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strength to do so. He asked them all to co-operate with him; if that were done their success would be sure. The Revs. J Henderson and James Bickford spoke in highly eulogistic terms of the Rev. Mr. Linley's worth as a minister, and expressed their sorrow at his departure. They also cordially welcomed the Rev. Mr. Birks to their midst. During the evening the choir sang several anthems very creditably.

THE JUBILEE OF OUR MISSIONS.

THEScheme for the establishment of the Methodist New Connexion Missionary Society was propounded in 1825, but the enterprise was actually entered upon at the Conference of 1826, when the first "Superintendent of the Irish Mission" was appointed. This year, 1876, will therefore be an interesting one to very many in the Denomination, as one of the historical marks of our Connexional work, and it should have some worthy commemoration.

Ireland had, indeed, been a part of the field of our operations ever since 1799, but rather as an ordinary Circuit than as a Mission. At the end of those twenty-eight years there were about 500 members, and these formed the commencement of the new society in 1826. Since that time the inconstant and in many ways exceptional nature of Irish affairs has been reflected in our returns, the membership reaching in 1841 to as many as 1401, and in 1858 coming down to as few as 503. Nevertheless, a great amount of eternal good has been accomplished through our agencies. During the past few years our numbers have steadily increased, the last year's return being 706.

So far back as 1816, a "Home Mission" was set on foot, which was liberally sustained for awhile, and did work which remains until now. But the society failed to retain the practical sympathy of the Connexion, and ceased to be. The effort was renewed in '59 and has been carried on down to the present time.

Between the beginning and ending of this half century of Connexional history we have gained and lost a colony. The Rev. J. Addyman was appointed to Canada in 1837, where, with the Divine blessing, he established a most thriving branch; and in 1874 the 7991 holding our name and principles, constituted themselves, in conjunction with the Canadian Wesleyans, a separate community, on a basis of liberal Church government.

We have been struggling since 1862 to take some part in the evangelisation of another colony of vast extent and rich resources. In that year we began to mission Australia, with blooming promises of plentiful fruit, which it is only candid to admit have not been fully realised at present.

In the very same year that the Home Mission was recommenced (1859), the Conference for the first time entered upon strictly Foreign Mission work. In the prescience of its Christian faith it selected the empire that contains one-third of the entire population of the globe--China. God has beyond our anticipation honoured that holy ambition and consecration, in the regeneration of men. The success of our efforts (through our devoted Missionaries) is without equal in the history of Chinese Missions, and it is not improbable that Providence points by that very success to the line we should still pursue. It is questionable whether in any other part of our Connexion whatever we could show such progress as there. Ten years ago sixteen members were reported, now TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX, and forty three on trial.

The income of the society at these different stages is a matter which the Connexion may look upon with some pleasure and thankfulness. Fifty years ago the income from the Euglish Circuits was £313 11s. 10d. In the next eleven years that sum was trebled (£980). In twenty-two years again the income had increased four-fold (£3614). In six more years it had gone up fifty per cent. The lowest rate of increase has been during the last ten years, in the course of which the advance has been about £600. But it

should be remembered that about £1000 a year, formerly included in the general account have, since 1868, been reported separately as the Home Mission Fund. But, with that consideration, the rate of increase has not been equal to that of the prior periods. This is not what one might have expected considering the great prosperity of the country, and leads one to think there is room for great development in this department.

If this year of Jubilee could be signalised by doubling the ordinary income it would be a laudable expression of our Christian faith and gratitude. The joy that would fill our minds would be a true and blessed festival; and the amount would be a mark which would tend very much to bring up the regular contributions of succeeding years to a higher point than the present

one.

The mere fact of this being the Jubilee would probably not be enough of itself to excite any very general enthusiasm. Some definite, spirited and practical scheme would have to be set before the Connexion, but such a programme would meet with a cheerful and liberal response.

Whether our present Foreign work shall be at once largely strengthened, or a new field entered upon, or our Home Mission mightily helped forward, our position and the present occasion are eminently favourable to success. The condition of the funds, the addition of a "Missionary Jubilee Fund," and the excellent Missionary spirit which is now largely taking hold of our people, would warrant a line of policy as vigorous as any that has hitherto characterised this department; and when once entered upon, the hands and hearts of the Connexion may be trusted to sustain it, as they have the China Mission. Scarcely £2000 were specially raised to give the China Mission a start eighteen years ago; the Mission has been sustained, and the treasurer has a large balance in hand.

The iron" may be said to be "hot" again, and it only requires the skilful and vigorous "strike."

D. HEATH.

TO THE EDITOR,—

BIRMINGHAM, Dec. 3, 1875.

Please allow me a line to acknowledge the receipt of £50, free of duty, from the Rev. Thos. Swallow, of Egremont, and J. Mellor, Esq., of Huddersfield, trustees of the late Mrs. Groves of York, in favour of our Beneficent Society.

