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But the chapel was not well arranged. It was an awkward, barn-like place; and, if possible, the school room was still worse. There was not an air of comfort about either of them, and no one could be surprised they did not succeed.


In this state our estimable friend the never-to-be-forgotten Richard Barlow, Esq., found this little flock in 1842. His noble and generous spirit sympathized with them, and to him, under God, they ascribe the dawn of their prosperity. Mr. B. had taken the lead in one of the largest schools in Birmingham, where he had well earned and long enjoyed universal esteem. In coming to Unett street, he brought all that zeal and affection by which he was so eminently distinguished in his former sphere of labour; and in a short time he became the very centre of attraction amongst our friends. Indeed, he was just the man they wanted. His experience, his example, his counsel, and his piety soon gave him an influence which no other man could have acquired. enlightened mind and a sanctified heart qualified him for pre-eminent usefulness amongst such a people. He saw his position, and wisely improved it. On joining our friends, his attention was immediately directed to the choir and the Sabbath school, where he was always at home; and gratitude will inspire many hearts throughout eternity for his faithful and self-denying labours. He was the chief instrument in effecting the enlargement and improvement of Unett street chapel. Conference encouraged them by a liberal grant, and in a very short time it assumed its present form and appearance, being sixty feet long and forty-eight wide, with suitable galleries. Dr. Reed, of London, and the Revds. S. Hulme and W. Baggaly, preached at the re-opening. A good tea meeting followed, when John Ridgway, Esq., presided, and the evening was enlivened by stirring addresses from ministers and friends.

Whilst the cause was progressing in this direction, another agency was at work in the eastern parts of the town. Here a home missionary was employed by our philanthropic friend, Mr. W. Ridgway, of the Staffordshire Potteries. Several churches have followed this noble example; but we believe this worthy friend of the New Connexion has the honour of having opened the first home mission in Birmingham. To aid and facilitate the missionary's labours, a suitable room was taken in Aston Road. Here a Sabbath school was united with the usual services of the sanctuary, and a goodly number of children resorted thither for instruction. Every Sabbath three little girls, neat and somewhat respectable in appearance, were present. They were sisters. Their punctuality and orderly conduct secured affection, and proved a great source of encouragement. Their parents attended no place of worship, nor made any profession of religion. One Sabbath afternoon they returned from school, and found their father as usual, reading the newspaper. The oldest took courage and spoke to him on the subject. "O father," she said, "you should not read the newspaper on the Sabbath day; the minister says those who do so are wicked, and will go to hell." The words reached his heart. They unnerved his arm; and as he said in our last lovefeast, "the paper dropped from his hands he knew not how." The reproof was followed up by earnest and affectionate invitations to the house of prayer. They prevailed, and the children were delighted to see their parents in the sanctuary, where they met with encouragement, and were induced to go again. This led

to their conversion, and years of exemplary conduct show that they have not received the grace of God in vain. Two dear boys are gone from this family to glory already. The father has been a faithful society steward for seven years; their only son William is a useful local preacher; and the three sisters are all members of society, all tract distributors, all Sabbath school teachers, and all missionary collectors. Had we no other proof of the efficiency of HOME MISSIONARY labours than this, we would thank God and take courage. May this pious house be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord.

Considerable sums of money have been expended at various times in making alterations and improvements in Oxford street chapel. But after all, it is not, neither can it be, made such a place as we should have in this large and respectable town. No doubt there are those who prefer this little sanctuary to the most spacious and elegant one that could be erected. The fact is, their affections are entwined about it, just as we linger o'er the place in which we spend our early years. And we are not surprised at it. In our own minds many pleasing reminiscences are associated with this little out-of-the-way chapel. It often reminds us of by-gone days, and of many kindred spirits who are now before the throne. We cannot forget the devotion of a pious Mrs. Hillier, and the warm responses of a Thompson, who often made those walls ring with his loud and hearty amen. There, too, we used to see a Samuel Beswick and his beloved Catherine, both of whom are now with God. Our dear young friend Martha Doyle, sister to our estimable Mrs. T. Bradburn, found her way to heaven and carried her certificate to glory from this humble sanctuary. And more recently still, Daniel Demery-a miracle of grace, young William Taylor, and our admired Bonnys, father and son, have left their spiritual birth-place to flourish in happier climes. Here they first learned to know the Lord: and here, too, they often joined us in our sacred exercises at the footstool of mercy. Now they are before the throne, swelling a nobler chorus in the celestial city. True converts are the richest ornaments of a christian sanctuary. God has put a great honour on Oxford street chapel. We know many who point to it as their spiritual home.

