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last farewell, and the dear Lord was pleased at that moment to restore her speech, and she said, “It's all right! I am going to heaven, and I shall see you again.” This was almost the last word she spoke. She tried to sing that beautiful
an hour uncbserved, I saw she was greatly altered for the worse ; and every wrinkle caused by the anguish of mind (so plain to be traced upon her brow the day before) had now vanished, and a happy look of peace, freedom, and comfort, was seen, which I attributed at the time to the change of her poor mortal frame, so often visible. I have reason to bless God that although she often changed, her mind did not much change after this. Her mother had been telegraphed for ; friends flocked around, and now was the time for thought and solemnity. The task no one dare to undertake, to tell her of her approaching hour. I therefore per. suaded her sister, and mine, who were attending to her, to go down to tea, and leave me with her. I then went to work: first, to prayer, then to thoughtful solemnity; and when I unravelled the secret of her certain death, she was not the least surprised. Her countenance never changed; she calmly replied, “I never expected to get well again.” She asked me to pray for her, and clasping her hands together, looked up. A heavenly smile crept her: She said, "My medicine is so bitter, but Jesus is so sweet."
A short time after, when giving her some drink, I asked, “Is it nice?” She shook her head, and said, “There is nothing nice here; but it's a nice place where I am going to.” The day after she seemed very happy. I was obliged to be in the city; but her mother told me she once tried to sing“ Around the throne of God in heaven," and called for her eldest daughter to sing it to her, and soon after she seemed to want to untie herself from the flesh. She stretched out her arms towards heaven, aud said, “O Father, come and take me home! Come, and take me!" She remained about the same until Monday evening, sometimes losing her hearing, sometimes her speech. I was sitting on the bed by her side, when she looked round, and because of dimness in sight, could see no one in the room. She whispered, “Come here." When I bent over her she clasped both arms round my neck for the
“My Jesus shall be still my theme
While in this world I stay,
When all things else decay." Early on Tuesday morning she fell into a kind of a sleep, out of which she never awoke, and died at halfpast five in the evening, without a struggle or à groan, when she gently waved her right hand and smiled, after which she neither moved or breathed.
ADDITIONAL REMARKS. We have been married twelve years, and have had seven children; one boy we buried at the age of eight years, and one is now lying dead, leaving me five. She was quite composed all through her illness; I did not hear her shrink from death only once. She told the doctor, “I have a good husband, and don't want to leave him yet;" but the Lord's time had nearly come. She did not forget to remind me how she had, in time past, reproached me because of my religion; but now she had cause to bless God that ever she became acquainted with a poor worm like your humble servant,
LETTERS FROM THE HEART.
MY ESTEEMED FRIEND-The period of our sojourn is rapidly shortening and consequently eternity will soon, very soon, break upon us with all its unexplored wonders. Those only will be blessed then who shall be found in Christ. We need not marvel, therefore, that Paul's desires were all summed up in the supreme wish, to be found in Jesus, living, dying, and for ever. To be found in Him is to be found where there is no condemnation, where there is complete justification, where there is manifested divine acceptance, where there are all the glories of the new creation, where shine all the excellences of the adorable God, where centre all the amplitudes of heavenly
RECOLLECTIONS AND REPOSE.
READER, thou hast, in all probability, been travelling Zion's road for a good many years, and, whilst on pilgrimage, hast been called to encounter many trials and temptations. But pause a moment, and take a review of all the way by which the Lord has led thee. Begin where thy God began with thee--that is, as to manifestation. Ponder over the trial upon trial--the temptation upon temptationand the tribulation upon tribulation, which, like wave after wave, and billow upon billow, has rolled over thee. The first soul-desertion after the first season of soul-enjoyment; the dreadful darkness and dismay; the ten thousand fears that all was gone, that" thy hope bad perished from the Lord,” or that all thou hadst experienced had been naught but delusion. What were thy emotions when He paid thee His second visit, and spoke His first “fear not” to thy troubled spirit ? Hast thou no recollection of thy first feelings under those thy former fears ? “Lord, convince me if I am wrong, confirm me if I am right. Oh! show me where I am and what I am.
