Page images
PDF
EPUB

eternity, troubled my breast. I went | In my sermon, I was led to shew that the and preached from the words, and I know Christian’s life was principally made up of many souls were blest.

storms—but that his life could never be The next day, a little before the time lost; he might lose every thing, even the came for me to preach at Shoreditch, I was ship and all her tackle, and like a poor in a waiting posture of soul, when these drenched destitute creature, be cast upon an words were spoken directly into my spirit unknown island, yet, even there his God – in which are some things hard to be would be with him, supply his needs, and understood. My mind went to work with preserve his soul. I cannot tell how deep these words, and when I got into the pulpit an impression those words made upon me at our little Beulah, I began to preach about -“There shall be no loss of any man's them, and pretty warmly to declare that life, BUT OF THE SHIP.' Why, says I to between law and gospel, between the myself-I have lost the ship before now; works of the flesh and the works of destitute and dismayed, I have been cast the Spirit, between the possession of upon the providence of God: and he has gifts and the possession of grace, there never forsaken me yet. Bless his precious were indeed many things hard to be name ! understood' by flesh and sense. I little I am led to record these things, because thought that these striking Scriptures on my first being raised up from my recent which were speaking so loudly in my soul, affiction, as soon as I was out of bed, I had to do with something more immedi- took up the Bible, and opened right upon ately touching myself.

these words in the 28th Psalm, 'Because The following day, Tuesday, I had to they regard not the works of the Lord, nor preach at home; but was in a poor, low the operation of his hand, he shall destroy state of soul until about six o'clock, when them, and not build them up.' From this (being alone by myself in my little cabin, solemn Scripture I resolved (by the help of and wondering what was to say to the the Lord,) to record his mercies, as manipeople when į reached the chapel) these fested to one who is the most unworthy. words struck in upon my heart-'Now I Passing over Wednesday and Thursday, exhort you to be of good cheer, for there (though they were days much to be reshall be no loss of any man's life among membered) I come to the Friday night you, BUT OF THE SHIP. How beit, we MUST when I was taken ill. I had, as usual, to BE CAST upon a CERTAIN ISLAND.'. With preach at Mile End; and although I felt this text, away I went to chapel; the ser- very ill, yet I set off for that place, and vice had begun; and my brother Packer walked all the way, with these words on was giving them that sweet hymn, my mind- Trouble not yourselves, for his “Begone unbelief, my Saviour is near,

life is in him.' When I reached the chapel, And for my relief will surely appear.'

it was full, and very hot: and I was in a

strong perspiration, I went into the pulHow marvellously suited to my soul's feel, pit and preached from Acts xx. 10, 11. ings, and to my contemplations appeared And Paul went down, and fell on him, these words

and embracing him, said, Trouble not With Christ in the vessel,

yourselves, for his life is in him. When I smile at the storm."

therefore, Paul was come up again, and Seeing my honest ship-mate and brother had broken bread and eaten, and talked a Bill Skelton in the vestry, I presses him to long while, even till break of day, so he go and read and pray for me. Up he goes, departed. Never, I think, did I feel such and reads the 107th Psalm. They that go

a glorious fulness in the gospel before. My down to the sea in ships, and do business soul was ready to burst with the precious in great waters; these see the works of the matter that came bubbling up. First, I Lord, and his wonders in the deep, and so spoke of Paul's preaching till midnight,

No sooner had he done, than' up gets and of the vast subject he had; then of our clerk, and begins

Eutychus, and of Paul's ' raising him up; “ God moves in a mysterious way,

and so on; until I felt compelled to hold

my peace; and no sooner had I left the His wonders to perform,

pulpit, than I felt illness was coming on He plants his footsteps in the sea, me. I crawled home as I could, retired to And rides upon the storm.!

bed, and there I lay for nearly eight days. Bless me, why one would have thought that Never did I know what it was to lay so Banks and Skelton, and Packer had been quiet and comfortable in an affliction beagreeing together to have a service all fore. Every day the Lord appeared to give about the seas, and the storms, and the me some token of his presence; and, for ships; whereas not one word had been said, the encouragement of his people, I will nor had we even met together, until by the simply state things as they occurred. Some blessed Spirit's guidance, singing, praying, will sneer, but others will rejoice. I reading, and preaching all harmomised to will tell you the truth, and leave it with declare that

the Lord to deal with it as seems him best. Tho' painful at present,

On the first day of my illness, I had this 'Twill cease before long;

word- Thou wilt keep him in perfect And then, oh, how pleasant

peace whose mind is stayed on thee,' I saw The conqueror's song.”

that word stayed,' means, one whose mind

on.

