« PreviousContinue »
pains they take to set off their per pests, and swelling surges, well nigh, sons, and the contemptuous manner in his apprehension, swallowing him they carry themselves towards the up. It is then his unspeakable happoor tried servants and people of God, piness to find Christ a sufficient shel.
having men's persons in admira. ter, a rock of refuge, into which he tion because of advantage :” shews rups and is safe. Not unfrequently their profession is only a mask; and he is the subject of temporal distress when the Almighty shall take this and affliction, destitute of many of paint off, such will appear rottenness, those comforts and enjoyments which and dead men's bones. The real some of the enemies of Jesus so cause of this conduct in preachers abundantly possess ; perhaps at the and professors, is the want of a time under the afflicting hand of his change of heart; such have not the heavenly Father. The world of proroot in them, and therefore they bring fessors at once pronounce their judgforth no spiritual fruit, Luke viii. 14. ment: An evident token of perdiLet such professors know they are tion, say they. But though hated, far from the way of peace, though despised and persecuted, let him rethey may cry peace to themselves ! member, that as Christ was here, so God, says one, is patient towards the he shall be like him there :wicked that by their means he might try the righteous. He burns not the • His people are, he was here,
An object of contempt to men, wisp till he hath scoured his vessels,
And when he shall again appear, nor lays by his hammer, till he hath
They shall be like him then.' formed some of the matter into excellent fashion. He useth the worst It is hard, but they will think there of men, as rods to correct his people, must be something essentially wrong before he sweeps the twigs out of his where God thus visits with sorrow house. But we need not dread men, upon sorrow; they judge by appearsince we have one to restrain them; ance, not righteous judgment. They ror fear devils, since we have one to know nothing of light in darkness ; chain them. It is tr no purpose to calm in the midst of storm : how disserable, for sooner or later truth should they then see, that it is all in will come out; and a lying tongue love? Many a time does the believer is but for a moment." The iniquity turn from all these, to his covenant that is concealed under an outward God, rejoicing that his witness is shew of godliness, will be discovered, with him, and his record is on high. perhaps in this world, as Judas was, How precious is Jesus at such seaand Simon Magus, but if not, it will in sons! Now is the time for the ex. the great day, when the secrets of all ercise of faith, like Abraham, against hearts shall be made manifest, Rom. hope to believe in hope ; judging ii. 16. If men's religion prevail not him faithful who bath promised. He to conquer and cure the wickedness carries his burden to the Lord, pours of their hearts, it shall not always his sorrows into the bosom of Jesus, serve for a cloak. The day is coming and knows what it is when all crewhen bypocrites shall be stripped of ated streams are dry, to drink at the their fig leaves. It is an experimental fountain, to draw. consolations from knowledge of being saved and a pros- thence, that infinitely outweighs all pect of future glory, that gives a lit- his sorrows. The bread of sorrows tle alleviation from our woes, and is sometimes the saints' daily bread; tends to lessen our sorrows in this vale our Saviour himself was a
man of of tears. In this world of sorrow, the sorrows." Let us not therefore be heaven-bound traveller has to en- afraid of the cross, for nuca we bear counter sbarp winds, beating tem. it, it bears us, and when we refuse to
take it up, we refuse the staff of
every that shew no mercy and kindness to christian pilgrim, and the weapon of them, shall find done. Matt. xxv. 45. every christian soldier. Christ lived The children of God, the children of and died in sorrows, and “ for suffer faith, live another life, breathe ano. ing death he was crowned with im. ther atmosphere to what the children mortality,” resolved to take all his of this world do. I conceive the children to the fellowship of the same
that crawls the earth, and sufferings, that they might have a makes the dust her habitation, bas participation of his glory. He also as clear a conception of the life and hath designed to present us to God, enjoyments of the human race, as the dressed in the same robe, and treated natural man has of the spiritual life in the same manner, and honoured and enjoyments of the true believer. with “ the marks of the Lord Jesus.” This is an hard saying, say they, how “ He hath predestinated us to be con- we bear it? It is wrapped in formed to the image of his Son.” mystery to human reason, for they And if under a head crowned with bave no faith to penetrate the cover. thorns, he were to bring to God ing, so that it is beheld by them with members circled with roses and down, indifference or contempt, and so it is and who had been clothed in purple and at this present time.
