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ircoitect's commission, &c, will be about £2,200. Considerable interest was felt in the services, and at the close it was announced that about -£100 had been added to the building fund by the day's proceedings.
BiKBuar, Oxox.—On Good Friday a "farewell tea-meeting" was held at Bridge Street Chapel, Banbury, to take leave of the Rev. W. T. Hender»n, who has accepted the pastorate of the church it Devonshire Square Chapel, London. Nearly 100 persons sat down to tea, the room being tastedecorated with evergreens, choice Sowers, mottoes suited to the occasion. After tea, a was held, under the presidency of Mr.
-Cubitt, the senior deacon. Fifteen neighbouring ministers, of various denominations, were prekW.wd addressed the meeting in terms of the •troogeet affection for Mr. Henderson, and exptewtd their deep regret that he was about to Kmore from their midst, with their best wishes for his happiness and success in his new field of labour. In the course of the evening the Chairman presented, in the name of the church and coiigreJ»tion, a handsome timepiece, with a suitable inscription, to Mr. Henderson, a valuable tea and oofiee service and cruet-stand to Mrs. Henderson, a* a testimonal of the esteem in which they were neld, after a residence and ministry of fourteen years. Mr. Henderson feelingly responded. The meeting throughout was characterized by a hightoned Christian feeling.
.CuriEssuaT.—The new Baptist chapel in this cttr trat opened for public worship on Thursday, **rchJ"th. The preachers on the occasion were jw Hon. and Kev. B. W. Noel, M.A., and the «T. J. A. Spurgeon. The building was erected p Mr. H, Wilson, of Canterbury, from plans, ■*■. farnished by Messrs. Searle, Son, & Yelf, « Bloomsbury Place, and has won the admiration
Fall whoiave seen it. In addition to the chapel —which is nearly sixty feet by forty—there is a ■oWewhoolandleeture-hall, vestries, class-rooms,
*j K«y other convenience for public worship
•* *i« instruction of children. The fineness of TM* day brought crowds of people to the service ?°o nearly all parts of East Kent. lu the morn
Q£Replace was filled in every part, and in the TM*nug many were unable to gain admission. j^Qfr, tea, and supper were provided at moderate jyTM. A large number of ministers came to JJtfeit their sympathy with the Rev. C. Kirtland ■obisfriends. On the following Sunday the Rev. ^Kirtland commenced his ministry in the new F* to large congregations. The collections at »5ll"nS services, including £12 as the profit of •cianfr, &c., amounted to £162 13a. lOd.
J^SBORyE, Near Birmingham.—The want of
ipercbapel and school accommodation has long
j*° fe.lt by the Baptist friends in this populous
j* Jiiing suburb, and on Easter Monday the
Sedation-stone of a new school-room was laid by
John PhiUipB, an old and respected superin
kotof the school. The Revs. Thomas M'Lean
of the church), C. Vince, and J. J. Brown
part in the service. Although the weather
Wat tmpropitious there was a fair attendance.
«e o'clock a public tea was held in the old
*" which was crowded. After tea the meet
J addressed by the Revs. Thomas M'Lean,
m Giles, C. Vince, J. J. Brown, and others. The
w performed Beveral appropriate pieces of music.
** "ere some additional sums promised to the
■ng fund, which has already reached to half
"•"•Wamplated outlay, and altogether the day's
^tedmgs were most encouraging. The school
"-*1* to be finished in about two months, when
lTul be opened as a place of worship during the
building of the new ehapel, which will ba on the same site as the old one, and which, it is hoped, will be begun in June next.
Sharon, Lettbrstone, Pembrokeshire.— Services in connection with the formation of a Baptist church in the above place, and with the ordination of Mr. David Rees, from Pontypool College, to be its pastor, were held on the 21st and 22nd of March. On Monday, at two o'clock, the Rev. T. Williams, of Llangloffan, performed the ceremony of forming the church, and gave a short but pointed address on the Nature, &e.,of the Church of Christ. At six o'clock the Rev. D„ Phillips, of Groesgoch, and the Rev. W. Lewis, of Moriah, Dowlais, preached. On Tuesday, at ten o'clock, the Rev. T. Williams, of Llangloffan, ordained the young minister. The Rev. W. Lewis, of Dowlais (the former minister of Mr. Rees), delivered the charge, and the Rev. W. Reynolds preached to the church. At two o'clock the Rev. T. E. Thomas, of Trehale, and the Rev. W. Reynolds, preached; at six o'clock the Rev. T. Williams, of Llangloffan, and the Rev. W. Lewis, of Dowlais, preached. The services from beginning to end were well attended. Mr. Rees Has commenced his ministry with good prospects.
