« EdellinenJatka »
forth for the salvation of his anointed; when the ever-blessed and glorious Trinity sat at the council board, and laid the plan of our redemption ; when Jehovah the Father presented the Bride, the Lamb's wife, to his Son, and Christ came forward as the Husband of his spouse, and sealed the engagement by saying, I will betroth her in righteousness, in judgment, and in loving-kindness: yea, I will even betroth her in faithfulness, and she shall know the Lord. Thus the marriage nuptials were sealed ; his honour was engaged to ransom her from her Adam-fall transgression. He was mindful of us when, as the Messenger of the everlasting covenant, he entered the garden of Eden with the first Gospel message, “ The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head.” He was mindful of us when he appeared to Moses, and made him the lawgiver. He was mindful of us when he appeared to Joshua, and sent him forth as a type of himself, the law-fulfiller. He was mindful of us under all the Old Testament dispensations, when, in the many glorious appearances he made of himself to the patriarchs and prophets, he seemed to look forward (if I may be allowed the expression with reverence I speak it) with holy anxiety to the period when he should openly manifest himself to New Testament believers in becoming incarnate, and sealing the engagement he had made with his own blood. He was mindful of us when the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; when he was born of a woman, made under the law to redeem us that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Oh, matchless grace ! amazing condescension ! that the Lord of life and glory should stoop so low to raise such beggars from the dunghil, and make us one with himself. He was mindful of us when he said to his mother, Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? He was mindful of us when he said, I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished. Oh! my dear brother, what a humiliating view we have of the Lord's mindfulness of us, when by faith we enter the garden of Gethsemane, and are favoured with a view of our suffering Lord upon the summit of Calvary, bearing all our sins on his own body, on the tree sustaining all the wrath of God due to them—the sword of genuine justice piercing his sacred side, and, under the hidings of his Father's countenance, crying out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. He was mindful of us when he said, It is finished. He was mindful of us when he led captivity captive, and entered the portals of glory with a “Here, Lord, am I, and the children thou hast given me;" and who shall count the numberless instances of his mindfulness of us since he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having obtained eternal redemption for us, and ever appears in the presence of God for us as our Advocate to plead our cause, as our great High Priest, bearing our names on his breastplate. Time would fail me to tell you a thousandth part of his mindfulness of us in the many endearing characters he sustains-as the Father of the fatherless, as our Brother born for adversity, as our Friend that loveth at all times, as our Captain to fight our battles for us, as the Shepherd of his sheep. Jehovah-jireh is his name; but, as I said, we ought to examine how matters stand between God and our own souls. If, my dear brother, I have not intruded too much upon your precious time, you would allow me to alter the little word us, and give you a brief account of the Lord's mindfulness of me, who am less than the least of all saints, but of sinners the chief; but, where sin abounded, there grace has much more abounded. The Lord was mindful of me during seventeen years' unregeneracy and open rebellion against him, when, with a high hand and an outstretched arm, I said, “I will not have this man to reign over me.” He was mindful of me in that remarkable year, 1817, when the sword of the Spirit alone entered my soul, and proved at once a divider of the joints and marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of my heart; then were the fountains of the great depths of iniquity, which before lay concealed, opened up to my view; the heavens of divine wrath seemed ready to burst upon me, and the sword of justice ready to cut me down ; hell appeared open for me; my flesh trembled for fear of him, and I was afraid of his judgments. I saw the law was holy, just, and good ; but I had transgressed in every point, and God would be eternally just in my condemnation. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked, was the sword which pierced the deep recesses of my inmost soul, and was as a fire in my bones. I felt I was living without God, and without hope in the world ; I feared I had sinned away the day of grace. But the Lord was mindful of me through all this season of soul-conflict, and led me on, step by step, till he stripped me of all my fancied goodness, all my religion, and all my righteousness; and brought my stubborn, rebellious heart low at his footstool with a “ Lord, be merciful to me a sinner ; Lord, save, or I perish.” Oh, my dear friend ! I well remember the wormwood and the gall : my soul hath them still in remembrance. But, oh! the mindfulness of my covenant God, when all my power was shut up and gone, and I ready to perish ; then he came skipping o'er the hills of my guilt and transgressions, and leaping over the mountains of divine wrath openly to man. Your ever affectionate Sisters in eternal covenant union,
SARAH AND ANN. ( To be continued.)
