Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE

GENERAL BAPTIST

MAGAZINE.

' DECEMBER, 1863.

"AT PEACE AMONG OURSELVES.'

come.

We are at peace among

ourselves.' , young Mr. Fullspeed, who goes 80 Don't smile, reader. Why should fast, theologically and ecclesias. you? You are well acquainted with tically, as to put more leisurely folk these words. Again and again you out of breath, and elicit divers have read them in Association questionings as to where we are all Reports. Not seldom you have drifting, Why this one phrase has heard them from the lips of some been so largely used we do not pre. deacon or leading' brother when tend to say. Perhaps in a good giving an account of the church number of cases it is employed for with which he is united. Then why want of something better to say. smile? The expression is an old There really has been nothing but friend, give it an old friend's wel. peace in the church at Dulltown: no

You have met with it year additions, no enthusiasm or zeal of after year for a long time, so be any kind, therefore, the unfortunate respectful towards it.

brother whose office it is to send out It would be worth while to go the quarterly and annual bulletin of over one of the said reports, or to the moral health of the church, fills notice carefully while the States' up the remaining blank of his are being read how many repetitions schedule with the startling and there are of this phrase. A respecto original observation that they are able sum in addition would, we are ' at peace among themselves.'' But bure, be the result. The popularity why this exact expression should be which the words in question have so much in vogue is curious. Why, enjoyed is wonderful. Influential if you are at peace among yourchurches with influential ministers selves, should you not vary the mode in influential towns have patronized of communicating the fact ? it.

Little Peddlingtons without We repeat it, why not? It surely number have followed their example, would be a gain to all parties. The It has been on the lips of good old term is fairly worn out. One is Mr. Slowcoach, who is so jealous of tired of it. When it turns up, time the good old times with their good after time, it reminds one of those old ways, and uttered likewise by I disagreeable twitches of pain that

VOL. IV.-New SERIES, No. 12.

honour gouty and rheumatic persons My dear, pass me that silver article even in their best health just to which has a handle five inches long, nudge their memories with the fact a bowl at the end, and is smooth and that the old complaint is there after polished ;' but I think it a display all, though sometimes in a quiescent of more sense as well as a display state. Or frequently the words of economy in words, to say My assail one on the humorous side of dear, pass me a dessert spoon. one's nature. You can hardly keep There would be no danger of perfrom bursting out into a laugh as secution if when I am going from the obstinate assertion comes round home, I were to write to the head of 80 often; refraining from a smile is a college and say 'Let me have tho out of the question. Now, would it services of one of your bookish men not be well to put the phrase by for to supply my place on Sunday;' that a time? The servant has served is Dr. Johnson's paraphrase of long and well; it is getting ricketty student'; but I should be sorry and in the way; how would it be to to exchange the latter for the former. pension it off? Certainly it would So deal gently with technical terms, remove a source of annoyance and and don't be too heavy in your ridicule if it did no more. But we blows when you run full tilt, Don believe it would do more. Not Quixote fashion against them. They simply would the abandonment of are not to be despised. On the other the fashion so much in vogue be a hand, the perpetual usage of an expleasant thing for the members of pression like the one before us now our churches, but it would remove is not needful. The same thing what is no help to the progress of could be put in a different form, and religion in the world. It has be- put quite as well too. As it is, the come a cant term, and cant terms continual employment of such terms don't do much good.

is prejudicial to religion and religious Let us not be misunderstood. people. People of taste and good There has been much written and culture outside the church are dissaid of late about the use of gusted at the folly which grinds out technicalities in the pulpit and by the old tune so often and no other ; religious people generally; Loud and people that are disposed to and many have been the howlings ridicule find something just to their raised against it. There has been liking and purpose. 'On' some one some reason for it, no doubt. Such replies, as for that, people who terminology should be employed want to find fault will always carp with care and not randomly. At at something. It is of no use trying the same time perhaps it is needful to please every body. Vide the that we should remind each other fable of the old man and his ass.' of the mischievous tendency there is Just so. No doubt those who are in human nature to go into extremes. disposed to grumble will ever find Hobbies are nearly always ridden somewhat to grumble about. But to death. We must take care then, that is no reason why we should be that this outcry against technical reckless, is it? The point to be terms is not pushed too far. With aimed at is to avoid being the oc. all reverence for John Foster, we casion of just complaint and deserved beg to state it as our opinion that ridicule. you can't do without them. There Perhaps these remarks are being are certain things that can only be read by some one whose duty it is described by certain words : there to give verbal or written reports of are many things which while they the church with which he is con. may be described by other words, nected. If so, we would respectfully are best described by such as have ask him to think over the matter been patronized for a very long time. about which we have been speaking. Of course I am perfectly at liberty We feel well persuaded that a little to say to my wife at the dinner-table, I reflection will lead him to coincide

[blocks in formation]

with us if he does not already. And, is needful to speak and write so if the phrase in question has been much about 'peace amongourselves.' used by him more than once, we We should habitually court and win would express a hope that the next the glorious passive virtues which time he informs the connexion of would at least mitigate the horrors the condition of the 'cause' he wil of those strifes that, ever and anon, resolve to adopt' a 'more excellent find their arena in the church of the way.'