Houghton Regis, Beds.—The new Baptist chapel at Houghton Regis was opened on Thursday, April 7th, In the morning the Rev. W. Robinson, of Cambridge, preached from Gen. xxii. 12. The subject discussed was Divine Poreknowledge in Reference to the Development of Human Character. In the afternoon the Rev. C. Bailhacho delivered a discourse upon Psalm cxviii. 25, in which he distinguished between a True and a False Prosperity. In the evening the Rev. J. H. Hinton took for his text Heb. vi. 20, "Whither the Forerunner hath for us entered, even Jesus." The congregation was a crowded one; and the siDging of the last hymn testified to the deep impression produced by the sermon. The Revs. D. Gould, H. Leonard, M.A., and T. Hands, took part in the services. Dinner and tea were provided in the school-room, to the latter of which a targe number sat down. The sum of £15 was collected.
Cemetery Road, Sheffield. — On Easter Monday, March 29th, a Bocial tea-meeting was held to inaugurate the Tract and Christian Instruction Society, recently formed in connection with the Cemetery Road Baptist congregation. This society has been in existence only a few months, but during that time several thousand
Eersons have been visited, about forty children rought to the Sabbath-school, and permanent additions, as is hoped, made to the congregations. The meeting was a very cheering one, being well attended, and elicited much sympathy. Several friends, one a perfect stranger to the congregation, were induced, by hearing of tbe operations of the society, to become subscribers to its funds. The Rev. H. Ashbery, president of the society,
6resided; and addresses were delivered by the ;ev. B. Grant, B.A., Mr. Stimpson, of Cavendish College, and other gentlemen.
Ascott, Oxon.—A very interesting meeting was held in the Baptist chapel here on the occasion of presenting a testimonial to the Rev. W. R. Irvine, who has laboured with much Buccess for upwards of eight years. The proceedings commenced with a tea-meeting, which was attended by a large and respectable company. After tea, J. F. Maddox, Esq., who presided, presented Mr. Irvine, on behalf of the subscribers, with an .elegant writingdesk. He spoke of the respect and esteem in which Mr. Irvine is held, Mr, Charles Cox also presented Mr. Irvine with a handsome Bible on behalf of the working men. A valuable tea ami coffee service w*s also presented to Mra. Irvine. Mr. Irvine suitably acknowledged all these gratifying testimonials.
Cheltenham.—A public recognition service on the settlement of the Rev. J. E. Crackncll as
Sastor of the Baptist church, Cambray, Chelten«m, was held on Monday, April 4th. Tne Rev. Thomas Haynes took the chair, and congratulated the church on their progress, and their unanimity in the choice of the present pastor as successor to the late respected Rev. James Smith. Addresses were also delivered by the Rev, Messrs. M' Pherson, of the Scotch Church; Dr. Brown, E. B. Smith (Wesleyan), W. G. Lewis, J. Sargent, and the new pastor. A resolution of thanks to the Chairman for his presidency on the occasion, and for his sympathy and help during the illness of the late pastor, was oerried unanimously. The prospects of the church ore highly encouraging.
Bow.—Services in connection with the settlement of the Rev. J. H. Blake (late of Sandhurst) as pastor of the church meeting here, were held on Thursday, March 31st. The Rev. W. A. Blake, of Shouldham Street, open ed the meeting with prayer; the Rev. C. Woollacott gave an address on "Protestant Nonconformity; the Rev. J. A. Spnrgeon on "Christian Love;" the Rev. W. Stott on " The Duty of the Church to the World." The Rev. G. W. Fishbourne and other ministers took part in the service. The Rev. W. P. Balfern presided, and gave suitable advice to the church. On the following Wednesday evening a sermon was preached by the Rev. F. Tucker, B.A.
