 100,000. The West-Riding of Yorkshire slightly better represented than before. and South Lancashire are to be again subThirdly, it refuses the protection of the divided. Nine are to be allotted in giving ballot to all. Yet, fourthly, there is too a third member to all the boroughs contalbmuch worth having to permit us to refuse ing more than 100.000 inhabitants. Three it. Our readers will therefore see that we to three new boroughs, containing above cannot regard this bill as even an approach 20.000 inhabitants. One new metropolitan to finality. We would never refuse, in borough is to bave 2. tbe Ipne of Law, deed, the smallest concession from parties London University, I, and the Scot in power ; but on the other hand, we would Uuiversities, 3. This absorbs the 6 not represent an aggregation of expedients, Wherever a third member is assigned, the ingeniously dove-tailed to maintain in power voter is to vote for two only. This is in orde the parties who at present bandy the to give large minorities a representatio government of the country between them, The probable result will be, that the 4 as a patriotic and high principled one. county minorities will return as many whigs : Its best feature is, that it disfranchises 19 the 9 manufacturing minorities as many paltry boroughs, with less than 300 voters tories. each, yet returning 29 members to Parlia
As to the franchise, the old freemen ar ment; and takes one member each from to die out, none being permitted to ent 33 boroughs, with constituencies below 500, 1 after two years. The rate-paying clau
Stand Posit,' we thin, not
are to be abolished,- one of the best con- 1 their matrimonial and testamentary jurisdiccessions. The £10 householding suffrage tion; and something is to be done in Churchis to be extended to the counties, including rates. Oxford and Cambridge are to be under that description all towns which are made & little more serviceable to Church. aot represented,-an extension chiefly, we men; though they are not yet to be thrown fear, of the numbers under landlord con open to Dissenters. We certainly know few trol. Several other franchises are to be young Dissenters who have learned anything common to boroughs and counties accord good in those seats of bigotry. Young men ing to the residence of the voter. They from our ranks learn chiefly to be ashamed of are these. A salary, not wages,-a shabby Dissent. A bill has been again introduced distinction, we think,-of £100 p r annum. to relieve the Jews, and require but one A deposit, of not less than three years' simple, unobjectionable oath from members standing, of £50 in the savings' bank. An of Parliament. Government also promises annual dividend of £10 from the funds, or relief to all who scruple taking oaths at all. Bank or India stock,-franchises, probably, One measure is partially before Parliament, chiefly for gentlemen's livery servants. and under consideration of the Government, And a payment of forty shillings to the which, though little noticed, is of vast imincome tax, or in assessed taxes. To which portance to the working classes--the law of may be added, graduation in any of the Uni partnership. They cannot now, without versities. What should be the main new fran the greatest hazard, establish a joint-stock ehise in boroughs is raised from a £5 ratiug, company with their small savings. In our which Lord John proposed last session, to £6. judgment, there is nothing which it is more He assigns as a reason that the £5 would their interest to obtain than the legalization meet with too much opposition. Even this of what is termed Limited Liability Partconcession is conecessarily restricted by re nerships. It is most unrighteous that they quiring a two-years-and-tep-months' resi should be shut up to savings' banks and the dence before voting. Not many, we fear, like. The sums already wasted in the strike, of the industrious classes will gain a vote but for our oppressive law of partnership, by this franchise, yet it is nearly their only might have erected several factories, owned one.
by working men, as well as carried on by Such is the bill. We are thankful for them. extinct pocket boroughs, and for abolished The Liberation of Religion Society has rate-paying clauses. Every extension of held a very efficient soirée in London, at the suffrage we also hail; but we think the which £500 was raised towards the £1000 scheme of representing minorities a misera which London is to subscribe of the £5000 ble substitute for the ballot. Lord John wanted to prosecute the object with vigour. knows that even a whig-liberal, not to say Mr. John Bright attended and spoke. We a real liberal, has no chance in the counties; hear that C. J. Foster, LL.D., of the London he therefore proposes, instead of emanci. University, has been appointed salaried pating liberal county voters from landlord Chairman of the Committee appointed for thraldom, to give the minority who are free watching the Ecclesiastical proceedings of a member also. Henceforward we shall Parliament. have a new class of representatives, some As to the War, all questions regarding it 55 minority members, whose style and title remain, at the time we write, very much in will be the Honourable Member for the the same position as when our last number Minority of - , or the Minority Member was issued. Negociations have indeed for The bill will, if proceeded with ceased, and the representatives of the reand carried, furnish a somewhat advanced spective Governments have returned home; position for more solid acquisitions, and we
but no formal declaration of war has should think it suicidal policy for liberals ensued, - both parties seem desirous of not to uphold it firmly. Its greatest defect, throwing the responsibility of that on the and the one most likely to enable the oppo opposite party. Meantime, the long-looked sition to throw it out or spoil it, is that for blue books have at last appeared, and there is nothing like the ballot, or even discussions, founded on them, have taken household suffrage, to enlist popular enthu place in both Houses of Parliament. Our siasm.
