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Our Churches, their Pastors, and their People.
MR. WYARD'S WELCOME TO ZION CHAPEL, DEPTFORD.
On Monday, Feb. 8, a very large concourse of people assembled at three o'clock in the afternoon, at Zion Chapel, New Cross-road, Deptford, to welcome Mr. George Wyard to his new sphere of labour. Mr. J. A. Jones, read the Scriptures, and implored the Divine blessing. Mr. John Foreman delivered an affectionate address, expressive of his sympathies with Mr. Wyard, and with the friends of truth at Deptford; exhibiting also the chief design of the gospel ministry.
spirit for some time; and although it gradually wore away, I had impressions that I must die; that I had a soul that must live some where, so I thought I would try to do good. About this time, (I suppose I was about ten years old), a few boys, with myself used to meet,
and read the Scriptures, and pray together. take the lead: that was the way we spent our One boy, older than I, used to evenings. For all this I loved sin, but wished to escape hell. I thought by reading and prayer, I should do well; and some thought After the reading of a review of the origin, in our town there was I was getting religious. About this time, a fair held, and progress, and general history of the Church I went; I went into a dancing saloon; now worshipping in Zion Chapel, Deptford, and was just going to make an attempt Mr John Foreman introduced his ministerial to jump, (for I could not dance, though brother, George Wyard, by a few words, ex- I was light upon my feet,) when all pressing his entire confidence in Mr. W. as at once something seemed to say, "WHERE an unflinching minister of truth. Mr. ART THOU?" I started out of the Wyard then gave such an account of his room. The feelings went deep into my soul; natural, spiritual, and ministerial life as to the night; and when I walked out, I a dreadful state of mind, ensued: I dreaded rivet the attention, and powerfully to inter- thought the earth would open, and swallow est the minds of his audience. We cer"What should I do to be saved ?" tainly esteemed it a privilege to be permitted I was as far from holiness, as I was from to listen to, and to sympathize with, an ad- heaven. I was at that time in want of a sitdress so fully demonstrating the saving grace uation, as my father's circumstances were of God. The following is an outline. Mr. limited and to Chatham I went, and walking Wyard said: in various shops, I said, "Want a boy, sir ?" Some laughed at me, others seemed to pity me; but I know I had to walk home without getnot been home long ere a situation was obing what I wanted; being ten miles. I had eleven,) I thought it a terrible hard one, tained, (I suppose I was now about half-past but I kept it until another presented itself, which was a better one. But I wanted to come to London, where I had brothers residing. I think that the greatest reason for my my soul, for I was still in deep soul trouble. wanting to come to the metropolis, was for I came to London in 1818; I came to Georgestreet, Portman-square, just at the back of Blandford-street chapel. One Sunday morning, I went into Blandford-street chapel, where dear old Mr. Keeble preached. He wore a large wig, parted in the middle, like a woman's hair, I thought him an exceeding curious man." At the time, I went to hear Mr. Keeble, he was going through Paul's Epistle to the Romans. I heard him once on the following text, "Christ is the end of the law, for righteousness to every
"I was born in this county (Kent) about thirty-five miles from this place; at a village called Milton, next Sittingbourne, of godly parents, and if this Bible be true, and I know it is true, then they are gone to heaven, where I hope to meet them in that great day. My morals, of course, were rigidly attended to. We were eight in family, I was the seventh son in succession. I was kept from bad company. I do not think I ever took an oath in my life, nor was I ever given to speaking falsehoods. Never in my life was I intoxicated. I scarcely know at what period of life I had not religious impressions. There was a church at some dis-one that believeth." This was the very tance from our village; but a tower in the thing I wanted; I had never heard any thing town with a bell, and when any body died, like it before, I could have danced for joy; this bell used to toll. I remember one occa- and truly could I have sung, sion the bell tolling, and my mother asked me for whom the bell was tolling? then very thoughtless, I said, "Oh, mother, I dont know, but not for me!" She turned to me, and said, "ah, but you don't know how soon it This was indeed a happy deliverance for may toll for you." This weighed down my me.
I scarcely know how to begin! It is customary on such occasions for questions to be asked; but as this is simply a meeting to welcome me to my new sphere of labour, those questions therefore, have been dispensed with. There are four books which I shall have occasion to refer to, the book of Nature, the book of Providence, the book of Divine Revelation, and the book of Godly experience.
"This is the way I long have sought,
And mourned because I found it not."
