« PreviousContinue »
that power which is almighty, command the surging waves to mount thee, and all that are with thee, nearer to heaven, and make the strongest contrary winds serviceable to transport them to their blissful heaven. Let all the vessels that shall ever keep thee company, strike sail all thy way to thy flag, even to the flag of thy Lord and Master ; yea, whether kings or potentates, mighty men or rich men, associate with none who do not count it their highest honour and happiness to glory in the cross of Christ. Let all that embark in thee take faith for their guide, the Holy Scriptures for their compass, a godly fear for their sounding line, the Sun of Righteous. ness for their load-star, hope sure and stedfast and fastened within the vail for their anchor, the white linen of the saints' imputed righteousness, with the red cross emblazoned thereon, for their banner, with the motto “ Save us, Master, or we perish.” And oh, thou Captain of our salvation, be pleased to undertake its conduct and command. Let thy good Spirit so steer this poor bark, and so encourage and enable all the poor passengers in it to play the man in their several places, against all the assaults they shall meet with from the world, the flesh, and the wicked one, that in all thy combats they may, through thy love and strength, be more than conquerors, and at last, after all the storms and tempests, the hazards and hardships of the troublesome sea of this world, arrive with top and top gallant at their everlasting, blessed harbour, to pay thee the glad tribute of never ending honour and praise for their safe convoy, ascribing it all to thy distinguishing, free, and unmerited grace, Amen.
THE SPIRITUAL MAGAZINE,
“ For there are Three that bear record in heaven the Father, the WORD, and the
HOLY GHOST: and these Three are One.”—1 John v. 7. Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.-Jude 3. Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience."-1 Tim. iii. 6.
THE GOSPEL PULPIT. which never could be communicated
only by the power of one almighty
eternal Spirit, called the secret of GROWTH IN GRACE,
the Lord, which is with them that A Sermon, preached in Zion Chapel, Wa- fear him, and to whom he shews,
terloo Road, London, on Tuesday Even- (that is the reason they see it,) the ing, August 29, 1843,
covenant. The secret of the Lord BY MR. GAD SOUTHALL.
is with them that fear him, and he
will shew them his covenant,” Psalm They that dwell under his shadow shall xxv. 14. Hence then they are the return; they shall revive as the corn, and
seed of Abraham, begotten again to grow as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon."-Hosea xiv. 7.
a lively hope, by the resurrection of
Jesus Christ from the dead. So that This text is a declaration of an every christian in a spiritual sense is existing, abiding truth, which has a Jew, an Hebrew, an Israelite. This always, and will for ever exist in rela- constitutes his interest in all that is tion to the parties to whom reference: declared or promised to the people of is made; we cannot mistake it by the Israel, out of that relation which connection which I have read to you; exists by regeneration. No blessing there is a particular reference to the can possibly be possessed only in that church of Christ. “O Israel,” the relationship which exists through rechapter begins. What constituted a generation; and it is an equal matter man under the old testament dispen.. of impossibility for a regenerate soul sation an Israelite, is by generation; to avoid being a possessor of these likewise under the new testament blessings, for it is pronounced to the dispensation, a man was an Israelite seed : “ To the end the promise by regeneration. I have often been might be sure to all the seed." There surprised to hear unregenerate men, is a particular reference, primarily, to though, unconscious of their unre. the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, generacy. yet venturing to give de- “ The seed of the woman shall bruise cisive opinions on things which only the serpent's head;” but it is said of can be understood and comprehended the Lord Jesus, the seed of his body, by a regenerate soul, There is a the objects of his love, the purchase secret which never could be told, of his blood, the very seed, called the
holy seed, as the substance of all himself : “ O Israel, thou hast devital godliness, which exists in the stroyed thyself, but in me is thine midst of each of our hearts.
For help.” there is hope of a tree in winter, that This is a truth, which cannot be casts its leaves, it has no foliage, it engrafted or fixed in your minds by seems without life, no fruit, both of the arts, sciences, or professions. which circumstances may happen in The Spirit of God alone teaches this other seasons. And as a tall tree, secret, teaches this fact, that has and as an oak, whose substance is in made you acquainted with this truth, them, when they cast their leaves : that you are a helpless, vile, undone, so the holy seed shall be the substance polluted sinner in the sight of God, thereof." So it is with regard to the that from him you must receive the whole church of Christ. Sometimes, truth, and the truth shall make you like a tree in the winter, you pass it, free : verse 2nd.