Peterborough.—Anniversary services were held in connection with the General Baptist Chapel, Westgate, Peterborough, on April 10th and 11th. when sermons were preached with much acceptance by the Revs. B. O. Bendall, of Stafford, and F. Tucker, B.A., of London. On the 11th a tea meeting was held, when more than 200 persons were present. The amouut raised, clear of all expenses, was £20 16a. Id. This sum will be applied to the formation of a fund for the providing of inoreased accommodation for the congregation and school connected with the above chapel*
Ministerial Changes.—The Rev. Franca W intends retiring from the ministerial duties Kingsgate Chapel, Holborn, as soon as arran. ments are made by the church to elect his I cessor.—The Rev, Richard Bayly, late of 3Jewa: has accepted a unanimous invitation to puceeedi Eev. Dr. Evans, in the pastorate of the Bapl church, Scarborough.—The Rev. J. Lewis 1 resigned the pastorate of the church at Truro, i will leave at the beginning of May,—The Her. Sella Martin has been obliged, on account ofi health, to resign the pastorate of the church Bromley-by-Bow. He is about to return America in the hope of being able to lata for the elevation of the coloured fr« men.—Mr. Joseph Joy, of the MetropcTabernacle College, has accepted an inrii tion to become the pastor of the church Hatfield, Herts,—The Rev. Fitzherbert Bugl late of Prestou, has received and accepted a n cordial and unanimous invitation to the piston of the New Union Church, Stretford, Manched —The Rev. W. T. Henderson, of Banbury, I received and accepted a very cordial invitati from the church worshipping at Devonshire Bqw Chapel, London, to become their pastor, s entered upon his new sphere the second 8un<it*J April.—The Rev. J. Arnold, of Mr. Spurge* College, London, has accepted the unanimous! vitation of the church and congregation conns* with the Baptist chapel, Westgate, Rotherh&m, become their pastor.—Mr. John Jackson, of 1 Spurgeon's College, having supplied the pulpit Sevenoaks, Kent, for six months, has accepted I unanimous invitation to the pastorate.—Tbs M C. Smith, of Langley, Essex, has accepted an vitation to the pastorate of the church at Hi leigh, Suffolk,—The Rev. William Leach, Ml Northampton, has accepted the pastorate of ■ church meeting at the Plumstead Tabernacle I twelve months.—The Rev. G. Whitehead flat* I Shotley Bridge)'has accepted the unanimous iat tation of the Mission Committee of UniosC;;. (Rev. A. Maclaren's), Manchester, to takechrfl of the new cause now opening out under th? auspices in West Gorton, a rising suburb of fl city. He intends commencing his labours then the first Sunday in May.
We wish, with the permission of our readers, to call their special attention to i advertisement, which will be found elsewhere, of the new issue of The Baptist Eepoei« This periodical, which has been published for so many years by Mr. Winks, of Leicft'j has passed this year into the hands of the present publishers. It is their desire to ■ it a first-class monthly publication, which 6haU occupy a place between "The Churd and " The Baptist Magazine." So far the Editor has been much gratified by the W tion it has obtained. The Editor of "The Christian World" describes it as "qui1 model of what a family denominational Magazine should be." Another Editor Bsj» '' if the Baptist denomination are worthy of themselves, The Reporteb will have sci lntion of not less than 20,000 monthly." Speaking for ourselves, we can scarcely hope« the Magazine will reach so large a circulation this year; but at least we should like >' obtain a circulation of half the number mentioned before the end of 1864. TTuH readers of The Church kindly help in this effort? The list of Contents will eho» I variety and the interest of the articles. A specimen copy will be sent to any reaOT The Church on application to the Publishers.
I THE CHURCH.
"Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief oorner-stone/'
A PLEA FOE PEAYEB-MEETINGS.
BY THE BET. JOHN COX.
A Hater-meeting! In what does it consist? It is a meeting together of fiod's professed people, for the most interesting and important objects: which we, to enjoy the highest pleasure, and receive the richest blessings themselves. Mm to be the instruments of bringing down the streams of Divine mercy and goodness upon others. At a prayer-meeting (if we enter into the real spirit and design of it) we realize converse with God, enjoy communion with each other, and glow with compassion towards sinners: there we sympathize with God in TM Ugh designs and glorious purposes, prove that Jesus sympathizes with us in all ow temptations and griefs, while we sympathize with each other, and with *" the tried family of God in their various afflictions and distresses. At a prayer-meeting it is our privilege to rise to God in true devotion, while we sink low before him in deep humility, and thus, like Abraham, "to fall upon our wees, while God talks with us."
