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and they took such hold of his mind that when the writer referred to them, upwards of thirty years after, his soul seemed all alive. Well might our elegant poet say of this book:

"His humorous vein, strong sense, and simple style,

May teach the gayest, make the gravest smile."

We wonder not that that sour old critic, Dr. Johnson, should have said of this work: "It is one of the few books which every reader wishes had been longer." A great deal for the man to say of Bunyan, who said of Dr. Watts' sacred poetry, that, "He had done that better than any other man, which nobody had done well."

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We have digressed again. After visiting in the above social manner for a few months, my friend Lewis suggested the propriety of our closing our meetings with prayer. I replied I should be pleased to hear him pray; but felt persuaded I should never have a gift for public prayer. He said: "All nonsense, you can; and you must take your turn." So we went on very pleasantly for some weeks, till one morning, as we were walking to chapel, my friend said: "Have you been comfortable since Thursday evening, when you read that account of the lepers going in despair to the Syrian camp, and finding the proviI replied, "Yes; I much enjoyed the reading of it, and thinking about it." "Ah!" he said, "my enjoyment of it has made me uncomfortable since." "How is that ?" I asked. "Why," said the good "I consider we are the lepers; to us God has been merciful in giving us food, while all around us are starving, and it has struck me unless we tell it to others, some evil will befall us. The lepers said: "This has been a day of good things, if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us; now, therefore, come that we may go, and tell the king's household.'" This my good friend said in quite a missionary spirit; to which I said: "What can we do ?" feeling, of course, the force of the application of that passage to us.

man,

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"Do!" he replied, "Why, commence a prayer meeting, and invite the neighbours to come," mentioning several of them by name. Very good," I said, "but who is to pray with them ?" "Who? why my brother John can come sometimes. I have no objection to take my turn as well as I can. You can read the hymns, pitch the tunes, read the scriptures, and conclude by prayer; and perhaps old friend Randall might, now and then, come over and help us." I quite approved of the prayer-meeting; but objected to the work assigned to me, feeling I had no gift for prayer, and also my youth-seventeen years of age.

My friend would not listen to my objections-his good wife being one with him in the business-and we must commence at once. "And," said he, "who can tell ?" So, Randall was spoken to, the neighbours were invited, and our first prayer-meeting was held one Thursday evening, about February, 1813.

But must here break off, for this time. Yours affectionately in Jesus, P. DICKERSON.

SOCIETY FOR THE RELIEF OF NECESSITOUS PROTESTANT MINISTERS, THEIR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS.

"LET the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine." The "double honour "here referred to, includes suitable and liberal provision for their temporal needs, the principle of the injunction being that they who do the most work should receive the best support, which is a perfectly equitable and just one. It often occurs, however, that faithful ministers of the gospel, owing to the poverty of their flocks, are not in receipt of adequate means of support. Hence the need of the society now under notice, which has been instituted for the benefit of faithful ministers of Christ's gospel, coming within the prescribed scope of its operations. For, like the Aged

Pilgrims' Friend Society, it requires a speciality of character as to its beneficiaries. That institution is for the household of faith, not for unbelievers; this for ministers who preach the doctrines of free and sovereign grace, not for those who preach" another gospel." In both cases the lines of operation laid down are quite in accordance with scriptural teaching, and with the right which every one has to determine his liberality by what he conceives to be scriptural rule. The intent and scope of this society are set forth in its title, which in full, reads as follows:- "The Society for the Relief of Necessitous Protestant Ministers, of good repute, who hold and proclaim the docrines of free and Sovereign grace; the Widows of such Ministers and their destitute Orphans under the age of fourteen years, whose parents are both dead."

The question of baptism does not enter into the constitution, or influence the operations of this society; hence its committee comprises both Congregationalists and Baptists, and its benefits are distributed irrespectively of such distinction. The society, moreover, does not in any degree partake of the nature of a Mutual Benefit Association; but is wholly an institution for the manifestation of Christian love, in a practical form, to needy, faithful ministers of Christ, and their widows and destitute orphans. During the seven years of its existence, ending last March, the sum of £1,041 was distributed in the relief of 217 cases, being an average of 31 cases annually.

The following extracts from the last annual report will show the truly Christian and loving spirit which actuates the men of God who conduct the affairs of this society :

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'It is a pleasure to your committee to feel that through the Lord's goodness in giving the means to some of His more favoured children, and stirring up their hearts to deeds of benevolence, means have been placed

at your committee's disposal by which the urgent necessities of many of the Lord's dear servants have been relieved, and the widow's heart made to rejoice. This society, with its material help, also ministers the spiritual help of Christian sympathy by means of spiritual epistles, which are highly appreciated by the recipients, oftimes falling like refreshing rain in time of sorrow induced by straitness and privation, and aggravated by the adversary of souls assailing them with, Where is now thy God?' Your committee feel it a pleasure not only to testify of means supplied, and of help gratefully received; but also in the spirit of true Christian sympathy to invite dear brethren, in circumstances of need, to make their cases known that they may share the benefit; and would feel thankful if any case of existing need personally known to subscribers were laid before your committee."

