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Observer, Jan. 1, 76.
minds." He was a good man, and one that feared God. His name has been a household word with many who knew and loved him. For a few years he had known that he had disease of the heart, and of late that his days were few, but his mind was quite restful in Jesus; content to go or stay as it pleased God. October 11th he wrote: "How soon I have no idea, and I am not mnch concerned about it. My prayer is, if staying here will do good and bring the least glory to God let me stay. I have no will of my own in this matter." He fell asleep in Jesus Nov. 30. The day previous he had been more than usually active in the duties at the mill of which he was superintendent G. HAY. JOSEPH LANG.-This dear old brother fell asleep in Jesus, Nov. 10, 1875, aged sixty-five. He was a deacon in the Blackburn Church, connected with it from its commencement, and was an example of faith, hope, and love. He was much loved for sincerity. His sufferings during the last few months of his life were severe and most trying to his patience, but his spirit continually rose above them all in praise to God, and he died peacefully, fully conscious of the presence of Jesus, though regretting that he had not been more faithful to Him. E. T. E.
Friday, November 19th, in the thirty-seventh year of her age, after a protracted illness, borne with Christian resignation, fell asleep in Jesus, MARGARET HARTLEY, daughter of James Hartley, Tweedmouth. She put on Christ in the morning of youth, and has ever since walked consistently, being the fourth of the same family that has fallen a victim to the same disease. Her end was peace.
ELIZABETH WEATHERSTONE, in the nineteenth year of her age, on November 18, departed to be with Christ, after a long and tedious illness, suffered with patience and resignation. She calmly fell asleep, "safe in the arms of Jesus." J. R.
HENRY TURNER, of Manchester, fell asleep in Jesus, Nov. 20, 1875, aged seventy. Declining years, and living at a distance from the meeting, prevented him from being often at the Lord's table; nevertheless his faith in Christ was in lively exercise, and in spirit he was ever with us.
CONSIDER THE LILIES.
WHAT riches of consolation and encouragement lie in this divinely utterred injunction"Consider the lilies!" To the care-worn and over-anxious-those whose faith is feeble-who are wont to meet their troubles half way-to the much-tried and tempted in this worldwilderness to all these, especially, the words come with a fulness and wealth of meaning which earthly language can hardly express. The lightning flash may speak of the brightness of His glory, "whom no man hath seen," the the thunder-clap may speak of the power of His voice "who commanded, and all things were created," and Alpine heights may speak of the majesty and unchangeableness of Him who is "the same yesterday, to-day, and for
ever," but the lilies-the flowers of the fieldthey speak only of His tenderness, His goodness, His faithfulness, and His care! Wherever found, whether scattered in beautiful profusion by nature's hand in fertile field or shady copse; whether arranged by man in gay parterres, to adorn the habitations of the rich, or tended by toil-marked hands as they spread cheerfulness round the cottages of the poor-everywhere they bear the same gracious testimony, and convey the same cheering message to man. "They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet your Heavenly Father careth for them." The same hand that filled the earth with flowers, and the air with music, and that careth for the lilies when winter wraps them in its snow-shroud-is the Hand that leadeth and careth for us, through the winters and the sumAnd as the flowers mers of our daily life. exhale their perfumes, and fill the air with sweet odours, so may our faith and our praise, like sweet incense, ascend heavenward-even to the heaven of heavens ! GWYNFAB.
IT GROWS BRIGHTER.
I'VE travelled this road forty years, and it grows brighter all the way."
The experience of this aged Christian is not an exceptional one. Many can testify of the "shining light, that shineth more and more."
Brighter all the way." Rough and thorny may be the path, trials and temptations may abound, sorrows and disappointments often may be met, yet the way is not dark.
Perchance for a little season a cloud may enfold the grief that must have way, but the light soon breaks forth with a brilliancy unknown before, and the tried soul can say:
"It is good that I have been afflicted; the Lord takes away one gift to bestow a greater. 'Blessed be the name of the Lord.'
Thus it is the path grows brighter; through toil and reward, trial and victory, temptation and conquest, sorrow and joy, the Lord reveals himself to his children. The discipline of life he uses as a means to subdue the stubborn will -the nature so prone to go astray-yet' he draws the child of his affection nearer to his own infinite heart of love, and then there is increasing light, for "with him is the fountain of light.'
