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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, 435 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.
ANSWERS TO QUERIES.
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.)
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 proporal good we may desire, and indeed mise that we shall receive every tem
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,
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
lem by the Romans, about forty years after the death of Christ; but it was then destroyed, and to this day the Jews remain without a temple, altar, or sacrifice. The glory is departed.]
We have in type an answer to the Query respecting the salvation of infant children, but the press of matter compels us to reserve it for the next month.
MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES, ANECDOTES, &c.
JOHN STRONG, THE BOASTER; OR, THE PROUD HUMBLED.
[From "Half Hours with Old Humphrey," an interesting Volume, published by the Religious Tract Society.]
Ax interesting tale will oftentimes impress the mind more profitably than a very severe, though very eloquent exhortation. This being the case, listen to my narrative of John Strong, the Boaster.
"Now wha dare meddle wi' me?" said John Strong, repeating a line of an old ballad, as he sat on his own chair, in a saucy attitude, with a jug before him. Wha dare meddle wi' me?" said he, half in jest, half in earnest, talking to his companion and admirer, William Wallis, the tailor.
"Why, a man would look twice at you before he handled you, or tried to talk you down," said Wallis. "You are strong in name and strong in nature, John. At all events, I am not the man to meddle with you in the way of quarrelling."
"I fancy, not, William; you are too fond of sound bones to cross one of my sort," said John, saucily; "but make no mocks at my name; I will not allow it, Mr. Billy Button, and so I tell you."
"No offence, no offence, John; I meant no mischief," said the tailor, taking no notice of the nick-name John had just given him; for he well knew the quarrelsome nature of the man with whom he was talking. It was, as they say, a word and a blow with Strong; and one of John's blows, as the tailor knew very well, was no light matter.
"Well, well, take another glass of ale, William, and do not talk so fast. One cannot put in a word edgeways where you are," said John, who always treated those he liked with the best in his house; and that was
the reason why the tailor went often to see him, and bore with his snubbings and saucy ways.
William Wallis was a stooping, mean sort of fellow, after all, and would have agreed with any one, if they had given him good eating and drinking while they talked to him. He was a fine-weather friend, who would have forsaken his comrades on a rainy day, and turned his back on old acquaintances when they were poor and down-hearted. Frankness and upright dealing are a credit to a man; but he to whom the "bread of deceit is sweet, his mouth shall be filled with gravel."
You cannot call me an old man, William," said John; "look at my arm! Is it like the arm of an old man? I shall be forty next June, and I say a man at forty is in his prime." To be sure he is," answered the wheedling William.
"The miller's man, you know, who is but five and twenty, called me an old fellow, and said I must not think to crow over youngsters as I had done."
"He! he he! so he did," said William, affecting to giggle, "but it might have been a manslaughter business, if his friends had not taken him away; you did pummel him handsomely."
"Wife! Mary! I say, bestir yourself a little, and bring us the porkpie out of the pantry," shouted John, in great good humour; "Mr. Wallis may like to eat a bit of something with his beer. He shall make me a coat at midsummer, for there is not a better tailor in the parish, and I say it, whose word stands for some
thing, for folks dare not contradict me!"
Strong's wife, a mild, good-temtempered, healthy-looking woman, spread a white cloth upon a table, and placed plates, knives, and forks, and a large pork-pie before the wheelwright and the tailor, and John went on with his boasting while William was occupied in eating.
"The miller had a narrow escape, as you say, Mr. Wallis. Old, indeed! He will not call me old again in a hurry. I have stopped his chattering, for he knows what to expect if he crosses me. Then there was Phips, the wrestler, he challenged me last Whitsuntide at the club, but when we met at Simpson's green, did not I give him a fair back fall for all his tricks and trippings? Why the man was not himself again for the whole day."
"I have heard say that you did," said the tailor, thoughtlessly, eating heartily at the pork-pie, which took up his attention so much, that for a moment he quite forgot to try to please the wheelwright.
Heard say! do you doubt it?” shouted Strong, in a rage. "What do you mean by heard say,' Master William?"
The tailor turned pale, put away his knife and fork, and tried to soften down the wheelwright. "I mean," said he, "that I did not see it done, because you know I was not on the spot, Mr. Strong; but as for doubting it, that would be foolish indeed, when the whole parish knows that you flung the wrestler."
"And I shall be after flinging you too, if I have any more of your 'heard says,' Master Tailor," said Strong, threateningly; "but, however, as you do not doubt the matter,
there is no harm done. There is not a man in the parish that dare meddle with me. Look at that mastiff, Master William," Strong, pointing to a large dog that came just then into the kitchen; "folks say Towzer's fierce and surly, and, to be sure, he has bitten a few folks that teased him; now, some have threatened to shoot that dog; some say they will poison him or cleave his head; but let them touch
a hair of him, only let them do it; I should like to see them, that is all. 'Love me, love my dog,' you know. I can take care of Towzer."
"To be sure you can," said the coaxing tailor; no one will touch Towzer when you are in sight; they know better than to get into trouble for the sake of a dog."
"For the sake of a dog!" said Strong, "what do you mean by that, Master Tailor? The dog is worth his weight in gold. Do not speak slightly of my dog, for I shall not allow it."
"Well, it is a fine animal, to be sure," said William, "but I do not know much about dogs, Mr. Strong."
"No; you know more about geese than dogs, Master Tailor," replied Strong; "but still you may believe me when I say that Towzer is worth his weight in gold."
"No doubt of it," said the tailor, again taking up his knife and fork, and cutting a fresh piece from the pork-pie.
"Well, well, you are a sensible man," said Strong, " taking you altogether, though foolish at times; and we think alike on most things. Now, where will you find a working man's cottage so well stocked as mine, Mr. William ? Look at that Bible with the tea-caddy on it, why it is as big as a church Bible, and cost me a pretty penny; but my wife had set her heart upon having it. Look at the two sides of bacon over our heads, dangling from the ceiling; and did you ever see a finer ham than that hanging in the corner? Our cellar's small, but there are two good barrels of ale in it; and there is a leg of mutton and a round of beef in the pantry, where that porkpie came from, Master Tailor."
“I always said,” replied William, talking with his mouth filled with pie-crust, "I always said, that those would never starve that lived with Mr. Strong."
"I should think not," said the wheelwright, "for when that bacon is gone I can hang up more."
"To be sure you can, and fill your barrels again when empty," said the tailor, drinking a glass of ale off at a draught.