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ARRIVAL OF MR. YOUNG AT OUTTACK.—NOTES. 119
These statistics, as a whole, are full of encouragement, and afford abundant food for most careful and earnest thought. A new power is rising in the East, and, before many years, some startling problems will beforcing themselves upon our attention. It is exceedingly probable that the ratio of increase of the Christians in India will rather rise than fall for the next ten decades. There are many persons now living who will see from ten to fifteen million Protestant Christians in India before they get their release from toil in this earthly vineyard. For what God has wrought, and for all His wonderful promises for the days to come, let unceasing praise arise from all our grateful hearts.--From “The Indian Witness,” December 16th.
WE are thankful to state that the Rev. A. H. Young, M.A., who has been invited by the Committee of the undenominational Protestant Boys' School, Cuttack, to take the superintendency of that institution, has arrived safely at his destination. In a private note he writes:—
Protestant Boys' School, Cuttack, Jan. 17, 1883.
My dear Mr. Hill,—As you can see I have got to my journey's end, and, I am happy to say, all safe and sound, and in good health. The boxes have also come all safe outwardly; I cannot yet write of their contents, and I have sent to Dr. Buckley the two boxes for him. The little things entrusted to my care I have spoken of, and will deliver them up soon.
We had a very pleasant voyage from Madras to Calcutta, doing it in three days. I arrived there in time to catch the coasting steamer on the following morning. The brothers Sykes met me at the ship, and conducted me to the house of the elder brother, where I spent the night. There I received several letters from the brethren here, full of kindness and Christian regards, and promising me a hearty welcome. The Sirdhana leaving Calcutta on Saturday morning, staying at Diamond Harbour over night, brought me all safe to False Point on Monday morning. Then I joined the steam launch for Cuttack in the afternoon. The tide being unfavourable, and having a barge with opium in tow, we did not reach here until last night—Tuesday evening. On my arrival I was met by Mr. Mulholland and Dr. Stewart; and in the course of the evening I saw the whole mission staff, including Mr. Bailey and Mr. and Mrs. Heberlet. I have this morning seen the school buildings, and they are decidedly an ornament to the place. They were opened on new year's day for Sunday-school work, and I think they are to opened for the ordinary work on the 20th or 22nd of this month.
WATCHNIGHT AT CUTTACK.—We have often found it good to spend the last hour of the expiring year in the house of prayer, and to begin the new year with a united resolve to devote it entirely to the service of our blessed Saviour. The watchnight service was well attended, and was felt to be a solemn and profitable time. J. Buckley presided, and prayer was offered by Dr. Stewart, Mr. Bond, W. Miller, and J. G. Pike. Suitable portions of scripture were read, interpersed with a few remarks by the Chairman; when the clock struck twelve we sang the new year's hymn with as much fervour as on former occasions, “Come let us anew our journey pursue,” &c.
120 MISSIONARY OBSERVER.
THE KHOORDAH AUXILIARY MISSION had its usual service on new year's morning at 10 o'clock. The sermon was preached by Shem Sahu, from Romans xiii. 11, “And that knowing the time,” etc. Amount of collection not known to the writer. J. B.
ROME—OPENING OF A NEW HALL FOR EVANGELIZATION.—I am glad to say that Mr. Wall has been able to open his new Sala in Trastevere. It is of good size, neatly and fittingly adorned, and is situated just where it is most needed. It was opened on January 16th by a public meeting, at which most of the missionaries and various ministers (the writer among the number) took part. There was a splendid audience of Trastiverini, many of whom, I should think, had never taken part in Protestant worship before. I have been informed that the meetings in the new Sala continue to be well attended, of which news I am glad. May this new venture be a great success, and result in leading many to a knowledge of Christ Jesus. N. H. SHAW.
MUNIFICIENCE REPEATED.—I have pleasure to inform our friends of the Mission that Mr. John Rylands, of Manchester, has been so good as to send another hundred pounds for the general and special needs of our work in Rome. May this example be followed by others. As Duff said of India we may say of Italy:—“The field may become one of the richest in bearing luxuriant fruits. We only want the necessary funds and qualified agents.” And we do not see any good reason why both should not be forthcoming. N. H. SHAW.
Received on account of the General Baptist Missionary Society from January 16th to February 15th, 1883.