[ocr errors]

can rest no where but on the Lord. Here I pleased to seal home some precious word is where, and only where, my mind can upon my heart with heavenly power. And stay, and resting here is peace. During the I can say, I had scarcely risen from my night of Saturday I was very ill, and much knees, when these words came again and awake; and, lifting up my heart to the again—THE LORD 18 MY SHEPHERD; I Lord, I said, 'Lord is my work done ?' SHALL NOT WANT.' So blessedly was my when I plainly heard these words in the soul instructed and confirmed by these ear of my soul-Your lamp has burnt too words, that I was sure I was to preach; bright of late to last long.' Indeed! thought and accordingly, on Lord's Day morning I I, then, who can tell, but my work is nearly arose from my bed, and having sought for done! I felt no uneasiness about it. Lord's strength and instruction, I went forth and day morning came; it was the first Lord's- delivered my message-'The Lord is my day that I ever had been laid aside by Shepherd, I shall not want. sickness, since I have spoken in the Lord's I must close this poor, brief, imperfect name. This, however, did not disturb my epistle, by declaring unto you that I am mind one moment. I truly felt that I could thus far raised up with a stronger desire bless the Lord for the affliction. About than ever to be found more devoted to, and noon, as I was laying quietly in my bed, I useful in the cause of my loving and glosaw a glorious burst of holy light, by which rious Lord. What I have seen and heard I discovered, as it were, a beautiful en of him in this affliction has greatly stirred trance into the mansions of eternal and up my soul to be living and walking in immortal glory. Never did I before have peace with all the saints; in great boldness such exalted, soul-ennobling views of the against the devil and all his works; and heavenly state. I did solemnly behold, and in encouraging the weaklings in Zion to in a measure realise such a heavenly peace lean upon him with, and reverence for, God, as cannot be

“Whose heart is made of tenderness, known by any but those to whom these

Whose bowels melt with love." things are revealed. There seemed but a One thing I can assure you, that I have step between me and those pure and peace felt entirely raised

above all

the suspicions, ful plains; and for some time after these and slanders, and bitter speeches of such words were continually with me—Dying men as cannot receive me. So many of us is but going home. My soul appeared by this vision to be established in two things; by the Spirit of God, shall meet together in

as are redeemed by blood, and regenerated first, that the Lord can make death to a that blest abode, where there shall be no believer very easy indeed; and, secondly, that the transition of the soul from a body more curse; no more night; no more envy. of sin into the heavenly paradise is instan

There we shall see his face, taneous: 'absent from the body, and pre

And never never sin;

But from the rivers of his grace, sent with the Lord. I really felt I could gladly leave all earthly toys to enter on

Drink endless pleasures in." that rest. On the following day, (Monday) Dearly beloved, until that blissful period I had these wordg—'Put ye on the Lord comes, may we have grace to be steadfast, Jesus Christ. I said, 'How is this to be immoveable, always abounding in the work done ?' I was led to see that before a sin- of the Lord, knowing our reward is certain, ner could put on Christ, he must be un- our inheritance secure. So prays your dressed by the righteous law of God: this willing servant in the gospel of Christ, being done; the poor sinner being stripped

C. W. BANKS. naked and bare, then the Holy Ghost brings the atonement of Christ to view; Christ's continual care of his Chosen. therein is redemption: then the blessed Spirit brings Christ's righteousness, wherein

I give, saith Christ,' to all my sheep, is justification, and by faith the soul puts Eternal life, and them I'll keep on Christ, wears his image, breaths his While in this wilderness below; spirit, and walks in his commands. During I came in their law-place to stand, the whole of Tuesday, Wednesday, and

And none shall pluck them from my hand,

For they my pard'ning love shall know. Thursday, it seemed as though the Lord had taken me aside to consider over matters of My Father lov'd and gave them me,

By an Almighty fix'd decree, vast importance to me and to the cause in

Long 'ere this lower earth was made : which my heart is engaged. I received

By whose omnipotence and power, from the Lord much encouragement, coun. They're kept in every trying hour, sel, and establishment: and my fervent And in my righteousness survey'd. prayer is that I may be raised up to carry

The Holy Spirit whom I'll send, into practice what I received by faith into

Shall guide, and guard, and safe defend, my soul. Thus I might go on to declare And with them take up his abode; how from day to day, the Lord favoured me,

Their souls thus blest, shall pant for me,

And love th' incarnate mystery, but I pass over all and come to Friday. On

By which they are brought nigh to God. this day, I was helped up, and sat for a time in my chair. I was impressed, that

May we thy grace and power adore,

l'hat sea of love without a shore, weak as I was, I should preach the follow

That chose us in eternity; ing Lord's Day. This I made a matter of

And called us from our guilt and shame, solemn prayer. I earnestly begged of the To rest on Jesus' precious name, Lord, that if it was his will that I should be And bless and praise the Sacred Three. a mouth for him again, that he would be 'Portsmouth.