From that moment I never went back again to such a black and dreadful state of soul. I will not detain you, but one more circumstance I must mention. I left that situation, and went to another; and and there I got into, what Bunyan calls, "shame-faced street.' I seemed to try how far I might go without giving up my religion, Oh, I got into a sad position, my fellow servants used to say, I like that Wyard, he is not like some religious people, he does not on a long face; and so on. Oh, the horror put was then brought into! I seemed to have denied my Lord and Master. [This part of Mr. Wyard's testimony was exceedingly painful: he could scarcely speak for weeping; and many wept too. It was evident that this was a severe sifting from Satan; it afflicted his soul to its centre; but, beyond all doubt, it gave a tone to his experience most valuable in its results. Mr Wyard said:] Allow me here to break off abruptly, and say a word or two, respecting my call to the ministry.
Almost from the first of my impressions, I thought I should like to preach, not then entering into the feeling of the solemnities of the office. While a member at Blandford street, I remember, when being called upon to pray, how my knees used to smite one against the other; and when I had finished, I was all in a perspiration, and yet some how they used to like me to pray again and again. A few young men used to meet for reading and expounding the Scriptures; and I met with them, but I do not think I did at any time make one comment upon the chapter I read, others used, but I do not think I did. Time rolled on, old Mr. Keeble died, and I sought for a new home. I heard the late Mr. Joseph Irons, and often wished I could preach as he did, I wished I could tell out those blessed truths he proclaimed. In the course of time I turned my attention to Mr. John Stevens, whose memory is deeply embalmed in my soul. It was at Mr. Stevens's, some thought I had a gift for preaching, in fact one made an engagement unknown to me. I went; it was a village called Greenford. I gave out my text, and atter speaking for some fifteen or twenty minutes, I closed. Subsequently, after another weak attempt, an old Welsh woman tapped me on the shoulder, and said, "O, young man, if this be your first sermon here, it will not be the last." So it proved. And have gone on, sometimes thinking I should give up preaching after all; indeed, a little time ago I did think I should have given up altogether.
newly-recognised pastor giving out a hymn; Mr. Č. W. Banks invoked the divine blessing; after which Mr. W. Palmer laid down a line, and in an instructing and able manner reviewed the various methods of divine worship from the time of Adam in Paradise to the present dispensation. Mr. James Wells, of Surrey Tabernacle, was then called upon to address the meeting, and at great length, and with unusual earnestness, he descanted upon the most essential manner of preaching; carefully and cheerfully noticing the most prominent points of Mr. Wyard's experience, with which Mr. Wells expressed himself highly pleased and satisfied. Mr. Bloomfield, with a face almost as full of smiles as the gospel he preaches is of precious promises, then delivered a congratulatory address; into which he threw some excellent advice. Mr. Hanks, of Woolwich, spoke in the highest terms of his good brother Wyard, and believed his removal to Deptford would be honoured. Mr. Box delivered a grave admonitory address; and Mr. Phillip Dickerson interested the meeting with a short speech characteristic of that wholesome and happy spirit he has, during so many years, breathed in the midst of our churches, and by which, with God's blessing, he has been maintained in a long course of usefulness in Alie-street.
FORMATION OF A GOSPEL CHURCH AT
On Monday, February 1st, a meeting was held in Bethel Chapel, for the purpose of forming a Strict Baptist Church. The service commenced by singing one of Newton's hymns. Brother Perrett read the Word, and prayed. Brother Warren read a letter of dismissal or recommendation to the members of the church at Reading. Mr. Wale (the pastor) then addressed our brother Thorp; who (by the grace of God) has been the means of establishing the cause of truth there; and taking the hand of another brother, in the name of the rest, he joined the two as a token of union and gospel fellowship; and from Matt. v. 3, made some well grounded and appropriate remarks on the foundation, walls, and gates of the city; on the officers; citizens; privileges; and their coat of arms, which (being quartered) shewed 1st, in the Lion of Judah, their power and defence; 2nd, the Lamb-their sacrifice and justification; 3rd, in the cross their thorny pathway with selfdenial; and, lastly, the crown, full victory and certain glory. Prior to breaking of bread, brother Vinden offered prayer, and before the cup, brother Martin gave thanks. This delightful service was closed by brother Webb offering prayer to the God of Zion for his blessing to rest on the proceedings. The friends then repaired to a large room, where upwards of eighty persons partook of a comfortable tea. In evening, Mr Wale preached an excellent sermon calculated, under the blessing of God, to instruct, comfort and
Over, in Cambridgeshire, was the first place I ever was settled as the pastor. I left there and came to Soho. I will not go into partic. ulars about the reason. I left there for Tring, and from Tring I have come here. I am here now; and I hope, by the kind providence of God, to remain here.