His great fine linen, and fared sumptously every
work of salvation is little esteemed, day, as triumphant members in the and his person less ; for though some militant church, God the Father may talk of him as a Saviour, yet as would reject them; he will not own to bis beauty and glory they see it those who are so unlike our elder not. And here lies the amazing dif. brother : for we are members of the ference between the mere nominal suffering Lamb of God, who hath professor and the real chris. said, “ if we suffer with him we shall tian ; the one is in total darkbe glorified with him together.” The ness,
the other has had his eyes outward gifts of God are not always anointed by the heavenly Physician; the proofs of his love; yea, some
the scales are fallen off and he be. times are bestowed in displeasure. holds Jesus, the sight of whose glory How foolish then are they, who mea. darkens every earthly object, so that sure God's love hy temporal bene. could the believer have the eye of his fits, and are ready to applaud empty faith habitually, unwaveringly fixed professors prospering in wickedness, upon him, he might defy all the and to neglect and treat with con- powers of earth or hell to draw away tempt, God's poor and afflicted peo- his heart; when the soul is drawn out ple. If an angel, says one, were upon Christ, under the teachings and sent to find the most spiritual saint, anointings of the blessed Spirit, to see he would probably not find him the perfection of his finished work, among the rich and great, living in the glories and beauties of his person, a splendid mansion, but perhaps a with his oneness to, and interest in cripple in a poor-house, whom the all he did and suffered ; his sin and parish wish dead; and humbled be. imperfection is then swallowed up, fore God with far lower thoughts of and he is enabled to look above and behimself than others think of him, yond all he finds without, and feels “ For God hath chosen the poor of within, and to rejoice in God his Sa. this world to be rich in faith, and heirs viour; these are happy seasons, and of the kingdom.” What will be me though clouds will sometimes interof those who are cruel and upmerciful vene and darken the prospect, yet, to God's servants ? The cries of the soul-cheering truth, our sun till shines, injured will be heard, the sin of the his light is not diminished, or his injurious will be punished. They heavenly rays affected by the thick
vapours that hang over our visions, every changing breath, there is he remains the same, shining with nothing could support his mind under undiminished lustre, though we per- the daily view he has of himself, but ceive him not. God is a sovereign a persuasion of the faithfulness of in all his dispensations, not only does Jehovab: the more trials the saints he call his people by free and sover- have passed through in their way to eign grace, but he pours down his heaven, the sweeter it will be to them refreshing showers just when and when they arrive there, when the where he pleases; we cannot com- travellers are got safe at home, the mand a single spiritual influence, it inns appointed for them by the
wave is a great point that the believer for their supply are shut up, the canshould be kept sensible of his own dles are put out when the sun is weakness, and insufficiency to do any risen, and the tabernacle used in the thing of himself, therefore to that
wilderness is folded up, when the point the Lord will keep him; there temple of glory is come in its room; are times when the Lord hides his they will have an eternal rest in God, face from his dear children, they seek who is the centre of their souls ; him, but they find him not; ordi.
there they find the satisfaction of all nances that are used to invigorate their desires, having full enjoyment and refresh their spirits, are now
of God, and uninterrupted commubarren ; they read the word of God nion with him. This is the point but it is a sealed book, bow the knee
unto which till the soul come, it will at the throne of grace, but their always be restless ; its rests, for he is prayer appears shut out, and they go the last end, and the soul can go no on mourning all the day long, hang further, it cannot understand well, or their barps upon the willows, almost pesire more, but in him it has what despairing of singing any more of is commensurable to its boundless the songs of Zion in this strange desires. This is the happy end of all land; ever they are aware their souls the labours of the saints, their toil are made like the chariots of Amina.
and sorrows issue in a joyful and dab, saith the church of old, they eternal rest. Hallelujah. sing, " When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we
Who are they clothed in radiant white, them thac dream, then was our mouth That stand around yon glorious throne, filled with laughter, and our tougue Their garments of celestial light,
Pure with a lustre not their own ? with singing." The faithfulness and truth of Christ, which was their sup
Those are the saints who once below, port when walking in darkness, is
Walked in the path their Master trud ; now their triumph and boast; in the
Midst pain, and mockery, and woe, worst- of seasons the Lord never
And searching flames they sought their God, leaves his people, they may be always sure of promised support, so that Through his dear might who once was slain. when they cannot rejoice he enables Firm as the burning stake they stood ; them to rest; and it is no small And washed from every guilty stain,
Their garments in his precious blood. mercy, to be able to leave our com. forts with our God, to acquiesce in
Therefore around the throne they stand, his will concerning these also, to be And in his holy temple shine ; satisfied he is doing all things well, Rich in the joy of his right hand, on the immutability and unchange
Robed in his righteousness divine. ableness of his covenant God, the believer
There they can never bunger more, meditates with peculiar
Nor ask the cooling draught in vain ; pleasure, he knows himself to be as
For he will living waters pour, variable as the wind, changing with And heal from every earthly pain.
In those blest realms of endless day,
US. This would discourage me, if The Lamb shall all their wants supply; And God's own hand shall wipe away,
ever this was left to my option ; The falling tear from every eye.
but blessed be his name, he has not
left it to our choice, whether we will Brighton. w, c. have him to reign over us or no.
