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of the law. God will not save any man on such terms : by the deeds of the law shall no flesh living be justified. He will never detract from the glory of Christ's redemption by saving any otherwise than wholly through his precious blood. Neither prayers, nor tears, nor offerings, nor services, nor sufferings, can avail us anything whatever, in the procurement of salvation. It is the gift of God as much as it is the work of God; and gifts are wholly free; and while men usually give their gifts to the deserving, the Lord gives his to the undeserving; and very certain I am we must be brought to see and feel our undeservedness, and our incapability to perform anything good in the sight of God, before the veil is removed from our hearts. It is when we turn to the Lord the veil is taken away : and how shall we turn, but as the prophet remarks : Take with you words, and turn to the Lord : say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously : so will we render the calves of our lips : Asshur shall not save us : we will not ride upon horses : neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods. Hos. xiv. 2, 3. When these honest confessions are made before the Lord, the soul is no longer in obscurity as it regards its own condition. The Lord hath kindly begun to fulfil his promise in such a precious soul. He will destroy the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. Isa. xxv. 7. As it pleases the Lord to make us feel the need of a salvation, all of grace, so he inlays our discoveries of the freeness and fulness of that grace : while the sweet invitations of the word are very suited to our state of mind; and having lost our confidence in ourselves, we rejoice that we are bidden to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Nor will the Lord ever frown away the precious soul that thus comes to him, but will receive him and bless him. It is this kind reception the Lord gives his children that emboldens them : they thank God, and take courage ; and as when their sins were discovered to them, and the broken covenant of the law revealed, they were afraid to look upon God and durst not come near him ; they now approach with confidence, because they see sin atoned and put away by Christ Jesus, and an all-justifying righteousness wrought out and brought in for them by the obedience of the Holy Lamb of God. Guilt is thus removed from the conscience; the Spirit witnessing to them their interest in Christ enables them to believe in his great name : they feel the change from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God : from bondage to liberty : from the ministration of death and condemnation, to that of life and peace. Slavish fear is gone : the sting of death is removed : God, that stood at a distance, privileges them to have access to him in Christ : and him whom they were afraid to look upon, they now, with the open face of dear and wellbeloved children, behold. These remarks may give the reader of them some faint idea of what Paul meant vhen he said, we all with open face.
THE LATE REV. WATTS WILKINSON. IT falls to our lot at the very opening of the new year, to record the death of the above venerable, and deservedly beloved servant of Jesus. Few, whom our blessed Lord has called to labour in his vineyard, have been privileged so long to bear their testimony to the love, the grace, and the faithfulness of a Triune Jehovah ; and perhaps few have gone to their rest more generally beloved, than the venerable WATTS WILKINSON! Who among the number of our readers, that were privileged to hear him, especially at his Tuesday morning lecture, but valued him in the highest sense of the word ; and who among that number but regarded him as a messenger direct from the court of Heaven; over the battlements of which, (as dear Dr. Hawker used to say), the angels seemed to beckon him homeward. Thither at length is he gone; softly and sweetly has he reposed in Jesus' bosom, never again to be roused by the storms and tempests of life. Dear aged sire! much as we shall miss theeglad as we should be again to see thee take thy stand, and minister unto us the glad tidings of a free-grace salvation in and by a blessed Redeemer,—we would on no account recal thee. No! thou hast delivered thy message— finished thy work—and the Lord has taken thee home. May He, who has received thee to himself, be pleased to raise up another like unto thee, whose delight shall accord with that which formerly possessed thine heart--namely, to encourage the mourners in Zion; "to give the oil of joy for mourning, and the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” We admire the spirit wbich the Lord was pleased to bestow upon, and keep alive in thy soul : thy freedom from rancour and strife, and yet thy sensibility to very truth and faithfulness. May a double portion of thy spirit, if the Lord will, rest upon him who shall succeed thee.
Mr. Wilkinson was called by divine grace under Mr. Foster (late of St. James's, Clerkenwell). He was upwards of sixty years afternoon lecturer at St. Mary, Aldermary, Bow Lane ; forty-six years chaplain to the Haberdashers'Company; and Tuesday morning lecturer at St. Bartholomew, near the Bank, for above thirty-seven years.
Upon a review of his ministerial career, in the course of his last illness, Mr. Wilkinson remarked, “ It is a solemn consideration, that I have spoken to thousands. I hope I have led them right; I do not recollect any sermon in which I have disguised principle in order to please. My first and last sermon has been the same; I have had no choice but to deliver my message with fidelity.” Referring to his last Tuesday morning lecture, his text on that occasion being from Jer. xvii. 9, “ The heart is deceitful,” &c., he said, when speaking of himself to some of his family, with great self-abasement, “ You judge of me partially ; but I have great conflicts with sin. Men only see us outwardly. But what must I do? I am the vilest of sinners—one of the most ungrateful of sinners. God be merciful
to me. I shall never get beyond it-so much self-seeking. If God has blest me to but one sinner, he must have chosen me to show his power.” He said, “ I have derived great support from the Scriptures, particularly John xiii., “ What I do ye know not now, but ye shall know hereafter ;" 2 Cor. xii. 9, “My grace is sufficient,” &c. On one occasion he said, “ My times are in thy hands; "I am fixed on the Rock of Ages ; “ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace," &c. It was his custom to repeat a verse of Scripture before he fell asleep.
He remarked at another time, “ The doctrines which afforded me comfort in my distress of soul at first, now, with death and an opening eternity, I feel support, console, and comfort me." The last night he said, “ Christ is more precious than a thousand worlds ; and exclaimed,
“Give me, O Lord, one glimpse of thee,
Then drop into eternity.'” About a fortnight before his departure, he expressed a wish that he might die in his sleep, and not be laid aside long; but though he afterwards confessed that he was in error in dictating to the Lord, this wish was gratified, as having fallen into a deep sleep, one of his family who was seated by his bed-side, suspected that his repose was more than usually calm ; this proved to be the case, as upon a closer view Mr. Wilkinson was found to have sweetly reposed in the arms of Jesus.
Mr. Wilkinson died on Monday, the 14th inst. aged eighty-five years. He was interred at Bunhill Fields burying-ground by the Rev. W. Borrows, on Saturday, the 26th instant. Funeral sermons were preached on the following Sunday afternoon at St. Mary, Aldermary, Bow Lane, by the Rev. Mr. Vallance; at St. Ann's, Blackfriars, by the Rev. Mr. Harding ; and on the previous Wednesday evening by the Rev. Mr. Irons. The Rev. Mr. Borrows preached at Lothbury Church on Tuesday morning ; and we are informed that these will be followed by many others---among whom we may mention the Rev. Mr. Luckin, Woodbridge Chapel, Clerkenwell, on Sunday morning next; and the Rev. Mr. Denham, at Unicorn Yard Chapel, Tooley Street, on Sunday evening, the 10th instant.
OUR PORTRAIT—REV. JOSEPH IRONS.
REFLECTING with sorrow upon the loss the church of God has sustained by the demise of the venerable Watts WILKINSON, we turn, with gratitude to our God, to the contemplation of the character and services of such men as he whose portrait and leading article introduce the GOSPEL MAGAZINE for the present year. In the Rev. JOSEPH IRONS we behold, united with talent, a man unflinchingly