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A PARENTS' TEA MEETING AT PENDLETON, MANCHESTER CIRCUIT.
MR. EDITOR,-For some time we had colleague at 6d. each, the conductors been impressed with the conviction that having a number put into their hands for the parents of our scholars did not co sale to the elder scholars. The teachers operate with us so beartily as was de entered heartily into the work, the home sirable. We felt assured that if we could of each of their scholars was visited, excite in their minds a more lively in and the parents invited to the tea-meetterest in our efforts, and prevail upon ing. The result was, that on the eventhem to do all they could to second our ing of the tea-meeting, the school-room endeavours, our operations would be was thronged. A good tea was provided, carried on with much greater efficiency, to which ample justice was done. After and be productive of a larger measure ten, our esteemed minister, the Rev. T. of success. To bring about this de Clifton, took the chair. The first resolu. sirable result we determined to hold “A tion was moved by S. Naylor, and Parents' Tea Meeting." We thought seconded by J. Jarvey, viz., " That in that if we could get them together at a the opinion of this meeting it is highly meeting of this kind we should have an desirable that the parents should co. opportunity of expressing to them, operate with the teachers in the work of in a kind and affectionate manner, the instructing the children placed under objects we had in view in the instruction their care." The second resolution, which of their children, and our desire that was as follows, was moved by T. Elkinthey should render us all the assistance too, and seconded by W. Diggle, “That in their power. We thought also that in view of the educational and religious we should have an opportunity of in aspects of the age, this meeting pledges viting those who did not attend any itself to renewed and increased exertions place of worship to come to ours, and to promote the intellectual and spiritual of impressing upon their minds the well-being of their charge." The adimportance of the concerns of the dresses were listened to with deep attensoul, and the necessity of attending to tion, and, at the close of the meeting, all their eternal interests. With these ob- retired evidently gratified with the projects in view we commenced our prepa ceedings of the evening. We hope and rations. One of the teachers of each devoutly pray that the meeting may be class was furnished with a number of productive of much good. tickets at 4d. each, and two for self and October, 1852.
MEETING OF ADULT SCHOLARS. “How can our Sabbath-schools be made tions and fines of the scholars, the more beneficial to our Churches ?" Ever amount expended in the purchase of since their establishment, this has been books for the use of the elasses, and & desideratum. Now, it occurs to me, other outlays, after which the young sir, that this may be supplied to a con people were addressed on suitable subsiderable extent were our schools to jects by Messrs. Gee, T. E. Whittaker, carry out several plans which are being Greaves, &c. This part of the meeting adopted in various parts of the Connex was closed at an early hour, when the ion. Without naming them separately, room being cleared, the young people we would refer to one which is working indulged themselves with a little physical well in connexion with our Peter-street recreation which must have been benefiSchool, Manchester. They have in that cial and necessary after their all-day school two large adult classes, and these confinement. classes form & society which frequently But best of all, sir, this society is promeets for mental and spiritual improve ducing a salutary influence upon our ment-a kind of introductory society to Church and congregation at Peter-street. the Church. In addition to their weekly Some of our youth have been brought to meetings, they hold also an annual tea Jesus, who has justified and delivered meeting.
them from the dominion of sin, and who The second annual meeting was held are now giving evidence of the posses. on the 7th Nov., when a goodly company sion of a cheerful but sincere piety. I drank tea together. After tea, the meet. trust the Lord will preserve them by the ing being opened as usual, in the absence power of his Spirit, and prepare them to of their chairman and teacher, Mr. T. take part in the future development of Jones, I was called upon to occupy that Christ's kingdom, which shall gladden position. Mr. R. Wood, their secretary, the coming age.
