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not have thy head filled with notions and speculative views of the sovereignty of God, believer ; but thou shalt realize it in such sort that it shall form the integral of thine experience and the foundation of thy knowledge ; and thus have it bound about thy soul by cords of gracious and providential dealing, even as it is bound up in the word and doctrine of thy covenant God.
But a word here concerning the trials of life. Says one, “My trial is of such an equivocal character, that I see more of sin than of Christ in it, and I cannot receive it as a trial of faith appointed by God, but as a direct and deadly trap laid by the enemy for my fall ; hence I argue it is not Christ's cross.” Believer, this is the very point thy faith must be exercised upon, “Thou couldst have no power at all except it were given thee from above,” said our dear Lord ; therefore, every trial is commissioned from on high. The equivocal character of thy trial is the transverse beam which forms thy cross, and which would be no cross if this were wanting ; infinite wisdom has given that angle which just suits thy nature, calls out thy corruptions, stains thy cursed pride, and keeps thee inquiring at the mouth of the Lord.
Now for a word upon faith's triumph. Believer, what knowest thou of this exercise ? Hast thou triumphs as well as trials to record concerning thy faith? Doubtless thou hast more or less. Thou canst recur to certain extremities when the Lord met thee in the promise ; applied it to thy soul, gave thee faith to lean upon it, and thus thou didst realize deliverance long before the accomplishment arrived ; thy fears were put to flight, thy tears dried up, thy soul filled with hope, and in the face of surrounding difficulties thou wast enabled to say, “ It shall be well ;” and this with the absolute conviction that nothing short of the arm of Omnipotence could help and deliver, accompanied with the persuasion that he would deliver. Thus we see the triumph of Abraham's faith when putting the knife to Isaac's throat, he yet believed he should receive him from the dead again, and so went forward relying upon deliverance. We see again the triumph of faith in Jehoshaphat; the Moabites and Ammonites assemble against Judah, but the king relying upon the word of the Lord, who had promised deliverance, appoints singers who should praise the Lord for victory before the battle began. And did the Lord fail? No ; he owned and honoured the faith he had himself imparted, and Judah's triumph began and ended in praise. “They assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah, for there they blessed the Lord.”
Brother-sister, may the Lord give you and me many a view into the valley of Berachah ; may we often by faith go down there, and be enabled to meet every fresh trial with renewed application, under the Spirit's teaching, of the apostle's words, “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver” experimentally, “in whom we trust he will yet deliver ;” and so realize salvation by the way, while we are travelling towards the end, enabled to say in the power of faith, looking backwards and forwards, within and without, “Thanks be unto God, who always causes us to triumph.”
Thine unworthy Servant in Gospel bonds,
OUR PORTRAIT REV. ALFRED HEWLETT.
“A diversity of gifts, but the same Spirit.” ALTHOUGH a piece in the present Number, bearing the signature of ALFRED HEWLETT, contains another gentle reproof for us, we still do, and believe ever shall, recognise in the writer a beloved brother in Cbrist Jesus, our adorable Lord. It is his privilege to dwell on bigh, to walk in the light of his Lord's countenance, and to enjoy, we presume, an almost uninterrupted sense of the Lord's good-will towards him ; and he writes, as he ought to do, in accordance with his own feelings and experience. We do the same ; but while ALFRED HEWLETT is favoured to sit as a guest within the banquetting-house (Sol. Song, ii. 4), or to serve up the bounties which the King of grace has provided, our station is the exterior, to make way for the guests. In the sweetness of his occupation, however, and the pleasure that attends it, he appears to forget that we are directing inquirers to the very same sources of satisfaction. We are as sensible of the privileges of such a position as he describes, as he is, but meanwhile, in the midst of his enjoyment, he should not lose sight of the fact that there is a way to those enjoyments which must be pointed out, and stumbling-blocks and difficulties in that way which are to be removed. We know which occupies the most privileged position, but we are not our own choosers in this respect. We are compelled to abide in the station where the Lord fixes us; when he removes us, and says, “ Friend, come up higher,” none will be more happy to go. In the meantime, God helping us, we shall continue to traverse the wilderness, and blow the Gospel trumpet to weary, heavy-laden sinners ; and we would, at the same time, beg our Brother HEWLETT, and those whose views and feelings accord with his, not hastily to reprove us. They are in the pay of the same Master as are we ; each has his appointed labour in the vineyard ; while one plants, another weeds, and a third waters, but all are engaged ; and, blessed be God, all ere long will receive their wages, without any jarring notes or needless interference with the labours of the other.
