Billeder på siden

be made in its typography, though its price will be the same as before, except in the case of copies transmitted through the post, upon which the postage will be changed.

There is only one point more on which it is necessary to speak, and that arises out of the continued and valued connexion of the journal with the Evangelical Alliance. That connexion was clearly defined at its commencement by the Committee of the Alliance, and by the Editors. We quote the language of both. In their “Introductory Address," it is said by the latter: "Evangelical Christendom comes before the public in a certain connexion with the British Organization of the Evangelical Alliance. The relation between them we wish to define. . . This work is not officially the organ of that body. It is an independent journal. The British Organization has no control over its pages, and is responsible for none of their contents. It is the property of private indi. viduals, by whom all its expenses are defrayed, and all its liabilities incurred, and by whom alone its editors are appointed. As the pecuniary responsibility rests exclusively with the Proprietors, so the Editors only are its responsible conductors. In the exercise of their functions they are free.” The Committee speak with equal distinctness. In a resolution strongly recommending the journal to the support of all the members of the Alliance they add : “But the Committee wish it at the same time to be distinctly understood that the British Organization has no share in the direction or management of Evangelical Christendom, which are entirely in the hands of the gentlemen who originated the publication and are its sole proprietors ; nor do they hereby involve themselves, or the Alliance, in any responsibility for any portion of its contents, excepting only those official documents of the Organization itself which it may occasionally insert at the request of the Council, whenever they may judge Erangelical Christendom to be a convenient medium for the publication of its proceedings."

This original relation, as thus defined, has remained unchanged to the present time. An opinion, however, has perhaps in late years grown up, that Evangelical Christendom and the Evangelical Alliance were more closely identified. It will, therefore, be henceforth understood that such an opinion is erroneous. The Editors retain the sole responsibility, and the exclusive control of the journal. A certain portion of it they are happy to appropriate to the use of the Alliance, in which they will publish its documents and proceedings, and for these pages, and these alone, will any responsibility attach to that body, its Com. mittee, or officers; and they, on the other hand, will have no control whatever over any other portion of its contents.

The Introductory Address, from which the foregoing quotation is made, bears the signatures of four gentlemen who were originally associated in the Editorship. It is proper to add, that one only of those gentlemen has, for some time past, had any share in the conduct of the journal; and he will henceforth receive augmented help of a character which will afford an additional and strong guarantee for its catholicity.

In conclusion, we commend the journal afresh to all our former subscribers—to the members of the Evangelical Alliance, and to the Christian public at large. It will be our prayerful and diligent endeavour to render it increasingly worthy of their support; and if, with the Divine blessing, our work shall merit success, we have no doubt we shall achieve it. And, finally, may grace and wisdom be vouchsafed to us, so that we may write not a single word that shall tend to discord, or occasion strife; but rather, may all our efforts further the advancement of godly unity among all the true disciples of Christ. For we heartily pray, in the quaint but scriptural language of one of our Elizabethan reformers :

“In Christe's flock let loue be surely plaste;

From Christe's flock let concord hate expell;
Of Christe's flock let loue be so embraste,
As we in Christe and Christe in us may dwell.

Christe is the author of all unitie
From whence proceedeth all felicitie.”



Evangelical Alliance.



"LET not the LORD be angry," said Abraham, when pleading for a guilty city, "and I will speak yet but this once." (Gen. xviii. 32.) We safely gather, beloved brethren, from the memorable answer given to the patriarch,—from the experience of his sons in all ages,-and from the revelations of that glorious day which he saw but in the distance,-that the FATHER OF MERCIES will never be angry with the multitude, or the comprehensiveness, or the importunity of the prayers offered in the name of His own Son, and prompted by His own SPIRIT. Hence our encouragement in renewing this invitation.