You know my principles. I have for twenty years held two things, the cause of salvation, and the cause of damnation, the cause of salvation is Gop; the cause of damnation is sin. Mr. Wyard briefly summed up and conclu-establish in the truth, the family of God. ded. The venerable George Moyll, of Peck- The text, Judges vi. 14. The Lord looked ham, closed the afternoon service with prayer. upon him (Gideon) and said, "Go in this thy THE EVENING SERVICE commenced by the might." He spoke 1st, on the look; 2nd, the
thought I never could stand up. Before I left home, I had this text on my mind-"And thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest, to go before the face of the Lord, to prepare his ways." I tried hard to get inside the text, to view its contents; but I found it hard. There were four parts of it, however, I saw a little into-1st, The name given to Christ, "THE HIGHEST." This led me to the glorious complexity of his person-the high, the holy, the essential offices he sustains; the exalted position he occupies; the inexpressibly delightful estimation in which he is held in the hearts of his people; and so on. The margin of my Testament defines this term-" The Highest," in this way, i. e., the really true, the eternal, the essential Son of God; which definition is full beyond expression. 2ndly, I saw John's office-"Thou, child, shalt be called THE PROPHET of the Highest." The word Prophet is a large word: one of the branches of the Hebrew root would be rendered something like this-" one who lives in the heart of God, and looks out from thence into the hearts of the sons of men." One of Joseph's names was like this: also Daniel's and John's; and even Paul was raised up very high into the chambers of electing and everlasting love; and being filled with the glories of this River of Life and Love, his very soul ran out in those amazing words"O, the height and depth," &c., and again"That ye might comprehend with all saints," &c. 3rdly, I saw the pre-ordained path in which John was to walk-he was "to go before the face of the Lord," and then his work-he was "to prepare his ways."
I did not reach the Baptist parsonage long before service time; but my cheerful brother Wilson opened his door, his heart, and arms, to welcome me; and his most devoted spouse gave me a good cup of tea; and my head and heart revived a little. Still, I was afraid of the Saffron Walden pulpit; but I said nothing. I found dear Wilson and his wife had just received tidings of the sudden death
To my Christian brother in affliction, Samuel of a brother in the flesh, which cast a gloom Foster, Sturry, Kent.
over them. To chapel we went, and I was helped through. I hope some good might flow therefrom. The venerable deacon, brother Nicholson, took me home, gave me supthankful unto the Lord for such kindness. per, warmed my bed, and made me feel Next morning, Christmas-day. I was to preach at Thaxted, where brother Evans is now labouring. Before I laid down that night I obtained the text for the morning service"And we know that the Son of God is come; and that he hath given us an understanding to know him that is true; and we are in him that is true; even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." All the night long did I wake and think upon that mighty Scripture; but neither in private meditation nor in the public ministry, could I enter into its vital beauties, although I tried hard so to do. Oh! how oft I provethat my mind and my mouth are little worth, unless the Holy Spirit unveil and reveal the sacred word of God.
commission; 3rd, the instrument. First, the
As on your bed in pain you lay, I've wander'd from you far away; Still, in my thoughts I frequent am With my poor suffering brother Sam. But I am no poet; so as I know you will wish to know how I spent my Christmas, I will, as I journey home this morning, give you a brief account. After ploughing away as hard as I could with my pen and my preaching in London up to Christmas eve, I then left by the Eastern Counties Rail for Saffron Walden, where I was to try and speak in my Master's name. I did try once before in that pulpit where the famous John Player preached the gospel so happily for many years, and where my excellent and tender-hearted brother, D. Wilson, is now pastor; but when I was in that pulpit before I could not preach-I was bound up, shut up, and I feared ever to enter it again As I was to try once more, however, I did beg of the Lord not to confound me before the people; but my poor head was so dreadful bad I
That good friend to Zion, and to Zion's servants, Mr. Hunt, the Draper, of Walden,
left his family and friends on Christmas-day, memoration of Mr. Bloomfield's settlement and drove friend Wilson and me to Thaxted, as pastor," than whom we have not, It was decidedly one of the grandest Christmas we think in London, a more cheerful and mornings in nature I ever saw-the sun shone happy looking minister of the gospel, for see gloriously, the air was soft and refreshing, the him when, or where you may, there always birds celebrated Christ's nativity in Nature's appears to be springing up from his heart, sweetest notes, the flowers were budding into his smiling countenance, those words of blossom was actually on some trees—and all Paul—" For me to live is CHRIST!" On this things were expressive of the amazing good- occasion he was quite at home. ness of God. We met the country people dressed in their prettiest style, with smiling faces, all going out to spend their Christmasday. As we entered Thaxted the Church bells rang a merry peal, and the whole town had put on its best to welcome Christmas in. I was thinking of my text-"We know the Son of God is come," &c.; but my poor mind was like a dark lantern. Surely I knew the poet's words
