Imágenes de páginas

stages; and as Christianity is the glory of the individual, so also is it of collective masses and nations; and providence is always at work for human good and perfection. In the year 1750, the venerated Wesleys came to this town to proclaim to the people the life-giving doctrine of a free and present salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As in other places, so here also, these holy men, with many of their honoured coadju tors, met with stout opposition; but the counsel and work being of God, it could not be overthrown, but it mightily grew and prevailed. Soon a house for God was built in Wormgate, which in time gave place to one of larger dimensions in Red Lion street, built in the year 1807, and opened April, 1808. This also, after considerable enlargement, was superseded by the present large and handsome Centenary chapel, which is surrounded by a neat cemetery, beautifully laid out by walks and evergreens. The labours of this section of Christians are most praiseworthy, and have tended much to keep alive and diffuse around Christianity in earnest.

As mankind are intended ever to progress towards perfection, it is to be expected that time, the faithful interpreter of all things and systems, should in its manifestations, while revealing excellences, show also any accompanying defects, and indicate the more excellent way. So it turned out with respect to Methodism here. Here a few of its adherents observed that, together with the possession of sound doctrine and wholesome discipline, there needed a more liberal and equitable mode of church polity, and after weighing the matters soberly, and counting the costs of their intended plans, in the year 1827 they commenced their career as Methodists of the New Connexion. The place of their meetings for a time was a large upper room in Angel court. Were they under the special guardianship of angels? Have they not ever since been under the keeping of the Angel of the covenant? Blest from above and being in favour of the people, they went on and prospered, and in the year 1828 built a chapel in West street. In this work many difficulties had to be overcome, chiefly owing to the badness of the land; but perseverance went through all, and in the year 1829 the chapel was opened with great joy and thanksgiving. Untiring zeal will effect wonders; our good friends finding it necessary to provide a separate building for their school, united their means, and in the year 1831 built a noble school room, which was opened August, 1831. The origin of the school will show how much good pious, charitable persons may do. A Mr. Westland, of blessed memory, amongst other legacies to Christian institutions, left ten guineas for the benefit of our school then meeting in the chapel; by means of this welcome assistance our friends, under the well-directed superintendence of the Rev. W. Cooke, then their minister, secured necessary and increased accommodation.

Most of our efforts in the cause of God are the result of stimulus received from the good example of other persons. One of our good people, I believe of the name of Else, paid a visit to our friends at Boston, and finding only a wood-rail fence for the chapel, proferred them a certain sum of money if they would put up a regular stone and ironrail frontage. A hint to the wise is sufficient; the work was done. Still increasing in numbers and influence, further accommodation became requisite, and the school received an additional storey, and pumps and cisterns were provided, according to the Boston mode of securing

supplies of water. "Give, give place," was still the cry, and in the year 1836, at a great cost, a gallery was erected in the chapel.

Still in want, as all true Methodists ever will be, while in the present world, in the year 1837 an organ was procured for the chapel, to render more efficient the singing department. Growing stronger and yet stronger, our friends were still at work, their motto being, "Onwards, Onwards;" and in the year 1839 they enlarged the chapel considerably in length, which occasioned the rebuilding of the schools on a new site. Since that great effort, they have put a stove and two new pulpits in the chapel; fitting up their organ with a new and elegant base, carpetted the communion and pulpit stairs, and matted the isles throughout. We have now a chapel neat and commodious, (the boast of the town for chaste utility,) eighty-seven feet in length, including the school, and thirty-seven feet in width in front. The school, upper for girls and the lower for boys, is well attended, and on Sabbath evenings the chapel is thronged with attentive worshippers.

Our friends, in reviewing the past, thank God and take courage. "When they first their work begun

Small and feeble was their day;"

but from Angel court they have laboured to spread the truth abroad, and in the hand of God have been instrumental in conducting many saved souls to the court of angels in the celestial world. True and faithful, and strictly loyal to the Connexion, they have made, and are still ready to make, efforts and offerings for the community, whose doctrines, institutions, and church polity they fondly love, and will, we hope, do

so until death.

1. The facts narrated show how steadily this country has risen through the good providence of God to her present palmy eminence amongst the nations of the earth. The glorious Gospel has been the lever to effect her exaltation. This town affords materials for pious reflection-how the Romans were made the harbingers of civilization and of the dawn of Gospel light; the existence of Hussey and Kyme Towers, and the extensive remains of ancient monasteries, exhibit interesting proof of the labours performed by our Saxon forefathers, which produced the twilight of our present day. The reformation from Popery was not so full and complete in this kingdom as many could have wished it should have been ; and good and eminently pious men had still sufferings to endure for conscience' sake. The renowned Fox, the martyrologist, born at Boston, had to flee his country to escape the hand of persecuting power during the reign of cruel Mary; and in the year 1652 the Rev. Mr. Cotton, then vicar of this town, and suspected of Puritanism, through prelatical persecution emigrated to America, with two other ministers, and became the first Christian minister over the first congregation formed in New Boston, in New England. Until that event, the present city of Boston had been called by the Indians, Shawmut, and by the first European inhabitants, Trimountain, from the view of three hills; its name was changed to Boston, out of respect to Mr. Cotton, who went there, as already stated above, from this town, and became the minister of the first church established there. Now the darkness is past and the true light shineth, and each community of Christians now meet and worship God in their respective sanctuaries, none daring to make them afraid; and the time is coming when the different sacramental host s


will go forth with their combined forces to certain victory over error, sin, and woe.

