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above related. And the Lord relieved Thus they drew not from her a word
Council. Will you not yet confess ? you have before confessed ?
Eliz. No, indeed, gentlemen ; but I They then put on two iron screws, will seal them with my blood. one on each ankle. She said, “Oh, Council. We will no longer distress gentlemen, put me not to shame, for my you, if you now freely tell us who it person has never been touched by man. was that baptized you. The procureur-general said, “No, Miss Eliz. Oh no, gentlemen. I have Elizabeth, we shall not treat you in-already told you that I will not confess decently.” She then fainted ; and they that to you. said one to another, “perhaps she is After this, the sentence was prodead.” Coming to herself, she said, “Inounced upon Elizabeth, in the year am alive, and not dead.” They then 1549, the 27th of March, and she was loosened all the iron screws, and spoke to condemned to death by being drowned her with entreaties.
in a sack. And thus she offered up her Eliz. Why do you thus entreat me ? body a sacrifice to God. They deal so with children.
THE UNION OF DIVINE INFLUENCE AND CHRISTIAN DILIGENCE.
THE REV. BU'NJAMIN COOMBS.
“ Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in yor both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”—Phil, ii. 12, 13.
There are two perilous extremes, , me ye can do nothing ;" the other conto one or other of which professors of cludes that, because apart from the religion are continually exposed, and Redeemer's gracious intervention we against both of which it behoves us can do nothing to merit the divine prayerfully and vigilantly to guard. favour, we are under no obligation to These are, on the one hand, the rock of spiritual activity ; that because it is the pharisaical pride ; and, on the other, righteousness of Christ, by which alone the gulf of antinomian presumption. we can be justified in the sight of God, In the one case, the individual relies our salvation is therefore altogether wholly on his own works for salvation ; complete and already certain, irrespecin the other, he does nothing. The tive of internal holiness and personal former excludes the doctrine of Divine obedience. Against each of these fatal grace from his creed ; the latter admits, errors we would earnestly and affecbut perverts it. The one attempts to tionately warn you. And nothing can build without a foundation ; the other supply a more effectual antidote to each raises no superstructure. The one, in than this solemn exhortation of the short, thinks of inheriting heaven by great apostle of the Gentiles, “Work virtue of his own performances, regard-out your own salvation with fear and less of the declaration of Him from whose trembling; for it is God which worketh decision there is no appeal, “ Without in you both to will and to do of his good
pleasure ;" in which we see how closely It has to do with the heart. It is not Christian doctrine is associated with correct action alone ; but also willing Christian duty, and are reminded of the the action according to the will of God. inseparable union subsisting between the mere performance of any work of divine influence and personal diligence benevolence, however beneficial to man, in the work of salvation--a subject this were not sufficient to ensure its acceptalways, and especially in the present ableness to the Searcher of hearts. It day, of paramount importance, and one must proceed from love to him, and be which naturally suggests the following in consequence the fruit of Christian observations.
principle; the motive must be pure I. That our salvation involves a great and evangelical. Hence our Lord's moral change.
decided and uncompromising sentence, This change, or salvation, is here “Yemust be born again;" in perfect keeprepresented as a work ; and it is con- ing with which is the statement of the fessedly the greatest of all works, com apostle, “If any man be in Christ, he is prising, as it does, deliverance from hell, a new creature: old things are passed the enjoyment of God, and dwelling for away; behold all things are become ever in his high and holy place. Now, new. this great salvation, in so far as it The necessity of this universal, this requires and involves a substitutionary spiritual and radical change, will imatonement, has been fully accomplished. mediately appear when we consider the “It is finished !” exclaims the dying appalling obliquity which in our native Conqueror; and all heaven echoes with state characterises and deforms the the reverberated and enrapturing word, whole of our motives and propensions ; “finished,” in joyful attestation of the controling all the operations of the perfection of the work to which it mind; influencing all the passions of refers; whilst hell trembles to its cen- the heart; swaying the will, by perverttre, and all the powers of darkness con- ing the judgment, darkening the underfess in mute despair that they have lost, standing, and corrupting the affections. for ever lost, the battle-field. Inexor- How, then, can we be capacitated for able justice, in view of that one offering, communion with the Father of spirits, instantly relaxes his rigid frown and and the enjoyment of the inheritance of sheathes his avenging sword; divine the saints in light, unless our faith in law, honoured and magnified by the Jesus as an atoning sacrifice have a great propitiation, involuntarily opens transforming influence over the whole the prison door and lets the insolvent of the inner man ? debtor go free ; every obstacle, in fine, 2. It is visible and practical. is taken out of the way of the sinner's The certainty of the commencement access to the throne of infinite mercy. of this spiritual work, and the reality of That work, therefore, admits of neither the internal change it induces, are addition nor diminution; it is complete. demonstrated by correspondent and But, then, there must also be an appli- external effects. Not only does it concation of that atoning sacrifice to the sist in willing, but in doing, likewise, heart as a cleansing fountain, and, in that which is acceptable to God. Not consequence, a thorough transformation only are there mental and ardent aspirof character induced. The change, or ations after holiness and heaven ; but work, therefore, to which the apostle those aspirations, instead of evaporating refers, is spiritual, visible, progressive. in mere desire, are embodied in action ;
