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Observer, Jan. 1, 75.


an otherwise great and noble and extraordinary character." Now we submit that it is no part of the work of a biographer to act “ the part of a friend” by concealing important facts in the character of the man whose life he professes to unfold. If he so do, and that for the purpose of aiding a cause with which he is identified, then he is chargeable with fraudulent procedure. If the life will not bear the light let it remain unpublished. If we would learn how to write biography we can turn to the Bible. Abraham, Jacob, David, Peter and others, are not whitewashed by friends, but they are written out for us as they were. When, then, Mr. Roberts advertises the Life and Work of Dr. Thomas he has no right to mislead us by casting "the ample fold of protection" over features without which it is impossible for us to see the man as he

We cannot look upon the production of this book as an honest procedure.

The foregoing remarks may suffice for the present. The book has been published over a year, but we have not till recently met with it ; no copy was sent to us, though we are somewhat freely handled therein. To notice this volume at some length, and to follow on with some correction of Thomasite fallacies in reference to the Gospel and the Kingdom, seems to press upon us as a duty not to be avoided. What shape the work may take we are not at this moment prepared to say, whether that of lectures to be afterwards published, or that of a small volume, or in the form of a series of articles for these pages. For the present, then, we leave “ Dr. Thomas : His Life and Work," or so much of them as Mr. Roberts allows to escape from “ the ample fold of protection."


MEETING OF THE MIDLAND DIVISION. The Midland Division, according to the Church List published by the General Committee, consists of over twenty churches. The Evan. gelistic help allotted to that Division by the Annual Meeting, in Carlisle, was not much ; consisting merely of three months from Bro. Coles, and the like period from Bro. Greenwell, with a request to the General Committee to give special attentiou to this Division when arranging the labours of Bro. Hindle, and also those of Bro. Abercrombie, should he happily be at their service.

According to the Divisional scheme a committee was required to arrange this amount of labour so as best to meet the requirements of the Churches and promote favourable results. Accordingly the Church in Charles Henry Street, Birmingham, directed its Executive to take action thereupon. The following circular was consequently sent to each Church :“Beloved Brethren,

The following Resolution was adopted by the Church in Charles Henry Street, Birmingham, on Lord's Day, October 18 :"Whereas the Annual Meeting has allotted to the Midland Division (which consists of twenty-three

Churches) part of the labour of two Evangelists, which labour should be proportioned to the Churches of the Division by a Committee chosen for that purpose; this Church hereby requests its Executive to address the Churches of the Division by circular, inviting them to consent to and attend a meeting of the Churches of the Division, for the purpose of appointing such Com. mittee and taking such other steps as may be deemed likely to promote the work of the Lord in our midst; and the Church also requests said Executive to take such other steps as may be necessary to the holding of the proposed Meeting.'

Observer, Jan. 1, '75.

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In accordance with the foregoing resolution, we affectionately invite your attention to the desirability of holding, as early as convenient, a meeting of the Churches of the Midland Division as set forth therein.

Will you please favour us with information as to your willingness and ability to take part in the proposed meeting, stating what number of your members we may hope to have present. We shall be glad also to receive suggestions as to time and place for convening the assembly.

A copy of this circular will be sent to each Church of the Division. Upon receiving answers generally favourable we shall call the meeting at such time and place as are indicated as most desirable, provided the Church in that place affords the requisite accommodation.

The Church here, through us, only takes the preliminary steps because in the nature of the case some persons must volunteer to initiate the proceedings. You will understand that so soon as the Assembly is brought together our work will end, and all arrangements and appointments will be in the hands of the Meeting.

Yours in the One Hope,”Signatures. Nearly the whole of the churches replied, and all favourably; consequently a meeting was convened in Charles Henry Street, Birmingham, on Dec. 7. Soon after half-past two, A goodly number of delegates having arrived, prayer was offered and a few words of welcome addressed to the brethren from distant places. Bro. D. King was then unani. mously requested to preside and Bro. J. Taylor was in like manner appointed Secretary. After reading letters it was resolved

“That while all members of the Churches of this Division are at liberty to be present, and to aid by their counsel, only delegates shall be entitled to vote.”

