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the power of one believer to mark out a line of conduct for another. Elisha, endued with a double portion of the Spirit, did not attempt to point out the course which Naaman should pursue (1 Kings v. 18); he said nothing to him of the inconsistency of professing to worship the Lord God of Israel, and bowing himself in the house of Pimmon, when the king his master leaned upon his hand. The discerning prophet saw that Naaman's question arose from the fear of God operating in his heart; he knew that "the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life to depart from the snares of death;" he doubted not that He who had implanted the fear would provide the deliverance, therefore, instead of encumbering the newly-converted disciple with instructions, he sought to "strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees" with the parting benediction, "Go in peace." When the children of God look to each other for direction, they turn away from those exceeding precious promises, "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Prov. iii. 6); “I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye" (Is. xxxii. 8); “I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go" (Is. xlviii. 17); the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name; He shall teach you all things" (John xiv. 26). Moses could feel no security in the guidance of an angel, the prayer of his heart was this, "If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence" (Ex. xxxiii. 15). Happy they who experimentally feel the truth of their Redeemer's words, "Without me ye can do nothing"-who are taught by the Spirit to know that the Almighty promise, "I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people," imports that in the matter of salvation the Lord will do every thing for his chosen; they have only to look on and admire, to "stand still and see the salvation of God." It is as if the Supreme Ruler of the universe the Possessor of heaven and earth-had bound himself by a most solemn engagement to devote his very existence, his irresistible power, and his unsearchable riches, to the benefit of his chosen generation; that so far as a finite mind can comprehend, all that Jehovah is, and all he has, becomes the portion of that favoured people whom he hath called with a holy calling. Herein is seen the mighty power of evil, that nothing short of Omnipotence can at all prevail against it. What amazing strength must sin possess to bring down angels from their high estate! The law itself is "weak" (Rom. viii. 3) when brought into contact with sin. But it is in the sufferings of Incarnate Deity that its vehement force is most manifestly shown. With what fury did it rage in every act, expression, and feeling of Immanuel's enemies! What subtle inventions, malicious stratagems, and infernal machinations were employed! The dominions of sin were ransacked, that all its forces might at once be brought to bear upon the spotless Lamb of God in the time of extremity, when he was as "a worm and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people." Legions of devils, even all the powers of darkness, were summoned to the warfare; while the law, far from temporizing the claims either of justice on the one hand, or of iniquity on the other, sanctioned the full weight of every offence chargeable upon the Surety of the elect people of God, giving validity to every accusation, and exacting the full penalty of every transgression. Then was the inspired question fully answered, "If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?" (Psalm cxxx. 3). Christ Jesus stood the fiery test, for in his person were lodged, from all eternity, two god-like powers, which not only foiled all the assaults of the enemy, but so over-ruled every effort as to make it subserve the purposes of that gospel which it was intended to destroy. These " arms of his hands (election and predestination) were made strong by the Mighty God of Jacob." By these "everlasting arms" his people are encircled, and his enemies controlled so as to make "all things
work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." These Divine properties, like threefold cords let down from heaven, are placed underneath poor helpless sinners sinking in the miry dungeon of their own pollution, to bring them up out of the horrible pit, to set their feet upon a Rock, and to establish their goings.
Brighton, Jan. 1848.
EXTRACT FROM THE PRIVATE MEMOIRS OF THE LATE
Forty years Curate of Rowley Regis, in the County of Stafford. (In the 38th year of his ministry there).
1888.-Dec. 31st, Monday. This day closes the year, and an eventful year it has been. Not many more last days of the year remain for me; that, however, is no business of mine. leave it with Him who has placed a boundary to my mortal existence, I cheerfully which it cannot pass, and to which it shall come, in spite of earth and hell.
