Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

*for the spiritual development of and exhibiting the Christian cha-, their backward sisters in India. ‘racter. The scheme of daily life, “The children, too, were early trained 'pursued with marked regularity, to interest themselves in missionary dealing full justice to all legitimate 'work, and a notable fact in their claims on time and attention, in the connection was that they con- order of their importance, and 'tributed a full fifth of the moneys breathing the moral effects of remitted to India for missionary Christianity at

every step, ima ‘purposes.

'pressed Mr. Shah with a sense of The system of voluntary labour. 'living Christianity. 'for Christ was carried out to a large Mr. Shah had, however, a bit of 'extent. Many of the Lord's people ' unpleasant task to perform, even ·laboured in the Sabbath schools, ' that of combatting a misconception preached in the streets, distributed 'or two, regarding his fellow-Chrisbooks and tracts, and visited the tians in this land. Sometimes the sick and afflicted, setting an ex- people of England had been given 'ample to, and challenging the to understand that Indian Chris'imitation of, Christian men all over tians, as a rule, betrayed a mercenary the world.

spirit and a lack of self-reliance. *Mr. Shah was deeply impressed Mr. Shah scouted the idea with the attendance at the churches, 'absolutely baseless, and confronted ‘and the prayer-meetings in par- it with a formidable array of facts ticular; and more so, by far, with and analogies.' the good order, quiet spirit, devout demeanour, and sensible spirituala Much of the above cannot fail to ‘ity, which he witnessed all round; produce a strange and painful effect the very children vieing in these on our readers; conscious that the

respects with the adult members of picture drawn by our Hindoo friend 'the flock.

is too flattering. Let it be remem“The life at home affected Mr. bered, however, that during his Shah most of all. The English short stay he visited some of the home appeared to him the habita- best of our churches, and was guest 'tion of regularity and peace, satu- in some of the best of our homes. rated with the spirit of Christianity,

C. B.

6

as

NEWS OF THE CHURCHES.

A NËAT and commodious chapel has been erected at Coxall, Herefordshire, chiefly through the zeal and liberality of Mr. Thomas Rogers, of Coxall House.—A new iron chapel has been opened at Maldon, Essex, for the ministry of the Rev. J. Stockdale.- A new chapel (erected chiefly through the munificence of Mr. John Norman, of Howood Barton), has been opened at Frithelstock, Devon, for the ministry of the Rev. E. Scott.-A new chapel has been

opened at Nowton, Cavern Arms, Shropshire, for the ministry of the Rev. M. Matthews. The chapel has been built by Mr. T. D. Alcroft, who intends building another chapel for the people on his estate.- New day and Sunday schoolrooms have been opened in connection with the church at Cradley, Worcestershire, under the pastorate of the Rev. M. Morgan.-New schoolrooms have been opened in connection with the Baptist chapel, St. George's Park,

Great Yarmouth, under the ministry the Rev. E. C. Pike, B. A., of St. of the Rev. S. Vincent.

Michael's, Coventry, to Lombard

Street, Birmingham; the Rev. J. H. The Rev. C. Philp has been recog. Patterson, of Bristol College, to nised as the pastor of the church at Truro, Cornwall; the Rev. G. Binnie, Southmolton, Devon.—The Rev. J. of Sainthill, Kentisbeare, Devon, to Tansley (late of the Metropolitan Lyme Regis, Dorset. The Rev. Dr. Tabernacle College) has been re- Brock has announced his intention cognised as the pastor of the church to retire from his pastorate at at Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. Bloomsbury Chapel, in September

- The Rev. E. Osborne (late of the next. The Rev. C. M. Birrell has, on Metropolitan Tabernacle College) account of continued ill-health, dehas been recognised as the pastor of cided to relinquish his pastorate at the church meeting in Carlton Pembroke Chapel, Liverpool. The Chapel, Southampton.--The Rev. G. Rev. J. H. Lummis has intimated Evans (from Llangollen College) his intention to resign his pastorate has been recognised as the pastor of at Swadlincote, Burton-on-Trent, the church at Beaumaris and and is open to invitation. The Rev. Langoed, Anglesea.—The Rev. T. W. Cuff, of Bury St. Edmunds, has Lardner (late of the Metropolitan resigned his co-pastorate with the Tabernacle College) has been recog- Rev. C. Elven, of that town. The Rev. nised as the pastor of the church at G. T. Ennals has resigned the Ulverstone, Lancashire.The Rev. pastorate of the church at HarveyJ. Hasler has been recognised as the lane, Leicester. The Rev. R. G. pastor of the church at Andover, Moses, B.A., has resigned the pasHants.The Rev. G. Williams has torate of the church at Falmouth. been recognised as the pastor of the The Rev. C. Stovell has announced church at Rhondda, near Ponty

his intention of resigning the paspridd.

