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promises are mine, made to me, or that they belong to me! When, however, one of them is applied to my soul by the Holy Spirit, I feel no hesitation in believing them, or in concluding to whom they belong. No one out of the covenant ever had a promise applied with gracious power to his soul. Bible words have lately come to my mind when feeling disquietude within, and I felt how suitable they were to my case, as they expressed the very workings of my heart; such for instance as the following: “Thou hast removed my soul far off from peace.” “I forgat prosperity.” “The Comforter which should relieve my soul is far off from me.' “In my distress I cried unto the Lord.” The inward feelings of my heart I breathed out in these Bible words.
26th.—What a mercy to have a token for good, to be shown a true token: “ The blood shall be to you for a token." To see this scarlet line in the window, this is what the true Israelite regards as a true token. Bless the Lord for giving me to feel in my soul this day any evidence that I am a redeemed man. “I have redeemed thee.” Oh, what words ! What a Redeemer! What a redemption! How eternal the fruits of this redemption! How impossible for any ransomed soul to go to the prison of hell. “The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion,” &c. Redeemed people sigh and sorrow here, but there sorrow and sighing will flee away. I have felt the Lord's gracious help to-day, for which I desire to bless His holy name. I believe Christ is my Friend; a sense of His friendship is that which will enable a poor sinner to forgive his enemies, and to pray for them.
May 4.-I am sensible of my condition as a sinner, I feel my heart so deceitful. I fear hypocrisy. Am I a hypocrite? What am I in reality Am I“ a vessel of mercy,” or a "vessel of wrath ?” elect or reprobate ? Some want comfort, but not conviction. Am I one of them ? How can he be dead who wants to be alive? Am I dead in sin, or do I desire to be alive to God? Is my religion real, of God, from above? Will not Satan have me? Has he not already got me in his power? Lord, help me! Christ, have mercy on me; I am a coward, a dunce, a vile transgressor. But to whom can I go, but unto Thee ? In all my sins, ignorance, dulness, and foolishness I desire to come to Thee, to Thy blessed feet; and yet I fear it is not real, that there is more of nature in it than grace, if there is any grace in it
, or in me. Oh, the crooked things inside, the perplexing, annoying things in my soul. Oh for more spiritual sense from the blessed Spirit of Christ. Breathe Him, dear Lord, into my heart; cast Satan out; and take up Thine abode within me. I hate cant, and yet feel so much of it in my evil heart and corrupt nature.
6th.-0 Lord, I seem worse than any one else; how much mercy I need. My sins and miseries are great. Ah, it is sin, inbred sin, for the Lord mercifully preserves me from practical sin. I often feel sin so near, and Jesus so far away. Oh, may I feel Christ near and my transgressions removed “as far as the east is from the west.” How inconstant is my heart; sometimes it is drawn out in sweet meditation, at other times it is hard and dark. What will the end be? Where will it be? Faith in Christ—if the Lord would be pleased to give it me--what a help and blessing it would be. However, if He withhold it, and leaves me to perish in my sin, He will be just, He cannot do wrong. I may yet praise Him. A sight of Jesus, a look from Him, a word spoken to my heart by His still, small voice, would fill me with love and gratitude. O Lord, remember me for good, for Christ's sake. 7th.—Oh, what tossings to and fro, what upheavings, aye, and what sinkings too, I have felt within my soul this day. In the Bible, I read of the Lord's eyes being over the righteous, and His ears being open to their cry. Also about His hand, His voice, &c. But it seems to me as though His ears were not open to my cry, nor yet His eyes over me, that is, not manifestly. I have been walking backward and forward in the cellar with a burdened soul, crying to the Lord, and telling Him He does not hear me, nor comfort me, and asking Him where is the sounding of His bowels towards me? That He is gracious and kind, I firmly believe; but I want to feel He is so to me. To myself I have been saying, “His sheep hear His voice, but the goats do not,” or, if they do, what they will hear Him say, will be “ Depart,” &c. I shall soon be dead, and people will think, some at least, I am gone to heaven; but what if I should go to hell? In that case, O Lord, Thou wouldst be just; over and over again my soul has said so. Oh, sin, sin, this body of sin! how heavy it is ! how it makes me groan! what a burden it is! While sitting on the chair in heaviness of soul, the following words-precious words-flowed into my mind: “Thou wilt save the afflicted people.” This raised me up a little, for my soul was truly afflicted. How suited the great and precious promises are to the tried and tempted children of God. For the strength and relief it brought to my soul, I thank and praise Thy holy name, Thou most holy, holy, “King of saints," and Saviour of sinners. With a deep sense of poverty of spirit, I felt combined a love to the poor and needy people of God; that I could esteem them better than myself.
