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F THE - WHITE FEATHER.

WILLS AND BEQUESTS.

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SPURGEON'S TABERNACLE.

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SPURGEON'S TABERNACLE. By a notable coincident just 50 years have elapsed since Sir Morton Peto laid the foundation stone of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, and the 18th of December was the jubilee since the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon began a long campaign of preaching at Exeter Hall, during which over £30,000 was col- lected, to open debt-free the spacious building which is so honourably associated with the history of lattet-day non-conformity in London. There is suf- ficent reason (remarks the Daily Telegraph) for re- calling these facts in connection with the rapid pro- gress that, is now being made in rebuilding the vast edifice since the damage wrought to it by the dis- astrous fire of 1898. Few, indeed, of the thousands who daily pass the handsome fagade—almost the only portion of the stonework that was not injured and weakened-have any idea of the magnitude of the operations proceeding within, or that by May or June next there will be reopened for divine worship a building line for line as large as the former one, only better planned, more handsomely adorned, and more adequately equipped in every way. For several months past trn congregation have met in the lower hall. where there is seating accom- modation for 2000. Here all the fittings are in dark pitch pine, there is a complete installation of electric lighting, and in loftiness, ventilation, and other details this is a great improvement on its original. The upper part, or main hall, is at present a con- fused maze of scaffolding and iron girders, for nothing save metal and concrete i. being employed, but the workmen have already begun the roofing, and their only hindrance arises from delay in the de- livery of the iron work on account of pressure of contracts throughout this industry. It may safely be said that Mr. Sporgeon's person- ality has stamped an nnique character upon the tabernacle and the place it fills in the religious world. The young preacher, with his unconventional methods, his homely wit, and power arresting attention, had been able to fill the Surrey Music Hall, and had preached to one of the vastest congre- gations ever brought together when he addressed over 23,000 people at the Crystal Palace on the day of National Humiliation and Prayer for the Indian Mutiny. One of the first things, however, that he recognised was that if the work of evangelising which he had so dearly at heart was to be carried on, men must be trained to it, and thus the Pastors' College was one of the earliest offshoots of his preaching, and is, indeed, older than the tabernacle itself. Through this over 1000 men have passed, and a list of their spheres of labour is interesting reading, for they are to be found in all our Colonies, in the United States, up the Congo, in the West Indies, in India, China, Japan, the Falkland Islands, and South America. 1hen, too, there is the Stockwell Orphanage, pro- viding for. something like 500 little ones, of a clafs socially somewhat higher than is gener- ally to be found ia such institutions, and in which many of the old-fashioned ideas of barrack life and discipline and hideous uniform are broken down. But perhaps one of its great sources of influence has been due to its complete aloofness from controversial politics, though at the time of the American War of North and South pone upheld more stoutly the cause of justioe for the slave. But there has always been an atmosphere of robust, British common sense about the tabernacle, which was never more forcibly illustrated than in Mr. Spurgeon's vigorous reply to certain of the "unco guid" who saw perdition in tobacco and wished him to forego it for himself and thoae under his training. Gloomy persons were not wanting to predict that with Mr. Spurgeon's death the one great link of unity would be withdrawn, that dissensions would arise in the congregation, and that the great influence of the tabernacle would diminish. Those prophecies are unfulfilled. To-day the tabernacle has an adult mem- bership of over 4000, and in connection there are 21 missions and 25 Sunday-schools, with nearly 9000 scholars and 676 voluntary teachers. Towards the heavy cost of building, which was just £45,000, by far the greater sum is already secured, and only about JE5000 remains to be raised. For that, Mr. H. Ford, as chairman of the building committee, is ask- ing for assistance, inasmuch as Mr. Spurgeon's ser- mons are read i all parts, while his name is a house- hold word to thousands, and the congregation itself, has done so much. It is not, as the Rev. T. Surgeon and Mr. Ford both admit, a very opportune moment to make an appeal, but they feel that many are greatly interested in what may fairly be called the chief memorial of a great and world-know* man, and will be glad to be informed as to the financial progress that the movement is making. Mrs. Spurgeon, who has done so much in developing the charitable work of which the tabernacle is the centre, has herself said that the rebuilding should hold pre- eminence in the affections of those who valued and respected her husband, and that to many will be its ultimate word of commendation.

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THE "rOMANS WORLD.