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Boor, Mrss MARY JANE, was grand-daughter of the Rev. Robert Smith, one of the most energetic and successful of the early General Baptist preachers of the New Connexion, under whose ministry in Nottingham, both Stoney Street and Broad Street chapels were erected. She was thus, until recently, a link connecting the present generation with one that has now become almost historic. But Miss Boot was eminent not only for her ancestry, but also for her personal qualities. Though a true woman, kind and sympathetic when occasion called for the exercise of those qualities, she was specially remarkable for independence and force of character. She was no “reed shaken with the wind,” but thought for herself, and was most firm in her adherence to her convictions of duty. Having in early life adopted teaching as her profession she was for many years mistress of a girls' school in Nottingham conducted on the British system, retiring from it at length amidst general regret, on its management being transferred to the School Board of the town.
Miss Boot was a member of the church in Broad Street, having been baptized about 38 years ago, under the ministry of the Rev. James Ferneyhough, for whom as her first pastor she retained to the end of life a great regard. As a church member she was for a long period active and useful, visiting the poor and sick, collecting subscriptions, and herself contributing liberally according to her means. During the pastorate of the present writer she was chosen with three other Christian ladies, to act as a deaconess, and, though modestly declining the title, in this capacity rendered the church good services. But for the past few years broken health confined Miss Boot very much to her home, and at length a severe attack of bronchitis supervening on general weakness somewhat suddenly and unexpectedly removed her from us. She “fell asleep” on April 23rd, aged 66 years, and was interred in the General Cemetery, Nottingham, amidst a large concourse of sorrowing friends, the writer of this notice officiating on the occasion. Miss Boot's native steadfastness of character manifested itself in the
CHURCH REGISTER. THE
firmness of her friendships. One who was her pastor for nearly five and twenty years, and her friend for a still longer period, would offer this last tribute of affectionate regard to the memory of an intelligent, upright, noblehearted Christian woman, who was ever loyal and true to him and his. W. FLoyd, RICHARD, died at Sherwood Rise, at the residence of his daughter, having been a member of the church at Arnold for more than thirty-four years, and a deacon for more than fifteen years. His end was peace. LEwin, ELIZABETH, became a disciple of Christ, and united herself with His people at the early age of fifteen. For more than forty years of her Christian life she was a consistent member of the Dover Street Church, Leicester. For many years she has had the unspeakable joy of seeing all her children walking in the truth, three being members with her of the same church, and one of a sister church in the town. Her long and painful illness was borne with singular calmness and patience, while she looked forward to her departure with an assured hope which nothing but the grace of God could give and sustain. She manifestly realized the Saviour's promise to His suffering servant, “My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Though her life had been marked by heavy trial, and her last days were full of pain, she never tired of bearing witness to the goodness of God. She fell asleep, April 15th, in the 65th year of her age, and was interred in the Leicester Cemetery April 19th, “in sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrection to eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” . P. RUssFLI, MRs., of Sileby, who passed to her heavenly rest on March 9th last, was known and beloved by a large circle of friends in and around Leicester. For nearly ; years she was a devoted and active member of the church at Archdeacon Lane; and though she removed, with her husband, to Sileby in her last years, she regarded the church in Leicester as her chief home. She was the daughter of the late Mr. Hall, who was one of the first subscribers to the fund for purchasing the ground on which the first chapel stood in Archdeacon Lane, and who remained in connection with the church till his death. His daughter joined the church in 1885. Two years previously she had been married to Mr. Russell, a stedfast adherent of the church for fifty years, and for a large part of that time an active deacon and useful Sunday-school teacher. During the whole of her married life Mrs. R. gave herself enthusiastically and constantly to reli; work, notwithstanding the care of a large amily. She was especially active in the Dorcas and Benevolent. Societies, and in visiting and counselling young converts. When she removed to Sileby she took a deep interest in the cause in that village, and sought by every means at her command to increase and extend its usefulness. Nothing gave her greater and more manifest delight than to see the church prosper, and its services attended by large and interested congregations. As early as 1881 she had received premonitory warnings that the end must sooner or later come. A paralytic stroke was followed by a long illness. She never recovered her former vigour, though she retained much of her cheerfulness and characteristic good spirits. On Feb. 24, however, another and fatal stroke prostrated her, and she never rallied from it. But her mind was calm, and her assurance of eternal life unfaltering. She “knew in whom she had believed.” On March 9th she quietly fell asleep, leaving us an example of consistent, earnest Christian character, full of stimulus to gooddoing. W. B.
§ome and fortign śissions.
BY REv. J. BUCKLEY, D.D.
