Изображения страниц


decline to enforce attendance, great

taken. But these preliminaries may numbers of children, it is to be feared, be dispensed with, at least in the folwill remain uneducated, and the public lowing cases. (1.) Where application money will be thrown away.

is made to the Educational Department, Another and still more objectionable with respect to any school district, by feature, is the power entrusted to the persons who if there were a School School Boards in reference to the Board in that district would elect the religious instruction to be given in the School Board (that is, with respect to schools. No catechism or religious any country district by the ratepayers formulary peculiar to any sect, it is in vestry assembled), or with respect true, may be taught. So far so good. to any borough by the Council of such But then sectarian teaching can be borough. (2.) Where the Education given apart from formularies, and this, Department are satisfied that the we think, should have been strictly managers of any elementary school in forbidden.

any district are either unable or unAnd then as to the manner in which willing any longer to maintain such School Boards are to be elected. It is school, and that if the school is discona great pity, it seems to me, that the tinued the amount of public school votes are not in every instance (as in accommodation will be insufficient. London) to be taken by ballot; in no In either of these cases the Education other way, I am persuaded, is purity of Department may, if they think fit, diselection possible.

pense with preliminary inquiries, The mention of these defects in the notices, &c., and order a School Board educational system of the country is to be appointed at once. Nonconforsuggestive of at least one duty of mists, I think, should take advantage Nonconformists in relation to that sys- of this provision to the greatest postem, viz., to get the system amended sible extent. as soon as possible. We must not And now a word or two as to the allow the matter to rest until School constitution of School Boards. This Boards are elected by ballot; sectarian is a matter of the greatest possible teaching in rate-supported schools importance, and it is one with respect absolutely prohibited ; and attendance to which the Bill allows the widest is made compulsory.

possible latitude. The whole responsiThus much in relation to the future. bility is wisely thrown on the rateWhat about the present ? In the first payers themselves. In some quarters place I think we should do all we can there is great, almost feverish, anxiety to secure the appointment of a School to avoid a contest in the coming elecBoard in every district of the country tions. I am a little suspicious of this at the earliest possible period. Until policy. If contested elections are such this is done one of two things must dreadful evils, why not take steps to inevitably happen-either the children avoid them altogether in parliamentary will grow up in ignorance, or denomi- and municipal matters, as well as in national schools must be multiplied. the matter of School Boards ? The In my view, either alternative is fact is, the education of the country up greatly to be deprecated. And even to the present time has been in the in districts in which the school accom- hands of a certain party. That party modation is already sufficient, it is still is intent upon maintaining, and as far highly desirable to establish School as possible extending, denominational Boards with the least possible delay, schools. They will consent to the in order (1.) that voluntary schools, establishment of unsectarian schools where they wish it, may become rate- only as a necessary evil, and where the supported schools; (2.) that bye-laws people can be educated in no other may be formed for the compulsory way. In country districts, and wherattendance of children at school; (3.) ever their party is in the ascendant, that school fees may be remitted in they will either prevent the appointthe case of children whose parents are ment of School Boards, or they will too poor to pay them.

take care that they shall consist of In some districts, I fear, it will be members of their party. In other impossible to secure the formation of places where they are relatively not so School Boards until all the preliminary strong, they will aim at the same steps mentioned in the Bill have been results by other means. In such places

Unscriptural Marriage and Church Discipline.

367 their policy is not so popular. A con- cation Act, particularly for the removal tested election might not be in their of the clause which provides for the favour, and therefore if possible it must increase of the Parliamentary grant to be avoided. But surely we are not denominational schools, from one-third going to be caught in this trap. Of to one-half of their current expendicourse we want the best men for the ture. (2.) To promote the early apoffice they will have to fill-men pos- pointment of School Boards. (3.) To sessing the requisite intelligence and support only those candidates who are public spirit, and having sufficient time in favour of unsectarian education. at their disposal for the fulfilment of (4.) To transfer their schools' own their duties. But still, as Nonconfor- School Boards. (5.) To take advanmists and friends of unsectarian educa- tage of a clause in the revised code, tion, we ought to support no candidate which


“ Aid is not to be granted who is not in favour of, and who will to build new elementary schools, unless not pledge himself to support, unsec- their lordships are satisfied that the tarian teaching and compulsory at- religious denomination of the new tendance at school. Let us insist upon school is suitable to the families relied these two points; and if our friends upon for supplying scholars." The are really anxious to avoid a contest, Nonconformist Committee of Birminglet them support such candidates as ham hold that a denominational school these, and we shall be perfectly is only suitable to those families which content.