It had been previously intimated to the Churches that the foregoing resolution would be submitted ,and, consequently, delegates were duly appointed.

A number of necessary matters were fully considered; the results were ultimately expressed in resolutions substantially as under.

“ That a Committee be formed of Brethren residing in Birmingham for the pur. pose of locating the Evangelists allotted to the Division by the General Annual Meeting.”

"That the delegates to this meeting from the Churches in Birmingham be the aforesaid Committee.”

" That this Meeting deems it desirable to recommend the Churches of the Midland Division to consider, and to report upon (to the next Divisional Meeting) the desirability of engaging Evangelists to labour under a Divisional Committee, sustained by a Divisional fund.”

“That the Committee be recommended to request from each Church information as to the amount of labour required and of money it is willing to contribute during the year.”

“That the next meeting be held in Leicester, on the second Monday in June next.”

• Resolved that Bro. Greenwell, who is now ready to labour for one month, be requested to spend that period in Banbury, as the delegates from that Church desire him so to do.'

Tea was provided in the School-room, for the delegates and friends ; after the partaking of which the assembly returned to the Chapel and an hour or so was spent in the expression of various suggestions bearing upon evangelization in general; which, however, were not intended to be embodied in resolutions.

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Observer, Jan. 1, '75.

The Meeting was exceedingly happy and agreeable throughout. report the proceedings thus in detail, not because of any considerable, direct and immediate results, but chiefly for the purpose of suggesting the process by which similar meetings may be brought about in the other Divisions, no one of which is as yet duly organized.

We have been told that what we have thus done could not be done in another Division, in the event of there being, in that other Division, some disagreement, affecting the co-operation of two or more of the Churches thereof. We reply in view of any such case now existing, or which may exist in the future), that there is no need to stay the work on that account. In fact we had to do with that element in the present instance. But our meeting was called on the basis of the Church List issued by the General Meeting, and each Church recognized by the last Annual Meeting as appertaining to the Midland Division was invited and entitled to the same position in deliberation and voting as any other. The Church issuing the circular freely sent to a Church to which, on account of certain irregularities, it had been painfully compelled to refuse fellowship, but which Church is, as yet, recognized by the General Meeting. Had members of that Church been proposed for office, or had they asked for Evangelistic aid, the proposal and application might have been refused, but the presence and voice of its members would not have stood in the way of completing the organization. But should it happen that two Churches cannot or will not act together, and that if the one comes into co-operation the other will not, what then? Then let the one that will not come in stay out, and if they both decline to take part, then go on without them. No one of the Divisions consists merely of two or three Churches. Let, then, those who are not prepared to act stand aside. Let the other Churches hold the Divisional Meeting, appoint its Committee, obtain all the Evangelistic help they can from the General Meeting and divide it among the Churches as may promise the best results. There can be no need to prevent a half-dozen or more Churches from getting help and doing good because one or two are not in a workable condition.-D. K.

WORDS FROM THE WORK TABLE.-No. XL. “WORDS from the work table” were somewhat scarce during last year. Various kind friends have asked, why? Well, we have had free and frequent access to the “ Family Room ;" the belongings of which have filled pretty well the place and answered the purpose for which our poor “ words" were more frequently sent forth.

We wrote not for the sake of writing. But when a special opening for some practical lesson, in things of every-day life, seemed passed over by those who write for our periodicals, we endeavoured to fill the void. But the sterling thoughts, practical appeals, and life-like pictures of the Family Roomhave left but little need for Work table Words.

We confess that the " Family Room" has not been filled with the deep things of God. Controverted questions have not been there discussed ; difficult texts of Scripture have not been therein unfolded ; the Gospel, as a proclamation to sinners, has not largely been preached within its homely walls ; but there has been held up to the beholding of not a few members of the family, who needed to see them, numerous little outcomings Christian life, without which the ome cannot be what it should be, and for want of which very many droop and pine, bear heavy burdens which they have no need to carry, and deeply distress others with afflictions wholly unnecessary. It is true that we may really love God and long to serve our Saviour, and yet so muddle innumerable small matters in the family domain, as to waste half the joy we might otherwise drink in, and open rills that wash away smiles from the cheeks of others, where gloom and sadness should have no place.

