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it is stated, "(1.) That all the churches have reported this year except Birchington, Colwell, Nantwich, Netherton, Northallerton, and Nuneaton; six churches whose united members, as last reported, amounted to 263. Each of these churches has been written to twice.--(2.) The returns have a measure of correctness that has not been attained for some years past. This year we have only ten returns that do not square with last year, and in each of these cases, in answer to special inquiries, it is found that the error is in the return of the preceding and not of the present year, so that the Statistics for 1869 are presumably positively correct."
Let each and every church report. Let
MRS. EMILY ATKINSON, OF HITCHIN.
"For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep."
DEATH and Life, like two antagonists, seem ever wrestling for the victory in this world. In Nature these two powers are always in active operation. At this season of the year Life asserts his sway, and breaks forth into new forms of beauty and glory. "For lo the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in the land; the fig tree putteth forth her green. figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell." Let the seasons run their accustomed round, and then the autumn will bring before us the signs and symbols of death. Vegetation will droop and die-leaves will fall from the trees, and the beautiful flowers will wither and fade away. And thus nature proceeds in her changeful and revolutionary course. Death subduing and overcoming life, and Life rising in triumph over death.
As it is in the world of nature around us, so it is in the human world of which we ourselves form a part. Death is ever invading and thinning the ranks of the human family-while life fills up the gaps which have been made by death.
The passage of Scripture referred to at the head of this memorial notice presents to us an example of human mortality. Kings in their palaces are not removed from the reach of death. David, the man after God's own heart-the Sweet Singer of Israel-had to yield to the stroke of the great enemy.
David's character is summed up in the lines of inspiration by one significant word. He was a servant. He served his own generation by the will of God. Perhaps nothing greater can be said of any one than that he or she was a servant in the highest and divinest acceptation of that word. Moses is called the servant of the
Lord. He who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, took upon Him the form of a servant. The apostles and their colabourers disdained not the designation. We read of Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ -Epaphras, a servant of Christ-Simon Peter, a servant of Jesus Christ-Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ. David's service, like all other true service, had a double form. He served God, and he served men, and the former service was the root and the strength of the latter. David put his whole trust in the Lord. The Lord was his light and his salvation. The Lord was his Shepherd. His Psalms are noble monuments of his genuine personal piety. His obedience unto God shed a lustre on his kingly character. For forty years he sat on the throne of his country, and by swaying a sceptre of righteousness he served his own generation by the will of God.
These words setting forth the noble character and peaceful end of the great Poet King have become specially impres sive and sacred to the intimate friends of the late Mrs. Atkinson. With her own hand, not a great while before her decease, she wrote a short commentary on them. On the morning of her interment a letter was put into the hand of the writer of this notice in which she refers to these words in some touching and beautiful sentences. The letter was addressed to an elderly lady of Sheffield, since departed this life, and reads as follows:
"Grove Cottage, Hitchin,
Nov. 15th, 1869. "My very dear Mrs. C- We think and talk about you so very much that I thought this morning I would write you a few lines, as we could do nothing else for you, just to say how very, very sorry we
we have heard dear Mrs. C.'s name it has been associated with work, constant work, for the benefit of fellow creatures. And when it shall please God to give you rest, it must be said of you, as it was of David, after she had served her own generation by the will of God, she fell asleep. How sweet the rest will be to you. How you must think of it now you are laid aside from active duties; for though we hope you may be spared to your friends a little time longer, yet your life of work and activity must soon close. How the prospect of the rest hereafter does brighten our present lives. I cannot tell you how much I think of it, for though my life does not seem a hard one, I have so little strength for every day duties. It is not rest from work that makes the prospect so bright-we shall all have work there-but rest from weariness and pain; we shall never feel tired and long to lie down for a time in heaven. Oh! I think that is such a beautiful epitaph for any body, 'Served his own generation by the will of God.' There are many of us will come very far short of having deserved it-it may be said of us-'And having served themselves.' The most painful thought of death to some of us is that we may die and be forgotten; but I am sure all must think that you have done what you could for your own generation, and how beautiful the end-He fell asleep' when his work was done. What a quiet idea of death. Not annihilation - not the end of all. Just falling asleep; like Ada fell asleep in my arms a little time ago, so God's child falls asleep in His arms, to waken in a world where we fully understand everything. Excuse me writing in this way. You will know all about us, and how we are going on, from mamma-the children are both well. My little Bertie is such a beauty. We have a very comfortable home, and are amongst kind friends here. much love to Miss C and yourself, Believe me sincerely yours, E. ATKINSON." Unlike the life of David and the life of the lady referred to in this letter, the life of Mrs. Atkinson has been a short one. The current reign of our beloved Sovereign Queen Victoria has measured her birth, life, labours, and death. But this short life has had many experiences crowded into it. Some of the events have followed each other with amazing rapidity.