actually belong to that denomination; So far our course is clear. But what and it is said the Government has should be our policy with respect to partially accepted this view. They denominational schools ? My chief accordingly suggest, that whenever objection to the denominational system application is made for a grant to aid is, that it gives undue advantage to in building a denominational school, the dominant sect, and therefore is in the grant should be petitioned against practice, whatever it may be in theory, wherever the families belonging to that a social injustice. And it cannot be denomination are not numerous enough otherwise, fence it about with con- to require a separate school. Supposscience clauses and other restrictions ing this construction of the clause to as carefully as you may. Hence the be the true one, and admitted to be so policy of Nonconformists should be to by the Government, the course sugprevent, as far as possible, the exten- gested, I think, is legitimate, and sion of the system, and ultimately to would go far to prevent the building supersede it-due regard being had, of of new denominational schools, which course, to vested interests.

otherwise are sure to be begun before The principal means available for the end of the present year. this purpose are the following: (1.) To Leeds. agitate for the amendment of the Edu

UNSCRIPTURAL MARRIAGE AND CHURCH DISCIPLINE. [Before the close of the year will you give your opinion on the question that has been discussed in

our Magazine" with regard to Marriage, under the title of the Church and the World ?”] The best method of answering this in. sameness. A dull and monotonous level quiry will be to collect the points in which in attainments, pursuits, sympathies, temthe correspondents who have taken part per, and aim, is far from being desirable. in this discussion agree; and then next to Contrast may exist without disturbinvestigate that or those on which they fail ing harmony. As the seven colours to see eye to eye, or with regard to which blend in the cheerful light of day, so they seek further light.

should the faculties, temper, dispositions, (i.) Each writer admits the necessity and purposes of the husband and wife for due consideration of "suitability of unite together in the pure, “full orbed" mind and purpose” in order to secure bliss of domestic life. happiness in married life. This harmony is (2.) Also each correspondent allows that essential to conjugal bliss. Reciprocal affec- the Scripture teaching (which is the action, prudence, and even self-love, jointly knowledged standard on this subject) does urge earnest attention to this matter. Not not necessarily require that the persons of course that this similarity necessitates married in the Lord shall be members of THE REV. J. FELKIN, OF SEVENOAKS, Was born at Ilkeston, Derbyshire, August consecrated himself to the service of his 26, 1797. He was the second son of the Saviour, and, along with several others, late Rev. William Felkin who was for (amongst whom was the late Rev. C. Lacey,) many years the minister of the church at

the same church, of the same denomination, or, indeed actually registered members of any body of Christians. If they belong to the “holy church throughout all the world," the claim of the Bible will be satisfied. Desirable as it may be, as Mr. Colebrook suggests, that they should be worshippers in the same communion, yet this is not an indispensable requisite to a Scripture marriage.

(3.) Moreover, these writers coincide in this : that a marriage, made with full knowledge of the state of each party thereto, between a godly and a godless person-between one really converted to God and one as plainly still “dead in trespasses and sins"-is a violation of the law of God, and is fraught with immense danger to him or to her who has been guilty of this breach of the spirit and of the letter of the New Testament. Scripture and experience confirm this representation. Many cases of church discipline are traceable to an unscriptural alliance. The evil consequences due to the transgression of this law can scarcely be exaggerated.

(4.) I think these friends travel a stage further together. They unite in condemn. ing these unequal marriages as wrongs to the church" of the Lord Jesus Christ. No Christian can sin without injuring the community of which he is a member. Even secret sins affect the spirit of his life and tend to corrupt and deprave the church. Much more, then, is an act like this a wrong to the church and to her Divine Lord.

(5.) But this is the limit of apparent agreement. It is a wrong; but is it a wrong requiring such a measure as excom. munication? This is the radical diffi. cutly. The case stands thus.-Suppose a church member to have married a person manifestly godless, without Christ and without hope in the world, what is the

