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duced such' a change in my feelings, that I am not now afraid to see thy Father, because I can cry Abba, and say that thy God is my God, and thy Father my Father. But then again I feel as though these pleasing facts are too mighty for my credence. I am ready to believe (not for joy) and inquire, am I not in a dream ? Do I not see a vision ? For surely, I am now like them that dream ; my mouth is filled with laughter, and my tongue with singing. Yea, more, thy wine that has gone down so sweetly, overpowers my feelings, and this weight of glory is too heavy for mortality; and though in this thy banqueting-house with thy banner of love spread as a canopy over my head, yet I am sick :- Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love.' Oh! how sweet thus to taste that thou art gracious! Oh! what bliss to know that thy 'left hand is under my head, and that thy right hand doth embrace me,' Am I in the body, or out of the body ? I can hardly tell, Is mortality swallowed up of life? or am I still in the flesh, and a pilgrim below ? Oh ! it is best to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord : for in his presence is life, even life eternal, which he hath now given to my quickened spirit ; and at his right hand I feel there are pleasures for evermore. How sweet to be thus in the Spirit, in this day of the Lord !
Oh, for this love! let rocks and hills
Their lasting silence break;
My Saviour's praises speak.'” Thus, dear brother, or sister, it may be that, as you now stand and consider, thou rememberest, as a pleasing dream of the night, the day of thy espousals, and of the gladness of thy heart. Thou lookest back to the little hill Mizar, where thou wast when the opening spring bathed thy spirit in the fountain of thy first love. Thou lookest back to the day when thine eyes were fully opened to discover the hidden things of God, and the yoke was removed from thy jaws, so that thou couldst feed on the hidden manna contained in the Ark of Testament of the written word. The Rock poured thee out rivers of oil, and thou wast blest with an unction from the Holy One, which comforted thy heart, and showed thee the wondrous things of Jesus. Thy garments were then white, and thy head lacked no ointment. Thou hadst found thy city of refuge, and by striving, even to an agony of violence through the power of the Holy Ghost, thou passedst through the straight gate into glorious liberty, and thou didst loudly exclaim, “I am safe! My calling and election is now made sure, and I know that my name is written in Heaven, because a white stone is given me, as a sure token." And in surveying the happy change, thou saidst, “ This spring-time will last for ever, and these flowers will never wither; my joys will never abate, nor my love wax cold; my mountain stands firm, and my heart is eternally fixed, and I will sing and give praise.” Thus thou didst believe, and thus thou didst speak.
But the scene has wonderfully changed. The long shining of the Su.. of Righteousness has dried up all the moisture, and the once pleasing results of the former rain ” are arrested in their progress, and all spirito ual vegetation seems stagnated, and thy soul no longer flourishes like a “ well-watered garden." The first-fruits of the Spirit seem to have died away, and thou art dry and barren. Thy prayers are without sweet access, the word without power, thy spirit without unction, and thy tongue is dumb both in praise and spiritual conversation. Thy heavens are as brass over thy heart, and thy earth is as iron : it is parched with heat, and thy land is chaping with thirst; and, what is worse, in the very place where thou wast once ready to conclude was nothing but perfection, thou findest a nest of serpents : yea, thy heart is become as “ the habitation of dragons," and the Gibeonites (whom thou, in thy strong zeal, hadst thought to have cut off) are making horrid din at clearing wood and drawing water. Thy old man (like an ant-hill in a sunny day) is all in motion with corruptions of every kind. Every insect, with a sting in its tail, is busily employed about earthly and sinful things. Objects, the most trifling, appear of great value ; sticks, straws, dung, and dross, are weighty affairs with thy busy corruptions ; and thou seemest to be riveted to the spot, and obliged to look on, sometimes with childish admiration, and then again with noble self-disgust. Thou turnest thy eyes to the heavens, but thou canst not get one affection there. Thy bags of treasure, thy robes, thy portion, and thy hidden life, all laid up there, seem to have lost their value and power to attract. Thou lookest around, and art struck with the wondrous change that appears. “Winter afore the harvest,” not caused by cold, but by heat, is laying vegetation in ruins. The garden of Eden is turned into a desolate wilderness, and desolation encloseth thee around. The tender grape that was ripening in the flower, is dropped off, and the yine doth yield thee no meat; neither young figs nor blossoms are seen on the fig-tree, nor is there any meat in the field, flock in the fold, nor herd in the stall, and thou art left alone like a pillar of salt between Sodom and Zoar, a lifeless statue, a sparrow alone, and as an owl of the desert. I say lifeless, but only so far as activity is concerned; for though standing still like a post, thou art not dead, as is evident by thy feeling of this thy sad case; and this feeling prompts thee to groan unutterably, and in thy heart to say, “Woe is me, for I am left alone, and no man cares for my soul! Woe is me, for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage ; there is no cluster to eat; my soul desired the first ripe fruit."
