Page images
PDF
EPUB

evangelistic efforts upwards of 100,0002.; She submitted her plan to Whitfield, and yet her income during a large part Wesley, Venn, and others of her principal of her later life did not amount to more friends and helpers, and it met with their than 1,2001., and never much exceeded approval. Hence the opening of her 2,0001. No jewels did she retain for college in a romantic and dilapidated herself, but sold them all, devoting the castle of the twelfth century at Trevecca, proceeds to the service of her Lord. in Wales. The preparation of the place Sometimes she was in great straits when for the purpose designed was a serious money for her chapels became due; but drain upon her resources, but Ladies relief came with the morning post, friends Chesterfield and Glenorchy, with other known and unknown sending her cheques generous and devoted friends, came for considerable sums to aid her in the to her help, and contributed largely. work she set herself to do. Thus she The college was opened on the 24th lived and laboured by faith.

August, 1768, Whitfield preaching in the The efforts of the Countess extended courtyard from the words, “In all places all over the land. She mapped out Eng- where I record my name I will come to land into districts, and sent preachers to them, and I will bless them.” The canvass them and see what could be done saintly Fletcher of Madeley became the for the extension of religion in them. first president, and “ James Glazebrook, Such devoted clergymen as Romaine, collier, and getter-out of iron-stone in Venn, Shirley, Fletcher, Toplady, and the woods of Madeley,” the first student. Benson, devoted all the time they could Others soon followed, and ere long there spare from regular duty to the promotion was a goodly band of young preachers in of the Countess's plans. But she herself training at Trevecca. Her object, as was the soul and centre of the movement. stated in the trust deed of the college, This one thing she did. Wherever she was the spread of the Gospel “at home was became for the time head-quarters, and abroad,” the eye of the Countess whether it were London, Bristol, or being turned principally toward America Wales. Yet she never appeared in her in carrying on the labours of Whitfield work, but directed it, as it were, behind there, he having died at Georgia in 1770. the scenes. Never forgetting that she A "free course was opened to the was a woman, and never losing the con- preachers who were sent thither, and sciousness of being a lady of rank, she more were required. “The invitations never obtruded herself by any public act which I had for our ministry," she wrote, in the public assemblies of her societies. “in various parts of America, are No formal conferences were held for the kind and affectionate that it looks as if regulation of them. Few, if any, were we were to have our way free through the representative consultations that were the whole continent.” held with her on the part of her helpers. The college was established none too Yet her preachers and evangelists natur- soon to meet the needs of her chapels at ally resorted to her house for counsel and home: for in 1779 she was compelled guidance. “Severely practical, and never to avail herself of the “Toleration Act, whimsical in her judgments, she added in order to prevent the clergy that to her other sources of power a moral were hostile to her exercising control in authority to which all reverently de- her chapels within their parishes. Forced ferred.” When, by the multiplication of to take refuge under this Act, the chapels her chapels preachers could not be found were henceforth regarded as belonging for them all, she resolved in her mind the not to the Church but to Dissent, consefeasibility of establishing a college for quently the clergy who had officiated in training young men for the ministry. them before were no longer at liberty to

[ocr errors]

do so. Happily the college was by this God he ever knew.” “She is," said time sending out a goodly number of Whitfield, “all in a flame for Jesus.” preachers, and these supplied Lady "The strength of her soul,” said DoddHuntingdon’s chapels.

ridge,"is amazing. I think I never saw Soon after the Countess's death, the so much of the image of God in a woman college was removed for convenience to on earth. Were I to write what I know the neighbourhood of London, where it of her, it would fill your heart with has since_been known as Cheshunt wonder, joy, and praise.” "Lady CharCollege. The young men trained there lotte," said the Prince of Wales to a lady are left free to choose among what of the Court, “when I am dying, I think body of Christians they will exercise I shall be happy to seize the skirt of their ministry. Thus the work of the Lady Huntingdon's mantle to lift me up sainted Countess survives, and is felt as with her to heaven." Her zeal was a a spiritual force in the British churches passion; her devotion to the cause she to this day.

had espoused was complete. She lived In the year_1791, the same year as for it, sacrificing all save the barest Wesley, died, Lady Huntingdon passed pittance for her subsistence. That she away, having attained the ripe age of ruled affairs with absolute will, and eighty-four years. Her illness was long carried out her plans with decision, is and trying, but her resignation was com- but saying that she possessed those plete, and her joy sometimes rose to natural qualifications which make a leader. rapture. The breaking of a blood-vessel Had she been a man she would have came to her as the sign that her end rivalled Wesley, and probably formed a drew near, and in view of it she ex-connexion ” as enduring as his; but claimed—“I am well; all is well—well none of her coadjutors possessed her for ever.

