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siderable distance from the sarrounding country. It is quite common for women as well as men, to walk eight or ten miles on the Lord's Day. Some known to myself walk sixteen, which I am sure you will admit requires not a little self-denial in a country like this where we have but few days without rain,
“I can imagine a stranger passing the two meeting-houses at Grange Corner asking 'where do the congregations come from to fill these houses ?' seeing that there are only eight or nine houses in the neighbourhood. One acquainted with the people of the district knows that distance is thought but little of by those who are attached to the place where their fathers worshipped, or those who are anxiously inquiring after truth.
“ It appears somewhat remarkable that our principles should have made considerable progress in this rural district, whereas attempts to spread them in different towns in every part of the country have, in very many instances, failed. From what I have seen during my twelvemonth's residence in Ireland, I am convinced that there is but little probability of our gucceeding, unless in those districts where a spirit of anxious inquiry after truth has been awakened. As a rule, the people are so wedded to systems, that the very mention of Baptists or Baptist principles calls forth the most persistent and combined opposition. The secret of that measure of success, with which the church at Grange has been blessed, is to be attributed, I believe, to the spirit of inquiry which has been fostered, and the individual and prayerful study of God's word.”
THE CHURCH AT GRANGE. “The history of the Baptist church at Grange Corner is peculiar to itself, and must be in. teresting to every Christian who may be acquainted with it. It is a church which gives
appears, that at the commencement of the present century, a few individuals, who had been taught by the Holy Ghost, and who consequently loved the truth, were dissatisfied with the Arianism which, at that time, was preached in the Presbyterian meeting-house. God heard their prayers, the minister resigned, and for a few months the pulpit was supplied by the Presbyterians. When the supplies ceased, the friends who had been drawn to Jesus by the Holy Ghost, became Congregationalists. Dr. Carson, of Tubbermore, not having at that time united with Baptists, the friends at Grange sought his counsel and assistance in procaring an Independent minister, and, through the kindness of the brothers Haldane, they were successful in obtaining one, Mr. Gray. He, however, laboured for a short time only at Grange, in consequence of some of the members embracing our views respecting the proper subject and mode of baptism, and being baptized by Dr. Carson, who, at that time, was a Baptist. The church still continued to be an Independent church, and was so when Mr. Rodgers, a Baptist minister, took the oversight. For several years the friends were permitted to meet for worship in the Presbyterian meeting-house. Shortly after Mr. Rodgers' removal, however, in 1814, they were no longer allowed that privilege, as the Presbytery appointed another minister. The friends had by that time made considerable progress in the divino life. Although deprived of their preacher, and shut out from the house where they had several years been permitted to worship, they resolved to meet in private houses, and endeavoured, in humble dependence upon the spirit, to seek the edification of each other in love. For twenty-three years they continued to meet in private houses on the first day of the week for the purpose of breaking bread and to exhort one another. In the year 1837 the present chapel was erected, from which date the church became more Baptist than Independent, until at length, iu the year 1849, all those members who had not been baptized were obedient to Christ, by being “buried with him by baptism," and the church was constituted and still continues to be a Baptist church. Of late years the church has been greatly indebted to the teaching of an aged brother who is still with us, and some others who left about two years since."
THE REVIVAL IN 1859-60. “It will be remembered by those conversant with the glorious awakoning of 1859, that it commenced at Connor and Kells sometime before that, in answer to the prayers of those devoted young men John Wallace, James McQuilkin, Robert Carlisle, and J. Menety, and spread to Ahoghill, Callybackey, Ballymena, Grange Corner, and thence north and south. The Bible, which had to many been a closed book, then became the man of their counsel, and as the entrance of God's word giveth light, and giveth understanding to the simple, many of those who were converted during the awakening united with the Baptist church at Grange. In the year 1861, there were nearly one hundred members. The number, however, was from emigration and dismission, reduced to fifty-seven at the commencement of my labours, August 30th of the present year; the congregation was also much smaller than it had been."
