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INTELLIGENCE FROM THE NOTTINGHAM CIRCUIT. The Christian Church should ever to their option to give more if they remember that her fruit is found from thought proper. This plan was found God. While & Paul may plant, and an to work admirably in bringing the memApollos water, in the moral vineyard, bers there. neither is he that planteth anything, nor Our first meeting was held at Staplehe that watereth, as an efficient cause, ford, on New Year's eve. Our number but God who giveth the increase. Still, of members there was 104, including God works by means, and the increase seven on trial, and not above eight or comes not without human instrumen- ten were absent. After partaking of a tality. Nor is the connexion between cheerful cup of tea together in the schoolhuman effort and the divine blessing an room, we adjourned to the chapel to arbitrary and capricious connexion. We attend to the business for wbich we were may depend upon it with the utmost cer- particularly met. When we had spent tainty; for God is not unrighteous to some time in devotional exercises, 1 proforget our work of faith and labour of ceeded to state the object of our meeting, love. If we work for God in a proper and gave a full and minute report of spirit, we shall not go without our re everything connected with the chapel. ward, as far as success is concerned, but school and Society; addressing to the we shall receive wages and gather fruit friends counsel, admonition or congratuunto life eternal. And this is as truelation, as the case seemed to require. of a Christian Society as of an indi. The chapel-trust was found to be in a vidual believer. Whatsoever it sows that very satisfactory state, there having been shall it also reap; and if it have not a successful effort made during the year success in winning souls to Christ, it is for the reduction of the debt on the because it does not put forth appropriate estate. For some time the chapel-debt efforts for that object. Under the in- had been a cause of anxiety to a few of fluence of these convictions, I have been our friends at Stapleford, they deeming considering of late by what means we it too great to be comfortably sustained ; could best bring about our people to besides which it crippled them in their “ have a mind to work.” In pondering efforts for other objects intimately conover this matter, it struck me that, if we nected with the prosperity of the cause. could get annually a meeting of all, or It was therefore determined to appeal to nearly all, the members of the Society, the liberality of the people for the purand of them exclusively, and lay before pose of effectually relieving the trust. them a history of the past year, with a This was done by a bazaar, which was full report of the condition of the Church, held in Whitsun week, and the response we should interest all parties in its was truly gratifying, the handsome sum prosperity, and secure their co-operation of £200 being raised. This for a country in carrying on the work in all its de village was noble. The debt on the partments. Accordingly, I named my premises is now £350; but the trustees impression to some of the leaders' hope to be able to reduce it by some meetings, and found them ready most small sum yearly. cordially to enter into the plan. Five The school was reported to be in a such meetings have been held in the Cir prosperous condition, the attendance of cuit; and now I wish to report the the scholars being good, and there being results, that our friends in other parts of evidence that the instructions given them the Connexion may go and do likewise. were taking effect on their minds. I Before I describe the meetings, however, have given already the pumber of memI would just say that, to secure a full bers in Church-fellowship. It was a attendance of the members, we took the slight decrease on some former years; but following method. We met and took tea 9 good feeling pervaded the Society, and together. Each leader was supplied with the attendance at the more private means tickets for the members of his own class. of grace was improving. After the reTheir price was fourpence each, but to port was given, Mr. Taylor spoke briefly those members wbo in his judgment would on the duty of the Church to exercise find it inconvenient to pay anything, he benevolence toward its poorer members; was to present a ticket free; to the rest and proposed the formation of a benevohe was to state the price, and leave it lent fund, supporting his proposition by
a liberal subscription. The brethren, W. Fletcher, Dalley and Briggs, then gave admirable addresses on the true prosperity of the Church, the duty of all the members to seek it, and the best means by which it might be promoted. As we had to be present again at the watchnight service, we now separated, highly delighted with the pleasant and profitable time we had enjoyed together.
This meeting proved to be the beginning of good days to our Stapleford Society; a glorious revival almost immediately broke out, and still continues, by which some fifty or sixty souls have been awakened and brought to seek salvation by repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our second meeting was held at Basford on Feb. 10th. We have here a Society of about sixty members. Owing to death in their family, several were un able to be with us; but there was a large attendance, and truly it was good to be there. As a fortnight before, at & full Society meeting, the yearly statement of accounts respecting both chapel and Society had been presented, it was not thought necessary to repeat the account, and we at once proceeded by united prayer and mutual exhortation to provoke each other to love and good works. While thus engaged, an unction from the Holy One rested upon us, and the 630th hymn, commencing, “Our souls by love together knit," more correctly describes what were our feelings than any words I can select. Our friends here are of an excellent spirit. Lately their place of worship was too small for them, and they resolved to enlarge their borders. This they have done in an admirable manner, giving their time, labour and money, for the purpose in a way that reflects upon them the highest credit. They have now a beautiful chapel, lighted with gas, and the debt upon it, through their own libe. rality on the one hand, and their strict economy on the other, is moderate ; and it was delightful to hear them, one after the other, state that they were determined to labour as hard this year for the spiritual prosperity of the cause, as they had the past year to defray the expenses of the chapel-enlargement. The school here is in a very satisfactory state, and there have been several additions to the Society of late.