impression, on the whole, is, that though the Some other important measures are also Government have been doubtless less deintroduced or promised. Above all, we are cided than was desirable, and though a tone thankful for the entire abolition of com. more firm and uncompromising miyht have pulsory removal of the poor from the Union prevented things getting to their present in which they may happen to fall into want; position,-still ministers have been led to a measure which is to be followed by the act as they have by a most praise worthy equalizing of the poor rates of Unions in anxiety to avoid if possible the horrors of the course of ten years. This will almost, war. If war occur-and it seems now If not eptirely, put a stop to the cruel, heart inevitable-the responsibility is all thrown less system of close parishes, by which la on him whoselust of dominion has provoked bourers are compelled to walk often from it. Preparations are now being made with four to seven miles and back to their work, vigour; so that there can be little doubt are thus separated from their families, and of the result. One thing is sure, that no unhealthily crowded in the open parishes. love for peace in the abstract-and no one The Ecclesiastical Courts are to be deprived loves it more than ourselves--ought to inof the lucrative part of their practice, duce any one to withhold the heartiest
support from a Government which is about to prosecute one of the most righteous wars in modern history.
BLOOMSBURY CAAPEL. On Tuesday, the 14th of February, the church at Bloomsbury Chapel assembled at its annual social gathering. The reports on the various branches of christian enterprise undertaken by the church, missionary, educational, visiterial, and eleemosynary, were all practical in their character, and deeply instructive. The unavoidable references to the unexampled prrgress of the church, rendered devout gratitude the burthen of the evening. The occasion was made the more interesting by the presentation by an artist (a member of the church, and a portrait painter of much promise) to the church, of a portrait of their able, energetic, and great-hearted pastor. This was appropriately done on behalf of Mr. Dixie, the painter, by his brother artist, and brother in fellowship, Mr. Lance. The gift was acknowledged by Mr. Peto, and was succeeded by a hymn of praise, the poetry of which was also an offering by one of the members. Upwards of four hundred persons are bere united in the service of the Lord; more than half of these were able to be present in the enjoyments of this evening of sanctified one another-sbip, and left with hearty thanks for the past, and high resolves for the future. The whole organization at Bloomsbury Chapel, including its beautiful building, was a problem propounded, but a very few years ago, by one man, great in faith as in works-S. M. Peto, Esq., M.P.; the problem 60 propounded, God has taken up and solved, to the admiration and thankfulness of all beholders.
ROCHDALE. On Wednesday, January 18th, a new Baptist Chapel and School Room was opened in Drake Street, Rochdale. Sermons were preached by the Revs. W. Brock, of London, and H. S. Brown, of Liverpool. On the following Lord's-day, sermons were preached by the Revs. C. M. Birrell, of Liverpool, and E. C. Lewis, of Rochdale. All the services were well attended, the preaching very good. The collections amounted to about £120. This is a town missionary movement, and we hope the divine blessing will always rest upon it and similar undertakings. Should any generous souls be disposed to assist in removing the debt still remaining, their aid will be estimated at its full value, and thankfully ac. cepted. The premises have been erected at a cost, inclusive of ground, of £2100.
DEVENPORT. On Thursday, February 2nd, the foundation-stone of a new Baptist chapel was laid, by Mr. Horton. The steward of the borough, Edward St. Aubyn, Esg, the mayor, John Clouter, Esq., together with a large number of ministers and friends were present on the occasion. Mr. Horton, having laid the stone, under the direction of the architect, Alfred Norman, Esq., delivered
a short and appropriate address, and asked the prayers of all christians present on the undertaking. The Rev. S. Nicholson, of Plymouth, then closed the service by prayer. In the evening, the friends held a Tea Meeting, at the Mechanics' Institute, when about six hundred persons were present. Mr. Horton occupied the chair ; and various addresses were given by brethren Gostick, Jones, Hampson, Pyer, Slater, and Withington.
