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possessed with the light of life, will have illuminated the whole earth; the tidings of redeeming love will have been conveyed to the remotest inhabitant, and every mind will pulse and sparkle with the water of life. Where now the lewd war song resounds, and the barbaric yell echoes, there will swell the enlightened hymn, and ascend the strain of christian praise. What a period of light and knowledge! The empire of grace everywhere triumphant. The mountains will echo it to the valleys, and the valleys will echo it back again to the mountains, that “the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth ;” yea one continent will proclaim to another, and the ocean waft it to the main, that “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ.” · For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,' for all shall know me from the least to the greatest. All thy children shall be taught of the Lord.”
And human happiness will be perfected. Then man will have found his only proper place, the feet of God. He will breathe the atmosphere of devotion, and be ever coveting and craving the gifts and graces of the spirit. Every habitation will be a house of prayer, and every occupation a holy exercise. Having found his own proper place, his ultimate end, there will be peace. And what peace will accrue to his soul. Every sorrow soothed, every murmur hushed into silence. No change will ever threaten his everlasting repose. “Peace within, without, above, around. Every aspect peace; every voice peace ; the very air peace ; a world of peace, boundless, unbroken, like the ocean, when it reposes beneath the peaceful majesty of the complacent heavens."
How precious and invaluable the interests secured to the world when christianity shall have vindicated her character and completed her benignant purpose. No longer will prevail the midnight gloom of ignorance, and the desolation attendant on sin ; and life will be one happy day, cloudless, serene, and abiding. With infinite grace the Psalmist called upon inanimate nature to celebrate this illustrious period, and to partake of the general joy. the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad ; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; let the fields be joyful, and all that is therein. Then shall the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord : for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth; he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
The instrumentality employed, the conquest achieved, and the interests secured, will invest the consummation of the christian Church with an orb of splendour, far transcending in brilliance, that which encircled the consummation of the Hebrew Church. It will be wound up with a scene of unbroken glory.
Having endeavoured in this short series * to point out the superiority of the christian to the Hebrew Church, which was merely introductory in its character and design, by noticing the aggressive character, the essential unity, the extensive obligations, and the glorious consummation of the christian Church, in dismissing the subject it is worthy of remark,
That we should warmly anticipate this glorious consummation. At what precise period it will be fully realized cannot be stated, but its dawning is
* See No XXXVI. page 353; also No. XLIII. page 206 ; ditto No. XLIX. page 5.
begun. Already we are walking in the shadows it is creating. The scene is changing around us. The landscape is assuming a lovlier aspect, and is suffused with a more heavenly light. Formidable obstacles are being removed. Providence is supplying innumerable facilities, and intimations are crowding upon us not to be mistaken. While there is so much to awaken expectation and sustain hope, let us cherish the warmest anticipations. The grand result will be realized, and realized quickly.
And diligently seek its accomplishment. Because the finger of prophecy is indicating the night to be far spent, and the day to be at hand, and because we are positively assured of the Divine sanction, let not the use of means be marked by incaution, and pursued with carelessness. Rather let these hopeful indications, and gracious assurances, combined with the tender and melting considerations of the Saviour's love, constrain us to throw ourselves more boldly on the mighty issue. Oh, let us give ourselves wholly to it, by earnest prayer, vigorous faith, and entire devotedness, ever remembering, that he will lift up his head most joyfully amid the splendours of that supernal day, who has done the most to accelerate its approach. Him the blessed Redeemer will esteem deserving, to share in his glory, to occupy his throne and to reign in his kingdom, his ineffable, interminable and everlasting kingdom. “For the wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars, for ever and ever.” Measham.