"And when the archangel's trump
Shall with dread awe proclaim,
Arise, ye waiting dead!

Through earth's and sea's domain;
Then shall a numerous host appear,

Of those who date their birthplace here."

But though the affections of many friends are thus riveted to the old place, they approve of an intention to erect a new chapel, and are cheerfully subscribing towards it. A little is already in hand for this purpose, and other sums are promised, in addition to the grant kindly offered by Conference; so that we trust the day is not far distant, when this desirable object will be fully realized. But we want a school as well as a chapel. Conference has wisely stipulated for both, and Messrs. Beswick, Bradburn, Hawkins, and the friends are not less determined to associate these two objects, whenever the building is commenced.

In 1844, Unett street friends secured a fine piece of ground adjoining the chapel, and carried out their long-cherished intention of erecting spacious and convenient school rooms upon it. This was a great

accession to our cause in Birmingham. The ladies are now preparing for a bazaar, by which they hope to raise sufficient to improve the entrance to the chapel, and effect such other alterations as are essential to the comfort and convenience of the congregation. This will complete an establishment on this side the town which does honour to the zeal and liberality of the New Connexion; and most sincerely should we rejoice to see the Conference sitting within its walls. The school has a good staff of useful teachers, and about four hundred children on the books. Fifteen scholars and thirty-two teachers are members of society. The congregation, though not large, is steady, and we hope somewhat improving. We have an excellent library and instruction society in active operation, and a fine tract depot, which regularly sends out hundreds of these little messengers of truth every Sabbath day.


In 1847 the Circuit sustained an irreparable loss in the death of Mr. Barlow. His removal was one of those painful and mysterious dispensations of Providence, at which we can only wonder and adore. times we are tempted to murmur, but we must not, we dare not repine. "The Lord reigneth," and he says, "Be still, and know that I am God." His death was sudden and unexpected, but he was fully prepared. Our truly estimable Sister Ludlow watched his dying bed with the deepest solicitude, and still delights to dwell on those pious expressions which dropped from his sainted lips. "My dear sir," she said, "you are now going down into the valley and shadow of death.' To which he replied, "Yes, I know I am, but it is only the shadow of death." And when reminded that he had never known the promises to fail, he exerted all his energies and exclaimed, "O no! glory be to God, I know they are all true by happy experience."

But though Mr. B. is taken away, the God of providence and grace has spared us his excellent partner. She inherits his spirit, adorns his name, and does honour to those great principles for which he so nobly contended. The interests of the Church and Sabbath school have her undivided attention; and after a long life of piety and usefulness, we trust she will meet our departed brother in the skies.

Wishful to extend our borders and give increased strength and efficiency to the Circuit, the Oxford street friends, led up by Brother Harris and family, built a beautiful little chapel at Sparkbrook, a rising place on the south side of the town. It was opened last summer. The seats are let, and congregations exceed our most sanguine expectations. The class has received some good accessions, and the Sabbath school is doing well. Whilst this place was in progress, Unett street friends built a small chapel in Bridge street, of which a short account appeared at page 564 of November Magazine, 1849. So that, though we commenced without a chapel, we have now four connected with Birmingham societies. The Circuit embraces Lichfield, Ogley Hey, Nechells, and Smethwick, where arrangements are made for erecting a chapel in the spring.

A very powerful, fine-toned organ, built by our worthy friend Mr. Holmshaw, was opened in Oxford street chapel, on the 25th ultimo, when sermons were preached by the Revs. W. Baggaly and W. Beresford. This instrument does great credit to the builder, and is admirably adapted for a much larger chapel, in which we hope it will soon appear to the greatest advantage.

The limited number of members in Birmingham has often occasioned heavy demands on Conference to assist in meeting circuit expenses. But whilst thus seeking help they have never been backward in helping themselves. Had every part of the Connexion contributed to the cause as freely as the Birmingham friends have done, our community would be in a much better state than it is now. The town societies do not exceed 210 members, and yet they raised last year upwards of £300 for circuit and local expenses, Conference funds, &c. &c. Yes, UPWARDS OF THREE HUNDRED POUNDS!! or near one pound ten shillings per member, irrespective of seat rents, contributions to the Jubilee fund, and what they have done towards the erection of chapels.