Dearly Beloved in the Lord God Immanuel, who is the only hope of Israel,
and their only Saviour in the time of trouble,
You have no doubt been long looking for a line from me, and I can assure you if I were to wait until I felt myself fit to write anything worth notice, according to my present feelings you would have to wait until doomsday; for I have been in the fog so long, that I scarce know what latitude I am in. Oh! that the Sun of Righteousness would arise in his full strength and brightness upon my becalmed and benighted soul, and that he would send a south breeze to waft my almost motionless bark with greater rapidity towards the wished-for port of Zion. But I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in hirn do I trust; for I feel all the efforts of nature to be vain. For a free-grace vessel differs widely from a free-will galley; the vessel of mercy, although it's in the place of “ broad rivers and streams,” yet it can make no headway without a breeze from heaven; but a galley on the stagnated pool of nature can move on towards the black and dead sea of endless perdition with the propelling force of duty-oars, and the gallant ships of high-flown unballast Calvinist, in the same pool, and steering the same course with the gallies, are carried gallantly along this smooth water by the treacherous winds of delusion and presumption. They feel no changes, they are always lively; never clogged with doubts and heaviness of spirit; never assaulted with Satan's buffetings, nor almost sunk under water with a body of death ; never troubled like other men, their strength is firm ; never in want of heavenly food, for they have more than heart can wish from nature's storehouse and creature sufficiency, and so they sail on smoothly and gallantly to the port (not, as they dream, to the port of eternal life, but to the gulf) of endless death. Blessed be God for revealing and for making known to his saints by feeling, that "it is through much tribulation that we must enter the kingdom of God.” Excuse, my dear friends, my mystic preamble; for with me, what is on the top comes out first. I hope that both you and the royal seed with you, are enjoying health of body, soundness of mind, and the presence and blessedness of my Lord and yours. As for myself, although not laid up in ordinary, I am covered with infirmities from the head to the foot; the old tabernacle is sadly out of order through a violent cold; I have nearly lost my voice through a hoarseness, but my heart of plagues is the worst part of me. But this is a grief, and I must bear it; but my mercy is, that the “ very death which puts an end to life shall put an end to sin ;' but for this good hope through grace I should be (I think) of all men most miserable. Blessed be God, that, although he hath appointed his children to tribulation, he has not appointed them to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. We see our brethren, who are safely and eternally entered into the joy of their Lord and ours, were once, as we are, wading through great tribulation. A few weeks ago my soul was refreshed and brought to a firm anchorage in the contemplation of this blessed subject, occasioned by the falling asleep of a tried, warm-hearted brother in the faith and patience of Jesus; he departed under the meridian beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and my mind was led immediately to these blessed words, “These are they which came out of great tribulation," &c. (Rev. vii. 14). The text presents five things : first, who are here spoken of; they are declared to be God's own sealed ones; the Spirit declares by Paul that they are established in Christ (by election and by faith), anointed, sealed, and have the earnest of the Spirit in their hearts; declared also to be the servants of God in the newness of the Spirit. Secondly, whence they came-out of great tribulation, all sorts of trials and distresses; but Jesus knows all their tribulation, sympathises with and comforts in them all, and delares that no power that exists shall be able to separate them from God's love in Christ Jesus (see Rom. viii. 36). Thirdly, the blessedness of the state they now enjoy, delivered for ever from the vile robes of mortality, the buffetings of sin and Satan, and God dwelling with them; the Lamb in the midst of the throne feeding them, and leading them unto fountains of living water, and God wiping all tears from their eyes. No more hungering and thirsting either for the bread that perisheth, nor after light, love, mercy, righteousness, nor the living water that rolls in rivers from the heart or bowels of Christ. For they are completely and for ever filled according to the promise of Jesus ; no more under the burning sun of temptation and persecution, nor heated by the lust of the flesh, the fiery darts of Satan, nor the flashes of the law upon the conscience; no, all this is left behind, and can never mount from either earth or hell to annoy their eternal felicity; all wars are ended both within and without, and they with palms of victory in their hands triumphing for ever in the person and victories of Christ : in melodious strains their hearts and voices join in singing that new song which none but God's redeemed could learn. Vh, friends! may God the Spirit cause us daily to feel in our hearts a little of this heavenly melody, and the language of our souls will be, “Unto him who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God; unto him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." But my sheet warns me to stop here. Fourthly, how they came to this state of blessedness, “ They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, therefore are they before the throne of God ;” vain are all the washing-tubs of forms, &c., with all the soap and nitre of natural devotion. Nothing can purge the conscience from dead works, nor purge away the filth and imperfections of our works of faith and labours of love, but the blood of the Lamb; not one of
those happy souls came to glory and to God in any other way, neither could they. But, fifthly, see their blessed and eternal employ-they serve him day and night in his temple ; in a state of nature they served sin, Satan, &c.; under a law-work they served God in fetters of guilt and bondage ; in the faith and hope of the Gospel they served God in the newness of the Spirit, but ofttimes with deadness, coldness, doubts, and wanderings of heart, and always with imperfections, but now they serve him for ever in the beauties of holiness, without shackles or the least imperfection of thought, word, or act. Their blessed service is praising and glorifying a Triune God while eternity rolls on, Give my sincere love to all that love our Lord Jesus in sincerity, and accept the like yourself. From your Brother in the kingdom and patience of Jesus,
R. EASTERBROOK. Devonport, Dec. 9, 1840.
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. Dear Me Editor,
If it be consistent with the rules of your Christian Register, I beg leave for the admission of the underwritten epistle ; as it may be made the means of comforting some poor tossed and tried traveller like myself, upon the road to eternal rest. The Lord is a Sovereign, who does as he pleases; and he has said, “ He will be inquired of by them to do these things” for the good of his people, and to build up his church in troubled times, that they may return and see his goodness pass before them. It was sent me a short time since, and written, I believe, in the bowels of Christian affection.
