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Learn how the lilies grow,
They neither toil nor spin; And birds that never sow
Are fed and clothed by Him.
THE EARTHEN VESSEL,
Oh, feeble worm, of little faith,
Thy heavenly Father knows
Thou needest all these things,
This living spring shall never die,
Not all thy peevishness
Shall ever stop its course,
He's of one mind. This is the prop
His everlasting arms
Are underneath his Bride;
His uncaused love shall thee uphold
And though thy foes accuse,
He's deaf to all thy foes can say
With infinite delight
He views his joy and crown:
Let this thy praise excite,
Though all things on thee frown.
Because He lives, thou shalt live too.
St. Helier's, Jersey.
AGED PILGRIMS' FRIEND SOCIETY.
THE above-named society, established for the relief of poor aged Christians of not less than 60 years of age, and having not more than 78. per week (including rent), of every Protestant denomination, and supported by voluntary contributions, held a preliminary public meeting, on July 15th, at the London Tavern, Bishopsgate Street, at which Mr. Alderman Wire, one of the treasurers, kindly presided, for the purpose of announcing to their friends and the public their intentions, and submitting plans for commemorating the Jubilee of the society, upon which, by the kind providence of God, they have been permitted to enter, by the erection of another asylum on some eligible freehold land north of the Thames, on a much more extended scale than the present building at Camberwell, for the use of a larger number of its pensioners who may have been duly elected.
After an appropriate address from the hairman, in which he eloquently and, in a
[OCTOBER 1, 1856.
thorough Christian spirit, briefly stated the objects of the society, and their reasons for convening that meeting, resolutions were moved and supported by Revds. - Woollacott, G. Bayfield, Wm. Leask, and Dr. Fletcher; Joseph Payne, W. P. Tiddy, Geo. Palliser, Esqrs., and others, who, in addressing the meeting, more fully explained the principles upon which the society is based, the Christian motives which actuate its friends, and the benefits resulting to the aged and infirm poor of Christ's flock.
On this occasion the attention of the friends and the public were more particularly drawn to the especial object for which the meeting was convened; viz. "to erect another asylum as a useful and permanent memorial to record the goodness and faithfulness of God during the seven times seven years of the existence of this Christian institution," earnestly appealing to their friends to use their utmost endeavours to carry out this benevolent design.
Several friends, sympathising with the object of the committee, liberally contributed towards the Jubilee Fund, including 101. from the chairman, to which has since been added, by an old and constant friend of the society, 1057. The liberality and good feeling which prevailed at the meeting is taken as an encouraging token for good, and loudly appeals to every well-wisher of the cause of Christ to do what he can to help forward the work.
The committee feel that they have entered upon an arduous undertaking; but they sincerely hope to have the support and prayers of all the friends of the aged pilgrim, and, above all, the sanction and blessing of God, water to drink in my name, because ye bewho hath said, "Whosoever giveth a cup of long to Christ, he shall not lose his reward."
It may not be known to all that this institution has been the instrument of relieving upwards of 1600 Christian poor, in all parts of the kingdom, to the amount of 48,000%; and that at this time there are upwards of 400 pensioners receiving annual assistance out of an income of 2000l. per annum.
There is also a neat and commodious asyCamberwell, built on freehold ground, the lum, for 42 pensioners, in Southampton Street, munificent gift of the late William Peacock, Esq., where comparative comfort and rest may be enjoyed by its inmates for the remainder of the days of their pilgrimage.
on behalf of the Jubilee Fund, or for either Contributions will be thankfully received the parent Society or the present Asylum, by Mr. Alderman Wire and R. Kenneth, Esq., Treasurers, by the Hon. Secs., by any Member of either of the Committees, and by Messrs. Smith, Payne, and Co., Mansion House Street, the Society's bankers; and on account of the Jubilee Fund, by Messrs. Hancock, Rixon, and Co., Cockspur Street.
Rules, may be obtained of the Secretaries,
OUR BRITISH BAPTIST CHURCHES.
THE OLD CHURCH BOOK. No. III.
UNICORN YARD CHAPEL.
THE wise man says, "In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him;" and I believe all we shall find is, that God alone is the fountain and source of prosperity, and that He alone can support in times of adversity. Our last abstract was short, but savoury, a time of prosperity, although towards the close an apparent decline; yet the unity of the Spirit was kept in the bond of peace. We now pass into a different scene-a time of affliction.