• Take with you and it is impossible to say by the words ;" do not lie, do not tell the outward appearance, whether there is Lord you have done this, or done any more life than in a dead stump. that, do not stand on the mountain, There must be the sun, heat, the air, like the man who said, “ Thank God, showers, the variations of the seasons, I am not as other men,” not even as and then there will be a revelation of this publican: I fast, and I pay
tithes, the life which is hid in the root. I do a great many good things. The church for ever would be barren, What a mercy to see a man brought if not supported and nourished from where Paul was, who said, “ Not by the root. Christ is the root and off- works of righteousness which we have spring of David: the_offspring of done, but according to his mercy he David after the flesh. David's Lord, saved us, by the washing of regeneyet Jesus sprung from the loins of ration and renewing of the Holy David. Israel then is the party here Ghost.” A minister may say much addressed. Directions are here given against sin ; having his natural in exact accordance with that which conscience awakened, it testifies is laid down for a people who are against the destroying malady; they necessitous. I am a necessitarian, may bear witness against that crime the great doctrine advocated so pow and the other immorality, tell the erfully by the immortal Toplady, a sinner to arouse himself, to get a truth which is applicable to every righteousness, to recommend him to child of God. In premising what is God; but it will not do, the alone our state, as necessity brings us into righteousness thot will stand the poor the circumstances, we by that neces. soul in the trying day, is the rightesity use this language, and obey that ousness of that glorious Person, the very precept, “ Return unto the Lord Son of God, the only foundation of thy God : for thou hast fallen by a sinner's salvation. The grand thine iniquity,” verse 1. Again, in thing set against the righteousness of the 9th verse of the xiiith chapter, man, the destroying sin, that de“ O Israel, thou hast destroyed thy- stroys the soul effectually is this; if self, but in me is thine help.” If they are looking for their own righteyou are free willers, let me frankly ousness to plead for them in the day tell
you what is the truth, which you of judgment, they will be as certainly shall learn one time or another, either damned for their righteousness as for before you go out of time or after, their n. I make no qualification, and assuredly you will say that the I mean no qualification, I positively preacher is not a liar in this matter. mean what I say, that a man's righe All that Israel can do of himself to- teousness is of no avail with God, wards his salvation, is to destroy only sufficient to merit eternal con
demnation on himself, “ Take with by which they had destroyed themyou words, and turn to the Lord; selves,) Ye are our gods." say unto him, Take away all ini- men say the works of their hands are quity." What is the use of this their gods ? Is it possible, that such language to a pharisee? This is the a crime as this exists in this enlightSpirit of truth in the experience of ened age? Ah, my brethren, the God's children : he that confesseth devil makes you think you are very his sin, God is faithful and just; enlightened, he will keep you in his character is involved in what is to darkness ; while they think they are follow; "He is faithful and just to enlightened, he is cheating them; forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us the world is thereby deceived in the from all unrighteousness." "If we imagination they are doing some say that we have not sinned, great work, exactly represented by make him a liar, and his word is not the prophet Isaiah, “ He maketh a in us.” Mind you, when a man is god, even his graven image ; he regenerated, the truth is in him ; the falleth down unto it, and worshippeth man is quickened into newness of it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, life, into fellowship with Jesus Christ, Deliver me, for thou art my god." by the operation of the Spirit; the Every natural man thinks himself God of truth is in him, the truth a philosopher, every philosopher a keeps bim, preserves all truth in him: divine, wanting to make God re.
