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your announced magazine, I hope and trust some of your readers will reap the benefit thereof, by being enabled, through the dear Spirit, to cull a few flowers, or gather a few figs. It was written by Mr. Thomas Wilcox. I have, as you will perceive, suggested several alterations, the responsibility of which I must take upon myself. Hoping that the dear Lord Jehovah will prosper you in your work, that you may indeed at all times stand hard against error, mowing down alike mere full-headed high doctrinalists, dead formalists, and hypocritical professors; and that, whilst, through your instrumentality, your brethren in Zion are edified, comforted, and instructed, you may be exceedingly refreshed in your own souls, believe me to be, Yours sincerely, for the truth's sake,
Manchester, July 18, 1835.
In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. (Isa. xlv. 24, 25.) It is only the dying of that Just One for us who are unjust, that can bring us to God. (1 Pet. iii. 18.) He, who knew no sin, was made sin for us, that we, who were nothing but sin, might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Cor. v. 21.)
Christ is the Father's fulness of grace and glory. He must have the pre-eminence. He alone is worthy, who is to build. the spiritual temple of the Lord, and to bear the glory. Every vessel of this temple, from the cups to the flagons, must all be hung upon Christ. He, by his Father's appointment, is the foundation-stone, corner-stone, top-stone.
Reader! dost thou profess the name of Christ, and partake of his ordinances? (Luke i. 6.) They are glorious privileges to the children of God. But if thou hast not the blood of Christ (1 John, i, 7; 1 Cor. iii. 11), at the root of thy profession, it will wither, and prove unprofitable. Many are tossed to and fro, ready to be carried away with every wind of doctrine, by the sleights of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Eph. iv. 14.) There are many foundations to build upon that are false, upon which much labour is spent in vain: some are not speaking the truth in love; neither are they growing up into him in all things, who is the Head, even Christ. (Eph. iv. 15.) There cannot be a growing in Christ, without an union with him. Without that union, all that we do is accursed. If thou retain self-righteousness under thy profession, that viper will eat out all the vitals of it. Try, and examine with the greatest strictness every day, what foundation thy profession and the hope of thy glory are built upon (1 Cor. iii. 11): whether
it be laid by the hand of Christ; if not, it will never be able to endure the storm which must come against it. Satan will throw it all down, and great will be the fall thereof. (Matt. vii. 27.) Consider, the greatest sins may be hid under the greatest duties and the greatest terrors. The wound which sin hath made in thy soul must be perfectly cured by the "blood of Christ;" not skinned over with duties, tears, enlargements, &c. Apply what thou wilt besides the " blood of Christ," it will poison the sore. Thou wilt find that sin was never mortified truly, if thou hast not seen Christ bleeding for thee upon the cross. Nothing can kill it, but a sight of Christ's righteousness. Nature can afford no balsam fit for soul-cure. Healing from duty and not from Christ, is the most desperate disease. Poor and ragged nature, with all its highest improvements, can never spin a garment fine enough (without spot) to cover the soul's nakedness. Nothing can do it but Christ's perfect righteousness. Whatsoever is of nature's spinning must be all unravelled, before the righteousness of Christ can be put on. Whatsoever is of nature's putting on Satan will come and plunder, and leave the soul naked and open to the wrath of God. All that nature can do, can never make up the least drachm of grace, mortify sin, or look Christ in the face. Thou mayest hear, pray, receive the sacrament, and yet be miserable, unless thou art inade to see Christ superior to all other excellency and righteousness in the world, and all these falling before the majesty of his love and grace. (Isa. ii. 17.)
If thou hast seen Christ truly, thou hast seen pure grace, pure righteousness, in him every way infinite, far exceeding all sin and misery. If thou hast seen Christ, thou wilt trample upon all the righteousness of men and angels, as to thine acceptance with God. If ever thou hast seen Christ, thou hast seen Him a rock higher than self-righteousness, Satan, and sin (Ps. lxi. 2), and this rock doth follow thee (1 Cor. x. 4), and there will be a continual dropping of honey and grace out of that rock to satisfy thee. (Psalm lxxxi. 16.) Examine if ever thou hast beheld Christ as the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John, i. 14, 16, 17.)
Men talk much of believing whilst whole and sound; none do it-Christ is the mystery of the Scripture; grace the mystery of Christ. Believing is the most wonderful thing in the world. Put any thing of thine own to it, and thou spoilest it; Christ will not esteem it believing. When thou believest and comest to Christ, thou must be stripped of thine own righteousness,. (O, that is hard!) all thy imaginary holiness, sanc
tification, duties, tears, humblings, &c., and bring nothing but thy sins, thy wants, and miseries; else Christ is not fit for thee, nor thou for Christ. Christ will be a perfect Redeemer and Mediator, and thou must be an undone sinner, or Christ and thou wilt never agree. It is the hardest thing in the world to take Christ alone for righteousness: that is to acknowledge him Christ. Whatever comes in, when thou goest to God for acceptance, besides Christ, it is anti-Christ. Make only Christ's righteousness triumphant. All besides that is Babylon, which must fall if Christ stand, and thou shalt rejoice in the day of the fall thereof. Christ alone did tread the wine-press, and there was none with him. (Isa. lxiii. 3.) If thou join any to Christ, Christ will trample upon it in fury and anger, and stain his raiment with the blood thereof. Thou thinkest it easy to believe: was thy faith ever tried with an hour of temptation, and thorough sight of sin? Was it ever put to resist Satan, and to feel the wrath of God lying upon thy conscience? When thou wert apprehensive of hell and the grave, then did God show thee Christ, a ransom, a righteousness, &c.? Then couldest thou say, "Oh! I see grace enough in Christ?" If so, thou mayest say that which is the greatest word in the world, I believe. Untried faith is uncertain faith.
