« EdellinenJatka »
could not one take place at ours? We professed to bear the same name, to love the same cause, and to be interested in the same promises, therefore we were determined to give God no rest until he should “open the windows of heaven, and pour down a blessing upon us.” The prayer.meetings began to be better attended; fervent prayer was offered, and an anxiety was created for the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we thought that appearances indicated that a great work was beginning amongst us, but we did not watch unlo prayer as we ought to have done. We suffered favourable opportunites to pass away, when good impressions were evidently made, and waited for the Lord to be gracious unto us, when, in fact, he was waiting to be gracious.” Thus we went on up to the commencement of the present year. At our annual teachers tea-party, beld on new year'sday, the following question was discussed—“How can we promote a revival of religion in our school ?” In answer to the important inquiry it was stated, That an anxious desire for the conversion of the children, more spirituality of inind, and special, servent, importunate, believing prayer, connected with zealous and perseFering effort, would accomplish the glorious design. A prayer-meeting for the object was recommended, and one was established, called the “ Teachers and Scholars revival prayer-meeting.” On the following Sabbath the first meeting was held: many attended; love and union prevailed; a good feeling was produced; and many went away with the conviction that God was about to revive his work bo:h in the school and in the Church.
From this period we may especially date the commencement of the revival. There were many connected with the school that were evidently labouring under convictions of sin, and were concerned about the salvation of their souls. These bad long attended the means of grace, and had often been directed to the Saviour, but bitberto had not fully decided to be on the Lord's-side. We were convinced that what some may call new measures, were necessary; and accordingly we were resolved to try them. We thought that if such characters were placed in such a position that they could feel their state in the sight of God, and their real unwil. lingness to come to Christ, it would induce them to come to a decision. At the prayer meetings the plan was adopted. At the close of each meeting a friend usually came forward and gave an address to the following effect:-That we had an anxious desire for the salvation of sinners; hence we had prayed for them earnestly; tbat we had prayed for those present especially; that the Spirit of God was striving with them; that they had often put off their salvation; that delay was dangerous; that Christ was ready to receive them; and that if their souls should be lost, the fault would be their own. Then present and immediate decision was pressed upom them. Repentance, faith, and obedience to Christ, were set before ibem as the means of salvalion. They were told plainly that their pride of heart must be subdued, and the stubbornness of their wills conquered-tbat unless this was the case they could not be saved. In order to test their willingness to come to Christ, we then told them, that if any amongst them had come to the resolution to be on the Lord's side, we were willing to continue with them a little longer tu pray with them, and to direct their inquiring minds. The plan was successful. Some felt their awful state, and like the Philippian jailer cried, "What must I do to be saved ?” They were humbled on account of their sins, confessed them in the sight of God, and believed on the Saviour, and went home rejoicing in a sin-pardoning God.
Soon as this plan was adopted God poured out his Spirit more abundantly. The prayer-meetings were more numerously attended, extra meetings were establisbed, and protracted ones beld. A great concern about salvation was produced, especially amongst the teachers and scholars of the school; and often was the cry of penitence heard, and the voice of thanksgiving raised. The "times of refreshing bad come,” and we saw such a work as we never witnessed before, and felt such an influence ourselves that we were willing to spend and be spent for the cause of the Redeemer. Hearts as hard as adamant were melted before the fire of divine love, lion-like tempers and dispositions were tamed to the meekness of the lamb, and haughty and stubborn wills were brought into humble obedience to Christ. This work proceeded until nearly every teacher, and several classes of our senior scholars, both male and female, were 'savingly acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ. Persons in the congregation, who had heard the Gospel for years, and remained impervious to all the elaims of the Saviour, could hold out no more, but came with deep penitence to him for salvation. Others, who came out of mere curiosity, were frequently awakened, convicted, and converted, at the same meeting, and have become some of the most consistent members of the Church of Christ. Parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, have rejoiced together because of the "great things the Lord bath done for them.”
One of our most pleasing duties has been the receiving of the converted into the Church. On Lord's-day, March 7th, eighteen persons were received through the ordinance of immersion; on the 4th of April, thirteen more; May 2nd, thirteen others; and on the 6th of June, ten more; and others are waiting for admission.
During the progress of the revival we have had to meet with many things cal. culated to discourage us. The work principally devolved upon a few individuals; but the God of Israel was with us. We met with opposition from those of our friends who ought rather to have helped us; we were evil-spoken of, our plans despised, and our motives misrepresented ; and bad it not been that we knew we were approved of the Lord, we should have grown “faint and weary in our minds." Sometimes we have almost been ready to exclaim, with the great apostle of the Gentiles, “ Beware, lest that come upon you which is spoken of in the prophets; bebold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish, for I work a work in your days, a work in which ye shall id no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.”
