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TIIE TIDE OF GRÁCE.-TIIE ROMAN SEXTINÉL.
dial: “The night cometh, when no was early dawn ; and what more man can work."
natural than that she should say, There Another useful lesson is conveyed in is time enough ; meanwhile, "a little the motto to a sun-dial erected by the more sleep, a little more slumber, a late Bishop Copleston in a village near little more folding of the hands to which he resided : “Let not the sun sleep?” As she was sinking back go down upon your wrath.”
again into unconsciousness, suddenly, with the brightness and power of
lightning, a thought flashed into her THE TIDE OF GRACE. mind, filling her with alarm : “ This LET me now urge on you, says Dr. desire may have come from God; this Guthrie, the advantage and duty of may be the hour of my destiny ; this improving to the utmost every season the tide of salvation, which, if negof heavenly visitation. There are lected, may never return.” She rose, seasons more favourable and full of and flung herself on her knees. The grace than others. In this there is chamber was changed into a Peniel ; nothing surprising, but much that is and when the morning sun looked in in harmony with the common dispen at her window, he found her wrestling sations of Providence. Does not the with God in prayer; and, like one success of the farmer, seaman, mer- from a sepulchre, she came forth that chant-of men in many other circum- day at the call of Jesus, to follow Him stances-chiefly depend on their seiz- henceforth, and in her future life to ing opportunities which come and go walk this world with God. like showers; which flow and ebb like the tides of ocean? The sea is not always full. Twice a day she deserts
THE ROMAN SENTINEL. her shores, and leaves the vessels high WHEN Pompeii was destroyed, there and dry upon the beach ; so that they were many buried in the ruins of it, who would sail must wait and watch, who were afterward found in different and take the tide; and larger ships situations. There were some found in
across the bar and into the harbour, for security. There were some found when, through a favourable conjunc- who were in the streets, as if they had tion of celestial influences, the sea been attempting to make their escape. swells in stream or spring tides beyond There were some found in lofty chamher common bounds. The seaman has bers. But where did they find the his spring-tides; the husbandman has Roman sentinel ? They found him his spring-time, and those showers, standing at the city-gate, with his and soft winds, and sunny hours, on hand still grasping his war-weapon, the prompt and diligent improvement where he had been placed by his of which the state of the barn and Captain ; and there where the heavens barn-yard depends.
threatened him, there where the earth If the season of heavenly visitation shook beneath him, there where the be improved, who can tell but it may lava-stream rolled, he stood at his be with you as with one well known post, and there, after a thousand years to us. She was a fair enough professor, had passed away, he was found. So but had been living a careless, godless, let Christians learn to stand to their Christless life. She awoke one morn- duty, willing to stand at the post ing, and, most strange and unaccount- on which their Captain has placed ably, her waking feeling was a strong them, and they will find that grace desire to pray. She wondered. It will support and sustain them,
Our Home @dork.
not know a word of one of the Ten Commandments.
Fifty-two, or nearly one-fourth, must be classed as home heathens; meaning by the term, persons totally ignorant of the common truths of Christianity; who were as unable to tell me anything whatever respecting the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ, as though they had lived all their lives in a heathen instead of a Christian country; who had no notion whatever of the atonement considered by itself, or of its necessity; and who not unfrequently attributed the death of our Redeemer to the transgression of some human law or other, and for which He had deserved punishment. Five had no notion of what was meant by the word Queen ; eight could not tell me how many months there were in the year; while many more could not tell me the names of the months; and, incredible as it may seem, one labourer positively could not name the days of the week, knowing only Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
These are simple, plain, and ugly facts; and they speak for themselves.
The questions put to the prisoners were not in any single instance put abruptly or without leading questions to gain their confidence and remove any embarrassment they might feel; and in the worst instances were afterwards repeated by either the schoolmaster or head-turnkey of the prison, but with no better result. There is the wretchedness of a heathen ignorance in our villages as well as large towns; at our doors, and, not unfrequently, amongst some of our domestic servants, in our very homes.
The “ Norfolk News," of November 3d, 1860, observes on this Report:
“ We observe that out of 219 prisoners 81 could not read a letter in a book, 65 more could read very imperfectly, and only 32 could read well. Of these 219, more than half-namely, 120—could not sign their names ; and only 6 could write well. The religious knowledge of these poor creatures was in a miserably low state. Specimens are given in the Report,
of their barbarous ignorance, which almost was full. The guests, for the most part, surpasses belief.
