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broken merchants in this land have been made as rich as Jews by the great abundance of precious fruits brought forth bị this Sund partuig You know, my sister, that he has said, over and over again, how much be loveth us, what care he will take of us; that he will watch over us by day and by night, and be with us unto the end. He has also told us what great preparations he is making for us now in heaven, so that we may be accommodated in the best manner possible when we arrive there; he hath likewise said as much as that our welfare is his interest, and that he bath engaged himself to feed us, to defend us, and, at last, to take us to heaven. You also know that he, by tasting the bitterness of death, even the death of the cross, has opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers; that he has brought life and immortality to light by the gospel; and that this gospel is to be preached unto all nations for the obedience of faith. Moreover, you know that this glorious Sun has not only set up a kingdom in the world which shall never be destroyed, but that he has shed beams of heavenly light on our benighted minds, and made us children of the day. We are not of the night por of darkness now. Then, my dearly-beloved and longed-for, let us be joyful together "for the precious things brought forth by the Sun."
(To be continued.)
AT THE BAPTIST CHAPEL, BEDWORTH, ON WEDNESDAY
(Concluded from page 234.)
enter into the atonement, and rely on it, we shut the door of atoning blood about us; and there is not a devil in hell or man on earth can bring us in guilty. Thus, we say,“There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit; for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death; for what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the fesh, but after the Spirit.” “Yes," says some poor child of God," but I fear my walking is after the flesh; for I feel such deadness, darkness, and wretchedness, that I dare not trust my prayers, my tears, my vows, my promises, nor my duties; none of these dare I venture to trust." I don't think this is walking after the flesh. Let us bear what the Lord says. When Solomon dedicated the temple, being the representative of Ísrael, he said, “What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house, then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive." The Lord knew none would turn to him till they knew the plague of their own heart. When they know this, they turn to the Lord; and he, in the riches of his grace, saves them in himself with an everlasting salvation. Thus, beloved, they are hid, hid with Christ in God. Our Lord, when speaking of these chambers, gives us to understand that it is here where his people are hid : “ One thing have I desired of the Lord, and that will I seek after ; that I might dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and inquire in his temple ;" 6. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion, in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me.” Now, where is God's pavilion, the secret of his tabernacle? The heart of Christ. There God secludes himself, there he meets his people, there his blessed Majesty stands in the heart of Christ, and says to his poor mourning, broken-hearted people, “ Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers; hide thyself in the blessed atonement, the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ." And here it is the Lord's people are savingly hid. It is an indescribable mercy that their hiding-place can never be broken down. Some people tell us we may be in Christ to-day, and fall away to-morrow and go to hell after all. I don't envy them. Go on, make the best way; but as sure as God is God, if you go on that ground, at the end you will be damned, and sink into black despair. The Lord brings all his children to know they have no hiding-place but Jesus, and they are brought feelingly to say, " Thou art my hiding-place. The Lord God says he is a very present help in trouble; "therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea." Christ is this refuge, this hidingplace. The Lord God Almighty secures his church in the midst of all the storms that may come upon them, and brings them safe through to glory, to be with him when time shall be no more.
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee,' But, say some, how does the poor sinner enter this chamber ? By the door of hope, the door of faith. He that believeth shall never be confounded, shall never be put to shame, and shall never be forgotten. Poor sinner, thy Jesus has entered beaven on this ground himself. The Shepherd has entered by the door into the sheepfold. And when he comes by the power of his Spirit, he draws thee into the atonement, into the sweet enjoyment of the mysteries of his love. He says, “All the Father giveth me shall come to me.” Some people say they will not, unless they are made. But the Lord says they shall. But then, say you, how is it they do not? No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him." Do you feel the need of the Lord to draw you into the blessed efficacy of the blood of the Redeemer, the atonement of Christ ? When you feel your need of the Lord to open the door and draw you in, he will do so. Whoever climbs up any other
way is a thief and a robber. The Lord hide me in his great burning day! There is hope, poor child of God; for in scripture there is a door called “ the door of hope.” We will just see where the Lord opens this door: “I will give her the Valley of Achor for a door of hope; she shall sing there as in the days of her youth.” Do you know what the Valley of Achor was? It was the valley where Israel was when Achan siole the golden wedge and the Babylonish garment. When they had just passed over Jordan, their enemies pursued them; they seemed as if they must be defeated; the Lord sent his indignation against them; and they fell before their enemies. The Lord then commanded that they should cast lots, that they might see who had done this wicked thing, and the lot fell on Achan, who had stolen the Babylonish garment and the golden wedge; and God brought solemn trouble on the family of Achan, and he was destroyed. How kind the Lord is! After this he tells the children of Israel that he will give them the Valley of Achor for a door of hope ! Is there a poor sinner here who knows something of this, who has had his idols taken away, and felt that the Lord has tumbled all his imagined holiness and piety about his ears, and stripped him of his golden-wedge idol? If so, the Lord is about trying you with fire, bringing you into the furnace. How burnt up you are in your feelings! Go bow before the Lord as a guilty sinner, for his gracious Majesty gives this as a door of hope, to enter into the mysteries of his love; so the Valley of Achor proves a door of hope. “Come, my people.” Art thou in Achor, found out, stripped of God ? art thou upset ? enter God's chamber, and remember, he is stripping and bringing thee to a door of hope in the Valley of Achor, where thou shalt sing as in the days of old. He will give vineyards—what! in this desert? Yes, he will give vineyards for such guilty sinners; they shall go into the mysteries of his love.
