« PreviousContinue »
iii. 9—16; vii. 25, 29–31; Num. xviii. 12-29); and in no less manner were the blessings of the gospel spoken of in that early age (sec Deut. xxxii. 13, 14; Ps. cxlvii. 14; Gen. xlix. 20; Ps. lxxxi. 14); the effects of which, when received in the heart, is a satisfaction with these things. Certain it is, that none but God could have made the provision which hath both ransomed and redeemed his people; for "the fat is the Lord's, and upon his altar it hath been offered as a sweet smelling sacrifice, acceptable unto him," while furnishing feast of fat things unto all people," "wine on the lees," that is, resting, settled, and possessing full strength. So the wine of salvation has rested in the mind of Jehovah from eternity, unshaken by sin, and unsettled by Satan; and, being refined by the personal work of the Lord Jesus, who hath destroyed Satan, and put away sin, it is now in the mountain of the Lord's holiness, made known unto all people.
(To be continued.)
AN ALMIGHTY HELPER.
"The Lord is my helper."-Heb. xiii. 6.
The children of God, who in themselves are poor, needy, weak, and helpless, with foes more and mightier than themselves to contend with, stand continually in need of help from one that is mighty to save, which they have in their God, through whom they can do valiantly. He is one that doeth as he will in the armies of heaven and of earth, and none sayeth, What doest thou? His word spake creation into being, and shall again dissolve it into nothing; this prowess, terrible to his enemies, he uses with a father's tenderness for the good of his children. This might, that formed the mighty universe, protects even the hair of their heads, and though his works are marvellously great, yet he despiseth not the day of small things; and though he is omnipotent, his every attribute is engaged to save the meanest of his sheep, and for one of them to be lost would be an undeifying of his Godhead.
With such a Helper, no harm can happen unto us. Though we pass through the valley of the shadow of death, he will be with us; and when, by reason of our own darkness, we do not see him near, may we be enabled to believe that he is not far off, that he is still the Unchangeable, the same yesterday, today, and for ever; and that having once loved us, he will ever love us with an everlasting love, and that he will never forsake
us, but cause all things (according to his promise), to work together for good to those that love his name.
At every momentary point of our existence, we have need of the Lord to be our helper. We are at all times dependant on his will; never so happy as when sensible of it, and receiving all things as immediately from his hand; and never at so low an ebb in spirituality, as when we conceit ourselves capable to do something (however trifling it may be) of ourselves, and saying of his assistance, we need it not.
He helpeth at all times, as much when he chastens with the rod of correction as when he delivereth from trouble. In adversity, he lowereth all our towering thoughts of self; he proveth that all dependance on human merit is leaning upon a broken reed that giveth way and pierceth him that leaneth thereon for support; he bringeth to light, by the shaking of the flagon, the lees of our old nature that had settled quietly to the bottom, all to make us sick of self and fond of him; and he holdeth up to our eyes the ragged tatters of creature righteousness, to convince us of the depravity of our hearts, and to endear the imputed righteousness of the Saviour to our souls, by its need being made more apparent; and yet, however convinced we may be of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, we can form no idea of its horrible deformity in the eyes of a holy God, whose eyes are too pure to behold iniquity: and yet he loves us, notwithstanding all our sins, and even in the midst of them, as bought with blood; which sins even we ourselves, now that he has created a new principle within us, cannot look upon without horror, for they are enough to sink us into endless misery, were not the Lord our helper.
He helpeth with mercies new every morning, as he fed the children of Israel with daily manna in the wilderness, and though he giveth us only a sufficiency day by day, yet it shall never fail; the miraculous manna, and the widow's cruise, failed not, until Israel had entered Canaan's land, and the earth brought forth her fruit abundantly: so neither will our heavenly Father let any good thing be lacking us in this wilderness state, but will provide daily a constant supply of his mercies, until he lands us safe in the realms of bliss.