torate of the church at Fakenham,

Norfolk, after a ministry of four The following reports of MINIS- years. The Rev. J. S. Wyard has TERIAL CHANGES have reached us intimated his intention to resign the since our last issue: -The Rev. C. pastorate of the church meeting in Gomm, of Writtle, Essex, to Bran- the Corn Exchange, St. Neots, Hunts. don, Suffolk; the Rev. H. D. Brown, The Rev. R. Ware has, after a minisof Rawdon College, to Barrow-in- try of nearly forty years, resigned Furness, Lancashire; the Rev. W. his charge at Potter's Bar, Essex. Anderson, of Warkworth, Northum. The Rev. H. J. Betts has, through berland, to Kings-road, Reading, enfeebled health, been compelled to Berks; the Rev. T. Evans, of Ponty- resign the pastorate of the church, pool College, to Yarcombe, Somerset; Grosvenor Street East, Manchester, the Rev. J. Berryman, of the same and for the present retires from the College, to Redruth, Cornwall; the stated ministry of the gospel, though Rev. J. Watts, of Bristol College, to not

precluded from occasional Long Buckby, Northamptonshire; services."

THE CHURCH.

“Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself

being the chief corner-stone."

APRIL, 1872.

SOMETHING ABOUT THE APOSTLE JOHN.

BY THE REV. JAMES CULROSS, A.M., D.D.

IV.—THE COMPANION OF JESUS. (Continued.) The third division of the Lord's ministry, comprising about half a year, extends from the time of His finally leaving Galilee on to His crucifixion. Hitherto He has spoken the words and done the works of the Christ, and some have known Him: He must now assert Himself openly, and meet the issue of rejection and death. Accordingly, He sends seventy of His disciples, two and two, before His face, to announce the nearness of the kingdom in the person of its King. His progress, following in their steps, would be somewhat slow and circuitous. Leaving Galilee, He crosses into Perea and makes His way southward, attended by great multitudes whom He teaches and heals. This journey is largely illustrated in the six chapters of the Gospel of Luke beginning with the tenth. We have no means of determining the exact duration of this stay in Perea, but it must have extended over a good many weeks, broken only by a short visit to Jerusalem at the feast of Dedication. He finally leaves Perea in consequence of a message from Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, which brings Him to Bethany to work the great miracle recorded in the eleventh chapter of John; after which He withdraws into a country near to the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, where He continues in retirement with His disciples.

At the approach of the passover, He goes up to Jerusalem to finish His work. On the way thither, He gives numerous and solemn intimations of His approaching death. In connection with one of these intimations, the brothers James and John come to Him, and ask places on His right hand and His left in His kingdom. I have already called attention to the incident for the light which it throws upon

the personal character of John; I refer to it now for the insight which it gives John into the mind and heart of Christ. In the kingdom which He came to establish, there are high places; but they are not awarded from personal favour or partiality, or in an arbitrary manner; they are given according to the purpose and preparation of the Father. Reigning

VOL. XIV. NO. IV.

H

with Christ follows upon suffering with Him,-drinking His cup and being baptized with His baptism. Even as He Himself was made perfect through sufferings," so through fellowship in His sufferings His followers are delivered from sinful self-will, and made meet for lofty service. In kingdoms of the world the prince's place is one of domination: in the kingdom of Heaven it is one of love and selfsacrifice for the good of others. Whoever will rise to greatness therein must, in a true heart and pure love, stoop to be the minister and servant of others. Thus is exhibited the Lord's own royal might and power of rule; although the King of eternity, He “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” One cannot but see what a revelation was here for the apostle.

