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needed, he, in connection with Mr. Norton, undertook a collecting tour, and helped to place the society upon a firmer basis among our denominational agencies. It was said that the society would prove but a mushroom growth, and its speedy demise was looked for-if not wished for-by some; but our friend resolved that if prayer, patience, and plodding perseverance could make it live, it should not die. And it has not died. Though once brought very near to death through neglect, at the crisis our beloved brother Whitehead was proposed to the committee by our departed friend as its collector, and Mr. Oliver lived to see its income increase from a few pounds per annum, to much more than a thousand. Its translations have gone forth into France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, and the East Indies, in which latter it has two auxiliaries-one at Madras, another at Colombo ; its grants have been made even more liberally in our own country; and for some years no application for a grant has been refused. Hence we can but rejoice that he who witnessed the society's small beginning, lived to see the desire of his heart accomplished in its increase. Though, by office, its treasurer only, he was for years its manager, and only increasing infirmity compelled him to delegate some of the routine work to others; while still our brother's earnest spirit, firm principle, and rare good sense, enabled him to retain the helm of its affairs, and his position was so well filled, that no one ever wished to see the laborious, though honourable post, ocupied by another. But determinately attached as he was to the Baptist Tract Society, he was no “man of one idea” in the objectionable sense of narrow compass; for our Missionery Society, our Irish Mission, our Building Fund, our Particular Baptist Fund, the Orphan Working School, and various kindred missionary and benevolent agencies, shared his sympathies and labours till the last; and he even filled—and with thoroughness—his seat as director of the Briton Life Association until his death.
Our brother did not, however, shine in public only. His family relationships were sustained with rare felicity. Firm, but genial and loving, he gave advice and exercised valuable influence over the various branches of his numerous family long after its members had passed their childhood; and the memory of his counsels will be embalmed in their hearts until their dying day. He was many-sided, and his religion was reflected from every side.
And his religious life had for its central feature, perhaps, that of implicit faith. The speculations of modern thinkers," as they are called, had little charm for him. He was content with the old landmarks of theology, which were well represented by the late Rev. John Chin, whose daughter was our departed brother's second wife. And to his godliness he, by grace, added a peaceable disposition. Not that he was deficient in the definiteness of his views; indeed, they were strongly pronounced. But he had much of that blessed charity that can “ live and let live.” He was, most of all, a Christian; next, a Protestant; and, lastly, a Baptist, and a thorough one-some of his brethren (whom still he loved most dearly) thought too thorough. His later religious experience was singularly apropos to his calm and peaceful end. The writer well remembers how, a few weeks ago, he had lent him a book, in which the reality of the Christian's immortal bliss was illustrated by the rapturous dying experiences of some eminent saints, and how Mr. Oliver remarked, with his own peculiar pathos, that, having once read the book, he turned to it again and again to refresh his spirit; as though he too had been favoured with glimpses—through the half-opened gate of the glory of “the Father's house."
The childlikeness of his religion was remarkable, and even fascinating.. No cold reasoning about Christ and heaven could satisfy him; he had the "witness within"-the love of heaven begun in his soul. His natural childhood had long since passed—the second childhood of imbecility, thank God! never came; but the blessed childhood of simple faith remained until the last-imbued, indeed, by all the energy of the “man in Christ Jesus." And now the child has gone to the Father; and as if to close a life so really great, because so simple, with the humility befitting it, this brief description of his character-self-suggested -will appear upon his tomb, “ A sinner saved by grace.” And to his last
resting-place at Nunhead Cemetery, where this will be the humble confession of his faith, his bereaved family and friends accompanied his mortal remains on Tuesday, January 16th, 1877. Can we desire a better description of our character than this suggestive sentence ?
The funeral of Mr. Oliver took place, as stated, on the Tuesday morning at Nunhead Cemetery. The Rov. W. Alderson of Earl Street, Walworth, conducted the service in the cemetery chapel, when, after reading, he delivered an address in which he gave a brief outline of Mr. Oliver's life, and passed a warm eulogium on his Christian character, noticing the energy, activity, and unwavering integrity, which had marked his career in all its varied relationships of the family, the world, and the Church of God. He dwelt especially on the simple Words he had selected for his tombstone—“A sinner saved by grace," and on the full and deep appreciation he thereby as well as throughout his life showed of the fact that every portion of salvation is due to the grace of God through the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Rov. J. T. Briscoe gave a short but touching address at the grave. Deputations from the Baptist Tract Society, the Committee of the Orphan Working School, and the Briton Medical and General Life Assurance Company attended the funeral.
