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Seeing there is so much of free grace shines in this blessed doctrine, then surely it highly concerns us to study the same. Oh, why should we not search more into this doctrine of free justification by faith in Christ. This is the article the church stands or falls by, Rom. xi. 20." Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith." If this doctrine be kept entire, the church stands; but if this be left, the church falls. When the Jews left this doctrine, they fell. "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." All those persons that do not, by faith, cleave entirely to Christ the only Mediator, for the remission of their sins, and for the justification of their persons, will, no doubt, die in their sins. This doctrine of justification by faith, is the church's Magna Charta, and so greatly concerns all saints to be firmly established in the same. When the church of Rome left this doctrine, she became antichristian, 2 Thes. ii. 10, "Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." This truth, by which sinners are saved, here spoken of, is beyond all doubt, (to me) justification by faith in Christ, as John xiv. 6. "I am the truth;" that whosoever receives by faith, shall be assuredly saved, and whosoever rejects through unbelief, shall undoubt
edly perish, John iii. 36. So that when the church of Rome left this glorious doctrine, then did God give them up, verse 11, "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie, (namely, that lie of justification before God, by a man's own righteousness) verse 12, That they all might be damned, who believe not the truth," that is, the truth of free justification, as before. And were this doctrine received, what would become of the pope's pardons, their indulgences, their purgatory, and the like trash? Now, for a round sum of money, they can, as they say, absolve men in this life, from their sins, and deliver out of purgatory in the life to come. Bnt were this doctrine of free justification understood, these cursed delusions would soon all vanish. So that it highly concerns us to be careful in the study of this blessed doctrine of free justification by faith in Christ. When Peter had made a confession of his faith, Matt. xvi. Christ said to him, "Thou art Peter, and on this rock will I build my church," that is, upon the confession he made; which we see in verse 16, "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God."
Here is the main doctrine of the gospel in this confession, and by this it is that the church of Christ stands. O then let us all labour to keep close to this most blessed doctrine of justification by faith in Christ, for it highly concerns us so to do.
Thus this doctrine of justification by free grace, is the saints' main defence against the wiles and artifices of Satan, it is their shield and buckler.
LINES ON THF DEATH OF AN AGED
BROTHER IN THE LORD.
And is my brother gone,
And numbered with the dead :
Sharp was the conflict felt,
Oft made him groan within :
Thus plagued with sins and doubts and fears He was for more than twenty years.
Sometimes it was his lot
To find the promise sweet;
To set at Jesus' feet:
His precious blood, his conquest won,
He knew, as taught of God,
For that amazing plan,
Why should we thus repine,
For now his soul's at rest:
Oh may the little few,
Where he a member stood,
That this shall work for good.
And when at the supper of Christ,
But oh, in our days, what a change,
On us then, dear Saviour, bestow
And earth shall resound with thy praise.
"I went down into the garden of nuts, to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded."-CHAP. vi. 11.
Child of the valley, where No tongue can tell,
What's thy afflicted state,
The presence of thy mate: Whose doom was just, For casting off my fear,
And me so soon,
Hence thy rejectings were.
Thou 'st been to me,
But none upon it fed:
Did thy return retard;
And slighting me,
Thy prayer was not heard.
At last, I hear,
A rattling of the bones,
As if they'd come
Thy God will come,
And see how all things lie.
"Thy neck is as a tower of ivory.”— CHAP. vii. 4.
Thy neck, O Sion, is a tower
Of whitest ivory :
No more to bear the pinching yoke
The irons of unscripture modes,
And men-imposed forms,
No more shall gall thy flesh and soul,
I'll free thee from those storms.
The idols now betake themselves
Arise and shine: O Sion, dress thee,
It is a pleasant day,
And I thy God am come to bless thee;
Oh, let thy stately neck bear up,
Admit my easy yoke, and think
Chained to my laws, my saints and me,
Thy neck receives no scar.
"Thine eyes are like the fish-pools in Heshbon, by the gate af Bath-rabbim.”CHAP. vii. 4.
Water thy plants, Jerusalem, Salvation 's at the door; Unseal thy latent fountains, weep Till thou canst weep no more.
Time was, when as of sense bereft,
Thou couldst not broach a tear; But now the hardened rocks are cleft, And waters gushing there.
Thine eyes like Heshbon's fish-pools stand,
And doth it fruitful make.
I love to see that pierced heart,
The tears that wash my wounded feet,
Thou 'st wept enough, now weep no more,
I'll banish all thy fears and cares,
Repentance breaks two hearts at once, The sinner's heart and mine; Though sin be great, the mercy-seat Shall cure that heart of thine.