The coming of the Lord innate force of character, and she left no draweth nigh! The thought fills my successor to carry on her work. soul with joy unspeakable, my soul is Perhaps a successor was impossible. filled with glory-I am as in the element The Countess's work was unique, and of heaven itself-I am encircled in the none other could be to it what she had arms of love and mercy-I long to be at been. That nearly a hundred years after home-Oh I long to be at home!” So her decease there should be some thirty did she pass down to the river, almost or forty chapels still belonging to her her last words being, “My work is done ; connexion, several of them being occuI have nothing to do but to go to my pied by vigorous Christian congregations, Father.”

and that her college should be one Thus closed what has been well termed of the most flourishing educational instithe most remarkable career which is tutions for the rising Nonconformist recorded of her sex in the history of the ministry of the present day, shows the modern Church. A German historian of living, "lasting power there was in the her times, who personally knew her, community she left. A true mother in declared that “conversing with her you Israel, the name of the excellent Countess forgot the earldom in her exhibition of of Huntingdon will hold a place in the humble, loving, piety.” Toplady pro- Church's records to the end of time. nounced her "the most precious saint of

J. BRANWHITE FRENCH.

THE SAILOR'S RETURN.

M

ARY ELDER bad but one thing to com- gladness of their meeting, and Mary's satisfaction

plain of, and that was that her husband when Ned declared that, come what might, he had was a sailor. In her pretty little cottage- made his last voyage, and never would leave his

home in the country, just within sight home to tempt the sea again. His story was of the sea, she felt at first very lonely when her quickly told, and the long delay easily accounted husband was away. It was not so bad when little for. His ship had foundered at sea, but the pasKitty came, and Jack, and she might have become sengers and crew had been picked up by a passing in a measure reconciled to his often being absent vessel. She was bound, however, for a distant for months at a time; but she never could get port, and it had been impossible to send home over her feeling of anxiety for his safety when he word either of the wreck of Ned's ship or the safety was away on the deep. On stormy nights she of the crew and passengers. could not sleep, but would lie awake wondering Ned no longer ploughs the deep, but can, on where his ship might be, and imagining him spring days, be seen ploughing the fields of a little exposed to all kinds of dangers and hardships. farm not far from the cottage where Mary spent so Indeed, it is safe to say that she suffered much many an anxious hour. He is never a night from more from her anxiety than he did from all the home now, and, let the wind blow as it may upon danger and hardships he had to encounter. Ned, the deep, he is safe on the land. her husband, would on his part, very gladly have We can all sympathise deeply with Mary in her given up a seafaring life, for it had quite lost its sorrow, and rejoice with her in her gladness; some charms for him since he had a home of his own, of us, perhaps, more than others, for some of us but it was not easy to find any other means of have a boy at sea, and some a brother, and some a livelihood. At last, however, he made up his mind husband, and some a father. And we, too, would that after another voyage he would give up a rejoice if they could come home and never go sailor's life altogether, and endeavour to find his away to sea again. Let us remember that they living on the land, a decision which filled his wife's are in God's keeping. He is as near them on the heart with delight.

sea as He is to us on the land. If, in His proviHe bad not been long gone upon what was to dence, it is not possible for them to find fitting be his last voyage when the weather became un- occupation on shore, we may safely leave them settled and stormy, and many a weary night Mary in the hands of our Father, who doeth all things lay sleepless in her anxiety: an anxiety which by well. no means abated as the time went by, for no word Perhaps some one who reads this is a wanderer came of the ship having reached her destination. far away on life's sea, far from God, blown hither She was long overdue, and the owners had come to and thither with the winds of temptation, and give her up for lost, for one of the boats, and a drifting onwards to the dark reefs of eternal ruin. bucket with her name on it, had been picked up at Oh, friend, there is One who longs for you to come sea by a passing vessel.

