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that happy condition through the brotherly kindness of Isaac Marsden, Esq., and his dear and estimable wife. Our good Bro. M. is one of the grandest examples of Methodism it has ever been my chance to meet and joy to greet. His home was happiness itself.
“I have been there, and still would go ;
After spending a day in Doncaster with our friends, and seeing the birthplace of the late lamented Dr. Punshon, the seat of his late uncle, Sir Isaac Morley, and other places in and around this Yorkshire municipal town, we-Bros. Madder, Benson and myself-started for a week's stay at Matlock Bridge.
Here, at this Eden for invalids, we had to magnify our office as Local Preachers. Bro. Madder took morning and evening service at Matlock Bridge, and Matlock Bath. Bro. Benson charmed the people at Cromford, while the Aylesbury Rose, at the request of Rev. E. T. Carrier, had to shed his fragrance, as best he could, at the town of Wirksworth, in the same chapel where “Dinah Bede" delivered her soul in the selfsame work, and where the late 66 George Elliot,” when young, bowed her head in worsbip. In this chapel is a marble tablet to the memory of “Dinah Bede.” My service was also laid under tribute to fill the place of Rev. W. C. Williams, at Lea Bridge, where Miss Florence Nightingale has her country seat. All this work was cheerfully performed, and, I hope, duly appreciated. Revs. Dr. Gervase Smith and Dr. Maclaren were both taking rest at Matlock harbour. The former gentleman we visited in his affliction. May he yet be spared for greater service! We also visited an “elect lady” in the faith, Miss Fox, who was to the late Squire Brooks what Phebe of Cenchrea was to St. Paul. This good sister kindly and liberally remembered our aged brethren at the collection made at the Cromford meeting.
During our stay at Matlock we visited Chatsworth House, regaling our sight with the superb paintings, the massive rooms, and princely furniture; cartoons, and carvings; galleries and orangery; lawns and lake ; cascade and fountains; and the colossal conservatory, with 70,000 feet of glass, and six miles of piping to heat it. We also refreshed our senses at Hardwicke Hall, in parading its charming gardens and pacing its inner courts ; by gazing on its matchless tapestry, and its furniture
en suite ;” and in viewing the lawn-like park with declining trees and reclining deer. My journey to Wirksworth was beguiled with the cheerful companionship of Bro. Hadley, Bank Manager, who showed me the Stonnis, or Black Rocks, where Nature is not ashamed to show her rugged features ; and from whose gritstone summit the scenery stretches out to a grandeur unequalled even in Derbyshire. On these rocks, Time, nature's sculptor, has wrought with his tardy chisel, and carved out a good profile of "Panch," as his image appears in the weekly paper so called. We, as visitors to Matlock, were entranced with its superb scenery. Here the poet may muse, and the artist may paint. Here Mother Earth reveals her stony ribs and granite bones. And here the geologist, amid brilliant spars and abounding minerals, stalactites, marble and ore, may find his seat of learning. We visited High Tor; went on it, in it, and under it. And after enjoying quantum libet of suchlike pleasure-taking, we returned to the sylvan vale of Aylesbury, thanking God for having granted us so much enjoyment: our rambles were never so joyous before. Aylesbury.
SPIRITUAL PHOTOGRAPHY. The following thoughts suggested themselves from reading a sermon that appeared in the July number of the present year of the LOCAL PREACHERS' MAGAZINE on “Spiritual Photography;" the thoughts, after a lapse of more than twenty years, rising up as but newly formed. At the season referred to I, for a short time, was an amateur photographer, and desisted therefrom on account of defective eyesight. Although now an old man, the said sermon brought to my mind ideas of former years; and, like most old people, I find such things as are passed away more easily remembered than circumstances of later date. In submitting these thoughts, they are not given in the way of sermonising, but rather of analogy.
