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us to cruel conclusions both respecting ourselves and those whom we love, and we do well ever to watch its influence. Sleep, then, is beneficent ; that which a great poet has written of hope may well be said of it: “ The miserable often have no other medicine." And God no doubt often uses this medicine as a balm for the relief of His overwrought children ; " for so he giveth his beloved sleep." And certainly on the awful night referred to, on the human side, the disciples seem to have had little else left them to bring them relief.” They were like little children in a wood; the night was dark about them, their Lord at a distance, and to them, doubtless, so enveloped in the mystery of some great overshadowing grief which they could not understand, that their hearts were so oppressed that, while they were willing to watch, nature would assert her supremacy, and they fell asleep from over-sorrow. This much we are told of the failure of these loving men in the hour of our Lord's extremity; but doubtless, as in the case of all tried disciples, they had each and all of them a secret biography in relation to it fully known only to the great elder Brother. He at least at that time was in deep waters, and it may be that in the exercise of His wisdom and love He permitted some few drops of the surging ocean of His grief just to touch them, and they were too much for their physical strength, and hence, while their great Master was in sore travail for them, their merciful Father permitted sleep to come and bring them a little help, and thus revived them that so in the thicker darkness about to envelope them their little strength might not utterly fail. God is ever good and makes even our weakness to illustrate His constant care. And perhaps this healing influence of sleep, especially in relation to great sorrow, has led some other disciples to advocate a dreamy mysticism, a sort of sleep called by many "saintly indifference,” while passing through this vale of misery, suffering, and sorrow. " See,” said one* of them,“
see, this life is filled with crosses. And multitudes, in misery, or fear of misery, made answer, “It is true.' Then,' urged the Comforter, ‘be thyself crucified to it, and it cannot harm thee. Cease to have any care, any aim, any hope or fear, save Christ. Yield thyself utterly passive and dead to this life into His hands who is Lord of a better.' Then the sufferers dried their tears, and strove hard to forget time and self in contemplating Christ.” There may be a measure of truth in these counsels, and they may have brought a certain kind of relief to some; but certainly the Master Himself in the throes of His great anguish sought no relief in "saintly indifference," for is it not written that being in agony he prayed more earnestly, and from the knee of prayer He arose to minister to His disciples, carrying with Him words of love and warning ?
“Sleeping for sorrow." How touching to see a child asleep on the bosom of a weak, worn, exhausted, and broken-hearted mother; while she, faint and weary, exerts all her little strength to hold up the frail
* Thomas à Kempis.
burden of her sorrow! How much more to behold Christ holding up, with strong cries and tears in the midst of His terrible conflict, those poor weak and imperfect men who can only sleep at such a time at a distance from His sorrow! It had been written “many waters cannot quench love, nor floods drown it;" Christ in His deepest agony illustrated the truth of this, for while with trembling hands and quivering lips He took His bitter cup, draining it even to the dregs, He held His disciples fast and spread over them the mantle of His unfailing love and care even while fast asleep. We have read of a poor mother who with her babe on her breast was washed overboard in the midst of a dreadful storm ; while struggling with the waves her child was washed ont of her arms.