1. It is spiritual and radical. prompting their possessor to walk with
God and work for him ; to set out and our nature, is at present in an incipient persevere as a pilgrim towards the and progressive state. celestial city. Hence we are taught the That it is so may be argued from way of ascertaining the actual possession analogy. In all the works of God in of genuine faith. “ Faith without nature, and in all the dispensations of works," saith James, “is dead." And here, his providence, we observe a gradual too, we see the delightful consistency and beautiful development, a constant of divine grace. It raises a beautiful progress towards maturity and perfeosuperstructure on an adequate basis. It tion. And can the work of divine grace removes the rubbish, clears away (so to be the only one to stand still, or at speak) the ruins of the fall, lays a once to reach its meridian splendour ? broad and firm foundation, and rears Certainly not. “The path of the just is thereon a sacred edifice, a holy temple as the shining light that shineth more for the eternal celebration of His perfec- and more unto the perfect day." As in tions and praises whose grace has nature, so in grace, there is first the blade, planned the method, and will ultimately then the ear, after that the full corn perfect the work of salvation. It fixes in the ear. Scripture also speaks of faith in the heart, and enables the babes in Christ, and of attaining the believer to add to his faith fortitude fulness of the stature of a man in (dpetsin), for the exemplification of his Christ. faith to others; and to fortitude know Besides which, the spiritual experience ledge ; and to knowledge temperance; and personal concessions of the most and to temperance patience ; and to eminent saints tend to the same result. patience godliness; and to godliness “Not as though I had already attained," brotherly kindness ; and to brotherly saith Paul, “either were already perkindness charity. Hence,
fect : but I follow after, if that I may 3. It is progressive and gradual. apprehend that for which also I am
The apostle speaks of working out apprehended of Christ Jesus. The more your salvation. The term (watepyágeode), a Christian knows of himself, of the thus rendered, is very strong and Divine character, and of the spirituality beautifully significant; containing, as it of that commandment which is "erdoes, a metaphor taken from agricul- ceeding broad," the more is he convinced ture, or other hard labour ; and im- of his own defects, and of the conseports, as the great John Howe observes, quent need, in order to his growth in “Labour it out even till it be finished ; grace, of the most assiduous attention till you come to the very end of your to all the means which the God of faith, the salvation of your soul.” Now, grace has furnished. there could be no propriety in such II. That to effect this great moral phraseology as this if our salvation change, divine influence is indispensable. were already and in every point of view It is God that worketh in you. “From accomplished. We have seen that there him all holy desires, good counsels, and is a work, not only without, but also just works do proceed.” It is he who within us ; that whilst the outer work gives the power both to will and to do. of salvation, or that which relates to It is he who by his Spirit implants the satisfying of infinite Justice and every spiritual principle, and prompts securing the returning sinner's accepts to every holy action. Without his inance with God, is finished and in every tervention all human attempts to effectrespect complete; the result of that uate a transformation of the inner man acceptance, or the sanctification of were nugatory and vain.
Whatever degree of mental culture, my law in their inward parts, and writé education, combined with genius and it in their hearts; and will be their God, taste, may confer, whatever amiable and they shall be my people.” qualities may adorn the life, the heart, What has moral suasion done, apart in the absence of divine influence, will from almighty influence? The most continue unrenewed still; still will sin powerful arguments and the most rage there like the pent up fire of a affecting appeals fail of ensuring any volcano that nevertheless presents a permanently salutary result. They may, verdant and beautiful surface, until at and often do, produce à temporary exlength the hidden and struggling flame citement. But there is nothing lasting. finds a vent and explodes, when all the There is no real vitality or spiritual lovely scenery is swept away. Is not energy. They are only like the experithis matter of fact? What has ever ments of galvanism on a corpse, that been achieved towards the regeneration occasion muscular contortion and moof our apostate race by the best systems mentary motion ; but all without life ! of speculative philosophy, or the most“ Can a well composed oration," asks strenuous efforts of man practically to the excellent Charnock," setting out all apply them?