Blessed Peacemaker. Are they not At peace among ourselves.' It too much ignored ? Do we not is a good thing you are. Disputes undervalue them? Courage, zeal, of all kinds are bad, but when con- perseverance, and like qualities we tention finds its way into the church patronize and applaud. Would it -eheu! Religious pugilists are the not be well if we also remembered worst of all pugilists. It is terrible a little more the worth and beauty to think of the crimination and re- of mercy, patience, and meekness ? crimination, the rough, unfeeling These ye ought to have done and speeches made before the assembled not left the other undone.' Oh that brethren, and the libellous things when difference of opinion arises in said behind their backs. The writer our churches there was a wider has had one experience of this kind, practical recognition of the beatiand jam satis, thank you, not any tudes. How much sorrow would be more. One trial will suffice,' as spared and what evil prevented ! the puffing advertisements say. We will not enlarge on the advanAnyone, therefore, who has been tages which would flow from the unfortunate enough to be overtaken course of which we have spoken, in the voyage of life by one of these neither will we weary the reader ecclesiastical squalls, will feel that, with a homily on the duty of forafter all, it is a blessing of no small giveness.

But we cannot help importance for churches to be 'at earnestly begging him to think of peace among themselves. More the sad lack there is oftentimes of over, the frequent use of the term, Christian forbearance and considersuggests the painful thought that ateness. Let us try, my friend, to peace is a rarer thing than it ought do what we can to remedy the defect. to be. Think carefully upon it, my Every little helps, does it not? The reader, and you will soon see what child knows what coral reefs are à reflection it is upon Christian made of. If you and I are resolved, people generally. It puts us in a in the strength of that Forbearing very humiliating light. At peace One, without whom all effort is among ourselves.' Indeed. And futile, that we at least will do what ought you not to be? What? is it we can to prevent churches not such an extraordinary thing for being ' at peace among themselves, people who profess to be the disciples we shall do some good and mitigate of the gentle and forgiving Prince the evil we deplore. Right is conat Peace to be at peace among tagious as well as wrong. There is themselves P' Ah me, what a dolt an infection about love as well as and idiot he is who hopes to be about hatred. Our endeavours will saved by his works. Poor human not be in vain. nature; so frail even when converted There is another thought sug. to God as to congratulate thyself on gested by the phrase which we have being ' at peace' with those who are been considering. We are at peace brethren and fellow-disciples ! among ourselves.' Good, but is that

Yes, it seems to us to be a plain all ? Does it describe your condiand useful lesson taught by the tion fully ? Or is it, if not a comphrase,--that Christian men and plete description of your condition women should be more forbearing as a church, nearly such ? Peace is and forgiving than they are. It is a lovely thing, but so is war, war of a shame and a scandal on us that it the right kind, spiritual war. Are

ease.

you at war with the world as well, of the poor wanderer. What! your peace

admits as at peace among yourselves ? Is there a resolute, persevering, com.

Of outside anguish while it sits at home?

I loathe to take its name upon my tongue. bined charge against the hosts of It is no peace. 'Tis treason stiff with unbelief and sin in society at large ? doom, Peace in the camp is of little use 'Tis gagged despair, and inarticulate wrong.' without it finds its issue in heroic

Cassa Guidi Windows. battle. The church is not good for much which does not look after its May we not, in a like spirit, say sword as well as decorate its abode

that a little strife in a church with with olive-branches. Very pretty

earnest aggression on the kingdom olive-branches certainly, but they

of sin and error is far preferable to don't do much execution, you know. a peace which is allied to indifference

When we Yet

there are societies of Chris. heard Boanerges, the popular metro; tian men and women that seem to Test marvellously content with being politan preacher, he lifted the

hand 'at peace among themselves.' There

of his rough but just sarcasm and are none, or very very few, added dealt some

lusty blows at the pseudo

• What to their number. No good seems to peace of which we speak. be doing. The gospel appears to

should we think,' said he, 'of & make no progress. But they are at in a public-house when there was a

number of firemen who sat drinking It does not seem to disturb their equanimity

at all that God's dreadful fire raging in a dwelling work is well-nigh at a stand-still. exactly opposite,

and who talked in They go to chapel Sabbath after

the most self-satisfied style, about Sabbath, pay their subscriptions,

feeling quite comfortable and at make collections, and then

peace among themselves.' Right, up all at the end of the con.

