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schemes and religion and why are we not, because we are translated out of the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of God's dear Son; because God hath taken us into everlasting relatiouship to himself, and is now causing the poor soul to be cut off from every thing, that he might enjoy this sacred indestructible union to Jesus; bringing them experimentally to rejoice, and say, For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh," their ears are circumcised to hear the truth, their hearts to feel the power of it, and receive it, so that nothing but truth, spiritual and experimental will suit them. Truth in its power, savour and unction, they want to live upon. What do we, my friends, know about this important matter? Again Israel was a saved people.-So spiritual Israel; "who is like unto thee, oh people, saved by the Lord." In his love and pity he has redeemed us; Israel shall be saved with an everlasting salvation in the Lord. Who saved us ? our most blessed Immanuel worked salvation for us, he was the accomplisher of it, "The angel of his presence saved us." Its source was the love of God. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son." there is an eternity of meaning in that particle, so. Jesus is the unspeakable gift of God, "He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity," Titus ii.14. He saved us from its curse, by being made a curse for us, bringing a poor soul by the powerful, invincible operations of the eternal Spirit, to feel that there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. The Spirit works salvation within us. 1st, By leading us experimentally to feel our lost condition as sinners. 2nd, By causing us to cry out in our perilous situation, "Lord save or I perish, God be merciful to me a sinner." 3rd, By showing us that Christ bore all our sins, that he was our scape goat,
Propitiation, our Redeemer, Surety, Substitute and Husband. 4th, And by showing us, through all our doubts, infidelity, and wickedness, that Christ is a friend that loveth at all times, one born for adversity.
They were a peculiar people, so Israel spiritually, they have peculiar troubles, troubles that the mere professor knows nothing of, often tried about their troubles, whether they are the pecu. liar trials, marks, and spots of God's children, or whether they are troubles peculiar to the world: a mere professor, a hypocrite, is never exercised in this way. They have peculiar battles, within, a warring of two principles, or powers, and no one is acquainted spiritually and experimentally with this warfare, but they who have the incorruptible seed within them; the implantation of the divine nature, feeling something of the power, vitality, and verity of the religion of Christ, "When they are weak, then are they strong." Peculiar revelations of God's love are made to them under severe trials, in their relationship to God, in their dwelling, they dwell on high, they dwell alone, in a word, in God; they are peculiarly described in God's word, soldiers, kingdom of priests, holy nation, city of truth, city of the living God, building, husbandry of God, a garden of nuts, clothed in royal apparel, sometimes, notwithstanding all they have talked and professed to enjoy, constrained to break out in bitter complaint, We see not our signs." What a mercy, God abideth faithful, no variation in him.
Let us now consider under what circumstances, they gathered themselves? We read in 1 Samuel xxii, 2, "Every one that was in distress, every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves together unto him." Hark, says the Arminian, they gathered themselves, yes, mark how and when they did it spiritually. 1st, The description of persons: in debt, in distress, and discontented, God's dear family
are brought to feel they are truly debtors, and have nothing to pay with, their destitution felt is what causes them to be in distress; they have gone down to Egypt for help. trusted in man and have found a curse upon it, tried every physician, found them to be physicians of no value, tried all refuges, found them to be refuges of lies; they have put confidence in fleshly efforts and found themselves to be fools; hence they are discontented with all the several schemes of the day, with self, doings, prayers, in a word they are discontented with everything, and think they shall perish, but "the great trumpet shall be blown, and they that are ready to perish shall come." Hear, my people shall come, and him that cometh I will in no wise cast out." 2nd, The manner of their coming, They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them;" no presumptuous confidence; where is the man breath. ing the vital air, living under the vaulted arches of heaven, who is not a debtor to God? but how few in this day of abounding profession feel it spiritually; but some, bless God, are brought to feel it, and have been brought to feel that Christ hath paid it all by the shedding of his own blood, justified us in the high court of heaven, and made us blessedly to feel it by an application of atoning mercy. They now sing with dear Toplady,
"A debtor to mercy alone, Of covenant mercy I sing." It is said, in 2 Samuel xvii. 29. "the people are hungry and thirsty and weary in the wilderness." Christ says, Blessed are they that hunger, for they shall be fed," he will cause them spiritually to feed upon this truth, upon Limself, the fatted calf, the shew-bread, the cakes and the oiled wafers, he will give them honey out of the rock; the weary he will give to rest in himself, the true spiritual and everlast ing rest; it is in him the wicked cease
from troubling, and in him the wearied with self, sin, the world, either professing or profane, are at rest. The thirsty, he will give to drink of the water of life, the water of the well of Bethlehem; his word says, "Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat, yea come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price;" when this is brought home to the heart, by God the eternal Spirit, then there is a partaking of these gospel blessings. III Their testimony, "Behold we are thy bone and thy flesh.”
