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company several of the deacons and principal | nected with the above place, the object of the friends of both sections of the Baptist body, and | meeting being to raise funds towards paying also of the Independent denomination, who ex for the painting and cleaning of the chapel, which pressed their high gratifioation with the college has recently been done. The provisions were grapremises, and their warm wishes for the success of tuitously given by the ladies of the congregation, the institution, d'in ..
and about 230 persons sat down. After tea & NEATH.-Services in connection with the ordina.
public meeting was held in the chapel, when the tion of Mr.Benjamin D. Thomas (late senior student
mayor of the town, H. Manton, Esq., occupied the
chair, and interesting addresses were delivered by of Haverfordwest Baptist College), were held in the
the Revs. J. T. Feaston, J. Harrison, J. Davies, Tabernacle Chapel, Neath, on Lord's-day and fol.
J. H. Hopkins, Esq., J. S. Wright, Esq., Messrs. lowing day, 17th and 18th of August. On the
Skellett and Egginton. We are glad to add that Lord's-day morning, the Rev. Thomas Burditt,
since the Rev. John Davies has been in Birming. M.A., classical tutor of the college, preached an
ham, the cause at Bond-street has greatly in. eloquent sermon to the church from Heb. xiii, 17. In the evening Mr. Burditt preached from Gal.
creased. iii. 27; after wbich the ordinance of belieyer's
MINISTERIAL CHANGES.-The Rev.James Smith baptism was administered by the pastor elect to
has resigned the pastorate of the church meeting three candidates, the firstfruits of his stated minig.
in Cambray Chapel, Cheltenham, in consequence terial labourg. On the Monday morning a sermon of the severe bodily affliction from which he has was preached by the Rev. T. Davies, D.D., presi.
been for some time suffering.-The Rev. W. Drew dent of the college. In the afternoon the members
has announced his intention of resigning the pasand friends sat down to a social tea provided by
torate of the church at Romsey, Hants. - The Rev. the ladies of the congregation, and the ordination
Robert Lloyd, of Bethlehem and Scollock Cross, service proper took place at six o'clock the same
Pembrokeshire, has accepted the unanimous invievening. The Rev. Charles Short, M.A., of
tation to the pastorate of the Baptist church, Swansea, preached to the church from 2 Peter Castle Town, Monmouthshire, and entered upon i. 10, 11. The president gave a brief outline of
his labours on the 21st of September.-The Rev. the nature of a Christian church, and then deli.
W. Milroy Anderson, late of Hawick, Scotland, vered a most eloquent and admirable charge to the
has accepted the unanimous invitation of the Bappastor elect, founded on the text 2 Tim. iii. 17;
tist church in Ilkeston to become its pastor, and and the Rev. Daniel Davies, D.D., of Aberavon,
has commenced his labours.The Rev. R. Green, of concluded the proceedings by a practical and for.
Taunton, has accepted the invitation of the church cible address to the church on their correlative
in Shipley, Yorkshire, and enters on his labours duties to the pastor of their choice. The services
there early in October.- Mr. John W. Maurice, were attended by several Baptist ministers and
of Haverfordwest College, has accepted a cordial friends from different parts of this and neighbour
and unanimous invitation to become the pastor of ing counties, and by ministerial brethren and
Bethel and Salem churches, Caio, Carmarthen friends of other denominations in the town,
shire, and has entered upon his labours with very
gratifying prospects of usefulness. Mr. John COLEHAM, SAREWSBURY.-On Tuesday, Sep
0. Griffiths, Haverfordwest College, has accepted tember 12th, a numerous gathering of the friends
a unanimous invitation from the Baptist churches connected with the Baptist cause in this place worshipping at Llandilo and Pontbrenaraeth, Car. assembled for the purpose of publicly recognising marthenshire, to become their pastor, and intends their newly-elected pastor, the Rev. C. F. Vernon,
(D.v.) to commence his labours early next late of Thaxted, Essex. Tea was provided, tó
.11. dord hos bar which about 300 sat down, and a public meeting was afterwards held. The Rev. Joseph Smith, of Pontesbury, officiated as chairman, The Rev. J. Davies, 'having engaged in prayer, suitable addresses were delivered by Revs. E. Morgan, J. Davies, J, Williams (the late pastor), C. F.