In conclusion, we would say, let other General Baptist Churches try the same plan, and we can assure them that the same glorious effects will follow. Let them arouse themselves from their supineness, and lay aside their prejudices to new measures, when they see them approved of God, and bring into exercise all their energies for the salvation of perishing souls. Let them go forth with holy determination, in full and entire dependance on the Holy Spirit, and success shall crown their efforts.
May the work of the Lord thus begun be carried on, until “ Jerusalem bed es a praise in the earth.”
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.
SIR,- In answer to a query which appeared in your June number, whether“ a sinner be justified before God by faith only, or by faith and works," I answer in the words of the apostle James, ii. 24,“ Ye see, then, how by works a man is justified, and not by faith only;" and this appears so evident from the reasoning in this chapter, that one would think it would need no further probation whence this argument is most clearly deducible. If no man be justified without faith, and no faith be living, nor yet available to justification without works, then works are necessary to justification, but the first are true, and therefore the last, for the inference is so clear that I think no one can question it. But when we say good works are necessary to justification, we do not mean to say that by them we merit the favour of God, for ihough faith in the death of Jesus Christ is the formal cause, (if I inay so term it,) still good works are causa sine quâ non, i. e., the cause without which none are justified, which is most apparent from the following passages, and many more that might be mentioned. Heb. xii. 14, Matt. vii. 21,
John xiii. 7, 1 Cor. vii. 19, Rev. xxii. 14; and, indeed, the apostle Paul, in that long list of worthies mentioned in Heb. xi., when he asserts ihey were justified by faith, couples good works with it as indispensable, for there is no one instance in which the faith was not proved by works, and works will result from faith, as certainly as fruit from a tree. Do we refer to Abraham ? he was justified by faith. When? When he offered up Isaac bis son. So Rahab, the harlot, was justified by faith
when she received the spies; and no men are said to be justified until their faith is prored by works. But though Paul, Rom. viii. 20, says, “Because by the deeds of the law sball po flesh he justified in His sight;" and verse 28, "and therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Still there is a great difference between the works of the law, and the works of grace, or the Gospel. The first are excluded, the last are not; the first are those performed by man's own strength or will, in conformity to the outward, or ceremonial law, which makes nothing perfect, the other are the works of the spirit of grace in the beart, in conformity to ihe inward, or spiritual law; and such works are absolutely necessary to salvation, for faith without works is dead, being alone, it is the faith of devils, and therefore perfectly useless for the salvation of a soul.
A justification by faith alone is Antinomianism, and will allow a man to be justified whilst he continues to commit flagrant acts of wickedness; and such a justification is to be found nowhere in the Holy Scriptures, for our Lord asserts, " By their fruits ye shall know them.” “Men do not gather grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles, even so by their works ye shall know them.” James BRATBY.
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.
[MR. EDITOR.—Sir,- The following remarks on a subject involved in a query to which you gave a brief reply in the June number of the Repository, I wrote in a letter to my father some four years ago. If you deem them worthy of a place in your excellent periodical they are entirely at your service, and the insertion of them will oblige,
Sir, yours very respectfully, Wolverhampton, June, 21st, 1841.
Joan Coley,] W& sometimes hear of justification by faith alone. Justifying faith never was, and never will be, strictly speaking, alone. Can any man believe in Jesus with a saving or justifying faith, without a strong, an bumbling, and a distressing sense of his need of pardoning mercy, and without a feeling of self-abhorrence, and a sentiment of loving, grateful admiration? True indeed, the apostle speaks of justification by faith without the deeds of the law; but if we attend to the whole of his argument, we shall find that his design was not to recommend a disregard and contempt of piety and morality, but to shew that on the ground of desert before God, both Jews and Gentiles were on a level, and that both equally needed his pardoning mercy. Piety and morality are binding upon every man; they are therefore not meritorious: even the constant and uniform observance of these obligations would not merit or deserve everlasting life. Every man, without respect to a lise to come, ought to be moral and pious during the whole of his rational life. If, then, at any time be should act immorally or impiously, he would for that one act need pardon. Now it is plain, that the present or future observance of obligations which are binding upon a man every moment of his rational existence, cannot atone for former, repeated, and aggravated neglect of those obligations. If a man had robbed you once, Would you say that he merited impunity for that one offence because he never after robbed you! His never robbing of you again may be the condition on which you would not punish him for his past theft; but this would be perfectly optional with you, and it would be an exercise and a display of unmerited mercy on your part towards the delinquent. Just so it is an act of mercy on the part of God to suspend the pardon of sin on certain conditions, of which faith is the principal. Faith may be, and, indeed, often is, represented as the only condition ; hence the phrase, "Faith alone;" more properly, "Faith only." Two very good reasons may be assigned for this frequent and allowable restriction of the conditions of pardon and salvation to faith.