He is near at hand, and that to help us, often when we are unconscious of it, as he was with his disciples as they travelled to Emmaus, leading our thoughts gradually to the meditation of heavenly themes, until, by the burning of our hearts within us, we find we have enjoyed the presence of him who is the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely; and he is also often present, and that to help us, in the storm we feared
would be our ruin, when wave called unto wave, and we were afraid at the noise of his waterspouts; and even his first appearance adds fear, until he says, "Fear not, it is I," and then the storm is still. O Lord; in every storm give us to hear that voice to recompense our tribulation with consolation.
He is our helper in casting out all evil thoughts from our minds, that he has chosen to be living temples for himself, as he cast the buyers and sellers out of the temple of old, and how often do we make our living temples dens of thieves, filling them with unholy thoughts, and the vain imaginations of our hearts, so that at the very time we attempt to hold communion with him in prayer, our hearts are filled with other things, and we could never get them right again, did he not enter with his scourge, and, driving out all unholy things, take possession for himself.
He helpeth us in every trouble, giving us grace equal to our day, and where sin does abound, there grace does also superabound; an increased knowledge of sin, with a godly sorrow on account thereof, bring an increased spirituality of mind; therefore, Lord, if needs be, afflict, to draw us closer unto thee, and give us greater blessings; do as shall seem best to thy unerring wisdom and parental love, giving us in all things resignation to thy will, knowing that all things must be well when we have the Lord for our helper.
A QUERE-GOSPEL INVITATIONS.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE GOSPEL STANDARD. Gentlemen,-Are we to conclude from Mark xvi. 15, "Preach the Gospel to every creature," that all who come within hearing of the preacher are to be invited to come to Christ, believe in Christ, &c.?
At the Particular Baptist Chapel where I attend, they are without minister, and some of those who supply seem to be more concerned for the world than the church, saying, they should wish the whole world to be saved, and have a commission to invite all to come to Christ; for if Christ says they must preach the gospel to every creature, who dare say they must not? and though some say they are dead, and must be let alone, yet Christ is able to raise the dead. Besides, say they, they are not morally dead; and does not God declare he will come in flames of fire, taking vengeance on them that know him not, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and are we to let them alone?
Now there are a few attend with me, who are so deeply convinced of their natural inability to perform the spiritual acts of coming to Christ, believing in Christ, &c., that they think the invitations should be confined to characters, and that the dead should not be included; and because they have not more charity than Christ, and cannot pray for the whole world,
they are looked upon as outcasts, called straitlaced, narrow-minded, &c., and are told their prayers are not fit to be heard, &c.
May God the Holy Ghost enable you, or some of your correspondents, to strengthen our weak hands, by showing whether it be not possible to preach the gospel to every creature, without taking the children's bread, and casting it to the dogs; and whether we poor creatures who come so far behind others in our love to the world, may not still love the brethren. Sept. 10, 1835. A SPECKLED BIRD.
CHRIST AND THE CHURCH.
Dear Brethren,-You have somewhat refreshed me in the bowels of Christ, by being enabled to favour us with the Standard of the everlasting gospel, which is so much wanted in these days. I trust the great Head of the church is with you in your work, and I pray it may be held in his hand, as an ensign to the nations, and that he will never suffer it to be taken by the enemy, though they lay round it as the Midianites did round Israel, in the days of Gideon. I trust the Lord has raised you up, as Gideons, with lights in your pitchers, and the trumpet of truth in your mouths, to sound in the enemy's ears the word of the Lord; and I pray him, if it be his blessed will, to send a few more, to lift up a standard for the people.