THE Rev. E. L. HULL, B.A.--It is with sincero Vernon, W. Pacey, and J. Thomas, George Davies, regret_that we' notice the death of the Rev. Esq., and Mr. J. Harris. The service was through
E. L. Hull, B.A., late minister of Union Chapel, out of a deeply interesting character. Mr. Vernon
Lynn. He died early on Monday, September 8th, commences his labours with the most encouraging
after a long and painful illness of about two years' prospects,
duration, borne throughout with singular patience PARK END, FOREST OF DEAN.A new Baptist
and fortitude. Mr. Hull held a prominent position chapel was opened at this place on Monday,
among the young ministers of our denomination,
being distinguished both for very considerable September 1st. In the forenoon a deyotional meeting was held. The Rev. A. Hudson, of
natural endowments and careful and thorough cul.
tivation. During the course of his preparation for Blakeney, presided and delivered an address. In the afternoon the Rev. W. Best, B.A., of Coleford,
the ministry he enjoyed, as a student on “ Ward's preached from 1 Cor. xv. 58; and in the evening
Fund," the advantage of four years' study at Edin
burgh, where he was known as one of the most the Rev. Philip Rees, of Cinderford, preached
successful of William Hamilton's students. He from John vüi. 56. Prayers were offered by the
subsequently pursued his studies at Stepney College, Revs. R. Stephens, M.A. (Independent), of Cole.
and graduated in the first class at the London ford, M. S. Ridley, of Lydney, W. Best, and P.
University. His first pastorate was at Kimbolton, Prees, and the hymns were given out by the Rev.
from whence, after about two years' earnest labour, Geo, Howell, of Whitebrook, and the Rev. A.
he removed to Lynn. There he found but the Hudson. A large number of friends took tea
small nucleus of a church without a place of together between the seryices. The neat little
worship. Subsequently a handsome chapel was chapel was crowded with attentive congregations,
built for him, and, by the blessing of God, he was and the proceedings of the day were altogether
able to form and consolidate a considerable cons of a most satisfactory character..
gregation. Nearly twelve months ago, however, BOND STREET CHAPEL, BIRMINGHAM, — On the progress of hig disease 'obliged him to relina Monday, August 25th, a highly interesting tea. quish the pastorate. His logs will be deeply meeting was held in the large school-room con- | lamented by a large circle of friends.
• Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the
DELIGHTING IN THE LAW.
BY THE REV. S. MANNING. “ And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.”—Psa. cxix. 47. We may distinguish between three different positions which men occupy toward the law of God.
First: Some regard it with aversion and dread. Its holiness repels, its justice appals them. It meets them in the paths of sinful pleasure, and drives them back; or if, in spite of its denunciations and warnings, they persist in sin, it follows them as an avenger, with uplifted sword, waiting to strike them down. It thus fills them with the “ fear which hath torment.” It suggests the prayer of the Israelites at Sinai who “ entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more, for they could not endure that which was commanded.” Men's forgetfulness of the law is but one of the forms and results of this aversion to it. “They do not like to retain God in their thoughts.” They fear and hate, and therefore forget him.
Second : Others obey the law, or try to do so, from purely selfish considerations. They have no love for it, but they think it to be the only way of escaping hell and gaining heaven. Its commandments are grievous and irksome. Its yoke is not easy, and its burden is not light. But a calculation of profit and loss teaches them that they had better submit to it in order to escape worse consequences, or in the hope of earning a rich reward in heaven.
Third: Others again “ delight themselves in the commandments, which they have loved." The law does not stand over them with uplifted sword, filling them with terror. It does not come to them as a stern taskmaster, bribing them into a reluctant service by threats of punishment or promises of reward. It walks with them as a friend and guide, with wise counsels, and winning words, and loving smiles. The psalmist speaks of such men when he says, “ His delight is in the law of the Lord." They can exclaim with him, “ Oh, how I love thy law !” “ Thy statutes have been my song in the house of my pilgrimage."
The first case is that of the impenitent sinner; the second that of the selfrighteous Pharisee; the third that of the true child of God.
It need hardly be said that the cheerful, loving obedience of those in the third and last class is the only one which God will accept and approve. He desires the service which is joyfully rendered. The grudging and reluctant homage which terror wrings from the trembling slave, the selfish obedience of the hireling, who sells his services in the hope of a reward in heaven, he rejects. He would have us rejoice in his service, and delight ourselves in his commandments. To a great extent the same thing holds true amongst ourselves. Man, like God, loves a willing servant and a cheerful giver. The gloomy tyrant may accept the lip-service and knee-homage of his terror-stricken subjects ; but no good man can be satisfied with this even from his servants, much less from his children or his friends. We all desire to be served with love and cheerfulness, and can be content with nothing less. This 18 far more true with our Father who is in heaven. To him the outward act is nothing, the motive is everything. To “ rejoice in the Lord alway” is his command and our duty. The law of his kingdom is not righteousness alone, but “ righteousness, and peace, and joy." And it should be observed here that it is not the promises of the Gospel only in which we are to rejoice, but the precepts of the law too. His statutes are to be our song, his commandments our delight. Let us see what is involved in this.