2. What has been written indicates to us the mind of God concerning human happiness. He wills our salvation, and the chief instru ment to effect this purpose is the glorious Gospel, with all its truth, all its agencies and appliances intended to work for human regeneration. "Methodism," as said the now sainted Chalmers, "is Christianity in earnest," and in earnest all the disciples of Christ must be, for the work to which they are called is immensely great and solemn―to save souls from eternal death,

"To turn them to a pardoning God,

And quench the brands in Jesus' blood."

Methodism, to endure amidst changing dynasties and altered institutions, must possess, together with sound doctrines and wholesome discipline, a power of elasticity in its polity, so as to be prepared to meet exigencies as they may arise; such an ingredient we, as a community, do possess; and the principles of our Connexion piously, zealously, and harmoniously carried out, must overspread the land. Tenaciously must we hold to, and work out our wisely adjusted polity; but our chief, our great work is to save souls. Arise, then, ye ministers and friends of the Connexion, to the work to which you are called. Do the bidding of your God, go up to possess the land, for ye are well able.

3. Our account shows that a band of men know not what they can do until they try. Our friends here, few and feeble at least, with the Angel of the Covenant for their guide, and impelled by love to the Connexion, have done wonders, and have laid many offerings on the altar of God. In the year 1829, for the building of their chapel, they expended £1,283 5s. 8d. In 1831, £70 for a school. In 1833, £62 2s. 9d. for frontage to the chapel. In 1834, £50 for addition to the school, &c. In 1836, £202 5s. Sd. for a gallery to the chapel. In 1837, £90 for an organ. In 1839, £733 9s. for the enlargement of the chapel, &c. In 1844, £12 for a new stove. In 1845, £56 19s. 6d. for new pulpits. In 1848, £35 14s. 10d. for a new base to the organ, &c. And in 1849 they raised, towards lessening the debt on the chapel, £75 11s. 2d.; and they are still at work for the latter purpose. Though but comparatively poor, they have met every emergency, and built a noble house for God, with commodious schools, and are now preparing to erect a new chapel at a short distance from the town. ings on the Baileys, Halls, Gunbys, and their band of coadjutors. Blessings on the kind-hearted sisters, who have wrought well for our Divine Master. May they reap a full reward. Beloved friends, give God thanks for your success, and slack not your hands; your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Keep near the cross, be filled with the Spirit, and go forth replete with his unction, to perform the work to which you are called. Rest not till you see the arm of the Lord made bare in the salvation of many souls, and send your associated sympathetic prayers over our beloved community. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love her. Neither confine your prayers to ourselves alone, but breathe your catholic spirit over the world; yea, do your utmost for your God, before you be summoned from scenes of labour here to scenes of rest and glory in the world to come. H. WATTS.

Boston, Feb. 7th, 1850.



IN the March number three queries were proposed for the consideration of our readers. Several answers have come to hand. We select the most suitable, and add a few remarks.

Query 1. The passage in James v. 14, 16, which has often puzzled our Querist, is one which I, at least, understand in its literal sense. And if our good friend would only test the veracity of God's holy word, by such a case as the passage describes, it would appear as clear and intelligible to him as to other good men. Xavier, an early modern missionary, understood it. He was once called to visit a sick man, and he prayed so fervently as to prevail with God, and the man recovered. Knox understood it in praying for his country. W. Bramwell and J. Smith prayed for the sick, and they were healed. (See their memoirs.) And the Apostle James illustrates this passage by an allusion to Elias. He prayed, and prevailed, to the shuting and opening again of the heavens. (verse 17.) When an opportunity presents itself, try, it is worth a trial; the duty is plain, the promise positive; have faith in a covenant-keeping God, and you shall prevail. "Is any sick?" let the sick person or their friends "call for the elders of the church," men of piety and experience, men who understand the object, the nature, and the power of prayer. These are to offer the prayer

of faith. (verse 15.) "What thing soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." (Mark xi. 24.)

[ocr errors]

Anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord."- This was a Jewish custom, and is only applicable to us so far as it illustrates the use of means, and those means to be employed in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith, &c. (verse 15.) This is the promise of an answer, and nothing but sheer unbelief will call it in question.

If he has committed sins they shall be forgiven.- The Jews thought when people were overtaken with sickness or calamities, it was be

cause they were guilty of some gross sins. No doubt this often is the case, and then these visitations are punishments inflicted on them by God. But suppose the sick person be unpardoned; God has frequently restored such to health, and at the same time blotted out all their sins. Thus the end has been answered and God has been glorified. And whether it is easier for Christ to say, "Take up thy bed and walk, or to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee" judge ye.