Had I a thousand mouths, a thousand tougues, A throat of brass, and adamantine lungs, I'd sound redeeming love through all the earth,
The love that gave me first and second birth: I'd tell to all creation's utmost space, How great his glory and how rich his grace; Till wondering nations should his grace adore, Jehovah Christ, God blest for evermore.
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 SPIRIT NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS IN HIS GIFTS AND GRACES.
BY REV. HENRY CROOKE.
"The vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith. I cannot, for it is sealed: and the book is delirered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned."—Isa. xxix. 11, 12.
GOD is not man, nor are his ways as our ways. We are changeable, never in one stay; God is the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever; confined to no particular modes or ways of acting, nor subject to any law but that of his own will. He varies his ways of providence as his wisdom directs, all tending to the good of his creatures. And in the revelation of his will to man, though he might vary in the method or manner of doing it, as he did of old, yet the end and design was always the same, namely, the recovery of fallen man, with a view to make him happy.
Moses and the prophets, Christ and his apostles, all centered in that one point, that great and generous act of publishing abroad God's good will to a lost world. It was first declared March, 1845.]
to Adam in paradise; Noah preached it while the ark was in building; and after the law was given from mount Sinai, God was pleased to reveal it to his prophets,sometimes after one manner and sometimes after another. Moses is said to speak to God face to face; Samuel heard the word by a voice speaking unto him; and with the mantle of Elijah, the Spirit of the Lord descended upon Elisha. Jeremiah, Zechariah, and others of the prophets received the word of God under shadows and representations. Daniel's commission from heaven was delivered by the mouth of the angel Gabriel. The divine goodness was declared to Ezekiel by a vision of dry bones raised to life. And the prophet before us had his visions which he saw concerniug Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Sometimes the prophets were to denounce the judgments of heaven against incorrigible sinners; at other times they were to speak comfortably, to heal the broken-hearted, and to promise a gathering together of the dispersed of God's people. They were also commissioned to give the strongest assurance of farther degrees of mercy to the humble and thankful, while the ungrateful, they who
made no improvement of God's goodness, were threatened that the mercies they enjoyed should be taken from them, and their stony, unrelenting hearts made still harder, by drawing over their minds a spirit of slumber. "Stay yourselves and wonder," says the prophet, a little before my text, cry ye out," says he, and cry; they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink; for the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned." In these words, as in a looking-glass, we may see the black, frightful complexion of every unconverted soul, learned or unlearned. Like a drunken man, they reel to and fro, between their vices and corruptions, and stagger from their God like the drunkard from his cups: destruction is before them, the pit of heil is near them, and yet, like the thoughtless drunkard, they apprehend no danger, but press forward, not knowing where they go. Stay your selves, therefore, (says the prophet,) and wonder." As if he had said, Stop, ye serious ones, and behold these men ; wonder at their ignorance, their spiritual ignorance, and stand amazed at the depth of their folly.
God would have done them good, but they refused; they slighted his mercy, and thought lightly of his loving-kindness (I wish the same charge may not lay against many of us). Upon this their offended God withdrew his favours; he put out the candle of their understanding (the light of his Spirit), and left them to
themselves, to grope their way in the dark uncertain steps of spiritual blindness. "The Lord poured out upon then the spirit of deep sleep, and closed their eyes." And, to complete their misery, it was no better with their leaders and teachers, whose eyes God also closed; as is expressed in these words-" The prophets, and your rulers, the seers also hath he covered." They were all alike spiritually blind, learned and unlearned.
The visions of the prophets (or what God's servants saw in visions, and declared to the people) were like the words of a book that is sealed, when the vision was told, viz., the true spiritual sense and meaning of it was as much hid from the soul, as the contents of a book that is sealed
is hid from the eye. And if a book is sealed, and not to be opened, no man can be the better for it, though it is written in the most accurate style, with the greatest propriety, the quickest thought, or the strongest chain of arguments. In like man. ner, though the Scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation— though they bring tidings of great joy-such as the death of Christ, the shedding his most precious blood, God reconciled, man forgiven, and the Spirit promised in his gifts and graces, to sanctify us throughout (in soul and body), and to inspire us with such knowledge from above as may guide and conduct us from this to the world to come (I say, though the Scriptures are thus filled with good news from Heaven, and contain such matter of the greatest joy) yet no man can be the better for those sacred truths, nor his heart at all comforted by them, till the seal of a prejudiced corrupt nature is broken off, and a thorough change made in the whole man "All old things past away, and all things become new.'
When this is done, the book will be easily read; the scripture will be rightly understood; as much of it as is