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THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST.
How sweet the notes of yonder choir, 1 'Tis God with us-Immanuel How Gabriel's theme their hearts in- || With newstrung harps the tidings swell, spire,
He'll bring his banished home; The subject so divine;
The once loved nation's sceptre's broke, To Jesu's daughters now declare, Fulfilled the words the prophet spoke, For you is born the promised heir
The gathering Shiloh's come. Of David's royal line.
As Jacob's Star, behold him shine, "Tis not the voice of woe we hear, As Israel's Sceptre, all divineNor garments rolled in blood we fear, His own receive him not ; On this auspicious morn;
Yet in his temple shall he stand, Judgment and mercy both conspire,
A Priest, with incense in his hand, With love to set our souls on fire
To plead for those he bought. To us a child is born.
Then catch the notes of yonder choir, In David's city, long foretold,
That listening seraphs may admire, The Son of David now behold
How love our hearts inflame; Desire of nations he;
And while to us a child is born, The Mighty God, the Prince of Peace,
| We'll sing on this auspicious morn, Whose government shall never cease,
That Jesus is his name. In Bethlem's babe we see.
A STRIPLING. London.
A HYMN FOR THE NEW YEAR. Winter may throw her dreary gloom | But ah, the passing months and years, Around the opening year;
Shall bring a lappier day; And locked within the frigid tomb, | When that which now in prospect No greeting flowers appear:
cheers, But soon shall spring-tide's smiling Shall gild the way. train :
Yes, as the seasons, one by one, Welcome the youthful queen;
Resume the annual seat; And summer in its perfect reign,
So shall full glory's open sun, Complete the scene.
The work of grace complete : So, Christian, in this foreign land, As Alpha and Omega too, Where glory germs his grace ;
The Saviour reigns on high ; Few flow'rets in their fragrance stand, Christian, in heaven he'll welcome Few sunbeams light the place :
you, When you shall die. H. P. H.
CHRIST ALL AND IN ALL. Christ alone is my salvation,
I Christ the tree of life for sinners, Christ the Rock on which I build ; Christ the balm to heal their wounds; Christ the fountain freely opened, Christ the surety for his people, Jesus Christ the law fulfilled.
Happy souls who Him have found. Christ the bread to feed our souls on, Christ the pearl of greatest value, Christ the way we must pursue;
Saving sinners from the fall; Christ our life-.our way to walk in, Christ the pleader for his people, Christ the God of glory too.
Jesus Christ is Lord of all.
City Press, Long Lane: Doudney and Suymgour.
“ENDEAVOURING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE Bond OP PEACE." “Jesus Christ, the same Yesterday, To-DAY, AND FOR Ever. Wniom TO KNOW is
THOUGH I WALK IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE, THOU
WILT REVIVE ME:---Psalm CXXXVIII. 7.
How shall I stand the trying day?
That as thy day thy strength shall be.” Do you ask us, reader, Why we write so much about trouble and affliction? We will tell you ; it is because the church of the living God is found toiling in this wilderness in the midst of much tribulation, agreeably to Rev. vii. 14, “ And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Their dear Lord and Master, too, foretold that such should be the case, when he said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John, xvi. 33); again, in Job we read, “Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward” (Job, v. 7); and, lastly, we may mention as a reason for thus writing, the fact of our being called to wade through the deep waters of affliction ourselves.*
• Since the principal portion of this article was written, we have received communications from two or three correspondents, remonstrating with us for choosing such
Vo. IV. Vol. 1.-New Series.