A wave however bore it towards her again, and with all the strength of her dying anguish she clasped it to her bosom, and both sank together beneath the boiling ocean, never to rise again until the voice of the archangel and the trump of God shall awake the dead. So Christ in the extremity of His anguish, and while sinking beneath the surging billows of our sin and sorrow, weakened by conflict, forsaken, desolate, and alone, yet in His extremity held His Church to His heart nor once loosened His grasp, and though for a time He Beems to sink beneath the proud waves, yet does He rise, drenched with the crimson dew of His anguish, but with the one object of His love still secure; and though, even with Him near, still exposed to the sleep of over-sorrow and infirmity, yet for ever preserved from the dread sleep of ignorance, enmity, and everlasting death. Oh, how this fact should emphasise His own words through the lips of His servant in the experience of His slumbering people: “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Surely such love should quicken our cold hearts now to say
with the poet,
"O Love, who once in time wast slain,
Pierced through and through with bitter woe;
That we eternal joy might know:
O Love, who thus hast bound me fast,
Beneath that gentle yoke of Thine ;
And rapt away this heart of mine :
O‘Love, who lovest me for aye,
Who for my soul dost ever plead ;
Whose power sufficeth in my stead :
NEWS OF THE CHURCHES. A new chapel has been opened TERIAL CHANGES have reached us at Witchford near Ely.—The foun- since our last issue :--The Rev. C. dation stone of a new chapel has C. Brown, of Plaistow, to Ebenezer, been laid at Wood Green, near Southsea ; the Rev. E. Davies, of London, for the ministry of the Presteign, to Grove Street, South Rev. J. Pugh. — The chapel in Hackney; the Rev. J. Lewitt, of South Street, Exeter, under the Searborough, to Sansom Walk, Worcare of the Rev. F. Bosworth, M.A., cester; the Rev. J. Wright, of the has been reopened after extensive Metropolitan Tabernacle College, to alterations.—The chapel in Wel- be co-pastor with the Rev. D. Jones, lington Road, Shacklewell, London, at Horncastle, Lincolnshire; the has been reopened, after alteration Rev. E. Probert, late of Great and improvement.--A new chapel Stoughton, Hunts, to Rattlesden, has been opened in Walworth Road, Suffolk; the Rev. J. Cave, South PaHitchin, for the ministry of the rade Chapel, Tenby, to Kingsbridge, Rev. J.H. Atkinson.-A new chapel Devon; the Rev. A. P. Fayers, of has been opened at Caerphilly, for Regent's Park_College, to Carr the ministry of the Rev. T. Thomas. Crofts, Armley, Leeds; the Rev. F. -A new chapel has been opened White, formerly of Chelsea, to at Blaby, near Leicester, for the Talbot Road, Notting Hill, London; ministry of the Rev. J. Barnett.— the Rev. C. Bird, of Birmingham, The memorial stone of a new chapel to Mutley Road, Plymouth; the has been laid in Glasgow, for the Rev. J. H. Dyer, of the MetropoChurch now meeting in Blackfriars litan Tabernacle College, to GainsStreet, under the care of the Rev. borough, Lincolnshire; the Rev. W. H. Phillips, B.A.
E. Botteril, formerly of Regent's
Park College, to Wellington Road, The Rev. T. Durant has been Todmorden; the Rev. J. Jenkins, recognised as the pastor of the of Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, to Church at Hamsterley, Durham, Dolau and Rhayarder; the Rev. the Rev. W. Osborne, of the Church R. Richards, of Haverfordwest in Thrissell Street, Bristol; the Rev. College, to Wem, Shropshire ; the J. Burtt, of the Church at Ald- Rev. G. Needham, of Burnley, to borough, Suffolk; the Rev. H. O. New Basford, Nottingham; the Mackey, of the Church in Portland Rev. E. T. Davies, late of Newton, Chapel, Southampton; the Rev, to Dartmouth, Devon. The Rev. J. W. C. Tayler, of the Church in Braine has resigned the pastorate Park Road, St. Helen's, Lancashire; of the Church in City Road, Winthe Rev. J. Evans, late of Liverpool, chester. The Rev. J. Norton has of the Bethesda Baptist Church, resigned his pastorate at Pendle Tydee, Monmouthshire; the Rev. Hill, Salden, Lancashire. The W. Baxter, of the Church at Surbi- Rev. H. Wardley, has resigned ton Hill, Surrey; the Rev. C. F. his pastorate at Lower Sloane Jamieson, late of Rawdon College, Street Chapel, Chelsea. of the Church at Riddings, Derbyshire; the Rev. F. W. Goadby, We regret to announce the death M.A., late of Bluntisham, of the of the Rev. E. Adey, of Leighton Church at Watford.
Buzzard, at the age of seventyThe following reports of MINIS
ON SOME OF THE SUBORDINATE CHARACTERS
OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
BY THE REV. WILLIAM BROCK.