Feeble as is my instrumentality, it has pleased Jehovah to do some good by it. A few instances of souls brought to the knowledge of the truth have occurred during the year-one of them of standing sufficient to warrant the conclusion, that it is the genuine work of Him who does effectually what He does, by the word of the truth of the gospel. My views of the Divine word remain what they have been through all my ministerial life; except that I am more fully convinced, if possible, of their being entirely scriptural; and more firmly grounded in them. The total and universal ruin, and spiritual death of the human race, by sin. The covenant of redemption, made by the Aleim before the foundation of the world; by which each of the Divine Persons undertook his own office. The Father to give to Jesus Christ the Son all the objects of his love and choice; the Son to receive them, redeem them, and to do all in their behalf requisite for their acceptance in the sight of Jehovah; the Holy Ghost to new create, and put them in possession and enjoyment of all the benefits of Christ's redemption, faith, righteousness, teaching, love, hope, joy, peace, &c. Those, so given to lesus Christ, are all, as many as the Lord our God shall call. Of these nothing shall be lost, but all shall be raised up again at the last day" (John vi. 39). While, on the one hand, this covenant of grace secures the complete salvation and glorification of all who are led to believe and embrace the gospel; it renders impossible the ⚫ escape from everlasting condemnation of all who reject that gospel and think to climb into heaven some other way; not because it compels them to reject the gospel, for that it does not; but because the coveDanters, the Aleim, are no more capable of violating their oath, in regard to unbelievers, than in regard to believers.
In pursuance of this covenant, and of Jehovah's everlasting purpose
and design, the universe was created, and man was permitted to fall. There was then a suitable theatre for the display of all that was involved in the covenant of grace, and proper occasion for making it known to the children of men. This could be done in no other way than by Divine revelation. The revealed word makes known all that mankind need be acquainted with of the Divine will in this life, for their temporal and eternal welfare, and is the only communication heaven ever has made, or ever will make, to mortals. This is of general concernment to them, and to it they owe credence and universal submission.
But this revelation can (as a narration of facts, though the record of truth itself) effect nothing in the hearts of sinners, unless accompanied by Divine energy, as in the case of those thousands who were added to the church, at the first Pentecost after Christ's ascension. When that energy accompanies the word, it is the power of God unto salvation, both to Jew and Gentile. He, in whom this work is wrought, is adopted into the family of believers, becomes a living member of Jesus Christ, an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven. He now finds everything that can be requisite to make him righteous in Jesus Christ, and, of course, relies not in the least on anything he does, even in obedience to the Divine command, for one atom of righteousness towards justification. Still he lives by faith, and walks in all the ordinances of the Lord blameless; at least, that is bis aim and desire. Such a one has the witness in himself, that he is a chosen vessel unto eternal life, and shall be preserved until the day of Christ, and have an abundant entrance adininistered to him, into the kingdom of glory. The above is a very imperfect sketch of the views I have long had on the subject. If they are not scriptural, my delusion is great. But if they are, my honour and blessedness are not small.
In possession of these views, with thankfulness for the scanty acquaintance I have with the things so regarded, but still, in myself, a poor hell-deserving sinner, and less than the very least of all the children of God, I take my leave of the year of human redemption, 1838.
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine.
MY DAER MR. EDITOR,
Will you kindly favour us with your opinion on the following
May there not be a manifestation of the Lord whilst there is no joy of that manifestation? And consequently, may not one who is under great depression, and in comparative darkness, yet have manifestations from the Lord that He is guiding, preserving, and keeping the soul? In other words, does not the Lord often speak to us without our having the sensible enjoyment of it?
Yours, very affectionately in the Lord,
FRAGMENTS BY A REDEEMED ATHEIST.
"I am the Son of God."-Mark xxvii. 43.
BEHOLD the Son of God, to all outward appearance a man like one of us, and nothing more, hanging on the cross at Calvary. Behold also the millions of men, women, and children, who constitute the Church of Christ, a great multitude which no man can number (Rev. vii. 9). Consider that they are all guilty before God (Rom. iii. 19), for all have sinned (Rom. iii. 23), as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one (Rom. iii. 10-12).
