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were written, he was surrounded by prosperity, achieved, under God, by his talents as an architect; and yet, see how rapidly he was ripening for glory! We have stood with astonishment gazing at his portrait, and could but recognise in him an instance of special grace. A young man in the midst of health, life, and affluence, yet dead to their charms-living under an abiding conviction that here he had no continuing city, and looking for, and longing after, that “ building of God, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." The contemplation of such highly-favoured characters, fills many a heart with sorrow; and why? Because with these desires after heaven and eternal glory, they discover much self-interest, and great desires to escape the daily cross; and, though there are seasons when they can say with Peter, “ Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee,” and, moreover, “I long to see thy face in glory, and be transformed into thy blessed image,” yet, united with, it they feel the fleshly cowardice and love of ease to which we have before alluded; a knowledge of which produces grief and a lamentation that there is not greater conformity to the mind and will of God. How seldom can some of us arrive at that happy spot, “ Here I am, Father, do with me as seemeth thee good !”—Ed.]
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
TO “ A POOR FEARFUL ONE,” BISHOP'S WALTHAM. BELOVED, in reply to our last paper, you say, “Yes, I know the Lord will appear for his own people, his elect family, but will he appear for me? Am I one of his ?” One precious mark of your being a child, is your concern about it, and anxiety to be assured of it. But we would not have you take our testimony; this, Satan would overthrow in seasons of darkness. We want you to get your assurance from the Lord himself, and then, “if the Son make you free"-if the Spirit seals home upon your heart the sweet evidence of childship, you shall be “free indeed.” And this it is his gracious office to do. Be it yours to plead with him, to ask him to fulfil, in your happy experience, his high character as the testifier of Jesus. But you admit that you have had “many lifts by the way;" you acknowledge "what a mercy it would be, if the Lord did appear for one of the worst of sinners out of hell.” Is this the language of a soul dead in trespasses and sins ? Who gave you a sight and sense of sin, and the base wickedness and deformity of the human heart? Did Satan? Nay. “ For if Satan were divided against himself, how could his kingdom stand ?" Did you give it yourself? Nay. How can a dead sinner give himself life and feeling? Let the Lord, then, have the glory; and, encouraged by what he has done in convincing you that you are a sinner, may he graciously put a cry into your heart, to present yourself at his feet, as a most suitable sinner for an almighty Saviour to exercise his grace and mercy upon. The poorer, the more wretched you are, in your own estimation, the more welcome are you to this precious Redeemer. O that his dear voice may drop upon you in accents of sweetest mercy, saying, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, and with loving-kindness have I drawn thee."-Well, and suppose you are hedged up in a way of providence, with many fears of giving the enemy cause to blaspheme, and thus bringing discredit upon his holy name and cause, why, beloved, this is another token for good, another source of rejoicing. This is a godly jealousy, an ardent desire for the welfare of his precious truth; and however dark and mysterious the way by which he leads you, surely he will never forsake the work of his own hands. Remember, in all your straits and difficulties, that precious portion (Deut. i. 17), “The cause that is too hard for thee, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.” Trials in providence are the smallest trials God can place upon his family, the lightest yoke they can wear ;* and this they must have, in
* As present trials always appear the greatest, this remark will be disputed by persons under providential trial; but those who have been conversant with a variety of suffering, will admit that there are trials which fit closer; and will bear us out in our opinion.
order to furnish them with some plea at the throne ; for assuredly, such is the sluggishness of human nature, and such its opposition to the humbling method of temporal as well as eternal salvation, that without some necessitous cry they would never go thither.
TO “ A. B.," BLACKHEATH.
The points of doctrine upon which thou art now most deeply exercised, will be those, under the wise dominion of the Holy Ghost, whereon thou wilt hereafter find the most satisfactory establishment. Satan's worrying a child of God, by the Lord's overruling hand, tends to the same end as did that of the Egyptians' treatment of ancient Israel—“The more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and grew.” If Satan, or the scepticism of thine heart, argue " that the Church could have been redeemed at a less price than the blood of our Emmanuel,” the Lord the Spirit enable thee to reply, that sin was too evil a thing, and Satan too formidable an enemy, to be vanquished at a less cost, compatible with the holiness and the justice of God. Offer no apology for the repetition of thine epistles. Tidings of how it fares with the family are always welcome.