The place where this testimony was given, Hebron, which signifies, society, friendship, enchantment or invincible influence, overpowering delight. This place was formerly called by the name Arba or Kirjath-Arba, which signifies awaking, uncovering, then before we are brought experimentally into the blessed, ravishing, animating, supporting society of Jesus, we must know what it is to awaken, or inwardly to feel the quickening, lifegiving and life-supporting influences of the eternal Spirit; we must know the import of the apostle's language,
you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." When the law came home in the hand of the Spirit, the apostle says "Sin revived and I died," he saw sin then as he never saw it before, yes and felt it too. It signifies friendship, being brought into sweet communion with our most blessed Lord, through union street; he appears unto us a friend indeed, and we have experimentally felt him a friend in need; he is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother, a friend that loveth at all times, one born for adversity, he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich, rich we are if interested in Jesus, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; oh, what dignity, and honour, king's sons, having a royal education; it signifies overpowering delight; "I sat down under his shadow with great
delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste;" Their delight is in the Lord, in the abundance of peace. The testimony itself. We are thy bone and thy flesh. What did Adam say, when the woman appeared: "and Adam said, This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh:" and when the eterual Spirit brings us to Christ, as poor, forlorn, helpless sinners, Jesus says unto his church: Thou shalt no more be termed forsaken, Thy Maker is thine Husband, the Lord of hosts is his name, and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth, shall he be called." Now when Jesus tells his people he is married unto them, and this is applied with unctious power to the soul, they are enabled to say then, "behold we are thy bone, and thy flesh," Christ is the head of his body the church," he is the vine, we are the branches," having all our sap, life, nourishment from him." For we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones." This lanis used to set forth the oneness, guage nearness, and unity there is between Christ and the church; the apostle breaks out in this emphatic language, "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church," Eph. v. 30.
We notice next the blessedness of this relationship. Not a bone of his shall be broken." This was true of the paschal lamb, and of the true paschal Lamb, literally, so also is true of his mystical bones. Not a bone of Joseph should be left in Egypt; as it was of the bones of Joseph literally, so shall it be of the antitypical Joseph, and of the mystical bones of his body. It is said, "A good report maketh the bones fat," a report of everlasting love, the gospel trumpet, the joyful sound, maketh the bones fat, and flourishing in the courts of God, yes the inner courts of God's spiritual truth," he keepeth all his bones, not one of them is broken."
Mark the person, he, what he does: he keepeth all his bones.
Preservation." Not one of them is broken." Notice that wonderful. scripture, Ps. xxxv. 10., "All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him."
When the evil of sin is spirituully seen, its heinous nature appears, its awful turpiture is, in some measure, felt, every poor helpless sinner is brought to abhor himself in dust and ashes, and he dies, that is to all hopes of saving himself in the killing covenant that he felt something spiritually of; then. no hope in a fleshly religion, no creature wisdom or power, could save him; well, it is through fire and through water, into the wealthy place, fire of the law, fiery trials, fire of affliction; througn water, soul trouble, spiritual tribulation, unto the wealthy place, blessed society, with our most glorious Christ, to walk with him, to enjoy fellowship and nearness with hin, "a people near unto him." Again we must be uncovered, be brought into God's stripping room, stript of our fig leaf righteousnés, see ourselves naked before God, an undone, helpless and hopeless sinner before him, he is brought like "the stone to cry out of the wall," but what a mercy, "The beam out of the timber, shall answer it." Habakkuk ii. 2. The Lord takes the poor sinner, clothes him in a change of raiment, puts upon him the best robe, shews him the ring of everlasting love upon his finger, brings him at once into the society of Jesus, then is the time of singing, and making merry, because he that was dead is alive, he that was naked is clothed, the lost one is found. Christ hath made the man free and he is free indeed, the time then of singing of birds surely is come, he that was afar off, is now brought nigh,
by the blood of Christ, "whose blood cleanseth from all sin,' " and the Lord hath laid on him, the iniquity of us all," every demand of infinite inflexible justice was met by him; he suffered in his character, in his person, by the cruelty of men, from his professed friends, from the sword of infinite justice; but what did he say in prospect of it all, I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished, or how ardently I long till it be effected, what did he say on the cross, I thirst, for what? human applause? no, for the accomplishment of heaven's designs.
Unless we are brought in some sweet measure to feel this, dying work will not only be new work, but it will be awful work; unless we are interested in the atonement of Christ, we shall never hear the sounds of heavenly eloquence "come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom, prepared for you from the foundation of the world.' May mercy keep and lead us into gospel mines.
Now, unto him that hath loved us, to him glory and dominion for ever. Amen.
A COPY OF A LETTER FROM A MINISTER TO A SISTER IN THE FAITH.