Come, come, poor soul ! thou who art tempted to believe that thine is not the lot of God's elect, because thou hast so much trouble, and the hand of the Lord seems in thy estimation to be gone out against thee : thy gourds are withered, thy substance blasted ; disappointment and vexation meet thee on every hand ; knowing not whither to turn for relief, thou art longing for the midnight watches, that thou mightest sleep and forget thy trouble. When night comes, thy slumbers are broken, sleep goes from thee; and thou art saying both temporally and spiritually, “ When, oh when, shall morning appear? When shall the darkness flee away, and not merely a temporal sun, but he who is the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing beams beneath his Almighty wings ?” Ah! beloved, as surely as he has given thee the desire, so surely shall he give thee the fruit of that desire, even in his most blessed self. He will come over the hills, yea above the mountains of difficulty, danger, and sin, and shine upon thy poor dark, benighted soul, with tenfold splendour. Contemplate the dark and dreary winter through which we have passed ; day after day has been cold and comfortless, and we have said, “ When shall spring appear? When will winter be gone, and we again enjoy the balmy sunshine ?”' Already has it visited us, and again have his cheering beams animated our spirits. Just so shall it be with thee in a spiritual sense, afflicted reader; thy strength begins to fail thee, thy plans have been frustrated, this and that door of deliverance has been closed against thee, and thou art still where the psalmist in our text was, shut up “in the midst of trouble.” Thou art beginning to give all up, to resign thy endeavours to free thyself from trouble ; and art gradually falling into the hands of the Lord, confessing thine ignorance and weakness, and entreating him to “undertake for thee." Blessed be God, dear reader, it is all well with thee; and though thou art now “walking in the midst of trouble, he will revive thee." He will astonish thee with his wondrous acts ; thou wilt stand amazed by and by when he takes thy case in hand ; thou wilt exclaim, “What wisdom, power, and love, has he displayed ! Who could have supposed that he would have appeared in such a peculiar, unthought-of way? What wisdom has he manifested in leading me by such a way, to bring me to such an end! No other path would have been half so glorious to him, nor so comforting and establishing to my soul. I see now that he loves me and cares for me; that my times are in his hands ; my way ordered by him; all sweetly and eternally arranged; every temporal and spiritual necessity provided for, and deposited in the hands
gloomy subjects; in a few words we will state our reasons for so doing, and trust the explanation will be satisfactory. As hinted above, we are at present called to walk through much tribulation. This paper was written by the side of the dying couch of two beloved children, who, within a few hours of each other, passed into another and we trust a better world; while for many months previously, one even still nearer and dearer than children, had been labouring under severe bodily affliction, the result of which the Lord alone knows. Thus we write as we are led, leaving it to the blessed Spirit to apply what may be his own, when and where he will. If any of the readers of the Magazine should find a spirit of prayer for the Editor under his present painful circumstances, the comfort of it he trusts will return fourfold into their own bosom.
of covenant love, to be dealt out to me, his poor timid, fickle, wavering child, just as the wisdom and the love of my Father see fit. I am content to be nothing-yea, less than nothing and vanity, because I perceive such a fulness, blessedness, and suitability in the person of my dear Lord, my covenant Head, my Daysman, my Surety, my Hidingplace, my Strong Tower, my Defence, my Rock, my Refuge, my Covert, my Shield, my Deliverer, my Friend that loveth at all times, my Brother born for adversity, my Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. These are some of the dear relationships in which my lovely Lord stands to me, and he is (says such a soul) most precious ; yea, he is the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely.'
“Am I ignorant ? Yes, I am ; have not the understanding of a man ; sure to take a wrong step if undertaken in my own strength, and according to my knowledge, which is perfect folly ; but in Jesus I have wisdom to counsel, direct, and reveal to me the path in which I should walk. He sees the end from the beginning, knows whither every path will lead ; and when he brings me, his poor short-sighted creature, to wait upon him, to ask counsel at his hands, and to beg that he would show me the path in which I should go, his blessed Majesty either refuses to shine upon the way which I am tempted to take, throws no light upon its keeps me in darkness, timidity, and doubt ; or else casts just one ray of light upon the path, and whispers, “This is the way, walk ye in it ;' or, ‘Fear not to go down into Egypt, for I will surely do thee good. Upon the strength of his sweet word I go forward, though I cannot see an inch of my way ; yet no road is so sweet as that which he opens up daily and hourly. Being ignorant of the way, I am then obliged to come unto him continually with, 'Lord, direct me, for I know not the way. Thou hast kindly undertaken to be my guide, therefore I trust to thee, and thee alone ; thou hast said, I will not leave thee, nor forsake thee; and upon this promise I depend, for thou art faithful, and canst not deny thyself. Thou wast never known to change thy mind—to alter thy purpose of love, and grace, and mercy ; no, never.'