This standard is the One omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Jehovah, who did, in eternity, in his foreknowledge, according to his purpose, predestinate his chosen people to the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ to himself, and gave him to be Head over all things to the church, which is his body, and which was in him, in the everlasting covenant, as Eve was in Adam in the Adam covenant. The church was in him as his sister and his spouse; his sister. as being of God in the everlasting covenant, begotten of the same Father, and brought forth by the same mother, which is Jerusalem; and as his spouse, as he received her at his Father's hand, engaging, as her Surety, Covenant-Head, and Husband, to answer for all she would ever contract. So he gave himself a ransom for her, fuifilling all the requirements of the law, and shedding his blood for the remission of her sins, without which there could have been no remission: and, though endless misery was her duc, he giveth unto her eternal life, and is made unto her wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, blessing her with length of days for ever and ever. And when the blessed Spirit is pleased to apply these things to the conscience, and shed abroad his love in the heart, forming Christ there the hope of glory, and bearing testimony that he hath betrothed her to himself in judgment, in righteousness, in loving-kindness, and in faithfulness, then surely she shall acknowledge that Christ hath done great things for her, and truly the meditation thereof shall be sweet. Holy is his name. Sept. 10, 1835.
AN OBJECT DESIRABLE.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE GOSPEL STANDARD. Esteemed and beloved Friends,-I have just finished reading the first number of your periodical, and not without spiritual profit and cordial approbation. Hence I feel strongly induced to address you upon the sub
Ject. I approve of the object, the plan, the cheapness, and the contents A publication of this kind was much needed in your own immensely populous town, and adjacent parts. It will be felt a blessing by not a few in the populous district in which it hath pleased the Lord, in his providence, to fix my lot; and I shall feel a pleasure in doing what I can to promote its sale in this neighbourhood. Your Standard will prove a rallying point, in this part of the kingdom, for the true lovers of Zion; and, it is hoped, will draw forth the fruits of the meditations, the views, the readings, the experiences of the Lord's dear but despised and exercised ministers and people, resident in these parts, which, through an attendant unction of the Holy One, will doubtless prove a blessed means of comforting and edifying many of the poor, despised, and tried subjects of Zion's King. This little work will, I doubt not, find its way into the habitations and hands of some of the disciples of Christ, who, as yet, are the subjects of indistinct vision, as to those precious, distinguishing gospel doctrines which you propose to give so prominent a place; and thus, under the blessed Spirit's influences, will prove a happy means of clearing up their views, and also of comforting and establishing their hearts. Again: your work may also be the honoured instrument of leading some of the Lord's family out of the dark and dreary labyrinths of error, in which, for a length of time, they may have been entangled. (John viii. 32.) In addition to these objects, should it embolden any of the lovers of the truth as it is in Jesus, draw them from their retreats, and lead them, with sling and stone, to advance valiantly in the name of the God of Israel, against the proud, boasting champions of error; should it afford a cordial to the Lord's warriors in the field of conflict, or to any of his pilgrims, fainting through the heat and burden of the day; I say, should it please the Lord Christ to make your little work promotive, even in the least degree, of such objects, you will feel yourselves greatly honoured by the glorious Captain of our salvation, in whose name, and to whose glory, you have erected your Standard, and will have much cause to bless the Father of mercies, and God of all grace, for having put it into your hearts to commence this work.
In conducting this work, which proposes objects so truly desirable, and so deeply interesting, may the Lord enable you ever to keep in mind, that the efficacy and success of all instrumentality depends solely on the rich and effectual blessing of God the Holy Ghost. (1 Cor. iii. 6, 7.)
Commending you and your work to the Lord, and praying the great Head of the church, that it may be the means in his hand of doing much good, I remain, &c.,
CLAY IN THE HANDS OF THE POTTER.
Shelton, Potteries, Aug. 24, 1835.
A HINT TO MR. WOODROW.
Messrs. Editors,-In looking over the Gospel Standard for October, I was struck with some little surprise upon perusing a piece, by a Mr. Woodrow, of Liverpool, on the important subject of faith. First he informs you, he was "certainly gratified to perceive the confidence with which some of the writers assert their certainty of salvation, &c." But, behold, he very soon lets us know what we must understand by his gratification; for it evidently appears that his gratification was, that it afforded