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services, for the success of particular financial efforts, for the restoration of particular persons to health, and for the conversion of particular persons-in some instances their very names are mentioned publicly --and in nearly all these cases the special answer has come. Christian Churches little know how much they lose by not being more practical and more specific in their prayers. By all means, during the week preceding the Mission, let every other meeting be given up, and let the whole Church join, night after night, in special and specific prayer for the Mission-Preacher, for the house-to-house visitors, for the choir, for those who will have charge of the Enquiry-rooms, for those who will pray in public, for themselves, and for the entire neighbourhood. It would probably add life and interest to these Prayer-meetings if the special subjects of prayer, for each evening, were announced beforehand, as in the united meetings promoted by the Evangelical Alliance at the beginning of every year.
4. Another essential feature of a Revival Mission is-publicity. There is nothing to be ashamed of in a Revival Mission, therefore let all the world know of it. Why should everybody know that a travelling circus or menagerie, or a comic singer, is coming, but almost need magnifying-glasses to discover the few miserable little bills which timidly announce a special effort in the name of the Lord? Let us advertise as extensively as if we were tradesmen opening a new shop on a fine corner site. In the first place, curiosity should be excited by large preliminary posters announcing, without details, the approaching Revival Mission. In the week preceding the Mission, the entire neighbourhood should be placarded with striking, detailed announcements of all the Mission-services, and prominent advertisements should be inserted in every local newspaper. Local editors should also be asked to call attention to the advertisements, which they are generally quite ready to do. In addition to the handbills left at every house, smaller handbills should be distributed at the railway-stations and in all the crowded thoroughfares, both before and during the Mission-week. Whenever practicable, singing bands should perambulate the neighbourhood, to bring crowds to the Mission chapel.
5. It is very desirable that the same person should conduct the Mission from first to last. Indeed, if this is not done, we should scarcely call the enterprise a Revival Mission, for it would lack the unity and continuity essential to that particular kind of special service. The reasons why the whole Mission should be in the hands of one Mission Preacher could not be more clearly or tersely stated than in the following extract from the manual of Messrs. Green and Morgan:
It deepens in the Mission-Preacher the sense of his responsibility;
it enables him to acquire a knowledge of the people, and to gain an increasing hold of their sympathies; it affords more time for working out his plans; it gives additional momentum to his ministrations; and strengthens that electric bond of sympathy between Preacher and hearer which cannot always be established in one service.' Another reason might be mentioned. Some men are naturally qualified for this kind of work, and others are not. I fought against this conclusion for years, but facts have conquered me. I have known Ministers of the utmost piety, devotion and intelligence, who are no more able to conduct a Revival Mission, than I am to conduct an orchestra. To every man his work.'
6. Another essential feature of a Revival Mission, is the formation of a strong special choir. The services of Mr. Sankey have shown how necessary it is that the most careful attention should be paid to the singing in connection with evangelistic work. Here again I unhesitatingly say-Unless you can provide bright and hearty singing, don't attempt a 'Revival Mission.' Ladies and gentlemen from the congregation will join a temporary and special choir of this sort; and all who take part in it should be impressed with the importance and sacredness of the service they render. It is very desirable that the Mission-Preacher should meet the choir for special prayer that the singing may be instrumental in the salvation of many. In the course of the Mission, the choir might be asked, from time to time, to sing to the people, as well as to lead the congregational singing. God has given music almost boundless influence over the heart of man. No words are strong enough to describe the importance of making music the handmaid of the Gospel.
7. There is one other preliminary to a model Revival Mission. We should secure the special interest of the young. On the Sunday preceding that on which the Mission begins, let the younger children in the afternoon school be dismissed, and the senior scholars detained for a few minutes, in order that they may be specially invited to take part in the Mission. On the afternoon of the Sunday on which the Mission begins, there should be a Service of Song in the school in lieu of the ordinary lessons. Special hymns should be printed for the occasion. This service should, of course, be conducted by the Mission-Preacher, who would exhort the children to immediate decision, and also ask them to invite their parents and friends to the evening service. I might add here, that a special service for the young should be held on the Saturday afternoon in Mission-week, Saturday being a holiday in day-schools. All the children of the congregation, as well as of the Sunday-school, should be specially invited to this service.
TARES AND WHEAT (Matt. xiii. 24-30, 36-43).-It does not follow that the hands which are good for sowing are fit for plucking up. Let us not take it as an offence, but rather as a favour, that the Master commits to us His work of mercy, but not His work of judgment. It will be a far sweeter comfort to-night to know that we have been permitted to sow one single seed, than that we have rooted up a dozen tares. In the one we must be right; in the other we may have fatally blundered.