satisfactions, and where all the ransomed shall eternally realize visions of glory. O that my soul may have the sweetest assurance of being found in the Beloved, and of living for ever under His ineffable smiles. And this great blessedness I crave not only for myself, not only for my friend to whom I am writing, but also the whole of the spiritual family, by grace called to be saints. The more the saints feel of the power of the glory to be revealed, the more heavenly will they be, the more circumspect will they walk, the more believingly will they exult, and the more zealously will they serve and glorify the God of all their rich mercies. The effects of a realizing faith as to the great good and eternal things which are coming with our coming Lord Jesus, are effects both rich and lovely, rich in experience, and lovely in exemplification. Those who are most lively in hope are most amiable in life. Those who live most under the influence of Christ's love walk most in His commandments. Those are most like Him who live most on Him, see most of Him, trust most in Him, and are pleased most with Him. To be pleased only with the all precious Jesus is the only way to be happy, to be safe, to be obedient, and to be hastening to heaven. To be going to heaven in Christ's name is a great thing; to be hastening to heaven in his strength is a sweet thing; to be advancing to heaven reflecting His beauties is a lovely thing; and to come to heaven in His rights for ever to enjoy his undiminishable fulness of life, love, purity, and blessedness, is indeed a transporting thing. Oh, yes, this is the perfection of blessedness itself. Hope that my esteemed friend may be indulged with the most endearing faith views of Jesus, with the most enriching communion displays of His person, relations, deeds, triumphs, sympathies, and fulness, and with the most animating anticipation of standing with Him by and by on the Mount Zion. A prospect so divine will greatly help you onward and homeward, will keep your affections above, will sweeten the sorrows of the wilderness, will strengthen you to war a good warfare, will make you cling to the cross, and cause you to sing Alleluiah, the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. In the reigning care of that adorable and matchless Sovereign, I desire to leave you. You will be marvellously safe and blessed under the shadow of his wings. Remember me when you pray. Shall be glad to hear that Christ's name is still precious, His ways still pleasant, and His presence more and more felt.--Yours in Jesus, ROBERT BARNES, Glemsford, Dec. 6, 1849.
GAMLINGAY, CAMBRIDGESHIRE. ---DEAR BROTHER IN JESUS.---You willsee by the above I have left Swineshead, and have been here for a few months. But a church was formed here on Christmas day last; since then I have baptized two, one of which was set at liberty under my ministry; the other, the Lord has, by preaching, put his hand the second time to the work, and brought him forth with love and zeal to be baptized ; and many can testify they have been blessed since I have been with them; and we do hope in the real conversion of two others. So you see I came not here in vain; still I may not stay. I am, you know, a preacher of the old fashioned truths, and hope the Lord will keep me so to the end. May the good Lord bless and fill you with the Spirit and His gifts, to aid you in all your holy employ, and that tho same Almighty Spirit may teach, lead, and direct my steps where He Himself will come to bless the truth, is the desire of yours truly,
CHELTENHAM.-In a note from Mr. Pegg he says : Mr. Jones's new chapel is to be opened in July. No other minister is engaged, or any special services. Things will move on among them as usual. £600 towards the cost of the building is obtained already, and as many of the Lord's living family are among those who left Bethel, we do earnestly hope they may receive, love, and live the truth, and be a blessing here. .. I. PEGG.
Our Churches, Our Pastors, and Our People
PARTICULAR BAPTISTS AND Well, I say if this is the honest convicSTRICT BAPTISTS.