In our last, we referred to brother Lyons, who declined to serve as deacon. The writer omitted to state that at a church-meeting, Aug. 9th, 1728, the pastor informed brother Lyons that the church were not satisfied with the reasons he had given for declining the office of deacon, whereupon he accepted office. He appears to have been a very useful servant of the church in maintaining order, and on most occasions was their mouthpiece. The last time his name appears is Jan. 23rd, 1758; about this time I suppose he was called home, but they did not record deaths; from circumstances related, he must have been a member forty-two years. But to return: the church was destitute of a pastor, by the death of that good and useful man, Mr. Arnold. It appears at a church-meeting, July 9th, 1734, brother Lyons reported that himself and brother Stinton, being in company with Mr. Wilson after his return from the country, he had recommended to their notice Mr. Evans, a member of Mr. Fosket's church at Bristol, as being a suitable supply for them; upon this report it was unanimously agreed to send an invitation by the next post, and another letter to Mr. Fosket's church; they expressed their thanks to Mr. Wilson for his brotherly care of them, and desired him to write to Mr. Evans, or the church, or both, in their behalf. The following is the letter to Mr. Evans; another, of similar import, was sent to the church:
"To the Rev. Mr. Hugh Evans. "HONOURED AND BELOVED BROTHER,-We, being destitute of a pastor by the death of our dearly beloved brother Wm. Arnold, in our present melancholy circumstances have heard of the gifts and grace given to you for the work of the ministry, and we hereby, as a church of Christ, invite and desire you to come and assist us for a month or six weeks; we have sent a letter by this post to the church to which you stand related, to desire of them that they will be willing to encourage you to this service, but 'tis to the Lord that
our prayers are directed, that He will be pleased to direct you and incline your heart, so to act as shall be most for his glory, and for promoting the cause and interest of the dear Redeemer, &c., &c." This letter was signed by the deacons and sixteen brethren.
Mr. Evans' reply was to the effect that being young in the ministry, and the church not willing he should come, he begged to be excused. A second letter was written to Mr. Evans, in which the church stated they could not admit of his excuse, notwithstanding his being young in years, in experience, and in the ministry,-they were not surprised that the thoughts of the greatness of the work, and his own insufficiency for it, should forbid his compliance, since the great Apostle said, Who is sufficient for these things?-the church entreated him to look at the sufficiency there is in Christ, and the efficiency of the Holy Spirit, and so engage in this service, reminding him that he must not expect a call from the Lord by immediate inspiration; it was their hearty prayer that he might be qualified for that service which the Lord in his providence, by the unanimous voice of this church, had called him to; the church earnestly requested him to carry this call to a throne of grace, praying that the Lord might direct him.
It would take too much space to give the whole of this affair, which was about six months in hand: the church were earnestly bent,upon having Mr. Evans for their pastoron the one hand, and there was a want of decision on the part of Mr. Evans, and an unwillingness on the part of the church to which he belonged, on the other; so, for six months was this church kept in a state of cruel suspense. There are twenty letters entered from this church to Mr. Evans and the church at Bristol to the board of ministers and two other individuals upon this subject. As all cannot be given, one letter to the board of ministers, and the last letter to Mr. Evans, will contain the gist of this serious disappointment. Suffice it to say, he consented to come, supplied for several Lord's days, and was chosen by the unanimous voice of the church to be their pas tor: 80l. per annum was to be the consideration, with a prospect of more. The church at Bristol only wanted him to assist in the ministry.
The following is a copy of the church's letter to the board of ministers:
"REV. SIRS,-The kind assistance which this church has received from you since our late worthy pastor's death, the fitness that the neighbouring churches should be made acquainted with the steps taken by a church in their solemn call and election of a pastor, that they may encourage or discourage as the conduct of the church may require; and the desire that we, as a church, may still be entitled to your future favour, approbation, and kind assistance, make it suitable for us to acquaint you with our solemn call and election
of the Rev. Mr. Evans, and the several steps taken by us previous thereto.
| toral care thereof upon him, would hold up their hands, which all did. It was agreed that Mr. Evans should the same evening be acquainted with our solemn call.
Thus, Rev. Sirs, we have acquainted you with the whole of our behaviour in this important affair, and earnestly beg a share in your prayers that the beauty of the Lord our God may be upon us, and that we may continue a reputable church, to the praise and glory of the dear Redeemer. Rev. Sirs, "Yours in Him." [Signed by the thirty-one persons that signed the call.]