Five ancient saints, in addition to Abraham, are marked with signal honour for their prevalence with God. "Though Moses and Samuel stood before ME, ye My mind could not be toward this people." (Jer. xv. 1.) "Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it," namely, in a sinful land on which judgments are descending, "as I live, saith the LORD GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness." (Ezek. xiv. 20.) Most fearful are these protestations; and yet-like the pillar of cloud, which gave light to Israel while it frowned on the Egyptians-they have one cheering aspect. Moses and Samuel, Noah, Daniel, and Job, have power with the HOLY ONE; and, if any human intercession could be admitted, they would not ask in vain.

Examples like these, with the forms and models of their supplication which occur in Holy Scripture, may claim far closer study than many of us are apt to give. To borrow language applied by one of the ancients to the highest example of all, they are "fountains of prayer, from which we may draw praying thoughts." Let us avail ourselves of the instruction they supply. We know how Moses appealed to the old mercies of GOD, to the renown of His great name among the heathen, and to the promise, confirmed by oath, made to Abraham and his seed for ever (Exod. xxxii. 11-13); how he fasted, and humbled himself forty days and forty nights (Deut. ix. 18); how his pity for sinners was unsparing of sin (Exod. xxxii. 19-28); how a deep and generous passion made him lavish of ease, fame, and life itself (ver. 32). Nor can we doubt that Samuel's lips had been touched with a live coal from the same altar, or that his heart glowed with a kindred flame. (1 Sam. vii. 9.) Noah "walked with God." (Gen. vi. 9.) Daniel "presented" his constant "supplication before the LORD for the holy mountain of his GOD;" and, in the face of shame, agony, and death, "kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his GoD, as he did aforetime." (Dan. vi. 10.) Job was not only wont, with a father's trembling solicitude,

Copies of this paper, printed separately, may be had on application at the Office of the Alliance, 7, Adam-street, Strand, London (W.C.), price 3s. per hundred.




to implore mercy for his children (Job i. 5); but he was named by the MOST HIGH as the acceptable intercessor for his erring friends (xlii. 8).

While we consider such models, let us call to mind our own special aids and responsibilities. When these eminent men lived, "the HOLY GHOST was not yet given," in that free and full effusion which was to signalise the enthronement of JESUS, and to bless the Church of the latter day. (John vii. 39.) All grace has, indeed, ever flowed to man, from the FATHER, through the Son, by the SPIRIT. (Gen. vi. 3; Ps. li. 11; cxliii. 10.) But the more copious baptisms, for which saints of old waited and longed, are surely granted in order to a higher state of privilege, and a closer fellowship with HIM whom, having not seen, we love. The feeble are now to be as David; and the house of David as the angel of the LORD. (Zech. xii. 8; Matt. xi. 11.) In proof of our vantage-position, it is enough to refer to a hundred prophecies which the Gospel has unlocked (1 Pet. i. 12); to the actual fulfilment of the greatest of them all (Rom. viii. 32); and to the cloud of the SAVIOUR's witnesses, who have found the promises in Him yea, and in Him amen, unto the glory of God by us. (2 Cor. i. 20.)

[ocr errors]

Nothing can be more suitable to that engagement in which we urge our beloved friends to join us, than the habit of meditation on the essential glory, the attributes, and the offices of THE LORD THE SPIRIT. This will at once guide and stimulate our devotions. But, be it remembered, first of all, that HE, for whose coming we plead, is Himself "THE SPIRIT OF GRACE AND OF SUPPLICATIONS." (Zech. xii. 10.) It is for us to go up to the throne, through our great HIGH PRIEST, "praying in the HOLY GHOST" (Jude 20),-to find out how that most compassionate ADVOCATE "helpeth our infirmities," and "maketh intercession for us,' so that, though words fail to pour out our requests, "HE that searcheth the heart," and "knoweth what is the mind of the SPIRIT," shall answer the "groanings which cannot be uttered." (Rom. viii. 26, 27.) In everything, we need the SPIRIT's aid. HIM we must ceaselessly honour as the SPIRIT of light and truth, of warning and conviction, of comfort and holiness. We want a thousand blessings for ourselves, for the Churches, for the world: but if HE, the SPIRIT, bring back Pentecost, ten thousand blessings will descend in His train. CHRIST, by signs and wonders wrought in that saving Name. strained to ask large things, and, as they are drawn upward, to think of larger, and yet larger but, as the field of light spreads to the eye of faith and hope, HE who has prompted every utterance, and given significance to every groan, will still show us more and more of the riches of grace which, from the beginning of the world, have been hid in GoD, who is ready to surpass our utmost longings-" able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." (Eph. iii. 20.)