tion of the man's conscience as it regards
Christian fellowship, I wili respect his DEAR EDITOR, -Will you allow me (an old Baptist) to write a few words upon the
opinion as I should hope he will respect
mine if I differ from him ; but why attempt above subject. And first, I would call the attention of the few remaining ministers
to carry this practice into other churches
It has been said (I hope falsely) that Mr. and other Baptists who remember the old
S. has declared he will do his best to open association churches, and ask them what was understood at their meetings by the
the table of every Baptist church in the term Particular Baptists. Did it mean that
kingdom. I must confess this Colchester
case looks rather like favouring the report. none but baptized Christians were admitted either as members, or to break bread with
But now as regards the so-called Strict
churches : are not some of them, at least, the churches ? I believe at that time this point was never disputed; and I venture
conveying their strictness to an unwarrant
able length when they act as before stated, my opinion that the term Strict Baptists is of comparatively modern origin, brought
by which they refuse to respect any one's in by some few ministers and churches,
opinion but their own ? I fear this is enwho, being fond of extremes, wish to carry
deavouring to be wise above that which
is written.” things much farther, and will not admit to their communion any one who has been
A good brother said to me and a friend a short
time since in reference to the above guilty at any time of the sin (as they suppose) of breaking bread with those who
argument (supposing it to be an excellent are not quite as strict as themselves.
answer)—" But, my dear friend, it is deNow, having been taught from a child that
parting from the truth.” But when asked all extremes are dangerous, I am obliged to
from what truth, he could only answer, from believe that this is one of the extremes that
our order. I hope I am not too severe has proved dangerous. It appears that
when I say this savours very strongly of
Rome. I will not trespass longer on your some persons wish it to be understood that the word particular (which is in the trust
useful pages, only to say—while I would deeds of Baptist churches) means particular
be the last man to say, “a confederacy with redemption; but I would again ask old
all those who say a confederacy,” neither ministers and members whether it was not
would I join with those who will respect a fact that in most of the particular churches
no one's opinion but their own. I would
recommend all Baptist churches to carry nothing but a yea and nay Gospel was preached, showing, evidently, that THEY
out to the letter the Scripture formation did not take the word by this meaning ?
and rules laid down plainly in the word, Whatever, therefore, may be the legal
but not offensively to other churches or in
dividuals. I believe with you and many decision on this matter, I contend that com
others that the Baptist churches are fast mon sense will abide by the natural inference.
drifting into open or mixed communion, Now, as regards the Colchester case, it is
and I firmly believe our Strict brethren may
thank themselves for it. evident from your correspondent's extract from the deed that the church was consti
I hope this letter will appear in the VEStuted a Particular Baptist Church, and
SEL, and that it may bring some honest obshould remain so; whether the law would
servations from those much more capable confirm or nul is a matter of opinion.
of the task than myself. Our brethren are It appears very evident that the greater
only afraid of each other.
I can point to several of their ministers part of those present numbers are quite as lax as those who, 25 years since, chose a
who say I would not go to such a length
but for the fact that I should be discounminister knowing his sentiments as regards mixed communion, but this by no means
tenanced by the Strict men. Is it right justifies the proceedings of the old pastor
and Scriptural, or is it wrong? It is quite and the young assistant.
time that this question should be well and I remember hearing Mr. Spurgeon some
honestly answered. I am, dear Editor, years since stating his views from the pul
yours in Christian love,
N. L. pit of how a Baptist church should be con
33, George-street, Hampstead Road. stituted, and very clearly showed from the 2nd of the Acts that none but baptized per
AND EXPERIENCES IN OPEN COMMUNION. sons should be admitted as members of a Baptist church; but then he added, as regards the fellowship of the saints, “Let DEAR FRIEND, -Will you allow me, every man be persuaded in his own mind,” through the medium of the world-wide and so he chose to admit unbaptized Chris- circulation of the EARTHEN VESSEL, to adtians to the table, although he would not dress a few lines to yourself and those of receive them as members until they were my Christian friends who are readers of its baptised.
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR.
HILLINGDON HEATH-GUTTERIDGE STREET.-On Tuesday, the 16th instu, special services were held in connexion with this cause, removed from Uxbridge; and notwithstanding an abundance of rain, the place was full, and we were able to realize the force of the Apostle's words, “ All things shall work together for good;" and again, “ All things are yours.” The rain falls upon the just and the unjust, the one it causeth to grow, flourish, and bear fruit, while the other it turns to mildew and rust. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, for He maketh my cup to overflow, and spreadeth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.”