Such, in the sight of God, is the criminal condemned character of this vast multitude, among which happy is he who can say my sin-stained helpless soul is included. Divine Justice must be satisfied, and demands from each soul the penalty of eternal death, and mercy as the price of its transgression.
Behold thousands and tens of thousands of crosses, each with its nailed victim, expiating, in his own person, his offences; each sinner since the fall going, as it were, single handed, to appease the demands of the law. The earth would be covered with crosses-not a cottage nor a palace without an awful exhibition of justice within its walls.
"They are all guilty, put them all to death," is the language of human justice" let the race be extirpated." But mark the economy of Divine Justice, which contrives (yet with God all things are possible) that "one man" shall die for the people, that the whole nation perish not (John ii. 50).
The sins of the million are laid upon that One-the sufferings of the millions are suffered by that One-justice gluts her vengeance on that One, who "poured out His soul unto death," being "numbered with the transgressors "-for as their substitute He was appointed to "bear their iniquities" (Is. liii. 11, 12).
But the sufferer is not only man-He is also God. "All the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth in Him bodily" (Col. ii. 9). He is the eternal "Word "-" all things were made by Him "-" the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth" (1 John ii. 3, 14). Is anything too hard for Him? No, nothing, for so great are His power and love that He volunteers (John x. 18), to be crucified beside a thief, that the thief among others might be brought back, by precious blood, from the depths of perdition? Truly with God all things are possible; for to human apprehension nothing can seem impossible after such a wonder as this.
"Oh, miracle of love, see side by side,
What is the everlasting consequence or effect of this stupendous tran saction? Why, it is worthy its Divine Author; for while it is utterly
inexplicable to the understanding, it is to the heart of man a source of joy and peace, and life eternal. The natural man can see no necessary connection between the sacrifice of the Son of God, and the pardon of sinners; yet to the spiritual mind, these two amazing events stand related in the character of cause and effect (as philosophers have agreed to call it) between events or phenomena in the visible creation, is what is said to be an ultimate fact, incapable of explanation, and not to be accounted for, except that in the constitution of nature it is so. They can give no reason why water wets, and fire dries, or why carrion emits stench, while violets fill the air with fragrance. They only know it is so by virtue of the constituted nature of things. The simpleminded child of God outstrips the hoary-headed philosopher in wisdom, and knows that the key to the mystery is the will of Him who, when He chooses, can revoke the constitution of nature, and cause a rod to become a serpent, and water wine. It is to the Divine will and pleasure, and to nothing else, that we must refer that blessed relation of cause and effect which Christ has instituted between His blood and the sinner's cleansing before God. "Lo I come to do thy will," saith He in one place; I have finished the work thou gavest me to do," He declares in another. "It is finished," he cries, as he gave up the ghost, reiterating the solemn assurance; and the Holy Spirit corroborates the testimony, when He causes John to record the marvellous truth, "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin” (John i. 1—7). Like every other act, event, or decree, in providence or grace, we can but trace it up to the sovereign will, and there leave it, cradled amid the unfathomable depths of those Divine counsels, over which preside infinite love, eternal wisdom, and Almighty power.
"But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water."-JOHN XIX. 34.
THE explanation usually given of this verse is, I believe, that the heart of Jesus must have been pierced, and that the water came from the Pericardium (that is, the bag about the heart), and consequently his death must have been certain and undoubted. I do not at all attempt to deny this interpretation, although I have never been enabled to get any satisfactory answer from any medical man on the subject. Some indeed have said that intense agony will cause the formation of water in the Pericardium. No doubt the fact of Jesus being pierced by the soldier incontrovertibly proves the reality of his death: however, I have now no doubt whatever that there are more important truths contained in the fact, that not only blood, but water also came out from the pierced side of Jesus. The important testimony borne in