I. We must be reconciled to the Lawgiver before we can rejoice in the law. As we have already seen, we may obey a being whom we fear or hate, but obedience is only delightful when we love our master. Love sweetens sacrifice, makes every duty delightful, every yoke easy, and every burden light. Tasks which to the hireling would be most irksome, are to the loving friend most pleasant. The fond mother as she bends over the sick-bed of her child, finds a strange happiness in the protracted watchings and toilsome duties which she imposes upon herself. Her great comfort is that she is able to do so much, her chief sorrow that she can do no more. The nurse, whose services are bought and paid for, may complain of weary vigils and ceaseless labours; but where love is the motive, happiness will cheer us in the task. We here touch upon one grand, distinguishing excellence of the Bible, that this is just the motive which it employs. No other system of religion has made love the stimulus and joy the companion of obedience. In idolatry not only is the ritual impure, but the deities are hateful. In the various systems of philosophical or natural religion, we find many truths propounded and many moral duties enjoined; but there is no loving Father, no beloved Master to appeal to our hearts ; everything is abstract, impersonal, theoretical, and therefore powerless. In the Pharisaical corruptions and perversions of true religion, which under various forms have prevailed in all ages of the Church, fear and selfish hope are appealed to; but the grand truth that “God is love” is lost sight of. It is from the lips of Jesus that we hear the words, “ If ye love me, keep my commandments.” When the law is enforced by this appeal, our obedience at once acquires a new character. We henceforth obey, not because we must, but because we choose to do 8o. A new spirit of joyfulness pervades the service we render. We “delight ourselves in the commandments, which we have loved,” because we love Him who thus commands us.
It will thus be seen why acceptance with God and the pardon of our sins are placed at the beginning, not at the end of true Christian service. Reconciliation to God is made the starting-point, not the goal. The first thing is to be reconciled to God; then we shall be able to serve him acceptably, but not till then. It is not a mere theological subtlety which places justification at the very commencement of all true religion. We cannot love God till we know that he loves us and has pardoned our sins; and until “ perfect love has cast out fear," we cannot rejoice in his service and delight ourselves in his commandments. He who obeys in the hope of deserving and ultimately receiving pardon, will do so under the depressing influence of fear. He who knows that he is forgiven, who loves God and 'trusts in Christ, will “ delight in the law of the Lord.” When gratitude and love supply the motive, joy in the service rendered will be the result.
II. There must be a change of heart. It sounds like a paradox, but it is nevertheless true, that the mature Christian may do whatever he likes ; for his renewed nature chooses and delights in that which God requires. The lav comes to him not as restraining force from without, but as living, controlling principle within. A law forbidding us to feed on foul carrion, and commanding us to eat only wholesome food, would be felt as no restraint by any one having a healthy appetite. Such a law would only require from us that which we already desired and preferred. The probibition to steal, or kill, or bear false witness, is no restraint on our liberty, because we do not wish to do any of these things. To the thief, the murderer, or the perjurer, they are restraints, for they cross and thwart him in what he wishes to do. So the apostle says, that “ The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient." He who is perfectly conformed to Christ, being “ renewed after the likeness of Him that created him," needs no outward compulsion to force him into the ways of pleasantness and the paths of peace. He chooses them and delights in them. Such persons can enter into the meaning of the apostle James when he speaks of “ the perfect law of liberty.” It is a law, and yet it is freedom from the law. We serve God, yet we enjoy perfect liberty. The Son calls upon us to keep his commandments, yet he makes us " free indeed.” What he forbids we dislike; what he commands we desire. His will is our choice; his law our delight.
It is evident that this is not the natural condition of mankind. “ Among whom we all had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Like men whose diseased appetites desire unwholesome food the prohibition of which thwarts their unnatural taste, like savages to whom the restraints of civilization are irksome, or like madmen who chafe against the restrictions imposed upon them because they would abuse their unfettered liberty, so unconverted men are in bondage to the law. The “commandment is not joyous, but grievous.” “The carnal mind ... is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Their obedience, such as it is, is reluctantly rendered. The man has to put a force upon himself to compel an unwilling service to a law which he hates. But when the great change comes “ all things become new." He loves what before he hated, he hates what previously he loved. What was once a galling slavery, now becomes a delightful service. He can now say, “I love thy commandments above gold, yea, above fine gold.” “I have chosen thy precepts.” “Thy statutes have been my song in the house of my pilgrimage.”