"Brighter all the way!" Oh, how bright as earth grows dim; we seem almost to catch a glimpse of the glory of the home where "the Lamb is the light thereof."-Watchman.
Observer, Jan. 1, '76.
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(Formerly th British Harbinger),
A FORTNIGHTLY JOURNAL AND
Devoted to Primitive Ghristianity and Biblical Truth.
PUBLISHED ON THE FIRST & FIFTEENTH OF EVERY MONTH.
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CHRISTIANITY, as it was when the
Apostles of Jesus completed their mission, is our object and aim. In ascertaining what True (Apostolic) Christianity really is, our appeal is not to the Church of Rome, nor to the State Church, nor to any other church or combination of churches. There are churches in Great Britain, in her Colonies, and in America, not a few, which approve our advocacy, and in whose faith and polity we see the leading and general features of Primitive Christianity. But these pages are not devoted to the advocacy of any article of faith or practice because held by those churches. According to our understanding of the truth of God, so shall we state and defend it, without regard to what is held by those who may seem to us most in accordance therewith. We shall as soon think of "seeking unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and mutter,' as to any man, church, or people under heaven, for an authoritative decision in the things of the Kingdom of God. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." Our paper, then, is, in reality, unsectarian, undenominational. Not that we are without settled convictions-not that we intend to conceal or withhold those
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LARD'S COMMENTARY ON ROMANS.
WE are favoured with an early copy of this interesting work. In form it is a large wellprinted volume, on excellent paper, and well bound in cloth, bevelled edges, and lettered. It contains an interesting Introduction. The Greek text heads each section by the side of a New Translation thereof, followed by a Summary of the Section; and then the Commentary. At the close of the volume the whole of the New
Translation is reprinted in chapters, so that it may be read unbroken by annotation. There has not been sufficient time to enable us to speak as to agreement with the highly talented author in his dealing with the many difficult passages of Paul's Masterly Letter. But we have seen enough to satisfy us that in expecting a highly valuable work we have not been preparing for disappointment. Wherever we have opened we discern evidence of careful thought, the non-existence of anything like mere book-making haste, and the absence of assumption. There are not wanting indications that the author finds no difficulty in not pretending to know everything. After the title there is a dedicatory page, which reads, "To MY SAVIOUR, in Profound Humility and Reverence this Volume is gratefully Inscribed by the Author!" We should like to see those words appended to but very few, even of our best books, but they are in place here, as the volume seems to be the product of love to the Saviour and to His cause.
Several brief Reviews by American papers are to hand. The Christian says, "It bears on its face most unmistakable proof of close concentrated thought, of real painstaking study. The expression, too, has been most carefully considered. Every word in every sentence shows that he does not ask us to read what cost him no labour to write. Alexander Pope never scanned more critically a line of his mellifluous verse than has M. E. Lard the single sentences of the book which he has meant to be the great achievement of his life."
The "Apostolic Times," with numerous commendatory remarks, observes, "On every page and in every paragraph there are evidence of calm thought, patient deliberation, and an even balance of judgment, which do great credit to the Author and show him possessed of some of the finest qualities needful to the successful Commentator."
On one matter we guard the reader - this volume is not part of the New Testament Commentary now in course of publication. It is complete in itself, and so far as we have heard there is no intimation of further work of the kind from the same pen.
Within a few days after this notice meets the eyes of our readers, we shall send orders for a limited supply. Those who desire to secure an early copy had better send in their names without delay, as we intend to fill orders in the rotation in which they come to hand. ED.
ERRATA-Pressed for time, in order to get work out of hand before closing for Christmas festivities, the
printer inserted some uncorrected type, chiefly on the second page. He is requested to mind his ps and qs in the future. The Greek, on p. 6, is not, in some copies, entirely correct. The writer is not to blame.
SCHISM, SECTS, AND DIVISIONS."-This little work, by the Editor, though a very large edition was printed, is sold out. Not another copy can be supplied.
HYMN BOOKS.-The last edition of the Church Hymn Book is sold out. A few weeks may elapse before the new issue is out of the binder's hands. This will explain any little delay in executing orders.