ENCOURAGEMENTS. “At the commencement of my labours, I was informed that there had been but one service on the Lord's day, from twelve to three o'clock, unless occasionally, and it was feared that a congregation would not be gathered in the evening. I felt anxious to make the trial, and have now the happiness to inform you that we have the chapel quite full at both the morning and evening services, in fact, I may say, crowded. Thirteen have, during the last three months, been added to our communion, and many more who meet with us, have their minds exercised on the subject."
AN OPEN DOOR. “ There has never been a more favourable opportunity than the present for the dissemination of truth in the north of Ireland. Doors are open in every direction to the man who will enter to speak of Jesus, and the people will gather, though the night be dark and stormy, and the road be rough and dirty, to hear the gospel preached. Since I came here I have preached to large congregations at Groggan, Caddy, Lake View, Gillestown, Drumhall, Tully, Portglenone, Ballycomes, Ardras-glass, Whiteside's Corner, Ahoghill, Ballymontana, and other places. If you could send me a warm-hearted man, one full of zeal for God, and the salvation of men, I could find him plenty of work. I can assure you, that the cry here is “Come over and help us."
AHOGHILL. “There are about sixteen persons who meet on Lord's days in Ahoghill for breaking bread. They would much like to have some one to minister to them and preach the gospel. I hope to go over again on Wednesday evening next, and purpose doing so once a fortnight.”
GREAT DELIGHT IN THE WORD OF GOD. “[feel it my dūty to refer to that delight which is manifested by many in the Word of God. If I enter a house the inmates of which are or are not connected with our congregation, the whole family is summoned and strangers are invited. Whenever I mention the portion which I intend to read, as a rule, every person prǝsent have their bibles open and follow me in my reading. I am fully compensated for all the labour I have to perform daily by the commanion which I enjoy with heaven-born souls. Although all the members of our church are Baptists, there are but few who say anything abont what we hold different from other Chris. tians; they evidently delight in taking higher ground ; their hearts and lips are ever ready to speak of Jesus. It gives me joy to meet with those who talk about the glories of the person of the Lord Jesus, the completeness of his work, the oneness of believers with him, and their dwelling with him for ever.”
ASSISTANCE NEEDED. “Is there no friend in England who will send me some clothing for the destitute ? Some of our poor members are unable to meet with us for want of clothes. Do, my dear sir, exert your influence on behalf of the poor of Christ's flock at Grange."
PORT-A-DOWN. Mr. Douglas gives the following report of the present condition and prospects of the church in this important town :“MY DEAR SIR,
“Dec. 14th, 1863. “The importance of this town as an eligible sphere of operation has been frequently stated in the pages of the “ Irish Chronicle." The church here is in a healthy condition. Peace and unanimity reign within our borders. The members meet twice every Lord's day for mutual prayer on behalf of our work. Some of them accompany me to the meetings which I hold in the country, and assist in the devotional exercises. We have two Sabbath services. The Lord's Supper is dispensed every Lord's day. At the morning service few attend beyond the members of the church; whilst at the evening service about twice that number are present. The Sabbath services are conducted in the Town Hall. This building is frequently occupied till 11 o'clock on Saturday nights by theatrical gatherings. This materially affects our attendance on the Sabbath. To obviate this difficulty, the church has made most praise. worthy efforts to obtain means to erect a suitable meeting house. Our appeal has been cordially responded to by the various Protestant denominations of this town. This shows that our distinctive views of the order and ordinances of a Church of Christ are beginning to be favourably considered. More than £200 have been subscribed; but £300 additional are still required to procure a free site, and complete the work. We have been negotiating for a site; the conveyances are in the hands of our solicitor, and I hope to be able to report in my next the perfecting of the trust deeds. We trust the friends in England will not overlook Port-a-down in their great efforts to ameliorate the spiritual destitution of Ireland.
“Beside the two services on Lord's days, I conduct four week evening services. Three of these are held every week, and the fourth once a month. Two of these woek services are distant from my residence two and five miles, Irish, respectively. The houses in Seago and Armstrong's Row, in which we meet, are filled to overflowing. Earnest attention marks the audiences. Some who attend the week services come occasionally to the hall on Sabbath evenings. I hope these out-stations will contribute to the increase of our church.