The following resolution of sympathy, passed at the meeting on January 12, was presented to the widow and family by the committee of the Baptist Tract Society :
That we, as a committee, have heard with great sorrow of the sudden departure of our beloved and revered treasurer, Mr. Edward James Oliver; and meeting as we do under the painful sense of the severe lose which his family and friends have thereby sustained, desire at once to convey an expression of our Christian sympathy to his beloved wife and the numerous branches of his family, praying that the remembrance of his long and honourable career of devotedness to his Divine Master's cause and service, and of the fact that he now “rests from his labours” in His blessed presence above, may be to them all the source of consolation in this time of sorrowful bereavement. And we cannot, as members of the committee of the Baptist Tract Society, lose the present opportunity of recording, our own affectionate sense of the eminent Christian character of our dear departed brother, which manifested itself not only in the combination of those graces that, more or less, adorn every true believer, but also in active, vigorous, continued effort in the various departments of the Lord's work, and especially in the interests of the Baptist Tract Society. While we cannot but mourn the loss of him who was not only one of the founders of the society, but one of its most earnest supporters throughout the various changes of its history from its commencement in 1841 till the present time, and to whom, under God, its prosperity is so largely owing; yet we would rather rejoice in the grace which made our departed friend all he was as a Christian, and the mercy which spared him to so ripe and fruitful an old ageseeking for ourselves a double portion of the spirit given so largely to our brother, that the work he so nobly began, and so laboriously sustained, may be still carried on and blessed with yet increasing prosperity.
J. O. W.
News of the Churches
BAPTIST MAGAZINE .
THE REV. C. J. VAUGHAN, D.D. THE HE nineteenth century has been described as pre-eminently an
age of progress, and no boast is more common than that which
proclaims the marvellous advances which have been made in physical science, in commercial enterprise and achievement, and in political reform. The discoveries and inventions of the age and their application to the affairs of our every-day life are no doubt very wonderful, though they scarcely justify the boundless self-admiration of which the age is full; while their relative importance is diminished by other signs of improvement which no candid observer can ignore. The moral and religious condition of our land awakens many grave reflections, and forbids all approach to national self-complacency, but here, too, we can report progress. Instead of the decay, there has been a revival and reformation of religion. The bold and resolute efforts of scepticism to explain away and destroy the life of Christ have called forth a profounder devotion and a more determined activity on the part of His disciples,
and inspired them with a more triumphant assurance of success. The public morals have improved, "rebuke and blasphemy” no longer vaunt themselves openly, and from what the Gospel has effected during our own century we cannot fail to anticipate "greater things to come."
The change of which we speak is nowhere seen more conspicuously than in the Church of England. As it exists among us to-day, it is a very different institution from that which our forefathers have portrayed, and with which even we ourselves were acquainted "in the days of our youth.” We are not insensible to its innumerable
anoinalies and defects--to the Rationalism and Sacramentarianism which have alike found a home within its embrace, or to the injury which is inflicted on religion by “State patronage and control.” But this notwithstanding, there has been an improvement in the spiritual condition of the Church which all Christian men should heartily acknowledge. The days of wholesale non-residence, of fox-hunting parsons, of uproarious conviviality in the parsonages are practically over, and the Church is alive to the magnitude and importance of its mission, and earnestly striving to fulfil it. “Our Church of England is at this time on her trial in this great critical matter of Wisdom and Folly. She, too, has her house to build, and the time was when she seemed almost to have made her contract with Folly. How was a Church to build herself a sure home on the only spot worth occupying --the heart of England's people—which was satisfied to drone forth its weekly discourses within the four walls of an edifice, comfortless, damp, and repulsive, where the poor man felt himself unwelcome and the rich man sat alone in a good place, to enjoy revenues meant for God's service in a selfish vain confidence, glorying in the name of Churchman, and looking down with disdain upon what was often a most unwilling Nonconformity-how was such a Church doing her part towards occupying her mighty talent, the trust of God's goodness for the edifying and comforting of His people? Surely the marvel is, not that that Church should be threatened, but how it should have survived." So writes Dr. Vaughan, and that the Church of England “has aroused herself to invoke the aid of Wisdom” is due in no small measure to him and a few others like-minded with him. Oxford movement,” with all its drawbacks, its clinging to mediæval superstitions, its priestcraft, and its traditionalism, infused new energy into the English Church, and this energy, directed by wiser men than the Tractarians, has strengthened the Church's position and given to it a power which no monopoly of privilege could ever have secured. And, in so far as the Church of England is bearing witness to the truth of Christ, and devoting her wealth, her influence, her learning to the moral and spiritual improvement of the nation, we sincerely rejoice, and render all honour to those who have striven to effect so great and beneficent a change.