Mrs. Atkinson was well descended, some of her ancestors being noted for
respectability and piety. Ruth Frith, mentioned in the life of George Fox, and imprisoned for righteousness' sake, was her great-great-grandmother. Her parents
Mr. R. and Mrs. Wheen-now residing in Sheffield, and connected with the Wesleyan body of Christians, are held in the highest esteem by all who know them. Mrs. Atkinson was converted to God while at school, and the letter she sent home is said to have been deeply interesting. She seems to have been much beloved by her school-fellows, and to have exerted great influence over them. She was at first associated in church fellowship with the Wesleyans, and afterwards became a mem ber of the Baptist church, Cemetery Road, Sheffield. In the autumn of 1866 she was married to the Rev. J. H. Atkinson, and removed from Sheffield to Halifax, where she resided a little over two years. About the middle of last summer, she, in company with her husband, removed to Hitchin. Her health was very delicate at the time of their settlement there, and at the beginning of the present year she returned to Sheffield, hoping that the change and the society of her parents might revive her, and promote the establishment of her health. But the change of locality produced no benefit to her constitution, and she became gradually weaker, and finally fell asleep in her father's house, March 19, 1870, aged twenty-seven years, and was buried, amidst many weeping spectators, in the Sheffield General Cemetery.
Two sermons were preached, having special reference to her death and character-one in the Norfolk Street Wesleyan chapel, by the Rev. J. Hargreaves; the other in the Cemetery Road Baptist chapel, by Rev. Giles Hester.
In estimating the character of our dear departed friend, three elements may be mentioned, viz., her piety, intelligence, and usefulness. Religious principle was implanted by the grace of God in early life, and its influence was seen till she quietly fell asleep in Jesus. As a wife and mother she endeavoured to fulfil all her duties to the best of her ability, ever asking for God's help-oftentimes during the day she sought for that help. A friend tells her husband that she said to her a little before Christmas-"I have spoken crossly to-day. I have been upstairs twice to ask God to forgive me, and to help me not to do it again." For many months past she had a fear that her end was approaching. Some of the sermons her husband preached at the close of the last and the opening of the present year she felt to be entirely for her. A sermon preached on the first Sunday of the year from the words, "Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not live," &c.,
she felt to be God's message to her, and she entered solemnly into the covenant made by the church at the Lord's table. It was with great reluctance that she left Hitchin for Sheffield in January, for she said she knew she should not return to Hitchin, and never see Bertie again, all of which came true.
In a communication from her sorrowful husband, he says, "She gradually got worse, and she did not shun the idea of death. Once when I went over I found her quite prepared for it, even longing for it, fully resigned to her Master's will. Heaven, she said, would be so sweet; it would be rest. She had weariness and pain here, and she felt it would all be over there, and she should be with Jesus.
Subsequently she felt much better, and the doctor said there was a chance for her, and the love of life, and a longing for life, came back with great force; she even went down stairs again; but when, a day or two after, she asked that we would tell her the terrible secret we appeared to keep back. We replied, the doctor says there is little or no hope. She said, Oh! it is so hard. I have given it all up once, and I feel as if I could not do it again. I thought I should get better. She delighted to hear the Scriptures read; and a day or two before she died she said, Oh! it is so dark, so dark. I feel I am a great sinner. After quoting some of the precious texts about God's love, &c., she said, Yes! I believe them all, but I want more joy. Oh! if I could have more joy. We did not talk much more with her, for she was often insensible. She appeared literally to fall asleep in Jesus. We were summoned at half-past five in the morning, as she was not so well as usual. She recognized her father, who entered a few minutes before me; but I think she was unconscious or asleep when I entered. The nurse and I were alone with her, and at six o'clock she gave two sighs, and so passed away. Dear darling, it seems as if God kissed her to sleep. So He giveth His beloved sleep. She has awakened in His arms.'