THE APPROACHING CRISIS. Every reflecting mind must perceive that we are approaching a crisis in the history of the human race, for it is evident that in a moral point of view, England is the centre and pivot on which all its destinies turn : the fulcrum of the lever which is to lift the world. Othat we may be found faithful, and true to the trust reposed in us! What times are these we live in! What changes have taken place! What changes are in silent progress! What a marvellous combination of objects is presented to our view! How rapidly have events crowded upon us ! The Church of Scotland just fallen! The Church of England rocking to and fro like a mountain pine in a tempest; while, in the sobs and pauses of the storm, we hear the snapping of its roots fibre by fibre! The boiling and yesty elements of the political world in that state of fermentation which denotes the working out of some important change! The moral world heaving with the throbs and pangs of that second birth, which shall introduce a reno. vated order of society! The spreading light of the kingdom of Christ silently streaking the darkness of distant pagan regions; the first faint blushing and dawn of the period so gloriously described in the page of prophecy! The bottomless pit sending up a denser column of smoke, and more numerous swarms of locusts! A great resolution manifested to turn the tide of opinion, and stop the progress of truth! The war with religious liberty threatened to be carried into the individual families and homes of the people! Tahiti, the garden of the missionary field, seized by one Roman Catholic power; and now (it is said) Fernando Po, the key to central Africa, taken by another! The flag of antichrist elevated close to the towers of Zion! The gaunt wolf, persecution, tracking the missionary's footsteps, and at length contronting him at the door of his solitary tent! All these things seem to predict the approach of the great battle of Armageddon, foretold in Scripture, when the powers of evil and the armies of the living God will be marshalled against each other; when Michael and his angels, and the dragon and his angels, shall join battle ; and the dragon and his angels shall be defeated and cast out of heaven; lightnings and wrath, and the Almighty thunderbolt, pursuing them to the deep. How awful, how portentious, how pregnant of good or evil, are the times in which we live! Let us remember the Church is now more than ever called to sustain its militant character. Let us gird on the armour of righteous. ness, the weapons of our spiritual warfare, believing that they will prove mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Let us recollect the success which attended them in the days of the apostles. Remember the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, has not lost the keenness of its edge. It is this which smote Rahab, and wounded the dragon; and that, wielded by the arm of faith, ind impelled by the power of the Spirit, will still be quick and powerful, riving like lightning helmet and hanberk, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. Let us be found true to the cause in which we are engaged, and the Lord whom we serve. Let us be faithful unto death, that we may receive a crown of righteousness.—Rev. J. Simmons, M. A., Olney. Letter to the Baptist Churches.
CORRESPONDENCE. ON THE CONFESSION OF SIN.
be made in the sinner's own person, it
would involve his "everlasting destruction To the Editor of the General Baptist Repository.
from the presence of the Lord, and from DEAR Sır,,In compliance with the the glory of his power.” But, in the grarequest of an entirely unknown, but intel. cious plan of human redemption, the law of ligent correspondent, I send you the fol. God is magnified and made honourable, lowing piece, which if you please to publish and a way opened for the return of the in your next number of the Repository, penitent sinner to the favour and love God. you will oblige, Yours truly,
On the ground of this revelation of divine J. Jones.
grace, the whole constitution of the Gospel,
as well as many express declarations, in The existence of sin amongst mankind is effect proclaims, “ He that covereth his sins universal. “There is no man that sinneth shall not prosper : but whoso confesseth and not." This fact we may rest on the positive forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs testimony of Scripture, but it is illustrated xxviii. 13. and confirmed by daily observation and ex. In these words we may consider, as perience. The prevalence of sin dimin. stated, the general doctrine of the Gospel ishes not its extreme evil, nor shouid it as to the different effects of sin covered, divert our minds from its painful conse- or confessed. Let us a little consider the quences. It is the transgression of the statement with a view to the illustration of holy and just law of God our Creator and the doctrine. rightful Governor. It is an indication of “ He that covereth his sins shall not revolt from allegiance to his government, prosper." Covereth them from whom ! and rebellion against bis authority. To From himself. It is true, he cannot en. maintain his sovereignty in undiminished tirely hide them from himself. The existpre-eminence, sin must necessarily be pun. ence of sip and its impropriety must be per. ished by the manifestation of his fixed op- ceired by the sinner. But, by various position. Public justice requires that sin modes of false reasoning he may extenu. be exhibited to the universe as that abom. ate his guilt, and even from himself, in a inable thing which the Lord hates. If this great measure conceal its enormily. This manifestation of divine anger against sin is one evidence of the great deceitfulness of sin. It bides its odious head behind many Against thee, thee only have I sinned, plausible excuses and different forms of ex. and done this evil in thy sight.” Confes. tenuation.