Our tbird meeting was at Beeston, where we bave & Society of about fifty members, and nearly all were with us. The review of the year was on the whole encouraging. Between thirty and forty pounds have been laid out in painting
and beautifying the chapel, and lighting it with gas. It is now as neat a village chapel as most, and the expense has been defrayed by the friends during the year, with the exception of a small sum; and besides this effort they have recently introduced a harmonium for the choir at the cost of forty-two guineas. The liberality which our friends here manifest in supporting the cause cannot but be mentioned to their commendation. According to their means, they do as nobly as most people, I know. Their Sunday-school is in a flourishing condition; and of late the Church has had indications of prosperity. Several have been added, and the Spirit of God seems to be working on the minds of the young people. May they be willing in the day of Christ's power! I should say of our meeting, that it was a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.
We all were of one heart and soul,
And only love inspired the whole. We held our Nottingham meeting on Shrove Tuesday. Though our expectations were high respecting the attendance of the members, they were considerably surpassed. Upwards of three hundred were present. We took tea in the vestries and then adjourned to the chapel. It was my pleasing task to present a very gratifying report of our operations during the past year, and of the success with which it had pleased God to crown our efforts in every department of usefulness. We have made such improvements in the chapel that it is scarcely like the same place it was before they were effected. The whole pewing of the bottom of the chapel has been re-arranged, the old singing-seat before the pulpit taken away, and a communion formed an orchestra built behind the pulpit over the yard between the chapel and vestry, an organ of first-rate character introduced, the whole interior of the premises thoroughly cleaned and painted, the pews being painted inside and out; besides various other alterations and improvements requisite for the comfort of the congregation, or the proper preservation of the property. The total expenditure for these objects bas been £794, towards which upwards of £600 has been received, and the deficiency it is intended to raise during the present year. The organ was opened on the 5th of October, when the Revs. J. Edwards and J. A. Baynes fa. voured us with their services; and on the day following we celebrated the occasion by the holding of a large tea-meeting. On this day we were honoured with the presence and presidency of our esteemed friend, J. Ridgway, Esq., of Cauldonplace, whose visit will long be gratefully remembered by the friends. Such à meeting, all concur in saying, had never before been held in connexion with the Parliament-street Chapel. The large at tendance, the enthusiasm of the people, the excellent speaking and singing, all combined to make it a brilliant affair. There is one feature about the changes we have made in the chapel which I must notice. As far as my knowledge extends, they have given high and universal satisfaction. This to the active promoters of them is a most gratifying circumstance; while we have now a chapel which, for neatness and convenience, and, without presumption I think I may add, as far as the interior is concerned, for beauty too, may bear comparison with any chapel in the town.
We have also been improving the trust estate, as well as the building. The debt on the estate, for a long series of years, has been such as to require great liberality on the part of the trustees to sustain it; and lately they have given several hundreds of pounds to lighten the burden, bringing the debt down to £2,775. The interest paid on this debt is £114 7s. 1d. per annum. There has been such a delightful improvement in the income of the estate from seat-rents during the last few years, that I will give the particulars. In 1846, the total income from seatrents was £121 9s.; in 1847, it was £124 6s. ; in 1848, it was £134 23.; in 1849, it was £154 58.; in 1850, it was £160; in 1851, it was £174. Thus in five years the increase in seat-rents has reached the sum of £53 yearly; and I trust it has not yet attained its maximum, as the trustees will gladly hail the time when, from the income of the estate, they shall be able to contribute to the support of the spiritual interests of the cause.
I may just add that the body of trustees has been renewed ; and the deed not allowing of more than eleven, they now consist of the following persons : Messrs. Salt, Sutton, Higginbottom, J. Bradley, Cope, Foster, Tait, Wollatt, J. F. Sutton, Harvey, and G. Bardsley.
The Nottingham Society is in & healthy and vigorous state. The means are well attended, and the presence and blessing of God are found in them. During the year, there has been a clear addition of twenty to the Church, and there is a considerable number on trial. The schools, too, are prospering. A good work is breaking out among the
elder scholars, and many of them have begun to meet in class. We have also a Town Missionary, who, during the past year, has paid two thousand four hundred and twenty-three domiciliary visits, for the purpose of religious eonversation, reading the Scriptures, and prayer. Every Lord's-day about thirteen hundred tracts are put in circulation; and we have two Benevolent societies, which expended about thirty pounds among the poor. There are likewise two Dorcas societies for the distribution of clothing among the necessitous. Financially, too, the cause is in a satisfactory condition. The people have given to the various objects requiring their support, both local and Connexional, with a praise worthy liberality; for all purposes, no less a sum than £1250 having been raised by the congregation during the year.
