Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages
^^e Hewpotji ifrestfyferian. MONTHLY NOTES. (October, 1895.) X~W^Z? HE Cardiff Conference has been the event of /V™\ the past month. Many of our readers had X^v the pleasure of attending its meetings, and they have doubtless formed their own opinions of their merit and power. Some of the meet¬ ings were very powerful, while others were extremely disappointing. The Ordination Service, from which we had expected so much, was simply a long-drawn formality. Where was the impressive dignity, and where the hallowing unction, which would have made the Service one of irresistible power to all ? If ever an Ordination Service will be held in connection with the Conference in future, let us hope that the appointments will be more suitable, that due decorum will be observed by all, and that the real purpose will be effectually reached. The Conference Sermon was very fine. A. magnificent congregation had gathered together, and the preacher seemed to realise his opportunity. The sermon was one of those spiritual discourses which we always associate with the name of the preacher. Mr. Meyer is truly a spiritual-minded man. True to his own teaching, he surrendersjhimself to the Holy Spirit, and lives, speaks, writes in the Spirit's power. As we listened to his words in the Park Hall, there was one holy passionate desire in our heart—" 0 for something of this spirituality in our life and ivork." We have now heard all the great preachers that have visited our United Conferences. Well do we remember Mr. McNeill in Aberystwyth, electrifying an enormous congregation by his discourse on David and Goliath. We remember Mr. Robertson's sermon in Liverpool on the preciousness of our redemption, Dr. Stalker's sermon in Newport on the Judgement, and Dr. Smith's sermon in Chester on the Twenty-third Psalm. Mem¬ orable services all of them ; but we do not think any of them reached the same high mark of spirituality and unction as Mr. Meyer did in Cardiff. Long may the blessing of the service remain. * * The Meeting on Thursday morning was also a time of blessing, coming very suitably after the Conference Sermon. The subject was " The Scriptural idea of Holiness." The meetings of the Conference are in danger of becoming too formal, too papery, too set. Three or four are appointed to open the discussion ! And they all prepare papers ! And all the papers are read ! The discussion is thus an exhibition of skili, an j often nothing more. It lacks that spontaneity whic^ makes it real. The meeting on Thursday morning in Cardiff was, however, the real thing. Two of the appointed " openers " had not come, and the meeting was free. It turned out to be as lively and as happy and as enjoyable as any meeting for Christian Fellow¬ ship might possibly be. More meetings of this kind will do good. When a round dozen of earnest Christians relate their experiences and talk together of all the things which happen unto them, the Master Himself draws near, and His words make music in every heart, " Peace be unto you." Learned discussions, ponderous papers, heavy formalities—they drive Him away. He is drawn by the quiet talk, the earnest exchange of experiences, the meek enquiring humility whose musings are His sweetest incense, whose thoughts are the fused burnings of His grace. As will be seen in another column, the Anniversary Services of Havelock Street Church passed off well. Mr. Puleston Jones gave great satisfaction to all. Let us hope that his message will be a word of help and hope to us. The collections were not up to the mark. All told, they amounted to £14. It is a little dis¬ appointing that they did not reach £20. However, if the spiritual results were good, let us be content. We are glad to understand that the services were well attended, especially on Sunday evening in'the Tredegar Hall. To take the Hall was a big venture ; but it has been justified. The Sunday evening Services held in Havelock Street have been exceedingly burdensome throughout the Summer. Small accommodation and bad ventilation make preaching and listening well-nigh impossible, and, in the best interests of the church, it was felt that the time had come to seek a larger room. We regret that some of our members dislike the new arrangement ; but what can we do ? Already our Sunday evening congregations are increasing, and it would be a pity to throw away such an opportunity for the sake of our own personal comforts. To sit in a snug family pew, is certainly very comfortable ; but if we can increase our usefulness and double our attend¬ ance by sacrificing our little comforts, is it not worth doing ? Let us join with one accord to make this forward step a great blessing both to our own church and to the town in which we live. We rejoice that our winter's work has been started so well. In both churches there is the " sound of a going." There is nothing like work, plenty of hard work, to keep up the health and vigour of a church. The more, the merrier; the harder, the better. Bible Classes, Literary Societies, Children's Meetings—this is the swing that shows life. We expect much from the programmes already drawn out. If our members will hold on to the end, they will accomplish such things as will make the winter memorable for many years to come. By dint of perseverance only can it be done. Let us aim at three things—a good start, a good middle, and a good end. Let the start be good, let the middle be better, let the end be best. Need we drop one little hint ? Here it is : be not all zeal for two or three weeks, and all laziness for the rest of the Session. Let zeal continue. Let the male members especially wake up. The women are busy and faithful ; but where are the men ? Again, we ask, where are the men ? Who will answer ?