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continually with nay calling and my heart, that I have no time to puzzle myself with peradventures and futurities: as for the state of the times it is very gloomy and tempestuous. "But why do the heathen rage?" # Faith lies at anchor in the midst of the waves, and believes the accomplishment of the promise, through all these overturnings, confusions, and seeming impossibilities. Upon this God do I live, who is our God for ever, and will guide us to death. Methinks I lie becalmed in his bosom, as Luther in such a case, I am not much concerned, let Christ see to it. I know prophecies are now dark, and the books are sealed, and men have been deceived, and every cistern fails, yet God doth continue faithful, and faithful is he that hath promised who will do it. I believe these dark times are the womb of a bright morning.
Many more things I might have said, but enough. Oh! brother, keep close to God, and then you need fear nothing. Maintain secret and intimate communion with God, and then a little of the creature will go a great way. Take time for duties in private, crowd not religion into a corner of the day: there is a Dutch proverb, "nothing is got by thieving nor lost by praying." Lay up all your good in God, so as to overbalance the sweetness and bitterness of all creatures. Spend no time anxiously in forehand contrivances for this world; they never succeed; God will run his dispensations another way. Selfcontrivances are the effects of unbelief. I can speak by experience, would men spend those hours they run out in plots and devices in communion with God, and leave all to him, by venturesome believing, they would have more peace and comfort. I leave you with your God and mine. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit. Pray for your own soul, pray for Jerusalem, and pray hard for your poor brother.
Tare up all duties in point of performance, and lay them down in point of dependance. When the purest duties have been performed, the purest mercies should be implored.
Many have passed the rocks of gross sins, that have been cast away upon the sands of self-righteousness. Others they live more on their cushions than they do upon Christ; more upon the prayers they make to God, than upon the God to whom they make their prayers: which is as if a redeemed captive should reverence the sword, but not the man that hath wrought his rescue. ,
The name of God with a sling and a stone, will do more than Goliah with all his armour.
Duties they are but dry pits in themselves, though never so curiously cut out, till Christ fills them.
I would have you neither be idle in the means, nor make an idol of the means. If a mariner will have the help of the winds, he must weigh anchor and spread the sails. The pipes can make no conveyance unless the spring yields its concurrence.
The Good News of Christ. A Sermon preached at Salem Chapel, Meard's Court, Soho, on Wednesday Evening, July 5, 1826, before the Gospel Tract Society: with Notes. By W. H. Colyer. Palmer.
This very excellent and truly gospel Sermon is founded on the declaration of the apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthian church, ii. 12. wherein is proved the grand design and end of all his joumeyings, whether to Jerusalem or Rome, to Athens or Corinth, to Damascus or Troas—" to preach Christ's gospel." And having done honour to the faithful servant, whose labours were more abundant than those of all his brethren, Mr. Colyer quickly proceeds to exalt the person, the glories, and the grace of his Lord, who had commissioned him, as he did the apostle, to go forth and tell of his "unsearchable riches."
The subject is contemplated in the following order;—I. "the gospel Paul preached;" and II. " how he preached it." Mr. C. takes a large survey of the scriptures, both of the old and new testaments, to shew that Paul's gospel was "the good news of Christ," or, as in strictly scriptural language, the gospel of Christ—the gospel of God —the glorious gospel of Christ—the glorious gospel of the ever blessed God—the everlasting gospel—and, the gospel of your salvation. But, as we proceed, we must not lose sight of the well-drawn lineaments of the characters to whom the "news of Christ" become "good' news."
"That man is a sinner, originally and actually, in thought, in word, and in deed :—that, as a sinner, he is exposed to the righteous curse of the holy law of God:—and that every man by nature, is "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked," but knows it not, "being dead in trespasses and sins"—are solemn truths the word of God declares almost on every page: truths, which, though frequently confessed by multitudes with the lip, are never really believed by any soul of man, until the Holy Ghost regenerates the heart. And then, and not till then, from spiritual life and light received, the regenerated soul cries out, like some of old, "what must 1 do to be saved?" "God be merciful to me, a sinner!" To all such truly awakened souls, the subject in our text—the gospel, or "the good news of Christ"—is most precious—to all others it is, and must be, "foolishness:" for thus it is written; "the natural man understandeth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man." 1 Cor. ii. 14, 15."
A comprehensive view of the subject is given, as including a spiritual and personal, full, free, finished, present, and everlasting salvation, from all evil, to all good; originating in the sovereign will and pleasure of God, and accomplished for the pleasure of his great name. It is here only noticed particularly, as a divine deliverance from sin in the sight of God, according as stated in Eph. i. 13. "the good news, or glad tidings, of your salvation."