Thus this church believed that they had succeeded in obtaining a suitable pastor; how great their disappointment upon receiving a letter from Mr. Evans stating that the church was not willing to give him up! Letter succeeded letter, urging that he was called by the unanimous voice of a church consisting of 140 members. No stone was left unturned to gain the object of their choice. fluence of the board of ministers failed to make him decide in their favour, or prevail upon the church at Bristol to give him up. The following is their last letter to him, which will give some idea of the progress and result of this affair :
"January 21st, 1735. "REV. SIR,-Yours, with the church's letter, came safe to us, and in love and faithfulness we send you this answer. After all, you say your thoughts are as follows:- That without the church would give up their claim to you and your gift, or the opposition was greater and more material, or they likely to be as well or better supplied, you fear you should offend God in leaving them.'
"Our deceased pastor, in his dying charge, advised us to wait on God, that He might give us a pastor. Agreeable to that advice, we have ever since his death set apart every Monday evening for prayer to God, that He, in his providence, would be pleased to direct us to a suitable one. About twelve weeks ago we heard of the gifts and ability of the Rev. Mr. Evans; and the church, at a churchmeeting, the largest we have had these thirteen years, did unanimously agree to call him to come to assist us, which he accordingly did, when he excused himself from settling. We a second time, on a Lord's day, did unanimously agree, in the most solemn and pressing manner, to desire his assistance, and accordingly sent to him again. When he came to London, several of us, when we heard of it, waited on him, and he was willing to preach to us every Lord's day, one part of the day. We no sooner heard him, but we were struck. There was such a suitableness between his preaching and our judgments and affection, that our hearts, as one, were knit to him, and many of us thought that God, who is a God hearing prayer, and has not said to his people, "Seek ye me in vain," had given him to us as an answer of prayer. The Lord's day after, we were unanimous upon this resolution, the question being put in the negative as well as the affirmative, that it was the judgment of the church, from the trial they had made of Mr. Evans' gift, that they should make choice of him as their pastor; and Mr. Evans was made acquainted with this resolution. The shortness of time he designed to stay in town, and another circumstance, made it necessary for us to be more expeditious than we should otherwise have chosen. However, we were desirous to be asking counsel of the Lord, that we might be under the Divine guidance, direction, and blessing, in the choice of a pastor; and did, as a church, unanimously, at the same time with the resolution above, agree to keep the Tuesday in that week, and the Tuesday in the week following, as days of solemn prayer for the said end, and to desire Mr. Evans not to engage himself to any other church till we had kept those two days. Tuesday, the 17th September, the day of prayer, being nearly over, there appeared great enlargement and affection of soul in "When the Rev. Mr. Wilson was at Bristol the church. Then it was desired that those he saw you slighted, without due honour and who felt their souls disposed to choose Mr. respect; when he came home he acquainted Evans for their pastor, after having sought us with your uneasy situation, and he had the Lord several hours for direction, would your consent that he should make mention of hold up their hands, which all did. you. We then by letter, as a church, gave church at the same time agreed that Mr. you a call, which was the first call you had Evans should be made acquainted with their of this nature. We sent a letter at the same disposition for him. Last Tuesday, being time to the church. When they considered September 24, was our other day of prayer; our letter, they had a view of the consethere was a very great attendance, and, in quences of your coming to London; but the judgment of those present, it was a pre- though you stayed there six weeks after, they cious opportunity, in which they had com- gave you no call. You then left your friends fortable apprehensions of the light of God's and acquaintances to put yourself under the countenance. Being near the close, the ques- providence of God, to see what He would do tion was put, that those who made choice of for you. Thus, with respect to that church, Mr. Evans for pastor of this church, and did you were free-free to fix where the Lord solemnly and earnestly entreat him, in the should provide you a place. When you came name and strength of Christ, to take the pas-to London you preached to us, a destitute
"To each particular we answer-to the first, we have a better right and claim to you than they. Your gifts and ministerial abilities as a minister of Christ are from the Holy Spirit, and are not, strictly speaking, at your own disposal, but at his, to be employed where He calls and directs. If Providence has most plainly directed you to Bristol, then they have the best claim; but if it has most plainly directed you to us, then we have a better claim than they. Lay your hand, then, on your heart, and begin where the providence of God, in this affair, began with you.
but we cannot see; for your hopes of success in the ministry will be proportionate to the view you have in your own soul of the plainest dealings of Providence and best pros
"If you should have any thought in our favour, or inclination to have the judgment of the pastors in London on the questions above, we desire you would let us know in two or three weeks at furthest.
"We are, dear sir, with hearty love, your brethren in Christ," [Signed].