During the year, the frequenters of the Family Room” have been urged to " Set the Stakes Aright;" to aim at something high, to shrink from no duty; and thus to obtain the welcome approval, “Well done good and faithful servants." They have been warned against taking The Wrong Turning." Having the Father's clear directions, if attentive thereto, none need to go astray. They have been told to guard against, not only direct lying, but also against the subterfuges and excuses so readily made by some persons, which come most assuredly under the head of "

Maling Lies." Parents have been admonished that by “Words well chosen " they may effect much good ; WORDS being seeds of good or evil, which bring forth corresponding fruit. Husbands may have learned a lesson from " Tender and True.” In thought and in deed they may never swerve from allegiance to the women they have chosen to bear their names. Like steel, they may be true ; but like steel cold and hard also. Each of us will be benefitted by an occasional mental examination in order to discover whether undue predelictions are exercising a magnetizing influence, or whether we are' really in possession of that rich treasure, “ A Sound Mind." Then there is 6 Compensation," Sunshine following storm, flowers springing forthi after the cold and the rain ; pain mitigated by kpowing that relief in some shape will be given, that in future there will be no more pain ; that there is

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Sunday school teachers have a hint as to the way in which“ Troublesome Scholars may be subdued. Flowers, when lovingly studied, are most persuasive teachers, showing

“How near akin they are to human things ;
Emblems of our own great resurrection-

Emblems of the bright and better land." Single persons may be the wiser for noting the article upon “ Matri- . mony"-which is either a crown or a cross-that suitability of age should be regarded—that inconsiderate baste should be avoided—that choice should be given to such companions as will prove helps and not hurts.

Insensible Influence" flows forth from every one; there is no escape from

Observer, Jan. 1, '75.

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responsibilty. “Simply to be in this world (whatever you are), is to exert an influence—an influence, too, compared with which mere language and persuasion are feeble.” Well will it be for those whose Influence is on the side of God and duty. " Anxious Thoughtshould not weigh down the children of God. If the seeking first the Kingdom be steadily

. kept in view there will be no need for such thoughts. The promise, "all these things shall be added unto you" stands good. God knows all the need of His children, and it is their privilege to take each heavy load to Him whose

“Right hand hath sole command

Of all earth's store-houses and springs." Surely hearts may be cheered by the clarion note

66 « To live is Christ!' Earth hath no greater blessing

For those who love their Saviour here below;
They care not for the wiles of earth's caressings,

But strive in His dear likeness more to grow,' strengthened and stimulated by the assurance that even death will not be loss, but gain.

“For then to live with Christ will be our joy,

Through endless years, where suns shall know no waning." A difficult lesson for restless mortals to learn, is that of quiescence"Be still and know that I am God." Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be stillare forcible injunctions of Holy Writ given in the former dispensation. When the lesson is learned it is productive of comfort and strength, relieving of much that would otherwise burden and oppress.

“ Be still in God! Who rests in Him

Enduring peace shall know,
And with a spirit fresh and free

Through life shall cheerly go.” During recent years we have heard much of “ Women's Rights ;" but in The Family Room" you have a chapter on " The Rights of Children," by which if parents, and others having the charge of the rising generation, will duly study, many family circles may be rendered healtbier, happier, and pleasanter. There is a solemn responsibility resting upon all “ into whose hands God has entrusted the sacred trust of a child's life; be careful how you betray it! Beware how you hinder a soul's development by a selfish seeking of your own convenience !"

But there! The fact is, we turned to The Work Table"-for the purpose of writing upon a somewhat different theme, to which, in a smaller measure, a preface something like the foregoing was intended. But having been informed that the Editor could not accept a long paper, and this prefatory musing having continued beyond our expectation, we shall leave over the intended " Words." for another month.

In the meantime readers, who are parents or children, husbands or wives, mistresses or servants, teachers or scholars, will do themselves no harm, and probably a large amount of good, by taking in hand the Ecclesiastical Observer for 1874, and reading again each of The Family

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