He will glorify Believers will be con

And herein we are undeniably asking according to His will; offering the very petitions that have gone up from saints and martyrs, prophets and apostles; yea, echoing the prayers of JESUS, whom the FATHER heareth always. "Thy kingdom come: Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." "Let the people praise THEE, O GOD; let all the people praise THEE." "Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD!" (Matt. vi. 10; Ps. lxvii. 3, 5; Isa. li. 9.)

Not that the arm of the LORD is slumbering. Not that He can ever forget His own purposes of love. But prayer is our preparation for a blessing; for triumphs which are won only by the might of felt weakness; for the care and nurture of young converts; in brief, for the toils, sacrifices, and reproaches which an aggressive Christianity will call us to incur.

It is imperative that all pleadings for revival be associated with confession of our own feebleness, unfaithfulness, and sin; with resolves to use the means at our


command; with an entire submission to the methods of grace; with zeal for the Divine glory as the highest end; and with a solemn purpose still to wait on GoD when the answer has been vouchsafed. Before honour is humility, and we must sink to rise. Few of us are habitually "ceasing from man;" yet this is indispensable to our true unity, peace, and prosperity. Certain grievous errors will be corrected when the praying Church learns to think nothing of its own fame and aggrandisement, and to magnify the LORD alone in the day of His power. The joy inspired by the happiness of new-born souls, gathered into the fold of CHRIST, is alike benevolent and holy; yet even this must yield to the joy of bringing honour to the ever-blessed TRINITY. In the angels' song, "Glory to God in the highest " precedes "peace on earth, good-will toward men." (Luke ii. 14.)

Can it be denied, dear brethren, that some of us have fallen, after days of gracious visitation, into the sin of boasting? There has been little of that continued waiting on God, in lowliness and fear, which such a time demands. Hence the withering of many a hope. The verdant promise is not fulfilled in the ripe corn. GOD, the jealous GOD, claims to be acknowledged ALPHA and OMEGA. "Of HIM, and through Him, and to HIM, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." (Rom. xi. 36.)

Generations of old saw wonders wrought by the arm of the LORD. Egypt once felt its stroke, and received a wound which centuries could only assuage. Its touch divided the sea, opening a way for the ransomed to pass over. That great instance of Divine truth, power, and love, is an index to others. The Church was once contained in an upper room. Nearly fifteen hundred years later, the martyred followers of prophets and apostles lay, exposed to view, "in the street of the great city"-the city which combines the dark features of "Sodom," and "Egypt," and fallen Jerusalem, "where also our LORD was crucified." But "the SPIRIT of life from God" resuscitated His unburied witnesses (Rev. xi. 8, 11). Luther's voice was heard throughout the length and breadth of "the great city." Yet later, from a students' prayer-meeting in Oxford came forth Whitefield and the Wesleys. Is the LORD's hand shortened, then, in our time? Have we not known, have we not heard, that "the everlasting GOD, the LORD, the CREATOR of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?" (Isa. xl. 28.) The old Gospel, preached with the HOLY GHOST sent down from heaven, is as mighty as ever: just now as mighty as when hundreds felt the power which attended a sermon, by Livingston, at the Kirk of Shotts; or when Whitefield received, in a single week, a thousand letters from individuals newly awakened under the Word; or when, in Cardiganshire, while Rowlands read from the solemn Litany, "By Thine agony and bloody sweat, by Thy cross and passion," . . . an overwhelming influence descended,-of which the sequel was, that converts were reckoned by thousands, and a hundred labourers in the LORD's harvest acknowledged Rowlands as their spiritual father; or when, according to Cotton Mather, fifteen hundred seals were given, in one island, to the ministry of the Mayhews; or when, under Edwards and his associates, not fewer than thirty thousand conversions were reported. Let America just now add her witness and why may we not look for as plentiful showers, yea, "floods," upon our parched fields in Europe? (Isa. xliv. 3.)