“The recent introduction of power-looms has either deprived of employment or depressed the wages of those who support themselves by hand weaving. The privations of this class, augmented still more by the approach of winter, are just now very great. A few cast-off articles of apparel sent us, would enable some few to come out on the Lord's day to hear His word, who are now, from straitened circumstances, ashamed to present themselves amongst ns. “ Rev. C. J. Middleditch."
BALLYMENA. MR. KEEN says :“Our darkness has been relieved a little by the addition, by baptism, of five persons to the church. Four of these are young women, and the other 'an old disciple’ of more than three score years and ten.' They are the fruit of our country stations. At these stations my con. gregations are still large, and the interest of the people not only unabated, but, apparently, ever growing. It may be asked, then, how is it you have not more additions ? To this I reply, these congregations are almost entirely composed of Presbyterians, and though some of them may be I trust are—truly converted to God, and may believe that we are right, yet it is only one by one, slowly and cautiously, that they venture to come ont from among them.' We have to hold and contend for the truth' against such misrepresentations as this: Without such baptism no salvation.""
0 10 6
d. 1 15 0 03 6 1 2 6 0 13 4 3 10 6 3 1 8 2 8 0 0 10 0 4 6 9 1 16 0 6 3 0 1 3 0 1 13 3 3 12 6 0 3 0 1 13 6 5 5 7
CONTRIBUTIONS Received in behalf of the Baptist Irish Society, from November 19th, to December 18th, 1863.
£ & d. LONDON
0 10 6 Dowlais, Beulah :
Llanelly, Greenfield Dennett
Sion Leicester-Belvoir Street, by J. Bedells, Esq, Merthyr, Bethel on account
0 Newport Newton. Montgomeryshire, by Mr. E Morgan . 3 Pembroke Rishworth, by Mr. S. Dyson
1 19 10 Pembroke Dock Salisbury, by Rev. P Bailhache.
5 16 10 Pontheer Semley and Shaftesbury, by Rev. T. King 1 10 0 Pontrhydryn Watford, by Rev. C. Bailhache
4 2 3 Pontypool
Carmarthen-Priory Street, by Rev. T.
Aberdeen, by Rev. T. W. Medhurst Cardiff :
By Rev. A Livingstone, on account Contributions to the Baptist Irish Society which have been received on or before the 15th of the month, are acknowledged in the ensuing Chronicle. If, at any time, a donor finds that a sum which he forwarded early enough to be mentioned is not specified, or is not inserted correctly, the Secretary will be obliged by a note to that effect, as this, if sent immediately, may rectify errors and prevent losses which would be otherwise irremediable.
Copies of the IRISH CHRONICLE are sent monthly where desired. Additional Collectors are always desirable, and every assistance will be given them in their work.
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND DONATIONS will be thankfully received by the Treasurer, THOMAS PEWTRESS, Esq., or the Secretary, the Rev. CHARLES JAMES MIDDLEDITOH, at the Mission House, 33, Moorgate Street, E.C., or the London Collector, Mr. Charles GORDELIER, 14, Great Winchester Street, E.C.; and by the Baptist Ministers in any of the principal Towns.
Post-office Orders should be made payable, at the General Post Office, to the Secretary.
"CHURCH PRINCIPLES” A HINDRANCE TO OUR USEFULNESS.