But shall we ask, why is all this come upon thee, since thou hast, in time past, had such sweet manifestation of divine love, and such fine tokens of royal favour? Why, it may be that thou hast loosed the bridle, and yielded to the gratification of thy lusts; so that thy gross immoralities have called for the rod, and thy vile ungrateful conduct is now visited with stripes. But it may not have been so, and we will suppose it has not been so ; but in the sincerity of thy heart, thou canst say, “ All this is come upon me; yet have I not forgotten thee, neither have I dealt falsely in thy covenant. My heart has not turned back, neither have my steps declined from thy way; though thou hast soon
brought me in the place of dragons, and covered me with the shadow of death.” But if thus thou hast been faithful to thy God, why is winter come upon thee? Why? Because in thy first love thy experience was puerile, and thy judgment so childish, that thy senses were not exercised to discern both good and evil : and had this heavenly time remained, thou wouldst have been but a dwarf in the understanding of the mysteries of the word ; therefore, that thou mayst come to maturity of judgment, is all this come upon thee. For though thy legal veil was taken away when thou wast drawn to the Saviour, yet thy legal savour was not all purged out ; and this is plain from the fact, that the legal film is again crept over the eye of thy mental vision. And the heirs of promise must be emptied from vessel to vessel, continually, in order to keep down the pharisaic leaven, which is sure to rob God of his glory, and man of his comfort. Now this leaven will surely work and foment in the minds of the Lord's people after their deliverance from bondage, and that, either with or without their fault: and this legal and spiritblinding savour is dross, which will surely corrode the metal if it be not purged off. We see Brother Peter tinctured with it when Paul withstood him to the face. And so bewitching is this leaven to the mind, that very few, if any, can tell if they are under its influence though entirely carried away with it: they may see it afterwards, when brought out of it, but not at the time. It is so fascinating and agreeable to our natural spirit, and so fostering to our pride, that we should never yield it up, if we were not forced from it by sovereign power, and by repeated lessons made to see the hostility of its nature to the spirit of the new covenant. But as the Lord beholds it in all its operations, and as he has engaged, so he will keep it down, for the welfare of his people, lest they should thereby be entirely robbed of their comfort and their liberty ; for wherever this spirit obtains, it is sure to engender bondage, though that bondage through ignorance be imputed to a very wrong cause.
But one thing more, which I must not omit, is, that Satan and this spirit are quite agreed, and I am sure that he could do little or nothing with us if we were free from this principle: by this spirit sin entered into the first Adam, and without it Satan could get no advantage over the second Adam. And just thus it is now: the more legal a child of God is, the greater the advantage the devil has of him, because that legality blinds his eyes, and makes him like the ostrich, which silly bird, having hid her head, thinks that her whole body is covered : but when the mind is free, Satan can do little, because in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird; for as soon as we can see that the power by which we are affected is a temptation, the magic spell is at once broken, and we cry out in the victory of faith, “ Rejoice not against me, ( mine enemy.” But the Lord's birds are not made wise in a day, for they often find that, through legal ignorance, they are long held under a temptation, because they know, not, and believe not that it is a temptation; and this is especially the case after their first deliverance. Satan suits his bait exactly to their refined taste, and so gets great advantage over the soul; for when he has to do with a liberated and joyful bird of Paradise, he is sure to put on the same feathers, and, like a parrot, to talk the same language, till he is taken for the very Immanuel, which at the first let the bird out of the cage of bondage. And this way of this serpent on the true rock, is too wonderful for all but those who, like the Saviour, have found themselves, ere they are aware, on an exceeding high mountain, with this transformed monster at their side, who by subtle sophistry is soliciting them to fall down and worship him. But though the time of drought to which we refer, has been extremely favourable to his dark designs; yet when he finds that by fair speech he cannot prevail, he throws off his fine feathers, and by his legions hems the spirit around, and, like a storm against a wall, he throws his fiery darts both thick and fast, and the unkilled bird, judging from feelings, noise, and appearances, believes that all is the wreck of faith, and the sure destruction of all that is valuable: whereas, were the soul skilful in the word of righteousness, and by experience acquainted with the depths of Satan, she might laugh at the shaking of his spear, and cry with unwavering assurance, “ It is written, No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.” But however, this experience is gained only in tribulation, this courage only by contest, and this knowledge only by engagement. And if it be a time of drought with thee, reader, thou art doubtless in the battle also, and thy weapon may at times seem blunt and powerless, and thou concludest “I shall surely perish.” Poor soul, how dreary is thy condition! How defenceless seems thy position ! but cheer up, for it is " the time of the latter rain,” and thou shalt soon behold heavenly weather ; for though thou hast said, “No man careth for my soul,” yet there is one Man, even the Man Christ Jesus, who is God incarnate, God with us, even Immanuel, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Almighty. Ropley, May 20, 1841.