I am, dear Sir, yours in the Lord, ESSEX.
J. G. MY DEAR BROTAER IN THE LORD,,
With pleasure I received and read your letter indited by the Holy Ghost, separating the chaff from the wheat by explaining the solemn difference between a notional faith and that which is of the operation of the blessed Spirit ; one leading to bondage, the other, flowing from God, leads the soul upwards, crying and begging for the influence of the Holy Spirit to be present with us when reading, hearing, praying, or speaking. We know, by experience, all is dark, dry, and barren, without that sweet Comforter. What is a sound judg. ment, or a head knowledge of the letter? It is a good thing to have the heart established by grace in the truth ; but although it is so, we want a something more, a tasting, feeling, and handling, of the Saviour in all the characters of divine power which he bears towards us : in a word, we want an applied Christ to our souls. A hearsay one will never do for the longing mind; sweetly has the poet written
“Give me Christ, or else I die.” Our evidences die--faith, love, and hope, and all besides, seem to dwindle away when Jesus is withdrawn. Bless his dear name, it is only for a moment; only when he sees a needs-be for it. Always on board the ship, although often appears at the hindermost part as if asleep; and as if he took no notice of our situation, when tossed up and down in the troublesome ocean, with the winds of adversity uniting with awful suggestions of Satan, “ You are only a deceived soul-you know it is, and all your religion is only head work; you can talk at times like an angel, again feel and almost act like a devil.” I have heard that dear servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, William Scandrett, of God
manchester, say, “ We may know whether we are on the King's highway; for if so, the wind both in providence and in soul matters generally lays full in the face, blowing as if it would drive us back, or sink us into despair : while a fleshly religion have the wind at their backs, blowing them forward in their running, working, and doing, to obtain heaven.” Or, as dear Gadsby says, “ Their heaven is such as is found at Rome.” Ycur observation upon that dead faith which boasts of unclouded sky, soaring above all tribulation, anguish, and trial, and which brings no glory to the Lord, humility into the soul, or a fresh application by blood to the conscience daily, is not from God. No, dear brother, it is not-my soul can testify; consolation comes after much trial, disquietude, and sorrow. Then we can trust in the Lord, then we can sing praises to our God. At other times, my faith seems so weak and withered by sin and unbelief, as to be quite unable to lay hold of one promise ; they may meet my eye, but not my case, if Jesus is absent. You seem to complain of dark and stormy weather, and things to appear, after more than forty years in which you have been travelling up and down in the wilderness, to grow worse and more mysterious. Was it not so with your brother Jeremiah, when God said to him, “Turn again, son of man, to see greater abominations yet ?” they were all there before, but he never saw them and felt them as now. Well, my dear afflicted brother, “ The deeper your sorrow (when deliverance comes) the louder you'll sing." I believe truly, to grow in grace is to grow downward in self-abasement, and view ourselves nothing and less than nothing—then Christ must be All in all; then, from a feeling, truly say, “Draw us, we will run;" we can run while Christ draws-yea, can sing of all-conquering grace, and “crown him Lord of all.” This has followed me more than fifty years in the wilderness, “Without me ye can do nothing ;" again, “No man can quicken his own soul.” I never got beyond this, nor in my right mind wish ; only want to follow Christ always as my Captain, and to follow entirely, leaning on him and trusting in him “ to work in me to will and to do” as it seemeth good in his sight. Well, my dear brother, I am fully satisfied that both you and myself make a part of that gold that must be passed through the fire. Our heavenly Father has engaged to bring it through —not for one moment will he leave it; no, bless his dear name, he sits at the furnace mouth, so that the fire cannot burn it, nor consume it up. Were it not so, you and I should have long since been consumed. Let the dispensation be what it may, let bodily health fade away, let temporal wants roll in more abundantly, “ God is a rock, his work is perfect;" "I will never leave you nor forsake you.” And have not the whole cloud of God's witnesses proved, that his dear everlasting arms were under them? You have been enabled to buy the truth, and God has also kept you from selling it in this day of blasphemy and rebuke ; that truth has inade you free, and its divine power will, I ani persuaded, keep you above all the calamities which may await you, until you are safely put into port. Oh, blessed portion to all the chosen blood-bought family, whose “life is hid with Christ in God." I shall be truly glad to see you at our part of the kingdom; make my home your dwelling, if you can say, “ Peace be to this house " when you enter therein. The Lord bring you in the fulness of his presence; and may he condescend to meet us and bless us indeed, is the desire of yours in new covenant bonds, February 24, 1841.
R. G. · P.S. I am glad to hear the Gospel MAGAZINE is revived again ; should be glad to see again the signatures of its old correspondents. Suppose they are watching the movements of its young combatants, before they enter the field ; though no doubt many of them, like its faithful and undaunted Editor, have entered into lasting quarters. You have not contributed anything to it of late ---the Lord hold up the hands of its Editor.