The above has been sent as part residue of the estate of our departed friend, and cannot fail to be duly appreciated by the ministers and friends of the Connexion, who will, I am sure, concur with me in this expression of our thanks to the Executors for their kindness.-Yours very truly, WILLIAM BAGGALY, Treasurer of the Beneficent Society.

Notices of New Books.

Theology of the Old Testament. By DR. GUST. FR. OEHLER. Vol. II. T. and T. Clark. 1875.

In our notice of the first volume of this work we spoke of it in terms of warm appreciation. We again very earnestly commend it to the attention of our ministerial readers. Its study will give to many a new character to Old Testament teachings, and enable them as well-instructed scribes to bring forth things new and old out of this Divine treasury.

D

Biblical Commentary on the Proverbs of Solomon. By FRANZ DELITZSCH, D.D. Translated by M. G. EASTON, D.D. Vol II. T. and T. Clark.

1875.

THIS Volume completes Dr. Delitzsch's learned commentary on the book of Proverbs. But its learning need not deter the English student from consulting its pages. He may do so to his great benefit, as thereby he will be able to gain a clearer insight into these "words of the wise, and their dark sayings."

Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Gospel of John. By H. A. W. MEYER, Th.D. Translated from the Fifth Edition of the German. Vol. II. T. and T. Clark. 1875.

Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Epistles to the Philippians and Colossians. By H. A. W. MEYER, Th.D. Translated from the Fourth Edition of the German. T. and T. Clark. 1875.

BIBLICAL students of the original text will be glad to see the issue of these volumes.

The Living Wesley, as he was in his Youth and Prime. By J. H. RIGG, D.D. Wesleyan Conference Office. 1875.

DR. RIGG informs us that five-and-twenty years ago he cherished the hope that some day he might write the life of Wesley and the history of Methodism. In the latter aim he has been anticipated with such competency by Dr. Stevens and Dr. George Smith that now the utmost he can hope would be to elucidate some points of Methodist history, especially between 1780 and 1800, and from 1848 to the present time. The periods here referred to are fraught with interest to the Methodist student, and if Dr. Rigg can throw any additional light upon them, all minds ought to be sufficiently unbiassed and impartial to receive it thankfully.

He does, however, think that even after Mr. Tyerman's exhaustive volumes there is yet room for an original and standard life of Wesley, 66 shorter, and in some respects more satisfactory-clearer, and more discriminating as to some matters of primary importance." Fearing an opportunity may not occur to him to produce such a biography, he seeks in this small volume "to do something toward furnishing a true portraiture of John Wesley, in his human affections, in his intellectual character, and in his gifts and power as a preacher."

We sincerely thank Dr. Rigg for his little work. Its worth is not to be measured by its size. The introductory reviews of Wesley's biographers and critics we think is written with great fairness, and supplies to the general reader a large amount of interesting and useful information. The subsequent part of the work discusses Wesley's character and opinions in his earlier life to the period of his Evangelical conversion; and then he is considered as he was after his conversion and in the maturity of his powers.

Not only every Methodist, but, as it seems to us, every Christian must take an interest in the life of such a man as Wesley, and it is of the utmost importance that he should be rightly understood. Considering the results that have flowed from his labours, as Dr. Rigg remarks, "it is no wonder that the present age has waked up to an eager curiosity as to the character

of the man, the secret of his power, the meaning of his work, the history of his life." Many biographies and histories have been written to gratify this curiosity. To these Dr. Rigg's work is intended to be supplemental and corrective, and he certainly does a great deal to make Mr. Wesley a living man to his readers. All who wish to know the founder of Methodism as he was, may very advantageously consult his pages.

We ask the attention of our ministerial readers to the extracts we append. They teach a lesson which all Methodist preachers at the present day should be swift to learn, if they mean to be worthy successors of him whose successors they claim to be. The first quotation relates to :

WESLEY'S EVANGELICAL CONVERSION.

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"Until Wesley learned the doctrine of salvation by grace, through faith, not of ourselves,' but as the gift of God,' he had been a ritualist; and it had been his doctrine that salvation was secured by moral and ritual conformity to what the Church requires. From this time forth he taught that salvation was not by works or rites, but by that faith of the new creation, that faith in 'Christ and Him crucified,' which unites the soul with Christ through His Spirit, which introduces the soul into 'newness of life,' so that the believer is made a child and heir of God, and a 'joint heir with Christ.' Faith he was to teach hereafter as the principle and inlet of the Divine and Christian life in the human soul. But this change entirely revolutionised the character and tenor of his ministry. To constrain, by the authority of Christ and His Church-by virtue, very mainly of Church discipline and law-men and women to obey the requirements of the Church had been his vocation heretofore; he had been an ecclesiastical magistrate, a disciplinary officer, a moral and ritual watchman in the service of the Church; his work had been to carry out discipline and instruction in detail, But now he was to be something very different. It was to be his business to preach salvation through Christ Jesus to all men. His first and chief work now was to point the way to Him. The rest would follow for those who repaired to Him. He was not to be a priest, observing, enforcing, carrying out a ritual; but like the Baptist, whose priestly office was merged in his great prophetic function, he was to be a herald and a witness whose one vocation was to direct sinners away from himself, from the Church, from all else whatsoever, to Christ, as 'the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' Faith henceforth was to be his doctrine: he was to teach that men are saved by faith. But 'faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." From this hour, accordingly, this ritualistic priest and ecclesiastical martinet was to be transformed into a flaming preacher of the great Evangelical salvation and life in all its branches and its rich and varied experiences. Hence arose Wesleyan Methodism and all the Methodist Churches."-Pp. 144, 145.