home, with earnestness more tender than ever the Poor Mary! It seemed as if the thing which wife longed for her husband's return. The she had greatly feared had come upon her, for Saviour, who shed His blood for sinners on week after week went by and no news came of Calvary, waits and longs for your return. The her husband. It was a hard struggle to give him lighthouse of His word stands on the cliff, and up for lost, but there seemed nothing else that she shines out into the night to guide you, and all could do, and at last she came to the conclusion such wanderers of the sea, safe into the harbour of that he must have perished, and she made up her peace. The life-boat has gone

the Saviour mind to ask her nearest neighbour to look after steers her course. His voice is calling to you as the children, while she went to the little town, you cling to that drifting wreck over which the four miles distant, to purchase a few yards of seas of ruin are breaking. He bids you come black stuff to go into mourning.

He is waiting now for you, to carry you to safety. It was a fine morning in autumn, and little Will he wait always ? No, not always. His Katey was playing outside in the garden, when Spirit will not always strive with men. The time her mother heard her shout, “Oh, there's father! will come when even He, who is willing and longFather! Father!” Catching up Jack in her ing to save unto the uttermost, must depart. HO arms, she rushed to the door, and there, sure has not departed yet ; He is calling still. His voice enough, was her husband coming up the little is speaking to you in these lines you are reading. garden path, strong and well as when he had gone “ Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day away. It is easier to conceive than describe the of salvation.”

forth;

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]

THE REVISED OLD TESTAMENT. The interest aroused in Bible translation serve to prove this, and will also indicate a few years since by the issue of the the wonderful light thrown upon many Revised New Testament has been re- passages that are obscure, imperfectly awakened by the publication of the expressed, or mistaken in the old version. Revised Old Testament. More than two It is a great gain, moreover, to have the hundred and fifty years have gone by Bible not broken up into verses, but since what is known as the authorized given in paragraphs. It is also most helpversion was given to the English people. ful to have the poetical parts made clear During that interval the world has to the eye. Take, for instance, the song learned much on many subjects, and it of Deborah and Barak. The very opening would have been strange if

, on matters words become much clearer in their new relating to the Bible, nothing new had form, come to light.

« For that the leaders took the lead in Israel, The authorized version of the English

For that the people offered themselves wilBible is a marvellous book. It has lingly, conferred benefits upon the world that Bless ye the Lord” I cannot adequately be measured by any replaces the old “Praise ye the Lord power we possess. It has become so for the avenging of Israel

, when, the much a part of the nation's best life, and has acquired such a sacredness of associa- people willingly offered themselves.” In tion, that many are disposed to think it verse 14,“ they that handle the pen of incapable of improvement, and to look the writer," is replaced by " they

that handle the marshal's staff,” and in upon any attempts in that direction as little short of sacrilege.

verse 16 the unintelligible “For the

divisions of Reuben there were great But in the last 250 years scholars have studied more deeply the niceties searchings of heart,” gives way to, "" At

the watercourses of Rueben there were of the Hebrew language; they have become better acquainted with the natural great searchings of heart.” A close comhistory and physical features of Palestine, show that the new gives a bold, vigorous,

parison of the new and old renderings and they have come to know more about

lifelike version of the ancient song of the political, social, and religious life of the Jews and their neighbours. Hence triumph, thoroughly intelligible from words and inferences that the old trans- of a similar kind are Jacob's blessing,

beginning to end. Excellent examples lators misunderstood can now be rightly Moses' song, and Balaam's prophecies. rendered, and matters that were dark to

The book of Job will now become full them are light to the best and most of new meanings to the attentive reader. devout students of our day.

Careful reading of the revised old The alterations are slight in extent, but Testament shows how closely the prin- For instance, in the 28th chapter, “

give wondrous vividness to the language. ciples laid down for the guidance of the vein for” becomes “a mine for the silver.” work have been followed, the chief of « The flood breaketh out from the inwhich were “ to introduce as few altera-habitant ” becomes, “He breaketh open tions as possible consistently with faiththe expression of such 'alterations to the which the vulture's eye hath not seen, fulness," and “ to limit

, as far as possible, a shaft away from where men sojourn” language of the authorized and earlier

” English versions.” A few examples will

Judges v. 2.

a

1

« PreviousContinue »