the advantages of life and health, raise What has human legislation accom- a dead man or cure a diseased body? plished ? Doubtless it has frequently You may as well exhort a blind man to answered its design, and done good behold the sun, and prevail as much. service in restraining public and delug- No man ever yet imagined that the ing outbreaks of depraved passion, dam- strewing a dead body with flowers ming up the sluices of sin, and afford-would raise it to life ; no more can the ing a safe-guard to society. Yet in urging a man spiritually dead with many instances it has failed in its eloquent motives ever make him to attempts to oppose any adequate bar- open his eyes, and to stand upon his riers, even to the open inundation of feet. The working of mighty power is moral pravity : at all events, it has a title too high for the capacity of mere proved incapable of preventing the moral exhortation. A mere suasion bitter tide from secretly oozing through does not confer a strength, but supposes those barriers, and forming itself into it in a man; for he is only persuaded many silent streams, which have no less to use a power which he hath already." effectually, though more imperceptibly, What are the best resolutions without injured society by sapping its founda- divine aid ? Unquestionably they are of tions, than when, like a mountain consequence when made in the exercise torrent, it has occasionally, with alarm- of humble dependence on power from ing violence, openly invaded its rights on high. And we are called upon to and overwhelmed its fairest institutions. resolve in the strength of divine grace, But supposing that any code of human to serve the Lord, and to pay our vows laws were completely and invariably unto him. But, if made in our own successful in securing public morals strength, our resolutions will prove no and reforming human manners, it could better than fences of sand before the only take cognizance of overt acts ; it whirlwind of passion, or of snow beneath could not control the mind, could not the heat of temptation. influence the motives or regulate the III. That divine influence is sovereign springs of action. We must look to a and gracious in its bestowment. far higher source of legislation for this. It is sovereign It is of God's “Behold, saith the Lord, ... I will put pleasure as to when he will bestow his
almighty agency, and in connexion with which divine influence is so often and what class of means. We can have no beautifully compared, is produced? Wheabsolute claim on its communication ther the vapour is condensed by cold, or even in our attendance on the means of electricity, or both ? Yet the existence grace. Often is it actually withheld, of the facts is undeniable. And equally and always is the time when it will be certain is it that the Spirit of God does conferred, unknown, in order to impress influence the heart and direct the conus with a sense of its value and the duct of every one who acts in his fear necessity of diligence in seeking it.“ In and is devoted to his praise. For every the morning sow thy seed, and in the effect, as well moral as physical, must evening withhold not thine hand : for be the result of an adequate cause. thou knowest not whether shall prosper, “ The wind bloweth where it listeth, this or that, or whether they both shall and thou hearest the sound thereof, be alike good. The wind bloweth where but canst not tell whence it cometh and it listeth, ....so is every one that is whither it goeth : so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
born of the Spirit." Nor is it less true, It is gracious. Of God's good pleasure, as matter of fact, that divine influence -or as the expression (ütèp tñs evdokias) does not destroy, or interfere with, the may be rendered, according to his own free exercise of human agency. God gratuitous benevolence. Although in does not do our work; he cannot work the donation of his Holy Spirit God acts out our salvation with fear and tremmost freely and sovereignly, he never bling. He gives the power to will and to acts capriciously. He proceeds as he do according to his own righteous will; does for the most beneficent as well as but the use of that power belongs to the wisest of purposes, with a view, as man. Otherwise, man a mere we have said, to enhance the unspeak- machine, only acting as wrought upon able gift in our estimation, that we may by foreign force, whether for good or solicit it more earnestly and enjoy it for evil, and therefore irresponsible as more fully, whilst we yield the glory to to the qualities of his actions not him by whom it is so gratuitously and voluntarily performed. How could God graciously conferred.
then judge the world, or pronounce IV. That the bestowment of almighty upon any of his creatures a sentence influence is perfectly compatible and either of condemnation or of approval ! closely connected with man's free Are we not assured that, whilst the agency and personal efforts. “Work wicked will reap the fruit of their out your own salvation with fear and works, the righteous will also receive trembling."
the reward of their doings? “Inasmuch We do not attempt to explain how as ye have done it unto one of the least divine influence operates on the human of these my brethren, ye have done it spirit. We cannot tell how one finite unto me." mind holds communion with, and ope And may we not appeal to the exrates on, another finite mind. Who can perience of those who have believed describe the union and sympathy sub-through grace, and ask, whether your sisting between his own soul and body, thoughts and desires do not flow as or give a satisfactory solution of the ten freely now, whether your actions are thousand questions which might be not as voluntary now, as when you started relative to the natural phenomena were opposed to the things in which and atmospheric influences around us ? you now delight? Hence you are adWho can tell, for example, how dew, to dressed and exhorted as moral, free,