T. H. B.

OP BETHESDA CHAPEL, OLDRAM STREET, MANCHESTER.

The recognition of Mr. John Corbitt, as I made bare his arm to defend and prosper pastor of the church assembling for divine you : 'Choosing the foolish things of this worship in the above named chapel, took world to confound the mighty, and things place on Thursday, September 21st, 1848. that are not to bring to nought things that

Mr. James Wells, of Surrey Tabernacle, are. It is now several years since the London, stated the nature of a gospel Lord, in his providence, brought you tochurch.

gether, and from that time to the present Mr.John Foreman, of Mount Zion Chapel, many have been the discouragements you London, called upon one of the church to have had to encounter, and great has been state the rise and progress of the cause. the trial of your faith; yet, by the help and

After which statement, Mr. Foreman good pleasure of the Lord, you have been called upon Mr. Corbitt to give an account favoured with a firm, prudent, persevering of his call by grace, and also to the mi- confidence in him, 'who worketh all things nistry.

after the counsel of his own will,' superior In the afternoon, Mr. Foreman gave the to all the devices of men and the enemy charge to the minister; and in the even- of souls; and, for your comfort, the Lord ing, preached the sermon to the church and is still prospering his word amongst you congregation.

by the ministry, and turning many sinOn the following evening, a social tea ners from darkness to light, from error to meeting was held in the chapel, when truth, and building up his saints in speeches were delivered by Mr. Wells, Mr. their most holy faith ;' and others, who once Foreman, and several of the friends. united with you in the courts of the Lord's [We give the following verbatim, as re- house, walking in his ordinances, are now ceived from Mr. Goodfellow :-)

passed to their eternal rest, giving glory to

God and the Lamb for ever. With these To the christian reader, but more especially encouragements and examples, may, you

to those friends composing the church and go on in the name and fear of the Lord, congregation worshipping a Three One God, having a proper sense of the importance of Father, Son, and Spirit, at Bethesda Chapel, your position as a church and people, Oldham Street, Manchester, is the following living from day to day in a feeling sense account of the rise and progress of the cause of your own weakness and the helplessness dedicated :

of your nature, and of the preciousness “ In doing so, I cannot but exclaim in and suitableness of a free grace salvation; the language of one of old, 'What hath glorying only in the Lord, till you join the God wrought?' Many of you are witnesses ransomod throng to praise his name for of the wonderful works of the Lord in ever and ever, is the prayer of your's to bringing you together, and in building up serve in Christ, E. GOODFELLOW." the cause you are identified with, and in the following is the account of the rise and uniting you in the bonds of the gospel of peace; so that you are walking together in

progress of the cause at Oldham Street, as

delivered at the meeting above referred to : love, giving glory to the Lord's great pame, are become strong in the Lord, and in the Christian Friends, Brethren and Sisters power of his might, and the little one has in the Lord,- In the order of the Lord's become a thousand, and the small one a providence and by the desire of the church strong nation. Many good men, and many meeting for divine worship in this chapel, of his sent servants in the ministry stood and at the request of our brother, Mr. John aloof from you, through false reports of Foreman, I rise to give you a statement of your character and conduct, mistaking the rise and progress of this cause. In your motives and object, prejudicing the doing so, I stand before you this morning minds of very many of the Loru's people with a considerable degree of debility of against you, and raising an opposition body and with a sacred feeling of the towards you as a people striving together solemnity of my position; and if ever I for the faith once delivered to the saints.' felt the great responsibility of my position But for the help of the Lord you must, since my connexion with you as an hum(agreeable to the wishes of many) have ble individual, I do feel it to be so on the been broken to pieces and scattered-had present interesting occasion; and if I know not the cause been of God it must have my own heart, I can say before you, and in come to nought. But powerful as the the presence of him before whom we must opposition against you was, you found as all one day appear, that in the commencpowerful a necessity upon you to persevere ing and carrying on of this cause, my only in the name of the Lord, notwithstanding motive and object has been the Lord's honour, the vain attempts of men of whom you had in the proclamation of a free grace gospel; hoped better things. You can say, and that next, my own soul's good, and an ardent in truth, to the honour of the Lord and to the desire for the moral and spiritual benefit of glory of his great name, that the existence of never-dying souls; and I do desire to bless the cause at Oldham Street, is not by might, the Lord that ever he did put it into my nor by power, but by the Lord alone,' who heart, as an humble instrument in his VOL. IV.-PART XLVII.-Dec. 1848.