I first observe that the process of photography is carried on in secret, as far as outward observation is concerned; and carried on alone by the operator in a darkened room. The analogy is, that the formation of the Christian portrait is performed by the Divine Spirit alone, wrought internally by His agency, without any other concurrent circumstance further than the consent of the will. The darkness and the light are both alike to Him. Glass is employed on which the operation is to be performed, selected free from defect and thoroughly cleaned from every spot and particle of dust. A lens is then required, set to a true focas and properly adjusted, to give the outline of the portrait to be produced. So the Word of God is not presented in any new light to which we are to be conformed in the formation of the spiritual likeness, as a glass reflects the image of that which is exposed to it. But as in the case of taking the natural portrait the sun is wanted to strike the object, so, in addition, is the Sun of Righteousness required to shine upon all proceedings so that the correct image may be secured. He alone is the true Light that enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, and no man cometh unto the Father but by Him.
The next analogy arises from the collodion process, and is a very important one. The clean and clear glass has to be covered with a coat
of collodion before the portrait is taken. We have here the opportunity of introducing the Great Atonement prepared from the foundation of the world, covering the glass of God's Word from Genesis to Revelation. No substituted alloy will take the proper impression or form the true picture. Divine light alone thrown upon the true focus secures the object. Then there is the process of development, without which, although the correct impression be made, yet, without being developed, it remains invisible, and can only be manifested by washing away the unimpressed part of the collodion. Here the washing of regeneration becomes needful, and continued washing in the Fountain for sin and uncleanness is required, until all filthiness of flesh and spirit is washed away. And unless thus washed, we have no part in Him; but, being thus washed and sanctified, all old things are done away, and all things become new, and Christ-like features are alone to be traced. And then there is the toning process, by which the true picture is embellished, and its colour given, and what is called the tone, taken; produced by the application of additional chemicals. So the true Christian keeps adding to his stock of Christian graces until he takes the proper tone of his Divine Master : it may be varying in character and degree, but still the effect of the one and self-same Spirit, dividing unto every one severally as He will. Lastly, there is the fixing. After the true taking of a picture, if it were not abiding but little service would be rendered. Chemicals have to be applied that make it permanent; or, as it is technically called, fixed ; and the picture remains firm and fades not. So the true Christian should be practical, firm, and faithful, and show that he is of Divine workmanship; that he has Christ formed in the heart, the hope and evidence of eternal life.
THE WESLEYAN METHODIST LOCAL PREACHERS'
CHAPTER XXII.--ANNUAL MEETING ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE, 1868.
BROTHER GEORGE THOMPSON, of Ashton, President. THE General Committee met in the Wesleyan Schoolroom, Mill Lane, Ashton, on Saturday evening, June 13th. Twenty-four chapels were open for Sunday services, which were supplied by about thirty brethren, from all parts of the country. A love-feast was held in the afternoon in Stamford Street Chapel; an open-air service in the evening.
The business meeting began on Monday morning, Bro. John Carter, the Treasurer, in the absence of the President, presiding. The Report showed 1,667 benefit and 425 hon. members, total 2,092 ; being a decrease of 19 benefit, and an increase of 16 hon, members ; net decrease
3. The expenditure exceeded this year by £63 1s. 1d., reducing the joint-stock to £4,805 2s. 5d.
Brother George Thompson, of Ashton, was elected President, John Carter re-elected Treasurer, and Thos. Chamberlain, Hon. Secretary. About fifty brethren were present.
The Magazine came up for discussion. The Report states : “ Various suggestions were made, and a very general expression of approval was elicited as to the contents of the Magazine." The loss upon it for 1867 was £40 3s.
There was no official sermon on this occasion, but a new plan was adopted in reference to the Lord's Supper, it being celebrated at half-past nine in the morning at Stamford Street Chapel, before the commencement of business. It was presided over by the Superintendent.