£ s. d. £ s. d. Legacy of late W. Wherry, Esq. ... 100 0 0 Birmingham, Lombard Street ... 0 19 6 Adelaide dividend ... . 14 10 0 Broughton... ... ... ... ... ... ... 0 9 0 Solo. -- . 11 12 0 Burton-on-Trent, Parker Street . 1 0 0 ew Zealand , ... . 6 0 10 Chellaston ... ... ... ... ... .... ... 0 7 6 Barton and Barlestone... . 40 19 2 Coventry ... ... ... ... . 0 10 0 Bradford ... ... ... . ... .... ... ... 1 7 3 Derby, St. Mary's Gate... . 4 10 9 Burton-on-Trent, Parker Street . 5 2 3 Desford ... ... ... ... . 0 10 0 Fleckney ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 1 0 0 Duffield ... ... ... ... 1 0 0 Grantham ... ... ... ... ... . 1 11 6 Fleet ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 0 15 0 Kirkby and East Kirkby ... 23 6 10 Grantham ... 0 7 0 Kirton-in-Lindsey ... ... ... ... ... 3 14 0 Hose ... ... ... ... ... . 0 15 0 Kingscliffe, Wansford—Congregational Ilkeston, South Street ... . 0 10 0 Church Sunday-school ... ... ... 2 10 0 Ibstock ... ... ... ... ... , 0 12 0 Long Whatton... ... ... . 3 0 0 Kilburn ... ... .... ... ... ... ... 0 2 1 London, Borough Road. ... ... ... 7 6 0 London, Commercial Road ... ... ... 415 0 Louth—the Misses Middleton ... ... 0 5 0 Long Sutton ... ... ... ... . 0 15 0 Manchester, Moss Side Church—Mr. Louth, Northgate ... ... . 1 0 0 E. D. Pochin, per Rev. J. Turner..., 5 0 0 Loughborough, Woodgate . 2 0 0 Nantwich ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 5 0 0 Lymington ... ... "... . 0 10 0 Newthorpe... ... ... ... ... ... ... 0 12 0 elbourne... ... ... ... . 1 1 1 New Zealand—Wellington Baptist Nottingham, Broad Street ... . 3 3 0 Church ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 2 0 0 -> Prospect Place . 0 16 0 Walsall, Stafford Street... ... . 53 7 5 -> Hyson Green ... . 1 1 0 , Vicarage Walk 34 11 9 -> New Basford. . 0 12 4 -> Lenton ... ... . 1 0 0 Nuneaton --- --- --- . 0 10 0 SACRAMENTAL Collectrons for WIDows Sheffield --- --- --- . 2 5 0 AND ORPHANS’ FUND. Stalybridge ... ... ... . 1 0 0 Tar tivič --- - - - --- . I 5 6 Barton and Barlestone... . 1 4 7 Walsall, Wicarage Walk . 1:10 0 Barrowden... ... ... ... . 0 15 0
Subscriptions and Donations in aid of the General Baptist Missionary Society will be thankfully received o W. B. BEMBRIDGE, Esq., Ripley, Derby, Treasurer; and by the Rev. W. HILL, Secretary, Mission House, 60, Wilson Street, Derby, from whom also Missionary Boxes, Collect: ing Books and Cards, may be obtained.
IN trying to give an answer to the above question, it will be as well first to answer another, “What is salvation to a child?”
As I understand it, the teaching of God's Word is in exact conformity with the records of all history, viz., that there is something in man's nature (by whatever name it may be designated) that makes for evil; unless some power from God's good Spirit is brought to bear upon it, that nature will go on further and further into sin, until “sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.” Salvation to a child, therefore, means deliverance from this something. Because, through following his own path, and choosing his own method of life, he must infallibly end in death, therefore salvation consists in accepting God's way, walking in God's path, and doing God's will. Our own way is sin, and sin means being lost; God's way is righteousness, and righteousness means salvation.
1st. In putting this way of Salvation before a child we should, I think, place in the very forefront the character of God. It will all depend on what a child thinks of God whether he can trust Him thoroughly or partially, or not at all. There are some views of God's nature which render it almost impossible to trust Him at all. Let us avoid this terrible mistake. Invest Him with the attributes of transparent truth, perfect love, and limitless power. Get these ideas into the child's heart, and you will have laid the foundation of a cordial and undoubting confidence in His promises. Tell him that this true and loving God is Father, his own Father, and that salvation consists in a practical recognition of this relationship by loving and obeying Him as He asks and as He deserves. Tell Him that this Father is anxious and willing to receive him, and ready at once to blot out all the evil of the past, and to give him a name and a place amongst His children. Salvation will thus be made to appear what it really is; not so much a deliverance from penalty—although it is this—but as taking our right place as forgiven sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, with all the privileges, and, of course, with all the obligations which that relationship involves.
2nd. A child will understand this more clearly when referred to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no department of Christian effort in which it is more important to remember the Master's words, “I am the Way.” Jesus Christ is salvation; and a child can more easily understand God in Christ—God in the form of man—than as a Spirit, however grand or holy. He can catch more readily the thought of a living friend who saves through what He once did for our sins on the cross, and what He now does by His presence in our hearts. A child can grasp the idea without much effort of One close by him always; one who offers, in His Father's name, to receive and forgive; who pledges Himself to accept all who come, and help all who ask; one who never leaves and never forsakes; who thinks nothing little
GENERAL BAPTIST MAGAZINE, APRIL, 1883.-Wol. Lxxxv.–N. S. No. 160.
