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Observer, June 1, '71.
cease to do evil." Is not example | and prayed that the little fellow stronger than precept? Your chil- might be saved from such dangerous dren will very likely smoke when practice. The father said to him your pipe is out. one day, "Why do you swear, my son?" The child sobbed out, Father, because I have such a wicked heart."
"Well, my dear
son," said the father, "You must pray to God to give you a new heart." The child replied "Father,
Can you spare the money for tobacco? Look to your shop-book and purse, income and expenditure. How stand the finances of the church with which you are connected? Is the treasury well filled? Is the Lord's cause sustained in a you must pray;" to which he monetary point of view as it should answered, "I do pray, and whatbe? Are the Lord's poor relieved-ever you see me do, you must do." their wants supplied? We are com- The father, within himself, said manded to "owe no man anything," have I done anything which I ought we are also commanded to "render not to do before my children? to the Lord what is His." Is it not Conscience awakened and forced a lamentable fact, that with many the mind on the back track, marking the smoking habit costs more than out every deviation from the path of their religion; and does it not rectitude. For twenty years he had argue thus: that tobacco must either been in the habit of using tobacco. be a very valuable thing, or religion Just at this moment, a new idea a very valueless thing? Put the shot across the little swearer's mind, cost of each down for twelve months, he determined to leave off swearing, and you will see at the end which is and follow his father's example, and the most costly. We would not thus please his father and God dogmatize on this point, but say whose name he had taken in vain. with a great Self-denier, "Ye are He came to his father, and with not your own, but are bought with a a voice as sweet as infant lips price." could speak, he said, "Father, lend me your pipe of tobacco ! We will not attempt to describe the father's feelings; the tobacco was tossed into the street with this candid confession: "My son, I have done wrong. I will now ask God to help me, that I may do so no more.' The father then took him in his arms, and retired into the garden to pray, being a great deal more whipped than the child.
Can you afford to set a smoking example before others? Perhaps you can; but you do not wish, or mean, that anyone should commence simply because they have seen you smoke. Your wishes and meaning seem to be very good, but your example is stronger than both, and will most likely prove its strength in enlisting disciples to the pipe. You may not desire to set a bad example; but if you continue to smoke, you will, and there is no help for it, for by that act you proclaim aloud to all, whether child or adult, prince or plebeian, sage or simple, saint or sinner, smoke! smoke! SMOKE!
A professing Christian moved into a little village where there was much swearing. One of his little boys, two years of age, caught the contagion. After trying gentle means, the father chastised him
A well-to-do man sang with others at a missionary meeting with apparent earnestness—
"Were the whole realm of nature mine.
That were a present far too smali;
Demands my soul, my life, my all." When the collecting-box came, a gentlemen near observed that he put in one penny only. When he went home, he called to him his little boy, and gave him threepence, saying, "Go and bring me an ounce
of tobacco." We will not judge, neither condemn: but actions speak louder than words. We will not comment. But this we say, the pipe got more than the box. One was a daily consumer, and the other only an annual visitor.
Let all who name the name of Jesus, and who bear the Christian name, no longer be the slaves of tobacco. Let the money which has hitherto been spent in tobacco and intoxicating drinks be put into the Lord's treasury, devoted to the Lord's work, and the work of the Lord will flourish and prosper in our hands.
Total abstainers from intoxicating drinks should likewise abstain from
Observer, June 1, '71
the use of tobacco, for we hear it
2 Tim. ii. 22, Eccles. x. 1. 1 Cor.
Intelligence of Churches, &c.
SPITTAL, BERWICK-ON-TWEED, May, 13, 1871.-It having been already intimated in the April E. O. that there has been a good work begun in the above place, it may be interesting to furnish a few particulars. Several brethren have been residing in this locality of late years, who, for a considerable time have been readers of the Harbinger, and have sympathized with the disciples in their noble efforts to restore the ancient order of things. But, from their isolated position, they have not been able to meet with them, or have an opportunity of hearing their evangelists, except in one or two instances. Hearing that Ed. Evans was labouring in Bedlington during the month of January, it was our desire to have him over. He arrived here on Monday, Feb. 20, and the first meeting was held on the next evening, in the Mission Hall, when there was a good attendance and deep attention. As the meetings went on, the power of the truth became apparent, the attendance in creasing every service. The way in which the word of God was opened up, produced an effect very seldom seen, especially in the absence of anything like excitement. The truth disarmed prejudice, and its power melted the hearts of the people. Truly, the "entrance of Thy word giveth light." At the last meeting of the first series one arose and confessed the Saviour, and his intention of submitting to His authority, amid the sobs and tears of the audience. This meeting will be remembered when many years shall have passed away. After
On the following
the meeting, about thirty of the friends
Observer, June 1, '71.
ing everything that would excite feelings
feel we are being drawn closer to our blessed Saviour and to one another. We have also had a visit of Bro. Aitken, of Edinburgh, having heard of the work here, through the pages of the E. O., like Barnabas when he came to Antioch and saw the grace of God was glad, and he exhorted us to cleave unto the Lord with full purpose of heart. He spent a few days with us, and we were much refreshed in spirit by his visit. Brethren, we claim your sympathy and prayers. We have taken an important stand. The eyes of many are watching our movements. The old adversary is attempting to strangle the infant church in its birth. We have to endure the misrepresentations of friends, and the persecutions of foes. Pray for us, that we may quit ourselves like men, and be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. But this is our consolation— "That stronger is He who is for us than all who can come against us." J. REA.
