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REVIEWS. The Perfection of God's Work as displayed in Creation, Providence, and
Grace. A Sermon, preached at St. Paul's Church, Boughton, Chester, on Sunday Morning, August 15, 1841. By the Rev. John Gaman, B.A., Minister. However interesting the contemplation of the glorious works of creation, it is difficult from such to distinguish what are a writer's real sentiments upon points of greater moment. A man may write with considerable aptitude, or preach with an equal degree of interest and attraction, upon the works of God; and yet be as destitute of a saving knowledge of that Divine Being whose works he is applauding, as the veriest insect, the Creator's skill in whose formation he is attempting to delineate. He may .dwell, too, with a measure of consistency, upon the second point of the Sermon before us—The providence of God; and occupy the attention of the reader, or the hearer, with a variety of illustration and argument in justification of his position, as a believer in the general and the special providence of Jehovah; and yet have no saving interest therein. But, when he approaches a disquisition of the origin, nature, and peculiar properties of the grace of God, then there is a sort of closing in, a more important contact, than in either of the preceding positions. The writer, or the preacher (if he be a man of truth) here attempts to exhibit a greater transparency of sentiment; and the reader, or the hearer, with more eagerness, places himself in an attitude of inquiry, as to who and what he is. This scrutiny, in our feeble judgment, this sermon bears. Passing over its first and second parts, dwelt on as they are with considerable ability, we come to its third and more vital position ; and here the preacher sets forth boldly the fall of man—the pre-ordination of God, to rescue his elect from the ruins of that fall; the Father making overtures to the Son, and the Son entering into divine suretyship engagements on behalf of the church; and the Mediator coming, in the fulness of time, to accomplish his purposes of mercy. In concise, yet clear terms, the preacher sets forth the carrying out the purposes of grace, by the eternal Spirit, quickening the elect sons and daughters of Adam-leading them on through the wilderness - preserving their feet-and conducting them safely into the haven of eternal rest.
Some two or three appeals to the hearts of his hearers, may, in an abstract sense, appear to savour of a free-will power ; but when the same individual boldly asserts, that “God will have no partner in the work ;” that the Holy Spirit, “having quickened his people, does not leave them to their own course;" that “having put them into a salvable state, he does not leave them to their own will;" that “the operations of the Spirit are invincible ;" that “God is not that weak and puny Being some would have us believe ;” that " wherever he commences his operations upon the soul, no power can obstruct their progress." We give him full credit for his belief in the total inability of man to perform any function of spiritual life, and entertain the opinion, that, while he is giving the word of exhortation to his hearers, he is looking to the eternal Spirit to give power and efficacy to the word of his grace. Ebenezer. A Review of the Lord's Goodness in Providence and Grace,
as exemplified in the Life of Cornelius Slim, Minister of the Gospel,
Wooburn Green, Bucks. Highams, Chiswell Street. Those of our readers, who read with interest, Mr. Slim's reply to the inquiry, “ Is it well with thee ?” which appeared in our November Number, will be inclined to read the above simple narrative of the Lord's dealings with one of his family, both in the providential and gracious leadings of his Fatherly hand. The work is written in the form of letters to a friend, which will account for a few familiar expressions, that, had the MS. been submitted to some judicious friend, who is perhaps better acquainted with the fastidiousness of professors—ay, and many professors, too-would not have been permitted to appear in print. But to the poor exercised child of God; to him who hardly knows whence he is, where he is, or whither he is going, this little record will be acceptable. He will be too anxious to compare notes with the writer; in reading the account of a child, to discover whether he has himself any marks of childhood, to tarry censuring certain modes of expression, for which the locality of a man's birth-place, or the manner in which he has been educated, will very much account. Aware, then, of the existence of the little—for they are but little—imperfections to which we have referred ; conscious too, that for the most part the Lord's people are a plain people, and need plain language-good, wholesome, homely fare ; and, at the same time, deeply sensible, that much which reaches our hand for review, is written for the most part in a more talented, and to the refined taste, more acceptable strain-but, at the same time, tinctured more or less with some one or other of the heresies
—the flesh-enchanting, soul-robbing, God-dishonouring heresies—of the day; we turn to the homely language before us; and, aware that there is no great risk of its author being misunderstood for want of plainness, we cordially recommend his work, and pray that the God of Israel may vouchsafe his blessing in the perusal. Its author will at once be ridiculed and approved of; be abused and applauded, in proportion as his readers are under the influence of a critical censorious spirit, or moved by a desire to seek after soul-comforting truth. But he has this consolation, if God approves, it matters little who disapproves ; if God the Holy Ghost gives his sanction, and seals home with divine power, consolation and encouragement to one solitary soul, it matters not‘if ten thousand voices are against him. We are come to this conclusion by hard labour and soul travail.