JAZER. ( To be continued.
AGAIN, my loved one, I come to gaze upon thy hallowed tomb ! Dear sacred spot, I hope oft to visit thee : here I fain would ever abide until my Master calls me home. I long to join thee, dearest ! I long that the grave may again be opened to receive another occupant. I long to dwell beside thy dear remains, that as “in life we were one, in death we may not be divided.” Oh ! how indulged am I thus to sit and gaze upon thy sacred resting-place! They have prepared, as if purposely for me, a niche, that I may sit and ponder free from the eye of scrutiny. How kind it was that thus they should humour me! Here, loved one, while thou art singing, I sit in pleasant solitude, and ponder o'er thy worth, and think on that celestial enjoyment of which thou art now the
rich partaker. Ah ! happy, happy spirit ! how thou art rejoicing ; how untiring is thy song ; how rapturous thy notes ; how joyous is thy praise ! How kind of thy indulgent Lord thus early to take thee home! How did he protect thee from the numerous ills of life ; how sheltered was thy path; how freed from the tempests, the storms, the billows, which assail thy fellow-mortals ; how peaceful is thy repose ; how kindly does the gentle breeze sweep o'er thy tomb ; how cheerfully does the morning sun rise upon thy grave, as if to tell that thou art basking in the sunshine of His presence, who rose upon thee in eternal day! Ah! thy sun shall no more go down, nor for brightness shall thy moon withdraw itself. Thou art dwelling now where there is,
“No clouded sky, no setting sun,
But sacred, high, eternal noon.” Thou art now in that happy land where the inhabitant never says, I am sick, and where the people who dwell therein are forgiven their iniquity. Sing on, my loved one ; I would not call thee back to earth. 'Tis cold, and rough, and thorny ; the path is bestrewed with sorrow, perplexity, and care ; it is a rugged steep by which we climb to thy celestial dwelling.
Oh that the Master would come and bid me follow thee! Oh that he would say, “Thy warfare is over, thy pilgrimage is ended ; comecome up hither, I have need of thee ; come, take possession of thy crown ; come, occupy the mansion which I prepared for thee from before the foundation of the world.” Yet would I not be impatient; I would not dictate ; I would not be in over-haste. I want it to be his time, not mine. But oh that his time were come; oh that the day may not be far distant when he shall call me home! I long to go ; earth hath no charms for me ; its pleasures are insipid. I want to be insensible to the mis-called charms, the empty joys of this vain, fleeting world. I wish to “ dwell on high,” to live in sacred anticipation and by and by in joyful reality-where Jesus lives; to behold his face in righteousness, and sin no more! Here I carry about with me a body of sin and death; here I have to combat with inward and with outward foes. “The good that I would I do not, the evil that I would not that I do. I find another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin ;” and I cry, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?”' but seldom can I say, “ Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
POPERY-THE ELECTIONS. At this period of political excitement, we feel it is at once a duty and a privilege to lay before our readers the following letter from one of our correspondents. Without attempting to offer an opinion by which to