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Persons eligible to receive the benefits of this society, do so on the recommendation of two accredited ministers, who are members, or ex officio members, of the committee, and one member of the society. Ex officio members of the committee are ministers holding free-grace sentiments, who contribute to the society by collections, donations, or annual subscriptions. Members of the society are annual subscribers of half-aguinea and upwards; donors of ten guineas in one payment are members for life.

It may be stated that the ministers of our own denomination who are connected with this society as members of its committee, are Messrs. Hazelton, Meeres, Bland, Styles, Dearsly, Hall, and Beasly.

Further information respecting this excellent society may be obtained of Mr. John Reynolds, the hon. sec., of 66, Dalston-lane, London, E.; by whom subscriptions and donations will be thankfully acknowledged.

En @emoriam.

MR. JOHN HODGES.

My beloved father's parents were farmers; but I cannot tell whether he was born in the country or in London, as his father was at one time out of a farm for awhile, and then lived in London, being a partner in a drapery business at the West End. I rather think, however, he was born at Churchill, in Oxfordshire, on the 23rd March, 1815. He remained at home until about fourteen years of age, when he was sent to London-his father thinking it better to bring him up to trade, rather than to farming. I cannot say much about his earliest years in London; but know that he was some few years with an uncle, a silk manufacturer; and there he learnt his business so well as to be able to start on his own account at the early age of twenty-one years; and the Lord was graciously pleased to bless him as a God of providence, and so to prosper him that he was able to retire from business at the age of forty-six.

I have often heard him speak of the Lord's gracious guidance in everything relative to his temporal affairs, and how that he particularly saw the Lord's guiding hand in everything connected with his going into business. However it is more about his spiritual life that I would desire to speak, and to tell a little of the Lord's goodness to him as God of grace.

When he first came to London, he was still in nature's darkness, loving the world and the things of the world, with no care for religion, or the things of God. So he grew up, until about manhood. I cannot tell the exact time when the Lord first met with him, but think it must have been when he was between nineteen and twenty years of age. As far as I can recollect of what my beloved father told me from time to time, the circumstances connected with his call by grace were as follows:-About the time when he was nineteen years of

age he was living with an uncle, who resided at Spital-square, and he was very intimate with a young relative who was in a situation at the West End. One night, after he had retired to rest, he heard a knocking at the door. He was asked to get up at once, to take a cab, and go to the West End in order to fetch the young relative above referred to, and to bring him back with him. It appears he had made an attempt to commit suicide by taking poison. Father did as requested brought him back in the cab, and had him to sleep with him, taking care to keep his razors, etc., out of his way. My beloved father was not a man easily frightened, but said that the wild looks of the young man completely unnerved him, and he felt sure that he was quite unfit to die. Under these feelings he knelt down by his bed-side, and prayed for the first time in his life: "If there is a God in heaven, save his life." This must have been real prayer, for it was both heard and answered; the young man's life was spared, he was soon able to be sent home into the country, and my father never saw him again.

This solemn circumstance made a lasting impression on my father's mind, and he was brought to feel how unfit he was should he be called to die. The Spirit of the living God by this means opened his blind eyes, made him to feel his lost and ruined state as a guilty sinner in the sight of a pure and holy God. For some months he so felt the weight of his guilt that he thought there could be no hope for such a sinful wretch as he then felt himself to be. I have heard him say, that he then felt God would be merciful in sending him to hell. Mr. Hart's words expressed his then felt experience:

"Oh what a dismal state was this!

What horrors shook his feeble frame! But, brethren, surely you can guess; For you, perhaps, have felt the same." I think that at this time he attended F

the Church of England, accompanying his uncle, with whom he was then living; but he now felt there was nothing in the service there to satisfy his guilty conscience. He went about to several churches and chapels in the neighbourhood but could not find peace. He then tried to deaden the stings of conscience by plunging into the vanities of the world, but all to no purpose, for the arrow shot by God the Holy Spirit still abode firm and fast.

He then strove to amend his life, but only to prove with the poet :—

"The more I strove against sin's power,

I sinned and stumbled yet the more."

Thus he went on for some time, feeling alone in the world, and feeling he must sink into utter despair. This

was the darkest moment in his experience, and just before the light dawned. Often at night he was afraid to go to sleep, lest he should wake up in hell. At length the Lord was graciously pleased to reveal Himself to him as a God who pardoneth iniquity, transgression, and sin. It was as he went to bed one night, he felt a little hope spring up in the heart that there might be some help even for him. The Holy Ghost then granted him such a sweet revelation by faith of Christ's sufferings, and death, that he was melted at once into tears, and the burden that had weighed him down for so many months was in a moment lifted off his back. He had no particular words of scripture applied to his mind, but seemed to see, with the eyes of faith, a precious Christ suffering and dying upon the cross, and He seemed to say: "Is this enough for your sins ?" My dear father could only say, "Too much, Lord!" and there seemed to him far greater efficacy in the sufferings, and death of Christ to save than in all his sins to damn him. He could then, in humble faith, say, "He loved me, and gave Himself for

me.

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After this he was favoured for some few months to walk in the light of God's reconciled countenance and enjoyed sweet communion with God his heavenly Father, through the shed

blood of his precious, glorious Christ, by the power and influence of God the Holy Spirit. At this time he knew nothing of the glorious doctrines of Divine grace; but, his mouth being opened, he was glad to tell those with whom he came in contact, what great things the Lord had done for him, and to speak of the sweetness of Immanuel; such was his simplicity in these things that he wondered how it was that his words made no impression upon them.

After a time his enjoyment became less, and a weaning time came on. God was pleased to hide from him the light of His countenance, and he was troubled. He still spoke of his feelings to to others, and complained that none of the preaching he heard did him any good. A young man, the foreman in the same house of business in which father was, told him he knew a man whom he thought father would like, and took him, one Wednesday evening, to Jewin Crescent, to hear that dear man of God the late Joseph Irons, whose preaching exactly suited his state and condition at that time.

Previous to this he had gone amongst the Wesleyans having been told that the Lord was with them; but although he attended regularly their class meetings, love feasts, &c., yet he only found it all to be but as empty ceremony to him. After once hearing Mr. Irons, father went again and again to hear him, and was very greatly blessed under his mininistry.

He also heard at this time, and afterwards many faithful men of God, such as Mr. Abrahams, Mr. Luckin, Mr. Wells, Mr. West, Mr. Nunn of Manchester, Mr. Kershaw, &c., &c.; in fact he went to hear the gospel preached almost every evening in the week. The ministry of the late Mr. Gadsby, of Manchester, was greatly blessed to him on more than one occasion.

After a time he joined Mr. Abraham's church, and such was his tender concience as regards taking the step, that it was a long time before he could summon up courage even to knock at Mr. Abraham's door but passed and repassed it several times.

However, when he did, Mr. Abrahams received him very kindly;-he joined the church and continued a member there for many years, being often much blessed nnder Mr. A.'s ministry.

In the course of time father left Mr. Abrahams, and went to hear Mr. Luckin, at Woodbridge Chapel, Clerkenwell, afterwards becoming a member of the church which worshipped there. Some years after, he was elected as one of the trustees of the Chapel; and one of the committee of the Benevolent Society. He continued at Woodbridge Chapel until after Mr. Luckin was entirely laid aside, and unable ever to preach again; after which, when Mr. Vinall removed to London, and was settled as pastor of the church at Providence Chapel, Regent-street, City-road, he returned there; and heard Mr. Vinall for some few years. Some short time before his death he became a regular attendant at Mount Zion Chapel, Chadwell-street, as a hearer of Mr. Hazelton, whose ministry was often greatly blessed to him.

Towards the end of 1878, he had a severe illness having ruptured a blood vessel in one of his lungs, and for a time it almost seemed to us as if the Lord were then about to take him home. He did not, however, seem to think so himself; but all through this illness he was favoured to enjoy very much of the Lord's presence, and lay quite passive in his hands, quite willing either to live, or to die, whichever the Lord saw best for him. He felt he could then say, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

However as the Lord had not quite done with him here below, He gradually restored to him his usual health and strength; and the writer can never forget the first time after this illness, when he was privileged to go with his beloved father to the Saturday evening prayer-meeting, at the Hornsey Rise Asylum, how the Lord blessed him with a special spirit of praise and thanksgiving for His great goodness in having raised him up again, as it were, from the very gates of death.

Early in the spring, as soon as mother was able to leave the house (after being a close prisoner during the entire winter), father went with her to Hastings, and remained there about three weeks, during which time he heard Mr. Hull several times, with much sweetness and savour. After his return, he seemed quite restored to his usual health and strength.

Towards the end of the summer he went to the Isle of Wight, and remained there about a fortnight; but just before his return he received a telegram conveying intelligence of the severe illness of his youngest surviving sister, Mrs. Wright, of Croydon, to whom he was much attached, both spiritually and naturally-she having kept house for him previous to his being married—also they were called by grace about the same time, and were very frequently together in hearing the gospel preached by several faithful men of God.

We at first feared whether father could get home in time to see her again; but she was spared until after his return. He reached home on the evening of Saturday, the 9th August, 1879, and spent the next day (Sunday), with his sister, who was taken home in the evening of that day, he having stayed there until her end. Here an extract from his diary may be appropriate : "Was at Croydon all day with my beloved sister, Jane Wright, who departed this life at 9.20 p.m., very peaceably, and is now, I believe, amongst the 'spirits of the just made perfect,' before the throne; and I hope soon to follow her."

The next entry in his diary refers to the funeral of Mrs. Wright, August 14th:"Followed the mortal remains of my beloved sister, Jane Wright, to the grave, and saw them deposited there, in certain hope of a glorious resurrection to eternal life, being a part of Christ's mystical body, redeemed by His most precious blood. I hope through the sovereign will and mercy of God soon to join her above, and sing: Unto Him that loved me and washed me in His most precious blood, and made me a king and priest

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