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them to feel their need of. He kept his thoughts and feelings, however, very much to himself and it was not until a short time before he was baptized, that those immediately around him became fully aware of what was going on in his soul. It had seemed, nevertheless, evident for some time previous that there was ground for hope that the good work of grace had been begun in his heart. I do not remember the way in which he stated he had been led to feel his need of mercy, nor by what means he was favoured to realize a sense of pardon through the doing and dying of our most precious Christ, nor am I aware that any record of the circumstances exists. He was led, however, to offer himself for membership to the church at Salem Chapel, at Meard's-court, in 1867, and his own testimony and that borne of him, being considered satisfactory, he was baptized in that chapel with two other friends by his father who was then supplying for us, on September 5th of that year. Respecting his being received into fellowship at the Lord's table, I find the following entry in the Salem church book of that period. “At the table service in the afternoon of Lord's-day, September 8th, Mark Hughes and John Hoddy were received into fellowship; after a suitable address by Mr. Thomas Hoddy, of Horham, who afterwards had the pleasure on that occasion of sitting down at the table of the Lord with the whole of his family, comprising his wife, three sons and two daughters, being a household of believers, all baptized on a personal profession of their faith in the Lord Jesus.”
After a while, in the providence of God he was removed to Ipswich, where he joined the church at Bethesda, and continued in fellowship there until called to the church above.
Early in the spring of last year he took a severe cold, which settling on his lungs he soon began to decline in health. All possible means were used to arrest the disease, and he journeyed twice to London in order to obtain the best medical advice and treatment. It
was evident, however, to experienced observers from an early period in his illness, that the shadow of death was on his countenance, and that the Lord was about shortly to remove this young plant of His to the paradise above. An esteemed Christian brother and friend who was intimate with him, says: " When he became aware of the dangerous state of his health he remarked to me, 'It is a solemn thing to die.' I asked him on one occasion how his mind was, he replied, 'Pretty comfortable;' but he desired to realize more fully his interest in Christ, and to enjoy more uninterrupted communion. He had of late been quite resigned to the Lord's will, and appeared to be waiting for the summons."
Dear lad; no doubt it seemed at first a hard thing to nature to be called away from earth at such an early age, and when he had been looking forward shortly to enter on a long and happy life with the object of his affections. But grace teaches that to depart and be with Christ is far better, and enables survivors to say with humble submission, “It is the Lord; let Him do what seemeth good in His sight.'
The evening preceding his death he expressed his thanks for the kind attention shown him by those who had waited on him during his affliction, and on retiring as usual (for he had not been confined to his bed) he suddenly fixed his eyes on each of those present and then said, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly," and fell asleep. This was on January 29th, not the 31st, as stated on the cover of the Herald last month. His remains interred, on February 5th, in the Dissenters' portion of the Ipswich Cemetery, the authorities having considerately provided five different compartments in their burying ground, according with the religious persuasions of their town's folk. Mr. Kern, pastor of Bethesda, officiated at the interment, and made some very suitable remarks respecting the solemnities of death and the glorious future of the Christian at the grave. On the follow
ing Lord's-day evening, Mr. Kern
“ To join the chorus of the skies,
Remote from earth and hell,
And bids the world farewell."
The Bamily fircle.
THE PRIZE ESSAY.
they were freed from Egyptian bondPARTICULARS respecting the result
age until they had gained the wished of the offer of a prize for the best
for land, resistance and murmuring essay on " The Character and Reign
seemed to reign predominant amongst of Josiah
them; and when their throne was were given on the cover of last month's Herald. Believing that
established and their desire was gratiit will interest many readers, the suc
fied in having a king to reign over them, cessful is given in the “Family
still they continued to love iniquity, and essay Circle” this month. Excepting the
to follow sin. Well might Solomon pre
dict “Woe unto the land” when their omission of one or two superfluous sentences, it appears as the young
king was a child, when their rulers writer sent it. He is the son of the
obeyed not the commands of Jehovah, late esteemed Mr. Richard Bax, of St.
but by their weak and irresolute rule Neot's. Our young friend has chosen
suffered the people to follow their "Cobbin's Portable Commentary” as
chosen course of sin. But manifest his prize book.
cause had they to rejoice when their
king was a child like unto Josiah; ESSAY ON THE CHARACTER AND
happy in escaping for a time the wrath REIGN OF JOSIAH.