had come from those scenes of humble “Mr. Pilkington properly designates life which the Exhorters had done much these pitiable objects home heathen.' to evangelize. They were come together, Such they are, and such they in part, to countenance those whom they should be regarded. It is a distressing felt to be their friends. And it really was reflection that such a mass of moral refreshing to see them, and many of the destitution exists within reach of our leading members of our Societies, both churches, our chapels, our halls, and our male and female, mingling and sitting at mansions. Thousands of miles do we table together. I never saw
a teasend, at a vast cost, numbers of earnest meeting, I think, in which cheerfulness and devoted Missionaries, to supply to and Christian propriety were more happily savages the means of salvation; whilst combined. Most of the Exhorters were here, at our very doors, a multitude is present, and gave short addresses in the herding, whose souls are dying out of course of the evening. Nor was it a them for want of religious knowledge, and small joy to know that we had such men whose mental powers are perishing from among us. Men of such heart, prepared neglect of culture. Mr. Pilkington tells with so much simplicity and warmth to us that it is only neglect ; for that they are use their talent in preparing the way for mostly capable of culture, his figures fully others. The proceeds of the meeting went demonstrate.
towards defraying the incidental expenses “ These wretched Pariahs of England, of the movement; such as lighting and it should be remembered, are not mere cleaning the various rooms in which negative evils. It is true that all in religious services are occasionally held. them that was allied to the Divine seems Will you permit me to introduce an exwell nigh lost, and that they are degene- tract or two from the Report? It struck rating to the level of the animal. This me as worthy of notice. is true ; but it is not half the truth. It is not into imbecility that they fall. A
“The Exhorters have been an organized potency remains in them, a form of life, body in the Wesleyan-Methodist West but its tendency and adaptation are for Circuit, Birmingham, for about thirty-five crime. These poor wretches, owing in years. During that time, in spite of much many cases to no fault of theirs, are discouragement, they have been cheered absolute pests and nuisances in the neigh
with much fruit. A few men, mostly bourhood where their lot is cast.”
poor in this world, but by the grace of It is gratifying to state that the spiritual
God fitted for such work, have given necessities of this county have been themselves to God, and live to speak for practically considered by our Connexion. Him in the dwellings of the poor; to Five additional Ministers have been whom they have means of access such as recently appointed to our Circuits in it. many others cannot command. They This addition must, however, only be
have often pioneered the way for the regarded as the earnest of greater Home- larger forces of Methodism.
One case Missionary efforts where they are so much may show the character of their work. needed.
The cause at Smith-street room began CHARLES PREST. with an open-air service. Then one of
the neighbours opened his house for
weekly meetings. Two houses were byTHE EXHORTERS IN BIRMING
and-by filled to overflowing. And at HAM WEST.
length the present room was opened, &
Society formed, a Sunday-school estabBirmingham, Oct. 31st, 1860.
lished, and now all are in efficient operaMY DEAR SIR,
tion under ministerial oversight. I was deeply interested the other “ The Exhorters have successfully Erening in what is called the “Exhorters' laboured to draw the people into our Tea-Meeting," held in Howard - street ordinary congregations. Many find their school-room, in this Circuit. The place way from the cottage-services to the free
VOL. VII.- Second Series.
seats in the chapels. 'I have noticed wanderers aside, that in darkened solitude them,' said one old man, 'coming in their they might hear His voice, and be saved. working clothes, almost ashamed, and Many have learnt there to say, with the dropping into the first empty seat. But Psalmist, ‘Before I was afflicted I went they have improved and improved every astray; but now have I kept Thy word.' Sunday, till I have had to show them “ In Nelson-street we meet in a baketheir own seat in a pew upstairs. And so house. It is always full; and there sinners they get up and up, till they get up to often receive the bread of life for the first heaven.'
time, and unite themselves to the neigh“There are at present twelve Exhorters ; bouring Society at Summer-hill. and nine houses, in various localities, in “ Hunter's-vale is a place opened about which the people gather to hear the two years ago. A good work is going on truth.
there. Many of the earnest and zealous “The Eye Infirmary, in Steel-house- converts are devoting themselves to God's lane, is a most interesting place. The work. The class which was begun a year attendance, we are sorry, in one sense, to ago now numbers seventeen. All these say, has lately been larger than usual. have been converted on the spot. The All the patients who are not confined to services are always crowded ; two rooms bed are present in a room made very dark. being quite full, and the Exhorter having Sometimes it is the Exhorter's lot, after to stand in the door-way between them.” there has been a general operation on the patients, to go up into the ward when it
These extracts are given as mere speciis so dark that he cannot see either the
mens from the Report; but they may serve beds or those who occupy them; and the to show that it is possible for many of our word only of the nurse, or the occasional people to act for Christ and His church in groan of a sufferer, is the only evidence
the double capacity of recruiting-parties he has that living creatures are listening and pioneers; while they indicate the to the words he utters. This place offers
fact, that where Methodism is faithful to a fine opportunity for doing good. The
God, and true to herself, she is still equal sinner, in many cases, is indeed drawn to a large share in the work of evanaside from the world, and shut in from its gelizing the masses. gaieties, so as to have solemn hours for
I am yours truly, reflection on spiritual and unseen things.
