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taking into consideration many recent heavy claims upon Connexional generosity in the locality, it was not deemed expedient to aim for the present at more than £1200. That sum was considered attainable then, reserving for a second effort in a year or two the successful conclusion of the matter. Some of our leading friends were waited upon, and, without exception, were favourably disposed; and then a congregational tea-meeting was called, at which the proposition was laid before our friends in general, and so heartily did the friends concur that we realised more than £200 over the amount proposed. This was exceedingly gratifying to all concerned, and a congratulatory tea-meeting was held at which a full statement of all the sums contributed from £100 to 2s. 6d. respectively was given, and the method of its appropriation announced. This meeting was one of great pleasure, as it proved what could be done when a body of trustees took the congregation with them in any financial effort, and all "put their shoulder to the wheel." I am requested to publish the following list of contributions:

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and sums under £1, making a grand total of £1476 6s. 6d. Special collections have also been made at the trust anniversary sermons for two successive years, from which we have received about £230. As soon as a sufficient number of the above promised sums were paid our worthy treasurer, W. Scott, Esq, lost no time in paying off £1000 of the mortgage debt, and

cancelling the £200 owing on the note of hand. This itself was a great relief to the estate, and therefore a great satisfaction to our trustees.

But while in the midst of this effort, it was discovered that the roof of Bethesda Chapel needed strengthening, and indeed required immediate attention. This, with some special expenses incurred in preparation for the holding of Conference here involved us in an outlay of upwards of £500. The balance in hand from the effort just made was appropriated in part payment of this; and though this extraordinary expenditure came at an awkward conjuncture, yet our generous friends were equal to the emergency, and more!

For I have now the pleasure of announcing that an effort, which promises to be very successful, has been inaugurated to extinguish the entire balance of the mortgage debt, viz., £2000. This has been stimulated by the handsome bequest of £500 made to Bethesda Chapel by the late J. Wood, Esq., of Nottingham, and by the noble proposal of Thos. Worthington, Esq., of Hanley, to contribute £300 if the debt be extinguished by next Conference. The trustees some five years ago very wisely took shares in a building society, the estimated value of which at the present time is £600, So we see £1400 guaranteed, and all the rest will, with God's blessing, be forthcoming. When accomplished, I am sure all the Connexion will rejoice with us that glorious old Bethesda is in so favourable a financial position. Hanley. J. C. WATTS.

REOPENING OF BETHEL CHAPEL, DURHAM.

DURING the last three months this chapel has been closed while a course of improvements constituting a thorough renovation has been in progress Besides its entire repainting, and a number of minor alterations, a sunlight has been introduced, by which a single cluster of burners is made to shed a soft and yet most effective light over the whole gallery and body of the building.

The result may be summarised, by saying that our friends are agreed in pronouncing their place of worship everything they could desire, and in thankfulness that they return to it under such auspicious circumstances.

The morning of Lord's-day, the 12th of December, the day of the reopening, was looked forward to with very lively interest. Nor were the anticipations which preceded it unrealised. As the Rev. S. Hulme, whose services on the occasion were very highly appreciated, discoursed to the goodly congregations, deep feeling of holy joy seemed to pervade the countenances of many of his hearers, and it was "a high day" in the best sense of the word to them all.

The following afternoon, Monday the 13th of December, brought the time for the reopening tea-meeting, and our friends mustered in full force in honour of the occasion. It was pleasing to see how entirely the congregation, as a whole, had entered into the social celebration. At the after meeting, John Bramwell, Esq., Recorder for the City, occupied the chair, and addresses were delivered by the Revs. S. Hulme, S. Goodall, W. A. Mitchell, D.Brearley, Jas. Shiphardson, E. Wright, and our veteran friend, Mr. Archibald Thompson.

But we have reserved to the close of our notice a most interesting feature of the changes wrought in our chapel.

One of the most conspicuous of these is the placing of a marble tablet to the memory of the honoured friend whose name must ever be associated with it, on one of the walls of the chapel. We must only say of the tablet, as a specimen of workmanship in marble it cannot but be considered a beautiful work of art. The following is its inscription:

In memory of

JOSEPH LOVE, ESQ., J. P.,
of Mount Beulah, Durham,
whose useful and successful life
peacefully closed

on the 21st of February, 1875,
in the 79th year of his age.
By energy and perseverance
he rose to affluence and honour:
His talents and wealth were consecrated
to the cause of God generally,

but especially to the Methodist New Connexion,
to whose interests he ever gave his best
sympathies and munificent support.
This chapel

and many other chapels and schools
are monuments of his liberality.
Religion, Education, Temperance,
and the Poor

lost in his death a devoted benefactor.
Admiring friends

placed this Tablet as a Memorial

of his inestimable worth.