кк

hands, of being a means, with the rest of

• Deep in unfathomable mines my friends, of opening a door whereby the

Of never failing skill,

He treagures up his wise designs glorious gospel of the ever blessed God is

And works his sovereign will.' fully and faithfully preached from time to time. And from the time I was called The following letter, written by the then out of darkness into his marvellous light,' owner of the chapel, will give some idea I have felt, and do feel, a union to and one- what difficulties had to be encountered, ness with the people of God; and can sing and what our position was at that time :with the poet,

Manchester, 31st December, 1845. *I love her gates, I love the road.

My dear Sir,-I have much pleasure in The church adorned with grace.'

giving my testimony to the zeal and diliAnd if in the progress of our carrying on gence with which you conducted the negothis cause, any brother or sister in the ciation for Oldham Street Chapel, and Lord has had his or her mind wounded by more especially to the christian spirit and anything said or done, I take this oppor courteous demeanour manifested by you tunity of begging their forgiveness, and throughout the whole of our intercourse. stating that it was not intentional on our When I consider the many difficulties you part. We have (as a church) been called to bad to encounter in keeping your friends wade through seas of affliction, and to steadily to the purpose of becoming posencounter difficulty after difficulty, yet the sessed of a comfortable house in which Lord in his great mercy has preserved us they could worship God; when I remember and kept us as a people, amongst the rag- how many fainted under the accumulating ing billows of professed' friends and ene- hinderances, both of a legal and pecuniary mies; and though we have had our sorrow- nature, cast in your path; and when I conings we have had our rejoicings; yet we trast these with your great prudence in rehave not been left without hope-we have conciling parties, and your unwearing, yea, proved the truth of that scripture, : If God I may say, unexampled perseverance, unbe for us, who can be against us?' And til you brought the business to a close; I though our trials have been principally have no hesitation in adding, that to these from those professing the same faith and exertions, and to them mainly, is the order, who ought to have been helpers of our Baptist church now worshipping in Oldham faith, and promoters of our joy, and well-Street Chapel indebted for the possession wishers of our prosperity: alas ! they of what I hold to be a valuable property, lifted up their heels against us, and pro- and a comfortable house for prayer. With phesied that we should be broken to pieces most sincere wishes that you may have and scattered ; but God has enabled us to the happiness to behold many souls born surmount every difficulty, and enabled us to God within the walls of your Zion, beto persevere, believing in the omnipotency lieve me to be, my dear Sir, your's faith. of truth, against which the gates of hell fully,

WM. MEDCALF, shall never prevail. And when I call to *To Mr. E. Goodfellow.' mind the scenes of trials through which we have had to pass, and when I reflect on With these remarks, I will now proceed our present position as a people, what to give a statement of the main features of cause for thankfulness and gratitude to the rise and progress of this cause :him who hath preserved us. And when There are, in the retrospect, things both I review the motive which induced us to painful and pleasant; and we think you open this door for the proclamation of a will not desire a repetition, in detail, of free grace gospel, I derive an inward satis- those recriminations

and reproaches which faction in believing it was by the appoint, did unhappily attend the establishing of ment of heaven, and as such, supported and this cause. But, while on the one hand, encouraged to go forward in the name and we desire to avoid personalities and unstrength of the Lord. I well recollect on pleasant recapitulations, we should not, on one occasion having to encounter a trial of the other hand, do justice to our own conno ordinary character-the purchasing of sciences, nor to the cause of God in this this chapel, which was encumbered with place, nor to the most solemn motives by many legal difficulties, that stood in our which we have been actuated, did we not way of obtaining a safe title to the pro- take this opportunity to repel, to repudiperty. In consequence of which many of ate, and denounce with all becoming gravour friends drew back and withheld their ity, and determination the slanders which promised support. Being much cast down have been so liberally and unjustly cast in mind, not knowing which way to take, upon us. We are not this day met in in the midst of trouble and great anxiety, the fear of man, but in the FEAR OF GOD. the Lord graciously broke into my mind And where is there the christian, the minwith those words— Fear not, I am with ister, the individual who knows the grace thee: Let not your heart be troubled.' By of God in truth and love that can deny but this manifestation I was enabled to go on that the Lord of Hosts has been with us, and to encourage my friends also, believing and the God of Jacob our refuge? And the Lord would appear for us : which he what one incident is there to which this did, by raising up friends, and by their cause has been subject, which is not more kindness we were enabled to purchase this or less common to all the churches of the house to worship the God of our fathers in, saints? Have we had difficuities of a pe