ARE we not doing too much for Foreign Missions? Would it not be better to divert some of the funds appropriated to foreign work, and devote them to the home field? One sometimes reads or hears questions of this kind. Some would unhesitatingly give an affirmative reply, while others who would scarcely be able to go so far, have a lurking suspicion, though, as I deem on altogether inadequate grounds, that the work abroad has a disproportionate share of attention. I commend to the candid consideration of all such the following thoughts. Only let me premise that Home and Foreign Missions should never be placed in opposition to each other; and never will be by the judicious advocates of either. The work of Christ in every land is one work. It is to preach the gospel of Christ, sweetly constrained by His love, and joyfully anticipating the recompense of reward in His blessed presence. It is to convert sinners from the error of their ways and to save souls from death. It is to multiply the triumphs of Emmanuel, so that He may go forth “conquering and to conquer.” Without Christ we can do nothing either at home or abroad: but if Christ be with us, and give testimony to the word of His grace, we shall, wherever we labour, have the assured persuasion that our labour is not in vain in the Lord. Never let us forget that the work is one. Now I ask all my readers to note that the work of Christ at home has received an immense impetus from the efforts to send the gospel to the ends of the earth. The evidence of this is far too abundant to be given in a brief article like this; but let us go back to the establishment of the Baptist Mission ninety years ago. One of the first objections which Andrew Fuller and the noble band associated with him had to meet when they talked of a mission to the heathen was, “You had far better go to the dark corners of our own land, where there are multitudes as really heathens as the inhabitants of India or Africa; go and preach the gospel to them.” “We cannot admit,” they replied, “that this is any objection to sending the gospel to distant lands;” but, they added, that since they had resolved on sending missionaries to the heathen, they had thought more and felt more about those at home who were without Christ; and under the impulse of quickened zeal and devotedness, when
274 MISSIONARY OBSERVER.
they had sent Thomas and Carey to India, they were stirred up to make new and special efforts to extend the kingdom of Christ at home. Nor was this all. Before there had been time to hear of success in India, yea, before they had heard of the arrival of the missionaries, they felt that the establishment of the mission had been a remarkable blessing to their own souls. “I bless God,” wrote Andrew Fuller in his diary, “that this work has been a means of reviving my own soul. If nothing else comes of it, I and many others have derived spiritual advantage.” But something else did come of it, and something very interesting and important—something too that will be seen much more clearly by the bright light of eternity than amid the shadows of time. On this aspect of the case, however, all-important as it is, I do not now dwell. The point I wish to enforce is, that all who laboured to send the truth abroad were, whether pastors or people, alike richly blessed at home. And even Christians of the Mr. Fearing and Mr. Despondency class who were always sighing and groaning, and who if ever they took their harps from the willows, began to sing the doleful lines, “”Tis a point I long to know, Oft it causes anxious thought; Do I love the Lord, or no, Am I His, or am I not?”
even these, amid the blessed influences engendered by a great and noble enterprize, strangely forgot, for a time at least, their doubts and fears. How could they doubt whether they loved the Lord or no while they were striving and praying for the extension of His kingdom? In His name they now felt that they could rejoice all the day, and in His righteousness they were exalted.
The history of our own connexion furnishes pleasing evidence of the happy influence exerted by foreign work on the churches at home. We had no Home Mission till after the Foreign Mission had been established, and its first missionaries sent out. It will perhaps be said, we, or rather our fathers, had an Itinerant Fund; very true, but what was the work it did? and what the monies at its disposal? I have just gone over the old accounts for seven years of this Itinerant Fund, and find that the amount realized from all the churches during these years varied from £329s. 3d. to £92 13s. 11d., the average being a little over £55 ! Before the establishment of the Foreign Mission there were no vigorous, enterprising, united efforts by the associated churches to extend the gospel at home. Only the year before its establishment (i.e. 1815) the Association considered the question, “Is it not the duty of our connexion to form and support an Itineracy, or Home Mission, the object of which shall be to diffuse the light of the gospel in the darkest parts of this kingdom ?” And what does the reader suppose was the answer “In the present state of the connexion we think it is not.” Evidently it was a time of deep and general depression in our churches: the ministers were few, and very inadequately supported: the churches were discouraged, some of them disunited, and most of them lacking enterprise; but there were some who sighed and hoped and prayed for better days. Accordingly a special day of humiliation was appointed and was held at Wood Gate, Loughborough, in 1815. On this important day many salutary counsels and warnings were given by holy
* Minutes of Association for 1815, p. 15.