Thus ends this unhappy affair, which runs over 24 pages of this book. It appears there was a happy union among the churches and board of ministers, who each took their turn to supply this destitute church during this affliction. The writer promised to give more this month; but has found a difficulty in giving an account of this important affair in so small a compass. God willing, we hope to glance at the next disappointment, and pass on to an interesting subject, viz. the particulars of the call and settlement of the Rev. Thomas Flower, Jun. A. M.
church, and you knew the utmost of our in- | tention. The church at Bristol saw and feared the consequence of your coming to us; they stood still to see the event, and it fell out according to their foresight; every step suc-pect of usefulness. ceeded, every question with respect to you was earried without one negative vote, and you were solemnly chosen by us. No plainer appearance could either you or we wish for or desire. The mind of Christ was now plainly signified in our favour, and Bristol was out of the question. At last, after two months, they gave you a call; but not with unanimity, as ours was. We are content to stop here, and are willing to refer it to six or eight pastors of churches, either in London or the country, to determine whether they or we have the best claim to you, and whether any law of reason or revelation directs or obliges you to stay with them. You say you are ready to think that we cannot prevail with them to give up their right to us, we would not desire you to come; but in this, sir, you are mistaken. What we desire of them is merely that they may not perplex you. Why should you think, if we cannot prevail upon them to give up their right to us, we should not desire you to come? They have no right to withhold you or to send you. THE Baptist Chapel at Haverhill has been Your gift is the Lord's; to Him we appeal. for many years in the hands of one Joseph And you, sir, are obliged to go where He in his Bridge, harness maker, who, by some means providence directs. His providence, we con- or other, has had sole possession. He lived ceive, has been plainly for London, and against in the vestry, as sole trustee; he occupied Bristol; so that, if you resist to come, you the pulpit, and has been speaking to about wrest yourself from the guidance of the Di-six persons and upwards. Many pounds vine providence, which may be attended with have been collected to pay off the mortgage, manifest tokens of the Divine resentment. but it is still owing. Mr. Thomas Lay, draper, "Your next particular is, unless the oppo- and his wife (members of the Baptist Church, sition was greater and more material.' How East Street, Walworth, and fruits of Mr. great and how material an opposition you Chislett's ministry there), have been directed, would expect to see before your way to us in the providence of God, to this place, and, would be plain, we cannot tell; but, accord-finding no Baptist cause but this also, that ing to your own account, it seems to us both great and material. Had any with us declared they could not benefit by your ministry, we should have thought that a great and material objection; but according to the best accounts we have from Bristol, if you let slip this opportunity, which God in his good providence has given you, of coming, with an agreeable prospect, to London, it is likely to be great and material enough to make you uncomfortable as long as you live.
"Your last is,' unless they were likely to be as well or better supplied;' and this, according to your own thoughts, they may easily be, since you say there are several persons come out in the ministry that are your superiors, by whom we (and by a greater parity of reasoning, they who have an able pastor and are not unanimous for you) may be as well or better supplied.
"Thus, sir, we have answered each particular, and pray God it may make a suitable impression on your soul. Tis above six months since we began with this affair; and unless we shall receive an encouraging answer, this will be our last. If you refuse us, you have solemnly trifled with us, and probably may do more hurt than you can compensate for as long as you live. What ground you have to expect the Divine blessing, you best know;
it was impossible to identify themselves with it in any way, after two years' sighing over their loss, and praying that the Lord would open for them a house of bread, they have succeeded in obtaining the chapel of Mr. Bridge, by giving him twenty pounds; and having the chapel vested in a proper trust, they opened it for divine worship on August 7th, when Mr. Chislett, and Mr. Pells of Clare, preached to overflowing audiences. It was a day that will be long remembered by the dear Lord's people assembled on that occasion. A spacious tent was erected outside, so that accommodation was afforded to those who could not get into the chapel, under which a comfortable tea was enjoyed.
These services were characterized by the solemn and hallowed presence of Him who said, "Lo, I am with you alway." And we trust a token for God was realised by both preachers and hearers. Mr. Chislett preached three times on the following Lord's day, sweetly enjoying his Master's presence, to large congregations. Many thanks are due to the Clare friends and beloved brother Pells, for their sympathy and co-operation. We trust our brother Wilson of Saffron Walden, with brother Pells, will have their eyes upon this little sister," And often say, What shall we do for our sister ?"
