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wherein at various times she has been found, but she enters nevertheless upon a period fraught with vast and important changes. Time was when a very obvious line separated the Church from the world; that line has been gradually disappearing; and now the Church having in her outward tastes and pursuits amalgamated with the world, her existence is hardly to be detected. But we are decidedly of opinion that a day hastens when a more visible distinction between the Church and the world shall be seen.

We make not these observations by way of courting-inviting-outward trial or persecution. God forbid! Nor would we presume to limit Jehovah's footsteps by asserting, that some great outward calamity -some fiery persecution-can alone arouse his church from her present lethargy and supineness. His power is beyond all bounds--his wisdom baffles conception; it were but for him to speak, and instantly should his church appear beaming forth with all that liveliness and loveliness which characterized her in the earlier stages of the Apostle's ministry. But we believe that such is not his will. Nor, on the other hand, would we pretend to be so in the Lord's secrets, as to know what the nature or the extent of that persecution, which we believe to be at hand, may be. Neither do we feel that intensity of anxiety which we once did on account of it, because we are more thoroughly satisfied than we have ever yet been, that the Lord will take especial-particular-yea, very peculiar care of his own. Times of outward adversity have been times of inward prosperity to the Church. That which has scattered thickly both devastation and death on the surrounding nations, has been attended with prosperity and health to that peculiar people which the Lord has chosen for himself. And whilst we have the standing evidence that the Lord doth send his angel and shut the lions' mouths, whilst his servant Daniel is incarcerated in their den; that the three Hebrew worthies shall walk in the midst of the burning fiery furnace, in company with their Royal Master, not so much as the smell of fire having passed upon them; and a Paul and a Silas shall sing in the prison with their feet fast bound in the stocks: we repeat that whilst we have these facts before us, and believe withal that the happiest moments in this their pilgrimage-state, were spent in these very circumstances; we see no reason why the Church of God should be exercised with overmuch sorrow in the prospect of trials which a multitude of its members may or may not witness.

There is one solid ground of composure and comfort in which the

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Church may gaze upon trial or calamity, and that is as she stands in union with her Lord. The Church is the Bride-and the Bride is the Lamb's wife; shall mortal man be watchful over-careful of-the weaker vessel, and the Heavenly Bridegroom be thoughtless of-indifferent to-his Bride? Oh, no! "Thou art graven," says he, "upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." And though we attempt not to define nor to explain so holy a mystery, yet, with Scripture on our side, we say, that not more certain is it that the bride becomes one with her husband, and the husband one with his bride; ("they twain becoming one flesh,") than it is certain that by virtue of eternal union, the Church stands one with her Head and Lord. She is his he is hers. He comes down into her low place; she ascends with him in resurrection glory, and occupies with him by heirshipunion-covenant-oneness, his throne. So that, be her situation here whatever it may, she is not-she cannot be alone. Her Husband stands unseen beside-attends her every footstep--and sustains her under each and every trial. Hence, as the wife has no trials of her own; as, strictly speaking, the husband bears the weight of all, so Jesus, as the Heavenly Bridegroom, is the Burden-bearer of his bride the Church. Well rooted and grounded in a conviction of the reality of these blessed truths, a man may say, "I can do all-can suffer all-through Christ which strengtheneth me." And so far from its being presumption for a man thus to view so holy and comfortable a mystery, he has no right either to regard trial, or consider himself, on any other ground.

If individually, we may be permitted to speak, we here declare, that, in the very face of an entire loss to conceive of what may be the Lord's movements either concerning ourselves or his Church, it is at once our privilege and our delight to remind him of his own language: "Lord, thou hast said, We cannot make one hair white or black;" nor can we: "Who by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?" "Take no thought for the morrow, but let the morrow take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." And thou hast said, "Without me ye can do nothing;" and thou hast said, "I am with thee alway, even unto the end of the world." And thou hast said, “I will not lay upon thee more than thou art able to bear;" "My grace is sufficient for thee;" "My strength shall be perfect in weakness;" "No weapon formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue rising up in judgment against thee thou shalt condemn." Ah! bless thy precious name! then what matters what the enemies say, or what they do? Here is

thy blessed promise; and thou art bound by oath and covenant-engagements to fulfil the same. Therefore, ever blessed Lord, in the actings of thy love, show thyself again in delivering love and mercy, and let it still be known that there is a God in Israel.

Why beloved, these are the sensations-the sweet movements of mind, that make trial, and exercise, and sorrow, and heaviness of heart, not only palatable but pleasant. A little of this heavenly intercourse gives a holy relish to trouble, and makes one feel far more in his right place in than out of it. Some of us know full well that without trial and temptation of some kind or other, we should very speedily sink down into a state of torpor, stupidity, indifference, from which God only

could arouse us.

Since our last year's address the Lord hath taken to himself several of our readers and correspondents. "Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight." We miss them, but cannot lament them. Our loss is their gain. A sense of loneliness will now and then creep over the frame; but it is only for a moment. Our Jesus lives-the Master still is here; and, though they bow at his dear feet, and see him as he is, He is nevertheless not unmindful of his few sheep in the wilderness. Blessed be his name!

We have nothing further to add, than our humble cry, that should we be permitted to enter upon another year, may the God of peace attend our footsteps. We do most earnestly crave his blessing upon this Magazine. We thank his blessed Majesty that, notwithstanding of late our hands have hung down-our hearts have been heavy, and we have felt exceedingly discouraged in this his work, he hath been pleased, in a very timely way, to send by the hands of several of his servants many sweet testimonies that our labours have not been in vain. We bless and praise his adorable Majesty for the same; and whilst we thank him for the past, and praise him for the present, we would look up to him concerning the future, and beg, and entreat, that his own dear hand may conduct us safely, sweetly on; so that, if permitted to see the close of 1846, we may have ample cause with the present to magnify his great and holy name.

Thou dear Covenant Head of thy one body, the Church, we have in lively remembrance as we sit here before thee this evening, the manifold displays of thy fatherly love and care. Thou hast been with us through

all the revolving days, and weeks, and months of this year; yea, even from infancy, through youth, up to manhood, even just to the turn of age, thou, even thyself, hast been with us to guard us-to guide us— to supply us, in all-under all-and through all. Not one trial hath overwhelmed us; not one temptation out of which thou hast not delivered; nor hath there been been a single sorrow for which we cannot bless thy dear and holy name. "What! all right? Losses, crosses, and vexations?" Yes, dear Lord, all-all right. Wisdom hath managed all, and love regulated all. Thy kindness hath been great; thy compassionates infinite. And now we have a great many fears about the future; thou hast set darkness in our paths; thy word seems a sealed book; we are troubled with a hard heart of unbelief, and are sometimes ready to curse thee to thy face. We are plagued with the devil without, but seemingly with a worse devil within. The world perplexes and annoys, so that we frequently say, "I shall some day fall by the hand of this or that Saul." But, bless thy name, we feel in the midst of all a little encouraged to plead before thee this night thine own precious "Fear nots." Thou hast said, "I will never leave thee; I will never forsake thee." Thou hast said, "I will be with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." Now, Lord, be it unto us according to thy most holy word. We have nothing more to ask of thee. Only do as thou hast said; and let us have to say in time to come, even as now, "He hath done all things well.” Amen and amen.

November 24th, 1845.


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