There is the door of faith. When the Lord is pleased to draw forth faith in exercise, however great the storm may be, he shuts this door; that is, faith in Christ encloses them, hope in Jesus encloses them, and the soul is ready to say, “ Why art thou cast down, O my soul ? why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him.” Come, poor soul, are you in the valley of Achor ? has all
your fruitfulness been burnt up ? has God sent you out here? He opens a door of hope. The Lord the Spirit brings the poor soul to hope in the mercy of Christ, and, feeling this hope as an anchor, sure and stedfast, enters within the vail.
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee." The Lord is pleased to shut them up in love: Christ sheds abroad his love in the heart of a poor sinner; love embraces him; God is felt and enjoyed; the mysteries of redeeming love enter into the soul; the man is feelingly and solemnly hid with Christ in God; and when Christ, who is his life, shall
appear, then shall be also appear with him in glory. “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself, as it were, for a little moment” in the atoning blood and obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord will rest in his love. If any of you, my friends, feel yourselves to be
be poor wretched sinners, I would say to such,
“ The poorer the wretch, the welcomer here.” What a blessed salvation it is that our God has appointed for poor, lost, ruined man! May the Lord bless you with a feeling sense of your interest in it. And may he bless these few broken hints to your conscience, and lift you into Christ and his salvation, and enable both you and me to live to bis glory.
[The copy of the preceding sermon was sent to Mr. Gadsby by the friend who took it down in short hand. Mr. G., however, said it was not worth publisbing, as he remembered how confused he was while preaching, in addition to great affliction of body. It is now, however, sent forth, and we trust will be made useful.—EDs.]
A SERMON BY RALPH ERSKINE FROM
ISAIAS XXII. 24.
Messrs. Editors,—In a very old book which fell into my hands some little time ago, I found the principal part of a sermon preached in the year 1743, by Mr. Ralph Erskine, the author of the sonnets. As it has often been a refreshing to my soul, both from the power and dew still resting upon it, if you think it worthy of a place in the Standard, I shall be glad to see it inserted. Southwark, London.
“ And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his Father's house, the off. spring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups even to all the vessels of flagons.--Isa. xxii. 24.
“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto bonour, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work. -- Tim. ii. 20, 21.
They are called vessels because the Lord forms them for himself, to show forth his praise; sometimes vessels of honour and glory, because he draws a greater revenue of honour and glory to himself
from them than from all the world beside. In a word, they are called vessels, because the milk, the wine, the honey, and the oil of divine
grace is bestowed and laid up in them; and out of the fulness of Christ they are daily receiving grace for grace. And the vessels of a house are its ornament, so are fruitful believers the ornament of the church, and of the great Owner thereof, for he calls them his crown and diadem.
2. We are here told that these vessels are of different sizes; some are vessels of cups, and others are vessels of flagons; plainly intimating that, in God's family, there are saints of different stature—there are babes, young men, and fathers; “ For unto every one is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Some are like the smoking fax, others like a flaming lamp; some are like the bruised reed, others like the tall cedar in Lebanon. And if you ask me why God will have it so, that the vessels of the house shall be of different sizes, I answer, l. For the manifestation of his own sovereignty. He is the Lord of the house, and he will do all his pleasure; and it is the good will and pleasure of God to give more of his grace to one, and to another less, and who may say unto him, “What doest thou ?” He is no man's debtor, but may do with his own what he pleases. 2. Because this is for the beauty and ornament of the house. It serves not a little to ornament and adorn a house that there are different vessels in it; some more and some less, for different services. The least vessel, like the least member in the natural body, has its proper usefulness in the body, so that the one cannot say to the other, “I have no need of thee.” 3. God will have it so, that there may be room for the edifying exercises of the fellowship of saints. If every saint had the same degree of faith, love, knowledge, and other graces, the one could not be edified by the other; but it is otherwise ordered, that the strong may be useful to the weak in strengthening, and that those who have more knowledge and experience than others, may communicate of their gifts, to the benefit and edifying of others, until they all come to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
I come now to show that all the vessels of different sizes, from vessels of cups to vessels of flagons, do hang upon the great Ma-nager, Jesus Christ, as upon a nail fastened in a sure place. This is what is commonly called the mystical union between Christ and the church, and is in scripture set forth to us by a variety of metaphors, sometimes by the union that is between the branches of a tree and the root of it; for as all the branches hang upon the root, and receive their sap and nourishment, growth and fruit from it, so does every believer, whether of a higher or a lower stature, receive life, grace, and growth from Christ.
“ I am like a green fir tree; from me is thy fruit found.” (Hos. xiv. 8.) “ I am the vine, ye are the branches ; he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing." (John xv. 5.) Sometimes this union is represented by the union betwixt the building and the foundation upon which it