sion therefore should be made to the Lord. From the public. However he may en. It is often proper also to make confession deavour to practise deception on himself, to men. If a person knows that he has and to lull his conscience by false reasoning, committed an offence against a fellowthe sinner knows that sin is in reality so creature and that there is in the offence hateful and shameful that he wishes to moral impropriety or sin, reason would show hide it from the gaze of the world. They that acknowledgment and confession and, in that do evil love darkness rather than light case of injustice, restitution are due to the because their deeds are evil." They are offended party, and true christian humility of those that rebel against the light; they can scarcely consist with an unwillingness know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the to make such confession
“ Confess your paths thereof. The murderer rising with faults one to another, and pray one for an. the light killeth the poor and needy, and in other, that ye may be healed." James v. 16. the night is as a thief. The eye also of Especially is this proper when two or more the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, say. persons have been associated in sin. When ing, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth sensible of their sin, if they be Christians, his face. In the dark they dig through they ought to confess to each other and houses, which they had marked for them. pray one for another, that they to may be selves in the daytime: they know not the forgiven and healed of the Lord. light. For the morning is to them even as This affords no countenance to the popish the shadow of death ; if one know them, dogma of auricular confession. That, in. they are in the terrors of the shadow of stead of being a privilege, as a christian death.” Job xxiv, 13--17.
ordinance, is a human invention to agran. From God. Yes, so blinding and deceit- dize the priesthood and to facilitate a tyranful is sin that it would lead to the supposi. nical domination over a blinded people. It tion, or at least to the vague hope, that it has often been the source of inconvenience may be concealed from the particular no. and unjust humiliation when confession has tice of omniscience. It would impose on been made in the ear of a priest, probably the sidner that perhaps this may be pos- far more wicked than the confessing peni. sible. Hence, “ he hath said in his heart tent. God hath forgotten : he hideth his face ; he Nor does it appear necessary that, in will never see it." “They say, The Lord order to forgiveness, christians should conshall not see, neither shall the God of fess to the Church either their own sins Jacob regard it.” Ps. x. Il, xciv, 7. or those of other persons.
But who thus acts shall not prosper. possibly occur in which it would be proper He shall not succeed in his endeavours to do this, but, as a general rule, it would thas to cover his sins from himself. Con. be improper and injurious. If divine Proviscience may for a time slumber, but sooner dence do not bring to light the hidden or later it will awake to the full conviction things of darkness, an officious exposure of and terror of the offender. If he continue them before the time would do more harm in sin, the great probability is that he will than good. In some instances indeed more be exposed to public view. But assuredly sin would be committed by the exposure he will not prosper in his hope to cover his than by the sin confessed, in the gratificasins from God who, to such self-deceiver, tion of a spirit of revenge.
Secret sin says, " Thou thoughtest that I was alto. should in general be confessed only to him gether such an one as thyself; but I will who seeth in secret and to whom all things reprove thee and set them in order before are naked and opened. Let the sincere thine eyes.” So vain and unwise is a course penitent, then, immitate the example of of sin in the hope of effectual concealment. David who says, “I acknowledged my sin But whoso confesseth and forsaketh his sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not shall have mercy.
hid. I said, I will confess my transgresConfesseth them, to whom ? To the sions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the Lord. All sin is mainly in opposition to iniquity of my sin.” Ps. xxxii. 5. the Most High. He is the fountain of all Connected with confession, is a forsaking holiness and authority, he therefore is to be of sin. Without a sincere intention and principally considered as struck at by sin. firm purpose by divine grace to forsake sin Hence when David bad sinned against a and to live in evangelical holiness, confes. fellow.creature in a manner and to an ex. sion would be only self.deception and an tent that could not be exceeded, his percep. awful mockery of that glorious Being who tion of its being incomparably great in searches the hearts of men. So frail are reference to the Lord induced him to say, we, that sin may return again and again,
but if there is any secret purpose to indulge it, but then probably the text in its native its return and not to strive against it, con. simplicity would be much plainer than the fession must be insincere and the conscience comment. The understanding of this in. in a course of fearful hardening.