T.C. read the report, whieh stated the amount Pendleton, Nov., 1852. of money raised by the weekly subscrip
A PASTORAL ADDRESS OF THE MINISTERS IN THE MANCHESTER DISTRICT TO THE MEMBERS AND FRIENDS OF THEIR CHURCHES,
DEAR BRETHREN,- Permit us, your fear, are seriously remiss in this sacred ministers, to address you on subjects in duty; they allow trivial reasons to keep which both we and yourselves have a them from the Lord's table. How strong, deep and solemn interest. The Church how various our obligations to yield wil. of the living God, which he has pur- ling obedience to his gracious sovereign chased with his own blood, is the repo- will! How sweet, how refreshing to hold sitory of his saving truth, and the great communion with him! And where can we channel through which the Holy Ghost enjoy this communion to greater advanworks, by various means, for the salva. tage than in the spiritual participation tion of mankind. In the efficiency and of the sacred emblems of his death and prosperity of the Church is closely passion ? In this holy service is symunited, not only the glory of God and bolized the great acts and wondrous dothe joys and encouragements of the ings, the immense love of the world's saints, but the well-being of the whole Redeemer. Therein is set forth, in a world. What Christian, fully convinced most persuasive manner, the only way of of these things, does not deeply mourn acceptance. In this service God and man that the Church is not more fully imbued are brought into saving communion. By with the spirit of Christ, more aggres- a proper participation in this sacrament sive in its movements, more effective in we are made partakers of the divine its labours in the salvation of men ? nature-are changed from glory into
Lamenting the apathy of the Churches, glory. Can it be supposed that any real and the want of marked success in the Christian will neglect so boly an ordicause which all Christians profess to be nance? The mere supposition is paindearer to them than life itself; knowing ful to the mind. Yet it is to be feared that declension may be followed by the that some do neglect it. Ponder, dear withdrawal of the Holy Ghost, un brethren, deeply ponder your obligaless we search and try our ways, and tions to Christ, the power of your exturn again unto God, rending our hearts ample, the necessities of your souls, and pleading with him to spare and re, and make strenuous efforts to be at these vive us again that we may rejoice in him seasons of homage and refreshment, so - the ministers in the district met to helpful to your struggling piety. Get gether at Peter-street Chapel, Manches. nearer to the cross in your general conter, on Friday, September 24th, 1852, versation and spirit. Frequently consiand, after devotional exercises and pon- der the price of your redemption, the dering seriously the state of the amazing love of Christ to a fallen world, Churches, resolved on issuing an ad and let your hearts be filled with his dress to the members and friends with power. Every time you bear the sacrawhoin they are identified, calculated to ment announeed, spend portions of every stir up your minds by way of remem day in that week in preparation for the brance.
sacred feast of the following Sabbath ; Receive, beloved brethren, in the spi- come to his table with hearts deeply afrit of brotherly kindness and prayer, the fected with your own unworthiness, rematters which we now lay before you. fleeting profoundly on the power of It is high time for us to awake out of Christ to save to the uttermost; with sleep, and go forth in the power of om hearts deeply penetrated with brotherly nipotent grace to the great work of sav love, and with melting charity to all ing a perishing world. Hitherto we mankind. There may be an attendance have done but little for our God; but let on this sacred means of grace without us shake off sloth, and by the armour of personal profit; but it need not be so, righteousness on the right hand and on for Christ has promised that his banner the left, and full of the Holy Ghost, be over us shall be love, and that his fruit effective witnesses for Christ. May we, shull be sweet to our spiritual taste; and in the first place, urge upon all, as mem when we approach his table with devout bers of Christ, that there be a marked breathings for his presence, he will reimprovement in your attendance on the veal himself to our waiting soals, and sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Some feed us with that bread of which if a of our people, for conscience sake, mind- man eat he shall live for ever. ful of their obligations to Christ, and We would also urge upon all our anxious for the prosperity of their souls, members the high necessity and experido frequently commune with their Sa- mental advantage of a regular and pious viour in this sacred repast; others, we attendance on our class-meetings. All
Christians are called upon, not only to believe in Christ, but openly to confess him before men. We all greatly need the exhilarating power of communion with kindred spirits, occupied as we are in seeking the salvation wbich is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. How refresh ing, how encouraging for Zion's travel lers to commune with brethren by the way! How often do we find not only instruction but abounding consolation and divine boldness in these brotherly meetings! We beseech you, brethren, that you make these means as wells of salvation to your souls. Let our leaders be much with Christ, in spirit, in faith, in prayer, and in searching the Holy Scriptures, that they bring forth out of the abundance of their hearts sound instruction for the correction, edification and comfort of the members. Let the leaders and members come nearer together in holy sympathy, brotherly intercourse, combined purpose, and zeal for God. It would, we believe, tend to mutual profit if our leaders would see all their members at least once a week. To the members we would say, hold up the hands and cheer the hearts of your leaders by marked progress in knowledge and grace, by a uniform pious attendance on the sacred means of mutual and spiritual profit. Let each member bring a portion of divine influence to the social meeting, that all present may have power with God, renew their strength, and go on their way rejoicing.
Other Churches having adopted means of communion somewhat similar to our clasg-meetings, ought to raise them in our estimation, and urge us to use them for purposes of closer fellowship with Christ and his people. Forsake not, brethren, the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is; but stir up the gift of God that is within you, and exhort one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.