Confess your faults one to another, &c.-This is a duty to be performed at the time, as a scriptural condition of pardon.


And the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." -Though the apostle does not say that in all cases we shall certainly be successful, yet he assures us that it availeth much. Sufficient to warrant a trial of our faith and energy. Where medicinal means avail, prayer will; and often when those means utterly fail. ANONYMOUS.

for, on the whole, it is scriptural and [We need add little to this answer, proper. It may be well just to remark that there is a difference respecting the duty of believing for spiritual blessings and the duty of believing for temporal blessings. The former are positively offered to all, and hence the duty of believing for them is absolute, for it is an essential condition of our receiving them. But there is no positive promise that we shall receive every tem

Poral good we may desire, and indeed

the bestowment of such would not in all cases comport either with the will of heaven or our own spiritual welfare. Hence, to exercise faith for restoration to health, or for any other temporal thing, is not absolutely required. We may pray for such things in humble submission to the will of God, but the positive exercise of faith, that we shall receive, must depend upon the teaching of the Holy Spirit. (See Rom, viii. 26, 27.) If the blessed Spirit inspire us with a conviction that the blessing will be given in answer to prayer, and afford to us enlargement and confidence in our supplications, then must his influences be unhesitatingly yielded to, and faith must be exercised, not only in God's power, but in his willingness to

bestow the special blessing sought, and the soul must wrestle until it is given. Deep piety and close fellowship with God, however, are requisite for this kind of prayer. To those who live nearest to God will the mind of God be the more clearly revealed, and the more frequently will their prayers be honoured with special answers from heaven.

The "anointing with oil" affords no sanction whatever to the ceremony of extreme unction performed by the papists. Our friend has given a very correct interpretation of this part of the passage. It simply refers to a medicinal practice very frequently_employed in that day among the Jews. The good Samaritan anointed with oil the man who had been wounded by the thieves. There is no more obligation upon us to anoint the sick with oil than to give him an emetic, or to wash the disciples' feet, to exchange salutations with a kiss, or to perform any other custom peculiar to Oriental nations. The use ofoil was medicinal, but whatever medicinal means we use, are to be used, not as heathens, but as devout Christians, "in the name of the Lord," &c., with a reference to his blessing.

Nor does the practice of auricular confession to priests derive any sanction from the exhortation to "confess our faults;" for here the confession is to be mutual-one to another. A wholesome practice when attended to, but an abomination in the sight of God, and a degradation to man, as performed in the church of Rome.]

Query 3." When, and under whose reign, did the sceptre depart from Judah; and what were the circumstances connected with it?"

Answer. The very year in which Jesus Christ was born, being the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Augustus Cæsar, Emperor of Rome, and the last year of the reign of Herod the Great.

The circumstances connected with

its departure. About sixty-three years before the birth of Christ, Jerusalem was besieged and taken by the Romans under Pompey; and Aristobulus II, who was king of Judea at that time, was sent a prisoner to Rome. After a succession of expeditions made by the Romans against the Jews, under the reigns of Hyrcanus and Antigonus, during a period of thirty-eight years,

[ocr errors]

Jerusalem was again besieged and taken under the united generalship of Herod and Sorius. As the reward of victory, Herod was appointed tetrarch of Galilee, one of the most extensive provinces of the Holy Land, and subsequently was made king of Judea. During his long reign of thirty-four years over these provinces, under Augustus Cæsar his Roman master, the Jews refused to acknowledge their allegiance to Cæsar, until the last year of Herod's life. A "decree' was then passed in the court of Rome, "that all the world should be taxed," or, more properly, enrolled. Every one being required to go to his own city for that express purpose. "Joseph, being of the house and lineage of David, went to the city of David," or the little town of Bethlehem, "to be enrolled, with Mary his espoused wife, who was great with child." And the Jews, by enrolling their names and families as subjects of Rome, avowed their allegiance to Cæsar; and by the very act, surrendered their national independence. It was then the " sceptre, or civil authority, passed away. At that time Shiloh," the sent of God and, Saviour of the world, was born. (See Matt. ii. 1; Luke ii. 1.)—Communicated.


[The original word rendered sceptre, means not only sceptre, which was an emblem of civil authority, but also a staff, which was the emblem of atribe. If the word be thus interpreted, the passage will mean that the distinction of Judah as a tribe should not pass away until Christ the Shiloh should come. Nor had that distinction passed away at the time of the Redeemer's birth. The genealogies of Christ given by the evangelists show clearly that the distinction of Judah as a tribe had con. tinued up to that period; but some time after it passed utterly away, the genealogies became totally confused, and no Jew can ascertain the tribe from which he has descended. Thus whether we understand the word to mean sceptre as an emblem of civil authority, or staff as an emblem of a distinct tribe, the prediction has received its literal fulfilment.

In like manner, the "lawgiver" o ecclesiastical polity of the Jews con tinued until the destruction of Jerusa

« AnteriorContinuar »