Vol. Iv.—no. 41. R
".I. As a divine salvation, purposed in Christ by Jehovah the Father, before the foundation of the world."
"II. As a divine salvation, accomplished by Jehovah the Son, for all his people, in the fulness of time."
"III. As a divine salvation, revealed in Christ, by Jehovah the Holy Ghost, to all for whom it was so purposed by Jehovah the Father, and so accomplished by Jehovah the Son."
With great reluctance we pass over the first head of discourse, that some notice may be given of the second, under which, the person of Christ—the anointing of Christ—and the work of Christ, are contemplated at considerable extent. From hence we take an extract on the person of Christ, to which we add the acknowledgment of our entire approbation.
"1st. He is God. Not, as some say, by appointment—nor, as others assert, by office—neither by filiation, or generation, as it is called—nor by union, or relation—nor by procession—or by emanation—or by in-dwelling —or by any act, but—" by Nature." He is, as our old divines used to say, ATTO ©EOS Auto-theos, Himself God—and God of Himself. Or, in other words, personally, naturally, essentially, or underivatively, independantly, and eternally Divine. And this he was, even from everlasting, and would have been to everlasting—The Same—as if there never had been any church to save, by the assumption of her nature in the fulness of time.
"It is of the greatest moment, my brethren, that we possess clear, scriptural views of the glorious Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. And when I say so, I mean, such views as the Holy Ghost has himself been pleased to record in the holy scriptures of truth, and himself reveals to the hearts of all the children of truth; and which they receive by the faith "of the operation of God." For " no man knoweth the Son but the Father, and he to whom he will reveal him." And all that is revealed by the Father, of the Son, is through the Spirit; who is therefore so strikingly called by the apostle, "the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him." Eph. i. 17.
"In proportion to our real spiritual acquaintance with the glorious person of the Lord Jesus Christ, will be our right apprehension and enjoyment of the blessed word of Christ, and of the perfect work of Christ. Every thing in salvation hangs upon the divine glory of the person of the Saviour. The glory, I may say, of the truth or faithfulness of all the Persons in the Trinity, hangs upon it; since each of the divine Persons has borne express testimony to the essential Godhead of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the glory of the church hangs upon it; for all her glory is derived from Christ, and through her union to Christ. And as Jesus is called "the Lord our righteousness," in Jer. xxiii. 6.—so is the church, as his bride, the Lamb's wife: for the wife shines in the rays of her husband, Jer. xxxiii. 16. The Father has hnng upon Jesus all the glory of his hou3e, and of the salvation of the church, collectively—and he has determined so to deal with his people that they also shall hang on him all the glory of their salvation, individually—that Christ may be "all in all," while they are "nothing" in their own esteem."
"2ndly, He is Man. This he is, not by nature, or essentially, as he is God; nor by natural generation, or by any act of man; but by the divine operation of the Holy Ghost, in the miraculous conception of the Virgin Mary. And thus it is written in Matt. i. 18. " When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." And hence, "that which was born of her," being thus begotten of the Holy Ghost, is declared to be "that Holy Thing," which should be called "the Son of God." Luke i. 35.
"In 1 Cor. xv. 47. it is written, "The first man is of the earth, earthy; the secondman, the Lord from heaven:" or as we may say, Jehovah from heaven, for so would our translation have read, had the New Testament scriptures been given to us in the Hebrew instead of the Greek language."
"In John i. 14. we have this testimony. "The Word was made Flesh, and dwelt (or rather tabernacled) 'eo-nyvatrev among us." And here allow me to remark, in order that I may not be misunderstood in quoting this passage, that, by the term "flesh," as used in this verse, I do not understand, nor do I think the Holy Ghost designed that any should understand, the mere inanimate matter of which our bodies are composed, to the exclusion of the 8oul; but man, as he is the creature of God, composed both of body and soul. This appears to me to be the evident meaning of the term "flesh," in this verse; as it is also in many others. In Matt. xvi. 17. we read, "flesh and blood hath not revealed thi3 unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven." There our Lord, by the expression "flesh and blood," did not refer to that non-intelligent matter of which our bodies are composed, but to man, consisting of body and soul; and with all the faculties of his soul, even in their most vigorous exercise. So again in Joel ii. 28. "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophtcy," &c. Here, also, the mere bodies of men could not be intended by the term "flesh," but man, comprising both body and soul, for the Holy Spirit was not poured out upon inanimate matter, but upon intelligent agents, " sons and daughters"—men and women; as they are described both in Joel ii. 28. and Acts ii. 1, 18. Again; in Luke iii. 6'. it is written, "and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." Neither in this scripture can the term " flesh," he supposed to mean the body only, as distinguished from the soul; but men, composed of souls as well as bodies; for what perception of salvation is there in the mere inv animate body? All flesh were to "see the salvation of God," which they could not possibly do with the eye of a soul-less body, or mere inanimate matter, but by the eye of an enlightened mind, though in a frail body. In Dan. ii. 11. there is a passage similar, in some respects, to this in John i. 14. where the Chaldean soothsayers answer Nebuchadnezzar respecting his forgotten dream : "It is a rare thing that the kiDg require*; and there is none other that can shew it before the king except the Gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh." Now the evident meaning of these words is, "whose dwelling is not with Man" and so I conceive it is in John i. 14. For what was the truth intended to be conveyed by the declaration, " and the Word was made flesh," but the revelation of the great mystery of godliness; God became man, or "God was manifest in the flesh:" not indeed by any supposed conversion of the divine nature into that which is human, (which were utterly impossible) but by taking up the human nature into union with that which before wa3, which now is, and for ever will be, essentially divine. God and man being thus united, (the infinite nature with the finite, as I may say) perfect God and perfect man;' and that by one act, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth."