“Am I weak? Yes, the weakest of the weak; but in him is my help found; without him I can do nothing. I am strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might; When I am weak, then am I strong.'
Most gladly do I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.'
“Am I unholy ?-yes, there is not a more guilty, polluted creature in or out of hell. Of sinners I am chief. Though perhaps kept from going to the same extent of outward sin as many others have done, yet, feeling the seed of every sin in my nature—the love of sin in my guilty heart, I feel that I am indebted to the restraining power of my gracious God and Saviour, who has caused me to differ, kept me to the present moment, and who alone is my righteousness. I look to him to cover my naked, sin-polluted soul with that precious robe which he has wrought out, in which all his elect family are clothed ; so that they appear before a holy God 'without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing,"
Why, beloved, this is a very blessed knowledge; thou hast made a
good confession indeed, such as God the Holy Ghost has wrought in thee, and will defy the scrutiny of men or devils ; and pray where didst thou get this knowledge? If we are not mistaken, it was taught thee in the school of tribulation. There we met with thee in the opening of our subject, and unto the continued leadings and fatherly care of our covenant God we commend thee, while we listen to another member of the household of faith-a brother in the same family-one of the same kindred ; one that has trouble, but fancies not of the right kind, because he is not brought under it to act out the scriptural injunction, “ Cast thy burden on the Lord."
Now, this brother thinks if his trouble were from the Lord of his own appointment, sent to accomplish certain ends, that surely he should be able to come and cast it upon the Lord; on the contrary, his troubles appear to be of his own making-he feels fretful, rebellious, and self-willed under them, and is sorely apprehensive that they will terminate in his destruction. How they are to work together for his good, he is utterly at a loss to know. At present they seem to work nothing but evil ; constantly calling into exercise the very worst feelings of his nature.
So thou art not quite so good as thou didst once fancy thyself to be; thou seemst to possess less amiability of temper; thou hast not in thine opinion so many attractions in the eyes of thy fellow-mortals; the prayer of the poor publican seems more congenial than it once did ; thou art less in stature, and more willing to adopt the language, “ God be merciful to me a sinner.” Despairing Jacob (Gen. xlii. 36), timid Elijah (1 Kings, xix. 14), afflicted Job (Job, iii.), backsliding David (2 Sam. xi.), angry Jonah (Jonah, iv. 1), `a denying Peter (Matt. xxvi. 74), and unbelieving Thomas (John, xx. 25), seem more suitable companions for thee, do they ? and a dying thief does not appear so despicable in thine eyes? If ever admitted to the court of heaven, thou wouldst have less scruple to take thy seat beside such a once worthless wretch. Thou art less disposed in thy conversations to dwell upon a recommendatory walk, as if thou wouldst partially merit heaven by thy works. Thy garments are less pure—the language of Scripture seems better to apply to thy case than it once did. All thy righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isa. lxiv. 6). There appears to be more hay, straw, and stubble about the spiritual building which in thine own heart thou hast been rearing.
Reader, thine has been and is an affliction of the right kind. The Lord is using it to a good purpose indeed. He is emptying thee of self; undermining the foundation of thy pride, creature-righteousness, and self-sufficiency; and by and by, the blessed Spirit will reveal to thee a dear Redeemer in himself, his work, and office-characters, as exactly suitable to thee and for thee. Thou didst claim him thine, and recognise in him just the Saviour thou wast in need of, when first he spoke pardon and peace to thy soul ; but this lesson thou hast need to learn over, and over, and over again ; thou wast then learning as it were but the first page of the book of grace'; that was a page of mercy and of