HEBDEN-BRIDGE. On Saturday evening, February 11th, the members of the Baptist church meeting at Ebenezer chapel, Hebden-Bridge, and a few other friends, took tea together in the school-room, to commemorate the completion of the twentieth year of the pastorate of the Rev. John Crook, and to present to him a token of their esteem for his character, and gratitude for his pastoral labours among them. A purse containing sixty sovereigns was presented to him by Mr. Thomas Marsland, senior deacon, and the oldest member of the church; and highly appropriate and edifying addresses were given by the Revs. Peter Scott, of Brearley; T. Vasey, of Wainsgate; and Mr. John Spencer, of Halifax. At the time of Mr. Crook's settlement at Hebden-Bridge, the church consisted of one hundred and eight members; it numbers at present one hundred and forty-nine, of whom one bundred and fifteen have been baptized by him.
KENNINGHALL, NORFOLK. The Rev. J. Upton, formerly of Accrington College, and several years pastor of the Baptist church, Aylsham, Norfolk, has accepted the cordial and unanimous invitation to the pastorate of the Baptist church here. He enters on his new sphere with encouraging prospects of success.
HEYWOOD. The Rev. Francis Britcliffe, of Horton College, Bradford, has received and accepted i he cordial and unanimous invitation of the Baptist church, Heywood, to the pastorate. He entered upon his labours on January 29th.
CUPAR-FIPE. The Rev. W. P. Grant, till recently minister of the Independent church, Crunnock, has, we understand, become the pastor of the Baptist church, Cupar-Fife. Mr. Grant was baptized a few weeks since, in East Regent Street Chapel, Glasgow, by Mr. Allen, agent of the Scottish AntiState-Church Association.
IRVINE. The Rev. R. Johnstone, of Glasgow, formerly of Beverley, has just entered upon the pastorate of the Baptist church in tbis place.
GRBRNOCK. The Rev. J. Malcolm, of the Baptist Academy, Edinburgh, has entered upon the duties of a preacher of the gospel in this important town.
"Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being
the chief corner-stone.”—Eph. ii. 20.
JESUS RECEIVING SINNERS.
BY THB Rev. W. WALTERS. It was at the close of a Sabbath day, which had been to Jesus one of active usefulness, that a crowd of the lowest class of Jewish society, attracted by his kindness and earnestness, gathered around him. As was his custom, he addressed them with great tenderness. He had come to seek and save the lost. Near at hand were some of the proud and envious 'masters in Israel. Perhaps they had been watching him all day, and still remembered the miracle he had performed in the morning, and the way in which he had reproved their self-righteousness and pride. Supposing that now they had found some fresh plea for their malice, they construed his condescension and mercy into a grave offence, and, mur. muring, said, “ This man receiveth sinners."
The statement, dear reader, thus uttered by malignant lips, is one of the most precious in the Bible. Is it an awakened sinner, needing en. couragement to come to Christ, that reads this paper? Do you want to find some cases in which the truth of this statement is verified ? We shall make it our business, then, to present you with two or three in. 'stances, illustrating the way in which Jesus received sinners when he was on earth; and two or three, illustrating the way in which he receives them, now he has ascended to heaven. May the Holy Spirit bless you while you read them, and lead you to the Saviour !
During one of his early visits to Capernaum, Jesus saw a collector of taxes sitting at the place where he received tribute; and though he belonged to the despised class, he said to him, “ Follow me.” And the man rose up, and became his disciple. But the Saviour's grace ended not here. Matthew having prepared a feast, to which he invited his old associates-persons who were of his own rank and character-Jesus shared in the entertainment, and blessed the guests with his presence and love.
Six months after this, he was on another visit to the same town, and was reclining at dinner in the house of a Pharisee, when a woman of stained reputation came in, and, standing over him weeping, began to wash his feet with her tears, and wipe them with the hair of her head. And then, in the fulness of her heart, she kissed them, and anointed them with ointment. The host's notions of propriety were all shocked; his prejudices were wounded ; and, with some bitterness, he said within him. self, “ This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him ; for she is a sinner.” Well