Another subject which we urge upon your devout consideration is family worship. How responsible the position of parents; how great the service which they may render to the cause of Christ by a pious discharge of the onerous yet pleasing duties which devolve upon them! Can there be a greater good than the possession of the great salvation ? and do not you, as parents, wish to meet your children in heaven? Have you done all which might be done for such a desirable purpose? Let conscience speak. Highly imperative it is that there should be stated times for devotion in every family; that the worship within those sacred in
closures should be simple, pare and heartfelt, pervading, as by a cloud of divine glory, the whole members of the household. See to it, we beseech you, that in these hallowed exercises you realize times of refreshing coming from the presence of the Lord. What can contribute so much to the success of these sacred exercises as a uniform con. sistent practice of breathing piety on the part of the heads of families? You love the souls, you long for the conversion of your children; show this deep concern in studiously avoiding everything which would damage their religious impressions, and by a scrupulous regard to all those gracious acts and doings which enter so largely and powerfully into the spiritual training of your beloved offspring
By actions, words and tempers show
And serve with hearts sincere. We know it, we lament it, that much is left undone which ought to be done; but let us, dear brethren, hope better things concerning you. Think often and seriously of the immense value of the souls committed to your care-of the vastness of that eternity to which both you and they are hastening-of the glory and blessedness of those parents who will be able to say to the Supreme Judge, Here are we, and the souls whom thou gavest us. Be serious, be regular in these holy duties. A man in the north prayed with his family; when he had risen from his knees, he said, This will not do; we have had no answer, we must pray again. He prayed again, and the divine glory filled all their souls. How sweet the night after such communion ! Blest is the pious house,
Where zeal and friendship meet; Their songs of praise, their mingled vows,
Make their communion sweet. Thus, on the heavenly hills,
The saints are blest above; Where joy like morning dew distils,
And all around is love. Do you, dear brethren, desire peaceful homes? Do you strongly desire that your children should be as olive-branches around your tables ? Do you desire that they should hand down the family piety, and be useful in the Church on earth when you may be in your graves? Then say, in the strength of promised grace say, “ As for us and our houses, we will serve the Lord."
Another subject which we would press home upon your serious attention is a general and pious supervision of the many young persons connected with our schools and Churches. The times which are passing over us are highly important, teeming with events of a stirring character, and fraught with thousands of incentives to dissipation, while there is a great laxity in religious doctrine and practice. Many of our juveniles, brought up at our schools and Churches, escape from us in after years. This is to be deeply lamented, and, if possible, should be prevented. Greater attention is devoted to this subject now than formerly; in forming select classes for special instruction and more regular attendance on public worship; but still more may yet be done. The ministers, convinced of this, have resolved (God willing) more frequently in their ministrations to pour forth persuasives to early piety, and, in their general intercourse with the young, endeavour to gain access to their best sympathies and win them to Christ. May we affectionately call upon our school superintendents, teachers, and friends generally, by every means in their power, heartily to co-operate with us in this work of faith and labour of love. Where are we to look for a regular supply of ministers for our pulpits, of class and prayer leaders, of pillars in our Churches, when the seniors are gone to their reward, but to our young people ? Biblical classes, well conducted, may be greatly beneficial; and we hope that these will increase in number and abound in spiritual efficiency. Ministers and teachers, we call upon you all, by spirit and practice, to show these inquiring immortals the more excellent way. Let them see and feel that they are persons in whose teinporal and spiritual well-being we have a deep interest; they must feel drawn to wards us by the invisible but strong ties of sympathy and their eternal interests, that they may be compelled to say, This people shall be my people and their God my God. We long for this decision. We do not wish that they should be bigots; yet we want them to feel a Connexional attachment, and to say concerning our Churches :
Here would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
But like a child at home. Another subject on which we feel much concern is the Sabbath of the Lord. Is it not a crying sin of these times that the Sabbath is fearfully desecrated ? Multitudes neglect the ordinances of religion altogether, and others only attend to them partially ; and even amongst those who profess to worship
the God of their fathers, how many are deficient in that sanctity of the Sabbath which ought to live, and move, and breathe amongst all true Christians. Can this state of things go on without producing the most disastrous consequences to our holy religion, and, as a natural result, to the well being of the whole world? Did not the people, the Jews of old, sin against God in this way? and did not God visit them with dire calamities on account of such things ? And can we expect to escape his wrath unless we repent and return to God, rending our hearts and pouring out our souls before him, that he may turn our minds back again to himself? Oh! is it not high time that the faithful amongst men should cry and sigh for the abominations done in the land, that they set themselves right with God, and by practice and strenuous efforts protest against this baneful departure from righteousness? The Sabbath, the whole of the Sabbath, belongs to God, for the benefit of mankind in their religious, eternal interests. How great the work of salvation! How mighty the influences of the Sabbath upon the interest of religion, and, as a consequence, upon the well-being of the whole family of man! How dangerous for England to decline in a pious observance of the Christian Sabbath! How urgent the necessity that we preserve Christianity pure and effective; in spirit, in practice, in our hearts, homes, churches, and institutions. Behold the antagonism of our holy religion; the daring insidious attacks of open enemies; the influence of erroneous teachers, the dissipation of mere worldlings! And are the Churches to be apathetic, and see the bulwarks of their religion weakened by an awful desecration of the Sabbath of the Lord ? Shall we see these things and slumber on? God forbid! Crying is the necessity for repentance and return to God; for how many, even amongst professing Christians, are deeply involved in that violation of the sanctity of the Sabbath which, like a contagion, is working its destructive course into all departments of society. Brethren, we beseech you, by the mercies of God, by your vows to Christ, by the love of the Spirit, by your compassion for precious souls, by all that is momentous in the stability of your civil and religious institutions, by all that is urgent in the piercing cries of & fallen but redeemed world-by all these considerations combined we beseech you to come up to the help of the Churches against this crying sin of these times. In your personal, domestic, and social relationship set yourselves determinately against the evil, and, as far as possible, recover others from the widespreading pestilence.