To believing there must go a clear conviction of sin and the merits of the blood of Christ. A thing more difficult than to make a world. All the power in nature cannot get so high in a storm of sin and guilt, as really to believe there is any grace, any willingness in Christ to save. When Satan chargeth sin upon the conscience, then for the soul, through the blessed Spirit, to charge it upon Christ, is gospel-like; that is to make him. Christ. He serves for that use. When the soul, in all distresses, is enabled to say, Nothing but Christ; Christ alone for righteousness, justification, sanctification, redemption (1 Cor. i. 30), not humblings, not duties, not graces," &c., then the soul is got above the reach of the billows.
All temptations, Satan's advantages, and our complainings, are laid in self-righteousness and self-excellency. God pursueth these by many ways, as Laban pursued after Jacob for his images. These must be torn from thee, be as unwilling as thou wilt. With these Christ will not dwell; and till Christ comes in, guilt will abide. When guilt is raised up, there is no getting it allayed any way but by Christ's blood; all other ways tend to harden the conscience. Christ be thy peace (Eph. ii. 14), not thy duties, thy tears, &c. Thou mayest oppose Christ by duties as well as by sins. Look at Christ,
and do as much as thou canst. Stand with all thy weight upon Christ's righteousness. Take heed of having one foot on thine own righteousness, another on Christ's. Until Christ come and sit upon the throne of grace in the conscience, there is nothing but guilt, terrors, secret suspicions, the soul hanging between hope and fear.
Whosoever is afraid to see sin's utmost vileness, and to confess the desperate wickedness of his own heart, suspects the merits of Christ. However so great a sinner thou art (1 John, ii. 1), if Christ be thine Advocate, thou wilt find him Jesus Christ the righteous. In all doubtings, fears, storms of conscience, Christ only can relieve thee: do not argue it with Satan, he desires no better: bid him go to Christ, and he will answer him. It is his office to be our Advocate (1 John, ii. 1), to answer the law as our Surety (Heb. vii. 22), and justice, as our Mediator. (Gal. iii. 20; 1 Tim. ii. 5.) He is sworn to that office. (Heb. vii. 20, 21.)
Satan may quote, and corrupt, but he cannot answer Scripture. It is Christ's word of mighty authority. Christ foiled Satan with it. (Matt. iv. 10.) In all the Scripture there is not one hard word against a poor sinner stript of self-righteousness. Nay, it plainly points him out to be the subject of the grace of the gospel, and none else. To be enabled to believe Christ's willlingness, will make thee willing. If thou findest that thou canst not believe, remember it is Christ's work to make thee believe. He works to will and to do of his own good pleasure. (Phil. ii. 13.) By grace thou art saved through faith, and not of thyself; it is the gift of God. Plead with him for that gift. (Eph. ii. 8.) Christ is the author and finisher of faith; and when the blessed Spirit enables thee to feel this, thou wilt mourn for thine unbelief, which would set up guilt in the conscience above Christ, undervalue the merits of Christ, and account his blood an unholy, a common and unsatisfying thing.
Thou complainest much of thyself: doth thy sin make thee look more at Christ, less at thyself? that is right: otherwise complaining is but hypocrisy. To be looking at duties, graces, enlargements, when thou shouldst be looking at Christ, is self-righteous and pitiful. Looking at them will make thee proud; looking at Christ's grace will make thee humble. In all thy temptations be not discouraged. (James i. 2.) Those surges may be, not to drown thee, but to heave thee off from thyself on the rock Christ.
Thou mayest be brought low, even to the brink of destruction, ready to fall. Thou canst not be brought lower than the
belly of hell. (Jonah ii. 2.) Many saints have been there. Yet, there thou mayest cry; from thence thou mayest look again towards the holy temple. (Jonah ii. 4.) Into that temple which was built with hands none might enter but purified ones, and with an offering too. (Acts xxi. 26.) But now Christ is our temple, sacrifice, altar, high priest, to whom none must come but sinners, and that without any offering but his own blood once offered. (Heb. vii. 27.)
(To be continued.)
TO THE EDITORS OF THE GOSPEL STANDARD.
Dear Friends,-It has been my wish for several years that some of our brethren would commence a magazine for the diffus on of unctuous truth, as a mean of refreshment to the Lord's poor, tried family. I therefore greatly rejoiced the other day, when a prospectus of yours was put into my hand. You have my heart, my prayers, and my good wishes, and shall have whatever poor services I may be enabled to render you. The best of blessings rest upon you, and succeed your labour of love. So prays one who is your friend and wellwisher.
Below you will find some lines that I have composed for the Gospel Standard, and which I present to you most affectionately.
Wolverhampton, July 21, 1835.
ON THE GOSPEL STANDARD.
When th' blue mists of error, their influence spreading,
When sons of false prophets their "wild gourds" are shredding,
O may the blest unction enliven its pages;
May truth, love, and meekness The Standard adorn!
And free will and merit, go, beat them as small, now,