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or sets them apart for the service of God; according to that exhortation, “As ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” (Rom. vi. 19.) They are a people the Lord hath formed for himself, and, under the sanctifying influence of his Spirit, they shall show forth his praise, making it manifest that they are a peculiar people, zealous of good works, which God hath before ordained that they shall walk in them. Lighted up by the Holy Ghost, they are as a candle put in a proper place, to give light to all round; or as a city set upon a hill, which cannot be hid. By their fruits, they are known to be the Lord's sanctified ones: “ For tbis is the will of God, even our sanctification, that we should abstain from fornication, that every one of us should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour, not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Geatiles, which know not God : for God hath not called us unto cleanness, but unto holiness."
v. 3, 4.) " If a man (by the Spirit's influence) purge himself froni these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2 Tim. ii. 21.) This can only be the case with us as the Lord works in us to will and do of his own good pleasure ; for from bim is our fruit found. In 1 Thess. V. 23, Paul says, And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God, your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” Thus the Lord makes it manifest that his people are not of the world, but that he hath chosen them out of the world, as a seed to serve him, and a generation to call him blessed.
2. In considering the sanctification of the Spirit, as an internal work of grace in the heart of a believer, we shall find that it is a growing work; but this must be made the subject of another paper.
(To be continued.)
A TRIEL SINNER.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE GOSPEL STANDARD.
Dear Sirs,-Having noticed on your wrapper for this month a request for some remarks from some of your correspondents on the above person's letter, and as there wants nut a long train of useless words, I beg.to offer a few remarks upon his
case; and, in the first place, to observe, that there appears no doubt but he is a brother born from above, but wants to be cut, suppled, washed, and bound up by the good Spirit.
This friend says that he is vile indeed, and when he would do good evil is present with him. This is a blessed thing to know, and, as proof that he is alive, he evidently feels it, and is not dead in trespasses and sins, Christ being precious to his soul. In the Lord's good time, no doubt he will grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As to his continual feelings of his sinfulness, this will drive him to Christ, the throne of grace, to live more out of himself and upon Christ, which is the only way of relief for the guilt and misery he feels. (See Matt. xi. 28.) Then will he run and not be weary, and walk and not faint; and be found sensibly in him, not having his own righteousness on, but that righteousness which is of God by faith in Christ Jesus, in which the righteous will sit in judgment, and not stand criminal-like at the bar of God.
Then as to prayer. At times this friend says he cannot pray, by reason of the sin he feels : at all events, he acknowledges that he groans and desires, although he is beset with the besetting sin of unbelief in the prison-house, which seems to hinder his prayers to God; but he does pray, it appears. This is good again. As the Lord wants nothing from him, at present, but a broken heart, and a groaning heart, these precede a rejoicing heart; therefore I would say to him, Cheer up, my brother; although thy road appears dark, narrow, rugged, and crooked, there is no doubt but thou wilt come out at the right end; and although thou dost not like the way, yet it is the way the Lord is pleased to exercise thee, to let thee know what is in thy heart, how great a sinner thou art, and thy own helplessness, and to make thee wbolly sick of thyself, that Christ may sensibly be found the great Physician, to cure all thy diseases, that thou mayest come with confidence to the throne of grace, and obtain necessary mercy and grace to help in time of need, where thy prayers will be turned into praises ; but remember this, that in, by, and through thyself thou canst do nothing as thou oughtest, nor anything without Christ, whose precious blood cleanseth from all sin. This speaks aloud to every necessitous soul, even to brother John.
John saith, that he is afraid that he has committed the unpardonable sin, the sin against the Holy Spirit of God. He need not be afraid that he has done so, or of knowing particularly in what that sin consists, as the very fear of having done so, notwithstanding the temptation to believe he may in
some way have done it, is a proof at once that he could not, would not, and has not, committed it. That sin can only be committed wilfully, knowingly, and maliciously, as the Jews did when they attributed Christ's miracles to witchcraft, which were evidently wrought by the Spirit of God in and by Christ. Matt. xii. 24: “ But when the Pharisees heard it (the blind and dumb man healed) they said, 'This fellow doth not cast out devils but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.” Luke xi. 19: “And if I, by Beelzebub, cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore shall they be your judges." And also, John ix. 41. The sin against the Holy Spirit was such a deadly sin that no atonement could be made for it, even under the old law, but such sinners were stoned to death; and to blaspheme the proofs by the spirit of Christ's Messiahship, was the unpardonable sin, to be visited with a sorer punishment, even with fire. This is the doom of all such as wilfully sin against the Holy Spirit; therefore our friend has nothing to fear from his sinful feelings, on the supposition that he might have committed that sin; for if he had, like Paul, sinned ignorantly in unbelief, it would not have made him chargeable therewith ; but it is clear, from his own statement, that he fears to do that that he cannot commit through fear, and which can only be done without fear. And now may the God of hope till brother John with all joy and peace in believing, that he may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
As I promised to be short, I conclude, in the hope that the Lord would in mercy bless a word in season to brother John, who appears anxious to know the truth, that he might be free. May he, then, look to Jesus, who hath said, “ Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make vou
Yours truly, Chiswell-street, London, Sept. 10, 1835.