VIII.-A CHRISTIAN GROUP AT CORINTH. THE Epistle to the Romans closes, as every reader of it will recollect, with a long series of friendly salutations. Most of these messages are from Paul himself to those among the Roman Christians with whom he had become personally intimate in former days; and each receives some word of appropriate goodwill or affectionate reminiscence. Toward the conclusion, however, come other greetings addressed to the whole community of believers at Rome. These are from companions of the Apostle, anxious to unite their sympathies with his. We may imagine them seated in a group round him, as he dictated the last sentences of the letter, and hoping, doubtless, that, before it was sealed and despatched, they might be allowed to listen to its arguments and its appeals. Here is the quotation :
“Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. Gaius mine host, and of the whole Church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother” (Rom. xvi. 21-23).
Now, singling the first four names out of the group, we have a band of missionaries, companions and fellow-labourers with Paul. The leader is one well-known to us. Not more than three years, however, had at present passed since Timothy had left friends and home in thó service of the gospel; and though he had already endured no little labour and suffering at Paul's side, both in Corinth and in Ephesus, he was still in his early manhood, and an apprentice at his Master's work. The other names are less familiar. Lucius may be the same as he of Cyrene (Acts xiii. 1), one of the band of teachers in the Church of Antioch from whose midst the earliest mission to the heathen was sent forth. Jason may be the brave Thessalonian (Acts xvii. 5-9) who sheltered Paul under his roof and hazarded his property and life in the Apostle's defence. Sosipater may answer to that Sopater of Berea (Acts xx. 4) who appears at this very time in the history, accompanying Paul on his journey from Greece into Asia. The resemblances in name are interesting ; but whether or not the men are the same is pure matter of conjecture, and is, indeed, of little comparative importance.
The material point is the language of warm affection and appreciation in which the Apostle speaks of them, Timothy was still a youth,
VOL. XIX. N.S. VIII,
inexperienced and timid; but Timothy is “my workfellow." worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do." The rest were men of other cities, and a few years before were absolute strangers to him; but they are now “my kinsmen," dear as blood-relations, my very brothers in labour and in love. Warm words out of a true heart, how far they go in doing good! Timothy's cheek would flush with honest pleasure, and his soul would be knit to higher deeds, as he heard himself thus distinguished by such a worker as Paul. His workfellow and kinsman; what manner of man then ought I to be? And will not the same encouragement arise to the feeblest in our Israel, if he be made to feel that he is counted a comrade and a friend to the wisest and strongest there? Let it be the law among us; for is it not, indeed, the gracious manner of our Lord Himself ? “ He is not ashamed to call us brethren.” “I call you not servants, but friends.” There are many members in the Christian body, some seeming more necessary and influential than others; but the eye cannot afford to disown the hands, nor the hands to despise the feet. Nay, it is by the common activity, by the effectual working of every part, that the body gradually gathers strength and stature, and reaches the measure destined majesty.
The missionaries have sent their greeting ; and the next salutation is from the scribe, who speaks in his own name, and interrupts the grammatical structure of the sentences. “I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you." Probably we can recall the perplexity which this verse used to produce in our young minds. Had Paul then another name ?
We were ignorant of the fact that Paul, suffering from some defect of eyesight, rarely, if ever, wrote his own letters, but dictated them to some ready scribe, and only added a few words in his own hand as a token of their genuineness. Tertius, then, was the name of the amanuensis in the present case. It is a Latin name, and he may have been a slave to some wealthy Roman, employing his accomplishment of penmanship in his master's service. But he was a Christian, one with other believers “in the Lord;" and thus he readily placed his leisure time at Paul's disposal, and "wrote this epistle." And taking advantage, we may suppose, of some pause in the dictation, he too sends his greeting, though it be but that of a scribe, to the Church at Rome.
The writing of a letter is a merely mechanical act, and it may seem to matter little who does it. If Paul composes the words, heathen hands can act as instruments equally with Christian. Nor may it appear of much consequence that those who are at present employed in “ the outward business of the house of the Lord " should be spiritual men. What matters the religious or irreligious character of the sexton who has charge of the churchyard, of the bellringer in the steeple, or of the clerk who repeats the responses ; what, among ourselves, of the secretary who manages the accounts, lets the sittings,