Coming to the obituary department of the Report, I find the following have been removed from fellowship with us on earth to fellowship with the Church of the first-born in heaven. On Jan. 18th, Mr. Thomas Kirk died, aged 74. His whole life bad been a Cbristian one, and he went down to the grave like a ripe shock of corn gathered into the garner.
On the 27th of the same month, sister Bartram was called to her rest. Her death was not expected by her friends till within a few hours of its occurrence ; but her last moments were peaceful and happy. She had been a member of the Church about seventeen years.
Sister Sennell was the next to ex. change time for eternity. She died Feb. 4th, aged 68 years, and had been about sixteen years in the Society. Many were her afflictions here, but she is gone to the better country, where sorrow and sighing flee away, and all tears are wiped from all faces.
in the course of this month Mrs. Man. love fell asleep. Affliction in a very severe form had long kept her from the house of God, and caused her to pass her days in solitude and pain. But she kept on the sure foundation, and died happy in the Lord.
On the 24th of April, sister Betsy Ann White died after a very brief illness. She was brought to our chapel about sixteen years ago, and soon became a member. She was an assiduous visitor for the Junior Benevolent Society, and though of a retiring disposition, I believe lived to God. In the same month, also, sister Lucy Joynes finished her course ; a course highly honourable to herself and useful to her generation. She was admitted a
member in 1799, when seventeen years of age ; and having put her hand to the plough, she never looked back. In various ways she served the Church to which she belonged, and, like the elect lady to whom the Apostle John addressed his epistle, she was loved by Christ's ministers for the truth's sake.
Sister Sophia Daft died on the 3rd of Jane, aged 47. She was & native of Hucknall, and through attending our Sabbath-school there became in early life the subject of religious impressions. The good seed, however, did not spring up and bear fruit till many years after it was sown. She first became decided in religion when living at Radford, and joined our Society there. Removing to Nottingham, she of course became a member of Parliament-street Society. For many years she was a tract-distributor, and visitor for the Junior Benevolent Society; and at the social meetings of the Church and congregation she was ever ready to lend assistance. Her illness was long and painfal. At its first commencement, she was afraid her faith and patience would not be equal to the trial ; but she found the promises of God to be true, and as her day so was her strength. For several weeks before her death she was in an exceedingly happy state of mind.
Brother W. Crisp was the next to whom the summons came. He had long been a pillar in the Church, and was held in high esteem for his many excellences. An account of his life appeared in the Magazine for October last. When set. tling his earthly affairs, he remembered the Church and its institutions, and bequeathed to the Society, the missions, the yearly collection, and the Junior Be.
d the Junior Benevolent Society the sum of £0 each, An example, this, worthy of the imitation of our more affluent friends.
On August 2nd, brother Cockayne breathed his last. He died of apoplexy, and was unable in his last moments to speak of the state of his mind. I cannot gay how long he had been a member.
Sister Sarah Clarke died Oct. 21st, at the advanced age of 87. She was likewise" an old disciple," having given her heart to God when about seventeen. She then joined the Wesleyan Society, and was a singer in the Old Tabernacle, Balloon-court, Nottingham, during the days of Mr. Wesley; so that, in all probability, at the time of her death she was the oldest Methodist in this part. When the division took place in 1797, she joined the Kilhamites, and had continued in our Connexion ever since. Of late years
her faculties much failed her, and she lapsed into second childhood; still she gave evidence that the name of Jesus was precious to her, and at times she would attempt to sing his praises,
On December 23rd, sister Barnett joined her brethren and sisters who had gone before to the Saviour's presence, Her age was 63 ; I cannot say the exact time she had been a member with us, but I believe it was the greater part of her life. The last few years she passed through a martyrdom of physical pain. I never saw sufferings equal to hers, but she was graciously supported under them. She was a person of strong mind as well as deep piety; and I never visited her without finding that I had been benefited in my own soul.
Thus as the year advanced did friend after friend depart; but we sorrow not for their removal as those who are without hope, for we believe that they sleep in Jesus and that death is gain to them.
The meeting was further addressed by the Revs. G. Goodall and J. White, and Messrs. Higginbottom, J. F. Sutton, and J. Harrison; and when we separated, it was, I hope, with hearts constrained by the love of Christ, to resolve henceforth to devote all that we have and are to his service and glory.
