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unquestionably are yet a Baptist Noel is a phenomenon in a generation. 4. The fourth thing to be taken into account is the great increase in all kinds of religious literature, and the consequent breaking down of the ignorance if not of the prejudice formerly existing against those who bore the Baptist name. Spurgeon, Maclaren, Culross, and others whose names might be given, are known over the length and breadth of the land-known to be Baptists. For simplicity, directness, and power on the side of evangelical truth, it would be readily acknowledged by others that we take a foremost rank; and yet there cannot be said to be a corresponding increase to our numbers. I have glanced but very briefly at some of the elements which fall to be reckoned in answering the question with which we started—“Are Baptists increasing numerically as a Christian denomination ?" Looked at comprehensively, and considering the increase in population, in general Christian activity, in denominational organisation, in the spread of intelligence among the people, I am compelled to say that so far as I can see we are not making a proportionate or adequate numerical advancement. We are like travellers on a road which sometimes widens and sometimes contracts, but which has been arranged to measure so many square yards, width at one point with a set-off of narrowness at another, like an army here gaining, there losing, but not materially advancing all along the line. In the northern and southern portions of the kingdom we are surrounded, I might say hemmed in, by great ecclesiastical bodies on which we seem to make but little advance—I mean but little advance when you take into consideration all that I have already said.
There is another side of the question, however, which is full of cheerfulness and encouragement and hope. If we have not grown numerically to any great extent our sentiments have become far more widely diffused during recent years then ever perhaps before in our history. The views which we hold are better known and more respected than ever they were, and there is a wide and growing sympathy with them. The way in which we have been accustomed to look at church membership and order, at the very nature and meaning of a Church of Christ, is being more and more felt to be the right way. The Scriptures are being searched more diligently, and it is becoming thus more apparent that we are nearer the Word of God in our spirit and practice than the great ecclesiastico-political bodies around us. Earnest and philanthropic Christian men find in facing the social evils and sins and needs of our great populations that the Baptist position, so far as church life and effort are concerned, is the right one. All this seems to point in one direction, and, looking towards that, we can afford calmly to bide our time and wait the issue. We shall find, and that it seems to me at no very distant day, that our maintenance of unpopular but eternal principles has not been in vain. Our Baptist ranks, however, will not be materially increased by the two or threes here and there who may from out the great mass join us from time to time. I do not know that we are likely to gain much from going over the old arguments about the meaning of Greek words, or conjuring up formidable lists: of authorities on our side of which people have heard again and again and have grown weary of them, and will neither patiently listen to them nor read and compare them. Our hope lies in the life which is in these bodies rising up and attesting the truth of those principles for which we have so long contended. Looked at thus our numerical increase may be small, and if we measured our progress by that alone we should have reason to feel dispirited, but, on the other side, our increase in moral power, in sympathy with us felt by earnest, Christian men, in ripening convictions which are all but declared, is greater far than it is possible for us to reckon. When the change comes a nation will be born in a day. Let us but keep our lamps burning, and, although we be few among the thousands round about us, when the light flames forth the victory will arise not merely nor alone fronı our scattered lamps or broken pitchers, but from and in the midst of the other camps.
THE LIFE OF THE. Rev. GEORGE ject, has acquired command of a
WHITEFIELD, B.A. By Rev. L. large amount of biographical mate Tyerman. In 2 vols. "London: rial, of which other writers seem to Hodder & Stoughton, 27, Pater- have been ignorant, and has fulfilled noster Row.