Dearly beloved sister, in the Lord, grace, mercy, and peace be unto you and yours, from the fountain fulness of Jehovah Jesus, in whom it hath pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell. The beauties of all creation collected into one focus are but a ray from his fulness, all the treasures in the world are but a mite of his worth, all are too mean to set forth his incomparable excellencies or shadow forth his unbounded greatness and glory; his friendship is a greater treasure than the smiles of all the human race.
The smile of Jesus
begets the serenity of heaven. That experience is most to be coveted which lays us low at the footstool of sove
reign mercy, that weans us from the perishing things of time and sense, that leads us out of self to this exhaustless fountain of infinite grace and favour for every new supply, for every thing out of Jesus is like the summer brook soon dried up. We obtain here a few glimpses of eternal blessedness in him, and then fall back upon earthly contemplations, this will never be the case above in the regions of eternal bliss: in this lowland state the eye of faith is too weak to gaze perpetually at the glories, which shed cheir radiance throughout the celestial hemisphere, when Jesus arises to the view in all the fervent animation of his magnificent beams. When we behold him now, it is as through painted glass, or through the frail vision of dim mortality. Well, these foretastes are reviving, we hail their approach, we welcome their enjoyment. But oh, how immeasurably short are they when compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us. I hope it is your privilege now to live by the faith of the Son of God, shortly you shall enter that holy kingdom, where sin and sorrow, darkness and conflict shall no more disturb your sweet repose, in Jesus for ever. Here we rest in him by faith, but there we shall rest in full fruition, and see him as he is. Here we are surrounded by a thousand obstacles, we hope against hope in a victorious Redeemer, there
shall enjoy more than all we hoped for here, and cast our crowns at his feet. He who hath ordained to enter the kingdom through much tribulation, hath also ordained and reserved that glorious inheritance for us. But it may be at present you are in heaviness, through manifold temptations, fears, and fightings; fear not, my dear sister, in the furnace you may be, but from the refiner's hands you can never fall, for in these places he comes to hold the sweetest fellowship and communion. Would you have your faith found unto praise honour and glory at the appearing of
Jesus Christ, then expect it to be tried. Would you sing of delivering mercy without preceding dangers? Impossible. The way to take hold of Christ's strength, is first to lose all our own. The way to be more than conquerors is first to be overcome. The Lord works his free grace wonders by such means as to reason appear quite contrary to his designs. He that took care that Peter's faith should not fail, will take care of us and our faith too. We are now in the lowland territories of the King of glory. Now it is the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ. Shortly we shall be in the kingdom and glory of Christ, when patience has had her perfect work. Ah, my dear sister, our compassionate High Priest, knows our inward sighs and groans. That which cannot be uttered by us is all quite intelligible to him. He is no unconcerned spectator of our various conflicts, he knows the bleeding sorrows which a base ungrateful heart occasions in the breast of one that is born of God. And in him alone there is a balm for all our wounds. The very sins which now load your troubled soul, once burdened your suffering Lord, or you had never known such trouble: all were known to him and were atoned for, long before we drew our breath, by the spotless Lamb of God, we have no curse, like him, attends our trials and inward conflicts, but suffer we must while we are the subjects of sin, "For as much as Christ hath suffered for us, in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind." "But if we suffer with him we shall also reign with him." We receive strength by the Spirit to tread in his steps. And all our short comings and sinful deviations are freely forgiven through Christ's precious blood. What love is here, that all our poor services should be washed in blood divine, and presented by him whose interceding breath perfumes every sacrifice.
Until we are brought to a state August, 1845.]
of perfection in the heavenly world, we shall have need of patience. life of faith is a waiting life, for though we receive the earnest, yet we wait for the inheritance. It is Jehovah that says to the poor buffeted weary pilgrim," Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and hope to the end," for the grace which shall be brought unto us at the appearing of Jesus Christ; what that grace is, we are positively told, that when he shall appear we shall be like him, and see him as he is." Then indeed Christ shall be admired in his saints, and they shall bear his glorious image.
What difficulties and sorrows have many dear saints gone through in pressing towards this mark, for the prize of their high calling? To be like Christ is an honour and dignity, which awaits all the royal family of heaven, such are the consequences of being joint heirs with the royal heir of all things. Thien shall not we who are expecting ere long to shine as the stars of heaven, for ever and ever; be content to be made of no reputation for Christ's sake? What is a little worldly respectability? What is the applause of frail mortals to the honour that cometh from God only? The more closely we follow the lowly despised harmless Lamb of God, the more we may expect to be reproached and persecuted by wolves in sheep's clothing. The more we taste the sweetness of peace in atoning blood, and the more the Holy Spirit opens the grand scheme of love in Christ's cross, the more we shall be crucified to the world, and the world to us. By this the Holy Spirit melts the chosen sinner's heart, to shew forth Jehovah's praise whilst passing through this desert land, to his kingdom and glory. As tried and tempted souls go through the most distress, so they usually have the most affecting and striking discoveries of the wisdom, power and glory of the Lord and acquire a sympathy for afflicted minds. But no words