THE ORDINATION OF MR. JOHN PELLS, | livered out of the horrible pit, and that his
ON Tuesday, July 29th, services were held at the Baptist Chapel in this town, to recognise Mr. John Pells as pastor of the church assembling for worship in that sanctuary.
feet might be set upon the rock Christ; but the Bible appeared to him a sealed book, and the heavens as brass. Sometimes he would gain a little comfort under Mr. Wells' ministry, but it was in the perusal of the experience of Caroline Morgan, in the EARTHEN VESSEL for June, 1846, that his soul was set at liberty; that blessed invitation of Christ was powerfully applied to him,-" Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He then found, as Dr. Hawker was accustomed to say, "The Lord's commands are the Lord's enablings." It was rest such as never before had been experienced. He was overcome with joy, bent his knees in prayer, and praised the Lord for his goodness, telling Him the news seemed too good for one so unworthy. He subsequently found the glorious truths preached by Mr. Wells to be a savour of life unto life, and on December 19th, 1849, was the last of fortyfour who were baptized in the Surrey Tabernacle. Mr. Collins then asked Mr. Pells for an account of his call to the ministry. In re
The morning service was commenced by Mr. Philip Dickerson, of London, reading the hymn of praise. Mr. Bridge, of Ridgewell, read a portion of the Word, and invoked the divine blessing on the services of the day. Mr. Collins, of Grundisburgh, then proceeded to state the nature of a gospel church. After some introductory remarks on the universality of the government of Christ, and his authority necessarily resulting therefrom to plant churches wherever He pleases, he noticed the materials and the model of a New Testament church, that the materials must be living stones (1 Peter ii. 5), and the model in strict agreement with the revealed will of Christ as contained in the New Testament. This alone must be the rule and directory in seeking for this model. All the laws needful for the observance of a church are there re-ply he said:-Soon after he joined the church corded; therefore by-laws are not only unnecessary, but in many instances they prove detrimental, for human laws are never perfect, and frequently those made by a church are soon found inefficient. A New Testament church should be entirely independent of the State. Ecclesiastical history amply testifies to the evils accruing from a union at variance with the description given of his kingdom by Christ," My kingdom is not of this world" (John xviii. 36). Such an union destroys the glorious liberty of Christ's church, as is obvious by the necessity of obtaining permission of the legislature to allow certain officers in the Episcopalian establishment to resign. Christ never intended, when He directed his Apostles concerning a gospel church, that civil rulers should interfere with its govern
ment and order.
some friends, judging from his conversation and prayers, had an inward impression he would be called to preach the everlasting Gospel. In April, 1850, was again taken ill, and believed he would not recover, but a good brother thought otherwise, and that by the benefit of the country air he would soon be restored, and tell poor sinners what God had done for him. On a certain Sabbath afternoon he felt a very solemn feeling while engaging in prayer, and intimated he was about leaving those he loved most dear for the Gospel's sake, and sorrowed he should see their faces no more. During the time he was in prayer his good brother Cox was solemnly affected and impressed that he would not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord. At a prayer meeting held at Mr. Chivers' house on a Monday evening, he was called Mr. Collins then asked Mr. Pells to give an upon to conduct the meeting and expound the account of his call by grace. The following Scriptures in his absence. With considerable is the substance of Mr. Pells' reply:-He was diffidence he commenced speaking from Isaiah born of Christian parents at Beccles, and at- Ixiv., but was set at liberty and enjoyed much tended the heart-searching ministry of Mr. while speaking. The friends considered this George Wright, which induced a circumcised was only the beginning of greater things. ear but not a circumcised heart. Under the Soon after he had left London he was called influence of strong convictions he vainly re- upon to speak in a cottage at Rushmere; he solved in his own strength to amend his life. felt very uneasy, anything but fit for so great In the autumn of 1846 he absconded from a work. He did not see his path clear, yet home and obtained a situation in London, and dare not leave the work and suffer the cottage through excessive labour suffered a serious to be closed. He was about this time much illness, during which, and the following tried, and fully doubted his call to the ministwelvemonth, he was totally unconcerned try. He told a friend that he must give it about the welfare of his soul. While resid-up. He replied, "I suppose you want an ing at Bungay, in 1848, there was a renewal of his former anxious spiritual concern, but it was not till he again lived in London that he had a true knowledge of his lost and ruined condition as a sinner. It was while under the ministry of Mr. James Wells that he experienced this great change, while he was preaching from 1 Peter ii. 24. It was then he felt that unless Christ had borne his sins in his own body on the tree he must for ever perish, and reap the just reward of his own evil doings. He prayed earnestly to be de
audible voice from heaven." He did not expect that, but was anxious for an unmistakeable evidence of his call by grace and to the ministerial office. Soon after he was called upon to preach at Walton. With trembling heart he went, but the Lord helped him. He returned to his old situation in London soon after this. He was delighted to see his old friends, and believed he should be at ease and not be called on to preach; but God had determined otherwise. He again returned to Beccies in ill health. There he remained