8th. —Another day is wellnigh gone. Felt a little surprise in my soul to-day at the goodness of God in condescending to look upon such a sinful worm as I am. It is really wonderful, that “the High and losty One, who inhabiteth eternity,” should dwell with man on the earth, and dwell in him. My mind has been struck with Rev. i. 1 (first part), the revelation of Jesus Christ. How much is revealed in the book of Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the First and the Last, as the faithful One, witnessing One, pierced One, loving One, cleansing One, coming One, almighty One, pleading One, eternal One, omniscient One, omnipresent One, omnipotent One, rebuking One, dying One, risen One, overcoming One, living One, speaking One, worthy One, reigning One, throne-occupying One, glorious One, praised and worshipped One! May the Holy Spirit make me savingly acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ!
19th.--I have felt to-day some motions of spiritual life in my soul, and a little enlargement of heart while meditating on the Holy Scripture. Why is it that light in any measure shines into my soul, or why is it my heart should feel in it any love to the Saviour? Surely, “ the cause is from God.” Yes, but for this, I should have never had a broken heart nor cried for mercy, nor felt the pardon of sin, nor have seen Jesus, nor rejoiced in His salvation. It is the Lord's doings, honour and praise for ever be to His precious name, for the great things He has done for my soul. I want to feel more of Christ's love shed abroad in my heart, to make me simple and spiritually-minded. Do Thou bless me, O Lord, with the baptism of the Holy Ghost and with fire, for Christ's sake. I am now about to go to chapel with a view to preach Thy word. O Lord, go with me. May Christ be precious to my soul. May the “unction of the holy One" be felt. May the people receive good to their souls, and may Thy name be glorified, for the Saviour's sake.
(To be continued.)
THE RICHES, MULTITUDE, POWER, AND TRIUMPHS OF THE LOVINGKINDNESSES OF THE ETERNAL THREE IN GOD;
AS SEEN IN THE
LIFE AND EXPERIENCE OF THE “OLD PILGRIM."
(Continued from page 352.) One day I was grieving because the Lord had cast me away from His presence—that He did not now visit me with His sweet smiles, and the precious tokens of His love, as I thought I had been favoured in days gone by, unless I had been greatly deceived. Then I thought, “And have I been deceived in reckoning that to be of the Lord which was not of Him? Oh, if I had been guilty in this matter, then it is not to be wondered at that I should be a castaway." In the midst of these painful reflections, the following words came rolling into my thoughts: "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim ? how shall I deliver thoe, Israel ? how shall I make thee as Admah ? how shall I set thee as Zeboim ? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee."
In reply to this wonderfully-gracious statement, I said, “Lord, and is this the real truth of the case as to how matters stand between Thyself and my soul ? Dost Thou not know how to go about the work of giving me up? Is it necessary for Thyself, who art infinite in wisdom, in making me as Admah, and setting me as Zeboim, to go to the creature for counsel ? And who can this person be to whom Thou canst look for instruction ? To appeal to me for counsel would be to account me something; whereas all nations before Thee, Lord, are as nothing, less than nothing, and vanity. Besides, I am now filled with fears, not that I shall be given up, but that I am already given up. But, looking again at the words, I am encouraged to say that this cannot be my case, because the Lord—in asking how He shall give me up, make me as the cities of Sodom, and set me to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire-plainly intimates that He does not know how to do this; therefore, it is not possible for Him to do that which He does not know how to do.” Here, for a time, I felt a rock beneath my feet, and could sing :
“Unchangeable His will;
Whatever be my frame,
Eternally the same.
His love no variation knows. Many times have I been ashamed of my rebellion in scolding the people for pressing me to speak in the Lord's name. Poor things! their importunity was not to be wondered at, seeing there was no place for many miles round where the truth as it is in Jesus was proclaimed. One night, sitting alone, after the family was gone to bed, and lamenting the lonesomeness of my own condition, and the destitution of my dearest friends, I felt the stubbornness of my heart give way, and I said, “O Lord, I am ashamed before Thee. If the people should come again, and ask me to go and speak in Thy name, I will go ; I cannot stand out any longer.” Lifting up my head, and looking over the table, I saw the Lord Jesus standing before me. I did not want any one to tell who it was that was standing and looking upon me; I knew Him; He was His own Interpreter ; and He looked upon me like one whose thoughts were occupied upon matters of infinite moment, and the words spoken
were, " His right hand, and His holy arm, hath gotten Him the victory.” I said, “Yes, Lord, Thy right hand and Thy holy arm have in truth gotten the victory. I must bow, I will submit. Thou hast gotten the victory. I will go; yes, I will go, and speak in Thy name, wheresoever and to whomsoever Thou shalt send me.” From the above solemn manifestation, and the submission which I felt in my soul, I was led to think that now my path would be more smooth, my cup less bitter, and the Lord's dealings more congenial with my wishes; but sad disappointment stung me, day by day, which often made me say, " Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul ?” Ah," I have said, “how easy it is, from the book, to talk about reigning with Jesus ! but how painful it is, in soul and circumstances, to have fellowship with Him in His sufferings - not hearsay-fellowship, book-fellowship, thoughtfellowship; no! but wringing, heart-aching, and soul-melting fellowship. None ever have been, or can be, joint-heirs to reign with Jesus, only they who are joint-heirs to suffer with Him; all beside are excluded.