HOME AND FOREIGN MISSIONS. 275
and faithful men who have long been with God; and a memorable sermon was preached by one of the fathers" from the text, “By whom shall Jacob arise ? for he is small.” (Amos vii. 5.) Now let the reader mark. “Jacob.” began to revive amongst us as soon as Bampton and Peggs were sent to India. It was an epoch in our connexional history. It was the beginning of brighter days; and the new enterprise at once took hold of the heart of the churches as no former project had done—a hold which after the lapse of threescore years it still retains and well deserves. Its influence on the churches was most blessed. They had begun to do something for Christ abroad, and they felt that they must do more at home. The very next month our Home Mission was established; f and its first secretary—the late Mr. Frederick Deacon—in commending it to the support of the churches observed, “We would not have you alarmed with the idea that the society we now advocate and support will injure the Foreign Mission. We would not have her considered as the rival, but we wish to introduce her to your notice as the lovely sister of that invaluable institution, which so justly claims your anxious solicitude, and though not invested with her peerless and commanding beauties, is not the less entitled to your admiration and cordial esteem for her domestic attractions. Whilst the one boldly aspires to the conversion of the idolatrous Hindoos from the abominations and cruelties of paganism to the worship of the everlasting God, and the practice of the benign precepts of the lowly Jesus, the other modestly solicits your assistance in the equally important task of reclaiming British heathens from the error of their ways, and inducing them to become followers of the Lamb. Instead of proving injurious, she joyfully anticipates that one happy result of her endeavours will be a most material augmentation of her sister's resources, by bringing numbers into the church at home, who will join their efforts with those of her present friends; nor can she doubt but that their united exertions will prove in some degree instrumental in accelerating that glorious day, when the Redeemer shall have the heathen for His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession.
One other illustration I must give. When the Freewill Baptist Mission was established in the United States, grumblers were found, like those who had opposed the formation of the Baptist Mission, and they were met in the same way. “O, we have plenty of heathen at home,” they said; “let us preach the gospel first to them.” “Wery good,” said David Marks, and the good men associated with him, “we will have a home mission too, and you shall have the opportunity of proving your faith by your works.” And so their Home Mission was established; but I more than question whether its funds were much aided by these objectors—for you may as soon expect grapes from thorns as liberal subscriptions from grumblers of this class.
Again. The warmest friends of Foreign Missions have been the most 2ealous labourers in the home field. The founders of the London Missionary Society—Rowland Hill, Dr. Waugh, David Bogue, George Burder, and others—were surely not unknown or undistinguished in evangelistic work at the close of the last century. The enlightened - * Rev. Robert Smith.
+ Bampton and Peggs embarked May 26th, 1821, and the Home Mission was formed at the Association at Loughborough which commenced June 26th, 1821.
276 MISSIONARY OBSERVER.
and earnest men that founded the Church Missionary Society—Simeon, Wilberforce, Wenn, Thomas Scott, and others like-minded—were at least as anxious for the conversion of sinners at home as any of those who frowned on the new enterprise. Andrew Fuller, the first Secretary of the Baptist Mission, fought as valiantly against infidelity, and opposed as vigorously the false teachers in his own section of the Baptist denomination as any of his brethren who looked doubtfully on the mission in India. John Gregory Pike, the first Secretary of our own beloved Mission, was second to none of his brethren in diligent and successful labour with the pen and the tongue in furthering the good work at home. But why refer to these examples, which might be greatly multiplied, and which every impartial reader must admit to be perfectly conclusive. There is a much higher example. The apostle Paul “magnified his office” as the apostle of the Gentiles; but none of the apostles of the circumcision expressed their agonizing solicitude for the conversion of Israel in language so tender and touching as his. “I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh. Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved,” was the language of the missionary apostle.
Our Foreign Mission has been in a thousand ways a blessing to the churches at home; and no sorer calamity could befall the connexion than a declension of missionary zeal and devotedness, for be sure of this, that every benevolent and worthy object would decline with it. What a blessing the Mission has been to our Sabbath-schools! Hundreds of little friends, while collecting for its funds, have learnt the important lesson so desirable to learn in the morning of life, that we should not live to ourselves. The holy cause is one that blesses—yea, twice blesses—all its friends, young or old. Collectors and subscribers alike share in the benefit when they support it for Christ's sake. It may be compared to the precious stone spoken of in the Book of Proverbs—“Whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.” Turn the precious jewel as you will, it sparkles with beauty and brightness. Its primary object is to bless those who are thousands of miles away; but in accordance with the gracious principles that mark the divine administration, it cannot do this without richly blessing all its friends and helpers at home. In sending the light of life to those who are sitting in darkness, they rejoice themselves in receiving more of its brightness. Missionary deputations, too, have often been a blessing to the churches visited, especially, it may be added, to those churches which are at the extremities of the connexion, and which are rarely visited except for this purpose. You have welcomed to your homes and your hearts missionaries, when driven by ill health from their loved spheres of labour. It has been very encouraging and cheering to them, and they have returned to their distant homes in the east with hallowed and grateful recollections of your Christian kindness; but has the benefit been all on their side Have you no grateful memories of social Christian intercourse—of
“Chosen sacred hours,
Have not the churches to which you belong rejoiced in the benefit