This growing together of the wheat and the tares, perplexing as it often is, is a condition of the kingdom's work that must not be interfered with. The good growth must go on and ripen its fruit in exactly the same outward conditions and circumstances as those in which the tares flourish. This already explains much that now seems hard in the children's lot. The end will clear up all. There will be no pain of mystery when that shining forth of the righteous comes; but the glorious kingdom then finally perfected shall be seen to be 'the kingdom of THEIR FATHER.'
A DAY AMONG THE WALLOONS.
HE Walloons have played an important part in the history of the Netherlands. Sprung originally from the provinces bordering upon France-Artois, Hainault, Lille, Douay, and Orchies,-their Gallic blood and their love of the Romish ritual rendered them powerful enemies of the Reformation, and easy dupes of the Prince of Parma when he sought to destroy the unity of the Netherlands. Those of them who, at the call of Luther and by the reading of the Holy Scriptures, were impelled to come out from Rome, formed a sect of their own, and were strongly bigoted against their Flemish contemporaries, whose system of theology differed in some respects from theirs. Nevertheless the hymns of the Walloons were sung by both sects and were widely popular, being as simple as they were beautiful. The fierce persecution which extinguished freedom of thought and liberty of conscience among the Flemings, was no less fatal to the comparatively few Walloons who had cast aside the old superstitions, and adopted in their stead the cardinal feature of the Augustinian theology as the basis of their trust.
By silencing the voice of the Confessors, and by the diligent destruction of every copy of the Bible that they had been able to procure, it was no difficult matter to make the heresy of the fathers forgotten by the generation that followed, so the Walloons have remained passionately Catholic, intensely prejudiced, and as conservative of
their Gallicism, their patois, and their customs, as a Jew is of his national peculiarities. All through Belgium they may be met with. Their commercial relations have intertwined them with the Flemings, but
they have never amalgamated. The patois is not the same all over, but differs according to the province from which they sprung, so that a Walloon of Brussels will hardly understand a Walloon of Liege, and vice versa. As the more educated of them speak French in its purity, the difficulty is not an insurmountable one to any French-speaking stranger who would like to make acquaintance with them.
While in Belgium, we had the pleasure of visiting an interesting little Walloon colony located at Sclabecq, a village beyond Brussels. This village is a hive of industry, as it derives its wealth from its iron-works; but from the proprietors down to the humblest of the employés, there is the union of family ties and of a common interest. The same may be said of the little rows of shop and store-keepers who supply these sons of Tubal Cain with the produce of dairy, field and mart. The rich seem as little desirous of breaking the bond of what we may call a tribal affinity, as are the poor who serve them. But the strongest bond that unites this Walloon clan is after all the bond of a common faith. We wished before visiting them to know how it was that a whole village had been weaned from its strong attachment to Popery, and led to embrace the truth as it is in Jesus.
Thereby hangs a tale, which we will communicate as we received it from the lips of our dear friend, Monsieur Piètersyen, late Pastor of Malines.
Forty years ago, Mr. Tiddy, of the Camberwell New Road, London, came to Belgium to open a business, and he was astonished to find that there were no Bibles. In Antwerp, Mr. Tiddy entered one bookseller's shop after another, asking for a Bible, but without success. The same thing happened in Louvain, Malines and Brussels. He was shocked at the religious destitution of the people, and wrote to the British and Foreign Bible Society, asking if he might have a few copies to distribute. They sent him a supply which far exceeded his most sanguine expectations, and he became his own colporteur. Cautiously as he sowed the seed, the appearance of the blade attracted attention. Priests began to enquire the meaning of it, and, in their meetings in booksellers' shops, to consult how they might resist the heretical innovation. Mr. Tiddy and Monsieur Pietersyen were even pelted in Antwerp with stones, but they did not allow themselves to be intimidated, and they were much encouraged by a friend who paid the salary of a colporteur, though this rendered the opposition of the priests still more violent.
Conferences were held at Antwerp and Brussels, and a Society formed for spreading the Gospel among the Catholic population. The power of the priests having its foundation in the ignorance of the people, who could not see without a light nor learn without a teacher, these evangelists were resolved that they should have both light and teacher.
Among the firstfruits of the spiritual harvest, gathered in by this movement, was a Romish priest. This conversion was followed by that of the family at Sclabecq, and the whole village to which it sustains a relationship that reminds one of patriarchal times.