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at Mizpeh, he could not look upon it but the occasion of its erection would rush into his mind, and draw from him a fresh expression of gratitude to their great deliverer. So whoever observes the displays of divine wisdom, manifested either to himself or to any other of the household of faith, reflect thereon; but he is excited to renewed expressions of gratitude to Almighty God for his unequalled love to Zion.
2. The pillar erected was inscribed to the God of their salvation. This deliverance was so evidently the work of God, that it was impossible to mistake who had wrought it. It is so with regard to those who are travelling through this world to the heavenly land; the Lord alone can bound the range of their enemies, and faithfully perform what he has graciously promised. To acknowledge the hand of God is at all times becoming those who have received from him the pleasing assurance, that all their steps are regulated in wisdom to the glory of his great name. If we were to suppose for a moment a phihstine passing by the stone of help, he, being truly conscious what was the occasion of its erection, must be filled with confusion when he viewed the signal expression of his countrymen's disgrace, and the triumph of the tribes of Israel. Whenever the saints record the Lord's kind dealings with them, their adversaries are confounded at the public expressions of their defeat, and the perpetuity of their great disgrace. Besides this, a good man can never refer to the occasion of his erecting his Ebenezer pillar, but it must be an occasion of thanksgiving to God for his timely help afforded.
3. There was an acknowledgment of divine supremacy inscribed upon this public tablet. How often has it occurred that God has wrought deliverance in the earth, and there has been no pillar erected to record his unequalled goodness. But he is most graciously pleased to work salvation in and for hi3 people, and it is wrought for them in that peculiar manner that they cannot pass it by heedlessly, nor forget it in a moment. The mind of the christian delights to run back and light down upon the spot where God was pleased to appear in the hour of extreme danger; the remembrance of it is sweet to speak of, it is beneficial to others, and the acknowledgment of it shews that the hand of God was discerned in it, while the rehearsal of it perpetuates his fame, and is an occasion of declaring his sovereignty. Whenever the christian is employed, under divine influence, in the delightful work of contemplating the great wisdom and power of Almighty God, in arranging and executing his plans, he will find matter for devout gratitude, and publicly acknowledge the harmony and unity that pervades the whole order of the divine government. It is impossible in the very nature of things that any man can sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn of him what is the design of God concerning him, and not have reason publicly to confess the great condescension of God to manage his mean affairs, and thereby execute his own counsels. So remarkably is the interposing hand of God seen in the behalf of his children, that they may invariably inscribe upon every tablet they erect, " hitherto hath the Lord helped us."
4. The publicity of this pillar was the means of the salvation being perpetuated through all generations. This deliverance would be spoken of by the surrounding nations, and like the victories achieved by some of their forefathers, wherever they went their fame preceded them. We can never sufficiently admire the wisdom of God in arranging events, so that his praise shall be spread and his sovereignty adored. It appears that the saints have delighted, from the earliest age of Christianity, to record the deliverances God wrought for them. When Peter was imprisoned by the Jews for the miracles he wrought, and an angel was commissioned to open for him the prison door, his associates did not forget to praise God, nor to record his wonderful deliverance. So also when Paul and Silas were imprisoned for preaching the gospel at Philippi, and afterwards casting out the spirit of divination from the damsel that followed them, when they were cast into prison for these benevolent actions, and by an earthquake the foundations of it was shaken, the mighty effects that followed were not suffered to slumber in everlasting night; but they were recorded for the glory of God, and for the encouragement of those who should hereafter believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. And in these latter days, the various proofs of the love of God to his chosen should be recorded with pleasure, as a grateful acknowledgment of his unbounded goodness and eternal beneficence.
J. B. T.
(To the Editor of the Spiritual Magazine. J FINAL OBSERVATIONS ON A RECENT CONTROVERSY.
Allow me to offer my very humble, yet sincere congratulations, that T. W. H. has given his assurance not to write again upon the subject which has occupied the pages of a few last numbers of your useful work ; Sir, my belief is, that J. H. and his opponent would be as far from convincing each other, were they to discuss the subject for twelve months, as they are at present. And to arrive at the truth of the proposition, is I believe beyond the possibility of finite comprehension.
It would have been more in unison with the spirit of Christianity, had T. W. H. been more temperate in the language which closes bis observations; and, whatever might have been his convictions, it would not have been at all incompatible had he commended J. H. to the Lord, and the teachings of his Holy Spirit.
I am, Sir, your's most obediently,
KtltranTs Strrel. Portian Squarr- "■ **■ "•
Hymns and Poems, Evangelical, Doctrinal, and Experimental; designed only for the poor, needy, helpless Sinner, fyc. By Daniel Herbert, Author of two Volumes addressed to the same Characters. Palmer.
By " Hymns and Spiritual Songs," " Hymns Evangelical," and the like, we understand such poetical compositions, as are fully and alone expressive of the affections of a renewed mind, pouring forth its grateful praises to Jehovah—for the gift of Christ—the knowledge of his person and righteousness—the enjoyment of his great salvation; and for the innumerable benefits accruing to the believer in Jesus, from a personal participation in the blessings of the covenant ordered in all things and sure.