Who should attend upon, and by every means in their power support prayertteetings? There can be but one answer to this question—every member of a Uiiatan church. All who are united together for each other's good, and for the increase of the church, should meet together for prayer whenever they have the opportunity. I affectionately submit the following proposition to the consideration of every believer in Christ. No Christian should stay away from a prayermeeting unless hia conscience justifies his absence, and at the same time his affections say, "I wish I was there."
It is a great mercy when spiritual duties, whether private or public, become habitual to us without becoming formal; and this is just the state of mind we wonld seek to realize as regards prayer-meetings. That which is habitual becomes easy; and highly favoured indeed is that church where there are many members whose conduct says, "We cannot get on, and we will not go on, with,wt prayer-meetings." To bring about this desirable state of things, some degree of consideration and decision is necessary. Still I cannot help think^g that if many a husband and wife who are members of Christian churches, •nd who never scarcely attend prayer-meetings or week-day services, had made it part of their arrangements at first beginning life, how they could best keep up their attendance at God's house, they would have fared much better in spiritual things, and none the worse in temporal things.
Doubtless there are cases of non-attendance which are excusable, and by Jfhich the Lord is not dishonoured. Besides instances of sickness and old age, were are domestic servants and others, whose time is not their own—mothers *hose little families fill both hands and head—and others who by employing all wen time scarcely provide for the wants of their families. None of them are Quired to neglect obvious duties in order publicly to worship God on weekdays; but, after making all these deductions, are there not many professors whom neither sickness nor old age, the authority of others, the care of familiea nor the dictates of honesty, keep from prayer-meetings? And yet they are not there! The fact is, if all who could attend would make a point of doing so, wf should see a great alteration for the better in our week-day services.
How may prayer-meetings become more interesting and profitable P If we had more of the presence of the Spirit of God in our midst, we should not hare to ask this question, which implies that there is a deficiency of interest in them, and of profit from them. How, then, may we obtain the presence of the Holy Spirit P He certainly has not abandoned the Church, for Jesus promised, "He shall abide with you for ever." But it may be that he has been grieved and quenched, and hence the Church is weak and unhappy, having but a small measure of the spirit of power and spirit of adoption. May not the Lord saj to the professed sons of Jacob, when so few of the church and congregation an met together to pray, and there is so little of the spirit of prayer, "O thou that art named of the house of Jacob, is the Spirit of the Lord straitened P are these his doings P do not my words do good to them that walk uprightly P" (Mica! ii. 7). Let us, then, "search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord,' with a fixed resolution that we will seek him until he Bhall pour down a blessin upon us.