cuniary nature? Have not others, also, withdrawal from that people was contrary had difficulties in this respect? Have we to the wish of the minister, and solely on had difficulties in finding suitable minis- the account of one of its officers. I did ters? Are we alone in this? Have we claim the right of worshipping God wherehad difficulties with unruly men, of whom soever the Lord was pleased, in his mercy, we had once hoped better thingswand is to bless the word to my soul' by any of his our cause in this respect solitary? Have sent servants; and I do bope ever to be other churches had no unruly members to kept in that spirit, to give the right band disturb their peace ? Have deacons of other of fellowship to all his servants that love churches always been what they ought to the Lord in sincerity and truth. Nor had be? Have other churches had no troubles Mr. James Wells, of London, any hand in of this kind? Let facts speak for them- forming this cause, or any knowledge of it selves. We here fearlessly assert, that until after a notice appeared on the wrapthose who have reviled this cause can point per of the Gospel Ambassador. Nor was it to no anomaly amongst us, the counter part any peculiarity connected with his minisof which has not been found in their own try, but the weighty matters of faith, church, or churches. We do not under- judgment, and mercy. take to justify the unchristian sayings of hostility that occurred at the time that will give you some idea of our motive and

The following letters which I will read, the God of heaven and earth was pleased to our object, and bear out the above asserplant this cause. But, if on the part of tion in reference to Mr. Wells. some who came to us, there were faults much to be deplored, what shall we say to

Manchester, April 20, 1843. the conduct of those who seemed delighted Dear Sir-I write to you on behalf of to view the rise of this, through the worst myself and friends who I may say fear medium they could find ? Who, or what God, and love a free grace gospel, solicitauthorised them to take the judgment seat ing you (God willing) to preach for us at and hurl at this cause the thunderbolts of Manchester two or three Lord's days in heaven-to select the most terrible threat. May next; say 7th, 14th, and 21st. It will nings of the Bible as applicable to this be necessary that I give an explanation to cause; but, happy for us, the hand that you of our motive. In a few words, we wielded the sword of vengeance was too have been members of another church in feeble to render it effectual; the tongue the town, but not so now; we have not sat that dealt in threatnings could not obtain at the table of the Lord for reasons which sanction of the God of judgment, so that may be herein after explained. We pray these threatnings fell to the ground as did that the dear Lord may dispose your mind the accusation of Job's mistaken friends. to serve us in the cause of truth. If so, It has been said that members of a certain we pray that the word may be attended church laid their heads together in the with power and with an unction from the dark being afraid of the light. We treat Holy One. And that you may come in the this accusation with scorn and contempt, fulness of the gospel of peace. An early and are prepared to prove that not only did reply will oblige your's for the truth's sake, not certain members lay their heads to

E. GOODFELLOW. gether in the dark, as the assertion runs,

To Mr. Chas. Drawbridge, Wellingboro'. but that this cause positively did not originate with the members of the said church at

MR. DRAWBRIDGE'S REPLY. all. Nor was the question of backsliding or non-chastisement for sin, practically, or

Wellingboro, April 22, 1843. indeed at all, connected with the formation Dear Sir-I should have replied to of this cause. The persons advocating the your's yesterday but for having returned above sentiments were, at that time, mem- from a week's pilgrimage in my holy Masbers of the church charging

us with hold- ter's service after post time. I am willing ing the sentiments. Personally, I did not (God willing) to supply in May, May 7th, then understand the sentiments, much less 14th, and 21st. I am able to sustain faadvocate them, and the church at Oldham tigue in my Lord's cause cheerfully, thereStreet, will bear me out when I state that fore, if you know any consistent persons in from our first formation, as a church, the or about Manchester, who would wish to above sentiments have not been so much avail themselves of my labours, am very as once named amongst us. It has been willing, say three, four, or five times on said that this cause began in malice and week evenings. And may the Lord Jehowas carried on in malice, beaded by several vah get glory to his great name by the arpersons separated from the church by va- rangement he has determined upon. rious causes. To this statement we give a Your's very truly, for Christ's sake, flat contradiction, and challenge any one

C. DRAWBRIDGE. present to say to the contrary, that I was To Mr. E. Goodfellow. separated for any misconduct, or for holding or advo ing any unscriptural sentiment. The following letter is one written by my. Through mercy, I can say, that whilst a self to Mr. James Wells, of London, in anmember of that church for twelve years, I swer to one written by a person in town was enabled to bear an honourable testi- and sent to Mr. Wells conveying wrong mony for the truth as it is in Jesus. My information.

« PreviousContinue »