of the Almighty against them. Happy How brightly does the character were they, in preserving one bright and reign of King Josiah shine, when record amidst their dark history; but compared with the unrighteous con- the brightness of such a reign served duct and rule of certain of his prede- but to deepen the gloom that preceded cessors ! for they had but disgraced and followed it. The general character the mighty throne on which they sat, of King Josiah's reign was reformaand had allowed the people, though tion, for soon after attaining the warned by the Almighty, to revel in throne, in the fourth year of his reign their iniquitous practices. But in all he commenced destroying all the seats the deeds that mark Josiah's reign, of idolatry, in whatsoever form they piety and zeal for the truth shine existed, and levelled them in the dust. conspicuous; truth that the youthful This work he executed with commendking strove to establish with all the
able energy worthy of imitation; energy and authority that his young energy which, though he was but hand could command"; truth that shone young in years, yet he was happily the brighter from the fact that he was possessed of, and being employed for born of idolatrous parents, and in a such a purpose shone conspicuous in land that abounded in that abomina- that dark and benighted age. How tion. His conduct is a bright contrast must his righteous soul have been with those scenes of iniquity, amongst grieved to view the gross abominations which he was reared. His character is which he so earnestly strove to root a redeeming feature in the dark roll of out! How must he have wondered at royal idolatry, which connects disgrace the long-suffering of the Almighty, with that mighty nation, for the mouth when he saw how deeply the nation of history proclaims that they continu- had drunk of that polluted stream, ally rebelled against the commands of and had shut their ears against all the Most High; for from the time that remonstrance, and had blinded their
eyes to their critical position ! Thus, having effected a partial reformation by overthrowing idolatry throughout the land, the temple next claimed his attention. He, therefore, proceeded to repair its “breaches" and to cleanse it from its impurities with his characteristic zeal. The temple had ever been the chosen sanctuary of the Lord. There he had descended, and filled the place with His glory; there the people assembled to sing His praises and to offer up their supplications to Him. It was here that Solomon, with outspread hands, offered up his sublime prayer, and it was to this house that the earth contributed her costliest riches. Here, therefore, was
a fit sanctuary where a mighty nation might present their desires unto the Creator of heaven and earth. Having thus completed his first step in the glorious path of reform, he sought to bring the words of the Lord before the people, that they might see their errors and repent. Therefore he summoned a general and solemn assembly of the people, and there read the words of the law which they had so long cast aside. How must the hearts of the people have trembled when they heard the terrible vengeance that should overtake those who regarded not the commandments delivered by God! Then, perchance, would the deepness of their sin and their foul iniquity have dawned upon them while they there listened. Thus, having called their attention to the words
of the Almighty, he and all the people bound themselves by a covenant to keep all the ways of the Lord and to observe His statutes. The keeping of the Passover is a prominent feature of his reign, for it formed the last recorded step that he took towards the establishment of the truth, for his untimely death in the midst of his days again left the nation to their own course, the evil consequences of which were soon apparent. His death was, as it were, the removal of the safety of the people, who did not deserve such a kiug, because they knew not how to value him. The character of King Josiah, as displayed
in the varied acts of his reign, is that of piety and zeal for the true worship of God, for whatever he undertook in that direction he devoted all his authority and power for the accomplishment of it. How pure and unstained does his character appear, when contrasted with the iniquitous conduct of certain of those who ruled before him, and who had entailed severe punishments upon the people ! But of Josiah it was truly written that he “ walked in all the ways of David his father,” for both of them had sought the Lord in their youth, and both honoured the sceptre that they swayed, and had thus set an example of righteousness to the nation. In the account of the destruction of idolatry given in Kings and Chronicles, his vigour is there forcibly presented. Not content with the mere knowledge that his servants were engaged in the good work, the earnestness that fired his soul impelled him to superintend in person, that his presence might stimulate them to greater efforts, and that he might have the pleasure of witnessing the progress made to that great end for which he longed-viz., the overthrow of idolatry. Again, his piety is conspicuous in repairing the temple, for within those sacred walls the true worship of God had been disregarded. The people cared not for the ordained ceremonies, indulging in sin as they did. The smoke of sacrifice ascended as an abomination unto the Lord, and vessels of idolatry had accumulated in the sanctuary. Josiah strove to cleanse the temple from its pollutions, and laboured to renew thê Truth as commanded by God. His piety is again portrayed in the incident connected with the reading of the law to him after its happy discovery, for on hearing the words contained in it, his heart being troubled thereby, he rent his clothes. Then all his efforts seemed to have lost their effectiveness, for the sin of idolatry, as painted by the word of the law, appeared in double blackness, and the extent that it had been indulged in magnitied the heinousness of the iniquity. He had, when pre
sent at the overthrow of those abominations, trembled at the abundance thereof; but on hearing, probably for the first time, the awful punishments following disobedience of the commandments written by God, in the grief of his heart he rent his clothes; and being anxious to know the extent of the punishment that seemed inevitably coming upon the people, he despatched messengers to the prophetess that he might know the situation of himself and of the nation. And his character is given by the mouth of the Lord in the reply that He sent: “In that thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord.” Therefore the promise is given that he should not see the great destruction that should come upon the nation, but be gathered to the sepulchre of his fathers peace.
His observance of the passover again presents his care for the commanded ordinances. Truly had there been no passover like unto the one that he renewed, for that which was commanded of old by God was rigorously obeyed. Thus were the people of Judah once more privileged to join in the sacred ceremonies ere the anger of the Lord after Josiah's death should break forth upon them.
WILLIAM RICHARD BAX, age 15.
Bible, expressive of their faith in Christ.