Our esteemed brother, Mr. James Wells, came down to us laden with the oil and the wine, to pour into our wounds the sincere milk of the word for the little ones, the strong meat for those who have to do some hard fighting with the adversary, and a basket of fruit to refresh the lips of the weary traveller, whose journey lies through a dry and a thirsty land.
The afternoon service was commenced by singing with Kent
“For weary souls a rest remains." Then followed the reading of Psalm xxxi. with an expression cheering and encouraging to those who have no might, and the Lord increased strength. Prayer for the blessing of our Covenant-keeping God was next presented, to which our souls said Amen; and then Doddridge supplied
To you and to them it is known, that hitherto, although for many years pastor of Strict Baptist churches, I have had a strong bias in my mind towards open communion principles. This may have arisen from family and friendly considerations. And more lately in a little book I published, entitled, “Trials and triumphs of a living faith,” I explicitly declared a growing preference for that order.
Now, dear sir, circumstances having arisen since the publication of that tract to convince me most clearly of the enmity and bitterness of the Independents, even those of that body who love the truth, to the despised ordinance of our beloved Lord which we practice and teach, I feel the open church communion is an impracticable thing without a compromise of principle.
Perhaps you and other veterans will say, Well, we knew that long ago; have you only just found it out? I think I hear you say so while you gravely rub your shins. But then I have always been one of those who like to “prove all things, and to hold fast that which is good.” And there is the old rhyme :
“ Convince a man against his will,
He holds the same opinion still.” So that experience is the best instructor, who teaches and allures, but never drives.
Well, having been cast during the last few years amongst truth-loving Independents, have found that there is great opposition to our Lord's blessed ordinance of Believer's Baptism : they hate it; and where I have been received and heard profitably by the people, the stern managers have shut me out of the pulpit because I was a Baptist. This, you may be sure, did not please me. It seemed so strange, that these lovers of Gospel charity, who advance so much the doctrine of mixed communion amongst Baptists, should refrain from that very charity towards us; yet so it is. And in the trust-deeds of many of their chapels, Baptist ministers are forbidden to preach in them. Whether this be because they sincerely believe Believer's Baptism to be an error, I will not say; but if so, how thick must be the veil of prejudice through which they read God's blessed book, where the dear Redeemer says to his disciples, “Follow Me,” and at whose baptism the voice from heaven said, “Thou art my beloved Son, in Thee I am well pleased."
So that experience has convinced me that if I be faithful as a Baptist, which I conscientiously am, never having for a moment vacillated in my heart upon a point so clearly revealed, and preach Believer's Baptism as Christ's ordinance in His church, it is utterly impossible, with a clear conscience, to be an open communionist; and through the help of God I will for the future abide by strict communion a thorough Baptist, despising baby baptism as a human invention, and pitying and praying for those who are led away by it. With Christian love, yours sincerely, JOSEPH PALMER.
“ With transport, Lord, our souls pro
claim." The portion of Holy Writ selected for the text was from Zephaniah, chap. 3, v. 15.“ The Lord hath taken away thy judgments; He hath cast out thine enemy, the King of Israel; even the Lord in the midst of thee : thou shalt not see evil any
We have found ourselves sometimes, of an afternoon, very drowsy, but this verse was opened up by the speaker on this occasion so nicely-our judgment taken away -our enemies cast out-the King in our midst, and we were not to see evil any more-that we found ourselves full of blessings, and praying secretly for the speaker, for the people, and for ourselves. The singing of
“Grace, 'tis a charming sound,” and praying, concluded the afternoon service. Åt 5 o'clock about 60 persons partook of tea-a nice little company for a small place, and to whom the rain had acted as no check. The evening service commenced with
" Come let us join our cheerful songs.” Then the reading of the 9th chapter of Amos, with a further opening up of the sacred page and prayer; this concluded
“ All hail the power of Jesus' name!" was sung ; and Hosea, chap. i. v. 11, was : selected for the sermon. "Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” We do not profess to give an outline, but Mr. Wells went on to show who were the children of Judah and Israel ; that he was not a Jew or an Israelite who was one outwardly, but inwardly, or only those upon whom grace is bestowed, instancing the Pharisee and the Publican, and many others. Then, in these spiritual children there would be a blessed harmony in acknowledging but one head; they might differ in minor points, but the centre of unity was Christ, and they shall come up out of the land - the certainty of the deliverance; and great shall be the day of Jezreel—the seed of God, or holy seed.