On this account we gladly give a place in this series of articles to the well-known name of Dr. C. J. Vaughan. He is one of the greatest and most popular of living preachers, a voluminous author, and in every way an indefatigable worker. He would have risen to distinction in whatever walk of life he might have chosen, and, although he has originated no school of thought, and has never aspired to be the leader of a party, we question whether any man in the Church has a more powerful and extensive influence and is more deeply revered and loved. Nonconformists are frequently found among his auditors, his books are read almost as widely in our churches as in his own, and he is one of the few men claimed by our common Christianity far more strongly than by any sect.
He is the son of the late Rev. T. E. Vaughan, Vicar of St. Martin's, Leicester, and was born in the year 1816. He was sent at an early age to Rugby, then in its palmiest days, under the head-mastership of Dr. Arnold. Vaughan not only distinguished himself by his thoroughness and conscientiousness as a student, but by his geniality of nature gained the esteem and affection of his school-fellows, and was no less hearty in his play than he was conscientious in his work. We cannot doubt that the high tone of his character was greatly aided by the healthy moral atmosphere which surrounded him at Rugby. It is not difficult to discover in his writings traces of the influence of Arnold. There is the same lofty ideal of life, the same large-hearted love of truth and goodness, the same earnestness of spirit. In the pupil no less than in the master, there is a determined hostility to every foe of faith, whether it be indolence, unreality, irreverence, or inconsistency. Dr. Vaughan would probably not endorse every point of Arnold's theology, but he is at least in practical agreement with it. And equally with Arnold, he has shown that religion is life, exercising over men universal control, and rendering them its powerful aid, not only on stated occasions of special solemnity and in fixed periodic observances, but in the commonest affairs in which we can be engaged, so that everywhere and always we may be doing the will and enjoying the presence of God.
From Rugby, Vaughan went to Cambridge, and entered Trinity College. His career there is said to have been a brilliant one. He took his B.A. degree in 1838, gained the Chancellor's medal, and was bracketed with the late Lord Lyttelton as senior classic. In the following year he was elected to a fellowship of Trinity College. His first living was the one which had been formerly held by his father at St. Martin's, Leicester, where he remained about four years. In 1844 he was appointed head-master of Harrow School, and during the fifteen years in which he occupied the post he achieved a success which proved him not unworthy to take rank with Arnold. The number of scholars steadily increased, and many who have since risen to positions of wealth and honour look back with gratitude to their days at Harrow, and to him "whose name," as Dr. Farrar has asserted, " will be identified with Harrow for many a generation. The highest honours of the Church were not beyond his reach. A seat on the Episcopal bench as Bishop of Rochester was offered to him in 1859, but his answer then, as also to a similar offer made some years later, was Nolo Episcopari. But if the stately dignity of a mitre was unattractive to him, he could not so easily set aside the claims of a large and populous parish, and in 1860 he became Vicar of Doncaster, and this charge he filled until in 1869 or 1870 he was appointed Master of the Temple, in whose “tranquil courts ” he still ministers week by week.
Dr. Vaughan's reputation has been acquired mainly by his preaching, and to it he has devoted his chief strength. He is, in the best sense of the term, an enthusiast in his work, not willingly deputing any part of it to others or slurring it over in a dull mechanic style,