It is to be regretted that Birmingham has not yet taken a higher stand amongst our circuits. We wish it had done so. Whilst the limited number of its members has prevented this, it is gratifying to know that the few friends we have here are surpassed by none in connexional loyalty and ue devotion to those great principles by which we are distinguished. The Birmingham friends are proud of the Connexion. They love its ministers; they admire its doctrines: they esteem its ordinances; they are thoroughly devoted to all its excellent institutions, and only regret that it is not in their power to render them still greater aid. Perhaps few of our circuits have done more for the Book Room than this, considering its numbers. The town members regularly take forty large magazines, or about one copy for every five members. Were all the Connexion to follow this example, our sales would be raised to FOUR THOUSAND copies every month.*

In this hasty sketch, we have merely glanced at events as they have passed before us. It is but a brief detail of the proceedings of a feeble church. They commenced under discouraging circumstances, and difficulties have bestrewed their path all the way through; and though. faint, they are still pursuing. It may be truly said of them, "They have done what they could:" and in reviewing their history, we are surprised, not that they have not done more, but that they have done so much. In coming up out of the wilderness, they have leaned on the Beloved, and that omnipotent arm has sustained them until now. They are not insensible of his goodness, and we often hear them exclaim, "The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." May a sense of their obligations quicken them in duty, and constrain them to be more faithful. And as the work of grace thus prospers in their own hearts, the Lord will add unto them daily such as shall be saved.

Birmingham, Dec. 1st, 1849.

CHARITY.-Let your charity begin at home, but do not let it stop there. Do good to your family and connections, and, if you please, to your party; but after this look abroad. Look at the universal Church, and, forgetting its divisions, be a catholic Christian. Look at your country, and be a patriot. Look at the nations of the earth, and be a philanthropist.-H. Martyn.

*This is what we earnestly wish to sec realized.-ED.



THE light of Divine truth, like the light of day, began in a few feeble rays, and gradually advanced through successive periods from the dawn of morn to meridian brightness. At first a few promises and predictions, wrapt in obscure and enigmatical phrases, were given to mankind; but these promises were so richly fraught with meaning, so charged with evangelical truth, as to admit of expansion for ages. The first promise made to our guilty primogenitors, as they stood trembling before their offended Maker, was the Gospel in embryo. It was the tree of life with its fruit in the bud. It was the nebula of the distant glory, which as it advanced was destined to dispel the clouds and shadows which hung over our fallen world, until it shall fill earth and heaven with its splendour.

The evidence of Divine truth is progressive as well as its discovery. Nay more, after the revelation of truth has ceased, its evidence goes on increasing, continually adding new facts to its vast stores of argument and strength to its demonstration. It not only brightens while other systems fade, and lives while opposing theories die, but renews its youth by age, and as centuries roll on reveals the resistless strength of its principles and the overwhelming evidence of its divinity. It can never become superseded. Let science advance, let the human mind be cultivated, they will never detect a flaw in its evidence, an error in its statements, or a principle at variance with the most perfect development of the physical, moral, and intellectual world. On the contrary, the elevation of man affords him a higher platform from which to enjoy a wider survey of its Divine beauties; and the searching scrutiny of science reveals the strength and durability of its foundations. It would be an interesting and instructive exercise to mark consecutively the accumulation of its evidence with the march of intellect and the advance of science and art. For a limited period let this pleasing task engage our


1. History. How ample has it become since Berosus the Chaldean, Herodotus the Greek, Tacitus the Roman, and Josephus the Jew, penned their annals! We have now access to the records of all nations, and for the most part can trace their origin, progress, and present state. What do those records declare? Do they falsify the testimony of the sacred pages? On the contrary, they afford a most voluminous, a most diversified, yet harmonious declaration of their antiquity, their genuineness, and their truth. The Noachian deluge, the derivation of nations from one common stock, the early dispersion of mankind from a country contiguous to the Euphrates and the Tigris, the primitive institution of the Sabbath, the wisdom and virtue of Abraham, the sojourning of Israel in Egypt, the miraculous wonders performed in that country and in the wilderness, the settlement of the Israelites in Canaan, their manners and customs, their subjugation and captivity by the monarchs of Assyria and Babylon, their deliverance by Cyrus, and their subsequent history, are events which derive collateral evidence from a hundred different and independent testimonies of profane historians. This evidence, indeed, is so clear, abundant, and harmonious, that Shuckford,

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