122 HOW BEST TO PUT”
that affects the welfare of the least of His little ones, but who is as willing to help them do their sums as resist their sins; one who is so truthful that, almighty as He is, He cannot lie, and who wants them to be as truthful as Himself, and will fight with them and for them when they do battle with dishonesty and deceit within and without them; a Saviour who is so great that He can conquer Satan, sin, and death, and yet so gentle that nothing pleases Him better than to take the hand of a little child and lead him up safely to His Father's home. It is true of one who is older; but more especially is it true of a child, that he will better comprehend the way of salvation when thus concreted in the person of Jesus Christ, the perfect photograph of His Father, the everliving, ever present Saviour, Brother, and Friend. There is the additional advantage in this plan that Jesus Christ, having been Himself a child, a child can understand how this wonderful Being can understand him, his wants, his weakness, his trials and temptations, and thus be encouraged to tell Him about them all. There is no power greater than that of sympathy, and if we can impress on the young life that Jesus feels with him as well as for him, nothing will more assist him to go to that Friend for the succour and strength he needs. Further, Jesus Christ shows, in His beautiful life, just that condition of man's nature which salvation is meant to produce when its full effects are realized; the picture to which He will conform all His children one day, when their schooling here is finished, and the eternal outcome of His work for and in them is attained. So that He shows them “ salvation” as a living model for their imitation in this world—salvation from sin– salvation to life.
3rd. It is important to impress on the child that the acceptance of salvation as a gift from God in Christ is possible at once. There is no need to wait for its possession till his more mature years. God's messages are for to-day. His offers are available now, and only for now. The coming into God's family through faith in Jesus Christ and His promises, and the surrender of his will to his Master's, can be done immediately.
4th. But while coming into the way of salvation is practicable at once, it is indispensable to set before a child the great truth that to be in the way of salvation does not necessarily imply the possession of a sinless heart and a spotless life. This is a mistake by no means uncommon. A young girl once said to me, “I want to be a Christian; but I am sure I am not one yet.” A little conversation revealed the true state of the case. Believing in Christ, reading His word, praying earnestly and constantly for grace and strength to do His will, and striving in her life to obey His commandments, she was sure she was not a Christian because, to use her own words, “If I were a Christian I should never do anything wrong at all.” Conscious defect was to her mind positive evidence of the absence of Christ's spirit within. And there are many like that amongst us, with sensitive consciences and grand ideals. Thank God for such. Would God there were more of them amongst both young and old. But these need to be taught that God does not wait to accept till His little ones are perfect. He accepts when they come, receives them as children at once, then helps them to become better and truer and wiser children, and at last perfect children THE WAY OF SAL VATION BEFORE A CHILD. 123
when they reach their Father's perfect home. Progress in the divine life may properly be described as a fight in which, by the help of God, the sin within can gradually be beaten down and destroyed, and that which is good developed; or as a growth, in which the weeds of evil are to be uprooted, and the seeds of the kingdom implanted. But under both aspects the idea of continuous effort on the part of the child himself must never be lost sight of. It must be with the young as with the old—their own responsible choice is involved in their coming into the kingdom in the first instance, and remaining in it to the end.
5th. The form of the question, “How best to put salvation before a child?” suggests another thought, viz., that while parents, teachers, and ministers must, and ought to, speak to families and classes and congregations, yet the most direct and impressive method is to put salvation before each individual child. Differences in disposition, temperament, intelligence, education, and training, exist often in such pronounced forms, that what may be plain to one is darkness to another. And the experience of those who have tried both methods (and these are the best qualified judges) is altogether on the side of personal conversation as the most successful means of winning the young spirits to Christ, and of helping them in their subsequent career as Christians, simply because thus, and thus only, can difficulties be met and removed, and doubts resolved; the most desirable portions of God's word for private study recommended, and what to pray for and how to pray described.
6th. If what has primarily been stated is correct, viz., that salvation in a child's conscience means the realization of the presence of a living Christ in his daily experience, is it not clear that in order to present salvation successfully to the little ones about us, we must be filled with the consciousness of that presence ourselves? No eye detects so quickly as that of a child whether our exhortations and directions come from our books or from our hearts; whether we bring forth our treasures from our memories, or from the secret stores of our own inner life. It is what we feel in what we speak that touches and wins other natures; and the Christ within us will make His blessed influence felt in them just in proportion as that influence is possessed and realized in our own experience.
7th. Is not a kind and loving manner necessary in order to put salvation in the best way before a child? should not the gospel of love be told in words of love and tones of love if we want to lay hold of the easily impressed natures of the young. Remember we are to them not so much the exponents of Christ's religion as their ideal representatives of Christ Himself. A little wee thing of about four years of age was at her grandmother's house when a Christian friend was present. Hours after, when going to her little nest, she said, “Auntie, that gentleman said his prayers before he had his tea.” “Yes, dear, he always does.” “I wish we said our prayers when we have our tea. Hadn't he got a kind face, auntie P’’ “Yes, dear; because he loves Jesus Christ, and tries to be like Him. That's what makes him look so kind.” “Isn’t he Jesus Christ, auntie 7 I thought he was, because he was so kind.” What does this mean but that some who are round about us, whose powers of reflection are not yet developed, take their idea of the Lord Jesus not only from what we say, but mainly, perhaps, from our manner