It is a well authenticated fact, in the church of Christ, that the writers of hymns and spiritual songs have been and are eminently blessed in their labours for the promotion of melody in the heart to God. The estimation in which Mr. Herbert's first and second volumes are. held, is determined by the rapid sale in the course of a few years, of several large editions of each. However prepossession in their favour, or prejudice, may influence the opinions formed of the volume now lying before us, we earnestly recommend it as not being behind the earlier productions of its esteemed author, either in respect of doctrinal correctness, or experimental and practical application. A great part of the hymns are* not adapted for public worship, but many of them whose metre forbids the use of the harmony of sound, are well suited to assist in private the music of the soul.
As a further recommendation of this little volume, and to give the reader a specimen of the work in general, we have selected a poem, which for its singular simplicity, blended with rich experience of interest in Christ and his redemption work, received our cordial approbation.
ANTICIPATION OF HOME.
Although time's wheels go round so fast,
I would not slack their pace; There's nothing in this world will do
When Jesus hides his face;
0! what a wretched land it is,
Your prospects may be fair to-day
How soon God cut across my plan
And overturned my scheme;
However fair they seem! I felt no wish to stay.
Vol. IV.—No. 43. 2 B
I thought my pleasure was secure
The man who has no help in God,
I thought a little while ago
I found I had almighty arms
I thought the Lord was just about
To call my soul away,
When I look'd back for three-score years,
No word, no thought, no deed That would afford one grain of hope
In such a time of need.
No, blessed be the Lord, I saw
My debt of sin was paid,
And I was not afraid.
Was finished for me,
On Calvary's blessed tree.
When Jesus shines upon the soul
It lightens every trouble;
At best, an empty bubble.
I felt my soul just on the wing,
But, ah! I felt assur'd of this,
But Jesus would not have it so,
He heal'd my body, sooth'd my mind,
And now I'm in the world again,
Oh! may the Lord direct my steps,
For Oh! my base and treacherous
My poison'd load of flesh;
The world crowds in afresh.
And if it grant a transient scene,
It is but to deceive me;
There's few that will believe me.
The world would laugh at such a tale,
And infidels deride;
For whom the Saviour died. j. V
Oh! what a mercy 'tis indeed, xiV
I thought they'd have to bury mej'
Oh ! how I pleaded with my God
Amongst my kindred gone befoi
The Lord has heard my anxious
I go to quit this place,
I'll own 'tis all of grace.
But now the Lord has brought me
I'm discontented still,
Ten thousand worlds can't fill.":
The worldwon't do when Jesus smiles,
There's none can satisfy the soul
And yet my foolish, wicked hearig^'
How oft it strays away;
And toiled both night and day.
Essays on Grace, Faith, and Experience, wherein several Gospel truths are stated and illustrated, and their opposite errors pointed out. Fourth Edition. By Samuel Ecking. Palmer and Nisbet.
Not haying met with these Essays till the publication of the present edition, we were in progress of reading them, with the various additional pieces, " The Confession of Faith," " Observations on Sandeman and Cudworth," "Four Sermons," &c. when being referred in a note to " The Considerations on the Faith of Devils," towards the close of the volume, we found sufficient matter to claim our notice, and to confirm our opinion of the author's sentiments. The circumstance of the latter piece being written only a short period before his decease, will fully shield us from the charge of taking an incorrect or partial view of the opinions maintained throughout the work.:
It appears that some objections had been brought against his description of the faith of God's elect, as included in the following proposition: "whosoever among men believes what devils do about the Son of God, is born of God, and shall be saved"—to establish which the final labours of his pen were employed. The disputed sentiment occurs in the essay on faith, wherein the writer expatiates at large on what appears in a condensed form in his reply, entitled, pa. 167, " The Faith of Devils considered." On turning our attention to the subject, which forms a key to the whole composition, we need only quote the concluding remark of the editor in his preface. "His death, which happened soon after, prevented its being published at that time; but it is now presented to the public, exactly copied from the manuscript which he left behind him."
From a close and rigid scrutiny of Mr. Ecking's arguments we are bold to declare, that the faith he pleads for as being the faith of God's elect, the " like precious faith," is no more than a natural act. We grant that he allows it is effected by the operation of the Spirit of God upon the mind, (andso does the advocate of Sandemanianism!) but this is done to the neglect of the necessary distinction between the external influences of the Holy Spirit on the unregenerate, and his internal operations experienced only by the called of God according to his purpose. As instance: when quoting the great apostle's definition, " Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," Heb. xi. 1. he remarks, "how plain, how rational, how worthy of the God of intelligence!" To whom is this plain, but to those who have an understanding given them of the things that are spiritual and true? Is it not super-rational? and consequently, above the highest stretch of mere human reason to comprehend? And if it were given for the information of man, considered only as an intelligent creature, what need have we of the engagement and promise of the Holy Ghost to lead into the knowledge of supernatural truths? ;,-iiUivi .--.iii :-;-i vsiii
It must be allowed that our author, advancing toward the argument he strives to establish, has wisely proved the fallacy of sundry descriptions of faith which obtain in the professing world. He has exposed with great effect, the notions of those whose religion (which is no religion) consists of much ado about the fluctuations of hope, fear, and the various passions, when those exercises may be traced to the influence of natural convictions, and are often the result of incorrect views of the truth, unhappy dispositions, &c. But a summary of his sentiments is given in his defence of the proposition above stated, from which we take an extract :—
"Having shewn, in general, what devils do believe; let us again advert to the obnoxious proposition, " Whosoever among men believes what devils do about the Son of God, is born of God, and shall be saved." One would have thought that whatever disgust arose in the minds of the religious in
appears, that the proposition of the Essay-writer, and that of the apostle John, must stand or fall together; and that if the one stands in need of cor