"Ye that are the LORD's remembrancers, keep not silence." He invites, beseeches, even commands you to urge your suit; and this He does in such terms as you could never have conceived:-HE even bids you GIVE HIM NO REST, till He establish, and till HE make Jerusalem a praise in the earth." (Isa. lxii. 6, 7.) It is obvious to find enforcement of this appeal in all that is passing around us. If liberty is gasping for breath in the proudest nations of the Continent, Britain is


charged with an increase of moral power. Think, then, brethren, when you find access to GOD, of the Queen and her councillors; of all Christian princes, statesmen, and senators. Think of schools and colleges, of fleets and armies, and of the multitudes that suffer adversity. Think of Churches at home, which need the SPIRIT of power, and wisdom, and love; of Churches abroad, oppressed, feeble, well-nigh dispirited; of Churches newly formed in distant places of the earth; of Churches in decay, where the light of primitive Christianity has gone out. Think of the rising ministry, of the translators of Scripture, of the directors and agents of all Christian societies. Think of the Jewish mind, heaving everywhere with restless inquiry; of the sway of the Arabian impostor, maintained 1,200 years, and still unchallenged; of the wastes, all but boundless, which continue in heathendom; and especially of India, China, Japan. . . . But time and space fail to complete the enumeration.

A concert of prayer is re-assuring. (Matt. xviii. 19.) Let us together draw near to GOD. While we hold up each other's hands, Amalek will not gain upon us. Coming closer to JESUS, we shall come closer to all who are one in HIM. The enemy rages; but "shall not GOD avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto HIM?" (Luke xviii. 7.) It is in the ages of peace and love that His utm ost promise will be fulfilled: "And it shall come to pass, that BEFORE THEY CALL, I WILL ANSWER; and WHILE THEY ARE YET SPEAKING, I WILL HEAR." (Isa. lxv. 24.) Come, then, O HOLY GHOST, proceeding from the FATHER and the So N. “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon" the "garden" of the LORD, "that the spices thereof may flow out." May the "trees of righteousness,”’ planted by His right hand, grow and flourish. O speed the day when Jacob sh all "take root," and Israel "blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit!" (Song iv. 16; Isa. lxi. 3; xxvii. 6.)

[blocks in formation]

WILLIAM CARDALL, M.A., Official Secretaries.





APPOINTMENT OF NEW SECRETARIES.-The decease of the Rev. Dr. Bunting having occasioned a vacancy in the Honorary Secretariat, the Committee Council proceeded in the election of a successor in the same manner as on a former similar occasion, and they announce with much pleasure that the choice has fallen on the son of their late venerated friend the Rev. W. M. BUNTING. The Rev. J. P. DOBSON, the Official Secretary, having resigned his office, the committee adopted a resolution expressive of their thankful appreciation of his past services, of their high and affectionate respect for his Christian character, and of their prayerful desire that the blessing of God might still rest upon him, both in ministerial and private life. After much

inquiry and consideration, the Committee have appointed two gentlemen to the vacant office, the Rev. WILLIAM CARDALL, M.A., of the Church of England, and the Rev. JAMES DAVIS, of the Independent denomination. These gentlemen enter upon their office with the expressed determination, leaning on Divine help, to devote themselves assiduously to its varied duties. They are laying their plans for a diligent and systematic correspondence with the local committees, and for a visitation of the provinces; and the Committee commend them to the kind reception of all the members of the Alliance, in all parts of the country, requesting that facilities may be considerately afforded them for promoting its designs and growingly important objects.

« ForrigeFortsæt »