O THAT I HAD WINGS LIKE A DOVE, FOR THEN WOULD I FLEE
AWAY AND BE AT REST.-Psalm LV. 6. Had I the waving pinions
I'd join those strains of hallow'd song Of yonder fearless dove,
Which evermore resound I'd leave this lowly region,
In praise of Jah, Jehovah, Lord, And wing my flight above.
Who reigns with glory crown'd. I'd rise beyond the circling stars;
I'd raise my voice unwearied, I'd flee and be at peace,
To laud our Great High Priest, Where pain and anguish cannot come,
To him ascribe all glory there, Where joys shall never cease.
And on his presence feast. I'd gladly mount to those pure realms,
I'd wander o'er the crystal streets Where holy angels dwell ;
Of that abode of light, And disembodied sainted forms
For ever free from scorching rays, Their ceaseless praises tell.
And rob'd in spotless white.
Not laid by mortal hands,
The heavenly fabric stands.
Till power to mount be given;
L'll gain the highest heaven.
Till thou shalt bid me rise,
- Restor’d to Paradise. R. C.
1. A, DOUDNEY, CITY PRESS, 1, LONG LANE,
« ENDEAVOURING TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE." "Jesus Christ, THE SAME YESTERDAY, TO-DAY, AND FOR Ever. WHOM TO KNOW
IS LIFE ETERNAL."
WAS THERE EVER ONE SO WEAK AS I?
Let the Psalmist reply, 2 Sam. 111. 39, I AM THIS DAY WEAK, THOUGH ANOINTED KING. BELOVED, if this be the real language of thy heart, there is but one higher mercy with which God the Holy Ghost can acquaint thee, and that is, wherein thy great strength lieth (Judges, xvi. 5); even in the person and work, blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Cbrist. And herein is one distinguishing mark between the living family of God, and the mere professors, with whom the present dark day abounds—that while the former are, by daily experience, brought to a knowledge of their own entire weakness, feeling that their wisdom and strength fail them, and are less and less to be trusted in—the latter are gaining strength, growing (as they misconceive) in grace and in a knowledge which only puffeth up : though it may bear the semblance of humility, it is not that knowledge of Jesus Christ which stands in intimate connexion with a deep sense of personal weakness and sin. Thus, in order to draw a clearer line of demarkation between the real, spiritual church of the Lord's own eternal, electing choice, and the outward professing church (so called), which has its origin in Satan, and is supported by the free-will of man, and the enmity of the carnal mind against the humbling lessons in which the members of the household of faith are instructed- it becomes needful for the Holy Ghost to lead his own down into the mystery of iniquity within, and up into all the
No. 18, Vol. II.-New Series.
blessedness of wisdom, righteousness, and strength, which are treasured up in Christ, the living Head of his body the church.
It is, moreover, a distinguishing mercy that there is an inseparable connexion between this teaching; that one is not taught without the other ; that when the Holy Ghost teaches man his own nothingness, sinfulness, and demerit, he leaves him not, but goes on to discover to him the exact suitability of Jesus to his apparently lost and ruined condition. Nor is this a teaching which is confined to the first dealings of God with his family—to conversion work-to the calling them out of a carnal world, visibly, into the fold of the good Shepherd-the translating them out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son- the separating them from a world lying in wickedness, to set them with princes, even with the princes of his people; this, however needful and blessed, is limited in its operation ; the acquaintance of the family with themselves and with Christ, under the regenerating work of the Holy Ghost, is circumscribed ; they know enough, by his merciful teaching, to be assured that in themselves they are poor, lost, ruined, ill-and-hell-deserving sinners, and by his gracious teaching are brought to a very blessed discovery of the power and willingness of Christ to save even them; they know experimentally the efficacy of his precious .blood, and rejoice in the clothing which he has put upon them; nor can they ever after forget, though they may a thousand times call in question, this season of love - this, the set time in which Zion was so highly favoured; but it remains for them to be the subjects of continuous instruction all the wilderness through.