LONGING FOR HOME. When wilt thou, dearest Jesus, come, When Satan shall no longer roar, And call thy weary pilgrim home? | And I be far beyond his pow'r ? When wilt thou say, “Come, come away, When no more trouble no more sin, To dwell in everlasting day?”
Shall interrupt my peace within ? When, Lord, shall that blest day arrive, | Oh happy day!-Oh glorious hour! That sin in me no more shall strive, When, when, dear Lord, shall it appear ; When worldly cares and sorrows cease, | When,when shall iny sweet summons come, In rich exchange for endless peace ? | And I be introduced to home?
F. G. P.* [A *Free-Grace Pensioner.]
(We insert the annexed piece with considerable pleasure, not merely because it breathes forth
the desires of those “who seek to embrace the Rock for want of a shelter," but also on account of its furnishing our respected correspondent, MODERATUS, with an opportunity of expressing himself in an experimental way. It is with satisfaction we announce that, since a former allusion, we have become better acquainted; we have corresponded with soul profil; and embrace the present occasion for expressing our full belief that MODERATUS entertains the highest regard for those with whom he was recently brought in collision; and that the allusion to the disputed Anecdotes would never have been made but for our having hastily given them too limited a title. We take the fault to ourselves; with the best of feeling we exonerate MODERÁTUS; and now publicly express our hope that the God of Israel may smile upon, and bless his labours in connexion with the Gospel Magazine.-Ep.)
Psalm lxi. 2.
O come, thou blest Spirit, and teach me to cry ;
Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.
Where perplexities mix, and sorrows rise high ;
Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.
My Father, my God, to thee will I cry-
Thou still art the Rock that is higher than I.
It screens yonder light, I cannot espy,
And exhibits the Rock that is higher than I.
Himself cannot alter-Himself can't deny ;
Yet firm is the Rock that is higher than I.
Each human prop fails, in their turns flee away ;
Yet remaineth the Rock that is higher than I.
I am often below when I need be on high;
The sign of the Rock that is higher than I.
When the impotent surf aloft casts its spray,
On the heights of the Rock that is higher than I.
The reach of the arrow that flieth by day;
And sing from the Rock that is higher than I.
And Haman erect his gallows on high;
A mountain of brass that hell can defy;
Unmoved as the Rock that is higher than I.
LINES BY A FEMALE FRIEND, Written at the time of the departure of that dear servant of God, W. Scandrett, of
Godmanchester. Servant of God, whose wisdom, love, and 'Twas here he sent thee, here thy labours pow'r,
blest, · Have safely kept thee till this trying hour; To weary souls that panted after rest. Now sees it needful to lay on the rod,
May he now bless thee, while thou’rt in the And stay thee in the Gospel work of God.
fire, Prophet sent forth, we love thy voice to hear, And grant thy precious soul its grand desire; Boldly proclaiming, without shame or fear, May he the arms of love beneath thee place; Grace to poor sinners, sov'reign, rich, and free, Thou canst not fall, upheld by sov'reign To rebels sav'd from all eternity.
grace. No chance work in it, nature's foolish boast, Soon he will take thee to that blessed throng; No cobweb righteousness to deck the lost: While we stand creeping here, and gazing But glorious Gospel truth, precious indeed!
on, To those dear souls who rightly feel their Thou'lt sing in glory, free from pain and fear, need
Servant of God, thy memory, O bow dear! No more in God's own house, we hear thee Not here alone, but far on Essex ground, tell,
Thy voice was heard—the trump did sweetly How saints are blest, and sinners snatch'd sound; from hell;
The flocks to gather round the standard, thou We feel the loss, but if thy work be done, Wast wont in love to hold the Gospel plough. Peace on thy slumber, when thou art gone The seed was sown by thy poor feeble hand, home.
And own'd by Jesus where he bid thee stand; We wonld not wish to stay thee in thy flight, There many souls were gather'd to the Lord, But bless the Lord, who surely will do right: Thou wast the servant-he the eternal Word,
C. B. J. G.
THE WATCHWORD OF THE REFORMERS. (The reader is requested to put the emphasis on the second syllable, Tsidkēnu, for
the sake of the metre.)