valuable directory of our Lord's, like many Whoso confesseth and forsaketh his sins Other portions of scripture, requires a will. shall find mercy. This is the promise of ing mind to submit to it rather than an acute God that cannot lie. Let not the penitent and a cultivated understanding. then be driven into despair.
It evidently refers to a private offence endeavour to urge you to extreme measures. between two professing christians. One “ Beware of desperate steps." You are yet has been so unhappy as by some means to in the land of hope. Flee, O flee for refuge offend the other. He may hare done it to the hope set before you in the Gospel. unintentionally : he may not even know of it. Thousands have found this the most se. It is the duty of the offended person to go cure hiding place from strong convictions to the offender and talk the matter over beof conscience, urged and reiterated by the tween themselves alone, with coolness and malignant accuser of the brethren. Here with a mutual desire of reconciliation. To the penitent need not seek to evade his write, is not the direction; nor is it so sins, as if he dare not meet them, but he likely to answer the purpose, when there is may deliberately place them in black array a desire for reconciliation. This mode is before him, and invite satan to exhibit them sometimes resorted to, perhaps as appear. in their most appaling form, and then, by ing less humiliating. But this is carnal sincere contrition and humble faith in the wisdom, which should be crucified, and not Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the divine direction. the world, he may lift up his tearful eyes If the personal and entirely private in. and see Justice with Mercy smiling over terview fail to remove all unfriendly feeling the enormous mass.
and the offender will not hear so as to be I've found a ransom saith the Lord,
brought to reason and friendship, the of. No humble penitent shall die;
fended must then take one or two more Lord, I would now believe thy word, persons with him, and in their presence And thy unbounded mercy.
reason with the offender. It would not be Let not the penitent mistake the founda- improper for this accompanying friend or tion of hope, and imagine that mercy and two, to join their mediation to restore forgiveness will be the reward of confession christian friendship and affection, but they and reformation. This would be to build go especially as witnesses to prepare for the without a foundation. By bis obedience final determination. unto death, our blessed Lord magnified the If the offender set at nought these means divine law and made it honourable, vindi. and neglect to hear this personal, and this cated and satisfied its righteous claims, in united expostulation, then tell it to the opposition to the indiguities cast upon it by Church. The proper and orderly method of the disobedience of men and thus laid à doing this will be not for an offended brother solid foundation for the hope of the peni- to state the matter at once to the Church at a tent. “ If we say we have no sin we de. Church meeting, but to inform the pastor ceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. or minister, as the president and official If we confess our sins, God is faithful and organ of the Church, that he may in a just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse proper manner and at the best time bring us from all unrighteousness. The blood of it under the notice of the brethren. If the Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all offender at this last stage be brought to sin." | John i. 7-9. The sacrifice of reason and propriety, let him be cordially atonement, presented by the Saviour when forgiven, and sincere friendship restored. he offered up himself, is infinite in value But if he remain obstinate and perverse ; if and made for the whole world; but the the Church concur to admonish and counpardon is suspended on the faith and con. sel, and he neglect to hear the brethren fession of the sinner. “ With the heart and will not be advised by them, let him be man believeth unto righteousness, and with to thee as a heathen man and a publican. the mouth confession is made unto salva- Treat him with civility, as this is due to tion."
all men, but hold no christian communion
or familiar intercourse with him. Let him REPLY TO A QUERY.
be excluded from Church fellowship and as · A Correspondent in your last number far as you are concerned, put back into the requests a plain scriptural explanation of world, awaiting either his true repentance Matt. xviii. 15–17." To furnish this and restoration to Church fellowship, or would perhaps be very difficult. It would the final judgment of the Lord. J. J. not be difficult to write a great deal about