Mrs. Atkinson was not only the subject of piety, she was a person of considerable intelligence. She was known and beloved by a large circle of friends. Wherever she went she drew to her side kindred spirits, and won her way as much by her loving heart and modest behaviour as by her brilliant talents. Those who knew her intimately were struck with the strength and vigour of her intellectual faculties. She had power to grasp almost any subject she turned her attention to. As a member of the Bible class connected with Cemetery Road chapel, Sheffield, her presence and her papers on Biblical subjects were always highly valued. It was chiefly through her energy and perseverance that funds were obtained for founding the Bible Class Library, which has been a great blessing to the young people of the congregation.
Ever since my acquaintance with her, which extends over six years, she has always been connected with works of usefulness in the church of God. In the denomination to which her friends belong, in the church at Cemetery Road, at Halifax, and at Hitchin, she has done her best to serve her own generation by the will of God.
Like David, she has fallen asleep. She has gone from the active sphere of this mortal life. Her pen and her needle will be used no more in the service of the church on earth. Her body has been hopefully committed to the grave, and we are permitted in imagination to follow her spirit into the presence of her Saviour. Her dust will sleep in the tomb till the morning of the resurrection, when “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
Brief Notices of New Books.
LOWLY OFFERINGS. By G. Burden. London: W. Tweedie.
promise. There is the ring of the true metal in it. Were the author our personal friend we should advise him to cultivate a healthier and more manly tone. The poems have too strong a flavour of "pietistic" sentimentalism ever to become popular with working men; and yet the writer has unquestionably the capacity of becoming a "power" with the working classes, and only needs to express their
wants and feelings in the terse words and homely similes that always find a ready acceptance with them. J. C.-K.
THE BEAUTY OF THE GREAT KING, and
Of these 149"
"While I go and pray yonder-
"He (Christ) welcomes to His priestly vest At once, the soul by sin distressed."-p. 192. "Christ had some human pity-well ?He said, He really did, there was a hell; And men and naughty Bishops, too, Must go there if they sin, or lie-Zulu."-p. 215. J. W. C.
LITURGIES FOR MORNING AND EVENING SERVICE. By William Miall. London: E. Stock.
THESE forms of prayer are prepared with good taste, simplicity, chasteness of expression, comprehensiveness of subject, and devoutness of spirit. Where a liturgy is preferred to "free prayer," this compilation will be found very acceptable: but the reasoning of Mr. Miall, in his preface, on behalf of liturgies, fails to convince us of the desirability of anything more than an increase in the devoutness and thoughtfulness of those who enjoy the solemn privilege of conducting the worship of the Christian assembly.
THE CHRIST OF THE GOSPELS. By H. J. Martyn. London: E. Stock.
FOUR brief essays on the Incarnation, Miracles, Teaching, and Resurrection of Christ, fill the sixty-five pages of this work. These important themes are treated by the
THE PICTORIAL EXPLANATORY NEW TESTAMENT, with 1,400 Notes explanatory of the Rites, Customs, Sects, Geography, Topography, referred to in the New Testament. London: E. Stock.
THE chief advantage of this work is that it places the Western reader in the position of one whose experiences are Eastern and Jewish, and so enables him to understand every allusion in the New Testament to eastern modes of thought and life. The notes are accurate and apt, and while helpful to mature minds, will be of special service to young persons who are unprovided with a Dictionary of the Bible.
JOHNNY TRUEMAN; OR, THE YOUNG CONVERT. A Poem, by Samuel Deacon, of Barton Fabis. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. Leicester: Winks & Son. THIS republication of Mr. Deacon's poem in four parts at fourpence each is very seasonable, and should be widely circulated amongst our young people.
THE CHRISTIAN is a weekly religious newspaper of the "unsectarian" type, published by Morgan & Chase. It takes the place of the "Revival;" and while retaining the leading characteristics of that paper shows more ability and vigour.