Here again we may remark, that it is no theological subtlety which distinguishes between mere worldly morality and spiritual sanctification, and which insists upon a change of heart as essential to all true and acceptable service. A morality which is only external and cutaneous, which does not go below the surface, and is not prompted by a loving, willing heart, cannot be accepted by God. We must be born again, and be renewed in the spirit of our minds, before we can “delight in the law of the Lord,” or can truly serve Him whose “service is perfect freedom.”
III. When we have been brought to render to God this willing, happy service, our delight in it will be enhanced by the discovery that whatever he requires from us is for our benefit. Theological writers sometimes distinguish between what is for God's glory and what is for our good. There is no real and practical difference. God seeks his glory in our welfare. He only demands from us what his concern for our interests compels him to demand. His aim is our happiness. A father forbids his children to drink poison, takes care that they shall not throw themselves down a precipice on his estate, trains them to a manly health and vigour. We may say that he seeks his own glory in having a numerous, and healthy, and happy family. He does so. But his glory is not one thing and their happiness another thing. The Father's law aims at the welfare of the children. Their welfare and his glory are but the same thing looked at from different sides. Just so is it with the law of God. What he requires from us is not for his own sake, but for ours. His law is as much a manifestation of his kindness as are his promises. Science is constantly engaged in discovering and tracing out the utility of natural law, We find
every day new illustrations of the fact that all the laws of nature have a utilita. rian character. They are “ for our sakes.” The glory of God in nature consists in the exquisite and perfect adaptation of all the parts to a useful end. We con never say, This is for God's glory, and this other thing is for our good. He is glorified in everything, because everything is for the welfare of his creatures. Juet so is it with the moral law. We find by experience that every commandment is dictated by kindness. The law is both enjoined and fulfilled by love. Equally in what God gives to us and in what he requires from us is his goodness apparent. But this is one of those truths which can only be learnt by experience. Not till we have begun to love the law do we know that the law is love. Yet, on the other hand, we may truly say that we must know that the law is love before we can love it. Both statements hold good, though they seem contradictory. This is a paradox, yet true. The great Augustine proclaimed it when he said, “You must love that you may know; you must know that you may love." We must love the law to delight in it; we must delight in the law to love it. We must know that God's love is manifested in it before we can either love or delight therein ; yet till we do love and delight in it, we cannot know it as a revelation of the love of God to us. This theological paradox and seeming contradiction finds its practical reconciliation in our religious life, so soon as we can truly say, “I delight myself in Thy commandments, which I have loved.”
IV. Having reached this point, or made an approximation towards it, our whole being becomes transfigured and ennobled. Everything we do connects itself with thoughts of God, and is done in obedience to his commandment. The . low and secular business of life rises into the dignity of a religious service. Our daily drudgery becomes a discipline for heaven. God's law is all about us, and in everything we do. “The ploughing of the wicked is sin ;” for though the thing done is in itself right, yet being done without God, it therein becomes sinful ; whereas, “ Whether ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
“A servant, with this clause,
When everything is thus done in a spirit of obedience to the Divine law, and that law is loved and delighted in, life in its whole extent assumes a Divine dige nity and beauty. “The world,” says Bushnell, “is no longer a mere physical frame--it exists rather as a theatre of religion. God is in it everywhere, calling his creatures unto himself. Human history becomes a Divine history, the history. of Providence. The soul's king is here on every side, looking in upon it, encouraging it to duty, and smiling upon what is done rightly. The intellect, piercing through the shell of the senses, discerns everywhere God. The reason is encircled by mysteries vast and holy. Imagination soars into her own appropriate realm of spirit and divinity, and all the faculties we have are bathed in jo and transfigured in the Creator's light.” Thus will the prayer taught by the lips of our Lord himself be fulfilled—“Thy will be done as it is done in heaven;" that is to say, with incessant activity and incessant song. There is no pause in the service or in the song of the heavenly host. Like the stars, they are “fur ever singing as they shine." The six-winged Seraphim seen by Isaiah in the temple, veiled their faces and their feet with their wings in token of profound adoration, whilst with “ twain they did fly," and all the while anthems of praise were flowing from every tongue. Work, worship, and gladness, were simulta
neous and ceaseless. Thus may it ever be with us-our whole life a psalm ct • praise, a holy, happy service, in which the commandment is loved and delighteu
in. So lieaven shall begin on earth, and our common secular life be the earnest