The first is, Faith cannot exist but in conjunction with the other conditions. Faith is not a bare assent to the truth of the evangelical histories and doctrines, but it is a believ. ing and feeling of the truth of those doctrines which declare the guilt and pollution of human nature and human conduct, and which exhibit Jesus as the only Regenerator, through his Spirit, and Saviour, through his death, of the human family : hence, also, faith implies a reliance or dependance on the merits of his life, and death, and intercession.
The second reason is, Faith is the only means by which the sinner apprehends the suitability of the Guspel salvation to his case, and by which he applies that salvation to bis case. Repentance and holiness are not an apprehension of our need of salvation, and of the suitability of the Gospel salvadon to our care; nor is either of them an application of that salvation to our case : but faith is such an apprehension-faith is such an application. We are therefore said to be justified by faith. Viewed in this light there is nothing objectionable in the doctrine ; for though it should be contended, that faith is the only condition of our justification, because the only instrument by which we apprehend and apply the Gospel salvation, still that grace is an ever fruitful principle, which, wher. ever it exists, will fructify to the glory of God. Where the life does not accord with the Gospel, there faith does not exist.
Is it right for persons administering the ordinance of baptism to wear waterproof clothing? If so, may not candidates do the same-may they not be so attired as to be buried beneath the stream without the water touching them? Is not baptism in danger of another abuse?
A. Can any of the heathen be saved without the knowledge of Jesus Christ, they living in situations where the providence of God has never sent the divine revelation. J. B.
THE FREEWILL BAPTIST QUARTERLY tellectual education, and 2dly. Their moral MAGAZINE.
and religious culture of mind. A good edu.
cation, I consider the greatest earthly We have received several numbers of this blessing that parents can bestow upon their very respectable transatlantic periodical. children in this world. This, without a proWe purpose occasionaly enriching our pages perty, is far preferable to a property with. with a few extracts, showing their history, out this. One writer says, ' Education is a order, and sentiments. We can only give companion which no misfortune can depress this month, the following essay on Sabbath - no crime can destroy-no enemy alien. Schools, by Hiram Whitcher.
ate-no despotism enslave. At home, a “There is no relation sustained in life friend -abroad, an introduction—in soli. more sacred, and that imposes duties more tude, a solace - in society, an ornament, It important, than that of parents and children, chastens vice- it guards virtue- gives at And the parent who does not feel the im. once, grace aud government to genius. With. portance of this relation, or does not dis. out it, what is man? A splendid slave-a charge the duties arising therefrom, entirely reasoning savage.' But an intellectual fails of the object of living on earth. For education is not all that is necessary. The what do we live? Not just for the sake of heart needs cultivation, as Rev. Mr. Breck. life. Not to become great in the eyes of enridge says, “ When we speak of education the world. Not to become rich in this in common terms, we lose sight of one of world's goods. Not to satisfy the eye with the most important points in an education. seeing, nor the ear with hearing. Not to He who educates the intellect, and leaves glut ourselves with the desires of a wicked the moral nature uneducated, falls as far heart. We live for purposes more noble short of the true object of education, as elerthan these. Ist., then, we lire to glorify nity exeeeds time.' For want of this moral God ourselves, and prepare for another and religious culture, many of our youth world. 20ly. To educate and rightly bring have been ruined for ever. But the imporup our children, and the youth of this land, tance of this early religious training will the on whom rest the hopes of the future pros- more clearly be seen when we consider the perity of both Church and state; and pre. natural depravity of the human heart. As pare them for happiness and usefulness in the earth naturally brings forth briars, this. this life, and for future blessedness. To tles, and noxious weeds; so the buman heart this last object of life, I wish to direct the bears evil fruit, the works of the fleshattention of the reader. On you, parents which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and guardians, this duty rests. God says lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, to you, “ Train up a child in the way he variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, should go, and when he is old he will not heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, depart from it." “ Bring them up in the thefts, salse witnesses, blasphemies, revel. nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Pa. lings, &c. If the fertile soil be left unculrents, what a responsibility! And are you tivated, it will produce an abundant crop of discharging this duty faithfully!
weeds; so if the youthful heart be left un. “To secure the best interests of children, educated, it will bear evil fruit. But as the two things are necessary. Ist. Their in- earth, by a process of cultivation, can be
made to bear fruit; so the heart can, by a accounted for upon philosophical principles. proper moral and religious training, be made the impressions first made upon the mind, to bear the fruits of the spirit,' which are are the most abiding. As a poet says, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, temperance, patience, and faith.'