S. W. CHRISTOPHERS. And many instances have occurred which To the Editor of the " Christian Miscelseem to show that God had brought lany."
Religion and morals.
"I CAN'T FIND IT IN THE
you that Edward Clarke and his household BIBLE."
were gone to Australia, and that William Such is the reason often given by a Jones and all his were gone with them, parent for not having a child baptized.
and that the household of Charles Evans “I can't find it in the Bible: if I could had sailed in the same ship, you would at see it there, I would have my child bap- once understand that these three persons, tized at once." The answer to this objec- their wives and all their children, old and tion is simple: “You may find it in the young, had emigrated. You would never Bible, if you look for it in a teachable think of asking, “ Have their children spirit. Only bring to the reading of God's gone with them?" Yet, this is exactly word the same fairness and candour with what the Bible tells us about the baptism which you are expected to treat the of three families in the days of the things of every-day life, and you will Apostles. have no difficulty in the matter." If, for In Acts xvi. it is said of Lydia, " She instance, some one were to write word to was baptized and her household;" and of
the jailer, "He was baptized and all up over the entrance, " No admission for his;" and in 1 Cor. i. St. Paul says, little ones," I should have known that I “I baptized also the household of ought not to have presented mine ; but Stephanas." Now, what you would the very absence of any such notice was naturally infer in the case of the emigrant an assurance that my children were as families, you should also infer in the case much entitled to go in as myself. The of the baptized families; and that is, that principle which thus holds good in the the children were included, whatever common matters of life, applies also to might have been their age. With regard baptism. Children were admitted into the to the jailer, when the Apostle said to church of God in its early days; the him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, command to admit them has never been and thou shalt be saved, and thy house," done away, and therefore they are to be he could not possibly know of what the admitted still. jailer's house consisted. He clearly meant Does an objector say, " Your reasoning what he said to apply to all his children, goes upon the principle that the old even to the babe in arms, which he might Crystal Palace and the new Crystal have had. If it had been intended that Palace were the same buildings, only the children should be left out in the under different circumstances : prove to above baptisms, it would, according to the me that the Jewish and New Testament usual plan of the Scriptures, have been so church are one church, and I will allow said. Thus, in the last chapter of Genesis, your reasoning to apply." This is easily when “all the house of Joseph, and his done. Look at that pear-tree standing in brethren, and his father's house,” went up my orchard. It has been there for many to bury his father, it is said, " Their little years. Some time ago, finding it unproones they left in the land of Goshen.” ductive, I grafted upon it a different kind The exception of the little ones is ex- of pear, removing most of the old branches pressly mentioned. But there is nothing to make way for the graft. But it is still of the kind in the case of these baptisms. the old tree ; still only one tree. No one
Besides, the words "house" and "house- would dream of calling it two trees. Now, hold" occur in many other passages of this is the very kind of illustration which Scripture, where they signify the whole St. Paul employs in order to show the family, without respect to the age of its oneness of the Jewish church and the members.
Gentile church. Read Romans xi., and Does the objection, "I can't find it in you will find that the Apostle there reprethe Bible," mean that we have in the sents the Jewish church as an olive-tree, New Testament no direct command to putting forth branches, which, being baptize infants ? Such a command was unfruitful, are broken off ; and the branches not necessary, and therefore was not to of a wild olive-tree, (that is, the Gentiles,) be expected. Infant baptism is taken for being grafted upon the old stock, take granted in the New Testament. The very their place. But, after all, it is the old fact of its not being forbidden is enough. olive-tree. All along it has been, and When the Crystal Palace
still is, one and the same tree. London, at the time of the Great Exhibi- Look again at my house. It's of many tion, I took all my children to see it, and years standing. Some time since, finding we were readily admitted. Since that it unsuitable to my wants, I added to it time, this palace has been taken down a new wing, pulling down the partitionand rebuilt in another place, much en- wall, and throwing it all under the same larged, and with increased attractions. roof. But it has ever been, and still is, The other day I went to see it again : not one dwelling. This, also, is in another of having heard of any prohibition of child- the Apostle's illustrations, by which he ren, and therefore taking it for granted that sets forth the oneness of the Jewish and all classes and all ages were still admissi- Gentile churches. Thus, in Ephesians ii., ble, I had with me all my family, as on speaking of Jesus, he says, “For He is the former occasion. I need not say, that our peace, who hath made both one, and we were all gladly received. If, indeed, hath broken down the middle wall of I had seen some such notice as this put partition between us.”