As it was not expected that there would be much pressing business, the General Committee had requested Bros. Chamberlain and W. B. Carter to prepare papers to be read and discussed at this gathering. Bro. Chamberlain read his paper, which was afterwards printed in the Magazine, under the title of “ The History and Work of Our Association' (page 193, 1868). This paper was discussed, and it was generally approved. Bro. W. B. Carter read his paper, and thanks were voted to him, and it was to be printed and discussed at the next meeting ; but the time for discussing it was not found till the year after. It appears in the Magazine for August, 1868, under the title, “Mutual-Aid for Mutual Improvement.” Both the papers were printed and issued with the Report for 1868.
CHAPTER XXIII.- ANNUAL MEETING, King's Cross, London. 1869.
Bro. WILLIAM BOWRON, London, President. THE General Committee met in the Vestry, King's Cross Chapel, on Saturday evening, June 5th. Thirty-one chapels were open to the brethren in London and suburbs, and collections taken in most of them.
The sittings began on Monday morning. The Report being read, it showed benefit members 1,680, honorary 430 ; total, 2,110, being an increase of 13 benefit and 5 honorary. Benefit members' subscriptions, £960 4s., an increase of £24 6s. 4d. on the year. There was an excess of income over expenditure of £170 15s. 11d. this year. £100 was added to the invested capital, bringing that up to £4,975 18s. 4d. Bro. W. Bowron, of Chelsea, was elected President, Bro. John Carter re-elected Treasurer, and Bro. Thos. Chamberlain, Hon. Secretary.
This being the year for alteration of the rules, the motion to admit the New Connexion preachers was again urged, and was negatived by 36 to 16. Hon. Secretary's motion for a sliding scale of payments and allowances was negatived by 35 to 6. The observation of the reporter on the
attempts at alteration is rather significant: “ The rules must be considered by the brethren as near perfection as possible; for out of the nine alterations only two were adopted.”
As the time of the meeting was taken up by the rules, little was said about the Magazine, only that it was to be continued as before, the loss
year 1868 being £12 9s. 11d. Tea and public meetings were held, and both well attended. Bro. Bowron, the newly-elected President, occupied the chair at the public meeting till the arrival of W. McArthur, Esq., M.P., who had been announced. The meeting was addressed by Thos. Chamberlain, Rev. James Sugden, Thos. Cuthbertson, Rev. H. G. Ward, W. B. Carter, S. D. Waddy, W. Nelstrop, G. Thompson (ex-president), and the two Chairmen.
This meeting was rendered memorable by the coming out of Mr. W. McArthur and S. D. Waddy. Mr. W. McArthur said: “I confess, with regard to local preaching, in London especially, and when I see the circuit plan with twenty or twenty-four names upon it, and appointments only for six, I ask myself the question, What are the other eighteen doing ?”
He urged upon the brethren to make openings for themselves. Copy the example of Gideon Ousley, who when in a town in Ireland, when he could not get a bellman to announce a service, took the bell himself, ringing it, announced, “ An Irish Methodist minister will preach in the chapel in this town to-night, and I am the man myself.”
CHAPTER XXIV.-ANNUAL MEETING, NORTHAMPTON. 1870.
BROTHER S. D. Waddy, London, President. THE General Committee met on Saturday evening in the Schoolroom of Gold Street Chapel, June 11th. Twenty-four chapels in Northampton and some of the surrounding towns and villages were supplied by the brethren on the Sunday. An open-air service in the Market Square was held on Sunday morning, and a love-feast in Gold Street Chapel in the afternoon.
The sittings commenced on Monday morning. About sixty representatives were present. Bro. Bowron, the President, presided, and said that he expected his year of office would cost him £50; but as it had not, that sum would be available for the funds of the Association. The Report showed benefit members 1,715, honorary 446; total 2,161, being an increase of 35 benefit and 16 honorary; total, 51. Benefit members' subscriptions, £935 4s. 8d., a decrease of £24 19s. 4d. The general balance showed a decrease on the year of £51 2s. 8d., reducing the capital to £4,924 15s. 8d. Bro. S. D. Waddy was elected President, John Carter re-elected Treasurer, and Thomas Chamberlain, Honorary Secretary.