It is not an unfrequent, though sense did dissent undertake to supit is an unjust, reproach against ply the spiritual wants of the masses the great Dissenting communities of the nation, or to encounter those of England, that they are both un- social wrongs which have sprung willing and unable to cope with the up like armed men under the
very gigantic evils existing in our large shadows of cathedrals and bishops' towns, or to meet the social and thrones, professedly founded for spiritual necessities of the more their overthrow. scattered inhabitants of the coun- The protest of the dissenting try. Even were the charge true, churches
churches has, nevertheless, been and it is not true, it comes with a followed by the attainment of a bad grace from the lips of church- resistless influence on the spiritual men, who claim to be the only au- life of the nation, and with it have thorized teachers of religious truth come corresponding responsibiliin the land. The claim itself con- ties. The revival movement of demns those who put it forth ; for Whitfield and Wesley, quickened they are utterly without excuse in the dormant sense of duty to allowing such a grievous state of a perishing world, and simultanethings to exist. The right they ously the salvation of the heathen challenge, they have not exercised"; of our homesteads and of foreign the duty they confess to have been lands became the object of Christian theirs, they have grossly neglected. zeal and love. Sunday schools and
It is very conveniently forgotten missionary societies were the first that the wide extension of dissent is fruits. T'hese gradually branched largely owing to the short-comings out into the manifold "" works of of the clergy; that, in its origin, non- faith” that are now in operation conformity was an individual pro- wherever dissent flourishes, all havtest against the errors of the Epis- ing in view the salvation of the copal Church, and not an organized lost. One absorbing thought anieffort to discharge the obligations mated every plan, prompted every of the parish priest ; that it was a effort—souls were perishing, Christ testimony on behalf of “the crown can save them; so love and duty rights of the Redeemer," over the combined their forces to make the conscience and the church, which glad tidings known. the Establishment nullifies. In no Experience of the power of
Divine grace had proved, that, liberty of worship. But the main under its working, a man's daily source of their increase has been the life is transformed into a righte- piety of their members, and that ous and holy one. Hence the im- piety has had for its one object and provement of the social condition end, not the promotion of dissent, of the people
people was held sub- but the salvation of men. ordinate to the spread of genuine The desire to save souls was not, piety, which contains within itself however, confined to dissent. The the promise that the mischiefs which same spirit entered the halls of flow from an unregenerate nature the universities and spoke from shall be diminished and removed. the pulpits of the Establishment. To secure this end all good men As if by general consent, the were ready to co-operate. They unscriptural character
the forgot their apostolic descent, and Church's orders, the defects and the irregularity of their ministra- errors of her formularies, passed tions, in the infinitely greater mat- unquestioned in the presence of the ter—that souls were perishing great spiritual need of the populaChurch organizations were thought tion. Success attended the untir. to be of very inferior importance to ing labours of the leaders of this this. Then dawned the era of Chris- movement. The long lifeless Estatian union, of Bible and Tract socie- blishment awoke to some apprehenties, of combined action against the sion of its duties, and to the sense powers of darkness on the part of of its long neglect; but it was to all who loved the Lord Jesus Christ find one-half the nation alienated and the souls of men.
from its ministry, if not actually No doubt the area of dissent was hostile to its existence. wonderfully enlarged by this spi- It is now thirty years since a new ritual activity. Yet its extension was impulse was given to the Church of owing to no direct effort. The England, which has changed both numerous sanctuaries of Noncon. the nature of the original movement, formists were built, and their and the objects at which it aimed. organizations multiplied, not for “ Church principles," as they are the purpose of winning the nation called, then began to take the place from the Establishment, but for the of Christian truth, or to be combined preaching of the pure Gospel of in various proportions with it. The Christ. It is because by their mi- priesthood of all believers was renistrations sinners have been saved, served as the sole right of the the spiritual life of multitudes clergy. The freedom of Christian quickened and nourished, the name action and life, was restricted to of Christ glorified, and the com- forms and ritual observances with mandments of God observed, that rigid exactitude. Salvation could the voluntary churches have ga- alone be obtained through channels thered to themselves so large a of asserted apostolic origin. The proportion of the piety of the land. episcopally-ordained priests of the It is true that the principles of dis- Establishment were
said to be sent have been involved in the the only authorized expounders of doctrines the free churches have Holy Writ, and to hold the tretaught, in the supremacy they have mendous power of opening or shutclaimed for the Bible over all human ting the gates of eternal life. Becreeds and confessions, in their de- yond its own pale there is no true mand for freedom of conscience and apostolic church existing, except