Mr. Wells seemed very happy in his work. The people brought together on this occasion were likewise happy; "the King of Israel, even the Lord, being in the midst,” what more could we desire ?
- More than himself He cannot give."
The people also gave liberally. While writing these few lines, we feel we heard so much yesterday, that we should like to do nothing but chew the cud to-day, and lie down in the green pastures and beside the still waters; but the cares of life, like a tide, are already rushing in; the devil with his host have returned to assault our soul in every part, and nothing short of a “thus saith the Lord" will do for us. "Thus far shalt thou go and no farther," has gone forth, and we know that this warfare
“Shall cease before long, And then, oh, how pleasant the conqueror's
song!" We were pleased to see so many friends from a distance, viz., Chobham, Colnbrook, Hounslow, London, Longford, Slough, Windsor, &c.
2nd. The members of the church (with very few exceptions) continue to manifest their attachment to the pastor, and approval of his ministry.
3rd. Our church meetings have been uniformly marked with good feeling without any unpleasant incident, except the separation of some of our number for non-attendance, several of whom had removed to the country, and others had left soon after the decease of our late pastor. On the other hand, several have been added since Mr. Wilkins' settlement, and six now stand candidates for baptism.
4th. The lectures were given by our request; and, to show our appreciation of them, a vote of thanks was given to our pastor at the following church meeting.
The writer of the letter signed "a Pellite," clearly shows the disaffection of his own mind; but we think his statements will have but little weight with our Christian friends when we inform them that he sent that letter to the VESSEL with a false signature and address ; that he repeatedly denied being the author of it when interrogated on the subject, and only confessed, at last, when the original letter, in his own handwriting, was produced and laid before him.
In conclusion, we desire to express our deep sense of the Lord's goodness in sustaining us during the long and trying period of the church's widowhood, and sending us, in answer to our prayers, a man of truth and uprightness; and we see abundant reason to retain our old motto, “ The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad”—Ps. cxxvi. 3.
JOHN BATTERSBY. P.S.-Our esteemed brother Cox would have cheerfully added his signature, but was prevented being at our meeting by age and infirmity
SOHO CHAPEL, OXFORD STREET. TO THE EDITOR OF THE EARTHEN VESSEL.
DEAR SIR,-Some pieces having recently appeared in the VESSEL and some other periodicals, containing incorrect statements respecting the affairs of the Church at Soho, and reports having in consequence been circulated amongst the Baptist churches calculated to prejudice the cause of God in that hitherto favoured part of his vineyard, the Deacons deem it a duty they owe both to the pastor and church, to endeavour to remove the erroneous impressions which have been thereby made in the minds of many; and to state publicly, and in unison, the following facts, for the satisfaction of all well-wishers to our Zion.
1st. The pastor and deacons have hitherto been, and still are, on the most friendly terms with each other, and are prayerfully and harmoniously working together to promote the peace and prosperity of the church.
ISLINGTON.-PROVIDENCE CHAPEL.On Wednesday evening, July 3rd, Mr. T. Baugh baptized three females and one male in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. There was a large attendance. We trust the third Person in the Trinity was there. The word was much blessed. Some people have a dread of baptizing sermons (and not without cause) for two reasons ; first, because whenever they go up to the house of the Lord, they want it to be the house of bread; they want spiritual food; and on those occasions they expect simply an explanation of their own views of baptism, and various arguments brought forward' to defend them; and secondly, because they have heard the same over and over again. Our pastor does not do that. Some have said he aims to be singular; perhaps there is a needs-be, though I know not that he does; he does