It should be added that the considerable cost of this memorial was contributed without any personal solicitation. A mere notification of what was proposed sufficed to raise the requisite amount. It had been the special desire of many persons to contribute to this object, and it was in deference to their earnest wish that Mrs. Love consented to forego the purpose of placing herself this memento to her honoured husband on the wall of our chapel.

There is much must now remain unwritten which almost clamours for utterance. The name and deeds of our departed friend will long remain in the North of England "familiar as household words."

EDWIN WRIGHT

ARRIVAL OF THE REV M. J. BIRKS AT ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

OCR readers already know that our esteemed brother, Mr. Birks, has reached his destination. The South Australian Advertiser gives the following account of his first service:

The Rev. M. Birks, who succeeds the Rev. Clement Linley in the pastorate of the Methodist New Connexion Church, Franklin Street, commenced his ministry in that place of worship on Sunday morning, September 26. Mr. Birks selected as his text 1 Samuel, iv., 18.

In reviewing the life of Eli, to whom the text referred, the rev. gentleman said that all had their failings, and he was glad that the Scriptures referred to the defects in the patriarchs and others, for if their lives had been described as perfect many persons would reject the truths that they contained. Although Eli was a God-fearing man, he occasionally failed in his duties, both to his Maker and man. He, however, acknowledged his shortcomings. To judge truthfully of a man's character, they should survey his surroundings, and make due allowance for the condition in which he was placed, and exercise that Christian charity that covered a multitude of sins. They should not, like some people, look out only for imperfections. After referring to the functions and duties of a judge and high priest, the positions held by Eli-the wicked and dissolute lives of his two sons,

Hophni and Phinehas, came under review, the preacher remarking that then as now an immoral priesthood soon told its own tale. Although it was Eli's duty to remove his sons from the high positions they held, he did not do so. The rev. gentleman in applying the text said they could draw many useful lessons from the life of Eli. It showed that grace was not hereditary; it could not be transmitted. A child might be brought up in a religious home and receive spiritual instruction, but however anxious its parents might watch over it, it might still be unsaved. It was a personal matter; they would have to seek the Lord for themselves. After referring to the necessity of parents giving their children a careful home training, he said that Eli's love for his sons overruled his judgment. He simply reproved them for their wickedness when he ought to have removed them from office. His affection was stronger than his judgment. Eli also showed them an example of submission, which Mr. Birks remarked was easy to theorise on, but hard to attain. When Samuel told him what the Lord would do concerning his house, he said, "It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth Him good.' The man was happy indeed who could say with all submission, Thy will be done." Although Eli had failed in his duty, they had no reason for supposing that he was forsaken by his Maker. They should all cherish charity. Then, again, there was no feeling of jealousy on the part of Eli when he was told that Samuel was to be his successor. They also learned that unless they were very watchful their sun might set under a cloud. They should walk uprightly. Eli trembled for the ark of the Lord-he trembled for it. It was not for temporal matters that he was anxious, but for the ark of God.

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The sermon was delivered with an easy flow of language.

Mr. Birks, who is apparently about thirty years of age, has no peculiar mannerism, and appears a sound, practical, and earnest preacher. He has a good voice, and although his utterances were somewhat rather low, especially towards the close of his sentences, one could hardly fail catching what was said. Mr. Birks, also officiated in the evening, when the attendance was considerably larger than in the morning.