By the following passage, on the anointing of Christ, we conceive a powerful and effectual blow is struck at a prevailing error on the nature of the union subsisting between Christ and his church. In the voluminous Notes appended to the Sermon, Mr. C. enters more fully into the character of that heresy: his unanswerable arguments demand the closest attention of our readers.
"By the union of the two natures, the human with the divine, the Lord Jesus became Immanuel, "God with us;" or, God in our flesh; all the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in him bodily. Col. ii. 9. This is the person of Christ. And by the anointing of the Holy Ghost, the God-man became Christ. In reference to which anointing he is called in the Old Testament, Messiah; or, the Messias, as we read it in the New Testament; which is, being interpreted, the Christ, or the Anointed.
"It was Immanuel, or the complex person of the God-man who was anointed; just as it was the God-man who is the one only Mediator of the
church, and Saviour of the body. He was not called Immanuel on account of his being anointed, but because of the union of the two natures in his complex person. Neither was he called Christ, by reason of the union of those two natures, but on account of the anointing of the Holy Ghost. The in-dwelling of the Godhead in the manhood of our Lord Jesus Christ, (although " all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in him bodily," Col. ii. 9.) did not necessarily fit him for " the work which the Father gave him to do," but it was the anointing of the Holy Ghost which qualified him, even the God-man for his work. So, in like manner, it is not any in-dwelling of God in his saints, (differing materially as it docs from the personal in-dwelling of the Godhead in the manhood of Christ,) that teaches the saints, or instructs the ministers of Christ; but the anointing of the Spirit, which they receive "in measure" from him who had previously received it "without measure" for them. And thus it is written, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt (or rather tabernacled) among us—full of grace and of truth. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." John i. 14—16.
"Now this anointing of the glorious person of the God-man Mediator, I conceive to have been the real possession by him of every thing that was prefigured by the anointing oil under the law; namely, all the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. The various anointings of the several prophets, priests, and kings, under the ceremonial dispensation, seem to have been typical of this one anointing of the glorious antitype, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the great prophet, priest, and king of his church. In the types we perceive several persons anointed; some to I one office, others to another: and each was distinctly anointed for the particular office he held; but, in the antitype, we behold but one glorious person appointed to all the offices of prophet, priest, and king; and anointed by the Holy Ghost, at once, and "without measure," for the whole.
"Here I must briefly observe, that the anointing of the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man Mediator, may be viewed in a two-fold respect; 1st. personally, as he was anointed for his work; and 2ndly, relatively, as he was anointed for his people: for, it should never be forgotten, that the Lord Jesus Christ, as " the way" is so extensively, yet so exclusively the medium or channel of all communication both from the Father to the church, as well as from the church to the Father, that the church never received any one spiritual blessing but through him: and by virtue of her union to him, she has all that there is in him, and which is by him. John iii. 35. Eph. ii. 4—6. It is through him, therefore, that the church receives both the Holy Spirit, and all his promised gifts, with every needful grace. The incarnate Word being " full of grace, and full of truth," we have received "out of his fulness." And so it is written: "As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever." Isa. lix. 21.
On the work of Christ, the preacher considers, 1st his being made sin for his people, 2 Cor. v. 21. 2nd. his enduring the curse due to their sins, Gal. iii. 13. 3rd. his taking away their sins for ever, - from before the Lord, John i. 29. We should delight in transcribing merely the outlines of this interesting and important part of the Sermon, but must forbear.
The gratification and delight experienced on the perusal of the third division, would warrant us in overstepping our usual bounds by making copious extracts; but we have been obliged already to select detached portions, rather as a lure to the reader that he may obtain the perusal of the whole, than as forming the substance of the numerous excellencies it contains.