Passing through the village of Bethany, where He is anointed with spikenard by Mary's grateful love, the Lord enters Jerusalem as her king on the first day of the week in which He suffered. Attended by His disciples and the multitudes that had gathered to Bethany, and met by many others on the

way, He rides on a young ass whereon never man yet sat, the road being strewed with garments and palmbranches, and loud, joyous shouts rending the air, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord! This entry into the holy city, taken in connection with His words and acts in the Temple, is the public and unmistakable assertion of His Messianic claims. His last open appearance in Jerusalem takes place on the Tuesday. On the afternoon of that day, He goes out as usual to Bethany,and on the way thither, -as one taking a last, sad adieu, He sits down on the slope of Olivet over against the Temple, with Peter and Andrew, James and John around Him, and near the spot where, two or three days before, He had beheld the city, and wept over it. Looking upon the mighty pile, bathed probably in the gorgeous lights of sunset,

“ A mount of snow, fretted with golden pinnacles they question Him concerning words He had spoken, portending the utter ruin of that sacred place; and He shows them in outline a prophetic picture of the future, onwards to the coming of the Son of man,”-a picture that should be compared with the visions of the Apocalypse. The Wednesday is spent in quietness at Bethany. On the Thursday He sends Peter and John to the city to make preparations for celebrating the passover. His instructions to them indicate His foreknowledge of all that was about to take place : He sees the very man who is to meet them, bearing a pitcher of water, and the guest-chamber (which He is to turn into a holy of holies) furnished and prepared,

even as He forsees the cross and the glory beyond. The same evening they all take their places at table, and after that marvellous incident, the washing of the disciples' feet, in which the spirit of the kingdom is so wonderfully shown forth,humility, and sublimest majesty conjoined,--the sacred feast

proceeds. By-and-by,

Jesus appears troubled in spirit, and testifies, One of you shall betray Me. The words fall among them like a thunderbolt-no one speaks -they look into one another's faces with blank amazement. When they find breath, they begin to inquire, in sorrowful self-suspicion, Master, is it I? And probably while this word is going round, Peter beckons John to ask who is meant. John is nearest to the Lord, and he leans back on Jesus' bosom, and whispers the question, Lord, who is it? Dipping a morsel of bread in the dish, and giving it to Judas, who was also near, Jesus whispers the reply, He it is to whom I give the sop. And after the sop, Satan enters into the

man;

he nerves himself for the final act, resisting the last appeal of love, and smothering the last remorseful feeling; and almost immediately after," he went out, and it was night.”

After the withdrawal of the traitor, there follows the simplest, heavenliest, most profound and wonderful of all the Lord's discourses that are left on record, concluding with the sublime intercessory prayer, which shows us how He pleads within the veil. That discourse sinks deep into John's heart, to be reproduced long years after in his Gospel. Then, full of holy serenity, Jesus leads them forth to the garden of Gethsemane, across the brook Kedron, and here takes place one of the most awful and mysterious scenes of His life. He leaves the eight disciples at the entrance of the garden, and takes with Him Peter and James and John into the deep shade of the olive-trees to watch and pray with Him. There He“ began to be sorrowful and very heavy,"_"exceeding sorrowful even unto death." The evangelist Mark adds that He was also “ sore amazed,” as at some new and dread experience from which He recoils. He now leaves the three, as He had left the eight,-for human fellowship can go no farther,-and falling prostrate on the cold ground, His sweat pours forth like great blood-drops, while (thrice in succession) He prays, Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. He has come into the world for this very hour; and yet to His holy human soul, quick with all the finest sensibilities of our nature, it is inconceivably distressing. The whole scene is one of inscrutable mystery, in the presence of which we kneel and are silent. John would now begin to understand what the Lord pointed to when He spoke of my cup" and "my baptism." Whatever other elements are present, here is the same horror, the same inward suffering, as when He groaned in spirit and was troubled at the grave of Lazarus, or when He wept over guilty Jerusalem; and that afterwards broke out in His cry of forsakenness from the cross. There is no sign of remorse—that was impossible and inconceivable for the Holy One of God; but there is some dread connection with sin, as that on which the curse of God eternally rests.

Here is a specimen of that “travail of soul” which the Sinbearer endured when “it pleased the Lord to bruise Him.” That John was able in a measure, though imperfectly, to enter into sympathy with Him, is evinced by the effect produced on his physical frame, when, along with his two companions, heslept for sorrow,"-nature overpowered by the share he took in his Master's conflict,

« AnteriorContinuar »