MAN'S SIN HIS OWN GUILTY ACT AND DEED, AND HIS HEART BEING INCLINED THEREUNTO, SCRIPTURALLY CONSIDERED.
(Continued from page 38.) Rebekah's stratagem of lies and deceit succeeded, and obtained the blessing for Jacob. There can be no doubt but the immediate presence of God the Spirit was unctuously felt by Isaac as he pronounced the blessing upon the head of Jacob; for if you read the words of Isaac in the blessing, he seems u
pour forth his whole soul of blessing upon him, in the name and from the Spirit of the Lord his God: so much so, that when Esau importuned with tears for a blessing also, Isaac for a while seems at a loss how to grant his
request; and it is worthy of further remark, that when Isaac found out the imposition practised upon him by Jacob, in all its aggravated bearings, instead of revoking the blessing, and substituting a curse upon Jacob, more heavy, if possible, than the blessing was great, from the notorious aggravation of circumstances under which the blessing was obtained; I say, instead of revoking the blessing and substituting a heavier curse, Isaac a second time confirms what he had done, by saying to Esau, “Yea, and he shall be blessed;" And upon the departure of Jacob from his father's house, Isaac again calls Jacob, and blesses him a third time. I must make one more remark here, and that is, as Jacob was on his road to Laban's house, a stranger in a strange land, and sleeping under the canopy of the heavens, the Lord himself appears to him, and blesses him himself, nor once upbraids him for what he has done; and emphatically tells him at the conclusion of the blessing, “I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." (Gen. xxviii. 15.) Nevertheless, it is evident from the subsequent life of Jacob, that the sin and guilt of what he had done was his own; for he himself, more than once, in the same measure he measured to his brother, had it measured to him again: First, in being deceived with Leah in marriage for Rachel, whom he so tenderly loved; and having to trail through another seven long and tedious years, before he could obtain the longed-for object of his affections ; and when he obtained her, she was the most grief to him. Second, Laban himself, whom he served, changed his wages not less than ten times; not to notice the many painful events besides, which he had to pass through; that in conclusion he was constrained to say, when taking a momentary review of the chequered pilgrimage of his life, “ Few and evil have the days of ihe years of my life been.” (Gen. lvii. 9.)
Upon a review of the whole, then, let me ask, was it not the Lord's good pleasure, his will and determination, that Jacob should enjoy the blessing to its fullest extent, although he took such undue methods to procure it ? Surely it was. What shall we say then to these things? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. So argues the great apostle of the Gentiles; and with such a conclusion he was content: and to such a frame of soul, in due time, the Lord will bring and rest all his beloved people.
my belief of.
One thing in particular, I wish the believer not to lose sight of before I proceed, and that is, as to what ought to be our feelings, when truths, as inexplicable as they are glaringly bright, stare us in the face. Let Isaac be our example: he not only trenabled, but trembled exceedingly, at the mysterious chain of circumstances before him, from the inscrutable methods the Lord was pleased to make use of, in the sovereignty of his ways, to bring about his strange acts and works of mercy and of judgment. May the Lord bless us with a spirit like Isaac, to tremble at his word, and not fight against it, because we cannot satisfy our over curious minds upon this question, How can these things be, consistent with our own views of right and wrong? "Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth, but woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!" (Isa. xlv. 9.) For of a piece with the history of Jacob and Esau, and similarly inexplicable to us, is the solemn subject with which I have headed the commencement of this essay; and which I now purpose to explain my own views upon, and
In the doing of which, I commence with this solemn de. claration, that
First, I DO NOT BELIEVE for a moment, that the Lord infuses the shadow of a principle to sin (if I may use such an expression) in any sinner, in any shape or form whatever; for the Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. (Psa. cxlv. 17.) Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. (James i. 13, 14.) Thou art of purer eyes than to bebold evil, and canst not look on iniquity. (Hab. i. 13.) He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deu. xxxii. 4.) The just Lord is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity. (Zeph. iii. 5.) See also Ps. v. 4; Jer. ii. 5; Ps. xxii. 3; Rev. iv. 8; and Isa. vi. 3, as a few of the numerous texts of Scripture that might be produced of like import.
From such pointed Scripture testimony as this, of the unspotted holiness and purity of the nature of God, let me turn to the experience of thy heart, Christian believer, as the only source of heart-consolatory confirmation of so Scripture a doctrine. If you really have been brought to the enjoyment of your union to Christ, as a spiritual member of his mystic body, you know, by heartfelt experience, that God is holy: you know, with me, that this Scripture testimony to a carnal man