We feel much pleasure in subjoining the following particulars :--
By a wonderful Providence, after applying for a curacy in various places, I was ordained on the 18th of December, 1831, then in my twenty-eighth year, to the curacy of Astley, a neglected manufacturing village, where for five years and a half I laboured with much success in the ministry; and the wants of an increasing family were well supplied by the providential care of a gracious heavenly Father, though often in a way which was mortifying to the pride of human nature. In 1837, the incumbency of Lockwood, near Huddersfield, was offered me; which, after many prayers and much misgiving, I was led to accept. There I resided for two years and a half, during which time many sinners were brought to the feet of Jesus, and many saints edified. At the end of this time, the Lord opened the door, by many remarkable providential dispensations, for. my return to my own people as incumbent; the stipend of which living is at present only £120 per annum, being £60 less than I received at Lockwood. And though I never possessed any property, “The Lord has provided, the Lord will provide ;” and I hope I shall be kept here so long as the Lord has work for me. His work is going on; I have been privileged to see many added to the church since my return, and to witness the triumphant departure of several who, under my ministry, were first awakened.
A FEW THOUGHTS ON GOSPEL OBEDIENCE. A Gospel Magazine seems a fitting place for a few thoughts on Gospel obedience, so overlooked, or so misplaced in our present professing day. Gospel obedience is that measure and portion of service which God will get out of his children in this time state, either by doing or suffering; for the manifestation of the graces which he has implanted in their souls, and the exhibition of his own glory. It consists not in the penances of the Papist, the formal duties of the Pharisee, the cold labours of the Legalist, or the overheated zeal of the modern Evangelical. Then, “Where shall wisdom be found, and where is the place of understanding ?” The taught child of God only, can put in a reply to this question. Gospel obedience flows from a divine apprehension, reception, and enjoyment of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. All that Faith sees, Love embraces, and the offspring and issue of Gospel faithfulness is every good word and work. It is not the niggard measure of the miser, nor the scant service of the slave, nor the effervescing fervour of the enthusiast; but is the willing grasp of fitting opportunities, manifesting the affection which glows within. It is the thoughtful, well regulated, consistent and bountiful expression of love, being only a reflection and counterpart of that dimensionless love made known to the soul when the person, works, character, and offices of Christ are revealed. It is the eye of conjugal affection, which reads unexpressed wants or wishes in the look alone; it is the hand of love stretched out with willing anxiety to manifest the readiness to help or uphold, it is desire discovered in action, more or less as occasion demands. It is in fact that intuition which belongs to love, and which exhibits itself in all the nameless ways that affection urges. It is not confined to supporting confederated bodies as termed “religious societies ”--to discharging civil, sacred, or social duties—to a separation from a portion of the world called “ irreligious”—to diligence “in the use of means”-to an attendance upon a ministry denominated “Evangelical.” It includes all this, as opportunity may be given ; but Gospel obedience has no limits, knows no bounds, and therefore far exceeds in its expanse all this: in a word, it is a spiritual manifestation of David's natural feeling when he said in the warmth of true affection, “Is there yet anything that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?” O, believer, if thou hast been made sensible of God's eternal love to thee before worlds, his discovery of it in time by the death of his Son, his declaration of it to thine experience by the teaching of the Holy Ghost; if thou art made to feel, notwithstanding all thy black ingratitude, that thou art reserved to eternal glory, where thou shalt shine as the sun in the firmament, and ascribe everlasting praises to a God of all grace, surely the language of thy heart must and will be, “ What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits unto me!” And in exact proportion as you realize fresh apprehensions of the Lord's love, and have heart warming views of his eternal affection, so will thy obedience be quickened, and increased even as the Psalmist testified when he said,