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not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom! So I shall have it—it is a free donation ;" and afterwards he said, " I long to see my Jesus—I long to see my Jesus!" Thus closed the pilgrimage of this child of God: he is now at home, beholding the glory of our Lord.
Perhaps there are many in this congregation ready to say, " let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." Is this your language? Ye cannot die their death unless ye live their life; he who lives by faith is sure to die in peace. To his widow—Your dying husband with his dying breath said to you, • "may my God be thy God, and my children's God." Never forget this, but through grace seek the blessing till thou art enabled to say, "my husband's God is my God." And you, ye dear children, who have been bereaved of so good a parent, remember the day when he put his hands on your heads and blessed you, and prayed that his God would bless you. May the prayer be answered, and from the eldest to the least may you walk in the same path to heaven. To the thoughtless and profane I would say—look at the sick-bed of our late dear brother, there you see the value of vital godliness: can crowns, can empires, quiet a guilty conscience, when death and damnation state a man in the face? No—No—No! The sentence of the wicked is already written, " there is no peace saith my God to the wicked." Oh! that thou didst read the sentence, tremble, and fly to the cross and the blood of Christ for shelter! Hear the voice of the gospel, " Whosoever cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out!" 0 rich grace!" whosoever cometh I will in no wise cast out!"
Nottingham. J. J.
(To the Editor of the Spiritual Magazine.J REPLY TO T. W. H. ON "CHRIST'S LOOK UPON PETER." Dear Sir,
There is no man more dislikes controversy than myself, but when I see the very foundation of vital godliness endeavoured to be sapped, I dare not consult my feelings as a man; for as a christian, and a servant of God, I am bound by the strongest ties to stand forward for the vindication of his character who saith, " I am the Lord and change not." Mai. iii. 6.
On page 42, T. W. H. says, that H. thinks it incompatible with the love of the Lord Jesus, to be angry with Peter as one of the sheep given him by the Father to redeem; this he says appears to savour of that antiscriptural sentiment, that God does not see sin in his people, and he is bold to assert has no foundation in the word of God. Now, Sir, I am also bold to assert, that T. W. H. was not aware at the time he made his assertion, what doctrine that assertion binds him to believe, namely, the mutability of God, that he sees at one time what he doth not see at another. But I do hope that the Eternal Spirit will be pleased to teach T. W. H. the true character of God, then he will be led to see, and that with great delight, that the past, the present, and the future, with our God is one eternal Now. And I would only say, that if God is immutable, then it follows as the effects of God's nature, that whatever God might see in his people he never saw them but with delight; because he hath from everlasting, now doth, and will to all eternity see them in Christ their spiritual head ; and as such Christ doth thus address his church, as in Songs, iv. 7. " Thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee."