his task with an evident sense of
" delight and liberty." This is unThe appearance of these volumes is questionably the life of the great in every way opportune. White- evangelist, and that by which in field's name is “a household word' future generations his work will be both in Great Britain and America, most widely known. It is the comand there is in all classes of society a plement of Mr. Tyerman's “Life general idea of the remarkable work of Wesley” and of his “ Oxford which he and his coadjutors accom- Methodists,' and, in conjunction plished during the course of the last
with them, gives a full and detailed century; but the idea is far too account of the condition of morals general, and even in well-informed and religion during the earlier part circles it would be difficult to find of the eighteenth century, of the many who are accurately acquainted manner in which these powerful with the elements of Whitefield's revivalists began and prosecuted power. The story of his life has their mission, and of the marvellons been frequently told--there are some results which, under God, they were five or six biographies, more or less enabled to achieve. The story of complete; but no writer has be- Whitefield's conversion and religious stowed upon the work so much care experience, of his apostolie labours in and labour as Mr. Tyerman. He the Old World and in the New, has has made himself master of his sub- for us an interest deeper than that of any romance; and we have read Whitefield and his co-workers lived Mr. Tyerman's biography with a -the immense and motley multisensation of the keenest pleasure. tudes held spell-bound by the power Since the era of Whitefield's labours of the preacher. trembling under there has been a marked progress deep convictions of sin, awed at the in the education and religion of the thought of judgment and eternity, people, and few contrasts are more and subdued to penitence by the steiking in this respect than the presentation of the love of Christ. England of today and the England So, again, we may understand better of a hundred and twenty or thirty from these volumes than from almost years ago. But we have not yet any other, the nature and extent of reached the goal, and in every direc- the clerical opposition to Whitetion “there remains much land to field's work, and the reproach to be conquered.” We are still con- which he was so unjustly subjected. tinually discussing the question, How The author's judgment is, as a rule, can we effectually reach and evan- singularly fair and trustworthy. He gelise the masses? how can we plainly strives to be impartial, and counteract the effects of Rationalism has, for the most part, succeeded. and unbelief? how give full expres- He is no mere hero-worshipper, and sion to the now latent power of the makes no attempt to conceal WhiteChurch? Our candid and deep- field's failings. His Wesleyan and rooted conviction is that the best Arminian proclivities do occasionally and most satisfactory answer to these bias his judgment, and we cannot and similar queries will be found on unreservedly endorse his estimate as the lines laid down by the reformers to the relative greatness of Wesley of the last century. Faithful, and Whitefield; nor do we think earnest proclamation of the Gospel that in the dispute in which they by men who themselves feel its were at one time unhappily engaged power, and who are thoroughly fired the former carried off the palm. But, by its spirit—this is what we most this notwithstanding, we can heartily need, and without which all other testify to the honesty of the bioagencies will be vain. We hope grapher's purpose, to the minute before long to direct attention to and conscientious accuracy of his some of the more important lessons representations of Whitefield's beof Whitefield's life, as they may be liefs and actions, and to his thorough gathered from these volumes. For competence for the important task the present we must be content with to which he has so enthusiastically introducing to the notice of our addressed himself. This is one of a readers the volumes themselves. series of works by which he has They will, in truth, find in them all rendered the entire Christian Church that they can desire. The narrative his debtor.
his debtor. Our Wesleyan friends portion of the work is as graphic as
will here learn as the biographer it is exact. Mr. Tyerman has shown himself suggests) that Whitefield's great wisdom in using, wherever services to Methodism were far possible, Whitefield's own letters greater than they have yet acknowand journals, as well as in quoting ledged. Nonconformists will find that so largely from his contemporaries. their churches also were quickened His own style is terse and live and elevated by his mission; and the and, as a history of the times, his Church of England, bitterly as it work is entitled to a high rank. opposed him, is under lasting obligaHe enables us to see, as it were, for tions to him in this respect. In ourselves the stirring scenes in which America his influence was unrivalled,
and produced comparatively greater value far beyond that which is indiresults than in England. His rela- cated by their dimensions, their cost, tions to the Calvinistic Methodists of or the reception they meet with at Wales, to the Countess of Hunting the time of their appearance. To don's Society, to the Secession the congregations with which they Church and other Presbyterians in are' specially identified they are Scotland, are all' powerfully por- eminently valuable as preserving trayed; and numerous specimens are the record of Christian work, and given of his preaching. Whitefield thus furnishing a standard by which was a born orator, with a voice of the progress or decline of the Church marvellous compass, which could be may be estimated years after the heard at a distance of two miles, and period of publication. In the area with varied intonations and all the
of the community for whose advanforce of impassioned music. He had tage they are chiefly intended, they a definite and a loving heart, and a keep before the attention of all confervour which must have seemed to
cerned the various operations in many akin to prophetic inspiration, which the Church is employed, and He was not a profound or careful
thus stimulate the liberality and the thinker; and, from an intellectual
zeal of the whole number. When standpoint, his reputation has no they travel beyond the sphere of doubt suffered by the publication of their origination, other communities his sermons.