He has promised to pour qut npon us the
Spirit of grace and supplication, and CR9SSES AND COMFORTS.
ke is to reign as King and Shepherd ; My dear Brother,
as King to rule and guide, and as a
Sbepherd to preserve from harm. Ip my letter did you good. What dignity and condescension yours did me no less, and should blended in one character. And in have answered it before, but I have chap. xxxvi., I discovered, that the again been in deep confliot; but as work of regeneration in the soul, is you observe, “ the Lord alone is the not accomplished all at onoe ; tbere lifting up of my head.” Oh I do be- is the shaking of the bones, which I gin to experience the unchangeable- conceive to be the alarms of consciness of his love ; already, I can set ence; then he causes the breath to to my seal, in many ways, that God enter, which I take to be the love of is true. Yesterday morning I had a of God, which saves from death, and sweet sense of his love by the renew. imparts life; then he says, he will ing of his promise, to my yet in a lay sinews upon them, wbieh must be great measure uphumbled heart. I strength to move in the divine life. have had monntains of proud and Then he will bring flesh upon them, fteshly corrnptions to contend with, and cover them with skin ; the latter which I have asked the Lord repeat. I take to be the robe of righteousness edly to subdue; but in wiedom be which Christ wrought to hide our has suffered them to molest, that I nakedness. I was much straitened might know the bitterness of sin, and to learn that the whole work is of the sovereignty of his power as to the grace, from first to last, as it is said time as well as the manner in which of him, by one of the apostles, he relieves. It is the promise of his is the author and finisber of faith.” all-conquering grace that alone sup- Your remark on the conversion of the ports me; his wills and his shalls are heart, appeared very clear to me my props. It was reading Ezek. that was a fresh burst of light to me, xxxvi. xxxvii., that I had a sweet which drew forth fresh gratitude glimpse of his face, and saw the kind. from all the painful dispensations of lings of his love toward me, wherein his dealings towards me; much has he promises to cleanse bis people been lopped off, and much, I fear refrom all their filthiness, and then to mains. I had never seen that porput his Spirit within them, and cause tion of scripture in that light before ; them to walk in his statutes, and to in fact I drew comfort or instruction keep his judgments and do them; from the whole of your letter, for
They shall remember which I thank God. Oh, when be their evil ways and doings, and be takes possession of the heart by love, ashamed and confounded, and shall what want we more. Oh that his loathe themselves in their own sight; visits were longer and more frequent. and the land that was desolate is to Sometimes I am so cold and dead, I be tilled and sown, and sball become have scarcely a desire after him. I like the garden of Eden : but not for must conclude abruptly, for I scarcely any good that is in us, but for his know how I have penned this toholy name's sake ; and he will be gether, I have written it at many dif. glorified by us to do these things for ferent times. Mas. 1boing ill,
then he says,
but seriously, I hope it will find you after him. One Lord's-day I walk. all well, and if the Lord disposes your ed up to London with Mr. Tam, he heart to write again, I shall be glado said, as we walked by the
MarWith my love to all, I remain your garet. you see many are coining and affectionate sister,
going but few are in the right way. A. BISIÈR.
I wished I was, but held my peaoé. He again said. There is every eń. couragement in the soriptures for those who are led to seek ; and the
He that cometh to Continued from Page 302.
me, I will in no wise cast out." I
still kept silence, but thought it was • Satan cannot rob us,
of no use his speakidg to me, for I Though oft he has tried,
had sinned away the day of grace, That heart-cheering promise The Lord will proviđe.'
as I did not turn when my friend re
quested me; the Lord now had reA young person with whom I was jected me, and I had come too late. acquainted and to whom I was very We went into Providence Chapel, much attached, tried to do me all and heard Mr. Burgess, from this the injury she could, when she had it text : “ The backslider in heart shall in her power, though pretending to be be filled with his cwn ways; but a very friendly inclined towards me, good man shell be sacisfied from him. once said to me: I have been to hear self.” He made this remark in the a nan of the name of Chamberlain, course of his sermon: When I was a and be explained the scriptures dif- young man, I was of a gay turn of ferent to all others. I questioned mind, and when under convictions her as to whet he said. She replied; I went into company in order to sti• He remembered the time when he fle them, and get rid of my trouble. dare not say the Lord's Prayer, be. But it was of no use, for in the midst cause le could not call God bis Fa- of such laughter the heart was sorther.' questioned her further, as to rowful, and the end of such mirth what he said, but this was all she was only heaviness, for I always recould redember. This was just mỹ turned with my burden heavier. He case, for I dare not say the Lord's was the first that ever touched my Prayer, an it caused a great desire case, and the first minister, I ever in me to har bim ; bat before I had mourned the loss of. As in the week, an opportunity, he left London. The I sat at my work, weared in body Lord's timewas not yet come ; but and wind, fearing I should perish for bless his nane for ever, he remem.
ever, these words
my bered me in ny low estate, because mind: My thoughts are not your his mercy enureth for ever. My thoughts. nor your ways my ways, friend then tol me, she had been to saith the Lord. For as the heavens the Wesleyan Gapel : they promised are higher than the earth, 80 are my to pray for her which pleased her ways higber than your ways, and my greatly, and she aid, You know the thoughts than your thoughts.”
I prayer of the “ighteous availetb pondered this in my heart, but had much. I replie: I feared their no understanding into this scripture. prayers would not be any benefit to I could not believe that such was the her. This caused by to be offended low estate in which I was. The and our acquaintanc was at an end. Lord had shoughts of peace to my I believe it was the Lord's will to soul. About this time I received a
me from crearre friendship letter informing me of the sudden and creature props, the I might seek death of my brother; bie was very