Permit me further to reply to T. W. H. upon the remarks made on an observation of mine, page 12 of the June Magazine, wherein I said, that if there had been sin in Christ, then his obedience unto the righteous law of God as the surety of the people of God is of no avail. And first, I do hope that T. W. H. will read again, and I think he will see that I have all through kept my eye fixed upon the immutability of Christ, to shew that nothing could take place which could in the least change the mind of Christ towards his people, because all things were known to him from everlasting; and therefore I again say, that anger in God towards his people doth not agree with the character of God as being from everlasting to everlasting the same, and seeing all things, past, present, and to come, as always before him. If T. W. H. admits that this is the case with God, then I would ask, what is anger? Is it not the effect of surprize? That something hath taken place which was not expected? This is oftentimes the case with man; he is disappointed in his expectations, and being mutable, the old man of sin with which we all are daily plagued, more or less, he becomes offended at the disappointment he meets with; hence it is that anger arises as the natural effect of sin which dwells in every man so long as he sojourns here. But I do hope that T. W. H. has no such views of our Covenant Head, our blessed Immanuel; for he could not be disappointed in the character of Peter, nor was he ever disappointed in the character or conduct of any of his church and people: for when he undertook their cause and became their surety, he then had before him not only all of them which he knew personally as the gift of the Father unto him, and as the chosen in him; but he also had at that very time all their faults, their short coinings, and all their misgivings before him; so that if Christ ever could have been angry with his people, surely it must have been at that time when he saw all their crimes at one view! But, no, blessed be his dear name, instead of anger love was the prominent feature of his conduct towards his dear people, and he seemed, if I may be allowed so to speak, to flee with eagerness to embrace the opportunity of taking his church with all her faults, and to secure her to eternal glory; nor did he ever display the least alteration in his conduct towards his beloved spouse. Yes, he " is a friend that loveth at all times, and a brother born for adversity," Prov. xvii. 17. This is the dear and constant friend of the children of God, the man Christ Jesus; and how true indeed was the prophecy of that man of God, Zephaniah, of the blessed Saviour of poor sinners, iii. 17. " The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love." When the Lamb of God was on the cross, in that agony that never can be described by mortals, and suffering that degradation as a common malefactor, and not for his own crimes, as he had none, but by imputation he was made sin even for some of them that then by wicked hands were putting him to death, Acts ii. 23. did any anger appear in the bosom of the man of God's right hand, against those his murderers, when he was thus suffering the agonies of death upon the cross, together with all the insults of those his murderers? No; so far from anger towards them, that in the midst of his great agonies, shame and ignominy, and even in the arms of death, his heart was as full of love towards them as ever; and as a proof of the same he prayed for his murderers, and thus he cries out unto God the Father, " Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Luke xxiii. 35.
And although the disciple Peter had so basely denied him, yet such was the constancy of the Saviour's love towards him, that when he commanded the woman to go and tell the disciples of the resurrection of Christ, he mentioned Peter by name, that he might not despond by thinking that Christ was angry with him, and would cast him off for his base conduct in denying him in the time of his sorrows. He always manifested a tender heart towards his dear people in all their troubles, and as the prophet most beautifully speaks of the Saviour of poor sinners feeling for his people's infirmities: "In all their affliction, he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his piety he redeemed them, and he bare them and carried them all the days of old." Isa. lxiii. 9.
T. W. H. says that his mind has often been pained to see some of your ablest correspondents arraigned at the bar of perhaps one individual's judgment, and condemned as maintaining heretical opinions for a word or a sentence: I wish him to understand, that it ivas not my intention to make Elah, nor any man, an offender for a word, for all I intended was that those expressions which blend the doctrines of arminianism or free will with those of free grace, might be kept out of the Saints' Treasury; and that in hopes it might be in the hands of God the Eternal Spirit a soul-establishing work to those dear children of God that may be favoured in reading it And although he charges me with asserting in unqualified terms, that anger in God towards his people stands opposed to the word of God; I should not have thought it worthy my reply, because every man of common understanding knows that it is impossible for a Being who is immutable, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, to be at one time what he is not at another. But I hope my reply to him on his charge, may by the blessing of God be made the means of the establishment of some dear child of God in the unalterable nature of our God, and thereby derive some blessing from the same.
I notice, first, the scripture that he brings to prove God's word is in favour of his being angry with his people at times. Now I cannot help saying, that he has chosen of all the scriptures in the written word upon anger, the very worst to lay as a foundation to establish the anger of God towards his people at any time. Eph. v. 26. "Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Surely I need not tell T. W. H. that those words of Paul to the church at Ephesus were only a fatherly exhortation to his spiritual children in Christ to walk together in love, peace, and in unanimity, as heirs together of one and the same inheritance. And again I remark, that these words of Paul are evidently a quotation from Ps. ix. 4. " Stand in awe and sin not: commune with your own hearts upon your bed and be still." As much as if David had said—you ought at all times to stand in awe of God and of his holy law, and when you retire to rest and from the business of the world, then call over your conduct through the day that is past, and remember that if you feel anger towards any one, and that as the sun hath disappeared, so also your anger against others ought to disappear; and remember that you are only commanded to ask for forgiveness as you forgive others, for God is acquainted with all that is within your heart, and it will be your mercy to ask God for grace to enable you to forgive all injuries as God hath forgiven you.