I would with all Christian kindness, conscious of the imperfection of my owl prayers, fearful of wounding the weakest brother, and yet anxious to promote the object in view, inquire, What kind of prayers should be offered up at prayer meetings P Not long prayers; all are agreed on this point, and yet how man transgress their own rules in practice. Prayers of fifteen and twenty minutei duration (and some will pray longer) are sure to make the meeting tiresom and uninteresting. lew persons ought to pray more than five minutes. N< preaching prayers; we come to the throne of grace to supplicate, not to teach; to obtain mercies, not to tell others our creed; to plead the promises, not to explain the Scriptures. "Prayer," says one, "is the application of want toffim who alone can relieve it; the voice of confession to Him who alone can puii sin. It is the urgency of poverty, the prostration of humility, the fervency penitence, the confidence of faith. It is not eloquence, but earnestness—i the definition of helplessness, but the feeling of it; it is the cry of faith in ear of mercy." Not formal prayers; we should watch against custom expressions, and beware of adopting an unwritten litany. The same string words frequently repeated (especially when one borrows from another) seemi to betoken want of thought and feelmg. Above all, not contentious prayers; A anything in the church or anything in the ministry displeases a person, it ii irreverent and cowardly to introduce it into his prayers. God should be sought unto with thought, feeling, reverence, faith, and hope; we should aim to be able to say on leaving the prayer-meeting as Jacob did on his dying bed,''} have waited for thy salvation, 0 Lord;" also as Jacob at Bethel, "How awfnlie this place!" When we engage in public or social prayer, we should endeavour," much as possible, to feel ourselves alone with God, losing sight of those around us; we should acquaint ourselves with the promises of his book, and thus seek to come to God with his own words. How does the loving, beseechingi agonizing prayer of a brother carry the heart with it from earth to heaven! However plain the language, we feel he is confessing his sin, and we confes ours also—that he is embracing the cross, we feel its mighty power—that he" taking hold of God's name, and our souls say, " Who is so great a God as"
Fervent, tender, penitent, believing prayer is what we want; then shall harps be tuned, our hands strengthened, our pace quickened, and our churchei Increased.' A firm conviction of God's power to save, and of God's wlllingnefl to bless; a believing view of God's glory, as arising ont of the prosperity of his people and the conversion of sinners, is what we should aim to realize. God is love—his arm is not shortened—his ear is not heavy—his resources are not diminished; after all we have done, he says return; after all the sin of omission and commission of which the Church is guilty, "he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think." Oh, let us believe, heartily believe, all this, and we shall pray in faith that the blessing we seek will certainly be
I only add one more suggestion on the manner of prayer. Would it not be conducive to profit if some of the brethren who engage were to endeavour to plead with God respecting those things which were omitted by those who prayed before? No brother is expected or wished to embrace the whole range of the subjects of prayer; an attempt to do this produces lengthiness, same* nesi, and weariness.
Whether anything could be done to make prayer-meetings more profitable, by varying the manner of conducting them, by interspersing short observations, or reading short portions of Scripture, or appointing special subjects for prayer for different evenings, are important inquiries; but do not come within my design.
Christians, if you would enter more into the spirit of relative prayer, and feel mote power and pleasure in this holy exercise, study the subjects which you ahould bring before God's throne. Here are your families and relatives, around whom your tenderest affections twine—your neighbours, with whom you come in contact from day to day, and whose eternal well-being should lie near your heart—your country, with all its advantages and all its crimes—yea, the wide world, with all its teeming myriads; for all these you may, for all these you should pray,(l Tim. ii. 1). Six hundred millions] of heathens, two thousand of whom die every hour, call us to prayer. The spread of infidelity, the efforts of Popery, the commotions among the nations, the unbelief of the Jews, all say, Pray. Look at the vast machinery at work both at home and abroad, and then look at the comparatively small results; think of the tens of thousands of sermons preached every week in Britain, and the few souls brought to God; of the hundreds of thousands of children in our schools, and the few savingly impressed; of the millions of Bibles, tracts, and books distnbuted, and yet truth despised, and fiction and error greedily swallowed—and R all these things stir you up to pray. Missionaries labouring abroad, ^Bisters, village-preachers, Sabbath-school teachers, visitors of the sick, tract jwributors working at home, all say, "Pray for us." The widow's heart will 08 cheered to hear you remember her; the fatherless may learn to trust in God a* they hear your appeals to God for them; the afflicted will be comforted in jWrsick chambers, and the aged and dying be strengthened for their last conflict, by answers to your prayers; whilst the poor, the sorrowful, the tempted, and >he mourner in Zion will find their sorrow lightened by the manifestation of y°J>r Christian sympathy at the throne of grace.
Oh, how much do those Christians lose, who, from choice, neglect the hallowed JWons of social prayer! It deserves attentive consideration, that eminent piety J* always been found in connection with a disposition to pray for others. How •4 Abraham, the friend of God, intercede for guilty Sodom P For what did «»b intercede with the angel P The leading object was, that the Divine pro-1 •jjetion might be around, and the Divine blessing upon, his beloved family. p. xxxii.) When was Moses favoured with the greatest manifestations of Divine love, and the greatest unfoldings of Divine glory P It was when he Pleaded for guilty Israel. (Ex. xxxiii.) Daniel was addressed as "the man ^atly beloved," when he had just poured out his full soul on behalf of captive 4on. (chap, ix.) When does Paul appear most like his Master, but when he is