Mr. Bloomfield then read the 67th Psalm; Mr. Boxer, of Blackheath, called on the Lord, for a blessing upon the evening's proceedings. Mr. Bloomfield, who took the chair, then said,-Dear Christian Friends, I am pleased to see so many present, on this occasion. We have a deal to bless God for in the past year: we have had a year of uninterrupted peace in our church meetings, nor have we had one wry word or quarrel in the vestry. We have nothing to lament, we have been solemnised in his worship, and have had his constantly feel our dependance on God, and presence. "Hitherto the Lord has helped us." We have not changed our principles, we feel our support is of God, by HIM have we been helped. We have not the pleasure to night to tell of so much increase, as on former occasions; we have taken in during the past year, between twenty and thirty, much more than we have deserved. I have one thing to state, that gives me pleasure; that this church is entirely out of debt, and we have in the treasurer's hands, 15s. 14d. I have always said of this church, and do not alter my opinion now, that "bring a good thing before them, and you will have no difficulty in getting the money." Addresses were then delivered by Messrs Moyll, Dickerson, Field, Wyard, Chivers, Woodward, and Ball. Mr. Anderson closed the meeting with prayer.
"All things in nature shew some sign But this unfeeling heart of mine." two noble pieces of ministerial mortality-the Our carriage stopped at the parsonage. Those brethren Powell, of Keddington, and Evans, of Thaxted, opened the door, and bid us Godspeed in the work of the day, and truly we could say, "How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." The service began, brother Wilson read and prayed; I went up and tried to preach, and did speak some solemn truths, but the savour and anointing of the Spirit was not on my soul.
In the afternoon we had an excellent party to tea; and in the evening, a large company of precious souls assembled. Our brother Evans, the pastor, opened the meeting in a humble, Christian spirit. He has laboured hard to raise the cause there; but the monetary influence in the other places, and the strong prejudices, forbid his stay there. I do hope the Lord will open for him a more effectual door. Brother Powell of Keddington, reviewed the history of the old cause in a warm and loving address. It was quite a picture to see his noble, smiling face, and to listen to his gospel words: but next came our excellent and well-read brother D. Wilson, of Saffron Walden, whose mind was led out very largely on the grace and glory of the Gospel. I understand that owing to the ill health of his beloved wife he will be compelled to leave Saffron Walden. His friends there will be sorry to lose him: but all of us must say, "the will of the Lord be done." I felt great liberty in describing the position of the old Baptist cause at Thaxted, from those words, "The daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city." I do hope for the truth's sake, Thaxted may yet reC. W. B.
A FRUITFUL UNIVERSITY FOR THE TRUE SERVANTS OF CHRIST.
COTTENHAM, Cambridgeshire, is a place that has been highly honoured of God, for many years, in the success of the gospel. The present account, commences from A.D. 1809; forty years since. At that time, the Baptist cause there, divided between Mr. MEEKINS, and Mr. CREAM; Mr. Meekins continued at the old chapel in peace, and abundant success. until he was unable to preach, and died only a few years since, a good old man and full of years. Mr. Cream stopped with the split, and in 1812, a new place, called "Ebenezer Chapel" was built for him. Between the year 1812, and the year 1835, it pleased the Lord to call seven persons to the ministry, who were, at the former date, members, or hearers, at one or the other of these places; some of whom have been highly honored of
MR. J. E. BLOOMFIELD'S ANNUAL the Lord in their work, and all of them have lived; and five of them have died like their Master, leaving some behind to speak evil, and some to speak good of them; but none of them without several seals to their minis
MEARD'S COURT, DEAN STREET, SOHO.
try. The first and last of these seven are
THOMAS SUTTON was called from follow
ON Tuesday evening, (our reporter says,) "a very pleasant, practical, and truly Christian meeting, was holden in Salem Chapel, Meard's Court, Dean Street, Soho; in com
ing and feeding a flock of sheep, as David was, to feed the flock of Christ's sheep: he was successful in getting and continuing a congregation, and an increasing church, until, through weakness, he gave up his office by the request of his friends, in honour crowned with numerous seals to his ministry, and his head crowned with hoary hairs in the Lord's
THOMAS WATTS was called from his tailor's bench, to feed the little flock of the Lord's sheep at Okington; from there he became the settled pastor at Streatham, in the Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire: in that position he continued in honour, until the Lord called him home several years since.
of our habitation are set," that we cannot pass; and that the Lord sends by whom he will send, and when and where he please.