Just as the twig is bent, the tree inclines.' And parents, it is for you to say, as far as This is as true in ethics as in nature. In. human agency is concerned, whether your fidels feel this, and therefore they oppose children shall bear the works of the desh, the Sabbath-school. Catholics see this is or the fruits of the spirit.
One of their missionaries here in This important cultivation is to be ef. America said, in a letter to the pope,
e, Un. fected by parental and Sabbath scliool in. less we can adopt some measures to counstruction, and the preaching of the gospel of teract the influence of Sabbath-schools in Christ. The Sabbath-school is not designed this country, we shall fail of accomplishing to take children from the care and instruc. our object here.' Why is it so difficult to tion of their parents, but to be an auxiliary converi a heathen or Catholic? Because to parental instruction, to assist parents in they have been brought up in these printraining up their children in the way they ciples. They were first sown in the mind, should go,' to be virtuous in this life, and and they grew with their growth, and happy in the life to come. The Sabbath. strengthened with their strength.' Now let school is designed to teach the youth the Christians bring up their children as strictly commandments of God, and to bring them in the principles of the Gospel, and it will into the kingdom of Christ while young, to be equally as difficult to get them from them subdue the principles of human nature, and in after life. 4. Must of the young gentle. to implant in the heart the principles of the men and ladies now in our seminaries, col. Gospel of Jesus Christ. The importance leges, and theological schools, are from the of this early instruction is seen from the Sabbath-school ranks. What a nursery to fact, that children are always learning some. the Church. While our jails and prisons thing good or bad; as a pious man once are being filled with those who are not said to a mother, ' Educate your children, or brought up under the influence of Sabbaththe devil will.'
schools, our schools for preparing the youth Sabbath-schools have done much for the for usefulness, are being filled with those rising generation, and will do much more, under this influence. 5. Most of the youth if the friends of Christ will • Come to the converted at the present day, are either help of the Lord against the mighty.' Be- teachers or scholars in the Sabbath school. fore Sabbath-school operations commenced, 6. Most of the young men who are entering but few young people were known to profess the ministry, or going as missionaries to religion. But now how many of these jewels heathen lands, are those who had the truths are becoming pious, and entering the Church of the Gospel planted in their minds in the of God, and the roost of them attribute their Sabbath-school. We look to this source for conversion, under God, to the Sabbath- men to fill the places of those who are being school, and without doubt many will, in called from the walls by death, and, thank heaven, look back upon this institution and God, we look not in vain. bless God that it ever came into existence. There are several reasons why this in.
Early religious instruction guards the stitution is so effectual in this work. J. By youthful mind against vice, crime, and in it the youth are taught the Holy Scriptures, fidelity. That this position is true, a few which are able to make them wise unto facts will show. 1. Three fourths of the salvation, through faith.' 2. By it they are vicious, drunken, and licentious men and furnished with religious books suited to women in our country, are those who have their young and tender minds. 3. The not received an early religious education. Sabbathi-school associates the young with, 2. Most of the convicts in our jails and and brings them under the influence and public prisons, are those whose mural na. prayers of the pious. 4. By it our children ture was left uncultivated in their youth. are brought more directly under the influ. In 1837, there were in the prison at Auburn, ence of the Gospel. 5. Sabbath-schools 970 criminals. Of this number, there were keep many children from mischief during only forty-seven that had ever attended a the week, and from desecrating the holy Sabbath-school, and only seventeen of the Sabbath. 6. In the Sabbath-school, there forty-seven that had been regular Sabbath. are instilled into the mind good moral prin. school scholars, leaving 953 who were neg. ciples, and impressed upon the heart, the lected in their youth. And this I think is truths of the Gospel. 7. Here they are a fair specimen. 3. Children brought up taught to forsake sin, fear God, and prepare under Sabbath school influence, seldom be. for death. come infidels in advanced life. This can be Duty of ministers relative to the SabVol. 3.-N. S.