Another matter which we deem of great importance to the prosperity of our Churches is a more regular attendance on our social prayer-meetings. All the promises are sure to persevering prayer. We are not straitened in God, but we are straitened in ourselves; we restrain prayer. Can there be prosperity in our Churches-can sinners be turned from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, without divine influence ? Most certainly not. The residue of the Spirit is with God, and he is waiting to pour it forth like floods upon the dry ground. But we have not, because we ask not; we ask and receive not, because we ask amiss. Show us the Churches where the word of the Lord comes in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance-where the arm of the Lord is made bare in the sight of the people. Why so much labour with so little apparent effect? Where can the hindrance be? It is not in Godhe waits to save; it is not in the gospelit is the power of God to salvation; it is not in the Spirit-he is a quickening Spirit. God is nigh to them that call upon him, to such as call upon him in truth. The hindrance must be in ug. Let us shake ourselves from the dust: let us arise in the potency of general, united, faithful prayer; let us say, by our earnest perseverance to the God of our mercies, We will not let thee go unless thou bless us. Then signs and wonders will mark the places of our assemblies, and the wilderness will be come as a fruitful field. Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silent; give him no rest until he establish Zion and make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. May we suggest that in prayer meetings all be simple and to the point, full of strong faith and joyful hope; that we all plead as with the heart of one man, that God may arise and shine, that his glory may descend upon us and make us a praise in the earth. Time was when Methodists were powerful in prayer; they met in private bands for Christian converse and devotion, Scarcely ever did they meet in social intercourse but prayer sanctified and ended the sacred hour; their communion was always profitable for spiritual purposes ; as face answers to face in a glass, so did they reflect upon each other's souls the glorious image of Christ, and they were changed from glory to glory as by the
Spirit of the Lord. May we not say, Haste again, ye days of grace! Much might be done for our souls, for our Churches, were we now to improve all seasons of social intercourse in abounding prayer and thanksgiving; God would hearken and hear, and a book of re membrance would be written for them that thought upon his name; dew would descend from heaven, and showers of blessings come down like rain upon the mown grass. Whe, then, will stir up himself to lay hold on God? Who will make the experiment? Who will lead the way? Who will fully carry out the spirit of his profession as a witness for Christ? Let the ministers and the people go and weep between the porch and the altar, and cry, Spare thy people, revive our Churches, that our souls may rejoice in thee. Oh! there is hope concerning us in this thing. Now the Spirit is moving, now the heavens are big with rain. Up to your closets, to your assemblies, to the cross ! Plead, plead, plead, and in and through Christ we must prevail !
In another way great service may be rendered to the Churchez dear to our hearts, viz., by kind, true-hearted recognition of each other as fellow-worshippers and fellow-travellers. A word spoken in season, how good it is! Many are the storms without, many the counteractions to entire devotedness to God, many the anxious cares and struggles of the saints to keep themselves unspotted from the world. Every means possible should be fully employed to keep a good fellowship amongst the servants of our God. Brotherly recognition, the gracious smile, the hearty pressure of the hand, the occasional call, the kind visit in affliction, the tender look, the tones of sympathy, the spiritual prayer-how much the power of these may be felt and diffused! Methodists now scarcely know the people of their congregations; they allow persons to come and go without well-directed efforts for bringing them into the kingdom of God; even some of the members are almost unknown. The bonds of brotherly affection and labour must be brought closer together; we must see eye to eye and meet soul to soul; all must be pervaded and actuated by the Spirit of Christ; and, by Christian conversation and mutual prayer, we must provoke one another to love and good works
Hands, and hearts, and voices raise,