WESLEY THE PREACHER,

The chapter devoted to this subject is one of the most interesting in the work. We give the paragraph which traces his wonderful success to its chief source:

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"Wesley had been an excellent preacher of his kind, though not as yet Evangelical, before he went to America. His beautiful sermon on the Circumcision of the Heart,' preached before the University of Oxford in 1733, is one of several sermons included in his works which afford decisive evidence on this point. His style also-a style which the best judges, such as Southey, have agreed in greatly admiring, and which, indeed, no one who understands and loves clear, pure, pleasant English can fail to admire-seems to have been already formed at that period, although its full power was not as yet developed; it was awaiting development under the inspiration of full Christian tenderness and zeal. But it was not until after he had become Böhler's disciple that, for reasons already stated, preaching came to be recognised and felt by himself to be his great work, or that the characteristic power of his preaching was brought out. It was his perception of the doctrine of salvation by faith which not only transformed him thereafter into a preacher as his first and greatest calling, but which also breathed a new soul into his preaching. When

he began to preach this doctrine, his hearers generally felt that a new power accompanied his preaching; and at the same time the clergy and the orthodox Pharisaic hearers felt that a dangerous, startling, revolutionary doctrine was being proclaimed. Wherever he preached crowds followed, in larger and larger volume, to hear him; but, at the same time, church after church was shut against him. As Gambold wrote in a letter to Wesley, it is the doctrine of salvation by faith which seems to constitute the special offence of the cross. This, at any rate, in Wesley's days, was the one doctrine which clergymen and orthodox church-goers would not endure. Short of this almost anything might be preached, but on no account this. The University of Oxford would endure the high doctrine as to Christian attainment and consecration taught in the sermon on "The Circumcision of the Heart," but it would not endure the doctrine of salvation by faith which, ten years later, the same preacher would have set forth before his university. The reason would seem to be twofold: the Evangelical doctrine of salvation by faith strips men altogether of their own righteousness, laying them all low at the same level in presence of God's holiness and of Christ's atonement, as needing Divine pardon and Divine renewal; and it also teaches the real presence' of the Divine Spirit, insists upon the present supernatural power of God to inspire repentance and faith and to renew the soul-the present supernatural power of Jesus Christ to save the sinner. Such a doctrine is 'spiritual'; it enforces the living power and presence of spiritual realities; it is accordingly foolishness,' and 'a stumbling-block' to the 'natural man.' The natural man receiveth not these things of the Spirit of God.' The doctrine of high Christian holiness may be regarded as but another, and the highest, form of moral philosophy, of select and virtuous Christian culture. The doctrine of salvation by faith, through grace, is one which humbles utterly the pride of the human understanding, and of merely human virtue. It was when Wesley became the preacher of this doctrine that he became a truly and fully Christian preacher. It was not a new doctrine; it was the doctrine of the Apostles, the Reformers, and even of the Homilies and Formularies of the Church of England itself; but in a sense-bound and heartless age it had been almost utterly forgotten. To revive it by the ordinance of preaching became henceforth Wesley's great life-work. He became, above all things, himself a preacher, and he founded a preaching institute; with preaching, however, always associating close personal and individual fellowship.”—Pp. 174 -177.

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Jesus in the Midst. By GEORGE CRON. Glasgow: Thomas D. Morison.

1875.

THERE is some probability that this work may not receive the attention it deserves. Its title, we fear, is too indefinite to awaken interest. The author thinks it eminently suggestive to those who have made the Bible a study, but if his readers are confined to that class we suspect they will be few, and to some of them the suggestiveness will appear only by reading the preface.

Then the first chapter on the advantage of a plurality of Gospels is not very directly connected with the main subject of the book, which is the scene in the Pharisee's house, where the woman, who is a sinner, washes our Lord's feet. For ourselves we wondered to what mansion this could be an appropriate portico. However, we proceeded until we got into the mansion, and then title and introductory chapter were forgotten, and the book was not laid aside until we had reached the end.

In many respects it is a beautiful production, marked, however, by i few faults. The language is not always sufficiently stately for our tast、. Colloquial expressions which become a speaker are not always admissable with a writer. In serious composition similies and allusions should dignify the subject, and not demean it. This is not done, in our opinion, by speaking of Simon "getting up a party" for Christ, nor when, to make

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