Not long have they been singing of rich grace, distinguishing mercy, boundless compassion, which they supposed had triumphed over and obliterated every evil, before, to their bitter regret, they find their comforts withdrawn-some old evil propensities rearing their accursed heads-- the adversary setting in like a flood with the suggestion, that all has been a delusion; and they become a greater mystery to themselves than ever. Before, they had a cry, now they have none; they stand affrighted and aghast, unable to make judgment of their state-what they are and where they are-until the blessed Spirit again shines into their souls, and explains to them what before they understood not that they have been the subjects, not of a mere reformation, but regeneration ; that their foe, old carnal nature, is not extinct, but only subdued by an opposing principle--the implantation of the Holy Ghost; that it is not dead, but only received its death-warrant; it lies under condemnation, and is destined for execution when the earthly tabernacle is dropped in the grave; so that a warfare is declared between flesh and spirit—the old man and the new--the Canaanite and the Israelite, all down through this time-state.
This is the real state of things, however a professing world may oppose them by an attempt to set forth the idea, that the old man of sin --this nature which sank in the ruins of the fall, and became dead in trespasses and sins-is improved ; it is subdued according to the present manifestative power of the Holy Ghost, but not made a whit better : what is flesh, remains flesh'; it never can be altered until it undergo the refinement of the grave, and this corruption put on incorruption—this mortal, immortality,
Hence the want of establishment, of which all the living family of God, more or less, complain ; they are continually looking within to see an improvement in the flesh-some visible sign of the old man of sin becoming better; and while thus they look, they look to be disappointed, and they look short of Him who only can make us conquerors over all the vile propensities of our nature.
Oh that we could set forth the glories of this blessed Emmanuel as a daily Saviour over sin, Satan, and the world! We may, and do, a thousand times, cry with the psalmist in the text, “I am this day weak, though anointed a king” (Rev. v. 10); yea, sensibly do we, in ourselves and of ourselves, become weaker and weaker, and less reason have we, day by day, to trust in' self ; for a man's enemies are those of his own household : but how little, comparatively, do we know of the blessedness of living perpetually upon Jesus; of consulting him at all times and under all circumstances ; of fleeing to him in every time of trouble that is, at all times, for our real times of trouble are when we fancy we have none. The language of murmuring and complaint would not be on our lips so frequently as it is now, were we more habitually at the throne ; did we talk a little less to creatures and a little more to the Lord, instead of being barren and fearful as we are now, we should be much more happy in ourselves, and much more cheerful in our daily deportment; a smile would occupy the place of a frown; a cheerful countenance, the 'aspect of care. When Moses came down from the mount, his face shone ; when you and I, reader, have been wrestling with the Lord, it soon betrays itself. What a blessed composure frequently follows ! how sensibly do we discover his overruling, his ordering and well-ordering hand! whereas, if we have entered upon our engagements without a heartfelt acknowledgment of him, what disorder and confusion occupy the place of what we had deemed our well-arranged plans! And yet there is mercy in all this—to bring us to the place to which David was brought in the language before us, and thereby make us most suitable objects for the display of almighty power.
David had been made king, it is true ; and we are ready to suppose that, with such a promotion, he could need nothing ; but David speaks of weakness of heart-the inward failing—the discouragement of soulthe want of light upon his present path--the fear that the Lord is not with him as in days of yore. As a shepherd boy, keeping his father's sheep in Bethlehem (1 Sam. xvi. 11), he enjoyed the presence of his God; he moved in obscurity, was little accounted of, and frequently, . no doubt, longed to be transplanted from the kingdom of grace here, to the kingdom of glory above; at other times a holy zeal took possession of his heart, and fain would he forego the present attainment of heaven and glory, in order that he might here on earth testify of his great and glorious Deliverer. And this holy zeal was of the Lord's enkindling.
At a time, perhaps, when he least expected it—by the operation (as we should term it) of mere chance, he visits the field of battle, where