I am (said Christ,) the way, the ducible to what he can comprehend; truth and the life." “Take away he therefore raises a quibble against all iniquity, and receive us gra- the righteousness of the Lord Jesus ; ciously, so will we render the calves he wants to be judged by his own of our lips.” Verse 3rd, “ Asshur standard, almost praying to a proud, shall not save us; we will not ride sinful man. There is so much idoupon horses:" all resigning human latry in the human heart, that even strength when the soul is spiritually in offering to the Lord Jehovah, some taught. We have a “ Woe to them are filled with pride, some say it is that go down to Egypt for help, and no gospel, unless preached to all, and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, pride themselves in that; another because they are many, and in horse- says, it will not do, unless there is a men, because they are strong ; but mixture of human invention. Thus they look not unto the Holy One of pride is the master-sin of the human Israel, neither seek the Lord," Isaiah heart : the whole world therefore are xxxi. 4. The woe is pronounced on resting on the work of their own any that resort to human help, hu- hands. We shall surely trust to our man strength, human righteousness, own doings, unless the Lord has rehuman streams, human resources. vealed himself to us by the Spirit of
That is a blessed man, who is dis. God. The apostle counts every man appointed of human succour, that a hypocrite and a deceitful man, that finds human aid of no use, but finds handles the word of God deceitfully; it empty, and is filled with confusion, but so commending himself to the filled with barrenness; he cannot find people by the manifestation and revehis comfort to flow from them, but lation of Jesus Christ to the soul, finds his blessedness to flow exclu. which every spiritual man is taught ; sively from the Lord Jesus Christ. so it is the will of Christ, who has Then the language that comes after saved his church with an everlasting is, :" Asshur shall not save us ; salvation. It is only that which will will not ride upon horses, neither teach and make a man say, “ neither will we say any more to the work of will we say any more to the works of our bands, (this was the crying evil, our hands, Ye are our gods ; for in
thee the fatherless findeth mercy,” address you, being my last evening You perceive, all through, the Scrip, of remaining in town, I must just drop tures, in a multitude of figures and a hint or so upon these passages. metaphors, refer to the children of
You perceive, nothing is said about God in a state of desolation ; this is what the creature is to do for him, a most powerful figure, that is, the but every thing is said what he is to fatherless, “A father of the father- do for his church and people : "I will less, and a judge of the widow is heal their backslidings." What won. God in his holy habitation.”
derful indulgence to backsliding souls: My brethren, without taking away “I will love them freely, for mine the literal import of the passage, we anger is turned away from him ; I can come to the spiritual meaning; will be as the dew unto Israel ; he therefore, that man must be a father. shall grow as the lily, and cast forth less man, before he flies to God; he his fruits as Lebanon,” &c. : then must be cut off from all fathers in
comes the language of the text; the flesh, your first father, Adam. They that dwell under his shadow You must lose your first father, be shall return; they shall revive as the fore you cry in the desolation of your corn, and grow as the vine, the scent state to your Father in heaven. The thereof shall be as Lebanon.” Lord God is your Father. If you are Allow one word in explabegotten again to a lively hope, you tion, before I enter into it. This lancould not call God Father, only by guage is applicable not to the person being in relation as heir, heir of God of Christ only, but the language is and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. used as though it was made to the “ The Spirit itself beareth witness whole house of Israel, the spiritual with our spirits, that we are the Israel, there is no separate difference children of God : and if children, then made between Christ and his church, heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs the whole church in union to him. with Christ," Rom. viii. 16, 17, First here is the plural : the whole • Wherefore, thou art no more a house of Israel, love them freely, mine servant, but a son; and if a son, anger is turned away from them : then an heir of God through Christ," “ He shall grow as the lily, and cast Gal. iv, 7. Thus the Lord was the forth his roots as Lebanon. His Father of the fatherless when the pa- branches shall spread, and his triarch left his father's house. He beauty shall be the olive tree.' had first an open manifestation, a por. Here comes the 48:1
person of Christ tion of divine faith in his soul. It in union with the church. Many was made manifest to him, he was a precious passages in the word of son of God, by blessed adoption, an God speak in the singular, which open manifestation which before was we find applicable to the whole in secret and hath not been divulged; church, as it is in oneness with verse 4th, “ I will heal their backsli. Christ : " Ye are all one, (that is, dings, I will love them freely : for the whole election of grace) in is turned away from him;" Christ Jesus."
It is said, many verse 5th “ I will be as the dew unto are the afflictions of the righteous, Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and many are the afflictions of the eleccast forth his roots as Lebanon :" tion of grace, many are the afflic. verse 6th “His branches shall spread, tions of all God's children ; this is and his beauty shall be as the olive the plural : but “ the Lord delivereth tree, and his smell as Lebanon.” him,” is singular: delivers the church I cannot take up much of your time in every blessing in the Lord Je. as I want to get to the text, sus Christ.
I believe firmly, no one but having no other opportunity to blessing was ever bestowed on any one