On the following day a well-attended tea meeting was held to bid farewell to the Rev. Clement Linley and welcome the Rev. M. Birks, his successor. There was also a large number of persons present at the public meeting that followed. Mr. Matthew Goode, who presided, said that the prayers of many persons outside the pale of Mr. Linley's own church, as well as those connected with it, would follow him wherever he went. As a member of another branch of the Christian Church, he heartily welcomed the Rev. Mr. Birks to their midst. Mr. William Errington then presented to the Rev. Mr. Linley the following address, which was printed on satin :"Methodist New Connexion Church, Franklin Street, South Australia. To the Rev. Clement Linley. Dear Sir,-We, the officers, members, and congregation of the Franklin Street Church, desire to convey to you, on the eve of your departure from amongst us, the high estimation in which we hold the kind consideration you have ever shown towards us, and the help you have rendered to our Church, spiritually and temporally, during the four years you have laboured with us and for us, and we hope the seed sown in kindness, gentleness, and all faithfulness may, in God's time, bear fruit abundantly. Our earnest prayer that our Heavenly Father will safely guide you in your journey will ascend to the Throne of Grace; and we trust that by the voyage home and change of climate you will regain the blessing of vigorous health. And we also pray the Almighty that you may be spared many years to speak of His name, and that He will bless your labours for the extension of the cause of Christ our Saviour. We are, dear sir, yours very faithfully, on behalf of the Church." (Here were appended twelve signatures.) Mr. J. A. Bagshaw then, on behalf of the Church, presented Mr. Linley with an emu egg-casket, bearing a suitable inscription. The egg was mounted on a silver stand of ferns, with native grasses at the

base, the whole being surmounted by an emu. Mr. Bagshaw said that they knew Mr. Linley was not favourable to a money testimonial, so they decided to present him with something which they hoped he would not accept for its intrinsic value, but as a token of remembrance. Mr. M. M. Maughan, on behalf of the Sunday school, also presented Mr. Linley with a gold pen and pencil-case. The Rev. Mr. Linley said he was taken by surprise, for until that evening he had no idea that the meeting would have partaken of the nature that it had. He had been suffering from ill-health for some time, and as he could not attend to his ministerial duties as well as he could wish he thought it would be for the good of the Church if he gave place to another. His successor had arrived, and he prayed that he would be far more useful than he had been. He had received great kindness from them as a Church and a congregation. He exhorted them to attend the services regularly, for if they would have health in their souls they should attend the Church when they had an opportunity. They should also contribute liberally towards the maintenance of the Church, and relieve the minister as much as possible of thinking of worldly things. He advised them to work together as a Church with their pastor, and not look out for imperfections. If they proceeded in harmony, a bright future was before them. He heartily thanked them for what had been presented him, and concluded by referring to the removal by death some time ago of one of the most devoted adherents of the Church-Mr. F. C. Curtin. Mr. J. A. Bagshaw presented the following address, written on an embossed card, to Mrs. Linley :-" Dear Madam,-We, the ladies of the sewing meeting pertaining to the New Connexion Methodist Church, Franklin Street, Adelaide, South Australia, beg your acceptance of the accompanying brooch as a mark of the love and esteem which the four years of your residence here and work for the Church has engendered within us. We desire you to look at it when at a distance more as a token of our affectionate regard than as a measure of it. With the sincere wishes of all the members of the sewing meeting for a pleasant and prosperous voyage to England, and for the continuance of the blessings of the Lord on you and your family, we are, dear madam, yours very faithfully, C. Maughan, E. Hitchcox, C. Dew." Accompanying the address was a large malachite brooch set in gold. The Rev. Mr. Linley, in replying for Mrs. Linley, said he had intended to say something in praise of South Australia, but it escaped his memory. When he went to England he could tell them that there was no place where a man could dwell under more advantageous circumstances than in this colony. Mrs. Linley would always remember with pleasure her sojourn in South Australia. The Chairman apologised for the unavoidable absence of the Revs. J. Lyall, James Way, and J. Goodwin. Mr. J. Pascoe, on behalf of the Church and congregation, heartily welcomed the Rev. Mr. Birks, and hoped that he would be blessed with health and strength to labour amongst them for many years. He hoped that they would all work together in harmony. The Rev. Mr. Birks said that he was sorry and yet glad to be amongst them-sorry that their pastor was compelled, in consequence of ill-health, to return to England, and glad that he had experienced a pleasant and prosperous voyage from the old country. As he was leaving England, his friends said they would pray for a safe voyage for himself and Mrs. Birks, but he begged of them to pray, not only for their safety while travelling, but also that the Divine blessing might be poured out abundantly upon the Church here. On arriving at Melbourne he preached at Richmond three times, and received a cordial welcome. With regard to the future he had not determined on any particular course. When he knew what he had to do he would lay his plans, and hoped that the Lord would give him strength to carry them out. He might tell them that he had no new gospel to preach to them, no new-fangled system of Christianity to present. He had the same good old truths to preach about, and he earnestly prayed that the great Head of the Church would give him

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