He was not a scholar, derive similar ' benefit from their be was not an organizer, or an eccle
influence. In reference to the three siastical statesman; but he was em
publications now under notice, it phatically a preacher-a herald of the
would be an unquestionable advanglad tidings of the Gospel; and, tage if they could be circulated apart from the apostolic age, perhaps throughout all the churches of the the greatest preacher the world has
land. To the future historian of
our denomination these records of We should sincerely rejoice if Mr.
church life will be of as much service Tyerman's biography of this unrivalled evangelist could be read by teenth century were to Macaulay
as the small quartos of the sevenevery minister and every ministerial student-nay, by every professed immortal work. Mr. Ashworth, who
when he was labouring over his Christian in the kingdom; and we
is the successor of our friend Mr. earnestly urge our readers not to be
Chown at Bradford, has wrought a content until they at least have
labour of love in preparing the perused it, and laid its lessons to heart.
interesting though condensed history of the church at South Parade,
Leeds. Mr. Ashworth was trained JUBILEE OF SOUTH PARADE CHAPEL,
in the Sunday school of that Church, LEEDS, WITH MEMORIALS OF THE
and joined its membership. Among CHURCH AND ITS WORK FROM THE
the pleasing incidents connected BEGINNING. Edited by John W.
with the jubilee services of the Ashworth. Leeds: F. R. Spark. Leeds Chapel is the fact that the 1877.
venerable Dr. Acworth who entered THE BAPTIST CHURCH, MYRTLE STREET, LIVERPOOL MANUAL,
on the pastorate of the Church fifty1877.
four years since, was spared to take
South BLOOMSBURY CHAPEL YEAR Book,
part in the proceedings.
Parade Church has been blessed 1877.
with a goodly succession of pastors PUBLICATIONS of this kind have a and deacons, and from its member
shipmany well-known godly ministers Book for 1877 is another most and laymen have gone forth to gratifying record of labour for the distribute far and wide the blessed Lord. In one of our latest converinfluences of which it is the centre. sations with our dear friend Dr. From a foot-note we gather that the Brock, we expressed the fear that Congregational subscriptions and his retirement from Bloomsbury collections for
for the year 1875, Chapel would be seriously felt in amounted to £3,866 25. 7d. May consequence of the loss of his adthe successors of Langdon, Acworth, mirable faculty for organization and Giles, Stalker, Bailhache, Edwards, the management of the efficient Brewer, and Best, see even greater agencies of that Church.
“ Bless things than the fifty years com- you," was his reply, “that is just memorated in this little book have the weakest part of my character. produced of spiritual prosperity and It has all been done by others. I consecrated Christian enterprise. never knew where to find my own
The Manual of the Myrtle Street boots or a postage-stamp without Church, Liverpool, partakes more of asking the dear wife." It is pleasant the nature of a private than a public to find Mr. Chown reporting that document, though we are comfort- the increase to the membership is ably sure that no breach of confi- proceeding at even a higher rate dence is involved in transferring to than in the past; and that all the our pages the following statistics. varied organizations of the Church The register of the Church contains have been sustained in continued the names of 827 members in actual and even increasing efficiency. The attendance. Its Sunday schools Chapel income for 1876 was number nearly 2,000 children, £1,373 17s. 11d., and its charitable 41 of whom were added to the contributions amounted to the large Church in 1876. The numerous
sum of £2,015 16s. 1d. We believe mission stations, cottage meetings, that five other churches of our Sunday schools, and the branch denomination in the
the Metropolis churches maintained by the parent presented an equally flourishing community at Myrtle Street, bear report for the past year, but we hope testimony to the active zeal and to place these statistics before our liberality of the Church under Mr. readers in a future number of the H. Stowell Brown's able superintend- Magazine. ence. Besides the two mission stations at Mill Street and Solway
LANGE's COMMENTARY Street, there are affiliated churches
THE at St. Helens, Warrington, Widnes,
HOLY SCRIPTURES. Vol. XIII. of and Earlstown, with 75, 44, 41, 30
the Old Testament, containing members each. It would be well
Ezekiel and Daniel. Edinburgh : for our denomination and its pastors
T. & T. Clark, 38, George Street. if all existing churches having a It is impossible, in the course of a membership of less than one hundred
few lines, to give an adequate idea each could be thus strengthened by of the contents of doubleidentification with a larger church. columned royal octavo of 765 The Myrtle Street Manual contains
pages, especially when much of the no cash accounts, but it is well- matter relates to principles and known to be amongst the foremost details of interpretation which have of our churches in the large amount been keenly disputed. The volume of its pecuniary contributions. has, however, all the well-known
The Bloomsbury Chapel, Year characteristics of the Lange series,