friend Boanerges. The blow is well nexional-year by proclaiming that merited. they are at peace.' We knew

It is not easy to exaggerate the one such church which was surely importance of the work which God

has committed to us. the climax. A single fact will speak

He has given

us a sword and told us to use it, volumes ;-the baptistery was not opened for five years. Very likely yea, to use it daily. It is a good if we could ascertain the reports weapon. Long.use has not blunted made by that church, we should find it. The edge is as keen, and the an amount of complaisance quite of the Spirit

. May He who has put steel is as true as ever.

The sword astounding and expressed partly in

it in our hands stimulate us to use the phrase 'we are at peace among it. When our zeal flags and our ourselves.' Peace-yes, the peace of the grave, the peace of death it- arm wearies, may He help us to self. The sooner such

hold on despite our weakness. Un.

is

peace turned out and something put in its doubtedly. He will. It is the sword place the better. Speaking of war,

of the Spirit let us remember. He

uses it with us and by us. Were Mrs. Browning says,

our hand alone to grasp it, and our

skill only to use it, it would be of Such things are better than a Peace which little service. But the Spirit' has

sits Beside the hearth in self-commended mood,

given it and the Spirit still em. And takes no thought how wind and rain ploys it. He is mighty and wise, by fits

therefore let us fight our good fight Are howling out of doors against the good l hopefully and well.

sum

HUNTED

ON THE

MOORS.

PASSAGES FROM THE TRADITIONS OF THE COVENANTERS.

CHAPTER IX.-IN WHICH IS RELATED HOW ARTHUR ALLAN WAS BANISHED,

WRECKED, AND AT LAST MURDERED.

were

As Gilbert and Grizzy sat one even- a pious household till the rising at ing by their warm hearth at the Bothwell began. I joined the Miny, two visitors entered. One Covenanting forces, and fought. was well known, and had already Thirteen hundred

taken shared with Gilbert the penalties prisoners — myself among the of being found at a Conventicle. number. We were marched to The other was a man in the prime Edinburgh, and subjected to much of life. He was tall and 'buirdly' ill-usage on the way. The clothes in his make, with an open and were stripped off our persons, and, generous countenance. His plaid half-naked, we were placed as state was over his shoulders, and a sturdy prisoners in the Greyfriar's churchstaff was in his hand. A smile yard. If we had been the greatest played on his face, as he stood miscreants on the earth our treatment eying the snug family circle which could not have been worse. Pent appeared to have forgotten him. in a small enclosure in the church

Grizzy gazed for a moment, and yard, we were guarded night and then exclaimed ' Arthur Allan p' day by soldiers. At night we were

Arthur Allan;' cried Gilbert; compelled to lie down flat on the 'where are my eyes that I dinna ground, and if anyone happened to ken you ? O Arthur, many a weary raise his head, he was fired at by thought hae I had about you, but I the sentinels. Our food was scanty, tynt the track o' ye a'thegither. our clothes insufficient to protect Where hae ye been? Sit ye down, us from the weather, and the Chrisand tell us a'i'

tian friends who sought to relieve The invitation was at once ac- us were rudely repulsed. After a cepted. Allan sat down, and pro. long season of confinement and ceeded to satisfy their natural cruelty in this wretched state, 250 curiosity. After referring to his were drafted from the crowd, and parents, who were dear friends of sentenced to be transported to Gilbert's, he thus proceeded to Barbadoes. On the 15th November, speak about himself :

early in the morning, and before When my parents were dead, I our friends had time to learn it-we left Minygaff, and resolved once were taken out of the churchyard. more to visit the old Ayrshire farm About thirty were dangerously ill on which my father had managed with a flux and other distempers, with great industry to save a little the effects of ill-usage, but no pity money. I came. No one knew me. was shown them. We embarked The old families had all been driven at Leith, and now began a series away by the persecution. I next of barbarities which cannot be sought out this place, but you also adequately described.

We were were gone. My heart sank within stowed under deck in so narrow a me. I seemed alone in the world, space that the most part of us and in my loneliness I said with the were obliged to stand in order to Psalmist, Lover and friend hast Thou give room to those who were sickly put far from me, and mine acquaintance and apparently dying. The air was into darkness. The Highland host stifling, for 257 were packed into a was then ravaging the west, and I space barely sufficient for a hundred. had enough to do to keep out of Many fainted. Others were sick.

I remained, now in The sailors behaved with the concealment, and now in service in greatest inhumanity. The quantity

their way.

« PreviousContinue »