If children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.' The grace and glory inheritance of all the redeemed by blood is jointly secured to them in and with Jesus. All hold, by one uniform title, 'the gift by grace ;' and, what is still more wonderful, not only do all the redeemed hold by one and the same title, but they all hold by one and the same title that Christ, as the Christ of God, holds by; for the whole family named in heaven and earth are joint-heirs with Him. O glorious thought! Right and title here can never vary nor miscarry. Now, if Jesus, who is our Forerunner, was made perfect through suffering, and walked the rough road of tribulation to His glory inheritance-as Himself hath said, Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?'-how preposterous, then, for those who profess to be His brethren, and journeying to our joint possession, to expect a smoother path, and murmur when we find it otherwise !”
A dear friend telling me that a Baptist minister was going to preach upon a certain evening, in a large farmhouse, where I had many times spoken in the name of the Lord, we agreed to go and hear this new man. When the evening came round, we walked over to the village and mingled ourselves with the hearers. After reading and prayer, the preacher read his text, which was, “ Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance.” When the preacher had ended, a dear old farmer, the master of the house, came to me, and invited me to walk into the parlour; but I refused. “Ah," said the old
man, the minister has been telling us that when he entered the desk, and saw you sitting before him, he was so confounded and confused that he could not preach with liberty." I said, “You tell the preacher from me, that the Gospel, although to-night he has said it is a sound, is more than a sound; the Lord be praised, the Gospel is a substance to His own people; to all beside it is a mere sound.”
As my friend and I were returning home, I inquired how he had fared. His reply was, “I cannot make it out; there is a something wanting, but what that something is I cannot explain. If you can explain it I should be glad.” “Well, then, we will try to explain it. The preacher had the letter of the word at command, so far as he went, but where was the ministry of the Third Person in the Godhead ? Ah, we hear many making a boast of being Trinitarians; and so they are-if mentioning the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost is to be a Trinitarian. But, alas ! the distinct acts and works of each of the Divine Persons in salvation and providence are passed over. There may be a little said of the Father, and a little more, though very confused, of the Son; but the Holy Ghost in His every day's influential operations is ignored. Yet who can have access to the Father, but by the Spirit ?' Who can know the things given to us of God, but by the same Spirit ? Whoever has been, or can be, 'builded together for an habitation of God,' but through the Spirit ? Who can know Jesus and the things that are His, but by the Spirit ? Indeed, the whole of salvation in revelation, manifestation, and application is by the Spirit. The anointing that was upon Christ, that constituted Him the Christ of God, was the Spirit. And the anointing that constitutes us Christians, or the seed of Christ, is the same glorious Person; not a something below or distinct from Himself, but Himself personally: as it is written, “This is my covenant, saith the Lord; My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of Thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.' For all new applications of precious truth for new comfort—all new apprehensions of the Father and His boundless love; of Christ and His atoning blood, which in soul-experience must be daily carried on—we are wholly indebted to the Holy Ghost. God the Spirit does not do, as some intimate, give us a favourable start on our pilgrimage, and leave us to our own direction. Oh, no, He conducts all through, for ' It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps;' no more than it is in the regenerate man, who in soul is made spiritually alive, to keep alive his own soul. The only soul-cheering confidence which the great apostle had in relation to all the redeemed was, “That He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. “Ah," my friend said, “this in-work and In-workman is ignored, and this I see is the great thing which is lacking, not only in this man's ministry, but of the greater bulk of the preachers of the present day, but they do not believe this. No, friend, no! The Holy Ghost has not been so kind to them, as to be the Spirit of faith in them; for, if He were, then that good work would be begun in them that shall be brought into the sweet, full, and endless blaze of the day of Jesus Christ."
One day, when my heart was overflowing with rebellion, I withdrew from the company of men, and wandered into the fields, that I might there give full scope to my desperate dispute with the Lord. In my seclusion I began to count over heaps of men that I knew, ungodly men, who prospered in the world, and had everything their hearts could wish, while I, who feared the Lord, and strove in all things to honour Him before men, was crossed and straitened day and night. I said, “Is this Thy way, O Lord, in dealing with men? Giving to them who despise Thee and Thy government in abundance, while I, who stand in awe of Thy name, am shut out from the common necessaries of life ?” So ignorant was I at that time and in those things, that I could not see how the Lord could be acquitted from the charge of being a Respecter of persons. Oh, how true I found Solomon's statement, “The foolishness of man perverteth his way, and his heart fretteth against the Lord.”