BOOKS RECEIVED.-The Appeal-Scattered Nation-Church-Philatelist-Congregational Miscellany - Gilead - Jewish Herald-The Rainbow-Sunday Magazine -The Sword and Trowel-The Expediency of Relieving the Bishops from attendance in Parliament-Charley's Message.
THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD. TO THE EDITOR
Dear Sir,-The main question involved in this discussion is,-What relation ought the church to bear to the world with regard to marriages? The law upon this subject is found in the scriptures; and I understand from the former part of Genesis vi.,
that unhallowed marriages were the cause of that fearful wickedness which resulted in the destruction of mankind by the general deluge, The sons of God took to themselves wives of the wicked one, which called down the wrath of a patient and merciful God. This passage seems to me sufficient of itself to settle the whole
question. There are, however, many other statements which ought not to be passed by. In Deut. vii. 3, 4, we read, "Neither shalt thou make marriages with them," referring to the Hittites,-" for they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods, so will the anger of the Lord be kindled." What was thus forbidden under the Mosaic dispensation cannot be less binding under the more spiritual dispensation of the gospel. Moreover, notwithstanding the great wisdom which God conferred upon Solomon, he fell a prey to the accursed influence of improper connections. 1 Kings ii. 4, 5, 7, show that his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and as a natural consequence the Lord was angry with him. Ahab did very abominably in following idols at the instigation of Jezebel his ungodly wife.-1 Kings xxi. 25, 26. In Nehemiah xiii. 27, we read, Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?"
Now turn to the New Testament. wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."-1 Cor. vii. 39. The law is very definite and so plain that he that runs may read. Every other consideration must give way to this. Now we come to 2 Cor. vi. 14-18.
Nothing, I contend, can be a more complete violation of this passage than marrying a person destitute of religion. These quotations are sufficient to prove that if a member of a Christian church contracts marriage with a non-member he commits a grievous sin against God. The church's duty is therefore perfectly clear. We
ought to set our faces sternly against unhallowed marriages as against other evils having a direct tendency to impede her progress. Yours truly,
THE GENERAL BAPTIST ASSEMBLY. TO THE EDITOR
Dear Sir,-Will you kindly allow me to invite the attention of your readers to the advertisement on the cover, of the General Baptist Assembly, which will meet at Worship Street Chapel, London, on WhitTuesday, and at which we shall be pleased to see any of our brethren, ministers or members, of the New Connexion?
We are many of us, anticipating with great satisfaction the deputation appointed at your last Association, and at your London Conference, and are prepared to welcome them very heartily; and it will increase our gratification if others of your body are present with us.
To myself especially, in the advance of age and the feebleness of shattered health, the growing intercourse and cordiality of the two long divided sections of the General Baptist body is one of the greatest sources of satisfaction. I am deeply interested in the prosperity of your body; and whether or not my enfeebled condition may allow of my being present at your centenary meeting, it has not weakened my desire that that meeting may be pervaded by the spirit and crowned with the blessing of God.
JOSEPH CALROW MEANS. 21, New North Road, London, N.
LONDON CONFERENCE. - The next meeting will be held at Walsworth Road, Hitchin, Wednesday, May 25. By special arrangement, the Rev. J. P. Chown will preach in the morning at 11.15, and deliver a lecture in the evening. Business at 2.30 p.m. Arrangements are made with the Great Northern Railway Co., by which parties of ten may attend the Conference, and return for single second class fare, from the King's Cross and St. Albans stations. The churches in the district are urgently requested to promote the attendance of a large number of delegates and friends. Dinner and tea will be provided.
JOHN LAWTON, Secretary.
THE CHESHIRE CONFERENCE met at Stoke-on-Trent, on Easter Tuesday. The Rev. R. Kenney opened the morning service. Rev. T. F. Rawlings preached from 1 Peter ii. 21. The Rev. R. Kenney presided in the afternoon, and the Rev. B. Hackett engaged in prayer. Reports showed seven baptized since October, and eight candidates now. The attendance of representatives and visitors was somewhat larger than usual, and the Conference was interesting and encouraging.
1. The Home Mission Committee reported that the friends at Congleton had renovated and re-opened their chapel at a cost of £280, towards which amount £180 have been raised by collections and sub