The last meeting of this kind we have held was at Hucknall, on Monday, the 8th inst. Above one hundred of the members were present. Owing to delay in furnishing the particulars, I was uuable to give a report of the Church here as I had done at the other places. We have a large school, and it is doing well. The congregations on the Lord's-day are good, nor is the word preached withont power; still there are not the souls ga. thered in we should like to see. Our friends have a peculiarity in their fellow. ship which I should like to see pass away; for I cannot but think it must tend to hinder the prosperity of the cause. Several of the classes meet only fortnightly, which must lead to very irregular attendance on the part of many members, and also detract from the pleasure and profit of this means of grace. Still I would not hold this opinion in too decided a form, for it has been their custom from the beginning, and the Church here has not been among the least prosperous. Nor do I think the period distant when it will again be visited with the reviving power of God's Spirit. The friends are looking for it, praying for it, and I believe will begin to work for it in a way they have not done of late. Our meeting on Monday was surely the earnest of enlargement and prosperity, and I think all who were there felt it to be so. Our friend Mr. Ward gave an address to the young people, which I hope they will not forget very soon. The brethren Piggin, sen., Daykin, F. Thom son, Cale, Pye and Jas. Piggin also spoke, and after spending nearly five hours to gether we went home with hearts full of love to each other and love to God.
In conclusion, I may say of the Cir. cuit generally that it is doing well. On the whole, I take it to be in a healthy condition, and hope ere long the various Societies in it will receive large accessions of souls truly converted to God.
SHEFFIELD South CIRCUIT.--OPENING OF New CAAPEL, TALBOT-STREET PARK.--Progression is a law of nature, and one of the distinguishing features of society in the present age. This truth has of late been verified in our own Connexion, which may be seen from the reports which have appeared in the Connexional Department of our Magazines within the last three years. The antique notions that chapel-debts were essential to the well-being of Methodism has proved a fallacy, and sad experience has shown them to be a monster evil. Hence a struggle has arisen; and in well-nigh every Circuit noble, and in some instances truly gigantic efforts have been made for the entire extinction or reduction of the debts on chapel and school premises. Whilst Halifax and Huddersfield have distinguished themselves by their mighty achievements in bazaars, Mossley and other places by the total removal of their debts, the friends of the Sheffield South Circuit have nobly and unani. mously responded to the call of the times, and have not only reduced their chapel. debt but have also erected a new chapel nearly free of debt.
In the Magazine for July, 1851, a notice appeared of the laying of the corner stone of this chapel on the day of the farewell soirée to the Rev. J. H. Robinson. The following is the architectural description of the building, as it appeared in the Sheffield Times.
“ The entrance-front is in Talbot-street, and has rather a plain appearance, built of dressed stone, with stone dressings to the windows. There is only one en trance--a doorway, with a window on each side to light the galleries and staircases thereto, with a double central window. The two sides and end of the chapel are of rock-faced wall-stone, hav.
ing four windows on each side, with stone dressings and circular heads. These windows are to light both the gallery and lower part of the chapel, and have a hopper ventilator in each of them. The size of the cbapel inside, including the two staircases to the galleries, is fifty feet long and forty-one feet six inches wide, having fifty-six pews on the ground-floor, and fifty-two pews in the galleries, and capable of seating about 650 persons. There is a spacious schoolroom beneath, the whole size of the chapel, and fourteen feet high, which will contain 600 scholars. The school is lighted by ten windows, having hopper ventilators in the same. It is also efficiently venti. lated from the ceiling."
From the above description it will be seen that the building is neat, commodious and substantial. The interior, whilst free from all costly decorations, is everything which can be wished in a place of worship; it is remarkably chaste in appearance, and well arranged for the comfort of the congregation. The whole was designed by Mr. E. Falding, archi. tect, to whom it does the greatest credit.
The chapel was opened for divine worship on Sunday, February 22nd, when two very able and deeply-impressive sermons were preached to crowded congregations by the Rev. W. Mills, of Ashton. On the Tuesday following a public soirée was held in the school-room, when above 600 persons took tea. After tea, a pub. lic meeting was held, when the spacious room was densely crowded. L. G. Reed, Esq., very efficiently presided. Mr. W. Fenton read an interesting report of the origin and progress of the New Connexion in the Park, and the meeting was subsequently addressed by the Revs. J. Poxon, w. Burrows, T. Rodge, R. B. Clark, and Messrs. Fenton, Crowther and Wood. The entire meeting was of the most animated and enthusiastic nature, whilst a joyous emotion was visible throughout the whole audience. The opening services were resumed on Sunday the 29th, when the Rey. S. Hulme, of Liverpool, preached two truly eloquent sermons, full of rich thoughts and well stored with gospel truths. The chapel was again filled in every part.
The collections and proceeds of the teameeting amount to £102 3s. 5d., which, together with proceeds of bazaar and subscriptions, makes the sum realized upwards of £1,300, leaving only rather more than £300 on the whole premises. Of the remaining debt, the trustees have pledged themselves to pay off £50 a year, without farther aid, until the whole is