action which the church of Christ should adopt in such a case? This opens a larger question, viz., what is it that legiti. mately brings the acts of any member of a Christian community within its disciplinary arrangements ? Clearly not imperfection, or fault in general, else there were no church. For who is without sin amongst us? Clearly not every glaring imperfection or fault or violation of Scripture teaching. How glaring, for example, is the covetousness of the modern Demas! He is a manifest idolater. He adores wealth, and he is not only ingenerous himself, but his own lack of generosity injures others, and prevents them from being as generous as otherwise they would. It seems that exclusion has amongst voluntary and spiritual churches always proceeded on one of two grounds, -either the express demand of Scripture for such an extreme measure, or else the suggestions of expediency. The case of the “ fornicator' illustrates the action of the church in obedience to the direction of Scripture. Cases of public notoriety and shame are examples of exclusion on the grounds of expediency. Have we, then, any express direction to withdraw from those who contract unscriptural marriages? We do not know of any. The unequal fellowship is forbidden, as many other acts are, but the church is not commanded to separate herself from those who break the law. What then says expediency? It is against exclusion; for it is certainly improbable that it will do any good, and it is not unlikely it might do harm. Much more might be said on this subject, but space forbids enlargement. Suffice it that our fathers have at several Associations adopted and expressed this view of the church's duty in such cases. See “ Minutes" for 1782, 1793, 1829.


put on Christ by baptism, and joined the Kegworth. It was his unspeakable privi. church at Loughborough, then under the ledge to be led to devote himself to Christ pastoral care of the Rev. T. Stevenson. in his youth. Convicted of sin, he sought Much benefit was derived from a residence earnestly for pardon through the Lord of twelve months in the family of this Jesus, and the words of the Redeemer, as good and estimable man, and Mr. Felkin full of comfort and solace now as when never ceased to regard his memory with they were first spoken—"Come unto me the warmest affection. The “passion for all ye that are weary and heavy laden and saving souls” was manifested very early, I will give you rest"-were the means of and with untiring devotion he gave him. conveying the divine peace and life to his self to labours in the Sabbath school and heart. With all the earnestness and de- in the villages around. His first public cision of youthful enthusiasm he at once effort at speech-making occurred in the

[blocks in formation]

school-room of Loughborough chapel, in company with his ever warm and attached friend, the late Rev. J. Wallis. Removing to Nottingham, he united with the church at Broad Street, and further developed his powers by engaging at the village stations surrounding that town. In the year 1826 he became pastor of the church at Kirton-inLindsey, and remained there for ten years, receiving many witnesses to the usefulness of his labours, in the conversion of many souls, and the affectionate regard of the members of the church. The next eight years of Mr. Felkin's ministry were spent at Sevenoaks, Kent. Here, preaching on the average six times a week, giving much time to pastoral visitation, and labouring instant in season and out of season, he succeeded in adding more than sixty to the church, building a new chapel, and gathering together towards the cost of the chapel no less than £365. Being invited to the pastoral oversight of the church at Smalley, in Derbyshire, he removed, amid many regrets, from Sevenoaks in Nov., 1844. A hallowed revival attended his earlier efforts at Smalley, and in two years eighty-five persons were added to the church. But his affections were “rooted and grounded” in Sevenoaks, and he went back to the people in Nov., 1853, and remained in the town to his death, and with the church as long as it subsisted. Two years after his return he lost his beloved and devoted wife; and though he survived her more than fourteen years, yet he never wholly recovered from the serious loss he sustained. Afflictions are rarely solitary. A dearly attached and beloved daughter soon followed her mother to glory, and troubles arose from other sources which greatly pained his spirit and tried his health. The chapel, by the consent of the trustees, passed into the hands of the Congregationalists, and being free, he preached as opportunity occurred amongst the Baptists of the neighbourhood.

During his illness he gave pleasing proof of the solid comfort there is in the religion of Jesus, and of the sustaining influence of a timely hope of the inherit

ance that is undefiled and that fadeth not away. He told one young friend that he was not about to die, but only to “fall asleep in Jesus.” Asked if he knew where to look for the sting of death, he replied at once, “ My Saviour told me fifty-three years ago that he had taken the sting away and I should be foolish to look for it now.” Another enquired what he should do upon his entrance into heaven, and he instantly said, “ Take the crown which my Saviour has prepared for me and cast it at His feet with adoring gratitude for all His mercy.” During his illness his heart and that of his one daughter, who is left to mourn her loss, were greatly cheered by the warm sympathy and kindness of mem. bers of every section of the Christian church. At length the hour of his de. parture came, and he “entered into rest," and “ all his sorrows left below and earth exchanged for heaven," on Monday, Sep. 5. The ministers of the town preceded his remains to their last resting-place on the day of the funeral, and a memorial sermon was preached in the Wesleyan chapel by the superintendent minister of the circuit, the Rev. Thos. Jeffries, from 1 Thess. iv. 14.