11. There are four Josephs mentioned in the Bible, what may we chiefly learn from what is recorded of each.
12. What is the meaning of Phil. iv. 5. ANSWERS TO EXERCISES ON PAGE 47.
5. Advocate, Head of the Church, High Priest, Immanuel, Intercessor, King, Mighty God, Prophet, Redeemer, Son of God, Son of Man, Vine. The titles Mighty God, Son of God, and Son of Man, relate to our Lord's Person; Husband, Head of the Church, and Vine, denote relations in which He stands to His people; and Advocate, Intercessor, High Priest, King, Prophet, and Redeemer, indicate offices He sustains on their behalf. The title Immanuel is expressive both of His personal glory and of His oneness with His people, signifying as it does, God with us.
6. Burdens in Gal. vi. 2, denote infirmities and trials in which Christians should sympathize with and help each other to bear. Burden, in verse 5, means a man's own responsibility for his own conduct, which he must bear himself.
7. The great lesson to be learnt from this is self denial.-G. E. M. To which should be added, not rendering evil for evil, even when suffering wrongfully and for conscience' sake.
8. Stephen saw Jesus standing as though He rose ready to receive His martyred servant. Paul says Jesus sat, because His work was done : when Stephen saw Him stand, He only rose as it were for the moment.-G. E. M.
BIBLE EXERCISES. 9. Which of the three temptations wherewith Satan assailed our Lord may be deemed as relating to His office as Priest, which to that of Prophet, which to His Kingly character ?
10. Name the last words of four eminent saints of God, recorded in the
METROPOLITAN ASSOCIATION OF STRICT BAPTIST CHURCHES.
THE ninth annual gathering of the ministers, delegates and friends of the Associated Churches in and around London, was held at Soho Chapel, Oxford
on Tuesday, March 9th, 1880. The engagements of the day commenced with the usual united prayer-meeting, Mr. G. W. Shepherd, presiding. Hymn 745 (Stevens' selection) having been
sung, prayer was offered by brethren R. Hoddy and C. Wilson. The Chairman then read 1 Cor. iii. after which brethren W. K. Squirrel (Meopham) and W. Sidders (Chadwell-street) continued to implore the Divine blessing.' Part of Ephes. iv. was then read, and the exercises were brought to a close by brother R. E. Sears (Foot's Cray.)
The friends then adjourned to the School-room, where a substantial dinner was provided. The friends at Soho were evidently determined not to do things by halves, and it is but scant justice to say that their excellent arrangements left nothing to be desired. A conspicuous object at the end table was an immense bouquet, measuring at least eighteen inches across, of the choicest natural flowers which a good friend had procured from Paris; but of course the best table decorations were the tempting-looking joints, all of which we understood were provided and given by the same generous friend, in order that the profits of the dinner might be given to the Association.
At half-past one, the delegates met for business, the president Mr. J. L. Meeres, in the chair. Hymn 274 was sung, and brother Dearsly offered prayer.
Brother Meeres in opening the proceedings addressed a few words of welcome to the various representatives of the churches present. They were, he thought, to be congratulated on the duration of the Society, and its gradually increasing strength and usefulness, although there was much room for further extension. He took the full attendance of representatives to be an expression of their cordial interest in the object and work of the Association. That object was the glory of God, and they sought it in the extension of the Redeemer's Kingdom, and particularly in endeavouring to assist weak churches to get over those difficulties which cramped their movements and hindered their progress. In conclusion, he expressed his fervent desire that the Association might be of increased benefit to the denomination. The Secretary, Mr. John Box, then read the minutes of the last delegates
' meeting, held at Camden Town, October 14th, 1879, particulars of which have already been reported.
On the motion of Mr. C. J. Barrat, seconded by Mr. T. Barrat, these minutes were unanimously confirmed.
The Secretary then read the Report of the operations of the Association for the past year, from which the following interesting particulars are extracted :
The interest and co-operation of the Churches manifestly increasing. The attendance of District Prayer Meetings most encouraging. The general condition of the Churches, as detailed in the annual letters very satisfactory, increasing zeal and interest in various societies being displayed, and Divine blessing therewith realized. Additions by baptism during the year 98. Total number of members 2,867. Teachers in Sabbath-schools number 340, and the scholars 3,263.
It was unanimously resolved that the report should be adopted and submitted to the Public Meeting.
The following financial statements (duly audited and found correct by brethren W. Topley and W. Kennard) were then submitted, viz. :
GENERAL FUND. From the Associated Churches, contributions amounting to £40 188. 10d. have been received. Personal subscriptions and donations £4 10s. Od. which added to the balance at last audit showed a total of £75 13s. The expenses of management, including printing and posting of reports, advertisement, attendance and stationery, amounted to £22 11s. 7d. Gifts voted to churches requiring assistance £30, leaving a balance of £23 1s. 11d.
LOAN FUND. The sum subscribed at last audit (March 10th, 1879) £374 6s. Since that date annual subscriptions amounting to £87 11s. od. have been received.