JOHN NOTTAGE the grandfather, and JOHN NOTTAGE, the father of the before-named, and my father, were amongst those who first erected the "Ebenezer Chapel ;" and though I have travelled some thousands of miles, preaching the gospel, and attended some hun. dreds of prayer meetings, I never yet met with such a regiment of well disciplined praying men as at the two chapels in Cottenham.
God bless the ministers, and people-for though I am at a distance from it, I can say, "O Cottenham, I love thee still! thou art honoured highly of thy God!"
JOHN CORBITT, Pastor of Orford Hill, Norwich.
MR. THOMAS BIDDLE. ANOTHER faithful servant of God is gone
ELLIS MUNCEY was called from the copper's empty sound, to minister in holy things, and to become a successful builder on Zion's wall; and though he found some burden bearers cease, and much rubbish in the way, yet, like an ancient one, and with his sword in one hand, and trowel in the other, continued unto the end an honor to his calling. He was settled at Bottisham Lode several to his rest. Our notice of the event here is brief. A few weeks since Mr Biddle wrote us his desire that his papers should be entrusted to us, from which selections calculated to be useful to the church of God now on earth might be made. We expect, therefore, to have this privilege. The following is from a correspondent :
years; but finding some too hard for him, he left, and took the charge of the church, at Willington, where he died, an honoured instrument of the Lord, much beloved, and lamented by his people.
JOHN SMITH, late of Waterbeach, was called of God to exercise his talent in the ministry under Mr. Meekins, at Cottenham; and the Lord made him abundantly useful in converting sinners. When he was very young he became the settled pastor at Elsworth, Cambridgeshire, and was very useful there for several years. After leaving there, he became a constant itinerant at Dry Drayton, Great Wilham, Swaffam, and Isleham, and numerous other places; and no man lived and died more firm in doctrine and practice than he did; and God so honoured his last end, as to make him triumphant, and sing in the arms
"It is my happiness below
Not to live without a cross; But the Saviour's love to know, Sanctifying every loss." He died on the 3rd of June, 1857. JOHN NOTTAGE, was called to the pastorate at Earith, Herts, where he stayed a few years, and then became the pastor of the Baptist Church, at Saxlingham, Norfolk, where he died, I believe, in the year 1855, on the very day he was to preach his farewell sermon.
WILLIAM NOTTAGE was called for several years to preach at Okington, near Cambridge; and continued to do so, and carried on his business at Cottenham, until it pleased the Lord to call him home in Nov., 1857. William Nottage was an honor to his profession; a self-taught man, a great reader of Scripture, and a powerful retainer of its history, and could converse on any part of it with pleasure and profit; as a speaker he was elegant and oratorical; he was famous on a platform; truthful in his creed; warm and powerful in his preaching. I have wondered he was kept within so small compass, and encumbered with business; but I remember, "the bounds
DEAR BROTHER BANKS.-I have painfully to inform you that my dear Friend, Counsellor, Preacher, aud Pastor, Mr. T. Biddle, late of Brockham, died on Tuesday evening last, at half-past seven o'clock, Feb. 9, 1858. A friend from Dorking called on him about the middle of the day; he was nearly speechless; it was though he would not speak again; but towards evening he revived, and told John Stone, he had "seen God and Glory:" "tell the Church," he said, "I am gone to Glory ;" and lifting up both hands, with eyes sparkling, called out, "Glory! Glory! Glory!" Thus departed another champion of that faith once delivered to the saints.
I first became acquainted with Mr. Biddle at Brockham, in the month of September, 1837, I was removed from Brighton to Dorking by Providence; but as I could not find the Gospel preached at Dorking, I was necessi tated to seek elsewhere; and after seeking direction at the hand of the Lord, was led to Brockham. In that little sanctuary was God made known by his faithful servant to me. I left Brighton in a fearful blacksliding state of soul, having wandered far from my Lord and Saviour: so that tears were my meat day and night; and sorrow was so depicted in my countenance, that the men with whom I laboured thought I was a murderer; and vengeance would certainly overtake me. I called on Mr. and Mrs. Biddle several times; was glad to find a sympathizing friend; who after hearing my sorrowful tale, Mr. Biddle said "if you are a child of God you will suffer for it." This I found to be true. Mr. Biddle said he would carry the matter to the Lord. A few sabbaths after, in the afternoon, he preached from these words, "and they said