Earthen Vessel 1895:
Recognition Of Mr. J. N. Throssell As Pastor At Salem Chapel, Ramsey, Hunts.
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, services of an interesting character were held in Salem Chapel, Ramsey in connection with the settlement of Mr. Throssell as pastor. The day opened bright and cheerily, yet snow-storms fell at times, making it uncomfortable for friends at a distance to get to the house of God. Still the Lord inclined the hearts of many to gather together at both services, to wish us God speed.
The afternoon service commenced by announcing hymn 758 (Denham’s):
“Jehovah dwells in Zion still,
Our ever-present Lord!”
which was heartily sung by the friends present. After the usual devotional service, Mr. Wren, of Bedford, preached a most appropriate and excellent sermon from 2 Cor. 6:16, “Ye are the temple of the living God,” which was listened to with rapt attention.
Mr. Northfield asked the questions customary at such times with much kindly feeling and tact.
Call By Grace
Mr. Throssell said:—“To speak of myself is not at all desirable; but, as it is necessary today to give an account of my own history and experience, I will do so as briefly as possible. I was born at Peterborough on July 26, 1868, and when nearly seven years of age my parents moved with me to March, where I was placed in the Sabbath-school connected with Providence Chapel, and brought up under the ministry of the late Edman Forman. When the work of grace was begun in my heart it would be hard to say, but when very young I saw myself as a sinner before God, and was led to seek for mercy. Many things God was pleased to use as means to deepen the conviction, one or two of which I refer to. At the age of twelve I lost my dear mother by death, which led me to think of its solemnities, and wondering, if God should call me hence, where should I spend eternity? Some time after this I sat listening to a sermon delivered by the late Edman Forman, from the words,” What is thy life?” This seriously impressed me, making me seek more earnestly of the Lord for His forgiving mercy. He spoke of the brevity of life, what spiritual life was; and I experimentally realised I was a praying sinner. The Lord was graciously pleased to lead me on little by little until 1887, when He appeared for my soul in a marked manner. One day I was asked to go to visit an old lady who was very ill, and apparently near to death’s door. I had seen her several times in her affliction, but this was the time of favour to my soul. I read to her John 14; when I came to the sixth verse the Lord shone into my heart, and I found what I longed to know—that Jesus was the way, the truth, and the life. Here the light and liberty of the Gospel broke into my soul, and I could rejoice in Christ as my Saviour. Up to the time I told no one, nor dare I, of my soul’s distress. Very soon after I was at chapel, and heard Mr. Forman preach from these words: “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged upon a tree. Him hath God exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” After this I felt I must go and tell him I had for some time a desire to join the Church; so I went the following day, but he was not at home; this much harassed me, and the enemy told me I was wrong after all. But I went again the next evening, and had an interview with him alone; at first I was dumb, and he said, “What is it, my boy?” I replied, “I think you know,” and he said, “Well, I think I do.” So then I told him all. Very soon after I was proposed as a candidate for baptism, about which time God was pleased to call my dear father home to glory, which was a great trial. Under this stroke of bereavement I felt I could not give my testimony to the Church, so waited a month. I was baptized by Mr. Willis, of Whittlesea, in the month of June, and received into the Church the first Sabbath in July, 1887.
Call To The Ministry
When quite a lad I had an ambition to be a minister of the Gospel. There was a burning desire in my breast to be able to say a word to those whom I knew around me that disregarded God’s day, and set at nought His Word. Often would I think, if I could but get Mr. So-and-So’s barn, the Lord might help me to say a word which He would own and bless. As I reached the age of sixteen or seventeen this desire increased, although the more I thought about it the more frightened was I at it; for I could not preach then so well, thought I, as I felt I could before. But all this time no one knew but God and myself. Feeling so anxious to know if I was right in having this desire, I asked the Lord to give me a text, and to open it up to me, and enable me to preach from it. The text was this: “A Christian.” Eventually a friend said to me he would like me to go with him some Sabbath evening, and help him in the service. While my heart said, Go, I had some excuse, and several times when asked declined going. In January, 1888, I promised to go. After this I told a young Christian brother what I thought of doing. He greatly discouraged me, telling me I was too young, and ought not to think of going. On hearing this, I felt I would not go now and left him, feeling very uncomfortable; but, while brooding over it, the Lord applied these words: “Go thou up in the strength of the Lord thy God.” On the strength of this I went and preached from the words given. (The chapel was one belonging to the General Baptists.) Here the Lord helped me, and I was asked to go again, and did so. After this second visit I was very much troubled lest after all I was not called to the work. Many times would I seek for guidance on my knees in the warehouse. At one time the Lord was pleased to send the words (Jer. 1:17) with power; this encouraged me much. I preached six sermons the first year, and by not being asked to go any more, found the people did not favour my teaching. The friends at Providence getting to know I had spoken in the Lord’s name, soon urged me to go to the Whittlesea-road chapel, a branch in our own connection, and then I was asked to go to Tip’s End, and in time to Benwick, so that very soon I found all Sabbaths at these places, where I could conveniently go, leaving home on Sabbath morning and returning in the evening.
I believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God. In it we see the existent of the Deity, being one God in three distinct Persons, being equal in all their perfections—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The plan of salvation rests on the work of the Trinity. 1. The determination of the Father, as seen in electing love and predestinating grace. 2. On the work of the Son, who in the fulness of time became incarnate, and in His life and death made atonement for sin, procuring salvation for His Church. 3. On the work of the Holy Ghost, who undertakes to quicken all the redeemed into spiritual life. The fall of all mankind in Adam. For all have sinned; but as an act of sovereign grace, millions of sinners are brought to know God by the Spirit’s teaching, and to rely on Christ for salvation by faith, which is the gift of God, and not a legal duty. These souls are justified, sanctified (hence the importance of our walk according with the Gospel of Christ), and finally brought to glory. The resurrection of the dead, the final judgment, the everlasting happiness of the saints, and eternal punishment of the wicked. Baptism by immersion, on profession of faith and repentance, the only door of admittance to the Lord’s table.
Leading In Providence
When at March I was in the employ of a Mr. Vawser; having been there nearly ten and a half years, things of an unpleasant character arose, which showed to me very soon I must leave his service. What to do I knew not. What kind of a situation to seek for I knew not. I felt, if called to leave March, I should not be able to visit friends to whom I had become attached in preaching the Gospel. So it was made a matter of much prayer, and at one time, when upon my knees, these words were applied with power: “Be still and known that I am God; I will do it.” There I felt I could it, feeling confident the Lord would appear. In January, 1892, I was asked to supply at Ramsey, which I did, also a second time, when it was suggested to me, if an invitation was given, would I accept it? The answer given was, “I don’t know; you invite, then I’ll tell you.” Wondering at these things, feeling quite astonished, I begged the Lord to show me what I was to do. My mind was directed to the following words: ‘Thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands; happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.’ This settled the question, yet I felt if there was one against, I would not go. I received an unanimous invite to serve for three months with a view to the pastorate, which I accepted. At the close of this period another invitation was given, asking me to settle; this I declined, but served another three months. As time went on I was asked again, but begged to serve for a year. At the close of this period, another invite was given, but not seeing my way clear, wished to serve another year.
“In November last, another invitation, unanimous throughout, was given, asking me to settle. After much prayer and hesitation, these words were applied with power: “Be not weary in well doing.” These I tried to banish from me, but they seemed riveted to my heart, so, on the strength of these words and constant signs of God’s approval, I accepted the same.”
The leadings of the Church in this matter were given by Mr. Upchurch. He referred to their being left without a pastor, and meeting for prayer to seek the Lord’s guidance in choosing a man whom He should bring amongst them to feed them with the Bread of Life. Then, after corroborating what had been said concerning the way in which Mr. Throssell had come slowly into their midst, he referred to the blessing of the Lord being enjoyed through his ministry, and how congregations increased, and signs followed the Word preached, and prayed that the feeling of love and unity which existed might remain.
The pastor and deacon then joining hands, Mr. Lambourne, of Warboys, in a few well-chosen and timely words, sought the divine blessing to rest upon the union.
Tea was provided at 5:15, when about 120 sat down.
The Evening Service commenced at 6:30, by Mr. Bullen, of March, announcing hymn 768 (Denham’s):—
“Jesus accept our humble praise,
While we our Ebenezer raise:
Thou hast Thy promise now fulfilled,
Whereon our hopes were fond to build.”
After 2 Timothy 2 was read, the recognition prayer was offered by Mr. Lambourne, and may the blessings sought for therein be enjoyed by pastor and people.
Mr. Northfield gave charge to the pastor, choosing the 15th verse of the chapter read for his text, and pointed out three things: (1) The minister’s aim; (2) The minister’s name; (3) The minister’s work.
Mr. Baker, of Needingworth, gave charge to the church, basing his remarks, which were sound and weighty, on 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13.
The collection was made while the choir sang, “How beautiful upon the mountains.” Then the congregation joined heartily in singing, “All hail the power of Jesu’s name,” and thus brought a happy day at Salem to a close.