NOTTINGHAM DISTRICT.-By the direction of the Birmingham District Committee I spent a fortnight in Leicester from Jan. 7. The prospects of doing good to church and world were then so encouraging, and the actual fruit of labour evident in three baptisms, that upon leaving the Birmingham brethren and entering upon the work under the General Committee, it was deemed expedient that I should return there for some time. This was done, and for some weeks attention chiefly given to the church and its necessities, with the hope that our labour has not been in vain. I enjoyed the fellowship of the brethren in every good word and work, and hope soon to see them again under more favourable circumstances for missionary effort.
Leaving Leicester on April 1, I then, by direction of the G. C., entered upon the Nottingham district, and have been working there till the latter part of May. Nottingham, Bulwell, New Brinsley, Greenhill Lane, Langley, Mansfield, Derby, Lincoln, etc., have been visited now and again. In season and out of season, on week days and Lord's days, in cottage and in chapel, the good work has been going on. The brethren have warmly aided me, so that the "Word of Life" has been powerful in quickening saints and converting sinners. For Nottingham I report the baptism of five young men, members of the Bible class, and one sister; Bulwell, one baptism, an aged sister; Greenhill Lane, two baptisms a brother and sister; New Brinsley, an erring brother restored; Derby, the daughter of our Bro. Evans baptized and one sister received from the Baptists. I hear, also, of two being added to the church at Mansfield by the persevering efforts of our Bro. Banbury. The prospects are encouraging everywhere, the brethren active, earnest,
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND, March 3, 1871.-Three have lately been added to the church in this place. They confessed
their faith in Christ and were immersed
into the names of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and are now rejoicing in Him who has indeed made them free. May the Lord help us to be faithful to Him and to His word. Yours in the Gospel, G. GRAY. BIRMINGHAM.-Several have been immersed and added to the churches here since our last notice. Several members also have removed to distant places. D. King has just given two special lectures in the Temperance Hall, one in reply to Mr. Voysey, and the other an exposure of Mr. Bradlaugh and Secularism. This last was
Observer, June 1, '71.
owing to Mr. Bradlaugh having been in the hall on three nights of the previous week. Obituary.
WILLIAM BERRY, of Walney Isle, near Barrow-in-Furness, died in the Lord on the 9th April, after about fifteen weeks sharp illness. He was baptized into the Lord Jesus in the Autumn of 1869, and was marked by purity and simplicity of charac ter. Owing to his powerful physical or ganization the struggle with the Angel of Death was severe and protracted, but his sufferings were endured with true Christian fortitude, and he fell asleep in the twenty. third year of his age. In the absence of shall live, and the last enemy shall be de our Lord we die, but in His presence we stroyed without remedy. G. G.
April 13, aged twenty-eight years, having CHARLOTTE WILLIAMS departed this life, been a member of the Church in Birmingham since her immersion in September, 1858. She was unexpectedly called away leaving her husband and two children to fill up the measure of their days, one of the two only one week old. The departed sister is known as a sincere Christian, loving wife, faithful mother, and affectionate friend.
Observer, July 1, '71.
ISAAC TAYLOR Somewhere tells that sometime in his younger days he accidentally picked up in an old bookshop a copy of the extant writings of Sulpicius Severus, and that the perusal of it, there in the shop (for it riveted him) and completed at home, sent his thoughts off on a track that would otherwise have been unexplored. Moshiem, and Gibbon were no longer his authorities for early ecclesiastical history. He found there was an inner and an under current of religious, political and social life in the later Roman and the Lower Empire that he was unaware of before; and he sought for the works. of the Fathers, the heretics, the heathens of the times themselves, that he might dive to that understream, and penetrate to that inner being which made up the world of those ages. That copy of Sulpicius was a thought book to Isaac. Far beyond the value of the facts it narrated, or the principles it might enunciate was the worth of that book to him. His mind, like the bodily stomach, digested what it took, and built itself up thereby to more vigorous growth.
Will this illustration suffice? If not, my readers must even read on before they get all that I mean by the term thought books.
There are some books that when you have read them leave but little impression on you; in a few months or years you are scarcely conscious that such books exist. Some books you don't even read through. The pabuulm they furnish you are unable to assimilate, they do not minister to your mental growth. Such are not thought books-at least not to you. If in themselves they are such your digestive powers are out of order, you are in an atrabilious mood. Nothing will do you good, but physic: get it and then eat.
Thought books are those which have come from men who have thought, and who have observed what they have seen, and built up thought upon thought from the experience of themselves and that of others. Such books when attentively read, at once appeal to the thought and the power of thought of those who read. The example of Isaac Taylor shows the class of book that, by revealing something new, sends out the mind on excursions into unknown realms. Other books sometimes interest, and even startle, by bringing before the reader as an objective entity, the thought that he supposed he had evolved only from his own consciousness, or was the simple result of his own experience. Here is a case. A young man has delighted in astronomy, he has read what Herschel and Arago have to tell, and he has watched night after night the march of the constellations, and he calls the stars by name. He has brooded over the problems involved in the terms immensity and eternal duration, and has perplexed himself with the idea of God. To give eternity a personality, and the forces. of nature a conscious being had been results of speculative thought he had shrunk from. But when the pressure of the infinite not-self, and the logical faculty of the self had united to make it necessary that the weakling who was wrestling with the world should acknowledge that God is, even then he wished to think of God as 66 sitting idle" outside the universe and "seeing it go." Then words from a grand old-fashioned book suggested other thoughts of Him who calleth out Arcturus and Orion in their season, and who "hangeth the earth upon nothing," and there came a mighty overwhelming consciousness of an all-seeing EYE, looking not only at but into all creation,—at and into that little self whose thought was questioning his very being. The winged circle of old Egypt was fraught with meaning now, and ever as the young man lifted eyes to look on stars or moon, there