He was a man of a warm and impulsive nature, not without fault, but through the grace of God, with many virtues known most to those most familiar with him. Secret prayer was his delight. He loved to be alone with God. Like Enoch, he walked with God and found His society his joy and rejoicing and strength. He always aimed to be useful. Not less than eight thousand sermons preached by him testified to his activity; and those who remember his preaching can witness that he strove to declare the whole counsel of God with all earnestness and fidelity. He now rests from his labours, but his works follow him. The prayer of his favourite hymn is for him, after fifty-five years of service for Christ, fully answered. “O that, with yonder sacred throng,

We at His feet may fall!
We'll join the everlasting song,

And crown Him Lord of all.' S. A.



"And the virgin's name was Mary." HAIL, Mary! maiden pure and meek;

Hail, Mary!-virgin-mother!-blest Daughter of David's line!

Thy name shall ever be; The loftiest honour matrons seek,

For to thy bosom thou hast prest Unsought by thee is thine.

Divine humanity. Softly around thy form descends

But happier far than even thou The Spirit's brooding wing;

In calling Him thy son, Goodness Eternal condescends

Are they of whom He shall own, As "woman's seed” to spring.

“My will by them is done!" D. B. Α Α



" There's one far-off divine event

To which the whole creation moves.'
We'll sing our Christmas song again Hark! from the leafless lilac spray
Despite the strifes of wrathful men,

Some bird foretells a summer-day-
For ne'er since this old song was young For wintry wastes the rosy hours,

Has Earth been hushed to bear it sung. For frosty fields the thousand flowers : Creation groaneth still in pain

So must we sing of joy to be,
With tears that drop like scalding rain; And ceasless love, O Earth, to thee;
While hoary hate and purpled pride

How griefs deemed old shall flee away, Half drown it in a crimson tide.

Short shadows of a winter-day. Old thrones are based on dungeons grey;

Till strife and sin can chill His love The sword is god with boundless sway; Who wept below, and rules above, Dark superstition dims the noon,

Or puny man His heart dismay, And holds her taper to the gloom.

The world shall hear this gentle lay. There millions lift their wearied eyes Till something change His firm kind will To hopeless shrines with fruitless cries; His grand redemption to fulfil, Here chaos holds the ruder mind,

We'll sing of succoured human need, And ancient lust the baser kind.

Of vanquished hate, and pride, and greed. Yet will we sing our Christmas hymn, Till He with kingly step shall come, And men shall hear the joy-bells ring- Be hope and Hallelujah sung,

Are peace, good-will, a tender dream ? Till peace to nature's heart go down, Sball God's high glory ne'er be seen ? And glory all her summits crown. Ripley.


Brief Notices of New Books. .

It rivets the attention on one point, and for ever afterwards associates it in the mind with impressive, inspiring, and comforting thoughts. This is an admirable “Sunday Book” for Christians generally, and would be found suggestive of much useful material to the Christian minister.



TEACHINGS. By P. B. Power, M.A.

London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co. MR. Power is already very favourably known to the reading public through his homely and humorous tales, and the happy art he has of " hitting a man hard without making him lose his temper." His fame has been increased amongst devout and meditative Christians by his “I will's” of the Psalms and of Christ, and his “ Pivot Words of Scripture.” This new work is of a somewhat similar character to the last mentioned volume. The prominent word of a text is made the centre of most practical and salutary teaching, expressed in clear and telling phrase, and illustrated from the abundant stores of the “

“experience" of human hearts. For example, the words, “And when He had thus spoken He went before, ascending up to Jerusalem,” is regarded as setting forth in fact and in type the leadership of Christ. “ He went before." Christ's people have to explore no untried, untrodden way. Jesus has preceded them in the paths of poverty, sorrow, weariness, rejection, and death. He does not use His mighty strength to outstrip us, and shake off our dull companionship, and leave us to our. selves, but He is ever our Leader and our Companion. This method has its merit.

SAVING FAITH. By James Morison, D.D.

London : Hamilton, Adams, & Co. This is a reprint of a work published in 1842, by Dr. Morison, the learned and acoomplished author of the critical commentaries on the third of Romans and the gospel according to Matthew.

It is a work of high merit. The false and mis. leading notions prevalent on this subject are fully exposed, and the act of faith is separated from other acts with which it is supposed to be associated. As an exposi. tion of "saving faith,” it is in our judgment unrivalled for clearness of statement, simplicity and force of style, and appropriateness of illustration, and we commend it, without any reserve, to theological stu. dents and preachers, to those who converse with "inquirers” on “the way of salvation," and to all who desire to be “wise" in “winning souls." It is to us, all the more precious because it is everywhere radiant with the clear and sweet light of

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »