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POETBY:
Led up by the Spirit-S. Greg....

14 Melbourne Pool-T. Goadby, B.A. 43 Sorrow on the Sea-G. Rawson

47 Gordon-E. H. Jackson

101 Lord, Abide with us-J.Crewdson 12A In Remembrance of Me-C. E. Pike 139 There shall be One Fold- L. M. Jackson 168 Life's Mystery-H. B. Stowe

214 The Good Samaritan An Old Battle-Field-8. Bull

263 Be Strong-C. L. Ford Hymn-2. T. Dowen

335 The Sabbath-C. Donner

383 God's Love-C. Donner

454

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QUESTION Box:-
Pages 24, 60, 104, 144, 183, 221, 264, 305,

844, 384, 431, 459 SHORTMAN, A.:

Absentees from the Lord's Supper... 11

SILBY, R.:

William Ewart Gladstone...

MISSIONARY OBSERVER :

Giving to the Lord-J. H. Wilson, D.D. 33 Our Oriya Hymn Book-36, 79, 156, 238,

316, 356 Letters from Rev. W. Miller-37, 278,

317, 444 Notes from Rome-Rev. N. H. Shaw-38,

78, 119, 197, 238, 277, 318, 358, 446, 485 Letters from Dr. Buckley

39, 401 Sambalpur Book-Room-39, 118, 160, 236,

280, 320, 359, 404, 487 News and Notes-40, 80, 120, 160, 240,

280, 360, 404, 448, 487 Education in India

73 Notes of a Voyage to India-J. F. Hill... 75 Jottings from Pooree-Rev. J. Vaughan 77 Orissa Missionary Conference

113 Letters from Rev. T. Bailey-117, 239,

857, 403, 443 A Jesuit recalled from London-N, H. Shaw

153 A Native Minister's Visit to Cuttack 156 Notes of Preaching Tours... 157, 195 Social Reforms in India - Rev. T. Evans 158 Appeal-J. G. Pike

194 Jottings from Bengal-J.L. Phillips, D.D. 198 The Divine Healer-V. G. Ramsey 199 Miss Packor

200, 279 May Meetings

233 How the S. 3. “Perco is reached stanley Pool

235 Cuttack Sunday School–J. Vaughan 237 Abstract of 68th Report

873, 853 The Annual Missionary Meeting

313 Report of the Organization Committee 315 Female Education in India-Dr. W. W. Hunter

319 The Earthquake in India

359 The Late Rev. H. Wilkinson

393 Scattered Native Christians in Orissa, 402 Väledictory Services

437 Missions to the Heathen-E.C. Pike, B.A. 488 The Telugu Mission

443 Missionary Deputations

447 A Missionary Charge-J. C. Jones, M.A. 477 Cyclone in Orissa ...

482 Letter from Mr. Young

483 The Free-Will Baptist Mission

484 The Hour and the Duty

486 New Year's Sacramental Collections 487

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STEVENSON, W. R., M.A.:-
A Twenty Years' Retrospect

1 Tierra del Fuego

85 Christianity in the Land of the Pharaohs 125 Christianity in Syria

205 The Apocrypha

241 A Peep at St. Andrews

,863 STORIES :My Brother's Keeper ...

177, 215 A Rainy-Day Visitor

301

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PICTORIAL ILLUSTRATIONS.

8. Johnson
A Sea-Piece
Beagle Channel
Preaching at the Pyramids
Beyrout

PAGE

8 47 84 125

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Stratford Church
Warwick Castle...
Kenilworth Castle
Ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral

PAGE

247 286 325

... 864

... 204

THE

General Baptist Magazine .

JANUARY, 1885.

3 Twenty Years' Retrospect. The beginning of a new year seems a fit time for Christian people, both as individuals and societies, to review the past, and to seek to gather from the retrospect lessons of present duty. In this paper it is proposed to go back in thought twenty years, to compare the condition of the General Baptist Connexion then with its condition now, and to note the points of progress or otherwise which may come under our view.

1.-What may be termed the personal changes in this period have been considerable. In the summer of 1864, the Association was held at Boston, and was rendered memorable by the pleasant voyage to Lynn on the Friday of the Association week. The President of that year, Dr. R. Ingham,—the Pastor of the church that shewed us hospitality, T. W. Mathews,—the then Secretary of the Foreign Mission, J. C. Pike, Dr. Jabez Burns, who spoke at several of the meetings,-brethren H. Hunter, J. Stevenson, J. F. Winks, R. Kenney, I. Preston, and about twenty-five other pastors of that day have all finished their earthly service and been called to “the majority.” Others, who were respected ministers amongst us at that time, such as J. Lewitt, J. J. Goadby, T. Watts, and J. Harrison, though still living and usefully employed in other parts of Christ's vineyard, have disappeared from our ranks. And the changes in the personnel of our prominent laymen have been equally great. No longer do we see amongst us the brothers Wherty, or Thirlby, of that generation ; Robert Pegg, of Derby ; John Earp, of Melbourne ; John Noble, of Boston; John Noble, of Leicester; W. Bennett, of Sawley; T. Hill, H. Mallet, G. B. Truman, of Nottingham; and others who might be named. We are glad to have amongst us younger representatives of several of them, but the men themselves are not here.

II.—What during the twenty years have been the changes in the numerical strength of the churches as indicated by the published statistics ?

In 1864 we numbered, deducting the Foreign Mission Churches, 20,637 members. In 1884 the return was 25,594, being a clear increase of 4,957 in the twenty years, or at the rate of about 14 per cent per GENERAL BAPTIST MAGAZINE, JANUARY, 1885.-VOL. LXXXVII.-N.S. No. 13.

2

A TWENTY YEARS' RETROSPECT.

331

...

annum. According to the statements of Dr. Angus in his paper at the recent Baptist Union Meeting at Bradford, the increase in the entire Baptist body in England and Wales has been at the rate of 23 per cent. in the twenty years. How are we to account for the fact that apparently the rate of numerical progress in the other branch of the Denomination has been twice as great as in our own ?

It may be instructive to note the progress made in different localities. Thus, in Leicester the total increase in the number of members has been 190, or one per cent. per annum. In Loughborough it has been 103, or not quite one per cent. In Nottingham and the neighbourhood, including sixteen churches, sad to say, the clear increase has been only 155, or at the rate of $ per cent. The instances of Loughborough and Nottingham, shew, we think, that not much importance should be attached to the theory that our comparatively slow rate of increase is occasioned by the absorption of our members into Baptist Churches of the other section. In Derby the clear increase has been 298, or at the rate of 1; per cent. per annum. In the Todmorden Valley the increase has been 280, or upwards of three per cent. In London it has been 534, or about 14 per cent.

Take the following lists of churches in which there has been increase or decrease. INCREASE

DECREASE. Allerton, Yorks. ... ...from 88 to 272 Stoney St., Nottingham ...from 960 to 290 Old Basford, Nottingham · 176 334 Beeston

127 77 Hucknall Torkard...

104
Lenton

222 110 Burnley Lane, Lancashire 169 350 London, Borough Road 385 126 Halifax

289
441
Church Street

580 Osmaston Road, Dorby... 270 472 Wisbech

259 , 181 Burton-on-Trent 169 289 Sheffield

160 Stoke-on-Trent 192 Barton, &c.

340

285 Longton 272 Fleet, &c....

222 139 Walsall

222 386
Leake & Wymoswold

232 60 Peterborough 152 516 Melbourne & Ticknall

267 192 London, Praed Street 380 1150 Castle Donington & Sawloy 301 210

In regard to Stoney Street, Nottingham, it is to be observed that the one church of twenty years ago is now represented by six, but that the six altogether number only 861 members, or 99 less than the 960 given above. Persons who study the list of twelve churches cited as typical instances of decrease will not find it difficult to account for most of the figures. Some of these churches demand our sympathy. They are in country districts whence there has been a large migration of the inhabitants into the great towns. As to London it is well known that congregations there for the most part attach themselves to ministers rather than places; the consequence is that if a popular minister be removed, a great change in the congregation is sure to follow. But, from our own knowledge of facts connected with the history of some of the twelve cases cited above, we are compelled to own that self-will, undue self-assertion, resulting in dissension and strife, that bane of Nonconformist churches, has been at the bottom of the mischief. This paper will not have been written in vain if it helps to impress upon the minds of its readers the importance of the apostolic precepts, -"Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory;" “ Do all things without

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83 42

A TWENTY YEARS RETROSPECT.

3 murmurings or disputings ;" "Let us follow after the things which make for peace;" "Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility.”

III.-During the last twenty years there has been an encouraging degree of material progress as indicated by the number of new or enlarged chapels and school-rooms. We mention, almost as they occur to us, the following new, and some of them, handsome and costly places of worship which have been built within the period named. Peterborough ; Friar Lane, Leicester; Hugglescote; Wisbech; March ; Hitchin ; Westbourne Park; Ealing; Loughborough ; Longton; Stoke; two at Burton-on-Trent; Berkhampstead; Allerton; Dewsbury; Denholme; Walsall; Swadlincote; Woodborough Road, Nottingham; Arnold; Bulwell; Hucknall; New and old Basford; Hyson Green; Crewe. These are not all, but the list, though incomplete, is certainly not a bad one, whilst in places too numerous to mention new school-rooms have been built or old ones enlarged. In the view of all this good work done for the Master we ought surely to “thank God and take courage.”

IV.–Nor have we continued stationary in the support accorded to our Public Institutions. In 1864 the collections and subscriptions for the College amounted to £497 ; in 1884, to £634, not including £418 special subscriptions for the building. In 1864, the entire sum raised for the Home Mission, irrespective of a small legacy, was about £220; in 1884, it was £422. In 1864, the ordinary income of the Foreign Mission raised in England was £2428, and there was an ugly debt of £1600, for the removal of which a special effort was made. In 1884 the home contributions for the Foreign Mission have been £3538, the debt being £684,—too large, but small in comparison. And in connection with the Foreign Mission let us not fail to acknowledge with thankfulness and joy the spiritual success that has crowned the labours of our brethren abroad. In 1864 the number of members in the Mission Churches was 394; now it is 1242,--a rate of increase immensely in advance of that of the churches at home.

This twenty years' retrospect shews, we think, that though our progress, as indicated by number of members, has been far from satisfactory, there is no reason for undue discouragement. But we require more of the spirit of church enterprise and aggressiveness. We have been too content with building up on the old lines, without planting new stations in the regions round about. The explanation of the greater progress made of late years in the other section of the Baptist body is to be found mainly in the fact that Mr. Spurgeon has been the means under God of infusing into a portion of it a spirit of evangelistic enterprise and daring such as we need in greater measure. Why in Leicester, with its increasing population, should the number of General Baptist Churches continue only four ? Is it not time for the mother church in Friar Lane to send forth another colony? Might not Commercial Road, London, make some movement in advance ? Osmaston Road, Derby, has a most promising station at "Pear Tree.” Why not engage a young man to assist the public-spirited pastor, and at the same time cultivate the ample field awaiting Christian toil round about the Pear

4

GENERAL BAPTISTS

Tree? We are glad to know that at Broad Street, Nottingham, an onward movement-we hope in more than one direction—is already in contemplation. One ward in Nottingham, numbering 30,000 people, has no Baptist Chapel, and but few places of worship of any kind. What an opening for Christian work! Is not the heart of the Lord Jesus even now moved as He looks upon the perishing multitude ? Does He not say to his servants “Give ye them to eat ?

Space fails us to make any further application of this subject. May our successors in the year 1905 be permitted in their twenty years’ retrospect to note much more vigorous Christian work, nobler Christian liberality, far grander success than anything recorded in these pages !

W. R. STEVENSON.

General Baptists in the Twentieth Century,

A NEW YEAR'S VISION. What will be the condition of the “Generals" on the first of January, 1905 ? Will the lapse of twenty years have made any serious organic change? To what extent will our members be increased and our methods of work improved? What special elements of “the mind of Christ” shall we have revealed, and what aid shall we have afforded a sorely perplexed generation in solving its religious problems? How far will our church "practices" be modified, and what differences of substance, of tone, or of emphasis will there be in our vital and trusted beliefs ?

There are some questions we ought not to put. Are these of that order ? I think not. For our present action derives its vigour and directness, consciously or unconsciously, from our forecast of the future. “The sight of means to do good deeds, oft makes good deeds done.The clearer our ideas of our goal, the easier for us to find our path. The man who knows not “whither he is going” is sure to be pazzled about “the way.”

Prediction, however, is the crown of science; and the data offered for judgment in a religious organization are so inextricably mixed, and so liable to change, that “science” is excluded, and with it well nigh all chance of useful prediction. Yet it is possible to read the significance of tendencies, estimate the strength of the different personal and temporal forces now at work, formulate their probable results, and speak with a confidence that is only likely to be falsified by the appearance of some exceptional phenomenon on our ecclesiastical horizon. If, for example, God were to give General Baptists, within the next five years, a man of the prodigious capacity for work, daring originality of method, large gifts, and flaming devotion of C. H. SPURGEON, it would completely upset our forecast of our condition in 1905. Or supposing half a dozen of our friends, instead of leaving their immense wealth for their children, should spend a large part of it on our churches and missions, at home and abroad, that again would vitiate our calculations

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