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THE FREE DISTRIBUTION FUND has exceeded the amount first considered as probable, and, therefore, is a success. Still, in view of the subsequent proposal for the free distribution of 1,000 copies twice each month, not half the requisite sum has been forwarded. There is, then, ample room to enlarge the work by forwarding the means. In some instances churches having contributed take charge of copies thus paid for, and circulate them in their own neighbourhood. Others send a list of names for the committee to supply. Generally, however, the distribution is left to the discretion of the committee. Each contributor is perfectly at liberty in this respect.
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Observer, Jan. 15, '76.
OTHERS kind and loving there are by the million. The very instinct of maternity is tenderness and self-sacrifice; but then this instinct-God-implanted-the human mother shares with the brute mammal, while wisdom and sense of responsibility are her prerogative alone. God gave to the human mother the power of being wise-the power of reasoning, of investigating causes, of observing, of looking beyond the pleasant days of cradle-hymns and nursery-rhymes to the years when the babe should have grown into a youth, into a young man, into a middle-aged senior, doing his work in the world for good or for evil, for his own happiness or unhappiness; and influencing, it may be, masses of his fellow-men, leading them according to his own bias upwards to a terrestrial and celestial "Gloria in Excelsis," or reducing them into depths of sin and misery, where they must moan out, at least, a life-long "De profundis."
Very much has been said and written about Christian mothers, and undoubtedly a Christian mother is a blessing for which one may thank God throughout eternity. Of all maternal gifts and graces Christianity must ever stand first; but the truth must be spoken-Christian mothers are not invariably wise! Indeed, they are often extremely unwise. Some of the most thoroughly and mischievously unwise mothers I have ever known were Christian women. But how is this? Will not God give them wisdom to bring up their children to His glory, and consequently to their own good and happiness? He will give wisdom and understanding to those who truly seek them; but "seeking is not mere praying. The Christian father never imagines, when he earnestly implores "Give us this day our daily bread," that he is to sit still, and wait for angels to bring food. God gave manna to those who had no other sustenance; and He sent the ravens to feed His prophet; but he will not directly provide dinners for people who can go and look after them for themselves. Neither will He grant to parents an inspiration which shall always lead them right. What would you think of a man who, going on a journey in a strange country, prayed to God to show him the paths he should take, and yet shut his eyes when he came to the cross-roads, refusing to look at the sign-posts, not caring to consult the compass, and keeping the map of the district snugly in his pocket? Such a man would be far more likely to find himself in a Slough of Despond than on the Delectable Mountains. If the man had been blind, or had reached the cross-roads in a dark night, and he had asked for help, I believe God
would have heard him, and guided his footsteps aright, for they who trust in Him will never be confounded; but, idly or presumptuously scorning the use of means, I do not think God would hear him or give him help.
The fact is, God teaches us very much as we teach children; not by granting at all times direct information, but by giving the sources of it, and by setting lessons which must be learned with pains and patience. It is not of the least use to kneel down and say, "Lord, show me how to train my children," and then to rise up and train them according to the humour of the hour, or in accordance with some miserable, contracted theory. Reason is ours, that we may use it carefully; and powers of reflection, and of observance, and of calculation, are ours, that we may cultivate them duly. And what is true of the intellectual is true also of the moral and spiritual faculties.
I suppose that most who read this believe in the Bible! Listen, then, to these words, "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge."* I know this is commonly interpreted as meaning that God will visit the sins of the fathers upon the children, etc., etc. But then the way in which sins are visited is not by such interpreters, properly understood. I remember being taught in my childhood that God was so very angry with the wicked that He would not only punish them, but their descendants, in order to show the intensity of his displeasure. It is not so. What would be said of a man who took vengeance on his enemy's innocent posterity?
God has established laws which are immutable and unchangeable, and there is one great law which underlies the whole moral strata of the universe-the law of consequences. The faults of the parents are likely to be repeated in the child, or else which is perhaps more generalthe parents' faults having been perceived and decried by the child, have created in him antagonistic faults, which are frequently more serious than the faults which were the original provocation.
And I suppose by "fathers we are to understand the two sexes of parenthood; and it would seem that in many cases the mother, being chiefly entrusted with the training of the family, it is rather the sour grapes which she has tasted than those which the father has eaten that have set the children's teeth on edge. The teeth set on edge! We know what that is physically, and shun it carefully. What it is in
•We have accepted this article from a contemporary because it says so much we were wanting to say to Christian mothers. This reference to the "Sour Grapes" fails to grasp the Old Testament teaching, but taking it as an independent proverb, the lesson is excellent. Ed.