Again, T. W. H. in page 42, evidently is building his notion of God being angry with his people, upon the mistaken ideas of the people of God in the time of their darkness of mind, when it is so common for them to measure God's love to them by their frames and feelings; which God is pleased to correct, as by the pen of David, "thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself," Ps. 1. 21. He also refers to the language of the church, Isaiah xii. 1. "O Lord, I will praise thee : though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me." I would ask, are not all the dear children of God apt more or less, to see God through a wrong medium, before they are brought into the sweet liberty of the sons of God, to see out of obscurity? And these expressions of the church here are a song of praise to God for deliverance which she then enjoyed; as much as if she had said, Although I thought thou wast angry with me, I now see my mistake, for instead of anger thou comfortest me. And as Israel did after they were brought through the Red Sea, and from the power of their enemies, and to which the church often refers in the chapter, and which deliverance was typical of salvation by Christ under the gospel dispensation, when his church and people should, like Israel of old, see the salvation of their God, in their deliverance from the cruel bondage of their spiritual Pharoah, the God of this world ; and as the Israelites saw no more of Pharoah after they passed through the Red Sea; so, likewise, the dear child of God as soon as he knows by precious faith that he has passed through the crimson sea of Immanuel's precious blood, he sees no more of that bondage ia making bricks without straw, for the Lord having thus delivered him, he is brought to see that he that requires work of him, hath also given him materials to work with, and do all he requires of him: inasmuch as he hath given him grace to believe in the Son of God for life and salvation, and an heart to love and serve him, and thus it is he is brought to rejoice in his liberty, and to praise the Lord for what he thus enjoys.
Now, Sir, that God is angry with the wicked, or reprobate, I acknowledge, but God is not angry with them at one time more than another; for his nature is such that he must of necessity behold the seed of the serpent, the children of the devil, or the tares, as they are called, with eternal indignation. But to say that God can be angry with those that he hath declared he hath loved with an everlasting love, is to tell God he is a liar; I say, to assert that our God is mutable, seems to me to be little or nothing short of blasphemy: first, because it makes him like sinful man, and yet he saith, " I am the Lord, I change not," Mai. iii. 6. and, secondly, to say that God becomes angry with his people at times, is to charge him with injustice, inasmuch as it is saying that God doth at times inflict such punishment on them as those sins would have called for if Christ had not put them away. But we know by blessed experience that our Day's-Man, the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, hath by his obedience unto the holy law of God, paid down the full demand of God's requirements, in his life, death, and burial. And God the Father dealt with Christ as the surety of his church and people, in every way as though he had been the whole and the only sinner of all the sons of God, that are thus interested in the life and death of Christ. All God's people were at that time considered and seen by God in and one with Christ, as well then as when he chose them in and gave them to Christ; because as God is immutable he cannot but see them at all times one and the same, and that only in the person of Christ, who did in the counsels of eternity undertake the cause of his people, and bound himself by that covenant which God himself cannot break, to pay all lawful demands upon his people which God's holy law could possibly require of him, for all their sins in thought, word, and deed.
God the Father commanded his servant the prophet to make a proclamation of it to the church of old, saying, "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God, speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, and her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand to the utmost for all her sins." And I would ask, is it not so? Then if God hath given Christ a full discharge for the whole of them, where would be the justice of God if it were possible for.him to be angry with his people ? — for him to be angry with those on whose account he poured out all that anger upon Christ as the church's Day's-Man, which they must have suffered in their own persons to all eternity, if Christ had not suffered in their room? But, blessed be his holy name, I rejoice to find that his word declares that Christ was delivered